How to Pirouette on a Little Piece of Queer

Harry Giles asked the panel
How they deal
With being the token piece of queer
When allowed to speak
By the mainstream
When the well-meaning feign
Love
While they do everything
They can still
To kill

You
Own it
Said Anne-Marie MacDonald
Use your toe-hold to maintain
Poise
To get the lay of the land
Listen carefully to see
If you are among friends
Enemies or chameleons
Use good manners
These at least will keep us
For stabbing each other in the eye
With our forks

Nick Comilla said this was a challenge
He had yet to face
As he operates
Within chosen confines
Of the sub-culture
Growing
Strong

Sometimes said Kai Cheng Thom
You should stab them
In the fucking eye
With your fork
Toss a grenade onto
The unceded territory
Blow it the fuck up

And pirouette away

AGG20170429

Depth Charge: This piece of re-poet-age, and the license that implies, sprang from The Violet Hour panel held this morning as part of Blue Metropolis.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1909921899241831/

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The Prophylaxis of Humour

“I am not a bitchy old fag, I am a sad old faggot,” said Sky Gilbert at The Violet Hour reading at Stock Bar in Montreal’s gay village last night.

He had just read two hilarious excerpts from his new book Sad Old Faggot, one about his penis and the other about his asshole, and was introducing a third excerpt about his complicated relationship with other older gay men.

Unlike the other man he was describing, he did not want young gay men to respect him, or acknowledge his history, so he was free from bitterness. He would be happy enough if they would just fuck him.

Listening to, and laughing with, him, I could relate on one level—the strange new territory of growing old—but not on another, because I have found my late forties and fifties to be incredibly rewarding on a personal and sexual level.

Earlier in the evening, Kai Cheng Thom read several blisteringly funny poems based on her experience as an Asian trans woman. I adore humour fueled by rage and she delivered her fury wrapped in cutting laughter. Her new book is a place call No Homeland, as it was sold out by the time I got to the book table, its unknown pleasures and pains still await me.

Very different in form, style and content the readings of both Sky Gilbert and Kai Cheng Thom shared a use of humour that was both defensive and offensive, a ward against future pain and a balm on personal history, post- and pre- exposure prophylaxis, if you will.

Rachel Amey, Peter Dubé, Harry Giles and Catherine Hernandez all read as well, making for a truly remarkable evening.

The Violet Hour is becoming a true treasure.

For the details on the next event on May 23 , check out: https://www.facebook.com/events/1560113084081981/

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New York Is a Nazi’s Nightmare

New York is a Nazi’s nightmare
Its multitudinous mixing
Individual communal
Organic dreams all growing
Persistent resistant to
The pale ghosts of purity
Your ostentatious impotent
Tower sings in a tone-deaf tune
A siren song to the venal greedy
Ones who will prostitute themselves
Cringing and begging for scraps
From the tables of the unjust

The Mexican woman selling
Tamales on the street corner
By the Southern Fused restaurant
The busloads of Jewish children
Playing within earshot of drums
Pounding Peruvian rhythms
As an elderly black man walks
Down his street with his leather cap
Declaring the truth I Am Culture
A mix forged from war and horror
Slavery prejudice plague-forced
Migration that has made us strong
Passing a concert hall where we
Wept at the beauty of a song
By a woman who loves women
And dreamed with a man who loves men
About making a better world

You who can only see yourself
When you look into a mirror
Unlike we who can see ourselves
In our fellow humans’ faces
You will perpetrate a million
Unnecessary cruel petty
Injustices and sow sorrows
Where there should be joy and laughter
And we’ll remember those who fall
Victim to your sterilizing
Fantasies and death-dealing schemes
We’ll outlast outlive outlove you
With our songs sinuous and strong

AGG20170404

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Counting Non-Binary Digital Sheep

You cannot call me a liar
When I have yet to hear the truth
I cannot call you a cheater
When neither of us knows the rules

Now the boys are all girls at heart
Adding or removing a part

The game’s become quite the puzzle
Staccato tweets and viral memes
Endless rounds of pass the muzzle
Chasing androids’ electric dreams

Now the girls are all boys at heart
Removing or adding a part

Each subtraction an addition
In the quest for a counterpart
One zero sum computation
Away from that elusive start

Rending each other limb from limb
Boys and girls take it all to heart

The online martyrdom parade
Each day urging another purge
It’s the same-old same-old lurking
Behind new mean meaningless words

Now the boys are all girls at heart
Adding or removing a part
Now the girls are all boys at heart
Removing or adding a part
Rending each other limb from limb
Boys and girls take it all to heart

AGG20160904

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I Love-Hate a Parade

And I hate that now
When RBC Bank parades
In dark royal blue—
Your first march with them the last
I would see you alive—tears

At least we did kiss
And you walked away—laughing
As far as final
Memories go that’s not bad
Others have simply faded

Each year the minute
Of silence grows more crowded
Faces voices dimmed
A sea of strangers all lost
In their shared humanity

So Gay Pride leaves me
Light headed heavy hearted
Remembering all
Not just every disco
But all the funerals too

AGG20160820

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Blooming Point: A Short Conversation with a Nude Eighty-Year-Old Man

Grandfather sold cod to the Portuguese.
Later in life he lost his sight, they said
He had been struck by lightning while at sea,
Which seemed strange to me. After he was dead
I learned glaucoma was the real reason.
I guess lightning made sense enough back then,
When poetry stood in for medicine.
Nineteen fifty-four was my first time here,
It already had its reputation
And there was a sense of danger and fear.
If someone you knew saw you they knew why
You were here and, for a while, a Mountie
In full uniform would patrol, swooning
From the heat as we made out in the dunes.

AGG20160805

Depth Charge: Blooming Point is a spectacular beach on the north shore of Prince Edward Island and, for as long as I can remember, a section of it has been an unofficial nude beach. This summer after a conversation with an man in his 80s on the beach, I learned its history as a nudist beach was much longer than I had thought.

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Fuckin’ Right We Stole the Rainbow

Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow
Because long before Orlando
We taught hatred how to laugh
And we showed pain how to dance
Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we claimed full marriage
Because the way you’d disparage
Our relationships as lesser
We’ve rewritten the book of love
Fuckin’ right we claimed full marriage

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we redefined gay
We didn’t like the way you’d say
Pansy faggot lezzie fruit
You turned queer into a sneer
Fuckin’ right we redefined gay

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we’ve taken back pride
Because we no longer want to  hide
We refuse to play those sordid
Religious games of blame and shame
Fuckin’ right we’ve taken back pride

But we’re not greedy and we’ll share
Naked clothed or in underwear
Polyamorous gender fluid
Let’s get down! Let’s fuckin’ do it!

Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow
Because long before Orlando
We taught hatred how to laugh
And we showed pain how to dance
Fuckin’ right we stole the rainbow

AGG20160725

Depth Charge: My visit home to Prince Edward Island this year coincided with PEI Pride 2016.  One of the events was a Poetry Slam organized by AIDS PEI and held at BEANZ Café. I threw together this rant the day before the event and presented it.

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Now missing forty-nine beats

After days of heat
The rain sizzles on the leaves
Here and there a drop
Eludes the green canopy
Joins with others on my cheek

Still my rage burns hot
For queers caught in the crossfire
Christianity
Islam hate terror and guns
America’s toxic mix

I excuse no one
I point ten fingers of blame
Pound both of my fists
And curse you all left and right
For the lives lost on that night

Our pulse continues
Pumping the red human blood
You still won’t accept
Equal in worth to your own—
Now missing forty-nine beats

AGG20160622

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The Fucking Side of Me

If you’re hung and hairy, so tough and sweet,
Then you’re the kind of man I want to meet,
If you wanna turn it loose, set it free,
You’re walking on the fucking side of me.

AGG20160408
(Fragment of a song for Merle Haggard)

As we lay down in the blood of strangers

As we lay down in the blood of strangers, 
Our tired bones made from the dust of stars, 
It would be so easy to just give in 
To despair, refuse to rise up again. 
 
Weary of television’s nightly dose 
Of horror and fear and murder, we want 
To hide away in some safe hole until 
It passes like a nightmare on parade. 
 
But this life is not a dream, it is real, 
As real as bullets, as bombs, as sirens, 
And we need to wake up, open our eyes, 
To dry our tears with the ashes of the dead. 
 
Our fears are as useless as our prayers, which 
Imagined god would we offer them to? 
The god of the killers and of the killed 
Is one and the same and his name is shit. 
 
This fictitious god who breeds hate too real 
For me and the all men I’ve ever loved 
Fades to nothing before the power felt 
As I lay down in a stranger’s warm arms. 
 
AGG20151116 
 
Depth Charge: The title of this poem is a slight modification of a line from an essay written by Isobel Bowdery, a survivor of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Nov 13, 2015.

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