Cape Breton Day 2

I slept quite well my first night. My Travelodge room is very quiet for which I am grateful. Sticking sort of to my morning routine of readings. mediations, checking email & such. By then I was ready to make the biggest decision of the day – what to wear 🙂 I was ready for action by 10 a.m.

I double checked the location of the recovery meeting  at 11. I know the city well enough to find it but wanted to see if there was a shorter way of getting there. It was about a 35 minute walk. I knew I was in the right place when I cars pulling into a parking lot & people hanging around smoking 🙂 A very full house for a topic discussion.

I met up with my sister after the meeting & we went to Kay’s Kosy Korner for lunch. Friendly waitresses lead to talk about the history of Kay’s, which opened in 1952. I used to go there in my teens for their fries & gravy. Not much of the original remains though.

After that we went to the Open Hearth Park – that replaced the industrial waste of the Steel Plant. Parts had been taken over by this weeks Pride celebration. The parade ended up here. So it was a sea of rainbow everything, even ice cream. Drag Queens & pony rides 🙂 I did buy a tee-shirt. Over the past few years Pride has gotten bigger here in Sydney – it is a week of bar events. One non-bar event is a living library where members of the community will share their survival stories at, of all place, the regional library.

After an half-an-hour we ended up back at the Boardwalk so I could see what shops were open. There’s a dozen or so there but now they only open if there a cruise ships docking. Local don’t buy enough handmade (in China) souvenirs. Of course another ice cream was had. 

Spent an hour or so at our Royal Ave house. My sister telling be about changes & how she longs to shed much of the belongings of the past. It is like living in a 2nd hand store. But some for hat is there is worth treasuring. One object was a massive dictionary that was sold a section at a time over many weeks at Sobeys. I remember it from growing up. 

On the way back to the hotel we took a spin through Membertou, the Mi’kmaq reservation. Lots of smoke shops 🙂 Cigarettes clearly big business. It is now a part of the local community – as a child I remember it being off-limits & one rarely saw the natives in town. No they have two-spirit celebrations & Medicine Walks that includes making your own dream catcher (that way you can be sure it wasn’t made in Taiwan). http://destinationmembertou.ca

Another full day of walking, taking pictures & sharing some great family memories with my sister.

 

From CupCakes to Pride Parades

A full day of presentations, workshops, a cup cake and a Pride parade – what more could one ask for 🙂 I sometimes try to pace myself – no back to back sessions but this year I did four in a row starting at 11:15 & finishing around 6:15. with no real lunch break either. I was pleased with myself for getting from the Fairfax to the Woolly Mammoth with no trouble at all. The route I worked out was shorter & faster than the one suggested by Google maps. So there!

Of course I did a Starbucks stop to get a little jolt of energy. First stop at Mammoth was the washroom for a piss & a washroom selfie. Next up was a presentation of poetry as theatre – three artists gave samples of their poetry adapted for stage work. All very different & all very effecting. One saw that process challenges a poet to build a piece that can sustain itself beyond the slam time limit of 3.10 minutes. What if there was 10 minute slam? hmm.

Next was a presentation on Dangerous Art that started with a bit of art history & finished with some readings from Essex Hemphill & wrapped with some poets sharing their dangerous work. What was once considered dangerous by say Botticelli is now pretty safe stuff compared to Mapplethorpe.

Another brief lull and the session I hosted on geriatric writers over the age of 40. A fair turn out & some amazing work was shared. Clearly age doesn’t diminish but sharpens anger. I presents some of the Terra Cotta pieces & my transformation from comic queer to fuck you queer has been accomplished, though the comic hasn’t been abandoned.

Another longer lull & I got out for some sweltering weather, photos & a cup cake. Finally took in an actual hands-on writing workshop. A challenging exercise to write from the point of view of a randomly picked body part. I picked wrists. Then was partnered off with someone who had picked eyes & written about that. Then, this is a bit confusing, we each were to write a piece from our body part to their body part. I loved it.

This brought us up to after 6. I headed back to the hotel & exited into the DC Pride Parade still in full swing. How f-ing long is this parade? Pushed through the clouds of rainbows to the Fairfax. Had some water then had to go out to get to CVS for juice & a salad for my supper. Usually CVS is step out, go around the corner, cross the street & I’m there. But the streets were blocked so I had to do a circuit around & back. Lots of rainbow eye-candy – but nothing under that rainbow for me. Hey! There’s the start of a new piece – nothing under the rainbow 🙂

ages  names

44 44 58 37 49 47 50 40

 

Selim Esen

Abdulbasir Faizi

Majeed Kayhan

Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam

Andrew Kinsman

Dean Lisowick

Soroush Mahmudi

Skandaraj Navaratnam

 

all men

old enough

adults

not teen-age runaways

not ‘I’ll live forever’ twenty somethings

men

one commentator said

‘who should know better’

 

all men

all found dead

two white

6 missed

2 not missed until found dead

1 unnamed even when found dead

 

7 found online

all looking for love

that isn’t clear

all looking for sex

that isn’t clear

some seeking asylum

acceptance

finding limits pushed

but not expecting

to be pushed beyond limit

 

most so fearful

of discovery

they took what they could get

without … I want to say complaint

but no one knows

no one can know

what they were looking for

what they expected

we know what they got

death

 

a talking head on TV said

‘they learned their lesson’

what lesson

that homosexual men

are all sadistic murderous predators

a cliche

once more proved valid

or

dating apps aren’t to be trusted

that searching for sex

deserves to be punished with death

that they got what they deserved

 

they deserve better

than some talking head on TV

shifting blame

from perpetrator

to the dead