The Camera Never Lies

Smile

the camera will stay on

it’s for your protection

people will talk

they will question your motivation

they will question my lack of interest

I never meet alone with anyone

no, it’s not being broadcast live

on YouTube Facebook Instagram

 

the camera will stay on

you’ll get used to it quickly

you don’t even see it do you

we’ve learned how to be discreet

we have nothing to hide

do we

 

this is to maintain transparency 

so our being together

can’t be misunderstood 

even by one another

I don’t want to face a charge

of sexual harassment

of guilt by association

 

 

the camera will remain on

it is always on

there is one where ever I go

I have no faith in the people

everyone is eager to misunderstand

any innocent cue

have a nice day

becomes an insult 

to someone’s sense of propriety 

so this is being documented

to assure each of us of legal protection 

there will be no grounds 

for doubt for equivocation

the camera will remain on

 

this is the state we have come to

privacy is only for those

who have something to hide

and we have nothing to hide

not even from each other 

are you ready for your mug shot

This piece is an almost ‘ripped from the headlines’ response to the atmosphere of paranoia that has developed around language, how looks can be interpreted, how a smile can be misrepresented as a sexual threat. Police wearing body cams to establish what is happening – when they work – then spinning what is recorded into not being what happened but merely what your eyes are misinterpreting. 

Eye-witnesses, even camera eye-witnesses- end up doubting what they saw or aren’t at fault for what they saw because their vision is clouded by cultural assumptions – ‘it’s not my fault skin-color has been weaponized.’ Yes the camera is becoming de rigueur – security cameras everywhere for our protection, at least when it suits someone’s purpose.

If it shows those in control in a bad light we are invading their privacy; if it shows us in a bad light we have no right to privacy. Their is no such thing as privacy anymore anyway. If someone succeeds in being so off grid there is not electronic trace of them anywhere good luck on getting health insurance, a car license, an airplane ticket, out of jail ever.

As the piece says ‘privacy is only for those who have something to hide.’ Just as the current president of the usa about his past and it’s an invasion of his privacy but he has nothing to hide, at least nothing that can’t be denied regardless of the new reel footage of him being there etc. That wasn’t him. Transparency – even when we can see through him there’s no culpability.

Cameras are everywhere. I’ve known some people who cover their built-in computer cameras with duct tape. How do they their turned off cell phones are relaying their conversations to the authorities? Why turn your phone off if you have nothing to hide?

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Confirmation

Confirmation

kissing her

was unexpected

she had told me

my bed had appeared in her dreams

 

I was pretending

to be interest in women

claiming a bisexuality

to allow for a safe passage through life

at a time

when that was necessary

 

there were enough suspicions

about my sexuality already

launched in grade school

carried into high school

suppressed by fear

then by the bottle

 

intercourse with a woman

was bandied about like a flag

a boy scout badge

to announce

hey I’m a normal guy

I bang chicks

 

but that sex was a remote possibility

until she had that dream

she made it come true

for herself

 

no one knew

no one suspected a thing

except for me

who finally knew

intercourse with a woman

was possible

but not a place I wanted

to return to

This was prompted by the first of the two aniyātas. Both deal with the shame of sex that in implied by being with a woman under questionable circumstances. None of these prompted pieces are meant to illustrate the rule so they frequently are tangental from a word or two in the rule.

Confirmation is, as you might suspect, totally autobiographic. It reflects much of my teenage and early twenties as I tried to get some sort of balance between what I knew about myself & what was culturally acceptable, in Cape Breton, at that time. The pretending that, even in my thinking, went through a process of ignoring the fear, experimenting, eventually admitting to myself that I was gay. Stages of acceptance. Some male pop stars were rumoured to be bi – David Bowie for one – so it was sort of okay to say one preferred girls but would bag the right guy. 

In high-school I was bullied for being a gearbox even though I had dated some girls, that wasn’t enough. I didn’t do the ‘smell my finger brag’ (that is I’ve just fingers the vagina of some girl & here’s the scent of proof) that would have cemented my heteronormativity.

The ‘she’ was the younger sister of one of the guys I frequently drank with – one a a group of guys who would show up en masse with guitars or new lps and booze in hand. Girlfriends, sisters in tow often. One day the sister dropped by on her own, told me about her dream & over the next few weeks we messed around a little then one night did the deed. 

I have another piece about that – Perfect Match. (https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2GB) Her bothers found out & were pissed at me. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I was not the first in. She & I didn’t continue. Though we enjoyed the sex it was clear to both of us that I wasn’t really into it. It was also obvious it was something I initiated or would ever have initiated either.

I grew in a very Catholic neighbourhood & regularly saw children dressed up for Confirmation. A ritual to bind them to the church, or something like that. The Lutherans have an equally ritualistic declaration of faith. My experience with ‘she’ was a heterosexual baptism that confirmed my homosexuality 🙂

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet