Disco Chips

May 19, 2021 marks 43 years since I stepped off a plane to arrive here in Toronto on May 19, 1978. I’ve lived briefly on Wellesley St E, Sherborne for about year, briefly in Thorncliffe, Bright Street for a year, Oakdene for some 40 years. I’ve had a ‘real’ job for the first year then nothing ‘real’ since then. I have cleaned apartments, ran a theatre company for about 10 years, became a lab rat for pharmaceutical drug studies.

On the east coast I was working for Famous Players & had asked them for a transfer & ended up being sent to Toronto. The year or so before I left Sydney I subscribed to the Body Politic so I knew there was a gay world larger than the rumoured gay path in the park. I wanted a land of opportunity. 

I remember my first few months here. Discovering the bars, dancing, getting sober. I was a blackout drinker & was afraid of backing out at the Quest & heading for home – which probably would have been Sydney – a very long walk. I learned my way around the subway system going to AA meetings. 

I left Famous when I discovered I had an allergy to money! My job there consisted of counting box off take. often thousands of dollars of paper more & coins that had to counted & rolled & recounted any hand in airless windowless rooms. Money is filthy & we had no gloves or masks or sanitizers. I got rashes on my hands, arms & severe red-eye. None of which worked on the dance floor 🙂

here’s a piece I wrote my first summer in Toronto

Disco Chips

<>

1

<>

electronics

chip away

at the solid state of me

disco chips

chip away chip away 

dance away

till only sweat remains

<>

slip away

escape for a time

a time of being

suck away fuck away

disco chips

chip away chip away

take your time

take my time

take my pace

leave my body

thumping 

jumping 

energy frenzy

fits the pattern

fumbles the patter

<>

then

up your nose 

up your ass

in your mouth

out of your grasp

cuts your palm

across the life line

the pulse line

pumping thumping

flopping

dancing fists

disco chips

chip away chip away

at the solid of me

<>

chip away chip away

suck away fuck away 

dance away

till only the sweat remains

<>

2

<>

I used to laugh

when I was warned

of the lure the scent the heat

of the pleasure palaces

laughed at the phrase

the symbol

till I realized

I couldn’t resist 

the lure the scent the heat 

even when I saw

no real pleasure

no surreal palace

only a whispering wall

a muttering stuttering

wall of eyes

<>

I couldn’t resist 

the lure the scent the heat

<>

3

<>

disco hits

below the belt

disco chips

away the surface reveal 

my fear my futility

disco chips

disco hips & disco dicks

suck away fuck away 

dance away

disco slips

into the ear

then into the blood

<>

no alternative 

no escape

no please

tango prisoners

music fists

pounding me down

driving my pulse

popper clones

danger zones

disco chips

suck away fuck away 

dance away

disco hips & disco dicks

chip away chip away

suck away fuck away 

dance away

till only the sweat remains.

<>

jn78

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Pet Shop Boys

I have work by the Pet Shop Boys: Please, Further Listening, Disco tucked into a couple of mp3 collections. One mainly of  The Boys & the other of 80’s dance music that includes Gino Soccio: Outline; Patrick Cowley: Mind Warp; The Style Council: Our Favorite Shop; Rick Astely: Whenever You Need Somebody; Human League: Dare & a few tracks by The Trampps: Disco Inferno/Body Contact; Village People: Macho Man/I Am What I Am.

craving

As much as I was thrilled by the Village People & their play on imagery their music only held me on the dance floor & even then I was so quickly bored by YMCA I don’t care if I ever hear it again. I had the lps for a while but the only cuts that speak to me are the ones I kept. The Trampps – a fine set of singers in tight, red velvet pant suits on their lp cover – lots of well set off packages to enjoy & Disco Inferno was sensational for dancing to (plus inspired Boogie Inferno: my tribute to disco).

A friend of mine had that first Pet Shop Boys lp & I made a cassette tape copy that I eventually replaced with mp3 & added a couple of eps of remixes. It was always great to hear them on the dance floor knowing they were open about being queer. They had some political thread in their lyrics but weren’t out to preach but to teach you to dance.

branchgreen

Gino Soccio: Outline; Patrick Cowley: Mind Warp. Both of these are studio bound works by gay men felled by HIV far too early in their careers. Longish but driven dance music that I loved. Outline is almost hypnotic – very much like Richie Hawten. Cowley is synthesizer driven. His gay porn soundtracks were recently found & released. School Dazed. Great stuff. Whenever I have Patrick on my iPod I feel like I walking down the street in some porn movie where I get accidentally squirted by a shirtless guy watering his lawn & have to dry my stuff in his house.

blackcouch

Human League – just a waitress – a fine fine story telling dance single – even if they weren’t queer the sensibility certainly was; I was crazy for Rock Astley first few singles – that voice, that production. His hit ‘Whenever You Need Someone’ was the soundtrack for a crush I had at the time & everything I hear it I remember that sweet man, not Rick, but my crush who was murdered by HIV.

Style Council is the odd man out here – not dance music, not even queer but certainly of the period & this is a great lp. smart lyrics, fun & sort up-dated Kinks.

sample

a sample from a novel still simmering:

List

“So how was the trip?”

Mike didn’t know where to begin. Meggan had looked after his house and garden while he was out of town.

“Lots happened.”

“I know. I read in the paper about that explosion. Imagine a bomb at the film festival. People sure take their movies seriously, don’t they? Anyway everything is fine here. Your mail is there in the living-room.”

Mike hadn’t been in the door five minutes before Meggan had called on him. She must have been watching from her living-room window for him to arrive. He hadn’t even had a chance to take off his jacket.

“And I got the stuff on your shopping list. Milk. Bread. The garden is looking good. The nasturtiums really took off this year didn’t they. Well, I guess you were right in over-planting them. I should get out of here, let you get settled back in. I’ll drop by later.”

“Thanks.”

“I love it. You know that. Gives me a chance to get out of my own little house.”

Meggan lived two houses down from him. Mike sometimes felt he should swap with her as his house was bigger, much bigger, too big for one man, alone. More room for her, her son, daughter and uncountable cats, sometimes a dog or two.

She was gone.

He took his coat off. Went to to the kitchen and filled the kettle, put it on the stove. He hadn’t had a nice cup of tea for weeks, for an eternity it seemed.

Patrick. Robert. Sam. Faces, touches. The blur of leaving without knowing, without being able to do anything but leave. Even if he’d had the financial resources he didn’t have the information, the know what to do-ed-ness, to find out what had become of Robert.

That the police somehow thought he was the target for the bombing was stupid. No one knew him. He was just some gay shlub from the east coast. A nobody. A nothing in that city. He didn’t even know why the police thought he might have been the target. What piece of information did they have that would have lead them to think that? What? They wouldn’t tell him anything.

He had to be back in Halifax for the start of the school term. Back to the grind but until he knew knew just what the fuck was going on he knew he wouldn’t be of much use in the grind.

He looked through the pile of mail.

mirror ball

Last year’s queer music blogs:

June 2 Billy Strayhorn http://wp.me/p1RtxU-L0

June 9 ‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’ http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Ll

June 16 Tea Room Tramps http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Mg

June 23 Ned Rorem http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Mx

 

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pink

#Kiton Custom Fit and #NaNoWriMo sample09

perfect nano sample

Every other week at the FairVista store he did a presentation on the Lyphend line. Occasionally he sold one or two of their lower range cameras but most often it was their combo radio/cd players that sold. Sound quality that out did Bose, half the size and twice the price.

“Good afternoon.” He opened the Lyphend display case and took out the travel mug and the leather loop used to attach it to a shoulder bag. He squeezed the handle and when the screen lit up on it there was a muttering in the people gathered around. He pulled the loop apart rolled it between his hands and it flattened out into rectangle which he placed the mug on. A keyboard appeared on the the rectangle. He typed on it “Welcome to the latest from Lyphend.”

That appeared on the small screen as well on the over-head screens in the shop. There was some applause.

“Lyphend had always been on the cutting edge of technology and practicality. It also takes suggestions by their customers seriously. The Traveller came from such a suggestion. Still very much a prototype. Dishwasher safe is the challenge.”

He looked over the handful of people. Teenage girls, some boys, a couple men in business suits and what he figured was a father and daughter pair.

He went though his usual presentation. It started with a bit of Lyphend history, some of its innovations, the various lines of merchandise it offered. He demonstrated some of the smaller digital cameras. These were the ones that sold well because of their size and the image quality. He ended with one of the larger models. Today he selected the retro Newsman. It was a small copy of the 30’s newspaper reporter camera with a flash attached.

The flash was designed to replicate the old flash bulb in brightness and even had a sound chip to make the searing noise of the bulb going off.

“Who’s ready for their close up.” He asked pointing the camera at the teenage girls who quickly posed and giggled as he snapped several fast pictures.

“You really taking pictures?” Daughter with the father asked.

“Look?” he turned the view screen to her and flipped through the pictures he had just taken.

“That’s a very fast shutter speed.” the girl said. “Actually I know it doesn’t have a shutter per se.”

“Yes that’s one of the features of most Lyphend’s. No delay while the chip captures the image. Plus no cables needed if you have the Lily Pad.” He placed the camera on a round pad by the lap top and the pictures automatically appeared on it.

“Cool.” she said. “But not good for protecting the image.”

“You merely have to change the settings so that you have to be asked before downloading anything off it.”

The girl looked to her Dad.

“It’s Ashely’s birthday.” Her Dad said. “She’s been watching His Girl Friday.”

“Rosalind Russell?” Dan asid.

“You betcha!” Ashley said sharply. “Daddy?”

“How much?” The Dad asked Dan.

Dan handed the dad a card that had the price. “We can talk, if you are still interested, after I finish up here.”

He quickly wrapped up his presentation.

“Here’s some catalog’s for you.” He handed each of the people who stayed for the whole talk. “You can only buy their line from us here. David or Hamid would be happy to help you.”

Ashley and her father were still there. He fully expected the Dad to take one look at the price of the Newsman and move on or at least encourage her to look at one of the more reasonably priced cameras.

“Mr. James,” Ashely smiled. “I was wondering if this came in any other colour options?”

“Not that I know of. I doubt if they would entertain any other color options either. The original was black, with the silver moulding and lettering.”

“Ashley has a fondness for blood red.”

“Dried blood red to be precise. But I guess this black would do.” She held the camera up to her eye and took several quick pictures as she turned around on her heels. “Let’s see how these turn out.” She put the camera on the Lyli Pad. “Not bad.” she said as the pictures appeared on the monitor. “A bit of distortion. How hard is it to change the capture speed?”

“Simple enough.” Dan took the camera and pressed the view screen on the back for the functions menu to open. She leaned close to him to peer at the screen.

“Cool.” she said. “Daddy look.”

She stepped aside so her father could see what she had just seen.

Dan was aware of the man’s cologne, it had a smokey coconut undertone. The man put his hand causally on Dan’s forearm as he leaned in.

“Very nice.” the man said.

“Daddy you are supposed to look at the camera not the salesman.” His daughter laughed.

“I am Ashely’s father.” He stepped back and tugged at the outside legs of his pants.

Dan couldn’t help but glance down and he saw the Dad was well packaged under the dark surge of his suit.

“You like?” Dad asked opening his light top coat and giving his hips a slight thrust that empathized his package even more. “Top coat is Boss, of course. The pants are from one of my Kiton’s. Custom fit.”

“I see.” Dan said. “You get asked often?”

“Often enough. Now about this price.” The Dad asked.

“Not negotiable I’m afraid.”

“I realize that. But what does my 24K include?”

“Life time warranty, for any owner. One full replacement should it be lost in, say, a fire.”

“Theft?”

“Password protected so only the owner can use it. Plus GPS  fibre chips.”

“Fibre chips?” Dad asked.

“Oh Daddy,” Ashley said. “You don’t know anything. It’s tiny chips embedded in such a way they can’t be removed without destroying the camera. Right?”

“Close enough.” Dan answered. “They have their own power source, too, so taking out the camera battery won’t shut them down.”

“I should get some hair extensions made of those for you young lady.” Dad said.

“There’s also two private tutoring sessions with me if needed. But it sounds like Ashely is fairly knowledgable already.”

“But I’m not.” Dad smiled widely.

“Ah, yes.” Dan was even embarrassed as he had been when he was caught eyeing the man’s package.

“Good. Then we’ll take it.” He handed a credit card. “You do take AmEx here.”

Dan stared at the black card. He’d heard of them before but had never expected to actually see one, let alone hold one.

princeball

the princess’s ball

This sample is from November 13 – past the 34,000 word mark. I’m letting my wishful thinking create the Lyphend product line – things I certainly would love to own – a travel mug computer. I’ve always wanted a travel mug that lights up so a computer version would be even better. I did some checking with a photographer friend of mine about limited edition cameras & values  & 24k isn’t unreasonable.

Lyphend isn’t based on anything real or researched. I do develop some of their back story. The travel mug also figures in later as well but when I seeded here in this scene I had no idea of what I might use it for – but I never toss an unused idea out until editing.

orangeball the lonely ball

I introduce another character here – Moxham – the last name comes from the east coast – google Moxham’s Castle – it also has a bit of Beckham resonance as well. I did instant research on suits and credit cards to pump up his wealth. His sexuality is ambiguous (unlike his package which is definitely big).

The character and his daughter came to me as I was writing the scene so I’m not clear on what role he gets to play other than adding to Dan’s eventual relationship perplexities. The handsome, unbelievably rich stranger is a romance novel trope I want to play with.

whiteball gutter ball

This is the last of the NaNo sample for this year. I ended up with over 65,000 words this year and am at maybe the halfway point in the story arc. When i started I saw the bulk of the story taking place in the Maritimes as Dan investigates the missing children & the challenges involved in that – so I have mile stop go before I reach the end. Thanks to the runaway sleigh ride of December I won’t get to do any more work on Picture Perfect until the new year.

mirror ball

disco ball

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Incense Peppermints and #NaNoPrep

My NaNoWriMo fever is getting to the point where I’ll be breaking out in hot word flashes by the end of next week. I’ve been exploring Binaural Beats. I’ve downloaded a some from iTunes with ‘inductions’ as opposed to ‘guided mediations’ – I don’t know what the difference is but if it works does it matter? Being told ‘Do not drive a vehicle while listening’ always relaxes me 🙂

sky bridge
sky bridge

I’ve rotated through these inductions – one a day every day this month. On my walks I’ve been listening a different one of the buried or subliminal binaural beat tracks. I’ve learned that for some things to work they need to be given a determined & persistent trial. Which is what I’m doing.

sky high
sky high

I also sent for the NaNo “No Plot? No Problem! The Kit!” (no longer in stock) – which has some fun stickers, a set of daily inspiration cards & a booklet of suggestions; one of which was that peppermint has been shown by Nasa to improve concentration by 30%.

cloudy sky
cloudy sky

To give that a try I picked up some oil of peppermint capsules and a body lotion. The lotion isn’t overpowering but I can feel the ‘cool’ of it when I put it on. Because there is so much evidence that men are controlled by two brains, one between their ears & the other between their legs, I’ll be using it on both my thinking zones. For November I am guaranteed to be minty fresh.

coming

 

 

 

another of the pieces I read at Noir:

Hannibal Hoarder

I’m sure that body is around here somewhere

like it’s not as if

I’ve stashed away so many corpses

that I lose track of them

even if it looks that way

I’ve always been systematic

good memory is important in this game

you know

I wouldn’t want to stalk and kill

the same person twice

that hasn’t happened yet

so I’m sure the body is around here somewhere

did you check under the kitchen sink

yes I know

its time I cleaned up a little around here

but I can’t find it in me

to toss anything anymore

you never know when you’ll need it

there has to a use for all those newspapers

besides insulating the house

I’ve lost count of the number of take out containers

in the kitchen   in the front hall

it’s been years since

I could get over the pizza boxes

to get up those stairs

so I doubt if the body is up there

at least not the one you’re asking about

no   it’s not in the basement

that’s where I keep the road kill

someone has to honor

the run over squirrels raccoons cats birds

as you can see each one is tagged with date and location

there’s no human remains down here

I’m keen on being organized

so its odd that I can’t remember

where that cadaver is

it didn’t get up and walk out of here

I made sure it was dead

no   I don’t cut them into little pieces

they have to be intact

that’s why all those manikins

are in one piece

who would want a room of torsos

one of arms one of legs

they are happy in the living room

yes there a thousand and twelve of them

and more manikins in the back yard

along with the dozens of washing machines    refrigerators

I’ve salvaged

no  there’s no bodies out there

I’m sure it’s around here somewhere

just give me a minute will ya

I’m sure I can find it

why don’t we check the back room

sorry the light doesn’t work

keep on dancing
keep on dancing