Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Dog, A Plan, Interrupted

E.S. Wynn can see the future. Maybe.

A Dog, A Plan, Interrupted.

The get well soon card he sent was classy– a picture of some disposable celebrity from the nineties throwing snow with the edge of a cheap, neon boogie board on a downhill slice across a frosty slope. Inside, he had taped pictures of trout cut from the pages of a magazine, outlined them in crayon and used finger paint to write sorry about the dog. Jerry was forty-eight. I was sixty-two. The dog was five. We were all in different hospitals for different reasons.

Turn the tape back thirty-nine hours, ignore the scratching and the knocking that comes with a bad recording on a dusty old recorder that was never meant to outlive the nineties. Hear the dog barking in the background? That’s the dog. The one that Jerry used the card to apologize for. The voice in the foreground going on about celebrities and boogie boards is mine. You can’t hear Jerry yet because I haven’t given him a chance to respond. It’s two PM on Saturday, September 20th, 2014, and the sizzling you can barely hear is less static than the hotdogs turning black on the grill.

“Here, hold my beer,” he says, and you can hear from the clapping of his flip flops that he’s got a decent, running start. What you don’t hear is the sound of the dog looking on expectantly, meaty thighs quaking with the dribbling urine of excitement. There’s the sound of the latch, the gate swinging to, then the scattering of feet across asphalt. I look on in silence as the dog darts into the street.

I yell something, but it’s wordless, some kind of mix between a “hey” and a “woah.” The dog is headed right for me, eyes wild, excited, and even as one of the hotdogs splits and drops into the coals, I meet his stare, half terrified, half uncertain.

The dog never reaches me. There’s the searing blare of a car horn, the squeal of brakes, the crunch and yelp of tire-meets-dog. What you can’t hear is the little old lady behind the wheel, the sound she makes as she panics an instant too late and swerves (with the dog under her wheels) toward a yard she can’t see yet through the fog of her cataracts. In one swoop, she slides into my yard, pins me under the hot coals and iron of my barbeque before I have a chance to move.

Hear that yell? That scream? One of those is mine. The other is Jerry’s. Hear the car door opening? That’s not the little old lady. That’s Jerry. That’s him ripping her out of the seat and pummeling her instead of running to check on his dog or his friend (me.)

The only sound the little old lady makes is a grunt, a huff. The thunder clap at the end is her thirty-eight special.

The slurred yelling is Jerry. There’s blood on his face, on the ground. The little old lady has gone limp. The gun is in the grass. Forty-seven minutes later, I’m in the hospital. Jerry is in a different hospital, under armed guard. The dog is at the vet. At some point, someone brings Jerry a get well soon card. He blows the dust off it, scratches out the sentiments inside with a crayon, then covers the crayon with trout cut from a magazine, makes it look purposeful, artistic. In the remaining space, he writes his own sentiment, finds someone to deliver it.

And then, at the stroke of midnight, Jerry turns forty-eight, I turn sixty-two, and the dog turns five. Only one of us dies before the sun can finger the horizon and blind us awake.


Monday, February 25, 2013

in the tension of rhythm

Felino A. Soriano


in the tension of rhythm



fullness developed tragedy,

scope spoken spectrum here

collides with the here of hearsay



absent corporeal mores

realigning later with a versatile

speech of spectral conning,


in the virtue

of absent honesty a

fundamental lack of gaze

of the momentum

inwardly disremembering


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Left You in My Bathroom, and You Disappeared / They're Watching Sitcoms in Iowa, Larry Levis / [daddy keeps asking*] why does my daughter hit herself

As Michael Dwayne Smith, I did not invent the English language, but I have messed it pretty well. Love child conceived in Buick backseat at the El Monte Drive-In, 1957. Old man was Air Force, 21, and never told me what movie. Mom was nearly 15, carried a switchblade in her bra. Adorable raging alcoholics both. Both dead. My street cred based largely on Hawaiian nose humming skill and coyote farming in Mojave desert. Mastermind behind encrypted messages published at Word Riot, decomP, kill author, and Wow! just so many red rock candy stores or stereophonic outlets near you. Lastly, rumor of my being stolen by aliens untrue (refused abduction on grounds it would be cliché), though I am one of the original Meat Popsicles. Evidence located at

I Left You in My Bathroom, and You Disappeared
You came over for dinner.  I cooked to impress.  During the curry, lapping our second glass of petite syrah, you broke the news.  Really, I asked, a poet?  I felt—incredulity, a twinge of disapproval, but then a rising smugness, culminating in a piqued elitism.  I’d forgotten poets today are hot little androgynous animals, sex-edgy, razor-cut dangerous, passive-aggressive fetishists, blessed (or is it cursed?) with the black magic of ejaculating beer-shit, gush, and semen stained sentences into readers’ horrified faces.  Beauty is out.  Fucking syllables into submission, the way in.  I inquired politely, and, No, you hadn’t brought your book with, but you’re the real deal, and you could recite every writhing daisy chain and circle jerk of self-loathing meditation, revelation, and constipation.  Page meets stage at the intersection of sage and rage, so to speak, and you’re a batshit crazy, lusty smirk of a live-and-in-person chapbook, perpetual sway of lips and hips and tongue.  I divulged my method of leaving provocative reads in the guest bathroom, my own personal, potent way to spread propaganda—selections like: Modern Drunkard, S & M catalogs, Sparrow’s “Yes, You Are a Revolutionary!”  Would you mind?  You were only too eager to spew apocalyptic, neo-crypto-feminist fourth wave verse while watching my grab bag of friends crap or piss, helping them rub or squeeze one off.  Last week my old college roomy, Jeff, pinched you, snuck off with you, my squeaky-tough, tangly-hair, word-porn booklet!  (Sure sign he enjoys my taste in literature.)  No surprise.  Simple, bitter, and buck naked, you speak to a part of us we’ve all tried to kill off, and anyone who remembers painting maniacal pictures only to have teachers snarl “What’s that supposed to be?” would understand the crippling insecurity and diabolical self-consciousness of a dirty, dirty, self-mutilating poet in the bathroom.  Jeff invited me over to throw a few down the other day, hinting if I stuck around I’d have to use his can, but things have changed.  His fat hands have been all over your pages, his drool on your covers.  I can no longer bear to think about his fingers tracing your spine.  Seems to me now, poets are only death-soaked moments, and only for giving away.  Seems to me now, I’d rather make a coffee table of a novelist.

They’re Watching Sitcoms in Iowa, Larry Levis
The Flag draws one last cartoon breath.  Two-dimensional

soldiers salute in regimental dress, swallow their

silver revolver barrels, white-winged bodies

floating up to heaven, in wavy lines.


Arsoned Wall Street tents flap, & smack their lips

at unemployed cops fighting hand-to-hand

with uniformed thugs.  Hollywood Boulevard tips.

Street light gathers on a Maytag box that coffins Stuttering


Eddie, the fresh dead drunk.

Bible belts strain to contain America’s swollen underbelly.

Crips & Skinheads crack, sign pig fat contracts to protect

& to serve G.E.’s Board of Directors, AKA, the Senate, USA.


The big clock has struck, spilled its irony licks of blood

in the wind.  Most turn against their own.  Some run away,

or try to hide, while lyrical hurricane leaves swirl

in ever-widening spells.


President & Disney property Selena

Gomez gives birth to her sperm donor frack-baby, “Lucky,”

during the White House evacuation.  Her gunnery-pink

helicopter is hit with artillery fire on take-off.


The Internet is down.

Your teapot is boiling.  Electricity just went cold.


[daddy keeps asking*] why does my daughter hit herself

—A transcendental flarf quilt of auto-fill google searches

girls like muscles

girls like cigarettes

girls like bad boys

girls like assholes

girls like boys with skills


why does my arm shake when i eat dirt

why does my mom turn me on

is it called love when someone pees and shits on you during sex

is it healthy to drink your own urine

our pets heads are falling off


why dont women make the first move

why dont women like nice guys

why dont women leave abusive relationships

why dont women fart

why dont women answer when i talk to them on facebook


why does my wife not respect me

why does my wife not want to make love to me

why does my wife hate everything i do

why does my wife blame me for everything

why does my wife want a baby


why does my daughter lie even when it doesnt matter

why does my daughter paint dark circles around her eyes

why does my daughter flip off the camera

why does my daughter cut herself


why are indians afraid of dogs

why are indians obsessed with fairness

why are indians so ugly

why are indians vegetarian

why are indians so racist


when she says i can eat her period

when she says i am out of estrogen and i have a gun

arent you glad you didnt turn on the light

arent you glad i didnt say banana


why cant i own a canadian

dinosaurs were made up by the cia to discourage time travel

urethra franklin is on the fucking radio

whats a girlfriend and where can i download one

my balls are stuck in my xbox


man im hungrier than a muthafucka

man im tired of being right

man im glad im a man

Friday, February 15, 2013


Alan Britt


 Angels can be demons,

at which point they’re dangerous.

 They don’t know everything.

Hell, some don’t even know how to count

backwards from 1 to 333.

Angels can only tell us what they know,

& occasionally they seem to know

more than we do,

but that's not what makes them vicious.

 No, some angels are vicious by nature;

others learn it from the culture,

& a few...well...a few make up the rules

as they go, clear-cutting redwoods

for theme parks to entertain the ignorant culture,

since it appears the more an ignorant culture remains

entertained the less likely it is to behead you

or nail you to gold-plated crosses sold

by the bazillions at suburban malls.

 Yes, angels can be a skittish bunch, nervous

as abused pit bulls, or greenyellow parrot feathers

ripped from naked chests, plucked over 36 years

of being crammed into a 4' by 6' gilded cage.

Anyway, some angels are drop dead gorgeous;

it's not their fault, beauty turns them into demons,

at which point they're dangerous.



Don’t say there’s a council

to tell us how

we must feel,

what we should believe?


That’s so Roman.


Don’t say

that my government and yours

chooses to pursue a bravado

akin to Alexander the Great’s

or Napoleon’s

in its pursuit

of equality?


Don’t say that if I’m a lowly woman

I must begin from birth

to sharpen

my eyelashes for death,

because I believe

there’s more to this sorry

story than golden hot-tubs

in 50-star hotels

with flat plasma screens

broadcasting the most unbelievable political elections

of our country’s history?


The doors of perception


like brass-ringed

bullfrog’s eyes

poking just

above the surface

of ashes

carefully prepared


a lowly German matron in her worst hour of

picking tulips

the color of yellow and black


or poppies

raging against a sea

of injustice;

so why


to the white argument

that we don’t exist


we already know

that shimmering red veins

on elm leaves

with black splotches

resembling rancid indecision

have more to do

with personal history

than our gilded 



Friday, February 8, 2013


 Craig Scott is editor of Mad Rush.





Faces carved into the trees by the highway.
Or do they occur naturally?
Woman walking her black dog in a black plastic bag.
Decapitate him with a samurai sword before he harms you.
The tall man with braces on his teeth, not the black dog.
Too late. Chainsaw sodomy. Sideways.

Insert your oh my worthy of George Takei here.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Justin Grimbol went to Green Mountain College, where he majored in Partying. He dropped out after four years and then wrote some books. THE CRUD MASTERS is his most recent work. He likes books. He also likes butts.
Ned logged on to facebook to stalk his dead wife. He clicked on her profile pics and found a shot of her sitting on Benjamin Franklin’s lap. She was drunk and wearing the tiniest skirt he had ever seen. He looked at more pics. Heaven looked rowdy.   He had hoped that Heaven would be a like one long yoga class. Instead it seemed like a massive keg party.
There was one pic where she was doing a keg stand, with Chris Farley holding her upside down. Her shirt hung over her face. Her big titties dangled. There was another pic of the two kissing. Chris Farley was his favorite actor. Now whenever he watched one of his movies he would think of him boinking his dead, drunk wife. He was devastated. 
That’s it, he decided. I can’t take it anymore.
He deleted his dead wife from her friends list.
For a moment he felt better. A weight had been lifted. Then he decided maybe a little too much weight had been lifted. He wanted it back.
 He tried to re-friend her. But it wasn’t that simple. She had to accept he friend request.
He waited and hoped for her to accept the request.  “Come on, come on!” he mumbled to himself. An hour passed. She hadn’t accepted his request.
     It was late, but he was too anxious to sleep. “WHATS WRONG WITH YOU?” he yelled at his computer screen. “JUST ACCEPT MY FRIEND REQUEST! HOW CAN YOU BE SO CRULE? YOU BITCH!”
He folded down his lap top and took a deep breath. “Ok Ned, get a hold of yourself,” he said.
He waddled to the kitchen and made himself a massive ice-cream Sunday and turned on his favorite Rocky movie, the one where he fights off the zombie apocalypse. The movie calmed him down a little. He used to love comedies, but his wife had been hooking up with all his favorite dead comedians and now he found he couldn’t watch anything but horror movies.
The volume was too loud. It woke his daughter. She stumbled to the living room and snuggled up with him on the couch.
“Honey, it’s four in the morning,” Ned said. “It’s way passed your bed time.”
“I just want to watch a little bit of the movie,” she said.
“Ok, just a little bit.”
She next to him and watched the movie.
 When she fell back to sleep he carried her into her bed and tucked her in.
He loved her hair. It was red and long like her mothers.
He stabbed the knife into the pumpkin’s head. Blood poured out of the wound. Luckily, he had put plenty of new paper on the kitchen table.
“Where does all this blood come from?” the boy asked his mother.
“Fuck if I know.”
“Is it the blood of all the dead children.”
“No, of course not. That’s sick.”
“Is it the blood of ancient forgotten gods.”
“Probably not.”
“Is it blood from the center of the earth.”
“The center of the earth isn’t made out of blood, it’s made out of lava.”
“Is it the pumpkin having its period.”
“Don’t be such a pig.”
“Then what is it then.”
His mother took a long pull off her cigarette. She exhaled and looked at the smoke like she could find truth in it.
“Fuck, I don’t know. Maybe it is having its period. It doesn’t matter.”
The boy smiled then dug his hand into the pumpkins guts. It felt nice and warm. He loved it. He wished he could carve open something bigger.
He faced his congregation and took out his wiener. It was a massive wiener. It was the most massive wiener the world had ever seen.
Each man from the congregation walked up to their minister and fucked his gaping pee hole. No one lasted very long. Merely the idea of fucking a massive cock was so arousing they came as soon as they put it in his slimy hole.
Once the massive wiener was filled with his congregations semen, the reverend walked to the alter and lied down. The congregation sat around him and sang old campfire songs and watches as the reverend masturbated.
“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…”
They prayed for their mighty leader to reach orgasm. They had done this every Sunday for two years. The reverend had never been able to reach orgasm. It was as if his dick was constipated.
“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream…”
This day was different.
“What’s that noise?” one of the men asked.
The reverends penis made a strange rumbling. It sounded as if a train was charging forward, carrying cargo from the deepest part of his soul.
Could the prophecies be true? They wondered.
     “This is going to be gross,” another man said.
     “Should we tell him to stop?”
For years they had prayed for this day to come, but now that the promised day was upon them they were filled with terror. They enjoyed their little routine. They enjoyed fucking the reverends mighty cock hole. They enjoyed singing and watching him masturbate endlessly. 
“Don’t do it!” one man yelled to the reverend.
“I’m sorry!” the reverend responded.
They watched as a mushroom cloud of jizz erupted from his cock. It had been a sunny day, but now the sky grew thick with jizz clouds.
They stared up at the gooey clouds in awe.
The rumbling sound no longer came from the reverends cock. It came from above them.
“Dear lord have mercy!” a man yelled.
The jizz poured from the sky.
“ICKY!” one man yelled. “It’s so icky!”
 It didn’t soak into the ground like normal rain. Soon it was up to their knees.
“To the boat!” another member the congregation yelled.
They ran through the sticky jizz toward the boat they had been living in for years. It was intended to be an arc. It was supposed to save them when the prophecies came true and the jizz tsunami cover the Earth. For the past ten years they had been treating it like it was nothing more than apartment building and they were not sure if it could actually function as a boat, the way they had initially intended it too.
By the time they got there, the jizz was up to their chests.
“It’s locked,” one man said as he tugged on the door knob.
They looked up and saw their wives standing at the windows. One of the women opened her window. It was the lead wifey.
“You are no longer needed,” she called out to them. “Go be with your savior.”
The men begged her to have mercy. The lead wife shook her head and walked away from their windows.
Jizz gathered. Soon they were floating in stormy sea of their own man juice.
The boat was also floating in the jizz.  Its motor started. The massive arc sped away. 
“Come back!” they begged.
They tried to swim after it. But it moved too quickly. They were soon engulfed in the milky white waves.