Exhausted August 2020

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.

Light At the End of the Closet

<>

some days I check my email

every hour I’m awake

in case there’s one from him

but he’s a fucking crappy communicator

and I like it

I like the frustration

<>

I know he isn’t stringing me along

I don’t check my voicemail 

he can’t leave messages

if he calls he has to use pay-phones

he has one of those sensitive jobs

can’t be out

can’t be caught out

I understand this

and I like it

I like the hidden secret

the old-time quality of his closet

of me being totally out of mine

I can slip into his

and not feel the need to force him out

he knows this

he is always apologizing

sorry about an unending work load

that lets him hide

that makes him hide

I like this hiding   sometimes

when he says I’m ray of light

more like a shaft 

I joke

<>

I like this frustration

knowing I can feel it

not need to judge force refuse

be present 

be in my own open life

sort of free

sort of   because

if  I see a crying child

in the street or a mall

I have to back away

gay men are automatically suspect

and can never be proven innocent

<>

so I back away into that closet

I don’t like that frustration

till I check my email

and there’s one from him

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

July 2020 ReCap Pro

Over the month my TOpoet.ca following grew to 381! The July WP map shows that my hits have come from around the world. That India still tops the list is interesting  but that Romania has jumped to 4th spot is a surprise (Bună ziua cititorilor mei români). One day alone I got 60 hits from there. But Kenya has dropped out of sight 😦 My Tumblr (topoet) is at 287. Twitter (@TorPoet) up to 227 followers.

I’ve posted 29 chapters of Picture Perfect so far, nearly 45,000 words, with 143,000 words yet to be edited. I’ve been enjoying the challenge of writing about my Distant Music pieces. Sifting though that archive has let me see how much & how little my philosophy of writing has changed. I also sense how trapped I felt by cultural sexual norms. With so many pieces about hanging I’m surprised I survived.

Other July news: bought a new airmac Pro. My present airmac heats considerably after 30 minutes or so of certain use – zoom for one thing. It’s several years old & the drive can no longer be upgraded – I guess it has been archived. It was cheaper to buy the latest than get it repaired. 

There will a change in the frequency of my blog starting in August. I find I am putting so much energy into generating new posts that I am, in fact, writing less! I have an idea for a new novel – based on the flash fiction series I’ve been posting on Fridays with the music blog. But where’s the time? So the new routine will be Sunday – photos; Monday: – whatever; Tuesday – Picture Perfect; Wednesday – poetry talk – currently working through Distant Music; Thursday – my music collection. No posts on Friday & Saturday. 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

February 2020 Recap

My TOpoet.ca following blog grew to 383! Many days topping 40 hits & some as high as 60. Adding the Sunday photo post has worked & has bumps dup hits & added new followers. Picture Perfecting progressing slowly but surely – with 10,500 words posted so far with about 170,000 more to go. Getting back to these characters is making me ready for their next mystery.

Started to follow this excellent WordPress blog: https://freetripdownlhopmusicblog.wordpress.com. The blog started to follow me. I don’t always follow back mind you  (sorry Dog Training Tips). I like listening to this curated blog that gives me fun, new sounds, a few of which I have purchased. It is perfect for me (or anyone who might enjoy a range of trip-hop, jazzy instruments from around the world – sometimes folksy fun too).

My Tumblr is at 260 followers. It would be more but I block follows by hetero buxom babes & drug slammers (shooting up). Twitter is at 222 followers. I’m following 85 tweeters though many of those are on mute 🙂 I can only take so much political angst & queer outrage.

Watched Louis Malle’s ‘Au revoir les enfants’ (1987). This is an amazing movie. Set in a Catholic boys’ school during WW2. The priests ‘hide’ some Jewish boys from the Nazi’s. Emotionally resonant, real, & brilliant work out of the leads. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see yet another movie in a boys boarding school. Bullying, class conscious struggle etc but this transcended all that quickly – though some of that does happen. Highly recommended.

My feature at The Secret Handshake went very well. Review of show: https://wp.me/p1RtxU-47j  , video of show: https://wp.me/p1RtxU-44f  I can’t say that I miss performing in this context through. $ in the bank is always welcome though. Hot Damn! is coming up March 5 so I hope to have a couple of new pieces for that open stage. Which reminds me I have booked my flights & hotel for Capturing Fire 2020’s 10th anniversary at the end of June. I will be missing Toronto Pride. Best of all I’ll be celebrating my birthday there. You can wish me well via my paypal link 🙂

https://capfireslam.org

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees &  eat at Capturing Fire this June in Washington DC – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The Iron Rule

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas: 4 Not to have a robe washed or dyed by a bhikkhunī who is not a relative. (A bhikkhunī or bhikṣuṇī is a fully ordained female monastic in Buddhism.)

The Iron Rule

other than

shirts to the dry cleaners

no one has done my laundry

since I was old enough

to sort whites from coloureds

this I taught myself

one of those abilities

I never learned in school

or even at my mother’s side

I know how to sort

how to fold

but I’ve never figured out

how to iron

something my sisters learned

in home ec

all those things taught by gender

in my Cape Breton high-school days

typing and cooking for girls

hammering and cars for boys

but my sisters never ironed for me

they never cooked for me either

I figured out how to cook on my own

so I never based a relationship

on someone doing my cooking and laundry

like so many guys I know

I still have nightmares

about shop – manual training

where I did figure out how to use a hammer

a handsaw even a power drill

but the jig-saw

the rotary saw

filled me with dread

I couldn’t hold the wood down

out of that fear

of losing a finger

mocked by the shop teach

I couldn’t even bother

trying to clamp down the coffee table top

to get the C+ I needed to pass

I failed at being a man

one of the many failures

that piled on my queer shoulders

as I plodded my way through high-school

wishing I could learn to use a sewing machine

not a drill press

in fact all I learned in high school

was how to avoid confrontation

but ignoring the taunts

from other kids

from teachers

so I thank them

knowing how to do laundry

and blame them

for not knowing how to iron a shirt

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

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

Nice Shirt

I’m using the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Green as a set of prompts. I’d never heard of them until some one posted a random law in their Tumblr feed. The plan is to post one of these Law prompted pieces a week on Thursdays.

iron01

Law 6: Court Attention at all Cost

Nice Shirt

do I want to be noticed

or be remembered

do I want to make an impression

or be respected

not that I know what respect means

acknowledged

singled out

brought to the attention of all

by someone else

do I want to pull so much focus to myself

no one else gets seen

so much that rather than respect

I get resentment

for being an attention seeking whore

 

my apologies

to the legitimate whores here

I know that’s a derogatory term to some

but whatever pays the rent is fine by me

even it means sucking

all the attention out of the room

to yourself

with a turn of an unpopular phrase

 

so I guess respect isn’t on the table after all

it calls for too much restraint

too much attention

to saying the right thing

wearing the discrete things

at the right time

even if that means giving lip service

to the #politically correct of the moment

the expediency of taking the pulse

and giving the crowd

what it needs to keep it being

in my favour

 

their respect is more lasting

than self respect

self-respect

doesn’t call enough attention to itself

it becomes a sort of humility

a ‘gosh darn it’ step aside

for those who need the attention

more than you

that’s the attention I want to steal

without doing more than being present

the less I do

for the attention I get

the happier everyone is

 

oh yes, I like this shirt

thanks for noticing

iron02

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

iron

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