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bitchin’ kitsch

7 Iss. 4 Apr. 2016 Vol.

The Talent

Cover: “Drips� by Emily Rose Schanowski. Lydia Armstrong Roo Bardookie Matt Borczon Jen Breen Cristin Dora Gregg Dotoli Rachel Geraci Paul Hiatt Cattail Jester Maia Johnson Jihane Mossalim Keith Moul Ben Nardolilli Marianic Parra Jeri Peterson James Prenatt Sy Roth Seth Ruderman Wayne Russell Nathan Alan Schwartz Sanjeev Sethi B R Stafford Dr. Mel Waldman Eliza Weatherby

20 4 13 12 24 27 6-8 14 28 15 5 10 3 23 30 17 11 16 26 9 22 21 18-19 25

Ben Nardolilli | Violation Report | Poetry Who fell into here? Is this who we have to choose from? This is no grand jury. Just a chorus. You, Judge, you’re the ringleader of this set. What a massive ballot box they compile together. Eyeballs and blackballs. Over here the defendant has too much loneliness. Shall I perform all kinds of impressions of happy little trees? My cornucopia is too old for this. Could we do this on a Saturday? I’m debating taking a happy father’s day off. I don’t empower anybody unless they can identify the gunman. Google is honoring the wrong conceptual horse. Fixing to be a broken night. This is the obtaining of property from a sovereign citizen. I never got the gun. That was a dream song. I was trying to boost military morale with a Woody Allen monologue. I’m surprised any of you even know what guilt is. We’re so far from Hannah Arendt now. We’re completely sober too. Tonight’s plans to be naked, fatbellied, and smelling of ash will have to wait by the curb for pickup. Chorus, make up your minds. Did I conspire, confederate, or combine to obtain, withhold, take, or hold? Did I do it to forge a writing, to wit: a check with full prejudice towards the rights willingly failing to appear? I’m worried you’re missing the big one. Fraudulent use of a third person to utter or attempt to employ a true possession of a schedule.


Roo Bardookie | Pajama Man | Prose hey man, want to see a real man that has come to the conclusion that a real entity is haunting his small home? hey, do you want to see the face of a man that knows just outside his door, stands something that will turn his heart to jelly, with fire out his right brain, and overload the left hey man, want to see a man that can’t decide if he has gone insane, or the ghost is just playing cat and mouse with him? look no further, because the knob is turning, real or imagined, he is haunted he is a man who lives in pajamas for a week at a time, until he smells their ripe odor the neighbors wonder why he only hangs pajamas on the clothes line now you know

jihane mossalim

jihane mossalim | some light | drawing


Rachel Geraci | Say Something | Poetry Please, Say something to me. I need to hear a ring. I can’t bear to see one. I’ve started to believe your lies, That the ruler of this universe Is complete in cruelty. But to digest this dream of you— I have had too many problems with Understatements. I am beneath you. I sorely wish I was underneath you. Below. Bellow. A nasty sound from the mouths Of forgotten disciples. The ones you turned. (Away. Away.) The girls with pearly skeletons as their present And future. You beat them to a fruitless pulp, Shoved out to a broken, half-hanged door, Out of your dishonorable, Personal closet. Privacy is a must. Technology must pay the price. This is Sodom. This is the South. What was your aunt’s floral name again? And does you mother understand suffering? She doesn’t. She’s dead. You are no freer than your brother, Who spends many evenings a-dazzled, Sincerely secretive Saturday nights, Sneaking away just before dusk hits, By and by, a few dozen brightly painted, Plastered. Queer. There were about as many ‘mares As the days that have since gone by. And to somehow believe in you— Who could ever be so quick to deny Such comfort, such solace? Warmth. To feel warmly about those who gravitate. Radiate. Ah, debauchery. I have disassembled your aged body in my

Sick, senseless mind. The rabbit hole. Insanity. I have examined each Of your many definitions. Closely. Closer. You’re an expert on the subject. And there, I have objectified you As you have made an intolerable issue Of my delicate experience. With you. And what about you? The ruched, rosy bits and creamy, freckled skin. A once cancerous legion in the left-wing. Tell me now, how does it feel to win? I could not tolerate it. I am livid about it. Those flaking, parched judgments, The lack of iridescent, silver linings, Boundaries, conviction, decisiveness— Was there ever a piece of me broken off? A piece of valuable commiseration? Here is your consolation prize: Knowing intimately of an eternal disguise. Was there a piece of you that Was made up entirely of only me? I cannot possibly be the only one capable Of understanding what it truly means To feel so broken, miserably, Crumbling into consumables. Maybe this the height of all I amounted to, In your eyes. Eyes of rime. The eyes to end all of time. A beacon of pure pleasure, And witty, calculated enjoyment— To rub off onto your labia until you’re free! That sickening, succoring, dangerous want, Ecstasy that instructs your soul, Rapture transforms you into a predator. A cougar, they may start to say—in defense,

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Rachel geraci | say something

But push it away and find the spots. Pursue me. Maybe I was underneath, all along. A sure, subtle sleep. Tomorrow, you’ll wake up renewed, And you won’t be broken anymore. You won’t feel the impulse to write again. You won’t feel the desire to make amends. This will be the last sobbing, sullen lullaby With her rosy, beaming face branded on it.

Nathan Alan Schwartz | Bomb Fires | Poetry An abundance of jet fueled hate is mounted on walls of respectable caring homes like moose heads


hanging garden fists punch holes in broken homes & anger plays devil’s advocate asking the questions no one will or wants to ask & heaps of greasy days go by slipping so easily into juvenile hands & eyes are easily punctured when swords are coming out through tongues on concrete ears


a frail trench coat can only defend so much against harsh winter words that bang against doors & launch missiles through glass & It’s all so simple when setting bomb fires in hearts of microwave love. through crusty pizza boxes and Budweiser cans microwave love


Keith Moul | Belligerent Action | Poetry Had sun shone on the fateful day, much would have been the same, beyond peace keeper’s control, but more people would check orchards bursting with early regional fruits, spring rivers plunging to the valleys. Not everyone saw, and few believed, the newspaper reporting of a war. True to say, but aggressive war begins best in summer as commanders consider convenience of attacking troops and temporary shock among those peoples targeted for destruction. Later, these will be “good times,� long days advancing without much resistance, lightning war, wildfires of panic as the fifty millimeter leaves total separation in its bloody wake. At headquarters, commanders scrutinize intelligence, offer calm assurance. Armed forces always train to expert readiness. Rapid deployment, much as minutemen with muskets, instant mobilization relieves the worried citizens of doubts regarding immediate total tactical invasion by land, air, or irony. Militias not well-regulated retaliate by skirmishing along impromptu lines. News arrives, is immediately touted from the capital. Citing provocation and insolence among the people, the land army attacks on multiple fronts. By a shivered wall a soldier stands hunched over, his eyes icy like yellow tile. The wall itself has erupted mortar, tips, and finally yields to early corruption. What possessed supporters to lend their wills to misadventure? So ardently? To win this victory over neighbors who for centuries sang drinking songs, woke up to labor in the fields, fish the streams, fix a clock, love their wives? Beyond the wall, now powder, a teeter-totter hoists two children into smoke. One brandishes a wooden sword, the other a toy rifle equipped with real bolt, and they rise and fall and rise and fall, rise and fall as on a fiery white steed: from ground atop the smoke to see the battle unfold in all the ruined acres. Policies may change as leadership changes. Policing commences an occupancy. Streets now broil with distrust. The old are worse for change; the young rearm.

Sy Roth | So Slow the Rains | Poetry So slow the rains Ink my window An ancient misblown glass. They Distort the cars. In their ambling, shuffling meanderings Misshapen dogs drag their owners Clutching plastic bags filled with their shit. Flash They gurgle by. So slow, Creeping inches of time, Microseconds of time Full-fledged invasion of cells Rapid mitosis Timed to implode— Explode. In Krakatoa rains— Bulbous explosion To splash the skies When the no more comes. Malformed ideas less intact wither in the deluge And the swinging bags of shit Tossed in cans, overflow in A Mauna Loa of lava. Threatens to Smother existence — And the rains creep Along the slippery glass All smudged With icy, crystalline precision. Observed Drowning in a vale of tears.


Jen Breen | Traffic | Fiction I thought you were a girl Dean jumping from the pages of “On the Road.” I didn’t understand what the stories meant until the night I saw you selling yourself on South Street in a white Marilyn Monroe dress, spike heels. You always wear white when you’re bad. You acted like I embarrassed you—to drive me off. Like we were 14 and I wouldn’t know. Too many summers had passed to still see that hazy curtain of what we want to believe. Your laugh blended with the tired horns and thumping radios suspended in traffic as you sunk into the sidewalk and the adventures melted into dog-eared postcards.

Matt Borczon | Tattoo 4 | poetry everyone asked me if I planned to get a tattoo as a remembrance of the war no I say but I will tattoo anything you like if it will help me forget the war but what about the names of the soldiers you worked on who died they ask there is not enough room on my body besides I never learned their names only their faces and where we sent their bodies to.


Paul Hiatt | THe Hat Speaks | Poetry i am a hat riding on a man’s head speeding on the 5am L he has a shapely skull that gives off a steady heat i can smell the perfume of his shampoo feel the blood throbbing through his brain almost in rhythm with the smacking tracks the riders are silent bug eyed with caffeine or dead looking, with moldy bread eyes and worn faces, above too big coats, dull brained statistical averages, lurching towards cubicles the poor bastards, sad like dead men’s shoes draped on a wire just hanging, tied and going nowhere they meant to go going and going and going where they believe they must the same, endless, formless gray, until the strings rot away and the sodden things fall, unnoticed being a hat ain’t so bad you get left alone most of the time misplaced, left somewhere quiet, out of the way i keep my shape most days, and that’s enough he straightens me again and again, not used to being hatted i catch him checking his reflection in the black window he clears his throat, buttons his coat it’s going to be hell outside the wind will have teeth the snow is massing, a system is forming off the lake i can feel it in my wool all i can hope for is that he’s smart enough to walk into the wind at an angle that he keeps hold of me around corners and doesn’t let go

Maia Johnson

Maia Johnson | Untitled | Photograph


Seth Ruderman | Treadmill Warrior | Poetry The race began in a Weight Watchers class fifty pounds and ten pairs of jeans ago where he vowed to ditch the baby weight he’d gained eating his way through his wife’s pregnancy only to give birth to elastic waistbands in his wardrobe. The race continued at 6AM every morning one step, one pound at a time next to the regulars and irregulars who cared to race him in place. 80s punk and 90s rap set the pace while he turned it up, brought the noise clamped down and stared ahead at the cinderblock wall mile after mile in front of his face that Chuck D and Joe Strummer urged him to run through. Baby weight gone he continued down the neverending road adjusting speed and incline waiting for the oscillating fan in the corner to provide the wind at his back so he could finish ahead of the lululemon mom to his left with the baby at home.

James Prenatt | Family American | Poetry You try to find the words, but when the blank page greets you, you realize parenthood is not a character in a novel and children aren’t first drafts. You thought paying the bills and keeping her at home would make you a bigger man, but that just made you hate yourself more for ending up like your dad. You wanted the Family American. The formula for happiness: a house five miles from where you were born, a BBQ wedding and high school-friends reception, 24/7 mom career, and a nights and weekends daddy deal. That lifetime contract was torn up sooner than it was signed. That kind of life is too much to handle. That kind of love is too much to handle. You lock those thoughts in the closet, baby and all. Marriage becomes a broken baseball game. You strike, they run. That minor league batting average is buried under major league dreams along with your insecurity, a pile of put-off bills and the part of you that lacked the big time guts to hold her hand in the hospital gown. It’s a boy. It’s mine. It’s yours. Ours. That other thought is locked in the closet with her, too, in tears: You’re her everything and you’ll hate me someday.


dr. mel waldman | a brooklyn metamorphosis at lily poind while sitting with the beat poets | Poetry (on reading Gregory Corso’s excerpt from the poem Transformation & Escape) The first snow of winter flows & falls inside the ominous darkness & I disappear down a black spiral staircase in the House of Dreams into the black hole of yesterday yearning for the chimerical Kingdom of Heaven & the first snow of winter flows & falls & I return to Lily Pond, smell the scent of luscious zephyrs floating above the glittering waters, & taste a succulent calm, the juicy flower of creation & the lovely flow of opalescence at Lily Pond & I return. Here, in this Heaven on earth, a place of sweet serenity, I ride celestial waves while gazing at the soothing sensuous swirls & my brainwaves caress the stillness of Lily Pond on the Brooklyn College campus, circa Summer 1962, here in the quiet Before-Life & I am.

& in a fantastic metamorphosis nestled in an eternal moment I grow an angel’s golden wings and a mammoth halo & I am happy & I summon the Beat Poets for they are beaten & battered & in need of joy & I sit with Ginsberg & Ferlinghetti while Anne Waldman strolls around Lily Pond & we listen to Gregory Corso recite a silly funny crazy beautiful poem about Heaven & Ferlinghetti whispers The World is a Beautiful Place again and again & Ginsberg & Waldman wear Buddhist grins & we are one with Lily Pond


Lydia Armstrong | The 4th War | Poetry Mr. Hare has a face like a jack o’lantern, Everything hangs. He walks like he just got off a horse. Wears a cap that says he earned it Emblazoned with military insignia, Mr. Hare served in three wars. He says he doesn’t belong here, He’s got a wraparound porch back home And his own goddamn medicine And it comes in a glass bottle. In the dining room I say, what do you want for lunch today And Mr. Hare says, my freedom And I say, what do you want that I can get you, And he orders a hamburger. He grumbles something that sounds like indigestion But when I remember the mustard, His hanging jowls lift. He croaks a rare thank you and leaves most of the burger uneaten and Smeared yellow on his plate. Tomorrow he will refuse to eat and will sit in the lobby until he shits himself And the nurses will draw straws for cleanup duty. The loser will say, come on Mr. Hare, Let’s get you changed, And Mr. Hare will spit on the floor and sit stinking, Waging his fourth war on age.

B R Stafford | Coffee tooth demands tribute | Poetry Coffee Tooth leans in, Grabs attention. Lower left-and-center, lodged between upright whites, The Ugly One cool kids use as camouflage, ground unevenly and jauntily canted just so, offers no apologies. Cocky, that Coffee Tooth. Persian flaw. Unselfconscious scoff-law. Hell yes, Coffee Tooth! Libation forthcoming.


Sanjeev Sethi | Nostos | Poetry (1)

Blindfold me in an alley of your own. By your touch, by your truths I will tell. It is you. Sprinkle the space with our pillow talk. These tentacles will find me.


Familiar sound. Safe scent. Familiar belch Known breath. Familiar groan. Same grunt. I know‌ I’m home.

Marianic Parra

Marianic Parra | Silence Unguarded Declination II | Drawing 23

Cristin Dora | Demons, Ash, and lightning bolts or the lack of all three, at the end of the world | fiction “Bombs away,” the news anchor said last Sunday. Commercial media always finds a way to sensationalize even at the end of the world. Just a week ago, I lazily sat on my couch, boxers and beer, watching broadcast television. I never knew how much could change in seven short days. Most places in the world have been boarded up, save for the coastal town I have lived in ever since I can remember. All of my old neighbors forgot to do the boarding when they fled hurriedly into hiding in order to save themselves and their loved ones. Evidently, they did not have a working knowledge of how Armageddon worked. This place looks exactly the same except now there isn’t a single other being. All the while I walk along the beach, smelling salty air and listening to the crush of the waves. I have been given the gift of time to finally enjoy life as humanity nears the end. What does the end mean anyway? Another day gone, just like before in the life I had known. I always thought that when this day came, there would be a blinding flash and everything I had known would turn black and cease to exist, but that has yet to happen. At least absolute chaos would have given my fellow humans some kind of satisfaction. The ground would have opened up and swallowed my species. Lightning bolts would rain down from the sky to strike down people. These would of course cause fires to erupt all over the damn place. When one would cease to ash, ten more would start in its place. Also, demons would be eating people because the bible said so. However, the sky is becoming increasingly gray. Maybe all that death and mayhem is happening somewhere in the world as it always has. The earth becomes more silent with every day of waiting and all I can really do is wait for myself to quit existing. There’s a lack of anything better to do in the world at the moment. So it was then that I found some more time to sit in the sand thinking that all that praying I was told to do for my salvation when I was little actually worked. I guess I prayed better than anyone else. Or maybe the Devil never knew my home existed. The irony I feel for all my neighbors who left in a panic. Back on the boardwalk, I open a can of beer and pull an old lawn chair to the very edge of the pier. I chug the can quickly. Empty, I drop it into the ocean. Bombs away.

Eliza Weatherby | Our love is rose gold | Poetry Our love is rose gold fashionable, flawless multitouch surfaces over lithium ion lightning charged bones two ten trillion terabyte flash memory souls it’s twenty million megapixels through mayfair, lux, valencia filters orientation and proximity sensors high res, backlit satellite guided, voice controlled our love is advertised and contract free no payment upfront essential, tradeable replaceable, nonupgradeable built to be breakable and outdateable and obsolete by 6 AM tomorrow.


Wayne Russell | Apocalypse After Sundown | Poetry Stumbling on uneven sidewalks after apocalypse dances upon graffiti tombstones’, undeterred by the homeless fighting over their last can of beer and the lackluster silver dollar found in urine stained gutters of this mad city at night fall. Naked moon beams cast her blood thirsty banter into lifeless pubs where downtrodden barflies’ slowly nurse watered down drinks like they are newborn’s suckling from the soul of Dionysus himself. Somewhere in the distance a dog howls of loneliness, the sharp pangs of hunger that probably erodes its belly, shall ring in my ears for days.

Gregg Dotoli | Approach | Poetry Relearn the approach toward word Like the bread-handed child coaxing a Bluejay For the feather and blue close-up to satisfy his curious nature to get peace — close to observe not cull That child is pure in objective And sincere in goal But becomes polluted and eco-aloof time shed innocence instills neglect towards nature like humankind’s empty approach to changing weather animals and plants wordlessly weep Nero fiddled while Rome burned and we look away as nature dies Relearn the approach toward word get peace — close to word accept waning nature , man as viral polluter Earth This is our circle, every point Words deny, nature never lies


Cattail Jester | Cadaver | Poetry I am undressed in front of the crowd, but I am not doing the undressing. Late a few nights ago, the world closed in, pop it went, like the weasel. Now, I am bestowed the gift of visits, steady, busy hands over me, working diligence. They make me more beautiful than I was in life, a splayed bloom. I am suddenly embarrassed to be so plain and naked in front of the crowd. There is a beautiful redhead in the first row. I do not want her to see my inner self, the contents of my stomach, the stretches of humanity. I acquiesce because I have no choice, and am wheeled away in my chagrin.

History — The B’K

The Bitchin’ Kitsch (2010-present) or The B’K is a compzine edited and published by The TalbotHeindl Experience, LLC in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The Bitchin’ Kitsch was created as a monthly zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who had something to say. It was born out of a necessity to create an avenue for editor, Chris Talbot-Heindl, to remain artistic after school, with her subversive style, while continuing to live in Central Wisconsin. It exists for the purpose of open creativity and seeks to be an outlet for people who may not otherwise have an opportunity to show their work. Although the idea was created as a “what-if” brainstorm between the Talbot-Heindls’ whilst in bed and sort of groggy, it has since blossomed into a legitimate publication that has gone international Through the grace of the Internet, The B’K has had the opportunity to create a juried book and the opportunity to publish two juried chapbooks. Here’s to the past five years, and hopefully many, many more.


Jeri Peterson

Jeri Peterson | Barn head #2 | oil on canvas

The B'K April 2016 Issue  
The B'K April 2016 Issue  

The Bitchin’ Kitsch was created as a monthly zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who had something to say. It exists for...