Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alaska, you’re mine

on Sunday the snow rises in
riffs/ progresses to the monster it set out to be- we stay
trapped inside a carpeted primordial hut/ the weather
seems nice we go outside for only nicotine, and someone
plays drums loud in the bathroom.

write poems about what you shouldn’t write poems about:
the grain of her hair, the way her socks fall from her ankles.
the shift of passions and laughter always caught in the back
of my throat all coated in my mucus membranes mixing just
right with my pneumonia.

write them about the grocery store glow and the bedrooms of
my whatever, lies, safety belts, and the way she turns her head
when she’s trying to ignore me.(i wanna see your whole skin
at once) the skin you live in/ i hand the cashier my thumbnail
the glow grows around the isles/he doesn’t ask me what it is/
fuck America! 3.99 for a fucking balloon: i spend my time like i
spend my energy like i spend my thoughts like i spend my head
like i spend the world like i spend my money like i spend all
my stupid objects.

I chuff that cigarette to the filter so the sienna stings my lips
i let go of it and stare at this violet/ wampum shaped/ sand covered/
perfect snow falling over my eyes.

i sink
i swim
i flap my stupid moth wings over and over and over
i shout at you to kill me so i can see the yellow
behind my own skin/touch me later/shed the layers/
my song just came on/
i love you(every god damn one of you)

cab driver to death
part 1:hello cab driver to death



I stole four hundred
dollars from you last summer: what’s your back plan?
these molars protract from this weird dark grass. dirt
cellars for the lucky white faced dead people. lucky
white faced dead people.


cab driver to death, where are you taking me? this
death is not the photo-taxis i had asked for: ask me
when the lights go on: when the lights go out
i am the three rung subconscious of the ocean:
you move underneath your multicolored fabric
the ocean moves underneath its own blue fabric.


Part 2:there are brains here. decals of brains?no,brains!

this familiar pattern of squinted facial expressions:
the bend in my lip when i say something meaningless
i’ve memorized these feelings: know them like
the wooded trails i travel, here.

I must still have a mind i can see my brain with
its rivers pulsing and my temples moving
underneath my skin: my skin whitens in this
cold; i crave it’s old metallic bray in my fingernails.


Part 3: and it’s shaped like blades of grass:


this wool blanket
i pull to my chin this wool blanket i pull to my chin
i pull it close so i can feel it’s fibers breaking my jaw
(i want to walk around with You)I’ll stick to this honey
paper just for these specific stars: these black ones
beneath my wallpaper.


crackmonster, you piece of shit. this wool blanket
i pull to my chin. Wrapping the lucky white faced
dead people up in lights and your new Vermont sweat.
I am a metal striper silence: fish scales
on my eyelids. You’re just a kid swaying to these soft sounds

so many flavors of death (9-15)

your small mouth. Your small mouth your small mouth
twitching and unwinding from your face over my own and
down my own. YOU are Jung's masterpiece of humans
liking humans like people: you like granola bars to keep
your energy up. I'll watch you swallow life like a cough
freeze your neck in a long walk. I'll watch you
you from the trees four thousand miles away.

desire: eye pulls know exactly how you feel
slender and small boned in your Batman
underwear. ALWAYS tanned like an Italian;
likes the way the light always looks.

those studded gold mornings reigning in the potholes of my thoughts:

cold, frosted, thinning(since summer), fingertips collecting
crystals from the planes of twanging

steel strings.
covered in grime, sweat, and little pieces of
blood and flesh:

the north face of the hospital(your olive ankles)
recoils from the sun on the pink surfaces of
rooftops.

S.J Felder

Mad discontent

Bringing forth a strange influence
Deader still the hallowed story
Precious doubt eats the dedicated

Cruel days swallowed by thunder
Birth of heroes bruised by conspiracy

The shining armour sacrificed
Scattered knights lay down in doom

Sneaking affections
Prevailing attention
mirrors the demise of the eager glory

Rushing to the barricades
bringing mortal dreams down to their knees.

------------------------------------------

I'm a Star

Doubting public exposure
Trapped in a severely damaged imagination

Act is falling apart

Beating with a TV camera
results in a bruised ego.

---------------------------------



Social Relevance

Vivid impact of determined progress
Lack of status striving for violence

Translating the ironic capture of speech
The inflicted equality goes nowhere
Enrolled in a paradox of labour

The trend of clothing
is the severest form of discrimination

Lurking in the midst is an honest prejudice
Elimination confined to an unfortunate power

Impeached horrific honour buried alive in illicit isolation.

--------------------------------------------------------

Invented Rhythm

Melody of the muse
creates a controversial dynamic
A harmony that interprets
a subtle performance

Dividing the notion of a pleasant sound
My bones piercing through
the texture of a single instrument

In the back of a distorted line
A silent ceremony plays
the opening chords of diminished survival.

----------------------------------------

By: Sarah Ahmad.

Sarah Ahmad lives in Pakistan. Poetry has appeared in Mad Swirl, Full of Crow, Otoliths, Stone's Throw Magazine and elsewhere. Chapbook 'Unfulfilled Doubts' has recently been released by Artistically Declined Press.

5 Poems from the edge of an abyss‏

Nothing beats me, for I am an unimaginable epic, a singular baffling cryptic, curiously deep, unequivocally esoteric, a sphinxlike abstruse astronomical event, an incomprehensible, inexplicable, and inscrutably perplexing subjective symbolic interaction with unknown unknowables, and a spiritual puzzle occulted by impenetrable veils of weird, ambiguous dark apocryphal with tenebrous tentacles; furthermore, I am a vague unfathomable, strange as well as beyond ungraspable, but only a mystery to myself.


Day Doom

the dawnlight turns on day after day

day day crosses out the night
in and out the zombie laborers rise
and death lurches by like a star
blazing in their eyes

...and the bright is not bright enough

Along for the Ride

Society planned
destiny completely,
a fluke captured not
by coincidence
but by doom.

The crossroads disconnect
to mountains full of toxic waste.

The earth fills with bodies
as everything else empties.

Then they ride again and
use the dead for fuel.

Endin

Satan, treason, and foreign tension
blacken reason for hidden intentions.
Fallen demons deafen diction,
slogans, jargon, sermons, and fiction.
Done, the deepen doctrines mention none,
fatten Milton’s eaten Eden.

Darwin’s vision deadens missions.
Franklin’s gone on intermission.
Lincoln’s burden’s all alone.
Molten mountains motion minions.
Stalin darkens sovereign nations.
Ronald Reagan’s grave is shaken.
Forgotten freeman’s barren lengthens.
Frozen famines, poison taken.

Masons damn. Humans wizen.
Manson mansions fortune driven
Freedom’s forsaken on nine-eleven.
Helen’s Trojans hearkens action.
Prison planet reddens oceans
given saddened fema coffins.
Seven Legions awaken regions.
Ruins run to the ashen one.

The Docile Fall Of Rainforests

A million puffs on pipes
get high
Traces
flare as atoms split
Activated by the sunrise
Wings inspire urgency
in shushed game
with devils
Deadpan, hardly there
lets it be

Say Things

Words come from a mouth on a face
off the edge of lips like border jumpers
babbling anything, and giving speeches,
remarkable statements of discourse.

Promises answer and command matter. Take sides
with empty decrees, mere vain talk; revelations shore
of arguments; agree no more. Curses appoint.
It's over man; go make a name; bore, dig
bury me. Wounds cut open. Holes violated.

Expression shatters. Blasphemes grow heavy. Misled
alters man, nations, Earth. All life sprouts naked skin,
sin abolished, and relative's meat, deceived.

Himself food, slaughter and eat a piece in portions.
Two-thirds of the world dies on a date.
Personally extinguished, mankind slaughters itself.
Please exit calmly at the designated signs.

James Dye
That DTF Girl at the Bar
Tonight to you is her big debut As she walks into the bar, the tall brunette Tomorrow it will feel like déjà-vu Above the back of her pants reads a “lovely” tattoo To all the women she is a martial threat Tonight to you is her big debut With her skin-tight pants and her nails so blue Her hips sway as she sings along with Joan Jett Tomorrow it will feel like déjà-vu She leans over the table so classy with her pool cue And makes all the men begin to sweat Tonight to you is her big debut Now all are watching who she will pursue Her two pursed lips behind a cigarette Tomorrow it will feel like déjà-vu She exits with the guy she’s going to screw Riding passenger in his red corvette Tonight to you is her big debut Tomorrow it will feel like déjà-vu

Beth Casey
*
Heated over this stuffed manhole
she waits :a winter solstice, ahead
trees across the ice, in back
the sun still bleaching her hair -she stays

while her shadow sweeps the iron cap
as if a sundial could forecast
the chance for snow. Or tomorrow.

She can’t get up. Each tear weighs more
than the shadow moving without her.
Funerals are like that. She looks around
at the flowers. At the cops someone will call.

She’s done this before, convinced
the Earth got so big
by hiding all those summers
no one ever sees again -certain

the cry she hears is the baby
she was and listens
like a mother will forever
for her child -the crowd’s

been through it all
and traffic doesn’t stop anymore
makes a wide, slow arc
as sometimes your arm around my shoulder
helps someone we don’t ever see
keep warm and we hear that cry
not yet a sound, not yet left the heart.



*
Just our initials, carved
as a heart is warmed by bark
by one clean sweep as the sun all day
erasing its light, each day brighter

--let the landlord yell. Say
you don't know or why
or some mistake. There's insurance
for these errors. And omissions. Say
you saw lightning, your door
always rattled, no one comes for leaves
and the lock was filled with birds, say
feel the key. Worn down, bleeding.

My wrist still aches.
Holding a rag and this knife
I struck your door to find you, kiss you
--the blade was exhausted.

I had to carry it down the steps
as some giant redwood
falling, falling, say to your landlord

the door was calling out for water
that even its heart stopped hiding, say
you will keep the faucet open
will water this heart
till each letter fills with lakes, in time
even the birds won't notice, say
in time, in time, say centuries.

Say this heart was left
as at Christmas time a gift
under the branches --the tree
is honored, the door ripens
opens its sweet oranges, sweet lips
sweet arms and legs, a home, say
sweeter than toes and fingers.


*

As if rust too needed height
my iron arrowheads
strike this old stone wall :water
once climbed --this stream

was overhead, once so gentle
the stones drifted up --in those days
I could see through the Earth.
There was only one color, the light

not yet airborne
splashing weeds :feathers
deep in its well shaft
as archers will pull up the wick
black now from screeching engine grease
from skidding cockpit gauges

--I aim at stones, walls whose water
flew! Water's too heavy now, each raindrop
filled with my shadow falling loose
passing through the Earth --where I am

each stone, huddled, knows inside
its light will be taken away
as bells drifting up
are still ignited --this wall

struck for its split second on fire :my heart
hiding now against its chest
over and over, my shadow
breaking apart, water breaking apart :rain
still sweet, trying to fly past the Earth.


*
Hooves high, necks pulled back
clinging to the reins, every noon
I consult this carousel, this creaking
Till every horse that perished
Prances again, its calliope
Blaring into empty graves :the wall

airborne :the sun
bridled for its sacrifice
--every leaf ever alive
all at once at noon an enormous fountain
and fossils too begin to leap

--these iron horses
as every bell is cast to gape
to circle the horror, their hides
whipped --Death carries a bell
to see in the dark, its jaws
like a great bow bent back
filled with arrows, with clouds
in the shape half man, half
beautiful horses combing their hair

--again I'm struck, my stirrups
dangling loose :my arms
clanking against the sun
--lap after lap to flay a thin strip.
The night will be hungry --I come to see

a random yes or no, what happened
what will come, the dead
have all the answers but at noon

the stars still lose their way
rise out the Earth to walk
as if the zodiac guiding my hooves
and every star flows over my shoulders
into some great cascade

--not high enough, still frail
covered with snow, some stars
are lifted just in time.

I make the rounds, pat each horse
along its eyes, come to hear
all twelve :every chime is risen
is wandering over the world
over the light and lost.

SIMON PERCHIK
Me

By: Albert “Infinite” Carrasco


Writing is a passion deep inside of me caged up so anxious to be released, words not spoken can’t feed a thirsty mind waiting to eat, so I have decided to speak to the ones that want to be feed instead of holding these thoughts inside my head. You see my vision of happiness was chasing money, being a drug seller or a gun runner anything to keep my pockets full I did for the capital, at sixteen I was shot twice, took two for the team, but in the emergency room I lay there like damn all this for the cream, I was too blind to see what the pursuit of currency was doing to me. At this time I should have realized I was on the wrong path to the riches, in the ER undergoing surgery and getting stitches, I walk around with a bullet to this day. But to me that cash it’s a small price to pay, even out the hospital doors I’m on the phone trying to make money soar, blinded to what this game had in store. Cars jewelry , stick up kids trying to do me, groupies on line trying to screw me, living life like a movie, no script no actors, real men of my stature didn’t surrender the thought of possessing that legal tender. Celebrity stats fully auto gats cause me to wear Kevlar on my back, thirty two shot clips, stash box in whips, blinding light in rear to disappear when danger was near.



It was a catastrophic curriculum where I’m from in the slums to sell drugs and bust guns cause of the fear of being bums, isolated from the real world we continued the life style that we knew banging and hanging in our housing vestibule living life by our rules advice by others not needed and when it was given it wasn’t heeded, now I got cash but time has taken precious things from me, friends I rolled with and shared my bliss most are dead and so dearly missed, it is what it is I can’t change what was written this game is full of snakes and even the strongest get bitten, bad decisions in search of fame in this game will leave you lifeless, well I was smart and decisive in a game that’s cold as is, fun in this life doesn’t last for some, was like speeding in a car until it ran out of gas to them, my tank was always full and I kept a chauffeur , living the life of La Costra Nostra. Inner city kids in an inner city struggle with no direction just the ghettos reflection of kids needing attention. Time has passed by so fast just like most of the guys I lost in the oppression, I continue to live life with the few that are still alive, for different goals we strive, no more fast life were taking slow strides no more funerals to make moms and wives cry.



All I wanted was not to be poor, not to have my friends sent early knocking on heaven’s door. The choices that are made as a kid sometimes devastate us as adults, so I want the youth to see that the game is really fantasy! So those that looked up to me in the streets, I want them to continue to look up to me but for something positive not because of the life I lived. So I will share my scars, my losses and my bad choices to enlighten a few on what this game will bring. The street history is a story of destruction, corruption, a pattern of misery. At thirty eight I am still feeling the wrath of what has passed life I lived in, waiting anxiously for a few to be released from prison seventeen, twenty, and forty years bids for things we did as kids. The game ended for me and a few, but there are still those to have to see their sentence through. You know how sad it is to see the children of my fallen soldiers grow up without a father. My father died when I was twelve and so did my childhood, so their outlook on life to me is very sadly understood.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Guns for Butter

In a perversity of economic theory, perhaps poised to capitalize on the anticipated favorable ruling in McDonald v. Chicago, less than three years after the massacre at Virginia Tech claimed 33 lives, the Commonwealth appears to be turning to GUNS FOR BUTTER, as a long term solution for its economic woes. Suddenly, after 17 years, once a month is not enough. But while Richmond may selfishly think its bottom line will be augmented by paving the way for increased weapons sales with this short sighted legislation, if Governor McDonnell signs this currently House passed - and half cocked - bill into law, it could actually be detrimental to the overall economy of the state, and the region as a whole, a consideration that should be explored before it, and other related changes, are enacted.
First and foremost, a greater police presence will be required to deal with the inevitable criminal element that such a policy will attract, and because this change is being established in conjunction with a measure parroting Montana and Tennessee that makes firearms made and retained in the state beyond the federal authority of the Interstate Commerce Clause, and an increase in the speed limit to 70 MPH on many of Virginia's roads. Cops cost. Just when traffic deaths in the Commonwealth hit 750 in 2009, a 43 year low, courtesy of this triangulation, there will be a rebound in activity for law enforcement to contend with, spearheaded by those zipping in and out to purchase guns with a less than noble constitutional intent, that will more than offset the decrease in speeders to chase.
The enactment of this legislation, coupled with the 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller and the more recent allowance of guns in national parks and on Amtrak, could affect tourism in the region, of which Virginia is an integral part, the separatist and secessionist sentiment that has surfaced in relation to the health care debate notwithstanding. 29 National Parks are within its borders, spanning roughly 416,508 acres, ranging from the smallest, Arlington House, perhaps aptly located within a cemetery, to the 199,017 acre Shenandoah, and including Wolf Trap and the venerable 75 year old Blue Ridge Parkway among the others in between. Two years ago, the Commonwealth took in 19.2 billion in revenue from tourist dollars; ultimately, Virginia's "breakaway republic" attitude and grab for money by aiming to be the East Coast's top gun running hub may set the stage for it to be a spectatorless Sesquicentennial Civil and Criminal War Battlefield. The state's own website, captioned "Tourism - Instant Revenue for Virginia," touts the 1.28 billion in state and local taxes that tourism generates, as well as the 210,620 industry dependent jobs, claiming the intake is enough to pay the salaries for 11,500 new State Troopers, the education of 78,000 students, and the building of 1400 miles of roads. It goes on to assert that without these monies, the average Virginia household would have to pay $438 in additional taxes yearly. Projected firearm sales will not compensate for a decrease in visitor spending. "Virginia is for GUN lovers" is oxymoronic and segregationist sloganeering that does not extend the welcome mat. And then there is the human cost, apparently unconsidered to date.
In 1992, the New England Journal of Medicine (Kellerman, et. al., "Suicide in the Home in Relation to Gun Ownership," Volume 327, August 13, 467-72) reported that a study of the association between firearms in the home in two US counties between 1987 and 1990 revealed that the availability of one or more guns in the home created a risk of domestic suicide more than fivefold. A 1999 study reported in the same publication (Wintemute, G.J, and C.A. Parham, J.J. Beaumont, M. Wright, and C. Drake, "Mortality Among Recent Purchasers of Handguns," Volume 341, No. 21, November 18, 1583-89) followed gun purchasers from 1991 through 1996 and found that new gun buyers were more likely to commit suicide, and during the first week after purchase, had a suicide rate 57 times higher than the adjusted suicide rate for the general population. Handgun buyers were found to be at an increased risk for suicide by firearm for the entire 6 year study, with women who purchased them remaining at an elevated risk for both firearm suicide and firearm homicide for the entire duration. Having a weapon at the ready makes those more tempted to kill themselves more successful at it. Yet despite several recent high profile celebrity son suicides plastered all over the media, somehow in Virginia this topic of concern has failed to surface.
There will also be the more obvious and foreseeable elevation in human cost to law enforcement and the victims of homicide, intentional or not, apparantly equally discounted but infusing new meaning into the term "red state." Note to lawmakers: human life counts. To speak the only language Richmond seems to understand, without intending to be insensitive, coffins are unproductive for coffers. With the exception of the wealthy, the dead don't pay taxes, a not inconsiderable fiscal consideration. Add to that the potential for erosion of the business tax base because of the open presence of guns in bars or restaurants, GUNS WITH (BREAD AND) BUTTER, and there could be an even further subtraction from the Commonwealth's revenues via its misguide attempt to get and stay in the black. Fueled by alcohol, bar fights in the company of firearms will be more lethal and repellent. In attempting to "normalize" carrying them, like a wallet or purse, the General Assembly failed to convincingly articulate just what citizens need self protection from in these settings - could it be to fend off the "Bold Brew" at Starbucks? - and showed a striking lack of elementary savvy.
Finally, a policy welcoming of an explosion of gun purchases could spark a population exodus, particularly from Northern Virginia, a "mixing bowl" of out of staters and immigrants, reversing recent, more moderating, mainstream trends in the state, and undermining the wealthiest source of its tax base. Forbes just named Loudoun County the richest county in the nation, followed by Fairfax, with Arlington, Prince William and the cities of Fairfax and Alexandria among the Top 25. The result could be a "departed" of a different sort, but just as "dear" a "loss of life."
The Commonwealth needs to ensure that visitors will continue to come to "Meet Virginia" and citizens and tourists alike can continue to "LIVE Passionately" within its borders. Pull the trigger on BUTTERING UP GUNS because it doesn't make good cents.


Karen Ann DeLuca

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Editor,

To this message I have attached my short story "The Matter of the Eggplant".

A little about me: My name is Sagy Zwirn, 26, I'm an Israeli grad student and am now working on my thesis about Dostoyevsky in Tel Aviv University. I've been asked to write a book review for the British journal "Quarterly Review" and a short story of mine has been accepted for publication by David Bright's American "Gemini Magazine". Another literary journal as shown interest in my work. I've also written two novels, and my literary agent is now looking for a publisher. A major theatre has shown interest in a play I wrote and put it in their waiting list for production.

I hope that you will enjoy my story and think it worthy of your magazine.

Thank you,
Sincerely,
Sagy Zwirn

The Matter of the Eggplant

The book you are about to read is not really a book at all. It is rather an eggplant. Yes. You did not misunderstand. An eggplant. After reading it, you might come to the conclusion, that it is not a good book at all, but then, consider this: How good of a book would you expect it to be, given the indisputable fact, that it is, at the same time, also an eggplant? I should think that one could demand very little of such a gourd of a book. Of course, some might claim that an eggplant, well sliced and cooked, could be very good indeed, and in more ways than one, but then, this would beg the question: having accosted the dubious worth of this literary endeavor, have you first sliced and cooked it? Have you broiled, steamed, or fried it? If you have not, you should probably feel ashamed for criticizing this work prematurely.
Then again, some might say that eggplants are, as a general rule - or perhaps always - unsatisfactory. If they are correct, you might say, that this whole work is done with before it has even started. Oh ye of little faith! Certainly a book that is also an eggplant is not the most common, perchance not even the most likely thing in the world, but one can not dispute the fact, that many uncommon and unlikely things, are in fact, quite beautiful. After all, even if you believe that gourds are not tasty, they can still make a good read.
Even this, which you are reading now, being a part of the book, is too an eggplant, or at least a part thereof. This might appear strange to you, perhaps even indecorous on the writer's part - that you are given a fragment of an eggplant to read. Still, it is the truth, and if Keats is correct, and truth is indeed beauty, then, this partial eggplant, which bits and pieces you are now gnawing at with your eyes and with your words (which are yours and yours alone, rather than the book's, as eggplants are not made of words), is quite beautiful.
Certainly a critic would demand of this work: "How can produce make a fine book? A thing is made for a purpose! A gourd is for eating, not for artistic appreciation! Trying to make sense of gourd, while at times insightful, is also quite unseemly! Nay, quite rude! Nay, quite the opposite of auspicious! Nay, quite couth! It should never be attempted without a proper license and proper registration and proper procedure! Yes, procedure! What literary style can a gourd offer? I should think not more than a very rudimentary one! Nay, no more than amateurish! Nay, mo more than a circumspect one! And circumspect style provides not a work of genius!
I should hope that no writer would ever attempt to write an eggplant, unless he had taken the proper steps beforehand. Wishy-washy results are to be expected otherwise!"
And perhaps he would be right. Perhaps only a very average novel can come out of an eggplant, and perhaps only a quasi-satisfactory play. But sometimes, perhaps one gourd in a thousand, will be much more than that. Should you not then, give any gourd in the pile a chance? Of course, you might hear the critic again:
"I should think no gourds should be allowed in my journal! How preposterous it would be, if an eggplant would find its way to the pages of such a magazine? Even if it is a very fine eggplant, even if it makes for a good or perhaps even a very good read, it is still an eggplant! No matter how good it is as art, it still has its eggplantine nature, and that cannot be undone! Eggplants, even if they are good novels or mediocre plays, should remain in a salad, where they belong!"
I don't know about a salad, because eating good art would seem a waste, but if it is indeed the nature of good art that it should be eaten, then perhaps I am mistaken.
"It is unheard of!" the critic would demand once more. "Unheard of! After all, a writer writes a book, and a writer can not make an eggplant, unless the writer is fertile soil! And I should think I would not want to read any book written by dirt!"
Perhaps it is a conflict, that a good book be an eggplant, when no writer that is human can produce from his quill, a full sized eggplant. And yet, sometimes the unlikely occurs. Perhaps some of the dirt in the world would make for good artists, and perhaps a human would one day give literary birth to a gourd. Stranger things have happened, and I would never feel myself so superior as to rule them out. Therefore, when a good eggplant of a book would come my way, before making it into a middle-eastern delight and biting into its supple flesh, I would always read it first. Perhaps it would make a very good book indeed.
Message from Mendicant Mother Nature?

As I sat inside my home a few weeks ago, watching the blizzard that weathermen had initially predicted to be just "snow showers," my thoughts wandered to the events of the first weeks of 2010 and I quickly discerned a pattern - not much credibility. Yes, forecasting in the DC Metro area is tricky, and I don't blame the meteorologists for the second round of shoveling out, but it has been a year, so far, marked by "discovery of the disingenuous." Obama has flip flopped, and not only from his initial campaign stances, in a desperate search of a "win" to halt the hemorrhaging of his political capital. Toyota seems to be proving "image is everything," and I feel for the owners of their recalled vehicles, especially those who are brave enough to drive them in navigating the historic snows. Most particularly, they deserve a straight answer from the Japanese company as to "what it knew, and when it knew it?" Mark McGwire - liar, liar, now we know why his bat was on fire. And John Edwards, well, he is that baby's daddy after all. The list could go on and on, and sadly, more admissions than apologies abound.

The trailing moniker of the 2008 election, Bush bashing having faded and subsided, seems to be that the more things CHANGE, the more they stay the same. I, for one, think the extraordinary physical paralysis of our nation's Capitol for over a week was aptly symbolic of its typical, daily dysfunction. Perhaps the record snowfall was a not so subtle and intended missive from Mother Nature, begging our attention to stop barreling down that familiar highway and urging us not to "stay the course" out of inertia, but to instead really CHANGE our path THIS TIME. The great digout forced US to do things differently, beyond snow removal duty and altered travel routes, an empathetic coming together, if only briefly. Having been confronted with, and overcome, such an overt mirror and roadblock, it would be a shame to squander the potential to broaden and extend the sentiment. It could, after all, lead to 2010 being the Year of finally (taking) the Tiger, no reference to golfer Woods, who like Toyota is on a quest to restore trust and rehabilitate a reputation, or pun intended, by the tail.

This last week in February, again, Washington, DC area weathermen called for "snow showers." Again, they got it wrong; as I write this, not a white flake in site. The landscape, however, is windswept and roaring. Indicative of more rambling bluster on the horizon, or the beginning gusts of strong change? Or maybe a nudging message from mendicant Mother Nature in the wake of continuing mendacity? When will we learn???

As we enter a meteorological change of season, will we March forward, backward, or stay stuck in and proliferate the same pothole? Can there be a Spring awakening without yet another round of extraordinary weather events? Too soon to tell, but I certainly hope so.

Karen Ann DeLuca
Most of them are dead, Fred

What about you?

The L.A. Police won't return the bloody
clothes that Bobby Kennedy wore when
he was shot
but 40 yrs later they will put them
on exhibit for the public to view along with the
sensational artifacts from Manson, the Trailways Killer,
& sundry other horrors, like things from the wax museum or a good freak show
Bobby's family objects, but why?

Down the hallway, where I live, old Frank was murdered by his girlfriend, old Hannah, & - aside from removing them both & a few hours of scintillating gossip - it's quickly forgotten, & downtown a derelict was found dead in Little Tokyo to be removed
immediately never to be thought about again, & yesterday a bloated child was discovered dead in a dumpster in Glendale.

They're gone & forgotten. If L.A. can make use of Bobby's clothes, so what? It all means nothing. Everything is nothing, & so what?
so what ...


Eating a ton of red meat fried

with cabbage, I sop up the grease with
potato bread & swallow it all into my clogged
arteries

I unclog them with apple juice from Trader
Joe who trades me in for a greasy hooker

I swab out the grease
from my skillet & write a poem about heart attacks & death
a fly flits from my open fly (I didn't think anything was in
there) & lights on my heavy nose

a tank rumbles from my
left nostril, but the fly throws Capt Booger from the tank, tank you,
& drives the tank over the top of the Twin Towers
into the flowers a million floors below, tank you

my nose runs for its life into a celestial kleenex & blows up,
sending a geyser of snot into the
wild blue yonder to flounder
& founder down to splatter in the street,
where the cars slip & slide & crash to the side

I try to hide in a dumpster, but it's already stuffed full
of homeless making their home in America's mess, &
there's Capt Booger dying of loneliness, tank you, sucking
milk from his machinegun to wash down the babies he's
mercifully eating after the beating the
little ones take

the ones he can't eat are
fed to the snake, who's been on the
take ever since Eve, the love of his
life, whom he seduced

Adam he traduced & killed with a
Knife

so much for life in
the old days

nothing changes but a name
it's still the same
murder & maim

a silly old game, then
you're dead, Fred ...



Fritz Hamilton