Monday, December 04, 2006

Poetry by Chris Major


I thought I was liberal,

very non-judgemental,

yet I counted the minutes

his yashmack covered wife

spent in that toilet.

Studied his thumb

flicking the buttons

of a silver i-pod,

expecting leg room

in economy class

to increase by 20000 feet.

While my ears

strained strange language,

I hoped the trolley dolly's

liquor cart would

calm frayed nerves-

but no, of course,

they took no drink.

On disembarking,

I watched them

dissolve into the throng,

lifted my luggage,

briefly wondered where

such prejudice had been hidden,

dismissed it,

and like everyone else had

'Nothing To Declare'............



She's staring blankly

at the day's carnage.

The mourning, the wailing-

women cloth covered

exposing only grief.

She wants to leave

and take her children,

is sick of living in fear

but has nowhere to go.

Suddenly, another

attack is launched.

Before losing consciousness

she hears her toddler's

pathetic whimpers,

her husband screaming-

"Why are you watching 'The News',

where's my fuckin' dinner?"



Apparently you were a drinker,

a heavy one;

we heard about your consumption,

and a sad history,

as the belly opened

with the psssst of a can

to show rotten innards.

Some looked away,

a few walked out,

I was ok

though glad the

face was covered.

We spilled to sunshine,

gasps of air.

Most said it was the smell,

the gore had been seen before

in horror flicks 'n' documentarys.

For me it was Jill ;

your amateur tattoo now mind fixed,

its faded J

hooking and holding dead meat,

and for a short while at least

making you more than that......

--Chris Major

Chris Major lives in Staffordshire and is training as a Psychiatric Nurse.
Poetry in UK print magazines including:Outposts,Pennine Platform,Poetry Nottingham,Iota, Poetry Monthly etc.
Online at amongst others:Snakeskin,Poetry Kit,Psychopoetica,Poetry Worm,Zygote,Babyclam Undergroundvoices,High Horse,Lit Vision etc.
Print chapbook
Online chapbook

Monday, November 27, 2006

Okay, we're back from our annual Winter Break......heading into December and 2006 is almost over....can you feel it? 2007....a new year...something special....a good'll be a great year for the ULA....

To kick things off, we have poetry by Literary Adventures regular Karl Koweski. Enjoy.

can’t kill a man born to hang

when the clinic
diagnosed my mother with
non hodgkin’s lymphoma
I vowed to finish the
novel I’d been piecing
together paragraph
by paragraph for the
last three years

it seemed imperative
my mother die with the
consolation that at
least her son’s a
published novelist

but as the tumors receded
beneath the onslaught
of chemotherapy and
aggressive medication
so my literary
urgency eroded until
the doctors pronounced
by mother cancer free
and I relegated the sixty
pages of my novel
to the bottom drawer
beneath my porno mags

three years later
the cancer has returned
and I’m still not
a published novelist
as the cycle of radiation
treatments begin anew
my novel remains buried
beneath the knowledge
that my mother’s death
and my novel’s life
are mutually exclusive
and equally meaningless


my friend’s son, Heith
is the quarterback of
the town’s high school
varsity football team
which puts him one rung below
the mayor in terms of
importance, celebrity

for Heith
it’s a new accolade
every week
I even find myself
trying to curry his favor

“hell of a game, last night
you really controlled the ball
grinding out the yardage
as it were
reminds me of my senior year
as captain of the chess team”

“oh yeah?”

“yes, chess is a big thing
up north, you know
football... not so much so”

“that’s crazy”

“well... you have to realize
at my high school
I was also the editor
of the school newspaper
and you know what they say,
those who control the media
controls the minds of the masses”

“I guess so”

“so bi-weekly
the football team would
get a half inch column
glossing over their latest defeat
while a 32 point headline
would trumpet my latest conquest
over the cross town rival’s
16th level grand champion
during homecoming
yep, those were the days”

“why are you talking
with an Irish accent
all of the sudden?”

“huh? oh, well good luck
with next week’s game
and if your school’s
chess team ever needs
an assistant coach
feel free to call me”

devotion to the dead

following James’s suicide
Stephanie visited the
family’s tattoo artist

two hours of tears and ink

she left with twin ravens
scorched into her chest
along with the numerical
margins of her husband’s
bullet shortened life

devotion to the dead
takes a little less celibacy
than loyalty to the living

James expressed himself just
as artistically, tattooing
across the bedroom walls
with blood and brain matter

fuck Buk

it was until I began submitting
and publishing in the small press
that my former hero worship
of Charles Bukowski evolved
into a cynical dislike

I’m reminded of the time when
The Crow hit theaters
I thought it was a good movie
and then my buddy, Keith,
saw it, over and over again

it was all he talked about
he listened to the soundtrack
incessantly, he papered
the walls of his apartment
with posters of Brandon Lee
looking like an angsty mime

then came the combat boots...
the black leather pants...
One day I stopped by his place
and he’d cut his hair shoulder
length and dyed it black
no amount of pancake make-up
could obscure his freckles

I anticipated receiving
a phone call informing me
Keith had been shot dead
by Michael Masse

it reached the point
I couldn’t tolerate The Crow
I pawned the VHS cassette
I ditched my entire ebony
wardrobe in favor of
short pants and Acapulco shirts

in the same way I can
no longer read Bukowski
can barely stomach entering
a tavern or betting on horses
cats piss me off

it’s all I can do
to even write this poem

meal ticket

standing in the fast food limbo
between ordering and receiving
my daughter stands beside me
a rare lunch for the two of us
together, two hours before I
clock in for a ten hour shift

the plant controller and one of
his key punching subordinates
enters and orders and I don’t
notice them until they are standing
next to me awaiting their meal

I make up my mind immediately –
when the plant controller nods at
me and asks how I’m doing, I’m
going to tell him he doesn’t
communicate with me inside the
factory, there’s no reason for him
to acknowledge me outside the factory

damn the consequences if he
doesn’t appreciate my tone of
voice or challenging stare

but he never speaks a word to me
and my daughter and I pick a table
and eat our food, silently, as,
three tables away, the plant controller
drones on about profit margins and
ideas to increase productivity

on empty September Thursday nights

you want some fun...
drop low grade blotter acid
go to a foreign high school
in a strange town
for their homecoming pep rally

stand near the band
as they play “Louie Louie”
the drum line pummeling your head
with cartoon thunder
while the color guard
wave their flags
like animated fireworks
in your peripheral vision

catch the eyes of cheerleader moms
give them long meaningful gazes

pick the smallest, skinniest
bench riding kid on the team
point to him and in a knowing way
tell anyone who will listen
“that boys going to have
a stellar career in the NFL”

exalt in the freshly discovered
hallways of regret
behind doors you thought
you sealed a long time ago

run naked
down the recently painted sidelines
until you’re chased down
and beaten with zestful school spirit
by blue and white clad strangers
uninterested in excuses

lay on a thin cot in a cold cell
stare at the geometrical patterns
forming on the
water-stained ceiling
and wait for the
secrets of the universe
to reveal themselves

you’ll find the school colors
never match the colors
of the town’s prison garb

The Indiana Road Show Extravaganza
brought you to by McDonald’s,
Bob’s Beaver Shack and
Nervous Charlie’s
Fireworks and
Hard Liquor

the billboards obscuring
the flat lands along I-65
are the road signs
to a fulfilling life

it eases my mind
knowing I’m never more
than twenty miles away
from a Big Mac and fries

the billboards remind me
Indiana’s largest
adult bookstore
is just off the next exit

the billboard promises
live nude girls
especially important for
discerning men like me
who demand a pulse
from their show girls

drawing closer to Chicago
the billboards become
obsessed with money

interspersed with constant
advertisements for the
casinos continually cropping
up throughout northern
Indiana’s industrial
wastelands are enticements
to sell your ramshackle
heavily taxed home to

the better life...
trade in your old car
on a 2007 model
1.8% financing
for those who qualify

I never qualify

religion is spoken for

paid for by
the Blood of Christ, Redeemer

I don’t qualify
for what they’re selling

I just keep driving
through this
two hundred mile
long commercial
I keep driving

Monday, October 23, 2006

Poetry and Stories by Carissa Halston

The Powers of Self-Delusion

Have you ever had a one night stand?
I know what you're thinking. One night stand? Jesus, those are terrible.
They never turn out well.
It'll only lead to trouble.
Yeah, you should definitely steer clear of those one night stands.
Well, it's too late for me.
I've already had one.
With the most wonderful man in the whole wide world.
We're going to be together forever.
You'll see.
We met at this bar.
And he was really charming.
My friend, Allison, says that all the guys I end up falling for are invariably "really charming." But he was. The real deal. I mean it.
So he asks me.
"Can I walk you home?"
And I'm all like,
"I don't know. You're a stranger and my mom always told me to never talk to strangers."
"Don't worry. I was voted Most Likely to Take Home to Mom and Dad when I was in high school."
How's about that for credentials?
So we walked home.
Except I was wearing high heels and I was a little tipsy, so I had to lean on him a bit.
He walked...I hobbled.
So, we get to my apartment and I'm like,
"Here we are."
And we stare at each other and I'm having trouble remembering this part because it was kind of blurry already, but add memory to that and it's a fuzzy memory of a blurry vision.
I remember what he said though.
That I remember.
"Aren't you going to invite me in?"
And I said:
"Mighty presumptuous of you."
But then we were kissing and there was a fumbling for my keys and the door was open and we were inside.
See? I told you. Charming.
I have never been kissed like I was kissed by this man.
It was all very immediate and dire.
Like his life depended on it.
Like our life depended on it.
I remember the sex in little bits and pieces.
There were good parts and not so good parts.
The foreplay was infinitely better than the actual act.
In fact, the sex itself was brief and harried.
When I woke up this morning, he was gone.
Initially, I was miffed.
But he left me something.
It's a book.
But not the kind that's written.
The kind that you write.
I had a few reserves about reading these things about someone I didn't know.
Would I want someone reading my innermost thoughts?
And then I thought about when I was twelve.
I had a diary with a lock on it.
I didn't always keep it locked.
Only if I had written something that wasn't for peering eyes...
Or something I was ashamed of.
But if it was unlocked and someone else read it, that was my own fault.
There was no lock on this book.
So I opened it.
Pages of confessions, longings and laments lay before me.
Should I read them?
Could I?
I could.
I did.
I read how he was in love.
A girl whose name is never mentioned.
He envisioned them creating a life together.
They'd have kids.
They'd vacation every year in
They'd be happy.
And I wondered, idly, if that girl could be me.
Did he write all of this last night?
Did he leave it here for me to happen upon?
Did he agonize over leaving me alone?
Did he love me?
I read those pages again and again.
I relished and memorized certain passages.
And I knew.
It was me.
It is me.
We'll be married in
We'll honeymoon in
We'll wander the world together discovering little things about other people and each other.
And we'll be happy.

A knock is heard at the door.
"It's him," she whispers.
She holds her hand on the knob. Frozen.
She steels herself to turn it.
The door is open.
It is him.
She thinks that standing there, in that exact position, he looks just like he did that time they were on the beach. Catching fish illegally. She wonders if he remembers...
They face each other.
"Hey," he says.
"Hi," she replies.
"I think..." he says.
"I love you," she thinks.
"I left something here last night," he finishes.
"Oh?" she says.
"Yeah. Small black book. Something of a journal, really."
She smiles at the thought of the kind words he spoke in it.
"I was wondering if you'd realize it was gone," she says.
She goes to get it and returns to the door with it in her hand. She wants him to ask if she's read it. If she knows how he feels.
He doesn't.
She sees an absence in his face. He looks directly at the book.
Slowly, painfully, she relinquishes it.
He takes it.
As soon as it leaves her hands, her memories of him fade.
"Thanks," he smiles.
"Yeah," she returns wistfully.
He turns and walks away. A memory tugs at her. Did she know him?
Watching him leave, she feels bereft of something but is unsure of what.

Fun in Garages (Vodka not Included)

Hanging out in parking garages

The well-off well-to-dos

Either sneer or clutch their wallets

Scared for your car?

That’s all we can take from you.

The material

The tangible

You, with your nose in the air,

Taking our dignity


our pride


our ability to overcome.

Is it because I’m drinking vodka out of a travel mug?

The Day Job

When I was younger, my grandfather retired from his job of thirty-two years and they gave him a gold watch. My mom said he should’ve stolen something from the office. It would’ve been worth more, she’d said. What I got from that is, what’s really important isn’t what you put into a job. It’s what you take away from it. Me? I steal wedding rings.

There’s more to it than that. I mean, I provide a service for the lonely and loathsome. A little company, a little ambiance. Maybe some small talk and then it’s down to business. Then again, I guess that can be said for any job. However, the fellatio is an added bonus. A whore by any other name would smell as…

Anyway, just so you know, I make my own rates. The basic wine and dine escort service, no touchy is $50. Suitor pays for dinner.

Cutting to the chase, a blow job is $75, a rim job is $150. Just sex, your average mount-me-like-a-pony sex is $250. Oral+sex is $400. And if you want me to stay the night (i.e. sex+whatever, whatever being anal sex, golden showers, fetish, et al.) is $750. But, yeah, I steal wedding rings.

I think of it as vacation time. I accrue enough; I can take them to the pawnshop and take a week off. It’s only backfired once.

I could not get this guy’s ring off. He woke up and backhanded me right across the room. Stiffed me the night’s wages too. I was out of work for a week.

I don’t see what the big deal is…if the ring was so fucking important, if that symbol of his marriage meant so much to him, why was he with me?

People are so fickle.

An ‘Untitled’ Evening in Early June

Children pass by,
not running.
"We don't run outside, William.
Come and stand by Mommy.
No, William.
You can't sit on Mommy's lap.
It would wrinkle her skirt."
These children,
forbidden from running,
they were born wearing khakis.
They'll always have
They were tailored to match their parents.
A woman strolls by and admires the iron tree.
I reiterate...
'It's pretty, but $40,000?
Maybe some other time.'
Her shoes closely resembled
black licorice rope.

The phrase,
"Just because no one understands you
doesn't make you an artist"
comes to mind.

The guy with the
full-sleeve tattoos
keeps trying to make eye contact.
We seek out our own kind.

A tray passes at eyelevel.
Laden with food.
The M.F.K. Fisher
kind of food.
The kind of food rendered in
still life paintings.
I look around.
360 degrees.

This is not an escape.
This is how the rich live.
This is just a Thursday in June.
They're trying so hard.
And yet...
The most interesting people here are
the cater-waiters.


I flip off almost everyone I come in contact with.
It’s a disease.
It’s my gift to the world.
It’s my silent wish that, upon my offering, that person would turn tail, run to the nearest closed room, and fuck themselves.

I flip off my girlfriend every morning.
She wakes up, showers and puts her bra on to tease me. She knows as soon as it’s on, I just want to rip it off of her.
I flip her off from under the blanket before she leans in to kiss me goodbye.

I flip off the guy at the bus station with the unnaturally hot girl on his arm because his hair lays the way I wish mine would.

I flip off every girl I see with pants or shorts that have words like “Cheer” or “Swimmer” printed on the ass. I wish they’d be more honest in their merchandising and print something more relevant to that part of our anatomy.
Words like “stinky” and “peachfuzz.”
Phrases like, “Do not enter,” and “Place tongue here.”

I make a mental note to flip off the manufacturer of those pants, should we ever meet.

I flip off every person who asks me if they can exit the shithole where I’m employed by the door clearly marked, “exit.” I flip them off under the counter so my boss doesn’t see it.

I flip off my boss with both hands because he deserves it.

I flip off every person I encounter with McDonald’s on their breath and a Wal-Mart bag in their hand.

My sister bought me a T-shirt with a picture of a hand with the middle finger extended. I felt it took away from my message, so, after she left, I flipped her off through the door and put the shirt through the paper shredder.

I just want to make a difference…spread a little joy.

Carissa Halston, 24, is the writer/director of Cleavage (a

collection of one-act plays) and contributing editor at the online literary

magazine, apt. Her work has been published at Unlikely Stories v1.0, Fables,

Open Wide Magazine and apt. She has upcoming work in both the online and

print versions of Zygote in my Coffee. Her website is:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Charles P. Ries, Poetry by.........Charles P. Ries (Poet).....


Sitting on the porch outside my walk up with Elaine

watching the Friday night action on Birch Street.

Southside’s so humid the air weeps.

Me and Elaine are weeping too.

Silent tears of solidarity.

She’s so full of prozac she can’t sleep and

I’m so drunk I can’t think straight.

Her depression and my beer free our tears

from the jail we carry in our hearts.

Neighbors and strangers pass by in the water vapor.

Walking in twos and fours. Driving by in souped up

cars and wrecks. Skinny, greased up gang bangers

with pants so big they sweep the street and girl friends

in dresses so tight they burn my eyes.

I can smell Miguel’s Taco Stand. Hear the cool

Mexican music he plays. Sometimes I wish Elaine

were Mexican. Hot, sweet and the ruler of my passion,

but she’s from North Dakota, a silent state where

you drink to feel and dance and cry.

Sailing, drifting down Birch street. Misty boats,

street shufflers and senioritas. Off to their somewhere.

I contemplate how empty my can of beer is and

how long can I live with a woman who cries all day.

Mondays are better. I sober up and lay lines for the

Gas Company. Good clean work. Work that gives me

time to think about moving to that little town in central

Mexico I visited twenty years ago before Birch Street,

Elaine and three kids nailed my ass to this porch.



I left it all; the paper and pens, publishers

and agents who could not love my inner

fantasy and joined the circus.

The make-up, big nose and fancy pants

helped me overcome my feelings of

obscurity. I created an identity grander

than my literary art. I now have something

worth writing about.

I married the fat lady, she gave birth to

a midget; I learned to swallow swords,

made friends with a contortionist who

told me to turn my pens into pretzels,

and live like a real man.


Elaine took me to her German psychic,

as expected, she saw everything.

Our bad days and our glories.

The history of the times and species;

we have been together

for generations.

Realizing how long I have been with Elaine

made me feel tired – I didn’t realize we’d been

working things out for over 400 years.

That’s a long time to accommodate a sentient being,

I don’t care what form I was in; me as:

Her cat

Her dog

Her sister

Her butler

Her mother

Her hair stylist

Gerta saw it all against her inner astral cineplex.

I didn’t know I was once a charming pistol packing pescalero

a handsome Mexican bandit who charmed Elaine

(in an earlier even more succulent form)

to indulge my desires.

Irresistible under a vast pecan tree.

My sombrero tossed casually to the side

The Milky Way strung over our heads.

I pick the flower she willingly offers me.

We melt into the warm night – two sentient beings

as happy as two sentient beings could ever be.

She, the sheriff’s daughter

virgin, sixteen, flawless

filled with secret flames

Me, hanging from a pecan tree

limp, twitching, forlorn

looking a bit bewildered

My sombrero tossed hurriedly to the side

Too many lives to hold in one small boat.

Yet on we sail, east to paradise

fighting our way toward enlightenment,

the only exit strategy

for two weary souls.


You will love me forever, until you became

bored with predictability and leave me

for a man who plays board games and

grows the best pot you ever smoked

After being beaten

my belief in mother love falters

only eleven years old

and exhausted by her love

I simply forgive

Even animals must flee when frightened

Falling out of mind

into life

they are orphans

Mysteries of mind leaving me silent

as I await further direction


Corn fields line the lake shore

Corner bars, cheddars lament, cheese wiz

Pig fat, french fried, double dipped, deep fried

Just about anything editable


Amazing how

her words

clear me.

How her

insight can

dispel shadows.

Magic spells

simple and


Aspirin for

my confusion.


Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His narrative poems, short stories, interviews and poetry reviews have appeared in over one hundred and fifty print and electronic publications. He has received three Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing and most recently read his poetry on National Public Radio’s Theme and Variations, a program that is broadcast over seventy NPR affiliates. He is the author of THE FATHERS WE FIND, a novel based on memory. Ries is also the author of five books of poetry — the most recent entitled, The Last Time which was released by The Moon Press in Tucson, Arizona. He is the poetry editor for Word Riot (, a contributing editor to both Andwerve ( and Pass Port Journal ( He is on the board of the Woodland Pattern Bookstore ( in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most recently he has been appointed to the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission. You may find additional samples of his work by going to:

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Poetry by William Taylor Jr.

Portrait of a Woman

She had
skin like leather
the cruelest mouth
I’d ever seen
and eyes as hard
as the streets
on which she walked
everything she owned
in a plastic crate
beneath her arm
an ancient radio
screaming jazz
as she walked down Eddy St.
on a Sunday
her clothes
ragged and
ill fitting
but her legs
still as beautiful
as any
that ever were
and those eyes
meeting mine
daring me
to say so.

And No One Left to Remember

These days my wife
is troubled
by the slow and ongoing
death of our earth

and all the reasons for it

and how the president
and nobody else
much cares.

It keeps her from sleep.

She does not believe in god
but sometimes wishes
that she did.

The thought of every beautiful thing

and no one left
to remember.

She asks me why we should be bothered
to do anything
at all

and I don’t have much of an answer

except that I imagine there must be some kind of beauty
in these tiny moments

the fact that they exist at all
is maybe reason enough.

I think about it and I
don’t think about it.

I’ve never known what to do about anything.

I think tomorrow I will start
drinking early.

Your Eyes Like The Sun

I have no god but
a decent bloody mary
on an otherwise
empty afternoon
does its part
to calm the troubled soul

and I imagine
others too
must weary
of trying to hold the world together

on a day
when you can’t get
too numb
too fast

on a day
when all the murders
and suicides
make perfect sense

when the surface of things
peels away in flakes
and the void shines through

burning your eyes
like the sun

like the flashlight
of a motherfucking cop
when you know you are


William Taylor Jr. was born in Bakersfield, California and currently lives in San Francisco with his wife and a cat named Trouble. His poetry and stories have appeared widely in the small press and on the internet. He is the author of numerous chapbooks and his work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His latest book is So Much Is Burning published by sunnyoutside Press. A book of his collected poems is forthcoming from Centennial Press. He will one day be the last man in America not to own a cell phone.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Poetry by
Bradley Mason Hamlin

Poetry by
Bradley Mason Hamlin

Bukowski’s Shadow Strikes

The only people
who may or may not call themselves
that suffer
from the shadow of Bukowski
are the ones
not yet lit
with enough of their own lightning
doesn’t matter
what a stupid reviewer says
you should be so lucky
to even get compared
to the best
but can you make the wild puppet
dance on your own?
can you carve
from your flesh
a blood & gut creature
made of pulp
and ink?
Bukowski left us the words “don’t try”
on his grave marker
just another joke
you’ve got to do a whole lot more
than simply try
you’ve got to be the biggest
monster in town
and stomp the buildings
with style
--if you’re looking good
going the distance
with super atomic monkeys
and sex-crazed naked robots
but nobody
will be able to cast a shadow
over the wine bottle
of your heart
least of all
the uninterested ghost
of Mr. Bukowski.


Downtrodden, he said
A man shouldn’t have to work
So hard for his bread.


my family
moved back and forth
from west L.A. to east side
depending on my father’s finances
was born in a hospital in Los Angeles
and lived northeast
in Highland Park until seven
then moved to Santa Monica
--really another world—
then back to HP when 12
fighting cholos
on the way home from school
experimenting with every drug available
mom drinking herself to death
in front of me
dad gone all hours
trying to hustle Hollywood
violent brother
under Christian mind control …
Mom dead; me 15
Dad and I moved in with one of his friends
near the Chinese Theatre
then conned enough frog skins to live
in Marina Del Rey for 7 months
going to Santa Monica High school
couldn’t cut it there
too different from east side education
joined Navy and sailed away
at the age of 17
traveled west coast of world
landed in Sacramento when 20
started college as psychology major
got bored
started writing at 25
switched major to English
graduated from UC Davis
starving student; starving artist
started the process of working horrible jobs
singing/writing for punk rock bands
and eventually moving from silly lyrics
to reading/writing poetry …
turned 42 on November 20th

and I’m still not a rock star.

Bradley Mason Hamlin lives in Sacramento, California. His poetry, short
stories, and articles have appeared in several small press books, magazines,
and literary journals in print and on line. Brad & his wife Nicky own
Mystery Island Publications, literary pop culture venue. Recent work
includes the publication of Tough Company by singer/songwriter Tom Russell,
featuring: Charles Bukowski. Brad is also the creator of the metaphysical
crime series: Intoxicated Detective. For more information about Hamlin and
other wild things—visit:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Poetry by Nancy Gauquier


I was thinkin’ about words –
and attitude and how
some people are so uptight about sex,
they use it to insult you.
Like, I used to be a “sweet young thing” –
ages ago –
but that gets old fast –
so now I’m an old bitch.
I looked up bitch and it means
a woman considered to be lewd.
Did you know that?
I didn’t know that.
So I looked up lewd and it means –
preoccupied with sex and sexual desire,
That is so me.
And yet it’s meant as an insult.
But if you make it an adjective,
it’s a compliment.
That was bitchin’!
It’s all context.
Let's see, he has a prick, that’s good,
he is a prick, that’s bad.
Ditto cunt.
What is it with that?
If people dislike us so much,
why call us our favorite body parts?
No one ever says, “She’s such an armpit!”
“He’s such a big toe!”
But the names we call people.
Fucker, motherfucker, cocksucker --
Why are these insults?
I mean, hopefully, we’re all gonna be
one of these at some point in our lives.
What would we do without fuckers?
They perform an important function!
You’re talkin’ about Daddy!
Why is that an insult?
I’ve never met a man who said,
“Stop it! I hate that!”
I don’t get men.
Always tryin’ to get laid,
and then they insult you if you do!
But no one wants you to fuck with their mind.
“Hey, don’t fuck with me!”
They’re talkin’ about their mind.
I think.
But if you blow it, that’s good.
“You blow my mind!”
You know, every once in a while,
you meet someone and you think –
now there’s a mind
that needs a good blow job.
In the true sense of the word.
Just take the top right off
and blow out all that dust
and all those cobwebs
and blow away all those nasty germs
that breed complacency.
Complacency destroys brain cells.
Like -- Fuck you.
Why is it that the only people who say that
are the ones you don’t want to fuck you?
You know, that should be said with affection.
"Fuck you." " Fuck you too."
At this point, when someone says
“You are so fucked,”
I think, from your lips to God’s ears.


I just could never understand men.
But then I moved to the Castro,
and I discovered gay men!
Gay men are way easier to understand.
Most gay men actually want their partners
to have equal rights.
Most straight men say,
“Oh, I’m all for women’s rights,
I just don’t like feminists.”
That’s like saying it’s okay
if you want equal rights,
as long as you don’t think of any way
you might possibly get them.
They don’t get it.
They act like if you want equal rights,
you’re trying to take their rights away.
We’re talking about equal rights.
That means rights for everyone!
But straight men are afraid
that would take away
their right to be superior.
That’s not a right!
That’s a symptom of insanity!
That’s megalomania!
“I’m the king!”
I hate it when I go out with some guy
and he tries to impress me
by putting other people down.
Like this one guy --
we go to the Castro theatre
and the young ticket-seller has purple hair,
so he’s got to put it down.
So he says,
“Would you dye your hair purple?”
I said, “Sure, when I was younger.
Now, I couldn’t get away with it.”

I did crazier things than that
when I was young.
I used to wear this black fake-fur mini-dress
with these tight brocade bell-bottoms
and purple high-tops.
And hair down to my ass.
It was so thick, when I wore my glasses,
I looked like It!
I took acid every week!
I danced naked in a graveyard in Bolinas.
I lived with a musician.
I fucked a perfect stranger
under the psychedelic puppet stage
at the Avalon Ballroom.
That’s what youth is for!
I should have said, “Yeah,
I’m gonna dye my pubic hair purple.
Why not? No one’s gonna see it.
‘Cept me, and I could use a change.”

Fence Sitters' Ball

I love to dance.
So I go to these neighborhood bars
but no one will dance.
So I was complaining
and my daughter says,
“Mo-om, all the best dancing
is in the gay bars.
You gotta go to the gay bars!
So I’m “but oh I dunno”
and I notice this ad in the Weekly
for the annual Fence Sitter’s Ball,
so I’m thinking now that sounds like me.
So I go to Jezebel’s and I give my $10
to the guy in the black leather jacket
at the door
and I’m late but it seems that I’m early
because not many people are there
and there is no dancing.
No one is dancing.
This guy is bent over with his pants down
and this young women in tight black leather
pants is whipping his ass,
but no dancing.
I’m looking all over for the dancing,
I’m looking in the back,
I’m looking upstairs,
I’m looking downstairs,
there’s nothing.
So I go to the guy in the leather jacket
at the door and I say,
“Is this an SM bar?”
He says, “Well, technically
this is the Fence Sitter’s Ball,
but there’s all kinds.
But they will whip you
if you smoke.”
So I think –
Well, I don’t smoke,
so that’s okay.
“But where is the dancing?
I thought there’d be dancing.
Where’s the band?”

“There’s no band.
But there will be entertainment later.”
“What entertainment?”
“I don’t know –
but I can guarantee that at 11 –
someone is going to set his dick on fire.”
And I could tell
he was not speaking metaphorically,
so I figure the $10 must be
to cover the medical expenses.
But I don’t know how this guy’s
going to explain this to the nurse.
“Hey, what happened to you?
Get all excited while you were standing
too close to the barbeque?”
And this guy at the bar is watching me
wander around trying to figure out
what to do now, and he says,
“Can I buy you a drink?”
I am broke ‘cause I paid $10 at the door,
so I say, “No strings?”
He hesitates.
He’s probably thinking rope,
maybe chains,
and he says, “Okay.”
We’re sitting there and he says,
“What are you looking for?”
“I just wanted to dance.”
“This is a leather and lace bar.”
“I’m not into SM.”
“Oh, just the sensuous stuff, huh?”
(Just the sensuous stuff?!)
So I go to the guy at the door.
“You know, I thought this was a ball
as in dancing,
not as in come sit around for a couple hours
so you can watch some guy
set his dick on fire.
I mean, for $10, I could be dancing.
I can sit around in a bar in North Beach
for free!”
So he takes out a $10 bill.
“I don’t want you to be disappointed.”

So I’m thinking, if I take the $10 --
can I still hang around
and watch that guy set his dick on fire?

Nancy G swears it is all true, and is still kicking herself for not hanging around at the ball, but, knowing herself, she would probably have run for the fire extinguisher. She lives in Central CA, and enjoys comedy, spoken word and theatre. She has one chapbook, Words, available from Weird City Books. Nancy Gauquier, Weird City Books, PO Box 8245, Santa Cruz, CA 95061. $5 b & w cover, $6 collage cover, plus $1 shipping. Make out any checks or postal money orders to Nancy Gauquier.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Poetry By Misti Rainwater-Lites

lonely down saturday's highway

blistered by your sun
which is your ego fried hard
and I'm allergic

too soon the moon goes
like my mom, a Gemini
I have no covers

blast me like you will
scorch me like you do, laughing
watch the layers peel...

Pep Talk From A Security Supervisor

they are wondering if maybe
you could get to work
five minutes earlier
grave shift guards love to bitch

they are wondering if maybe
you could smile and speak to them
when you scowl in silence
it makes them nervous
call center employees
are all about the mindless smiles
and matching courtesies

maybe you could iron
your uniform
shine your shoesput your hair in a ponytail
look awake
put away the poetry
and lipstick
sit up straightmake eye contact

a monkey could do your job
but good monkeys
are hard
to find

another American man stickin’ to his guns

the bubble head bitch is interviewing
the marine asshole on some mindless
morning show
they are surrounded by people
with balloons and posterboards
who wave at the camera
hopped up on starbucks coffee
and their pathetic fifteen minutes
bubble head bitch tells marine asshole
there are people who disagree
with his actions
which were emptying two magazines
into two iraqi insurgents
then writing No Better Friend No Worse Enemy
on the hood of their car
marine asshole says that’s fine
he fought in a war
to defend those people’s right
to disagree
just what the world needs
another american man

I Could've Been a Flower

I was on the ground
mute and delicate
on my back
I could've been
a flower
or a weedbut I was a six year old girl
and he was the preacher's boy from across the street
an average sized teenage boy
but to me he was a giant
and I couldn't fight him off
he pinned me down
and I saw that the clouds were in the sky
and I could hear the birds in the trees and on the telephone wires and
the cars
driving down the street
and he gave me a Little Golden book
filled with songs
and told me to read to himand if I could read
he would let me go
I was so scared and illiterate
I was such a slow learner
late bloomer
I was a dumb kid
not the kind of kid parents brag about at cocktail parties
and I was weak
and meek
not a fighter
and I don't know where my parents were
I don't know where anyone was
I was there
and he
was above me
and that was first in a series
of episodes that made my inner voice dialogue
work overtime and off the clock
I am small
I am a girl
I am weak
I cannot speak
I have no voice
I have no choice
They can push me down
and step on me
I'm going to have to learn how to read
I'm going to have to learn how to scream
This isn't a dream
This is life happening whether the angels in heaven like it or not
They must be having an off day
They must be having choir practice

I could've been a flower
but I
a girl

Misti Rainwater-Lites is the editor and publisher of Instant Pussy, a monthly print zine that features poetry that does not suck, collages, weird craig's list personals, tits & ass & pussy & the occasional cock.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Poetry By A.D. Winans


Old guitar slung over his back
Pure country singing the blues
in all of us
with eyes that cry out to be heard
Leaving a message on
Annie’s answering machine
Reading a poem about a bird
that died in his hands
Remembering the scattering
of his daughter’s ashes
Caught in the pit of sorrow
This man of music
This one time old friend
who works the nerve ends
like a skilled surgeon
Still fighting
like the rest of us
for whatever time
is left


there having a rumble
at Ellis and Eddy streets
and the police are slow
to respond
you can see the rage in the
Chicano’s eyes smell the
fear in Whitey the
Blacks are shucking
and jiving and rolling dice
while placing bets on winner
and losers alike
the street whores move down
a block or two
to ply their trade
one white, one Asian
one spade

the black and white arrives
at last dispensing the players
like bit actors auditioning
for a role in the big show

small town punks gather themselves
run for cover
don’t stop to look back
head for crack-house
biding their time
like a stoned Jesus
hung out to dry
on your mother’s clothesline


He keeps a photograph tucked away
Inside his meager belongings
Three soldiers smiling smoking cigarettes
A Viet Cong in black pajamas
Hanging upside down from a pole
Gutted like a fish
Flesh nailed to wood Jesus fashion
Needs no caption
Guilt shadows him in doorways
And under freeways where
He now makes his home
Incoming artillery tears at his nerves
Pieces of flesh stuck to bamboo
Like a piece of meat thrust into
A tiger’s cage
Vietnamese peasants
Suspected Cong haunt his dreams
Like a faceless Santa Clause leaving
Behind a bag of body parts


The preacher man
don’t believe in evolution
The con-man
don’t believe in revolution
The priest has run out
of absolution
No more autographs
No more forced laughs
No more hanging around the zoo
swapping stories with gurus
Going to smoke some dope
with my good friend the Pope
Going to make love nice and slow
Read me some Edgar Allen Poe
Lose myself in the late night show
Going to make a cameo appearance
on the 10 p.m. news
Play me some John Lee Hooker blues
Going to penetrate a prerogative
Bugger the cosmos
Evolve evolution into a revolution
Put anarchy on the stockmarket
Nuke technology outlaw e-mail
Declare Da Da the official
English language
Going to hang religion from a tree
Make John Brown the new
National Anthem
Turn outlaws into in-laws
Land owners into donors
Put Bukowski’s face
on Mount Rushmore
Pay homage to a whore
Going to name a bus after
Rosa Park
Put a little nookie
in every fortune cookie
Expose Saint Nick as a chick
with a dick
Going to invite the First Lady
to ride through the streets of Chinatown
dressed in a see-through nightgown
Going to talk to the fly in the soup
alone or in a group
Going to sing a ballad with
Lorca and a band of gypsies
stop off at the manager
and have a talk with the Lone Ranger
Going to put an end to hemorrhoids
Outlaw humanoids
Going to offer a truce
Bring back Lenny Bruce
Make politicians ride the caboose
Going to go back to school
Erase the golden rule
Going to feed a vulture
Starve off mass culture
Going to turn evolution into
A revolution
Make poetry an institution

A. D. Winans is a native San Francisco poet, writer and photographer. His work has been published internationally. Recent books include This Land Is Not My Land (Presa Press) and The Last Rodeo (Bottle of Smoke Press). Presa Press will be publishing a book of his Selected Poems in January 2007. He can be contacted at

Monday, August 07, 2006

I really like Christopher Robin's stuff. Funny, elegant, sad poems. Good poems. Christopher is from Santa Cruz, California and he publishes one of the two or three best poetry magazines in the country. Aptly titled Zen Baby, you can get a copy by sending a couple bucks to PO Box 1611, Santa Cruz CA 95061.

Poetry By Christopher Robin

Xerox Sprint

How will we interpret
This reluctant American incarnation?
This wasteland of cells and shortcomings…
Low budget/unfinished holograms
Shoot across scarred bellies/
Unholy canvases/
Bodies we can’t translate-
In here
That check will never be cashed
In here
Punk rock beats gurgle up through the toilet
And mix with surrealism
At the cracklin’ Mic
This is a carnival of bullshit
The cops are right outside
Trying to make the distinction between
Those with a poem
And those without
But how can they tell?
We get:
Walt Whitman tattoos
And Emily Dickinson enemas
Buy old cars
Collect typewriters
Join MySpace/
Or chopping-wood
Or sexually-panicked
Unmade beds smelling of schemes…
Some of us fast/
And some just sit still
to wait for the wine
To bring a supernatural dawn/
picked last for the team
or not picked at all
Some of us will break out
Off the beer/off the dole
Most of us won’t
My ink is an eternal sprint
Across these Xeroxed outsider pages
My friends and I are headlines
In the papers no one reads-
Moving so fast through the living
I fear boredom more than death
And I refuse to sleep-
The lumbering old trains pass us by
Singing their graffitied-death-rattle
while we sling emails
with lightning irrelevance-
in the city/honor what kills you
or say uncle


The future’s givin’ a lap dance but luckily it’s too dark to see the wrinkles

so stand at attention feel that red, white and blue pride swell

She’s got two bad eyes a sore on her lip Destiny is browbeaten hunkered down ready to one up herself

She ain’t got nothin’ on Hitler, Mussolini, Cheney, DOES she?

Please board now the ship they told us would never sink

is sinking AGAIN but the sunset is amazing the record is skipping

the champagne has been pissed in so many times the universal joke IS embalmed

Worm eaten PASSE

Nobody’s laughin’ the parties been over since the first stone was ever hurled

We are limping towards our own execution the corners of our mouths clipped in irony

practiced in black-lit mirrors reading Spin Magazine

and what a story this will make!

Where we can link our ‘elevated yellow” PANIC? and government sanctioned


Is there a chat-room appropriate to make THE BIGGEST SPLASH?

Big Brother’s flipping our switches our DNA

The CIA swims in our blood

but popularity doesn’t matter anymore (until there’s a uniformed pounding at the door) right?

any more than GIANT TSUNAMI’S AND HURRICANES AND RUNNING OUT OF gasoline matter-right?

Adam and Eve don’t look beyond my fig leaf!

Whenever I FUCK Barbie and Ken have lived in vain!

But I’ll never have a car with a sun-roof anyway

as long as the Black Power movement is still treading water

MTV: what does the taste of bile reveal about 90 pound ‘girls going wild’? I’ve never seen it on the newsreel….

Retching sounds in the Women’s Studies class retching sounds on Spring Break…..

But don’t blame this generation

illiterate but downloading-all-the-deeper-meanings–plastic-band-of-cyber-monkeys….

with my phone unplugged
I get the news in my sleep via karmic reruns of a century imploding on itself

All those hometown leg-less boys could be sitting on barstools right now watching

football games holding the women’s movement back fifty years

Or shooting deer instead of Iraqi’s

my heroes will go AWOL or bomb Wall Street

But what do I know about bringing down empires? I have barely the fortitude
To tie my own shoes!

I HAVE BEEN DECLARED INCOMPETENT! ‘Born to Lose’? my planned

obsolescence was planned by me

it’s all quicksand

this American dream

and we are all at this very moment NOWHERE TO BE FOUND

praise be to Allah for that

Clown Fish

I can’t work
I’ve dedicated this day
to snapping my fingers
and singing a chorus
with the last
heartbeat of the world
I’m a carnie animal
ugly jack
skipping over minefields
of loose synapses
a broken headed
professional bumbler
by trade
gender mutant
of the sensual circus
lilting ghost radio
in my nerves
of a zig zagging
pony-tailed girl
who I loved with
such impossible belief
I asked her to please grow up
and leave me
in the loop
of the eternal summer 8-Track
with an endless boyhood sky
and no mothers calling me home
the dummy of the furious walk
searching for an ill defined mysticism
promised to me
when the world
fell out of my skull
I dream the numbers
I own the make believe
but I can’t find a nickel
to scratch the sunshine
out of this winning day