Loyalist Memories 3

A follower asked what did we do a Loyalist for five days – as if there so little to writing one only needed a day or less to get the fundamentals. The structure was the same each year – morning lecture about an aspect of plotting, world building – & discussion of those aspects. Newbies were most curious about getting published & how sell a million copies of their book.

The more experienced where most interested in polishing their writing & the workshop critiques in the afternoon were where the real learning happened. It was after the first session of this that if someone as going to drop out they would drop. Some signed without fully realizing the amount of time reading & commenting on one another’s work would take. I know the first year I expected to have time to write new chapters for my current project – ha! I barely had time to blog – lol.

I was one of the few in the class that actually stayed on campus – the others lived in the area, had friends who live din the area, or preferred the full comforts of a nearby motel. I roughed in one of residence units. I brought breakfasts, snacks, & suppers for the stay. Without a car eating off campus wasn’t going to happen & what fast food there was closed at 4. I wasn’t rushing to hit Tim’s before they closed just to get a bagel.

Over the years I attended I brought chapters from my various nanowrimo novels Lazarus Kiss, Coal Dusters & Picture Perfect. Feed back was productive & when I got to doing edits of those novels I incorporated many of the suggestions. Asking for feedback on sections that appeared at say, the 100 page mark, in a novel did present the challenge of context – some fellow work-shoppers realized what wasn’t explained was probably already explained – other floundered not being able to make that leap. I did include a very brief recap one year.

The biggest thing I learned was that, to me, the writing is more important that publishing – one attender was dismayed they had to sacrifice their dream project after good a start because they couldn’t find a market for it – clearly the dream was the market not the project. Others discovered that once published they spent so much time on promo that they had no time write anything new. 

I hope the follower who asked what we did isn’t disappointed to find out there were no blood offerings to the moon.

The Reparation Room


he acted as if I owed him something

for the way he was treated as a child

by someone I didn’t know

in a city I’ve never been in

because I was old white guy

I was the one to blame

I was the one who had to dig down

to make it up to him 

money wasn’t going to cut it

he wanted to see me hurt

as much as he had been hurt

there was no way to defuse this anger

to step back from the situation

no way was I capable of making him feel whole


was the trade off

the memory of his pain

in return for the memory 

of the pain he might inflict upon me

how many times 

would he have to seek this opportunity

how many times would he have to strike out

before he realized causing pain

never removes the pain one feels

making me hurt as much as he hurts

won’t change his hurt

might numb him to it for a moment

then he’ll have to live with what he’s done

what he feels compelled to keep on doing

making me hurt as much as he hurts

won’t change his hurt

might numb him to it for a moment

then he’ll have to live with what he’s done

what he feels compelled to keep on doing

hitting out spitting out taking it out 

till it would finally consume him


I don’t know how to lead him out of this cage

can’t tell him he’s a slave 

to a problem I didn’t cause

I refuse to be held responsible for it 

yet cannot deny his right 

to seek some sort of reparation

for his past

I’m not the one to apologize

not the one to pull out my wallet to pay him off

I have to witness his struggle

acknowledge it

know that I can’t undo

what has been done

try not to add to it in any way

but it seems no matter what I do

I add to it

just being present brings it all back to him

not being present 

seems to him like I’m hiding out of guilt


neither of us can leave the room

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Loyalist Memories Part 2

strolling the grounds 2010

I recently posted a collection of photos from various years of Rosemary Aubert’s writing worksop at the Loyalist College’s Summer Arts. I think I attended 5 years of them until she retired & Loyalist opted not to continue with writing workshops of any sort. Such is life. In fact each year the college was less inviting to the workshop. Starting with the reduction of lunch dining options until lunch was reduced to a Tim’s in the basement.

the air cadets were very obedient – I loved being saluted

Besides the other summer arts workshops for the first two years we shared the campus with air cadets who were billeted there while they went to Trenton airbase. It was fun to watch them lining up in uniform to catch their bus there. Also they added to the after class scenery shooting hoops, lining up for the pay phones. I guess to cut costs the cadets were eventually billeted in Trenton.

dining hall mural – eventually painted over 😦

Rosemary’s class had a core following of crime writers (who went on to form The Mesdames of Mayhem). Some were published already. There were always some newbies. Over the summers I developed friendships with a couple of the Mayhem. Each year there was a different approach to the writing process. Some years the participants were invited to do presentations. I did one on ‘how to give a reading’ as many writers have no idea of how to present their work to a live audience.

In the workshop critiques I learned how to listen to what was said about my work & not to defend my submissions. I was the only out queer male there so I did bring my unique voice to matters of gender & stereotyping. Some were good at copy editing – I would always get one of my submission back with every punctation or typo correction in red ink.

When Rosemary decided to retire from teaching Loyalist opted not to continue with the writers’ workshop module of their summer arts. They did offer one the following year but didn’t get enough registrants so run it. So that was that. Maybe we writers weren’t in the right age demographic for them to pursue 🙂

hands around the Tim’s table our last year there 2016 – some of the hands belong to people in the photo from 2010



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Dining Room

A souvenir of the writers’ workshop/retreat at Loyalist College in Belleville. There was also a painters workshop at the same time. One morning we visited the painter, saw their work, then read some our aloud to them. I swapped one of my Renaissance anthologies for this painting. Int he area many houses have a large bed of orange flowers – at one time to signify it was the home of Orangemen. Yes gardens were once tools of political & religious importance.

One of my role models 🙂 Tweety could get away with tormenting Sylvester with the dog ready to rescue him. The brass cymbals were a gift many years ago. I ring them on the full moon. In the window  you might notice a stained glass Cape Breton Island sun catcher.

The patron saint of writers – St Michael – the only saint with a sword. I bought this Broughton’s – a religious items store not he Danforth, just east of Woodbine. They have since gone out of business. I bout this ceramic figurine at their going out of business sale. It hovers on the plate rail over me by the computer. The bearded guy under his foot is part sea serpent. The Welsh plate beside it is a nod to my Celtic roots. It might have been gift or I may have found it at a 2nd hand store.

Photos of photos 🙂 The first by my niece before she she became branded as Betty Rocksteady. I love the triple exposure effect & its surreal Man Ray vibe. Check her out on Amazon.


The other is by my friend Kyle Andrews – driftwood in sunset on the coast of Nova Scotia around Canso Causeway. 




My lunchbox collection. These are from various years of FanExpo & were included as part of the deluxe package. Supposedly limited editions – but what does that mean? Were unsold ones destroyed?  repurposed? repainted as Terminator XIX lunch boxes? The photo, one of my favourites, is of no one I know. I found it on one of my walks, leaning on a garbage bin. I couldn’t resist it.


something happens when 

my skin 

is in the same room 

as yours


I don’t have to know you are there

I can feel something 

though my clothes 

through every layer 

coat sweater jeans undies

a emanation comes from you

your eyes   your smile

that changes my chemical structure 

it grows glows down to my toes


in fact

you don’t even have to be there

someone can mention your name

& I feel like a leaf turning 

to your sun

your picture 

your voice on the telephone


my hypersensitive flesh reacts

the closer you are

the less subtle the reaction

the more alone we are together

the less subtle the manifestation 

radians through the air around us

as we snuggle to watch TV 

step into a shower

approach the bed

emanation that knit

pull us closer closer

enmeshed in each other

breathe the same air

walk in the same sunshine

wash with the same soap


complete without each other

yet always eager for the knit

creating opportunities 

to mention the name

laugh about something or the other 

we could have done

caught up in the shower

lost between the bed and the TV


there are times 

when opportunity

allows awareness of another

I feel it first in my skin

I look around the room  the street 

to see where its coming from

can it be returned

eyes become heat seeking sensors

I’m a turning leaf

looking for some sun

more light 

more opportunity to share that flow

with someone else

even if it is merely to acknowledge 

not act

don’t have to act every time  


the grace of light fills us 

each to overflowing


no need to fear 

there won’t be enough

all I have to do is breathe deep 

open myself to the gift

of your sun



(canceled by covid19 😦 )June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.


(Maybe) All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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Lazarus Kiss.42

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.


Yeah. Get Harris in this place, on home ground. He pictured himself slamming Harris to the bed and with his knees pinning Harris’s shoulders down his cock could plunge into Harris’s eager mouth. Yeah that’s the ticket.


When Harris heard the muffled scream he stopped. The park was quiet except for the sounds of near by traffic. Then he heard it again. The sounds of a struggle, of a person trying to escape and to be heard at the same time.

It was coming from the shadows behind a small shed marked ‘Employees Only.’ He stayed on the well lit path. “Are you okay?” He called out.

The scuffle stopped. If it was a drug thing he didn’t want to get involved but with the Stalker alerts he didn’t want to walk away from someone being attacked. He backed closer to the park lighting.

“I’m calling 911.” He took his cell out and pressed in the numbers.

A figure darted out from the shadow and into the park away from Harris. A woman staggered out and into the light.

“Thank you. Thank you.” Clutching her torn blouse she sprawled sobbing on a nearby bench.

Harris gave the 911 operator the necessary information and was told police would be there shortly. Before he could turn to the woman a police car pulled up at the parkette entrance. He saw that another one had pulled up to the opposite side of the parkette.

A figure darted out from bushes at that end and two policeman grappled with it. After a brief struggle the figure was pushed into the backseat of the cruiser.

Two officers from the cars that had pulled up at his end of the park were talking to the woman. A third constable came over to him.

Before he got to Harris a reporter was there. The speed at which the TV crew arrived amazed Harris. Were they in the backseat of the police cruiser? A reporter was talking to him before the police could intervene.

“Did you get a good look at the Stalker? What did he look like?” The reporter angled a microphone at him.

“All I did was call 911.” Harris shrugged and stepped back from the lunging camera.

“Did you see the stalker? What did he look like? Weren’t you sacred for your own safety.” The questions were so fast Harris didn’t know which one to answer first. Another police car arrived.

Detective Alverez stepped between him and the news crew, which had been joined by another station’s crew.

“The witness has nothing to say to the press at this time.” She nodded to two policemen who herded the press away.

“We’re trying to report this story.” One of the reporters shouted.

“Our victim has a right to privacy.” Alverez replied as she steered Harris away from them and into the parkette. “Another brush with fate. You remember it this time, Mr. Stevens?”

“Not much to remember. I was on my way home and heard a struggle from behind that shed over there. I called 911. Your men showed up. Caught him. How is …”

“She’ll be fine. You didn’t actually see what happened.”

“No. A cry for help, I think. It all happened so fast I’m not sure. Saw him run across the park and right into the arms of the police. Then the camera crews arrived.”

“Yeah. They have been hot on this. Nothing legally we can do about them. Hope you won’t mind being on the news. Detective Chiba will take your statement.”

She went over to the victim.


In the elevator up to his condo Harris realized that over the past couple of weeks he had become much more accustomed to police interrogation than he ever expected to be. His life had been fairly level till … till his Dad told him about the curse.

This time he didn’t have much to tell the police. He hadn’t seen anything beyond the figure running away and the woman who staggered out from behind the storage shed. That wasn’t the sort of information that helped a case, say, if the man they caught claimed he was just leaving the park, and not the one Harris had seen darting away.

His cell rang as he went into his apartment.

“Hey Dog.”

“What’s up Trev. You dug up another of my old girlfriends.”

“Still sore about that? Nah, we’re just seeing you on the news. You’ve gone from heart breaker to lifesaver.”

“Sure looks that way.” He filled Trevor in on what had happened while he tugged off his shoes and the rest of his clothes. Why did it always feel good to get naked.

“My auntie wants to talk with you. She says she’s discovered out more about your curse.”

Harris didn’t want to care anymore. All the emotional and physical battering the curse had caused him was tiring. It seemed if they weren’t falling over him they were beating the hell out of him.

“Tomorrow night. I’m bushed from rescuing a damsel in distress, you know.”

“Harris to the rescue. I hear you. That’ll be soon enough.”

“You can tell her I know exactly what the curse says. My Dad found out in an old diary.”

“Great. Talk soon.”

*36 Friday*

When Harris got back from lunch there was a couriered envelope from his dad at his dE.tail desk. Inside was the transcription of the diary.


Here are more of the Tobias Stevens diaries.  The full diaries run about a four hundred pages. I’ve had the pertinent sections abstracted for you. If you want the whole thing we have that.

As you’ll see there are few dates for most of the entries. Seems Tobias kept track of events and years but not of months or even days of the week. The transcription service modernized the language for clarity but we have a literal version should we need to consult that.

His brother Thomas had suffered brain damage at a child. When their parents died Tobias took him in.


The pertinent sections covered several pages. Along with them were photocopies of the actually pages.

He started reading them on the subway home.

“I awoke early this morning to the sound of horses and shouting around my stables. I pulled on my boots, grabbed my pistols and strode out into the morning fog. There was nearly ten men from the surrounding area in the yard. Jasper McClough and his son Bradley from the farm nearest mine and some men from the village.

Jasper expostulated angrily that they were on a hunt for a vagrant gypsy man. One who had been interfering with the women of the village. Jasper himself had caught this vagrant bedding down his own good wife.

They had pursued him though the fields and are sure he saw this vagrant dash into my barn.

I ordered them off my property. Told them to come back with a constable. I did not deny what evidence Jasper may have had with his own eyes. I would not allow blood to be shed on my property. God would not allow them the privilege of dealing out punishment for adultery.

The men heeded my words and rode off vowing to return to exact their vengeance.

Once I was sure they were gone I went into the barn with my brother Thomas. I called out for this fugitive to show himself, while assuring I meant him no harm.

The man that presented himself was swarthy and dark. Fell to his knees, grabbed my hand and kissed it thanking me for interceding on his behalf. I pulled him to his feet. I was not interested in effusive gratitude.

I questioned him regarding my good neighbours’ accusations. The gypsy man, whose named was Rowell Byrnes, claimed he had no knowledge of the actions of which he was accused. Despite his dark features he bore an honest face. He appeared to be in his early twenties and in good health.”

Next pertinent portion of the diary –

“Jasper McClough and his son returned as the sun was setting. They appeared less driven by anger yet were insistent that I turn the fiendish gypsy over to them. Regardless if I didn’t believe my trustworthy neighbour he was sure I realized the danger of harbouring such a vile man, that gypsies consorted with Satan. He was positive his own cows had stopped giving milk as result of this consort of the devil.

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Lazarus Kiss.38

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.



It was 9:50 when Alex arrived at Story. Enough time to put on his official wait staff shirt and apron.

“Replaced Linda that fast.” Cally smirked.

“Whaddya mean.” Did he smell any different after being with Harris? Box breath was one thing but man sweat was another.

“You have look in your eyes that you get when you’ve just fucked some girl’s brains out.”

“First off I don’t dig ‘girls’ I prefer women. Adult women, preferably with jobs. And second it’s none of your business and you can tell Linda that too.”

Saturday was one of the live music nights at Story. Tonight was a regular band – Plusher an Usher cover band. Slinky, but loud, soul which Alex found easier to take than Meatillica, a Metallica tribute band that was merely loud and distorted. Plusher brought in women whereas Meatillica brought in over-the-hill guys in their forties who thought they were still in their teens. The women smelled better, tipped better and the men didn’t annoy the female staff by trying to get lucky.

Loud music always meant lots of leaning closer than usual to tables to hear orders. Sweet smelling women were always more enjoyable than guys who hadn’t showered and hoped their aftershave would do the job.

His duties were to clear, pass orders on to wait staff and sometimes deliver them. He got his usual share of women flirting with him and at least two inappropriate touches. He’d learned never to shave before going to work on Plusher nights. The women couldn’t resist feeling his stubble. One went further and actually rode her hand under his apron to get a good feel of his equipment.

He stopped her. “Ma’am. The zipper is always up.”

She laughed. “That’s not what I heard. I’m a friend of Gemma. You know from last week. She recommends your special back alley service very highly.”

“Thank her for me.” he disengaged her hand. Her heavily jewelled bracelet sparked in the light. Is that what real diamonds look like? “Tonight is strictly table service.” He stepped away. Her musky rose perfume seemed to cling to his apron as he smoothed it down.

“Too bad.” the woman made a playful yet disappointed face. “Here, hot stuff, this’ll change your mind.”

She a handed him a twenty folded around a tin-foil twist. He knew it was coke.

“Thanks.” He took the twist out and pocketed the twenty.

“As you can see there is more than one of us tonight who have heard about the great service here.” She nodded to the two women who were with her.

In this light they all appeared to be in their late 20’s. Not the sort who’d have to resort to this, but what they wanted was control, the sense of power that came from buying what they wanted when they wanted. He understood that.

“There’s more where that came from especially if you can get him …” she eye-balled Dezum, one of the bartenders. “ … to join in. After work of course.”

“I’m flattered but I could lose my job.”

“Didn’t seem to bother you and Gemma, did it?”

He cleared their table and went over to Dezum, gave him the twist. “A tip from the gals at 12. They asked for your black ass in partic’lar.”

Dex looked over and women waved to him.

“Tempting.” Dezum chuckled.

“Fend for yourself.”

Alex took a tray of drinks to another table. He saw Dezum go over to thank the ladies personally and could hear his deep laugh as he joked with him.

Normally this was an offer he’d accept but tonight it was more amusing than appealing.

The head of his cock twitched as he recalled it sliding along Harris stomach. The seemingly endless smoothness of it. Like a pussy without lips but friction. To fuck that flesh without a safe. To know he could shoot off and not have to worry if it was too soon or if some broad had an orgasm herself. Not to have to prove his manliness by pleasing her. To shoot off and not worry about getting her knocked up.

Then there was the feel of Harris’s legs clamped around his. Strong muscular legs that Alex wasn’t afraid of bruising or breaking as he humped harder than he’d humped before. Without needing to be delicate here, hard there. One solid endless thrust.

If that was gay sex then he dug it. Sex without penetration. How fucked was that. He was glad his apron covered the boner he had developed.

The night went quickly. Twice he gently but firmly declined the party and play offer from the women who had made the generous offer. At the end of the night he assured them they be well pleased with Dezum and Hassler the two barman who had agreed to ‘see them home safely.’

Riding his bike home he replayed his tumble with Harris. Harris never surrendered but didn’t resist all that much either. The pulse of his coming was clear in his mind. The thrill of it building, his rearing up to give it room to explode, the feel of Harris’s cock as it bumped against his balls. The panic when he felt it touching his butt threatening to go up his ass. No way that was in the picture. No way.

His cock up Harris’s big round ass, maybe, but never the other way around.

Yet that panic, the fear of the pain of being fucked in the ass give his orgasm an endless thrust that he had shot off twice. Twice! Who knew men could have multiple orgasms.

He was hard when he stored his bike between the houses.

As vivid as his memory of his orgasm was and how clear the feel of his cock against Harris’s stomach was, he couldn’t recall what Harris’s cock looked like. Had he seen it? Sure he had played with it through the barrier of clothing but he hadn’t handled it. The accidental brush of it against his asshole didn’t count as touching.

If he hadn’t touched a cock, or had his handled by a man, he couldn’t be queer. He was another oversexed guy who didn’t care how he got off. Right?


The last time his mother called to say she had a surprise it was that his folks were going to Florida for the winter.

“What would Sunday brunch be without a surprise of my own.” He gave her a selection of the face cream samples that SofSknX had sent to dE.tail. They had sent enough for a staff of twenty.

“Thank you Harris.”

“Morning Dad.” He and his Dad exchanged quick shoulder hugs. “I’ve read the Tobias pages a few times. He fell under the spell but never knew it.”

“I know. I know. But we do have a surprise for you.”

“I’m all ears.”

“It’s upstairs. In your room.” His Dad grinned.

They followed him as he went up the stairs.

“You mean you’ve finally remodelled it? About time.”

He opened the door and crossed legged on the floor was a young man reading one of Harris comic books, with dozens of them strewn all around him. Harris felt he had stepped through a time warp and walked in on himself twenty years ago.

“Hi. Cool collection.” The young man stood quickly, careful not to step on any of the comic books. “You must be Harris. I’m Marshall Caldwell.”

They looked one another up and down. Harris was wishing he had worn less comfortable clothes. Their eyes met.

“You are my father!”
“Oh yeah. I’m your father Luke.” He laughed. Without seeing paternity results Harris knew in his bones that this was his son. Son! He sat on the bed.

“We’ll leave you two to get acquainted. Come on Tom you can help in the kitchen. If you promise to stay out of the way.” His mother pushed his Dad out of the room and shut the door.

“How long … when did you find … cripes I don’t know what to say or where to begin. There are loads of questions in my head. Like how old are you? I’m trying to do the math here.”

“Thirty-three. You’re …”

“Nineteen in a month. which made you ….

“Almost fourteen.” Harris shrugged. How much did Marshall know about the curse?

“Wow. You were hitting it pretty young.”

“I guess. Not that I have much memory of it.” He began to put the Black Boxer Boys set back into their protective plastic sleeves.

“You too? Must run in the family.” He handed Harris the Slap Shott he had been reading.

Harris flipped through it. He loved the big double finish of it where Shott hit the mind eraser into the open mouth-like spaceship bay of the aliens who had sent it to Earth while saying ‘Return to sender.’ On the next page was the aliens’ space craft blowing up.

“What do you mean?”

“My mother calls it acting out. I’d been caught with my pants down more than few times at school. Incorrigible is what the teachers called it. But I never could remember what I had done. What’s up with that? She sent me to a shrink.”

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Only Entitlement


Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas. This is where #15 took me Not to make a new carpet without adding a part of the old one.

Only Entitlement

I have no heritage

only entitlement

that tries to tell me

that to weave a life of meaning

it is okay

to appropriate anything

that catches my eye


if it means nothing to me

it can give meaning to me

I’ll redefine my self

no not redefine

because as it stands now

I have no meaning

no self

outside of a cultural context

of entitlement

which tells me that even though

I am a nobody

it is better that than being

anything else

the music I listen to

the clothes I wear

reflect a world around me

I am merely walking though

other cultures

are like zoo exhibits

art installations

to amuse me

to divert me

from the fact that

I have no heritage

no backstory or ancestral struggles

other than the banal

war for control

money oil sex religion

chains to hold people down

not to free them to become

more than entitlement

scraps of pasts


arbitrarily clumped together

for momentary comfort

who cares about heritage

as long we are comfortable

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Everly After

I had the Everly Brothers biggest hits lp. I was never a fan but I did like a couple of those tracks for melodramatic reasons: ‘Crying In The Rain’ is hard to resist. What I didn’t realize then was that the collection were re-recordings for the most part. The original tapes lost in a studio fire. I remember their TV show being fun. But their sound was just too country for me to really make me a fan.

When Warner Archives released a two cd set of those hits with the original, now found, recordings I was happy to add it to my collection. They were a duo trapped by their genre – young enough to want to become more hip they weren’t encouraged to do so. Tight harmonies, songs of teen angsty romance or longing for farm grown purity. Perish the thought that they might want to do a song about the war in Nam.

I have vague memories of their TV show – similar to Smothers Brothers, Sonny & Cher – songs, sketches but with a more country feel – not as cornpone as Hee-Haw. I should check YouTube to see if any episodes of it have been uploaded. They were good clean American boy-next-door – who like most too-young for fame went through booze, drugs, solo careers & opted to step back from the limelight for awhile satisfied with what they had done. Their last studio lp was in 1988.

Near them on the shelf are a pair of Cesarea Evora CD’s: Cesarea, Cabo Verde – another of those rich, warm, evocative world music voices out of Africa. She sings in Portuguese, French, various native languages as well. Like Mercedes Sosa – it is the emotional quality of the voice that draws me in – I have read English translations of the songs – they’re about love of the land, loss of love, the discovery of love. Discover her & you’ll be grateful for it.


Mike peered down from the outcrop over the clearing. If he hadn’t stopped sharp his next step would have taken him over and down a twenty foot drop into the crowd below.

Drums played. Pounded.

People – men women moved in intricate patterns stepping along a series of patterns marked with bluish stones on the ground. A foot would touch each point and the person would spin, hands raised and head lowered, spin and move on to the next stone.

As he watched the motion began to form into something he recognized. The slither of a giant snake, a human snake sliding and slipping endlessly over the clearing.

He could hear some vocal sounds come up but not distinctly enough for him to tell if it was words or just a chant. He would have laid on the ground to get closer but the outcrop was hemmed in by thick trees. He felt his sweat trickle down his back. Insects fluttered past him.

The drums became faster.

At the tip, what he guessed was the mouth of the serpent, was a fire. Peering he saw three figures step out from the ripple of people. The ripple stopped. The central figure was Robert! He was sure it was Robert. The flicker of flames made the face hard to see clearly but the body movements and shape was unmistakable.

The drumming stopped. The came the voice:

‘We have gathered here for this moment.’

The voice was Robert’s. Without the drums he could hear.

‘This is the season of sacrifice

the night of plenty and innocence

and we call here

the three red stars

the snake of green kind giving

we call

and he replies

we know he will reply

he will bring us all

he will accept this sacrifice.”

Two women brought forth a goat. It kicked and bleated. They stopped before Robert and held it still. Two men joined them and they turned the goat over so the soft stomach was exposed. A silver knife flashed in Robert’s hand as he held it high above his head.

‘Sister moon

father star

we present this small gift

this hint of what is to be given

in return

for what you have to give to us.’

Mike felt hands on his back. A shove and he fell forward.

The drums started.

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


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



September: TBA


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



June 8-9 attending: Capturing Fire 2018


check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

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Don’t Smile


Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. This is the second of the 2 aniyatas. 2. Not to be found alone with a woman in an isolated place that can arise suspicions about conversations on lustful subjects.

Don’t Smile

the camera will stay on

it’s for your protection

people will talk

they will question your motivation

they will question my lack of interest

I never meet alone with anyone

no it’s not being broadcast live

on YouTube Facebook


the camera will stay on

you’ll get used to it quickly

you don’t even see it do you

we’ve learned how to be discreet

we have nothing to hide

do we

this is to maintain transparency

so our being together

can’t be misunderstood

even by one another

I don’t want to face a charge

of sexual harassment

or guilt by association


the camera will remain on

it is always on

there is one where ever I go

I have no faith in people

everyone is eager to misunderstand

any innocent cue

have a nice day

becomes an insult

to someone’s sense of propriety

so this is being documented

to assure each of us of legal protection

there will be no grounds

for doubt for equivocation


the camera will remain on

don’t even smile

yes I know it’s sad

this is the state we have come to

privacy is only for those

who have something to hide

and we have nothing to hide

not even from each other

are you ready

for what may become

your mug shot

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#Chicago #Revolution

I remember how revolutionary the band Chicago was when it first hit the airwaves. A double album to top it off, with that exciting (but now seemingly endless) Free Form Guitar noodle. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is quickly became a joke meme as opposed to the deeply probing philosophic lyric it intended to be.

8furniture01I did love that first album – the actual crowd chant ‘the whole world is watching’ from give it a real sense of political activism & counter culture cache. The horns were energizing, the singing was masculine & the covers song were fun. Nearly every band covered I’m A Man.8furniture02Chicago I is loose & adventurous in ways Blood, Sweat & Tears (the other horn band of the time) never was. Chicago II is quite different. Slicker & artier: with a Ballet suite & the 4 movement piece. They shift to a more m.o.r pop sound. People who dug that first lp were disappointed in this one. I loved it though. Fancy Colours is a great, happy song with sweet wah-wah work.8furniture03I have these first 2 as stand alone’s. Both searched  out in early 2000’s when I was rebuilding my past via CD. I later sought out Chicago III – the last of their double albums. It’s part of an mp3 collection along with work by Traffic, CSNY. III become less horn & more guitar. No long suites of songs but solid writing but by this point they weren’t breaking new ground & some tracks felt more like fillers so they could squeeze out yet another double lp.8furniture04At one time I had their live box set – five lps, or was it six, of nearly note for note reproductions of their studio work. It seemed to go on forever & I finally gave it away. They needed to develop beyond their initial sound to really hold my interest. Rather becoming adventerous they became banal. Finding new ways of printing the Chicago logo on their covers wasn’t enough. But those first 2 recordings are fine.



‘Far be it from me to point this out but, Mr. Palmer, your opinion of Kant will not be the revelation you seem to think it is.’

‘Have it your way, Mr. Green, but the way to a man’s intellect will always be through the bottle and no other way.’

‘Indeed, Mr. P indeed. Shall I pour or shall you?’

‘Why bother pouring at all, my friend.’ Mr. Palmer tipped the bottle and took two eye stinging gulps from it. He wiped it and passed over to Mr Green.

‘Ah, yes, nothing like sweet simplicity.’

‘Yes, the more simple one keeps one’s exterior world the easier it is to support the complex philosophic structures that our intellects need.’

The sun broke through the leafy canopy of the tree over the bench the two men sat on. Both shaded their eyes at the same time.

‘Now as I was saying. Kant may have missed the point but he was certainly moving in the right direction. That being isn’t necessarily the result of events but of actions.’

‘Tut tut Mr. P I doubt if that was Kant’s intention in any way shape or form. He was more inclined to feel, and in this I have to concur, that being is just as often the result of events outside the individual consciousness as it is to be from else where. May I?’

‘Of course.’ Mr. Palmer handed the bottle back to Mr. Green. Both drank deep with great satisfaction.

‘You seem content to elide over Sartre and Nietzsche.’

‘Those useless faggots.’

‘Ha ha.’

‘Ha ha.’

‘But isn’t that also the result of forces outside their individuation.’

‘Now your are getting Freudian on me.’

‘No! But sometimes a drink is just a drink.’ He emptied the bottle. ‘I do hope there is another.’

‘Ask and ye shall receive.’ Mr. Green pulled another bottle of  amber liquid from inside his dingy overcoat. ‘One must always be prepared for what it takes to hew new paths in the road of thought.’

‘No matter who the casualty might  be.’

‘Right ho. Now join me in a libation before we fix our bayonets for the next attack.’

‘Thank you. Don’t mind if I do.’ Mr. Palmer drank deep. A shudder ran through his arms and hands. ‘Not our usual intoxicant?’

‘Sadly no. The outside forces have seen fit to provide only this.’

‘Ah, welfare cut you back again?’

‘No the old lady wanted money for the kids.’

‘Too bad you hadn’t considered that when you plunged into the flesh my friend.’

‘What’s a man to do.’

‘Sublimate. Channel that fierce energy into the intellect. It is falling into the flesh that has been the downfall of all.’

‘Yes but isn’t that the innate urge God has instilled in all of us?’

‘God! Why man I thought we rationalized God out of the equation yesterday?’

‘So we did. So where does that leave us.’

‘Fucked if I care. Pass me the goddamn bottle.’


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Hot Damn!



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo




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