Sparkling petals slice through feet of wanderers
Dashing hopes and slitting tendons

Each day she visits
Sprinkling books and soda-filled sponges among the wire vines.
The sizzles excited her
And she smiles in spite of her sizzling feet
Pleased in her harmless sabotage.

The suffocated earth shutters beneath
Layers of circuit boards, damp and rotting
Steam rises from the core
And crinkles the pages of
Jane Austen
Dr. Seuss
Kurt Vonnegut. Her mother’s journal from pregnancy.

Colt Jul 2013

for Those who eat ramen by choice, or not.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by disillusionment,
lacking egotistical sold, dragging themselves through the hip streets at dawn
looking for a socially self-aggrandizing fix.
Poets, as they sit in desks and discuss discourse
about discourse about discourse about discourse,
who fear that thinking itself was buried with Vonnegut,
who are lost in forests of brick walls,
inviting, because they block the wind of dying fall,
who swim in cesspools filled with academic sewage, yearning for freedom,
for truth, as they always have,
mining their minds for images, and searching for words to describe
-a reality which is virtual at its core and each act, another chore./
-a scene of life which reflects all that is poignant and sacred.
Poets seek musicians while musicians seek poets.
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly

These poets who search aimlessly for the feeling of feeling,
who are overwhelmed with meaning to the point where meaning
has no meaning in itself.
Who claim this poem as their own and continuously write themselves into it.
It is those who suffer in truth that live the poetic.
Those who sit in front of space heaters eating peanut butter sandwiches in winter,
who sweat unknowingly in summer, comforted in each’s odor.
Those who open Macbooks while squatting in empty flats.
Signing up, logging in and zoning out, forever disengaged.
Those who type prophecy on keypads and let keyboards gather dust-
stratification, signs of long nights spent in century-old homes still not renovated,
ceilings sinking at the sides while those above pogo to punk rock long dead,
or grind genitals to old soul, simulating all that is sensual.
Those who play archaeologist to their own layers of makeup, grimed on the sink.
Those who share their food with the roaches and the mooches who all have keys,
who use the books as shelves to hold ceramic mugs, stained with a single drip-drop,
who, with arms crossed, watch bands in basements play noise.
Those who replaced their nu-metal records with folk but kept the unkempt beards.
Those who drink stale beer on stranger’s rooftops.
Those who live with bags under eyes, themselves asleep, lacking a body,
sleeping naked together to stay warm,
sleeping naked together to stay sane,
sleeping naked together to stay touched.

Those who leave coffee in unplugged automatic pots, decaying rapidly.
Those who eat pizza for breakfast, cold or microwaved, as an act of ultimate indulgence.
Those who prance about in un-matching socks
from hardwood floors to vinyl floors to tile floors, all under the same popcorn ceiling,
dancing to the sound of rhythmic silence.
Those who fight with lovers about acts, but never once mention the act of love itself.
Those who don flannel plaid in springtime color, constructing Williamsburg,
who consider gentrification a new form of landed gentry,
who live in poverty as if it were a novelty,
capitalist martyrs sacrificing employment to hide being non-hirable,
who shop in online surplus department stores for unique vintage.
Those who, who, who hoot like the owls framed on their walls, eyes wide but beaks small.
Those who are oppressed by nonexistent kings ruling in imaginary suits.
Those who crave something new, not tired-as the form of this very poem-
something which is not-yet auto-tuned.
Those who, faux-hawked and shredded, rock and bop to Bowie doing Lou
on Sunday Morning from Station to Station shooting Heroin,
who walk swiftly with denim skin on their legs and refuse socks.
Those who, in their rightest mind, are the wrongest-minded.
Those who can reject privilege only because they are privileged,
who, in their uniform whiteness, denounce racism,
who, in their uniform straightness, claim immune to homophobia
who, with their cocks erect in a row, claim to be feminists.

And those who search for revolution in a time when rebellion is conformity.
Listening to the  pounding sound of blog-protesters typing n o w.
who, in claiming to accept, don’t accept the unaccepting,
who got veggies tattooed on their sides while snapping bacon in their teeth,
who ironically infiltrated asylums and performed madness until the shocks came
and they were maddened, for good, eaten alive by volts resounding
ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching.
Who sleep naked together to be together but end up being alone,
exchanges from lips that move in pretentious drone,
and the dog chases its tail, endlessly.
When the abnormal is normal and the whole structure is inverted and
heaven is here and flames under the soil are no longer hell burning for soles of the
Converse, Adidas, and Nike sneakers on the bicycle pedals of poets who ride at night,
listening to the sound of owls that question:
who?
whoo?
whooo?

Veronica Smith Jun 2013

She sat in an empty booth. It was a Tuesday, mild, with a thin veil of cirrus clouds on the horizon. Somewhere a dog barked. Outside, the Commercial Street Flower Market opened for business. A prostitute stood on the corner.
        With one the sitting woman opened the menu, scanned it, and dropped it back on the table. A bleach-blond waitress arrived. Before the waitress spoke, the sitting woman cut in.
“I’d like home fries, fruit salad, and a cup of earl grey, please.” The waitress nodded, slightly wary, and scribbled the order on her yellowed order pad. The woman went back to staring at her fingers. The waitress left.
She opened her purse, rummaged around, and grasped a worn paperback of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five. A small likeness of a snake twirled up her left index. She wore beige eye shadow and a full set of fake lashes. Her nails were lacquered candy apple red. There was a large scar on her neck. Sighing, she settled in to read. The snake ring’s eyes were rubies; as she turned the page, they glistened brightly. The café’s door jangled. Seconds later, a man slid in to the seat opposite her.
“You’re late,” she said. The man smiled. He had lidded Egyptian eyes and a set of straight, white, fluoridated teeth.
“So terribly sorry. Pressing issues.” He tapped a finger on the plastic table. The woman licked a finger and turned a creased page.
“Still reading that blasted book, are we? How many times has it been now, Laura? Twelve?”
“Fifteen, to be exact.” The waitress arrived with plates of bright fruit and steaming potato. She waitress had poorly tattooed eyebrows. They rose.
“Can I get you anything?” she said to the man.
“Strong cup of coffee. Two cubes sugar, slice of lemon on the side. Thanks.” The waitress smiled.
“Certainly. Your tea will be in, miss.” Laura nodded. The waitress sashayed off and the man leaned in, breaking the barrier between them.
“Why are you still reading that godawful book? Wasn’t once in Junior year enough?”
“No, it wasn’t. If you don’t mind, let’s get to the point. What are you doing here, Jack? I know it has nothing to do with harassing me over my literary opinions.” The book closed with a muffled snap. She slid it back in to her large purse and adjusted her dress.
“I got the part.” He said the two words with barely veiled excitement; they sounded unnatural and foreign.
“What in the name of God are you talking about?” she asked. She stabbed a home fry with her fork and sprinkled it with salt.
“I’ve made it in, Laur.” He said. She dragged the fry through a small puddle of ketchup and smiled. She leaned back and drew her hands through her hair, bit her lip.
“Who’s directing?” she asked. The waitress arrived again and they both leaned back, away from each other. He nodded his thanks, blew on his coffee, and drank deeply. She dipped her finger in the cup of tea.
“Some guy by the name of Cranston. Will, I think. He’s good. Directed a film called The Devil in Whitethorn. You might call him an artist.”
“Oh, Christ. You’ve made your big break, have you? With a damned arthouse director no one’s heard about? I’m impressed, Jack. Real impressed.” She sipped her tea. “What’s your deep, philosophical movie about, Jack?”
“A man dragged wrongfully in to hell who has to prove to the Devil that he is a good man,” Jack said. His chin rose slightly. “he goes through his life as an invisible man, observing all of his human mistakes. Eventually he discovers that Hell is just another version of Heaven and it’s all a test to get him to look at his life as an outsider. I play the college version of the lead. I’m third-highest billed.” He reached over and snatched a strawberry from her plate. She smirked.
“Wow,” she said, “sounds deep. Almost like one of the sappier episodes of The Twilight Zone, twist and all. Tell me, does Shatner play a PTSD-riddled man who sees monsters on an airplane? Is the Devil a fan of billiards? How many aliens are in this movie of yours?” she smiled at him, exposing a line of somewhat crooked teeth. “A movie, huh? Congrats.”
“Many thanks. I thought that someone who appreciated the subtle insanity of Vonnegut might appreciate a good deep film. Are you going to finish those?” he gestured at the fries. Six of them remained. Laura slid them across the table and tucked in to the fruit plate. “No more awful local commercials for me, love.” She scoffed at that.
“You’re a crap commercial actor. How much money are you getting for this little highbrow film of yours? One K or two?” She stabbed a honeydew square and crunched it between red lips.
“Four, doll. More than you make in a month.” Her cheeks reddened.
“I don’t need much, Jack. You of all people should know that.” She coughed lightly in to her napkin. “You’re a tricky bastard. How long have you known?” He licked a spot of ketchup off of his  finger.
“Oh… Five weeks? Six? Somewhere around there. We start shooting next month.” He leaned forward, lightly brushing the back of her hand with his fingers. “It’ll premier downtown on the seventh of July. Be prepared, since I’m dragging you out there with me. You’ll need a cocktail dress and modest makeup.”
“How modest is modest?” she asked. He surveyed her face, scanning with his eyes squinted slightly. Her face flushed a touch more.
“Hmm…” he said, “drop the red lipstick, add a few more spots of cover-up, light champagne eye shadow and less blush. Also, ditch the falsies.” She laughed, a light trill.
“I don’t leave the house without them. I suppose I can scour my collection for some more… What was the word you used? Modest pairs.” His fingers stopped rubbing the thin, veined skin on the back of her right hand for a short moment.
“In other words, you’ve said yes.”
“Yes, I have.” He dropped a ten-dollar bill on the table and stood up. “Call me some time. You haven’t forgotten my number, have you?” Laura grinned. He picked up the lemon, separated the meat from the rind, and rubbed the white flesh on his teeth.
“No, I haven’t.” He dropped a single white envelope on the table. She surveyed it, placing it next to the tattered paperback in her purse. He walked away.
“Oh, and Jack?” she called without looking back at him. He stopped mid-step. “I wasn’t wearing blush today.”
He grinned harder, waved his goodbyes to the waitress, and left. The door jangled. She finished the last dregs of her tea, dropped a twenty dollar bill on the table, and stood up. It was a beautiful morning. She walked outside. The bells on the entrance jangled, stilled, and their song died.

Written under the influence of WAY too much Hemingway.
Bb Oct 2013
Cig

After smoking my first pack
Of cigarettes
The novelty wore off pretty quick.
It didn’t feel cool anymore,
Didn’t make me feel important.
The cigarette was just something
To stick between my fingers,
Suck between my lips,
Inhale and feel something
In my lungs.
A prop.
It was just a stick
With a red, smoldering butt,
A piece of tobacco
To play with before the ember
Ate way down to the filter
And singed my fingertips.

Now, I think I light up
Because the smoke is so
Goddamn enticing.
It’s beautiful,
A kinesthetic work of art
like a ballet,
The way those silver
Tendrils curl so languidly
From the tip into the air,
So graceful, so smooth.
When I smoke
I can’t help but to imagine
I’m watching a group of dancers.

And I think I light up
Because there’s nothing better to do
Half the time and at least
It flouts the boredom
for a few minutes or so,
At least it interrupts the
Relentless monotony of Life.
Kurt Vonnegut mentioned
Something about smoking
Being a noble form of suicide-

Well, so it goes.

Jodie LindaMae Dec 2013

We writers are insane.
All of us.
We revel in our own sad mess
While picking green grapes
Off the wallpaper,
Smecking away like mad
At the wondrous juices
Of the imaginary, judicial
Forbidden Fruit.

We, like Hemingway,
Take our scotch in the morning
And our gin at night
And try with brutal, lashing effort
To make it through
Everything in-between.

We have put ourselves in shoes
We will never be able to walk in.
We must walk miles as
Linguists, as
Assassins, as
Outsiders, as
victims, as
AIDS sufferers, as
Brutalizers of women.
We must deal with their pain
As if it were housed in our own entity of being.

J.D. Salinger wrote that
His literary son, Holden,
Wore a “people-shooting” hat and
Made it damn clear that he suffered from wild
And erratic fits of overwhelming depression.
Writing from a bunker
Far from his wife, kids and home,
His stories sparked murder in the hearts
Of already oppressed men
With “people-shooting” hats of their own.
We must toil with language;
Put it in the corner,
Love it, hate it,
Shift it and slave daily with it.
We must lose hours upon hours upon
Days of sleep
Before we find ourselves
Dangerously asleep at the wheel in front of us
In order to make the slightest change in our regular ways.
Even then,
Our handwriting only becomes sloppier
And our words,
Only fiercer.

Kaysen, alone in a psych ward
With women who slept around and
Tried to maul each other,
Wrote diligently
To try to release the the demon
Boiling the very blood inside her veins.
But demons do not disappear easily
And unfortunately,
Neither do the tortuous memories.

Even today,
They attempt to label me
With words of the disturbed.
Anxiety
Floods my synapses and neurons.
Depression
Happily urinates on my serotonin levels.
I bring myself to write
The effigy of the psycho
Day by day
As my pen scratches paper
And the doctors expect razor to scratch skin
Though it never has
And never will.

Writers are psychos.
We all are.
We remain the mad, psychotic, literate monsters
Who worm our ways
Into your head.
We nestle beside your dreams and fantasies,
Waiting to strike
And tear them apart or,
If you’re lucky,
Build them up.
A woman writer named Sylvia
Once put her head in the oven
Because the writer-demons were driving her to madness
And they wouldn’t leave her be.

Handling us is a torture
Only the most eloquent and experienced reader
Could enjoy.

Love Always,
Salinger and
Plath and
Kesey and
Vonnegut and
Burgess and
King and
Sandburg and
Snicket and
Hemingway and
Palahniuk and
Kaysen and
Gaimen and
Green and
Trumbo and…

Holtry.

Lauren Yates Aug 2012

My Lucifer, unwitting Muse, dog-eared Vonnegut,
          afrobeatnik third eye, howls escaping
from your headphones, wailing about secrets, about infidelity,
          about analyzing life until there ain’t nothin’
left. Then you shuffle by in your black and white Adidas,
          hair in twists, wearing the striped sweater
of nihilistic intent, quoting the rants of Holden Caulfield
          in your blog like you never didn’t know him.
I never asked to know you, to want who I can’t have
          when I can’t even love myself. And every fiber
Of my being yearns for reciprocation. What is there
          to return? What is there to feel, you meditate on truth,
fallen angel in the parlor of rebellion, blasphemous goodbye,
          bright and morning star simpering like crickets in the palms
of daybreak. Your musicality radiates from subway chatter
          and overheard profanity down El Camino Real.
I take in your ballad at my post office mailbox,
          in the abandoned echoes of daydream monologues.
You’re a philosopher, exploring theory of mind, a cartographer,
          mapping the labyrinth of your deepest desires.
Tell me again about desires, demonstrations of divine sadism. Tell me
          about human empathy, the animated faces of wordless expression,
the metaphysics of free will, my beginning and my end,
          alpha and omega, my fortress in the land of chic.
Blasphemous hustler, let your idealism simmer, your wit, your mojo,
I come to you an amateur, a neophyte, a lowly scab
in the strike against ignorance. Give me my melody, my song,
          my one-hit-wonder of all that is cliché and unknown.
But I can’t be the other woman, your girlfriend, your aspiring
          Playboy bunny only 10-bucks-a-throw. Your highness-who-yells-
his-ideas-into-the-ears-of-echoes, your every quirk spellbinds me.
          Each day I wake to your entourage vibrato.
I am held captive by your brooding stare, empress of liberal
          doves. You visit in my dreams when the sky is a force of darkness
viewing light through peepholes, your flaws an aphrodisiac, a love drug,
          a fast hit in the basement from the ecstasy of words.

Inspired by Barbara Hamby
Vince Chul'Theg Jun 2013

Life can be painless
Provided there is sufficient
Peacefulness

For a dozen or so rituals
To be repeated simply
Endlessly

Your genius does not fail you
It allows you to understand the
Truth of the situation;
Which makes you--at times--
more tragic than ever

And your genius,
like all geniuses
Suffers periodic fits
of monumental
naïveté
Hi-ho

Listen:
Where is Grace
When milk and blood
Are about to be added
To the composition of the
Stinking ping-pong
Balls being manufactured
In Grand Rapids?

Schizophrenia
The sound and appearance
Of the word fascinates

It sounds and looks to me
Like a human being
Sneezing in a blizzard of
Soapflakes

This much we know:
You made yourself hideously
Uncomfortable by not narrowing
Your attention to details
Of life that were immediately
Important

And by refusing to believe what
Your neighbors believed
Hi-ho

Let your imagination continue
To be the flywheel on the
Ramshackle machinery of the truth.

But not the ‘awful’ truth

The ‘beauty’ in truth

Because we are a part
Of a system that is very
Restless,
With people tearing around
All the time

Every so often,
somebody stops to put up
A monument

Ours is a country where
Everybody is expected to
Pay his own bills for
Everything,
And one of the most
Expensive things a person
Can do is get sick

Grace:
Because if we stay here
We’ll do one of two things
(or both!)

Build a Commune

Or do like Collin Heise did:
Make the main thing that we
do be this:
Move seventy-eight
Thousand pounds of olives
To Tulsa, Oklahoma

Even if we can’t
Improve the quality of our surroundings
We’ll do our best to make our
Insides beautiful instead

Piebald Roadtrip-writing, baby
Hi-ho

You are the turtle
able to live anywhere
even under water for short periods

With your home on your back

A particular comfort in
Realizing that it so often feels
There is no order in the
World around us

That we must adapt ourselves to
The requirements of
Chaos instead

Remember:
We are healthy
Only to the extent that
Our ideas are
Humane

To you
To me
To ourselves
To We

Hi-Ho



*Inspired by the words of Kurt Vonnegut in "Slapstick" and "Breakfast of Champions"*
KM Jones Jul 2010

She had given up trying to write stories; her inability to even tell one had frightened away even her most far-fetched of hopes. Her own story consisted of monotony. He was her plot; he was her heart; he made her happy, and then that was the end. Outside of that shallow framework, she contented herself with solitude and sleep deprivation. She spent her life counting seconds, minutes, hours of wasted time.  She had been born a dreamer with two left feet and too much caution to pursue her own dreams. She used to dare to believe herself to be a poet; filled notebook after filled notebook is tucked away in her drawer to prove it. She envied the prose of others, the poetry of life, every piece she could never be creative enough to write. She filled her shelves with half-read classics, pretentiousness at its finest. She admired Hemingway, Nabokov, Vonnegut, but read nothing or no one religiously. Ironically, her deepest fear was not that she was incapable of making a difference but that she would forever be too afraid to try. She was ambitious but without reason and she without reason once she had fallen in love. (However, she would have never changed  the existence of that love for all the world.) He was her every waking and slumbering thought, her beginning and her end, her every muse and very writer's block. She had written in times of adversity; she had written in times of desperation; nevertheless, she found herself incapable of writing in times encompassed by the selflessness of love.

She perceived art to be a reflection of one's own self or perceptions of the world around them. However, he was her entire world, altogether far too familiar to invent and yet far too mysterious to define. He was the dim outline of a dream she couldn't recall, the scent of nostalgia she couldn't place, the familiar face she could have only known in another life. He was the everything of which she could say nothing. A speechless poet is of no value to their audience; she was a poet without even an audience to please. Her father had once called her a brick-layer. She could not move from one sentence to the next without first cementing each and every word unrelentingly into its place. She was not a river, as the best of writers were. She was not a writer, as the most unabashed of dreamers are. She was a failed poet, a feigned intellectual, the uncensored rush of air from a depleting balloon- pure energy- without direction and  inevitably lacking endurance. Perhaps these realities were what kept her from writing her story. Perhaps it was her pursuit of appearing to be an artist that prevented her from actually becoming one. She looked to answer questions of inspiration amidst happiness, after all, shouldn't inspiration spill over in such times, overwhelmingly, uncontrollably, and without end? Additionally, where did inspiration come from anyway, within or without one's own mind? But, surprisingly, the one question she wanted most to ask herself was, if every second not spent moving forward was one more she counted as wasted, why she did not waste one more moment hopelessly trying again?

July 22, 2010 - From third person diary entries
Allen Page Feb 2015

Derk! The Harold angels sing.
The muffin is my savior. Jesus lies.
Pacific Islands.  The screaming of fires.
Rulers.  Words.  Meters.  Feet.
The magnetic field is the only field.

If I could trust baseball, I would.
But cereals, Vonnegut, lies.
-ectomy. The ubiquitous suffix.
Suffixes make the world hell.
-ism, -itis, -like, -tude, cease
your
silly
constructions!

Constructions
are
power

I will smash

bye bye now

“One of the effects of living with electronic information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload.”                                                      
                                                                                      Marshall McLuhan
So, let’s review:
Man is a thinking animal.
Stanley Kubrick took us to space to get us to think.
Marshall McLuhan:  “There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”
Hemetucky: what was I thinking?
The Rapture for the 1%:   The Language of the World and The Language of Enthusiasm explains why Sir Richard  Branson’s Virgin Galactic will only be taking the richest among us to space.
Ian (Limey Futurologist) Pearson:  “Binary is already the dominant language on Planet Earth with today’s machines having more conversations in 24 hours than the whole of humankind since the birth of Eve.”
Larry Flynt:  “Porn is the answer to everything.”
Goofy:  “Yeah, I fucked Minnie. I shagged her rotten, baby!”  
Winston Smith:  “Do it to Julia!”
McNugget Buddies:   “Parts is parts.”                                          
Stunod: “Donuts-a -spella backwards issa stunod.” Think about it.
Tony Soprano.  “You fuckin stunod, it's a joke.” (Stunod:  in southern dialect Italian means stupid, or a stupid person) http://(www.urbandictionary.com) define.php?term = stunod  / buy stunod mugs & shirts
Marshall McLuhan:    “Jokes are grievances.”
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino:  “Antonio Gramsci thought that Stalin and Bolshevism could save him and Italy from Fascism:  stunod.”
The Cloud:  My acceptance of the Cloud into my life and my changeling cyborg self is by no means a capitulation to the surfing life.
Paulo Coehlo:  “The God you seek; that someone who awaits you is you.”
Howard Beale:  “That’s the God bullshit.”
God:   “Because you’re on television, stunod!”
The Elders of Zion:  Nu?
Meir Kahane:  “Let us not suffer from a national amnesia that causes us to forget who and what we are. No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place. I know that American and Israeli elections must be limited only to those who understand that the Arabs are the deadly enemy of the Jewish state, who would bring on us a slow Auschwitz - not with gas, but with knives and hatchets. Vote for Newt!”

Mick Jagger:    “Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out” (40th Anniversary Edition, Rolling Stones)
Keith Richards +Fijian palm tree = Stunod.  
Marshall McLuhan:   “The more the data banks record about each of us, the less we exist.”    
Howard Beale: “If there's anybody out there that can look around this demented slaughterhouse of a world we live in and tell me that man is a noble creature, believe me: That man is not only full of bullshit, that man is  stunod.”
The Nam, Part I:   a demented slaughterhouse within a microcosm and grains of beach sand inside micro-Cosmo Kramer’s shorts. When I was in the Kingdom of The Nam I was always under the influence of some drug, mostly my own pure adrenaline when scared shitless--a frequent condition for me—not only my own piquant adrenal juice but other stuff like weed, hash, Thai stick, opium, amphetamines, H-Horse heroin, quaaludes, horse tranquilizers and Russian vodka. The drugs were always a welcome and needed friend, a respite from the horrors of war in Southeast Asia. To meditate & levitate, to transmigrate & navigate, to negotiate & regurgitate myself, I needed a head start if I was going to SLIDE through what would be called a wormhole today, making a three-dimensional movement between different parallel universes, a conquest of time and space. Cue our favorite narrator:
Rod Serling:  “You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension--a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”
WWII, Part I:  A slider now, I SLIDE to my father’s war—the War in Europe in the years before V.E. Day, May 8, 1945. Suddenly I’m flipped right out of the jungle to Germania, to Deutschland in the winter of 1945. I am a P.O.W. of the Germans, sent out into the economy as slave labor. It’s February in Dresden, Germany, the Baroque capital of the German state of Saxony, the city called lovingly by her (Slut!) many lovers: “The Florence of the Elbe.” It was a long time ago, during the war and I Survived to Tell the Tale. I am a wet floppy Kilgore Trout; I’ve flopped right out of the Twilight Zone into what appears to be an underground meat locker in Dresden. There are animal carcasses hanging from the ceiling and the building is known as Slaughterhouse Number 5. I am a lucky son of a bitch because even though I don’t know it yet, I’m in the safest place in the entire city. Cue the Bombing of Dresden, a strategic military bombing by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF).  In four raids, 1,300 heavy bombers dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on Dresden. The resulting firestorm destroyed 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) of the city centre and killed many thousands, according to Nazi figures-- largely discredited by the victors who not only get the spoils but get to spin the history any which way but loose. Casualty figures were 200,000 and death toll estimates went as high as 500,000. Or maybe just 25,000 total, if you believe the fucking Anglo-American valkyries who unleashed the wrath of Khan’s Smoking Joe’s Barbecue Ribs and Hotlinks. Win a war, get a medal and a seat in Congress, maybe the White House; lose a war, get indicted. You’re going to Nuremberg, pilgrim, or the fucking Hague.
Kurt Vonnegut: “World War II was over and I was standing in the middle of Times Square with a Purple Heart on and a purple hard-on.”
Colonel Kurtz:  “We fight for the land that's under our feet, the gold that's in our hands, women that worship the power in our loins.  I summon fire from the sky. Do you know what it is to be a white man who can summon fire from the sky? ...What it means? You can live and die for these things, not silly ideals that are always betrayed  . . . I swallowed a bug. Who are you, captain?”
Willard:   “Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste. I've been around for a long long year, stolen many man's soul and faith. Stuck around St. Petersburg when I saw it was a time for a change. Killed the Tsar and his ministers, Anastasia screamed in vain. I rode a tank, held a gen'rals rank when the blitzkrieg raged and the bodies stank. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.”  
WWII, Part II:  The bombing of Dresden had to have been some kind of a violation of some International Code or Geneva Convention. But, of course, the bombers, the Victors, ran the Nuremberg show trials. The bombees didn’t get a chance to say much, didn’t want to make a fuss, seeing how generous the Army of Occupation was with their coal, gasoline, clothing and food handouts. But I was there when it was safe to climb out of the meat locker, and immediately got put to work on the après les bombes clean-up. I was there doing the dirty work, a corpse miner, tasked with collecting the fried grasshopper remains of so many unlucky Krauts who were simply burned alive, like heretics at the Inquisition. So it goes.
William Tecumseh Sherman: “War is Hell, Babaloo!”
Colonel Kilgore: “You can either surf, or you can fight!”
Sam Bottoms: “I dropped a tab of acid at the Do-Long Bridge, so I think I’ll surf for awhile: ‘I see a world in a grain of sand, and a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.’ Reading Blake: for years it was the only way I could block out the war, that and losing myself in a bunch of undercover assignments. Yeah, it was William Blake, I-Spy and lots more acid; that how I dealt with PTSD.”
The Nam, Part II, LT DAN:  “Good job, trooper; those fucking drugs got you coming and going, sliding so fast you’ve missed latrine duty 3 times this month. Now go get 5 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline, mix it together and torch that fucking feces, soldier.”
Ho Chi Minh:  “This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around.”
Kinky Friedman:   “The Democrats and Republicans are the same guy admiring himself in the mirror.”

Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak:   “Vote for Pedro.”
Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard:    “Fight Fiercely!”
Marshall McLuhan:    “I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t believed it.”
The Author:   I am a disaffected angry old man, formerly a disaffected angry young man; a Hopi-Italian Jew with Chinese offspring, namely my left-brained son, a mathematical genius but having a tough time dealing with idiots, the many truly stunod people in the world.  Then there’s my Rose, my sweet King Lear-jet daughter, like her half-brother, not yet finished paying for my sins. My offspring are haunted, visited upon daily by their father’s  ghosts, ghosts created, ghosts hovering over me, from wars hot and cold and peace lukewarm and cloudy, like the uranium ground contamination on the mesa, visited upon mothers and infants  and children who seek only a glass of cool water from the spring not to be glow worms in the dark, leukocytes made insane by something in the water. My sins, a father’s sins; things I did to curry favor, to ingratiate and advance myself with the 1%, things I did to get ahead in life, to get what I thought my father and others in the ancestral slipstream had failed to get, twice to the Rabbi for a get (Hebrew: גט‎, plural gittin גיטין), to get the edge my kids need now, the edge I never had, and life reduced to an exercise in ultimate combat, little more than a cage fight, man against man and God against all. The things I did for money and position shame me now. And shame is a large  source of my anger.  I will remain angry. I will hang on to my anger at God and myself and all who have been disappointed in me, by me, especially the cavalcade of short-term caretakers, women used, abused, left behind and forgotten. Why am I me? Sometimes I think that’s the way I’m programmed. But it’s okay, like Gaga: “I'm beautiful in my way 'Cause God makes no mistakes I'm on the right track, baby I was born this way' Cause God makes no mistakes, I'm on the right track, baby, I was born this way and will I continue to surf the Cloud: even though God is dead and I don’t believe you, or me, or them.
Basic: remember Basic?

10   A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 20
20   START STEP TWO ANGER KUBLER-ROSS INFINITE LOOP
30   GOTO 10
10   A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 20
20   START STEP TWO ANGER KUBLER-ROSS INFINITE LOOP
30  GOTO 10
10   A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 20
20   START STEP TWO ANGER KUBLER-ROSS INFINITE LOOP
30 A IS FOR ANGER NEXT 30
30  GOTO 10 Ad infinitum

Verisi Militude Oct 2010

After smoking my first pack
Of cigarettes
(Cheyenne Cherries, $2.09 at Marathon)
The novelty wore off pretty quick.
It didn’t feel cool anymore,
Didn’t make me feel important.
The cigarette was just something
To stick between my fingers,
Suck between my lips,
Inhale and feel something
(feel Hell)
In my lungs.
A prop.
It was just a stick
With a red, smoldering butt,
A piece of tobacco
To play with before the ember
Ate way down to the filter
And singed my fingertips.

Now, I think I light up
(Cheyenne Cherries, $2.09 at Marathon)
Because the smoke is so
Goddamn enticing. It’s beautiful,
A kinesthetic work of art
(like a ballet),
The way those silver
Tendrils curl so languidly
From the tip into the air,
So graceful, so smooth.
When I smoke
I can’t help but to imagine
I’m watching a group of dancers.
Or something.

And I think I light up
(Cheyenne Cherries, $2.09 at Marathon)
Because there’s nothing better to do
Half the time and at least
It flouts the boredom
(for a few minutes or so),
At least it interrupts the
Relentless monotony of Life.
Kurt Vonnegut mentioned
Something about smoking
Being a noble form of suicide.

Well, so it goes.

Sarah Writes Jan 2013

“What I wouldn’t give,
to want to live like I once did”
(Defiance Ohio)

I’m always yelling at myself
For the things I took for granted
They said to save yourself
But I called them cowards
And threw it all ahead
Screaming, tomorrow will be better
Better
Much better
Every day that’s not today is destined for greatness
A steady decline in sadness
Until one day my tombstone will read
“EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL AND NOTHING HURT”
(That one’s Vonnegut, but I bet you knew that)

See, my flux capacitor’s broken
And I’ve been reading this shit backwards
I just want to go back

I used to be such a show off
Collecting my experiences just to line them up on shelves
Lists of proof of my own beauty
My bright future
Proof that I’ve been loved

Of all of my different selves
I like that one the least
But miss her the most

Now I try not to leave the house
And when my phone rings I get really anxious
Now I feel like I’m always fighting
But there’s nobody around
So I’m fighting with belt buckles and doorknobs
And I resent the people who make those things look easy
Now a part of me feels angry when my friends ask me out
They don’t understand
That’s not self pity
They’d understand if I told them
But that would require answering my phone
And I just can’t do that today

I know I’m being selfish
Self absorbed and petty
But my heart has finally ruptured
It couldn’t hold all of the empty promises I’ve filled it with
And I’m tired of fighting
Now all that my shelves hold
Are stacks of reasons why I want to go back to bed
And the only list I have
Is filled with concrete evidence
That tomorrow will not, in fact,
Be better
Not better
Because today is worse than yesterday

Brian Payamps Aug 2015
WTF

What's happening to hello poetry?
I don't need to know when the next soccer game is
And if I can watch for free.
Only football I know is American like the pride that's in me.
My blood doesn't boil the native sounds of my country.
Since my  motherland is the Dominican
But America my step motherland won custody and raised me, since the age of three.
Don't forget is not who made you but who you fed you, who clothed you, who saw your first shot to a basket, who saw your first catch, who kept your body warm when you got another cold, and so on.
This is "Breakfast for Champions"
Just ask Kurt Vonnegut

What's happening to hello Poetry?
Show your art
Get your due diligence
Don't sell us your dreams don't broadcast your business unless is a story, book signing or deal.
I don't need a spell to make a girl fall in love. I got these words
For and to whom I might propose
Love or an indecent occasion of lust.
Let my words be the for front on this site but they're second to my actions.
Since I don't speak much b'cause my Latin accent.

What is happening to hello poetry?
Private messages by strangers who don't write or speak words.
Claim is urgent and as a poet
You know kind hearted, love lost, And so on...
You just might want to message their Hotmail.
Sad story under prosecution
Sad story the relation is abusive
Mocking the painful truths of some of us artist.
Just wanting a piece of the pie
But when I order I even eat the crust and never leave crumbs.

Take offense or not I just don't give a fuck.

I've been holding back but no more.
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