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 

abused

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 🙂


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Tiki Time Mug Shots

As the pandemic purge continues what remains takes on a little more ‘importance.’ Getting rid of curtains that have been stored for over 40 years in the basement was an easy decision though. When did we ever expect to reuse them? Even the fabric, whatever it may be, can’t be repurposed. 

This ear mug hasn’t been used ever in over 40 years either but I won’t be tossing it. It was a Christmas gift the second year we were in this house. A friend was so delighted with the inventiveness of the handle, with its ear stud, he knew I would delight in it too. I did & still do. It hasn’t been used because it is too small – maybe it would make decent espresso cup but for a real cup of tea I have better options.

These a few of my tea mugs. They hold approximately 20 oz each. teapots without spouts 🙂 I’ve been acquiring them over the years. Each gets used for a month then goes to the back of the line. The ones with NaNoWriMo stickers are actually from Starbucks. The Friends mug I picked up at Winners & it only comes out for December use. I heart Tea was a Christmas gift. The plain white I bought at Kitchen Plus on the Danforth. I’m always on the look out for this size.

The polka dot mug is another Starbucks but too small for regular use. I love the dots. It’s a ceramic sort of travel mug with a lid insert but more for not spilling in the office while you drink, not for carry around as it doesn’t fully close. Thanks to pandemic even real travel mugs aren’t being refilled by coffee shops in Toronto.

This tiki glass is a favorite that during the hot months gets a lot of use. I bought years ago at a Cargo Imports (or some such) which vanished. It holds about 20 ounces, it also weight almost that much 🙂 Thick glass, with smile on one side & frown on other – comedy & tragedy. It is my iced-coffee mug when Toronto hots up. The straw is stainless- steel – I picked some of them up at Kitchen Plus a few years ago.

I make my own iced-coffee with brewed coffee ice-cubes – yes coffee freezes! I discovered that a few years ago & since then have made my own. I started when after having a Starbucks iced I saw that it was half plain water ice cubes – wtf. At that price I want cold coffee not caffeinated water. I brew a pot, let it cool, make a tray of ice-cubes & keep the reminder cool in the fridge.

Here’s a rant from 2008

Omnipotent

if I had unlimited power

I don’t know 

what I would do with it

I’d be so stunned by the ramifications

of every little ripple

how one thing leads to another

perhaps we all have unlimited power

that butts heads constantly

warring factions

each with its own vision of what is best 

at least for them

looking for immediate satisfaction

comforts wants needs desires

takes us far from harmony

who wants to live in harmony

unlimited power

doesn’t mean having everything your own way

or does it

<>

if I had unlimited power

I don’t know what I would change first 

how to create the correct balance

end war strife disease

how to feed that burgeoning population

control reproduction

who can chose who is to be born

without endless wisdom

<>

unlimited power

isn’t solution

every solution has a cost 

that someone has to pay

usually those who can afford it the least 

end up paying the most

the homeless can’t afford good food

the rich can afford good health care

the balance hasn’t been struck yet

nor will it

<>

unlimited power brings 

unlimited headaches with it

headaches almost as bad

as having no power

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts
– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The Thieving Slut

The Thieving Slut

who said

you could wear my things

because I certainly didn’t

maybe

if you had asked me

I might have consented 

but to take it on yourself

to figure I wouldn’t mind

is going too far

if you get my drift

you don’t want my grubby hands

all over your things

you’ve told me that often enough 

well I don’t want my clothes 

all over your slutty body

you heard me right

you thieving slut

that it looks better on you

than it ever did on me

is not justification 

it’s mine

now take it off right now

give it back to me

I don’t care who sees you here

the people in this mall

have seen uglier sights

than your skinny ass

so give me back my clothes

give me back my dignity

my privacy

my right to have something 

of my own

what did I do

to deserve a parent like you

Sometimes these poems are so obvious I don’t think they much explanation. I was older than my siblings & there was no way my clothes would fit them for many years so this scenario never happened to me. I’ve seen it in episodes of lots of sitcoms. You can almost hear this on the Brady Bunch.

I did get some of my dad’s hand-me-downs though. In fact I still have a leather jacket of his I sometimes wear. I also wore the hell out of a cream-coloured car coat of my mothers. My Dad had bought matching coats for him & her. Her’s wasn’t tailored quite right, maybe the buttons were on the wrong side, but it fit me perfectly. I wonder what became of that coat?

In writing this I didn’t want to mention an article of clothing to give your imagination room to play. I also wanted to make this gender free – how many of you thought it was females? Names of clothes tend to be gendered – blouse vs. shirt; panties vs. underwear. I know ‘slut’ tends toward female – is there a male equivalent? Nowadays it is applied to both male & female.

The title came well after the piece was written. It is a play on the name of a famous opera The Thieving Magpie by Rossini. Also magpie’s are noted for taking shiny objects and are one of only a few non-mammal species able to recognize itself in a mirror test. Which is appropriate for a clothing thief.


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

October Recap

In October TOpoet.ca  had many days with over 60 hits. India tops the list with Canada at the top of the hit list, 2nd place is USA, with India regaining 3rd. Increases seen from Mauritius & Kenya coming on strong. The blog now has 359 followers (up from 298 at the start of the year). 246 Tumblr followers. Steady increase is best. Finally down to the end of Coal Dusters one more short chapter to wrap things up in November 🙂 It’ll come in at just under 138,000 words.

My Twitter account was suspended without warning or explanation other than I had broken their rules but they refused to tell me which ones: hate speech? spamming? using copyright materials? When I pressed for an answer I was told not to bother them & that they would not reply again to my requests for explanations. So my twitter following is down to 0. It was a time waster & did nothing to enhance my productivity.

The only event, so far, in November is the Hot Damn! show on November 7 at Buddies in Bad Times. Season 5 winner Wes Ryan will be the feature. I’m giving NaNoWriMo a rest this year. Though I managed good work last year it had become a chore rather than a challenge. I may focus on organizing Picture Perfect which I hope to start blogging in 2020. Not sure what Tuesdays will bring – maybe another photo blog similar to Sunday’s.

Other blog days will remain the same. Pictures may become even more random than they are now 🙂 Friday will see lps covers & such that I’ve come across on my walks. People throw away the oddest things :-). Taking pictures is more practical, for me, than taking objects. 

TV pleasures include American Horror Story; 1984 – so far one of the best arcs of the series. Past seasons have felt stretched out by plot tangents. This one has been tight, taught & bloody good fun. The new season of Castle Rock has started & the Misery/Salem’s Lot mash up is off to a good start. Hopefully Space won’t screw up the running times as badly as they did last season. I also hope they broadcast it same time same day, instead of moving it around without notice.

Currently I’m reading: I Am Providence – a biography of HP Lovecraft by S. T. Joshi – fascinating not only for  his life but for the literary context of the time – letters-to-the-editor often became like twitter wars – with strangers taking potshots at each via the anonymity of these letters. Also a critical study by David Kalat of Toho’s Godzilla movies putting them into a cultural context. As well as the final piece in the Works of John Addington Symonds – his biography of Michelangelo.

Rant In A Tea Cup

the weather report isn’t good

no matter how nice 

the meteorologist says it is

it’s a lie 

a spin

to keep me from worrying 

about how bad it really is

no matter how perfect the days looks

it is bad

getting worse

each day less air to breath

more burning rays to avoid

 

the spin doesn’t fool me

more days when 

you can’t let seniors out till after dark

can’t let children play in the park

 

the prognoses isn’t promising

umbrellas aren‘t enough 

parkas aren’t enough

there is no protecting ourselves 

from this air we breath

from the constant crumble of the real world

 

the weather isn’t good

no matter what

America’s next top politician says

there is no roll back for the ecology

next top politician is like 

America’s next top model

they are only spokespersons

to give that hopeful spin

that change is going to come

sure it will 

but it isn’t going to a change for the better

not a change for the ordinary folk

unless that change

means big bucks for someone

the climate doesn’t have 

the right corporate sponsor

it needs a better spokesperson

 

the sunny day is a fraud

a taste of emptiness fills my mouth

when I breath what remains of our air

wondering which microscopic mote

is the one that gives me cancer

as it turns my skin to lumpy melanoma 

drooping sagging leather

rain snow sunshine highs lows

with chill uv factors

smog alerts

economic forecast grim

auto sectors need a bail out 

oil is raking in billions of profits

why not let oil bail out auto

not the highs and lows we want to see

 

so many clouds 

in the fog wrapping

around our brains 

our willingness stifled 

by the powerlessness imposed 

by powerless people in control of

spokesmodels

for hidden puppeteers

who we never will know 

because everyone is on someone 

else’s weather radar map

no one is free

no one can leave the house

without first checking 

to see what the weather is like 

the sky isn’t telling us the truth

no one is 

so take your umbrella

because a smile

isn’t enough protection any more 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Scene 2

 

costume choice 1

Week 7 of make-a-scene brings me one week closer to the end of the workshop and closer to our graduation  Red Nose District show. What has somewhat dismayed me is the attrition rate for the class – we started with 11 gung-ho people and so far three have dropped out – I suppose some people have money to burn.

In past workshops I know some people aren’t ready for the amount work that is actually involved – for a writing workshop they don’t expect they’ll have to not only produce work for the class but also read and comment on the work of up to another dozen people – that is if they want the most out of the class. I recall one where a member only showed up when his pieces where to be looked at & he rarely had anything to say about one else’s. What’s the point?

 

costume choice 2

The past few weeks of Scene we have been workshopping the pieces for the show. This, for me, has been very productive. Some had a concept but nothing more and so a piece was built by doing it – by getting on stage and acting through possibilities – as opposed to sitting around and merely talking about what one could do – this pushed things into new shapes and sometimes new directions. Often finding an ending is the crux of things.

I’m more of a discovery writer – so this process suits me, though the piece I brought to the table, as it were, was pretty complete already – I was able to reduce it, focus it and find ways of bringing it to life on stage – I didn’t resist suggestions or defend what I had already intended to do with it – going with the flow works. Besides my own piece I’ll be appearing in a couple of the other scenes.

 

costume choice 3

What am I doing? You’ll have to come out to see it but I does involve an inflatable.

 

samp01

a rant from 2007:

 

Taking it Personal

 

I try not to take the personals personally

what they want

is a little sliver of perfection to control

to hold in an unalterable limbo

out you go the moment there is

a disagreement over anything

betrayal takes hold bitterness sets in

so that they become

even more precise in what they want

 

as those parameters get smaller

the pool of possibility gets shallower

they aren’t looking for anyone shallow

you must be complex

have a sense of humor a job

go to a gym twice a week

or at least have a big dick

that magic wand

can wave away the deeply needed

personal attributes they are seeking

 

I know when they are talking long term

they mean only as long

as you are obedient

as long as you fulfill certain

fantasy requirements

until someone with more money

or a bigger dick comes along

 

I’ve meet someone

who are none of the things they are looking for

I wonder if they read the ad they wrote

wonder if they know what they want

because even when I am

exactly what they are looking for

I’m not

 

I try not to take the personals personally

and so far have succeeded

never met the wrong guy that way

never met the right guy that way

not looking for perfection

certainly opens the field

though I don’t waste my time

with those looking for perfection

I know they are only seeking

the safety of the impossible

with a bigger dick

redbulge03