Lions and Tiger

guardian of the driveway
serene after feeding
lion in upper Pape Village
crouching lion – I think these are marble not plaster or concrete
calm for the moment
less calm – they guard the driveway in front of this rather ordinary house
silent roar
not a lion but a real tiger at the Toronto Zoo

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Movies Galore

I watch a fair number of movies on TV – mostly from TCM, some from my DVD collection. The routine in our house a movie from 5 – 6 Mon-Thurs. Friday’s we were watching Buffy episodes but have finished all 7 seasons! Now we’re working through Broadchurch – an hour of that a week is all I can take – too depressing. Almost at the end of season one, so no spoilers please.

Saturday is usual my 4 p.m. movie date with a friend. Saturday is the only day I usually see a movie all at once – he & I have watched classic queer films: i.e. Cabaret, Rocky Horror Picture Show, he has never seen & sprawling epics: Lord of The Ring, The Hobbit – those took two weeks per film. Also the Indiana Jones films. Here are some films I watched over the past summer. 

Starting with some challenging French cinema. Most recent was ‘Pickpocket’. I loved the voice-over – every French film voice over makes me think of Last Year At Marienbad (which is a good thing as Marienbad is one of my all time favorite films). Pickpocket is low key, almost film noir, with terse dialogue that force the viewer to fill in the story. The same is true for ‘Paris Belongs To Us’ – even more so as one is never sure where this one is going as our heroine is on the trail of a political force that causes people who trail it to commit suicide – at least I think that’s what it is.

Out of Britain is ‘Girl With Green Eyes’ with the wide-eyed Rita Tushingham falling for an older man. Set in Dublin, or was it Belfast? It a curious coming of age story about a young girl & a writer (shades of Lolita). Not as grim as I expected & an interesting look at life at that time. Oi reminded me of ‘Loves of a Blonde’ a Czech film where a young girl who falls for an older man but with a more mordant tone. It was never easy being a young female.

Out of Asia came ‘YiYi’ (China) – fascinating, epic family drama set in modern times. Sprawling cast, fine performances, some amazing party arguments & young girls falling in & out of love. From Japan is ‘The Warped Ones’ (Japan) – set in late 50’s with an amazing jazz score your men, for a change, struggle for identity & meaning in a world they find meaningless. Amazing performances & a plot that takes illogical turns but I was willing to go there. From Korea is ‘The Maid’ – young girls fallen love with older men, again. She becomes his maid while his wife is pregnant. Odd plot twists & an ending out of the blue. Apparently this was inspiration for ‘Parasite.’

In the Italian ‘Seduced and Abandoned’ a young girl is seduced by her older sister’s fiancé & mayhem results. Funny, sad, & more proof of the difficulty of being a young female anywhere in the world. 

I did watch some American films – Birdman which was the best film Robert Altman never made – done in Altman’s talk over, rapid fire, busy camera style this was a fun, if overly long, ride. I do love the behind the stage movie – a Hollywood cliche for decades. But I wanted to tell almost every character to shut the fuck up. Nearly everyone was irritating. The flying sequences were exactly out of my dreams.

Finally is Canada’s ‘Edge of the Knife’ Sgaawaay K’uuna. This is a masterpiece. Visually stunning. Beautifully performed & one everyone should see. I watched many more but these are ones I surprised by the emotional pull they achieved, some by disregarding narrative logic, some by singleness of creative vision, all worth seeing.

Saint Jim

<>

Pere Lachaise

section six section seize

‘seize the moment in section six

you have to seize the moment

saiser l’instant’

Jim starts a new song 

‘you have to seize the moment 

in section six’

I can hear him shout 

through stage fog strobe lights

teeny bopper girls rush the stage

police men push them away 

as he taunts flaunts

teases pleases

scowler prowler

hurt lost shaman

<>

like those silly little girls 

I lust after that idol

I wonder what they saw

that day in Miami

if he did flash the iconic cock 

<>

I make my way though a light rain

everything is a line in a Saint Jim song

‘making my way 

through cemetery rain’

I know he‘s here somewhere

I see mystic marks sprayed

momentos of worship

‘the blue bus stops near here’

the rain stops

and I am there

<>

it’s not a monument

a flat grey space with a tombstone

his name wrong

James isn’t Jim

his bones beneath my feet

unless they’ve been stolen

relics in sacred altars

for those who think

they can petition this saint

<>

a bunch of flower

some used condom lizard skins

‘lizard skins drying in the sun

show we have seized the moment’

<>

I hear birds

then dozens of people

hiss of cameras

posers smile lean over the tombstone

stoke his name then gone

<>

left alone 

I seize my moment

shrug at the security camera

unzip my fly

to flash my cock

the only gesture of his I can duplicate


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Yellow Haze

All of these, except the sunflower, are from my garden – most as I experimented with the camera’s close up function

I love the pollen heavy legs of these bees

unknown small bush in my front yard
orange marigold – orange is almost yellow
zinnia on my front steps
rose begonia
marigold in same basket as the orange
portulaca in my back garden
dusty miller – no petals
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Fuming

Fuming 

he was late 

again

the meeting had started

twenty minutes ago

he entered quietly

nodded apologetically

silently found a seat

after squeezing past

people already seated

took off his coat

put it on he back of his chair

sat & sighed apologetically

<>

then announced

how sorry he was to be late

to disrupt the meeting

to have all eyes on him

while we waited for him

to get settled

so the meeting could resume

<>

she fumed

he had

once again

sucked all the attention to him

he was an attention seeking sponge

always late

making a quiet entrance

acting as if he was sorry

when she knew

he was thriving on the attention

she deserved

but was unwilling 

to be as obvious as he was

in getting it



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unDigestable

Architectural un/Digest/able

The White House

architecturally speaking

holds no interest for me

big sprawling 

designed to impress 

not to live in

history was made there

apparently

but to me

it isn’t even a photo op

merely a symbol 

of promises unkept

of hopes betrayed

need ignored in favour of profit

not for progress

I’ve seen it from a distance

that’s close enough for me

I wrote this piece a few years ago, before the current US president turned their democracy into a media circus. I may have written it while in DC or shortly after coming from Capturing Fire that year. The city is a great mix of architectural styles with something surprising around the corner from something surprising. This would have been the week of Capturing Fire 2020 so it synchronistic this piece should come into the flow now. (Will I ever get to use my travel vouchers?)

So I have had visual contact with the building in question 🙂 I’ve watched a few TV documentaries on the history of the building, one about Secrets, another a look at Christmas Decorating. I’ve even checked out how one might tour the inside but applying to Canadian Embassy in DC is more trouble than I want to go to. I was hoping it would be like booking a guided tour of the Zoo. 

What I have learned that the interior of the house has undergone many extensive alterations that the outside is a shell, a facade, which seems mighty fitting symbol for politics anyway. I don’t say American politics but politics in general, as I don’t think the Canadian system is all that ‘transparent.’

Race riots have been happening for as long as I recall. Colonialist attitudes & actions have echoed throughout history. A few tweets around BLM that have really clarified things for me “Be grateful we want equality, not revenge.” “There are no caucasians in the Bible.” But race issues, like poverty, will be around as long as there is profit in it. The White House was built by colonizers.


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Don’t Look At Me

Don’t Look At Me

I’m just sitting here

I didn’t say anything

I didn’t even look in your direction

my eyes were on my feet

on my coffee

on my smart phone

like everyone else

in transit

in a busy cafe

not looking at anyone

pulling our bodies tight

lest we brush another person

lest we be accused

of staring

of invading another privacy

of copping a visual feel

I don’t need restraints

to feel restrained

to feel the fear

of being too close

even when we are shoved

so close

in transit

on an escalator

so close

we break out into a sweat

fearful of enjoying the closeness

or that someone might be

enjoying being this close to us

get back

don’t look at me

I’m here

but not here



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The Echo Echo Echo

The Echo

because I disagree

doesn’t mean you are wrong

<>

seeing things differently

doesn’t mean I know better

our ideological differences

ultimately don’t mean anything

minority majority

there’s always a power disparity 

our control over

each other

is still limited 

I may not be in charge

but neither are you

as we are caught in this dance

of conformity to

cultural imperatives

that define confine

us to gender roles

race roles

age roles

financial education class boundaries

that we struggle to tear down

or to reinforce

often without questioning why

they came to be in the first place

<>

there are noisy 

spokespersons on all sides

who shout down each other

as to who is right wrong

when the loudest wins

it’s only the echo

of what could have been

This piece starts with what I consider a truism which if more people understood there’d be no real purpose for twitter 🙂 There not agreeing is seen as treasonous, seditious & unpatriotic. I’d say un-American, but only the US president can make that decision. That’s disagreeing on a bigger playing field. History is seen through the eyes of the historian, not the eyes of the people who lived it. Colonizers see property rights as earned not stolen.

A variation on that truism is ‘just because I’m not arguing doesn’t mean I agree with you.’ What it does mean is that I’m not easily drawn into arguing because my experience has been the more insistent either side is the less productive the conversation is going to be. Not that I think we ‘should all be friends’    but we can respect one another’s individuality.

One of things recovery has pushed me to do is to examine more closely my own conformity to cultural imperatives, how lack of conformity to some of these imperatives has influenced me. One, that I’ve blogged about before is how masculinity is childhood is defined by fighting back with bullies. I was not a fighter so my internal self branded me a coward.

The news is often dominated by media whores who will tweet, say, do anything for attention. They don’t need information or even misinformation int heir reckless disregard for common sense. Contradict them & you are seditious, ignore them & you are seen as resentful & envious. The only dialogue they are interested in is the one in which you agree with them, not one that will lead to change.


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Voyeur’s Picnic

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

Voyeur’s Picnic

I only close the blinds

to sun

to too much light

never to the eyes of others 

we’re on the 2nd story of my house

you can’t see in from the ground

from across street

not even from the 2nd story

of the house across the street

<>

they can’t see us

naked

on the bed

not that I’ve tried to look

into my house from their vantage point

but I certainly can see nothing

when I look across to theirs

besides

there is no one in their houses

I’d care to glimpse

taking off clothes

making out

<>

so I only close the blinds

to sun

I keep them open most of the time

if they can see in

they to be working at it

I’m rarely that close to the window

if they are working at it

they are welcome to see me

dry my ass after a shower

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Catholic Girls

Mary Teresa

Mary Teresa said

I can’t play with you anymore

her mother came out

get out of our yard

you aren’t welcome here

her brother Gerald

pushed me to the gate

you heard my mother

get lost

<>

Why

<>

Gerald shoved me again

punched me in the face

stop that his mother shouted

but Gerald hit me again

I could taste blood

<>

get going

you trouble maker

his mother pulled him away

you people are always trouble makers

now get going

don’t come back

don’t speak to Mary Teresa again

you hear me

she said

<>

Mary Teresa glared at me

from the top of the steps

stuck her tongue out at me

<>

I didn’t know what I had done

Mary Teresa was a year older than me

so I guess she was eleven

her bother maybe thirteen

they lived a block over from us

but neither went to my school

they had their own

Saint something or the other

where the Catholic kids went

I wasn’t Catholic

<>

we had lived in the neighbourhood

for about a year now

I knew the different schools 

there was taunting and chasing

that I avoided

<>

I didn’t understand how their God 

gave them the right to bully

told them who was good

who was bad

years later I still don’t

understand

Catholic Protestant whatever

caught in a match

of who’s piss is closest to the good book

<>

I never did speak to Mary Teresa again

<>

Here I have a sweet mash-up of real memory, somewhat fictionalized characters, and the real social context of Sydney, where I grew up. There were separate schools for the Catholics that remained separate for decades. Up to grade 10 – when some mix was allowed with catholic boys going to the multi-denominational high-schools. Catholic girls had their own high-school so keep them from being raped by heathen Protestant boys.

Depending on the Catholicism of the parents us kids weren’t allowed to mix. The incident here is based on more than one event. I did have some kids who we had played tag with tell me they couldn’t hang out anymore because we weren’t Catholic. Simple as that, as children we didn’t have the knowledge base to get into theological discussions. I did hear of kids told to get out of yards because they weren’t ‘micks.’

Even then the excuse of religion to justify bullying was acceptable. I say excuse because even today one can use ‘religion’ to justify any unreasonable fear rather than face that fear. The Bible says races shouldn’t mix so to prevent that lynching is logical. The Bible has relegated to a photo op prop anyway. I’m not anti-christian by any means but not particularly Christian either – so please, piss on someone else.

 

(I’m still getting use to the new WP editing program & can’t figure out how to put in poetry line breaks hence the use of <> to indicate were breaks would be if I could figure out how to get them there.)


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