Categories
Poetry

LULLABY

Think of that chimp

who tore the lady’s face off,

and his owner called the cops,

and they shot him several times

before he finally calmed down,

dragged himself off to the corner of the kitchen

where he slept, collapsed on his bed, and died.

Sometimes I stare into the mirror and wonder

who would dial nine-one-one

if I tore that mug off?

And if somebody responded and I got mad

and they shot me to shut me up,

how many rounds would it take?

Likely just one, maybe two,

and I’d fall down and they’d drag me off

and I’d never even begin to make it back to bed.

So always decide to leave the deadpan hanging

one more empty day, despite suddenly furious –

especially if it smiles –  

the thing fails to look anything like mine.

Willie Smith

Categories
Short stories

Find Love in a Disco

The Terrorist wants to find love he tells me. The Terrorist sleeps eats defecates in bunkers caves safe houses at the local bar. Sometimes I think it is just about the sex. The Terrorist is not PC. Chicks are chicks & dudes are dudes. I am sure he has a list somewhere of old conquests. I think he rates them one to ten. He carries a stack of VHS tapes around in a shopping bag. His two favorite Stars are Peter North & Kip Noll. Milk gives him the shits. From the mountaintop he telephones the boys and tells them that he loves them and soon they will be in Heaven together. The telephone calls are long and instructive and he is tender and loving. The Terrorist prohibits lonely masturbation but group masturbation is permitted. The Terrorist loves Pumping Iron with a passion. Being deaf the Terrorist tolerates loud music but forbids dancing unless the dancing is a form of terrorism. The Terrorist cries at night when the sky is unblemished and the moon is shimmering and the stars are blinking and all are impassive to death and destruction because he is lonely and he just wants to be loved. The Terrorist is always five hundred and fifty-three feet behind the suicide bomber. The Terrorist is there to pick up the pieces and to create his own monster. The arm has to be muscular and the leg to be slender and the torso to be Michelangeloan. The Terrorist just wants somebody to hold his hand, to whisper sweet nothings, to kiss him, to tell him that everything is wonderful. The Terrorist has a SS haircut. The Terrorist likes to parade and sing songs. The Terrorist dresses like a British Lord. ‘At eighteen hundred hours we will shower but not together,’ says the Terrorist, ‘and you will order a taxi for nineteen hundred hours while waiting we will ready ourselves which means clean under the armpits and then we will jump in the taxi and at twenty hundred hours we will enter the Fascist Disco and there I will find love pure love.’ I say ‘you hate discos.’ The Terrorist says, ‘I am ninety nine percent certain I will find love after all we are white and pure and God Loves.’  

B. K. Anderson 

Categories
Poetry

Rabbits

My father brought home two rabbits. My father encouraged me to feed the rabbits. The rabbits were snow white and had pink eyes. The rabbits were fat and had shinny coats and ineffable eyes. Every morning my father would give me a handful of chopped carrots to feed to the rabbits. I would feed the rabbits the chopped carrots and tell the rabbits my dreams and my fears. One day the rabbits were not in their cage. Father had killed the rabbits, skinned the rabbits, and placed the deskinned rabbits in a pot of boiling water with potatoes and carrots. The rabbits’ snow white coats had turned an apocalyptic swirl of grey/black and, on the plate, the pink eyes, ineffable, looked like cloudy marbles lost to a nemesis. I licked my lips and like Oliver I asked for more dead rabbit.

Tate Vannozza

Categories
Short stories

kaleidoscope

We were silly sulky slumberlant and full of dreams, incredible dreams, long and lazy dreams, labyrinthine dreams, Egyptiantine yellow, Greektine white, Romantine purple, Byzantine red, unlimned dreams, ineffable, sweet lolling limbs dreams, dreams like fronds lazily lingering tapping water flowing gently, azure, lapis lazuli, we had tried to construct a rainbow, but our endeavor had been futile, we had broken the spell, we had thought too long, too hard, we were unaware that all we needed was sunlight and water, spraying water, cascading water, we thought that rainbows were as intricate as the kaleidoscope, the kaleidoscope for us was magical, it contained God on earth, as the altered light seeping through the stainglass window of the cathedral contains God, we could have opened the curtains, we could have allowed the sun entrance, we could played with water, we slouched, dissolved, our lids heavy, the rims touching, limp, six legs crossed intricately as intricate interwoven as any Insular Illumination, loose legs uncoiling slowly, arms drooping boughs weighed heavily with ripen fruit readying to ejaculate sepia seeds, yawning, stretching, scratching, limp, sleepy, uncoiling.  Eliot and Viv said that we should leave the dark room and play outside but I said no and that I had a better idea, Viv said she did not want to kiss me, I said she could not kiss her brother that sisters kissing brothers was against God and if God saw Viv and Eliot kissing God would infest Viv and Eliot with a coruscating disease – it had to be coruscating so that all the people could see the disease as the mark on Abel had to be on his forehead and neon. Viv agreed to me kissing her, I held her tightly and kissed her. Eliot counted. By the time he got to a hundred, Viv was limp in my arms, I released her and she fell to the floor, on the floor, her dress covered her face and showed Eliot and me her pink cotton panties, We touched and Viv stayed silent and still we touched, warm, moist, soft.   

Eliot, Viv, and I climbed under their father’s bed, it was a big bed, their father was a follower of Spinoza and so cried for all the crimes committed against man and woman, some days he cried for Adam and Eve because they were cast out of Eden, he cried for those drowned in the great flood, he wept for the Moslems that were put to death by the Crusaders, he wept for the boys in the First World War, he wept for the Jews on their way to the gas chamber, he wept over the atom bomb. On the wall was The Triumph of Death. “Bruegel is the master when it comes to the physiognomy in pain,” said Eliot. We could hear their father weeping softly his crying reminded me of the rain patting the window. “Just another massacre,” I said. I was bored of hide and seek, we should have been playing hide and seek we said we would play hide and seek, I turned to Viv, I should have been hiding, I felt very silly, and so I didn’t say anything to Eliot and Viv. I almost cheered. I had had a thought. I whispered to Viv and Viv whispered to Eliot and Eliot looked at me and nodded his head. We stole from the work shed, from the kitchen, from the basement; we went through the house collecting the stuff we needed. Eliot carried a huge bag and we filled the bag and Eliot never complained, Viv used her mother’s washing basket, in it we placed the intricate stuff we needed, because I was good with a pen and could write neatly I kept records, I was methodical and wrote everything we did down. We went into the dark room and worked and constructed, we hammered nails and bent metal, we saw through wood and hacked through sheets of tin and metal and copper, when something did not work, we started again, we were full of ideas, and some of the ideas were magnificent and I wrote down the ideas and we stopped working and I read out loud the ideas they were very good ideas. Viv was so happy she kissed me and I kissed her and we kissed Eliot and Eliot kissed Viv and me.

We stood before the Kaleidoscope, so proud, so joyous. Eliot ordered us to stand guard and he left the dark room. Viv placed my hand down her pink cotton panties; my fingers crawled through the turf and entered her lips, I wiggled my fingers and Viv moaned softly, the warm, viscous juice from her hole trickled through the rill spacing my knuckles. Eliot returned with a cat. I removed my fingers and helped Eliot push the cat into the chamber. Once the cat was in the Kaleidoscope, Viv turned the handle, the cat mewled as cats mewl under the window when the moon is pavonine and no long abash over the pockmarks. The cat went through the Kaleidoscope, and somewhere in the middle of the Kaleidoscope, the cat stopped screaming. We went round to the other side of the Kaleidoscope and watched as beautiful portions of the cat fell from the conveyor belt. The pieces looked so nice and so pretty, and we said if the pieces had been from a cow or a pig we could have sold the pieces at the market. “I think we should tell mother,” said Eliot. “I think we need to see if we can place something bigger than a cat in Kaleidoscope before we should tell your mother,” I said. Eliot and Viv nodded their heads. I slipped my hand down Viv’s pink cotton panties; she turned angrily and stared me down. My hand traveled through the rut that separated her behind. My fingers found the hole and I wiggled my fingers. Viv moaned softly. “I think Viv would work perfectly,” said Eliot. He grabbed Viv and pushed her towards the Kaleidoscope. Viv was silent. Eliot pointed to the handle and I started to turn the handle. I could hear the razors, the knives, the hammers, the saws, the machetes, the scythes working; I could hear the hacking, sawing, cutting, slicing, curving. “You need to go faster,” said Eliot. I worked myself into a glistening sweat. Viv started to appear. Little pieces of Viv fell off the conveyor belt. From the apertures on both sides of the Kaleidoscope, matted hair and crushed bone and pulped muscle and intestines and brain in thick liquid oozed.

(appeared in Chaffey Review)

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Short stories

ELECTROLUX BOOGIE

    Into the Electrolux I jammed it. Snapped on the juice. Expecting a free whoopee. But the motor stuck; the fit too tight.

     Toot sweet my unit shot off – humped through the hose like a goosed mole; whumped inside the body of the machine.

     I cut the juice. Detached the bag. Dumped it on the rug.

     Hatpins, marbles, hairballs, needles, threads, rat crap, pretzel crumbs, popcorn duds, spiders sputtering hairy with dust. And there, at the center of the heap, writhed my unit.

     Snatched it. Blew on it. Waved it in the air. Applied pressure. Tried screwing the tube back on. Which proved harder than joining two north poles.

     The bugger kept skewing, slamming into a thigh. Then it came alive. Burst out the bay window, jetted into the sky.

     I’m waiting still for that sucker to come home to roost. Meantime, I make do – keeping time, doing the do – with a mechanical cock that never gets mechanical. 

Willie Smith

Categories
Poetry

Translation

Now I am Artaud

Verbs the blood

Adverbs the bones

Adjectives the organs

Nouns the essence

Punctuation the madness  

I put down the pen

Pick up the paper

Read

Drink

I put down the paper

Pick up the pen

Scribble

Read

Leave

Now thankful

I am no longer Artaud

A.T. Vannozza

Categories
Short stories

The Case of the Missing Father

 My mother thought she was Léontine Lippmann, said Henry.

Who, asked Peter.

 If you were lucky to have been invited to one of her, I’ve forgotten the word, you could have found yourself conversing with the Prince and Princess Bibesco; the Baron and Baroness Rothschild; Marcel Schwob and Marcel Proust, said Judy. Bores and windbags were never invited again. A single word could get you banned. Even a huff at a malapropos moment could have you ostracized.

 Right, said Peter, still perplexed.

 Of course, said Henry, one of her man friends met me at the front door.

 Man friends, said Mary.

 My mother had many man friends, said Henry, aided with a wink.

 Lady MauxSmith’s salons always ended in an orgy, said Judy.  William Hogarth never attended one of her salons but he did hear about an incident. Many years later he incorporated the incident into one of his series of moral works. After a very successful salon, that’s the word, Lady MauxSmith decided she would entertain her guests with a little something different. All flames were extinguished except one.

 They were all there 1: Timothy Smith 2: Oliver Woodcock 3: Tom Yews 4: Yann Goldberg 5: Edward Block 6: Bill O’Keefe 7: Simon Monteau 8: Mark Peters.

 My money is on Edward Block, said Tom.

 I think Oliver Woodcock, said Jack.

 Johanna Schopenhauer was the real star of the family, said Judy. Her reputation as a salonnière was wide spread. Arthur Schopenhauer’s hatred for his mother was only matched by his hatred of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.  Some of said the hatred could be the result of Georg being too much of a father figure. I won’t shut up. Fill me up. My Henry. I love my Henry.

Meanwhile, Robert helped himself to more fish and gestured to Jack but Jack pointed to the vegetables.

Meanwhile, Mary passed over the bowl of rice believing Jack had pointed to the rice.

Meanwhile, Jack thanked Mary with a nod of the head and a smile.

Meanwhile, the hot fish air breathed on the walls and stirred the blinds.

All had played a part in my life, said Henry. All had shaped me.

Meanwhile, Judy drank more white and touched Henry, on the legs the arms, around the neck.

 I went upstairs, leaving my mother’s man friends to their discussion on One Thousand and One Nights: Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves: The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor: the Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Tuan Ch’engShih: Les 120 journées de Sodome.

 So much aggression, said Viv.

Meanwhile, Peter answered Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1878).

 I crept into the bedroom and saw my mother in her bed. She already looked dead. There was a chair next to the bed. By my shoes were a stack of books. Somebody had been reading to her. Her hand moved. It was a frail, skeletal hand. At first I recoiled. But it was my mother. I allowed the hand to touch my hand. It was cold. I became aware of the deep, ponderous breathing. Each breath I was convinced would be the last. The face had almost collapsed. She opened her eyes, an onerous task. Her eyes were pellucid green. She was not the woman I remembered. Mother, it’s me, I said. She closed her eyes.  I remained, in silence, holding her hand. Each exhalation brought her closer to the final exhalation.  Mother, I said, you have to tell me about my father. You have to. You have to. You have to. A son must know his father.  

 You do hate women, said Viv.

 Let him finish. said Judy. My Henry as to finish. Leave my Henry alone you. You. You. You bitc  Judy belched.

 But, said Viv.

 VIV, said Judy.

 This is wonderful fish, said Tom, holding up a fork full of fish and he shovelled the fish into his mouth,

 She spoke, softly. I had to lean over her and press my ear to her lips. The lips were cold and they quivered.

 I bet the room smelt of Chrysanthemums, said Tom.

 Timothy constructed a musical instrument using his home. It was a two up two down. He was able to play the musical instrument from his favorite chair in the front room using ropes, strings. He tied the ropes and strings to his fingers and toes and movement produced music. His wife poisoned him.

Oliver constructed shoes so he could walk on the Sun. He worked on the shoes for thirtythree years. He was knocked down by a bus.

Mark endeavored to teach his dairy cows to end moo with an n and say moon. After twentyfive years and having no alternative, he was found with his head lodged up a cow’s rectum.

She laughed. I could feel the tepid air careening through the creases of my earlobe.

Yann grew apples using phrenology. He created an apple as idiosyncratic as any criminal’s head. His apples were not smooth like other apples, but full of protrusions that gave the apple a character all to itself. He choked to death on one of his own apples.

Edward wrote a book about all the famous cities and people in Europe and appeared on the television. He moved to Paris with the royalties and whenever he walked down the street the French girls and boys screamed out Edward’s name. Sick and tired of fame, Edward locked himself in a hotel room and drank himself to death with absinthe.

William followed in the footsteps of Francisco Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro and went in search for El Dorado. He journeyed deep into the jungle and navigated the Amazon River. He fought panthers, snakes and spiders. The Tupinambá tribe found him on precipice of death. They took him back to the village and helped him to recuperate. William made love to all the women of the Tupinambá tribe while the men were away from the village hunting the panthers, snakes and spiders. The men of the Tupinambá tribe caught William in the act. They cut him up into little pieces and so as with Francisco Orellana and Gonzalo Pizarro William never found El Dorado.

Simon squared the circle. He simply placed his coffee cup on the coffee table. Picture Anaxagoras, Hippocrates of Chios, Archimedes, and Antiphon the Sophist crazy with jealousy. It would have had Aristophanes laughing. Simon went insane and was locked away. He died a silly old man.

 Hum, repeated Tom.

Larry Caomhánach

Categories
Poetry

OWED TO GREED

Pad over to the Poet’s pad.

Surprise the clown making love to his fist.

Hoping thereby – he grunts – to get a

handle on some angle for an ode.

Gets out, between gasps, concentrating on

his two-stroke: “Booze in kitch, cabinet under

sink, Popov – beside cleaning fluid can.”

Spurts across the room at a shelf

stuffed with self-help books.

Myriad animalcules die –

dried to a horrid death –

on the binding of a Webster’s. The

Poet snaps. Zips. Buckles. Slouches

onto the couch. I re-enter

with glasses and the bottle.

The Poet replaces his glasses.

Mumbles, hates to wank in focus.

Pulls from his pants a ballpoint.

Rolls eyes at the ozone. Explains he’s

fingering the Muse’s organ.

Play her like a fugue.

Force every register howl.

In his grave Bach flips.

I hand the Poet a vodka flip,

highball just now invented.

Both eyes out of his skull lower.

Chugs the flip. Falls

to scrawling in a spiral pad

snatched off the cocktail table:

“Able was I ere I saw Elba.”

Sip my drink; suppress a grin;

start the session with:

“Are you no longer,

then, I take it, Napoleon?”  

The cat across the room catapults;

caterpillars into the Poet’s lap; glares up

like I’m in the wrong pigeonhole.

We chase the cat under the sink,

whooping like Genociders and Indians

hammered on hard cider. Exit drowned

as rats in a failed thought experiment.

Anything held against me, the Poet

screams, I – hustled out the door,

into the back of the van – never meant.  

Willie Smith

Categories
Poetry

unfair world

If only Tom would catch Jerry, diminutive, big mouth,

Rip off the head, masticate the hairy skin, the whiskers, the tail,

The meat, the innards,

Consume it all,

Boil down the bones,

Drink it,

Urinate it,

Shit it out!

We live in an unfair world!

And Tweety, piss-yellow, diminutive, big mouth,

Safe in its cage,

If only Sylvester would catch it,

Rip off the head, masticate the feathery skin, the wings, the tail,

The meat, the innards,

Consume it all,

Boil down the bones,

Drink it,

Urinate it,

Shit it out!

We live in an unfair world!

Nic Haghori

Categories
Short stories

date

          I think red, he said.

          White, she said.

          White I don’t think so, he said.

          Red gives me heart burn, she said.

          Fine white, he said. And bloody fish.

          Jesus Christ, she said. I’ll just have two hard-boiled eggs.

—————— Cut ———————————-

          Did the hard-boiled egg go into the anus and the soft-boiled egg into the vagina? she said.

          I think the hard-boiled egg went into the vagina and the soft-boiled egg into the anus, he said.

           So, Marcelle escapes the sanatorium and hangs herself, she said.

          And Simone and the narrator have wild sex under the seeping corpse, he said.

Paul Kavanagh