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Friday, November 6, 2015

Poetry PSA By Lou Reed

Being a child of the 1970's, Public Service Announcements form much of my Superego. I do what I'm told. For the public good. And I wish others would, too. 


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Trick Or Treat Art By Jenny Mathews

Trick Or Treat art by Rockford Illustrating Company founder Jenny Mathews

Illustration by Jenny Mathews of Rockford, Illinois


Trick Or Treat #2 by Jenny Mathews of Tiny Drawings 


Halloween art #3 by Jenny Mathews . Homages to Stephen Gammell, illustrator of the Scary Stories series of children's books by Alvin Schwartz. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Box Kicks By Christopher Barnes

Box Kick 6

…The wear-and-tear scraper’s apt
For retro-bolt
Or just-out embeddings…

Worker Ant No.1 knows:
Demobilization is only thorough
At the mainspring of a gun.

…The wear-and-tear scraper’s apt
For retro-bolt
Or lovebomb Tu$ ;mB&d/g6Ds

By Christopher Barnes




Box Kick 9

…Inclined with Proban flap
It buffers the contraption
From pounding sparks…

Worker Ant No.4 drains nail varnish
Onto ambushed steel.

…Inclined with Proban flap
It buffers the bloopslap
MFo7 d<2Pn_g| sS£aK2

By Christopher Barnes




Box Kick 7

…Atmosphere filtration coordinates
Externalize tip-top
Idyllic in-house production suites…

Worker Ant No.2 fuzzes grease and dust.

…Atmosphere filtration coordinates
Externalize movewhap
Cill2+D siN-eo# dU,,,Cni}

By Christopher Barnes




Box Kick 8

…The air regurgitater servomotor’s enabled
By a foam-wad clamp…

Worker Ant No.3 sweats garlic
Under the duress of a filter-tip.

…The air regurgitater bunglelax’s BlaD!$e
y: (=daf+Am? cM2a/

By Christopher Barnes




Box Kick 10

…Hosing brine
Piped to forceful spouts
Is moulded against dripping
On wheelworks in troublesome quantities…

Worker Ant No.14 bores the pump.

…Hosing brine
Piped to forceful spouts
Is moulded bananaheel Ppir~d#g [N kWwe+&oH
i: mT|7ou-Sreb tiTuan%q|s

By Christopher Barnes

  

Some bio details...
In 1998 I won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 200 I read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology 'Titles Are Bitches'.  Christmas 2001 I debuted at Newcastle's famous Morden Tower doing a reading of my poems.  Each year I read for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and I partook in workshops.  2005 saw the publication of my collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.

 On Saturday 16Th August 2003 I read at the Edinburgh Festival as a Per Verse poet at LGBT Centre, Broughton St.

I also have a BBC web-page www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/gay.2004/05/section_28.shtml and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tyne/videonation/stories/gay_history.shtml (if first site does not work click on SECTION 28 on second site.

Christmas 2001 The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored me to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North.  I   made a radio programme for Web FM community radio about my writing group.  October-November 2005, I entered a poem/visual image into the art exhibition The Art Cafe Project, his piece Post-Mark was shown in Betty's Newcastle.  This event was sponsored by Pride On The Tyne.  I made a digital film with artists Kate Sweeney and Julie Ballands at a film making workshop called Out Of The Picture which was shown at the festival party for Proudwords, it contains my poem The Old Heave-Ho.  I worked on a collaborative art and literature project called How Gay Are Your Genes, facilitated by Lisa Mathews (poet) which exhibited at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University, including a film piece by the artist Predrag Pajdic in which I read my poem On Brenkley St.  The event was funded by The Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute, Bio-science Centre at Newcastle's Centre for Life.  I was involved in the Five Arts Cities poetry postcard event which exhibited at The Seven Stories children's literature building.  In May I had 2006 a solo art/poetry exhibition at The People's Theatre why not take a look at their website http://ptag.org.uk/whats_on/gallery/recent_exhbitions.htm 

The South Bank Centre in London recorded my poem "The Holiday I Never Had", I can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456 

REVIEWS: I have written poetry reviews for Poetry Scotland and Jacket Magazine and in August 2007 I made a film called 'A Blank Screen, 60 seconds, 1 shot' for Queerbeats Festival at The Star & Shadow Cinema Newcastle, reviewing a poem...see www.myspace.com/queerbeatsfestival  On September 4 2010, I read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland.  I have also written Art Criticism for Peel and Combustus Magazines.  I was involved in The Creative Engagement In Research Programme Research Constellation exhibitions of writing and photography which showed in London (march 13 2012) and Edinburgh (July 4 2013) see 
http://www.researchconstellation.co.uk/ .  I co-edit the poetry magazine Interpoetry http://www.interpoetry.com/ 
.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Octopussy" Illustration

Just yesterday I saw in the news Rockford has now been named America's 2nd worst city for Black families. Just another sad and embarrassing reality of this place I live in. A lot of times people refer to the past as the glory days for this city, but doing some research it appears we've always been rather backwards here, save for a brief period when we had one of the few Socialist mayors and city councils, and a strong union base that resulted in a solid middle class. Recently the Chamber of Commerce has made a mockery out of Rockford and our penchant for making dubious Top 10 lists such as fattest, least educated, most violent, and miserable cities in America with what seemed like a bad joke of a tourism campaign "Misery Loves Company." None of that has much to do with today's artwork at Outsider Poetry. 

One thing that certainly didn't suck in Rockford's past was The Rockford Illustrating Company


"Octopus" by Jenny Mathews

The new Rockford Illustrating Company is making wondrous and beautiful illustrations, mostly free from misery here


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pioneer Outsider Poet Crad Kilodney

There are few stories in the strange saga that is the history of small press poetry than a man named Crad Kilodney. Nobody is really named Crad Kilodney you might say. And you'd be right. Crad Kilodney was actually a pen name for American born Toronto writer Lou Trifon. There's not much chance I'd be writing about Crad Kilodney if one day circa 1990 I hadn't gone to my mailbox and found the book Lightning Struck My Dick in a package someone had sent to me. I seem to remember it was Hold the Pickle editor Richard Seffron, but sadly I have learned through internet research that Richard died in the early 1990's. The small press era of poetry was a strange time because you really didn't know much, if anythiong, about the poets you were reading. You couldn't look up their pictures on the internet. You couldn't friend them on Facebook and hear their political or religious rants, so all you really had to go on was the writing itself. What the hell is one supposed to think about a writer who titles a book Lightning Struck My Dick? For me I thought it was just about the funniest thing I ever saw and tried to show it to others who didn't think it was the funniest thing they ever saw. Twenty-five years later I still assert that they were wrong.

Lightning Struck My Dick, published by Crad Kilodney in 1980, is still the funniest title of a book in the history of humanity. I'm not even sure there is a close second.

I'm not going to publish anything here from the book because I don't have any right to do that, and almost certainly you won't be able to find a copy at a reasonable price, but I think if you look hard enough you might find a place to read some of it on the internet. As for my copy, decades of floods, evictions, middle of the night moves, thefts, and just plain losing things has decimated my small press library. I don't even really have the heart to start collecting again. Also, I was unable to even find a copy for sale on the internet. As for Kilodney, he died of cancer in 2014 after retiring from writing for the most part in the 1990's. I can really identify with that, especially after he went to jail for trying to sell his own work on the streets of Toronto. His harassment didn't rise to the level of what the city of Cleveland did to da levy, but he definitely encountered resistance to his self-published work.

Another way I really identify with Kilodney is how he says he was inspired less by great literature than by the thousands of slush pile manuscripts he encountered while working at various vanity publishing houses and in book warehouses. 99.9% of all poetry is bad poetry, so if one can get a tatse for that one has a limitless supply to be entertained by. Like Zombie Logic Press, Kilodney established Charnel House to publish his own work, and put out 32 books between 1978 and 1985, including Mental Cases, Pork College, and the aforementioned Lightning Struck My Dick.

This is Crad Kilodney. In my opinion a pioneer of Outsider Poetry. You can learn more about him here



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Whether Saluting, Drowning, or Waving, You'll Look Great In This Fall Jacket

One of the great American Dada artists Bradly Lastname sent me this in the mail and instructed me to use it on Outsider Poetry. I thought to myself about the Stevie Smith poem and it occurreed to me no one would like this more than Bub the Zombie.

Is Bub the Zombie drowning, waving, or saluting?

Not Waving but Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,   
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought   
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,   
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always   
(Still the dead one lay moaning)   
I was much too far out all my life   
And not waving but drowning.
-Stevie Smith

I'd prefer to think Bub is waving because he's in generally a rather pleasant fellow for an Undead America, however I'm not sure what effect drowning would actually have on Bub's disposition. 

It's certainly not unheard of for zombies to be found underwater biting sharks or groping  the breasts of a Swedish volleyball team...




Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Poems and Stories By B.Z. Niditch

                                                                                                        
B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer. 
His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and ArtThe Literary ReviewDenver QuarterlyHawaii ReviewLe Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism InternationalJejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Hungary); Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. His latest poetry collections are “Lorca at Seville” and “Captive Cities.” 

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

JAY KIDD'S STORY

  Jay Kidd Jr. hated anything to do with fun, funny pages, even Fun Land, the amusement park where he refused to go on the Ferris Wheel or the Merry Go Round. Even at his brother's wedding when the band played that old Neapolitan song "Funiculi, Funicula" Jay refused to dance and walked home.
His parents sent him to a New York City psychiatrist, Dr. Anna Madori. He is actually sixteen but from the turned on looks of Anna going on twenty one.
''Mr. Kidd or can I call you just Jay?"
" Whatever. I've been called worse than any other Kidd in my family. I really want to be here. We are in a way like family."
" I knew your father from the war. I tried to help him cope. He called me last week to set up your appointment.Your dad and mom are worried about you."
" They need to be here more than me. To be honest,my dad is still in love with you.I've known you are still personally close. I keep tabs on you both and have your tweets, phone messages and correspondences. Not too professional of you, Anna."
 " Maybe I keep in touch because your dad's mind and body were injured and he is very vulnerable, probably still hurting and he needs me."
 " How do I know you don't still love him."
 "You can remove your coat if you would like."
 Jay takes his coat off and faces Anna and smiles.
"Your dad says you never smile but just hang around by yourself after school. Your brothers were athletic and it looks like you could play just about any sport."
"Trying to size me up?"
"You are free to go."
"Ever since dad got home from that jungle rot war and had those flashbacks and my mom could not cope with his disorder I ran away from home,and everything was mute between all of us. I could not concentrate or study but I read and wrote on my own. Here are my stories and poems.They are about you."
 " For me?"
" Why not. Dad told me you write lots of books on your patients."
" Everything we say here is confidential. Look at my books,they are not biographical but clinical about my practice as a doctor in time of war."
"Don't practice on my case. I want to kiss you,Anna."
" That would not be professional for me or wise for you."
" I guess not but why not."
" Now Jay, leave."
 " No one will suspect I'm a man more than any other Kidd."
" Really."



DOVE

Hearing a mourning dove call
by the gecko who lands
over this sandy coast
on a day of pure air
the bird with its tone's echo
going and then coming away
to take a wash along the beach
by bright tourist ships
in the home harbor
as my dusky eyes rose up early
with flying doves over my head
is now a warm memory
to all who recall her
by the dunes and redwood
reaching for the waters
in the bluest sea
of illumined words
when first light enfolds
my hand of sunflower seeds
from a breathing wind
in the neighborhood
as daughters and sons
of the wellspring wind
wakes up those who are lost
from motioning shadows
whom fate double-crossed
on ocean journeys
those troubled yet survive
double minded in the eventide
searching for the shore
where we long for
more of your love.

B.Z. Niditch

VERSE CAN HAPPEN

Verse can happen
in unexpected times
from an arrival of summer
by trekking on back roads
watching birds on frenzied wings
or hearing a cardinal sing
over ladders of seasonal silences
when herons climb upon Evergreens
near a poet's buried footsteps
amid secret silences
on a nostalgic hammock
folding over two paper roses
creativity may occur
watching egrets
by the home harbor shore
for an early swim,
words can wash over you
from wayward third parties
who send waves to you
on the seas's dark coolness
covering a white desert sand
with a butterfly net
or at the freshly painted gazebo
by the lighthouse's luminosity
or listening to the tremor
of an oboe or cornet
from the brass or woodwinds
playing a set from a jazz sax
over nuanced quarter notes
in a Newport quintet
by a quilt of sunshine
from your peace arm band.



HEARING YOU OUT

The smooth jazz plays
above the windowsill
grackles sing furiously
by wellsprings like this
near shadows of geraniums
it seems a curious day
in the season's weather
for the winds, rain, shower
or to hum a childhood tune
when warm words emerge
like a light feather's secret
on a blackbird's wing
yet the urge for creativity
has reason in its metamorphosis
for a temperamental poet
discovering nature's outback
to be hovering
over red flowers, bees, Evergreen
in our neighborhood
playing sax by the river bed
here on Spectacle island
at the perfect morning hour
for her to deliver a day dream
for any emerging refugee
hiding in the woodland
or in exile from parental storms
reaching out for a riff miracle
on the sandy beach.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Painting and Short Story By Adam Kluger

This is an amazing painting and short story by Adam Kluger, from his series of short stories Winners and Losers. He is influenced by Bukowski, Hemingway, Fante, and Salinger, but his style is definitely all his own.
"Reflections On Hank," 2015, Adam Kluger. 


Lady Marmalade & The Ratcatcher

The New York Art Scene was dead.

Music too.


So Morgan Tripfalter did what he had been doing his whole life.

He watched television. 

Born in New York City during the mid-sixties, come of age in the gritty seventies and introduced to the downtown scene in the 80’s, Morgan was no stranger to what Manhattan had to offer. The good the bad and the weird.

Morgan rode the white horse and fronted a punk band of little repute—fucked his share of skanky actresses and got crabs- found Buddha, cleaned up and had a kid got a job and another and another and sold his soul again and again. The kid and his old lady moved to California and decided not to bug him for alimony and child support because frankly what was the point in that.

The bottom of the barrel was where Morgan Tripfalter resided in a basement flat on Avenue B as a building janitor who would sit out on the stoop late at night look at the stars and wonder when and how he had fucked up his life so completely.

He reminded himself of Siddhartha’s journey and fished through the garbage can next to him- he couldn’t believe someone would throw out a perfectly good paint set- must have cost at least $12.99.  Watercolors and a brush.
 
The moon hitting the street light looked kind of like a black gingko tree speckled with bluish shadows. Morgan grabbed a glass jar from the little wooden shelf in the converted bedroom that used to be an equipment closet, filled it with hot water from the rusty faucet from the small room with a sink and a shitter down the hall. As Morgan sat on the stoop he heard the screeches of the buses and the mechanical noises of the city that people ignore. He dipped the paintbrush into the hot water and swirled it around on top of the surface of the black square until a dark puddle formed. He picked up a discarded New York Post and went to the racing section. He looked up at the lamp post and started to paint. 
In the morning before he made his rounds to clean the garbage cans and wash off the street with a hose, Morgan took his little painting and placed it on the shelf. It wasn’t very good. In truth it was quite bad. That made sense as Morgan was pretty much terrible at everything he did. He was terrible with people, terrible with responsibilities and terrible at life.  Making things ugly –that, he was pretty good at.

He found a pencil and wrote on the back of the painting, “Gingko Tree in a Concrete Jungle or an Asshole’s attempt at Art.” Morgan chuckled at his title and lit up another cancer stick as a reward. He let out a loud, lingering cough and then shuffled down the hallway, his 15 keys jangling on the keychain on his ratty jeans. The more keys you have, the more important you are- everybody knows that. His cell phone rang. It wasn’t a smart phone it was more of what you might refer to as a stupid looking flip-phone circa the 1990’s. He didn’t even know where he got it but he could receive calls from the landlord and the tenants who always needed cockroaches and rats exterminated ---only the good jobs for Morgan Tripfalter. 
Lunch was a bologna sandwich on white bread and Kool-aid from his little half refrigerator.

The radio was playing a 1980’s New Wave song—from Blondie. Morgan remembered as a kid she was always his favorite…he used to spank off to a poster of her from an old Trouser Press magazine. It was probably his love of Blondie that made Morgan want to become a punk rocker/junky—sure he liked the Ramones and the Talking Heads and the Sex Pistols but Debbie Harry was his girl. Later that night Morgan tried to paint Debbie Harry’s exotic looking face with her high cheekbones and almond eyes. What he came up with looked more like a Cheshire Cat with boobs and vagina.  The title was easy, Hot Pussy from the Past.  By the end of the week Morgan’s shelf had filled up with water colors of street scenes, rats, cockroaches, garbage cans, nude women with exaggerated breasts and butts.  

One of those nights when Morgan was painting, a tranny prostitute stumbled by and asked him if he wanted any company.  Morgan politely declined.

“What are you doin’ honey all by your lonely self on that cold doorstop, you wanna party with Lady Marmalade?
“No thanks…Just painting”
“No thanks, huh? Hmmm…What are you painting?…must be real important.”
“Nothing really”
“Then why don’t you paint ME, Picasso?”
“You want me to paint you? I’m not very good?
“Sweetheart, you don’t need to be any good as a painter to make it honey child- you just need to be able to suck cock and take it in the ass if you want to make it in the art-world- trust me I know enough “artists” and “gallery owners” to know the real deal about the art world, sugar.”
“Aw, I don’t want to become a famous artist.”
“Then what the fuck are you doing out here all by yourself on this cold night sugar-britches?”
“You’re right…I think I’m gonna head in…thanks again for the advice.”
No problem, sugar. Advice is free. A party’ll cost you a painting…ok, Picasso?”
“Ha, ha… you got it.”

Morgan laid out another piece of newspaper on his small desk in his little room and started to paint Lady Marmalade in various poses. He painted her sad face heavy with mascara.

In the morning the phone rang. 8AM. It was the landlord. A real prick.

“Tripfalter…if I get one more fucking complaint about rats or cockroaches in any of the apartments I am going to fucking FIRE you-- you dumb, lazy drug addict mother-fucker, quicker than you can say take me back to the mother-fucking penitentiary because I can’t handle the simplest fucking tasks in the world…do I make myself clear you useless fucking piece of human waste—Tripfalter, I’m talking to you …you dumb sack of shit...answer me, fucker—am I making myself clear?”
“Crystal.”
Tripfalter flipped close the phone.
“You motherfucking cocksucking asshole,” he muttered under his breath as he grabbed the roach spray and the rat-broomstick from next to his cot and went off to his appointed rounds.

That night the moon was bright.  Morgan felt untouchable. He knew it was inevitable that he was going get canned. He was ready to move on. The janitor gig had been a nice refuge in a violent sea of disappointment after disappointment. He didn’t have much to take with him just a suitcase full of old clothes and toiletries. A dog eared paperback of Buddhist koans and about 50 new paintings on newspaper.

Early in the morning he left a note on the door “gone fishin” and started making his way to St. Mark’s Place. As a kid he always loved St. Marks. After one of his band-mates had OD’d in a walk-up there—he always left flowers when he remembered to. It had been many years now.

It was a sunny day and the weekend to boot.

Morgan grabbed a cup of coffee to go and headed over to the giant Cube in Astor Place.

Someone had left a red plastic apple crate. Perfect place to pop a squat. He put his suitcase down and for some reason he felt like painting. He took his one and only paint brush and dipped it in his coffee- just as good as water. He smiled.  Finding a stray piece of paper off the sidewalk to paint on is never a problem in NYC.  Dipping into the black to sketch out the design of the cube didn’t take long. Then came the colors.

Before Morgan knew it, other artists and vendors were setting up shop around the Cube with little fold up tables. One skateboarder wiped out right next to Morgan and then sheepishly asked what he was painting. When he saw the cube surrounded by kids on skateboards he yelled, “Dudes! Check this shit out!”

Before he knew it there were six or seven teenaged skaters surrounding Morgan complimenting his sketch. “Yo, Chief! How much for the artwork?” Morgan was confused. He had never actually thought about selling any of his art. It was really just a hobby and for the most part he thought his art was as shitty as the rest of his life was.

“Yeah man, how much you want for that painting?” another one of the kids asked enthusiastically. 

Morgan, still kind of stunned replied, “I don’t know, what were you thinking?” The kids talked amongst themselves for a moment. 

“We’ve only got like twenty five bucks between us…would that be ok?”

Morgan couldn’t believe it. “Yeah, man—twenty bucks is fine. You got it.  Here you go. Morgan started to hand the sketch to the ringleader and the kid handed it back to him and said, “hey, aren’t you gonna sign it?” Morgan, again somewhat stunned took the money and quickly put it in his pocket then reached for his paintbrush— he dipped into his black paint and scribbled Ratcatcher on the bottom.

“Ratcatcher?” The ring leader read out loud, "that's fucking RAD!!!”


After grabbing a slice of pizza and a Coke Zero, Morgan came back to the Cube and his red apple crate. The skaters were long gone but the other artists and vendors were pretty busy with tourist traffic.

Morgan opened up his suitcase took out a couple of his better sketches. He found some rocks and placed them on the corners of each sketch and waited, and waited and waited. Eventually he had to take a piss. He asked another artist if she would watch his suitcase while he ran over to the Continental Divide to use their bathroom. He didn’t know why he trusted her. She was Asian and selling lithographs and seemed hard-working and earnest. It was just a gut feeling. When he got back, his suitcase was still there but one of the pieces of artwork was missing from the top of the suitcase. He handed the old lady a cup of green tea he had bought her from a cafĂ© as a surprise thank you gift which she accepted gratefully with a funny smile.

“Hey what happened? Did some artwork blow away?”

“No, while you in bathroom; I sell your artwork for you.”

“What do you mean you sold my artwork for me? Someone actually bought one of my sketches, Morgan replied bemusedly.

“British family. Dress very nice. They like lady with sad face. Look like painted clown-- I told them it was original artwork-- that you famous New York street artist that piece probably NOT for sale—they were in rush—I told them two hundred dollar—I was surprised. He laughed and gave me money no problem and business card and said YOU contact him. Don’t know why.”

The little old woman handed Morgan two crisp one hundred dollar bills. They looked different than how Morgan had remembered them. Benjamin Franklin looked different and the bill itself had different colors and holograms on it.

The business card was thick and white with an official air to it.

Nigel Worthington. Owner.  Paystoke Galleries. London, UK.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I Dare You To Kick Sand In the Face of These Poems By Joseph Reich

Joseph Reich has been published in a wide variety of eclectic literary journals
both here and abroad, been nominated five times for The Pushcart Prize, and
his most recent books include, "A Different  Sort Of Distance" (Skive Magazine
Press) "If I Told You To Jump Off The Brooklyn Bridge " (Flutter Press) "Pain
Diary: Working Methadone & The Life & Times Of The Man Sawed In Half"
(Brick Road Poetry Press) "Drugstore Sushi" (Thunderclap Press)  "The Derivation
Of Cowboys & Indians" (Fomite Press) "The Housing Market: a comfortable place
to jump off the end of the world" (Fomite Press) "The Hole That Runs Through
Utopia" (Fomite Press)  "Taking The Fifth And Running With It: a psychological
guide for the hard of hearing and blind" (Broadstone Books) "The Defense

Mechanisms: your survival guide to the fragile mind" (Fomite Press)

C.Atlas fig. #83


*


Somehow i have developed affection
for my threatening mother-in-law
seeing myself resting my head
in her morbidly-obese belly
in her motel room atop
hospital hill looking
out the portholes
waiting for food


*


Always loved the smell
of those ragged torn rugs
with slabs of seashore sifting
through the bathroom window
felt like an instant rebirth forgetting
everything that happened before and after
something to be said about the blessed middle


*


Those desperate older women
who used to pick me up
at the movie theater
and bring me back
to their cozy ranches
tucked in some surreal
barren manicured suburb
as if there has been a murder
and nothing ever gets mentioned
and just like this sort of situational
depression or denial would only blow
me in their silk pajamas with a fragile
glass end table all filled up with their
missing-in-action salesmen husbands


*


You leaving feeling
just as empty and vacant
guilty and taken advantage


*


We don’t see the dew form
and fall off the fragile petal
anymore but right around
dawn infomercials telling
us–“i saw the dead skin
just fall right off”
finding yourself
at a loss some
where between
the law and the lord
that silly pretty weather
girl with the small talk
and that very serious weather
man waking us up for the morning
commute with bumpa ‘da bumpa
on bridges and delays at airports
somewhere between the near
and remote future to make
us feel a part and involved
safe and secure souls shut
real-life ghosts former shells
of selves marching off to war


*


Rolling with the punches
staggering down some long
hot anonymous hallway
where the only sound
is the distant muffled
whistle of trains fading
away and you with your
simple holy and sacred
postcard heading towards 
some lobby in some heatwave
in some insane sleepwalking city
last in a chain of command
like one of those chain
letters like some long
lost ecosystem or evolution
or could even be apocalypse
as if that would make a difference


*


Palm trees
of decadence
poverty-stricken
roaming through
the most dangerous
sections eventually
feeling like buddha
without hope or fear


*


So poor surviving off
the greatest story ever told
and kool-aid without sugar…




C.Atlas fig. #77


Summer mantras in america:

 ~

I have decided for the next presidential election
they should combine it with like some reality show
like throw them all in the middle of the galapagos
islands just off the equator smack-dab in the
middle of the rainforest and see how they
survive and make it after couple weeks
time in the dense jungles or do they
most likely end up just finding and ripping
off water from some water source and don’t
even tell their female counterparts (then play
dumb something they got the market cornered…)
and see if they are still worthy to win our trust
and usually in the end end up trusting the females
so much more all america taking a poll to see if the dugger’s
should still be on tv after finding out he had a history of
molesting young girls wonder if ghosts ever get erectile
dysfunction or suffer from side effects like nightmares
or suicide ideations see where on the news how
one of those jumpy houses got sent flying out
of control into mid-air with the kids still in them
sailing over the park and then strip mall and then
ocean (wasn’t even on america’s funniest videos)
and the cameras following them like one of
those moronic tornado chasers wonder which
news team was the first on the scene with
exclusive reporting and if everyone ended
up just living happily ever after like those
action heroes in those video games or
do they call them movies? pretty much
the exact same thing just like everything
else in higher than holy heroic “let’s do this”
(just another expression they stole from
the black man) in white man america,

 ~

And so it’s summer in america and while on your treadmill in your basement
you hear about those fugitives still on-the-run from the clinton correctional
facility and believe they’re closing in, as bloodhounds are on the trail sniffing
out the candy wrappers (you wonder which ones? snickers whose commercials
appear to indicate that it can quell your hunger and turn you into a new man?
three musketeers with all that delicious nougat whatever the hell that is? twix
the only one with that cookie crunch?) and may have crossed over from
plattsburgh, ny over lake champlain to vermont (as always in america
becomes something of a comedy of errors where any two males possibly
spotted strolling together, whether staggering home from some midnight
bar or broken tractor become instant suspects or warhol’s instant 15
minutes of fame, while the news will instantly report any claims like
searching for weapons of mass destruction) any which way the kids
got real lucky, as all the schools got shut down and front doors of
houses shut, while the tailor shop instructor who thought she was
in love got cold feet and like some slapstick comedy they popped
out the manhole cover and she was nowhere to be found. last we
heard she’s been taken into custody, while they’ve taken convenient
pics of that g.i. joe swat team in all their stylish looking clothing
and gear and equipment and positions always after the fact
to make us feel more safe and secure about the facts
ex: in fact only in america do they find the need to provide
you the necessary statistics or demographics or infrastructure
of how the prison was created in 1865 and that the previous
longest escape was for only 3 days, and now we are going into
week 3 with the average or median amount of time of a convict
being found is in less that 5 hours all to objectify or placate or put
in perspective probably just to keep it all grounded and the illusion alive
they said it would have made a great movie
if not for the nature of their crimes…

 ~

One wonders if as a kid bent over diligent and meticulous
with your magnifying glass trying to burn leaves in the sun
wasn’t some form of acting-out or payback or sublimation
for feeling your whole life under the microscope judged?

 ~

As a reallife
runaway
life seemed
so real
back then
older women
trying to
pick me up
in misty buses
in portland
oregon
reading
biographies
on brando
and galileo
coming
back from
putting up
cubicles
in business
parks back
to the jack
london,

 ~

Front porch in reno really wasn’t much of a front porch
at all, but one of the best front porches i recall in my
consciousness where you’d conk-out with strangers
and hustlers and wanderers who all seemed on-the-run
and had something in common with a view of the sidealleys
and backs of casinos in the sweltering afternoon before the neon
went on and the spines got all lit up and the cookie-cutter drunken
schmucks showed up to make spectacles of themselves who had
nothing to say about life in general all in hi-fi stereo; pharmacies
with carousels of romance novels and you had to stick a quarter
in the slot just to go to the bathroom; all those glossy postcards
without having a single soul you cared to send them out
to, which felt like the best and worst feeling in the world
something thank the lord they couldn’t even begin to know,

 ~

Today i dropped my wife and kid and parents off at one of those
retro diners because just don’t function or perform particularly
well in those sorts of environments with alienating tourists who
thrive off following and came upon classic ‘americana’ with all these
snarling wannabe alpha-males looking and acting all angry and hostile
sitting in their lawn chairs with their miniature american flags waiting
for the parade to show up so they could have their pathetic, absurd
moment in the sun and wave at the floats and hope they might get
a wave back (live the dream; the american dream, the delusion,
and if you only knew what a bunch of hypocrites and phonies
and cut-throats they were on a daily basis, as it just felt like
the classic metaphor for america, simply sitting there with their
wooden expressions, passive-aggressive, waiting for some parade
to appear; these scum bags; the microcosm and machinations
and psychodynamics of the repetitive patterns of the vicious
cycle of abuse, overcompensating and trying to get approval
from the original abuser) when i finally took that u-turn and took
off and could feel that revulsion and nausea pass passing through
some token exclusive country club with its manicured lawns i found
myself fantasizing about hitting some schmuck in his golf cart when
he was crossing along the crosswalk (pretending like i didn’t see him
like he’s done most of his existence) and doing the perfect hit and run
(hearing and feeling every specific part of the hit and then the infamous run)
and interestingly instead of experiencing the phenomenon of feeling any sense
of guilt or remorse feeling this keen sense of relief and freedom and liberation
reflecting, and having an instant revelation that my whole existence has been
something of a veritable ‘hit and run’ and could actually only function and move
forward by acting-out (fulfilling the self-fulfilling prophecy) due at the time
to an impossible and overbearing authority figure constantly putting me under
the microscope, dreaming of being engulfed and eaten up and swallowed whole
by one of those angels with the flowing curly hair and blushing cheeks and
ecstatic smile pumping away madly on top of me instinctively forgetting it all
and knowing in truth and reality this is the only thing worth living and dying for,

 ~

Whenever it’s pouring rain
i love to take my kid out
through misty summer
mountains to the library
to go on the computers
and just watch the rain
pour past those
library lattices
yet today it was
one of those wicked
authoritarian zombie
librarians with her clipboard
and clock and signs on the wall
like some sort of nazi quoting rules
and regulations (why do they love
to do that so much as think they
are doing something higher than
holy and virtuous and for the greater
cause but clueless while ironically
slaves without an imagination or
original thought and such a herd
of fucken hypocrites full of
contradictions overcompensating
pretending to act all classy
with their fellow witches and
must be one of the nicest guys
in the world) but eventually
was just able to blow her
off and watch this gorgeous
girl couldn’t have been anymore
than eighteen years old simply
sitting there at the end of the room
at the end of the table all alone
like some soft blushing angel
just studying being pensive
and reflective doing a little
stretching and flirting and
looking at me every so often
i think seeing me as something
of a bad boy but nice father
with his kid and now at the end
of the evening in the middle of the
lightning just sitting back in my easy
chair i dream of her; the best thing
about lovemaking or lustmaking
was just lying there naked with
her in bed bullshitting with all
the bullshit and issues of people
off your chest and your heart and
soul finally open again forgetting it
all like some drug free-associating
and you think about that simple girl 
with the long chestnut hair flowing
down her breast and that sly grin
flirting at the end of the room
at the end of that table
in the library in
the pouring rain,

 ~

Coming up: weather
 ghosts

 ~

Horses transported through torrents
in the change of seasons
from dusk to evening,

 ~

Yesterday the wife and i were watching these three wild turkeys
who always just show up on our lawn coming out of the woods
and saw them very gingerly and cautiously inching towards
the road wondering how they were gonna do it and if they
were gonna make it across then they suddenly took off
and flew over. we had no idea wild turkey could fly,

 ~

Why i want someone like buster keaton for prez
half-crazed, athletic, malleable, all-weathered
with the melodramatic wind constantly blowing
through his hair on some runaway train, plane
or ship, well-equipped ‘cause always in crisis
or the punch line to that quip ‘trouble always
seems to find me,’ finding ingenious and easy
ways out of it due to repetition and experience
holding on for dear life, always seeming to get
the pretty girl in the end, all heroic and slapstick
as i feel absolutely nothing for our new old batch
of candidates jeb and hillary who are supposedly
supposed to represent our best interests, but got 
no idea and just don’t feel it and feel like i been
through this type of shit before, and back then
trust me wasn’t impressed; perhaps even get
his stepbrother w.c. fields to be speaker of the
house, literally nodding-out beneath derby hat,
strawberry-nosed, bloated, blush-faced, dozing
off off a jug of moonshine with one of those long
hilarious tremendous three stooges’ snores which
always seemed to say it all; his stud-gigolo cousin
infamous, self-destructive, deathwish d.w. griffith
for vice president, spinning on the top of his head
slipping and sliding somewhere between stoic and
sympathetic on some 76th fl. ledge on top of some turn
of the century black and white skyscraper looking down
on all of humanity really knowing it all, quick and clever
hustler, while ironically feel so much more comfortable
and better represented, muted, and with the sound off,

 ~

See where some punks from nasa
down on earth are getting a little
freaked out by some image they
think they see on the red planet
of some tall skinny girl with long
hair they believe might be living
up there alone and i think wow
pretty damn cool and have a
trigger of old girlfriends i once
loved and what happened to them
and leave her the fuck alone as good
to know there’s some tall skinny girl
with long hair up there keeping an eye
out for us poor lost souls from the stars,

 ~

Little boy blue
behind the blinds
hiding on the moon
dead or alive next door,