Bye Bye Nano 2017 – December Sneak Peek

Signing off on Nanowrimo 2017 – productive & loads of fun. Hit just over 75k words. Hosted a couple of writing sessions at my house which were great opportunities for bitching and writing – I can multitask!! I’m happy with the direction the story is going in but can’t get back to it until I do the edit of Cold Dusters. A monumental task for January.

My one Nanowrimo regret is not getting the tee shirts or any other of their branded merchandise – postal costs have escalated to the point where I can’t see my way clear to order a $17 tee-shirt & have to pay an additional $17 for shipping & handling – add 30% for American exchange, plus the bank fees for US transactions & we’re taking $50 or more for that tee-shirt. May I’ll order one at the end of May for delivery to my hotel in DC in June.

The blog will back to routine for December. I’ve picked my photos and am allowing them to be more seasonal than usual. Monday with feature festive lighting; Wednesday will be square or rectangular objects; Thursday random pairings; Friday will be cast off toys.

Because Nano took so much focus I didn’t have time to keep up with my Tumblr postings so there’ll be set posted every day in December. Monday will be store fronts & tiles; Tuesday, as always, will be garages & laneways; Wednesday will be seasonal snowy scenes; Thursday will be chairs chairs chairs; Friday sunny or less than sunny skies; Saturday: more cast off toys; Sunday: more festive lighting.

Mike stood across from L’Bras D’Or. Afraid to cross the street. Afraid to go in, afraid not to go in. What would Robert do if he didn’t show up? Yes, that would be the test. He’d stay out there till Robert came out, then he’d know for sure.

Twenty minutes now before he was supposed to arrive. A walk around the block should get him there at the right time to miss his meeting. Twenty minutes, half an hour. How long would Robert wait before he came flying out to find him? How long could he wait to find that out?

He was about to cross when he saw Robert walk up the street. He wore a long deep blue robe with gold trim, African tribal designs on the midriff. Beside him was a tall woman, younger than he. The red and green African print shift she wore was shapeless.

Mike stepped between two houses. He didn’t want to be seen but if he pulled back too far between the houses he wouldn’t be able to hear.

“You cannot go on like this. You know you cannot.” The woman’s rapid words flicked at Robert. Her eyes narrowed as she slashed at him in a mix of French and Spanish so rapid Mike couldn’t follow even if he could understand it.

Robert put his right hand on her shoulder. “Sister Coppah, do not go on like this. I will return as planned. Till then I will not be …”

“Don’t do this. How can you be so selfish. There is more at stake here than your little pleasures.”

“That may be so, but for now that is all that concerns me.” Robert made a small gesture with his left hand over her face. Her eyes widened and she stepped back.

“You will regret this decision.”

“Life is built on regrets.”

“What about your people? Your so called children?”

So, that’s Robert secret life. He wasn’t some hustler, just some married man trying not to get caught in a fling. Mike could deal with that. He didn’t expect this to be more than what it was already. A few days of pleasure. One long distant relationship had been enough.

What would he do once he returned to Halifax though. No Patrick to look forward to? No get-a-ways from his safe routine there?

Robert started up the steps of his b’n’b. The woman held him by the arm.

“Father.” She curtsied slightly and bowed her head. “I’m sorry if I’ve upset you.”

Father? Daughter?

“Go back, Sister Coppah. I won’t desert you, or the others. Now or ever. But I have my own needs to take care. Would you deny me this brief respite?”

“No.” she said in a small voice. “But I hope the costs won’t be more than we expect.”

“They won’t be. In fact, there may be rewards.”

“If there are not, you won’t be the only one who pays.”

“Are you threatening me?”

“Not only you, but the other. You must not disappoint your children. Remember. You have been warned.”

Robert laughed. “I have been warned. Again. Now go. I do not warn I act.”

Robert walked from her and into the hotel.

She stood on the steps. Was she waiting for him to come out? Suitcase in hand or what? She walked up two steps. Then glared across the street.

Mike pulled deeper into the shadow between the houses. She couldn’t have seen him, but he felt the heat of her look play on his forehead. Drops of sweat quivered on his eyebrows, the tip of his nose. No, she couldn’t have seen him. Even if she did, who was he to her? No one.

His neck ached. He had to get into the open air. He stretched fully upright, took a deep breath and walked to the street.

She didn’t turn away from the door as he crossed.

He went up the steps of the hotel. As he opened the door he glanced back. She was gone.

He stood at Robert’s door and listened. Water ran in the sink. He knocked. Could he mention to Robert that he had seen him and his ‘daughter?’

“It is unlocked my friend.”

Robert stood in the bathroom naked. He dried his face.

“I have been missing you. I should never have put it so late.” He kissed Mike gently. “How are you this afternoon?”

“Good.” He glanced around the room for the blue robes he had seen Robert wearing earlier. Nothing. He reached to touch the shell-beads around the crucifix. Robert held his arm before he could handle them

“Please. Only I am to come in contact with these. Indulge me.”


“A little.”

Robert got dressed quickly. Shorts, tee-shirt, sandals.

“We will lunch and then perhaps go to the Gallery on Sherbrooke.” Robert said.

“You lead and I follow.”

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Shoulder Rub

On a recent Disability After Dark, Andrew Gurza talks about consent in light of recent sexual allegations in the news recently. He address the very direct types on intrusive use of power to force ones sexual needs on another, supposedly weaker or more vulnerable person. “You want to work in this industry you better put out.” or “You’re a helpless cripple so you should be happy anyone would want to molest you.”

Andrew recalls doing things or accepting sexual behaviour that he didn’t feel he should decline. This I fully understand from when I first ‘came out’ here in Toronto. Having sex I didn’t enjoy, with men I didn’t really feel attracted to, just for the sake of having sex. Or when I was with a guy I found attractive letting things happen than I really wasn’t enjoying just to be with them.

As I became more confident & comfortable this happened less. Now it is easy for me to state boundaries & face the consequence of being not wanted – telling men you aren’t into poppers etc. puzzles them. Sometimes they show up with pot, poppers, sex toys: things that I have already said I’m not into & expect me to give in, to be a nice guy. Not going to happen.

Odd how consent becomes a situation of coercion or gradual accommodation: just rub my shoulders or I’ll just rub your shoulders turns into – you led me on by letting me rub your shoulders. ‘btw autocorrect turned message me or else to massage me or else in all those emails.’

The manipulative tactics of the predator often start out so innocuous. He drove all the way from Oshawa or Brampton to see me, so now I should do what I already said I wasn’t into – it’s my fault for leading him on – so be a nice guy, polite, do I give in or give him the shove, or rather not give him the shove, or anything else. (By the way I am worth the drive for what I do enjoy.) Just because I let you hug me doesn’t mean I want to fuck.

“What are you looking at?”

Mike wasn’t looking at anything. He was trying to follow a tread of thought, a thought that had lead to his nickname – Muttman.


“Then look at nothing the other way.”

The young man who had snapped at Mike put his arm around his girl friend’s shoulders and pulled her closer to him.

The sound of the train clanked Mutt man Mutt man.

Was it the pleasant face of the young man that had started the thought process? The man had to be mid-20’s, maybe younger, fresh and attractive. With what he supposed was an attractive girl friend.

The Muttman name had sprung up in fourth or fifth grade and stuck to him to university. He hadn’t been able to shake it till he graduated. Now he was called either Mike or Mr. Poole. But something besides this pretty couple had to have set off the Muttman echo.

What had he been thinking of a few minutes ago?

He’d put his train tickets away and had checked to make sure he had the address of L’Assoupir, the bed and breakfast he’d stay at in Montreal. He’d been reading in the paper about the biker turf war in Montreal – cafes and clubs being blown up and had wondered if his b’n’b was near any of that. But they had a dog to protect them, right.

Right! They had a dog there. He’d heard it bark in the background when he made his reservation last month. Dog to – what kind of dog – to Muttman – a short jump.

Muttman Muttman. He hated that name. Even his teachers would call him that. He had Mutt embroidered on his high-school jacket. It had been easier to give in, to pretend to be okay with the joke than to pick a fight with everyone who called him that.

Muttman was better than some of the other names he’d been called. Pizza face, vomit puss. All because of the port-wine stain splash on left side of his forehead.

When he had asked his Dad why the kids picked on him because of his looks, the reply had been he might as well learn to live with it. It could be worse, at least he didn’t have a limp or need a wheel-chair. Now that’s a real disability. Some people got looks, some got brains, so he’d better hope he had some brains. He did but found that if he was too smart in school it made things worse not better. It was easier to be stupid and ugly to get along than fight them.

He had hoped that by university, when his adult body filled in, he would gain some sort of decent looks but that hadn’t happened. His shoulders remained uneven, odd ears that couldn’t be hidden with his thin hair. Nose with its bump and bend and a chin that jutted and rounded at the same time. Plus the discolouration which had faded some thanks to laser treatment but would never disappear.

The only thing his adult body was able to provide was some hair to fill in his face.

Gym work didn’t suit him. He tried but all he managed was to get hairier and thicker. Muscles just refused to form. His shoulders took on enough mass to look even so shirts fit him better.

Muttman Muttman.

Looks only a mother could love. At least with his looks he didn’t have to make excuses for his lack of lucky at the dating game. His Dad comforted him by saying that someday the right girl would come along. One who didn’t worry about looks. That was the only kind of girl worth having anyway.

Trouble was that girls didn’t appeal to him. All through school he saw them giggling behind the boys who taunted him with Muttman. They were as cruel as the boys, worse because they didn’t have the honesty to speak for themselves.

The boys were another story. Being bullied seemed a natural way to relate. He could stick up for himself when he had to, but avoided physical confrontations. It was easier to be a part of the joke than to fight it. He became the best bud of several of the most popular guys at different times. The brains that would help them with essays, hang out till they guys wanted to date.

He never wanted to be one of the popular guys. The pressure of looks and sports and dating didn’t appeal to him. It seemed like a lot of work for such a small reward. He understood what it was the girls were attracted to. Those perfect males bodies so unlike his.

He wanted from those boys what they bragged about giving to the girls. Tongue kisses, touches in private parts, sex. Fucking. Sucking. He wanted that and knew it was another thing to hide.

It wasn’t till his second year at university that he let himself explore that dream. The University of Toronto had a gay and lesbian student union. His first year there he’d been fearful of being noticed. But by the second he knew it would be safe. There were gays on campus he knew he wouldn’t be alone.

So he came out. Again found himself the best friend of someone one who had all the fun he wanted to have himself. When he complained about not meeting the right someone there would be a silence – then suggestions for more work-outs – try these glasses – looks looks looks.

The only look that every worked for him was the dark, the less light the better.

Muttman Muttman

The train took him to Montreal on another vacation. Another meeting with his lover. Yes, he had managed to land a lover. A long-distance lover, but a lover. Patrick Lough was a noted film critic and historian. Someone who was welcome at festivals and film openings around the world. Someone who liked sex with him.

chapbooks for sale


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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November Sneak Peek

I’ll be changing things up a little for November so here’s a sneak preview of those changes. Nanowrimo starts November 1 – this year I’ll be posting very rough draft samples starting that day. They’ll be posted on Monday, Wednesday & Friday if you want keep up with where the new novel is sort of going. On the Wednesdays I’ll also be writing about how Nano is going & what music I’m listening.

The other days will remain the same, expect for those rough draft samples. Monday will be music, Tuesday: Lazarus Kiss; Thursday: 227 Rules; Friday: what Disability After Dark inspires in me. With the usual scattering of Saturday reviews. (Who has watched the recent Channel Zero: No-End House?)

Over the past few months I’ve started to organize the photos. I select all the ones I’m going use at the end of the previous month. Each weekday gets is own ‘theme.’ For November Monday: will be sports equipment; Wednesday: will be black objects; Friday: books – because this is Nano month I figure where our books will end up will be encouraging 🙂

My Talented Friends

With the festive season rapidly approaching it is a good time for me to recommend great gift options produced by many talented friends. Starting with some sweet sounds from SoulFistikato  the head nod. I met SoulF at Valentino Assenza’s Cryptic Chatter back in the day (time for a reunion show Val?). He (& frequent collaborated Dane Swan: whose excellent new book “He Doesn’t Hurt People Anymore” can be found on Amazon) are out of the slam scene. the head nod is a set of sampled, remixed & original instrumentals that are easy on the ear & uplifting to the spirit.

Charlie C Petch’s  Mel Malarkey Odes & Acts is a studio recording of their one-person Cabaret. I say Cabaret in reference to the musical as this is out of that vaudeville tradition – even the instrumental numbers have that Kurt Weill lilt. Charlie is another artist I first encountered at Valentino Assenza’s Cryptic Chatter back in the day (time for a reunion show Val?).

Carolina Brown’s Carolina Brown is a richly textured set of their songs. Compelling guitar work with raw & sometimes playful lyrics. Carolina confronts gender & transphobia directly & connects emotionally to the listener. I’ve heard Carolina several times & have enjoyed the fearless energy they use in creative expression in such a directly honest way that invites rather than challenges. Not that some of music isn’t challenging but it is a challenge one is willing to face.

Kris Gebhard’s Fairy Feather Files is another collection that confronts gender & transphobia directly & connects emotionally to the listener. Spoken-word with gentle marimba interludes that refresh the spirit. Kris presents difficult realizations with a tenderness that lets the listener hear the experience. I first heard Kris at Capturing Fire (produced by Regie Cabico) in Washington DC. Challenging in content at times but done in way affected way that draws you in emotionally.

So much for the audio portion of this post. Andre Prefontaine’s Freshwater Genteel & Saltwater Rage chapbook is full of fun, difficult, angry, not-so-fun but always honest poetry. Their writing is sharp, thoughtful, penetrating & human. I’ve seen Andre perform several times & each time am amazed & inspired. Contract him via Facebook to find out how to buy this book.

Finally Goddess X’s Blk Grl Sick: Tales from the Library Burned. I met X at Capturing Fire a few years ago & was stunned by their writing & their performance. The writing is powerful, raw, honest & clear. I always read poetry out-loud – this allows me to feel the words as opposed to slipping over them with eyes. In reading this book aloud I was caught up in the frustration & fears of being a black trans woman in the USA in way I didn’t expect. This is a fearless, challenging, fierce book.

Maybe these sound too challenging for Christmas gifts? Sure a pair comfy slippers would be nice but challenging someone to see the world around them in a different by giving them chance to leave their comfort zone is infinitely more rewarding. Take up the challenge it could also help change the way you see the world.

The Good Old Days

when I was a boy things were different

we’ve come a long way from those days

when there wasn’t anything to do

till the sun had come up

as there was no light allowed at night

stumbling in the dark

from one strip joint to the other

to listen to dancers in the dark

fleshly moist parts

pressed against your shoulder

the only part of the body

they were allowed contact with in the dark

now that we have light at night

it’s like going to the dentist

antiseptic and numbing

ah yes we all remember

those days when the only music

came from the slap of thighs

when the village women did the wash

as they whacked the dirt out of clothes


we didn’t have the worries we do today

then we worried about

how many smelt or moose

would the men catch

would there be enough

so that even a lad of ten

would have a fiver

to take to unlit strip bars

so the men could afford a soothing drink

to make up for the time it took

to wash the blood out of their hair

while the village women

whacked their clothes on moist rocks

to get the stain of smelt or the stink of moose

out of those rubbed-soft loose-fitting pants

that held the private parts

of the men they loved

those were the days when people loved


we had such pie in those days

small pans

so carefully tended in wood stoves

wood that we children had to find

we had to scour empty condo complexes

break off chair legs or hat racks

so we could be a part of things

so we could prove

we were good for more

than homework and giggling

because we loved to giggle

especially at the women

who spent so much time getting ready

for their shifts at the unlit strip bars

putting on sparkling fish scales

that no one would ever see

and the men hot and hollowed

would stagger home to fall asleep

on piles of wet laundry

licking their lips

waiting for the sun to rise


those were the days

when things were different

unlike now

when different

is just another brand name

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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Lazarus Kiss.34

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.


Lazarus Kiss.34

“Today I am to marry Mary Fields. I feel deep shame that she is with my child for if she were not I fear we would not marry. I do not recall the occasion of bedding her. If we had not been discovered by her mother and brother I would have denied it. The fact remains we were in the same bed together when morning broke.

When it was discovered she was with child I did the honourable thing by her and her good family.”

Later in the same diary:

“My dear wife has passed away in childbirth. I have a fine son to be named Eldon. I will miss her sorely as she has proved to be a boon and blessing despite our troubled beginning. She was most considerate and understanding of my various indiscretions. She never questioned my inability to remember what had transpired.

It grieves me deeply to have become an adulterer with no conscience or presence of mind to prevent it from occurring. Each time I have pledged to Our Saviour it would be the last, that it would never transpire again. Yet I would discover that it had.

Once my dear wife is buried I will leave this territory while I have a well regarded reputation for goodness.”

This is one of the last entries in the diaries. We know that he did leave Pennsylvania and move further west to set up his legal practice. He kept no more records himself of his life. He was elected to the state assembly of Colorado. It was his son Eldon who moved to Canada.

There are no records of a Rowell Byrnes, that is if this is an authentic name.  Rowell is mostly commonly a last name.”

Harris went through the pages and there was a photocopy of the actual curse. Did the original that Rowell wrote still exist. If he had that he could burn it and free himself from it.


Harris waited for Trevor on the east bound subway platform. The day at dE.tail had passed quickly and uneventfully. Life seemed normal. There had been, as far as he could tell, no sudden infatuations. His eyes ached as they often did from the constant staring at the screen while he nursed pixels of rose blush to rose less blush. Occasionally he wished he could turn his eyes off because he’d catch himself looking at the subway ads wanting to tweak shadows or nudge text a little to give images more pop.

“Hey Dog. Looking fresh.” He tousled Harris’s hair.

“New cut.” Harris tired to smooth out what Trevor had ruffled.

“Man I never thought you’d cut loose of that pony tail. Takes pounds off.”

The train pulled up and they got on. The car was crowded so they stood where they could find a space.

“Any further adventures today?”

“Nothing. Happy to say.” Harris shrugged. “A day of peace and quiet is what I wanted and that’s what I got.”

“Cool. This suits you. The highlights.”

“Since when did hair mean that much to you?”

“It don’t, man. Can’t a guy say something nice sometimes. I mean you’ve been making major changes. Don’t you want anyone to notice?”

Harris shrugged. When no one at dE.tail had said anything about the new cut he thought he should have gone for a more dramatic cut, a total hair color change. At work he’d caught himself a few times grab for an elastic to pull it back into a pony tail only to reach up and there was no hair there. At least his shoulders no longer felt bare without the shield of hair.

“I got more info on the curse.” Out of his shoulder bag he pulled the photocopies his Dad given him.

Trevor read them. “A love beyond recall … sound like poetry.”

“Yeah, I suppose. Beyond recall may mean you don’t remember, that you can’t recall, it once it has happened.”

“Possible. I always thought a curse would be something like ‘may your soul rot in hell.’ This sounds pretty good.”

“Me too,” Harris laughed, “Or ‘may your complexion never clear up.”

“Whoa, now that’s nasty.”

At Victoria Park Station the bus was right there.

Without the fog that shrouded it the last time the apartment block didn’t look as foreboding. The long hall smelled of French fries, then hot dogs, then burnt toast.

The door to Trev’s Aunt Nilasha apartment was open.

“I am so happy to see you again Harris. The confusion you were in the last time hasn’t cleared away. Trevor tells me you have had very exciting times since you were last here. ”

They stepped out of their shoes while she closed the door behind them.

“Exciting isn’t quite the word I’d use.” Harris took a gift bag out his shoulder bag. In it were hand cream samples that had come into dE.tail. “This is to thank you for being concerned with my mystery.”

“Really?” she laughed. “There is no need for this.” She opened one and smelled it. “Very pretty. Thank you.”

“Now sit. I have delved into the nature of your curse. One this subtle and yet so strong is very rare.”

“I figured as much. Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.” Harris could remember the curse word for word.

Nilasha gasped. “These are the very words? Repeat them.”

He did.

“How did you obtain this?”

He told her about the diaries and give her the copies of the pages.

“Yes. Yes this confirms what I have learned. Do you understand that it is not a curse. It is a blessing, a gift.” She said as she sat. “You want to give the gift back?”

“I would if I could.”

“I’m of the opinion when it was first uttered it was meant to offer hope for those who found it hard to interest mates. What one acquires, another loses, though. The universe seeks equilibrium.”

“One gets love but loses memory?” Trevor suggested.

“Something like that. We assume that with wishes there is no cost when they are granted. There is always a cost to the receiver.”

“What about a cost to the the giver?” Harris asked.

“You are still looking for a way to rid yourself of it. Have you considered what it may cost you do that. What are you willing to sacrifice?”

“Sacrifice. Like a virgin on a full moon?” Trevor joked.

“I told you Harris, this is a blood bond that has been in your family for centuries. Now that you are sensitive to it I think you have to learn how to live with it. Leave these with me.” She patted the Tobias pages. “They have more to tell us.”

Outside Nilasha’s apartment block Harris turned on his phone. There were three voice-mail messages. One from his Dad to see if he had read the Tobias papers. One from Tavi to remind him of a big project starting the next day and to get plenty of sleep. One from Alex asking for his help for a computer problem.

“Why do people expect me to know anything about computers?” he asked Trevor. “Because I use one all day doesn’t mean I’d know how to fix one. Would you think a nurse knows how to fix an X-ray machine?”

When he got back to his place he returned Alex’s call. Although he didn’t want to follow through on what was there a part of him enjoyed Alex’s voice, enjoyed his memory of the look of him. He had tried watching an ultimate fighter show but the angry animal speed and the lack of discernible rules made it hard for him to follow or enjoy. He’d seen them all over each other on the mat, punching or trying to punch and didn’t know who to be rooting for, if anyone.

“Hey Alex. It’s Harris. I guess you’re at work. Try me around lunch time tomorrow. I have a big work project starting so my phone’ll be off till noon. Bye.”


When he got to work the next morning his big project was a major overhaul of the Sport Spot advertising approach. No more pitching with spokes-people who were middle-aged pro-golfers. They wanted a younger market. The rough spec drafts of the online and print catalogues were ready. His job was to make the models look healthier, to give their complexions the right glow, the glow that would make buyers buy.

They had two new models: Geoffrey Calligan, multi-gold medalist olympic swimmer and Monica Bostford, who was extending her fifteen minutes of Top Model fame, her appearance on Big Brother last season and the Amazing Race this season. Racing amazed with Geoffrey as they promoted this new line of Sport Spot equipment and accessories around the world.

The catalogue was set up to tell the story of these two showing new recruits through the various equipment as if they were in a gym. The recruits looked as if didn’t they need a gym but that wasn’t his problem.

He was to make sure all their bodies had more eye appeal. Male models were to have less body hair. In the case of Geoffrey it was his job to make his particular ‘package’ look smaller. No one wanted the ab buster to become known as the ball buster because Geoffrey’s ample bulge pulled focus.

A day of flattening shadows, fattening calves, rippling six-packs and electronically nipping out nipple hairs.

#Toronto #amwriting #dating #lgbtq #nanowrimo #novel #Lazarus Kiss #Ontario

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Lazarus Kiss.20

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.


“Oh, got secrets to tell the old man.” He followed Harris up the stairs with a  couple of cups of coffee. “Just like the old days.”

Harris sat as his desk and his Dad sat on the bed.

“Dad, why did you tell me about this curse business?”

“My Dad didn’t tell me till I‘d gotten married.”

“You married younger than I am now.” He licked frosting off his fingers.

“I was worried, afraid that your not knowing was getting the the way.”

“I can’t help feeling that no one sincerely likes me, that they are under a spell where they don’t have any choice. Some mornings I’ve been afraid to leave my apartment, not knowing when its going to happen.”

He told his Dad about the security footage, about Mamma Pazzoni trying to break into his apartment to break his neck for breaking her son’s heart.

“We can get a restraining order against that woman. One thing divorce lawyers learn to deal with is angry women.”

“That’s not the point Dad. I don’t want to have to deal with these types of consequences for things that aren’t my fault.”

“I know. I know. I went to a shrink for a few years, before I met your mother, to see if I could get to the roots of why I wasn’t connecting. When my father told me things fell into place but that understanding didn’t take away the fact that I had to deal with it.”

“But you didn’t have to fight it after you met mom, right. You said it stopped.”

“Pretty much. I had to work at it though. With what my father told me I was aware and was determined to act on that awareness. I learned to recognize the …. the on set of opportunity and to steer clear of it. When I consistently said ‘no,’ it happened less and less and finally stopped.”

“So you’re saying that even though I’m not responsible I am responsible.”

“Right.” he Dad laughed. “Have you told anyone?”
“Trevor Daniels. He doesn’t fully believe me. Or didn’t till I told him about that Frances and her deranged fiancee. I’m not sure he accepts it though. Who would.”

“You boys going to be up there all day?” His mother called up. “Your phone keeps ringing, Harris.”

“We’ll be right down.” His Dad finished off the last brownie. “Seems like years since we’ve had a father son talk. Feels good. Hope it helped.”

“I guess it did.”

Downstairs Harris checked his phone for messages. None. Missed calls were from an unknown number. He got his clothes out of the drier and dressed in his old room. There was a full sized poster of Cyclops on the back of the door. He could remember arguing with Timmy, one of the Mullins boys, about Cyclops’s abs – Tommy said they were part of the costume and Harris insisted they were part of Cyclops’s body. Reality was how one saw it, he supposed.

He went downstairs.

“Here’s brownies to take home with you, dear.” His mother put a container of them on the table by the front door. “Did you tell him, Tom?”
“I forgot. we got to talking about other things.”

“Tell me what?”
“Your cousin Michael is coming to town.” His Dad shrugged.

There was a look between his parents Harris didn’t understand.

“He’s staying here?”

“Oh, no. He’ll be at a big hotel. He’s a movie star, you know.” his mother explained.

“Now you’re telling me.”

“As you are aware I haven’t been much in touch with that sister of mine or her family.”


“He’s in those Mirror Mind movies.”

“What! I’ve seen the first two. The next one is coming out in the fall. I don’t remember any Michael Caldwell?”

“No. He acts as Marshall Caldwell. I read in the paper that the name was his mother’s idea. But I don’t know what part he plays. Clara sent the DVDs. I can’t be bothered with them. Do you want them?”


They were on the table beside the brownies. It was still pouring so he called for a taxi.

Marshall Travers. Harris wasn’t sure who was who in the movies. The series was about a bunch of what he considered, photogenic thumbs suffering to weepy music. Their reflected mirror selves and their physical selves were at war with one another. The reflected selves had powers like shape shifting and could dart into the real world while the physical selves remained human.

He was getting into the elevator at his condo when his phone rang.


“It’s Alex. I’ve been tryin’ to get ya all afternoon.”

“I told you I’d be at my parents.” he snapped.

“I forgot.”

Harris felt guilty now. He didn’t really know Alex but already felt he had endanger their relationship.

“I’m just getting home. Where are you?”

“Not t’far, I reckon. By Greendale station.”

“Come on over.”

“Cool. Where?”

Harris has assumed that like Mamma Pazzoni Alex knew where he lived.

“Plaza Place. Tower 2. Buzz 512. Suite 1802.”

Harris put the brownies in the fridge. Went to the bedroom and checked to see how fresh his sheets where. They were fine. The buzzer rang.

“That didn’t take long. Come on up.”

Would he have to explain Andy Humphun?


When Harris had said no to him dropping by the other day Alex almost tore the phone off the booth wall. He banged the receiver against the plastic wall as hard as he could. Didn’t this fat jerk-off get how hard it was for a guy like himself to make that kind of call. Didn’t he see how slimy he felt using pay phones to keep Linda from finding out.

He’d always found it hard enough to call women. Calling a man for a date to have it put off made him see red. A red that stuck with him through the rest of day. After that call he went directly to the KB Gym to workout. Punching and kicking the bag didn’t reduce his need for something more.

At Story he was restless and inattentive, even swore at one customer. The Story crowd was such a bunch of lame ass losers anyway. At least at McBrick there would be a fight every week or so. A dust-up a man like him could handle.

At Story he was lucky if a customer got frustrated looking for a contact lens they had dropped on the floor.

When he got home from work he didn’t want to do anything, talk to anyone. Linda was asleep when he slipped into the bed. When he felt her hand stray on to his stomach he rolled away.

“What’s the matter? Baby don’t want to play.”

He didn’t want to have anything to do with her.

“Tired. In the morning.”

“Ahh, needs encouragement.” She played with his balls.

“No.” he pushed her hand away.

She sat up. “You’re fucking someone else. I knew it. The last time you had been that hot for me was when you were getting it off that skank Debbie. Guilt sex.”

“Jezz Linda. Can’t a guy sleep.”

“Not this guy.” she bit him playful on the shoulder.

“Yes, this guy.” he pulled the sheet back over his shoulders. “Let’s just get some sleep for a change, okay.”

“Whatever.” she lay back down, her back to his.

When he woke shortly before noon she was gone. One less thing to deal with. It was pouring rain.

While his bagel toasted he checked the time. What time had  Harris said to call? Late afternoon? No harm in trying now. He punched the first numbers into his cell and stopped. No. Linda might see them. The bagel began to burn. He yanked it out of the toaster, singed his fingers. He swore, kicked a kitchen chair at the wall and punched one of the cupboard doors.

“Fuck fuck fuck.” What had this guy done to him. He couldn’t get him out his mind. Why?

He went on the computer to the gay porn he had bookmarked. The clip was about sixteen minutes long. If that was how long queer sex lasted he could probably manage that to get it out of his system. He watched it twice all the way through. The guys had such big cocks Alex wasn’t sure if they were real. If this is what Harris expected he hoped he wouldn’t be too disappointed. His cock wasn’t small by any means but it certainly wasn’t abnormally large like these peckers.

Fuck fuck fuck. Why was we worried about how another guy would judge his dick. If it was more than enough for Linda it should be more than enough for that fat-assed faggot.

He went to the gym and worked on the areas of his body he had missed the other day. Two days of this should drain away that energy but added to it.

He went to the pay phone there a couple of times to call Harris but there was no answer. What was the point of having a cellphone if the fucker never answered it?

The rain was worse when he left the gym. He didn’t want to go back to his place. He stopped for a coffee and sat glaring at the rain. He couldn’t sit still and walked aimless for awhile.

When he stopped at a pay phone by Greendale station and tried one more time he was soaked. Water was dripping through his pants into his shoes and socks.

“Hi!” Harris answered on the first ring.

“It’s Alex.” A wave of relief went through him. “I’ve been trying t’get ya all afternoon.”

“I told you I’d be at my parents.”

“I forgot.”

“I’m just getting home. Where are you?”

“Greendale station.” He’d better not put me off again.

“Come on over.”

“Cool. Where?”

“Plaza Place. Tower 2. Buzz 9512. Suite 1802.”

Alex repeated the numbers as he ran though the rain. Hell, if he forgot he’d use his cellphone. He didn’t give a fuck what Linda thought.

Shivering he pressed the buzz code in.

“That didn’t take long. Come on up.”

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Lazarus Kiss.14

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.



Alex dug women, breasts and pussy. He’d wake up from dreams about them. The smell, the feel of them in his hands, the feel of their hands on him. He craved the taste of, the the feel of a woman on his tongue, the shudder of a woman’s skin as he did what he knew would make her shudder, make them gasp not to stop. At work during a rough shift he would only have to think of being with his girl Linda and feel re-energized. He could fuck her then twenty minutes later want her again.

He had been hit on by gay guys a few times in the past. Once had to deck a soccer goalie who was too persistent. As a result he lost a job but his sister, Cally, got him in at Story. A man had to learn to live with that sort of thing in this city, in this day and age. He wasn’t interested period. What gay guys did to each other didn’t bother him, as long as they left him alone he didn’t give a shit. If a guy didn’t like pussy it was like a guy not liking beer. He didn’t care.

So when he caught himself almost making a pass at a guy at Story he was shaken. He’d even checked to get the man’s name, Harris Stevens. He had never done that for any of the women he’d met at McBrick. He remembered the name too.

When he got home that night he’d been more energetic than usual with Linda and she liked it. Pushed him on in fact. Their sex took on a new energy and he proved himself the man of her wet dreams. He dug her harsh gasps as he drove himself into her.

Yet he found himself wondering what it would be like to be doing that to Harris. To have a man raking his back, pushing him deeper than he thought possible. Thoughts like that made him work harder to please Linda and she responded with equal vigor. It was the best sex he’d ever had.

The next afternoon he found himself walking along Church street. He felt men look at him. He didn’t like it. They were seeing what they wanted to do his body. He wanted to look back, to look at them, but they held no interest for him. The only man whose face and body that came to him was Harris.

It wasn’t as if Harris had such a great body. Soft in fact. Not too hairy, he hoped. He would catch himself thinking like this at work. When he was with Linda he proved once more that he was a man. A raving, slobbering, cave man heterosexual.

One night he let a female customer pick him up. There was danger. Something the staff weren’t supposed to do but she smelled too good. Nice breasts and her pussy was crazy powerful. They went out behind the bar to do it. Met in the alley under the back patio and she had her hands on his cock so fast he nearly came.

Her tiny skirt hitched up a like belt and her panties an anklet as he plowed into her, shoving her up the dirty wall behind them, hearing cars in the street, conversation from the Story back patio overhead. At any time a light could have come on. She was hot. He met her heat with his. She tipped well too and for the rest of the night he had her smell on him. Each time he took a whizz he could smell her, smell sex.

When he got home he jumped into the shower because Linda could smell sex on him. If he even played with himself she could smell it on his hands.

When he went to work he was anxious to meet Harris again. He had promised to be there. The sexual tension increased and each night Linda was rewarded with the release of his unfulfilled expectations.

That morning when he woke he knew that tonight would be the one. It had to be. The guy would be there. He’d have to be ready. He had vague notions of what men did. It was pretty much what he did with women.

He did an internet search for gay porn. There was lots but he couldn’t look at any one for more than a minute. The fevered action made him nervous. None of it was hot merely busy. There was no kissing, only cocks, mouths. Too young.

He found sites of older guys, “bears,” but these had a slant that was mean, nipples with bizarre clamps on them, leather, half masks. No, this isn’t what he wanted. This wouldn’t work even with women. Sure he was a sex pig but he liked his sex normal. If this was what that Harris expected then it wasn’t going to happen.

Finally, under “vanilla,” he tried a simple scene. Two men meeting on the street. Average looking, unshaved, guys. They talked briefly. The scene jumped to a living room where they are having a beer. Yeah, that’d work. Hands on thighs and they were kissing. Flies down and cocks out. He had to stop. Cocks ruined it. He was enjoying it till cocks came out.

He watched the start a few times. Learning what to do. Eventually he let it go past getting cocks out. Fuck these guys had big dicks. Whose mouth was that wide? Did they have to do special training to get a dick that size into their mouths. But they did it. Linda wasn’t into giving him head. Her mouth never felt big enough for his cock. Not that it was large as these. Did the screen add weight to cock like it did to faces.

He bookmarked it, Linda would enjoy it. Yeah, he’d see if gay porn got her off at all. If guys are into two women making out might be the reverse could be true.

When Linda got home from work Alex decided not to waste that time on internet porn and got right down to the basics. A slow exploration on the edge of the sink that lead into the shower with her and finally on to the bed. If he worked off this edge urge when Harris showed up at Story he’d have no energy or interest. Nip it in the bud.

He let Linda ride him and while she did, he played with her nipples, using his fingers like the clamps he’d seen online.

“Good, baby? You dig dat don’ch ya.”

“Yeah.” Her eyes held his. She reached down and pinched his nipples. She’d never done that before. Her fingernails digging into the flesh.

“Yeah. harder.” He gasped. She obliged and he came. “On m’ face. Smother me wid love.”

She slid off his cock and to his face. He loved the smell of her pussy after he’d been fucking her. As she inched back and forth he pulled off the condom. He was still hard.

His tongue moved slow the way he knew worked best for her. Biting gently. He could tell she was almost there. He craned his mouth a little further along her ass crack and licked her butt hole. An action he knew would send her over the edge, but he only did it on special occasions. She shuddered and gipped his head. He wondered what it would be like to have a man’s tongue do that to him

His back arched, lifting him off the bed. He shot off again without being touched. It felt like his heart had stopped and he blacked out for a moment. He’d have no energy to be interested in anyone let alone this Harris guy.

Another shower and he raced off to work.  He arrived right on time at Story. No sign of Harris.

“Expecting another lady tipper.” Cally teased him.

“Sis, one good tip deserves another.” Alex snorted. He could still taste Linda on his tongue. He hoped he didn’t have box breath.

The hot humid night kept him pretty busy. Side patio, front patio, main house, pool room and the upstairs quiet lounge with it’s back patio. One of those nights when they need extra hands.

At around seven he saw Harris’s pal arrive with a woman he didn’t guess he’d ever seen before. She was hot. They took a table on the upstairs patio. The pal ordered them drinks and left her. The pal met Harris at the entrance when he arrived about fifteen minutes later and they got a table in the main house.

Alex rushed over to wipe that table down. Made eye contact with Harris.

“How are you gents t’night?”

“Fine.” Harris seemed embarrassed.

A couple of other tables emptied and he had to clear them. He was disappointed. After all this expectation he had hoped for more of a reception. That Harris would acknowledge him somehow. But how. With a pat on his ass?

Once drinks and sweet potato fries were served the pal went upstairs.

Alex went directly to the table. “ ‘Bout last week …”

“You remember that do you?”
“Fer sure.”

“I’ve been thinking about it myself. I’m heterosexual.”

“I reckon as much. I don’t know what made me …. ”

“Here’s my number. Call me.”

Alex grabbed the number and shoved it in his pocket. “I will. We c’n meet fer coffee or sometin’.”

“Yeah I think I’d like that. To see you in broad daylight.”

“Tables upstairs Alex.” a server reminded him.

His legs were unsteady as he went up the stairs. He had almost shot off when Harris gave him his number. Linda would be in for it when he got home tonight.


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Colloquium 2017

This year’s SpecFic spread its tentacles in a new location – 918 Bathurst Street. As long as it is within walking distance of both a subway station & a Starbucks I’m happy.

In her opening remarks for this years SpecFic Sandra Kasturi mentioned that the one complaint the consistently she gets is that there are too many ideas to deal with let alone process. Truer words are rarely spoken as the day’s presenters flooded 918 Bathurst with endless visions of the future & ideas about the present.

First presenter was Julie Czerneda: “It’s a Wrap, Folks” a talk about the writing process itself. How to end a story. She talked about some the traps: i.e. the wrap-up-every-thread ending. Some things can force an ending like word count, submission deadlines. A resolution is not necessarily the ending. Ending shouldn’t be a new plot point unless it is leading to a sequel. If you are having ending issue – ramp up the tension to force one.

She was followed by Robert Boyczuk: “Why You (Still) Can’t Teach Writing” a talk on the usefulness or uselessness of creative writing courses & workshops. One can learn structure & how to have a sharper critical eye but not how to be more creative. He feels sometimes writers spend more time in, looking for, or talking about workshops than they spend writing. My personal experience is often writers judge work by who you’ve studied with than the actual quality of the writing itself. The presentation turned into a discussion about editors & copy writers (maybe something for next year).

The morning sessions wrapped with Jason Taniguchi: “Long Ago and Far, Far Away: Falling Hard for Fictional Worlds” a talk about the lure of alien worlds. This was a great talk about what it takes to do successful world building – something that all writers need to know not just specfic writers. His list of elements included things like ‘it is spilling over with unique specific details’ ‘it has a sense of its own history.’ The importance of representation in world building is becoming more important – what races, genders are in your world? He felt things like Harry Potter or Hunger Games were markedly white & heterosexual.

Unfortunately the day was too damp cold & gloomy for patio lunching. Was glad to get some fresh air with a quick walk to the nearest Starbucks to reap the rewards of my bonus stars – stars it seems one earns merely by walking past a Starbucks – by the time I got back my microwaved sandwich was cool enough to eat.

After the lunch break Sandra read Madeline Ashby: “Abandon All Hope, Eh?: Lessons Learned from the Company Town Tour” – it raised questions such as ‘how can you impose borders on stolen land? utopian for who? the world you are happiest in may ‘not be the best possible world’ What is the future? M feels that to transform Canada we need to move away from resource based economy. We have a skewed sense of what progress really means – is it faster internet connection or being able to live without the internet? Madeline fell ill & couldn’t even Skype – now that’s ill.

This was followed by Vicki Clough: “Alternate Realities in Art” a look at how fine arts are creating a space for epic story telling. I say fine arts – i.e. painting, sculpture as opposed to illustrated novels. She used the work of Kent Monkman & Saya Woolfalk to explore how this is done. Kent reinterprets classic paintings by interjecting his alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle into them; Saya tells the story of a species that switches between animal & plant. Kent’s inventiveness made me wonder if writers might be able to do the same thing – could I rewrite say David Copperfield & find a way to insert my p.o.v to add a layer of observational commentary: it was the best of and the worse of

The day wrapped with keynote speaker Cory Doctorow “I Can’t Let You Do That Dave” a, for me, overly tech talk about the dangers of DRM coding that allows makers to control how their devices get used but which also comprises personal privacy & safety. Devices can be hijacked to attack their owners – car computers, thanks to DRM (I think) are vulnerable to 3rd party steering. He spoke directly & passionately about our right to control our data. Check out for how to get involved in protecting our rights.

By the end of the day I was exhausted from sitting, listening & at times, even thinking. 918 was a good venue for the colloquium even though it didn’t appear to be at all accessible. Didn’t spot a wheelchair ramp, washrooms were down flights of stairs. Looking forward next years.

ps: in my loot bag: Playground of Lost Toys: ed Anderson/Pflug; Year’s Best Weird Fiction: ed Barron/Kelly; Buffalo Soldier: Broaddus; The Society of Experience: Cahill; Winter Tide: Emrys; Quaternity: Hoover; Proof of Concept: Jones; Those Who Make Us: ed Morris/Trembly; Dead Americans: Peek; Broken Baloons: Prussky; Lifeblood: Showalter; Dead Girls Don’t: Story; Blood & Water: Trenholm 🙂

Past Colloquium posts:

2014: Colloquium in the Round

2015: Up SpecFic Alleys:

2016: Ghost in the Twitter Feed

rough draft sample


boy gets girl

dog lives

monster vanquished

boy buys right girl

man repents

eviler spirits arise

escape succeeds

money isn’t enough

love conquers all

she feels complete in marriage

success isn’t everything

family is reunited

all is forgiven

things are never the same again

she knows better

he finds a purpose in self sacrifice

boy gets boy

dog learns a lesson

man rescued from loneliness by child

greed is punished

being pretty isn’t fulfilling

he didn’t really want her

the lame horse wins a race

he dies saving others

the truth remains hidden

it was all a dream

the boy was once a girl

there is no escaping

they were ghosts

drugs were a bad choice

bad guy repents

she was a princess all along

the villain was his father

the castle blows up

the space ship blows up

the race is won

marriage means more than career

he is a genius

the plants were evil

Satan is foiled

he walks again

she forgives her rapist

he sees the errors of his ways

his heart is ten times bigger

everyone is dead

Chapbooks available:


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

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

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


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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Lazarus Kiss.13

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.



Harris left the police station trying to make sense of the past few days. He hadn’t taken any pain meds since he went to bed last night and he could feel them inching, itching out of his system. The sun was too bright, too hot and he was too pale and too raw. There were too many people around. Which one of them would be his next victim. Was this what Dracula went though. Was his need because he forgot his last prey and thus felt he’d never had what he wanted, what he needed, to stay alive.

He got a text from Trevor. “hy Dog. Story 2nt.”

“7” he texted back.

“cu” was the reply. “gt a srpz 4u.”

As if Harris hadn’t had enough surprises in the last few days. When he got back to his condo he stripped to boxers, no tee-shirt. Too hot to wear more. Instead of turning on the a/c he opened the balcony door to let in the humid air. He’d heard sweat was a good way to detox the system. He hoped that would help with getting the pain meds out his system.

He spent a slow afternoon with that laundry date he’d been putting off, getting the place back to a sort of neatness, listening to Underground louder than usual. The bubbling electronica soothing his thoughts. He shook his head at the burger wrappers. He must have pretty wonky to eat that crap food when there was far worse food in the fridge.

Another side effect of the pain meds had been constipation. Yeah, all the shit he’d been keeping bottled for years was pressuring him to let it free. He tried a few times without success. Too much strain set off a sharp pain in his ribs. He was giving it another try and felt a nudge in the right direction when there was a loud knock at his door.

He pulled on the Kypton tee-shirt and looked through the peep hole. It was Dave’s mother.

He didn’t want to talk her and how had she gotten into the building anyway. Oh right, pizza delivery. He’d have to speak to the concierge about that.

She knocked loudly again.

“Mr. Stevens I have to talk to you. I know you’re in there. I can hear music.”

He kept the door on the chain and opened it a crack.

“Mrs. Pazzoni I can’t talk you. The … um … police said I was to have no contact with anyone who’s involved in the case.”

“Mr. Stevens, my Dave is a good man. Life’s given him his share of bad breaks, is all. He’s so in love with Frances. He didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“Save it for court.”

“When he gets riled he doesn’t know his own strength.” she tried to pull the door open wider. “He knows you didn’t have anything to with Frances taking off like that.”

“If you don’t leave I’ll have to call the police.” His bowels were agitating.

“Fucking cock sucker you think I care about those assholes.” She kicked the door and stomped down the hall.

He turned down his stereo and went back to the bathroom. Still no luck.

There was another knock at the door. Louder with splintering. His bowels abruptly let loose. A hard lump followed by a crap cascade. More splintering at his door.

He grabbed his cell and called the building security.

“There’s a crazy woman trying to break into my place.” He held the phone to let them hear her banging at his door. “Get the police.”

Two more loud whacks. He flushed the toilet. He was afraid to go to the door. A third thump and voices.

“Get your hands off me fuckheads or I’ll charge you with sexual assault. You’re not even real cops, ya jerk offs. You can’t tell me what to do. Put a uniform on man and he thinks he has the right to push people around. Ouch! That’s undue force. On a frail old lady. My good friend THE MAYOR will hear about this. Mark my words. ”

The voices moved down the corridor. There was a quiet knock on his door.

“Are you all right Mr. Stevens”

He opened the door. It was Awad Rostom the head of Plaza Place security.

“Yes. Rattled for sure.” The door had several large splintered bashes in it.

At the end of the hall policemen stepped out of the elevator as she was about to enter it. Building security restrained her while a police woman talked to her. Sophia pointed down the hall at him. Caught his eye.

“It’s all your doing. You did something to her. I don’t know what. She won’t tell us either but it was you. It was when she met you that something happened. Something that’s your fault. You’re going to pay for fucking my boy’s life up like this.” She pushed the policewam away from her.  “Don’t you know who I am? I know the owner of City-TV.”

“How did she get in the building anyway?” Harris asked Awad.

“We’ll investigate. Sorry.”

“They sexually molested me.” Mrs. Pazzoni protested. “I only wanted to talk to that guy here. I was knocking on his door when they grabbed me. Grabbing my tits. You jackasses will pay for manhandling Mamma Sophia Pazzoni. By the time I’m through I’ll have your badges for pizza slicers.”

“Knocking on the door with this?” A police woman held up a fire extinguisher. “Just trying to make sure he heard you.”

“I think we can charge her with trespass and willful destruction of property.” Awad sighed. “I’ll tell maintenance about the door. Held up pretty well though didn’t it.”


“You okay? Seems you’ve had quite a week. I read about it in the paper.”

“Paper?” Harris rarely read the newpaper.

Awad pulled one of the free papers out of his pocket. “Right here.”

There was picture of Harris outside the police station. Over it was a headline that said, “Possible Stalker Witness.”

“That’s all I need. All I want is peace and quiet.” None of this would have happened if he had gone to work that afternoon. Or would she have shown up there.

“Time to get out of town if you ask me.” Awad left.

Harris locked the door. Looked out the peep hole. Time to get a security camera installed.  She was right. If the curse hadn’t worked on Frances none of this would have happened. It wasn’t as if he had set out to do anything. He didn’t know about it. Now that he did, the curse was working in reverse. People were now instantly hating him and not forgetting him instead of being instantly infatuated and then forgetting him. His Dad didn’t warn him about that.

Harris pulled off his boxers and got into the shower. He’d had no time for one the last few days. He must have stunk when Awad was talking to him. Hot hot water, a quick icy blast and back to the hot. Detox his system faster from the pain meds. The bandage soften under the hot water and suds and he carefully eased it off. The bruise was bad but his ribs were merely tender when he cautiously soaped them. No spikes of pain.

He went on to the balcony to let the sun dry him. He finished off a bag of double chocolate walnut cookies wondering why the curse had reversed. Was that what happened if he didn’t fulfill an initial infatuation?  The busboy at Story came to mind. Alex. Fuck. That wasn’t the answer he was looking for.


Frances wasn’t sure how close to hold the pay phone receiver to her ear. She knew Dave would be happy to hear from her but that he wouldn’t be happy to hear what she had to tell him. The week in Calgary had shown her that she was in fact capable enough when she took opportunities without needing to seek approval for every act. His mother answered.

“Hello Mrs. Pazzoni. it’s Frances.”

“Frances, honey! Where the hell are you. We’ve been frantic. You know. Frantic.”

“I’m in … Calgary. Got a job and a place to live.”

There was silence.

“Is Dave there.”

“It’s the bitch. I told you she’d be no good. I told you.”

“Shut it ma. Francie I miss you so much.”

“I miss you too Dave.” But not the plans we had. “I had to call. I waited till I was settled here. In Calgary. I managed to get a decent job and okay place to live.”

“If you wanted to live in Calgary why didn’t you say so. We could have moved there after we got hitched you know. You know I’d anything for you. Anything. Do you want us to get married there? Is that it. Why didn’t you tell us last week. You know when you were supposed to show up at the wedding rehearsal.”

“I don’t know Dave. The idea suddenly came to me and I had to act on it.”

“Oh yeah. That guy said something about me, didn’t he.”

“What guy? There was no guy.”

“Look we saw the asshole’s picture on your facebook page. I met him. He’s just a big, over-weight pussy, you know. He doesn’t love you the way I do.”

“Met him? I don’t know who you’re talking about Dave. This was all my own doing.” For a change. Not what you and your mother thought would be good for me. Good for you more like it.

“When are you coming back.”

“Tell her about the police.” she heard his mother shout.

“Police Dave. You got in trouble again?”
“Francie no. We were looking for you, see, by the subway station and that guy just came waltzing past us and wouldn’t tell me anything. I had to stop him to ask a few questions. Some nosy parker called the police.”

“You were looking for me?” she hadn’t thought of what Dave would do when she left for Calgary.

“What else. I had just been talking to you and then nothing. We waited and waited for you. I thought that subway creep had got you. Figured it was that guy.”

“What guy?”

“The one on your facebook page.”

“I’ll have to check it later. I haven’t had time for that since I got here.”

“So when do you want me to go there.”

“You ain’t going no where lunk head” she could hear his mother. Suddenly she was on the phone. “Listen bitch. He’s going back inside thanks to you, you understand. He pushed your lover boy around which violated the terms of his parole and bam back in the can.  On top of which there’s all the money we wasted on that special wedding promotion. I hope you’re happy.”

“Listen Francie,” Dave was back on the line. Ma’s got me out on bail. I can hop on a plane and be there today.”

“You can’t leave the provence, you lunk head.” his mother yelled.

“No Dave. I don’t think I want to see you again. Ever.” She hung up.

She went down the street to E.Z Street an Internet cafe. She logged on to her Facebook page and there was the picture Dave had told her about. A fairly average guy with a forced smile.

Under it were a few comments from her friends “So cute, line me up.” “That’s what I call a wedding present.” Then several from Dave “WHO IS THIS!!” and “IF I FIND HIM I’LL KILL HIM.”

She looked at the face again. It didn’t register.


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I Get Sauced

Hot-Sauced Words that is. Thank to Facebook’s ‘on this day’ feature I’ve been clearing out old posts – who goes into the past on anyone’s Facebook page? Except deranged ex’s? So I delete things over a year old – old Word Press posts, pics – things that I already have on line & backed up at either Word Press of Tumblr. I like to keep things sort of simple. But I have been keeping video evidence of past performances.

By past I mean in the last decade. I’m lucky enough now these days if I get someone taking blurry cell-phone pics of me on stage, let alone actual performance footage. So I repost them when they come up just to reassure my followers that I actually do perform given the opportunity.

One these was me at Hot-Sauced. I’m not sure if was from a feature or just hitting the open stage back in the day when I was hitting that, & other open stages regularly. A habit I eventually broke when I realized it was costing me more $ to be there than it worth being there. But I digress.

James Dewar saw the old video & figured it was time to have me back t Hot-Sauced again. Once a decade is clearly the limit for most spoken shows to consider having me perform a feature. Coming so soon after my Hot Damn! set it presented a good opportunity for me to sell more chap books & pull out some the pieces in it that I didn’t do at Damn! Tuesday, March 21: 7:30 p.m. Hot-Sauced Words –

Don’t worry it’ll be a fairly different set – some pieces reworked, sequence changed, new things added & some old faves added to buffer the raw political push of the Damn! set. Not that I care that audiences will find the political hard to take but frankly I get bored of doing it. This way you won’t get bored of hearing me.

Chapbooks available:


kiss3April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in DC.


June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

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