Prometheus at Hot Damn

Hot Damn! started 2019 with a packed room workshop at Glad Day and a SRO house at Buddies in Bad Times – both driven by feature Regie Cabico. The participants at the workshop wrote & shared some excellent work on the spot – the level of trust among people who had never met before was encouraging, as was the diversity of the participants.

When I got to Buddies to help Charlie set up there were people already clambering to get in 🙂 so the house opened fifteen minutes earlier than usual, I did front of house & it was full enough to start the show a little after 8 (nearly on time for a poetry show). Standing room only by 8:15. Also a full sign-up sheet for slammers – 11 – a Hot Damn! record.

After some opener stagers the first round got underway with a series of politically & emotionally pieces that held nothing back on gender, indigenous, & local political issues. Round two had fewer slammers (lowest scores didn’t get to move forward) and the tone of the pieces became more reflective, personal but equally as direct and powerful.

Lines from the first part of the show: my tongue was not enough’ ‘the swish of sari silk’ ‘I could taste blood’ ‘I fell in love with a crack dealer’ ‘you are the art work of past lives’ ‘our medicine made illegal’ ‘give up your cottages and give us back our land’ ‘what he really should have admitted to you before you married’ ‘I only knew how to see you as a moving disaster’ ‘nobody giving me room to make mistakes in’ ‘betrayal tastes like fennel and sage’ ‘my neighbourhood becomes a trigger warning’ ‘you ask me if I’ll forgive you’ ‘I pray you get your forgiveness but it will never come from me’ ‘I say to them – it’s not your table’ ‘you still here with me like a cloud in my mind’ ‘as if money could regenerate our roots’ ‘I’m not sure how to tell your dad that you’re gay’

Feature Regie Cabico did a strong set drawing from his recent chapbook ‘Sticky Stars & Sheets.’ Funny, deeply personal, very sensual & inspiring. ‘jack-off in the name of leukaemia research’ ‘the warehouses are lit by flames of vodka’ ‘you will not pluck my pancreas like Prometheus’ ‘you hold me like an oar directing my past’ ‘we run like suitcases on wheels’ ‘two lonely Tony’s from West Side Story’ ‘his calf … stretched out before me like Florida’

This is not my first review of Regie though: Spoonful of Beautiful We’ve enjoyed each other’s performances in the past so I may not be impartial – but the audience was so enthused so my review isn’t exaggerating his set. 

After a much needed break the show resumed with a few more open stagers & the final round of the slam; ‘I need a place to sit to get perspective’ ‘they’re asking me if I have a gender identity’ ‘never more than genetic coding’ ‘baby shoes take me back to memory like a phantom limb’ ‘too many of us seeking help’ ‘this body is not a temple you are invited to’ ‘my mess you speak to’ ‘oozo ozone’ ‘even my now voice is too heavy to raise’ ‘confuse tenderness with love’ ‘saying gay people should die while getting off on lesbian porn’ ‘it just isn’t about sex anymore’ ‘hidden by ink and time’ ‘the space between fingertips & footsteps.’

Scores were tabulated, prizes were given. Yes, there was a winner, who gets to compete in April for the grand prize: the trip to participate in Capturing Fire (dates tba, soon) but the real winner was the audience. Next Toronto Hot Damn! is March 7. 

(above blog pics are of construction by Buddies)

the piece I wrote at the workshop – rough draft –


Henry texted me

he was told to stay home

he’s afraid

he’ll lose his job

Henry is one of my lovers

we have been seeing other

every week or so

for over three years


I want him to feel

cared for

but I have no solution

for his situation

other than acknowledging his stress


I like Henry

but I do not love him

he wants job security

not love


it is hard to breathe 

in the workshop

so many perfumes

I’m glad I have no

environment allergies


the tenderness of

Henry’s slow kisses

is what I love


the tentative tongue start

draws us

into each other’s bodies


I love his tongue

but can’t pronounce his last name


unless it is in front of me


in Cape Breton this summer

I will visit

my parents graves

I wasn’t there when they died

they won’t be here

when I die

they will never see my grave


Henry texts

he is going to bed

I hope he sleeps well

that he dreams of our kisses

not of rewriting his resume 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? 

Sneak Peek January 2019

A quick look back before the peek – my following jumped to 298 maybe I’ll get to 300 by the end of January. Twitter is up to 210 thanks to more internet entrepreneurs following me 🙂 & Tumblr steady at 214 – it would be much more but I block any hetero-porn sites that follow me. Also a nice jump in WP hits that started when I stopped the auto link to Tumblr & replaced it with Google+.


Speaking of Tumblr with the new ‘adult content’ standards – it seems lots of nude picture posters have abandoned ship, some gone to twitter  (until twitter enforces those standards I guess) – those that remain are still as explicit as ever – so I’m not sure what is going on there. I’m still having to block hetero sex/dating sites from following me.


For January I’ll be back to posting Coal Dusters, new pieces prompted by the 227 Rules For Monks & rambling on about poems I have written. I enjoyed the Christmas stuff I was writing & will make that a new tradition for every December. The response was very positive for it but even if it wasn’t I’d do it anyway 🙂 Monday: my music collection; Tuesday: Coal Dusters; Wednesday: poetry chat; Thursday: Rules; Friday: inspirations, Disability After Dark or whatever. Saturdays will be for the occasional reviews of books, poetry shows.

Speaking of shows Hot Damn!’s January 10th show will feature Capturing Fire founder Regie Cabico. This will be a high-energy set that will leave you both shocked & grateful – plus a workshop in the afternoon. Hopefully he’ll confirm the dates for Capturing Fire 2019 so I can plan what to wear to DC this year 🙂


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice-cream in Washington at 2019’s – sweet,eh?

Festive Sensitive

“The issue is the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA) packaged set of bills. These bills were passed in April 2018 in US Congress, where websites are now liable for their content posted by 3rd parties – and can be sued if someone uses their website to solicit sex.”

“This issue is not isolated to Tumblr, and even if you leave this website and switch to another, the rules will be similar or will soon be so. If you’ve been here for a long time – sure, open up some other accounts. However, I wouldn’t be so eager to jump ship – you’ll end up in the same waters.”

(The above reposted so many times on Tumblr I’m not sure who initially posted it.)

‘websites are now liable for their content posted by 3rd parties’ I am not a lawyer but this sounds like bars being held liable for accidents caused by drunks leaving their bar. Are gun stores being held responsible for what is done with weapons bought there? Can people sue breweries? 

Will bars be forced to stop selling booze? This seems to be what the FOSTA law is forcing websites, such as Tumblr, to do. So instead of signing petitions to protest Tumblr having to follow a law passed by a government elected by the US people, they should be deal with the idiotic government that created & passed these bills. I have no idea how much ‘online sex trafficking’ goes on or how these laws can prevent it. I doubt if turning anything & everything vaguely suggestive into ‘sensitive’ is a solution. 

Snow Stunned

his eyes were the color sky

on the verge of snow

snow that is eagerly awaited

so that I have a white Christmas

not a lot of snow mind you

a dusting of it

enough to turn the world

around me into a festive card

of trees and houses

houses with warm lights in windows

as snow falls

a blizzard of affection

that blankets us together

under thick waves of heat

naked in front of a fireplace

hearth logs crackling

and our stockings hung

a vision of sugar plums

between his legs

the wind howling around the house

we tumble around each other


tossed in a snow globe

of swiftly climbing lusts


spinning transient 


breathless and mumbling

unwrapped and crumpled

naught nice naughty nice

January 10, Thursday: 8 p.m. Hot Damn! Its’ a Queer Slam – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre: feature Regie Cabico

returning every Tuesday 2019

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C. 

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2019’s – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Glitter Reflections at #CapFire18

Friday I opted to do nothing – no tourist jaunts to conserve my energy for the Fire start later in the day. After hitting the DuPont club I went over to Ted’s Bulletin on 14th for their big breakfast. After a 10 to 15 minute wait for a table turned into 25 I left – clearly Friday is not a good day for someone wanting a single booth. Busboys & Poets was near by so I had a great burger there.

Rested at hotel. Selected the right shirt for the show. Left around 4:30 to give myself time to get lost finding the venue. Metro was simple enough as I get used to it. I got off at Chinatown/Gallery & even found the right direction on 7th. The maps all made Woolly Mammoth appear to close to 6th & D corner – where in fact it was nearly on the corner for 7th. A bit of walking in circles & I found it 🙂

Got my copy of the Stoked Words anthology. Lots of restaurants to choose from as this was centre of the theatre district. Chicken caesar & back to Woolly. Lots of familiar faces & the same old story. People starting conversations while looking over your shoulder for someone more compelling to talk to. I didn’t even bother trying to respond tho ‘how are you’ knowing full well they wouldn’t stay long enough to hear my response.

One poet asked what pronoun I preferred – which I think is great – but they were offended when I said ‘it.’ Rather than engage they rushed off to hug & chat with fiends who where less ‘challenging.’ It was great to see the Toronto crew though Charlie – in the demanding role of Slam Coordinator; D’Scribe in the demanding role of themself 🙂

The book launch was a true lesson in diversity, voice, style and world-view. With nearly 30 poets – or was it more, I lost count – I felt washed, baptized, sanctified & blessed. I also was reminded that the deeper the suffering the greater the authenticity. I don’t suffer enough, in my writing, to be considered authentic.


By the time all the poets had read I was exhausted to the point where I couldn’t hear anymore. Not that I was deaf but I wasn’t able to absorb any more poetry. I made my weary way back to the Fairfax. slipped more than my shoes. Checked my email. Laid down & fell asleep instantly. My sleep was deep and authentic.

on of my pieces in the anthology – not quite as it appears there as I tweaked it while waiting to perform 🙂

Oogie Inferno

if you’re thinkin’ I’m too cool to boogie

boy oh boy have I got news for you

I love the sweaty potential of the dance floor

the solid mass of men mobile  shifting

eagerly crammed     crowded by the bass line

the righteous revival fever of a contralto

everybody here tonight must boogie

let me tell ya’ I was no exception to the rule

the heat was on (burnin’),

rising to the top, huh!

eyes closed    hands open


shirtless strutters in sweat soaked satin shorts

muscles      bloated bellies

a guy spinning in circles in his wheelchair

no one cares

as flesh wound around   pulled by the driving

boogie oogie oogie


an endless moment of contact high

thigh to thigh contact

the heat was on, rising to the top

where the keyboard was underfoot

put your feet to the beat

peak after peak of solid state sweat

turn this beat around

no voice heard that wasn’t amplified

no time to waste

let’s get this show on the road

listen to the music and let our bodies flow

yowsa yowsa yowsa      dance dance dance

shame shame shame

we were shimmering glittering

ready to take on the future

beep beep toot toot


I love the moment of stepping into the mass

the sooner I begin the longer I’ve got to groove

listen to the music and let bodies move

make a space for myself

get approving once overs

then not care who’s lookin’

but when my spark got hot

I heard somebody say

Burn baby burnin’ the house down

gonna boogie oogie oogie

till you just can’t boogie no more


I love the blur as I am transported

out the body    out of the mind

satisfaction (uhu hu hu) in the chain reaction

released from all sense of self

except for the one caught       immersed

push push in the bush bush

lost for hours

boogie oogie oogie


taking a breather wet glistening

asked what are you on

having my answer of nothing disbelieved

as if the music and testosterone

aren’t enough for me to

burn that cocksucker down

because have I got news for you

this could be the last dance

everybody here tonight must

boogie oogie oogie

My Talented Friends

With the festive season rapidly approaching it is a good time for me to recommend great gift options produced by many talented friends. Starting with some sweet sounds from SoulFistikato  the head nod. I met SoulF at Valentino Assenza’s Cryptic Chatter back in the day (time for a reunion show Val?). He (& frequent collaborated Dane Swan: whose excellent new book “He Doesn’t Hurt People Anymore” can be found on Amazon) are out of the slam scene. the head nod is a set of sampled, remixed & original instrumentals that are easy on the ear & uplifting to the spirit.

Charlie C Petch’s  Mel Malarkey Odes & Acts is a studio recording of their one-person Cabaret. I say Cabaret in reference to the musical as this is out of that vaudeville tradition – even the instrumental numbers have that Kurt Weill lilt. Charlie is another artist I first encountered at Valentino Assenza’s Cryptic Chatter back in the day (time for a reunion show Val?).

Carolina Brown’s Carolina Brown is a richly textured set of their songs. Compelling guitar work with raw & sometimes playful lyrics. Carolina confronts gender & transphobia directly & connects emotionally to the listener. I’ve heard Carolina several times & have enjoyed the fearless energy they use in creative expression in such a directly honest way that invites rather than challenges. Not that some of music isn’t challenging but it is a challenge one is willing to face.

Kris Gebhard’s Fairy Feather Files is another collection that confronts gender & transphobia directly & connects emotionally to the listener. Spoken-word with gentle marimba interludes that refresh the spirit. Kris presents difficult realizations with a tenderness that lets the listener hear the experience. I first heard Kris at Capturing Fire (produced by Regie Cabico) in Washington DC. Challenging in content at times but done in way affected way that draws you in emotionally.

So much for the audio portion of this post. Andre Prefontaine’s Freshwater Genteel & Saltwater Rage chapbook is full of fun, difficult, angry, not-so-fun but always honest poetry. Their writing is sharp, thoughtful, penetrating & human. I’ve seen Andre perform several times & each time am amazed & inspired. Contract him via Facebook to find out how to buy this book.

Finally Goddess X’s Blk Grl Sick: Tales from the Library Burned. I met X at Capturing Fire a few years ago & was stunned by their writing & their performance. The writing is powerful, raw, honest & clear. I always read poetry out-loud – this allows me to feel the words as opposed to slipping over them with eyes. In reading this book aloud I was caught up in the frustration & fears of being a black trans woman in the USA in way I didn’t expect. This is a fearless, challenging, fierce book.

Maybe these sound too challenging for Christmas gifts? Sure a pair comfy slippers would be nice but challenging someone to see the world around them in a different by giving them chance to leave their comfort zone is infinitely more rewarding. Take up the challenge it could also help change the way you see the world.

The Good Old Days

when I was a boy things were different

we’ve come a long way from those days

when there wasn’t anything to do

till the sun had come up

as there was no light allowed at night

stumbling in the dark

from one strip joint to the other

to listen to dancers in the dark

fleshly moist parts

pressed against your shoulder

the only part of the body

they were allowed contact with in the dark

now that we have light at night

it’s like going to the dentist

antiseptic and numbing

ah yes we all remember

those days when the only music

came from the slap of thighs

when the village women did the wash

as they whacked the dirt out of clothes


we didn’t have the worries we do today

then we worried about

how many smelt or moose

would the men catch

would there be enough

so that even a lad of ten

would have a fiver

to take to unlit strip bars

so the men could afford a soothing drink

to make up for the time it took

to wash the blood out of their hair

while the village women

whacked their clothes on moist rocks

to get the stain of smelt or the stink of moose

out of those rubbed-soft loose-fitting pants

that held the private parts

of the men they loved

those were the days when people loved


we had such pie in those days

small pans

so carefully tended in wood stoves

wood that we children had to find

we had to scour empty condo complexes

break off chair legs or hat racks

so we could be a part of things

so we could prove

we were good for more

than homework and giggling

because we loved to giggle

especially at the women

who spent so much time getting ready

for their shifts at the unlit strip bars

putting on sparkling fish scales

that no one would ever see

and the men hot and hollowed

would stagger home to fall asleep

on piles of wet laundry

licking their lips

waiting for the sun to rise


those were the days

when things were different

unlike now

when different

is just another brand name

chapbooks for sale


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

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Capturing Fire 2018

The Fire has settled for another year – bigger & better every year & as long the US President (whomever it is this time next year) doesn’t make even more restrictive travel rules I’ll be back for Capturing Fire 2018. I met some great people, renewed acquaintance with others, was impressed by the energy& dedication of Regie Cabico, Sasha Sinclair, Angelique Palmer (she made a an ankle cast glamorous), heard a slew of talent from the south-west & witnessed the creation of a fire-breathing dragon balloon animal. (Charlie Petch will be posting those pics soon).


The Slam Saturday night was the official end of Fire but the Sunday brunch at Mulebone was the unofficial finale. Good food, coffee, photos were taken (I might show up in at least one them). The temperature soared to nearly 100 F. Not good for me for any length of time. 110 sunscreen plus a cloth held down by my to cover my next & ears helped but the a/c in my hotel was a Godsend.

At the brunch I experience great proof of my unsocial tendencies – I’m unwilling to jump into conversations between people around me – they always seem to intent on each other. A few started conversations quickly became conversations with someone they would rather talk to. Other than being queer & being poets I have little in common with them & trying to find that common ground takes more patience than they are willing to extend.

But this was a day in which I didn’t get lost getting there or getting back to my cool hotel. Cool downed, got my blog done & published, meditated & … get this … took a bath – the hotel has tubs big enough to take a bath in !! sweet. Also connected with another, up till now, online friend. A good communicator is always hot: he let me know when he was leaving, when he parked the car etc. He lived up to my expectations. But he’s a working man so time was limited. Next year for sure. I now have two Fires to look forward to 🙂

Past Washington posts

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Captured Fire Never Burns Out

Capturing Fire 2016 edition was a step forward for the lgbtq poetry summit that Regie Cabico started several years ago. Part of the success this year was having extra hands in the form of Sasha Sinclair helping with the administration & organization of running the event. DC1001Another step forward was opening up the locations. Not that the DC Centre was a bad location but it was time to move out from that sheltered & rather office space space to warmer settings. Coffy Cafe (warmer than expected thanks to a/c break down)was a great setting for the opening night. The staff was friendly, the coffee fresh & ice drinks were cold. I do think 3 events for a kick off is one too many. Like all poetry event things start late & run longer than expected – what on paper looks like a tight set of 3 one hours shows, quickly becomes 3 – 90 min shows. DC1002I liked the loot bags – the Capturing Fire 2016 notebooks were an inspired idea, the tote bag useful, the Go In Poet button will get lots of wear by me but – I know it’s hard to decline free stuff – the loot bags were stuffed with a range of condoms, flavoured & otherwise plus lube – a few dental dams as well. But for a festival that was strongly trans, asexual, non-binary – all that gay male stuff seemed a bit out of place. Why not rainbow Washington flag stickers?

The Keegan Theatre proved to be a great spot for the Saturday & Sunday workshops & open mics. Events were unhurried, well attended, & productive. I like workshops were things get written, where ideologies get challenged, rather than mocked or attacked. I think Fire needs more hands-on writing workshops around editing & creating new material, or looking at material already created. I’ll propose something for next year when that call comes out.DC1003Busboys & Poets is a fine spot for the slam & I sensed that the staff there got schooled on how to deal with disability. One of the good things about Fire this year was the active participation of disabled writers – thanks to Deliciously Disabled I’ve become more aware of ablest thoughtlessness. Busboys’ lovely stage is not at all accessible.

Once again my world view became wider – my awareness of the issues faced by trans, asexual people & those that question the value & nature of gender roles deepened. I bought a bunch of poetry books that I look forward to reading over the summer. I added a bunch of new facebook friends, people I’ve actually met. Even added some new WordPress followers 🙂DC1004I found myself blogging daily, sometimes twice a day, just to keep on top of everything that was going on. I even made time to do some writing that wasn’t blogging while playing tourist. I look forward to next year & hope to become even more involved, from a distance, in helping Capturing Fire grow glow brighter & hotter.samp03

another of the workshop pieces – can you spot the form?

my underwear collection

absolute slut

banana boat

candy stripes

dinosaure daddy

elephant eden

French frit

grey gardens

happy days

isosceles triangles

jumping jacks

kaleidoscopic cock

lethal legs

moulded tight

never removed

open for business

palm tease

queer as fuck

red rocketeer

stripper’s pole

tried & true

up & at ‘em

valley boy

walking wild

Xerces jerks these

yellow tank

zoo cage specialsoon02

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

June 12, Sunday – participating: Michael Matheson – The Axe and the Scalpel – Editing Your Own Work 1:00 pm – Bakka-Phoenix Books – 84 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2H7

construction vert

tickets here

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


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo


year 2017

a day at a time 🙂

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?

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R2D2’s Glory Hole

The final day of Capturing Fire was yet another full of goodness, thunderstorms, sweat & tears days. It kicks doff with the brunch at Mulebone – good food, coffee, lots of conversation & my amazement that people had the time for such full make-up that early in the day – made be glad to be an ordinary guy 🙂 It was also a nice to connect with some of the other poets in a non-performance setting – but, honey, let me tell you we’re never off stage.CD0601I took a long break after brunch to relax, mediate & apply more 110 sunblock (which made this white guy even whiter) before going to the Keegan for the 3:30 pm Queer Asian Reading: hosted by Gowri K. Lots of vibrant strong work but a range of Asian writers: including Indian, Chinese, Philippine. Cultural diversity is no more ‘inclusion’ than the need for buttons on a shirt. I was deeply moved at time – not naming names though.

I stepped out for some stale air – hoping the rain had cleared the air but it hadn’t. I did notice that the boots I had take a picture off a few hours ago where now gone from the trash. I sat in on the tail end of Creating a Solo Play Reading and Panel which was followed at 6:00 pm by New Shit of the Queerest Kind Open Mic hosted Kay Kassirer. I had brought Six Feet Under – the version if it was new & as I read it I discovered the right ending for it. Thanks Capturing Fire.

DC0602Dashed back to the hotel to shower, fix my hair, pick my shirt (poodles again as it deserved a 2nd showing) & mer to Busboys for the 8:00 pm Sparkle DC Open Mic hosted by Danielle Evennou & Regie Cabico. Had a burger – after this weekend I needed real red meat (that was the only meat I got my hands on since arriving DC).DC0603Strong open stagers. Great sets by Jason Schneiderman (auto spell wants this last name to be Spiderman) ‘the moral of this poem is ‘fuck you’.’ Was he wearing his Thom Gunn leather jacket? Claudia Alick calling out films that ‘use our history as decoration.’ Cathy Petch did a main feature with precision, hilarity & emotional depth. Did CP3O ever find R2D2’s glory hole?

I, as usual, was the odd man out – with so much powerful political, gender, race material I opted to do something completely different – Oogie Inferno – my ode of old school disco, which nearly brought the crowd to its feet to dance. Some one said later that the me who performed was a complete shock to them. I don’t have hidden depth, I have hidden shallows 🙂

DC0604Hugs, tears, photographs- yes this year there will be actual photos of me at Fire other than the ones I’ve taken in various venue washroom mirrors (hey! I didn’t take any of those this year, yet). Another night I feel asleep back at the hotel while taking my socks off. Can’t wait until next year 361 days for when I wrote this post.samplethis is the piece I read on Friday night at Coffy Cafe

Hard To Believe

just because

I have a hard on

doesn’t mean I’m interested

it’s not like

we’re in high school

& I can hide it behind my books

or tie a jacket around my waist

yes I do have a hard on

that is an erection

yes it is very hard

like a rock

like a rocket ship


you aren’t the landing pad

I’m not interested

I’m not even pretending I am

what more can I say

to convince you

I’m not interested

no I don’t find you repulsive

but it’s not you

that’s making me so hard

when you kiss me

when you pinch my nipples

anyone can do that

and I would get erect

so it has nothing to do with you

you can ignore my hard on

in fact

I wish you would

just take your hands off my balls

stop licking the head of my dick

I’m not interested

I didn’t take my clothes off

for you to give me a blow job

I didn’t

take your clothes off

for that reason either

it was just something to do


I didn’t come here to have sex with you

that was the last thing on my mind

I’m not having sex with you

to make you fall in love me

I don’t want to be in love

I don’t have the time for that

neither do you

we are adults

we can control ourselves

we can ignore these erections

and get on with our conversation

nice weather isn’t it


Capturing Fire Negotiation

Capturing Fire

the world is changing

faster faster faster

the bandwidth revolution

releases all voices

people won’t be silenced

stopping the blaze of words

won’t keep the world from changing


lawn art in DC

Capturing Fire, for me, was being thrust into the ring of a prize fight in progress. As an earlier Fire post said the poets covered every faction of the LGBTQ rainbow, with a strong presence of the trans & non-binary, non-gendered. Articulate, angry about recent murders in the trans world & recent riots in Baltimore.

One poet said, visiting the day after the riots, that she saw no difference to that city – not that the sanitation department did such a good job but that the city was so decayed before the riots one couldn’t tell if they had happened. These are poets living in both a gender & a political war zone. Another said that poverty will never disappear as long there is money to made from appearing to make poverty disappear. Which make me thing of the pharmaceutical industry: treating disease makes more $ than curing it.



The event was well organized by Regie Cabico – who gave props to the DC Centre staff & all who helped but it still seemed a one man job. The pace was ideal – intimate & socially friendly to spoke word. Great dining, coffee & snacks  where steps away. I had excellent ribs at Eatonville, wonderful shrimp/chicken pasta at Busboys & Poets; & an interest sausage patty at St. Ex. The Starbucks isn’t as strong  as it is in Toronto; Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is okay but the donuts were crap.

I took in multiple events each of the three days of Fire. After two late (for me) nights I fell asleep in my room after supper & missed the wrap party. Sometime the body knows better than the mind.

Some of the poets were so hyper-charged they had to go barefoot to stay grounded. Too many fine performers to name-check everyone but: Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi was amazing – she slipped easily from saucy, romantic to unrestrained fire-hose anger – all in one piece. Authentic and precise, she was inspiring. Vita Elizabeth Cleveland at her first event of this nature was a natural & powerful. Her Caitlyn Jenner piece was daring & remorseless. The men from the UK, Toby Campion & Dominic Berry, were brash energetic spokenword hooligans with their so from the heart humour & struggles. Mental Health issues in the UK are no more advanced than ours. ‘Those pills are fucking you up – take these instead’ not ‘Let’s see if you get better without pills.’ What’s the difference between standing up for yourself and being non-cooperative.


wouldn’t eye

I loved the city – maybe avoiding the tourist stuff helped me I was there not just visiting. My hotel (The Churchill, was excellent (tell them I sent you). It was the perfect distance – a twenty-five minute walk to the DC Centre. The staff were helpful & cheerful (& some were hot hot hot. I nearly asked the man who serviced the safe in my room, if he wanted slip on a safe & service me.)

I can’t say that I made any creative breakthroughs but my world view has certainly expanded. I felt welcome & comfortable, made some new FB friends & depend others with the great Ontario crew that held there now going toe-to-toe at the slam. They discovered what it was like to be really challenged by performers at their peak. If I can afford it, I’ll be back next year.

(written on the plane Tuesday June 9. Before I boarded I got a FB message from Valentino Assenza to talk about Fire on HOWL Tuesday 16.)

The links to all my Capturing Fire are on my Washington Roundup page here. 


Between workshops, open stage & walking I did write a few things in DC 🙂 here’s one:


I learned

there is a difference between


and butt play

one involves

anal penetration by various body parts

tongue   finger/s   cock

the other involves

anal penetration by objects

vegetables carrots   cucumbers   corn on the cob

dildos – of various lengths  thickness

possible cast from someone favourite porn star

ass play can also involve

enemas  the fist  or even the foot

but which is which

anal or ass play


because if you say yes to one

& find out the other was intended

it can be too late to say

‘no fucking way

I thought that was a floor lamp’

you have to do more

than read the fine print

on both sides of the negotiation

when yes means yes

but only up to a certain point

you gotta make sure

both parties know what that point it

because if a guy drops by

expecting you to be

fresh douched & eager

to be fisted

& that isn’t even on the bottom of your list

he can get quite hostile

as if it had been your fault

that language & mental telepathy

have let you both down

perceived rejection can quickly escalate

to active violence

forced compliance

by which time it’s too late for negotiation


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‘… not caged eagles’ in #DC

Capturing Fire kicked off with an exhausting energetic night of endless enthusiastic slammers, poet and bakers. Spoke performers from Manchester UK, Silver Springs, Regina, Toronto & more make this a truly international event. Bi, cis-male or  cis-female queer, trans, Asian, black, male, female & non-binary defined were all present.

DCC01 washington

DC colour blocking

The opening ceremony included as many at host Regie Cabico could fit in his mouth, I mean fit on stage. I was asked to rep TO & pulled out Moonbelly. First up started things off perfectly with ‘I have gone up in bright flames …I am the kind of fire you cannot put out.’ Here’s a smattering of lines from the rest who followed: ‘I cannot stand watching another body rot for the news – an understanding to transcend – I once forgot what happy was like – eye brows make me weak at the knees – you were left alone as a child … belly full & audienceless – a rose is a rose but a black teen’s slam complaint about life is not a poem – I always dreamed that I was going to conform but I drowned that dream – there is no day in which my gender is not a concern – help me figure out how not to fit in – am I destined to remain a nameless glass bottle – I swallowed the best 35 second of your life – These agencies aren’t for us … they merely hold us in place – tired of using social media to bury another #name in a blog post.


you missed a spot

After a needed break for fresh air & for some, taking a leak, the Cookie Slam got under way – with cookies baked by Tyler French – we settled in for a sampling of the event slammers – scoring was tough & the work was often even tougher. Another smattering of lines: she took me to the soccer field on Salisbury Lane – what would Beethoven play if he could see us – thank the creator I’ve got a Mormon – this job application is a price on my head – please splatter me with flattery – I underestimated his cock … this feels good – I breath in the weight of him – telling me these bodies, these facts are female – I wear anonymity as my first skin – he is a country in my mouth – maybe its self-hatred disguised as a metaphor – I have a problem, so don’t give me anything, I’d rather feel my pain for a change – imagine if my dreams were written in chalk marks in a rain storm – my stories are not caged eagles – God why create the human if it is to die before it fulfills expectation – the only thing worse than the absence of you is the invisibility of me – nothing has been changed except the spelling – we don’t need a change of label but a change of mind – trying to prove that the sidewalk doesn’t belong to everyone – when a man you do not know calls you beautiful, do not open the door – if you could ejaculate anything what would it be – once upon a time I survived your absence – when you mix a Pisces with a poet it never stops running – my box needs no religion. Whew – we need a break after that.


even the scoop was colour coordinated

The evening wrapped with Gush, host Cathy Petch was tolling down the slowest highways in the USA outdid arrived halfway through the show gamy & game. My gush was Sex With Men. Lines, please: sex … I’m not afraid to say it expect for the xxx – I want to say fuck like it’s a blessing – you mailman me orange … you picnic me watermelon – we are joined by the choppers at the junction of our bodies – jesus, mary & her baby daddy – I am jealous of the cat whose face I’m using to get sex – dear mary, here’s the rape hot-line, tell them God sent you – Babe, I will always worship your boner – I thought you were just going to kiss me – I’ll never wash this tongue again – to my future fuck friend, I know you’re in this room – she grips my shoulders as her creation comes to life – O is the centre of hope – aisles of pocket pussies & pina colada dental dams. Double whew. By the time the show wrapped it was past midnight. After this flood of powerful queer poetry starting at 7 we left the DC Centre punch drunk & energized.


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yellow snow

a pop of yellow in TO