Nice Undies

Nice Undies

please keep it

I don’t really need it

I have too many already

it’s not quite the right fit for me

the colour is so you

I don’t know

when I’ll ever use it

I want you to have 

you’ll get more use out of it than I would

I can’t begrudge you anything

of course you can have it

I never wore it

I only wore it once

let me see it on you

it really suits you

those undies look better on you

than they ever did on me

no I don’t hate it

it’s just not right for me

they were on sale

you’d be doing me a favour

I never want to see it again

too many memories

time to move the energy out of my life

if you don’t want it

I’ll have to throw it away

don’t let it to go to waste

it’s too good

to drop in a donation box

I want someone I know to have it

you won’t regret it

don’t thank me

thank whomever 

gave it to me

never wear it my presence

Nice Undies is a list poem of different thoughts or actual things said in giving something away. As much as I appreciate a gift I am sometimes given things that I either have, don’t want, or have no real need for. Because I enjoy bold colours I’ve been give shirts, or t-shirts that are great colours but with prints or cartoony images I’d never be seen in public wearing. Some become sleep wear, some end up in donation bins, some become regifted.

One Christmas I was given more socks than I needed, so some of them ended up in Christmas gift bags for friends. I’ve donated blank books, pens, even t-shirts to Hot Damn! as prizes. I move energy out of the house quickly so make room for new energy. It’s gotten to the point where I sometimes get a gift & I immediately think – this would be perfect for so-&-so.

Part of my personal ‘stuff’ policy is ‘if something new comes in, something old should go out.’ As a result if I keep the t-shirt someone gives me I have to cull one out of my collection to donate or give away. This can be difficult with things like shirts as my collection now if all favourites 🙂 So to make room for new I have to let go of my attachments of the old. In these cases I am more selective of where it goes but it does go.

Twice a year I cull various things from my processions: books, cds, shirts, socks, tee’s, even undies to pass on, to keep my sense of attachment in balance. I do this around New Year’s & around my birthday at the end of June. I’ve never been so invested in a memory that I can’t see someone wearing the tee I gave them. Nothing, to me, is hotter than one of my fwb arriving & finding that he’s wearing the undies I gave him. What can be more fun than some man literally getting into my pants? 🙂


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The Ick Factor

The Ick Factor

you’ve used up my trust

yes I know you don’t mean any harm

no it doesn’t hurt

but I asked you to stop

because it is meaningless

yet distracting

it is like the tip of the iceberg

that small act

meant to be affectionate

that I can’t stand it

that I don’t enjoy it

represents your lack of respect

it means to you

that I don’t have a sense of humour

such is life

 

it’s not a control issue

on my part

it is the same as serving food 

you know I’m allergic to

then getting pissed off

when I refuse to eat it

or insisting on playing

music you know I can’t stand

just to be playful

to be annoying

because I’m so cute

when I’m annoyed

 

enjoy that memory

because if you can’t respect

my silly boundary

memory is all you’ll have


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Beat The Clock

Beat The Clock

1

moonlight so blue

it left no trace

on my skin

as his fingers

followed the flow

of the edge

where the blue

became pale flesh

the flow

where finger tips

were replaced 

with

teeth biting

 

2

this is not the time

no one will tell you

when the time is right

but when it’s wrong

you are told not what to do

but never what to do 

you’ll never be assured

because

everything you do is wrong

of course

over time

the right way becomes the wrong way

 

there is a right way

it’s for you to figure out

no one will tell you how

only punish you

for each and every mistake 

love will be withheld

opportunity will be denied

without explanation

no explanations will be forthcoming

until you do it right

perfectly

 

giving up is not an option

this is not the time

to give up

even if you don’t 

have the time

even if you don’t

give a fuck about what time it is

even if 

you don’t have anything 

to give up

you can beat the clock

but time always wins

and that bites

This piece is a little disjointed, so don’t worry about trying to make the two parts fit 🙂 They do but I don’t have the time to explain how. Both were prompted by the same rule. I wasn’t that happy with the first take so left it. The next day I took another run at. Part 1 is a sort of romantic, sensual moment that verges on gay greeting card. Pretty. In editing it I’ve made it a little less generic with the last last line. It could stand on its own.

Part 2 is a partially a play on words and partially a comment on assumptions. I have met an endless number of people in recovery who felt that when they were younger they missed the class where one was taught how to live & be happy. I often felt I lacked some key piece in the puzzle of emotionally relationships – apparently the same piece millions of people think they lack. A piece that no one can give them because everyone is looking for it 🙂 

 

Many on that search find fault with others on that search. Everyone is wrong when no one is right. We live in a culture where the ideal of the right ONE rules advertising, sitcoms, romcom – the search for the key to a last relationship. To opt out of that ‘search’ is nearly impossible. If one does they are seen as arrogant, misanthropic, and destined to be incomplete humans, failures at life. So giving up is not an option.

In editing I rearranged lines, added some, cut some and came up with an ending that is logical (to me) if a bit too clever. I like echo as a way of resolving a poem so the end of part two echoes the end of part one.


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None For The Road

None For The Road

if you won’t trust

someone who won’t drink

with you

then you’ll never trust me

if all your close friends

smoke up with you

we’ll never be close friends

if you only respect 

someone who’ll do a line with you

shoot up with you

share a bowl with you

then I have no role in your life 

we’ll never bond

 

if only self-destructive writers

are real writers

then I’ll always be a fake

a wanna-be

who really doesn’t warrant

your attention

 

I’m just one of those shallow dilettantes

a hanger on

without the guts

the stamina

to deal with life through

a haze of booze drugs

 

you are clearly better off with me

so don’t take it personally

when I decline to indulge

for the sake of group acceptance

I’d rather be unacceptable

than drown in conformity


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Feeling Fine

Feeling Fine

I’m feeling fine

no – I am fine

feel is a word of uncertainty

because feelings can be deceiving

feels like winter

doesn’t mean it is winter

I am fine

I am well

 

no – I don’t need to take another dose

not even one

just in case

perhaps I’m not as well

as I think I am

 

think

another word of uncertainty 

doubt

it’s as if what I think

maybe wrong

that the perspective I filter

things through

can be questioned

think isn’t the same as know

I think it’s raining

it feels like rain

either it’s rain or it isn’t

thinking won’t change that

 

I think I feel better

 

I’m better off when I don’t think

when I am in the moment

I am well

better gives a sense 

that once upon a time I wasn’t well

that I wasn’t living in the moment

because 

at this moment in time

I’m as well as I can be

This piece is a word game. When I edit one of the things I do is make things more concrete by eliminating distancing words like ‘think’ ‘feel.’ ‘John felt angry” isn’t as direct as ‘John was angry.’ Not that I don’t appreciate the passive voice at times but I prefer the more active and direct. Words like ‘think’ ‘feel’ become contagious & to me, reflect lazy writing. The word ‘like’ is another one of those words 🙂

In live in a culture in which feelings become immobile facts in our minds, facts which are often not supported by circumstances. There’s a tree on our street. Large, & to me beautiful; to one of our neighbours it is a menace ready to drop a branch in the next windstorm. Regardless of our ‘feelings’ the tree is still the tree. Perspective.

There’s also an echo of people not accepting ‘fine’ as an adequate response to how things are. It’s as if to feel fine one is either in denial or perhaps too shallow for a ‘deeper’ emotional experience to life. If one is upset or conflicted or experiencing difficulty one is real, if not one is fake. Negative is real, positive is delusional. “Perhaps I’m not as well as I think I am.”

Another echo is that when people ask ‘how are you doing’ it is out of rote not out of interest. They don’t want an answer, or if they want an answer its only until they can jump in with their own litany complaint. Most people start conversations to tell you what they think not to hear what you think. I rarely start conversations 🙂 And, you know, I’m fine with that.


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Point of View: Camera

Point of View: Camera

I turn off the sound

mute evidence

is easier to ignore

if I could turn off

the bottom of the screen scroll

I would do that

 

I see the images clearer

when I can’t hear

the inane babbling of announcers

underlining what is flickering

I don’t want to witness 

this camera-shaped reality

any more than I want to eyewitness 

these events

 

I can’t look away though

that would be denial

I have to admit these things happen 

are happening

regardless of a spin

that results in no one being accountable 

except the victims 

it is clearly their fault

for being where the camera is pointing

 

I’m fine with that

as long as the camera

never points at me


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Shell of a Man

Shell of a Man

a woman got up 

stood at the subway exit door

I got up

stood behind her

she glanced briefly 

over her shoulder

she exited

I followed

up the stairs

outside the station

we both turned to the left

both crossed in the same direction

turned down the same side street

then another

 

I walked faster

to pass her

she walked faster

to escape me

we crossed at the same point 

she was practically running

 

I slowed 

saddened by what had happened

saddened

by merely being a man

she felt threatened

because my house

was along her route

 

this gender

this skin

is a shell that shouldn’t crack

a bowl to carry me through life

that doesn’t get questioned

doesn’t get handled roughly

directly

thanks

to my entitlement

of not having to worry

to apologize

for what isn’t my direct doing

 

I didn’t create this cultural context

in which women

fear men

yet I feel guilt

should I have taken a different way home

when I saw us walk 

in the same direction 

is her fear 

her insecurity

now my fault

 

how different from her

am I

I get the same anxiety 

when my sense of security 

is confronted 

by my assumptions of strangers

do young men alarm me

simply because they are young

how did age become weaponized

how did skin colour become weaponized

 

the world is on alert

trust no one

justify that lack of trust

by falling back on distorted news

by a history 

that suppresses facts in favour of controllers

by not acknowledging any complicity

in making them look pure 

not driven by greed

by the need to control

 

I just wanted to walk home

take my shoes off and relax

not feel the fragility of this shell

This was prompted by an actual event, or rather events, because this isn’t the first time this has happened – me and a random lone female getting on then off the subway train at the same time, walking in the same direction, as the same time. I’m always paranoid that as we walk she’ll stop, unknowingly at the sidewalk to my house, and confront me, mace me, kick me in the balls. 

So far no such confrontation has occurred. I don’t know of a way of reassuring anyone, of making myself appear non-threatening when this happens. At times I have not crossed where I usually cross but the defiance to my house is less than 5 minutes so there’s no real way to not go in the same direction. This reaction to her paranoia – I say her, as I’ve never happens when such accidentally-in-the-direction occurs with men.

I have female friends who tell me they have felt unsafe when a man walks behind them at night on the street. It saddens me. It one of the memento when I confront the this cultural context of fear. I feel very safe on the street at night, alone, but that is because I’m a man – not because I am necessarily safe – there have been shootings & stabbings all along the Danforth.

I have to admit though that I am less inclined go out at night unless I have a destination I want to get to. Even less inclined in the winter – icy, snowy, sidewalks can be treacherous enough in daylight – if slip and fall I want someone to see me asap. But the war on pedestrians is another issue.

In the piece I also look at this culture of paranoia regarding race & age. I have a black friend who still, in 2019, gets watched when he goes into a corner store. There’s a couple of corner shops in this area with signs that say ‘one student at a time.’ We have a US president who wants to build a wall to further the demonization of Mexicans (rather than rebalance the profit driven economy) – now that blacks have become a less sensational target.

Yeah a lot of that actually through my head when I’m accidentally going in the same direction as a woman. Sometimes I rather stay home at night than confront all that.


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The Enfolding

The Enfolding

when I say

I sleep around

I really mean

I have regular sex

with the same different men

I don’t actually sleep

I’m quite awake when I’m with them

they on the other hand

sometimes fall asleep

in my arms on my bed

not out of boredom

or even exhaustion

but out of comfort

 

men who take this opportunity

to step away from the stressors

of their lives

for a few hours

escaping lovers wives kids jobs

where they can leave behind definitions 

to be naked 

held

safe

to be nothing but enfolded


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Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

this grief

changes shape

as my sense of the world

changes shape

like water

as Bruce Lee said

it takes the shape of the vessel

yet remains water

regardless of the vessel

 

Bruce Lee was a vessel

for my sexual awareness

the shape of his body

was not contained by the films he made

but by my perception of it

the face

the shirtless torso

filled my jack-off fantasies

then his abrupt death

that grief

a deep sense of loss

 

I didn’t grieve the films he’d never make

but the opportunity lost

of ever having sex with him

opportunity lost to fulfill

a fantasy even then 

I knew would go unfulfilled

a bowl of grief

never emptied 

but eventually forgotten

I wrote this piece after seeing the excellent biography ‘I Am Bruce Lee.’ It featured clips from his movies, clips him being interviewed (he proved to be shy but very articulate) & an array of talking heads reflecting on his fight technique, his films, & they mystery surrounding his sudden death. None of them commented on his stature as an Asian actor, & there was no mention of him as being fucking gorgeous 🙂

I was working for Famous Players in Sydney when Enter The Dragon was released. It was a huge hit. I saw parts of it repeatedly. He was magnetic even with the crappy dubbing & the idiotic sound fx. I kept a couple of stills of him from Enter – shirtless in with black pants. Sweaty, ripped and hands raised ready to fight. I loved those pictures as I could look a his body as long as I wanted to. On film he was too fast, the camera never had a change to ‘ogle’ his body.

The biography brought back a wave of nostalgia for me. At this time I was already a Mishima fan – too bad Lee never got to make the Mishima film – he would have been an excellent choice – but he was never considered an actor of emotional depth. The interviews in the documentary make it very clear he was more than a fighting machine. But like many performers Hollywood Taiwan wouldn’t allow him opportunities that  didn’t include his fists.

I have tried to watch his films & they come across as cheesy & oddly sexless. Crappy lighting & bad camera work doesn’t help. Fast-forward certainly helps zip through the minimal plot & character development to the good bits 🙂 I was grieved by the end of the biography for the waste of his life. It was the same grief I felt when he died & for some of the same reasons – opportunity lost. 

 


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O Patriot

O Patriot

it wasn’t a war

of ideology our defence 

it was a battle

for the sake of the economy

manufacturing jobs for profit

selecting the undesirable 

sending them off to die

to reduce the surplus population

to spare those that could

afford not to go to war

so they could stay at home

reap the financial rewards

of others’ sacrifices

 

if you were a true patriot

you wouldn’t resent their sneers

real men die

to improve the lot of others

whose lot

is already better than theirs

and are grateful for the opportunity

to prove they are good for something

 

it wasn’t a war

to prove what a patriot you were

or to make a man of you

all the thanks you’ll get

are divisive sneers

for your Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

stop being a cry-baby

it makes them feel guilty

about their profit margins


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