I was not drooling

I wanted to but

do have enough restraint not to

at least not in public 


I was not sticking my tongue

where it shouldn’t be

only where it was invited to be

I need encouragement

before I let it dart


before I let it it follow

a trail of drool

along your backbone

to between your butt cheeks



never satisfies

the way your shudders do

your moan

as I teasingly invade

that territory


you never see that tongue

you only feel it

What! Another poem about sex! Is that all you think about? Shouldn’t there at least be a trigger warning – innocent children might read this & have their entire sense of a moral sexual self ruined. Children who can’t tell the difference between the reality of Iron Man & the fantasy of RuPaul.

Writing about sex while keeping it erotic presents its own set of challenges. Clinical detachment vs sensuously ambiguity. No this piece isn’t ambiguous by any means but at the same time isn’t fetishistically detailed either. No smells. No tastes. (Until now that is because saying that probably brings those tastes, smells to mind.)

The piece, if you read it to the end, becomes perhaps more experiential than you may want, or leaves you wanting more vivid details, or makes you wish you had never read it at all. It might make you judge me – like judging someone by what they wear around the house as opposed to what they wear in the street. ‘Oh – so that’s what he’s really like.’

Did part of you immediately think this was a true story – that it was confessional, deeply personal poetry. Poets don’t write fiction. Write about you know, there is no room for imagination- in fact room for imagination is getting smaller – white male writers can only write from a white male pov or risk being labeled as racist misogynists. 

Did I teasingly invade your thinking?

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I am a spiller

a little clumsy

I don’t fill glasses to the rim

I pour cream into my coffee

with my mug in the sink

I wipe the bottoms of cups



before I put them down

just to be sure


I try not to carry

a glass of water

from one room to the next

I place dishes

in the sink

so running water

doesn’t reflect up

I keep a towel handy

for drying splashes 

around the bathroom sink

after I wash my face


I miss you

There is lots of truth to this piece – I can’t wash my face & hands without splashing the counter, sometimes the floor, around the bathroom sink. I’ve tried to be careful but … well … it’s no use. I’d need some sort of splash guard around the sink, but a mop up towel is less cumbersome. The same holds true for washing dishes – splish splash time to wash the floor as well as thew dishes.

I’ve yet to find a Brita filter carafe that doesn’t drip. I’ve stopped ordering tea in restaurants because no one has engineered a teapot that doesn’t dribble, so that puddle on the table isn’t my fault, really. Don’t get me started on trying to fill my coffee maker or a travel mug.

More than once I’ve accidentally knocked over a glass of water, dropped a slippery bottle of ketchup, dribbled coffee all over myself from a takeout cup with a loose lid – warning contents may be wet – Oops there goes the cream filling in my donut all over my jacket. Some foods are not meant to be eaten walking down the street, at least not eaten by me. 

Clumsy is another way of saying being so preoccupied you aren’t careful with what you are doing. So, what I like most about this piece, is that last line, which I hope rewrites everything you’ve just read. How steady are your hands?

an older piece about clumsy me:

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On Tap

On Tap

he was a table tapper

you know

finger tips drumming

a little beat on the table

fingernails on plate

darting along the edge

drumming along

with conversation 

filling the silent spots

as if the clatter of cutlery

wasn’t enough

as if the chatter from tables

around us wasn’t enough

as if the restaurant music

wasn’t enough

as if our conversation

wasn’t enough

Often we unconsciously develop habits that we aren’t even aware of – nervous actions that become so automatic it’s nearly impossible to stop them. One of the challenging part of quitting smoking is to figure out what to do with your hands. Spoken-word writers frequently gesture with their hands as they perform, sometime to emphasize what there saying & when told to not do it, find it impossible not to do. You’d have to tie their hands down & even then their shoulders, their body language gets in the act.

Fidgeting  fidgeting is another those hard-to-contain habits. constantly shaking one foot or the other, pulling at the ends of one’s hair, rocking back-and-forth while sitting in a chair. Some made worse when nervous. In high school there was a pen-clicker in one of my classes. One day a teacher grabbed the pen from his hand & threw it in the wastepaper basket. Thank God for Bic.

I read of a pencil chewer who contracted some sort of poisoning from the paint, or was it the preservative, in the wood of a pencil being chomped on – there was a of lawsuit which was lost because pencils weren’t sold to be eaten. I wonder if they had start printing that on them, like warnings on coffee cups ‘contents may be hot’ – ‘not for consumption.’ The things some people put in their mouths lol.

This piece is about all these ‘tics’ & also about a real person who was one of those ‘drummers’ – they would tap along with whatever music might be on in a restaurant. Once even with a spoon on the table. I once asked why they did this & they looked at me as if I said ‘stop breathing.’ Now, if they were actually in time with the music, it might not have so irritating but it was like mindless, tuneless humming. They stopped for a few minutes, then started up again & caught themselves. 

“I didn’t even know I was doing that!”

I was cracking my knuckles to Beethoven’s Fifth and didn’t hear them.

What sort of ‘tics’ do you have or what sort bother you?

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this is my eating food face

if you don’t like it

look the other way

yes I’ve always eaten like this

put food in my mouth

chew it


I have no control

if my lips look funny

I am not trying to

imitate a camel or a jellyfish

as you so sweetly put it



this is how I eat in private too

not that I eat in front of  mirror

not that I watch myself 

no I don’t want to see

your cell phone video

of me eating like an angry monkey


I’m not going to eat

another thing

until you put that phone down

if you don’t put that phone down

this’ll be our last meal

Candid Camera ( was a precursor to Funniest Video & TikTok – people on camera doing usually comic things, sometimes aware of the camera & often not. Now thanks to cellphones anyone & everyone can be a filmmaker, can be a photo journalist, can hide a camera so that it makes private acts public.

I’ve seen new reports about assaults that resulted from someone recording on their cell an event, seen footage of police warning people to stop recording as they arrested someone. Privacy has become a tightrope. When I take photos I avoid having people I don’t know in them, even then I have obscured the faces of people before I blog them. In fact a couple of my favorite workshop photos are of the hands of people around the lunch table. When I take photos that have cars or houses in them I obscure licence plates & house numbers. 

The piece is also about boundaries & how often those who feel what they are doing is harmless & lighthearted or truthful, should be allowed to cross any boundary: Don’t be a spoil sport – I was only kidding – You take yourself too seriously. It’s only tickling. It’s all fun. But you are fat. If you don’t like xxxx it’s your fault not mine for refusing to respect your boundary. Get over yourself.

It becomes victim blaming as opposed to taking responsibility for one’s actions. ‘You’ll ruin his life if you press sexual assault charges.’ ‘You shouldn’t have been walking home alone in dark.’ ‘Just because they couldn’t take a joke doesn’t make it hate speech.’ Language spins are endless. 


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Hard To Swallow

Hard To Swallow

it was hard to swallow

each fact


was indigestible untruth

at least

that’s what we were told


the facts remained unchanged

but everyone

put them into a different context

to make them believable



the whole picture

remained hidden


by the noise

the flurry

of information 

that didn’t add to knowledge


facts deemed

to be more important

than seeing the whole picture

the jigsaw of numbers



negotiating good for humans

with good for profits

people being

more disposable than dollars

there is more gain

in forcing the undigestible

on the unsuspecting

than providing

them any alternative 

This was written during the first covid19 lockdown amidst the constant conflict between which set of facts was most ethically important – keeping the economy growing, our personal freedoms: no one is going to make me wear a bloody mask, understandable statistics, differing medical opinions. Now, years later, these issues are still in the air but with the need to keep the economy moving being the winner. We still have ‘sides’ calling each other deniers. 

The numbers have been skewed by renaming – much the same way that the civilians killed in war become ‘collateral damage’ – covid deaths became ‘respiratory failure.’ ‘Vulnerable’ apparently means those already having underlying health issues will catch whatever is going around. The vulnerable become responsible for protecting themselves from those who are invulnerable enough not to wear a bloody mask.

To minimize the discomfort that the statics were causing it was decided not to report them – it created a paranoia that wasn’t good for business. Except of course for the pharmaceutical industry – who, according to one conspiracy, were behind the outbreak. How many drugstores were saved by booster shots? 

Add to which we gravitate research that supports our personal biases. Masks are most effective if they are worn properly is evidence enough for some to say ‘masks don’t work’ rather than watch a YouTube video on how wear them. That video is ‘fake news’ while the one supporting their contentions is accurate. 

Statistics don’t lie. But like history itself, truth is in the mind of the teller, not in the facts. I’ve read that statically 80% of statistics are made up on the spot.

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could catch food

tossed in the air

he’d tilt his head back

adjust a little to follow the arc

just like a seal


he did this party trick

so often

people called him

seal boy

even though he was in his 50s


I didn’t envy him

being called upon

to perform

at parties

at bars


he reluctantly tossed peanuts

they were so small

he was afraid of choking on them

he longed for something more challenging


he dreamed of being called

seal boy

the size queen

This piece is mostly fiction – a character study. Not that I didn’t know, at one time, guys who would do ‘party’ tricks. Nowadays they turn up on TV shows with their hidden talents – i.e. swallowing ping-pong balls & popping them back out of their mouths, one at a time – drinking a glass of water & spurting out their nose – oh what fun they would be a wedding burping the wedding march.

It’s also a sly comment on the willingness of people to do anything just get attention on TV, TikTok, YouTube. Some shows call for ‘real’ talent, others aim for special abilities (playing Chopin on the piano using your feet only) or on-line fame for being a clumsy idiot. We’re also a culture that is willing to celebrate lack of talent: i.e. Mrs. Miller – who couldn’t sing but, well, she landed a recording contract for her awful vocalizing. 

For some the type of attention is irrelevant as long as they get it, in fact notoriety is more important than critical respect. Consider American politics. Thanks to TV etc we now have a craving for attention – which explains the extremes some go to on the red carpet – style always loses to grotesque ‘what the f’ looks. In stead of slaves to fashion we now have a generation of clowns to fashion. 

Larry – not the person’s real name – had a fairly banal talent – to get attention on TikTok he’d have to be catching some more dramatic than peanuts. There’s also a sense of holding on to our youth. I feel that Larry became ‘seal boy’ in grade school – showing off at recess. As he got older it was easier to catch food for attention at parties than it was to play piano, right?  

This isn’t the only generation that prized unusual talents. Check outétomane – a man ahead of his time. Imagine him blowing away the judges on America’s Got Talent with his version of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (the Fifth is too easy) while catching peanuts.

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A Place At The Table

A Place At The Table

it wasn’t as if

I had that much to say

or that I was

all that hungry 

but it was a free lunch


I had to thank someone

but didn’t want to stop eating

long enough to say anything

if I didn’t say something

I would be asked to leave

before I’d had my fair share


all around me 

people were eating

a sandwich in one hand 

a pork chop in the other

no one was listening

all intent on getting our fill

elbowing one another

out of the way

to get the next scrumptious plate


there was no time to talk

no time to say ‘excuse me’

no one passed anything to one another

we each reached out for more

not wanting to stop

long enough

to say thank you

our appetite was

our expression of deep gratitude

for this abundance


once the food was gone

the dishes were licked clean

I started in on the table legs

someone else nibbled

on the table cloth

we kept eating what was in front of us

because once that was gone

we would turn on one another

saying thanks

between mouthfuls 

of each other 

I wrote this after rewatching either Fellini’s Satyricon or La grande bouffe with a friend who had never seen either. If you haven’t seen either – see them before reading any further lol. Each is about appetite   & there are extensive eating sequences that go on & on. The banquet food orgy in Satyricon is stunning & numbing.

Most animals eat when they are hungry & then enough to stay alive, many won’t eat what isn’t good them – humans will eat without hunger. We will eat things that aren’t necessary but are tasty – i.e. there is no actual nutritional need for chocolate. Yet, very few of us will say no it & those that do for dietary (diabetes) reason feel they are experience a painful sacrifice. I had a friend who was told for health-reasons, to cutback on cheese & she was like ‘what! how can I do that?’

It’s also a variation on the recurring theme – there is no such thing as enough. In our consumer culture we are encouraged to always want more whether we need it or not. Being satisfied is seen as being an under-achiever, as someone falling short of their full potential, as someone who isn’t adding anything to the gross national product – those that aren’t upwardly mobile as drag on society & end up, in many cases, as the dregs – homeless, lazy slugs trying to deprive that haves of their guiltless bliss. 

Keep in mind that these pieces are in response to the Rules for Buddhist monks. The rules were intended to keep the monks’ lives simpler by removing the need to worry about things like what to wear, how many processions to own, so they wouldn’t be distracted from their disciple by things like what to wear, changing fashions, food fads etc. They strove to be undefined by commercial culture.

Just think empty our lives would be without knowing what was worn on the red carpet at the latest awards ceremony. How do we find a sense of self without striving for the next almond milk, gluten free, fair-trade, low foam, tofu latte?

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Best Friends

Best Friends


text comes

I see the number

not a name

which means 

it’s some guy I know

but who hasn’t been

in contact for nearly a year


I’m like that

I restrict the list of saved numbers

to those I hear from 

or want to hear from

how are you 


I don’t ask

who is this

I don’t really care

I’m mildly curious though

I enjoy the mystery


after few texts

I think I recognize him

by the use of language

he’s feeling melancholy


with the lockdown


I say we all are

we’ll get through it eventually

he wants to visit me

I say we might meet

when social distancing is less critical

he agrees

but misses seeing me


I say

you’re sweet

he says

you’re my best friend


I don’t reply

there nothing left to say

to someone

who gets in touch

after a year of a pandemic

with their best friend

because they are bored

and me

that best friend

isn’t sure who they are

I still have a flip-phone. It has limited memory so I keep it as clear of extraneous stuff as possible. No backlog of photos, texts, or phone numbers – in particular number of people I haven’t heard from in over six months. I’m also unwilling to just give my cell # out – I’m not on call, as it were. 

This is an actual experience – actually it has happened more than twice – each time with someone different. I have given the number to people in recovery & when they text me after a year & I reply ‘who is this’ they are dismayed I don’t remember them. Keep that in mind if you text someone after year.

If the guy in this case had said ‘Hi – it’s Clint’ (not the actual name) ‘how r u’ my reaction would have somewhat different. I’d know him several years by this point in time & this sort of long silence was typical. His cell # changed each time he contacted me so no wonder I didn’t recognize this one. Each time there would an elaborate story about his misadventures & apologies. I was not emotionally invested but he was sweet & fun in bed. I also liked his Nigerian accent. 

I wrote this shortly after our text conversation & it went pretty much as recounted here. It was his ‘best friend’ confession that made this memorable. It came out of the blue. I had always been affectionate with him & sort of agreeable in what conversations we had. He was opinionated about immigration services etc. I had no experience & let him go on whether I agreed with his judgements of our culture.

Often his opinions had made things difficult for him in his ‘real’ life – I only saw him for an hour or so at most, every now & then. If I was in his company day after day it would have been different. So when he called me his ‘best friend’ I felt a little sorry for him – that his life was so empty of people that his mistook my affectionate tolerance for something it wasn’t. I also felt that ‘best friend’ was manipulative. It didn’t work & I ended things with ‘take care.’

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Modem Flirting

Modem Flirting

tease doesn’t work

any more

yeah there was a time

when a photo of a man

in tight pants

you know the ones

that fired the imagination

with hefty contents 

enough to get me off


that was a time when 

I was young


dreaming of what

that contents would be

the sound it would make

as it was released

from captivity


that was a time when 

being queer

was unsavoury



one was an outlaw

in fearful closets

leafing through 

body builder magazines

trying to hold the flashlight

with one hand

the magazine in the other

& wondering how to jerk off


these days

if photo of a man

in tight pants

didn’t lead to a one of the contents 

or better yet

a video of him handling

that contents

while one sits in a coffee shop

we scrolled through

for the next hefty contents

wondering if there’ll be one

worth jerking off to


imagination is killed

by this endless

fascination with hairless abs

dicks that are slabs

torsos without heads

so that if one meets up

with the real thing

we are disappointed 

in the camera angle of reality

the clarity of real light


we’ve stopped being outlaws

& become 

men who don’t want to waste time


they’d rather hold a pic of a dick

in their hand

than risk the disappointment 

of the real thing

so many heads to choose from

One of my earliest sexy photo memories is a picture in a travel magazine of a smiling Caribbean fisherman, shirtless but in shorts snug shorts, putting a net up too dry. It was clear that the catch of the day was in those shorts. I kept that picture hidden in a drawer for years. Taking it out when I needed a little inspiration. My shameful secret.

we’re always hard

For decades, until the digital revolution, one could only get ‘personal’ nudes by being a home developer – companies that developed film were requited by law to destroyed all nudes or reported them to the authorities. The same for photos of men kissing, being affectionate in an unsavoury manner. The Polaroid wave ended the dependence of developers or cramming into photo-booths & hoping the curtains stayed closed while you & your ‘friend’ changed positions between flashes of that camera. There are now sites & even coffee-table books devoted to those archival sexy photos.

on my knees for you

Now decades later there remains no secrets to hide or that can’t be revealed by a fansonly link. Some m2m dating sites now have an option for ‘safe for work’ thanks to the ease of revealing all. Who wants a nosy co-worker glancing over your shoulder as you scroll through an ‘Italian Sausage’ dating site.

I can’t say that I miss the fearful closet but I do miss the loss of mystery, of discovery, of surprise. 

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my mother

cut my food

until she figured

I had the ability

to cut it myself

like learning to tie my shoes

I don’t remember 

when that transition

to independence



I do realize 

that somethings can’t

be cut down to size

they have to be taken 

in bites or licks

like ice cream

melt in the mouth goodness


but not all goodness melts

not everything needs to be bitten

to enjoy

though sometime

it enjoys being bitten

even if it is too big

to fit into the mouth

its worth trying

to get as much of it as one can



as a kid

I would stuff 

so many small pieces

in my mouth

I couldn’t chew them properly

I couldn’t swallow

at least now

I know much is manageable 

I have a big coffee mug. It holds 2 cups of fluid – 16 oz. – half-a-litre. I have a travel mug that holds a litre – usually coffee. The big mug is for my morning coffee, which I drink while reading in my study, which is upstairs. I would fill the mug nearly to the rim & carry it upstairs. The problem was that the motion would start a wave momentum in the mug so that no matter how carefully I carried it it would spill. I tried different ways of holding it, walking slowly one-step-at-a-time, pausing to calm the waves. 

I started pouring it into a travel mug so the lid would contain the spill. But I’d end up with two mugs to clean. One day the solution came to me: stop filling it to the max! Oh my, having less isn’t easy for someone who feels ‘enough’ is a good place to start. Why not settle for 15.5 oz? Less was worth it just to remove the stress (& stains) of carrying it upstairs without spilling it. The question of size was settled with a simple action.

This is another piece about the nature of more, of the size of things. When I cut my food I still cut it the sizes my mother would cut it, though there are some foods that really don’t need to be cut much – a pizza into slices, maybe, but I’m not one of those who then cuts those slices into small pieces to eat dainty with a fork – a hand-to-mouth experience.

In some cases even if the food can’t be eaten in one piece, it doesn’t have to be cut by hand but by biting – apples, bananas, a box of chocolates (lol). 

It’s also a bit about memory – those things we do today that we learned as children some of which were practical – tying shoes, brushing teeth – some of which weren’t that practical: racism, sexism – which perhaps our parents weren’t aware of teaching us. Lessons that are now hard to un-digest.