Out With The Bathwater

Out With The Bathwater

he wanted to drink

my bathwater

or so he said

I never did take him up on it

 

if he had said that

after a few dates

I might have found it

appealing  almost flattering

but to start with that

was a bit much

 

it was the sort of

coming on too strong

I called ‘a red flag’

similar to sending a phone number

as the first message

not even a call me

or I liked your profile

I’m not going to call that number

 

he wanted to drink

my bathwater

when I asked him why

he said that it was pretty obvious

the water

was something that had touched

every inch of my body

the way he wished he could

I was amused

intrigued

 

all his pics were blurry

closeups of his nipples

I think

no face pic

 

I asked for a face photo

never heard back from him

I was going to take a bath

anyway


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Death By Proxy

Death By Proxy

I let death happen

by proxy

 

if I didn’t eat the meat

wear the shoes

would their treatment

become more humane

 

do I take a stand

no more meat

nothing with a face

search out alternatives

 

plants may have faces

that I don’t recognize

does that makes it fine

the air that I breathe

is teaming with life

the water I drink

is alive with microorganisms 

that may have faces

my vision isn’t that good

 

atomic microscopes

focus so finite 

I can’t recognize anything

but that jellyfish like shimmer

darting around other shimmers

as if afraid of being seen

shamed by our look

not ready for their close up

they aren’t animals

are they

 

is my decision that they don’t count

relevant to anything

other than another brick

in a sense of superiority

the smug comfort

of valuing all life

 

whereas people

like me who still eat meat

will always be ethically

self-indulgent creeps

who should be shamed

put to bed without any supper

or better yet

shot


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Out In The Open

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

Out In The Open

I was hiding

my feelings from him

not hiding exactly

but not declaring them

not putting them into words

what was communicated in my touch

 

was that enough

did he

could he

read between the kisses

between my legs

 

was there enough

emotional import

in my smile

my eagerness

to convey 

what I was afraid 

to put into words

 

as I waited

for him to put into words

what I felt in his touch

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Sacred

Nothing Is Sacred

it’s not that I don’t know

but what I know isn’t relevant

to you

 

I’m not an explainer

what you want to understand about me

isn’t going to make any difference

 

what I don’t tell you

isn’t even a secret

it’s merely a boundary 

of how willing I am to trust you

 

I won’t even confirm

what you think you know

I have nothing more to tell you

not even why

 

each thing I say

makes it appear I’m open

for negotiation

that if you keep me talking

I‘ll tell you what you want to know

tell you some amazing realization 

that let’s you feel ah ah

now I have him

he’s in my control 

or he’s not so special after all

 

you were expecting something deeper

more profound

instead you are getting nothing

 

don’t forget

nothing is sacred
What is the difference been data & information, between truth & facts? Even data can be ignored if it doesn’t fit one’s deeply held religious beliefs. Accepting this has made it easier for me to keep my big mouth shut in many situations. When people ask for my option I know they ultimately want me to confirm what they already believe.

The theme of identity appears frequently in my poetry – what we think we know about each other, about the political scene, about greenhouse gas – issues we become invested in that give us a sense of definition in our own minds & in the eyes of each other. We are judged a much by our opinions as by our appearance, or our actions. Guilty even when proved innocent.

As I grow older life gets simpler the less I have to say. I have my opinions on religion – how easy it is to justify homophobia by using cherry-picked Bible quotes by people who brag about known g their Bible history – usually when they don’t know the history of the bible itself. But I choose not to wade into that morass – people who don’t want to listen are a waste of my time. I have more important things   to worry about – like what tee-shirt am I going to wear.

 

This piece is also about people who want to make sure you know just how more they know than you do. I do have a rather extensive file of trivia trapped in my brain than I can access quickly – ask me what I watched on TV yesterday & I may not know though 🙂 But I do know what tee-shirt I’m probably going to wear tomorrow. I’d rather be defined by what I wear anyway.


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Bored

Bored

he was bored

& looking for sex

as if sex was a solution

so far

nothing had lived up

to his expectations

 

his profile listed

his interests

it was like the index

to a gay sex manual

at nineteen

he wanted to try them all

while he was still young enough

to enjoy them all

before he was bored

by them all

 

what I hadn’t tried

of his endless index

had never appealed to me 

at any age

some I had tried a few times

decided no thanks

to exploring them again

 

we chatted a awhile

he liked my dick pic

he wanted an older guide

one who was opened minded

as it became clear

I had boundaries

he became bitter

judgemental

 

not wanting to do

what he wanted to do

made me an ‘uptight old queen’

I wished him well

hoped he’d enjoy his explorations

added there were lots of men

ready to teach a nineteen year old

the ropes

but I wasn’t one of them

I signed off

 

his age wasn’t a big factor to me

but the index was

he’d have to learn

that just because 

there was some common ground

that didn’t mean all ground

was was common

 

he texted me a day later

he felt

because I wasn’t so eager

that I was someone he could trust

wouldn’t take advantage of him

I mentioned a few of the

items in his index

that would never happen with me

and he once again

tried to bargain

 

he asked why didn’t I trust him

after all he trusted me

I said it had nothing to do with trust

but lack of interest

the more insistent he became

the the more bored I became

 

so I texted

‘okay okay

let’s meet 

when and where’

he signed off

 

I haven’t from him since


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The Name Game

The Name Game

this is not my real name

in fact

I use my given name so infrequently

no one is sure what it is

I’m not sure of what it is

 

I won’t tell you what you want to know

not that it’s a secret

there is no deep shame

that I am hiding

 

names that I use

change from time to time

location to location

in fact

we may have met before

when I was someone else

that’s why I sometimes

seem so familiar

 

I don’t go out of the way

to disguise myself

to cover my trail

only who I might be

so that when you say

you understand me

I know 

you don’t even know who are talking to

 

everything you know

is about another person

someone with a name you know

that’s not my name

it wasn’t then

and it never will be again

I’ve met guys on line who. for privacy, I guess, have more than one name. In fact nearly all people on line do – a handle, a nickname, an email address that doesn’t reveal who they are. On dating sites guys have names like Toppugood43 or flexlexy – that may hint on what they want to do. Some have given one name in chat, then another one shows up as part of their email response & when they text another name & when we meet maybe their real name.

 

Some never give a name at all, really. ‘Hi it’s Toppu.’ Or not even that much, as if their phone number will tell me who it is. Names are one of the way we define people, so I can accept people needing to self-define by choosing their own name & using it as a sort of mask. Would John Wayne have made it big with his birth name Marion Morrison?

One of the reasons for ‘branding’ myself as TOpoet, was to remove immediate information about myself. All I want you to know is there – where I am located & what I do. No gender, sexuality, race or even age is alluded to. The only preconceived notion one may have is about poets, not about me as a person – unless it is to conclude that anyone labeling themselves as a poet is a pretentious fop. Guilty.

So this piece is about the ambiguity of names, of what we think we know about people & how insubstantial image is. It is easy to be someone else on line. I’m never sure if who I may be chatting with for the first time is actually the person in the picture (if they have a picture). I don’t know until I meet them face to face & it is the face in their photos. I don’t even fully believe what they’ve said in our chats, or in their profile. It is easy to flirt, overstate interests in text. Meeting moves things to the next level of negotiation. Which may require proof of identity 🙂 


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Fault Finding

Fault Finding

what I let you to believe

isn’t necessarily true

you allow yourself be lead on

by your willingness 

to fill in the blanks 

with your own expectations

 

that resulted in this

misunderstanding

sure I could have pointed that out sooner

but you were so sure of yourself

contradicting you

seemed pointless

 

you can’t blame me

for you making it so easy

to lead you on

once I started

I couldn’t stop

you made no pause for me to stop

you took the wrong hint

ran with it

before I could stop you

and when I did

you were dumbfounded

refused to listen

you thought I was joking


now you know

I wasn’t to blame 

even if it was my fault


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The Right Entrance

The Right Entrance

the girls

had their own school

a Catholic separate school

we’re talking 60’s – 70’s

Cape Breton

 

I don’t know if there was one

for Catholic boys

but the girls had their own

to protect them 

from the unruly attentions of boys

 

schools I went to were mixed

but there was

boys’ manual training

girls’ domestic science

separate entrances for boys for girls

mixed classes

but boys’ gym

girls’ gym

 

the best way to control

those masculine urges

was segregation

guys who got laid were men

girls who got laid were easy

girls who didn’t were teases

guys who didn’t 

bragged about doing it

or salivated endless about pussy

boobs

because they were men

 

never once

never

was there a sense

that the guys were in the wrong

it was only the girls 

who need to be protected

guys weren’t taught

to think differently

in fact

we were encouraged

to get a little

get laid

get into her panties

 

find’em

feel’em

fuck’em

forget’em

 

this was masculine prerogative

entitlement

a natural urge

that resented any attempt

to curb it

do you want your sons

to grow up to be fags

yeah sure

free and easy access

to pussy

is the cure for queer

 

yet I grew up

gay queer a fag

full of fear

yet sure of who I was

& who I wanted to have sex with

 

I tried dating

getting a little

getting a little wasn’t enough

to cure me of anything

so I forgot’em 

but I did learn 

which entrance

was right for me

This piece is a documentary. All of it is my high-school experience though some of the facts go back even further in my history. When my family moved to Cape Breton I was enrolled in a nearby school with a mixed gender & to a degree religious population. Entirely white as well I might add. Protestant with a scattering of Jewish students – who we knew were Jewish because of the many holidays they had.

It wasn’t until I got to high-school that I realized there was a separate school system for Catholics, particularly girls. Rather it was a high-school run by a teaching order of Catholic nuns. It wasn’t limited to Catholic’s as I think one of my sisters went there because it offered better secretarial training. A class that was never offered to boys – we did get an introduction to basic accounting though.

Beyond this religious segregation there was a gender divide in the rest of the school system for sports, non-academic vocational options – boys got manual training & shop; girls got domestic science & shopping. Most of the academic classes were mixed but there was separate entrances for grades & genders. 

Sydney did have a sizeable black community, as well as a large Native community – but we only saw them if our teams were playing against them. As best as I can remember there was no racial mix in my high school except for one, lone Japanese girl.

 

The four f’s ‘find’em’ was a real mantra usually used by ‘guys who didn’t but bragged about doing it’ The piece also reflects how gender doesn’t equate sexuality – that even though I had all this male behaviour example I turned out queer, having no queer male behaviour example to lure me into the unnatural side. 

The ‘entrance’ that was right for me? I’ll leave that to your imagination 🙂


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Not Relevant

Not Relevant

why I lost interest

wasn’t relevant 

neither of us was that invested

or at least I wasn’t

he was a good technical fuck

he made it clear how much he enjoyed

the time we spent together

but as much as he filled me up

he never fulfilled me

he was chatty enough

but conversations went his way

he listened to his voice

his point of view

would ask me the same questions

give his answer

talk over mine

so I lost interest

 

I blocked him on dating sights

rather than go into why 

I lost interest

why I found his paranoia

around identity theft 

made me distrustful of him

he knew too much for the innocent

his racism couldn’t be confronted

as he’d merely repeat his view

as if I had said nothing

to call him out

meant that I was the racist

 

that was a few years ago

I heard nothing from him

then one day there he was

on my door step

having changed his online identity

he’d made contact with me

never let on who he was

did a few things differently

gave me his email

which he’d never done before

though I still didn’t know his real name

the date was set

and there he was

with a slightly smug smile

 

I wasn’t flattered

but was amused

he was still a good technical fuck

friendly enough

not a listener

talked over my replies

to questions he’d asked 

when he left

I blocked him again

somethings don’t change

and he was one of them


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Sleep Over

Sleep Over

no

I am not sleeping over

yes

I had a good time

a great time

I dig you

but to sleep over

is more of a commitment

than I’m ready for

besides

I don’t think I could sleep

with you so near

with you in bed

beside me

it’s challenging enough

to sleep with someone in the same room

let alone in the same bed

 

no

I doubt if I’ll ever sleep over

not if you expect

to get any sleep

I’ve tried to sleep, & by sleep I mean sleep not sex, with sex partners. I could doze off but it was not a deep sleep. When my partner & I first meet we did try sleeping in the same bed but after a week or so of crappy sleep we gave up. It wasn’t an issue for me – my parents had separate bedrooms for years. My mother was an owl – worked around the house at night, usually getting up around noon. My Dad was a sparrow up every morning. He would get us off to school, & when I was old enough that duty fell to me (but that’s another story).

I was involved in pharmaceutical drug testing for many years. The studies were always on location. There could be a group of up to 40 people, sleeping in the same room, usually in bunk beds. At one location there would be other studies at the same time so there could be up to 100 guys bunked in a room. (Women had their own sleep quarters). I did learn to sleep okay under those conditions.

I developed sleeping strategies – ear plugs, lavender infused handkerchief, restful music on my iPod. Sleeping whenever we weren’t being fed, or giving blood samples. Trust me the pay was good & the eye candy was always a bonus. But after a weekend or week or even, in a few cases, a month of a study I longed for the privacy of my own bed.

Traveling isn’t too bad. My first night in a hotel bed can be a bit restless but the rest of the nights I’m out like a light. I also use the above sleep tactics to help on that first night. 

None of the guys I am seeing have indicated that a sleep over would be welcome. Some of them would find it hard to explain a night away to their wives anyway. Others work shifts. None of them has the same sleep pattern as mine. Being in bed, to sleep, by 10:30 strikes them as puritanical. 


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