October 2020 Recap

Over the month my TOpoet.ca following blog grew to! The October WP map show my hits have come from 37 countries around the world. That India falls to 2nd place with the USA taking first. Hello Luxembourg! Hola Mexico! I even received some donations via paypal 🙂 My Tumblr is at 300, Twitter at 240 followers.

Plugging away at Picture Picture & am into the 2nd nano year of the original drafts. I made an abrupt jump from where I left off in year one. That first year I got really caught up in my hero’s back story – which was threatening to take over the book at the time – so started year 2 with the reality show investigation of those missing children. Picture Perfect so far: 42 sections, about 65,000 words posted with approx 122,000 left to be edited. 

October hasn’t see any drastic domestic changes except for the spike in covid. Restrictions around that have little impact on my daily life. Not giving out candy on Halloween is a bit of a relief – though I did buy a face mask to wear for the occasion. No candy sales in the hotspots though. I have been enjoying neighbourhood dedication to spooky decorating – Halloween is the one holiday that hasn’t been co-opted by any religion.

Wrapped up the annotated Distant Music, I had planned to just do it for the summer but couldn’t stop in the middle of the book. Went back to the inputs of my 1970 novel Allen Time. POV slips around in a fun way. There is almost no action! Allen thinks a lot though. Considering what to do next with this piece of juvenilia. 

Expanded my zoom life by adding another recovery meeting to the two I already log into. Checked out several before picking the one to add. With zoom one can find a meeting to fit nearly any time of the day, though for some you have to figure out time zones, for others figuring out the format is the challenge. I rarely turn on my camera though. Too many moving figures is distracting. I’m really not interesting in watching 30+ fidgeting people at one time & don’t want to add to that number. I end up minimizing the screen anyway to sound only – uses less bandwidth. 

TV remains our prime source of entertainment. Besides documentaries on Ancient Egypt, the science of the brain I’ve been watching an adaptation of ‘War Of The Worlds.’ Some serious eye-candy has kept watching as the plot is over-wrought emotional confrontations between the people under attack. The robot dog/spiders are excellent. Finished season one of Broadchurch – intense but stretched out. We’ll start season two once we finish Brave New World: another adaptation but it stick a bit closer to the characters & general plot of the novel. It even had real laughs.

Also watched some excellent, if a bit difficult movies. Beau Travail dr Claire Denis – (loosely based on Billy Budd – set in Djbouti; Sleepwalking Land dr. Teresa Prata; Mozambique; Mouchette dr. Robert Bresson: rural France. All visually stunning, brilliantly performed – all addressing the nature of masculinity & growing up. Each with a narrative logic that at times makes you question who is telling the story & all leaving some of the story up to the viewer to tell. Rewarding & worth seeing.

November brings back pieces prompted by the 227 Rules for Monks on Wednesday. Music works fine on Thursdays, the Sunday photo blog has proved to popular enough for me to keep it going. Monday remains free-for-all, but also where I’ll chatter on about objects in my house & of course my covid19 musings. Picture Perfect will continue on Tuesdays.

Crawling Back To Me

nothing is more arousing 

than obedience

someone who says 

‘what can I do 

to bring you pleasure

I will to do what you want’

someone who doesn’t 

hint at other pleasures

till the time is right

who is cheerfully compliant

to my desires

each& every time

eager and ready

obedient and responsive

never complaining 

never holding them selves in check

asking

what more would you like to do

someone who has no complaints

about your shoes

or the way you smell at any time

who has enough of a life

of their own

that there are no recriminations 

when you don’t call everyday

someone who doesn’t need 

constant reassurance that you care

even you don’t care

but merely happy to enjoy 

the happenstance of your company

yes give me obedience over looks

over money 

because no matter how cute they are 

how rich they are

if they aren’t willing

what’s the point

if they have their own demands

the balance shifts

takes away my gratification

then it’s too late

for them to come

crawling back to me

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Exhausted August 2020

Over the month my TOpoet.ca following is steady at 380! The August WP map shows that my hits have come from around the world. India still tops the list with 3 times as many hits than Canada at number 2. Good to see Japan & Portugal making the top 10. China! Nepal! My Tumblr (topoet) is up by 3 to 290. Twitter (@TorPoet) up to 226 followers. My most popular post in August: Fab Forty 1965 https://topoet.ca/2020/08/02/fab-forty-1965/ 

I’ve posted 33 chapters of Picture Perfect so far, nearly 49,000 words, with 137,000 words yet to be edited. I had forgotten how much attention I had paid to world-building for my hero. Making cuts has been easy & expanding some when needed has been fun. I also love making the fresh weekly graphic & will include them in an appendix to the eBook. 

I’ve been really enjoying the challenge of writing about my Distant Music pieces. Nearing the end that. Doing one week has made the work more steady. Two pieces a week was rushed. Once done I may compel it all into an eBook. I found I am following in famous footsteps: Alan Ginsburg did a similar explanation of Howl for its 50th anniversary. I’m not as self-indulgent as I thought 😦

Amongst the movies I watched in August was the oddly fascinating Paris Belongs To Us – early 60’s underground theatre in Paris – each scene deepens the mystery with layers of information that leads to ? It was as if Kafka met Beckett to write a screenplay. Was stunned by Edge Of The Knife (SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna) a Canadian film in Haida. Visually amazing, brilliant performances & a work of art.

Another month of living with the pandemic. Will Americans accept a covid vaccine made in Russia? Since their last presidential election was (made in Russia) I don’t see why not 🙂 More  deflection where entertainment value is more important than progress – where anger over racism is the issue not the racism itself.

Life in Toronto slowly opens up with patios, schools, community centres adapting to covid protocols. Classroom of a certain size allow for 20 or is it 30 students – LCBO spaces of similar size are restricted to 10 people, at a time. The province has made it its priorities clear. I have no children, I don’t consume alcohol so I have no standing in such issues.

Light At the End of the Closet

<>

some days I check my email

every hour I’m awake

in case there’s one from him

but he’s a fucking crappy communicator

and I like it

I like the frustration

<>

I know he isn’t stringing me along

I don’t check my voicemail 

he can’t leave messages

if he calls he has to use pay-phones

he has one of those sensitive jobs

can’t be out

can’t be caught out

I understand this

and I like it

I like the hidden secret

the old-time quality of his closet

of me being totally out of mine

I can slip into his

and not feel the need to force him out

he knows this

he is always apologizing

sorry about an unending work load

that lets him hide

that makes him hide

I like this hiding   sometimes

when he says I’m ray of light

more like a shaft 

I joke

<>

I like this frustration

knowing I can feel it

not need to judge force refuse

be present 

be in my own open life

sort of free

sort of   because

if  I see a crying child

in the street or a mall

I have to back away

gay men are automatically suspect

and can never be proven innocent

<>

so I back away into that closet

I don’t like that frustration

till I check my email

and there’s one from him

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Damsel Not In Distress

 

Damsel Not In Distress

there was danger

sure I could have died

but what away to go

at the hands of the creature

yes I value my life

but it is my life

who asked you to butt in

what compelled you

to rescue me

if I had been another man

then what would you have done

would you let the creature 

destroy him

rather than appear to be gay

because only a man who loves men

would go to all the trouble

or rescuing another man

 

so you rescued me 

from the jaws of excitement 

it’s not that I’m not grateful

but if you expect 

some sexual gratification

for your efforts then toss me back 

I didn’t ask to be rescued

 

all I really had to lose

are those cultural bonds

of weak women   strong men

no one can be released from

the tentacles of that monster

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Blood Bath Water

I watch a lot of movies – things recorded off the TV or DVD’s. I essential like sci-fi, horror crap pre-2000. I also enjoy musicals, noir, some comedy – but spare me romcom, emotional self-realizations, mafia, drug dealing or bullying. I have friends who rave about certain films or TV shows that have enthralled them with the unflinching depictions of social struggles – my reaction is honey why would I pay money to see what I can see on the subway. I get enough stories or real emotional recovery & redemption from people in AA why would I want to see a movie about it.

I enjoy swearing less & less, ditto for violence – which certainly limits what there is to see, right. All too often I feel people are more interested in, say, exploiting & relishing the suffering of the bullied than they are in the fighting back of the victim. I suspect sometimes the savage rapes in movies are enjoyed more than the victim’s survival.

 

As much as I’m happy, if happy is the right word, to see the violence in films & on TV become more realistic – this improvement in f/x often looks like an end unto itself & adds little to moving a story forward or creating character depth. Accurate blood spatter is fine but if the blood is spurting solely to show off how accurate the blood spatter is I’m bored.

Much like novels where violence is fetishized, film makers give us hyper real violence with a lack of emotional context. When it comes to dialogue, or interaction between characters there is no realism beyond snappy one-liners. Throwing out plot with the blood bath water. Emotional connections are so fragile as to be fantasy fulfillment, just like the violence. Not my fantasy, anymore.

Belief Without Knowledge

for a term project I decided

to explore the legend

of how the moose came from the moon

I went to the cathedral to interview the bishop

he would know

after all there was the golden statue

of the moose at the foot of the cross

but the bishop was not forthcoming

it was considered a secret church doctrine

not to be shared

with those who weren’t of the cloth

those sacred secrets were the heart of faith

one had to accept mystery to experience

the full depth of belief

I would be better off

putting my energy into something more productive

the history of darkness in strip bars

I wasn’t going to be put off that easily

everything he told me

made me more curious

what secrets was the church hiding

 

I went to the Bureau of Game and Fisheries

to see what information I could get

all I could find in the files

were instructions for hunting

on gutting and persevering the moose

I asked the agent in charge of the office

if there was more information

on the how the moose

came here from the moon

he stared at me stunned

and asked ‘why what have you heard?’

pale fear crossed his face

‘whatever it is, it isn’t true

those are all false rumours

there is nothing to that story

there was no ufo landings in this area

to take them back to the moon

there has been no attempt to cover that fact up

nothing was found in Atkins’ Lot

to back up those allegations

you better run along son

try to think of something more

appropriate for your term paper

like the history of gutting smelt’

he pushed me out of his office

locked the door

 

puzzled I went home

I asked my Dad about Atkins’ Lot

my Dad paled

‘No son there is nothing to that old story

why do you want to know’

I  explained about my term paper

that it could earn me a scholarship

to study at the Grand Academy

in the big city

‘better ask you mother

what she thinks of that

much as we’d like to see you get ahead

you’ve picked a most dangerous topic

why not do a term paper

on the magic properties of moose blood?’

 

thus started my journey to balance

belief with knowledge

faith without mystery

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kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

November 1-30

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Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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Dracula Must Die

The haunted house Halloween edition of the Beautiful was hosted by Lizzie Violet. She set a very high standard for costume which no one else quite reached. Winner of the costume prize, by audience applause, was Koom Kankesan with his Death By Consumerism – credit card embedded in the brain – look.

slip off your shoes and relax
slip off your shoes and relax

First feature John Oughton performed in a semi-see-through skull mask to keep with the darkness of the night. His work is sharply observed, tightly-crafted and sometime amusing. of Honest Ed’s: ‘the world turn to Ed to see just how cheap a man can be.’ ‘life is a sneeze that blesses itself.’ ‘movies show us how reality is edited into memory.’

hooded pillar
hooded pillar

When I saw that David Nickle was going to feature I was fanboy excited, have read & enjoyed his books. He did not disappoint with two eerie pieces – first one about a city literally haunted by the spirit of a hit-and-run victim; then ‘Dracula Must Die’ his kindergarten take on Buffy – as the kids take on the Dracula child in day care with them. Funny and tense.

winter boots in summer
winter boots in summer

Music feature  James Roy Daley turned out to be another horror writer/editor whom I’ve enjoyed over the past year but I didn’t realize he was also a singer/songwriter. His was Ricky Nelson possessed by the spirit of Eddie Munster. Sweet folk-rock love ballads with very, very dark turns: ‘I might be killing her/but I’m thinking of you.’ A great set. A great show and a chilling time was had by all.

samples

Movie Night

we had been wandering the wilderness

with only popcorn and jumbo colas

to give us sustenance and strength

on day two of our trek through the multiplex

looking for an exit

that didn’t lead to yet another theatre experience

where we were nudged into seats

to be pummelled by loud

ceaseless

ultra high HD adverts

and promises of real good movies next week

the washrooms were at the end of crooked

unlit corridors

with doors that seems velcroed to the floor

while we were holding in

as best we could

the gut rumbling cheese food

used to soak the nachos and chilli

no toilet paper

only hand driers

gleaming white sink

and hands free taps

of luke warm water

all strawberry lemon scented

tv screens instead of mirrors over the sinks

with more trailers of better movies coming next week

someone moaning in a locked cubical

the corridor changed direction when we left

looking for the movie we had come to see

clutching our tickets we waved to ushers

who were busy on cell phones

by the end of day three we found the movie

we’d paid to see

only to discover it was no longer showing

and we couldn’t get a refund

but they did offer half price nachos and chilli

the next time we came to a movie

because there would be better movies next week

after an elevator  two escalators

we found ourselves back on the street

the sunset darkened

by the closing credits of our movie

The Super-Cool Tura Satana

What better way to deal with the hot hot hot days that are ending August here in Toronto than some super cool movies starring Tura Satana. Some of you may think I’m stretching things by saying ‘starring’ but trust me even in a bit part Tura is the star.

gone gone boots
gone gone boots

The best parts of the Russ Meyer bio ‘Big Bosoms and Square Jaws’ are the ones dealing with Tura and the filming of Faster Pussycat, which was the first film of her’s I knowingly saw. I had seen Irma la Duce before this but when I recently saw it again I was tickled and thrilled to see Tura in it & re-watched her moments.

But the film of her’s that I most enjoy is The Astro-Zombies. I first saw this when it showed up on late-night TV. The print quality of our VHS recorded version even then was dark & fuzzy but her scenes jumped out clearly. Her dresses, jump suits were perfection. Putting her cigarette out on a captive was sublime  & for weeks after I was asking people I knew ‘Who are you?’ trying the get that weird accent she used. Needless to say I was thrilled to get a decent DVD version of it at Fan Expo a few years ago.

building cleavage
building cleavage

I saw The Doll Squad first at the festival of B-Films – sort of an A-Team made up of tough, pretty, women in fetching cat suits who thwart evil. Tura is part of this team and once again gets the best clothes and the best lines. She get to opportunity to do a bit of emoting as well and that made me wish she’d been given the opportunity to be more than the busty, ultra-tough, pretty butch babe. I picked a DVD of this as Fan Expo – it has some nice extras.

doll squad secret head quarters?
doll squad secret head quarters?

Her films all make use of her ample cleavage and her burlesque skills. Faster Pussycat established her as the iconic girl you don’t want to mess with but sadly no other director was able to develop her or even this bold image of womanhood. Honey West, Mrs. Peel, pale in comparison.

writing sample
writing sample

Lament for Anna Nicole

in the beginning was the word

and the word was blonde

a blonde who came striding

out of the sweet morning light

assured radiant reaching out

past the flock of photographers

to bring tender mercies to the world

a blond who hid fears frustration

in the twinkling wink of an eye

ready and ripe

to be a distraction for the world

here is the blonde

the unattainable firm force of nature

on every tv magazine cover front page

all pondering the ways and wiles

of the soft hearted blonde

who will be next

who was the last tail twist

in the trail of broken hearts

we follow our noses nailed to her scent

this glowing example

of what the ordinary can rise to

billionaires reality shows

who cares about cancer

when we have the blonde

a rare creature of fine design

who can invade dreams

wrap legs around broken hearts

lead us out of loneliness

by taking on all our loneliness

in a single furtive glance

away from the camera

a single shunning of the lime light

for a moment that blesses us all

the blonde reeling and recoiling

teetering on stilettos

from the press of press

the lurch of bully boy interviewers

who want to expose the gold digger

the drug addled bimbo

to show the world that the blonde

is no saint merely another floozy

chunky top heavy flabby doll

lucky to be in our sanctifying gaze

the blonde gratefully accepts each slight

by each slight she is elevated

what comes next

what can be sacrificed now

there is no reputation left

the first born has been cut down

the blonde has been shuffled off

in a shapeless body bag

leaving the newborn

a wash in a sea of who’s your daddy

our father ?

is this the way the world ends

not with a bang

but a paternity test

bouquet in snow
bouquet in snow

 

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I’ve Dropped Acid

Some lists that are by no means complete:

Albums/cds that make me feel like I’ve dropped acid: Santana: Abraxas; The Rolling Stones: Satanic Majesty Requests; Beethoven: Piano Concert #4; Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Weather Report: Mysterious Traveller; Pink Floyd: Umma Gumma.

they love their tree
they love their t(ree)v

Movie/TV soundtracks I love: Papillion; Beyond The Valley of The Dolls; Liquid Sky; The Sorcerer; Mon Oncle; Twin Peaks.

Movies that transport me: McCabe and Mrs. Miller; Amarcord; Fellini’s Satyricon; Dark City; Barbarella (also a great soundtrack); VonTrier’s The Kingdom; Inception.

back alley lovin'
back alley lovin’

Old TV shows I loved: Perry Mason; Twin Peaks; Peyton Place; American Horror Show; French & Saunders; AbFab.

Writers I always enjoy reading: Emile Zola; Allan Ginsberg; Charles Dickens; Dylan Thomas; Renaldo Arenas.

out standing in its field
out standing in its field

Female vocalists I love: Patti Smith; Grace Slick; Pink; Blossom Dearie; Mireille Mattieu; Marianne Faithful.

writing sample
writing sample

the other piece I read at the recent Cabaret Noir

Use Other Door

I’m not talking to you

nothing personal

but it seems

you only want to hear what you want to hear

so I guess

you aren’t that different from me

seeing the world from one view point

not willing to accept that

when a sign says

use other door

it doesn’t apply to you

but only other people

 

so I’m not talking to you

I’m not going to tell

you which door to use

you’ll have to figure that out for yourself

eventually you’ll find the right door

to get the hell out of here

and leave me alone

heal me
heal me

#Movies and #Me

I watch a lot of movies but it has been years since I’ve been inside a theatre. I can’t tell you how long or what the last film was I saw. The last few times I was dismayed by the sense of entitlement shown my some in the audience who mocked those who shushed them when on their cell phones – it was as if being annoyed by someone texting or talking on a phone was your problem, not theirs.

garden store aches for spring
garden store aches for spring

At one multiplex getting through the arcade park was half the battle, then finding the actual theatre was the next challenge, plus the search for a washroom – though I guess there’s an app for that sort of thing these days 🙂

bow under dusty miller
bow under dusty miller

Over-priced snacks (this is where theatres make their money not on the movies), endless trailers, commercials – at least at home I can zap though the commercials, or hit mute – all contributed to my loss of interest in going to the movies. One of the final straws is volume – I suppose to drown out people babbling on their phones they pump up the volume. When I saw one of the Matrix movies my ears where ringing for a couple of days.

dead end table
dead end table

I’ll wait for the DVD – I’m old fashioned enough for DVD’s but know that too is going the way of the paperback. I guess I have control issues – at home I can stop the picture when I want, fast forward when the chase scene goes on too long rewind if I missed a line or two, even replay that skinny dipping scene, hit pause for Brad Pitt’s several one-frame nude appearances Fight Club.

burn that cksckr down  Pride2012
burn that cksckr down
Pride2012

Alejandro Jodorowsky

fall of the empire
fall of the empire

When I wasn’t reading, writing, hitting open stages, featuring, hosting show I was home watching movies. You might notice I got though the works of Alejandro Jodorowsky – I picked up Santa Sangre at FanExpo & fell in love with his over-the-top ramblings & stunning visuals. Then hunted down & bought the box set of his first features. Well worth it if you like spiritual lessons with stunning imagary and what-the-fuck scrips.

the patio is very open
the patio is very open

bootless
bootless