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Chani Zwibel is ABP’s featured artist for May 2019

ABP Thank you for taking this interview Chani. In July of 2018 Alien Buddha Press had the privilege of releasing your poetry chapbook Cave Dreams to Star Portals. Please tell us about that book; what went into it, and how you feel about it almost a year later.

 

CZ-  I had all these abstract poems, and others that were more narrative, but also just kind of weird. I was trying to group together poems in a way that made sense. I had been listening to a lot of David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix. I had this idea about cave people getting visited by UFOS, and so all these poems seemed to coalescence around that idea.

 

ABP- You have also participated in some of our anthologies, such as O’Riordan, The Mathematician, and This One Time the Alien Buddha Got so High. Your style of writing certainly added a particularly unique element to those books. Are there any other anthologies outside of ABP that you would like to recommend to our readers?

 

CZ- I have to shamelessly self-promote any anthologies from Madness Muse Press put out in the last couple years. Working as associate editor under the guidance of Adam Levon Brown has produced some awesome stuff. Also, I was just featured in one from Transcendent Zero Press with a bunch of other cool writers and artists, many of whom also work with ABP. That one is “Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love” edited by Claudine Nash.

 

ABP- Do you have anything planned for the rest of 2019, or in 2020?

 

CZ- Oh, nothing much, you know: take over the world. (JK LOL)

Seriously though, I’m working on an abcedarius style poetry  book and I have a few chapbooks out in contests (fingers crossed y’all).

 

ABP- Who are some of your biggest influences as a writer?

 

CZ- Most of the Modernists and quite a few Victorians.  I read my Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson until the covers wore off. I love the goofy, nonsense rhymes of Shel Silverstein. More recently I’m into Warsan Shire, Claudia Rankine, and Joy Harjo.

 

ABP-  You once wrote “Justice weeps in the dark and none hear her cry/ Brazen men of evil want her voice to die”. Can you take us through what went into that rhyme?

CZ- After the 2016 election, I was feeling very helpless and upset. I started writing these scathing political poems that just chewed up the scenery. Then, I started experimenting with the idea of classical themes and styles (like rhyming couplets). So I had all these lady liberty and blind justice images floating around. I think I wrote that specific line in a poem after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a supreme court justice. Sometimes I feel the only way my voice is heard is through poetry.

 

ABP- It was truly a privilege to feature you here. The floor is yours. Feel free to share anything you’d like.

 

CZ- Thank you! It’s a privilege to be here!  I really appreciate the opportunity.

The only other thing I want to share is I’m co-hosting a poetry event in my local community called Poetry and Palette, at The Good Acting Studio. The next one is on May 18. The idea is to get a variety of artists to come together for a good cause. If anyone is in the Atlanta, GA area or wants to travel here is the info:

https://m.bpt.me/event/4100768

Image may contain: Chani Zwibel Butler, closeup

 

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Alien Buddha: Film Critic

Alien Buddha: Film Critic

Glass- Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Sarah Paulson. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Pg13

I did not think this movie was as bad as most film critics claim; but I do agree that it is the weakest of its trilogy, as the plotline does not match up with that of Unbreakable’s; nor does the energy and direction resemble what was produced in Split. Willis and Jackson phone in their performances a bit. James McAvoy salvages the production the best he can, returning with a excellent performance as Kevin Wendell Crumb and all of the other people living inside of him.

 

Perhaps the real problem with Glass is that it was forced. At the end of Split when it was reveled that the movie took place in the same universe as Unbreakable, there was a sense of satisfaction in that for me. If Shyamalan had found a way to continue expanding this superhero universe subtly, an eventual crossover/showdown film may have worked out. The way things played however, it felt relative to if the MCU tried to release Infinity War after just two movies. Shyamalan was trying to sell a massive story that just wasn’t there.

 

5.1

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse– Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Lily Tomlin. Directed by Bob Persichetti

PG

A well written, family-friendly, coming of age story with mind-blowing animation. Into the Spider-Verse is engaging, funny, action-packed, and heartwarming. A refreshing take on a story that has been rebooted hundreds of times over. As the story unfolds it continues to find new ways to be anything but predictable.

 

It is a cartoon and all, and one of its stars is a talking pig, but the movie finds a way to use this to its advantage. With underlying quantum physics and super colliders in the story there is a lot of intelligence hidden under surface level of goofy fun.

 

9.0

 

 

Vice– Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, and Jesse Plemons. Directed by Adam McKay

R

Did Dick Cheney just benefit from the 9/11 attacks, or did he flat out orchestrate it? When Vice implied the former over the latter I began to have doubts about the movie, but as it progressed the film started to feel more credible. Vice pulls few punches, but it does pull a few. Another complaint I have is that it is almost too similar to W, the movie about George W Bush.

 

Unlike the former vice president himself, this movie does have more good things to say than bad. It is funny, brash, and most-unlike its subject,  Vice has a good heart.

 

7.2

 

 

Creed 2– Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren, and Florian Munteanu. Directed by Steven Caple Jr.

PG13

It is what it is; a movie about grown men punching each other. Stallone and Lundgren were never known for having impeccable range as thespians, but when it comes to portraying punch-drunk old men, nobody does it better. Jordan is electric as sympathetic as always, and Munteanu plays a hateable villain.

 

6.6

 

Newer Releases

Avengers Endgame- 9.5

Us- 9.4 (horror movie of the decade)

Shazam! – 8.3

Captain Marvel – 7 (not as bad as incels on the internet desperately need you to believe)

Pet Semetery – 6  

Luke Kuzmish is Alien Buddha Press’ featured artist for the month of April 2019

ABP- Thank you for agreeing to partake in the feature, Luke. One year ago, in the April of 2018 Alien Buddha Press had the privilege of publishing your poetry chapbook Little Hollywood. Please tell us about that book; when went into it, and what came out of writing it.
LK
I appreciate all you have done for the poetry community. I had published a few chapbooks previously, but they were staple-bound, and you had to run into me to buy one. Making my writing available through Amazon seemed like an impossibility. Thank you!
As for Little Hollywood, it was a book primarily written within the first few months of getting clean after a relapse. Little Hollywood is the name of the neighborhood my fiancee and I live in, and I think that was a decision you and I came to for the title. It’s a really bizarre name for a book or for a neighborhood, and I like that.
The process of writing while not using drugs was always an obstacle to overcome. My first stint in a drug and alcohol treatment center was back in 2012, and I really thought that my ability to write was directly linked to the drugs I was taking. I’m an impatient person, and the ability to find my voice was one that took time. Writing the poems that would become Little Hollywood felt like the first step in proving that to myself.
As for what came out of it… Confidence? Acceptance? Hope? It’s hard to say. I’m proud of the book, but I have found that when I look back at a
 skill I’m still improving on, seeing progress means recognizing shortcomings. I see a lot of progress in my writing today compared to just a year ago.
ABP- You have been a pivotal part of the live poetry readings that ABP hosted in Erie PA at Ember and Forge last year. What was that like? Do you have any amusing stories from those reads?
LK-
I love Hannah [Kirby, owner of Ember+Forge] and the people who work at Ember+Forge. They have been incredibly gracious to Jay Miner and I to allow us to put on readings there. I actually have two readings coming to Ember+Forge, April 13th, 2019 and May 11th, 2019. The April reading is going to feature Cee Williams, Keith Moses, Monica Igras, Kat Wolper, Jason Baldinger, and Scott Silsbe. May 11th will feature Kevin Martin, Scott Silsbe, Jason Baldinger, Sarah Shotland, and Carrie Hohmann Campbell. Heavy hitters all around.
I have been involved with the local Erie poetry community for a number of years. Cee Williams used to run Poets’ Hall which was a club dedicated to poetry and spoken word. I am incredibly lucky to have been so welcomed into the fellowship there. Cee really encouraged me a lot too, and it’s always a special thing when someone you admire tells you that they dig your art. Going to see and hear other writers every week really kept me writing… I always wanted to rise to the people around me. I got exposed to a lot of different voices.
Probably one of the most interesting things that happened as a result of the stuff with Ember+Forge is that Liz Johnson, the woman who painted the mural featured on the cover of Little Hollywood, reached out to me because she saw my book sitting around the coffee shop. I had no idea
 who created that mural when we published the book, so that was a cool moment of synchronicity.
ABP- You recently wrote something that I as a former resident of Dover NH can relate to entirely, “New Hampshire is good intentions…house guests who pawn your things & break the dryer before they go… a rented room found on Craigslist owned by beer drinking Patriots fans who scream & scream at their kids… five miles under the speed limit through winding back roads when I’ve been dope sick and sweating a trip to & from Boston”
What advice would you give to somebody currently in a similar situation who is wanting to get out?
LK-
I’m assuming that you mean escaping the bondage of addiction rather than how to move out of New Hampshire: reach out. As I mentioned before, the first time I went into a detox facility or a rehab was in 2012… I didn’t have even 6 months of sobriety until 2017. I consider myself beyond lucky, fortunate, or blessed to have not died in the time in- between.
I’m a master practitioner of self-deception, and that plays into my ability to sustain a 10+ year long addiction in the face of degradation and failure. I had to do some uncomfortable things like talking about how I feel and taking suggestions. There’s help available but it requires a big effort on the addict’s part.
ABP- I have also seen that you have recently become a father, congratulations. Has that changed your creative process as a writer at all?
 LK-
Thank you! I feel like having a child has cracked open a part of my being. I wear sweaters and slippers all the time now… that’s gotta be good for a writer, right?
But in all seriousness, I have been a lot more focused in my life. I feel like I’m attached to the ground. I have been writing in a fervor as of late too. The nature of having a young child is being awake at odd hours. This gives me new and different times to write.
ABP- Who are some of your biggest artistic influences?
LK-
Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Jim Carroll, CS Lewis, William S Burroughs, Philip Levine, Charles Bukowski, Robert Pollard…. jeez what (mostly) a depressing list. I move more to the beat of the community of writers around me, so it’s important to mention people I perform with and/or swap ideas online: like Matt Borczon who writes a new stunning piece every day.
ABP- What do you have planned for 2019, and what past projects should we look out for?
LK-
Check out Little Hollywood on Amazon. I have some poems that will appear later this year in Call Me [Brackets], Rigg Welter Press, Nixes Mate, Anti-Heroin Chic, Mojave River Review, Soft Cartel, Cabildo Quarterly, and Picaroon Poetry. I have readings scheduled at Ember+Forge in Erie, PA… I’ll keep Alien Buddha Press in the loop.
ABP- It was great to feature you here Luke. The floor is all yours. Please, share anything you would like with our readers on wordpress. Anything at all.
LK-
Thanks again!
“docket sheets” (originally appearing at Horror Sleaze Trash) https://
Video of Little Hollywood book release held at Ember+Forge Coffee on May 25, 2018. Thanks to Thasia Anne for capturing and editing this. https://youtu.be/S8dIUEhG85I?t=651
“sam” (originally appearing at The Beatnik Cowboy) https:// beatnikcowboy.com/2018/05/17/luke-kuzmish/
“fourth step” (originally appearing at Ink Sweat & Tears) http:// www.inksweatandtears.co.uk/pages/?p=18696
bus x
I remember
getting onto bus X my bus
stoned from two hits
 of mid-grade weed
out of a metal pipe
a stolen heirloom
with a portable CD player held in my dirty hands
in the low morning light of third semester suburbia
I sat in my seat
and watched the grape vines go by
listening
to The Ramones
I think
I could’ve died happy
right then
but
of course
life happened
the cops took
my pipe
and
my Ramones CD got scratched
 
women/words/wisdom
there are some doors
better left unopened
otherwise get stuck carrying brooms
a direct line to god
i never found essential he finds me enough
in dreams and in tongues spoken by little baby daughters in dead men’s rooms
who used to be brothers
and hustling thieves
become bourbon vapor acquaintances
in stardust
we all met once
found each other again
you could be my mother
 or maybe we played ball that one time on vacation
where i died
full body baptism washed in the undertow
and mary
mother of eternal hell misplaced me
momma thought it was aliens swapping me out
for another woman’s dead child
she loved me just the same said
you’ll forever know your kinfolk
I will leave you with a poem from Little Hollywood:
punishment coffee
at the food bank
 that citizens of the county could visit once a month
I volunteered
not by choice
at the food bank
at 9:15
a bell was rung
and the workers stopped to say a prayer
at the food bank
I’m not Catholic
in fact
every where else
I’m not Catholic either so
reciting Hail Mary
wasn’t something I could do I joined in on Our Father
at the food bank
they asked if I wanted coffee & I did
so Tony made it
he was fat and old
it tasted terrible
 it was a donation probably stale
definitely cheap
I don’t like creamer
but I tried it with creamer and it made my teeth hurt like a bolt of lightning
to my molars
at the food bank
every day I drank the coffee
8 ounces from a styrofoam cup it was more like a punishment than a pleasure
but
every day I drank the coffee
at the food bank
it crossed my mind
to throw out the canister of coffee
but God only knows when and with what they would replace it
at the food bank
there was a guy named Slinger
 he pushed carts
half full
a month’s worth of food for a family of 5
Slinger was happy Slinger volunteered –real volunteering
not the kind I was doing
at the food bank
they’d make coffee
and no one would drink it
I’d pour it out
before I left around noon
my pockets stuffed
with sweets
from damaged packages
in white box trucks
that I unloaded
Tony never satisfied
with my ability to take direction in putting the food away likewise
I was never satisfied
with his ability to state
exactly what he wanted
 at the food bank
they gave away rosaries
cheap plastic rosaries
with instructions on a paper
in a ziplock bag
drug addicts wore them
around their necks
always made me think
about
Chris Farley
begging the prostitute
not to leave him
up for days on cocaine and fades then praying the rosary
and dying ashamed
lk

Alien Buddha: Film Critic

Bohemian RhapsodyDirected by Bryan Singer; Starring Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, and Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury; 2hrs and 14 mins

 

If you like the music of Queen, you will enjoy this movie. The film recreates the sound and energy of the rock band wonderfully in the live performance and studio scenes. For me, this was the highlight of the experience. The plot starts in the groups early days during the early 70’s and ends with their live aid performance in 1985. At the beginning of the film I was lured into the false sense that Mercury’s personal life woud be white-washed as the flamboyant singer lays in bed with his fiancé Mary Austin, and confesses his love for her. This is not the case however, starting with a scene at a truckstop. Freddie Mercury’s homosexuality is as much a part of the story as it should be. This allows a bitter-sweet anti-love story between Mercury and Austin (Malek and Boynton) to unfold.

 

Rami Malek is convincing. His mannerisms and accent are nearly spot on. There are no complaints to be made about the acting throughout the entire cast. We even get a cameo from Mike Myers, as he portrays record producer Ray Foster; the man who rejected the band’s #1 hit for being ‘6 bloody minutes long’.

 

There is one major complaint to be made about the film, and it is that it resembled most every other rock and roll biopic in many ways. Band wants to get famous, band gets famous, band parties, lead singer gets manipulated by opportunistic agent, band breaks up, band gets back together, somebody dies… It is hard to blame the movie too much for this, as that is what really happened after all.

 

Kudos to the writers and director for pulling no punches when examining the circumstances of Mercury’s death from HIV.

I’ll give this movie a 8.2 out of 10

 

 

Slender ManDirected by Sylvain White; Starring Joey King, Julia Goldani Telles, and Jaz Sinclair; 1h 33min

 

This movie was a disappointment. I got the sense that they were trying to sit on the fence between exploiting the real life murders involving the slender man lore, and ignoring it completely. The Slender Man is shown in the movie for all of sixty seconds, if that. The plot is underwhelming. A group of teenage girls summon the interdimensional boogeyman, he kidnaps one of them, and her friends are upset about it. The movie makes a big mistake in following the girls that got left behind as they go to school and argue amongst each other, and not the girl who got taken.

 

White, King, Telles, and Sinclair were not necessarily bad actors, but they also couldn’t make up for the awful writing, nor did any of them get close to doing that at any point.  It was not scary, funny, or dramatic. Just boring.

 

Where some horror movies can make up for bad writing and direction or pedestrian acting by being ‘so bad it’s good’ and delivering campiness or gore, even a damn jump-scare or two, Slender Man does not even deliver in that department. It’s one of the worst movies I’ve seen in years.

 

I’ll give this movie a 1.1 out of 10

 

 

DetroitDirected by Kathryn Bigelow; Starring John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith, Will Poulter, Michael Jibrin, Jacob Latimore, Joseph David-Jones, Ephraim Sykes,  Malcolm David Kelley, Kaitlyn Dever, Hannah Murray, and John Krasinski; 2hrs 23mins

 

This has to be the most underrated movie of 2017. Bigelow makes you feel like you are standing there is 1967 Detroit, with incredibly authentic cinematography tactics. The film is gritty and unapologetic.

 

The plot kicks off with police officers raiding a peaceful get-together of African Americans, some of which had just gotten home from fighting in the Vietnam war. From there the streets of Detroit devolve into a chaotic struggle for justice and retribution as an all-out race riot breaks out. Will Poulter is plays a most-realistic villain in his portrayal of officer Krauss, a racist cop who in his first scene shoots a black teenager armed with nothing but a bag of looted groceries in the back. I wanted to punch Poulter in his face several times throughout the picture.

At the center of everything is the Algiers Motel. The police raid a section of the building housing seven black men and two white women after a ‘sniper incident’ involving a toy gun. John Boyega plays Melvin Dismukes, a private security guard who finds himself on the side of law enforcement as they beat, humiliate, and flat out torment fellow black men in front of him. It is difficult at times to know how to feel about this character, feeling everything from sympathy to disgust about his actions throughout the standoff.

The movie does drag on a little bit. After the standoff there is a powerful courtroom confrontation between a scumbag police lawyer (John Krasinski) and survivor of the incident, a musician named Larry (Algee Smith). This would have been a good way to end the film, it is made clear that fascism wins on this day and Larry stands up in the courtroom and tells off his attackers, thus receiving a thunderous applause by civil rights activists in the gallows. The movie runs for another 15-20 mins after this, long after the movie climaxes.

I give this movie an 8.4 out of 10

Heidi Blakeslee is ABP’s featured artist of the month for March 2019

ABP- Thank you for taking this interview Heidi. Eight months ago, ABP had the privilege of releasing your novel “The House”. This was one of the first fiction titles we ever released. Please tell us about this book.

 

HB-  Well, Red, “The House” is a culmination of years of learning about the paranormal in my day to day life.  I think I read every book out there about the paranormal.  I’ve seen every ghostie show in existence.  I’ve studied Ed and Lorraine Warren, Hans Holzer, and many other famous ghost hunters and demonologists.  When I turned my focus towards writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month in November of 2017, “The House” was the natural reply from my brain.

 

ABP- I can see that you have also released some poetry books. In 2011 “Should the Need Arise” came out. Can you tell us about this collection. Also, do you have a preference between writing poetry or fiction?

 

HB-  If poetry is a sprint, then writing a novel/book length work is a marathon.  “Should the Need Arise” is the last poetry book that I put out, but I have never stopped writing poetry.

I prefer writing poetry because the payout is instantaneous, but I try to write a novel now and then to challenge myself.  It really is a different frame of mind.  And when I’m working on a novel, no poetry can come through.   I am 100% focused on the novel.

 

ABP- Who are some of your biggest influences as a writer?

 

HB- I think I gravitate towards writers who give no fucks.  People who just say what needs to be said.  I am a voracious reader, and I know that I am influenced a lot by what I read.  News stories hit me pretty hard.  They stir up a lot of topics to write about.  As far as authors that influence me, I’d say Stephen King for sure.  I started reading his horror books at age 12 and they have stuck with me.  Feminist writers like Gloria Steinem, Mary Daly, and Adrienne Rich are favorites.  I also love Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, Richard Brautigan, and virtually anyone who writes about the paranormal or serial killers.

 

ABP- In the anthology ‘Masks Still Aren’t Enough: More Poetic Responses to the Art of Marcel Herms’ you wrote what is in my opinion one of the most visceral lines in the book; “The hand man eats fingers for breakfast, and knuckles for lunch, he flosses with fingernails, and uses bones for toothpicks, maybe I should just give him my hands as a kind of offering, maybe he’ll let me keep my skin”. Can you take us through what that means to you?

 

HB- I think it’s primarily a guttural response to Marcel Herm’s art.  In “Masks Still Aren’t Enough: More Poetic Responses to the Art of Marcel Herms,” I had a basic process for each of the poems I contributed.  I would stare at the art and just sort of let it talk to me.  I tried to look into the art and figure out what was going on in the picture.  “The Hand Man” made sense to me.  A sort of horrifying reality in the art.  So it came out on the page!

 

ABP- Do you have anything planned that we should look out for in 2019?

 

HB- Well, I have a new poetry collection called “Neurotica” that I’m working on.  I also have half of a novel written.  It’s called “Cook or Die!”  It’s about a woman who ends up on a cooking competition show, but it goes horribly awry and gets crazy.

 

ABP- It really is wonderful to feature you here, Heidi. The floor is yours. Please take this time and space to share anything you would like. Anything at all.

HB-  Thank you for the interview and the many opportunities you have afforded me over the last year.  I have a great time coming up with work for the ‘zines and collections that Alien Buddha puts forth.  I love the anything goes, punk rock mentality of the Alien Buddha family.  I think with that license to freedom, true art can emerge.  And it does.   As I always say, “Viva La Alien Buddha!”

 

also, here’s a poem:

writing a novel

is a bitch

you have to pull the string of language

out of your chest

sometimes one line

at a time

 

minutes pass in hours

and the pain of it

is stultifying

 

other times,

pages come out faster

than your conscious mind

can fathom

 

it’s a rat race some days

a Cancun beach some days

 

flip of a damn dime

if I can ever tell how

it’s going to

play

out

 

BIO: Heidi Blakeslee lives near Pittsburgh, Pa with James and her seven cats. She is looking forward to publishing a new poetry collection, “Neurotica,” in the coming year.  She has been featured in “Duck Lake Books,” “Winedrunksidewalks,” “Nixes Mate,” and other publications.  Her works include the Alien Buddha publication, “The House,” as well as another novel, “Strange Man,” a memoir, “The White Cat: A Paranormal Memoir,” and two poetry books, “The Empress of Hours,” and “Should the Need Arise.”

hbhb

The Alien Buddha Wears a Yellow Vest

The Alien Buddha Wears a Yellow Vest

ISBN: 9781796379464

 

Cover art and illustrations by Ammi Romero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Poetic Foreword by Ty Hall …………………………..4

Mark Hartenbach ………………………………………..5

Chani Zwibel ……………………………………………14

Amirah Al- Wassif ……………………………………..29

Red Focks ……………………………………………….37

Heidi Blakeslee ………………………………………….57

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal …………………………58

Scott Thomas Outlar ……………………………………62

Mendes Biondo ………………………………………….67

Dustin Pickering ………………………………………..71

Jennifer Dunford-Roskos ……………..……………….75

Jeff Weddle ……………………………………………..77

Dave Roskos …………………………………………….82

Paul Hellweg …………………………………………….85

Tom Blessing ……………………………………………87

Ammi Romero …………………………………………..91

Mike Zone ……………………………………………….97

Nicholas Redf (Facebook user) ………………………………..109

 

 

 

 

A Poetic Foreword by Ty Hall

“niemöller”

 

I heard

somewhere once that

absolute silence precludes

Insanity

nowhere lingers

absolute silence;

Instead, iterations and

echoes trapped

under the dome.

If there was

absolute silence

there would still be whispers.

If there was

absolute silence

you’d hear the grinding

Inside.

 

 

Mark Hartenbach

 

voice of america       

    an oppressed people are authorized whenever

   they can to rise & break their fetters

                                 -henry clay

   the oppressed & dispossessed can’t get no rest

                       -murdered dub poet mikey smith

 

pharoah tells us one thing, caesar gives us his slant

on the situation & mister charlie adds his two cents

though if you listen closely you’ll notice they’re all

saying the same thing with a slightly different spin.

a towering, intimidating babble going from one

oppressive hierarchy to the next & proclaiming it

progress. the gravy train cruises down wall st.,

makes a sharp right at madison avenue & another

at pennsylvania avenue with a watchful eye at all

times on a pyramid scheme. we’re branded with bar

codes that we mistake for the mark of cain. our

ingrained guilt leaves us susceptible to a system

that has no basis in love empathy or charity but in

dead language phrasing. we need someone to translate

for us. when young we’re conditioned to equate

conformity with goodness & order to recognize any

absence of order, or chaos as a frightening apocalyptic

scenario, a justification for the need of hierarchy

that shouldn’t be questioned unless you want to hear-

maybe you ought to go back where you came from-

though you’ve never been anywhere else. big daddy

puts the hammer down at the hint that someone doesn’t

see things his way. order & morality as two sides of the

same coin. a crash to send everyone running back to a

supposedly neutral corner. a false sense of community

that serves their agenda & helps to seal our dependence

on its mighty pseudo-benevolent hand not convincing

one-sided argument to trust their judgment & look the

other way during constant revisions of history. a

justification of the privileged positioning at the altar

of numbers. we’re taught to believe that we exist

only in relation to the established order. we’re force-

fed a pathological normality. we confuse sophistication

with intellect & imagination, fashion with creativity,

glamour with beauty. we obsess over the trivial rather

than think for ourselves established order speaks the

language of reproduction, rigged geometry of reason,

utopian fascism. some recognize the con is on but look

the other way figuring the more proficient they become

at fooling themselves. the better their chances of hitting

a lucky number some day. self preservation & self

righteousness become blurred, yet any display of

ambiguity is met with an incredulous look. the only

time, the only reason our opinion is ever solicited is

to get a better read, a more effective means to manipulate

us into better consumers. capitalism depends on

constantly producing desire & a feeling of being

unfulfilled. frustration with economic terrorism will

breed a fatalist class who lash out, often in blind rage.

who yank out any available wiring that connects to the

system who will ride ivory towers all the way to the

ground, who will bite the iron fist that feeds them

morality & laws of the masters are proclaimed one

& the same, & anyone who toes the line, never speaks

out are deemed patriots instead of lackey’s of the

bourgeoisie traitors to the proletariat who blow kisses

along every mapped-out parade. who bow down to the

eye of the pyramid, who constantly rub their lucky coin

who worship at the altar of eigenschaft. repetition is an

effective way to control through learning by rote in

school meaningless ritual of organized religion constant

yammer of hucksters telling us what we need. we’re

always be sold something always being encouraged to

get with the program, to cling to archaic customs

& superstitions, to stick with the status quo, established

pecking order. they’re all tools of oppression. it’s an

ethical system that insures business as usual. the ruling

class have mastered the art of the pompous, choreographed,

tug at the heartstring salute the flag or throw your fist in

the air speech accusing anyone who thinks for themselves

of being anything from a communist to an anarchist to

a hedonist to a nihilist bashing their lack of spirit. the

privileged laugh at the idea of a day of reckoning but

it’s a forced laugh. they feel under the gun to build a larger

empire, erect higher walls around ‘what i’ve earned’

to make certain they always have enough silver to buy

off anyone that might be leaning another way & hire

the best scriptwriters & talking heads to conjure up tales

of monkey’s paw.

it’s time to throw some light on the way imperialist/fascist/

fundamentalist bourgeoisie power hitters have taken the

idea of divine proportion & manipulated it into a circular

reasoning tool supposedly so perfect that to call them on it

would be blasphemous. how dare we question their strange

brew of adam smith, highlighted passages snippets from

the bible, the koran & torah (or for that matter any text that lays

a divinely pronounced mantle on certain heads). an evil mix

of economics, numerology, kabbalah & the fibonacci

sequence turned inside out. all stirred up to make a batch

of black art & ink mathematics. of course this recipe/theorem

is kept sealed & buried under miles of red tape. everyone

knows the corporate & political world are in cahoots but

sometimes we’re in the dark about much of the methodology

how complete the mass manipulation of reality (talk about

dumping acid in the water supply!) but no-they’re much

more clever & insidious than that. they watch from on high

& laugh as we separate ourselves with cultural, religious,

race distinctions or invisible borders that all play right

into their hands, keeps us distracted so we don’t notice the

long shadow hovering over us. the government is a well-

oiled machine that depends on unquestionable obedience

from top to bottom, one line of thinking a thick, impenetrable

bottom line. when the numbers are crunched. we’re squeezed

into a tight spot. what does a scared, wounded animal do

when backed into a corner. it doesn’t sit there & let some

sadistic henchmen crack his bullwhip, to see it squirm.

it doesn’t listen to indoctrination of forced commodity

formulated by capitalist intellectuals on the payroll

that help maintain ideological control over social

management a conformist intelligentsia who betray the

proletariat. it no longer worries whether it’s going to

wander away from imposed parameters or ‘out of the loop’.

if it’s going to go out, it’s going to go out fighting,

regardless of what the doctored numbers coming out of

the ivory towers say about his chances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

family of man

 

there are only two families in the world,

    the haves & the have nots

                                 -miguel cervantes

 

the gap between hero & anti-hero is created by the press

who are corporate owned toadies charisma & style are

purposely confused with honest-to-god content. it’s all

about image, one commodity after another, splashed across

the screens of collective consciousness, though everyone

has an innate screening process to filter out the jive. many

ignore it, it’s too difficult to take the truth in unrelenting

doses that contradict everything that’s been sanctified

by those with a divine hand or more specifically those with

a midas touch. we can get away with saying almost anything

if we attach a catchy hook to it. we can gain a fistful of points

with a simple dedication that isn’t heartfelt in the least

because we’re seldom called on it, not when you tell them

what they want to hear. why do we put such a premium

on acting urbane & aloof. able to slip into & out of

conformity from a cynical point of view unconcerned with

which side we stand on, even if it requires constantly having

to look over shoulders. why do we depend on selective

amnesia or let the boys in the back room shout out the

details. why are we satisfied with what’s laid down for us

willing to add a nuance here, a bit of color there, then call

it our own. why do we take pride in being able to say-

‘i can hear you clear over here.’ there are those that can

solicit a nice chunk of change to fund their trip up to the

mountain top ascending with much fanfare with a promise

the wealth will be judiciously divided on their return

but they disappear into the clouds & never descend with

the goodies from on high. there’s more than one way down

the mountain & any con man worth his salt can distract the

crowd with a sparkling distraction sell them a reasonable

facsimile of a holy grail, a roadmap to nirvana, a compass

that always points to mecca, a life-size replica of jerusalem.

they might present a worthless trinket with a glitzy, iconic

shine or convince us to attach ourselves to someone else’s

myth someone else’s remembering. the herd will usually

head straight for a reference point that’s recognizable. art

is reduced to mood management, thick-headed linear

statements art is turned into a passive experience, a

cosmetic gesture that diminishes consciousness

instead of raising skulls to the sky. why are we willing

to pay more for distractions. something that simulates

reality than that which stimulates the soul. imagination

becomes atrophied from being constantly entertained.

a romantic idealization that’s nothing more than laying

down cash for an obscured view a glossy, slicked up,

toned down waste of time a bland teleprompter reading

of anything from a bedtime story to a report on the end

of the world. we live for the day a condescending crown is

dumped on our heads, covered with worthless rhinestones

& fancy calligraphy we can’t read while a threadbare carpet

is laid out before us, covering middle ground ceremoniously.

where we can walk down the aisle with arrogant dimwits

who have an artificially enhanced temptress on their arm

bathed in florescent light & trailed by subliminal kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chani Zwibel

 

WRONG

All the wrong people have a swagger these days. Bullies and the pretty dolls of bullies.

People keep writing about the pussy-grabber-in-chief, president 45,the ninth fool, the father of all fat cats, his fascist tendencies, his vulgarities and unintelligence, and general negligence and un-presidential manner, how he’s courting nuclear disaster and imminent destruction not to mention those of us paying attention constantly wondering everyday how he and his Ilk will destroy, devalue, desecrate the earth, air, water, listen we need stricter rules for big pollution not less, we need clean air and water, these nihilistic, bring-on-the-end-times, apocalypse-jockeys are greasy weasels set to consume our bones and I just don’t have the grace or panache to put current events into good words and phrases. The news is always bad, and the society stays racist. Everything is cloaked in a bonnet of blood while safe satiated “Christians” flip houses for profit, praising creamy white shiplap and positive can-do attitudes as their manicured toes in wicker rattan platforms crush the shoulders of the ones beneath them. I have nothing to add to this conversation and I wish I could subtract all the banal evil from it.

It is the same now as it has always been. The rich profit, and the rest suffer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KIDS THESE DAYS

The Greatest Generation are all gone.

Absent our holiday tables,

only their ghosts linger.

They’ve done their duty, earned their rest.

We’re stuck with The Baby Boomers and they are stuck with us,

their children, The Millennials.

Generation X is too busy with their own shit.

They don’t figure in this feud.

They have ten to twenty years on us Millennials.

They have jobs and kids and Etsy shops to run.

But never mind that for now.

All we hear at family gatherings:

the unrelenting chorus of

kids these days kids these days kids these days

Don’t have any respect, or work ethic, or common sense.

Want everything now-

tweeted, microwaved, digitally streamed

Boomers speak to us of a vanished world,

remember the early days of TV,

sleds of wood slats with metal runners,

carrying pocket knives to school,

going without seat belts and helmets,

civil unrest, desegregation,

Vietnam War/Protest,

the space-race,

Nixon, hippies, JFK.

They believe that America of brick and steel,

of midnight tokers and good-natured jokers

lives in a cloud castle

far from computers and terrorism,

unbothered by cellphones, pdfs, and more than two genders.

They look at us and don’t approve.

We don’t buy the dream they’re still trying to sell because

Kids these days kids these days kids these days

Can’t pay attention, can’t support themselves, need a safe space

They’re stuck with us and we’re stuck with them.

Absent our holiday tables,

ghosts of the Greatest Generation float,

offering no help but hollow smiles.

 

LAST DISPATCHES FROM THE DESPAIR FRONT

Justice weeps in the dark and none hear her cry

Brazen men of evil want her voice to die

They want her to be silent

They want her in the grave

For such a goddess none will praise

When all they know is “take”.

When will she arise again?

When we she come forth?

Brazen men of evil only understand force.

Someday soon the call will sound

Someday chained hearts break free

Justice will wake, rise in power,

And bring liberty

I’ll keep these hopes for freedom banked and glowing coals,

but they are quickly growing cold.

 

 

 

 

 

SURFACE PARADE

Sometimes the surface suffices,

the glossy glory of Coca-Cola,

Santa Claus and America: the official version.

Celebratory consumerism:

buy and eat

eat and buy

smile wide,

a pop star wrapped in a tailored pea coat.

Be uplifted like a massive cartoon balloon,

but don’t slip the grip of your handlers

for the pull of wind.

eat and buy

buy and eat

stuff the glossy surface

in your smiling mouth.

Never speak the unofficial version:

Sugar, Myth, and Imperialism.

Careful; don’t listen.

Those screams you thought you heard?

Just the wind.

buy and eat

eat and buy

the surface suffices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE CAN HOPE

I saw Old Man Patriarchy shopping yesterday.

He was pale, had a dirty, grey beard

with food bits stuck in it,

and his mouth held

rotting stumps

of teeth.

Soon, his bite will be gone.

He was dragging

an oxygen tank behind him

as he desperately purchased

wheat grass powder,

the last grasp

at longevity.

His days grow shorter

and shorter,

his breath slower

and slower.

Soon,

if we all work very hard,

he will be in the grave forever,

one skeletal hand,

scratching at the coffin lid,

in vain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOURTH OF JULY 2017

Mermaid in a moonshine jar

Do you hear American exploding out there?

I sure do.

Fireworks

are racking

coughs

in the dying

throat

of freedom,

its consumptive lungs

hacking up blood and phlegm,

that’s your red and white,

and blue, the lips of liberty

as she suffocates,

throat stuffed with dollar bills,

struggling to see beyond the flaming stars

that burst

behind her fluttering eyelids.

Mermaid in a moonshine jar

How are you not drowning?

Because we are out here.

Beaks open like turkeys

to drink the rain.

The eagle long since swept away

in the deluge,

its noble corpse escorted

by a convoy of beer cans, plastic Pepsi bottles, metal sticks of sparklers.

Mermaid in a moonshine jar

Sing me your song

And take me down under the waves

Where I can’t hear these sad cannons

barking retreat.

 

 

AMERICAN’T

The Oppressor is US.

We shoot with no regard.

We spray tear gas,

rubber bullets,

and freezing water cannons.

We deport.

We ban.

And even if it’s not our hands

on the trigger of the gun or the teargas canister,

our hands tying the zip ties,

our hands probing at the terminal search,

our mouths questioning the political affiliation,

or our eyes looking scornfully

at what reading material,

it’s US who all broke lady liberty’s arm

and threw her torch into the sea.

It’s US who lifted the skirts of justice

to give all the old, rich, white men a leer and a grope.

It was Us who left her bleeding behind a dumpster.

It was US who shot her in the face when she called for our help,

and it’s US who put the biggest bully out of all of them in charge.

It was US it was US it was US.

Nor is it anything new.

One hand flying a flag flaunting freedom,

and one foot on the mountain of bones.

Bloated-corpse buzzards

feeding on the carrion

that carried on

until it couldn’t.

Keep looking, wondering how long

until the tanks roll across the asphalt,

crushing discarded debris as they go

how long before the booted feet

stomp across the suburb

past the stop signs,

and how long until the bullets’ laughter

chuckles lifeless, guttural,

where the robin once sang.

How long until the balls of play are all stilled,

leaving only silent bodies

with ravaged, skeletal hands

gripping backpacks full of homework

never to be finished?

How long before the machine comes rolling through?

Not long because

the trains are already

hauling heavy military vehicles

right through the square of my little town,

between the coffee shop and the antique mall.

Weary, white supremacy grinds down,

grinds down,

another wrinkle deeper,

another grey hair spreading,

streak widening across temples,

no temples to the god of time-moving-forward,

only altars to youth and anti-aging serum.

 

Mumbling ring around the rosy,

Sat at our Fourth of July picnics nice and cozy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amirah Al- Wassif

 

so lucky

so lucky because I am stuck here in my kingdom, in my chamber!

carving my oddity alone on the windows under the thunder

so lucky because I am struggling like a fighter

eating my worries, create the adventure

feeling more than what I should

thinking more than normal

so lucky because I am stuck here laugh at my memories like a monster

imagining a big battle between me and me

hearing an imaginary whisper!

so lucky even though my body covered with the answer

of how all the beauty has been shortened in the feather of painter?!

so lucky because I am not a member

when matter relates to a number

I am more than

I am the opener

of all locked doors

I am no border

and well

so lucky because I am a writer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Courage Woman Boil The Bananas

 

a courage woman boil the bananas

and watches her people on Haiti mountain

runaway behind her dream

with curly hair and hidden pain

she bribes the sun with her smile

to dissolve the hot and murmured

“ Amen”

 

a courage woman boil the bananas

and never experienced its taste

always surrounded with tents and hungrier

much secrets there, in her chest

counting the footsteps in the sand

reveals how many persons are lost!

 

the Haiti girl plants the corn with her father on the highest

she tides his body with the robes, she trying her best

and to make our life better

what should we do?

if we through our ages truly suffer

if all our times were blue?

 

a courage woman boil the bananas

and touches her baby skin

“ Work…Work” a sound around cries in the space said by men

 

she tore the tent with a huge passion

she never understands what a mean of station

where everybody needs to dream, to travel

but there isn’t her reality level

 

a courage woman boil the bananas

and watches her people on Haiti mountain

runaway behind her dream

with curly hair and hidden pain

she bribes the sun with her smile

to dissolve the hot and murmured

” Amen”

 

 

At The Funeral Of 50 Barefoot Man

 

once upon a time

there was an ancient place

which called “Amon village”

that a very far spot

where everybody talks

about the river legend

that a very far spot

where everybody knows

how to distinguish

the smell of fresh bread

there, at the Amon village

where all the folk lives

in their dreams

and the blazing sun cry

against the face of heaven

there, where the poor sweeper

drowning in the colors of the rainbow

and the great brown mountains

announce its upper secret

to the mass grave

in the Amon village

where everybody talks

about the river legend

and the real tale of

50 barefoot man

in the ancient village

all people are storytellers

and all of them say

the same story

which starts with

once upon a time

there were 100 man

lived together in the same village

but 50 of them were barefoot

and the other 50 had fancy shoes!

50 man sweeping the streets

and 50 men making the bread

50 ones looking for more!

50 shoes in luxury leather

and 50 toes inflamed and cracked

 

 

the river recognized the difference

between the shoes and the toes

then it made a good decision

according to the nature rules

and the river understood

the difference between

the torn clothing and the perfect ones

then it made a good decision

according to the nature rules

 

on the ragged edge, all the people walk

under the boiling sun

all people talk

and there were two kinds of talking

talking from shoe to shoe

and talking from toe to toe

and the river didn’t love that kind of speech

so, it made a good decision

according to the nature rules

 

50 barefoot man carrying

their empty pots

their facial bones

tell you about long age of bitterly

shabby dresses, fearful eyes

ancient faces full of pimples

much sweat

and shaky hands

 

50 barefoot man bearing their pain

looking for a way

to protect their feet

from another pain

but the shattered glass

everywhere

 

the dispossessed people died

and the rest were alive around the river

laughing, jumping, drinking

but the river has a sense of justice

so, it made a good decision

according to the nature rules

and, dried up!

 

Red Focks

 

Peaceful protests are

Half-Measures & it’s

Half-Past time to act

So get mad

Get loud &

Fuck shit up!

The only time

you ever bring

a super-soaker

to a gunfight

is when its

full of kerosene

and the enemy is

marching forward

with burning torches

 

 

 

 

 

When people ask me if I’m a democrat or a republican, I just start talking about cheese. I tell them that american ‘cheese’ is not cheese. If you like american cheese, whatever. I think it tastes shit’s mucus but you can like american cheese all you want; however if you think it’s real cheese, you’re wrong. Fact-of-the-matter is american cheese is popular, they use it at mcdonalds, and there’s a lot of it, but not one of those things qualify it as cheese. Real cheese takes time, patience, and the love of cheesemaking.

 

A lot of people today obliviously walk around in a daze of misplaced aggression going “fuck, american cheese is not even cheese anymore!”, but american cheese was never cheese and deep down they know it. American cheese has always been disgusting and whorelike. It was gross 10 years ago, it was gross 100 years ago and it gross now too. Nothing has changed.

 

 

A south korean entertainment studio in the near future pays american contestants one thousand united states dollars for every pound of fat they can gain, all the way until they decide to cash out. The south koreans document the house win eighty-eight percent of the time, as fat greedy assholes kill themselves trying to get to three hundred thousand dollars. south korea makes deals with all the companies behind the sugary, greasy, deep fried foods being consumed. The advertising alone pays for the twelve percent who go on their fat and happy ways.

 

 

 

Ben Shapiro, but

with the ebola virus

DESTROYING his ass

 

 

 

If you

call racism

on all

you hate

then defend

prolonged

military strangleholds

in the cradle

of civilization

You’re the real

racist.

 

Words

could never

archive

genuine

mayhem

without

a little help

from their friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Let me explain something to you junior, in the real world we need to drop bombs on Syria to protect Syrians from the Russians.”

 

 

 

 

Folks note

the cops in

amerikkka

would slaughter us

if we all put on

yellow vests

and fucked the system.

Begrudgingly,

I agree,

but only

partially.

They’d shoot us

They’d kill us

but they wouldn’t kill

all of us

they couldn’t kill

all of us

their masters

wouldn’t allow them

to kill all of us.

Their game doesn’t load

If their dogs kill

all of us.

So the question is

how many

are ready

to finally

live free

or die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will the real middle class please stand up? I see twenty million foreclosed houses and everybody I know is just one ride in the back of an ambulance away from fucking poverty if they haven’t gotten there already. Al Bundy used to be funny before moving into a mcmansion with his modern family. Peggy got to keep the kids and the debt. A raised ranch with a white picket fence used to cost seven grand; now that won’t even buy you a used Mercedes from 1980 with no breaks. Superstores have absorbed the mom & pop shops. Some fucking scumbag with a bowtie lies through his teeth on both of the 24-hour news stations. He says that anybody who wants to raise the minimum wage is greedy. So will the middle class please stand up? It seems to me that if you’re not all extinct you’re a severely endangered species.

 

 

 

 

 

1000%

This

is a message

for the left wing

establishment types

as I will soon

find myself

reluctantly

in your corner

by default

 

When you ask questions like

“Do you really think

that the CIA

and FBI

would lie

to the public?”

Those types of questions

really irk

everybody

who knows

one thousand percent

that they would.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Audacity of Politely Suggesting We Stop Using Plastic Straws & Other Creative Ways to Hold The Moral High Ground Over Smug Vegans Who Think Their Outrage is More Important Than My ShitFuckingGodDamned Outrage.

 

 

 

War is a cancer

and there’s no profit

in a cure, so we

attack the symptoms

and vindicate the

DISEASE

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I loathe most about him

is that he stole something beautiful.

An absurdist attack on the status quo.

Sending in the clowns.

A rebel without a point.

Fake news equivalency.

A fuck you too.

Standing for nothing

Is better than

standing for giraffe rape.

Pussy grabbing

Xenophobic fearmongering

Kim Kardashian

and drone strikes

on to the disenfranchised.

It’s an ambush.

They stole

a moment

of clarity

and gave us

a Nazi.

Now you hate him

and he’s calling

Liars

liars

so the liars

he’s calling

liars

must be telling the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two hundred thousand

Vietnamese rice farmers

Did what they had to

 

 

 

 

 

I’m carefully selecting my words, rather than my stances. I must defend asshole strangers, carefree of my existence, up until the next election. I can’t use words like “war”, because they just don’t understand why it’s okay when we do it. Freedom isn’t free. Sometimes you just gotta kill brown people. But, it’s not racism when we do it. Racism is a white man with dreadlocks, eating Pad Tai. Racism is killing those same brown people, and then giving all my money to rich people. God Damn you sons of bitches for not seeing the difference. What do you people want? Money? It’s simple economics! If they give the money to the middle class, we’ll use it to help you peasants eventually! Instead of pointing out my affiliations several glaring atrocities, and hypocritical similarities to it’s counterpart, why don’t you have some compassion, not be such a racist, and vote for Michelle Obama in 2020? Together, we can make systematic genocide not only acceptable, not only profitable, but fashionable.

 

 

Today is INTERNATIONAL MEN’S DAY

So, watch football

Drink some beer

Ride a motorcycle

Personify God

Slap your wife

Erode the atmosphere

Deny climate change

Make a dolphin live in a bathtub

Mass murder

Steal land

Amplify your farts

and have a cigar

Because men kill themselves sometimes, and that’s a problem for some reason.

 

 

 

The only person who can stop a bad Hollywood sex-offender with a gun is a good Hollywood sex-offender with a gun.

 

 

 

I pledge allegiance to myself, amongst a united society of life-forms.

With respect for the planet which we all inhabit.

One love, with God running through me.

An individual for the liberty and justice of everybody.

TONIGHT ON INFOWHORES

 

Some jackoff with a fake british accent sticks his iPhone camera two inches from his face, and pontificates about how respecting the government makes you a rebel, while protesting corporate fascism makes you a complaint sheep.

 

THEN

 

Some nasally blonde tart complains about how anybody who disagrees with her dad is a snowflake.

 

AND FINALLY

 

A clickbaiting baked potato goes over how Donald Trump’s fifteenth meeting with Henry Kissinger will DESTROY the globalist agenda, before advertising some bullshit male enhancement supplements.

 

YOU ARE THE RESISTANCE.

(Your racist grandparents would be so proud of you)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heidi Blakeslee

 

Poop-ageddon

 

I want to gather the shit

of ten dog kennels

 

put it in grocery bag sized

paper bags

 

throw them on mitch mcconnell’s

front porch

 

and light all

that shit

on fire

 

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

 

Worn Out Lies

 

The worn out lies

go on living.

 

They come and go.

Who has not heard them?

 

They know they are lies.

 

Who has not heard them?

They go in and out.

 

I never believe them.

I still hear them,

the same old lies,

at all hours.

 

The worn out lies

that have hardened America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Under The Sun

 

The pay is okay for someone that has nothing.

The hours are fine for someone that needs to eat.

The boss is not seen, and the boss likes it that way.

 

Time goes on as the sun dissolves your bones.

Life is stacked against you. Sisyphus’s rock

flattens you, tosses you aside at the end of the day.

 

Your hands are the working tool that toils against

death’s inequitable clock. If you rage against this

machine, the machine will dispose of your body.

 

Time takes its turn with the sun. You work hard

as raw hands ache. There are no medical benefits.

You are a mere object to the one in charge, who

does not see you as a man, just someone who is

there, a machine that works. The unseen boss

steals your time and your life without losing sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Thomas Outlar

 

Rush Hour

The oil fields

are on fire

in an Apocalyptic blaze,

but the gasoline

still flows freely

from a million pumps

into a billion cars

that suck greedily

upon the teat

of a black gold feast,

guzzling petrol by the gallon

to serve rush hour need

in a fast paced world,

before belching

the acidic fumes

into an increasingly cloudy sky,

poisoning the atmosphere

with a haze of smog

that hangs heavily

over all our heads

like an ominous bomb

ready to drop

its load of doom at any minute

to prove the theory

that nature

always gets the last laugh;

and fools

only quicken their pace

toward an already yawning grave

that doesn’t need any help

but sure as hell

won’t turn down the assistance

in filling the plot with bones,

covering them over with dirt,

and spinning the next cycle

in a give and take process

toward a fossilized future

laid to rest and waste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Little Piggy

How many ways

can I say

that the bankers are crazed

and their system is insane

so should be slain

and buried in a twelve foot grave?

 

Well, if the dirty derivatives

created from the filth

of their fraudulent machinations

carry the key

then I suppose the answer

is several trillion at least.

 

Ten fingers

and ten toes

can’t carry that load

so maybe it’s time

to start smashing

all such calculations

until the digits

return to a zero-point.

 

A clean break

from the Beast

might save us all

from the heat

of this fresh hell

that has begun to rage

exponentially

out of control.

 

 

 

 

Mendes Biondo

 

Never Write About Politics

 

never write about politics

elena said to me once

and catfish told me too

that shit will drive you mad

write about sex or something else

even writing about a fridge is better

than politics

 

I’ve always followed their suggestion

I know politics is the death of our spirits

a bad vibration

a cancer growing in our worst nightmares

 

but there’s something I need to do now

while people are fighting all around the world for a cause

while I’m watching the news at the TV

eating a cold sandwich and drinking beer

 

I don’t care if they’re right or left

I care if there’s a bit of madness in what they’re doing

 

those people are trying to set

another way to live

they are running mad like bulls

into pamplona’s street

they are crashing our heads with choirs

they are showing us the blood of society

 

 

I ask sociologists

politicians

political experts and brokers

to shut up now

those masses are a poem

they are not able to understand

 

a toi charmant guillotine

and the world changed

and the people changed

 

peace and love

and the world spun again

and the music of different cultures played

another song

 

it’s the revolution baby

it’s a poem made of flesh

now please listen to their bodies

to fire burning

to glasses exploding

 

hurray motherfuckers

hurray

we are alive

again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dustin Pickering

d.t. (45)

we held him in our arms

we hid in the fleece of our forefathers

 

he claims to have witnessed everything

he was here when the foundations

were erected,

builder and cheap embezzler

 

wicked starlet at his side

smiling, ridding the air of doubt

after all, he’s innocuous

 

his demons are in her shadows

 

 

listen to the quaking of our resolve

 

hindered from forward contemplation

the night is long and scattered

 

bled of its possibilities

given a wall

erects a statement

 

that we will not tolerate the refugee

we will deny the tattered raiments

their alms, driving out with gas their cries

 

enslaving them to histories they won’t experience

 

 

 

 

blind

i am blind

as a prophet

seeing distant lands

but dark to the hand

in front of me

 

as i write interiorized worlds

muses vindicate,

salivating over meanings

 

fleshed from circumstance

as poems are empty of everything

 

terms are set

borders of language

doesn’t insulate meaning

 

don’t make safe zones

in ignorant heads

 

the fear resounds

like an echo in the mountains

 

terrorists hide behind the pronouns

as they bark out orders and demands

 

i am blind, i am blind

 

the victims can rest assured

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Dunford-Roskos

 

resurrection insurrections and situational absurdity

mayday ghost of phil ochs roams chicago

while some providence friends are

tagged in facebook mugshots

banging marching drums and chanting

on the mall escalator

they are arrested

and banned from shopping

for a year

 

fearing a black mark on my permanent record

my rebellion is reduced to signing

change.org petitions

 

i checked the boxes

to halt the geese genocide

legalize gay marriage

and demand the release of

jailed insurrectionists

 

while snow

falls

on homeless foreheads

in tent cities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Weddle

MAGA

Listen, I eat nails for breakfast

and keep mountain lions for pets

since tigers are hard to find

and a hair too prissy.

 

I can whip any three men in a fair fight

and five if I hit low.

My heart is as hard as coal, and blacker,

and I can’t begin to remember

how many women whose love

I’ve used and cast aside.

 

I’m meaner than Genghis Kahn

and twice as ugly.

I can’t decide if I should fuck your mother next

or your daughter

but I can tell you your wife

is a decent lay,

even if she can’t suck dick for shit.

I’ll be at your place later on,

just to kick your ass for fun.

 

You know me, brother.

Don’t act like you don’t.

 

Listen now.

Hey, where do you think you’re going?

Did I say you could leave?

 

Okay.

All right.

I see what’s going on.

 

Forget it.

Forget that stuff.

Dumb shit can’t take a joke.

 

Hey, put that down.

For God’s sake stop hitting me.

Sweet Jesus. Stop.

 

Can’t we just make America great again?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THESE MOST PRESSING THINGS

It is easy to give in:

The poverty of the aged;

youth with slender chance;

lost love, or no love, or love unrequited;

hatred become fashion;

reason stuffed in a box to die;

addled men;

women consumed with rage;

children left in ovens;

starving dogs in the road;

cats plotting our death;

overpriced dreams,

and nightmares ten for a dollar.

It is easy to give in, and if you don’t

you will be punished,

but your scars will bear glory.

Your wounds will comfort the infirm.

Your weariness will shine on the darkest night,

the night foretold as the end of things,

and the world might blossom anew.

Or maybe not.

Maybe you will simply resist

and no one but you will know.

Either way, it is agony.

Either way you will be misunderstood.

Reviled.

Either way, to someone, you become the villain.

It is easy to give in. So many do it every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dave Roskos

TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS

How’s this for trickle-down economics?

Hang all the rich mother fuckers

upside down by their feet

so all their money falls

out of their pockets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Amerika

 

Welcome to Amerika.

Take a number

& go to the back of the line.

 

Don’t mind the uniforms

with automatic rifles,

they are here for you

Protection

 

& all them police in the streets

in armored tanks…

well, you have only

yourselves to thank

 

& the cop who ran over

 

all them children

in front of the Indoctrination

Building, he’s real sorry

& is being held accountable,

suspended for a week

with pay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Hellweg

My Life as a Short Poem

sometimes just making it through the night

is miracle enough

sometimes just making it through the day

is miracle enough

 

I’m always caught off-guard

whenever I encounter someone

who doesn’t believe in miracles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life in the 21st Century

Fast food

TV movies

rock & roll,

a plethora of excess

seduces my soul,

never hungry,

never cold,

never me,

gone

gone

gone.

 

previously published in Poetic Diversity

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Blessing

It Ends in a Cloud of Dust

We stood in the center of the town. Perhaps a thousand of us. In the center of our circle stood an older woman, Naakkanna. Her daughter, Saatta, sat with a drum between her legs. Only the wind blowing between the buildings and rustling the leaves on the trees could be heard. As we stood, we knew more were watching from the windows of the surrounding apartments and buildings. Others stood in smaller circles in the parks and at the gates.

 

Saatta began to slowly tap the drum. Naakkanna bowed her head and began to sway in rhythm to the drum. She raised her head and began the Habbittata chant. All of us were swaying to the beat which began to speed up. At first we chanted quietly. But, soon our voices were loud enough that the pigeons on the rooftops flew off. Throughout the town the same ritual was being performed. The sound rose like a cloud and hovered above the us. The watchers from the hills around the town could hear the Habbittata. It shook the trees, dust rose from the roads, and small pebbles rolled down the hillsides.

 

The volume and speed of the chanting picked up. Other drums from around the town were joining in. Soon other instruments joined. People were standing on roof tops joining in the chant.

 

And then Saatta stopped drumming and the other drums and instruments went silent. The chanting slowed and quieted until only Naakkanna’s voice was left as she turned and walked toward the main gates of the town. We followed and were joined by others from around the town.

 

We began to march in unison. Step Step StepStep The cobble stones began to vibrate with the rhyme. The gates were swung open and we marched out, spread out in front of the town walls and then began to march toward the hills where the enemy stood watching from the hilltops.

 

A quarter mile from the base of the hills the long line stopped and silence became a cloak that covered us. Naakkanna and Saata stepped to the front facing the hills. Saata slowly began the beat and other instruments in the crowd joined in. Naakkanna stepped forward and began the chant. All of us joined in and slowly to the rhythm of the chant and dance began to walk slowly toward the hills. On the crest of them the enemy raised their shields and swords and began beating them together. The volume of the chant had risen and we couldn’t hear their yells or clashing. As we neared the base of the hills we stopped moving forward and stood chanting, drumming and stomping in place. The hills began to move. Sand flowed down the side at first slowly and then faster and faster. The enemy lines suddenly found the soil beneath their feet begin to move and collapse. Soon the army that hadn’t moved back quick enough found themselves enveloped in sand flowing like water out onto the plain A cloud of dust rose around the collapsing hills and we continued until the flows of sand were too close for safety. We turned and to the beat of the drums retreated away from the loess hills. The wind was picking up as it usually did this time of year. Sand was rising in a curtain of cloud. We wrapped scarfs around our noses and mouths and turned back toward town our objective now completed. When the wind quiets we will go out and honor their dead and bury those we can find.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ammi Romero

The

slave masters

require

blood.

The heads

of my brothers

and sisters

bleed in the shadows;

the geoengineered

night calls out

to my bones.

The breaking skies

whisper,

close your eyes,

look inside,

love thy neighbor

and sin no more.

Tax payer bombs

free fall

like limp arms,

the land flows

with nose bleeds

stretching a river

of sacrifice

from the east

out to the west.

Let nations

rise rebellion,

the empire will fall.

 

 

 

 

 

The Body

I walk out,

look up

to chem-trails

blanketing

a simulated sky,

rays of radiation

penetrate

the blood,

cells convulse

In veins.

Brain birds

feed nervous

system wires,

they regurgitate

lymph nodes

to the bustling city

cries of traffic.

My sisters

rejoice in the kidneys,

my brothers

In the liver;

the organs are theirs.

The illusion of day

plays like a little

child.

Our people

Is the skeletal;

the muscles

and ligaments

their

home.

 

 

 

 

Honey nuts in your Cheerios

The breakfast of champs

GMO certified

Carcinogenic pesticide

guaranteed to collapse your B’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zombie Hive Consciousness

A civilization of cadavers scatter the land, I crucify the world dangled inside god particle; Swallow me daughter of the day, creep your moon under the destruction of the gatekeeper, your grievance falls on holy war, slithering down The Mount of Olives. The tongues of your martyrs shed the valley of the shadow of death like my umbilical stub.

Mike Zone

Mona in Amerika #1

In the shimmering emerald rain

of the inhuman dawn

the man in the yellow hat

hunchbacked- weasel featured

almond eyes crossed toward a mauled cashew nose

flits and limps around- fleabag motel

HOME- 35 dollars a night

scraps of chicken wings, beef shreds ham bone

bundled in newspaper and twine

friends with the butcher’s assistant

they play checkers and drink

belt out dead love songs on a busted six-string

labor ravaged, soul maddened, tragic comic dynamos

too old to live too young to die

slow mutants of inevitability

rooms 206 and 209

where the unwanted go to die

a tinge of disappointment

whenever day breaks or night descends

eggplant child on tricycle

pisses near the swimming pool

indeterminate sex- locked out from the room

of determined sex and food stamp paydays

Mona turned to me and asked “…is this Amerika?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fugitive

The fugitive put down his hat

he sat on the crate

vintage discarded Unity Produce Company

“I’d like to explain a few things.” He said

brushing off his yellow fedora

slicking back what remained

once raven, now gun metal gray

sprouting from crisped scalp

a purge by fire, baptism by acid

liquid gold by sweat of men’s hands

blood bound for the land

via the formulation of brotherly bonds

soul in the dark dwelling of human bondage

men of dust and ashes unto flesh

he sighed

that was all that needed to be said

in unknown intimacy

at once confession and proclamation

the visitor got up to leave

carefully parted the blinds

through slits and slivers of moon

the necropolis of exiles

shined on

awaiting daybreak air-sirens

and manic tragedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mona in Amerika#2

She’s thinking of meeting

the man in the yellow hat

in tight cut-off denims and butterfly tank top

she needs a job

enter Hamburger Joe’s

nearly a trillion served

deep fried burgers, slaw fries, bacon topped ice-cream

at lightning speed

a stupid hat, $40 uniform fee

must be available: days, nights, weekends, holidays

7 days a week

expect between 9 and 24 hours

starting pay25 cents above minimum

it’s within walking distance

saves on bus fare

allows for minor contemplation

on the receding homeland and Sisyphus boulder

mom’s at the axis of it all

which is really the crossroads of delayed death

or immediate death

walking in front of a bus as factory doors close

a dollar over minimum cashiering at the mart

a circus of value and conflicting time changes

Mona fingering Baltic curls, gazing at her sister

back from daycare, sores on her mouth

still hungry but refusing to eat

macaroni hotdog, sloppy-joe sauce surprise

call it “Tidy Joe” on a bun

in her uniform before work

tighter pants for job security

appease the manager with wolfish eyes

light on make-up

so as not to signify

instant give-away

Mona sighs and asks, “is this Amerika?”

Outside the bathroom window

The man in the yellow hat

stares down his rusted toilet

swirling- pondering death

he knows better

having chances after chance

to shuffle the mortal coil

while still a fugitive

poisoning poets

pointing murderers to friends

once upon a time dissidence meant resistance

instead of a bargaining chip for dying lives

outwardly scarred, internally deformed

awaits the butcher’s assistant strumming his blue guitar

soon she will be dead like her mother, sister, father

(an old country woe)

next time he’ll use the service station bathroom

across the street- it’s less haunted

it’s inherited

the owner is royalty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mona in Amerika#3

“Deer hunting with Jesus,

no other reason to be.”

What Shane said to Mona

with his rabbit crucifix tattoo

Mona in a complex mood

rethinking them all too important taboos

first one being incest, then cannibalism followed by something

akin to death

or was it truth smacked by god

with a lack of god, being you?

in the truck waiting for Shane

not exactly a country boy nor a full-on suburban lad

mostly just a kid

getting cigarettes and soda

pretending to be poor

there’s the one-armed man with haunted eyes

with his dead movie star looks

wearing green polo, in love with his girl

silver highlighted face

like she just soared the space-ways

reflecting his death and her’s

right there in painted face and done-up flashing eyes

Shane’s out the store with a smile

a bottle of sparkling pink lemonade and condoms

admires the glowing cherry of his cigarette

fixated on Mona’s cherry glowing- possible moaning

Mona doesn’t exactly want that

doesn’t exactly have anywhere to go

looks to the couple

considers a tub of bubbles

with the three of them inside

they look

at her

“is this Amerika” she asks

 

 

For the fuck’s sake of security, and good will, and patriotism they will protect you from the truths, and the falsehoods, but mostly the counter-lucratives.

 

  • Nicholas Redf (Facebook user)

 

ABP’s Featured Artist of the month is Heath Brougher

Heath Brougher, ABP’s feature artist on the month

 

ABP– Heath, I am thrilled to have you on as ABP’s featured artist of the month. In 2017 Alien Buddha Press had the privilege of releasing your absolutely brilliant poetry book About Consciousness. Please tell us about that, and some more of your publications.

 

HB- Thank you for having me as ABP’s featured artist of the month. It’s quite an honor. To let you know more concerning my book About Consciousness, it actually began as a 14-page micro-chapbook. I decided to bulk it up to a full length and did so in just one night. I’m assuming most people can guess what its main theme is simply from the title. My three previous books all had titles that had people asking me exactly what these various titles meant, so I figured I’d go with as straightforward of a title as I could think of for this book. Also, I just liked the ring of it as it reminded me a bit of Nirvana’s song “About a Girl.” In all of my previous books Consciousness was a major theme so I wanted to put together a collection solely on the subject of Consciousness itself. The book is basically a collection of poems that look at Consciousness from various viewpoints but mainly from the angle of a Pantheist. As with most of my books, it turned out being much more of a philosophy book than a poetry book. Also, I would like to thank YOU (Red Focks) for the artwork contained within this book and which, I believe, helped to enhance the reading experience.

 

ABP- Can you tell us about your work with the publication Into the Void?

 

HB- Into the Void is one of the endeavors I am most proud of since having entered this crazy literary world. I was approached by Phillip Elliott (Into the Void’s Editor in Chief) after its first two issues, asking if was interested in being one of the two poetry editors. At the time, I did not know Phillip, who is now my best friend on FB–or maybe tied with one other person. I saw how amazing the first two issues were and noticed the great potential for this magazine. I had no idea that Phillip Elliott was a total literary genius and the amazing ride the four original editors were about to go on. I was the poetry editor for Five 2 One Magazine at the time and, after trying to do both for a couple months, realized I had to choose one over the other. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. So much so, that I actually didn’t really make a decision and instead was reduced to flipping a coin in order to decide which of the two magazines I would continue on with as poetry editor. Into the Void then went on to win back to back Saboteur Awards and is, to this very day, growing faster than I’ve ever seen any other publication grow. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished because I think we’ve helped to prove the fact that if you read blind you’ll end up producing a better quality publication in the process.

 

ABP- You recently took a trip to Erie PA to take part in an open mic hosted by ABP. What is the poetry scene like in your neck of the woods, the town of York, across PA?

 

HB- The poetry scene in York is really good for a small town and has some really amazing poets that don’t get the proper credit they deserve. There is one woman in particular, Carla Christopher, who is almost single-handedly helping to improve not just the literary scene but the entire city of York itself. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life.

 

ABP- In addition to poetry, you also write fiction, and are also a visual artist. Is your interest in poetry stronger than that of other mediums?

 

HB- Yes. Poetry has always played a bigger role in my life than fiction and especially visual art. I’m really not much of a visual artist at all. I’ve just posted some of my bizarre paintings on FB before. I’ve actually always considered myself much more of a philosopher than a poet but I have always enjoyed the pure artistic freedom that poetry offers.

 

ABP- Who are some of your favorite writers and artists?

 

HB- I’ll take that question to mean my favorite writers and artists throughout history. Just to rattle off a few: Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, ee cummings, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder (the Beats are definitely some of my favorites). To rattle off some of the current day writers, my favorites are Felino Soriano, Heller Levinson, Alan Britt, Scott Thomas Outlar, Don Beukes, Matt Borzcon, Adam Levon Brown, Mark Young, Daniel Y. Harris, Allison Ross, Mary Newell, Cindy Hotchman… I could go on for a LONG while in this category so I’ll just stop myself there. Apologies to those I should have mentioned.

 

ABP- Heath you are an extremely brilliant writer and artist, and an unbelievable friend of the small press community. The floor is yours. Anything you’d like to share with ABP’s wordpress followers, an announcement, some art, a poem… Anything at all. Thank you for taking this interview.

 

I’d just like to thank Alien Buddha Press for all the support you’ve shown me over the past few years and I guess I’ll shamelessly plug my newest book The Ethnosphere’s Duality (Cyberwit.Net, 2018) by leaving links to its Amazon and FB pages. About Consciousness can also be found on my Amazon Author’s Page below.

Amazon Author’s Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Heath-Brougher/e/B01NBMO1IQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

 

FB page for new book The Ethnosphere’s Duality: https://www.facebook.com/The-Ethnospheres-Duality-649083272134485/