October Recap

In October TOpoet.ca  had many days with over 60 hits. India tops the list with Canada at the top of the hit list, 2nd place is USA, with India regaining 3rd. Increases seen from Mauritius & Kenya coming on strong. The blog now has 359 followers (up from 298 at the start of the year). 246 Tumblr followers. Steady increase is best. Finally down to the end of Coal Dusters one more short chapter to wrap thins up in November 🙂 It’ll come in at just under 138,000 words.

My Twitter account was suspended without warning or explanation other than I had broken their rules but they refused to tell me which ones: hate speech? spamming? using copyright materials? When I pressed for an answer I was told not to bother them & that they would not reply again to my requests for explanations. So my twitter following is down to 0. It was a time waster & did nothing to enhance my productivity.

The only event, so far, in November is the Hot Damn! show on November 7 at Buddies in Bad Times. Season 5 winner Wes Ryan will be the feature. I’m giving NaNoWriMo a rest this year. Though I managed good work last year it had become a chore rather than a challenge. I may focus on organizing Picture Perfect which I hope to start blogging in 2020. Not sure what Tuesdays will bring – maybe another photo blog similar to Sunday’s.

Other blog days will remain the same. Pictures may become even more random than they are now 🙂 Friday will see lps covers & such that I’ve come across on my walks. People throw away the oddest things :-). Taking pictures is more practical, for me, than taking objects. 

TV pleasures include American Horror Story; 1984 – so far one of the best arcs of the series. Past seasons have felt stretched out by plot tangents. This one has been tight, taught & bloody good fun. The new season of Castle Rock has started & the Misery/Salem’s Lot mash up is off to a good start. Hopefully Space won’t screw up the running times as badly as they did last season. I also hope they broadcast it same time same day, instead of moving it around without notice.

Currently I’m reading: I Am Providence – a biography of HP Lovecraft by S. T. Joshi – fascinating not only for  his life but for the literary context of the time – letters-to-the-editor often became like twitter wars – with strangers taking potshots at each via the anonymity of these letters. Also a critical study by David Kalat of Toho’s Godzilla movies putting them into a cultural context. As well as the final piece in the Works of John Addington Symonds – his biography of Michelangelo.

Rant In A Tea Cup

the weather report isn’t good

no matter how nice 

the meteorologist says it is

it’s a lie 

a spin

to keep me from worrying 

about how bad it really is

no matter how perfect the days looks

it is bad

getting worse

each day less air to breath

more burning rays to avoid

 

the spin doesn’t fool me

more days when 

you can’t let seniors out till after dark

can’t let children play in the park

 

the prognoses isn’t promising

umbrellas aren‘t enough 

parkas aren’t enough

there is no protecting ourselves 

from this air we breath

from the constant crumble of the real world

 

the weather isn’t good

no matter what

America’s next top politician says

there is no roll back for the ecology

next top politician is like 

America’s next top model

they are only spokespersons

to give that hopeful spin

that change is going to come

sure it will 

but it isn’t going to a change for the better

not a change for the ordinary folk

unless that change

means big bucks for someone

the climate doesn’t have 

the right corporate sponsor

it needs a better spokesperson

 

the sunny day is a fraud

a taste of emptiness fills my mouth

when I breath what remains of our air

wondering which microscopic mote

is the one that gives me cancer

as it turns my skin to lumpy melanoma 

drooping sagging leather

rain snow sunshine highs lows

with chill uv factors

smog alerts

economic forecast grim

auto sectors need a bail out 

oil is raking in billions of profits

why not let oil bail out auto

not the highs and lows we want to see

 

so many clouds 

in the fog wrapping

around our brains 

our willingness stifled 

by the powerlessness imposed 

by powerless people in control of

spokesmodels

for hidden puppeteers

who we never will know 

because everyone is on someone 

else’s weather radar map

no one is free

no one can leave the house

without first checking 

to see what the weather is like 

the sky isn’t telling us the truth

no one is 

so take your umbrella

because a smile

isn’t enough protection any more 

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Oh K Corral

Thanks to MTV Angelique Kidjo’s fifa got much deserved exposure with its mix of traditional sound & funkiness. Her voice is rich & emotional and the songs fine. At times its like Osibisa with a female lead singer. I great piece fo world-music & an excellent start for anyone wanting to explore African music.

 

Kesha’s first videos were like a teenage boy’s sexual fantasy fulfilled – no – I’d go further as the sexually bold almost under-age female she projected appealed  to many straight men. The music was danceable, touches of electronic, a hint of hip-hop made her an  Animal. Slickly produced and carefully packed she was a hit. Turns out she wasn’t just a package that was easy to handle, she had a mind of her own & a sense of what she wanted form her music career, which lead to conflict with her manager & her record label. Men who clearly knew what was best for this upstart brat. Slutty girls sell but she didn’t want to be exploited fought back, was silences for a whole then came back with Rainbow. A great set of angry, joyful & thoughtful material. Plus, like Lady Gaga, Kesha can actually sing.

 

Next are stand-alones by the Killers: Hot Fuss; Sam’s Town; Sawdust; Day & Age. I can’t call myself a fan though. I enjoy these when they come up in rotation but haven’t felt called to play them outside of that rotation. A strong pop rock band – a ‘tougher’ version of Coldplay.

The songs are catchy, engineering is spot on, but I doubt if I could tell them from Star Sailor or Lifehouse – bands with a similar rock sound. I picked these up all on sale at different time for about $4.99 each.

 

How Old

“How old are you?”

That question always came at the wrong moment, not that there was a right moment to ask me that. I had to mentally flip through the various profiles I had on line, which one had been my introduction to Juan. 

“Is that relevant?” I pulled Juan’s fly down then undid his belt buckle. “We’re both old enough for this.”

“Yeah.”

This was our third time together. This time had been an actual date. Movie, drinks after, then back to my place. The first two times had been walk in drop to the floor naked. That always satisfied me but he pushed for more. I was open to that as well. Getting to know you as I’m getting to blow you.

We struggled out of clothes in the living room.

“Gotta take a leak.”

“You know the way by now.”

I gave him a few minutes to do his business then pushed the bathroom door open. He was looking at the body wash on the shelf by the shower.

“Time to come clean?” I was about to turn the shower on. I grabbed the body wash that reminded me of Gary, now I hoped it would remind me of Juan. 

“I’m old enough to shower by myself.” He nudged me out of the bathroom & shut the door.

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

every Tuesday 2019

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November
Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

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 andBbad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Bloody Footprints

Bloody Footprints

the movie opens

on a busy sidewalk

someone with a knife

stabs a stranger

keeps on going

while the victim collapses

remember the knife

the flash of it

the thrust

blood blood blood

 

people stepping in it

as they step over the body

on their important way

bloody footprints

quickly splotching the sidewalk

as the camera

pulls up up

the police arrive

the credits roll

over the expanding trail

of bloody footprints

 

steps lead to smart shops

to offices

into elevators

down marble corridors

over carpets in hotel hallways

cafe floors

washroom stalls

 

blood gets on hands

trying to clean shoes

the fingerprints on mirrors

coffee cups

documents

dried flakes fall between 

keyboard keys

smear smart phones

traces tracked undetected through 

airport screening machines

splotches on luggage

the blood travels around the world

 

the sidewalk

with the outline of the body

is a pool of blood

after crime scene photos have been taken

after cellphone photos have hit the net

city workers come to clean it up

 

the camera looks for the stabber

pushing through crowds

roving over heads shoulders

no faces

hands washing

blood pooling in sinks

almost dripping down the walls

of apartments

seeping out of TV screens

 

bloody footprints

lead up to a door

the bell rings

you reach to open the door

the closing credits roll

Much like Psycho Zombies in the Rain this piece is very cinematic – in fact it includes camera angles 🙂 The opening is one that I saw decades ago in a movie about a serial killer, I think. My memory of the plot is rather vague of what happens after the victim collapses other than people annoyed & reacting as if the victim was drunk not dead.

The rest is inspired by CSI, when I used to watch the show, by how they followed clues to unexpected locations. The poem is a list poem of various places this blood could have been tracked to. I realize it probably wouldn’t stay on shoes long enough to get where I take it, or that it would stay wet enough either but this is poetry not a text dealing with blood spatter theory.

Each of the bloodied locations would get its own screen time while the audience sorts through the clues to figure out which ones are relevant because narrative logic dictates that some of these locations must pertain to the identity of the killer. This is one the frequent plot ploys on many detective shows – too many clues to sort through.

I like the overhead camera view of the corpse with all these foot prints leading away from it. Prints made by people oblivious or perhaps indifferent to the body, to the crime & later miffed by having to clean the blood off their shoes.

 

The ending is a riff on surprise endings where the narrator turns out to be the killer – it is a bit of a cliche mind you but I couldn’t resist. Here it is ambiguous – has the killer come to your door or have the bloody footsteps lead the police to your door? Either way you’ll get what you deserve 🙂



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Backstory

Backstory

 

during a total eclipse of the sun

a plunging comet

caused a power surge

that burned out the electronic

safe guards at the nuclear plant

near the asylum

built on an ancient native

sacred temple

where blood sacrifices

had opened a portal to another dimension

releasing a radioactive

cloud creature

that was struck by lightening

on Friday the 13th

exactly 101 years after

the town had vanquished

the minions of the blood sucking

mistress of the the enchanted forest

where the outcast

son of the the dethroned ruler

was cutting the 13th head of the dragon

to get power from

Slyggothora

that would return him to the throne

made of the sacred bones

of the creature found

the the smouldering remains

of that craft that fell from the sky

during the ceremony of virgin sacrifice

on the spot

where the comet created

a fold in the time-space continuum

setting off a war between

the robotic androids

and the last of the human species

that hadn’t been infected

the psychosis inducing virus

spread by ants

that had eaten the leaves

of the mutated plants

grown from seeds 

found in a urn

in a long lost burial chamber

by a fourteen-year-old

mixed-sex clone



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Chapter LXIX: Lillian Catches The Train

Coal Dusters: Book 1 is now available as as PDF – this covers the first 35 chapters – 65540 words – send $1.99 to  paypal.me/TOpoet

Coal Dusters – Chapter LXIX

Lillian

Catches 

The Train

Lillian arrived at the station with five minutes to spare. Her trunk had already been taken aboard. She went to her seat and sat back.

She checked her purse once again to make sure her bank draft was there. Next she made sure her transfer ticket to Montreal was there so she could change trains when she got to Truro.

The departure call was made. To her relief there was no sign of David Henderson. The train started to pull out. She smiled to herself at the image of him standing on the platform as the train pulled away.

Behind her she heard the conductor at the doorway talking to someone.

“Come on come on.” The conductor was saying. “Reach up and I can pull on if yer fast enough.” He grunted. “Ouf. There you go. Next time be here on time.”

“Didn’t know till now that I was going anywhere.” A man said.

The train picked up speed. 

Not that way.” The conductor said. “That’s for first class. Yer family ticket gets you caboose. T’other way.” 

As the train sped up Lillian let the scenery blur grateful that this was now her past not her future.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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The Glory of Godzilla

TCM has picked Godzilla as its monster of the month for October & have been showing 4 or 5 films from the cannon every Friday. Unlike past monsters of the month Godzilla has been produced solely by Toho studios. Dracula, Frankenstein etc have been produced by various studies so there’s a lack of cohesion in those picture.

Not that Godzilla has a story arc but the creature has looked pretty much the same with its oversized rubber suit, staggering walk & roar. Various performers have brought nuanced various on their monsters. Godzilla is noted for his lack of nuance 🙂 That goes for the man in the suit to the actual actors in the films. These aren’t Kurosawa, though I wonder how he would have treated Godzilla – Toshiro Mifune could be pretty scary without the rubber suit.

I have been loving these films & seeing them subtitled, as opposed to dubbed, gives them more oomph. They are from a recent Criterion boxset that covers the oeuvre from 1954 to 1975. Plus TCM has added the ‘stand-alone’ backstory films of Rodan & Mothra. So they have been restored from original Japanese releases & have new subtitles theatre more accurate. All of them had been reconstituted at one time for the American market & as a result some of humour & political stances were lost in translation.

I’m also loving Ben Mankiewicz’s introduction to the pictures as he tries to treat them with scholarly insight. Let’s face it Kill All Monsters isn’t Throne of Blood.

I’m seeing many of these pictures for the first time though I have seen Mothra repeatedly – the Christian symbolism is surprising. I do have the 1954 original in both the Japanese version & the American remix with Raymond Burr seamlessly inserted into it. The American version removes all mentions of the atomic bomb being dropped on Japan. Radioactivity plays a role in many of the films – as it did in American creature features on the time.

Of the ones I’ve seen so far my favorite has been 1966’s ‘Ebirah, Horror of the Deep.’ It has a fun teenage dance contest I watched a few times before going on with the film. A bit of James Bond, a bit of beach party, & a great sea creature. Son of Godzilla was amusing but there was no Mrs. Godzilla – not that I’m expecting a documentary about reptile reproduction. 

I have soundtrack music in my cd collection, also other music written by some those composers. I have two Godzilla action figures & at least 3 t-shirts. I guess I’m a bit of fan. Thanks to TCM I’m not shelling out the nearly $300 for the boxset though.

Arrgh – Godzilla

as a kid

I would often play at being Godzilla

stomping on my toys

kicking them over

breathing my fire breath on them

invulnerable powerful dangerous

enjoying that ants were sacred of me

as I grew up

I would pull on my Godzilla suit

when things weren’t going my way

emotionally swing out at people

stomping on their intentions

when they didn’t suit my expectations

 

I later found out that Godzilla

was a man in a rubber suit

a small Japanese man

actually men

because the suit didn’t breath properly

the actors would tire out   get sick

they couldn’t see well out of the eye holes

and have to lead to the set

pointed in the right direction

just like my loss of vision

when I pulled on my Godzilla suit

to strike out at life

refusing to let anyone 

lead me in the right direction

if the actor was in the suit too long

he’d break out in a rash

get too itchy to wear it

 

me I’d break out in rash decisions

end up with itchy resentments

that I’d take out on those around me

 

like those actors

no one knew who I was

as long as I wore the suit

every good villain has a motive

has something he wants

but it was never clear what Godzilla wanted

expect to be left the fuck alone

we never see Godzilla relaxing

beyond floating 

to the bottom of the sea to sleep

all of his energy was spent

battling the nuisances of a life 

he didn’t even want to be part of

of being a monster stuck in a normal world

that didn’t have a place for monsters

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

every Tuesday 2019

October

November
Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

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 andBbad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The Hallow’s Tree

The Hallow’s tree is on a side street east of Greenwood, a few blocks north of Danforth

you felt hands

hallow’s tree

poor Georgie

glittery spider

cat in the witch’s hat

clearly not Derry intolerant

purple bats

past members of the lying losers club https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3Qw 

https://wp.me/s1RtxU-diop

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Ghost Kiss

a ghost from the archives

TOpoet

toys in the snowI write about many things often picking subjects that I don’t read about enough. I have a collection of pieces that are memories of growing up queer. Gentle, affectionate and nostalgic memories, some are real others are wishful. Emotional authenticity became more important than historical accuracy. I’ve read more poems that I can count about the sweet awakening of hetero sexual awareness than I can count, but few of gay men making the same discoveries.

balloons in the tree

I tried to capture a sense of innocence, not of guilt and shame. I wanted the pieces to be free of the ‘some drunken adult’ syndrome in which our sexuality is merely the result of some formative year trauma.

I also wanted to write queer poetry that wasn’t coming from an angry, in-your-face, or raw sexual, place. Sometimes the most powerful politic can being who one is without making it into an issue that demands…

View original post 213 more words

Pierné et Greig

Sadder than a one-hit wonder is a no hit wonder:-) Such is the case of Gabriel Pierné (1863 –1937). I have an over 7 hour mp3 collection that includes the ballet – Cydalise et le Chevre-Pied; Impression de Music Hall; Chamber Music; Harp Music. I knew of him from an  MHS completion of 20th century composers which included a movement from Cydalise.

Being a slightly obsessive about obscure (to me) composers I did an iTunes search & downloaded more of his music. Apparently one of choral works in his biggest hit. Cydalise is sweet & pastoral with the usual ballet moments of duets etc. Enjoyable, as are the rest of the works I added to my collection. The chamber music includes works for violin, piano quintet etc. Plus a set of his delightful harp music.

Also in this mp3 collection by Edvard Grieg (1843 –1907) are his Music For Strings, Old Norwegian Romance. Grieg has a higher profile than Pierné. Pierné’s music is more in the modern classical style more playful than lush, harmonic but not overly romantic. Grieg is romantic, lush & often overly emotional (check his piano concert). Romance is built on the heroic ballad melody, ‘Sjugur and the Troll-Bride’ (thanks google). Stirring & at limes brooding I love it.

To round this collection I added two lps to cd transfers of Leonard Bernstein: Favorite Overtures (Hérold, von Suppé, etc); For Young People (Dukas, Strauss, etc).

A Man & His Bed

he’d slept on that bed for years. same mattress. new sheets when needed. always freshly washed. changed once a week. that’s the night he slept the best. the night of the fresh sheets. he loved the bed. the welcome it offered at all times. unquestioning. mattress given a longer life by spinning it in spring. flipping it in the fall. 

the bed was the refuge and support the cradle of dreams. he laughed to himself the cradle of dreams. he was turning into a bad bed poet. he’d move it every now and then from a corner to more central in the room under the window. then opposite from the window. all moves of maybe three feet in any one direction at any time. not enough space in the room for a dance with the frame.

sometimes he shared the bd with others. no more than a night but not often. it was sturdy enough for a sexual romps. play with with willing bodies. but he felt that sleeping in it was something for him and him alone. he didn’t want to share this refuge retreat with anyone for long. he never learned how to sleep with others. didn’t want to. that would certainly be the deciding factor in any long term relationship. live in or other wise. the bed was his domain to be shared briefly but not over night.

sleep was a bargain between him and the bed. unequivocal.

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

every Tuesday 2019

November

Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.
December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

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

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

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Kharis 

Kharis 

 

is this the last wrap

or the first

the first wrap was a tissue

of lies

‘oh i’m fine’

I used that wrap

over & over

until the tissue

was a layer

layer after layer of

‘oh i’m fine’

‘i don’t mind’

‘how can i make you happy’

 

walking away

rather than add another layer

hoping nothing had caught

no thread was snagged

on a expectation

an exception

on resurrecting love

 

I was protected

entombed by safety

by the fact

that all anyone wanted to hear

was ‘oh i’m fine’

‘this bandage solution will do’

‘you deserve to be fixed first’

 

bound tight

peering at life though the slits

surrendering to the weight of history

pushed along by an unquestioned past

by ritual expectations

controlled by the clasp of gauze

layer upon layer after layer

some turned to dust

some turned to scar

some turned to face the sun

reaching for release

 

decayed tissue 

dust motes settling in the moonlight

‘how can i make you happy?’

‘how can i unravel the book of life’

can i survive

without another layer

of this tissue

this scar tissue of lies

‘oh i’m fine’

This one was written October 2017 before I watched The Mummy (1959), then worked on the next day after I watched it. In the movie the resurrected Kharis sinks into a bottomless bog. He sees no wrong in what he has been done. His self-sacrifice is unquestioned while none of his victims acknowledges that the mummy may have any sense of self. Not that he gives anyone an opportunity to reason with him. He was ‘pushed along by an unquestioned past /by ritual expectations.’

The piece started with that image of bandages as a tissue of lies. The prime lie being the self-sacrifice lie ‘oh i’m fine’ which come out of ‘the weight of history.’  Culturally men are to keep their real emotions, except anger, under wraps. Questioning the history is to cast doubt on one’s real manhood. It is better to sacrifice than surrender.

It’s so easy for people to accept ‘i’m fine’ without questioning it. Kharis is a man sacrificed to protect the princess he loved. He is a type of zombie compelling by spiritual forces not by his own mind. Not questioning our male history makes many men into zombies fulfilling the prophecy of male stoicism.

I play with metaphorical bandage images through the piece twisting them round each other the way a mummy is wrapped to point where one no longer knows who is actually under those bandages. We never see the ‘naked’ man only his eyes through the slits – a sort of tunnel vision.

There are some direct references to the 1959 film as well – there is a ritual to resurrect Kharis, it is read from the book of life, he then hopes to resurrect the princess, his one true love. This hetero love is found in nearly every variation of The Mummy – of course the hero’s fiancee always looks like the dead princess etc. All caught in a powerful plot devise nearly as confining as the layers of wrappings.

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