Consenting Adults – my 2014 Slam

Performing in the local Slam competition has become an annual rite (WCDR). The format seems suited to my satiric leanings. I salute this year’s winner, Anne MacLachlan. Here she is performing her piece. For some reason, there were three of the eight finalist that included confessions in our entries. Competition was tough – everyone presented great Slam pieces.

Here is my entry:

Consenting Adults

We are in danger.
Danger of extinction by political correctness.

All fine concepts.

But bending over backwards,
contorting into twisted positions,
trying to verbalize and policize
how to be a decent human being.
We’ve gone too far.

Consider: consenting adults.
I have a confession to make.
I have participated in an act that requires consent, without said consent.
Mine or the object of my affections.
How? Alcohol was involved.

Those under the influence may not be capable of giving consent.

We might have been the tiniest bit tipsy,
not in possession of our full suite of inhibitions,
that would lead us
to ponder, consider, debate and speculate,
at great length, and with consultation,
the relative merits of engaging in a hot, carnal grinding of flesh and pressing together of bodies in a ecstatic abandon.

That’s not something you want to do without thinking it, soberly, first.

No means no
But we should take responsibility for yes meaning yes.

Maybe there should be a form to sign:
I [insert name here]
consent to have coitus, with [full legal name, photo and SIN], for a period of blank hours/minutes.
Activities will include: check any that apply:

Those are the only options,
because to list any others might objectify the participants.
Wouldn’t want to suggests the participants were objects of sexual desire.
They couldn’t have nicely rounded breasts, firm, muscular legs or a finely curved butt, never mind great throbbing, err, other anatomical features.

If we aren’t careful, the birthrate could decline to zero,
because we’re managed to outlaw making love.

Why? because we want to love each other.

Let’s love our differences.
Talk about our differences in whatever words we know.
Celebrate (responsibly) that words mean different things to different people.

And good things are sloppy, sweaty and awkward sometimes.
But intercourse with others is fun, if we let it be.


Short Story: Time Change

Time Change

Spring forward, Fall back.
Spring back, Fall forward.
Either one makes perfect sense to me.

Daylight saving time.
Who are we kidding?
We aren’t saving anything,
Any more than borrowing on your mortgage to make an RSP contribution is saving money.

But I’ve got it wrong, haven’t I?
We’re saving day light time for those important activities,
The ones we can’t do in the dark,
Like pushing a button to light the gas barbecue.
Or playing electronic games after school.

The dark hours are relegated to unimportant things.
Like getting out of bed,
and searching the house for your phone, keys and other necessities of work.
Carelessly discarded on a March evening when you came home
and jubilantly cast them aside to race outside to do a little gardening in while it was still light,
only to discover it was a bone-chilling 5 degrees, your boots stuck in the mud like rebar in cement,
and the plants wanted to be left well enough alone because it was far too early for this, wasn’t it?

But I’m being unfair.
Time is something we created.
It’s a handy concept.

Much easier to meet someone for a pub lunch at 12:30, than about half way between the time the sun rises and sets.
And the time to quit work for the day is so much easier to identify on a clock,
than by looking at the sky,
especially if you are in the basement of a large office building.

It’s our right to do with time as we please.
And if we all believe that 7 am is a respectable time to begin the day,
Then we should adjust 7 am to be the time when the sunlight is best for:
Harvesting the crops,
Conserving energy
Or engaging in outdoor activities.

The question is,
Does it really work for the lives we live today?

The time change is supposed to remind us to change the batteries in smoke detectors
but the connection is tenuous.
Debate rages over whether it saves energy or not,
while we turn on more lights in the morning
but fewer in the evening
yet have our air-conditioners on longer in the heat of the night.

The time change could contribute to economic growth,
As it apparently increases shopping.
Who knew it was better to spend time in windowless stores in the daylight?
Pedestrians need to be careful.
They are struck by cars at an alarming rate just after the time change.

How does one little hour difference discombobulate us so?
Pets and children are naturally oblivious to it.
It’s like we’re transplanted to a parallel reality,
where everything is just a little different.
The light is wrong.
Our urges are wrong.
We are dead tired.

All in all,
I think it’s worth it,
For the one
Twenty five hour day we get once a year,
Which seems as long as a month of Sundays.

Slam Poem – ‘Enter Username and Password’

Below is the piece I performed in the finals of the 2013 WCDR Slam competition on July 13, 2013.

Enter Username and Password

USERname –
altered identity for consuming illegal drugs?

userNAME –
Not your full name
Spaces aren’t allowed

PASSword –
the code for access to the secret club.
like the secret facebook club of 4 billion people

passWORD –
a gibberish collection of letters and keystrokes
designed to be impossible to remember.

Enter username and password, to gain access to your ACCOUNT.

An account
which shares none of my personal information.
What’s it an account of?
Not wealth, as the only flow of money when I enter Username and Password is away from me.
And there’s no accounting for taste when I enter my Username and Password late at night on twitter.

I’ve got usernames and passwords for
Four social media sites,
three bank accounts,
pension plans,
writing groups,
and stealing.

But I need one more.

Username: I enter my email address.
Someone has that identity.
How to report identity theft?
Find a webform that requests my name,
Enter my email address
Receive a form reply addressed to Dear Mrs. Yahoo
Wonder if they mean the people down the street with the pot plants, rottweiler and neon Bud sign.

Then I remember
Click ‘forgot password’ button.

This is the way to go.
No more reciting the initials of all my ex-boyfriends in chronological order,
Click forgot password and I don’t have to recall anything, including the unfortunate incident with Enrico.

The password police catch on.
Demand capitals, lower case, numbers, symbols and even, spaces.

The bar has been raised.
Password reset denied, it was used six months ago.
How long before my LinkedIn account won’t accept the same password that I use with the phone company?

Yet the sites seem less private all the time.
How does gmail know I am a writer?
Why does google notice when I’m not in Oshawa?
How could facebook know I’m a middle-aged woman with an interest in motorcycles, vampires and home renovations?

Enter username and password?
No, I’ll login as guest.
Enter name and email address.
This is much more civilized.
I think.

Short Story – The Cult of Sleeping In

This is a piece I performed in a Poetry Slam competition in July 2012, which got me as far as the finals.

I am a high Priestess.
The high Priestess of sleeping in.
I started a page about it on Wikipedia,
At the crack of noon.
So it must be true.
What gods do I worship?
Red Bull, the king of night,
Halicon, the queen of slumber
Minor deities, Simons, Serta and Sealy of the firm mattress.
And the heroes who bring us spoils of their conquests,
Delivering heavy curtains, co-ordinated sheet sets, eye shades and a phone that’s silenced with a touch of a button.

What rituals do my followers practice?
The sacred pulling of the covers over the head,
at the sound of church bells, 10 am on a Sunday morn.
The hurling of the alarm clock beneath the bed,
if ever it erroneously sounds before a respectable pub would open.
Feasting on eggs, bacon, toast,
and a galloon of coffee,
in a chrome-edged diner that serves an ‘all day breakfast’.
The sacred objects we revere,
those that shall be handled with care,
Stored in a hallowed spot,
Safe-guarded at all expense:
The fuzzy slippers,
The soft terry bathrobe.
The custom made pillow,
And the fluffiest of duvets, so light that it rests on the skin with no more weight than a kiss but bestows the warmth of a sun-baked beach.
What do we sacrifice?
The right to buy breakfast sandwiches,
shop at farm markets,
line up for the release of the latest Apple product release.
The respect of the god-fearing,
The Family people.
The Right.
No matter that we toil from mid afternoon to midnight.
Clearly a good solid days work begins at dawn.
Decent folk start things early in the morning.
But who are my brethren,
those loathsome creatures, lazing away the day, out and about in the night?
Cops, nurses, taxi drivers and pizza delivery guys.
They serve us all, care for us and keep us safe.
And are there, when we need them.