Dining Room

A souvenir of the writers’ workshop/retreat at Loyalist College in Belleville. There was also a painters workshop at the same time. One morning we visited the painter, saw their work, then read some our aloud to them. I swapped one of my Renaissance anthologies for this painting. Int he area many houses have a large bed of orange flowers – at one time to signify it was the home of Orangemen. Yes gardens were once tools of political & religious importance.

One of my role models 🙂 Tweety could get away with tormenting Sylvester with the dog ready to rescue him. The brass cymbals were a gift many years ago. I ring them on the full moon. In the window  you might notice a stained glass Cape Breton Island sun catcher.

The patron saint of writers – St Michael – the only saint with a sword. I bought this Broughton’s – a religious items store not he Danforth, just east of Woodbine. They have since gone out of business. I bout this ceramic figurine at their going out of business sale. It hovers on the plate rail over me by the computer. The bearded guy under his foot is part sea serpent. The Welsh plate beside it is a nod to my Celtic roots. It might have been gift or I may have found it at a 2nd hand store.

Photos of photos 🙂 The first by my niece before she she became branded as Betty Rocksteady. I love the triple exposure effect & its surreal Man Ray vibe. Check her out on Amazon.


The other is by my friend Kyle Andrews – driftwood in sunset on the coast of Nova Scotia around Canso Causeway. 




My lunchbox collection. These are from various years of FanExpo & were included as part of the deluxe package. Supposedly limited editions – but what does that mean? Were unsold ones destroyed?  repurposed? repainted as Terminator XIX lunch boxes? The photo, one of my favourites, is of no one I know. I found it on one of my walks, leaning on a garbage bin. I couldn’t resist it.


something happens when 

my skin 

is in the same room 

as yours


I don’t have to know you are there

I can feel something 

though my clothes 

through every layer 

coat sweater jeans undies

a emanation comes from you

your eyes   your smile

that changes my chemical structure 

it grows glows down to my toes


in fact

you don’t even have to be there

someone can mention your name

& I feel like a leaf turning 

to your sun

your picture 

your voice on the telephone


my hypersensitive flesh reacts

the closer you are

the less subtle the reaction

the more alone we are together

the less subtle the manifestation 

radians through the air around us

as we snuggle to watch TV 

step into a shower

approach the bed

emanation that knit

pull us closer closer

enmeshed in each other

breathe the same air

walk in the same sunshine

wash with the same soap


complete without each other

yet always eager for the knit

creating opportunities 

to mention the name

laugh about something or the other 

we could have done

caught up in the shower

lost between the bed and the TV


there are times 

when opportunity

allows awareness of another

I feel it first in my skin

I look around the room  the street 

to see where its coming from

can it be returned

eyes become heat seeking sensors

I’m a turning leaf

looking for some sun

more light 

more opportunity to share that flow

with someone else

even if it is merely to acknowledge 

not act

don’t have to act every time  


the grace of light fills us 

each to overflowing


no need to fear 

there won’t be enough

all I have to do is breathe deep 

open myself to the gift

of your sun



(canceled by covid19 😦 )June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.


(Maybe) All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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Year End Review!

30-blue-01Is it time for an end-of-the-year wrap up? If you follow me here you’ll already know most of the highlights 🙂 A few things didn’t make it here though. I expanded my regular fwb network with some sweet sexy men. It’s not that I’m overly fussy but if there’s no emotional chemistry it won’t work regardless of technique of physicality.

30-blue-02Flipping though my calendar for 2016 I see things worth mentioning. Seeing Charlie Petch’s wonderful Mel Malarkey in April, getting down to DC for Capturing Fire, reading collections by some of amazing trans writers I’ve met in DC, seeing some great shows at Stratford, judging the dynamic Hot Damn! slams & meeting some excellent new writers. Fan Expo was good fun too.

I came to the end of the 48 Laws of Power & moved on to the 227 Rules for Monks. I finished the rough draft of my Nanowrimo novel Picture Perfect – I now have some 200,000 words to edit – joy.

30-blue-03My WordPress following has slowly, but surely, grown to 175; Tumblr 150; Twitter 190. 257 WordPress posts this year – my busiest year so far. Even a couple of two post days when I was in DC. Fun facts: I get more twitter likes & retweets for links to my WordPress posts that I get actually hits to my WordPress posts. How is that possible? No retweet has resulted in an increase in WP hits either. I get new followers at Tumblr every time I post a set of car pictures – imagine their surprise. Frequently new Tumblr followers are hetero porn spam which I block. I rarely follow back on Twitter – in particular if my new follower is an editor, or an agent specializing in increasing your online presence or an author with a new book coming out soon.

30-blue-04I have to thank Andrew Gurza‘s Disability After Dark for pushing me to look at issues about my own sexuality & sparking many of my blog posts about things easily overlooked. I also thank the trans & queer poets I’ve met & heard at Hot Damn! & Capturing Fire for making my word view even wider than it was before. I can’t match their anger but appreciate the power & need for it to be expressed.

What will 2017 bring? I’ll be blogging here on Tuesdays ‘Lazarus Kiss’ my first Nano novel. I’ve made my flight & hotel reservations for Capturing Fire in June. I also have my FanExpo tickets purchased. Plus a mess of new undies coming from Daily Jocks. So despite Tump – it’ll be a good year.


On Your Knees

it can’t be free

the more it costs

the more it’s worth

it will be within reach of all

through a window

nothing to hide

nothing to give away either

time is as good as money

spread the word

that’ll be enough

spread it far and wide

stand on street corners

yell in basements

cut through the illusion

of now here reality

it can be freeing

to cut yourself loose

of all that holds you

to your ideals

try ours instead

they are built on

ancient tried and proven realities

they wouldn’t last

if they weren’t better than

what you think you think

that’s why they aren’t free

they aren’t cheap

surrender give in give up

it is pointless to resist

this tide has been washing the world clean

before there even was a world

in your heart you know

this is the one true way

the ultimate loss of self

why waste time resisting

we’ll be coming for you

whether you like it or not

so pay up now

or regret it later

we can wait

as it is written

so it will be

admit it

you like

to be on your knees

say please

thank you




January 3 – launch of Lazarus Kiss – here14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes



my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames


June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –



check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo




Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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#FanExpo 2016

02expo16I came, I walked, I shopped 🙂 I saw celebs (from a distance) even took a long shot of the real stars of AmHor Freakshow. But the only tee I ended up with was the official Expo limited (to how many they could sell) tee-shirt. Two hours Thursday, three hours Friday & I pretty much had my fill of dodging bay carriages, cosplay impromptu photo session in the middle of narrow retail aisles. By 1 pm Friday even shopping became a hazard as it was impossible to stop long enough in front of a spot to buy something with the pressure of people pushing you along so they could also not buy something.03expo16The scariest part (so far) was the continuing mess at Union Station. I hear it’ll be ready for the next Olympics in Toronto. I’m surprised no one has used it yet as set for their low-budget slasher film. all those hoardings are ripe for blood spatter & the newly narrower platforms are perfect for that accidental nudge.04expo16New FanExpo trends: customized hard-shell luggage – with logos & colours of your fave: Wonder Woman, My Little Pony, Iron Man – you get the picture. I’m sure it make it easier to spot on a luggage carousel but calls even more attention to it than you might want. Other trend: mystery boxes only $35 for $50 worth of merchandise – come on! Now if it were $35 for $100 worth of crap that hasn’t been sold for the past year I might think yeah.01expo16The horror zone – or should I call it Game Of Thrones Central (since when is Thrones horror anyway?) – was over run with swords & a heaping helping of Walking Dead. I suppose there is no other current horror franchise – more American Horror Show would have been great to see there – HMV didn’t even have the box sets of past seasons, wtf. Each year it becomes harder to find ‘old school’ – too much Hunger Games & no Bride of Frankenstein.05expo16I did annoy several of the comic book retailers by asking if they had any Katy Keene – one of them did know who it was. Not that expected her to show up here anyway. I did buy another Godzilla action figure – travel size this time 🙂 (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-16x)

rough draft sample

The Scope of Things

Dave got a telescope for his thirteenth birthday

it needed a tripod to hold it up

if the screws weren’t tight enough

the heavy head would drift down

he showed me how to focus on stars

the faces of the moon

people’s roofs living rooms

to see what they were watching on TV

prying spying was sneaky fun

when we looked at the Milky Way

I would hum the Star Trek theme

we made notes of constellations nebulas

when we came to Earth

we had no guides for these creatures

we observed from our ufo

as it hovered unseen over their homes

peering into their windows

as they shuffled from living room to kitchen

sat on the floor to eat chocolate ice cream

directly from the carton

scratched their private parts

which was about as exciting

as those dull Earthlings ever got

never found an open bedroom curtain

for some flash of undressed flesh

for my thirteenth birthday

I got a microscope

to prepare me for science in school

I made slides of hair spit

Dave and I took turns looking at trapped squiggles

water had uncountable live darters

snot was creepy

our shit swarmed with so many  things

I had to wash and wash afterward

we tried the microscope through the telescope

puzzled by things so far

we couldn’t touch them

so small we couldn’t feel them

wondering where did we fit in


cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine



Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames


June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –



check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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#FanExpoCanada 2015


CN Tower from Convention Centre

Over the years I’ve learned to ‘negotiate’ FanExpo for maximum enjoyment. Last year I opted not to bother with the Thursday morning line up by 1. picking up my wristband & pass the day before; 2. arriving after 2 pm on Thursday, by which time the Premium pass lineup has already made its way in. Easy & fast.


follow the Off White Queen

Picking up my pass the day before also gets me ready for the hell of Union Station – due to renovation work Union has been a maze the past few years. It wasn’t so bad this year – the Skywalk was readily accessible – though the fast-food places on the GO level were all closed for on-going work – no Tim Ho’s for snaps of cosplayers gulping down Tim Bits. But lot of cosplayers hefting axes, bow & arrows on their way to hopefully being swarmed by photographers. At least on the Skywalk I was able avoid being whacked or tripped by their props.


tee shirts of the damned

Day one I get a sense of what I want, go though the program for possible events but as I get older I’m not longer chomping at the bit for a Hogwarts reunion or a q&a with the cast of Teen Wolf (maybe, no, definitely with Tyler Posey in private). I did pick up a Dario Argento DVD set: Cat O’Nine Tails, Deep Red & Inferno. I also kept an eye open for some old school horror tee’s – too bad I’m not that into Walking Dead, Star Wars or Star Trek as there was lot of that to be bought. Where was Bride of Frankenstein? Hey look, there’s Mike Tyson.


ready for her close-up

Day two was more of the same – I got off at St Andrews to avoid Union & also to hit the Starbucks near there – bonus stars cashed in – easy entry starting with the North hall & more of the horror stuff. Nothing cracked my wallet open though. Though the gladiator clad men were fetching I resisted being one of the 200 cameras pointed at them. Over to the South hall & found American Vampire volumes 4, 6, 7 that I don’t have. I resisted Volume 1 of the collected Sandman – weighed too much & cost too much: $175.00! even with the free bag that was a bit much for me. I guess the gold edging was real gold. Hey look, there Rupert Grint.

After a few hours I was ready to leave. Spotted a few celebs, gotten tripped and/or swathed by one too many cosplay props as I tried to avoid baby carriages & no where to actually sit down either. The Premium lounge is great in theory but not inviting enough. But I did find the old school monster tee I was looking for – spotted one at the tiptop of one of the tee-shirt retailer walls – of course they hire just for the event & so staff doesn’t know stock & it took twenty minutes to find one, male cut, in my size. What did I get? You’ll have to wait till I get my pic taken at a future Cabaret Noir to know. Or send me $5 via paypal for an early peek 🙂 paypal.me/TOpoet


clearly not going commando

Skipped Saturday, & Sunday was, as expected, mayhem, thanks to: Hey look! Gillian Anderson. Next year I’ll stick to Thursday & Friday, unless they bring in the cast of American Horror Story. There’s a photo op many would line up for – Jessica hold the whip a little higher.


Life of An Unknown Poet

I was handing my credit card

to the Winners clerk

when my camera crew got into shoving match

with her camera crew


I didn’t see how out of hand things were

till I watched a podcast of

The Making of The Life of An Unknown Poet

by the crew following my camera crew


my head camera man was asked

how did the poet feel

when he was accosted

he pointed his camera at me

as I walked out of the store

I looked back

glad I was still the one on camera


I was tempted to go back

but didn’t want to interrupt

the entertainment food chain

I had my own life to lead

and what he thought I thought

about the shoving match

wasn’t all that vital to me

the world knew how shallow I was

for a poet


except for this show

I remained unknown

even after six seasons

my books sales hadn’t increased

I wasn’t getting reviews

and this pissed me off

in fact my viewers

would like to see me pissing too

but I had to draw the line somewhere

they could watch me flush

but couldn’t see me take a leak

I have some pride


later there was a news report

of the shoving match

someone was injured

not one of my crew or my crew’s crew

it struck me how futile it was

that no matter what one did

someone was bound to suffer

that even allowing my personal angst

to be the fodder of millions

it didn’t stop the circle of suffering

my camera crew applauded me

as I wrote those lines about suffering

which made it all worth while once again

I can go living giving all to my life

even if there is no bump in book sales

or any chance of sex


unless that camera man

from the clerk’s camera crew is available

he looked kind of hot

in the podcast of the shoving match

he needs a shave

but his bloody nose gave this unknown poet

a spark of known reality



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo


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The #Wedding Guest

For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page http://wp.me/P1RtxU-1fT here for previous pieces in this series.

The Wedding Guest’s Tale

the choir had sung at a wedding

‘jesu of man’s perspiring’

each of us was given the traditional

cayenne molasses candy favours

outside the church I was stopped

by one of the wedding guests

he was very drunk

but had such a happy face

I shared some of my sweets

he began to cry as drunks were wont to do

‘yer the bes’pal I ‘er had’

he slurred as he chewed the candy

‘let me tell you something son

something  I have never told another

something you must never ever repeat

you understand’

I nodded yes

‘this is the story of how we learned

to hunt the moose

has anyone told you this story son’

‘no’ I replied.


‘well this is how it happened

years before I was born

you know

it was told me by my great-grandfather

he was a lad when they discovered

how to hunt the moose

one winter the water was too frozen to fish

up till then we had only been fishers

there wasn’t smelt in the storage silos

when the men went into the woods

the moose charged at them

they could smell a villager a mile away

with their antlers they killed two men

flicked them into the willow trees

it’s the wind in their bones you hear

in Whistling Woods

then one of the men had an idea

he dressed half his body as a robin

all red feathers

the other side he dressed as a smelt

covered with silver scales

he ran through the moose

a long sharp knife in either hand

to slash as them as fast as he could

half the moose claimed

they were attacked by a great robin

the other half swore they were attacked

by a deadly silver smelt

they began to argue amongst themselves

distrust set in

one half the herd attacked the other

at night fall the men went back

and dragged away the carcasses

thus we learned to hunt the moose

we don’t wear feathers and scales anymore

because the moose have no faith in

their senses or one another

when they warn that a man is near

they snort with distrust

and are easy prey for us’


do you know the way to fan expo

Here I return to the folk lore roots of the Village stories. Many of the elements in this are from or variations of actual folk lore. The wedding guest, the old story teller, is a stock ballad figure – one of them starts the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. The ‘swear’ is also out of that tradition.


stripe hydranted

The disguised hunter come from African lore, the particulars of the disguise come from the mythos of the island – moose, robins – I was working with. Its been some years since I read the original folk tale but I think it involved and enemy confusing villagers with this split side disguise.



There’s also some use of this misidentification in Chaucer & Boccaccio for amorous ends so its one of this universal notions. I also enjoy this sense that it’s our distrust of what is in fact real that makes us easy prey. How easy it is to lose sight of what happened: the moose get slashed is diverted into arguing over details, rather than developing some defence to deal with it. Like passing a law that makes it illegal for people to act on their bias rather than educate people out of their bias.

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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C’est toi et Jacques Brel

I first heard Dany Brilliant on MuchMusic’s French Kiss – a weekly half-hour show devoted to French pop music. The song was C’est toi – a brash, infectious French Sinatra & I love it. I also have his ‘Histoire D’un Amour’ cd tucked into one of the Brel mp3 cds & both are well worth having.


morning glory blue

My alphabetical brings me to Jacques Brel next. I happened upon his complete recordings for a reasonable price & so I have over 20 cds condensed into 4 mp3 collections (& some scatted through another cds). Plus a stand alone double of his hits. Not that I ever set out for this massive collection but I sure do enjoy it & there’s always some Brel on my iPod.

It all started in the late 90’s when I picked up an lp of his Man of La Mancha, next came that 2 cd set. He was a huge European & world star. Too many hits to name check – but one of the things that stunned me on hearing them was the use of the theremin in many of them – electronica mixed with his big band sound is sweet.

The collection includes live concerts, a tribute album, his recording in Flemish & all the studio work & live performances. What isn’t here is the ‘Alive & Well’ – which I doubt he was alive to see. Many of the songs follow a similar arrangement: starting easy & getting faster & more emotional, over-the-top like a wild merry-go-round.


blue fields

Mixed into this for variety & relief are recordings by Edith Piaf (a very best of), Adamo (various eps: he was, at first, a mop top pop start), Mireille Mathieu (Tangos – she is amazing), Charles Aznavour (a hits collection), Maurice Larcange (what French collection would be complete without some accordion cafe music), Francois Hardy (sweet breathy & a surveyor if the 60’s pop push – Feist owes everything to Hardy), Sacha Distel (fine jazz guitarist & sweet singer & one-time boy friend of Bardot), Juliette Greco (actress & sultry, sort of scary, singer, the Greco lp was huge in the 50’s, early 60’s with her deadpan beatnik look), Herve Vilard (some eps of sweet latin flavoured pop).

whitehorseno more rides on old blue

All of this would fall under adult contemporary today. The influence of US pop is subtle. By pop I don’t mean rock’n’roll either, though there is a bit of doo wop in some of it , more of the Bobby Vinton easy listening. I do have a healthy slab of French rock & garage pop though & we’ll eventually get to that as I progress though the alphabet.


Yellow Dust

The barren landscape held only yellow dust as far as the eye could see. Nothing remained on the ground of the two domed cities, the people, or the landing sky bay that once hovered overhead.

‘What sort of violence could have done this?’ Dale asked.

‘Gosh I don’t rightly know Cadet Dale,’ Griff, Dale’s robot sidekick answered. As he answered his optic sensors rotated in several slow circles.

‘Looks like something just pulverised them.’

‘Right enough Cadet Dale. My sensors are picking up trace elements of the various minerals that had built the structures here. Would you like a quantitative list of them.’

‘No, that’s fine.’ Dale still found Griff’s personality difficult to understand. The bot had been given some ‘familiarity’ programs but also maintained its strict analytic core.


‘Bring us to the co-ordinates the the Prime Dome.’

Dale’s craft moved silent over the still surface of the planet. The sensor scope that played across the surface beneath them revealed nothing. More flatness. Not even a hint of foundations. Only the trace elements of what had once been there and as those readings sped by it was clear that even those traces where declining.

‘Griff those trace elements are being absorbed by something. Can you tell what it is.’

‘Be happy to try Cadet Dale. Might take me a moment or two so …’ Griff’s auto voice slowed and stilled. His lights dimmed and nearly went out.

‘Oh crap. Just what I need now for the bot to shut down. Main Line what is the problem with Griff.’

‘Griff is thinking.’ The electronic voice of the ship’s computer purred. ‘There is more data here than he was equipped to deal with swiftly.’

‘More data? How can that be?’

‘He has to adjust for each decline in readings. The declines are so swift he’ll never catch up.’

‘How long will Griff be thinking?’

‘That is not a question I can answer.’


‘That is not a question I can answer. I must alert you to the fact the the left hull is being eroded. ‘


‘Yes. It will soon be too weak to keep out the atmosphere. I am taking the ship out of danger now.’



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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Crisis of Faith @ Hirut

Summer Sizzle at Hirut was a jammed packed house & a jam packed show. The sizzle was spiced up by a large group of Ethiopians celebrating the call to the bar of a member of their community. Some congratulatory speeches were made that stressed their gratitude for Canada coming from a country were ‘after they throw stones at the police we had to be come immigrants – the dictators are still in power & are here.’

With Canada Day coming up out was powerful reminder what our country offers. Also in the midst of Pride it is clear how community creates safety.  We all appreciated how Hirut proved a safe, welcoming space for all on the cold rainy night. Co-hosts Arlene Peculan & Lizzie Violet kept the show rolling & our minds off the rain.


discards of eden?

I hit the stage first with a version of my Brown Betty set of east coast recollections. I had pulled the set together that afternoon, put the pieces in a flow & didn’t look at it until I open my Kindle to perform it. It worked well. The two new pieces flowed nicely – taking listeners to where they didn’t expect. I sold a raft of chap books too, which is always good.


pic by Lizzie Violet

After me was Neil Traynor http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/neiltraynor with a great set of originals & a couple of covers. ‘you deserve all the rain that falls on you’ ‘if I could do it all over again I would change everything’ ‘take time to notice what your worth’. He has a sweet slightly reedy voice but I longed to hear him drop a tone for more than a line or two as his voice is equally as appealing in its lower register. He is a one man Lovin’ Spoonful for the 2015s.


fallen from grace

Next up was Vanessa Smythe (www.mevanessaleigh.com) with a set of storytelling – she is an invested vulnerable perform with pieces bout love, loss, siblings the were perfected tuned, time that drew us into moments of tenderness & emotional reality. Her Gallipoli piece was unexpectedly compelling. ‘nothing here looks the sky in the eye’ ‘I tried to push my ear into the chest of the ground.’ She is the mistress of the awkward, slightly embarrassed pause.



After a brief break Alissa Vox Raw (www.alissavoxraw.com) closed the night with smooth emotive evocative set of one-man choral work – songs that built on the interplay of her self-recorded voice 7 guitar as it was lets on top of what she had just sang. Sublime do whop, some revival, some torch & all fun. She has elements of Laurie Anderson, Diamanda Galás & even Cathy Berberian in her manipulation of voice & music. I loved it.


one of the new (unfinished) pieces I read:

Within Belief

I wasn’t that naive a child

I didn’t believe in Santa Clause

or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy

my parents encouraged those fantasies

but didn’t do anything

to prevent my rational child mind

from finding out those truths

to see through those fictions

made me feel older

but didn’t keep me for my first

real crisis of faith


that came when I was around twelve

when I discovered that the actor

playing Tarzan

didn’t live in the jungle

maybe that was because

I wanted to live in the jungle

surrounded by this half-naked natives


I knew Tarzan wasn’t real person

that he was portrayed by an actor

my imagination hadn’t taken

the next rational step

I was also sure

that people really lived in the Brady bunch house

that the cast of the Partridge family

drove that bus around in their private lives


I was learning the difference

between fact and fiction

to be frank

I was disappointed

it was hard enough to accept what

I heard in church

that some power in the sky

would punish me

or disobeying my parents

but what as the difference between

sitting in a movie theatre

and sitting in church

to learn life lessons

if the movies lessons weren’t real

what was the truth

what did God do

when we weren’t sitting in that church

why were these songs so sad

not that I went to church a lot as a child

I went to the movies more often

the seats were more comfortable

the music was always better


but the lessons where just as distorting

indians wore war bonnets all the time

they killed without provocation

white people were innocent

blacks were usually half naked

would run at the first sign of trouble on safari

women were to be rescued

or were great singers

men beat each other up

kissed the women


movies were are as factual

as what I heard in church

fictions that filled my young head

with weird fears and notions

of what it meant to be a man

to be good

to be acceptable

the Bible seemed to be a sort of Aladdin’s lamp

if you rubbed God the right way

He would shoot off blessings for you


but if you rubbed yourself the wrong way

at the movies to shoot off

you’d go to Hell

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I can remember as child being swept up by the music from the Nutcracker thanks to Fantasia. Then as I got older being swept up by his piano concertos, the ballets, the symphonies, the horrid  Ken Russell bio-film.


dance of the dishes

This man wrote grand, compelling, emotionally raw yet soothing music – sentimental romanticism at its sweetest & stickiest but never lapsing into kitch (at least not to me). How did he do it?

I have nearly all of it – the piano sonatas, the symphonies, the ballets, the string quartets, the opera – the man was prodigious but there are many who wrote even more.


dead grass rondo

I didn’t know he was queer though – that info is rarely mentioned in the liner notes. For classical composers you’d get things like ‘wrote in memory his deceased wife,’ never ‘wrote after his lover Dimiter died of consumption.’


cadenza credenza

I’ve read biographies that are somewhat informative as to dates, places etc but they’re never satisfying. The Music Lovers film bio is an unwatchable mess. I tried watching it recently & gave up after twenty minutes.  But his music is astonishing – patriotic, romantic and always a delight.


Chain chain chain

Brad wondered if the rain would stop. The fence still needing repairs and he couldn’t keep putting that off. He managed the first gate post and had stopped to greet the mailman. He hadn’t seen a real stamp on a letter in years; four $2.00 green special delivery stamps in fact. Was a time when he collected things like that – a garden of little memories.

‘Red would be a good color.’

‘I’m game once this rain stops.’ Brad answered. ‘Anything interesting on television?’ Anything to kill time.

‘Ken Russell’s The Boyfriend at 3.’ Sue handed him the TV Guide. ‘Why does rain always kill good TV? As if there was some danger in us actually enjoying this chance to relax. It’s like a dance that never ends. I enjoy it but … by the way Carol called.’

‘Oh oh. Time for her seasonal visit I suppose.’ Carol was his sister-in-law. Her visits were only more stress to his already troubled marriage.

‘She still married to that French guy?’

‘Yeah. The climate in Montreal must suit her.’

‘Then why doesn’t she stay put. There isn’t a beach within miles of here.’ The last time he’d seen Carol she’d made a sunset pass at him. What a mess that turned out to be. She’d deliberately tipped over her carry-all so Brad would help her. He thought her ankle was broken the way she carried on. ‘Is she bringing one suitcase or three. The fewer the shorted the stay.’

‘After the last visit I’m surprised she’d set foot in our house.’ Sue glared at him as she unwrapped another candy and crunched hard on it. ‘Not that my home isn’t her’s but my husband isn’t. How did she ever get the idea you were interested in her?’

‘Who knows?’ Brad pulled on his jacket. He wanted to go to the store to get out of the house. ‘Maybe the way I did the lambada?’

‘Oh that’s nice. Mister innocent here. I suppose your pants dropped in shock?’ She opened her mouth to crunch down on another candy.

‘You know I’m not that sort of person.’

‘And my sister is? We treat her like a queen and this is what she does to me. To us. She spent an hour in the rest-room crying when I confronted her. Until she apologizes she’s not coming here.’

Bran could still smell the violet perfume Carol was wearing that night. ‘Now that’s not the way to talk.’  He didn’t want to seem to be for or against a visit. ‘Only yesterday you were wondering how she was doing.’

‘Right. My words were I wonder how that over zealous bitch is doing. She has the morals of an alley cat. And so do you.’

He got his keys from a bracket by the back door. ‘Rain seems to letting up. I’ll get you some more candy.’

This piece was written from an exercise know as the chain, in which you use a set of random words that have to be fit into the story as you write. I have no recollection of where the list I used came from but here it is: fence  post  mail  stamp  green  time  garden  red  game  television  boyfriend  danger  dance  Carol  seasonal  stress  French  climate  beach  sunset  carry-all  broken  suitcase  foot  candy  home   idea  jacket  lambada  nice  open  person  queen  rest-room  until violet  way  yesterday  zealous  alley  bracket

Last year’s queer music blogs:

June 2 Billy Strayhorn http://wp.me/p1RtxU-L0

June 9 ‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’


June 16 Tea Room Tramps


June 23 Ned Rorem




September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


( I’ve registered already 🙂 )


October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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June – I’m busting out all over!

What can I say – when I get busty, I mean busy – I get real busy 🙂 Starting June, with a week in Washington DC! I’m flying my queerness to the USA to take part in Capturing Fire 2015 to add another initial to the expanding lgbtq acronym ‘a’ for aging because there’s no hiding the fact that I’m over 50. Because in the queer poetry scene I’m familiar with there aren’t many my age hitting the stage.


busted brolly

In the non-queer poetry scene I’m often the only queer in the room, as it were, & it gets to be dull being bombarded by hetero-normative, hetero-centric writers of other genders – some of whom have told me that they find me very brave to be so out. Get over it.

So I’m eager for a 3-day immersion into this lgbtqa poetry summer & slam. Every now & then I feel the need to give my creative a juices a flood of new energy – sometimes via one day Colloquium or a workshop like Loyalist – each energizes me out of my comfort zone.

I’m not sure what to expect in Washington other than seeing some sites, taking lot of photos, and hearing a bunch of younger lgbtq poets. I’ve also signed on for a couple of the workshop offered & will hit the open stages for sure.


banged pan

I’m home for a week or so then I’m off to Loyalist for five days on intense prose work with a class of intense writers. I’ve been going to this workshop for several years & know, to an extent, what to expect. I’ll be doing at least one class presentation on a plot beginning with a premise, & maybe one of blogging.


hung hat

I get back to TO on June 26th & after a shower & a snack, head out to do a feature at the Pride 2015 Erotica Cabaret, hosted by Jon Pressick at Glad Day Books. I’ve already started building that set.The next night – June 27, I do a set at the Summer Sizzler at Hirut on the Danforth – this set will be totally different from the Pride set, trust me, even I get tired of the old dick tricks 🙂

The next day is my birthday – 100 at last –  so there’ll be a parade downtown for me, which I’ll watch on TV, thank you. After all that, a week of laundry & rest.


Calypso’s Cave

I want to return to Calypso’s cave

for more erotic instruction

the ways of love I had been taught

never seemed enough for this world

like Lazarus I could not

remain in the shelter forever

I cannot rely on Neptune

to fulfill all my body’s longings

released from his tender endless coil

onto this shore where

I am unsure of my welcome

unsure of my name

unsure of anything except

I need another seven years

to prepare me for cities of silver glass

for the fumbling turmoil of men and women

who tumble excitedly

grasping for quick satisfaction

not having the time

to indulge in the erotic instruction

I have received and have to pass on

let me return to Calypso

for another seven time seven

this school of sorrow and longing

I have been cast into

holds no secrets for me

or is this the next lesson

pleasure isn’t the end but the beginning

sorrow isn’t the result only a symptom

as I wander these streets

I cannot feel the rivers flow

I see their mouths open

but no water comes forth

I want to return to Neptune

after sailing seeking

from one golden fleece to the next

is there anyone awaiting me

or am I the only one waiting

to bring new light the cave

and see that Lazarus wrote on its walls

Calypso’s joke

Neptune’s revenge

the lover of the world ready for love

and no river bed for me to lie on


June 3-5 – attending – Capturing Fire 2016 – Washington DC




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Un-Pretty Pictures

I used the first Friday of 2015 to look ahead. I’m using the second to look back on a great year full of mostly goods, the loss of one of the good guys – Nik Beat, & one very nasty low (a good friend’s apartment was destroyed by fire early in December).


On the creative front I wrote lots of great pieces, did a couple of well received features, attended excellent spoken shows & some powerhouse workshop\ presentations. The Colloquium was inspiring, Bloody Words was the best yet – staying at the hotel sure made it easy to enjoy all of it – sad that this was the last one. Loyalist was superb, energizing & relaxing at the same time – energizing to focus on writing, relaxing not to have any distractions – no phones, no TV. FanExpo was a blast. Hit 70,000 words for NaNoWriMo in November.

My on-line presence grew slowly – blogging at 3 times a week had built my audience some & linking the posts to twitter has increased my followings at both WordPress & Twitter. The Wp blogs that get the most hits are usually my Caret Noir reviews, with my Stratford reviews close behind. The biggest spikes (sadly), over 200 hits each, were my posts about Nik Beat.


I began to us my Tumblr blog more frequently to post photo essays – I found my backlog of pictures was growing faster than I could use them on WordPress so I’m now posting a batch weekly, on Tuesdays, on Tumblr. Follow me there if you like my un-pretty pictures.


I’ll stick to the social media I have now though & also maintain this level of activity. I know of some writers who dedicate 3-4 hours each day to maintain an online life – not me.



one of my most popular pieces of 2014:

Born to be Blown

do I have to tell you

I want to fuck you

in a song

or is that the sort of thing

you can’t say in a song

even with all the out singers

there’s still this smothering

hetero cloaking of

what queer pop performers

are willing to say

it’s fine to say

I miss you in the morning


I miss your woodie in the morning

the bed is so empty without you

is acceptable

but my mouth is so empty without you

will never make to the charts

she can sing

I long for the taste of you on my tongue


I long for the taste

of my pussy on your tongue

is just going to far

the empty space in the bed

isn’t as lonely

as the empty space between my legs

that you used to fill with your face

gay songsters don’t want

to reduce being queer to body parts

but honey

taking the sex out of homosexual

to maintain assimilationist acceptability

gets to be boring

why are there no queer anthems like

‘Born to be Blown’

‘B-B-Bad to the Boner’

‘You Light Up My Ass’

if I have to tell you

I want to fuck you

in a song

I guess I’m going

have to write that song myself

but till I do

lets get it on


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