Bonded or Bondage

Andrew Gurza talks about his time on 1 Girl 5 Gays on a recent Disability After Dark. The show was produced by MTV Canada. It was somewhat like The View with the six of them chatting about different cultural and sexual issues in an edited for bitchiest lines way. I do remember watching an episode or two back in the day but not when Andrew was on. I didn’t like the ‘edited for bitchiest lines’ that left these people with personality but little substance.

Andrew explains that each episode was edited down from two to three hours of conversations & he felt that often the most emotional or complex stuff was never used. I wonder how such a show might work today looking at recent events: the predatory nature of wealthy, entitled people of power. Now there’s a shop that Andrew should pitch with him as host.

He also talks about how his disability – the necessity of his chair – kept him off the couch that the rest of the chatterboxes sat together on – and as a result he never felt that bonded with them even after his seven episodes were done. Drinks after the tapings ended up with him on one side of the table and them on the other, or him with the production crew. One thing I learned from a showbiz pal is that good lighting will do more for your career than any co-star. So always bond with the production crew.

I know that non-bonding feeling while yearning to bond though. Often at poetry show, workshops, & other cultural events when you are not one of the smokers, tokers, snorters, or boozers a shadow falls between you and the other there almost as dark as the shadow that separates the MFA in creative writing from the clearly less skilled writers.

The myth of bonding is that it lasts forever, the reality is that it usually merely means years later, when you haven’t seen each other since that bonding experience, you have fond feelings for each other. Listening to Andrew it sounds like he has those fond feelings so perhaps he was more bonded than he thought with his 1 Girl 5 Gays cohorts. Though something tells me Andrew might enjoy bondage even more.

By the time they had worked his way through the several ages of illumination with the man as his companion, Mike was reluctant to leave without saying something to him.

The other man had stopped to talk with two of the guides. Mike didn’t want to stand around. It would be too presumptuous to think there was a reason to speak to some stranger.

Out on the street it was time to go back to the hotel. Which way was that? He’d lost his sense of direction in the twists and turns of the stairs in the museum.

He started to cross the street. No, not this way. He turned abruptly and almost walked into the black man.


“Perhaps I should wear a bell.” the man said.

“You seem to know a lot about lamps.”

“Non. I know it can make a rather dull experience much more interesting when others think you are interested. I get more pleasure out of talking with the … guides. They are so eager to impart. The more they impart the more I know.”

“The more I have to forget. You are right, you did make it more interesting for me”

“As you did for me. Perhaps you would like to dine with me? Robert Etang.” He shook Mike’s hand. He pronounced his name in French Rober.

“Mike Poole. Supper?”

“Yes. I see we are two men alone in a strange city. That is unusual of itself, isn’t it? Unless you have left the wife and kids for this calm.”

“Hardly. I’m not …”

“Yes, I know you are not married. You do not have the harried look of a husband. I could tell. You are, perhaps, as I am, a man who prefers the company of other men.”

Mike laughed. As he laughed the tension he’d felt for the past day melted away. (The stranger) Robert joined him and their laughter echoed along the narrow street.

“I take that you would be delighted to dine with me?”

“Yes Rober I would. But I do have to return to my hotel to freshen up.”

“Freshen up?”

“Take a shower, change my clothes.” Mike often found himself explaining these North American turns of phrase to his ESL students.

“Ah I see. Here is my card.” Robert took a card out of his shoulder bag and wrote him hotel information on it and handed it to Mike. “Will an hour be long enough for you to be fresh with me?”

Mike wanted to say ‘I’d be fresh with you right now.’ But wasn’t ready to explain all the subtleties of the English language.

He glanced at the card. “I’ll call if I’m delayed.”

Mike looked at the business card repeatedly as he walked back to Assoupir. It was a delicious buzz between his eyes. The card hardly seemed real paper. It was from Les Bras D’Or. Another bed and breakfast in the south quarter of the village.

“Robert Etang – Room 206.” was written on the back. “7:15 p.m.”

Rowber A-tange. Rowber A-tange. Mike repeated the name to himself. He had a date! How did that happen? Right place right time? It was so simple. All he had to do was accept and he did. He’d be a fool not too, right? Strangers in the Musee.

Would they have sex? Should they? Would it seem desperate if that happened right off the bat. After all, this was why most people travelled. Single people. Gay men. Sex. Or was the supper invitation merely a way to pass an empty evening?

No, it couldn’t be. Robert’s eyes danced with that knowing invitation. Even when he fresh Mike suspected Robert knew the subtext. More than food was offered. Offered to him by a stranger. Him and a stranger. How had it happened? How?

He was at the front floor of Assoupir. Where was his electronic key? Back pocket. Nope. Fuck he hadn’t lost the key had he? There it was at the bottom of his shoulder bag.

Would half-clad Danes be sprawled in the living room to giggle at him behind their hands as he came in? No. Empty. He went to his room. There was an envelope taped to the door. He opened it in his room. It was his gold pass and a note.

“Sorry about today. I don’t think I can accept this. Thanks for the thought. Sam Degan, 4C.”

Mike put the pass in on the desk. I won’t be able to use it either. I’m dining with a dark prince. Was that racist? The man was black. He couldn’t ignore that. Any man would have excited him. A stranger. A casual meeting and now promise. One night would be enough.

How could he see to it that the men at the b’n’b saw him with his black lover? Teach them a lesson.

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.

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#Nanowrimo 2017 Playlist

As usual I’ve put together a extensive, very mixed, playlist for working on nano this year. In no particular order here is the over 36 hours of music. King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King (Expanded Edition) – I do have this as a standalone but wanted those bonus tracks. Faith, Hope & Charity: Faith, Hope & Charity (Expanded Edition) – one of those obscure disco/r’n’b: sweetly retro & fun; Best of Ruth Crawford Seeger – what,s better than an obscure, American, female, classical composer – mostly solo piano stuff.

Coast Modern Taarabu (6hr): Mpango Mzima – hey, a huge collection of bouncy, almost tribal music from Zanzibar; Superfruit: Future Friends – because some new queer pop music was a must have; Billy Strange: Goldfinger: The Big Sound of Billy Strange, His Guitar and Orchestra – someone posted Billy’s take on the Munsters’ Theme on tumblr & I had to have it. fun stuff in the Sandy Nelson mode. When the Sun Goes Down, Vol. 11: Sacred Roots of the Blues – exactly what it says: rare 20’s/30s recordings of gospel music. Janis Joplin: See See Rider (From the Beginning): a set of Janis – live before she even meet Big Brother: the coffee house days & great to hear. Sid Bass: Moog España, From Another World – these are two lps of crazy moog with big band. España is hilarious.

Hannes Kästner: Bach.Toccata and Fugue in D Minor – bought this as a single track as it was touted as the very best recording ever of the Toccata by anyone. Mount Kimbie: Love What Survives – electronic in the Aphex Twin mode; Future Beat Alliance: FBA21: Collected Works 1996 – 2017 – electronica in the S.U.N. Project mode; Jazznewblood ALIVE (Live at Iklectik/Efg London Jazz Festival 2016): this is a wow collection – someone posted a track on Tumblr & I had to have it. Deepest Blue: Late September, Deepest Blue remixes – I love the single Deepest Blue & wanted the remixes, the lp it comes from is Basement Jaxx lite.

Cher: Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves – a classic everyone should have & now I finally have it. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live/1975-85 (3hr 34min) – hey, I need & can appreciate some testosterone driven music too. Plus I’ve always had a hungry part for Bruce. The Foundations: Build Me Up Buttercup (The Complete Pye Collection) (3hr 10min) – who knew these one-hit-wonders recorded so much & all great soul music; Bela Bartok: Sonatas & Romanian Folk Dances – those Folk dances stir up more than dust on the dance floor. these are propulsive, romantic & great typing speed music. Madonna: Like a Virgin – another classic everyone should have & now I finally have it.

How did a Muttman meet anyone? He saw that unasked question in Sam’s eyes. After his misadventure with the Danish guys he knew his gaydar was totally fucked up. How could he not see that they were … amusing themselves with him.

But that was how he felt when he first met Patrick at that cocktail party. Patrick was at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as a lecturer for the film department. Mike hadn’t heard the lecture but had been invited to the cocktail party.

How did Patrick know he was queer? He never did find that out. Had Raphael pointed him out? Was it that mysterious thing some gay men had, to recognize it in a stranger.

Patrick picked up that he was queer. Even though he’d been direct Mike didn’t quite believe him. Handsome out-of-town lecturers were only interested in young hairless swim team guys. Yet they were in bed at Patrick’s hotel within the hour. Both a little tipsy but eager and flush with appreciation for each other.

Patrick really wasn’t what one would call a pretty boy either but a good reputation always added to a man’s good looks.. Not that that mattered much to Mike. Flesh was flesh. When the opportunity presented itself he was happy to accept it.

How long had it been before that night with Patrick? Five or six years since he’d touched a man. God, that last time was hell. As bad as Sam’s kindness. That politesse around offering the homely advice to avoid investing one’s own cock.

What was the point of it all? To be queer and find that men didn’t want you? He’d tried women but there was nothing there. Fuck! God why? It just wasn’t fair. He should have moved to be with Patrick that first year when the energy between them was high. Then this wouldn’t be happen. No, but he had his job, a career that he couldn’t leave.

Well, this is the price for that and, now where was he? Having some Eurotrash petty boys lead him on? Having some smug stranger tell him where ugly men could buy sex. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

The sun glinted off a brass sign at eye level.

Musee Lumiere.

The grey brick building was nondescript in the context of the other buildings around it. He knew some of them dated from the 1700’s but this wasn’t one of them. More like Victorian, he decided, judging by the turret in one corner and detailing around the doors and windows. Three stories high with a spiked row around the roof with brass orbs that gleamed in the sun.

Four well worn red sandstone steps led to the imposing front door. Double doors with stained glass panels over carved inserts; stained glass panels on the narrow panels on either side of the door. All the stained glass and the wood carving played on the fleur de lis. He went in.

“Bon jour.” A young woman cheerfully greeted him.


“Welcome, sir.”

Was his accent that bad? He paid the admission fee.

“There is a new installation on the second floor.”

“Thank you.”


Why was there such quiet in these places? The shuffle of shoes on the floor, polite coughing, whispers and pointing. There was museum personnel in each room. They would turn on and off the lamps, ceiling fixtures, wall mounts, if you asked. The first room was made to look like a cave pre-historic humans would have lived in. Once the lights had been lowered, the uneven walls were lit by flickering flames in low stone dishes of animal fat. The smell wasn’t unpleasant at first.

“How did they manage?” someone behind him asked. “That isn’t enough light to do anything.”

Mike stayed for a few moments after the other few people had left. The room was silent. He couldn’t hear street sounds or the creaking of feet on the floor around him. So this is what it was like back in the day. Not like the movies at all where there would enough light from a single flame to illuminate an entire cave.

Each of the subsequent rooms took him through various era. Tallow candles, wax candles, torches. With each the guide would dim the lights so there was only the one light source.

“How many candles would it take to light a room in a medieval castle?” he asked the guide.

“Better yet who would light them all?” S man beside him asked in English. Then he repeated Mike’s and his questions in French.

The guide explained that it sometime took so many candles to light a room some would have to be replaced by the time the last ones were lit.

The man explained this to Mike. He was ebony black. About Mike’s height and hefty. The man spoke French freely with the guides and more than once explained to Mike, in English, what he had just been told.

In each room Mike was taken by how movies had changed history. Until the electric light bulb came into use most corners were in shadow. The light people had wasn’t a constant single glow but would flicker depending on impurities in the oils, depending on air flow. He had a greater respect for writers who worked in candle light. Bad enough to write War and Peace by hand and to have to do it by unsteady light too.

The second floor was devoted to the gas era and gave way to the electric era.

“Movies made gaslit rooms look so bright.” Mike remarked to his companion.

“Of course. How would you see the faces of the their magnificent movie stars.”

The installation on the third floor was the latest in l.e.d and holographic images. The technology left Mike cold. Not practical enough. No one was going to read by this kind of art.

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Florence Flowers

Moving along the F’s next up in The Mike Flowers Generation – this is one of those off-beat & apparently one-time British novelty hits. Combining a very 60s brocade hippy look with a cocktail lounge musicality the generation recorded an ep of was sweet fun takes on things like Wonderwall, 1999 – that recast these songs in their gentle, sardonic style. I loved it.

This is followed by one of those next-big-things: Florence & the Machine: I have Lungs, as stand alone; Ceremonies tucked away on another mp3 collection; How Big, How Blue etc on yet another mp3 collection. I kept hearing, reading raves about this band. They have a somewhat more pop sound than say Antony & The Johnsons, but they mine the same sensitive, elegant, kind of morose territory.

Emotional, slightly mystic, sometimes cryptic lyrics with strong Celtic underpinnings that appeal thanks to the dynamically emotional voice of their lead singer Florence Welch. The videos are full of her swirling around in voluminous dark dresses in shadowy rooms or misty fields. It’s hard to tell who is a variation on who with so many of these British singers. If you like Adele you’ll enjoy Florence, or vice versa. Nice music for making out or breaking up.

How Big etc starts off a a 7 hours+ mp3 set that includes Gordon Jenkins; Pere Ubu; Giorgio Moroder; Girls in the Garage; Spotlight’59; Jack Nitzsche; Adam Lambert; Alissa Vox Raw – a typically eclectic set of great music.

Jenkins was a master arranger through the 40s to 60s in the Nelson Riddle mold. Cocktail, cheesy at time but sweet. He was found of suites of songs and did several adventurous musical plays orchestrated but undemanding at the same time. Jack Nitzsche is in the same genre but more recent. He did film soundtracks, worked with Neil Young & deserves a biopic soon about his very wild & crazy life: his music is rarely wild & crazy.

Pere Ubu’s Carnival of Souls is eccentric, whacky & challenging. Giorgio Moroder: Deja Vu: a recent set in which he works with the likes of Charli XCX in a set of nicely old school dance music. Girls in the Garage: great, fun covers by 60s Asian girl bands. Songs like Sugar Town, My Boy Lollipop get trounced is the most delightful way while demonstrating the power of pop music to ‘infect’ the world.

Spotlight’59 is a compilation of r’n’b/soul from 1959.  Someone on Tumblr had posted Marie & Rex’s I Can’t Sit Down & I had to have it & found it included here along with great songs by Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker & others. Here too is Adam Lambert: The Original High – energetic pop by a very talented guy who still struggles with the pop industry to be heard. Finally an amazing Toronto performer: Alissa Vox Raw. I co-featured with her a couple of years ago. The music is sonically dense, emotionally direct. She works with voice manipulation & on stage thanks to instant multilayering moved from her solo voice to the Andrews Sisters trio and layer after layer. Fun stuff, full of swing vibe too. The sort of swing vibe Florence should try sometime.

Mike sat on the bed and went through the flyers: Turkey dinner specials. One for a Cuirula Noir that featured a muscular black man as a black caped vampire wearing nothing under the cape except a leather harness and a red jockstrap studded with silver. Mike assumed the cape was also leather.

The Night Fever from Saturday Night Fever played on his cellphone. This was his ring tone for Patrick.

“Hey!” Mike answered. “I just got in. Not even unpacked yet.”

“Cool. I hate to do this but I won’t be getting in until tomorrow morning. I have to do an exclusive interview with Angelina Jolie while she’s in town. It’s my only chance.”

“Oh.” Mike lay on the bed. “Must be tough covering the diva beat.”

“That’s life near the spotlight. I can meet you for lunch. T’Cafe?”


“Sorry, again. Caio.”

T’Cafe was a bistro Patrick had ‘discovered’ a few years ago. Not too far from his b’n’b. (Locate the b’n’b on St. Hubert south of St. Catherine). The name was a play on T used as slang for petite & tisane. Grammar be damned.

Mike wasn’t sure what to do with himself. All his plans were around Patrick. He had never spent time on their get-aways without Patrick in town at the time. usually he’d arrive before Mike. Even with Patrick busy with festival functions Mike at least knew he had something specific to look forward to. An evening to himself. Good thin he had the tourist guides to help fill the time. But first a shower was in order.

The early fall air was cooler than he expected when he left the b’n’b so he went back in to get a hoodie to wear under his jean jacket.

Simon was at the front desk as he went in. A dog barked and ran over to him.

“How is Madam?” He knelt to rub the dog behind the ears.

“As you can see she is fine. Gave us a scare, didn’t you.”

The dog rolled over inviting Mike to rub its belly.

“I hate to tell you this but she’s no Madam.”

“Ah yes.” Simon laughed as he came over. “We are well aware of that. But so many of the she’s you might meet here are not she’s after all. Nor do they wish to be. It is all a question of appearances, n’est pas?”

“Right.” Mike stood rather than remain at eye level with Simon’s crotch. Did he have a red leather jock strap? “Cools off fast.”

“I suppose.” Simon picked up the dog and rubbed his face against the dog’s forehead. “Whose not going to run out into traffic again. Who?”

Back on the street and warm enough he walked up the short hill to St. Catherine. He let the street light decide which direction to go in and he followed the green light that lead west away from the Gay Village. People were lined up for the Cathedral. Students were going to and coming from the UQAM buildings in the area.

He hesitated on going up St. Denis but the green light was propelling west. None of fast-food deli’s appealed to him. Nothing he passed looked welcoming for a single customer.

The next streetlight was red so he crossed to the other side on the green. No stopping to decide. No thinking. Drifting with the flow. He walked another block north to …. then turned on the next corner to go back in the direction he had come. The street was mainly town houses similar the row his b’n’b was in. Being so close to St C. many of the houses has been converted to boutiques.

At least the basement floor and the first floor. Most of them still had people living on the second and third floors. The shops were what he presumed were high end fashion with a couple of basement level bistros. None of them tempted him. He glanced in windows, stopped to look a couple of menus.

At one he thought he saw a familiar face sitting near the window but he kept moving. He stopped. Was that Patrick? No he couldn’t have gotten here that quickly. He retraced his steps slowly to get a better look. No, is wasn’t but … He took a photo of his cell of the man.He’d have to ask Patrick if he knew the had a twin in Montreal.

He stopped at a Poivre et Sel, a grocery store, to pick up some snacks and breakfast food. The one meal of the day he preferred to eat alone was breakfast. Cereal, milks and bananas. The store also had ready roast chicken so he bought a few pieces of that, fries & a pre-made salad. It would spare him trying to order something in one of the cafes he had passed. Eating alone in any of them didn’t appeal to him.

Back at the b’n’b he sat in the common dining area to eat his chicken.

“Poulet dans sac.” Luc (works at the b’n’b) sat at the table. “From Poivre?”

“Good guess.” Mike pushed the Styrofoam container toward him. “More than I can eat.”

“They do the skin nicely there. No hot sauce?” Luc arched brows as took a couple of wings.

“Not tonight.”

“That can be … supplied.” Luc nodded toward the various bottles on a shelf behind him “Perhaps some wine?”

“Only if you are trying to get me drunk.” Mike joked.

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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Shoulder Rub

On a recent Disability After Dark, Andrew Gurza talks about consent in light of recent sexual allegations in the news recently. He address the very direct types on intrusive use of power to force ones sexual needs on another, supposedly weaker or more vulnerable person. “You want to work in this industry you better put out.” or “You’re a helpless cripple so you should be happy anyone would want to molest you.”

Andrew recalls doing things or accepting sexual behaviour that he didn’t feel he should decline. This I fully understand from when I first ‘came out’ here in Toronto. Having sex I didn’t enjoy, with men I didn’t really feel attracted to, just for the sake of having sex. Or when I was with a guy I found attractive letting things happen than I really wasn’t enjoying just to be with them.

As I became more confident & comfortable this happened less. Now it is easy for me to state boundaries & face the consequence of being not wanted – telling men you aren’t into poppers etc. puzzles them. Sometimes they show up with pot, poppers, sex toys: things that I have already said I’m not into & expect me to give in, to be a nice guy. Not going to happen.

Odd how consent becomes a situation of coercion or gradual accommodation: just rub my shoulders or I’ll just rub your shoulders turns into – you led me on by letting me rub your shoulders. ‘btw autocorrect turned message me or else to massage me or else in all those emails.’

The manipulative tactics of the predator often start out so innocuous. He drove all the way from Oshawa or Brampton to see me, so now I should do what I already said I wasn’t into – it’s my fault for leading him on – so be a nice guy, polite, do I give in or give him the shove, or rather not give him the shove, or anything else. (By the way I am worth the drive for what I do enjoy.) Just because I let you hug me doesn’t mean I want to fuck.

“What are you looking at?”

Mike wasn’t looking at anything. He was trying to follow a tread of thought, a thought that had lead to his nickname – Muttman.


“Then look at nothing the other way.”

The young man who had snapped at Mike put his arm around his girl friend’s shoulders and pulled her closer to him.

The sound of the train clanked Mutt man Mutt man.

Was it the pleasant face of the young man that had started the thought process? The man had to be mid-20’s, maybe younger, fresh and attractive. With what he supposed was an attractive girl friend.

The Muttman name had sprung up in fourth or fifth grade and stuck to him to university. He hadn’t been able to shake it till he graduated. Now he was called either Mike or Mr. Poole. But something besides this pretty couple had to have set off the Muttman echo.

What had he been thinking of a few minutes ago?

He’d put his train tickets away and had checked to make sure he had the address of L’Assoupir, the bed and breakfast he’d stay at in Montreal. He’d been reading in the paper about the biker turf war in Montreal – cafes and clubs being blown up and had wondered if his b’n’b was near any of that. But they had a dog to protect them, right.

Right! They had a dog there. He’d heard it bark in the background when he made his reservation last month. Dog to – what kind of dog – to Muttman – a short jump.

Muttman Muttman. He hated that name. Even his teachers would call him that. He had Mutt embroidered on his high-school jacket. It had been easier to give in, to pretend to be okay with the joke than to pick a fight with everyone who called him that.

Muttman was better than some of the other names he’d been called. Pizza face, vomit puss. All because of the port-wine stain splash on left side of his forehead.

When he had asked his Dad why the kids picked on him because of his looks, the reply had been he might as well learn to live with it. It could be worse, at least he didn’t have a limp or need a wheel-chair. Now that’s a real disability. Some people got looks, some got brains, so he’d better hope he had some brains. He did but found that if he was too smart in school it made things worse not better. It was easier to be stupid and ugly to get along than fight them.

He had hoped that by university, when his adult body filled in, he would gain some sort of decent looks but that hadn’t happened. His shoulders remained uneven, odd ears that couldn’t be hidden with his thin hair. Nose with its bump and bend and a chin that jutted and rounded at the same time. Plus the discolouration which had faded some thanks to laser treatment but would never disappear.

The only thing his adult body was able to provide was some hair to fill in his face.

Gym work didn’t suit him. He tried but all he managed was to get hairier and thicker. Muscles just refused to form. His shoulders took on enough mass to look even so shirts fit him better.

Muttman Muttman.

Looks only a mother could love. At least with his looks he didn’t have to make excuses for his lack of lucky at the dating game. His Dad comforted him by saying that someday the right girl would come along. One who didn’t worry about looks. That was the only kind of girl worth having anyway.

Trouble was that girls didn’t appeal to him. All through school he saw them giggling behind the boys who taunted him with Muttman. They were as cruel as the boys, worse because they didn’t have the honesty to speak for themselves.

The boys were another story. Being bullied seemed a natural way to relate. He could stick up for himself when he had to, but avoided physical confrontations. It was easier to be a part of the joke than to fight it. He became the best bud of several of the most popular guys at different times. The brains that would help them with essays, hang out till they guys wanted to date.

He never wanted to be one of the popular guys. The pressure of looks and sports and dating didn’t appeal to him. It seemed like a lot of work for such a small reward. He understood what it was the girls were attracted to. Those perfect males bodies so unlike his.

He wanted from those boys what they bragged about giving to the girls. Tongue kisses, touches in private parts, sex. Fucking. Sucking. He wanted that and knew it was another thing to hide.

It wasn’t till his second year at university that he let himself explore that dream. The University of Toronto had a gay and lesbian student union. His first year there he’d been fearful of being noticed. But by the second he knew it would be safe. There were gays on campus he knew he wouldn’t be alone.

So he came out. Again found himself the best friend of someone one who had all the fun he wanted to have himself. When he complained about not meeting the right someone there would be a silence – then suggestions for more work-outs – try these glasses – looks looks looks.

The only look that every worked for him was the dark, the less light the better.

Muttman Muttman

The train took him to Montreal on another vacation. Another meeting with his lover. Yes, he had managed to land a lover. A long-distance lover, but a lover. Patrick Lough was a noted film critic and historian. Someone who was welcome at festivals and film openings around the world. Someone who liked sex with him.

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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

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Fleetwood Mac

By Fleetwood Mac I have on various mp3 collections Mac; English Rose; Chicago Jam; In Chicago; Play On; Penguin; Fleetwood Mac; Tusk; Tango in the Night. As well as stand alones a pair of 2 cd sets: Black Magic Woman; Very best of. So you might say I’m bit of a fan but I started following them long before they became huge.

My first Fleetwood Mac was the lp Play On – it was the cover art that attracted me. The music was an odd mic or rock, blues & an odd strain of jazzy prog rock. Rattlesnake Shake rocked out. It was an lp I always enjoyed because of the range of styles it covered. Then at Radio Shack I found cassette of their early stuff which was more basic British blues & I really enjoyed it. It was a revelation to hear the original Black Magic Woman. A song Santana transformed.

They sort of vanished except for the instrumental Albatross then abruptly resurfaced with that new line up, that new sound & I was fan of their radio-friendly work. I had some of these as Lps at the time & was happy to replace them with mp3. Big Love was great video. The emotional soap of their relationships produced great music – so good it was more compelling, to me, than the emotional soap of their relationships.

Thanks to high speed (as opposed to dialup) I tracked down more of their early releases like English Rose & the legendary In Chicago where they jam with the likes of Willie Dixon. The stand alone’s are nice completions of the early Black Magic Woman era & then one of the resurgence with live takes of their hits. Also tucked on a shelf is Chicken Shack: a solid blues band that included  Christine Perfect before she joined Mac.



John stood in the small chapel. A narrow window let some light fall on the cross half way up the wall. A rough pine bench with a cloth over it was the altar. All was silence

Fort Harwood was empty when they arrived. The surge of expectation and hope they had felt when they had first seen it quickly evaporated.

Silent and empty and cold. It was like a house waiting for someone to move in. A house in which no one had ever lived.

None of the small huts outside the walls of the fort or the barracks inside held any hint of occupancy.

‘Too clean picked for Injuns.’ Pete sucked air through his broken smile. ‘Can’t see a sign of anything. Not a scrap.’

There was wood for fire, water in the well, hay for the horses.

John made sure he’d looked in every room at least once. Opened cupboards, glanced under beds even pried up floor boards that had tramped hollow under foot. Nothing.

He’d kept the chapel for last. Frank had already been through he knew but he had to be here with himself before he’d believe.

He put his Bible on the altar and knelt. He opened the first page and read the names of his family. Mothers, fathers, children, going back several generations. He would call those spirits into this place. This was all he knew to do. Each name was a link in the rosary of his life that he knew would take him into the future so that he would hand this book down to his children to dot eh same.

‘Preacher Boy! Taking to yourself?’

‘No.’ John stood with his family around him. ‘Clyde you could do with a little of this yerself don’t you think.’

Clyde stepped back. ‘Watch you mean? I got no time for God and all that. He hide the people here? He look after them or what? There was a couple of hundred here last fall and where are they?’

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about his first threesome – about his fantasy, his anticipation, what actually happened & what he learned as a result. His fantasy, much like most sex fantasy, was informed by porn – which always removes the negotiation – you know the meeting, the decisions of where, when, who. Consent is frequently done by mental telepathy.

My experience with such sexplay has been limited, not as limited as Andrew’s mind you. But my expectations were as unrealistic as his. It was hard enough to create the opportunity for one-on-one that arranging seemed was impossible. The first was with a couple I met while out of town – there was sufficient attraction between the three of us but I was more into one of them than the other. In fact this attraction unbalance is unavoidable. It was fun but not at all as wild as I expected. They had been a couple for many years & things were rather sedate.

It was some years before another opportunity presented itself. The same attraction unbalance was present but this time I didn’t mind it at all.

I been approached on line a few times, invites to orgies, sex parties but decline when I see things like 420 friendly or p’n’p. Not that I care what other people do but they certainly are aware when one of the crowd is clean & sober – that one usually has firm boundaries. This I found in the one 4some I was invited to. It was okay until it became clear one or two of them were slipping away to use – when it devolved into a fashion show in which the host tried on every leather garment he owned I left. Too much booze as well.

The most recent time, a year or so ago, was perhaps the best time. One of my regulars invited me over & while we were warming up he kept checking his cell phone – he said he was expecting a call from his sister as their mother was unwell. He went to the washroom & came back with another guy – whom he had invited over to surprise me. A good time was had by all.

What did I learn from these experiences? I only play well with others under the right circumstances 🙂

Dangerous Science

one winter

scientists descended on our village

to study our brains

to see why we insisted on going to strip bars

when there as no light at night

why would average men women boys girls

sit around a dark room

while strippers worked the sacred pole

with alarming spills of ritual water

with cascades of tumbling moose bones

what seemed like an aberration to them

we had come to accept as normal


they wanted to see which hemispheres

of the brain were stimulated

by erotic simulations in the dark of winter

they attached electrodes to our skulls

capacitor cuff measurers to penises

women were forced to wear

vaginal quake seismographs

that took hours to implant correctly


all of which had to done before night fall

in the brief time after washing clothes

gutting fresh moose

and applying fish scale to eyelids


they weren’t paying us anything either

or we might have allowed

the rectal probe sensors

and calf implant durameters

there are somethings so shameful

no person will do them for free


the scientists stayed almost two weeks

making endless charts

that they would force us to see

every day at lunch time in the cathedral

to prepare us for the work that night


and when they were done

they didn’t have any conclusion

they didn’t find out there was comfort

in sitting in the dark

not seeing the spectacle

of undressing going on around us

that we were happy the way we were


once they were gone

there was unrest

with the way things always had been

some became angry at the night

they struck out with fists and feet

at the pitchy dark

to teach it a lesson

they refused to go the strip bars

they felt it was now just any empty sham

the village had been stuck in for thousands of years


nothing could be done to assuage

their crushing loss of direction

their beliefs had been questioned


I was a mere boy

and didn’t have as much to believe in yet

so I continued to go to unlit strip bars

with my sisters

waiting for them to finish

and walking them home

ignoring the weeping of the men

in Whistling Woods

men who were now lost

thanks to dangerous science


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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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Good Grofé Grieg

Next on the classical shelf are a couple of composers that I have strong childhood memories of: Grieg and Grofé. In grade school there was a music teacher who travelled from school to school to open our minds to music notation, singing & classical music. One day she brought a Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite & perhaps played all of it but I know in particular In The Hall of The Mountain King with its loping, running down the mountain rhythm.

The Grofé memory is a TV commercial for Moosehead’s Ten Penny Beer – a cartoon of a moose walking in the desert to a section of On The Trail There’s a saloon, a gun fight & beer. A sly of introducing children to classical music & the joys of beer. Grofé is best known for the Grand Canyon Suite. On a stand-alone of his orchestra suites I have it along with his Mississippi & Niagara Falls Suites. Also I have Tomita’s electronic take on the suite – fun with sound effects.
By Edvard Grieg I have an mp3 collection of his Complete Orchestral Works (over 8 hours). I bought this from iTunes a few years ago when I saw the price 🙂 He has an amazing sense of melody. This is lush, romantic music that includes his many Symphonic Dances, Lyric Pieces, concertos & the complete Perl Gynt. At one time I had a 3 lp box set that included some of these pieces so this was an upgrade from my lps to cd transfer of that. I love all of it & am slowly becoming familiar with it.

I also have a 2cd stand-alone set of his Works for Orchestra. Just the Peer Gynt Suites (as opposed to the whole thing) plus this Piano Concerto which is astonishing. Soaring, uplifting & romanic – if you’ve never heard it you must go to YouTube & hear it. 


There was danger everywhere. John knew that. Even the people who saved your life might want to take it the next day. He held his arms tighter around himself. The ground was hard beneath him. A rock pressed into the small of his back but he was afraid to move to ease that pang.

The pang tied him to reality. He didn’t want to fall asleep, to  drift off into a dream of home and warm soft beds. He had to stay alert so he could escape.

Escape! Where would he go? Into the night? Into the woods around him? No. He had to stay where he was but he had to remain alert. If these guys saw any more weakness in him he dreaded what would happen.

Already they mocked his learning, his Bible, his manhood. What was the point if this was all he had to look forward to in the morning? He’d have to find away to prove to him he wasn’t going to be an object of scorn.

A boot toe nudged his foot.

‘Rise and and rise.’ It was Grint. ‘Gonna make an early start today. Should get to Fort Harwood by night fall.’

John shook his head to wake. He had slept! When had he fallen asleep? He was supposed to stay awake and alert but his body had let him down. Let him fall into the trap of sleep. He could have been killed in the night or worse.

Well he’d show them today. There had to be a way.

‘Come on Preacher Boy read us a little something.’ Clyde sniggered. ‘Words’ll make you a good breakfast.’

‘Mock not the Lord.’ John opened his Bible at random.

‘Let the kid alone. Taint his fault he got sense Clyde.’

There was some hard tack and weak coffee for the start of their day. It trail wrapped around the rolling hills like a stream. The cool of fall had begun the change in the leaves and the red and yellows sprung up like small fires around them.

‘Good air here.’ Frank nodded to a rise ahead of them. ‘Last hill before the Valley.’

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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My Talented Friends

With the festive season rapidly approaching it is a good time for me to recommend great gift options produced by many talented friends. Starting with some sweet sounds from SoulFistikato  the head nod. I met SoulF at Valentino Assenza’s Cryptic Chatter back in the day (time for a reunion show Val?). He (& frequent collaborated Dane Swan: whose excellent new book “He Doesn’t Hurt People Anymore” can be found on Amazon) are out of the slam scene. the head nod is a set of sampled, remixed & original instrumentals that are easy on the ear & uplifting to the spirit.

Charlie C Petch’s  Mel Malarkey Odes & Acts is a studio recording of their one-person Cabaret. I say Cabaret in reference to the musical as this is out of that vaudeville tradition – even the instrumental numbers have that Kurt Weill lilt. Charlie is another artist I first encountered at Valentino Assenza’s Cryptic Chatter back in the day (time for a reunion show Val?).

Carolina Brown’s Carolina Brown is a richly textured set of their songs. Compelling guitar work with raw & sometimes playful lyrics. Carolina confronts gender & transphobia directly & connects emotionally to the listener. I’ve heard Carolina several times & have enjoyed the fearless energy they use in creative expression in such a directly honest way that invites rather than challenges. Not that some of music isn’t challenging but it is a challenge one is willing to face.

Kris Gebhard’s Fairy Feather Files is another collection that confronts gender & transphobia directly & connects emotionally to the listener. Spoken-word with gentle marimba interludes that refresh the spirit. Kris presents difficult realizations with a tenderness that lets the listener hear the experience. I first heard Kris at Capturing Fire (produced by Regie Cabico) in Washington DC. Challenging in content at times but done in way affected way that draws you in emotionally.

So much for the audio portion of this post. Andre Prefontaine’s Freshwater Genteel & Saltwater Rage chapbook is full of fun, difficult, angry, not-so-fun but always honest poetry. Their writing is sharp, thoughtful, penetrating & human. I’ve seen Andre perform several times & each time am amazed & inspired. Contract him via Facebook to find out how to buy this book.

Finally Goddess X’s Blk Grl Sick: Tales from the Library Burned. I met X at Capturing Fire a few years ago & was stunned by their writing & their performance. The writing is powerful, raw, honest & clear. I always read poetry out-loud – this allows me to feel the words as opposed to slipping over them with eyes. In reading this book aloud I was caught up in the frustration & fears of being a black trans woman in the USA in way I didn’t expect. This is a fearless, challenging, fierce book.

Maybe these sound too challenging for Christmas gifts? Sure a pair comfy slippers would be nice but challenging someone to see the world around them in a different by giving them chance to leave their comfort zone is infinitely more rewarding. Take up the challenge it could also help change the way you see the world.

The Good Old Days

when I was a boy things were different

we’ve come a long way from those days

when there wasn’t anything to do

till the sun had come up

as there was no light allowed at night

stumbling in the dark

from one strip joint to the other

to listen to dancers in the dark

fleshly moist parts

pressed against your shoulder

the only part of the body

they were allowed contact with in the dark

now that we have light at night

it’s like going to the dentist

antiseptic and numbing

ah yes we all remember

those days when the only music

came from the slap of thighs

when the village women did the wash

as they whacked the dirt out of clothes


we didn’t have the worries we do today

then we worried about

how many smelt or moose

would the men catch

would there be enough

so that even a lad of ten

would have a fiver

to take to unlit strip bars

so the men could afford a soothing drink

to make up for the time it took

to wash the blood out of their hair

while the village women

whacked their clothes on moist rocks

to get the stain of smelt or the stink of moose

out of those rubbed-soft loose-fitting pants

that held the private parts

of the men they loved

those were the days when people loved


we had such pie in those days

small pans

so carefully tended in wood stoves

wood that we children had to find

we had to scour empty condo complexes

break off chair legs or hat racks

so we could be a part of things

so we could prove

we were good for more

than homework and giggling

because we loved to giggle

especially at the women

who spent so much time getting ready

for their shifts at the unlit strip bars

putting on sparkling fish scales

that no one would ever see

and the men hot and hollowed

would stagger home to fall asleep

on piles of wet laundry

licking their lips

waiting for the sun to rise


those were the days

when things were different

unlike now

when different

is just another brand name

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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I love movie soundtracks. I can’t count the number in my collection going as far back as (re-released) Busby Berkley numbers. Who can forget the shower of strings from Psycho? Though as soundtracks became more popular & the use of music in movies often so omnipresent one either stops listening or becomes distracted & longs for silence as opposed to a song that tells us what to feel because the script has failed to do so.

Often the only good thing about a movie is the soundtrack. 54 is one of those soundtracks. I have both volumes as stand alones – bought 2nd hand. The film is about the halcyon days of Studio 54 – the premiere legendary disco back in the day. I remember seeing photos of the celebs there, photos of the sweaty barely dressed waiters & go-go boys, photos of the dance floor crammed with gay men shirtless, some doing fan dances. I sure wanted to be there though I knew I’d never be let in – I didn’t have the abs or the money to fit in.

The film flopped despite a great performance by Mike Meyers. Like Studio 54 the script lacked emotional connections & relied on music & glitter & pretty people to make it work. The music is sensational. Some of it is also the soundtrack to my early years in Toronto. Songs that would keep me sweating not he dance floor – spinning around in my own world. Check out Oogie Inferno – a piece about those days.

I didn’t know many people who get washed over by a wave of almost tearful nostalgia when they hear songs like Dance Dance Dance by Chic, Don’t leave Me This Way by Thelma Huston or Grace Jones’s I Need A Man. I such such clear memories of dancing to these. Time for me to Fly, Robin, Fly.

Still Warm

‘Ah slow down boy. Yer ain’t no preacher, Preacher Boy.’

John glared at the scruffy man who had addressed him. The Bible in John’s hand gave him more strength than he felt.

‘Don’t take no preacher to know what the good book says.’

‘Yeah. Look boy,’ the man pushed his grimy face closer to John’s. ‘No book gonna keep me from ripping your guts out if ya don’t keep yer mouth closed. You unnersan that.’

The man grabbed the Bible from John and tossed it to the ground. ‘We got one God out here and that’s the sky above us. It rains we get wet, it suns and we get dry. Pretty simple. Unless you got a book that’ll tell us when it’ll rain or sun?’

John was at a loss for words. As he stooped to pick up his book he felt a twinge in his left hip where he had been mauled by some animal. These men had found him. Men he thought were a God send but now he wasn’t sure if there weren’t of the Devil himself.

‘Good thing we had that rain when we did or there’d be none to drink.’

John looked around at the four men. Pete was dark, maybe Mexican, and was sometimes called Pedro Pete. Small but stronger than the others. Missing teeth made his crooked smile a joke to the other men.

‘Give us yer fence posts Pete maybe they’ll hold some cattle for us.’ Clyde would say.

Clyde was the one who didn’t brook no book learning. He didn’t want no one telling him anything especially some Preacher Boy. He gave that name to John when he found the Bible in John’s belongings.

Frank was the oldest of them John figured but didn’t have much to say. Just watched and kept them moving along the trail. They hoped to find gold somewhere but didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to do anything.

Grint was the last of them. A plotter. When they had thought John was dead that first time they stumbled across him John had heard Grint going through his belongs, dividing them up between the four of them. It was Frank that had checked to see if the body was still warm. The body – his body – was warm.

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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

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On a recent recent DisabilityAfterDark Andrew Gurza interviews Josh Galassi and they talk about a range of issues – in particular when to come out about their disability on dating sites like Grindr, Scruff (don’t look for me on either as I don’t have a smart phone). Neither wants to mislead but at the same time don’t want to be rejected before any sort of contact can be initiated.

Both have experienced face-to-face rejections as well as ghosting (someone who is interested then vanishes when you reveal something like being wheel-chair disabled). I’ve had experience with both those ‘dating’ styles. Not that I am disabled in any way but I’ve had guys totally eager who ghosted me when I replied ‘no’ to things like do you do poppers, smoke up etc.


When I was first in Toronto I did some personal ad dating – there was no Internet in those days – via Body Politic, later Extra. I had guys who showed up at my apartment, took one look when I opened the door turned on their heels & left. I guess looking like my description was too much for them. I was totally discouraged by that – was I that repulsive, unattractive, not butch enough, too butch. At least Andrew knows the why – which doesn’t make rejection any easier to take mind you.

Listening to Andrew and Josh talk about how deeply they were affected by their early dating ‘mishaps’ it made me realize how I was more that disappointed & confused. I felt undesirable and for a time was willing to go with anyone who showed an interest, even if i wasn’t all that keen on them. Growing up fearful about expressing sex I was almost grateful anyone showing sexual interest in me – it was if they were just doing it to be nice. I never thought these men might be as afraid of rejection as I was.

I know today rejection isn’t the end of the road it just clearing the way for the next opportunity.



before she married my Dad

my Mom dated a guy named Matty O’Malley

but when my Dad showed up

she only had eyes for him

this is how that story always began


I ask “were you blind before Dad”

and she would laugh

“well I really didn’t know

what a man looked like till your Dad.

Matty was a big brawly bruiser

with legs big enough to seat two people”


“sounds like you saw a lot of Matty

for someone who was blind” I joke

“well I suppose I did

young girls in those days

were supposed to be shy creatures

but I wasn’t like other girls

which was something your Dad realized

but that Matty never appreciated

Matty tried to impress me with money

his manly smell

the things I was taught

a man was supposed to do

to get the girl of his dreams”


“you were the girl of Matty’s dreams”

“well I guess so but his dreams were over

when I laid eyes on your father”

I would look at my Dad

as he snored in front of the wireless

toes poking out of socks

loose jockey shorts

that barely held his abundant manhood

and I didn’t get it


“Dad was the man of your dreams”

“I didn’t even know I was asleep honey

I thought Matty O’Malley was my fate

that I’d have to marry him

live in one of those big houses on Gold Crescent

with swimming pools and servants

Matty was one of the richest men in the village”


“Dad woke you up from that dream”

all I could see was me

in one of those swimming pools

“that’s for sure

it was during Moosefest

when he strode right up to me

took me by the arm

before I knew it we were walking up the aisle

and I was beating his clothes clean on the rocks”


“what about Matty”

“oh he killed himself silly man.

jumped into the canal during the wedding

it was sort of sad

but each time I see your Dad . . . ”

she stopped to brush some crumbs of moose pie

from my sleeping Dad’s lap

“I know I made the right decision”


her voice changed to a softer pitch

which told me it was time to leave the room

I went to the back yard

that held my Dad’s ramshackle shed


no swimming pool

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

November 1-30

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr