9 Iss. 6
Cover: “Catfishing Chad,” digital art by Chris Talbot-Heindl. John Alexander Benjamin D. Carson Nels Hanson Stephanie Jones Sean Lynch Keith Moul Seth Ruderman Richard Saembier S. Sushant John Sweet Chris Talbot-Heindl Dr. Mel Waldman Mark Young
10-12 4 8 5, 22 7 20 3 18-19 17 16 cover, 9, 13 14-15 6
Seth Ruderman | Leave Me Where I Have Fallen | Poetry My last will and testament is short and sweet Leaving everything to my beautiful wife And my two incredible children With instructions to scatter my ashes On my favorite hilltop Surrounded by family and friends Telling stories of days gone by Comforting each other with their memories of me. I added a codicil on Valentines Day While listening to the children Recounting the bravery of the heroic coach Who distracted stood and faced a gunman Intent on raining bullets into his children. Should I catch a bullet and die My beautiful wife and two incredible children Still get everything All of my worldly possessions are theirs But my ashes will not be scattered As they will leave me where I lay No gathering of family and friends Just my rotting carcass on the street For all to see. The smell is killing me They will say after a month But overwhelming stenches don’t kill people Guns kill people I’m a fool to believe They’ll let me decompose forever So once the Health Department Gets its court ruling To take my maggot filled flesh away Then and only then Will my beautiful wife and two incredible children Gather on the hilltop to scatter most of my remains For my ass will not be reduced to dust That shit’s being shipped to the NRA.
Benjamin D. Carson | What I Steal When I Steal | Poetry “Open this when you need me most” I took from Ocean Vuong. Drowning, I grabbed “the man kept smiling” from Diaz, and almost dragged him down. Stevens gave me “it is empty,” but I took “Fro Niz – nil – imbo.” I walked out with Hafiz’ “I have a hole in my flute,” and stealing Xiaolu Guo’s “How can intimate live with privacy?” wasn’t at all like snatching a purse. When July turned away I picked up “the one amazing piece of evidence of her self.” Never even asked. Just walked out. Put it next to Crane’s “Performances, assortments, résumés—,” little tchotchkes of the heart. When Barnes asked, “We live with such easy assumptions, don’t we?” I lifted “it doesn’t help us get on with our lives.” When I slipped out with “What is dark within me, illumine,” Milton hadn’t even known I was there. But this taking is what we do, “what the living do,” Howe might say. We take. “We want more and more and / then more of it.” Forgive me, Eckhart, for “They / can be a great help—words.” I need them. And I won’t give them back.
Stephanie Jones | Untitled | Digital Illustration 5
Mark Young | A Slow Drive | prose The long way home. No reason for it other than a change to the dayâ€™s routine. Circumnavigating the south side of the city as if it were a lollipop. The bridge the stick. Then following the river for a while until it bends away towards the north. I am confused by it, always think it flows in the opposite direction, that the sea is its source. My way this way is past the Showgrounds, airport, golf course, the Botanical Gardens. Places of interest if this were an interesting place. Some birds about. Doves on the wires & a handful of magpie larks. A run uphill & over, the hills beyond, the shadows giving extra shape to them & texture to the flood plains ironed out below. Then halfway down. & home. The universe is wider there. & outside, inside the garden, there are many more varieties of birds than I have driven past. When they call I come to them.
Sean Lynch | Rent is Theft | poetry The cockroach’s decade-old carcass rests in the ceiling’s lamp fixture while the security deposit remains in the landlord’s bank account.
Nels Hanson | To an Imaginary Hero | Poetry My good friend, how are you during these evil days? Do you still keep his faith that we were meant for something better than the things approaching daily before our eyes? Remember your father’s true words? “When a tree falls in the forest all the other trees hear its cry, as do the stones in the Petrified Forest.” Amid great numbers paying their solemn and grateful respects at your father’s memorial and most recently at the dedication of the statue that captures his true likeness I was unable to convey personally my condolences and later my praise for the good man who in this daunting time gave me hope when no other flame lit the dark, only his beacon guiding our way in the awful unending storm. I don’t know what will become of us or the Earth he untiringly tried to protect. With his memory as both an anchor and staff I will try to stand straighter with darker clouds gathering and so much of what we love threatened while already much has disappeared and is disappearing. Now pure hate grows stronger than love and those who care most suffer with them they can’t save, tiger’s, the refugee’s child, their own.
Chris Talbot-Heindl | Laurence Fishburne | Digital Art 9
John Alexander | Making American Great Again - Illegals in our Midst | Fiction New News Before it Becomes Real News (Note — this correspondent has been outfitted with a “back —channel nano —receiver —” linked exclusively to the President’s brain — so as to be able to received, record and communicate the President’s “thought —intentions” — long before they are articulated.) I have told you — I have promised you — right from the beginning, that I will build a wall and that I will track down every illegal in this wonderful country! But, lately, I’ve come to realize that the illegals are craftier and slicker than I gave them credit for. On one hand, yes, yes — I see them — the illegals — I see them everywhere! When my plane lands at an airport, they’re there; when I get to the hotel, the restaurant — they’re there! They come from all over the world — it’s a sad and terrible thing! So hard to keep track of them! But, they’re not just sneaking across the border, running through desserts, getting jobs off the books — like drywall, concrete and lawncare — and then hiding as much as possible so that they won’t get caught and deported. No, no — there’s more than that going on! You see, the worse part about them is that they have skills that are beyond belief and almost comprehension! I’ve come to discover that — they can change! Oh, trust me — trust me — they have the ability — somehow — to shape —shift from living in three dimensions to living in two; from handing you a coffee to motionlessly staring at you. You see, one night — very, very late — too late for Melania or Barron to be up, I snuck out of the White House and found a place where these illegals hide and rest and sleep. That place is the supermarket! I know it sounds crazy, but, they’re there — all over the place — and some of them have even managed to become immortal! Almost like becoming President for life — but better! Here are some of the more notable ones —
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
King Arthur is there — probably on an expired visa; Mister Clean — looks like an escaped convict; Fred Flintstone — an undesirable Neanderthal, no doubt; Earl Grey — likely got disinherited; Smirnoff — probably a buddy of Putin; Minute Maid — only if I’m in a hurry; Saint Pauli Girl — just send her to my room; Ortega — even a cartel in Aisle 13 —B; Barbie — damn, I’d sure like to shape —shift onto her shelf; Panama Jack — who is in charge of the DEA? Rubber Maid — at least she comes prepared; The Brawny Man — I’m sure he voted for me. What’s he doing there? Prince Omar — what ISIS? Al —Qaeda? Little Debbie — boy, I sure like the sound of that!
And do you know what? Despite the fact that some of them sound American — they’re all illegals! Otherwise, if they were legit, why would they be hiding? Well, let me tell you, they’re hiding because they’re all wanted for some reason! Yes, judging by the look in their eyes, they know that I know that they’re illegals and up to no good. Maybe even for far worse! It could be fraud, theft, murder, smuggling, terror — even jihad! And, I can tell you from personal experience — some of them have been hiding out ever since I was a kid! Oh, you think I’m joking? Okay, then, let me run some more names by you and you tell me if you think that any of them could produce a birth certificate that says they were born in the United States of America! Ready? All right — Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the Farina Boy, Cap ‘N Crunch, Hungry Jack — but, it’s not just the average sort of folks that are hiding! Oh, no, no, no — professional people, too! People like Doctor Scholls, Doctor Pepper, Doctor Brown — Evil Doctor Porkchop — I’ll bet all of them are probably alimony and child support deadbeats!
John Alexander | Making America Great, Again - Illegals in Our Midst (con’t)
And you know those fancy restaurants that I go to around New York — you know, the kind, the one’s that most Americans could never afford? Well, those chefs, people like Chef Boyardee, Artie Bucco — those people make a lot of money, and I’m guessing a ton of it is under the table and once they leave the restaurant, they go into hiding so they can’t be found! It’s like being off —shore, right here on —shore! Actually, I have discovered that some of them have hidden out for so long that they only have one name! Sylvia, Maybelline, Mustafa, Enrico, Mrs. T., Bubba — it’s just incredible! But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are hundreds and hundreds more — and not only do they not belong, I guarantee you they’re getting a free ride at the expense of the American taxpayer! I know that not a one of them has filed a 1040 — ever! Ever! I’m telling you — because I’ve checked with the IRS! They’re ripping off the government! And, here’s the real kicker, when you walk down the aisle in the supermarket, and you pass one of them, they’re laughing at you! No one in this country deserves to be laughed at by anyone! And, I’m going to put an end to it! I will deport all of them and make America great, again!
Chris Talbot-Heindl | Fishing for Compliments | Digital Art 13
Dr. Mel Waldman | Phantom Street Across From the House of the Dead | Poetry I
near Avenues Schizophrenia & Dementia perpendicular to the Boulevard of Antiquity
cold luscious brownstones
& P-Street flows & pirouettes
through a river of cosmic fire & primeval silence
with swirling trees
merging with the icy desolation of Vanishing Road
& harrowing silence
Inside the House of the Dead
& wintry isolation
I sit with the others before dusk & darkness
a beautiful wasteland
& we look westward through a corner window
even in the sultry seething summer of delirium
gazing out at the face-less black hole there â€” in the kingdom of nowhere & in a trancelike state they disappear
across from the House of the Dead
in phantasmagoria floating serenely in the decapitated dreamscape
here & everywhere
I saunter off
where the chimerical Centurion
along P-Street following Chance or Destiny
a voiceless ghost
to meet a chimerical Centurion
who points the way to the Celestial City
In preternatural Brooklyn I collide with Karma & vanish too Avenue Apocalypse
John Sweet | in the season of forgiveness | Poetry dream was about sex or fear or guilt and i woke up in the dead grey light of six a.m. to the sound of fighting in the street sound of engines grinding in the frozen air monday morning the children already awake and dragging their crosses from room to room
S. Sushant | Upside down | Poetry I pass an exam I get a degree I face an interview I get a job. Then I come to know it was the job that got me.
Richard Salembier | What’s It Mean | Poetry Pluto’s been demoted. It is what it is until it isn’t. Stumbling out of Frank’s Living Room you scrounged streets combed curbs for roaches culled trash cans for crusts. You are what you are until you aren’t. You had friends one friend was stuff your stuff was a crutch that propped you up Another friend was a guy you shared with that guy ate pizza with that guy
a guy who later made a pass at you told you he had had sex with males that he had seen you naked
and you wondered in ponderous smoke were you still as comfortable as before did this knowledge change anything what your friends all knew and what you did not What you are it is what it is you are until it isnâ€™t and you arenâ€™t. Plutoâ€™s been demoted.
Keith Moul | Breath Comes Out to Scream | Poetry A persistent sound out here frightens people. Not so much prior generations of pale tenors; not current peptic baritone visitors on the make; but tourists who in summer speed right through with windows closed and AC gunning on high: these voices will not rise above mechanical whine. Donâ€™t imagine some kind of blunt pounding on a tight timpani rumbling in its resonance. Thatâ€™s not what raises BP and neck bumps. Instead there is roar down the mountainsides more like a dragon flame searing its next meal, which screams soundlessly like empty breath.
History of The B’K
The Bitchin’ Kitsch (2010-present) or The B’K is a compzine edited and published by The TalbotHeindl Experience, LLC in Denver, Colorado. 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 four juried chapbooks. Here’s to the past eight years, and hopefully many, many more.
Stephanie Jones | Untitled | Digital Illustration
The June issue of The B'K, a monthly zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say.