T.S. Eliot

Writing about ‘inspirations’ has me thinking about my high-school English literature courses where we had some Shakespeare, some Dickens – smattering of short stories (The Lady or the Tiger) and lots of verse, most of which I have no real recollection of, by the classics Tennyson, Shelly & the like. Ornate & fussy is all I recollect – though I have read them since as an adult & now merely find them lofty.

There was some Canadian poetry represented by E.J. Pratt, Robert Service – butch man’s writing. The only female I recall is the dainty Emily Dickinson. No actually modern poets except for T.S. Eliot. One it was his big hit: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. After the forced feeding of the sacred texts by Tennyson, Shelly – Eliot was a breath of fresh air.

Surreal imagery that used ordinary English but wasn’t a pop lyric. Did I understand him? Probably not, because trying to write an exam essay on this was a stuttering stumbling mess. The layers of meaning in his work was merely hinted at by our high-school English teacher. 

This was probably the same English teacher who told me I’d never be a writer because my spelling was ‘inventive’ and my grammar was hopeless. That teacher made me feel stupid. But I persisted.

I have Eliot’s collected poetry & plays in one book & his essays in another. Plus a biography. I’ve read them all. His essays are a bit too academic for me to say I enjoyed them. His poetry is more comic than one expects. reading it today I find him to be more sardonic than perceptive. Prufrock is much easier to ‘understand’ when seen as a humorous poem. The Waste Land has great comic moments as well. I re-read the poetry every three or four years.

What inspired me about him was his concise use of language to covey multifoliate meanings. His work isn’t melodramatic or high-flown the way the romantics became. He wasn’t confessional even while talking about himself. Narrative line was more stream of consciousness as opposed to story telling. He freed me find the shadows that fall between the words.

Calypso’s Cave

I want to return to Calypso’s cave

for more erotic instruction

the ways of love I had been taught

never seemed enough for this world 

 

like Lazarus I could not 

remain in the shelter forever

I cannot rely on Neptune

to fulfill all my body’s longings

 

released from his tender endless coil

onto this shore where

I am unsure of my welcome

unsure of my name

 

unsure of anything except

I need another seven years 

to prepare me for cities of silver glass

for the fumbling turmoil of men

 

who tumble excitedly 

grasping for quick satisfaction

not having the time

to indulge in the erotic lore

I have received and long to pass on

 

let me return to Calypso

for another seven time seven

this school of sorrow and longing

I have been cast into a world

that holds no secrets for me

or is this the next lesson 

 

pleasure isn’t the end 

only a beginning

sorrow isn’t the result 

only a symptom

 

as I wander these streets

I cannot feel the river’s flow

I see their mouths open 

but no water comes forth

 

I want to return with Neptune

after sailing seeking

from one golden fleece to the next

is there anyone awaiting me

 

or am I the one waiting

to bring new light the cave

where Lazarus wrote on its walls

Calypso’s joke

Neptune’s revenge

 

the lover of the world 

ready for love 

yet no river bed 

to lay my body on

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Ginsberg


Is Allen Ginsberg taught on any Canadian high-school English course? The most daring poet I remember readings at that time was T.S. Eliot, some Dylan Thomas (more about them later.) Then the rock bomb went off with Bob Dylan, Paul Simon & the like. My first exposure to Ginsburg was via pop music. Only at the time I didn’t know it.

 

It wasn’t until years later when I picked up the City Lights edition of Howl that I realized where Bob Dylan had sprung from. Reviewers mentioned the Kerouac influence but not the Ginsburg. Was it to avoid tainting the new rock God with Ginsburg’s deviant sexuality? No that couldn’t be there was no homophobia is that scene.

I have the massive Collected Poems, Barry Miles’s biography, “Howl” Fifty Years Later, edited by Jason Shinder, plus cds of Ginsberg performing his work. I have read Ginsberg’s direct influence as well: Walt Whitman (more about him later). I am a fan.

I was lead to him via the beatnik connection & reading a Kerouac biography. I knew the famous opening ‘I have seen the best minds’ but was unfamiliar with anything else of his poetry. The Collected Works is a challenging read solely for the quantity but it is worth working through. Not that everything he wrote is a work of genius but it is compelling, emotionally real & his imagery is frequently stunning.

What inspires me about him is that he was only queer though the hippie era at a time when ‘free love’ merely meant men getting as much sex from women as they could. Where there any gay people at Woodstock? At the love-ins? Much of his work is of the moment & about himself in a gentle yet revealing way, frequently very conversational. Some of it is also timeless & reflects things in today’s world that remain true – I have seen the best minds of our times lost to drugs, street violence & cultural genocide. 

end song 

the float of cups and spoons
moons and leaves
wet midnights broken by laugher
left to reflect on the puddles
red sticky slicks that caress the stage
invite the applause of over-hanging gaspers
soon to be disgraced with apologies
wondering not aloud 

what if this isn’t the moment 

to leap up once and for all 

get it over with

no beginnings only ends
only a bar counter to wipe ready
for weary prisoners to stop   rest   gripe
about the fairness of their sentence
how they deserve what they want

and they want it now 

piping hot
heaped dishes of freshly chopped
branches of moon strung stings
to replace the end of things

we all know that end is looming
bigger than 

a pole-dancer’s ass 

that hovers over 

your out-stretched glass

another drop pretty pretty please
please squeeze harder 

we know you can do it
before the song changes
it has to be on that note
the universal choir
chasing clouds of chords around
looking for the car keys put down in a hurry

your car running in the garage
who is in the back seat drifting
as the red slick sends
reflection of spoons to the moon

each prisoner barely turning
in their stools asking
are we up to guessing what comes next 

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Bricks to Banksy 

Somehow I lost the notes I took at the Hot Damn! Showcase as part of Unit2’s Bricks & Glitter queer festival 😦 https://www.facebook.com/bricksandglitter/ So what I may quote from the show come entirely from my memory. One thing burned in my memory from the night is the actual getting to the west-end location on Stirling Road. Google was helpful to a degree, it got me in the right direction 🙂 The heat was intense, which wasn’t helped by a text message from a FB wanting to play that night. 

I gave myself time to get lost, which I did but I quickly got back on the right track. I have never been in this area, near Lansdowne. It is a simmering art warehouse district. One was dedicated to a Banksy show, a parking lot was set up as a sit-down outdoor movie theatre. A Museum Of Contemporary Art is being built. The House of Anansi  is nestled beside a craft brewery.

I found Unit2 easily & stepped back into my Cape Breton past. In Sydney friends of mine had gotten a grant to set up a store front children’s theatre for the summer. They made puppets, did show there & in playgrounds. Unit2 had that feeling of repurposed space, not finished or polished, of people working together for change, as opposed to profits. I felt more at home than I expected. In some ways it was like being in a large rec room to watch friends perform.

The showcase was excellent. Charlie Petch opened, as they do the ‘real’ show, with acknowledging the stolen land we are on & then played the Damn! anthem, on the saw. First feature was D’Scribe: ‘I pretended my parents loved me.’ I’ve seen him perform many times now & each time I have been caught up in his vision & struggles.

Charlie did the second set in which they gave us samples of Mel Malarkey, & Daughter Of Geppetto. They also did an amazing grief piece with live multilayered vocals, sound fx that invited the audience in to experience their own feeling of personal grief & loss after the recent Danforth mass shooting. It was a performance that transcended language & took us into pure emotion.

Sadly it was getting too late for me so I left before seeing Truth Is … I wanted to be home by 11 & to bed by midnight. It was a fine show & makes me eager for the start of Hot Damn!’s season 5 this fall at Buddies in Bad Times.

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Harper Hartman

I first heard Ben Harper on a CMJ (College Music Journal) compilation cd. I like the sample & eventually found the cd Cruel World – I think the song was Mama’s Got A New Girlfriend – a cheerful song about having two moms. I have it as a stand-alone as well as Burn To Shine, & there will be a light.

Harper is adult pop with some folksy, bluesy, even soul undertones. He plays a wicked slide guitar. His voice is appealing & emotional without striving to over-emote. ‘be a light’ features the Blind Boys of Alabama & is uplifting, spiritual without being overly religious. As much as I enjoy his cds I found that three was enough. I’ve heard others but, to be honest, I couldn’t tell one from the other.

A quick word about CMJ. I was a loyal follower of this monthly magazine & loved the compilation cds that introduced me to endless music. They were as eclectic as my collection with sample tracks from jazz, electronic, dance music, blues, pop, punk, rap, world music all on the same cd. The frustrating thing was that often what I really liked was unavailable in Canada.

Near Harper is an lp to cd transfer of Dan Hartman’s Instant Replay, with some tracks from a disco compilation Hot Nights & City Lights. ‘Replay’ was one of the few disco lps that was more than a hit song. Each track had energy & I always love hearing it when it comes up in my play rotation. I remember being compelled to dance to that title song when ever a dj played it, the same was true for Countdown. Hot Nights is a nicely mixed set of classic disco songs such as Boogie Oogie Oogie; Love Is In The Air – all of which make me feel like a teenager coming out 🙂

Pagan

‘Just smell the pine.’ Chris took a deep breath. He nodded to Peter to do the same thing.

‘Yeah. Pine.’ Peter breathed out. He didn’t really smell anything like pine. ‘Not very strong though.’

‘What do you mean?’ Chris pushed aside a branch and held it so Peter could pass. ‘Can’t mistake that smell. Or were you expecting Pinesol?’

‘Yeah. Something like that.’ Peter felt himself redden. In this cold it wouldn’t be noticeable.

‘Something like reality.’ Chris’s laugh echoed through the trees. ‘This is real. This is the goddamned outdoors.’ He stooped and pulled up a clump of snow, dirt. ‘This is the land. Not some high-def image. The soil. Something we don’t get enough of in the city. ’

‘I have enough dirt in my back yard.’

‘Yeah, right.’ Chris scoffed.  ‘All that chemical fertilizer and weed control doesn’t leave much of nature in that soil.’

‘Enough for … ’

‘There it is.’ 

They stopped. Peter saw the tree. Tall. Green. Biggest pine he had ever seen.

‘She is a beauty.’ Peter said.

‘She! Hell, that’s a he tree if I’ve ever seen one.’

‘I’m not going to argue that with you. So we going just gawk or chop.’

‘Neither.’ Chris took off his back pack.

‘I thought we were going to get real trees this year. None of that tree farm shit for us.’

‘Right you are but by real I meant we’d get real ourselves. Here … ’ He handed Peter two red candles. ‘Put one over there and the other directly opposite it. Stick close to the edge of the fir.’

‘You crazy or what.’

‘Trust me.’

‘Okay.’

Chris trod a path around the tree that criss-crossed at several points. In each another candle was placed and lit. A slight wind came up.

‘Next …’ Chris handed him a beer and opened one for himself. ‘repeat after to me … We drink to the spirit of the fir.’

‘We drink to the spirit of the fir.’

‘Now take a swallow and spit it out.’

Peter did.

‘Turn around and do the same thing again.’

Peter did. At first he felt foolish. He glanced around to make sure no one was watching. He closed his eyes and when he opened them the light had changed.

‘You see the difference?’ Chris asked.

‘Yeah? What is this? Some sort of pagan ritual.’

‘Could be. Just intent. Something my Dad showed me once. He said he had to pass it along to someone. Now I’m passing it along to you. We have to revere the land a little. Acknowledge the spirit.’

Peter took a deep breath. He could smell the pine. ‘I smell it.’

‘What?’

‘The pine! The pine! I can really smell it! I smell the earth too.’

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Buffy Season 4 – Nearly Dustless

 Recently finished watching Season 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There is so much sex in this season – everyone, including Giles, is getting laid I now think of this as season fornicate. This is also the season when I gave up on it when it was first broadcast. Buffy’s emotionally vulnerability was, to me, forced & distracting. There was hardly any vampires slain either. Lots of demons though. I  didn’t buy into the military complex plot line – government conspiracy is so X-Files, it was tepid at best.

Some episodes suffered from too many characters & the writers never found a balance between them. At times it felt like they were given dialogue that kept them on screen as opposed to adding to the plot. At least they dropped the one trope I hated – you know the one in which no one believes there are vampire etc. This season everyone in Sunnyvale acknowledges there are evil forces at work.

The season has some of the worse episodes (so far) of the series. “Beer Bad” being one, the other, for me, was “Pangs” the Thanksgiving episode that is so embarrassing I was ready to give up again on season 4. But I’m glad I stuck with it because there were also some of the best written & performed eps as well.

The departure of Oz was emotionally resonant but (spoiler alert) he returns before the end of the season for another great episode. In fact some of the best episodes involved returning characters. Ethan Raine does things to Giles in “A New Man” that were thrilling to see. Danny Strong shines in “Superstar” a brilliant episode. Faith surfaces again in a well plotted & emotionally satisfying two-parter. 

Adam as a villain never felt like a threat. The shenanigans of  The Initiative – the military complex were predictable & left me feeling ‘who cares’ though Lindsay Crouse as the evil doctor was always a joy to watch. I was sorry to see her dispatched without a real face off with Buffy.

It took the writers ten episodes or more to get their footing after the departure of Angel & Cordelia. Spike was to be the smart mouth but seemed totally wasted in every episode. Anya was the best addition to the gang & it was clear the writers loved writing for her. 

There were some great stand alone episodes. “Hush” with the floating Gentlemen was creepy & fantastic; the abused children spirits, is “Where The Wild Things Are” seeking revenge was chilling as was the actress playing their ‘keeper.’ I’m hoping there a another episode in future seasons that deals with her.

The season did expand some of the Slayer mythos, as well giving us more a glimpse into the Watchers that I hope is explored more in future seasons. Willow became more of character, as opposed to a side-kick, as her magic powers & confidence grows. At times it felt more like the Witch Willow show than Buffy. Oh yes, Willow gets Tara – as a love interest. I still think it would have been more revolutionary if Zander got a boyfriend though say in the form of Forrest – as Forrest is clearly resents Riley switch of affection to a girl, namely Buffy.

Speaking of Forrest it was great to see a black character on Buffy in a recurring role. Though he was not a good guy he certainly made Riley seem almost interesting with the powerful gay subtext he was playing in all their scenes. Even in the final fight between them his motivation was more ‘how could you choose her over me’ than ‘I’m helping Adam conquer the world.’

By the end of the season I was glad I stuck with it even if there are some episode I wish I could un-watch. I was also missing the lack of vampire dustings. Come on she’s a vampire slayer – not a demon hunter. On to Season 5.

The Cell

a man weeps on the subway

well-dressed   mid-thirties

turns his face from us

with no corner to hide his tears

rubs a cell phone in his left hand

squeezing it as something to hold on to

glances at the screen

bumps his head on the window

harder and harder

should someone stop him

he lurches up

gets off at the next station

stares immobile as the train pulls out

 

was that even his stop

was he ashamed of strangers 

seeing his sorrow

our eyes wanting more than they could see

was our pity   curiosity   inaction

too much more to bare

on top of what he wept about

 

his cell phone still where he sat

I pick it up look around

no one acknowledges what I have done

what should I do with it

try the numbers on it

track him down

did he abandon it   leave his sorrow behind

I get off at my stop

take the cell with me

 

at home I press the right buttons

nothing lights up dead

my recharge cable doesn’t fit

I’m at a loss about what to do

suddenly it lights up   rings

hello

all I hear are 

 

painful gut-wrenching sobs

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Kuhlau to Takemitsu

This mp3 collection is filed under ‘K’ for Danish composer Friedrich Kuhlau. I have here his Elverhoj Overture/Concerti, Grand Duo Concertante for flutes. I had a MHS lp to cd transfer of his Grand Duo & figured it was time to upgrade to a clearer version & searched for more by him & found the Elverhoj. The flute music is charming chamber music in Mozart style. The Elverhoj is stirring, verging on Rossini – the concerti are romantic & sweeping.

Here to Andrei Krylov’s Bard Music Fantasy – a wonderful set of gothic & renaissance lute pieces ranging from Celtic sadness to French court music. Beautifully engineered this music is transporting without falling into the rut of new age banality.

More renaissance music comes from Jan of Lublin. I have a lp to cd transfer of a MHS lp of guitar music from The Tablature which I love & so I wanted more. I discovered that the Tablature was/is of organ music so I ended up with An Organ Evening in the Lublin Palace: funeral at time but charming & oddly relaxing. I never did find any of the organ to lute transcriptions though 😦

 

Finally to take a real leap are some pieces by Toru Takemitsu. A Japanese composer (influenced by John Cage) whom I discovered when I watched the film Face Of Another – I loved his percussive soundtrack & did an unsuccessful search for that soundtrack  but found some of his ‘serious’ works: Tree Line, Nostalghia, Tangled Flow some which was included in a recording of Dun’s Concerto For Pipa. This is all mid-20th century classical music. Worth seeking out if you want to broaden your music world view.  

Lawyer

Elisabeth Mae Johnston (1885-1968)… born in Surrey Count, Great Britain to Samuel Vernon Johnston MD and Marie LaFleur. Immigrated to Canada with her family in 1895. She studied first at Glendale Girls Academy where she excelled in arts and elocution. Elocution lead her to pursue a degree in law which proved to be her calling and despite the hopes of her family she pursued the legal and her artistic expression through out her life.

        One of the first female lawyers in Canada she devoted her legal time and attention the immigrant Chinese community in British Columbia. 

        She became known as Saint Amah of the Yellow. She was scorned and shunned by the white community for her work with non-whites but she remained stalwart in her dedicated to the causes of the new citizen.

        Her many painting and sculptures show a side of immigrant life few were privileged to see. The series of paintings of Chinese weddings and funerals reveal a rare glimpse into the lives of these people attempting to make a home for themselves in a strange country.

        Her legal offices were attacked and burned  more than once. On one occasion Asian Slut and Chinese Whore was painted across the building where her offices where. Elisabeth took that as inspiration for her most famed painting ‘Office of the Chinese Whore.’

        When she wasn’t dealing  with the immigration system she taught English and in return was taught techniques of Chinese calligraphy and painting. This made her one of the most informed Western practitioners of these arts and she also brought this to the white public.

        She never did marry. She claimed there was no time for romance with so much to be done for these poor unfortunates. 

        Her work has been exhibited around the world. In 1959 she became the first female appointed to the Canadian Supreme Court. In 1964 she was awarded the Governor General’s award for the Arts.

        For more information see Gwendolyn McVeedy’s biography: “The White Whore – the life of Elisabeth Mae Johnston”

(a reminder – this bio is fiction – there is, as far as I know, no Elisabeth Mae Johnston)

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Giddy Up Redux

For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. The first of these appeared in my Camp Pinebow series, which is an extension of the Village Stories set in a summer camp. This was rewritten somewhat to fit into Camp Pinebow – for a previous version & discussion see https://wordpress.com/post/topoet.ca/3230 

Giddy Up

a mainland business consortium

wanted our village 

to invest in a moose riding academy

where young ladies of a certain pedigree

would learn to ride to the hounds on moose

 

these men had elaborate blue prints

detailed architectural models

all they needed were investors

it would take a lot of our money

to make money

so we wouldn’t be so dependent 

on the fission plant or the strip bars

to put food on the table

when the villagers were reluctant 

to part with their hard-earned cash

these men became derisive 

of our close-minded 

small-town mentality

of our inability to see this great opportunity

we offered to invest if they could

show us how to ride a moose

 

my Dad 

took them to the moose breeding ground

we followed to witness this spectacle

much to everyone’s surprise 

these city men were able 

to get a saddle on a smaller one

when one of them climbed on it 

the moose wouldn’t move

it barely looked up at him 

as the man dug his heels into its sides

saying “giddy up – get a move on”

the moose’s dung-caked tail 

swatted the back of the man’s head

 

when Brandi Toffee

their buxom spokesmodel

arrived to sit on the saddled moose

it went berserk

sexually aroused by the female legs

clamped to its back

the sight of the moose’s erection

caused the city men to fall into a swoon

which gave us no end of mirth

the spokesmodel lost her hair extensions

as they got snagged on maple branches 

while she fled though the woods

the aroused moose bellowed pitifully 

when it trapped her in her SUV

when we went to the SUV 

to rescue Brandi

she was gone

 

the doors were ripped off 

crumpled like paper cups

the windshield covered with marks

small dainty hoof marks

hundreds of them

round hollow

Brandi Toffee was never seen

again

 

the moose riding academy never opened

and we villagers kept 

our hard-earned money

 

One of my Facebook feeds is news from Cape Breton & often the ‘news’ is of yet another small business opening there to boost the economy. Now with the legalization of marijuana there is a flood of hemp-centric businesses looking tax breaks to settle on the Island. The moose riding academy may sound far fetch but there have been equally as absurd proposals.

 

The piece also reinforces the presence & power of the moose. There are some in Cape Breton, there are more deer than moose to be found but the moose is a much more ‘amusing’ creature that deserves to be mythologized beyond that painting of the Queen riding a moose. She’s side-saddle, of course.

 

Most of this is fabricated, though I recall one time when a car plant (that eventually folded) had some starlet brought in for the opening ceremony. I don’t think they had celebrities for the closing. But they didn’t slink away in the night the way a few of these enterprises did. I recall one that built a new building, hired staff, then never opened. The pockets just weren’t deep enough.

In Pinebow this is one of the campfire stories. To fit it in I added a few scary details that are classic horror movie cliches. I enjoy the way it takes the moose mythos into darker dimension. 

 

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Naked Truth

On a recent Disability After Dark podcast Andrew Gurza talks about his pursuit of hot pictures of himself. In an online world in which photos have become the lure for everything from ebook sales to dating getting that right shot is crucial. There are sites devoted to teaching you, for a modest fee, how to create an ebook cover that will make your book a best seller. With people judging a book cover by a thumb nail pic that cover better have enough eye appeal to get them to click for more.

I see many profiles on dating sites that say ‘no pic no response.’ Many, myself included, won’t click on a profile if there isn’t a picture. You can’t even register on some sites without a photo. So that photo lure has to have more than eye appeal. For me – it should also be in focus, with decent lighting. It should be of the one posting the profile. I have seen pics that I recognize that clearly aren’t of the poster. I have a friend who has found other men using his dick pics as their own.

I understand Andrew’s search & need for a great sexy pic & how hard it can be to pose for one & have it look natural (if it’s a face pic). Body parts aren’t as difficult but even there one hits limits. Getting decent ass selfie requires a fair bit of agility. To maximize a cock pic the best angle requires another photographer. Or, in both cases, an elaborate set up of mirrors.

I have over the years learned how to take decent selfies in mirrors. One trick is to make sure you are in the frame, look into the mirror & then snap your pic. Same holds true for cell phones, at least for my flip phone. Though my best ‘action’ shot was taken by the other guy – it is hard to hold a camera & take a selfie while you body is caught up in …. ahem …other activities.

Andrew also talks about photos & body image. For years I hated pictures of myself – I didn’t realize how unflattering the angle used in many of them were & they was possible to photos, taken by others, where I looked okay. Underwear selfies made me even more comfortable with my body. I’ve see nudes of Andrew & let me tell you his body is photogenic even when he doesn’t have a hard-on.

Life of An Unknown Poet

I was handing my debit card

to the Winners clerk

to pay for some new undies

when my camera crew 

got into shoving match 

with her camera crew

 

I didn’t see how out of hand things were

till I watched a podcast of 

The Making of The Life of An Unknown Poet

by the crew following my camera crew

my head camera man was asked

how did the poet feel

when he was accosted 

 

he pointed his camera at me

as I walked out of the store

I looked back

glad I was still the one on camera

I was tempted to go back

but didn’t want to interrupt

the entertainment food chain

 

I had my own life to be filmed

and what he thought I thought

about the shoving match

wasn’t all that vital to me

the world knew how shallow I was

for a poet

 

except for this show 

I remained unknown

even after six seasons

and this pissed me off

in fact my viewers

asked to see me pissing

but I had to draw the line somewhere

they could only watch me flush

I have some pride

 

later there was a news report 

about the shoving match

someone was injured

not one of my crew or my crew’s crew

 

it struck me how futile it was

that no matter what one did

someone was bound to suffer

that even allowing my personal angst

and new undies

to be the fodder of millions

it didn’t stop the circle of suffering

 

the camera crew applauded me 

as I wrote those lines about suffering

which made it all worth while once again

I can go living giving my all

even if there is no chance of sex 

unless that camera man 

from the clerk’s camera crew is available

he looked kind of hot

in the podcast of the shoving match 

needs a shave 

his bloody nose gave this unknown poet 

a spark of known reality

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

September or October (maybe)  to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Cheap

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.


Cheap

how cheap

is too cheap

cheap is the wrong word

it implies shoddy

lacking in quality

how inexpensive 

is too inexpensive

before something becomes worthless

before self-worth not seen

as egotism

 

you look at me

as if the price of my chapbook

is too much to ask

after all

the paper itself isn’t that valuable

the cost of printing it

isn’t much greater either

so why should you be expected

to pay more than the paper is worth

the words are worthless 

clearly

expecting to cover more than costs

is egoism as its worst

besides

you’d rather buy a beer

to numb the pain

of not getting my chapbook

for free

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Outsider

On a recent Disability After Dark podcast Andrew Gurza talks with his new research assistant Rae. Both of them talk candidly about the layers of ‘outsider’ they have & still do experience as a result of many factors involving their disabilities. Having spent the first ten years of my life on the move as my Dad’s job took us from Manitoba to the east coast & ultimately to Sydney in Cape Breton, I certainly experienced being an ‘outsider.’

Even in Sydney there was three moves before we settled into a house we called home (which is still in the family). On top of which my mother returned to Wales regularly in the summer to visit with her family taking me with her. I was never like other kids wherever I was.

I put a lot of energy into being normal enough to get along with adults, kids, teachers & never felt I was succeeding. Not that I knew what success was supposed to be. Good marks? Lots of playmates? A girlfriend? Being invisible seemed like a good option. I am not disabled in the clear way Andrew is but I can sense the complexity of his need to be accepted for who he is but not knowing who to do that in the lgbtq+ world, let alone the world outside that. 

Albert Camus says in The Stranger: “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” I didn’t realize how much energy I put into being seen as normal until I said ‘Fuck it” – I’ve done all I can & it hasn’t happened yet. I certainly tried all the things that to make me attractive, desirable, acceptable and I was usually left disappointed & even a little bitter. 

Things like free-weights, good hair products, name-brand jeans with the perfect tee-shirt for bar appeal. When I stopped doing that for others but for myself I felt free. Not that I don’t work out enough, or enjoying looking presentable but the fact is I’ll be that hot gay guy I was sure everyone wanted. I became comfortable in my own skin.

But I don’t have to face the same struggles for even accessibility that Andrew does. I can walk up the stairs to get to the dance floor. 

Oogie Inferno 

if you’re thinkin’ I’m too old 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 man spinning his wheelchair in circles

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  ga ga ooh la la

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 huh huh) 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

my nothing being 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

last chance for a bad romance

everybody here tonight must 

boogie oogie oogie

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe


2019

June 8/9 – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet