City Of Valleys 4 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The door opened. 

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

Kevin stared.

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

“Thanks. I … uh …” 

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

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


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

They watched her tape a notice to the front door.

“That is not a good omen.”

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

Karen came into the office and brushed her suit jacket.

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


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

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

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

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

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

“So, like, we can go home? … Now?”

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

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

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

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

“Or do what you’ve been avoiding.”

“Which is what, pray tell, Karen?” 

“Finally become the black queen of fashion.”

They all laughed.

“I’ll eat to that,” Monica added.

“Lubba’s has a great brunch.”

“Lubba’s it is.”

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

Black queen of fashion. Why not? 


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

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

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


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

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

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

“Where to first, Master.”

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

“You don’t mean …”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What do you think, Steven?”

“You mind bussing?”

“Sure. That’s all I expected to do.”

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

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

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No Room

No Room 

I’ve lived with the same man

for over forty years

I don’t use poppers or party and play

so I’m not gay enough for the room


I did hiv home care 

buried friends 

stepped away from the front lines

so I’m not queer enough for the room


I sleep around

sometime have unprotected sex

so I’m not a good example

for anyone in the room


I don’t like Celine Dion or Babs

which is enough to get my

gay card denied

so I don’t have the credentials for the room


I’m over several hills

hills only survivors 

know how daunting they can be

such as shame for not being young enough

to be in the room 


the web sells us

face lifts work out routines 

websites for grandpa devotees

to keep them away from the room


being acceptable in heteronormative 

assimilationist terms

was too conditional

I was amused 


by the need

for the conformity

to be gay enough to be in the room


I’m not sure 

if I ever was in that room

if I was

I wasn’t long for the room

I was tempted to call this No Room At The Inn but the religious connotations were inappropriate. The piece is clearly about assimilationist attitudes that try to rule the queer community. Attitudes that said it was fine for trans men & woman to fight for our rights but then tried to hide them so as not to cast a bad light on all those good, unassuming queers who didn’t want to scare the horses.

I’m not that I am preoccupied with the ways I may or may not fit into various categories I can’t ignore the ways my ‘not fit’ is made clear to me by others, directly or indirectly. PRIDE is clearly focused on a very specific ‘market’ defined by age, appearance, substance of choice, & body type. The one marked improvement in PRIDE over the years has been its greater awareness of race/nationality inclusivity – but honey if you don’t look good in heels, or leather chaps, or jeans you really aren’t that welcome regardless of race, gender or sexuality.

Many years ago I was invited to be part of a PRIDE reading by those of us over a certain age. Cool, I thought, we’re given some recognition. The event was unpaid, we were to be so grateful to be included we would perform for free (a standard PRIDE stance for many performers), the location was as far from the Church street core as possible – I was surprised they didn’t stick us down in Fort York. Only us performers & our friends could find the room.

One of the fallacies of inclusivity is that everyone has equal  footing – there is nearly always someone deciding who is the best example of what is to be included. The decision gauge is often unpredictable even when that someone deigns to use it on you. You could be let into the room but please stay in that corner there. 

Time to clean my room 🙂

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Pride Slugfest

One of the sure signs of summer has become the appearance of rainbow flags in corporate settings. How long before McD’s markets the Inclusive Burger to compete with the Gay Uncle Burger? Ooh look multicoloured sprinkles on the unicorn donut! I feel so seen. Where are the transvegan breakfast wraps? So many new markets to cater to.

So many rainbows to choose from – the classic, the trans flag, the combo, the maple leaf between rainbows, the blm, the (fill in your niche) flag. Clearly if you don’t have them all in your store window you aren’t an ally. If you don’t recognize the latest variation you are phobic. If you stick to the classic you are hiding your head in the glitter. With so many splinter groups clamouring for recognition if you support the wrong ones you are suspect. 

I was recently invited to contribute some pro-Pride remarks to a company as part of their lgbtqia+ inclusively week. If I am queer positive I’ll help them show their support as they sell more garments to increase their market share. If I don’t do it, for free, I’m clearly homophobic, if I expect $ I’m just an entitled slug. I declined. I’ve had enough exposure thank you. I’m not interested in another slugfest 🙂

Here in Ontario people are lamenting the pandemic restrictions that, like last year, have curtailed Pride public celebrations. Personally I’m indifferent. The parade has become a march of commercial sponsors interspersed grass-root splinter groups staking claim to their few minutes is the spotlight. 

(photos of an east end Toronto sidewalk)

The Days of the Week


out of control

so hard to choose

which will give the better result

too hard to let go of

those expectations 




result of out of control

such a freedom

can someone with control issues

get out of control

with the need to control

hold on too tight

or drop everything too suddenly

relax into a puddle

even a puddle is controlled by gravity

free fall isn’t free

free form still has form

is the goal to be shapeless 

is uncontainable anarchy

aimless directionless

still has points of reference

that pull to the norm

can the norm be out of control

who can impose that structure

who gets to be the responsible one

while the rest

are wild and free 

is there actual energy in being out of control

doing nothing takes no energy

relax float down stream

the stream has control

the surrender is to another’s control

even when out of control

someone is deciding

what out is

what control is

who the object is of these definitions

light need dark to exist

no one controls the days

just gives them names

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Not All Rainbows Are On Flags

Rainbows are showing up all around east end Toronto. These are pictures from the area bounded by Broadview, O’Connor, Main & Dundas E.

proud tree in Browning/Logan area
tight knit?

Craven Rd. fence
across from pape subway station

inclusive in the Mortimore/Coxwell area

mural Danforth/Patricia area
close up of mural
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East End Rainbow Pride

Lots of personal rainbow flags scattered all over east end Toronto

on caged
branch office
between two ferns
rainbow privacy

almost real rainbow
maple leaves over the rainbow
anyway the wind blows
a la porch

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it. 


Prince as a queer icon is problematic to me – despite his cross-dressing, his ‘am I gay or am I straight’ – his public interactions were always heterosexual. Not even a sense of bisexuality in his on stage performances. Women were always presented as sex objects. But for many his willingness to dress in gender fuck fashion was reassuring & inspiring. It certainly challenged the music industry as well.20desk01It helped that the man was a fucking musical genius, that he was a multi-millionaire who could afford to say ‘screw you’ to the industry. It also helped that he looked in good, if sometimes a little silly, in anything that he wore.

My first exposure was ‘little red corvette’ – I heard it on the dance floor in Detroit – his vocals & guitar work were astonishing, still are in fact. It’s a song that makes me want to dance. The sexual play of the lyrics was a delight. The double 1999 lp was sensational with too many good tracks for me to rave about.20desk02In my collections I have stand alone’s: 1999; Diamond & Pearls – sweet, sensual. Come: directly sexual & fun.In mp3 collections I have Batman: his songs for this are great fun & deserved at least an oscar nod; Sign O’The Times: another sprawling allegory filled set of songs – perhaps (of what I own) the most political. Musicology: strong, propulsive r’n’b; The Very Best. Purple Rain: I enjoy this a lot but man, I got tired of When Doves Cry – too mopey by half. 20desk03I sort of lost interest in his music – too much of that falsetto work. I respected his war with the industry, his need for artistic control resonated with me. Like Bowie, I also respected that he had a private life while maintaining a fairly high public profile. His death was a shock to me. As details are revealed it is too bad he hid his pain so deeply no one knew to help him.20desk04The last thing I bought, in 2015 (I think) was 3121 after seeing the video for Fury with its amazing guitar work. Prince’s guitar has been seriously under-rated. Too bad he never got the nod to do the Hendrix story – another dynamic black man who took dress to another level & had the musical chops to back it up.



Dan glanced at his watch as he fumbled to open the door of his apartment. It was almost 1 in the morning. He tried to calculate how many hours had passed since he’d left that morning just after 8.  Just as he was getting to that answer his keys slipped out of his hand and fell.

“Damn,” he whispered stooping to pick them up. “I’m getting too old for this sort of life.”

Inside he began pulling of his clothes and letting them fall where they landed. One of the joys of living alone was not having to worry about hanging your things up instantly. T-shirt by the front door, shoes at the edge of the living room carpet, jeans on the couch, underwear on the armchair and finally socks under the coffee table once sat down to pull them off.

“Ah,” he sighed. The naked pleasure of it all. He picked up the TV remote and turned it on, more for light than to watch. His eyes barely focus as he flipped rapidly from one channel to the next. He was caught in that comfortable feeling of creeping sleep, warm, fuzzy and welcome. He looked down at his cock.

“Well I guess it’s just me and you again and I’m afraid I’m too tired tonight. Forgive me.”

He massaged his balls as he stretched his back arching it to pull himself off the couch at to the bedroom. The cool of the wooden floor was pleasant to his warm feet. He stood a moment to appreciate it before walking into the bathroom. Still holding his dick he pissed, flushed and then turned to check his face in the mirror.

“It’s still me,” he muttered. “And boy do you need some sleep.” He rubbed his balls across the cool enamel of the sink and enjoyed the sensation. “I thought I told you not tonight.” He admonished his cock. “If that’s what you’re interested in you should have brought me home earlier.”

He went into the bedroom which, thanks to a timer, was gently illuminated by a dim bedside lamp. The bed still unmade from the morning and the morning before. He shook the sheets flat and knelt briefly by the bed.

“Thanks, who ever you are,” he said, quickly getting up as if afraid someone might catch him at this little ritual of whatever it was of. He was not quite sure why he did it except that it made him feel somehow ready for bed. That another day had ended and that he had to thank someone for it. It didn’t matter just what that something or someone was but this little act of gratitude was comforting and let him sleep peaceful most nights, unless he had too much coffee.

He lay on the bed, turned out the light and breathed slowly as his eyes adjusted to the dark. Then he allowed them to close. A little shift of his butt and his body was in sleep shape and he could feel sleep approaching him like a warm weight pulling him away from his own thoughts.

All thoughts except one. He flipped the blanket back so that his cock sprang into the air. “Some days you can be so demanding,” he whispered wrapping his right hand around his erection and steadily moving it up an…d down the shaft. “You like it like that don’t you.”

He wondered which sex object to use tonight. Those two Vietnamese guys he’d seen kicking a ball around in the park came to mind. In their mid to later twenties he estimated and has both had spent some serious time at the gym. Not too tall but with such fine stomachs and those sturdy little legs. He could feel one of them fucking his ass while the other fucked his face with their hard hot cocks. How kind it was of them to have taken their shirts off and he had glimpses of their jocks as their baggy shorts hiked up while they were chasing the ball. Yeah he could feel their mouths both on his dick now then one of them eating his ass while the other sucked and sucked and sucked and whoa his warm come squirted onto his stomach.

He got up and went back to the bathroom and wiped off, squeezing out a few last drops of come before going back to bed.

“Satisfied?” he asked as he pulled the bedding back over him.


cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrcrutch

Elton John

With Elton we are dealing with a pop star who is now fully out but the process for him was not easy – but once he had attained sufficient success he felt he had nothing to lose by coming clean. In my collection I have on mp3 CDs Elton (Your Song)/11-17-70/Honky Chateau/Don’t Shoot The Piano Player/ Yellow Brick Road. Stand alone’s: Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across The Water, To Be Continued … 3 cds.13desk01I remember buying the Your Song lp with its orange & red spiral Uni label. Studying the pictures of the band, being amazed at the songs themselves – somehow imparting Elton with the sensitivity of the lyrics, when in fact he was merely the singer & the writer of the music. It was Bernie Taupin who wanted to be your song, but Elton’s singing made the melodramatic words seem grounded & possible. The band was smoking too.13desk02So emotionally intense was the connection between words & music I was sure there was more between Elton & Bernie but they we brought together thanks to an ad by a music company looking for talent. It wasn’t until much later in the collaboration they would even meet to work on fitting words to music.

I played the next couple of lps grey – Madman Across the Water, Honky Chateau – just another song about teenage suicide. I was loved his persona development. Bowie may have changed in looks but Elton took it to a different more gaudy level & the music was always more ‘populist’ than Bowie. Elton never wandered into experimental explorations he saved his explorations for eye glasses 🙂 He was a more interesting version of Neil Diamond.13desk03As he became totally out I lost interest in his music – good but lacked the rock propulsion & freshness as he become more & more middle-of-the-gay-road. Adult pop. I did see him in concert in San Diego in the early 2000 & thought he really should do a jazz album. No singing just pounding away at the piano.

But he’s made queer totally non-threatening, which is a good thing, even if he has established this hetero-norm lifestyle – adopted children & all that. He’s the good queer thanks to the $ he’s put into his own pockets & that of promoters around the world.13desk04The last lp of his I bought was Rock of the Westies. Yellow Brick is sprawling & to be honest, Candle in the Wind is a road block of sweetness for me but the rest of it is good. To Be Continued is a 3 cd best of that my Dad had in his collection that I inherited. To round out the mp3 cds there is some great (non-queer) stuff by Billy Joel (he & Elton did tour together) Dr. John, John James, & for contrast Derek & The Dominos – even a sample of a great British blues band The Taste.



‘Mark I really didn’t want to help in the first place.’ Dave stepped away from me.

‘Why didn’t you say so?’ I followed him.

‘Because I knew you were counting on me to to help.’

‘True but you still could have said no.’

‘And have you charging around not knowing what you are doing and fuming at me for not helping.’

‘Dave that wouldn’t have happened.’

‘I wouldn’t be so sure about that. You are so much like …’ he stopped.

‘Like who Dave? Like who?’ I knew he was alluding to his first lover, Greg, who had become an abusive manipulating drunk before killing himself. ‘I am Mark. Remember? I’m not anyone else.’

‘Sorry but …’

‘You can say No to me without my going off on some drunken tear and not showing up for days.’

‘I know that but it’s hard to let go of some things. I grew up with it.’

‘So you never hesitate tell me, and I remind you that I am not Greg and I am not your father. I thought you would like to help that’s all. If you didn’t want to that would have been fine. Mental telepathy doesn’t work.’


‘I can’t read your mind. It’s getting so I’m not sure if it is safe to ask you anything. You seem to think one thing then but say another and when you do that we both suffer.’

‘Pardon me for making you unhappy.’

‘Seeing you help with that ‘poor me’ attitude isn’t pleasant. I can’t make you speak your mind and if you want to keep this up you’ll be the one to suffer the most.’

I didn’t know if I wanted to leave things unfinished or get the job done with Dave’s grudging help. ‘I could finish this myself.’

‘Now that I’ve started I might as well finish. It seems I can’t even help right anymore.’

‘Don’t let it get you down. There are some things you do better than anyone else.’

‘Another trait of my Dad’s. He was shit in the kitchen but boy could he barbecue.’soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr1greendesk

Eating Looking Cape Breton part 2

Don’t get the idea that Wentworth Perk is the only cafe in town. There are others. By far the most popular is The Bean Bank on Charlotte Street. I stopped by for coffee – strong & smooth – the place was packed, busy – people on laptops enjoying the wireless. several different spaces for sitting, though all were taken when  I was there – a front patio, an inner patio, and at least two others room as well. I was there around 11:30 & no muffins left – opted for an oat cake. Tasty but, to be honest, I like Tim Ho’s oat cakes better 🙂

Visited the Sydney Historical Society to enjoy an exhibit about the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Church and had a long talk with Megan, one of the guides, about my book. She’s creating a theatre project which, at the moment, has the working title “Steel and Coal: Work and Protest.” We are researching similar territory.

so many saints

There was also some talk about the number of churches closing in the area – at least three in the past year and more to shut their doors over the next year. I thought why don’t they invest in wireless – congregations could meet to commune in a more spiritual atmosphere. Even the Tim Ho’s in Sydney has WiFi – time for the parishes to get with the program.

Was into the Bonnie Prince for the first time. It started out in the Isle Royal Hotel. Before I came out it had a reputation for having a ‘gay’ area – two stools at the back, I suppose – but then I was too fearful to go near it. The Isle Royal has since been torn torn. Now the Prince is a standard tavern/diner. Breakfast wraps were not in steelworkers lunch boxes.

For my birthday my sister found a spot for sea food chowder – Dock Y’ur Dory – about an hour’s drive along the coast. Tourist quaint that works – glass top tables with different displays under each table – toys in one, boats in another, dinner ware in another – the chowder was outstanding, the view was great, even picked up a few books in the gift shop. Worth the drive.

a real coke spoon

That was my last day there so didn’t get to do all I had planned – leaving something for my next visit. I won’t wait so long before my next visit. (2019 note – I did wait 7 years before visiting again.) I would have stayed longer but I had to get back to TO for my Pride gig & needed at least two days of rest to face that crowd. Population of Sydney maybe 32,000, number of people at Toronto Pride over 320,000 at any given hour.


Here’s another of the Montaigne prompt pieces

Not to Communicate A Man’s Honour [41]

he did no wrong

what’s the news in that

he didn’t cheat on his wife

he didn’t hide his sex life

he was clear and direct

he got no secrets

no one cared what he thought

no one reported what he said

he did his job with no fanfare

called no attention to himself

was brave when needed

got things done with little or no fuss

so who cares

if only he had

gotten away with murder

or at least plotted one

never stole when he had the chance

never swore in public

always kept his hands clean

and now

we can’t even remember his name