Exile on Whole Wheat

March 27, 2010 by

Exile on Whole Wheat

By David Kramer

you ask me to
contemplate
spiritual exile
and redemption,
when all I really want
to think about is
getting blown
by that cute little
Puerto Rican waitress
in the blonde wig and
sequined mask,
who serves me grilled cheese
on whole wheat
at the jewish deli on
fourth street.

Either way, I’m
still not satisfied
yet.

a.k.a. Joanie Ramone

March 21, 2010 by

a.k.a. Joanie Ramone

By David Kramer

joan of arc hung around
washington square
handing out candy canes
and marshmallow peeps!
to the atheists
and anarchists
from nyu.

the locals all knew her
as joanie ramone,
and swear
at night
she was visible from
outer space.

like coals of fire.

she’d sleep with the saints
in g-d’s grace
one day . . .
but usually it was in the park
with her regrets.

until agents from the irs
busted her
for owing over
62 K in back taxes
from her failed first marriage.

another senseless
cult
sacrifice.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!!!

March 14, 2010 by

I started Super Clod Clod, because after looking at a lot of other blogs, I have to admit that I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times that I’ve been impressed with what I’ve read on poetry blogs, but there have also been plenty more times I found poems of very little merit posted. And more often than not, I’d have a poem rejected by that very same blog. Why does this sort of thing occur? I don’t know. It could be a whole bunch of things. It could be that the editors of these blogs just post the stuff that his friends write. Or it could be that their judgement is flawed. Or it could be that I have too high of an opinion of myself and that my stuff just plain sucks. Whatever the case may be, I started Super Clod Clod who’ve had similar experiences. Super Clod Clod is a place for poems and short fiction that can’t find a venue any where else! Super Clod Clod is a place for YOUR poems and short fiction! So Submit! Today!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
Fiction submissions can be anywhere between 50 to 5,000 words. I’m looking for experimental fiction, flash fiction, straight fiction, pulp fiction, historical fiction, horror, mystery, science fiction, or whatever. The only thing I’m not too keen on is romance, but if you’ve got a good love story send it on over.
Poetry submissions: I prefer poetry submissions that are ’aligned-left,’ but if you feel that it is essential have your poem have center alignment or that it be aligned-right, I’ll do my best to oblige. Also, I’m a big fan of poetry that has something meaningful to say, tells a story, communicates some sort transcending thought or experience, and/or introduces me to a new way of thinking about something. If that isn’t clear enough, consider who my favorite poets are: Charles Bukowski, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marianne Moore, Charles Baudelaire, Billy Childish, Robinson Jeffers, T.S. Eliot to name a few.
HOW TO SUBMIT:

To submit your writing, send it as an attachment to superclodclod@yahoo.com (Keep in mind that I’m still operating with Microsoft Word 2003. So if you use Vista, please paste text into body of e-mail). If you already have a wordpress account, I can register you as a user if I have your e-mail, so just let me know if you’d like me to do that for you. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Being Understood

March 11, 2010 by

Being Understood
by Shawn Misener

He never understood
when they insisted that people weren’t blue
minds weren’t centered in the navel
souls weren’t commodities
and beavers weren’t his friends

he never saw it coming
when the walls breathed
the floor became soft
and the ceiling grew clouds

he tried surfing on pavement
driving on Lake Michigan
and taking up wings underground

he learned how to say
“you’ll never understand”
in forty-seven languages

it was all useful and useless
continuing on in such a way
but for him he could only see the world
through his own eyes
and that suited him just fine

Remastered Caligula and the Art of Madlib

February 25, 2010 by

 Remastered Caligula and the Art of Madlib

by Quasimofo Tiberius

UNUS

Maximum Velocity is how far you can go without turning into a perverted BUM.. he said p-pow poppin’  the permanent press sheets with his get-away-girl filched from the wedding feast.{we gods love to lose our guiltocence to virgins, don’t you know?}

See all the miscreants with swelled orifices and plural bodily organs carouse smeared nubs jangling the watussi. Go Little Knockin’ Boots!  ..of the genuine scrotum footwear!   Turn tail for our tearless bleeder! [and hike that toga!]  Come one, Cum all:!!!  ..Flop your synonym for cock on the chopping block, punch in, you might as well be on the clock..That is Why their pubic hair suspends in time..  ….clogging up the CAPS LOCK as we bullyrag naked chicks in swaying hammocks who are flailed to orgasm with tangled Tevo control wires..

BI

Candle worship is becoming a main problem today because of all the idols on candles they say.. bedside thrusting tussles backdrop to an old fashioned strobe that flicks sado-carbonated wax.. Whodunnit is your Godzooks ..name a person in the room for the first fist-fucked antonymble!  That red stuff dolluping down that golden shower tan line is the escape path and the wrath of least persistence…You know it is undeserved in these 5 to a box samples but you spew your wad of survival on the famous people at famous places with nothing but adjectives!+!=!!  You drove by the girl on the ‘Pregnant?’ billboard and saw her wrinkle when the wind caught behind the canvas..and when the afternoon sun shone thru rotten branches branding cross eyebrows..The debauchers shouldn’t have followed the graffiti on a gas pump which advised “Finger Her” (written in gangland calligraphy with a liquid white-out brush after the initiate breathed in a heapfull honing on him etheric banshees of topless low-rider bitches..)

TRI

There are options% for all the nouns rookie and pro pounding nookie with glow-in-the-dark dick caps…Oh give me the Girls of Gamestop, the Girls of Walgreen’s Pharmaceutical, the Girls of Putt Putt Golf!!!…gone crazy wild frantic rabid addlepated bughouse!  ..and i will spank with an ignorance beyond my limit in beers.  Don’t just get one leg up in this world, GET two and spread em’ wide!; .. the way to get up in this life maybe be to go down on this life..and suck like a cunnilingus lingerer bestowing clitori hickeys slurping jello shots out that hot puss;

..or with laser guided kiosks recalibrate the ratios of fellatio {superglue and 200 of your best “ly” adverbs can orgify this demented lament of a conjunction dysfunction oral immoral}. 

QUARTUS

Deify is Meify bent over chef’s compliments of kitchen lubes with a 2X4 strapped to your ass which you will need to keep from falling into this world.  But yeah, to add anachronism to the prolonging cream, you might say today we learn our birds and bees from the Japanese [teen manga/anime] {make sure you read right to left} ..a few real rebels adolesce with Guitar Hero III finding a little genuine youth on the angled curves’ last bodice of earth boinking flavorfully in the yoga sex backseats of Mini Coopers gripping pulling clutching defiling one another as if climbing a 100 ft. ceramic rock wall buck-naked out the grave at malltown…i know where you’re headin’ cause the rear-view mirrors are adjustable and closer than you think.. i’m just a lotta gala of vile vane bane of the profane who found the best way to tune the world out was to turn on the T.V….

Prostitution and Alcohol are the last great American enterprises so noone was shocked when by Girl Scout Pack 779 chose a new fundraiser…

PENTE

the Chariot’s under warranty, and can’t we tell that observing is better than participating as long as you do something about it.  We’ve got tattoo parlors around every shithole to get you thru belonging while the shake machines are broke…Don’t forget, in handy situations cell-phones can be used to wipe your stink..just make sure the vibrator is off and all text messages end in –ed ,..We’ve lost our hummph to the uumph .   so you can’t screw your sister cause of the blisters on your philips-bit circumcision ..i’m worse than any man in any geographical location fucking any celebrity with any past present future exclamations yelled out according to any  greatest word game.  ok. ? .. 

now read it back to me ..

again       and           again.

Heidi’s Thesis

January 5, 2010 by

‘Heidi’s Thesis” by Joe Cloyd

     1.

     I should’ve beaten off before I went to that bar. That’s really what I should’ve done… now that I think of it. Then, perhaps, I would’ve been more in control. Everyone would’ve been better off. But I didn’t, so here I am. It was a pretty chic bar just off campus, catering to students, hipsters, and fashionable intellectual types. I was there to meet Ernie and Bill. It was a tradition for the three of us to talk philosophy in bars. I wasn’t a philosophy major, but Ernie was. He was even somewhat of an authority. Me—I studied literature, but had an intellectual hard-on for Nietzsche, who Ernie says, isn’t really a philosopher. Whatever… I liked N’s spin on eternal recurrence… Nietzsche basically said that you will live and die, and live again and die again the same life and the same death over and over again, thus leading you to conclude that the point of life is to make it something that you’re willing to relive for all of eternity. I really think there might be something to that. But I’m getting off track here. I just wanted to say that I liked philosophy, and I would’ve changed my major if I didn’t have someone waiting for me. She was another that I should’ve beaten off.
     We were engaged… me and Annette and had been together for four years. We met here in Portland, and one year later she decided to move to Philadelphia to pursue her PhD in literature. Once I got my BA done and over with, I planned to move down to Philly and do the same. Now, I just want to say that I didn’t intend on picking anyone up that night. I was only going to have a few drinks, then go home and work on my Dante paper.
     When I got there, Ernie and Bill were already drinking their beers. I sat down and a waitress asked what I’d have.
     “A gin and tonic,” I replied, and she was off to the bar. Taking off my jacket, I nodded to my two friends and then looked around the bar. It was busy. It’s always like that during happy hour. The place was darkly lit so that you could see the cigarette smoke hang in the air… we didn’t usually drink here… I don’t know why Ernie wanted to drink here… the place was really a meat market… I couldn’t smell the pheromones, but I knew they were there… bouncing off the walls and getting stuck in the bullshit. You could tell by the way the women laughed as they twirled their hair that they were looking for a lay… with the men, you could just smell it… the bullshit wasn’t as strong as the smell of cigarette smoke… but it was pretty close.
     “That’s what one of my ex-girlfriends used to drink,” snickered Ernie.
     “Well, the girl has good taste. Must be why she left your sorry ass,” I retorted.
     “You know it’s funny,” announced Ernie, “I’m still friends with all my ex-girlfriends. All of them. None of them hate me.”
     “There’s no fuckin’ way,” said Bill. Bill was a double major in history and philosophy. A great guy that Bill. When sober he was really low key, but even when slightly inebriated he could really make you laugh your ass off. Looking at me, he continued, “There’s no fuckin’ way you’re friends with ANY, much less ALL, of your exes.”
     “Can’t say that I am,” I added.
     “Me neither. I’ve fucked plenty of women. Some of them hate me. Most of them don’t give two shits about me. But none of them are friends with me,” declared Bill. But Ernie wasn’t one to let such an accusation go unanswered.
     “That’s because you’re a bad screw. Me, on the other hand: I’m a good lover. I taught them some tricks, and they appreciate it. Just the other night, one of my exes needed help on a paper. So I went over to her apartment to help her on it. We order a pizza, and when I come out of the bathroom she’s completely naked.”
     “She ain’t your friend. She’s your fuck-buddy. There’s a difference. Me and Dave. We’re you’re friends. But if you were fucking us, we’d be your fuck-buddies. But you ain’t. So we aren’t.” Bill had a way of laying down the facts once you got a few drinks in him. I sure the heck was laughing my ass off. Even Ernie’s face was turning red from laughter. Recognizing the fact that he was on a roll, and had us right where he wanted us, Bill added, “And just because we’re your friends, don’t mean we like you either…” and we laughed and we laughed. I didn’t even have my first drink yet.
     Then came the lull in the conversation, and the two of them took a sip of their drinks almost at the same time.
    “What was the paper on?” I asked.
     “Descartes.”
     “Oh man, I hate Descartes.”
     “Hey, without Descartes,” returned Ernie defensively, “there wouldn’t be any modern philosophy. And he did some important stuff for geometry too.”
     “Descartes didn’t do philosophy. He did religion.”
     “No he was religious, but he was also a philosopher. There’s a difference.”
     “Says who?” I returned. Just then the waitress came with my gin and tonic. I thanked her, took a drink, and looking in Ernie’s direction, I said this, “You know what, I don’t care what you say, I don’t think that there’s a goddamned difference between religion and philosophy.”
     “Aw man, not this bullshit again. That’s the problem with you English majors. You always go all postmodern-nothing-is-true bullshit. Philosophy and religion are totally different.”
     And Bill… the smooth and somewhat smug Bill… he cut in like a murderer slicing a child’s throat, “Well gee, now that you put it that way I guess you’re right. I mean, just take a look at the both of them. TOTALLY different. Religion is concerned with the metaphysical world, and how we behave in the real world while philosophy… uh… well… it’s concerned with… um… THE METAPHYSICAL WORLD AND HOW WE BEHAVE IN THE REAL WORLD!”
     “I’m telling you that they’re totally different.”
     “How?” demanded Bill.
     “Philosophy is concerned with truth.”
     “But isn’t religion concerned with truth too?” I added.
     “Isn’t the same,” Ernie returned. “It just isn’t the same. Philosophy is also concerned with logic, and using logic to get at the truth.”
     “Ok, fine. Sure. Whatever you say,” Bill put in, “Just shut the fuck up. I’m tired of hearing this horseshit.” So we stopped talking about that. Instead, we talked about our classes, our professors… that kind of nowhere talk. Bill was the first to leave… he had to do some reading… leaving just me and Ernie. We drank and kicked the religion/philosophy argument around some more. I wasn’t as good as Bill or Ernie with the whole arguing thing. To tell the truth, I didn’t really care too much whether Ernie was right or wrong… it was just fun conversation…. When I was half way through with my fourth drink, along came one of Ernie’s inebriated exes. She came up and whispered something in his ear. I couldn’t hear what she said, but her tone looked to be a salacious one. The lucky bastard… Ernie said that he had to go.
     The bar was pretty smoky, so when he left I thought I’d might as well take a seat outside to finish my drink in the crisp evening air, and then leave. About three minutes after I sat down, along came this redhead and she starts talking to me. She asked my sign.
     “Taurus, how about you?” I answered.
     “Gemini.”
      It was my general experience that if Geminis are anything, they’re good conversation. And did I mention she was gorgeous? She was… those big blue lingering eyes… those thick black eyelashes… those high cheekbones… that soft sensuous mouth… and that fair skin… the way her cherry-black blouse and black skirt accentuated her slim, soft figure… these things… they made my blood break dance and bebop. I was instantly enthralled.
     “So you’re a Taurus,” she replied… twirling her hair and then giggling, “There’s been a lot of those coming into my life lately.”
     “Strong-willed, passionate… such are the traits of the mighty bull,” I replied. Even outside we could smell the scintillating scent of conversational manure… but it’s like the smell of shit in your own bathroom… as long as it’s yours, it’s not so bad… in fact it can smell pretty damn sweet at times.
     “So what are you studying?” I asked.
     “I’m getting my masters in neuroscience. And you?”
     “BA in English. But I’m thinking about trying to squeeze in a minor in philosophy.”
     “Oh really? Philosophy was my second major.”
     “Oh yah… who do you like?”
     “It’s hard to say, but I definitely like the Germans… you know Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger…”
     “Those guys are nuts.”
     “How about you?”
    “I’m a big fan of Nietzsche. Read some Kant. Never read Heidegger.” I noticed that she finished her drink. “I tend to read a lot of the existentialists… you know, like Nietzsche, Camus, Dostoevsky, Sartre… those guys…. Say, can I buy you another drink?” She said that that would be great, so I got a waitress’s attention and ordered a drink for each of us. Part of me was really enjoying the conversation, but another part of me was feeling guilty because of Annette. But Annette wasn’t there, and… uh… this girl was. Besides, I got to thinking about Jean-Paul Sartre. He fucked all kinds of women who weren’t his wife. His stuff isn’t that profound, but I liked his style. Perhaps I, too, could be like Jean-Paul Sartre and Annette could’ve been Simone de Beavoir.
     “I’m sorry. I didn’t get your name,” I said.
     “Heidi.”
     “Enchanté! I’m Dave.”
     “Enchantée, Dave.”
     “So you’re getting a MS in neuroscience? That must be interesting work. How do you like it?”
     “Oh it’s great.”
     “So what are you working on?”
     “Well, it’s sorta a secret.”
     “You can tell me.”
      She looked around to make sure that no one else was listening, then she whispered, “I’m reanimating recently deceased people.”
     “Huh?”
     “I’m working on the reanimation of dead flesh,” she repeated.
     I thought that she was nuts when she said this. Either that, or she was joking. I chose to take it as a joke.
     “You mean… like you mean like zombies… right?”
     “Kinda.”
     “Zombies are great. I’m a big Romero fan. How about you?” And the conversation went on from there for another two hours. We talked more about ourselves, our other interests, and whatnot. We both knew what was going to happen. I had a hard time keeping eye contact because she was wearing a low-cut blouse. Her breasts were perfect creamy globes of milky-white flesh. I was trying to be a gentleman, but I think she noticed. Women tend to notice that sort of thing.
     “Do you wanna see them?” she asked.
     How could I refuse? I paid for the drinks, and we left. She led the way. I was a bit confused when we ended up at the Science Building. We walked past the security guard, she opened the door with an identification card, we walked in, and took the elevator to the third floor where she opened another door with the card. She turned on the lights. The room was mostly white and grey… an almost blinding, sterile, and surreal white. There were things you’d regularly find in a lab… stuff like test tubes… various machines… microscopes. I don’t know why, but I picked up a microscope. It must’ve been good fifteen pounds! But that was just boring lab stuff. In the middle of the large room was a glass cell about 12 feet by 12 feet by 12 feet. In that cube were a naked man and woman. The light had startled them. They looked to the ceiling and initially they didn’t even notice that we were in the room. No fuckin’ way, I thought. I looked to that bigass microscope on one of the tables… it wasn’t the ideal weapon, but it would do. For a few moments Heidi stood beside me silently, gauging my reactions, and then she said:
     “Well, there they are.” For the most part, the two of them looked to be in good shape… as if they worked out… but then again it also looked like they hadn’t slept in days. It wasn’t until Heidi clapped her hands loudly that they finally began to gaze in our direction.
     “What?”
     “There they are.”
     “Who are they?”
     “They’re my project silly. They’ve been reanimated.”
     “You mean they’re zombies?”
     “That’s one way of putting it, but yes.” She was very nonchalant about the whole thing, which now that I think about it… was kind of reassuring.
     “So… uh… do they bite, like in the movies?”
     “What? Not at all… that is… they aren’t aggressive unless they’re provoked. We call the male Adam, and the female is—”
     “Eve.”
    “Your taking this better than I thought you would,” said Heidi. “Why don’t you say hi.”
    “They can talk?” At this point, the two dead people lost interest in us and shuffled around the cage a bit. We continued our conversation.
     “No. Not really. But you can still say ‘hi,’ can’t you? They won’t understand of course. I always talk to them… it’s like talking to plants. They don’t seem to understand language anymore. But they make noises. And you can tell if they’re happy or sad, angry or aroused. One of the things they can still do is have sex. Can you believe it? That was completely unexpected.”
     “You’re shittin’ me. These aren’t zombies, they’re just retards.”
     “I shit you not. Despite the fact that they can move around and stuff, they are dead.”
     “And they have sex?”
     “Sure they do, they eat, they sleep, defecate, and fuck. All that stuff.”
     “What do they eat?”
     “Anything really. Whatever we give them.”
     “Do they eat flesh?”
     “The closest thing to flesh we’ve ever tried to feed them was raw ground beef. They ate it up. But they also ate candy bars. We’ve put live animals in there… dogs, cats that sort of thing and they didn’t even bother with them… and they’ve never tried attacking us… for the most part they’re pretty docile…”
     “They really fuck?” I asked in disbelief. Never seen that in a Romero flick. But I do remember that there was some zombie-fucking in Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive.
     “Sure, they just need some stimulation. You can manually initiate stimulation, or you could provide visual stimulation. Want me to show you?” I really didn’t. Watching dead people walk around is really a mood-killer. But Heidi… she was really into it, and there was no way I was passing her up. She kissed me, firmly pressing her body against mine. We didn’t get Adam and Eve’s full attention until we began taking each other’s clothes off. Once naked, Heidi found a blanket from a closet and put it on one of the tables. I lifted her to the table. The table was parallel with their cage, so that when I put it in her, Adam let out an approving moan and hopped on Eve. After that, I kept my attention on Heidi. It was pretty damn weird, but I was motivated. They were still going at it even after we were finished. Their basic motor skills seemed impeded by a sort of stiff awkwardness, but they could still get down. It was like watching a washing machine during the spin cycle, except that the load was off center. Once your dick was soft, sex really looked like a stupid thing.

     2.

     Three of four days later, I ran into Ernie at a café, told him about Heidi, and described her to him. Red hair, blue eyes. Heart-shaped face. Studies neuroscience. Crazy about the German philosophers.
     “So you’re going out with her now?” was his reply. “What about Annette?”
     “Is there any woman around here that isn’t a ‘friend’ of yours?”
     Ernie laughed and then repeated, “But what about Annette?”
     “Don’t want to talk about that right now.”
     “Understandable… so how’s Heidi doing? Is she still trying to reanimate corpses and all that crap?” What the fuck was going on? Was I the only one that found the notion of zombies being real a little disorienting? Oh well, since he was going to play it cool and unimpressed, I thought I should probably play it that way too.
     “Actually, she’s got some corpses walking around in a lab.”
     “You’re fuckin’ with me,” Ernie returned. “That’s impossible.” That explained his casual tone, I thought feeling a little less crazy.
     “What’s your problem? You’re a philosopher… you guys are always talking about stuff that’s impossible.”
     “I think you’re thinking of ‘thought experiments,’” Ernie corrected me.
     “Whatever.”
     “But let’s just say that something like that is possible in the first place, it would be pretty interesting… you know, philosophically speaking. Just consider the quality of life. That’d be a terrible way to live.”
     “But they’re dead. And when you’re dead you’re not living anymore.”
     “Yah, but they still exist as a corpse. It’s just like if you were to go into a coma. What does everybody say? They say if I’m ever in a situation like that: pull the plug. No one wants to live like that.”
     “But they wouldn’t know what’s going on. It would be like they’re high.”
     “How could you possibly know? Who’s to say what ‘living’ actually is? How do you define life? ‘Life’ has got to be different than ‘existence.’ Besides, being high is a state of consciousness. Thus, if they have consciousness it stands to reason that they have some awareness. It may be limited, but it’s still there. So even though they wouldn’t know what’s going on, they would in fact know that something is in fact going on. See what I mean.”
     I did, but I didn’t say anything.
     “Just out of curiosity, do these hypothetical zombies talk?”
     Again, I didn’t say anything.
     “Ok, let’s assume that they don’t talk,” Ernie continued, “Let’s even say they aren’t even capable of demonstrating rational thought… how can you tell if they possess consciousness or not? Hell, you and me can speak and demonstrate rational thought and yet it can’t be proven, philosophically speaking of course, that we have consciousness!”
     “I suppose that you’d be able to tell by looking at them,” I answered.
     “Here,” Ernie stared at me blankly, “do you know what I’m experiencing by the expression on my face. No, come on. Tell me what I’m thinking and feeling.”
     “You’re thinking about how it sucks to be a zombie,” I answered reluctantly.
     “Nope. I’m thinking about the times that I fucked Heidi.” That was Ernie’s way to take the edge off, but he was right. I mean, it must be pretty messed up walking around like that. It was highly probable that they still were aware of what was going on.
     If that conversation sounded a bit contrived, it wasn’t. That’s how philosophers talk, but we didn’t talk much longer because Ernie had to get to class. He never made it though. He was hit by a car on the way. Ironically, it was one of his exes who was at the wheel.
     Me and Heidi went to the funereal. It was closed casket. All of Ernie’s friends, family, and ex-girlfriends, were there. Ernie’s close friend and academic advisor, Professor Spinoza, gave the eulogy. It was a great injury to philosophy and the world, he said, to have such a promising student of philosophy like Ernie be struck down at such a young age. Everyone commiserated. Even his exes.
     Afterwards, I went with Heidi to her lab. She said that she wanted to show me something, but before she showed me she made me promise that I wouldn’t tell anyone—absolutely no one—about what I was about to see. When we walked in her lab, there they were—Adam and Eve. That wasn’t shocking. But in the corner of the cage, there was another figure.
     “Who’s that?” I asked because some of the lights must’ve burnt out, making the room dimmer.
     “You don’t recognize him?”
     As soon as she said that, I knew. I could barely look at him. Heidi asked what was wrong. I thought the whole thing was fucked up, and I told her so. “I thought that you’d be happy,” she returned.
      I said nothing.
     “I know it’s weird but—”
     “Yes it is.”
     “But you didn’t act this way the first time.”
     “Last time it wasn’t anyone that I knew.”
     “He’s not the Ernie you knew. The Ernie you know is gone.”
     “Why? WHY did you bring him back?”
     She didn’t answer.
     “So what are you going to do? Have some sort of experiment on jealousy or something? Pit Ernie against Adam for Eve?”
     Again, she was silent.
     “That’s sadistic.”
     “No it’s science. And besides they’re not really people. Not people like you and me.” I walked up to the cage by Ernie. He looked pretty messed up. He had a very vague mopey expression. He looked like a piece of laundry that had been worn and washed a thousand times in bleach and hot water. I greeted him. He made no sound. He just stared back.
I yelled to make sure that I had his attention. Then I said, “You know Ernie, I still don’t see the difference between religion and philosophy. I mean they’re practically the same thing.”
     Ernie moaned aggressively in protest. I then looked to Heidi.
     “But he’s not alive. He just thinks he is,” rationalized Heidi.
     “Kill him.”
     “He’s already dead.”
     “I know. Kill him.”
     “But my research… my grant…”
     “If you won’t, I will.” I tried getting into the cage, but it was locked. “Where’s the key?” Heidi responded with only a blank stare. “I SAID: WHERE’S THE FUCKIN’ KEY!” And I charged her. She panicked and backed up against the table where that bigass microscope was. We both tumbled on the floor, and then I felt something heavy hit my head… and that’s the last thing I remember.
     When I awoke, I was in the cage with Adam, Eve, and Ernie. My body was numb and stiff. When I moved, I had no sensation of moving. It felt like I was drugged… like I was an avatar in some video game. Then I saw Heidi on the other side of that cage. I could understand her yet I couldn’t understand her. She was saying how sorry she was. That it all happened so fast. That it was an accident. I didn’t say anything, not because I was angry, but because I couldn’t get the words out.

     3.

     So this is my life now. My body is as much use to me as a car without the key. Instead of driving it, I’m pushing. I’m in here… somewhere… probably in the subconscious… I don’t know how… writing my story. Recalling every little thing that I’ve done and had done to me… taking a sort of inventory of my life. I’m not sure how long I’ve been here. But each time, my inventory becomes a bit more complete and precise. I often think of Annette. I wonder how she’s doing. She was really a classy girl. I wonder about my parents. I remember having good times in the bars with Ernie and Bill. How’s Bill anyways? I’ll never know, I suppose. But I know how Ernie’s doing. We’re eating, shitting, and both trying to get at Eve first. Note: Eve and Ernie seem like they’re really good ‘friends.’ In fact Eve could give a crap about me or Adam. The other day Adam tried to poke me in the ass. I was lucky… sometimes he’s successful but this time I kicked his ass pretty badly for that and then I mounted him while Heidi took notes. Afterwards he didn’t seem to mind that much… the others are probably going through the same thing I am… they’re probably in there somewhere trying to remember things to keep from going crazy… or maybe it’s just me. Maybe they’re content with what they have. I am sometimes. Other times, I miss my old life. It’s amazing how many things you’ve overlooked. The little things. All the clichés. All the things you take for granted. Sunny days. Being outside. Taking walks at two o’clock in the morning. The blossoming trees in springtime. The dark anonymity of the movie theater. Enjoying a good book. And it’s funny, but in the process you always say ‘I should’ve done this instead of that… and that instead of this,’ which is just really stupid and futile, and you know it’s stupid and futile, and yet you do it anyways… no matter what. It makes me think of a passage out of Dante’s Inferno… let me see if I can remember it… “We see, even as men who are farsighted… those things that are the most remote… but when events are… in the here and now… our minds are useless… were we not informed by others… we should know nothing of our human state….” I think that it goes something like that, but it’s not like it matters. They’re just words. But don’t get me wrong… the right arrangement of words have a way of keeping madness at bay. But I’m not interested in words right now. I’m interested in my life as it was….
     Ok. So let’s run through this again. Like I said before, I should’ve beaten off. That’s what I really should’ve done. If I did that… things might’ve been different… Everyone would’ve been better off, and by ‘everyone’ I really mean myself. But I didn’t, so here I am. It was a pretty chic bar, catering to students, hipsters, and fashionable intellectual types. I was there to meet Ernie and Bill….

ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT CREELEY

December 31, 2009 by

ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT CREELEY
April 3, 2005

I learned of Robert Creeley’s death from John Bennett who heard it from A.D. Winans who found out from Annie Menebroker who learned from Luke Breit who perhaps heard it from Creeley himself that he might be dead.

Then later, after All Things Confirmed on public radio, I heard from Bennett again, who this time heard from Dennis Formento that he’d heard from Anselm Hollo that the Lannan Foundation may have killed Creeley in Odessa, Texas, far from his Massachusettes home. The cover story is apparently bronchitis, pneumonia, and cancer, although the autopsy may reveal premature cremation, ‘preemptive’ as they say nowadays – and what? – all for a few good Lannan VHS tapes, outdated by the time you watch them.

~ Jason Mashak

Twisting the Knob

December 31, 2009 by

“Twisting the Knob”

By Shawn Misener

     I can’t decide if this life is worth living or not. Of course it is. Or not. I always wear extra clothes to cover up my shames, my thirteen wiggling pieces of intestine that drain ad nauseum, my guilt over something that happened in a previous incarnation that I am not aware of. My karmic returns. No matter. Life is a great neon explosion of mystery and I’m not sure why I exist or if I existed before and what I may have done. The bathroom is pea soup green and disturbing in it’s own right, a tiny cell attainable from all heights and angles and reaches that only takes up a microscopic portion of the city. Not only am I locked in here but I am locked in the city, aware on all sides, a microchip in a great intelligent supercomputer, completely reliant on my surroundings to express my own will, and completely subjugated to the physical reality of the keyboard and backlit screen. This is not worth it. There’s shit pouring out of me like bitter ale on all sides, soon to fill up this tiny cell. The toilet is laughing at me, mocking me for missing her when she was so close and she only has one purpose. Flushing away. Flushing away my waste as well as my invisible sins. Yes, you are woman, dearest toilet, or at least I have always imagined you as such. Not in a sexual or bigoted way, of course. You just take my shit, like so many other sturdy women have in the past. Nothing more.
     There must be words to express things but in such times it seems as though they are just a thin net laid over what’s really true. Such is how I feel about the situation in the bathroom. The claustrophobia of being penned in by millions of souls going about their business, and the only place to hold as my own is a tiny hole replete with ceramic fixtures. Even my mind is on loan to culture, or stolen by it. No thoughts are my own. No thoughts are original. There is an anxiety couched into this that no words can possibly capture. A fear replete with smoky black bat wings and those evil glowing eyes. I know there is a hardwood floor and a thin hallway awaiting outside, but I am not amongst them, so they don’t exist, though they should and could, were I to ever escape the bathroom.
     Of course this life is worth living. There is always the possibility of escape. Of hope. Of better situations. Life may only exist in the now, but all of the goodness and joy is imagined at some future or past point, and that may be enough to go on. The present moment is suffering. Always suffering. The Buddha knew it, and I know it now, watching the shit drain from me and fill up the room. Watching the toilet laugh. We are all ready to drown. Twist the knob. Exit. We will live tomorrow.