The Bitchin' Kitsch June 2014 Issue

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bitchin’ kitsch

Volume 5, Issue 6 June 2014 1

about b’k:

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 ( before submitting your work.

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table of contents.

In This Issue 4 - The Newest Improvement in Failure: An Apocalyptic Comedy, Craig Kurtz 5 - Breakfast at Nine O’Clock, Kristina Pareen 6 - President Obama Tells Whoppers, Chris Talbot-Heindl 7 - Homing, Christopher Barnes 8-9 - Watching My Friend Peel an Orange, Michael Prihoda

Chris Talbot-Heindl - pg. 6

10 - Something Behind You, W. Jack Savage

On the Cover

11 - A blind theme of sensual deliverance, Allison Grayhurst

Jammin’ Jazz By: Danielle Dragona Acrylic painting

On the Back Cover

Everything Sarah Palin Says is Nuts By: Chris Talbot-Heindl Ink on paper

17 - Yesterday Night in My Dreams - Sushant Supriye 17 - Remembered My Mistake, Kushal Poddar 18 - Luverne, Minnesota, W. Jack Savage 18 - The Diary of the Worm, JD DeHart 19 - I am the Rain, Tendai R. Mwanaka 19 - Get More, Gary Beck 20 - Donors and Index

12 - Dali’s Dante, Roo Bardookie 13 - The Missionary, Lauren Page 13 - Skeleton Key, Jens Jebsen 14 - Cocoa, Adreyo Sen 14 - Hephaestus (Vulcan), David Sermersheim 15 - Early Morning Light, Kirsten Pohlplatz 16 - Vice President Biden is a Sloppy Joe, Chris Talbot-Heindl

W. Jack Savage - pg. 10


craig kurtz. The Newest Improvement in Failure An Apocalyptic Comedy

By: Craig Kurtz

The dearly assembled congregated a circle with incense amist and joined hands in a tryst; incanting the spells of an ancient raindance they chewed off their limbs in a foul brotherhood. It was the newest improvement in failure, that act. The pyramids and coliseums were burnt as offerings to the unfathomable fog that mells with the spheres in sulphurous heavens as the leperous doomed assumed jurisdiction. It was the newest improvement in failure, that scene. The castles all crumbled and the dungeons did flourish as poisons and pistols turned blood into ghosts; the sheriff’s department in absentia was tried by harlots and vagrants appeasing cruel idols. It was the newest improvement in failure, that play. The eunuchs all feasted while the sultans all fasted due to decrees erected by Bolsheviks; dumbshows and puppets imitated mankind while pontiffs and prophets filed patents on torture. It was the newest improvement in failure, that schtick. Vassals and serfs supported steam engines which promised to mechanize the crushing of grapes; satyrs and centaurs impounded the free press while local economists rolled dice on split atoms. It was the newest improvement in failure, that bit. Sirens and naiads ensorcelled black pirates who ransacked the skeleton of Cleopatra; experts and scholars vilified effigies but vandals and robbers blackmailed shrunken heads. It was the newest improvement in failure; satire. Adam and Eve had one last trick up their sleeve automating childbirth with garlic and cloves; in jungles and sewers centipedes multiplied until an eclipse of the sun unleashed mutancy. It was the latest innovation in folly; applause.


kristina parren. Breakfast at Nine O’ Clock By: Kristina Parren

Bacon, eggs, and coffee—two sugars— apricot jam spread thick on rye, congealing hues of Wednesday morning’s jaundiced eyes. Lipids lather plastic spoons spooning fractions of tactile presence divided by time. The fool asks for apple pie. Veronica was apple pie, bobby sock Americana, daughter of a whisper and the neighborhood watch, ginger tendrils grasping sticks in mud, fingers taut. They found her by the fool’s wood shanty, brittle hearts now calcified; they broke pieces into teeth, not for her, but them to speak. Speak your peace, Nine O’clock, on lacerated tongue you promise mercy: bacon, eggs, and coffee—two sugars. Veronica, the Oklahoma darling, daughter of Cruel and Unusual, who tripped and struck her head, was never one for birthday cake. The fool asks for apple pie.


chris talbot-heindl.

President Obama Tells Whoppers Chris Talbot-Heindl Ink on paper


christopher barnes. Homing

By: Christopher Barnes Quotes by: Rupert Darwall The caravan quest’s first lap started in July. “The U.N.’s climate-change body Is unreformable and its latest report Should be its last” Susi coughed up to Starlight Café, palm-greasing the chore boy. “The first instalment of the intergovernmental panel” Having purse-pinched, Keane and she, Since the leg-up to full hours, were all go. “Summaries for policymakers” Flashflooding fetched breath with a lightning shock. “This is a glaring discrepancy” * Unisex Hair & Beauty Salon The Witches Hut 143 Main St., Town Centre, Family Run Business For Over 35 Years


michael prihoda.

Watching my Friend Peel an Orange By: Michael Prihoda

He’s peeling an orange and I’m watching him and there’s a subtle hint of this action/observation interplay floating about the room yet he’s methodical, stripping the orange with sure fingers playing a natural game. The lacerated orange releases its pungency and I’m suddenly aware of how nothing can be captured outside of its existence. The bane of unremembered odors, unrecalled textures. Nothing reclaimable except through reference, the little referential sparks that dredge up the past, remind us of experience.


michael prihoda (con’t). My friend peels his orange, not speaking. I’m not speaking either, thinking, or trying to think, which happens to be a whole other kind of exercise, a very amateur one. Sometimes focus elopes and maybe sitting with a fork in my hand at supper it’ll come back but maybe not for days. It scares me how often my brain feels soupy, resembling mushy muffins. I am unfocused as I watch him peel his orange. I know I’m somewhere else yet I’m here in the room as he peels the orange and admitting the incorporeal structure of my being is not something I plan to do or bring up as a cheap anecdote at the next dinner party I attend but it is there nonetheless. Restless and present. I wait for him to speak but engaged as he is, this is an exercise in futility, a war I hardly expect to win. I see his fingers working the peel off in rubbery strips, each an organic, shredded tire you can expect at any roadside. Despite how many pieces of tire I’ve seen on all the roads I’ve traveled I’ve never been privy to the moment of breakdown when the tire actually blows, when the rubber actually shreds into hunks and strips to flap tiredly onto faceless asphalt.

I’ve learned to translate through the crunchy spoonfuls. He’s never eaten an orange for breakfast. I wonder at the oddity of this truth. The peel gone, he pulls a section off and pops it into his mouth. When he does this seven more times he will have eaten the whole orange and I will have watched him eat it and we will both be different people for what we’ve done and we will separate when this episode ends and though he will probably forget this by tomorrow I might remember until the day after and for a few self-indulgent seconds I consider myself superior for the promise of this memory’s longevity in my brain compared to his but then I humble myself and realize this memory isn’t worth remembering while his efficiency at forgetting this passage might well be a mark of superiority and through telling myself to forget this, quicker than my friend if possible, I will remember it at least two days hence and so have devoted brain space to uselessness yet again.

I’m conscious of the greasy, sticky film oranges leave on fingers when they are peeled. I wonder how his mouth will deal with the copious amounts of white pith oranges scorn an eater with. I notice he’s been dropping the strips of orange peel onto the carpet. I almost object but don’t. His eyes concentrate on the task. This is more than I’ve seen from competitive Rubix Cubers and Olympic gymnasts. Watching my friend peel his orange I forget about the weather. I constantly deal in terms of cloud cover, a trait he complains about each morning while shoveling cereal into his mouth.


w. jack savage.

Something Behind You W. Jack Savage Painting


allison grayhurst. A blind theme of sensual deliverance

By: Allison Grayhurst

Opaque but controversial acts of spiritual courage visceral cantankerous It is equally important how something is given as to how, or if, it is received discarded avoided The summer dung is used up. Flailing or foraging, we all get used up, turn old and baffled by the complex amount of disappointment – not just by one by everyone. Then it is murky and mortality-unbelievable that things will change into childhood’s ideal. A choice emerges, to accept without bitterness, just do the things that make you happy - child’s play. For you - that is all it should have to give. For others? A shrug to feign indifference For others should not be able to give or take inner satisfaction. Connection. Cull the fables Here it is, the butter slab on the table pepper spots on the floor and marmalade in doses.


roo bardookie. Dali’s Dante

By: Roo Bardookie Based on Dali’s Dante’s Reassurance He of manly stature, monied and strong, powerful enough to wet their mind and womanly appetite. She walked openly, in smile, gait, with an invitation for the man. The power, the money attractive enough to her to make a fool of herself. He smelled her perfume, while the wind did tricks with her hair and thin garment. But, he was an older man. So he knew about the tricks women play. This was this, and not that. The same loving embrace, could turn to a neck wringing. The same lovely soup, would have poison in it as she got to know your soul. For the embrace, the simple cock into the pocket of her, opened the Pandora’s box of the woman. The fiendish little nightmares would spill from her and onto you sir. He knew. Once the game had been played, the devil in her found out, you could never get it back to that box, or that underground fire lake where devils and women play.


lauren page, jens jebsen. The Missionary

By: Lauren Page

All was utterly ruined, like a run in a brand new pair of panty hose on a fancy woman. With diamonds in her ears. Through the dust-encrusted window, we passed a truck. Fishtailing off the mountain. The bus ran along a red dirt road that matched the rust-colored skirts of the women who stopped and stared, baskets on their heads. And I thought about reaching out, as he watched the two mutts barking from the roof of a desolate, white house. But the bus threw us over a pothole, and his long hair was saturated with grease. My fingers instead twirled the white gold band encasing my thumb.

Skeleton Key By: Jens Jebsen

I stick my hand through the hole in the ice As the sea burns out from underneath It laps against my naked flesh And cuts me on its teeth I hold it there just ‘cause it hurts And I cower under the weight I pray in shades of monotone grey To escape my bitter fate But there is no more need To try and be me For the stuff in my flask Is the skeleton key And there are no more deeds That I have to set free For the pills that I take Are a common courtesy I watch Nighttime apparitions Pass on back to their lairs They are born of Great angst And sad truths And vile dares But no lonesome god Ever answered my pleas So the scars on my wrists Are the skeleton keys.


adreyo sen, david sermersheim. Hephaestus (Vulcan)

By: David Sermersheim


By: Adreyo Sen Behind the tear-green walls of an orphanage, cocoa takes on an almost mythic quality. It is served at bedtime, but already, it marks a new day’s beginning. The orphans are prone to travel in their sleep. Everyone gets a cup of cocoa. Even the girl who wets her bed. Even the boy who only has unkind things to say. Even the girl who should be in college and whose piano is made of air. Good friends drink their cocoa together. Their sips begin to synchronize. Their cocoa drinking is a communion blessed by a strange and mysterious silence. In the orphanage, your best friend is your secret twin. She knows all your secrets before you confide them. They are her own secrets. The nuns don’t drink hot chocolate. They haven’t grown back into childhood yet. With Sister Mary, you cannot dawdle over your cocoa and leisurely chatter, even though it’s Sister Mary who combines harsh words with gentle fingers when you’ve scraped your knee rather badly. With Sister Conchita, you can dawdle all you want. She’s generally on the phone to her boyfriend. And with the cups emptied of the last recalcitrant drop and washed and put away, it’s time for bed which is merely a cautious way of saying that the girls are ready to dive back into their stories, right at the point where they left them.


I have forged light of distant stars into galaxies scattering diamonds trailing meteor dreams sweeping empty nights clean of flame bursting into a million shards of whitehot carbon poured down runnels to hell from where voices clamor for air and slag burns fissures into stygian voids of inference pulled into the vortex of doubt shimmering in particles of light suspended from whence we came to where we shall return

kirsten pohlplatz. Early Morning Light By: Kirsten Pohlplatz

When you choose to wander alone among the lonely boats bobbing against the boardwalk and only the seagulls drifting along cold shores in the early morning light I wish you would take me along. You want to leave me unmarked, see me flawless in the bliss of unknowing, protected from your pain and preventing mine, shrouded in an imagined light I cannot hold. And you are not alone, though you feel it to be true. You need someone to bring you your coat, and hold your hand in silence. Though the waves will calm And the golden sun will rise you must leave this place soon. Take me with you. I will not intrude.

Second Space Send proposals to Steph Jones at


chris talbot-heindl.

Vice President Biden is a Sloppy Joe Chris Talbot-Heindl Ink on paper


sushant supriye, kushal poddar. Remembered My Mistake By: Kushal Poddar

Yesterday Night in my Dreams

No one noticed They swapped the Op eds With the obituaries, Imagined reading Yesterdays reviewed Tomorrow. And when Our cat fell asleep On an obscure name They thought a president, Not an unnamed man Who passed the street By our house, more And more bent everyday, More anon, more Given to the nature, Remembered by mistake.

By: Sushant Supriye Yesterday night in my dreams

Gandhari refused to blindfold herself Eklavya refused to offer his thumb to Dronacharya Sita refused to go through ordeal by fire Draupadi did not allow others to put her at stake in gambling Puru refused to give his youth to Yayati Several mistakes of history and mythology were corrected yesterday night in my dreams 17

w. jack savage, jd dehart.

Luverne, Minnesota W. Jack Savage Painting

The Diary of the Worm By: JD DeHart

Smile like a smear, slathered across the face he thinks slithers, jelly mold teenage complexion. He is the not the worm, though, not like all the kids jeer, even if he keeps a diary that says he is, the big pink writing on the wall says he is, but everyone tells lies. The others used to twist his arms, trying to pop them off, seems like, trying to force him into the rotten leaves, but he showed them with wings and fire, rising above the soiled earth and gaping mouths.


tendai r. mwanaka, gary beck. I Am the Ruin

By: Tendai R. Mwanaka The desert island, you are my lonesome existence. Internal seas ranged around glistening beaches. Listening intently to the heartbeat within me — Soft bellows of an ever including despair. So many words; So many feelings — Subtracted! The visitors, The strangers — Their promising gestures! We hollow ourselves out to have and hold them. They arrive every spring, Nestle down in the summer, Scurry away every winter. Terrified by my ever-recurring penniless terrors. I can feel the sound of their feet pattering away — So much hurry; So little time taken, So little love given. Leaving behind their shadows to rend me apart. Such an avalanche — So much dilapidation, This ghastly emptiness! Look..., look! I am the ruin, But I had loved too. The sad echo-canting sound of my howling voice. And far the ocean’s deep, their thin angry silence. Tearing my once shinning golden coastlands. Leaving me the sole-inheritor of this wasteland.

Get More By: Gary Beck

Consumer lust never sated with acquisition is always tempted by something bigger, glossier, more envied, never realizing sterile objects only define empty dwellings. 19

donors, index. artists Bardookie, Roo Barnes, Christopher

12 7

Beck, Gary


Jebsen, Jens


DeHart, JD


Kurtz, Craig


Dragona, Danielle Grayhurst, Allison

cover 11

Mwanaka, Tendai R. Page, Lauren


Prihoda, Michael


Savage, W. Jack

8-9 10, 18

Sen, Adreyo



Sermersheim, David



Supriye, Sushant


Parren, Kristina


Poddar, Kushal Pohlplatz, Kirsten

Talbot-Heindl, Chris

6, 16

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