Modem Flirting

Modem Flirting

tease doesn’t work

any more

yeah there was a time

when a photo of a man

in tight pants

you know the ones

that fired the imagination

with hefty contents 

enough to get me off


that was a time when 

I was young


dreaming of what

that contents would be

the sound it would make

as it was released

from captivity


that was a time when 

being queer

was unsavoury



one was an outlaw

in fearful closets

leafing through 

body builder magazines

trying to hold the flashlight

with one hand

the magazine in the other

& wondering how to jerk off


these days

if photo of a man

in tight pants

didn’t lead to a one of the contents 

or better yet

a video of him handling

that contents

while one sits in a coffee shop

we scrolled through

for the next hefty contents

wondering if there’ll be one

worth jerking off to


imagination is killed

by this endless

fascination with hairless abs

dicks that are slabs

torsos without heads

so that if one meets up

with the real thing

we are disappointed 

in the camera angle of reality

the clarity of real light


we’ve stopped being outlaws

& become 

men who don’t want to waste time


they’d rather hold a pic of a dick

in their hand

than risk the disappointment 

of the real thing

so many heads to choose from

One of my earliest sexy photo memories is a picture in a travel magazine of a smiling Caribbean fisherman, shirtless but in shorts snug shorts, putting a net up too dry. It was clear that the catch of the day was in those shorts. I kept that picture hidden in a drawer for years. Taking it out when I needed a little inspiration. My shameful secret.

we’re always hard

For decades, until the digital revolution, one could only get ‘personal’ nudes by being a home developer – companies that developed film were requited by law to destroyed all nudes or reported them to the authorities. The same for photos of men kissing, being affectionate in an unsavoury manner. The Polaroid wave ended the dependence of developers or cramming into photo-booths & hoping the curtains stayed closed while you & your ‘friend’ changed positions between flashes of that camera. There are now sites & even coffee-table books devoted to those archival sexy photos.

on my knees for you

Now decades later there remains no secrets to hide or that can’t be revealed by a fansonly link. Some m2m dating sites now have an option for ‘safe for work’ thanks to the ease of revealing all. Who wants a nosy co-worker glancing over your shoulder as you scroll through an ‘Italian Sausage’ dating site.

I can’t say that I miss the fearful closet but I do miss the loss of mystery, of discovery, of surprise. 

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City Of Valleys 4 



Kevin squinted at his watch. Near ten, Saturday morning. If he got his ass in gear he’d be gone before Mitch awoke. Mitch and Therese had planned Kevin’s time since he arrived to make sure he didn’t get lost. He itched to get out on his own.

Thanks to Mitch he knew where he wanted to go. Two Fridays ago Mitch, in a van mood, insisted they ‘shoot the drag.’ On the east coast that meant an endless loop around the main street of their little town and of the somewhat larger one nearby.

In Toronto, to Mitch, it meant a loop down Yonge Street from Bloor to Queen and up Church. Mitch recommended strip joints and head shops on Yonge street. The leg of the loop up Church Street went through, what Mitch called, Fag Hell.

Shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and street corners there were alive with men and women. Some held hands. He glimpsed two men kiss as they waited at the lights. Mitch did this loop several times, slugged beer after beer, and got more vulgar about the strip joints and more hostile about how queer maggots spewed their filth over the sidewalks.

He wound his window down to harass a couple of muscle guys.

“You guys get that way pumping each other’s asses?”

“Start pumping that chicken next to you, instead of him pumping you, and you too can have the same amazing results,” one of them replied. Both flexed their biceps and laughed.

“Fuckin’ pervs.” Mitch burnt rubber as he squealed off. That was the last loop that night. 

Kevin hoped not to work for the summer, but he gave in when Mitch pressured him to fill in the crews at his construction site. He’d sent his résumé to several garages to offer his mechanic skills. 

He learned the love of engines from Shep. He enjoyed how each piece fit, and was dependent on the next piece to work. The logic it took to rebuild and repair brought deep satisfaction to him.

He’d had his first interview yesterday afternoon. It went well, though he felt his age worked against him. It did give him the day off from Mitch’s construction site and a chance to plan this escape today.

Every Saturday he shopped with Mitch and Therese, once Mitch had crawled awake around noon. Evenings he’d been herded around to all the east coasties Mitch knew. Supposedly for Kevin to meet some good women, but mainly for Mitch to show off Kevin’s musical talents. He’d been conscripted to do a couple of Saturday night sets at Ten Pennies, Mitch’s home-away-from-home pub. There he was billed as Kevin McLeod and not Mitch’s Cuz Kev. 

This Saturday would be different. If he was up and out by ten-thirty, he’d be out of their grasp and on his own at last. 

He put on the clothes he’d laid out the night before and grabbed his backpack. He’d had cutoffs and a spare t-shirt in it. This last weekend in June promised to be hot.

What worried him the most was money. Mitch had made him paranoid about how easy it was to ‘roll those pansies.’ Not that he could be rolled that easy, but he didn’t want to lose his hard earned cash or his credit card.

He hid the card beneath the inner sole of his left runner. He squirrelled away about $200.00 – some his wallet, some with his subway pass and the rest in a pocket in his denim jacket. Enough for the day and then some.

He opened his bedroom door to check if the other bedroom door was shut. It was. He went out the front door. He leaned against the hallway wall to breathe for the first time.

The door opened. 

“Here. You might need these!” Therese dropped keys into his hand.

Kevin stared.

“They’re called keys. You are old enough to let yourself in and out.”

“Thanks. I … uh …” 

“Get going.” She kissed him on the forehead. “You have our number. If you’re gonna to be out late … let us know or Mitch will have the cops searching for you.”

She shut the door. Kevin walked to the elevator. His feet barely felt the carpet. 


David rubbed the bitter taste of unsweetened coffee around his mouth. He and his two co-workers had been called into the office to wait for the manager, Karen Willis, to return.

They watched her tape a notice to the front door.

“That is not a good omen.”

“Could be the new summer hours, David,” Monica suggested. 

Karen came into the office and brushed her suit jacket.

“We’ve been merged. As of today we are an ex-bookstore.”


“Index Ink has taken us over.” She handed them each a pay envelope. “As of today we are no longer required.”

David opened the envelope. It had a check for six months pay.

“Index Ink is generous. Part for p.r. and mainly because the bastards can afford to be. Any one who wishes may apply for a position within their ranks.”

“Position?” Amhad, the other clerk, asked.

“Yes. Index Ink is always eager to find experienced sales associates.” Karen didn’t try to conceal her bitterness. “That is if they survive ePub.”

“So, like, we can go home? … Now?”

“Yes, David. Unless you haven’t had breakfast. There’s money in the till.” Karen laughed. “Ten years with Bookies, I get to be a manager for six bloody months and boom, back to square one. No seniority, no pension plan, no benefits.”

“Rainbow Books is looking for staff.” Monica was, as ever, hopeful.

“There’s a spot for you David,” Amhad joked. “And you’ll have Pride Day off, after all.”

David was stunned. He’d been at Bookies for over two years. He enjoyed the business and his co-workers. He had never expected to leave.

“Or do what you’ve been avoiding.”

“Which is what, pray tell, Karen?” 

“Finally become the black queen of fashion.”

They all laughed.

“I’ll eat to that,” Monica added.

“Lubba’s has a great brunch.”

“Lubba’s it is.”

Each grabbed their personal items and waited at the exit for Karen.

Black queen of fashion. Why not? 


As Yves approached the hospice he saw Jake on Trigger, his motorized wheel-chair. Jake spun in circles and joked with some patients out for a cigarette on the side terrace.

“What kept you?” Jake teased. “Admit it. Beauty sleep isn’t going to help at your age.”

“Considering what it’s done for you, you’re right.”


“Please Jake, bitch is so demeaning to women. Call me a prick, if you have to call me anything.”

“I’ll call you King Cock, if we can get the stuff on my list. I want Trigger to be the best float ever in a Pride Day Parade.”

“Yes, Master.” Yves put the list into his fanny pack. He wore baggy knee length shorts and a grey tank-top to keep cool while he got Jake around town. Jake was overdressed in thick green sweat pants and a rainbow striped sweater. His body temperature was unstable, and hot days were cool for him. The heavy clothes also afforded coverage for what he called his flesh-colored skeleton. 

“Where to first, Master.”

“Coffee. Coffee.” Jake’s cartoon voice made the others laugh. “Must have coffee. Must be fresh coffee.”

“You don’t mean …”

“Don’t tell me what I fucking mean,” Jake snarled. “I mean I want coffee.”

Jake’s medications caused unpredictable mood swings. For the past week, Yves was the one person Jake spoke to. The staff was accustomed to manic episodes and they could sedate patients into a chemical calm. They had wanted to do that with Jake, but Yves stopped them. It was hard for the grace of God to slip into that chemical calm.

The one thing that Jake had focused on the past week was a plan to transform Trigger into a float. Design ideas had ranged far and wide till he had settled a couple of papier maché palm trees with rainbow coconuts, a grass skirt for the motor, and himself as King Snake of Fantasy Island. 

The less Jake had to control in his life, the more he tried to control what he could. Jake had phoned Yves twice that morning to make sure he was on his way. 

They travelled side by side to Church Street. First stop was Tencity, where the coffee was guaranteed to make you tense. 

“Jake! Jake!” a voice called from the patio. A small, excited hand flapped a glossy red fan. The fan shut, and up stood Robert Ing.

“Ah, Miss Ing. I never expected to see you so early in the day.” Jake maneuvered Trigger onto the patio.

“Honey, I was up at the crack of dawn.”

“Don who?” Yves didn’t want this to be a long chat as he was not comfortable around effeminate men.

“Oh, you!” Ing flicked his fan open to cover the lower half of his face. “So good to see you out and about Jake. I hope you’ll be at the parade tomorrow. I have the most faboolous outfit. Three outfits to be honest. The first one ….” 

Yves went to get coffee. One of the things in gay life he never understood was this female thing. He was a man who liked other men as men, and not as some sort of in-between. He didn’t get excited about leather either. Men who looked hot in leather looked hot in anything, and men who didn’t look good in anything counted on the leather to do what their looks couldn’t do.

He got two coffees and a blueberry muffin for himself. He wasn’t sure what Jake could or would eat. One of the drugs Jake took affected his taste, food he liked one day nauseated him the next. As he got back to the patio, Robert kissed Jake on the forehead. 

“Toodles doll. Gotta run.” Robert stood on tiptoe to peck Yves on the cheek and was gone.

“Did you know Miss Ing was half-owner of Lubba’s? He and Luke Kwan bought out the Debarrets?” 

“I wonder how much that cost in press-on nails.”

“I wonder who the real bitch is? Him or you.”


Steven put the last of the fresh daisies in the vases on the tables. These were the “day” flowers that would be replaced by roses for evening.

Robert Ing burst in. “Where is that husband of yours? Why aren’t we ready to open? Why are you doing his job?” He folded his fan and rapped Steven’s hand.

“We are open. Luke is in the kitchen. Seems your latest acolyte has never opened as much as a can of soup.”

“I should hope not. This is a restaurant, not a place where we serve canned soup.” Robert pushed Steven aside.

Steven took the Specials board and hung it outside. Under it he had taped a poster for “Three-Quarter Time.” Though the show didn’t open till September, he wanted to get the word out as soon, and as much, as possible.

Inside, Luke and Robert were pushed out of the kitchen by Curtis, the house chef.

“Out, both of you. If I need help I’ll ask. You too.” Curtis reached in and dragged out Paul. 

“Keep him out of my kitchen. If he’s that talented, let him cook for you at home, Bobby.”

“Robert, how many times have I told you you cannot hire new people.”

“Luke … I … I …” Robert stood his full height, which left him at chin level to Luke. “I was trying to help. This is your busiest week-end. I figured …”

“Robert, let me figure.” Luke motioned to Brad to bring a drink for Robert. “Paul, what skills do you bring us?”

Paul, like most of Robert’s past conquests, was in his mid-20’s and sported several tattoos. Unlike his predecessors, he was in university. He’d completed his second year in premed and as Robert’s latest had lasted since Christmas; as long a relationship as any knew Robert to have had.

“What do you think, Steven?”

“You mind bussing?”

“Sure. That’s all I expected to do.”

“Okay, doll. Okay.” Robert emptied his wine. “You can begin by getting rid of this dirty, dirty glass.” 

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Z is for Zeus

haunted by its glamorous past
right on the line
clown face?
dry y
is this really z end?
Zeus fading
Final message from Hermes ‘goodbye’

The last two are some of the fading Greek gods on the Danforth sides a couple of years ago. For more of them check out my post from last year The Old Gods Are Fading – 

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sweet, eh?

Buffy Saint-Marie

I can’t say I’m a Buffy Saint-Marie fan but I do respect her as an artist & a revolutionary. I recently watched ‘Carry It On’ a PBS American Masters documentary about her career & was amazed by the ups & downs that she survived. I didn’t know that the US Government deliberately sabotaged her career – they weren’t pleased with both her antiwar & her Indian rights activities. To shut her up they ordered radio stations not play her recordings or songs she had written. Land of the free – yeah, sure.   

I have an mp3 cd compilation that includes I’m Gonna Be a Country Girl Again (1968): country, Illuminations (1969) psychedelic with synthesizer to create electronically treated vocals & textures, & Soldier Blue – Best of the Vanguard Years (2003). As a stand alone I have ‘Running For The Drum’ (2008). Her ‘political’ songs are strong & fearless. Her romantic songs are tender. I loved Illuminations perhaps one of the most before it’s time recordings of the 60’s. Creatively daring, a total departure from her well-regarded folk & country roots it is still an amazing piece of work. 

Also in this mp3 collection is Mercedes Sosa out of Argentina, she sings in Spanish. I read about her somewhere as being one of the best selling singers in the world! Yet, at the time, I had never heard of her. A sign of the insular world of pop music. I have a couple of her cds & here is Gracias A La Vida. She has a warm alto voice. I love the tile song &  Maria Maria. 

Remember Sam The Record Man? On the second floor there was tiny world music section & in a reminder bin I picked up a cassette ‘Aster’ by Aster Aweke (Ethiopian) singing in Amharic. I love the African horn sound, similar to Osibisa’s. Another warm alto the songs were emotional even though I didn’t understand them. On this cd I have Sugar (2001). 

Also here is Astrud Gilberto the Brazilian bossanova singer who sang in both Portuguese & English. The Silver Collection (1991) is a nice selection of her hits. A lighter voice than the others here with a strong jazz leaning. Lots of classic Latino hits. A good introduction to her & the samba genre.

Finally Miriam Makeba out of South African. She was best known though the 60 thanks to her work with Harry Belafonte. Similar to Buffy her music was part of her social mission. Here I have Sangoma (1988) – sung in a variety African languages. Yes another warm alto voice & a great introduction to Afro-Jazz & folk music.

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my mother

cut my food

until she figured

I had the ability

to cut it myself

like learning to tie my shoes

I don’t remember 

when that transition

to independence



I do realize 

that somethings can’t

be cut down to size

they have to be taken 

in bites or licks

like ice cream

melt in the mouth goodness


but not all goodness melts

not everything needs to be bitten

to enjoy

though sometime

it enjoys being bitten

even if it is too big

to fit into the mouth

its worth trying

to get as much of it as one can



as a kid

I would stuff 

so many small pieces

in my mouth

I couldn’t chew them properly

I couldn’t swallow

at least now

I know much is manageable 

I have a big coffee mug. It holds 2 cups of fluid – 16 oz. – half-a-litre. I have a travel mug that holds a litre – usually coffee. The big mug is for my morning coffee, which I drink while reading in my study, which is upstairs. I would fill the mug nearly to the rim & carry it upstairs. The problem was that the motion would start a wave momentum in the mug so that no matter how carefully I carried it it would spill. I tried different ways of holding it, walking slowly one-step-at-a-time, pausing to calm the waves. 

I started pouring it into a travel mug so the lid would contain the spill. But I’d end up with two mugs to clean. One day the solution came to me: stop filling it to the max! Oh my, having less isn’t easy for someone who feels ‘enough’ is a good place to start. Why not settle for 15.5 oz? Less was worth it just to remove the stress (& stains) of carrying it upstairs without spilling it. The question of size was settled with a simple action.

This is another piece about the nature of more, of the size of things. When I cut my food I still cut it the sizes my mother would cut it, though there are some foods that really don’t need to be cut much – a pizza into slices, maybe, but I’m not one of those who then cuts those slices into small pieces to eat dainty with a fork – a hand-to-mouth experience.

In some cases even if the food can’t be eaten in one piece, it doesn’t have to be cut by hand but by biting – apples, bananas, a box of chocolates (lol). 

It’s also a bit about memory – those things we do today that we learned as children some of which were practical – tying shoes, brushing teeth – some of which weren’t that practical: racism, sexism – which perhaps our parents weren’t aware of teaching us. Lessons that are now hard to un-digest.

City of Valleys 3 



“Play that one about, ‘Trudy’s glad you got your arms around her.’ That’s a great song.”

“Mitch, I’ve spent the last hour playing and need a break.” 

Once they got to the apartment, Mitch had headed to the fridge for a beer. The long drive made him thirsty. Kevin hadn’t expected his first night to be a command performance for Mitch. Therese had gone to bed hours ago.

When he took the guitar out, it was to play Mitch his new number. That new number stretched out to hours. Not that he minded, but he wanted more of Toronto than the view from Mitch’s twenty-third-floor balcony. 

“We gotta get a demo made of you, man. Reminds me of Jagger. A man’s voice. There’s this guy who comes to Ten Pennies. Says he’s some sort of agent or booker. We’ll make sure he hears you. ‘Cause that voice of yours is fan-fuckin’-tastic.”

“Yeah, well thanks, but it needs sleep.”

“Just one more. That one you wrote ‘bout Trudy. She’s Deb isn’t she? Come on fess up.”

Kevin blushed. “So what if she is …”

When he first wrote the song it went: “Trudy’s Dad, I got my arms around him, in a love to take us to tomorrow.” The girl in the song was Deb Trask and the Dad was her Dad, Shep, and Kevin’s crush on him was the reason he had left the east coast. ‘Dad’ became ‘glad,’ ‘him’ changed to ‘her,’ in the first rewrite.

He knew Deb from school and he didn’t pay attention to her till one day he ran into her with her Dad, Shep. Shep wasn’t the first man he’d been sexually attracted to, but was the first one he had opportunity pursue. If two years spent not getting caught staring can be called pursuit.

He took Deb on a snowmobile run the very next day. Deb had three sisters, two older, one younger. Kevin became the boy in their family. That he and Deb were meant for each other was obvious to everyone.

Shep had encouraged him to learn the guitar and to sing. He prodded Kevin into his first gig at a local variety show. To Kevin’s own dad music was a waste of time, when he ought to learn a trade or pay more attention to his chores around their house.

Yet, the fact that Kevin had a family and future suited everyone all the same. The Trasks owned the local service station, and Kevin began to work there after school to learn auto mechanics first-hand. It earned him a first class mechanic’s certificate. It was clear he’d marry into a great business. 

Kevin became more drawn to Shep. To the point where Deb once asked if he liked her father more than he liked his own. His Dad was a pretty decent guy, but Kevin didn’t know how to explain the truth.

When Kevin announced that he intended to go to Toronto, Shep was as surprised as Kevin’s own Dad. If he stayed on the east coast, he’d either kill himself or be killed when they found out his secret.

Cocksucker and faggot were words used to hurt anyone. No one believed the person they called fag was one, but it was the ideal insult. He made sure no one suspected it applied to him.

Deb was a simple way to avoid that with the bonus of Shep as a great arouser. When he made out with Deb, all he had to do was imagine her Dad in greasy coveralls and he was hard. 

He didn’t hide his arousal from Deb, but when she encouraged him to go further he didn’t. His explanation that he respected her and didn’t want to do anything foolish, was the right thing to say. Fooled her and kept her at the same time.

In the past year, physical closeness to Shep at the garage had become too painful. As they worked together under a car, his eyes went from the car chassis to Shep’s chest. Kevin’s fantasy was to reach out, pretend to wipe oil off Shep’s work clothes and rub down to his balls.

Deb knew he was unhappy, and when Kevin broke the news about his move she thought it was because he didn’t love her. How could he tell her that it was her Dad he wanted?

“What are you thinking about, sport?” Mitch broke Kevin’s reverie. “Reminded you about Deb, did I? Don’t worry. If she loves you she’ll wait, and if not she’ll be hopping the first hard cock that comes her way.”

“Yeah right.” And so will I. So will I. 


David had drifted inot a light sleep on the couch when someone sat next to him.

“Too bad you woke up. We were going to do your nails.” Mark laughed. “Been here long?”

David glanced at his watch. “About half an hour. Nice place to relax.”

He and Mark had lived in the same building till Mark moved last year to one of the easy-to-maintain bachelors in a complex of mostly HIV patients. Since his diagnosis four years ago, Mark had closed his law firm and removed all stress from his life. 

“Plants have positive energy. One of the day nurses has been bringing all the power plants in to this room.”

“Power plants?”

“Something to do with healing spirits. Please don’t tell anyone. We’d rather they thought medical science was working and not mystic powers.”

“Must have been a good meeting for you to be so full of it.”

“It was, but as they say, any meeting is a good meeting. Without those recovery guys,” Mark teared up, “I probably wouldn’t have lasted this long.”

David and Mark had been friends for about eleven years, but he didn’t known much how booze and pills were in charge till Mark got sober. Several years ago he had disappeared for a month, and then was back bright and shiny, clean and sober. The difference was remarkable.

So remarkable that many of Mark’s playmates didn’t recognize him, or as Mark put it, didn’t want to think themselves as damaged as he was. 

“The new drug cocktail is helping too,” Mark went on. “It’s been about a week and I can feel it working in me. Those little protease inhibitors swimming around in my blood. Strip-teasing the HIV into blowing its load before it can do any more damage.”

“Now that’s what I call a powerful visualization.”

“Yves helped me with it. He could help me with a lot more than that if I had my way. Mm mm mm.”

“Keep visualizing.”


Yves walked up the steps of his house. The lights were on in the other half of the duplex. Sometimes he dropped in on Luke and Steven, but tonight he’d attend to his own life.

From inside the front passage he saw his three Lucite and gold Leo’s as they gleamed in the street light that fell on the mantel piece. It was no accident that the first things anyone who came in his front door saw were these three “Writer of the Year” awards.

Over them was Station Five of the Stations of the Cross. Carved in walnut with inlays of light pine and reddish rosewood, it depicted Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus bear the cross. It was a reminder to Yves that help is always present, that without divine help he never would have won his awards, and that to help others was to experience his own divinity.

A big plus was the detail the carver had given the near nude torsos of Christ and Simon. Rugged, bearded men, who used all their physical strength to survive for the power of God. A synthesis of sex and spirit, carved by someone whose love of the male form matched Yves’. Perfect, except for the wisps of cloth carved to cover their privates.

The Leo’s were for his work as a news producer and writer at the CBC. But when heads rolled for budget cuts the awards didn’t help him hold on to his job. Not that he tried to hold on very tight, and his screaming match with the then Prime Minister over funds for HIV research didn’t show his impartiality in a favorable light. To call the Prime Minister a gutless, spineless asshole was its own reward and more than worth it.

Yves crossed himself and knelt before the mantel, grateful that the awards gave him a golden handshake to pay off the house and allowed him not to work until he chose. In the past three years, he hadn’t done much till he accepted an advance to write this book about cock. 

He grabbed a cola from the fridge and went to his study at the back of the second floor of the house. The desk with his computer overlooked a fitful wildflower garden. He turned the computer on and went to his bedroom to undress.

He rubbed the pop can’s cold perspiration on the small of his bare back and sat at the monitor. Rather than start in right away, he checked his phone messages:

“Hi Yves. It’s David Walters. We … uh … bumped into each other earlier tonight. I … uh … well … I’d love to talk to you about .. um … what you wanted to talk about. You can reach me at 387-5293 after, say, six tomorrow night. Bye.”

Yves played the message a couple of times to figure out what was the sound in the background.

He checked his e-mail and there was another response to his cock survey.

“Hello Yves:

Like the idea of  this. Here’s something off the top of my uh …. head ….

My mother taught me to call my cock a “goober”.  I HATED that name and was always mortified when my mother used it either privately or in public.  I thought it was the most stupid name because the television character on The Andy Griffith Show, played by Jim Nabors, was named Goober. I thought it was funny when I learned Jim Nabors was gay and my mother had always called cocks “Goobers.”

Good luck, DK Prino.”

Yves had posted the survey on various sites and often didn’t know where a response originated from. As he read this one, he looked for the perfect cock talk like he once used to look for the perfect cock. As if the man with the perfect thoughts about his dick would be the perfect man for him.

After two hundred plus, he hadn’t found the right way to start, but these near anonymous e-mail responses were the most productive. Less guarded and probably more honest. They might be the work of twelve-year-old girls and he’d never know. But that was part of the territory.

As he sometimes joked, “It puts the terror back into territory.” With his final draft due in a week, terror was in the way the cursor blink pulsed up and down his spine.


“Go on, call him.”

“Mark, I couldn’t.” David feigned fear. “He’ll think …”

“He’ll think you want to talk about cock.”


Mark punched in the numbers. “Why put it off?”

“Stop that right now.” David pictured Yves’ heavy-set body wrapped around his thin compliant flesh.

“It’s ringing.” Mark handed the phone to him.

“‘Ello you ‘ave reached Yves LaPointe. Please leave a message and I’ll get back directly. Thank you for calling.”

David hadn’t noticed the French accent earlier. “Hi Yves. It’s David Walters. We … uh … bumped into each other earlier tonight. I … uh … well … I’d love to talk to you about .. um … what you wanted to talk about. You can reach me at 387-5293 after, say, six tomorrow night. Bye.”

Throughout this Mark muffled his giggles with a pillow.

“Happy now Mark?”

“Not as happy you’ll be. That man has amazing hands.”

“And an accent. ‘Ello dis is Yves LaPointe.’” David exaggerated Yves message. “I do like a man with a thick accent.”


Kevin stepped out to the balcony. Mitch had a corner apartment with a view of Toronto, though it didn’t face the lake or take in the CN Tower. It was a two-bedroom apartment where Kevin would have his own room.

He had got Mitch to bed about ten minutes earlier, and finally had some silent solitude. A few scant hours ago he was an east coast kid and now he was big city boy.

He leaned over the rail to see more of the city. Almost cloudless, the lights of the skyline merged with the stars. 

Pressed against the cool of the balcony he stiffened in anticipation. He opened his fly. His hand moved along his dick and as his come formed and moved, he breathed deep to pull those lights into him, to pull himself through the air into the lights.

He strained on tip toes, his come shot out, cleared the balcony rail and flew into the night to join the stars.

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Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892-1988): As a composer, Sorabji was largely self-taught. On 2 cds I have Jonathan Powell’s recording of the 8 hour Sequential Cyclica for solo piano/ 8 hours! I hope the pianist gets a washroom break at some point. Of Parsi & English parentage & openly gay he had a lifelong tendency to seclusion. I came across a post on Tumblr about him & was intrigued, found the Cyclica on iTunes. Sonically dense, some sections are under five minutes at least one is nearly an hour. If you are fan of Keith Jarrett this is the man for you.

Rounding out the cds I have Johann Vexo: Organ of Notre Dame – I bought this because of the Notre Dame fire. Oddly none of the shows I’ve watched about the rebuilding of the cathedral have mentioned the organ or any damage that happened to it. Maybe it out for the day & was saved from burning? The sound is epic, the pieces are elegant & not overtly religious.

Reynaldo Hahn (1874 -1947) & Jules Massenet (1842 – 1912) Piano Concertos. Never heard of  Reynaldo Hahn? Neither had I until their was a post about him on Tumblr. Another obscure classical composer. He was Proust’s lover for many years. The concerto is romantic &, to my ears, unexceptional. The same holds for the Massenet concerto – pleasant & undemanding classical music. 

The same is true of  Frederick Delius’s (1862 – 1934) Sea Drift, Songs of Farewell. Though some do find semi-opera orchestra songs a bit challenging. I downloaded this after reading a biography of Bram Stoker. Sea Drift was a piece of music he listened to frequently for creative motivation & solace. As a result of the swelling strings I haven’t been inspired to write a new Dracula. 

Finally Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643: Magnificat & Missa. Beautiful coral work sections of which were used on the soundtrack for a Spanish film I watched. I can’t recall the film but I was happy when I tracked down the actual recording used in the film. Often when I do this sort of search I come up emptied handed (or is that empty eared?). A great introduction to the whole genre of religious choral music that isn’t too sonorous or melodramatic.

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Don’t Touch Me There

Don’t Touch Me There

I told him

coming wasn’t enough 

not that I wanted 

an emotional connection

but a physical connection

that lasted longer

than it took to come


some sense of enjoying

each others bodies

beyond sperm receptacles

did he enjoy the sex

or just the moment of orgasm 


did he want to come so fast

that he didn’t feel touched

was physical contact

so threatening

it had to be as brief as possible


was my dick so repulsive

he could only make contact

for the few moments

it took to ejaculate

I’ve known people who have worked in the sex industry. I’ve heard stories of clients who want an affectionate experience, who are too chatty or too emotionally needy – these they sometime feel sorry for but the clients they found the least satisfying were the opposite – ones who would demand the least physical contact – don’t touch anything except the sex organ – I’m trying not to be gender specific because they have experienced this sort of ‘distancing’ from all genders.

In my array of sexual experiences (all with men) I’ve dealt with many of these same … issues? I’m not sure what to call it. Limits? Like men who will do every except kiss – I guess kissing makes them real queers or they save that for their real love? Some who don’t want their face touched, their feet touched etc. 

Some will only talk about the traffic or the weather nothing personal – others are eager to talk about about their jobs, their children, theatre they’ve seen – I prefer the eager talkers. Thanks to chemistry some have developed into more than buddies to become parts of my daily life.

I’m sure there are psychological factors in people’s limits & I’m judging anyone based on those limits & if ‘no contact longer that necessary’ works that’s fine by me but it doesn’t work for me. Let’s face it very few of us, male or female, are flexible enough to do self-oral. I suspect one of the drawing powers of powers of porn & cam2cam encounters is removing the need for any contact beyond one’s own hand on one’s own body. 

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City of Valleys 2 



Steven sipped his second glass of red wine as he reflected on his audition. He heard Luke let himself into the house.

“Honey I’m a homo.” Luke called out.

“And I’m a-starrin’ in the next Thicket extravaganza.” Steven poured Luke a glass of wine.

“You got the part? You usually don’t put out till the second call-back.” Luke sounded tense.

“Brad didn’t show?”

Since he’d become part owner of Lubba’s, Luke was more concerned with the hum and flow of the place than he had been when he was merely a Maitre’D.

“He showed. Too stoned to do much more than bus tables. Don’t they do call-backs, more call-backs and then you never hear back?”

“Not Evan. When he likes what he sees he can’t be bothered looking for better.”

“What did he see?”

“He asked me read with all the other audtioners so he saw me at my best.”

“Standing? I know you hate to audition on your back.”

Steven sensed an argument. He tried to sidetrack it. “I’ll be paid for this one.”

“Cold hard cash?”

“Stipend and more, if profits.”

“Are you sure this is theatre? After all, if there’s money it can’t be art. How much cash?”

“Evan says enough to cover transportation to rehearsals.”

“Evan? Evan Daniels?”

“Right. We saw a piece of his last year. That odd take on John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger.”

“By odd you mean idiotic. Changing the gender of Helena to male, resulting in this stupid queer thing happening.”

“You said it was beautifully acted.”

“True.” Luke poured them both more wine. “What has he planned this time?”

“I have it here. An original piece called Three-Quarter Time.”

“And? … How is it?”

“I just got cast, so … First glance shows it starts in a morgue …”

“That’s what we need, a play set in a steam bath.”

Steven choked on his wine. “You prick.”

“Let me freshen that. Oh you’ve spilled some on your pant leg.”

“Freshen this for me first.” Steven laughed, unzipped his pants. “On second thought ‘tis fresh enough,” he announced in his ripest Shakespearean. “First this play’s the thing, and then that’s the play thing.” 


Yves shut Jake’s door. Jake was asleep after a bad day of chills and fevers in reaction to a change in his medications. 

“How is he?” Nancy Markas, the duty nurse, asked.


“I don’t know how you do it.”

“It’s my superpower of putting men to sleep with my very touch. Call me Sleepman.”

“Must be hard on the sex life.”

“If there was a hard-on there might be hope of a sex life.”

They shared a quiet laugh. Yves ducked in to the bathroom to wash his hands before the next of his rounds. The image of Jake so thin and fragile wrapped in his baby blue blanket stayed with him.

Jake was a man he had known before the HIV crisis. Jake’s pride, the snake tattoo around his right arm, now appeared to be all that held his skin together. Yves didn’t often have before-and-now images to make the devastation more palpable. 

Jake had been doorman and bouncer at several bars. A burly flirtatious guy, called Jake the Snake. He had won many “Bar Guy of the Year” awards but didn’t have any friends left. Many of his friends had preceded hime, on what he called, on the HIV express.

Yves understood how easy it was to be popular and yet not have time to build real friendships. It was a pattern in his life that he wasn’t sure how to break. Yves was a caretaker, self-evolved and emotionally detached from anything more than groups of people. The love of an audience he could handle, but anything closer eluded him.

He and Jake hung out together as people in a fluid group of bar boys. Though he had known Jake for almost fifteen years, had sex with him a couple of times, he didn’t remember a private conversation with him. That Jake’s last name was Rogers was news when he saw it on the charts. He felt that lack of knowledge was his fault.

The last two bars Jake had worked held regular fund-raisers to help him. Bar employment didn’t offer much in the way of employee benefits beyond tips. His only visits were when that money got dropped off for him.

Before his next appointment, Yves phoned to check if there had been responses on his answering machine to his flyer to share the house. The basement had been empty long enough for him to enjoy it empty and for him to miss the extra rental income.

He didn’t want any crank calls. The word gay on a public poster brought out the worst in people. 


The van rattled to a stop for a red light on a hill that overlooked the city. Kevin was entranced by the endless sprawl of lights. As each apartment block flashed by, his excitement increased. He longed to jump out and run to the heart of the city.

“See that high, high light way over to your left.” Therese pointed over his shoulder. “That’s the CN Tower.”

“Right!” He fidgeted in his seat to get a better view. Once again glass was between him and life.

“You buckled up there?” Mitch asked. “If you don’t keep still you’ll be road-kill in a second.”

“Remember Mitch, you were the same when we arrived. We dropped our stuff at Sue’s. You remember Sue from home? Well, maybe you don’t. She was a school friend of mine, but anyway we jumped out of the taxi, threw our bags in the bedroom and took off.”

“Yeah, who jumped us on to the wrong subway?”

“And who kept doing it for the first month? Good thing Sue followed or we’d’ve ended up back on the east coast thanks to you.” She nudged Mitch.

“Watch it! You want to run us off the road?”

“We get turned round the right way and we get off at Eaton’s. Your eyes were as big as I’ve ever seen’em. Pulling us all over the place.”

“I was looking for a beer.”

“So what else is new,” Kevin butted in.

“You two want to walk from here?” Mitch muttered.

“Beer! Ha! Mitch wanted a strip bar. It was most romantic. Our first night here and he can’t wait to find a strip bar.”

“To see something you don’t see down home.”

“Yeah, whatever. We certainly saw that and much more than you bargained for.”

“What? What did you see?” 

“Nothing.” Mitch’s curt reply was meant to end to this.

“Inches of nothing.” Therese pinched Mitch’s cheek.

“You wanna make me run off the fuckin’ road or what?” 

“What? What did you guys see?” Kevin had to have details.

“Let’s just say one of the strippers was not the she, she appeared to be, but a he. Nice set of  … breasts. Your fiver, and I mean dollars, certainly fit nicely between them.”

“Let’s just say these five,” Mitch made a fist, “will fit your face nice if you don’t shut that trap of yours and I don’t mean the stink hole between your legs.”

A sullen silence descended that let Kevin revel in the city and its promise. 


David dashed up the stairs to Mark’s hospice  room and ran in to Yves LaPointe, a massage therapist at the hospice. He bounced off Yves and almost back down the stairs. He grabbed the rail in time. 

“Fancy running into you here,” Yves groaned.

Yves offered a hand but David used the bannister steady himself.

“Anything broken?” How David might dent this power-lifter body in front of him was beyond him.

“Nothing feels broke. You’d like to check for yourself?”

David was breathless from the unexpected bump. Dizzy, he held himself closer to the rail.

“Come on.” Yves took David by the arm. “We can go upstairs.”

“Thanks. Knocked the wind out of me.”

“You’re Mark Winslow’s friend?” Yves asked as they entered the lounge.

“Right,” David sat on a small over-stuffed couch.

The lounge, known as Jungle Land, overflowed with plants given to patients who had since left or passed away. An annual plant sale didn’t dent the undergrowth in the room.

“He went down to the A.A. meeting.”

“A.A. meeting here?”

“Yeah some of the guys from his regular group put it together. They were here last week too.”

“Good stuff. I skipped supper for nothing.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Yves scratched his head. “I wonder …”


“We have time b’fore the meeting is over? I wonder if …”

“If … what?”

“To interview you for a book I’m working on.”

“A book? I haven’t had that line used on me for some time.”

“When I tell you what the book is about it’ll sound like more of a line.”

“What is it about?”


“You’re right, it does sound like a line.”

“There’s those books by women about how they feel about their breasts, their scars, their wombs. All that gyno stuff, but I’ve never seen anything where guys just talk about their dicks.”

David stared at Yves to see if this was a joke, but his expression was quite serious.

“You want to talk to me about cock? My cock?”

“If you don’t mind.” Yves took a questionnaire out of his brief case. “I’ve worked out a set of questions to get at the information without it being too …”



“I don’t think I can talk about that sort of thing here. You know, in the AIDS hospice and all. It might prejudice my answers.”

“Here’s my card. Call me when you want to set up an appointment.” He patted David on the hand.

“I will.” David was taken by the sight of Yves’ thick fingers on his thin tapering ones.

Yves stood. “Don’t wait too long or you’ll get too shy.”

“Me! Too shy? You have been speaking to the right people.”

Yves left David alone in Jungle Land. 


Steven yawned and dropped the last page of the script.

“That bad, eh?”

“I couldn’t tell you. I can tell you what happens, but I’m not sure I could tell you what it’s about.”

“Is that good or bad?” Luke looked away from the television.

“Good. It’s that … there are no monologues. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a script that was all conversation with no one saying more than two lines in a row.”

“Sounds realistic, Steve. Most of us don’t talk in paragraphs.”

“Except in books.”

“Except in books.” Luke muted the television. “So …”

“I’ll do it. Just to to work with Evan Daniels.”

“Unless he asked you to play Ophelia.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

“If you can’t tell me what it’s about, at least tell me what happens.”

“The events aren’t going to tell you a thing. People dance around gurneys and fight over bodies. Absurd but powerful. I can’t wait to see what it will be like.”

“It must be good if you’ll take a role without a monologue.”

“Ha ha. Maybe you’d like to mano log this?” Steven cupped his crotch.

“After the news, Master.”

Steven stood and let Luke slide down his boxers. His cock brushed against Luke’s ear.

“Careful honey, you’re causing cable interference.” Luke held the cock in his palm. His two hands didn’t cover it’s length. “I know what this is about though.”

“Oh yeah.”

“Yeah. It’s about eleven inches.” He put his hands on Steven’s butt and pushed the cock to him.

Steven held Luke’s head to rock his cock in and out of his mouth. “I feel ya Ophelia, I feel ya.” 

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