Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Last Tango With Catfish

As I get older the less time I have, so I've decided after 26 months to shoot this hog in the head. A special thanks to my partner, Michy McDannold. Also to all the folks around the world that have shared a little piece of theirselves. A goodbye to my old dead gal pal, Patricia Hickerson, she was a real hoot. If all goes according to plan, Michy will archive Ppigpenn on Literary Underground. Mil gracias, Catfish

2 Dogs / Red Sun



James Babbs continues to live and write from the same small Illinois town where he grew up.  He has published hundreds of poems over the past thirty years and, recently, a few short stories.  James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).


2 Dogs

I saw two dogs this morning
running past my window
two dogs disappearing
around the corner of the house
saw them again
in the front yard
sniffing the bushes
growing along the drive
two dogs out in the rain
and I watched them
crossing the road
two dogs running
across the field
the wet and muddy field
I saw them
they just kept going
two dogs
how funny they looked
they surely must have been real



Red Sun

I sent her a text and
wished her a Happy Birthday
I wanted her to have a good one
even though
we weren’t together anymore
I don’t know
maybe it was my way
of telling her it was okay
we both knew
it was never going to work
I poured more wine into my cup
set the bottle on the table
before leaning back in my chair
the red sun in the western sky
looked like an open wound
the light changing to blood
spilling through the air

Gramps Is Still Nuts about Granny / Study of Barbara / Old Drunk's Advice to an Anxious Beau


Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, 
lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His poetry and fiction
have appeared in print and online publications 
in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Some of his earliest work can be found

Gramps Is Still Nuts about Granny

Granny wants to go to a movie 
back in the old neighborhood 
where she and Gramps used to
neck in high school but Gramps 

doesn't want to drive that far  
and tells Granny he’ll go if she sits 
in the balcony and wears a skirt 
he can slide his hand under 

during the Coming Attractions.
Granny asks Gramps if he isn’t 
a little old for that kind of thing  
and Gramps says he’d rather put 

his head under there and let Granny 
box his ears with her thighs 
and listen to his sighs as he harvests 
fruit still ripe in the orchard.



Study of Barbara


In the easy heave
and lazy reclination
of their cashmere lake,

Barbara’s buoy. Yet
despite the talc
daubed on at dawn,

beneath both eyes by noon
the scar of night
burns Barbara through.




Old Drunk's Advice to an Anxious Beau

I’m no expert on marriage
but you asked me so
here’s how I see it, 
decades removed from 
making the same decision.

If the woman is pretty, 
has a voice you want to 
bathe in forever, she 
may be the right one.
But at my age or yours

I would marry only
a woman who made me 
grunt at the zenith.
If she did that,
I’d buy the ring.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Untitled



Stephen James from Manchester, UK  is trying his best to survive in one of the United Kingdom's biggest cultural and capitalist hives on nothing more than art, the kindness of others and organisations that will pay him in food.  www.folknwords.tumblr.com.

I want to make really destructive art. It looks immensely satisfying. I want to smash plates, throw balloons filled with paint against walls and rip other people’s work to shreds on stage and call the destruction artwork of my own. Too many other people get away with it, so why can’t I?
Making art, destructive or not, seems like the best way to get yourself across to all these people. It could be your pain or it could be your tremendous sense of self-worth; they seem to be what sells. Although I bet at least once a very nice, well-rounded chap has painted something and some so-called art expert, an interesting idea in itself, has assigned pain, or a tremendous sense of self-worth, which was more than likely their own, to it and the creator has been hailed as a genius.  What is outsider art really? Surely self-expression is one of the few areas in which everybody is on a totally level playing field, for nobody has any more self than anybody else. Right?
I just want to make really destructive art. Why does writing have to be such a long and drawn out process? Is that just what kind of person I am? The kind of person who by all rationale should explode for all to see but refuses, instead choosing to break down every aspect of his madness into words; everything that will and was and could and should and would have been said and then putting them down on paper; a million witty reposts to a thousand things that were said in the heat of a moment now cold just so that everybody who never reads my words will understand the personal magnitude of a situation that nobody even paid any attention to at the time.
Destructive art would be so much easier. I put down my words on paper, read them, re-read them and then deem then unworthy, not good enough. My words are then lifted, rearranged and rewritten until they are maybe, just maybe, better than they were to start off with. The unworthy words are then destroyed, pulped, recycled. It is destruction but it is not art. I hope that my recycled pages are used to make something of use.
At least if I make destructive art then people won’t have a choice but to see. Because that’s the peculiar thing about art: if it’s big enough, then people can’t help but know it. I’ve never read Hamlet, Catcher in the Rye or any of the novels by Ian ‘boring-as-shit’ McEwan but I, along with just about everybody else in the world, can picture the Mona Lisa, Van Gough’s sunflowers and that stupid skull covered in diamonds by simply closing my eyes. I want to make really destructive art. I want to enjoy it. I want everybody to hear about it.
I want to make really destructive art. One shot, one chance, no drafts and definitely no rewrites. Once something has been destroyed it cannot be undone. You blink and you miss it. Art and then some more art and then some more and all you’re left with is a strange feeling in your gut and a mess left for somebody else to clean.
I’m going to make really destructive art. I say this now but I never follow through with any of my outrageous claims. I’m surprised these words have made it this far, spreading across the page, floating through the air, trying to work their way inside your head. But I have to; there is no point in expressing your loves, your hates, your fears and all of the other bullshit like this, even if it is in perfectly formed, or indeed beautifully fragmented sentences, broken utterances; stuttered or yelled. The prose can flowery and flow but nobody will ever know what you mean; it doesn't mean anything to anybody without your pitiful existence as a frame of reference. A frame of reference that is held by nobody but you- you arrogant, selfish bastard.
I should make really destructive art. I think that it would make me feel better. 


Thursday, November 13, 2014

awake, late



From the safety of his boring suburban New Hampshire condo, Ag Synclair publishes The Montucky Review and edits poetry for The Bookends Review. Widely published in the small presses, he manages to fly under the radar. Deftly.


awake, late

knawing through a chewable darkness
you thank someone for the rain
for the procreation of a few lousy words
for fractions of time in which you imagine
pulling through.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Visions of Ginsberg. An excerpt / It's Easy To Be Lonely


Paul Crompton

Paul has been described as a bounder, cur and eternal wretch but after therapy his Mother is now excepting his long distance calls.

After a youthhood bringing life into the world and watching it extinguished on small holdings he left the incubator cocoon of Norfolk, England like a roaring James Dean figure, or bashful Kerouac anti-hero hunting for the meaning of life by scratching the worlds underbelly. He found one night stands, plants and booze then denounced love as a concept. He also read whatever lay on the table in front of him until he figured he would write something… paulcromptonpoetry.blogspot.co.uk


Visions of Ginsberg. An excerpt

A homage to beat writing inspired by nonchalant sex, idle chemical romances and boozed up house parties (otherwise known as university)


I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed
by education,
half starved on beans and booze rations,
who passed through universities with LDN dreams,
and their dad’s Amex’s
hallucinating working class veneers,
wearing down trodden connotations.
Expelled from the college blocks and uni’s
by the scholars of war and Marx,
in their crazed cotton shirts and up-turned eyes
installing obscene odes on the windows of the skull.
I saw the truth of the night
light up the small town secrets,
explode the dreams of teenage years
as the moon shone rays of ghost blue
cloaked in radical new signs,
of life hidden beneath the high street and mortgage brokers.
Scrambled remains of Spiders cover the lofts of pigeons breasts
writing obscene notes and obscure letters
twelve feet high across the hearts of their friends.

I saw them escaping their mothers with hard drugs;
their fathers with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock.
Whole intellects discarded
in total abandon to Sambuca and bong rounds.
Bone-grindings and migraines of China
under poison withdrawal.
In the austere foul-mouths of bleak student rooms,
A silent reminder of a monochrome Dylan, hung
framed with coloured muslin, saris and silver wall-hangings filtering light from tea.
Floor’s and walls cracked deep with polished sheen
where the light bounced and sparked alight the colours
picking out the sequins on the Indian beading
which hung like stoned eyelids from floor to ceiling,
blocking the paths and parked cars from interior ideas of separatism
by those who howled on their knees on their way from remedies and were
dragged from the roofs by day-glo cops
Who stopped them from waving their genitals and essay scripts.




It's Easy To Be Lonely

It's easy to be lonely,
spend solitary months
speaking only to buy beer
hid in busy pubs,
watch receding tide line
of cheap porter fall
in unison with the sun,
and later coke black rum.

Silent for whole days
walking without destination,
waste empty afternoons
filling time in dark cinemas
draining contraband cans
like playing field teen.

Finding old broken bench
from where to watch
churning eternal water
swell and fall away.
To feel the ebb and flow of life
wash through poisoned veins.

Sat next to a stranger
with daydreams contained
in blue curve of jean thigh,
rose lips;
but no words seem sensible
making hello redundant
so we watch the day tick by,
quiet in each other’s company
because it easier to stay lonely.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

INTERVIEW: KIKA STAYERMAN


Name?
Kika Stayerman
Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely)
Thirty-Nine (Where did all that time go?...)
Location?
New York City
How long have you been writing?
In the house I grew up in the encyclopedia volumes were shelved in my room. I would read them from A to Z back and forth. I remember being enchanted by beautiful sentences, well constructed and balanced, but also sentences that say something meaningful, something revelatory.
As a teenager I started exploring writing as a way of yearning for something to feed fantasies in a world where everyone said things dryly.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I think there is something very permanent about the written word and for some reason the piece I am working on always has to have the ability to stand as the last thing I ever wrote.
Do you write as a career?
No and I wouldn’t want to. The sitting is killing me so everything else I do for a living is in motion.
Do you write full-time?
Writing is a way of being for me and I jot down notes daily but I am not anymore setting a schedule of hours to write. I found that when I did, I would sometime stare at the blank page for days and nothing would come to my mind. Then I would take a jog along the Hudson river and see so many artists practice tap dance, reading lines of scenes, stretching to their yoga asana or warming their voice, or I would walk in a very early hour through Times Square and watch tourists taking endless photos without really looking around them – all these make me return to my notebook with plethora of ideas.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Completing five full-length screenplays I am madly passionate about, through which I feel I managed to squeeze the essence out of life and I have a strong feeling they have the potential to get under the viewers’ skin.
Staying sane.
What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
Not to get published through the conventional publishing machine. I am not built for that kind of commitment, book tours, nonsensical interviews and temporary unjustified inflated attention.
Ultimately I wish to get back to my notebook and keep on writing. Also, I imagine that it is probably nice to get published, but that’s all it is – nice.
I do very much wish to see my screenplays performed on the big screen and have someone somewhere sitting in their home, reading a poem of mine and nodding their head ‘yes.’
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
Not knowing all the words in the English language. I moved to NYC four and a half years ago and though I had what is considered a good English, it is not as rich as my native language. Ever since I am here I read, talk and write only in English and though I acknowledge the fact that my vocabulary has improved, still each day when I get my daily Wordsmith newsletter and find another word I did not know, I wonder when will I know them all.
What projects of yours have been recently published?
Other than publishing my work on my blog, a poem and an essay of mine will be published in the coming issue of And Then magazine.
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
I am writing a series of comedy sketches for TV as well as revising poems, short films and full-length screenplays for submissions.
The comedy sketches came about after collecting countless notebooks with funny sketches from all types of situations I see around me over the past years. When you are a writer, you are constantly in search for stories. You read them, you eavesdrop to them, you take close looks. I notice things throughout my day; moments supply me with ideas and notes to develop about the human condition.
Also, I just love the idea that I can write a script and after it is been shot it become more than what I wrote. More than what I put there.

Where can we find your work?
I publish some of my poems and short stories on my blog at Who Seeks Finds.
  How often do you write?
Every single day. I never leave the house without a notebook, a pen and a book in my pocketbook.
How do you react to rejections?
I do a couple of push-ups or a downward dog. These give a new point-of-view.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
I first sit up more straight filled with content. Then I start doubting the seriousness of the publication.
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
Always do something physical.
Make sure that when you are ready to lift your head from your notebook, that there will be someone there at the end of the day. The time you will reminisce on will be time spent with friends and family, not that time when you were by yourself and you nailed that sentence. Lastly, something I know to be true: to do something well means to do it a lot.
What is your favorite book?
There’s always a new favorite. This is why these type of questions are so unfair to everyone I may forget to mention.
Who is your favorite author?
John Cheever, Witold Gombrowicz, Edouard Levé, William T. Vollmann, Norman Rush, Antonio Lobo Antunes, Michael Ondaatje, Dostoyevsky, Eugene Ionesco, E.B. White, Goethe, Roland Barthes, Adam Phillips, Don DeLillo, Henry Miller, Leonard Cohen, Isaac Babel, Kurt Vonnegut, David Foster Wallace, Charles Bukowski, Ismail Kadare.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Beowulf. Just for the chance to hear him talk in Old English.
What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?
Too long of a solitude. Getting paralyzed over perfection. And too much sitting.
What is your favorite word?
UNBECOMING. Also FAMISHED and ENCHANTED and PECULIAR. They all roll so beautifully in one’s mouth.
What makes you laugh?
Animation movies, and cats.
What makes you cry?
I cry terribly easy, over everything. Over fanatics. Over injustice. Over enslavement of another human being or an animal. Over seeing someone walking a dog and pulling him impatiently while he tries to do his thing.
What is your preferred drink while you write?
Oh, water. Cold, fresh.
Beach or Mountains?
Beach.
Cats or Dogs?
Both, together, in bed.
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
The Rolling Stones, most times.
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
The electrifying Jimi.
Shakespeare or Bukowski?
Each genius and his time.
Personal website/blog:
Facebook profile or page:
Yeah… no…
Twitter profile:
@KikaStayerman (https://twitter.com/KikaStayerman)
Other page(s) or profile(s):
Anything you’d like to share about your country, its people, or native animals?
These things I know to be true about New York City:
1. When you live in a city where people are living as if nobody is watching, you see ugly things.
2. There is not a night of the week when you can't attend a reading in Brooklyn, or several.
3. NYC apartments are the most destructive, humiliating and depressive human compartments; they reinforce a collective faith that keeps nourishing its writers.
4. People love-to-love New York, but mostly they love-to-hate it. Still some will never let it go. Maybe they have a difficulty giving away the possibility to attend Paul Holdengraber meeting Jay-Z at the NYPL Events, or seeing Lena Dunham and Zadie Smith at the BAM or taking a selfie with Al Pacino after his play on Broadway or running to Sarah Jessica Parker in a coffee place in Little Italy or exchanging a laugh with Alec Baldwin at Nanoosh restaurant or even just walking past West 27th Street knowing this is where one of your most appreciated literary magazines is now sorting the recent submissions.
5. You can easily bump into someone famous simply because they live here.
6.  Very rarely will bumping into someone famous change your life or affect your career.
The reason for that is because the residents of New York who will bump into those famous individuals and actually expect that this will change their lives will most likely steal a snapshot with their phone and be busy in the next ten minutes sharing it on their social media platforms along with a caption that necessarily includes some version of the phrase ‘OMG!’ and by the time they finished looking at the first Likes and comments on all their social media platforms, they will look up and notice that famous individual had long gone and they missed yet another opportunity to live the moment.
7. People come with the notion that New York will be the Hawaii of the mind but the main thing the two have in common is coconut water on every second corner.
8. If you are a writer in New York, you are just another word between parentheses.
9. The world that was experienced by writers who lived in New York pre-Internet days was written so well because it was truly experienced rather than Googled.
10. The wonderful thing about living in New York is that there is a ton of talent, experience, broken hearts and starving stomachs waiting to get another gig, and this talent combined with disrupts passions and real hunger always creates something truly phenomenal and poignant.
11. The majority of New York Nine-to-Five workers are living in a TGIF state of mind. I find that terribly sad.
12. The art galleries talks scene in New York is like listening to Slavoj Zizek. No one knows what he is talking about and it’s all over the place.
13. In New York everything is misleading without necessarily be false.
14. I would sometimes spend days without saying one word aloud. I found that many New Yorkers are like me.
15. In New York you learn the secret of a great pizza: Its greatness is based on the moments and people spent having it with.
QUESTIONS: Please answer in 5 words or less:
1. Where do you live, city & country or state?
New York, NY, United States of America.
2.  If you had to live in any country besides yours, what would be your favorite & least favorite, in that order?
Canada or South Africa would be my favorites. China would be the least.
3. If you were stranded naked on a deserted island & were allowed one thing, what would it be? (No transportation allowed)
A company.
4.  If you could only choose one book as your favorite, what would it be?
Collected Poems by Ron Padgett (Coffee House Press, 2013).
5. If you could have a conversation with anyone, dead & alive, who would it be, in that order?
Rumi and David Foster Wallace.
6. What is your favorite movie & television show, in that order?
Sling Blade. The Sopranos, and anything with Matthew McConaughey.
7. If you found a magic lamp & got three wishes, what would they be?
Free all caged animals, find the song that will make all torturers stop torturing, make everything else right.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

"in heat, in summer" / "johnny(dangerously)"


Joe Quinn is a 35 year old American Poet. He’s been published 60+ times in over 30 publications in the world.  Catch him on facebook.com/joequinnpoetry

"in heat, in summer"

a slut
but not yours
whores
order hors d'oeuvres
little pink fish
sprinkled with
powdered sugar

you knew you were
better
you knew you were getting
better
but you painted yourself
out on/into
a corner

hyperventilate
and escape
the blackout
inside her
is warm and mine
and lined with wet diamonds


"johnny(dangerously)"

brush fires
one hundred strokes
from root to tip

the pyromaniac
jacks off onto
the tongues of flame

the bad boys
weren't always
stars

a black spot before
the fish hook
came in your mouth