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bitchin’ kitsch

Volume 5, Issue 9 September 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 (www.talbot-heindl.com/bitchin_kitsch/submissions) 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 (www.talbotheindl.com/support_us/shop_thebk).


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 (www.talbot-heindl.com/bitchin_kitsch/resources).


table of contents.

8 – Mustard on the Alphabet, Rob Hobkirk

16-18 - After We’d Seen Too Much, Michael Prihoda

9 – Marseille (for M.S), Allison Grayhurst

19 – Sean Hannity is Full of Hot Air, Chris Talbot-Heindl

10 – Childhood Secrets, Changming Yuan

20 – Between a Crack Whore and Walmart (a truth), Louis Marvin

10 – Dead Flowers, Zak Parsons

20 – I was glad when she smiled at me, Tim Parkin

11 – Untitled, Bekah Steimel

21 – Yellow Fist, Rob Hobkirk 22 – Childhood, Sushant Supriye 23 – Flower Power, Wlkn_Fire

Rob Hobkirk - pg. 8

23 – Not with Just Our Eyes and Ears, Louie Clay

On the Cover

24 - Donors and Index

One of Many Unnamed Tiles Mark Maier Cermanic Tile

On the Back Cover Shaping Her Toby Penney Photo collage www.tobypenney.com

In This Issue 4-5 – She was a picture in old Spanish lace, Sissy Buckles 6 – Rite, Morgan Christie 7 – Refugees, Leslie Philibert 7 – Tombstones, Mitchell Grabois

W. Jack Savage - pg. 15 11 – Another Reality, W. Jack Savage 12-13 - Possibility of Love Stories With (dragon) Fire and (snake) Bite, Jack Veenum 14 – things I found in my pocket, Mike Jewett 15 – The Playground, W. Jack Savage

Wlkn_Fire - pg. 23


sissy buckles. She was a picture in old Spanish lace By: Sissy Buckles

Well I see by the morning headlines on San Diego Free Press that the viciously bitter mob of fools in Murrieta are at it again draping themselves in flags and tea-party slogans pretending it’s ‘Patriotic’ to unlawfully block a road pummeling their bus screeching profanity for hours in effect turning away political immigrants who’d arrived seeking basic human dignity and asylum from Central America’s brutalities wading the age-old Rio Grande trying to grab that elusive something on the other side nameless as Woodie Guthrie’s bracero deportees or numbered inmates their poor masses huddled together on an Auschwitz bound train and oh those white folks don’t want nuthin to do with any terrified women or sick toddlers thieving grandchildren’s resources bringing disease wreaking havoc in their spotless neighborhoods no sir-ee the federal transport now re-routed down to San Ysidro for processing. And my dad bought me his only musical child my first guitar when I was ten from Tijuana way back before it became a drug-trafficking war zone battered by narco-violence and a militarized border coupled with the gruesome fear you might get your head cut off if you crossed the wrong path and gee I miss those easy days like in that movie La Bamba when Bob took Ritchie down to get talismanic magic from the Yaqui Indian medicine man we used to go over all the time no probs to shop for exotic crap in the stalls on Avenida Revolución handing out nickles right and left to third


sissy buckles (con’t).

world supplicants for little packs of gum and oh yes we’d eat, the boulevard tacos and baby lobster con limón served with refries rice guacamole fresh cilantro salsa on the side utterly divine at least to our kiddie palates. And our brother’s friends knew the best surf spots also off road dirt-biking then later when we were older I tagged along with my sisters to the dance clubs and they’d get mad when I’d insist on stopping to listen to mariachi in the street I’m still a geek like that and bugged to no end how supposedly sane folks and it matters not which side you’re on but to think that it’s okay to despise innocent babes and children riding over a thousand miles bereft and alone in this desolate world atop a damned freight train to freedom and not do fuck all about it except hot cuss the lot of em back to hell. And somehow Dad scrounged up some old folk music books where I learned my basic chords sown with seeds of radical protest and lofty harmonies The Kingston Trio, Peter Paul & blonde sexy Mary that tramp Cisco, old cotton fields Lead Belly thou bravest Odetta and never forget Pete Seeger and his Rainbow Quest TV show you can still watch it on youtube, so when I saw this double LP set Vanguard label The Weavers Greatest Hits in VG+ condition on my lunch break one day at Cow Records in Ocean Beach course I jumped on it. Aww the Rock Island Line, she’s a mighty good road and it feels like I Gotta Travel On who could argue with Kisses Sweeter than Wine and that Cuban freedom song Guantanamera whose verses end: “Con los pobres de la tierra, quiero yo mi suerte echar” which translated means with the poor people of this earth I want to share my fate a song I persist on singing to this very day.


morgan christie. Rite

By: Morgan Christie The Family That Preys Together Stays Together Is What The Child Has Been Taught To Bless The Food Water And Root Scorning Frolic Wit And Rum The Child Saw A Starved Boy At Lunch And Offered To Share Some Bread And Received Six Lashes For Giving Another What Was Privately Willed As The Child Cried And Thought Of Them All Choking On Voracity And Malice Before Sipping The Wine As They Act For Six Days And Repent One


leslie philibert, mitchell grabois. Refugees

By: Leslie Philibert What is left if nothing`s left? The tap loses teeth-blood, Each empty cup smiles with malice. We have fallen over the fence, Our pictures torn, a history in bags, We walk like a cluster of wraiths As dull legs trudge over stones. The old will wither with frost When the night comes sooner. And if the children cry in the night There is nothing more to say Than that the stars are hungry too.


By: Mitchell Grabois Tombstones would have cast long shadows in the slanting sun Carved granite names and dates would have been sharply illuminated But there were only acres of fields planted with flat metal plates bearing patient hospital numbers This was their anonymous resting place a cemetery that no one ever visited The dirt under my feet crawled with twisted earthworms and uncontained madness


rob hobkirk.

Mustard on the Alphabet Rob Hobkirk Mixed media


allison grayhurst. Marseille (for M.S.) By: Allison Grayhurst

Like you, I lost the spring in a bed of stagnant water. I withered under the sun and gained from it only a small truth. Like you, with you, I climbed those stairs, cried all afternoon then sought out a redeeming parable. In that chapel of our minds we sacrificed abundance for bones, we travelled together because we hurt and we saw one another as the proof needed to confirm the validity of our road. We rented a large room where commodities were traded, (or often, by you, just taken) where we stained the walls with our indelible presence, cutting ourselves out destines from nowhere. I will go back there today and collect the pictures. I will hand-make them an album then deliver them to the sea. Like you, I am still denied, but now I know love. My axle is female - and though now 20 years later, my flesh is barely (just starting to be) my own.


changming yuan, zak parsons.

Childhood Secrets

By: Changming Yuan

When I was three or four, I buried Several hard-gained marbles Near our rented room, hoping one day They would grow into magic trees Half a century later, I dug them all out On a dull afternoon. The moment I put the first one on my table, a flock Of crows flew up; when I thought of The second, it burned like a forest fire Now I hesitate to write the word ‘immortality’ Lest my last marble should melt with diamonds

Dead Flowers By: Zak Parsons

Dead Flowers A ship with no anchor Dead Flowers Cling to my body Like leeches The constant reminder of what was once flourishing and clean And full of colour Dead Flowers Sad and limp Alive but not kicking Hidden In the darkest parts Where the sun no longer shines Where boots no longer tread Dead Flowers The book that’s never been read Forgotten Heroes Of madness Of times you never had Now dead Dead like the flowers that cling to my body And yours


bekah steimel, w. jack savage. Untitled

By: Bekah Steimel A pill popped is a memory dropped or temporarily pushed aside these vivid images will never die they come creeping back when my protection wears thin come creeping back hit that bottle again tortured breath or a quiet death I calmly choose the end. 

Another Reality W. Jack Savage Painting


jack veenum. Possibility of Love Stories With (dragon) Fire and (snake) Bite: A Dr. Jack Veenum & Dr. Eir Wang Collaboration

By: Jack Veenum Dr. Jack

Snakes and alcohol were the reasons he was sitting in his office in Tucson, with his fruit water creation. It was the time of year in Arizona when getting inside to your air conditioned office and having a tall glass of water with lime was a simple pleasure that made the soul smile. His students and colleagues laughed about his fruit water creations, until they had one. They had heard the reason he never drank around snakes plenty of times. Dr. Jack “Diamondback� Veenum, University of Arizona, head of the herpetology department was what the brochure said. It was also his title in the letter addressed to him from the Yi-Er-San project: Dr. Jack Veenum, PhD. Herpetology Department University of Arizona Dr. Jack Veenum, You are on a very short list of top herpetologists who we are contacting about working with us on our current project. We are looking for a scientist that will take on the responsibility of working with snakes and other reptiles as we create and populate our new worlds in the deep ocean, the Moon, and Mars. We are working through a mandate from the United Nations. We feel that once you see how important the work you will be doing is, you would be excited at the prospect of working with us and come on board. This would in no way affect your status with your university. Your tenure and title would be safe. Your compensation would continue, as the prestige that this project adds to your school is immeasurable. You would of course be paid by the project, in addition to your university salary. But, we feel that it is the work that will inspire you most to consider working with us. I ask two things of you. Watch my presentation to the United Nations, date to be determined, and, visit my company in San Diego, California for the interview, and question and answer session. We want to make an evaluation of each of the three candidates and see


jack veenum (con’t). how well we mesh, as spending time on a project of this magnitude requires great teamwork. I look forward to hearing from you. Look over our website and what the project entails. Sincerely, Dr. Wang Yi-Er-San Project It must be important for them to send a paper letter. He had taken the pushpin out of the letter, which had occupied the middle of his cork board. They had gotten his attention with the usual e-mail, texts and phone messages, but the registered letter seemed awfully important. He was careful not to have his water glass drip onto the page. He closed the blinds on both his window looking at the cactus garden outside of his office, and the one that faced the hallway, (he never closed the blinds looking into the the lab when he was the only one there). He turned on his television to find the channel with the UN speech. Dr. Wang. She seemed interesting. The television in his office was turned to one of those politics all day/every day channels and they were trained on the UN general assembly chamber. At the bottom of the screen it read, Yi-Er-San (1-2-3 Project) Speech-Dr. Wang (upcoming). The place looked full. Jack took a sip of water and turned his chair towards the screen. Dr. Wang

Dr. Eir Wang sat in a small room with a mirror, couch and some brushes and combs at a vanity. Eir was a Norse goddess of healing, while the name Wang in Chinese is symbolized by prince or king. She was named this by her Chinese mother and Swedish father. As this healing goddess king, Chinese-American woman, she had some heavy responsibility. This responsibility was told to her time and again by her parents and the elite school she attended in Hawaii. This school

happened to be where the “father of modern China” attended. Dr. Wang was to be the mother of the modern world. She was listening to Mars-The God of War on her earphones, while she checked her outfit in the mirror. The Chinese were going to claim her, the Americans had her, while she was best friends with the president. Girlfriend President had let her alone on this one. This was not politics as usual, which the women in power seemed to get. This whole project was about changing cultural norms, to include age old religion and land dispute problems into something that could be put on the backburner. As a world we were striking out. Someone touched her sleeve, and she yelled, “FUCK!” “Sorry Dr. Wang, you are going on in 5 minutes.” “Dammit, sorry about the “f” bomb.” “I hear it in 100 languages. No problem at all. I will lead you down to the front in 5 minutes.” He closed the door behind him. She remembered her and daddy laying out the sludge-bot materials on the kitchen table when she was a 2nd grader in Waikiki Elementary. She won that science contest with the sludge-bot. She and daddy went to Seattle with 9 other families from around the country. She knew daddy would have tears in his eyes. Mommy would drop her tiger long enough to cry too. It was time. She looked in the mirror, “Here goes everything.” On the walk to her speech she thought of daddy’s eyes looking at her from the rear-view on the way to Summer school. He said, “You better do something great, this school demands it!” He then dropped her off at Iolani, by the Ala Wai Canal.


mike jewett. things i found in my pocket By: Mike Jewett

an orange bottle: adderall, ibuprofen, a caffeine pill, clonazepam, and omeprazole a pack of camels 15 left, one upsidedownthe lucky a wrinkled handkerchief sixty bucks: three twenties, crisp their serial numbers: MB27344413B MB27344414B MB27344415B a red and black sandisk thumb drive a turquoise skull bead 8 dimes, 15 nickels, and 35 pennies, including one canadian penny and one plastic toy penny a wallet that’s falling apart


stuffed with old expired cards and wrinkling photos of alex and logan my mbta charlie card a boston university building entry card a business card for a beatles cover band named studio two nail clippers two sets of keys: the bedroom door key and my main set of keys which has a churchkey a clay world poker tour chip two lighters: one green bic and one zippo, out of fluid chapstick a bic zebra gel pen my very sharp buck pocket knife two receipts: mass turnpike toll receipt uburger receipt a flier on green paper from joshua mehigan’s poetry reading at the grolier poetry book shop

w. jack savage.

The Playground W. Jack Savage Painting


michael prihoda.

After We’d Seen Too Much By: Michael Prihoda

We hated the way we knew more than we wanted to. Me and Grover. But we’d seen the body, Grover had gaped at it for all of fortyseven seconds (sure I counted, what else was I supposed to do?) before Grover crumpled to the ground the way a banana peel might flop were it human-sized. He laced his fingertips, arms resting on kneecaps, eyes affixed on the corpse. A few bullet wounds. Now the guy was dead and we’d found him first.


michael prihoda (con’t). “What now, Pinch, what now?” Grover said, disbelief practically muddying his ear sockets. “Nope.” I don’t know why I said that but Grover didn’t question. He got more scared. I don’t have an explanation for why they call me Pinch. By they, I mean my friends. I lowered myself next to Grover but couldn’t decide if I should put my arm around him or not. Was I more or less appalled than him? Who needed who more? And what about the dead man? What did he need? The body was just there, kind of, in a park Grover and I visited often. Sometimes we threw a Frisbee. Sometimes we lay in the grass. We lived through numerous rain showers and lightning storms in the park and now I felt as if we, having dared the elements countless times, had cheated this man of life.

“I don’t know, Pinch, I don’t know.” Grover sounded dumb with the way he talked. People underestimated him because of it but he was a physics whiz and had more potential than most in our eighth grade class. Most eighth graders don’t know any more physics than a few lewd hand motions and hip thrusts they one day hope to perform. “Do we move him, Pinch, do we move him?” “Don’t touch him. I heard dead deer and other animals carry a bunch of diseases. Who knows what this guy has.” “He’s not a deer, Pinch, he’s not a deer.” “Do bad things happen when people wait for the cops? Will they incriminate us?”

Someone somewhere has to die constantly or else the world gets too crowded. I’ve heard that’s how it works but I hear a lot of things from a lot of places and I’m never sure what to believe. I know Grover has as little clue as I do.

“Maybe, Pinch, maybe.” Grover’s eyes dashed over the body like a typewriter and I would have paid gold bullion to know what words he spelled. Or perhaps he calculated the velocity necessary for we two stationary objects to propel ourselves from the hypothetical blast radius of this crime scene.

The blood didn’t bother us.

I certainly didn’t want to be interrogated.

But the man did, him being dead and all. You can’t fix deadness. You can prevent most everything else if you try hard enough. I heard that somewhere too.

“Should we tell someone? Or let him speak for himself?” I almost felt as if I were posing my questions to the dead man.

The man’s body more or less ruined the park for us. I knew we wouldn’t come back here but for now we needed to do something. We probably looked like the killers. “Hey Grover,” I said. “Hey what, Pinch, hey what?” he answered with the frailty of a half-toasted paper airplane. “What do we do?”

“You know, Pinch, you know, maybe we should be asking ourselves what we’d do if we had actually killed the guy?” Grover said. “What would we do?” The air provided no answers as our minds diverged in any number of zany directions, each more preposterous than the previous, all of them

continues g 17

michael prihoda (con’t). probably featured on primetime television as the plot of a cop show.

Nonetheless, there was a body in our favorite park and we hadn’t brought a Frisbee today.

What if we had killed him? Action one: move the body. Right? Or not. Maybe moving the body was cliché, obvious, and would land us behind bars that much quicker.

“What are we supposed to tell the cops, Grover? We didn’t bring a Frisbee today.”

Alternate action one: run away, thereby implicating ourselves should any random bystanders notice our hasty departure. Alternate alternate action one: remain with body until someone notifies authorities and then smooth talk our way out of it because no solid evidence exists to implicate us in the crime besides our presence.

Grover also did pre-calculus that he taught himself for fun on the note sheets our English teacher handed us; sometimes he even used the margins of the massive textbook we used in that class. Some day somebody would find those notes and probably assume something completely off about the author.

I had almost convinced myself we had killed the guy. “We didn’t kill him, Pinch, we didn’t kill him, right?”

“It looks bad, Pinch, it looks mighty bad.”

In the same way, looking at the body, I feared somebody walking along and seeing us squatted next to the body and making an assumption about our activities prior to this man’s death. I didn’t want imprisonment by assumption.

It seemed Grover almost believed in his guilt the same way I did.

“Maybe we should go.”

“No, we just found him, Grover. Right?” When did we get here? We didn’t have a Frisbee with us today. Or a gun for that matter.

Grover didn’t mention it the next day at school but I don’t think his eyes ever looked the same after that.

“What now, Pinch, what now?”

We’d seen too much.

I had serious déjà vu. How many times had we found this guy dead? Having not killed him, did we have more options or less? They didn’t teach you the proper response to finding a dead man in your favorite park during eighth grade science. “Well he’s not coming back to life, is he?” I asked. “That’s a relief, Pinch, that’s certainly a relief.” I hoped his indirectness answered my question affirmatively. I didn’t really care who killed the guy, I only cared that I believed I hadn’t. I knew I wasn’t guilty.


“Sure thing, Pinch, sure thing.”

chris talbot-heindl.

Sean Hannity is full of Hot Air Chris Talbot-Heindl Ink on paper



louis marvin, tim parkin. Between a Crack Whore and Walmart (a truth) By: Louis Marvin

at a park in vacationland Waikiki I stand next to a table with rotting apple bananas as they run and surf in front of me, by the ocean waves crashing next to crabs while they sleep, homelessly in rags and old sleeping bags under trees and by buildings, hidden in plain sight from the tourists and locals down just a jog or walk with NPR in your headphones away they stay in 5 diamond hell tells “ho” tells no, the “ho” is crack, ice, junk—tricks, her hotel in an alley by the trash cans her ATM machine is her ass, they fuck and money pops out of their wallets in this city where we have Walmart beneath a Sam’s Club—stacked in vertical tandem a block from the world’s biggest outdoor mall on the beach-Ala Moana meanwhile, back in Waikiki you pass a dirty man begging for scraps in front of a Rolex store, where IZ sings “somewhere over the rainbow” aloha. . .where I live

I was glad when she smiled at me

By: Tim Parkin

I was glad when she smiled at me, A dark pretty lady on Saturday with a smile that kills evil, Who writes poems like Sylvia Plath- all twisted and complex, And knows inscrutable secrets that I can’t begin to imagine. Dance with me, my dear, through the twilight and the half-light, Lurk with me in places where they do not know our names, Let’s be melodramatic and devil-may-care all over the streets of our town. I want to wake up to your delicate features and your sweet red mouth like honey and give you an avalanche of kisses, I was glad when you smiled at me.


rob hobkirk.

Yellow Fist Rob Hobkirk Mixed media


sushant supriye.

Second Space Send proposals to Steph Jones at jonesin54481@yahoo.com.


By: Sushant Supriye There was a childhood decades ago. A childhood full of mirth and laughter. An innocent presence beneath the sun, moon and stars. Childhood was the feather of a bird. Childhood was the colourful kite soaring majestically in the sky. Childhood was the soothing love of mother. Childhood was the affectionate hug of father. As time passed, the feathers of birds got lost. All the kites got torn. Mother was called away by the stars. Father became a part of the sun. Childhood now is an extinct creature. Its fossil is found only in the museum of memories. It is a lost age when the horizon was full of possibilities-n-promises.


wlkn _ fire, louie clay.

Flower Power Wlkn_Fire Watercolor on paper

Not with Just Our Eyes and Ears By: Louie Clay

My husband occasionally surprises me with food he prepares by Mother’s recipes. When she died, I kept a bottle of her Merle Norman toiletwater and one of her bathrobes. When I grew especially lonely, I would dab toilet water on each ear, the way she did, and sit in the robe to commune. I never intended to buy another, and when I finished the bottle, I put her robe in a Goodwill collection box.


donors, index. artists Buckles, Sissy Christie, Morgan Clay, Louie

4-5 6 23

Marvin, Louis


Grabois, Mitchell


Parkin, Tim


Grayhurst, Allison


Parsons, Zak


Steimel, Bekah



Supriye, Sushant


Talbot-Heindl, Chris


Hobkirk, Rob

8, 21

Jewett, Mike


Maier, Mark


Penney, Toby Philibert, Leslile


Prihoda, Michael


Veenum, Jack

Savage, W. Jack

11, 15



Yuan, Changming


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The Bitchin' Kitsch September 2014 Issue  

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...

The Bitchin' Kitsch September 2014 Issue  

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...