Full Frontal

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about The Sessions – a movie that made a big splash some years ago dealing with a disabled man & his female sex surrogate. I thoroughly enjoyed Andrew’s scene-by-scene look at The Sessions. A movie which I have not seen – too emotional manipulative for me. I don’t like being forced to feel good.

It was important to hear about a movie from an ‘expert’ – someone who knows about the reality of disability as opposed to some reviewer, critic who is caught up in the drama & not aware of facts. Andrew pretty much likes the emotional content of the movie which resonated with his lived experience. He calls out a few anachronisms (modern wheelchair instead of period one) & also how little the hero’s privacy is respected. 

The other thing which he notes is nudity. He questions why Helen Hunt, the lead actress, get full frontal while John Hawkes, the male lead, gets minimal exposure, even in the sex scenes. This is not unique to this movie though. Showing breast & vagina is not longer so shocking but the male body remains pretty much hidden. Lots of fast ass shots, never the well-lit, lingering shots that female nudity gets.

Female nudity is rarely seen as gratuitous if it fits the story. In Sessions if nudity makes sense for Helen Hunt then nudity makes equal sense John Hawkes should as well, right? This is one of those double-standards. Male performers have to worry about ‘performance anxiety’ or are shy about displaying their cock at all – what if it doesn’t measure up to their fans fantasies. Isn’t that cgi is for? If they can double the cost a film by digitally enhancing the hair of the lead for every scene he’s in, surely a few minutes of cock shouldn’t be an issue.

Or perhaps they wanted to respect the dignity of the disabled man – after all his disability was enough without exploiting his dick, too. When one catches a glimpse of a stars’ cock it is a flash – even when that dick is the supposedly the star: i.e Boogie Nights – where there is ample bared female but a split-second moment of Dirk Diggler’s supposed large cock & even that was a bad fake – they couldn’t afford a stunt cock.

I’ll end this with my favorite big star full-frontal from Fight Club. Brad Pitt appears at least 4 times in a single frame at various points in the film. My vision was so good it caught the first one & thanks to our dvd player I was able to frame-by-frame at the points were Pitt flashed me. That was no stunt cock 🙂

How Deep Is My Love

my love is deeper than Nietzsche

deeper than the gap between 

spiritual fantasy and sexual 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 time between 

ending it and getting over it

I love you more than this shirt look great on me

my love is harder than 

peanut brittle in Arctic moonlight

my love is more hopeful than 

an overflowing recycling bin

my love for you is longer than 

the arm of the law 

holding a restraining order 

my love for you is purer 

than the water in the bottle of 

rapidly disappearing ice shelf 

melted just so you 

could have a sip 

and throw it away

my love for you is purer than a dream

my love for you is purer than 

how you felt 

before you even know the difference

between a care bear and a pubic hair

my love for you is stronger 

than the tang of expresso 

with a flavour shot of almond

to cover that weird burned taste

my love is truer than 

all those Facebook friends 

who rsvp’d they’d be here

my love for you is stronger than 

your need to be loved

my love for you is 

no longer the crime it once was

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September 25, Tuesday – Horror feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

 

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Sal Mineo & The Grass Roots

The Grass Roots: All Time Greatest Hits starts off a mp3 collection of wide ranging bands mostly from the mid to late 60’s. Grass Roots was corporate packaged to produce hits, slick, well produced, solid pop that is nearly interchangeable with top ten hits from The Archies or The Monkees or Three Dog Night. The hits bring back eat coast memories. The band itself wasn’t that well through of though thanks to their popularity. But musically better than say 1910 Fruitgum Company.

Another corporate package was Sal Mineo! I have The Complete Epic Recordings. I say packaged because there was an attempt to make teen movie or TV stars into pop stars (& vice-versa). George Maharis, Chris Connelly also experienced this same corporate attempt to capitalize on their stardom. I love Sal. His life is tragic, his on screen presence is magnetic & he was hot. His singing is ordinary, perhaps even mediocre. His material belies his open homosexuality with absurd songs of teenage boy girl love. Hearing his sing songs like “My Bride” is more sad thn campy. 

Another TV star was Don Grady (My Three Sons) his band The Yellow Balloon – released one lp of sunshine pop – think Beach Boys, in fact Beach Boys make an appearance. This is a something I came across rather than searched out. An artifact as opposed to a neglected treasure. Diverting but no compelling.

Also here are some one-hit wonders: first up is Rare Earth with: One World, Willie Remembers, Ma – three solid lps full of cover versions of things like What’d I Say & original songs. The hit was I Just Want to Celebrate. All solid music. Sugarloaf had one hit Green-Eyed Lady which is not on their  Spaceship Earth: album. The music is competent but it could be Grass Roots for it’s lack of identity. Both bands successfully try their hand at long form: i.e. pieces that run over ten minutes.

Ides of March had one big hit: Vehicle & a couple of lps including Common Bond. When Vehicle hit the charts many though: oh a new single from Blood, Sweat & Tears. lead vocalist is a ringer for David Clayton Thomas & the horns have the same smooth jazz brass sound. It seemed only natural to include Ten Wheel Drive’s Brief Replies to finish off this collection. Another big brassy jazzy-pop band but edgier than BS&T but no one would mistake dynamic lead singer Genya Ravan for Thomas. I have more Ten Wheel tucked away on other compilations.

Interest

‘You coming Judy?’

‘Not right away.’

Safti had usually walked with her from the bus to the school. Fifteen, he had failed a year and was in same the grade her, but not the same class.

‘Don’t want to be late, do you?’

‘It’s okay. First period is an easy one for me. You get going though. I’ll see you at lunch.’

‘Okay. Thanks for helping me with the History stuff. You are such a brain.’

‘Thanks. Too bad Sal was more like me, right?’

‘Whatever. See you.’

He ran across the parking lot and into the side door. Only the boys could use that door. She peeped around the front to see if those girls where there. They weren’t. She hurried up the steps. They were just inside the front door.

‘Oh! Look who’s trying to sneak past,’ Jen grabbed Judy by the hair and yanked her back hard.

Judy began to cry. ‘Leave me alone.’

‘Yeah in a minute.’ Jane unzipped Judy’s backpack and twisted it so books began to fall out. ‘Oh you are such a clumsy girl.’

The three of them laughed at her. Jane shoved a note into the backpack. ‘This is your death sentence.’

A boy who saw what they were doing looked the other way and rushed by.

‘You are going to get what’s coming to you soon. Very soon. Sooner if you tell anyone about this. You understand.’ Jen backed her hard against the wall. ‘You understand?’

‘Yes.’

‘That’s a good girl.’ Laurie kicked Judy’s pens across the hall floor. ‘Be glad we take an interest in you.’

The three laughed again. The bell rang.

‘Shit we better get a move on.’

‘If we’re late because of you, shit face, it’ll be even sooner than you think.’

Judy stooped to pick up her scattered books & pens.

‘Having some trouble are we?’

Judy looked up. It was Mrs. Glasgow, the Math teacher.

‘Oh no, nothing I just dropped my backpack trying to get my … to get a …’ she could see the three girls at the end of the hall glaring at her. ‘Get my favourite pen.’

She stood up. Telling wouldn’t do her any good. Not now. Not ever. She’d be a snitch, a rat and no one would ever like her. Not that they did like her much now, but to rat on those girls would only make things worse for her. Much worse.

‘Get a move on then Judy.’

‘Yes Mrs G. I mean, Mrs. Glasgow.’

She scurried up the stairs, stopped to read the note. ‘Want to die faster? Do us a favour & save us the trouble.’ 

She got into her class just as the door closed.

‘Cutting it close again Judy? I don’t know what’s gotten into you.’

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The Camera Never Lies

Smile

the camera will stay on

it’s for your protection

people will talk

they will question your motivation

they will question my lack of interest

I never meet alone with anyone

no, it’s not being broadcast live

on YouTube Facebook Instagram

 

the camera will stay on

you’ll get used to it quickly

you don’t even see it do you

we’ve learned how to be discreet

we have nothing to hide

do we

 

this is to maintain transparency 

so our being together

can’t be misunderstood 

even by one another

I don’t want to face a charge

of sexual harassment

of guilt by association

 

 

the camera will remain on

it is always on

there is one where ever I go

I have no faith in the people

everyone is eager to misunderstand

any innocent cue

have a nice day

becomes an insult 

to someone’s sense of propriety 

so this is being documented

to assure each of us of legal protection 

there will be no grounds 

for doubt for equivocation

the camera will remain on

 

this is the state we have come to

privacy is only for those

who have something to hide

and we have nothing to hide

not even from each other 

are you ready for your mug shot

This piece is an almost ‘ripped from the headlines’ response to the atmosphere of paranoia that has developed around language, how looks can be interpreted, how a smile can be misrepresented as a sexual threat. Police wearing body cams to establish what is happening – when they work – then spinning what is recorded into not being what happened but merely what your eyes are misinterpreting. 

Eye-witnesses, even camera eye-witnesses- end up doubting what they saw or aren’t at fault for what they saw because their vision is clouded by cultural assumptions – ‘it’s not my fault skin-color has been weaponized.’ Yes the camera is becoming de rigueur – security cameras everywhere for our protection, at least when it suits someone’s purpose.

If it shows those in control in a bad light we are invading their privacy; if it shows us in a bad light we have no right to privacy. Their is no such thing as privacy anymore anyway. If someone succeeds in being so off grid there is not electronic trace of them anywhere good luck on getting health insurance, a car license, an airplane ticket, out of jail ever.

As the piece says ‘privacy is only for those who have something to hide.’ Just as the current president of the usa about his past and it’s an invasion of his privacy but he has nothing to hide, at least nothing that can’t be denied regardless of the new reel footage of him being there etc. That wasn’t him. Transparency – even when we can see through him there’s no culpability.

Cameras are everywhere. I’ve known some people who cover their built-in computer cameras with duct tape. How do they their turned off cell phones are relaying their conversations to the authorities? Why turn your phone off if you have nothing to hide?

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Polite

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about the times he’s been a douche bag with his sexual interactions. Some of them struck me as being part of a learning curve. Some of them come out of how our cultural awareness & sensitivity has changed but it’s easy to judge how we behaved 10 years ago with how we behave today.

Listening to his experiences, as always, makes me look at how I’ve behaved in the past. I have used excuses not to meet with someone rather than come right out & say I’m not interested, or not interested anymore. The polite Canadian doesn’t say ‘you’re too fat’ – they say ‘I don’t think we’re a good match’ when size is the issue.

I decline opportunities by reading what a man has listed in his profile. It’s easier, to me, to say I’m not into party’n’play, which is true, than say you don’t appeal to me at all. One man I met, who was quite taken with me (no surprise there) when we first met, whose English comprehension was nil, wanted FWB – the main benefit being his English tutor. Sticking to my primary purpose lead me to decline after out first ‘date.’

I think the worse thing I do is ‘ghost’ – if after the initial communication & text conversation I’m not that interested I merely stop responding rather saying ‘I’m not interested ‘in being your ass pussy’ or ‘in making you my ass pussy.’ Nor am I interested being anyone’s esl tutor or explaining the political context of my decisions when all I want is fun sex.

Damned Hands

‘keep your canned hams on the shelf’

or was that

‘keep your damned hands to yourself’

often I don’t quite hear what people say

like the time 

I heard someone shouting 

‘jesus loves your shoes’

as they gave out flyers 

 

‘wow’ I thought ‘there’s a personal saviour 

I can believe in’

but when I got one of the flyers it said 

‘jesus loves your soul’

or maybe it was payless for shoes

claiming it could save your soles

 

then there was the woman

ranting on a street corner 

‘one day you’re wearing sunglasses

the next day your not

how can I really know you’

I think that’s what she said

I never went to back to find out

I never stopped to say

‘mom it’s just me’ 

 

I wasn’t wearing sunglasses

she probably wasn’t my mother

I didn’t think she was talking to me

I got over that a long time ago

I don’t think I’m the centre of anyone’s attention

when they shout ‘hey fuck head faggot’ 

they mean some other jackass

 

there is so much out there

trying to take my focus

I don’t focus on anything

often forgetting people I have run into 

unless I make a note in my soul

the one that jesus loves

 

if they put their damned hands on me

it would be a question 

of where those hands were last

how much would they be willing to pay

are they ready to shut up and take it 

like a canned ham

are they ready to love my shoes

are they ready to be so in to me 

that they won’t hear 

their own mother in the street

 

or are they unfocused stumblers

like myself

not paying attention to much

happy to sit for a little while

watch the scream of life whizz by

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every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)
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Unreliable

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This another of the 92 pācittiyas.

Unreliable 

your story changes

each time you tell it

so it is no wonder

no one is sure just what happened

 

not that you cry wolf

but the wolf mutates 

first it didn’t snarl

then you weren’t afraid of the snarl

subtle elaborations

 

no one doubts

that you met the wolf

but it’s no longer clear

what happened next

except that you survived

without even a bite mark on you

 

though perhaps 

the next time you tell the story

you will reveal the scar

from the bite 

that you said didn’t happen 

because you couldn’t tell everything

you didn’t expect it to be believed

you needed to trust us

before going any deeper

into what really happened

 

so it went from seeing the wolf

in the general area

to meeting said wolf

and declining further contact

to never having been in touch

with the wolf before you saw him

to having sex with the wolf

but not enjoying it enough

or 

well we’re not sure

except we don’t doubt

you met the wolf

or that the wolf

was caught with the blood of lambs

in his fur

none of blood was yours

but you knew some of those lambs

 

what will come next

as your story changes

that you escaped is clear

but what are you hiding

from yourself

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Confirmation

Confirmation

kissing her

was unexpected

she had told me

my bed had appeared in her dreams

 

I was pretending

to be interest in women

claiming a bisexuality

to allow for a safe passage through life

at a time

when that was necessary

 

there were enough suspicions

about my sexuality already

launched in grade school

carried into high school

suppressed by fear

then by the bottle

 

intercourse with a woman

was bandied about like a flag

a boy scout badge

to announce

hey I’m a normal guy

I bang chicks

 

but that sex was a remote possibility

until she had that dream

she made it come true

for herself

 

no one knew

no one suspected a thing

except for me

who finally knew

intercourse with a woman

was possible

but not a place I wanted

to return to

This was prompted by the first of the two aniyātas. Both deal with the shame of sex that in implied by being with a woman under questionable circumstances. None of these prompted pieces are meant to illustrate the rule so they frequently are tangental from a word or two in the rule.

Confirmation is, as you might suspect, totally autobiographic. It reflects much of my teenage and early twenties as I tried to get some sort of balance between what I knew about myself & what was culturally acceptable, in Cape Breton, at that time. The pretending that, even in my thinking, went through a process of ignoring the fear, experimenting, eventually admitting to myself that I was gay. Stages of acceptance. Some male pop stars were rumoured to be bi – David Bowie for one – so it was sort of okay to say one preferred girls but would bag the right guy. 

In high-school I was bullied for being a gearbox even though I had dated some girls, that wasn’t enough. I didn’t do the ‘smell my finger brag’ (that is I’ve just fingers the vagina of some girl & here’s the scent of proof) that would have cemented my heteronormativity.

The ‘she’ was the younger sister of one of the guys I frequently drank with – one a a group of guys who would show up en masse with guitars or new lps and booze in hand. Girlfriends, sisters in tow often. One day the sister dropped by on her own, told me about her dream & over the next few weeks we messed around a little then one night did the deed. 

I have another piece about that – Perfect Match. (https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2GB) Her bothers found out & were pissed at me. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I was not the first in. She & I didn’t continue. Though we enjoyed the sex it was clear to both of us that I wasn’t really into it. It was also obvious it was something I initiated or would ever have initiated either.

I grew in a very Catholic neighbourhood & regularly saw children dressed up for Confirmation. A ritual to bind them to the church, or something like that. The Lutherans have an equally ritualistic declaration of faith. My experience with ‘she’ was a heterosexual baptism that confirmed my homosexuality 🙂

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Vampire Willow

 Finally worked through the Buggering, I mean, Buffering archive (if I type too fast I hit ‘gg’ instead of ‘ff’.) Listened to all expect their look at Wonder Woman – I’ll wait until I’ve seen the movie. Hosts Jenny Owen Youngs & Kristin Russo have expanded the podcast, thanks to advertisers (who knew book of the month still existed) & Patreon supporters. Interviews with actors who have appeared on the show increased from those with episode appearances to those with full arc appearances.

I enjoyed the interviews with the mayor, with the deputy mayor, even one with Buffy’s mom. Fun stories, though one of the interviews was close to an infomercial for that actor’s current ‘empire.’ I was sad to see the mail-bag episodes become a bonus for their Patreon supporters. 

Season 3 is the Faith season & has too many great episodes for me to pick a favorite. Band Candy is one standout. Vampire Willow is unforgettable, as is MOO (now that’s a t-shirt I’d buy). The Mayor has most of the best moments & lines with his ‘square Dad’ banality that barely contains his inner demon. The writers & the actor had a great time giving this villain so much character & personality.

The Faith and Buffy chemistry simmers with lesbian tension in nearly every scene they have together – even their final confrontation. The hosts are sure it boiled over in not-seen scenes between slayings. I don’t find it as daring as they do though. Lesbianism – girl-on-girl – has always been more allowable in entertainment, than man-on-man. If the writers had, say, Zander & Oz, display this same kind of sexual chemistry then the show would have been revolutionary as opposed to merely toying with the acceptable girl-on-girl trope.

Diversity increased with Mr. Trick – the first regular black character. Played with great panache, & out dressing even Cordelia, he is a commanding presence but remains underdeveloped & under utilized. Race is mentioned but not explored. Why are there so few poc in Sunnydale, even as background fillers? 

In one podcast the hosts speculate on how Buffy would be made today – how would it be cast? Probably with the same formula now used in Hollywood that allows for limited but more poc. A black Willow with access to African spiritual energy; probably piss-baby Zander would be and Asian dude or perhaps Giles would be the Asian character as he so wise & serene. 

The season ends with a resounding bang that destroys the high-school – which (spoiler alert) is revisited in mid-season 4 & remains in ruins. I guess when Sunnydale High blew up to seal the Hell Mouth the department of education opted not to rebuild. I suppose they are bussing the students to another county now. 

My previous Buffering posts:

Buffy Buffy Buffering https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2P5 

Buffering Season 2 https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2Sf

A Bite

one morning there was a bite

an arc on my forearm 

almost on my elbow

clear distinct human

top row bottom row

teeth marks

skin not broken

bruised red ridges indents

not where I could have done it

it wasn’t there when I went to bed

there was another bite

on my left heel

it was tender to the touch

another spot my mouth could never reach

then a final bite mark

on my inner thigh

I could still feel a mouth there

a tongue warm and wet

as teeth sank in

as if someone had

tried to devour me in my sleep

all day I found myself

rolling up my sleeve

just far enough to see the first bite

it hadn’t faded into a pink rose

it was still there

an red angry smear

when I got home

the others were also there

as if something had a hold of me all day

I checked the mirror carefully

had I missed one

did they make a pattern

they didn’t glow in the dark

they didn’t throb

there was no pain

only the sensation of my hand

when I touched them

weeks later

years later

they are still there

and despite them

there is never less of me

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every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

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glueleg vs Gnarls

glueleg is a Canadian band you might not expect me to enjoy as much as I do. I have as stand-alones: Heroic Doses, Clodhopper. A now defunct Toronto band they had a hard-edged progressive, art-rock sound – think punk Blood Sweat & Tears! That’s right or even Chicago thanks to a section of sax, trumpet along with their distinctive grunge sound. Reminiscent of Kind Crimson – they even do a cover version of Red.

 

I saw a video on MuchMusic – remember when that as a video channel? The horn sound held my attention – the rhythm  was a bit clunky in a funky boozy jazz way. The lyrics were a bit surreal but romantic in the hetero angsty way. A rare Canadian art-rock band that worked well without feeling contrived or bored with it all. 

 

Next is Gnarls Barkley. I have St. Elsewhere, the odd couple as stand-alones. Yes there is a sprinkle of ‘modern’ pop in the my collection 🙂 These guys produced great summer hits that are an updated Marvin Gaye – r’n’b, urban trip-hop that is not overly challenging. I’d say it is perfect radio music but who listens to the radio anymore? I guess it’s perfect Spotify music (I don’t have Spotify).

 

Not as overtly sexual as say LMFAO but with the same pop smarts. Beautifully engineered the band is a delight to hear on headphones. Danceable, romanic, humorous, hetero music that is safe for the whole family. It’s good to know that there is urban music that isn’t all anger & angst. Crazy, eh?

Thought 

The phone hadn’t rang all night. Dave kept hearing it though, over the sound of the dishwasher, while he vacuumed but it didn’t ring. Not once.

If his sister thought he was going to be a hotel at a moment’s notice she had another thing coming. This place was barely large enough for him, let alone her and Sally.

The phone didn’t ring. He picked it up several times times to call her but stopped. Calling would  only alert her mistake, as she called Matt, the guy she had married.

He could still see that wedding photo taken at the reception. She and Matt by a painting. He figured they weren’t aware of that painting. But he couldn’t miss the fact that it was a sailing ship going down in a storm with the face of Christ in the clouds offering salvation. An omen.

Only he was no salvation for anyone. No, she’d have to make other arraignments. Besides that letter was postmarked almost a week ago. If they were going to arrive they would have been there by now. 

The phone hadn’t rung. A good omen.

He wasn’t going to lose sleep over this. Couldn’t. Too much to do at the denim mine tomorrow. New shipments to sort. Make more sales. His real life. The life that give him purpose, accomplishment.

The vacuuming done he put the Hoover in its corner of the front closet. Closets in apartments were just too small. No storage space for much of anything. If he bought anything new he had to get rid of something else to make space for it. Kept life simple and compact.

Yes that was good. No room for anything more. 

No room for dolls, sister’s suitcases. She would bring the dog too. Was he allowed a dog in this building? Yes he’d seen some on the elevator. Stoop and scoop. Oh no, not him. Something to teach Sally to do.

It was nearing midnight. Everything was in order once again. Ready for the wave of his morning departure to scatter things here and there so that when he returned from work he had something to do, something to look forward to. Yes it felt good to make things neat and tidy. Kept them in their place.

The phone didn’t ring all night.

Dave drifted off to sleep quickly. Another dreamless night

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http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)
 capfireslam.org 

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

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Saying Too Many Names

At the end of 2017 there was no proof of a Toronto serial killer – the lgbtq community was merely being theatrical – it was just a bunch of swishy, disgruntled attention seekers who didn’t feel getting the right to marriage was enough to keep their fucking mouths shut. They weren’t professionals whose duty it was to protect the public. 

Four months later we have an alleged serial killer with, so far, eight murder charges against him. Apparently these guys start young so the case has been extended back to the 70’s! The disgruntled, attention seeking police are now even more disgruntled at being denied the opportunity to march in the Pride Parade. So this is how we show our gratitude for all they do for the community. I just hope evidence doesn’t end up ‘compromised’ as the case advances. That sort of mishandling never happens

As I see the photos and information about these men, who are all dead (& that is incontestable) I am sadden to see that some of them had never been reported missing in the first place. Such as Kanagaratnam who was probably murdered in 2015. Did families figure ‘oh he’s gone to work in Calgary & will get in touch when he is successful enough?’ Were the families so fearful of the police thanks to their experiences in their troubled home countries? Or where they like Dean Lisowick, men no one really cared what happened to? 

 

These are the identified victims (so far) Selim Esen, 44,; Abdulbasir Faizi, 44; Majeed Kayhan, 58; Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, 37;  Andrew Kinsman, 49; Dean Lisowick, 47; Soroush Mahmudi, 50; Skandaraj Navaratnam, 40. I’ll repeat their names. His will probably never be forgotten so there’s no need for me to mention it.

La Mer

What I miss most about the sea

is the sound of waves

                              Not

The waves themselves

With their deeply melodic cold

Or their careless foam caps

But their thunder

as they blast the kelpy rocks

   Lightning in a hail of night

 

What I miss most about the night

is the black of waves

                             Not

The dark itself

With its ungiving distance

Or its depth of stars

But its moon

As it unfurls unwilling waves

   Flags in triumphant passage

 

What I miss most about the passage

Is the motion of waves

                                Not

The heave itself

With its unbreathing breath

Or its reflections of the moon

But its tongue

As it rolls pebbles into sand

   Raindrops calming the sea with kisses

 

What I miss most about kisses

Is the waves of sleep

                             Not

The sleep itself

With its endless silver bed

Or its too soon morning yawn

But its caress

As it nudges my fathomless ache

Sirenes tugging me to the sea of you

What I miss most about the sea

Is you

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http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

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Hip To Be Them

 

Hip To Be Them

because of my entitlement

pronouns are irrelevant

but to some 

every he his him

in a text is an attack

on their identity

they feel discounted distanced

 

I could think

don’t be such sensitive

cry babies

who feel every thing in life

that doesn’t kowtow to your comfort

is an attack on your sense of self

but I accept this sense

of being made invisible

being treated as a non-person

not included 

not seeing yourself represented

in a meaningful respectful way

 

I grew up as a queer boy

who never saw otherness of any kind

represented except in a sneering way

that equated gay with feminine

setting the standard

that anything not masculine 

was not valued

 

if it wasn’t represented 

it didn’t exist

or merely wasn’t worth representing

I began to realize

that mens’ fragile masculinity

wouldn’t allow anything

to reflect on that fragile masculinity

so buddy movies always had the

culturally acceptable romance subplot

so no one could sense any homoerotic 

shenanigans were possible

between the men

 

pronouns have become relevant

definition creates awareness & possibly change

but because it’s irrelevant to me 

what pronouns anyone chooses

that doesn’t keep me from respecting

its relevance to you

I sometimes forget who has opted to be a them. I find it awkward to do a review of a poetry reading when there are assorted pronouns to deal with which them is them referring to? I try to stick to names as much possible particularly when it isn’t clear who is a they from the outset. At the Playground Conference people were given stickers to chose from – he, she, they, or ask me. I chose the ask me, but no one did. At my age one is no longer considered sexually viable & are rendered invisible – so pronouns are my irrelevant.

 

Gendered neutral language is still so tentative that using it is a political statement. I wonder if sometimes people are looking to be argumentative rather than self-defining – a sense that use of pronouns covers the itch to get into a intellectual slap fight. If one chooses to use the pronoun that goes with their cisgender, regardless of how supportive they are, they become the enemy for not shedding culturally imposed grammar.

I like the way that gender roles are being challenged by something as simple as specifying a pronoun. The reactions to this have mainly been cisgendered heterosexual men who are intrenched in their right to decide just how you are to demonstrate your gender – i.e. all gay men are limp wristed feminine punch lines to jokes. Any challenge to their entitlement turns them into self-righteous victims of the very people they want to victimize.

Fragile masculinity forces these men to say things like ‘no homo’ rather than express some sort of affection towards another men. They respect a bully and elect proudly womanizing presidents. Imagine if that president wanted to be called they – I half expect him to start using the royal we. Personally I have chosen “it” or “that” for use in my bio, or, when given the opportunity, at conferences or readings.

   

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