Eyes on the Despair

Eyes on the Despair 


I knew it

I just knew it

that Karen was getting the prize

that should be mine

because the teacher 

didn’t like me

because Karen was sick

the whole class had voted

to give her the prize

she deserved it

because they felt sorry for her


I was eight or nine at the time

I still feel that resentment

it became message

‘no matter how good you do

someone else always deserves

the prize more

so why bother’


this message resonates

when I think

only the damaged

can write with an authentic voice

only the disenfranchised

have the right to attention

a loop of self-pity


I spoke up

when Karen won the prize

I was told not to be so selfish

I was sent home from school

with a note 

telling my parents that I was

an ungrateful


pushy child 

I had to write 

an apology to Karen


lesson learned

don’t speak up for yourself

you only sound

indifferent to the plight of others

who deserve to be heard


I enjoy watching competitive cooking reality TV. Yeah I know it is edited & we never ever see those kitchens been cleaned up between challenges – which why the chefs never worry about making a mess 🙂 There is always a little backstory for some of the chefs – their family, their motivation & often they are ‘inspired’ by a spouse/parent/child who has passed away it is about to with some dramatic disease – so they deserve to be there because of their suffering as well as their cooking skills.

I did try a couple of the Jr. versions of these shows but stopped because I am not a fan of child exploitation – I can imagine being a twelve-year being eliminated in front a potential audience of millions & having to be a good loser, while feeling like a total loser & disappointing your parents – who claim to be proud you went as far as you did. Do they have grief therapists on set for these children?

This piece is more about our cultural fixation on suffering as the only key to authenticity. If you haven’t been traumatized you have nothing to say. When I was involved in the slam scene I eventually got dismayed at the way some performs would re-traumatize themselves for points, not for healing. 

Which brings us to the Karen of this piece, to the incident in this piece. Did it actually happen? Is it a fabrication? Does the emotional conflict ring less true if this is a fabrication? Will I answer these questions? No.

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


There’s been a recent on-line conversation about ‘trauma for points’ at slam competitions. At a Hot Damn It’s A Queer Slam – a year or so ago one of the slammers did such an emotionally charged piece they re-experienced the trauma that was the basis for the piece & ran off stage & outside. The piece was so emotionally charged it was impossible to judge – was it well written? Who knows. If you didn’t score the piece high enough were you diminishing their experience. It was one of the reason I stopped judging at slams.

Between WWI & WWII poetry underwent a psychological change in which the narrative/pastoral lost out to confessional ‘do I dare walk with my pant legs rolled.’ From Eliot’s surrealism to Sexton’s ‘I hate you Daddy’ authenticity became paramount. Poets who weren’t revealing something emotionally vulnerable about themselves weren’t authentic.

Poetry that wasn’t ‘insightful’ was considered entertainment – almost as bad as being greeting card sentimental. If you didn’t have trauma you didn’t have authenticity. If you had a sense of humour, even a sense of emotional balance one wasn’t a serious poet. This ran/runs though much of the serious writing arena & is heightened in the slam scene. Anger isn’t as point worthy as rage – rape is authentic – romance is sentimental tripe.

On a recent episode of Project Runway the designers were tasked to make a garment that reflected their ethnic culture. The Latino made a dress that incorporated the names of children who had died in custody crossing the border. His explanation was emotional & resonant – the garment was not good though – so the judges had to do this dance between sentiment & practicality. 

Slam judges often are confronted with this same dance – often though they favour the emotional as opposed to the actual use of language. They want to be nice. I was happy to stop judging because I’m not interested in being nice.

Good Idea

it seemed like a good idea at the time

everyone was so gung-ho

until they realized

they would have to do something 

to make it happen


expecting me to do it all

was part of their plan

not mine

sure I thought their idea was great 

but I’m not a one man show

as much as I’d like to be

as much I as I know

I would be better person

for being willing to do it all by by myself

I’m not going to even try


when that become clear

their energy began to wane

it didn’t seem so wonderful after all

getting active

making things happen

isn’t such fun after all

why can’t someone else 

do all the work for us

while we sit back

& enjoy the results 

the rewards should be ours 

for the thinking


thanks to someone being 

consistant and eager

to take each demanding task 

and fulfilling them 

to our specification

yes that gives us energy

but faced with having

to do it ourselves 

we grow diffident 



while looking for the right person

to blame 

to save face


the next fast flash of inspiration

will have to require 

even less than thinking


March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


Richard III – Stratford Festival


June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.


All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Judgemental? Me!

During the break at the last Hot-Sauced Words I had a discussion about slam with some of the other writers there. Some were familiar but none of them had ever either slammed, or judged a slam. Both of which I have done & do. They were very curious how one judged – what was the criteria? I later had a talk with another friend who wanted to know if points were docked if the slammer used a device ie: read from cellphone or, gasp, paper.

For those of you who have never been to a slam, or who have been judged by me, here’s a bit of insider info on how I judge & why I gave the scores that I do. First off being off book isn’t relevant to me as long as the poet performs with energy, commitment & focus. On the other hand if they hold their work in front of their face my score gets lower. Mostly they are off-book – but if it is the same piece they used the last time they competed I’m less impressed.

The writing has to be engaging – if it’s a piece about, say, one’s eating disorder & being called pretty – it better be fresh as I’ve heard enough body dysmorphia already. I am sympathetic to the issue but sympathy points may not be enough. Ditto for sex, or usually not getting it or getting the wrong kind.

At a slam there is usually a sacrifice poet – one not in the competition but one who does a piece for the judges to ‘practice’ scoring – the other performers are to judged on that scale. But I think for many of us judges we also have the scale of others we have heard. Not that I expect slammers to be at the level of say – Johnny Trinh or Charlie C. Petch.

A piece that I mentally use when considering use of explicit language & the element of surprise, is from early 60’s – this is only the start of a much longer piece which by the end one is transported. The start grabs, then in subsequent sections sustains, my interest. The Speed of Darkness – by Muriel Rukeyser


Whoever despises the clitoris despises the penis

Whoever despises the penis despises the cunt

Whoever despises the cunt despises the life of the child.

Resurrection music,        silence,        and surf.

Finally there is something I call stage presence, an undefinable aura that can push an 8.5 piece to 9.6 or even a 10 – though I have never given a 10. I’m mean like that 🙂


Gluten Free

I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen

I followed every moment

from the very first cellphone video

the Facebook feed was mesmerizing

the tweets head spinning

the pundits were informative

I couldn’t get enough

close ups of the bleeding

were heart rending

I was washed by this flood

of compassion

dismay dispair

that this had happened

innocent people

men women children

killed maimed

forced to leave their homes

clubs churches

no safe place

shown no mercy

by their attackers or the press

I had to watch

flipping channels

media devices

to get the latest feed

the freshest atrocity

to feed my growing sense of outrage

drowning in powerless


oh look

Burger King now has gluten free buns

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6


kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in DC.games


June 9-10: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already


check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo




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

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Hot Damn! & the Siamese Twin Werewolves


I had just finished watching 21 Centimetres before I headed out to Hot Damn’s! spectacular second season finale. 21 is a Spanish musical extravaganza about the harsh realities of trans life in 2004 – things haven’t changed much. So I was in the right frame of mind for judging the glittering array of slammers & features at Hot Damn!

Praise only goes to Cathy Petch’s head, so I’ll merely say she did an excellent job hosting the event & shepherding the performers & name checking the sponsors, prizes and pushing Capturing Fire (the big prize trip).22dc01

The slammers (Ziy Sah, Andre Prefontaine [thanks to Andre for the twins image in the title of this post], Kathleen Driscoll, Vanessa McGowan, Kay Kassirer, Transient) covered immigration, family violence, pan sexuality, poverty shaming, gay parenting, sexual healing, and of course broken/twisted relationships. A powerful demonstration that our concerns transcend gender, sexuality, body parts & which washroom to use.

Lines from the first round: ‘immigration is a frame of mind, is my home – what happened then doesn’t have to happen now – over-grown child soldier forced into a war he doesn’t understand – I just laid eyes on you at the hardware store – your firm solid bottom that evenly distributes heat – above all I can’t talk about it – covering up for poverty is exhausting -do you know how they make this cereal – why did Parker say boys can’t wear dresses – mama what’s binary – bodies we did not want to be living in beside each other – neither of us wanted our hands to turn into his hands – did we ever fall in love so fast – Siamese werewolves tearing at each other.’22dc02

Carolina Drown did an emotionally evocative set with dancer Xica “Dadiva” Ducharme. The audience was happily pulled into her well modulated reverb heavy guitar work, wordless chanting, and the resonant ‘I almost killed myself on Sunday … I’m glad I’m here to see you once again.’ At times Xica’s dancing was an ectoplasmic manifestation of Carolina’s voice. It brought to mind Japanese Butoh dance. 22dc03

After a break we were enthralled by a sample of Natasha “T” Miller, and Siaara Freeman’s Good Grief Tour with pieces about death, murder and relationship break ups (is there a difference?). Funny, politically sharp, emotionally open, the two poets played off each other with great affection and energy.  ‘No, I’m not bitter … I wish you bars that serve everything but what you want … strap-ons that won’t stay strapped on’  ‘they say a drug dealer died not who … they say say the drug dealer’s funeral is next week … they don’t say his name’ ‘I put on my father’s chalk outline’ ‘you only go before your time if you’ve never loved unconditionally’ ‘admitted my addiction to stalking’ ‘you know what you should wear for Halloween? Honesty – no one will recognize you’ ‘urban girl gets spoken down to … urban girl was asking for it – gets jumped more times than rope.’

With no time to catch our breath the final round of the slam took off. ‘my body hurts all the time especially when someone touches me – constantly cannibalizing your self-esteem – hands become crippled proxies – played his wrists like a violin – I text my friends to let them know I’m alive – to be fully touched you need 71 lovers – always asking if you like this – you’re not disabled enough – at least you’re not in a wheel chair – if the sight of my fatness makes you comfortable – GOOD’ ‘he thinks as he’s Adam … made from his rib give him the right to break hers – knife blades at my throat like a favourite perfume.’22dc04

The performances were tearful, funny and vulnerable in a space that allowed for full & fearless self-expression. Scores were added up, time deductions factored in and Kay Kassirer was the big winner this year. I hope Capturing Fire is ready for them 🙂


The Outshining

what’s the point being accomplished

if you have to always be mindful

of those who hold power over you

who become so defensive

that anyone else’s accomplishments

are threats

I didn’t know well enough

to to keep that to myself

I could have said

‘aw shucks

I’m still catching up to you’


‘I owe it all to you

gifted teachers

result in good students’

nope I had to say


I’m amazed at myself too’

I didn’t reflect light back on them

my bad

them resentful

wielding their influence

to keep me in my place

to teach

that no matter how good I am

I am nothing

until they say so

they’ll never say

I outshine them


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

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016



check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6



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



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo




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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr



Loose Cannons & Landmines

The Hot Damn! last chance slam filled the Supermarket to SRO! As the show persists (we’re queer, we’re here & we’re not going away) the range of work has become wider & the writing/performances stronger. The pieces tackled rape, physical abuse, racial expectations, pan sexuality, binary constrictions, family disfunction & food. Despite the complex emotional issues presented Cathy Petch kept the mood from descending into a pity slam with her positive and fun introductions, with the wild assortment of prizes. Who isn’t cheered up by ceramic poodles?5pink1A flurry of lines from the first open stagers & slammers: more glimpsed than looked at – it’s just a compliment – whistle while you work-out – harassment is not a compliment – when she looks at me all she sees is him – the way to be heard is to be lighter (skinned) – how do you fix someone who doesn’t know they’re broken – bodies we didn’t want to be, lying beside each other – try to hide the fact they were ever broken – neither wants our hands to turn into his hands – moans that taste like wine – the tender of my lover’s nakedness – I am more than what you see – I am not a doctor, I am amused.5pink2Main feature ‘The Ragdolls’ did an emotionally compelling, relaxed and well thought-out set that flowed from stark confrontational to warm supportive political commentary. Starting with patty-cake handclap game rhythm they traded the spot light with each other & shared it too. I particularly enjoyed the Toronto Pride piece that ruthless & humorously laid bare the corporate assimilation of queer identity.5pink3A dash of lines from the Ragdolls: Ken & Barbie scraped clean – dried blood on the swing set – revlon porcupine – trauma isn’t our only history – alcohol is a thumb that blurs all the lines in your head – can’t excuse the facts while I’m still filling in the blanks – grindr is a safe place for racists – gay flags in banks that ask for gender verification – do we want justice or want same sex couples in McDonalds ads – I have to remind myself why others do this – trying to get you to let me off with a warning again – you are a loose cannon & I am a landmine – pre-bred to please adults – the white I was raised to be to the brown I grow up to be – we spend more time with therapists than with friends. (This post’s title is from a piece by Londzo Drury)5tanA flurry of lines from the second set of open stagers & slammers: midnight texts that said ‘You wanted this’ – students you added to your kill list – if your pussy is intact so is your consent – a cold dark shadow that consumes me – we were were the only ones who could figure out who we were – a candle above your grave so you could find your way while I lost mine – studying history hoping that learning the past would change mine – basing my happiness on others’ presentations – putting the pan in pan sexual – polyamory creates culinary masterpieces – still a war raging inside – lover is just another scar I have to disguise – a man who has to break me just to get me is not worth me – are you lactose intolerant because you can’t handle all this chocolate – loath your fingers for calling him after he’s gone – more his daughter than your sister – bruises like a favourite sweater than can’t keep you warm.5eagleA winner was declared. Who? Well, you’ll have check out the Hot Damn! page for that info 🙂 The season 2 finale, at Buddies in Bad Times, on April 19 will feature Siaara Freeman and T. Miller. The winner of this slam gets (amongst other things) a trip to Washington DC to compete at Capturing Fire in June.samples

Different Men

one day in grade school

sunshine on the blackboard

reflected rosy on

Graham’s sudden bare belly

scratched absent minded

before my wide eyes

he pulls up his striped t-shirt

rubs that belly

firm round more pink than white

more flesh than boy

more glimpsed than looked at


erasers chalk dust clapped clouds

furnace rooms boilers

pieces of jumbled recollection

the heavy books of knowledge

that were better to sit on than to read

easier to refer to than to study

that didn’t show much

that wasn’t to be seen

their images of the future

30’s stream lined

50’s under lined

60’s dismissed

we never did get cars that fly

anti-gravity boots

I never got to see more of Graham

than that scratch of belly one day

while we waited for Mrs Melinosh

to handed out tests

she reminded me

to pay attention young man

yes ma’am


I was certainly paying attention

but I didn’t understand what that attention was

what was it that belly told me then

[between the shadows falls the foreskin?]


that school was at the bottom of the hill

too steep to climb in winter

too icy

my Dad would be there sometimes

to drive me home


happy to have him

pick me and take me home

up that hard slippery slope

that my memory is quick to slide down

I would rattle on about things

I told about arithmetic spelling

my lack of attention

but not about that belly

still seeing that t-shirt ride up

that freckle face smile

red haired boy


the drive was because we had moved

a new school was to start soon


with newer problems for me

lack of attention

my eyes would wander out the window

at the squeak of chalk

my mind would get fuzzy

as division got longer and longer

the days got colder and colder

the boys got meaner and meaner


I find myself now decades later

still as unsure of those lessons

but positive about the image

the belly’s inexpressible tease

I knew wasn’t for my Dad’s ears

that told me for the first time

my Dad and I were different men


April 19: judging: Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 2 finale: 8 p.m. : Buddies In Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto, Ontario


Hot Damn!

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC



June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6



July 4-8: attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville


I’ve already registered



September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo




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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr



‘Is #God just another man you can’t get to stay?’

The sun was finally out in Washington – humid with looming thunderstorms that backed off to allow eager tourists to shop without getting their purchases damp. Also to allow Day 2 of Capturing Fire to fully bloom. Now that I know my way to the DCC my walk is so confident people stop me in the street to ask for directions. I only know my way to where I’m going.

I got to the DCC for Optical Illusion workshop with Paul Tran – he/we managed to cover a lot of people & territory in less than two hours. I opted out of the next couple events to relax back at my hotel, get cleaned up & was back for Alchemy hosted by the energetic magnetic Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi – a reading by trans & gender challenging slammers: a river muddied by the way we tortured the sea – a war zone will hold your weapons but not invest in you – a living allegory of the cave – your Mom calls you ladies’ man, neither of which you are – existence does not start with your gender – your flesh means nothing to the truth – a misgendering set of curves – outfitted to match the expectations of our oppressors – a cape washed in the blood of the fallen, which is as close as you (Catlin Jenner) will ever get to them – terrorists don’t deserve booty from you – she was digging in my closet before I knew I had one – my mother likes my name for the body she buried there – the boy in me breaks like a fever – I’ve fucked enough liars to know what they look like – as if hearing my sad story gives you street cred – acts as if being accepted is like being understood.


Spanish steps 1

I barely had time to catch my breath before heading across the street to Busboys & Poets for the Capturing Fire slam. Great food kept me alert for the next four hours – hours that flew past thanks to the 18 slammers in competition. Fewer & fewer made each round until the final two were given five minutes to free write a brand new piece to be crowned this year’s winner.

Round One: I didn’t want pills but my LCF (?) prescribed them – bring her stuff in a river of lost child – we are just trying to find ourselves, who wants go missing – as if he had never fucked in a bedroom full of smoke – black ain’t in nobody’s rainbow – the blackest church on two feet – you’re not disabled enough – I’m in the presence of those who don’t have the privilege to hide – people can’t look past my weight – alines children walk amongst you – I smile like a girl who has never tasted rum – I’m trying to remember that one day there’ll be a day when I can go out – we claim every stall & urinal, easier to dress others than to dress ourselves – when it seems no one will claim us we claim each other – I’m your 2015 nightmare of truth – where’s my Malcolm X – it’s not that different from what we do in bed – being gay is the least interesting thing about me – I’m not a writer I just don’t want to forget things – dial tone after the call for mating – they look him in the eye of the storm – your smile is a war zone – I experience gender like a moth darting between two flames, both of which will burn me – thin line between free wheeling and free falling – gay or faggot are not synonyms for stupid or weak – the immaculate conception is your fantasy – George Taki is not loud enough to drown the white voice out – my friends like to ask me black questions – if you fucking want to know where to get weed, why don’t you ask your Dad – shirts to match my new gender pronouns – my brother reminds me of bugs – I was just trying to communicate with a different kind of hive – I thought I could see so far through me I’d see her – another winter passing away is my memoir.


Spanish steps 2

A sampling of the poets who went on to the next round: see your reflection in my skinhead shine – cruelty needs no excuse – I speak a language too ancient to be be allowed – find something else to do with your hands – the mouth can make the vulgar seem digestible – I have a lot of bad habits like self-silence – the thought of what kind of animal you might be – a night of tear gas & tanks – the open season has become year round – it took us thirty-five years to find forgiveness – a father you met on a hill who’ve your first beer at the age of twelve – I thought I looked like Vin Diesel gum ball – broken & bloodied but whole – it’s like a carnival ride & a crime scene – I’m sick of feeling my trauma defines me – disrobed of trendy junk – high on a hill of deliberate ignorance – I was raised to love your skin – are you trying to become a body of water – is God just another man you can’t get to stay – thought all I had to do was what I was good at to be successful – I become aroused so I thought was going to die –

Round 3 – no memorial stones for people of colour – stop waving your penis around like an SOS – it’s best to hide as there is no way to tomorrow – I don’t think a # can save the world – don’t single me out from the tribe, anything but that – the hand I’ve been dealt is limp – the hospital doesn’t care about you if you don’t speak English – keep our teeth white to colonize our mouths – language has never been a fair fight.


Spanish steps 3

For the flash writing round the final two wrote to the prompt ‘what happens to a dream deferred: it shatters – after this explosion then there was only black smoke – a voice that eats the black away – hear the one about the boy & the bullet, only one of them found the way home  – and the winner was Timothy DuWhite – the first slammer to go up in round one & the last one standing four hours later. The blog title is one of his lines.



Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr



winter steps

‘… 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

How Deep Is My Love


How Deep Is My Love

my love is deeper than


deeper than

the gap between fantasy and reality

deeper than

what we all thought the 60’s meant

my love for you is longer than

the time between

knowing it isn’t working and ending it

longer than

the blue ray reissue of

the complete Lord of the Ring cycle

with all the commentaries

extra features and what ever

those orc damned easter eggs are hiding

I love you more than

these shoes look great on me

my love is more hopeful than

an overflowing recycling bin

my love for you is longer than

the arm of the law

holding that restraining order

than can never stop me

from wanting just one more chance baby

please please just one more chance

my love for you is purer than

the water in the bottle of rapidly disappearing Antarctic ice flow melted

so you could have a sip and throw it away

my love is harder

than peanut brittle

under the North Pole moon

my love for you is purer than

a dream

purer than

how you felt before

you knew the difference between

a pubic hair and a care bear

my love for you is stronger than

the tang of burned expresso

with a flavour shot of vanilla

to cover that weird under taste

my love for you is stronger than

your need to make a fool of me

every chance you get

my love for you is

no longer the crime it once was


fence gallery 4/9

This is another slam inspired piece. One of the almost compulsory slam poems is a ‘how much I love you’ structure. Images get more & more bombastic and emotive as they roll of the tongue. Points get given for random pop song references (see title), cinema (see Lord of the Rings), technology (Blue Ray).

fence gallery 5/9

So I start off Nietzsche knees deep. Why Nietzsche? Because Dostoyevsky is too much trouble to type & not as pretentious. He leads perfectly to the idealist 60’s. Radom thing popped in to my head in the first draft and I kept some, made sure the sequence had a flow that become either more romantic or absurd.

Sadly I know people of bother genders who feel ignoring a restraining order is the real proof of love. Not the same ones who think the content of recycle bins actual gets recycled or that bottled water is good for the environment.


fence gallery 6/9

I enjoy performing this piece – it gets laughs were I expect it & knowing nods in other parts. Then that ending sneaks in – reminding people that same sex love was a prison once offence (& still is in some places).


December 14 – special guest spot – Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir



January 18 – hosting – Out of the Fire – a fundraiser for Kyle Andrews




Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Mixed Messages

What is your working title of your blog? TOpoet.ca

Where did the idea come from for the blog? a short course at UofT that looked at increasing one’s audience via electronic media.

gay balls of fun
gay balls of fun

What genre does your blog fall under? mixed – poetry, spoke-word, writing, short-story, stage – something just me opining from my ancient queer point of view – plus my photographs or photos of me performing.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? John Garfield.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your blog? Toronto-based poetry vulture/social bloggerfly shares his arts/culture/entertainment adventures, with random photos and cynicism thrown in.

turd in a tub
turd in a tub

Will your blog be self-published or represented by an agency? self-published – as will be any of my literary expressions.  Though I wouldn’t say no to being paid $750 a week to blog as I do either 🙂

How long does it take you to write the blog/how much time do you put into it? The blog is ongoing – I post 3 times a week and a single post can take up to about two hours just to write. Wednesday is usually my yak about poetry post, Monday, Friday review of spoken-word shows I’ve been to – I always include some of my fiction or poetry. I always include photos I’ve taken around the city – lost, discarded items or things that catch my eye.

What other blogs would you compare this story to within your genre? Too many to list.

Who or what inspired you to write this blog? Partly to raise my online presence. Life With More Cowbell inspired me to write about the poetry scene – something that wasn’t being covered – the non-slam poetry scene.

I also saw that blogs that hold my interest have a general focus – arts or writing. So I wanted to give mine more of a focus.

put your toys away
put your toys away

What else about your blog might pique the reader’s interest? You never know what might show up – a review of a flea market, a trip to Stratford, another serialization of one of my novels – glimpses into the life of an old bald gay guy – who could resist that?





writing sample
writing sample

The other piece I read at Birthday Inferno

Mixed Messages

I’m sorry

when I called you a useless piece of shit

I really meant to say

how much I respected you

when I admitted I made out with your brother

because it was close as I could get to you

without having to touch you

I actually meant say

I cherish the time we spend together

when I said

the sight of you makes me want to vomit

I actually meant to say

the thought of not seeing you again leaves me bereft

and without a reason to live

when I went behind your back

and lied to everyone

that you had given me a social disease


I had intended to thank them for being your friend

and that the disease

was just a bad case of loving you too much

trust me that when I called

you a cheap money grubbing soulless dick head

as bright as bag of sour milk

I meant to say

you were someone with the finest

emotional and spiritual insights

when I called you the

the useless off spring of two demented

misshaped unwashed oozing genitalia

that were ground together

in a blind moment of drunken stupor

I was really trying to say

that I can’t stand the thought of you

so get the fuck out of here now

sorry sorry I mean

I just want to know

how long it would be before you get here

so we can be together

believe me

I really really miss you

more than words can say


snow bound bike
snow bound bike