Kissing Butt

Hosting The Beautiful & The Damned is alway a treat especially when celebrating its one year anniversary with a dynamic line up and stellar open stagers. I even debuted a new piece – one that may be part of my Art Bar set, we’ll see.

sky02

First up was Gemma Files who read a solid enticing section for the third volume of her hexslinger series – it gave us a real feel for the multilevel ‘magic’ in the books – Mexican mythology mixed with gun-toting cowboys (who happen to be gay). I hope she’s doing the audio versions. She ended her set with a couple of poems again dealing with dark myths but this time in contemporary settings – ways of treating an ex, that is if Loki is your ex.

rubble

Feature two was Spencer Butt with a high-energy, stage-thumping performance. He spews vibrant images and unlike many slam poets deals with personal issues with compassion and not anger. Too many great lines and images to keep track of – ‘his memory was drunk/eating popcorn in the balcony’ – ‘he was born in an aviary and died in a place crash’

Here’s a pic, taken by Lizzie Violet, of me kissing Butt –

may 10, 2012

Music feature Carlin Belof wrapped the evening up & wrapped us around her fingers at the same time. Songs about relationship difficulties that were oddly uplifting. Great lyrics and a fine guitar player as well – But as she sings ‘being told you’re talented and are going far may not be the solution – so screw you’.

Cake was served, drinks were enjoyed & good time was had by all. I’ll be hosting BuDa again in December and have already started to line up my festive features.

As I mentioned a few blogs ago I’m working on a series sparked by Montaigne. (Of Quick or Slow Speech [10])  This one was also influenced by a podcast lecture on Robert Lowell that talked about a poem he had written after the death of his father.

Dad’s Pockets

as a kid

I would go through the pockets

of my Dad’s suit jackets sport coats

as they hung in the closet

I would find quarters which I’d take

sometimes fifty-cent pieces which I’d leave

 

I’d slip the over-sized jackets

off their hangers

wear them in the dark of the closet

in the smell of his things

his shoes miles too big for me

trying to steal into adult hood

 

I’d skulk out

from my secret foray

a little daring thief

sneaky   guilty

fearful of being found out

 

when he’d miss the pocket change

I’d be confronted

say too quick I don’t know what he meant

blurt out I didn’t do that

which he never believed

if only I’d hung those coats back the right way

he’d let me go with warning

that I was slow to heed

I’d be back there in a week or so

go through those pockets

try on those shoes

 

grow much too slow into adulthood

much too quick into guilt

………..

 

Bloody Words

I’m putting my NaNo novel, The Lazarus Kiss, to simmer for a few months. This round of edits is done and I’ve cut it from 102,718 words to a very tight 85866 words. I did submit the first 30 pages to Bloody Words for a manuscript evaluation – even those 30 pages have changed since I sent them in. Plus I picked out the two scenes to take to the Loyalist workshop in July – so it’s not as if I won’t be working on it but I’ll give the bulk of it a rest till September. I also hope to have an agent pitch at Bloody Words – if the agent wants to see the first 100 pages they are ready to go.

bench

This round of edits involved word search for lazy phrases ‘well, I guess …’ stuff like that. Making action more direct: ‘he felt his anger get the better of him’ becomes ‘anger got the better of him’ in context we know whose anger – ‘he felt’ merely delays the action. Plus the words I most mistype – except, expect – words that spell check would never pick up .

tee

I’m looking forward to Bloody Words. It’s been a few years since I attended – mainly because it isn’t always in Toronto. Part of the package is an awesome goodie bag brimming with papers backs and hard covers that sometimes equals the cost of the registration. There are panels and speakers that take in all areas of writing from how to poison, how to research, how an arrest happens & what comes next once arrested, how to self-publish, how to eBook, marketing, how to approach  publishers or agents – most apply, as far as I can tell, to all types of writing – mystery, horror, memoir, even literary fiction.

shelf01

 

 

point of view

pov = point of view – in my NaNo novel I use multiple pov – every other scene told from point of view of my hero Harris. Others told the pov of people who have interacted with him – whose lives have also been caught up in his family curse – not everyone who gets caught up in it get a pov scene, mind you, but I wanted to explore just how this curse effects others – those who don’t remember the event at all & one who does remember –

My pov never changes mid-scene. When this happens in books I stumble a little as I read. It can work but, maybe because I’m too aware of it, it always pulls me out of the story, no matter how well it is done – I’m currently reading Book of Tongues in which this happens – the only drawback to an excellent book –

As I edit I am very careful about my use of pov – first draft, who cares, really – cutting where needed – some I wasn’t sure on first write if I was going to need them or go back to them – so I cut two major scenes between Harris’s parents in which they discuss recent events and the history of the curse – I realized these added more pov’s than I wanted. They offered information while slowing down the story itself. Any important information in them will be placed into other scenes.

I hated cutting these darlings as I liked the intimacy between Harris’s parents – but that wasn’t enough to keep them there, plus the story isn’t about their relationship. I also made sure the pov’s were limited to two – my hero & his ‘antagonist’ – by the second half of the book.

As I do these edits I wish there was a way to ‘preserve’ the cuts the way they often include bonus material on DVD’s – there’s often a bunch of deleted or extended scenes. The ‘writer’s cut’ version like the ‘director’s cut.’

……….

here’s one of those parent scene that got chopped:

Harris’s Dad opened the bedroom door. Helen was still sleeping. He stepped in, undressed as quietly as he could and slipped in beside her. He enjoyed the warmth of the bed, the smell of her, the sound of her gentle breathing, the heat of her body.

“Tom, that you?” she muttered letting a hand drop onto his stomach as she rolled away from him and onto her side.

“It’s not the pizza delivery man.” he spooned close to her.

“That’s good ‘cause he barely speaks English. You and Harris seemed to have more to talk about than usual. Everything all right with him.”

“The usual young man unmarried stuff.”

“He’ll find someone.” she snuggled into him. Pulling his free hand to her breasts. “You did.”

Tom nuzzled her neck. “That’s for sure.”

“What time is?”
“You got some place better to be lady?”

“No, but supper has be started. Laundry to be done.”

“It can wait.” he pulled her face to his. They kissed. “You know he doesn’t remember Clara at all.”

“My sister. You talked about her? Why?” she pushed herself away from him and sat on the edge of the bed.

“It sort of came up.”

“I told you how I feel about that bitch. She came here to pull us apart.”

“Helen that was decades ago.”

“She wasn’t your sister, sleeping with your family like that.” She stood and began to get dressed. “When we grew up she always wanted what I had, you know. Always. My Christmas presents would end up as hers if I didn’t fight for them. My parents never understood why I didn’t want to share. They never asked that bitch to share with me.”

“I know but …”

“Don’t start defending her. You know, that was only time we almost got a divorce. You know that don’t you. She almost succeeded in pulling us apart. Couldn’t stand to see me so happy.”

“Divorce!” Tom pulled his pants on.

“That’s right catching her in bed with Harris was the last straw after catching her coming on to you.”

“What! She never came on to me. Never.”

“You and Harris have one thing in common. Convenient memory.”

“When?”

“The first night she was here on that visit. She flirted with you right in front me and Harris. More than flirted.”

“Nah.”

“Believe me, a woman recognizes that sort of thing even when men don’t have a clue. You thought she was being nice I suppose.”

Tom recalled that first night. They went to the airport and picked Clara up. Came back to the house, got her settled into the spare room, had supper and then a blank till the next morning.

“She did seem a bit cool the next day, I suppose, but after the flight I figured she was just tired.”

“Tired! I was gone less than five minutes. She was pissed that I caught her with her hand down your pants. Saying something like she had find out what was making me so happy. I told her this was one thing of mine she couldn’t have. And you acting so innocent. I made sure you didn’t leave my sight. Then when we both caught her with Harris and you acting like it was nothing for Christ sake. She was a grown woman.”

“Harris was …”

“Not that again. He was an attractive lad and she couldn’t be blamed for not being able to control herself. Bullshit. You made it sound like it was his fault and I asked myself did I want to be married to man like you.”

Tom wondered did something happen between him and Clara? He had never considered it till now. This was the first time Helen had mentioned it. But he’d thought Helen was the end of his curse. Maybe she wasn’t?

“Once she was gone it was like nothing had happened. You’re right, Harris didn’t have any recollection of it. That made it easier for me to let of it too.” Harris’s Dad opened the bedroom door. Helen was still sleeping. He stepped in, undressed as quietly as he could and slipped in beside her. He enjoyed the warmth of the bed, the smell of her, the sound of her gentle breathing, the heat of her body.

“Tom, that you?” she muttered letting a hand drop onto his stomach as she rolled away from him and onto her side.

“It’s not the pizza delivery man.” he spooned close to her.

“That’s good ‘cause he barely speaks English. You and Harris seemed to have more to talk about than usual. Everything all right with him.”

“The usual young man unmarried stuff.”

“He’ll find someone.” she snuggled into him. Pulling his free hand to her breasts. “You did.”

Tom nuzzled her neck. “That’s for sure.”

“What time is?”
“You got some place better to be lady?”

“No, but supper has be started. Laundry to be done.”

“It can wait.” he pulled her face to his. They kissed. “You know he doesn’t remember Clara at all.”

“My sister. You talked about her? Why?” she pushed herself away from him and sat on the edge of the bed.

“It sort of came up.”

“I told you how I feel about that bitch. She came here to pull us apart.”

“Helen that was decades ago.”

“She wasn’t your sister, sleeping with your family like that.” She stood and began to get dressed. “When we grew up she always wanted what I had, you know. Always. My Christmas presents would end up as hers if I didn’t fight for them. My parents never understood why I didn’t want to share. They never asked that bitch to share with me.”

“I know but …”

“Don’t start defending her. You know, that was only time we almost got a divorce. You know that don’t you. She almost succeeded in pulling us apart. Couldn’t stand to see me so happy.”

“Divorce!” Tom pulled his pants on.

“That’s right catching her in bed with Harris was the last straw after catching her coming on to you.”

“What! She never came on to me. Never.”

“You and Harris have one thing in common. Convenient memory.”

“When?”

“The first night she was here on that visit. She flirted with you right in front me and Harris. More than flirted.”

“Nah.”

“Believe me, a woman recognizes that sort of thing even when men don’t have a clue. You thought she was being nice I suppose.”

Tom recalled that first night. They went to the airport and picked Clara up. Came back to the house, got her settled into the spare room, had supper and then a blank till the next morning.

“She did seem a bit cool the next day, I suppose, but after the flight I figured she was just tired.”

“Tired! I was gone less than five minutes. She was pissed that I caught her with her hand down your pants. Saying something like she had find out what was making me so happy. I told her this was one thing of mine she couldn’t have. And you acting so innocent. I made sure you didn’t leave my sight. Then when we both caught her with Harris and you acting like it was nothing for Christ sake. She was a grown woman.”

“Harris was …”

“Not that again. He was an attractive lad and she couldn’t be blamed for not being able to control herself. Bullshit. You made it sound like it was his fault and I asked myself did I want to be married to man like you.”

Tom wondered did something happen between him and Clara? He had never considered it till now. This was the first time Helen had mentioned it. But he’d thought Helen was the end of his curse. Maybe she wasn’t?

“Once she was gone it was like nothing had happened. You’re right, Harris didn’t have any recollection of it. That made it easier for me to let of it too.” Harris’s Dad opened the bedroom door. Helen was still sleeping. He stepped in, undressed as quietly as he could and slipped in beside her. He enjoyed the warmth of the bed, the smell of her, the sound of her gentle breathing, the heat of her body.

“Tom, that you?” she muttered letting a hand drop onto his stomach as she rolled away from him and onto her side.

“It’s not the pizza delivery man.” he spooned close to her.

“That’s good ‘cause he barely speaks English. You and Harris seemed to have more to talk about than usual. Everything all right with him.”

“The usual young man unmarried stuff.”

“He’ll find someone.” she snuggled into him. Pulling his free hand to her breasts. “You did.”

Tom nuzzled her neck. “That’s for sure.”

“What time is?”
“You got some place better to be lady?”

“No, but supper has be started. Laundry to be done.”

“It can wait.” he pulled her face to his. They kissed. “You know he doesn’t remember Clara at all.”

“My sister. You talked about her? Why?” she pushed herself away from him and sat on the edge of the bed.

“It sort of came up.”

“I told you how I feel about that bitch. She came here to pull us apart.”

“Helen that was decades ago.”

“She wasn’t your sister, sleeping with your family like that.” She stood and began to get dressed. “When we grew up she always wanted what I had, you know. Always. My Christmas presents would end up as hers if I didn’t fight for them. My parents never understood why I didn’t want to share. They never asked that bitch to share with me.”

“I know but …”

“Don’t start defending her. You know, that was only time we almost got a divorce. You know that don’t you. She almost succeeded in pulling us apart. Couldn’t stand to see me so happy.”

“Divorce!” Tom pulled his pants on.

“That’s right catching her in bed with Harris was the last straw after catching her coming on to you.”

“What! She never came on to me. Never.”

“You and Harris have one thing in common. Convenient memory.”

“When?”

“The first night she was here on that visit. She flirted with you right in front me and Harris. More than flirted.”

“Nah.”

“Believe me, a woman recognizes that sort of thing even when men don’t have a clue. You thought she was being nice I suppose.”

Tom recalled that first night. They went to the airport and picked Clara up. Came back to the house, got her settled into the spare room, had supper and then a blank till the next morning.

“She did seem a bit cool the next day, I suppose, but after the flight I figured she was just tired.”

“Tired! I was gone less than five minutes. She was pissed that I caught her with her hand down your pants. Saying something like she had find out what was making me so happy. I told her this was one thing of mine she couldn’t have. And you acting so innocent. I made sure you didn’t leave my sight. Then when we both caught her with Harris and you acting like it was nothing for Christ sake. She was a grown woman.”

“Harris was …”

“Not that again. He was an attractive lad and she couldn’t be blamed for not being able to control herself. Bullshit. You made it sound like it was his fault and I asked myself did I want to be married to man like you.”

Tom wondered did something happen between him and Clara? He had never considered it till now. This was the first time Helen had mentioned it. But he’d thought Helen was the end of his curse. Maybe she wasn’t?

“Once she was gone it was like nothing had happened. You’re right, Harris didn’t have any recollection of it. That made it easier for me to let of it too.”

…………

stsml

die die my darling

Into the thick of the Lazarus edits/rewrites. Started by hacking out some of my favorite scenes – die, die my darlings – not easy but once I’d made up my mind, out they went – they were fun to write and have some useable material in them – that material can be dropped into the story at other points – but neither of them really pushed the plot forward enough – so my word count goes from 99,000 to 95,500 which is already more manageable.

Here’s one of the die die my darlings that had to die: (what you may not understand in this scene would make sense in the flow of the whole story. i.e. who are Kate and David?) Although the scene explores Harris’s hereto-normativeness it doesn’t add enough. Scout is a great character, too fleshed-out to be dropped into just one scene and I really have no place for him in the story line at all. What I will keep is the description of the Slap Shott tee-shirt – a superhero I invented and used a few other times & in fact a memory of Slap plays a role in the final climax.

………

Harris stepped out of the shower. Forced himself to stand on his scale and he’d lost another five pounds. Was all this stress melting the fat off him? He put in a load of laundry and padded barefoot to the kitchen while drying himself off. The cupboards weren’t bare but nothing appealed.

He unpacked the C1P. Most of the weight were the individualized coffee sachets.  Following directions he let it make one cup to clean it and then opted to try the Deep Arabian Noir mixture that promised a slightly nutty after taste. The machine was nearly silent and fast. The nutty after taste was more nutmeg than pecan.

He went through the flyers in his mail. Mamma P was having an ‘elopement special’ to celebrate the marriage of Kate and David. There was a photograph of the happy couple eating a pizza with Niagara Falls in the background.

As he recycled the flyers one of them caught his eye for a rib special at Moe Jones Sports Bar. He liked it when these places were within walking distance. Especially when the special was something he really enjoyed.

Now that he was doing laundry more regularly he even had clean clothes to choose from. He hoped his Slap Shott tee wasn’t too obscure a super-hero figure for Moe Jones. True they have probably sold more of the tee than the actual short lived attempt at making a hockey player with super powers into a super hero. The graphic of the hockey masked Slap Shott soaring on his alien powered skates though the air while hitting a puck that was flying into the pained face of a fanged space creature was luridly captivating to Harris.

Moe Jones was fairly busy when he got there. But they did have a booth for two, now one, for him. One that faced the street and not the TV. He ordered a Sopporos. He liked the frosted glass that came with it. He ordered the spare rib special -a full rack of the Mex-spicey with Moe’s thick cut garlic seasoned fries and a Caesar Salad. A man-sized meal like that should put the pounds back pronto.

A young man came to his table. He was glancing at his iPad and then at Harris.

“Candaddy? Sir.”

“Pardon me?” Harris didn’t hear what the man had said.

“Candaddy eleven, to be precise, Sir? I’m Scout.”

“I’m not clear what you mean.” Intrigued Harris nodded to the empty seat across from him. The young man was quite tall. “I’m Harris. Maybe I’ll hear you better from there.”

“Yes, sir. I aim to please.” Scout sat. “You aren’t Candaddy are you? No, now that I get a better look, you are not him. Fuck. Sorry, but I get so sick of these fucking liars.”

“I still don’t understand.”

Harris’s meal arrived. It took up half the table.

“I”ll leave you to your meal, honey.” Scout stood.

“No, that’s fine. Have a beer?”

“Yeah, sure, thanks.” He sat back down. “Screw Candaddy.”

“You were supposed to meet someone here?” Harris started to slice his ribs. They were perfect and fell apart easily.

“We chatted a few times on Bear411.”

“Bear411? Is that like a dating site for gay men.”

“You new in town?”

“I don’t play for that team, as I’ve heard it said.”

“Oh. You sure got the bear look down pat, right down to the ultra-nerd tee-shirt. Slap Shott is an ideal nickname. That is if you’re a spanker.”

“Hardly.” Harris nudged his plate toward Scout. “Fries? More than I can eat.”

“Don’t mind if I do. Let me turn this off first.” He started to turn off his iPad.

“Let’s see the guy you thought I might be?” Harris was curious. He’d never looked at any dating site.

Scout angled it so he could see. There was a face pic with several smaller ones in a double row beside it.

“Just touch one of the thumb nails if you want to see him in his full glory.”

“I looked fifty-four to you?”

“No. But there was something in the face, the eyes really that made me think it could be. Guys lie about everything, age, what they want you know just to get … attention.”

“You mean pretend to be older than they are.” He pushed the iPad in his leather shoulder bag.

“Not often but it wouldn’t surprise me. There are grampa chasers you know. I’m more of a chubby chaser.” Scout looked at Harris’s belly and playfully raised his eyes brows a few times. “You qualify.”

“Thanks. I guess.”

The waiter came to take Harris’s nearly empty plate.

“Another beer?” he asked Scout. He had never had a conversation with a man who he knew to be gay.

“You thinking of switching teams. Or is this bi-curious.”

“Curious mainly.”

The waiter came back with two beers and hand-wipes for Harris to clean his hands.

“That makes two of us.” Scout tipped his bottle at Harris.

“I’ve lived in TO all my life but I’ve never been to Pride you know. It’s like a different world. One that I’m mostly indifferent too. I have no negative feelings.”

“Pride. Can’t remember the last time anyone really enjoyed it. Let’s cut the the chase, Harris. I think what you are really curious about is what its like to have a man suck your cock?”

“No.”

“Maybe you don’t know that yourself. I hooker friend of mine said that if more wives gave more blow jobs most marriages would last longer. Simple as that. Look I fully understand that too.”

Harris waved the waiter over for the bill. He paid and went to the can. Scout was waiting on the street outside.

“I hope I wasn’t too direct for you?”
“Not at all Scout.”

“I don’t live too far from here, if you’re interested.”

“In what?”

“A blow job you ninny.”

Harris wanted to say no but he was curious. Alex had been so focused on one thing it seemed. That one thing being his own cock.

“Okay.” Plus he didn’t feel caught in the compulsion he had when the curse would wash over him.

“I knew it. I live above the bookstore the next block over.” They walked along. “I don’t do this sort of thing often. In fact never.”

“Which thing? Take strangers home or get stood up by Candaddies.”

“Both. But you seem like a nice enough guy. Vanilla can be good sometimes.”

The narrow wooden stairs up to Scout’s place creaked with each step. The dim light barely illuminated the dust and piles of newspapers.

“You’d never sneak in here.” Harris joked.

“Here we are.”

Scout’s place was at the back. It was small. A dresser, a studio couch bed, an armchair, kitchen along the back wall.

“Washroom here.” He opened a door to a tiny room. The sink was almost over the toilet. “Shared shower across the hall.”

Harris sat on the edge of the couch. Scout got on his knees before him and started to undo Harris fly.

“Not like that.” He leaned forward to kiss Scout. Scout was gentle in response. Not full of the eagerness that Alex had.

“Someone likes to kiss.” Still on his knees he was leaning against Harris’s shin. Harris could feel Scout get hard. That got Harris hard.

While Scout toyed with Harris he undid his own pants. He stood up and let them fall to his knees.

“You want some of this first to really get you going?”

Harris reach out and felt the cock. It was longer than he thought Alex’s was but not as thick.

“Go on. You want to taste it don’t you.”

“No, I don’t. Really.” Harris leaned back from the looming cock.

“That’s cool Harris. We’ll take it nice and slow.” He pulled Harris to his feet while pushing his jeans down to his knees as well. They kissed again. Harris felt Scouts cock against his erection and belly.

“Feels like your ready for me though.” Scout dropped to knees and took Harris’s cock in his mouth.

Harris’s erection disappeared almost instantly. Scout worked on it with his tongue but Harris didn’t feel aroused, at all.

“What happened?” Scout stood and pulled up his own pants.

“I guess it wasn’t what I wanted.” Would he have felt any different if it had been Alex on his knees sucking on his cock?

“That’s my super power.” Scout gave a little laugh. “Convincing straight guys that they really are straight. Though usually they take a bit more convincing.”

“I hope I didn’t … you know … lead you on at all.”

“Not as much as I lead myself on. Look everyone brings a secret agenda to these things. I don’t know how many guys really want sex, as much as to feel someone wants them.”

“I suppose. Can I ask you something?” He wanted to know if this was the curse in action.

“I’m disease free if that’s what was cooling your jets. Tested last week. Got papers if you really want to see them.”

“Nothing like that.” It hadn’t even occurred to Harris that he was putting himself in danger. Another of the things he’d have to learn. “Was there really a Candaddy?”
“I showed you his profile.”

“I know that, but were to really supposed to be meeting him at Moe Jones or was that some elaborate pick up line.”

“At Moe Jones? Please. Fuck, you straight guys are a hil-larry-ious. I was really stood up. But I had been waiting for, like half-an-hour, before you showed up. You had the body type, but you are right I didn’t think you were him for a second. I knew at a glance you weren’t some fifty year old daddy top looking for a subservient bottom boy.”

“Thanks.” They walked down to the street together.

“No prob Harris. It was sort of fun anyway. Especially when I realized your nervousness was real and not an act. Now go back to your life and make that bitch of yours suck that beautiful dick of yours.”

Scout turned on his heel and headed off in the opposite direction.