Echos Of a Yule Log

Is there Christmas music that isn’t cheesy? I do love cheesy music but even I have my limits. There’ll be no Alvin & The Chipmunks in my festive music collection. Elvis is close enough, right? Over the years my seasonal music collection has grown to include traditional to ‘modern’ classics & the wtf! All of which gets at least an annual airing.

It’s not all music though – On two cds I have a nice bunch of Dicken’s Christmas stories, thanks to LibriVox. I started with A Christmas Carol – by far my favorite & I love having this full, unabridged version. Over the years I’ve added The Chimes, The Cricket on The Hearth, The Battle of Life, The Haunted Man. Carol is the only one I can listen to every year. There’s also two radio shows: Ronald Coleman in Carol; Charles Laughton reading a Pickwick Christmas. Add Dylan Thomas Welsh memories & the cheese crown goes to Million Dollar Man’s 4 little season tales.

Scattered over several mp3 collections I have classics by the Beach Boys, Brenda Lee, Kirsten Sandwich, The Ventures, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder. Two holdovers from my youth Eddie Fisher, and my mother’s crush Mario Lanza. Jazz with Jimmy Smith, Jingle Bell Jazz, Jazz To The World. Modern classics by Phil Spector – a must have. Old school with Doris Days, Jo Stafford, Gisele McKenzie. New skool with Big Freedia, Myke Massei’s Flurries

But wait there’s more: The Surfers: Christmas From Hawaii is delightful. Rojak’s Christmas soul collection is a masterpiece. Top these off with various sets of clarions, bells & choirs, Early English Christmas. Bryan Trefel doing Welsh carols, music mix in James Brown’s great work and we’re cooking for the season. Added this year: Liberace: Christmas Music. Finally two of my favourites: Booker T’s In The Christmas Spirit; Rotary Connection’s Peace – ever wonder what Hendrix would do with Silent Night? Fa la la la.

Fog Tarantella

for too many years

I was in a tree top

shouting out for love

I didn’t care where it came from

the louder I shouted the less I heard

the higher I climbed

the further I was from it

I didn’t think of climbing down

I wanted the love that was in the air

not the common stuff of the earth

 

a snow flurry

ended a long hot autumn

of yelling myself hoarse

give me love  I want love

flakes at first a few darting specks

then a steady scrim hush

to cool my fevered tongue

letting the sky satisfy

as best it could because

the sky doesn’t love back

except with echoes

 

while the snow cloaked me

my own limbs mantled like branches

a peacock

that at a distance has stunning beauty

clumsily descended squawking

it settled by me

this close it was motley stinking

our eyes met as he opened

a breathtaking fan of tail feathers

my shouting stopped

I reached out to touch

fell into a mist

earth bound by beauty

 

through the winter fog

men danced

their arms around wisps of white

the imagined bodies of lovers

caressing the backs

touching the hair

making it as real as they could

kissing empty haze

 

would I be bold enough

to allow one of these dancing men

to dance with me

before I escaped the snow

before I climbed a tree

lost in the fog

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

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2018

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


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Little Town Flirt

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about flirting – which is a sexually loaded conversation that relies on innuendo as opposed to the direct ‘let’s get it on’. In gay male culture there is often no grey area in which one has to be furtive in finding out if the other person is sexually interested in you but sadly if that person isn’t sexually interested then there is no further interaction.

 

I realize this disconnect isn’t only in gay circles. I’ve meet too many straight male poets who find it impossible to interact with female poets they don’t find physically attractive & who can get very bitter when the female won’t come across after all the time they spent them helping to edit a piece of writing. Piece of writing has to lead to piece of ass. But I digress.
Flirting is so treacherous – it’s at the point where if one is nice it has to mean one in interested. I’ve pretty much stopped initiating conversations with strangers, gay or straight, male or female, outside of recovery lest my agreeableness be seen as coming on. If I come across as aloof or cold that’s better than being sued for sexual harassment.

I’m not one of those guy who feel entitled to pay strangers a compliment & except it to be reciprocated with anything more than a nod or even acknowledged. I’m always stunned by men who think some woman they never met before should be flattered when told how good looking they are & then be deserve to be thanked for their male gaze. But I digress again.

On line this is a different. At least on gay male hook up sites – one can say nice pics, or nice cock shot expecting it to lead somewhere. It’s not as much pick up line as opening the door. Of course guys who get rejected after that direct approach can get rather rude when turned down. It’s easy to first when you know the other party is in another hemisphere. I’m careful never to lead someone on or get overly reactive when there is no interest. Such is life.

In gay face-to-face situations I can carry a conversation but only get flirtatious if I mean it. But I’m at the age where men rarely flirt with me anyway. At Capturing Fire I have felt a bit of interest in me but have resisted fanning that flame with flirting. I’ve found that if I ignore it an cool itself down. It is a bit odd politically though – telling a trans you like them, but not in that way – is a challenge – but that’s a post for another week. Just because I say you look marvellous doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you.

The Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

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The Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

came to our village

with his astounding magic act

he would read minds   lips   give ski tips

hypnotize people to yodel

as they skied down the slopes

in an Alpine Adventure

in single word his accent

would schloss from Swiss to Austrian

his little moustache would dance

along with the yodellers

 

under his spell you would yodel

or cockle-doodle-do or hiss

whatever he wanted you to do

then he would whisper something

only those under his power could hear

over the following days

villagers would stop in their tracks

to yodel or cluck or hiss

 

I snuck backstage

to catch a glimpse of

the Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

I peeked between the trunks

that held his tricks

I saw him slap his pretty assistant

he called her a lazy bitch

she nodded and left him in the dim backstage light

he patted his forehead with a small handkerchief

then began to change into his next outfit

while his assistant yodelled on stage

I glimpsed his naked body

sparse black hair on his chest thin legs

at that moment his eyes caught mine

“who’s there” he asked fearfully

I scampered off

 

for the next few weeks we kids played

at being the Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

boys and girls

with little mascara moustaches

tried to hypnotize one another

talked about the Whistling Wood

as if it was some exotic ski location

and trying out French German accents

at choir practice I tried my yodel

no one was impressed

 

once

while my mother

whacked the clothes clean on the rocks

I called her a lazy bitch

she gave me a tired smile and hissed

“you sound just like your father”

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Thursday – September 7 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM – HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

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Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

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Loose Cannons & Landmines

The Hot Damn! last chance slam filled the Supermarket to SRO! As the show persists (we’re queer, we’re here & we’re not going away) the range of work has become wider & the writing/performances stronger. The pieces tackled rape, physical abuse, racial expectations, pan sexuality, binary constrictions, family disfunction & food. Despite the complex emotional issues presented Cathy Petch kept the mood from descending into a pity slam with her positive and fun introductions, with the wild assortment of prizes. Who isn’t cheered up by ceramic poodles?5pink1A flurry of lines from the first open stagers & slammers: more glimpsed than looked at – it’s just a compliment – whistle while you work-out – harassment is not a compliment – when she looks at me all she sees is him – the way to be heard is to be lighter (skinned) – how do you fix someone who doesn’t know they’re broken – bodies we didn’t want to be, lying beside each other – try to hide the fact they were ever broken – neither wants our hands to turn into his hands – moans that taste like wine – the tender of my lover’s nakedness – I am more than what you see – I am not a doctor, I am amused.5pink2Main feature ‘The Ragdolls’ did an emotionally compelling, relaxed and well thought-out set that flowed from stark confrontational to warm supportive political commentary. Starting with patty-cake handclap game rhythm they traded the spot light with each other & shared it too. I particularly enjoyed the Toronto Pride piece that ruthless & humorously laid bare the corporate assimilation of queer identity.5pink3A dash of lines from the Ragdolls: Ken & Barbie scraped clean – dried blood on the swing set – revlon porcupine – trauma isn’t our only history – alcohol is a thumb that blurs all the lines in your head – can’t excuse the facts while I’m still filling in the blanks – grindr is a safe place for racists – gay flags in banks that ask for gender verification – do we want justice or want same sex couples in McDonalds ads – I have to remind myself why others do this – trying to get you to let me off with a warning again – you are a loose cannon & I am a landmine – pre-bred to please adults – the white I was raised to be to the brown I grow up to be – we spend more time with therapists than with friends. (This post’s title is from a piece by Londzo Drury)5tanA flurry of lines from the second set of open stagers & slammers: midnight texts that said ‘You wanted this’ – students you added to your kill list – if your pussy is intact so is your consent – a cold dark shadow that consumes me – we were were the only ones who could figure out who we were – a candle above your grave so you could find your way while I lost mine – studying history hoping that learning the past would change mine – basing my happiness on others’ presentations – putting the pan in pan sexual – polyamory creates culinary masterpieces – still a war raging inside – lover is just another scar I have to disguise – a man who has to break me just to get me is not worth me – are you lactose intolerant because you can’t handle all this chocolate – loath your fingers for calling him after he’s gone – more his daughter than your sister – bruises like a favourite sweater than can’t keep you warm.5eagleA winner was declared. Who? Well, you’ll have check out the Hot Damn! page for that info 🙂 The season 2 finale, at Buddies in Bad Times, on April 19 will feature Siaara Freeman and T. Miller. The winner of this slam gets (amongst other things) a trip to Washington DC to compete at Capturing Fire in June.samples

Different Men

one day in grade school

sunshine on the blackboard

reflected rosy on

Graham’s sudden bare belly

scratched absent minded

before my wide eyes

he pulls up his striped t-shirt

rubs that belly

firm round more pink than white

more flesh than boy

more glimpsed than looked at

 

erasers chalk dust clapped clouds

furnace rooms boilers

pieces of jumbled recollection

the heavy books of knowledge

that were better to sit on than to read

easier to refer to than to study

that didn’t show much

that wasn’t to be seen

their images of the future

30’s stream lined

50’s under lined

60’s dismissed

we never did get cars that fly

anti-gravity boots

I never got to see more of Graham

than that scratch of belly one day

while we waited for Mrs Melinosh

to handed out tests

she reminded me

to pay attention young man

yes ma’am

 

I was certainly paying attention

but I didn’t understand what that attention was

what was it that belly told me then

[between the shadows falls the foreskin?]

 

that school was at the bottom of the hill

too steep to climb in winter

too icy

my Dad would be there sometimes

to drive me home

 

happy to have him

pick me and take me home

up that hard slippery slope

that my memory is quick to slide down

I would rattle on about things

I told about arithmetic spelling

my lack of attention

but not about that belly

still seeing that t-shirt ride up

that freckle face smile

red haired boy

 

the drive was because we had moved

a new school was to start soon

closer

with newer problems for me

lack of attention

my eyes would wander out the window

at the squeak of chalk

my mind would get fuzzy

as division got longer and longer

the days got colder and colder

the boys got meaner and meaner

 

I find myself now decades later

still as unsure of those lessons

but positive about the image

the belly’s inexpressible tease

I knew wasn’t for my Dad’s ears

that told me for the first time

my Dad and I were different men

soon1

April 19: judging: Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 2 finale: 8 p.m. : Buddies In Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto, Ontario

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Hot Damn!

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

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June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

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July 4-8: attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville

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I’ve already registered

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September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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money

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

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