Over the past month by TOpoet.ca following blog shrank to 450! I went through my follower list & removed people who were no longer active on WordPress. Active followers show up in a colour, non-active followers show up in black. The WP map does show my hits have come from 32 countries around the world. Nigeria, Bahrain in the top ten! India & Bangladesh holding steady & hola Spain 🙂 Ireland! Lithuania?
My Tumblr is at 331 followers. Twitter is at 224 followers.
Picture Perfect: 78 sections, about 116000 words posted so far with approx 73,000 to be edited then posted.
TLN (https://www.tln.ca) does an occasional Italian film festival of mostly recent films – films that don’t show up anywhere else on TV. Comedies for the most part but always with a sharp social bite & sometimes a dash of romance. One I really enjoyed was The Man Who Bought The Moon – set in Sardinia, one gets a glimpse of the political & social regard of the island by the rest of Italy. Our hero first has to be taught how to pass for a Sardinian. Hilarious at points & finally the moon itself appears to save the day. Charming & well worth searching out.
That touch of magic realism owes everything to Fellini. I watched, for the first time, his Roma – there is some bravura film making in this virtually plotless movie. There are reference to his past films & even a hint of Amacord which he already planning.. Impressions of his past mixed with look at his present film making. Fascinating.
God’s Own Country – I was given this dvd for Xmas a few years ago & finally got around to seeing it. A refreshing gay love story in which coming out is not a part of it. Set on a sheep farm it is far removed from the usual druggy, bar scene fodder. Our hero becomes involved with Gheorghe, a Romanian migrant worker, is hired as extra help. Played by Josh O’Connor & Alec Secăreanu, respectively, they make photogenic couple. Similar to Brokeback Mountain one is not surprised when good looking men find each other attractive. Josh played Prince Charles in The Crown so I thought of this as the The Prince & The Underwear Model.
Read the excellent Dolls! Dolls! Dolls! by Steve Rebello. A behind the scenes look at the making of Valley Of The Dolls – one of my favourite movies. He also goes into the writing of the book & JS’s career. Full of juicy feuds, casting wars & the sad misuse of Judy Garland; this is a great read that reveals as much about how actresses were treated as it does about the business of making movies. Highly recommended.
Took a day trip to Stratford. We didn’t see anything – getting tickets online was problematic thanks to the pandemic seating restrictions. The weather was perfect, traffic as usual, lunched at Features, picked up a few things at the Gift Shop, hit the main box-office to reserve spots on a waiting list for Three Tall Women at the end of September – including the time it took to drive there it took as long as it would have on line 🙂 A call from the box-office the next day confirmed we had tickets – no more waiting list waiting for us.
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & but Festival tickets – thanks paypal.me/TOpoet
My Tumblr is at 327 followers. Twitter up to 231 followers. Both not bad for someone who doesn’t post porn or political rants or cute animal pics 🙂 Picture Perfect is up to 65 sections, over 95,000 words posted so far with approx 90,000 more to be edited then posted.
Other than the rollercoaster of Ontario lockdown measures it has been a fairly routine month. Clearly the logic behind this bumpy ride has been political, not practical or ultimately sensible. But that’s another post, right.
Weather has been mild enough for some work in my garden but nights have been too cold for planting or much repotting. Apparently travel restrictions (to those who feel such restrictions apply to them) will result in travel money going into gardens & home improvements. Waking up at your office because you are working at home has made many tired of seeing the same furniture 24 hours a day. I’ve seen a bounty of desks, sofas, dining room tables dragged to the curb.
Watched some movies. Andrei Rublev directed by Andrei Tarkovsky – a two disc set with both versions of the film & a slew of extras that were twice as long as the film. The movie itself is fascinating, frustrating & drowns in symbolism/political commentary one needs to know a historical context to fully understand. Visually stunning at points with amazing panoramic scenes with action in the foreground, middle ground & background.
Episodic as it follows our hero on his travels, no real story line just events. The pagan ceremony section is symbolically dense & eerie & captivating. The final episode about the Bell does have a tradition plot though. If you see it try to watch the extras first – no spoilers in them but background material that makes the movie more accessible. As I result we ordered Stalker – which I have also seen before thanks to TCM but wanted the extras 🙂
From TCM we watched a fun Czech film: Pearls of the Deep from the mid-sixties. Five short stories by Bohumil Hrabal each filmed by a different Czech director. Quirky stories that are sometime laugh out loud funny, others are ‘what is this about’ perplexing but all enjoyable & worth watching.
Also watched a 1930 Japanese silent film ‘Walk Cheerfully’ directed by Yasujirō Ozu. Yes, Japan had a major silent film period! A parody of US gangster films this is a charming time capsule of Japan in the late 1920’s. Fashion & street scenes that take us out of the usual sense of Japan as all paper panelled houses. Will our modern hard-boiled hoodlum go straight for the love of an old fashioned woman or will his old gang keep their fur trimmed hold on him? Only drawback is the busy, intrusive piano score.
Inputs from hard copies of old poetry & short stories continues. At times it feels endless but also reflects that I wrote constantly for many many years. I did have many of these backed up on disks but none of those disks are readable any more. I did try a few years back, before tossing them all, & found that even if I could up load the word processing programs couldn’t be read to even translated, as it were.
I’ve been posting the stories on Thursdays along with talk my music collection. Some of the poetry will be blogged over the summer on Wednesdays with my comments & memories of writing them. All are from between 1972-77. Wallowing in the past? Not me.
The office space that Curtis Baxter occupied for his company was’t what Daniel expected. It was a second floor walkup that shared the front door with a first floor sandwich shop. The wooden stairs needed painting, the faux marble walls needed to have their faux freshened up. The black lacquered door with ‘Baxter Bits’ on it in red glitter letters stood out from the peeling wallpaper of the hall. There was a glittery red mat in front of it.
The suite took up the front half of the floor with a view of the street. A tiny reception area was barely large enough for a desk. Opposite it were two black lacquered wooden chairs. A sparkly red lacquered door with Curtis Baxter on it was dead centre of the wall. On the walls were posters for various TV shows that Dan assumed were Baxter Bit productions.
There was no one at the receptionist’s desk however. He knocked at the door.
“Enter.” Boomed from behind it.
He went into the office
“Daniel James! I never expected to see you here.” Curtis practically leapt over his desk to shake Dan’s hand.
“Nice set up you have here.”
“I’m usually on the go so I didn’t really need anything more elaborate.”
“Here’s your coffee, hun.” A short Asian woman in a very short skirt bumped the door open. “Oops. Sorry!”
“That fine Lin.” Curtis said as he put the coffee on his desk. “This is Daniel James.”
“Pleased to meet you.” She bowed and exited.
“What’s this about ACTRA rates? As I understand it, you are asking me, I’m not asking you. If you want me, and I am certainly interested, what is it worth to have me attached to this project?”
Curtis gulped. “I … uh … until we are sure Quintex wants the show I can’t make a real offer. That’s why I mentioned the union rates. You would get at least that much.”
“Okay. What are you willing to offer right now to get my participation? A signing on bonus, separate from any salary for doing the show.”
“I thought you were such a push over. Man, oh, man, I was wrong.”
“When your old host got shoved into my eye I stopped being a push over.”
“We had no idea that he’d do anything that stupid.”
“I don’t doubt that. When you’re usually on the go it’s easy miss what’s going on. I looked over your initial proposal. I won’t be available to travel until after July 6.”
“We can accommodate that.”
“I don’t really care if you can or can’t. You have a figure for me?”
“Five thousand signing bonus.”
Daniel remained silent.
“I’ll make it six grand.”
“Try that again and be more precise.”
“I can manage seven, only if you come with me when I make the presentation.”
“Why is it so important that I be there?”
“Jeremy Moxham will be there. I saw the two of you at Kevin McLeod’s circus. He has the final say and I know he likes you.”
“So that’s it.” Dan stood. “My credentials didn’t matter to you at all did they?”
“Yes, they did. That’s what brought you to our attention. I didn’t know you knew Moxham till the party. Honestly. You and I were in contact before that. Right?”
“Yeah. Yeah. We’ll do a bank transfer for the seven or do you want me to wait till the cheque passes before the pitch? Because I’m not in till that cash is in my account.”
“What if I don’t sell the show?”
“Not my problem is it? But I have full confidence that you could sell cameras to the blind.”
“We can do the transfer tomorrow.”
“I think we have a deal.” He shook Curtis’s hand.
On the street his knees where shaking so badly he went to the nearest cafe ordered a latte and sat there sipping it. Apparently Kilpatrick’s punch had more of an effect than he expected. Seven k! Not a bad day’s work. Now if he can deal with Linda this well he’ll be happy.
He could smell grilling as he went up the sidewalk to his house. That meant Sanjay was on the patio. He wouldn’t have been surprised if Sanjay was not there after their conversation in the morning.
He dropped his shoulder bag on the couch, pushed his shoes off to let his feet breathe and went out to the patio.
Sanjay turned from the grill. “Ah, perfect timing. I hope you are hungry.” All he was wearing was a lungi loosely tied around his waist. No shirt, no shoes, and from the bulge, no underwear either. “Another five minutes and these would have been over-cooked.”
There were two steaks over the coals along with slightly charred red and green peppers.
“There is a salad in the fridge. Bring it out and we can eat here.”
“Aren’t you afraid of singing your nipples.” Dan said as he put the salad on the patio table.
“Not when I have you to sooth them.”
“What’s come over you?” Dan sat at the table.
“You said you loved me.” Sanjay put the plates on the table and sat. “I know many married people who are not in love.”
“My point exactly.”
They ate and chatted about the weather, about Dan’s eyes, Sanjay’s work, each avoiding more conversation about their relationship.
“There were a couple of calls for you.” Sanjay said as he cleared the table. “You shouldn’t leave your phone turned off all day. People call here.”
“Not many have the house number. So it must have been Warszawa?”
“And not Linda.”
“Yes and someone who didn’t leave a name. The number was unknowable according to call display.”
“I have ways of finding out. What call display doesn’t know doesn’t mean I can’t find out.”
The landline rang.
“Maybe I won’t have to resort to drastic measures.” He went into the house to answer the phone. “Hello?”
“This is Phil Kaplan from City News. I was wondering if you had any comment on John Kilpatrick’s allegations?”
“From the press conference he had today.”
“No. Did he mention that he tried to put out one of my eyes.”
“He claimed that he was bounced from Unsolved Cold when he refused to allow Curtis Baxter to sexually harass him and that now Baxter is hiring you, someone who was once charged with sexual harassment.”
“What the fuck!” Dan shouted. “What the fuck!” He wanted to slam the receiver against the wall. “It’s true I’ve been approached by Curtis Baxter for a … project. Not to host Unsolved Cold. As for the rest I have nothing to say.”
“I see. Can I get an exclusive interview you.”
“Not at this time.” He hung up poised for it to ring again. It didn’t.
“What was that all about?” Sanjay asked.
“Publicity for John Kilpatrick.”
“Ah. Let’s just turn all this off for now.” He turned the ringer off.
Sanjay took him by the hand and lead him back out to the patio. “The hot tub should be the right temperature by now.” He undid the knot on his lungi and stepped into the tub. “You need to relax. What are you waiting for?”
Dan quickly undressed and got in, sitting opposite Sanjay.
“It’s hot alright.” he said standing up. “My balls weren’t ready to be boiled.”
“I am sorry.” He leaded forward to kiss Dan’s balls then sucked on his cock.
“That isn’t cooling them down.”
Sanjay leaned back. “I forget you are not as used to the heat as I am. This feels like a humid night on the balcony of my parents’ home.”
Dan lowered himself slowly into the water.
“Have you had time to give any thoughts to Sylvan’s proposal.” Sanjay asked. “He wants my answer soon.”
“I have to speak with the family.”
“They do not have to sign off on it, do they?”
“No, but they have a right to know before I make such a big decision.”
“What if they disapprove?”
“I’ll deal with that. I have to get the house appraised first anyway. Then I’d have to repay mother too.”
“She made the downpayment for me. I had just left the force and wasn’t yet reestablished in the family business. Not that I ever really left it but … it’s a long story. That’s one of things Linda hasn’t forgiven me for. She helped Dad with the store while I was in training and fully expected it would be hers one day.
“No one expected me to leave the force so soon and then when Dad died she expected to inherit the larger share.”
“Ah, family. Nothing like it.”
“What if I can’t get the money?”
“There is always India. With what I have saved now and a little help from my family I could open my own resort, an amusement park if I chose.”
“Are you serious.”
“Yes. I am at the age where I want to build more of a life for myself. You own this house, you have a business, two of them. All I have is a job, and a reputation. I own only the clothes on my back and of course my knives.”
“Is that what the let’s get married is all about? So you would own what I own?” Dan asked.
“No, that is not how that works. I know. We would need an agreement before marriage.”
Dan got out of the tub and sat on the edge with his legs in the water.
“Do you think you would be happy living in India again?”
“Perhaps. I now have the vision of how to make my own opportunities there.”
Dan got completely out of the hot tub and wrapped a towel over his shoulder. “That whack in the head may have damage my eyes but I am seeing somethings much clearer than I did before.”
“What to do mean?” Sanjay got out of the hot tub.
“All this … the ‘I’m over you sleeping around’ … the dinner … it’s all to sweet talk me into the loan for you. Isn’t it.”
“No. I am not asking for a loan.”
“A gift? Or if I don’t I’m forcing you to move back to India?”
“That is not my intention.”
“That is what I see.” Dan grabbed his clothes and went into the house.
Sanjay followed him.
“Dan!” He turned Dan around to face him.
“I’m tired. It’s been a long day. I have decisions to make.” He rubbed along his eyebrows. “I have pain to numb.”
“I have no wish to go back to India.” Sanjay said. “I don’t want a life without you. When we first met I didn’t believe men could care as we did, share as we did. But it seemed the longer we were together the harder it was for me to feel we were part of each other’s lives. I hoped you would change about marriage as the laws changed. But you have never changed. I doubt if you ever will. That is my pain. It is one I don’t think I can ever change, even if I leave you.” Sanjay began to weep.
“Then we have a basic philosophic stand-off. I don’t see a solution. I do know one thing, emotional blackmail isn’t going to change my mind.”
“Emotional blackmail.” Sanjay shouted.
“You may not even realize you are doing it. Just like that guy in the force who thought I was harassing him by answering questions about the gay lifestyle. I didn’t realize I was harassing anyone.”
“I’m sorry you see me that way.”
“I am too. I’m going to bed. This conversation is over.”
Next on the jazz shelf are a pair of cd mp3 collections built around the work of flautist Paul Horn. He became a pioneer of world and new age music with his 1969 album Inside. But the ‘roots’ of that go back to a couple of earlier lps: Jazz Suite on The Mass Texts, Here’s That Rainy Day. On Texts he works with orchestra & choir & on Rainy Day he works with rain effects.
I remember when Inside The Taj Mahal was released & all my pot-head buddies where into the echo soothing meditativeness of it. Inside 2 is more of the same. Both are timeless & meditative.
George Winston is new age, meditative piano player I was introduced to when I facilitated a meditation healing circle for ACT. I have Winter, Winter Into Spring – instrumental music that lulls, ripples with touches of classical & very subtle jazz. I was also introduced to (& have) Suzanne Ciani: Seven Waves, Neverland, History of My Heart; Kitaro: Silk Road I, II; G.E.N.E. Grooving Electronic Natural Environments: Fluting Paradise. Ciani’s electronic work has an element of deliberate design using various sound frequencies to create mood. GENE weaving rippling brooks & sound frequencies.
For a time I was a weekend- warrior learning about medicine wheels & Native spiritual beliefs. Here I heard R. Carlos Nakai a Navajo/Ute who plays Native American cedar. On Earth Spirit there are original compositions for the flute inspired by traditional Native American melodies.
In this collection is also Hamza El Din’s Escalay: The Water Wheel which recognized as one of the first world music recordings to gain wide release in the West. He is Egyptian and plays the oud. A friend had me transfer his lp version to cd & I kept a copy, which I later upgraded, via iTunes, for better sound quality. Worth seeking out.
Also from that neck of the woods (or is that sands?) comes Bustan Abraham: Fanar – a sweet concoction of Arab music, Turkish music, jazz, flamenco, western classical music, and blues from an Israeli band. Finally a selection of Hussain Khan from Radio India, shared with me by a friend – this is harmonium, sitar, tabla & chanting that transports one to another world.
Kayla found the bones in the backyard. We had been getting ready for planting a garden for the kids. She and her bother Dall weren’t all that eager to watch things grow but I figured it would be a good experience for them. Being a step-dad wasn’t a dream come true mind you but I was willing to do what it would take to make it work.
I figured digging and planting things together would be a good bonding experience for us.
Kayla called to me. “Jake … Jake ….”
The fear in her voice gabbed me by the heart. I rushed over.
She pointed her trowel at the shattered bone.
I hunched down to get a closer look.
Dall came over to join me. He pushed at the bone with a finger.
“Don’t touch it.” I pulled his hand away.
“What is it?” Kayla began to tear up.
“Probably a cat or a squirrel. Too small to be anything else.”
I gently pushed the dirt from around the bones to see how many there were. I could tell it was some small animal.
“What’s going on.” John had come out of the house.
I stood a bit to quickly & was dizzy for a moment. He steadied me.
“Kayla found a dead body.” Dall pointed at the bones. “Looks like a dead baby.”
He looked at Kayla hoping for a reaction.
“Looks like you.” She retorted.
“I’m not dead.”
“That’s what you think.”
“Probably just a cat that the last owner buried here when it died. See …” I hunched down again. “There’s fur in the ground around it.”
John took the kids into the house while I dug out the bones. I wasn’t sure what to do next. Bag them for recycling? Put them in composter? Bury them somewhere else in the yard?
Over the month my TOpoet.ca following is steady at 380! The August WP map shows that my hits have come from around the world. India still tops the list with 3 times as many hits than Canada at number 2. Good to see Japan & Portugal making the top 10. China! Nepal! My Tumblr (topoet) is up by 3 to 290. Twitter (@TorPoet) up to 226 followers. My most popular post in August: Fab Forty 1965 https://topoet.ca/2020/08/02/fab-forty-1965/
I’ve posted 33 chapters of Picture Perfect so far, nearly 49,000 words, with 137,000 words yet to be edited. I had forgotten how much attention I had paid to world-building for my hero. Making cuts has been easy & expanding some when needed has been fun. I also love making the fresh weekly graphic & will include them in an appendix to the eBook.
I’ve been really enjoying the challenge of writing about my Distant Music pieces. Nearing the end that. Doing one week has made the work more steady. Two pieces a week was rushed. Once done I may compel it all into an eBook. I found I am following in famous footsteps: Alan Ginsburg did a similar explanation of Howl for its 50th anniversary. I’m not as self-indulgent as I thought 😦
Amongst the movies I watched in August was the oddly fascinating Paris Belongs To Us – early 60’s underground theatre in Paris – each scene deepens the mystery with layers of information that leads to ? It was as if Kafka met Beckett to write a screenplay. Was stunned by Edge Of The Knife (SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna) a Canadian film in Haida. Visually amazing, brilliant performances & a work of art.
Another month of living with the pandemic. Will Americans accept a covid vaccine made in Russia? Since their last presidential election was (made in Russia) I don’t see why not 🙂 More deflection where entertainment value is more important than progress – where anger over racism is the issue not the racism itself.
Life in Toronto slowly opens up with patios, schools, community centres adapting to covid protocols. Classroom of a certain size allow for 20 or is it 30 students – LCBO spaces of similar size are restricted to 10 people, at a time. The province has made it its priorities clear. I have no children, I don’t consume alcohol so I have no standing in such issues.
Sunlight streaming on his face woke Dan. He groped for his wrap-around sunglasses and slipped them on without opening his eyes. For the sun to come in the window like that meant it must be midmorning.
He went to the bathroom, came back to the bedroom, turned on the cd of yoga meditation music and went through the routine he had learned from Sanjay. The music was more a hum with gentle tabala counting the time.
The door bell rang. Well, he’d have to face up to it sooner or later. He pulled on sweatpants and went down to answer the door.
“Hamid?” He’d expected it to be either Curtis or one of his minions.
“Good morning Mr. James, or should I say good afternoon.” Hamid was holding a cardboard box in front of him
“Come in.” Dan stepped on to the porch to see if anyone was lurking in their car on street. “My God! Is it that late in the day?”
“It most certainly is.” Hamid took the box into the kitchen. “You sister has sent some food for you. Without your cook to look after your meals she felt you might need some help. Has your cook left you?”
“She was referring to my partner Sanjay. He has not left me but is merely working out of town for a short time.” Was Linda sending Hamid to me as a temptation?
Hamid started to take containers out of the box.
“Thank you but that won’t be necessary.”
“Yes sir. She particularly wanted you to know there was some KFC, original recipe in there. What does it mean, Original Recipe?”
“As a marketing ploy they changed to a supposedly more healthy … coating. I’m not sure what to call it, they dip the chicken in spices before they deep fry the nutrition value out of it. It may have been better for people but didn’t prove better for their profits.” Daniel was amused by the way Hamid stood there smiling and watching as he spoke. “But I suppose you don’t have much of a cultural context for my childhood memories. Let’s just say KFC was a favorite of my Dad’s and ours when we were growing up.
“Thank her for me.” Dan went toward the front door to see Hamid out.
“It is no problem.” Hamid followed him. “I volunteered.”
“Thank you too, then.” He stuck his hand out for Hamid to shake. Dan didn’t want to appear to be cold nor overly -friendly. With men he didn’t know that well it was hard to tell what they might read into a simple conversation.
“Yes.” Hamid stepped into the living room. “I like to see how people live in Canada. In Toronto. In some ways it is so very different. In others very much the same.”
He stopped in front of a large silk panel painted with an image of Ganesha. “This is very good. Sanjay is the artist.”
“No. We picked that up some years ago in India.”
“He is very traditional sort of man. I can tell.”
“In some ways.”
“I must be going back to FairVista. Thank you for letting me see some of your home. I hope to see more of it sometime.”
“I do not mean to seem out of place, I mean, out of line, but I have no family here. It is very hard to make friends.”
“You have family in India?”
“Most were massacred in the uprisings when I was a boy. I lived in an orphanage and then on the streets for a time.”
“Thank you again.” Hamid opened the front door. “If you wish help with anything please let me know.”
“I will. When Sanjay gets back we’ll have you over to dinner.”
“Thank you. I would like very much.”
Which uprising was Hamid talking about? He’d have to ask Sanjay about that. That is if Sanjay returned.
After he’d put away the takeout food that Linda had sent he relaxed on one of the chaises on the shady end of the back patio. He set his phone timer for twenty minutes. He wrapped a towel he had put in the freezer around his eyes. It was cool without being cold. He could get used to this. Doing nothing while looking at nothing. When was the last time he hadn’t gone into the Depot on a Saturday? Being his own boss he’d always found it hard to give himself time off.
The alarm went off. He took the towel away from his eyes. Put a folded bandana over them and then the sunglasses over that. He stood up and the bandana remained in place.
He spent the afternoon with his vision blocked. It was an adventure groping around his house. He stubbed his toes a few times but as long as he moved slowly he was fine.
He felt accomplished once he’d done a load of laundry and hung it. He’d wait till later to see how well he’d hung it though. He listened to some TV, some cd’s, heated up something Linda had sent. From the feel of it in the container he knew it was rice. Probably from some Chinese place.
His injured eye didn’t ache as much. When his cell announced 4 p.m. he removed the bandana. The world revealed was not shiny and new or all sharp glints and irritating. He’d have to not see it for longer than a couple of hours
It was time to deal with Curtis now that his anger had faded. He changed the ‘unavailable to this caller’ setting on his phone. No more hiding from that beast.
Sure enough the cell beeped after ten minutes.
“Hello, Mr. Baxter.”
“Oh, Daniel! Thank God you are alright.” Curtis gushed. “When you didn’t answer my calls I was so worried. Almost frantic. Did you get the flowers I sent?”
“It’s Mr. James to you.” Dan said. To get control of this situation he’d have to be firm with boundaries.
“Don’t be like that.”
“If you want a business relationship with me that’s how it’s going to be.”
“I see. I can’t blame you after the way I’ve behaved but I when I get so enthused about a project I won’t let anything stand in the way of getting it off the ground.”
Dan remained silent.
“You do understand that I never expected Kilpatrick to fly off the handle that way.”
Dan remained silent.
“When I told him about the possibility of a new series he … assumed he’d be involved and when I told him otherwise he … well, you know the rest.”
Dan remained silent. He knew given the chance Baxter would spin doctor himself into a corner.
“This is where we stand now. Quintex will probably approve the new project once we have the whole package ready for them. I want you to be a part of that package.”
“Probably?” Dan said. “The last time we spoke you presented it as done deal. If you want me to be part of a package I want to see the particulars in writing.”
“Why don’t you draft something? I can present it as your idea.”
Dan remained silent.
“After all that’s what Kilpatrick already believes. I had to present it to him that way so he wouldn’t think I was trying to sever ties with him. He’s become more unprofessional this past season, you see. Drinking, being sexually inappropriate with some of the female make-up technicians.”
Dan remained silent.
“When do you want a written proposal Mr. James?”
“By Monday morning. But, Mr. Baxter, if you spin it to look like it was my idea then count me out.”
“But it was.”
Dan remained silent.
“Alright. But you inspired it.”
“That I can’t deny.”
“There’ll be good money in it for you.”
Dan remained silent.
“More as co-producer?”
“Mr. Baxter, I have money enough now. I don’t need the exposure. What is in it for me?” Curtis’s tone of voice changed. “You were in love with Timmy Dunlop. You want to find out what happened to him!”
Dan felt a sudden stab of pain around his eyes.
“I’m not lacking in sensitivity, Mr. James. I could tell from the way you talked about Timmy, you may have been childhood pals but you had feelings for him. Didn’t you? I bet his was the first dick you diddled. Just be grateful he was only year older than you and not ten years older.”
Dan remained silent. This kind of honesty was not the spin he was expecting.
“You know, Mr. Baxter, now that you’ve cut out the b.s. I think we might be able to work together.”
“Good. You better be worth it.”
“Keep in mind my hourly rate when you send me the proposal and I’ll let you know. Bye.”
Eyes closed he went to the fridge for an ice cube to rub around them. His Dad would have been proud of him sticking to guns like that.
My TOpoet.ca following blog is at 360! The June WP map show my hits have come from countries around the world. Canada & US top the list with India & Bangladesh near the top. Monaco in the top 10 is a surprise. My Tumblr is at 280. Twitter is at 226 followers
You’ll be seeing some summer changes in the blog starting this week. Wednesday & Thursday will be looking at my Fiddlehead chapbook: Distant Music. In May I input the text & in June I started exploring those old pieces. Not that I remember what I was thinking at the time but I do recall information – what I was reading, where I was etc.
To give me a break may stop the Saturday covid posts. Things haven’t change much on that front but I will slot covid updates on Mondays to alternate with the Artist’s Way posts. People have been enjoying my posts & pictures of things in my house so they’ll continue on Mondays as well. Coming to the end of the first section of Picture Perfect. It took three Nano’s in a row to do it so by section I mean the first November. In editing I found several places that needed more writing to account for later events. My nano word count included non-plot elements it is still mounting up to a decent count. 40,000 so farI’ve also loved creating the graphic for each week.
Fridays will continue the crawl through my music collection. It is large enough to take me into to the next decade. It has been good to look at what I have, what I like & what I’ll be letting go of. My need to be a music archive has left me 🙂 Boring is boring regardless of its historic importance. Purge is the word.
Speaking of purging – my covid cleaning frenzy though some of the major hoards have reduced them considerably. I still have the basement to contend with which will be nice with the summer heat already on us. The basement is cool & full of my partner’s old school files for starters. Plus a box or two of magazines I’ve had for too long. eBay here I come.
I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.
Leaning on the kitchen counter they rested against each other.
“I better finish these dishes.” Sanjay bit Dan’s ear lobe.
“They can wait. You have this to clean up first.” Dan wiped at the come drying on his face.
Sanjay leaned closer and began to lick off the come. Dan started to laugh. “That tickles. Let’s hit the shower. We can have the other dessert later when we are clean enough to eat it.”
He pulled his jeans up, grabbed Sanjay hand and pulled him toward the stairs
When they remodelled the house Dan had made sure the shower in the master bedroom was large enough to hold two. They soaped and scrubbed each other. Rubbing and kissing, slipping and sliding around each other at the same time. Dan loved the feeling of Sanjay’s hairy chest and belly on his back.
“You are tempting the elephant again.” Sanjay said.
“No more than you are summoning up the albino cobra.” Dan turned so they faced each other in the shower. Erections rubbing side by side. He reached to the tap and cut the hot so they were caught in a sudden downpour of icy cold. He jumped out of the shower.
“Ah. You fucker.” Sanjay followed him out.
“Yes perhaps I am for a change.” Dan said pushing the wet Sanjay onto his back on the bed, then climbed on top of him. He moved down Sanjay’s chest, his mouth biting here and there, then to his cock, balls and pushing Sanjay’s legs into the air to his butt.
The black hairs around his hole were so tightly wound it was hard to worm his tongue to it but Dan knew he had succeeded as Sanjay gasped.
“Ooo, that hits more than one spot.”
“Freshly washed.” Dan muttered as he came up keeping Sanjay’s legs on his shoulders. He reached under the pillow and pulled out a tube of lube, quickly smeared some on his cock and Sanjay’s hole.
His cock was longer than Sanjay’s but not as thick. He pressed it against the warm opening and pushed.
“Not so gentle baby.” Sanjay squeezed his legs around Dan and pulled him in tight so Dan’s cock was buried in a single thrust. “You know I don’t like it as gentle as you do.”
“If I were as thick as an elephant trunk you wouldn’t be saying that.” He pulled out completely and thrust in hard and fast.
“Oh.” Sanjay gasped. “Yes. Hard. Bite.” He pushed Dan’s head at his left nipple. “Bite.”
Dan bit the nipple as hard as he could without losing momentum. He tasted man milk after a few sharp bites.
“Yeah yeah.” Sanjay moaned. He pushed Dan’s head to his other nipple.
Dan saw spots as he felt himself about to come and started to pull out. Sanjay gripped him even tighter with his legs.
“In me. In me.” He begged.
Dan felt his first spurt as he pulled out. The rest of his come spilled over Sanjay’s cock and balls. He rolled off Sanjay and laid on the bed his hand on Sanjay’s stomach.
“It has been a while.” Dan said.
“Too long. I was beginning to wonder if you were still interested. It happens, I know. After a years.”
“Same here. Sometimes I wonder if you are filling more that pastry at P’s.”
“What!” Sanjay rolled and propped himself up on elbow. “You know what I’m like. I’m a one butt pie at a time kind of man.” He leaned and bit Dan’s nipple.
“Oh stop!” Dan laughed and pushed him away. “Looks like I’m going to have to shower again. This time alone.”
Once he had washed off he left the shower running for Sanjay. He dried off and went downstairs to his desk. He arrayed the pictures of the other children in the light to see if there was some connection between them. The unexpected connection he had found with the RCMP photographs in the afternoon had played on his mind.
“A new case. Right. I forgot you can’t talk about your cases.” Sanjay asked.
“This isn’t a case in that sense. These are from that cold case show I caught the other night.”
“Still thinking about that. What was it about Timmy any way?”
“I think it was the way it ended but never ended. I know now why he never answered my letters. He was abducted. Otherwise I might have forgotten all about him.”
“What do you remember?”
“We had loads of fun when we summered in Stellerton. He even visited me a couple times in New Waterford.”
“Same bed?” Sanjay asked.
“Yes. I’d sort of forgotten about that. We’d fall asleep spooning from behind. The way we sometimes do!”
“I was only a boy Sanj. I sure liked him though. He was uncut. I’d never seen that before. Not that I’d seen any cock other than my own but I guess I figured they were all like mine.”
“Uh … huh. I wish I could say the same. I saw lots of cock when I was growing up. Men would piss in front of each other without thinking twice. There was no shame with body functions.”
“I played with his once. He saw how amazed I was at his foreskin. He let me touch it, it wouldn’t pull back the way yours does. It was so tight he could barely pee out of it.”
“Did it taste pissy?”
“Sanjay! I don’t know. That never entered my head. Though years later when I knew what I like I did wonder why I didn’t then.”
“Perhaps is just as well you didn’t. Your tender young heart would have been even more broken when your parent so cruelly tore you apart.”
“They did not move because of him, of my friendship with him. My mother says his disappearance was one of the reasons we did move. My Dad didn’t feel it was safe.”
“As if Toronto was such a safe place, right?”
“I never considered that.”
“I hate to change the subject but let’s talk about me for a change.”
“You? Something wrong?”
“No. Dessert awaits you in the living room.”
He followed Sanjay to the living room. On the coffee table were two bowls of Sanjay’s speciality. A banana raisin ice-cream with a subtle dash of curry.
“Yummy.” Dan eagerly took a spoonful. “So what about you?”
“You know this year is my parents fiftieth wedding anniversary.”
“You know I will be going to India to celebrate it with the rest of my family. There will be many, many of us.”
“Lots of cooking for you, right?”
“You don’t know the half of it. I will be going there the first of June to start the preparations. As the unmarried son I have more responsibilities.”
“When is the anniversary?”
“Not until the end of June.”
“I don’t know if I can get away for that long.”
“I’m not expecting you to.”
Dan had travelled with Sanjay to Agra twice now to meet his family. He wasn’t sure if his family even realized the nature of their relationship.
“You could join me for the week of the actual anniversary.”
“You sure you want me there? Last time they kept dropping hints about grandchildren.”
“I remember,” Sanjay grinned. “But if we send them pictures of our wedding, that would put a stop to that.”
“They’d see two grooms and wonder where the brides where.”
“You have a point there.” Sanjay took Dan’s hand. “One no longer has to be a pop star to pop the question.”
Sanjay regularly dropped hints about them getting married.
“Sanj, you know that isn’t going to happen. I thought you understood. Do I have to explain that again?”
Sanjay stopped him with a kiss. “Say no more but I hoped after your excitement about Kevin McLeod’s nuptials, you might have had a change of mind.”
“His wedding more PR than love I think. Though a … triad does seem interesting. Marriage is just fucking heteronormative bs being forced on us. Marriage has proven to be a flop for centuries.”
“You cynic!” Sanjay lay with his head in Dan’s lap. “We only hear about the drama of failure not about the ordinariness of success. Drama sells, quiet success fades into the background.”
“You want to fade into the background? Not that we are such an out there couple but … you know what I mean. Forced conformity just isn’t for me.”
“Yeah, just because we can doesn’t mean we should. It seems only the real queers are getting married. Us who don’t are giving them bad name by living in sin.”
“Whatever.” Sanjay stood to take the dessert bowls to the kitchen.
“I doubt if married couples, of any gender, have the sort of sex we just had. Especially after being to gather for nearly ten years.”
“How did we end up talking about you again?” Sanjay laughed. “I’ll be booking my tickets to India next week. My cousin tells me there’s going to be seat sale. I’ll book yours at the same time.”
“No more than seven days for me.” Dan was firm.
“That barely gives you time to get over jet lag. I’ll get a better price for a ten day spread.”
“Since when?” Dan stood, stretched and yawned. “Man, I am tired. Bushed.”
“And well whacked too.” Sanjay called from the kitchen.
“I’m going to turn in. Check with me before you book anything for me.”
This next mp3 collection is a trip around the world starting in Japan with Kuni Kawachi: Love Suki Daikirai. Someone in my tumblr feed posted ‘Graveyard of Love’ a track by Kuni & I loved the title & the song itself. This is moody, sweet early 70’s folksy psychedelic music. Kuni has an appealing voice & I was delighted by the songs. Do I understand Japanese? No, but that isn’t the point.
Next stop is Germany with Gunnar Winckler: A few hits. Once again thanks to tumblr. I follow an lp cover list – usually cheese album covers from around the world. The cover for Gin und Rum was sweet so I checked out Gunnar. There were only a few of his tracks on iTunes. A late 1950’s hit maker in Germany. The music is rock-a-billy fun.We jump from there to India with Ganesha – My Lord. A collection by various performers of chants, rajas & spoken word in tribute to Ganesha. This a great exploration of this genre of ‘sacred’ meditation music. Some tracks over 20 minutes that are journeys worth taking.
Next we visit Guinea with music by Djelimoussa Cissoko – Kora. A kora is a 21 stringed lute-like instrument. Cissoko is considered a master of the instrument. On this lp he plays a variety of classic styles. The sound is melodious, at times meditative, sprightly & enticing. There are some jazz groups that are based around this instrument. I love this particular set though & it makes for an excellent introduction to West African music.
Finally we come to a more modern sound with Adventura – The Last – this is a Bronx-based Dominican boy band. Latino boy bands still exist! But the competition of J or K Pop is giving them a run for the money. Fine harmonies, funky songs, nice production & in the videos they look more like men than boys.
Another Sunday Drive
“Look you little shit I’m only taking you along because Dad is here. Remember that. Get out of line and you’ll be sorry. Got it.”
“Yes, I got it.’ Dave glowered at me from the front seat of the car. He was still pissed at me for the other day, I guess.
Dad came out of the cabin and got into the front seat passenger seat.
“Okay Dave, let’s see what you’ve learned.”
“Sure enough, Dad. I’ve been practicing all week. You know …. just driving Mike here down to the beach.”
“Sticking to the private lane I hope.”
“Of course. Dad. Didn’t I Mike.” He slowly backed out of the drive.
Slower than I had even seen him back out. I sat quietly with my eyes peering out the window. Dave had driven me to the beach exactly once. He had been out in the car every day. Going on the highway to the store in town a couple of times. I wanted to tell but had promised not to say a thing.
When we got the beach Dave puleld into the parking area and backed the car into a spot. This time he didn’t back right into bushes that separated the lot from the beach.
“Very good. I’m proud of you son.”
Dave beamed. “Thanks Dad. Maybe I could take us to town. We need … milk.”
“Maybe when you get your beginners. This is enough. Might as well enjoy the sand while we’re here.” Our Dad got out of the car.
We got out too. By the hotdog stand where two of the girls Dave had his eye on.
“Hi Dave,” the shorter of the girls waved and walked over. “Can you drive us into town again this afternoon?”
He scowled at her and glanced back at my Dad. “Hi Sally, this is my Dad.”
‘Oh! You taught Dave to drive great. He’s like a race car driver. He never misses a curve.” She ran her hand along her hip.
“I see.” My Dad’s eyes narrowed, as a thin smile played across his face. “You don’t say. Well, Dave why don’t you show me how you take those curves.” He pushed Dave gently back toward the car.
First the July recap of my on line life 🙂 My fan base continues expanded slowly but surely. WordPress followers are up to 337, Twitter at 217, & Tumblr is at 234. As you can see my popularity in India remains quite high as it leads the list of countries I get hits from. My WP hits topped 40 many days with a several of 60 hit days! The school memory posts have been fun to work on – finding pictures of the schools, making google maps shows me how much those neighbourhoods have changed.
Coal Dusters continues to grow as I get nearer the end with 119,000 words posted so far, still about 20,000 words to go. Into the final stretch. The mine has closed, Lillian has gotten married, the guys hav been caught in a compromising position. What remains? Keep reading to find out what the thrilling conclusion will be.
My one Stratford excursion was to see‘Nathan the Wise’ which I throughly enjoyed: Our Father Issues https://wp.me/p1RtxU-3CB. Next show is Mae West’s Sex at the Shaw Festival. I’m looking forward to seeing an unexpurgated production of her play. Her film scripts were heavily censored & even then were bawdy to the extreme – “Is that gun that in your pocket? Or are you just happy to see me.” – I think that’s one of the few jokes about an erection I’ve heard in any movie.
I finally broke down & got myself prescription sunglasses. When I’m out walking I’ve been fine seeing shapes. I can see well enough to take photos but with my trip to Cape Breton pending I wanted to be able to see everything clearly. Now I see everything clearly. “Oh! That isn’t a gun in your pocket.”
Also bought some Final Touch stainless steel ice cubes at IQ Living! No more watered down ice coffee for me 🙂 Best part is that the cubes sink to the bottom of the glass so the drink cools from the bottom up.
August brings my long await trip to the east coast back to my home town of Sydney. Packing has started by picking clothes to wear – I wish one could teleport luggage – though maybe having a house fly merged with my jean’s fly insult such a pretty picture.
I have several things lined up – all very touristy mind you – a trip to Baddeck to meet friends who moved to NS a few years ago, a trip to the Fortress of Louisbourg to experience the life in the 1700’s (that’ll bring back lots of memories of unwashed, sweaty soldiers). Taking in at least one Highland Arts Theatre production, visiting some local museums, taking lots of photos. Printed out a list of the 12th step meetings which isn’t nearly as extensive as Toronto’s but there is one a day, should I choose to get to them.
I’ll be taking a media break of sorts – no TV or podcasts for ten days. Limited internet too but I will try to keep up my WP regular posts as well checking in about my excursions. I have all my music, Dusters posts done for the next two weeks.
The rest of August will be spent recovering from the Cape.
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet