Sense of Faith

Week Twelve of The Artist’s Way talks about faith – a sense of spiritual connection that isn’t tied to any particular region or dogma.

‘spirit of the universe

guide me

infuse me

with your dynamic productive energy

as you create through me

works

writing

emotions

that helps open others to

spiritual hope

direction fulfillment

thank you for all’

I wrote the above as one of the Artist’s Way tasks – to write a prayer/affirmation as part of the process of making thought into an action. I recently had a conversation with a friend about prayer. He was concerned that as he held no organized religious beliefs, was his use of prayer hypocritical. Was he  agnostic atheist heretic blasphemer? I told him those terms were based in a Christian construct. As I said that I thought about what Toni Morrison said about the nature of the white gaze which dominates so much of our thinking without us realizing it.

The past few weeks I have been realizing how much of my spiritual ideology is still seen though a Christian gaze, even though I don’t consider myself Christian. The prayer about was written with that gaze over my shoulder, an invisible editor that bargains with the universe in this trade off – like the Biblical trade off in which if you’re good you go to Heaven – we have to be bribed. Why can’t one be good for the sake of being good.

Why can’t I have ‘dynamic productive energy’ without bargaining for it by being of good to others as a result? Can I develop a sense of faith that steps out of the Christian gaze? Even though I say ‘spirit of the universe’ I see that I am engaging with it so as not to appear selfish, or self-serving. That my creativity is only of value if it feeds into the needs of others. Not that I expect faith to exist in a vacuum isolated from culture but I’d like one that doesn’t depend on a culture to approve or validate it. I have faith that that faith is possible 🙂

from Aug 2013

Five Calls

<>

the phone rings

what is it this time

time after time the same

never enough to last a week

if only hanging up could break a jaw

<>

the phones rings

how soon

see you in an hour

the heart dances

faster that the clock ticks

<>

the phone rings

how did you get this number

I don’t want to talk to you

there’s nothing left to say

that’s the price you have to pay

<>

the phone rings

stirring me from dreams

into the charms arms hold

everything to anticipate

nothing to resist

<>

the phone rings

have you heard

didn’t expect to be the one

left here dial tone dangling

cold receiver of sobs

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Distant Caught

Caught Hard

<>

1

<>

dull dark day

desperately dawns

clinging coldly

to night clouds;

little mists of mares

floating doggedly

over murky dreams

<>

I am fighting,

fighting so hard 

for an empty room –

a glass trophy

it can’t last,

it mustn’t last,

this fighting alone,

on the dew-wet grass

so close to home;

with the fleshly born

morning sunrise

<>

just by being here

to see the fight

you become the fight;

another shadow-boxing affair

reflected from bottles

reflecting across walls

fighting for each word you speak

<>

I am dying

that everyday death

we each die

<>

fighting in only

the best of surroundings,

soundings & singers,

all dying in fighting –

fighting off fits of laughter

I feel exploding

each inner pondering


like a sledge hammer

smashing each happy stone

<>

returning sensations

of pleasure

white in the night

feeling close while

coming to an end

<>

caught hard

up in the air

without a handful of  much

just loose strings of things

of other satisfied things

to keep me for giving in

to consuming everything

in one final bite

<>

2

<>

I’ve heard the hangman

many times today;

why do I feel so cold

a-sway in the summer sun?

swing peacefully

in the hangman’s hot breath?

he’s trying to melt me down

so I can be sold

in bits

and

pieces

<>

3

<>

many times,

screaming inside

he cannot bear

to have me sway

to any breath

but his:

up the stairs

up the stairs

no one cares

except for the hangman

filling his pockets

with meltings

<>

I am free

to fall

I am free

to get up

I am free yet feel so lost

<>

if I am not a fossil

why do I feel so old?

if I am not reincarnated

why do I feel so unborn?

tiny & afraid

summer sun waiting

for someone to touch

if I am not wisdom

why do I feel so foolish 

out of these words?

am I the end of time

drizzled with smiling sun

in your early morning suddenness?

<>

if I am not dynamite

why do I feel like fighting

every time I think of you?

<>

the sun cannot melt

through to the middle

yet I feel myself slipping

up the stairs

up the stairs

away from the sun

that needs me melted

so we can start winter

<>

4

<>

the hangman has seen me crying

the hangman has been free dying

to reach out & cut the rope

to end my all-day dangling

<>

if I am not a hanged man

why do my feet

never seem to touch the ground?

<>

if there is no rope

around my neck

what holds me in place

keeping me from falling?

Jan71/Jan73/July74/June76

Welcome to alliteration 🙂 All those d’s, c’s, m’s are perfect for waking you up in the morning. Looking back now I see how this piece reflects some of the anti-materialist hippie counterculture of the early 70’s. People fed up with working hard for nothing – employee of the month with no real sense of satisfaction. Hearing songs about that by pop stars who became millionaires.

I was/am not a particularly pugnacious guy so all this boxing/fighting imagery seems more like masculine bravado. There was some inner turmoil often both fuelled by & hidden by alcohol: “another shadow-boxing affair/ reflected from bottles.” The turmoil was creative: what can I write to make me rich; it was also sexual – the fight to express myself & not be judged. 

This piece moves with a looping of repeated images that eave in & around each other, the hangman, the sun, melting, fighting in different combinations as it literally fights to find cohesion & meaning. I see it now as the struggle for identity – to find one in the world around me. 

‘your early morning suddenness’ seems to hint of a romantic involvement that didn’t exist at that time. Fear kept me emotionally frozen, this is what was to be melted so I could enter the world with the cold mask of creativity to protect me.

All these rhetorical questions spring from the hippie search for self – where you going Billy? How many roads must a man walk down? The hangman makes a return here but in a less playful way. Then in that last verse we get rhyme! Something that I generally avoided then (& now). 

The piece is stitched together from various pieces as the dates at the end indicate. I had them in note books & felt they resonated with each other. The ’74 take was when I pulled them together. ’76 was the final edit for the chapbook & I resequenced them for flow & to create the illusion of depth.

https://topoet.ca/2019/04/26/caught-hard-1971-76/

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

Transcendence

The Toni Morrison bio-documentary/interview A Life In Pieces is amazing. One reviewer was quoted as saying something like ‘she has transcended race in this latest book’ – the implication being that this is a good thing that makes her an even better writer. You know I’ve never read a review of novel/books by authors such as Joyce Carol Oates or Stephen King that says that they transcended race, or gender.

One of the things that Morrison said was that she decided not to explain issues in her characters lives but to merely present them because she felt her black readers would already understand & she felt no need to tell them the why of what they already knew. This resonated with me as I often felt need to give my queer characters backstories that explained their coming out – something I still find in movies & novels about the queer experience – explaining things for the heterosexual gaze. There is more to my life than my coming-out experience.

As my poetry became less concerned with explanations or making emotions universal I did get some negative feed back for being too insular – very similar to critical response to some of Morrison’s work that was too race oriented to be ‘quality’ literature. That is until she transcended race. Which I don’t think she really did, or had to do, it’s just that the culture around her became more educated & caught up to her.

I have a few of her novel on my shelf that I may reread. I did download her book of essays ‘The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations’ & have bumped it up to the front of the read next on my Kindle. I’m in the middle of two other books on it now & can’t start yet another one until one of them is finished. Emile Zola’s “La joie de vivre” & Koji Suzuki’s Edge – both amazing & highly recommended.

(from July 2007)

Racking Up Bonus Miles

more never leads to enough 

satisfaction is a sigh of defeat

too much stuff is a nice beginning

the constant scratch seeking struggle 

doesn’t matter if it fulfills a need

or even a want

it’s just stuff

lots and lots of stuff

fill every nook & cranny

empty is a sign of defeat

bare space isn’t spare simplicity

it is need poverty

only the rich can afford empty space

which they fill with their satisfaction

satisfaction is defeat

more is better than equality

<>

life is a pointless staring glazed at TVs

that aren’t big enough

too much empty space

between the neutrons 

making up picture 

it’s too easy to fall between the cracks

in the waiting glazed fumble

give me stuff or give me breath mints

<>

bursting at the seams is a start

time to look for bigger seams

to get more stuff in

stuff the up the cracks

stuff up your ass

stuff stuff stuff

<>

how good it feels

to bring home bags of unopened books

the smell of the paper

the space between letters

waiting to be filled

new cds flash in the sunset

as I peel plastic skin off them

new shoes not laced yet

new helicopters new tanks

to keep our boys safe in war

war that never gets enough

there is no such thing as enough death

no quenching that hunger

<>

that smokey smell

is life burning away the past 

to make space for the future

why learn lessons

there are new mistakes to be made

mistakes like forgetting 

that more never leads to enough

satisfaction is a sigh of defeat

too much is surrender

will that be cash or visa

you get more bonus miles with visa

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Autonomy

In Week Eleven of The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron says: ‘The idea that money validates my credibility is very hard to shake.’ I’d take this even further but substituting ‘money’ with ‘suffering’ or ‘childhood sexual abuse’ or ‘conformity’ or ‘pick your own.’ There are so many sets of standards to measure validation that one can always find one that deems them not deserving. Maybe its the nature of ‘credibility’ that needs to be examined. Perhaps validation & credibility a manifestations of co-dependency – the need for a sense of self defined by outside forces.

I know we are ultimately defined by our culture’s standards but that is no reason not to question or even resist those perimeters. Sure, making money as a creator is a good thing, I’d love to get paid for blogging 🙂 Very few poets I know earn enough $ from their actual poetry to made a decent living – they struggle for grants, teach creative writing, edit for other writers. But that’s a rant for another post 🙂

Watched an amazing interview/biography of Toni Morrison. One of the things she talks about is writing for the white-gaze & when she stopped doing that her writing took on a a different sense, she was freed of needing to satisfy that gaze. This resonated with me as an issue of autonomy. In looking over my archive & greater depth than ever I see how much of what I wrote was written for the heterosexual-gaze.

Work that I pushed to make universal so the emotions were human, as opposed to being specific to me & my sexuality. Not that there isn’t an intersection of those emotions but I was suppressing direct gay sexuality to be more accessible, acceptable?

When I stopped suppressing my gay-gaze my poetry became more personal, more honest & so direct that my performance opportunities declined. I was a bit disappointed but who cares, right? My writing is what it is. I once had an agent tell me my sex scenes were too explicit. I guess was not writing for the heterosexual-gaze anymore 🙂 Autonomy 🙂

One of the tasks is another list of dreams but dreams in different categories – health, possessions, leisure, relationships, creativity, career & spirituality. Wishes with no thought as to practicality. This was a challenge in the light of the covid pandemic – every list included covid resistance, vaccine in first spot. It’s hard to dream of a future with this sort of threat – much like the 60s fear of nuclear holocaust that coloured our lives. But I survived that holocaust & I’ll survive this one.

 

Beyond Instinct

1 – ode to didgeridoo

<>

we are invited to travel

along a river of breath

chatter fades after the first vibrations

as we immerse in the deep C

notes below the harmonic of hearing

dark trilling the mud mind

the ear canal overfills gently

no room to hear anything more

a wordless dialogue in sound

digs us deep from the moment

into pre-animal instincts

the music before birth

beyond notes seeking a sharp landing

<>

2

<>

someone asked me

where did these words 

‘dark trilling the mud mind’

come from

<>

I wasn’t sure what to say

I’ve spent to many years

deconstructing the dictionary

there was nothing left to say

there is no where

there is no way to take you there

I’m lost in this horizon

setting you straight is beyond me

can’t tell where I’m coming from

not quite sure where I am going

but I know I’m here

caught in a fulminating flux

by a power greater than myself

something I’ll never understand

as long as I open the the experience

there is no logic to capture

the freedom of the flow

the where words come from

isn’t up to me

anything I say will only disappoint

or turn into my weaving

some self-indulgent web

a wordless dialogue in sound

to lead you to my bed

in an attempt to humanize myself

so you see the me beyond the dictionary

July 2007

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Distant Siren

Siren Song

alone is a far way to go

just to sit

by the sea

to hear a guitar’s

random chords on waves

salt numbing fingers

seagull swooping

from distant rock-face

echoing the broken string

out-of-tune with damp

humming content

up & down the reaches

of beach disappearing 

into the enclosing fog

with reason saying go

romance saying stay

till all you can see

are your feet on the trail

to the ocean’s edge

then back to the rock

claimed as temporary home

<>

seeming like hours

the fog drifts away,

you can only throw

a guitar so far

and the sound that it makes

as it hits water

as the bridge breaks on the rocks

seems more fitting

than the fingers found

with still no purpose

but some finality;

too dark now

even to watch the pieces

playing in the waves

the wind picking the trees

more moonlit howling,

it might be time now,

now that you’ve drowned

in the only gift

you felt you had to give

Nov 17/75

Another mythological reference with the title – sailors lured by the irresistible songs like the narrator here is lured by not only the music but the seduction of the romance of being alone by the waves. This is almost a movie moment of our sad hero pining away wrapped up in thoughts & emotions he is afraid to articulate. Perhaps the melodrama of the echo is all he really wants anyway.

There is some real in this piece – I have sat by the ocean, have watching my footprints in the sand washed by the waves, have felt contemplative as I was lulled by the in and out of the water. I have even wandered away from a group of friends just to sit & enjoy the image.

I had the image of sitting the rock, playing guitar & the first lines came to me. This echo of music echoes though many of the pieces in the collection as well. Thus the title Distant Music – things not quite heard, not quite seen in the fog. I still like the transition in the first line ‘alone is a far way to go’ – that takes the abstraction of ‘alone’ & turns it into a destination as opposed to an emotion.

The piece touches on the essential loneness of creativity. Often a choice has to be made between social life & creative life, a choice that isn’t always that comfortable or easy to maintain. One has to be a part of the life around them but at the same time solitude is where imagination finds outlet. I’ve written in groups, but it’s only a step to working things out alone. Unlike musicians there are no writing quartets 🙂 but musicians usually practice in solitude.

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

The Deadlies Way

Week Ten of The Artist’s Way has proved to be the most interesting so far. A sense of self-protection wasn’t that difficult for me, I think, partly due to growing up queer – one learns to protect, hide certain parts of the self rather than surrender them, or even to question them. In looking back I see how I was questioning masculine values to a degree – it was some years before I question the culture that created & perpetuated those values.

There is some talk about the drug of fame, the drain of competition. I’m not sure if I ever wanted fame, notoriety maybe, but fame – no thanks. I had a rather-well-known friend & very frequently we would stopped in the street when someone recognized them. Often the praise was for something they’d rather forget 🙂

The issue with competitiveness is often winning becomes more important than creativity. I’ve met slam poets who ‘sculpt’ pieces for points, or who question their talents if they don’t get enough points. I know one doesn’t write in a vacuum but audiences are fickle, unpredictable & unreliable narrators of anyone’s talents.

 

I enjoyed the tasks in this chapter. The Deadlies was fun though I didn’t do it quite as suggested – as each was dealt with I put it in another envelope to make sure I looked at all of them at least once. Some of them needed to be tweaked to make them applicable to today: i.e. it’s been over 40 years since I’ve used alcohol or drug to cope so I had to find something in my life today that has a ‘similar’ addictive resonance in my life. Blogging?

Doing a lovely thing for myself every day was interesting too – with food as one of the Deadlies is having a Klondike ice-cream bar a lovely thing or giving in to the spiral of ‘I eat badly because I’m self-destructive’? But I only have one ice-cream bar a day – so maybe it isn’t so deadly 🙂

Blowing Shit Up

kill them 

kill them all

bomb the shit out of them

teach them 

to be good world citizens

let them die of hiv 

malnutrition

then bomb the shit of what is left

<>

they don’t know any better

they are lost little children

stumbling through the shopping mall

of our needs and wants 

if they can’t satisfy those needs and wants 

then kill them 

kill them all

<>

bomb the shit out of them

bomb their contaminated water supply

their understaffed hospitals 

over-flowing orphanages

bomb their rubble to rubble

kill them 

kill them all

<>

liberate the enslaved of all nations

from the despotic heels of dictators

religious fanatics

bring them into our refined gilded fold

of credit cards smart phones

that’s all we want to do or

we’ll bomb the shit out of them

kill them 

kill them all

those blasphemers 

who don’t have a seat at the world bank

we have to assimilate them 

into the stream of human kindness

if they can’t be assimilated

bomb the shit out of them

smash destroy replace repatriate

then we’ll stick around

help rebuild those economies

brick by byte

because what is good for them

is even better for our capital gains

<>

we’ll bomb the shit out of them 

till they admit we are right

to kill them 

kill them all

bomb their rubble to rubble

because

after all

who doesn’t like to see 

shit blow up

right

(2007)

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#Aphrodisiac

The Go Lounge (1718 Queen W. at Roncesvalles) was the perfect place for a Master Class with Lillian Allen hosted by Andrea Thompson. As much as I enjoy an event with three or four poets and a handful of open stagers I often feel rushed & by the end ‘listened out.’ Features usually get twenty minutes tops, so time for their comments on individual poems is minimal.

puzzling evidence
puzzling evidence

The Master Class was an excellent opportunity to hear poetry and have the poet talk about, in this case, her writing process, her artistic vision. Lillian give us a concise, brief, explanation of dub poetry, which is where hip-hop sprouted from.

it fell from the sky
it fell from the sky

Her pieces were funny – ‘Moses and Steve Jobs were comparing tablets,’ rhythmically complex, emotionally compelling, politically fearless and presented with warmth and a real sense of her pleasure. By the end of the hour or so I felt that I had actually heard a poet, as opposed to merely listened to them. Sadly, with nearly an hour of transit to get home, I had to duck out before the second half were we to write and the present a piece prompted by the Master Poet of the night.

nice catch
nice catch

The Lounge itself is an intimate space with a friendly staff. A simple menu and what appears to be a nicely stocked bar. I had a great grilled cheese sandwich. I look forward to next month’s Master Class with Lishai Peel.

writing sample
writing sample

Aphrodisiac

I know you’re sore

after that gal you’d been hitting on

walked out on you after three drinks

how the last two chicks you dated

dumped you via text message

one of them still won’t return your calls

how they turn into such selfish bitches

but just because I’m a clean old queer

doesn’t mean I have any interest

in your macho macho meat

the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac

you may think I’m one of those

predatory homos you are sure

are always lurking around

hungry for any straight guy

to fall into my eager mouth

well honey you are in a dream world

the fact that I checked out our jeans

was because I was wondering where you got them

you know in this light

you are sort of cute

and kind of sweetly drunk

but I’m not drunk enough

so why don’t you find your buds

you aren’t getting anything here

‘cause if those nasty hos

you always seem to end up with

aren’t interested I’m certainly not

the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac mac

3501211-mirror-ball

Racket @redrocketcoffee

Got over to Make A Racket at the Red Rocket. I’ve been aiming to check out this new reading series & had a great time. Host Sandra Cardinal offered up an eclectic mix of non-fiction, spoken word, music, drama & story telling. As it was the 200th anniversary of Laura Secord Sandra opened the show with a look her research into Laura’s life.

side by side
side by side

First feature Teri Degler read and discussed a section of her book Divine Feminine Fire. This section dealt with the ‘Transmutation of Desire.’ Like myself, she’s found it odd that so many people believe that spirituality is meant to transcended sexuality rather than a way to experience it on deeper creative level.

Next up was a quick set of great open stagers me, Vanessa McGowan (her dad never learned how to laugh), Adam Abbas (tackling limericks to good effect & actually cracked a smile), & Joshua newly moved here from Montreal (multi-generation pieces, one about newly born niece, the other partly about how is grandparents met).

a Cathy Petch étude
a Cathy Petch étude

After the break Cathy Petch hit the stage. I’ve seen & reviewed Cathy many times but she is always a compelling performer. From her Mike Tyson piece -where we sympathize with him then are dismayed by his inability to escape the violence of his life – to her fan crush on Chewbacca – to a recent death ‘On the way to your memorial I discarded pieces of the wall you hit instead of me,’ I was not disappointed.

trashy cuddle buddies
trashy cuddle buddies

Next up was Teneile Warren a Jamaican playwright/poet – a strong set with some solid poetry  about the ‘cold war of adolescence’ and a short story of her coming out – cultures may be different but the fear of coming out remains the same – fearful at first & then how much do you tell once the basic truth is out there. Dancing with guys while eyeing the other girls dancing with guys – sort of the reverse of my high-school experience of dancing with some girl while watching the guys dance.

The night wrapped with Sage Tyrtle a ‘true’ storyteller with a great tale of growing up in California with her Dad, who meets a woman at T.M. who looks like a wicked step-mother – a wry, touching & laugh-out-loud funny story about the face verses the behind the doors reality of getting caught up in the Beach Boys extended families. Makes the Kardashians look like Quakers.

A great show, on hiatus for the summer. Kudos to Red Rocket for making itself a go-to destination in the east end with regular nights of comedy, live music and spoken words.

my legs are cold

my legs are cold

Spoonful of Beautiful

orange you glad

BuDa kicked off 2013 with a dynamic January show, hosted by Philip Cairns, with three features who left me wanting more – sadly time restraints at Glad Day force us to wrap the show by 9:40 or all of them would have been called on for encores.

First feature Faye Guenther read Hostage Spaces – a short story told from the ‘You’ point of view. It opens  with an almost clinical description of a building’s white marble lobby: “smooth dove-coloured leather couches that never hold a body, standing in illuminated pools of white on white” The descriptions move into a more personalized sense of the space, of the You addressed, “the soreness begins to explore your face”; of the life You lives, then brings other people into that life – a lover, a coworker: “you lifted your head and recognized someone….Her eyes were the color of trees this time of year, you thought, reaching for sun.” A naked woman appear to You offering, perhaps, a release from the space that hold You hostage as you are “smoking into the soft precision of a spring night.”

don't be shy

Next up was Regie Cabico – who captivated us with his well-honed slam skills & structures. He sang (nicely), made us laugh – men meeting and exchange cell phone pics of their cocks  and place those cell phones together to rub in the safest sex possible – ‘he smelled like a thousand likes on Facebook’ A raunchy, queer set of the highest order ‘my mouth is perpetually the year of the cock’ – more please – he closed with, what I regard as a slam staple – how deep is my love, in this instance two poets in love: ‘your poetry is so lonely Orpheus wants you to be his lyricist.

Joshua Jlatte Lopez – the music feature was sheer joy. He did an amazing set of blues standards: Spoonful, St. James Infirmary etc and some originals. His guitar playing is tasty without being flashy even when it was throwing off sparks in effortless runs and solos. Spirits of Robert Johnson, Canned Heat, Roy Buchanan flowed though his hands and vocals. One Spoonful – not enough.

put your hat on

Other news – the clean up of Valleys has been moving along well. I had to ‘translate’ my original file from appleworks to the latest Pages by importing it first into simple text – that process seeded it with a lot of small code inserts that I have to delete. I was hoping to do lots of cuts but so far that hasn’t happened. It flows better than I thought. I’ll have a PDF version ready to sell in a week or so for those you who find the excerpts too slow.

I’ve also been plugging away at my Bradbury story-a-week challenge but failing – I’ve been working on the same story since the first of the year – it grows but characters, as I hope, take over and don’t want to be done with so quickly – so perhaps I’ll aim for a story a month instead – I’m at about 2000 words for this one so far.

@TorPoet
@TorPoet

festive gutter ball
festive gutter ball

Getting Wired and #NaNoWriMo Prep

pretty lowe?

Electricians have infested my house as the wiring is finally being upgraded from mortar and pestle (or some such configuration) to what I presume will be state of the art. This mean, amongst other things, no power for several hours a day, until the work is complete. The plan is to have it done within two weeks, so there’ll be no interruption for NaNo in November.

The other thing about the re-wiring is moving stuff, lots and lots of dusty of stuff – bookcases overloaded with books that have to moved to make baseboard access possible. Forcing a long needed purge of books to the Trinity College book sale (I hope) and probably some long neglected dust bunnies to be sent packing as well. Perhaps that missing sock will surface.

how lowe can you go

But now to the topic at hand. NaNo preparations: my plot came to me a few years ago after a visit to my Cape Breton home. I visited several local historical museums. I loved the details about lives that I was mainly unaware of – the large black community for one – not only in Sydney but in the mining towns as well. Miners were imported from the Bahamas etc. I think of this as lost history.

Plus the number of other immigrants who worked those harsh jobs underground, at the steel plant etc. Photos of their fraternal organizations, church picnics, sports teams and schools.

12-14 hour shifts

So many fascinating details about families, wives, husbands, relatives, music and daily lives. All so heteronormative I wondered if there were gays in those days. Gay history isn’t lost but hidden, unrecognized or unacknowledged.  I realize there really wasn’t a language at some levels of society for otherness. That lead me to thinking of what life might be like for men with such feelings yet with no way to describe them even as they acted on them.

the lunch room

My research into sexual mores of the time lead me to conclude that often leisure time, education and money play a big part in awareness and judgment. People who work 12-14 hour grueling shifts don’t have the energy to care who sleeps with who.

samples

here’s a piece from 2007:

Aphrodisiac

I know you’re sore

after that gal you’d been hitting on

walked out on you

after three drinks

I heard you moan to your pals

how the last two chicks you dated

dumped you via text message

one of them still won’t return your calls

that they turn into such selfish bitches

when they know they can get

what they want from you

but just because I’m a clean old queer

doesn’t mean I have any interest

in your macho macho meat

the fact that you’re straight

ain’t my aphrodisiac

I agree it’s too bad

every woman you’ve known

thinks you are some sort of egotistic jerk

who only thinks of himself

when all you want to do is please them in bed

then roll over to fall asleep

I suppose it’s unreasonable

that you show up on time every time

you say you’re going to pick them up after work

yeah I guess those bitches are just lazy

unfair and expect way too much

when all all you want to do

spend a few hours watching TV all weekend

I can see how that is pretty mean

but the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac

you may think I’m one of those

predatory homos you are sure

are always lurking around

that I’m hungry for any straight guy

to come along and fall

into my eager mouth

well honey

you are living in a dream world

the fact that I checked out our jeans

was because I was wondering where you got them

so why don’t you go back to your buds

because you aren’t getting anything here

‘cause if them nasty hos

you always end up with

aren’t interested I’m certainly not

the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac, mac

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