• Venice Is - Alan Rodman
• Love Me - Lynette
• Coupons for the Poor - Fast Eddie
• THE AMERICAN DREAMERS - Robin Touchstone

Venice Is

By Alan Rodman

Throne of Califa-
Queen of the lost island
Of powerful women-
Rose ah! Across canals of ducks
Internal lines echoed into time
Strong, grand
A speedway to horizon.
Drums still sang out as
Four and barefoot
Windward by the beach
Treading on discarded lit cigar your
Undeciphered hurt emerged slowly-
An ice cube burn
So at sunset merely melt-
Not fade now a thousand autumnal summers
Venice of the Universe
Where broken poets perfect beauty:
Drinker junkie genius unsightly
Human Rex who vanish nightly-
Either sees at seaside
Wear not only ones sleeve
Ones heart-revealing ragged
Guts bone-revealing ragged
Guts bone sinew
Tattered notepad paintbrush blanket and cookpot
Wrenched from one wretched retching reaching reeling, yet
Railing, raving, writing,
Rising to buy new blues for your boardwalk bodhisattva.

Love Me

By Lynette

Serene, forbidden night,
You find me in naked innocence,
A little girl nervously embracing
A hungry woman’s body
And killing the fire of physical need,
Your eyes draw me in an hypnotic trance,
Your flesh warm and moist
Presses tightly against my virgin skin,
Should I surrender to the sinful darkness?
Too late!
Your fingers grope for that intimate place within me,
A room to this evening kept locked,
I am enveloped in the flames of raw passion,
You penetrate my unrelenting defenses
Rip away my blinding purity,
I melt delightfully, greedily into you,
We become a burning and feeding synthesis
Love me!


Coupons From The Poor

By Fast Eddie

do not worry or fret
oh my most generous masters
the judges, lawmakers,
and fully coagulate media
will all make perfectly sure
my coupons to make you rich
do not expire
remain pat until all used up,
pass right through the end of next week,
go on to even when
Hell becomes most deeply populated
by icebergs
and the cancer inside
the devil’s rectum,
and the polyps and yeast bulbs,
are all signed off as fine
by any local Texas vicar, amen.

do not worry or fret
oh my masters
ye who are obviously blessed
with the most grandiose midas touch
if you seek you will find
and there will always be a writer
to write the sound bytes pitch,
the multi-channel radio spewed
conservative and/or corporate agenda,
avoid this business of Parmalat
at all costs
keep it nicely kept
in four short paragraphs,
under food,
on page forty eight.

yea and verily I say it again
do not fret,
do not toil,
do not breathe the noxious vapor
muck about in the radioactive stew,
dig with your rock far
after both pick and shovel are bent
‘tis Money.
‘tis Fate.
‘tis foolishness personified
‘tis fully guaranteed
masochistic pain
take, take, take
do not miss, do not breathe,
do not stop to take a piss

and yes
here are my coupons for this week
ample greed to make the dollar
not worth a dime

Hidden high court smiles
likely to bring Judge Crater
safely back from the dead;
votes to choose between
tweedledee and tweedledum
a little pen knife
to be stuck right now
in your reptile brain



By Robin Touchstone

Beat the homecoming drum with a veteran’s amputated legs! Another helpless hero in a wheelchair parade. He brought souvenirs for the kids—candy and ammo—and for dad an enemy head to mount above the mantle. But even weighted with medals he’s the half the man: so many wind-up soldiers wind up like this, though he never wavered in flag-waving. He lives in his chair parked at Hollywood and Cherokee, holding out an empty beer can for alms, and stuck in it—a plastic replica of Old Glory on a McDonald’s straw.

While they pump black coffee into the Greyhound gas tank, I wait, playing solitaire in the bustling bus station. I have the power of invisibility, as well as of seeing no one here. Later on the jammed interstate, I look out the bus window like a stranger in an all-too-familiar land, hear car horns crying like the muezzin, and watch the pilgrims make their way, each to a separate Mecca that echoes with unspoken prayers.

Uncle Heck had to have his Constitutional right to shoot intruders (it’s OK—he eats the meat), so he voted for a Congressman who promised a free handgun in every box of crackerjacks. But the same Congressman voted to cut Heck’s welfare benefits. My fat aunt with curlers big as corncobs couldn’t afford to lie around all day reading horoscopes of soap opera characters, so she left Heck for their trailer park lawn jockey.

The Ice Cream Social Massacre was easily squelched—we forgot to synch our watches and were kicked in our crotches by skinhead Cub Scouts. A Tom Petty-bourgeois rocker kid informed us that if we don’t love the Land of Ford and Chevy then we should get the hell out of Dodge. Defiantly we chanted, Don’t Be an Iscariot, Support the Proletariat, but Communism fizzled out as must all Molotov cocktail parties…I just logged onto E-bay and purchased the last fragments of the Berlin Wall.

My hip friend got a television head. Instead of his old ordinary face, now he resembles any number of eugenic celebrities. I asked him, Does your t.v. head ever ache from the cop show gunfire and war newscasts? He couldn’t hear, so with his remote control he turned himself to the talk show channel. He shouted at me for cheating with his lesbian lover, then broke down in tears confessing that he had been molested by every priest in Christendom. Suddenly he interrupted himself, trying to sell me laundry soap and pantyhose. As I started to walk away, his signal went out. How beautiful, I said, you’re snowing!

I encountered a street scarecrow jacketed and jeaned in ripped denim. His head was a basketball tied round with a red bandana, his body an old radio turned on its side, and his legs were stolen crutches. The garden over which he was guardian would have made Baudelaire smile: leafy whopperwrapper, condomblooms, and junkneedle.

His heart-radio was broken and could only play static songs. Head punctured, he wept air, though I pretended not to notice.

I stayed with him awhile, listening to car alarms chirp an eclogue. Sky too smutty for stargazing, we stared at the oily tarmac where shattered bottle splinters coruscated under an arc lamp. We could make out the constellations of the One-Leg Begging Vet and the Little and Big Busted Shopping Carts.

/Make a wish/, his deflation whispered as another bottle shot from a car window.

The Lady Liberty Statue puts her book to her torch. She descends her pedestal and treads underfoot your huddled masses yearning to breathe pollution. She strips off her robe, revealing breasts ponderous with petroleum and pudendum menstruating toxic waste. She dances for the NYC tourists who throw her a buck. She straddles the Chrysler Building, shrieking. /The Whore of Babylon ain’t got nothin’ on me, baby!/ As she climaxes, she topples and smashes apart on the pavement. Gang kids spray paint her ruins with indecipherable runes.

Posted: Wed - December 1, 2004 at 07:04 AM