christmas greetings from johnnie b. baker Here’s a hardy ho-ho to all you people out in winter-land. Welcome to the all-new Budget Press Review #2! Of course, here it is December and it’s 75f outside here in sunny Rivercide. I keep hearing el-nino, which is being blamed for everything from floods in Kenya to fires in Indonesia to hurricanes in Mexico, is supposed to wreck havoc on my sunny climate, but it has yet to come. Maybe I shouldn’t count my chickens quite yet. Once again I have traveled high and low to bring you the highest level of artistic fluency anywhere, and I like to think I have succeeded. Included within these hallowed pages is new poetry from Bob Nye, the author of Sign of the Cross, a new short story from Paula Lopez, the author of Lilith’s Panties, as well as artwork from Jeffrey S. Ribaudo, the creator of meagarity. Also included inside are new poems from ken robidoux and David Miller. I like to think of this review as my Christmas present to everybody, especially since after making this I can’t afford to buy any presents for anyone! Of course, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, whether because it’s a bastardized pagan Roman holiday, or because it’s not your religion, or simply because you’re a grinch, then I hope you have a good day off. With el-nino coming, the skiing should be good. Be sure to check out Budget Press on the web! www.budgetpress.net Cover Photo by Nick Ianelli
with or without reason, still the fact remains. all the muscle flexing, sweat breaking, hugeness of sound so god-damn loud sloppy like a shotgun empty in my mouth discharges pain in strobe factions short light fractions but I never let go, never stop short blisters' blisters rip trolley-red blood drains down my button down, onto my snare onto my bleach-blue Levi-legs splashing off my symbols into my eyes burns, burns like a motherfucker but I never stop short, never drop a stick all my unused useables my Flinstone Chewables my 16 vitamins and iron abandoned on my lap in pulsing fragments mostly 4:4 mostly one-eighty-five or more on the metronome nesting under my chest plate ken robidoux
To Watch the Lights and Shoot the Breeze Sometimes we used to park Up in the hills, above the orange groves, On curvy dirt roads Used mostly by fruit pickers, Above the last house and Beyond the outskirts of town, While our parents and Prudish classmates lay in bed or Watched the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. We sat inside, outside and even on The hood of my '73 CamaroYellow and black, dropped to the weeds, With jammin' tunes, Turbo charged, Engine chromed and Racing wheels With fat, fat tires--OOOH!...and, Smoked our weed in pipes or papers and Drank beer we pimped from the 7-1 1, Sometimes even-yaow!-tequila, Talking about beautiful girls and Awkwardly trying, never succeeding, To admit that we were shy, and Feared these girls who we Loved or liked or hated now, Who had the power to reduce What we misnamed our manliness To nothing more than childish adolescence. We imagined that the city lights Were those of another city, Hollywood maybe, Someplace more exciting, and
Someplace more exciting, and we talked about the people who Lived there and wondered what They were doing at that moment, -Sleeping? Partying? Having sex?-As if All the beautiful movie stars in Hollywood Were sleeping with each other, or drinking Fancy drinks mixed and served by maids or Butlers, and probably even snorting Cocaine, while pimps and hookers and winos Walk along what might be say-Hollywood Boulevard? Instead of Main Street, Which from where we sat was a long line Of double-dots that dimly shone through a Frosty haze of night time mist which lingered In the cool still air above the valley. We traded stories about where we'd be In five-ten-fifteen years, provided We could get through high school without Getting kicked out for misbehaving, or Flunking out and becoming bums or Fast-food lifers, serving burgers and tacos To our successful friends who stayed home, Studying and sleeping, instead of parking On cool moonlit school nights To watch the lights and shoot the breeze. David Miller
Jeffrey S. Ribaudo
gas paula lopez Sometimes my breath smells like burnt coffee. So does my ass. It’s a new smell that’s been issuing from my orifices that I don’t understand. For about six weeks now, every few days or so, I’ll notice this unprecedented, stale smell. At first I didn’t think it was me. I was sitting down at work typing next to Janie when I initially encountered it and was surprised at her nonchalance. God, I’d be so embarrassed, I thought. I’d freak out and develop social atrophition if I did something of that poignancy. It really made me like her more for her courage, even though I felt a little resentful for being trapped by the infusion. It wasn’t until I got up to go fill out my time card by our coordinator’s cubicle, that I realized the smell was still there. “Hey Sweetie! Could you pass me mine?” Janie was standing right behind me. Reassured of my innocence, I gladly handed the sheet over to her. “Thanks,” she said and hunched over a desk to scribble. Wow, it truly was a unique odor. It wasn’t earthy and thick like most bodily releases. You know the type that swims around your whole head and kind of makes you dizzy, the type that screams out “humanity!” No, this smell confined itself strictly to your nose and very slowly worked its way up to your recognition, where invariably your brain would reject it. It was a very detached sort of smell, almost mechanical, an apathetic fart. Finished with my time card, I went back to the desk and resumed typing. I didn’t pay much heed to the still residing odor because I realized that when dealing with someone as prolific as Janie, it wouldn’t be long before the entire office was filled, whether she personally got around to each nook and cranny or not.
“And if you wanna add 2/8ths and 5/16ths you needa what? What? C’mon now, I know you can keep track ‘a this just like you do all those CD’s y’all buy. You wanna turn ‘em into caaawmon denominators.” I recorded each word I heard through the headphones. I hated Math but was dedicated to transcribing each and every word the way it was spoken from the video tapes onto the close captioning scroll, including “wannas”, “aints”, “gonnas”, you name it. I figured I’d perfect the “If we get the privilege of hearing improper grammar, they should get the privilege of reading it” motto of our department. It was a decision I made back in November, a personal vow of sorts. I wanted to make a difference and realized that through this little bit of power granted me I could bring deaf students to understand the true reality behind the hearing realm and not the hyped up, Never Never Land of Audio that they’ve been fed for so many years, falsely filled with “ought to haves”, “is nots”, and “want tos”. But my mind kept going back to Janie and her gas. I’d been criticized for my transcribing methods because they allegedly took longer than necessary and were too difficult to read. I was told to take lesson from Janie, who had been moved into the captioning team much later than I. For this I was ungrateful. In fact, several times she and I had gotten into some tense quarrels over how best to proceed. She would only go so far as “gonnas” and “gottas” and didn’t take the time to see that “yer” and “kay” were significant departures from “you are” and “okay”. I’m talking about the unevolved side of humanity, the id, the times when our fimo clay masks of educational and moral structure melt away and all we’ve got left is a werewolf in London, and she blew it off! And she didn’t page break very often, so as to signal the reader when a thought was finished. She only did that at the end of a problem. She was a lazy captioner, in my opinion, and didn’t care about the effect her work had on the deaf community. But today she smelled. She talked and laughed with me, as she smelled.
“And what I totally hate is, if I don’t wanna have sex, I’m doing it to control him. I’m, I’m...uh, tease, ya know.” “Oh, totally and --” “Yeah, I mean, you can’t even, I mean, what if you just don’t want to?” “I know, I know, it’s like did they ever think of that? That you just don’t want to?” “I mean, I like, I like to -- I mean, when I see beautiful girls and guys, whoever, I just love to be around them, ya know? Flirt and hug everyone -” she dared explain while reeking. I nodded. “It’s just how I am. I’m not trying to tease anyone to be, like, mean or anything. I dunno, it’s hard to explain.” “I think I have it.” She suddenly seemed gentle before me, more open and less stuffed to the brim with 18 year-old bravado. So this is what was behind her -- surprisingly -- a real, easy-going confidence with herself, humanity, her gaseous excretions. She probably felt good about her shit too. Eventually five o’clock rolled around and we were signing out. After waving good-bye, I walked through the glass double doors of our building and headed for my car. I pulled in my driveway, still marveling about the particular chemical nature of the stench. I wondered if it was a reflection of Janie somehow. I went inside, threw my keys on the table, then went to go pee. As I pulled my sweats pants down I was flooded with the sharp, smoky smell that had been surrounding me all day. In horrorfication I thrust my head down to the inside of my pants and sniffed. Yes. I stuck my head between my legs, hoping not to smell it. But yes. Though it was fainter and more diluted there. Perhaps an otherwise slight and benign liberation from my rectum had mixed with sweat from my pants and thereby created an odiferous substance to be dealt with, or perhaps it was the particular fabric of this specific brand of clothing made by a certain manufacturer that
utilizes cheap labor in foreign, third world, smelly countries whose chemical enhancements do not react well to the California smog; or maybe it was the prolonged usage of these pants -laundry really could add up sometimes -- whereby the combination of lingering sweat and exotic forms of cotton from Nigeria or Brazil or Greece was just enough to deliver a malignant vapor. It couldn’t just be my own gas. That was too terrible. Too simple and too uncouth. In subsequent weeks as I began noticing the smell when eating dinner, doing my assignments, watching TV, I kind of came to accept the new addition to my repertoire of farts. Sometimes, it even seemed to emanate from my pores, being generated from no specific place, but rather my whole existence simply breathing it in and out. Recently, I started burping it. I haven’t figured out its origin, I don’t know what causes it. I thought for awhile it was my non-stick cooking spray. The End
In The Dust Green light flashes and the race is on. She’s fast, like out of the hole man, Sometimes it feels like I’ve spent my Whole life chasing tail lights. This ain’t no downstream beer. I handed you my brains, balls and Phone card and you smiled, like The girl next door putting your Finger on the trigger. Too cool to fuck up too spaced To be Mary Tyler Moore. I shift into second and damn it Feels like power. From your point of view objects in The rear view mirror always turns Out to be the cops. But that won’t be enough You probably feel same as me. It can’t be helped. You’re a floater and I’m Dog paddling hoping the lifeguard Notices me. I watch you ride like the Searchers, Into the sunset, with the glow Of your tail lights illuminating My best nightmares. Bob Nye
Jeffrey S. Ribaudo
How Boys Are If I were your father I'd tell you how life is, and how boys are When they're high on testosterone and see you as better Than hands, and I'd tell you about your mom and virtue so I can sleep at night while you're out with boys, alone. If I were your mother I'd tell you how boys are, and how life is When they see you as a prize and how to dole it out Over time so as not to let it be squandered by a foolish child So I might be vindicated for the sins of my youth. If I were your sister I'd tell you how mom is, and how dad Can be made to sweat in the night and how boys will do anything If you won't but let them think you will, and I'd keep you Just out of reach of my boyfriend so you won't take him from me. If I were your brother I'd tell you how life is, how mom and dad and sis Are scared of your sexuality, afraid of the power your body holds and I'd tell you how boys are, and how the world is and not to sleep with all The boys, just the nonthreatening ones like me, who never fit in. David Miller
Fiery Coffin For pitfalls and pinnacles met with misery and childish need, for savage, primitive, empty hands unwashed, scarred from a thousand blisters healed curled closed and bitter, raise four posts eight feet high with four across of the same dry white oak, thick and lifeless. On this crude and bone dry altar toss my empty shell. Sweep the forest floor and pile me on it, boys light it with gasoline and a cigarette butt found in the dirt, a Lucky Strike flicked and trampled with boot-track stains. Stoke the fire twelve nights and thirteen days paint up and dance drink thick port wine and eat wild mushrooms gambol an earthen ring round my ashes as you jump and scream and beat your chest you naked crazy bastards.
Dance for the life I pissed away. Dance, for yours soon will come. Dance until you puke and your feet blister, chant in brash, bold strokes and dance. Paint your naked bodies with the paint of a timely death as our fathers no longer do. Paint it up you naked crazy bastards lest the gods mistake me and send me back again, dance and chant me into the next as I burn endless. Pound the nails and stoke the fire of my fiery coffin, boys. Rejoice in all my failures and what I could have been in hushed and curious tones and loud glorious cries, as my ashen wind swirls in your lungs and coughed, lifts as the wind takes ash to flight. ken robidoux
Fridays Always the 13th One day lost on the freeway The tire goes bad so I roll off Where god conveniently put in a repair shop At the door is a plump man With “Ed” stitched on his shirt He’s not Iranian but he’ll laugh anyway “It’s going to be 45 minutes before I can even get to it” Like I’m going somewhere A wired mechanic puts my car on The racks He tells the other mechanic to go To lunch without him On Friday the 13th In the office it’s always the same Little League trophies, a machine With chitlets from the Kennedy era Field and Stream on the coffee table With National Beef Magazine Which has a complete diagram Of how cows are made comfortable On a conveyor belt Are calm at the point of slaughter He charged me twice the estimate “Gee I guess I was lucky to Break down here” “Yeah” he snickered “some things Just work out that way” I drove out to the freeway And took my place in the Long line of cars Feeling absolutly calm On Friday the 13th Bob Nye
Strung out and Finger stained My ears spun circles around my head flyers underrun the mimeograph bled waking sheepishly from a trundle bed Skeleton with much less of the dread quite the simpleton of crooked letterhead and kids breath that stank of gingerbread Galveston the waves of island dead halcyon -- spoon fed shuffle sounds outside my shed and trample down my sand bedstead houses on stilts await the watershed in pale shades of green, blue, yellow or red and port wine and day old bread and Van Morrison gages the days in my head and the type I block to the suture is thread at least that's what I hoped Emma would have said ken robidoux
Jeffrey S. Ribaudo
Taboo and the Infinite I Am I spent a season by the sea With friends who knew my Every secret, all but those I Kept from mom and dad and Siblings both, like lying on A cold tile floor while Uncle Jake explored our Sexuality, deep into my Twenties, so much like a Secret patriarchal rite of passage, And roasted soft white marshmallows, Under the warm summer moon, So sure they took me for A phony, laughing at faggot jokes And describing perfect women, girls, To whom I'd offer my super-manliness, Yet never did I let them see me With my mask off, fearing that They thought I was what I thought I was. David Miller
Untitled The other night Not to long ago I had a dream But not like Martin Luther King In this dream You shook my hand And from behind your back You pulled out a big fucking knife And hacked me to pieces Right in front of everyone Bigger than shit I couldnâ€™t seem to think Of anything clever to say that Would make you stop Pieces of me fell all over the sidewalk And like starfish they all started Crawling off in their own Separate directions You laughed I guess you didnâ€™t think it was too painful Meanwhile an the ground Pieces of me went pathetically In circles Looking for another hand to shake Bob Nye
Shhh â€Ś Listen. Can You Hear It? Boxcars and Bathtubs transportation gives me a ride tick tick ticket out of this town Humidity, Dry Wells, forced closed and capped off drained clean and sweating Strawberry NeHi bottle sweat delivered from the iron craw of a rusted Coke machine, corners rounded over on top, logo embossed built in bottle cap remover, twice two-bits grinds glass on glass the pop icon belches it hurts my teeth my left eye flutters I can smell the wheel bearing grease ken robidoux
Budget Press Catalogue of Fun. ? by David Reeves poetry from the bipolar man. misogyny johnnie b. baker, ed. Read why women hate men. Rockess by Jessica poetry from the queen of the storage shed. nice guys finish furniture by s. t. brophy wisdom from the poet laureate of the Lower Haight. Sign of the Cross by Bob Nye poetry from the king of punk. Unpleasantly Plump by P. Sebastian Strong more shit from a guy who’s full of it. meagarity by Jeffrey S. Ribaudo look at the pretty pictures. Hamwax by Cadillac Luke and Clay Raelings the ‘zine that proves anybody can do this. The Book of Shadows by Tricia G. O. Etz poems about love, pain, and death. Road Worthy Hungry and Mean by Mel Bain poetry as hot as a jalepeno butt plug. It’s Always Something by Kelly Mcclure poems from a woman on the verge. Twisted by Jenna read her, love her, just hope that you never meet her. The Budget Press Review #1 with P. Sebastian Strong, s.t. brophy, Steve Hovey, Chris Katko, Chad Davidson, and johnnie b. baker this one costs a dollar. Sending Cinderblock Moonbeams through the Ceiling by Mike Buller read the random thoughts of a wayward fool. singing for pennies on the streets by c. mulrooney poetry that’s short, sweet, and to the point. Meanderings Through the Mind by Rachel Caldwell here’s a warm body with a hot pen. We Wish To End All by Lob one man, one sitting; one rhyme, ten haiku’s. Lilith’s Panties by Paula Lopez the confessions of a red-blooded american woman. Tales I Have Been Hanged By. by David Castleman poetry that will rape your mind. Saint Agnes Preface by Robert James Brant a very short story from the land of rolling rocks. Budget Press Review #2 with David Miller, Paula Lopez, Jeffrey S. Ribaudo, Bob Nye, Nick Ianelli, and ken robidoux this one costs a dollar. www.budgetpress.net