Indulgence

With the end of the world pending I’ve indulged in some frivolous diversions. Some to recapture moments of my past – such as watching episodes of I Dream of Jeannie & Bewitched. Clearly comedies made for toddlers 🙂 ‘Jokes’ one could see riding down the street on an elephant but both were more queer than I recognized at the time. Let’s face it Agnes Moorehead’s Endora is the template for every Drag Queen that exists. From the wigs, her gowns, eye makeup & remorseless bitch attitude she blazed a trail still followed.

Speaking of campy drag I also watched a few episodes of the first Star Treks. I loved these back in the day but man some of the acting is hilarious. But I love what I call ‘the attack of the set dressers’ with those alien plant-scapes. I now see the influence of the Toho studio on the set design. Star Trek did better aliens though – costumes that still inspire Drag Queens today.

I mention Drag Queen a few times because OUT TV was free for the month of April which gave me the opportunity to see some of RuPaul’s DragRace. I haven’t seen any since the first season. It was ‘fun’ to see but not enough shade to make me want to add the channel to my cable bill. 

Other indulgences – strawberry jam. I mean the jam like the sweet stuff I had a a child not this – all fruit, no sodium, no flavour stuff that is heart smart etc etc etc. It’s not going to kill me, fast. 

As well as indulging I have been purging thanks to my covid cleaning frenzy & making discoveries too. Rough drafts of stories I’d forgotten I’d written – dot matrix days & even a couple typewriter. Will input them eventually.

The best find was this vest. Jimi Hendrix outside, Electric Ladyland inside. At first I wasn’t even sure if it was mine! I have no memory of how I acquired it. Or when. Sometime way back in the 80’s I suspect. It tastes okay so I know I’m not coming down with covid19 🙂

 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

https://www.facebook.com/events/271762040530703/

Star Trek Subtext

an all day Star Trek marathon

the original series on Blue Ray

weird space plants

funky 60’s retro-futurist sets

Kirk Spock Bones Sulu

(Sulu who knew you were

the real queen of outer space)

we had nachos   salsa

bags of sea salt-n-pepper chips

Hawaiian pizza   fried chicken

diet coke   real dr pepper

a 90 inch plasma TV

Trek in all its never to fade glory

as each episode started

we did a soprano unearthly dance

every time Scotty said

‘I’m giving it everything we got captain’

we’d eat chips as fast as we could

when Uhura said

‘we are experiencing interference’

we saw who could burp the loudest

every time Kirk took off or tore his shirt

we removed an article of clothing

(Strip Trek)

every time the fate of a culture

was decided by a kiss from Kirk

we made moony eyes at each other

until someone said ‘phasers on stun’

each time human emotions

were a puzzle

we asked deep personal questions like

‘who has the bigger dick

Chekov or that guy

with his face painted black and white?’

when any alien said

‘what is this thing you earth people call kissing’

we gave each other alien tongue baths

every time Spock said ‘illogical’

we did the Vulcan grind meld

by the time the marathon was over

it didn’t matter

that neither of us really liked Star Trek

we’ll never forget this Star Date One

‘falling in love while in love’

Hot Damn’s season 6 finale was via Zoom. For once I didn’t feel I was taking the best seat in the house 🙂 But it was a pretty quiet house of nearly 60 people from across Canada & possibly around the world as there is no way to tell where who is zoomin’ from. In fact one has the choice of being in the room & not being seen. Cool & the tool of  future social distancing.

Slam rules cover costume & props but may have to extend to backdrops 🙂 The picture quality is good, depending on the cameras of the users. Sound quality was excellent. The poets were all very comfortable in front of the camera & in fact some more confident without a live audience in front of them.

The work of the slam poets was excellent, I don’t envy the judges. I enjoyed the few pieces that took on covid19 in a practical way – what do you do when the voices in your head that use to force you to wash your hands compulsively are now really coming from your TV? Writing & performances were excellent. Scoring was quicker without flip cards to flip 🙂

 

Feature Jillian Christmas, in BC wearing polkadots & behind a drum kit, started her set by reminding us of what has been silenced in the covid19 clatter i.e. pipeline oppression of indigenous peoples. I’ve seen Jillian several times & her warmth & emotional vulnerability is a blessing. Singing, reciting & reading a few piece from her book ‘The Gospel of Breaking’ her set was too short. Her simple self-accompaniment reminded me of Jessie Mae Hemphill. Just a couple of lines of too many great lines ‘there are no renewable resources’ ‘falling in love while in love.’ If you want more, buy her book: https://arsenalpulp.com/Books/T/The-Gospel-of-Breaking 

The show was nimbly hosted by Robyn Sidhu, with an able assist by Charlie Petch. It was a great success without a venue 🙂 But I did miss the live reactions of the audience. There is no ‘hiss’ or ‘boo’ button to react to the scores. Texting those remarks doesn’t have the same energy.Scores were added up. A winner was declared. Who? You’ll have to follow Hot Damn to find out 🙂

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees – thankspaypal.me/TOpoet 

March 2020 Recap

Over the past month TOpoet.ca my following grew to 386! Maybe I’ll hit 400 by the end of year, if the end of the world doesn’t come first. The only stat WP doesn’t give is where which followers are located but WP map does show most my hits have come Canada, USA second & in fourth place Italy!! I guess social isolation made them seek entertainment. Bangladesh & Kenya remain in the top 10, both above India! with Romania making an unexpected climb to ninth place! My Tumblr flowing is at 263. It would more but I block hetero porn & also gay shooting up drugs porn. Twitter is at 221 followers.

Otherwise March has been a fairly quiet month, except of course for the pandemic that spells the end of the complacent as we know it. What caught everyone off guard was how quickly it went from annoyance over there to threat at our front doors. A threat we don’t want to let in to wash its hands at our sink. It looks like my DC getaway for capturing Fire will have to wait until next year 😦 

 

March has been productive. Picture Perfect is being gradually blogged & I’ve been sufficient looks to keep it going. The Rules for Monks continues to produce great prompts. I’m at a set of food rules that are timely for the pandemic shopping panic. Artist’s Way is progressing slowly but surely. not rushing it makes a difference.

For the summer I’ll be looking at Distant Music, my Fiddlehead chap book, on Wednesdays & Thursdays – giving Rules a summer break. Currently I’m inputting the text & it is interesting to be pulled back into my creative east coast past. Some pieces I have fairly strong memory of, others are surreal mysteries. Coming soon on July 1. 

That’s the only real coming soon I can offer as a sneak peek. Stratford, Shaw seasons are up in the air though I wouldn’t be surprised to see them both canceled thanks to covid19. Same for the Hot Damn! finale – which will end up as a zoom slam, that can be viewed around the world. I hope my Romanian fans zoom in.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees – thankspaypal.me/TOpoet

Resistance

Finished Week Three of The Artist’s Way. Julia sure loves lists. Looking into the past to clear the vision for the future didn’t turn up anything new from my pre-Toronto east coast growing up. The only real memory of negativity was the reaction of Malcom Ross – then head of the English Department at Dalhousie University – to my first attempt at a novel – it was about a character coming out & he felt the subject matter wasn’t suitable.

Looking back I’m not sure if it was because of his personal moral stance or because the writing itself wasn’t as strong as my poetry at the time. he had been very supportive of me as a poet. I still have that novel somewhere in my paper archives so I may dig it out to see how it stands up as juvenilia 🙂

My worse critic is often self-talk & not what others have said or written about my work directly. When I was involved in a crit group I felt supported up to a point but rarely got as much feedback as the others – was it because my work was fine or because they didn’t think it was worth bothering with? At least with the Loyalist workshops I got lots of excellent input. Plus some of the fiends I made at Loyalist are still people I’m in contact with – but the poetry work-shoppers have drifted away; I only hear from them when they send out bulk invites to shows.

Thanks to covid19 closings artist dates have become photo excursions. The pictures here are from my walk Thursday (Mar 25). I took TTC to Wellesley Station & walked home from there. Part of the walk crosses the Rosedale Valley Overpass then the Prince Edward Viaduct. The pictures are all from the south side – some looking as down as I could lean over the rail. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Don River so clear 🙂

Resistance

if his resistance 

has been any smaller

it would have taken 

an ant to measure it

but as it was 

it was big enough 

to change me 

on a molecular level 

each time he was near

my atomic structure 

began to revolve around him

 

heads would turn to see  

where that unseen vibe 

was coming from

eyes would linger on his lips

his smile

his teeth

each hair on his head

would mesmerize 

drawing power

from the love light 

in their eyes

charging him up

for more powerful emanations

 

and that was me

sitting by his side

who noticed me

did it matter

as long as he noticed me

as long as he was in me

as long as I was the one

who held the key to the shield

that protected him

 

they all wanted 

the part of him that was only mine

the shadow of his power 

protects me

while keeping me 

from the full expression of my own

the difference between us 

was less than than 

the thickness of a spark 

jumping from lip to lip

the nano-storm flash

of realization from eye to eye 

 

we were merged

separate unified individual

connected

shaping the universe

for all to follow

living in that gap between 

want and want even more

giving and losing

taking and reflecting

the bridge

between life and death

we were on the breeze 

on the disappearing species list 

 

nothing was safe

cataclysmic explanations 

elemental tables were upset

we didn’t sit with them

they resented the

absolute the power we held

when our hands 

were merely reaching

for one another

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
? – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – date to be announce thanks to COVID19

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Last Word

One of my past behaviours was being a mouthy prick – sometimes unkind, sarcastic – in order to prove that I was intelligent. I’ve talked before about how negativity is seen as being realistic while being positivity is delusional. Sullen is sexy, broken pulls the ‘I can fix them’ heartstrings. Intact & happy is often seen as smug, superior & arrogant – musts to avoid.

As a mouthy prick I always made sure I got in the last unkind word. Sometimes saving something in particular for that last sniping comment. The need for unkindness has pretty much disappeared. I’ve learned to keep my big mouth shut, trained myself not to take the bait, & leave the nastiness to people who get paid for it. 

 

There was a competitive element in this as well, topping the other person’s remark with one of my own. I noticed recently that I still tend to do this but in a more subtle way. I often exchange sexy texts, found gifs, real pics, with a couple of guys I see. Fun & flirtatious but my competitive nature often means I have to get in the last word & can’t leave it when they say or post something hot, I have to find something or say something even hotter, to prove I feel as strong or even stronger than they do.

It dawned me that they wouldn’t even start this verbal, pictorial foreplay if they weren’t already aware of my attachment to them. I didn’t have to keep proving it to them. So I have stopped myself from sending one more reply. I let theirs be the last word. You know – good relationships have gotten better 🙂

Inner Dialogue

I

is an ego construct that often leads to mud in it

don’t

negative is addictive and contagious

know

knowledge is fleeting at best

where

 ability does allow for change 

to

is it relevant to a point

begin

 in the beginning was the word so why not start there

to

again with that need for control for a sense of purpose

tell

it is better to show than to tell 

you

at last a break in the shackles of I

but

 another ambiguity which opens the possibility that perhaps you don’t know where this is going and yet continue trying to take it somewhere

I

back to the insular self

wish

ah don’t we all need that hopeful call though wishing is an abstraction. we long for something concrete

you

seesaw back & forth in this push pull of linguistics I you which is it to be inspiration or inconsequence 

would

ah giving permission to the other to find an entrance in the process of thought and perhaps an indication of a dialogue with the I and the universe of potential

shut

now closing so quickly after the promising invitation of would

the

a definitive article – are we heading for the concrete or at least a window

fuck

an unexpected turn of phrase that cools the room down without a window being opened

up

an indefinite direction how far is up when does up become up

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

We Insist!

A link to a YouTube video of We Insist! an amazing 1961 jazz lp by Max Roach that featured wife Abbey Lincoln lead me to download that lp along with a couple of other lps by Abbey: That’s Him; Golden Lady. We Insist! is a powerful black rights statement backed with dynamic music & vocals. When I think of 60’s protest music sweet folk songs like Blowin’ In The Wind comes to mind but We Insist! is not folk music – the sense of struggle & urgency dominates & propels the music in a way that most protest music of the time never managed. Lincoln’s voice is strong. Him & Lady are not as ‘revolutionary’ but are great introductions to anyone stepping into jazz vocalists for the first time.

On this mp3 collection there is a mix of female vocalists – all different styles, eras, fames & countries. Staring with Mireille Mathieu’s Les Grandes  Chansons Francaises. Mireille has a wonderful resonant emotional voice. As the title suggests this is a set of ultra-famous French songs i.e. ‘Non je ne regrette rien’. Her version of La mer is astonishing – search it out on YouTube. I want her version of ‘Ne me quite pas’ played as people leave my memorial service.

The totally unknown folk singer Michele is here with her Saturn Rings. A pleasant voice, some unexpectedly psychedelic accompaniment for a set of love songs, pleas for Mother Earth that got lost in the shuffle of the likes of Joan Baez & Judy Collins. Another lost in the shuffle is Barbara & Ernie’s Prelude To. This is a gentle, relaxing but sexy r’n’b duo making good massage music.

 

Finally I added Laura Nyro’s New York Tendaberry to this compilation. I love Laura Nyro & have nearly everything so I won’t say much more than this a great lp by her, not one of her strongest – but even at her weakest she is worth hearing. More about her when I get to ’n.’

The Circle of Strife

John sneered at Betty. Betty flipped Jasmine the bird. Jasmine gave Frank a dirty look.Frank didn’t leave a tip for Gwen. Gwen short changed Bill. Bill called Abdul a terrorist shit head. Abdul told Fatima to shut the fuck up. Fatima pinched Ryan. Ryan shoved Rachel getting on the subway. Rachel went home and smacked the baby Patrick. Patrick cried and cried and woke up Ted. Ted kicked his dog Rover. Rover chewed up Barbara’s favorite shoes. Barbara didn’t feel Gary’s work was up to snuff and told him. Gary spilled his coffee at lunch at Maria’s del

Maria shouted for Paco to clean up that mess. Paco wanted to kill Delorosa his mother. Delorosa didn’t wait for Greg. Greg was rushed and slammed the car door on Tina’s coat. Tina didn’t show up for her date with Mike. Mike waited and waited and bought drugs from Carla. Carla needed more money from Jeff. Jeff took an extra twenty from Deb’s purse.  Deb didn’t have enough to pay the bar bill . Larry felt she was playing him

Larry barked at Gina. Gina went crying to her boyfriend Philip. Philip punched Marg the bartender in the face. Marg pulled out a knife and cut Phil’s brother Brian. Brian pulled out his gun and shot Sgt Tracy O’Brian, one of the cops who came to quiet things down. John sneered at Betty for being afraid of guns.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Crazy-makers & Way.02

Into ‘week’ two of the Artist’s Way. ‘Week” as the book is done in weeks not chapters. I’m giving myself two weeks to do each section. Week One was okay, no great revelations but confirmations that the process I started with it decades ago has been productive. Some of my negative self-talk comes from more recent years that from my past. perhaps though it is echoes of that past bs that had seeped in.

Week Two deal with crazy makers as a way of avoiding creativity. Oddly enough one of my biggest crazy makers, no longer living in Toronto, had a major crisis as I was starting this Way chapter. A crisis that included: partner cheating, wedding is off, moving in with parents. Oh my! We exchanged a few texts as I was walking & I refused to be drawn in. I did say ‘you’re a survivor’ – supportive enough. I didn’t offer sympathy, advice or a plane ticket to Toronto :-). Two days later & all is ‘well’ with him. He sees it all as bipolar in love. I didn’t ask for details.

I know how not to invite crazy-makers too deeply into my life. Julia talks about how we use these situations as distractions or excuses & as a way to score points for being good, helpful, self-sacrificing saints. 

Today, thanks to recovery in a couple of 12 step programs, I’m okay with people thinking I’m stoic, uncaring & uncooperative. Productivity is more grounding than codependency.

I’ve taken myself on some fun artist dates. Simple things like a walk through the Williamson Ravine – made a trek to take pictures of the Dollhouse on Bertmount, near Queen & Jones – it is actually mentioned on Google maps. Stopped after the doll invasion at Bobbette & Belle  for an artist cupcake. I also consider Hot Damn! an artist date, even though I am there with several people I know, I’m pretty much by myself as one of few (if not the only) gay white cismales over 60 in the house.

Blind Sided

I’ve looked at this from all sides

taken your view

my view

the outsider’s view

the long short jaundiced

rear view

it doesn’t matter which side

I’m the one in the wrong

even if it is your fault

that I’m in this position

it’s still my fault for looking twice

when the first glance 

told me all I needed to know

I shouldn’t have taken a closer look

& let you pass me by

 

but what’s a man supposed to do

opportunities like you

don’t come my way everyday

not that this was my last chance 

but it was as good a chance

as I’ve had in some time

a stroke of luck

so here I am

the guilty party once again

someone who said what he shouldn’t 

at just the wrong time 

for the greatest effect

 

those names we called each other

were only meant to hurt

I didn’t believe them for a minute 

but you did

I’m just not as sensitive

one of my faults I know

cold heartless me

I’m too quick to react 

when my buttons get pushed

I should never have showed you 

where those buttons were 

never let your toothbrush 

in my bathroom

never let your socks under my bed

never say never again

 

it’s all my fault for making peace

for being the placater 

I should have let go 

when I first had a chance

rather prove that by holding on

I was really really serious about us

I had lots of opportunities 

to escape but I stayed

things will be different next time

I should have defended myself 

the second time 

changed my view the third

but I didn’t

to make sure you realized I cared

that I could be forgiving

now I’m looking from all sides

inside outside top bottom 

head-to-toe

the way I looked over you the first time

everything held the eye

I didn’t have enough eyes 

to take it all in 

no eye to a future

I knew it would come to no good

I would end up the heatless prick 

once more

I had to see if this time would be different

you wouldn’t be like all the others

you weren’t 

trouble was I was like all the others

you told me that over and over

every man you meet treats you this way

I was no better than any of them

 

for once

I’m glad you’re right

glad that over is over

trust me it’s over

I won’t make that mistake again

I won’t take it lying down 

standing up bending over backwards

or any which way 

if that’s what it takes

to be true to you 

I’d rather be a liar

because it doesn’t matter which side

the view is from

I’m the one in the wrong

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

‘the unzipping of the promise’

Season six of Hot Damn! has seen attendance grow steadily while the courage & numbers of slammers grow as it continues to offer a safe space for lgbtqia creatives to explore & express themselves, plus laugh, cry, sing & dance in harmony.  The newly shorn Robyn Sidhu hosted the show & left things moving smoothly with some handy Dad jokes & pointed political comments. Her family escaped Punjabi state sanctioned genocide to Canada where she now witnesses Canada’s state sanctioned genocide of its native population. 

A fair bit of the work centered around mothers – the guilt of not loving the one who never loved you, the decision not to be one, the struggle for acceptance from the one who loves you. Some addressed the struggle with body image, gender dissonance & even the conflict between biology & hormone replacement. Heartfelt without becoming melodramatic or self-pitying.

The feature Sincerely Shyy gave us a set brimming with ‘black girl magic.’ ‘she is born of the cosmos’ ‘she is an indictment’ ‘I tried to make a home out of you’. I particularly liked her piece: ‘I’m not here for the revolution – I just want to fuck you’ – it was honest, sexy, fun while being politically resonant. Her set was too short 🙂

If you’ve been reading my Hot Damn! reviews you’ll notice this time there are no quotes from the open-stagers or the slammers. One thing the Queer Slam does in regards to photos is let people op out for privacy. I decided to do the same for the performers (except the feature). The show is in a public space but its contents is only for the public that shows up. ‘the unzipping of the promise’ comes from one of the slammers.

The season finale is Friday, April 3, at Buddies in Bad Times theatre.

I did hit the open stage & presented ‘Swim’ (https://wp.me/p1RtxU-4cX) & this revised version of ‘Satisfaction’

Satisfaction 

it went exactly as planned

the only one disappointed

was me

I wanted things to be better

the story of my life

 

the right size is never right enough

a good fit isn’t adequate

the praise adulation 

are mere stop gaps

diversions

from going beyond expectations

 

good enough

feels like settling for less

it isn’t satisfying to measure up

it has to be unforgettable

 

your good enough is fine by me

but that good enough

isn’t worth bothering with

when I am the one not satisfied

by perfection

https://capfireslam.org

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees &  eat at Capturing Fire this June in Washington DC – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The Cutest Beatle

Who is the cutest Beatle? Who is the most talented? Did Yoko break up the best band in the world? None of these questions will be answered here 🙂 All I can say for sure is that John Lennon was the uncut Beatle. Yes, that’s right I’m looking at my John Lennon music collection – not the shirts.

A few years ago I downloaded a bit set of what purports to be all his solo work (though Yoko appears frequently enough.) So I have, as mp3, on 2 cds: Unfinished Music: Two Virgins; Wedding Album; Live Peace in Toronto 1969; Plastic Ono Band; Imagine; Some Time in NYC; Live in NYC; Mind Games; Walls & Bridges; Shaved Fish; Rock’n’Roll; Double Fantasy; Milk & Honey. Of these the only one I had as lp was Walls & Bridges. 

Of the Beatles I would say John was the most adventurous (yes I know McCartney did some electronica) & at one point was avant-garde thanks to Yoko & their early sound collage work. Though I suspect Virgins/Wedding work more of a fuck you to the pop music industry – similar to Lou Reed’s Metal Music. These aren’t lps I feel drawn back to more than every ten years.

I enjoy much of his studio work once he got over his collage mood. The albums all have tracks I enjoy, tracks that have become classics. He was the most directly political of the Beatles & never really followed pop trends. The only one of his lps that I actually bought, when it was first released, was Walls & Bridges. Probably his most Beatlesque work.

To round out the mp3 cds I added The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1965 – the Beatles sing against a backdrop of ceaseless screaming. George Harrison w Bob Dylan: New Morning Sessions; self-titled. The Dylan sessions are sweet but probably more interesting to real fans. The ‘self-titled’ flows with his mystic explorations & love songs. Julian Lennon: Valotte – solid pop from the son of John who looks & sounds like his dad. Finally Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run – I love this album. Paul has real pop smarts & this of all his recordings is the best. I’ve listened to much of his other work & well, who cares.

Magazine Machismo 

I am walking down the street across from the park. Fall. Leaves swirling around me. I spot a few colourful magazine pages caught in a wrought iron fence. As I get closer I discern faces, bodies on the pages. I pull them off. They are pictures of naked men. Full color but not fully naked. These men have on panties, stockings, their dicks can be seen through the sheer fabric. Faces pouting. 

I look around alarmed, afraid someone might see me looking at this that I just happened to pick up. There is no one around. 

I turn the pages over and more of the same photos only  in black & white. There were no other pages swirling in the wind. Where had they come from? I had never seen anything like this before. I guess I was 14 15 at time time. I’d had my own dreams about naked men but never ones that included this sort of fantasy.

I was astounded, alarmed and puzzled all at the same time. I didn’t have any sort of role model to follow and these pictures seemed almost logical – gay men wanted to be women in some way. But I didn’t want to be a woman in anyway, so maybe I wasn’t a really queer after all.

I looked at the pictures a few more times in a street light. Again making sure there was no one around to see me looking. Had someone planted them to be found and where they watching from some window to see who would take them, linger over them.  Where had they flown from to be caught in the wind, tossed around with the leaves like this.

I shoved them in the first garbage bin I came across. I felt free without them, without those faces, cocks, garters, daring me to consider things I didn’t how to consider.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales

Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Hallway

When does a hallway become a vestibule? You step into one (or the other) when you come in the front door of my house. On the wall to your right hangs a print of a calm English waterside scene. A lake? Could it be coastal France? Impressionist. Nicely framed. Not something I bought but rather inherited form a friend who died several years ago. He may have told more about it at one time but that’s forgotten. My friend isn’t. Best part of it, for me, is that you can’t read into it anything about me.

On the right side of the door is this stained glass window (original with the house) with this owl standing on the sill. The owl is my partners & he owned it before we met so it goes back at least 45 years. Metal (of some sort) painted black. On the base it says Austin Prod 1976. Prod is not a weird last name but short for (Austin) Productions Inc. The owl represents wisdom & thus is a good thing to see when I leave the house after I check to make sure my hat is on straight.

A little deeper in the hall one is confronted with one of my original paintings! Painted way back in 1981 when I was newly sober & reawakening creatively. ‘Clowns At War’ is written on the back so I guess that was my working title. The guns are cut out from a magazine. It tells several stories – clowns fighting over a hat, shocked dress shop sales person. I love the details in the windows over the dress shop. 

 

As one goes up the stairs hangs this very Cocteau/Toulouse Lautrec sketch of my friend, the late Jackie Burroughs. It was done by one of the stage hands when she was in a production of Colette’s Chéri. She played the maid. It was fun play. The secret to her performance was getting the right shoes. She insisted there be at least one moment when those shoes were seen by the audience.

Here’s a piece I wrote after Jackie’s funeral

. . . walk through . . .

her casket unadorned pine

pale

unvarnished for burning

heavy even with three on each side

the gentle struggle

to get it up church steps winded me

all glad to let go

let it glide on the gurney

through the narrow granite arch

into

the vaulted cathedral

massive stained glass window

images promised resurrection

 

we followed the minister

a slow steady pace

he held aloft a silver cross

each a single hand on the casket

 

oppressive organ music

muffling the simple choir

I longed for unadorned chant

then wanted the droning reverential

minister’s voice smothered

too much scripted polished scripture talk

and none of the real in the casket

 

      silence

 

then her voice

  previously recorded

  “… I walk through … ”

  all breaths held

  to take in

  her reading “ … I fear no … ”

  sobs for this real presence

  I looked to the casket

  expect it to shake   giggle

 

next the rites

  holy water sprinkled

  dense incense wafted

  I choked   gasped

  air thick

  smothered through the rest of the ritual

  we walk the casket out

  again the gentle clumsy struggle

  out the narrow granite arch

  the dead weight down the steps

  to the hearse

  where we all took a deep breath

  as it drove off into the sun

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

March

March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre – Washington D.C.

 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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