Playground Paddles


After a few nights of sleep in my own little bed I was ready to look back the Playground experience. It lived up to my expectations with the range of workshops, level of presenters and a sense of community. The merchant area was small – I’m so used to the sprawl of FanExpo I was expecting a greater range of products. What no dungeon mood lighting 🙂 !

My favourite overheard conversation was in the merchant room: two men comparing the various finishes for discipline paddles – how to find materials that were recyclable, ethically sourced, and that could stand up to repeated use. The paddles were quite beautiful & had a very nice hand feel but not my scene.

I did try to pace myself. No back-to-back sessions helped but two a day would have been enough because by the third one I wasn’t as focused. There was also always a sense that all the workshops were too short. Maybe fewer sessions but longer ones would be a good idea.

Kudos to organizer Samatha Frazer who curated the line up of presenters, and with volunteers kept the flow of events very smooth. I also have to sent a shout out to the tech team that looked after all the audio-visual  needs for each of the presenters – many of whom arrived with very different needs & equipment. Higher easel stands would have been helpful as some of them could only been seen if you sat in the front row.

Not clear if there’ll be a Playground next year but I’ll certainly go to the next one. More involving than FanExpo and nearly as much fun as Capturing Fire (with a similar constituency). Maybe next year I’ll by one of those darling paddles 🙂

 

 

My Playground posts:

First Day at the Playground https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2Ok

Playground 2 – The Mindful Kiss https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2Or

Accountability – Playground 3 https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2Oy

Lonely Song

there is this old song I love

it pops into my mind when I least expect it

when I have forgotten how much

I love love love it

it brings back memories

of drunk fumbling

late night undoing belt buckles

the smell of cock

freed from underwear

it simmers with

first fevered expectations

of a mouth on mine

kissing long and hard

sometimes a taste of blood

from kissing so hard

of our hands first feeling erections

 

I have that song on my iPod

sometimes playing twice in a row

as I remember too many things

the disco remix had a pull on my pulse

the stripped down version

done slightly off kilter by some

raspy voiced Polish singer

almost made me weep

the first time I heard

her version bare spare raw

the way I felt

after that drunken fumbling

bare spare raw spent and so alone

oh so alone

 

because in those days

I felt I was the only one

who really wanted another man

that the guys were doing me a favour

were doing it because they were drunk

real men weak for a moment

they never spoke of it after

never said how much fun was that

that they loved me

that they couldn’t wait to do it again

only sober this time

 

they disappeared with an aura of shame

of what had happened

when that disco version came out

I was able to dance loud and proud

on crowded sweaty dance floors

with hundreds of other men

with my hunger

with no need to apologize

then

I would leave spend raw

& not so alone

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 
Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

 

Accountability – Playground 3

After a bracing walk in the rain I got back to the Playground for the 10:30 session: Embracing Discomfort: Striving to Be an Ally in Alternative Communities with Ness and Ten – which looked at, amongst many things, pro-active support as opposed to the White Knight syndrome or worse yet the Photo-Op ally: I want to be seen marching with you (because it will be good for my on-line profile). Often being an ally means being willing to be the one to get coffees when needed. Allies don’t need to be on the front line to be allies.

After the lunch break I took in Talking About It: Porn Literacy as Media Literacy with Kate Sinclaire. It looked at things such as porn as a way of exploring sexuality with anonymity. Though I’m not sure how anonymous anyone is on the Internet but … She also stressed the need for people to realize that entertainment does not reflect reality. There is a difference between taste & morality. She believes that this current move to ban porn will be as successful as Prohibition. After all porn goes into schools killing innocent teens by addicting them to chronic masturbation.

I followed that with #MeToo – Accountability Workshop for Men with Jeff Perera – the longest of the workshops in which we discussed the impact men have/had on other genders. Conversations ranged from consent, toxic masculinity to merely being sensitive rather than dismissive of things we haven’t experienced as men. When holding a mirror to the world make sure you are reflected in it too. I would have liked something about how to hold men accountable for their treatment of other men as well. This was a session that didn’t want to end.

Sadly I was so drained by doing back-to-back sessions I was too pooped to take in the Closing Plenary 😦 I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to hear  from people invested in change, both in themselves & the culture we live in. I also enjoyed being a stranger. I saw no one that I knew, except when I looked in the mirror.

 

My Playground 2018 posts:

First Day at the Playground https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2Ok

Playground 2 – The #Mindful #Kiss https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2Or

He Hot

ye ha

he hot you know

he’s got

that eye catching bod-o-god

strong hands

hairy wrists

some meat on his bones

some muscle on those shoulders

broad of beam

fills out those jeans

feet firmly planted on the floor

legs that can carry more than a conversation

a smile that opens doors

that cracks the combination

of even the most protected dreams

eyes that twinkle

even when he’s asleep

 

ye ha

he hot you know

he got

all the time in the world

for the right one and only

the living breathing embodiment

of all the little quirks and perks

you think a man ought to have

he got all that and a bag of chips

and you just want to be the dip

the salsa

the slurp and slide answer

to all his silent prayers for satisfaction

 

ye ha

he’s hot you know

he got shit that don’t stink

he can get the TV to mute

with a look

he got no unkind things to say about anyone

he just gets in there

rolls his sleeves up

and does what it takes

he got the solution to every little problem

he got the whole world in a wink

 

ye ha

he hot

so hot my temperature goes up

just knowing he’s in the room

don’t even have to turn around

I feel that wave engulf everyone

a syrupy swath of all embracing bliss

as he walks past me

he got friends coming out the ying yang

everyone knows his name

he got drinks sent from around the world to his table

he got his tab paid for

by someone who chose to remain nameless

 

ye ha

he hot you know

hot to trot

hotter than hell

but he don’t want my eyes on him

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Playground 2 – The Mindful Kiss

First the bad news – Andrew Gurza came down with flu & couldn’t attend the Conference. I was looking forward to meeting him, if he had time with his many fans around him. The good news – I slept well & got up with time for a walk up Bay & down Yonge back to the hotel. I’m rarely in this area & the amount of construction is amazing.

I got back for the 10 a.m. Opening Keynote – The Intersection of Race and Polyamory presented by Kevin Patterson. Samantha Fraser open by acknowledging the natives who were on these lands before it was colonized. Kevin’s talk gave many of us the opportunity to consider the nature of race, representation (as opposed to tokenism) & inclusivity, but not only in the polyamory community.

On registration I was grateful to see how inclusive the Playground was with a large number of p.o.c present. All body types were represented. Watching people pick their pronoun stickers it was fun to see how many took several options. Looking around the room this morning I was more aware of clothing colours than anything else. Lots of, gasp, black & an equal quantity of purple/mauve. My orange was an anomaly (go figure).

His talk covered such a range of topics within the polyamory community but many of them spill over into all alternative conversations where inclusivity often means – we’re open to all who can afford our ticket price. I was struck how much poly is defined by one man, two bi-women. Are there any one women, two bi-men situations? I enjoyed the talk, bought the book & had him sign it. Sweet.

I skipped the next set of sessions for an extended lunch break. At 1:30 I took in Shame and Sexuality with Shadeen Francis. More than could be absorbed was squeezed into this excellent workshop. We looked at how cultural sexual shame permeates our personal feelings about sex itself, regardless what sort of sex one engages in.

It brought to mind one area of shame in my life right now. In the past I’ve sent my brother & sisters copies of everyone of my chapbooks except the most recent one – why? Because it is more sexually explicit than any of the others. One piece is about my experience as a bottom. So perhaps my shame is about bottoming? But I’ve sold over an hundred copies without that concern. Hmm something to ponder.

I skipped the next set of sessions and went back at 4:30 for The Quick and Dirty: Mindfulness for Men Who Have Sex with Men with Joshua Peters, R.P. and Dr. Rylie Moore. To be fair this was neither quick nor dirty. I was dismayed that the presenters felt the need to use, what they called, GP language so as not offend or trigger anyone. We did a sensory exercise mindfully  savouring a chocolate-covered strawberry.

One of the men I see regularly is an amazing kisser. This is a mindful kiss in which each step is savoured. We start fully clothed, touching with lips only – space between our bodies, no hands, just the graze of lips, after a few moments – tentative tongue tips – bellies touch, he hugs when he’s ready – each moment is intense & intimate. What follows isn’t as slow or gentle but intense. The mindful kiss 🙂

Aphrodisiac

I know you’re sore

because that gal you’d been hitting on

walked out on you

after three drinks

I heard you moan to your pals

about how the last two chicks you dated

dumped you via text message

how one of them still won’t return your calls

how they turn into such selfish bitches

when they know they can get

what they want from you

I’ve heard it all night

but just because I’m a clean old queer

doesn’t mean I have any interest

in chowing down on your heterosexual meat

because the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac

 

it takes more than a moan and sob story

to get me interested

I agree it’s too bad

every woman you’ve known

thinks you are some sort of egotistic jerk

who only thinks of himself

when all you want to do is please them in bed

then roll over to fall asleep

and I suppose it’s unreasonable

that you show up on time very time

you say you’re going to pick them up after work

yeah I guess those bitches are just lazy

unfair and expect way too much

when all Wall you want to do

is kick back with your buds every now and then

or spend a few hours watching TV all weekend

I can see how that is pretty mean

but the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac

 

you may think I’m one of those

predatory homos you are sure

are always lurking around

that I’m hungry for any straight guy

to come along and fall

into my eager mouth

well honey you are living in a dream world

the fact that I checked out our jeans

was because I was wondering where you got them

and why are you wearing those ratty shoes

so why don’t you go back to your buds

and bitch and moan with them

because you aren’t getting anything

out of me either

if them nasty hos

you always end up with

aren’t interested I’m certainly not

because the fact that you’re straight

just ain’t my aphrodisiac mac

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

 

First Day at the Playground

The best & worst part of going away for even a weekend is what to pack? This time compounded by what to pack for the Playground Conference? With it’s focus on gender, sex play, sex education, expanding the meaning of relationships does one opt for style or leather 🙂 Comfort or conformity? What can I forget to pack & still feel ready when I get there? The endless cords, rechargers, cables & oh my.

I arrived at the Holiday Inn by 2. A room was ready. Comfortable enough. Text message from a FWB as I unlocked the door. Sweet start though I probably won’t see him until Sunday night. Wifi boots up okay. unpack some. quick shopping trip for juice, $tarbucks to redeem a free coffee. Back to the room for a very fast shower & then down the conference floor by 4.

I volunteered to help on registration on the opening night. It’s one of way making sure I meet lots of people with a role other than ‘can I sit here?’ I am ‘in charge’ of the pronoun & fun stickers & giving out tickets to the free raffle drawn on Sunday. People love the stickers – Are you flirting? is one we run out of first. The most frequently asked question: “Is there a coat check?”

Sadly there is no cell reception in this area of the Holiday Inn – wtf! I have to go outside to text. My flip-phone isn’t really built for easy wifi usage. I duck out a little after 8 & go to my room to relax, check my email. About 30 minutes later my text message come through. It’s a small drawback but a drawback all the same.

At least 200 people check in by 8 pm. So I have made my face & my shirt familiar to 200 people, most of whom will forget me anyway. I do this sort of greet thing well though – I get lots of greeting practice at AA meetings. But after 4 hours I’m too pooped to do anything more than go to my room. A good day.

Calypso’s Cave

I want to return to Calypso’s cave

for more erotic instruction

the ways of love I had been taught

never seemed enough for this world

like Lazarus I could not

remain in the shelter forever

I cannot rely on Neptune

to fulfill all my body’s longings

released from his tender endless coil

onto this shore where

I am unsure of my welcome

unsure of my name

unsure of anything except

I need another seven years

to prepare me for cities of silver glass

for the fumbling turmoil of men and women

who tumble excitedly grasping for quick satisfaction

not having the time

to indulge in the erotic lore

I have received and long to pass on

let me return to Calypso

for another seven time seven

this school of sorrow and longing

I have been cast into here

holds no secrets for me

or is this the next lesson

pleasure isn’t the end but the beginning

sorrow isn’t the result only a symptom

as I wander these streets

I cannot the rivers flow

I see their mouths open

but no water comes forth

I want to return to Neptune

after sailing seeking

from one golden fleece to the next

is there anyone awaiting me

or am I the one waiting

to bring new light the cave

where Lazarus wrote on its walls

Calypso’s joke

Neptune’s revenge

the lover of the world ready for love

yet no river bed for me to lay my body on

March 8, Thursday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Feature D’Scribe

https://www.facebook.com/events/2000968880141003/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

 

February Sneak Peek

February maybe the shortest month but it looks to be one of the busiest until summer. Editing on Coal Dusters is moving along well when I have time to focus on it. I’m about half way through and it holds together, if I say so myself, better than I recalled. I am loving these characters a lot. I’d forgotten how much I explored political issues around feminism, religion & romance. I can’t wait to start posting it here once Lazarus Kiss is done.

Photos this month will be: Monday – blue plays a big role; Wednesday: will be things in the round; Thursday a catch all of various unexpected things; Friday is back to office chairs with a few bit of furniture tossed in too.

On Tumblr I’ll be continuing with Garages and Laneways on Tues but I am finally, after a few years, coming to the end of what I have. Thursdays will see more doors. Sunday will be street art. Once my supply of those are exhausted there’ll be endless shoes, suitcase & stairways to take over 🙂

I have one big event in February – the Playground Conference on 23, 24, 25. I’ll be helping out on the registration desk on Friday night so say hi if you are there. I have many WordPress followers who are strangers to me so it’ll fun to actually meet you. I’ll also hope meet up with Andrew Gurza who’s doing a live Disability After Dark podcast from Playground on Saturday afternoon. Just check out this amazing schedule: http://playgroundconf.com/pgschedule/

I’m also staying at the hotel – travel back & forth is cheaper but the time it takes would be so exhausting I’d miss morning & evening sessions. So you can expect daily blog posts here & lots of pics on Tumblr. Staying at the hotel will eat into my DC funds though, I’ll staying in DC a couple of days less this year. 😦 So is you want to help defray those costs you can send donations to me via paypal link below.

To allow the cost of Playground I’m not going to FanExpo in September. I figure I have enough monster t-shirts. Who know maybe I’ll find some monster dick tee’s at the Playground 🙂 

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

January (and Beyond) Sneak Peek

Christmas on a Monday really shortened the last week of the month. All those things I put off for that last week end up being squeezed into three days 🙂 So some days I ended up doing that day’s blog post on the day & not the night before or even the week before. Christmas takes over. If only the house would decorate itself.

I’m not changing the posting frequency though just the timing of the posts. Monday will be my massive music collection accompanied by red pictures. Tuesday will be the continuing serialization of Lazarus Kiss – I had hoped to do it in 52 weeks but felts 1500 words or so a week was enough as opposed the 2000 a week. Wednesday I’ll talk about my poetry – I know ti sounds egotistical but that’s the only way I can people to listen. Poets I know ask about my writing then talk about theirs. Wednesday photos will be shoes.

Thursday will continue to be new poetry – still working through the 227 Rules for Monks. These pics will be a variety of things. Friday will be whatever’s on my mind when it isn’t something prompted by Disability After dark. Photos will concentrate on fabric.

Projects for 2018 include editing Cold Dusters for blogging once Lazarus Kiss is done, looking over Picture Perfect & deciding what my hero’s next adventure will be. I’v also got two events booked to attend. Playground Conference at the end of February. I’m got the ultra early bird rate registration & have booked a room at the hotel too so I can enjoy more of the evening content – travel time is exhausting & distracting too. Of course I’ve booked my flight & hotel for Capturing Fire 2018 after I confirmed the dates June 8/9. I’ll be at the same hotel as well & will be in Dv June 5 – 12 to do some tourist stuff – like see some animals in the zoo (as opposed to my hotel room 🙂 )

A Pillow For Your Heart

use this spoon

as a pillow for your heart

use this fork

as a map to your desires

use this moment

as a sign of providence

use this coffee mug

as a fresh start

use this chair

as a dream factory

use this opportunity

as an excuse to do more

use this laugher

as the next step upward

use this suitcase

as key to memory

use this snowball

as the love of your life

use this lap top

as the keeper of the flame

use this smile

as a sign to move on

use this handshake

as the fulfillment of a promise

use this bed

as the collapse of civilization

use this protractor

as the window to rain

use this bus

as a memorial of when you cried here

use this email

as a thirst quencher

use this consequence

as a refusal to go back

use this kiss

as a demonstration of potential

use this book

as a doorstop

use this take out meal

as a confirmation of your hope

use this loss

as a chance to be free of me

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet