Going Public

Going Public

the tenderness here

must remain here

only for the two of us

to enjoy to cherish

 

for the sight of it

in the open air

in a public space

would sully it

 

would turn it into performance

it would cease to be sacred

it would be an assault

on common decency

 

for two men 

to hold hands in public

for them to kiss

in front of innocent children


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Ours Alone

Ours Alone

the tenderness here

must remain here

only for the two of us

to enjoy to cherish

 

the sight of it

in the open air

in a public space

would sully it

 

turn it into performance

it would cease to be sacred

it would be an assault

on common decency

 

for two men 

to hold hands in public

for them to kiss

in front of innocent children



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at Capturing Fire 2020- sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

When I Was A Young Boy

For the summer I’m looking at my Brown Betty chapbook. All the pieces dealt with growing up in Cape Breton. As usual WordPress imposes its own line breaks 😦

When I Was A Young Boy

when I was a young boy 

I kissed a girl 

when I was a young boy

about 11 

I kissed a girl 

she was about 11
it was at a birthday party
not hers 

she was wore a frilly rose-yellow dress 

I wore a white shirt and tie 

so maybe it wasn’t a birthday party 

maybe a wedding

 

there were about a dozen of us
kids from various families 

kids that sort of knew each other 

made to dress like little adults 

 

we watched adults kissing greeting 

and like little adults we kissed 

I don’t remember her name 

but I kissed her
she didn’t seem to mind 

then we chased each other 

sneaking kisses 

till we were caught 

someone’s mother
gave a little shocked shriek 

‘oh you naughty kids’ 

 

the other kids picked that up
and ran around 

calling me ‘naughty boy’

‘naughty boy’
while the little girl I kissed 

blushed then joined in with them 

as if it was all my fault
all my idea

 

the adults got in on it after awhile 

‘oh look there’s the naughty boy 

watch out or he’ll kiss you’ 

 

when I was a young boy
I kissed a girl
I learned my lesson
I never a kissed another girl

This piece starts as a traditional English ballad. There are many variations on this beginning – when I was a young …. is the start of many a story, almost like ‘once upon a time.’ Even the ‘I kissed’ come out of the old school tradition. Though there is also a nod some recent pop songs. The party setting is also very tradition – the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner starts with the mariner talking to a wedding guest.

The piece plays on the nature of memory, of place, circumstances. Growing up I ended up at similar events, wearing a shirt & tie with kids I didn’t know, some of whom I never saw again either. The story unfolds in a sweet logically way, much as the traditional ballad would tell the story, adding layer so detail as it progressed. In ballad the hero always faced some sort of ‘conflict.’

I’ve always found it puzzling when young children are asked if they have a boyfriend or girlfriend while the idea of children’s sexuality is so fought with fear & shame at once. Their lack of sexual knowledge is praised, almost encouraged & shamed all at the same time.

This piece was written for a class I took Make-A-Scene on performative story telling. https://wp.me/p1RtxU-7V, https://wp.me/p1RtxU-83,  When I performed it I wore shorts, a white shirt & a playful tie. The girl was played by a helium balloon with a string that put it at about about shoulder height to me. I found one with a girl’s face on it. My class mates did the ‘naughty boy’ shaming. At the end of the piece I cut the string and it floated away. 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

Not only is “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me” the title of a Cure song but also the subject of a recent Disability After Dark by Andrew Gurza, in which he talks about, of all things, kissing. He explores both the emotional and the physical aspects of of kissing. I could help but think of some old Star Trek episode in which Kirk is asked ‘What is this thing you humans call kissing?’

Movies usually make kissing seem so simple – that is if the actors actual kiss at all or if they are even kissing one another when that close up happens. Faces meet, lips meet – suddenly two actors of radically different heights are the same height when those lips meet. Rarely do their noses, glasses, shoulder bags, purses, knapsacks, hat brims or, in some cases, body bulges (stomach, torpedo breasts) present  a problem. Clearly everyone’s breath is minty fresh as well.

For Andrew there is rarely the impulse kiss – he has to navigate his body into the best position in his wheelchair for anything more than a quick kiss. At least he likes being kissed 🙂 Which leads me into the emotional impact. I’ve been with men who will do nearly everything except kiss – they don’t like that mushy stuff, They don’t even want small talk about the weather. Opening the door is all the consent they need. It’s as if they are saving the kiss for true love.

 

Of course the nature of the kiss is also a consent. A kiss on the hand may be quite continental but isn’t a round the world passport.

You’re Easy

you can’t see me as you read this

but I am kissing you

it won’t last long

a quick press of lips

maybe if you are bold

a slip of the tongue

 

you may never see me

you may only see these words on the page

it doesn’t matter who wrote this poem

to give you this sweetest of kisses

so relish this moment

of someone kissing you exactly

the way you like to be kissed

 

does it make you uncomfortable

do these words

cause you some sort of sexual anxiety

might they erode your self confidence

as it becomes clear

that I’m the same sex as you

tricking you to engage in this kiss

because when you started to read

this is not what you expected – is it

 

and now I’ve made you uneasy

or maybe merely impatient with

how foolish this piece is to think

it can involve the reader at such a level

 

now my hands move

they aren’t resting casually on your arm

there is a pressure of pleasure

as I feel your body

as you move closer to me

you sense that I’m aroused by you

and you are responding

more than you expected

 

you can stop me by leaving this page

you can change the direction

by changing my sex or yours

perhaps that works for a moment

but you know

we are a same sex couple now

about engage in more than a kiss

 

one of us unbuttons

unzips

the other

does it matter who

you’ve never done anything like this before

or claim to have

never done anything like this before

whereas I have done it many times

when anyone reads this

they have sex with me

I’m easy

 

I make only one demand

that you finish what you start

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

2018

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.


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‘a crown of kisses’

sample

The Coronation

a crown of kisses

flickers like fire flies

dangling in the leafy branches

lip smacking wet

lures me along the sidewalk

after the rain

late night empty streets

we had a fraction of a second

to complete the next connection

an inking of an idea

leads me through the rain drops

through the candy buttons

on a glowing shirt

leafy green wet slippery

caught up in the branch

the turn of the creek

the bend of the elbow

a touch of lips on cheek

lingers and lunges

water in a rush sudden flood

rain pent up for days

in a humid cloud embrace

release refreshed

dangerously liberated

but not wet enough

to put out the fire

in this crown of kisses

this inside kicky swing

the next morning

yellow butterflies sip

in the fallen broken branches

of the nutmeg tree

beg for more sugar nectar

a chance to touch your neck

for the opportunity to be next

when there are new clouds to gather

to fumble the many shiny buttons

at the bottom of a drawer

that rattle like coins in a piggy bank

flutter in the stomach

as nervous as I was when I wanted

to give you a crown of kisses

know that even misses the mark

the mark of try again

in the folds of your charms

in the scratch at the door

to be let out

to howl once more

the moon the stars

sky stuck strapped forever

into that firmament

too far to escape

too late to apologize

and in a faction of a second

to dart from house to house

telling everyone who would listen

that we had finally worn

the crown of kisses

moon03 full moon

For February I’m dipping into some older, romantic pieces. This one clearly shows the influences of both Dylan Thomas & Alan Ginsburg. Reading after not seeing it for many years I get the sweet bounce of ‘the fuse that drives the flower green’ – Thomas’s complex use of nature imagery, color and emotion. Mine isn’t as complex, I think, and nature quickly gives way to flesh.

I structure it with theme and variation – images appear then re-appear in slightly different forms – water, rain, leaves, kisses mutate from fire flies to butterflies – butterflies real then symbolic. Lots of smell and taste gets played with too, touch, sensations – the wet of leaves, the taste & smell of nutmeg – ways of giving the reader a sensory experience.

moon02

shine on

There is also a sense of youth, of hormones kicking in – the silent imperative of those early stirrings, the need to experience something one may not even know what it is – the dog scratching at the door of adulthood.

moon01 where I saw you dancing

Of course kisses pushes this urge into a clearly, for me, sexual self-discovery. The first kiss, the first base, the first shooting off, like shooting stars – scary and spectacular at the same time. It was a fun piece to write, edit & perform. It’s good have pieces about the sensual without feeling the need to be explicit or that I’m hiding the explicit with pretty images.

moon

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Kissing Butt

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

sky02

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

rubble

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

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

may 10, 2012

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

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

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

Dad’s Pockets

as a kid

I would go through the pockets

of my Dad’s suit jackets sport coats

as they hung in the closet

I would find quarters which I’d take

sometimes fifty-cent pieces which I’d leave

 

I’d slip the over-sized jackets

off their hangers

wear them in the dark of the closet

in the smell of his things

his shoes miles too big for me

trying to steal into adult hood

 

I’d skulk out

from my secret foray

a little daring thief

sneaky   guilty

fearful of being found out

 

when he’d miss the pocket change

I’d be confronted

say too quick I don’t know what he meant

blurt out I didn’t do that

which he never believed

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

he’d let me go with warning

that I was slow to heed

I’d be back there in a week or so

go through those pockets

try on those shoes

 

grow much too slow into adulthood

much too quick into guilt

………..