#Boyfriend

Even with the Jays game there was a good turn out for the Naked Heart – Howling Against Assimilation  panel. It was held at the City Park Library – the brainchild of Jeff Kirby. It is housed in what was once a huge deserted storage room off the stairwell to the parking garages at City Park. This a brilliant repurposing of space in the co-op. Everything in the space: furniture, books, even the computers have been donated by the community it serves.

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entrance to City Park Library

Kirby moderated the panel & opened it up with a discussion of a larger assimilation issue – why has queer lit gone from edgy erotic sex to middle-of-the-road romance over the past decades. I don’t think any of us panellists were prepared for a discussion of contemporary queer literature mind you.

My take was that with gay marriage came a move to play down queer sexuality in favour of traditional heteronormative values. Those queers who have sex outside of relationships are sluts & are not presenting a positive image to the heteronormative world – slut shamming. I saw a lot of heads nodding in agreement with me. Peter Kingstone speculated that some of it has to do with the HIV crisis as well.

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stairs to parking garage & City Park Library

Peter talked about his various video projects that explore giving voice to various often dismissed people. Part of his ‘assimilation’ & resistance to it springs from his experiences as a sex trade worker, which he regards as ‘ordinary’ but often created a gulf of judgement when he presents creative aspects of himself outside of that context.

Catherine Hernandez talked about the balance of being true to one’s inner spirit & the need to fulfill grant stipulations – to put food on the able without being compromised creatively. Articulate & creative she finds the energy for that balance can be distracting but the projects she is working on are clearly challenge she likes to face.

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stairwell mirror selfie

Kaleigh Trace talked her mobility issues – of body sovereignty – how ablists would rather see her as thwarted & unfulfilled by her physical condition as opposed to seeing her as a intact & happy in her own skin woman.

Toward the end of the panel the nature of body sovereignty took stage. Catherine remarked on the trope of the wise person also being the damaged person – they may be ‘fill in the bank’ but they re wise to make up for it. It made me wonder what the reaction would be to, say, a blind asshole?

redcart

Peter, Catherine & myself read from our work a piece the reflected in some way the nature of refusing to be assimilated. I trucked out Boyfriend which I’ve posted below. An excellent panel which certainly made up for the Jays losing 🙂

sample

Boyfriend

I’m so excited

I have a new boy friend

he’s barely fifteen

 

years younger than me

 

did that pause catch you off guard

were you sure I was going to say

he was only fifteen years old

was it hard enough to think of a man

having a boyfriend at all

then add to it the shudder that it was

an innocent emotionally underdeveloped

fifteen year old child

 

though I can remember me at fifteen

jacking off to visions of rock star cock

Jimi Hendrix Bruce Springsteen

that I wished there in my bed

 

telling you too much am I

get used to it

I’ve heard enough straight poets go on

sparing no intimate details

about blissful raspberry nipples

moist peach fuzzed mounds

 

so I’ll talk about man on man action

even if it makes some of you restless

a bit bored     a bit threatened

girl on girl would make you more comfortable

 

I usually try to make the nestling

of men’s bodies into each other

sound sort of sweet and tender

pulling myself away

from the gasp   grasp of sweat    pubic hair

 

so I’m excited

about my new boyfriend

though I hate boyfriend

boy carries that too young taint

man friend isn’t close

lover is more complex than it is at this point

bed buddy     yeah I like that

I have a new bed buddy

he’s nearly fifteen

 

years younger than me

money

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‘our almost is unbearable’

Another full house cheered on the Hot Damn! slammers in the last Toronto battle before the season 1 Grand Finale May 7 at Buddies in Bad Times (tickets are limited so call Buddies and get yours now.) Cathy Petch kept the house laughing and the show moving without tripping over her moustache (not as easy as it sounds.)

rink

ripe for rink

I kicked thing off with a quick open stage set that included a glimpse of my April set, which is all about queer sex, drugs & rock & roll. After the blood sacrifice came the first round of slammers: ‘the sky is a landfill/& we are the ones who polluted it,’ ‘our almost is unbearable,’ ‘just like my mother taught me,’ ‘my sexuality was not picked up at a trendy thrift shop,’ ‘playing connect the dots with my freckles and a sharp object.’ Lines I heard during the two rounds.

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winter walk in the woods

Dressed in a eye-catching gold lame houndstooth pencil skirt Catherine Hernandez did a polished and warm set. An admitted Asian melting pot her pieces flowed with accents, phrases in Filipino, Japanese & was that French? Hard to tell.

Her pieces were fragments of longer works about, amongst other things, the emotional & cultural stresses of being a ‘hard-working’ Asian in the North American world. A nanny using her children’s ‘emails & pictures/sown together to make your shadow,’ ‘crying into my pillow knowing the pillow was not my children.’ Some of the pieces were sexy ‘this table is the perfect size for my naked body.’ Funny, without the need for punch lines, emotional without being, to me, maudlin and frank about her sexuality Katherine was the perfect size for the stage.

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tickled by trees

Another great night of slammers, open stagers and fine food at The Supermarket. Check the Hot Damn! FB page to find out who the night’s winner was.

I’ve decided to start awarding ‘The Hot Snap’ for my favourite line of the night. It goes to Tanya Neumeyer for the line that became the title of this blog post.

sample

Besides the Born to be Blown teaser I read:

Death in Paris

there’s been death in Paris

fervour for revenge

young men caught

in the need

to teach a lesson

to set people right

to affirm a price must be paid

for not listening

for not respecting

the young men are aberrations

their personal faith is the fault

not the faith itself

did they come from broken homes

is this another crime

caused by cultural neglect

now shifted to religious cant

or does it matter

as long as there is room

for the camera man

the probing host

and his teleprompter

we need the right pundit to explain all this

to make it even more compelling

to assign the right blame

all I know

is that it’s not my fault

I don’t even want to watch it unfold

I can’t blank out my TV screen

can’t chase away

the bottom of the screen scroll

can’t keep the cell-cam images

from spattering

the edges of my FB page

it’s everywhere

the issue of respect

who has the right to demand it

what is freedom of speech

I’m afraid to start conversations

there is death in the news

again

that it happened

is the truth

the evidence is in front of my eyes

the damage done

I heard the the words said

but I can’t account for why

why it happened

why what was said

even though I see the video footage

I don’t know what I’m seeing

one side interprets it

the other refutes

each equally self-serving

but what cannot be denied

is someone died

you can’t lie about that

you ask me what I saw

what I heard

then question my veracity

my truth becomes a matter of perception

slanted by my own personal queer judgments

I become someone incapable of telling the truth

why bother telling it ever

it’s so much more practical to lie

to spin reality

to become a compulsive liar

no one is listening anyway

they ask how do you feel

while all they care about

is how short your answer is

that you answer in a way

that doesn’t draw them any further

into your life

than the moment it takes to ask

then get the fuck out of there

before too much information gets revealed

they don’t want to be witnesses

they don’t want to rationalize away

your reality

I’ve learn to say the same thing back

how are you doing

rather than answer their question

because no one cares

there isn’t enough time

before the commercial break

not enough language

too many ways to spin the facts

and the facts seem to be these

there is no truth

there is death in the news

again

and that’s

no lie

soon

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville https://www.facebook.com/events/965611026782246/

( I’ve registered already 🙂 I’m doing two presentations )

loyrocket

register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

https://www.loyalistbanner.com/ceweb/doc/LoyalistSummerArts2015.pdf

June 26, Friday, 10:00 pm – feature – Pride 2015 Erotic Cabaret – Glad Day Bookstore, 598a Yonge St., Toronto

glad

https://www.facebook.com/events/630930370341697/

June 27, Saturday – 9:00-  Feature along with Alissa Vox Raw, Neil Traynor:  Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto

hirut

https://www.facebook.com/events/550898671715666/

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

http://fanexpocanada.com

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice

noiroc

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night