My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

These hips don’t lie

Steve Keil is a poet, a gay one, who in the last four years has published several volumes of poetry with such scintillating titles as Between Keats and Kerouac, 4:3 Days in 16:9, Any Forward Gear Will Do, and Cottage Industry of Uncool. The poems are brisk, written in open verse and often with tough sentiments. It’s like someone lecturing you while scolding himself at the same time. But typically of the man himself, the poems are also quite insightful and often hilarious.

His new book is called One Sigh Fits All, and like the others, it is very readable. Here’s one poem titled “Happy Pride Week”.

It’s amazing to me
That in this supposedly progressive
Time and place
I can still hear the word
Screamed at me
From the open window
Of a speeding car
Which of course
Never gets tired
Nor is it ever
Not true
But somehow
No matter how butch
I think I’m being
My hips don’t lie
Even in a bear costume
Oh well
There’s worse things to be
A doppler coward

Okay, so in the spirit of full disclosure, he and I dated from 2005 to 2010. A rock musician, he was a familiar face on the happy hour scene, always wearing a baseball jacket and a scowl. Lots of people were afraid of Steve, but he is such a bright funny guy. He gave me a ton of jokes for my fab columns. (There’s even a poem about this in the book.)

I will also admit I am flattered that so many of the poems are about me, though that’s not the only reason to buy them. They’re a good read. All of Steve Keil’s books are available on Do yourself a favor and