Thursday, May 24, 2018

Trashy Art Show To Not Be Prevented By the Police In Rockford

Sometimes it's just fun to do some old-fashioned pop art. After a super serious museum show last summer, and about half a dozen shows since then, a lot of us in Rockford just wanted to organize a show that is just for kicks. And someone came up with the idea of doing a show at one of the local motels, have the artists display in various rooms, and have each room represent some activity someone inhabiting that room might be engaged in. Use your imagination. From what I've seen so far the artists have gone in many different directions, all just entertaining as all get out. Because she is my partner I have been authorized by Kooky Houston to post these teasers from the room she is sharing with me, FoodStamp Davis, and Josh Benkert, who will be doing tintypes and Polaroid photos with whatever prop and person you choose to be photographed with. It's trashy, but harmless fun, and all of us who have been working so hard need it. I hope it's sweltering hot like a movie noir and everyone wears tank tops and cheap sunglasses and leisure suits. Rockford's hottest new band, Glitter, will be playing. Prarie Street Brewhouse will be bringing their magnificent beers. I'm not just hyping this up by saying I think it's worth a drive from out of town, and certainly if you're in Rockford nothing will be cooler this summer. 

Paintings from the upcoming Come and Go Motel Show by Kooky Houston

For my money my partner Kooky Houston is the best artist in the Midwest

Kooky Houston

My ugly mug will be there, also, finally showing in public for the first time my Poopsicle series of paintings, all including titles I can't post here in polite company. Ok, I'll do one, because you have been sufficiently warned this is a lowbrau art show.

The Turd That Killed Elvis by Zombie Logic

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What Poets Can Do To Help Me Be a More Effective Small Press Publisher

Here are a few very simple things that poets who want to support what I do here at Zombie Logic Review, Zombie Logic Press, and Outsider Poetry can do that don't require money, or much effort, and would make it much easier for me to get your work in front of the eyes of more readers. 

Number one

Like Zombie Logic Press on Facebook

Like the Facebook page. Otherwise Facebook makes me pay to show other people your poetry. And I have. I wish I didn't have to. If 10% of the people who sent me poetry read what I was posting life would be so much easier for me. Also, I don't deluge the followers with anything but the poetry being published here and at...

Like Outsider Poetry on Facebook

Like that Facebook page. I use it far less than the Zombie Logic Press page, but I post the poems being published at Outsider Poetry there.

My personal account on Twitter

That's my personal account on Twitter, and I'm not overly concerned if you want to like that or not as I talk about a lot of things other than poetry. For instance, I posted about the NFL today, and I doubt very many of you care about that. However, I do have a Twitter account that I use exclusively to post about poems, and that is here at Outsider Poetry On Twitter

That's it. If you could share those links so I could reach a larger audience that would be helpful, too. 

Thank you.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Three Poems By Levi Mericle

Levi J. Mericle is a poet/spoken-word artist, lyricist and fiction writer from Tucumcari, New Mexico. His work has appeared in multiple anthologies and can be seen in many lit magazines and journals from over half a dozen countries such as Black Heart Magazine, Mused, Flash Fiction Magazine, eFiction India, Awakenings Review, University of Madrid's literary magazine, Painters and Poets, Apricity Magazine and more. He is an advocate for the anti bullying movement as well as an advocate for the LGBTQ community.

The Desert Teddy

I grew up in the country
by the highway,
on route 66.
And I stared day to day into the deserted pastures
of prickly teddy bears.
No grizzly, polar, or little brown
The kind that eat herring off a brook.
Yet I see charisma characterized
in these paws of shapened nature
These grizzly’s of the desert,
these polar’s of the sand,
these little brown’s colored green

roar to the sound of existence.

Saying Goodbye

(Previously published in JACLR, Journal of Artistic Creation and Literary Research, The University of Madrid, Spain)

Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.
-Herbert Hoover
Cast Iron tears are easy.

When you’re young
when you’re broken
when your heart is heavy.

When death licks your ambitions like a lollipop—
And you throw away your desire
like the wrapper of life.

What is the taste of grief?
Iron, confliction?
Cheap attention or compassion?

When you died—
I cradled the thought of your mini corpse.
I disregarded the stiff, firm look of your eyelids.
And tried to remember your smile.

Forever hates you.
The ending embraces your bones.

I’ll wonder why
roses cry the way they do

like pails of petals poured

over concrete.

Porcelain Rose

Have you ever seen a desert rose die?
Have you held the remnants in your hands
as the warm breeze carries the dust like ashes in the wind?

Can you just for a second easily pretend that I am that rose?  
A deserted desert lifeline that is cut off from the rest of the world.
Left to shrivel without a solitary drop of care.

Some days I replicate the feeling of being a desert rose.
I understand her pain.
Her interpretation of her dehydrated corpse.
Lying lifeless, rigid and dried up in the desert sun.

Then I pretend to be a cactus.
Sharp edged, arid humility,
integrity so hardened for the sake of survival.

An unsightly living organism.
Untouchable by the human hand.
Yet so fully alive.

Striving in a world where beauty is not allowed.
Rendered deceased at birth.

How could something so ugly,
so course in appearance, so unmistakably dead to the human eye
live for so long?

Is it some symbolical punch line to a bad joke
that I’m simply not getting?

Or is the ugly satirical point of the cactus,
merely a door that opens in death for death
to a place where life is pushed away.  

So I live in the desert but I choose to be the rose.
Beauty, so predictably destined to die
yet is a death worthy of the life perceived.

Because I choose to be the rose,
Because I accept what ails me,
Because I am beauty,

I will prevail not just in this life but in the next.

Remembered in time as a porcelain teardrop

in a sea of fire.  

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Poems By Duncan Tierney

Poems by Duncan Tierney

Trip Home
Running a ship has never interested me,
but with the duty of privilege, and a penance to onlookers
I practiced a straight spine and proud chest, reminding myself
that complaints of excess do little but kick the teeth of the poor.

Once I brought this up to my superior, a man like me,
with a deep voice that he used for words that danced like mercury.
“Why am I captain? I don’t know where I’m going.”
knowing full well the question dripped greasily with ingratitude.

To my shock, he took it well,
baritone shouting a guffaw.
“It doesn’t matter if or where your ship goes” he said
“You are captain because you are captain”

And so I stood behind the wheel running the ship over rocks,
waiting, as it filled with water, for a beautiful mutiny,
and from the lifeboats I heard a crewman call my name,
asking with plastic, theist sincerity,
“What next, sir?”
Maintaining Curb Appeal
Working for Mr. Wailer, preserving the carefully curated sprawl
of the hoarder’s properties is like working as an assistant to an eccentric billionaire,
but without the refined manners or manicures of affluence.
With Mr. Wailer, his eccentricity is scrawled in dead languages and antiquated metaphors,
across tobacco stained teeth and a nicotine beard.
It sits, restless and unbounded, in cockeyed piles of warped plywood, and
misshapen sheds, filled with the red of Budweiser boxes and Folgers cans,
behind carefully placed walls of trees and hedges,
so the county supervisor doesn’t get to prosecute Mr. Wailer,
for the collection of treasures that he has chosen to fill his tomb with.

Today was a break from the broken reality of carefully restacking plywood in intricate patterns—
plywood that would be from the Reagan Era if Reagan or Nixon or politics or laws existed in this
green labyrinth of beautifully hidden nothings.

Today, I cleaned the yard of my employer’s brother. His brother
spent his time drinking, hidden away either behind his thick browed frown
or the broken door of his four-room ranch.
I had only seen him once, in passing, in the three years I had worked there,
he was an old man—
older somehow than his twin, Mr. Wailer,
and had shuffled away at the sight of my approaching Taurus.

Today was the last day the yard of Wailer’s brother could be cleaned,
according to the final written warning
taped in yellow across the peephole of the house.
And so we did, as his twin lay
visible through the window,
beer in hand, head cranked straight back like a Pez dispenser,
snoring in front of a TV that still blared the History Channel.

As we pulled heavy wet bags, that nobody had bothered to hide,
Mr. Wailer cursed his brother,
said he was a cancer he wouldn’t wish on a sick mutt,
a disease that had latched onto him two minutes into his life and hadn’t let go since.
But still he helps me, loading black into a plywood trailer, shaking with anger and age and cold,
but filling the trailer nonetheless.

It is easy to hate a cancer.
Still too, it is easy to let others in to hate it with you,
Mr. Wailer had had no trouble telling me, or his neighbors,
or the cashiers at our lunch break at McDonald’s,
about the plague of inadequacy that his brother provided.
But something that grinds your teeth and tugs at your spine for that long
becomes a part of you, like vines sometimes turn from parasites to tree branches.
Buzz Saw
Mechanoreceptors—the specialized nerve endings that feel pressure—don’t exist inside skulls.

Now, when I feel thoughts shooting hot and barbed like arrows
across from the right hemisphere,
over to tap dance fervently and arrhythmically as an atheist’s final prayer
on the inner left side of my pate,
I have the comforting knowledge that the noise is just noise.

So too, when I feel a noose tighten around my brainstem—
the part of me that lets me know things without ever thinking them,
like how to laugh or fear or yell.
As the twine brands despair into my reptile brain,
the rope burn is bandaged in misapprehension.

The heat and noise start to sound like a buzz-saw after a while,
whining and spitting and sparking hot splinters across grey matter,
and I cash in my restraint trying desperately to buy silence.

The other night I could, for the first time.
and I sat there, bored,
amid grey thoughts as properly spaced and punctuated as dialogue in porn,
devoid of the technicolor calligraphy that usually deafened silence.

An Unfortunate Typo
I didn’t mean to say “Fuck off”
and dismiss you to friends or tears or whatever you walked out into.
I didn’t mean to say “I hate you” either, because hate is what I use for onions and papercuts and people who grunt at the gym, so I don’t hate you.
What I meant to say is that I’ve had dreams of you fucking my friends in front of me every night since I deleted your number, what I meant to say is that if you would have asked or gestured I would have hung myself in front of my parents, what I meant to say was that you were so fucking charming in your confident stupidity, in your faith, that since you could read and run faster than me, I thought there was something that I didn’t understand, that I had a plotline to follow that you knew about and I couldn’t grasp onto.
What I meant to say was that I lost 15 pounds the week you left me and collapsed doing calf raises on a treadmill because I thought maybe if I repeated the same motion enough it would strangle the thoughts that had been bouncing off the inside of my head since you head left, as if I had forgotten.
What I meant to say is that I came to you in tears that I hadn’t had since I was a kid, trying to tell you my brain doesn’t work right, that my thoughts crack like sledgehammers or glide like pythons through, me hissing about how even an overdose would be meaningless, but you were so asphyxiated with jealousy that the only thing you would respond with was that you didn’t know why I don’t dance.
What I meant to say is that ever since you left, I have been praying to a God that I don’t believe, hoping that your father’s alcoholism and your mother’s depression were contagious or hereditary, praying so hard that even when I started hearing that they were, heard that you had unlocked your bedroom’s revolving door, that you were stealing and drinking; swimming in a pool of prerequisites for the life I had wished for you, it still wasn’t enough.

But when you came up and greeted me for the second first time in my life, my mouth didn’t work like it normally does.
So I told you to fuck off.

Sorry about that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Come and Go Motel Art Show At Rockford Motel

The Come and Go Motel Art Show  is Friday June 29 at the Rockford Motel, 3851 11th Street from 6-10 p.m. 

Come and Go Motel Art Show poster by Kooky Houston

Ubiquitous AF presents the event of the summer! 
A one night only art show featuring some of Rockford's finest. This unique show features the actual motel rooms as part of the exhibit!

There will live music by Glitter!, drinks by Prairie St and a food truck!

Be inspired to buy as the prices of the art will change hourly!

Listen to true sleazy motel stories from around the world with writer Steve Silver. Come hang out with the Rockford Rage derby girls as they shake it to the music with John Rawfunk! Then rock your socks off with Glitter! Tube tops and cut offs are encouraged! Kiddie pools! Lawn chairs! Follow the signs that say Private Party. Ample parking available on site.

Artists participating include:
Brian Harker
Cari Ann Wayman
Manny "Chinacat" Tang
Sarah Stewart
Sierra Wade 
Jesus Correa
Laura Gomel
Folk Goblin
Eleanor Boersma 
Steve Nofsinger
Zombie Logic Press
Foodstamp Davis
Kooky Houston
Lily Pocs
Bret Whitacre

I'm really excited to have been invited to participate in this show, and will be displaying my Poopsicle paintings in the bathroom of room 213. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Winnipeg Jones

As the new Winnipeg Jets begin play in the Western Division Finals against The Las Vegas Golden Knights tonight I post a picture of my dog, Winnipeg Jones, drawn by one of thee world's greatest illustrators, Jenny Mathews, of Rockford Illustrating.

Winnipeg Jones by Jenny Mathews

That's all

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Poetry By Simone Liggins

Simone Liggins has earned her MFA in Writing at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics of Naropa University. The foundation for her love of writing and literature was paved at an early age and blossomed during her teenage years through the kind of tortured freedom that only the ostracism of high school can grant a person. Her literary “ancestors” and various influences include but are not limited to: Sylvia Plath, Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Parker, Audre Lorde, Lenore Kandel, George Saunders, Laurell K. Hamilton, The Beatles, Lady Gaga, Jimi Hendrix, Tracy Chapman, and Fiona Apple

A Manic Depressive’s Observation

Sometimes I forget
how much I hate the collective.
The existence of the factions
vexes me to no end,
for the dichotic poisons
they possess are poured by the gallons
down desolate throats
that have starved for centuries
on little else but isolated ways of life.
Every breath taken from the breathless,
each crumb snatched from the hungry,
every gesture made to uphold the imbalance
goes on somebody’s watchful record.
I cannot begin
to explain how to fix you
because the sickness seems to have few cures—
almost none if one names all the stakes.
And some star examples
have dreamed of vaccines
but too meager avail in the broader scheme of things.
Yet every now and then a small stroke of love
combats the essences bent on rejection.
A chance glance here, brushed fingertips there,
an acknowledged outcry or whispers in lonely ears
More change is inevitable,
And though I watch as you retch,
as you sneer,
as you shove away
the civility, harmony, compassion, and empathy
because too much has been lost in the name of desire
and now everyone adds a flavor to the disease,
I too catch myself in hypocrisy
while reluctantly praying for a deity
to wash its hands and start again.
Humanity has failed so beautifully
to practice what it preaches
to learn what it teaches
to give what it beseeches.
So it stands that Death has no higher function
than to relieve this observer of disappointment
in you, and you, and you
and myself.

Beauty of a Storm’s A-Brewin’

“The dichotomy of light is illusion,”
she said. Grey fire is the key.
Black and White battles are meant for confusion
requiring true oracle eyes to see.

Tell it to the ashes that used to be our ways.
Scattered heart and memory fragments abound.
Catching lingered traces of bittersweet days
calls, once again, for new anchors to be found.

We warn the sky, warn the grass,
exhale the essence into the night,
sing through smoke with the midnight brass
and pulsing beats to cure the “colorblind” blight.

She said, “Egos will be fucked in our wake.
Pace the days in cloud porn; reunion is near.”
Doubt in such witch words is a mistake
in the name of overcoming the little death called fear.

How we weep for what we reap,
the lonely lack of love in what was sown.
Pray to the energies our souls they’ll keep.
Until then, each other is all that we own.

When Hurricane Hearts Discuss Retrogrades

Roguish Mercury went on a wicked mission this round,
squared up with Pluto to shine racism in the spotlight—
Black boy shot at for needing school directions;
Black men arrested for waiting in Starbucks—
but a big joke was
sending a Libra to tell stale stories while
the Pisces’s whispers long
to smother her in her drunken sleep.

Show your internalized prejudice
wrapped in cowardice,
never striving to be a true reflection
of perpetually needed Alien love.
Passing as a tan French Canadian
while denying your other color,
you dare to Google how to love Blackness—
bet you didn’t Google how to be with that new blonde.

Think the other Aquarius would stay, Aries, if he knew
how much you actually
miss diving between smooth, svelte legs,
wishing they led to ebony rainbows?
Dream of it more,
Fetishize stereotypes galore—
it’s all you’re trying to know.
Run to the people of power
with your complaints about a power you
can’t possibly comprehend, the experience
that’s yet to slice flesh & mind from being—
don’t worry. Saturn’s coming to show you, too.

That Hazel-eyed red head looked me in the eyes and
with boozy breath whispered
“all lives matter” then proceeded to show
how much one actually didn’t
by ruthlessly laughing at its sadness, gleefully
abandoning it and blatantly ignoring its presence
every chance they got.

Go ahead and declare this the ways of your people,
show yourself a shining example,
because when complacency is Boulder’s
bread & butter, I guess sometimes the civilized
just can’t help themselves.

Claim colorblindness to
excuse your willingness for conditioned separation
in color & class, to not see POCs,
not bring Goddess home to Mama,
but use lyrics of Blackness to hate and discriminate
against other Blackness then call yourself
loving to Blacks, listening to the tracks that
support stereotypes but too afraid to
face Django Jane or actually watch a Black Boy Fly.
Of course you won’t be spared when
the power is finally printed on paper
from blood & tears morphed into ink
for all the world to learn.

Little White lies fill up
a big White bubble as
obsidian Flatirons reflect tears
from the ghosts of true Natives.
Just sip more whiskey, more Chai,
your conscience down the drain,
feel no pain in happily choosing to
say words you know are wrong
out of lack-of-Black privilege.
It’s simply the American Way.

Hope You Hear This One

“Even the stars will love you!”
Whisper winds from distant seas
while carrying a hint of impending chaos.
Glow about my flesh, all for you,
this is a sacrifice, yet another,
for the first ones weren’t as pure—yet.

Ascending dimensions was the mission,
but not without knowing the weight
of all my fractals’ reflections—
must be the troll toll.
Cut out gilded chunks from goddess’s back like coins,
pound by pound,
the “truest” currency I’ve been taught to know.

Starry deserts of love across a sky
that will always be mine and yours
and hers and his and theirs and ours.
It’s bound in the blood.

Reckoning with Shadows

  • I didn’t really feel I could trust anyone who wasn’t thoroughly seasoned with me.

What is “thoroughly seasoned”? Why do I expect it to taste so burnt? Lay down a Beat with the 9 Wands, maybe stomp out a new bass line to go along with that re-freshened perception after experience claims otherwise, another excavated expectation that makes you say quelle surprise this time.

I realize I tend to sound angry as fuck in my work (to people un-solidly seasoned with me).
It feels like I’m being assertive in an attempt to reclaim
power that was manipulated out of me or
I unwittingly gave away. Maybe it’s just me being a bitch.
Maybe the latter half happens because of the former.
Maybe it’s all tangled in the loosened Ouroboros of the
World’s Wheel of Fortune.

  • I once said I’d rather greet Death than deal with those not solidly seasoned with me.

It’s part of this transformation’s turmoil, you say?
Well clutch the pearls—I already guessed it.
If we diagram that sentence, we could discover which part
is the cause and which is the effect.

  • Lacking trust in those not solidly seasoned with me was a truth I wielded like a blade—only to slash my own heart after calling myself dealing others deathly blows.

You know as well as I there are no lies in this Gemini house.
It helps to shape a home they say.
By they, of course, I mean these ancestral stars.
And oh yes, this heart will make a fine home one day—just you wait!
Here, it’s coming: A Better Version of Me, Fiona said. I always love a good “Fiona says.”
—Okay, so there was a slight delay…

Eight of Coins knows what’s up. Yeah, yeah, the flow’s still going.

Impress upon me this Impressionist dream,
this teenage-lovesick note you could sing
in colors and strokes of devoted, throbbing cocks
being welcomed by honey-drenched—
but seriously, please, don’t take me there
like my body silently wants it because I’m exhausted
from still cleaning up the shards of glass & ears &
heart & eyes & brain & wood & sky & tears
for you.
I’m so deep in shadow-digging, Peter Pan calls me now
when he’s missing his.
The faerie tale of you and me is such a
deliciously bitter guilty pleasure
—despite stinging like a vice—
but apparently there’s no right shake of the dice
for freedom
from sweetly re-woven memories of us.
I’m ready for my bullet to the brow, now, Mr. DeMille.
So close to DeVille:
—like Devil
—like Capricorn
—like hello again, Papa Asshole Saturn.
Keep letting it Linger as you watch a prized Shadowboxer Dance to the
End of Love and oblivion.
I’m reminded why I call you Asshole, Papa,
followed by how many fucks you give about it.

  • How long will the Chariot blaze on before I can trust someone un-solidly seasoned with me?

When you see me on the ground, just assume it’s an illusion.
This journey takes too long on land and too far by sea—this is why I always fly.
I didn’t really feel I could trust anyone who wasn’t thoroughly seasoned with me.
Take your whining about my lack of trust and tell it to the Reversed Scorpio Empress.
She helped me be Born This Way.
I didn’t realize you actually could refund pride in someone.

  • I didn’t really feel I could trust anyone who wasn’t thoroughly seasoned with me though the Star suggests cautious optimism to see the questioning come to an end.

This is what I wanted to believe, but it seems so
impossible at times. Squawk it on the Blackbird wings
of Death and in the
skip of the Fool and the
hope lingering in the
final sip in the 9th Cup:
Cheers to your best wishes.

  • My heart wants Justice for the wounds of being too trusting with those willfully unseasoned with me.

For the most part there’s always been a lack in the flavor of love my heart truly needs to thrive.
Please kiss it better—finally.
Daddy did his best to make up for the Sperm Donor.
Libra VS Libra—if only I’d realized the irony of Mother’s choice back then.
The scales are forever weighing the memories.
Balance out to see he was the truest man to ever love me.
It wasn’t that his persistent Airy heart wasn’t enough.
It was the more afflicted versions surrounding me that stopped at nothing to be louder.
They usually won.

  • I keep thinking that if I could just find my true mate and take three binding sips each from the Cups of love, others not solidly seasoned with me won’t matter.

I talk better when I write.
I should be writing love every day,
to the Star Twin, for the Future Love, to the forlorn shadows and
brilliant faerie flames, from magnanimous mermaids to
gnome guardians of grounding.
Remember I am still worthy of the journey
—even when floating on
tequila rivers.
Come to me, my beloved.
Come to me, as true flame’s bliss.
Come to me, as re-vamped Mother of Gods.

I didn’t really feel I could trust anyone who wasn’t thoroughly seasoned with me & my spark, but my heart’s still pulsing with it on the brink of next life’s dawn—so change my mind faster this time and come to me, come to me, come.

Bipolar? Schizophrenic? Make Up Your Mind.
This is the Geminian way, you see.
Believe the sky’s the limit when it’s truly a glass ceiling.
My hell, fresh with each night, dances and screams
from the eye of a kaleidoscopic hurricane.

My illness is my shepherd and I perpetually want.
Settled dusk of relentless imagination,
laced under rueful wit, plotted with reckless couth—
sunlight becomes a fleeting treat.

Geometry housed in plastic orange bottles
meets a tongue still numbed by greener remedies.
Pop Wednesday, pop Saturday.
I lose time in the dark.