The Deadlies Way

Week Ten of The Artist’s Way has proved to be the most interesting so far. A sense of self-protection wasn’t that difficult for me, I think, partly due to growing up queer – one learns to protect, hide certain parts of the self rather than surrender them, or even to question them. In looking back I see how I was questioning masculine values to a degree – it was some years before I question the culture that created & perpetuated those values.

There is some talk about the drug of fame, the drain of competition. I’m not sure if I ever wanted fame, notoriety maybe, but fame – no thanks. I had a rather-well-known friend & very frequently we would stopped in the street when someone recognized them. Often the praise was for something they’d rather forget 🙂

The issue with competitiveness is often winning becomes more important than creativity. I’ve met slam poets who ‘sculpt’ pieces for points, or who question their talents if they don’t get enough points. I know one doesn’t write in a vacuum but audiences are fickle, unpredictable & unreliable narrators of anyone’s talents.

 

I enjoyed the tasks in this chapter. The Deadlies was fun though I didn’t do it quite as suggested – as each was dealt with I put it in another envelope to make sure I looked at all of them at least once. Some of them needed to be tweaked to make them applicable to today: i.e. it’s been over 40 years since I’ve used alcohol or drug to cope so I had to find something in my life today that has a ‘similar’ addictive resonance in my life. Blogging?

Doing a lovely thing for myself every day was interesting too – with food as one of the Deadlies is having a Klondike ice-cream bar a lovely thing or giving in to the spiral of ‘I eat badly because I’m self-destructive’? But I only have one ice-cream bar a day – so maybe it isn’t so deadly 🙂

Blowing Shit Up

kill them 

kill them all

bomb the shit out of them

teach them 

to be good world citizens

let them die of hiv 

malnutrition

then bomb the shit of what is left

<>

they don’t know any better

they are lost little children

stumbling through the shopping mall

of our needs and wants 

if they can’t satisfy those needs and wants 

then kill them 

kill them all

<>

bomb the shit out of them

bomb their contaminated water supply

their understaffed hospitals 

over-flowing orphanages

bomb their rubble to rubble

kill them 

kill them all

<>

liberate the enslaved of all nations

from the despotic heels of dictators

religious fanatics

bring them into our refined gilded fold

of credit cards smart phones

that’s all we want to do or

we’ll bomb the shit out of them

kill them 

kill them all

those blasphemers 

who don’t have a seat at the world bank

we have to assimilate them 

into the stream of human kindness

if they can’t be assimilated

bomb the shit out of them

smash destroy replace repatriate

then we’ll stick around

help rebuild those economies

brick by byte

because what is good for them

is even better for our capital gains

<>

we’ll bomb the shit out of them 

till they admit we are right

to kill them 

kill them all

bomb their rubble to rubble

because

after all

who doesn’t like to see 

shit blow up

right

(2007)

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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 

Compassion

Week 9 of the Artist’s Way was about compassion – examining the inner blocks of resentment & past discouragements that block our creativity today – so this is compassion for ourselves. I can remember being discouraged in my time at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design by the technical ability of most of my fellow students. Those who did the most realistic drawing got the most praise. I was not one of those.

The more abstract, non-representational work was judged on concepts I didn’t appreciate either – use of negative space, colour balance etc. There was a pre-set standard of commercial potential underlying all the classes so that creativity was a product not a talent.

One of the Ways tasks was to read your morning pages. One of the things I uncovered in my covid cleaning frenzy was a binder of my hand-written morning pages when I first went through the book in 1997. I’ve done them daily since then. We only had the one desktop in the house then & I didn’t always have access to it. Many of those were done on the old eMac & sad to say all of that stuff is now lost to upgrades. We had those 5.25 inch diskettes back in the day.

Pen to paper doesn’t rely on the latest operating system to be accessed. There are lots of names with faces lost to the mists of time. I was using nicknames, abbreviations that are now meaningless to me. At the time was artistic director For Bushwack & also managing the Lab on Britain Street. So there was lots of frustrating creative energy  flowing around me. One show of mine got a particularly scathing review but someone who didn’t get the names of the characters correct 🙂 I posted it in the lobby without comment.

Week 9 talks about dealing with reviews 🙂 That review didn’t hold me back. Compassion is to be proud of them. The exercises & tasks focus on setting goals & what actions one can take now, over the next month, over the next year etc. Part of the process is past resentments/fears one might have in connection with the project: others have done it better, not emotionally damaged enough to have an authentic insight, etc. Compassion tells me that authenticity is overrated.

Corner Store

why does a group of teens 

still scare me

I walk past a corner store

where they hang around

shoving each other

smoking toking vaping

swearing on cell phones

fuck you timber bone

<>

what the hell is timber bone

I’m so far from street talk

to know if that is even street talk

I try not to walk too fast

try not to look too long

my eyes flick quickly 

from hooded shrouded faces 

pants so baggy 

they need to be held up by hand

girls with pale lips arched eyebrows

look at the boys with that mix 

of love  distance  and boredom

<>

what makes me anxious 

is it the mix of blacks asians

am I fearful of violence

that one of them might feel

the flick of my eyes 

and confront me 

“what you lookin’ at faggot”

why fir trimmed parkas

on mild spring days

what are they hiding under those hoodies

a generation gap never to be crossed

I know the closer they get 

the unsafer I feel

by the time I get home

I’ve forgotten that moment of anxiety

I really didn’t expect anything to occur 

<>

I wish that corner store wasn’t so close

wish I didn’t get that ripple of worry

wish I could lose the memory

of me at that age

never one to have guys 

to hang around with

wish I could forget being

the brunt of their dumb shoves

of their sneering exclusion

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 

Strength

Week Eight of The Artist’s Way supposedly is about sense of strength but I found it to be more about rationalizations not to be productive: things like: I’m too old or young or too lazy, too busy with important things etc. The tasks involved goals around unfulfilled dreams – where you you like to be in 5 years – what action can you take today to get there. I’d like to be alive in five years 🙂 My action today is to take supplements that strengthen my immune system & wearing a face mask as necessary in public.

More explorations of the past (what might you have been if you has perfect nurturing?). As I get older I see that I had ‘perfect nurturing’ – I wasn’t deprived emotionally, financially – there was no physical, sexual etc. abuse in my home. I had to stretch this to the ‘imperfect’ nurturing I experienced thanks to the cultural attitudes I grew up with – but perhaps without those attitudes I would not have the strengths I have today.

I fid  one cultural attitude remains unquestioned – the one that says productivity equal value, that productivity equals self-worth. Creativity for its own sake is self-indulgence, creativity for profit is real creativity not pointless daydreams. Consumer appeal is the ultimate sign of artistic accomplishment & authenticity. 

There is a look at ‘filling in the form’ – taking things step-by-step as opposed to looking at the finished project & thinking ‘that’s too much to do all at once.’ It’s easy to get caught up in instant gratification which is one reason take-out food is so popular – you ask for & get it usually right way. The Way recommends starting in practical ways – if you don’t start you never finish. 

If you don’t start you can fantasize about how great it’ll be when you do start 🙂 In my recent covid cleaning frenzy I set time limits for each day’s housework, rather than setting the area that had to be done. It was much more productive to do parts of room rather than look & think I have to do all this today. Doing as much as I did in ninety minutes was reasonable. No rush & more time to make purge decisions. 

My writing is done the same way – timed writing rather than I have to get this whole chapter/scene done today. With NaNo I pushed hard though to see if I could keep up that pace – 100,000 words in 30 days – doing that two years in a row was enough for me 🙂

 performed at Renaissance Conspiracy Jun13.07

Street Sale

selling off the old records

will buyers get infected 

with my recollections

will they hear 

what I heard on those lps

the youthful striving to grow up

that tore my heart out

as I poured over the album covers

seeking clues in grainy photos

of what rested in those too tight jeans

will they see the album covers 

as promises of a bold future

or as comic reflections 

of what was once considered hip

far out man

too groovy for words

when people see the array of my past

do they try to figure me out 

from the jumble of books

music movies a few bowls

some engage in conversation

others prim & dismissive

my old crap not good enough 

not inviting enough 

my past too paltry

for even the fifty cents I ask

not much for you a stranger 

to merge a bit into what was once me

that is if it was even mine

I resist the urge to leave my yard 

to see what you may have

old photo albums

wedding photos

now that would be a score

to confuse people with next year

oh yes my sister’s wedding pictures

the plane went down on the honeymoon

I didn’t need those memories

what fun

give them something for their interest

a whole new past for me

when not enough of what I don’t need

isn’t sold 

I drag the tired crap into the house

to a dark corner where it shudders

some year all that isn’t sold

will stay at the curb

never to return 

good bye past 

hello emptiness

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

Wrestling With Connection

Week 7 on The Artist’s Way is about connection to creativity – as opposed to our connection with others. One of things that hampers that creative connection is perfectionism. I have a writing friend who has been perfecting the same thirty page opening to his novel for some ten years now. It has to be perfect so he can send it to an agent etc. He no longer asks me for advice 🙂 I stopped that by telling him it would cost $100 an hour for a minimum of three hours before I would be willing to look at his work-in-progress.

There is a section on risk – the willingness to try & not succeed as we envisioned. For me this is part of the process of letting go of expectations, of control. In recovery they say you plan the plans but the results are in the universe’s hands. I’ve painted rooms one colour only to have the paint dry in a different one 🙂

As with the Ways chapters so far there some sifting through the past for missed opportunities & for good turning points. In my covid house-cleaning frenzy I’ve unearthed old note books, old rough drafts, old photographs. Those photos reconnected me with where I was in my early 20’s, long before I moved to Toronto. I’ve also been reading Old Trout Funnies – an excellent book about a comic book series by Paul  ‘Moose’ MacKinnon that was first issued while I was living in Cape Breton. (https://www.facebook.com/OldTroutFunnies).

Moose was one of my drinking crowd & he included real people (some of whom I knew) in the comics & calendars. In one issue there is even a plug (page 70) for my poetry book ‘Distant Music’ which had been published at the time. So there was actual creative support for me in that community at that time.

 

One of the tasks was to wear a favourite item of clothing for no special reason. All my clothes are favourites, so what I did was to pick some things I rarely wear but save for intimate encounters 🙂 Namely some wrestling singlets & some revealing undies I bought a few years ago. Very snug but also very sexy. Photos “fansonly” 🙂

My Underwear

it seems the best way 

to put out the fire

in your heart

was to run over to a bar

drink till there was 

only a stumble of drunks 

to deal with

there was no way out of it

except to break the windows

push your grandma down the stairs

so what if there weren’t 

any stairs in our apartment

you still get the picture

 

yeah I know

drawing it in crayons

all over the hall to our place

wasn’t a great idea

but you have to admit

it caught the lighting of the fire

without using up all the reds

only the blues

the blues you give everyone

who is lucky enough

to catch you on your balcony

ready to jump

don’t do it

or if you have to 

wait till I get back with coffee

I have to be careful 

the contents may be hot

but wet will always 

put out the flame

it makes no difference to me 

what burns you out of my system

hot coffee or direct flame

 

maybe tossing all your undies 

in the shredder was a bit much

but it seems the only way 

to keep you out of them

to keep you fresh

ready and pliant

not that you wore them 

that often anyway

going commando

wasn’t a rare event

bare-assed at McDonalds

where did you park those buns

yeah not so funny

does it look like I’m laughing

all the way home

to the shadowed moment 

when there once was a dart of hope

now just a bunch 

of empty coat hangers

in a clump 

I can’t pull apart

hangers that once held

everything you ever wore

around the house

out in the street

 

yeah I’m a total liar

I never picked up a drink 

because of you

that isn’t going to happen

wasn’t even tempted

you took something out of my life 

but you left behind 

more that you took

I don’t need to breath 

it’s all up to you now

as if it alway wasn’t

 

I can’t get over

the number of times

I wanted to paint the hall way

that I wanted to use 

your tooth brush to clean 

the coffee machine

so I wouldn’t have to go out 

for a fresh cup to dump 

in your laugh

because I’m sure 

that behind closed eyes

you are smirking like a tried urinal

knowing that you pissed 

me off one too many times

 

you know

if you were here now

I’d probably take you back

but still wouldn’t trust you 

as far as you could throw 

my underwear

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

paypal.me/TOpoet 

Nothing Doing

Get Off The Pot

there is a time & place

for everything

except this

because this a time for nothing

a time to do nothing

to save nothing

this isn’t that rainy day

this isn’t when

the cows come home

when the crows roost

so stop waiting

for those eggs to hatch

no matter what you have on your hands

this is not the time or place

to save stitches

to waste your breath

or make yet more excuses 

no more chances

there is no grace period 

it’s not now nor never

neither suits me fine

there is no better time

for doing nothing

Doing nothing is a difficult concept in a culture geared to productivity. Being idle is seen as a waste of time, or as being lazy. Time off time doesn’t really exist when one has laundry to do, a house to clean, a yard to rake, children to look after, pets to tend to, boxsets of hit TV shows to binge watch. When we are deprived of distractions we panic.

What do you do in your ‘spare time?’ Plan a vacation check flights & hotels so you can get away from your routine & do nothing? When you get there is a rush from museum to restaurant – hiking trails – or finding a quiet spot in a park & sitting there breathing 🙂 Doing nothing is hard work/

I have been trying to break some of my busy habits. One step was to stop carting my iPod around with me whenever I left the house. My life had a sound track that never seemed to stop. A sound track that became a buffer between me & what was actually around me. If I ran into friends while on my walk I would be miffed that I’d have to turn off my iPod to listen to them. Or think – don’t they see I’m busy listening.

I recently stopped reading when I take a pee – I didn’t want to piss away those previous moments when I could be reading a few pages of some vitally important book. Why not do one thing at time, right. Enjoy the flow of the moment 🙂

I am not yet at the point where I can do nothing though. The closest I get is on my walks but even those have extra layers: eyes opened for photos, mulling over blog posts, wondering what to cook for dinner on the weekend. I think one of the reasons for my routines is so I can think less. I essential know what I’m going to serve every day for dinner – variations on the same things. i.e. Monday is always rice with veggies, steamed cabbage & steamed salmon. Herbs & spices for the rice will change from week to week.

One of the Artist’s Way tasks was to listen to a side of an lp. To just listen to it without doing anything else. Sit there & do nothing but listen. Let the music be music not background, not inspiration, memory cue or even meditation. It was a challenge. Are you up to it?
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Abundance

Week 6 of the Artist’s Way is about abundance/money. One of AA’s promises is ‘the fear of money & economic insecurity will leave us’ – the trick being the word ‘fear’  as ‘economic insecurity’ never leaves us – just ask Trump about his tax returns & his fear flares up instantly. I’ve rarely heard anyone say they have too much money or that the money that they have makes them all that secure. Money can’t buy you happiness but it can get you a decent therapist.

As with the other weeks there are lots of lists to make. Here’s one of mine: silver cloud rolls royce; spaniel; lilacs; maple pecan ices cream; kiwi; cauliflower; bbq ribs & bake potato; endless list; red. Can you guess what this is a list of? In some ways this list a challenge because some of the items where areas of my life I that aren’t very relevant.

The artists dates have not been going someplace but cleaning neglected nooks & closets in my house & making discoveries. Caches of photos from 1973; rough drafts of early novels; old notebooks; boxes old bandages (do they expire? I tossed them regardless). An abundance memory, dust & paper-clips. Letting go of that stuff has become easier creating an abundance of space, space I’ll not to refill.

The Way doesn’t really address the culture of materialism – in which having enough is seen settling for less. Compulsive consumers are seen as the key to progress – so one wants to be unblocked creatively in order to make more money to keep the wheels of progress turning. In the USA now there are people who see social distancing impeding progress. I guess money $ for the funeral industry is actually a good thing.

One thing I did do that created an instant sense of too much & wow! was indulging in a sale that Brick Books is having – a box of 50 poetry books for $30. Mine arrived this past week & I was amazed. The books average at 18.00 each – which is $900.00 worth of books. Then I reflected on the nature of becoming a published poet & was saddened. https://www.brickbooks.ca/30-for-a-box-of-books-sale/ . But what won’t keep me from enjoying the books. Guess what my friends are getting for Christmas 🙂

My Luck

when I tell people

I’m lucky to be alive today

they react as if I’m over-reacting

because in many ways

my life has been a breeze

I didn’t suffer any physical 

sexual 

emotional 

abuse growing up

never went hungry

my parents never divorced

so what do I have to complain about

 

it’s not that I’m complaining

merely making a statement of fact

I’m lucky to alive

that was a time

when gay teens 

were put into institutions 

to be cured

given shock treatment

lobotomies

behaviour modification

so they could be normal 

gender conforming

boys & girls

 

what saved my life 

was music

music never judged you

never waited outside school 

to beat you up

didn’t tell on you

didn’t turn away

when you searched album covers

for inspiration in words

in the tight pants of lead guitarists

or the sturdy arms of drummers

mooning over Keith Moon

 

never knowing anything 

about their lives

maybe if I had known 

Jim Morrison 

was really a backdoor man

Moon was a bi guy

I might have had a glimmer

of hope 

 

but even though they had talent

fame 

that allowed them freedom

but not enough to be out

careers would have been ruined

and when the music was over

they self-destructed

I was lucky to be alive

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

nothing thanks to covid19 😦

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

The History of Listology

Week 5 of the Artist’s Way is about possibility & being stuck. Me, stuck at home, thinks there is a possibility a vaccine for covid19 will be found, one that will make some billionaire pharmaceutical even richer & chances are only the rich will be able afford it. Judging by the stats so far, the poor & marginalized will die out anyway. No profit = no cure. But I digress 🙂

Much of the Way looks at how codependency can become a major block to productivity. Sacrificing our time to be of help to others so we can be seen as generous, good, caring. One of the more challenging things about nanowrimo is removing all socially distracting circumstances so we can write selfishly. ‘I can’t help you move because I’m working on novel.’ can end a friendship.

The chapter is full of lists, of us making lists, of lists of things we can do, of things we wish we can do. I made a list of the lists of things & put it on my to do list. I’ll write The History of Listology. One of the task lists was ‘10 ways I am mean to myself.’ Not that I’m self-indulgent but this wasn’t so easy, as I figured it meant now, not how I used to treat myself.

 

My list is 1. snacking too much; 2. no muscle building in my fitness routines; 3. blah TV; 4. staying up too late; 5. not brushing teeth twice a day; 6. not walking as far; 7. hiding in crowds; 8. not speaking up; 9. too much coffee; 10. comparing myself with others. 

 

I am the enemy

in the eyes of strangers

they glance with distrust

sometimes hate fear distain

it’s not as if 

I set out to be the enemy

merely wanted to be myself

merely wanted to play well with others

learn enough at school

to take me through adulthood 

and back to the cradle of earth

didn’t set out 

to harm attack frighten anyone

don’t go out of my way 

to do that today

all I have to do

when sitting on the subway 

look up and there

glaring at me

strangers

sizing me up as the enemy

their plight is my fault

my needs an affront 

to their tender sensibilities

even when I am oblivious to them;

not pushing any agenda forward

being as still & quiet as I can be 

so as not to make waves 

to make them aware 

of my sabotage of their calm

by merely being present

by breathing the same air 

by daring to walk the street

expecting some common courtesy

the same I thoughtlessly extend to them

I don’t see them as my enemy 

only as my judgers

as people caught in a fear

of the unknown

I’m no mystery 

not a blank page 

they can quickly 

with their expectations 

of what I want to do them

to their innocent saintly children

it’s not the children I care about

not the adults either

which is what makes me the enemy

the one with no demands on them 

except to be left alone

to enter into simple human interaction

not laden with anyone’s presumptions

about what power 

old white men secretly hold

about the devious things 

queers are plotting

how we intend to undermine 

their delicate fabric

with 

well I don’t know what

where does the reality 

slip into the fear

the potential of what might happen

sparks the fear

that the enemy is near

the enemy is me

so keep your distance

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

June

(canceled by covid19 😦 )June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

(Maybe) All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Deprivation

Week Four of the Artist’s Way presented a few challenges. In particular reading deprivation on top of social isolation & distancing. Is editing chapters of Picture Perfect for the blog reading? What about daily meditation books? So I did a bit of a compromise – blog work isn’t reading. Editing isn’t reading. No reading in the bathroom, no reading in transit, no podcasts. No twitter or ‘tooling’ around until evening. I finished chapters in the books I was reading & stopped there. 

Some of these were time frittering at best. I have more time as a result. Some of these may become new habits. Eliminating the superfluous is freeing. When I stopped carting my iPod everywhere I felt less encumbered, one less worry. A much as I liked creating playlists etc not to have t keep refilling it is freeing. I only use it for guided mediations & podcasts. Walking without it has been a small adjustment but I feel more open to what is round me without a constant soundtrack in my head colouring everything. Plus it gives me an extra coat pocket 🙂

The chapter give lists of things to do as an alternative to reading – many of these things are showing up as suggestions for folks frustrated by social isolation. My days go by quickly enough with my routines without resorting to new activities. One of the blessings of being an introvert. I enjoy my own company. 

Thanks to social distancing artist dates have become more a spin than an actual event. I did three mornings of yard work (without iPod soundtrack). Those were 3 artist dates. I shared some selfies with my fans. Being where things grow was good in the face of the mounting covid toll. Things grow regardless of much of what is going on around me. Nature can recover quickly given the chance. The better air quality means better sun which means better plants. 

Boss of Me

John’s theory is that

our leaders are all puppets 

figure heads

who have bought 

into the illusion of power

they are unaware

that they are hollow images

taking the heat 

for the real powers

that hidden consortium 

of non-public figures

who make the real decisions

who exert the right squeeze

and our little leaders 

slump or pop up

to do what has to be done

take the blame for what has gone wrong

because leaders are just frail men

with no power to wield

no clout to get the job done 

often not even attractive to look at

thus even more believable

 

John tells me that politics 

are another form of entrainment

media fodder

to keep us diverted

from the real holders of power

so that we are amused  numbed

by the constant barrage of sound bites

cell cam videos

of presidents getting blow jobs

when they should be getting us out of wars

wherever the hell they are

because even where they are

isn’t the the real war 

it is a more elaborate movie set

with real lives being lost

to keep our attention from

what is really going on

 

John isn’t sure what is really going on

he is confident it isn’t what we see

it isn’t what accept as the truth

because there is no truth 

only monetized divertion statics

the struggle for freedom

from Tibet to Kensington market 

is upscale name branding

he is sure of that

 

sometimes I believe John

sometimes I don’t care

where do we place our faith

what is worth the energy to change

if it can be changed 

because revolution

has been copyrighted by 

estee lauder

the latest scent 

a mix of blood oil jasmine

with woody undertone

 

John is convinced 

that if it isn’t making someone money 

it isn’t going to happen

war happens because it is big business

pandemics are even bigger business

even as the population dwindles

going green isn’t happening 

because the profit margins 

are too low

some people can’t afford 

to save the planet

& that he finds is sad

I don’t disagree

when I do it starts another litany

of who runs what

who really holds the power

or if there is any power

stronger than futility

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee & donuts

– sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Resistance

Finished Week Three of The Artist’s Way. Julia sure loves lists. Looking into the past to clear the vision for the future didn’t turn up anything new from my pre-Toronto east coast growing up. The only real memory of negativity was the reaction of Malcom Ross – then head of the English Department at Dalhousie University – to my first attempt at a novel – it was about a character coming out & he felt the subject matter wasn’t suitable.

Looking back I’m not sure if it was because of his personal moral stance or because the writing itself wasn’t as strong as my poetry at the time. he had been very supportive of me as a poet. I still have that novel somewhere in my paper archives so I may dig it out to see how it stands up as juvenilia 🙂

My worse critic is often self-talk & not what others have said or written about my work directly. When I was involved in a crit group I felt supported up to a point but rarely got as much feedback as the others – was it because my work was fine or because they didn’t think it was worth bothering with? At least with the Loyalist workshops I got lots of excellent input. Plus some of the fiends I made at Loyalist are still people I’m in contact with – but the poetry work-shoppers have drifted away; I only hear from them when they send out bulk invites to shows.

Thanks to covid19 closings artist dates have become photo excursions. The pictures here are from my walk Thursday (Mar 25). I took TTC to Wellesley Station & walked home from there. Part of the walk crosses the Rosedale Valley Overpass then the Prince Edward Viaduct. The pictures are all from the south side – some looking as down as I could lean over the rail. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Don River so clear 🙂

Resistance

if his resistance 

has been any smaller

it would have taken 

an ant to measure it

but as it was 

it was big enough 

to change me 

on a molecular level 

each time he was near

my atomic structure 

began to revolve around him

 

heads would turn to see  

where that unseen vibe 

was coming from

eyes would linger on his lips

his smile

his teeth

each hair on his head

would mesmerize 

drawing power

from the love light 

in their eyes

charging him up

for more powerful emanations

 

and that was me

sitting by his side

who noticed me

did it matter

as long as he noticed me

as long as he was in me

as long as I was the one

who held the key to the shield

that protected him

 

they all wanted 

the part of him that was only mine

the shadow of his power 

protects me

while keeping me 

from the full expression of my own

the difference between us 

was less than than 

the thickness of a spark 

jumping from lip to lip

the nano-storm flash

of realization from eye to eye 

 

we were merged

separate unified individual

connected

shaping the universe

for all to follow

living in that gap between 

want and want even more

giving and losing

taking and reflecting

the bridge

between life and death

we were on the breeze 

on the disappearing species list 

 

nothing was safe

cataclysmic explanations 

elemental tables were upset

we didn’t sit with them

they resented the

absolute the power we held

when our hands 

were merely reaching

for one another

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
? – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – date to be announce thanks to COVID19

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet