Mugging For the Camera


Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas. This is what 8. Not to ask for a good quality robe from a dāyakā who is saving money to offer one.  inspired 🙂

Mugging For the Camera

do I need another coffee mug

even from Mumbai

or another t-shirt

even one from Istanbul

do I want you buying me gifts

on your travels


it’s nice to be thought of

but you know

a photo of the mug would be enough

better yet

a photo of you holding that cup

to your lips

because when you travel

that’s what I miss the most

or a picture of you

mugging in the mirror

in your hotel room

with the tee shirt pulled up

with one hand

the camera in the other

and your dick below

catching the glint of the summer sun


I don’t want your overtime work

that pays for the travel

to be turned into some souvenir

that sits on the shelf

until I donate it to some garage sale

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

CapFireSlam Dreaming 2017

As I post this the #CapFireSlam countdown is 27 days. My arrival is even sooner mind you. I need at least a day to unpack my suitcase 🙂 I booked & paid for my flights & hotel at the end of 2016 so the new low for the Canadian $ isn’t going to hurt me as much. But I’ll be eating cold pizza more this year I guess, rather than dining out.

After the disastrous hotel of last year I’ve opted to up accommodations by a star – I really need a hotel in which the a/c works & that has a coffee perk in the room. It’s not clear to me why some hotels charge extra for wifi in the room – when they offer it free else where in the hotel? I’ll be a little further from the Fire events this year – which won’t add too much walking time. I will get more use out of the transit system 🙂

Last year I booked a couple of guided tours to give me a better idea of tourist sites to avoid 🙂 This year I’ll get myself to some of those spots via public transit now that I know where they are & what I want to see. There are several Smithsonian’s I want to visit, so if I get to one or two I’ll be happy. I have my fave dining spots to hit too: Mule Bone; Ted’s Bulletin: both on 14th St.

Most of all I’m looking forward to the fierce talent of Capturing Fire – renewing some old acquaintances, deepening them a little perhaps. Time is so concentrated there never seems to be enough to do more than be happy to see each other. Also, for me, not being an indulger in social bonding via substances, I’m at a disadvantage (one which I have no regrets in maintaining).

I look forward to everything about travel except the border crossing itself – each year it gets more complex with photos, i.d. & I fully expect we’ll soon need health records as well. Soon no one with pre-existing conditions will be allowed into the USA without proof of adequate health insurance. Guards can deny you entry into the USA based on a whim & to question that whim becomes disrespecting their authority which is punishable by death.

So I ask myself is it worth the risk. The answer is yes. I’m a quiet, compliant traveller. I have all my documents ready, my hotel reservations in print, a list of things I plan to do (if asked), my answers ready. One of benefits of white privilege that I’m grateful for is being so innocuous. There is no thought scan yet 🙂

My undies & tees have all been mentally picked pending last minute changes. If only I could teleport luggage. I try to take less but it’s not easy making the right impression with such a limited selection. I’ll have some new writing to present, if I get a chance. Still not sure if I’ll take any of the new chapbooks. More than three of anything like that can get questioned & customs duties can raise their head too if it appears I’m there for commercial reasons.

Check out my Capturing Fire fun in past years – Yes I’m looking forward to Capturing Fire with eager anticipation with an undercurrent of border crossing dread 🙂

The Cost of Free

saying no

to what I don’t need

hasn’t gotten easier

not that I’m not tempted

by things I want

when the price is right

even if there is no point

in having them

it is hard to say no when

there is no such thing as enough

of having too much

at least as much as the next fellow


I long to have too much

but I have no place to put it

I can’t afford the cost of free

it piles up and up

so when I get what I need

I don’t have room for it

I’ve been filled to the brim

with what I was taught to want

by this culture of more

more is better than enough

especially when the price is right

when the price is one

you have always pay a little every day

not all at once

take your time

but keep on paying

because if you don’t need it now

you will eventually

down the road you’ll be glad

to be suffocating in the free for all


Chapbooks available:


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

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

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

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


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

Captured Fire Never Burns Out

Capturing Fire 2016 edition was a step forward for the lgbtq poetry summit that Regie Cabico started several years ago. Part of the success this year was having extra hands in the form of Sasha Sinclair helping with the administration & organization of running the event. DC1001Another step forward was opening up the locations. Not that the DC Centre was a bad location but it was time to move out from that sheltered & rather office space space to warmer settings. Coffy Cafe (warmer than expected thanks to a/c break down)was a great setting for the opening night. The staff was friendly, the coffee fresh & ice drinks were cold. I do think 3 events for a kick off is one too many. Like all poetry event things start late & run longer than expected – what on paper looks like a tight set of 3 one hours shows, quickly becomes 3 – 90 min shows. DC1002I liked the loot bags – the Capturing Fire 2016 notebooks were an inspired idea, the tote bag useful, the Go In Poet button will get lots of wear by me but – I know it’s hard to decline free stuff – the loot bags were stuffed with a range of condoms, flavoured & otherwise plus lube – a few dental dams as well. But for a festival that was strongly trans, asexual, non-binary – all that gay male stuff seemed a bit out of place. Why not rainbow Washington flag stickers?

The Keegan Theatre proved to be a great spot for the Saturday & Sunday workshops & open mics. Events were unhurried, well attended, & productive. I like workshops were things get written, where ideologies get challenged, rather than mocked or attacked. I think Fire needs more hands-on writing workshops around editing & creating new material, or looking at material already created. I’ll propose something for next year when that call comes out.DC1003Busboys & Poets is a fine spot for the slam & I sensed that the staff there got schooled on how to deal with disability. One of the good things about Fire this year was the active participation of disabled writers – thanks to Deliciously Disabled I’ve become more aware of ablest thoughtlessness. Busboys’ lovely stage is not at all accessible.

Once again my world view became wider – my awareness of the issues faced by trans, asexual people & those that question the value & nature of gender roles deepened. I bought a bunch of poetry books that I look forward to reading over the summer. I added a bunch of new facebook friends, people I’ve actually met. Even added some new WordPress followers 🙂DC1004I found myself blogging daily, sometimes twice a day, just to keep on top of everything that was going on. I even made time to do some writing that wasn’t blogging while playing tourist. I look forward to next year & hope to become even more involved, from a distance, in helping Capturing Fire grow glow brighter & hotter.samp03

another of the workshop pieces – can you spot the form?

my underwear collection

absolute slut

banana boat

candy stripes

dinosaure daddy

elephant eden

French frit

grey gardens

happy days

isosceles triangles

jumping jacks

kaleidoscopic cock

lethal legs

moulded tight

never removed

open for business

palm tease

queer as fuck

red rocketeer

stripper’s pole

tried & true

up & at ‘em

valley boy

walking wild

Xerces jerks these

yellow tank

zoo cage specialsoon02

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

June 12, Sunday – participating: Michael Matheson – The Axe and the Scalpel – Editing Your Own Work 1:00 pm – Bakka-Phoenix Books – 84 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2H7

construction vert

tickets here

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


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo


year 2017

a day at a time 🙂

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

Capturing Fire Dreaming 2016


My bags aren’t packed but my undies have been chosen, tee-shirts thought about and now I’m nearly ready to make the hardest decisions – what shoes to bring. I’ve never been able to travel light. Not that I try to be ready for every contingency but for some of them. I’d rather not wear something than run out of things to wear 🙂logoI’ve printed out all the documents I’ll need for travel: etickets, shuttle reservations, hotel reservations, tour reservations & partial city maps to the various locations for Capturing Fire events. Some of which I’ll have to present at various airport check points. I just hope they don’t for my hotel address. 16th & R is all I can recall, that’s why I print things out so I don’t have to remember.

busboysThanks to the google map magic I know where all the Starbucks, Safeways are around my hotel, as well other coffee shops & 12 step meetings. Last year I did learn a little about how the city is laid out. I’ve booked two days of guided tours already – one that takes in south & includes Arlington, the other that goes north & takes in the zoo. I might even get in some real shopping this year.mulebone

Capturing Fire is changing up its venues this year, which means new vistas for me. The opening night frolics will be up in Columbus Heights – Coffy Cafe. That 1.5 miles will be the longest hike for me. The Saturday & Sunday afternoon workshops, performances & various open mics  will be at the Keegan Theatre, which is walking distance from my hotel. The Fire Slam on Saturday night is at Busboys & the Sunday brunch at Mulebone, both near my hotel. I didn’t make the brunch last year so I plan to hit it this year, just to force my way into at least one group photo op 🙂icon1

Here’s my DC experience 2015:


Happy Birthday Darling

we met at a birthday party

slipped outside

into the deserted

fogged in back patio

attractive man

needed a shave

I like that

we talked poetry

leaning to hear


smiling each other

we feel allure

timid irresistible

in between words

in between patio lights

we stole a dark kiss

unexpected but about time

the dim thickened

the fog firmer between us

stray hands

purred along each other’s spines

we parted

inched from the semi-lit fumble

into less light

two mouths

four feet

not feeling the deck

attractive man

who talked poetry

kissed me deep

then asked me

into his wife’s birthday party


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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


#Loyalist Farewell

Another dip in the novelist ocean comes to an end. It starts as how can we fill these days & ends as we need another week more. The look at our personal lives (The Novelist’s Selfie) for plot & character elements was exhilarating – paired off conversations to discuss some of those growing up times brought many of us closer in a personal way. One of the things recovery & countless meetings has taught me is that holding back is pointless. I hope my frankness allowed others to be a bit more frank themselves.


the ramp to my suite

On the last morning things were condensed so we could be finished by 1 pm at the latest. I was grateful for this so I could be on the road by 1:30 – with features at Friday & Saturday night shows I needed time to relax & finish my set building. I did get the Glad Day set in shape. I also hope to support Hot Damn! at Pride Sunday afternoon – that depends on how willing I am to be ignored by 500,000 men at one time 🙂


view from a door

On the final morning we had pieces that dealt with mystery writers living in small towns (nothing bad can happen there); missing or not in the tundra; a darkly handsome circus sharpshooter comes to a small rural town (nothing bad can come of that).

We also discussed ‘old age’ though no one was sure when old started or stopped – 55 in a nursing home is old? 85 & running long distance? Hmm. Just like our discussion about Mz vs Miss it brought out lots of laughter & serious consideration.


what lurks above

We were all sad to pack up & leave as this is Rosemary Aubert’s last year teaching this course. Although there was some talk of it continuing facilitated by someone else, there was also a sense that Loyalist itself wasn’t that invested in seeing it continue. If it does continue I’ll support it just to see what new directions it will take.


a short poem written at my prose workshop 🙂

past as present

if it wasn’t me

it would have been someone else

you don’t allow much alternative

you don’t want much alternative

you get such comfort

from history repeating itself

so why

act surprised when it does


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

( it’s over 😦  )


register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

June 26, Friday, 10:00 pm – feature – Pride 2015 Erotic Cabaret – Glad Day Bookstore, 598a Yonge St., Toronto


June 27, Saturday – 9:00-  Feature along with Alissa Vox Raw, Neil Traynor:  Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

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


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


on the horizon

POV #Loyalist

The writing brought to the workshop at Loyalist is always strong and covers an amazing stretch of ideas, genres & style. Rosemary Aubert manages to navigate the questions, the need to convey more while keep things progressing to fit the time available. If I ever facilitate a workshop of this length I hope I can do half as well 🙂


my look day 3

This year, so far, we’ve looked at pieces about bank robbers hitting a bank as it was being robbed by another gang; a mother & daughter fleeing from what & into a world of visions; a forensic photo expert seeing new things in his past; a teenage girl secretly trying to keep her sisters from getting pregnant; a mother finding out her teenage daughter was pregnant; storage locker buyers finding a body in the treasures; cyber murder; breaking up.


my look day 2

Discussions about POV, narrative intent, minor characters, major minor characters, foils, and entanglement that each could have taken a day were inspiring, instructive & some frustrating because we had so much to contribute.


even the parking lot offered a writing tool

There just wasn’t enough time in a day to get any deeper into things & we were always mentally exhausted by the time 4 o’clock rolled around. Exhausted & satiated while still wanting more.

perfect nano sample

here’s the second part of the Picture Perfect section I excerpted to submit:


Dan got off his bike to wheel it up the laneway behind the row of shops that included James Family Photo. No drunks back there this morning he was glad to see. His Dad had bought the corner building lot of stores shortly after their move to Toronto. They’d lived in one of the second-story apartments until his sister got married and moved out.

In the mid-80’s the Queen/River area wasn’t considered prime but over the years it had become very prime. So prime, his sister felt it was time to sell while he was unwilling to let go of real-estate.

He unlocked the rear security gate, pushed it open, locked it behind him again, double checked to make sure it was in fact locked. Some morning she had forgotten to make it secure and would come out to find a drunk or two sprawled in the back space behind the store.

He then unlocked the actual back door to their part of the building, chained his bike to the railing of the back stairway that lead up to the second and third floors. Stairs only used by himself and sometimes Sandy, his shop assistant. Both floors could be accessed by the public entrance. Double checking his bike he unlocked the rear door to his downstairs shop.

Over the years the amount of security needed had increased. What took his Dad a few minute now took nearly twenty. He turned off the security alarm but made sure it was still set to go off if anyone came to the back via the laneway. Surveillance cameras covered the front, the back, and even the roof. The roof cams were good for keeping an eye on racoons.

He turned the lights on for the shop. It took a few moments for them to light the various display stands, racks and street front. He always enjoyed the flicker to life of the business. No, as long as he could afford it, James Family Photography would be centred here and not at the FairVista Mall.

He unlocked the front door from the inside and stepped out to Queen Street. The Classic Carafe Cafe in the corner spot of the building had been opened for a a couple of hours. He was still a bit amazed that selling coffee and cookies was a viable business.

“Morning, landlord.” Jill Haverly, owner of the Classic stepped out with a coffee and muffin for him.

“Do you stand at your window waiting for me to show up?” Dan asked.

“Don’t have to. Your vibration is felt when you are five minutes from here.” she laughed.

“French vanilla?”

“Just for you. Was reading about you in the Globe the other day.” Jill said.

“Yeah. Hope it’s good for business.” Dan sipped his coffee. Since leasing the corner spot to her five years ago Jill had made sure Dan had a fresh morning coffee. If he didn’t step out, she’d send a couple of mugs over for him and his shop clerks.

“I didn’t realize you were so i.technically inclined. I took you for just another wedding photographer.” Jill said.

“That’s my sister’s end of things. The end that brings in the money. Weddings, babies and now pets.”

“Morning boss.”

A short, heavy-set woman stopped to talk with them. Jill slipped into the Classic.

“Late night Sandy?”

“No more than usual, bossman.”

Sandy Reynolds had worked for J F P for several years now. What she didn’t know about cameras wasn’t worth knowing.

“You kick start the shop?” she asked.

“For the most part. You can fire up the net.”

“This’ll help.” Jill came back out with an espresso for Sandy. “Extra slow.”

Sandy tossed it back in one gulp. “Thanks I needed that. See you inside.”

“I’ll be in in a few minutes,” Dan saw Cliff Silver arriving to open up the Oil on Silver Gallery that occupied the other retail space in the building.

“Thanks Jill. See you for lunch.”

“The usual will be ready. Tell Cliff I’ll send Peter over with his morning booster, if he promises not to offer him a job.”

“You still sore about losing Steve to him?” Dan handed his mug back to her.

“Just joking. Better commissions on art than gluten free muffins.”

“Morning Cliff.”

“That it is.” Cliff gave Dan a quick kiss on the cheek. “DeVida?”

Cliff prided himself on not only have a nose for art but one for scent.

“Yes. You like?”

“I like a man who smells good.” Cliff laughed. “Good enough to eat.”

“Maybe later. How did the Ocean opening go on the weekend?” he followed Cliff into the gallery.

“Tsunami, baby, tsunami. Sold nearly everything within the first hour.”

One wall of the gallery was hung with four different sized paintings of waves; each a different season and diffusing different light patterns. All by the same artist.

“I wasn’t sure about these; the sea seasons, but they went first, in fact.”

“Not sure?” Dan asked.

“Yeah Halakia insisted, and rightly so, they go as a set. Eighty grand seemed likes a lot of money, even to me, but fuck they were gone so fast I could have had an auction for them and gotten twice that easily. Live and learn.”

“I didn’t think there was much for you to learn?”

Silver’s Gallery was the one original shop in the building. It had been there for ten years already when his father bought the space. Like Dan, Cliff had inherited the family business.

“Now to see if I can firm up the offers for this now.” He gestured to a large canvas that took up most of the other side wall. “Most apartments aren’t big enough for something this size.”

“How do you even paint something that large?”

“One brush stroke at a time.”

Peter, from Classic came in with a coffee and bagel. He stood expectantly in the centre of the space.

“I’ll leave you to it then Cliff. Oh by the way, Peter is off limits. That is if you value your caffeine.”

Dan went into his shop. Sandy was, as always dusting the shelves. She claimed it looked good to be busy when a customer enters.

“The estate in shape?” she asked.

“As always.”

“Globe was good to you?”

“Yeah, well, I’d rather keep a lower profile about that sort of thing.”

“Helping to bust up a child porn network isn’t a bad sort of thing.”

“Not the sort of business I want to develop.” Dan had worked on a case of a man who was posting sexually explicit pictures of a child he claimed to be his daughter from various hotels in the States. The acts were clear but backgrounds had been photoshopped into blurs. Dan was able to reverse that blur and traced the photos to an actual hotel and from there to the man.

#Belleville #blog #music #lgbtq #poetry #photography #review #amwriting #spokenword #Jazz #nanowrimo #disco #dating #spokenword #music


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

( nearly over 🙂 I’m doing one more presentations)


June 26, Friday, 10:00 pm – feature – Pride 2015 Erotic Cabaret – Glad Day Bookstore, 598a Yonge St., Toronto


June 27, Saturday – 9:00-  Feature along with Alissa Vox Raw, Neil Traynor:  Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


( I’ve registered already 🙂 )

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


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


the workshop is certainly no picnic

Picture Perfect Loyalist Days

First day of the workshop went smoothy. A group of 11 plus Rosemary is just the right size to get somethings done. A usual intros take longer than planned even though most of know each others from past workshops – some have been to everyone, some to a couple, plus some new faces. I’m always amazed the number of published authors who participate.


my look day one

Day Two was productive – compelling conversations around p.c. language, creating characters & almost nothing about punctuation 🙂 I did a presentation on using real adolescent memories to create fictional adult characters. Using my current Nano, Picture Perfect, as example I told how I used real memories to propel & create the situation & backstory of my ‘hero.’ Of course the process made the direction of my novel clearer for me at the same time.


the classroom

In the afternoon I was on the hot seat as we workshopped the section of Perfect I had submitted. As it was what I written on first day of Nano it was flooded with too much info – but as I world build everything that comes to mind gets put in – creating his hone life, his business life at this stage I didn’t know what was important. But basic premise of abducted children & how it was presented grabbed everyone in the class. So I’m even more eager to get back to it to see how part 2 turns out.


they’re here

more campus pics

perfect nano sample

for my work shop piece I brought an edited, for length, section the opening of Picture Perfect – here’s is part 1 of the unedited –

“You’re not listening to me.” Sanjay took the remote from Dan and muted the TV.

“I was.” Dan grabbed the remote. “You said my sister had a good point.”

“But you are going to ignore her?” Sanjay tried to get the remote back before Dan could turn the sound back on.

“Some thing don’t change.” Dan  blocked Sanjay’s hand looked him in the eyes and kissed him. “If I had listened to her, we would not be together. You know that that.”

“So you keep telling me.” Sanjay pushed Dan away from him, got up from the couch and stood in front of the TV.

“Sanj, If you want to distract me you’ll have to drop your drawers.”

“We’re talking a lot of money, Dan. A lot of money.”

“I’m not paying for you to drop them. Now, step away from the TV. I was watching something.”

“You’re always watching something when I want to talk to you. You’ve recorded this anyway, so you can go back to it.”

“You asked me to clear things off the recorder, remember. Now that I’m trying to, you want to talk me.” Dan hit pause. “You’re the reason I don’t think we need a cat.”


“Cats ignore you till you are trying to do something and they are all over you.”

“You wish.”

“This is nearly over anyway. Ten minutes.” he unpaused. “Step aside?”

He pressed the back button to rewatch what he’d missed talking to Sanjay.

“What’s it about anyway?” Sanjay sat beside him.

“Missing kids on the east coast.”

“I should have known.”

“Yeah, everything is homework for … hey! That’s me!” Dan hit the pause button.

It was a photo of two boys on the front steps of a house. Arms over each other shoulders, grinning at the camera.

“You sure aren’t missing.” Sanjay said.

“Yeah yeah I know. It’s the other boy Timmy Dunlop. I guess.”

“Guess? I thought you were watching this.”

“You mean, trying to watch. My Dad took this picture. I remember it. It’s been years since I’ve seen it though.”

“Yeah, right. How many photographs have you seen?”

“Enough ,but some you remember. I sort of had a crush on Timmy. We played doctor a couple of times. When we moved I kept hoping to hear from him but nothing.”

“I guess you know why now.” Sanjay stretched. “I’m heading for bed. I leave you to your homework.”

Any reality show dealing with crime was considered Dan’s homework. He saw things in photographs that most didn’t see. His eyes had been trained to discover and recognized what might appear ordinary to the untrained eye.

He went back to the beginning of the program ‘Canada Cold’ that looked at cold cases across Canada. He’d worked such cases with the RCMP and that had tweaked his interested in them. This episode was about a the disappearance of several children in the Maritimes in the mid-80’s. Dan had no recollection of it at all. His family had moved when he was eleven, the same summer of these disappearances.

As he watched he jotted down the names and locations of the children. None struck a chord with him expect Timmy’s. The place name were familiar, Stellerton, Digby, Wolfville in Nova Scotia; Small Town & Port Something in New Brunswick. His Dad had been an itinerant photographer, “Photos By James”, who travelled from school to school, taking class pictures and individual portraits. For summer’s he would take the family with him, spending a day or two, or up to a week in various small towns.

Dan pulled himself out his reflective daze. Replayed the ending of the show again and wrote down the number one was to call if they had any information. He’d call once he had found those photos. Stellerton had been one of the longer stays and one of the last as he recalled.

They’d been their long enough for him to renew his friendship with some of the boys he’d palled around with the previous summer. They left pretty quickly. He remembered being pretty pissed because the Happy Hippo Carnival had just set up and he wanted to so badly to go it.

Moving to Toronto wasn’t as important to him then as seeing the side shows. Even his sister as somewhat disappointed but that was because she was seeing some guy their mother didn’t approve of. He figured that was why they were really moving and for years blamed her for ruining his childhood.

“You coming up or am I coming by myself?”

In the morning Dan ate without noticing what he was eating. His folks must have known about Timmy disappearing. Why hadn’t they told him. He’ d written Timmy letters from Toronto or did those ever get mailed?

“He must have been something special?” Sanjay nudged Dan’s shoulder as he offered to refill his coffee cup.

“Who?” Dan waved the coffee away. “I’ve had enough.”

“The boy in the picture. You are thinking about him, aren’t you?”

“Some but more about why I didn’t know what happened till now. I was so heart sick about him but I let my folks think I was just homesick.”

“How old were you?”

“Only eleven.”

“Still carrying that flame?”
“No! I haven’t really thought about him or those days till last night. I’m surprised I recognized his face.”

“It was you that recognized first.”

“Yeah well there were so few pictures of me, I mean just of me, with Linda lurking in the background. She invented photo bombing because they was no way dad could take a picture if she was around without her getting in on it. Nearly all by baby picture show either her or my mother holding me.”

“So that’s when the rivalry started.”

“Oh yeah, I wasn’t out of the womb before she was making sure she got as much attention s she could. I better get going. Time to open shop. I’m seeing Warszawa this afternoon. I’ll ask him what he thinks I should do.”

“The RCMP do come in handy sometimes.”

“You working today?”

Sanjay was a pastry chef at two different restaurants and Dan was never sure which one he was working at on which day. Somedays neither was Sanjay.

“If I was I’d been gone by now, right?”

“No. You work evenings more and more.”

“Miss me?”
“You know I do?” He pulled Sanjay tight for a long kiss.

“Today’s the day the animal people are coming. Raccoon in the eaves.”

“Right. What’s that going to cost us I wonder.”

“At least a week of night shifts for me.”

“And two high-end digitals for me.”

“I thought your sister had that commission market cornered.”

“So she does but you know what I mean.”


Loyalist reflection 2014

Capturing Fire Negotiation

Capturing Fire

the world is changing

faster faster faster

the bandwidth revolution

releases all voices

people won’t be silenced

stopping the blaze of words

won’t keep the world from changing


lawn art in DC

Capturing Fire, for me, was being thrust into the ring of a prize fight in progress. As an earlier Fire post said the poets covered every faction of the LGBTQ rainbow, with a strong presence of the trans & non-binary, non-gendered. Articulate, angry about recent murders in the trans world & recent riots in Baltimore.

One poet said, visiting the day after the riots, that she saw no difference to that city – not that the sanitation department did such a good job but that the city was so decayed before the riots one couldn’t tell if they had happened. These are poets living in both a gender & a political war zone. Another said that poverty will never disappear as long there is money to made from appearing to make poverty disappear. Which make me thing of the pharmaceutical industry: treating disease makes more $ than curing it.



The event was well organized by Regie Cabico – who gave props to the DC Centre staff & all who helped but it still seemed a one man job. The pace was ideal – intimate & socially friendly to spoke word. Great dining, coffee & snacks  where steps away. I had excellent ribs at Eatonville, wonderful shrimp/chicken pasta at Busboys & Poets; & an interest sausage patty at St. Ex. The Starbucks isn’t as strong  as it is in Toronto; Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is okay but the donuts were crap.

I took in multiple events each of the three days of Fire. After two late (for me) nights I fell asleep in my room after supper & missed the wrap party. Sometime the body knows better than the mind.

Some of the poets were so hyper-charged they had to go barefoot to stay grounded. Too many fine performers to name-check everyone but: Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi was amazing – she slipped easily from saucy, romantic to unrestrained fire-hose anger – all in one piece. Authentic and precise, she was inspiring. Vita Elizabeth Cleveland at her first event of this nature was a natural & powerful. Her Caitlyn Jenner piece was daring & remorseless. The men from the UK, Toby Campion & Dominic Berry, were brash energetic spokenword hooligans with their so from the heart humour & struggles. Mental Health issues in the UK are no more advanced than ours. ‘Those pills are fucking you up – take these instead’ not ‘Let’s see if you get better without pills.’ What’s the difference between standing up for yourself and being non-cooperative.


wouldn’t eye

I loved the city – maybe avoiding the tourist stuff helped me I was there not just visiting. My hotel (The Churchill, was excellent (tell them I sent you). It was the perfect distance – a twenty-five minute walk to the DC Centre. The staff were helpful & cheerful (& some were hot hot hot. I nearly asked the man who serviced the safe in my room, if he wanted slip on a safe & service me.)

I can’t say that I made any creative breakthroughs but my world view has certainly expanded. I felt welcome & comfortable, made some new FB friends & depend others with the great Ontario crew that held there now going toe-to-toe at the slam. They discovered what it was like to be really challenged by performers at their peak. If I can afford it, I’ll be back next year.

(written on the plane Tuesday June 9. Before I boarded I got a FB message from Valentino Assenza to talk about Fire on HOWL Tuesday 16.)

The links to all my Capturing Fire are on my Washington Roundup page here. 


Between workshops, open stage & walking I did write a few things in DC 🙂 here’s one:


I learned

there is a difference between


and butt play

one involves

anal penetration by various body parts

tongue   finger/s   cock

the other involves

anal penetration by objects

vegetables carrots   cucumbers   corn on the cob

dildos – of various lengths  thickness

possible cast from someone favourite porn star

ass play can also involve

enemas  the fist  or even the foot

but which is which

anal or ass play


because if you say yes to one

& find out the other was intended

it can be too late to say

‘no fucking way

I thought that was a floor lamp’

you have to do more

than read the fine print

on both sides of the negotiation

when yes means yes

but only up to a certain point

you gotta make sure

both parties know what that point it

because if a guy drops by

expecting you to be

fresh douched & eager

to be fisted

& that isn’t even on the bottom of your list

he can get quite hostile

as if it had been your fault

that language & mental telepathy

have let you both down

perceived rejection can quickly escalate

to active violence

forced compliance

by which time it’s too late for negotiation


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‘this pie has all its fingers in you’

The fact that I’m a gay, white, cismale who may symbolize the patriarchy for many of the poets at Capturing Fire is something I’m willing to live with (& usually ignore) to be present with so many vibrant, political active & articulate performers of all races, genders & countries. I’m also of an age where I don’t feel the cost of getting my money’s worth has to be my health – so I took my time & got to the day’s events when I got there, sometimes later than when things started.


First up was Cupid Ain’t Shit hosted by J Mase (as a side note if my hair could hold colour I would let it grow). A flock of lines: white supremacy wants it to be nice, hates it when you make people uncomfortable, makes enough space for you not to get ahead – answering your dangerous question – singing & sucking like a bullfrog – this pie has all its fingers in you – cops smell like chlorine clammy whores – I told him I’d be free all week, he said he’d see if he had any time – when I open my mouth is silences you – I was so blind I thought I was being reasonable – resents me behind closed keyboards – the truth will out itself – sometimes sex is better downwind of the dumpster – you were happy & then you blamed me – words stay after the bruises are gone – I used to think coming out would make you better – coming out of the closet implies that I was ever in one – when darkness has so much to say – the Atlantic calls me by name – I don’t need maps of where I went wrong – somewhere between conversation & deconstruction – his tongue a fire, safe – I like to pretend I don’t live alone – they learned to spell by diagnosis – it makes more sense to you to know what lies between my legs than my name – afraid that rejection will lead to aggression – write things into existence – this is for the kid everyone knows but no one knows his name (or gender) – one place made by stealing another – to the tune of the money trail – I am the mother of a verbal revolution.


There was a ten minute breather before Barbra Erochina’s Wrestling God & Girls – which was not a look at WWF female wrestlers – but at her experiences with religious repression & sexual awakening. A rough draft reading of her one-person show. A breaking of lines: laughter ricochets around the room like bullets off a steel wall – even my toes were curling with God – I am the daughter of secrets at 3 a.m. – our intimacy was scripted by religious pamphlets – I want her to welcome Me into her heart – as we pray for his soul I taste his shame on my tongue – I din’t expect my body to take over but it does – autoimmune disease is part genetics & part trauma. This was an engaging, intimate performance that drew us all in quickly & held us to the end, even if, like me, we had no religious upbringing background. Whether we know it or not we all struggle against the phobia people hide behind religious cant.


Another breather before sitting in on ‘Adesia’ hosted by Venus-Thomas Hinyard (who had to quit their job to get time to host). Here are some bones scattered from the pieces presented: accused of using our oppression to get free things – Bible verses used to beat our sense of self out of us – I want to keep my hair natural like Eve because Eve didn’t have a comb – I tried to fit my Dad into a poem last night & I think I killed him – if I die before I wake don’t try to resurrect me in a three minute slam poem – our scars come from the same exclusions – we sit between silences – danced agains and again till we remembered who we were – I elected a new Führer – a demiurge with demi urgency – you are the aggressor since you reported it – asks if you got infected on purpose – there never was a ballad as visceral as torch – old songs become new hymns – I hate that education is not free – they adjust the noose & tell us the higher we swing the freer we’ll become – to have access to freedom you have to obey the rules. Powerful, frank & no-holds-barred performances that were inspiring to experience. Plus one of my fave obscure singer Dakota Stanton got name checked in one piece.


There was more to happen but my butt said I’d heard all it could absorb for one day. I went to back to my hotel to rest, planning to get out for the wrap party but drifted off to sleep. Such is the life for an aging, gay, white, cismale who may symbolize the patriarchy (so get over it).


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‘Is #God just another man you can’t get to stay?’

The sun was finally out in Washington – humid with looming thunderstorms that backed off to allow eager tourists to shop without getting their purchases damp. Also to allow Day 2 of Capturing Fire to fully bloom. Now that I know my way to the DCC my walk is so confident people stop me in the street to ask for directions. I only know my way to where I’m going.

I got to the DCC for Optical Illusion workshop with Paul Tran – he/we managed to cover a lot of people & territory in less than two hours. I opted out of the next couple events to relax back at my hotel, get cleaned up & was back for Alchemy hosted by the energetic magnetic Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi – a reading by trans & gender challenging slammers: a river muddied by the way we tortured the sea – a war zone will hold your weapons but not invest in you – a living allegory of the cave – your Mom calls you ladies’ man, neither of which you are – existence does not start with your gender – your flesh means nothing to the truth – a misgendering set of curves – outfitted to match the expectations of our oppressors – a cape washed in the blood of the fallen, which is as close as you (Catlin Jenner) will ever get to them – terrorists don’t deserve booty from you – she was digging in my closet before I knew I had one – my mother likes my name for the body she buried there – the boy in me breaks like a fever – I’ve fucked enough liars to know what they look like – as if hearing my sad story gives you street cred – acts as if being accepted is like being understood.


Spanish steps 1

I barely had time to catch my breath before heading across the street to Busboys & Poets for the Capturing Fire slam. Great food kept me alert for the next four hours – hours that flew past thanks to the 18 slammers in competition. Fewer & fewer made each round until the final two were given five minutes to free write a brand new piece to be crowned this year’s winner.

Round One: I didn’t want pills but my LCF (?) prescribed them – bring her stuff in a river of lost child – we are just trying to find ourselves, who wants go missing – as if he had never fucked in a bedroom full of smoke – black ain’t in nobody’s rainbow – the blackest church on two feet – you’re not disabled enough – I’m in the presence of those who don’t have the privilege to hide – people can’t look past my weight – alines children walk amongst you – I smile like a girl who has never tasted rum – I’m trying to remember that one day there’ll be a day when I can go out – we claim every stall & urinal, easier to dress others than to dress ourselves – when it seems no one will claim us we claim each other – I’m your 2015 nightmare of truth – where’s my Malcolm X – it’s not that different from what we do in bed – being gay is the least interesting thing about me – I’m not a writer I just don’t want to forget things – dial tone after the call for mating – they look him in the eye of the storm – your smile is a war zone – I experience gender like a moth darting between two flames, both of which will burn me – thin line between free wheeling and free falling – gay or faggot are not synonyms for stupid or weak – the immaculate conception is your fantasy – George Taki is not loud enough to drown the white voice out – my friends like to ask me black questions – if you fucking want to know where to get weed, why don’t you ask your Dad – shirts to match my new gender pronouns – my brother reminds me of bugs – I was just trying to communicate with a different kind of hive – I thought I could see so far through me I’d see her – another winter passing away is my memoir.


Spanish steps 2

A sampling of the poets who went on to the next round: see your reflection in my skinhead shine – cruelty needs no excuse – I speak a language too ancient to be be allowed – find something else to do with your hands – the mouth can make the vulgar seem digestible – I have a lot of bad habits like self-silence – the thought of what kind of animal you might be – a night of tear gas & tanks – the open season has become year round – it took us thirty-five years to find forgiveness – a father you met on a hill who’ve your first beer at the age of twelve – I thought I looked like Vin Diesel gum ball – broken & bloodied but whole – it’s like a carnival ride & a crime scene – I’m sick of feeling my trauma defines me – disrobed of trendy junk – high on a hill of deliberate ignorance – I was raised to love your skin – are you trying to become a body of water – is God just another man you can’t get to stay – thought all I had to do was what I was good at to be successful – I become aroused so I thought was going to die –

Round 3 – no memorial stones for people of colour – stop waving your penis around like an SOS – it’s best to hide as there is no way to tomorrow – I don’t think a # can save the world – don’t single me out from the tribe, anything but that – the hand I’ve been dealt is limp – the hospital doesn’t care about you if you don’t speak English – keep our teeth white to colonize our mouths – language has never been a fair fight.


Spanish steps 3

For the flash writing round the final two wrote to the prompt ‘what happens to a dream deferred: it shatters – after this explosion then there was only black smoke – a voice that eats the black away – hear the one about the boy & the bullet, only one of them found the way home  – and the winner was Timothy DuWhite – the first slammer to go up in round one & the last one standing four hours later. The blog title is one of his lines.


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


winter steps