Summer 2020

My TOpoet.ca following blog is at 360! The June WP map show my hits have come from countries around the world. Canada & US top the list with India & Bangladesh near the top. Monaco in the top 10 is a surprise. My Tumblr is at 280. Twitter is at 226 followers

You’ll be seeing some summer changes in the blog starting this week. Wednesday & Thursday will be looking at my Fiddlehead chapbook: Distant Music. In May I input the text & in June I started exploring those old pieces. Not that I remember what I was thinking at the time but I do recall information – what I was reading, where I was etc. 

To give me a break may stop the Saturday covid posts. Things haven’t change much on that front but I will slot covid updates on Mondays to alternate with the Artist’s Way posts. People have been enjoying my posts & pictures of things in my house so they’ll continue on Mondays as well. Coming to the end of the first section of Picture Perfect. It took three Nano’s in a row to do it so by section I mean the first November. In editing I found several places that needed more writing to account for later events. My nano word count included non-plot elements it is still mounting up to a decent count. 40,000 so farI’ve also loved creating the graphic for each week.

Fridays will continue the crawl through my music collection. It is large enough to take me into to the next decade. It has been good to look at what I have, what I like & what I’ll be letting go of. My need to be a music archive has left me 🙂 Boring is boring regardless of its historic importance. Purge is the word.

Speaking of purging – my covid cleaning frenzy though some of the major hoards have reduced them considerably. I still have the basement to contend with which will be nice with the summer heat already on us. The basement is cool & full of my partner’s old school files for starters. Plus a box or two of magazines I’ve had for too long. eBay here I come.

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

Valley of the May Dolls

Over the month my TOpoet.ca following blog shrank to 350! I went through my followers list & cleared some who had never liked a post or who really didn’t have any real connection such as ‘dog training tips.’ Only one has re-followed me.  The May WP map show my hits have come from around the world. Latvia! Indonesia! 

My Tumblr following  is at 272. Twitter at 225. I know these are all low numbers – some people have thousands of followers but on both I delete or block followers who are harvesting rather than actually following. Picture Perfect is up to 32000 words. 

May has been another month of adjusting to the new reality of masks, sanitizer & social distancing. I’ve reluctantly cut back on my morning walks & have replaced some of them with domestic chores: gardening, cleaning, purging but that will come to an end – the house will be clean enough & I can go back to daily walks. I have been doing social distant walks with some recovery friends so the isolation hasn’t been total. Also seeing a couple of my fwb (who are maintain social isolation themselves) for movies & chit-chat. 

Working through The Artist’s Way slowly but surely. It clearly wasn’t written with a pandemic lockdown in mind 🙂 Some of the issues it addresses take on a different sense of importance (or lack of) as the death toll mounts. But it has encouraged me to reexamine my past.

By reexamine I mean that literally literally – I’ve been reading Old Trout Funnies – a book about a comic book, an acquaintance of mine created while I was living in Sydney. We were drinking buddies. I left before Issue 3. The book puts Trout into a context & explains many of the very localized references. Plus I get name checked a couple of times & I know many of the people who show up as characters in the wild stories. Fascinating & highly recommended.

Also literal has been the inputing of my first novel ‘Allan Time’ which I wrote in the late 60’s, early 70’s. Resisting the temptation to edit has been a challenge, though I have made the paragraphs breaks tidier & improved the spelling. It is an interesting process as my memory of writing it is very limited. One thing is clear though is how closeted I was. 

I’m currently re-reading Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls. I have read this book several times over the years. It served as the template for City of Valleys. I love this book. Sure it is soap but it captures real psychology with humour & over-the-top emotionalism. I’ll have to watch the movie again when I’m finished.

a piece I performed at Cryptic Chatter June 2007

Try to Remember

there is a moment when 

what I remember 

what I dream

become fused

is this my childhood moment

falling down gashing my knee

the scar is there

but is the picture of me doing it

how it happened

was it a fall off a swing

was I ever on that swing

on the playground 

or was it some other moment

tipping my bike over the curb

was it an accident on purpose

was I seeking attention

or was I careless

not looking where I was going

did I get pushed or just drop

did I cry

the scar tells me it happened

the mind doesn’t tell me anything

was my mother upset or disappointed

I had come home crying once again

did I cry

was I brave little soldier

was I 10 11 15

did I limp around the house

wanly acting as if 

I was and wasn’t in pain

was the trip stumble and scrape

another of my attempts

to be like other boys

playing ball

acting out tough kid stuff

or was I running away from someone

who wanted to beat me up

was I at the play ground

because there was some boy nearby

who sometimes hung out there

did I like boys then

I seem to think I did

memory doesn’t fill in those gaps

doesn’t give me the connections 

I need to make a net 

that’ll explain today

I see the scar

not a pretty one

not an ugly one either

not like my appendix incision

that looks like 

it was made with a can opener

I sort of recollect that

the pain in school

then the hospital for a week or so

in a ward with four others

they were all men

I was a kid in junior high

I liked boys then

I tried to catch glimpses of cock

as the men walked around in pjs

dressing gowns untied

girl friends dropping in 

 rubbing their backs

I would have done that 

how long was it 

before I went back to school

did have my homework brought to me

all that is gone

all that remains is a dim image

untied bathrobes hairy chests

laughing nurses

the scars aren’t talking

only tells me that it happened

don’t even remember going home from there

like the scar on my knee

doesn’t tell me any more

when will my body forgive

what I’ve forgotten

I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.

paypal.me/TOpoet 

WordPress 2018

Coming to the end of another WordPress year & looking at my stats. I’m amazed at my world wide reach of views. India has jumped to #3 for the number of views! Slovina at #4! USA still heads the list but I’m amazed to see it go from A(merica) to Z(imbabwe). I slip by the firewall into China. even Russia. 

My number of followers has jumped from 217 to 298! WTF. The one stat that WP doesn’t provide is where my followers are from or I’d brag a little about that too. Time for Greenland to represent 🙂

 

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

October 2018 Sneak Peek

Before I look forward here’s some stats for September. My Twitter following is up to 209 – not all of whom are book cover designers or internet marketing specialists. Tumblr is up to 208 – it would be higher but I block the frequent hetero porn sights that follow me – oddly I don’t get that sort of queer porn spam. I’ve been posting daily photo set at Tumblr for the last several weeks & will probably keep it up to the end of October.
I’ve been on WordPress for 7 years now & have built up to 273 followers, after 1425 posts. Chances are good I’ll hit 280 by the end of the year. I hope to wake up one morning to find one of my posts has gone viral.

Coal Dusters is moving along nicely. I’ve been taking my time to edit each new chapter & have been expanding them with more period detail & in one case a more colourful physical description, even creating whole new scenes to add to atmosphere. I’ve blogged approx 48,000 words so far with at least another 67,000 to go.

Coming up in October on the blog Tuesday & Wednesday will be devoted to scary poems. Tuesdays will fresh blood, while Wednesday I’ll discuss last October’s fresh blood poems. Friday I’ll post about my favorite horror writers & how they inspired me. Mondays will remain music, Tuesday Coal Dusters continues.

I’ll be going to Toronto Gratitude’s 40th Anniversary October 5/6/7. I haven’t been to the round up for a couple of years now but considering that I was at the very first one it’s fitting I make an appearance. I’ll be staying at downtown hotel so I can enjoy the event without the stress of transit. I’ll also be taking in my last Stratford show of the season later in the month: Paradise Lost. 

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet 

Mi alcance de todo el mundo

WPFeb

My reach around the world – more precisely my WordPress reach around the world. One of the great features of WP is this Top Views by Country, where I can tell what countries have looked at my posts going right back to when I first started it. That the USA & Canada top the most frequent list comes as no surprise. But that Brazil has claimed the 3rd spot for the last year has been unexpected.

wires

the wired corner

What the stats don’t tell me is who has looked, only where they are from, or perhaps where their server is from? That isn’t totally clear to me nor do I really care. I do wish I knew how some of these readers found the blog in the first place.

But to have so many readers from Spanish/Portuguese speaking areas pleases me: Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Costa Rica. Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Guatemala – hola. Drop me a line – google translate will tell me what you say 🙂

blackfile

the cold case files

What always surprises, almost shocks me, is getting hits from China (with how controlled the Internet is there). Russia is 5th on the list for February – with queer life so suppressed, repressed there I am amazed anyone would take the risk to look at my blog. Places where you can be jailed for writing poetry, let alone having same sex sex. Those brave Africans in Zimbabwe, South Africa – wow!

sky

the unwired sky

To get the map graphic I do a screen picture, trim it down some, cut & paste the info to take up less space. Also edit out the number of hits – where is more important that how many, right. But the darker the colour the more hits from that place. I’d love to see more places the color of Brazil & love to see Brazil as red as Canada.

Maybe when I win the lottery I can line up lunch dates with these total strangers & find out what keeps bringing them back to my postings.

samples

The Scope of Things

Dave got a telescope

for his thirteenth birthday

it needed a tripod to hold it up

if the screws weren’t tight enough

the heavy head would drift down

he showed me how to focus on stars

the faces of the moon

people’s roofs living rooms

to see what they were watching on TV

prying spying was sneaky fun

 

when we looked at the Milky Way

I would hum the Star Trek theme

we made notes of constellations nebulas

when we came to Earth

we had no guides for these creatures

observed from our ufo

as it hovered unseen

peering into their windows

as they shuffled from living room to kitchen

sat on the floor to eat chocolate ice cream

directly from the carton

scratched their private parts

which was about as exciting

as those dull humanoids ever got

never found an open bedroom curtain

or some flash of undressed flesh

 

for my thirteenth birthday

I got a microscope

to prepare me for science in school

Dave and I took turns looking at trapped squiggles

water had uncountable live darters

snot was creepy

our shit swarmed with so many  things

I had to wash and wash afterward

I had to do my sperm

in secret

again

I had to wash and wash afterward

 

we tried the microscope

through the telescope

puzzled by things so far

we couldn’t touch them

so small we couldn’t feel them

wondering where did we fit in

soon1

March 7 – Saturday – attending – 2015 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium – Round Venue, 152A Augusta Ave., Toronto

specfic

http://chiseries.ticketleap.com

March 26 – Thursday 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam – Supermarket – 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto

hot

April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto.

born

May 7 – Thursday – 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 1 finals – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto –

hdamnfinal

https://www.facebook.com/events/726986450755918/permalink/726987687422461/

June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC

fire

http://www.thedccenter.org/capturingfire/

(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville

loylab

Loyalist Workshop is the real deal

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

https://www.loyalistbanner.com/ceweb/doc/LoyalistSummerArts2015.pdf

June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto

summer15

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

http://fanexpocanada.com

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice

noiroc15

 

foggy

foggy wires

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

thanks

The Cool Jerk of Joy

Cool Jerk of Joy 1: I put a little pot with a parsley plant in it on my kitchen window sill in the fall in hopes it would last the winter. It got browner & browner & I guess it didn’t make it – but a few morning glory seeds must have fallen into the soil & the vines began to grow – sort of pale green but they grew. Then quite unexpectedly it bloomed. The will to live can be astonishing.

April morning glory joy
April morning glory joy

Cool Jerk of Joy 2: One of the cool things for me about WordPress is the stats page – I never get enough hits to satisfy me but when I check the geography of hits I find that in the past 30 days my page has been looked at by people in Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Pakistan. Sri Lanka, India, Japan, Thailand, Republic of Korea, France, Germany, Turkey, Mexico & Australia! Now that’s encouraging.

One of the WP pages I was subscribed to closed – the blogger didn’t feel she was getting enough attention, so why bother. I know how she feels. When I check someone else’s page I usually hit the like button, often make a comment, just so that they’ll know someone, anyone, was there. For the ones I get email notice of, I always click through to the actual page so they at least get another hit.

San Francisco joy
San Francisco joy

The Cool Jerk of Joy

the baristas were doing the Latin boogaloo

steamed milk foam spraying the air

they didn’t care

any more than the

bulk barn clerks doing the Harlem shuffle

tossing cans of cat food

to the subway collector

doing the moonwalk in his booth

roger’s cable guys

tearing off a quick gavotte

around break-dancing skate boarders

jitter bugging news reporters

covering the story

of dirty dirty sliding short-order cooks

cha-cha-ing construction workers

dental hygienists doing the hula

bumping into Viennese waltzing roofers

poets a-pogo

obstetricians lost in a tango

and me entangled in the cool jerk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfFQQ01KbFk

getting the L out of Loyalist
getting the L out of Loyalist

orange you glad
orange you glad