Saturday, May 28, 2005
Interesting things can happen on a road-trip! Yes, I, Marissa Ranello, took a 120 hour round-trip on a Greyhound. Yes, I dragged a child along with me. Inhumane? Perhaps. Interesting? Fuck yes. And let me tell you--sitting in the front seat of a Greyhound bus, with a driver who had his eyes closed(?), in the pouring rain, going around sharp bends, at 3 AM, in Ontario, with suicidal moose darting out in front of the bus, WAS INSANE.
That said, I want to thank Pat for communicating with my husband and the rest of ULA folk, and maintaining the blog, while I fucked off and brought my step-daughter on her first trip to the states. Awesome. But I'm back--and my freshly planted tomato plants will make me think of Pat's Grandma Rosie's Sunday pasta sauce.
It's Friday? DO you know what that means party people? Yes, oh yes, it's blog time. Ooooh, I said it. Say it with me now, BLOG TIME. Makes ya' feel all warm and tingly, doesn't it?
This week we've got great material!
I'm pleased to present poems from A.D. Winans. I do not use this term lightly: this man is a living legend. Indeed, Winans had friendships with Bukowski, Bob Kaufman, & Jack Micheline. However, this is NOT why I refer to him as a legend. Much like Lyn Lifshin, (who I respect and admire) Winans refuses to put himself on a pedestal. He continues to promote and contribute to the small presses. The lit world needs more Lifshin's and Winans'.
I have sat one too many evenings
watching old men and women
eat their last mealone eye on the dessert
the other on the obituary column
A THING OF BEAUTY
It was at the Hotel Entella
before it burned to the ground
her pubes dark as ash set apart
from sheet white thighs
her scent an orchid pinned
to a virgin's chest
the young Panamanian girl
sitting alongside her sister
in a slip and bare feet
reading a comic book
and chewing on bubble gum
at a brothel called The
waiting on the first airmen
six girls lined-up like bowling pins
rooted to their chairs
with zombie like stares
doing a woman's thing inside
a child's body
I REMEMBER STILL
I remember still how wonderful it was
running to join each other's dreams
sharing our separate worlds of hope
in rooms where angels sang
I remember your doll house dreams
your lips colored with flowers
my hands tracing the valley of heaven
and finding them in your silent curves
it was a work of abstract art
a garden of unsurpossed beauty
where I became God himself
and having you
I did not need a son
A BIT OF ZEN
Have no need for
A.D. Winans is a Native San Francisco poet and writer. Member of PEN. Former editor/publisher of Second Coming. Author of over 45 books and chapbooks of poetry and prose. Work has appeared world-wide and been translated into nine languauges.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Faithful blog readers and whorish churls: Today, i stand before you with a heavy heart. Brothers and sistas, i have SINNED! Nope, i'm not referring to the Orgy of Orangevale, nor to the Massacre of Mountain Falls. It's something serious---a two day neglect of this blog (gasp!). Actually it's been a nine day neglect, but our goal here is to post every week, and we've miserably failed at it already. Instead of beating our hearts with clumps of barbed wire, or employing sexual self-humiliation like a military prison guard gone terribly wrong, i'd like to blame everything on departed editors Wred Fright and Pat King, for not infusing us newbies with enough Grueling Training and Iron Will needed to run this blog. Shame...shame...on them!!
Moving right along, instead of posting some creative writing now, and funching up the schedule i foolishly cling to, i will instead revert to the days of Proto ULA Blog, when Pat King, Karl Wenclas, and others would post ULA News and Gossip in this very space.
Those of you who have studied my life history and stalked me for countless hours (fools!) already know that in addition to co-editing this blog with Marissa Ranello, i am also webmaster of the ULA Fan Site. Now, i will take you on a spin through some of the site's new features.
The ULA site is at http://www.literaryrevolution.com/
You will be overwhelmed with brilliant graphics and textual wonders that may immediately blind the impure (sorry Dave!). If you have ADHD, like many of our critics, the front page is as far as you'll ever get into the site. If not, notice ULA Central, the huge red box with link to the current Monday Report and ULA affiliated blogs, including this one. I originally wanted to call that red box the ULA Hot Box, but fortunately cooler heads prevailed.
Now you will look to the blue strip of navigation buttons that will whirl you through the site. Click on the ULA ACTION button for our calendar of what's up, plus (and a lot of fools don't realize this) a collected archive of all ULA news and publicity, organized by year. Historians and lawyers, this is the place to look!
Click on ULA WRITING for many cool things, including Mid-Stream Samples (phrase borrowed from Jack Saunders), which is a collection of essays and creative work by ULA writers. It's just been updated so you'll find some fresh stuff, including one poem (wow!) from Marissa and a truly terrrible older story from my vault of questionable writing, dealing with incest, attempted homosexual rape, mild stalking, alienation, mental illness. The usual for me, sorry. Nearly a year ago, this story was rightly rejected by Word Riot, so it's got that much going for it! Anyway, every ULAer is (or will be soon) represented on this page (even the illusive Susan "Polyestra" America), so this is a truly groundbreaking and ambitious undertaking that we're uh, undertaking. Enjoy it!
Click on MEET THE ULA for our most popular page!! It answers the basic questions about the ULA, and offers exciting mini-profiles of all ULA members. To encourage petty jealousies within the group, some members even have two profiles! But, ya gotta look hard to find them, because i'm not going to make it easy on anyone.
Finally, our online ZEEN STORE (or "Zine Store" for you old-fashioned types who dislike having your English language messed with) offers ULA zeens like Slushpile, Literary Fan Magazine, and all the latest zeen and book projects from our individual members. Check it out and buy something today. It's cheap, fun, and you'll probably make a zeenstar's day.
Alright, that's all i want to talk about with you! The site has many other wonders, with mucho more still to come, but you'll have to explore that for yourself and keep on coming back. Of course, if you have any questions, input, scorn or love for me, email the man, Pat Simonelli, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hopefully soon we'll get this yer blog back on track with some writing. Look for it by Sunday May 29...
Sunday, May 15, 2005
This week the Adventures blog gazes through the ears of Santa Cruz poet Christopher Robin. Chris is one of a handful of ULAers who reside in Northern California's Bay Area, including Urban Hermitt, Joe Pachinko, and myself. The ULA plans to become more active out on the Western Frontier, but for now, we scattered Cali folk can sit back, write poetry, enjoy the sun, and hope our fine state doesn't slide off into the Pacific Ocean before Governor Schwarzenegger figures out a plan to save us. That plan will probably include blowing up the Pacific Ocean, so i'm not too sure about that one.
Switching from Cali to Canada, i can assure faithful blog readers that Marissa is indeed alive and well. Her husband confirms what my clouded mind sorta forgot: that she is indeed on a trip, and won't be blogging for some time. Days, weeks, months, who knows how long you'll have to endure my uninterrupted presence on this blog? I'm getting a bit sick of it myself.
Therefore i shall pass ye over to one who needs no introduction, because i'm too tired and lazy to give it. Put your appendages together for...Christopher Robin!!
She is wondering if her line breaks look pretentious
I can’t tell because I know nothing about line breaks
Went to a reading where the kids spend $40,000 a year
On grad school
But we showed up on the wrong night
I wouldn’t have been able to handle so much oppression
Not while I have this good job staying awake
From ten p.m. to eight a.m. pissing out bad coffee
And the occasional poem
Girlfriend drunk on the phone asks:
Do I feel bad because I’m not a bum anymore
And have to turn people like me
Away from the hotel?
But a ten hour shift is too long to spend hating myself-
I will never be Dave Eggers protégé
Or should I say bitch?
I will never spit on people at 826 Valencia
Like that one who is “the mayor” now
He’s “Special Ed”-
When I pick up the 826 book it reads like garbage
And ask while she types her poetry into the computer:
“Is Eggers making money off these kids? Don’t you think
printing writing from kids who can’t write will give them
a false sense of themselves? These stories look like diary
“well he’s very good for a Special Ed kid…”
“Who, Dave Eggers? And shouldn’t it be about being a good
writer period? What if you’re disabled and can’t write for
shit? I know I’m no idiot-savant but neither is he and
where’s my book deal?”
I’m not putting the kid down
Don’t get me wrong
In fact I was a little jealous
I’ve been told by the finest doctors that I’m an idiot
and have no business walking upright-
When I leave she doesn’t say goodbye
But calls me later
Says she is trying to get into grad school
And does this synopsis sound good?
I don’t know
Ask Hirschman when he gets back from Italy
“I’ll give it a ten cuz you can dance to it”
and hang up the phone
HECKLED IN LAS VEGAS (THE IDIOT PREVAILS)
A drunk who thought I wasn’t homeless enough
heckled me in the middle of my set-
He’d read the interview
He wanted blood…
I haven’t carried a bedroll in years-
He claimed Bukowski lost his talent
when he got off the park bench,
so I yelled into the Mic:
“WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO, VOMIT?
YOU WANT ME TO DIE?
I LIVE IN A LOW INCOME HOUSING PROJECT-
I’M QUITE COMFORTABLE-
I HOPE TO GET OUT SOMEDAY-
IF I GET WELL”
rattled and nervous,
I read Wide Open Fool,
the angriest I have ever read it-
said, “Buy my shit,” and sat down
It felt like a bomb-
I wasn’t getting the laughs I’m used to,
They didn’t want my levity-
Afterwards people started coming up to me
asking to buy my book
Money was coming at me from everywhere-
I sold every book I had
In a gesture of companionship
the heckler brought two wine glasses over to me
and set them down-
I don’t drink!
He yelled at me some more
And walked back to his friends
I thought of telling him the job
I had to look forward to back home
Was cleaning up llama shit in Bonny Doon-
I could have told him I’m King of the llama shit
King of the old ladies in the trailer parks
Where I crawl under houses
and vacuum up dead termites-
The ailing windup toy of suburban housewives
And master of lawnmowers-
Bright eyed with mud on my face
From the wheels of the tractor when it rains...
Instead we went back to our cozy room on the strip-
I had sex with the Muse
before she passed out drunk
From all the free booze-
I had 82 dollars in my pocket
I stuck a twenty-dollar bill in the nickel machine….thinking
It’s too bad that guy never spent a day on the streets himself
He will probably never drink himself to such good fortune
FUCK THE SOMEBODY’S
Fuck the somebody’s that called you a Republican in Spec's
because you’d eaten at an expensive restaurant
But you can bet they don’t live in the Tenderloin!
Fuck all the somebody’s…when I’m somebody I’ll
Fuck who I want! Fuck the typewriter wannabe’s
If you carve it in stone it still ain’t great!
FUCK EVERYTHING THE SMALL PRESS WANTS!
Fuck the weight of your paper fuck your heavier ego
Fuck you *you’re nobody you don’t have a book*
Fuck your workshop one hundred dollars and
Check your instincts at the door
(You can’t teach this!)
Fuck J.J. Campbell because he rubbed
Shit on his balls and published it
I can say that
I don’t even know J.J. Campbell
Is he important?
Fuck me I am a minor embarrassment
I strive to be worse…..
I’ve sought refuge
In my own damaged brain
And I don’t have to commute
To get where I am
Fuck the condescending Cappucino losers
Who tapped on their laptops
Over A. Smiths anti-techno poem
At the Ugly Mug
And no one clapped…..
Fuck Michael T “he didn’t let you
Read anymore because you’re on section 8”
Love Mark Schwartz authentic King Curmudgeon
Of North Beach
Who won’t stay when I read
And hands me a book of bad jokes instead…..
Love Ferlinghetti sightings
Zines at City Lights
love Bill T who never
Writes me a letter without a glass of wine
In his hand
Actual letters three years now
While we’ve been nobody’s together
His time is here!
Love Leroy cuz he’s got snap!
Love Marie K who looks like Edith Piaf
And will not leave the city she loves
Fuck Marie K if I had the chance!
Fuck any of you with your attempts to censor….
Fuck Karl for being too handsome…oh but
I would never fuck Karl!
Love Joseph ya big asshole with decades built small press
Bitterness be like me be positive!
Love the middle class woman in BC who drank too
Much wine laughed hard and bought two of my chaps
Love Sam I Am who only grinned big all night long
And when my girlfriend put her hand on his thigh
He grinned bigger
And so did I
Love Marco the Fin who lights the cigarette I gave him
in the early morning rain of San Francisco and says:
*this is the blues*
love Nicole for telling me:
*you’re such a Christopher Robin!*
and silly me thinking perhaps it is a compliment….
DELUSIONS OF ADEQUACY
I joined a local
Social recreation group
For the head injured
Hoping to make some authentic friends
When I arrived I realized
I already knew everyone there-
There were barbecues, board games
And free swimming on Wednesdays
Made me wish I knew how to swim
But I played along…
Then I met Jenny-
All of a sudden I was injecting testosterone
into my ass every other week
playing pool in every dive bar in town
holding the table, five, ten games in a row
and driving my new truck
to a ranch at 7 in the morning…
I didn’t know anything about horses or the inside
of a men’s urinal
but I played along…
Then I met the poets and started hanging
Out in a local laundromat every Friday night
shooing drunks away
From our mike
while encouraging 89 year old women
and white rappers
To give us their blessed truth
Then I’d spend the rest of the weekend
lying in bed
watching the same Woody Allen movies over and over…
the poets calling me
but never picking up
Last weekend a friend interviewing me
For a newspaper
asked if I was an
idiot-savant, and I replied
“ hell no! I listen to 80’s music
and pick scabs all weekend
while my girlfriend goes to bondage clubs,
how smart do you think I am?”
WORLD AFFAIRS AND MY ANGRY MUSE
I put on Patti Smith
“so you wanna be a rock n roll star”
lit a cigarette
and watched Iraq explode on the BBC
Children pushed bicycles through four feet of water
in some foreign country I couldn’t quite
catch the name….
while we argued over fame and money
neither of which I care much for…..
“yeah, well most women would enjoy a free trip
to Vegas where I might actually sell some books!”
“but we’re paying for the trip!”
“you’re not my muse,” I yelled
“you’re fired! I’m going to make
a cup of coffee!”
“don’t you dare!” she yelled back
“you’re not smart enough!”
and rolled up a dish towel and
whipped me on my bare arms and legs
“this was a marriage of convenience
and it’s getting very inconvenient!”
I switched to the weather channel
And watched New Orleans take on the floods-
The poet Joe Pachinko says,
according to his first hand information,
New Orleans is so evil, the hurricanes
always pass it by)
I wondered about the one in my kitchen….
“do you got gas money to go
to the free clinic today?” she yelled
from the bathroom
“we got eighteen dollars in the bank!”
“Get dressed! Let’s go!”
The next day we burned
The letter from the IRS
And set off the smoke alarm
I booked a flight to Vegas
to read poetry in a bar;
never sure what I should be more afraid of:
a terrorist strike, martial law,
a rigged election
or the bitter, angry muse
in my kitchen
brandishing a rolled up dish-towel…
“You know you got this real
PSYCHO FREAK SIDE
YOU GOTTA LEARN SOME
You can’t go around on the streets
Being angry all the time
People will talk!”
“I gotta keep my street side
it’s how I defend myself
it’s how it’s always been”
“I don’t tell people what you’re really like
everyone thinks you’re an ANGEL
and you’re not on the streets anymore besides…”
“it seems like you can’t tell if you want to be
a grown-up or a child!”
“but it’s my lack of knowledge about the world
that makes me so damn charming”
“you wear BOY clothes and then
that people see you as a child!”
‘WHY SHOULD I DRESS LIKE
I DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE
It’d be pretty pathetic of me
To put a suit on
Just to go down to the 7-Eleven
For a roll of toilet paper
And a frozen burrito
A PRETEND BOY’S LIFE IS NOT SO GLAMOROUS
Fuck the Somebody's was previously published on an Alpha Beat Press broadside and in Christopher Robin's own zine.
Zen Baby and his other zines are available for two bucks cash from Christopher Robin, P.O. Box 1611, Santa Cruz CA, 95061. Also check the ULA Zeen Store for more of his titles, and other stuff by ULA writers.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Bloggos, i'm confused! It's Marissa's turn to escort you through another Underground Literary Adventure, but somehow, she's not here! Ahh, this reminds me of the time in my youth i was briefly kidnapped at the supermarket, by an eccentric old lady who thought i was lost. "Mother...where are you?!," i whimpered and screamed, until the old lady and i found mom just around the corner in the produce aisle... Hey, it was scary at the time!
Anyway, as part of my therapy i'm now going to play that old lady (complete with dentures, vericose veins, and plaid dress) and i will drag you around by the arm, until Marissa shows up again. I vaguely remember her sending me an email about taking a trip in May, but at this point i can't recall who or what it all means, and/or what i'm supposed to do about it.
Thus, i have declared martial law and seized control of the Adventures blog. I have installed Logan Mason as our writer this week, so here he is. Enjoy! -Pat S.
Excerpt from Southbound Out
by Logan Mason
The next morning I shook Faith awake as one went by. We didn't have time to make it but we woke. I played with the radio and after about an hour I found something: Good ol' Johnny Cash doin one about ramblin. Then, on cue, our ride was movin down the tracks; a hot shot to
There was one train moving in front of the one we wanted, creeping slowly with gondolas of scrap metal, and empty, and with coal. We crossed over and got the second one, the Hottie...
Sitting on the side bars and the cross bars of a hollow well with double stacked containers of important cargo, including us, especially, we rode out, with Faith and the cat on one side - hidden - and myself on the other. The state of
Out of the tunnel the rest of the state was empty and vast - all clear cut a very long time ago. Our train never stopped. Nothing was in the way. It was going 50 or 60, but it seemed like more. It feels faster on a train. Most of the time we spent it up top on the grid. I laid my legs out over the space between the cars with feet kicked up on the other side. Leaning back I could feel the car in front turn before our car did the same. A fast winding beast of a train. She had style, going fast. It reminded me of Sex and Heroin; but it was it's own, and we were on for the ride. It was as simple and fleeting as that.
She looped sharp in a U, we were about half way back, and I was stretched across the cars in my brimmed hat blowing harp. Directly across a small valley the conductor hung his head out looking across the U at me. For him it must have been like a time warp with my getup, I thought. An escape to the past. And it was a funny thing but I knew we were safe.
We stopped once in
Nineteen or twenty hours later we were in
I saved Faith's cat and she was thankful and Bowser and I were too.
LOGAN MASON was born Spokane Wa., January 11, 1980.
Lived in Concord Ca. age 5-16, Antioch Ca. 16-21.
Lived in Humboldt county and traveling since 2001.
Been riding trains 4yrs., Writing 3yrs.
Possesions include one dusty pickup with shell, ropes,
tarps, canned and dry food, machetes, etc. One all
purpose traveling pack/home, with sleeping bag, etc.
Three hundred dollars.
To his credit he has No children, No traps, some
warrants, a couple of pictures and a couple of short
films on Super8, a stapled skull and whiplash.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Hello, Adventures Blogheads! This week we have a very exciting treat for you. Couple weeks ago we served up a yummy Stir-Fry Brass Horse, but with names like Simonelli and Ranello, we've got to turn this blog into an Italian Deli just once. So, like my dear Grandma Rosie, i will set you a place at the table and force you to eat Parroove Sandwich!
Now, what the funk is Parroove Sandwich, you ask? Like Grandma Rosie i smack you upside the head and wash your mouth out with soap, for swearing. Then, i hug you, kiss your cheeks, and teach you about this strange world we live in. Parroove Sandwich, my dears, is a dramatic monologue/sci-fi story by Tom Hendricks, nestled between two Frank Walsh sonnets.
If this doesn't satisfy your appetite for strange and energetic low-carb lit, then you are a gluttonous bastid, and just the kind of person we love around Grandma Rosie's Kitchen. Oh, and around the Adventures Blog too. Bless your fat little hearts, and enjoy!
KRISHNAMURTI IS THE ICING ON THE MOON-PIE
(An homage to L=A=N=G-U=I=S=H poetry)
by Frank Walsh
She said she thought the drummer who
pilots a SEPTA bus now and back
in the ‘80’s raped a dominatrix
according to the dominatrix but at least
not the same one, jerks off while he talks
to her on the phone, you got to be
joking I said into my phone,
not the same phone, but I’d hope
he swabs the receiver down
with alcohol if it’s a public pay phone.
It’s not serious, it’s only a commercial,
a movie sequel, a stuffed dodo, a nervous
tick not brought on by sanctions until now
against the children for over eleven years.
Parroove by Tom Hendricks
Some trade often and never leave. This place is... kills many, exhilarates all!
Frank Walsh Sonnet #2...
You poet can afford to take death,
birth, and love for granted, so
grow up and get with it, deepen,
there’s not much time to let
the others in on it, strike
up some deal with vigilance and urgency.
Everybody else wants to but is much too busy.
You’re an escape artist, you only feel trapped.
You deserve it, sleep, sleep on your back
with a brick-bat under the pillow.
Wash your skin, comb your tongue, cut your nose
off despite your face, she wants you down by five.
But the ears, keep the ears just as they are
like your last two bits, like a dirty old rabbit’s foot.
Frank Walsh sez: ..."was at the annual 100 Posers Read
at Robbins Bookstore a week ago this past Sunday which I participated in for better or for worse. I read stuff among them were these two sonnets from my century of the form, SONNETS WITHOUT BORDERS." Email: email@example.com