the budget press review #3 johnnie b. baker editor/publisher featuring ST Brophy Paul Semel johnnie b. baker Michael Andre Tom Hamilton Anna Arutunyan Lanny Fields Richard Tater C. Mulrooney Ben Vincent Jennifer Stoever October 1999 www.budgetpress.net
“Wonder is my basic reaction to the world.” Eugene Ionesco Welcome to the Budget Press Review #3! Hey, it’s only been a year and a half since the last one! But it’s not like I haven’t been busy. Been cranking out new pubs left and right. Traveled to Poland, Turkey, and the Czech Republic. Lived for nine months in Russia. Had six feet of intestine yanked out. Started writing a weekly (or so) ecolumn, The Budget Files. Busy busy busy. But now I’m back home in California, so time to bust out a zine. I didn’t know whether to put out another Budget Press International, with travel stories, or a Review, a lit mag. I had submissions for both, but not enough for two separate zines. So I decided to take what I had and put them into one zine, the one you’re holding in your hand. After all, I’m the boss. So enclosed in this issue of the Review, you got some travel stories, some poetry, some fiction and some nonfiction. As I put this issue together, I noticed two themes that keep popping their heads out. One theme is cops, with SafeMart by ST Brophy, Beer Cops by Tom Hamilton, and Suicide Homicide Genocide Riverside by Richard Tater. The other is Russia, with Looking for the Revolution by me, johnnie b. baker, Holocaust by Anna Arutunyan, and A Farewell to Russia by Ben Vincent. And, of course, there is the prose and poetry from Paul Semel, Michael Andre, Lanny Fields, C. Mulrooney, and Jennifer Stoever. So here’s The Budget Press Review #3, a little bit lit mag, a little bit travel journal. I hope you enjoy. Dedicated to Kathy Reeves.
Contents and layout copyright 1999 Budget Press. Authors retain full rights to their work.
All ads were free. johnnie b. baker
THE MANDRAKE PRESS Our attempt is to present a ripe encouraging mindfulness and we admire folks who define themselves as they go, for by their honorable definitions are we defined. We yen for good hard fun whether the pursuit is fashionable or individuated. We prefer perceptions to opinions though they are harder to hold, and colder. We are proud, merciful, and playful. Address in North America: Box 792 Larkspur, CA 94977-0792 USA Address in Europe: ul. Wielkiej Niedzwiedzicy 35/8 44-117 Gliwice Poland http://www.angelfire.com/pe/TheMandrakePress/ firstname.lastname@example.org
SafeMart ST Brophy I’m a cop. I want that known right off the bat. I don’t want anyone thinkin’ that I’m some kinda jag-off rented security schlump with severe acne and a gun permit. Nope. Like it says right here on the shoulder patch, I’m true blue, an academy grad, and nobody’s asshole. SafeMart’s my beat. Twenty-five aisles of produce and product, floor-to-ceiling household essentials, a bakery, a butchery, a fully-stocked delicatessen. Fifteen checkout stations, twelve full service and three express. Plus the parking lot. Some guys at the station like to give me a hard time, think this gig is all gravy. But it ain’t. It’s meat and potatoes, too. Beer and wine. Detergent and cleansers. Dog food and breakfast cereal. Toys and candy. Magazines and cigarettes. Fruits and vegetables. And plenty of nuts, you bet. It’s smack dab in the middle of the city, so we get all kinds. There’s this lady comes in, she’s a regular, and she always brings her dog. I don’t get it. Leaves the little sumbitch tied up outside, not ten feet from my watch post, and spends an hour and a half doin’ all her weeks shoppin’. It’s ungodly cruel. I don’t mean to the dog, cause fuck that little shitter. He’s a barker, see. Or she. Whatever. From the minute she ties the little bitch-bastard to the bike rack until she comes out a thousand years later all How’s my little poochie poo were you a good boy or girl or whatever, that dog is howlin’ and yippin’ and whinin’ and runnin’ in little tippy-toe circles to wake the dead from the dawn of time. And who suffers most the brunt of this rabid canine madness. Who ya think? Now, I’ve had more than my fair share of words with this bitch, and right now I am not speakin’ of the dog. I have told her Lady, you cannot bring that goddamn dog here. That beast is disturbin’ all our customers, who are leavin’ angry in droves, our employees, who can’t go nowhere, and the entirety of the surrounding neighborhood, who at this hour are either tryin’ to concentrate on their TV or else seekin’ sleep. I tell her you bring that animal to my store I’m not gonna let you in. She says it ain’t my store and she’s a valued customer and furthermore she would like to speak with a manager. I say the manager isn’t here which is true to an extent. Now, if she was to ask after an assistant manager, that would be a wish with which I would be forced to comply. Anyway she keeps comin’ in and she still brings the dog and ties it up and brushes past me with a cold, fierce stare, like I’d almost have to call it a challenge. What the fuck, she’s probably a dyke. They’re everywhere in this town. She is testing me, I would say. Forcing my hand. Questionin’ my power and pushin’ at my envelope. I have my limits. She doesn’t seem to know this, or else is too caught up in
my envelope. I have my limits. She doesn’t seem to know this, or else is too caught up in her own life to care. One of these nights, I’m gonna shoot that dog. It will be an act of mercy by chance and justice by design. I will be lauded as a hero, a preserver of the peace. And she will ask to see the manager through her tears and I’ll just say the mangy piece of shit tried to attack me. Three years I’ve had this beat. On account of an on-duty incident which is too convoluted to relate here. Suffice it to say, it was either this or a desk job. But I wasn’t about to become a goddamn pencil pusher. No way. I like to be where there’s some action. And besides, I’m a people kind of a guy. One night I’m in the bakery section, scavengin’ the sample trays for a few crumbs of the mornin’s goodies. Hey, a guy gets hungry, all night in the midst of so much foodstuffs. Anyway there’s these kids, punks really, with the haircuts and the facial jewelries and the Fuck Everything T-shirts and the raggedy camouflage pants that I hate to see cause goddamnit I’m a vet and some shit just ain’t right. In fact, it’s downright disrespectful. So already my dander is up with these kids and anyway I’m supposed to keep my eye on anyone who looks suspicious and these kids definitely qualify. So I’m watchin’ em real careful and they’re buyin’ pies. Day-old pies, mind. Half-price, cause they couldn’t scrounge enough change off the decent, hard-working folk. And then it hits me. For all I know, these could be the same perps who pulled off that savage pie attack on the Board of Supes last month. Oh yeah, it was all over the papers, and even on the TV. Sure. It makes sense. Little sons-of-bitches-nbastards with no respect whatsoever for the authorities that be, buyin’ up coconut creams and apple crumbs and chocolate meringue in the middle of the night. Armin’ themselves for a full-on assault on God-knows-which luckless and undeservin’ servant of the public. Some people think it’s funny, the piein’s, but not me. We got a word for that kind of fun, down at the station. It’s called aggravated assault. And it’s against the law. Look it up. So I’m eyeballin’ these punks and I can’t help it, it just kinda comes. I ask myself, what’s wrong with this country. I mean, you gotta jump through seventeen hoops to buy a gun in this great land of freedom, but any punk with an attitude and an agenda can walk into any SafeMart in the land and buy up all the pies he wants, no background check. It don’t seem right. So I’m all set to march right up to these ungrateful wastes of space and ask ‘em what are their intentions for these pies, but I catch myself. I think, what if they’re just hungry? They walk out past me with their pies and this one kid looks right at me and he leans over to the girl he’s with and whispers somethin’ and they both laugh, they all laugh, and right away I regret my decision not to fuck with their world. Laughin’ at me. Like they put one over on me. Tomorrow I’ll read about the mayor with a faceful of pie and I’ll wanna kick myself. I’ll wanna scream and tear their throats out. But that’s tomorrow and it’s too late to do anything about that. Bastards.
Nighttime or early mornin’ but still pitch black. That’s when the real crazies come in. As if to shop. Speedfreaks and bag ladies and piss-stinkin’ winos with madness on their breath, wingnuts and potheads and leatherboys in pairs and the occasional stripper just off work, which I don’t mind so much. Sometimes they even smile, and I always offer to walk em to their car or get em a cab or whatever. I’m a big flirt, what can I say? So this one night I’m mannin’ the door, keepin’ a real close eye on things, and all a sudden there’s this huge noise, all smashin’ glass and a scared shout. Right away I know it’s Aisle Seven. Beer and wine. Bad news ‘cause it’s past two and no one should even be over there. I’m there as fast as my bum leg’ll take me, bum from a bullet outta my own gun if ya gotta know but don’t laugh cause it’s no fun bein’ shot however it happens. And anyway there’s this guy standin’ in puddle of Thunderbird, a real tweak, you had to see him, and I’ll be damned if he isn’t cryin’ like a baby. I don’t know if it’s ‘cause of all that lost wine or else he sees me and thinks This is it. I don’t even have my gun out yet and he falls to his knees in the broken glass and spreadin’ red and starts pleadin’, either for his life or another bottle. Anyway I make the snap decision not to bust him right there, just walk him out of the store and get things back to some semblance of normal. He tries to shake my hand but this guy’s filthy, so I send him stumbling off into the night, thanking me profusely or else prayin’ to God for it to suddenly rain wine. Back inside, they make the announcement. Clean-up on Aisle Seven. What a life. This other night I’m at my post again and it’s just about time for my break and a little somethin’ from the deli, maybe roast beef, maybe prosciutto, I’m tryin’ to make up my mind when this lady bursts through the door screamin’ somethin’ about she’s been robbed. Right outside. In our parking lot. I’m thinkin’ there’s no way, this is impossible, ‘cause I just made my rounds and this includes the parking lot and there were absolutely no suspicious types lurking around ten minutes ago, and I would know. She wants to know Didn’t I hear her screamin’, didn’t anyone hear her cries for help? I say No, but anyway I can sure hear her right now. She’s hollerin’ to drown out even that damnable mutt who of course happens to be there and is probably why I didn’t hear anything or I coulda stopped it in progress. There’s a cut above her eye that doesn’t look serious but anyway she convinces me that this did in fact take place and I follow her out to where it happened. Not twenty yards from the door, between her Volvo and some guy’s Range Rover. There’s eggs and milk and mustard and various other strewn purchases all over the pavement but the guy or whoever is long gone. I get a description, young Black male, what else? and call it in, they send a squad car around and a uniform I know and hate takes a statement and the lady goes home and the officers look at me and say Good work real kind of snide and get in their patrol car and peel off. From inside, I hear the PA.
Clean-up in the parking lot. Shit. So it’s a few nights later, maybe a month, and I’m spendin’ a lot more time out front these days, walkin’ a lot more than just off-work strippers to their cars, playin’ bagboy to old crones and generally keepin’ the peace. That’s when it happens. Some homeless wierdo comin’ across the parkin’ lot, just the kinda guy I’m trained to watch out for, for all I know he could be that wino who lost the Tbird in Aisle Seven. I can’t tell, same beard, same straggly hair, same wild starin’ eyes. They all look like Jesus to me. Or Manson. Anyway, he’s whistlin’ out loud to himself and generally just havin’ a good old carefree mornin’, wheelin’ a shoppin’ cart full of somebody’s trash and nobody’s treasure, and I notice in a flash it’s one of ours. I call out to him, but he just looks right through me and keeps on truckin’, whistlin’ Dixie or whatever Hell song it is. Hey buddy, I shout again, but he’s outta mental earshot, cruisin’ the Outer Reaches, so I start after him. Tellin’ him in a real loud voice and no uncertain terms That cart is property of SafeMart and I’m authorized by both the store and the city to confiscate said cart and everything in it and detain his sorry ass on suspicion of theft. Finally something gets through to Spaceboy, he turns and notices me like I just popped into being. For a second, I think he’s gonna stop. But no, what’s the bastard do? What else? He puts one foot on the lower basket and kicks off with the other, like he’s one of them skate punks I’m all the time havin’ to chase outta the alley behind the store, and he’s just zoomin’, ridin’ that stolen cart toward one of the parkin’ exits, steerin’ at freedom. I start to run, no mean feat with my bad leg, but I’m determined to get this son-of-one. I am three hundred pounds of raw badgewearin’ fury as I hustle to close the gap between me and this arrogant perp. But he’s got a good lead on me, the street’s just a hundred feet away and the parkin’ lot slopes down at the exit. If he makes it that far he’s home free. I know what I gotta do. I drop to my good knee and draw my weapon, take careful aim and pop off a shot, two, three. But he’s a movin’ target and a lucky son-of-a-bastard and so gets missed by every one. I hear car brakes squealin’ in the street and the crunch of metal and busted glass. I hear someone scream. It sounds like a lady. I hope she’s not a regular customer. I hope she’s more scared than shot. Oblivious to all this, the streetfreak lets out a strangled war whoop and whooshes down the ramp, right outta my jurisdiction. At this point, blessed fate chooses to intervene, that’s the only way I can look at it. ‘Cause just as old homeless boy sweeps down into the traffic lane, a number 22 bus just happens to happen along and WHAMMO, cans and bottles and rags and gimme caps and transistor parts and old sneakers and bum limbs and matted hair go flyin’, a hobo explosion, and little Mr. Looky-Me is street meat, pure and simple. Thank you God. Clean-up on Church Street! I can just hear it now.
They take my badge. They take my gun. They take me to court and they take me to jail. I don’t see why. Nobody died. Well, nobody who mattered and anyway he was human garbage and a thief to boot. But nobody sees it my way. Not even my lawyer. He has me cop a plea, claim extenuated circumstances due to job-related stress. What stress? I love my job. Well, I did. I was just tryin’ to do it, is all. Too good, I guess. Since when is that a crime? So some innocent people got a little banged up, had the shit scared outta em. Big deal. Life just does that. Why can’t they just get over it? Why can’t we all move on? So a lady lost an eye, that’s why God gave her two. So a guy bumped his head, had to have some therapy, regain his motor skills. I been there. But I know what I done, and why. Even if no on else does. I cut out some cancer, is all. Sucked a little snake venom outta the American leg. I made the world a little safer, so we can all sleep better at night. I did the world a favor, and this is the thanks I get? Where’s the justice? Where’s the mercy? Bastards.
Real Rockwell it was the only real Thanksgiving I've ever had but that's all I really remember how real it was how Normal Rockwell lots of people in sweaters turkey, stuffing, a football game in another room and lots of relatives saying hello though not to me since I was just a guest I just remember some images a couple things, real Rockwell that and the pecan pie and I've had pecan pie since then with ice cream whipped cream coffee, cappuccino, espresso I've had it hot cold at room temperature sometimes it was chewy sometimes the stuff under the nuts was watery I hate when it's like that but it's never been like that Thanksgiving never been real Rockwell sweaters, turkey, a football game in another room it just doesn't taste the same without that stuff around Paul Semel
untitled I always thought I'd lose my innocence there in the woods near my house I always just assumed I'd bring a girl up there show her the things we used to do in those woods and then we'd kiss moving on as people do when I was a kid weâ€™d go to the lookout tower picking up bottles that we'd find so we could set them on the cliff and knock them down with rocks and when I was a kid we built a fort in the middle of the woods and I always thought I'd try and find it again show it to a girl I liked as much as I liked those woods I went for a walk a few weeks ago wound up at the lookout tower looking for bottles and a couple of rocks and I went for a walk a few weeks ago trying to remember where we'd built the fort even though I had no one I could show it to I always thought I'd lose my innocence there in the woods near my house always thought I'd bring a girl I liked as much as those woods Paul Semel
Explaining Jonelle she sits in an apartment in San Francisco or so I assume it's been three months since we spoke which is how long we were together before she decided to just be friends it never should've gotten as far as it did she should've told me right away like the night we met or a couple of days later when I asked her out but she didn't say a thing didn't tell me for months until I already knew what she was going to say and it should've gone further than it did we should've done more than kissed let out hands slip down under, over, inside each other's clothes but we never did never even kissed that deep the way people do when both of them want to be more than just friends .
she sits in an apartment in San Francisco I know this now she sent me a message a few days ago about how she misses me and it's been three months since we spoke since she decided we should just be friends
it never should've gone as far as it did I should've realized right away that she still just wanted us to be friends and it never should've gone as far as it did but I decided to write her back hoping she had changed her mind hoping I was wrong and that she never just wanted us to be friends but that's exactly what she wanted this time and before so I had to tell her again that I can't be friends with her .
she sits in an apartment in San Francisco wondering why I won't be her friend while I sit in mine wondering why she doesn't want more Paul Semel
Looking for the Revolution johnnie b. baker So here I am in Moscow, and just in time for October 7, the day of nationwide strikes and protests. Well, I figure, what luck. If you believe Gennady Zyuganov, the head of the Russian Communist Party, this will be the day that the people will rise and yet another revolution will begin. The market oriented ‘reforms’ of the past few years have collapsed and revealed to the people the true evils of capitalism. With their savings wiped out and no social safety net, the people will rise and demand a return to the stability and security of Stalin and Brezhnev. “Oh boy!” I cynically thought. “I gotta hang out and watch the revolution begin!” Off I go to Red Square! If there was going to be another revolution, this was surely where it would begin. I took the metro to the city center. I figured I’d get out at Ploshad Revolutsii (Revolution Square). I mean, what could be more appropriate? A block from Red Square, the metro station decorated with bronze statues of heavily armed heroes of the revolution. But instead of finding the station full of people, thousands working their way up the escalator to protest, it just seemed like a normal Wednesday afternoon. I walk out…nothing except some guy with an AMERICAN FLAG on his chest handing out flyers for English lessons! Things seemed real quiet, then shit! Red Square is closed! It’s deserted! Where’s the revolution? Last night on ORT news they had maps of all the streets that would be closed for the demonstrations. Most of them were on the other side of Red Square. Of course, I couldn’t really understand what that newscaster was saying, but the roads were the southern route to the Kremlin, the traditional marching route. (Started by the Mongols when they burned the city down some 500 years ago.) So I walk around the Kremlin to the other side of the square, St. Basil’s staring down at me. The square here is empty as well. The southern bridge has less traffic than usual, but there is nobody stopping traffic. So I cross the Moscow River and go down the street. I remember on the news they showed Ulitsa Bolshaya Ordinka and the McDonald’s on the corner by Tretyakovskaya metro station. So I go there and there ain’t shit goin’ on! I guess there are a few more cops than usual, but no massive presence. I saw a gathering of some people at a nearby cathedral, but it was just a funeral. Maybe I’m early. The people have decided to rest before they topple the state. I got two cheeseburgers and a coke. Yevgeny Primakov, the Russian Prime Minister, was babbling on TV. last night, and although I could only understand about every tenth word, I am sure he was telling everybody to be calm, don’t freak out and burn down the country. “Everybody’s gonna get paid.” Something like that. I did understand ‘novy economica program”, a phrase with latent Leninist overtones (circa 1920). “The government is hard at work and if we all keep our heads things will be O.K.” I
can’t confirm this, but what else would a politician say on the eve of revolution? But right now things seem to be calm. Of course, I’m sitting in a Mc Donald’s in Moscow. Maybe the coalmines in Siberia are seeing some action. I walk out the door, and, ah, here we go, a couple of busloads of cops drive up. Maybe now something will happen! But they’re not getting out. Hell, they’re playing cards! There seems to be a gathering of old folks in front of McDonald’s. About a hundred of them. Some Asian guy is standing in the middle of a group of rambling old men writing stuff down. Obviously pensioners, the type of people you’d expect to be pissed off. Now the Asian is talking to some cute girls. Obviously, they have a different opinion than the old farts. One of the old men starts arguing with one of the young babes. The Asian is writing it all down. So when is the revolution going to start already? And are these old farts supposed to be the vanguard? Maybe it’s time to blow this hamburger stand and go check out another part of town. I go over to the White House, the seat of government and see if anything’s happening there. A couple of days ago was the anniversary of the 1993 battle between Boris Yeltsin and the parliament, when Boris brought in the tanks and blew the rebellious deputies out, which allowed Yeltsin to write a new constitution making the president basically an elected tsar. Maybe this will be the center of protest today. Behind the White House there is something. Facing the street are a bunch of miners hats lined up in seven rows lying on black sheets of plastic, and standing behind them are about 20 people. Behind them is a semi-permanent tent city, not unlike the AIDS tents in front of City Hall in San Francisco, though not as nice. A constant reminder of someone getting screwed. There are groups of people milling about among the tents, about 20-30 people a group. There are a couple made up of pensioners, with a few middle-aged men thrown in. One group of skinheads. But all total about 200 people. Not exactly the threat to order that has been advertised. So I head back to the fun on Bolshaya Ordinka. It’s 2:30 now, and the crowd has definitely thickened, about four thousand people, standing around. The red flags and the TV cameras are out in full force. The busses have emptied, and there are cops and army types all over the place. There’s a couple walking around selling soviet-era flags, which the teens seem to be buying up. Are they true believers, or just bored kids looking for a laugh? My guess is the latter. Must say a communist strike/march starting at McDonald’s is kinda funny. There are a few old guys and gals standing around with megaphones giving speeches, with applause at every pause. A babushka (grandmother) holding up a sign comes and stands next to me. Her sign says “Down with Yeltsin… something…something…dishonor (disgrace?).” A guy who looks like Primakov with a mustache starts arguing with her. I hear Yeltsin, Chernomyrdin, that’s all I can understand.
There are a lot of people holding pictures of Yeltsin with a red X over his face, and a whole group of people with Russian flag armbands. The cathedral where the funeral was now seems to be the journalist/photographer hangout. The photographers have staked out all the steps. It’s a good viewpoint. When the marchers start down the street they’ll be right there. There is a line of uniforms blocking the route right where the photographers are. They are the front line, and they all look under twenty. The more hardened looking troops are behind them, with more marching in. If there is going to be a confrontation, this seems to be where it would happen. Right at the start, before they head off to Red Square. The front of the march starts coming, with red banners spanning the width of the street, straight towards the unmoving faces of their young sons, the front line of defense. Quickly the men with Russian flag armbands run and stand in front of the front line, facing the marchers, but there are not enough of them to span the street. The marchers aren’t being allowed through. The march has begun, and stopped. They’ve moved about 50 yards, and you can still see the McDonald’s clearly. There are military officers arguing with the marchers. The camera crews have set themselves up behind the young line, lens down on the protesters. The protesters hold their signs high, to be seen on the evening news. More troops are coming in. Here comes ABC News, a little late, looking for a good spot to send back their usual lies to the states. The crowd has definitely grown, now about 5,000 people, and, through they’re not getting through the young line, they aren’t really trying. The cameramen and photographers start climbing up the buildings and trees. There’s a “Partido Communista” flag, the hammer and sickle on the Italian flag. Good to see that the international communist brotherhood still exists. But don’t ask me where the lone Confederate rebel flag fits into this. Maybe a brother in lost causes. Maybe someone who has listened to too much bad southern rock. A small flow of protesters are being let through on one side of the street, a few at a time. They get through then stand on the other side. Then a big group comes marching right up the middle, full of steam, cutting a swath through the protesters, some guy barking into a megaphone. They are waving blue flags. These are the actual labor unions; the ones pissed off at the communists for trying to take over their strike. They walk right up to the young line, and through! Next comes a religious/nationalist procession, with icons and black, yellow, and white flags, the colors of imperial Russia, followed by a little jeep with a kid ringing all kinds of bells. They are not let through. The jeep has driven right up to the young line, damn close, but is not budging any further. They will have to inch through the one opening like everybody else, though the opening is getting wider now, and more people are being let through. There was never any danger of a confrontation, it seemed, just a show of force and a halting of momentum. A brass band has started up. I admit what I really had known from the start. There will be no revolution today.
When I reached the terminus of the march it was getting late. Everybody was standing behind St. Basil’s, but Red Square was still closed. There were the usual passionate speeches and cheering crowds, but outside of the Russian language and location, not much different from demonstrations I have taken part in back in the states. That night a Russian friend translated the news for me. There were protests all over Russia, in Krasnoyarsk, in Nizhni Novgorod, in Murmansk. And everywhere the people were saying the same thing. Yeltsin sucks. But the crowds were a lot smaller than what had been expected, by both organizers and authorities. Only 120 people were arrested in Moscow, and they were drunk students and skinheads. No, the revolution did not start today. And if it did, I would have really been surprised. I was talking to a Canadian the other day and she said that she thought the fascists were going to take over. There would be a revolution again, but this time it would be a revolution on the right. There certainly won’t be another communist revolution, most people think of them as a joke. But I would be truly surprised if there was any kind of revolution, or even widespread social unrest. The Russian people have been through that ringer many times already. They know better than to let some revolutionary ideology carry them away. They have been ground up into hamburger for hundreds of years now, their idealism crushed by communism. Now, I think, they just want to survive, to have a job, without massive bloodshed and torture. No, I did not find a revolution today, and I doubt one is coming. October 7-8, 1998
Subscribe Now to The Budget Files! The Budget Files are a weekly (or so) e-column from me, johnnie b. baker. I am always thinking about something or other, and I felt that my opinion was important enough for the world to know! So I decided to send out e-mails of my experiences and opinions. Each Budget File is about whatever floats through my head at any given time. My interests lie in international history and politics, traveling, publishing, eating, drinking, and going off on meaningless tangents. So, each file can be about anything. The Budget Files come free to your e-mail address the second they’re finished. All you need to do to subscribe is send an e-mail to me at email@example.com and say ‘subscribe’! You can check out past columns from the Budget Press Homepage at www.budgetpress.net
GENDARMERIE He's so timid he fears the morrow at dawn the day before tomorrow. This timid little bird peeps in French uncertainly. So humble a creature can only perish. L'idée de chaque demarche 1'effrayait. He scheduled disappointments. Those who regret are timid. It était en proie au remords. Simone lives in a slum in Thionville in Lorraine. She has two sons by two men and never married. She's 60. They live in London; mes deux fils, she writes over and over on a page in the phone book. Her case has been bounced to Luxembourg from a court in San Francisco. She worked in San Francisco for the government of Luxembourg. She cannot afford to live in Luxembourg. She says she is a joint citizen of France and the United States. Poor old France is putting her up in God-awful Thionville near smug, tough Luxembourg. Luxembourg has easy-to-get temporary artist visas. Girls flock there from the east to perform in cabarets. Then their managers keep their passports to insure repayment for transportation, hotels, clothes; and the girls are forced into prostitution. Simone, pursuing her case, leaves him in a square with ten cabarets. The crazed polyglot whores pun in five languages. They call themselves the luxenpoor. English is big with whores and rubbies. Rubbies stagger in the same language everywhere. He thinks he can stagger with them. And then Paris is Alert because of Terrorism. Soldats et flics patrol the train stations. (Bogie in Casablanca calls the French cops "flicks.") Before dawn, thinking of Simone, he strolls into the Gare de Lyon: the usual mumbling homeless. But a woman at the entrance boldly requests 30 francs. Then a muscular young blond man with pierced nostrils steps up to him and asks something in loud colloquial French. Je suis desolé, Monsieur, mais je ne suis pas français and je ne vous comprehends pas. The muscular man moves closer and shouts these same words back at him. Three friends, among them a whore, watch, smirking. Je cherche un flic, he says. Cherches un flic! Cherches un flic! the other screams. There are no soldiers and police in the Gare de Lyon after midnight. The subways and the gendarmerie close. Michael Andre
The Beer Cops Be careful because the beer cops are out there those uncooked hams' damned to egg white streets hiding in the weeds while addicted babies weep like they did when the coloreds overran Los Angeles driving by with numerical codes for cowardice burning combustion supplied by their corruption oh they'll act official right down to initials and make fake arrests of simple handed suspects but not some nigger with his finger on the trigger not the snow shipments that slop their pig children nor any real troubles in logged fathoms of justice oh they'll pick up some whore and fine her a load they'll mow the small dealers of grass from the road or pass out tadpole tickets for spigots after two and they'll harass you or anyone without rights but that's okay because I'm waiting for the day or night when their plight will pick the wrong fray where Chicanos and Mexicans inhale and cough and I'll laugh when they get their pork snouts blown off and then they can write out their fucking reports in the singeing contours of Hell Tom Hamilton
Holocaust Anna Arutunyan How do you collect all the details of one life and world so that you can hold it in your hand and then be able to smash it against the wall? Details accumulate over a grain of sand, to use Milorad Pavic's beautiful metaphor for the damaging but sometimes sweet work of novels, and then manifest into little more than a horribly penetrating nostalgia which takes hold of your entire being as an artist. So the marvel of taking a city and holding it in your hand doesn't lie in the fact that you know its routes, alleyways and intrigues like the lines of your pawn, but in the fact that you can hope for a singular moment when it all can be destroyed. I cannot write in between several cities just as I cannot write between several novels (watch this failed attempt change my life)- my characters demand an attention and locality which I cannot give them, working, meanwhile, on this mini-lexicon in Prague which is a mere window into a larger Lexicon taking shape in Moscow. They go on strike when I betray their ethereal fragileness which takes form day in and day out in the people that wander into my room and leave their cassettes. Can I jump between my works as I jump between cities? Can I take shelter for the night within novels, my own and others, so as not to sleep under Karlov Most with a half-empty bottle of wine? Watch my character, Rabinovich, dream of destroying Moscow as I dreamt of building it, and his lost love Juliette, peeking in and out of this or that living person or living place, tormenting me while I skip back and forth between Boolean Frost, my novel, and my dying, failing Lexiconian article or blank poem which is much too long and hopeless, taking for granted the lives of my friends and lovers in a city which I will hopefully sweep off the face of the earth by the time you finish reading this. Dmitri Rabinovich, my central fool, is a dying man on the brink of disappearance, the secret of which he discovers after going through things as uncanny as that which is happening to me. Being a dying man, his word river is the word river of a dying man, so thin that it develops holes in places through which the underlying fabric of the god who created him can be seen: The holocaust of Moscow was witnessed with as much incredibility as my St. Petersburg tar-shoe statue chiasmus, damn this and all other words which clutter all lines of thought and existence. Take the hurricane of June 1998- was that before or after I disappeared? Winds of record speed actually did rip through the streets and boulevards of Moscow (as Michael puts it, text can be curly, sorry) knocking billboards over, tearing off balconies and some obscure roofs. Vladimir of the narrow room and narrow-minded principles claims he saw trees being whirled by him in Kuntsevo, where Joseph Stalin no longer spends his summers. But the fin-ultimate sweeping away of that city cannot undergo accounts, because people who were picked up off the streets, mixed with shit and newspapers, hurled into other dust pulverized from the thrice-reddened bricks of the Kremlin, the mortar of Bulgakov's apartment where all the hippies hand out on the stairwell, the church onion steeple that you and everyone else photographed atleast once to
show to their bitter loves because it stands next to your house, the house to which we each have a key just in case the one or the other gets delayed, can't wake up, gets stopped in the street by a policeman soliciting a bribe, or swept away along with the head of the statue of Pushkin and the two northern wings of the Taganka theater- those people will be left accountless in a trembling blue abyss. Why are we writing about Moscow in Prague? Switch over to Juliette Caruso, who collects cities like masks: "I won't feign to analyze the eccentric life of cities, I turn part of it. I am a foreigner in no city but Moscow, where my accent juts out like a large nose, for everything west of Moscow is the West- the pee-smelling outskirts of Warsaw (does the word Warsaw have the same relationship to the word Moscow as the word Samsa to the word Kafka?) no longer walk Slavically in my dreams- now the dirt in New York and Paris smells like urine, whereas the dirt in Moscow reeks more pungently of rotting garbage. Banal differences- I am perplexed and saddened by the hoards of tourists that crowd the narrow streets of Prague, talking loud and pointing fingers- a phenomenon, I am sure, not common in Eastern European countries, one which is only perhaps two years old, for Moscow is still too far east to get its act together, uglier and more vicious with its subway spider-web. I know why Goddard quoted, the windows are filled with unbelievable garbage, because even if I come at dawn to this little street in old Prague, under the redroofed archway, I won't find it empty, for like Paris and New York it crawls with meticulously reconstructed life, life-forms, and that which they need to survive. But now I speak to a gray man no longer called Rabinovich, a fellow character in a novel. He tries to listen to me, but cannot understand a word of what I am saying because they have already jumbled his papers and taken them all away, soon to seize him and make him disappear at any moment now, because this novel too has to approach a conclusion. But Juliette's voice was appearing to be trailing off, I noticed instantly, realizing that it was not she that was growing hesitant and thoughtful, but Isuddenly in the grasp of two men who had crept up from behind with the soles of their shoes not splashing the puddles and water in that narrow tunnel, and they were hauling him [me] off, kicking and screaming in a language incomprehensible to anyone (not Armenian-, you kissed me, Aram, at the wrong moment indeed) let alone himself, which was at once sounding through the pipes and cellars of a particular netherworld which I or my alter-ego might or might not have built, hauling him off into a language comprehensible to you and a few (hauled off into a language - this transitory nuance is more lethargic than an instance I mentioned in a parenthetical clause somewhere in the middle of this sentence), a language which, as any language, grows richer and more enigmatic with memory and experience on the individual level, whereas on the social scale it wears away nd decomposes into the ten onomatopoeically indistinguishable words of the English language. Forgive my cynicism, Michael or Dmitri, I was
wears away and decomposes into the ten onomatopoeically indistinguishable words of the English language. Forgive my cynicism, Michael or Dmitri, I was called sola y valiente today by a fascinated old Castillian who gave me thirty crowns which I spent on cognac and ice-cream (more cognac than icecream) at a cafe on Radnice street (must I admit it was called Franz Kafka?) where this was written. Boolean Frost, whose name is Vishapian (Arain's word by the bus-stop with gin and tonic by the Arbat September) has done well his work, for he is the Man that Makes People Disappear: after I looked up, I was dead- he was dead, I mean, for there is no more first person. You are witnessing the final disappearance of Dmitri Rabinovich, who has discovered, on a page in Moscow, that he is a character of a novel temporarily being written in Prague, where the main idea has suddenly become desperate and intoxicatingly global. This mysterious page-turner, full of gripping suspense, mystical intrigue and in-your-face plot changes will hopefully be available next summer at a book store near you, but for now its tiny commercial is within a smaller commercial for a smaller Lexicon which is filled with a bottomless bitterness and despair which originated somewhere between Arain's left eye-lid and brow and then caused havoc upon its course in the lives of two innocents before quieting down and taking form in Prague, where, realizing that its causes were deeper and more complicated than any quadrilateral love triangle could possibly fathom, it fell asleep by the foot of a round pseudo-marble table, drunk as planned on hot wine. A shame that in Boolean Frost I couldn't build Moscow, a shame that I had to continue the process in an even more useless Lexicon. That is a tour-guide, a travesty, a book of anecdotes, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a diary. ("My lexicon draws forth a part of my life like a piece of meat, as the experience and only way of understanding a world or worlds is necessarily linked with the personal life of the experiencer and in this case, narrator- but since you, baseball becapped WASP youngster whom I adore, despise and envy will not have the misfortune of being either, I will include first hand material.") It will not tell you how to analyze the society you are going to be living in, it will not even make it easier to understand it. It will make it more difficult to understand it, because I am not yet a representative of the second oldest profession after prostitution and will not "synthesize social attitudes with current events and history". Instead throughout the whole Lexicon I will elaborate upon the pupose and aim of it, which it will never reach, and when you have read its pages in two languages, if you're lucky you just might understand why. Boolean Frost will move and mystify you, will make you writhe on the floor (as my sister put it) with a disbelief of irony and abstraction, but the Lexicon will be a waste of your time, for the more you read, the more pointless your reading will become, as is becoming my writing with each night and word. And yet in either case, in either written work, in either city, Moscow
has to end. It will be destroyed by Boolean Frost, for the Lexicon has destroyed it with its title: Rabinovich was always haunted by the strangest swirling music anyone could ever imagine- an ocean and a river of air which swelled to fill all the streets and alleyways of Gertsen Street and the Arbat. Juliette was right, the Moscow subway was endless, its excavations really did fill the entire globe down to the center, originating in hell where no passenger (except for maybe one or two) ever made it, and as each station was closed each night, then deconstructed entirely only to be meticulously rebuilt exactly the same by morning when the metro opened at five (they accomplish all that in less than four hours- amazing!) so now he saw and understood within the absence of all other people including himself that the network- had slowly begun to collapse of its own accord, and that the speed of its demise was accelerating hyperbolically. After that night of shallow dreaming and bitter taste, when the bleakness of a couple of hours troubled him with the uncertainty that comes at the end of a long but entirely empty day, a strange swelling noise finally penetrated the round window of his bathroom, curled into the long hallway and the two dusty bedrooms that he hardly used, then slowly began to explode into a particular kind of pressure that compelled all objects in mysterious ways. He went to stand at the window by his made bed, and saw that thick thunderclouds had made it dark outside on Brusov street, and the wind had picked up all the dust, trash and newspapers off the sidewalks and was now hurling it gradually but inevitably several meters into the air, where it all combined with various other objects whirled off the roofs. Before the windowpane was pushed entirely out of its frame, Dmitri saw three or four trees and street signs fly before his eyes into a peculiar oblivion. Next came balconies, billboards, a few unsuspecting pensioners still reading their neo-Bolshevik newspapers even though the wind had already turned them this way and that. Then the roofs came, businessmen, gangsters talking on cell phones which they held with the main finger and pinkie sticking out like in Russian anecdotes. He saw small houses- in fact, the whole block across the street had already been blown away along with the Conservatory at the comer on Gertsen, and he could see through most of the other buildings all the way to the Kremlin of which there remained only one tower with the steeple torn off, because everything else was in ruins and being turned into dust by the fierce wind. He didn't remember if the onion domes of St. Basil Cathedral, the famous ones on all postcards, twirled by him before or after he himself was in the air, pushed into a strange and huge whirlwind where he was not alone, but not himself either, looking down upon what used to be a concentric network of roads like a spider-web, divided by a swirling river that was no longer there. None of that was there anymore, for all that was left was an empty space, not even a steppe- a flat blank that had once been a city called Moscow, but that had surrendered to a childish, swirling music that had blown it away into oblivion.
Rabinovich vaguely wondered, with his last ability to wonder, if the god that sat and put together cunningly the bits of his life and world which had just flown past him, now sat drinking in order to get drunk, and if he, Rabinovich, might not have been the cause of her violent despair. After all, he was not thrown around between cities and structuralized dimensions, he had not known the bafflement of foreign sidewalks and the intrigues of social strings within his own city. After that thought, he, like Moscow, was wiped from the face of the earth. Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, 1999
Glimpses of Dao Honk honk, slowly, stately A flock soars overhead Veeing, flowing seamlessly Unfolding along an airy road And fading into twilight shadows. Honk honk, parallel waves: One a Vee, formation taut One a check, half-arrow wrought Speeding into the starry night And an inky take's chilly respite Shriek, a death-stilled cry Haunts the icy blue dusk. Screech, triumphal wings Lift the red-tailed hawk Paddling upward upward A limp form dangling from talons Honed by snatching lives. A graceful downward glide Arrows to a shadowy crest Landing, rending a still-warm breast Click click, a winged blur Portends a ruby-throat bird Hovering, sipping bright-red nectar An open door beckons. Gliding across a threshold Into a white-wall room Where a hairy man bends Over scribbled scattered papers. Click click, resting on a lamp Then lifting to explore anew. Lanny Fields
Mouse and Frog They chatted by the river Laughing, joking, telling Outrageous tales, trusting The open-hearted other Two in one, one in two Fused hearts each in each They passed hours to reach The time they bid adieu "O frog, Friend of friends Heart of mine, comfort pillow. We part beneath this willow From where each path wends. Journeys solo yet together We'll meet anew, afresh Our chattering will mesh No matter what the weatherâ€? Lanny Fields
SUICIDE, HOMICIDE, GENOCIDE, RIVERCIDE Richard Tater "[We] rolled over the bridge into Riverside . . . But at the hot bus station a Negro saw me with my pack and came over . . . when I told him I was going back up the road to sleep in that riverbottom he said, 'No sir, you can't do that, cops in this town are the toughest in the state. If they see you down there they'll pull you in, boy.' . . . I saw many cop cruising cars and they were looking at me suspiciously: sleek, well-paid cops in brand-new cars with all that expensive radio equipment . . . " Jack Kerouac, 1958 WE GOT A PIG IN THE GROUND AND THE BEER ON ICE Aqua Mansa Cemetery. A real boothill looking collection of tombstones, a few small and crumbling crypts, and a few more old wooden crosses. Situated at the crossroads of Rivercide and San Bernardino, overlooking a horse ranch and the industrial steel squalor of Bloomington/Colton California allegedly lies the cemetery's one nationally known figure. I say allegedly because even the nice, white haired octogenarian caretaker doesn't know for sure where the actual grave is located. She pointed us to the N.E. edge of the grounds towards an ancient willow. There amongst the mostly Hispanic graves supposedly lies the remains of Virgil Earp; brother of the infamous sheriff/outlaw Wyatt. The gravesite is unmarked, the headstone like many other known graves has been thefted. No doubt the conversation piece in someone's home for a while, then to lie forgotten in an attic or more appropriately strewn amongst the trash and used car parts in the tall grass next to a garbage burn pile. Following the shootout at the OK Corral and its aftermath, the Earps minus Wyatt, who had a shitload of good ol' fashion revenge to heap on his families arch enemies, moved out to the area known today as the Inland Empire. Virgil continued his cop career in this area. Since then we have had more than our share of infamous cops. I think the Earps maybe set a trend for outlaw cops 'round here. A trend I'm sure will continue. It was good to stand over his grave drinking a tall cold beer. It was better to know he's long dead. And, it was especially wonderful to know that his grave is almost forgotten. I don't think cops should be allowed to be buried and given a "hallowed" place for reverence and remembrance. Hunter S. Thompson's idea for Nixon's funeral and body disposal stands out as a good template for law enforcement personal; burning in a city dumpster or tossed into the sewer. Simple genius.
PIG PEN Unfortunately, I was born here in Rivercide California. I shot out of my mother's bleeding hippie twat at the Knowlwood Psychiatric and Chemical Dependency Center nine months after my dead-beat-nic dad blasted his Summer of Love seed into her in San Fran. I still live in Rivercide. At least most of the year I do. I try to escape the sweltering, choking summers by doing labor jobs up North. The fact that I prefer working the summer over slack should give you an idea of the unhealthy climate round these inland parts for several months; unhealthy weatherwise in addition to the standard hazards of modernity. You may have heard about Rivercide, as our police force has once again put us on the map. When this town makes the news, guns, brutality, and/or death are sure to be the catalysts. This smog shrouded, commuter bedroom-burg, 60 miles east of LA, sometimes referred to in derision by the locals as East Orange County for the obvious right wing leanings of its political machine, was best described by local artist Nick Ianelli. Nick, who spent a great deal of time on the East Coast, said of Rivercide, "It's like New Jersey with palm trees and Spanish tile roofs." He also stated that the cops here are far worse than NJ. He, as many sane young people do, relocated. He chose Florida. And, we've heard no complaints from him about the local cheese of the fantasyland of Miami Vice, Tony "Scarface" Montana, and the birthplace of the ten-year-old prime time show COPS. And, that says a whole fuck of a lot about this once citrus infested uber-village of flint-hearted cops. With this in mind I'll take you to the Tyisha Miller debacle. In case you skip the main-stream media and only read musical periodicals and zines, and I dare say I blame you, I'll bring you up to snuff on the Tyisha Miller killing; the short version. On Dec. 28, 1998, two female youths of African-American descent, after spending an evening in the time honor'd American tradition of party hopping and D.U.I., pulled over at a gas station when they discovered they had a flat. After seeking assistance, Ms. Miller elected to stay behind and watch the car while her companion sought help with a "Good Sam". Tyisha passed out in the car with a gun in her lap. When her family returned they couldn't wake her, freaked and called 911. The cops showed up, tried waking her, saw the gun, and regrouped. They decided they were going to take evasive steps, as she may have needed medical help. The plan was to break the window, snatch the gun and let the medics do their job. The delivery was breaking the window and blasting her twelve times, four in the head, after she allegedly grabbed for the piece, and then letting the coroner do his job.
Needless to say the media jumped on this like a thousand fleas on a bleeding, limping rabbit. Tyisha Miller is not the first person to be unnecessarily shotup by the cops and definitely is not going to be the last. Since then numerous protests have arisen from this fucked up episode. The fact that people are protesting is in itself a refreshing and wondrous thing. It gives me the merest spark of hope to having people not just take this enclavist mentality and say, "Oh well. It wasn't me or anyone I know." SIX LITTLE PIGS Protest = good. Tone of protest = bad. Once again the race card is getting pulled out of the deck. Especially since the Doc Holiday of race based litigation has been employed by the Miller family. Yes Mr. Johnny Cochran is in the game. All media attention is centering on race rather than the broader issue of police brutality in general. This is somewhat warranted as one has to question if the man would have handled the situation differently had they rolled up on a 19 year old, white, debutante' passed out in her daddies Porsche with a sexy, silver Colt Mustang .380 as opposed to a young black girl in a rattle trap shit-box with a Saturday night special. Then again, maybe the white girl would get the same treatment if she were your stereotype speed queen, trailer park dweller passed out in a pick-up with a .44 magnum. I've heard several sides of the issue argued over and over endlessly as the debate drags on. This news story may go away for the rest of the U.S.A. only popping up when my perennial fav' Al Sharpton brings the Circus de Civil Disobedience to town. Unfortunately, when you live here it won't go away; especially the race issue. It's either "Evil, cracker cops with itchy trigger fingers carving nigger notches on the handles of their sidearms", or "The cops aren't racist, they made a mistake, and she asked for it by driving around with a loaded gun." No one seems to question the rationality of a young woman, regardless of her race, having a loaded gun for her protection. Especially when she's broke down in a car, alone, and on the midnight streets of a town like Rivercide. The cop-friendly media will bash the race issue because it doesn't want you to even consider arguing over the issues of an uncontrollable Leviathan of a police state or a person's right to carry a weapon for self-defense. Only cops and "perpetrators" carry weapons. Everyone else is a "civilian". Civil and disarmed, just the way governments like their constituencies. And, in case you haven't noticed, anti-gun legislation is on the rise. But that's a whole different can of worms that I won't open for this piece.
There are many similarities between Ms. Miller's roadside execution and the Rodney King case. Except the Rivercide PD make Koons and his compatriots look like a bunch of Peace Corps workers. It's unfortunate that Ms. Miller's family wasn't circumspect enough to have brought a video camera with them. If they did, I'm sure this latest whitewash would have made the â€˜92 riots pale in comparison. The DA didn't even take the cops to trial. He pooh-pooh'd them for using bad judgement and case dismissed. What do think would happen to you if you "accidentally" shot some cop? Do you think the DA would be so forgiving? Well assuming you made it to trial, or even made it to a hospital in one piece. I was surprised that the DA didn't take some bizarre tack like accusing Ms. Miller of being suicidal and using innocent law enforcers to carry out her will. Too bad for the boys in blue and their suit prosecutor brothers there were witnesses. Otherwise it could have just been painted as another depressed freak, without the balls to drop the hammer herself and ends up turning the cops into some drafted, Kevorkian suicide machine. Police assisted suicide. That's my new favorite, propaganda catch phrase. Cops being portrayed as powerless tools for other people's deathwish. Goebbles and Streicher are laughing their asses off in Hell over that one. I'd like to buy a beer for the government sociologist/psychologist that thought that one up. Pure genius. It's a great tool to get people to accept further violence against them by the state. Shifting the blame from the killer to the victim. The equivalent of blaming a rape on a woman's choice of clothing. So what's next? Police assisted masochism? Rodney King was just a heavy, pig-bottom looking for stout men in uniform to scratch his itch? Fuck, all these trendy, suburban kids in rubber clothes could save a bundle on doms' and dungeons. The boys in blue are just here to help. Wrench some of your tax money out of them. Get them to put those sadistic tendencies to work on your behalf. Personally, if theyâ€™re truly here to serve and protect, then "Hey pig. Go get me a double cheeseburger and make sure it gets here to me hot and in one piece." On the protest tangent, I took off work on Monday May 10th to attend the rather boring downtown civil action (only one baton-fest and no tear-gas). The protest was in response to the DAs decision to let the cops off the hook. It followed a tense weekend. A tension I haven't felt since the 92 riots and unrest. The town was put on tactical alert for about 72 hours. You couldn't hit a main street without crossing paths with a couple rollers riding two to three to a car. The tension left a tang in the back of your mouth like you were chewing on a block of raw zinc. Everyone was waiting for the black cloud trails in the sky, sirens doppler shifting as they tore around the streets, choppers cutting through the smoke, and waiting for reports of this shopping center looted or that business on fire. Nothing happened. I guess we are all getting a little numb. A beating caused riots only seven years ago. This shooting caused a few small protests. Guess you have to have it on videotape for anyone to buy it. That's the power of TV. Get your video cams kids. If big brother is going to put up surveillance everywhere and get away with it, it would behoove the public to do the same. Fuck carrying cell phones. Every person living below the poverty line should cough up the few hundred dollars for a good compact model and carry it with them at all times.
PIG SKINS As was predicted the DA finally bowed to public pressure and took action against the shooters. He fired the trigger-happy rookies. It was the least he could do. The very fucking least he could do. People should get used to this treatment and level of violent shit head police. Since the cop loving Clinton brought about his Omnibus Crime Act, the one which promises 100,000 more cops nation wide, we've seen the ranks infested with frothing at the mouth morons who wouldn't have passed the screening and psych tests prior to the police state's need for warm bodies. I've overheard several older cops crying in their scotch over the rather diminished level of competence of new recruits. Seems they've been watering down the psych tests and letting through animals who should have been left doing bouncing jobs at nightclubs. Welcome to your 21st century Amoronica. It's a kinder gentler bullet in the head. The cops had their own reaction to the firing of four of their comrades in arms. They shaved their heads. Many a short & long mullet or crew cut fell to barber shop floors around the county. You have to love cops for their predictableness and complete lack or even comprehension of irony and selfreflection. Let's say four of your buddies blow away a sleeping black girl, they get fired, not thrown into jail but fired, and what do you do? "Let's shave our heads in protest. Let's look like the audience at a Screwdriver show, but in cop uniforms instead of Third Reich garb." Yeah that'll show the community that you understand and care. Maybe I'm not reading this correctly. Maybe the cops do have a sense of irony. Sadistic and cruel, but ironic none the less. I would have loved to be at the meeting at the precinct house when the state paid skinheads left en masse. It would have been priceless to yell out "SEIG!!!" to see if I would have gotten a few Pavlovian "HIEL's" with full German salutes. This of course would have been followed by a mass baton beating and my lifeless body being hauled off for assault on a police officer. I still may have gathered up the stones to give it a try, but I was busy letting a full beer piss flow onto the unmarked and vandalized grave of long dead lawman. It's a nice relaxing way to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend it. Author's PostScript: This piece was originally scribbled out for Hit List Magazine for my column "DEER BLIND AND NAKED". Since then I've learned from (unlike my own lazy self) a rather competent Rivercide Historian that ol' Virgil was buried out in Colton. Oops. It seems I pissed on the wrong unmarked grave. But it's the thought that counts. Besides that gravesight's flora and fauna could use the nitrogen-fixing agents.
scope of the city Hollywood Boulevard dying long years since prepared for embalming Wilshire Boulevard dead or dying appropriated 7th and Olympic last view of the city that is a city Westside Toontown full of watchfull eyes hard green South Bay the ancient ghost town forgot from cowtown to ballsaches the San Fernando Valley in 50 years East is East the South shall never rise again C. Mulrooney
HOLLYWOOD finds Welcome Home See Bee S Gay See E. Tea raise yr. upper lip as fur as possible join lower lip pucker you are Bruce Willis nez pa Pops enemies Miz Guthrie say Mah Daddy allus wonted to bee a Rock Star so ohm jest hepping him out put a Gay in a business suit heâ€™s a Christer Rep C. Mulrooney
lit for beg the authors of Magic Realism range from the academic middle-ground to those who frankly would be honored with a comparison to Whitman and on the other end those who just as frankly never heard of him it is a thriving business nay it is the very soul of business in this boom economy viz. skies are blue trees green flowers alarming animals express my moods and dry rot my scourging so it goes the new Post Office bare as an envelope inside C. Mulrooney
there are no canticles In Hell surfers in wet suits dicks in condoms dead dogs and Americans fear the noonday sun quiet the very world amidst the vile hubbub for a sordid sale up the river down home C. Mulrooney
A Farewell to Russia Ben Vincent In my 2 years in Russia at times I've found myself thinking about English things I miss: cricket, bacon and eggs, pubs, the Telegraph crossword etc. At the same time there are many things I don't miss at all: the weather, the traffic, the insular mentality of many of my countrymen. As I come to leave the place that has been my home for so long, feeling a bit like a rat deserting a sinking ship, I increasingly find myself thinking about the things I will and won't miss about this great country. Of course only time will tell but I think I can make some pretty educated guesses. One thing I know I won't miss about Russia (and Moscow in particular) is the tendency of Russians to become incredibly rude once they don a uniform or are in a position of any power over you. This is particularly true in the service industry where often the Western tenet 'the customer is always right' is turned on its head. To give an example here is a not untypical exchange at a kiosk: Customer: 'A packet of cigarettes, please.' The kiosk worker makes no reply. Customer: 'A packet of cigarettes, please.' Kiosk worker: 'you won't get anything till you give me the money.' Once the transaction is completed the customer walks off, bemused by the brazenness and sheer lack of manners on the part of the kiosk worker, whose behavior could be accounted for by several different factors: I) in Soviet times everyone had a job and so no one was threatened by redundancy. Therefore service was terrible, as one's job was secure no matter what happened. II) the kiosk worker doesn't own the kiosk and gets paid a pittance for a not very rewarding job so he/she doesn't care too much about repeat customers III) the kiosk worker has a family of 5 to feed, gets a shit wage, and is not inclined to be polite to others in general IV) 'manners' were frowned upon in Soviet times as a 'bourgeois' affectation and old habits die hard. Rudeness is not however confined to people at work. Many Russians find it impossible to queue. If you are not seriously infringing upon the personal space of the person standing in front of you in a queue you are likely to lose your place. The unwillingness to queue can be traced back to the capriciousness of workers in post offices, railway stations, etc., who will shut their window without much warning when it's time for their break. Therefore one has to take one's chance while it's there. In fact, many Russians, particularly 'New Russians', don't believe in queuing at all - they seem to think it's for other, inferior people, as they (and their problems) are far more important than anyone else could ever be. Another thing I definitely won't miss about Russia is being stopped by the police to check my documents. Anyone who looks a bit foreign is immediately under suspicion for being an illegal immigrant, a criminal, or something of the sort. However many times one is stopped it doesn't make it a more pleasant experience to be grilled by some self-important policeman onon your reasons for being in the country, when you arrived, when you are planning to leave, your inside leg measurement etc.
Finally there is the Russian winter, which above all is too long. When the first snow comes in late November you tend to welcome it especially if you're from a country where you don't get much snow. All of a sudden Moscow is transformed from a muddy gray city to a gleaming white one and everything looks great. You might go skating or even cross-country skiing if your Russian friends persuade you. Then comes the stage, after about a month when, if the temperature creeps up to around -5, Russians start saying things like "it's quite warm today", or "this isn't really cold", which doesn't improve your mood. The only really good thing about the extremely cold periods which follow this is that you can tell your friends in England or wherever that you survived through temperatures of -35 centigrade. By the time it gets to March I for one am heartily sick of the winter and am just praying for spring to come. The trouble is it doesn't arrive until mid April. However there are many good things about Russia which you can't really find elsewhere. I'll definitely miss the Russians' closeness to nature, which shows itself in several ways. In England if it's a hot summer's day you might go for a picnic with sandwiches, perhaps some cold meat, cakes, wine, beer etc. In Russia the whole experience is a bit rawer. It involves several bottles of vodka (or samogon, which is Russian for moonshine and is somewhat stronger than it's legal equivalent), a crate of beer, a kilo or so of specially marinated meat, bread, vegetables to make a salad, and a guitar. You go to a forest, light a fire and cook the meat in the form of kebabs while having a few drinks. If you're lucky this will all take place near a river or lake so you can have a swim as well (though I would recommend you swim before drinking vodka). When you are feeling particularly stressed there can be few better ways of relaxing than going to a Russian banya. It may seem strange to a foreigner at first to enter a hot, steamy room which is filled with naked men who are beating themselves (or each other) with bunches of birch twigs, but it is something you soon get used to and you soon learn to appreciate for its beneficial effect. A banya typically consists of a changing room, where you leave your clothes, a room where you can wash, a steam room, which I have described above, a cold pool which you can jump into to cool down, and a bar. You can spend several hours in a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, stopping periodically to drink some beer and eat some snacks, and you come out feeling very good indeed, a feeling which lasts for the rest of the day. Perhaps the thing which I will miss most about Russia is its sheer bizarreness: things happen here that you just wouldn't see elsewhere. In what other country could you find an album called 'Metallica-Ballads', surely a contradiction in terms, or a song called 'You're in the Army Now' on an album called
Romantic Collection'? In what other country could you read about how money is often irradiated to catch criminals but that this money is so dangerous it has to be incinerated and disposed of far from Moscow, and the head investigator in this field is called Irina Stonogina, which means 'l00 legs'? Where else could you find yourself sharing a carriage on a train with the national wrestling team who are returning from a match in China because their manager saw your flatmate in a market and remembers her? Or playing chess in a nightclub where the main decoration seems to be aluminum foil? Where else could you meet a one-armed man in a bar who claims to have been working at the space center when Yuri Gargarin became the first man to go into space but is now reduced to asking foreigners for beer money? Where else could you meet a respected nuclear physicist who insists on calling you 'Benny'? These are the memories of Russia I'm sure I will treasure and will keep me coming back to this crazy, but great, country.
uneven ground despair gathers strength in the dusky yellow curbs of Mexico to fight the hope that flows between the chipped grey stones of its streets. there is an honesty here in this running wound that hides itself in the prefab crispness of California where millions pass cheerfully through the smooth concrete chimeras of the sun until unexpected puddles bloom in the antiseptic rain and sinkholes swallow late-model Hondas whole. Jennifer Stoever
For the Clerisy/ Good Words for Readers I want to inform and entertain the clerisy, people who read books for shear pleasure. I borrowed this idea from the late Canadian wise man Robertson Davies, who recast the old definition of “scholars, learned people”. I’ve also been inspired by the late poet Joseph Brodsky, who said that literary taste gave people the ability to distinguish good and bad in language so they can judge not only books and poetry, but the cant, prevarications, and bushwah from politicians, bureaucrats, spin doctors, and marketing gurus. Literary taste is a type of tough-minded critical thinking. I trade for the usual: a letter of comment or your ‘zine. Brent Kresovich PO Box 404 Getzville, NY 14068-0404
ST Brophy has just finished his first novel, Celebrity Bandwidth. His story SafeMart did not win the SF Bay Guardian fiction contest. A Budget Press regular, he has appeared in Budget Press International, The Budget Press Review #1, and he also wrote nice guys finish furniture. He can currently be found at White Noise Radio Theater. He lives in San Francisco. firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Semel writes the Beer Hound column in Bikini magazine. He lives in Los Angeles. BeerHound@aol.com johnnie b. baker is the editor and publisher of Budget Press. email@example.com Michael Andre is the editor and publisher of Unmuzzled Ox. He lives in New York City. MAndreOx@aol.com Tom Hamilton has been previously published by Alpha Beat Press and others. He wrote The Last Days of My Teeth from Budget Press. He’s an Irishman living in Rockford, IL. Anna Artunyan has just finished her first novel, Boolean Frost. Born in Moscow, she now lives in New York City. firstname.lastname@example.org Lanny Fields has been previously published in The Journal of Asian History and others. He also co-wrote Our Global Past, a World Civ textbook. He lives in San Bernardino, CA. email@example.com Richard Tater writes the column Deer Blind and Naked in Hit List, where Suicide Homicide Genocide Rivercide originally appeared. He has appeared in Budget Press International and misogyny. He lives in Rivercide, CA. firstname.lastname@example.org c. mulrooney has been previously published in Frank and others. He wrote singing for pennies on the street from Budget Press. He lives in Los Angeles. Ben Vincent has been previously published in the 1st Claygate Scout Group Newsletter. He’s currently home in Claygate, England, but he’s off to China soon. Bennyv1@aol.com Jennifer Stoever has appeared in Budget Press International and also wrote Dry Heat from Budget Press. She lives in Rivercide, CA. email@example.com
Budget Press Catalogue of Fun. ? by David Reeves poetry from the bi-polar 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 ST 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 some shit from a guy who’s full of it. Hamwax by Cadillac Luke and Clay Raelings the ‘zine that proves anybody can do this. meagarity by Jeffrey S. Ribaudo look at the pretty pictures. 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. Sebatian Strong, ST Brophy, Steve Hovey, Chris Katko, Chad Davidson, and johnnie b. baker a little lit mag /$1. 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. Meandering 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 haikus. 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. The Budget Press Review #2 with David Miller, Paula Lopez, Jeffrey S. Ribaudo, Bob Nye, Nick Ianelli, and ken robidoux another little lit mag /$1. True Life Adventures by Mike Barney a man of many words and many places. The Secret Diary Entries of Ten Mormon Prophets from the Nineteenth Century by Christopher Stolle a poem of epic proportions. Instamatic by Hunter Manasco poems from a lesbian trapped in a mans body. Living Pain by Dan Buck oh, the irony of it all. Rock and Roll Girl by John Grey a fistful of phrases and kingfisher songs. Earn Money Sleeping by Bob Nye the king of punk gets a job. Dry Heat by Jennifer Stoever read close, you just might learn something. Budget Press International with ST Brophy, Richard Tater, Brent Kresovich, Mike Barney, David Reeves, Jennifer Stoever, Donovan Rinker-Morris and johnnie b. baker lots of words about the world /$1. About the Girl by C.C. Russell poems plucked in passing. The Suchdol Diaries by Matthew Carr prodigious prose from Praha. Shrapnel by Scott C. Holstad lifes a bitch. Angels and Pinheads by David Miller one man’s truth. The Last Days of My Teeth by Tom Hamilton an irishman in America. Catastrophe ! by Steve Conway fires and floods and earthquakes, oh my ! The Budget Press Review #3 with Michael Andre, Paul Semel, c. mulrooney, Lanny Fields, Anna Artunyan, Tom Hamilton, Ben Vincent, Jennifer Stoever, ST Brophy, Richard Tater, and johnnie b. baker yet another little lit mag /$1. Everything for only two stamps! (Except where indicated.) Check out Budget Press on the Web! www.budgetpress.net
Published on Oct 1, 1999