DC Dreaming 2018

Three weeks today to June 8 when Capturing Fire ignites its 8th slam happy weekend with the launch of the landmark anthology Stoked Words. The anthology captures work by the many brilliant poets who have slammed, participated or wore fabulous shirts. Yes, I’m in the anthology. What pieces? You’ll have to wait to find out. Being a US publication it might end up in the Library of Congress!

The launch, workshops & slam are all taking place at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre on D St. NW. Getting there will take me through parts of Washington I have have never seen so there’ll be lots of new photo ops, new exotic Starbucks to discover (as if Starbucks is exotic). Schedule of workshops posted here: https://capfireslam.org/2018-schedule/.

I’m staying at the same hotel, which is steps away from DuPont Circle metro. Google maps tells me its a 45 min walk to the Wooly, which I think is doable, depending on the humidex. I’ve checked for coffee shops & restaurants near the theatre so I’m prepared. If I get lost I’ll have someplace to eat.

A couple of day excursions have been planed. One day will be the zoo. Trying to line up a local guide so I can get some photos of me that aren’t washroom selfies 🙂 The zoo looks to be fun & also within walking distance. Another day I’ll take in the Air & Space museum. Two tourist destinations are all I can enjoy before it feels like duty.

Six Feet Under

a moment of silence

to respect

those who have been silenced

to offer a dignity

a solemnity

all that’s missing

is the hashtag

a #moment of #silence

showing support

without doing #anything

 

by silenced

I don’t mean marginalized

I don’t mean neutralized

I mean murdered

by others

by their own hand

by neglect

by #silent shame

 

where is the moment of retaliation

oh no we can’t do that

that sinks us down to their level

getting even isn’t justice 

it doesn’t get good press

#victimization

gets all the good press

a moment of violence 

of striking back is tut tut not adult

 

we must have silence 

so the healing can begin

why not a moment of vanity

in which we all pull out a mirror

to contemplate our own faces

to see where we fit in

while the screaming is still going on

to figure out why

forgiveness is more fulfilling

that taking the victimizers to task

where was their forgiveness

 

so I don’t forgive

that’s my flaw

I’m called out for being bitter

not understanding enough

unwilling to make a social context

that rationalizes actions

that spring from a troubled childhood

from a drug addled brain

from books of words holy pages

that approves

making victims of others

in the name of righteousness

 

a moment of silence

to prove that I am emotionally more mature

I can take it

I can rise above

the blood soaked streets

an angel of mercy

fuck that

fuck fuck fuck that

 

I don’t care about

perpetrators’ apologies 

how they feel remorse

I don’t want revenge 

I want an eon of silence

not a moment of silence

 

I want it to stop

before we’re all six feet under

 

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

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

 

Full Frontal

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about The Sessions – a movie that made a big splash some years ago dealing with a disabled man & his female sex surrogate. I thoroughly enjoyed Andrew’s scene-by-scene look at The Sessions. A movie which I have not seen – too emotional manipulative for me. I don’t like being forced to feel good.

It was important to hear about a movie from an ‘expert’ – someone who knows about the reality of disability as opposed to some reviewer, critic who is caught up in the drama & not aware of facts. Andrew pretty much likes the emotional content of the movie which resonated with his lived experience. He calls out a few anachronisms (modern wheelchair instead of period one) & also how little the hero’s privacy is respected. 

The other thing which he notes is nudity. He questions why Helen Hunt, the lead actress, get full frontal while John Hawkes, the male lead, gets minimal exposure, even in the sex scenes. This is not unique to this movie though. Showing breast & vagina is not longer so shocking but the male body remains pretty much hidden. Lots of fast ass shots, never the well-lit, lingering shots that female nudity gets.

Female nudity is rarely seen as gratuitous if it fits the story. In Sessions if nudity makes sense for Helen Hunt then nudity makes equal sense John Hawkes should as well, right? This is one of those double-standards. Male performers have to worry about ‘performance anxiety’ or are shy about displaying their cock at all – what if it doesn’t measure up to their fans fantasies. Isn’t that cgi is for? If they can double the cost a film by digitally enhancing the hair of the lead for every scene he’s in, surely a few minutes of cock shouldn’t be an issue.

Or perhaps they wanted to respect the dignity of the disabled man – after all his disability was enough without exploiting his dick, too. When one catches a glimpse of a stars’ cock it is a flash – even when that dick is the supposedly the star: i.e Boogie Nights – where there is ample bared female but a split-second moment of Dirk Diggler’s supposed large cock & even that was a bad fake – they couldn’t afford a stunt cock.

I’ll end this with my favorite big star full-frontal from Fight Club. Brad Pitt appears at least 4 times in a single frame at various points in the film. My vision was so good it caught the first one & thanks to our dvd player I was able to frame-by-frame at the points were Pitt flashed me. That was no stunt cock 🙂

How Deep Is My Love

my love is deeper than Nietzsche

deeper than the gap between 

spiritual fantasy and sexual reality 

deeper than what we all thought the 60’s meant

my love for you is longer than 

the time between knowing 

it isn’t working and ending it

longer than the time between 

ending it and getting over it

I love you more than this shirt look great on me

my love is harder than 

peanut brittle in Arctic moonlight

my love is more hopeful than 

an overflowing recycling bin

my love for you is longer than 

the arm of the law 

holding a restraining order 

my love for you is purer 

than the water in the bottle of 

rapidly disappearing ice shelf 

melted just so you 

could have a sip 

and throw it away

my love for you is purer than a dream

my love for you is purer than 

how you felt 

before you even know the difference

between a care bear and a pubic hair

my love for you is stronger 

than the tang of expresso 

with a flavour shot of almond

to cover that weird burned taste

my love is truer than 

all those Facebook friends 

who rsvp’d they’d be here

my love for you is stronger than 

your need to be loved

my love for you is 

no longer the crime it once was

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

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

September 25, Tuesday – Horror feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

 

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

 

Terra Cotta

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This another of the 92 pācittiyas.

Terra Cotta

he insisted

on terra cotta flower pots

not pots

planters

you know the kind big enough

for a

oh you’ve heard this story

you know where it’s going

unlike the men

meeting him

they didn’t know where they were going

just that he promised

to take them somewhere 

offered –

well I’m not sure what he offered

it’s hard to call that something sex

I guess I’m old fashioned that way

 

terra cotta is better for the plants

for the roots

it breathes properly

allows water to filter through

plastic containers trap the water

traps insects

plastic absorbs heat

the soil doesn’t breathe

 

neither do the men

Selim Esen, 44

Abdulbasir Faizi, 44 

Majeed Kayhan, 58 

Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, 37  

Andrew Kinsman, 49

Dean Lisowick, 47

Soroush Mahmudi, 50

Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee 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

Shelf Life

Shelf Life

moldy tub 

back of the fridge shelf

saved to save money

now lost to decay

so much food

we can’t eat it fast enough

bought in bulk

to save money

money is lost

when we can’t eat fast enough

when we eat fast enough

the time we save

is spent shopping for more

 

nothing that lasts

and when it does last

it can’t be used anyway

dispose don’t save

all those empty containers

take up more space

than we have to store what we need

they’ll come in handy

 

well if it hasn’t come in handy in a year

it’ll never come in handy

the surplus is comforting

but not profitable

share don’t save

the money you save

only pays off someone else’s bills

 

we reduce reuse

never have enough in the long run

while those that produce

what we have to reduce reuse

get fat bonuses 

and the prices keep going up

to cost us more than we save

 

when we run out

the planet gives its last gasp

don’t blame me

save your breath

even if there’s no profit 

in saving it

that is

if anyone can still breathe

on the back shelf

A neighbour recently cleaned out his garage and offered me two large boxes for jars & lids. All types of jars, glass, plastic. jars that had held jams, peanut butter, mayo and the like. He had kept them expecting to use them one day. When he ran out space in his basement he moved them to the garage. One box had 1995 written on the side, the other said 2010. He just hated to see them go to waste. I hated to think of what else he was still keeping for that someday when it would come in handy.

I identified with him though. I do have a drawer full of elastic bands mixed with bread bag clips – stopped buy bread in 1999. So this piece is about packaging and the hold ‘stuff’ can have on us.It also touches on  the fear of not having enough in a consumer culture in which having too much is seen as prosperity, while have enough is a compromise.

In Toronto we sort our garbage for recycling but I just don’t how much gets recycled – I’ve never seen a program that shows what happens to all those newspapers, tin cans, jars that we put in the right bins. Though I did see a news item a few years ago about how the cost of warehousing the city’s pick up of recycling is greater than is recouped by selling it so they were giving it away to some company and paying the shipping costs. I’m sure some executive got a nice bonus for facilitating that solution.

Toronto Hydro has a push for us wasteful consumers to reduce our power usage. More efficient lightbulbs, refrigerators and best times to lower the strain on the network. What about the strain die to sleep loss doing my laundry at midnight to save money? I wonder how energy efficient the Hydro offices are? solar powered computers? 


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

The Eye of The Old Beholder

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about getting old! He’s just turned 34 & wonders if he’s now officially a Daddy 🙂 As far as I know that isn’t official until either you have fathered a child or turned 45. Finding a few grey hairs in one’s pubes doesn’t count. For those out-of-the-know ‘Daddy’ is one of the many gale male age divisions. Twink is another. Too many to list. Once one passes Daddy they are ‘Older’ & for many no longer sexually viable, even by other’s who live long enough to be ‘Older.’

Speaking of grey hairs I had a friend who several years ago discovered some grey in his pubes. This distressed him to the point that he tried to colour those pubes! He tired various dyes, Grecian formula, hair dye & others to restore his pubes to jet black. It was partially successful but … the combination of sweat, of body parts trapped in undies all day, resulted in an unfortunate aroma. To make matters worse he started to ‘shed.’ Lesson learned. This a friend & not me – I’m a natural ginger-pube man – for photographic proof send $10 to my paypal link below & say ‘proof please, sir.’

I’ve mentioned before being ‘rejected’ by some men when they realize I’m older than they prefer. Age limits on some sites are quite specific – men between x & x years; or no one over x; some are more general: with Daddies being at top end of the age list. Some profiles are more explicit. It’s no longer pc to say ‘no fats, fems, etc’ but it’s fine to say ‘no one over 50’ & not get called out for ageism. Sadly often those who say ‘no one over 50’ are themselves over 50.

I don’t think queer culture is markedly different from its larger cultural context though – youth is the ideal. Old is tolerated but not the hot ticket. I’m sure the cosmetics market would be lost without all those creams (some of which I do use on my face) to keep one looking youthful & therefore sexually viable. One’s value & self-worth in a jar of goo that is usually hidden from the eye of the old beholder.

A Walk in the Park

I was walking though the park

eyes open for dog shit on the pathway

I turn a corner and there is this couple 

female splayed on a bench 

a man on his knees between her legs

she moaning pushing his head deeper 

his hairy ass bare in the sun

 

her eyes catch mine

I can’t tell if the expression

is pleasure invitation dare

or what the fuck are you looking at

he stands and half turns to me

hard cock flashing in crisp light

she licks her lips 

 

I keep going   that image in my mind

his jeans crumpled below his knees

her panties around one ankle

their faces gleaming beaming

what brought them to that place and time

were they walking along 

so aroused they had to have each other 

was she a working girl 

and didn’t care where she made a buck

did they need an audience

to take them to another level of orgasm

 

when I doubled back

all that remained 

was a pair of panties

             pink

damp

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

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

 

Unsubstantiated

samprules2

Unsubstantiated

each day of silence

creates impatience

people want to know

families loved ones

want to know

reporters want to know

completion impossible

until we know

yet even when we know

the details are shocking

 

speculation remains unsubstantiated 

though the layers of facts

builds up

for two to three to eight

fragments found buried deep

in planters

under the noses

of even the lookers

of even the ignorers

 

each day of silence

is remembered with longing

the silence of unknowing

offered a solace

that the noise of facts

can never provide

Selim Esen, 44

Abdulbasir Faizi, 44 

Majeed Kayhan, 58 

Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, 37  

Andrew Kinsman, 49

Dean Lisowick, 47

Soroush Mahmudi, 50

Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40

 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee 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

The Camera Never Lies

Smile

the camera will stay on

it’s for your protection

people will talk

they will question your motivation

they will question my lack of interest

I never meet alone with anyone

no, it’s not being broadcast live

on YouTube Facebook Instagram

 

the camera will stay on

you’ll get used to it quickly

you don’t even see it do you

we’ve learned how to be discreet

we have nothing to hide

do we

 

this is to maintain transparency 

so our being together

can’t be misunderstood 

even by one another

I don’t want to face a charge

of sexual harassment

of guilt by association

 

 

the camera will remain on

it is always on

there is one where ever I go

I have no faith in the people

everyone is eager to misunderstand

any innocent cue

have a nice day

becomes an insult 

to someone’s sense of propriety 

so this is being documented

to assure each of us of legal protection 

there will be no grounds 

for doubt for equivocation

the camera will remain on

 

this is the state we have come to

privacy is only for those

who have something to hide

and we have nothing to hide

not even from each other 

are you ready for your mug shot

This piece is an almost ‘ripped from the headlines’ response to the atmosphere of paranoia that has developed around language, how looks can be interpreted, how a smile can be misrepresented as a sexual threat. Police wearing body cams to establish what is happening – when they work – then spinning what is recorded into not being what happened but merely what your eyes are misinterpreting. 

Eye-witnesses, even camera eye-witnesses- end up doubting what they saw or aren’t at fault for what they saw because their vision is clouded by cultural assumptions – ‘it’s not my fault skin-color has been weaponized.’ Yes the camera is becoming de rigueur – security cameras everywhere for our protection, at least when it suits someone’s purpose.

If it shows those in control in a bad light we are invading their privacy; if it shows us in a bad light we have no right to privacy. Their is no such thing as privacy anymore anyway. If someone succeeds in being so off grid there is not electronic trace of them anywhere good luck on getting health insurance, a car license, an airplane ticket, out of jail ever.

As the piece says ‘privacy is only for those who have something to hide.’ Just as the current president of the usa about his past and it’s an invasion of his privacy but he has nothing to hide, at least nothing that can’t be denied regardless of the new reel footage of him being there etc. That wasn’t him. Transparency – even when we can see through him there’s no culpability.

Cameras are everywhere. I’ve known some people who cover their built-in computer cameras with duct tape. How do they their turned off cell phones are relaying their conversations to the authorities? Why turn your phone off if you have nothing to hide?

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee 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

 

Polite

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about the times he’s been a douche bag with his sexual interactions. Some of them struck me as being part of a learning curve. Some of them come out of how our cultural awareness & sensitivity has changed but it’s easy to judge how we behaved 10 years ago with how we behave today.

Listening to his experiences, as always, makes me look at how I’ve behaved in the past. I have used excuses not to meet with someone rather than come right out & say I’m not interested, or not interested anymore. The polite Canadian doesn’t say ‘you’re too fat’ – they say ‘I don’t think we’re a good match’ when size is the issue.

I decline opportunities by reading what a man has listed in his profile. It’s easier, to me, to say I’m not into party’n’play, which is true, than say you don’t appeal to me at all. One man I met, who was quite taken with me (no surprise there) when we first met, whose English comprehension was nil, wanted FWB – the main benefit being his English tutor. Sticking to my primary purpose lead me to decline after out first ‘date.’

I think the worse thing I do is ‘ghost’ – if after the initial communication & text conversation I’m not that interested I merely stop responding rather saying ‘I’m not interested ‘in being your ass pussy’ or ‘in making you my ass pussy.’ Nor am I interested being anyone’s esl tutor or explaining the political context of my decisions when all I want is fun sex.

Damned Hands

‘keep your canned hams on the shelf’

or was that

‘keep your damned hands to yourself’

often I don’t quite hear what people say

like the time 

I heard someone shouting 

‘jesus loves your shoes’

as they gave out flyers 

 

‘wow’ I thought ‘there’s a personal saviour 

I can believe in’

but when I got one of the flyers it said 

‘jesus loves your soul’

or maybe it was payless for shoes

claiming it could save your soles

 

then there was the woman

ranting on a street corner 

‘one day you’re wearing sunglasses

the next day your not

how can I really know you’

I think that’s what she said

I never went to back to find out

I never stopped to say

‘mom it’s just me’ 

 

I wasn’t wearing sunglasses

she probably wasn’t my mother

I didn’t think she was talking to me

I got over that a long time ago

I don’t think I’m the centre of anyone’s attention

when they shout ‘hey fuck head faggot’ 

they mean some other jackass

 

there is so much out there

trying to take my focus

I don’t focus on anything

often forgetting people I have run into 

unless I make a note in my soul

the one that jesus loves

 

if they put their damned hands on me

it would be a question 

of where those hands were last

how much would they be willing to pay

are they ready to shut up and take it 

like a canned ham

are they ready to love my shoes

are they ready to be so in to me 

that they won’t hear 

their own mother in the street

 

or are they unfocused stumblers

like myself

not paying attention to much

happy to sit for a little while

watch the scream of life whizz by

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

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

 

Unreliable

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This another of the 92 pācittiyas.

Unreliable 

your story changes

each time you tell it

so it is no wonder

no one is sure just what happened

 

not that you cry wolf

but the wolf mutates 

first it didn’t snarl

then you weren’t afraid of the snarl

subtle elaborations

 

no one doubts

that you met the wolf

but it’s no longer clear

what happened next

except that you survived

without even a bite mark on you

 

though perhaps 

the next time you tell the story

you will reveal the scar

from the bite 

that you said didn’t happen 

because you couldn’t tell everything

you didn’t expect it to be believed

you needed to trust us

before going any deeper

into what really happened

 

so it went from seeing the wolf

in the general area

to meeting said wolf

and declining further contact

to never having been in touch

with the wolf before you saw him

to having sex with the wolf

but not enjoying it enough

or 

well we’re not sure

except we don’t doubt

you met the wolf

or that the wolf

was caught with the blood of lambs

in his fur

none of blood was yours

but you knew some of those lambs

 

what will come next

as your story changes

that you escaped is clear

but what are you hiding

from yourself

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee 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

Confirmation

Confirmation

kissing her

was unexpected

she had told me

my bed had appeared in her dreams

 

I was pretending

to be interest in women

claiming a bisexuality

to allow for a safe passage through life

at a time

when that was necessary

 

there were enough suspicions

about my sexuality already

launched in grade school

carried into high school

suppressed by fear

then by the bottle

 

intercourse with a woman

was bandied about like a flag

a boy scout badge

to announce

hey I’m a normal guy

I bang chicks

 

but that sex was a remote possibility

until she had that dream

she made it come true

for herself

 

no one knew

no one suspected a thing

except for me

who finally knew

intercourse with a woman

was possible

but not a place I wanted

to return to

This was prompted by the first of the two aniyātas. Both deal with the shame of sex that in implied by being with a woman under questionable circumstances. None of these prompted pieces are meant to illustrate the rule so they frequently are tangental from a word or two in the rule.

Confirmation is, as you might suspect, totally autobiographic. It reflects much of my teenage and early twenties as I tried to get some sort of balance between what I knew about myself & what was culturally acceptable, in Cape Breton, at that time. The pretending that, even in my thinking, went through a process of ignoring the fear, experimenting, eventually admitting to myself that I was gay. Stages of acceptance. Some male pop stars were rumoured to be bi – David Bowie for one – so it was sort of okay to say one preferred girls but would bag the right guy. 

In high-school I was bullied for being a gearbox even though I had dated some girls, that wasn’t enough. I didn’t do the ‘smell my finger brag’ (that is I’ve just fingers the vagina of some girl & here’s the scent of proof) that would have cemented my heteronormativity.

The ‘she’ was the younger sister of one of the guys I frequently drank with – one a a group of guys who would show up en masse with guitars or new lps and booze in hand. Girlfriends, sisters in tow often. One day the sister dropped by on her own, told me about her dream & over the next few weeks we messed around a little then one night did the deed. 

I have another piece about that – Perfect Match. (https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2GB) Her bothers found out & were pissed at me. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I was not the first in. She & I didn’t continue. Though we enjoyed the sex it was clear to both of us that I wasn’t really into it. It was also obvious it was something I initiated or would ever have initiated either.

I grew in a very Catholic neighbourhood & regularly saw children dressed up for Confirmation. A ritual to bind them to the church, or something like that. The Lutherans have an equally ritualistic declaration of faith. My experience with ‘she’ was a heterosexual baptism that confirmed my homosexuality 🙂

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee 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