The Boy and the Book

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This another of the 92 pācittiyas.

The Boy and the Book

the dad admonishes

‘do not eat the book’

to the little boy

old enough to talk

but clearly pre-school

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

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Smooth Man

Law 24: Play the Perfect Courtier

Smooth

he says

you’re so smooth

as his runs his hands along stomach

I think

my belly isn’t flat enough

he says

you’re skin is so soft

so smooth

he is kissing me between his words

he turns me onto to my stomach

stroking my back

I can’t get over how smooth you are

how soft you are

he cups my ass cheeks

squeezes and parts them

I love your ass

firm and smooth

I’m not sure what to say

I don’t want to stop the flow of his words

the flow of his hands

I have been touching him too

he isn’t as smooth as I am

each time I start to reply

he kisses me

let me enjoy you

he says

I can’t tell you are enjoying me

you like my touch

yes I say

I love your ass he say

smooth firm

white

it is so white I bet it glows like the moon

it glows when you touch me

I say

he laughs a little

I can’t say

your skin is so black

it would feel weird

not that I am colour blind

but that isn’t what attracts me to him

it is his fascination for my skin

I never expected to be so fetishized

so sexualized

because of my skin color

because of my smoothness

I don’t see a reason

to turn this into a discussion

about race

I like to fuck white ass

he says

as he lubes my hole

I know

I tell him

you’ve told me that before

he slowly enters me

you like my black cock

you like it in you

yes I answer

you have a wonderful cock

I don’t tell him

it would be a wonderful cock in any color

I don’t tell him

how little I usually like getting fucked

I let him

I invite him

because his tells me

you skin is so amazing

a miracle

I love your ass

while he’s fucking me

I choose to believe him

This piece Law 24 springs from my real life – yes this is one of those autobiographic confessional pieces that people seem to consider ‘authentic’ poetry – only my confession isn’t all that emotionally demanding or deep – much like me 🙂 The notion of perfect courtier easily became what we say to get what we want.

In this case it was a guy I was seeing for a while & our interaction was pretty much as described here. I met him on a gay site – his ‘handle’ was blacktop4U. I clicked then moved on – I figured he was too young & too hung to be interested in me. But on many sites one can see who clicked on your profile & so he contacted me.

He was ultra eager but only interested in one thing – fucking. I invited him over. We met several times after that first encounter & then it ended – knowing too much & not enough at the same time. He was open about his immigrant experience – in particular his distain for other blacks who lacked his ‘class.’ I got bored of his racist biases & ended things. A nice package but to keep my interest I need the whole package not just one part of it. Unlike the poem I never did believe he cared for me as a person but as an ass to fuck. Caring for me as a person is part of the whole package.

He also refused to give me his phone # or even an email address in order to protect himself from identity theft. So we could only get in tough with each other if we both on line, on site, at the same time. His name changed from Rob to Ron to no name. What I call red flags. This was taking NSA too far.

This piece went through several revisions and title changes from the above first version. It is one of the laws that I’ve performed & it is in my chap book After The Falling.

This is the published version:

Man In The Moon

he says

you’re so smooth

he runs his hands

along my stomach

 

I think

my belly isn’t flat enough

 

he says

your skin is so soft

so smooth

he is kissing me between his words

he turns me onto to my stomach

stroking my back

I can’t get over how smooth you are

how soft you are

he cups my ass cheeks

squeezes and parts them

I love your ass

firm and smooth

 

I’m not sure what to say

I don’t want to stop

the flow of his words

the flow of his hands

I have been touching him too

he isn’t as smooth as I am

each time I start to reply

he kisses me

 

let me enjoy you

he says

I can tell you are enjoying me

you like my touch

 

yes I say

 

I love your ass he says

smooth firm warm

ivory heated by afternoon sun

it is so white I bet it glows

like the moon

 

it glows when you touch me

I say

 

he laughs a little

I like to be

the man in your moon

 

I can’t say

your skin is so black

it would feel weird

not that I am colour blind

but that isn’t what attracts me to him

it is his fascination for my skin

I never expected to be so fetishized

so sexualized

because of my skin colour

because of my smoothness

I don’t see a reason

to turn this into a discussion

about race

 

I like to fuck white ass

he says

as he lubes me

 

I know

I tell him

you’ve told me that before

 

he slowly enters me

you like my black cock

you like it in you

 

yes I answer

you have a wonderful cock

I don’t tell him

it would be a wonderful cock in any color

I don’t tell him

how little I usually like getting fucked

I let him

I invite him

because he tells me

you skin is so amazing

a miracle

I love your ass

 

while he’s fucking me

I choose to believe him

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Popular

Popular

Law 23: Concentrate Your Forces

what do I want

to be heard

to be popular

to be respected

to be legendary

maybe get paid

or merely to get laid

not that these are impossible

but

when I expect one to lead to the other

nothing happens

that’s why I never trust

a man’s poem

about the magic of the goddess

about his belief in the rights

of a woman

I know he’s saying what it takes

to get laid

that ode to fidelity

has all the authenticity of greeting card

This is a second & incomplete take on Law 23. In AA there is a line about ‘primary purpose’ & in this piece I look at what, as writers, our primary purpose is – to concentrate one’s forces toward that purpose is productive but when there is not ones elf purpose, or aim, focus becomes diffused & the effect is diminished. There’s a difference, for me, for performing to perform, than performing to advance my ‘career.’

So I start asking ‘what do I want’ – when my aim isn’t clouded by too many other expectations I enjoy the moment more. But if I’m thinking – I sure hope that these are the pieces people will like I’ve lost momentum, I’ve become a people pleaser & am not presenting my true self. Not that don’t people to like me but I’d rather be heard than liked, if you get me.

One of reasons I now publish & perform as TOpoet.ca is to take personality out of the picture. It allows me, as much as possible, to step back & let the words, the poetry itself speak.

Often I hear & read poets who are more interested in getting grants, in getting credits towards their university degrees than they are in the actual writing. Is their piece about the heartbreak of your mother’s death a real emotion or one only felt for an assignment. This piece is more like two pieces as it steps into the ‘magic of the goddess.’

Incomplete because I didn’t feel what it was saying was worth pushing it any further. The sort of thing I’d discard but for the purpose of the blog I’m not afraid to show writing warts & all. The tone was getting to judgmental as well. Guys want to get laid, such is life. But one of the reason I cut back on the reading series I attended was the number of men who would be so creepily attentive of young, usually pretty, female poets. ‘I love your writing. Let’s have a drink & talk about your work.’

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Sucker

Law 21: Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker

Sucker

I’ve never done anything like this before

well to be honest I have

but

never with a dick like yours

I’ve seen bigger

but never wanted it

as much as I want yours

it’s a great cock

no one have ever given me

so much pleasure with their cock

the fact that you don’t kiss

is made up for with your fabulous pecker

yes it’s the best I’ve ever had

not that I’ve had that many

but I can tell you’re experienced

by the way you enjoy what you are doing

you don’t waste time with conversation

just get down to the deed

do what you do best

that’s all I want

that’s all anyone ever wants

they don’t want you

just your amazing power driving cock

and that’s all you want to do

regardless of their pleasure

right

you are a man interested in only his needs

focused

direct

in and out

seeing the world

as just a depository

for your energizing sperm

we aren’t people

just warm wet

come rags

no I don’t mind

no one does

we just want to worship

your fantastic thrusting rocket of pleasure

This is one the Law pieces that bounces off the word ‘sucker’ as opposed to the intent of the law. It looks at how gay men manipulate each other to get what they want, or what they say they want, or think they want. It’s about the power shift of who is really in control, how much one may be willing to give up to get control – which sounds like a paradox, right.

I suppose in most relationships each partner likes to feel that they are in control – one is the top the other the bottom. Here things start with the porn cliche – never done anything like this – which seems to give the doer control – compliments are handed to keep that control – such nice equipment. The tone is sardonic – does the guy believe you think his cock is that wonderful?

I enjoy the unreliable narrator who chastises ‘just a depository’ but yet seems envious of being able to treat others that way & get away with it. It’s the dichotomy that one can easily get caught up in – we enjoy what isn’t good for us – maybe partly because it isn’t good for us.

Sexually people often get reduced to parts ‘they don’t want you, just your amazing power driving cock.’ I think this is one of the reason porn has such an appeal – we don’t have to deal with personality beyond the moan. She was hot until she started talking. We don’t want want partners we want sex dolls, preferably ones that read our minds & do what they do best.

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Forgiveness = Victim Blaming

17-green-01A self-righteous person (usually cismale) opens fire with a weapon of choice and kills people. There is shock, tears, reporters asking witness/survivors ‘how did you feel’ moments after – as if someone is going to say ‘oh, I felt we deserved it. we had it coming.’ This is quickly followed by the call to forgive the alleged perpetrator because without forgiveness the healing can’t begin.

17-green-02Without forgiveness the victim now is blamed for their choice to feel anger or vengeance. This pattern repeats with variations. A woman who was raped presses charges & is asked why she hasn’t forgiven her rapist. When did forgiveness become letting the allegedly guilty party off the hook. How did letting people face the consequence of their actions become unfair & unreasonable.

17-green-03Several years ago a ‘straight’ man who was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of a gay man was released because the embarrassment he had suffered already was enough punishment. Why ruin your rapist’s promising life with this blot on his reputation. Forgiveness becomes permission to continue the behaviour. The lesson in being taught isn’t to change behaviour but to be more careful. To pick victims with less ‘power’ to defend themselves. Forgiveness only leads to healing if consequences are faced & changes are made. Which, as far as I can tell, hasn’t happened yet & of course that’s because the dead just aren’t forgiving enough.

17-green-04Not that I think one should dwell on things & never move on. There is a need for a personal emotional release to go forward. But to have someone, anyone, demand or prescribe forgiveness doesn’t help with that emotional release.

samp03

Dead Already

he was dead already

that’s why I shot him

I thought he was ignoring me

that he was refusing to answer

a refusal that showed an utter disregard

a lack of respect for my position

I have every right to be expected

to be listened to

to be obeyed

without questions

without hesitation

so when he refused

to acknowledge my command

to wake the fuck up

to roll off that bed

to lay face down on the floor

with his hands behind his back

I shot him

I panicked

when he didn’t move

I thought he was plotting

that he was waiting for me to get closer

so he could pull off

his oxygen mask

pull out his intravenous tubes

and strangle me with them

that he would grab a scalpel

and cut me to ribbons

I sensed he was faking it

to lure me to my death

so I shot him in self-defence

because he was unresponsive

he’ll never do that again

I taught him a lesson

let that be a lesson to anyone

who thinks being dead

is a way to avoid

our righteous violence

to protect the moral values

of the world we want to live in


14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

greensink

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

The World Split Open

It took me a couple of days to decompress from inkslingers‘ Ellen Bass intensive The World Split Open Workshop held at the Bill Boyle Artport on Toronto’s Harbourfront. Twenty-two eager, dedicated poets & some who weren’t sure if they ere poets gathered to have their worlds split open – if not their worlds at their words.hf13

Organized by Sue Reynolds and James Dewar things ran smoothy & mostly on time – though even with a 9:30 start there never seemed like enough time to do everything. Ellen did three craft talks: the long arm poem, discovery on the first day; metaphor on the second day. The talks were to the point, filled with meaty quotes by living, working poet such as Mark Doty.hf14. Even though she referred to her notes frequently there was feeling of a one-on-one conversation with her, as opposed to a secure in front of room full of acolytes.

Among the poetry examples she used was a rough draft & a final draft of one of her pieces. Following her decision process around editing was practical & encouraging. Many found it comforting to realize even an accomplished writer doesn’t write perfect first drafts.

 

The workshop portion was limited to listening & commenting to what was liked. Issues of rewriting were not addressed due to time constraints – this certainly kept the sharing move quickly & avoided those defensive explanations of what we didn’t get. We were in the same groups each day but switched up facilitators. I would have liked an opportunity to hear what the other group was writing.

hf15

The loft spaces we used were adequate & functional. The a/c was noisy in both rooms & it was hard to find a seat that wasn’t under one of the fans. Some of the women wore their parkas through the day. Washroom were close. The acoustics were good. inkslingers did a excellent job of organizing the event, Ellen Bass was a  great choice & I hope they can be as creative if they chose to import another poet next year.hfme

By the end of the workshop I had produced two reasonable pieces, met a few people I might keep in contact with. Many of them were already aquatinted & those social ties didn’t loosen for those they didn’t know. I didn’t feel my world split open – Ellen hoped we would learn to write wilder, with greater emotional fluidity. I suspect women, which was the bulk of the workshop, experience a greater sense of repression than men or at least a different sort of repression. I gained a confirmation of my own practices, goals & spiritual values as embodied by my writing. Once again I realized I’m a writer, not an academic or even a literary theorist.

samp02

Sugar

her mother had planted the sugar maple

the only tree in the back yard

some twenty-five years ago

years of raking leaves

waiting for the sap

they never did get syrup

though Dad would pretend he had

with a store-bought jug of maple syrup

when she caught on

it made her wise to the ways of men

whose hearts were never honest

 

her mother long dead

her father sat on the back steps

coffee with shot of rum

to warm him up

as cigarette smoke

caressed his face

 

it was mid-July

the tree was leafless

the bark was blackened

peeled off in several spots

by raccoons years ago

that bared skin

let the ice of winter

into the honest heart of the tree

for weeks they had talked about

cutting down Mom’s maple

never going to give them sugar

 

worried where it might fall

she looked to the top of the maple

then back to him

the trunk was thick

she wanted to get a professional

Dad wouldn’t hear of it

said it was too bad he didn’t have son

he could really count on

she sighed as he muttered those old refrains

wondering if he was as sapless as the tree

 

she pulled on goggles

started the chain saw

took a wedge out of the side

toward the house

the saw cut quick deep

the swift crash

on the back steps

caught her father unawares

 

a thick ooze of blood

a thin trickle of sap

oozed out of the maple’s heart

it tasted sweet

soon

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
nano15

http://nanowrimo.org/

November 18, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hot

https://www.facebook.com/events/1159635767386461/

godzilla-christmas-tree-top10

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more music – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

stairs2

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Elegant #Metaphors #Harbourfront

Sunday started as an overcast morning after night of rain. By the time the final session of the workshops tarted the sun had come out & most of the writers were eager for more & at the same sadden that this was the last day of the intensively focused opportunity. Ellen Bass asked how many were tired, how many were wired – a lot of hands went up.

hf09

The day focused on ‘metaphor.’ Her talk explained how metaphor can jar the reader into empathy, into a sense of understanding even if they don’t agree with the poet. A reader gets it or they don’t but will never get it if it isn’t offered. The use of metaphor shows how the writer’s mind works – the nature of associations & allusions to illuminate without directly saying ‘this is what I mean.’ The best can create a conflict of tactile & emotional response ‘like finding a slime soaked $100 bill on the ground.’

Our lunch homework to write a piece full of metaphor – to not be afraid of going too far-out. I went back to the hotel to finish packing and to write my piece, I’d already started it during her talk so it flowed pretty quickly. She didn’t give us any constrictions, a word list etc but I stuck to the one I impose – one side of one page. I dragged my suitcase, like a reluctant stubborn St. Bernard, over the cobbles stones to the Artport. Then I grabbed a pizza slice & sat in the lakeside sun to eat.

hf11

The faclitators switched groups so we had James Dewar & Sue Reynolds for our session. The presented pieces covered some of the same territory as Saturday: aging parents, memory loss, parenting. The writing was looser, a bit more humour surfaced as well. My piece was one of the last so by then people had been pretty much tapped out or perhaps mine was just too distance for them – the ones on parents, children got ten minutes or more in feed back – I got maybe 2. I’m not emotionally complex enough I guess.

hf12

A sampling of lines: ‘I imagined darning by firelight would be romantic,’ ‘we are … the sound of television in the next room,’ ‘green green green to the ground,’ ‘an invisible slingshot,’ ‘my mothers ticks died with her,’ ‘we learned how to read the closed door,’ ‘lean in the ‘f’ lie I was about to say fuck,’ ‘do you? do you?’ ‘you lit up like a magnesium flare,’ ‘you knew I wanted to know how many guys you fucked,’ ‘I’ll be your father,’ ‘eyes as big as buoys,’ ‘I can’t put the genii back into the bottle,’ ‘like a child lost is a department store,’ ‘a foot soldier dodging the mines of memory,’ ‘she made a roast beef sandwich for a hobo after the war,’ ‘I always though it was the fear of being heard that stopped me,’ ‘all the judges will burn,’ ‘all torso like her twisted psyche,’ ‘the signs & symptoms of being a bad parent,’ ‘arguments as convincing as the one lone blue tory sign on my block,’ ‘too close to be seen like our faults,’ ‘trying to spell out something I needed to see,’ ‘who lived where she visits,’ ‘my mother turns to her other kingdom,’ ‘it must be her weekend with the kid,’ ‘the boat of fries playing dead.’

hf10

There was a final hour q&a with Ellen. People wanting to know the ‘best’ book to read help their writing; wanting to know her writing habits. Some of the information was practical. I did make notes over the two days of some of the writers she mentioned the most frequently. I may look for their books of essays but I know the search for the right book is an avoidance of writing.

Farewells were made, to one another & the organizers. It was rewarding to be working with writers who were actually actively engaged in writing. Plus I was grateful for a lift home by one of my fellow writers.

samp03

here’s the 30 minute piece I presented on day two

Bone Hollow

the status update

to bait an opportunity

like those hot jeans

that always got me laid

even when all I wanted was a cup of coffee

 

the on line dinner’s ready

waiting at the Admiral

ready to be boned

profile poised in the best light

to look interested

not pig sex desperate

the click counter alert

never hitting the expresso lane

of on my way over & out

 

the status update

changed from the hot pants

to the extra shot jock

the package back lit with potential

it says

I’m not a lurker on the threshold

I’ll take you past that to experience

I last a waiting hour

not being a dedicated palaeontologist

digging for longing-to-be-buried bone

I’m merely exhausted not extinct

no grave dust on this shelf selfie

 

I am not hollow

just willing to be boned deboned

this hollow man

now a full stop

the status update deleted

departing unboned

statisfied

satisfied with the opportunity

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
nano15

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more music – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

redleaves

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

#Harbourfront #Saturday #Conformity

The first day of the Ellen Bass workshop was packed full of ideas, words, writing & even some socializing. The first three I pretty good at buy the fourth isn’t my forte. I’ve never been one for networking, for handing out business cards & such. I can carry a conversation though because I know when you say ‘how is your writing going’ I get to listen. Even when someone asks me that I get to listen.

A large group of over 20 ‘student’ plus Ellen & the two organizers James Dewar & Sue Reynolds made for a good mix. there were actually some other men in the group. Plus I did know some of the other writers too. hf07

The day started with self-introductions followed by a talk by Ellen on ‘the long arm poem’ – this is a piece that rambles, takes tangents, in a seemingly random way but in the end reveals something about itself. Over lunch we were to write a long arm piece with a set of conditions & even a list of words to possibly use.

After lunch we returned – split into two groups with different facilitators to share what we had written. Saturday I was in Ellen’s group. Most of us produced rather polished rough drafts – many dealt with complex emotion problems: death, aging parents, the loss of a marriage etc. My piece, below, dealt with none of those things but was well received anyway.

hf06

Here are some lines from the pieces presented: ‘ashes os embers long cold,’ ‘a scream that never ended even after forty-five years,’ ‘carpets shopped for relentlessly,’ ‘left behind the idea of being marriage,’ ‘painting over all of it with fire,’ ‘eyes an empty black,’ ‘night outside the frame growing,’ ‘but there was no bed,’ ‘what he doesn’t realize is I am begging for mercy,’ ‘rows that keep thinning in the wind, ‘the raven’s voice scratches on the air,’ ‘recall the last thing I said to my daughter, ‘smiles in that gap-toothed way,’ ‘I want to touch you but you like to be right,’ ‘a world in which he did not feel safe,’ ‘dying in all the wrong places, ‘she sings Medea in her fleece pyjamas,’ ‘and so it goes,’ ‘Magdalene  wants me to read the angel poems.’

hf05

After this session we had one last presentation by Ellen on the role of discovery – ‘a mind puzzling its own way out of its own shadow.’ She feels a poem needs to do more than entertain but it should lead bot the reader & the writer to a new realization, a new way of looking at life.

hf08

You know something as much as I appreciate this I also know that what I say/write are often not what people hear/read. I’d rather write heedless of those ends because I wrote with that in mind I might not write at all.

samples

Conformity

It’s a SOCA convention

a man in a rust-red tweed sport coat

riches out his hand

‘are you here for the convention’

it’s my hotel but not my problem

though I am awake & out before 9 a.m.

not hungover or looking to score

the schooners around me are boats

not beer glasses

in some brassy sports bar

I know about recovery

rooms of people sitting in circles

rounds of support

restless feet in black shoes

where they end by

holding hands

they want to show me mercy

but I don’t want to hold their hands

joining in that circle

won’t bring me into their lives

one is the loneliest number

who has one rusty nail

sees one snow flake

though no two flakes are identical

I am recovering like them

but I don’t enter their circle

won’t make snow angels with them

I felt the itch that induced SOCA

but never scratched it that way

he reaches out his hand

I say ‘not here for the conference’

and sail out into the morning

not ready for conformity

(SOCA – Southern Ontario Cocaine Anonymous)

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
nano15

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more music – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrcarseats

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet