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Contributing Writers

Gary Indiana

Sharon Mesmer

Vincent Katz

Bill Kushner

Susan Maurer

Murat Nemet-Nejat

Alan Kaplan

Stephen Paul Miller

Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

David Mills

Patricia Carragon

Angelo Varga

Tom Savage

Valery Oisteanu

Issue Three

Ginger Wants a Coffin

Ginger wants a coffin
but not for she herself
she’d like to see the people in it
whom she’s always wished to be
laid out with long-stemmed roses
tucked beneath their chalky lifeless hands
she'll stay all night beside the corpse
it's Ginger's Ragtime Band

Ginger’s been the maitre d’
at every funeral home I’ve gone to
steering people numbed by grief
right up to the stiff as if she
made it herself out of paraffin

Ginger feels like nothing much
until another lucky fatal illness
strikes someone she can attach to
crazy glue of legendary Ginger
sticks to bodies Velcro Girl
a Post-It note of heartfelt feelings
"wish you were dead, it's more appealing"
like the cat who sucks away
the baby’s breath
Ginger sticks around till death
she's never had much else to do

She’s been the intimate of almost
everyone she never knew
the proof is all the stuff she looted

as their final breaths they drew
nothing we’d call larceny more like
homage to her survival
just trinkets and some souvenirs
“he wanted me to have this,”
Ginger says, and through the years
i never did see Ginger shed
a single fucking tear.

She’s ushered half the town into
the nothingness awaiting all
in documentary films she plays
the most beloved and devoted
with every passing she’s promoted

But humble creature that she is
she doesn’t wait around for biz
if someone isn’t feeling well, if
Ginger hears about it, hell,
she’s got them in intensive care
on respirators in despair
“I feel so sad,” is Ginger’s mantra
“to see them go one minute to the next.
The saddest part is X Y Z
never got the recognition they deserved
exactly just like you and me

look out for that “you” when Ginger
comes around, that “me” don’t quit and
if you bond
with her delusions for one minute
you won’t just step in shit, my dear
you’ll be up to your eyeballs in it.

Gary Indiana

Famke Janssen

I would like to be her Toodle Boople
And she could be my Poodle Boople.
And from that comfort zone,
Famke and Rebecca Romjin could pretend
To undress each other,
Or at least undress each other’s poodles.
I’d like to dye Famke’s poodle mauve,
And I know how I’d do it, too –
It should also be mentioned
That not only does Famke have a giant ass,
She also has a very powerful mind
And a hoo-hoo like Tura Satana’s
That snaps into action at the first sign of trouble.
And speaking of poodles,
Have you heard about the many children
Forced out of Eric Estrada’s cocker spaniel?
It must’ve been painful
Like Famke’s lasik surgery in British Columbia.

Sharon Mesmer

L’Amour Fou

Jumping on typewriter keys
Dancing in hot proximity

Viscous substance provided
Descends in utter strain

_______________________________________Vincent Katz


If the last "O!"leaves his lips unkissable
if hands in his mirror plead why which way
if his good hand can't bend a rule
if his wild speculating in a volatile past
if racing after his ghost hurts a knee
if his fingers are clouds drifting across the sky
if the only airborne phoenix gets caught in his live wires
if his schools of hard knocks need support
if his prisoner looses air and exercise privileges
if his nervous twitch substitutes for lightening or thunder
if the jabs of the shadow-boxing dead blur his vision

Alan Kaplan

from the chinese

murasaki – the proud father
of homeless peasants and iron workers
coughed up the seven gold pieces he had saved
on his death bed. rivers could not fathom
this conversion.
he did so convulsively like blood
spurting from his mouth. "forgive me
my children," he said, "forgive me,
as i thought of your cares, of the iron fist
of history on your backs, i also thought
of my old age, these seven pieces are
the sum essence of my shame. and now
i can't use them when it's time
but cast them to open air." the old woman
who had been putting a cloth dipped in vinegar
on his brow to ease his pain
took him in her arms on his words
and cradled him till the dark.

_______________________________________Murat Nemet-Nejat

University of Robben Island

We shall make this prison a university

Nelson Mandela

Here, sticks are pens and fingers are pencils.
What’s useless is useful: black boards are carved
in thighs of sand. A limestone cove’s our
lecture hall. The john’s an uncovered bucket--
hoards meals, held then hurled from our stomachs.
Real millet: a memory, which makes our tongues
swoon, droop like heavy fish nets. Now we scrounge for
water once kissed by golden grains. A hunger
that’s both the brain and body needing victuals.
Blisters bloom in our lungs. The sun is
a sucker punch, a fist lodged in the eye.
Protocol and feces waylay the guards:
within the husk of this misfortune lies
an opportunity, class is in session.

Notes: University of Robben Island was an ironic name South African political prisoners gave to a limestone area where they went to the bathroom on the island. But because the white guards could not share a bathroom with black prisoners, the political prisoners used this area to teach the imprisoned subjects: both neutral and political.

_______________________________________David Mills


Blood flows from eyes
that cannot cry.
Old scars unzip,
new ones are born.
Happiness is torture
like sex in a shredder.
Come Kitty, Kitty…
whip, whip crack away--
whip, whip crack away.
Blood kisses face –
pain finds its mate –
Is she in love?
Kill a few daisies
before she says yes.

Blood flows from eyes
that cannot cry.
Fall to the beat,
dancing with fists.
Happiness is torture
like a nail with hammer.
Come Kitty, Kitty…
smack happy, happy--
smack happy, happy.
Blood kisses face –
pain finds its mate –
Is she in love?
Kill a few daisies
before she says yes.
___________________________________________Patricia Carragon


A kind father who teaches me to work with my hands
A mother who loves me
I walk barefoot in a well-run city
Money is plentiful and black as poppy seeds
The food is cheap easy to eat delicious sandwiches
The women who are attractive wear long white coats
They would like me to speak to their fathers
But I already have a girlfriend who is affectionate & generous
The doorways have no doors, the winters are mild
The fireplaces are as easy to work as phones
I have plaster dust on my overalls, I'm happy
My hair is black, my teeth straight
In the life that I create in my sleep, I have good parents

_______________________________________Angelo Varga

Rubber Cups*

Exchange faces with sleep.
Walk with the night.
The wildflowers will follow you.
Place people in time and be cheerful.
Wear simple clothes in your dreams.
A long, good time may be coming.
When did "out of order" become
Replaced by "not in service"?
Regrets are useless and always too late.
Learn to do nothing, quietly.
Words never stay where they belong.

*Written while watching Toys in the Attic by Lillian Hellman

Tom Savage


The first


with eyes

goes out on a date with


Ann Brown, the first animal with


Lee Ann and Tony


the earth

3.9 billion

years ago and

make the moon.

A spotlight completes the effect.

_______________________________________Stephen Paul Miller


There is the door to the house of
love, and I walk through it, and there
you are. You are lying naked on
your bed, and at first I think you are
dead, but then you stir, you are just
asleep. Your naked body looks
so vulnerable, wet and glowing.
I decide that I must draw you,
naked and asleep in your bed,
when I see your eyes open, and
you sit up quickly. “What are you
doing here?” you ask me, and I
want to turn, run, hide. “I was just
going to draw you as you lay asleep.
You looked so beautiful, naked,
asleep.” You stare at me angrily,
reaching for a sheet. “I think not,”
you say, “no. Please leave. Please
leave.” So I do. I leave. I walk
down this empty corridor, and find
the doorway into the street. The
street is empty, dark and long. I
walk and walk forever along this
dark and empty street.

_______________________________________________________Bill Kushner 2/20/07


The last locust leaves leave
their last lashes of gold
crackling in whip-crisp
blue November glare.
Listening to “Tasty Fare”
by The Losing Streaks
let us reflect on the unspeakable.
In the face of the unfaceable,
I beg you to dance. I say
shake it up. Before that
we heard the Riviera Playboys.
How do you call the dumbwaiter?
I am known of mine, secret
admirer. Live, flee or die.

Jeffrey Cyphers Wright

Ride Down

The Ride down he drank anisette, zagging
His beeper, the black Caddie
Those ringlets at the back of his skull
How he looked nude, chopping wood
The mystery of the van, trashed deep in the woods
How she had been a drug dealer, coke, he said
How I said come death as he drove it home on the couch
After the condoms had run out, time after time
The rifle propped against the wall
The man next door who never left his house
His scruffy dog
The fact that he looked like a Piero della Francesca
Was not reason enough
But try telling me that then
“Hey you, stop, you are not fiction”

_______________________________________Susan Maurer

Where have the “Real Famous” gone?

Our Society needs a grand Variety
Every Fifteen minutes someone becomes famous
Factory made Celebrities—USA everywhere
Each product different, flavors of the day:
Monday we have infamously eminent
Tuesday: insufficiently infamous
Wednesday: notorious by birth or money
Thursday: almost reputable
Friday: famous by mistake
Saturday famous for being famous
Sunday all day Quasi-famous

Some are just associated with the so-called celebrities
They end to be Faux-Famous
Fame and Name-Game casualties
Chance operational-famous for a day
Or nanosecond renown
Has-beens and yesterday’s famous
Discarded with indifference
In conclusion my dear applicant
The doubles and fakes are among us!
Fifteen minutes of obscurity for everyone!
Temporary Stardom for all
Thus spoke Warholtustra

_______________________________________Valery Oisteanu

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