Volume 6, Issue 2 February 2015
The Bitchin’ Kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. It exists for the purpose of open creativity. All submissions are due on the 26th for the following month’s issue. Please review the submission guidelines on our Submissions page (www.talbot-heindl.com/bitchin_kitsch/submissions) before submitting your work.
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table of contents.
8 – Standing by the ancient foundations of a vast house, Jonathan Beale
18 – Waiting Game, Tempest Brew
9 – Untitled, Brian Hardie
22-23 – The Mute Mariachi Novocaine Mime Troupe, Peter Marra
10 – Those Sixties, BZ Niditch 11 – Good Boy Charlie, Stephanie Jones
20 – Cra-Z Girl, JD DeHart
24 – For Better and For Worse, Jack Phillips Lowe 25 – Taconic Hills, David Sermersheim 26 - Donors and Index 28-29 - February Calendar Shot
Michael Prihoda - pg. 5
On the Cover Untitled Danielle Kvatek Pinhole photograph
On the Back Cover Untitled Brian Hardie Photograph
Stephanie Jones - pg. 11
In This Issue
12-13 – The Teratoid, Dr. Mel Waldman
4 – The Eight-Stroke Goat, Brandyn Johnson
14-15 – Forging, Adreyo Sen
5 – Life, Michael Prihoda
16 – Ivory Towers and Alleyways, Zak Patrick
6 – socially awkward, Linda M. Crate
17 – Judges S. Dogson, Adam Unger
Adam Unger - pg. 17
brandyn johnson. The Eight-Stroke Goat
By: Brandyn Johnson
Before portraiting the emperor’s favorite goat the painter asked to borrow the creature to study its ways. Every day began & ended with goat. He took it on walks through the countryside, feeding it oats, smelling residue in his palm before tasting it. He watched the goat’s white back rise & fall as it slept next to him on a patch of dirt, letting its breath tickle his nose. He tied it to a post & held burning torches above it to see the full circumference of its walnut eyes, the glossy black stripe of its pupil. Out of firewood & snowed-in, he cradled the goat, face buried in its long fur chanting, the smell of the divine. With his fingernails he scraped the dirt from the ridges in its horns, scrubbing them smooth with a wet silk scarf. He carried it on his shoulders up the hill to the well, sharing drinks from the carnation engraved bucket. He let the goat chew on his brush handles & chopsticks, his sandals & shirtsleeves. They bathed together in a creek, hiding under a bridge when lightning jigsawed the clouds. After two years, the emperor visited to claim his goat & his painting. The painter shrugged, I have not started the portrait but I will now. He placed a fresh canvas on his table & smelled his fingertips before dipping a brush into black ink. After eight careful strokes, he bowed to the emperor & left the room. The emperor hurried to the table to witness more goat than he’d ever understood & collapsed.
Life Michael Prihoda Typewriter art on paper
linda m. crate. socially awkward By: Linda M. Crate
i wish i had never gone to the party just took a swing at all my insecurities reminded me that i was alone in a crowded room, and i wanted nothing more than to melt into the floor or to dance with meteors in an angry sky tango with an ocean during a hurricane my emotions surged like high tide; wanted to take a swing at everyone with my sword sharpened tongue— reminded myself it wasn’t their fault i felt like this, but i have never fit in my guidance counselor told me all i had to do was conform and i wouldn’t be bullied; i hated her— because how to you fit in when you were born to stand out? i have always been different, and it used to hurt when they told me i was weird or eccentric or strange or crazy; but i’ve come to accept i’m an outsider doesn’t make me any less socially awkward or make me like parties— just blare some music because that’s what makes me lose my inhibitions i’ll get lost in the bones of a song, and you’ll pretend to care and my broken smile won’t seem so out of place.
Standing by the ancient foundations of a vast house By: Jonathan Beale
The idea was as infinite as the universe – as was understood. That we understood – Ovid’s voice still remaining as the painted walls. They stood, worked, and lived by stone and sweat to grow upward. The day was - as they are now - full of failure, anxiety, and trepidation. The men’s muscle eager-to-please – make homes; make safe haven – For deities of flesh or deities of the mind – that are tangible: As they watch them with sharpened eyes; drawing fault – to break their psyche. For the next - new beginning ‘as all beginnings are:’ Now, leafy parkland, where the dogs regularly do their doglike business; Unaware of their ancestors, and unaware of the need to know. And the children too, evolve into the muscled ‘them’ to break into the unvisited days. Evolving a new past. Smoke and dust remain. The ruins grow to the surface – For breath. For light. For reason. What once was out - has seeped through to the inner sanctum – And, the outer flesh to has grown among the weeds & bracken –Now drowning Life, osmosising its way through - as the sword cuts through the long grass, the long vowels lost in the wallpaper and the shouts of laughter swallowed up in the dried plaster before it fell, the foundations remain - marking the statement –of the once lived in… Simply marking the air lived and lost but somewhere in the cosmos And life goes on – until Yesterday.
Untitled Brian Hardie Photography
Those Sixties By: BZ Niditch
When Warhol opened his Factory everyone wanted his fifteen minutes to get known, but others realized dreams would be uprooted as entangled graffiti on city walls stars in films would fall out bend and fade by morning and Andy himself in a self-portrait would be a manifesto’s assassin’s target within publicity’s range of a once familiar face.
Good Boy Charlie Stephanie Jones Painting
dr. mel waldman.
By: Dr. Mel Waldman After midnight, the teratoid opens the flowing curtain & inhales the soothing stars & the vastness of the night. He prepares to leave his tiny room, below the house and garden, a cave for cripples. Inside his subterranean prison, the mutant gazes into the gnarled mirror & slowly, meticulously covers his face with the fleshy human mask. The light is his darkness, the darkness, his light, & now, when most sleep, it is time to be in the world, before the daylight returns.
dr. mel waldman (con’t).
The pariah wanders into the vortex of the night & vanishes inside the invisible whirlpool. Yet he comes to me in my sleep, & whispers, “My brother, do you love me?” At dawn, I rise with a gold sun, put on my daily mask, & rush into the light. Perhaps tonight, after dark, I will enter the vortex of the night & search for the teratoid, a familiar alien I no longer fear, for I am a stranger too, in this unfathomable country of Existence, where each creature of the light & darkness must wear a mask to become human.
adreyo sen. Forging
By: Adreyo Sen I had gone to my cousin’s for lunch. At one point, she prodded her son to ask me about the SATs. She wanted him to go abroad, even though he clearly had strong reservations. She asked me “his” questions and scowled darkly at his lack of interest. And then she asked him to enumerate the people from his school who’d gone abroad for higher studies. I watched his nervousness as she hemmed him in. My cousin and my mother had eerily similar parenting styles. Or rather, both mistook coercion for parenting. Both failed to realize that their moods and aggression had an almost physical effect upon their quiet and somewhat withdrawn sons, sons who’d come to see spontaneity in their own nature as somewhat criminal. My mother and my cousin had grown up excessively attached to their fathers, while nursing hostility towards their mothers. In the case of my cousin, that hostility was palpable even today. I’d seen my mother being almost violently derisive towards my grandmother on more than one occasion. They’d gone on to produce very similar sons: meek, self-effacing and near-invisible, men who tried to leave as little of a footfall as possible, who tried to make the minimum noise when placing a cup on the table. Their idea of a good son was a good domestic servant. Indeed, my mother would mistakenly call me by the name of whichever servant was in her good book. First, we’d been criticized for excessive emotionality. Hit for any deviation from our parent’s narrow definition of the norm, we’d learnt to live with high levels of anxiety. Our mothers were our jail wardens, not the repositories of confidences. We learnt to keep our thoughts to ourselves.
adreyo sen (con’t).
Like prisoners, we let go of agency. We wore what we were told to wear; parroted nice little compliments to neighbors. If we protested even mildly, we were seen as ungrateful, quarrelsome and criminal. Of course, most children would have protested. Of course, most children would have rebelled and by doing so, forged successful adult identities (while retaining the traditional ambivalence towards the parent they came into conflict with.) But both my nephew and I were children of a particular type, children who took their mothers’ (harsh) words at face value and reacted excessively to their meaning. In our case, our mothers’ parenting was disastrous. My nephew’s younger brother still cries often, roused to tears by his mother’s harsh words. He will grow up to be closed, like his brother. My mother and my cousin are not related. Their similarity, so marked, is the result of the conjunction of the parents they had and the manner in which they engaged with those parents. The same is true for my nephew and I: already built a particular way, already (even when tabula rasa) a strange codex of genes and personality traits, we are, and will always be in the process of becoming, the product of domineering, overinvolved mothers and largely absent fathers (in his case, adoptive, not biological) who are also similar lazily genteel connoisseurs of books and ideas. Our children will also be very similar (perhaps even nearer congruence than we are). Ad infinitum. Now, isn’t that a frightening thought?
Ivory Towers and Alleyways By: Zak Patrick
Emaciated children gather down the road kicking flat footballs and riding rusty bikes past abandoned cars You wouldn’t like it ‘round ‘ere. Junkies smoke pipes and share needles down subfuscous alleyways where the cat’s eyes blink like stars You wouldn’t like it ‘round ‘ere. The pavements are cracked and the streetlights only work as much as the people. The language is tedious, repetitive and in need of a pabulum. You wouldn’t like it ‘round ‘ere. You just stay there Sitting comfortably in your ivory tower high above us Well, when you fall, you will fall far and hard. It’s a long way to the bottom from all the way up there squire!
Judges S. Dogson Adam Unger Painting
By: Tempest Brew
they played the waiting game for the sound of little feet until they could wait no longer until their house and bones were dust while the druggies and whores around them gave birth after birth, strung-out kids wandering the road at night messed-up kids without hope they sat in their checkered pastel world watching the rooms stay cold and empty.
r.t ve se um lb
ta es at re
www.ta lb o t - h ei n d l . c o m r.c bl um om “Dancing Girls in Colourful Rays” Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
By: JD DeHart jasondehartjustliving.blogspot.com She always signed her name just that way when she was not teaching youngsters how to shop lift. Or reading strange books. When they said stay inside she suddenly had the urge to leave, when they said go play, she remained a stone. Always played her own instrument, never kissed much. Her wheels spun on a spiny road late at night, flicking the wheel here and there, casting shadows of someone close who perished, and I could only think of young dying. Night accidents. She yearned for new music no one else had heard, or the rare cult movie most had not seen. In this digital age, I am sure she is out there (somewhere) but why find anyone now.
peter marra. The Mute Mariachi Novocaine Mime Troupe By: Peter Marra
they began broadcasting illegal music in all her dominant glory the â€œurbanâ€? form of allografts quick and painful soothed by her euphoric and addictive qualities forcing the shortening of tunes such as serenades, and performances, that go beyond what was anticipated little more than an isolation licked her to stop the swelling and allergic reaction unified the nervous system Fuck this invasion. delivering blood to capillaries swelling bursting introducing the trumpet and the tuba removed their voice boxes the scars are evidence of something altogether bigger and more serious tongueless instruments sing as the mute mariachi mime troupe witnesses a slaughter that came from her body and was released during the forced shortening of tunes and extended exploits in anesthetics an invasion of fucking a swirl of skin (the room was repeated.
peter marra (conâ€™t).
inside the rain would never stop. it wasnâ€™t really rain, but more of a light drizzle that would change to mist without warning, then change back to rain, then to drizzle. the water could be heard cascading down the gutter pipes. the bloodstain in the window hung gently allowing 3 flies to walk through it. they eventually got stuck and couldnâ€™t move at all. they struggled briefly then froze. an odor of leather permeated the room. people stared at each other, their feet trapped in a bloodstain. eventually they stopped and just talked at the walls. eventually they stopped talking altogether. the room was repeated.) delivering blood to capillaries swelling bursting introducing the trumpet and the tuba that transformed her into a gorgeous hysteric that repeatedly preached about the benefits of infection
jack phillips lowe. For Better and For Worse By: Jack Phillips Lowe
Matt’s admission pierced Shannon’s heart like a blade forged from ice. The rest of her body burned as a million nerves fired at once, screaming at Shannon to get up and run out the door, without looking back. “Silent was the last thing I thought you’d be,” chuckled Matt, nervously, from his end of the couch. “I thought,” Shannon said coolly, folding her arms, “that you were going to pop the Question.” Matt used his sleeve to wipe sweat from his upper lip. “And, and I wanted to. I will, when the time’s right.” He reached over and touched Shannon’s shoulder. “I just wanted to come clean first. We’ve always been straight with each other.” He coughed as he said that last line. “How did you get into this—profession?” asked Shannon. Matt scratched the stubble on his chin. “The first time was a favor for an old friend. I guess word got around because soon, people started approaching me. I surprised myself by being good at it.” Shannon’s eyes narrowed as she twirled a lock of her long dark hair around her forefinger. “So. . .what kinds of people do you kill?” “Drug dealers, gang-bangers, rapists and perverts,” said Matt, using his forefinger to jot an imaginary list on the palm of his other hand. “Just them. No others.” Shannon’s brows lifted ever so slightly. “And you’re well-paid for this work?” “Yes. The victims’ families see to that,” Matt answered. “Between five and six figures per job. Strictly cash business.” Shannon fell quiet again for several long moments. Gradually, the corners of her mouth turned up into a modest smile. “Okay,” she whispered, taking Matt’s hand. “Okay.”
By: David Sermersheim a fleeting shadow brushes a craggy hillside as a shroud clearing a way in advance of its wake on an unimpeded passage through tangled brambles silent as a mirage whose presence might be imagined a soul could die here living on dry bones and empty thoughts riding on drafts probing Oblong Valley draws
donors, index. artists Beale, Jonathan
Crate, Linda M.
DeHart, JD Hardie, Brian Johnson, Brandyn
20 9, 30 4
Jones, Stephanie Kvatek, Danielle Lowe, Jack Phillips Marra, Peter
11 cover 24 22-23
Prihoda, Michael Sen, Adreyo
Waldman, Dr. Mel
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The Bitchin' Kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. It exists for the purpose of open...
Published on Jan 27, 2015
The Bitchin' Kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. It exists for the purpose of open...