Bottle Apostle


Apostle Bottle

my pain can be explained away

in bars only so many times
it blurs into an endless smear
oily floors broke-back chairs

stools half an inch off centre
bartenders wipe wet circles

with easy disdain

the pain loses focus but not intensity
it gets transmuted
the complexities of lives with people
whose pain canʼt be contained
by the clink jostle of bottles
clustered in fridge clutter
tubs of something ends of cheeses
or by boasts of what lies ahead
from compulsive liars
their story constantly changes
they canʼt keep their words in check
about new bloody nosed adventures


from pillar to pub
from postgame to predestination

my pain can’t be explained away in bars

because it keeps coming back to roost
as I try to get up to the next spot

where things will be different

new bartenders new glasses
new windows of opportunity
bringing home the bacon
or whatever his her name is
to fry a while between the sheets
trying to spark reality

out of bruised lips

thick tongue probe for the one true love

slur words of unchangeable fidelity

to each smiling indifference


there is a way out for some
subtle acceptance of other steps
away from the merry go round
of one round after the next
away from explaining problems in bars

into a strangely well lit territory
hand shakes coffee grounds
clear eyed people
who donʼt explain away their pain
but share that it can be endured
rather than submerged or replaced
by the endless gasping

open mouthed gape

of the apostle bottle

04sofa01Apostle is one of the few pieces I’ve written about being a drunk. Like many of my pieces it started with that those opening lines – the why of drinking for many people is to sooth some hurt or to stop feeling some hurt.04sofa09I enjoyed using various ‘round’ images – like glasses are round – like how we buy a round of drinks – stools, wet circles more rounds. The circular nature of solving the drinking problem with another drink. I also enjoy the sonics that run all though the piece click – jostle – clustered – clutter. The fridge an echo of the first piece in this chapbook.

Drinkers may start with the truth but its value soon vanishes when the results aren’t as good as the feeling of tricking people with lies – it allows a sense of superiority, as longs one can keep track of the story being palmed off after you fry between the sheets.04sofa03Usually those tales were meant to lead to tail – bringing him that ‘piece’ of bacon, meat. The over emotionality of drunkenness – the body is less sensitive, so is the brain so emotions have be larger to even be felt – that spark has got be the love of one’s life.04brownchair09‘hand shakes coffee grounds’ brings the notion of recovery into the picture. This is the social context of AA – one way of escaping that endless circle of one more drink will fix it. Ending with the wonderful rhyme and image apostle bottle – reversing the words gives me bottle apostle also powerful – that belief we searched for liquid resurrection.


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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


#Porn Has Ruined My Sex Life

Porn Has Ruined My Sex Life

he wanted to try


sprawled over the back of a couch

something he’d seen

in a porn movie


when it wasn’t as hot

or as easy as it looked

I had to tell him

porn movies aren’t instructional videos

he looked a bit miffed

as if it was our fault

that neither of us could duplicate

the endurance   flexibility

of those performers


I told him

they don’t do single take session

just like real movies

they stop for snacks

to have their testicular make up adjusted

which is even more important

now with everything in HD


I showed him one sequence

where the stunt dick steps in

to fuck the stunt ass hole

that the two actors

he had been so intense upon

had been replaced

for those all important close ups

unless between camera set ups

one of them grew a foreskin

and the other had his ass shaved

he wasn’t assuaged

by these revelations


once again

porn has ruined my sex life

and my couch

couch01This piece was inspired by exactly what it says – a guy I see wanted to try something he’d seen in a porn & when it didn’t flow as he felt it should he was let down but he was also the one to realize that what happens on screen isn’t reality.

The other facts about what happens on a porn shoot is stuff I’ve picked up from reading blogs by porn actors, & some from personal knowledge. I did watch a porn scene in which the genitalia of the actors changed for close ups.

couch02Some is totally random – testicular make up? Plausible but not practical under the extreme circomestances it would be used. Even though HD has changed porn somewhat, the amateur field has exploded anyway. Seems many find ‘comfort’ in the slightly blurred image – HD is too harsh a reality.

couch03I also notice the music in porn – when I watched it at all & if I watch it with sound. The great guitarist Mike Bloomfield recorded original music for porn late in his career but I haven’t found those released, yet. What I did find was Patrick Cowley’s School Daze: a great collection of early 80’s synthesizer soundtrack stuff. When I hear it on my iPod I feel like I’m walking down the street in a porn movie where a hot shirtless guy washing his car accidentally squirts me. I hope he can afford a new couch.

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


holy groped

#NaNoWriMo sample.01 2014

perfect nano sample

Here are the first 1005 words I wrote of Picture Perfect. This is merely where I started writing, so it’s not necessarily the beginning of the final version.

“You’re not listening to me.” Sanjay took the remote from Dan and muted the TV.

“I was.” Dan grabbed the remote. “You said my sister had a good point.”

“But you are going to ignore her?” Sanjay tried to get the remote back before Dan could turn the sound back on.

“Some thing don’t change.” Dan  blocked Sanjay’s hand looked him in the eyes and kissed him. “If I had listened to her, we would not be together. You know that that.”

“So you keep telling me.” Sanjay pushed Dan away from him, got up from the couch and stood in front of the TV.

“Sanj, If you want to distract me you’ll have to drop your drawers.”

“We’re talking a lot of money, Dan. A lot of money.”

“I’m not paying for you to drop them. Now, step away from the TV. I was watching something.”

“You’re always watching something when I want to talk to you. You’ve recorded this anyway, so you can go back to it.”

“You asked me to clear things off the recorder, remember. Now that I’m trying to, you want to talk me.” Dan hit pause. “You’re the reason I don’t think we need a cat.”


“Cats ignore you till you are trying to do something and they are all over you.”

“You wish.”

“This is nearly over anyway. Ten minutes.” he unpaused. “Step aside?”

He pressed the back button to rewatch what he’d missed talking to Sanjay.

“What’s it about anyway?” Sanjay sat beside him.

“Missing kids on the east coast.”

“I should have known.”

“Yeah, everything is homework for … hey! That’s me!” Dan hit the pause button.

It was a photo of two boys on the front steps of a house. Arms over each other shoulders, grinning at the camera.

“You sure aren’t missing.” Sanjay said.

“Yeah yeah I know. It’s the other boy Timmy Dunlop. I guess.”

“Guess? I thought you were watching this.”

“You mean, trying to watch. My Dad took this picture. I remember it. It’s been years since I’ve seen it though.”

“Yeah, right. How many photographs have you seen?”

“Enough ,but some you remember. I sort of had a crush on Timmy. We played doctor a couple of times. When we moved I kept hoping to hear from him but nothing.”

“I guess you know why now.” Sanjay stretched. “I’m heading for bed. I leave you to your homework.”

Any reality show dealing with crime was considered Dan’s homework. He saw things in photographs that most didn’t see. His eyes had been trained to discover and recognized what might appear ordinary to the untrained eye.

He went back to the beginning of the program ‘Canada Cold’ that looked at cold cases across Canada. He’d worked such cases with the RCMP and that had tweaked his interested in them. This episode was about a the disappearance of several children in the Maritimes in the mid-80’s. Dan had no recollection of it at all. His family had moved when he was eleven, the same summer of these disappearances.

As he watched he jotted down the names and locations of the children. None struck a chord with him expect Timmy’s. The place name were familiar, Stellerton, Digby, Wolfville in Nova Scotia; ‘Small Town & Port Something- names to be filled in in editing’ in New Brunswick. His Dad had been an itinerant photographer, “Photos By James”, who travelled from school to school, taking class pictures and individual portraits. For summer’s he would take the family with him, spending a day or two, or up to a week in various small towns.

Dan pulled himself out his reflective daze. Replayed the ending of the show again and wrote down the number one was to call if they had any information. He’d call once he had found those photos. Stellerton had been one of the longer stays and one of the last as he recalled.

They’d been their long enough for him to renew his friendship with some of the boys he’d palled around with the previous summer. They left pretty quickly. He remembered being pretty pissed because the Happy Hippo Carnival had just set up and he wanted to so badly to go it.

Moving to Toronto wasn’t as important to him then as seeing the side shows. Even his sister as somewhat disappointed but that was because she was seeing some guy their mother didn’t approve of. He figured that was why they were really moving and for years blamed her for ruining his childhood.

“You coming up or am I coming by myself?”

In the morning Dan ate without noticing what he was eating. His folks must have known about Timmy disappearing. Why hadn’t they told him. He’ d written Timmy letters from Toronto or did those ever get mailed?

“He must have been something special?” Sanjay nudged Dan’s shoulder as he offered to refill his coffee cup.

“Who?” Dan waved the coffee away. “I’ve had enough.”

“The boy in the picture. You are thinking about him, aren’t you?”

“Some but more about why I didn’t know what happened till now. I was so heart sick about him but I let my folks think I was just homesick.”

“How old were you?”

“Only eleven.”

“Still carrying that flame?”
“No! I haven’t really thought about him or those days till last night. I’m surprised I recognized his face.”

“It was you that recognized first.”

“Yeah well there were so few pictures of me, I mean just of me, with Linda lurking in the background. She invented photo bombing because they was no way dad could take a picture if she was around without her getting in on it. Nearly all by baby picture show either her or my mother holding me.”

“So that’s when the rivalry started.”

“Oh yeah, I wasn’t out of the womb before she was making sure she got as much attention s she could. I better get going. Time to open shop. I’m seeing Warszawa this afternoon. I’ll ask him what he thinks I should do.”

bcouch brown couch – not in my story line

With this start I wanted to establish as much as possible without dwelling too long on any one fact. As the story evolves more details get filled in – names of the children for one thing and the exact locations of where they were when abducted.

I needed to sketch in the lover relationship – one that seemed lived in and comfortable, with some sexuality but without being sexual while doing do. Some humour but not too campy. Plus I wanted to show the cosmopolitan nature of the gay world in Toronto. Names quickly create character – Sanjay is such a name. Giving me a wealth of Desi culture to draw on.

couchb I said – no brown couches

I also wanted to set out one of the major plots – the missing children. This was the original seed for the novel several years ago. Taking Dan, this is not a spoiler, back to the east coast to investigate further & also make some discoveries about his own past.

I had to address his present business as well – set up the current family dynamic that would be a constant struggle and a source for conflict as he makes discoveries about family secrets.

hole avoiding plot holes isn’t easy

Finally I had to hint at Dan’s work with the RCMP (Warszawa) & other police agencies. Later we see him in action as he examines some crime scene photos. The whole nature of this as a profession has changed rapidly as computer technology has became more precise and TV created false ideas of how easy it is to do.

All that in a 1000 words. whew.


November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2014 – nano


another couch not suitable for my plot

The Ambitious Couch


The Ambitious Couch


A couch, like ambition, is most exciting when new.

A couch, like ambition, often hides its old springs under new upholstery.

Ambition, like a couch, ambition, needs to be replaced when it sags in the middle.

A couch, like ambition, is often worn out only in one spot.

A couch, like ambition, should be able to hold more than one butt.

A novel, like ambition, should allow for comfort in the long stretch.

A couch, like ambition, should face in the direction that offers the best view of what lies ahead.

A couch, like ambition, is as strong as the springs that support it.

A toaster, like ambition, should be cleaned every now and then.

A plot, like ambition, shouldn’t be thrown out because of a few worn spots.

A lover, like ambition, comes in many forms but serves the same purpose.

A story, like ambition, should be short enough to hold all that needs to be held.

The best couch, like ambition, should never be outgrown.

Ambition, like a plot, is always ready to give support no matter what the circumstances.

A couch, like ambition, can hide the mice of doubts.

A couch, like a lover, often has hidden treasures between the folds.

A couch, like a novel, shouldn’t take a genius to use it.

Ambition, like a face, always lasts longer with simple care.

A lover, like ambition, works best with its back against the wall.

A blow job, like ambition, can all too often be a place to hide to avoid life.

A couch, like a nightmare, has its feet planted firmly on the ground.

A couch, like a lover, allows for rest while supporting you without question.

A plot, like a lover, doesn’t give up hope just because you have a new one in mind.

A couch, like ambition, doesn’t take up all the space in the living room but shares it with other ambitions and furniture.

A couch, like a lover, doesn’t stop just because it takes life lying down.

couch01 couch curbed

In an early draft of this piece “A couch, like ambition” is how each of these saying started. It was an exercise in giving an inanimate object an abstract quality in a didactic way. Sort of a list poem, but one in which I made no attempt to create a story line.

In this recently revised version I played with the nouns – changing ‘couch’ ‘ambition’ into other entities to see how sound the various sayings would remain.

chair recliner declined

It became an example, to me, of how little and yet how much language matters when trying to make sense of something. How what one say may or may not be understood regardless of how one says it.

This was first written in 1999 and remained unseen until recently as I excavated through old discs to see what was there. Because of formatting changes, equipment limitations I was only able to open about a third of my old discs. Those that I could open often the files couldn’t be read, even by TextEdit – so I scrapped them! That’s right I threw writing away. Old journals have bit the dust & man, did it feel good to let go of the past.

couch02 couch trashed

A couch, like a ambition, when made obsolete must make room for the new.



sofa cold couch