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10KPOETS N at i o n a l Po e t r y M o n t h Issu e 2009

10KpOets

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Welcome To 10K Poets National Poetry Month Issue 2009 The N at io nal P o et r y Mo nt h Is s ue 2009 o f t he 10K Po et s Zine repres ent s t he culminat io n o f 18 mont hs of back breaking effort to bring to the MySpace community and beyond the best in non-traditional poetr y. Our goal from the beginning has been to give the unpublished poet a venue of recognition. 10K P o et s beg an as a blo g t hat creat ed a co mmunit y o f creat ive and s o cially minded individuals . The blog fo cus ed o n pres ent ing a real "Co mmunit y" t o MySpace po et s fro m divers e back g ro unds , pers pect ives , and levels of expertise. From this small beginning 10K Poets grew into three online poetry journals, E v i s c e r a t o r H e a v e n , D e e p Ti s s u e M a g a z i n e , a n d t h e f l a g s h i p z i n e o f t h e 1 0 K P o e t s e n t e r p r i s e 1 0 K Poets Zine. Next, came the internet radio shows “Poets Dream in Color” on Wednesday nights and soon t o fo llo w t he “D aily H appy H o ur.” The 10K Po et s radio s ho ws pro vided po et s fro m all o ver t he globe the opportunity to call in and read their poetry live. Many poets have found their voice in taking advant ag e o f t his unique o ppo rt unit y t o g ro w no t o nly as a po et , but als o as a perfo rmer. Then, t here w a s t h e S p o k e n Wo r d . 1 0 K P o e t s b e g a n t o p a r t n e r w i t h p r o d u c e r s ,   m u s i c i a n s a n d p o e t s t o c r e a t e Spo k en Wo rd t rack s and t o pro mo t e Spo k en Wo rd Art is t s . This vent ure has g ro wn int o larg e proportions with more and more poets recording their poems to music. This growth and new direction in poetr y has been welco med by all o f us at 10K Po et s . 10K P o et s beg an wit h a co mmo n at t ribut e, we all had a pas s io n fo r po et r y and a des ire t o be heard. Over these 18 months, 10k Poets has grown as a community and each individual has grown personally. 10K Poets has had such wonderful success, not because of one person, but because of the community of poets. Individuals all over the world have stepped up to contribute their time and talents to make t his po et r y co mmunit y what it is t o day. It co uld no t be mo re fit t ing t hat all t his co mbined effort finds a ho me in t he N at io nal Po et r y Mo nt h Is s ue 2009 o f t he 10K Po et s Zine. We k no w t hat t his is s ue will literally blow you away. Enjoy reading and know that we promise from the bottom of our hearts to continue t o g ro w bo t h as po et s and as cit izens o f o ur g lo bal enviro nment . m Peace

Glen Lantz Bo Blount Glo Kada Dan Kellett Yossarian Hunter Nic St. James Kat Solomon Scott Clark Farley Connie Stadler Lindsey Rankin Jim Crafford Petra Whiteley Antony Hitchin A. J. Kaufmann Newamba Nate Ranson Kathleen J. Sather Glen Still

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Contributing Poets page Connie Stadler 3 Glen Still 4 Glorianne Kada 4 Anthony Hitchin 5 Cyndi Dawson 6 Ta r r i n g o T. V a u g h a n 7 Amanda Barnes 8 Jeff Sibley 9 Nic St. James 10 Renae Fréson 11 Cameron Lange 12 Vic Swan 13 Ty l e r C o l l i n s 14 Sarah Nella Vanilla15 C.Lucas Smith 16 K~D09 17 Francoise 18 Glen Lantz 19 Newamba 21 Wordmachinist 22 Angelheart 22 A.J. Kaufman 23 Mary McLaughlin 24 John Sweet 25 Yo s s a r i a n H u n t e r 26 Left & Leaving 27 Christian Alvarez 28 Sate 29 C. Nyla Alisia (Ward) Pantifesto’s Porntastic Scott Clark Farley 37 Sean Reddan 38

page Jarlid Shadows 39 Rob Shepherd 40 Kellett 41 floating baby J 43 Connie Stadler 45 Bukowski 51 Yvon Cormier 52 Samara 53 Glorianne Kada 54 Kat Solomon 55 Analept(Badwriter) 56 Sweettalk 57 To n y V a s s i l i o n 58 HeartSong 59 Francis P Blue 60 James Crafford 61 Gillian Prew 62 M for Mag(i)cant 63 Angelheart 65 Michael E. Quigg 66 Sweet Clover 67 Allison 68 Pepper 69 Sarah Free 70 Si 71 Lola 72 Nosajofthehillpeople Mr. Green 74 Kathleen J. Sather 75 Glen Still 76

Glen Still - Executive Editor Glen Lantz - Managing Editor Glorianne Kada - Design Editor Scott Clark Farley - Copy Editor 2

A 10K Poets Publication 

ⓒ 2009


Imagine In a world where Thieves Rapists Liars Butchers Hold the Miter to smash And damn. Where roaches crawl over babies’ faces Because mommy must scam Next fix Next trick Because she lost her childhood Innocence Long before It ever began.

Ten Thousand Poets

And families are cleaved by a market tick Homeless Hungry Empty Sick And hope is a word without Relevance Reference Meaning Unknown In this lifeless, deathless, stillborn alone… Imagine If a Legion were formed Out of Warriors Armed with Slaughtering Deafening Song And with One Voice They spoke the Truth In Miraculous Shouts Of Pummeling Rage Assailing Capitalist Parapets Cleansing out all that Pus, that Gore And then force-feeding them, till They become Truly The fattened swine They are Oh so throat slit fine… Imagine Ten Thousand Poets Strong The Moneychangers’ Temple would crumble The ‘Ordained’ will cower beneath Humbled The Child-Cry Succubae must stumble On their knees bleeding Speculum Spectacles lost, flailing, wailing Into kiss of the abyss Ten thousand poets strong On that day That Magnificent Triumphant Day of All Days On that Day, ‘A terrible beauty’ would

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Be born…

Ten Thousand Poets by Connie Stadler www.myspace.com/nywvprof

MAGNIFICENT! What a battle cry. You inspire us in many ways with your poetry and here is another.............Bravo indeed. Comment by Si Philbrook


we can Do it all the day dawns with melodies and the night clings to air where there's a zone within dreams where voices yield to the engine of our souls uniting minds without walls as real as dialing numbers on a phone spirit to spirit call just for the chance to hear the sound of the same tone echo back hello sounds are lights of identity knowing is undeniable this reluctant question of was that really you... a magic carpet revs to lift us away from inside this day of reasoning minds meet on a plateau to stare out at the day the mundane time and routine of each day ceases each of us without toil or occupation hand in hand on the path of observation the day of reason when we allow the painting of our smile

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two have become one in the universe of common cause to be a visionary standing inside the ordinary we can do it all when we question and explore the answers in each other

We Can Do It All by Glorianne Kada & Glen Still

www.myspace.com/glenstill10kpoet www.myspace.com/sundroprays Wonderful work you two... you have presented something many have felt and experienced here and presented it to us splendidily with a voice that dances in unity... it is a gift to see it here as beauty in visions... woven masterfully... thank you poet and poetess :) Comment by Nic St. James


WolF Flesh cut beyond commodity, marked beyond the mundane directional the original recordings - probe psychic veil fabrications releasing blood of the -WolfI now consume programmes hunting host body, condemned crisis of the psyche embryonic breathing amniotic first software, rise! Lazarus! rise! unravel bandages devoid of preconceptions re-write cells terms become redundant in the room where we reclaim ourselves.

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Antony and I have been pushing through myspace and poetry circuits for nearly two years now together and aside from him being a dear friend, I have watched his work develop and expand like a nuclear bomb - totally powerful and nearly a sheer force of its own. But this guy is disciplined and works hard. This is a poet I respect, admire and read as much of as I can. Comment by Cyndi Dawson

Wolf by Antony Hitchin

BIO: A.D.Hitchin is a poetry and prose writer published extensively in small press and independent journals including ‘Blaze VOX‘, ‘Ditch’, ’Dogmatika’ and ‘3AM’. His ’The Holy Hermaphrodite’ chapbook has just been released by Shadow Archer Press. You can catch newly updated experiments at: w w w. m y s p a c e . c o m / a n t o n y h i t c h i n http://antonyhitchin.blogspot.com


The Feel Of the Brush 'Towering Greed' shouts NY papers under gray skies, gray skies running, dim watercolors, painted on the back of glass reflections, on the heads of gold capped skyscrapers People expecting something it rained down as nothing...it rained in California wetting a drought of banktrupcy; it rained down Chicago where imposters stepped in for shadows-Tore a hole in a canvas of unemployment with a paper congress turning the other cheek against panes of glass on the Towers of Greed Men carrying their lives, filed in animal skins scurrying to steel trains, and how easily they bend, both men and trains when currency is in question... The towers reached into a heaven where 10,000 gods compete for medals, this olympic hunger feeds from their mouths as they lick their lips with faith faith in a system, a system of faith, a thousand sleeping humans sleeping on streets, missing their boarding time on trains leading to golden capped towers. Those most swollen, ingested of lead, plump fingers on the air-brushed dollar, they throw change down, they rain change down upon the heads of the sleeping wanderers who never got the feel of the brush right, who never painted the watercolor sky green but saw it as blue; over this climbing ivy of steel that reaches like the eyes of a blind man into the blind sky guessing at the melting colors, the strength of steel, the utter blandness of a canvas stretched of 'Towering Greed'.

The Feel of the Brush By Cyndi Dawson www.myspace.com/insideofoutside

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When future civilizations find records of our downfall - this will be one they will use to piece together what happens when greed runs amok - Comment by Glen Still


Empty Streets Imagine if images reflected through store front windows were kidnapped by extinction. No more homeless cries were heard from the voice of hope starving for just one nickel one dime maybe a quarter. Imagine no more traffic jams during rush hour; No obscenities polluting the air with frustration As restless souls drive through streets of desperation just trying to avoid the car wreck of economic pressure. Imagine walking down sidewalks once filled with many colors of emotions and now seeing invisible faces. no eyes staring back at you; no crowded noise filling your eardrums with everyday words. Imagine if it was all taken away and we were left with empty streets.

Ah - one of those 'be careful what you wish for' moments! The segment about traffic jams is impeccably written and a powerful metaphor. 'Restless souls' driving through 'streets of desperation' is just about as good as it gets. The parallelism of the 'imagine' motif is also a joy. Beautifully crafted and a pleasure to read - thanks so much! Comment by Rich Follett

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Empty Streets by Tarringo T. Vaughan

www.myspace.com/tauros0427


American MaN American man thinks American man sees American man wishes He had this, that, and these

American man is foolish American man can be much better American man role models What American boy should be The future of (man)kind remains American man will sadly repeat

To impress American woman Using labels, lies, and jewelry Even though American woman Can see through his tomfoolery

The sequence of painful ignorance Unless new evolution is in store American man without a doubt Will remain American poor

American man is empty American man should read American man is gullible American man is in need American man lacks knowledge To non-American cries American man must listen If he ever wishes to become wise Of the image he portrays American man is so much better

Spread love to humanity Help others become greater Is American man’s obligation (American man don’t wait until later) For when American man begins Civilization will be much clearer American man stop sleeping, wake up! American man look in the mirror

American Man by Amanda Barnes www.myspace.com/muserenae

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If only American men, would listen to you... Amanda keep writing. Comment by W.E. Nelson


It’s Hard These Days There was an old man walking solemnly alone snot hung dry to his unshaven face he smelled of day old garbage and cat shit I wanted to give him some money but I had none it’s hard these days

I got home the screen door is broken Goddamn dope heads I think of myself and that drug dealer I robbed when I was drunk the screen door is fixed when she walks thru her auburn hair glowing beautiful in the dim light I could only afford 25 watt bulbs it’s hard these days can’t afford cable no t.v. if I could I lift the couch cushion no change she beat me to it she cooks dinner tonight spaghetti again no sauce or cheese this time I go outside walk across the street to my neighbors house he’s a lawyer doing just fine lots of crimes being committed these days I pluck a rose from his wife’s garden he watches from the window and grins it’s not a friendly grin he’s showing me how much bigger his cock is than mine

It’s Hard These Days by Jeff Sibley www.myspace.com/johnnydepth13

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I go back home she’s just bringing out the noodles I place the rose beside her plate It’s the best I can do baby I know she replies its hard these days.

Can damn sure relate .... hell I empty my change jar at least once a month just to get by till months end... and we eat lots of spaghetti round here... sweet touch placing the rose beside her plate... thanks for the imagery Jeff... peace... db Comment by d n beth


Acid Rain High desert showers cleanse the browned earth Quenching the animal and human thirst Insects danced in those warmed showers I used to know Before they were washed away to their arroyo death Gray days in Georgia cover my failures Washing away my glimmers of light I spoke to him of oceans Oceans within his eyes As “whore” slipped from his lips He failed to see The puddles molding clay and deadened compost Linger and sit upon my heart this morning A song my sign that what is felt Is not always reciprocated Like the child’s heart I still wear I know that the love is not going to come from anywhere This moment

These worms drown on the cement As my throat drowns in selfishness And sickening pity From the split bleeding pain Of my breast In disconnected thoughts The desires of echoes Mud amplifies sticky doubt Acid rain burns the layers Of me away Those that felt you Those that cared Skinless we fall Like sundried worms Half baked Dried in the sun Exposed and forgotten

www.myspace.com/479504957

Acid Rain by Nic St. James

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It comes and goes... lives and dies, and often is born again... The use of personification here is fantastic! Great feature, 10K and wonderful writing, Nic! I don't believe that you will ever be forgotten! Comment by Twaddle


I am exactly where I belong well oriented within the vast, intangible grid intersecting (in)sanity and perfect balance summoning matrix Alus (Evocation) I lie just ~between~ the verticals or perhaps the horizontals steadfast and firm dissecting this chaotic world exposing Humanity’s pulse (Revelation) Freedom is my mantra running amuk and wild against my enemy’s perilous attack I will not allow defeat (Revolution)

Introspection by Renae Fréson www.myspace.com/muserenae

I move fluidly in any direction, at any given time my phenomenal power (Adaptation) Solitude is my proof and within the corners of untouched silence I find unspoiled bliss (Meditation) 11

I smile.

This was brilliant. It's one of those wonderful poems that you can chew on for ages. Dissecting it over and over again and knowing that each time you find a new meaning to it, finding something new, something different, something personal only to yourself each and every time. Thank you Renae, this was a pleasure to read... Comment by Rob Shepherd


Let me paint a picture for you. I'm standing up straight, not like I usually do because I'm tall and all that but – holding my childhood in my right hand and my future in my left. The past always carries a little more weight to it but it's ok, my right arm is stronger, it can keep the balance. My feet shuffle to a cliff's edge. There are a million different things I could call it but let's just say it's the line where all emotions divide and reassemble under a longing for something more The wind is blowing, strong like it wants to punch me, like it's trying to say "You're seventeen boy, go home" I'm a calm kinda guy but those words just frustrate me, make my toes curl. What about all these questions that I can't answer like…like where will this path lead me? why am I…what am I doing?

please enlighten this confusion! Besides… I can't go home I gave away everything I own, except my cello, because honestly it sings transcriptions of my soul. They took what I offered gladly, even those old broken toy cars that I used to love so much, even my swollen books with pages ripped out. War and Peace, On the Road and all of my Blake poems. So no. I can't go home. Not now. Sometimes I wish I would have listened To my mother when she said the answer is there is no answer but I'm seventeen. Reckless maybe. The wind should take its best swing at my cheek because a black eye would speak louder than any poem I have ever written. It would just be there, not a particle doubting its role. Just living and full of blood, trying to heal itself.

The Answer is there is no Answer by Cameron Lange www.myspace.com/cameronlange

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I see the future of poetry. And it looks good. Brilliant write, Cameron. I'll be looking into more of your works soon... Comment by NewAmba

there iS no Answer

The Answer is


Mind Bump

www.myspace.com/2headedbaby Cover art by Vic Swan Watching needy baby birds across the alley from my studio..squawk in desperation..simultaneously listening to a needy unfulfilled, person on a shrink talk show..it sounded like "feed me..feed me.." and I sensed that it would never be enough.. v!C

mind bump by Vic Swan The poem is raw and reads wonderfully. It's a breath, a reflection. Beautifully done. Comment by Cameron Lange 13

i should be dead by now i shouldn't care at this point i should instead be forgetting where i live and counting pennies for the third time and looking for my book on zen masters taking my meds if i didn't already propping feet up reminding myself to get gas before going to the next dr's appointment and where i put my toenail clippers instead i'm going through the alphabet again trying to remember the name of the girl with the single two inch hair growing out of her strawberry shaped nipple.


Over time you eventually got old And your skin wrinkledReverse alchemy. You were a lump of coal. So they took you to the attic And you rotted up there. You were quiet And didn't scream for help When you needed to scream for helpSo you died a statue.

Antique Roadshow by Tyler Collins www.myspace.com/tyler_amazing

Tyler - this is an exceptional poem with great structure & in my mind, perfect in what poetry is - a tantalizing beginning a great ending Comment by 10kPoets 14

I was sitting on my couch Eating a microwavable frozen dinner. I think there were carrots in the meal, But I wouldn't have eaten them. I hate frozen dinner carrots, They taste like flavored shit. Anyway... I channel surfed through the tired programs And my thumb got tired And I left it on Antiques Roadshow. An old woman brought you inSaid she found the statue in her attic And the man examined you But not as closely as the boys Used to examine you. He said you weren't worth much, That back in the day companies Produced a lot of you. You were worth more then Than you're worth now.

Antique Roadshow

You were pretty like gold So I sold you To a family that wanted a statue. That's what you were best atStanding around, doing nothing. Something pretty to look at. They watered you like a plant. They talked to you like a plant, Plants don't talk back.


The

Garden Flora, fauna, perennial woe in the garden: the bedroom- the nurserycrow call cradle- Lazarus tomb- black soil hole the clock vine spins, canterbury bells toll opening, wilting fertile soils sow Calla Lily ghostly glow white in the night you open your petals so slow... offering promises of fragrant nectar but your insides were eaten by insects long ago Delicate moth, searching for the moon always getting caught, battered and bruised in street lights powdered wings, torn and translucent no longer fly

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Lady spider spins a gorgeous home glistening dew drops gather on delicate drapery she'll trap you there until she gets hungry... sticky venom soul-sucker listen to the cicada's clatter, buzz songs or laughter? an omen maybe? small bone fragments- cremation remains rattling in a tin can It's just her shell you now see but the sound still remains...

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baby's breath, bachelor's button, bleeding hearts, snapdragons, stinging nettles...

nurturing soil, life-giver, ever-birthing mother watch your children and the insects dance together eating, searching, pollinating blooming, wilting, death...

...the women dress in uniforms: pretty floral threads... hiding from the peeking moon as it humbly begs...

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WOW! Excellent word choice; I felt as if I was trapped in the spider web. Comment by ...benT-gRim...

The Garden: by Sarah Nella Vanilla www.myspace.com/sarahnel


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Thawing the Ice Queen’s Heart

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Thawing the Ice Queen's Heart by C. Lucas Smith www.myspace.com/waiguoren

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If all hearts would thaw, that they first know that they are frozen! Wishing those that know too well "the cruel" a better day. Nice poem. Thought provoking/heart rending Comment by Alt

seven nights they lay together brother and sister, as siblings might her frozen heart between their chests biting and burning, as lovers might on the third night its ventricles thawed making their bodies sticky with blood they touched it with their hungry fingers and pressed it gently against their cheeks oh, how they smiled oh, how they smiled then! seven nights they lay together brother and sister, as siblings might her frozen heart between their chests biting and burning, as lovers might on the fourth night it began to tremble its atriums quivering like gelatin they placed it upon a satin pillow and gazed at it in innocent wonder oh, how they laughed oh, how they laughed then! seven nights they lay together brother and sister, as siblings might her frozen heart between their chests biting and burning, as lovers might on the seventh night it began to thump its arteries hissing and gushing they lifted it to their lusty lips and filled their bellies with her love oh, how they wept oh, how they wept then!

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She’s Free

She's Free by K~D09 www.myspace.com/feb121

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She lays there sobbing pain visable in her eyes scars of fear, bleeding tears ~ Broken Ripped Deep cut Open wounds ~ love's pain inflicted the power of the beast restricted ~ she whispers life is beauitful now I'm free

Great imagery. It took me through the pain... great write Comment by - Brandy aka GoldieSpeaks


Echoes of Sylvia

It was when I heard you read ''Daddy'' on the radio It was amazing, Amazing. And I pulled my Sylvia books off the shelf, Just two slim volumes, Ariel and Winter Trees, And I know how difficult her life had been. But that reading was a revelation, A revelation. Her work is raw yet so complete. The tulips were always going to be too excitable anyway And the voices for Three Women breaks me Breaks me. I have to avoid it Though I want to read it, Therein is the very essence of female suffering. And I heard only two weeks ago that her one remaining son Had committed suicide, Just a small paragraph in a newspaper Giving them reason to rehash the details Of her extraordinary death And life. And she was a vessel waving goodbye Goodbye. How could she . . . . . A writer like that makes you want to throw away your pen Because she wrote as an art form, Not just scribbled emotions on a piece of paper, Though she would probably say it was scribbled. . . . . And the tulips were too excitable, Their floral faces had judging eyes Making it difficult for her to sleep at night And their redness spoke to her wound. They were symbols of freedom Freedom, When she was trying to submit to the hospital life. Sylvia will go on and on Like an echo An echo. My heroines have always been Emily Bronte and Violette Leduc But Sylvia will echo Echo in my heart.

Echoes Of Sylvia [Dedicated to Newamba] 18

by Francoise www.myspace.com/feb121

I was quite honored when Francoise wrote this. The best thing any artist of any sort can do is to inspire somebody else to create. And I'm glad that my reading of "Daddy" inspired this amazing piece from Francoise; it's one of her best, and one which vocalizes the way I feel about Sylvia, too. Thanks for featuring it, Glen. Defintely is one of my favorites... Comment by Newamba


Glance The curled edges

of an awkward glance you move like an animal all tail and pounce. An invitation something else no bargain www.myspace.com/glenny_the_poet

Glance by Glen Lantz

for the survivors almost hear the cascade. Really stunning it had to be said even in these times of differential equations

Love the poem, love the artwork... cool tones, subtle on one level and explosive on another. An obvious talent with an interesting curve ball thrown in.... the man on the blue cross isn't distinctly shamanistic but the overall vibe really is. Comment by Cyndi Dawson 19

a spark does ignite. Like a trained bear, you snap at your handlers when they are slow to discover the needs that drive you.


Blue Man On the Cross Glen Lantz

The piece is titled “Blue Man on the Cross.� This artwork is made with acrylic paint on a canvas sheet. This piece combines dark broad brush strokes with small little dabs of the paint brush. The two techniques create an interesting combination that presents the viewer with the sense of movement. Also, I wanted to combine the dark and the light within this piece to display the duality of human nature. We as humans are both darkness and light. We interchange between one and the other. Also, the image of the dark savior is used in order to speak to the absurdity of life and the influence of the irrational. Many times we take life way too seriously. Thus, it is helpful to stand back from our daily lives every once in a while and embrace the absurd and irrational.

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Getting Naked at Work and Reciting Shakespeare Getting Naked at Work and Reciting Shakespeare by Newamba www.myspace.com/newamba

Sitting in desolate isolation entrapped by a cubicle My boredom melancholy counted by ticking clocks Water coolers burping passing time like hour glasses Co-workers gossiping about the celebrity couple that punched a nun in the face And adopted a one legged orphan from Sri Lanka with rabies named Pujuma I can no longer bear the monotony So I jump onto a table in the middle of the room And begin to scream out a Shakespearean sonnet Tearing off my work clothes with each stanza Instead of an English accent, I recite it with the voice of Tony Danza Now totally nude and completed all verse, I tie my necktie around my head And strap on running shoes with no socks No socks, not now, not today I yell out‌ "I am Ezra Pound, and this is my lost Canto!" Jumping down from the table, colleagues point and yell Some laugh, some gasp A lady faints, a man spits out coffee and drops things My frightened turtle shrivels in the cool air-con But I care not For today I am free I run into my bosses office Turning around and bending over, I sing "Don't worry, Be Happy" in B Flat and slap on my buttcheeks for rhythm Not even exiting his conference call, I don't think he notices the intrusion I wave "ta-ta" and run down the hall to the elevator A woman had been standing there but took off running when she saw me Once in the elevator, I hum to musak that sounds like "Kokomo" "Aruba, Bahama" "Key Largo, Montego" I love that song and it sounds much better when you're naked and in an elevator Getting out, I dodge a security guard trying to capture me "To be or not to be!" I yell and run out into the street As I run down the street, I sing Christmas Carols and put quarters into vacant parking meters (I keep a roll of quarters inserted in my rectum at all times just in case a situation like this develops) Stopping and saluting a leashed dog, I revoltingly recant Walt Whitman and have sex with a street sign

This is truly amazing. As you may know French people believe in being naked at least part of the time every day.... This was a great adventure, real liberation, awe inspiring. I was sad to think that you died at the end but I have a feeling you will be back. A great movie/poem. Comment by Feb (Francoise)

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Now smoking a cigarette I picked up off the street, I begin running and singing again, even more out of key People scream and point and cover their children's eyes It's amazing the reactions that a naked man running down the street smoking, bellowing out "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" elicits I point to the sky and proclaim wildly: "Today, and only today, I am the antique's teeth from 'The Waste Land' without the cockney accent, and they are me!" I run into a tumultuous shopping mall Crawling with suburban zombies and credit crunchiness Climbing up the escalator, I begin to give the Gettysburg Address Suddenly I'm shot in the back of the head by a deranged Burger King employee on a homicidal rampage I die instantly I'm still naked


TraNSCeNdence I s a w h im O ut of t he cor ner of m y m in d s eye.. D a r knes s of t h e r oom belied t he whis p er of h is s h a d ow H over ing on t he cor n er of t h e cou ch A pa nt h er in b la ck wa it in g wa t ch in g I t ur ned m y h ea d my legs cu r led u p knee t o ch es t I d know t hos e eyes a n ywh er e Winter chill covered th e room s ound of cr ow nes t led on p ower lin e cr ied it s s ound of u n d er wor ld wa r n in g I couldn ' t b r ea t h e I t couldn ' t b e you .. I nvis ible b la ck win gs enveloped m y es s en ce a nd I f r oze when ou r eyes lock ed . C ould it b e...cou ld it ... but pur ga t or y wa s ca llin g a nd I wa s f a llin g f a s t a n d a wa y a mid cr ow f ea t h er r u s t le a nd a dea d s p a r r ow s m ile I t r a ns cended t o t h e n ex t level your eyes plea d ed a s I f a lt er ed but I could n ot stay... M y ha nd ou t s t r et ch ed

Transcendence By WORDMACHINIST* & Angelheart 122

www.myspace.com/wordmachinist

www.myspace.com/angelheartwxyz

I r ea ch ed t o t ou ch , f or ever is a lon g t im e com in g wh o ca n m ea s u r e m om en t s in f r a ct ion s it t r a n s cen d s b eyon d t h e lon gin g d on t lea ve m e n ow you h a ve s t a yed in t h e s h a d ows wa t ch in g I f elt you r eyes cloa k ed in d a r k n es s I wok e ea ch n igh t a t m id n igh t you h a d b een wa t ch in g m e s leep s it t in g a t t h e f oot of m y b ed clos e en ou gh t o t ou ch wh en m y eyes op en ed I s m elled t h e s cen t of you r cologn e d a n glin g in t h e b r eeze clin gin g t o t h e cu r t a in b lowin g in a win d ow I d id n ' t op en . T h e ech o of lon gin g in you r velvet voice gr a ces m y m is t y p r es en ce b u t ...I a m gon e. A n d a s I s t a n d n a k ed a m id s t on e colu m n s f logged f or p a s t t r a n s gr es s ion s ...I s m ile lik e a d em on k n owin g t h a t t h e p a in

i s r e al ...h e l l , I c an fe e l ! Th e p u r gator y s ai nts gaz e at my b l i s te r e d fl e s h or gas mi c , th e y s i gh s l e i gh t of h an d i s my fr i e nd an d th e y b ou gh t i t l i k e Patty He ar s t My th i r s t r e mai n s u ns l ake d ye t I h ave w on th e r i ght to d r i ft as a s p i r i t or move u p w ar d an d onw ar d. I c h oos e w an d e r l us t... b e c au s e I h ave c h os e n you. I f you tak e my h and now I w ou l d l e ave th i s w or l d Dr i ft aw ay i n th e dr e am u n d e r a l ove r s moon My l i p s c l ai m your s to s te al you r p ai n, I w ou l d k n ow th os e l i ps I w ou l d k n ow th at tas te ri p e w ate r me l l on an d s tr aw be r r y w i ne i n th e h e at of a s u mme r afte r noon You h ave n ever left my hear t Th e mu s i c of th e h e ave ns r ai n s d ow n w i th s h ooti ng s tar fi l l i n g th e n i gh t w i th th e p r omi s e p as s i on n e ve r di e s Tak e me w ith you.

I feel as if I've been gently flown through the night air then laid to rest in a large, plush bed. This has a wonderful haunting tone that is combined with gracefulness. Very nice... Comment by Til


ON THE ABANDONED VIADUCT NEARBY she chooses the abandoned viaduct passing while mime country eyes sink into the shutdown red shattered sunset above the work-in-progress never finished construction bird alike & fully aware of the cut she chooses to go & I follow though that's not exactly routine & we're not exactly on stage this time there are many here spirits that choose not to stay

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when sights like these are eternal enough & so very alluring to the altering arlequin's mannequin eyesight & the viaduct opens: the vigilante starless womb inviting... cool & quiet... just a few drops of sleep & we're in & the passing world's musical none of our business

ON THE ABANDONED VIADUCT NEARBY by A.J. Kaufmann www.myspace.com/kaufmannpoetry

Love the fragmented lines here, of course his work is always very lyrical, Aj is a talent that we are blessed to know, I think his work will carry on for ages and ages, this piece painted me in just in all the right places while still allowing my own imagination to carry me at its will. Great work here. Comment by being.john.sweet


Deep Ellum feels the blues The sun just begins to set, falling under the tops of the character buildings, emphasizing an abandoned feeling. Dilapidation butted up against gentrification. It has become like a modernist’s dream, all fragments of what had been. The dried brown droppings of graffitied trees mingle with the spring weeds peeking out of the sidewalk’s cracks. The street performers, the counter cultural, and the musicians have all chosen to run from the juxtapositioning of gang banger bars and wealthy new housing developments. The homeless man with a stocking cap of red and dirt asks me, “Do you know where to score?” “Nope” I mutter, walking quickly away afraid to know the reality of what goes on around each corner. Here the derby queen was taken down by police for yelling about her right to walk on wheels. She was taken into custody then with a bloody face and knees.

www.myspace.com/poetecho

Deep Ellum Feels the Blues by Mary McLaughlin Loved it--reminds me of my city Comment by Damion

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There’s a familiar crowd standing in a haze of tobacco fog, all with intricately painted sleeves of flesh. “Come on in” he tells me “We’ll finish inking in that new tat.” “I can’t”, I reply, "Today I am a flaneur.” Just behind the next building from the incense scented tattoo studio is a forgotten corner of cardboard boxes and empty bottles. It smells of urine and decaying food. Yet there are signs that someone calls this place home. (A blanket, a backpack, a pair of shoes.) That familiar sensation of fear flows through my body like being submerged in an icy tub. The faces of so many artists, like Willie, Kurt and Eddie, stare out of the window where the now nameless famous bar used to be. “Panoptikon Thursdays here at Club One” the flier reads, One more event and venue shut down. “Trouble at the Polls” the scrap of newspaper screams. More trouble in the streets, I think.


Rainbows dripped from my lips & I spoke in Technicolor slips Ticker tape eyes prattle on & on & my sandstone hands spill onto the floor The tape nears the end of the spool Clatters and sputters out The strips of paper lay in ribbons round my feet & I suddenly got amnesia Starting to strip off all my clothes Spitting in my hand spreading the colors Some kind of new hallucination Reflects in the mirror Yellow red blues to greens Dance on the glass My heavy hands scratch the glass & the heat of my breath Breeds diamonds like man-made sand castles Like an oasis to my station That spins on the axis of the earth Steady & relentless gravity keeps me down Empty of tape my words echo In the silence of my mind Resonating in this head trip What is the beginning or the end Forgetful my friend Cause I am the hues of the earth The shape of the sky The top of the mountain Melting the snow caps Covering the world in sand With my sweeping hands An alchemist on a sentimental high Stealing all the art Assuming the treatment of the mad Abstractly insane with no remorse Independently morose Caving into the sullen rage Of this metamorphosis But if I stand real still and quiet

Rainbow Lips by John Sweet 25

www.myspace.com/johncsweet

Rainbow Lips Letting the cocoon harden Waiting through the season Teetering on the edge of this amorphic plane Dancing on the verge of the matrix Bellowing without sound Spilling my noxious gases into space Hanging my rainbow in the galaxy of disguise Under the radar of satellites That whisper a million deaths waiting for me To explode with my thirty wings Flapping straight into the arms of salvation Bending outside my body the soul Released itself from the confines Of my one man side show Searching for my family I can feel them breathing Kneeling down praying for me & my safe return Spilling my ticker tape ideas Into their brains confusing them with metaphors & trickery I dance a jittery nervous tic Belting out letters on the tape A smorgasbord of words Leaving them to wonder if I mean anything at all If I meant anything to them at all Then again I spread my thirty wings screaming The devil is in front of me Demanding my sacrifice & a sad goodbye And I sail a million miles away From sane Leaving my reflection standing alone In the mirror Fingering the diamonds Wondering about the next trip to the shrink & then everything will be ok Until I decide to fly again

I really enjoyed that piece, it read like I was watching someone desperately trying to talk themselves down. Excellent poet, person and choice. Comment by Mrs. Word Machinist


Crafting A

Muse

one night I crafted a muse

on a thousand crumpled

out of brightly colored scraps

cocktail napkins

of cardboard construction

and the back side

paper

of an unpaid tab

gave her a patchwork skirt and yellow flowers

one time I even fashioned

in her long black hair

a muse

but later

from flesh and blood

when the candle burned low

and a warm

she was gone in an instant

sincere

slipstream bound

smile

in a storm of smoke

bought her drinks

and ashes

at the aqua spirit lounge

burning a sheaf of

brought her flowers

empty dreams

for her own locks

and three or four

of light

battle scarred memories

and trusted her completely

to boot

to tear it all apart

later I crafted another

leaving a bitter empty longing

complete with three

and a desperate kind

cubes of ice

of quiet

and a splash of

which is probably more in line

purified water

with what I should have

but with it I fared no better

crafted

as the drink blurred the words

in the first damn place

and the ink never dried

crafting a muse by Yossarian Hunter 26

www.myspace.com/yossarian_hunter

Wonderfully done Yoss. Crafted beautifully none the less Comment by ~g~ ‫ ﭧ‬дžŕāęł ‫ﭧ‬


I am reliving Last night 3 bottles of What ever we brought home I still don’t remember leaving I must have picked you up at the bar down the street I bet you where the most beautiful girl in the place I hope I was charming I am pretty sure I was Why else would have you come home with me I hope I was lovely As I ranted Blacked out with speech I woke up naked couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t went to bed as I always do With my clothes on from the day before I Walked into the bathroom and there you were In the shower You spoke over the water falling Told me that you Loved how I mumbled That I spoke so clearly In tune to How beautiful Zelda was And shook while I ranted for an hour While talking about how Kerouac Reinvented The American novel I finished pissing Brushed my teeth Paused to collect your wallet to Remember your name You caught me Told me that it would be perfectly O.K If we remained strangers Even though it would be lovely to have a one night stand again.. I wish I could remember how we got here

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Thanks for not stealing my computer I hope I can remember what a lovely time we had soon...

One Night Stand TAND S T H NIG g ight n i v oodn ONE g a y a s f t & l eace.com/beforwe e l y p b .mys www . Truth. h c u !! S WOW . . . . e piec azing m a an rse This is Re-Ve y b t en Comm


ms. taken ms. taken by Christian Alvarez www.myspace.com/christianalvarez

There is so much to absorb in this. Very thought provoking, and the flow is simply perfect Comment by eMMa 28

i need help as a chord rings out everything i care about is in a constant state of goodbye even this is yesterday everywhere is anywhere everywhere i see dead people and close my eyes everynight i know the west won the sun i know my kick will shout the paid devil out soft like a thought clear like your culture dropped and broken slipped and watched fade away the sound in my ears is equal oppertunity but unspoken picked up taped together a new if not to win but to make same mistakes again and lose and then............. thats when i wonder just what the fuck it really takes to pace passion? how to live and die in fashion? naked and screaming asleep awake and dreaming lost and found the bass is in my chest and this situation rides and slides changes and rearranges itself up and down from side to and back and i cant even keep up i had to walk away and now all i want is to come back attack and validate mate with fate life is exactly what i just made of you miss taken id


www.myspace.com/thebadnun

Mostly Not

mostly not by Sate

The fluid musing, the emphasis changing in the refrain... very nice write, Sate Comment by Connie Stadler

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all day long everyday without much rest I think about mostly impossible stuff I guess the world peace or save the world fluff mostly not the lofty kind though, if asked I would say yes through thickly reddened lips sounding insincere like a breathy, breasty, beauty in a pagent and mostly not of the lust for stuff I'm all shopped out of joy and that kind of rush that's for sale ammasing worth accumulating a greed for girth and mostly not for the love of

the many with their desultry dim-ness and sycophantic dotings to love some and not hurt the rest is all that is plausably mustered no the nub of my musings is about the matter of matters and how they all and myself could ever be transposed not scientifically and authentically agreed aloud but of things silly minuet willful cosmic fanciful crazy evil seemingly drastic and not dilute but, realistic? mostly not


The 100th Time Do you want to run away with me play your guitar on the street corner hat lying on the ground I have an old 1920's derby in a box in the closet we can toss it on the back seat and just drive away You can play for the people I can dance to your song pass the hat around When we get enough change we'll buy breakfast sit on the beach and eat watching lovers walk by children flying kites I will give you the rest of my bagel write a poem on the bag you'll laugh kiss me good morning for the 100th time today Do you want to run away with me to a tropical island you can buy a camera I will buy you a parrot you can take photos with tourists while I sell sea-glass bracelets off a blanket on the ground When we have made enough we can buy lemon aid in pineapples lay on the beach in the sun watching old people hold hands children building castles

I'll rest my head on your lap while you play the guitar this time for yourself the songs in your heart I would whisper Mister, I love you for the 100th time today Do you want to run away with me keep driving till we are lost drive till we're everything found then toss me in the back seat and make love to me there for the 100th time today as you make love to me for the 100th time today Do want to run away with me play your guitar on street corners hat lying on the ground I have an old 1920's derby in a box in the closet we can toss it on the back seat and drive away (we can drive away) won't you just drive away with me and that old derby in the back seat Drive away (drive away) like in my dreams we have done for the 100th time today

the 100th Time by C. Nyla Alisia (Ward) 30

The 100th Time

http://www.myspace.com/spiritwild

You are so talented and such a flexible writer. Always I love your words and how well they are written. Amazing - as always Nyla/Cynthia. Comment by Audrey Michelle


10KPoets Caught Me Lurking and told me to put my pants back on and come out with my hands up

Article by Pantifesto's Porntastic 10K Poets recently put me on the spot with the task of writing a National Poetry Month article. I'd barely been talked into calling in and stuttering over my own words and suddenly we're talking about me hosting a new concept poetry show. Wow. I'm still warming up to the sound of my own voice and the idea that I'm any kind of 'poet.' April of this year, it just so happened that instead of working, I spent a lot of time in bed with National Poetry Month and poetry radio shows. Coincidentally, April ʼ09 was the first entire month Iʼd had off of work in at least seven years. Until Iʼd started becoming familiar with various 10K Poets & associated folks on myspace, it never would of occurred to me to listen to a live poetry radio show. April and May have come and gone and there is too much to say. Iʼd say by National Poetry Month 2010, I will have processed 2009ʼs close encounter of the third kind and the meetings of the minds with entities such as Newamba. Here itʼs perfectly acceptable to believe in conspiracy theories and enjoy the sex when you are abducted by aliens. In lieu of pretending like I'm an expert on poetry, I'll just explain what a positive experience it has been to be a part of this community. When I first started listening, I wish I'd kept better track of which poet said what and when. Thatʼs something Iʼd like to do more of in the future. As I began collecting quotations from various poets, I realized that whatever type of writer I categorize myself as on any given day, I feel Iʼm in good company among the 10k Poets. Hereʼs some examples of some things that got my attention: Dred Sista Ren: "Poetry is an act of violence..it's supposed to move people with words. It's an avenue to everything you feel in your gut and in your spirit......if it wasn't for bullshit, we'd be talking about daisies" This statement helped to alleviate any doubts I had of myself as a poet or writer. After hearing that, I said to myself "well shoot Iʼve got a bunch of bullshit and a bunch of daisies and I can foolosophize

31

til the sun comes up. Count me in!" Glen Still: "I know when I've written a 'good poem' ....when it pisses me off” Issac Seal of BadWriter aka ʻAnalept,ʼ the first person with the 10K Poets banner to befriend me on myspace once wrote a poem titled “I fuck poetry” Newamba likes to use poetry to punch males and females in the testicles. Nic St james: (excerpt from 'Soft Slow Love') "Writing to be safe is not honest and writing safely is not fair” I admire the hell out of NIc for balancing out the poetry show sausage fest. Jeff Sibley “No names changed to protect the innocent. If youʼre hanging out with me, if youʼre in one of my poems...youʼre not innocent.“ Speaking of, I think Mr. Sibleyʼs piece, ʻWhat if god had a myspace pageʼ is one of my many favorites. In this poem he tells god: and donʼt give me that fucking footsteps in the sand speech sure itʼs poetic and quaint but not true just a good answer to a question you were not ready for. It reminds me of your book written by a bunch of your stoner friends chewing mushrooms blooming bending their minds to believe you are what you say you are


I could carry on and on quoting poets, but I won't! For me, showing my creative self makes me feel more vulnerable than taking my clothes off in front of someone. Henry Miller once said, “reveal your true self and they will mutilate you.” I wonder, if it is also true if you never reveal your true self, you will only mutilate yourself from within. I know for certain I donʼt speak only for myself when I say that poetry, chose me like a disease, but not without fringe benefits like a handicapped placard that I can put in the window and park for free. It bleeds from my head and aches in my bones, I sneeze and it drips from my nose. If I didnʼt get it out Iʼd choke on it and die. Poets must respond to folks who say, “but I thought poetry was supposed to be pretty....” I speak for myself and perhaps for some of the great souls that brought me to 10K Poets - Iʼm blessed to be twisted; without this sour refreshing hint of citrus thereʼd be nothing but a bland glass of water here, an unbuttered piece of toast. I enjoy being madd with this sickness and this fever. These fantastic hallucinations are better than Paramount Pictures. Better a so called poet than a mass murderer...I know the handwritingʼs a mess but like I said before; at least the splatter is contained neatly on this paper. (if you didnʼt want to be involved in any splatter, I wasnʼt talking to you and Iʼll see you later over at Salon.com or the New Yorker) Prior to this task, my private intention was to make a careful study of the 10K Poets organism as a whole. Much of my writing prior to identifying myself as a poet was focused on the reflections of certain necessary interactions with various organizations and institutions. Sometimes I handpicked the organizations and corporations, and other times circumstance picked them for me. Iʼm always up

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for a an depth frolic within the big picture. 10K Poets caught me lurking and told me to put my pants back on and come out with my hands up and to hand over the results of my study. Glen Still once said to me, "your poetry is okay, but why donʼt you write an article for us?" About what? I asked . His answer: “Whatever you want.”

poetry can throw down with the stealth of a ninja In my case, sometimes the big picture gets way out of hand and where it becomes tricky to write about any particular subject manner, poetry can throw down with the stealth of a ninja. With poetry it is possible to swallow so much more information in a single bite than by reading this seven page article or something as tedious as an entire book. I'd previously had little experience exchanging ideas and processes with any type of writers. Before the internet, my writing first evolved via crops of spiral notebooks multiplying in my closet. That is to say; it did not evolve much. It was like an inbred children whose pictures I didn't keep on my desk. I didnʼt want to bring them to the company picnic. 10K Poets came in as a social services type role and is helping me to socialize them. By doing this they are preventing me from burying them under the porch. I was baffled when people first started asking me to read my writing. Out loud! Why would anybody want me to do that? My family has always acted as if my writing were an infectious disease such as leprosy or a deviant behavior like bestiality. In being a writer, I've always feared being perceived as the unibomber or Louise Fitzhugh's 'Harriet the Spy'. Perhaps this is the reason why until recently; as much as I enjoy reading and writing, Iʼve paid very little


attention to the people behind what I read, devoured volumes of books without paying any attention to who the author was or what motivates he or she to write. My inclination to write has not helped me to win any popularity contests. Now that Iʼve had an opportunity to reflect on my prior lack of interest in learning more about people whose minds function similarly to mine, I guess it comes down to socially conditioned self loathing. At first I wondered; why the hell would I want to listen to a bunch of babbling writers? People like that, if I know them like I know myself, one minute may be at a party acting perfectly normal and the next minute may disappear into a room to be alone with a qwerty or a black and white composition notebook, possibly not emerging for 72 hours. I donʼt know if that is more of a relief - that Iʼm not alone in my affliction, or that disappointing - that Iʼm not that original. I was astounded to learn I was certainly not the first person to alter my consciousness and play with a pencil and paper. In my creative writing class, English 201 or some shit, after our first assignment our instructor at the community college was not impressed that over half of the class made sure to include gratuitous and largely pointless sex, violence, or drugs in their stories. I was one of those students and went on to do many more dumb things just to write about them, before I would complete my bachelors degree thirteen years later. I had no idea that perhaps millions of people before me had sought their own alternative quests for the American dream. If youʼre anything like me, you didnʼt come into the world knowing that somebody else already wrote your equivalent to 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas'. You feel a little embarrassed about it at first but live and learn from these experiences and continue to write foolishly in a way that your family finds terribly embarrassing. When as children weʼre introduced to characters by Dr. Seuss and Lewis Carroll, the 'just say no' world can be confusing. Drugs apparently make some people stupid and other people smart. I guess thatʼs where the Terence McKenna factor comes in. My theory is that if youʼre gonna take a trip, itʼs a good idea to familiarize yourself with the destination and to remember that James Frey already wrote 'A Million Little Pieces'.

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Some people are just born with Hunter S. Thompson disorder. Some people just want to drink and write about their terrible jobs like Charles Bukowski. Some people want to do chemical experiments on themselves like Timothy Leary. Some people just want to explore whatever religion they can invent after drinking a six pack of Papst Blue Ribbon. Other writers like Lily Burana and Diablo Cody look for literary golden nuggets at the bottom of a brass pole. Henry Miller wanted to say 'fuck you America' and run away to Paris to write about drunks and whores.

We want to put a real live poet in every McDonalds Happy Meal. I apologize if you came here for the poetry and here I am carrying on. Well, get ready because coming soon is 10K Prose. After that maybe weʼll do 10K Poetry and Polo Society, 10K Poets Professional Wrestling League, 10K Poetry and Topless Caberet, 10K Poetry and BBQ Ribs, 10K Poetry, Chino Bandido Drive Thru and Pottery Barn, 10K Poetry and Garden Supply. Weʼll definitely be working on the the prose site at least, but as you can see - the possibilities are endless. We want to put a real live poet in every McDonalds Happy Meal. Let us hang up our own '10 billion Served' sign. Unless weʼre born into the right circumstance, itʼs seems to be a difficult world to be a writer or any type of creative person afflicted with some sort of thought process. Dominant culture tries to placate us with dumb-dumb entertainment and education and convenience store snacks. The scientific community tells writers weʼre predisposed to chemical dependency, poets are even more prone to suicide than say dentists. People look up their noses at us for our unusual behavior, and predisposition to being in the wrong place for the 'write' reasons. We stay up all night sometimes and stalk poems and stories in the dark and when we go to sleep, we dream upside down, sideways, backwards, forwards and of course, in color. I think that maybe weʼre crazy because until the internet, the existing channels have prevented us from knowing one another or even ourselves. Iʼve found that the 10K Poetʼs programming can work like medicine or at least like a mood altering drug. It is an excellent gateway drug, to the right


poets, writers, books, music, and artists. Certainly everyone has different tastes, but if there isnʼt something at 10K Poets for everyone, the beauty of it is that we can conceptulize it make it happen. Or else, those people can continue to enjoy Lady Gaga and Fox News, Pat OʼReilly, or the 700 Club or whatever else it is that they do. The neat thing about poetry is that it can get you drunk and it if you need to, it can get you sober. You can use it as a love potion, an aphrodisiac, or a scalpel to dissect a brain, a heart, an institution, or an organization. You can use it to play God, to find God or to be God. Some people masturbate with it. Itʼs more complex and practical than most Americans understand. If you really hate it, you can always use it as toilet paper. If you want, poetry can be like an egg, scrambled, boiled, poached. Or it can be can be smoked out of a hookah or baked into brownies. Though I started listening to the "Daily Happy Hour", "Poets Dream in Color", and "Nicʼs Poet Bar" with my eyes closed and semi-sedated due to medical reasons, after I was back on my feet, I found a new favorite activity of mine has become walking or riding my bike with The 10K Poets Radio podcasts attached to my head. For me, the juxtaposition of nature, urban images, and the people in the street takes it to another level. Iʼve laid down in the grass and spaced out to poetry shows and watched the clouds change colors and float over treetops. I have no idea how people can sit there in front of a LCD monitor, listen to the show and participate in the chat all at the same time. Thereʼs no right or wrong way to listen, but speaking as someone who was a part of the Ritalin generation, Iʼm just telling you what works best for me. I think it would be great if I could take in a show over a loudspeaker in the park while drinking a 40. If enough of us come together and exchange ideas, maybe someday there'll be something to do in our public spaces besides watch the hobo olympics. Iʼd like to one day follow certain poets as if I were Leeza Gibbons from Entertainment Tonight. For now, Iʼm still watching people like Glen Still, Nic St. James, Dan Kellett, Yossarian Hunter and absorbing what it is that they do and what direction I would take it if I were in their shoes. All of these people have created such an amazing platform for discourse. Iʼve been procrastinating and hesitating for a couple of months to try and come up with an adequate interpretation of 10K Poets. Iʼd like to mix it up with Kool-Aid and tell everyone to drink it. Well,

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maybe not some people, but thatʼs their problem. If you can trick someone into to reading a poem, itʼs easy to slip that special something into their coffee. And that may just be the antidote for Nike commercials. Next, put some dope poetry to the right music and itʼs over. For now, I still have a lot to learn about whatʼs going on at the 10K Poets music sites. Glen Still, founder of 10K Poets says “We're going to put out the best material that we can; hopefully people will like it and it will spread through the networks that we have.” So bring your words, your music, your beatboxing skills, and your ideas and let us produce them together.

If you see a niche that needs to be created, conjure up your own concept and come to 10K Poets If there is anyone out there who is not yet tuning in or participating in the 10K Poets programming, I implore you to start doing so immediately. I wonʼt promise you that youʼll like everything that you hear but if youʼve found yourself at the 10K Poets Zine in the first place, I imagine some of it will work nicely. The neat thing about a live poetry show these days is that if you donʼt have the attention span to sit down with it at the moment, it doesnʼt have to be live. You can fit a ton of it in an IPOD shuffle and walk the dog with it. If you think something sucks, donʼt be afraid to fast forward to something more your style. If you see a niche that needs to be created, conjure up your own concept and come to 10K Poets and they will help you start your own show. For now, Iʼm still learning from the masters, taking notes, seeing a speech therapist and sitting back watching and occasionally stuttering out the occasional live poem. Thank you everybody for reading, listening, creating and making the most out of participatory media available through 10K Poets. Let's all take advantage of this opportunity to take back our own minds and make our own media, whatever it is.

www.myspace.com/ albinoprincessofdarkness


If I speak of this history I musn't forget I'm cheap

Unforgivably clichĂŠ If I tell this story I must remember There will be plenty who don't like what I have to say It is an open invitation tight lipped smiles to my face titters to my back wrong assumptions false correlations these things sting nearly as if I thought they were true makes me want to confess to things I didn't do

you'd judge me like I do you I confess I'm guilty of witholding what I'd prefer to get off my chest Maybe my mother would love me if I got down on my knees And said, Mother please! Forgive me! everything on earth and above in heaven is exactly as you say it is And yes, I confess I'm an enormous whore

Consider the whore my mother was the first to call me that anyone else usually also referred to me as his girlfriend (whichever one *he* was) And no. No! he was never my pimp

I confess I'm guilty of many things But if I confessed to that I'd be guilty of being a liar I confess like my mother I pass judgment like gas I point my finger I titter I laugh Look!

I confess that I'd like

She comes on crutches The one legged whore!

to confess (On my knees) but I'm afraid

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Towering over the gutter 5 feet, 6 inches on high I look down my nose

I curl up my lip I confess I'd like to give her a hand only if I didn't have to touch her I am the whore In the apple of my mother's eye she is me I confess I don't thank my mother I'm any different than she says I am she points her finger at everyone she points it at me she says Repent you sinner! You slut! I point mine back Didn't you know you're fat? obese Your god says gluttony's a sin! I confess, that I said that And then i confess I was too busy pointing at the one legged whore I didn't see the story in the sunken black holes in the middle of her head I gazed into space in the darkness where some of her missing teeth used to be I ran my tongue over orthodontially straightened teeth


I didn't hear this place in her face begin to talk She said my momma fed me red Kool Aid drink in a bottle turned tricks left me in my crib changed my diaper when she had spare change She said Honey before crank, crack or meth I never did have much of a smile to straighten or destroy Your momma before she smoked crucified baby jesus like crack before you each threw words like rocks Your momma she propped you on her lap and played the piano, rocked you to sleep, read you stories And me, well I never knew Richard Scarey or Dr. Seuss, I've been waiting my whole life on this streetcorner to say Goodnite, Moon She washed my feet and baptized me in the stream running down the gutter

If I speak of this history by Pantifesto's Porntastic 1 36

wow, wow and wow. If I sound stupid and at a loss for words I confess it's because this was hard hitting, raw and dazzling. And that's no lie. Comment by Cyndi Dawson

www.myspace.com /albinoprincessofdarkness


T h e Rai ls ... we are waiting on a cold train platform. the sun is rising to our left (the direction we are going) to Prague.

hang on. watch your pockets. gypsies are born here. prostitutes pose on streets as women.

a couple of nuns walk by ... "Grüβ Gott," they say to us. "Grüβ Gott," we say.

beauty is deceiving.

they hand us Saint Christopher medals to protect us on our journey ~ cheap tin idols stamped out by some old machine in the Vatican. Voodoo. a whorehouse awaits us. the circus is in town. Kafka's ghost is crawling on a restaurant floor, and the cemetery is filling with stones, weighing on the dead and the living ~ a pile of people twisting under the medieval spires and baroque architectures of a city that is strangely sinister in its beauty ... a femme fatale just waiting for us to take that crazy taxi ride over cobblestone streets to arrive at her guarded door where she will greet us with naked breasts and lead us to the bar. (our futures to be read in the swirling sludge of Turkish coffees) a tangle of bed sheets on the floor. and ... is that Dixieland Jazz playing on the Saint Charles Bridge? ~ it is. though it sounds more like a funeral dirge, the Czech voices, guttural and gravelly, snaking upward through cardboard megaphones ~ thimbles on a washboard scratching out a soul, a man spits on the mouth of a whiskey jug. ... we should not linger in this crowd. mob assembling. protestors. we must escape. to subways buried deeply under ground ~ the escalator of vertigo taking us there at frightening speed to a bottom we cannot see. one misstep, and surely we will fall all the way to Hell.

at any moment the stained glass gothic cathedral will shatter, raining down a fury of reds and oranges. the gargoyles stare at us disapprovingly, an omen of rain though the skies are clear ~ a lapis blue in late October something is not right here. keep walking. don't stop for the street performer. his marionette, a skeleton, playing "Mack the Knife" on a toy piano (avoid eye contact) don't smile you are inviting all kinds of trouble with your open face. it started with the nuns and one-too-many Pilsner Urquells on the train, that stinking wad of hashish in your pocket why did you bring it? why did I bring you? gargoyles. we are rich in this town. let's go live like kings and capitalize upon the worthlessness of the Crown. let's go buy a crystal vase and dine in a five-star restaurant, while paying pennies for it. a three-penny whore ~ sucking you off on a side street. I told you to watch your pockets. And now your taxi fare is gone. the side streets are ripped up heaps of plumbing, twisted wires, a war zone, the smell of sewage is this reunification? like so many broken reflections in a single vase? the tourists behind their camera lenses. they see only future photo albums. memories of things. curio cabinets protecting the trivial tshatshkes of a half life the tin medals melt in our pockets

The Rails By Scott Clark Farley www.myspace.com/artskid 37

Such a gritty intense piece! Excellent attention to detail in the imagery. Comment by Raison D'être Lailah Saafir


advancing

there were no winners in the second world war, just the collective sigh of relief that followed, that it was all over; bones could be counted many were missed. many were dead. millions of families, people were displaced… and the little boy traced... the photograph of soldier dad with love and tears

he died far way in a foreign land defending liberty, a real life statue, a lady more than just a concept defending those on the run freeing those who had been herded like sheep by men gone mad raging monsters and battle tanks. tin toys

good night, father love you wore a proud uniform and i needed you so... i will carry you in my heart close to my chest be strong, be brave for mommy love alive in this rising sun we’ll walk hand in hand husband and fatherless; my metal limbed reminder my favourite toy my tin soldier a constant reminder like the bullets that killed made of steel engraved, cast around my neck now, advancing…

 Advancing by Sean Reddan

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marched one by one into the box under his bed safely retreated.

www.myspace.com/seanreddansound

Poignant powerful (sadly, timeless) truths~ Comment by Sarah Free


The tough

decision This piece "Dreams of a Poet" is an abstract piece done with pen and ink and originally was used with my series "Death of a Poet". It was done in the eighties and the mask represents my dreams under the influence of poppie plants. It was also a winning piece in the "Cherry Blossom Festival" in Atlanta in 83. - Ray

www.myspace.com/yargooligan

The tough decision by Jarlid Shadows Jarlid... so many people parallel the moments - complete to an earth-changing-if-answered question; and yet forget the earth-changinganswers within........ Comment by Chris 39

Standing here under the hot lights in line with construction workers and over perfumed grandmothers I wait my time It is up to me the question gnaws at my gut; will I make the wrong choice and learn to live with the consequences or break loose from the stereotype. I can see the look of self concern on everyone's face except the child peeking at me from behind his grandmother's skirt. Damn why is this so hard to decide? Even in youth the question was thrown at me the answer rehearsed thrown back at the asker. Now it is my time to focus because the question is coming... "would you like fries with that?"


Letters Home Mama, As you know I have never written a letter before and so not sure how it is supposed to go But I am sure I'll be better Each time I write back home Will write more. Mama, Today we had to lay real low in the dust With hands over our ears The f laming Gods f lew high over here And took little Mickey away from us Will write you back Mama, Tommy is on his way back home Sure HIS mama will be glad to have him back Not sure she'll be so glad though to see the limbs that he now lacks Will write back

Jamie has lost so much weight Hunger makes it hard to fire Harder even to fight

There's another 40 more Will call you by phone On Searge's mobile Your loving child

Still we keep watch tonight good things come to those who wait Will write again

Mama-they tried to break me Father-I really tried to survive today

Mama, Davey saved me today The shells kept raining down he pushed me far enough away as he laid his body down Will try and write everyday Mama-they keep trying to break me Father-I only just survived today

Mama-they tried to break me Father- I survived today

Mama, I was coming home in a week but now I gotta do 3 more weeks I am tired and I am weak But I will be back to speed Will be back soon To father and you Will write again soon

Mama, Food is getting in short supply

Mama, am coming home sooner than before And I won't be alone

Mama, I guess you got the news I'm not all you'd wished for me This wasn't what you and father would would choose But I hope I done you and father proud As you see the f lag raised high and the voices sing aloud The roses they chose are beautiful I hope you like them too I have dedicated them to you For when they fire the 10 gun Salute Please don't be sad Don't be angry or mad But say, that's my child there tonight And they have done us all right! Born - 10-05-78 Came home far too late

Letters Home by Rob Shepherd www.myspace.com/blackshotbob

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This made me cry like I haven't for years. More people need to see this... MANY more. Kudos.. Comment by SweetTalk~CultVault's Siren~


Napalm He died about two years ago now, A raging alcoholic that died as a result of an upper GI bleed, As a result of chronic alcoholism, As a result of his prior death in Vietnam. Wilting clefts speak in tones of sob and fleet, Stagger men sink back to mottle streams, Disintegration plots, Drowned by beasts of mist cringe existence, Liar kites windbound, Spiral down, Empathy reduction, Atrophy induction. Upper GI Bleed; 3% mortality rate, I learned that as I googled his death certificate, Trying to find what I could have done to fix it, Hoping there was nothing, I was disappointed by the answer. Each pulse becomes treason, Pumping towards slow drip tragedy, Drowning 'bluebird,' Drip drop fade, Vietnam;

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100% mortality rate, I learned that in Irish pubs in the Bronx, Trying to find out if they could have done something to fix it, Hoping there was nothing, I was disappointed by the answer. War role cast in yellow man fox holes, Machine crumble march in devil trench, Mortar binge and purge and stomp and drop, Shrapnel evermore, Faith thwarted, By napalm reality. His shell made it back stateside long enough to give me a last name, I wonder now if escaping the potato famine was a good trade for the draft, He was drafted on St. Patty's Day, Luck of the Irish I guess. Swarms be thick when prison bars are ribs, And the shackled, Pumps, Down in the shiver, Next to hate and history, Hooks in the temples, of the martyr drone enlisted, Entrapped, disemboweled, sent back to scramble


Nicely penned. As a Vietnam veteran myself all I can say is that your father is missed by all of this brothers that were there and are still here just waiting for our moment to go. We all have something wrong with us, too much wrong with us but it is too late to lament anymore about it. We have been lamenting for more than forty years now and it has gotten us absolutely nowhere. Now I worry for today's troops. Will they get the same non treatment that we got from the VA, from this great government of ours. Doubtful... Anyway am getting away from the poem and I don't mean to do that. This is very very well written and so very sad. A man that should have died in Nam as perhaps we all should have done, and maybe did. I feel like that sometimes. Great job Dan....And my salute to a fellow vet. May God finally give him some peace. Comment by Retro Poet

Napalm by Kellett

www.myspace.com/dk_d

amongst warless eyes, With more war, And less I. I found him dead and naked outside his bathroom, I could see where he fell against the wall and slid down to the sitting position, He had been sliding down for a long time, Since St. Patty's Day, 1967. Disheveled patriarch soaked in drop dead air, Phlem spit against a tyrant's breeze, Long gone causes, They disrobe and wait to be counted, Each throbbing in a lusty, salivary want, For it's death credit, Picking over a dead man's heart, Each with a trophy grip, On the part it killed. Regret, pain, loss, ambivalence, melancholy, All lined up, sneering. I wonder if he apologized to me as he slid down, Before he faded, For dying like that, Knowing I'd be the one to find him, Knowing I'd be the one to clean up his mess.

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Rant child feather wall, Sleek in the matters of me and me, Carcass shutter light, Looking for apology, In a last breath, I was a fool. I own the apartment he lived in, I had to get it rent ready, I had to paint over the mural he painted on the cinder block wall in his bedroom, I cried like a baby. Erasing slays the swells of regression, Crippled chaos named, Prayers be something less then this, Less then painting, Over painting, Erasing you away. I found poems, On napkins, I found black mold in the sink, The poems were unfinished, The mold was thriving, That is what surrender, Looks like.


He Was [Plot 875, Space I] Breakfast was on my mind when I crawled into bed around 2 a.m. After falling asleep to the voice Of Sigourney Weaver narrating Planet Earth. I wanted waffles, nothing fancy Just a plain waffle alongside An omelette with cheese and Mushrooms, ham or bacon. Either way, I was determined to have it! I woke up later that morning Smoked and sat around reading When suddenly I thought tacos Might be a decent alternative to A waffle and an omelette, But, the wild wind was blowing All night and all morning long In the south bay, it was cold, More coffee sounded like just the ticket on this blustery afternoon. Out in San Pedro The Waffle and Omelette Shop Serves steaming hot jo And breakfast until two in the afternoon For us late risers or retired folks. We knew what we wanted and They knew just how to give it to us. We devoured our food in an instant

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And washed it down our empty Bellies with warm caffeinated tar. I paid the bill and we walked out Underneath the blue sky and let the wind Blow our hair into our faces Feeling the coolness with our whole bodies We wondered what to do, where to go To live out the fullness of the day. It seemed hopeless, so we smoked And drove up towards Western on 11th Heading towards palos verdes drive, I noticed the cemetery on the left. As we passed the grassy hill covered with Headstones and flowers, I wanted to turn Around, and visit Henry, who I knew was still alive, but has Been resting for fifteen years now. We drove over to the main office, Went inside to get directions and A map. The guy inside asked me Who I was looking for and when I Told him, he made no obvious reaction. He then asked if he was a relative or Just a friend of mine. I told him He was a writer and that I wanted to Pay him a visit. He chuckled and said, "That's the first, haven't heard that before."


He Was [Plot 875, Space I] by floatin baby J www.myspace.com/thefloater81

It was then I regretted telling him, wasting My breath, I should have played it cool And said he was my grandpa or that he Was a friend of mine from the 40's, Back in the good 'ol days when we were young. he told us He was buried in an awkward place And that we might have trouble locating it, But, I didn't believe him. We walked out and Drove up to the ocean view hillside, parked, Got out of the car and began to wander up The green hillside amongst grave stones With names of people we had never known As the wind blew our hair into a wild frenzy And froze our ears. It took me less than ten Minutes to find the headstone with fighting fists. There was an old rollie placed directly on The headstone, it was stuck, I know because I tried to pick it up, it barely budged, but I Loosened its grip and eventually the wind Blew it away as I stood there beside the grave Of the man we all talk about, the man we've Read, listened to, watched in film clips and studied Over and over and over and over and over again, That man now buried right beneath the grass on The side of the hill where I was standing. There beside Henry's headstone in the Cemetery I felt life, breathing, trees,

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Nice. I heard you tell this story on the show yesterday..... And yes, funny how in the presence of what you find meaningful, the wind can sway trees and bring song and dance and the very essence of breath. A living moment indeed, shared even with the dead.....Enjoyed... Comment by Kellett

The wind, birds, cars running, clouds, everythingSeemed more real than it had just prior to That moment. Looking around, colors spoke, I realized that no matter how much we want to get Away from each other in life, we are all stuck With each other in death. You never know who You're going to get stuck next to, unless you Planned ahead or have a crap load of money. We walked away and got back in the car I thought about the words, "Don't Try" and What Henry must have meant or what exactly He was referring to by those words. Somehow, I think I will never truly know what he meant because When I think back on what I know about The life that Henry lived, I know he never Stopped writing no matter how many rejections He received from editors who couldn't tell a good Poem or story from their damned reeking assholes. Despite my uncertainty, I still went home Feeling full of warm coffee, apple cinnamon waffle And cheese omelette. I felt refreshed by The cool wind and the sunshine and all I could think About were the days just passing me by while I sit behind this desk click clacking, typing away Until something comes and it feels like Times when time doesn't feel like it's Progressing in time, but Henry was, he lived, And now he is more real and alive than ever.


The Bukowski Divide: Poetic Genius or Literary Sacrilege? By Constance Stadler www.myspace.com/nywvprof

I nt r oduct i on Henry Charles “Hank” Bukowski was b o r n i n An d e r m a c h , G e r m a n y o n Au g u s t 16th 1920. He died on March 9th 1994. He and William Burroughs are arguably the poets who have made the most prof o u n d i m p a c t o n p o e t r y t o d a y. B u t i f w e look at Burroughs he is: a) primarily a novelist and b) with Byron Gysinas the ʻfather of the cut-upʼ, an influential but far less controversial ʻforceʼ than Bukowski. With over 60 books in poetry and prose in print, Bukowski has been described as “the man whose once-expressive appetite for life continues to sustain his cult hero status beyond the grave”. Indeed, this statement is corrobo r a t e d f a c t u a l l y. I n t h e a f t e r m a t h o f h i s death he has become what has frequently been described as a ʻworld widei n d u s t r y ʼ . Tr a n s l a t e d i n t o m o r e t h a n 2 0 languages, with dozens of Bukowskiconnected internet sites, his publishers, as of this date, have plans to release and re-release his books for sometime to

come. Indeed, much of his success can b e t r a c e d t o h i s l i f e - l o n g c l o s e a s s o c i ation with editor/publisher John Martin at Bl a c k Sp a rro w Pre s s i n Sa n t a R o s a . To u n d e r s t a n d t h e B u k o w s k i p h e n o m e non, some knowledge of his life is requis i t e . H i s G e r m a n m o t h e r a n d h i s f a t h e r, a n Am e r i c a n s e r v i c e m a n , m e t d u r i n g t h e American occupation of Germany at the e n d o f Wo r l d Wa r I . B u k o w s k i w a s brought to the US at the age of 2, hoping for a brighter future. This bright future, though, soon evaporated at the onset of the Great Depression. Bukowskiʼs father, like many at the time, was more often than not unemployed, and Charles felt h i s f u l s o m e f r u s t r a t i o n b r u t a l l y. In poems such as "The Death of the Father" as well as the autobiographical novel Ham on Rye, he shares much about a painful childhood. Regular beatings with a razor strap were the norm, as he put it: “ So y o u s e e , m y f a t h e r w a s a g r e a t l i t e r ary teacher: He taught me the meaning o f p a i n - p a i n w i t h o u t re a s o n . ”

With over 60 books in poetry and prose in print, Bukowski has been described as “the man whose once expressive appetite for life continues to sustain his cult hero status beyond the grave”. 45


Thus poets of today kn e w of Bukowski as no t o nl y a p o et ic force but a living, breathing, inspiration/mentor. He was the ‘grea t p o et’ o f their a d o le s c e n c e .

His depression deepened by an extremely bad case of acne vulgarism that produced boils all over Bukowskiʼs face and back, boils so painful that they had to be surgically incised so that they c o u l d d r a i n p r o p e r l y. A s o n e d o c t o r s a y s in Ham on Rye, it was "[t]he worst case I've seen in all my years of practice!" (131). This malady scarred the teenage Bukowski in many ways. Permanently pock-marked by the ordeal-- made emotional refuge into adolescent friendships or cliques, where appearance plays so often the tipping point between acceptance and banishment, next to impossible for the young developing poet. Because only "the poor and the lost and the idiots" (Ham on Rye, 155) seemed willing to acknowledge and accept him, the young Bukowski later became their champion in the body of his work. He constantly made the case for the virtues of their honesty and hard-won dignity vs. the arrogance and superficiality of the i n d i ff e r e n t m a s s e s . Drinking thus became Bukowski's vocation, until, that is, he started writing seriously around 1960. Then drinking and writing were his vocations. Necessitated by the fact that none of his jobs paid enough for him to survive, he worked as d i s h w a s h e r, t r u c k d r i v e r a n d l o a d e r, mailman, guard, gas station attendant, 46

s t o c k b o y, w a r e h o u s e m a n , s h i p p i n g c l e r k , p o s t o ff i ce c l e r k , p a r k i n g l o t a t t e n d a n t , R e d C r o s s o r d e r l y, a n d e l e v a t o r o p e r a t o r, a m o n g o t h e r t h i n g s . B u k o w s k i w o r ke d a t a L o s An g e l e s p o s t o ff i c e f o r e l e v en y e a r s , t h e l o n g e s t t e r m of employment he ever held. And in 1969, having had some hard-earned success as a writer through the little magazines and small presses, he made the d i ff i c u l t d e c i s i o n o f q u i t t i n g t h e p o s t o f f i c e a n d t r y i n g t o m a k e i t a s a w r i t e r. H e was forty-nine and on the verge of emot i o n a l c o l l a p s e ; h e w a s p a y i n g c h i l d - s u pport and living in a rented house. Steady o r s u ff i c i e n t i n c o m e t h r o u g h w r i t i n g w a s f a r f r o m c e r t a i n. I n a n u n p u b l i s h e d l e t t e r t o C a r l We i s s n e r, d a t e d " s o m e t i m e n o v. 1969," Bukowski explains that "I have one of two choices-stay in the post office a n d g o c r a z y. . .o r s t a y o u t h e r e a n d p l a y at writer and starve. I have decided to starve." Thereafter he finished his first n o v e l , P o s t O ff i c e . A n d t h r o u g h C a r l We i s s n e r, a y o u n g G e r m a n e d i t o r, h e s o l d t h e We s t Ge r m a n r i g h t s t o N o t e s o f a Dirty Old Man. His income was still p o o r b u t s u ff i c i e n t t o a l l o w h i m t o w r i t e ful l - ti m e. Besides an increasing income from Euro pean publications, when the screenplay was written for Barfly (1987), the film


based on his reputed alter-ego Henry Chinaski (Ham on Rye), he had reached a level of financial comfort and high lite r a r y r e n o w n . I m p o r t a n t l y, s a v e A l l e n Ginsberg, almost all the beat poets (although Bukowski was never so identified) had long passed at early ages. Thus poets of today knew of Bukowski as not only a poetic force but a living, b r e a t h i n g , i n s p i r a t i o n / m e n t o r. H e w a s t h e ʻgreat poetʼ of their adolescence.

T he D ebat e B egi ns To h i s l e g i o n s o f f a n s , h e w a s o f m y t h i c stature in his San Pedro lodging overlooking a dingy harbor, ʻan adorable bastardʼ, the voice of Everyman , that rose t o o ff e n d , c h a l l e n g e , s t i m u l a t e t h e c o mplacent, and to console the disenfranchised for whom a life of dull or back-breaking, soul stealing labor was a choice without options in repeatedly denouncing the poetry of intellectualism a n d ʻsappyʼ disconnected adorned senti me n t h e re s p o n d e d w i t h “n a k e d , d i s t u rb ing, compelling, repulsive, vicious ʻtruthʼ”. But Bukowski did not disdain h o w h e w a s i n c r e a s i n g l y b e i n g s e e n . As he said in a South Bay interview of 1981, "Genius is the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way" (33). For those who concurred, he was the idol of millions. His critics are equally as opinionated. Calling him a ʻtalentless foul mouthed chauvinist/misogynistʼ skims the surface, r o l l i n g o ff m u c h a s s i m i l a r a t t a c k s o n H e n r y M i l l e r. T h e n o t e d Bu k o w s k i c r i t i c , t h e p o e t a n d e d i t o r o f T h e M e l i c R e v i e w,

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C.E. Chaffin, offered a blistering critique i n a f a mo u s t ri -p a rt i t e d e c i ma t i o n : I should first remind the reader that he m a y b e t h e b e s t k n o w n Am e r i c a n p o e t i n E u r o p e t o d a y, a n d f o r t w o r e a s o n s : 1 ) His language is simplistic; and 2) The at titude in his main body of work matches the prevailing atheistic pessimism among intellectuals on the continent. It i s n o t Bu k o w s k i 's r e n o w n I q u e s t i o n , a n unreliable indicator of quality in any case, but 1) His lack of craft; 2) His lack of transcendent values; and 3) As above, that he represents the final breakdown b e t w e e n l i f e a n d a r t i n p o e t r y. C h a ff i n c o n t i n u e s i n f i n d i n g B u k o w s k i confined to the limits of his own persona. As s u b s t a n t i a t i o n h e o ff e r s t h e f o l l o w i n g about “Henry Chinaski” the protagonist in much of Bukowskiʼs fiction. Bukowskiʼs first name was Henry and “[i]f readers doubt this assertion, I urge them to consider the details in his stories — like one lover's bad teeth, red h a i r, s p e e d h a b i t a n d t r a s h - f i l l e d C a m a r o , o r t h e b l u e Vo l k s w a g e n Bu k o w s k i drove around LA (one hopes occasiona l l y s o b e r). ” As to Bukowskiʼs inability to aspire to a n y ʻ t r a n s c e n d e n t v a l u e s ʼ , C h a ff i n i s r e lentless: Bukowski made his reputation by unashamedly and non-judgmentally recording a lifestyle of fatalistic, atheistic hedonism — which is really not hedonism but its opposite, a sort of terminal anhedonia medicated with booze and sex as distractions — an attitude not far removed from the Marquis de Sade, who believed ʻWhatever is, is good.ʼ" He re-


jects with ʻgreat umbrageʼ the editorʼs prefatory remark: “…chronicle this writer's inner and outer life, from childh o o d t o t h e p r e s e n t — a n d a n a s t o n i s hing and heroic life it is." With the substitution of "and a tedious and antiher oi c l i fe i t i s . He then moves to his final indictment an absolute absence of style by citing what is ʻobviousʼ: bad journalism with ʻpassive gerunds and hap-dash line b r e a k s a t b e s t . ʼ H e o ff e r s t h i s p o e t i c e xc er pt as ʻself-evident violationʼ:

from junk sitting in a dark bedroom with 3 junkies, female, brown paper bags filled with trash are everywhere. it is one-thirty in the afternoon. they talk about madhouses, hospitals. they are waiting for a fix. none of them work. it's relief and foodstamps and Medi-Cal. C o n t i n u i n g w i t h t h e s a m e w o r k , h e c o mments on Bukowskiʼs treatment of ʻgreat w r i ter s ʼ.

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they pul l ed Ez ra t h ro u g h t h e s t re e t s i n a w ooden c ag e . Bl ak e w as s ur e o f G o d . Vi l l o n w a s a m u g g e r. Lor c a s uc k ed c o c k . T. S . E l i o t w o r k e d a t e l l e r 's c a g e . M os t poets ar e s w a n s , egr ets . N o w, a l l t h e d ag g e r s a r e o u t : H e r e i s s l o p p y m e t a p h o r, r e d u c t i o n i s t history and uncertain sense. Does he mean that these poets were exceptions, l i k e h i m s e l f , s u ff e r i n g i n d i g n i t i e s ? O r that their lives were distinguished from t h e o r d i n a r y, e s p e c i a l l y b y i n d u l g e n c e i n the sordid? Does he mean they dived l o w e r i n t h e g u t t e r, o r i n B l a k e ' s c a s e , flew higher? And what do egrets add to swans as a trope? Egrets stand above the muck while swans glide on the surface — hardly the best equivalent for cock-sucking, mugging, and dehumanizi ng w or k . The noted poet Duane Locke is just as h a r s h i n a d i ff e r e n t v e i n . I n m y r e c e n t i n terview with him, he responded to a question on the origin of his poem: “Post-Modern Love Songʼ with a fierce attac k : I am trying to remember what caused me to start the poem. What I remember is t h a t i t s t a r t e d fr o m a m e m o r y o f a r e v i e w of one of my poems. The reviewer was an aficionado of Charles Bukowski and p u b l i s h e d a l i t tl e m a g a z i n e d e d i c a t e d t o the w r i ti ng of Ch a rl e s Bu k o w s k i .


This Bukowski lover singled out one of m y p o e m s f o r s e v e r e c r i t i c i s m . T h e s elected poem was one in which I wrote a b o u t a l o v e a ff a i r u s i n g H e g e l i a n t e r m i n o l o g y. H e s a i d I s h o u l d h a v e k n o w n better than to use such abstruse, recondite, erudite, polysyllabic language for a love poem. He must have been disappointed because I did not use any obscenities or those meaningless “four letter words,” which are the most used w o r d s i n t h e l o w e r, m i d d l e , a n d u p p e r c l a s s v o c a b u l a r i e s , t h e I - t h e y, n o n - s e l f o w n e d , s l a v e me n t a l i t y v o c a b u l a ri e s . N o w t h i s Bu k o w s k i l o v e r d i d n o t u s e t h e words I used above in describing his strictures, but used some commonplace c o l l o q u i a l i s m s d e r i v e d f r o m a n I - t h e y, non-self owned, slave mentality manner o f c o mmu n i c a t i o n . I assumed that qualifications as conceived by this Bukowski lover to be a p o e t a r e i g n o r a n c e , i n s e n s i t i v i t y, a n d e m o t i o n a l d e f i c i e n c y. T h e c o n d i t i o n o f being affected with the disease of autism is necessary and essential for writing in t h e Bu k o w s k i m a n n e r. … I d o n o t c o n s i d e r Bu k o w s k i a p o e t a t a l l , b u t a n o n - p o e t . H e i s o n l y a n I - T h e y, non-self owned slave mentality writing f o r o t h e r I - T h e y, n o n - s e l f o w n e d , s l a v e mentalities. His popularity is due to the fact that most Americans hate poetry and seek to destroy poetry by finding a surrogate. The most outstanding destroyers of genuine poetry are found among our college professors, poetry critics, poetry scholars, literary magazine editors, the non-poets who falsely believe and have faith they are writing poetry and now ezine editors, although there are a few rare exceptions in the above mentioned 49

categories who are not enemies of poe t r y. T h e s e e x c e p t i o n s a r e d i ff i c u l t t o find, but these few will save poetry from d i s a p p e a r i n g i n “ O u r Ag e o f St i l l b o r n Po e t r y. ”

What can be summarized from these d a m n i n g c r i t i q u e s ? B e s i d e s a n i m p o v e rished knowledge of poetry to the point t h a t i t c a n n o t b e c a l l e d p o e t r y, Bu k o w s k i is seen as fixated on his own persona, devoid of all but the basest of values, and foreign to the requisites of even poe t i c s e n s i b i l i t i e s o f a n y f o r m . M o r e o v e r, his impoverishment of words made all but base language acceptable in much of m o d e r n p o e t r y. F i n a l l y, h e w a s p r i m i tively unaware of philosophy or postmodern thought that defined the autonomy of an “authentic selfʼ, let alone poet. Saying all this, Bukowski had not a few s c h o l a rl y d e f e n d e rs : Gerald Locklin, a writer and professor at C a l i f o r n i a St a t e U n i v e r s i t y, L o n g Be a c h , and long-time friend, stated in admiration: "What he taught me is that you can make poetry out of your daily life," Lockl i n s a y s " Yo u d o n ' t h a v e t o w a i t f o r t h e great moments; it doesn't have to be l o v e , d e a t h , w a r. " In a major retrospective in The Guardian o n Se p t e m b e r 2 0 0 7 , To n y O ʼ N e i l l m a k e s a strong case for the beauty of Bu k o w s k i ʼs poetry: In the rush to file away Bukowski as a booze-addled fluke, his ability to lay down a truly beautiful line has often been o v e r l o o k e d . Ta k e t h e s e l i n e s d e s c r i b i n g t h e g e n e s i s o f L o s An g e l e s : “ t h i s l a n d p u n c h e d - i n c u ff e d - o u t d i v i d e d h e l d l i k e a c ru c i f i x i n a d e a t h h a n d ” O r t a k e h i s p o e m Tr a g e d y o f t h e L e a v e s


which ends with the heartbreaking lines: “and I walked into a dark hall where the landlady stood execrating and final, sending me to hell, waving her fat, sweaty arms and screaming screaming for rent because the world has failed us both.” Wr i t i n g s e v e r a l a r t i c l e s o n B u k o w s k i f o r “Poetry Circle: Contemporary Poetry Forum”, Jay Dougherty further argues such snippets are representative of genius. He identifies ʻtrademarkʼ Buk ow s k i an qual i ti es : A keen ear for the musical quality of natural, everyday speech; an ability to infuse significance into desperate, dreadful moments of his own life and those of others without becoming bathetic or sentimental; a tremendous facility of listing and juxtaposing details of everyday life with abstraction either to set a scene or to vivify a theme; an artistic distance from his subjects which allows him to find humor and nuggets of wisdom in even the most dismal scenar i o, hi s ow n or other s '. H e t h e n l i n k s T. S . Buk ow s k i ʼs ʻmasteryʼ:

Eliotʼs

work

to

"the tragedy of the leaves” …shows B u k o w s k i a t h i s t i g h t e s t l y r i c a l l y. T h e first line, "I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead," sets the reader down abruptly into a world as raped of hope and promise as Eliot's first line in "Gerontion": "Here I am, an old man in a dry month." But Bukowski's details remain close to home, not alluding to mythologies but the realities of the downtrodden, a permanent wasteland as much of circumstance as of choice: "and t h e e m p t y b o t t l e s l i k e b l e d c o r p s e s / s u rrounded me with their uselessness." The poem sets a scene soon to become fa50

miliar to Bukowski readers: stripped of hope for work and seeing less sense in struggling with the average man than d y i n g a s a n o - s a y e r, t h e p o e m 's p r o t a g onist remarks upon the daily struggles of the desperate, finding some comfort, fin a l l y, i n t h e t r u t h s t h a t a l l o w h i m t o u n der s tand thei r f ru s t ra t i o n . Eliotʼs greatness without the ʻpretenti ous ʼ hyper-intellectualism, is a point to be hear ti l y c el eb ra t e d . He shocks the literary establishment with his aliterary style and his blunt lang u a g e , h i s e a g e r n e s s t o " m a k e i t n e w, " a s E z r a P o u n d w o u l d s a y. H e b r i n g s t h e American language alive on the page, the way it is spoken by the average American, and thereby delights readers who have long been disenchanted by literature's antiseptic content and alienati n g a u s t e r i t y.

C o n cl u si o n Bukowskiʼs epitaph has provided insights f o r f a n s a n d c r i t i c s : “ D o n ʼ t t r y. ” F o r c r i t i c s i t ʼ s q u i t e s im p l e : “ H e d i d n ʼ t . ” F o r t h e devoted reader this was acclimation that life was meant to do, feel, be and then ex pr es s . I n c o n c l u s i o n , t h i s a r t i c l e m a k e s n o p r etense in resolving this heated controversy; there are uncountable numbers on either side. It aims to let readers know that this controversy has left a deep impress on the shape and form of poetry t o d a y. T h u s p e r h a p s i t i s b e s t t o l e a v e the reader with one of his most noted poems in the hope that they will seek out more and consciously determine what the writing of Charles Bukowski means to them .


to drynes s and the ferns were dead, the Itheawakened potted plants yellow as corn; woman was gone tragedy my and the empty bottles like bled corps es of the s urrounded me with their us eles s nes s ; s un was s till good, though, leaves the and my landlady's note cracked in fine and undemanding yellownes s ; what was needed now was a good comedian, ancient s tyle, a jes ter with jokes upon abs urd pain; pain is abs urd becaus e it exis ts , nothing more; I s haved carefully with an old razor the man who had once been young and s aid to have genius ; but that's the tragedy of the leaves , the dead ferns , the dead plants ; and I walked into a dark hall where the landlady s tood execrating and final, s ending me to hell, waving her fat, sweaty arms and s creaming s creaming for rent becaus e the world has failed us .

The Tragedy of the Leaves By Henry Charles Bukowski

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last pledge

I pledge allegiance to the disunited hopefuls of America, United under one rainy newsstand To the tenement apartments with families, Who eat food as communion with their God To the greasy spoons, to the five and dime, To the inevitable haircut at the side street barber To the only liberty that stands on Liberty island in the harbor And just one friend to say cheers, At the local bar over an after hours' beer To make a mortal mark on the world, to create an immortal memory for all.

Last Pledge by Yvon Cormier www.myspace.com/proteanview

52

Considering current circumstance... the postulates of sum of the greatest economists... positioning a poem with America as a memor... is not too off balanced. Comment by Jason Neese


White Flag

Slipping on a thin rope, stretched to its limits. Mind racing and filled to the brim, it has taken its toll. Weathered and soaked in empty sheets.

Raging war with clocks, faces places

Worn out scenes played over and over and over

I’m at war At war with me, myself.

So I let the music take me, brake me. Weaving myself into & out the strings of a violin, beating drums, and the lite strumming of a guitar. Sinking slowly into the calm, while the raindrops sing softly on my windowpane. Letting go to where it’s just me and the music and mother natures lullaby. Eyes rolled back and see the white flag waving.

http://www.myspace.com/SamaraR This is a good write. "Eyes rolled back and feel the white flag

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White Flag by Samara

waving" Like that a lot. Think it’s the way music can make me feel after the stresses of life get to you. Music can take away so much stress - Comment by Francis P Blue


Take This Red

Flag...

it didn't matter that no one knew exactly what they were doing... the stereo typcial, egotistical, procedures of the day soon outweighed any solid intention that was holding the door open between our miscommunications they all claimed red flags were raised the moment when we didn't follow their way i claim to be a real rebel with a cause whose patterns play way too far outside the lines it seems to me I am the one who has had to learn how to sacrifice and so what if i have some secret pleasures of my own use them against me if you choose to justify why i am not deserving tried to be professional. found it just got me painted in the corner of satisfied grown up smiles content to have me pinned down but i realize my sacrifice was always my choice it has taken me closer to a true reality and penance of a deeper sense and i am only human, for what it's worth if i hurt anyone in my own intentions red flag me for going out and having a good time red flag me for loving someone out of the purest place in my heart and red flag me for battling with my own lusting desire to make friends with the enemy, the off limits to bring through something i knew to be true whatever. take this red flag you think i am waving and place it in your databank of all the things i've done wrong in your eyes take this red flag i'm done with these masquarades to prove myself to everyone that i can be everything you imagined me to be

Take This Red Flag by Glorianne Kada 54

www.myspace.com/sundroprays

I am so very much with you. I feel the same exact way. And to have it written down like that, to read it to myself, that is a great privilage and a wonderful enlightenment of how many of us are going through the same experiences, the same situations and thus the same emotions. Thank you for sharing it with us. Comment by Rob Shepherd


To What is Familiar

R etu r n in g

Returning to what is familiar

by Kat Solomon www.myspace.com/katsolomon

This is soooo deep and inspired me.......this is how I feel A LOT!!! Great poem!!! Comment by Maya Baby 55

My case of emotional amnesia has broken In the middle of the inky black night Doubling me over with intense pain Surrounded by sweat soaked pillows and sheets My terror ridden cat screeches out of the room My screams matching her fear The demons return to their familiar posts Fear reestablishes itself as the principle gatekeeper Of my heart which has been shredded Many times over by misplaced hope And failure to see the truth of reality, Fear nods its head in ascent Allowing the cruel bastard of poor self esteem To troll the inner recesses of a heart That was once On the mend, Foolish, foolish woman Fear shrieks inside me You should have learned your lessons by now Happiness is illusory, a pipe dream As phony as the progress you’ve convinced yourself You have made, So now that you know better, Return with me to the place you know well, The addiction, the long black tunnel leading to depression Come back to what you are well acquainted with How could you imagine that we would let you escape? Our grasps that easily? I feel myself taking leave of my body perhaps temporarily; Mind and heart clouded by emotional pain, I wait for the familiar numbness To return


P r e -fo ssiliz a t io n [When There’s Still a Face to Tear Off]

Secular imprints of scripture on the high horse, vaccination placing pearls of indifference meagerly before bulimic-eyed swine measure for water in demarcative gesture, hands whirring towards an expansive variety of living the wind-up motif a hand-me-down existence wrinkled to a cog, shuffle the ballast toward misnomer of fortune where everyone is asking you "Did you see that?" and you didn't, or, if you did it wasn't the same thing that anyone else saw, and you feel foolish language bottled and sold here to the most flattering bidder just hang around for the finale pulls words like swollen arrows from the sockets of conscience trying not to spray you with failure when the rupture exposes bone and a fistful of leaking poems 56

Pre-Fossilization [When There’s Still a Face to Tear Off] by analept (BadWriter) www.myspace.com/themastercopyisaac

So much passion possessed into these words, this poem... A fistful of leaking poems, a great way to end a great poem. :) - Comment by Celeste


Days to Remember Java, b u tter co o ki es an d el evat o r mu si c Th is civilized wo rl d b ri n gs me i n t o To d ay Sq u an d ered Th o se h o u rs o f sleep yest erd ay Missin g th e gen tle sw el l o f sn ow f l akes

Sh iverin g wh ile th i s co f f ee warms me In sid e o u t, in h ali n g ro ast aro mas En joyin g Delivery Strin gs p lu cked h u mmi n g waves Th at melo dy fills me w i t h l o n gi n gs Take me to th e ro l l i n g seas an d sh are Fo o tp rin ts wash in g away q u i ckl y Rhyth mic tid es Velvety carp et So o th in g warm san d s o f t i me Missin g n o t a mo men t o f t o d ay

www.myspace.com/sweettalklil

Days to Remember By Sweettalk~CultVault's Siren~ 57

Yes, let not a moment slip away... Nice Comment by Kellett


the Awakening When your spirit did first seize mine, I was overwhelmed with the power. I lost all sense of space and time, And a second seemed like an hour. I was drained of all self control, Till left a lump of well wet clay. As with an artist's heart and soul, You began to mold what you may. With firm fingers you formed my eyes, And your image I did behold. It took no time to realize, Your beauty shall never grow old. With such care you gave me a nose, Your aroma was arousing, Like the fragrance of a rose Inhaled upon first arising.

The Awakening by Tony Vassilion www.myspace.com/tony_vassilion

With hands cupped you made each ear, No longer did silence surround me. No sweeter sound I'll ever hear, In your motion, a symphony. With deft skill you designed my mouth, I sampled what was before me. Nothing could compare north or south, From you flow rivers of honey. You breathed in life and made me whole, I felt warmth in your tender touch. In turn I was given a soul To desire you so very much.

58

Before you a new man I stand, I embrace you and draw you near. As sand through the fingers of my hand, From me you slip and disappear.

A new day can be our lifetime when we ponder the magnificence of the light, the beauty, the warmth, the life that the sunshine in our lives has to offer and give to our very being.... beautifully written and wow! Sent me on a trip in a matter of seconds peace Comment by TiaLola


How to Destroy a people First of all, teach your own children, with their mothers milk, with the songs that you sing to them at night, that they are entitled; that the land has always been theirs. Over and over again, until the other people who share this land are made almost invisible; so that they become mere shadows to be brushed out of the way of your sun. Don't show your children the maps which shows that other land subsumed, gradually vanishing from year to year. Justify what you do with the profound suffering that your people endured; let that blind and deafen you to the suffering of others. Trap them into an airless corridor of land, deny them access to their water sources, tell your selves that you're entitled to all their resources. Destroy their olive groves,

How to destroy a people by HeartsSong 59

http://www.myspace.com/heartssong

deny them the choice of their own leaders. Build up an army that leeches upon the hearts of all your men; create over and over again an enemy to throw your fears upon. Then when your enemies young men, break out of the anguish that defines their days, unleash your armies, send your obliterating bombs that we finance, into the schools, the hospitals, the playgrounds; And then allow yourselves to weep and send up prayers for the maimed and murdered children that lie beside their lifeless mothers, traumatized and dazed. Would you rather bring down the world, than face up to the reality of what you are doing to your own humanity?

So powerful, you bring great attention to the chaos of now and tomorrow, and the ending with a question to affect a response. Awesome Comment by Absorb the Orb - DeNav Writer


I’ve realized the r e a l i t y o f Te l e v i s i o n Liquidize my melting brain Watch it slowly flow down my drain Yes It's our fault Blame us For making famous A shameless Ignoramus What's her name? What's his name? Why do they put them selves to shame? Television is so lame Let's burn it I proclaim Or at least turn it off Why must I watch a talent less fool loosing their cool? Is this reality? No Just another freak show So reaching for the remote I turn over Yes no surprise This is so wrong How low will they stoop? Look at this nincompoop As my brain cells regroup My girlfriend slept with my Transvestite Uncles, cousins, Mothers, naughty naturalist neighbour's son Oh what bloody fun All sitting there As I stare While they wash their laundry in the public eye It's enough to make you cry

60

I've realized the reality of television by Francis P Blue www.myspace.com/francispblue

I love how you capture the irony and idiocy that truly is tv. Great poem! Comment by Kat Soloman


The Distant Scream i keep hearing this distant scream and i can't tell if it is a child or a woman or a bird sometimes it sounds like a siren and other times like music some kind of operatic high note a piercing one i feel it in the filthy dungeons of my heart and in the dark pathological alleys of my memories i know you don't hear it because i can see by the expression on your face that it is not affecting you so i am not going to bother to bring it up over southern pecan coffee this morning but later on today when you ask me what i am thinking i am going to lie

THIS DISTANT SCREAM by James Crafford www.myspace.com/jamescrafford

61

I feel that deep awareness/self protected reservation in this one.. both raw exposition and sturdy composition... rich write! the feeling... but I want to say "Don't lie!! Tell!! and then go seek out that sound!! ~!!!" but that's just me ;} ..another excellent piece Jim Comment by Sarah Free


light as dipping bud tracing air with colour sparing the dark from its boundary lips whispering clean the dirt of me the nuance of particle claiming space as ours the touch is almost & yet everything

The Inconclusive

& further from here history where kisses begin wars & the blush of mouth is blood

kisS

& forward future where love is the gossip of permanence tittle-tattle of eternity & back here where we do not know & yet everything

62

the inconclusive kiss By Gillian Prew www.myspace.com/wordjunkiespace

This poem is created like a pendulum moving forward and backward, unable to choose a direction to move. As a single moment which can expand in time or to be frozen in present and thus to dissolve in the past. This is brilliant! Comment by PaulV


I Can't Stop Nodding My Head To This Song

63


I Can't Stop Nodding My Head To This Song www.myspace.com/464559229 By M for Mag(i)cant

64

Well my dear neighbor... I always like your poetry even though it seems a bit edgy and dark at times, but there is such a wonderful curiousity and sense of humour in your words. I REALLY like how your presentation has taken shape too in the last while since I began following your words. Comment by Glo


Ghost in the Attic ... where we stowed away pictures, stories that were written by you and me. A time capsule of our own making a breath of childish whispers that were spectre of light They encompassed that space, the laughter rhythm and rhyme. Ghost in the Attic by Angelheart www.myspace.com/angelheartwxyz

This is excellent! peace and love. Comment by Justin Blackburn

Hiding in Grandma's Attic.. we had our own secret space blocks built into fortresses Story lines changing dimension one moment we were "Lost In Space" Pretend spaceships gliding through time...I was Leia and you were Luke, Hoist Your Petard..( I thought it was Retard) Danger Will Robinson.. Danger.. Teddy was Chewbacca and he didnt mind not in the least. Falling into piles of pillows that were cosmic dust.. chasing each other with pretend sabres.. into the dusty corners that even mice didnt venture, I had a secret compartment there.. where we stowed away pictures, stories that were written by you and me. A time capsule of our own making a breath of childish whispers that were spectre of light They encompassed that space, the laughter rhythm and rhyme. After Grandma died, many years later I climbed the rickety stairs, hearing the squeak with each step sending shivers up my spine Light trickled into tiny window frame, webs hung like Irish Lace a dowery of her ancestory forgotten toys I bent to touch, lingering with a smile over cups still set with foccilized Oreo on tiny plate Han Solo sitting next to Ballerina Barbie faux date in progress Closed my eyes and I could almost hear his laugh the cousin who kept me company each summer.. quick to laugh, and to joke damn he always cheated at jacks. I sat cross legged reading the story we took turns writing wondering why family drifts like sand and noone meets in summers anymore like our parents always did, Why did this story have to end Closing my eyes I almost drifted back, into another time and space out of the corner of my eye I could have sworn I saw the hazy shape of a child looking back at me a whisper of touch on bare leg was all I felt

Was it real... 65


I Am

i am prince and pauper i am rogue and proper i am meal and crumb smart and dumb i am sensitive and numb i am kind and cruel i am food and stool i am strong and weak bold and meek i am boring and freak i am below and i am above i am pull and i am shove i am hate and i am love

66

In so few words you said so much... Comment by John(Coyote)

i am by Michael Egidio Quigg www.myspace.com/worksofq


I Am Woman

I Am Woman by Sweet Clover

www.myspace.com/mypaintedlife

Behold, and bear witness to the vision Woman Wrapped in passions silk Radiating power and sensuality Seeds of the universe ripe Rolling hips and swell of breast Fully rounded, sweetly soft Graceful in turn of hand, and lips Creator of the divine world Woman Begetter, of warriors Strong and benevolent Kings Author of empires A sigh of peace held within chaos Divinator of beauty Full of contradiction Consume the beauty Woman

Unadorned and gloriously feminine Mysterious in being Calling in the scent of love Pure in form Her skin glistening, diamond sweat Satiated in loves kiss

Makes me feel powerful... thanks...beautiful. Comment by Nella

67

Woman. Behold my visage Breathe Revel in my being I am Woman


Inspired by a trip to Nanaimo, and of course, written on the ferry.

Rocks, sand Te a m i n g w i t h l i f e . Opaque residue and flaky green kelp baked into the pebbles. The Ocean pushes and pulls revealing it's sensitive edges under attack by feet, boats, children Then light shifts and like the moon she swells, covers up for the night and sends out her refuse. Rolling onto the shore this rhythm and curling of sound.

It was then translated into Italian by my dad, and I quickly turned that into a piece of music.

What a great discription of the ocean, I love everything about, I love the way she covers up at night...excellent! Comment by Melissa 68

Scolie e sabbia pullulanti di vita, residui opachi e scaglie di laminaria verde essiccate ai sassi. Flussi e riflussi dell oceano rivelanti I suoi bordi delicati attacati da piedi, navi, bambini D'un tratto la luce muta Come la luna l'oceano si gonfia e si copre con la notte rimandando alla spiaggia i rifiuti roboanti; questo ritmo e rotolio del suono

www.myspace.com/alibomb

The OceaN

The Ocean by Allison


To My Reflection I lost my strut today

It's my march

And lost

Bringing me here

My I'm making peace

A stampede of failed flesh

My longing to belong

But I'm in here

with the earth march

As disgustingly beautiful

to being lost

So, take me dirty

Because you came

As a victim to the surface is

Swallowing splinters for lust

Unashamed and clear

With your papercut eyes

So I'll stay beneath it

Because I thought that I should

A pilgrim soaked in promise

Stabbing my face

Filtering my shadows

That I must, trust

Flaunting hope

My perfectly imperfect face

And bathing in my screams

That there's a dust

I'm desire, altered grace

What did you think you would see?

I can't confuse my making

That I cannot see

Not the portrait of a face,

Replacing beauty for vanity

With your pretty dreams

Falling silently, just like me

on mass

You imposter

I've tried

To My Reflection By Pepper www.myspace.com/459010826

69

Not the girl in this glass.

Trifecta hurrahs!! This is fantastic, with the strut sounding like it returns by the end. You've changed my day with this. Comment by J. Hezekiah Kepler


1 ( (

Afterward * "If you eat now the bound lotus steamed in lemon butter wine and sweet cardamom Yum! it does not burst or break into bloom... Ask not your belly why while savoring the flavours of blossom. ~ blossoming sings ~ to Wholes, holes filled by coloured strings strands, pulled light into the heart of eyes' sighs. silver sealing wax surfaces smoothed inwardly weeping inks absorbed by cells' walls' orifices drinking colour up as kisses grace in the hollows, hallowed." * 70

afterward by Sarah Free http://www.myspace.com/safranna

Like your art Sarah your poetry speaks volumes :) Lovely to watch you bloom featured poet of the day lovelyyyyyyyyyyyyy kiss x Comment by **BabyM**


i have seen many women naked some lovers, some friends, some by life's odd chance, at seven I saw our au pair sunbathe topless (didn't bat an eyelid) at ten I saw my sister by mistake (scared the shit out of me) at fourteen our canadian friend's daughter's bikini top fell off at the swimming pool i looked the other way while she retrieved it, later she told me it had been a "test" (i'd failed)

A Different Kin

and then came life, that odd mix of awkward moments and elation, so much that was lost in translation, jo's assertion "that's not all i do", val's perfect-perfect breasts (but all that pain) tor and her phrase, almost but not quite apologetic "more than a handful is a waste",

Beauty

all these came and went,

and then cynthia fifty-two with a catheta fitted, three years of alzheimers had robbed her of the sparkle that comes with "downs", that joy in life, and then cynthia i changed her pad and wiped away the shit that others pretended not to smell near the end of their shift,

A Diifferent Kind of Beauty by Si /www.myspace.com/jo_nobody

The first commenter nailed it- range. This brings the reader through a range of emotion few manage to capture so succinctly. Humor, lust, sorrow, hope and pride - all in a handul of words. supremely ordinary, Si. Comment by Isaac Seal

and then cynthia bed baths and hoists, dignity is not measured on a tick list of pad changes, but in the eyes and in the days, when naked moments passed between us, and then cynthia i wished i had known the laughter and the humour that others spoke of, but i knew enough to see her beauty.

71


I am son of the champion Birdstone And my sweetheart mom Mining My Own That is where I got My silly-sounding name Although tiny in stature And a bit uncoordinated My heart is huge, pulsating With dignity and courage. I run faster than a raging storm The blood of Arabian stallions Coursing through my veins As I gallop I feel velvety sand Under my bare hooves What a cushion, such a spring I fly up and into the desert With powerful wings. Small steed that I am I have dignity I know who I am, I am proud To be me, little horse, tiny heir To a throne, Mine That Bird That is who I am. I am The One who came from behind Dead last, but not by accident

Defying all predictions I surpassed my fellow steeds As if they were dead asleep I left nineteen horses In my wake rapidly And in stunned silence. Mine That Bird I am And I so want to please Just ask me softly and I will run Beat me, and I ask why? I am giving you my whole heart It is yours for the taking But not if you insist oh, no Not if you throttle Me with your whip. And so, on Preakness Day You held me back when I was Ready to run heart bursting with pride Why did you do that? At long last, you set me free And I raced past all the others One by one like a phoenix As you were whipping me mercilessly Squirmy little midget on my back You cost me my victory.

Bird Song ď “

On May 16, 2009, the filly Rachel Alexandra won the Preakness Stakes. This is the "second leg" of the thoroughbred Triple Crown. A late entry, Rachel Alexandra had been hailed as a "super filly," having won the all-filly Kentucky Oaks by more then twenty lengths. For those of you who do not know much about horse racing, "lengths" translate into the length of a horse, or its approximate. When Rachel Alexandra won the Preakness, she was in the process of being "run down" by fast-closing Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. Another five or so seconds and he would have overcome her. This poem is for him.

www.myspace.com/limetaxi2

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Bird Song By Lola

Yes... but he will always have that victory at the Derby. One for the ages. Well done, my friend. I enjoyed it very much. Comment by Larry Kuechlin

ď “


CitY

Push a lit t le furt her t o realize what I already have t hat which get s st olen from me Ever yday in t he cit y T he right way is open st ronger t han my one are t he cumulat ive woes t hat t ear at st anding monument s for me W here noone will ever see I t 's all I ever need t hem t o be I n t he cit y I don't see you t r y W here.....W here are you? I f you are scared like me T here is a chance t o crawl away Wait ing a while for t he right day t o list en for t he sounds of t he t hings we are T hen climb t o a common g round wandering t his young place falling in love wit h simple g race

city by nosajofthehillpeople www.myspace.com/nosajofthehillpeople

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You are awesome! Great job... Comment by Nilsa V. Torres


West

The Rooster points west, towards L.A. nights and Nevada deserts where the decision is cast on a pair of fixed dice. The pirated soundbytes that hoist the mainframe of the fortunate and obsolete tidings of passing crowds.. Venture onto the sunless strip, and watch the Rodeo of clownless cars and heads that steer clear of being gored and maimed beneath the trumped up horns of the apocalypse. My will has been placed under cardiac arrest and the officials claim my motive was boredom. Atral fib beats the stillness of empathy, so I will not resist the impending incarceration and relocation of the witnesses there. They know the real story behind the random occurrences. The marquee overtop the Mirage reads "for weary souls with a hint of chance". The invitation was supposed to be sent R.S.V.P. But promptness has never been a winning suit.

WEST by: Mr. Green the unanswered poet www.myspace.com/230864753 Implies that the East is conservative. I've never really found it to be that way. Both coasts are kind of forward thinking. It's when you travel West or East of the coasts that free thought becomes stagnant. Wonderful poem, full of fantastic wordplay. I love a poem that uses language so intelligently. Comment by Grizabella Jellicle/Cat Scratch Reborn

Dogtown is an excellent course for action. The swimming pools provide an even splash of support for the slanted riders of thin decks. There is plenty of seemless chlorine on the shallow end and I can keep from flying over the cusp if I hold tightly to the nosedive. Applause is free of charge and can be picked up at your local grocery store. Just remember that it may cause side effects such as slight vomiting and diarrhea of the brain. Cacti is abundant near the Bunny Ranch, so be sure to apply it to each and every star-gazing idea that crosses your path. It makes for an excellent substitute to penicillin and that is a great help since it's no longer offered at the entrance. So leave today...now... this instant. Catch the next bus going west and pray for the bumpy roads. It will shake loose your misconceptions on the present, and the Rooster will greatly appreciate your conservatism...

74


Endless Me inevitably I see a mere reflection of me staring aimlessly at the shell that used to be me realizing I am free opening new wings dancing wildly in change's breeze Endless Me by Kathleen J. Sather www.myspace.com/impalis

75

Perfect title! A person stays in a constant state of change... I love the feeling of freedom, dance, wings.....very good!! Comment by Phibby


Give It All Away I will never tip my hat as a matter of courtesy But I will extend respect to everyone because that is the common denominator However the more you demand from me the less I will bend into your conformity If life to you means who you are in the eyes of someone else We will have our differences and they will most likely keep us separated Because the more I learn about this thing called breathing I sense now that the only thing that makes any sense is to give it all away And never expect any return because that would be an investment And the more I learn about this thing called living The more I sense that giving it all away is by all means the road less traveled to common sense Within all this is the irony that becoming rich is really just the ability on how to possess nothing I watch these documentaries looking for tales of secrecy hidden in the content All the secrets are there for the taking when applying attention to the reverse As I proclaim the “I refuse to be molded” mantra while some disrespectful poet Misunderstands the simplicity in self worth verses the hatred of self loathing And smothers himself and others deep inside the trauma And the more I learn about this complicated story I sense the moral of the chronicle It’s best to just give it all away and ask for nothing That would be the hardest thing to procure in this folk tale read as life The complications involved are so magnified when the last thing anyone wants Is a real model that exemplifies how everything is really free Eventually someone comes along with a price tag and sells it back to humanity The more I learn about this thing called breathing The more I see that the only way to be clean is to give it all away Without thinking twice about why or about the reward that comes in the long run The more I learn about my fellow man the more I realize That when I give it all away there’s always someone who wants to stop me But the only one I have to answer to is this impractical voice inside my head The more I learn about myself the more I comprehend this yearning that keeps driving me To just give it all away

Give It All Away By Glen Still 76

www.myspace.com/glenstill10kpoet

When you get what you want... you should give it away Comment by Glo


The Valentine I Never Gave You

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The Valentine I Never Gave You By Scott Clark Farley

10K Poets National Poetry Month Issue  

Poetry for the masses

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