Categories
Poetry

CREDO

I believe in the gathering of rust

and in the accumulation of dust.

I believe in the boom, and the unpredictable bust;

in the tit, in the tat, even in Carol Doda’s bust;

in the greasiness of phrase and the word dislocated.

I believe in the misery of advertizing, the whitewash

of probability, the gouge of sell. I believe

in jack – the jackboot, the jackpot, the jack

me off. I firmly hold that nowhere is

anyone ever able to turn the rust, the dust, the bust,

the whole ecstatic pitfall off.

I believe, too, in shooting stars,

digging in spades their wink at the grave.

I should also like to take this opportunity

to re-affirm my faith in any bank

along whatever stream of the cess

and the cease of consciousness.

Willie Smith

Categories
Short stories

The Third of May 1808

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1.This is the reason why we fight. Keep an eye on Arthur. Not a flinch. Hard as nails is Arthur. Don’t leave his side been through it all copy him. See how he stands how he holds the rifle. I wish they would stay dead. The groans the moaning the crying. I wish that fellow would move back. Why do they have to be heroes? I hate heroes. 2. I wonder what Vitalie is doing I’ll never bitch again about housework I won’t I promise I won’t bitch again I promise Vitalie. 3. Vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine vermine. 4. The dead. Funny how the dead don’t move. Once saw a headless chicken. Ran around. Laughed so much I shit me pants. 5. The smell. Makes me hungry. That beef today was discoloured pork. Discoloured pork is better than fish.            Fish.     Beef.        Pork.     I wonder if I could ask Jacques for a slice of bread and may be some cheese and a glass of wine. Syphilis he has. Egypt. Those were the days. Egypt. I was lucky. She had a great pair. Firm. Lovely nipples. Couldn’t get it up. 6. Come on                        come on                                         come on                give the order.                                            Come on                                come on                  come                                      on                       stop moving.                                                        

Come on                                           come                              on                   let’s get this over with.                                                       I’m cold                                                      

look           at that      bastard                              come on                       give the

order      come on. I hate this waiting. come on                       come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on. 8. Gautier you can do this. Yes, Gautier you can do this. Gautier you can do this. Easy Gautier. Just pull the trigger Gautier. You’ve done it before Gautier. 8. I need a shit. Always happens. I hope that painter doesn’t show me about to shit my pants. Why would a painter want to paint us?

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Poetry

Z

Z is not for Zoo but ash dust carbon in the Zephyr. Z is not A. A is not for arsehole or asshole but for the beginning the start the open door the rictus Polo’s long journey the wonderous cave of Aladdin the glass shoe of Cinderella the bedroom of Molly. Z is for fodder the sacrificial lamb carrion. Z is the end of the line the last page the culdesac the last gasp death the obol.

Laurence Porat

Categories
Poetry

Cake

The edges are adorned with embroidered bands ribbons stencilled fringes. Doves pigeons snakes lizards. Interlacings of curves and countercurves based on the fundamental shapes of the C and the S. Shells flowers fronds. The twin tines of the fork slip through the icing and sponge in the centre an artificial grotto with Minerva and not even a tine smacking a tooth can dull the spreading happiness sugar quickly turns to sweat the sweat clings to the eyelashes and coruscates like pearshaped stars I have spent four months locked in the Château de Silling.

Yuri Houseman-Montonte

Categories
Short stories

Mundane Cruelty

John and Mary live in a small house. The small house has a back garden but no front garden. The back garden is a sea of verdant grass. When you step out of the front door you step onto a small pavement and then you meet the road. There are many perks to living in the city but this is not one of them. The cars and trucks and buses do not slow down and do not stop. It is very dangerous. The back garden is long and narrow. John wants to pour concrete over the grass but is not allowed.

            Mary is lying on the expensive sofa. She has two telephones on the go. She is working. Her face still holds last night’s makeup, smudged. The ramifications of last night twist her stomach. Dehydration and hunger impinge upon her and her thoughts.  She is wearing sweatpants and a college t. The penury of sleep pains Mary, exaggeratingly. 

            John is sitting on an old rocking chair, which he bought at an antique fair. He was “mugged” he says but he likes sitting in the rocking chair. The book he is reading, or pretending to read, is about Hell. His new obsession is Hell.

            Mary yawns and then parses. John feels for the person having to listen to Mary. After the yawn Mary scratches her nose.

            Sometime today John has to mow the lawn. It is in the 90s it will reach 100. John hates mowing the lawn. John believes he is allergic to grass. He is allergic to grass. Mary tells John to hire somebody to mow the lawn. John thinks that hiring somebody to mow the lawn is a waste of money. Ever since John was “mugged” by the man at the antique fair over the rocking chair he has vowed never to be “mugged” again. The allergic reaction to grass is: 1. A runny nose 2. Swelling under the eyes and tears 3. A puce taint to the face and neck 4. headaches 5. Toothache.  6. Diarrhea.

“Nobody goes to Hades anymore,” says John. “Once upon a time everybody went to Hades. But now nobody goes to Hades. Death is still with us. We all die. But the dead no longer go to Hades. It is an easy place to find Hades. We know that the entrance to Hades can be found in Avernus, a crater near Cumae. Andrea De Jorio drew a map. The map shows you how to get to Hades and how to get back from Hades and he showed the interior of Hades. Andrea De Jorio was obsessed with Pompeii. The city is a city of sex and death.  Heracles & Theseus & Odysseus & Aeneas paid a visit to Hades and returned.”

            Mary is busy with her telephone call. Work is all encompassing.  Her brain is on the rack and the words are water flowing over a stretched towel entering the neverclosing rictus. She is drowning.

            “When I am asked where I want to go I will tell them on my death bed to place the obols on my eyes for Charon and that I am off to Hades,” says John.  

            He laughs tenuously.

Mary doesn’t laugh. She heard but she finds John’s pretentious talk silly and boring plus the telephone call she is now participating in is dealing with a multimillion dollar lawsuit.

            This little charade of John’s was merely camouflage for John has a secret he wants to tell Mary, to spill, to unload. He bites his bottom lip. Sweat purls over his blistering skin. He reads a sentence and gains a modicum of equilibrium. The sentence is: Drexelius somehow pictured 100,000,000,000 burnt, flayed and gutted souls in the space of one cubic German mile.

            John and Mary married just as Mary was accepted into Law School. John was very happy for Mary and never complained because he knew that there would be a payoff and there was and everything worked out as planned.  Mary worked hard for those three years and after passing the bar joined John at the bank, although she works in a different department. Mary makes more money and has a higher position within the bank.  She is a ban two and he is a ban three (banker jargon).

            It’s too early for a glass of wine but maybe a beer. They both quit smoking three years ago. There was talk of babies and cancer. Mary’s mother “caught the cancer.” Mary talks about cancer as though you can catch cancer like a cold or flu.

            “It’s time,” says John not meaning to quote T.S. Eliot.

            The neighbor waters his back lawn obsessively. John never waters his lawn but the water from the neighbor’s lawn finds its way into John’s lawn. There is a slight slope.

            The secret is a kidney stone. The secret is a tumor. The secret is cancer. The secret has rabies and has razor sharp teeth and is eating away at John’s stomach.

            “After you have mowed the lawn we could go out somewhere to eat,” says Mary. She feels guilty that she ignored John and his fatuous obsession.

            “Yes,” says John. “We could get sushi.”

             John’s throat is boiling over with the secret. His tongue is swelling. His mouth is burning. It is as if some person, nefarious and Sadean, as poured battery acid into his mouth. His teeth ache.

            “I could phone Kim and Alan and see if they want to join us,” says Mary and before John can nod his head in the affirmative or say yes she is already on the telephone with Kim.  They work together at the bank.

            “Kim, do you fancy sushi?” says Mary.

            “…”

            Mary looks at John and shakes her head and pulls a face of disappointment. John is relieved.

            The secret is rhizomatic. The secret is a patch of mushrooms awakening in a quagmire. The secret is a corolla which is opening up to the sun and whose dust is filling the air causing 1. A runny nose 2. Swelling under the eyes and tears 3. A puce taint to the face and neck 4. headaches 5. Toothache.  6. Diarrhea.

            John is just about to speak, his lips have parted, his tongue is animated, there are word heavy words in his throat, he is about to liberate himself of the secret, to divest the secret, to share the secret, when Mary says: “They will meet us afterwards, after you have mowed the lawn, for drinks.”

Mary is beautiful. I dapple her face with warts and zits and blackheads and carbuncles. She eyes me with anger and hurt. I ask her why she eyes me so. Mary shrugs her shoulders. I tell Mary to sit down. Mary sits down on a chair. The chair is old and squeaks like a mouse.  I tie Mary to the chair with thick rope. I remove Mary’s fingernails and toenails. I pinch Mary’s nipples and remove her eyelashes and shave her eyebrows.  I will commence after I have dealt with John to impregnate Mary. John is mine. So, I pull down his pants and kick him in the balls. John will not scream. I will once again kick him in the balls. The balls will swell. John will keep his lips shut and his eyes open. I will order John to turn. John turns. I kick John in the ass. John will move forward three paces. I will follow John and repeatedly kick him in the ass. I order John to turn and face me. I kick John in the balls, again. I order John to go out into the back garden and start mowing the lawn. I have decided to riff the pair of them.

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Poetry

Doin’ the peacock

A hand cupping a chin

two chins

three chins

a hand glued to the face

a face

feigned in profound contemplation

a face chiselled

sculptured

hidden in obfuscation

the cigarette

a stare into the unknowing

the face

this way

that way

the light

caressing

slapping

the soul within

without

don’t you just hate that with a passion.

You would never catch Marinetti doin’ the peacock.

Larry Kevinour

Categories
Short stories

BILL OR ELSE

My father’s name is William, my mother’s Elsie. But I’m only four and I only hear them called Bill and Else.

     The car is a Kaiser. The Kaiser was, at one time, King of Germany. He was very smart, strong, rich; but he became bad and got killed. The only thing left of the Kaiser is this black car that smells like upholstery, gasoline, oil and the family – dog odor, fabric softener, deodorant; Dad’s tobacco wrestling Mom’s mint.

     I crawl in back. Mom and Dad up front. Dad behind the wheel.

     We’re on the highway. Going smooth. Nice and fast. Dad’s foot on the pedal steady as Washington on the one. If I lift my chin up – can just above the door see cars, trucks, billboards, whizz past.

     “I wish you wouldn’t smoke so much around the boy.”

     “Aw, hon…,” Dad punches in the lighter…

     I can’t see, the seat too high. But I know the sounds. They think I’m asleep. I excel at letting people think I’m asleep.

     “Here…,” pops ventilator, cracks window… “Crack yours, too, hon. Cross-ventilation’ll help. A diagram on a TV ad just last night showed smoking encourages good breathing. This only my second of the afternoon. Helps me relax. It’s a fact people think better relaxed. Do you really think under two thousand square feet enough?”

     Air rushes in, rushes over, rushes around. Cool May air. Let the eyes close. Hear better eyes closed.

     Clunk!

     Hot metal stink spices slipstream. Feel – through swervelets – Dad reach for, pull out, hold the lighter to the tip of his Chesterfield; inhale; scrunch back in the seat; exhale. Snap lighter back into dash.

     Fill my lungs with comforting scent. Curl up into the driverside corner of the backseat.

     “I worry we can’t afford two thousand square feet. Should I roll it down any further – this OK?”

     “No, hon – you’re fine.” Dad puffs. “Well – I should get that raise next month; then the bank might approve for up to twenty-five. We could afford a television den, a rec room; and still the boy can have his own bedroom; plus probably a guest room – for when Rose and Phil come down and don’t feel up to driving back that night.”

     Across the backs of my eyelids movies jumble: moving again. First home apartment up in Greenbelt: three fingers still held up to show my age: standing alone in the empty hall closet, craning my head up in the dark; last look, everything loaded into the yellow-and-green Mayflower; one last look at nothing; my name shouted; they are looking for me, time to go, I’m the last thing to be loaded into the Kaiser for the move. “Here!” I holler at the unseen ceiling. “Here!… here!… hear!” calls back, dies away. Echo, I learn to call the “hear!” Echo the throb in the stomach that eats the throb.

     “No more apartments; no more row houses; no more semi-detached projects. Five years married and this our first house, Else!”

    Else!… Else!… Else! Echoing, fading, dying into something else; or else, or else…

     “Bill…” air rushing… “I don’t want us spending above our means. This will make our third move in less than four years. I’m sick of moving – packing everything up in boxes, loading up the car, unpacking and re-arranging everything, meeting strangers, losing old friends. This is our first house – I want it to be our last. Let’s not buy a mortgage we can’t afford!”

     A ford is another car. Not everybody owns a Kaiser. Another name for German is hun… hon… Some can only afford a ford; a ford, ford…

     “I don’t care…” air rushing… “You don’t even know how much the raise will be, Bill!”

     Bill money needed; bread kneaded; billboard; board, bored… bored with the creek at the ford, cross the creek on a board? No board aboard… back into the seat creak.

     Big-as-my-head hand – wading across air rushing – shaking my shoulder.

     “C’mon, son – wake up; let’s check out what could be your new home!”

     Air rushing now only memory; moments ago in the closet echo. Which came first – the memory? the echo? Check too money; check, check…

     Climb out of the car. Shake my head, blink. Check the surroundings. Overhead, under the sun, a bird in a tree in the parking strip twitters.

     Kaiser no longer moving. Kaiser parked. Again. Kaiser dead. Still.     

Willie Smith     

Categories
Poetry

Words on the Page Refuse My Calling  

Symbols

dance

the murmuration of birds

shape

into recognizable

letters

these letters coalesce

a mystic confluence

the words join hands

step out

drop superfluous compliments

wine & dine

maybe a movie

kiss

fellatio

cunnilingus

fornicate in a number of positions with many connotations

impregnate achieve fruition.

Amelua Becquement

Categories
Short stories

kiss

She called me into the front room and told me to sit down in the comfy chair and then she leaned over and kissed me and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she kissed me again and then she straightened up, took a step back, rubbed her sore lips and then she said: “Now your story has more kisses than all the kisses in the  books by Jane Austen.”  

Paul Kavanagh

Categories
Poetry

I Fear

I fear

the disease clinging to the walls

the doors

the carpet.

I fear the disease in the spores

traversing

the thick and cumbrous air.

I fear the police knocking down the door

the unpaid drug dealer

the angry neighbor

the diseased whore returning sweating cum

the house owner wanting to retrieve stolen goods

the other junky

fixated

on stealing my junk.

I fear. 

Larry Kevinour