“art is life – not an imitation”

 

Breaking In Grief 

he wore

his dead son’s sneakers

bought a month before

the son’s step off into oblivion

new shoes a sign of hope

of a future planned for

not of a life too soon to be ended

 

they found the sneakers

still in their box

in the cupboard

worn once to try them on

designer expensive

too nice to toss or donate

so he’s wearing them now

it gives me the creeps

practicality in the face of catastrophe

 

I visited home

the summer after my father died

his death was sudden

it was the body that gave out

he didn’t go out of his way

to find that oblivion

I went through his clothes

to help my sister winnow out

throw out donate

to share some memories

I end up keeping a a couple of jackets

that actually fit me

with enough style to suit me

 

the shirt and pants

were easy to part with

most of the shoes too

my Dad was all business

when it came to shoes

his idea of comfort were

hard onyx red oxfords

there was box with a new pair

only worn to try them on

they sort of fit me

very stuff and inflexible

never being broken in

expensive

I take them

 

I wear them a few times

then drop them in a clothing box

they don’t fit

right size but wrong shape

maybe that’s why my Dad never

wore them either

the life my Dad hoped I would fit into

was also the right size

but the wrong shape

I was unwilling to do the work

that would break me in

so it would be a comfortable fit

 

I meet my friend one day

he’s sporting his son’s

wildly neon runners

it’s been a year after the death

he finally feels okay to to walk in grief

a grief he’ll never leave

but ready

to walk forward with it

This is a piece that wrote itself. A close friend of mine in recovery had recently had his son step off a balcony to his death. Helping his daughter-in-law in going through the son’s possession they found the running shoes. He did opt to keep them. These details are facts. The neon is my poetic liberty. It was the this reversal of the cliche that struck me – usually its the son filling his father’s shoes.

Which lead me to me filling my Dad’s shoes. Once again the facts are true – me helping my sister – this was back in 2002 (I think). I still havre those jackets & ear one of them frequently enough. The other is saved for special occasions. The only oxfords are real too though my father preferred more comfortable shoes for ordinary wear.

I did try them a couple of times before donating them. To fill tour father’s shoes also means to take on the life he lead, to fulfill those expectations of fitting into the normative culture – something I never did. I’m not even sure how hard I tried because it was clear I’d never do it – it would never fit.

My friend dealt with, is still dealing with, his tragedy. He spoke about his pain & struggle openly. I’ve performed this piece frequently & it has undergone a fair bit of tweaking to get the tenses right, the flow of information smooth. It is the last piece in my recent chapbook – though this edit is different yet again.

When I performed it at the chapbook launch earlier this year, I wore one of my Dad’s jackets. My friend came to hear me & he was wearing his son’s sneakers. Sometimes art is life – not an imitation.

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

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Take The Ferry

I have a fair bit of Bryan Ferry in my collection. On a mp3 cd I have These Foolish Things; Boys and Girls; Bete Noire. Tucked away on another couple mo3 collections are Another Time; Dylanesque; Ultimate Collection. Not to mention Roxy Must (but that’ll wait until I get to R) So I guess I am a fan.

His non-Roxy work was an opportunity for him to explore a less progressive sound. There was always that longer lizard singer quality to his voice which he clearly relishes and make sure of in the many cover songs that are scattered over these lps. In fact Dylanesque is all, as you might expect, Bob Dylan material.

Sometimes the covers work: It’s My Party is fun; Walk a Mile in My Shoes sounds like Holiday Inn bar singer. He clearly enjoyed breaking free from the creative demands of Roxy Music. If you aren’t familiar with his non-Roxy work any of these is a good starter.

On the mp3 collection I also added – Cabaret Voltaire: Micro-Phonies. I have a cassette dupe of this lp given to me by a friend. It was my introduction to the group which I loved. More artsy rock with goth underpinnings. Also Ultravox’s Quartet – a band more in the Bowie fold – with sweeping emotionality & art rock leanings. I had this as a cassette before upgrading to a Deluxe release of this lps & love having it.

Orientation

‘For the purposes of this orientation session we will divide into groups of seven.’ The dean smiled as he looked from face to face. ‘This way you will have smaller groups to meet. Each group will have fifty minutes for exchange of whatever they choose to exchange. Then new groups will be formed, of seven different people. Any questions?’

‘What if there is an odd man or woman out. Like there may not be an exact multiple of seven?’ I didn’t want to ask any questions but this one was so glaring I knew someone had to ask it.

‘Sycorax? Is that your name? The group will be rounded off to the seventh by one or two of the seniors. To make this easier each of you has been assigned a number which the Randomizer will flash. When your number is up go to the senior holding that number.’

This certainly wasn’t as simple as it sounded. The confusion that resulted took more time to sort out that it seemed to be worth to me. But at last my first group congregated by the Midwich Clock Tower. We sat on the steps.  Lear was the leader.

‘Okay,’ Lear cracked his knuckles. Small sparks flew in the air. ‘Oops. A bad habit of mine. Now this is the acquainting no one ever enjoys, so I’m going to make it as hard as possible. I want you each to tell something about yourself that no one here probably knows. We’ll start with you …. Griffin?’

‘Why me.‘ Griffin pushed the bangs of his oversized Afro away from his ritually scarred face. ‘Well. I’m …. I’m …. black.’

We all laughed.

‘Seriously though. I suppose whatcha all might not know about me is that when I was twelve I killed two men. I didn’t mean to but …’

‘That’s enough for now. Justification is a later stage.’

 

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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

Flash Porn

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza (aka Flash Wellington) talks about his longing to do porn. Part of that longing comes from his push for representation – there are no visibly disabled porn ‘stars’ that he knows of. He also discusses the logistics of his performing in porn: personal care assistants, physical limitations etc. Very logical thinking. Would I watch such gay porn? Probably but mainly because I follow Andrew’s podcast.

It would also depend on the main drawing power of porn, for most men, which is the size of the dick. As for representation anything outside of the hairless white twink is considered fetish or niche – wait, it has now become – the hairless, but tattooed, white twink, with a sizeable dick. It seems that though the camera adds pounds, it does not add inches.

Without boring anyone with my own personal preferences I will admit that I have over the years explored porn options. Of course what is now available thanks to the Internet was often unheard of when I was first seeking any sort of gay stimulation. Most of it was illegal in Canada in the day & those rules changed from province to province as well. At one time what was legal in Quebec could get you jailed in Ontario. Friends smuggled porn in spare tires when they returned from trips to the USA. The Internet changed that. In the days of limited access, representation wasn’t an issue.

Andrew already has his porn actor name ‘Flash Wellington.’ A good start on his career 🙂 I’d certainly throw some $ into a patreon call for support to get him into porn. But he’s in for a somewhat rude awakening as to his fantasy of the camaraderie. The social context is as workplace as technical as a hospital & sometimes as clinical.

Nordstrom http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1fO 

one of the great feast days in our village

was Founders Day

when we would be forced to recite

the saga of Mikke Nordstrom

the first human to set foot on this land

from where he had come remains unknown

all we have is the birch bark

on which he wrote in moose blood

‘I Mikke Nordstrom do hereby establish

a village on this spot’

he built the first trading post strip joint

from that quickly sprouted

what we know as our village today

 

to celebrate there would be reenactments

of his writing the proclamation

every one of the villagers

had to write it out a hundred times

then bring it to the bishop for certification

we couldn’t start the celebration

till this had been done

after that

would be the cleansing of the pudding

followed by the washing

of the 10,001 steps of the cathedral

this washing had to be done in silence

the only sound was the brush of moose hide

as the steps were polished by the village virgins

 

once they reached the top

the combined choir would sing

‘our moose in thee we are strong’

‘smelts be praise to God’

my mother always cried at this point

as she stood up to survey the streets

filled with proud citizens

 

after the silence was broken by our jubilant songs

there would be green apple pies to be eaten

cats to be annoyed

boys would be sent to the Whistling Woods

to lead the lost men

back to the village square

to be washed and have their wounds tended

sometimes these reclaimed men

would return to their families

some would slink back to the Woods

preferring the cold shelter of moose bones

to being a part of society

 

in the evening the fathers would gather

to tell us of the great wars

of how our village

had helped change the course of reality

once night was fully upon us

we would fumble through the dark streets

to the strip joints to relax

as the women danced on the unlit stage

 

in the morning there would be gifts

tokens of our village’s proud heritage

usually small aluminum amulets

with the face of Mikke Nordstrom

embossed on one side

and the village motto

colpejar als pobres ‘beat up the poor’

inscribed on the other

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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

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Cost of Free

Cost of Free

saying no

to what I don’t need

hasn’t gotten easier

not that I’m not tempted

by things I want

when the price is right

 

even if there is no point

in having them

it is harder to say no

 

there is no such thing as enough

of having too much

as much as the next fellow

I long to have too much

but I have no place to put it

I can’t afford the cost of free

it piles up and up

so when I get what I need

I don’t have room for it

 

I’ve been filled to the brim

with what I was taught to want

by this culture of more is better than enough

especially when the price is right

when the price is

you have always pay a little every day

not all at once

take your time

but keep on paying

because if you don’t need it now

you will eventually

down the road you’ll be glad

to be suffocating in the free for all

It is said there is no such thing as a free lunch – nothing comes without some sort of cost, even that is an emotional cost. I even feel a twinge of guilt in throwing out those ‘free’ chards & not pads that come from charities begging for money. I wonder how much of my charity $, if I sent them any, goes to the printers of these calendars as opposed to going the cause they are raising $ for?

Free often comes with the condition than you are now on their email list, or that you will enjoy the first taste enough to keep on buying more & more. We have to keep the wheels of commerce going, don’t you know, so that when the economy fails it is our fault for not spending enough. Add though that when the economy fails its the ones with the least already that suffer the most. Sears gives big bonuses to the execs who declared bankrupt while the worked get sent packing without barely a thank you & their pension funds vanished. There’ll be no government bail out for me.

Anyway I digress. This piece isn’t all that subtle in its look at those hidden strings & costs to the free. ‘Dinner is on me, but you better come across.’ ‘I’ll treat but you’ll have to listen to every detail about my latest trip to Glace Bay’ Everything comes with some expectation.

Also part of this commercial culture is disposability. The auto industry was built on the need to replace as opposed to sustain. A new car every year. How many pairs of shoes does one need anyway? I am as guilty of the need for more as the next guy. But I have made a pact with myself that when new comes in something old goes out.

One of the hidden costs of having a house is this need to fill it with stuff, to fill storage space with old stuff to make room for the new. I have magazines from the 60’s that I can’t discard. Guests are always stunned to see the quantity stuff here – dads books cds. It’s a good thing they never see what is out of sight. One feel sorry for the man with one pair of socks. I met a guy once who only had two plates, two knives, forks etc. Less to wash. I wish I could make my life that simple.

 

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

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.org

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

G  Whizzes

Henryk Gorecki is a composer caught in the ‘big hit’ category thanks to his powerful Symphony No. 3. Dawn Upshaw’s performance in the Cantabile section sent this piece to the top of the classical charts for decades. I love the deep lulling emotional resonance of this symphony – yet have not felt the need to seek out more by Gorecki. A must have for any classical fan or anyone who enjoys those emotionally compelling musical moments in motion picture funerals.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk: A Night in the Tropics. Here we have the opposite of Gorecki – a nearly forgotten AfroAmerican classical composer. Part of my personal mandate to widen my musical worldview to seek out what is rarely represented to the view of the world I get. This is rich, playful & pleasant program music. Impressionist with w strong Creole flavour. A clear inspiration for Scott Joplin.

So this wider world view moves from Polish, to AfroAmerican to Spanish with 3 cds of Enrique Granados’s piano music: Goyscas/Folk Songs; Piano Music 7; Piano Music 8. I first heard Segoiva playing guitar transcriptions & was fully expecting Granados to have written only for guitar & was amazed that in fact piano was his focus. The music is full of great for melody, subtle Spanish sadness & joy. Goyescas are his impressions of the famous & sometimes disturbing etchings of Goya.

 

Impressionistic, romantic at times to the point of florid this is classical music that welcomes new ears to the world of non-pop in a way that isn’t intimidating or emotionally dry. His Andaluza (Spanish dance no.5) may be one of the most popular & recognizable pieces of Spanish music you didn’t know he had written.

Bounders

Daphne shook the parchment over the candle flame. Small burn marks appeared but she moved it so no more than a slight smoulder was seen. As she moved the paper I let a few splashes of the albino newt’s blood fall from the glass dropper. They simmered a moment as the heat drew them into the paper.

‘We’ll know in a moment, Syc, if …. ‘

The parchment burst into flame. Daphne let go and the blackened flakes drifted to the floor where I stepped on them to prevent singe marks on the carpet.

‘That’s a sure a sign as any.’ She brushed her hands clean.

‘It is?’

‘Oh yes. No sign is as powerful as any sign. It means you aren’t to know. That you are diverting valuable energy from where it needs to go to pursue this avenue of thought.’

‘It can’t be.’

‘That attitude won’t get you very far here. Anything can be.’

‘But … that’s why I am here. To learn to see, foretell. If I can’t see how well my studies will go what’s the point.’

‘The point is …’ came from the doorway behind us. We both spun around. ‘… until your studies have begun there is nothing to foretell.’

‘Cal how long have you been there.’

‘Long enough Daph. Long enough.’

He came into the room with Lear.

‘Did a good job on that PA system today. Why does it take two of you?’

‘It doesn’t.’ Lear sat on the edge of the window. ‘But it looks better when two of us do it. Makes it look harder than it is, so that on those rare times one of us does it alone people are even more impressed.’

‘Always something with you two.’

‘Yeah.’ Caliban looked at Lear and they laughed.

‘I know you aren’t here to line us up for a double date.’

‘And pray tell Daph why would you say that?’

‘Look guys, I may be new here but I’ve been around. You two are …’ she stopped.

‘Are what?’ I asked. ‘Are brothers?’

‘Sort of.’

‘Oh. Bounders?’

‘Amongst other things yes. Bonded is the word we chose though. Goes a step beyond Bounders. United in more than blood and bone.’

‘You mean,’ it sunk in. So much for my erotic fantasy about Caliban and those sturdy legs of his. ‘How long?’

‘About four years now.’

 

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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

‘silence is manslaughter’

Hot Damn! launched it’s 4th season (may the 4th be with you) at  Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Thursday night with rainbow-high-energy, out-to-win slammers, fearless open stagers & a wildly enthusiastic full house. Charlie Petch was in fine form keeping things flowing & the energy somewhere over the rainbow.

First set of open stagers & slammers: by the time you are able to read this, you may not remember me – I was told I could pave the way for women, why can’t I pave the way for all mankind – teens decomposing their own songs – this place smell of chance & lost dreams – less that nothing is still something – if it all means nothing, why not have fun – I dream of things I never want to see again – I wake to fear walking above ground – pour smoke over my heart – Wendy’s pigtails never fit the little boy that worse the – you wanna say best & breast comes out – I say I’m sorry more than I say I love you.

Andre Prefontaine’s feature set was amazing – emotionally resonant, overflowing with rich images, vibrant precise anger, & sassy theatricality. Honey, he was tougher than any nail they used to stab you – my Dad uses your homosexuality like a pair of scissors that cuts you out of his picture – worry about the future is a tragic waste of your imagination – I’m so calm it’s almost like disassociating – don’t you know how difficult it is to blow someone and do origami at the same time – hold the bible like brass knuckles – silence is manslaughter – people killing people for killing people.

After a much needed break – during which I got to hand out flyers for my feature (see below) – I picked up a couple of copies of Andre Prefontaine’s new chap book & got caught up with Vanessa McGowan. (when is her Hot Damn! feature?) I started out the second set of open stagers with my hair piece (see below).

From the rest of the night: that little crack makes you so human – I’ve never been struck by lightning – my body tells the truth when it shows the scars that anchor me to the reality of what happened – biting is cool, bite marks are not – we can’t use my name as a safety word – you left tiny blades my throat where you name used to be – the art of drowning in perfect make up – the rest of you is still living – never explain lost battles for your recovery – somehow your pain is never about you – being gay is more than whatever gender you choose – anatomy trump compassion – that word holds a power I cannot overcome – do you know where you are – chill of frosting in my bones – I smell like a Wes Craven movie –

Scores were added up & an array of prizes were handed out. Teddy Syrette took the Queirdo Prize for funnest bingo poem. Ezra Stewart took first spot in a tight race for a chance to win the big big prize: a trip to Washington DC (if Canadians are still allowed into the USA next summer) to attend Capturing Fire.

Next Hot Damn! is Gueph! Sept 30th. Hot Damn! returns to Toronto at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre on November 30.

Don’t Touch (My Hair)

she was a stranger

who felt no compunction

in reaching out to touch my hair

I must have been in my mid-twenties

at the time

my hair was freshly washed

shoulder length

‘it’s like baby hair,’ she said

I was a natural blond

even blonder

after a month of summer sun

‘I would kill to have hair like yours’

she smiled

‘thanks’ I replied

not adding

that I hate my hair

I hate it being so smooth

hate being asked

are you a boy or are you girl

being called fruit

by guys because of my hair

not that I was mr masculine

to begin with

shortly after that

I dyed my hair for the first time

I wanted a change

I bought a home kit

to make it permanent jet black

the look was striking

my mother said

‘what were you thinking’

I went to work

raised a few eye brows

but no comments

the black faded after the first wash

so much for permanent

in a week it was ash

in three weeks

back to baby fine blond

my hair

was like my sexuality

something I couldn’t disguise

no matter what women

I flirted with

no matter what I tried to call it

bi questioning pan

no matter what I drank to blot it out

it would always be

like my hair

something I was powerless over

something I hadn’t constructed

something I had to live with

I remember my first perm

a head of tight blond curls

they bounced in the light

it was my face

but a different me

the stylist conferred with a colourist

both agreed

that my hair was too fine

to hold colour for long

that it would be a shame

to tamper with it anyway

the permanent curls

would flatten within a week

I wasn’t willing

to go to bed with hairpins

so I’d get that perm

every month or so

I loved my hair for the first week

then a week of doing what I could

to keep the curl in

it was too much work

too much time checking in mirrors

I had a friend who was

what he referred to as a hair burner

he touched my freshly washed

uncurled hair one day

‘you have baby hair

I have clients

who would kill to have hair like that’

I said

‘I hate my hair

it’s too much work’

he said

‘do you trust me’

I let him do what he wanted

it took a couple of hours

that first time

to cut it short short short

then incise with electric razor

patterns into the hair

sometimes a maze

other times circle or triangles

always different

then he died

murdered by HIV meds

I shaved my head for his funeral

no one would ever touch my hair

again

catch me on stage: Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.org

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

Art Bar Set Building

I was a bit surprised to be asked to feature at the Art Bar, more that they willing to let me decline the initial August date offered. Surprised because I stepped back from the reading circuit some time ago – mainly because I was tired of the pressure to sell drinks on behalf of a restaurant/bar that wasn’t even paying me to be there. Being a non-drinker I wasn’t bringing enough to the table to merit being there.

I have featured at the a previous incarnation of the Art Bar in 2009 when it was at Clinton’s but not since. I may still have my set list from that show. It was the one where @soulfistikato collaborated with me on a couple of pieces. Man that was such fun. If you read this @soulfistikato – let’s do it again. https://souljahrasproductions.bandcamp.com/album/the-head-nod

I usually have my set ready a few weeks in advance of a show but this time I have nothing much planned yet, other than Arrgh Godzilla – which the universe told me to do with the death of Haruo Nakajima, the actor who occupied that suit for the first few Godzilla movies. The sort of sign I can’t deny. It’s a piece I love to perform so I may do another couple of pieces I love to perform.

But I want to focus on recent work, in particular the ones that have sprung from the 227 Rules for Monks that I have been using for prompts. Like the 48 Laws these have pushed me into thinking & writing about different things or looking at the same old things in a fresh way.

 

Some of the new ones might be those that I’ve posted here & have gotten good feedback about (if I received truly negative feedback I’d be even more inclined to perform them.) If anyone has any requests of pieces of mine they’d like to hear – let me know asap. So the set will probably be a mix of the very old, the more recent & some so fresh out of the oven they may be half-baked. Plus I have an amazing new shirt to debut.

Shroove Smelt http://wp.me/p1RtxU-QI

in the weeks leading up to Shroove

we village children would dress as smelt

and run through the streets

squeaking and calling for the adults

to come out to confess their sins

because it was due to those sins

that the smelt stocks were depleted

it was due to their disrespect for the scared pole

that the moose were in decline

the adult men would follow us children

moaning and beating their foreheads till they bled

we would lead them to the strip bars

to make the first of their confessions

where they wailed so loud

the loose saxes couldn’t be heard

as the women danced in the dark

 

on the final day of Shrove

we children would swarm up and down

the 10001 steps of the cathedral

forming dioramas from the Biblia Coochineal

to instruct the men in the ways of righteousness

the bishop would smash

a florescent lightbulb

once each diorama was complete

then we would quickly form the next one

till the story of the moose was told

till the men were longing to escape

the searing glare of our child eyes

they knew they were to blame

we boys dreaded becoming guilt ridden adults

we hoped to avoid the responsibilities

the village would assign us

when we were old enough

to shoulder the shame of being human

 

after the dioramas

we children would swarm the Whistling Woods

in random groups of four or five

to chase out the hungry hidden men

there was no avoiding the smart of guilt

we would find them

we would hound them

till they came barefooted

hair caked with moose blood

to the cathedral to present themselves to the bishop

to listen the choir

sing hymns of renunciation and accusation

‘vile adults in the eyes of the creator’

‘the moose has spoken’

 

the days after Shroove were ones of rest

we were all exhausted from the running

our smelt costumes were repaired

then stored carefully in airtight rubber bins

till next years

when the cycle of fertility and recrimination

would begin all over again

 

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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

#this and #that

#this

 

#mylifematters

I was going to go with

#thislifematters

but #this was too impersonal

too ambiguous

it wasn’t the fact of life that matters

but that my life in particular matters

 

what am I trying to do

co-opt a bigger   more important movement

coattail on the buzz

it has built

capitalize on their suffering & hard work

just to gain some pitiful attention

 

am I hoping to create controversy

with this spin

on an already over spun trend

with some snide spin of my own

because I think #myspinmatters

when its clear that it doesn’t

mean shit to a tree

I’m just another privileged guy

whose life

whose opinion

doesn’t matter

who doesn’t have a hope in hell

of stirring up anything

outside of his own little pond

 

so I guess

until I have something profound to say

and the money to back it up

#mylifedoesn’tmatter

My take on Law 39 was directly inspired by the use of # to create waves. It was a fast way to direct attention to important issues but then became more annoying than productive. People were responding more to the use of it than the actual issue. Some added the current # to posts that had nothing to do with the issue.

It was suggested, at one time, one add the most popular words or names to their posts simply to attract attention & get them listed in search engines.  Anything to get hits. The theory being the more hits the great the exposure – but it’s too easy to die of over-exposure or by # crying wolf. Even when my blog posts touch on certain hot topics I have resisted that # simply because I’m more interested in saying something than coat-tailing. When I first posted this piece I did not use the reference #BLM just to get attention.

It’s also a comment on the reactions to the use of ‘matters’ to suppress or diminish the importance of the issue – once again diverting attention from one thing with a defensive action that doesn’t address anything except an unwillingness to work for real change. It also became too easy to # than to take action anyway.

 

The use of # to stir up interest has now being too over used. I’ve did a recent check on # for the Texas floods & man the number of rabid anti-lgbtq sites using it to get attention for their political stance & not for anything to assist the victims is #disgusting.

 

 

 

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

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.org

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald! On an mp3 collection I have: Sings Gershwin; with Louis Armstrong; Rogers & Hart Songbooks. Plus a cassette of 30 by Benny Carter (so far unreleased in any other format). What can one say about this timeless singer. Adventurous and yet classic jazz at the same time. Her recordings with Louise Armstrong are amazing – their voice trade off so well – romantic, sexy & humorous. Their take on Porgy & Bess is wonderful.

She seems to have recorded non-stop, even her sleep, as she worked through song books of the great Broadway composers. Shows that she never would have been cast yet & she makes each song her own.

On this cd I’ve included work by her contemporaries: Rosemary Clooney: Ring Around Rosie with the Hi-Lows: this is an amazing set, the Hi-Lows’ arrangements are so campy at time I’m left breathless & one hears where groups like Manhattan Transfer got their best ideas. The song are energetic & fun. Her voice is clear as a bell.

Plus some Peggy Lee: Beauty & the Beat with George Shearing, Fever: a ‘hits’ collection. The Shearing is a live nightclub performance & listening to it one is right there sipping an extra dry martini. Fever is a selection of her 50’s work & leaves no doubt as to why she was revered. Very different from Fitzgerald or Clooney, she does some of the same songs but man, they are different songs in her hands.

Finally Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown & Beige featuring Mahalia Jackson. Two versions of it – the studio recording & a live take. Jackson has another of those monumental voices but she rarely sang ‘pop’, even her work here is more gospel & her reputation comes from her gospel recordings. A force of nature that draws even a cynic like me into the glory of the word.

A Mazed

‘How do like your room?’

‘It’s fine. Nice view of the Eldritch Enclosure.’

‘Ah yes. That north side is worth the extra steps.’

‘Extra steps?’

I hurried to keep up with Caliban. For a short guy he walked faster than my long legs could carry me.

‘Oh yeah. Didn’t you notice? That side of the dorm is about half a floor higher. Thanks to the Corner System.’

‘Oh great. Now I have to watch out for the corners’ too?’

‘Bright girl like you should have no trouble.’

‘Thanks. I guess.’

‘Sure. Well, here we are …’

We stopped at the edge of the Griswill Quad. Several students walked in large and small circles in front of us. I look at Caliban.

‘Maze meditations, Sycorax. There’s a new maze laid down in the grass every other week. Gives us a chance to focus and move. Very relaxing.’

‘I’m sure.’

‘Oh no, you’re not. No one is sure till they’ve tried it.’

‘Can’t be any worse than the Celtiric Labyrinth at Black Rock.’

‘You’ve been there?’

‘Last summer. The folks thought it was time to see what latent ability I had.’

‘How long did it take you.’

‘Just under an hour.’ I wasn’t going to tell him it took me nearly twelve hours. Not yet.

‘Really?’

He was as impressed as I knew he would be.

‘Then you’ll find this one child’s play. Start here.’

‘What?’

‘First day here everyone has to go through at least one of the five mazes. I’ll wait for you at the other side.’

I swallowed hard and looked at the gentle pattern in the folded grass. Once I stepped on to it I felt the slight breeze of the Form rustle my hair. The Form meant that I could not step back, step off, or step over. I would have to follow through to the end.

I moved ahead quick. I knew hesitation would change the pattern. As long as I kept turning to the left whenever I could I’d be fine. As long as I remember which way was left. Small curves in the grass spun me around and I found myself passing the start point more than once. I took a breath and stopped.

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

Thursday – September 7 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM – HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

https://www.facebook.com/events/110567226312109/

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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

Little Town Flirt

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about flirting – which is a sexually loaded conversation that relies on innuendo as opposed to the direct ‘let’s get it on’. In gay male culture there is often no grey area in which one has to be furtive in finding out if the other person is sexually interested in you but sadly if that person isn’t sexually interested then there is no further interaction.

 

I realize this disconnect isn’t only in gay circles. I’ve meet too many straight male poets who find it impossible to interact with female poets they don’t find physically attractive & who can get very bitter when the female won’t come across after all the time they spent them helping to edit a piece of writing. Piece of writing has to lead to piece of ass. But I digress.
Flirting is so treacherous – it’s at the point where if one is nice it has to mean one in interested. I’ve pretty much stopped initiating conversations with strangers, gay or straight, male or female, outside of recovery lest my agreeableness be seen as coming on. If I come across as aloof or cold that’s better than being sued for sexual harassment.

I’m not one of those guy who feel entitled to pay strangers a compliment & except it to be reciprocated with anything more than a nod or even acknowledged. I’m always stunned by men who think some woman they never met before should be flattered when told how good looking they are & then be deserve to be thanked for their male gaze. But I digress again.

On line this is a different. At least on gay male hook up sites – one can say nice pics, or nice cock shot expecting it to lead somewhere. It’s not as much pick up line as opening the door. Of course guys who get rejected after that direct approach can get rather rude when turned down. It’s easy to first when you know the other party is in another hemisphere. I’m careful never to lead someone on or get overly reactive when there is no interest. Such is life.

In gay face-to-face situations I can carry a conversation but only get flirtatious if I mean it. But I’m at the age where men rarely flirt with me anyway. At Capturing Fire I have felt a bit of interest in me but have resisted fanning that flame with flirting. I’ve found that if I ignore it an cool itself down. It is a bit odd politically though – telling a trans you like them, but not in that way – is a challenge – but that’s a post for another week. Just because I say you look marvellous doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you.

The Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

http://wp.me/p1RtxU-PE

 

The Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

came to our village

with his astounding magic act

he would read minds   lips   give ski tips

hypnotize people to yodel

as they skied down the slopes

in an Alpine Adventure

in single word his accent

would schloss from Swiss to Austrian

his little moustache would dance

along with the yodellers

 

under his spell you would yodel

or cockle-doodle-do or hiss

whatever he wanted you to do

then he would whisper something

only those under his power could hear

over the following days

villagers would stop in their tracks

to yodel or cluck or hiss

 

I snuck backstage

to catch a glimpse of

the Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

I peeked between the trunks

that held his tricks

I saw him slap his pretty assistant

he called her a lazy bitch

she nodded and left him in the dim backstage light

he patted his forehead with a small handkerchief

then began to change into his next outfit

while his assistant yodelled on stage

I glimpsed his naked body

sparse black hair on his chest thin legs

at that moment his eyes caught mine

“who’s there” he asked fearfully

I scampered off

 

for the next few weeks we kids played

at being the Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

boys and girls

with little mascara moustaches

tried to hypnotize one another

talked about the Whistling Wood

as if it was some exotic ski location

and trying out French German accents

at choir practice I tried my yodel

no one was impressed

 

once

while my mother

whacked the clothes clean on the rocks

I called her a lazy bitch

she gave me a tired smile and hissed

“you sound just like your father”

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

Thursday – September 7 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM – HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

https://www.facebook.com/events/110567226312109/

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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