Saturday, January 18, 2020

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

On the Clock

He says
he is quitting his job
in the city,
telling that bearded gingerbread fucker
with a name no one can pronounce
where to go next Tuesday
and we celebrate
because his job is shit,
buying the rounds
for the rest of the day
knowing our jobs are shit as well,
but at least we have them,
and that this one is on the clock
and will really have to lie and whore
himself out for the next 30 days
so his landlord doesn’t toss him
and begin the great couch surfing
extravaganza all over

Jukebox Road

A hairless cat walked by in the body of a bald man.
Everyone hummed to themselves along jukebox road.
Felix thought of overturned shopping carts with the wheels removed.
How everyone climbed into cold beds and up even colder mountains.
The way you could see your breath and never the future.
It was geisha girls and appendectomies.
Townhouses with ridiculous pygmy yards fenced in by a sea of black iron rod.
Felix found himself humming without even thinking about it.
His fingers dancing along the side of his torn pant leg.

The impaled sky darkened, threatening to spill its guts.
A young women without shoes stood tiptoed by the mailbox.
The exposed brick running around nude under vinyl trench coats.
The uncontrolled tremor in Felix’s hand an imminent earthquake.
Covered up by the way dried chewing gum broke into song.

Solid Eight

My big baby browns trample over vision quests
so animal they lose the journey
so that my yellow cowardly teeth fall out of ancient skulls
refusing to smile on this most partitioned of days 
and the way a solid eight hours stands in for best sleep
in a supporting role, yawning arms stretched overhead
winning questionable yard sale trophies with a different name
and none of the glory, passing cars so boxy you can
read: This Side Up on all the doors which would make
safety features really happy if they actually existed
outside of that famous Frisco car chase they keep trying to duplicate
with crash test dummies that don’t have any lines
and even less talent.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

John D Robinson

John D Robinson

What inspired you to become a writer?

I guess I was about 14 and I began to learn to play the guitar, it was the punk scene, I also began writing lyrics: I was a truly lousy guitarist, I wasn’t a natural and had no imagination but the writing continued and transformed into poesy: I didn’t know anybody else that wrote poetry and didn’t mentioned it to anybody else for years: It was a lonely time back then thinking about it, I’d scribble away secretly: poetry was something that was never mentioned, it was something that wasn’t considered, it was sports and music and pursuing romances, there didn’t seem to be much else: at 17 I read Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ and was set on fire, I was set free, liberated and I read everything that was beat related and then a year or 2 later I read Bukowski and it was like I had been picked up and shaken and slapped until I had woken up, I read ‘Post Office’ and had never laughed as much whilst reading a book, I read everything Bukowski that I could get my hands on: I had the original Black Sparrow copies of all his books, which I later sold at a ridiculously low price, but I was desperate at the time and needed a little cash: something I regret, selling those books:

2.      At what age did you start submitting words for publication?
I was 17 I think: the poem was accepted by a local small press publisher who published a magazine called ‘First Time’: it was absolutely thrilling and I still have that same sensation when a poem of mine has been accepted for publication, whether online or in print: this would be early 1980’s. I sent out until 1990 and then stopped submitting altogether, I never stopped writing: it would be over two more decades before I began to send out my work again, the internet age had dawned and I found I could send something instantly to the other side of the world rather than waiting for endless weeks for it to be delivered and for a reply:

3.       Who and what were some of your influences?
Sibelius: Basquait: Kerouac: Mozart: Pollock: Corso: JS Bach: Franz Kline: Bukowski: Hayden: Rothko: Gutierrez: Stravinsky: Modigliani: Sonny Barger:  Vaughn Williams: Davinci: Dan Fante: Pacabel: Haring: Carver: George Butterworth; Don Martin: Doug Draime: Bruce Lee: Mahler: Dan Propper: Billie Holliday: Elgar: Bob Kaufman: Gesualdo: Larry Rivers: Claude Pelieu: Charles Plymell: Dan Propper: Wyatt Earp: Presley: Monet: Chet Baker: Brahms Sex Pistols: Frank Lima: Carravaggio: Steve Richmond: Rauchenberg: Paganini: Arvo Part: Gary Aposhian: Andy Goldsworthy: Ray Bremser: Lizt: Jack Micheline: Johnny Cash: Mary Beach: Joan Of Arc: Boudica: Hendrix: Puccini: Wantling: The Clash: Jasper Johns: Dylan Thomas: Lorca: Hank Stanton: Catfish McDaris: Mendes Biondo: Satie: Villon: Huffstickler: Holst: my wife, daughter and grandchildren and cats.

4.       How and why did you decide to start Holy&Intoxicated Publications?
I was very much encouraged by UK  friend/poet/small press publisher Josephine Austin; it took me a while to get around to it but it is very much something that I enjoy: it has given me the opportunity to meet and speak to so many quality poets and artists from all over the globe and the process of creating a chapbook from an idea to holding it in your hands gives me so much pleasure as much as seeing my own work in print: Holy&intoxicated Publications is pure passion, quite how I came up with the name , I cannot recall, but aren’t we all at one time or another holy & intoxicated, be it with drink drugs love theology or some fucking thing?

5.       Do you prefer to read poetry, fiction, or non-fiction for personal enjoyment?
I very rarely read prose these days, I particularly enjoy the writing of the Cuban poet/writer Pedro Juan Gutierrez (If you are not familiar with this writer, then check out his work, unfortunately none of his poetry is in English translation at present) but there are 4 books of his available, novels and a book of short stories:
 I occasionally read biographies, most recent was Mathew Polly’s  ‘Bruce Lee’:
I read , for the majority of time, poetry:

6.       What is your favorite beverage or drug while writing?
       I enjoy smoking hash every chance I get, no matter what time of day or night: whilst          I write I drink white wine: Chardonnay: a bottle or 2 of Caseiro Del Diablo if I can afford it: I smoke hash and drink wine and write everyday: I take codeine and Valium  for spinal pain:
7.       What is your favorite food?
I am a vegetarian and have been so for some years: there have been times in my life , long ago, when I ate meat: but I cannot see me doing so again: I have no favourite foods and have a good healthy appetitive: I do eat fish: so maybe it would be fish: I enjoy Indian food and also Asian food but I need to be cautious as I have a stomach full of ulcers so too much spice/acidic foods can opened these fuckers-up and I bleed internally:
8.       Do you drive or prefer public transportation?
I cannot drive: I used to ride a motorcycle for a while: I use public transport quite regularly, it’s not so bad but quite frequently , on the bus/train I can hear some loud-mouthed asshole using a mobile phone and holding a dying, mundane boring conversation or hear some shitty music coming out from some fucker’s earphones:

9.       Please, tell us about your family?
I have been married for over 3 decades: I have one daughter and three grandchildren, two cats and one dog: My wife and I literally grew up 300 yards apart from about the age of 6 or so but got it together in our very early twenties: she has put up with a great deal of bullshit from me and I often wonder why she has done so: she saved my ass for sure: I was on a self-destruction pathway, drugs, alcohol: in my mid 30’s I began to take control of these demons and made them my friends:
10.   If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I would visit Catfish McDaris where-ever in the world he was or Egypt/Mexico/Cuba is a country I would love to visit:

11.   If could live in or visit another time, when would it be?
1880’s USA Frontier Towns: Tombstone: it was a wild almost lawless time, Wyatt Earp was one tough mother and never backed down in a confrontation, he went onto to write for sports newspapers, covering boxing matches and at one time was an editor of a New York Newspaper and John Wesley Harding, who I think shot dead 22 men, once shot dead a man for snoring: the snoring man was sleeping in an adjoining hut , Harding fired 2 shots into the hut in the pitch black night, one of the bullets hit the snorer in the head: I don’t think I would have lasted too long, like Billy the Kid or Johnny Ringo, a tough ruthless frightening but exciting time.

12.   Please, tell us about the part of England you live in?
I live in a seaside town called Hastings on the south coast of the UK: like most coastal towns it makes it’s money during the summer season and dies in the winter: Hastings has one of the the biggest fishing fleets in the UK: It is a blend of very old and new: 1066 and all that Jazz: The town has always had a thriving music and arts scene: I used to read poetry regularly but these days I am working on being a recluse: I like solitary quiet times these days: I was born in Hastings and apart from teenage wanderings have lived here all my life: the place is full of cafes and cinema’s a 3 or 4 theatres , countless bars and night-clubs , casino’s , junk shops, book shops, supermarkets and fresh produce markets, arks.  Hastings is surrounded by miles of greenlands and woodlands and hills, the beach is stony and nearby is Fairlight, about a couple of miles from Hastings, was established one of the first ‘nudist beaches’ in the UK: Lord Byron’s sister lived in the town for a while and he would visit and swim kin the sea: the demon television was invented in the town by John Logie Baird: ‘Grey Owl’ was born in Hastings before he emigrated to the wilds of Canada:

13.   Do you have anything special that you would like to share with The Ppig audience?
Check out the works of Mendes Biondo and ‘Ramingo’s Porch’ : take the time to catch the words of Catfish, you’ll never be disappointed: buy all the Holy&intoxicated Publications books that you can get your hands on: buy my books of poetry:  Check out Henry G Stanton amazing words and genius art works, check out his ‘Raw Art Review’‘ checkout the cider drinking sharp poet and publisher Martin Appleby, ‘Paper and Ink Zine’  and the very energetic and wonderfully productive  Marc Bruseke and his Analog Submission Press:
‘we are all related, whether it crawls, slithers, walks, flies, hops, skips, crawls, swims, we are all related’ Lakota Sioux:
14.   If you could have three magic wishes, what would they be?
Not in any particular order: that all forms of violence come to an end: that not one soul, not one living thing upon this planet will know of hunger: that we stop polluting and poisoning this beautiful planet:

15.  You’ve spent a lot of time with the same life partner. How much has this changed your writing style?

A good question for sure: We have ‘grown’ together and I behaved recklessly and self-destructive for a number of years and she stood by me, put up with my bullshit and self-pity: Carmelina, has always been very encouraging of my writing and it has taken us to places where we would never have gone: one time I was a guest poet in an Arts exchange, Hastings with Dordrecht: The Netherlands: all travel expenses were taken care of and we stayed in this beautiful apartment with this kind and gentle woman who lived Buddhism and would rise every morning at 5am and begin chanting, she had this gorgeous overweight cat that was so sociable and affectionate: I read in this elegant old theatre, it was a great experience: I do not share all of my work with Carmelina, but occasionally I share some poems and when she begins laughing I know I may have cut it: one poem I had used the word ‘cunt’ several times: it is a word she dislikes intensely: ‘Why have you used that word so many times?’ after I explained of whom the poem was referring to, she nodded her head and smiled: a good editor: my wife is one of the biggest influences in my life:

16.  Is music important while writing? Do you prefer to write while music is playing or do you do it in the middle of everyday silence?

I write every night in silence: I occasionally write to music and this would be classical music, I
stopped listening to contemporary / pop music about 2 decades or so ago and find this music to be irritating, loud and crass I cannot/could not write to this music: I prefer the sounds of my own heart beat and the scratching of the pen against the paper and the raising of a few glasses of wine as I write: most nights I’ll write gibberish, but now and then, I hit something hard and fresh: silence and solitary: I would be more than comfortable being a complete recluse, alone with my wife, cats, dog and easing gentle classical music:

17.  Any wild adventures from your past you’d like to share?
I had a period of unemployment in my very early 20's: it was by choice, my girl and I (my wife now) decided 'fuck it, let’s fuck about for a year' and that's what we did, we hitched-hiked and drank and smoked, we went hungry sometimes but there was always wine, sometimes we didn't have a roof over our heads, but somehow we'd find shelter of some kind: we had a great time back in the day: for the last 30 years I've worked for the same circus, my area of work is housing, in the UK, the housing situation is way beyond crisis, homelessness is everywhere, visibly everywhere,: the night shelters in my home town (4 churches) open up the doors for the homeless ( December to March) and offer a camping bed and hot food, but there are not enough spaces for everybody, so I know that some poor souls are out there somewhere.

When something happened
 or was said out of the
ordinary, unexpected,
spontaneous, shocking,
humorous, surreal and
unbelievable or unthinkable,
he’d say
‘Well, you can fuck my
granny with a toothpick!’
what a fucking horror
image this drags up,
particularly if your
granny is dead, worse
so, if she’s still alive,
I guess.

When the police raided the
property they found 6
machetes, a large quantity
of heroin and cocaine,
two persons sprawled
drug-unconscious on a
sofa, a large sum of cash
and 2 teenage boys
hiding in the loft, who
had been reported
missing a couple of
weeks earlier:
the official tenant was
not present and
would not be found
until 2 days later
when a dog-walker
found her body
hanging from a tree
in a local woodland.

‘I love you’
we whispered to
one another as we
kissed and groped
in the midnight
darkness of her
‘See you tomorrow’
Sarah said
as I walked away
to a neighbouring
street, climbed
onto a garage-roof
and tapped gently
on a window:
‘I’ve been waiting
for you’ Stephanie
said opening the
window for me to
climb through:
‘You’ll have to
go about 4am’
she said:
‘Okay’ I said
wondering who I
could call on
at 4am.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


Mendes Photos



1. What inspired you to become a writer?

I can say women. I started writing when I was a teenager to find a way to melt women hearts. Then I met Elena – my partner in crime since 2009 – and from that moment on I wrote every single word for her. It’s a wonderful sensation to dedicate her my poems, even those about “work”, “living struggles”, “environment” and so on. She’s definitely my muse.

2. At what age did you start submitting poems for publication?

I started submitting poems more or less 3 years ago, so when I was 24. I remember I started doing it thanks to a little Facebook group lead by Deborah Alma, a great poet and human being. I still remember what I thought when I saw my poem published on Visual Verse for the first time: “They are drunk or they are just joking”. Then I found a lot of drunken editors who loved to joke with my poems. They are all great people and authors, I would not be here answering these questions without them. And I want to thanks readers too!

3. Who and what were some of your influences?

I like to consider my poems as a melting pot between pop culture and high culture. I love to mash up elements coming from cinema, fine art, poetry and music. If I’m listening to blues music, or staring at good paintings, or watching a great movie, then something good would happen.

4. Do you prefer to read poetry, fiction, or non-fiction for personal enjoyment?

In this period I’m reading a lot of essays as like “Thus spoke Zarathustra” by Mr. Nietzsche, “The History of Jazz” by Joachim Berendt, “The History of Rock” by Carl Belz and “Dionysus” by Karl Kerényi. It’s funny to find a common trend in all those books. I just finished reading a collection of unpublished poems by Charles Bukowski and other poetry books. I take my time to read, though, I’m very slow.

5. What is your favorite beverage or drug while writing?

Wine, nothing else.

6. What is your favorite food?

From pizza to sushi. Just gluten free please, I’m celiac. DAMN IT!

7. Do you drive or prefer public transportation?

It depends. I like to drive my old bicycle I restored few weeks ago. It’s the bicycle of my grandmother and now it’s living a new life.

8. Please, tell us about your family?

My parents are both journalists, so now you know why I love to write. I still remember when I was a little child and I fell asleep listening to the beat of my father’s fingers on the keyboard while he was writing his pieces on one of the first semi-digital Olivetti typewriter. I still have that jalopy along with the Olivetti Studio 22 typewriter of my grandfather. My mother runs a blog about cultural news and local traditions. My mother’s father (Mendes Baratti, the  one you can find down here), was also a shipwright and created boats for fishermen and hunters of the little town where he lived.

9. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I would like to visit Greece. I never been there and I think there are some personal roots I need to find among those ruins of ancient temples. It is a travel I would like to do with Elena because we share the same feeling about Greece.

10. If could live in or visit another time, when would it be?

I could say every period of human history because I’m just a curious monkey. Anyway I think this is the best period where to live. Despite a lot of people would think it differently, now we are living better than every other period in the past. We just have to fix a little our relationship with nature and with our body, but trust me… guillotine hit or bonfire heat are not better than what we are facing today.

11. Are there any unusual facts about Italy, you’d like to share?

Fettuccine Alfredo are the biggest cheat. They do not really exist in Italy! We also have a piece of furniture called bidet. It is a French technology coming from 19th Century. In brothels during that period, prostitutes used to wash away the “fun” of rich people using a device called bidet. It is like a little sink, but it’s not for your hands. Every state refused to accept the use of bidet in their houses, except for Italians. Your balls – maybe after a long day of troubles - would thank for that invention.

12. I think you told me about eating donkey, was it the balls? What did they taste like and
were they extra chewy?

Yep, I ate donkey and horse too. It’s a traditional recipe and I know not all the Italians love to eat those animals. We use the meat – not balls, Spanish eat bull’s balls. That’s awkward! – to prepare a succulent stew. You can eat it with pasta (preferably with home made maccheroncini) or with baked or fresh polenta. It has a spicy taste, also thanks to clove and red wine, and it’s not extra chewy. Just like a normal stew. But after a dish of that delicious food you can lift menhir stones like Obelix.

13. Many Americans think about the movie, The Godfather and the Mafia; is that an honest
portrayal of Italy’s underworld?

It was. Now they don’t wear tight anymore. Seriously now. I saw an episode of NCIS last evening. The daughter of Tobias Fornell (an ex FBI agent) was drugged by an asshole. He said to Leroy Jethro Gibbs (the best agent of NCIS): “Let’s find that asshole who did this thing to my daughter, fuck off law, fuck off rules, we will find him, his mother, his father, his girlfriend and we will shoot a bullet into their heads.”
I suppose this is the best sum up of what “mob” is. The primal scream that comes out from everyone when something bad happens to people you love.

14. Mendes, please tell The Ppig a secret, something you’ve never revealed?

I don’t have many interesting secrets, I’m just too lazy to keep them. Even the skeleton in my wardrobe died for boredom. I once dreamed to read poems while Billy Gibbons is playing live his best blues tunes. I know it’s awkward but you know… desires are always awkward.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mendes Biondo from Italy

The B Side of Poetry

if you want to slam the truth in the face of people
keep it low

if you want to be loved even when you're hated
keep it low

don't mind about the use of gore
bad worlds
surreal stories

dante become famous for his inferno
people sang his verses while working into ancient
artisan workshops
bukowski is the idol of many misfits
they both gave people relief
a place where to go and stay safe

so shoot your best bullets
and keep them low

from ground trees grow
from the bottom of the pyre fire gets hotter and higher
from shit and vile things earth finds its food

people always live into the B side of life

they will understand better
your angry rants than your higher sighs

write that B side down
make deep furrows with your plow
into the skin of life
you'll find gold
other precious things
draw a path and follow it

have a bath with petrol of life
and when you rip a full vein off
dance under that black shit made of human messes
worship those damned rotten souls
they will bring you on the highest point

if you want to be like wine
everything simple on this planet

keep it low

Socks And Other Kinds of Plagues

I've never cared about pairing socks
it's a loss of time
many people are so worried about that
what if someone sees you with unmatched socks?
it's a real pity for them
but I've always thought it's god's matter
to pair socks

the first time he failed
he did it so bad he lost all his creations
in the meantime we had a man
who killed his brother
husbands who tried to kill their sons and sell their wives
a great flood that fucked the whole humanity
for the second time

we faced plagues and other kinds of sufferings
when he failed matching socks again

but at least we had something to tell
around a fire or when we are completely drunk
never use that issue if you're flirting
it doesn't work

so don't care about your socks
if they're not matching you're just writing
your daily best story

500 cameras

a big man on his 50
sporty and trendy
the kind of man who never gets old

we were talking about the new cameras
an idea the mayor had to keep the city into a golden cage
a panopticon of fear and mechanical eyes

we are safe and sound now
he said
with all those cameras watching us

I said I was not sure about it

don’t you read newspapers?
he asked
his face was as white as a blanket
haven’t you heard about immigrants killing us
and robbers
and rapists
and drug dealers too?

I wanted to add jack the ripper
and charles manson
but I understood it would be offensive for him
he was shaking like a frightened kid
a big sporty man with great fears to deal with

I've got a daughter
he said
and I'm afraid for her safety
now I feel better knowing someone is watching us

I don't know if a camera is able to stop a bullet or a rapist
but if crime happens in front of it
you could watch the trailer of the new tarantino's movie

Ryan Quinn Flanagan On the Clock He says he is quitting his job in the city, telling that bearded gingerbread fucker with ...