The Bitchin' Kitsch November 2014 Issue

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bitchin’ kitsch

Volume 5, Issue 11 November 2014


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.

community copies:

Stevens Point readers, sit down and read The Bitchin’ Kitsch at our community locations: zest, the coffee studio, tech lounge, and noel fine arts center.


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donation and acquisition:

Printing costs can be a bitch, which is why we continuously look for donations. Any amount helps and is appreciated. We also sell back copies of The B’K. To do either, visit our Shop The B’K page (


On top of being the best publication ever created by human hands, The B’K would also like to present other opportunities that may be helpful to you as creators. If you have suggestions that could improve our list, please let us know. Resources we are privy to can be found at our Resources page (


table of contents.

In This Issue 4 – Joe, Laura Kiselevach 5 – Homeless, Dr. Mel Waldman 6 – You go girl, Arif Ahmad and Shanzeh Ahmad 7 – This Book is Boring as Hell: A Monologue, JD DeHart

15 – poem, Danny Werachowski 16 – Love-song of Twenty-first Century, Sushant Supriye 17 – Hushed Ambience, David Sermersheim 18 - Donors and Index

8 – CatFish, Chris Talbot-Heindl 9 – Your Name, It Tastes Like Cigarettes and Shame, Max Mundan

Laura Kiselevach - pg. 4

On the Cover Wrecking Ball Dana Talbot-Heindl 3-D rendering

On the Back Cover Gorilla Adam Andreasen Pen and marker on paper

10-12 – Chinese Food: Three Dishes, Louis Marvin 13 – Chaos, Jan Haskell 14 – a tonality of the distant needle, Brian Hardie 14 – American tanka, Sissy Buckles 15 – Why Speak of Others, BZ Niditch 15 – Dharma Bicycle, Leslie Philibert

Chris Talbot-Heindl - pg. 8


laura kiselevach.

Joe Laura Kiselevach Photograph


dr. mel waldman. Homeless

By: Dr. Mel Waldman Homeless and hunched over, the antediluvian man, a little creature, antiquated, like a dying star, tatterdemalion with dark brown eyes, that punch a hole in your swirling silence — the place of nowhere — the nothingness that summons your raw spirit, You, who risk gazing into his vacant spheres, You, who crave knowing unfathomable truths, You, who plummet into his dark brown eyes, an Abyss,

& see this invisible man, homeless and hunched over with a straggly beard and a pockmarked face of broken glass, swallow his despair, & all he lost, & all that died in you.


arif ahmad and shanzeh ahmad. You go girl

By: Arif Ahmad and Shanzeh Ahmad Look around hard wherever you are Do you see the circus of the men, by the men, for the men In all shades of gray Egocentric, narcissistic men Where class act is only a handful And the rest of us just pretend Dispensable, lesser beings, always second, the inferior sex Here women are held primarily in a support act For as and when needed Though first up in taking our yelling, our beating, our abuse Women’s lib sounds so romanticizing, so glorifying, so neat Bullshit For it fails to realize, it struggles to exist Whichever way you slice it The pale blue dot remains testosterone laden Male dominated, male driven Except That one girl who may chance to challenge some of this and change some of that The girl with a facial droop and a reconstructed skull from a bullet that traveled her head This girl may save us men from us God willing, Inshallah You go girl, Malala


jd dehart.

This Book is Boring as Hell: A Monologue

By: JD DeHart

Someone, maybe from another class year, has written in blood-red ink of the side of the volume, This book is boring as hell. It has been roughly scrawled, an indictment against the author, a sudden vengeance perpetrated by a kid. Initially, I am rather offended. My regalia that I always wear under my skin shifts restlessly, bristles uncomfortably. Some son of a succubus or daughter of a devil has dared to slander Melville in such a fashion. One of the great American…well… I read Melville in the eleventh grade and I remember hating it, so I really can’t fault this kid for his slash her sudden railing. Although I never wrote such a review on the side of a book, that I can recall. (Noticing the halo?) Long about page 400, it would be easy to scribble that message on every copy of Moby Dick. I’m sure it crossed my mind.

Such an unfortunate title to try to teach. I always have a student pick it up, glint in the eye, “I’m going to read this.” I think, “No, you’re not. No one would if they realized he’s spending twenty pages on beheading a whale.” Just trying to see what I will do. Testing the old hedge, walking up and watering the boundary a bit. What you going to do, Teach? Have other authors discovered this method of inserting an anatomical reference or bit of innuendo into a title, thereby increasing adolescent interest? If word ever gets out, that small tidbit could revolutionize the war on illiteracy (I assume we are still fighting this war, based on what is playing right now on television), as well as the publishing industry. To think of the titles this would create is also amusing. What word could be placed in between Jane and Eyre or Wuthering and Heights? I consider briefly taking an ebony marker of justice to this tiny crimson critique, or else throwing the book away with the indignation of erudition. Then I decide to leave it, replacing it on the shelf, knowing no one else is likely to pick it up anytime soon.


chris talbot-heindl.

CatFish Chris Talbot-Heindl Digitally enhanged ink on paper


max mundan. Your Name, It Tastes Like Cigarettes and Shame By: Max Mundan

I roll your name around my tongue and the hot, bitter tang of you floods my mouth You taste of bleary eyed nights and Marlboro Lights smoked fiercely, biting down hard on the butt of Southern Comfort vomited into the backseat of a car and venomous insults screamed at the top of our lungs that we’d never be able to take back of clumsy sex in your parent’s bed behind your boyfriend’s back and Sunday morning splitting headaches trying to recall the details of the night before Somewhere, on this godforsaken earth there must be a mint strong enough to erase your name from my lips


louis marvin.

Chinese Food: Three Dishes By: Louis Marvin My Hero

In Phoenix it happened, like the vision of MLK when he said in God’s world, may you be the greatest street sweeper or garbage man there has ever been. For, if you take pride in your work, and do it with respect and a reverence beneath the great gaze of God, what more should a man want? Around 24th street, where that John’s Green Gables restaurant was where Louis and Marvin made Dr. Jack Veenum make a promise to take care of their grandson, the son of Marvin made his mark forever in a Chinese restaurant owner’s mind. He swept, wiped, cleared and took out garbage, raising it to a golden plateau in the man’s eyes. We know this how? Marvin’s wife, the future matriarch of the family and mother of the son that so affected the restaurant owner was walking by the restaurant years after her son had worked there, and he told her what high regard he had for him.


louis marvin (con’t). The owner talked to her and told her that in all the years he had the restaurant, and with all the Chinese immigrants wanting to make their mark and begin an American life in the USA, that none could compare to the work ethic and the work done by her son. He had asked the man to work there so many times, being turned down each time because he only hired Chinese. But, he would not stop asking. So, the man gave the boy a try. The young man had this in his mind, “I will wash that dish, sweep that floor, mop that bathroom, clear that table and do whatever I am tasked to do the best it has ever been done. Period.” He did this. And, to the Chinese restaurant owner’s delight and unbelief, stood in front of him the best worker that he ever had. Period. His mother was proud. She told Marvin, and he was proud. The boy was proud of his work, work ethic and creed he lived by. The boy’s daughter took it to heart and she is this way. The boy’s son was so proud of this that he wrote about it. And now you know something about our hero JMB. MLK & JMB, doing the best work they could do with what God gave them. No excuses. Period. Stink Tofu

I want to tell you the very small story of how I ate something that smelled like a foot, but actually tasted pretty good. It helped to endear me to my Chinese side of the family. Maybe endear is a strong word. Make me tolerable? OK. The story of how I became a tolerable American to my wife’s family in Mainland China. When we visited the place where my wife’s family went back 12-13 generations of the Who’s Who of Chinese doctors/medicine, where her grandfather was a legend, mother was a former

professor and MD who still prescribed herbs in the shop below her apartment, and where my wife went to medical school, the question was asked, “Do we need to have special food for your husband?” The ice cream that her niece filled up the freezer with in the condo they stayed in did not count as special food. I ate ice cream, watched the world championships of table tennis being dominated by the Chinese, and had my daughter watch Tom and Jerry cartoons in Chinese on the internet. Interesting. Special food? The daughter that now lived in Hawaii told her that if it didn’t crawl, fly or swim away, that her husband would pick it up and eat it. A play on the Chinese saying: if it swims, crawls or flies, it goes in the pot. No, he needed no special diet. The brother was asked to have the chef’s specials, or regional cuisine or the beer from that area at each meal. They liked his approach, and at each meal they asked for the “specials”. In China, it is custom to feed the new family members and buy gifts. It was all very special and delightful for both the man and his daughter (the Chinese Viking-Swede/Chinese). Each family member would try to outdo each other when it was time to pick the restaurant. We were going in the back rooms, where the chefs create special dishes. The beers were coming in iced buckets. They had a Wal-Mart Supercenter in my wife’s town. We were in there shopping one day, and I told my daughter to look at the pets they had. The niece told us, “That is not the pets, that is the lunch line.” There were snakes, turtles, frogs,

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louis marvin (con’t). and other creepies and crawlies. You step up to the line, point, and they chop it, cook it, and give it to you with some rice. We did not partake of this. But, I did partake of the stink tofu when it was presented at the restaurant. Stink tofu is dried out tofu, with something that looks like paprika sprinkled on it. When you chop stick it and bring it up to your nose, it smells like a foot with the dreaded foot odor. What made the first guy want to pop it into his mouth? I did it, and they all stopped and looked at my reaction. A break from reality. A disconnect. It tasted nothing like the smell of feet. I can’t describe the actual taste, just like I can’t describe natto (a Japanese specialty of fermented soy beans), which I have also grown to love/tolerate. A joyous sound erupted from the family and friends, and they clapped me on the back. I ate more because I wanted to. It was perfect with Chinese beer. The family thought, anybody with a Chinese wife, a Chinese kid, and a taste for stink tofu, must be tolerable. I am tolerated to this day. Guards at the Refrigerator Gates

When is a vegan not a vegan? The answer to this riddle is when his wife makes vegan lunches for him, and then he goes and gets Jack in the Box tacos and root beer for his after work snack. This is better than most diets. I am at equilibrium. The perfect Chinese diet and the disaster of American fast food cuisine. The good part, and another Asian lady told me I was lucky to have a wife to do this for me, is that her Chinese doctoring is part of her chef skills. In China, it is the computer-programming motto of “garbage in-garbage out”. So our Chinese doctor/ wife/mother feeds us exactly what we need to thrive and survive in good health. We do not take extra vitamins, we rarely take medicine. There is no need when you eat the right things, and exercise by swimming, snorkeling, hiking, surfing,


playing tennis, lifting and doing crunches/sit-ups. My daughter, the Chinese Viking, becoming a lot like her mother, is someone that has grown up eating right and having her diet take care of her medical needs too. My hero, who has diabetes and some recent heart work like his pop Marvin did, is someone that they can use if ever I am caught eating a donut or drinking a cherry Coke. Do you want to prick your finger for diabetes like your dad? No. There is something good in the refrigerator, and I want it. There is some ice cream or something else sweet. So I make a run for the refrigerator, guarded by a Shaolin Monk (my wife more lethal than Kung Fu (Grasshopper), and my hybrid daughter of Chinese-Viking stock). They yell and scream, one on the left-one on the right, then they throw Chinese fighting stars that go THUNK!-THWICK! into the wooden cabinets, they smack my limbs with bamboo fighting sticks, and they karate me with lethal blows. If I do make it back to my room to watch a Clint Eastwood or John Wayne movie where they make it past the bad guys, I know how they feel. But, the guards at the gates of junk food are not the bad guys. They are the good guys. My junk food American jones is the bad guy, and damned if it doesn’t need a good bamboo beat down once in a while. Jack in the Box taco craver vs. Chinese guards at the gates of drive up windows. Who is fooling whom?

jan haskell. Chaos

By: Jan Haskell Pre-Game

The lip of the forty was warm as she put it to her mouth. She took a deep swig. It had been over a year, but in truth, it had been a lifetime. The liquid was lukewarm. As she swallowed, she scrunched up her face, and her body gave a little shake. This wasn’t about enjoyment. It is about self-medication, the dullness of memories, which bore the only witness to the scars. She looked at her body in the soft light. Her skin was smooth and soft, and the bruises from the last few weeks were fading. These bruises, like all from the past year, were from playing, or stumbling in a medicated haze. She rubbed her leg where she had fallen trying to stumble up stairs. Stumble up stairs — just the image made her smile. One ironic smile in over 10,000 moments of life. She took another swig. No, it was for all the moments that burned the root of her. Her gut cramped, and she swallowed with a grimace.

asparagus, cut peppers and onions, and to end it, he had gotten Cinderella her favorite as a belated birthday cake. After dinner, all four of them went out to the bars — two bars, actually. On the way back to Lover One’s house, Mom dared the two lovers to get naked in the back of the car. It was a dare Mom had hoped to win, but the two men smiled and started with their shirts. “Come on guys, don’t,” Cinderella’s eyes were smiling as the words passed her lips. Yes, these two crazy men were hers. “Hey, we’ve been dared, it’s game on,” Lover One said with a chuckle. For the mile-or-so ride back downtown and then past the cop shop, Cinderella’s mom drove with her eyes looking in the mirror. Cinderella laughed her self into a snort, and then laughed more. The two men in the back of the car just kept reminding Mom that she would have to explain why she had two naked men in her car if the cops stopped her. Dust and wind.

Dinner with Mom

It had been a long but fun night. It had started out with dinner, and conversation. Cinderella had gotten there fashionably late to miss all the cleaning and cooking. No one really cared that she was late. Her two favorite lovers were just glad to see her. Her last eight days had been spent in a hell of control, neediness, drunkenness (just to tolerate it all), and ending with a flashback into its own hell of abuse at the hands of her third lover. He was the one she was to be in a “relationship” with. Cinderella’s mom had come along to see that she was ok. Lover Two had cooked a simple meal — light veggies cooked with butter, garlic pepper, and salt. Then a navy bean stew with


brian hardie, sissy buckles. a tonality of the distant needle By: Brian Hardie

Sound soothing sanity inside photographing negative negligent neuroshimas- biological effects pedal board testing testing check one two three spun around the earths awkward equator my plague plotting recourse shattering spots of the bleached pet of who wrongly teaches you god.

Second Space Send proposals to Steph Jones at

American tanka By: Sissy Buckles

Rather twined round your warm side you’ll tame feral curls shimmied loose from my bed braid then geek out over Sunday morning New York Times.


bz niditch, leslie philibert, danny werachowski. poem

By: Danny Werachowski she said her life goal was to knock down dams

Dharma Bicycle By: Leslie Philibert

Why Speak of Others

By: BZ Niditch

a frame cold-sprayed with perfect tranquility; the world and the bell in perfect harmony, a flock of wheels that join and turn, three in one; the path by the river, the sky and the moment; the soft crunch of tires on gravel; all suffering has gone; the day lengthens, all is well.

To read other minds that entwine your own is to go beyond the unfazed bones in fishing for lost flesh and bloody fins which die and regenerate in a subterranean pink as a changing lobster now banished from the sea traces nearby a turtle egg not interfering with nature in a fetid feverish tidal basin spilling over a relieved whisper in a lagoon and Laocoon from a faint wave sinking. 15

sushant supriye.

Love-song of Twenty-first Century

By: Sushant Supriye

Come love, let us plant land-mines of separation in our stale relations or else lob grenades of indifference at the stifling cross-roads of our life. See how the pale evening withers away like an AIDS patient . Let us turn the alphabets upside-down and bang them into one-another or else rain bullets of vacuous silence on the question-marks of suspicion that dangle between us.

Let us do something new for a change for a change. Let us hear that tune which was never sung. Let us wait for that visitor who never comes or else walk on that road which goes nowhere. Did you say something, love, or was it the ashen wind of silence blowing within the jungle of my sores that crooned a lullaby of pain In this land of loony nights?


david sermersheim. Hushed Ambience By: David Sermersheim

so taut it would snap brittle sonorities into a thousand fragments of sprechgesang murmuring hushed epithets through spiny thistles laced into a grid over an orange-blue nimbus smashing atoms in a dry-brushed textural milieu much too vague for sentiment’s unctuous touch seeking flight in remote conjecture beyond fantasy’s febrile domain vaguely among us for the straitened interval prolonged a moment too long for pilgrims’ idyl carelessly displayed in the carefree array of asymmetrical sequence


donors, index. artists Ahmad, Arif


Ahmad, Shanzeh


Andreasen, Adam


Haskell, Jan

Buckles, Sissy


Kiselevach, Laura

DeHart, JD Hardie, Brian

7 14

Marvin, Louis Mundan, Max

13 4 10-12 9

Sermersheim, David


Supriye, Sushant


Niditch, BZ


Talbot-Heindl, Chris


Philibert, Leslie


Talbot-Heindl, Dana


Waldman, Dr. Mel Werachowski, Danny

we love our donors!

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We love our donors, and to prove it, we’re going to let you know who they are. Without their generosity, the Bitchin’ Kitsch would probably not make it through the year. If you would like to become a donor and see your name here, email and make your pledge. acquaintences of the bitchin’ kitsch ($1-10) - Colin Bares, Casey Bernardo, Teri Edlebeck, Stephanie Jones, Eric Krszjzaniek, Dana Lawson, Jason Loeffler, Justin Olszewski friends of the bitchin’ kitsch ($11-50) - Charles Richard, Kenneth Spalding, Tallulah West lovers of the bitchin’ kitsch ($51-100) - Scott Cook, Keith Talbot partners of the bitchin’ kitsch ($101-1,000) - Felix Gardner, Jan Haskell parents of the bitchin’ kitsch ($1,001-10,000) - none yet, become a parent! demi-gods of the bitchin’ kitsch ($10,001 & up) - The Talbot-Heindl’s


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