Colloquium 2017

This year’s SpecFic spread its tentacles in a new location – 918 Bathurst Street. As long as it is within walking distance of both a subway station & a Starbucks I’m happy.

In her opening remarks for this years SpecFic Sandra Kasturi mentioned that the one complaint the consistently she gets is that there are too many ideas to deal with let alone process. Truer words are rarely spoken as the day’s presenters flooded 918 Bathurst with endless visions of the future & ideas about the present.

First presenter was Julie Czerneda: “It’s a Wrap, Folks” a talk about the writing process itself. How to end a story. She talked about some the traps: i.e. the wrap-up-every-thread ending. Some things can force an ending like word count, submission deadlines. A resolution is not necessarily the ending. Ending shouldn’t be a new plot point unless it is leading to a sequel. If you are having ending issue – ramp up the tension to force one.

She was followed by Robert Boyczuk: “Why You (Still) Can’t Teach Writing” a talk on the usefulness or uselessness of creative writing courses & workshops. One can learn structure & how to have a sharper critical eye but not how to be more creative. He feels sometimes writers spend more time in, looking for, or talking about workshops than they spend writing. My personal experience is often writers judge work by who you’ve studied with than the actual quality of the writing itself. The presentation turned into a discussion about editors & copy writers (maybe something for next year).

The morning sessions wrapped with Jason Taniguchi: “Long Ago and Far, Far Away: Falling Hard for Fictional Worlds” a talk about the lure of alien worlds. This was a great talk about what it takes to do successful world building – something that all writers need to know not just specfic writers. His list of elements included things like ‘it is spilling over with unique specific details’ ‘it has a sense of its own history.’ The importance of representation in world building is becoming more important – what races, genders are in your world? He felt things like Harry Potter or Hunger Games were markedly white & heterosexual.

Unfortunately the day was too damp cold & gloomy for patio lunching. Was glad to get some fresh air with a quick walk to the nearest Starbucks to reap the rewards of my bonus stars – stars it seems one earns merely by walking past a Starbucks – by the time I got back my microwaved sandwich was cool enough to eat.

After the lunch break Sandra read Madeline Ashby: “Abandon All Hope, Eh?: Lessons Learned from the Company Town Tour” – it raised questions such as ‘how can you impose borders on stolen land? utopian for who? the world you are happiest in may ‘not be the best possible world’ What is the future? M feels that to transform Canada we need to move away from resource based economy. We have a skewed sense of what progress really means – is it faster internet connection or being able to live without the internet? Madeline fell ill & couldn’t even Skype – now that’s ill.

This was followed by Vicki Clough: “Alternate Realities in Art” a look at how fine arts are creating a space for epic story telling. I say fine arts – i.e. painting, sculpture as opposed to illustrated novels. She used the work of Kent Monkman & Saya Woolfalk to explore how this is done. Kent reinterprets classic paintings by interjecting his alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle into them; Saya tells the story of a species that switches between animal & plant. Kent’s inventiveness made me wonder if writers might be able to do the same thing – could I rewrite say David Copperfield & find a way to insert my p.o.v to add a layer of observational commentary: it was the best of TOpoet.ca and the worse of TOpoet.ca?
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The day wrapped with keynote speaker Cory Doctorow “I Can’t Let You Do That Dave” a, for me, overly tech talk about the dangers of DRM coding that allows makers to control how their devices get used but which also comprises personal privacy & safety. Devices can be hijacked to attack their owners – car computers, thanks to DRM (I think) are vulnerable to 3rd party steering. He spoke directly & passionately about our right to control our data. Check out OpenMedia.ca for how to get involved in protecting our rights.

By the end of the day I was exhausted from sitting, listening & at times, even thinking. 918 was a good venue for the colloquium even though it didn’t appear to be at all accessible. Didn’t spot a wheelchair ramp, washrooms were down flights of stairs. Looking forward next years.

ps: in my loot bag: Playground of Lost Toys: ed Anderson/Pflug; Year’s Best Weird Fiction: ed Barron/Kelly; Buffalo Soldier: Broaddus; The Society of Experience: Cahill; Winter Tide: Emrys; Quaternity: Hoover; Proof of Concept: Jones; Those Who Make Us: ed Morris/Trembly; Dead Americans: Peek; Broken Baloons: Prussky; Lifeblood: Showalter; Dead Girls Don’t: Story; Blood & Water: Trenholm 🙂

Past Colloquium posts:

2014: Colloquium in the Round http://wp.me/p1RtxU-EW

2015: Up SpecFic Alleys: http://wp.me/p1RtxU-173

2016: Ghost in the Twitter Feed http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1F6

rough draft sample

Spoilers

boy gets girl

dog lives

monster vanquished

boy buys right girl

man repents

eviler spirits arise

escape succeeds

money isn’t enough

love conquers all

she feels complete in marriage

success isn’t everything

family is reunited

all is forgiven

things are never the same again

she knows better

he finds a purpose in self sacrifice

boy gets boy

dog learns a lesson

man rescued from loneliness by child

greed is punished

being pretty isn’t fulfilling

he didn’t really want her

the lame horse wins a race

he dies saving others

the truth remains hidden

it was all a dream

the boy was once a girl

there is no escaping

they were ghosts

drugs were a bad choice

bad guy repents

she was a princess all along

the villain was his father

the castle blows up

the space ship blows up

the race is won

marriage means more than career

he is a genius

the plants were evil

Satan is foiled

he walks again

she forgives her rapist

he sees the errors of his ways

his heart is ten times bigger

everyone is dead

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in DC.games

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

fec17-header

https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

Only This Is Sex

On a recent Disability After Dark, Andrew Gurza talks with Amber DiPietra. They discuss, amongst other things how sex is so genital focused. Partly due to the number of sensory nerve endings concentrated in that area of the body. Biology plays a role but they make it clear that our sexual needs aren’t limited to such a small area of the body.

I’ve met men who have never had their backs touched except when being hugged. Rubbing my stubbly chin down their spines has produced organisms as they discovered they had sexual energy that could be released there. The back as a sex organ comes as a pleasant surprise to many. But one has to take the time to get there. Same with the backs of the knees. When the rush is to the pecker or the honey pot we focus all our attention & time there. One of the most erotic experiences I remember was when a man washed my hands for me – washed & dried them.

I’m one of those who likes to take my time – conversation, some kissing. The feeling of a man getting aroused with is pants on is more tantalizing than him pulling them off asap (though that can, at times, be pretty hot too). If all they are interested in is that few square inches on me or them I tend to lose interest quickly.

Much like our sex lives get compartmentalized in isolation from anything else in our lives we tend to do the same with the body – don’t touch me there, that’s not sex, no foreplay please, let’s just rub private parts together. Let’s rub only these 1 square inch sectors of our bodies together. Don’t touch me with your hands. Only the head please. Only the clit darling.

I wonder if there is an equivalent of the glory hole for women – in which only the part they want touched is visible – so nothing else can be touched – they don’t have see who is touching & the toucher doesn’t have to who they are touching. Let’s compartmentalize identity right of the equation.

Trigger Warning: Banality

it was a piece of mine

about the awakening of my

queer sensibility

of being twelve years old

seeing the bared stomach of a classmate

me wanting to see more

 

I was taken to task

by a listener

for being insensitive

to those who had been sexually molested

at the age of twelve

of being indifferent to the suffering

that has haunted them ever since

I was told

that I should know better

show a greater sensitivity

my future audiences

 

another person found

a piece in which I expressed pleasure

in sucking cock & having mine sucked

to be a clear sign of sex addiction

& yes another example of my

insensitivity to those who have

been traumatized by past trauma

I did not point out the redundancy

I did not apologize

as they clearly expected me to do

 

I’d rather be thought insensitive

that waste my time proving I’m not

I will not be silenced

your past pain does not

trump my experience

does not make yours more

authentic

more morally sound

I will not be silenced

I was silenced enough

in my past about being open & out

by ‘normal’ people

offended by sexuality

I’m not going to let happen

by ‘alternative’ people

offended by sex

 

I will not waste time

figuring out what trigger warning

I have to use

because I can’t predict what may offend

when it seems

my rather banal childhood

my fumbling discovery of gay sexuality

is offensive enough

 

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

featuring: Tuesday, March 21: 7:30 p.m. Hot-Sauced Words –http://www.hotsaucedwords.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/events

attending: Saturday, March 25: 9 a.m. 2017 TORONTO SPECFIC COLLOQUIUM

spec

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in DC.games

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

fire66

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

fec17-header

https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

Hot Damn! Sneak Peak

meandchap

As I posted in Hot Damn! Set Building I’ll be doing something different with 03-redtuba01this feature – rather than themed pieces I’ll be doing a variety of things – sort of a sampler pack that should help keep me from being classified as a specific genre writer. Queer is enough of a label (or is that liability) for me.

I go through stages of getting a set ready, picking the pieces, reading them aloud a couple of times & editing the words for flow &, in some cases, ease of pronunciation. I end up taking some out of the set, changing the position of others. The key is what to start with & what to end with. As these are unrelated it was more difficult to make those choices.

03-redpoppy-02My opener is usually a high-energy, slightly comic piece so this time I’m doing the opposite with the no-holds-barred social commentary “Dead Already” – this explores the unwillingness to take responsibility for ones actions by victim blaming. High-energy & perhaps blackly comic. There is a previously blogged version that made a few people cry.

I follow with “Love Your Work” – a directly comic look at the foibles of a spokenword scene in which bartenders get more tips at a show that the performers earn by being there. I follow that with “Give Generously” – social commentary on the gap between the objects of charity & those getting the charity. Next is “Reaping Victory” – a more directly political piece that deals with memory, war and agriculture.

03-redselfie04“Chalk It Up To Experience*” is the one sweet memory piece in this set. People love these & I felt ti was time to share my memories of high-school mammaries. Next is “Faultless” another no-holds-barred exploration of the unwillingness to take responsibility for ones actions by victim blaming.

“Spoilers” is a list poem. “After The Falling” perhaps the most surreal of this set maybe about slipping on the ice or about falling in love.

For those waiting for the hot stuff here it comes, first with “Hard On” – we say other thing but our bodies say another but when you’re naked no one is listening. That is followed by “Man In The Moon” – an attempt to explore gay sex, race & permission. Finally “Breaking In Grief” – unlike anything else in the set though it does have some memory – the memory goes back about fifteen years, not fifty years :-). It’s looks at house grief is processed. Sounds like a downer way to end a set buy trust me it isn’t.

03-redcar03A PDF of my Hot Damn! will be available for $2.00. My chapbook is $10.00 (in the flesh if you want one via mail add $3 for postage). If you want a PDF copy of the chap book send $4.00 to my paypal below & I’ll email you a copy. The PDF will have additional Power pieces. All PayPal sales go to buying me (& other poets) coffee at Capturing Fire 🙂

samp01

another piece that didn’t make the final cut

Then Things Changed

yes

that was me

then

those were my words

then

I believed what I said

things change

I change

stop trying to pour me of today

into the image of me

then

 

people tell me I’ve lost weight

when I was never aware

that they were aware

of what I weighed

that what I look liked mattered

then

I didn’t know or care

yet now that I’ve changed

physically in their eyes

they still see me

as the same person

but not so fat

they never said I was fat

then

mind you

but that I’ve lost weight since

then

 

I don’t say what I once said

my world view has changed

become broader

& more refined at the same time

my body gets narrow

my vision get clearer

in ways people notice

people I hadn’t set out

to be noticed by

then

 

now knowing

they’ve been looking

that they are capable of comparing

the old me

then

with the new me

I still don’t give a shit

but

thanks for noticing



14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

games

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 8-9- Capturing Fire

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

 

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

16redme04

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

Supreme Music

26-fab01My John Coltrane collection is so large I considered dividing it into 3 posts but instead I’ll list what I have & share the history of his music in my life. First the list – some are stand-alones, some are mp3 collections: w/Monk w/Monk Complete 1 2; Prestige Complete 1 2 3 4 w/Gillespie; Blue Train; w/Adderley; w/Harden; w/Davis: Kind of Blue Atlantic Complete: 1: Giant Steps/ My Favorite Things/Jazz/Bags/Ole; Atlantic Complete 2: Plays the Blues/Sound/Avant-Gard/ Odds; Impulse compete 1 Coltrane/Ballads/Hartman/Crescent/ Plays/ Ascension/ Living Space; Impulse complete 2: Stockholm/ Birdland/ Transition/ Living Space/ Sun Ship/ First Meditations; Africa Brass 1 2; Live Village vanguard 1 2 3 4: A Love Supreme Deluxe 1 2; Live at Newport; bits & pieces; Live in Japan; Blues For Coltrane. You can see why I wanted to split this into three posts.

26-fab02On the east coast I bought, at the Metropolitan (I think) – a department store that had a rack of discontinued lps that was briefly filled with a raft of Impulse deletes including a double Impulse lp of Coltrane ‘hits’.  It included a section of Supreme, After the Rain & now forgotten others. I also had a track of his on a Sonny Rollins best of. That was it for years, decades in fact. I enjoyed the Impulse cuts.

Then in late 90’s I mounted a production of The Servant & wanted some music for it. I heard Blue Train on the radio & loved the brass sound & bought it. Blue Train, on Blue Note, is one of the few lps Coltrane record with a brass section & it is a fine way to get into him, or jazz itself. This catapulted me into total fandom.

26-fab03Over the years I’ve added nearly the complete works, his own group stuff, his sideman recordings & his work with Miles Davis. I also have some excellent biographies. I really had to know more about his creative arc – from session player, his work with Davis, his own work & the dramatic spiritual change in his later career once he escaped heroin.

The Prestige work is session work, fun pairings, various quartets & not overly challenging. With Gillespie he is part of the big band sound with a few sweet solos. He’s learning & expanding. With Monk he begins really exploring. With Davis he starts to come into his own.

26-fab04He steps out into real solo with his Atlantic work  & becomes more challenging. Giant Steps is superb. I love all of his releases – too many to list. Blues, Sound are classics of any jazz era. But he seems to run out of steam & when he moves to Impulse we get lps of covers of things like Favorite Things. Though his work with Ellington is amazing & I love his Johnny Hartman lps too. Africa Brass is superb. Then he gets clean, gets his teeth fixed & bam the big shift with A Love Supreme. An lp I have to play twice in a row. The Live in Antibes Supreme is magnificent.

Crescent, Meditations, Live at the Vanguard: the list is above why repeat it. The live material is wonderful & exhaustive & often challenging in its aggressive free jazz flow. The Love Supreme Deluxe edition includes a live Love that is worth the price of the set. Live in Japan are performances shortly before his death. Blues For … is a tribute cd of covers. Coltrane is as close to God in music as one can get.

samp02

Frails

“Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on. Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on.”

Aisle six? Aisle six? I looked up from my shopping list. I was having trouble reading my handwriting, again. I really have to start printing. Was that tomato paste or tomato pasta?

“Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on.”

Aisle Six? That was one aisle over, wasn’t it? I just had to get these last few things on my list. All I needed now was the tooth paste, or was that tomato paste? What did I need? I visualized my bathroom, then the kitchen. God it was time to replace those tiles over the sink. I wonder if they have any of that adhesive glue I saw advertised on TV last night.

“Will the frail blocking Aisle Six please get a move on.”

A hand gently touched me on the shoulder.

‘Can I help you sir?’

‘No, no. I’m doing alright young man.’

‘Perhaps if we moved your cart over a little others could get by.’

‘You saying I’m in the way? Is that what you’re saying? Spit it out.’

‘Sir please. Let’s just move along. You have your list there? Good. Perhaps I can help you with the it.’

‘I suppose you might be of some use.’ I handed him the list. ‘Does that look like tooth paste or tomato paste to you?’

He squinted at the list. ‘They’re both on the list.’

‘Are they now? Well now we are getting somewhere.’

The young man pushed my cart to the end of the aisle.

‘You wait right here sir and I’ll get these things for you.’

‘No, no. I can do this myself. Don’t want to end up with the most expensive brands you know. Money doesn’t grow on lawns anymore you know.’

‘Yes I know that sir. Follow me then and we’ll have this done in a jiffy.’

He ran to the next aisle.

‘Not so fast I’m not as quick on my feet as you are, you know. You know that don’t you? Can’t you see that? Not so swift on my feet.’

‘Right sir. Here we are. Now which brand of tooth paste would you like. We have mint gel, antiseptic fluoridated Crest with plaque guard or do you need a denture cleaner.’

‘These are my own teeth. Just give me something that works and doesn’t cost an arm and a head.’

‘Here’s the store brand. Wintermint.’

‘Good. That’ll do.’

‘God damned frails,’ he muttered under his breath.

Frails? Frails? Was he muttering about me. Well I’d soon put a stop to that. I pushed my cart over his toes.

‘Ouch!’ he hopped up and down on one foot.

‘Sorry sonny gotta get a move on.’

 



14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes
games

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

https://capfireslam.org

http://nanowrimo.org/

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

bag blue fabric

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

Ghost in the Twitter Feed

This year the SpecFic Colloquium has changed location once again. It’s moved from Hart House, to The Gladstone, to The Round & this year was held at Innis Town Hall on the UoT campus. A short walk from St. George station it was easy to get to for us TTCers. the lecture hall was perfect for the presentations. But the corridor was very tight with the various book tables set along the windows.spec1602

As usual, once I’ve taken my coat off & am settled into my seat, I go through the Colloquium loot bag. This year’s was as good as last last years. In it were books to retail value just under $160.00:  Kathleen McConnell: Pain, Porn & Complicity: Women Heroes from Pygmalion to Twilight; Justin Cronin: The Passage; Diane Keating: The Crying Out; Nancy Kilpatrick ed: Expiration Date; Derek McCormick: The Haunted Hillbilly; Nathanial G. Moore: Wrong Bar; Peter Orullian: Trial of Intentions (a whopping 720 pages); Joe Rosenblatt: Snake City.spec1601

First presenter A.M. Dellamonica spoke on terraforming eco-fantasy – which in films & films often gives us gritty, overcast, polluted worlds that are like urban dust bowls as opposed to ones in which environmental issues are dealt productively. She’d liked to see more writing in which solutions are possible even if they aren’t ones that return us to a green paradise. It’s not as if an optimistic  possibility is less realistic than the apocalyptic dystopian angst that is usually depicted.

She was followed by Peter Chiykowski with “How to punch like a three-armed mutant” – which was not about writing realistic physical fight scenes but about using narrative to throw the reader off balance.  The audience loved his slide of Twilight fans’ comments on Bram Stoker’s Dracula: boring, difficult & clumsily written. spec1603After a stretch break, Michael Rowe spoke on “21st Century Ghosts” – supernatural fiction in the face of technological instant access to information. Disabling tech to make protagonists more vulnerable becomes cliche fast. ‘My battery is low, the web is down etc.’ Also how do writers create fear in the face of real horrors. What is scarier than the threat of Donald Trump? I love Michael notion that we are our own haunted houses.

He was followed by Peter Watts on “ScArt”  – he talked about the interface of art and science. I’ve heard Peter at past Colloquium’s & enjoy his articulate, funny & sexually charged p.o.v. I enjoyed the story of how an artist using plexiglass developed a form of the glass for his art that was better than that then used in science & this changed the scope & nature of underwater exploration.spec1605Lunch break let me loose on campus for a sunny thirty minutes. Took a few pics, enjoyed a band rehearsal and UoT eye-candy texting furiously on cellphones. Back from lunch I had time to swap out a few of my loot bag books, ones that I’d ready read. I’m still waiting for the loot bag with a single flash drive that holds a dozen books.

The afternoon kicked off with Andrew Pyper’s “What’s in the Trunk”’ a talk about plot, p.o.v & narrative impetus. His story within a story, very Twilight Zone, about the noise in a car trunk that when opened turned out to be the driver, the self – made me wonder abut the p.o.v of the self in the trunk? Does knowing what Rosebud (from Citizen Kane) is, solve the mystery of Kane? It is not a clue but a lens. He also talks about superheroes: which is the real identity – Superman or Clark Kent?spec1604

The day wrapped with keynote presenter Margaret Atwood’s walk though her past & the influence of pulp fiction on her creativity. Despite her success in SciFi her publisher still asks when she’s going to write another ‘real’ novel. This need to hold ‘real’ fiction above genre fiction was mentioned by other presenters. It was as if the emotional resonance of SpecFic wasn’t as authentic as that of literary fiction.

A thoroughly satisfying day that I was sorry to see come to an end but yet was glad to get home from. Innis proved to be a good spot for the day. Sandra Kasturi and Angela Keeley gave us a well organized, smoothy ran event once again. Washrooms, for me, easy to find & ultra modern too. A fine loot bag & the promise of Cory Doctorow next year resonated with me.

samp03

my superhero alter ego:-)

Shitman

he had a shitty attitude

everyone knew that

even passing in the the street

strangers knew he had a shitty attitude

and he didn’t give a shit

if they didn’t like his shitty attitude

they could eat shit and die

for all he cared

 

for all they cared he was dead

he knew that

by the way they glanced so quickly

looking a way in dismay

acting as if he wasn’t even there

as if they could see though shit

they didn’t know jack shit

that much he knew

 

and so he didn’t care

if they shit in their shoes when he was near them

he chuckled at the thought

that he could loosen the bowels of any one

Shitman would be his super hero name

 

is it a bird

is a plane

no it’s Shitman

and they would crap their pants

 

that would fix all those mucky muck politicians

if he went to a big important speech

stood in front of them

as they spouted their bullshit to the nation

and glanced down at him

and shit their pants

right there on stage

 

he could see the look on the president

the prime minister the queen

as they found themselves in front of the world

all those cameras microphones reporters

unable to hold it in another minute

that panic as sphincter muscles relaxed

and they crapped their pants

as the smell was recognized

 

what a laugh that would be

as everyone pretended there was no shit

acted as if the mucky muck had not

just dumped a load in his pants

right their in front of everyone

as he waddled off stage

with that shit my pants walk

crap oozing down into his shoes

 

that would be so sweet

yea for Shitman

spec

My past Colloquium posts:

2015: Up SpecFic Alleys http://wp.me/p1RtxU-173

2014: Colloquium in the Round http://wp.me/p1RtxU-EW

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

glass

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

Time Has Come Today

Chambers Brothers

I remember hearing the Chambers Brothers’ Time Has Come Today on the radio, when music was mixed to be heard on the radio. It jumped out from the usual pop music of the time. I had the single, a friend had The Time Has Come lp with the longer version – very trippy but the rest of the music was more r’n’b than trippy. I picked up the cd back in 2003 for the memory & my taste has grown & I love all of it.brownchair01When we upgraded to higher speed I download a couple of their others lps which are on an mp3 collection: Unbonded, New Generation: both fine but they never had another hit as big as Time. Solid musicians with a strong sense of social reality. Being solid musicians wasn’t enough make them memorable beyond their big hit. greencarpetThe search for more by the Chamber Brothers lead to S.O.B’s Shades of Brown (1970). A looser funkier version on the Chambers. Someone had posted the lp cover on Tumblr – half-naked men always get my attention. On the Cadet label this is beautifully recorded & the music is fun, sexy & political. brownchair02Also in this mp3 collection are Robert Crumb’s Heroes of Blues; Mound City Blue Blowers – the first the CD to accompany a book of the same name: I love these historic recording that remind me what we hear now isn’t so new after all. Dock Boggs anyone.  the 2nd one of the bands that could have appeared on the first – great 20’s-30’s non-Big Band stuff & great fun. stairsAs I like collections that span history so I’ve added KC & the Sunshine Band: Hits – full of disco memories. The same is true for Lipps Inc. Funky Town is a great song even if there was no actual band outside of the studio. Finally there are The Darcys: a TO band who released, for free, their cover version of Steely Dan’s Aja – these are great songs given perhaps a too tidy rendering – I was hoping for more remakes rather than duplicates but still worth downloading at the price 🙂sample

This is such an old story I’m hoping readers will know what a Walkman is – several had been my constant companions & banes since the 70’s. I always dread the way they would unexpectedly chew up my favourite music.

Sound Effects part 1

“You call your Walkman, Barnaby?” The coat-check guy at the bar asked when he saw the name hand stitched into the flap of my Walkman’s leather carry holster.

“It’s not just a disk drive for my brain, you know. It’s like a pet, my seeing-eye dog. I take it for walks. It protects me from dangerous thoughts when I feed it regularly.” I joked, putting in a tape. “Nothing to clean up after.”

“A pet? It’s turned your brain to mush.”

“Too late!” I laughed, adjusting the headphones over my ears still ringing from the sound-barrier-breaking volume the DJ at Matthews has resorted to, to somehow fill the disco with enough music to make up for the lack of bodies.

“Have a good night … with Barnaby.” The coat-check jock grinned.

“Sure beats going home alone.”

Outside I turned on the Talking Heads to drive out the brain damage of disco. Once home I’d heal my blistered ears with a helping of Bach partitias. For some reason there just wasn’t enough sound in classical music to survive the subway system.

As I got down to the subway platform, I was turning Barnaby up a notch for one of my favourite synaesthesia inducing breaks when a heart-stopping shriek cut through. Turning him down to zero, I spun around. Both platforms were empty. Another scream started then ended abruptly with a harsh gasp.

I dashed upstairs but there was just the ticket taker sleepily leafing through a newspaper. I rewound the tape on the way down. The train was just pulling in and I got on, pushing the play button, thankful for the comfortable familiarity of the Head. I adjusted the volume and settled in for the trip home. Directly behind me I heard arguing voices.

“I’ll treat you any way I choose,” some guy barked.

“Take a hike then, asshole,” an angry female replied.

I heard a shove and turned, half expecting some drunk to fall on me. There was no one, just some post-Madonna girl several seats behind me. I turned back, the screaming started again. I then realized that it was on the tape.

I pulled the headphones off, but could only hear the underground sounds. I slipped them back on in time to hear the gasp that followed the scream. I rewound and played it back again. The angry conversation was actually there.

Some joker must have tampered with my tape. But why? Well, the next time I was at Matthews I’d let them know how funny Barnaby and I found their little joke.

The next morning, I breakfasted with Anita O’Day’s Hits. Just as the egg-timer was ringing, I heard:

“What you lookin’ at, faggot?” snarled in the midst of her singing Skylark.

“Don’t start up, Rick,” cut in a slightly tipsy female.

Shit! You must be picking up some TV broadcast, I thought, looking accusingly at Barnaby.

“See somethin’ ya like?”

Well, that’s not local TV.

“Give it a rest, Rick.”

“Stop tellin’ me what to do, bitch!” Slap.

We were tapping into some private, little scene. But where was it coming from?

“I told you to never treat me that way.” Shove.

“I’ll treat you any way …”

I stopped the tape. I knew the rest and didn’t relish that scream so early in the day.

soon

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

July 4-8: attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

rug

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

On Watching Straight #Porn

On Watching Straight Porn with A Gay Guy

I try to be amenable

let you express your needs

in ways that don’t go too against my grain

but don’t expect me to enjoy

what you enjoy

while it’s tedium for me

I like to see that look on your face

as you drift into that zone

 

don’t get me wrong

this process of yours

is harmless and irrelevant to me

the fact that it doesn’t do for me

what it does for you

doesn’t mean I’m judging you

in any way

or judging the object of your interest

I can’t get into it

have tried with you

and it leaves me more tired

than aroused

 

I’ve never been one to look

when I can just reach out and touch

you seem to think that it’s

this image or this face

that isn’t working for me

when what doesn’t work

is that I should be enough

that this outside train of stimulation

that pulls you along into action

takes too much of your focus

takes too long to get ready for play

 

there are somethings I don’t say

because it isn’t really that important

in the long run

you aren’t the One

but maybe if you didn’t have

this particular pleasure fascination

I might find you more than sweet

 

I’m not going to make demands

that you change

to suit my particular wants and needs

so I try to be amendable

to your harmless quirk

till you smarten up and see

I have in less and less interest in

the screen or to you

mirror03

Another piece that is great fun to perform for the right audience. Taking people into the rather banal world of actual gay sexual activity is fun – there seems to be this image gay guys just drop their pants & do the deeds – that we are so horned up for each other all we want is opportunity.mirror01

This guy was so into straight porn I wan’t even sure if he was gay. Queer porn didn’t work for him at all. He seemed to identify with the women sucking those dicks. He was also partial to Asian women with big breasts & long fingernails. More campy that erotic for me.mirror02

We didn’t start with this element but he introduced after a couple of play dates. I was willing to give it a try. I had nothing really to lose by being open minded. The guys in the videos were ordinary,even their cocks weren’t that huge; unlike the men in most gay porn who are never ordinary joes. But the straight guys were too passive, legs spread & being done. Faceless in a couple of the loops. I was bored.

snowtoy

The piece also reflects this slightly sluttish attitude by the ‘I’ – because though there are elements of the real in it, it isn’t about me but about an attitude towards sex – casual sex. I wanted the sex to be presented in such an off-hand way it has a bit of innocence left. Because the less emotional baggage with put on sex the better it can be.

 

soon

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

wrestwk4

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

mirror02

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

I Listen 2

Picking up where I left off last week – this is what is on my iPod at any given moment. I have 9 main playlists – French & World: which always has some Brel, usually some PQ 60’s, always some Latino, then German, Japanese & African; Retro: which always has some Doors, Hendrix, lots of 60’s, 70’s but I’m now considering 90’s as retro; British pop: from the Streets to the Beatles – from obscure Dave Dee to Ketty Lester; Jazz: always Davis & Coltrane. Each of these is at least 12 hours long. Plus some Beethoven in each of them.greench01

Then there are 5 on-the-go playlists; each has at least 4 pop, 1 electronica/techno, 2 jazz & 3 classical cds uploaded to it. I often go through collections of artists this way. If, for example, Steppenwolf is currently on on-the-go 4, as I listen to that playlist & deleted it I upload the next release by Steppenwolf for the next time I listen to on-the-go 4.Alternate playlists as well though I do do them in order – on-the-go 1, then retro, then on-the-go 2 etc. There is always Mozart included in each on-the-go.greench02

There is so much classical in every play list I don’t have a separate one for it. Also there is a playlist of beta beats: sonics that stimulate the brain for creativity, focus etc. I use different ones of these brainwashers if I’m working on a project, taking a workshop. Some are calming beats that I use in transit after a show or late at night to get my brain ready for sleep. They work for me.greench03

Always on in one playlist or the other is work by Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn & Haydn; Coltrane, Miles Davis: frequently: The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Stones, Van Morrison, Led Zeppelin, The Who – not many modern artists because none have produced a large enough body of work to choose from.snofa

Though there have been some singles that have stuck so that some playlists always feature them: singles by Metro Station, LMFAO, Capital Cities. I like variety but I also like to hear my favourites at least once a year. Most of my iPod listening is out doors, I don’t like too high volume either so I often end up listening to the same list twice to make sure I’ve heard it properly. If I can’t bear to hear an album a 2nd time it might be time to just cut it from the collection.sample

If this piece seems familiar I posted an earlier version of it a couple of months ago – now I’m ready to revisit & edit & here is the latest result of a piece in progress.

Faith

my proof of spirit

I say spirit

because to say God

summons a set of structured restrictions

controls

over what spirit is

of who’s access to it

is the real authentic one

their proof is in force

derision denial punishment

might makes right

 

I’m not here to prove

I have a deeper understanding

experience

articulation of spirit

I merely want to say

I have a faith in the unprovable

unless my life to this point

stands as evidence

 

I can’t say what I believe

it is as solid as the colour blue

what shade of blue is irrelevant

the eye perceives

the brain interprets

associations of the past

change the colour of the present

 

it isn’t even ‘I’

in the centre of the perception

the biological function of the brain

is independent of this ‘I’

it has faith

that I don’t need to be conscious of

I just need remember to breathe

receive

 

I have nothing to prove

to anyone

not even myself

 

soon02March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

July 4-8: maybe attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville

loy16

check 2016 Summer arts: loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

sofa

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

Wee Willie

circusboy

I Still Dream of Wee Willie

Wee Willie stomped

the ground in his pen

agitated bellowing

I dashed to see what was going on

my mother reached to hold me back

I eluded her easily

Wee Willie reared on his hind legs

was all the glimpse I got

before my mother’s shawl

covered my head

 

the rose patterned shawl

was the one she used

to cover her crystal ball

the future was to be veiled at all times

so she told her customers

only the hand of spirit

and $10 could move it

 

but in that glimpse I saw

what she was afraid I’d see

was not my future

but Wee Willie pawing the air

with lumbering legs

as he teetered toward Daisy Blue

 

I pushed the shawl away

I had to see if they were fighting

then I saw for the first time

Wee Willie erect

his elephant cock in gory glory

it was huge   enormous

bigger even than that of Herculo

the muscle man

 

Wee Willie clambered

onto the back of Daisy Blue

she was docile  big ears flickered

as she moved her head side to side

his humungous cock got bigger  harder

his weight upon her back

 

I fainted

 

I woke in our trailer

my shoulders ached

under the weight of my dreams

elephant

One of my favourite shows as a child was Circus Boy. The show centred on Toby Tyler and the child actor was cute and even wore his hair like mine at the time. His character was based on a book Toby Tyler which I read & reread longing of that adventure. ‘I Dream’ is my fantasy based on that longing.

This is one of four or five pieces in which I explore being a child growing up in a circus. I’m did world building as I went along and initially it was also a poem of discovery even for me as characters became clearer.

greenpole

The name Wee Willie came to me first and the scene of the agitated, aroused elephant quickly followed. I needed action to get the ball rolling. Mother as fortune teller is a bit of a cliche but I needed the shawl, trapeze artists didn’t usually wear their capes when working around the grounds. The hiding with the shawl is also a way to indicate the age of my hero. If he were in his teens I don’t think the mother would have bothered.

I also like the way I veil the eyes of the reader with it so that they don’t see what is going on until my hero sees it. I also tried to create a sense of real emotional connection between my hero and Wee Willie so the reader could feel his concern. Daisy Blue is another of those names that came easily.

Then the ‘big’ reveal.

weeds01

We do enter the realm of truth here – I have seen, thanks to TV of course – an elephant’s erection: impressive but not pretty. The mention of Herculo is to give my hero a sense of the reality of living in a circus where things are seen as a part of what is around as opposed to as objects of desire.weeds02

The faint leads into the real nature of this memory, of how things we see as children work into our subconscious in unexpected way, that they can reveal to us what we may not even have a name for but feel the weight of all the same.

soon

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

wrestwk3

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

elephant

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

#BiCurious

I met this guy online – he sent a wave to me on Bear411 – a site that skews older, more experienced, hairy & less toned. His pics are okay – the usual not so clear face pic & the ultra clear dick pic. Both are fine. I replied & then didn’t hear back for a month or so when he messaged me again about why I never text with him. I send him my email address. I don’t hear again for another couple of months.cone01

I’m a good responder but not one to persistently follow up if I don’t get a reply to my reply to their reply etc. If opportunity knows but doesn’t come in when the door is opened its not opportunity after all. Some guys are like that, they want attention not action.cone02

Then he posts me again at 411. I give him my cell# – persistence counts for something with me. He is a text-a-holic. I get like twenty within a ten minute – so fast he loses track of what I am replying to. My flip-phone isn’t built for texting so I am slow & keep my texting to two or three word responses. If it calls for more than that you better be patient.

He lives deep west end Toronto – Jane area. I’m east end, Donlands area. Meeting seems unlikely. One afternoon last week I get a text, he’s on bike & in my neighbourhood. Well, if a guy will ride his bike that far, I’m ready to meet him f2f for sure. We go to a local coffee shop. He’s presentable enough in the flesh. He talks about what he wants to do sexually. He’s a late 40’s, single, bi-curious. No one in his life knows this ‘side’ of him. I make it clear what I’m into & that I’m only interested in FWB, nothing more emotionally involved than that (to start with anyway).cone03I send him on his way. His texts as he rides him bike. Turns out he has some sort of talk-to-text tech. Cool. We meet again a few days later to take things to the naked level.

Before we start I ask about why he’s exploring his ‘bi’ inclinations. He hasn’t had sex with men other than a late-teens blow job from a guy. He says its because he’s a bored. I don’t ask why he’s bored – too much information. I initiate some making out, he responds with groping. We get naked, stretch out on the bed & I encourage him to explore a bit, do with me what he thinks he may enjoy.flowerstump

It becomes clear he’s not into it at all. Not out of shyness or nervousness. I’m not out to teach anyone life lessons at these level, but sex is rarely the solution for boredom, just a diversion. He wasn’t diverted enough to keep me interested. I’m not even disappointed, it would have been fine fun if it had worked out but it didn’t. Another opportunity to see that opportunity is enough.

samp03

Fidelity

he’s your boyfriend?

he never mentioned anyone else

yes I see how this is upsetting you

it’s not as if I picked him up

oh is that what he said

 

what was I thinking?

I was thinking it would be a good time

nsa as they say

no strings attached

he said he had no strings on him

plus it wasn’t strings that were pulled

sorry didn’t mean to take you so lightly

all men are horn dogs

if you think otherwise

you are in for more than one rude awakening

 

I don’t see why you are

all surprised and hurt

or is it the fact that he was sleeping

with a guy

that’s got you so upset

 

look I told you

I didn’t know that he was engaged

that you have two kids already

I didn’t set out to steal your man

if that’s what you are thinking

he was just some sort of cute guy

I ran into at a Tim Horton’s

simple as that

I was looking at the funny papers

and he sat down to look at them too

one thing lead to another and another

we didn’t get into history just into bed

 

and if you want to know the truth

if he was getting what needed from you

maybe he wouldn’t have bothered with me

money

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees   paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

cone

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