Fuming

Fuming 

he was late 

again

the meeting had started

twenty minutes ago

he entered quietly

nodded apologetically

silently found a seat

after squeezing past

people already seated

took off his coat

put it on he back of his chair

sat & sighed apologetically

<>

then announced

how sorry he was to be late

to disrupt the meeting

to have all eyes on him

while we waited for him

to get settled

so the meeting could resume

<>

she fumed

he had

once again

sucked all the attention to him

he was an attention seeking sponge

always late

making a quiet entrance

acting as if he was sorry

when she knew

he was thriving on the attention

she deserved

but was unwilling 

to be as obvious as he was

in getting it



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unDigestable

Architectural un/Digest/able

The White House

architecturally speaking

holds no interest for me

big sprawling 

designed to impress 

not to live in

history was made there

apparently

but to me

it isn’t even a photo op

merely a symbol 

of promises unkept

of hopes betrayed

need ignored in favour of profit

not for progress

I’ve seen it from a distance

that’s close enough for me

I wrote this piece a few years ago, before the current US president turned their democracy into a media circus. I may have written it while in DC or shortly after coming from Capturing Fire that year. The city is a great mix of architectural styles with something surprising around the corner from something surprising. This would have been the week of Capturing Fire 2020 so it synchronistic this piece should come into the flow now. (Will I ever get to use my travel vouchers?)

So I have had visual contact with the building in question 🙂 I’ve watched a few TV documentaries on the history of the building, one about Secrets, another a look at Christmas Decorating. I’ve even checked out how one might tour the inside but applying to Canadian Embassy in DC is more trouble than I want to go to. I was hoping it would be like booking a guided tour of the Zoo. 

What I have learned that the interior of the house has undergone many extensive alterations that the outside is a shell, a facade, which seems mighty fitting symbol for politics anyway. I don’t say American politics but politics in general, as I don’t think the Canadian system is all that ‘transparent.’

Race riots have been happening for as long as I recall. Colonialist attitudes & actions have echoed throughout history. A few tweets around BLM that have really clarified things for me “Be grateful we want equality, not revenge.” “There are no caucasians in the Bible.” But race issues, like poverty, will be around as long as there is profit in it. The White House was built by colonizers.


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Don’t Look At Me

Don’t Look At Me

I’m just sitting here

I didn’t say anything

I didn’t even look in your direction

my eyes were on my feet

on my coffee

on my smart phone

like everyone else

in transit

in a busy cafe

not looking at anyone

pulling our bodies tight

lest we brush another person

lest we be accused

of staring

of invading another privacy

of copping a visual feel

I don’t need restraints

to feel restrained

to feel the fear

of being too close

even when we are shoved

so close

in transit

on an escalator

so close

we break out into a sweat

fearful of enjoying the closeness

or that someone might be

enjoying being this close to us

get back

don’t look at me

I’m here

but not here



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The Echo Echo Echo

The Echo

because I disagree

doesn’t mean you are wrong

<>

seeing things differently

doesn’t mean I know better

our ideological differences

ultimately don’t mean anything

minority majority

there’s always a power disparity 

our control over

each other

is still limited 

I may not be in charge

but neither are you

as we are caught in this dance

of conformity to

cultural imperatives

that define confine

us to gender roles

race roles

age roles

financial education class boundaries

that we struggle to tear down

or to reinforce

often without questioning why

they came to be in the first place

<>

there are noisy 

spokespersons on all sides

who shout down each other

as to who is right wrong

when the loudest wins

it’s only the echo

of what could have been

This piece starts with what I consider a truism which if more people understood there’d be no real purpose for twitter 🙂 There not agreeing is seen as treasonous, seditious & unpatriotic. I’d say un-American, but only the US president can make that decision. That’s disagreeing on a bigger playing field. History is seen through the eyes of the historian, not the eyes of the people who lived it. Colonizers see property rights as earned not stolen.

A variation on that truism is ‘just because I’m not arguing doesn’t mean I agree with you.’ What it does mean is that I’m not easily drawn into arguing because my experience has been the more insistent either side is the less productive the conversation is going to be. Not that I think we ‘should all be friends’    but we can respect one another’s individuality.

One of things recovery has pushed me to do is to examine more closely my own conformity to cultural imperatives, how lack of conformity to some of these imperatives has influenced me. One, that I’ve blogged about before is how masculinity is childhood is defined by fighting back with bullies. I was not a fighter so my internal self branded me a coward.

The news is often dominated by media whores who will tweet, say, do anything for attention. They don’t need information or even misinformation int heir reckless disregard for common sense. Contradict them & you are seditious, ignore them & you are seen as resentful & envious. The only dialogue they are interested in is the one in which you agree with them, not one that will lead to change.


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Voyeur’s Picnic

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

Voyeur’s Picnic

I only close the blinds

to sun

to too much light

never to the eyes of others 

we’re on the 2nd story of my house

you can’t see in from the ground

from across street

not even from the 2nd story

of the house across the street

<>

they can’t see us

naked

on the bed

not that I’ve tried to look

into my house from their vantage point

but I certainly can see nothing

when I look across to theirs

besides

there is no one in their houses

I’d care to glimpse

taking off clothes

making out

<>

so I only close the blinds

to sun

I keep them open most of the time

if they can see in

they to be working at it

I’m rarely that close to the window

if they are working at it

they are welcome to see me

dry my ass after a shower

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Catholic Girls

Mary Teresa

Mary Teresa said

I can’t play with you anymore

her mother came out

get out of our yard

you aren’t welcome here

her brother Gerald

pushed me to the gate

you heard my mother

get lost

<>

Why

<>

Gerald shoved me again

punched me in the face

stop that his mother shouted

but Gerald hit me again

I could taste blood

<>

get going

you trouble maker

his mother pulled him away

you people are always trouble makers

now get going

don’t come back

don’t speak to Mary Teresa again

you hear me

she said

<>

Mary Teresa glared at me

from the top of the steps

stuck her tongue out at me

<>

I didn’t know what I had done

Mary Teresa was a year older than me

so I guess she was eleven

her bother maybe thirteen

they lived a block over from us

but neither went to my school

they had their own

Saint something or the other

where the Catholic kids went

I wasn’t Catholic

<>

we had lived in the neighbourhood

for about a year now

I knew the different schools 

there was taunting and chasing

that I avoided

<>

I didn’t understand how their God 

gave them the right to bully

told them who was good

who was bad

years later I still don’t

understand

Catholic Protestant whatever

caught in a match

of who’s piss is closest to the good book

<>

I never did speak to Mary Teresa again

<>

Here I have a sweet mash-up of real memory, somewhat fictionalized characters, and the real social context of Sydney, where I grew up. There were separate schools for the Catholics that remained separate for decades. Up to grade 10 – when some mix was allowed with catholic boys going to the multi-denominational high-schools. Catholic girls had their own high-school so keep them from being raped by heathen Protestant boys.

Depending on the Catholicism of the parents us kids weren’t allowed to mix. The incident here is based on more than one event. I did have some kids who we had played tag with tell me they couldn’t hang out anymore because we weren’t Catholic. Simple as that, as children we didn’t have the knowledge base to get into theological discussions. I did hear of kids told to get out of yards because they weren’t ‘micks.’

Even then the excuse of religion to justify bullying was acceptable. I say excuse because even today one can use ‘religion’ to justify any unreasonable fear rather than face that fear. The Bible says races shouldn’t mix so to prevent that lynching is logical. The Bible has relegated to a photo op prop anyway. I’m not anti-christian by any means but not particularly Christian either – so please, piss on someone else.

 

(I’m still getting use to the new WP editing program & can’t figure out how to put in poetry line breaks hence the use of <> to indicate were breaks would be if I could figure out how to get them there.)


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Ordinary Dress

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

Ordinary Dress

I’m looking at dresses

skirts

something for me

but it’s all too fem

I wonder

why is fem a bad thing

there was a time when

nothing was too fem for a man to wear

all those portraits of men 

in wild oceans of lace

satin

brocaded jackets

did they dress like that

hanging around their homes

what did they wear

when they weren’t posing

do I want a dress

to pose

do I need something practical

utilitarian

genderless

I’m looking at vintage photos 

of men going fishing

they’re wearing shirts & ties

shirts & ties to the beach

on picnics with the family

working on the roof

I can’t remember 

the last time I wore

a shirt & tie

I’ve never worn a dress or a skirt

I don’t want to make a statement

but that is impossible

if I showed up

in acceptable formal

Henry VIII court wear

it would be a costume

how many times 

would I have to dress that way

for it to be as ordinary

as a shirt & tie

would a dress on me

ever be as ordinary

as a shirt & tie

is ordinary a bad thing

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How Dare She

How Dare She

the outrage

at her success

was matched by the publicity

the outrage

brought her success

 

how dare she

a woman

write like a man

how dare she 

use men

the way men used women

 

the obscenity 

of carnality on stage

was too much 

for the male powers that be

when she wouldn’t back down

they shut her down

sent her to prison

sentenced her to becoming

the top box office draw of the decade

despite being a woman

 

her success

didn’t silence her censors

it only made them more eager

avid

to teach her a lesson

to be obedient

to shut her mouth

watch her words

or they would snip the words

so only the censors heard them

 

so she

took her money to the bank

& bid the public

good bye

 

how dare she
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This Isn’t A Compliment

 Discernment

it’s not that it isn’t satisfying

in no way is this a judgement 

of the quality

the quantity

there may be deeper flavours

those aren’t the issues

really

it’s not that there’s a alternative

or some way

of not accepting what is offered

in favour of something else

enough is enough

even if it is only available now 

there is no need to apologize

explain

or delay

what is here

will have to do

this isn’t a complaint 

merely compliance 

taking it in

making the most of it

while admitting

this desire not to have more

at least not more of the same

We live in a paradoxical culture in which we are either polite to the point of codependency or enraged when our desire to control is thwarted. We say or do things we’d rather not do just to spare someone feelings then get pissed if they aren’t grateful enough. 

Often we’re dealing with people who see our disinterest as a person attack. Not to noisily agree with them is seen as arrogant, judgemental closed mindedness. 

Discernment becomes pretentiousness. As the current USA President demonstrates, to be even mildly critical is to be dismissed as an unpatriotic hater – if you aren’t blindly with us you are against us.

This piece is a list poem not one with with a direct plot line, no narrative other than the one the reader imposes on it. So if you didn’t find it had a beginning middle or logical ending – it doesn’t. It respects the readers’ ability to make connections, to find their way without every moment being sign-posted with neon arrows.

Some of the lines are things I’ve overheard, hear on TV/movies, read where people are talking about identity, sexuality, or food. Words have been given a spin but changing a letter, adding a letter etc. Pulling them out of one context & dropping them into another. Like the piece, this chat about the piece feels there is no need to apologize or explain. I’ve discovered that what I say & what you hear can be two different things anyway. 


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Replace Me

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

Replace Me

excuse me 

while I slip into something 

more comfortable

does this fit

does it look good on me

do I look sane in it

does it turn you on

do I look educated in this

does it suit the occasion

will it get me laid

can it open doors for me

will it need to be ironed

can I wear it in public

will it turn heads

does it make me look old

look desperate 

it comes in other colours

maybe a size larger

can it be replaced

can it replace me

does it make up for my lack of style

do I have the guts to wear it

does it wear me

will it last longer than a glance

is it why you want me

am I anything without it

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