Thursday, August 6, 2015

Demented Children's Story Hour

I was kind of hot shit in the small press world for a couple of years after my first book Concave Buddha and Other Public Disservice Announcements was published by The Press of the Third Mind in 1990. The small press Golden Er was still full ablaze, although no one was aware that the internet would soon put an end to all of that. Chapbooks were king. They were the currency of small press poets. You traded yours for theirs. It was an effort for someone to make one, and an honor that anyone would feel strongly enough about your work to put that kind of effort and money into it. This is my second chapbook, Demented Children's Story Hour. It was published by New Sins in Pittsburgh in 1992. Since I have never digitized these poems, and they never made it into my second full-length book, Detached Retinas, in 1997

Demented Children's Story Hour, a 1992 chapbook of Outsider Poetry published by New Sins Cahapbook Series

The Spirit and the Flesh

A shadowy residue of pale blue light
Piles up in the corner like a dung heap
Where terrible phantoms of decay
And inertia come to feed on me
Like carrion apples.
In the cellar the flesh incinerator
Purrs for dinner and is only satisfied
With one species of rare mammal.
Where's my exotic summer guest,
Strewn on the floor like pickup sticks
Dropped in such a way that they resemble
A face I faintly remember from childhood.
My sleep is hijacked by dreams of possession.
Girls with trembling lips parted to receive
Incestuous trains slamming into them
With such pent up fury and force,
Every orifice stuffed with something
Holy or something foul.
This is the spirit and this is the flesh.
-Thomas L. Vaultonburg

     I hadn't read that poem in over twenty years. No wonder it didn't make it into the second book. I didn't like it very much. Let's try another one.

My Life As a Foreign Movie

Our movies are subtitled
With Polish consonants.
I shave in my aunt's basement, slicing
Perfectly even gills in my throat.
I snatch crimson breaths that explode
In my lungs, and steal my meals from
Rats and cockroaches.
For warmth I rape the light socket with my tongue,
For light I strike the anvil of the underworld
With my rage.
The sparks terrify the rats, and strengthen
My bargaining position in their black market.
Fear gains me fear gains me fear gains me power.
You will not treat me the way you treated d.a. levy
Give me your money and shut your mouths
And go to the tractor pull.
I cut paper with the tongue that licks
The Universe's pussy.
The wind takes my private dictations
And leans over to whisper in God's ear.
Peasants need written permission to touch me.
And when I'm found laying face down in a sewer
I'm just conferring with my underworld informants.

     There are four more lines here but I really hate them, so that's the end of that poem. There are a few other poems in here but either they went into Detached Retinas or I don't like them enough to even type them out. 

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