Echoes of a Rock Era

Echoes of a Rock Era is an lp to cd transfer of two double lp collections of sweet do-whop pop from the 50’s & early 60’s by The Crows, The Harptones; The Heartbeats; and Shep and the Limelights; with Fans Zappa’s Ruben and The Jets added to round things out. I can remember buying these on east coast even though I wasn’t familiar with the groups. These echoes are from an era that I only heard in tribute or parody by bands like ShaNaNa, Flash Cadillac, Roy Wood: Eddy & The Falcons.


These are the originals – not remakes by more acceptable white popsters like the Lettermen. This street corner harmony. The groups in this collection ( expect The Jets) are related by label & members who moved from one to another. Some of the songs I knew from really crappy cassette completions I’d picked up at Radio Shack: Gee by the Crows; Daddy’s Home by Step & The Limelights. But this was music I never heard on the radio when I was going up.

Of the many tribute, re-creation bands Frank Zappa was one of the most persistent & authentic.
He wasn’t shy about his do-whop roots as he applied his ironic musical & lyric sense to the genre. Ruben & The Jets is an lp totally devoted to the sound & it is fun, funny & reverent. He never makes fun of the style he applies to the fun he makes.

Choking Hazard

Dave’s ski pole caught against something. He continued to move, pulled off-balance and skidded several feet before he could stop himself. A thick clump of snow loosened from a tree and feel directly on his face, into his open mouth. That stifled his call for help.

‘Sh … au …’ he spit the snow out. Snow and a twig. He hope it was just a twig. Black, green, pine needles. Ice crystals trapped between the needles. The taste of earth. It turned his stomach.

‘You okay?’ Jack called from above him.

‘Yeah. Fine.’ He wanted to warm his mouth. The freeze numbed his teeth, made his gums ache.

‘Do you need any help?’

‘No, no. I’m okay.’ Embarrassment heated his face. He pushed himself  to his feet. One pole within reach, he stepped up to the other sideways so as not to start a rapid slide. It was firmly embedded in something. He wiped the remaining snow off his face.

‘Nothing broken?’

‘No, nothing broken.’ He did a quick scan of his joints. Sore hip was all. Sore hip and bruised ego.

‘Okay then I’m off. See you down there.’

‘Right.’ Dave tugged at the stuck pole. It popped out with a small squeak. Not the sort of noise he’d expect to hear here. Should he investigate?

‘Come on. If you’re coming.’

‘Okay okay.’ He got himself pointed in the right direction and started off again. The only hazards in front him were the other skiers.

He braced himself, squatted into the right start position and let himself begin down. Not so hard really. He dipped to the right to pass someone, then to his left. A small rise excited his stomach as he went  into the air for a few moments of flight.

‘Looking good.’

‘Thanks.’

‘No really. You are looking pretty good. After that spill I wasn’t sure you’d keep on.’

‘Only way to get to the bottom, right?’

Bottom. He hadn’t considered the bottom. Could he end the run with a little more dignity that he’d started? Right, he had to turn, level off and let himself come to a stop. No need to force it. To force it would cause another fall. One a day was enough.

He felt a pine needle under his tongue. The needle moved! It wriggled!

 

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

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check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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CapFireSlam Dreaming 2017

As I post this the #CapFireSlam countdown is 27 days. My arrival is even sooner mind you. I need at least a day to unpack my suitcase 🙂 I booked & paid for my flights & hotel at the end of 2016 so the new low for the Canadian $ isn’t going to hurt me as much. But I’ll be eating cold pizza more this year I guess, rather than dining out.

After the disastrous hotel of last year I’ve opted to up accommodations by a star – I really need a hotel in which the a/c works & that has a coffee perk in the room. It’s not clear to me why some hotels charge extra for wifi in the room – when they offer it free else where in the hotel? I’ll be a little further from the Fire events this year – which won’t add too much walking time. I will get more use out of the transit system 🙂

Last year I booked a couple of guided tours to give me a better idea of tourist sites to avoid 🙂 This year I’ll get myself to some of those spots via public transit now that I know where they are & what I want to see. There are several Smithsonian’s I want to visit, so if I get to one or two I’ll be happy. I have my fave dining spots to hit too: Mule Bone; Ted’s Bulletin: both on 14th St.

Most of all I’m looking forward to the fierce talent of Capturing Fire – renewing some old acquaintances, deepening them a little perhaps. Time is so concentrated there never seems to be enough to do more than be happy to see each other. Also, for me, not being an indulger in social bonding via substances, I’m at a disadvantage (one which I have no regrets in maintaining).

I look forward to everything about travel except the border crossing itself – each year it gets more complex with photos, i.d. & I fully expect we’ll soon need health records as well. Soon no one with pre-existing conditions will be allowed into the USA without proof of adequate health insurance. Guards can deny you entry into the USA based on a whim & to question that whim becomes disrespecting their authority which is punishable by death.

So I ask myself is it worth the risk. The answer is yes. I’m a quiet, compliant traveller. I have all my documents ready, my hotel reservations in print, a list of things I plan to do (if asked), my answers ready. One of benefits of white privilege that I’m grateful for is being so innocuous. There is no thought scan yet 🙂

My undies & tees have all been mentally picked pending last minute changes. If only I could teleport luggage. I try to take less but it’s not easy making the right impression with such a limited selection. I’ll have some new writing to present, if I get a chance. Still not sure if I’ll take any of the new chapbooks. More than three of anything like that can get questioned & customs duties can raise their head too if it appears I’m there for commercial reasons.

Check out my Capturing Fire fun in past years – http://wp.me/P1RtxU-1e3. Yes I’m looking forward to Capturing Fire with eager anticipation with an undercurrent of border crossing dread 🙂

The Cost of Free

saying no

to what I don’t need

hasn’t gotten easier

not that I’m not tempted

by things I want

when the price is right

even if there is no point

in having them

it is hard to say no when

there is no such thing as enough

of having too much

at least as much as the next fellow

 

I long to have too much

but I have no place to put it

I can’t afford the cost of free

it piles up and up

so when I get what I need

I don’t have room for it

I’ve been filled to the brim

with what I was taught to want

by this culture of more

more is better than enough

especially when the price is right

when the price is one

you have always pay a little every day

not all at once

take your time

but keep on paying

because if you don’t need it now

you will eventually

down the road you’ll be glad

to be suffocating in the free for all

 

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

June 9-10: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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Dusty Death

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas: 3. Not to keep the clothing material meant for the tailoring of a robe more than one month at a time.

Dusty Death

dust on the box

cardboard

the dark of the shelf

the seclusion of the resting place

unseen

untouched

unmoved
since it was put there

out of the way

until its contents was needed

sealed for protection

 

decades later

that need went unfelt

the dust undisturbed

the contents forgotten

that rainy day

never rained enough

to open it

 

discard it without a look

or keep it

let go of the mystery

gift it

sell it

the space it takes

isn’t needed for anything

why hold on

does it hold back

does it lead

to other unopened

forgotten pieces of the past

whose past

no writing on the box

no indication of who

put it there

or when

except for the dust

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Anarchist of Ass

Law 32: Play to People’s Fantasies

Anarchist of Ass

ooh I can’t wait

for you to fill my ass pussy

with your man clit

what

it’s not a clit?

it’s bigger than that

you don’t want to be feminized

yet

want to fuck my ass pussy

want to eat it out

then breed me

fill me with your baby seed

I don’t get it

you won’t get it either

because I don’t have a man cunt

 

I’m not a female proxy

I’m a man

I know too many

who have made that transition

from male to female

I respect the cost of that journey

too much

to let you treat me like a woman

sure

I guess it lets your masculinity

enjoy man on man

if you pretend it’s not that

that you aren’t fucking a male ass hole

but his butt vagina

a weird rationalization

a permission to pleasure

without committing to the gender

if you want pussy

why not get someone who has one

that one sure isn’t me

 

no I’m not some sort of activist

an anarchist out to diminish your fantasy

I’m not part of it

even if you want parts of me

to fulfill it

am I to be grateful that you want

to breed my ass pussy with your

what …

I don’t know what to call it now

your cock

yes it sure it is big and hard

but

that’s not my dream dick

 

you are man enough to give it

but are you man enough to take it

This is one that springs directly from the law – being someone’s fantasy – in this case not being interested in someone else’s fantasy. There is this gender dichotomy in the queer world of top and bottom. Top being male, bottom being feminine – or top being superior and bottom being inferior.

The language in online profiles & even online handles plays into this division, this power dynamic. Guys claimed to be total tops, or power bottoms – which is fine but limiting. Power bottoms challenge tops to satisfy – to prove their masculinity. Masculinity being the holy grail of cockdom.

The need to feminize runs through some profiles with men either offering to satisfy your ass pussy or wanting a top to do that for them. This, as the piece says, is total turn off for me. I don’t get it & these guys are never getting it from me. I supposed it meant to sound sort of teasingly fun at & erotic at the same time. ‘Breeding’ is another of those words that is supposed to be arousing – looking for a breeding – that infers the top is either bi or straight. Straight cock being much more masculine than queer cock.

If I sound judgemental maybe I am – I can take a pass but rarely feel the need to confront those guys who have or want some feminized same-sex experience. I can say no. My fantasy isn’t as complex or entrenched in anything beyond my rather shallow cis-sex focus. I am attracted to men who are men. Keeps it simple.

This is a piece that I loved from the moment I wrote the first line. It is one that quickly wrote itself. It uses language that takes me out of my comfort zone – presents a side of me that rarely works its way into conversation & perhaps reveals more of the real me than people want to know. It is also great fun to perform though I have found some have reacted negatively to the blunt language. Such is life.

 

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Lazrus Kiss.19

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

*18 Saturday Night*

Harris sat his dining table with a pad of paper in front of him to write down what had gone on in the last week to see if this would help him make sense of it. There had never been a time in his life when he had felt this much turmoil.

He made four columns on the page. The first was for day of the week, the next for what he could remember had happened, the next for things that he had been told had happen and for which there had been concrete proof and the final one for whatever conclusion he could reach. He’d tackle that last column when he had dealt with the others.

He went back to last Saturday and through the week day by day.

Saturday – worked at Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe, got a bit drunk at Story, met Frances – was shown proof of this by the police

Sunday – lunch with folks, Dad told me about the curse, which I didn’t believe, back to Story with Trevor, Alex hits on me

Monday – more time in Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe, lunch with mother, I hear about about her sister Clara – I don’t remember her but mother’s memory is the proof

Tuesday – slogging at dE.tail, go shopping, fall in oranges (forget I meet Gran – proof granddaughter remembers me) – get beat up by Dave and his mother

Wednesday – hospital for fractured ribs – talk to Dad but he’s no help

Thursday – lose a day to pain meds – proof – prescription bottle with two pills remaining in medicine cabinet

Friday – I see the police get proof positive I met Frances (does she remember me?) – deranged mother drops by, more drinks at Story with Trevor and I see Laura – she remembers me but wishes she didn’t, Alex again

Saturday – work in Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe, get home, Alex calls and when I say ‘no’ I almost have a heart attack (does he almost have one too?) go out for groceries – meet Gran and daughter – home again & get lucky – proof freshly used condom by the bed –

When he was done he read over the list a few times. No revelations came to him except that he had to be more aware of his actions especially when strangers was attracted to him. If not aware at least be more discerning.

He tried to recall a time when a woman had become attracted to him so much that they were persistent even if he wasn’t interested in them. Someone who acted towards him the way he had to Laura in his university days. There was no one.

He leaned back in the chair, clasped his hands behind his head and stretched. The sun skimmed below the horizon. He had missed another sunset. When he first moved in one the best things about his condo was the skyline as the sun set.

“Oh right,” he got up and went out to the balcony. The elf was out there. Was it time to let the creature out of its crate? He got a screw driver out his tool box and quickly took the crate apart.

Before he brought Andy in he took the instructions out of the plastic sack. Inside the booklet was another note addressed to him.

“Hi Harris,

Mrs. Claus here. Andy Humpfun is a prototype. Yes, there is a version of him in the this year’s Sex Toy catalogue but without the features this one has. This one is probably hitting the market next year. Check out the special features and let us know what you think.

If he’s nice we might send you something more naughty.

Thanks

Daria Claus”

He scanned the booklet but decided it would be best to learn by using than reading. If he got stuck he could go back to the guide. He wrested Andy into the apartment. The feet were smooth enough to slide easily over the carpet.

Andy could maintain his balance standing but was more stable sitting or on his back. The charger was built into the base and charged though the feet. The charger could be used for cellphones and laptops as well.

Andy wasn’t bathtub safe. He quickly checked the booklet and it confirmed that although most parts of Andy could be washed with warm water and soap he was never to be immersed in water or taken into the shower. Fully charged he was good for up two hours of play.

The ubs portal was in the back of his neck. The cable was fairly long. He would need to be hooked up to the internet to trigger wireless remote mode.

Harris twisted the start nipple. Andy could not be turned on with the remote. The remote would make his head turn, his mouth open, his eyes open and close, then shift to the left or right, his arms move up and down, hands open and close, his knees bend and of course cause him to get an erection. The eyes glinted with such realism they give Harris shivers.

This time he let the erection grow to its full extent till it was poking through the fly of the boxers. The cock felt life-like, too life-like. He pushed it back through the fly and let the boxers drop. In this light it looked human, alive. The heat of the sun had warmed it to the point were the flesh felt alive.

Now to hook him up. Harris plugged Andy into the ubs port.

A web page under the Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe banner opened up almost immediately.

Andy’s lips began to move. “Thank You Harris for really turning me on.”

Harris sat down dumbfounded.

“Each of us in the plus line …. have been programmed for their unique owner …. if you are not Harris … please go to the web site and enter the correct name by selecting the owner option …. thank you.” The lips stopped. They didn’t quite move with the exact words being said. The voice was adult male.

Harris clicked the online voice options and he could choose from several – male or female. He could have his own voice sampled to make Andy sound like him. Andy was already weird enough without going there.

He sat back staring at the elf. The hands opened and closed. The elf stared back, eyebrows raised slightly as if a waiting a command. The eyes followed him around the room. He used the remote to close them.

“Don’t you want to play with me Harris?” Andy asked.

With a shudder he squeezed the nipple to turn it off. Left it on the pad to fully charge and draped a towel over he head.

*19 Sunday*

In the morning Harris looked out at the rain. A heavy grey torrent that cleared the air. He made a neat pile of the elf’s crate, checking to see if had missed anything, like clothes. All Andy had to wear were his snowflake boxers. Harris put his Robin tee-shirt on it. Seemed appropriate if Andy was to become his little sidekick. The stiff arms held whatever position Harris put them in.

He couldn’t decide where to put Andy. Leaving him on the balcony in the rain seemed like abuse, as did facing it into a corner. Closet was too dark. It wasn’t one of those things you could donate to a toy drive. It ended up against the wall in the corner by the front door, he’d always wanted a hat stand there.

When he left for his parents place the rain was worse. It was cab weather not subway weather. A taxi would mean less time in public, less time in public less opportunity for the curse to strike.

The dash from the taxi and up his parent sidewalk soaked him. His mother was at the door with a towel for him.

“I can put those things in the drier.” She took the towel and gave him one of his old Teenage Ninja Turtles sweat suits. He went to his bedroom. The room never seemed to change. His posters of Superman, Slap Shott, Cyclops and Neo were still on the wall. There were the boxes of comics, in alphabetic then chronolgical order, each in plastic sleeves, still lined up in bookcases along one wall. From The Atom to Zantanna Zatara. Was it time to cash them in?

He tugged on the sweat pants. One thing had changed. He no longer had his teenage waist line.

He tipped one of the comic book boxes and pulled out a random issue. Green Lantern meets Spiderman – one of those special cross-over limited editions. Foes at first they join forces to deal with Goran Gray.

“Your mother wants those wet things.” His Dad called from the bottom of the stairs. “You can look though those old comic books later.”

Harris took his wet jeans and socks and put them in the drier.

Though lunch they made small talk about Harris’s work, his Dad’s work, how Harris was feeling after his day in the hospital.

“Imagine anyone thinking you played a part in her running away.” his mother shook her head.

“How did your picture end up on that woman’s page? Sounds like an invasion of privacy.”

“I wish I knew Dad. The police have cleared me though.” He wanted to tell his Dad about the security footage but not with his mother there. “What I’d like to know is how my picured ended up in the paper. I didn’t witness anything.”

“More waffles?” she asked pushing the plate towards him. “There’s lots.”

“I’m pretty full Mom. thanks. Though I’ll have another of these bratwurst.” He speared one with his fork. “The ones I cook up never taste this good.”

“Oh, you.” she blushed. “I’ll look after the clean up. Why don’t you two go into the living room. There’s brownies out there.”

“He saw them.” his Dad laughed.

“Let’s go up to my room.” Harris suggested, carefully picking up the plate with the pyramid of brownies.

#Toronto #amwriting #dating #lgbtq #nanowrimo #novel #LazarusKiss #gayromance

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The Eagles

I can remember hearing the the Eagles first lp for the first time. The fresh crisp sound of the guitars, the vocals the lyrics. An irresistible combination of the Byrds, CCR & rock. I payed that lp grey. Then along came Desperado – a brilliant concept album that worked. On the Border with its white cover. So you could say I was a fan. I also really liked Poco – another of those rock country bands that were influenced by Buffalo Springfield & the Byrds. It was the California sound that left the Beach Boys and the psychedelic sounds behind in its witchy dust. Beautifully engineered too. Plus Jackson Browne working with them. Good clean boozy boys.

But on the first lp was ‘Most of Us Are Sad’ – a banal slice of greeting card hokum that was an indicator of where the band was heading .When I got the mp3 set of these albums I cut out the songs I never wanted to hear again ‘Sad’ was one of them. I couldn’t understand how band could do such great stuff & include such tripe at the same time.  Sadly this middle-of-the-road took over their creative energy even though there are great tracks on  One of These Nights and Hotel California I found myself liking the band less and less. Too many sappy tracks that I was happy to discard forever when I compiled them into an Mp3 collection.

Hotel was the last lp I kept. I heard later material & what a yawn. On the mp3 set is some Jackson Browne (For Everyman; Running on Empty; Hold Out; Lawyers in Love) who they worked with frequently.

I also have the Very Best Of 2cd collection as a stand alone & it has enough of the later banal hit tracks to remind me of why I gave up on them. I also grew bored of the heteronormative, boozy celebratory lyrics that reinforced how as much as they wanted a witchy woman they didn’t want her lyin’ eyes either.

Sail

The sun would set soon. Maybe an hour; maybe ten minutes. Many nights that part of the equation was hard to predict. Sudden clouds would blow in across the bay and force the sun to set sooner than planned. Tonight didn’t look like one of those nights.

I paced the bluff behind my rental cottage. The edge was soft, crumbly but the fall was only a few feet. That allowed me to be brave. The soft red and white sand below would still be warm from the afternoon. In some spots warm enough to cook.

Not that I’d be prepared to eat the white fish the natives considered such a delicacy. They would wrap the fish, unscaled, still shivering with life, in thin grappo leaves and bury them in the hot sand. Half-an-hour later they would dig them up ready to eat. The white cooked into a sky blue.

I like my fish boned, cleaned & broiled.

The native women were used to this off-island-man reluctance. They didn’t pressure or disdain. Just offer and smile, just unwrap the crisp leaves to show me the pink-eyed white now blue fish. The nudge was their speciality.

It was the same nudge they used when offering anything. Clean your house? You like my sister? My brother perhaps? Now if they’d offered their fathers or husbands  I might have been interested.

The older boys and young men would take their boats out in the cool of the evening to fish. Their tiny slivers would skim along the surface of the water with a thin net behind them. Some had bamboo spears to help. They always came back with something.

At first I was dismayed to see them in brand-name shorts. I had hoped for the short, quick wrap of colorful fabric that would barely cover their privates. The encroachment of commercialism. Running shoes had replaced the local sandals. Running shoes without laces or tongues that they would flip off quick. The shorts would come off as fast as they dove into the water after a fleeting fish.

I wanted to keep them natural, fresh.

Across the bay I heard the echo of the evening conch. It called those who were interested to the sunset service. Several small black sails would dart out from our snug harbour and follow that call.

Some night I would go along to see what this service was like. To see if I fit into their form of worship and community.

 

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

June 9-10: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

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https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

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#Disaybled 

On Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza frequently talks about his dislike of inspiration porn – look how well this disabled person does. So when I say AG inspires me this is not what I am talking about. His candour about his life, fears, frustrations have pushed me to look at my little gay life & discussion those issues too. I may never reach the levels of vulnerability Andrew has but I’m not afraid of going there, either.

I should also make a disclaimer here – I am not disabled – I have never really met Andrew either, so we have not had sex. I state this because some people have assumed those things. Not that I mind those assumptions but I don’t want readers to think I’m being dishonest when I respond to the issues he talks about.

His podcast brings a vulnerability to being queer that is at times disarming while at the same time has encouraged me to become more vulnerable about my own fears & frailties. Not that I’ve ever been that hidden but at the same felt that talking about my sense of body issues, about agism – would be seen as some grumpy old gay queer bitching about being a grumpy old gay queer. I decided that was probably better than being seen as another boring old fart.

He explores issues of message, of how to convey that message in ways that serve change. He’s done sets of quite hot nudes. He’s not been afraid to make – no, not make – but demand, a place for his hot cripbod. Should I # that: #hotcripbod ? As a result I’ve pushed myself to create a greater visibility for the ordinary Joe body with my #DadBodHot postings on tumblr – me in my undies grinning at a mirror. You can blame Andrew for giving me the motivation to be even more out there than I am.

#this

#mylifematters

I was going to go with

#thislifematters

but #this was too impersonal

too ambiguous

it wasn’t the fact of life that matters

but that my life in particular matters

 

what am I trying to do

co-opt a bigger   more important movement

coattail on the buzz

it has built

capitalize on their suffering & hard work

just to gain some pitiful attention

 

am I hoping to create controversy

with this spin

on an already over spun trend

with some snide spin of my own

because I think #myspinmatters

when its clear that it doesn’t

mean shit to a tree

I’m just another privileged guy

whose life

whose opinion

doesn’t matter

who doesn’t have a hope in hell

of stirring up anything

outside of his own little pond

 

so I guess

until I have something profound to say

and the money to back it up

#mylifedoesn’tmatter

 

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

June 9-10: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

fec17-header

https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

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I Am The Possessed

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. This are the 30 nissaggiyas – this 2 Not to spend the night far from one of his three robes.

I Am The Possessed

I can’t remember

the last time I owned

just three of anything

that simplicity was never allowed me

I try as best I can

to possess less

to be less owned by what I own

when something new comes in

something old must leave

by leave I mean

must be gone

not merely stored away

but donated shared given away

thrown away

reduced slowly but surely

 

becoming less attached to things

isn’t the way of this world

even though we’re told

things don’t matter

while judging one another

by the quantity of things

by the ability to display

more than three

one isn’t be seen as enough

but giving up

settling for less

not to be attached

removes identity

if you don’t have things

like a job

a gender

a publication

a partner

no one knows who you are

no one remembers who you are

but what owned you

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TOpoet

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The Adventures of Danger Girl

Unlike most of the people, in the Toronto, spoken word scene, I don’t love poetry. I especially, don’t love poetry written post 70’s, with the very rare exception of maybe a handful of poets. Duncan Armstrong aka TOpoet is one of them.

It doesn’t take long, maybe just a line or two to realize that this is someone who really invests in everything he experiences. Whether he is writing about the roles we are cast in by others, ex lovers, the state/lack of civilization, or a father wearing shoes that once belonged to his dead son, like he does in “Breaking In Grief” from his new chapbook, “After The Falling”, you are not just reading a series of beautifully strung words, you are feeling what it is like to be there, and remembering the feel of shoes that didn’t belong on your own feet.

He is also incredibly funny. It’s…

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Table Manners

Table Manners

this is it

if it isn’t what you expect

make the most of what there is

before you make up your mind

before your expectations

keep you from making the most of what is

because what is

will surpass those expectations

your preconceived notions

of what is ideal

best

desirable

needs to be changed

a chance for you

to get free of culture impositions

you’ve adopted without realizing

or rather

that have inculcated themselves in you

when you weren’t thinking

because they fit so readily

into your comfort zone

if you want to grow

you better step out of that zone

stop being so protective

you’ve got nothing to lose

well I guess

you have to lose everything

that holds you back

this is what there is

this is all I’m bringing to this table

take it or leave it

by the way

the table’s mine too

Law 31 was easier than some to work with. This piece came quickly too – a  good sign for me when I piece writes itself. The first few  lines were already in my head and trust flowed fast from there. The p.o.v is pretty consistent but as I read it I also know that we’re often on both sides of this table.

Each party will have their own expectations to deal with & all too often are already set in what they are willing to compromise on. It’s so easy, almost natural to let our own notion of what is best to be the right & only notion we want to listen to. Here I see the need to step back from cultural impositions that often have brought us to decisions based on them, rather than one something we have thought through – this is the basis of entitlement.

In recovery there’s a saying to the effect of when you let go of what you think you want you often get something that’s even better. It’s not so much a matter of giving up hope but loosening ones control of results. There have been times when someone is so determined to get exactly what they expect from that they end up with nothing. As I said last Wednesday – no isn’t saying I’m open for negotiation. I’m not apologizing for not fulfilling someone’s expectations or, ins some cases, not going out of my to do so. Like coffee shops there’s one on the next corner if you don’t like the service in this one 🙂

 

The ending was a later addition when I was editing this last year. I wanted an ending that was more than just a conclusion but that gave the reader a bit of a smile & a surprise.

 

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