Taking The Bait

Back in the BS (Before Sobriety) days I was a fountain of opinion, often rather uninformed, but that didn’t slow the flow. The less I knew the more dismissive & cynical it would be. I felt obligated to have something to say. In recovery I eventually realized that I didn’t have opinions just smart-assed one-liners that could shut-down any dialogue so my lack of thoughtful insight would remain hidden.

Over the years I have learned to stop taking the bait to be dismissive & cynical, particularly with things that are irrelevant to me – you know I frankly don’t care who wins an Oscar, which political party is in crisis mode, what newsworthy figure looks amazing in a jaw-dropping anything. If anything I more dismayed that some of these things are worthy of taking up so much space in the media.

One good thing about not taking the bait is that I hardly notice things that once would have got me wisecracking or disturbed. Even things that I know something about I can step back & think – Is it worth it to wade in? How important is it, to me, in the long run? Am I saying things to appear smart, intelligent, witty to be smart-assed or to add something constructive to the dialogue? In a culture where being critical, negative is a sign of intelligence & to be positive, non-judgemental is to be delusional or stupid – it can be a challenge not to mouth-off.

Through spokenword performances I’ve learned that what I say & what you hear are often two different things. I’ve stopped apologizing when people choose to take offence when none was intended – the fact that my piece about my Dad triggered bad memories about yours is not my fault. The fact that my gay sex positive outlook is a sign of the moral decay & destruction of family values isn’t my issue.

When people ask for my opinion what they hear isn’t what I say but what they feel is in accordance with theirs, if it isn’t then I’m being argumentative or shaming, or am just not as hip, sensitive, liberal, conservative as they are. They don’t want my opinion they want to educate me as to how right theirs is. Then again that’s only my humble opinion.

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Picture Perfect 129 

Picture Perfect 129

“Is it because I’m not out?” Jeremy put the ring back in its pouch.

“It’s hard to be committed to someone who isn’t honest about themselves. You think it was easy for me to be out in the RCMP, then it going public & international, because some homophobe thought he had the perfect opportunity to ruin me? Did I wish for a moment then I had stayed in the closet? No. If I was going to get my balls busted for who I was I was ready to take it. 

“Funny, on the east coast, I ran into a guy who reminded me of that. He said it gave him courage to be out. My fight showed him that being queer didn’t mean being a queen at the same time & that he didn’t have to be afraid of having his balls busted.” Dan took a deep breath. He had become more emotional than he expected.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to turn this into a lecture. I must sound like some queer activist. I’m usually not, until someone pulls their pants down & backs me into a corner with an engagement ring.”

“Dan, I think this the first time I’ve heard you speak so strongly about yourself. It’s because you trust me. If you didn’t care, you would have kept the ring and then blown me off somehow.”

“I do trust you but trust me I’m not going to marry you. Blow you off, never. Blow you, maybe, but not if you need a wedding to give you permission.”

“Fair enough.” Jeremy laughed. “I’ll call the caterer and tell them the wedding’s off.”

“What!”

“Just joking.” Jeremy gave Dan the ring in its pouch. “Take this. Keep it, for now. The law says it is mine if you decide not to accept my proposal. But I renege on it then it’s yours to keep.”

“Should I put it in my security deposit box?”

“If you mean, how much is it worth? Yes. But I’d rather you wore it.”

“Now that that’s out of the way.”

‘For now.”

“I thought you were taking me out to dinner?” Dan said.

“Why not order in from our favourite?”

“You mean Ashley’s favorite.” 

“You’ve never complained before.” Jeremy looked for the number on his cell.

“I’d like to get out. I’ve been cooped too long. We can walk to Loola. Or are you afraid of being seen in public with your boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend!” Jeremy grinned. “I had to propose marriage to be elevated to boyfriend? That’s a step in the right direction.”

…….

Loola’s was fairly busy. They had to wait for a table to be cleared for them. Some patrons clearly recognized Jeremy & nudged one another to point him out. 

A few minutes after they were seated Della Kincaid showed up at their table. 

“Jerry!” she said. “I’ve been waiting for you to call me.” She signalled a waiter to bring her a chair. “You don’t mind, do you?” She said to Dan with a brief glance at him.

“As a matter of fact I do.” Dan said. “This is a private conversation.”

“So is this.” Della snapped. “Jeremy and I are good friends. Aren’t we Jeremy.”

“Della!” Jeremy said. “You remember Daniel James.”

‘No!” She said. “When I’m with you, you are all I can remember.”

“Unless there are camera’s.” Dan said. “You always remember to show them your good side.”

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” She turned to him. “Some suck ass, sucking up him?”

“Listen who’s talking!” Dan resisted saying more.

“Della.” Jeremy said quietly. “I think you should return to your table. This is private.” He waved the waiter over. “Miss Kincaid is returning to her table.”

The waiter pulled her chair out as she stood.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt.” She glared at Dan, then the waiter. “Thank you.”

“The price of fame.” Jeremy shrugged. Before he could say anything more, a man approached the table.

“Can I take a selfie with you Mr. Moxham? The kids will never believe I met you.” Before Jeremy could answer the man crouched beside him and took a cell phone picture.

The maitre d’ came over and shooed the man away. “I’m so, so sorry Mr. Moxham. Perhaps you and your guest would be comfortable is one of our private rooms.”

….

The private room had seating for about thirty people. Two busboys were set a table. Another was put up folding screen to create a more intimate area.

“One of the perks of fame.” Jeremy said once they had been seated. “I get fed up with the attention at but it’s the price I pay. I prefer spots where there are richer and more famous dick heads than me there. It gives us great pleasure to ignore one another.”

“So that’s why we usually order in. To spare us public scrutiny?”

“Pretty much.”

Appetizers arrived with a bottle of wine.

“We didn’t order any wine.” Dan said. “Did we?”

“It’s from Miss Kincaid.” The waiter said. “There’s a card.”

Jeremy read it. Laughed. Tossed it to Dan. 

It read. “Jer, I am so sorry. I didn’t realize Mr. Daniels was an important client until my agent pointed out who he was. I hope he wins the Sinclair. Do call me so we can pick up where left off in Moncton. Della”

“The Sinclair?” They said in unison.

“The Gordon Sinclair award,” Jeremy read from his cellphone. “Is awarded occasionally by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for outstanding achievements in investigative reporting to individuals or groups of individuals. The last was awarded several years so it is with great pleasure that this year will be presented to Daniel James for his outstanding work.”

“Outstanding!” Dan shook his head. “This sounds like I’ve already been given the award. First I’ve heard of it.”

Jeremy consulted his phone again. “This was announced today. 2 p.m. at their annual luncheon. The presentation will be … at the annual Awards ceremony in May this year.”

Their entrees arrived. Their cutlery echoed in the empty party room.

“Does this sort of thing happen to you frequently?” Dan asked. “Eating alone in party rooms at restaurants to avoid your adoring public?”

“I avoid eating in public as much as possible. When I travel it’s room service. In town it’s eat at home or order in. Banquets and such I usually eat before I get there and pick at what gets served. But you might have to face this soon enough.”

“Me?”

“The Sinclair only adds to your trend factor. I’ve checked trending algorithms and yours trend more than mine do.”

“I trend!” Dan said. “I haven’t considered that kind of success. Even though the show has been good for business. I don’t want to lose my private life. If I do I doubt if it’ll reach the level yours has. You don’t need to trend for people to recognize you.”

“I’m sorry Miss this is a private dining area.” 

They could hear the maitre d’ at the door of the party room. Someone had partially opened it.

“I know that but you don’t understand …”

Dan recognized Della’s voice.

“Mr. Moxham is expecting me.” She pushed past the maitre d’. “Really!” she strode into the room. “Jeremy, I do hope you accept my apology.”

Dan indicated the uncorked bottle of wine. She glanced at both them.

“Is it a bad year? The wine steward assured it was a good year. That it would compliment your meal. I don’t … Oh how could I be such an idiot.” A look of understanding flashed on her face. “He’s your … ”

“My client, Della.” Jeremy said firmly. “The wine is perfect but I don’t get my clients drunk.”

“Client!” she said. “At least he’s not your nephew.”

“We’re not related.” Jeremy said. 

“Not even by marriage.” Dan said.

“Yet.” Jeremy quickly added.

“You mean …. ” Della begin.

“Yes that’s what I mean. But keep it to yourself, for now, Della & maybe you’ll get to be maid-of-honour when the time comes.”

“Okay.” She turned to leave then turned back. “You better not be hoaxing me Jeremy. I’ll never forgive you.”

She left. 

“That was a step in the right direction, Mr. Moxham. Let me get this.” Dan said taking the bill. “Loola’s was my suggestion. The food was fine but that floor show was sensational. You can leave a tip.”

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Picture Perfect 128 

Picture Perfect 128

Dan shook his head as he looked at the wall calendar in his office at the Depot. It just over a year ago since he had first seen the Cold Canada episode that turned him life upside down. The Cold East success had other networks texting down his door to get him to sign on to do shows for them. He wasn’t interested.

Janis Hadley’s trial was to begin soon. She had refused all legal advice as her actions were the Lord’s intention. She accepted full responsibility for those actions & would accept her Saviour’s judgment as pronounced by the courts. 

In her statement to the investigators she claimed Cora Murchison was responsible for abducting & liberating the spirits of the children. She was an accomplice not a killer. There were no witnesses to to refute that claim. DNA testing established that Troy was not her son but did indicate that the was a Chamberlain but wasn’t definitive as to whether was the father of son that had fathered him.

Troy AuCoin statement was that his mother had killed Winston Chamberlain as he had been blackmailing her about Troy’s parentage & had threatened to go the police with his information about Cora Murchison. He also admitted his was idea to abduct Dan to protect the sacredness of the Convergence conjuration that Janis claimed was threatened.

In the silence of his office Dan ticked off the events in his head. What was he checking his calendar? Oh yes – to make sure this wasn’t his FairVista Lifend demo day. It wasn’t. Part of the business separation deal was that he continue with demos even though there was now a three year waiting list for their custom-made products. The company resisted increasing production to keep up with the demand that resulted from the Cold East exposure.

Dan lounged to himself at the number of knock-off that had surfaced on the market with names like Lifriend, Lifrind, Lifer, even Life End. One of the Lifrind cameras had been brought in to FairVista by an irate man who demanded it be replaced. When it pointed out to him that it wasn’t Lifend he was enraged. At the time Dan resisted telling the man he had paid $11,000 for a knock off probably worth about $11.00.

Before going down to the shop floor he couldn’t resist checking the numbers for Cold East, again. The show had debuted in Japan on the weekend, where it already had the largest share. What more could he ask for? Yet, the more attention the show got, the more attention he got, the more isolated he felt. His life had been subsumed by this unexpected success. No one wanted to talk about anything else. Even at the Lifend demos the questions invariably came to – is the type of camera you were using when those snakes attacked? 

The only relief he had was Jeremy Moxham, who had proved to be a sympathetic ear & diversion. When they met up for dinner they talked about things other than work. The first ‘date’ had been when Dan had called to tell him about Sanjay’s marriage to Sylvan Papoulias. Sylvan had called out of the blue to tell him. From what Dan gathered in that conversation Sanjay began ‘romancing’ hime that first week-end in Bobcaygeon.

…..

Home after work Dan was naked by the time he started up the stairs to take a shower. He looked around the house thinking, once again, perhaps it was time to sell it. The memories had seeped into the walls. IOf he wanted to move on that would be a good step to take. He’d considered remodelling but that wasn’t a fresh enough start. 

 He was half-way up the stairs when the doorbell rang. He stopped his undies off the floor & pulled them back on before answering. It was Jeremy.

“Sorry if I’m a bit early.”

“No problem. I was on my way to the shower.” Dan shut the door once Jeremy was inside.

“Aw, you didn’t have to dress down for me.” Jeremey laughed. “When did you get this done?” Jeremy asked looking at the tattoo on Dan’s arm.

“The Friday that Cold East debuted. I had to do something to honour what I’ve survived & this is what I chose to do.” Dan gently brushed the shoulder to wrist sleeve tattoo on his left arm. It tingled under his fingertips. “I was waiting for it to fully healed before showing it to anyone.”

“A tattoo is forever. At least one that size is. This is all of it I hope.”

“Why? You aren’t the one who has to live with it.” He put his shirt on. “You’re the first one to see it.”

“Let me show you something.” Jeremy undid his pants and pushed them below his knees.

“Whoa!” Dan said. “This is rather sudden.” It was the first time he’d seen Jeremy this close to naked.

“Look here, not there.” He held his bulge back and tugged up the right leg of his boxers.

There was a tattoo of a buxom woman in lacy undergarments. “Ashley’s mother, whose name shall go unmentioned. You think I enjoy … washing her boobs every time I take a shower.”

“I’ve seen swimsuit pics of you but that was never in them.”

“Make up or photo erase. Usually baggy shorts that go to my knees to keep it out of sight.” He pulled his pants back up.

“This isn’t the same. I needed some way to honour all him. Without those children I wouldn’t be here.” He hadn’t told Jeremey everything that happened in the confrontation with Janis. Only the RCMP knew. He hadn’t even given Cold East all the details.

“I get that but …”

“Why the snake?” The outline of Peter’s head & torso were partially filled in. Around him the tail of a snake was coiled across his stomach with the head of the white cobra on his biceps. The white popped off the indigo background. The red eyes were piercing and the tongue was shadowed to create a 3D effect. “It’s Silas. They both saved my life.”

“There’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you for months now.” Jeremy said after doing his pants up. He stood to face Dan. “Since I heard how you almost got killed by that mad woman.”

“I can’t tell you any more about that I have. It’s all Cold property now. Until I write a book about it.”

“I’ve heard all I need to know.”

“I’m listening.” Dan buttoned his shirt. “I’ve been blogging the progress. I’m amazed at the number of new followers I’ve gotten for it. I guess you weren’t one of them.”

“Dan shut up for a minute.”

“I was just thinking ….”

“I was just thinking we should get married!” Jeremy blurted. “I have …” he took a small, red velvet bag out his back pocket, “been carrying this around for too long.” He shook a ring out of it. “The thought you you dying … I love you.” He slipped the ring on Dan’s finger. The red gem sparkled in the light. It was surrounded with smaller white ones that reflected some of red. The band was a twined silver,

“Jeremy!” Dan turned his hand in the light. “I don’t know what to say. It’s just …”

“You don’t like it!”

“It’s not that.”

“What? You don’t love me? Don’t desire me? Dan, I can make you very comfortable.”

“You don’t have to sell yourself to me Jeremy. I’ve been though a lot and …. I’m not the marrying type. You know that. It was difficult enough getting out of my non-marriage with Sanjay.”

“You are afraid of commitment.” Jeremy said. “Plain and simple. That’s because the men you’ve met have disappointed you. I won’t.”

“If by commitment you mean sexual fidelity then you are asking for the unlikely, if not the impossible. I’m the one that disappointed them. If you are asking me to marry you to make your coming out, which you would have to do, legitimate in the eyes of the public then its not love but p.r. ”

“P.R?”

“Like … Elton John and David Furnish … the high-power, idealized, married, queer couple. You want another trophy partner like your ex-wife.”

“That’s not true.”

“You cared for Elizabeth, whose name should go unmentioned? Her, the top fashion model and you, sport celebrity of the decade.”

“I did love her, at first. After all she’s the mother of my child.”

“And what happened?”

“She was unfaithful to me.”

“My point exactly. You want an idealized picture to present the world. I’m not knocking that. It works for many but as I said – fidelity isn’t how I want to have my love in a relationship defined.”

“Then how do you want it defined?” Jeremy asked. “I want to know. Trust is crucial, that’s what relationships are built on. Isn’t it? What is it that you want? What would make you happy?”

“Who said I was unhappy as I am. Yes, I’m sad about Peter. I realized how much I cared for him when he died. I didn’t have to be committed to him to feel my heart breaking.”

“That’s exactly how I would have felt if you had died then.”

“So you want to get married to avoid feeling like that?” Dan asked. “I like you a lot Jeremy. For a rich dickhead you’re not such a dickhead. But you have that head buried in the sand.”

“And not up your ass like Peter’s was.”

“Good one but that was no secret. If he hadn’t died, if I said yes to marriage, that would still be no secret. Fuck this is so much like the argument Sanjay and I used to have. Marry me. Marry me. Turns out he wanted a marriage partnership to …. secure his business partnership. Now he’s marrying that business partner.”

“So there are some areas of trust that mean something to you.”

“If he had been sleeping around I wouldn’t have cared as much. But my Dad was always clear about business honesty.” What was he saying? His Dad lead two lives, how much of his own past could he trust. “Turns out he wasn’t so good about emotional honesty.”

“Say you’ll think about it.” Jeremy asked.

“I doubt if I’ll change my mind or mend ways that I don’t think to be mended.” Dan slipped the ring off. “Thank you for asking me though.” He gave it back to Jeremy.

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No Morals Inventory

genderizing toy

The dreaded, by many, fourth step in the recovery program calls on one to take a fearless moral inventory, which at first glance seems to be a list all the bad things we did. The lies, money we stole – if only it were that simple. Growing up queer I was confronted with things like ‘an abomination unto the face of the Lord.’ if one is an abomination to begin with what difference to those petty failing make?

the almost hidden heart

I didn’t have any morals to begin with anyway. What I did have was a cultural encoded set of behaviours & expectations that were in place before I was even born. Men do this, women do this – not to conform was a no-no, to question those suppositions was also a no-no. If one was a bit of a girly-boy you got teased into manhood. To confront bullies was a step to manhood: violence = masculinity. Not to confront = cowardice.

conformity shattered

In the lgbtqia world not to get married was to be a bad queer, to sleep around was to be a bad queer, not to fly the rainbow flag with the added trans chevron was to be transphobic. Assumptions & encoded expectations can’t be avoided – there is always a pressure to conform in the queer community or rather to ape heteronormative behaviours to be ‘acceptable’ – please no leather men at the pride parade, hide those drag queens, hide anyone over 60 (or it is 50 now) so we don’t scare the children or our corporate sponsors with the bare breasts of motorcycle dykes.

Getting back to my inventory, I eventually had to address deeper issues than a list of people I resented or who resented me for what I was. Some resentments are hard to get to the roots of, as my biggest abuser was/is the culture I grew up in & one in which I have to live. One result of doing this step several times over the past decades as guided me to confront those cultural encoded behaviours & realize that being the sort of non-conformist I am isn’t cowardice but bravery. 

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I Love My Shirts

A few months ago I watched a British series ‘ Stitch In Time’ in which the fashion historian host, with her team of specialists, replicates clothing worn in famous oil paintings – giving us a context for the painting & the fabrics used etc. Sometimes they went to an archive that had actual clothing made in the period in question. It led me to think of the oldest clothing I now owned.

My mother was a seamstress, making clothes for herself & my sisters most of the time. She wasn’t fond of the construction of collars or putting in button holes but I did get her to make me a few shirts. On my semi-regular trips from Sydney to Halifax I would buy albums & fabric. The stores in Sydney didn’t carry ‘fun’ prints & as far as I remember, there were stores dedicated to fabric just departments at Zellers etc. I found these at a sort of Fabricland in Halifax.

I had two of the movie star shirts. This one in blue with the brown insert & one in brown with blue insert – both in this sort of western style. I made sure it had the Frankenstein monster pocket. The fabric is a heavy cotton, almost denim. I loved wearing these because of the campiness of the print & because they echoed my job – I worked at the Famous Player theatres in Sydney. This one still fits me, if I don’t button it up, but the thread is ‘delicate’ with age.

The dashiki style with the racing cars still amazes me. I love this kids pj print, though it is cotton not flannel. I also had another with a cowboys & stallions print but has been lost to time. My mother liked this pattern because it had no collar or buttons to bother with. I’ve kept my eye open on visits to Fabricland or something similar without success. Truly vintage I guess. this one doesn’t fit & the fabric itself is now delicate with age.

The tie is made from another of my Halifax fabric finds. Another cotton print that I may might have had a dashiki made of too. I have worn this tie a few times to perform at poetry readings. My mother wasn’t too sure of the construction of ties so it lacks the interlining fabric that keeps the tie in shape so it never really knotted properly so it proved not to be practical for tying someone to the bed 😦

In Sydney at this time men weren’t wearing prints expect plaids. Shirts were nondescript in mild colours. Mine were attention getters. I see now how these print choices were a part of my coming out at the time with their tres gay sensibility.

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A Nod To The Numb

A Nod To The Numb

in the club

the music was so loud

it nodded your head for you

it was like walking into

a room of parrots

each head bobbing

<>

men moved

from perch to perch

eyes dart for eyes to lock on to

conversation was nearly impossible

to shout

made what was said

sound either angry

or desperate

<>

with every nod of the head

it was hard to tell

what the response was 

meant to signal

yeah let’s go

or get lost

<>

I left the cage

unsatisfied

by any of these

nodding acquaintances

Yes this is based on real experience. One that I repeated more times than I care to recall. I know many gay men went though, & still go through, this conundrum though the venue has pretty much changed from the club to the internet. I know of men who get trapped in the endless scroll & hunt through apps in search for the elusive.

Businesses built on hope will fail if they fulfill that hope. As long as customers hope to get lucky they stick around & drink. The sooner they get lucky the sooner they leave. I can remember going out to my favourite – no not favourite but – well I’m not sure what to call the gay dance club I frequented the most often – getting dressed, picking the right jeans, t-shirt. Juggling the right time to arrive & leaving sweaty from dance & reeking of smoke in the morning. On line one does have some control over the music & how loud it is.

At least on line there is no last call rush to connect 🙂 Usually no icky slippery bathroom floors either. Pictures on line often represent the profile one clicks on, but just as often they are photoshop fantasy or ten years old or etc. Even in person one may not being getting what one sees. Bar lighting is designed to hide not accentuate. There is also the distortion of booze goggles. lol.

Starting next Wednesday & for the next several weeks I’ll be giving the Monks a rest. I’ll be doing a series of Summer Reflections in which I ponder some of the shallower mysteries of life.


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Walk Like A Gearbox

Walk Like A Gearbox 

guys in high school 

knew things about me

that I didn’t know

or rather didn’t fully understand

<>

I was a small blond boy

with very fine hair

that I let grow long

like pop stars of the time

<>

that got me teased

or was that bullied

with name calling

fruit  fairy   gearbox

<>

in the days before

faggot or queer were used

I knew those names meant

I wasn’t manly enough

not that I was fem

but I was not masculine like them

<>

I never knew

what tipped them off

until a guy I knew

suggest I should fix my walk

<>

I had no awareness

of how I walked

or of how 

men were supposed to walk

<>

I had little real body awareness

beyond my awareness 

of the bodies of the boys

changing in the locker room

<>

this guy

gave me some lessons

in how to walk like a man

lessons I didn’t understand

<>

it wasn’t as if I was deliberately

walking any one way

it was something I couldn’t

consciously change

<>

the right walk wasn’t going to cure me 

any more than dating girls

having sex with them

cured me of being a fairy

I once directed a play in which one of the actors for one scene was supposed to walk like a runway model – to sashay. He found it almost impossible to change his usual gait; any attempt to change it, he said, made him feel too self-conscious on stage. Turns out one of the ‘classes’ trans people now take is in how to change their walk to more suit the gender they’re changing to. Whoa – what hasn’t been genderized!

his piece is a true story. In high-school one of straight guys did what happens here. The name-calling started in junior high & followed me until I moved to Toronto. I can’t recall a teacher ever stepping in to stop it. At the time I thought I was being picked on because back un the day name calling wasn’t considered bullying but part of what one needed to become a real boy. I know know it was  verbal abuse.

I didn’t really understand the sexual connotations of those names & I’m sure the kids didn’t either. I was a nonconformist & such was my lot in life. By the time I hit high school I knew my sexuality was behind the name calling – not that I was sexually active with anyone except myself but my eyes told me what I wanted.

I tried the usually things to disprove their taunts – I had a couple of girls I would go to sock-hops with, I was active in some sports & even won a few trophies but that didn’t change the way I walked. Ultimately it was the hair that established me a fairy – too long & being a natural blond very fem. But like my sexuality, my hair was the way I was born & there was no cure for that either.


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Recap March 2022

The WP map shows where my top 10 hits have come from. Bangladesh finally tops India but that Bahrain does too is a surprise.  I was glad to see ‘Behind Closed Doors’, one of poetry posts, was the top post of the month. Check it out if you haven’t already 🙂

Picture Perfect:  is up to 110 sections; about 158,000 words posted so far with at least another 30,000 yet to be edited & posted. I thought making deep cuts would shorten things but instead it gave me opportunity expand what remains to make it more plot forward. Such is the editing life.

Watched a couple of interesting movies. Deep Crimson: Mexican, La Ceremonie: French. Both more intriguing that great though both of them do have excellent performances & both of them involve blood baths, & both inspired by real events. Deep Crimson is a version of the Honeymoon Killers, La Ceremonie springs from the same murder that inspired The Maids. In both innocent people meet with dire ends. Deep is filmed with rich colours, La Ceremonie the colours are almost bleached out by the French sun. 

If you think Zora Neale Hurston is the only black female author of note before Toni Morrison then it’s time to read ‘Works of Alice Dunbar-Nelson’ – her first two published collections of short stories & poetry from l890’s. The stories transported me to New Orleans with their rich descriptions of black life there at the time. The various class distinctions are the subtext for stories of romance, Mardi Gras, daily life & hope. The poetry is more maudlin than political. I read the eBook – one of good things about eBook is often out-of-print books are given new life.

Re-read Boze Hadleigh’s ‘Conversations With My Elders.’ Published in 1986. It includes interviews with actors Sal Mineo and Rock Hudson; directors George Cukor, Luchino Visconti, and Fassbinder; and designer, photographer, and author Cecil Beaton. Their conversations with the author reveal much about the lives and careers of these celebrities and how their homosexuality affected both. I bought the hardcover back in the day for the interview with Sal Mineo, which is amazing. 

Reading it in 2022 I am amazed at the frankness of some of these ‘stars’; at their recognition things had to change & the various degrees of willingness they showed. Wiki tells me that Rock Hudson claimed never to have been interviewed by or even met Boze! I’m not sure if the book is still in print. 

In the real world (LOL) recovery meeting shave been slowly reopening & I’ve gotten back to one f2f meeting, so far. Made reservation for some shows at the Stratford Festival: Richard III in May, Hamlet in June. More to booked soon.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees – thankspaypal.me/TOpoet 

OP-ting In

As I posted about Oasis, some groups were impossible to ignore at the time. One of those was Outkast. I have the double cd Speakerboxx/ The Love Below (2003) (separate cds for each member of the group). The catch phrase ‘shake like a polaroid’ was showing up as a punch line in conversations on & off TV & on line. The double set is fun, if a bit over-produced, too many comic asides, almost as if they didn’t trust the material to carry itself. Songs about heterosex love, sex, pot, politics & race. A mix of r’n’b, crooning & hiphop. I gave a listen to a couple their other cds & this pair was enough for me.

Florent Pagny: Bienvenue chez moi (1995) a hits collection that includes “N’importe quoi” & “Caruso.” I heard ‘Caruso’ in the background of some movie & I loved the emotional momentum of the song so picked up this hits collection. I almost understand it 🙂 The songs range from rock to adult pop & verge, at times, on easy listening. Florent has a nice full voice that sounds invested in the emotion.

Now for something completely different. Queercore power pop with a punk edge by Pansy Division. I have as stand-alone: Deflowered (1994), Wish I’d Taken Pictures (1996); as mp3  – More Lovin’ From Our Oven (1996), Total Entertainment! (2003). Their sound is rock pop energetic – fully of hooky guitar work & anthemic choruses. I love this band. Reminds me of early Elvis Costello, when he still had a sense of humour. Their openly queer lyrics have probably kept them from a mainstream break through. James Bondage anyone?

Expectations Fulfilled

you make it sound like 

it’s my fault

sure I said I’d be there

and sure I forgot all about it

but it’s not as if 

you didn’t get the job done

someone else stepped up

did what needed to be done

so I’m unreliable

life is like that sometimes

right

<>

it’s not as if 

I have to live up to your expectations

that I have to do what I say 

every time I say I’ll do it

yes I know you counted on me

but you can’t count on people

we’re only human

we’ll let you down every time

<>

besides 

it’s not as if

I haven’t got better things to do

than give you a hand

every time you ask for someone to be there

I know I can count you

but I wouldn’t be so upset

if you let me down sometimes

it would be par for the course

right

<>

I can’t even promise 

it’ll never happen again

so you don’t think 

you can rely on me anymore

because I let you down once

yeah well

I know it wasn’t first time 

or even the second

but these things happen

I’ll try to change

okay

<>

how does that sound

you can really count on me

from now on

give me another chance

oh that’s what I said the last time

and the time before that

then why do you 

keep building these expectations

unless it’s the disappointment

is that what you are looking for

<>

you like to be let down

to feel the victim

to feel you are the only person

who has no one they can count on

alone and helpless 

in this big remorseless world

well then 

you’ve come

to the right person

(2008)

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees. Thanks paypal.me/TOpoet