Eat This Book

The Boy and the Book

the dad admonishes

do not eat the book

the little boy

old enough to talk

but clearly pre-school

is gnawing on the picture book

 

I wonder

is the paper digestible

is the ink toxic

what about the plastic

on the shiny cover

is it picture book of animals

does the boy expect

to find out what

a lion tastes like

can what nourishes his mind

also feed his body

will this taste haunt him

as he searches for it

in books  cookies  flesh

that bring back that memory

 

or will he realize

books are for reading

not for eating

that filling his head

will leave his stomach empty

that no matter

how many books he reads

his mind will never be satisfied

that it’s time to close books

and start to feed the world

The line of dialogue in this piece is verbatim. I was a coffee shop waiting for a friend to arrive. A dad dad said this to his child. No anger but forceful enough to the boy to stop for a few minutes. When Dad went to get their order the gnawing started again. The set up is real & I started writing this piece while waiting. 

It quickly become a list poem as wonder what I wonder about paper, poison & the like.  The book belongs to the cafe as they frequently have families drop by so I also wondered about how sanitary it was but I’m not in charge & am very cautious about infringing on people’s privacy. Watching brought back a memory of myself at about the same age wondering why a picture of a piece of cake didn’t taste like a piece of cake. My mother thought that was hilarious.

Then I wander off into speculation – turning the moment into a meditation on childhood’s imprinted memory. Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past starts with a smell from his childhood that triggers the endless book. I have a few smells like that, though I don’t have specific moments conjured by them – the smell of baby powder is one, the smell of Evening In Paris is another. 

The piece becomes a bit more philosophical about aging – books aren’t for eating though ironically we are encouraged to feed our minds with information  🙂 The hunger for learning may never leave us but, hopefully, one realizes that the search for information can turn into an avoidance of action. There comes a time when one has to leave the expansive yet closed world of books & take part in the world. 

The piece pretty much wrote itself once I got started. It didn’t need much editing either. I have performed it a few times & it reads well. I love the innocence of it – no angst to grind, no politic or sexuality – just a sweet moment.


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The History of Listology

Week 5 of the Artist’s Way is about possibility & being stuck. Me, stuck at home, thinks there is a possibility a vaccine for covid19 will be found, one that will make some billionaire pharmaceutical even richer & chances are only the rich will be able afford it. Judging by the stats so far, the poor & marginalized will die out anyway. No profit = no cure. But I digress 🙂

Much of the Way looks at how codependency can become a major block to productivity. Sacrificing our time to be of help to others so we can be seen as generous, good, caring. One of the more challenging things about nanowrimo is removing all socially distracting circumstances so we can write selfishly. ‘I can’t help you move because I’m working on novel.’ can end a friendship.

The chapter is full of lists, of us making lists, of lists of things we can do, of things we wish we can do. I made a list of the lists of things & put it on my to do list. I’ll write The History of Listology. One of the task lists was ‘10 ways I am mean to myself.’ Not that I’m self-indulgent but this wasn’t so easy, as I figured it meant now, not how I used to treat myself.

 

My list is 1. snacking too much; 2. no muscle building in my fitness routines; 3. blah TV; 4. staying up too late; 5. not brushing teeth twice a day; 6. not walking as far; 7. hiding in crowds; 8. not speaking up; 9. too much coffee; 10. comparing myself with others. 

 

I am the enemy

in the eyes of strangers

they glance with distrust

sometimes hate fear distain

it’s not as if 

I set out to be the enemy

merely wanted to be myself

merely wanted to play well with others

learn enough at school

to take me through adulthood 

and back to the cradle of earth

didn’t set out 

to harm attack frighten anyone

don’t go out of my way 

to do that today

all I have to do

when sitting on the subway 

look up and there

glaring at me

strangers

sizing me up as the enemy

their plight is my fault

my needs an affront 

to their tender sensibilities

even when I am oblivious to them;

not pushing any agenda forward

being as still & quiet as I can be 

so as not to make waves 

to make them aware 

of my sabotage of their calm

by merely being present

by breathing the same air 

by daring to walk the street

expecting some common courtesy

the same I thoughtlessly extend to them

I don’t see them as my enemy 

only as my judgers

as people caught in a fear

of the unknown

I’m no mystery 

not a blank page 

they can quickly 

with their expectations 

of what I want to do them

to their innocent saintly children

it’s not the children I care about

not the adults either

which is what makes me the enemy

the one with no demands on them 

except to be left alone

to enter into simple human interaction

not laden with anyone’s presumptions

about what power 

old white men secretly hold

about the devious things 

queers are plotting

how we intend to undermine 

their delicate fabric

with 

well I don’t know what

where does the reality 

slip into the fear

the potential of what might happen

sparks the fear

that the enemy is near

the enemy is me

so keep your distance

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

June

(canceled by covid19 😦 )June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

(Maybe) All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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Deprivation

Week Four of the Artist’s Way presented a few challenges. In particular reading deprivation on top of social isolation & distancing. Is editing chapters of Picture Perfect for the blog reading? What about daily meditation books? So I did a bit of a compromise – blog work isn’t reading. Editing isn’t reading. No reading in the bathroom, no reading in transit, no podcasts. No twitter or ‘tooling’ around until evening. I finished chapters in the books I was reading & stopped there. 

Some of these were time frittering at best. I have more time as a result. Some of these may become new habits. Eliminating the superfluous is freeing. When I stopped carting my iPod everywhere I felt less encumbered, one less worry. A much as I liked creating playlists etc not to have t keep refilling it is freeing. I only use it for guided mediations & podcasts. Walking without it has been a small adjustment but I feel more open to what is round me without a constant soundtrack in my head colouring everything. Plus it gives me an extra coat pocket 🙂

The chapter give lists of things to do as an alternative to reading – many of these things are showing up as suggestions for folks frustrated by social isolation. My days go by quickly enough with my routines without resorting to new activities. One of the blessings of being an introvert. I enjoy my own company. 

Thanks to social distancing artist dates have become more a spin than an actual event. I did three mornings of yard work (without iPod soundtrack). Those were 3 artist dates. I shared some selfies with my fans. Being where things grow was good in the face of the mounting covid toll. Things grow regardless of much of what is going on around me. Nature can recover quickly given the chance. The better air quality means better sun which means better plants. 

Boss of Me

John’s theory is that

our leaders are all puppets 

figure heads

who have bought 

into the illusion of power

they are unaware

that they are hollow images

taking the heat 

for the real powers

that hidden consortium 

of non-public figures

who make the real decisions

who exert the right squeeze

and our little leaders 

slump or pop up

to do what has to be done

take the blame for what has gone wrong

because leaders are just frail men

with no power to wield

no clout to get the job done 

often not even attractive to look at

thus even more believable

 

John tells me that politics 

are another form of entrainment

media fodder

to keep us diverted

from the real holders of power

so that we are amused  numbed

by the constant barrage of sound bites

cell cam videos

of presidents getting blow jobs

when they should be getting us out of wars

wherever the hell they are

because even where they are

isn’t the the real war 

it is a more elaborate movie set

with real lives being lost

to keep our attention from

what is really going on

 

John isn’t sure what is really going on

he is confident it isn’t what we see

it isn’t what accept as the truth

because there is no truth 

only monetized divertion statics

the struggle for freedom

from Tibet to Kensington market 

is upscale name branding

he is sure of that

 

sometimes I believe John

sometimes I don’t care

where do we place our faith

what is worth the energy to change

if it can be changed 

because revolution

has been copyrighted by 

estee lauder

the latest scent 

a mix of blood oil jasmine

with woody undertone

 

John is convinced 

that if it isn’t making someone money 

it isn’t going to happen

war happens because it is big business

pandemics are even bigger business

even as the population dwindles

going green isn’t happening 

because the profit margins 

are too low

some people can’t afford 

to save the planet

& that he finds is sad

I don’t disagree

when I do it starts another litany

of who runs what

who really holds the power

or if there is any power

stronger than futility

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‘the unzipping of the promise’

Season six of Hot Damn! has seen attendance grow steadily while the courage & numbers of slammers grow as it continues to offer a safe space for lgbtqia creatives to explore & express themselves, plus laugh, cry, sing & dance in harmony.  The newly shorn Robyn Sidhu hosted the show & left things moving smoothly with some handy Dad jokes & pointed political comments. Her family escaped Punjabi state sanctioned genocide to Canada where she now witnesses Canada’s state sanctioned genocide of its native population. 

A fair bit of the work centered around mothers – the guilt of not loving the one who never loved you, the decision not to be one, the struggle for acceptance from the one who loves you. Some addressed the struggle with body image, gender dissonance & even the conflict between biology & hormone replacement. Heartfelt without becoming melodramatic or self-pitying.

The feature Sincerely Shyy gave us a set brimming with ‘black girl magic.’ ‘she is born of the cosmos’ ‘she is an indictment’ ‘I tried to make a home out of you’. I particularly liked her piece: ‘I’m not here for the revolution – I just want to fuck you’ – it was honest, sexy, fun while being politically resonant. Her set was too short 🙂

If you’ve been reading my Hot Damn! reviews you’ll notice this time there are no quotes from the open-stagers or the slammers. One thing the Queer Slam does in regards to photos is let people op out for privacy. I decided to do the same for the performers (except the feature). The show is in a public space but its contents is only for the public that shows up. ‘the unzipping of the promise’ comes from one of the slammers.

The season finale is Friday, April 3, at Buddies in Bad Times theatre.

I did hit the open stage & presented ‘Swim’ (https://wp.me/p1RtxU-4cX) & this revised version of ‘Satisfaction’

Satisfaction 

it went exactly as planned

the only one disappointed

was me

I wanted things to be better

the story of my life

 

the right size is never right enough

a good fit isn’t adequate

the praise adulation 

are mere stop gaps

diversions

from going beyond expectations

 

good enough

feels like settling for less

it isn’t satisfying to measure up

it has to be unforgettable

 

your good enough is fine by me

but that good enough

isn’t worth bothering with

when I am the one not satisfied

by perfection

https://capfireslam.org

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Picture Perfect 9

Hamid was driving off when Sandy came out of the shop. “Where the … have you been? I’ve been calling you all morning.”

“Sorry.” They walked back into the shop. “My sister abducted me from my house in the middle of breakfast to take me to FairVista. I barely got a word in edgewise with her let alone have a chance to make any calls. Besides Linda’s aura blocked all messages.”

“That sort of explains some things. I almost called Sanjay to ask if he knew what was up.”

“It’s not as if you and Ushio can’t handle things here.”

“That’s not the point. We didn’t know where you are and when to expect you back. Telling people we have no idea where the boss is isn’t professional.”

“People? Such as who?”

“That TV guy has called twice. Jill is in a state too. Even Cliff dropped in to see where you were.”

“Any problems with the plumbing? Or is the a.c. acting up? The last I had the two of them on to me at the same time was when the a.c. broke down. As if I was a repair man. Is that all?”

“Nope.” Ushio said with a lopsided grin. “Kevin McLeod called. He’s looking for a wedding photographer.”

“The rocker star? Fuck!” Dan had helped out with green screen work in a couple of Kevin’s videos. One had won several awards.

“Says he’ll be by sometime this afternoon to talk about it. Hard to turn down a gig like that.”

It had been several years since Dan had tackled a wedding. He’d been happy to leave all that to his sister or one of the other staff. Too much pressure from all side with people who want you to be creative but want to control everything at the same time. Digital cameras had pretty much dried up that market and he didn’t regret that for a minute.

“I’ll go over to the Classic first to see what’s going on there.”

“Bossman.”

“Yes Sandy?” he said as he went to the door.

“Turn on your phone.”

“Oh right. Is my head screwed on?” he asked.

“Yes, but your lens cap is clearly loose.” Ushio laughed.

The Classic was busy. All the tables were taken and there was a line up at the counter. He caught Jill’s eye. She nodded and finished waiting on her customer.

He sat at her table in the back of the cafe. Peter darted over with a coffee and bagel for him.

“Rushed today?” Dan said.

“Like this most mornings. That new Institute of Higher Learning, or whatever, has a mid-morning break and they dash over here.”

Jill sat at the table. “You could have at least given me a warning.”

“About the Institute?” he could tell she was angry.

“If you aren’t happy with us you could have told me directly.”

“But I am happy.”

“Look Daniel, the Cuppa people were here this morning.” She shoved some papers at him. “They were authorized to take measurements. I have a legal right to know well in advance if you letting someone on my premises.”

“Authorized!” He glanced at the form and his sister’s signature was on it. The form was an application for franchise if the locations were suitable.

“So that’s why she whisked me away.” he said.

“You mean you knew nothing about Cuppa?”

“Not until this morning. Linda thinks it’ll be a good thing for the FairVista store. It’s not going to happen here. Not as long as we own the property.”

“Yeah, well, they seemed pretty convinced. They also went to Silver to look his premises over for possible conversion for their purposes. A building with two corners. Perfect for them. As one of their agents said.”

“Send them to me if they show up again.” He read the document and it was merely an inquiry about entering into a working arrangement. “This says nothing about allowing more than a look at the location. They could have come in and said nothing to anyone.”

“Who has time for fine print?” Jill frowned. “They were quite impressed with the crowd we had though. Maybe it is time we discussed the new lease?”

“I’ll get legal on it.” He laughed. “And this too.”

There was no way he’d let Linda interfere with his management of the Queen St. property. No way.

Dan went over to the Gallery. Cliff was talking loudly on the phone.

“I have to go.” he said hanging up.

“A land line, Cliff!”

“I have a private life. Or at least try to have one. Some artists don’t think twice about calling you twice a day to have their ego or their prices boosted. No one gets me at lunch time.”

“I’ve heard about the Cuppa people from Jill. There is nothing to it. Really. Some hair-brained idea of Linda’s.”

“Daniel, your sister has never had a hair-brained idea. She’s one of the most practical people I know, when it comes to squeezing money out of an opportunity.”

“You aren’t going anywhere.”

“I know that. They took one look at the prices on these,” he gestured at the art on the walls, “and literally blanched. They were engineers anyway. Not appraisers. No sense of art, if you know what I mean.”

Dan laughed. “This from the man who sells art based on size and colour.”

“Please! I have to take everything into to consideration. I’m not losing a commission because someone couldn’t tell the difference been avocado and dark-mint green.”

“All the same. If those guys, or anyone else from Cuppa, shows up again, send them to me.”

“Only if they aren’t buying what’s on the wall.”

 

“Fires put out for now.” He told Ushio. “I’m going to have to speak Linda though.”

Inspector Warszawa came into the shop with another officer.

“Dan, Inspector Clarke wants a word with you. With us, I mean.”

“Pleased to meet you.” He shook Daniel’s hand.

“We’ll go up to my office. Coffee?”

“No, we’re fine.”

Inspector Clarke was a shorter and thicker than Warszawa. Dan guessed he’d be about 5’6, Ushio’s height. His hair was cut even more severe than Warszawa’s. Both wore the official dark suit, off-white shirts, with colour-flecked ties, and black shoes that sounded like they had granite soles as they walked up the wooden stairs to his office. 

He sat at his desk.

“I’ll get right to the point. I’ve read your comments on the travel photographs.” Clarke said.

“I tried to be as precise as I could.”

“We appreciate that.” Warszawa said. “But …”

“You intimated that these were brought to the crime scene?” Clarke said.

“I had asked Warszawa if there were any similar travel pictures found there. Something to connect them to the victim.”

“That was very astute of you, Mr. James. No one had considered such a possibility. It set me to thinking of why someone would do that. As a result we did a data base search.” Clarke said. “Of crime scene evidence. We discovered that this isn’t the first time this has happened.”

“What do you make of that?” Warszawa asked.

“I … uh … don’t know.” Dan thought for a moment. “Did this victim even have a camera?”

The two inspectors looked at each other.

“I don’t know.” Warszawa said. “This opens a whole new line of investigation. We’d assumed the pictures pertained to the victim. That they were hers. Clearly because of the aged look of them, something from her past. But you said …”

“That they weren’t originals. Good reproductions mind you.”

“Where they taken by the same sort of camera?” Clarke asked.

“No. That’s in my report. Even the slightly disintegrated images made that clear to me. Some were with simple one-shot cameras, others from a 35 mil. If I had the originals I could even venture a guess as to the make and maybe even the model.”

“That’s impressive.” Clarke said.

“Thanks. You say you’ve found others?”

“I had them send jpegs of them to us. Printed them out for you.” Warszawa put them on Dan’s desk.

“Holy fuck!” Dan glanced at them.

“What! You see something in them that fast.”

“This one …” He got his prints from his side file drawer and placed one of those beside the ones he was just shown. “Fits in with that one.”

The tree line and shore line of the lake in the picture of the family picnicking almost lined up perfectly.

“There is a connection.” Clarke said. “I’ll be damed.”

“Connection?” Dan asked.

“We found that lake shore picture in another victim’s wallet. No one at the time could make any sense of it. It never occurred to us that it might have been put there by the killer.”

“How many of these do you have?” Dan asked.

“I’m afraid we’re not at liberty to tell you that, yet. But we do have more than a couple of cases to re-examine in the light of what you’ve told us.” Clarke shook Dan’s hand again. “Thank you. You’ve been more help that you realize. You should still be on the force.”

“Thanks, I guess.” Dan walked down the stairs with them. “But I don’t think I could stand the official foot wear.”

They walked to their car.

Warszawa stepped back to speak to him. “Dan make sure to bill us for this consultation. That was impressive.” He shook Dan’s hand. “There’s more to you than just another handsome face.” He held Dan’s gaze. “We’ll be in touch.”

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Conversation

Text Me

he’s behind bars

so the streets are safer

yet I still say

text me when you get home

these streets will never be safe

 

all those years 

when I never worried

about more than someone getting wet

waiting too long for a bus

 

all those years

when this was happening

men lured into a van

expecting a lift home

not a fight for their life

 

I’m feeling retroactive fear

regret

for dangers I never knew existed 

for men coming and going

from my house

from my arms

making their way home

at night

 

some who have in fact

disappeared from my life

moved on

I presumed

but now I’m not sure

 

I know he’s behind bars

but the streets

will never feel safe again

so text me when you get home

I’ll text you when I get home

I find it unsettling to revisit the Terra Cotta poems. Some were written during the manhunt. This one after the arrest. I live a relatively protected life – not quite a cocoon but one at a distance from the downtown core where my immediate physical risks are minimal. I feel much safer walking the my east end streets at night that I do walking along, say, Jarvis at night.

Many of the killers victims were met on-line – which is where I do meet men – geography only plays a role when travel is involved. So it is not unlikely that I could have met this man. It isn’t even impossible that we did have some on-line contact but I’m clearly was not the ‘type’ he was looking for. Being a non-drugger, sober, white queer offers some protection 🙂

I knew men who knew some of the victims. One who was sure there was something going on before the police acknowledged there was something going on. I’ve been told that the killer went to some recovery meetings in his hunt for vulnerable men. I mention these things as context for all the Terra Cotta pieces. I felt I had tom write something about this, about the way the media responded to the man hunt.

It impacted the community is many ways. This piece reflects one of those ways. Our concern for friends & lovers whom we cannot protect. The text request was a way to offer connection to friends – not necessarily just fwb. I always make the request when one of guys who drive to my place head home. Even when men are ‘out of the closet’ they may not be out about who they are seeing. If they have an accident I may never know unless family alerts every # on a cell phone that so & so etc.

 

The fact that this guy is behind bars hasn’t changed the culture in which what he was doing was so easy to ignore. The indifference to crime/assault against the LGBTQIA community hasn’t changed as a result. It may have started a ‘conversation’ but let’s face it talk is not a change.



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Picture Perfect 4

I’m sorry I forgot your names. I’m sorry I forgot your faces but I have never forgotten you. I’ll never forget you. Never. I know it was bad of me to forget so much when I took so much from you but you understood I did that to protect you. To keep you from being spoiled, like I had been spoiled, by a world you couldn’t be safe from. There was no one to protect any of you or I wouldn’t have found you each so easily it was like you were coming to me.

I know you understood. See I have still something to remember each of you. I never forgot where I kept these parts of you. Now I have your names. Perhaps I never knew your names. That wasn’t a part of the bargain we made, was it. I wanted only to protect you. To preserve your purity. Without names you would be even safer.

Seeing your faces again on that show brought back so much. I could almost hear your voices, feel your skin. Now all I have are those socks, these buttons. You didn’t mind that while I stole your lives I also stole these mementos of you. I left your faces and names unrecalled, till now.

I wish I knew which of you owned these little socks, these red buttons, this sheriff star. Maybe it was you Timmy. You were the biggest of them all. Such a rough boy, too. You struggled but couldn’t resist the potion. None of you could, but he fought the hardest till it overtook him. In the last moment he knew what was happening but by then it was too late. Too late.

None of you could resist the lure I set out for you. The promise of internal life. Well, that’s not what I told you but that was what I was really offering. A life everlasting and free of any stain.

What stopped me was the commotion. Press. Police.  I’d found it too easy. No not easy. It was never easy to watch the life flicker out of your eyes, the breath leave your bodies. That part was never easy.

Believe me I’m sorry I had to do what I did. I know you understand. That you forgive me for forgetting your names, your faces. I didn’t forget you. But I didn’t remember you clearly until that show. The missing children. Dorothy with your braids; Madeline and your sweet little brother. You couldn’t understand how he fell so silent in my arms. Your grandmother must have thought you were a big girl to leave you to tend him like that. I watched till she had gone into the house. Waited five minutes then you came so eagerly to me with him. So eagerly it was a joy to bring you to everlasting purity.

See I do remember you. You are will always be sweet young children. Wrapped forever in my arms.

Paula were these your barrettes? You had so many questions. Now you don’t need to know anything. How much sweeter it is not to need to know anything. I wish I didn’t know so much, you know, Paula. Being an adult isn’t fun. It isn’t. You have be responsible. Pay the bills. Clean the house. It isn’t always playing house. I wish I could have joined you somehow.

And Timothy. Yes, you were the boy with the sheriff’s badge. The cap guns. It was as if I had found Tom Sawyer, or was it Huckleberry Finn – all red hair and freckles. The perfect picture of a boy. 

Finally you David. The dreamer. Yes I think you were a dreamer. Afraid to leave your comic books behind. I let you bring this Spiderman. 

Yes I know there are more of you. I often wonder why no one missed those others. I spared you that indifference. You never felt it once I had rescued you. I hope not. Not a deeply as I did. No one will look for you.

I was scared, at first, when I realized someone was looking for any of you. As the show progressed I saw that I had done my work well. They had no idea. Not a clue. Wasn’t I clever. No, I didn’t have anyone to help me either. I didn’t realize I could be so clever. Fool all those people. Men. Women. All looking for what I saved. They never knew where to look. 

Maybe I should call them? Give them a clue about the others. How can I? There’s no way to be anonymous anymore. I see enough TV to know that. What with electric surveillance anything can be traced. Anything. All they need is one word. Is that enough for them to follow it back to me.

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Secret Set Building 2

Set building is progressing easily for my Secret feature. I stopped selecting pieces when I got to over 2000 words. I did a light edit as I chose them, then another when reading them out loud. At this point I’m merely interested in the sound & flow of each individual piece, though in the back of my mind is what the sequence of the pieces will be.

 

The next step was to print them out for a more hands-on edit. Editing on screen is one thing, having a hard-copy is more intense & productive. Once again I read the pieces aloud, cutting lines that don’t add to clarity, or make things too clear 🙂 I generally remove things that sound good but aren’t really a part of the piece. I also listen for verbal stumbling points.

 

This read is my first chance to get a sense of how long the reading will be. I’m also looking at the flow of the entire set – is there a theme that I wasn’t aware of? I decide which piece will open & which will close the set. I will keep it in two distinct sections though – the 2008 material will be kept together, then the fresher Rules of Monks.

I will not be going into explanations of which Rule prompted the various pieces. The pieces are not explorations or comments on the Rules themselves but a sort of lens though which I’ve filtered my thoughts. In this read through I also decide which pieces to cut so the set doesn’t seem endless to me as I perform it 🙂 Of course listeners always want more.

this is a piece that may end up in the set 

Snapped & Slapped

some people

are just asking for a slap

you know what I mean

so I snapped & slapped 

it was so fast

I hardly felt it

but it worked

it shut them up

for a few scant moments of bliss

of silence

there wasn’t even an echo

of the slap

my hand hardly felt it all

you know what I mean

if it doesn’t hurt me

it surely didn’t hurt them

other than a bit of humiliation

in front of the others

I know to be slapped

is a social thing

if we were alone

I doubt if a slap would have happened

but with an audience

what else could I do

boundaries have to be established

so I slapped

I would do it again

only harder the next time

you know what I mean

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

January
Thursday January 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

Sunday –  January 26 – 1:30 – feature: The Secret Handshake Gallery, 170A Baldwin (Kensington Market) – 1:30https://www.facebook.com/events/498405247456842/

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Blood of the Lamb

Unreliable 

 

your story changes

each time you tell it

so is it no wonder

no one is sure just what happened

 

not that you cry wolf

but the wolf mutates 

first it didn’t snarl

then you weren’t afraid of the snarl

subtle elaborations

 

no one doubts

that you met the wolf

but it’s no longer clear

what happened next

except that you survived

without even a bite mark on you

 

though perhaps 

the next time you tell the story

you will reveal the scar

from the bite 

that you said didn’t happen 

because you couldn’t tell everything

you didn’t expect it to be believed

you needed to trust us

before going any deeper

into what really happened

 

so it went from seeing the wolf

in the general area

to meeting said wolf

and declining further contact

to never having been in touch

with the wolf before you saw him

to having sex with the wolf

but not enjoying it enough

 

or 

 

well we’re not sure

except we don’t doubt

you met the wolf

or that the wolf

was caught with the blood of lambs

in his fur

none of blood was yours

but you knew some of those lambs

 

what will come next

as your story changes

that you escaped is clear

but what are you hiding

from yourself

This is another piece partly triggered by the serial killer coverage, in particular the number of gay men who came forward before, during & after the hunt. Those who tried to bring police attention to the notion of a serial killer were not taken seriously by the authorities – they were merely paranoid alarmists.

When it became clear these men weren’t being paranoid alarmists the press was quickly on the scent of witnesses. The killer, as it turns out, was known as a randy daddy in the community. Several had had first-hand experience & were eager to tell their stories. The press, as usual, took them at their word. Surely no one would claim to have slept with the killer just to get some TV time?

One man ended up interviewed at different times during the investigation. Interviewed by different networks & various media. His story became more revealing as more was revealed about the killer. He was, to me, literally the fictional unreliable narrator. He was caught in a paradox of wanting to talk yet not wanting to be judged at the same time. He was no ‘innocent’ victim.

 

It’s unfortunate we live in a media culture where the disposable are so eager for acknowledgment they jump at any opportunity for being seen. Because the early whistleblowers were marginalized they weren’t seen as credible but as attention seekers. Even now with some time between the conviction & today there are some who feel those faggots got what they deserved. What are they hiding from themselves?

 


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

FairVista Enters the Picture 

Nibbling away at the edits for Perfect. Reading my own comments from 2014 is proving valuable too. Naming things, people, places is a fun thing but one has to do research to make sure they don’t exist. FairVista is one of those names I ‘created’ for the deluxe mall where the 2nd James Photos is located. 

I used info I already had about corporate leasing in some shopping malls – breaking even isn’t good enough which is why, sometimes, your favorite coffee shop closes. How high end is FairVista? Cup of coffee starts at $10.50, but it is good china 🙂

Stumbling Around and #NaNoWriMo sample.04

http://wp.me/p1RtxU-X6

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International LicenseHey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees 

 sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet