Program Notes, LitBEARary Event

The reading went well, although attendance could have been better, considering there were hundreds of bears in Ptown. I guess they were all disco napping Thursday afternoon. In any case, here are my program notes, in case you missed it and wanted to know.
Ursamen Dave, Matt, and Kris did a great job as did Jessica and the Pied staff. Thanks and love to Dennis and Jim at Toys of Eros, and to Ptown poet Dennis Rhodes, and the friends who showed up and had a good time.
LitBEARary Event with Ron Suresha and the Northeast Ursamen
LitBEARary Event

LitBEARary event

Opening

Welcome, and thanks to: Kenny and Jessica from Pied Piper; David Skeeter Bielski & Kristin from the Northeast Ursamen, Dennis and Jim, and local poet Dennis Rhodes

Bears Ocean State

I started Bears Ocean State when I moved to Providence on March 3, 2003, and now has 336 members. That’s more than a third of a hundred!

Bears in Heat

The first original title in the Bear Bones Books line, a hot line-up of all-new heavy macho fiction, coming this fall. I read “Feeding” by Simon Sheppard in its entirety.

I Do/I Don’t

I shared part of my essay “Moving the Mountain: A Love Story” from the Lammy-winning anthology I Do/I Don’t: Queers on Marriage, edited by Greg Wharton & Ian Philips; presented at Saints & Sinners in NOLA.

Bi Men

We were fortunate to have have my friend and Bi Men contributor Jim Fenter on hand. I read from part of my essay, Coming to Terms.

Coming to Terms

My earliest exposure to the vocabulary of bisexuality came primarily from reading erotica. Both my parents had active intellectual curiosities about sex, sexualities, and sexual psychology, and our household served as a rich mine of books and periodicals that fueled my earliest sexual flames. By tenth grade, I had read Portnoy’s Complaint, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex, and The Happy Hooker, numerous issues of my dad’s Playboy and, after their divorce at age 13, my mom’s Playgirl. …

Bi Guys

I read from Bi Guys: Firsthand Fiction, the companion volume to Bi Men: Coming Out, also a 2006 Lammy finalist, next year to return to print. Thanks to Dale for another sizzling hot story!

Cultivating Oblivion

Dale Chase

When Lord Mayhew died, I seized the opportunity to steal away Boothe, a brute of a gardener I had long coveted. My own man, the callow and unwilling Rowdon, was dispatched elsewhere to make room for the formidable beast who readily fucked me when summoned.

Oh how masterful was Boothe! Possessed of a long prick of unusual girth, he would take me roughly in the summerhouse, assaulting my willing bottom with a power heretofore unknown. Coarse, hairy, handsome, and crude, he fired me beyond all reason and I was given to demanding still more, sucking him, feasting on the weapon, licking his fat balls until he made use of me again.

After a few weeks in my employ, he became quite bold and I would often encounter him as I walked about the estate. Invariably he was shirtless, hairy chest glistening with sweat as he worked his spade. Upon seeing my approach, he would unbutton himself, . . .

Bi Perspectives on Kinsey

From my essay, A Sexagennial walkabout of Kinseytown, in Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey, forthcoming this year from Routledge UK, and a 2008 Lammy finalist (my third in the Bisexuality category). I did part of the same presentation at the URI GLBTIQA Symposium.

Kinsey_gravesiteA Sexagennial Tour of Kinsey’s Bloomington
My initial encounter with the book known as the Kinsey Male Report, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, and figuratively with its author, Professor Alfred C. Kinsey, occurred in the early 1970s. Among the many volumes all crammed into two huge identical display bookcases in our living room were my parents’ books, including several shelves pertaining to sexuality and eroticism, and both the Male and Female volumes of the Kinsey Report. I was keenly aware of our copy of the Male Report for, as a young man curious about his own desires, it was where I first read anything verifiably true about homosexuality.

Mugs o’ Joy

I read my favorite beard-wearer’s beverage, gluehwein, from the tenth anniversary edition of my hot drink recipé book, Mugs o’ Joy: Delightful Hot Drinks.

Gluehwein

As a beard wearer, I love drinks that are sipped through toppings — and this is one of them. The lemon slices must be very fresh so that they float and the liquid can be sipped through them. This citrus-strainer is what gives the drink its distinctive flavor. For those with moustaches, you can taste the drink for hours after your mug is drained.

3 Tbsp  sugar or honey

2 sticks  cinnamon

3  cloves

2 pods cardomom, slit

1 cup  water

1  bottle red port or wine

1  lemon

Cut lemon in half: squeeze and zest half, and cut the remainder into four thin slices.

In a medium-size covered pan, boil sugar, spices, and peel in water; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Strain the spiced water and mix with the wine. Reheat slowly until short of boiling. Place one lemon slice in each mug and ladle gluehwein on top.

Variation: For French Gluehwein, use Bordeaux for the wine and add ¼ cup fresh orange juice and 1 bay leaf.

Nasruddin

This year I finished drafting a collection of more than 300 Turkish folk tales, basedon the “wise fool”  character, Mullah Nasruddin.” Here’s one on hunting (four-legged) bears:

The king, who enjoyed the company of Nasruddin, invited him to go bear hunting. Nasruddin was terrified at the prospect, but he couldn’t decline the invitation, so he joined the King.

Upon Nasruddin’s return home, Fatima asked him how the hunt went.

“It was so marvelous — I cannot even begin to tell you,” he replied.

“So then tell me,” Fatima said. “How many bears did you kill, Nasruddin?”

“None.”

“How many did you chase?”

“None.”

“How many bears did you see?”

“None.”

“How could it have gone so ‘marvelously,’ then?” asked Fatima.”

“When you’re hunting bears,” sighed Nasruddin, “none is more than enough.”

Bears on Bears, revised edition

Bears on Bears, revised edition, front coverI read from part of new “Bear Arts & Culture” section in the new edition of Bears on Bears. “Does a Bear Run in the Woods? An interview with Dan Hunt”, was the unedited version of my interview with the filmmaker of Bear Run in Bear magazine #66.

Other fresh interviews include Metropolitan Community Church founder Rev Troy Perry, Bear Like Me author Jonathan Cohen, A Bear’s Story filmmaker Kevin Bowe, and radio personality Larry Flick.

Steve Dyer, a bear pioneer from the “Technobears and Cybearspace” chapter in BoB whom I hadn’t seen in at least five years, was present with his husband for the reading.

Bears against Bush
Bears against Bush, the e-list which I founded December 7, 2005 is closing. Here’s the intro to the group’s homepage:

Bears Against Bush (Hillside 2004)
Bears Against Bush (Hillside 2004)

Bears against Bu$h

Cubs against Condi
Grizzlies against Gonzales and Guantanamo,
Chubs against Cheney,
Otters against Scooter,
Wolves against War and Wolfowitz,
Redbears against Rumsfeld,
Huskies against Harper
~ Online forum for progressive, liberal, and radical gay, bi, and queer male Bearmen, les/trans/queer/straight bears and bearlovers, allies, and various grrrpals querying, engaging, and celebrating masculine diversity, challenging body stereotypes and gender conformity, and fighting for full civil rights for all sexual minorities.
Please observe commonly understood rules of proper decorum and netiquette. “A kiss without love burns the moustaches.” Thank you for your cooperation, and participation! As the bearish Thom Hartmann says: “Democracy starts with you. Activism starts with you. TAG – You’re IT!”
BAB served its purpose well and the time has come to move on to other things and groups.  The message board will stop taking posts at the end of the month, and the group will be deleted by the end of the year, so that gives everyone enough time to wrap up and archive your favorite posts.  There’s still an active ursine political chat group, Bears Who Hate Bush, and BAB encourages everyone to join: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bearswhohatebush/?yguid=266067289

Bisexual Erasure in the “W” House: A psychosexual analysis.

I discussed my Powerpoint presentation on the topic of bisexual erasure given this year at URI Symposium, Bisexual Erasure in the “W” House: A psychosexual analysis. Which led into . . .

Bush’s Horrible Boyfriend

Finally was a live “sit-down version of a stand-up bit” about Bu$h #43‘s gay scandal exposing his “ex-boyfriend,” Jeff Gannon/James Guckert, a GOP shill who was discovered to be running a male escort service (posing online as a hot bi military top) while getting unlimited daily passes to join the White House Press Corps. See the original video version by Roman Hans and SDaddy here.

Tribute to Northeast Ursamen

I closed with an adaptation of my tribute to the NorthEast Ursamen, Bear Club of the Year 2008, from the Ursamen newsletter, Bears & Hunters, for their 15th anniversary edition:
NorthEast Ursamen – Connecticut’s enduring bear brotherhood
I first heard of the NorthEast Ursamen shortly after its inception, while I was out on the West Coast, in 1992, from East Coast folks I met at the Lone Star Saloon in San Francisco — aka Bear Bar USA, just as the bar and Bear magazine started to become cottage industries. There were only a handful of bearclubs around the nation then, clustered on either of the coasts, usually organized in major cities. It was amazing to me that this “bear” thing would have gathered enough momentum to warrant having a club dedicated to serving men from the whole state of Connecticut, let alone the thought of a bearclub in every state and major city in the nation, as it is now. I knew when I heard of the Wichita Bears that the bearclub thing would be around for quite a while.
After SF, I lived in DC for a few months and joined my first bearclub there, the Chesapeake Bay Bears. I discovered that the east coast bears were getting into bear subculture just as much as their Western bear brethren. When I moved to Boston, where I lived for the next ten years, naturally I got involved with the New England Bears. In 2002, I did some touring to bearclubs around the country for two books I edited, Bears on Bears, and Bearotica. The Ursamen hosted one of my first book readings ever, and although the venue in Hartford changed the week before (the bookstore closed and didn’t bother to tell us!), everything came off well, and I remember the helpful and friendliness of the Ursaguys and the cordiality of that event at Tisane coffeehouse.
When I moved to Providence in 2002 and the Rhode Island Grizzlies were defunct, I started a new online group, Bears Ocean State, which has always considered NEU a brother bearclub, particularly as some of the other bearclub in the region have also flourished, sputtered, then deflated. Then, five years ago, when I found myself married to a bear living in New London, after having to move to the Nutmeg State, naturally I felt it was time to sign back up with Connecticut’s bearclub, the NorthEast Ursamen. My husbear, Rocco, had already been a member with his previous partner, so it was really like rejoining, rather than starting out with completely new group. …

Congratulations to the NorthEast Ursamen for being named Bear Club of the Year by TheCompleteBear.com .

Thanks again to the wonderful bears who came and supported the event.

Author: Ron Suresha

Ron Jackson Suresha is an editor, anthologist, and writer. He is considered an authority on emergent queer masculinities, in particular the subcultures of gay and bi male Bears and of male bisexuality. For Ron's service to the bear community, he was named "Bear of the Year" 2008. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Suresha attended the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, 1976-8), where he studied creative writing, and Vista College (Berkeley, Cal., 1989-92), where he studied American Sign Language. For more than two decades, he has worked as a freelance proofreader for trade book publishers such as Shambhala Publications. He was married in October 2004 to Rocco Russo. He is also a licensed Justice of the Peace in Connecticut, an ordained minister, ULC, and a member of the New London Green Party. Nonfiction works include Bears on Bears: Interviews & Discussions; Bi Men: Coming Out (coeditor, with Pete Chvany); Bisexual Perspectives on the Life and Work of Alfred C. Kinsey (editor). His latest book is The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, jests, and donkey tales of the beloved Persian folk hero, published by Lethe Press.