Picture Perfect 132

Picture Perfect 132

Dan exited Dr. Grey’s office pleased with results of  the examination. The past two weeks of nightly self-treatment had paid off. The damage was repairing itself & this eyes were no worse from John Kilpatrick’s assault two months ago. 

After his vacation he was eager to get back to work. It felt good to be planning a ‘Boss’s Back Sale’ at the Depot instead of worrying about his lines for yet another Cold East promo. He wanted the show to be history but with each new market there were new calls for interviews. The drama of events subsequent to the end of the show kept him in the public eye in ways he didn’t enjoy.

As he rode his bike into the lane between the Depot & the building block next to it he saw that while he was out it had been fenced off with chainlink hoarding. There was a sign inviting people to a community meeting to discuss proposed redevelopment of the lot. It would be a multi-storied apartment with retail in the bottom floor. He hoped the residents would enjoy the view of the apartment block across the street as well as the roof of the Depot.

Inside he helped Ushio & Len unpack boxes of various camera equipment they had ordered just for the sale. Len had been hired some months ago to take up the slack with Dan away on Cold East. 

“What are these?” Dan pulled out a shoulder bag made of clear, heavy plastic.

“Camera bags?” Ushio glanced at the bag.

“Or portable aquariums.” Len suggested. 

“Right.” Dan gave a short laugh. “Who ordered this? I certainly didn’t.”

“I did, boss.” Ushio said. “You told me to find things we could sell fast & cheap. They were in the Shutter Storehouse catalogue.”

“No serious photograph would use these.” Sandy said. “They keep their ten thousand dollar lenses hidden.” 

“It’ll be a fun give away.” Dan said. “Free with every purchase. That way there we should be rid go them quickly.”

They worked in relative silence for the next couple of hours. The only interruptions were customers that Len attended to.

“Two p.m. Coffee break.” Sandy announced as a chubby, dark-skinned man came into the store with their standing afternoon order from the Carafe.

“Hola,” the man said. “I am Camilo Villas. Jill says you are her best customers.” He smiled broadly. “Now your Columbian will be brought to you by a real Columbian.”

“Thank You. I’m Ushio Tanaka.”

“Sandy Reynolds.”

“Len March.”

“Jajaja. Don’t tell me, you are the maestro?” Camilo turned to Dan. “I am to make sure you get this one.” He gave Dan his coffee first. “Whole milk and a shake of vanilla. Right?”

“Right on both counts, Camilo.” Dan took his coffee and scone.

“Everything is okay?” Camilo said. “I am just learning how to do so many things.”

“You haven’t been in Canada long?” Ushio asked.

“Yes. Four years now. I was in Vancouver, then Calgary. But there weren’t places for me. I am certified registered nurse but do not have degree in your country so cannot practice. Soon I will write tests to practice here. I must get back to Carafe.”

“Thanks Camilo. You can tell Jill I’ll be by before she closes.”

“Yes, maestro.” Camilo made a half bow & left.

As Dan was finishing his coffee Cliff Silver came into the shop.

“I was hoping you’d be here.” Cliff said. “Things always run better when when the Maestro is here.”

“So you’ve met Camilo.” Sandy said. “His accent thick enough for you?”

“Sandy, please, I am a Christian woman.” Cliff adopted a South accent, then dropped back to his normal voice. “Besides he’s too short for me. Married with children, as well. Married I don’t mind. Children, count me out. I dropped in with the picture you had me frame & to give you these.”

He took two calendars out of his portfolio case. “I just got these proofs from the printers. Let me know what you think, Dan.”

The first set was a year of his Cape Breton cloudy day pictures taken at various spots around the island. The second was of his Dad’s Scenic Cape Breton.

“These were a James tradition since my dad started his business. When he died we didn’t keep it up.”

So many people had mentioned the James calendars when Dan was on the east coast he decided to revive them. He was hesitant about using his own pictures though as he never considered himself as good a camera man as his Dad. Cliff had convinced him otherwise after Dan showed him the photographs he had taken.

“Have you seen the zoning notice?” Cliff asked.

“Yeah. Going be a lot of noise when they start that tear down.” Dan shook his head.

“The developers visited me this morning making inquiries about who owns the property.”

“Figures.” Dan said. 

“They … uh … made me an offer.”

“What to but this building?”

“No. To be one of the first to lease space in the new building.”

“Ha! They haven’t even gotten zone permission.”

“Their agent told me that unless there was real objections they would start work by the firs too the month. They’ve also approached Jill at the Carafe.”

“Hey, Boss,” Ushio got his attention. “There’s Jeremy  Moxham on the news.”

Dan turned up the volume. The footage was of Jeremy scoring the decisive goal in the Olympics several years ago. Other footage was of him on red carpets, shaking hands with heads of state.

“Legendary Canadian sport figure Jeremy Moxham shocked his fans today by coming out as a gay man.”

“At least he didn’t come out as a lesbian woman.” Sandy laughed. “Now that would have been shocking.”

“Shush.” Dan said. “What may be old news to us is fresh for most of the world.”

“In a press release Jeremy Moxham says – ‘In order to move on in my life I feel it is time for me to be honest with myself and my public that I am gay. I have known this about myself for several years but have refrained from sharing it publicly or even privately for fear of alienating my fellow athletes and my many loyal fans.”

“I guess he has enough money in the bank it’s safe for him to come out.” Sandy said. “He’s got nothing to lose now.”

“Full contents of the press release can be found on our web site. His ex-wife Elizabeth was unavailable to comment.” Under this there was shot of Elizabeth and Jeremy frolicking in the surf from a Sports Illustrated swim suit issue.

“In other sports news …”

Dan turned the volume down.

“I suppose than comes as no surprise to you.” Sandy said.

“That he was gay?” Dan said. “Or that he was going to come out.”

“I always felt he was bi.” Ushio said. “I think all those guys are anyway. David Beckham. Sidney Crosby. Any man who dates a top model does it to prove he is heterosexual.”

“Interesting theory.” Cliff said. “I’d better get back to the gallery. My back in ‘ten minutes’ is up.

“You can lock up here Sandy.”

“Ok boss. See in the morning. We do have a big sale on.”

Dan up to his office. He took the ring out of the safe, shook it out of the pouch into the palm of his hand. “You are making it hard to say no Jeremy Moxham.” He put it on his finger. He had worn it for about an hour after after that supper with Jeremy. Other than a camera around his neck he didn’t wear jewelry. Chains and bracelets annoyed him. He could’t even tolerate wearing  watch. The ring fit perfectly. It looked at home on his finger, on his hand but after five minutes of working on his desk top it was distracting. He checked the time & went down to the Carafe before it closed.

“Cliff dropped this off today. It’s that picture of Peter him you wanted. Cliff had it framed for me.” 

It was a shot of Peter serving coffee and muffin.

“Thanks.” Jill said with a catch in her throat. 

“Yes.” He found himself turning the ring around and around on his finger. “You heard about Jeremy?”

“You know we don’t abide current affairs in here. No TV, remember. Rats want caffeine to get back into the race they are escaping from.”

“He came out, officially.”

“It’s about time. Does it bother you.”

“I’m not bothered. He …” Dan held up his hand for her to get a good look at the ring. “Popped the question moths ago. I told him I couldn’t deal with hiding this from his adoring public. I’ve been out so long in a city were nearly everyone I know is out.”

“So you think he did it for you?” Jill laughed. “I didn’t think you had that much power over men.”

“It seems I do. Look at my history. Sanjay. Peter. Jeremy. Stan. To name a few. They’ve all …”

“Stan? Who is this Stan?”

“Just some guy on the east coast who practically raped me.”

“So you’ve accepted or you wouldn’t be wearing his ring.” Jill laughed again. “It’s my party and Judy came in wearing his ring.” she sang.

“I’m trying it on. Rings turn to chains. I told him after dealing my non-marriage to Sanjay I wasn’t ready for the real thing.”

“I hear you there.” She said. “I don’t think you feel as strongly for either of them as you did for Peter either.”

“Smart woman.”

“Peter was still young enough not to let expectations get in the way of his emotions.” Jill said. “He wasn’t a jaded.”

“A little silver bird told me the developers have been to see you?”

“Oh them.” She laughed. “You think any brand spanking new condo complex would have the ambiance this creaking old dump has you’re crazy. You’re not thinking of selling out them, are you?”

“They haven’t approached me yet.” His cell rang. “Opps spoke too soon. Hi Sandy … I’ll be right there.”

“They’re waiting for you?”

“Nope, it’s my sister with her lawyer.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees  sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Measure Up

Measure Up

I concede 

I’m not that competitive

whether you are the better

isn’t that important to me

I want to be judged

on my merits alone

not on how much 

better or worse I may be

compared with anyone

better is relative


who is the winner

the one who comes in first 

or the one who finishes the race

on their own terms


I grew up

in a school system

where I learned 

I would never measure up

because I wasn’t smart enough

to memorize the times table

smart enough

to regurgitate passages of text books

when I wrote exams

even when I was right

I was given no credit

because my spelling was so wrong


coming out

I learned I would never measure

I was never young enough

buff enough

hung enough

to be desirable enough

in the eyes of those

who I wanted to measure up to

without realizing

I was trying to measure up

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at Capturing Fire 2020- sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Out Out Damn …

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza interviews his mother about his coming out. It is a rich episode, one that anyone who has come out will find lots to identify with – plus the story of his birth is incredible – though knowing what US medical care costs I wonder if his family is still paying it off.

One thing that gets overlooked is that gay people are always coming out – we don’t just come out once to our family & friends. We practically come out every time we meet someone who assumed the default setting that the world is cis-hetero. Even if sexuality isn’t relevant it becomes an issue if we hold back that information & the other finds out. “I want this wedding cake but with two men on the top.”

When I was actively involved as a lab rat for medical research – often one of a group of up to 40 others – guys would be talking about girlfriends, wives, children etc. I’d often be asked if I had any children, or how my wife/girlfriend felt about me doing this sort of work. Conversations to pass the tedious time that I avoided as much as possible.

Andrew’s mother was non-pulsed, & much like my parents, were more concerned about the social ramifications of being out. Back in the day, before I came out, same-sex sex was illegal, secretive, evil, dirty. I didn’t come out fully to my parents until after I had moved to Toronto. By then some of the laws had changed, but let’s face it, you can’t legislate thought. Even today’s laws haven’t reduced the amount of violence directed at the gay community.

I never had the sort of in depth discussion with my family about coming out as Andrew did with his. Then again I never had any discussion about sex period. I learned it all from Playboy & Penthouse; & when I found a source from gay porn novels & magazines. I can’t even remember if I ever had a discussion with anyone about what it felt like to come out while I was coming out. Gay guys I met then were more interested in dick size, top, bottom, than how do you emotionally feel about being who you are. But I eventually met a perfect match.

A Perfect Match

the first time

I was really with a woman

I ran my fingers

through her dark hair

as she touched mine

you have such fine hair she told me

she kissed me   lips gentle

opened her mouth a little

my hand under her sweater

searched along her bra


we continue to kiss on the bed

I held her soft breasts

solid    light yet with weight    substance

circled blissful raspberry nipples

with my thumbs

I had read Penthouse    Playboy

I knew the mechanics

of peach fuzzed mounds


she pulled off my pants

more kissing touching

you’re a sweet kisser she told me

she moved my hand to her thatch

splayed my fingers

pushed them in one by one

that feels good she whispered


the folds were sticky

she guided my cock

I rocked my hips in   out

it was warm moist frictionless

she clenched with her leg muscles

breathed heavily into my ear

then we rolled apart

I didn’t come    wasn’t even close

she smiled kissed me some more


I couldn’t wait to wash my hands


the first time

I was really with a man

never read what to do

I knew exactly what to do

we yanked at each others’ clothes

tongues raced pulse pounding

so much friction

I came

like a match being struck

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam




June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Coming Out in DC

The final full day in Washington was lazy and productive. I aimed for two museum trips & such at Ted Bulletin. The over 35C cut things down to one museum: This Jewish Military on R Street – a fifteen minute walk from my hotel. I love these ‘modest’ collections that convey to me a different perspective. One two floors there was enough to see to feel how these soldiers were trying to a part of culture & prove their patriotism and manliness.


Most of the material focused on the two World Wars. I was touched by the trench art work refashioning bomb casings into vases. There was sense of the hands that made these items as they were eating to fight. I was suitably impressed by the array of medals some of these men had been awarded – arrays of over a dozen in some cases. I saw my first purple heart in the flesh. I bought a couple of camouflage Yarmulkes – perhaps the oddest souvenir I’ve ever purchased. (More Jewish museum pics: http://topoet.tumblr.com/post/161784459693)

Reluctantly I left the museum & headed to 14th Street to lunch at Ted’s Bulletin – one I figure out which way was north I found the diner without any trouble. I love the 30’s detail of this spot & I highly recommend to anyone visiting DC – weekdays are fine – weekend lines-up are too much for me. The food was great – I had a too large breakfast with both bacon & sausage – I still prefer link to patty though & those stringy home fries are weird.

While I was there I did some writing. My friend Lizzie Violet blogs (https://lizzieviolet.com) about writing in cafes – but this is something I rarely do. After hearing some pieces about coming out at Capturing Fire I wrote one about my coming out. It’s below & is a very rough draft transcribed directly from my note book. I had to restrain myself rom playing stoic as I wrote it. But I’m not stoic to deny that I’ll be a bit sorry to head home but also that I look fraud to sleeping my my own little bed & having my entire tee shirt collection to choose from 🙂

Past Washington posts http://wp.me/P1RtxU-1e3

Wrote this while at lunch at Ted’s Bulletin Tuesday June 13, 2017

When I Came Out

when I came out to my friends

I did it by stages

timid stages

like: I’m not queer but if

(name of handsome movie star)

wanted me

I’d be willing to explore

but the truth was

I’d jacked off

to a bathing suit photo of

(name of handsome movie star)

who decades later came out


when I came out to my friends

as 100% queer

some were like:

you know I’m not that way


never spoke to me again


got drunk with me to explore


when I came out to my mother

she said

don’t tell your father

when I came out to my father

he said

don’t tell your mother


when I came out

no one said



it’s about fucking time


engaged me in conversations

like conversations guys had

about girls they’d like to screw

those playboy bunnies

no one ever asked

are you seeing someone

no one said

oh I work with a gay guy

maybe you’d like to meet him


it was as if

being queer

I’d suck any male dick

without discrimination


no one said

you must feel incredibly alienated

in this small town hard drinking

red neck hetero culture


maybe I was too stoic

not wanting to let anyone in

being queer was bad enough

without presenting myself

as a weepy drama queen

I had to be man enough

masculine enough

so no one would suspect

how much emotion uncertainty

I was experiencing

thanks to that constant rasping

of faggot gear box


hearing that

so & so friend of someone

was gay

and had hung themselves

had stepped in front of a semi

on a dark highway

told that by friends

who never said

I hope you don’t do that


if you feel like that talk to us


when I came out

I was left to my own devices

and survived

and sometimes

I still jack off to the memory

of that bathing suit photo of

(name of handsome movie star)

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