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bitchin’ kitsch

7 Iss. 6 Jun. 2016 Vol.

The Talent

Cover: “Opiate” by Gordan Ćosić. Jake Buckholz 6-9 JD DeHart 20 James Diaz 3 Kayla Elmhorst 11, 30 Chad Fisher 32 Angelica Fuse 14 Sasheera Gounden 10, 13, 21 Martin H. Levinson 12 BZ Niditch 24 Jeri Peterson 15 Richard Salembier 18-19 Emily Rose Schanowski 17, 27 Sanjeev Sethi 16 David Thompson 5, 22, 23 Julie Vitto 25 Dr. Mel Waldman 28-29 Peabody Winston 26 Hon-Wai Wong 4

James Diaz | Travelogue for the lonesome | Poetry All you have is your mothers tattered suitcase from before the war which war? does it really matter — you board a bus headed for where exactly? is it that important — just a small town you found on a map that used to belong to your Uncle Roger he kept it in a pine box in the back of his garage you found it after he died and swore you’d put it to good use some day now as the bus pulls out of that depressing greyhound station on a rainy day in mid July you begin to wonder where you begin and the world ends.


Hon-Wai Wong | Ice and Fire | Poetry The Big House, November 30, 2013 The minute hairs on her cheek bristle in the midday cold and her lips smash into his as the brass band throats its crescendo and four silver planes parade. The bleachers ripple and the men on the lime carpet plough into each other with ceremony.

david thompson

david thompson | kentucky | photography


jake buckholz | transcript of Donald Fewers playdate usage from 8.11.18 | fiction 8.11.18 [1700]

Male or female?


Romantic or platonic?


Acquainted or unacquainted?


There are 12 matches nearby including one Close Match.


You have chosen your Close Match. Waiting on response.


Accepted. Rerouting.

[1701] Take a left onto Monet Lane and continue for four blocks. Would you like to take this time to answer a few personality questions in order to improve your Playdate experience? Very well. Continuing music. [1711] [1711] Pausing music in order to present you with this special offer: Have you tried Coffeecoffee’s Red Velvet Mocha? Swipe now for a special coupon to use on your Playdate. [1711] On behalf of Coffeecoffee, thank you for selecting us as your Playdate destination. You have unlocked a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for our newest item: red velvet mocha. We see that you are nearby. Swipe now and our baristas will begin preparing your order and have it ready for you and your date when you reach your destination. [1712]

Thank you. A total of 4 credits has been withdrawn from your account: would you like to add a tip?


Our baristas appreciate your generosity. Please indicate on your screen the tip amount.


Thank you DONALD. Your order will be available at the bar in less than ten minutes.

[1720] You have arrived at your destination. Playdate would like to remind you that you are always safe at a Playdate affiliated location, and with Playdate Transportation, you never have to travel alone. If you and your date decide to attend an unaffiliated location, Playdate cannot assure you your safety. Thank you and enjoy your date! [1820]

Our services indicate that you and KATE are still at Coffeecoffee. Is your date going well?


Both parties are enjoying themselves. Shall I make a reservation for two at our featured restaurant of the month?


Very well. A Playdate Taxi will pick you up from your location in approximately 13 minutes.

[1833] Welcome. Please buckle up and I will drive us to Francisco’s. Playdate’s special of the month is shown on my screen in front of you. Order now and your meal will be ready for you when you arrive at the restaurant in approximately 16 minutes. [1833]

Splendid. We hope you enjoy your meals. Would you care for a drink? My menu is shown on screen. I can offer a full bar’s selection of expertly prepared drinks.


Your drinks are bottled and available in your cup holders.


My services indicate that you both enjoy indie rock. Shall I play a mix of the best indie rock from the last 20 years?

[1836] This next track comes from the band Russian Short Stories. Want to hear a funny story? You both attended a concert by this band seven months ago. Small world, isn’t it? Remember, you can always answer more questions about yourself on Playdate. Who knows what you’ll find out you and your date have in common? [1845]

You have arrived at your destination. Would you like to watch a short video and have your drinks comped?


Very well. A charge of five credits will be drawn from each of your accounts. Please leave your empty bottles in the cup holder and exit curbside. Enjoy your meal!


A Playdate Group Date is being put together nearby. Would you and your date like to join? Swipe for more info.

[1940] As always, the group will be a carefully balanced mix of males and females within your age group and suited to your personality profile. Remember, you can always answer more questions to improve your profile and your overall experience. [1941]

This group will be attending karaoke at a nearby bar.


Are you sure you wish to decline?


Very well.


You have indicated that your date has come to an end. Two Playdate Taxis await out front to take you and your date home.

continues 7

jake buckholz | transcript of donald fewers playdate usage from 8.11.18 [2015]

Would you like to rate your overall Playdate experience?


Thank you. Your time is appreciated. All answers will be kept private and used only to improve your future Playdate experiences.


How would you rank your partner?


Would you recommend Coffeecoffee to a friend?


How about Francisco’s?


Did you at any point in the night feel unsafe?


Splendid. Our services indicate you are running low on Taxi Credits. Would you like to watch a short video and receive 5 Credits for free?

[2016] Hi there, my name is Louis Mill. You might recognize me as the founder of Playdate. I often meet people who thank me for the service I created. They run up to me and say ‘Oh, you’ve changed my life! I would have never met my husband if it wasn’t for you!’ or ‘I was so lonely before Playdate. Now I have more friends than ever!’ and ‘You’ve helped me organize my life and I feel so streamlined now, thank you!’ Well, let me tell you, there’s nothing quite as gratifying as hearing stories like that, but right now it is you that I want to thank. You the user, all of you. For it’s the users who make the service mean anything at all. All I ever wanted to do was create something that could help the people. A few years ago, it wasn’t hard to see that an epidemic of loneliness had swept the country, there’s quite simply nothing else to call it. I suffered from it just the same. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, feeling lonely. It’s completely natural, but it’s not necessary. Not when there’s so many lovely people around to do something about it, but it’s not as easy as all that, is it? No. You know as well as I do that making friends is quite tricky and finding love even trickier. In a world with so much, so many people felt like they had nothing at all. So what I did was quite simple really. I didn’t reinvent the wheel. I took functions from a lot of different places and I put them all together into one place and then I put a lot of brainpower behind it to make sure that it all ran smoothly. I’m not saying it was easy to create one of the largest companies in the world, but, when you do something out of love and you’re willing to work really hard, there are very few things you can’t do. That’s why I want to ask you to continue helping me to improve this service. There’s a reason I intended it to be so customizable and that’s because each one of you is a completely unique person. So please, continue answering our personality questions and filling out our surveys, because you’re not only helping us, you’re helping yourself. [2020]

Thank you for your attention, DONALD. Care to complete a short survey before arriving at your destination?


Thank you.


Do you speak any languages other than ENGLISH?


Do you prefer the ocean or the mountains?


As a child, what was your greatest fear?


Do you have a close relationship with your mother?


How is your eyesight?


If you had to give up one form of entertainment, what would it be: books, music, television, movies or video games?


If you could keep only one form of entertainment, what would it be: books, music, television, movies or video games?


Thank you for taking the time to fill out another survey. Your answers will be compiled in your Personality Profile and your Compatibility Index will be stronger than ever.


You have arrived at your destination.


Your calendar indicates you have work at 0900 tomorrow. Shall I set an alarm for 0730?


Very well. Good night, DONALD.


Sasheera Gounden | Mitternacht | poetry Decisive steps, succinct yet a deliberate fail One after the other Petals of blood patter across the marble floor The night owl hovers over the dirty kitchen sink Vomits lime and pink cotton balls of putrid stars and cannot sleep with sand in its eyes and mother’s brimstone voice Echoes of vodka, clean-shaven shoes And pretty polka dot skirts The willow trees, God i hate them, You make me remember They haunt me Their nails scratch the windowpane i cannot erase what haunts me As the clock chimes The hour of the dead And i drink Your vodka breath Breaths of one, two and three

Kayla Elmhorst

Kayla Elmhorst | Millennial Madness | Watercolor on paper 11

Martin H. Levinson | Goodness in the Gilded age | Poetry A stock broker bumped into the good-deed fairy on the E-train. She was wearing a short frilly dress, holding a pink magic wand, and sported gossamer wings flecked with glittering faith and selfless delight. He apologized for accidentally banging into her. She replied no apology needed, give a dollar to the homeless guy with the shabby black pants, beat-up sneakers and torn tattooed allegories on his arms sitting at the bottom of the uptown staircase in the Fourteenth Street Station with a cardboard sign saying “I am drowning in a sea of griefâ€? around his neck. The broker took out his wallet which contained tens and twenties meant for wine, women and Caramel BrulĂŠe Frappuccinos, smiled wryly at the charitable apparition, popped a Xanax and focused on the presentation he would be giving later in the day to the piggies at the bank on the near term outlook for pork belly options.

Sasheera Gounden

Sasheera Gounden | Curtain | Photograph


Angelica Fuse | Rummager | Poetry He moves, travels through his own world of cast off goods Some would say he has wings on his back, a guardian angel sent here to test our faith in humanity I just say he smells like piss.

jeri Peterson

jeri peterson | deer head | oil on canvas


sanjeev sethi | heart-to-heart | Poetry

Our propinquity dates back to jammies with sallow designs vying for space on the sole clothesline of the hostel room. High-up in a conglomerate helmed by Bros the pink papers bill as crème de la crème. Post-patriarch your bosses are wrought up. Face-to -face with you, college buddy, father of two lads for a loquacious sesh wetted by whiskey. The third drink is poured. I inquire about the brothers, have they patched up? You begin a spiel on your boys.

Emily rose Schanowski

emily rose schanowski | For my sisters | ink on paper


Richard Salembier | What Have I Been Doing Lately? | Poetry Lately, I’ve taken to blowing bubbles, just rolling them right off the tip of my tongue, in the fashion and spirit of Bob Zent, a guy I knew in high school; but back then, I couldn’t do it, not for lack of effort or willingness, I didn’t quite have the hang of it, he said; nor could I completely forget about the onrushing traffic in every lane when crossing the street, as he could, saying, “let them worry about you, they’ll get out of your way, stop, or whatever, but why break stride when they’re not going to hit you?” And, do you know, he’s right? Take last night, for instance. I was in this bar talking to guys with coat hanger shoulders, and puppets dangling from unseen strings, and suddenly there I was, rolling these bubbles off my tongue, and of course nobody noticed because they were all busy talking to an assortment of odd ears and extra lips — bought in those cardboard box five-and-ten stores, most likely — painted on the faces of springed heads, and I looked at my feet and chuckled, reminded of people I’ve known who kind of sway back and forth, making you dizzy as they talk to you in an annoying monotone and all the while they’re shifting their weight like some nervous pendulum, and then you almost do it, too, if only in mock imitation, the way I can remember doing back in middle school —

my friends and I stood near homeroom, and we tried to copy anyone with an odd walk or quirk — which reminded me how Bob was always throwing his head back — actually, he was just getting his long, reddish-brown hair out of his face — and I thought, if Bob were here now, would he be blowing bubbles off his tongue, or maybe out crossing the street, leaving an eyesore of traffic in his wake? — and by this time I’m har-har-harring to myself, real close to attracting attention, nearly bursting into fits of laughter, feeling somehow umbilically attached to Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, wanting to know them and be like them, and I know that Bob Zent and his rampant individuality would understand, even if he didn’t know who or what I was talking about; which is why now, when I feel at a loss for profound words or phrases, I say “yes, yes, yes,” or, “far out, man,” and then I don’t feel like I missed the Beat, nor do I feel in the least out of place, when I blow bubbles off the tip of my tongue, or when I cross the street unconcerned, because I’ve never once gotten hit.


JD DeHart | This is About Becoming: A Monologue | fiction Not about what was, those dust days of way back when, those days we thought we knew but did not, and those people we thought were us. They were liars and thieves pretending to know our face. They wore different masks, had different accents, curly mustaches and affectation. Those people watched too much television. This is about becoming, and not looking back even though the past is so tempting, with its video-graphic allure. What was now seems easy. Believe me, I get it. It’s easy to return to the way back, let the banks of then wash you along, sloshing sounds like a full stomach on a Friday night. Except when you get there and you realize you’ve outgrown the bed you used to sleep in. Then it’s a fairy tale gone wrong. The old villain you knew somehow seems quaint and friendly when you meet the new one. He wasn’t so bad after all. There was almost a hidden charm about his threats. In those dusty books full of pressed leaves, we saw the pictures of who we were, echoed in the faces of the long departed. Sometimes a head would be cut out, but no matter, they were not forgotten in spite of the intent. Even though we tried to remove them, their absence became a greater presence, pulsing our minds. The true bones of heritage need no metaphor because they are stronger than metaphor. They are the skeletons that formed us, carrying us, suckling, from the mire. They took us world to world and helped us learn new words, a whole new language about ourselves. When the universe was cold and we were unsure or unwelcome, those were the bones that cradled us and told us we were loved. Or else left us alone to shiver. The person we were, mewing like a kitten, clawing to escape, one day grew claws, eventually becoming someone or something else.

Sasheera Gounden

Sasheera Gounden | Midnight | Photograph


david thompson | cordoba | Poetry

In Cordoba, there’s a bar on the far side of the old square. It’s bright and narrow inside, you stand leaning on the bar drinking glasses of pale beer served with big black olives, thick bread, and ham sliced so deliciously thin you’d swear you can almost see through it. Your eyes wander over the walls jammed with posters of old bullfights with bright suits of light in all shades of blue and red, and framed photos in black & white of bullfighters smoking cigarettes and wearing baggy suits, sunglasses and berets while posing with sporty convertibles or in front of huge white houses. You leave real late, walk unsteadily toward your hotel down the deserted cobblestone street bordered by the walls of the cathedral. Before long you take your hands out of your pockets, start practicing your own matador moves like you’ve only seen in the movies or read about in Hemingway. The bull inches even closer with every pass, but you stand taller, more detached with every graceful turn and wave of your cape. At the end of the street, you do a little cha-cha step, turn your back on the exhausted bull, walk the last block toward your hotel with the swell of olé! ringing in your ears.

david thompson

david thompson | ohio | photograph


BZ Niditch | Hart crane’s memory | Poetry You crashed against the careless seascapes in an avalanche of memory as a tenant of breathless pulling an all night scent of a kindled hand knowing your signature will not remain suspended in water shed reputations along the waves from a raining downpour of hypnotic spellbound drawings, in a lightness of a viaduct of being connected came to visit you in my blue beret taking off my Gogol overcoat at the Big Apple, next stop for your urban read is ready for first announcing in its buzz we are on call, let’s visit the museum.

Julie Vitto | When Prince Came On The Jukebox | Poetry Seems like a dream Some days When Prince came On the jukebox In the absinthe bar on Bourbon Street And no one was listening Would I die 4 U? Shit happens And we keep kicking this can Down the road


Peabody Winston | Brain & Body: A Little Piece by the Owner of a Country Store and Bait Shop | Prose After Peabody had put in some fresh dirt in various size worm boxes, moistened the dirt from yesterday’s worms, he sat, rolled a smoke, sipped his coffee, and sat down in the back of the store. He got out his little note pad, looked out at the lake, and thought about how he exercised and rested like an old man should. Then he wrote this, and he spilled some coffee on it, and some ash from his smoke singed it: Exercise and rest, in proper doses of both Feed with caution as sugar is to violence Angry sex to salt and fats Horror and death, like the red meat and too much cheese Slander and lies, are like drinking poison And what of the soul? What, weren’t you paying attention? April 4, 2016 Prescott, Arizona (with a possible road trip on Route 66 to Flagstaff)

Emily rose Schanowski

emily rose schanowski | twisted | graphite pencil on paper 27

Dr. Mel Waldman | A Fugitive From Myself | Poetry (on reading Denise Levertov’s poem The Flight) In the deep of winter inside a frozen night I drift off & die while the wild snow whirls around & around the wicked throat of the fire-beast, my Brooklyn, the Chimera of the cacophonous city & in the stillness of my death I sit motionless in my womb chair within the tiny room of my wounded cosmos, a tomb of ghosts & miracles, & suddenly resurrected, I fly away through a vanishing window of visions & return to Lily Pond on the Brooklyn College campus circa Summer 1962 & my meandrous mind wanders around & flows freely with kaleidoscopic waters beneath the fire of the sultry sun & soon, the Beat Poet Denise Levertov magically appears

& reveals a dream of Blake within a poem about “the will” & “the delights of surrender,” & a trapped bird in her room until dawn when she opens the window & it flies away & I too, a fugitive from myself, am free, flying past death, the black bird of the Void, & through a vanishing window of visions, reborn inside the ineffable & beyond


Kayla Elmhorst | “Don’t Spill” | Poetry

He was always so voluntarily precautious. I look at the glass of orange soda he has placed in my hand. “Don’t spill.” I am a grown woman and I do not intend on spilling, but if I am to perhaps “spill” I will not be upset if it gets on all the things he also tells me to “be careful with” “Don’t spill.” Oh, how I wish I could be graceful, practical, and gentle. “Don’t spill.” I won’t, or I will.

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.


chad fisher

chad fisher | the all seeing eye | Pen on paper

Profile for Chris Talbot-Heindl

The B'K June 2016 Issue  

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

The B'K June 2016 Issue  

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