Cover: Found digestive puzzle from Buds by Erin K. Drew Photo courtesy of Niina Cochran Curated by
Thank You to the Contributors:
Benjamin Austin Nandita Batheja John Clark Cara Courage Weather Critic Erin K. Drew Fionn Lennie Duffy Ryan Everett Felton Wendell Fowler Andy Fry Bonnie Gloris Alan Goffinski Tarja Kinisj채rvi Anne Laker Shauta Marsh John M. McCormick Tracy Mishkin Mitchell Oliver Joseph S. Pete Nicole Rebeck Marion Rogers Nathaniel Russell Malina Simone Judie Sloan
Fionn Lennie Duffy
Arse Poetica I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric PLOP over the roofs of the world. Walt Whitman I shit poems. Some days, dash off a quick snippet of diarrhea verse. Some days, so bad to strain I want to pull it out with my finger. Some days, run for the camera, it's just that good. Some days, putting it off and off, then it comes out all at once or it doesn't come at all. Some days, know there's more inside, not ready to emerge. Some days, it's beet red, chunks of carrotsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;must be eating right. Some days there is blood in it. Smooth muscles my fingers, I sculpt without seeing my clay.
Benjamin Austin @poopedhaikus The water is low. My turd is a beached whale on a porcelain shore. Five solid pieces sweet release, thy name is stool. Plop-plop-plop-plop-plop! Crop dusting all day, careful not to stand too close. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sorry, dear friends! Coffee cigarette, instantaneous rumbling like a Pavlov dog. Hell hath no fury like a puckered butthole scorned. Exploding colon. My turd, the sandworm peering over the dune. All praise Shai-Hulud! Scent is the hardest sense to convey, perhaps it is better that way. This morningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts were hard like a rock, my turds butthole Chevrolets.
Wall Splatter By Joseph S. Pete The hotel was for the other half. Flags draped over the semicircle driveway where the valet parking attendants loiter. Faux books, just ripped-out spines, adorned the chic lounge, where skinny-pantsed elites reclined with tablets. The adjacent bar was all stainless steel and translucent bottles and pretension. Sculptures in the lobby were highly Instagram-able, and the spare lighting--so stark--evoked Edison. The conference itself was just as grand, A stage with a Jumbotron screen, Suits just out of the dry cleaner, Swag profuse and ready for the grabbing, Pop cans instructing attendees to “share a Coke with a VIP.” Speakers droned on… And on and on and on. The Chamber of Commerce lady started in On how every governor coveted oil revenues But there was so much political pushback to the bestest eva thing ever. The claptrap poured forth. She droned and droned. I typed and typed and typed, Even as it became clearer her shilling was shale-deep.
Judie Sloan “Life’s Blood...Churning, Yearning...Energy Flows Where Attention Goes”
She drilled the same points over and over, Occasionally dropping red meat into the tiger cage About how suburbanites once feared to tread in downtown Houston And how car commuting was a normative norm for Norms and Normas everywhere with Pedialyte and mortgage payments. During the anecdote about the coastal governor who decried senseless regulation, The pang rippled through my bowels. Maybe the tuna salad sammies had been rotten, but no matter. I ran out of the room clenching my buttocks taut, asking frantically for directions. After barely making it into the first stall, I ripped my belt off, tore down my trousers. The liquidy geyser spurted onto the toilet’s ledge, splattered onto the wall. Mortified, I wiped and wiped and wiped that sullied porcelain. As I sweated in my suit, other suits filtered in and out of the washroom. My collar felt constricting. But in the end, the porcelain looked polished, free of taint. But the stained wall I left unmolested. After all, the speech was a steaming heap of manure they ate up like Divine in “Pink Flamingos.” The whole place was a silo of shite, dank and earthy and fetid through and through.
Chew, Chew, Chew for Good Digestion Wendell Fowler Allow me to paint an illuminating picture for you. If you were to put a meal of meat, potatoes, vegetable, bread, salad and dessert into, let’s say, a Tupperware container, cover it and leave it out in an ambient temperature at 98.6°, your body temp, for 3 days, then come back and open the lid. What would you find? The now snarky food would be in a state of malodorous decomposition, rotting, fermenting and decaying. Three days is approximately how long a fibreless diet loiters inside the blackness of your inner ecosystem. So, fiber up daily with a 2 tablespoon dose of ground flax seed and keep your innards moving along like a river in springtime. And chew your food with mindfulness. Slow down. Feel the textures. Visualize the source of the food. Who grew it and where. Be mindful it was nurtured by the sun, earth, and water. Chew the food till it’s liquid. You are not a wolf. 1. To extract nutrients from foods, thoroughly chew your food to liquid: enzymes 2. Digestion converts food into an absorbable form that the body can use to produce energy. 3. Supports immune function and colon health 4. To digest nutrients into units small enough to be absorbed (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.) 5. If protein digestion is incomplete, then the proper number and amounts of amino acids will not be present to make other proteins necessary for other important bodily functions 6. To eliminate waste products. The digestive system runs through the center of the body, but is exposed to the external environment when we take in food and drink. The large intestine is directly connected to the liver, which processes the blood. Whatever you place into your digestive system will directly affect your blood and lymphatic system. If your digestive system is out of balance, whether it is bad bacteria or in an alkaline environment, your entire body is affected. Your lymph nodes are everywhere.
Poor digestion can do more than give you a stomach ache or gas because digestion is the mechanism that makes your body work. Chronic fatigue, premature aging, arthritis, poor skin and hair quality, toxicity, allergies, cancer, and many other diseases result from faulty digestion that interferes with nutrient breakdown, absorption and metabolism; allows toxins to remain in the body and accumulate, and over-stresses the body. Poor digestion leaves the body and the immune system in the same predicament that poor nutrition does â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a lack of nutritional factors that support immune functioning and the function of the entire body. This is because a poor functioning digestive system has lost some of the ability to turn whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consumed into a form the body can use. Poor digestion causes farts: Have you ever had a bad episode of digestive gas buildup? It can be very embarrassing. However what most of us never consider is that fact that flatulence is a primary sign of poor digestion. Poor digestion is problematic for your long term health. Flatulence is caused by undigested foods fermenting in your digestive tract. If these foods are not eliminated quickly from your body they turn into fermenting toxins which can actually poison the body and prevent natural healing from occurring. This is referred to as poisoning from within or endotoxemia. Fiber baby, fiber. www.chefwendell.com twitter.com/wendellfowler facebook.com/wendell.fowler.16
Opposite Page: Tarja KinisjĂ¤rvi
Some Food Situations and Observations - both real and imagined: - When I was I child I had a fantasy of being locked in a room completely filled with
pizza and I had to eat my way out. In retrospect, I didnt consider the fact that I would have to eventually use the bathroom in the same room.
It is amazing how fast food travels when you eat bad or rotten food. The human intestinal system is nearly 30 feet long. Sometimes food will travel at speeds up to 85 MPH to reach your asshole to get out...Now that’s fast food.
Once a Korean friend of mine insisted we have lunch. I said O.K. The next day he brought me lunch that his wife had made for us. It was home made sushi. But instead of fish, he used hot dogs. I ate it.
- When a cartoon character such as a wolf is really hungry sometimes they imagine friends to be food. Such as a ham, or a steak. This phenomenon has a name it is called “Meat - O - Vision”.
The H A plea
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. - A series of public art scultpure/fountains titled ‘Gross Fountains’ focusing on extreme moments of bodily functions. ie: A sculpture of a man crouched in pain as a brown blast of liquid sprays from his back side onto a brick wall. “Chili Man”. Others. Even Worse. -
If....I was forced to remember the best meal Ive ever had.
- A restaurant that specializes in deep fried food. Really deep. Like 12 feet. An employee stands on a plank across a huge transparent vat of bubbling hot oil. Wearing a silver radiation suit, he/she plunges one tater tot on the end of a long pole to a specifc depth of 9 feet 8 and 3/4 inches for exactly 19 seconds. -
Sometimes I think its weird to cut food with scissors, but then other times I find myself doing it and I think its no big deal. Typically: Grapes.
I went to Little Ceasars and ordered wings, breadsticks, a round pizza and a deep dish pizza. The counter guy says, “We dont have deep dish pizza.” I looked around at the menu and I said, “Well, it says you have deep dish.” He says, “Oh, you mean Deep Deep Dish... Ya, we have that.”
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The Hamburger Architect / A plea for Hamburger Architecture - A Hamburger Architect is someone who has gone through many hours of schooling to fully educate themselves on the many facets of creating a contemporary, fully functioning, stable, holistic, and socially relevant Hamburger. A Hamburger Architect stays up at night, worrying, contemplating the different levels of strata involved in building a well crafted Hamburger. They think about things like texture, surface area, gestalt, weight distribution over the bun, load compensation, drainage, flavor twinks, regional sourcing of materials, re-use of discarded materials, and ultimately..cost. The Hamburger Architect overhears such comments as “I dont need an Architect to design and build my hamburger... I can do it myself.” The Hamburger Architect has heard this a million times. And also.. witnessed the sadness that follows. The weekend warrior type who tries to build their own Hamburger - 8 times out of 10, ends up spending two or three times the money and not to mention the countless hours toiling away in obscurity in order to save a few measly dollars versus the totally and imagined frightening expense of hiring a Hamburger Architect... only to see it go to waste as his bun is ruined by poor grease drainage. Or the diameter of his/hers beef patty simply cant handle the surface area of the bun to grease ratio. It is all too common. One has to understand that the Hamburger Architect has “Been There and Done That”. The Hamburger architect will be able to understand that at first it is a big step. Yes, designing and building a Hamburger that you and your family will eventually eat for the rest of your lives is a substantial undertaking. But, you must learn to trust the Hamburger Architect, as they have- and have always had- your best Hamburger interests in mind At times you might disagree with your Hamburger Architect. You might even get into hair pulling screaming matches with them as they steadfastly stand by their position that you “Absolutlely need a fucking Triscuit on that fucking Bacon Avocado Burger.” You might wonder, “Whyyy?” But..the Hamburger Architect knows why. They know you need a single layer of Garden Salsa Triscuit under a 1/3 lb beef patty and also on top of it in order to increase traction with the avoocado. Otherwise your fucking avocado and bacon (and whatever toppings are on there) will simply slip or shoot out the side at the first bite. This is someting your average DIY enthusiast wouldnt be able to wrap their head around. Let alone the whole concept of lining that shit up with some fries. Ultimately... the Hamburger Architect is the caretaker of our physical surroundings. They provide us with Hamburger, as we dilligently go about our days on earth. We need more Hamburger Architcts to design and build our safe future Hamburgers. We as a race. .A human race.. Must learn to trust our Hamburger Architects. As they ultimately are the craftspeople of the Hamburgers of the spaces that we as human consumers...consume.
by Nandita Batheja I have a bottomless belly. You say I have a bottomless soul. Eventually you will tire of swirling through it, will redirect your tumbling flight in search of ground. I’d like you to take me with you then, but know I’m too attached to the nodes of the sky.
Do you remember that time I slipped a whole boiled egg in my mouth? Yeah, you choked and Mama had to dig it out of your mouth in parts. You told me once that I could not be satisfied. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, you qualified. You are seeking something beyond what a person can offer. I agreed, but I also cried. I remember digging my hands into sand into flour into dirt into sugar and beans. I liked the submergence, the flooding between my finger webs, the feeling of particles burrowing beneath my nails. I wanted even then to go deeper. To dunk down past the split ends of my hair and let grains mix with oxygen before breathing them into my veins, my lungs. I spend these days blind in light darkness in fervor death. I try to eat the whole world in one bite and start gasping for air as my cheeks burst with the contents of the universe.
Gutless Wonder John M. McCormick
“I wonder what this could be?” Chrissie said, accepting what was obviously a bowling pin wrapped in toilet paper.
“You’ll never guess,” he said.
It was Chrissie’s 12th or 13th birthday. Most of the 6th grade
class was awkwardly crammed in her basement. Throwing darts,
eating snacks, the kids partied. Brambles felt great. His gift, or the
wrapping, was a hit. He felt popular. And then he felt a knot in his gut. It wasn’t nerves or romance. “Shit,” he thought.
He darted for the bathroom and shit he did. He shit with an
uncontrollable fervor he had never known. He became light headed shifting on the can as if to move away from the pain he was causing himself. The discomfort subsided and he felt he could stand. He
looked for matches, air freshener, anything to mask the nastiness.
Any attempt to save some face in front of the worlds cruelest critics, teenagers at a party.
It wasn’t that he felt this would be the last party he was
invited to, or even the ridicule he knew he was about to face, but rather a “how the fuck do I explain this?” type of anxiety that he
feared. “I had 14 inches of my colon removed when I was a child?” “There is nothing to explain,” he told himself. He had taken a shit
and it smelled really bad. That was nothing much to talk about. Why get into the past?
This was perhaps the social equivalent of
witnessing Jessica H’s period blood on the seat in front of him during homeroom. “But everyone got over it!” he thought, “ and now she dates Andy… How long have I been in here?” The thought of the
stench, wafting over the party like a cloud of noxious gas made him
hesitate. The image was so gross he decided he would walk straight
upstairs, call his mother and wait outside without saying a word to anyone. However, as soon as he opened the door his buddies stood waiting on him.
“Did you eat a cigar?!”
All of the girls had posited themselves on the far end of the
basement. Their posture indicated the party had stopped. Something had soured. The false security of the bathroom fan and door was so
sternly and abruptly broken that he nearly forgot his plan. His friends were motioning to their noses with disgust.
Being her party, Chrissie stepped forward and confronted
Lamenting his own body, his jaw fell slack. He shifted his
“Wait,” called Chrissie.
Brambles, seeming both concerned for him and mad at him for ruining her birthday party. “Bram, that smells really bad.”
weight, brushed passed the gathered boys, and headed for the staircase.
He calmed. What had been a moment before an earth-
shattering crisis slid into the posture of surfer-like nonchalance. The instant it took to turn around filled him with the urge to tell the kids about Gastroenterology and his past. Rather than mention anything
about what just happened in the bathroom, he could explain himself. He turned to Chrissie as she rushed toward him, bowling pin in one
hand and reaching out to him with the other, the wad of toilet paper.
“You need this more than I do,” she said as he exited to din of
Opposite Page: Mitchell Oliver
These locks became a thing of wonder to me during my time in Indy.
So much variety and aestheticism in such a mundane object. -Cara Courage
Cruisin’ Ryan Everett Felton He walks onto the balcony, sandals secure around his ankles, and surveys the endless vista of ocean for just a second before thrusting the bucket in his hands to empty its putrid contents into the water. It took three days for him to muster up the humility to shit in the bucket. Now hearing his waste splash into the ocean makes him feel no more civilized, no more significant, than the gulls squawking overhead. Or the heathens in the lower cabins who get drunk and sleep around and cry through the night so loud their wails carry up to him in his VIP quarters. What a honeymoon, he thinks. Ten thousand dollars to drift aimlessly on a stranded, fire-damaged cruise liner for five days (and counting). Careful to be quiet, he slides the glass door open again and slips inside. The cabin is humid, musty. It smells like an open manhole. The hallways are worse. One time he took his nephew to a petting zoo and demanded his money back, citing trauma to his olfactories and threatening to sue. The smell in the ship corridors now is a thousand times more severe. At night, these past four nights, he scribbles key phrases like “irrevocable psychological damage” and “threat of lifelong posttraumatic flashbacks” into a notebook so he can cite them in court later. “You’re awake.” His wife of five days (and third wife, all told) sits up in the bed. The covers lay rumpled in a soggy heap on the floor. It is too hot for blankets. It is too hot for anything. “Yes,” he says. “I’m awake.” “You went,” she says. She points at the bucket in his hands. “Jesus,” he says. “I don’t want to talk about it.” She swings her legs from the mattress and stands, arching her back, stretching. “Okay,” she says. “No shame in it.”
“I am going to destroy this cruise line,” he says. “When we finish with them, babe, they won’t have two pennies to rub together.” In the kitchenette, she pours a conservative helping of water from a plastic bottle into a metal cup. “I think lawsuits are vulgar,” she says. “I think living like the humans in Planet of the Apes is vulgar,” he says. The bucket he drops with a hollow clump into the bathtub. There is no running water to rinse it out with. Thinking about that, a hateful lump forms in his throat. He swallows it down with equal hatred. His wife is sweaty. Dripping and smudged in dirt, filth. It hasn’t been a week since she wore her designer wedding gown. Since she was the most beautiful thing he’d seen since his last bride, at the wedding before. Drinking, guzzling her water, she closes her eyes. Breathes in deep. Says: “They’ll have us towed to shore this time tomorrow. That’s what I hear.” “What you hear?” He touches his chest. His shirt is crusty, like an old man’s hankie. “Word around the top floor,” she says. “You know, the VIPs.” When she says it, a fly buzzes around her head in ascending loops. In those milliseconds it vanishes behind her head, the noise fades: BUUUUUZZZbuzzBUUUUUUUUUUZbuzz. “Us very important people.” He takes off his shirt. “You wanted a cruise,” he says. Finds a replacement in the luggage. “Alaskan cruise,” she says. She shrugs, as if saying fuck it, and snatches the plastic bottle of precious sparkling water. She chugs. This new shirt is no better. The dank has seeped into every organic material in the cabin. On the entire ship. He is sure they must be having it worse below, where the economy cabins are – but he can’t see how. Really, he thinks, shitting into a bucket must be the great equalizer. She slips on some shoes and heads for the door, the one that leads into the hall. “Where’re you going?” he asks. “There’s this family down on three?” she says. “Told us in the ration line they were hosting a Bible study every morning. I thought
I’d check it out.” “Hmph.” “You can come, too.” He snorts. “If you find God on this ship, you let me know,” he says. She shrugs. “Suit yourself.” She opens the door. “We might as well make friends. Get comfortable, I mean.” Steps out, a little squish sounding at the point her foot finds the corridor carpet. “We’re here a while yet.” The door closes behind her. The auto-lock latches. She didn’t grab her copy of the key card. He feels a sudden wave of hot air run through him. As if it has the hydration to spare, his body produces a fresh coat of sweat. Before the cruise, he hadn’t sweated since he was sixteen ¬– and on that miserable day, he took a cold shower within ten minutes of sign of a pit stain. He flops onto the bed, fuming. The thought of flailing his legs and pounding his fists crosses his mind, but that would only serve to make him hotter. Sweatier. Angrier. And besides, he is so tired. He picks up the television remote and presses the power button. Nothing happens. “No electricity, stupid idiot,” he says. He looks out onto the balcony. It seems miles away, too far to reach. The cabin rocks, gently, with the throes of the sea. A gull lands on the railing outside. From its beak it drops a dead and half-gutted fish onto the wooden planking. It flies away, leaving its kill to rot in the boiling sun. He can’t help it. The tattered tuna just looks so stupid there, out of water. Its floppy mouth open, its dull eyes frozen in shock. He just looks at it and laughs. And laughs.
Fecal Fiesta by Anne Laker
Oh poop, you’re always leavin’ me swift as a squid, ready to scat or slow like a chunky slug… maybe horn-blown loud or in snaky silence, nary a plop
Like magic you’re made and free you spring pink from the beets or gold from the curry… such a rainbow, arching out proud when you’re unbroken!
My tummy hurts too bad to think of a good title, title. I had bacon today. Just a tiny bit. I wanted to see what would happen. My stomach isn’t cramping or anything like I thought it may. I do, however, feel nauseas and slightly sick. Bacon smells so good but hurts so bad. At least I didn’t shart this time. It’s just not good for my gut. And I know this but again, I try. I swear this was the last time. - Malina Simone
Nicole Rebeck Opposite page: John Clark & Andy Fry
I wanted to see something new, so I swallowed a camera. On the ______________ (adjective)
trip down the esophagus I saw ________, which was ________. I would have liked (adjective)
to________ with it, but we were falling too fast. I’m in my stomach now and things (verb)
are getting_________. I jump onto a _________and ride it like a _________down (adjective)
into the intestines. It’s _________in here. The trip is long and _________, like (adjective)
Pennsylvania. Villi slide me along keeping the momentum flowing while the bacteria _________amongst themselves. Forget America, the intestines are the original (action verb)
melting pot, housing over 500 species of bacteria. One came up to me and told me that its name is __________ and then whispered a secret to me. Come a little (name)
closer and I’ll share it with you. _____________ said _______________________ (bacteria’s name)
__________. Enlightenment began. Each species of bacteria came up to me and divulged their tribulations and what I could do to help their living conditions and in return, me. A diet consisting of _________, _________, and _________ is what (noun)
they’ve been yurning for, silly me! I now know the secret to ___________ digestive (adjective)
health! Well, it’s been great getting to know my inside friends, but it’s time for me to leave. Everything turns black until I make a splash. Wet bright light.