BLANK A Street Level Arts and Culture Digest
w w w. b l a n k z i n e . c o m
From The Editor
A good friend of mine described the magazine as important the other day while I was describing to him the current difficulties I was facing during production. He mentioned something about such publications changing the world. I was taken off guard by the comment, and though I was flattered, I tended to disagree. Not that grassroots magazines can’t help change the world, but I doubt that ours ever will. Magazines like Rimjingang, a magazine published in South Korea, but staffed primarily by North Koreans who risk their lives on a daily basis to report for the magazine, seem to me as much better candidates for world change. Of course, perhaps my friend wasn’t referring to such concrete world change as political dissidence. Perhaps he was referring to the subtle way words have of changing our reality on a daily basis. In that way I think we do change the world, if not everyone’s world, certainly, than your world. We change it precisely because you do not realize we are changing it, because you have no way of knowing how it will manifest or influence you. As opposed to the raging hurricane of social desperation we are the soft summer breeze, rustling through your hair, playing over your clothes and skin. The soft inspiration of a starlit sky, or the crumpled cigarette butt on the sidewalk. If that’s what my friend meant, then I’ll take that credit. - DC Warren, Editor-in-Chief
Cover art provided by Tatiana Svrkova, and Lucas Haberman All contents copyright their respective creators and printed with permission. All rights reserved. BLANK is distributed free of charge to the arts community and is funded by the charitable donations of our sponsors.
BLANK A Street Level Arts and Culture Digest
4: Art.Choke / Comic 12: Moon Poem / Poem 13: One More Time / Poem 14: Arbitrary Prairie / Sequential Art 19: Stryfe: in paradise / Comic 24: Frank’s World/ Comic 28: Wanda’s Tunnel (pt. 1) / Short Story 36: Calendar / Almanac 39: Submission Guidelines/ Almanac
by Hugo Zelada
final page by Anna Kamerer 10
Shane A. Beck.
Silver sphere up in the starry skies A source of wonder for all our eyes Beneath your light there will always be A world of romance and mystery Wise old owl sits speaking to the night Silver moth spreads its wings and takes flight Modest ladies wear their skirts high The shy man sings, but doesnâ€™t know why Out in the courtyard young loverâ€™s dance For these hours, fate rules over chance. 12
One More Time Zack Kopp
I quit smoking again this evening five cigarettes left and I tore apart four smoked the last one beginning to change it was already lit so I smoked it the urge to tear apart the other four came right after I took the first drag a feeling that seized me I finished that one and I don’t know why I didn’t really WANT to just something I did and I don’t know why I wasn’t paying tribute there was no romance The whole thought process took seventeen seconds it was very important or meaningless
by Lindsay Johnson
Stryfe STRYFE in paradise
Frankâ€™s World by Frank Rebecca Bravo
Every time I bounced or kicked a ball outside the complex up came Matt the neighborhood fat kid talking about hey Grace can I play? And my don’t your dog look pretty! Only I didn’t care, because Mister John Friday is the prettiest weenie dog in the world, and Matt’s ugly as hell with his Kool-Aid stained mouth and his teeth cock-eyed every which direction, wringing his hands and pivoting back and forth waiting for my answer. I wouldn’t give it but only motioned for him to get where he needs so we can play basketball. And of course he didn’t shut his mouth but smiled bigger, pushed up his thick-as-hell-glasses, and got into position. He worked up a good sweat as he told me he got a copy of Peter Pan. “I got Peter Pan. We could watch it, Grace. We could watch it together!” He was happy as hell. He wore the same sweatshirt because his mama don’t always do laundry or buy him clothes so he’s always got on the same gray sweatshirt that he’s got to push the sleeves up on. “We could watch it later on.” Peter Pan did sound fun, but we had other stuff come up that seemed more important. So me and Matt got thick as hell and heard about Chris Johnson and his horrible sickness. We were hop scotching in front of Matt’s apartment on his cracked sidewalks, and we heard Miss Donald say, “Chris Johnson can’t go outside on account of he’s deathly allergic to either the air or the sun.” The grown-ups were only a few yards from us in the middle of the street. We pretended to play. The next morning we heard Miss Holloway telling Mister Morrison how she “didn’t think Chris Johnson would make it. If only they had money….” And Mister Morrison hung his head at this and looked down at the street. I dropped my rock and stopped playing. 26
Matt had heard it too. I asked Matt because he was, after all, ten and quarter and I was just freshly ten. Chris Johnson seemed the same as the trees and the light poles and all the barking dogs in our neighborhood. What I mean to say is when a kid is always around riding his bike you don’t think about them too much. He was just a kid. We knew he was poor as hell because Daddy told me his dad couldn’t hold a job and his momma is a cracked-head. Sometimes Matt’s mom would give them their dinner and that meant Matt would go to bed hungry. Chris Johnson still treated us mean. At least he never talked to us. He would just ride by on his old beat-up bike and almost hit us as he went by. I hated him. Not because he was mean to me but mostly because Matt’s mom was so damn nice to him! “It means he’s dying,” Matt explained. He pushed his glasses up and his eyes grew wide to show me he meant it. “It mean’s that kid’s dying.” Matt’s face turned red, and I stopped breathing for a long while. We called him a kid but he was very much a teenager. He’d pop wheelies down our small-crappy-street talking about how I looked like a boy with all the dirt on my face. Yeah, I thought, and look at you Chris Johnson with your hair so dirty it won’t even blow in the wind, and freckles all over your body the like I never seen before. He was the skinniest kid I ever laid eyes on. I down right hated the son-of-a-bitch, but I sort of, I don’t know, loved him or something when I found out he wouldn’t make it. I all of a sudden missed his rusty bike and his slack jaw and the way he told me I looked like a dirty boy. I felt like a boy anyhow. It’s hard to explain. The next day me and Matt took to playing this game where we raised enough money to save Chris Johnson. We pretended to be heroes, and we played right there on the sidewalks. Matt pretended he was Chris Johnson and gave a speech thanking me and him right there leaning up against the 27
back of Mister Thompson’s Oldsmobile. “Thank-you,” he pushed up his glasses and rolled up his sleeves. “I’d like to come right out and thank God first off, and I would especially like to thank Matt and Grace for saving up all that money and letting me breathe outside and all. I can ride my bike too. Well, I’d just like to say that Matt and Grace are heroes. And I’d like to thank the Lord for them too.” But just as I started to clap I saw Miss Paterson’s big ass arm in the Oldsmobile’s side mirror. I knew we were in for it. I didn’t meet her eyes and somehow I just knew Matt was looking down at the same piece of street as me. I focused where a frog had died last year cooked to death by the heat. “You committing blasphemy, mocking God and thanking him and clapping! Chris Johnson is sick. You hear me that boy’s sick. And praise be to God you two are out damning our streets.” I focused on her thick ankles and the hem of her bright red day dress. “What were you two doing? And don’t you two start your lyin’ I done heard part of it.” I wanted to look up and meet her eyes but she started blowing her nose on her cooking apron. I looked down and focused on Matt’s crap gold corduroy shoes. He pivoted back and forth. He had a hole in his shoe. He didn’t have socks on. I said, “We were playing that we raised enough money so that Chris Johnson could come outside and ride his bike again. That’s all.” “We didn’t mean nothing—” “Let’s have enough of that or I’ll wear out both your little asses.” She bent down eye level with us and her breath smelled like chewing tobacco, and her eyes showed deep lines. “Chris Johnson is sick. You little punks aren’t, and you both aren’t thankful. This isn’t a game to be playing and you should both pray for forgiveness. You should say a prayer of thanks 28
that you are able to be out here and breathing up God’s fresh air while Chris is shut up in that apartment. You shouldn’t be making fun. If I catch wind of this happening again you’ll wish I hadn’t. You both are too dumb to have anything to do with money or raising it. You need to just go somewhere safe in your make believe world and let people who care make a difference.” She left us glued to the street. That’s when we decided to really raise the money and learned that we already had seven bucks between us from birthdays and such. Matt kept the money. We’d raise the rest with a lemonade stand. We aimed to show that nose blowin’ so-and-so we weren’t dumb. We aimed to save Chris Johnson. The next morning Matt comes up in his sweatshirt and shorts, and I motioned for him to get into position for basketball before we set up our lemonade stand, but he only looked at me—scared like—pivoting back and forth. My dog John Friday started to fussing with soft yaps, so I smacked him. I pushed his stroller to and fro till he shut it. “Why you standing? Let’s play!” I said. And now I’m as frustrated as hell, huffing and puffing and crossing my arms. We didn’t have much time, see. We had money to raise.
“I’ve been to Wanda’s tunnel,” he said and wrung his hands.
“God dang! You know your mama’s just gonna beat the shit out of you.” My mama’s in a mean way herself, coming into my room screaming for no good reason, but Matt’s mama beats him but good. And he’s dumb as shit and tells on himself when he’s done bad. “I lost my money in the tunnel. My mom allowed me two dollars—” 29
he holds up two fingers to make positive I understand, “to get a muscle shirt for the weather. I must have dropped it.” He looked away from me. “I put it with the other money. I lost it all.” His eyes welled up. I get half a mind not to wait for his mama but to bust him myself. I let my ball drop and raised my hand like I aimed to, and all of a sudden he looked scared like he was going to cry. So I came to, and I realized I was about to have Matt boo-hooing and snottin’ and the whole nine in front of my apartment. I lowered my hand to show I wasn’t gonna, but he still hung his mouth wide and was probably holding his breath. I started thinking of kind words to say, but then the S.O.B really started crying. Even though he’s taller, I managed an arm around him and hurried him to the side of my complex where it’s mostly dirt and weeds. “Stop it,” and I gave him a gentle slap but hard enough to let him know I meant it. “Stop it, or you’ll have a grown-up come out and tell both our mamas!” He wiped his tears the best he could, and I made him all sorts of promises to shut him up. I hate crying. “We’ll get our money. We’ll make a big donation for Chris Johnson.” Then I wanted to know “How far’d you get?” “Past the second.” We measured the tunnel by the gutters that let the sunlight in. No kid ever made it past the third one. “You went alone?” He put his hands on his hips proudly and said, “I wanted to make the third gutter.” He bowed his chubby head. “I wanted to be the first and only.” We called it Wanda’s tunnel on account of Wanda had made it the farthest—nearly to the third gutter. I guess back then kids had a tough time making it to the second. Wanda’s grown and gone but it’s still her tunnel. Both of us knew about Wanda and her story. We learned long ago that 30
Wanda’s mom beat her. The tunnel was the only place she could hide from her mom’s beatings. “I think Wanda’s my hero,” I told Matt on that third day. “She knew what she had to do, go into the tunnel and get away from that mom, and she just did it. She had courage.” I passed the ball to Matt, a bounce pass, but he caught it and held it. He didn’t speak. He pushed his glasses up. “I’ve stood at the opening and felt it. Wanda’s courage is real,” Matt finally said. I grabbed the ball. “I wished I had the courage, you know, to do something real like Wanda. She had the courage to go deep enough to hide. I heard Wanda had all the comforts in that tunnel. She had a chair and a bunch of comics and a slingshot in case someone bad showed up.” Matt took the ball and gazed down our street. He then looked in the direction of Wanda’s tunnel. I could tell Matt was trying not to cry about our money, because his fat was a tremblin. I couldn’t stand it. I can’t stand to see people boo-hooing. Then I got upset on account of him making me think about Chris Johnson and how he couldn’t ever ride his bike again, so I give him another slap. “Buck up, you baby!” I can’t stand to see a ten year old cry, since I’m whole months younger and nothing makes me cry. I grabbed Matt’s hand. Miss Paterson started banging her blankets outside of her window a few stories up at my apartment complex. We could only see her hands, but we knew it was her. I said, “Wipe your tears before Miss Paterson comes down and whips our asses.” You don’t even need to belong to Miss Paterson, when she gets it in her mind to whip her some ass she just grabs a kid, becomes their mama, and whips herself some ass. Matt was still breathing hard and working his shoulders up and down. “I’m sorry. I’m—” 31
“Let’s get our money.” I rub his back. I didn’t want to waste time with his I’m sorry business. So I said “Let’s get.” I started pushing Mister John Friday. I dug my pack of cigarettes out of the front of my overalls and lit one up with my strike-anywhere matches. I’d been stealin’ cigarettes from my mama ever since the first day we heard about Chris Johnson. The whole situation of having to go into the tunnel stressed me good. I took a drag and held the cigarette low so Miss Paterson didn’t see me, and beat us. “And my you look cool,” Matt says like he might want one too, so I give him a look that tells him the answer to that question. He smiled too big and showed all his teeth. Some people can’t take a hint, so … I gave him one. “Thanks.” But he puts it in his pocket and pats it over and over. “I’ll take care of it.” “Hurry up,” I snap, “I have a flashlight in my room. We’ll need a flashlight.”
to be continued ...
Calender Friday July 31st Critical Mass (ictcritical.com) @ The Donut Whole 5p All-America City Street Party @ Oldtown Square 6p Final Friday @ various galleries 7p The Norway Agenda w/Strange Inventions @ The Blue Lounge 10p $M Stepbrothers @ Kelly’s 10p $M Spirit of the Stairs @ Rock Island Live 10p M$ Hold for Andrea @ Kirby’s Beer Store 10p M Saturday August 1st Clementine’s Psychedelic Salon @ The Perk 8p MA Uche and the Crash @ Rock Island Live 10p $M Regret the Informer, the Canyons @ Blank Page 8p MA$ Afterparty @ Kelly’s Irish Pub 10p $M Manteum, Suddenly Awake @ the Blue Lounge 10p $M Goth Night @ Kirby’s 10p Sunday 8/2 Kit Craig @ Kirby’s 6p M Sunday August 2nd Harold and Maude @ Blank Page 7:30p V$
Monday August 3rd Enter the Dragon @ The Vagabond 9p V The Catalyst, Be Kind To Your Neighbor, Low Oriole, Robust Android @ 129 N. Meridian 7p MA Monday Night Jazz @ Blank Page 8p MA$ Matt Griffio, Sterofidelics @ Kirby’s 10p M Untapped Market, Blindwitness, This or the Apocalypse, & Wretched @ The Eagles Lodge 7p$AM Scott Allan Knost @ Mort’s 8p M$ Tuesday August 4th Becky Farris, booze @ Botanica 5:30p8 M$ Lucky Flower @ Oz Cafe 8p M$A Karlheinz Muenchausen Improvisation Ensemble @ Blank Page 8p MA$ Wednesday August 5th Hipbilly @ The Donut Whole 8p MA Tony Ngo @ Rock Island Live 8:30p M$ Blank Verse Open Mic @ Blank Page 7:30 MPA$ Beast in the Field, Dead Commuter @ Kirby’s 10p M
Calender Thursday August 6th Jon Eaton Acoustic @ Kirby’s 6p M DJ Marcus @ Kirby’s 10p M Art of Storytelling @ Blank Page 8p V$ Monica Taylor Trio @ Ulrich Museum 7p MA Friday August 7th First Friday (firstfriday.rokict.com) @ various venues MA Elliot Road @ The Artichoke 8p M Riverside 65 @ Rock Island Live 8:30p M$ The Iis, Tom Page @ Kirby’s 10p M Saturday August 8th King of a big Drag, No Dogsbody @ Kirby’s 10p M Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School: To Ill or Not To Ill @ Blank Page 4:30p AF$$ Sunday August 9th The Virgin Spring @ Blank Page 7:30p VA$ Monday August 10th Heathers @ The Vagabond 9p V Sleeping in the Aviary, The Shingles @ Kirby’s 10p M The Bodo Ensemble @ Blank Page 8p MA$ Tuesday August 11th Chamber Music/Opera Series @ Blank 34
Page 8p MFA$ Amanda Lind, booze @ Botanica 5:30p-8 M$ Wednesday August 12th Atmosphere @ The Cotillion 8p M$$A Michelle Monger, Brock Shannon @ The Artichoke 8p M Blank Verse Open Mic @ Blank Page 7:30p MAP$ Thursday August 13th DJ Teri Mott and Rhea @ Kirby’s 10p M Wild Style @ Blank Page V$ Friday August 14th Michelle Monger @ Blank Page 8p MA$ Uche and the Crash @ The Brickyard 9p M$ She Swings She Sways @ Kirby’s 10p M Saturday August 15th Emily Judson Band @ Kansas Grown Farmers’ Market (21st & Tyler) Constant Velocity @ Kirby’s 10p M Graffiti Lesson @ Blank Page 3-5p $ Sunday August 16th A Women Under the Influence @ Blank Page 7:30p VA$ Kit Craig @ Kirby’s 6p M
Monday August 17th The Matrix @ The Vagabond 9p V Trevor Stewart @ Blank Page 8p MA$ Voodoo Organist @ Kirby’s 10p M Tuesday August 18th Albert Alfonso, Spot @ Kirby’s 10p M Stephanie Patterson Quartet @ Blank Page 8p MFA$ Wednesday August 19th Blank Verse Open Mic @ Blank Page 7:30p MAP$ Thursday August 2oth Jon Eaton Acoustic @ @ Kirby’s 6p M Graffiti Battle @ Blank Page 8p $ Church of the Snake, Color Club, Japanese Game Show @ Kirby’s 10p M Friday August 21st Jared Brickman @ The Shadow 7p M$ Unmarked Cars @ Kirby’s 10p M Saturday August 22nd The Side Project @ Mead’s Corner 9p MA Graffiti Lesson @ Blank Page 3-5p $ Radar Ray and the Creekbusters @ Blank Page 8p MA$ Riverside 65 @ Oeno 9p M Strange Inventions @ Club Liquid 9p M$ Spider + Octopus @ Kirby’s 10p M
Calender Sunday August 23rd Our Daily Bread (1934 & 2005 Versions) @ Blank Page 6p VA$ Monday August 24th David Lord @ Blank Page 8p MA$ The Hunter @ The Vagabond 9p Tuesday August 25th Chamber Music Series @ Blank Page 8p MFA$ Wednesday August 26th Blank Verse Open Mic @ Blank Page 7:30p MAP$
Thursday August 27th Blue Eyed Soul @ RSC Patio 11:30a M Hip Hop Lesson @ Blank Page 8p V$ Friday August 28th Critical Mass (ictcritical.com) @ The Donut Whole 5p Final Friday @ various galleries 7p Bill Haley and the Comets @ The Orpheum 7:30p MA$$$$ Obscured (breast cancer fundraiser) @ Don Michael Bannon Salon 7p
Dr. Sketchy’s To Ill or Not To Ill -- the harbinger of our upcoming hip-hop infusion -- kicks off our tumultous era of world-rending change as we realign the sacred with a schedule at Blank Page. This continues our ardent effort to make your lives paradoxically more stupifyingly complex and satisfyingly easy. At least we’re giving you the heads up, unlike your last significant other. See? That‘s how much The Page loves you. The weekly line-up is as follows: Mondays - Jazz @ 8p Tuesdays - Classical Music @ 8p Wednesdays - Blank Verse @ 7:30p Thursdays - Hip-Hop @ 7:30p Fridays are always changing Saturday, August 8th, Dr. Sketchy’s @ 4:30 Not Sketchy’s Saturdays - Graffiti Classes 3-5p Sundays - Open Life Drawing Studio 12-4p 40
Contest!!!!! Hooray! Great Challenge!! The dead dog days of heat and madness are upon us. That’s right kids, it’s August. And it’s gonna be horrid. Nothing’s worse than August. Ever. However, last month was July. And as mind-bending as August is, there’s nothing more strange and perverse than July. So sum up your thoughts. Write us a sentence describing what July was to you, and we’ll illustrate it in the next issue. But write well, because we’re only picking four winners. And those winners will know the glory of our approval. And trust me, we here at Blank know glorious writing. So hop to it, write us something amazing, and it will be immortalized forever in ink by our artists.
2. Goes wih arsenic, when aged
2. Voodoo Spirit
4. Dihydrogen Monoxide, a.k.a.
3. Barcelonan Tongue
6. Circulatory Pump
5. European River
7, Famous Architect
8. Hand, tree, dâ€™Or, etc.
9. Birth (adj.)
10. The way
11. Persian Poet.
12. Sterling Currency
Patrons Big Daddy’s and Lil Mama’s Smoked Shack Meats Central Plains and Novelty Twist Harry and Ollie’s Eye Kandy Pinups and Custom Airbrush Ms. Yvonne Ethington, Pillar of all that is Right, True and Beautiful in the world.
Sponsors Melange Custom Jewelry The Vagabond Coffee Shop and Bar Kimmy’s Cafe Hatman Jack’s Wichita Hat Works Endless Ride Pro Shop Arce’s Audio El Paisa Riverside Hair Station Zoomdweebie’s Tea Bar
Independent Digital Printing
Published on Jul 29, 2009