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.

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

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


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

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

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page for links previous pieces in this series.


to this day

I cannot hear the name Santa

without shuddering

the first few times it gets uttered are the worse

a tremble comes from my toes

my teeth chatter

I squeeze my arms tight to my body

to contain myself

it’s as if I’m going to fly to pieces


though I get used to hearing his name

I always dread the start of the festive season

and go out of my way to avoid

any reference or images of his likeness

I don’t know when this started

honestly, I had a fairly normal childhood

Christmas was nothing special in our house

I was never dropped off Santa’s knee

when taken to see him at the strip joint

I never woke to find

his white bearded visage

kissing my Mom or Dad

I once did get to undress

one of the elves


I was always satisfied with what gifts I got

I was an easy to please child

this Santa-shudder didn’t start

till I moved here to the big city

in our village

there were few likenesses of him

the usual ones of him harnessing a moose

or sneaking a beer out of the fridge

so how it came to be

that the very mention of his name

would cause this reaction in me is puzzling

it led my coworkers to think

I was some sort of xmas hater

when the opposite is the truth


I decorated my cubical with a little tree

some garlands

but would resist any likeness of him

it wasn’t if he was the centre of the celebration

but they would take great delight

in putting crystal Santas on my desk

once replacing my mouse with a Santa head

my shrieks were mocked for weeks after that

ho ho ho scream

my demands to be transferred to another section

were greeted with  ho ho ho no no no

those fuck heads

how could I do my job with such disrespect

luckily this only happens once a year


next year I won’t be here to put up with it

I’ve already made reservations

to spend that time of  year at a xmas free resort

where one can just float in the sun

drink tall cool drinks by the pool side

be undressed by cabana men

and then return to the escapist reality

that I was escaping from

This is one of the few pieces written in which my narrator has left the Village but is still enmeshed in mythology – in this case the festive myth of Santa. Personally I have no issues with Christmas or Santa or the Elves. As in many of these pieces the allegory is of those things in the world that go from annoying us to blocking our happiness.

Santa has become more a symbol of Christmas than the Jesus. Though both symbols have been commercialized to the point where they are meaningless beyond their commercial potential. So in some ways my hero is reacting to this reduction of a symbol to a logo for consumption as opposed to a symbol of generosity & fellowship.

My hero is like many who have left a small town for the freedom of the big city only to be trapped in a cubical. The childhood bullying has been replaced by the office mocking of his Santaphobia – by people who apparently don’t even question their own belief systems. The fact he doesn’t toe that line is enough for them to single him out. There is also a sense that some myths are considered superior to others.

I knew a guy who hated Christmas to the extent that he would fly to Australia on 23rd or the 24th & thanks to date line & time change arrived there & would skip Christmas Day. He flew back on New Year’s & got two New Year’s eves as a result. But like my narrator he had to return to a cultural reality he might avoid but could never escape.


For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page for links previous pieces in this series.

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

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

No Picketers :-( That’s Poetry For You

The Beautiful and The Damned’s (BuDa) night of Queer Dissident Voices sponsored by Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, was a Pride Toronto Affiliated Event. That gets the official nods out of the way.

To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to a night of strident, cry-baby activists and was very surprised to get swept up in a night of energetic, passionate and articulate writers hosted by DM Moore.

no need for Gas Masks at BuDa

Ghadeer Malek was a bit caught up in classic political syntax but was personally & emotionally invested in it which gave it great power that transcended, for me, the stridency of images such as ‘pillars of democracy built on exploitation and land grabs’ – images such as ‘parents create children with death in their eyes’ allowed me to share the family tragedy of war. The memory of once listening to the Beatles with her grandmother but ‘it hasn’t been quiet enough to hear the Beatles sing’ was/is for me a dynamic expression of what we lose as our personal context is destroyed by war.

Second feature Hamid Parnian, was in some ways hampered by his limited English – he read his pieces first in Farsi then in English. There was great charm and emotion in his native language – his English translations made it clear his political drive was more personal – being queer was political enough – “we morphed into that which has no names in social morality” – the pieces were sensual and touched with longing, ‘… your bed sheets, the smell of your bed sheets.’

He mentioned that the Quran was an erotic text. I offered to help him with his English so perhaps he can explain that to me more fully.

With QAIA once again getting press we were expecting some picketers, which has happened at past QAIA events – but, hardly a surprise, poetry readings are so below the radar there was nothing beyond our own spoken-word smokers blocking the sidewalk on Yonge street.

come lie with me beneath the lilacs

come bed with me beneath the lilacs

I left before the music act, too pooped to listen and absorb anymore. Talked with some old friends, new friends (hi Hamid), had yet another long talk about ePub, plus one of my Art Bar fans was there to encourage me to expand Brown Betty into a full volume of verse –

Host DM Moore ran a tight ship, had great trivia questions, slaved to get this BuDa show an official Pride affiliated event and should get some sleep soon.

my high-school

writing sample
writing sample


Here’s are the pieces I read –

More or Less

heavy print said

gay accountant killed by straight steelworker

efficiently establishing

accountant = less of a man

steelworker = more of a man

both blind drunk

less of a man brings more of a man

back to his place

more of a man comes out of a blackout

in the midst of oral sex

experiences homosexual panic reflex

flings off less of a man

less of a man hits his head bleeds a lot


bi-curious turned into straight furious

doesn’t deny what happened

but has no cogent memory

thanks to the blessed absolution of blackout

less of a man had a bad heart

coroner can’t specify an exact cause

too much booze    heart    head trauma


more of a man goes free

due to lack of conclusive evidence

his shame and disgust are deemed

punishment enough

the embarrassment to his wife and child

is paid in full by the life of less of a man

less of a man apparently

having no one of note in his life to embarrass

the death of this predatory queer

being more or less the fair price

for daring to give a blow job

for the stunning audacity of touching

and innocent heterosexual’s sacred dick



he is a man without a context

Brampton landed stranded

with the family of a sister-in-law

a brother in one nation a sister in another

home a room in a basement

learning English

to give him the structure of classes

companionship with others     lost

looking to anchor

skin   dark brown black smooth

arms eager to hold

hungry for more than mere contact

needing the relief of physical acceptance

shy yet fierce

kissing as if he’d been drowning

he tells me of growing up in war

brothers     uncles slaughtered

before his very eyes

I’m not sure if it is genocide

or merely being the losing minority

the politics of killing

for property    religion escapes me

its hard to understand straights killing queers

and still getting away with it

because proving the crime

might embarrass someone’s wife

that’s the closest to war I ever want to be

and he   this stranded man

is looking for a solid ground under his feet

as he seeks a new life here

a man in an already suppressed tribe

where liking men is even more suppressed

I take him in my arms

let him hold on as tight as he needs

I’m learning what it’s like

to sleep with someone’s enemy



What am I worth?

According to my 1977 chap book Distant Music is worth £59.95 !! plus shipping – Even some US sellers. Who knew? I was just checking google/yahoo search engines to see what my name might pull up – mainly to see how high in those lists my blog would appear –

Planning to do a down east set at the Art Bar next month it seemed fitting that I’d get a reminder of the chap book that was published while I was still stranded there. I had attended the University of New Brunswick summer writing workshops a couple of years in a row. I got to workshop with Alden Nowlan, M. Travis Lane, even John Metcalf.  Fred Cogswell enjoyed my work and had Fiddlehead publish the chap book.

stairs to where

I slaved over the manuscript. Those were the days of retyping an entire page if there was one typo – very labour intensive – no spell check either – sadly I never saw the proofs before it went to publisher and the book was fraught with errata – some my fault, many were typesetting problems. But I was in print. I did my own cover design as well.

It has lots of that over emotive angsty young man stuff ‘Our voices/Heard as echoes/Over the windless/Barren plains of speech’  Lots of rambling, multi-part things & several rather short (for me) pieces. Some of it still holds up, I think, even though I was capitalizing every line & even using punctuation

I have read a few pieces from it at past features but given time constraints that is rarely feasible. I’ll have a copies with me for sale at my Art Bar feature. I’ve also put together a chapette book for the reading – all the pieces I read will be in it plus a few bonus cuts. I did this last year for a feature and it worked out well. $3.00 for the chapette or free if you buy the Fiddlehead chapbook at $10.00. (Update May 2019: I have a few copies left – $25.00 )


from Distant Music

Black Flies



To chance encounters

Stories to share

Suffering to compare.



Careful scarves

Spare realizations

Fleshy destinations.

Darting black flies

Looking for blood.





Kissing Butt

Hosting The Beautiful & The Damned is alway a treat especially when celebrating its one year anniversary with a dynamic line up and stellar open stagers. I even debuted a new piece – one that may be part of my Art Bar set, we’ll see.


First up was Gemma Files who read a solid enticing section for the third volume of her hexslinger series – it gave us a real feel for the multilevel ‘magic’ in the books – Mexican mythology mixed with gun-toting cowboys (who happen to be gay). I hope she’s doing the audio versions. She ended her set with a couple of poems again dealing with dark myths but this time in contemporary settings – ways of treating an ex, that is if Loki is your ex.


Feature two was Spencer Butt with a high-energy, stage-thumping performance. He spews vibrant images and unlike many slam poets deals with personal issues with compassion and not anger. Too many great lines and images to keep track of – ‘his memory was drunk/eating popcorn in the balcony’ – ‘he was born in an aviary and died in a place crash’

Here’s a pic, taken by Lizzie Violet, of me kissing Butt –

may 10, 2012

Music feature Carlin Belof wrapped the evening up & wrapped us around her fingers at the same time. Songs about relationship difficulties that were oddly uplifting. Great lyrics and a fine guitar player as well – But as she sings ‘being told you’re talented and are going far may not be the solution – so screw you’.

Cake was served, drinks were enjoyed & good time was had by all. I’ll be hosting BuDa again in December and have already started to line up my festive features.

As I mentioned a few blogs ago I’m working on a series sparked by Montaigne. (Of Quick or Slow Speech [10])  This one was also influenced by a podcast lecture on Robert Lowell that talked about a poem he had written after the death of his father.

Dad’s Pockets

as a kid

I would go through the pockets

of my Dad’s suit jackets sport coats

as they hung in the closet

I would find quarters which I’d take

sometimes fifty-cent pieces which I’d leave


I’d slip the over-sized jackets

off their hangers

wear them in the dark of the closet

in the smell of his things

his shoes miles too big for me

trying to steal into adult hood


I’d skulk out

from my secret foray

a little daring thief

sneaky   guilty

fearful of being found out


when he’d miss the pocket change

I’d be confronted

say too quick I don’t know what he meant

blurt out I didn’t do that

which he never believed

if only I’d hung those coats back the right way

he’d let me go with warning

that I was slow to heed

I’d be back there in a week or so

go through those pockets

try on those shoes


grow much too slow into adulthood

much too quick into guilt



Brown Betty

With this current round of novel edits winding down I’ve been getting back to poetry. First putting together sets for my two (so far) up coming summer features. I aim to make them both different and to have mini-chaps books to sell of the pieces  I do. For the Art Bar feature I’m focusing on down east/childhood material I’m calling Brown Betty.

April was poetry month. I didn’t try this year, as some did, to write and post a new piece every day. I wrote something nearly every day though. Some was work on Lazarus, some work on my novel about coal miners and even poetry.


My current poetry project, other than getting things ready for features & open stages, is to do a series based on the titles of the essays of Montaigne. I read the essays over the past couple of years – they do go on. I really enjoy working with prompts and as there over 100 of these essays I have prompts to keep me going for a couple of months. The pieces will be based on title only, not on the content of the essay.


Reading them once was enough. Here’s one of them:


Of Sorrow (2)


those moments when we glanced

across a subway track

opposite directions

that frequently converged

paths that will no longer cross

missing you

yet still seeing your wave

as you get in the subway car

or I get in mine

a frantic little dance

not caring who sees

or perhaps caring who saw

wanting them to see   to know

you were willing to look so silly

at your age

at my age

showing a world of strangers

that we care for each other

across a the subway tracks

different platforms

different directions

paths that will never

cross again



Editing 101

A couple of people have asked about my ‘how to’ editing process. I’m working on a hard copy print out that runs 297 pages/99004 words. I find I need a hard-copy to make notes, cuts. I’ve never been able to do that on screen – even for poetry I have to have a hard copy. In this draft I’m filling in spots where I put (research) on the first blurt – one example is my hero gets assaulted, hurt enough for internal bellding – I didn’t know what it woudl to do that when first worte the scene so when I came to it this time I googled ‘fractured ribs’ – this is fiction so I merely want to sound belivable not medically precise.

I’m just at the 101 page point in my hard-copy draft – 34,263 words; now edited to 96 pages/ 32,427 words. Progress is being made.  Once get this draft done, hopefully by the end of April, I’ll do a bit of polish with ‘search’ – type in certain words, phrases I fall back on too much – i.e. – thought, thinking, felt, just, seemed, …ing, …ly words – that sort of thing. Then I may get another print out or perhaps find some first readers for a pdf version. [any one want a pdf of the first 101 pages?]

Here’s a small before-and-after example of an edited section:

brief context – An intruder has tried to break down Harris’s apartment door (why? you’ll have to read the novel when it gets published) The police have escorted her of the premesis. Max is building security.

First version:

“Harris pulled off his boxers and got into the shower. He’d had no time for one the last few days. He must have stunk when Max was talking to him. Hot hot water then a fast icy blast and back to the hot. Detox his system faster from the pain meds. The bandage softened under the hot water and suds; he carefully eased it off. The bruise was pretty bad but his ribs were merely tender when he carefully soaped them. No spikes of pain.

He went on to the balcony to let the sun dry him off while he ate from a bag of double chocolate cookies.  If anyone saw him they were looking for it. Warm sun on his arms, chest, cock and balls.  He stretched out on the chaise to let the tension of the past week flow out of him and into the sun. After five minutes he turned over.

Sleepy he went back into his apartment, laid on the bed and drifted off wondering why the curse had reversed. Was that what happened if he didn’t fulfill an initial infatuation?  The busboy at Story came to mind. Alex. Fuck. That wasn’t the answer he was looking for.

It was about six when he was wakened by more knocking at his door.

He pulled on sweat bottoms and answered it. It was Max.

“Sorry to disturb you again Mr. Stevens but I have to fill in this incident report.” he read out what he had written down. Harris had nothing to add.

“If you’ll sign here. I’ll take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes. That’s some bruise you’ve got there.”

“Yeah. It was her son that did this.”

“Sometimes it seems the universe has it in for us.” Max laughed.”


revised version:

“Harris pulled off his boxers and got into the shower. He’d had no time for one the last few days. He must have stunk when Awad was talking to him. Hot hot water then a fast icy blast and back to the hot. Detox his system faster from the pain meds. The bandage softened under the hot water and suds and he carefully eased it off. The bruise was bad but his ribs were merely tender when he cautiously soaped them. No spikes of pain.

He went on to the balcony to let the sun dry him. He finished off a bag of double chocolate walnut cookies wondering why the curse had reversed. Was that what happened if he didn’t fulfill an initial infatuation?  The busboy at Story came to mind. Alex. Fuck. That wasn’t the answer he was looking for.”


This is the end of a longer scene – a time for Harris to reflect on the curse, how it works, to realize there have been consquences he has to face. Some of the cuts were to tighten sentences – some were to remove extranious information – the cookies were more important than how he dries off on the balcony – I added a bit to the type cookies as junk food is important to Harris – ‘finished off’ is more telling about him than ‘ate from’ – his coversation with Max added nothing & took away from the strength of ‘That wasn’t the answer he was looking for.’


May 10, Thursday – hosting: The Beautiful & The Damned with guests: Spencer Butt, Gemma Files, Carlin Belof

June 1-3 – attending: Bloody Words

June 12, Tuesday – feature: The Art Bar

July 22-27, Sunday-Friday – attending: Aubert Workshop

August 19, Sunday – feature: Plasticine Poetry

August 23-26 – attending: Fan Expo Canada

die die my darling

Into the thick of the Lazarus edits/rewrites. Started by hacking out some of my favorite scenes – die, die my darlings – not easy but once I’d made up my mind, out they went – they were fun to write and have some useable material in them – that material can be dropped into the story at other points – but neither of them really pushed the plot forward enough – so my word count goes from 99,000 to 95,500 which is already more manageable.

Here’s one of the die die my darlings that had to die: (what you may not understand in this scene would make sense in the flow of the whole story. i.e. who are Kate and David?) Although the scene explores Harris’s hereto-normativeness it doesn’t add enough. Scout is a great character, too fleshed-out to be dropped into just one scene and I really have no place for him in the story line at all. What I will keep is the description of the Slap Shott tee-shirt – a superhero I invented and used a few other times & in fact a memory of Slap plays a role in the final climax.


Harris stepped out of the shower. Forced himself to stand on his scale and he’d lost another five pounds. Was all this stress melting the fat off him? He put in a load of laundry and padded barefoot to the kitchen while drying himself off. The cupboards weren’t bare but nothing appealed.

He unpacked the C1P. Most of the weight were the individualized coffee sachets.  Following directions he let it make one cup to clean it and then opted to try the Deep Arabian Noir mixture that promised a slightly nutty after taste. The machine was nearly silent and fast. The nutty after taste was more nutmeg than pecan.

He went through the flyers in his mail. Mamma P was having an ‘elopement special’ to celebrate the marriage of Kate and David. There was a photograph of the happy couple eating a pizza with Niagara Falls in the background.

As he recycled the flyers one of them caught his eye for a rib special at Moe Jones Sports Bar. He liked it when these places were within walking distance. Especially when the special was something he really enjoyed.

Now that he was doing laundry more regularly he even had clean clothes to choose from. He hoped his Slap Shott tee wasn’t too obscure a super-hero figure for Moe Jones. True they have probably sold more of the tee than the actual short lived attempt at making a hockey player with super powers into a super hero. The graphic of the hockey masked Slap Shott soaring on his alien powered skates though the air while hitting a puck that was flying into the pained face of a fanged space creature was luridly captivating to Harris.

Moe Jones was fairly busy when he got there. But they did have a booth for two, now one, for him. One that faced the street and not the TV. He ordered a Sopporos. He liked the frosted glass that came with it. He ordered the spare rib special -a full rack of the Mex-spicey with Moe’s thick cut garlic seasoned fries and a Caesar Salad. A man-sized meal like that should put the pounds back pronto.

A young man came to his table. He was glancing at his iPad and then at Harris.

“Candaddy? Sir.”

“Pardon me?” Harris didn’t hear what the man had said.

“Candaddy eleven, to be precise, Sir? I’m Scout.”

“I’m not clear what you mean.” Intrigued Harris nodded to the empty seat across from him. The young man was quite tall. “I’m Harris. Maybe I’ll hear you better from there.”

“Yes, sir. I aim to please.” Scout sat. “You aren’t Candaddy are you? No, now that I get a better look, you are not him. Fuck. Sorry, but I get so sick of these fucking liars.”

“I still don’t understand.”

Harris’s meal arrived. It took up half the table.

“I”ll leave you to your meal, honey.” Scout stood.

“No, that’s fine. Have a beer?”

“Yeah, sure, thanks.” He sat back down. “Screw Candaddy.”

“You were supposed to meet someone here?” Harris started to slice his ribs. They were perfect and fell apart easily.

“We chatted a few times on Bear411.”

“Bear411? Is that like a dating site for gay men.”

“You new in town?”

“I don’t play for that team, as I’ve heard it said.”

“Oh. You sure got the bear look down pat, right down to the ultra-nerd tee-shirt. Slap Shott is an ideal nickname. That is if you’re a spanker.”

“Hardly.” Harris nudged his plate toward Scout. “Fries? More than I can eat.”

“Don’t mind if I do. Let me turn this off first.” He started to turn off his iPad.

“Let’s see the guy you thought I might be?” Harris was curious. He’d never looked at any dating site.

Scout angled it so he could see. There was a face pic with several smaller ones in a double row beside it.

“Just touch one of the thumb nails if you want to see him in his full glory.”

“I looked fifty-four to you?”

“No. But there was something in the face, the eyes really that made me think it could be. Guys lie about everything, age, what they want you know just to get … attention.”

“You mean pretend to be older than they are.” He pushed the iPad in his leather shoulder bag.

“Not often but it wouldn’t surprise me. There are grampa chasers you know. I’m more of a chubby chaser.” Scout looked at Harris’s belly and playfully raised his eyes brows a few times. “You qualify.”

“Thanks. I guess.”

The waiter came to take Harris’s nearly empty plate.

“Another beer?” he asked Scout. He had never had a conversation with a man who he knew to be gay.

“You thinking of switching teams. Or is this bi-curious.”

“Curious mainly.”

The waiter came back with two beers and hand-wipes for Harris to clean his hands.

“That makes two of us.” Scout tipped his bottle at Harris.

“I’ve lived in TO all my life but I’ve never been to Pride you know. It’s like a different world. One that I’m mostly indifferent too. I have no negative feelings.”

“Pride. Can’t remember the last time anyone really enjoyed it. Let’s cut the the chase, Harris. I think what you are really curious about is what its like to have a man suck your cock?”


“Maybe you don’t know that yourself. I hooker friend of mine said that if more wives gave more blow jobs most marriages would last longer. Simple as that. Look I fully understand that too.”

Harris waved the waiter over for the bill. He paid and went to the can. Scout was waiting on the street outside.

“I hope I wasn’t too direct for you?”
“Not at all Scout.”

“I don’t live too far from here, if you’re interested.”

“In what?”

“A blow job you ninny.”

Harris wanted to say no but he was curious. Alex had been so focused on one thing it seemed. That one thing being his own cock.

“Okay.” Plus he didn’t feel caught in the compulsion he had when the curse would wash over him.

“I knew it. I live above the bookstore the next block over.” They walked along. “I don’t do this sort of thing often. In fact never.”

“Which thing? Take strangers home or get stood up by Candaddies.”

“Both. But you seem like a nice enough guy. Vanilla can be good sometimes.”

The narrow wooden stairs up to Scout’s place creaked with each step. The dim light barely illuminated the dust and piles of newspapers.

“You’d never sneak in here.” Harris joked.

“Here we are.”

Scout’s place was at the back. It was small. A dresser, a studio couch bed, an armchair, kitchen along the back wall.

“Washroom here.” He opened a door to a tiny room. The sink was almost over the toilet. “Shared shower across the hall.”

Harris sat on the edge of the couch. Scout got on his knees before him and started to undo Harris fly.

“Not like that.” He leaned forward to kiss Scout. Scout was gentle in response. Not full of the eagerness that Alex had.

“Someone likes to kiss.” Still on his knees he was leaning against Harris’s shin. Harris could feel Scout get hard. That got Harris hard.

While Scout toyed with Harris he undid his own pants. He stood up and let them fall to his knees.

“You want some of this first to really get you going?”

Harris reach out and felt the cock. It was longer than he thought Alex’s was but not as thick.

“Go on. You want to taste it don’t you.”

“No, I don’t. Really.” Harris leaned back from the looming cock.

“That’s cool Harris. We’ll take it nice and slow.” He pulled Harris to his feet while pushing his jeans down to his knees as well. They kissed again. Harris felt Scouts cock against his erection and belly.

“Feels like your ready for me though.” Scout dropped to knees and took Harris’s cock in his mouth.

Harris’s erection disappeared almost instantly. Scout worked on it with his tongue but Harris didn’t feel aroused, at all.

“What happened?” Scout stood and pulled up his own pants.

“I guess it wasn’t what I wanted.” Would he have felt any different if it had been Alex on his knees sucking on his cock?

“That’s my super power.” Scout gave a little laugh. “Convincing straight guys that they really are straight. Though usually they take a bit more convincing.”

“I hope I didn’t … you know … lead you on at all.”

“Not as much as I lead myself on. Look everyone brings a secret agenda to these things. I don’t know how many guys really want sex, as much as to feel someone wants them.”

“I suppose. Can I ask you something?” He wanted to know if this was the curse in action.

“I’m disease free if that’s what was cooling your jets. Tested last week. Got papers if you really want to see them.”

“Nothing like that.” It hadn’t even occurred to Harris that he was putting himself in danger. Another of the things he’d have to learn. “Was there really a Candaddy?”
“I showed you his profile.”

“I know that, but were to really supposed to be meeting him at Moe Jones or was that some elaborate pick up line.”

“At Moe Jones? Please. Fuck, you straight guys are a hil-larry-ious. I was really stood up. But I had been waiting for, like half-an-hour, before you showed up. You had the body type, but you are right I didn’t think you were him for a second. I knew at a glance you weren’t some fifty year old daddy top looking for a subservient bottom boy.”

“Thanks.” They walked down to the street together.

“No prob Harris. It was sort of fun anyway. Especially when I realized your nervousness was real and not an act. Now go back to your life and make that bitch of yours suck that beautiful dick of yours.”

Scout turned on his heel and headed off in the opposite direction.

Nano & Providence (1977)

two seats no waiting

Finally getting back to my NaNo editing. So much hospital visit transit and other stresses over the past month put that work on the back burner. The time away was well spent though as I got to think through some things that needed work before I jumped in and started killing my darlings.   I’ve pretty much had the same opening since I started it two years ago. I’ve even had the first two sections workshopped to good effect but no one said the things took too long to get going – my first few pages are funny and certainly set the mood but don’t get the plot in motion quickly enough. So out they go. The information in them can be set in place at other points in the story. I had to get my hero in contact with his his first ‘antagonist’ sooner. It now starts:

“Harris felt her eyes on him as he dabbed at the sauce from the pulled pork sandwich that had dripped onto his Aquaman tee-shirt. He loved eating on the subway but hated people watching him. He didn’t look up. His feet felt trapped in the new shoes he was breaking in. Trapped and hot.”

Brings them together in the first sentence. Plus gives a pretty clear picture of my ‘hero’ and his eating habits, his sloppiness and his geek quotient. The novel runs to just over 99,000 words so I have lots of work ahead of me. I’d like to have the next draft ready for Bloody Words in June ( so I’ll have something to pitch to an agent. Maybe even submit the first 30 pages for evaluation – deadline for evaluation is April 1.

who's there

Watched a great movie I recorded from French CBC – Providence (1977) directed by Alain Resnais. The way he plays with narrative structure, dialogue and continuity is delightful and inspiring.  It comes up rarely on TV, so far no DVD either.