Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mini Preview of the ULA's Big Lit Show in Philadelphia on July 16

We're a couple weeks away from a major literary event: the ULA's Invasion of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the weekend of July 16. On Friday the 15th, ULAers from across America will begin to infiltrate the city, evading paparazzi and the border police.

Saturday July 16, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Medusa Lounge (an awesome rock bar at Chestnut & 21st in Philly), the underground will reach critical mass in what promises to be the biggest and best lit-reading and party of the year! Legendary underground author Jack Saunders will headline a dynamic lineup that features Mike Grover, Jackie Corley, Frank Walsh, Ish Klein and many more. King Wenclas will be the Master of Ceremonies, so watch out!

On Sunday the 17th, the ULA train moves to the Philly Zinefest at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St, from noon til 6. The ULA and affiliated presses will have three tables full of zines and books for sale, so stop by and see us! For complete info on events this weekend, check out the Philly Show Page at the ULA website. Please help us spread the word about this event!

As a special teaser, this week's blogpost samples two of the stars who'll be reading at July 16's show. Enjoy...and if anyone wants to chat about the upcoming show (i'll be there), email me at


Spring In America

by Michael Grover

Spring springs!

World wakes up

From cold, hard winter.

Everything wakes except brain dead america.

It was dead all along.

Must’ve died in its sleep.

Peaceful death of course.

Was found with a blissful look on its face.

The news never reported it.

As not to cause mass panic.

Businesses went on

Business as usual.

TV showed it was still alive and well.

We have our american idols.

We have our sitcom, reality what not.

Distracting us from smelling the rotting corpse.

Prophets they talked about it.

Suddenly no one cared about information.

They all just wanted to be entertained.

Should have mixed a song with it.

Then you might have scored a ten.

You could have been the next american spoken word idol!

It is spring in america.

It is not coming back.

New world order take over

Looming in the distance.


Excerpt from: A Summing Up

by Jack Saunders

Getting Started

Roving Columnist

Art "Home" Brew, compare art brut, was a roving columnist, some would say a raving columnist, for the L. A. (Lower Alabama) Free Press.

He called it the L. A. (Lower Alabama) Free Press because you had to give the shit away.

Brew had just finished writing his 262nd book, RIDING FOR THE BRAND, about going on the road to promote Bukowski Never Did This and write a book about his adventures doing that, but the book got finished before he had any product to sell, so he snapped it off and started his 263rd book, this book, A SUMMING UP, telling how he wrote all those books without selling one to New York or Hollywood and what it meant to him to have one coming out from LitVision Press, the free-range rooster of creative writing.

On a passport photo, you're not supposed to have a shadow behind your head or glare off your eyeglasses, so the photo above was a cull, he pasted on his YU Press badge, to update it, the same time he updated his passport, for the European tour for Bukowski Never Did This.

The European Tour

Bukowski made a tour of Europe with his own paparazzo, Michael Montfort, and documented it in a book called Shakespeare Never Did This.

Brew didn't know if he'd make a tour of Europe or not. A tour of the Redneck Riviera was more like it. From the boat ramp on the Aucilla River dividing Taylor and Jefferson Counties on over to maybe Fairhope, Alabama, come back through Foley and eat at Lambert's "throwed-roll" Café.

But he'd have his passport, his YU Press card, and his digital camera, take his own goddamned pictures, what did he need a paparazzo for?

The Big Easy

Maybe Brew would drive over to The Big Easy, New Orleans, since he was writing about starting out as a writer, and walk the ground of the apartment he and Brenda lived in, when he was starting out, as a writer. Off Magazine Street.

Maybe he'd stay in Panama City and remember, or imagine it.

An immobilized hero might be immobilized, but he was still a hero.

You didn't write as many books as Brew had without selling one and not have sand.

That boy has sand.


(Please visit Michael Grover's new website,, which features the work of several talented poets, plus a Philly area readings list, and a brand new blog by MDG.

Jack Saunders' work is updated daily at his site,
Keep an eye out for his new book, Bukowski Never Did This, coming soon.)

Saturday, June 18, 2005

2 Poems by Charles P. Ries


Saddam in his underwear.

(polyester briefs, screaming for freedom)

George Bush in his underwear.

(cowboys and Indians circling wagons)

Pope Benedict XVI in his underwear.

(red as a cardinal and chirping like a cherub)

Carl Rove in his underwear.

(fitting a little too tight for good circulation)

Bill Clinton in his underwear.

(Bill doesn’t wear underwear)

Antler The Poet in his underwear.

(fig leaf, for sure)

Me in my underwear.

(boxers, tartan plaid, size 32-34)

If we only wore underwear; kings, dictators,

presidents, bartenders, and my Uncle Art would

become as transparent as rain. They’d transcend

ideology for essence with nowhere to hide.

The fruit of the loom would be the coin of our

realm. Our dress would be the flag of a nation,

ruled by a king with no clothes.


You told me dark truths

We drank our beer

Lit up on acid

Crossing Death Valley

In a cherry red “69 mustang.

You were a parody, a melody of

concert and apparent things.

The Mojave’s red dust suited you,

made you opaque and revealed you

to be obvious.

You loved the stifling heat and

felt comfort close to brimstone.

Red blood shot eyes,

White t-shirt,

Blue jeans.

An American patriot with the stars

and stripes tattooed on his fat white ass.

Comet with a devils tail.



Young Republican.

Undercover agent corrupting a flower child.


Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His narrative poems, short stories and poetry reviews have appeared in over ninety print and electronic publications. He has received three Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing. Most recently he has read his poetry on National Public Radio’s Theme and Variations, a program broadcast over seventy NPR affiliates. He is on the board of the Woodland Pattern Bookstore in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You may find samples of his work by going to: