Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Catfish McDaris Chronicles Inappropriate Gherkin Use, Route 66, a Komodo Dragon, Balzac, Mayhem in an Albuquerque Valley, and Prickly Pear Tuna

The Pamplona Blues

Sometimes you feel like you’ve
entered the Twilight Zone, I was in
this supermarket and I saw a
stone fox in the condiment aisle

She opened a bottle of catsup
and chugged it down, then
moved down to the pickles and
raised her brown leather skirt
and pulled her panties to

One side and started shoving
gherkins up her vagina, she
was moaning and groaning

Then she turned and looked at me
and said, “I bet you think I’m a sour puss”
 I left my basket and ran like
the bulls of Pamplona were after me.

Cocaine, Lizards and Balzac 

Years heaped like golden maple leaves in
Quebec or snowflakes on a Tucumcari
coyote moon night on Route 66

Sometimes the heart is nothing more than
 a clock measuring your minutes’ while
ticking and pumping in your chest

Life, death, earth, moon, sun all move in
circles, wise people live in circles, right
angles make you a square and box
you in like cattle not free buffalo

If you run a race against death, it always
gets a head start, unless you’re on the train
to nowhere or unless you can stab a flying
mosquito with an ice

When you sleep with a shotgun and machete
and wake with a bloody dog’s head and you
own no dog and your cocaine has been

And your bald-headed girlfriend you took fishing
with the long blonde hair that got
caught in the propeller is pointing a 357

At your huevos while holding your Komodo
dragon, Booboo and your copy of La
Comedie humaine by Honore de Balzac, it’s
time to quit this nightmare and make some strong black


Scarfing vagabond goulash
from Mexican sombrero
hub caps stolen from a
turquoise low rider short
in the valley of Albuquerque

Spanish yucca roots, flowers,
stems, and blanco corn tortillas
prickly pear tuna, serrano, pob-
lano, Copper Canyon sotol

Slow your cinnamon roll, mama
cooch, no need to gank the skank
let’s booty call tango fandango

Roots of the desert dagger are
full of saponins, a toxin that can
be used to stun fish without injury.

War Everyday Everywhere

Dedicated to the Australian movie Rabbit Proof Fence about atrocities perpetuated on the Aborigines and the Canadian folks that said America was lucky they let us land our  aircraft there after the 9/11 tragedy.

People hate Americans,
they hate McDonald’s,
they hate Kentucky Fried Chicken,
they hate Mickey Mouse,
they really hate our drones and nukes

But when they get in trouble
or need money, they all yell
for Uncle Sugar to come running,
they don’t worry about teeth getting
rotten and falling out or calluses on
their knees from begging for a handout

All the hawks and doves,
left wingers, right wingers, and righteous,
religion, oil, land, water, pride, and egos

Blood is always thinner than money,
gold is forever heavier than love

Some Americans go hungry,
we cry for our brave soldiers,
that die fighting other countries battles,
killing terrorists around the world

Don’t point your fingers and blame us
for your problems or for the freedom we’ve
created, don’t expect us to fill your stomachs

Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s working in a wig shop in a high crime area of Milwaukee. His newest book is:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Felino A. Soriano Achieves Momentum in Morning Expanse Littered with Postcard Sketches Syllabled with Erased Cliches for a Tranquilized Anthem

Of this Momentum Song (thirty-two)

    I see what the wonder
   —is the wonder what
     sees in the wander
    of the watching… we
  have been here before,
 the same tree swayed
   toward we in the
  hour’s music—
    hold the rhythm
  was, and is… the
      silence explains
   what absence is—
        heavy, a worded
    need the bark’s rough
  -ness feels like the hand
     of my leaving—
  stress the confines
 of it, the break
   from hope noted
     of it… on return
morning expanse
 finds in movement
the truth of it,
   a death perceives
  cultural sleek
 forward engage
   -ment, a slur
 light is the clarity
of intrinsic trust,
  posture of this
 light imbues the
 waiting within
 the body and
   branding it

    alive as more fractured
   than more so fraction
      of what we eventually
 comatose sleep lures
   and indents this
 music’s longhand
    hour… positioned
  near where we go
     in toward, a faucet
   turns on

     motive and the dance of it
   leaves the body

                    but unbroken—

      sustained devotion to life’s


Of this Momentum Song (thirty-three)
                        Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how                               one remembers it in order to recount it.
                                                          —Gabriel García Márquez

    Postcard sketches: land
   -scape theme, myriad
      sameness toward
  moment-capture sequence,
   an artistic hand
  -eye collaboration, theory—
                                              -ficial scale the
                                             early morning trumpet
                                                 expands and
                                              theme is totality, is
                                             theme of language or
                                                function of the mind’s
exploratory figments—
     experimental forays
  the body twists to
 adhere in the swell
                                            of removing past
                                           participation, to envelop
                                              what is new in these
  and acute paces
 hands play in the
   purge horns
  through the tunnel
 of which light
   pulses in the caus
  -ational pause re
 -begin pleasure
     body finds in nearing
    age of determined
  inheritance of the civilized
 permission… we’ve walked
    here and found what
   here shows our
     tired posture
 timid cycles
  readying our
upward anthems,
  play the “cling”
 and stays—



Of this Momentum Song (thirty-four)

 We wait in our walking,
 walk into what
wears this hour’s waiting
 of sound.
  with sound as knowing
 an echo is resultant
     Privilege.  Alive
 is the announcement
  each morning
 among tongue and
the hour rotates
 within choired
hands Song
 spins into splayed
ornaments this
understands as
 inversion looks
  to impulse,
to interact

entering.  Why the
 oval resonates
on itself and
  selves’ versions
 the numerical
     we’ve needed rest,
   examine the good
       honoring what has
  us.  The way
 these colors
   exist in opposite
 blends from the eyes
     erasing clichés,
 downtown voice
  pulses to live     away
from what
    connection to bone—
 a pivot exterior
   to night’s

                            prose and
 decomposing sections




Of this Momentum Song (thirty-five)

Blow with doing
    as does the
  premise:        called
 in all listeners,
    mobile meeting     (we keep moving)
  textured talk the
 rotates atop our
decisive tongues, petrichor,
  finds our lyric, we
 devote the body to
    speaking certainties,
  sporadic thinking
 what our horns
  compose, provide.
   is the catapult
  function we’ve
    known about.
exterior stride hands
 contain, lyrical mobility
we always confirmed.  We
  can piano here, should.
 be to the whole of what
  we’re going into, to-
   ward; and thus
to splay is to behave
  inward to the
 space needing
   no more optics
fade or asterisk
  performs in
 how the hands
     our language-
 s.  Tomorrow we
    can envelop a
 tranquilized anthem,
   the mode of it steers
 how the eye outlines,
 is neither whole nor
fractioned, the foray
  to become is to hold
 tacit reinventions
the body only
 sees within
  its organic

Of this Momentum Song (thirty-six)

   Tumult, we
  praise around it, as is said
    what we call
  music the crow
   renames water—
  in the pleasure
   sequences each
 mouth searches to-
  ward, in the
   of body to blend
 hanker with
     warmth of
 finding surfaces.
  what finds us (renaming)
 what searches to offer
   in the meaning
  of it.  Song
    knows us, knows
 of us; we’ve a buried
      harp in the way
  voices color the air’s between
   gold, gold as does
  the hand give into
    affection’s role
 invite.  Sway, the
  mission adheres
to the tongue of
   what holds us…
when we begin, from mothers
 holding the small
of cries, the smallness
  reveals then too,
 the deliberate need
to thread what is human
   human holds to ident-
 ify each portion of bone
     naming our
   intuitive meander.
    The unsayable
 says what died in voice.  Paused
  invention.  The water
          where the crow
 its premise, we’ve pulled
  the harp from where
our hands need flamed
    we continue, we
perform courage into
      what calls to
  praise in the hearing

         the halo awaiting—

    our Song is our going home…
home as where the body

             never bends to a


Felino A. Soriano’s poetry appears in CHURN, BlazeVOX, 3:AM Magazine, The National Poetry Review, Small Po[r]tions, and elsewhere.  His books of poetry include Vocal Apparitions: New & Selected Poems: 2012 – 2016 (2016), sparse anatomies of single antecedents (2015), Of isolated limning (2014), Pathos|particular invocation (2013), Of language|s| the rain speaks (2012), Intentions of Aligned Demarcations (2011), In Praise of Absolute Interpretation (2010), Construed Implications (2009), and Among the Interrogated (2008).  His collaborative collection Quintet Dialogues: translating introspection, which features visual art from David Allen Reed is forthcoming from Howling Dog Press.

He publishes the online journal Of/with, and is Multimedia Editor for Unlikely Stories Mark V, and is a contributing editor at Sugar Mule. 

Visit Of the poetry this jazz portends for more information.  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A.S. Coomer Reverberates, Looping the Eavesdropped Barstool Amidst Dew-Soaked Heatherdowns

Hootie’s Cave

There’s a cave
just up the road
from the house
where I grew up.
I used to go there
with my family
when I was a kid.
There are rocks
the size of cars
partially blocking
its entrance.
Rocks hard enough
to break yourself against.
Rocks beaten, slowly,
by time and wind and rain
into little grains that mushed
under the soles
of my dirty shoes.
I used to climb over the rocks,
drop just inside the opening
of the cave
and call out.
It didn’t matter what.
Not words or names or commands.
Just noise. Just the sound of being.
Just something to send out and hear echo
back a fraction of a second later,
already in the past, already over.
These days I’m sure I’m still stuck
just inside the mouth of a neighbor’s rockhouse,
spinning circles, splashing off spraypainted walls,
--in motion but trapped--
in that time loop reverberation.

Another Three Lonely Ones

“I don’t have a problem, Chelsea.”
I overheard him from across the nearly empty,
noontime bar. Sun, weak as stale tea,
filtered in hazily through cracked blinds & dusty windows.
The summer crowd had ceased thinning out
over a month ago. It had stopped entirely now.

“You said you did last night,” she persisted. “You said so yourself.”
A stool creaked in their direction.
“I was drunk when I said that.”

An awkward pause stretched out like the endless horizon of pale blue
--Lake Michigan not a stone’s throw from where I sat.
I could almost feel the little stings of pelting sand
off Sleeping Bear Dunes & the hanging mist
of the great lake’s spit haloed like a bad reputation not readily dealt with.
The barkeep--quite suddenly--found something that required
his immediate attention in the dark recesses of what I assumed was the kitchen.
The batwing doors beat an off-rhythm, doubling with each swing
as the rusty hinge screamed and squawked,
piercing the stagnant air like a quietus keen,
stabbing it, shooting it through like the period, a black hole slashing all,
serving as the end of sentence of whatever relationship had just ended.

I took a long pull from the bottle of beer. Ice beneath my fingers
slipped down the label and pooled on the waxed & shining wood,
the only thing aside from the beer that looked well kept in the place.
I peeled a corner of the label off the bottle & watched the little icebergs
flow south as gravity steered us towards our eventual endings,
collective and a part, together but alone, always alone really.

“You know what?” her voice was triumphant
in her bitter disappointment & resentment now.
“You are the problem, Josh.”

I heard the door shut behind her,
the beaten bells clanging their discordant knell,
a beck & call as much for the barkeep as for us all.
as I finished what was going to be my last beer of the afternoon.

The barkeep reemerged from the kitchen with a glass and a rag.
He took a quick glance in the direction of The Problem Josh
then set down the glass in front of me.
It was chipped & battered. There’d been a logo on it some years ago
but it was indecipherable now. A cryptic, vaguely female eye peeking out
of a wash of faded colors & jangled letters.

“Thought you might like a glass.”
We both looked down at my empty bottle & waited.
Oh, the weight of the wait.
I hadn’t asked for a glass with any of the four previous beers
nor had one been offered.

I smiled and slid another three lonely ones across the bar
just as the door closed a second time.

Little Platte Lake

There’s a thousand lives to live out here.
A thousand means of finding meaning.
I’ve stumbled onto one of them, I think.
Pine needles, knots of twining vine,
a vegetation nearly Northern Pacific in feeling;
the rain pattering sound on the dew-soaked heatherdowns
like gently muted toms or nearly forgotten, rustic spells.
Incantations of what you’ve lost but strive to find
but what can you retrieve from so much lost time?

I saw a mother and two cubs scamper across Saffron Road
in the post-rain haze of a late September day.
I’ve given myself over to substance use today:
intoxicated by a story I never lived, I translated it to music,
spent the time after in a pot-filled gauze,
a claustrophobic morning of clouds and sky and lake,
losing sense of where the reflection ended and the real began,
later a double IPA daze, watching the changing
leaves in the passing car’s suspended breeze
dance and twirl like the uncurling furls of the locks of your sanguine curls.

You get a sense that the land here is waiting, patiently biding its time,
the time just before the big white hands of winter sus out the sun,
wrap the heavy blanketed cloak around the starving pines,
granting everything under
the chance to hide & wait & sleep.

A.S. Coomer is a native Kentuckian serving out a purgatorial existence somewhere in the Midwest. His work has appeared in over thirty publications. He’s got a handful of novels that need good homes. You can find him at www.ascoomer.wordpress.com. He also runs a “record label” for poetry: www.lostlonggoneforgottenrecords.wordpress.com. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Steven Porter Would Rather Be A Dinosauric Iconoclast Amongst Blasphemies of An Anti-Theists

"I'd Rather Be"

I'd rather be a scarecrow on a farm, licking crows'
wounds, inhabited by a murdered farmer's ghost,
than lick the Italian leather asshole of a college
graduate with an overpriced sheet of paper
firing an inflamed hubris into his ear.

I'd rather be a spider in the Amazon rainforest
weaving a gossamer trap in a moist, hollow log,
brawling with my fellow Arachnid neighbors than
be a flighless bird staring into the sun and weeping
because the sky disowned me eons ago.

I'd rather be the mouse than the snake.

I'd rather be the scorpion than the shoe.

I'd rather be smudged makeup on a woman's face.

I'd rather be sweat dripping off a man's earlobe than be a man.

I'd rather be the poem than the poet.

I'd rather be a cigarette butt, than a brand
new cigarette, because then at least it's all over.

I guess I'd rather be dark matter, pushing
the universe further and further away
from the human species.

"Pride of the Serpent"

My stomach growls, I haven't eaten
since the last Solar Eclipse.
I killed a rattlesnake today.
I shot it in the head with a
pistol I stole from a friend.
He lies on my table, decapitated,
stripped of his flesh and pride that
came with deceiving Adam and Eve.
I put his head in a jar with formaldehyde
borrowed from work.
Its expression captured in
a final moment of defense,
like photographs of American
Soldiers storming Iwo Jima,
planting the flag as bullets whizzed
past them and explosives detonated.
(He may have been a part of Medusa?)
A folic-token thwarting warriors with two fangs.
What I can't finish, I wrap in cellophane
and store in my refrigerator; this
miniature-morgue, now a grave
for a dinosauric iconoclast.

"Birthday at 95-Years"

Today is the 95th-birthday for
a tribe's eldest member.

An empty chair at the head of the table
creaks as hurried guests pass by to take
their own seats. A birthday cake awaits.

A birthday cake laden with candles is
like a coffin built from cheap wood...
each has trouble carrying the weight of
nearly a century of suppressed despair.

The guest of honor takes his seat and hesitates to
blow out the burning candles, wax inundates the cake.
A hearse waits outside honking its horn.

"Confessions of an Anti-Theist"

This dream...snakes temporarily grow
arms, pluck out nuns' eyes and
tear their pious cemetery
garments from their flesh and
twist their areolas until they
screamed for God to come down
with lotion to lather their breasts.

Adam and Eve finger fuck in a cathedral
and pour holy water on each other's
genitals to wash off blood of the lamb.
Eve takes Adam's rib and deepthroats it.
Adam's petty, botanic cock can't do the job.

A whale nips Jonah's ass, but Jonah confesses
that he's already in a relationship with a plesiosaur
who promised to write his story and make it a Number
One bestseller on the Stars and Stripes Cro-Magnon hit list.

As Abraham leads his son Isaac to Moriah,
God descends with Satan and says "See, man,
I told you I could get him to murder his son."
"Alright, alright. I guess I owe you that 50 bucks
and the Southern Hemisphere?" responds Satan.
Abraham looks up at God and Satan and shouts,
"Hey! I didn't bring him here because you told me too,
I did it because that little bastard drank my last jug of wine!"

Steven Allan Porter was born February 5, 1992 in Coral Springs, FL to a Jewish mother and a German father. His influences include: Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Bob Kaufman, Steven Jesse Bernstein, Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Simic, and Louis-Ferdinand Celine. His work has appeared in Red Fez, Degenerate Literature, Wildflower Muse, Dead Snakes, UFO Gigolo, Dali's LoveChild, Blue Mountain Review, Beatnik Cowboy, Rasputin: A Poetry Thread, Peeking Cat Poetry, Horror, Sleaze and Trash, The Basil O' Flaherty, Saudade Magazine, and Syzygy Poetry Journal. He currently resides in Chino, CA.