cc&d magazine (1993-2018)

The End of the World
cc&d magazine
v279, January 2018
Internet ISSN 1555-1555, print ISSN 1068-5154


cc&d magazine




Table of Contents

AUTHOR TITLE
 

poetry

 

(the passionate stuff)

Linda M. Crate i just feel worse
otherworldly
Brian & Lauren Hosey White Sands photography
Linda M. Crate the reflection in the mirror
yes, i’m a woman
CEE Life Interstitial: it has to be! Seriously?)
Life Interstitial: THINK, or “Do I feel lucky
to our mammal brothers and sisters
      and all the ships at sea
Michael Ceraolo Cleveland Haiku #105
David Russell Flies art
Michael Ceraolo Cleveland Haiku #459
Aaron Wilder 26 & 27 le Monde images
Michael Ceraolo Cleveland Haiku #460
Aaron Wilder 53 & 54 le Monde images
Alexandria Simmons Were I an only child
Michael Gullickson Home Life
George K. Karos Cosmic Times
NASA Io, three images
George K. Karos A Man and a Horse
David J. Thompson Cornfield Horses photography
Adrian Slonaker Who Takes the Train These Days?
Transience
I.B. Rad Loitering
Dr. Shmooz, a.k.a. Daniel S. Weinberg Oy Vey! Too much poetry... art
I.B. Rad Reason’s Hocus Pocus
Thom Woodruff What People Earn (part)
Rose E. Grier Celebration photography
Thom Woodruff Shales of Storytellers
John Grey Despite Myself
Flighty
Ronald Charles Epstein The American Francophile
 

performance art

 

(the 6/3/17 “Meant to do Big Things
show at the Bahá’í Faith Center, Austin)

Janet Kuypers you were meant
Athena
a Man Calls a Woman (2017 edit)
Diane Talking About her Trip
    to Mexico City

cover
Echo in my Mind
My brain was (2017 Streamline)
 

prose

 

(the meat & potatoes stuff)

Kilmo RedMan
Janet Kuypers contol haiku
Drew Marshall In Loco Parentis
Wes Heine DSCN2009 photography
Liam Spencer You the Pimp, Man! You the Pimp!
Edward Michael O’Durr Supranowicz Wild Night art
D. D. Renforth Donovan verses Donald
David Michael Jackson Sing the Blues Giclee Print
Emily Jade Walker Mr Richards
Raymond E. Strawn III Scars of Revenge
Patrick Fealey from Bird Island,
Chapter 9: the Crabs
Chapter 10: The New Yorker
 

lunchtime poll topic

 

(commentaries on relevant topics)

CEE The High School I Never Attended
in Your Nation Which Doesn’t Exist
Üzeyir Lokman Çayci Üzeyir Çayci DSCN2781 (1) art
Eric Bonholtzer Image 0002 photography
 

philosophy monthyl

 

(justify your existence)

Matthew McAyeal The End of the World


Note that in the print edition of cc&d magazine, all artwork within the pages of the book appear in black and white.


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cc&d
Poetry (the passionate stuff)





i just feel worse

Linda M. Crate

you were so in love with your pain
that you couldn’t find time
to appreciate anyone else
even when they gave up and sacrificed so much
for you,
and you saw the need
to shatter the girl i once was into a thousand
pieces;
when i was put back together the stained glass was
a little different than before
stronger and more beautiful in its scars and imperfections—
i gave you all of me
so you could give me nothing but distance and chains
of memories haunting like ghosts
in the haunted heights of my mind where anxiety likes to compound
with past wounds and pour salt into them,
and i try to look beyond the place
where i stand;
reminding myself that i am better off without you—
sometimes it’s hard because i just feel
worse.
















otherworldly

Linda M. Crate

she was the faerie, and i the mad poet;
she ensnared my heart from the very first moment;
i knew that she could be dangerous and cruel as she was beautiful and kind—
yet we formed a kinship she and i despite all the odds;
and she made me remember the dreaming when i thought it was gone from me;
she taught me that scars were beautiful that all these wounds in me proved i lived fearlessly—
now she is but another of these wounds, but i realize that she was right;
we were only ever friends but i fell in love with the faerie of the roses without realizing it until i had
seems fitting to me that the only woman i should have ever loved was from another world.


















White Sands, photography from Brian and Lauren Hoey

White Sands, photography from Brian and Lauren Hosey














the reflection in the mirror

Linda M. Crate

    i know you want to burn me with fire, but i am immune to death; as i always have been one of the day walkers who can taste the sun without cringing so your threats of sun mean nothing to me for i have tasted many sunsets and sunrises and each of them is more beautiful and more full of depth and insight than any of the narrow thoughts housed in you— i dreamed of you, in the gates of hell, but you would call me a demon; i only kill out of necessity you do so out of want and so you’ll see the true monster is the reflection in your mirror.



Ellen mirror image copyright 1988-2017 Janet Kuypers














yes, i’m a woman

Linda M. Crate

“you call yourself a woman?”
well, yes, i do;
i find that i was born cis
thank you—
i’m sorry the fact that i didn’t have
time to wax before work
offends you that much
because facial hair is not something
i’m proud of,
but not all of us only have peach fuzz;
so i apologize for working so much
i failed to act like a “woman”
and i don’t accept your apology because
you realized just now that you were
rude—
facial hair doesn’t make or break a person,
and if all you can see about another
is what you perceive as flaws;
then i must ask what are your insecurities
because i am comfortable in my own skin?
i call myself a woman because i go
through menstrual cycles, i’ve had a miscarriage,
i have breasts, and i havea kick-ass and vivid
mind full of imagination and spunk;
i am a rebel, kid, and i believe in me even
when others can’t.
















Life Interstitial: it has to be! (Seriously?)

CEE

In Once is Not Enough
The first dude to grope the
Female protagonist
Is a Latin who, in the midst of
What Now would be a headline,
Utilizes the kind of line
Which only works in vampire LARPing:
“Can’t you see it has to be?”
The protagonist, does        Not
And resists all his
Now very legally pursuable charms, until
If I remember correctly,
They’re involved in a traffic accident;
I first read this scene
At a hormone-pumping 13
As many of you know, XX or XY,
‘It’, indeed, never ‘has to’
Which makes It to some of us
About as useless as trying to watch
Hardcore
On a converter-scrambled channel
Which I did at 21,
The actual movie, years later
Looked way different
Way less compelling than
The impossibly inaccessible version
















Life Interstitial: THINK,
or “Do I feel lucky?”

CEE

After his stroke
Pop was never the same
Only in that, if you paid attention
His wiring had shortcircuited
To where he still Wanted to go ape
In face of the least opposition,
He just deadgrounded out
Before it actualized,
And you had to look real damned deep
Into his bright blue eyes
To see Fred Durst singing a song;
The first word he wrote
After regaining as much cognizance
As he ever regained, rest of his life
Was “THINK”
He hung it over the side door exit
It’d be the last thing he’d see
Going out,
He thought, all right
He spent his last 6 years
Trying to find a way
To get the circuit board going, again
To realize Fred Durst
Whom I’d see, if I held the blue gaze
Looking back, studying, from his cell
Whenever I knew I’d pissed him off
















to our mammal brothers and sisters
and all the ships at sea

CEE

Fuck You
I’m no part of You
And will take a bullet
Rather than say what’s white is green

9/11, was a terrible, terrible thing
And it would have been better
If it hadn’t happened
But, anyone who pushes every chip
When the wheel holds only
House numbers
Because of their Own
Personal     Insensate     Belief
Hey! Salud!

Now, Me, I’m passive aggressive,
I’m willing to let you sing the
Wal*Mart Horse Ass cheer
Call human, “community”
Call it “love”
But, before you even Think
About asking Me to sing it,
Take your best shot
Unload
















Cleveland Haiku #105

Michael Ceraolo

Colonies
of carnivorous insects
feast on unaware humans


















Flies, art by David Russell

Flies, art by David Russell














Cleveland Haiku #459

Michael Ceraolo

Roadside services---
new sewer pipes
awaiting burial


















le Monde image 26 by Aaron Wilder le Monde image 27 by Aaron Wilder

le Monde images 26 and 27 by Aaron Wilder














Cleveland Haiku #460

Michael Ceraolo

Public art---
a tree remnant carved into shapes
of baseball equipment


















le Monde image 53 by Aaron Wilder le Monde image 54 by Aaron Wilder

le Monde images 53 and 54 by Aaron Wilder














Were I an only child

Alexandria Simmons

Would my parents care more?
My sister and I take turns:
Love-bombs or trouble, Treasure and trash.
“Devil spawn”, “sweetheart”;
“My dear” “Bitch”.
But if there were only one, would it be different?
I feel sorry for my sister.
I couldn’t take her with me,
and she’ll never forgive my leaving.
She’s a sophomore in high school.
Struggling for friendship, searching for love.
I used to be that lost. Sometimes I still stumble about.
But I got out, away, here, wherever “here” is.
And someday, soon I hope, she will too.

But Mother and Father, they need us:
Outlets for their vanity, pride, and anger.
Mother and Father, they carry only so much heart,
And the burden of them both,
Beating lumps, dark and cracked as charred coal,
is shared between us two.

Mine is frayed, resembling the end of a worn shoelace.
While my sister’s softly drums, hidden and well guarded.
In the human heart evil is endless, unhidden,
And the pinpoint of light,
pricked in the dark,
Limited.
I love my sister. But my need for her is a betrayal.
For if I had the full blunt, enduring alone, I would have
Red leaking from my arm, not black sharpie
Sinking in.
















Home Life

Michael Gullickson

When I saw the butcher knife
coming at me
it was because of an argument
over dishes
my brother said it was my turn,
I disagreed .
I can still feel the breeze
as it whirred past me.
I can still hear the sound
as it struck the wall
and quivered, the same way
I quiver now.

When I saw the baseball bat
coming down on me
a “swing away” kind of swing
a sign that if it landed
I could be dead or worse.
I was quick enough to move,
strong enough to take it from him.

My brother loved me, I guess,
but always out of the edge of my eye
I watched him when he was near.
Though he’s dead now over 30 years.
I still see his shadow.
I still feel the malevolent breeze
coming to claim me.
















Cosmic Times

George K. Karos

Humans seem like planets circling around my skull
Inspiring hope of respite and allowing for calm to take root in me
As I comprehend I’m a subjective being experiencing an objective reality.





About George K. Karos

    George K. Karos was raised in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where he attended public schools until the completion of seventh grade. He then attended and graduated from Saint James School located in Washington County, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University in 1991, and his Master of Arts from American University in 1999. For over two decades, he has studied, performed, and worked with numerous arts projects, musical collaborations, and arts-related organizations facilitating various art-mediums and expression as an artist, a magazine columnist and poetry editor, lead singer for rock bands, performance artist, and folk singer. He has 3 book published from Red Dragon Press (Alexandria, Virginia) and been published in over 20 national or international literary publications. As a solo artist/acoustic guitarist and band-member or songwriter, he has toured and performed in musical venues throughout America with an emphasis on the regions of his Mid-Atlantic roots. He has also performed solo works in improvisational settings in art spaces with nationally known artists and music groups. He currently lives in Central Florida where he worked for non-profit organizations and continues to write, record, and perform his acoustic music infused with poetry.


















Three images of Io from NASA

Three images of Io from NASA














A Man and a Horse

George K. Karos

A man beat the face of his horse with a ragged tree branch.
The man’s whipping strokes were fierce and abrupt.
As if he were chipping ice from a car’s windshield.
He remained immune to the pain and atrocity he witnessed.





About George K. Karos

    George K. Karos was raised in Martinsburg, West Virginia, where he attended public schools until the completion of seventh grade. He then attended and graduated from Saint James School located in Washington County, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University in 1991, and his Master of Arts from American University in 1999. For over two decades, he has studied, performed, and worked with numerous arts projects, musical collaborations, and arts-related organizations facilitating various art-mediums and expression as an artist, a magazine columnist and poetry editor, lead singer for rock bands, performance artist, and folk singer. He has 3 book published from Red Dragon Press (Alexandria, Virginia) and been published in over 20 national or international literary publications. As a solo artist/acoustic guitarist and band-member or songwriter, he has toured and performed in musical venues throughout America with an emphasis on the regions of his Mid-Atlantic roots. He has also performed solo works in improvisational settings in art spaces with nationally known artists and music groups. He currently lives in Central Florida where he worked for non-profit organizations and continues to write, record, and perform his acoustic music infused with poetry.


















Cornfield Horses photography by David J. Thompson

Cornfield Horses photography by David J. Thompson














Who Takes the Train These Days?

Adrian Slonaker

Never before has such persistent rocking
awakened such a welcome sense of relief
instead of nausea
as the evening train treks away
from the troubles and tangles of the city.
Once a beacon of enticing energy and freshness,
the municipal maze now suffocates and stultifies,
a cold, costly collection of sounds and structures,
myrmidons of profit and prosaically packaged pleasures.

Sacked down in my sleeper,
I’m free to release breath I’ve been holding in for too long
as my thoughts beat me to my destination,
full of rough roads littered with silent history,
of inconspicuous havens
uncannily able to attract respite-seekers.
I celebrate solitude,
cherishing the charm of a future
brimming with unbridled hope
and Farm Reports.





Adrian Slonaker Bio

    Adrian Slonaker lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, working as a copywriter and copy editor, with interests that include vegetarian cooking, Slavic languages, Victorian horror fiction, and 1960s pop music.
















Transience

Adrian Slonaker

The hesitating, awkward pause wedged insecurely between a well-trodden past and a startlingly blank future,
a corridor of sterile bland anybodiness-or nobodiness-bridging two cocoons of warm, toasty belonging,
punctuated by hotel rooms, bus stations, train depots, airports and service professionals with pasted, salaried smiles-
of check-in, check-out, departure and arrival times.
of security and shuttles and vending machines and chemical-scented public toilets and your whole life bundled in neatly-or sloppily-arranged bags.
A state of strange psychological homelessness in which your predominant identity is that of passenger,
of guest,
of stranger,
of fleeting shadow in the faceless parade of booked and ticketed human flux.





Adrian Slonaker Bio

    Adrian Slonaker lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, working as a copywriter and copy editor, with interests that include vegetarian cooking, Slavic languages, Victorian horror fiction, and 1960s pop music.
















Loitering

I.B. Rad

Yesterday,
they hugged
pledging, “See you soon,”
accompanied
by bouncy waves
and gay good-byes
until, next day, each bemoaned
the other’s ‘fading fast;’
then, dispirited
by her own decline, both
uncomfortably wondered
who’ll stick around
for another visit?


















Oy Vey! Too much poetry..., art by Dr. Shmooz, a.k.a. Daniel S. Weinberg

Oy Vey! Too much poetry..., art by Dr. Shmooz, a.k.a. Daniel S. Weinberg














Reason’s Hocus Pocus

I.B. Rad

How impossibly irrational we are,
disregarding, even violently suppressing
anyone disputing our convictions
yet so easily cowed
by what’s “politically correct,”
swallowing “hook, line, and sinker”
shiny new issues
pitched by partisan pundits,
particularly if they affirm our beliefs,
dogmatically adhering to religion
and other isms
such as liberalism, conservatism,
populism, libertarianism,
inflating the hazard
of infrequent disasters
like plane crashes and terrorist attacks,
imputing meaning or order
to objects or events
where none exists,
such as discerning the face of Christ
in the blemishes of a potato;
in the end, exemplifying,
as a friend once put it,
“In the land of the blind
even the one eyed man
is simply confused.”
















What People Earn
(part)

Thom Woodruff

Dwayne Johnson earns $64 million a year
Melissa McCarthy earns $33 million a year
Amy Schumer earns $17 million a year
Lin-Manuel Miranda earns $6.4 million a year
We, as poets, earn your attention and response
whenever we engage you successfully with ideas,
tactics and strategies that illuminate and enlarge your visions.


















Celebration, photography by Rose E. Grier

Celebration, photography by Rose E. Grier














Shales of Storyellers

Thom Woodruff

He is writing a history of gays in Texas
She is writing about Jews in Texas
Willy Nelson sings about dope and Texas
Kinky Friedman writes detective stories based in Austin
Jesse Sublett writes about Austin music venues
But Austin is too many stories - historic vs contemporary
And those stories change faster than governments
You could write about politics or economic dynasties
About oil, gas, cattle, Empires and the men/women who ruled
you could focus on scandals and crimes or the writers themselves
from O’Henry through those three Philosophers stones at Barton Springs
You could pick musical luminaries like Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray to cast light on a specific time
But all those times are gone - just as Austin is going/demolished to make way
For High Rise Generica. Soon we will all be history - and who reads that?
















Despite Myself

John Grey

So you’re lovers are you?
I’m eleven years old
and incapable of seeing little girls
as anything but other.

And you’re kissing.
looking deeply into each other’s eyes
while I kiss parents reluctantly.
and have no time
for staring at a person staring.

I can’t escape you that’s my problem.
You’re at the mall.
You’re in the park.
You won’t let go of hands.
I keep mine grubby just in ease.

My older brother finds you fascinating.
To him, you’re like a biology class.
He says it’s all in the technique.

When I unwillingly witness your antics.
I have this urge to run in any direction.
I’d cross streets in heavy traffic.
Or dash off into thick and lonely woods.
But I freeze for some reason.
I watch despite myself.

My older brother keeps bullying me with.
“Your time will come.”
That’s the future -
year upon year despite myself.





John Grey bio (20170620)

    John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Midwest Quarterly.
















Flighty

John Grey

Plane takes off.
my nerves lighten,
stomach bears down,
anything to keep
this lump of metal elevated.

First sign of clouds though,
I’ve faith in the pilot,
the mechanics on the ground,
the engine, aerodynamics.
the thought that if
birds with brains the size of peas can do it,
then why not man.

Fifteen minutes into the flight.
the drink trolley glides softly
down the aisle
and I order a scotch.
sit back,
say to myself,
“Bring on the sky.”

By the time
we’re about to land,
I’m four little liquor bottles
to the good,
comfortable in my body
(especially the head),
and silently begging the
guy at the wheel
to keep us air-borne just
a little longer.

This is what is known as flying.
It’s a bar.
It serves up distance
for the price of my fear.





John Grey bio (20170620)

    John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Midwest Quarterly.
















The American Francophile

Ronald Charles Epstein

The American francophile
checks into his hotel room
west of central Montreal.

Turning on the TV set,
he discovers TVA,
its prime-time news in French.

Colette Provencher presents
the weather for Quebec,
arousing deja vu.

An unfamiliarly familiar face
from the classic French cinema,
in all its retro charm.

In bed with Jean-Paul Belmondo
or Lino Ventura-
he should be so lucky.


















cc&d
Performance Art







you were meant

Janet Kuypers
twitter-length poem, 5/18/17
twitter

as a woman
you were meant
to do big things

which you are



video not yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Lumix), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with with a bow).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Sony), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with a bow).
Download all of the poems from the free chapbook
Meant to do Big Things
the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook of the poems she performed in her 6/3/17 “Meant to do Big Things” poetry feature/show, including “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City, “Echo in my Mind”, and the bonus poem “My brain was (2017 Streamline)”.


Click here to read the Janet Kuypers bio.
















Athena

Janet Kuypers
1997

ladies and gentlemen
high above the dancing elephants
and the clowns driving around
in their little cars
honking their horns

high above the lion tamers
with their whips and chairs

is our main attraction
tonight:
all eyes turn to
Athena, the tightrope walker

see her gracefully step
out onto the paper-thin wire
balance high above everyone else
while all eyes are on her
all without a net

would you like to see her
do a flip? a spin? touch the rope
with her tiny, fragile fingers?

Athena will put on the
grandest of shows for you

imagine, if you will, the fear
she must feel:
with one wrong move
she falls to her death
into the mouths of the lions
in between the running clowns

come, see her perform:
watch her walk
watch her move
watch her shake

this is
the greatest show
on earth



Contact•Conflict•Control Listen to studio mp3 file or live mp3 file tracks from the DMJ Art Connection off the CD Contact•Conflict•Control, or order ANY CD track from amazon.com.
Live at the Café (3 CD set) Listen mp3 file to this read Live at the Café, or order this track - or any track - off the 3 CD set Live at the Café any time through iTunes.
Sing Your Life Listen live mp3 file to the 2nd Axing perform this at the open mic Sing Your Life, or order any track from the CD release of Sing Your Life through iTunes.
Fusion Listen: (2:20) mp3 file to this recording from Fusion, or order this track - or any track - off the CD Fusion through iTunes.
video
video not yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poem Athena (2:22) 4/1/05 (April Fool’s Day) Live at the DvA Chicago Art Gallery show Conflict • Contact • Control.
video videonot yet rated
Watch the YouTube video
of this poem 08/28/11, first in in her book Contents Under Pressure, read on WZRD radio, from the Canon camera
video videonot yet rated
Watch the YouTube video
of this poem 08/28/11, first in in her book Contents Under Pressure, read on WZRD radio, from the Sony camera
video videonot yet rated
See feature-length YouTube
video 08/26/11 of the majority of the WZRD radio show with her reading poetry (including this writing) from the Sony camera
video videonot yet rated
See feature-length YouTube
video 08/26/11 of the majority of the WZRD radio show with her reading poetry (incliding this writing) from the Canon camera
video not yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Lumix), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with with a bow).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Sony), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with a bow).
Download all of the poems from the free chapbook
Meant to do Big Things
the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook of the poems she performed in her 6/3/17 “Meant to do Big Things” poetry feature/show, including “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City, “Echo in my Mind”, and the bonus poem “My brain was (2017 Streamline)”.


Click here to read the Janet Kuypers bio.














Janet during show

a man calls a woman

Janet Kuypers
1997

every time a man calls a woman a “witch”
he reminds her of the slaughter of millions
whose independence and medical
knowledge threatened male dominance
                                              Bob Lamm, 1976

every time a man calls a woman a “babe”
he tells her he thinks of her as a child
every time a man calls a woman a “fox”
he tells her she is to be treated like an animal
every time a man calls a woman a “honey”
he tells her she is meant to be consumed
every time a man calls a woman a “doll”
he tells her she is something to be played with
every time a man calls a woman a “bag”
he tells her she is something to be used
every time a man calls a woman a “girl”
he tells her she can’t think like an adult
every time a man calls a woman a “lay”
he tells her she is no good on her feet
every time a man calls a woman anything
less than woman he tells her who’s the boss
so yes, we all know who the boss is, boys
you’ve done such a good job of telling us



video
video not yet rated

Watch this YouTube video

live at Beach Poets 07/13/08

video
video 07/13/08, Beach Poets
Watch the entire performance video, which contains this poem
(25:19), from the Internet Archive
video videonot yet rated

Watch this YouTube video

11/06/10 from the TV camera in Lake Villa’s Swing State, live in her “Visual Nonsense” show Sexism and other stories
video videonot yet rated
Watch this YouTube video
1:52, 11/06/10 in Lake Villa at Swing State, in Sexism and other stories
video videonot yet rated
See the full show of Kuypers reading from the TV monitor in the Sexism and other stories” show, live in Lake Villa’s “Visual Nonsense” 10/20/011/06/10 with this poem at Swing State
video
videonot yet rated

See the full show of Kuypers reading in the Sexism and other stories” show, live in Lake Villa 11/06/10 with this writing at Swing State
video videonot yet rated
Watch this YouTube video
read live 10/11/11 at the Café in her mini-feature of Contents Under Pressure book poems
video videonot yet rated
Watch this YouTube video
of the her mini-feature INCLUDING THIS POEM (with background base by John) live 10/11/11 at the Café
video videonot yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poem a Man Calls a Woman live 6/12/13 as the intro to the open mic the Café Gallery in Chicago (Canon)
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poem a Man Calls a Woman live 6/12/13 as the intro to the open mic the Café Gallery in Chicago (Sony)
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See YouTube video
of Kuypers hosting the open mic 6/12/13 at Gallery Cabaret’s the Café Gallery in Chicago, including her reading this and other poems & prose!
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Lumix), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with with a bow).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Sony), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with a bow).
Download all of the poems from the free chapbook
Meant to do Big Things
the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook of the poems she performed in her 6/3/17 “Meant to do Big Things” poetry feature/show, including “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City, “Echo in my Mind”, and the bonus poem “My brain was (2017 Streamline)”.


Click here to read the Janet Kuypers bio.
















Diane Talking About her Trip
          to Mexico City

Janet Kuypers
1997

So I decided to take a trip to Mexico City.
I decided that this was going to be the
trip I take by myself, this is going to be the
trip where I reclaim my independence.
This is going to be the trip where I venture
out, take on the world, all without help
from a travel companion, from a man.

So I went there, and really, it wasn’t as
frightening as I thought it would be.
I needed to learn more of the language,
but otherwise I got along just fine. Oh,
I got lost once, and men in cars kept
offering to give me rides, “hey, baby, you
want your own private taxi?” and I’d have
to move away from them, but one guy
told me which bus I wanted, so I was fine.

But the man that ran the hotel thought it
wasn’t safe for me, and he asked me
if my parents loved me, if my family
loved me, if anyone loved me, anyone
at all, because if anyone did, why would
they let me go on this trip alone?

And then as I was touring I went to an old
church where the was a saint, and they’re
considered a saint because their body
doesn’t decompose. It’s not like religion
in America, because they had to put this
saint’s body in a glass case because all
the people who came to see him would
pick off part of his face as a souvenir.

And then as I was touring I went to a
nunnery, a place where supposedly all the
bad young girls were sent to to live out
the remainder of their days. And
they showed me around in the tour,
and they said, “Here are the crosses that
the young women had to carry when
they walked around in circles in the
courtyard. And these, over here, these
are the crowns of thorns the women
wore.” And I looked at the crosses, the
crowns, and there was still blood on them.

This is how things were, I guess. And they
looked at me as strange because I was
taking a trip alone. No one in Mexico City
understood why I’d want to do this there.
No one understood why I’d want to be alone.



Listen mp3 file to the CD recording of this piece
from the CD (used for the show) Changing Gears
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Watch the YouTube video

(:40) Live at Changing Gears 06/17/03
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See the entire performance
of the live show Changing Gears 06/17/03, hosted by the Internet Archive
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See YouTube video
of Janet Kuypers reading (C) her poem Diane Talking About Her Trip To Mexico City live 5/21/14 at Chicago’s open mic the Café Gallery
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See YouTube video
of Janet Kuypers reading (S) her poem Diane Talking About Her Trip To Mexico City live 5/21/14 at Chicago’s open mic the Café Gallery
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Lumix), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with with a bow).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Sony), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with a bow).
Download all of the poems from the free chapbook
Meant to do Big Things
the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook of the poems she performed in her 6/3/17 “Meant to do Big Things” poetry feature/show, including “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City, “Echo in my Mind”, and the bonus poem “My brain was (2017 Streamline)”.


Click here to read the Janet Kuypers bio.
















cover

Janet Kuypers
1/19/15 (from the India haiku series), on twitter
video

cover shoulders, legs
women are second class, so
cover your spirit



twitter 4 jk twitter 4 jk Visit the Kuypers Twitter page for short poems— join http://twitter.com/janetkuypers.
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See YouTube video of the Janet Kuypers reading her haiku cover in her 3/14/15 show “India Stories” at the Art Colony in Chicago (Canon fs200) w/ HA!Man of South Africa music
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See YouTube video of the Janet Kuypers reading her haiku cover in her 3/14/15 show “India Stories” at the Art Colony in Chicago (Canon Power Shot) w/ HA!Man of South Africa music
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See YouTube video of the Janet Kuypers 3/14/15 show “India Stories” at the Art Colony in Chicago (Canon Power Shot), of 14 poems (INCLUDING THIS HAIKU POEM) with background music
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See YouTube video
of Janet Kuypers reading her haiku cover from her book Bon Voyage! live 7/25/15 on Chicago’s WZRD 88.3 FM radio (Cfs)
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See YouTube video
of Janet Kuypers reading her haiku cover from her book Bon Voyage! live 7/25/15 on Chicago’s WZRD 88.3 FM radio (Cfs200, FlCrSat)
Janet Vine video videonot yet rated
See Vine video of Janet Kuypers reading her haiku cover read from Scars PublicationsDown in the Dirt issue ISBN book the Intersection (Samsung)
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Lumix), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with with a bow).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Sony), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with a bow).
Download all of the poems from the free chapbook
Meant to do Big Things
the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook of the poems she performed in her 6/3/17 “Meant to do Big Things” poetry feature/show, including “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City, “Echo in my Mind”, and the bonus poem “My brain was (2017 Streamline)”.


Click here to read the Janet Kuypers bio.














Echo in my Mind

Janet Kuypers
4/20/17

The thoughts of these women,
the visions of these women,
the legacies of these women,
they echo in my mind.

I think of the woman
who in her youth
led armies to battle
and saved her country.
And for this she was
burned at the stake
because she was a woman,
and she had beliefs.

I think of the woman
who wore a black dress
at the bride
to her wedding —
and no, it’s not
because she’s goth like me,
but because she had
work to do,
and she didn’t want
to get her white
wedding dress dirty.
And yeah, she had
work to do —
she was discovering things
scientists take for granted now,
She was discovering things
no man had yet
to wrap his head around.



I think of the woman
who lived in a time
where she wasn’t allowed
a higher education,
so she studied for free,
and she worked for free,
made amazing scientific discoveries
until she escaped Germany
days before Adolf Hitler
would have put her
in a concentration camp.

She carried a friend’s
diamond ring
while trying to escape,
in case she needed to
bribe someone
to allow her to pass.

And her drive, her work,
gave the world Nobel-prize
winning collaborations —
despite the efforts
of the Third Reich,
and despite a patriarchy,
all her life,
that thought,

she’s just a woman.
She doesn’t need to learn.

I think of the woman
who was in the first wave
of women allowed to have
higher education,
but still, she left
her communist home,
searching for freedom.
She started a life
on the other side of the earth,
because after what she learned,
she knew that
understanding philosophy
could really set her free.

I think of the woman
born not far from my home.
She studied music,
but wanted to share her story
of life as a woman
with the rest of the world.

And through her journeys
she stayed with a tribe
when prisoners,
armed with lawn mower blades,
broke out of their jail cell
while all she do was wonder,
wait, and listen
out into the jungle.

During her travels
she took mail planes
until she was dropped off
as far as she could
before completing
her solitary journey
to the North Pole.

As an Artist in Residence
for NASA,
she learned how men,
during the cold war,
thought of
setting off nuclear bombs
on the dark side of the moon.

Moon image copyright 2006-2017 Janet Kuypers

Of course,
only a man
would think of doing that.

Once she was in a protest
about the economic
exploitation of women
and the treatment
of women as animals,
giving flyers of images
of chicks, bunnies,
foxes and pussy cats.
Sequoia in a bowl copyright 1995-2017 Janet Kuypers
And she’s even said that
“for every dollar
a man makes,
a woman makes 63¢.
Now, 50 years ago
that was 62¢ —
so, with that kind of luck
it will be the year
3,888 before we make
a buck.”

New Yotk Deby image copyright 2011-2017 Janet Kuypers

And I think about
what these women say,
and I think about
what these women mean,
and like they say,
“I could just go on
and on and on...
But tonight —
I’ve got a headache.”



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See YouTube video from 5/27/17 of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “ex boyfriends became goldfish”, “I Want” and “Echo in my Mind” in the “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Lumix camera).
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See YouTube video from 5/27/17 of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “ex boyfriends became goldfish”, “I Want” and “Echo in my Mind” in the “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Sony camera).
video not yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Lumix), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with with a bow).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers in her 6/3/17 poetry show “Meant to do Big Things” at June is a Woman! in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (Sony), with her poems “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City”, and “Echo in my Mind” (while playing an acoustic guitar with a bow).
Download all of the poems from the free chapbook
Meant to do Big Things
the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook the “Meant to do Big Things” 6/3/17 chapbook of the poems she performed in her 6/3/17 “Meant to do Big Things” poetry feature/show, including “you were meant”, “Athena”, “a man calls a woman”, “cover”, “Diane Talking About her Trip to Mexico City, “Echo in my Mind”, and the bonus poem “My brain was (2017 Streamline)”.
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See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers’ (S) August 2017 Book Release Reading 8/2/17 of some of her 2017 book release “(pheromemes) 2015-2017 show poems”, including her poems “Just one Book”, “Echo in my Mind” and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” in Community Poetry @ Half Price Books.
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers’ (L) August 2017 Book Release Reading 8/2/17 of some of her 2017 book release “(pheromemes) 2015-2017 show poems”, including her poems “Just one Book”, “Echo in my Mind” and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” in Community Poetry @ Half Price Books.


Click here to read the Janet Kuypers bio.














Janet during show

My Brain Was
(2017 Streamline)

Janet Kuypers
started 5/20/14, written daily through 5/24/14, streamlined 5/24/17

My brain was fighting to get out.

My brain was stupefied
after my name was called
for winning the award.
The only thing
my brain could think
was that the man on stage
from the American Legion
with my medal looked like
he was the nicest man on earth.

My brain was crouching down
on top of that glacier
when the wind became
just that violent.

My brain was commanding
my fingers and toes,
my rosy cheeks
and the tip of my nose,
no, you’re not cold,
just lean back and watch
the dancing and arcing
of the Aurora Borealis,
because one thirty a.m. is
the best time to see them
on these late September days
just south of the arctic circle.
So... Deal with the cold.
You’ll be glad you did.

My brain was determined
to get to the top of that mountain -
I know I’m not a climber,
I know I prefer hot tubs
but those ski lifts are closed
and these are the Alps
and really, how many times
will you get the chance
to climb the Alps?
My brain knows
you’re only wearing
sandals and socks
and there’s snow and water
everywhere, but this is
your only chance...

My brain felt like a heel
being carried past the last
water pit coming back down
from that mountain.
But looking back,
my brain was pleased.
It had to try.

My brain was trying to remember
how to breathe,
turning my head,
hoping I could
catch my breath
as the atmosphere
was pushing me
at one hundred twenty
miles per hour
before someone
pulled my parachute cord.

My brain was on high alert,
but more than that,
my brain was excited
to keep swimming further down
to get closer to the row
of over two dozen
white-tipped sharks
off the Galapagos islands.

My brain was
keeping me awake again
last night,
thinking about
what went down during the day
or
what I gotta do tomorrow.
My brain’s always
thinking of new places,
contemplating new challenges,
opting for new options.
I lie awake and I think
that’s my brain for you,
always looking
for something new.



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See YouTube video from 5/27/17 of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “My Brain Was (2017 Streamline)”, “Statue” and “Moonlight” in the “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (filmed with a Lumix camera).
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See YouTube video from 5/27/17 of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “My Brain Was (2017 Streamline)”, “Statue” and “Moonlight” in the “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (filmed with a Sony camera).
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See YouTube video from 6/3/17 of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “My Brain Was (2017 Streamline)” after her poetry feature “Meant to do Big Things” in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (this video was filmed with a Lumix camera).
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See YouTube video from 6/3/17 of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “My Brain Was (2017 Streamline)” after her poetry feature “Meant to do Big Things” in Austin’s the Bahá’í Faith Center (this video was filmed with a Sony camera).




Janet Kuypers Bio

    Janet Kuypers has a Communications degree in News/Editorial Journalism (starting in computer science engineering studies) from the UIUC. She had the equivalent of a minor in photography and specialized in creative writing. A portrait photographer for years in the early 1990s, she was also an acquaintance rape workshop facilitator, and she started her publishing career as an editor of two literary magazines. Later she was an art director, webmaster and photographer for a few magazines for a publishing company in Chicago, and this Journalism major was even the final featured poetry performer of 15 poets with a 10 minute feature at the 2006 Society of Professional Journalism Expo’s Chicago Poetry Showcase. This certified minister was even the officiant of a wedding in 2006.
    She sang with acoustic bands “Mom’s Favorite Vase”, “Weeds and Flowers” and “the Second Axing”, and does music sampling. Kuypers is published in books, magazines and on the internet around 9,300 times for writing, and over 17,800 times for art work in her professional career, and has been profiled in such magazines as Nation and Discover U, won the award for a Poetry Ambassador and was nominated as Poet of the Year for 2006 by the International Society of Poets. She has also been highlighted on radio stations, including WEFT (90.1FM), WLUW (88.7FM), WSUM (91.7FM), WZRD (88.3FM), WLS (8900AM), the internet radio stations ArtistFirst dot com, chicagopoetry.com’s Poetry World Radio and Scars Internet Radio (SIR), and was even shortly on Q101 FM radio. She has also appeared on television for poetry in Nashville (in 1997), Chicago (in 1997), and northern Illinois (in a few appearances on the show for the Lake County Poets Society in 2006). Kuypers was also interviewed on her art work on Urbana’s WCIA channel 3 10 o’clock news.
    She turned her writing into performance art on her own and with musical groups like Pointless Orchestra, 5D/5D, The DMJ Art Connection, Order From Chaos, Peter Bartels, Jake and Haystack, the Bastard Trio, and the JoAnne Pow!ers Trio, and starting in 2005 Kuypers ran a monthly iPodCast of her work, as well mixed JK Radio — an Internet radio station — into Scars Internet Radio (both radio stations on the Internet air 2005-2009). She even managed the Chaotic Radio show (an hour long Internet radio show 1.5 years, 2006-2007) through BZoO.org. She has performed spoken word and music across the country - in the spring of 1998 she embarked on her first national poetry tour, with featured performances, among other venues, at the Albuquerque Spoken Word Festival during the National Poetry Slam; her bands have had concerts in Chicago and in Alaska; in 2003 she hosted and performed at a weekly poetry and music open mike (called Sing Your Life), and from 2002 through 2005 was a featured performance artist, doing quarterly performance art shows with readings, music and images. Starting at this time Kuypers released a large number of CD releases currently available for sale at iTunes or amazon, including “Across the Pond”(a 3 CD set of poems by Oz Hardwick and Janet Kuypers with assorted vocals read to acoustic guitar of both Blues music and stylized Contemporary English Folk music), “Made Any Difference” (CD single of poem reading with multiple musicians), “Letting It All Out”, “What we Need in Life” (CD single by Janet Kuypers in Mom’s Favorite Vase of “What we Need in Life”, plus in guitarist Warren Peterson’s honor live recordings literally around the globe with guitarist John Yotko), “hmmm” (4 CD set), “Dobro Veče” (4 CD set), “the Stories of Women”, “Sexism and Other Stories”, “40”, “Live” (14 CD set), “an American Portrait” (Janet Kuypers/Kiki poetry to music from Jake & Haystack in Nashville), “Screeching to a Halt” (2008 CD EP of music from 5D/5D with Janet Kuypers poetry), “2 for the Price of 1” (Janet Kuypers poetry to music from Peter Bartels), “the Evolution of Performance Art” (13 CD set), “Burn Through Me” (Janet Kuypers poetry to music from The HA!Man of South Africa), “Seeing a Psychiatrist” (3 CD set), “The Things They Did To You” (Janet Kuypers poetry to music from the DMJ Art Connection), “Hope Chest in the Attic” (audio CD set), “St. Paul’s” (3 CD set), “the 2009 Poetry Game Show” (3 CD set), “Fusion” (Janet Kuypers poetry in multi CD set with Madison, WI jazz music from the Bastard Trio, the JoAnne Pow!ers Trio, and Paul Baker), “Chaos In Motion” (tracks from Internet radio shows on Chaotic Radio), “Chaotic Elements” (audio CD set for the poetry collection book and supplemental chapbooks for The Elements), “etc.” audio CD set, “Manic Depressive or Something” (Janet Kuypers poetry to music from the DMJ Art Connection), “Singular”, “Indian Flux” (Janet Kuypers poetry to music from the DMJ Art Connection), “The Chaotic Collection #01-05”, “The DMJ Art Connection Disc 1” (Janet Kuypers poetry to music from the DMJ Art Connection), “Oh.” audio CD, “Live At the Café” (3 CD set), “String Theory” (Janet Kuypers reading other people's poetry, with music from “the DMJ Art Connection), “Scars Presents WZRD radio” (2 CD set), “SIN - Scars Internet News”, “Questions in a World Without Answers”, “Conflict • Contact • Control”, “How Do I Get There?”, “Sing Your Life”, “Dreams”, “Changing Gears”, “The Other Side”, “Death Comes in Threes”, “the final”, “Moving Performances”, “Seeing Things Differently”, “Live At Cafe Aloha”, “the Demo Tapes” (Mom’s Favorite Vase), “Something Is Sweating” (the Second Axing), “Live In Alaska” EP (the Second Axing), “the Entropy Project”, “Tick Tock” (with 5D/5D), “Six Eleven” “Stop. Look. Listen.”, “Stop. Look. Listen to the Music” (a compilation CD from the three bands “Mom’s Favorite Vase”, “Weeds & Flowers” and “The Second Axing”), and “Change Rearrange” (the performance art poetry CD with sampled music).
    From 2010 through 2015 Kuypers also hosted the Chicago poetry open mic the Café Gallery, while also broadcasting weekly feature and open mic podcasts that were also released as YouTube videos.
    In addition to being published with Bernadette Miller in the short story collection book Domestic Blisters, as well as in a book of poetry turned to prose with Eric Bonholtzer in the book Duality, Kuypers has had many books of her own published: Hope Chest in the Attic, The Window, Close Cover Before Striking, (woman.) (spiral bound), Autumn Reason (novel in letter form), the Average Guy’s Guide (to Feminism), Contents Under Pressure, etc., and eventually The Key To Believing (2002 650 page novel), Changing Gears (travel journals around the United States), The Other Side (European travel book), the three collection books from 2004: Oeuvre (poetry), Exaro Versus (prose) and L’arte (art), The Boss Lady’s Editorials, The Boss Lady’s Editorials (2005 Expanded Edition), Seeing Things Differently, Change/Rearrange, Death Comes in Threes, Moving Performances, Six Eleven, Live at Cafe Aloha, Dreams, Rough Mixes, The Entropy Project, The Other Side (2006 edition), Stop., Sing Your Life, the hardcover art book (with an editorial) in cc&d v165.25, the Kuypers edition of Writings to Honour & Cherish, The Kuypers Edition: Blister and Burn, S&M, cc&d v170.5, cc&d v171.5: Living in Chaos, Tick Tock, cc&d v1273.22: Silent Screams, Taking It All In, It All Comes Down, Rising to the Surface, Galapagos, Chapter 38 (v1 and volume 1), Chapter 38 (v2 and Volume 2), Chapter 38 v3, Finally: Literature for the Snotty and Elite (Volume 1, Volume 2 and part 1 of a 3 part set), A Wake-Up Call From Tradition (part 2 of a 3 part set), (recovery), Dark Matter: the mind of Janet Kuypers , Evolution, Adolph Hitler, O .J. Simpson and U.S. Politics, the one thing the government still has no control over, (tweet), Get Your Buzz On, Janet & Jean Together, po•em, Taking Poetry to the Streets, the Cana-Dixie Chi-town Union, the Written Word, Dual, Prepare Her for This, uncorrect, Living in a Big World (color interior book with art and with “Seeing a Psychiatrist”), Pulled the Trigger (part 3 of a 3 part set), Venture to the Unknown (select writings with extensive color NASA/Huubble Space Telescope images), Janet Kuypers: Enriched, She’s an Open Book, “40”, Sexism and Other Stories, the Stories of Women, Prominent Pen (Kuypers edition), Elemental, the paperback book of the 2012 Datebook (which was also released as a spiral-bound ISBN# ISSN# 2012 little spiral datebook, , Chaotic Elements, and Fusion, the (select) death poetry book Stabity Stabity Stab Stab Stab, the 2012 art book a Picture’s Worth 1,000 words (available with both b&w interior pages and full color interior pages, the shutterfly ISSN# ISBN# hardcover art book life, in color, Post-Apocalyptic, Burn Through Me, Under the Sea (photo book), the Periodic Table of Poetry, a year long Journey, Bon Voyage!, and the mini books Part of my Pain, Let me See you Stripped, Say Nothing, Give me the News, when you Dream tonight, Rape, Sexism, Life & Death (with some Slovak poetry translations), Twitterati, and 100 Haikus, that coincided with the June 2014 release of the two poetry collection books Partial Nudity and Revealed. 2017, after hr October 2015 move to Austin Texas, also witnessed the release of 2 Janet Kuypers book of poetry written in Austin, “(pheromemes) 2015-2017 poems” and a book of poetry written for her poetry features and show, “(pheromemes) 2015-2017 show poems” (and both pheromemes books are available from two printers).


















cc&d
Prose (the meat and potatoes stuff)





RedMan

Kilmo

    The Edge of Glory smelt stale like dropped sweets and bubble gum, and when the back door opened the street blew in like a knife. It was only a short walk from down town’s neon hoardings and the trouble they hid. It was also Redman’s favourite place to go and escape. He even liked the taste of the franchise beer; only the pale insipid piss the cinema served really helped when he needed reminding why he wanted to tear it all down to the last brick. His knees popped and clicked as he stomped into the foyer and made for the bar.
    ‘You there Audacity?’
    He hoped so, the girl was the best thing in the place, and she had a smile like a kiss. He kept her picture tucked safe where he could look at it and imagine exploring what lay behind her lips.
    ‘Coming.’
    At least that’s what he thought she’d said; what reached his ears wasn’t much more than a mumble. The girl with the painted cheeks and the usherette’s uniform had plainly lost the power of speech.
    ‘What’s up Doll face? You can tell your uncle Redman. How come you can’t talk?’
    Even mute Audacity looked pretty as a picture thought Redman, but it was a little disconcerting with her miming everything she said. She pouted, and shook her head letting her hair fall down the back of her neck, and Redman had to pretend he hadn’t noticed. Steam was coming off him so fast his fingernails flapped. He dug a thumb into his collar and let a great gout spin toward the ceiling.
    ‘Just get me a beer sweet stuff. I’ll find out how to sort it out in a sec. Right now, I need refreshment.’
    Redman watched her squirt the weak amber liquid into one of those plastic beakers they used and grinned happily. There was nothing like ramming his face into capitalism’s grinding inadequacies to cheer him up sometimes.
    ‘Ah, that’s better.’
    Steam stopped whistling off him and he gave Audacity the once over.
    ‘Now, what’s the up?’
    She pointed at her mouth and smiled unhappily; something punched hard in his gut looking at her like that.
    ‘Open up, you got a bad tooth is that it?’
    When he saw the problem’s cause he recoiled in horror. It looked like someone had stuffed a mousetrap in her mouth.
    ‘We have to get that out of you.’
    But Audacity flinched when his hand came near, and that was almost as bad as seeing what was clamped to her tongue. She shook her head so vigorously her cap fell off.
    ‘What’s the matter? What’s the problem?’ Steam was beginning to trickle from Redman’s collar again. ‘Here, take this.’
    Something clanked as he handed the girl a pen, but Redman was too concerned to wonder what it was just yet. It was what she was drawing that took all his concentration.
    ‘Oh...’
    Redman’s voice tailed off and he deflated a little like a puffer fish that had had a pin stuck in it. He was looking at a picture of a man.
    ‘Is that errrr... Mr Audacity?’
    The light of his life pushed the drawing toward Redman with a proud smile on her face, and nodded vigorously.
    ‘Oh dear.’
    The picture took up most of the page, but she’d managed to get all the details in thought Redman, right down to the tattoo’s and the scar on his neck.
    Audacity started scribbling again so hard he thought she’d break the pen; and when she’d finished he saw she’d drawn a little cartoon. It was the sort that didn’t make you smile.
    ‘He hit you?’
    Audacity was bouncing up and down, and he couldn’t help but crane his neck to see what was making all the noise.
    ‘And he put that on you?’ Redman pointed at the chain fastened round one of the girl’s ankles. ‘I’m not standing for this.’
    He didn’t know exactly what he was going to do about the chain, but he could certainly help with the contraption in her mouth. Redman kicked one leg onto the bar. He’d hardly gotten his fingers on her chin before she jumped away waving her hands frantically and pointing at a sign over her head.
    ‘Property of the Wonderland Company.’
    Read Redman carefully, and frowned. The thought of his beloved being hurt was making his heart ache enough as it was. He paused, and thought so deeply you could hear cogs turn.
    ‘There must be a way,’ He snapped his fingers and fixed Audacity with steely eyes. ‘Open wider, so I can get a look.’
    Audacity obliged by yawning so wide he could see her tonsils.
    ‘I see the problem; if you press...’ He gave up and demonstrated; giving his fingers a wiggle. ‘There...there...and there,’ Redman finished pointing out where the metal had clamped her voice, and stepped back, ‘it’ll come apart; you try.’
    But Audacity was having none of it. She’d backed away so far she looked in danger of knocking the bottles off their shelves, and Redman supposed he could see why. If Mr Audacity caught her disobeying his wishes there’d be hell to pay. He pounded the bar a couple of times in frustration.
    ‘This is ridiculous. I can’t help if you won’t let me.’
    Redman could just tell she wanted him to save her and he couldn’t stand there and do nothing. Behind the girl there was something that might be of use.
    ‘Now I don’t want any nonsense out of you’
    This time Redman didn’t waste time trying to clamber over the bar. He vaulted, and the box was in his hands a moment later. There was a click as his tongue went numb.
    ‘Ngggh,’ grinned Redman happily and sat down on the floor beside his lady, putting the empty box of mousetraps on the floor. ‘Ngggh.’

-

    That was how Hunter found them as he slid his haircut through the door.
    ‘Aud?’
    For a moment he wondered why the cinema was in darkness and then he realised there was a tiny circle of light where a lamp had been knocked over. His feet crunched as he stepped further in amongst the broken glass and empty beer bottles. He could see movement noaw. Two figures were brandishing what looked like placards.
    ‘Aud that’s you isn’t it? And Redman? I didn’t think you’d be here this early.’
    Redman was well known as a night owl. After the sun had gone down people were less likely to remark on his colour and wonder why he didn’t have claws like a crab. A chain clanked as he put his placard down and opened his mouth.
    Hunter very nearly freaked at that because there was more metal between his teeth than a gypsy on her death bed.
    ‘What the hell have you got in your mouth, man?’
    Hunter produced a hair comb and adjusted his afro until he didn’t feel quite so strung out. Not that the couple on the floor seemed bothered. They just laughed so hard their mouths clicked. Audacity held up a picture.
    ‘I see, it’s a device of some kind.’
    When he’d had a closer look it was clear as day what was going on.
    ‘A marital abuse solidarity sit in?’
    It made sense, there was a reason why Audacity was made up like a doll all the time. It covered up her scars. Hunter was wary though. He’d had his run ins with the liberationists before; even lobbed a few bombs in his time. But the punishment for his last offence had been severe. He’d been in splints for months.
    ‘I know what to do.’
    There was only one thing that could be done really, and Hunter was just the man for it. He’d already spent the day in the hills and had most of the ingredients back home.
    ‘I’ll soon have those cuffs off.’
    But when he looked both members of the sit in were shaking their heads so violently they clanked. That was when the lights went out, and a shadow fell across them then was as deep and dark as the night itself.
    ‘What are you doing in here whizz kid?’
    Hunter turned to the door his skin crawling with dread.
    ‘Not the hair, please, not the hair.’
    ‘Where’s Audacity?’
    He was expecting a brute of some description and was readying an excuse when he realised the voice was coming from a figure that barely reached his waist. Fair enough the dwarf had more tattoos and scars than a Hells Angel after a road crash, but he was still only four feet tall.
    ‘Not here, she quit her job. You can’t hurt her anymore.’
    Hunter stepped in front of Audacity and Redman hoping his afro would block the view, but he had a feeling the dwarf could see round kneecaps, probably through them as well.
     ‘I told her; no talking to strangers.’
    ‘She works in a cinema, man. What do you expect?’
    ‘She can draw can’t she? Stand up Aud. I know you; you’ve been leading them on haven’t you?’
    Chain tinkled sadly as the girl got to her feet, but Hunter was quicker. He closed his eyes and aligned his hair vaguely aware of the gasps of surprise from behind as his feet left the floor. Once he was comfortably cross legged in the air he made the sign of the wanderer and made sure the dwarf knew exactly where he really stood.
    ‘You will not harm them. They are under my protection.’
    It would have been better with Yak trumpets in the background he supposed. But Hunter had long progressed beyond tenth level cosmology since he’d returned to the West. Distractions like that were no longer entirely necessary.
    ‘What will it cost to buy her freedom?’
    The dwarf sneered. ‘She’s my wife. She promised to love, honour, and obey, until death do us part.’
    ‘You haven’t heard my offer yet. I can see you’re a man that likes getting his own way. What would you say if I gave you the disciples of Westminster?’
    ‘No one can do that. They’re too well armed. Even the ALF couldn’t get to them. They say the CI’s going in into the livestock management field when he retires. He’ll need them.
    ‘But you’re open to the suggestion?’
    ‘Of course, but I deserve to have my washing up done too. You start with the little problems then tackle the big ones.’
    ‘If I hand you the disciples you could get the CI himself to do it. He’d be your bitch.’
    Even from where Redman and Audacity were sat they could see the dwarfs eyes light up.
    ‘The CI himself?’
    Mr Audacity cracked his knuckles as an evil grin spread across his face.
    ‘Alright, but all of them you understand? And I want them here before the evening show starts.’
    The dwarf left and sunlight returned to the foyer. Hunter lowered himself to the ground; the disciple’s gambit always worked. Those things had fooled more people than an army of Scientologists ever could.
    ‘He’s gone now, stay still.’
    Audacity nodded frantically, the whites of her eyes showing as she showed her manacles.
    ‘Mmmmmmph.’
    Hunter winked and pulled the pot he kept under his jacket into the light.
    ‘I’ve been siphoning it off for years. Bad blood, the finest quality. Nobody even notices when it’s gone: if you’re careful.’
    The blood inside the pot shivered and trembled as it tried to crawl up the glass.
    ‘Mmmmmmph?’
    ‘Yes, it’s scared, but don’t worry, it won’t harm you. It’s not sentient enough for that.’
    Hunter produced a knife and began to spread it on Audacity’s ankle. Soon she was slippery as a fish and Hunter was starting to salivate a little.
    ‘You next Redman.’
    When they were both free Hunter glanced from Audacity to Redman, and back again.
    ‘Now that I’ve freed you I want you to answer a question. You first Redman.’
    Hunter removed the mouse trap from the man’s mouth waiting until he’d finished gasping and spluttering.
    ‘Ready?’
    Redman nodded.
    ‘What is it you lack most?’
    ‘How do you mean?’
    Hunter saw where Redman’s eyes were going. ‘Forget about her Redman. You’re not setting a foot beyond that door until you’ve answered me.’
    Hunter took a step back because Redman was beginning to steam worse than a kettle. In the end though it was no good Redman kept on expanding until he’d forced them both out the door. With one final almighty POP Redman burst and the sky was filled with little scraps of confetti each one emblazoned with a hammer and sickle in gold.
    ‘And you Aud, what do you lack most in the world?
















imag collage 2017 Janet Kuypers

control

Janet Kuypers
4/19/17
twitter

government control
will be worse than spouse abuse
or a child’s torture



“Drop the Bomb” 4/30/17 chapbook
View or download the free PDF chapbook
“Drop the Bomb” 4/30/17
of all of the short Janet Kuypers poems she read from her live 4/30/17 reading in Austin’s 2017 Poetry Bomb (plus one bonus poem).
video See YouTube video from 4/30/17 of Janet Kuypers performing her “Drop the Bomb” poems for Austin’s 2017 Poetry Bomb (Sony), with control, earth, enjoy, unbounded, Just Thinking About It, Kick Someone Out, Lades and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Exhaling Toxic Fumes, Jumping from the Mausoleum, Just to be On the Safe Side, Nobody Finds Me, Bored the Night Before 9/11, energy, errors, rescue, This is Only a Test, You, Only Searching, Ugly Babies need the Most Love, Bimbo, Good Escape, Goth Girl Photographer, Koala Porn, Occupy, On a Downtown Chicago Light Pole, On This Ride, Marne Rifle Poem, No Thank You, He makes me Think about These Things, (and you could hold me), & From Words to Wars.


Click here to read the Janet Kuypers bio.














In Loco Parentis

Drew Marshall

    Back in the so called progressive, nineteen sixties, “in loco parentis” still held sway. “In the place of a parent,” organizations, specifically schools, could take on the responsibilities and functions of parents.
    Teachers in the Public Schools, as well as my Hebrew school teachers, in the neighborhood synagogues, could discipline students as they saw fit.
    As I experienced it, this could and often did, include verbal and physical abuse.
    Miss Stengel was a psychopathic terrorist. She was also my third grade teacher.
    She was barely five feet tall, with a ruddy complexion; blood red. She wore a constant scowl and looked as though she would explode with rage at any second.
    She thought nothing at locking a kid in the clothes closet, if they weren’t paying attention or talked out of turn. She seemed oblivious to the sounds of their banging on the door or crying to be let out.
    If you didn’t know the answer to one of her questions, she would spew her venom all over you. In those days, and at that age, we never thought to question her methods.
    She pushed a student in front of her down the stairs, during a fire drill. This happened right in front of me, as I walked a safe distance behind her. I was big for my age and assume this was the only reason I had escaped her wrath.
    How this woman was free to walk the streets, let alone teach young children, was beyond me.
    Mr. Goldin was my Spanish language teacher throughout junior high school. He looked like your kindly old grandfather. The teacher wore the same suit every day. On occasion, the only change was the color of the bow tie. His “granny glasses,” would always slip down to the tip of his nose. He was forever pushing them back up again, towards the bridge of his nose.
    His quaint appearance masked a Jekyll – Hyde personality.
    Every Friday we were scheduled to have a test. This would cover the week’s lessons. I studied all week only to find, Goldin setting up a projector. The man would show slides from one of his European vacations.
    The first time this happened, I asked him about the test. He looked quite surprised.
    “Test? What test? There is not going to be any test today. Don’t worry my young friend. I will let you know ahead of time when we are going to have a test.”
    The class was then off to Portugal and Spain.
    This would happen once a month.
    If another student was foolish enough to ask about the test, when the projector was present and ready to roll, he would receive the same surprised look, along with a similar reply.
    Often he would stand in front of the class with a book in his hand, and review the day’s lesson. If we were stumped for an answer, he would explain the correct answer to us.
    If the teachers response differed from the one in the book, and any of my classmates would dare say so to him, it was taken as a personal affront.
    “THE BOOK IS WRONG! THE BOOK IS WRONG, GOD DAMN YOU! I’M RIGHT!
    LISTEN TO ME, NOT THE BOOK!
    Yelling at the top of his lungs, he would repeat this a few times before calming down. He would then proceed as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened.
    We were mystified by his behavior but had soon grown accustomed to his bizarre outbursts.
    When he walked up and down the aisles holding a book in his hand, we knew somebody was in for it. If you did not know the answer to one of his questions, he would unleash a verbal barrage on the unlucky kid.
    Teddy Kaplan was the fashion plate of the school. He had on his Beatles boots, skin tight, black checkered pants, and a dark red shirt. The shirt was accented with gold paisleys, flying around in different directions.
    Kaplan was one of the most popular kids in school and a very down to earth guy. Teddy never had a bad word to say about anyone. He sat in front of me during this class.
    Golden stood next to me and behind Teddy. The instructor asked Teddy a question. Kaplan was slow to answer. He became the target of torture.
    This demented senior, long past retirement age, grabbed Teddy by the back of the head. He barely missed hitting me on the left side of my face. Goldin liked to pull students hair while berating them. This guy had a beautiful head of thick, dirty blonde hair. Teddy was taken by surprise since he didn’t see it coming.
    He screamed in pain. Instinctively, Teddy swung his left hand out and hit Goldin’s arm. Golden released his hold from Teddy’s shiny locks. Kaplan stood up, and looked straight in to the trembling teacher’s eyes.
    “If you ever touch me again, I will have you arrested old man!
    He grabbed his books and calmly exited the classroom. Golden was taken aback. He returned to his desk, visibly shaken by what just happened, in front of some thirty five students.
    It was a turbulent decade of unrest, revolution and rebellion. This was the first time in my short life that I had ever seen a student defy a teacher, let alone make physical contact with one.

***

    My father died from a heart attack on my fifth birthday. He was a psychologist with his own practice. Dad was doing pioneering work with hypnosis, and was on the verge of publication, before his sudden death.
    My mother and I were not religious. We visited family member’s homes on Passover and Rosh Hashanah. That was it. When I was twelve and half, my father’s five brothers decided, out of the blue, I had to have a Bar Mitzvah. A ceremony that symbolized the boy is now a man, responsible for his actions.
    They dragged me all over the city, as they searched for a proper reception hall. The date was set. Now I had to attend classes. It would be a crash course. I knew nothing about the history, rituals or traditions. It would be a few more years until I heard the word, Holocaust, for the first time.
    I was sent to the small shul down the block. Rabbi Rabin was a short, stocky man, built like a linebacker. We knew his story. His wife had passed suddenly, several years earlier. His teenage daughter had committed suicide, the previous year. The late middle aged man had reasons to be somber. Rabin knew every kid in the neighborhood and their parents.
    So I sat in a class of several other disinterested kids, learning by rote, the selections I would read from the Torah. The rabbi had a nasty habit of smacking kids on the back of the neck, if they were not taking this as seriously as he did.
    He had the thickest hands I had ever seen. They came attached to wrists of steel. Sometimes he would miss the neck and hit your ear.
    I soon got fed up with this and reported the situation to my mother. She and my father were always against hitting children. I was sent to another Synagogue, about a half mile away.
    This place was huge. The building was half a block long and four stories high. I was a few minutes late for my first class.
    The instructor was a dour faced individual in his late forties. He asked me to identity myself and then I took a seat. There was only one chair vacant. It was up against the back wall, closest to the entrance.
    As I sat down, the teacher told me to read the lesson. I asked the kid next to me what page we were on. The educator told me to come up to the front of the class. I brought my prayer book with me, thinking he would show me the place to start reading from.
    He glared me for a moment.
    WHACK!
    He smacked me across my face, with the force of a tornado. I went flying across the room and crashed into the wall, before falling to the ground.
    I was stunned, and it took a moment or two for me to regain my composure. I stood up and then grabbed the prayer book from the floor. I threw it at this creep with all my strength.
    Unfortunately, I missed. The book went over his head, and hit the backboard behind him.
    I flew down the stairs and ran all the way home. My mother was quite upset about this. Nothing was done about it. I was back with Rabbi Rabin the next day. He cared about our souls, was what my mom told me. I paid attention and kept my mouth shut, to avoid any more blows to the head.
    I managed to get through the ceremony without a hitch. The highlight of the reception was when I managed to steal a cigar and a book of matches. I grabbed my two best friends Mike and Steve. We left the banquet hall and wound up in the backyard of a nearby apartment building.
    I lit the cigar and started inhaling. I didn’t know that was the procedure for cigarettes, not cigars. I started coughing my guts out as I passed the lit cigar over to Mike. He followed suite, as did Steve.
    We heard a female voice shouting from above.
    I looked up. An elderly woman was screaming at us, from her third floor window.
    “GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE YOU DRUG ADDICTS, OR I’LL CALL THE POLICE!
    She then threw a bucket of water down at us. The downpour just missed her targets.
    The water sprinkled our shoes and the cuffs of our suit pants. I threw the cigar and matches to the ground and we took off like three bats out of hell.
    We snuck back into the Banquet Hall from the side entrance. Today I was a man. I could do things like that from now on.
    Even with everything that went on back then, they were much more innocent times, than what we have come to know since. The tide has turned.
    One of my closest friends since childhood went on to become a Special Education teacher. I would sit horrified, while listening to his war stories. Ely was assigned to some shithole in the South Bronx. It was not a school. It was a building which was annexed from a warehouse. My friend had lost a lot of weight. He rarely ate or drank anything during school hours. Ely feared having to use the bathroom, due to the less than savory activities that went on in there.
    I worked for the City Law Department, the Cooperation Counsel. I was assigned to the pre-trial torts division. We prepared case for trial. People who had sustained injuries on city property sued for damages. I learned from reviewing Board of Education cases that school administrators now had to fill out monthly checklists of various misdemeanors and felonies that take place in their school buildings.
    Near the close of the twentieth century, the nation was shocked by the student killings at Columbine High School in Colorado. Two students went on a pre mediated, terrorist killing spree. The massacre had left twelve students and one teacher, dead. Over twenty others were wounded. The assassins then committed suicide.
    In the new millennium, students shoot to kill. Heaven help any teacher who gets in their way.


















DSCN2009, photography by Wes Heine

DSCN2009, photography by Wes Heine














You the Pimp, Man! You the Pimp!

Liam Spencer

    It was yet another day of deep boredom. The grey sky churned a little rain outside, and thus it was nice and chilly. My kind of weather. The laptop provided the only real light inside the dark apartment. Facebook funnies, making fun of Trump and the Trumpanzies. Share and share again. It’s important to have some humor and enjoyment during such rough and dark times.
    Friday. Nothing to look forward to. Nothing. Just some cheap beers and all too expensive cigarettes. Belches provided a little more pleasure. Another day of nothing was giving way to a night of nothing.
    My lower and middle back were pretty well gone, along with the left leg. There was no job I could do. Short naps were usually what was possible through the night. Worker’s Comp was the same as ever. Even when they say yes, they say no. It was a waiting game, as usual. They’ll starve you out to save money. That’s how so many injured workers end up on the streets. We live in a country that hates its’ own people. Is as does.
    Sometimes you gotta just survive before you can live.

    I was settling in for yet another night of surviving.
    A message came from Gary. He was unemployed and bored. Similar situation. He wanted to hang out. That meant my beers being shared, but it was company, at least, so I agreed.
    Gary was a spaced out guy, but very nice. I picked on him about looking like Jay Leno, minus the chin. He smoked a lot of pot, and preferred being spaced out. Self medicating. I preferred the bottle.

    Anyway, he came down to my place to hang out. We sipped beer and bullshitted. It had been a while since I drank more than the two or three cheap beers. They were going down nice and smooth. We were both having a change of pace. Being broke without hope, and thus staying inside an apartment began to feel like a prison sentence, yet we were both wise enough to be grateful for what we each had, for the time at least.
    After a number of beers, we each came to the inevitable conclusion that it had simply been too long since either of us had been social. It was unleashing something. There was a sense of freedom, somehow, as if we were each animals that had been accidentally left out of our cages.
    We decided on a local bar, the Streamline. SL for short.
    The SL was the best neighborhood bar in the city. It was also the cheapest place to drink in Seattle. If one lived in Lower Queen Anne, they were known in the SL. There were your neighbors, the people you ran into when out buying beer or groceries. The regulars seemed to live their lives there. Dedicated.
    It was a diverse group. There were people barely getting through life. There were the tech people making six figures. There was everyone in between. A lot of artists and writers gravitated toward the place.
    Any given night could be either a true adventure or a boring waste. One never knew.
    We were hoping for adventure, but expected to simply be wasting money.

    We had made a mistake. We could have been sipping on $1 beers outside my apartment. Instead, we were sipping $3 beers outside the SL. We sat there blinking at each other, chuckling at our foolishness.
    Gradually people meandered in. It was nice to see some of them. Some of them. It had been a while. Conversations began. I made my rounds. The few Trumpanzies stayed silent. I was known as the Liberal asshole.
    I went to get another beer. What the hell. There sat Shawna. She was nice, but very big. I mean, very big. Like four hundred pounds big. And loud. But she was a very nice person.
    The thing with Shawna was that she was always on the prowl. Always. She tried with me before. I passed. Some guys go for that, though. Just not me.
    The other thing with her was that she always wanted to talk. A lot. It wasn’t easy to get away. There was never a call to be rude to her, even if you wanted to get away to smoke or to text or to mingle. I was stuck, for a while.
    An older guy, thin, came over to Shawna on the other side, beginning a conversation. He had done me a favor. I got another beer and headed back outside to mingle some more.
    Gary seemed to have vanished. I thought about finishing my beer and heading home too. It had been a mistake to spend the money. Still, it was such a nice change of pace. I was away from my prison cell, at least for a while. Food for the week be damned.
    I hobbled around, bad back, bad left leg, and all, mingling and conversing. Some of it was boring. The usual. I hadn’t missed a thing. Somehow, though, I had still missed it.
    That beer finished, I went back for another. Just one more. Just one.
    I hoped to not get trapped by Shawna again. I was relieved. The older, thin guy had her to himself, zeroing in, gleaming like a champ. Good for him.
    Back outside and relieved, swearing that I had bought my last beer for the night, I stood largely alone. The mingling had taken on a life of its’ own without me. I smiled slightly, taking it all in. In no time, I’ll be back to my cell.
    A young woman wearing glasses came out to smoke. She was maybe five five, mid twenties, and dark blond. Long hair. Knock out body. The stuff of dreams.
    Our eyes met. The flirtation was very obvious. We chatted briefly. Others joined in. Our eyes kept meeting.
    The conversation of the group somehow ended up referencing Larry David. She didn’t know who LD was. It broke my heart. Someone took out their giant phone and showed clips. We all laughed. She laughed the hardest, looking into my smiling eyes.
    Then she went back in. Damn. Shortly, I went in....to get another beer.

    Shawna was still occupied by the skinny guy. Light pettings. I looked away. As I motioned the beertender, a guy came up and shook my hand. He looked like a made man. Tough as nails. We all know the type. I was a little taken aback. Then, he spoke. High pitch, Irish accent, much like the character from MASH or maybe the fellow from Lucky Charms commercials. What an odd mix.
    He was friendly, so I commented on it. He laughed a good laugh. We talked a good talk about Seattle housing prices, the disappearance of all things interesting in Seattle, about looking to live elsewhere, etc. Buzzed, not drunk. It was a good talk.
    Then he began saying how he knew me. Known as something of an asshole, for good reason. He mentioned people with connections (if you know what I mean) from back east. Uh huh. I waited for my next beer, then brought him a glass of water, and excused myself to go smoke.

    Outside was pretty full. I lit a smoke and stood where I could find room. This, surely, must be that last beer, at last.
    Most of what remained were lonely guys and a few couples. Typically cleavage and legs shown through as the couples showed off, and the lonely guys drooled in line, hoping for their turn. Turnover was common. That was always a game I never played. Drama. Bullshit. No thanks.

    The SL was a dive bar, but was very caring. Very community. Potlucks on holidays. Family for both couples and loners. A place to be community. All are welcome. Except those banned.
    Any troublemakers were banned. This was a no fight zone. No tolerance. It was a place to blend in, not take someone out. If trouble began, ten to fifteen guys would escort the offender(s) away. If you were known, you didn’t worry, even if things got rowdy.

    I stood, making every sip last. I was the observer, wishing for some writing material, but knowing that being there was a mistake. The money. Money is hell to earn and easy to burn. Shit.
    I figured I may as well make the most of what foolishness I had committed, so I decided to look to converse. There was a guy sitting there wearing a jean jacket. He looked lost.
    Introductions made, he brightened up, and began talking. Quickly he revealed his job. He was actually a professional wrestler. Really. He showed off clips from Youtube of him getting his ass kicked. Body slam or superplex or some kind of shit. It looked very painful. I cringed. Bad back.
    “Oh no! Not really. I mean, we rehearse for weeks. It’s all rehearsed! There’s still some pain, but they train us. Extensively.”
    “Well yeah, you’d have to. But still, like seven feet in the air...”
    “but you land feet first...that’s all.”

    On it went. I’m always a sucker for interesting conversation. How many times in life do you meet someone who tries to make a living as a professional wrestler? I might get writing material out of this after all, I thought.
    Then it came.
    “Hey. How big are you...like five eleven, two ten?”
    “Well, yeah, I’m a big fat guy.”
    “I’ve heard about you. You’re something of an asshole. You’d be perfect as a wrestler!”
    “No no. I’ve got one good arm, one good leg, and a really bad back. Not a good idea.”
    My eyes were wide.
    Of course, I thought to myself. I clearly need to change careers, and the first offer I get is as a professional wrestler! Great.

    “Nah, man, we’d train you, man. Really. First you’d be a referee. A bad guy. That kind of thing. Then you’ll turn good guy....Perfect! I discovered someone!”
    “I’m not the guy. I’m already injured. If someone tried to lift me seven feet into the air, we’ll both need paramedics.”
    “Man, just keep an open mind about it, ok? Please. You’d be great!”
    “Ok, buddy, ok. I will.”

    Relieved to end that scenario, I meandered back inside, and debated another beer. In short, the beer won, barely. The deal was that I’d have one more, but cash out, so this would truly be my last for the night. Money burned. None earned.
    The thin guy was making out with Shawna. Heavy. Good for him. I ordered another beer and cashed out, then went outside. Shortly the professional wrestler went in to get another beer. When he came back out, he looked devastated.
    It turned out that the older, thin guy was the wrestler’s roommate. He was taking Shawna home. Thus the professional wrestler had nowhere to sleep.
    He couldn’t stay with me, but I did find a friend who would allow him to crash as a favor to me.
    “Thanks man! I really own you one! Keep an open mind about wrestling, ok?”
    “Don’t mention it. And ok, I will.”
    Yeah right.

    Things were clearing out in the outside smoking area. I stood largely alone, ready to leave when my final last beer was done. I smiled at the wild ride the night had been, then frowned because it was over. It would be back to my cell again. My crime? Being an injured worker. Great. The harder one works, the bigger a sucker they are. Why don’t they teach that in schools, before it’s too late?

    Out came the young woman from earlier, her delicate features and long, dark blond hair accentuated by the casts of light and shadows. Her eyes brightened as they met mine. Relatively alone, this time, we began chatting, except the chatting seemed like nonsense. Other signals sirened.
    While I’m not sure of the how’s, it wasn’t long before there were caresses followed by soft, appreciative kisses. Building. Swirling madnesses. Unexplainable. Some things are best left that way.
    It was really happening. Really. I could feel it. My place. Amazing. I was so glad I had stayed out.

    And then....high pitch voices;
    “Christa! OH MY GAWD! CHRISTA! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

    Two young women ripped us apart. We glanced at each other, glowingly.

    “Your boyfriend will be SO PISSED!”

    Uh oh. Umm. I hadn’t considered that. No worries, though. This is SL, after all, and I’m known. All I have to do, bad back and all, is wait for the cavalry. Thirty seconds. I could do that.
    And there he was. I smiled. Not big. I wouldn’t need the Cavalry, even as they’ll be coming.

    Then his two buddies showed up. They were much bigger. FUCK! Thirty seconds is a bit long....
    This might hurt.

    The first one there was the “made man.” He no longer sounded like “me lucky charms.” All made.
    “You got a fuckin’ problem?!”

    Next was the professional wrestler.
    “Man, I’ll body slam you so fucking hard your asshole will pucker!”
    Wait. What?

    I stood behind them, pointing to each of them, smiling and shaking my head yes.
    The cavalry came and escorted the youngsters away. The threat was gone. Whew. I’ll finish my beer and go home, laughing at all the absurdities.

    There stood the professional wrestler, his face gleaming.
    “Man! I discovered two talents tonight!! Yes! We got “The Made Man.” He alone is a find! I can see it, his making his way to the ring, stone faced, looking ready to kill.”
    The “Made Man” did a hell of an act, I have to say. What a great actor.
    “Then we got Liam. Man! With your size, and your limp...a way with ladies.... I can see it, totally! We’ll get you a cane and a costume, pair you up with some lady wrestlers, and you’ll be like the pimp! Yeah, man, the pimp! You the pimp, man! You the pimp!”

    The “made man” and the professional wrestler continued to chat excitedly about the possibilities and excitements of selling tickets, souls, and bodies for low paychecks and a way to avoid the real prostitutions of low wage labor and soul murdering boredoms of all the decks being stacked against us all.
    Meanwhile, I stood between, yet behind them with my mouth and eyes wide open.
    This is all life truly has to offer? Really?
    The deck is stacked indeed. All of them are. There is no winning.

    And yet, there’s still so much beauty.


















Wild Night, art by Edward Michael O’Durr Supranowicz

Wild Night, art by Edward Michael O’Durr Supranowicz














Donovan versus Donald

D. D. Renforth

    Donovan Trump sold an online product called Trumpers, an intangible product of hope, the spiritual version of a placebo. At least that’s what he had liked doing and had done for ten years after he had registered a company called The Trump Reality. At first, because he admired Dante, he thought of calling the product Dante or Paradiso—which in hindsight he wished he had done—but he realized that name implied too much. He wasn’t selling heaven and the offering had nothing to do with the fourteenth century writer. Then he considered “the Trumpet” because of how that instrument would announce grand affairs or the judgment, and, of course, reflect his name. Finally he settled on Trumper.
    To Donovan, the Trumper was intended to be a ray of light, an inspiration, and an encouraging voice to those who needed it; to help those who felt life had conspired against them, and especially for those who wanted revenge on those who had lied to or betrayed them. They would receive the Trumper after they described their problems in an online questionnaire. The questionnaire was multiple choice and the results were quantifiable. If users described themselves as forty, in a divorce, with financial problems, in poor health, no children and how they were betrayed or deceived, the Trumper would say—assuming the user followed the guidelines that followed it—“Your health will soon be better, you will find someone else and marry her (or him), have children, soon have a new job, your financial worries would be over, and those who have hurt you will get their punishment.”
    Then it would give the nine guidelines that aligned to those (and most) problems: “1) think more highly of yourself, 2) stop any addictions you have, 3) seek help from a friend or professional if you’re always depressed or have physical ills, 4) find lovers that support and encourage you, 5) look for work that suits your talents and personality, 6) surround yourself with people who respect you and people you respect, 7) do something creative (learn a musical instrument, or how to paint, dance, sing, and so on), 8) spend more time in nature, and 9) smile, because the universe will take revenge.”
    It was not a sophisticated program and did not have any original answers. Its desire to highlight revenge was again a result of Donovan’s infatuation with how Dante describes the consequences of different choices during one’s sojourn on the earth. The final two circles of hell were the consequences of those who chose a life of deceit, mendacity, and betrayal.
    The Trumpers, like online astrology or card reading but with no mystical implications and using only the information the person offered, were general enough to fit almost any complaint. Trumpers sold for the “low price of fifty dollars.” A disclaimer was offered up front before anyone filled out the questionnaire as well as reminding the user there was no guarantee and no money back. The final line, in very small type, read: “Here’s a link to a free online copy of the Divine Comedy of Dante.”

*

    For ten years Donovan made a decent living from the Trumper and his bartender job and was quite content until a man with his last name campaigned for president. As soon as the campaign began, Donovan was taken to court to change both his company’s name and the company’s product. Advisors of the candidate believed the website was selling something that was nothing but lies and false hope and would unfairly benefit from the name Trump.
    Donovan had no funds to battle this accusation in court. He was not a billionaire or had any extra savings. His family could not afford even to give him a college education and they all hoped that they never became really sick because they could not afford to go to a doctor. His parents and he lived alone in a small apartment on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, where he worked as a bartender for five years. Despite his low income, his parents and friends said that he should at least try to fight back. He had devoted many hours to the web site. Why should he give up his little business because of a name, a name that after all was his name too? They asked for loans from friends and relatives to help him. Each contributed a little, but they could not find enough to hire a lawyer who specialized in this kind of legal action. Lack of funds forced him to choose legal aid.
    On the one side of the courtroom were a group of lawyers and their assistants, difficult to distinguish one from the other in their Armani suits, white shirts, and striped black and red ties, and on the other side, there were two people, Donovan and his legal aid lawyer, both casually dressed. Donovan was sweating and on the edge of shaking. Never had he or his family been in a courtroom; never had any of them been accused of any crime. Now the sight of this group of well-dressed lawyers facing him and his lawyer was so intimidating that for quick moments Donovan forgot that he was the accused. Though his lawyer told him he had nothing to fear, even if he did lose the case, Donovan believed that they might take him to jail if he did not win. His head was bowed, his eyes on the table or, if he turned around, in the eyes of his family or friends, but never in the eyes of the candidate’s lawyers or the judge. All of these people from Brooklyn recognized that this was an arena in which he (and they) did not belong and could not feel safe. The rich were never their friends. It was like ancient Rome and the Coliseum where the slave gladiators, with meager weapons, are brought in to face the finest Roman soldiers or the lions. No, his situation was worse. The gladiators at least had training.
    The group of lawyers showed through testimonies and witnesses that there was “absolutely no scientific basis to the Trumper,” “no certainty that the person could actually change his or her life by following the Trumper’s advice,” and through people who claimed to have used the website, could cause emotional harm. The website, the lawyers concluded, was “preying on people’s misfortunes” and was fraudulent, even with a disclaimer. Such a dishonest connection to the Trump name brought disgrace not only to the candidate but to the name itself.
    Donovan’s lawyer responded that the site did not promise to be based in science or to change someone’s life. It offered advice. Was the advice unsound? The lawyer used the site in front of the judge to show that there was no harm in the suggestions.
    When Donovan, his parents and his friends left the courtroom, after hearing sufficient embarrassing comments to kill the credibility of his website forever as well as try to make Donovan feel ashamed, a large group of reporters besieged him. They did not ask him questions about him, the case, or his website; they wanted to know what he knew about the candidate. Donovan confessed that he had never met or knew anything about him. What he did know was that he was unrelated to him and that this case of Trump verses Trump was unfair. Then he ended with the cryptic statement: “One of us will end in the eighth or ninth circle and it will not be me.” This statement was a reference to Dante and the circles of the Inferno in the Divine Comedy, especially the nine circles of hell.
    The judge ruled in favor of the candidate because Donovan could make the same living using a different name for his company and the online product. The ruling would also not prevent him from making a living as a bartender.
    Donovan complied with the court decision, closed off his company, and took down the website.
    There were other similar cases. Not only was Donovan singled out. The candidate’s team filed against two brothers named Trump, also real estate tycoons like the candidate, because of their use of the name, but they lost only one of the cases.
    It is unknown whether the candidate himself had knowledge of any of these cases, including the case against Donovan Trump.
    Donovan’s case did stand out in one way. It was against someone who was not wealthy and could not realistically fight back. Many people, including those in the media, noticed that aspect from the start. Picking on the little guy was not the message the candidate had promoted. The candidate talked of making America great by returning business and jobs to America and ending a system that had run the country for decades that, in his view, had taken away the rule of government from the needs of the ordinary working men and women. All of these words were cloaked in a promise to improve the conditions of the little man, the worker, the blue-collar ordinary guy and gal. Yet in this situation the candidate was putting Donovan, a little man, out of business for the sake of his name.

*

    The court decision did not end the publicity or the unwanted attention on Donovan. Supporters of the candidate came to his workplace not to drink or eat but to harass and insult him in front of the other customers. It became difficult for him to do his job with so many complaints and harsh comments from these intruders. The owners reluctantly asked him to resign.
    Losing the case and his job made him visible to the public and the media and neither of them would relent. His photo often appeared as a caution to anyone who misused the Trump name. Media partisans of the candidate now knew about him and even though he was not related to the candidate, they still felt that he “knew something” or would harm him in some way, even though Donovan had not followed the election and what little he knew was from patrons of the bar.
    To keep an eye on Donovan until the election was over, security for the candidate hired Gavin Shackleford, a middle aged, heavy set, veteran private detective and avid supporter of the candidate. They believed that Donovan might attempt some revenge on the candidate. There was, in fact, little to report. Donovan did nothing for several months after the case except sit in his apartment and look at television series. If he was rich, he would probably have left the country and started fresh elsewhere. Gavin’s reports did not reflect the facts. He claimed to his employers that Donovan was doing something nefarious in his home because of the many “shady” characters visiting him. The characters visiting Donovan were friends he had known since high school, who came to help him rebound from the denigrating experience. If Gavin had simply reported what he had seen and not what he suspected, interest in Donovan might have faded away, Gavin would have lost his job, and perhaps the story might have ended there. But if Gavin had done that, he would have lost a fee he desperately needed to pay for his mother’s medical bills. To keep paying his bills, something, anything, must happen.
    What happened was that Donovan’s neighbors and friends became increasingly angry. They were already upset about the treatment of Donovan, but after several weeks of seeing Gavin, they would give him the finger and shout, “Go home! Leave him alone! We know who you are!” One of them—no one would admit to knowing—threw a rock at Gavin’s car and put a sizable dent in the back door. A group of them then came up to him in the car and told him, through his closed window, that if he did not stop spying on Donovan, they would hunt him down and start harassing his family or friends and continue to damage his property.
    Gavin took these threats seriously. He lived with his wife and invalid mother and was as financially vulnerable as Donovan and his parents. Though none of Donovan’s friends had the time or interest in tailing Gavin or causing trouble—they all worked full-time jobs and were only interested in pressuring him to leave the neighborhood—these “punks,” as Gavin described them to his wife, “had all the signs of troublemakers. I’ve seen it before.”
    His wife told him to drop the assignment. The punks could track him by his car license number. Gavin reminded her that his mother had huge medical bills which they now could finally afford. And how would he pay for the dent in the car? His deductible was high and would not cover it.
    Gavin did not want to tell his employers for fear they would have no sympathy and relieve him. They would say that they hired him to watch Donovan. If he couldn’t do that, they would find someone else. Gavin did tell a couple of his friends on the police force in the local precinct about the dent in his car and the threats, hoping the police might scare them into leaving him alone.

*

    Donovan was oblivious to all of these events; he sat on the couch day upon day without any interest in what occurred outside his room and with little energy to do anything except moan about the loss of his web site and his job. He had not tried very hard to find a new job because he believed no one in the hospitality field would hire him. His face was too familiar. His presence would be bad for business.
    There were consequences of his lack of action. Their son’s lack of income was forcing his parents to dip into their limited savings to get by. Neighbors and local stores, well aware of and sympathetic about the problems caused by the court case, were helping with groceries and other necessary items, but they all knew that the problem could end if Donovan would start following the advice he gave everyone on his old Trumpers website. Several of the local businesses were willing to hire him temporarily, but Donovan was too distraught to accept and he felt too humiliated to be in the public.
    The threats, the efforts to weaken him with the show of their power, and the confidence from the candidate’s advisors in the courtroom had paralyzed but did not prevent him from being rankled psychologically, as if he was one of those Dante and Virgil were observing. But what, after all, had he done? Was his website fraudulent? Did his life deserve a detective watching each of his actions? How is it possible to continue a normal life if his life—and the life of his parents—could be so easily manipulated? If these people who work for the candidate could stop him from using his own name, and if they could find and harass him wherever he worked, what was he to do? He had no other skill. Restaurants and bars were the source of his income ever since he graduated high school. Those jobs were always public and visible to any fanatic. What public establishment would take the chance of angering a candidate for president?
    The constant criticism by the so-called experts in the court soured his mind on the idea of a similar website. He believed his motives were pure, but, he had to admit, he could understand their viewpoint. People were looking for answers and his website could not possibly consider the unique needs of each individual. He now thought the idea was at best naive.
    If only he could go back in time and at least have his old job back. Life as a bartender was good for him. He had been almost an entertainer and certainly a confidante. It did not go unnoticed that he had the same surname as the candidate. Patrons laughed, asked him if he was related somehow, and taunted him when they learned he was not, “Don’t you wish you were?” But that novelty passed away within a couple of minutes. Most customers admitted to liking his open-mindedness and willingness to listen to their woes or opinions. Donovan intentionally took no side, but found worth in every side. This neutrality was not only because of his job—he could not offend his customers—but convenient because he knew too little to offer an intelligent or researched opinion. Religion, politics and relationships were the three controversial areas about which he would not take a side. Of course, those were the three areas most of the patrons liked to discuss.
    His apathy, discontent, and lack of energy now were noticeable to everyone around him. He may have stayed in that frame of mind for a very long time if the police did not knock on his door one Saturday morning. In his home bubble a visit from the police was a fantasy. No one ever in his family had a visit from the police.
    “Are you Donovan Trump?” one of the two officers asked.
    Donovan nodded.
    “May we come in?” he asked.
    Donovan was so surprised to see the police that he hesitated opening the door, but after a moment he guided them to the living room, where they each took a seat.
    “Several of your friends threatened a man in his car,” one of the officers began, “and one of them damaged his car. Do you know who threw the rock?”
    “I know nothing about it. I didn’t see it.”
    “But you heard about it?” the police asked.
    “Everyone in the neighborhood heard about it. The guy’s been watching me since the court case. It bothers my neighbors; it bothers me. We don’t think it’s fair. Frankly, I’m surprised only one rock was thrown.”
    “We’re not interested in your opinion of justice,” the officer said, “or if your neighbors can justify it in their minds; we’re here to warn you. We’ve already warned your friends. Tell them to stay away from him. This man was hired, as you must know, by a candidate for president to protect him from disgruntled and revengeful people. He’s only doing his job. He can sit on a street for as long as he wishes if he doesn’t disturb you.”
    With that statement of warning, they rose and left.
    An hour later his friends visited him and joked about how the police had interrogated them and him. They seemed to enjoy the small dose of danger. Authorities, as they put it, actually recognized them.
    Donovan would not agree.
    “Leave the detective alone,” Donovan said, “the cops are right. He’s only doing his job and I have nothing to hide. The villain here, if there is a villain, is not the detective but the person who hired him.”
    “Of course there’s a villain,” one of his friends said. “How many people have someone watching them when they’re innocent? It’s not right. What are we going to do?”
    “Nothing,” Donovan said. “I mean, you guys are doing nothing. Already you almost got yourself charged for harassment and for damaging his car. This is my business. The cops coming here and warning me made me sick in my gut. It’s gone too far. I never had a cop come to my house in my life.”
    “So, what are you going to do?” his friend asked. “You’ve been sitting around here for weeks.”
    “I’m not sure,” Donovan said, “depends on whether he gets elected, but I’m going to do something.”
    In the next week, the bartender at a local bar near his house left for another job and the owner hired Donovan. It was a bar Donovan himself had been a patron. At the time Donovan did not know that the owner hated the candidate and was incensed at how Donovan was treated, how he lost both his job and his web business, and how a detective was watching him.

*

    On the day that the candidate was elected, Donovan, spurred on by his friends and the owner of the bar, initiated a revenge he had planned for several weeks. He started another website whose sole purpose was to track every word Trump said in the campaign and in office, record it, and compare his statements to see whether or not the president was a liar, an ignoramus, a hypocrite, or all three. It was called the Trump Report. Unlike Donovan’s first site there was no questionnaire and no effort to make anyone feel better or help solve their life crises. This site was a report card about the president’s statements researched initially by volunteers from Donovan’s Myrtle Avenue neighborhood in the back room of the bar where Donovan worked, soon renamed the Donovan Bar and Grill. It might as well have been called the eighth circle of hell because Donovan was determined to test out whether or not here, on this earth, and not after death—in Dante’s Inferno—the new president was a fraud.
    The Trump Report was not an original idea, but was an expansion of a series of newspaper articles that compared the verity of the promises and statements of the president. Those articles not only educated him about the president but inspired him in how he would retaliate not only on his own behalf but for anyone who had lost their name, dreams, and livelihood.
    Within one month of putting it online, the site had millions of visitors, both at home and abroad, and within a few months the Donovan Bar itself became famous for tourists, as well as opponents of the president.
    Its notoriety had consequences. In April, a few months after the inauguration, a group of the president’s supporters came to the Bar and the first of several conflicts between the two sides ensued and escalated into riots. The last riot not only destroyed the Bar but set it on fire. A tall wooden fence was placed around it and it was guarded by the National Guard. The owner was not intimidated, but promised it would arise again.
    The unintentional hero of this short-lived movement? Donovan Trump, a man who had lived in complete anonymity a year and a half ago working as a happy bartender making a few extra dollars from his website Trumpers, a man who knew and cared little about the election or the candidate, a fellow politically asleep, the precise type of man the president had hoped to awaken with his message. But the candidate’s words were far less a wake-up call than his actions. When actions would have counted most, his advisors brought out an army of attorneys and crippled the life of a little man for the sake of the name Trump.
    Even the lesson of the riots did not impress Trump’s advisors. Surreptitiously, the government hacked into Donovan’s new website and caused it to malfunction so that no one could get past the first page. But their actions were now too late. Nothing disappears from the Internet. No one could argue with the contents of the Trump Report, since every statement was carefully documented and every report was not only on the Internet but was published in hard copy by a European printer, entitled, “The Files of the Trump Report.”





About D. D. Renforth

    Renforth, an American living in Toronto, a graduate of Duke, Syracuse, and the University of Toronto (Ph.D.), has published fourteen stories in 2016-2017, including two in cc&d Magazine (“No Ship is Big Enough” and “Bella and the Billionaires”).


















Sing the Blues, Giclee Print by David Michael Jackson

Sing the Blues, Giclee Print by David Michael Jackson














Mr Richards

Emily Jade Walker

‘It wasn’t my fault.’

    I’m not the sick man who goes after little girls.
    It was never intentional. I never saw her, at first, being the beauty she was.
    When I first saw Evelyn ...
    She was my pupil, my star pupil I’ll admit that.
    I never saw her beautiful green eyes, or her perfect plump kissable lips, or her gorgeous figure, which made her look 21, not 15.

*

    Mr Richards was the hottest man I had ever seen. He was only small, but he made up for it with chiselled features; a little hook to his nose and big hazelnut eyes. He was a Greek God, just delicious.
    However, he was my ICT teacher.
    It was totally normal for a girl to have a crush on a teacher right? It wasn’t just me! Every girl in that school wanted him.

*

    It was six. My alarm had just gone off, I rolled over to kiss Liz. But she was already up. Then I heard Molly crying.
    ‘Nightmares again’ I thought.
    I slowly got out of bed, stretching and yawning. I put on my dressing gown and walked to Molly’s room.
    ‘How’s she doing?’ I asked.
    ‘She’s fine. Now. She’s never watching Telly with you again.’
    ‘Sorry, we’ll stick to CBeebies from now on.’
    ‘Good.’ She walked over and pecked my cheek.
    ‘We’ve got to learn to walk before we can run Phillip.’
    I brought her close and hugged her tight.
    It’s safe to say that Liz and I weren’t as close as we were when Molly was born. Life was perfect. We had two healthy children and a healthy marriage.

    Life didn’t deal us good cards though, two steps forward; twenty steps back. We were on a thin piece of rope, strained, both ends frayed.
    It was only a matter of time...
    I ended the embrace with Liz and had a cold shower.
    It got my blood surging.
    It made me feel alive.
    Afterwards, I quickly got dressed, a light grey suit and blue tie. The Jacket would only be on for briefing. I hated those things.

*

    Seven AM, Monday. I had been awake for a couple of hours preparing. I showered at five-thirty, washed and dried my hair. I straightened it precisely; backcombed it to give it extra volume. Make-up next, I went for a slightly gothic look. For once, I felt beautiful. The only thing that hindered my appearance was the plain and boring colours of Gramble High School. Black, Yellow, and Green. It didn’t suit me at all!
    ‘Evelyn! Time to go!’
    I straightened my tie and grabbed my backpack, slipped on my pumps and joined my mother in the car.

    I arrived at school at Seven-fifty-one. It meant I had almost an hour before registration. I hoped that maybe Claire or Kyle was around, and if so, I knew that they would be in the canteen, stuffing themselves on the greasy fatty bacon baps that the lazy kitchen staff would provide.

*

    I arrived at work at Seven-fifty-five. I didn’t see Evie loitering around the gates like she did sometimes.
    Good. I thought.
    She might have taken my words seriously. I picked up my briefcase and the box full of coursework; locked my car and went to my classroom. I had twenty minutes before briefing. I decided it was enough time to have a decent coffee; Samantha always made the best in the canteen. I licked my lips and made my way over there, taking the staff shortcut through the art corridor.

*

    I was correct.
    I found them both gorging themselves on the disgusting things. The fat dripped from the bottom of the bun making a puddle on the table. The grease around the corners of their mouths glistened in the early sun. They gnawed into the bacon almost wolf-like. They’d chomp on it loudly and swallow it as if they were an old drunk with a pint.
    It was completely revolting.
    I plastered a fake smile on my face and walked over to them.
    ‘Hey, slug-puppets.’
    ‘Hi, Eve.’ Claire replied, still chewing her food, it had become a mush ball in her mouth, rolling from one side to the other.
    I refrained from raising my eyebrow; I sat down swallowing down my disgust.
    ‘How was your weekend?’ Kyle asked, with his mouth also full.
    ‘Oh... it was nothing special.’ I tried to lie, but I failed miserably, butterflies flew to my stomach and a blush rose to my cheeks.
    ‘Did you meet someone?’ Claire said excitingly, just after she had wiped her out with a napkin.
    ‘Maybe ...’ I looked at the dots on the table.
    ‘You did! Come on, spill.’
    ‘I can’t! Not yet anyways ...’ She raised an eyebrow. ‘Not after the whole Aaron thing.’
    ‘Fair enough, but still! Details! Is he hot?’
    ‘Of course!’ I chuckled.

*

    I was just about to enter the canteen when I heard her. The magical tones of her broken accent, her schoolgirl teenage manner was almost enough to break me.
    Claire Anderson shouted a greeting as I walked in. She sounded extremely over-familiar.
    ‘Morning Claire, Kyle, Evelyn.’ Her name danced on my tongue. I mentally disciplined myself. I couldn’t allow my authority to flounder in front of Evie’s friends.
    ‘Evelyn. I need to discuss your coursework, first break, my office.’ Secretly I smiled.
    ‘Yes, Sir.’ Shit. No attitude.
    I glanced around at the others; they didn’t seem to click on. I was satisfied with that.
    I nodded at Evie and then proceeded to buy my morning coffee.

    Mainly black, a small drop of milk, two sugars.

*

    Morning registration was a load of useless crap as usual, and soon I found myself waiting outside my physics classroom, texting Claire. S4 conveniently shared the same corridor as the four ICT labs. Mr Richards brought his class in promptly to the bell. Our eyes met. I melted.
    Shit, what did this man do to me?
    ‘In you come!’ Mrs Kettle shouted.
    I shook off the stupid schoolgirl stupor and walked in. I took my seat next to Kyle.

*

    Briefing and registration were a blur, I was just replaying Saturday night in my head. There was nothing of importance anyways if there was it would be in my emails. I was bringing in my first class when I saw her again. She was on her phone, texting away.
    Our eyes locked. My breathing rasped and my blood flowed south. I shook my head and carried on walking. I couldn’t allow this to affect my job.
    After running a quick roll call, I set the class a starter exercise. I then realised I hadn’t collected the handouts from resources. I asked the TA if he could keep an eye on them as I left.

*

    Thirteen minutes later. I was sat outside the classroom, trolling through Facebook.
    I wasn’t a disruptive student. I just got bored easily.
    Mr Richards then came out of the labs.
    ‘Evelyn, this must be a new record.’ He said, spotting me.
    ‘Meh. This is nothing.’
    ‘Oh Evelyn, why can’t you just behave and get your education? You’re a bright girl.’
    ‘I know... I get straight A’s.’
    He rolled his eyes.
    ‘How long are you out for?’
    ‘Till I apologise.’
    ‘You’re not going to are you?’
    I shrugged.
    ‘Stand up!’
    ‘Why?’
    ‘You’re coming with me!’
    ‘Ugh!’
    I stood up begrudgingly; grabbed my bag and followed him. Fuck me, his arse looked good in tight trousers.

    The Deputy head kept me in isolation until first break, apparently, time from Art would teach me a lesson, except it, did the opposite. He let me go a few minutes after the bell, only after I made some bullshit promises. I then made my way to Mr Richards ’ office. I was slightly out of breath; in a foul mood, and hungry. Almost two hours with ward would make anyone’s day shit. I just wanted this meeting over and done with; a salad was calling my name in the snack bar.

*

    First break couldn’t have come fast enough; I dismissed my second class and made my way to my office. I quickly booted up my computer and made myself look busy.
    Soon enough, a tentative knock was at my door.
    ‘Come in.’ I said, using her favourite tone.
    She walked in, I saw her in all her glory. My heart skipped a beat.
    ‘Take a seat.’
    Evie sat gingerly opposite me, she was shaking slightly; her cheeks were rose and her mouth was open a little. Her top three buttons were undone, showing the lace of her bra. She made me melt.
    ‘So what’s the issue with my coursework?’ She spoke, her voice soft and dainty, unlike normal, it made me swell, that I was helping her come out of her shell.
    ‘Nothing Evie, as you said, you’re a grade A student, I just needed an excuse to see you.’
    She gasped.
    ‘You couldn’t have waited till afterwards? I’ve already wasted enough time...’
    ‘And who’s fault is that?’ I interrupted. ‘Evie.’ Her name rolled off my tongue, my voice, soft, lyrical, each syllable created a new note to the composition.
    ‘We’ve discussed this. No special treatment, otherwise people will figure us out. We don’t want that. Do we?’
    I stood up slowly, feeling that I wasn’t going to get a response, I walked around my desk and perched myself on the front of it. I looked into her green eyes deeply. A man could get lost there.
    ‘Do we?’ I asked again, this time more reassuring.
    ‘Course not Sir.’ I smiled.
    ‘That’s a good girl.’ I praised as I ran my hand down her cheek, with my middle finger being the main focus of contact.
    She shuddered under my touch; bit her lip timidly. I felt the same warmth between us from Saturday night. I leant down, aiming for her lips. Her hand quickly rejected me.
    ‘Phil, no. What if someone comes in?’
    I kept silent; I stood tall and walked over to the door, I turned the lock twice, completely sealing us inside, together, alone.
    ‘Is that better?’
    ‘Yes...’ She whispered, lingering on the ’s’.
    I walked back to her and softly kissed her.
    ‘Just remember Evie, this is our little secret.’
    She nodded with an open mouth, I leant down again and let my passions indulge her, and she, beautifully, responded.

*

    Later that term, I was called out of my class by my head of year, Miss Moore. I was quite disappointed, I had done nothing wrong, and I was really enjoying English.
    She was rat-like, in all of her features, she scurried about the corridors, and she always seemed to be six foot away from us, well me in particular. She took me to her office, it was small and cosy; I took a seat on the sofa.
    ‘What have I done this time?’
    ‘Nothing Evelyn, I just want a little chat that’s all.’
    ‘I had nothing to do with the shit that went on with the alley with Jordan White if that’s what you’re on about.’ I quickly replied, my eyes wide. Busted!
    ‘No no no, nothing about Jordan.’
    ‘Then what?’
    ‘Evelyn, we’ve had a rather serious allegation made.’
    ‘And you’re saying this isn’t to do with Jordan?’
    ‘No nothing about Jordan...’
    Miss Moore looked at me softly.

    ‘The allegation that you are in a relationship with a member of staff.’
    ‘What the fuck! Fuck no!’
    My breathing had become rasped, my pulse rose. Shit, I thought as the blood raced through my body.
    ‘Language Evelyn.’
    ‘I’m not shagging a teacher!’ My words only just made it out of my mouth.
    ‘Evelyn. Breathe! In, 1...2...3, Out, 1...2...3.’
    She repeated this phrase countless amount of times, but it helped. Soon my breathing had regulated and was in time to hers.
    ‘I know it’s hard Evelyn... It’s all okay, you’re not the one in the wrong here.’ She placed her hand on my shoulder.
    ‘I think it’s best that you take the next few days off. Your mother is on her way now.’
    I nodded, still too shaken to speak.
    ‘Fuck, fuck fuck fuck.’

*

    ‘How the hell am I going to tell Liz this one?’ my thoughts wandered into the inevitable arguments and discussions we were going to have. Where would she start? When I first met Evie away from school? Or when I fell out of love with her?
    I sat in the car; I was home early. She’d asked about that as well, My belongings from my office were in the boot.
    I thrashed my hands on the steering wheel, cursing. This couldn’t be happening.
    ‘Phil, I’m going to have to suspend you with an on-going investigation’
    Charles’ voice still rung clear in my head. I just had to hope for my family’s sake that Evie could pull this off.

*

    ‘Evie, darling.’
    ‘Don’t call me that.’
    I looked at my mother, tired, exhausted from the hysterical crying.
    ‘I’ve always called you Evie...’
    ‘Well it’s Evelyn, please.’
    I could see her expression fall; her heart had just been torn into two, now it was her crying.
    ‘Evelyn... darling... Did he ever...?’
    ‘No mum... never.’ I swallowed, possibly a little bit too hard, I couldn’t tell her any of it.
    How could I admit to my mother that I snuck out late on Saturday night and ended up losing my virginity, or how could I admit to wanting to be with him, ever since I laid my eyes on him? How could I admit to all of it?
    ‘It’s not your fault, Evelyn, you’re not in the wrong, you’re just a little girl.’
    I couldn’t get it. It’s not my fault?
    ‘I’m not a little girl mum.’ She gave me a sad smile.
    Not anymore anyways.

*

    The click of the lock and the slap of the door shutting announced my homecoming to Liz. I sighed.
    Time to face the music, Richards .
    I dumped my briefcase in the hall and walked into the kitchen. I was pretty confident I needed an Irish coffee to get me through that afternoon.
    ‘You’re home early.’ Liz was standing by the breakfast table, her eyes narrow, her lips were a fine, hard line.
    ‘Department meeting was cancelled.’ My pathetic excuse didn’t convince her.
    ‘You have that on a Wednesday evening.’ her tone harsh. ‘Why don’t you tell me the real reason, the reason which had you waiting in the car for half an hour!’
    ‘I’ve been suspended.’
    ‘What?’ suddenly her demeanour changed.
    ‘A serious allegation has been made against me... and before you ask, it’s complete bollocks, just kids trying to get rid of me.’
    ‘What’s been said, Philip?’ Her concern rose.
    I took a deep breath.
    ‘That I’ve been having a relationship with a year 10 student.’
    It took me a while to realise what caused a deep burning sensation in my left cheek, It was only when I looked into her eyes I knew she struck me.
    ‘She was the one, wasn’t she? The one who’s made you go all gooey and happy all of a sudden, ever ever nice the night ‘you went out with the guys’. the night ‘you went out with the guys’.’
    ‘Liz, please, I can explain.’ My arm reaches out for her. She quickly slaps it away.
    ‘I don’t need your explanation nor your excuses Philip. Just rot in hell.’
    She turned and walked away, letting her tears consume her.
    Snap...

*

    ‘Hello.’
    ‘What do you want?’
    ‘We can get through this, you know that.’
    ‘Enough already, We’re done, It was nice while it lasted, but It’s not worth risking everything for you.’
    ‘Evie, please... I have nothing left’
    ‘Goodbye, Phil.’
    I hung up the phone, tears pooled in my eyes. Mascara had run down my cheek, making me into a live representation of a crying pop art subject.
    ‘It’s for the best Evelyn’ I convinced myself of that.
    It’s for the best.
    Shame I couldn’t have convinced my heart of the same.

*

    The phone connection died. I fell on my knees in a pathetic mess. I had officially lost everything, my wife, my child, and now the person who I risked everything for. I was living in my car at that moment; I was in desperate need for a shower, in desperate need of some company. I decided to drive back home, If I couldn’t patch things up with Evie, then I would with my wife.
    I turned the corner into my street and saw two police officers at my door. My pulse increased and a sweat burst out on my palms.
    I parked up and got out.
    ‘Everything alright officers?’
    ‘Philip Richards ?’
    ‘Yes.’
    By now the officers were only a foot in front of me.
    ‘Mr Richards, you’re under arrest for sexual assault and statutory rape with a minor. You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something, which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence ...’ One officer spoke to me my rights as he handcuffed my hands.
    That was it.
    Life was officially over.
    I never wanted this.

*

    ‘Evelyn, we need you to be truthful okay.’
    I nodded at the female inspector. Inspector Weller was her name. I was brought into the video interview room, it was big and cosy, I got asked to sit so the camera was fully focused on my face.
    After the formalities, like saying my name and Weller said the date and time, she had begun to ask me the questions.

    ‘When did you first meet outside of school?’

    ‘It was outside a pub on a Saturday night about three months back. I didn’t recognise her.’

    ‘Can you describe how the night went.’

    ‘I was already slightly drunk, I was out with a few mates from the music scene, Phil was there. I wasn’t bothered really. Teachers always saw me in pubs... Just they never spoke to me during the night.’

    ‘I was drinking with the guys, I only had one so far, so I was pretty alert and aware of my surroundings. She walked in with a group of Goth wannabes, she stood out, and she caught my eye. I found her attractive, like any guy in the pub, did. I just didn’t recognise her. She wore a lot more makeup out, she looked a different person.’

    ‘Who made the first move?’

    ‘He did.’

    ‘She did’

    ‘What happened?’

    ‘He said sweet things in my ear, making me feel incredibly beautiful and hot, I blamed it on the drink. He claimed he didn’t know who I was but I think he did.’

    ‘She came up to me, flashing her cleavage, claimed to be 21, I stupidly believed her. She grabbed my hand and guided me into a secluded spot, a dark corner of the pub.’

    ‘He kissed me, it was only a peck, before guiding me to the back room, the function room of the Rose and Crown.’

    ‘She kissed me, trying to initiate the inevitable.’

    ‘He told me no-one would come in because the function room was always off limits for locals, especially when it wasn’t in use.’

    ‘Did you have sex that night?’


    ‘Yes. we did.’

    ‘No we didn’t, I wasn’t up for taking advantage of a woman under the influence.’

    ‘Did he ever hurt you, Evie?’

    ‘No! Of course not.’

    ‘No comment.’

    ‘How long have you been dating?’

    ‘Three months.’

    ‘Dating? No. we didn’t date’

    The interview was finished after an hour. I was sat in the empty room as the two officers went away to discuss. Sweat was pouring off my forehead and my palms were clammy. All of the thoughts of being charged and sent down lingered in my mind. The costs of my actions were deadly. It was never meant to be like this.
    This wasn’t in my plan.

    When I was told, I couldn’t move, my breath was caught in the top of my throat.
    ‘I’m going to have to go to court’ I finally managed.
    My mother nodded, as she reached out and caressed my shoulder; I flinched at her touch.
    It’s okay she told me. It’s okay.
    No, it’s not okay, It never will be.

    ‘How do you find the defendant?’
    ‘We find the defendant, guilty.’

    I heard her family cheer. My heart sank. Tears pricked in the corners of my eyes.

    Men shouldn’t cry! Get a grip, Richards!
    My life officially had been ruined; I would rather die than live the rest of my life as a paedophile, as a sex offender, as a rapist.
    As a piece of worthless scum.

    I only just about heard my sentence, two and half years, life-ban from teaching, life on the register, banned from being within 500ft of Evie. It seemed like an endless list. But there was an even worse outcome out of all of this.
    Liz filed for a divorce, and I lost any rights to see Molly. Apparently I’m too dangerous to be around her.
    This wasn’t meant to happen.
    I’m not a rapist.
    I banged my fists on the edge of the dock screaming my innocence. All that got me was an officer to restrain me. I looked up to her, hoping she’d realise what she had done, but nothing. She was emotionless.

    I watched him go down. I watched the officer escort him down from the dock, back into the cells. There was a vile taste in my mouth; similar to taste when you lie about who cut the dog’s hair, but more extreme. It rose from the pit of my stomach. I felt like I was going to be sick.
    ‘I love you.’ I muttered.
    It was never meant to be like this.
    ‘I love you’ I shouted. Stood from my seat, tears falling slowly down my face.
    ‘I love you.’

    I heard her. She watched me go down, and then had the nerve to scream the three words she had never said to me. She had the nerve to lie, and then tell me she loved me.
    ‘Why now?’ I thought. Why bloody now? I knew I loved her.
    It didn’t matter anyway. I was never going to see her again. I could always imagine life with her, but I chose not to.
    What’s the point in making a fool suffer?

    Everyone knows.
    Everyone knows my darkest secrets.
    Everyone knows the truth, even though they’re scared to admit it.
    It’s okay I’ve admitted it to myself.

    Where did it all go wrong?

    Was it all planned from the start?

    I miss you

    Enough now, get a grip; move on, it’s over

    I never wanted this to be.

    It wasn’t my fault.

    And finally, I believe it.

    

IT WASN’T MY FAULT
















Scars of Revenge

Raymond E. Strawn III

    On the way back home, the man walks past a park his daughter used to play on. Pain and hate begins to fill his chest. As he stares at the swings and the playground his daughter used to run and play on, he notices someone sitting on the bench. The man squints into the sun to get a better look. The man gasps. Is that a foreigner sitting on the bench? The man approaches towards the bench, with each step, hate fills his heart. The person on the bench is a male foreigner. The man knows by how the foreigner is dressed, he is a terrorist.
    “Go back to your damn country!#8221; the man yells out to the foreigner on the bench. “This is my country! We don’t want your kind around here!#8221; The foreigner on the bench lifts his head up and turns toward the man yelling at him. The foreigner is slightly confused as to why this man is yelling at him, but he is used to it. This is not the first time this foreigner has dealt with this before. The foreigner shakes his head and goes back to his phone, reading and scrolling.
    “Get the hell off my bench!#8221; the man continues yelling and starts approaching the bench. In the corner of his eye, the man notices a small rock and he reaches for it and throws it at the foreigner, missing wildly.
    The foreigner jumps up at the sound of the rock skipping across the ground and turns quickly at the man. The foreigner doesn’t want any trouble and heads towards the opposite direction of the man yelling at him. “That’s right you damn terrorist! Get the hell out of here before I bust your face in!#8221; The man reaches down and throws another rock at the foreigner, missing wildly. Thoughts of revenge race through the man’s head during this entire ordeal. The man wishes the foreigner would stay and fight him.
    The man enters his home and kicks off his muddy boots against the wall. He walks over to his couch and plops down. The couch is faded blue from the wear and tear over the years, with an odor of stale beer and popcorn. The man turns on the TV, the news fades onto the screen. The man begins swearing and yelling at the TV when it discusses problems with terrorists. A pregnant woman enters the room from the kitchen, a beer in her hand. She walks towards her husband and hands him his beer. He glances up at her and smiles. Even with all that pain and hate inside, he appreciates and loves his new wife. He would be in such a worse mess without her. He’d probably be locked up or dead if it wasn’t for her. She smiles and bends down, kissing his cheek, his beard scratches gently onto her face. She walks back into the kitchen and continues cooking dinner. She peeks over at her husband, still yelling at the TV. She looks down and begins to rub her stomach. Joy begins to overcome her. She is having a son and she is excited to start a family with her husband, but sadness starts to rise. She hopes that having a baby with her husband would help with his pain and suffering. She thinks maybe it would help him move on and he wouldn’t be so angry as much, instead it seems he is now angrier.

*****

    “You need to forgive sweetie. Violence is not the option. Look at what all this hate is doing to you.#8221; The wife explains to her husband during dinner.
    “Violence is the only option. They need to pay for what they did.#8221; He replies.
    “When does it end, honey? Let’s say you could find those who harmed your first wife and your daughter, then what? You kill them. What if they were married or have children and they grow up without a father or husband. That hate and violence will grow just like it is growing in you. They will want to harm or kill you. It never ends! You need to forgive. I am here for you. We are here for you#8221; she says, rubbing her stomach.
    “It would end with me killing those bastards. They do not deserve to live and I don’t give a damn about their wife or kids. They didn’t care about my wife. They didn’t care about my daughter. So, why should I?#8221; he snaps at her.
    “Because you are better than that. You are better than them.#8221; She grabs his left hand and squeezes it. His head falls in defeat and shakes his head.
    “You don’t understand. How can you? You haven’t lost anyone from them.#8221; He softly says to her, pushing the chicken around with his fork with his right hand. The wife looks down at her stomach and rubs it. Any day now she will be able to hold her son.
    “Maybe you’re right, but I want to keep it that way. You keep getting into fights and stuff, accusing any foreigner of being a terrorist, you will get locked up and I will lose someone. He will lose someone.#8221; She gestures towards the baby. “I don’t want him growing up with all this hate and violence.#8221;
    “Like I said, you don’t understand and you will never understand until either I or our son dies from those damn terrorists.#8221; He gets up violently and throws the fork onto the small wooden dining table. He begins to head towards the front door. His wife wipes a tear away and continues rubbing her stomach.
    “It’s okay, sweetie. Mommy and daddy love you.#8221; She looks up at her husband who is getting his boots on. “Daddy is just sad because your big sister is no longer with us.#8221; She pauses for a moment. She realizes that if that horrible thing never happened, she would have never met her husband, she would have never married him, and she wouldn’t be pregnant with their son. She begins sobbing.
    The man reaches the graveyard. He finds it odd that there is a group of people towards the edge of the graveyard. He figures that maybe more people visit here during the night. He notices it is a lot cooler visiting during the night. He walks towards his wife’s and daughter’s gravestone, two pink tulips in hand, which he always freshly picks on the way. Before he can reach the gravestones, there is a large explosion.

*****

    The wife is laying down on the cart, being pushed through the hallway.
    “My baby! My baby!#8221; the wife screams out in pain.
    “You need to try to calm down.#8221; A doctor says to her.
    “I can’t calm down! My baby!#8221; she screams out in pain.
    “It is okay ma’am.#8221; A nurse says to trying to reassure her. “Your baby is coming. Everything will be okay.#8221;
    “But my husband, my husband is...#8221; she screams as the contractions get worse. The baby is coming. The wife focuses on her breathing. It is time to deliver the baby.
    The wife holds her son in her arms and looks down at him.
    “Hey there sweetie.#8221; She softly whispers to the sleeping baby. “I have some bad news to tell you. Daddy won’t be able to see you today. You see, those bad men who hurt your big sister, they hurt daddy too. And daddy is right. I didn’t understand until now. It is going to be up to you to avenge your father’s death.#8221; She kisses her son’s soft forehead. “I don’t know how your dad did it. But I finally get it.#8221;

*****

    “I know today is my birthday.#8221; He explains to his mother. “But I got a gift for you mom.#8221; He reaches into his pocket and hands his mother an envelope from the military. She opens it with excitement and takes out a letter addressed to her son. She begins reading it and stops.
    “You are going out next week to kill the terrorists?#8221; she asks happily.
    “Yes mom I am. I am going to avenge dad’s death.#8221; He says with a smile on his face. He can’t wait. His mother hugs him tightly.
    “I am so proud of you. Your father would be so proud of you.#8221;
    “I know mom. I am going to do what dad wished he could have done years ago. I will avenge his death and my older sister’s death.#8221;
    “Do you know where you will be attacking, if you can share?#8221;
    “Yes mom. We are going to attack New York City. Those Americans are going to pay for what they did to our family, to our country. We are going to get our revenge from those Americans, those damn terrorists.#8221;
















Bird Island
Chapter 9
The Crabs

Patrick Fealey

    “Mail call! I think Bird got a letter!”
    Wawp is home from the boats.
    “Don’t act so hot, Bird. It’s only June. Here’s your mail.”
    Bird takes the letter and stands on it and pulls. Bird rips the paper while Wawp laughs. “No news is good news!”

    The big one, always fish. Where are the fish? Scott is not a fish.

    Sitting in the chair, like a fish, Scott talks to Wawp. “My parents are dead. I was left to fend for myself. I was still a teenager when they both died. Both of them. My parents had money, but when they died, my aunts and uncles and my older brother, they stole it all. I got nothing. My own brother. I grew up in a waterfront house - look at me now.”
    “Narragansett Island?”
    “I never saw you,” it says.
    “I never saw you.”
    “We never met because I went to private schools off-island.”
    “Scott, what’s your last name?”
    “Locke.”
    “That’s probably it.”
    “I don’t have any problem living with your bird.”
    “He likes you. Must be the Batman shirt. It should be alright. I have a cage for him, his house, in my room, if needed.”
    “I like bats, myself.”

    The fish die on the edge of the sea. A red face spits at Wawp and Bird: “Scott? Fuck me if I know where that fat fucker is.” Wawp takes Bird and the silver fish to the water. Bird pecks and Bird pulls it out. The white ones shout about it, but they stay away from Wawp. The white ones always shout about it.

    The ringing and Wawp wake Bird. Wawp is talking.
    “Scott! Get up! Your boss just called. He says to get your ass down to the docks now or your ass is fired!”
    “Can you drive me?”
    “Yeah.”
    “I’ve been lifting crates of fish and wearing these yellow boots for a year and you know how much that asshole pays me? Five bucks an hour.”

    Bird is on Wawp. Wawp is walking among the humans on their day. Wawp drank some ta-keel-laa in a quiet bar. There is more noise on the street than there are humans here. Wawp talks to Bird below the noise and humans. In the field of humans Bird sees the fish human Scott Bird and Wawp talk with. Scott is walking, bent looking at his feet. Scott is slow. Scott makes small steps, falls onto one foot, catches himself, falls onto the other foot. Scott is bigger than other humans and yellow legs shine with fish scales. On Scott’s black chest is a black bird caught in yellow. It has fins.

    Scott is in Scott’s sitting place, talking to Wawp. This is how Scott and Wawp do it in the dark, after the fish smell. Wawp is silent. “One night I was coming home – it was dark – I am just about here – when I get jumped by a bunch of niggers from the projects. High school kids. They knock me down. I come away with two black eyes, but I managed to grab one of them by the throat and nearly strangled him to death. I let go right before he was about to go out. It scared the shit out of the rest of them. They all took off on their buddy. He got reality – for no reason. They jump me for no reason. No reason at all. Niggers. They abandon their friend. Niggers. That guy walked off alone, slowly, after a brush with death. I wasn’t looking for any trouble.”

    The human who makes the nice sounds is outside this place and it does not smell it.

    Fish. It is the fish smell, but there are no fish to eat. It is Scott. Scott eats fish, wears fish, smells like fish, but never leads Bird to fish. Wawp and Bird climb the house and the fish smell is strong and when Wawp opens the door Bird looks and sees Scott again sitting in Scott’s place, eating FISH. Scott is looking at the light box and eating fish out of a bowl. Scott is crunching dry chips out of a bag. Scott is in his fish pants. Scott drinks black water from a bottle. Wawp takes Bird into the room. Wawp says, “He should take a goddamn shower first thing when he gets home.”

    “What are you doing in there? I gotta crap!” Wawp says.
    “Sitting on the toilet,” Scott says.
    “After you take a shower?”

    Wawp slaps his beer on the desk.
    “I think there might be something down here causing all the trouble, Bird. That sensation that is half itch and half pain is not fiberglass . . . Follow the pain . . . You birds are good at this shit . . . Motherfuck . . . There he is. Smaller than a flea . . . With a red dot of blood in the middle of his clear body . . . He’s running! Holy shit! It actually looks like a crab! I got him! I killed him, Bird . . . But we’re not going to eat him . . . Sorry . . . Here’s another one! Got him. I feel sick. How the fuck did i get these? I’m going to the drugstore.”

    “I hope you said a prayer to Marlin Perkins!” Wawp says, coming into the room, Wawp’s eel’s nest glowing.

    Wawp jumps, hitting Wawp’s legs on the desk. The tapping-paper machine rings. “Holy shit! They’re pray to Ernest Hemingway.” Wawp comes back wet with Wawp’s body red. “I’m going to look like an obsessive-compulsive going to the laundromat again.”


    “Bird. They’re back again. I don’t know what else to do. I fear I am losing my mind. I have to find out where they’re coming from. I’ll ask Jess first. Shit, man.”

    Hellophone. Wawp is talking. The door is closed.
    “I had to ask you first because if you hadn’t given them to me, there was a good chance I had by now given them to you, as careful as I have been not to sleep with you until after I had performed the Rid ritual. I don’t want to believe I caught them from you, but I have to start somewhere . . . Are you sure? . . . No itching, or- . . .”
    “I am inclined to believe her, Bird. Time-wise, it doesn’t make sense, unless she is cheating and lying. Jess and I have been going out for three months and the crabs just arrived, right after we moved into this place with Paul and Scott. Scott is next on my list, and given his hours on the toilet and the nights he spends with prostitutes, he has become my prime suspect.”

    “I don’t know why I’m procrastinating with Scott because I’m just getting more pissed off. When is the right moment to bring it up? I’m wiping the toilet seat with Lysol before every crap. I know I’m stalling. I’ve gone through six bottles of Rid and I am getting extremely paranoid. If I don’t feel anything biting into my crotch, I am waiting for it to happen.”

    The other human is here. It sleeps at another place. It is in its skin. It makes smoke and rubs its arm where it is green. It and Wawp drink from bottles of beer. Wawp stands in the big room and it stands in the glass door that is always closed. It slept here last night.
    “What do you think of that guy Scott?” it says.
    “He’s alright,” Wawp says.
    “My girlfriend is afraid of him. That’s why I’m never around. She refuses to come over here.”
    “He’s a total pig to live with,” Wawp says.
    “Yeah, I thought so. Look at my chair! It stinks! It’s ruined!”
    “What are we gonna do?”
    “I don’t know,” it says. “It’s disgusting.”
    “We don’t have to live with Scott,” Wawp says.
    “You mean kick him out?”
    “What else can we do? We can ask him to try to change.”
    “ . . .”
    “I know it would be a pain in the ass to find someone, but I have my reasons,” Wawp says.
    “What?”
    “Do you have crabs? Because I caught them since I moved in.”
    “What? No. Did you ask your girlfriend?”
    “Yeah. She said she doesn’t have them.”
    “Do you believe her?”
    “Jess? Yeah,” Wawp says. “The timing isn’t right. I got them right after i moved in here.”
    “When?”
    “About two weeks.”
    “That’s about right. Did you ask Scott?”
    “Not yet.”
    “You know, the guy who lived in your room before you might have had them. He was a sailor, a real scumbag.”
    “Maybe.”

    Scott is in Scott’s sitting place, talking low. Wawp is listening to Scott. “Paul gave me an ultimatum. Clean up your act or something is going to have to happen. This has happened to me before. I have been tossed out of places for exactly the same reason. I am a slob.”

    Scott is in Scott’s sitting place, watching the light box and eating, but there is no fish smell. His hair is wet
    “Look! There are no beer bottles rolling across the floor,” Wawp laughs.
    “I have to be clean or face homelessness,” Scott says.
    “There are no dishes in the sink,” Wawp says.

    “Did you ask him yet? Did you ask him?” it says.
    “What are you smiling about? It’s not funny,” Wawp says.

    Scott and Wawp are standing in the dark room talking after making the sound play.
    “I have a question, Scott,” Wawp says. “Do you have crabs? I caught them and I don’t know where from, but I got them recently. Do you think you have them?”
    “Oh no, I don’t got the crabs. Oh no, i don’t got the crabs.”

    FISH. The fish is in the house. Scott is in Scott’s sitting place and Scott is the fish. Scott is watching the light box. Wawp kicks a bottle across the floor and Scott goes into Scott’s room. Low sounds through the house. “Bird. Scott’s blown it. He’s out. The crabs are out. The lobsters are out. The tuna is out. Tom Petty is out.”
















Bird Island
Chapter 10
The New Yorker

Patrick Fealey

    “Bird, can you say, ‘Nevermore’?” Scott says.
    “How ’bout ‘Fuck-off, asshole’?” Ivelli says. “Get the fuck out of here. And take your Dungeons and Dragons dice with you.”
    “I buy books,” Scott says. “All the time.”
    “Poe is dead and Bird isn’t a raven.”
    “PENTAGRAM!”
    “See, he only says it when he wants to. Right now he’s telling you to leave your ring. He wants it. You like him so much, you gonna give it to him or you not goth enough?”
    The boy Scott brushes Scott’s hair out of Scott’s eyes and looks at Bird. “He says—“
    “PENTAGRAM!”
    “Give it up,” Ivelli says. “You taught him.”
    Scott twists the silver pentagram and pulls and places it on the counter.
    “Sterling,” Ivelli says, picking it up. “Bird, you’ve scored.”
    “Yeah.”
    Ivelli pushes the pentagram at Bird. Bird looks, but it’s Ivelli. Ivelli puts it on the counter. “It’s yours, Bird.” Ivelli slides it closer to Bird. Bird steps aside.
    “Look, he doesn’t want it,” Scott says.
    “Come back for it when he gets tired of it - in about a year. And take this. It’s about time you graduated from wizards to fist-fucking.”
    “Our Lady of the Flowers.”
    “‘Genet sucks on Ramon’s dick/The guy in the bunk above gets sick/the lunatic in the cell next door starts screaming for his mother.’
If your mother tells you to bring it back, tell her to bring her fine ass.”
    “I don’t think he wants it,” Scott says.
    “He will,” Ivelli says. “Look how it shines, Bird.” Ivelli picks up the ring and holds it up to Bird. Bird turns. “Fucking crazy bird. He asks for it and now he doesn’t want it. Maybe he’s a she.”
    “Can I have it back?”
    “Fuck off!”
    “ . . .”
    “If he hasn’t touched it in a week, you can have it back.”
    “You promise?”
    “Tom, tell him.”
    “I’ll hold on to your ring,” Wawp says.
    “Alright.”

    Wawp and Ivelli are smoking and drinking coffee. Ivelli is pale and tells Wawp to do things. Wawp and Ivelli sit most of the day and sometimes a human comes in. This place is like other places Bird has gone with Wawp where Wawp sits and talks to humans. Bird doesn’t know why and there is no food here. Just coffee.
    “You get books at half price, so if I find you stealing, you’re gonna get the same baseball bat all the thieves get, but worse,” Ivelli says.
    “You have a lot of shoplifters here?” Wawp says.
    “No. I’m paranoid from the city. If you have any suggestions, I’m open,” Ivelli says.
    “Sure,” Wawp says. “If I think of any, I’ll let you know.”

    “Ivelli, we have any Dostoyevsky? A guy wanted Notes from Underground. I sent him to fiction, philosophy, searched everywhere, but I couldn’t find him.”
    “Dostoyevsky?” Ivelli says.
    “Yeah.”
    “What do I want Dostoyevsky for?”
    “Because he’s one of the greatest authors who ever lived and you own a bookstore.”
    “Dostoyevsky is dead.”
    “People are asking for him.”
    “Dostoyevsky?”
    “Yeah.”
    “Forget about Dostoyevsky. I gotta go meet my wife.”

    The meat is on Ivelli and Ivelli’s mate when Ivelli and its mate come back sucking on buckets . . . The smell of melted cheese and charred beef.

    “We should at least have Notes from Underground in this store,” Wawp says.
    “I’m about to have a second stroke and you’re still talking about dead Russian writers? People on this island aren’t interested in that book. The bourgeois scumbags on this island need to see a simpler story. They need Diary of a Rapist, The FBI Homicide Investigation Manual, they need smack, they need mutilation, they need murder, they need chaos, they need despair, and at the very least, they need to know what a Freddy Corbin looks like.”
    “You think a picture of a dead body is going to have an effect on a Republican?”
    “This bland homogenous fortress town needs to be turned around. They need to see the darkest depths of their human souls. Have you looked at that book? There’s a photo of a boy who’s been strangled and sodomized. His ass is still in the air with his reamed out asshole facing the photographer. A gigantic maggot is crawling out of his mouth. You know the first thing I think of when I see that? That he’s black. That they found him in a hotel room in the city, that he’s poor. This island is a part of that crime scene. This is the hideout, protected like a prison, furnished with mansions and yachts. Show me a man in this town with clean hands and i’ll show you the token bum. The walls are high here. The last thing anyone wants is a maggot-infested corpse of a poor city kid in their home. Well, we’re gonna bring it to them. We’re going to bring them the kid whose pocket their yachts came out of.”

    The pentagram is not of Scott. Ivelli talks. Wawp listens.

    “I met my wife when I was a punk rocker, that’s how we met. I was the singer. She was the groupie who wouldn’t let up. She stalked me in my Queens hotel room. That was before Queens got ugly. When she showed up at gigs, I told her to fuck off, but she kept showing up at every one of them. I couldn’t shake her. Go ahead and laugh, but we were brought together by the music. We called ourselves the Hemorrhoids and we were the most outrageous fucking worst band in New York. That’s saying a lot for the 1970s. We could clear a room in under a minute. We repulsed. Did you know I was the first person to ever hit himself with a microphone?” Ivelli waves Ivelli’s arms and hits Ivelli on the head. “Boomf! Boomf! Boomf! When Norman Mailer was going through a divorce and needed cash, he wrote a bunch of quick books, one of them on the punk scene. He interviewed me after a show one night and asked about the microphone. ‘Why are you hitting yourself?’ he asked me. I told him, ‘Because i am the closest victim.’”
    “Do we have any Mailer in this place?”
    “Of course not.”
    “I got my ass kicked after a show in Connecticut. There had been a story in the news about a guy who had had his dick cut off by his girlfriend. I made a joke about it onstage. Turns out his sister was in the audience with a bunch of his friends.”

    Bird drops the lighter into Ivelli’s coffee.
    Wawp laughs. “Bird’s tryna tell you something.”
    “What?”
    “Check your coffee.”
    “You little bastard.”
    “I was gonna say something, but it was an act of nature. He’s never liked fire. I used to use matches, but they were too easy for him to grab and run with. He’d dunk them in his water.”
    “Bird,” Ivelli looks at Bird. “You owe me a dollar for the lighter and about the same for the coffee.”
    Wawp says, “Bird doesn’t have any money and what he has nobody knows where it is.”
    “He has the sterling silver ring.”
    “He hasn’t accepted that. You can’t sue him for more than tin foil, bullet shells, clothespins, assorted pieces of metal, you know, crow treasures.”
    “I’ll take it out of your pay.”
    “You hired Bird separate from me and as his pro-bono attorney I must point out to the court that your coffee is still drinkable.”
    “You win. Bird, if the lighter dries out, I won’t fire you.”

    “I don’t like guns,” Ivelli says. “Bet you wouldn’t have guessed that. I like to see what they accomplish in the hands of people I like, but my own experience with them was a failure. It was a long time ago. Out in Texas. Doing the cowboy thing, living on a ranch and drinking a lot and asking myself the big question: ‘Are you gay or are you straight?’ There were plenty of guns around, but one of the guys staying with us had a pistol. He would go out back and shoot bottles like he was Doc Holliday, though I think he also shot small animals like birds and frogs down at the pond. One day he was out and I borrowed the gun. I was convinced it was the right thing to do. I knew it was the only thing left for me. I went out back . . . And there was this mess of shattered bottles just blown to pieces, ripped tree trunks and pocked rocks . . . That’s when I realized what the gun would do to me. Then I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be a dead person who couldn’t tell his story, maybe. So you know what I did? I took all the bullets out of that revolver, all of them except one. I was going to see, you know, if it was meant to be. The odds were in my favor, so if they went against me, then fate had spoken. With one bullet in I tried to spin the cylinder. But it wouldn’t spin. Then I figured it out. You had to pull back the hammer a little and then it would spin. I spun it, like in Deer Hunter. I cocked the gun. One bullet. One shot. I put the barrel up to my temple. I was all set to do it and I should have pulled the trigger before I could start thinking because no sooner did I have this hard thing against my head than I get to wondering about nothing. I didn’t believe in heaven or hell. I believed that if I pulled that trigger and shot myself, I wouldn’t know anything. And that started to bother me - because if I believed in anything, it was awareness and knowledge. So, I lowered the gun and pointed it at some trees and pulled the trigger. ‘Bang!’ The thing jumped in my hand. It scared me so bad I ran back into the house and put it away. The moral of the whole story is that nothingness is a sure way to wake you up to what a pussy you are. I couldn’t take action.”
    “NEVERMORE!”
    Wawp and Ivelli are laughing.
    “FISH!”
    “Can I run up to the market?” Wawp says.
    “Yeah. Get me a lighter.”

    “There was another time in Brooklyn Heights,” Ivelli says. “The ranch wasn’t the last time, just with a gun. There was this pipe that stuck out of the ceiling of my studio. It was in the shape of a U, like this, a toilet pipe sticking out of my ceiling. It was always there. I saw it every night I came home. I saw it when I wasn’t looking at it. I felt it. That pipe stalked me. One day I pushed a chair under it and measured the rope. I cut the rope and made a noose. I tied it to the pipe. I dropped the noose around my neck and pulled it tight. I kicked out the chair and there I was, hanging. Everything was going fine . . . All of a sudden there was a crash . . . I was on the floor . . . On my ass . . . A stream of water and shit pouring down on me . . . The pipe had ripped right out of the fucking ceiling! I sat there with the noose around my neck, covered in shit. If I hadn’t been such a fat idiot! That’s when I knew I was meant to live.”
    “What’s the moral?”
    “I guess fat and stupid is how to live.”

    Bird stands on the hello so Wawp must talk to Bird. Wawp says, “Bird, you know if that rings you’re going to have to let me answer it. This place is my job. It’s your job too. This is your first job and you should take it more seriously. Do you wanna answer the phone? Can you say, ‘Friction’?”
    “DONALD’S FISH!”
    “Close enough.”

    Ivelli is bright. Wawp talks to the humans. Wawp gives the humans books. Wawp says hi. Wawp says thank you. Ivelli talks and sits while Wawp gets the humans out. Ivelli talks to humans. Humans talk to Bird and touch Bird. Ivelli talks to Wawp when the humans go.
    “I met this chick,” Ivelli says.
    “Yeah?”
    “She’s a death rocker from New York.”
    “How’d you meet her?”
    “She came in here the other day with two other girls. They’d just gotten on the island and their car had broken down right outside. She asked if she could use the phone. They were in and out of here all day. And yesterday she came back and asked me if I wanted to go out sometime. She’s here for the summer. My wife wasn’t around, so I said ‘sure.’”
    “What’s she look like?”
    “A death rocker. You know, she’s paler than me. Dresses in black.”
    “Paler than you?”
    
“Paler than me, but she uses make-up.”
    “What’s she like?”
    “She’s a death rocker.”
    “Where’d you go?”
    “Just out for a couple beers. I’ve started drinking again. Then over to her place.”
    Ivelli is bright again. Grey teeth and purple neck.
    “You went to her place?”
    “To look at the records she brought up with her. She’s got all the old bands, all the albums I used to have. It’s like destiny or something.”
    “You went over to her house - to look at albums?”
    “Well, you can only look at albums so long. Then, shtuppin’.”
    “No.”
    “Yes. It was so strange to fuck someone who, who is so light. I mean, I mean I could wrap my arms around her and just pick her up. I mean, really fuck her.”
    “What about your wife?”
    “She doesn’t know. I told her I was out with Charlie.”
    “Did she see that hickey?”
    “My wife gave me that.”
    “What? When?”
    “This morning.”
    “Dude, she knows.”
    “She doesn’t know.”
    “When was the last time she gave you a hickey?”
    “Nineteen-eighty.”
    “She definitely knows.”
    “She doesn’t know.”

    “Bird,” Ivelli says. “This death rocker will never be as deathly as you, but she is weird. I mean whacked. Tom, you know what she told me the other night? She said, ‘I am consumed by death, but I do not consume death.’ Then she asked me if I knew what she meant. It was all I could do not to laugh in her face. I just nodded and said, ‘Yes. I know what you mean. You are consumed by the idea of dying, but you do not eat meat.’ And she said, ‘Right.’”
    Wawp laughs.
    Bird laughs.
    Ivelli laughs.

    Wawp is sitting in front of the drawer where Wawp keeps the shiny money from Bird. Bird stands, waits for Wawp to open it again, but nobody comes in. The sun is bright and hazy in the glass front window. Wawp sees Bird breathe through Bird’s mouth and gets up and brings back water. Bird drinks on the counter. The door opens. Ivelli.
    “I got busted,” Ivelli says, hurrying past – into the books.
    “You already were.”
    “What do you mean? She didn’t know.” Ivelli spins and returns.
    “Whatever . . .”
    “I was over the death rocker’s, shtupppin’. It got late. Midnight. Two. Three. Three-thirty. I couldn’t pull myself away from her. Finally at five in the morning I said ‘The hell with it’ and went to sleep. Yesterday, sometime in the afternoon, I showed up at home. My wife tore into me. She said, ‘Get the fuck out! And I want all your shit outa here!’ I got busted.”
    “You didn’t get busted. You slept over this chick’s house. You gave it up.”

    Keys.

    Wawp opens the store and Bird rides his shoulder. A kill. Wawp stops, the keys in Wawp’s hand. Ivelli comes out of the books, rubbing Ivelli’s eyes. Ivelli is without his glass eyes.
    “It stinks in here,” Wawp says.
    “Really?” Ivelli says. “Like what?”
    “Like you. No wonder no one comes in here.”
    Wawp is laughing. Bird laughs. Ivelli isn’t laughing. Ivelli puts on Ivelli’s glass eyes and stares at Wawp and Bird.
    Wawp says, “Dude, you oughta take a shower at your girlfriend’s house.”
    “She only has one towel.”
    “So?”
    “I don’t want to ask her to use it.”
    “You sleep with her, but you can’t use her towel?”
    “I’m working up to it.”
    “You can shower at my place.”
    “I’ll do that.”
    Ivelli says, “Business sucks! Nobody is coming in! I called my mother for more money. She’s furious about me leaving my wife and kids for the death rocker. That’s all she talked about. She screamed at me, ‘Alimony! Child support!’ . . . Me and my girl have been talking. I’m going to have a white chalk outline of a corpse painted on the sidewalk in front of the store. It will have red paint blood in the heart and brain so it looks real.”
    “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
    “Why not? It’ll attract attention.”
    “I’m not sure the zoning board members read what we sell.”
    “We need to specialize. Giving away free condoms is only half of what we’re about. Shit! I haven’t even been wearing them.”


    Wawp says into the hello: “Is Ivelli there? Okay thanks.” Wawp puts it down.
    “A woman, Bird, young. The death rocker? What’s she doing working?”


    Wawp answers, “Friction. Slow. Oh yeah? I’m sitting here in the sun, bored. No. I gotta go. It’s getting busy.
    “The death rocker, Bird. She says the other day when she worked, it was busy. She also asked me if I was a sun person. Whack-job.”

    Ivelli is walking. Ivelli walks away into the books and then comes back to Wawp. Ivelli walks out the door into the sun and turns and walks back into the store and walks into the water room. The water is splashing and Ivelli is in the water room when the sun goes to night in the front of the store: Ivelli’s mate is in the door.
    “Is Ivelli here?” it says.
    Ivelli’s beef and cheese mate. It stays in the doorway.
    “Yeah,” Wawp says. “He’s in the bathroom. C’mon in.”
    “Tell him I’m here.”
    “Ivelli! Your wife is here!”
    Quiet. Splashing.
    “Ivelli!”
    “I hear ya!” Splashing.
    “He’s coming,” Wawp says. “C’mon in.”
    “No, I’ll stay out here.” It is shaking. A river has run under its face. Washed away and lost.
    Ivelli comes out of the water room. Ivelli looks the same. “I’m gonna be awhile,” Ivelli says in a breath, smiling at Wawp as Ivelli passes the counter. “She has a list of demands.”
    Ivelli is out the door and Ivelli and its mate go.
    Wawp and Bird sit, as on many days.
    “Bird, to sell books you need books and I cannot think of one book in here that I would buy. Ivelli has not been getting books.”
    Out of the sun a human comes in.
    It is Ivelli. The mate is not with Ivelli.
    “What happened?” Wawp says.
    “She wants half my money and then she told me to ‘fuck off.’”
    “Why?”
    “I told her it wasn’t her fault.” Grey corn teeth. “I told her I was doing this for myself. She’s really upset. She started crying and her hands were all shaking. I was in wonder.”
    “Where is she?”
    “She’s still in the café.”
    “You left her in there?”
    “ . . .”
    “Why did she tell you to fuck off?”
    “’Cause she just realized for the first time in fifteen years that I never loved her.”
    The hello phone. “Friction,” Wawp says. “Ivelli, do we have The Autobiography of Allison Wheeler?”
    “Is that some old lady?”
    “Yeah.”
    “She calls every week. It’s a book she published herself. Tell her to fuck off.”
    “No, I’m sorry, we don’t have it, and we don’t expect to have it in the near or distant future.”

    “You should come to one of these poetry readings in the city,” Ivelli says. “I got to hold Bob Kaufman’s ashes last night.”
    “What did you do for him when he was alive, living in the streets?”
    “You’re in a bad mood.”

    The ringing. Wawp puts down Wawp’s coffee and answers the hello.
    “Hello? . . . Okay, Ivelli. Whatever.”
    Wawp comes back to the couch and sits down. “We just got laid off. Ivelli says business sucks and he’s going to work all the hours.”

    Wawp and Bird step into the bookstore and a human with a red head and a face white as the belly of a flatfish is sitting in Wawp’s place. It watches while Wawp pulls keys off a silver ring. Wawp drops them on the glass counter.
    And Wawp and Bird walk out into the blue sky free. Wawp reaches into his pocket and shows Bird the pentagram. Bird takes it and holds it as Bird rides Tommy down the street.



See past issues of cc&d and future issues
for additional installments of the
Patrick Fealey book “Bird Island”.
















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The High School I Never Attended in Your Nation Which Doesn’t Exist

CEE

    “Now, I’m just gonna say this, and then, I don’t want to talk about it, anymore...

CEE, in terminating debate over dinner
at the local ChiChi’s, summer, 1994

    In my Scars chapbook, The Blazing Hands of 100 Drummers, there’s a dear remembrance of Pop and I, titled “Old Penny”. I set within it, the warmth and safety and hearth and home, the paternal and the bonding and the security of America in the early 60’s, against the bugfuck rebellion of the late 60’s, which became the dancy crap of the 21st Century, which, though it nauseate, provided a nice cushion to fall into, once we’d been stupid enough to take my inheritance (and hers—the local community in part, owes its unusual liquidity, to my household) and party like it was 1999...which ended in 2013, to give you an idea ‘how much’. I used to go to eBay and click about, just to watch my Feedback number climb.
    The imagery in “Old Penny”, placed me next to my Dad on our forest green couch, junior numismatists looking for the VDB...but beyond this, was my societal model unseen, as the camera pulls back, crane shot, from our quiet, Cold War neighborhood, and pivots, sighting past chasm dug for the new interstate (no fences, yet...I imagine our sandlot baseball, contributed to the need for those...like we couldn’t climb them, geez), and we see the oldest downstate high school in my humble state, a place of proud tradition and lengthy PBS docu, a school stuffed like a mall Santa with lore and dusty Was as Is. As Pop and I sat there, sifting what was still made of copper, the nearby high school I was supposed to, eventually, attend, had a strict dress code. It was a public school, sure, but those who did not previously live life in my corner of America tend to, and on forums yet today, have a Super Bad Reaction, to it. My response to badmouthing local as “I don’t like it here!”, has never altered. It’s very Richard Nixon, and its logic cannot be assailed, without verbal tricks. Word to the Wiseass: Logic 101 sounds like a cool course, but you’d learn the same thing, watching Penn and Teller.
    The 2nd half of the 1960’s, when Der Beatles ditched their cool, Edwardian suits, Kennedy was toast and Ho Chi Minh oddly was not surrendering, when HATE as I ever understood it became hard-marbled within the meat of our country, began in my hometown with a lawsuit by a kid from another land. Said kid didn’t cott’ to the high school’s dress code, bitched to his parents (who were not poor—in America, the salient issue, is always class), and subsequently appealed it all the way to the State Supreme Court, in those years of Earl Warrenesque appeasement. The kid from another land got his way, the high school became as mod as any you’d find in my corner (meaning not very, but a veritable be-in, compared to “dressing like our parents”, as one old grad said on DVD). I’ve always lived in my head, and did not know about this at the time. Vaguely, if I sit and stare into the middle distance, I’m riding past the high school as a tiny kid, and yes, I see a regimented look, boring but proper. If I listen to the silence, I hear...more the sound of my parents’ disgust, something Bye, Bye Birdie, re: discontent, impropriety. If I close eyes long enough, there are colorful clothes and leisurely dress and stance and behaviors, as Mom and I roll past the high school, later. And, that, to me, is wrong.
    Dress codes, I would concur, are annoying—you’ll notice many work places have them, now, and Fuck That. Even Fran Liebowitz, on record as early as I know, by 1995, re: “no fashion consciousness among children”, applauded dress codes, but by CEE, that’s telling me I can’t walk on the grass. One solves the problem, by Not Attending The Offending School. Spock was correct, e.g. “there are always alternatives”. We just want it our way, early Burger King before corporate realized that didn’t work so well. I’m not big on a mouse that roars changing an entire system. Tank Man, died. As did our Nathan Hale. Philosopher kings of any cause, should do exactly that. If you won’t get out of the way of personal dilemma, then insist on speaking out to the point of spearheading societal change, all right...but, it’s going to cost something. Something very dear. Otherwise, STFU. If your folks have buchu bucks, stop playing the “class” game, and go to another school. Using the judiciary to assrape tradition in a city you just sort of moved to, is itself criminal. As is our court system. You don’t want to know about my thoughts on replacing it. It might help to google the histories of the states, prior to even the 13 colonies, when “provinces” was the term of use. Yeah. That’s who you’re dealing with. Man, is not a god. Pretending we’ve evolved, is a child’s game, one I refuse to acknowledge. If you’ve no nimbus, pick up a stone. Yes, I know whom I’m contradicting. You heard me. Imperfection, can only be primitive.
    Now, if you won’t meet me in that arena, if you strike absolutes, wonderful, but then, strike all of them, and across the coordinate plane. And if there remains now only the relative, there exist no rules but as arbitrated, Marvin. This, then, becomes a useless system, and the ‘92 LA riots are daily “go to the store”. If you can say NO, I WON’T and the State must bow down, you don’t have a State. The State, exists to limit, curtail, no, stop, less, cut it out. The State, denies, and according to parchment already there, Wow!, how ‘bout that? As with Mrs. CEE not grasping we didn’t need landscaping because there was a planted yard when we moved in, I don’t get overhauling System Entire because you personally have a surfboard up your ass. I empathize. No one digs being ordered about. I was a huge “no one tells Me” boy, teen and callow youth. I paid my dues. You don’t scoot, on yours. And, maybe you didn’t have any right to complain, from the jump. If Earl Warren had never been born, perhaps there’s a dress code at Oldest Downstate High, this very school day. You probably began your crusade, building your nucleus with the buzzterm of “free speech”. And if, nonfriend, you aren’t already shrieking at the page, brace for impact: Free speech, in the proper, powdered-wig sense of the word, means STFU and go along with your community. The kid from another land, was wrong. He should have been ignored to the point of community-wide silent treatment, no matter how asshole school uniforms are.
    When the Nazis Came to Skokie by Philippa Strum, more so than the prime case it illustrates, lays out in mostly-free-of-legalese, the Chubby Checker Twister game of free speech in America. As with Man being unable to ramify YHWH’s omniscience with Man’s free will (the secret being, free will as such, is a human misinterpretation...in the cosmological, you’re anything but “free”, and horrifying though it seem, John Calvin had all the ducks in a row), Free Speech doesn’t actually mean “say what you like with one foot on Free Parking while you look to steal 2nd faster than Maury Wills”. It doesn’t mean, “Most every statement is comped, but circle-slash-Hitler”. It doesn’t even mean “drown out the politico with impunity, then jump up on the platform, or said candidate is a racist in tomorrow’s news”. Free Speech, isn’t being allowed to particularly say anything, let alone everything. In fact, you kind of have to suck the school uniform and again, STFU. Two hundred years ago, a hundred, even 70 or so, repayment for the fight for unguaranteed freedoms, was dangling from an orchard tree, in the rural part of the county. We’ve been made to weep like babies about that, but if you’d like to ‘tube voters kicked to death in 2016 for their choice, I don’t see a lot of difference. Then again, I’m not compassionate. “Compassionate”, often gets killed, first. I notice the video bloggers all seem alive, and full of cake.
    Free speech in the personal, nonfriends, carries a rider against criminal libel. Libel is almost always applied against an individual, btw, not a group (good luck with filing it; though anyone can sue anyone, you won’t be able to sustain the anger, and the suit you rent will order the prime rib). There is a societal function to free speech, it’s really the only one denoted with any protection involved, but it’s neither “murder the other party” nor Reading Rainbow in its focus...and, once you introduce precedent commentary like “words likely to cause an average addressee to fight” or “if speech is unrelated to a search for truth, it can be prohibited”, that’s finished. The early South Park episode, where Philip Glass minimalism and gray blob outfits, replace the Christmas pageant. Everyone Hates something or someone or some idea, and they exercise “fair comment” (formerly actionable in days of our Founders, hello, versus remarks unfavorable to the government), and Others Hate Them for saying it. Look out, duck, hide, here comes Manichee, again: Everything’s Offensive, which means nothing’s offensive. If in a game, a card says, “Everyone loses a turn”, no one loses a turn. My mother believed “everyone has {mental} problems”, but never understood that meant No One Did. Noam Chomsky, and his “overinclusiveness”. Overinclusiveness, is overinclusive. In the end, universalism of any sort, cannot be managed, as it is chaos as order. Which, is ridiculous. Man does not love, as he will not love, as he cannot love. “What is ‘happy’, Bobby?” A concept. As is “love”, “truth”, “freedom”. These, are packaged in Law. Law, must needs cut a straight line, and in all cases, or it’s nothing but cronyism, Tammany Hall with black robes. I’d add that in American jurisprudence, The Truth, originally, was not considered a legitimate defense. It became one. And then, “truth” became relative, and yeah, maybe it always was, but as applied in court? As a friend used to intone, re: scrapping bits of rules no one enjoyed, “Why even play the game, then?” Either jail offenders, as THIS SAYS THIS, Law book = Holy Book, Judge = God, or fuck all you more limp regulators, I’m riding with Billy the Kid!
    I’ll further state, 800-year old haddocks like Chomsky, or Albert Maysles and Studs Terkel earlier on, come down on the simple, as “simple”, encapsulates as summation, itself...it isn’t supposed to, but Man is awfully busy, and would prefer a tweet, twart, twinkydink, maxim or Poor Richard’s one-liner to throw like a Molotov red herring. It saves time, and American Human isn’t generally concerned about the American process. Truth told, if a conflagration 86’d the Internet, tomorrow, free elections in this country would die within one midterm. No YouTube, no blogs, no crappiest comic Alan Moore ever shat out = No Free Elections, sad to say. And free speech, while not free at all, has a very real flipside: Him and Her as Not Free, have to say what they don’t believe. If they’re truly blessed, they one day believe it; if ‘no’, there’ll be a late night slam at the door. American freedom of speech, provides only a muscle relaxer. It’s not a killer sedative ending in “pam”.
    We look at The Age of Reason, at The Founding Fathers as a magnificent oil, or as construct or holy relic, Castle Films Religion, and it’s rare to escape our Revolution as innocent citizens shot down and Sam Adams as God, the notion of “NO” to the will of the potentate. Tea into the harbor, now greying out Indian minstrel getup. Martyred citizens, now greying out Crispus Attucks as hey-the-country-was-racist-in-1770, what a shock, take a powder. Mostly, we learn the model of “‘free’ as taken, and taken via revolt...therefore, freedom lived each day, is revolt, rebellion, a fight...WAR”. The Signers, though, no, nonfellow citizens, not many of them, personally, but The Signers’ less established neighbors and groomsmen, the townsfolk and their stinky friends, fought. Fought a war. For the right to not be oppressed by government dictates. To say an antiquated, terribly polite “Fuck You”, to...it was really mostly about money, you know that. Taxes. Which, now we get screwed on, every April 15th, HONK-HONK. That, and privacy. The 4th Amendment, is the important one...except, we have the WWW, today, HONK-HONK. And, freedom of assembly, of course...though, most municipalities demand properly filed paperwork for issuing any such permits, HONK-HONK. I can keep doing this. It bodes not well, for churches. It bodes not well, for free-anything, let alone speech. Ya see, the Revolution ended in 1781, mostly because England didn’t have the gold to keep throwing at bayoneting stubborn assholes over here. That’s how all wars used to end. Keep America out of WW1, and it’s Kaiser Bill’s Dance Party in a Hohenzollern world. Again, money. Not ideas, ideals or identity. Anyway, the war was over and the nation got formed, and any problem one had with said fledgling State, was best kept to oneself, as “say what you want, soak the tea barrels, blow uniforms the-fuck away and shout platitudes whilst ya fire”, is the verb of becoming. Once the old regime is gone, calm down and punch a clock. Shut up and put your back into it. It’s barge toting time. The verb of doing. It’s not exciting. And it has rules you and your homies did not fight for, or create.
    Don’t confuse the tools which gave America to We The Gentry Who Represent The People, with the pick, spade, hammer or plow in your hand. And don’t confuse the discourse that Hulk Hogan’d us all to the point of getting where we are. That, is now over. It had its place. We don’t each get a personal paradise, 40 acres and a super model of our choice. No more fighting. Just do your work. Free as argument, is catalyst made redundant, by goal (mission?) accomplished. Free as argument, is correctly seen as destructive, as it removes That Which Currently Is, wholly. There’s work to do. You’re burnin’ daylight. ‘Fighting words’, waste time, impede, and constitute a breach of the peace—and they’re also back to taking serious numbers of lives during an election cycle. A free society, merely means “free from forced viewpoint”. This would include I Don’t Want To Hear YOU. How the legal dovetails with it, I don’t pretend to calculate. The math of Must and Can’t, those twin evils, the Frick and Frack of balance, erases freedom in legal practice...and you begin to see, as with theological free will, you’re just yelling to get an echo. Also ‘tube “I’m a Marionette”, by Abba. It’s not as inconvenient as the meteorology of Albert Gore, Jr., but methinks you’re stuck with it.
    Law students should have a singularly clear idea, of why Free Speech is no big deal, nothing exciting, and not barely free in the least, but if the Extreme Right of Today, let alone George Lincoln Rockwell, ca. 1967, correctly pigeonholed American post-secondary education, perhaps children and grown children and all the children having more are indeed decades into indoctrination of a kind which streams to the point of streamlining—to cut it sweet, Chomsky’s loathing of simplicity, must cut both ways. If broad terms like “free” are butt-adjective-up against daily human actions like “speech”, then “positive characterizations, Only” or “must be nice” or “can’t hurt no one, Maynard”, let alone Python peasants having “Don’t you oppress me!” spasms, limits via oversimplification, which is kind of ironic, isn’t it? The State as schoolmaster creates a What-You-Should-Say, as though American Human is working the McDougald’s drive thru. Thou Shalt Not, isn’t really ever headed to Lover’s Lane for a nice, naked parking with “free”. You can burn the papyri and teach that “Moses” means only Robert Moses of Beat New York City into Something Else-fame, and “NO” will never mean “get to”.
    We treat speech as the typical male treats sex. “Get to”. That’s “privilege”, it would appear. Yet marriage forums condemn this as a false license, and one which dehumanizes; they postulate sex in reality as a willing embracing neither demanded nor meted as reward, a kind of Arthur Dent missing the ground in order to fly. If gooey naked shit is natural, normal human relating as open and free, without deception, without force or propaganda or harm...then, there exists no “get to”, as that as understanding, is itself a regimentation. You’re putting sex in a breadbox, that way, like a first year divinity student limiting God. That’s not only wrong, it’s idiot...and, subsequent to the sufferings of the late Greta Rideout, it’s now very legally pursuable. There exists, perhaps, no entitlement of any kind in a Free Society, but Castro’s summing the peoples’ “right to live, and to work, and to eat”. Maybe but for the status quo, you’re supposed to shut your yap. Perhaps Marxists grasp what “build your own America” Socialists only tilt at. Fiddler on the Roof, factory jampacked with truisms full of ache, the unfun Life and living it. That traditional, through its many generations, didn’t get that way, via The OkeyDoke. Maybe it just works, and dissent as lone wolf or coffee group, is a dangerous game to be playin’. The solitary tightass holding the sign, ruins it for everyone, forever. They end up sticking it to all of us (you have no idea, what Indian-related sports stuff costs me, on eBay). If you’re pissed, pack your trash. I laid out for you in “Salvaging America the Valkenheiser Way (Vote for Judge Alvin)”, there are 50 states. Live somewhere you can Sieg Heil with a smile, okay? One of these things being not like the others, is again rapidly spiking hemp sales. I do not refer to weed, Roy Bean.
    It isn’t the Boss Lady’s favorite practice of mine, to stick poems into columns to make a point (space considerations, etc.), but a goodie published elsewhere many rains ago, a lil’ CEE From the Vault 5-liner, sums up Free Speech in America. It’s Pleasantville as the-boring-people-should-never-have-had-their-shit-disturbed. It’s Fiddler on the Roof as the whole ball of wax, Page One of The Kabbalah. It may indeed be a corollary in the Criminal Code of Shut Up and Sit Down Nation. To my mind, it explains why Man is never happy, why he creates Hitler to destroy Stalin, Franco to vanquish the king, Obama to tear Bush from power and Trump to erase Obama’s memory. The poem, tells us what we’re given. And, it’s All we’re given. There’s no “get to”. There exists a very boring Way. It, alone.

B>Dark Red Liberty in Blueblack
Will Not pretend to Not Hate
Even as I put you to death
For doing same
Liberty in fullest
Is just going along with it

    ...and, the Final Score from Middle American Stadium, Oldest Downstate: Life as Is; Kid from Another Land: STFU. Whether you’re Emma Goldman, John Reed or a blogger who can’t get laid, “free speech”, bottom line, Here, means only not pretending to salute what many others truly believe. You still have to put up with it and mostly go along, frowning if you so desire., water cooler bickering if you dare. You won’t be rounded up, kidnapped, reeducated, or pay out like Winston Smith as a 1950’s kid in a Christmas advertisement. That’s your toy prize, no refunds. Free Speech, really only ever meant “think what you like”. I admit, it was supposed to spill over into dialog, but in the Age of Reason, it was all right to murder those who offended you. Like love and marriage in a funeral carriage. You can’t have one without the other.
    CEE


















Üzeyir Çayci DSCN2781 (1), art by Üzeyir Lokman Çayci

Üzeyir Çayci DSCN2781 (1), art by Üzeyir Lokman Çayci
















Image 0002 photography by Eric Bonholtzer

Image 0002 photography by Eric Bonholtzer
















cc&d

philosophy monthly (justify your existence)





The End of the World

Matthew McAyeal

    It was the day the world was supposed to end. But it wasn’t ending. Now it was almost midnight and nothing was happening. And it was almost the end of the day the world was supposed to end.
    It was almost the end of October 22, 1844.
    “The Lord will not fail us,” said Nathaniel Bennett confidently, dismissing his daughter’s unspoken skepticism.
    “It is not the Lord who would be failing you,” Sarah pointed out. “It’s William Miller.”
    “William Miller didn’t conceive this date out of thin air!” Nathaniel said. “It says in Daniel 8:14 that in two thousand and three hundred days, the sanctuary shall be cleansed. The day-year principle makes that this year. Christ will return today!”
    “And yet he’s not returning,” said Sarah.
    “There’s still about three minutes left!” declared Nathaniel. “Our Lord will return to cleanse the world and we will ascend into heaven. Or at least I will. I pray you will be taken too, but...” His voice trailed off.
    “Remind me again,” said Sarah, “is this the first time William Miller predicted the end of the world? Or was there another time when he was already wrong?”
    “The first time he overlooked the fact that there wasn’t a year zero,” Nathaniel replied. “This time it’ll work. Everyone knows it’s coming. That Prussian fellow even wrote a play about it.”
    Sarah didn’t think that writing a play about a suspected apocalypse was the act of a true believer, but decided it wasn’t a point worth raising. It was no use trying to argue her father away from his unshakable belief in William Miller. The only reason he wasn’t in the Millerite encampment outside the city was because she had refused to leave with him.
    “How do you think the world will be cleansed?” she asked after awhile.
    “I don’t know for sure, of course,” he said, “but I believe a planet will strike the Earth and create a polar shift.”
    “Which planet?” she asked.
    “One that hasn’t been discovered yet,” Nathaniel said. “It will come out from behind the Sun and fly into the Earth.”
    “I’m pretty sure there are eleven planets in the solar system,” said Sarah. “Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Vesta, Juno, Ceres, Pallas, Jupiter, Saturn, and Herschel. If there were a different number of planets, I think we’d know about it.”
    “Or maybe it will be a comet,” Nathaniel suggested. “Its tail will pass over the Earth and snuff out all life with its poisonous gas.”
    “And why hasn’t this happened every other time there was a comet in the sky?” asked Sarah.
    “What does it matter how it will happen?” insisted Nathaniel. “Look at the world around us. It’s obvious we’re living in the end times. There used to be a time when people admired the President, but not anymore. First Martin Van Ruin took away our jobs and now we’re living under the reign of His Accidency. This wasn’t what the Founders intended! Then the Missouri River had its biggest flood in history and the Catholics tried to take the Bibles out of schools in Philadelphia. We’re reaching a confluence of tipping points.”
    “Bad things happen all the time,” said Sarah. “That doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.”
    “But things are getting worse all the time!” said Nathaniel. “You can’t tell me things aren’t worse than they were ten years ago. President Jackson once fought the monster bank for us, but everything’s gone to pot since he left. Now we have presidents who only care about themselves.”
    Deciding that there was no use arguing politics, Sarah kept quiet. And the clock ticked down the last seconds of the day. Despite herself, Sarah couldn’t help tensing up a bit. When the clock struck midnight and began chiming, she resisted breathing a sigh of relief. To look relieved would be to admit she’d been scared and she really hadn’t been. She’d known nothing would happen, even if that hadn’t stopped her heart from speeding up. Sarah let the chimes carry on for a few more moments.
    “I think Jesus is late,” she said eventually.
    “Jesus is not late!” yelled Nathaniel. “The clock’s just wrong!”
    But the clock’s chiming continued for a few more moments before finally dying out. They had unmistakably crossed the event horizon into October 23, 1844.
    “Well, I imagine this will be a great disappointment to the Millerites,” said Sarah. “I suppose we won’t really know when the end of the world will be until it happens.” Nathaniel thought about that for a moment.
    “Maybe,” he said resignedly, “but the world will end if Governor Polk is elected in November.”
























Dusty Dog Reviews
The whole project is hip, anti-academic, the poetry of reluctant grown-ups, picking noses in church. An enjoyable romp! Though also serious.

Nick DiSpoldo, Small Press Review (on Children, Churches and Daddies, April 1997)
Children, Churches and Daddies is eclectic, alive and is as contemporary as tomorrow’s news.

Kenneth DiMaggio (on cc&d, April 2011)
CC&D continues to have an edge with intelligence. It seems like a lot of poetry and small press publications are getting more conservative or just playing it too academically safe. Once in awhile I come across a self-advertized journal on the edge, but the problem is that some of the work just tries to shock you for the hell of it, and only ends up embarrassing you the reader. CC&D has a nice balance; [the] publication takes risks, but can thankfully take them without the juvenile attempt to shock.


from Mike Brennan 12/07/11
I think you are one of the leaders in the indie presses right now and congrats on your dark greatness.


cc&d          cc&d

    Nick DiSpoldo, Small Press Review (on “Children, Churches and Daddies,” April 1997)

    Kuypers is the widely-published poet of particular perspectives and not a little existential rage, but she does not impose her personal or artistic agenda on her magazine. CC+D is a provocative potpourri of news stories, poetry, humor, art and the “dirty underwear” of politics.
    One piece in this issue is “Crazy,” an interview Kuypers conducted with “Madeline,” a murderess who was found insane, and is confined to West Virginia’s Arronsville Correctional Center. Madeline, whose elevator definitely doesn’t go to the top, killed her boyfriend during sex with an ice pick and a chef’s knife, far surpassing the butchery of Elena Bobbitt. Madeline, herself covered with blood, sat beside her lover’s remains for three days, talking to herself, and that is how the police found her. For effect, Kuypers publishes Madeline’s monologue in different-sized type, and the result is something between a sense of Dali’s surrealism and Kafka-like craziness.



Debra Purdy Kong, writer, British Columbia, Canada
I like the magazine a lot. I like the spacious lay-out and the different coloured pages and the variety of writer’s styles. Too many literary magazines read as if everyone graduated from the same course. We need to collect more voices like these and send them everywhere.

    Ed Hamilton, writer

    #85 (of Children, Churches and Daddies) turned out well. I really enjoyed the humor section, especially the test score answers. And, the cup-holder story is hilarious. I’m not a big fan of poetry - since much of it is so hard to decipher - but I was impressed by the work here, which tends toward the straightforward and unpretentious.
    As for the fiction, the piece by Anderson is quite perceptive: I liked the way the self-deluding situation of the character is gradually, subtly revealed. (Kuypers’) story is good too: the way it switches narrative perspective via the letter device is a nice touch.



Children, Churches and Daddies.
It speaks for itself.
Write to Scars Publications to submit poetry, prose and artwork to Children, Churches and Daddies literary magazine, or to inquire about having your own chapbook, and maybe a few reviews like these.

    Jim Maddocks, GLASGOW, via the Internet

    I’ll be totally honest, of the material in Issue (either 83 or 86 of Children, Churches and Daddies) the only ones I really took to were Kuypers’. TRYING was so simple but most truths are, aren’t they?

    Fithian Press, Santa Barbara, CA
    Indeed, there’s a healthy balance here between wit and dark vision, romance and reality, just as there’s a good balance between words and graphics. The work shows brave self-exploration, and serves as a reminder of mortality and the fragile beauty of friendship.

    C Ra McGuirt, Editor, The Penny Dreadful Review (on Children, Churches and Daddies)

    cc&d is obviously a labor of love ... I just have to smile when I go through it. (Janet Kuypers) uses her space and her poets to best effect, and the illos attest to her skill as a graphic artist.
    I really like (“Writing Your Name”). It’s one of those kind of things where your eye isn’t exactly pulled along, but falls effortlessly down the poem.
I liked “knowledge” for its mix of disgust and acceptance. Janet Kuypers does good little movies, by which I mean her stuff provokes moving imagery for me. Color, no dialogue; the voice of the poem is the narrator over the film.



    Children, Churches and Daddies no longer distributes free contributor’s copies of issues. In order to receive issues of Children, Churches and Daddies, contact Janet Kuypers at the cc&d e-mail addres. Free electronic subscriptions are available via email. All you need to do is email ccandd@scars.tv... and ask to be added to the free cc+d electronic subscription mailing list. And you can still see issues every month at the Children, Churches and Daddies website, located at http://scars.tv

    Mark Blickley, writer

    The precursor to the magazine title (Children, Churches and Daddies) is very moving. “Scars” is also an excellent prose poem. I never really thought about scars as being a form of nostalgia. But in the poem it also represents courage and warmth. I look forward to finishing her book.


    Gary, Editor, The Road Out of Town (on the Children, Churches and Daddies Web Site)

    I just checked out the site. It looks great.



    Dusty Dog Reviews: These poems document a very complicated internal response to the feminine side of social existence. And as the book proceeds the poems become increasingly psychologically complex and, ultimately, fascinating and genuinely rewarding.

    John Sweet, writer (on chapbook designs)

    Visuals were awesome. They’ve got a nice enigmatic quality to them. Front cover reminds me of the Roman sculptures of angels from way back when. Loved the staggered tire lettering, too. Way cool.

    (on “Hope Chest in the Attic”)
    Some excellent writing in “Hope Chest in the Attic.” I thought “Children, Churches and Daddies” and “The Room of the Rape” were particularly powerful pieces.



    Dusty Dog Reviews: She opens with a poem of her own devising, which has that wintry atmosphere demonstrated in the movie version of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. The atmosphere of wintry white and cold, gloriously murderous cold, stark raging cold, numbing and brutalizing cold, appears almost as a character who announces to his audience, “Wisdom occurs only after a laboriously magnificent disappointment.” Alas, that our Dusty Dog for mat cannot do justice to Ms. Kuypers’ very personal layering of her poem across the page.

    Cheryl Townsend, Editor, Impetus (on Children, Churches and Daddies)

    The new cc&d looks absolutely amazing. It’s a wonderful lay-out, looks really professional - all you need is the glossy pages. Truly impressive AND the calendar, too. Can’t wait to actually start reading all the stuff inside.. Wanted to just say, it looks good so far!!!



    You Have to be Published to be Appreciated.

    Do you want to be heard? Contact Children, Churches and Daddies about book or chapbook publishing. These reviews can be yours. Scars Publications, attention J. Kuypers. We’re only an e-mail away. Write to us.


    Brian B. Braddock, Writer (on 1996 Children, Churches and Daddies)

    I passed on a copy to my brother who is the director of the St. Camillus AIDS programs. We found (Children, Churches and Daddies’) obvious dedication along this line admirable.



    Mark Blickley, writer
    The precursor to the magazine title (Children, Churches and Daddies) is very moving. “Scars” is also an excellent prose poem. I never really thought about scars as being a form of nostalgia. But in the poem it also represents courage and warmth. I look forward to finishing her book.

    Brian B. Braddock, WrBrian B. Braddock, Writer (on 1996 Children, Churches and Daddies)

    Brian B. Braddock, WrI passed on a copy to my brother who is the director of the St. Camillus AIDS programs. We found (Children, Churches and Daddies’) obvious dedication along this line admirable.


    Dorrance Publishing Co., Pittsburgh, PA
    “Hope Chest in the Attic” captures the complexity of human nature and reveals startling yet profound discernments about the travesties that surge through the course of life. This collection of poetry, prose and artwork reflects sensitivity toward feminist issues concerning abuse, sexism and equality. It also probes the emotional torrent that people may experience as a reaction to the delicate topics of death, love and family.
    “Chain Smoking” depicts the emotional distress that afflicted a friend while he struggled to clarify his sexual ambiguity. Not only does this thought-provoking profile address the plight that homosexuals face in a homophobic society, it also characterizes the essence of friendship. “The room of the rape” is a passionate representation of the suffering rape victims experience. Vivid descriptions, rich symbolism, and candid expressions paint a shocking portrait of victory over the gripping fear that consumes the soul after a painful exploitation.

    want a review like this? contact scars about getting your own book published.


    Paul Weinman, Writer (on 1996 Children, Churches and Daddies)

    Wonderful new direction (Children, Churches and Daddies has) taken - great articles, etc. (especially those on AIDS). Great stories - all sorts of hot info!



the UN-religions, NON-family oriented literary and art magazine


    The magazine Children Churches and Daddies is Copyright © 1993 through 2018 Scars Publications and Design. The rights of the individual pieces remain with the authors. No material may be reprinted without express permission from the author.

copyright

    Okay, nilla wafer. Listen up and listen good. How to save your life. Submit, or I’ll have to kill you.
    Okay, it’s this simple: send me published or unpublished poetry, prose or art work (do not send originals), along with a bio, to us - then sit around and wait... Pretty soon you’ll hear from the happy people at cc&d that says (a) Your work sucks, or (b) This is fancy crap, and we’re gonna print it. It’s that simple!

    Okay, butt-munch. Tough guy. This is how to win the editors over.
    Hope Chest in the Attic is a 200 page, perfect-bound book of 13 years of poetry, prose and art by Janet Kuypers. It’s a really classy thing, if you know what I mean. We also have a few extra sopies of the 1999 book “Rinse and Repeat”, the 2001 book “Survive and Thrive”, the 2001 books “Torture and Triumph” and “(no so) Warm and Fuzzy”,which all have issues of cc&d crammed into one book. And you can have either one of these things at just five bucks a pop if you just contact us and tell us you saw this ad space. It’s an offer you can’t refuse...

    Carlton Press, New York, NY: HOPE CHEST IN THE ATTIC is a collection of well-fashioned, often elegant poems and short prose that deals in many instances, with the most mysterious and awesome of human experiences: love... Janet Kuypers draws from a vast range of experiences and transforms thoughts into lyrical and succinct verse... Recommended as poetic fare that will titillate the palate in its imagery and imaginative creations.

    Mark Blickley, writer: The precursor to the magazine title (Children, Churches and Daddies) is very moving. “Scars” is also an excellent prose poem. I never really thought about scars as being a form of nostalgia. But in the poem it also represents courage and warmth. I look forward to finishing the book.

    You Have to be Published to be Appreciated.
    Do you want to be heard? Contact Children, Churches and Daddies about book and chapbook publishing. These reviews can be yours. Scars Publications, attention J. Kuypers - you can write for yourself or you can write for an audience. It’s your call...

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    Dorrance Publishing Co., Pittsburgh, PA: “Hope Chest in the Attic” captures the complexity of human nature and reveals startling yet profound discernments about the travesties that surge through the course of life. This collection of poetry, prose and artwork reflects sensitivity toward feminist issues concerning abuse, sexism and equality. It also probes the emotional torrent that people may experience as a reaction to the delicate topics of death, love and family. “Chain Smoking” depicts the emotional distress that afflicted a friend while he struggled to clarify his sexual ambiguity. Not only does this thought-provoking profile address the plight that homosexuals face in a homophobic society, it also characterizes the essence of friendship. “The room of the rape” is a passionate representation of the suffering rape victims experience. Vivid descriptions, rich symbolism, and candid expressions paint a shocking portrait of victory over the gripping fear that consumes the soul after a painful exploitation.

 

    Dusty Dog Reviews, CA (on knife): These poems document a very complicated internal response to the feminine side of social existence. And as the book proceeds the poems become increasingly psychologically complex and, ultimately, fascinating and genuinely rewarding.
Children, Churches and Daddies. It speaks for itself.

 

    Dusty Dog Reviews (on Without You): She open with a poem of her own devising, which has that wintry atmosphere demonstrated in the movie version of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. The atmosphere of wintry white and cold, gloriously murderous cold, stark raging cold, numbing and brutalizing cold, appears almost as a character who announces to his audience, “Wisdom occurs only after a laboriously magnificent disappointment.” Alas, that our Dusty Dog for mat cannot do justice to Ms. Kuypers’ very personal layering of her poem across the page.
    Children, Churches and Daddies. It speaks for itself.

    Debra Purdy Kong, writer, British Columbia, Canada (on Children, Churches and Daddies): I like the magazine a lot. I like the spacious lay-out and the different coloured pages and the variety of writer’s styles. Too many literary magazines read as if everyone graduated from the same course. We need to collect more voices like these and send them everywhere.

    Fithian Press, Santa Barbara, CA: Indeed, there’s a healthy balance here between wit and dark vision, romance and reality, just as there’s a good balance between words and graphics. The work shows brave self-exploration, and serves as a reminder of mortality and the fragile beauty of friendship.



Children, Churches and Daddies
the UN-religious, NON-family oriented literary and art magazine
Scars Publications and Design

ccandd96@scars.tv
http://scars.tv/ccd

Publishers/Designers Of
Children, Churches and Daddies magazine
cc+d Ezines
The Burning mini poem books
God Eyes mini poem books
The Poetry Wall Calendar
The Poetry Box
The Poetry Sampler
Mom’s Favorite Vase Newsletters
Reverberate Music Magazine
Down In The Dirt magazine
Freedom and Strength Press forum
plus assorted chapbooks and books
music, poetry compact discs
live performances of songs and readings

Sponsors Of
past editions:
Poetry Chapbook Contest, Poetry Book Contest
Prose Chapbook Contest, Prose Book Contest
Poetry Calendar Contest
current editions:
Editor’s Choice Award (writing and web sites)
Collection Volumes

Children, Churches and Daddies (founded 1993) has been written and researched by political groups and writers from the United States, Canada, England, India, Italy, Malta, Norway and Turkey. Regular features provide coverage of environmental, political and social issues (via news and philosophy) as well as fiction and poetry, and act as an information and education source. Children, Churches and Daddies is the leading magazine for this combination of information, education and entertainment.
Children, Churches and Daddies (ISSN 1068-5154) is published quarterly by Scars Publications and Design, attn: Janet Kuypers. Contact us via snail-mail or e-mail (ccandd96@scars.tv) for subscription rates or prices for annual collection books.
To contributors: No racist, sexist or blatantly homophobic material. No originals; if mailed, include SASE & bio. Work sent on disks or through e-mail preferred. Previously published work accepted. Authors always retain rights to their own work. All magazine rights reserved. Reproduction of Children, Churches and Daddies without publisher permission is forbidden. Children, Churches and Daddies Copyright © 1993 through 2018 Scars Publications and Design, Children, Churches and Daddies, Janet Kuypers. All rights remain with the authors of the individual pieces. No material may be reprinted without express permission.