Tenderness

Tenderness

must remain here

only for the two of us

to enjoy to cherish

for the sight of it

the tenderness here

in the open air

in a public space

would sully it

turn it into performance

it would cease to be sacred

it would be an assault

on common decency

for two men to hold hands in public

for them to kiss

in front of innocent children

On a recent walk near High Park, I noticed two men holding hands & laughing affectionately with each other, one leaned & was about kiss the other when he noticed me & they stepped apart. I wasn’t staring, my glance was, if anything, of pleasure at seeing them so free. I was a bit saddened that they broke their moment with a sense of shame. I doubt if a straight couple would give a shit who saw them giggling & kissing.

I kept walking rather than stop & say ‘go ahead guys, enjoy.’ High Park is miles from the Toronto gay  hub Church-Wellesley where this expression of public affection gets no attention at all. This piece, written a few years ago now, still tells of the state of things today. 

‘innocent children’ has long been the go-to rationalization for many censorious reactions – an easy way to say ‘as an adult I don’t care but I’m protecting children’ to hide their own fears & judgements. They can’t say ‘I’m so immature I’d rather react your sexuality than look at my own.’

A straight couple kissing in public, at a restaurant, making to on public transit is no big thing but same sex displays of affection, regardless of how banal, are treated as bad taste, as being too in your face even when in front of not-so-innocent adults.

Considering the amount of violence innocent children see on TV I doubt if two men or two women holding hands, or even exchanging a ‘see you later kiss’ on parting is going to spin those children deep inot the sordid cauldron of same-sex ‘abnormality.’

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The Late Charlie C Petch

I suppose I should start with the disclaimer – I’ve known Charlie over 20 years. We met when I immersed myself in the Toronto spoken word scene in 1999 at the Renaissance Cafe (now a butcher shop) when Valentino Assenza’s Cryptic Chatter was in flower. At that time Charlie hadn’t embarked on the arc of a life that took him from female cultural gender drag to his present trans masculine reality. An arc that can be on going.

The pieces in ‘Why I Was Late’ follow some of that arc. I’ve heard several them many times over years & appreciate Charlie’s ability to rewrite what you’ve just read with a closing line. This is writer who knows the power of the right ending – as opposed to the obvious ending. Charlie never takes the easy way out, never underestimates the intelligence of a reader to understand.

Directly or indirectly the pieces deal with growing up while living in a rigidly gendered culture – one in which even colours are not allowed to be neutral – i.e. pink for girls – serious writers wear blacks, greys & purples. But colour coding & print fabric condemnations are another post. 

Charlie’s piece about being a lighting rigger shows how females in traditional male occupations have to struggle with the cultural acceptance that it is the females fault if men find them attractive. They become as adept at fending off uncalled for male attention as they do at doing their job. I suspect many females avoid those professions, not because they can’t do them but to avoid dealing with men’s rampaging testosterone.

Simple, direct language makes these pieces accessible to everyone. This a book of lived-in experience not of abstract musings on the silence of snow or the lambent light on prairie wheat but of people enjoying, struggling with the demanding emotions of self-realization, of stepping out of the culturally dictated colour codes & into the power to be.

Now in its second-printing this Brick Book publication is available from Brick Books as well as at most major & independent bookstores. Get it.

Bloody Footprints

the movie opens

on a busy sidewalk

someone with a knife

stabs a stranger

keeps on going

while the victim collapses

remember the knife

the flash of it

the thrust

blood blood blood

<>

people stepping in it

as they step over the body

on their important way

bloody foot prints

quickly splotching the sidewalk

as the camera

pulls up up

the police arrive

the credits roll

over the expanding trail

of bloody foot prints

<>

steps lead to smart shops

to offices

into elevators

down marble corridors

over carpets in hotel hallways

cafe floors

washroom stalls

<>

blood gets on hands

trying to clean shoes

the fingerprints on mirrors

coffee cups

documents

dried flakes fall between 

keyboard keys

smear smart phones

traces tracked undetected through 

airport screening machines

splotches on luggage

the blood travels around the world

<>

the sidewalk

with the outline of the body

is a pool of blood

after crime scene photos have been taken

after cellphone photos have hit the net

city works come to clean it up

<>

the camera looks for the stabber

pushing through crowds

roving over heads shoulders

no faces

hands washing

blood pooling in sinks

almost dripping down the walls

of apartments

seeping out of TV screens

<>

bloody footprints

lead up to a door

the bell rings

you reach to open the door

the closing credits roll

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Reconnect

tangled plots

Met up with Lizzie Violet, an actual f2f visit, with someone outside of my bubble for the time since the initial pandemic lockdown. I haven’t spent time with Lizzie since the unexpected demise of her Cabaret Noir a few years ago. We’ve had a few coffee dates with a group of writers but this was a one-on-one without distractions. The day proved to be hot, for me, to sit on a shady patio, so we enjoyed the a/c cool of my dining-room for a couple of hours. (http://lizzieviolet.com)

story building blocks

She writing a novel set during the 30’s set in Toronto & one of the characters is from the east coast. I was a natural resource seeing as my novel, Coal Dusters, is set near that time – there was little change in Cape Breton due to the depression after its own disastrous labour struggles with the coal/steel industries. They were already a hard-scrabble people making the most of what resources they had. But I digress, slightly.

some plot steps lead nowhere

I do get to talk ‘writing’ with one of my Loyalist crew every month or so but was great to do so with with an almost new face 🙂 I also got to share some of the books I picked up in my Cape Breton research & some of the things I discovered for other sources – things like the black miners imported from the Caribbean with promises of company houses etc only to arrive totally unprepared in the middle of a blizzard with no real place to live. There’s a book that needs to be written.

I also shared how I read novels written in the 20s/30s to get sense of the language used, I also read some boys adventures written at that time too. In Dusters I wanted my characters talk like 20’s people not like the over-articulate people of today. In rewatching the The Tudors recently I was dismayed at the over use of the word fuck – I know it existed at the time – but as a word of mocking not vulgarity. 

too many diversions?

Hopefully there’ll be opportunity to reconnect f2f with more of my writing/poetry community before the the lockdown rolls back to protect us from people who feel their personal rights supersede their responsibility to others. 

from August 2008

Dreaming Of Me

you tell me 

you’ve been dreaming about me

you think about me all the time

you think such talk is flattering

but because 

we’ve only been together 

three times

to me these are warnings

things too much too soon

from someone I don’t dream about

about whom my only thought is

how do I break this to you gently

<>

you really are quite sweet

but being attracted to me

isn’t enough anymore

not that I think I’m so hot

that I can pick and choose

it’s just that I’m no longer

driven by opportunity

the way I once was

<>

the longer you dream

the longer it will take

for you to wake up to the fact

that you aren’t in my dreams

I don’t fantasize about you 

I don’t long for your call

I’m not hungry for your kiss

I didn’t want to say no thanks

too quickly

opportunities like this

don’t come often in my life

the last time it did

I was eager like you

for more of that mouthful of wonder feeling

but this time

I’m more inclined to keep my mouth shut

let someone else do the talking

then I’ll do the walking

<>

I’m out of here

once I figure out how to tell you that

after all we’ve only been together

what three times now

not long enough 

for me to consider it an investment

more of an investigation

a chance for both of us 

to check out the goods

and as much as I’m pleased 

with what lies beneath the sheets

I’m not drawn back for more of it

even when you tell me

you dream of me

that you waited all week for my call

the fact that I waited a week to call

should have told you something

if I was that into you

nothing would’ve held me back

<>

I wish you sweet dreams though

feel a little flattered 

some of them are of me

but I’m not selling 

myself for a dream 

anymore

cabaret noir march 2015
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Rainbow Pride EastEnd Toronto

More rainbow flags from around east end Toronto.

tree proud
bases covered
patriotic queers
more tree pride
porch proud
growing into pride
let it wave
pride is essential

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.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

Wrestling With Connection

Week 7 on The Artist’s Way is about connection to creativity – as opposed to our connection with others. One of things that hampers that creative connection is perfectionism. I have a writing friend who has been perfecting the same thirty page opening to his novel for some ten years now. It has to be perfect so he can send it to an agent etc. He no longer asks me for advice 🙂 I stopped that by telling him it would cost $100 an hour for a minimum of three hours before I would be willing to look at his work-in-progress.

There is a section on risk – the willingness to try & not succeed as we envisioned. For me this is part of the process of letting go of expectations, of control. In recovery they say you plan the plans but the results are in the universe’s hands. I’ve painted rooms one colour only to have the paint dry in a different one 🙂

As with the Ways chapters so far there some sifting through the past for missed opportunities & for good turning points. In my covid house-cleaning frenzy I’ve unearthed old note books, old rough drafts, old photographs. Those photos reconnected me with where I was in my early 20’s, long before I moved to Toronto. I’ve also been reading Old Trout Funnies – an excellent book about a comic book series by Paul  ‘Moose’ MacKinnon that was first issued while I was living in Cape Breton. (https://www.facebook.com/OldTroutFunnies).

Moose was one of my drinking crowd & he included real people (some of whom I knew) in the comics & calendars. In one issue there is even a plug (page 70) for my poetry book ‘Distant Music’ which had been published at the time. So there was actual creative support for me in that community at that time.

 

One of the tasks was to wear a favourite item of clothing for no special reason. All my clothes are favourites, so what I did was to pick some things I rarely wear but save for intimate encounters 🙂 Namely some wrestling singlets & some revealing undies I bought a few years ago. Very snug but also very sexy. Photos “fansonly” 🙂

My Underwear

it seems the best way 

to put out the fire

in your heart

was to run over to a bar

drink till there was 

only a stumble of drunks 

to deal with

there was no way out of it

except to break the windows

push your grandma down the stairs

so what if there weren’t 

any stairs in our apartment

you still get the picture

 

yeah I know

drawing it in crayons

all over the hall to our place

wasn’t a great idea

but you have to admit

it caught the lighting of the fire

without using up all the reds

only the blues

the blues you give everyone

who is lucky enough

to catch you on your balcony

ready to jump

don’t do it

or if you have to 

wait till I get back with coffee

I have to be careful 

the contents may be hot

but wet will always 

put out the flame

it makes no difference to me 

what burns you out of my system

hot coffee or direct flame

 

maybe tossing all your undies 

in the shredder was a bit much

but it seems the only way 

to keep you out of them

to keep you fresh

ready and pliant

not that you wore them 

that often anyway

going commando

wasn’t a rare event

bare-assed at McDonalds

where did you park those buns

yeah not so funny

does it look like I’m laughing

all the way home

to the shadowed moment 

when there once was a dart of hope

now just a bunch 

of empty coat hangers

in a clump 

I can’t pull apart

hangers that once held

everything you ever wore

around the house

out in the street

 

yeah I’m a total liar

I never picked up a drink 

because of you

that isn’t going to happen

wasn’t even tempted

you took something out of my life 

but you left behind 

more that you took

I don’t need to breath 

it’s all up to you now

as if it alway wasn’t

 

I can’t get over

the number of times

I wanted to paint the hall way

that I wanted to use 

your tooth brush to clean 

the coffee machine

so I wouldn’t have to go out 

for a fresh cup to dump 

in your laugh

because I’m sure 

that behind closed eyes

you are smirking like a tried urinal

knowing that you pissed 

me off one too many times

 

you know

if you were here now

I’d probably take you back

but still wouldn’t trust you 

as far as you could throw 

my underwear

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

paypal.me/TOpoet 

Picture Perfect 20

A few minutes later Sanjay walked into the lane way.

“Long time no see.” He said as they kissed quickly.

“Yeah. How was the party?”

“Same old. I left before Sylvan could pressure me to help with the service. Feels like I haven’t slept for days.”

“I’m just finishing up here.”

“Anything I can give you hand with?” Sanjay started to roll one of the bins.

“As a matter of fact there is.” Dan grappled with Sanjay from behind and pulled him into the nook. He’d never had sex out there himself. What would that be like. How would it look on the monitors. He could star in his own moment.

“What the fuck.” Sanjay struggled to get away.

“It’s okay.” Dan unzipped Sanjay’s jeans and tried to get his cock out.

“It is not okay. Someone might see us.”

“Not here. Too dark.” He stepped into the darkest corner of the nook. “Can you see me?” Dan knew would be the best spot for the camera to catch any action. He undid his fly and let his erection catch the light.

“Sort of but … that’s not the point.” Sanjay stepped back and into the limited light. “What’s got into you?”

For the time they’d been together Dan had kept his lane way fascination a secret. There didn’t seem to be any of starting a conversation about it with anyone. He didn’t discuss it with his V-Files buddies. He saw no point. But now that he the chance to share it this way with Sanjay was too much for him to resist. He pulled Sanjay back into him and sank to knees. Sanjay pushed away.

“You been drinking or what?”

“No.” Dan said as he finally wrested Sanjay’s thick dick out of his underwear. He lunged forward and got in into his mouth. Was the light right? The angle. It better be for all the work his was doing to get this shot.

“Stop.” Sanjay shoved him hard into the wall. “This isn’t like you.” He shoved his cock back in his pants, did up the fly as he moved away from Dan.

“Sorry.” Dan stood doing up his own fly. A minute more and he would have shot off. “I was just happy to see you. Happy and horny.”

“I can tell.” Sanjay glanced around to see if anyone might have seen them. 

They pushed the bins into the nook. Dan went back into the store to get his bike. He desperately wanted to check the security cameras to see what they picked up. He could access them when he got home.

He strapped his bike to the trunk rack and got in the car.

“Man what a day.” He said. “I’m surprised someone didn’t throw a vcr through the window. Even with the signs saying No VCR’s people insist on bringing them to trade in. They take it personally, as if I was telling they weren’t worth the money, not their tired old equipment. Funny how some people resent being told no.”

“Look, I’m sorry.” Sanjay patted Dan on the knee. “About back there. So you can stop yammering about nothing.”

“I wasn’t.”

“Dan, I know you well enough to know when you are talking around something rather than facing it. I didn’t mind really I didn’t. It was just a bit unexpected.”

“Another time maybe?” Dan said. He knew that the element of the unexpected was a big part for him in making it truly hot. Planning would spoil things too much.

“I doubt it. You know how I feel about …”

“Public displays of affection.”

“Honey that was no display of affection, that was damn near rape.”

“Can’t rape the willing.”

“Or the unwilling.” Sanjay pulled the car into their garage. He handed Dan a plastic bag with some take-out containers in it.

He glanced in the bag as he went into the house. “Chinese?”

“What passes for it anyway.” Sanjay followed him in. “You change and I’ll set the table.”

“Change?”

“You smell like an electronics factory.”

“You don’t like my robot lubricator scent?”

“No more than you do. Now git.”

“Yes, sir. I love it when you tell me what to do.” He took the stairs two at a time. 

“Shower while you’re at it.” Sanjay called up to him.

“What about you?” He called back.

“Did that before I left the pie factory. Be quick so I can do some laundry.”

The water pressure in the house didn’t allow for shower and laundry at the same time. 

When Dam came down Sanjay had set their dinner on the coffee table in the living room.

“Top Chef.” He said. “I have two episodes to catch up on. Start without me. I’ll be right back after I slip into some looser.”

Dan spooned shrimp fried rice, red gooey something done to chicken by a General and some ginger beef onto a plate.

Sanjay came back down in a tank top and sarong. 

“Loose enough?” He asked as he sat down. He took the remote and turned on the TV, found the episodes of Top Chef and pressed play.

“You should try out for that.” Dan said. 

“Not pretty enough.” Sanjay said.

“Doesn’t seem to matter much for this show. The gals can be a bit glam but the guys are truly ordinary. Even chunky.”

“You mean fat. Say it.”

“You know that’s what I mean. I mean hefty. Some of us prefer the hefty handful, as you well know.”

“Shh …” Sanjay glanced him.

Dan finished his plate of food, during the commercial break helped himself to another and got up from the couch. “I’ll leave you to it. I got work to check out anyway.”

“You’re worse than me for always having work to do. Another case?”

“No. Still doing my research on those missing kids.”

“Right.” The commercials were over. “See you in bed.”

Dan went to his desk. Turned on the store computer to see what the monitors might have picked up of his flirtation with with Sanjay. If there was anything he’d send to his personal computer. He’d learned years ago to keep his work computer free of personal files.

He reversed the feed to the approximate time. Yes, there they were. He glanced to make sure Sanjay hadn’t left Top Chef. It happened so quickly Dan had to watch it a few times to see what was happening. None of it was at the right angles for him to see what he longed to see. Sanjay’s cock going into his mouth for a moment. If he had been in the office at the time he could have moved the camera enough to get what he wants. Probably. Damn! What a wasted opportunity.

He set the feed back to the present time. There were some people in the laneway. Perfect timing. Again he checked to make sure Sanjay was still caught up in Top Chef.

It was two people. One was pushing a bundle buggy. The other opened the garbage bin and began rooting in it. Pickers. He was used to that activity. They’s have a field day with the trade in discards. He used to spend time sorting that stuff but when he noticed that it was all often gone by morning before the garbage trucks had been by he stopped being so thorough. 

These two were pretty happy to find what was in the bins tonight. Now this was reality TV. No editing for drama. He shut the work computer off and turned on his personal one. His post on V-Files was still generating likes and looks. He watched it again. Not bad. He shut that computer off as well.

Enough is enough. He stretched and took his dirty dish to the kitchen. Sanjay came in just after him.

“The latino guy was sent packing. I’m not surprised though. Would think these guys had never watched Top Chef they keep making the same mistakes year after year.”

“I guess that’s part of the screening. Have you even seen Top Chef before?” he adopted a comic bass voice. “We have ways of making you cook.”

Sanjay laughed. 

“I’m going to turn in.” Dan said. “Its been an exhausting day. An exhausting week in fact. Missing children, Cuppa threat, RCMP looking for clues, me looking at my past.”

“What about your past?”

“Stuff about when we moved here. The why. Stuff about Timmy Dunlop that I was too young to realize or understand I guess. Funny how childhood can be rewritten when new facts come to light.

“I thought Timmy visited me because he missed me but it was most likely to escape abuse in his own home. We just happened to offer safe shelter. And … ” he almost told Sanjay about the soft-core porn he’d found. He didn’t know what to make of that himself. 

“And?”

“Nothing. Just thinking aloud. You coming up soon?”

“In a bit. I’m still unwinding.”

“By watching other chefs?”

“Yeah, not having to worry about supervise them is soothing for some reason. I’ll be up once my laundry is done.”

Dan yawned. He was falling asleep on his feet. 

Dan woke to Sanjay muttering as he got into the bed.

“What is it.” Dan asked.

“You never put away after yourself.”

“What?”

“Your laundry was all over the laundry room. I had to fold it up and put it away before I could do my own.”

“Sorry.” Without opening his eyes he reached over to where Sanjay was. “I’ll do it the morning. Promise.” He drifted back to sleep.

He woken again sometime later to go the bathroom. Sanjay was no longer in the bed. In the dark he made his way to the washroom. He peeked into the other room and Sanjay was there reading a book in a dime light.

“Can’t sleep?” Dan sat on the edge of the bed.

“Guess not.” Sanjay looked up from his book. 

“You still sore about before. In the lane way?”

Sanjay pulled Dan to him and pushed him onto the bed, kissing him.

“Stop.” Dan pulled away.

“Oh!” Sanjay stopped. “It is okay for you to … to ambush me in public but not okay for me to do the same in private.”

“I get your point. I said I was sorry. What more can I say.”

Sanjay pushed his blanket down.

“Say you want to suck this.” He pushed Dan’s head onto his cock.

Dan struggled to get away but couldn’t. 

“Suck it. You know you want to?” Sanjay said. “Suck it.”

Dam opened his mouth and as he began to suck Sanjay pulled him away.

“That is how I felt. Violated. Did you think I would get off on being violated like that.”

“Sanjay, it’s not as if we were strangers. Not as if we have never had sex before. We’ve done it on the patio, in the car that time. Remember you pulled over so hot from that movie we’d seen. You had to get blown there and then.”

“That was different. In the car you had been touching me. You had started things, I merely let you have your way.”

“Okay I get it.” Dan started to stand.

Sanjay pulled him back to the bed. 

“You starting something you want me to finish?” Dan pulled his t-shirt off over his head.

“No. I just wanted to kiss you good night.”

Sanjay kissed him lightly on the mouth and pushed him way from the bed.

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Kiss The Monster

The Monster 

whose lips are these

did they kiss 

before they were grafted to my face

this attitude to the kiss

where did it come from

what cultural imperative 

was infused into my brain

to tell me the power of the kiss

 

I look down at this body

ruminate about this brain

all the things woven into 

my sense of self

that I don’t know were they originated

though I know they are controlled

by attitudes I can’t alter

 

the history of dominant needs

sutured to my ideologies 

as seamlessly as these lips

as these hands

which send ripples of fear

through the global villagers

 

a monster created in their minds

moving in this world

asking them

are your lips yours

or have they too been grafted

seamlessly

as you groped with those hands

(your hands?)

into adulthood

 

Stepping away from the Rules for a break 🙂 Each October I’ve been writing poetry inspired by horror movies. I’ve been a fan from an early age – ghost stories, spooky stuff had a distinct appeal for me. I can’t pin-point an actual age or movie that sparked my interest. Maybe it was ghost stories at Y camp?

 

One approach is to see the world from the creature’s point of view. This is the most famous monster of all – Frankenstien’s creation. I’ve given him a more introspective sensibility that is even present in the novel. In the book he is quite chatty & thanks to his bad brains, rather vengeful. My creature is stitched together from similar parts from movies, books & shoe-gazer angst.

He questions the sociological construct of the kiss, of the sense of self. The sort of questioning that many non-conforming gender people often go though as they sort though the history of dominant needs. LGBTQ people often end up with a sense of sexual self that they have to put together for themselves. How do you adapt this self to a culture that says self-acceptance still doesn’t change the fact that you are fucking monster that can send women & children screaming when you go to the washroom.

Part of the fear of the monster is often how it makes us question our own sense of self. Are these my lips. Is this kiss, is this gender, me or is it a cultural costume I wear to fit in, fit in so well there’s no need to make any decision. Why not accept the pre-made identity that allows us to conform so that we don’t scare even ourselves when we look into the mirror.

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Abundance

Week 6 of the Artist’s Way is about abundance/money. One of AA’s promises is ‘the fear of money & economic insecurity will leave us’ – the trick being the word ‘fear’  as ‘economic insecurity’ never leaves us – just ask Trump about his tax returns & his fear flares up instantly. I’ve rarely heard anyone say they have too much money or that the money that they have makes them all that secure. Money can’t buy you happiness but it can get you a decent therapist.

As with the other weeks there are lots of lists to make. Here’s one of mine: silver cloud rolls royce; spaniel; lilacs; maple pecan ices cream; kiwi; cauliflower; bbq ribs & bake potato; endless list; red. Can you guess what this is a list of? In some ways this list a challenge because some of the items where areas of my life I that aren’t very relevant.

The artists dates have not been going someplace but cleaning neglected nooks & closets in my house & making discoveries. Caches of photos from 1973; rough drafts of early novels; old notebooks; boxes old bandages (do they expire? I tossed them regardless). An abundance memory, dust & paper-clips. Letting go of that stuff has become easier creating an abundance of space, space I’ll not to refill.

The Way doesn’t really address the culture of materialism – in which having enough is seen settling for less. Compulsive consumers are seen as the key to progress – so one wants to be unblocked creatively in order to make more money to keep the wheels of progress turning. In the USA now there are people who see social distancing impeding progress. I guess money $ for the funeral industry is actually a good thing.

One thing I did do that created an instant sense of too much & wow! was indulging in a sale that Brick Books is having – a box of 50 poetry books for $30. Mine arrived this past week & I was amazed. The books average at 18.00 each – which is $900.00 worth of books. Then I reflected on the nature of becoming a published poet & was saddened. https://www.brickbooks.ca/30-for-a-box-of-books-sale/ . But what won’t keep me from enjoying the books. Guess what my friends are getting for Christmas 🙂

My Luck

when I tell people

I’m lucky to be alive today

they react as if I’m over-reacting

because in many ways

my life has been a breeze

I didn’t suffer any physical 

sexual 

emotional 

abuse growing up

never went hungry

my parents never divorced

so what do I have to complain about

 

it’s not that I’m complaining

merely making a statement of fact

I’m lucky to alive

that was a time

when gay teens 

were put into institutions 

to be cured

given shock treatment

lobotomies

behaviour modification

so they could be normal 

gender conforming

boys & girls

 

what saved my life 

was music

music never judged you

never waited outside school 

to beat you up

didn’t tell on you

didn’t turn away

when you searched album covers

for inspiration in words

in the tight pants of lead guitarists

or the sturdy arms of drummers

mooning over Keith Moon

 

never knowing anything 

about their lives

maybe if I had known 

Jim Morrison 

was really a backdoor man

Moon was a bi guy

I might have had a glimmer

of hope 

 

but even though they had talent

fame 

that allowed them freedom

but not enough to be out

careers would have been ruined

and when the music was over

they self-destructed

I was lucky to be alive

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

nothing thanks to covid19 😦

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Don’t Take My Time

My Time

I am a creature of routine

no matter how hot the guy

I am unavailable at certain times

often the only time they are free

which they take personally

even though all we know

about each other are profile pics

& what we claim are our likes

 

they act as if my time boundary

is playing hard to get

or just playing them

a sign I’m not really interested

that all I want is their desire

not their bodies

one guy said ‘if you’re going to be that way

good luck because you’ll need it’

as if my schedule 

was a character fault

 

one called me inflexible

though I had suggested other times

other days

his inflexibility was of no concern to him

whereas mine was arbitrary

whatever 

I have a life

I don’t set it aside for no dick

 

or perhaps they see it

as control

that I am making it clear

I am the dominant, the top,

not some submissive bottom bitch

gasping eager for their randy visit

 

even if I am eager

it’s still my time

I have an acquaintance in recovery who will phone & launch into their conversation. No hello, no is this a good time, no how are you. I will stop them asap if I’m busy but they’ve never learned to say – is this a good time. I have another friend in recovery who calls & really needs to meet facto face for a real talk. I suggest times – none of which fit his schedule – he assumes that for the sake off recovery I’ll change my schedule to suit his needs. I’ve done this a few times only to have him text to say he’d be late or etc.

What does this have to do with ‘My Time’ – recovery has taught me to respect my own needs, to respect my boundaries & not to let people-pleasing turning into martyrdom. Times I’ve been persuaded to make allowances for another’s time constraints have rarely worked well for either party.

Sticking to my guns often has people acting as if my not being inconvenienced by them is an inconvenience to them. That also might have to do with he fact that I don’t apologize, any more, or explain either, when I say ‘not free at that time.’ Odd how being firm can be seen as arrogant or indifferent.

I no longer take the bait of being guilted into being agreeable. I’d rather be seen as unreasonable than being seen as an ‘any time Chuck.’ Now in the age of covid distancing such inflexibility is even more necessary & a covid ‘no’ is acceptable to many. Even if I am eager, now, it’s still my life.


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‘falling in love while in love’

Hot Damn’s season 6 finale was via Zoom. For once I didn’t feel I was taking the best seat in the house 🙂 But it was a pretty quiet house of nearly 60 people from across Canada & possibly around the world as there is no way to tell where who is zoomin’ from. In fact one has the choice of being in the room & not being seen. Cool & the tool of  future social distancing.

Slam rules cover costume & props but may have to extend to backdrops 🙂 The picture quality is good, depending on the cameras of the users. Sound quality was excellent. The poets were all very comfortable in front of the camera & in fact some more confident without a live audience in front of them.

The work of the slam poets was excellent, I don’t envy the judges. I enjoyed the few pieces that took on covid19 in a practical way – what do you do when the voices in your head that use to force you to wash your hands compulsively are now really coming from your TV? Writing & performances were excellent. Scoring was quicker without flip cards to flip 🙂

 

Feature Jillian Christmas, in BC wearing polkadots & behind a drum kit, started her set by reminding us of what has been silenced in the covid19 clatter i.e. pipeline oppression of indigenous peoples. I’ve seen Jillian several times & her warmth & emotional vulnerability is a blessing. Singing, reciting & reading a few piece from her book ‘The Gospel of Breaking’ her set was too short. Her simple self-accompaniment reminded me of Jessie Mae Hemphill. Just a couple of lines of too many great lines ‘there are no renewable resources’ ‘falling in love while in love.’ If you want more, buy her book: https://arsenalpulp.com/Books/T/The-Gospel-of-Breaking 

The show was nimbly hosted by Robyn Sidhu, with an able assist by Charlie Petch. It was a great success without a venue 🙂 But I did miss the live reactions of the audience. There is no ‘hiss’ or ‘boo’ button to react to the scores. Texting those remarks doesn’t have the same energy.Scores were added up. A winner was declared. Who? You’ll have to follow Hot Damn to find out 🙂

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