Recap March 2021

Over the past year by TOpoet.ca following blog grew to 487! The only stat WP doesn’t give is where the followers are located but WP map does show my hits have come from 30 countries around the world. That USA tops the list is no surprise but that India & Bangladesh are in the top 4 is interesting. Ireland, Japan in the top 10!  Most popular post for March was Attention Span (https://topoet.ca/2021/03/28/attention-span/). My Tumblr is at 311. It would be higher but this past month I‘ve blocking a flood of banal anime sex sites. Twitter 231 followers.

Picture Perfect is moving along with 61 sections, nearly 90,000 words, posted so far, with 95,000 words approx to be edited, then posted. Yes finally at the half-way point & know there are major cuts yet to be made. That the joy of writing without worry I know I can chase a subplot knowing if it doesn’t pan out it can be chopped.

I continued working through the archived files of short-stories, poetry, even plays. Some date back to the mid-seventies. My typing & handwriting haven’t improved much over the decades. I’m enjoying the array of paper, scrap paper, that I used. It helps to date some of the work, as does the typewriter used, the colour of ink, & of course dot-matrix printouts – some of which hadn’t been separated.

I watched lots of great movies this past month including two wildly different movies about witches. The first is a version of Susperia – based on the original Dario Argenta movie but not a remake. I love the original despite the distracting loud soundtrack. Both are set in a dance school. I enjoyed this fresh take in which dance took a major role. The music & choreography & even the theory of dance were spot on. The music was moody, never intrusive. Performances were great – Tilda Swinton was fine. The bloodbath scene was gory but then …. sadly they added an endless, pointless coda that turned an A movie into a C.

The other witch move was ‘The Juniper Tree’ from 1990. It could have been a lost Bergman film with its stark Iceland setting, shot in stunning black & white. Mystical, poetic & magical without any special effects & solid compelling performances. Ethereal music & a realistic ending. Well worth searching out. 

As break from the macabre I watched, for at least the 3rd time, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. This was the fully restored print with stunning colour & a pristine soundtrack. This is a masterpiece of film making. The set decor is breathtaking, stunning & a feast for the eyes. The cast is good, Deneuve is stunning too. The men are tasty Gallic eye candy. The music is lush & the singing is perfect. All the voices are dubbed – so this is a live-action animated feature 🙂 They sing like ordinary people – I’m so used to the over-singing of songs in which every one has to have a heart-rending emotional climax. 

Another truly amazing film was Diamonds In The Night – Czech black & white – follows two young men, escapees from transport to concentration camp during WWII. A touch surreal, intense, compelling & rewarding. 

We’re finally watching The Crown, season 2. The Aberfan episode is one of the most amazing chapters of a serial I’ve ever seen, right up there with The Queen episode of Castle Rock. An emotional tour de force that left me tearful. Heart-rending without being cloying or over-the-top.

from the archives – sometime 1985

‘let’s swim to the moon’

Jim Morrison

last night I dreamed of the dead

they weren’t looking very well

the endlessness of the past

was worrying them

as there was more past every day

their worries were constantly growing

at this point as expected

things got a little confusing

the cafe of experience

was flooded by Symbolists

our meals became metaphors

which left us hungering for reality

an allusion of symbiotics

were looking for a new quantifier

they wanted pride

by lions had already cornered that one

they asked to join us for coffee

but no one had a measuring spoon

mystic sixties retro music on the juke box

left us even more unsatisfied

reminding us of old frustrations

we had matured out of long long ago

we were speechless with despair 

none willing to swim anymore

there was no room for miles

the stars repeated their menu

soup song of sorrows in the heartbreak hotel

pulling up to the gas pump

in an early model Chevrolet 

revved up the effortless drive of love

to fuel the furnace of art

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Abundance

Week 6 of the Artist’s Way is about abundance/money. One of AA’s promises is ‘the fear of money & economic insecurity will leave us’ – the trick being the word ‘fear’  as ‘economic insecurity’ never leaves us – just ask Trump about his tax returns & his fear flares up instantly. I’ve rarely heard anyone say they have too much money or that the money that they have makes them all that secure. Money can’t buy you happiness but it can get you a decent therapist.

As with the other weeks there are lots of lists to make. Here’s one of mine: silver cloud rolls royce; spaniel; lilacs; maple pecan ices cream; kiwi; cauliflower; bbq ribs & bake potato; endless list; red. Can you guess what this is a list of? In some ways this list a challenge because some of the items where areas of my life I that aren’t very relevant.

The artists dates have not been going someplace but cleaning neglected nooks & closets in my house & making discoveries. Caches of photos from 1973; rough drafts of early novels; old notebooks; boxes old bandages (do they expire? I tossed them regardless). An abundance memory, dust & paper-clips. Letting go of that stuff has become easier creating an abundance of space, space I’ll not to refill.

The Way doesn’t really address the culture of materialism – in which having enough is seen settling for less. Compulsive consumers are seen as the key to progress – so one wants to be unblocked creatively in order to make more money to keep the wheels of progress turning. In the USA now there are people who see social distancing impeding progress. I guess money $ for the funeral industry is actually a good thing.

One thing I did do that created an instant sense of too much & wow! was indulging in a sale that Brick Books is having – a box of 50 poetry books for $30. Mine arrived this past week & I was amazed. The books average at 18.00 each – which is $900.00 worth of books. Then I reflected on the nature of becoming a published poet & was saddened. https://www.brickbooks.ca/30-for-a-box-of-books-sale/ . But what won’t keep me from enjoying the books. Guess what my friends are getting for Christmas 🙂

My Luck

when I tell people

I’m lucky to be alive today

they react as if I’m over-reacting

because in many ways

my life has been a breeze

I didn’t suffer any physical 

sexual 

emotional 

abuse growing up

never went hungry

my parents never divorced

so what do I have to complain about

 

it’s not that I’m complaining

merely making a statement of fact

I’m lucky to alive

that was a time

when gay teens 

were put into institutions 

to be cured

given shock treatment

lobotomies

behaviour modification

so they could be normal 

gender conforming

boys & girls

 

what saved my life 

was music

music never judged you

never waited outside school 

to beat you up

didn’t tell on you

didn’t turn away

when you searched album covers

for inspiration in words

in the tight pants of lead guitarists

or the sturdy arms of drummers

mooning over Keith Moon

 

never knowing anything 

about their lives

maybe if I had known 

Jim Morrison 

was really a backdoor man

Moon was a bi guy

I might have had a glimmer

of hope 

 

but even though they had talent

fame 

that allowed them freedom

but not enough to be out

careers would have been ruined

and when the music was over

they self-destructed

I was lucky to be alive

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

nothing thanks to covid19 😦

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Therapy

 

True story – Several years ago I started to see a guy & there was good chemistry between us. When he found out I had never been to therapy it ended because he couldn’t relate to someone who had never been to therapy. I thought – such is life. He made me think of people who say ‘I don’t trust someone who won’t drink (alcohol) with me.’

 

A recent Gayish podcast (119) was about the role of therapy in lgbtq+ lives. One of the hosts conclusions was that everyone needs therapy – by which they mean one-on-one work with a therapist. I have never engaged in one-on-one work with a therapist. (Please don’t revoke my gay card 🙂 ) The closest I’ve come to therapy, I guess, is decades of 12 Step meetings – group therapy of sorts – in fact the that modem of group self-help is the model for group therapy. But 12 Step doesn’t involve professionals to facilitate such groups. https://gayishpodcast.podbean.com

I’ve written extensively about growing up gay which has worked out much of the ptsd I experienced as a child & teen – the ptsd I’ve experienced from the gay ‘community’ is another story 🙂 What is worse – being bullied & belittled by the straight community for being queer or being bullied & belittled by the gay community for not being handsome, young, hung or buff enough to be acceptable? 

The Gayish episode is an excellent guide to types of therapy based on the hosts personal experience. The statistics on mental health & addiction issues in the lgbtq+ community are dismaying but not surprising. As we see greater visibility for queers in our culture I hope many of the emotional, mental issues that come from isolation, fear, internalized homophobia, will lessen. Gayish is one of the ways in which such changes continue.

Lucky

when I tell people 

I’m lucky to alive today

they act as if I’m overreacting

because in many ways

my life has been a breeze

I didn’t suffer any physical 

sexual abuse growing up

never went hungry

my parents never divorced

so what do I have to complain about

 

it’s not that I’m complaining 

just making a statement of fact

I’m lucky to alive

maybe they don’t know

that there as a time

when gay teens were put into 

mental institutions to be cured

given shock treatments

lobotomies

behaviour modification

chemical castration

so they would be obedient 

normal boys and girls

 

role models were nonexistent 

until Elton John came along 

(oh, why couldn’t it have been 

Bruce Springsteen)

 

what saved my life 

was music & writing

not writing how

‘fear was too great’ 

but writing about anything 

music never judged me

never waited outside school to beat me up

didn’t tell on you

didn’t turn away

when I searched album covers

for inspiration in words

in Jim Morrison’s tight pants 

mooning over sturdy arms 

of drummer Keith Moon

never knowing anything about their lives

 

maybe if I had known 

Jim Morrison 

was a real back door man

Moon was a bi guy

their fame allowed them freedom

but not freedom of the press

careers would have been ruined

 

yeah I’m lucky to be alive

because the help I could have used

then

would have killed me

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

every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

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

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Paul Simon

Paul Simon – one of my non-literary inspirations recently released ‘In the Blue Light’ a new recording to celebrate his 77th birthday. He’s taken some of his older songs & reimagined them as pop jazz. I would have liked him to go even further back to his Simon & Garfunkle work. It is a fine set of songs all the same. Listening to it made it clear to me that some of my influences weren’t the dead poets I was forced to study in high school or even the literary poets that ‘real’ poets cite as inspirations so that can sound educated.

 

Simon’s lyrics weren’t necessarily that complex. I Am A Rock spoke to my teenage sense of isolation. Little did I realize ‘I am an island’ was a John Donne reference, nor did I need to know in order to be drawn into the words. It had alliteration, evocative imagery – things that became a part of my own early writing style. It was so simple & direct that it made poetry accessible & seemly easy to write.

So I wrote endless poems in imitation of Sounds of Silence, Old Friends, For Emily. I actually still have some of those high school explorations somewhere. His longing for love was never dark – like, say, Jim Morrison; nor was his search as wordy or complex as Bob Dylan. His music itself was sunny. Even my sexually explicit poetry maintains, I hope, the sense of innocence than runs through his lyrics.

Later Simon became more personal to him yet never felt forced, overly bitter or oblique. He used humour to express some of the difficulties he was going through as he got older, as his fame became less rewarding or as his reputation stood in the way of his just being a guy who wrote and sang. It’s only looking back now as I think about my inspirations do I see how much I owe him.

Why I Want To Be A Clown

the clowns enjoy 

making babies cry 

the highlight of their day 

is when they get a good scream 

out of a baby 

elated when they scare a child

say around 9 or 10 years old

into crapping his pants

 

oh they can’t get enough 

of the shame on a kid’s face

as bowels let loose

because of their crazy 

smeary greasy faces

they would plunge surge

surround an innocent kid

huge mouths agape

with broken teeth 

speared with reds and greens

from the make up they ate 

to get them geared up 

to charge into the ring

 

stumbling bumbling drunk

pretending to vomit in a bucket

throw confetti at one child

then real puke on the next

to the hilarious roar of the audience 

 

when they found the one 

preferably a boy 

because girls were no challenge

the older that boy the better in fact 

one who acted uninterested 

invite him into the centre ring

mock him with garish faces 

bray till he ran out crying

made that little fucker 

shit shit shit his pants

they slap each other on the back 

as they exit the ring

 

sniggering 

at the the lion tamer

who relied on whips

not on wigs

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

http://buddiesinbadtimes.com/event/hot-damn-its-a-queer-slam-feat-janice-lee/

http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoGratitudeRoundup/

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

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

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The Doors

The Doors – or rather Jim Morrison – gave me wet dreams as a teenager growing up in Cape Breton. I can remember drooling over the cover of the first lp as I got caught up in the music. Brilliantly engineered it was impossible to resist. The lyrics were ‘poetry’ & Jim’s voice as so sexually insinuating even my straight friends dug him – not that I was out but I wanted Morrison’s body. To top it off there was Mother I want to …

As stand alone’s I have the First; Strange Days; Live Matrix 1967 2 cds; Waiting For The Sun; The Soft Parade; Morrison Hotel; New York Jan70 – 6 cd; Boston Concerts 1970: 3 cd; LA Woman; An American Prayer. Absolutely Live is part of an mp3 collection with lps of Grateful Dead/ Cat Stevens/Bob Marley/ The Hollies/ Otis Redding/ Bowie/ Pink Floyd.

The first three lps I loved so much – ‘music is your only friend’ caught the angst of being a queer teen with only album covers to turn to for comfort & fantasy. The pressure of fame took its toll on Morrison & he never came to terms with it. I’ve read several bios – some of which refer to his bisexuality & I wonder if that need to keep that hidden contributed to his mental difficulties – he certainly wouldn’t be the first man who dealt with his sexuality by numbing it drugs & booze until it killed him.

The later lps Morrison Hotel, LA Woman are good, more adult in a way. I can tell his lyrics from those of the other members of the band. Let’s face it ‘Love Street’ is insipid pap. American Prayer is sweet & sad. He never got to be the poet thanks to being a rock god.

I was happy when the live material was pulled out of the vaults. Of the sets I love love the Live Matrix 1967 the most – this was a show after they had recorded their first lp, but it hadn’t been released yet & they were working on material for the 2nd lp already. This is The Doors before they became a household word. It sounds like an audience of ten applauding too. Man I wish I had been there for that show even more than for the one where he supposedly flashed his iconic cockDance On Fire

Picture

‘Keep still.’

‘I can’t. June keeps sticking her shoe into me.’

‘June stop that.’

‘I am not sticking my shoe anywhere. Tell Jeff to move his big fat bee-hind out of my way.’

‘Jeff sit over here. June you stand beside him like that. How’s that?’

No one was in anyone’s way for the moment. Why were birthdays always like this? Could they be any other way? Sixteen children, eight parents and at least two grandparents. Why did I do these things? Why? And where where those goddamn clowns?

‘How long do we have to sit still?’

‘Till I get this picture. Okay.’

‘Okay Dad.’

I had to get these pictures taken before the real crush started. Hard enough with my two here and now what was I thinking asking all those others?

‘Where Tommy?’

‘He’s gone to the airport to pick up Gran French.’

‘Gran French! Gran French! You didn’t tell us she would be here.’

‘Now you know. Sit and we’ll get this picture.’

They sat finally. June in her favourite coveralls and t-shirt. Jeff in the same. Different colours. Twins were handful.

I snapped several quick pictures. ‘There I’m done. Now …’

‘Yea. Gran French Gran French is going to be here.’ They sang.

‘When will she get here?’

‘In time for the party.’

Twins at eleven. Why had I let Tom go to the airport and leave me alone with these two? This whole party was his idea. To celebrate the final year before they became teenage runaways. I’d give them the money if I thought would get them out of the house any faster.

‘Thanks Dad. Now you sit here.’

Jeff pushed me to the couch.

‘What? What?’

‘It’s time for your picture. Now sit still. June stand, no you sit on his lap. Don’t make faces either of you. I said sit. Sit still.’

The camera motor clicked.

‘You’ve been such a good Dad you deserve a little treat.’

June hopped off my lap and rushed upstairs. Jeff on her heels. They were back down tumbling over each other.

‘Here.’

‘Here.’

Each of them thrust a card at me. I could see more of Tom’s work behind this.

‘Open mine first.’

‘No mine.’

‘Let’s see if I can open them both at the same time.’

The door bell rang.

‘Gran French! Gran French!’  The two of them rushed to the door.

I knew it wasn’t Gran French as Tom could let himself into the house.

‘’Who is it?’ I called.

Two polka dotted clowns rushed into the room.

‘Clowns!’ June shrieked.

 

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

featuring: Tuesday, March 21: 7:30 p.m. Hot-Sauced Words –http://www.hotsaucedwords.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/events

attending: Saturday, March 25: 9 a.m. 2017 TORONTO SPECFIC COLLOQUIUM

spec

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in DC.games

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

fec17-header

https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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horse attitudes

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The Shrine of Saint Elizabeth

David Bateman, always a fun & generous host (digging deep into his own book collection for trivia question prizes) put together a great line up of features for the April show at the Secret Handshake Gallery – at last I can say I did a feature in Kensington Market. It was a bright warm afternoon that gave me the opportunity to play dogem with strollers, cars, people on various devices, and photographers while enjoying a great bagel from NuBagel.

blueframe

blue frames

First up was Lizzie Violet https://lizzieviolet.wordpress.com who cooled us down with some of her eerie pieces about zombies, gypsies & serial killers. ‘well worn cards of the future … choosing your lover of today,’ ‘trails of entrails,’ ‘how did I fall from grace into a chaotic blood vortex.’ Blood Vortex – a latte I’d order. Lizzie’s pics of the event: https://www.facebook.com/lizzie.violet.1/media_set?set=a.10155490776165725&type=3&l=356ec5fa21

redchairs

snow bound chairs

Next up was Philip Cairns with his animated, invested and glittering verse. His pieces abound with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. ‘a closet full of art and no buyers,’ ‘powder blue jag crashing into a red brick wall,’ ‘ashes to ashes dust bin to dust bin.’ At The Shrine of Saint Elizabeth we found ourselves resonantly om-ing ‘Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth Taylor.’

After the break Dan Curtis Thompson did a section from “Consonance: A Stand Up Dramedy.” Although I’ve heard this piece before it remains fresh, emotional true and involving. ‘all I needed was a girl who likes the same video games as me to believe it’s real love.’ It’s always good to see a musician who doesn’t spend ten minutes tuning up. Check out his story telling series  Mountains and Molehills!

reddanger

danger ahead

I closed the show with my Born To Be Blown blast. It was a fun, energetic set of pieces to perform, pieces I’ve blogging about here on Wednesday this past month so look’em up. Heads were nodding to the rock, shoulders where jiving to the disco beat and by the end everyone wanted to ‘get head out on the highway.’

samples

a piece that didn’t make the final cut for the Born To Be Blown set:

 

Saint Jim

 

Pere Lachaise

section six section seize

‘seize the moment in section six

you have to seize the moment

saiser l’instant’

Jim starts a new song

‘you have to seize the moment

in section six’

I can hear him shout

through stage fog strobe lights

teeny bopper girls rush the stage

police push them away

as he taunts flaunts teases pleases

scowler prowler

hurt lost shouting shaman

 

like those silly teeny boppers

I lust after that idol

I wonder what they saw

that day in Miami

if he did flash the iconic cock

 

I make my way though a light rain

everything is a line in a Saint Jim song

‘making my way

through cemetery rain’

I know he‘s here somewhere

I see mystic marks sprayed

mementos of worship

‘the blue bus stops near here’

the rain stops

and I am there

 

no monument

only a flat grey space

with a tombstone

his name wrong

James isn’t Jim

beneath my feet his bones

unless they’ve been stolen

relics in sacred altars

for those who think

 

they can petition this saint

a bunch of faded flowers

some used condom lizard skins

‘lizard skins drying in the sun

show we have seized the moment’

 

I hear birds

then dozens of people

hiss of cameras

posers smile lean over the tombstone

stoke his name then gone

 

left alone

I seize my moment

unzip

flash my cock

the only gesture of his I can duplicate

construction

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thanks

Finding #Music for the #Muse

Someone asked me how I find the music that I find. There is no one source other than my furtive seeking mind. My tastes are wide, varied & often unpredictable. Often nostalgia will bring things into my collection.

pants plaid pants

When I blogged here about the Animals I picked up a book about their career which lead me to seeking some of their influences & also the bands they poached from to replace members. That lead to the Nashville Teens – easy to find.

Also Dantalian’s Chariot – harder to find, but a few Chariot tracks were on a compilation of sitar sixties, which I bought & that collection lead me to The Folkways: a sort of Ventures with sitars instead of guitars.

jacket plaid jacket

Reading Langston Hughes biography lead me to some of the musicians & composers he worked with. Modern American classical stuff. Replacing bad cassette to cd dupes: i.e. Vinnie Burke prompted me to see what else by Vinnie I could find.

Often things pop on my tumblr feed – modern pop that I might never hear about – I follow up & sometimes buy things. It was though an lp cover post that I stumbled across an amazing 3 cd collection of Japanese 60’s psychedelic pop – music some people would just think wtf – but I thought heaven sent – including covers of Purple Haze & Stone Free that are quite good. Most recently I picked up work by Asia Argento – sexy eurodisco stuff.

ribbon plaid ribbon

When I read that Mercedes Sosa was one of the biggest selling  female artists in the world! I wondered why I had never heard of her. I tracked some tracks down & that opened up even more sweet Latino music for me.

This is one area of my life where this is no such thing as enough.

soon

October 10-12 – attending – Gratitude Roundup http://www.torontogratitude.org

grat14

October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Pinebow pine2https://www.facebook.com/events/1651892755035275/

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2014 – 10687117_10152612541999299_6204440739000161855_nhttp://nanowrimo.org

samples

Saint Jim

Pere Lachaise

section six section seize

‘seize the moment in section six

you have to seize the moment

saiser l’instant’

Jim starts a new song

‘you have to seize the moment

in section six’

I can hear him shout

through stage fog strobe lights

teeny bopper girls rush the stage

police men push them away

as he taunts flaunts

teases pleases scowler prowler

hurt lost shaman

like those silly little girls

I lust after that idol

I wonder what they saw

that day in Miami

if he did flash the iconic cock

I make my way though a light rain

everything is a line in a Saint Jim song

‘making my way

through cemetery rain’

I know he‘s here somewhere

I see mystic marks sprayed

momentos of worship

‘the blue bus stops near here’

the rain stops

and I am there

it’s not a monument

a flat grey space with a tombstone

his name wrong

James isn’t Jim

his bones beneath my feet

unless they’ve been stolen

relics in sacred altars

for those who think

they can petition this saint

a bunch of flower

some used condom lizard skins

‘lizard skins drying in the sun

show we have seized the moment’

I hear birds

then dozens of people

hiss of cameras

posers smile lean over the tombstone

stoke his name then gone

left alone

I seize my moment

shrug at the security camera

unzip my fly

to flash my cock

the only gesture of his I can duplicate

cd01 not even scratching the surface

Liona Boyd

Liona’s first lp, Classical Guitar, was a small sensation when it was released in 1977. Canada suddenly had a world-class, stunningly good-looking, female classical star. Long blond hair and seen in public, dating, the likes of Pierre Trudeau. Strangely classical guitar remains male dominated so she’s still an exception there.

glove02 the gloveless life

Now there’s nothing unusually about her choice of material on that first lp – standard classic per material give exceptional playing – I loved the Debussy. This is one of my lp to cd transfers.

mitten Mitt roamer

On the shelf this one and the next include: Ernesto Bitetti: Four Centuries of Spanish Guitar Music; Betho Davezac: Elizabethan Guitar Music; Rodrigo Riera: Renaissance Guitar; Turibio Santos: Five Centuries of French Guitar Music. The tip of my classical guitar iceberg.

glove01 what the right hand knows

Works for or adapted for guitar by Sor, Granados, Debussy, Bach, Chopin, Albeniz and others, scattered through these two cds. I have multiple versions of some of these pieces, from the original piano versions to full orchestral. And some remain my favourites even when done mariachi style or on accordion [shudder].

Strange to say my intro to classical guitar was Asturias by Isaac Albeniz as used by the Doors on Spanish Caravan. So I can thank Jim Morrison for more than a few teenage wet dreams.

sample

That Was No Accident

“You did that on purpose.”

“I did not. Why would I do something like that on purpose.”

“Because you are like that.”

“Like what?”

“Nasty. Mean. Only thinking of yourself.”

“Sounds like you are talking about yourself again. Not that that surprises me. Seems everything comes back to you, doesn’t it.”

“Does not”

“Does too?”

“Why did you do that.”

“I didn’t.”

“What do you mean, ‘you didn’t’? Who else could have?”

“I don’t know, but it wasn’t me.”

“Was too.”

‘You calling me a liar.’

“If the shoe fits ….”

“I’m not going to put with this any longer. If you get any comfort out of thinking I did that, and that I did it deliberately, then you are welcome to think that.”

“Sorry. I just wanted to …”

“I know. Put the blame somewhere else. For all I know you did it.”

“Me! Why?”

“For the same reasons you think I would have done it. Maybe it was an accident.”

“An accident?”

“Yeah some things happen that aren’t anyone’s fault. They just happen.”

“It’s always somebody’s fault. Always. You are just trying to avoid the consequences once again.”

“Consequences. Of what?”

“You know, of your actions – consequences of perhaps apologizing or fixing things.”

“Is that what you are fishing for – someone to do the dirty work for you.”

“Look, someone has already done the dirty work. I want the guilty party to clean up. Is that too much to ask. Or am I going to be stuck with that myself.”

“Looks like you are stuck with it, because I sure as hell didn’t do it and therefore feel no compunction to deal with the aftermath. None at all.”

“How typical of you.”

“Yes. That’s right I am nasty and mean. Isn’t that what you said.”

“I left out self-centred and cruel.”

“Ohh, I’m getting more character as time passes. Here I always thought of myself as being rather dull and uninteresting But self-centred and cruel makes me sound more than interesting. In fact makes me almost as interesting as you.”

“That’ll be the day. Where are you going?”

“Out. I have things to do. People to met. You know. I can’t hang around here all day yakking with you, you know.”

“Great. Just bloody great. Leave me with mess to clean up. A mess, I might add, I am sure you made. But go on. Get out of here. Go. I’ll do it. I’m used to this by now.”

“I am going.”

“I can see that you are. And don’t hurry back. Not unless …”

“I’m not going to hurry back. I am sorry though …”

“What! You are admitting that you did this?”

“No. I did not do it. It was like this when I came into the room. But I am sorry you are so upset by it.”

“The mess doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that you won’t own up to it. Come clean. Honesty is good for the soul. Confess. Get it over with. That’s all you have to do.”

“Have it your way. As I said, if it gives you any comfort to think I did this, then you are welcome to think I did this. You have no one to blame but me. Satisfied.”

“No. I won’t be satisfied till you say ‘I did it. I am the one.’”

“See you later.”

glove03 glove in a dangerous time

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Guess Who’s #Gay?

Now that it’s been confirmed that Liberace was in fact gay I wonder if the Daily Mirror can claim back the money it lost when he sued them for libel? When I recently wrote about Mishima as an artistic role model one of things about his life was there seemed no doubt that he enjoyed men sexually. It was no secret, though some viewed it as a tragic flaw, as opposed to a creative gift.

dropped at the curb

I’ve also blogged about the lack of positive gay (or even bi) role models I had growing up. Those who were alive & out were Paul Lynde snarkers. Exaggerated & clownish. A few pop stars were fashionably bi but I don’t ever remember seeing, say Bowie, in the company of male companion – always fashion models.

That has changed in some ways but those changes are too late for me, as it were. I stumble over forgotten gay icons like Johnny Ray, Raymond Burr, Billy Strayhorn or Troy Donahue – as adult, not as a teen boy needing to know he isn’t the only one in the world.

kicked to the curb

Reading Keith Richard’s Life I was stunned to read that Billy Preston, was an openly gay man and dealing with that fact while working with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones. I would never have guessed Billy was gay.

I wonder if market forces kept him, as far as I can find, mum about his sexuality? He wasn’t, say a Jim Morrison, who had an image to protect. Being out certainly did no harm to Long John Baldry – but perhaps Billy didn’t the think the US pop market was ready for a hot black gay bear.

escape from the curb

I remember when he surfaced with the Beatles, even bought an Lp of his then, but wasn’t that impressed with him musically. Since reading about him in Life I have bought a collection of his hits. Solid, pleasant but unexceptional stuff. But now I listen between the lines – the person he is missing isn’t a woman after all. Plus his album ‘The Wildest Organ In Town’ takes on a whole new meaning. Here’s a great live show.

His Wiki bio ends with ‘Preston was an openly gay man but did not speak publicly about his sexuality.’ Even his obituaries omitted that information. I wonder how open he was. Now there’s a life story I’d love to see on the screen.

samples

Boyfriend

I’m so excited

I have a new boy friend

he’s barely fifteen

🙂

years younger than me

did that pause catch you off guard

were you sure I was going to say

he was only fifteen years old

was it hard enough to think of a man

having a boyfriend at all

then add to it the shudder that it was

an innocent emotionally underdeveloped

fifteen year old child

though I can remember me at fifteen

jacking off to visions of rock star cock

Jimi Hendrix    Bruce Springsteen

that I wished there in my bed

telling you too much

get used to it

I’ve heard enough straight poets go on

sparing no intimate details

about blissful raspberry nipples

moist peach fuzzed mounds

so I’ll talk about man on man

even if it makes some of you restless

a bit bored     a bit threatened

girl on girl

would make you more comfortable

I usually try to make the nestling

of men’s bodies into each other

sound sort of sweet and tender

pulling myself away

from the gasp   grasp of sweat    pubic hair

so I’m excited

about my new boyfriend

though I hate boyfriend

boy carries that too young taint

man friend isn’t close

lover is more complex than it is

bed buddy     yeah I like that

I have a new bed buddy

he’s nearly fifteen

years younger than me

keep on dancing

Hendrix

This is how dreams work. You wake up with a fragment of dialogue, a string of words, an image that niggles. You dash down a few words before you forget them. You don’t worry if it make sense only if it sounds good enough to write down.

delightful plants
delightful plants

Zappa comes from one of those dreams where I clearly saw those bricks that needed pointing in the basement. Only in the dream the contractor was sort of hot, unbutton shirt etc. and he was talking about the drums on Freak Out and how so much of pop music made him sick.

a place to see delight
a place to see delight

When I was assembling the dream fragments I remembered I had seen a documentary about Zappa not too long before in which they interviewed one of his female back singers who said there was hours of music stashed away somewhere. At that point I wondered if Zappa ever recorded with Morrison, because I do have tracks of Morrison & Hendrix together.

fountain of delight
fountain of delight

All that filtered into the dream somehow and Zappa was the result. Check out the Plaster Casters for more on their work.

 

samples

Zappa

in this dream

the wife of the contractor

working on pointing the bricks in the basement

was once a friend of a woman who worked for Frank Zappa

the contractor heard me playing Freak Out

she knew Susie Creamcheese

and would I like to to met her

I said sure

we got together Saturday afternoon

at his mother-in-laws house

because in fact it was she

who once worked for Frank Zappa

she lived on the seventh floor

her apartment was a tribute to that time in her life

there were no photos of her children

or her late husband

who was once a dj in California

but left to avoid the draft

the pride of her memorabilia collection

was a plaster cast of Jimi Hendrix’s dick

it was fat and veiny

but in white plaster

she also had some old recordings that Frank Zappa

had made with Rod Stewart

and did I want to hear them

it was hard enough to envision Hendrix with a white cock

without trying to

visualize Frank Zappa and Rod Stewart

in a recording studio at any time

so I said sure

she brought out a reel-to-reel

covered in hand-painted daisies

and treaded in the tape

rod was singing

I want to hold your hand

while Frank played arching aching guitar riffs

there must have been a dozen drum sets played at once

then Jim Morrison

came in from her bedroom

looking just as he did in New York

he was pulled up his fly

asked me if I had heard enough already

he began to sing you make me sick

you know that Pink song

I was hoping they didn’t have a plaster cast of Pink’s clit

which would have turned this sweet dream

into a nightmare

tweety and friend
tweety and friend