Over Dressed


Over Dressed (or just full of himself)

I out dressed

the feature poet

he nodded a hello

then proceeded to ignore me

his set was good

mine wasn’t better

but different

we see the world in different ways

use the language in different ways

his set was well received

applause books sold

my set was snapped

given stomps a few times

his was motivational political

important issues were addressed

mine was personal sexual

identity issues were addressed

previous to this reading

we had been friendly enough

moving in very different circles

that on such occasions

would intersect

he reputation was well supported

by his work

mine wasn’t really established

mainly because I didn’t give a fuck

about my reputation

we weren’t competing for anything more

than a bit of attention

at a reading

he could have all the grants

accolades he wanted

I just wanted to present

07woodchair01This first one isn’t about any poet in particular, or any reading in particular, but a composite of events. It’s pretty much a documentary on what happens at readings except I left out the part where fans of one writer feel no need not to whisper through the sets of other writers & act huffy if you glare a theme while trying to listen whomever is on stage at that point.

Sometimes a poet & their following only show up a few minutes before they are to perform & leave directly afterwards. Clearly stating that they don’t think enough of the other performers to grace them with their presence. 07woodchair02I’m also a believer in the poet as peacock – one of my rules for readers is ‘dress as if you want to be there.’ Pretty superficial I admit but we live in a culture that judges as much on looks as talent. But my attention to great shirts & tee shirts has lead me to be seen as insubstantial & not serious about my work. Which to me is a fairly superficial judgment too.07woodchair03It’s as if only the clearly suffering have authentic experiences that deserve to be written about & only these experiences have the profound depth to be presented. Personally I prefer to look as good as my writing. I might also add that this all came to mind as a result of the prompt not because I wallow in superficiality & as I have to remind people, poetry can be fiction 🙂 07woodchair04Finally is this one of the ones I didn’t feel worked out that well – the pov voice is too complaintive & self-aware to the point, to me, of being whiny – which feel doesn’t invite the reader in enough.soon
cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine



Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames


June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –



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


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

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#Carnival Planet #Calliope


there is this circus of flesh

that moves faster

than the blood can pound

that over rides all cautions

lessons learned  go out the window

when that circus opens

cotton candy balls of fun

for the ones who surrender

to take give take give

rise and fall

expectation and delivery

the fierce red flush of ginger hair

that surrounds the heave and heft

of the the timid and free

fleeting and heavy

melt of the stars

into a mouth

into the sudden rise

shape fall

stomach churning moment

when a glance is returned

can it be for me

take this opportunity

to ride the ride

to strut the street

to be in the middle of the bed

sheet strewn masses

wrinkled rivers of shadows

dim corner

vibrant and frightened

tongue chasing twists

buttons popping

slow stroke of zipper

happy slide of pants



shoes socks

fly through the air

merry go around


I know the promise

I take this opportunity

to chase the roller coaster

to sharper shocks

higher highs

all dips hips slips no splinters

only the rock solid rocket

twist and tumble

the grazed knees

the bruised knuckles

the wet dry hot cool

sweat sweet breath to catch

running faster lunge

the weight of one on the other

that pulls each to the earth

accepts and shares

separates and courses

through the veins

beat pulse

throb shudder

seek the chance to get back on the ride

I know the circus

will pitch another tent

but I am reluctant to leave this one

so sweetly pitched

so well enjoyed

employed spent and flaccid

dreamy and sleepy

cozy warm comforting

how did this come about

what was the momentum

what was the cause

of this gift satisfaction

of this mind cleaning eruption

this blank slate surrender

for a few blinding seconds

squeaky mattress and lost footing

of where is my …

…. are these yours

tomorrow soon again

as good as the last time

better than ever

comfortable and accomplished


yes so accomplished

we play each other

like a big rolly polly

steam calliope

that never runs out of steam


This time of the year can be a carnival for the senses – all this commercial shouting about gifts, the perfect music, more people than usual looking for something, some one. Caught up in lights, seasonal smells of cooking, candy and too much aftershave on the subway (or not enough). A crush rush that exhausts but leaves little time savour it.browndresser02

This piece is about relishing but only if one surrenders to the momentum. I’m also working at writing about sex without being overt – aiming for a hormone level of response. The circus analogy for sex isn’t new but I wanted to see what I could do with it.

I like some of the phrasing and the way it slips for one half-image into another is an almost unnoticeable flow – ‘the melt of stars/ into a mouth.’ In edit I did work on pacing, on sequence, to have it flow up and down, as it were, to follow the flow of meeting, tentative, then hopping on the ride and ending with the need for the ride to continue. For me the thickness of calliope music was a nice symbol for the thickness of cock.blackchair01

This is an old piece, goes back to early 2000’s in fact, when I was getting back into poetry. I wanted to write about sex without saying ‘dick.’ That wasn’t such a difficult challenge though as I become more comfortable in front of audiences my sex writing become more direct. The need to distance from overt queer content seemed dishonest.

Not that I wanted to write directly pornographic explicit poetry but I wanted to stop trying to make some of my writing less universal – I think this piece is fairly genderless – it could opposites attract or same sex encounters. With no writer’s name attached it could be written by any sex. blackchair02

It is authentic but at the same time hiding something from the reader. That hiding came from my own residual fear of being too direct – what if audiences are offended by ‘dick’ – today I don’t care. If my being a white, entitled, cismale, over 50 who likes dick offends someone – such is life. Welcome to carnival planet earth.


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

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The Killer Dappled by Sun


The Killer Dappled by Sun


the killer flexed his hands

sunshine warm playful

wrapped around his fingers

he squeezed

but couldn’t grasp the light

couldn’t hold it

stop it

control it

harm it

the light was safe from him


he found comfort that something

was safe from him

he couldn’t murder the light

there was a limit to his power

he was human he had frailty


he looked around

the cafe patio

shadows light danced on faces

chattering mindless

anyone of whom he could kill

one of whom he would kill soon

with hands that basked

in the gentle caress of the sun

they would find a throat

they would take the light out of those eyes

they were slaves to a system

of comfort for comfort’s sake

well he’d put an end to someone’s comfort


the killer was a liberator

he would liberate one by one

until he was free

it would be good to be free

free of the need to liberate

the need to kill

once he had quenched that thirst

he would be free to enjoy this life

this world

this moment in the sun

patio patio in the rain

When I go back to some of these pieces I still get chills. This is the third in the Killer series. I love the word ‘dappled’, thanks to Hopkins it has a great poetic resonance: ‘Glory be to God for dappled things.’ So here I have a killer with the same spiritual sensitivity to the gift of light itself.

I’ve also placed the Killer in an innocuous public space. What could be more pleasant than afternoon coffee on a cafe patio somewhere. Do you ever look up from your handheld devices to see who else is out there, wonder what they may be thinking. This is how suspense happens.


dig that couch

The greatest villains have a sense of honourable purpose. They see their actions as being in the best interest for some long term good – so the immediate damage isn’t relevant to them, merely something to put up with.


back seat driving range

We rarely get to see what happens if a bad guy wins – what will he do if he gets his way? Now that he can rule the world, then what? Hide away on some tropical island? Most likely he’ll spend time protecting what he has not enjoying it on some cafe patio.


November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2014 –nanobullseye http://nanowrimo.org


chair dappled by sun

Way Back to 1978

I have a box of birthday & recovery anniversary cards going back to 1978 when I put the cork in the bottle, as well as ended other substance ingestions – other than coffee, that is. I have some from the anniversary of my first year up to this year.


Many of the ones I’ve kept are from men who are no longer in this dimension. Names and faces that I’ve half forgotten & some who are still around today. I went into the box to see what was there and to take something out – nothing in particular but anything that didn’t hold an emotional charge so I could let it go before the new year.

I’m not sad but I do feel a bit of sorrow for these lost handshakes. I don’t ever remember the last time I went through these cards. Like my string of Christmas cards – I have some that go back years from people who have died. I have the last Christmas card my mother sent me.


There is a meaning to me in each of them. Some are signed by dozens of people many of whom I have no idea who they are, who had no idea who I was expect, I was celebrating with them in Montreal, or wherever. I know I’ll be letting a couple of these cards go even though they still have an emotional charge.


Reading them I also see that I now believe the sentiments. For many years I felt people’s good wishes where done out of kindness not out of an authentic affection for me. I think that’s called growing up 🙂



The lemon fresh bubble bath in the Jacuzzi made both Dish and Spoon feeling clean, refreshed and forgiving.

“Spoon dear, I am so sorry for my outburst this afternoon. Tossing Tea Pot’s lid into the midst of the shuffle board tournament wasn’t a lady like thing for me to do.”

“There, there, my sweet, I know you’ve been under a lot of pressure of late.”

“Still, the look on her spout was worth it.”

“I’ll say. Especially when the Salts scored the winning shuff – shuff is that what they call it when they push the marker across the board? Anyway she brought them the prize.”

“Spoon this trip on the Gravy Boat has to be one of the best ideas you’ve had since we ran away. I think we are closer now that we have ever been.”

“Thank you, my sweet. We just don’t seem to get the chance to spend this much time together. You’re always off to other meals.”

“While you spend too much time in dark drawers.”

“I do not!”

“Spoon, you think I don’t know what goes on in dark drawers. You and all that cutlery pushed together, sometimes mingling with forks.”

“I have never mingled with a fork.”

“Don’t deny it. I know these things. You cutlery are like that. Clinking away in the dark.”

“Oh, I see. And what about you? Nestled with those other dishes. Piled one on top of the other.”

“Suffocated in more like it. That’s why I love you so much Spoon we have similar shapes but you don’t smother me when we nestle together.”

“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” a voice came from outside their cabin door. “We must run and hide. Do something!”

Spoon jumped out of the warm water and went to the window.

“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

“What is it Spoon?”


“Oh, I love fireworks.” Dish pulled a tea towel around her to dry off. “Let’s get up on deck where we can it for ourselves.”

As they attempted to leave their cabin they were pushed back in by Chick.

“You must not go out. It is too dangerous. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”

“There, there, Chick. It’s only fireworks. A show. Not the sky. Don’t be so alarmed.”

“Fireworks!” Chick bobbed back and forth. “Are you sure about that.”

There was a barrage of green puffs over head.

“I don’t believe you. The sky is falling.” Chick skittered along the rack in alarm.

Dish and Spoon walked hand in hand to the upper rack.

“If it falls, at least we have each other.”

clean enough to drink from?