City Of Valleys – 9 



“True. Besides I must get into this. It is so nice to have one outfit I don’t have to crawl under or climb a chair to jump into.” Robert gave a visible shiver of pleasure as he put the dress on. 

“The collar may take some getting used to.” David zipped the dress. “It is …” 

“Oh, honey child. It is perfection. To have a gown that doesn’t need heels is a treat. Though I will be wearing roller blades. I did tell you that, didn’t I? I’ll have a couple of gallant studs guide me like a real float.” Robert did a little twirl. The tips of the collar brushed the ceiling.

“There is at least another foot in the collar curls.”

“If it isn’t too windy. I don’t want to be the Flying Nun.”

“Don’t lie, Miss Thing, if you could fly, you would.”

“I’m having people over around six for a first peek at my Pride Day regalia. Do join us.” He took off the dress and put it into a garment bag. “Important people are going to be there.”

“Not all your old tricks again.”

“That was last night. I gotta run. Baby needs pantyhose.”

Once Robert was gone, the apartment was empty with no propeller dress to fill half the place. Despite his smallness Robert took up most of the room. 

David took a breath. He had been on the run since the news of Bookies closure. As he sat, his butt reminded him of Yves. He reached for the phone to call Mark when the door buzzer sounded again.

It was Tisu Trauma, aka Greg Lange. Unlike Robert, Greg was large. David had never seen him in anything that wasn’t about to burst at the seams. To design for him without a mention of the blunt truth about his bigness was a challenge. Though size was a big part of his routine, he didn’t abide anyone but himself mentioning it.

“I saw Bitch Ing scamper up the street and figured you must be in. My special ready?”

“See for yourself,” David whisked off its crepe cover.

“Oh! David,” Greg teared up. “It is divine.” He kissed David’s finger tips. “These are a gift from Saint Velcro.”

For his stage work, Greg concentrated on frumpish, anti-glamour costumes whose non-fit was part of the look. David was sure he could combine that trash attitude with actual glamour. This jungle print, faux-fur ensemble had come to him in a dream. The sad truth was that no costume could make Greg as thin as he had been in the dream.

“Is the world ready for a new me?” He rubbed the leopard cuffs on his cheek. “It isn’t too Cats?”

“Would I put you in tights? I’ll see you around noon tomorrow at Wiggie’s for any final work.”

“Thank you again David. Here’s the final payment.”

David accepted the money. “Thank you.”

“The best five hundred bucks I spent. Oooh I want to wear it home. But I can’t. Not without a wig.”

“Or heels. One thing I respect about drag is the hell of heels.”

“Sweetie, heels are my life.” Greg give a flourish as he flung the door open. “Toodles.” 

Peace and quiet at last. David slumped on the sofa. How did he find time for a real job? Perhaps the black queen of fashion isn’t a dream? 


Steven was numb and stunned by his encounter with Tim. Since he’d met Luke, he had been monogamous. Before that, he hadn’t played around much, as men reacted to the size of his penis rather than to anything else.

He had been caught in the paradox where he enjoyed the attention his size caused, but was disappointed that it was only size that interested many men. Luke was different. In fact, it was when Steven had brought it up that Luke had made any reference to size. His response was to challenge Steven to separate his Asian looks from who Luke was.

Steven made the shower hotter and hotter to burn off the memory of Tim’s mouth. The sight of Tim as he blew him brought back memories. 

Memories of Chuck Peters. It was one Saturday, a few weeks after Steven’s thirteenth birthday. Some of the guys at baseball that afternoon had joked about jacking off and explained what it was and what to expect. When he got home, he went to the bathroom to try it. 

His Dad had the same several guys over most Saturdays to booze it up, play cards, or watch whatever game there was on TV. Steve said Hi to them and raced up to the bathroom, but it was occupied. He couldn’t wait for his Dad’s pals to clear out but they often hung around till their wives phoned for them. His Mom called it the Thomas Family Adult Daycare. But she liked the jokes and flirtation that went on. 

He shut his bedroom door and sat on the edge of his bed. He got his jeans and undies down to his knees and did what the guys had described. Hold your pecker tight and push up and down till it was hard. He squeezed harder and moved his hand faster. A tingle built up in his nuts. 

“Oh yeah! Beat that fucker.” Chuck Peters, one of his Dad’s buds, stepped into the room. “That is sure a fine dick for a boy your age. Near big as mine even.” Chuck took out his own.

Steven stared at it.

“Don’t stop boy. Jerk that dick of yours.” 

Steven’s erection had disappeared.

“Did I scare away your woodie?” Chuck knelt. He smelled of cigarettes, beer and gum. “I’ll whistle it back.” He stuck his gum under the bed and took Steven’s dick in his mouth. While he sucked he jerk his own cock. Once he came, he gave Steven five bucks for his promise not to tell.

Over the next couple of years, Chuck made opportunities for Steven to hear his whistle. Steven enjoyed the sex, but he didn’t like the the fear and shame that Chuck brought. 

When his cock matured before the rest of him, Steven was sure it was because of the attention it got from Chuck. Chuck panicked the one time he had tried to reciprocate. He didn’t want to make Steven into what he was. By the time he was seventeen, Steven knew what he was. It was also the year that Chuck got arrested for sex with boys younger than Steven.

His Dad sat him in the living-room and asked if Chuck had ever touched him, because if he had it was okay, and there was a therapist who would help Steven, and on and on. The more concerned his father became, the more Steven denied anything had happened. Denied to himself that he was in any way like that dirty cocksucker his Dad raged on about.

He jumped on his bike to go downtown. How or what to tell Luke about Tim? When he’d met Luke, there was no other man for him. What told him that was something he couldn’t describe. For one, Luke had an open, honest, unapologetic love of sex itself. No secrets or unmentionableness about it.

He got to Lubba’s with ten minutes to spare. 

Luke followed him into the change room. “How was rehearsal?” 

“Good. If we keep getting this good the show will be a hit.” Steven got out of his street clothes. He drew Luke to kiss him.

“Luke, I love you so much.”

“Must be going real well. Now get dressed before we start cooking in here.” Luke left.

Steven sat to tie his shoes. Paul came in.

“How you doing?” Steven asked.

“If nothing else, this prepares me for emerg. I’ve been warned that’s the worst park of  become a doctor, and also the best part. Either way my calves are killing me.” 

“You get used to it.”

“That your show we’re promoting all over the place?” Paul sat and massaged his calves.

“Yep. Had to fight with Miss Ing to get wall space.”

“Must be wild having two divas under one roof.”

“Luckily we are queens on two different stages.” 

Paul peeled off his clothes. The knot tattoo flowed beneath his underwear and down his calves in an entwined leaf, branch and roses design. Paul stood to shake baby powder into his underwear as he rubbed his balls.

“Like what you see?” He displayed his tattoos.

“Is there an answer to that that doesn’t get me in trouble?” Steven ducked out the door. 

“Table three, Steven.” Luke called.

“Thanks.” He breathed a sigh of relief. For the rest of the night he didn’t have to worry about more than what wine goes best with the catch of the day.


Kevin walked up the stairs at the Inn Ing. What had he done that Mark was so eager to get rid of him? To be a clumsy oaf and kick the coffee table over was probably not on any list of “How To Land A Man.” In his room, he lay on the bed. 

The ceiling was pale blue. Gold and silver swirls of stars darted to the corners. The recollection of Mark got him hard. He pushed off his runners and caught a whiff of his socks.

“Damn!” He put the pieces together. Clumsy and with feet that stunk out loud. No wonder he couldn’t wait to get rid of me.

He hadn’t showered before he snuck out of Mitch’s, and he smelled how sweaty he was. Worse, he had only his spare Leafs t-shirt as he hadn’t planned to be out overnight. If he rinsed his undies and socks they wouldn’t be dry enough to wear till morning. That meant one thing: he’d have to shop.

He put his runners back on, checked that he had some cash, and left his room. He went to Yonge Street and into the first clothing store he passed. Socks and underwear came only in three packs. In a rack of t-shirts he found a black one that said, in white print, “Real men eat men.” He had to have it, but could he face the clerk with something queer? He folded it to let just the price tag show. The clerk rang his things in without a second glance.

There was soap and shampoo in his bathroom along with tiny glass vials of cologne. He dripped a few drops from one into each of his sneakers. In the shower he rinsed out his worn t-shirt while he squished his socks and underwear underfoot.

He stood naked in front of the window to enjoy the breeze. Along with laughter and chatter came the smell of the barbecue. Several people were in the backyard. 

Philip flipped burgers on a gas barbecue, while Robert Ing fanned himself and pointed to details on costumes that were suspended from the eaves of the back porch.

This was the garden party that Robert had mentioned. Did he want to be with more strangers? The smell of hamburgers melted his fears. He put on his spare t-shirt and cut-offs. He left the offensive sneakers in the open air by the window.

With some apprehension, he went down to the back of the house. The cool of the kitchen floor was welcome to his bare feet. He stood a moment at the back door. All these people knew each other so well, it made him want to retreat.

Hell, I’ve faced crowds of drunks at Ten Pennies who were more dangerous than these guys.

He pushed the door open and strode into the sun.

“Ah, 224, so glad you decided to join us,” Robert called. “Introduce yourself.”

His toes squirmed in the grass as the guests looked at him.

“Evan Daniels.” A bald man extended his hand. “I do hope 224 is your room number and not your number in Robert’s roster of conquests.”

“Room …”

“Ah good. I’ll discreetly spread the word so other’s won’t be afraid you are the latest boy.”

When Evan said boy, Kevin suppressed a small anger. Mark had called him a boy a few times and he was sick of it. He was as much a man as any of them.

“What do you do?”

“I … uh …” Kevin wasn’t sure what to reply. No one had asked him such a question.

“By ‘do’ I mean professionally,” Evan went on. “I, for example, am a director. Live theatre. Thicket Theatre? Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”

“Sorry. I …” Kevin blushed.

“How wonderful. Someone who doesn’t know me.”

“Evan, honey, you don’t know yourself.” Robert stepped between them. “Come with me Evan. I’d like you to meet David Walters. He designs all my gowns. He is pure genius, and I’m sure he’d be perfect for your new show. You do need a designer. Street clothes are so tired on stage.”

Kevin made his way over to a picnic table covered with salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit, with a punch bowl in the middle. He piled some potato salad on a plate and leaned against the porch rail to eat. How to answer the “What do you?” question because with a director there, there might even be an agent some sort. Construction or automotive engineer wouldn’t do. He was a performer, a singer. Not the whole truth but not a lie either.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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The snow storm here in Toronto, overnight on March 3, was an event mainly because there was thunder & lightening – both rare occurrences. High winds & weighty wet snow. In the morning I looked out my bedroom window to how much I’d have to shovel, not as bad as predicted. I turned around to put on my sweatpants & there was a loud woosh & crash. I thought snow was sliding off the roof of house. I went back to the window & saw that a major branch from the tree next door had collapsed – part caught on the porch roof & part tangled with the hydro cable.

view looking out from front porch
close call for the recycle bin
limited access to my front door – rear entry only
where the branch fell from
perched on porch – rain gutter dented
rotten to the core
one of the ‘twigs’ is actually our hydro cable holding up the branch
the long view – crushed a bush in my front garden
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February 2023 Recap

The WP map tells me my hits have come from over 20 countries around the world. The map shows the top 10 countries. I’m pleased to see Mauritius & Kenya still in the top 10.

Most popular posts were the photo essays. People clearly can’t enough of snow people. all are recent posts but there have been dips into the archives. One was a surprise. My post about Sengalese director Ousmane Sembène ( experience a a handful of looks. I guess someone is teaching a film course on obscure African film directors. Rereading the blog makes me want to see the movies again.

Pacific Mall Train ride

Really enjoyed CBC’s BollyWed & look forward to season 2. It is a fun, humorous look at life in Toronto’s Gerrard St E, Little India. I like the fact every line isn’t a punch line & the fact that characters aren’t bent on out-joking one another. Happy Best in Miniature has returned for another season of tiny jars of pickled plums. I find myself squinting by the end of each episode lol. 

Watched: The Ring (1952) a surprisingly direct film about anti-Mexican racism with hood performances, decent fight scenes & a sort of happy ending. Early Rita Moreno & Spanish dialogue without subtitles. Excellent.

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939) Intense Japanese b/w soap opera about Kabuki hierarchy & class. He falls for a servant girl but they can’t marry as it will bring shame to the family & in the end she sacrifices her own happiness so he doesn’t sully that family name. Fascinating with some wonderful real Kabuki scenes. 

Dulces horas (1982) Spanish – Malena 2000 (Italian) – two excellent films about childhood, memory & fantasy. In the first a playwright write a play about his childhood & casts a woman who looks exactly like his mother. It drifts from memory to the play to romance. In the second am adolescent boy had crush on stunning woman whose husband is at war. Tender, emotional & sad. the leads are so beautiful it almost doesn’t matter about the plot lol. Both owe a lot to Fellini in their observations of village life & sexual obsession. 

Kiss Me Kate (1953) was a joy to watch with its amazing colours, energetic dance & marvellous songs. The backstage plot was busy & the romantic subplot of ex’s was tedious. Performances were excellent. I loved ‘True To You’ as an ode to infidelity. Cole Porter at his finest. I couldn’t believe he got away with the the chorus of Dick Dick Dick searching for Dick. Ann Miller at her best, plus Bob Fosse in tights.

Finished Whistle, the final book  in James Jones WWII trilogy. (From Here To Eternity; The Thin Red Line) The injured soldiers back in the USA, recovering in a military hospital & returning to a ‘normal’ life. I love his soapy style, varying points of view & the immersion into masculinity & the inner psychology of soldiering. 

Dove Season by Robin Brande Books 1-4 – this is a fun, elaborate sci-fi series about the secret alien occupation of Earth. The initial character is a woman who can fly – she’s flies as I often do in dreams by taking a few running steps, flapping arms & lifting off. Her ability to fly is the result of an ancient ceremony (or is it?) The series take off from there with an endless array of characters, aliens, alien technology & conspiracies. Book 5 has yet to be released. 

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mingus Monk

Jazz runs the gamut from easy listening to complex challenging. There is the from the gut playing of John Coltrane to the intellectual work of Anthony Braxton. There are those who argue that ‘instrumental’ is pap – is Lawrence Welk big band or ‘instrumental’ pap? If it’s too popular does it lose creative credibility? 

Mingus and Monk are two jazz masters who have never attempted to be popular & no one questions their credibility. Both can be ‘difficult’ because they both challenge conventional jazz structures & tonalities. First is  Charlies Mingus (1922-1989) – I have Mingus Dynasty 1960, Me Myself and Eye 1970, Mingus: a two lp compilation 1972. My first exposure to Mingus was either Haitian Flight Song as performed by The Pentangle, or Good Bye Pork Pie Hat. Both are his most frequently covered compositions. I remember buying the double-lp on one of my record buying visits to Halifax (from Sydney, where there was no real jazz selection). Dynasty is a dense, big band workout – dissonant at points with fun, if disjointed, rhythms. Me Myself is similar – Larry Cornell shows up with a great, but out-of-place guitar solo. An excellent introduction to Mingus would be Money Jungle – the great set he did with Duke Ellington as a trio with Max Roach on drums.

Thelonious Monk (1917-1982) Thelonious Himself (1957), Gerry Mulligan Meets Monk (1957) Monk’s Dream (1963), Big Band & Quartet in Concert (1963), Solo Monk (64-65). A good introduction would be the live sets from 1957 that he did with John Coltrane. I’d also recommend the Winston Marsalis album ‘Monk’ for a solid representation of his work.

Monk is a wild piano player – his style is often blocky as opposed to smooth – minor keys, seemingly erratic rhythms & an ability to dissemble a melody & put it back together again – altered yet recognizable. Like Mingus this music is more intellectual than gut level – not that they lack sensuality but not simply background music either.

Rounding out the Monk mp3 cd is Stanley Turrentine with Shirley Scott: Blue Flames (1964) – this is fine, sexy sax playing cushioned perfectly by Scott’s jazz organ. Oh yes, there are lots of women jazz musicians 🙂 Finally saxophonist Courtney Pine: The Vision’s Tale (1989) – a nice set of originals & unexpected covers – from I’m An Old Cowhand to a great take on Coltrane’s Giant Steps.

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Hard To Swallow

Hard To Swallow

it was hard to swallow

each fact


was indigestible untruth

at least

that’s what we were told


the facts remained unchanged

but everyone

put them into a different context

to make them believable



the whole picture

remained hidden


by the noise

the flurry

of information 

that didn’t add to knowledge


facts deemed

to be more important

than seeing the whole picture

the jigsaw of numbers



negotiating good for humans

with good for profits

people being

more disposable than dollars

there is more gain

in forcing the undigestible

on the unsuspecting

than providing

them any alternative 

This was written during the first covid19 lockdown amidst the constant conflict between which set of facts was most ethically important – keeping the economy growing, our personal freedoms: no one is going to make me wear a bloody mask, understandable statistics, differing medical opinions. Now, years later, these issues are still in the air but with the need to keep the economy moving being the winner. We still have ‘sides’ calling each other deniers. 

The numbers have been skewed by renaming – much the same way that the civilians killed in war become ‘collateral damage’ – covid deaths became ‘respiratory failure.’ ‘Vulnerable’ apparently means those already having underlying health issues will catch whatever is going around. The vulnerable become responsible for protecting themselves from those who are invulnerable enough not to wear a bloody mask.

To minimize the discomfort that the statics were causing it was decided not to report them – it created a paranoia that wasn’t good for business. Except of course for the pharmaceutical industry – who, according to one conspiracy, were behind the outbreak. How many drugstores were saved by booster shots? 

Add to which we gravitate research that supports our personal biases. Masks are most effective if they are worn properly is evidence enough for some to say ‘masks don’t work’ rather than watch a YouTube video on how wear them. That video is ‘fake news’ while the one supporting their contentions is accurate. 

Statistics don’t lie. But like history itself, truth is in the mind of the teller, not in the facts. I’ve read that statically 80% of statistics are made up on the spot.

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City of Valleys – 8 



As they walked along, Kevin told Mark things that he had never told anyone. To have a gay man to listen to him gave Kevin his first real chance to release stuff he had bottled up.

“I’m not boring you with all this?” Kevin asked.

“Not at all. Shep never suspected you had the hots for him?”

“I sure as hell hope not. If I thought he knew, I don’t know if I could face him. I was the son he never had and …”

“You think it would disappoint him? If he cares for you it might not matter at all.”

“Not on the East Coast.” Kevin didn’t have the words to explain his fear.  

“You have a big little world in front of you.”

They stopped at street lights and Mark waved to a couple of guys on the opposite corner. 

“This bed and breakfast is pretty decent.” Mark stopped at a large, three-story, red-brick house with an extensive front garden. “The Inn Ing is owned by Miss Ing Thing. You might have missed the dozens of posters we passed for her big show tonight.”

“Missing thing?”

“Robert Ing. Miss – Ing – Thing. A stage name. Big money from the Pacific Rim or some such. She’s not a bad sort. I’ll wait here.” Mark sat on a bench under a tree in the garden.

The steps were a little tacky from a recent coat of deep green paint. He rang the bell. The door wasn’t locked. He pushed it open.

“Hello?” He called out to be heard over the clamour of dance music and television chatter.

“In here.” A voice came from a side room. “I hope you’ve brought the …” An Asian man on a chair caught sight of him. “Well, sweetness, what can I do for you?”

The man wore a ballooning blue satin dress that reminded Kevin of Gone With the Wind. Another man knelt with a glue gun to fasten fabric roses to the hem.

“I was … uh … looking for a room.”

“Honey, you are in luck.” The man in the dress hopped down with a firm grip on the hoop hem to keep it off the ground. “I ordinarily wear a pair of eighty-three inch platforms to keep this from trailing. We kicked out an American couple this morning. This place is strictly no smoking. They knew that when we booked them and they can complain to all the fucking embassies they want. I will not have smoking in my house. Even I have to go outside to smoke. You don’t smoke do you? One look at that skin of yours tells me you don’t. You don’t shave yet either do you. Ha ha. A little joke. My, but you are young. Do your parents know you’re here? Do you have a note from Gramma? Will that be cash? I’m a little bit wired, as they say, for more than sound. Clark!” He took a breath. “I’m Robert Ing, your host and hostess. Clark! Where is he? Bad help is hard to find. Oh right, he’s clearing out after those ugly Americans. Philip, be a dear. Put that gun down and register this young man. You are in luck, as we were totally booked till I had to single-handedly toss those Yanks out.”

“Uh … thank you …” Kevin slipped off his runner and took out his credit card.

“Dad know you have this?” Robert passed the card through the scanner. “Just for tonight?”

“It’s mine! And yes, just for tonight.”

“A young man of means. You’ll go far. Philip, see if 224 is ready. It has a darling view of the back yard. We’ll be having drinks out there around six tonight, if you’d care to join us. Please do. There’s nothing like a fresh face to set off a garden party. You’ll get an exclusive sneak peek at my costumes for the parade tomorrow.”

Philip took Kevin up to the room. It was simple, spare and crisp. Shades of blue. A big bed, a tiny dresser and washroom. Kevin dropped his backpack on the bed, splashed water on his face, locked the door and went downstairs. To his relief, Mark was still outside.

“Must be a mad house in there. Robert sees herself as the unofficial Queen of Toronto. Ignoring the fact that there are several other pretenders to that throne.”

“Yes he .. I mean she … did seem … wired for more than sound.” 

Mark’s apartment was compact. It had little mottoes over the light switches. On the fridge one read “HALT: Are You Too Horny Angry Lonely or Tired?” 

Mark handed him a beer and had a can of pop can for himself.

“I’m merely horny.” Mark laughed.

“I’m not taking your last one?”

“I … uh … don’t drink. No booze, no drugs. You don’t mind.”

“Why would I mind?”

“Many guys are more interested in drugs.”

Kevin sat on the sofa. “Not this guy.”

“I keep beer in the fridge just to offer … like … asking someone up for a beer makes more sense than, say, asking them up for a diet coke.” Mark sat beside him and put his pop on the coffee table.

Kevin put his beer next to it and draped his arms across the back of the couch and let his knees fall apart. Mark ran his hand along Kevin’s thigh. Kevin put his hand on Mark’s head and brought their mouths together. 

He kissed a man for the first time. A man who kissed him back, wanted him. One of Kevin’s fears was that men would have no interest in his body and would use him to get themselves off. Men who did that weren’t really queers.

His tongue darted in Mark’s mouth as Mark’s tongue did the same in his. He liked the way Mark’s hands moved over his body, rolled his t-shirt up, opened his belt buckle, unzipped his fly and touched his pubic hair then cock.

He tried to mirror what Mark did. Their quick frantic movements came to a stop once Mark’s mouth found his cock. Kevin slumped to allow more of his cock to fill Mark’s mouth. His leg jerked and kicked the coffee table. Drinks spilt to the floor.

“Shit!” He tried to get up.

“Don’t worry I’ve cleaned up worse spills, and if this is really your first blow job, I want to enjoy every drop.” 

Mark pushed him back and worked Kevin’s shorts and underwear down. Kevin pushed his runners off and got out of his shorts.

Mark slid to the floor and made Kevin lie on the couch. He parted Kevin’s legs and licked his balls before he returned to suck. With one hand Mark played with himself. The other he slipped under to tease Kevin’s butt.

Kevin breathed in gulps, rubbed Mark’s shoulders as he rocked into his mouth. As Mark’s thumb twitched his butt, he tried to drive it in while he drove his cock deeper into Mark’s throat.

Kevin was lifted out of himself, of his sense of who he was. His come rocketed into Mark’s mouth.

Mark didn’t move away as he tried to swallow it. He took his mouth away and spat some of the come into his hand, smeared it on to his own cock. He leaned back to jerk till small beads of sperm appeared on the head.

“Whew!” Mark slumped. “That’s what I call taking a load off.”

Kevin merged with the sofa, heavy and light at the same time. He dropped one hand down to cup the Mark’s calf. “Wow! That was …”

Mark stood, kissed Kevin. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

A man, this man, had touched him, had wanted him sexually, had accepted him sexually, and he wanted to thank him, to love him.

“I better get this cleaned up.”

“Don’t bother. You run along. Maybe we’ll run into each other over the weekend.”

Kevin put his clothes on. Had he done something wrong?

Mark went to door. “That was great. You got a nice cock. We’ll have to do this again sometime. Don’t forget I know where you’re staying.” He opened the door. “The elevator is around that corner.” He kissed Kevin on the mouth. Kevin held him. Mark pushed away. “Now scoot and have a great weekend.”

Kevin didn’t remember what Mark’s cock looked like, what it felt like. His own was sticky in his underwear. On the way down he hoped the sinking sensation was the elevator.


David had to flush twice to get the condom to disappear. When he had followed his impulse to invite Yves up for sex, he didn’t intend it go so far. When he saw Mark with the young man who had stopped his heart at Rainbow Books, it caught him off guard. He was familiar enough with Mark’s sexual habits to be certain they weren’t together to take the air. 

Aware of Mark’s yen for Yves, David jumped at the chance to bed him. Now he had to let Mark know. What was the point if the person one wanted to suffer didn’t know?

Once the condom was gone, David stepped into the shower. He was grateful that Yves had his own life to attend to. Once they had finished there was no awkward ruse to get him out of the apartment. 

The touch of Yves’ hands on his flesh was something he had never experienced before. Warm and cool at the same time, with an energy that penetrated him right to the bone. He wanted to rest wrapped in Yves arms for hours.

As he rubbed the soap over his body, he tingled where Yves’ hands had been. If it weren’t for those hands, he wouldn’t have let Yves fuck him. Yves had the perfect cock for that though. Smallish head wrapped tight in foreskin atop a thick solid shaft. That smallness made the initial entry easier.

He soaped his butt and relished the memory, and anticipated when he could recount it to Mark. They’d have to have coffee soon.

Out of the shower, he walked to the living room as he dried, his naked body in full view of anyone in the opposite apartment complex who happened to look. The buzzer rang. 

“Who is it?”

“Who do you think, darling, Pizza Palace?”


“Right first try. I’m here for my final fitting.”

“You are early.”

“I know. I know. I can’t wait.”

David buzzed him in. He put on loose linen pants and a clean t-shirt. The dress was done enough for Robert. There was no such thing as finished, but it was ready to wear.

A quick rap and he opened the door. Robert flew in.

“I couldn’t wait. The big blue-balls gown is wonderful. I should have used steel for the hoops. The rosettes make it hard to take your eyes off it. David, they were a stroke of genius.”

“Who sewed them on for you?”

“Honey, no one but you can stitch my garments. I had Philip glue them on. Hot glue gun for the last three hours. His poor little fingers have no prints left.”

David grimaced at the vision of glue on his gown. That wouldn’t happen with this one. He lifted off the black crepe draped over it.

“Ta da.”

“Oh David!” Robert sat stunned on the arm of the couch. “It is really too too much. The collar, those fucking beads.”

“Whiskers on kittens?”

“Doll, you have outdone yourself this time. I was afraid all your wonderful energy was going to Miss Seizure.” Miss Seizure was Robert’s affectionate name for his favourite rival, Tisu Trauma. He said it with the remorseless hiss of a cat about to bite.

“How did …” David was ashamed that Robert knew he had worked for the enemy.

“She couldn’t wait to tell me. Don’t worry babe, as long as you whip up your most scrumptious creations for me, I don’t give a flying fuck what Seizure wears.” As he undressed, Robert inched toward the corner that held Tisu’s shrouded gown.

“Careful.” David steered him away. “You don’t want to get claw marks on that without an audience, do you?”

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Santana Latino Festival

I love Santana, both group & Carlos’ solo work. On the shelf I have as stand-alone or as part of mp3 collections.: 1st (1969), Abraxas (1970), III (1971)(35th Anniversary), Live ’71 in Los Angeles, Caravanserai (1972), Welcome (1973), Love Devotion Surrender (1973) with John McLaughlin, Borboletta (1974), Amigos (1976),  Festival (1977) (2006 remaster), Swing Of Delight (1980), Supernatural (1999), Divine Light (2001), IV (2016) – reunion of original members.

The original band was dynamic, inventive & psychedelic. Just compare their Black Magic Woman with the Fleetwood Mac original. They helped spark the interest in Latino music as something more than polite sambas & slinky tangos. My favourite is Abraxas – with its amazing cover art & astonishing engineering, plus his amazing guitar work. I really loved the energy of the next two: III & Caravanserai.

The band changed personnel & shifted slightly in direction as well. The latin roots remained but moved into that m.o.r mystic sound – the sort of shift that happened with Chicago (which went from rocky jazz to syrupy romantic). I enjoyed some it but if I wanted Air Earth Wind & Fire I would have bought them. Carlos also did some fine solo work that was in that Mahavishnu fusion jazz, in fact recorded a Coltrane tribute ‘Love Devotion Surrender’ with John McLaughlin. His solo work is not as percussion driven.

His ‘return’ with Supernatural was thanks to smart pairings & great song writers. A bit too slickly c commercial but it did help boost that incredible back-catalogue. Many of those early lps have been released on cd with lots of bonus live tracks, including the group’s Woodstock set. 

On the mp3 cd I added some amazing Latino performers. Jose Feliciano – he paved the way for Santana with his sweet folksy style – Feliciano! (1968) remains a favourite of mine thanks to his covers of songs like Light My Fire, as well as traditional songs like Nena. The Best Of (1985) is a good introduction to him & if you want his Spanish work there is A Spanish Portrait (1976). Along with Jose Feliciano, Santana brought world music into the ‘mainstream,’ opening the doors for groups like Osibisa, Malo & Mandrill.

Keeping with Latino I added Swami Jr.: Outra Praia (2007) He is an amazing Brazil guitarist who walks the line between jazz & folk, but closer to that jazz side. I would recommend anything he’s playing on.

I discovered Brazilian Otto’s video for Bob on YouTube – the song is on Samba Pra Burro (1998) – the song is amazing. This is rock/pop music with some touches of rap. He is hot to watch & I have another couple of his lps on other mp3 collections – because sometimes one is not enough.

O Samba (1989) is a nice collection of various Latino artists that makes a good interaction to the sound & if you like an artist here you can track down their albums. The whole latin sound permeates jazz from sax plays to vocalists including Rosemary Clooney, so I added her lp Brazil (2000) to this cd & she does good work on classic songs out of Brazil. Nothing daring but all swings sweetly.

Finally something totally different is there soundtrack from Faster Pussy Cat! Kill Kill (1965) released in 1999. Rock-a-billy stripper music with great dialogue excerpts from the film. The cast & even the director were intimidated by Tura Satana & hearing the moment when she breaks some sap’s arms is precious. A must have for any fan of this movie. This full soundtrack eventually was released due to fan demand. 

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could catch food

tossed in the air

he’d tilt his head back

adjust a little to follow the arc

just like a seal


he did this party trick

so often

people called him

seal boy

even though he was in his 50s


I didn’t envy him

being called upon

to perform

at parties

at bars


he reluctantly tossed peanuts

they were so small

he was afraid of choking on them

he longed for something more challenging


he dreamed of being called

seal boy

the size queen

This piece is mostly fiction – a character study. Not that I didn’t know, at one time, guys who would do ‘party’ tricks. Nowadays they turn up on TV shows with their hidden talents – i.e. swallowing ping-pong balls & popping them back out of their mouths, one at a time – drinking a glass of water & spurting out their nose – oh what fun they would be a wedding burping the wedding march.

It’s also a sly comment on the willingness of people to do anything just get attention on TV, TikTok, YouTube. Some shows call for ‘real’ talent, others aim for special abilities (playing Chopin on the piano using your feet only) or on-line fame for being a clumsy idiot. We’re also a culture that is willing to celebrate lack of talent: i.e. Mrs. Miller – who couldn’t sing but, well, she landed a recording contract for her awful vocalizing. 

For some the type of attention is irrelevant as long as they get it, in fact notoriety is more important than critical respect. Consider American politics. Thanks to TV etc we now have a craving for attention – which explains the extremes some go to on the red carpet – style always loses to grotesque ‘what the f’ looks. In stead of slaves to fashion we now have a generation of clowns to fashion. 

Larry – not the person’s real name – had a fairly banal talent – to get attention on TikTok he’d have to be catching some more dramatic than peanuts. There’s also a sense of holding on to our youth. I feel that Larry became ‘seal boy’ in grade school – showing off at recess. As he got older it was easier to catch food for attention at parties than it was to play piano, right?  

This isn’t the only generation that prized unusual talents. Check outétomane – a man ahead of his time. Imagine him blowing away the judges on America’s Got Talent with his version of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (the Fifth is too easy) while catching peanuts.

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City of Valleys – 7 



“Home, James. I mean Yves.”

“Yes master.”

Jake’s mood improved after lunch. They had purchased all the stuff Jake needed to transform Trigger into a tropical island. At the hardware store, they bought a couple meters of astro turf to cut into fronds.

At the hospice, Jake was too tired to get out of his scooter. Yves lifted him and carried him to his room. He was dismayed at how light Jake was.

“Carried across the threshold.” Jake’s eyes closed as Yves put him on the bed. “Mother would be pleased. So pleased …”

Yves eased off Jake’s runners, draped a blanket over him and left the room. Downstairs the nurses had brought in Trigger. Nancy and some of the night shift nurses wanted to do the island make-over. Yves’ duties were finished.

Outside, he felt he had left something behind. He hadn’t planned his time after Jake.

A drink or a bath?

He saw David Walters on the opposite corner. They waved. His interview with David had gone well, and though there was a strong sexual energy, he hadn’t followed it up to keep his research professional.

He crossed over to David. “Can I interest you in a drink?”

“Before four p.m.?”

“That’s a yes?”

“Stop twisting my arm! I have some serious stitching to do later. But I do have more free time than I expected.”

“Big E’s okay.”

“As good as any other dark dank watering … uh … I don’t want to say hole. Too negative. How’s Cock Talk coming?” David asked as they walked along.

“It’s now in the hands of the publisher. If this one sells there could be a Cock-a-Two.” 

“Draw any conclusions?”

“Most men who are willing to talk about cock are happy with what God gave them.”

“That’s a shocker!” David laughed. “You find a taker for that basement apartment?”

“Not yet. The few guys I saw were such creeps I put it off till the fall.”

They stopped at the lights and kitty-corner from them Mark waved. They waved and the lights changed.

“Who is that boy with him?” Yves asked under his breath.

“Oh, I hadn’t noticed. Some kid working for rent.”

“Well …” Yves recognized anger in David’s tone.

“Well, what?”

“Sounds like you do need a drink.”

“It has been one of those days. Lost a job. Got a job. Got two impossible fabric constructions, for two impossible queens, to complete before midnight. One for Miss Ing Thing and one for Tisu Tramama. And my back is killing me.”

“A massage might do you more good than a drink.”

“Yves, you keep coming up with great lines! As a matter of fact, I do live around here. Right here.” They stopped in front of a high-rise. “It’s not as if we haven’t been introduced. Don’t run when you see the mess.” 

The living room was strewn with scraps of fabrics, thread, lace and wire.

“In this corner, in the killer collar, is the gown for Miss Ing Thing. In the other corner, in leopard and zebra, is the fur trap for Tisu Tramama. No real animals were harmed in making either of these costumes.” David ushered Yves through the apartment. “The bedroom is this way.”

Yves stood in the middle of the apartment as David stripped.

“You did say massage didn’t you? I understand that is easier with clothes off. And it is air conditioned.”

A rush of cool air greeted them as David opened the bedroom door.

Yves followed David. The blinds were drawn and the dark of the room was a relief from the bright hot they had left. He took off his fanny pack and rubbed his hands to build up energy as David settled himself face down on the bed.

He moved his hands a foot away from David’s body, where his palms sensed any emotional or physical energy blocks. Emotional blocks sent a prickly heat to him, while he picked up physical stress as a coolness. 

“Whoa! What are you doing?”

“Taking your emotional temperature.”

“Whatever, that feels great.”

“Wait until I actually touch you.” Yves knelt on the bed, lowered his hands, and stroked from David’s shoulders to the top of his buttocks. He pressed harder with each stroke. “Let me know if I press too hard.”

“That is  perfect.” David patted Yves on the inside thigh. “Why don’t you slip out of those itchy clothes?”

“Now whose using lines,” Yves laughed. As he kneaded David he became aroused. 

“Do I have to undress you myself or aren’t you …” David rolled over and saw Yves’ erection strain his shorts. “Pardon me, you are interested.” He deftly unbuttoned Yves’ fly. He leaned forward and took the cock in his mouth.

Yves took his t-shirt off, wriggled out of his shorts, and stepped off the bed to remove his socks and sneakers. As he undressed, he feasted on the sight of the man on the bed. A ribbon of sunlight streamed through a crack in the blinds and played across David’s black flesh.

He lay with David’s cock within mouth range and his cock once again in David’s mouth. David’s teeth gently and then less gently nibbled his foreskin.

They stopped at the same moment and sat up to embrace, to kiss, to hold. As they enfolded each other, Yves breathed a prayer of gratitude that once more God had let him into the mystery of touch. 


Once he had showered at home after rehearsal Steven sat on the deck in the shaded back of his house to sort out what had happened at the rehearsal. Sexual arousal while in character was new to him. None of his past roles had called on him to become this close to another male character. He done boy meets girl stuff and he had never been aroused any of them.

To be caught up this way was strange. As Steven he didn’t find Tim someone he would pursue or whose pursuit he would enjoy. But as John he found Gabe attractive. This was what the text called for and this was what, as an actor, he had allowed to happen. 

He had never slipped into a character that took over his body in this way. A limp, an accent or a wig were props but to have his sexual arousal become one of those props was unexpected. He wondered if Tim made a separation between Steven and John, Tim and Gabe. He was afraid that if he said something that the on stage chemistry between them would suffer.

He sank in the chaise to watch the leaves of the maple rustle in the breeze. He closed his eyes to enjoy the breeze on his bare chest.

The phone rang. He dashed into the house to answer it.


“Hi Steven? It’s Tim.”

“Hi, Tim.” Speak of the devil.

“Can I drop by? I’d like to talk without Evan present.”

“Sure. You know where I live?”


“See you in five minutes?”

“More like five seconds? I’m calling from my car. I am getting out to walk to your door.”

A car door slammed over the phone before it went to dial tone.

“She-it.” Seven muttered.

The door bell chimed as he hung up the phone. All he wore were his boxers. He looked for a T-shirt or sweatpants but there was none at hand and the door bell rang again.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck.” Was he wearing theplaid boxers with the button fly? They were. He opened the door & they walked out to the patio.

“Nice garden. You the gardener?”

“I weed, Luke plants and prunes. Except for the compulsory pansies, these are all perennials so we haven’t planted much new the last few years. Cold drink?” 

“Yeah, that sounds nice.”

“Coke? Classic of course.” Steven went into the kitchen.

“Sure. Great. Nice house. You’ve been here for a while?” Tim talked rapidly. 

“Long enough,” Steven replied. He saw no reason to say more. The less he knew about his fellow actors, the less they knew about him, the easier it was to concentrate on the characters they portrayed.

Tim came into the house and went into the living room. He perched on the edge of the sofa. Steven handed him his drink and sat in a chair opposite.

Tim took a little sip and put the glass down. “About this afternoon …” 

Steven leaned into his chair. He would have hugged his knees to his chest, but if he did his dick would fall out of his boxers. 

“Steve, we’re getting somewhere with the play, aren’t we? Like, when we started, I wasn’t sure about it. I’ve never done anything gay before.”

“Comes a time …”

“I wanted to work with Evan. He lives up to reputation. I was afraid he’d be a … prick.”

“That has been known to happen.” Steven relaxed.

“And … I’ve never done … what we did this afternoon in rehearsal. You made it easy, so natural that I found it easier.”

“It was difficult for me.”

“But when I felt … saw you get … you know … hard … I knew everything would be all right. That we would …” He lurched forward and kissed Steven.

Steven pushed him away. “Tim … I …”

“I know. You have a partner and I respect that. I know we have an intense show to do …”

“Emotional stuff off stage won’t help. It’ll be a big problem if we let this go too far. Uh …” Steven’s mind raced. “Uh … ”

“Fuck it man, I’ve been crazy for you since that first read through. I know you feel something too, or we wouldn’t have made that scene work this afternoon.”

“Tim, this is so sudden.” Steven was in some soap farce. All this needed was for Luke to come home.

“My wife will kill me if she ever suspects.”

“Your wife!” The perfect out. “You’re married?”

“Four years. No kids, yet.” Tim sat. “It’s been tearing me up. You know, loving her, wanting kids, while wanting … you know …” He looked at Steven’s crotch.

“She doesn’t suspect?” 

“I’m an actor.” Tim shrugged. “Lisa’s my biggest fan. She made me take this show after reading the script. Said it would be important for my career. What can we do?”

“Let’s … uh … keep this personal stuff separate, till the show is up & running. It’ll get in the way. You know that. Let’s not be alone so we won’t get pulled in any deeper than the … uh … text allows.”

“It won’t be easy holding you on stage and wanting you off stage.”

“Same here,” Steven lied. “But if we channel that energy into our performances …”

“How can you be so sensible? If you can be that strong I’ll try.” He clumsily kissed Steven again. “Sorry but …” his hand moved along Steven’s thigh, into the baggy boxers. “Oh, what a cock you got.” He kissed down Steven’s chest till he had the cock in his mouth.

Steven’s eyes glazed over as he stared away from the blond head between his legs. 

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