#DadBodHot 2

One of the issues Andrew Gurza frequently address in his Disability After Dark podcasts is how we view our bodies, particularly as being attractive, as well as being judged attractive. One of ‘draws’ to dark room sex, glory hole sex, is that one reduces bodies to very specific parts in which attractiveness is no longer an issue. A mouth is never too old with no face, a cock with no overweight body to distract is always perfect.

In Andrew’s case it is clearly having a body that doesn’t fit into, or even get represented, in most queer contexts. Part of his mission to change that & in doing so he’s had to face how he feels about his body. We grow up in a culture were actually liking one’s body is seen as egotistical, conceited. Everyone I know wants to lose another five pounds.

I don’t think I’ve ever not had free-weights of some sort in my various homes. There were times when I worked at working out – had weight benches that also made for great clothes drying racks. I wanted to look as good as I thought I was supposed to look for others to find me hot. It never happened.

I was in my late 20’s when I moved to Toronto, so by then I was already over the hill for 80% of gay men – plus I wasn’t dark or hairy – increasing that % to 85, then add my being clean sober by 30 & I was left with maybe 5% of gay men who might find me at all sexually viable – at the best of times.

Today I know that much of my discontent with my body comes from insidious cultural attitudes about fitness & health, about age & market demographics. One of my Tumblr feeds covers a range of races & body types but the ones that get the most comments are the fittest. Older men are ‘fine’ when they have tats, piercings, body hair and six-packs, & oh yes usually sizeable packages.

I do find all those attributes attractive but I’m also ‘turned on’ by guys with bodies like mine – ordinary, average packaged, Dad bodies. The one thing you don’t get much of in photographs is personality – one has go by face (if there is one), setting (naked at a bar hoisting a glass of wine – no thanks) & clarity of image. If all the pics are out of focus chances are so are they. But that’s a topic for another blog post – playing to your target demographic. #DadBodHot

Listening to Andrew I’ve been able to look closer at how I feel about body types, my body type. I’ve taken steps (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1Xs) in how I package my package thanks to Daily Jocks  https://dailyjocks.com – I may be the only one who sees my undies but that’s fine – if I look hot to myself then my % is improved already. The more comfortable I have become with the shape I’m in the more men I’ve met who are turned on by the shape I’m in.

 

Too Not Much

it would have been too much work

too much responsibility

there so many other things

I would rather do

it was enough to have the chance

I didn’t set out

with that in mind

so the fact that it didn’t happen

doesn’t bother me a bit

I had nothing to prove

my family is proud of me

they were thrilled I had the opportunity

they were not let down

when I didn’t get the win

they knew it would mean

I’d have less time for them

helping and growing with them

is more important

I am already blessed enough

my life is so full now

I couldn’t have taken on

more responsibility  more acclaim

I have too much going on

I have to find a way of doing less

not taking on more

no matter how profitable

or how much it might

enhance my reputation

I don’t need any more exposure

money is too much work to maintain

I’m happy to keep my life simple

there are those who thrive

on that sort of accomplishment

I’m not one of them

having this opportunity

confirmed that for me

I have too much of what I value

to care about winning

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

meandchap
14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

Compartmentalized Sex

27-red01Some guys I meet on line say they are looking for FWB: friends with benefits when what they want is BWO: bodies with orifices which I think is a step below FB: fuck buddies. Friends & buddies imply some emotional context beside sex. Some are after no kissing, no talking: come quick & go. Removing identity becomes a turn on – anonymous glory-holes thrive on this reduction of sex to the mechanics of body parts.

27-red02In a recent Disability After Dark podcast Andrew Gurza talks about vulnerability & the erotic power of conversation. By conversation he, & I, mean more than reiterating what one is into: top, bottom, rough, gentle. I’m not looking for much more than that when I first meet someone but if it is to continue I need more than hi, cold out today, ooh that feels good, bye.

Not that I’m looking for an in depth discussion of current political events or who was worse dressed at the Oscars but I do like to know a bit about their growing up queer. I meet, for some reason, a lot of emigre men & hearing about growing up queer (or otherwise) in the Philippines, Uganda, Budapest, Columbia – fascinates me.

27-redtoy03I prefer chatty men – doesn’t have to be complex. If they really aren’t talkers, as one guy I see is he answers questions but doesn’t really initiate that much – I end up talking about the music that we’re listening to, travel plans. In his case I hear what his flesh has to say & that is enough 🙂

27-redcart04It sometimes feels men keep silent for protection – to avoid the vulnerability of making even a casual emotional connection/context for getting naked. They want share their privates yet keep their lives private – compartmentalizing their sexual hunger from their emotional or spiritual needs for fear of getting hurt, mocked, shamed or heavens – actually developing some affection besides that was the best bj I’ve ever had.

Andrew is clear about the erotic power of conversation – it can be a form of foreplay even when it isn’t sexually charged teasing & flirting. You want to get me hard – asking about my photography is a good start – oh you didn’t know I took photographs – well that is a telephoto lens in my pants & I’m glad to see you too.

sample

 Spoilers

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 compete 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

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

girl is now a boy

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

I’ll be performing Spoilers in my March feature at Hot Damn!

hotfeature

https://www.facebook.com/events/149545348875710/

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

wrestredshorts

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

Take A Picture

03.blueselfieI remember as a kid looking at a group of other kids who were making lots of noise when one of them called out ‘Why don’t you take a picture?’ If that happened today I might be tempted but who wants to get charged with invasion of privacy or worse being accused of being some sort of child perv. I don’t do long or second looks anymore, in public.02.mirrorselfieWhen I moved to Toronto one of the guys I met in recovery had decorated his house with pictures of nude men – paintings, charcoal sketches, photographs. Most were flaccid. He said he liked potential. I, being so fresh to the scene, as it were, preferred the proudly erect fulfillment, not the potential. This did change as I aged, as I saw enough images, engaged enough with the real thing. Porn no longer gets me hard but I enjoy it.01.redsocksRather I enjoy photos of the naked male. Note ‘photos’ not gifs or movies. I get bored with watching men engage in sex, even amateurs, on the screen. Live sex shows? Haven’t seen one, yet. Video creates an artificial expectation of sex – I’ve met too many guys who wanted to duplicate that action who felt our inability to do was a lack on a personal level. They didn’t like being told these were not instructional videos, that they were not done in single shot set-up.04.eastcoastslefieThere are some who shame those of us who like to look at ‘smut.’ I don’t pretend I look for spiritual reasons but I’m not going to be shamed either. I’ve come realize that part of reason for looking is that in the flesh, in person-to-person contact there is no distance. One can’t just stop to look for long before the other person says something like ‘what are you looking at?’ ‘is there some thing wrong?’ Live people get self-conscious. A photo lets you look as long as you want, doesn’t blush or even have the right to say ‘don’t look at me you old queen.’ One gets to look at men, who in the flesh, wouldn’t invite a first, let alone a second look.

samples

The Golden Triangle

I wonder where they are

that background – what is it

why that wall paper

why those paintings

the men in the picture

naked sometimes hard

sometimes with fly open enough

to let their business out

or pants pulled down enough

to see pubic flourish

with that aching member arching

into the camera’s eye

 

my eye

wandering away from the pivotal point

the golden triangle not holding me

as I wonder

where did they get those curtains

where is the light coming from

how long have they squirmed on that couch

that weirdly colored rug

while someone

clicks and focusses

getting them to turn this way that

ooh that’s good

getting them to pout to smile

grimaces that only convey

how uneasy they are in front of a camera

with faces that reveal nothing

not even discomfort

sometimes a splash of stoned

the goofy far away look of someone

who has once again

retreated to some other moment

while someone with a camera

zeros in on the part of them

that tells viewers nothing

that may make mouths water

but it ends there

 

I wonder what next

did they go for drinks

was there money exchanged

paying their way through college

or

are they just hapless street boys

lost and being prayed upon

are they confident hustlers

aware of the power of their sweet grins

firm chins and eager eyes

is there pleasure there

more than a rote factory of okay

 

if you ran into one of them on the street

saw him sitting across from you on a bus

or serving you a coffee

what do you say

do you recognize that face

does it seem familiar

but you just can’t place it

without those curtains behind it

if you remember

then what can you say

‘I really dug your PornHub spread’

 

do they know there are men

out there who know

their photographic pixilated flat screen bodies

better than they know their own flesh

viewer and viewed

strangers in a circle

a lens

that captures them both

one in a moment that never changes

each time it is viewed it is the same

no new light no new angle

can fall on the image

 

no matter how often

I count the petals on the rose curtains

study the business

that is never put back in its pants

I can never taste itsoon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrredbulge02

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the Big If

the Big If

If I walk more then I won’t spend as much on public transit.

If I walk more  then I will spend more money on shoes.

If I walk more  then I will lose weight.

If I walk so much  then I don’t have a car.

If I walk a lot  then I will see more of the life around me.

If I lose weight  then I won’t wear my shoes down as quickly.

If I get a job  then I’ll have more money to spend.

If I have more money  then I can upgrade my computer.

If I upgrade my computer  then I will spend more time writing.

If I get a job  then I’ll have less time to write.

If I get a job  then I will write more in the time I have left.

If I don’t  then someone else will.

If I am truly sorry then I will not act that way again.

If I am truly loved then I don’t have to apologize.

If I am the love of your life then why aren’t you happy?

If I am telling the truth then why don’t you believe me?

If I do as you say then you will not be so angry.

If I do more than my share then you will have no reason to drink.

If I buy a dog then I will have someone to walk with.

If I but a dog then I won’t have so much time to worry about you.

If I shut the windows then no one will know.

If I don’t hit back then you won’t hit as hard.

If I don’t make a sound then you won’t know I’m here.

If I don’t eat as much then you won’t have to cook as much.

If I were never born then you would be happier.

If I made you happier then we would be happier.

If I didn’t have you then I’d have more time to write.

If I didn’t waste all my time writing then I could keep the house the way you want.

If am am content with myself then I don’t have to worry about making you happy.

If I don’t worry about making you happy then you don’t think I love you.

yellowbin

Ending the year with another look way way back to the turn of the century. All the pieces I’ve written about this month date back to around that time 2000/2001. Many of these pieces were memories so looking at them again was a bit surprising. Some for how current they still were & some for how I’ve moved forward in being direct, in use of image & language.yellowhide

This is one of the many list poems & the prompt was the title. It presents a see-saw of values. Theme & variation, expectation & unexpected results – a form of ironic paradox. Everything has a hidden cost – having more time to write doesn’t mean one will write more.redyellow01

It moves from practical things like walking, writing and move into a more emotional territory (spell check wanted me to spell terror just now). Our expectations of love and what we are willing to do for or what we expect it to do for us & others.

Eventually the ‘If’ double back on itself to create an almost narrative line for the ‘I’ of the poem. How the need for one things involves another, altering consequence & context. I don’t think it starts with the reader know that the ‘writing’ is a relationship issue.

redyellow02

The ending is a bit abrupt – I haven’t rewritten this expect to fix some typos. If I were going to perform this I would work on sequence, flow & bring it to a more satisfying conclusion but I’m not worrying about that.

16

January 20, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  Dominic Berry Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

http://www.queerslam.com

hot

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

http://capturingfire.com/#/page/1

September 1-5: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

wrestredshorts

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

un jccool

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

Gate

Gate

by the garden gate

I saw a boy

no – a man with a sense of the boy

standing

looking

into the distant sky

the man by the gate

the garden behind him

was ready to bloom

had bloomed

was a work in process

a garden with

a sense of the seed

in each mature flower

a promise to be fulfilled

a sense

that as complete as it all was

it still was not finished

that it would never be finished

that when

that man no longer stood by the gate

another man would stand there

the garden would be tended

 

by the garden gate

I saw a man

who smiled at me

invited me in

or was it the other way around

me the man by the gate

inviting him in

so that we now had

two gardens

to tend

two lives

to combine

for a time

for as long as the seasons

turned

to allow us the

opportunity

to share our duties together

to share our gardens

 

by a gate

a garden gate

sturdy   welcoming

opened

the gate sprung open

and we each

passed through into

one another gardens

we now stand

one on either side of a gate

watching   opening

to those who chose

others

whose gates open to us

to share

the blossoms of their gardens

the flowers of their time

 

here

in the garden

the sun rises   sets

rains come   go

some plants take root

others

only last a brilliant season

or never seem to thrive at all

but slowly

we find the ones that work

find the ones that last

and learn to enjoy

the ones that don’t last

but we never despair

that the garden is pointless

that it is hopeless

even on the darkest days

there is the knowledge

that the sun shines somewhere

that rain will come

that the clouds will part

they are inevitable

the moving of the planet

around the sun

the ebb and flow

of the ebb and flow

 

some days a little humdrum

the patience needed

to watch for each little shoot

grow   grow

the tenderness needed

to allow the gate to open   close

the odd fear

when

there is no one at the gate

 

we learn to rely

on the gate keeper

even if we are that gate keeper

we rely on that role

to give us a sense of where

we fit in this garden

a role that lets others

see where we fit in this garden

 

one day

years ago

I saw man standing by a gate

a sunny day

I think it was

he was happy

he was sad

his garden was growing

as well as gardens grow

and

I was by my garden gate

feeling happy

feeling sad

and

gates opened

we became gate keepers

to each other

for a time

for as long

time allows

 

our gardens flourished

perhaps

not as dazzlingly

as the dream

but as full as any other

as real as any other

as welcoming as most

as tended as most

often

when didn’t even know it

we were working at the garden

while were experiencing it

and the experience

was the work

the opportunity to share

was sunshine for all around

and the gate remains

the man

who stood by that gate

still stands there

side by side

we have gift to share

and have been given

the chance to continue to do that

snow01

This was partially inspired by Whitman’s “When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d.” Part of his poem is about the durability of plants while lives around them change. My take picks up on that while extending the allegory of garden to relationships and what we bring from out lives into them.jigsaw

Each verse looks the gate, the gate keeper and the garden in a different way – theme & variation. The first is my meeting a gatekeeper, my sense of attraction both physical,emotional & spiritual. The garden of potential, a garden that would always find someone to look after it.snow03

Then ‘I’ brings his own hopes, his own garden which combines but doesn’t merge – cooperation sharing discovery. Now two gardeners stand at this gate of opportunity. Time passes hopes come and go – some are productive some are not but the garden goes on and on. Seeming success is not the standard it gets judged by.greenear

By the end there is a Zen sense of continuance – there will always be gates and gardens, gate keepers & gardeners – somethings have a permanence beyond our momentary experience & sharing of them.

16

January 20, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  Dominic Berry Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

http://www.queerslam.com

hot

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

http://capturingfire.com/#/page/1

September 1-5: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

wrestwk4

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

gardening

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

Dried Blood Crust

heart

Photograph

 

we once discussed

what was more indelible

photograph or memory

which held the deeper truth

the image captured at a moment

that revealed the details

surface textures

shadow play of light

the look in the eye

or the lack of a look in the eye

 

once we start to wonder

what day of the week did we take that picture

we fall back on memory

which has its own tricks to play

depending on our emotion

at the moment of recall

the image changes

from one of happiness

to forced cheerfulness

to helplessness

to being held gently in the hands of the universe

 

how long

will the dried blood crust

on the pillow be remembered

the pale flesh

exposed

so that doctors can do their work

pale flesh

that on another occasion

is the inviting lure of intimacy

the cold hand

that at another time

was the hungry hand of love

how long will those be

remembered

without a photo

 

the unalterable image is

of the one I love

lying there

in that hospital bed

tubes   punctures

lips dry

teeth rimmed with blood

tongue searching for moisture

as they attempt

to stabilize the heart

stabilize the fear and panic

behind the eyes

that without glasses

find it hard to focus

I hold the cold hand

speak soft words of comfort

‘I love you’

‘I am fine’

‘There is nothing to worry about’

 

I part reluctantly

pained

that all I can do is hold his hand

grateful that prayer

opens the heart of the universe

as it has opened

our hearts to each other

for all these mysterious years

I don’t want his pain

to last any longer that it needs to

I want him to know

I will rage

if he passes beyond by sight

 

I will never lose the image of him

reaching out for me

never forget the last few words

that passed between us

a small joke of love

a small gesture of companionship

and endless

bottomless memory

 

I would not want a photograph

I would rather the memory

because no photo can capture

the heart

the way the memory does

cage01

This is more reportage than imagined narrative. The conversation about photography was real. It was with my partner as we watched some TV show about the truth of images & memory. We did get as philosophical as I do here. In a way this echoes my reaction to how news manipulates images & facts for a specific reaction – reflections that aren’t relevant to the truth.

Memory can change a photograph if one is actually in it one can recall who took it, recall details that aren’t in the picture at all. Things lookers do not find out unless informed, then they rely on our manipulations to fill in the picture.

cage02

The dried blood image comes from when my partner had a stroke – I rushed to the hospital but by the time I arrived the surgery was over, the blockages dealt with &, now my memory fails, I think, the stop gap pacemaker had been installed. The pillow was pale green. I did not take a picture. Though I do have pictures of his later hospital stays.cage03

The events are pretty accurate as I attempt to create some sort of order & distance within myself & resist wallowing in fear or self-pity or creating a bathos to suck some sort of sympathy from the reader. Prayer plays its part but the nature is spiritual connection not religious pleading.

cage04

The poem collects moments & images from the event – emotional truths that haven’t changed & perhaps weren’t realized at that instant but which I can still feel now; which weren’t written about for a month or so later. Reading it now more than a decade later these images are still vivid to me. Some didn’t fit into the poem – his watch disappeared, never to be replaced. I felt the notion of time literally lost was too distracting from the emotional pull of the poem.

16

January 20, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  Dominic Berry Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hot

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

http://capturingfire.com/#/page/1

September 1-5: attending FanExpo 2015expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

cage03

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

wrestwk2

Icarus

mirror01

Icarus and the Coconut

 

Icarus me poised

over the lip of cliff

aim – the horizon

heads for the deep pool of water

limpid

[deep and limpid at the same time?

can that be?]

blue nearly blue

the air rushing around me

silent but audible

[how can that be?]

my ears feel the rush of cool

the tickle of sun

the smell of the water

snow at the sides of the pool

melting

to make the water

deeper riper for me to land in

the smell fresh clean

tropic coconut crisp

fresh

 

am I about to splash!

no

the wings begin to work

an up draft pulls me back

above the cliff

closer to the clouds

the distance increases

I fall closer to time

time moves patiently along

I dive repeatedly

never actually hit the water

never even grazing

the thin towel of snow

that rings the pool

as close as I get

is the smell

sometime this taste

of coconut

surrounds me

haunts me

I’m sitting at a movie and I smell it

is it in the popcorn

is it coming from the screen

the skis?

the wax they use to slide

quicker over the snow

to keep their surf boards

dangling on the lip of a wave

 

I dive

time flies me to love

I work the moment to my advantage

I look around the dark theatre

I see the movie flicker

on the blank faces

the flicker of snow on water

the hush of drinks sipped slowly

the greedy clasp of hands

the secret thoughts of couples

I hear them all as I dive

as I swim

through turgid air

no air conditioner here

just the overpowering call of popcorn

the sludgy invitation of coconut oil

the timid seasoning of snow

the over abundance of salt

the ocean

the sticky something on the floor

the time we took to get there

the flight of cranes

the shadow cast across the screen

reflected on my glasses

bounced from the charm around your neck

 

the gleam of a belt buckle

fly

the slow fumble of a zipper

in the men’s room

spilling coconut seeds

later much later

the cool of evening

the time of day

the money spent or lost

lost

where all for that moment lost

taken up

to fly across the screen

across the sky

the stars shooting rapidly

dizzy with moonlight

fresh with clever moments

ticks

tricks of the eye

was it just that

 

was it actually you I saw

I land across the street

you were in that cafe

coffee

something overflowing with white foam

something I wanted to dive into

to fly past and cast my eye

to fish

to cast my hook and eye

to catch you

pull you out of the air

out of your seat two rows ahead of me

to make me your movie

the leap into the heart

to flicker across my face

along my chest

light light

like an image

to last that long

to have good lighting

the soundtrack of my last tumble

 

over the cliff

seeds foam

sky flying all the while

into each others dreams

arms are fearful to open

as wide as the eyes

to take in the screen

the hard heart breaking

like the shell of a coconut

spilling milk

into the cool blue ocean

mirror02

Icarus is one of those iconic figures nearly every poet takes a dive at – I have a few Icarus pieces & this is the first one. I try to take a different look at this icon – adding the snow in reference to Canada, I suppose. But also as the source of water – it’s the melting ice caps that perpetuate the weather cycles globally. It’s that melt makes the water Icarus falls into deeper.

Where the coconut comes from I don’t recall – some resonance of big hairy balls no doubt. The point of the legend is his egotism in daring to fly & paying the price. Here I fly but never fall from the sky – I fall in love. Is the point of the flight really to soar or to fall – to go out in a blaze of glory? I get teased with that – the smell of it.

mirror03

I am an observer of this struggle – it becomes the movie of the moment in my life. The fall takes so long I can sit & eat popcorn – a man caught with an inner sense of struggle appearing to the world as calmly eating – being judged by my surface. Dreamlike I move to washroom sex – the other struggle – the fall from grace – this is where my wings get singed?

sky

I had a friend on the east coast who referred to semen as coconut seeds. He was one of the first I experienced sex with – affectionate but unrepeatable. His fear was the sun that burned away desire while it released mine – sex wasn’t false wings for me. Images begin to repeat, mesh, coffee foam becomes sea foam, the sea Icarus falls into eventually. The foam I imbibe (like coconut seeds?). My fiend’s heart hard like that shell couldn’t be broken by his fear whereas I kept flying & still fly today.

soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
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January 20, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  Dominic Berry Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

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Monster

Monster

Under the bed

In the closet

Behind the wheel

Across the counter

Smiling grinning laughing

Pouring a coffee

Inviting me to enjoy

dust bunnies

old shoes

road kill

Or a Danish

How about a home made cookie?

Telling me how well I look

So firm so ripe

Ready to pluck

But too late for the daily special

Which wasn’t so hot even though

 

It was my favourite

Long lost sock

Prom dress

Stop light to run

To barrel through a

Group of nuns

[or is that a wimple of sisters?]

Mowed down by that

Monster behind the wheel

That unthinking laughing cruel God

Who spared the drunk

To doom the brides of Christ

Without them

Who’ll perk the coffee?

 

Little Sisters of the Drip

Bakers of cookies

Wives of the Lord

Lord only knows

But only we suffer

The wonderment the mystery the puzzle

The answer that seems clearer

After the right penance

First the confession

Wrung out drop by drop

Yes I’m the one

The fragments

Black rags flapping on the bumper

Blood on the tires

 

Yes I’m the one

That’s me hiding the last crusty habit under the bed

In the closet

One in the trunk of my car

One that wouldn’t come clean

Couldn’t wash out the blood of the lamb

The wafer the donut

The blood the coffee

Dunk, we drink together,

We share our passion

For the coffee jockey

We choose the best raisin oatmeal

More cleansing

More roughage

To face this rough age

The age of carnage

Traffic stops and

Sacred relic coffee shops.

redbow02

November being Remembrance month I’m stepping into the past with some very old pieces that I vaguely remember writing in 1999 when I was getting back into poetry after spewing out City of Valleys, a 600 pages novel.

redrib01

Monster I picked for this time of year. Sort of a list poem it jumps around oddly concrete abstractions – the notion of monsters under the bed is giving the abstraction notion of fear a concrete image – moving from imagination – under the bed – to the real presence of someone behind the wheel of a car. Fear becomes a tempter, seducer – you can eat another cookie & not get out of shape.

There’s a comic driving game where one get points for running down pedestrians – the points go up when you run down nuns. How nuns ended up in this poem I’m mot sure but there they are. The notion of the cruel God comes from the need to blame what we don’t understand on spiritual forces we don’t understand.

In re-reading this I’m enjoying the shift into the sacred coffee shop – baristas as Sister of the Drip – I’m still struck how quickly coffee shops have become must institutions in most neighbourhoods – once this was a city of churches – even some of them have been converted into Starbucks. It isn’t a far leap from the communion wine & wafer – the body & blood of Christ – to the donut & double double.

redrib03

The placement of words was worked on when I did my edits at the time i.e. sacred ‘relic’ coffee shops. Many churches in Europe built congregations around a scared relic – the finger of St. Paul sort of thing. At one time there were enough relic bones of some saints to give them dozens of hands.

I haven’t seen a coffee shop go so far as to have the Grail Christ had his expresso from – St. Anthony’s coffee cup, or The Filter of Turin, would be a powerful draw I’m sure. There’s a coffee shop near me that does have action figures & comic books though – action figures being our modern day relics. I wonder if place called The Coffee Golgotha would attract or offended.

redrib02

By the end I have lost the beginning tread of monsters – the inner fears, the outer threats & end up trying to tie things together & almost succeeding. I see my use of patterning, echoes of reference to things earlier in the piece get expanded so that there almost seems to a logical image flow going on. Though perhaps the sacredness of coffee shops has become a modern monster.soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
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November 18, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

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#Pie

hate01

Pie

another innocent man has been pied

and deserves revenge

how dare anyone sully the dignity

of powerful people

they have to be taught a lesson

 

so under the new laws

pie throwers will not be allowed to marry

they will not be allowed to breed

you may fire a pie thrower at any time

deny them housing

no equal protection under the law

for if they chose to flout the law

they get what they deserve

 

if  you as a citizen suffer from pie-phobia

you may kill anyone carrying a pie

or even if you think they have a pie

or may have one in the future

that might assail traditional values

 

further more

the word pie now enters

the codex of unmentionables

it is the dessert

that dares not speak its name

you cannot have that unmentionable dessert in a public place

only the privacy of your home

only if you are a registered eater

you cannot display that obscenity

on the Internet

works of fiction that deal with the

making of or consumption of

the aforesaid unmentionable pastry

will be seized and burned

 

one must not display such an item before the face of God

pastries were denied a place at the last supper

it is all there in the scriptures

beware the uncircumcised

beware the fluffy flaky graham cracker shell

damnation and everlasting suffering

is in store for those who countenance

the unnamable pastry

 

in fact all desserts are suspect

anyone who might enjoy a cookie

could be led down the path of degradation

to the unnamable pastry

that must never happen

this is the only way to get it under control

the very fabric of our culture

will collapse under such a threat pie

So we come to the last piece in the chapbook – flow is always important to me so the pieces follow one another for a reason. In this case things go from political personal to political global to politics of love to political silly and ends with political satire.

There was an actual incident that inspired Pie, the politician’s reaction was pretty much as described. I merely spun the context to its logical conclusion by seeing pies as gun control and then into the need to control period. People who won’t be controlled deserve to be taught a lesson. Queers getting beaten up for holding hands in public: they are just asking for it – right.blondshelf

That need to control branched out into other things people have attempted to control with the law and how illogical & unsuccessful that control has been. Pie-phobia killings of course reflects a long standing (& in some parts of the world still-standing) criminal defence that says assaulting a homosexual is justifiable if one makes a pass at you or if you even think one is about to make a pass at you.

snowblack

Biblical scholars have speculated on the story of the bread & fishes. I tend to agree with the theory that Jesus actually handed out pumpkin pies. The first carved pumpkins in fact were to honour him and this miracle. Those heretical pagans have co-opted the true religious significance of the pumpkin but whenever I see one in a window or have a piece of pumpkin I am participating in this yummy Christian miracle.green

So it’s not a great leap to pies crumbling our traditional values, then to religious justifications of that – yes, JC did share bread with his disciples but unleavened bread is not pastry, or perhaps it was a kind of shortbread? There are endless passages in the scriptures about the uncircumcised as well. Lemon meringue is my favourite pie. I do prefer the uncut crust 🙂soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
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November 18, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

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Love Is In The Air

Summer of 78

1/

white face

clown

only

to dance

to play

only

the clown

between

the lights

(do you like it

do you like it like that)

alone

except for the watching

except for

the sound

filling loud

empty

(keep on pumping

keep on pumping)

except for

the low

(let your body fly)

2

The white

is protection

no perfection

it’s his seduction

he begs for the eyes

he becomes the eyes

only to be alone

to share becoming

3

when the clown

moves alone

he is perfection

a deliberate sensual act

a performance of

only

4

the empty room

pulsates

radiates

life in

colours

sounds

motionless       (push push in bush bush)

the vacuum

that hovers behind

the siren’s song

that hides behind

the clown’s dance

take that chance

(do you like it

do you like it like that)

resistance is high

but what is there

to be gained by resistance

drifting in the centre

a noisy calm

an incessant tranquility

the fatal flaw

as you would

the trust is a vacuum

the sooth of sound

the desperate joy of the clown

(love is in the air

all around)

I could sleep

the energy pulls me

both way

(I’m a victim

I’m a victim)

5

running life first

into the male storm

of touch

be touched

exploring

in tranquility

sexual power

of touch

be touched

black01

Clearing out a drawer I came across a little black notebook of mine from 1978 – this is the year I moved to Toronto – in fact, it is from my first summer of disco. On the inside cover is my dry date July 6, 1978. There’s about ten pages, half blank & the rest with a poem.

I was fond of this size notebook because it forced my lines to be shorter & my images clipped. The pages were too small for prose, the lines too close together as my handwriting wasn’t that controlled or small. In one I have sort of skipped every other line just I could write easier.

black02

Also on the inside cover is the address of my first apartment on Jarvis St. The building is still there! Third floor walk up. The inside back cover is full of phone #s of people I’d met in recovery. Some of whom I remember many of whom are dead. None of whom are in my life today. Life goes on.

The poem itself is sweet. I have no recollection where I wrote it. Or if all the sections came at one time or were jotted down at different places. The message is me discovering the gay discos – the male storm. It also includes words from some of the songs I loved to dance to the most.

black03

Musique’s In The Bush & Keep on Jumpin’ – which was one of the first disco lps I bought – upgraded eventually to cd with bonus tracks & man I still love the production work & the fact that it was solid from start to finish – no filler. Love Is In the Air a one-off hit by Martin Stevens – I searched this out after I found the note book & downloaded it on a collection of disco hits of the time & these were songs I haven’t heard in decades. I’m A Victim – I had no recollection of this song at all – the lyric scrap I quoted didn’t even have a musical resonance for me – so thanks to google I tracked it down: Candi Stanton sings it & after a few listens it all came back to me.

This isn’t a music post but a memory post, right. But music holds strong power over me, always has. These are a few of the song of my first sober summer – LeFreak was another. I danced alone, like the clown in my piece, got some attention but that was about it. When guys saw that you weren’t carting a beer bottle or poppers or looking for a toke they had little or no interest in you.

bluebrush

brush in the bush bush

The men would walk in circles around the club, some would perch in dim light, smoking & posing. Finding a spot to stand was important if you wanted to be even ignored. Everyone was holding out for the next better looking guy & many seems dot go home alone. I was holding out for the guy who was the least drunk & could hold a conversation. Even then personality was more important to me than looks. I usually went home alone, head echoing with Fly Robin Fly & deciding what to wear for my next dive into the male storm.

mirror melt

wrestlerbulge

he can walk in my circle anytime