cc&d magazine (1993-2017)

The New World
cc&d magazine
v271, May 2017
Internet ISSN 1555-1555, print ISSN 1068-5154


cc&d magazine











Table of Contents

AUTHOR TITLE
 

poetry

 

(the passionate stuff)

Eric Obame U.F.H
Linda M. Crate echo & narcissus
Cheryl Townsend Hang Em High art
Linda M. Crate i remembered not to miss you
ayaz daryl nielsen haiku inspired by Buson (words)
haiku inspired by Buson (bitter)
haiku inspired by Buson (branch)
Carl “Papa” Palmer incomprehensible
Rose E. Grier For What Ails You photography
Dan Fitzgerald Name Whisperers
Patrick Fealey Man and Woman Nude Painting
Michael D. Jones The inmates are naked in the asylum
Richard King Perkins II Tavern Cleaner
Mouse Heaven
David Michael Jackson Abstract Mouse Painting
Marlo Swagemeier F*** U
R. N. Taber Tides of the Heart, or Love, Flotsam
and Jetsam on a Sea of Poetry and Prose
Oz Hardwick The Great Storm (January 1990)
Drew Marshall Telephone Sales
David J. Thompson 004 photography
John Sweet pray tell
the new world
CEE Loving a woman vs. Loving antique furniture
The Criterion Collection laserdisc version,
    shows the “signing the peace accords” scene

The Song of Onomatopoeia (Running Bare)
Charles Hayes Ferry Crumbs
Xanadu Draperies’ Afterparty
Lu Biaobiao art
Thom Woodruff SO CLOSE!
Angel Abitua The War in My Head
Natasha Hooper In Which the Protagonist Loses the Fight,
But Manages to Save Her Two Daughters
in the Process- A Series of Questions for My Mother
Victoria Kuykendall The Artist: Future ramblings of an outsider (edit)
John Grey The War Next Door
End of School
Michael Lee Johnson Journaling, Labeling Theory (V2)
Brian Looney Wino
Anonymous Gentleman
Greg G. Zaino A Way Out
Peter LaBerge 0257 photography
Janet Kuypers One Spring
R. N. Taber Detour
 

performance art

 

(the 10/16/16 show “Ultimate Connectivity” preceding the Austin Awesmic City Expo)

Janet Kuypers trying to separate peace from war
disconnect to reconnect
aches and pains
how coffee can be relaxing
getting naked with nature
swimming with the fishes
forgetting fear and feeling free
a bird in the hand
 

prose

 

(the meat & potatoes stuff)

Donal Mahoney Response to a Letter Recently Received
A Trick My Father Learned in Prison
A Problem with Rudy
Nora McDonald One of Them
Russ Bickerstaff Artifice
Eric Burbridge Anything Else, Doctor?
Edward Michael O’Durr Supranowicz Woman Pursued by Shadow art
Drew Marshall The Counterfeit Tens
Wes Heine DSCN1863 art
Erika Byrne-Ludwig Early Morning Intrusion
Bill Hemmig Brake Pads
Eric Bonholtzer IMG_2211 art
Preeti Singh A good girl
 

lunchtime poll topic

 

(commentaries on relevant topics)

Francois le Roux A Shocking Structural Setback
the HA!Man of South Africa Masked art
CEE If I Talked Like Gene Rayburn,
You’d All Be Blankety-Blanks (The CEE Berlitz)


Note that in the print edition of cc&d magazine, all artwork within the pages of the book appear in black and white.


Order this issue from our printer
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the New World
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cc&d
Poetry (the passionate stuff)





U.F.H

Eric Obame

It doesn’t happen very often
In fact I have only done it twice, flying that is
I’m not talking about getting on a plane, or a drug high
I mean my feet rising off the ground
My body soaring towards the sky
Me flying over my city
Looking down on my neighborhood
Like that falcon I see every once in a while

I can’t really express how it feels to fight gravity and win
To float when I should fall
To rise when I should crash
To be weightless and arrow fast
Cars, houses, buildings, people—they all become small
Trivial like flowers at a funeral

Last time I broke through the clouds
My body held together by will
My breath fed by a bubble of dense air
Clad in black like a thief
I rose and rose until a fast-spinning blue ball was behind me
And I was facing a darkness sprinkled by countless breadcrumb-sized suns
I was an unidentified flying object
An unidentified flying human triggering radar blips
For a while I spun in heaven
Just another satellite on the edge of Earth and space
A crescent glow smiled at me in the distance, and I smiled back

As a boy, I dreamed about sailing through the cosmos on a starship
Exploring the Milky Way, I would encounter aliens
Fight them, fight with them, sleep with them, laugh with them
I would rescue civilizations, stop invasions, colonize planets
I’m an adult now defying science

As the shadow of night conquered the face of the world behind me
I thought about visiting Mars and Saturn’s Titan
Was there life once on the red planet?
Is there still some in caves?
Is there alien life now on Titan?
Then I remembered Alpha Centauri, Beta Centauri, and Proxima Centaury
The nearest stars beyond our sun are only four light years away
How many of their planets and moons are inhabited?

My air ran out, and I felt my life sputtering to a stop
My blood burned, and the chill of space started freezing my skin
Mother was calling me back, and I could not deny her, not yet
With only seconds of life left, I dove back home
Hoping to reach normal gravity
And the air beneath fifteen thousand feet, before my end
I must have passed out going down, because I opened my eyes
With barely enough time to slow down before I hit the ground
Any landing you can walk away from...
Then I smiled
Then I laughed
Then I flew up again, but not as high
I will leave Earth someday, and explore the Milky Way
I won’t see Mom again for a while





NASA image of the Milky Way Galaxy

NASA image of the Milky Way Galaxy














echo & narcissus

Linda M. Crate

i mostly forget you,
but sometimes
when i touch the deepest wound
unearth the darkest scar
i find you buried
beneath the wreckage;
my mind has repressed us to spare me
from insanity,
but sometimes it still creeks in
when i hear your mother’s voice calling you
away from me or when i imagine you
kissing my cheek before leaving
for work;
and i wish you knew it wasn’t okay
for you to haunt and linger
here—
i love you,
but i don’t need your or want you;
something deeper than i need to remember
has brought me here
to this place, to this chapter
i had to remind myself of my knowledge and my truth
to remind myself that desiring you would be
absurd
after everything;
you were demanding and controlling
in such a subtle way i never noticed until now that
all you wanted me to be was eye candy and arm candy
never desiring or yearning to know me
any deeper than conversations
of the weather
no matter what it was always about you—
a modern day narcissus,
and so since you love yourself so well
i’ll give you a mirror
so i can spare all the girls in the world any more sorrow
when you turn into a flower;
so they can be more than the echoes you reduced
me to
one summer.





Linda M. Crate Bio

    Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. Her third novel Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016.
















Hang Em High, art by Cheryl Townsend

Hang Em High, art by Cheryl Townsend














i remembered not to miss you

Linda M. Crate

scarred and charred
beyond recognition
my heart
had to remember how to
beat again
to beat past death into a new
life,
and the light almost hurt
worse than the darkness because
i could find solace in the
shadows;
they wouldn’t judge nor mock
my tears—
one day i woke to find
together the sun, the sea, the moon, the flowers, the
streams, the creeks, the trees, and the birds
had sewn me back together
so i could remember
birdsong nesting in my ears and the beauty of
autumn so i could sear through the
first winter without you;
which seemed lonelier than always without you there—
one day i woke up and the pain was gone
along with most memories of you
except the bad ones
so i remembered not to miss you.





Linda M. Crate Bio

    Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has three published chapbooks: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), and If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. Her third novel Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016.
















haiku inspired by Buson
(words)

ayaz daryl nielsen

cold season
spoken words
coated in frost





Ice in Tree image 1 Copyright 1988-2017 Janet Kuypers



about ayaz daryl nielsen

    ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran, former hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives in Longmont, Colorado. Editor of bear creek haiku (26+ years/135+ issues) with poetry published worldwide, he also is online when you search for bear creek haiku - poetry, poems and info.
















haiku inspired by Buson
(bitter)

ayaz daryl nielsen

bitter cold day
on my early morning walk
grumpy crow sarcasm





Ice in Tree image 3 Copyright 1988-2017 Janet Kuypers



about ayaz daryl nielsen

    ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran, former hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives in Longmont, Colorado. Editor of bear creek haiku (26+ years/135+ issues) with poetry published worldwide, he also is online when you search for bear creek haiku - poetry, poems and info.
















haiku inspired by Buson
(branch)

ayaz daryl nielsen

from the kitchen window
I see a snow-laden branch
bending. . . breaking





Ice in Tree image 2 Copyright 1988-2017 Janet Kuypers



about ayaz daryl nielsen

    ayaz daryl nielsen, veteran, former hospice nurse, ex-roughneck (as on oil rigs) lives in Longmont, Colorado. Editor of bear creek haiku (26+ years/135+ issues) with poetry published worldwide, he also is online when you search for bear creek haiku - poetry, poems and info.
















incomprehensible

Carl “Papa” Palmer

My boss asks, “What are your plans after retirement?”

When I express my desire to write, he inquires,
“About what?”

I smile and say,
“Poetry.”

He suddenly sits back
far as possible from me with a look
as if I have just come out of the closet.

“Poetry? All these years working with men
and machines, and you want to write poems?”

Should I mention my closet also contains a son-in-law
with pierced ears and a son who admits having had a pedicure?

He’d never understand.





Author Bio

    Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway VA now lives in University Place WA.
    He has a 2015 Seattle Metro contest winning poem riding buses somewhere in Emerald City.
    Carl, president of The Tacoma Writers Club is a Pushcart Prize and Micro Award nominee.
    MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever
















For What Ails You, photography by Rose E. Grier

For What Ails You, photography by Rose E. Grier














Name Whisperers

Dan Fitzgerald

Did you hear me
when I whispered your name
while you slept?
I did not want to wake you.
I just wanted to hear your name
as I watched the breath
move your body.
Sort of like the way you gave
me breath to live,
especially when you whispered
my name when I was asleep
















Man and Woman Nude, painting by Patrick Fealey

Man and Woman Nude, painting by Patrick Fealey














The inmates are naked and howling

Michael D. Jones

The inmates are naked in the asylum.
Naked except for the truth—
or at least the truth as they see it.
Sure, they wear their Wrangler jeans,
Their Tony Lamas and their Stetsons...
and maybe a pistol on the hip,
since a gun is no longer just a weapon;
it’s an appurtenance, and it reveals
the naked truth of the soul.

They’re putting sandbags around the dayroom now,
stockpiling freeze-dried rations and ammunition,
preparing for martial law as Jade Helm 15 gets underway.
Thank God the Guv’ner has the Guard keeping tabs on things,
and that Senator Cruz is looking into it.

But Obama will be coming for our guns—
We know because we have an inside line
on things the liberal media won’t report.
UN troops are massing in a network of underground tunnels,
dug by nuclear-powered, high-speed boring machines,
and they will emerge soon, like fire ants,
from strategically-placed Walmart locations
throughout the country.

Hush! Don’t listen to the orderlies!
They’re in on the plot.

Oh, I know I should be more careful.
I walk around the asylum
in only my slippers
and a robe.

It’s risky...
I need to keep that robe closed, for sure.
One misstep, one wrong pose,
and I might reveal a bit too much.

If I want to fit in, I should
slather myself in war paint,
drape myself in the flag,
stomp around in cowboy boots
and shout the name of Jesus.
Around here, they think eternity
spins on a myth, and I’m
the one who’s crazy not to believe it.

I’m an oddball,
Naked except for my robe,
but we all laugh at the lunatics
who rock alone in a corner.
Derangement comes by degrees,
and there’s always somebody worse off,
So, comparatively speaking,
none of us here is truly crazy.

But an awful lot of people here
can’t walk the grounds
without boots,
to stomp through the brambles,
or a pistol,
to kill the snakes they see
slithering on the on the lawn.
















Tavern Cleaner

Richard King Perkins II

In uncertain earliest light

something smolders
in an aluminum ashtray

stale beer
and skank pussy
still cling to fetid air.

Banging on the door

another dumb fuck
screaming about lost drugs

soon crying
fanning money
at the window

saying he’ll buy
whatever I might find.

I flush the sun
and every discovered star
down the toilet

laughing
and poor.





About Richard King Perkins II

    Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.
















Mouse Heaven

Richard King Perkins II

The exterminator has taken away
the small carcasses
and left the smell of Lysol
and coiled snap traps
baited with peanut butter.
Your eyes mourn
those tiny missing lives
wanting there to be
a mouse heaven
free from human dominance.
My laughter makes you wince
and cry even harder.
I hold myself open to you
but even
in my most comforting arms
you cannot find
the slightest hint
of comfort.





About Richard King Perkins II

    Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL, USA with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart, Best of the Net and Best of the Web nominee whose work has appeared in more than a thousand publications.
















Abstract Mouse Painting, by David Michael Jackson

Abstract Mouse Painting, by David Michael Jackson














F*** U

Marlo Swagemeier

“Watch you mouth!”
“Not in front of the kids!”
“Don’t use that sort of language!”

My favorite word is a no no word
It’s a magical word
It’s one of the only words I know that can be used as a noun, verb and adjective?
There are only four letters in this word
Yet it has power
Some people don’t like my favorite word

They say
“Watch your mouth!”
I’m sorry sir I don’t remember you having any authority over my body
I’m sorry sir the least you can do is provide me a miroir because otherwise I don’t think watching my own mouth is going to be very plausible
I’m sorry sir if I have to watch my mouth the least you can do is taste your eyes

They say
“Not in front of the kids”
I’m sorry ma’am i don’t know these kids
  if you would like to police their environmental intake maybe you should take your kids elsewhere
I’m sorry ma’am if you drop a box on your toe of your kids are you going to remember to say fudge nuggets jiminy cricket
I’m sorry ma’am have your kids not walked in on you and your husband doing this very word

They say
“Don’t use that language!”
Which language? The english one... is that the language that offends you
Or is it just certain words
Do you get to pick which parts of the langue I get you use
Last time I checked you weren’t god
So why don’t you shut your f-

Sorry this is a public place
I don’t want to offend anyone with my self expression
I didn’t mean to be vulgar
I didn’t want my words to be ugly
I didn’t mean for my thoughts to wrong

So I’m sorry but if I may just say one last thing before I go
And I say this with the greatest amount of respect and I really hope no one feels personally offended or verbally attacked but...

Fuck
You
















Tides of the Heart, or Love,
Flotsam and Jetsam on a Sea of Poetry and Prose

Copyright R. N. Taber

Sat on a beach,
watching the waves
roll in, out,
and back again...
like love’s promises
to me

Just out of reach,
waiting for your love
to roll in, out,
and back again...
like the finest poetry
and prose

Winging, calling
to you among sea birds,
now high, now low,
nature’s wry comment
on humanity’s tides
of life

Alone on a beach,
its beachcombing hearts
on the look-out
for any such as ours,
among love’s flotsam
and jetsam
















The Great Storm (January 1990)

Oz Hardwick

In the bar, you described the trees falling,
shallow roots sucking from boggy ground.

Storms had wrecked the whole country, but
it all came down to this one tree, this one moment.

Such things always occur at night, as if Nature’s
making a point: If you want to see how it works,

you’ll have to make an effort – lose some sleep.
Research shows that landscapes change more than people,

so we pondered auguries in easy words,
awkward movements, empty glasses.

Back in my room, I knelt
to unknot your shoelaces.
















Telephone Sales

Drew Marshall

Calling the west coast on the night shift
Hawking wares, in this case, auto insurance
A second job to pull in some extra money
Endure for a few months, visit my cousin in Europe

Under no circumstances
Were you to terminate a call
You cannot deviate from the script
Supervisor slinking up and down the aisles

All calls are monitored
Dead center in front of my desk
More supervisors in a large glass booth
I’m a fish in their bowl

A pleasant senior on the line
I draw him in, he takes the bait
I make the pitch, no resistance
Get set to reel him in, hold steady

He enjoyed speaking with me
He’s just returned from the hospital
Had both legs amputated
Can’t drive anymore

I apologize profusely for disturbing him
Sincerely wish him luck
As I hang up the receiver
The female snake is all over me

Why didn’t I ask about his children?
His grandchildren?
What about neighbors?
Someone must drive him around

The viper tightened her vice like grip
“Never make that mistake again,” she hissed
After picking up my check the next day
I quit
















photography (004) by David J. Thompson

photography (004) by David J. Thompson














pray tell

John Sweet

mass graves for the children then
raped the women and this
was the future

this is the ocean

bottomless and frozen and so
wherever you are
you’re fucked

wherever you’re going is a mistake

gotta laugh at the pain or it
swallows you and
you gotta learn to interpret your dreams

your father is god
no matter how much you hate him

your children can never save you

they run away while you sleep,
send you postcards from golgotha or
from beneath the gritty soil outside
the factories of juarez, and
all pain is someone else’s humor

all dogs will promise you the
kingdom, but all of them lie

it costs me nothing to
quench my thirst with your tears
















the new world

John Sweet

myself cold on the couch
in the season of hope

eyes closed against
a pale grey sun while the
idea of freedom is dragged
unconscious and bleeding
down dead-end streets

while a man i’ve never met
considers whether to
kill himself or kill his family

makes his choice and
opens the door
















Loving a woman vs.
Loving antique furniture

CEE

He called himself a sexual scientist
Giving example of
“Touching her face, to see how she reacts”
Bro mask, face-peaceable, I thought,
“How The Fuck Do You THINK
She’s Gonna React?”
As I knew
Permitting She, reacts as in reaction
To scalding water
So, when I say joining is pleasure And
Pain,
It’s just another way of
Confirming Cupid as armed murderer
Love is scalding water
All that Love is, false, actual, but believed
Love is scalding water
Love is never any different, aspect
It’s only that when, oaf, you break
Antique furniture
It’s ten minutes of cursing Fate
And a trip to the curb
On Garbage Night
















The Criterion Collection laserdisc version,
shows the “signing the peace accords” scene

CEE

Handing Man Hope For The Future
In the form of Future Man Undeveloped, empty
A squall in attached wading pool
Of its own, organic
Contribution
Unknowing, just doing
Without a thought,
A squall Future Man as brainless, “Geh!”
Rendering all but Those Outcast
Brainless
With its aesthetic Man, handed
DOLBY-loud aesthetic that
Stinks odor of the aroma of its smell’s scent
Future as This-will-be-fucked-up-by-You
“I Am Handing You Hope For The Future,”
Says gift-giving God,
“No, you’re not,” as my friend said
To being handed the family homestead,
“You’re handing me twenty years of Debt!”
















The Song of Onomatopoeia (Running Bare)

CEE

Vagina
Sounds scifi space alien
Penis
Just sounds dumb
Ovum
Sounds like a vintage Mazda commercial
#H’HMMMMMM!!#
Spermatozoon
Is Banana Splits goofy
Missionary
Is an all-work, no fun sound
Cowgirl
Is wild Yee-HAAH!
Projecting these results indefinitely
If we don’t decide Gore has won,
We have a Flowers For Algernon
Worker drone
And something not human, built for
Fun

Am I wrong?
















Ferry Crumbs

Charles Hayes

    Plying the warm waters of a shadowed Sea, speckled with spits of froth and reflected starlight, we ride the ferry for the lost and found. Our crowded cots, tiered across an open deck, pitch and roll, lifting our smell as one, from stem to stern. Legs akimbo with slippered feet, grow across the tiny aisles, bodies hidden by the sacks that haul our life.
    On the move, going from crumb to crumb, visions of better fare, or to only home somewhere, our nods of passage show, as the knocking screw calls the tune. Sometimes we wander to the rail and stare beyond. If a light of life be seen, suspicions of how its table fairs, or what its bed beholds, float among our spray. Looking along the rail, another’s eye to see, table or bed is quick to know.
    With dawn and a port that calls, we rise like Jack’s stalk, among the humps of baggage, mount our loads, as if super ants we be, and string along the plank, to melt into the life we know. Crumb by crumb, visions of a knocking lullaby safely tucked away.





Charles Hayes bio

    Charles Hayes, a multiple Pushcart Prize Nominee, is an American who lives part time in the Philippines and part time in Seattle with his wife. A product of the Appalachian Mountains, his writing has appeared in Ky Story’s Anthology Collection, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Fable Online, Unbroken Journal, CC&D Magazine, Random Sample Review, The Zodiac Review, eFiction Magazine, Saturday Night Reader, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Scarlet Leaf Publishing House, Burning Word Journal, eFiction India, and others.
















Draperies’ Afterparty

Xanadu (Oflibaifame)

(i)

Six frozen sheets of would-be marble
reminding classical baroque draperies

Foldings falling down from furniture—
arm chair bar chair stool and three tables

Wooden brown slimly clad in stucco
glittering up and down in museum lightning

And the piece to the wall
may point to the coat

Of missing owner
whose absence

Is still presence
in traces and gestures

of artistic interventions

(ii)

And if we take the coat
for a towel wet and dripping—

We may as well draw a poem
like a beach afterparty


While the people are still
Sunbathing on the seaside

Ready to return to regain
their lost belongings—

Drops of water drip down
do drink drawing from paper

of aesthetic intrusions

 

(Thanks to Lu Biaobiao 2015 Six Pieces of Cloth in New Creatures exhibit of
Art and Design Museum Shenzhen and English Corner Yulin Normal University)









the art depicted is by Lu Biaobiao, photographed by Xanadu.














SO CLOSE!

“Moon Thom” Woodruff

You could reach up, and pluck this apple from the stars
So near-never in our little lives had we been so astrally aligned!
Since 1948-before our generational group memory
Before text and Tweet and meme and Instagram
Before web and digital photograph and satellite dog
Moon in orbit seemed illusion ours (our one and only)
Apple sky and evening planets, stars in constellations
Galaxies unfolding like a 3D, 4G Mercator Map
We are still a dot in the pointillist sky landscape
She is still Huge, close, turning and slow turning
in a poetry that does not need words
but sings in grey dust pock marked song
“I AM YOUR MOON!” We heard-and took a photograph
Sent another satellite to crash into her craters
“One day” (we say-) “We will have a moon base!”
Is that a man on the moon? Flag waving?
















The War In My Head

Angel Abitua

My neurons are fighting with my neurons.
They do not get along.
They shoot missiles at each other,
And I become collateral damage, of some sort.

Why is this war being waged, I ask,
In my total distress.

Soon, when I am seen dying in my bed,
Maybe in my sleep, at that,
They will say, 7#8220;He died quietly,
So quietly,
In his sleep.
And in such peace and rest.”

But, no, no, no!
It was not like that.
I died a gross and violent death,
With my neurons killing each other,
All inside my head.
















In Which the Protagonist Loses the Fight, But Manages to Save Her Two Daughters in the Process: A Series of Questions for My Mother

Natasha Hooper

    1. Which made you more anxious? The pregnancy or the cancer? Were you all new life and hopeful in one moment, then wishing well and worry in the next? A pregnant woman, trying to give life while fighting for her own, trying to be more than just a contradiction. Did you ask God about it? What did he say?

    2. When anticipating our arrival, I know you must have thought “how magical”, but in the back of your mind, did you think of how we would be just two more things that would take your breath away?
Did you think of the strength it would take to feed two life forms while trying to starve a tumor?
In the back of your mind, did you wish your body hollow? Did you wish your body gutted and empty? Did you wish your body barren?

    3. Can you tell me what it was like to battle this at the age of 25? As I am writing this, I am just days away from my 23rd birthday and I need to know if I will follow in your footsteps. If I will soon become a memory. If I will give birth to things that will outlast me. They say death comes in threes and we were once a trilogy. Should I prepare myself to say “I knew this would happen”?

    4. Some accuse me of being too distant, of not wearing the proper emotions at the right times, of not showing that I care. Did I get that from you? Did you learn how to keep the wind from rustling your branches? Did you learn how to keep the rain from rotting your roots, to protect your core, to protect your seeds? Did you learn how to always keep your trunk upright, no matter what life or what decay was happening inside? Is this how I learned to be the strong one?

    5. Tell me about the hospital. Did it feel like a catacomb of dead futures? Was each day an exhibit in a museum of final resting places? In the 5 months after our birth, did it feel like an extended stay in a lonely waiting room? Did it feel like 20 weeks full of goodbyes? Is this why I am getting better at goodbyes? I need to know.

    6. How does one forget her mother’s face? Does that make me a bad daughter? I am sorry. The time lapse does not lend its long term remembrance to me. But I am trying. Hoping that I can carry the best parts of you with me. Hoping that I can find myself in your memory.
    Hoping that I can be all the woman that you were and at least half the sacrifice.
















The Artist: Future ramblings of an outsider
(edit)

Victoria Kuykendall

Society told you to be:
a question quite frequently answered,
and asked with remorse.
My way was just failed attempts.

I remember sad dreary eyes.
Gazing silvery looking glass skies,
with artist that colored outside the lines.
The sand. The sky was purple, and flowers.

Who sought after answers the same,
can remember,
before the world
told you to blame.

Who you were
before the world expected less, free spirit,
now confined to a cage.
Suit and cubical a cruel master with chain labeled, wage.

Free to be no one.
Free to nothing or,
Something.
Not for greatness.

Can you remember
before the world
could see right through you?
Her answer so piercing.

Soul like the waves chipping away life by sea uncontrolled,
with a faint soft glow.
Couldn’t help but wonder,
how bright light was before the cynic took control.

Then some afraid,
obeyed.
Told exactly who listen to false words
from anything that appears in your head.

That you have no control of your future,
when your minds already dead.



The Artist: Future ramblings of an outsider














The War Next Door

John Grey

Sitting in your chair by the kitchen window,
you can’t help but hear your neighbors brawl,
in words mostly but sometimes even in deed.
You choke on your coffee. You put hands over ears.
One time you even called the cops.

You know these people courtesy of chats over fences.
But you also know them stripped of everything
but their hardness, their selfishness, their cruelty.
A man beats his wife. A woman thrashes a son.
The boy screams the bluest of murders at his sister.
The daughter smashes things against her bedroom wall.
Their house rocks with how it is with some people.
Rage blasts off and leaves its host in the wake.
Love is trampled. Family implodes.
What’s left is a fury embroiled in grime and smoke.

You never imagined there were such unforgiving souls.
You live alone in loneliness.
Their solitude is anger -
self-induced with loud voice or fists flying,
jerking themselves free of these others,
even in closeness, keeping a distance
to shrink their enemy into something less than human.

You figure rage is where they get free of themselves,
escape from the ordinary, the drab, even the world.
They can’t merely sob like you.
Bodies fill their immediate vicinity.
Their wrath insists something must be done about it.

It all quiets down eventually.
For all their expanding, exploding heads and hearts,
it somehow makes them smaller.
You almost envy their shame, their regret,
filling them up to former size,
reshaping their faces into sorry symbols
of where it all went wrong.

You’re unsure how their battles make you feel.
Should you pity them? Forgive them?
Strange how their garden blooms more beautifully than yours
how the red of their roses spills the deepest blood extant.





John Grey bio

    John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.
















End of School

John Grey

High bank tower nests two baby hawks.
The old man’s whining and rubbing where his heart used to be.
The dog is peeing on a lamppost, on the stain of another dog.
All in a random memory bank. No downed airplanes,
no buildings blackened by war.
Just what happened - can’t be prevented.
School’s out and the kids throw themselves
at the outside world. And I’m still seeing
a plate slide from a table, cigarette ash burn a rug.
How anxious. Will they notice the missing vase?
Can they count the ceramic diving horses?
The hawks have fledged. They scour the park for pigeons.
The old man gets a pacemaker.
What he really needs is a peacemaker.
The dogs converse through the body fluid telegraph.
And school’s out. It must be my doing.





John Grey bio

    John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Columbia College Literary Review and Spoon River Poetry Review.
















Journaling, Labeling Theory (V2)
(Juxtaposition Style)

Michael Lee Johnson

Breaking news this just in,
1:15 PM December 15, 2013,
I found out labeling theory
has a personality.
It has impact of its own.
I love today because I
found out I have a mental illness.
Formally, diagnosed,
now I am special.
Shrink, Dr. Pennypecker, knows me well.
We visit 15 minutes every 3 months.
I have known him for 9 months.
Simple sentences just make more sense.
Simple sentences make me feel more secure.
After 9 months he says, “I’ve sort of figured
you out, you are a manic depressive, stage 2 hypo-mania.”
I ask my shrink, “can I cast my vote?”
In this PM news, I gave him permission.
Life is a pilgrimage of pills.
I cast out my net to catch myself,
save myself.
Life is a pilgrimage of prayers.
Note: it could end here.
He does not know the difference
between manias, verses six shots of vodka.
I suffer from a B-12 deficiency.
I need extra thiamine symptoms psychosis.
I place my lid down on forsaken table,
foreskin, I forgive.
A dead shrink, middle of the road.
I crack my knuckles,
pass sleep two next night.
Creativity flows fragmented.
I kick gravesites up then down.





Michael Lee Johnson bio

    Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 915 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites. Author’s website http://poetryman.mysite.com/. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book) ISBN: 978-0-595-46091-5, several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 101 poetry videos on YouTube as of 2015: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos. Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL. nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 & Best of the Net 2016. Visit his Facebook Poetry Group and join https://www.facebook.com/groups/807679459328998/. He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762 https://www.createspace.com/6126977.
















Wino

Brian Looney

    Don’t mistake pride with confusion, for perhaps tomorrow morning I’ll want to feel so good again, and will dip my nose into this feeling, for it is the greatest feeling, so divorced from trepidation....with every philosophical reason on the planet to convince me it is logical. Live fast, die fast? Soon to be facing a nuclear war? Living in an increasingly Orwellian society? Our gods are dead? The hoax that is psychiatry? The people in power? The certain knowledge that I may find the most powerful liberation at the bottom of a drink, rather than in a magical pill? That I am a writer, afraid to express, that drink will always free me, if only for the guilt? That the greatest inspirations of my life have cropped up under the influence, that all my heroes have been notorious drinkers, that I must open the conduit by any means, at the sacrifice of all? That I have God in my eyes? That I have no one who loves me beyond those distant images, and that I am socially crippled beyond expression? That most women think me a saint, or a devil, or a fool? That I hate them for it? That I am a little of everything? That I mostly hate my parents(but try to be loving)? That I’ve lived thus far only to turn my sexual repression into poetry? That I love all women in spite of it? That I’m trying to break free, and alcohol seems to be the only social key to the prison door, to their loving smiles and my sense of humor? That this is society, this is life, and that I want to know what is on the horizon, to become so gratefully comfortable and (yes) so gratefully bored? That I’ve never felt my love returned? That I want to experience the numbness and the comfort of routine, of relationship, of a familiar face, of a wedding ring, a certain safety I have never felt? That I want to veer away from the comforts of alcoholism(and also of the hell)? That half my friends are dead, hated and beloved relatives as well, but that the remaining living are a legion of privileged idiots(with few exceptions)? That when a woman smiles at me, I either become a creep or a prude? Is my only deterrent to be the fact that I am destroying myself? When I live with a secret love of self-destruction, that fuck-all, be-all state? That I see nothing on the horizon but wage-slavery and sensual gratification? Well, now, well now. Seems to be a fairly reasonable answer to a fairly difficult problem...
















Anonymous Gentleman

Brian Looney

    Some guy asked me for a ciggy tonight, and I presented my pack like a butler, the opening faced to him and my fingers at rest upon the swinging top-half, an ingratiating smile upon my face.
    I watched her pick a ciggy out (for it was a fresh pack, the first of the bunch), I watched her pick a ciggy out with difficulty, awkward to the max, so that (in order to disarm her), I said I didn’t care how dirty her fingers were, that I often urinated and masturbated without even washing my hands, that it was fine if she had recently rubbed her vag (and cried about it afterhand), that I would console her with a sympathetic ciggy and an amity for frustration, that I would turn my eyes away if it made her nervous, that I would hand a cig to her shaking hands if she needed one so bad, that it would be my pleasure to distribute one gratis, that I was a semen-flecked, urine-flecked cigarette dispensing, gentleman-degenerate of poetry machine.
    She never even thanked me.
















A Way Out

Greg G. Zaino

Melancholy,
canyon walls mocking-
newcomers wary.

Off frozen salt waters
blasting an apocryphal landscape.

banshee winds roll scornfully
down Dorrance Street.

At eleven below- they come as damnation
bearing down emptiness.

Fifty mile an hour winds
gaining momentum from the north.
the arroyo acquires assignation:

Providence...

Vertical glass, red brick and stone;
how they withstand.

The dispiriting wind,
screaming ferocious,
biting the face while spilling its guts.

Across the plaza
a cobbled menace for the sick ones.

Breath suspended at eye level-
trees stripped,
caverns sealed,
bronze statues bold- unflinching.

Ice-covered grasses brittle,
fractured skies extreme-
blistered...

We;
the huddled ones
the distant ones;
waiting for awaited spoon liberation,
belt buckle redemption-
an alternative-
not a choice.

We shiver a way out
the canyons refusal-
a way home,
out of the arctic withstanding.

To briefly soar- escape...

While Stevie dies
on a soiled linoleum floor...
















0257, photography by Peter LaBerge

0257, photography by Peter LaBerge














One Spring

Janet Kuypers
(seven countries in seven days)
started 9/15/16, finished 10/25/16

1. Austria

When walking through the sixty degree
slanted streets in Austria, you understand quickly
why walking Europeans are thinner

than us fat Americans. We drive everywhere,
then pay money to use a gym
to help us lose weight gained from this rich life.

I saw Mozart references everywhere
and it was great to be in Salzburg, the town
where this genius musician was born.

But while looking for a place to eat,
I saw “Salzburger” listed on many diner signs.
I asked if this was a kind of hamburger

and they told me no, it’s a reference
to being from Salzburg. Then I laughed
and said, “I guess Mozart was a Salzburger...”

But being at the Alps, everything was an inclined hike.
I tried to climb a mountain in the snow in my sandals.
So I attempted relief for my aching joints

by resting in the Gastein Curative Tunnel.
You see, this tunnel’s a tourist spot because
miners would feel rejuvenated after working in it

until they realized that the tunnel was loaded with Radon.
And sure, long-term exposure might be bad
but after sweating buckets of water

from laying down in these mines for 20 minutes
you actually felt better, rejuvenated
and ready to climb a mountain tomorrow.

2. Germany

We left Hitler’s home country
to go to Germany’s Dachau, to see one
of the first concentration camps in existence.

Drank beer on the train ride from Munich
(something Hitler would frown upon), and after
seeing Washington D.C.’s Holocaust Memorial —

complete with a train car, a Warsaw ghetto walkway,
glass bins of collected hair brushes, shoes —
I was stoked for the impact of actually being there.

But once was passed under an Arbeit macht frei sign
we walked into vast blank halls with only
occasional spots of original chipping paint.

We’d walk from room to room, each containing
only large hanging posters with occasional images
of data in German and in English. You couldn’t feel

the gravity of life for prisoners in these camps.
Only when we got to the last room and saw
a scale model of the entire grounds as it was

during the Holocaust, well, everywhere we walked that day
was only about one fifth the size of the camp.
That was the only way I saw the monstrous size

of this monstrosity.      Later sat at a Munich bar,
and the old German men yelled at us in German
when an American-sounding song played

on the jukebox. I didn’t even know where the jukebox was,
and the bartender yelled at the regulars in German
that she was the one who chose that song.

But looking back, I have to admit
that it was cool to be yelled at in another language
from men on the other side of the planet.

3. Italy

We walked through the remains of Pompeii
after Mount Vesuvius did it’s damage in 79 AD.
After crossing the Tyrrhenian sea

I actually hugged a column in Cicely
from Agrigento’s preserved Greek column ruins.
After circling the Colosseum in Rome

on those cobblestone roads through the Vatican City,
we had bad pizza in Napoli before making our
final stop to party in the watery town of Venice.

The buildings were colorful and the water was everywhere,
stairs went from the sidewalks to the sea,
and for the tourists there was a row of gondolas

waiting to take you on a water ride. But as I’ve said,
this is a tourist trap town, and everything has a price.
The only trinket I bought was a glass globe of grappa,

and really, that stuff tastes awful, and because
we didn’t know if we could take alcohol
over country lines, we bought a bottle of diet soda

to mask this grappa and chug it down
so they wouldn’t confiscate my glass globe.
Of course, no one searched us for contraband,

but we didn’t know better, and it was a good excuse
for drinking that grappa, because I kept that bottle,
and I still look at it, every day, and it makes me smile.

4. France

Saw beautiful buildings in the beautiful city
of Paris, and people were nice to us (even though
we didn’t know a word in French). But we had money,

and currency is the only language we all understand.
Visited the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, the Notre Dame,
but the one thing I remember the most

is that when sitting at cafés outdoors, tables for two
always had the two chairs not opposite each other,
but facing the street. To people watch.

I’ll still do that here now, if I get the chance. You can
hear someone talking when they’re right next to you,
and this way you can look out, and watch the world.

5. the Netherlands

The architecture in Bruxelles was really amazing,
But in Amsterdam we searched for pot, but it was only
in coffee shops, and coffee’s not the drug for me.

The man at the hotel looked at my passport
with my Dutch name and pronounced it differently,
so we left for the streets to find some nightlife.

We did see some prostitutes on display for business
while posing in literal window boxes of buildings
at eye level when you walk down the street,

but beyond that the bars closed at ten p.m.
(and lucky you, every bar had fewer than four
people inside). So at one bar we ordered

one round of drinks before they closed that cost us
nearly thirty Euros, then our only other option
was to go a Mexican restaurant to get a half liter

of Heineken, as long as we ordered food...
The only food we got was tomato soup, which was
a fitting nightcap for a town most tourists rave about.

And sure, we saw the Anne Frank House
and the Vincent Van Gogh Museum, but at this point,
it was really time to move on.

6. Luxembourg

In a country with too many letters in it’s name
to fit on most maps, this tiny little place tried
to make up for it with culture and history,

which was a relief when the weather became warmer
and for the first time on my trip I was able to
wear shorts. ...And for all of the studying I had done

about different cultures, the one thing
I didn’t learn was that women in European countries
like Luxembourg never — and I mean never —

wear shorts. So here I was walking down the street
and the women looked at me like I was a whore
and business men all gave me a perverted grin.

Mortified and unable to change, we stopped
at a bar for lunch, I tried to hide my legs, and then
a huge flux of male workers came in for lunch.

I mean, I liked Luxembourg, but that last day
all I could do was anything in my power
to hide my legs from the rest of the world.

7. Switzerland

And sure, I might have a Swiss Army knife,
and sure, you might have a thing for chocolate,
but when you get away from the Alps,

which are sixty percent of the land, the terrain
looks like the Midwest United States.
Away from Zurich, the terrain looked like Ohio,
Indiana, Iowa. Same hills, same foliage...

Same expanse, looking for something new. And all
that remained to carry was a big backpack of trinkets
and far too many memories to cherish

before they slip away.



video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “One Spring (Seven Countries in Seven Days)” 11/6/16 at “Recycled Reads” open mic, at a book store affiliated with the Austin Public Library (video filmed from a Sony camera).
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “One Spring (Seven Countries in Seven Days)” 11/6/16 at “Recycled Reads” open mic, at a book store affiliated with the Austin Public Library (from a Canon Power Shot camera).
video videonot yet rated
See YouTube video 11/27/16 of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “One Spring (Seven Countries in Seven Days)” at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry: Spoken and Heard (filmed with a Canon Power Shot camera).
video videonot yet rated
See YouTube video 11/27/16 of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “One Spring (Seven Countries in Seven Days)” at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry: Spoken and Heard (this video was filmed with a Sony camera).















Detour

Copyright R. N. Taber

On a road of broken dreams and shattered lives,
I took a detour down a dirt track;
among leafy trees, green fields, sheep grazing,
I revisited Mother Nature;
we had been estranged, she and I, for some years,
yet it seemed but yesterday
I had risen with larks, let a lullaby of nightingales
lull me into false hopes

I felt fingers stroking my hair as I passed through,
as if to reassure a prodigal child,
but I was bitter for what I (still) saw as a personal
act of betrayal and deceit;
had she not let me believe the finer things of life
would always survive the worst,
yet abandoned me on a road of broken dreams
leading nowhere?

At dusk, a nightingale greeted me like an old friend
but I pretended not to hear
as I settled on a bed of sweetest smelling heather,
afraid to close my eyes;
sleep, though, eventually penetrated my defences,
left me vulnerable
to the iron resolve of Mother Nature under a cover
of gentle persuasion

I journeyed through dark centuries of pain and grief,
defiant ghosts for company,
showing me killing fields where peace and love left
for dead, but rose again;
they planted in me, my ghosts, an unspoken trust
to keep faith with them;
accordingly, I flew off on the wings of a dawn skylark
into a new awakening


















cc&d
Performance Art





Ultimate Connectivity:
trying to separate peace from war

Janet Kuypers
10/10/16

Wanted to see the other side of the world.
Wanted to roam the streets with wandering cows.
So I thought that docking at the Bay of Bengal
would lead to a great vegetarian communal experience.

But
women are second class citizens there, forced to
wear layers of clothes everywhere to hide themselves...

So I
walked along the naval base in Visakhapatnam,
wandered to the row of Emperor statues along the shore —

and I
wondered why two thirds of the statue plaques
(written in Hindi and English)
wrote that most people
were                     Emperor and poet.
Warrior and poet. Freedom fighter and poet.

Which made me think:
poetry is a platform for peace. And it made me
wonder, do we all live in this balancing act,
where we speak softly and carry a big stick.
Which creates the crucial question: do
we need war                           to have peace?
When is it possible to understand peace
if we haven’t gone through a battle to get it?

Human life has always had that uphill battle,
where we all work, we all fight some form of war, until
we will all finally feel peace.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Weeds and Flowers” and “WZRD (88.3FM), Poetry World Radio and Scars Internet Radio (SIR), and was even shor"http://scars.tv/kuypers/poems/20nois (in a few appearances on the show for the Lake County Poets Society in 2006). Kuypers was also interviewed on her art work on Urbana’s WCIA channel 3 10 o’clock"http://scars.tv/kuypers/poems/2016/ultimate-connectivity--a-bird-in-the-hand.htm" target="new">Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Duality, Kuypers has had many books of her own published: Hope Chest i"http://scars.tv/kuypers/poems/20r Before Striking, (woman.) (spiral bound), Autu"http://scars.tv/kuypers/poems/20cup.htm" target="new">Contents Under Pressure, etc., and eventually (travel journals around the United States), The Other Side (European travel"http://scars.tv/kuypers/poems/20/A> (poetry), Exaro Versus (prose) and Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.
video
not yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers saying her poem “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war” from memory 10/16/16 in an excerpt from Thom’s group intro to the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (this video was filmed from a Canon Power Shot camera).
video
video
See YouTube video of Thom’s group intro to the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry, where Janet Kuypers says her poem “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war” from memory (at ~12:30) 10/16/16 (Canon Power Shot camera).


Read the Janet Kuypers bio.














video still from show



Ultimate Connectivity:
disconnect to reconnect

Janet Kuypers
10/14/16 adapted from prose 5/30/09 “Hurry Up and Wait”

People are rushing,
don’t have time for breakfast
after you slammed the alarm snooze button three times,
stumble out of bed, you’re clean enough,
forget the shower, clean up your face,
smooth your hair, put on your work clothes,
grab the briefcase, lock the door,
speed up but avoid the sweat of a near sprint
to make it to the train, or the bus stop.
You can get something to eat on the way,
you think, as your light pant doesn’t change
once you’ve stopped at the stop.
You’ve still got places to be,
check your watch,
look down the street,
where is your carrier,
you need that vehicle
to get you to where you need to be.
Pace a bit.
Adjust your clothes.
Check your watch again.
This is corporate America, you think, hurry up and wait.

The world rotates at a thousand miles an hour.
Everything is spinning.
You see more and more, but feel connected less and less.

So maybe it’s time to make choices
and it’s time to lay claim
to everything we’ve been blindly giving away —
‘cause if I can make choices
to walk flights of stairs
instead of taking smoke breaks at work,
or if I can pick up recyclable garbage
left on the street by piggish people
who can’t even take care of their own trash
(because if I don’t do something after I complain
I’m almost as bad as they),
if I can make choices like that, maybe it’s time
to look for peace, or even meditate, anywhere.

I mean,
if you’re waiting for work
at a bus stop,
then try to relax right there.
Maybe you can reconnect
by disconnecting.

Find some time like this to just stop,
because everything around us moves too fast anyway.
The world orbits it’s axis
at close to one thousand miles an hour,
it speeds around the sun
at sixty-six thousand miles an hour,
and our solar system
is hurtling around the outer edges
of our Milky Way galaxy
at four hundred eighty-three thousand miles an hour.
And news flash —
our entire galaxy
is speeding away
from other galaxies too
at an astounding
one point three million miles an hour,
which, the last time I checked,
we keep getting closer to the speed of light...

So, if the news from the world bombards you
while you’re being hurled through the cosmos,
maybe that is when you need to meditate,
mentally step outside it all. Maybe then
you could then gain a new perspective.
Come to peace with everything.
And maybe that is when,
when you disconnect,
that this hurtling Earth
can come full circle
and everything can connect again.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.
video
not yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 connectivity poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “My Kind of Town” and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” 10/16/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (video filmed from a Canon Power Shot camera).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 connectivity poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “My Kind of Town” and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” 10/16/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (video filmed from a Sony camera).


Read the Janet Kuypers bio.














Ultimate Connectivity:
aches and pains

Janet Kuypers
10/7/16

Had a really heavy workload;
months went by,
the workload piled,
the boyfriend was bringing me down

and I’d wake up every day
in so much pain,
shoulder, elbow, back and knees —
the pain drove me to a doctor

and after the blood tests
they found nothing wrong,
but they guessed it was arthritis
and give me really strong pills.

They’d make me dizzy,
they’d knock me out,
but they didn’t relieve the pain...
So after four months I got away —

got away from the work,
got away from the boyfriend.
Enjoyed the sun and the sand
and felt at peace again.

And that’s when I realized
I didn’t need that boyfriend,
and I can handle the work
so... I didn’t need the pills.

And the aches and pains,
they went away —
and it only happened
when I brought peace back again.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video 10/22/16 of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “No Compunction” and “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains” at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Canon Power Shot).
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video 10/22/16 of Janet Kuypers reading her poems “No Compunction” and “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains” at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Sony camera).


Read the Janet Kuypers bio.














Ultimate Connectivity:
how coffee can be relaxing

Janet Kuypers
10/7/16

Every time I went back
to my childhood getaway...
Every time I’d go for a walk
I felt like half the people knew me.
You didn’t feel afraid
to say hello to strangers
because everyone     here     was at home.

Now, I don’t drink coffee.
I don’t like the taste
and I don’t need the caffeine.
But when I was here,
at what seems like my own little retreat,
I’d pour myself a really weak cup,
sweeten it up to replenish my sweet stock

and I’d sit at the table
outside in the morning to write,
or I’d sit at the bench
and watch retired couples
play round robin doubles tennis.

They’d ask me if I’d like to join them,
but no, I was happy here,
with my insanely weak coffee
that was just warm enough
to warm my spirits,
and keep me company
as I enjoyed the morning breeze
and the connection I felt
with everyone around me.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.


Read the Janet Kuypers bio.














chapbook from show



Ultimate Connectivity:
getting naked with nature

Janet Kuypers
started 10/7/16, finished 10/8/16

After hiking for miles
at Arches National Park,
I realized that coming
at a cooler time of year
pretty much meant
that I had the park to myself.

I walked for miles,
saw no one,      anywhere,
and when I saw that no one
had followed my walk
along one ridged mountainous

edge to a plateau,
I did something
I never thought I would do
in a public place.
I looked around,
saw for miles
that I was alone,
so I got undressed,
and sat in the lotus position
on top of my small pile of clothes
and tried
for one brief moment
to connect with nature.

I’d close my eyes.
Then open my eyes,
find no one still there,
then look around,
maybe close my eyes again.

The only thing that stopped me
was the breeze
at this mountain ridge,
‘til I decided
that maybe I had
enough nature
for one day
before I put on my clothes
and continued my walk,
watching the red rock
and truly feeling
that I was finally
a part of this world.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.


Read the Janet Kuypers bio.














facebook cover image for show



Ultimate Connectivity:
swimming with the fishes

Janet Kuypers
10/9/16

Already in my wet suit,
I sat in the back seat of a car,
itching to get into the water.
The water at this bay in Oahu
was amazingly blue,
and all I wanted
was to get into that water
and swim with the fishes.
And as soon as we got there,
they warned me not to cross
that coral reef in the water
where the currents could take
me out too far into the deep.
So I nodded my head
and went straight to the shore,
and not too far in
I swam to a school
of bright blue dinner plate sized
fish with bright yellow fins.
And so I followed the fish,
and after the fact
they told me
that the first thing I did
when I got in that water
was that I swam right past
that coral reef in the water.
Oh, I’m sorry, I was just
swimming with the fishes,
and on this day
the current didn’t take me away...
Because the only thing
that would take me away
was not the current,
but the vibrant fish
that let me share
their space with them.
I wasn’t there
to invade their space,
I was just there to swim
with beautiful creatures
and commune
in a part of the world
so few people could ever
have the change to enjoy.
So yeah,
I’ll cross that line,
I’ll do it again,
just to swim with the fishes
and connect with any life form
I could possibly find.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.
video videonot yet rated

See Janet KuypersYouTube video of her reading her 2 poems “I Knew I Had To” and “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes” 10/22/16 at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Cps).
video videonot yet rated

See Janet KuypersYouTube video of her reading her 2 poems “I Knew I Had To” and “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes” 10/22/16 at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Sony).


Read the Janet Kuypers bio.














Ultimate Connectivity:
forgetting fear and feeling free

Janet Kuypers
10/9/16

Standing in the water
maybe twenty meters from the shoreline
I saw one Sea Lion facing off
with another Sea Lion on the beach.
In an effort to say
that they were the beach master,
one started to chase
the other into the water,
to kick them off their domain.
Now, a Sea Lion
can get up to seven feet long,
and when one male
started chasing the other
into the water,
these giant animals
were barreling straight toward me.

But no, I wasn’t scared,
they weren’t after me,
so I stood perfectly still
as one splashed past me to my left,
and the other splashed past me to my right.
I think a few people
at the beach were scared for me,
but I was fine,
and went into the water
and swam toward
the row of sleeping
white tipped sharks
along the ocean floor.
I counted more than two dozen,
and was stunned how perfectly
these sharks remain so straight
in a row when they slept.
So after seeing the sea,
I swam back to shore
and turned my eye to the sky.
The Frigate birds
would swarm us humans
hoping for leftover food,
but I photographed flying finches,
and watched Nasca birds,
both male and female,
keeping their eggs warm
before they would hatch.
It’s nice to see
when looking at creatures
not like you and me,
that we can see
that they may not be
as scary as can be,
but, like you and me,
they are just living to be free.
And when you look closely,
that is
really nice
to see.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 connectivity poems “Irony” and “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free” 10/22/16 at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Sony).
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 connectivity poems “Irony” and “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free” 10/22/16 at “Poetry Aloud” open mic at the Georgetown Public Library (Cps).


Read the Janet Kuypers bio.

















Ultimate Connectivity:
a bird in the band

Janet Kuypers
10/7/16

So after a night camping
at Bryce National Canyon
(yeah, yeah, there was snow on the ground,
but my sleeping bag zipper wasn’t broken...)
I got out of my tent in the morning
and a few little birds fluttered by.
Now, one seemed to hang our
a little too close,
so I put some grain
in the palm of my hand,
stretched out my forearm
and remained perfectly still.
Almost on cue,
less than two minutes later
the bird landed on the palm of my hand
and enjoyed the bounty I gave them

a bird eating out of Kuypers𔄀 hand

And suddenly I felt
like I was Mother Earth,
I could stretch out my arms
like a scarecrow
but this time the animals
wouldn’t be afraid,
and with my outstretched arms,
I would give them food,
and shelter, and love.

And maybe that was when
I twitched my finger,
or else I was out of food,
but the next thing I knew,
my three inch little bird
took a step or two
along my palm
and across my fingers
before it flew away.



video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Sony camera).
video See YouTube video 10/16/16 of Janet Kuypers in her show “Ultimate Connectivity” at the Awesmic City Expo preview in Austin performing her poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, “Ultimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand(from a Canon Power Shot camera).
Ultimate Connectivity chapbook Ultimate Connectivity show Get the free PDF file chapbook
Ultimate Connectivity
containing all the poems from the show, in order: “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “Ultimate Connectivity: trying to separate peace from war”, “Ultimate Connectivity: aches and pains”, Ultimate Connectivity showUltimate Connectivity: how coffee can be relaxing”, “Ultimate Connectivity: getting naked with nature”, “Ultimate Connectivity: swimming with the fishes”, “Ultimate Connectivity: forgetting fear and feeling free”, and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand”.
video
not yet rated
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 connectivity poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “My Kind of Town” and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” 10/16/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (video filmed from a Canon Power Shot camera).
video video
See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers reading her 3 connectivity poems “Ultimate Connectivity: disconnect to reconnect”, “My Kind of Town” and “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” 10/16/16 at the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (video filmed from a Sony camera).
video
not yet rated
See facebook video of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” with live music from Francois Le Roux (the HA!Man of South Africa) 11/13/16 at Unity Church of the Hills, Austin, Texas (video filmed from a Samsung smart phone camera).
video
video
See facebook video of Janet Kuypers reading her poem “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” with live music from Francois Le Roux (the HA!Man of South Africa) 11/13/16 at Unity Church of the Hills, Austin, Texas (video w/ a cartoonish filter, filmed with a Samsung camera).
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Janet Kuypers saying her poem “Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand” from memory 11/13/16 in an excerpt from Thom’s group intro to the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry (this video was filmed from a Canon Power Shot camera).
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video of Thom’s group intro to the Austin open mic Kick Butt Poetry, where Janet Kuypers says her poem Ultimate Connectivity: a bird in the hand from memory (at ~2:00) 11/13/16 (this video was filmed from a Canon Power Shot camera).




Janet Kuypers Bio

    Janet Kuypers has a Communications degree in News/Editorial Journalism (starting in computer science engineering studies) from the UIUC. She had the equivalent of a minor in photography and specialized in creative writing. A portrait photographer for years in the early 1990s, she was also an acquaintance rape workshop facilitator, and she started her publishing career as an editor of two literary magazines. Later she was an art director, webmaster and photographer for a few magazines for a publishing company in Chicago, and this Journalism major was even the final featured poetry performer of 15 poets with a 10 minute feature at the 2006 Society of Professional Journalism Expo’s Chicago Poetry Showcase. This certified minister was even the officiant of a wedding in 2006.
    She sang with acoustic bands “Mom’s Favorite Vase”, “Weeds and Flowers” and “the Second Axing”, and does music sampling. Kuypers is published in books, magazines and on the internet around 9,300 times for writing, and over 17,800 times for art work in her professional career, and has been profiled in such magazines as Nation and Discover U, won the award for a Poetry Ambassador and was nominated as Poet of the Year for 2006 by the International Society of Poets. She has also been highlighted on radio stations, including WEFT (90.1FM), WLUW (88.7FM), WSUM (91.7FM), WZRD (88.3FM), WLS (8900AM), the internet radio stations ArtistFirst dot com, chicagopoetry.com’s Poetry World Radio and Scars Internet Radio (SIR), and was even shortly on Q101 FM radio. She has also appeared on television for poetry in Nashville (in 1997), Chicago (in 1997), and northern Illinois (in a few appearances on the show for the Lake County Poets Society in 2006). Kuypers was also interviewed on her art work on Urbana’s WCIA channel 3 10 o’clock news.
    She turned her writing into performance art on her own and with musical groups like Pointless Orchestra, 5D/5D, The DMJ Art Connection, Order From Chaos, Peter Bartels, Jake and Haystack, the Bastard Trio, and the JoAnne Pow!ers Trio, and starting in 2005 Kuypers ran a monthly iPodCast of her work, as well mixed JK Radio — an Internet radio station — into Scars Internet Radio (both radio stations on the Internet air 2005-2009). She even managed the Chaotic Radio show (an hour long Internet radio show 1.5 years, 2006-2007) through BZoO.org and chaoticarts.org. She has performed spoken word and music across the country - in the spring of 1998 she embarked on her first national poetry tour, with featured performances, among other venues, at the Albuquerque Spoken Word Festival during the National Poetry Slam; her bands have had concerts in Chicago and in Alaska; in 2003 she hosted and performed at a weekly poetry and music open mike (called Sing Your Life), and from 2002 through 2005 was a featured performance artist, doing quarterly performance art shows with readings, music and images.
    Since 2010 Kuypers also hosts the Chicago poetry open mic at the Café Gallery, while also broadcasting the Cafés weekly feature podcasts (and where she sometimes also performs impromptu mini-features of poetry or short stories or songs, in addition to other shows she performs live in the Chicago area).
    In addition to being published with Bernadette Miller in the short story collection book Domestic Blisters, as well as in a book of poetry turned to prose with Eric Bonholtzer in the book Duality, Kuypers has had many books of her own published: Hope Chest in the Attic, The Window, Close Cover Before Striking, (woman.) (spiral bound), Autumn Reason (novel in letter form), the Average Guy’s Guide (to Feminism), Contents Under Pressure, etc., and eventually The Key To Believing (2002 650 page novel), Changing Gears (travel journals around the United States), The Other Side (European travel book), the three collection books from 2004: Oeuvre (poetry), Exaro Versus (prose) and L’arte (art), The Boss Lady’s Editorials, The Boss Lady’s Editorials (2005 Expanded Edition), Seeing Things Differently, Change/Rearrange, Death Comes in Threes, Moving Performances, Six Eleven, Live at Cafe Aloha, Dreams, Rough Mixes, The Entropy Project, The Other Side (2006 edition), Stop., Sing Your Life, the hardcover art book (with an editorial) in cc&d v165.25, the Kuypers edition of Writings to Honour & Cherish, The Kuypers Edition: Blister and Burn, S&M, cc&d v170.5, cc&d v171.5: Living in Chaos, Tick Tock, cc&d v1273.22: Silent Screams, Taking It All In, It All Comes Down, Rising to the Surface, Galapagos, Chapter 38 (v1 and volume 1), Chapter 38 (v2 and Volume 2), Chapter 38 v3, Finally: Literature for the Snotty and Elite (Volume 1, Volume 2 and part 1 of a 3 part set), A Wake-Up Call From Tradition (part 2 of a 3 part set), (recovery), Dark Matter: the mind of Janet Kuypers , Evolution, Adolph Hitler, O .J. Simpson and U.S. Politics, the one thing the government still has no control over, (tweet), Get Your Buzz On, Janet & Jean Together, po•em, Taking Poetry to the Streets, the Cana-Dixie Chi-town Union, the Written Word, Dual, Prepare Her for This, uncorrect, Living in a Big World (color interior book with art and with “Seeing a Psychiatrist”), Pulled the Trigger (part 3 of a 3 part set), Venture to the Unknown (select writings with extensive color NASA/Huubble Space Telescope images), Janet Kuypers: Enriched, She’s an Open Book, “40”, Sexism and Other Stories, the Stories of Women, Prominent Pen (Kuypers edition), Elemental, the paperback book of the 2012 Datebook (which was also released as a spiral-bound cc&d ISSN# 2012 little spiral datebook, , Chaotic Elements, and Fusion, the (select) death poetry book Stabity Stabity Stab Stab Stab, the 2012 art book a Picture’s Worth 1,000 words (available with both b&w interior pages and full color interior pages, the shutterfly ISSN# cc& hardcover art book life, in color, Post-Apocalyptic, Burn Through Me, Under the Sea (photo book), the Periodic Table of Poetry, a year long Journey, Bon Voyage!, and the mini books Part of my Pain, Let me See you Stripped, Say Nothing, Give me the News, when you Dream tonight, Rape, Sexism, Life & Death (with some Slovak poetry translations), Twitterati, and 100 Haikus, that coincided with the June 2014 release of the two poetry collection books Partial Nudity and Revealed.


















cc&d
Prose (the meat and potatoes stuff)





Response to a Letter Recently Received

fiction by Donal Mahoney

    Dear Margaret,
    Your life as explained in your letter recently received is very difficult to read. It’s been 40 years since we last saw each other or talked. Most of your problems I knew nothing about. Bits and pieces I somehow became aware of over the years. One of your brothers or sisters may have mentioned something they had heard at Christmas or on Father’s Day, but they were as much in the dark as I was. We didn’t know where you were.
    The cancer, of course, runs on my side of the family since it was colonic cancer that killed my mother at age 59. Years ago, long before you indicate that you were diagnosed with cancer, I tried, through one or more of your siblings, to get the word out to all the children of their need for colonoscopies on a regular basis. I am now due for another colonoscopy. I have one every two years. So far, the cancer has skipped me and, as you indicate, it has struck you. Your aunt has shown no signs of cancer either so perhaps it is going to skip our generation. It isn’t fair, I know.
    I don’t know how to comment specifically on all the problems you mention in your letter. I know I hurt your feelings (and more) at a time of great difficulty in your life and mine. I have no excuse to offer other than I reacted to a set of circumstances at the time that I found intolerable and in so doing hurt many people, most importantly you and the other children. They seem to have recovered, to the degree that anyone can, and lead what appear to be normal lives. They have children and seem to be happily married.
    The old snapshot you sent of me was taken in 1969 while I was staying as a guest at a seminary in Illinois, shortly after your mother asked me to move out. I was working at the newspaper at the time but was fired after I lost my ability to speak to my co-workers. I was able to write and edit but I was sufficiently in shock over the break-up that I could not talk. It took awhile to find another job.
    It took a lot longer, however, to recover from finding out that your mother had fallen in love with a priest. Doctors didn’t know much about postpartum depression back in the Sixties and she seemed normal to me. But with five kids around the house, and the oldest six, there wasn’t much time for diagnosing one another’s illnesses. Keeping up with the kids was the big job.
    I met the priest eventually, and he said that he had himself transferred to another Church when he found out how she felt about him. He pulled out a stack of her old letters wrapped in a rubber band. They had not been opened, and he said that he had not been in touch with her after his transfer. He said he thought about going to her wake but figured that would just add to the gossip, decades old as it might be. I believe him, Margaret. He knew nothing about the depression and, I suspect, simply tried to counsel her. In the process she responded overwhelmingly to his kindness. A priest is not a psychologist or psychiatrist so detecting something that subtle would have been tougher for him than it would have been for me. No one talked about postpartum depression back then. Parents have bad days. I had no idea how bad off she was.
    
    I feel very sad hearing about your difficulties. And I’m sorry that I wasn’t there to support you as a father when they began. But from a distance, I’ve thought of you often. I have prayed for you and your siblings every day since returning to the Church a few years back and will continue to do so.
    I retired in 2005 and returned to the practice of Catholicism in January, 2008. I remarried eventually and my wife converted to Catholicism a few years later as did her mother shortly before she died. They both converted without any prompting from me. In fact, I hadn’t been to Mass in 40 years. I wasn’t angry with the Church and I still believed in God and the Church, but all the carousing I did after breaking up with your mother and before I remarried stifled what little spirituality I might have had. Coming back to the Church has changed me, though, for the better along with retirement. But I’m still far from perfect.
    I’d be happy to hear from you at any time, and I’d try my best to respond in a way that would cause you no pain. If I have said anything here that causes you pain, or if I do so in the future, blame it on my ignorance about specific situations in your life and the cumulative toll life has taken on both of us.
    Feel free to ask any questions or to air past grievances and I’ll do my best to provide an honest answer. If you ever feel like coming to visit, just let me know. There’s plenty of room in the house in case you have a husband and7#047;or children.
    Much love,
    Dad





Donal Mahoney bio

    Nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, Donal Mahoney, a product of Chicago, lives in exile now in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and Commonweal. Some of his online work can be found at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html#sthash.OSYzpgmQ.dpbs=
















A Trick My Father Learned in Prison

Donal Mahoney

    I’m not saying my father hated the English, God forbid. If he were still alive, he’d hate to hear me say that. He’d correct me right away and say he didn’t hate the English. Truth be told, he despised the English, especially the Black and Tans. They were the troops the English sent to take over Ireland before, during and after the Troubles in 1916. That was the time when the Irish first fought seriously for their independence.
    My father would tell me often about what the Black and Tans did to him in 1920 at age 16 when he was captured while running guns for the IRA through marshes in rural Ireland. He knew the marshes in County Kerry very well because he was reared there as a farm boy. The IRA thought a boy like him would never get caught. But a boy carrying guns was not a common sight in the marshes of County Kerry.
    The Black and Tans put him in a cell with a dirt floor. He sat on that dirt for a month after they broke both his legs with rifle butts. They were in no hurry to summon a doctor.
    A cellmate gave him a pad of paper and he would sit on the dirt writing his name backwards with his left hand until his signature matched the normal one written with his right hand.
    Decades later in America, after he had been expelled from Ireland and had married my mother and settled down with a job in Chicago, I heard many stories not only about his life in a jail cell but his life milking cows and goats on a dairy farm as a young boy. He had to do that if he wanted his oatmeal for breakfast.
    I was in grammar school in the Forties when I heard a lot from my father about the Irish seeking their independence. His stories were a lot better, I thought, then paying 25 cents on Saturday afternoon to see a Western with Gene Autry at the local movie house, even if the movie was followed by 25 color cartoons.
    One day after school I had some friends over at the house. My father, a man of many moods not identified yet as PTSD, took a pad of paper and with a pen in each hand signed his name forward with one hand and backward with the other simultaneously. He then held the pad up to the long mirror in the hallway and, of course, the signatures were identical. My friends and I, crowded around him, were very young but even if we had been adults we would still have been amazed.
    After my friends went home, I asked my father how he learned to do that and he told me about the Black and Tans, their gun butts and that pad of paper the cellmate gave him. Rather than write letters to his family and upset them by letting them know he was in prison, he practiced writing his signature backwards with his left hand. This was one of a number of odd things that my father had mastered, all of them interesting to a child, but not worth going into at the moment or I’d be typing for a long time.
    Eventually I grew up, went to college, married and moved to another city and my father wanted to come and visit us and see his first grandson. Fine with me, I thought. I just hoped his affable mood would last and not disappear during the visit. I didn’t want to impose on him the nighttime crying of an infant since he had lived through that with me as a colicky child and my mother said he didn’t weather it well, having to get up early for work the next morning. So I decided to get him a room at a nice hotel. However, I picked the wrong one.
    I made the mistake of making a reservation for him at the Henry VIII Hotel, named after the English monarch. I can still hear my father yelling when I mentioned the Henry VIII Hotel over the phone.
    Indeed the Henry VIII was a nice hotel decorated in an English style that would truly have enraged my father. It was torn down not long after he died. But he had never been a guest at the Henry VIII, having stayed at another hotel free of any English taint. And his visit went well, all things considered. No outbursts or commotion.
    Had he lived long enough, however, my father probably would have been far more upset to learn years later that his grandson, after graduating with honors from the University of Chicago, went to England to study at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
    Tuition, room and board and books were free but Oxford, of course, was in England. And it was England that had sent the Black and Tans to Ireland and it was the Black and Tans who had broken my father’s legs.
    Sometimes I think about what it might have been like had he lived long enough to learn that my son had won that scholarship. I imagine calling him to tell him the news. And suddenly I can hear him yelling louder than when I told him about the Henry VIII Hotel. This time he would sound like a muezzin in a minaret on top of a mosque. Only he wouldn’t be summoning the faithful to prayers.





Donal Mahoney bio

    Nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, Donal Mahoney, a product of Chicago, lives in exile now in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and Commonweal. Some of his online work can be found at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html#sthash.OSYzpgmQ.dpbs=
















A Problem with Rudy

Donal Mahoney

    Rudy in his wheelchair gets around pretty good. He has a good job and transportation via a special van. He shops at local stores and everyone is nice except at the drug store where the clerk seems to have a problem with Rudy.
    Rudy has noticed the clerk is always nice to people ahead of him in the check-out line. Rudy may be paralyzed from the waist down but he isn’t dumb. Trying to figure out what the clerk’s problem is, Rudy has watched him carefully over several visits. He has come to the conclusion that the clerk has a problem with disabled people. That’s not an uncommon problem and it can result from various reasons. But Rudy figures that’s why the clerk treats him rudely and why he has to wait so long to be checked out.
    At first, Rudy didn’t know what to do but then an idea struck one morning while he was getting into his chair. Rudy had to go to the drug store that day and would have to deal with the clerk again. But this time he went with a small box on his lap that had a side panel. When it was his turn finally to be checked out, Rudy opened the side panel and a small non-venomous snake slipped out of the box and curled up on Rudy’s lap.
    The clerk jumped at the sight of the snake, hit the emergency button under the counter, and checked Rudy out quickly. Rudy appreciated that. And the snake never moved.
    When the cops pulled up to ask Rudy about the snake, he showed them his zoo I.D. card. It showed that he worked at the city zoo as chief herpetologist. Rudy explained he was taking the snake back to the zoo after overnight observation. He said the snake had gotten out of the box while he was waiting in the check-out line. True to a point. Rudy never mentioned that he had opened the panel in the box to let the snake out to meet the clerk.
    The cops called the zoo and the zoo verified the story and said a van was on the way to pick Rudy up. He was a valued employee. The cops let Rudy go.
    Following this incident, Rudy has never had to wait a long time in the drug store again. The clerk is always nice, even nicer when Rudy has the box in his lap. It’s usually empty but how would the clerk know.
    Some day Rudy hopes to talk to him about his problem with disabled people. Rudy plans to tell him disabled people don’t bite.





Donal Mahoney bio

    Nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, Donal Mahoney, a product of Chicago, lives in exile now in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and Commonweal. Some of his online work can be found at http://eyeonlifemag.com/the-poetry-locksmith/donal-mahoney-poet.html#sthash.OSYzpgmQ.dpbs=
















One of Them

Nora McDonald

    “He’s definitely one of them!”
    Anne sighed. Aunt Harriet was pointing at the big, burly, tuxedo-dressed man standing in the hotel entrance.
    “I don’t like the look of him at all!”
    “Ssh! He’ll hear you,” said Anne.
    “I don’t care if he does. I’m not going to let any member of the mob intimidate me!”
    The man turned and stared at Anne and her aunt. There was no smile.
    He does look intimidating, thought Anne, reluctant to agree with her aunt.
    She felt herself flushing and hoped the man would put it down to the hot desert temperature.
    “He’s not in the Mob!” whispered Anne, steering her aunt deftly away from the man and into the hotel. The hotel is a perfectly respectable hotel built by Cleve Hudson, the Casino Resort Developer. That man on the door is probably just a bouncer - there to keep undesirables out – and if you don’t keep quiet – we’ll be out.”
    That’s all I’ll need, thought Anne. Evicted from one of the most prestigious hotels in Las Vegas. The final straw in a disastrous holiday.
    It was all her own fault. She should never have taken her aunt to America. Especially to Las Vegas.
    Folkestone, yes. Las Vegas, no.
    She’d felt sorry for her. Elderly. Single. Living alone and never seeming to go anywhere.
    I’ll be like that one day, thought Anne. With no one to go on holiday with. I’m like that now, she thought. And I’m only twenty eight.
    “He looks a bit like that no good boyfriend of yours,” said Aunt Harriet as they stood looking at the magnificent hotel lobby.
    That’s right. Dig the knife in, thought Anne, as though I wasn’t suffering enough already.
    “He looks nothing like Ron,” Anne said miserably.
    “Always said he was no good for you. Never liked him from the first day I met him. Best thing he ever did for you was dump you.”
    Anne’s depression deepened. She looked around. The hotel lobby was filled with people – happy people – enjoying themselves in one of the most exciting places on earth and here she was stuck with her elderly, critical, outspoken aunt.
    Why can’t she just enjoy herself? thought Anne. What was wrong with her? Probably comes of spending too much time on her own, she thought.
    She’d noticed that about single people. They got so fixed in their ways. They’d forgotten the value of adaptability or flexibility. Trouble was they became introverted and took it out on other people.
    I’ll be the same in a few years time, thought Anne.
    “I don’t expect you can even get a decent cup of tea here,” said Aunt Harriet.
    “How about a coffee instead?” said Anne, steering her aunt in the direction of the bar at the entrance.
    “This is a bar!” said her aunt.
    Anne sighed.
    Aunt Harriet should have been here through Prohibition, she thought.
    “Yes, I know, said Anne patiently, but I’m sure we can get a coffee.”
    “It’s not the same,” grumbled her aunt.
    Maybe I should order a Jack Daniels, thought Anne.
    “There he is again!” said her aunt, when they were seated and silently sipping coffee.
    Anne looked round.
    Sure enough, the same big, burly bouncer was standing in the middle of the hotel lobby.
    “He’s watching us!” said Aunt Harriet.
    “No, he’s not!” said Anne but, even as she spoke, the man’s head turned and Anne felt him looking directly at her.
    Anne flushed with an unexplained guilt and turned to her aunt.
    “I told you he was staring at us!” said her aunt triumphantly.
    “Well, stop looking at him!” said Anne.
    “I can’t. He’s quite good-looking in a sort of evil way,” said her aunt. “Of course, they always are.”
    “Who?” said Anne.
    “Them. The Italians.”
    Anne laughed.
    “How do you know he’s Italian?”
    “You can always tell. Dark and handsome in a brooding sort of way.”
    Anne laughed again.
    “What do you know about Italians?” she said.
    “I’ll have you know I was once married to one,” said Aunt Harriet.
    Anne looked at her aunt with surprise.
    Aunt Harriet married? The first she’d heard of that. How come no one had ever told her about that? To an Italian? She’d never have thought it. Maybe she’d misjudged her.
    “I didn’t know you were married!” Anne said, interested for the first time in what Aunt Harriet might say.
    An unexpected faraway look appeared in her aunt’s eyes.
    “It was a long time ago,” she said. “Here. In Las Vegas.”
    “Here?”
    Anne couldn’t keep the disbelief out of her voice.
    Her aunt had been to Las Vegas before? There’d been no mention of it when she had invited her to come along.
    “Well, we didn’t meet here. We met when I was on holiday in Italy. But we got married here!”
    Anne was about to ask more when the light in her aunt’s eyes leapt excitedly and she said, “Let’s go down there now and I’ll show you where we got our wedding licence.”
    Where you got a wedding licence? That was the last place Anne wanted to be. Surrounded by potential newly weds.
    But horror had barely time to register on her face. Her aunt was already pulling her up from her seat, all thought of tea totally turned to dust, just as the pianist on the piano stool started playing. A shiver slipped down Anne’s spine as the haunting strains of “Someone to Watch over Me” sniggered at her imminent departure.
    Someone to watch over me. It was what she had always wanted. But never achieved. Had she wanted it too much? Had that put potential suitors off? Was she too demanding? Or too desperate? She knew what Ron would have said. Ron. The very thought of his name brought a tear to her eye.
    Well, I guess I got what I deserved she thought.
    Sure, she had someone to watch over her.
    Her elderly aunt.
    As her aunt dragged her towards the hotel door, she tried to avoid studying the unending stream of cosy couples that cut their way through the crowds in the lobby of the hotel and tried to be glad they’d at least be avoiding the glaring glance of the bouncer.
    At least he’ll be glad we’re going, thought Anne.
    The marriage bureau was a taxi ride away. And a world. Anne shifted uncomfortably outside the building, not from the scorching sun or even the unending stream of sparkling eyed couples that came and went continually through its door. Not even from the fact her aunt was actually inside the building. Despite Anne’s admonitions and repeated refusals to accompany her. No, it was something even stranger.
    Someone was watching her. From a short distance away. But even from that short distance she was aware of who it was.
    It was the bouncer from the hotel.
    Oh, help! thought Anne. Maybe Aunt Harriet is right after all. Maybe the man is in the Mafia. Why else would he follow them?
    The appearance of an exceptionally excited Aunt Harriet extinguished any further thoughts.
    “It’s just like it always was!” she said. “It hasn’t changed one bit.”
    Anne thought that highly unlikely, the passage of time playing havoc not only with people but with places as well. However she didn’t want to ruin her aunt’s romantic reminiscences.
    “Maybe we should get out of here,” suggested Anne, wanting badly to escape from the bouncer that seemed to be bugging them.
    “Yes, of course, dear,” said Aunt Harriet. “It can’t be too comfortable for you here!”
    Anne looked at her aunt. Did Aunt Harriet mean the heat or was she intimating something quite different?
    “I’ll take you to the chapel now!”
    “The chapel!”
    Anne looked shocked.
    “The wedding chapel I got married in!” said Aunt Harriet, grabbing Anne by the arm and marching her towards a waiting taxi cab.
    A chapel! It was getting worse by the minute. The last thing Anne wanted to see was a wedding chapel with a happy couple! But Aunt Harriet had already crammed Anne into a corner of the cab and decided the destination.
    The cab driver found it funny.
    “You ladies getting hitched?” he said, a wry smile on his well-weathered face.
    “Been there. Done that!” said Aunt Harriet, like she’d learned the lesson.
    “Me, too, lady,” he said. “I can’t understand what all the desire to get hitched is.”
    At least you’ve done it, thought Anne. All she’d ever met was fruitcakes. Fruitcakes who’d never even asked her to get married.
    She contemplated a celibate life.
    It wasn’t cheering.
    Aunt Harriet was deeply engrossed in conversation with the cab driver re the pros and cons of marriage when she suddenly screamed.
    “There it is!”
    A fistful of dollars were flung at the driver and Anne was dragged from the cab into the searing heat and up the side of a wooden building.
    “It’s just like it was!” said Aunt Harriet. “Exactly as I remember.”
    It was cute all right. A cute, little chapel.
    Just the kind I’d like to get married in, thought Anne.
    The thought that that would never happen descended in a depression, deepened only by the doors of the chapel opening and a bride and groom appearing, followed by an ever increasing entourage of people throwing paper confetti at them.
    The confetti scattered skittishly and settled in a surge on Anne and Aunt Harriet who started screaming excitedly like the other guests.
    I’ve got to get out of here, thought Anne, making her escape back down the side of the building and taking refuge in the shelter of the sun-awning over the shop. It was then she saw him. He was sitting in the driver’s seat of a black-windowed sedan, dark shades covering his eyes, but she knew by his build who it was.
    It was the bouncer from the hotel.
    Anne turned abruptly back up the side of the chapel. She had to get Aunt Harriet. They had to get out of here. This was more serious than she had thought.
    But when she skirted the side of the chapel, the wedding party had gone.
    And so had Aunt Harriet.
    She wouldn’t have gone with them, would she? thought Anne. But she knew that with Aunt Harriet, the unlikely was more than likely. She rushed into the chapel. The minister was picking up hymn books.
    “Have you seen an elderly lady. About this high?”
    She waved her hand carelessly in the air. The minister looked bemused. He’d seen more than one.
    Seeing his vacant expression and already knowing the answer, Anne rushed back outside.
    Maybe she’d just missed Aunt Harriet. Maybe she was round the side of the chapel waiting for a cab. She rushed round the side for the second time.
    She wasn’t there.
    There was only one thing that worried her more.
    The bouncer in the black sedan wasn’t there either.
    He’s got Aunt Harriet, she thought. The mob have taken Aunt Harriet.
    She knew it sounded ridiculous. What would the mob want with a harmless, elderly woman?
    And yet what other explanation could there be?
    Her aunt was eccentric but not even she would wander off in a strange city without informing her niece.
    She had to go to the cops. She had to report her aunt missing.
    “They’re going to laugh at me, thought Anne. Think I’m over-reacting. Calm down, she told herself. Better to go back to the hotel and see if her aunt was there. There was probably some rational explanation.
    But all thought of rational explanations left her head as she got out of a cab at the hotel, just in time to see Aunt Harriet disappearing into a sleek black sedan, the door of which was being held open by the bouncer from the hotel.
    “Aunt Harriet!” she called but the big, black sedan had already snaked its way through the line of waiting cabs and down on to the Strip.
    There was no sign of the bouncer either.
    It was all her fault. She should never have taken Aunt Harriet to Las Vegas. Vegas was dangerous. Whatever had possessed her to take her frail elderly aunt to such a place? Pure selfishness. She’d only thought of herself. Thought of going somewhere she would enjoy herself. Somewhere she could forget about Ron. She’d never had one bit of consideration for her aunt!
    And now her aunt was gone! And she was responsible! She’d never forgive herself!
    I’m not going to let them get away with this! she thought. They can’t just kidnap people in broad daylight!
    She entered the hotel lobby. The bouncer was boldly standing there.
    Gathering courage, Anne marched up to him.
    “You won’t get off with this! Kidnapping an old lady in public! I saw you watching us! You’ve had this all planned! I don’t know what you hope to gain but it won’t be money. Neither Aunt Harriet or I have any! And if it’s the white slave trade or prostitution, Aunt Harriet won’t be a willing worker. She might be old but she’s got more spunk in her slight figure than you have in your———————-!”
    She hesitated. Aunt Harriet wouldn’t approve.
    She waited for the hand that would grab her and eject her forcibly from the foyer. Or worse. But it never came.
    The big, burly bouncer started laughing. Laughing loudly. The cosy couples who had stopped to stare at Anne’s over-the-top outburst started moving again, soothed by the sound.
    This was Vegas after all! Anything could happen!
    “It’s not funny!” fumed Anne. “You’ll be laughing the other side of your face when I call the cops!”
    “I am one!” said the voice.
    It wasn’t an American voice. Even through her anger, she could detect the British accent.
    “Or I was one prior to taking up this position.”
    “A bent cop!” went on Anne. They’ll nail you for that!”
    The burly bouncer laughed again.
    “Maybe,” he said. “If I’d done anything wrong!”
    “You’ve kidnapped my aunt!” said Anne, angry at the arrogant look on the bouncer’s face.
    No,” he said. “You’re quite wrong! Your aunt has gone to see my uncle!”
    Anne gasped.
    “You’ve taken her to see the Don!”
    What hope was there for Aunt Harriet now? She’d never see her again!
    Oh, Aunt Harriet I’m sorry! I treated you abysmally! And now you might be in a block of concrete at the bottom of the Hoover Dam!
    The bouncer laughed again.
    “No, he’s not called Don. It’s Antonio, actually. And he was once married to her!”
    “Married to her! Antonio! You mean she’s not dead!” said Anne.
    “No. You can rest assured. Your aunt is alive and well and meeting up with her former partner, my uncle. She’s a wonderful lady. She’d seen me following you and she started chatting to me at the chapel!”
    “Then you admit you were following us!” stated Anne.
    The bouncer nodded. Was there a slight high colouring in his cheeks? Or was Anne imagining it?
    “It turned out she’d been married to my uncle but they’d split up many years ago over some argument and she hadn’t seen him since. I told her he’s been living here ever since. I often wondered why he’d settled here.”
    Anne knew. The same reason Aunt Harriet had dragged her round the marriage bureau and the wedding chapel. Memories. Fond memories.
    Anne felt a tear forming in the corner of her eye. Wouldn’t she like to have fond memories like that?
    “I’ll take you to your aunt,” said the bouncer. “This is my day off. I only came in because of your aunt. And you can meet my uncle. He’ll love to meet you.”
    Anne blushed.
    Maybe this guy wasn’t as bad as she’d thought. Good-looking, sure. But what was that? Ron had been good-looking. And he had been intolerable. It was the kind smile on the bouncer’s face that kindled a warm glow in her.
    “Well, thank you,” she said, uncertainly. “but that doesn’t explain why you were following us in the first place.”
    The slight flush on the bouncer’s face filled out into a fiery red that was faintly endearing in an annoying way.
    “Well, everybody here is so wrapped up in themselves. You were different. Who else your age would take an elderly aunt to Sin City and spend time taking her round all the places she was obviously reminiscing about? I reckoned you were a very caring person.”
    He paused and stared straight in her eyes.
    “And I wanted to get to know you better. Following you was the only thing I could think of!”
    Anne flushed guiltily.
    She couldn’t let this man know she was a fraud.
    “I’m not what you think I am,” she said. “I’ve been moaning and complaining to myself and regretting taking Aunt Harriet here. I’m not that nice at all.”
    “But you took her nevertheless and you accompanied her everywhere. You could have refused to go. But you didn’t. I think that says something about you that you don’t know about yourself, doesn’t it? After all, none of us are perfect, are we?”
    Anne eyed the elegant wavy black hair of the bouncer, beautifully swept back from the bronzed brow below and smiled.
    She certainly wasn’t. She was only moderately good looking. As he was. Even Aunt Harriet hadn’t liked the look of him.
    But they’d both been wrong.
    Looks were deceptive. Take Aunt Harriet. Who would have thought there was a romantic under that eccentric exterior?
    And the bouncer. Who would have thought he was the kind of guy to follow a lady about?
    And herself? Who would have thought she’d be begging for a fresh beginning with a bouncer?
    She was really looking forward to discussing the possibility with him and with Aunt Harriet.
    She laughed inwardly to herself as she thought what Aunt Harriet would say in that acerbic voice of hers.
    “He’s definitely one of them!”
















Artifice

Russ Bickerstaff

    Hers was an emerging personality. I had known her much better before she had turned five years of age. That was the point at which she had yet to go to school. Five days a week more or less full-time. In the afternoon she was tired and non-energetic. She was experiencing a lot of those first regular days outside of the home. Summer vacation came for her at the end of that first year. I found a familiar little strange thing out around the home. It was nice, though. It was a chance to reconnect.
    I had purchased a workbook so as to keep her limber and mentally flexible through the summer months. I marveled at how many letters and numbers and words she recognized. The ability to do simple math. Quite proud of her. It was what I would consider to be kind of a progressive workbook. In addition to the spelling and letters and numbers and words and things there were a little suggestions for physical activity. I carefully read one to her on a particular morning. It suggested that she stretch in a way that represented her favorite animal. It would be up to me to guess what animal it was. I explained it to her carefully and told her that I was going to go up to do some work. I directed her to call to me when she was ready to play the game.
    I hadn’t checked my email. I found myself getting lost in a few postings by a few different people involving infuriating little problems with the government. So much to get done but so little actually getting done. The question of representation is always suspect when elected representatives are at such a low approval ratings and yet they still managed to get reelected. Constantly reelected. And it’s the money that moved them. And they seemed to be getting less and less conscious of just how much they were lying to everyone. Completely unaware of their own dishonesty as it had become so much a part of the job description. My anger with that pulled out into the substance of the moment when my daughter called to me from outside the office.
    I walked out of the office and into the room where she was doing her work. Such a bright and fresh face smiling at me. She walked right up to me and looked me straight in the face and said that she was a frog. Clearly she had misunderstood me. Once again I explained to her that what we were looking for was for her to express the animal exclusively in stretches. No words. I would guess what the animal was. She smiled and nodded. She seemed to understand on some level. Satisfied that you seem to know what was going on, I told her to call me when she was ready and disappeared back into my office.
    I had intended on getting some work done. But I was lost in the comments section of a couple of different articles on current infuriating bits about certain politicians. The upsetting thing about the whole situation was the fact that just as the politicians were being duplicitous and increasingly unaware of their own dishonesty, so too did those who were championing their causes and even those who were criticizing were taking their own postures and their own poses. I began to wonder whether or not I would being completely honest in my reaction. And I didn’t even intend on saying anything. Didn’t even intend on making any comment. Anger mixed with confusion mixed with strange sense of existential free fall. It was fleeting and it was subtle but it was very definitely there. That sense of intellectual and emotional disorientation and anger and frustration. Very definitely there and very definitely real. As it was all so alarmingly real at that moment. Of course, it was all words. And that’s all that it ever was. Just words and abstract concept tied to learn to be circulating around various places. I tried my best to distance myself from the whole situation, but I found myself getting sucked back into it every time I tried to open files to get serious work done. I couldn’t help but notice the sound of my daughter outside my office. So it was time to pry myself away from the whole if you and move on to something altogether different. Something that I truly hope it was altogether different.
    So I walked into the room beyond the office and there was my daughter. Fresh faced and beaming with pride. She wanted to make sure that I was settled. I felt as though I was. I settled. She settled. We made eye contact. She crouched down and began speaking in a very calm voice. “Bow wow,she said. “Bow wow.” Her little lambs crouched and stretched in a very obvious and very familiar posture.
    “Interesting,” I said. “I think that’s a dog.” She stood up and smiled. She was beaming with the kind of pride I might have felt at that moment.
    “It is!” She Beamed. “I was making the noise used to.”
    “Yes,” I said, “yes you were.” There was a high-five. There was a hug. Simple animalism. Simple portrayal. A refreshing simplicity which may well echo in the future. That’s what I was hoping for. That may well have been when I was getting at that moment. Maybe I might’ve decided it would be a good idea to take the rest of the day off. I knew that I could only get more complicated from there. I knew that things were going to get impossibly complicated as things progress. This may have been the easiest interaction that she and I were ever going to have that had any sophistication at all. There was a kind of purity in that. There is a kind of a purity in that obvious duplicity. Probably a good idea to embrace that is much is possible. There was no telling what the next day would bring.
















Anything Else, Doctor?

Eric Burbridge

    Mrs. Poole dried the last dish while the doctor hurried through his dinner and retreated to his newly attached laboratory. Glass shattered and the outside door slammed. Out the window she saw a tall slim figure in a black overcoat and top hat with a gold cane leap over the stone fence. Was that the doctor? She unlocked the door. What were the broken vials that littered the floor? He once spoke of separating stress from the male psyche to relieve male problems, but his colleagues thought him crazy, he’d said.
    She told her husband she might work over a few hours and not to wait up. She changed and dashed into the balmy London air to hail a taxi. A lamplighter tipped his hat as the driver steadied the horses while she boarded. Her flesh got the best of her. She couldn’t get to the opium den nestled in the rear of the local house of ill-repute fast enough. Old man Wong escorted her to a discreet spot so her euphoric dreams wouldn’t be disturbed listening to the moans and groans of couples spread throughout. She went to relieve herself and other females spoke of a tall gentleman, a horse of a man, who never got limp or parted with his gold cane. He often whacked one woman while pile driving in another.
    A gold cane?
    That sounded like the doctor. The smell of smoke and sweat lingered in the hallway. Poole followed the line of taller females returning to their various rooms. Screams of passion aroused her and she peeked through a cracked door and it was him...or was it? He was more muscular riding a woman doggy style. He opened a small vial and drank. “Call me, master.” He hissed. “Master.”
    What was that...is that what changed him?
    He turned when she accidently pushed the door. His eyes and features were puffy. In a panic she pulled the door shut and ran down the hall, cut the corner and ducked into an empty room. If he saw her she was out of a job. Who would hire a fortyish full figured plain Jane? People ran up the stairs from the opposite direction. “There he is.” They ran past, it sounded like the entire bar was fighting in the hall. She shot down the stairs to avoid the chaos, stumbled and landed on her side. She witnessed the doctor toss a guy over the balcony rail like a doll then leaped over it landing on his feet like a cat. One swing of his cane and he virtually beheaded a huge dock worker. The doctor stood in the middle of the floor and let out a hideous laugh and ran out the door.
    Did the vial’s contents transform him? It had to be.

*

    Curiosity was killing her. She opened the laboratory door. The same light was on and no noise. She stepped over broken glass, opened his notes and read. The formula had given him the strength and sexual prowess desired. But, eliminating the stress related inhibitions gave birth to the urge to dominate and destroy. A key entered the outside lock. She shut the book, grabbed a couple of vials and left.
     She felt good about her discovery, but prayed for her husband’s safety while she mixed the potion into his warm milk. He sat up and drank and she went to bathe. She combed hair long blonde hair and was shocked by the image in her mirror. Edward stood in the doorway naked and erect. He perspired heavily and his breathing was erratic. He grabbed her, tore off her gown and threw her on the bed. The next morning she was bruised all over her back and thighs, but satisfied beyond belief.

*

    Mrs. Poole glanced at the morning paper while she fixed the doctor’s breakfast.
    Mysterious well dressed man killed dock worker in massive barroom brawl.
    It went on to say the killer displayed super human strength and agility. She figured the doctor took too much too often. He was an addict like many associates at the opium den.
    “Good morning, Mrs. Poole.” The doctor whispered. His head was covered with a bath towel and he took his breakfast into the lab.
    After sunset there was the commotion in the lab, he leaped over the fence and Poole stole more vials. She left on schedule and somebody grabbed her from behind and pulled her into the bushes. It was the doctor! “This is for stealin’, bitch!” After he brutally raped her she lay there shamefully satisfied. She dare not tell anyone and vowed not to return.
    She purchased a small derringer and plotted his demise, but she needed more of the potion. On the weekend she waited until dark. She prepared to go in when she saw a crowd chasing someone limping down the street. The well dressed gentleman fell and they surrounded him. He fought gallantly, but the flurry of feet and fisted pounding him into the cobblestone street overwhelmed him. Poole was pleased and horrified. She hurried inside took the remaining potion and his notebook. The doctor died two days later and Scotland Yard briefly questioned her and left. After all what would a commoner know?
    The Pooles saved enough money for a small stretch of unemployment. Helen read the doctor’s notes when she could. She accepted her pregnancy; the morning sickness was gone and she could concentrate on making more of the potion. Whoever the father she needed to keep her family and newly potent husband happy.
















Woman Pursued by Shadow, art by Edward Michael O’Durr Supranowicz

Woman Pursued by Shadow, art by Edward Michael O’Durr Supranowicz














The Counterfeit Tens

Drew Marshall

    He was a huge and monstrous creature. This behemoth frightened us. We were respectful and polite during the little contact we had with him. He owned the largest home on the block, across from the shul.
    Rumor had it this giant was a low-level mob man. Every month, there were three or four different cars in his driveway. He headed a stolen car ring.
    I was friendly with Joey, his teenage son. We played basketball together in his backyard.
    Vinnie, Roland and I, approached the door to Big Tony’s home with trepidation. I rang the bell. We were expecting Joey to answer, and he usually did.
    Instead we were confronted with Big Tony himself and his less than friendly Doberman Pincher, Sal.
    “Joey ain’t home. He’s out shopping with his mother.” Sal growled and barked louder than Big Tony, to emphasize this fact.
    He looked agitated, as he always did. He moved to close the door but suddenly stopped. He stared at us for a moment.
    “I got counterfeit ten dollar bills. I’ll sell them to you for three dollars each. You got any money?”
    We all received our allowances the day before and had about fifty bucks between us. We decided to pool our resources and gave every cent to this mountain of a man.
    “Wait here!” he shouted as he slammed the door in our faces. We heard Sal behind the door, continuing with his non-stop growling and barking.
    He returned and gave the tens to me. I quickly stuffed the bills in my pocket without looking at them.
    “Don’t pass them in this neighborhood. You didn’t get them from me. Understood?
    We nodded in unison.
    “Good” he said, as he slammed the door in our faces once again. We flew down the stairs and ran to our apartment building. We looked around to see if the coast was clear. I then took the bills out of my pocket and gave Vinnie and Roland their share.
    We went over every bill with a fine tooth comb. We decided in our expert adolescent opinion, they were flawless.
    We were then off to Coney Island for a Saturday of good, clean, wholesome fun. We stuffed our faces with burgers, fries, cotton candy and hot dogs. We hit all the arcades first. Then several go rounds on the go carts and roller coaster. Teenage heaven!
    We were sitting in the stationary passenger car on the Ferris wheel, admiring the view below. It had stopped to load the passengers at the bottom. Vinnie started rubbing his crotch and complaining that he hadn’t been laid in several weeks. His girlfriend Sherry was away at summer camp.
    He told us of a place on the Lower East Side that he frequented on occasion. He was the only one of us who was not a virgin. We decided to take off for Manhattan.
    We stood in front of a run down, flea bag motel, smothered with graffiti. We looked over the three prostitutes, who loitered near the entrance. Not the most appealing females who ever walked the streets of this decaying city.
    Vinny approached the tallest of the three and they walked into the motel. Roland and I realized we only had a few dollars between us. We crossed the street and sat on a parked car, directly across from the motel entrance.
    About forty minutes later, Vinnie burst through the motel doors. His usual poker face expression was replaced by one of absolute fear. He is covered with blood.
    “RUN! RUN! He screamed.
    He took off like he was shot from a cannon. He ran towards Third Avenue. Seconds later, a young black man, dress in a lavender suit, sporting a wide brimmed, pink fedora hat appeared. He spotted Vinnie and sped after him.
    Roland and I started running in the same direction. We stayed on the opposite side of the street, carefully running behind the pimp, so he didn’t notice us. Vinnie managed to hop into a cab that was on the corner, waiting for the light to change. The lavender suit dude tripped and fell to the ground. Roland and I jumped into the cab as the light changed.
    I gave the driver the name of the intersection near our home in Brooklyn. We sat back, trying to catch our breath and compose ourselves. I looked behind me and did not see anyone in purple. We had made a narrow escape.
    After taking care of business, Vinny decided he had not been given his money’s worth, and wanted a refund. The working girl refused and told him to leave. Upon exiting he noticed her purse lying on the dresser and impulsively grabbed it.
    “I was only trying to get my ten back. I wasn’t going to rob her.” He exclaimed.
    She grabbed him and started kicking at his legs. The woman began biting his ear and scratching his face. She screamed bloody murder. A battle ensued. He freaked out and smashed her several times in the face. He broke her nose and knocked out a few teeth.
    As Vinnie told his tale; I noticed the driver’s nervous expression as he glanced at us through his mirror. I caught the cabbie’s eye and he immediate looked back at the road. At first I was taken aback by Vinny’s chilling story. Then I found myself vicariously enjoying this violent experience he had just lived through.
    My partner in crime suddenly exploded into violent hysterics. I asked him what was so funny. He continued laughing for another minute or two.
    “I forgot. It was a counterfeit ten!”
    We calmed down and remained silent for the remainder of our journey home. Several blocks from the intersection, as the vehicle stopped for a light, we knew instinctively what had to be done. Without a word, we bolted the cab and scattered in all directions.

    The next day, I traveled upstate to join my mother for a few weeks’ vacation. On the bus I had time to reflect on yesterday’s incident. It was another in a sequence of similar events I was involved in this past year. The end result would be prison or the graveyard.
    I returned to the city after the Labor Day Holiday.
    I was heading towards my part time job at the grocery store. Vinny strolled by as I went into shock upon spotting him. Gone was his long jet black hair. It was replaced by a crewcut and topped off by an army cap. He was in full uniform. My fellow hooligan had joined the Army while I was upstate. The Vietnam War had finally ended earlier in the year. He was leaving for boot camp the next day.
    I hadn’t seen Roland for several days. I ran into Joey one Sunday as he headed off to Church. He told me the third member of my little gang was now working for his father.
    “Running errands and making deliveries.” was all he said as he trotted away, late as usual.
    Joey, non-too bright, was kept out of the family business.
    Later that day, on my way home from work, I noticed a lavender, Cadillac double parked in front of my building. Roland jumped out of the driver’s seat, calling my name.
    He wore a black suit with a black collar shirt. His tie was dark grey. I knew he hated suits and ties as much as I did.
    He drew my attention to his suit and the black Stetson fedora that adorned his head. Leaning against that car, he reminded me of the pimp who chased after us, a few short weeks ago.
    He told me about his new job with great enthusiasm. The Caddie belonged to Big Tony. He started bragging about pulling down two hundred a week. It was easy money.
    Roland looked at his watch, mumbling something about chicks always being late. He had never worn a watch before.
    I told him I was seeing a tutor in order to get my G.E.D. Before he could say anything Sherry came out of the building and ran into his arms. They kissed a few times before Sherry said hello to me. Strange, I thought. Roland could never stand Sherry and the feeling had been mutual.
    They soon took off to catch a new movie called American Graffiti.
    I had never told anyone that Big Tony offered me that same “errand” job, last year. I was returning home from having had to register for the draft. I went to his house to pick up my basketball, which I had left with Joey the day before.
    I politely refused, telling him I was happy with my job at the grocery store. I knew what a job with him would lead to.
    Mom was going to marry a man who was fifteen years her senior. They were planning the date for the wedding at his kitchen table. He suddenly collapsed, and had died of a heart attack.
    My aunt Becky had found us an apartment in Forest Hills. She lived in the same building with her son Ely. Ely and I had been very close growing up, until he moved to the borough of Queens, three years ago. My mother decided we should start fresh. Forest Hills was twenty miles in distance from my current address, yet worlds away.
    I obtained my G.E.D. We moved soon afterwards and I enrolled at Queensboro Community College. My delinquent years were now behind me.

*********

    I was on my lunch hour, headed for the Pizza Parlor. I ordered two slices to go. A man my age was removing coins from the pinball machine. He looked vaguely familiar. I walked over to him for a closer look.
    It was Vinnie. He was a bit heavier, with a receding hairline. He was as surprised as I was when I called his name and introduced myself.
    It had been twenty years since I last saw him. He worked for his uncle out on Long Island.
    His uncle owned a Pinball distribution and repair business. I worked for the New York City Law Department, also referred to as the Corporation Council. I was dressed in a conservative business suit. He wore jeans and a Rolling Stones t-shirt.
    When I asked about Roland, his demeanor changed. Roland had died in prison while serving time for armed robbery. He was killed in a knife fight, a few days before his twenty fifth birthday.
    He jotted down his phone number and told me to call him. Vinnie proudly showed me a photo of his wife and their seven year old daughter, Marie. He had another on the way and hoped it was a boy. The pizza was ready and I had to get back to my office.
    My appetite disappeared. I sat at my desk looking at Vinnies phone number for a moment, before throwing it in the trash. I wondered what would have happened, had we been caught with those counterfeit tens.
    Would I have confessed to the cops and had to fear Big Tony’s wrath? Would I keep silent and have a felony rap hanging over my head for the rest of my life? It would be a tough dilemma for a nineteen year old to face.
    One mistake when you’re young can ruin your whole life.
















DSCN1863, art be Wes Henie

DSCN1863, art be Wes Henie














Early Morning Intrusion

Erika Byrne-Ludwig

    The bus is a living thing. Its engine its heart, its body our shelter, its driver the hands that take us to our destination. We cling to the bars in the aisles where scents mix and bodies touch, where young couples with knotted fingers, eyes in eyes, tell us that life is beautiful, where older ones tell us that life is hard. Old and young, various cultures, languages, fashions, professions, different sizes and shapes. A small microcosm of the world.
    Roads all lead somewhere. So many work or study places to reach. Once off, everyone walks away, knowing exactly where to go, and how to get there. All spread out like a handful of beads thrown in the air. They’re unknown to each other, unlike a flock of birds that fly off and stay at close distance from one another before alighting on a branch for rest, wing against wing. So much diversity in this world, in this vast city. A diversity that seems to work, even if it clashes from time to time. The staccato rhythm of the bus prevents me from dozing off.
    I meet people in buses and look at their eyes. Gloomy, sleepy, dreamy, cheerful. My own must exhibit remnants of my last dream. Eyes are attractive marbles that you can’t touch like hands. They’re in their wells and stare at you. Have two people ever made eye contact, standing in the aisles, and ended up in a lasting relationship, I wonder. When I’m in a bus I let myself stray like an animal, wander away from my own life, follow leisurely some passive adventure, both eyes and mind trespassing on other lives. It’s early in the morning when everyone is still waking up, and there is a feeling of night not being quite over, of day slowly beginning.
    I finally find myself a seat. Happy to have a hard backing that doesn’t sway and doesn’t sweat against me. Facing me is a couple in their forties. Mismatched is my first impression of them. I meet his eyes first. He shifts them and lets them hover around like some fly, undecided whether and where it should land. His tongue flicks out of his pulpy, wet, lower lip, like a lizard’s does. His head is massive, his forehead bulging, his body a crudely chiselled boulder. Stretching his legs, he starts ogling me directly with an overconfident look, a belief in being irresistible. I keep my shoes under the seat like two mice hiding in fear. My knees were covered from the start.
    I glance at his partner. A small, pale woman. A slender plant lacking some special care. Her head rests against the window like a faded flower in a vase, drooping. A dark shadow around her eye. A purple, red and yellow bruise on her neck. Her scarf partly hides it. A mark, like a big spider, on the back of her hand. She rests. The page of her life is torn. I’d like to read the full scenario, the entire drama, the brutal reality. By contrast, the page of my life is still intact. I can read it easily. It’s relatively unmarked.
    He continues to flick his tongue. A smile, a low whistle, seeking attention from me. He ignores the chill my eyes reflect, defies my anger. He likes to set invisible traps and catch prey. Confined in a bus limits his freedom. His straitjacket is on. I imagine his big hands on her, when free, pressing hard, twisting, pulling, punching. And she pleading with him with the eyes of a hurt doe. The palette of colours is regularly revived, I’m sure, and the slender plant tortured.
    She’s resting against the window. Motionless. Tired of his hunting games, he turns to her, talks, steals a bit of her rest. She throws short replies at him sideways. His voice is low and threatening, his breathing heavy. Her responses slow and brief. Now he is grabbing her wrist and twisting it forcefully. I feel a protest coming up but it remains inside me. She moans, pulls her wrist out of his callous hands. My eyes again pierce his with anger. He lets her go and looks through me. I keep on watching him. It’s so easy to loath someone like him. I want my feelings to run through all his veins, flow like a river through him, show him the type of character he is.
    Her eyes are now open, looking into the outside world’s eyes. Gentler glances. Softer hands. A greener world. I have silent questions. My step into someone else’s life is slowly becoming a sad walk. At the next corner the bus will stop and I’ll get off. The shadow of her face in my eyes will hurt me for a while.
    By pulling the cord, I close the small window into which I had glimpsed. I’ll step off the bus and distance myself from their lives. My trip was short. The couple stand up too. He behind me like a brick wall. She behind the brick wall. A draught in my neck plays with my hair, tickles me. His jerky breathing. I walk to the front steps to get off. A hand pushes me. I trip. Lightning flash. I turn round. It’s him. He flicks his tongue, grins. I raise my hand. My eyes are fiery. They harpoon his. My lips take over. They get ready. I have to wet them first, oil them. Ready now. No hesitation. The words come out. Well-formed. Loud and clear. With the right intonation. Filled with distaste.
    “You bastard!!!”.





Erika Byrne-Ludwig bio

    Erika Byrne-Ludwig is a graduate from Sydney University (BA (Hon.) Dip.Ed., a former High School teacher. Lives in Australia. She has been writing for many years. Her collection of Stories can be found on her website: www.gigistales.com.
    More information about her personal likes can also be seen on her website. Generally, she’s interested in the world, nature, underprivileged groups.
















Brake Pads

Bill Hemmig

    Dude across the waiting area slouched low in his chair idly tapping on his smart phone is in faded jeans and a no-longer-really-white tee shirt and his knees are spread wide and he never looks up and all that’s kind of hot.
    I’m at the Volkswagen dealership waiting for the 45,000-mile service on my Jetta to finish up. I want to think they’re back there working on his 1969 VW Bus but nobody would bring a ’69 Bus to the dealership for work but I go with it anyway. I squint through the top half of my glasses to spot a ring and there is one but these days a wedding band doesn’t guarantee heterosexuality not that it ever did.
    Seems my age give or take. Full head of potato-brown hair might have seen a comb this morning. Sturdy, untroubled hands. Poker face, not interested, not bored, I get no idea what’s going on with the phone. Almost too casual, too chill, too just there to be gay but that tells you nothing these days either.
    He’s single in actual fact, a free agent but he’s so smoking hot that he wears the ring to keep the unimaginative from hitting on him, women in particular.
    Dude is in fact quietly brilliant, a maverick philosophy professor who does fine woodworking as a hobby and drives around in a ’69 VW Bus, moss green, with seven identical Jerry Garcia bobble heads lined up on the dashboard, facing out. He never dresses up. He writes dense and hallucinatory books marrying Thoreau and Foucault that awful people in celebrity-chef restaurants pretend to have read but that I in fact have read.
    I’m waiting to get my own ’69 back, the lavender Beetle with the whole score of Don Giovanni’s Già la Mensa è Preparata from the last scene painted around it clockwise in mirror-image black and the fresh long-stemmed red rose that I secure to the front grill every three days exactly.
    He looks up and I’m checking out his dusty Doc Martens.
    I look up and his smart phone grazes his package.
    I reach his face and he’s looking past me but what about just before.
    He heaves himself up and looks for the men’s room and finds it and just walks right there and in.
    I think there’s a message. I don’t think at all. My laptop and shoulder bag and my volume of David Sedaris–correction, Kerouac–will be just fine here for a few minutes. I follow as a predator.
    Inside the lights are unsparing and he’s just stationed there against the sink counter all alone and those brown, brown eyes lock with mine and they express nothing, nothing but flat acknowledgement of me as a fact and I can feel my own are full of confirmation and one hand meets his left pec and the other snares the back of his head and his hands pull me in and we’re deep in each other’s mouths, feeding.
    My service consultant is heading my way and I stare at my laptop wishing him onto a different customer just now and he walks right past me to another customer.
    No talk but dude’s body tells mine that he’s usually top but he’ll make an exception in my case and against my usual nature I tear open his jeans and I take him from behind against the counter and my teeth sink into his shoulder as we lock eyes in the mirror and we do not make a sound and he shares himself and I take everything he gives me, the perfect chill, the quiet, maverick brilliance, the attitudeless attitude, the effortless just being and those things are released from deep within me and I become those things and those things become me, a better me.
    The service consultant comes back around and tells me that the new brake pads are on the Jetta. I text my husband that I’ll be heading home shortly and to start water for pasta.
    It ends and we leave the men’s room with the floor wrecked and we go back to our waiting seats and we will never see each other again and I am released, I am permanently changed, I am me plus him.
    Dude stops to scratch his ear with his phone and then he resumes tapping.
















IMG_2211, art by Erib Bonholtzer

IMG_2211, art by Eric Bonholtzer














A good girl

Preeti Singh

    A good girl, she is a sweetheart to everyone around her. She is every man’s dream, every mother’s pride. She is a trophy wife and a trophy daughter. She is the prize that everyone wants to posses and show off to the society as their personal achievement. She is a validation to: someone’s correct choice and someone’s perfect upbringing.
    If we take a closer look, we can find her everywhere. She could be our mother, sister, wife, lover, batch mate or the sweet neighbor next door to whom we run to in the hour of need. We all know the kind. I have known one very closely.
    It is past midnight and I am sitting in front of my computer in an attempt to write down a story which is not letting me sleep. I want to comfort and heal myself by sharing the load with someone. As we know, writing is one of the best ways to express our sentiments, desires, hopes, bliss and wounds. We can write what we want and vent our feelings to strangers who won’t judge.
    I want to share a story; it is a story about a girl who forgets her true identity. She was busy running around people, pleasing them and getting their approval. They were the people with whom she shared her life; her teachers, family, relatives, friends, lovers. She was a busy girl; busy playing the role of a good girl. The one who is supposed to be: a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good girlfriend, who is expected to keep everyone’s needs before hers. In the whole affair of pleasing others she forgot to please herself, she forgot who she really was. She forgot that few years back she had zeal to write, there was a budding talent which was never acknowledged as it was never shared.
    In her college days she used to write small stories, personal essays, news articles, scripts, reviews. As life moved forward, she was drifted along and forced to blend with the flow. She simply forgot that she had the desire to write. No matter good, bad, average, non worthy of being published but at least she had an urge to write; and might even be recognized for it someday. As time passed, life took a different turn and things changed for her. She was occupied in taking care of trivial things, her priorities changed with the passing years. She started serving others, she became busy living up to their expectations and thought that?s what she was supposed to do and be; be a good girl!
    
    One evening she got a text from an old acquaintance who wanted to discuss a project with her. He contacted to enquire if she was still active as a writer. After receiving the text, she was startled for a moment and replied in haste, ‘Yes, I am’ which was a lie. She was amazed and disturbed at the same time with this text message. She was amazed because people still remember her as a person with writing skills; and disturbed because she had completely forgotten that she had a special skill. How can she let slide something of that significance, where was she lost, what was she doing all these years, what kept her occupied or what kept her away? What was she busy with that she over looked the desire to be identified. She must have been very busy indeed; yes she was truly very busy. She was busy playing the good girl.
    The ambitious girl was lost becoming the good girl, the goodness took over ambition, and the desire to be accepted took over the desire to be known. She was busy living for others, as per others, in sync with others. She has always been the giver, the one with a big heart and enormous patience to adjust with the unfairness of life. She was just giving and not receiving anything in return and what happens when we put the needs of others before ours? We make them our priority and in return all we are left with is a lost identity. They start to take us for granted and it becomes a pattern, it becomes a thankless job.
    We make someone our whole world only to realize that we are just a small part of their selfish world. While we have been busy serving others there was someone who was starving for our time and attention. It is our own self; we have forgotten to make time for ourselves. It is time to gear up, get up and look into the mirror, whose reflection do we get to see? Is it a reflection of someone we were or someone we are?
    Such moments of realization have hit us several times in our lives; but what brings a turning point to our story are the decisions we make and the steps we take hereafter.
    It is a wake-up call; we take it and change our lives or ignore it and continue to live in denial. Change is scary but if we step out of our comfort zones we can change our stories. It can give a turning point to our lives, as it did for ‘the good girl’ whom I know very closely.

 

    The article was previously published at http://ashvamegh.net a literary journal by the title ‘The lost writer’.





Preeti Singh Bio

    Preeti Singh, french language interpreter and a media professional who is engaged in writing short films and playing characters for tv series.
    You can get in touch with her at:
    Website: http://languages-consult.com/
    Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/PreetiWrites


















cc&d

Lunchtime Poll Topic (commentaries on relevant topics)



A Shocking Structural Setback
(Published in HA!NEWS Dec 5 2016)

Francois le Roux

    Sometimes history comes in overload. So it has been the last months, weeks. While Joke and I circled North America yet again, we were all the while glued to our internet news screens for all the hourly tidbits coming through on the presidential elections. Right up to its shocking end and ongoing aftermath.
    Some of you might say: oh! he says “shocking” - therefore he was one of those many who thought Trump would never make it to the White House! Yes, you are right. Joke’s intuition was better than mine. She “had a feeling” he might win. I could not even contemplate such an outcome.
    But here we are.
    I reflected so much on what I’d like to say about all of this. No, I have not reached any strong conclusions. How can there be strong conclusions when the apex of power in human affairs is occupied by a man who has no strong conclusions or convictions, other than his unquenchable thirst for showing and proving his winning self?
    At one stage I thought I would title my message to you like this: “I voted for Donald Trump twice before.” Nice juicy one, right? To explain. My first “Trump vote” was for the Conservative Party in South Africa, the breakaway movement that wanted to restore Apartheid to its full, while the then governing National Party started to introduce incremental reforms under intense international pressure. Yes, as a late teenager I became embroiled in the Afrikaner politics of the day, going to “rallies” where Trump-like supporters gathered: the rural, more conservative people, those who felt that their power and economic base were being threatened. They wanted to see South Africa “great” again, and indeed, as is the case with so many of the Republican base, see it “white” again.
    Back then I was also still a Christian. And like the Southern Evangelicals of today, I saw my voting with these nationalists (and often racists - a fact which actually did not sit well with me at the time) as the only way to restore Christian values - and in fact, the faith itself - to a position of central influence and importance. But unlike Trump, the Conservative Party lost woefully at the polls. Afrikaners on the whole were ready to move on - from Apartheid, as well as from the ideological underpinnings of “Christian Nationalism.” And in subsequent years - through gut-wrenching personal struggles - so was I.
    The second time I sided with “Trump-up-ians” was fairly recent.
    Some background: in Thabo Mbeki, the “new” South Africa had its first president after Mandela, a man rather removed from the masses. He was an intellectual with a tendency to turn government programmes into elaborate abstractions. Political freedom failed to translate into economic empowerment for the masses and consequently, by 2008, the populist Jacob Zuma arose, strongly backed by an even more populist Julius Malema who was then at the helm of the ANC Youth League. Zuma was not loved by the press and has at the time already landed in court on charges of rape and multiple corrupt dealings. But I gave him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he was a man of the people and their voices needed to be heard! He was also fairly eloquent and said all the “right” things - at the time. The courts let him off the hook (by hook or by crook) and I could forgive myself to brush over his ‘rough edges.’ Like some other black leaders who have been mistrusted in the past and then turned out to surprise all their (often white) critics, might not Zuma just be such a good surprise? And lo and behold, for the first years of his reign it was not the end of the world for South Africa. Yes, he had shady conflicts of interests regards his son, other family members and networking with the rising Indian Gupta family businesses, but was it not a good thing to challenge the monopoly of white capital in this way? Yes, the economy started to stutter, but was that not rather due to larger global shifts beyond any government’s control?
    And then the day came, only a year ago, that Zuma suddenly fired the finance minister and replaced him with... well, seeing the man’s face who was now to be entrusted with my beloved country’s treasury chest was enough for me to suddenly see “the light” about Jacob Zuma - a man whom I should have seen as flawed in character from day one.
    Let me state this: Trump is major structural setback to the world at large. And perhaps not a surprise at all, however shockingly unwelcome.
    Last night I saw a movie on the last days of the Third Reich (“Downfall”), with Hitler brilliantly portrayed by one Burno Ganz. Trump by no means has Hitler’s ability to hold a consistent ideology - however contorted it was - and does not view the world through such an intense militaristic lens. But Trump shares the reckless conqueror’s abhorrence of contradiction. You might say, “but Trump contradicts himself all the time!” Indeed, but why does he do exactly that, something most people would become aware of eventually and be uncomfortable with, and would mostly try to defend or resolve? Because in Trump’s mind, he does not contradict himself at all! His contradictions are a function of his one supreme consistency: of having to be the winner in each and every situation, relationship and “deal” - whether the truth suffers or not. Both Trump and Hitler’s abhorrence of contradiction shows in the fact that they (and any true dictator for that matter) WON’T BE CONTRADICTED. That is why they must surround themselves by those who are at first loyal to them, and only after that, perhaps also competent. This is what I saw in the face of one Des van Rooyen, the man who Zuma suddenly put in charge of South Africa’s treasury: a complete manipulable loyalist, someone who thrives on pleasing the boss. But Zuma is only mildly dictatorial. He was for instance swiftly convinced to correct this particular move. Trump, however, from day one, is filling his cabinet with the pliable and those vulnerable to his favour. And he insulates himself from the checks and balances a democracy relies on to stay sane. Almost inconspicuously, the discourse in Washington has changed from, “this person is chosen for these political and competency reasons,” to, “well, this person has been loyal to Trump and therefore will naturally be awarded.” How long will it take America, who has never had to deal with real autocracy in its midst, to fully wake up to the dangerous fact of the facts-dismissive Donald John Trump?
    So, from my previous two “Trumpian votes,” I take these lessons: no, there is no going back to making things great and white and powerful again (yes, the flow of history is against that, as the growing sorry wave of exclusive-minded nationalism the world over, at heart, belongs to an older, discombobulated and backward-looking generation); and no, you cannot overlook character traits and flaws that should disqualify anyone from taking charge of a massively responsible and comprehensive job like running a country - let alone when that country runs a global financial and quasi-political empire that directly affects the whole of humanity. Trump will not PERHAPS be a structural setback for world affairs - through his bloated self-interestedness, indifference to the complexities of the whole and impotence in the face of the darker and divisive forces he is unleashing. He is that ALREADY. And worse it WILL GET (perhaps that is indeed a strong conclusion!)
    But let me quickly move on to my previous qualification, and that is that this setback should come, in many ways, as no surprise or shock.
    Hitler did not appear from nowhere. As we all (presumably) know, the grounds for his rise was firstly laid by the rise of ethnic nationalism and the crazy rivaling imperialisms of the late 19th century, all naturally imploding in the form of the first world war, which in turn threw Europe, and Germany especially, into severe economic hardship. From these ashes of despair, Nazism and Fascism arose, Stalin arose, and Japanese imperialism arose - all lead by these Strong Men who would save their nations and bring them back to greatness again! And hello, no surprise that all these railing lose cannons gave birth to another far more devastating world war. Only on the back of 50 million dead people did nations and leaders finally come to their senses, as they started to build credible international intermediary bodies, started to engage in more mutually constructive economic collaboration and started to introduce a more socially equitable politico-economic model (the "social democracy"). And for the first time in centuries the global mood turned decisively against dictatorships, and much less vulnerable to their seductive beginnings.
    Even so, all was not quite well with the world yet. Across the Atlantic, the United States of America, while bearing the main flame of people freedom and power, acquired such extreme economic and military power that an unhealthy dependency developed on the part of the rest of the world, as well as imperial overreach on the part of Uncle Sam (yes, empire is not yet dead!). For good and for bad, the globe is locked into the far- reaching tentacles of America’s 800 international military bases, its 40 000 cross-national corporations and its often aggressive cultural infiltration everywhere. We know very well that if America sneezes, the whole world catches a cold. And with Trump, America is not only sneezing. It is coughing up. A serious global illness is looming.
    From what ashes did Trump arise? From the ashes of rising corporate power, a power that since the twenties was abetted by successive American administrations as they willfully turned a country of Puritan frugality into a consumerist machine - consuming 25% of the world’s resources-cake, while only having 5% of its inhabitants. Such a consumptive economic model is psychologically, materially and mathematically not sustainable. This unsustainability was not felt in the first decades after the 2nd world war (at least by the “first world” - as the so called third world has suffered growing push-back since the advent of Western expansion). But the unsustainability is felt now. Everywhere. Corporations are basically economic dictatorships, laying the cultural groundwork for propagandistic information-sharing, unquestioning brand-loyalty and an addiction to hype over substance. Furthermore, the unbridled power that corporations have gained over the political process and regulatory frameworks (in other words, democratic checks and public accountability), has fueled its greed and competitive recklessness, bringing us all right back to the extreme inequalities that existed right before the first World War - as if we have learnt nothing! It brought us back to a world that is barren and ready for the cheap exploits of a Trump, a Brexit, a Le Pen, an Erdogan and who knows who else - there are many more in the waiting! (not to mention the one that has already entrenched himself as the bulldog of the globe: Donald’s hero, mr Putin). A world ready for conflict and mindless contradiction because of leaders not willing and able to be contradicted. A world in which the majority of us people (and yes, the justifiably aggrieved Trump supporters included) can only lose - economically, politically and culturally.
    Will we have another world war? What will the increasing climate instability and calamities caused by global warming bring to our volatile 21st century human equation? How will a growing food crisis exasperate the pressures of migrations world-wide? Or what about the possibility that soon enough, this myopic and vindictive mr Trump will discover that, in stead of walking his well-trodden little path of suing his perceived enemies, he can now simply push an impossibly dangerous button and bomb half the planet to ashes? (I’m not adding any religious conflict or clash of civilizations to this list of possibilities. Through the dastardliness of the flailing ISIS and the fact that Christianity’s last power base basically sold their souls to a veritable devil, religion in its traditional formats has completed the process of disqualifying itself from being a credible motivator for human action on a broader scale - for good or for bad. We are in fact in dire need of an inclusive human spiritually that speaks from and to the realities of our time.)
    What will happen? I don’t know. Nobody can really know, of course, especially not now. I just know that the American-led corporatist empire cannot last for ever and that Trump is both a necessary symptom and a possible agent of its demise, even if the exploitative amongst the super rich might temporarily enjoy one last greedy spurt of damaging growth, as their shady and self-enriching businessman-buddy wields the stick in Washington.
    We are in for rough times. Tough times. History in overload. Yet again, we will also see our best coming to the surface in the fight to find a stronger and better-balanced middle ground, healthy middle-classes globally, a mediated political discourse (not a media-dominated one) and an understanding of ourselves not as an extreme end of life on earth, but as a median player, an interdependent, with no disabling split between body and soul.
    American democracy might just well be strong enough, and strengthening itself fast enough, to prevent Trump from taking the States on a similar sort of path as Italy (under Berlusconi), South Africa (under Zuma) and - god forbid - Germany (under “die Führer”), and will hopefully at the same intensify the humbling battle against the root of our global illness today: unbridled corporate power. Otherwise Trump will not be the last dangerous conman-bully-gold-and-glitz American president, but the first. Are we ready to ride through all this in a more organic way, the path of minimum hurt and destruction?
    I am still hopeful we can. Now more than ever, we need to get our creative senses together (as is well happening all over the world!); we need to avoid the temptation to run for easy fixes, escape-fantasies and violence; we need to look our pain AND the pain we cause - in the face, to feel our commonness with all of humanity and to rediscover our smaller scale localities and local communities, with both their sobering limits and their empowering gifts. At the same time, we need to get over our fear of global governance. Like all governance, it can go wrong. But this is no reason to refrain from building global political leadership, the only real antidote to a world overrun by borderless and cancerous financial interests.
    As always, Joke and I trust that what we do with our art, will contribute to inspire a more flowing human existence - privately and collectively - rather than one that promises a glorious future and then ends in inglorious death (that Hitler movie. “Downfall”, remember.)
    We can only survive so many unwelcome shocks.
















Masked, art by the HA!Man of South Africa

Masked, art by the HA!Man of South Africa














If I Talked Like Gene Rayburn,
You’d All Be Blankety-Blanks
(The CEE Berlitz)

CEE

     “Hi, honey,” said Rose Martin, in the hardest tones ever she’d heard a person use. “Did you have a nice life? Because I didn’t.”
                —from the climax of And the World Goes on Forever, a novel by CEE

    “Daddy...what’s a perception problem?”
    It’s a kind of Vietnam, if I can mix media like that. It’s why there’s no communication, not really, why we listen but do not hear (and even by my 6th grade year, it was “we hear but don’t listen”—my likes, part of this problem is we keep relabeling everything). Perception, unfortunately is understood as though it’s Geometry class—everyone receives exact same, reasons it same according to lesson, and has the same, 3-step proof worked on the MEAD high school ruled page (except CEE’s paper, but we’ll ignore that, for now). We believe, in part due to Freudianism and the flour-dusted pie graph his followers made of something whole and solid, in part because the social contract, reworked or not, must serve as god, or all is truly ended...that most things, though viewed through prisms of opinion, through irony, through skew or spin, Most Things Are Understood, Through Reception. We may disagree, we may have our own “ways”, but in the end, Subject speaks and Object just gets it, and if it must be clarified or Al Sharpton set up his travel podium for your apology, well, yeah, But We Still All Really Know What Is Said And Meant And What Is Being Striven For, Right? The reason others don’t perhaps “get it”, is a block they possess—isn’t it? There exists, still, common understanding and a base level of “human” through normal (excuse me) development. We receive, reproduce through learning, and but for the lone wolfs needed identified and disappeared, the 3-step proof, is the same for each of us—but for quality of penmanship, Same. Human Xerox, from formula. As a row of coal scuttle helmets, seen massed in formation, from behind.
    As I keep saying, infinite diversity and personal worth/dignity, are the antithesis of true, societal order, communal accord and reasoned understanding. Perception, wherever it comes from, be it genetic or societal or being locked in a closet where scary monsters live, varies now, as the proverbial spectrum...almost as a curve smashed so flat, it’s Godzilla vs. The Liberty Bell. And if the personal (hello), if individuality is embraced as the ideal, you have no curve and no rainbow, but a line stretched “as far as the east is from the west”. That last, quoted bit, is biblical—it signifies an endless “forever” of distance and irretrievability. Used in this context, it’s not a good thing. Not for mankind. I think it’s a wonderful, amazing thing. It will soon destroy this world as livable, therefore it’s excellent, it’s cool, and I want to marry it. Which is perception as individual. And I’ll show you how that varies. As far as the east is from the west.
    Below, is a kind of handbook, alphabetized best as could. It is a quick and dirty listing of bits of oral dung I’ve heard throughout my life, and either 1) what I actually hear the person say, affectively, connotatively, or 2) what my definition is in the first place, so therefore nothing else could be meant. It’s a phrase book in a sense, a Berlitz for the individual or loner, a guide for those who will not or cannot fade into the tapestry...though, perhaps it’s a guide instead, for the great unwashed 3-steppers who remain, so they may see how off the page whole segments are become. I challenge you to read this through, and agree with none of it. Those who ever knew me, are automatically disqualified. The combative, is predetermined perception, nonfriends. It’s individual. Personal, once again. If you have known me, you ipso facto come to fight. And therefore prove my point. For those unknown, therefore open, look for yourself, Here. The first mirror, was a reflecting pool. No match will ever be perfect.

    The CEE Phrase Book:
    Anything “blahblah Children” = “Anyone who gets to sleep in throughout Life, must be punished!” We are. It’s called, “rare is the neighborhood which doesn’t have a goddammed basketball hoop”—as an aside, I’d point out most who obsess on mucking about at roundball, never take a shot. It’s just ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunkka-thunk. Little kids on the stoop, but stoned. I wish James Lipton would ask me, “What Sound or Noise Do You Hate?”
    Anything “blahblah Voting” = “True freedom, is to have such forced in a totalitarian manner, up to and including prison.” It’s very much the secular version of Full Gospel church members practically stoning you, if you don’t approach worship and praise like it’s the barn dance in Oklahoma! The truth is, that doesn’t work for many (See “Fake it ‘til you make it”). En example, Vampire Live Roleplaying, is silly. I can’t do it, I’d laugh in someone’s face (“You look SO SERIOUS...!!”). But dress code Sunday roleplaying is silly, too, or caring which thieves steal our money. It’s testimony to my mindset. I only would like to do, what The Law says I can’t. That’s why I just sit here.
    Correcting my pronunciation = That’s all you’ve got, isn’t it?
    “Deserve” = A bullet in the brain, Moment One of birth. That’s “deserve”. “THINK You Deserve”, is a whole other shell. If you want, we’ll walk it back to Eastwood at the climax of Unforgiven, “ ‘Deserve’ ‘s got nothin’ to do with it.” To quote an entirely different killer in an entirely different movie, “That’s the best deal you’re gonna get.” You wanta play ‘deserve’, nonfriend-o? I’m still screaming for my ice cream.
    “Don’t you think that _______?” = If I did, I would already believe/hold that view/have done that/approached {whatever}, like I’m a carbon of you in a different skin. This, apparently, is what you’re used to...as is questioning someone like they’re your witness. Bad. Very, VERY BAD. Geordi is now signaling a coolant leak. Please Run, Do Not Walk, to the nearest Exit.
    “Fake it ‘til you make it.” = “Cultic conditioning/boot camp/’tough love’/Norman Vincent Peale/psycho cybernetics/Tony Robinson, work. Get over your fears and throw your old kit bag into the Grand Canyon. If you just hang in there and apply yourself...” No. What we at core, really, Truly Believe, is who we are. Fake is fake, pretense is pretense, affecting behavior doesn’t turn Pinocchio into a real boy (I’ll write that one in blood for you—It Doesn’t). Some things, you need to be beaten 50 shades of black and blue—for refusing to sign the lil’ baby “contract”, for starters. Approaching as Jimmy Olsen or Dennis Day, is only good for nostalgia. I firmly believe Vonnegut’s moral in Mother Night, “We are who we pretend to be”, but his (protagonist?) (antihero?) (victim?) was in character, for decades. Figure if you’re trying to hold a job or save a marriage, your motivation will eventually be found in a dresser drawer, safety off.
    “Give _____ a chance.” = (as of entertainment, belief system or consumable) “I have chosen to like this. My home is my 3-D FaceNuts page. You Must Like It, While I Am Present, or I’ll act like you’ve trod on 19th Century convention.” (as of a third party) Generally, this is pep talk bullshit, as they don’t know the person and if they did, would never have them over, much less be an intimate. The “give ‘em a chance”-folks, used to be mindlessly cheerlead-y. Now, they snicker behind hands, waiting for the next anger story as they jack you.
    “How will you ever learn anything, if you don’t —” = “— listen to you.” Which is what you’re really saying. Now, let’s synchronize watches and do the “Nuh-UH!” “Yuh-HUH!” schoolyard chant. It’ll save a whole day.
    “I don’t care.” = “I don’t give a flying fuck in Hell, as {whatever} and you and your very soul are shit beneath the dirt of Earth, to Me.” I take it you can see I agree that “the opposite of Love is Apathy” (Buscaglia). Or maybe I’m that rare one, who equates Apathy with Hate. ‘Lotta Not Caring, out there, modeling what precisely that means. Dating Tip: Openness, doesn’t always reveal itself. Try to like specific movies, food and activities.
    “Invested in the person.” = You have picked a worthless stock. They will not do What you want, When you want, as much as you want, the way you want. And, you’d better do the What-When-as much as-the way that-performance like Nadia on a roll with “10”‘s, for Them. ...2, 3, 4, and any present Respondent, serious or irritated or pissed off, now gives the world weary lecture, towit 1) You KNOW no one is perfect (which begs the Q—of course they’re not, but you still expect that) and 2) the reality of living together, blahblahcovert contracts lovingly frosted with “realistic expectations” (which no one has, but the broken people—even the haters hope for something better, through the sheer, dark power of their Hate). ‘Not a big fan of Party propaganda, when I know the salesperson is reading it off a card.
    “It is what it is.” = “Never Compromise. Not Even In The Face of Armageddon.” From anOther, and if not dressed as a masked vigilante, this is a Mean As A Snake-alarm. If stated as a kind of apathy (See “I don’t care.”), dressed Halloween-Gandhi as “this is Life”, the individual has been dead since they were 20, but never noticed.
    “Judge Not, lest ye be judged.” = “I’ve never read the Sermon on the Mount in its entirety, but I grew up with this particular rock to throw, and it feels so good to throw it.” Yes. And very tired of you. I, on the full hand, prefer more ammo. Unless it’s David toasting Goliath or Bill Mazeroski, Bottom of the 9th, single smacks seldom win worlds. In plain English, I’d rather throw a whole pile of diverse rocks because I know what or whom I’m dealing with. The “judge not”-bit is moldy, and it’s bad theology. Trust me, most Christians know their Bible. That’s why they judge everything and the Easter hat of the lady in front of them. YHWH, isn’t “nice”. Don’t expect Me to be.
    “Owe” = Money due, in one form or another. This could range outward to include any alienate-able goods, but ultimately, anything “owed” another, whether person or organization, is material in nature. If a person “invested” in me (hmm...) says we “owe” one another, I’ll take the cash, Monty. Or eBay credit; there’s still some stuff I want. They’ll get an IOU, after which I’ll pretend I don’t speak English.
    “Making a difference.” = Like fantasy in its essence, this is a mind trip. You WANT to make a difference (gee, can I be your friend?), you THINK you’re making/made a difference, you BELIEVE a difference should/needs to be made. You aren’t actually making one, and one shall not be made. Ever. For further information, ‘tube “Silent Night/7 O’Clock News” by Simon & Garfunkel, and pretend it’s TOP 40 as of Right This Minute. ...see?
    “No opinion” = A cosmic impossibility. You might have to put a gun to the idiot’s head or deprogram them in a hotel suite for a weekend, but trust me. Everyone Thinks Something About Everything. Genuine exceptions come in the form of those dead, ‘George Romero’-people. I maintain standard deprogramming methods or hypnotic regression, can wring something out of even them. Then again, I believe polygraph evidence is infallible. Anyone who can beat the machine, the glove does not fit, so you must acquit. Hey. That rhymes.
    Quoting me/my writing/POV/sources I respect, as a way of “winning the argument” = About three levels lower than being a “spelling Nazi”. Dirt cheap, half down, easy payments. You’re just another kid on the playground, tricking with jokes of leading questions to hard punchlines. Not buyin’ it, behb...unless of course you allow me to strap you down, Gitmo-style, and interrogate you, re: the sincerity of your newfound wisdom. Oh, right. Yes, sure. “Safety word”, fine. I’ll be certain to honor that.
    “That’s a different argument!” = “I don’t know/can’t/am ill equipped to come back at you, re: a specific point of discussion, so will pretend it’s invalid/doesn’t matter.” Advice for the young at heart (aside from The Very Best of 80’s music): The next time you’re at a bar with someone who says they love intense discussions and hear all voices, go tell the nearest biker/skinhead/crazy homeless person all the open-minded debater has said, re: everything the bleary-eyed killing machine holds dear. Self-crowning Napoleons controlling the flow of argument, assumes foes under control. Yeah. Invalidate steel-toed boots, you jerk.
    “That’s not what WE believe...WE believe _______” = (archaic, as inclusive of me) “By God, you’re going to fit in this round hole, you goddammed square peg! I Am The Law and the Giver of His Definitions!” (#SIGH#, good times...) This is why I treat groupthink as a cafeteria-style restaurant and salt beforehand if I choose. It’s why herd mentality is culpability and why whole peoples can be guilty or The Enemy or Satan. It matters not me, if you don’t run a full inventory. You Chose Everything, including reading this. This is why there can’t be a little bit of freedom...or if there is, Indy, choose wisely. It’s scary, I know, and kind of “Vegas”, but again, that’s the best deal you’re gonna get.
    “That’s their culture.” = Then, I don’t want them in Mine—unless of course, I think the horrible thing Others are shitting pants regarding, is funny or cool or nasty in a nice way. Or empowering, e.g. the ones shitting pants will Never be able to get rid of it, so it keeps hurting them. In such cases, Please! Bring in the horrible part of your culture I don’t mind but Others do. Then remove those Others and put them in a certain prison undisclosed. I’m actually quite accepting, as long as some, any dissent gets hurt. Preferably like Faye Grant being tortured in V, in the “pain field”, or whatever. Yum!
    “We Are All One.” = Conan, doing the “extreme closeup” visual game on an archival photo of Adolf Hitler. If you don’t know this phrase as a kind of photo negative of HATE, which once developed...OMG!! If I thought for ten seconds this line was anything other than consciousness cult brain bait, I’d be locking and loading with The Dixie Chicks, mad as Hell, in the background. I often refer to myself as “the last man alive, in ‘Body Snatchers’.” If you catch that, look around you right now, slowly.
    “Why are you afraid to discuss _______?” = I’m not. I’m afraid of everything from a cop finally tackling me after I’ve been stopped in full flight, up through every minute of my life after that. My Life Matters, and its relative comfort. Discussions? WTF? It’d have to be an apocalyptic topic. As I’ve said, Stateville ain’t the Ritz.
    “Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.” = This, was on every 4th page of Studs Terkel’s book, Working. People said it like “Amen!” I’ve never agreed with it. It is one of the rare gifts of this current, jagged, harming, hating reality, that “ya gotta do what ya gotta do”, no longer applies. Though I often weep for that better world now gone, if someone opened a pandimensional vortex and bid me leap 40 years into the past, I’d have to think hard, as I’d know I’d be spending most of my nights, sleeping on the beach...
    “You can’t say that!” = Cut to Apollo Creed casting a Donkey from Shrek-eye at Drago, “When?” Cut to Dark Phoenix in an old What If...?, “And who are You to be ‘letting’ and ‘not letting’?!” Cut to Louis CK explaining that pretty much the only thing stopping murder, is the law against murder. Cut to you, calling me childish, primitive and emotionally immature. And back to Louis CK, re: “murder”. Lather, rinse, hide the body.
    “You’re prejudicing my opinion.” = This would be the opinion you’ve already chosen to carve like it’s Stone Mountain. Pardon me! Remind me, again, why we’re hanging out? And why you get a Stone Mountain, but I get no Crazy Horse?
    “____ isn’t that important to me.” = Wonderful, unless You introduced the subject, then continued when you saw it had become confrontational. Hitting the Batchute with a quick feign of “unimportance” is, guess what? A Lie from the pit of Hell. A stinky one that has poison in it. And drugs. And razor blades in its apple. You’re the sort who goes through life believing nice-y nice pablum covers Rock. When Rock is thrown, well, now! What is all this fluff? Honestly! (though, I’ll keep you in mind, re: requesting Christmas candy. I’m sure you make the best. ‘Bet it’s full of sugar and lard)
    And so on.
    Long ago (1986) I wrote a guide, tongue in cheek, to The Greek Alphabet and language. It was, those decades ago, assuming I’d been a known humorist to begin with, the kind of thing which lent itself to publishing and cocktail parties and those the age I am now laughing and winking, the clink of martinis and the understood perception of No Harm Meant. The guide, silly, goofy, would not in main, be accepted, Today, as the ruling opinion in main, no longer allows for “no harm meant”. Rigidity, and again, “the force of nice” into ranks of 3-step lockstep, are the thought-tight doors meant to seal all bulkheads against the monster. The monster, Man, is me and you. No Godzilla, we are Legion. And as the crazed, godlike friend of Cap’n Kirk’s advised him, “{We’ll} just keep getting stronger, you know.”
    I once told a newly Christian friend, re: ‘order’, “you can’t keep a hundred ping pong balls under water at the same time”. An anarchist-friend, once said to me in riposte, “‘Matter’, is relative!” If both statements are correct—and God forbid you blindly debate the term, “correct”, here—then Kirk’s buddy cum demigod spoke Truth. And no slave, despite good treatment, will ever love his master. And ruling opinions of any sort, enslave those who stand against them. There are, Dr. Sagan, billy-yuns and billy-yuns of Selves, each individual, on our Earth. I bid you once more, do the math.
    Here I stand; I can perceive no other.

    CEE


















cc&d

Philosophy Monthly (justify your existence)






















cc&d

letter from the editor (the boss lady’s editorial)


























Dusty Dog Reviews
The whole project is hip, anti-academic, the poetry of reluctant grown-ups, picking noses in church. An enjoyable romp! Though also serious.

Nick DiSpoldo, Small Press Review (on Children, Churches and Daddies, April 1997)
Children, Churches and Daddies is eclectic, alive and is as contemporary as tomorrow’s news.

Kenneth DiMaggio (on cc&d, April 2011)
CC&D continues to have an edge with intelligence. It seems like a lot of poetry and small press publications are getting more conservative or just playing it too academically safe. Once in awhile I come across a self-advertized journal on the edge, but the problem is that some of the work just tries to shock you for the hell of it, and only ends up embarrassing you the reader. CC&D has a nice balance; [the] publication takes risks, but can thankfully take them without the juvenile attempt to shock.


from Mike Brennan 12/07/11
I think you are one of the leaders in the indie presses right now and congrats on your dark greatness.


cc&d          cc&d

    Nick DiSpoldo, Small Press Review (on “Children, Churches and Daddies,” April 1997)

    Kuypers is the widely-published poet of particular perspectives and not a little existential rage, but she does not impose her personal or artistic agenda on her magazine. CC+D is a provocative potpourri of news stories, poetry, humor, art and the “dirty underwear” of politics.
    One piece in this issue is “Crazy,” an interview Kuypers conducted with “Madeline,” a murderess who was found insane, and is confined to West Virginia’s Arronsville Correctional Center. Madeline, whose elevator definitely doesn’t go to the top, killed her boyfriend during sex with an ice pick and a chef’s knife, far surpassing the butchery of Elena Bobbitt. Madeline, herself covered with blood, sat beside her lover’s remains for three days, talking to herself, and that is how the police found her. For effect, Kuypers publishes Madeline’s monologue in different-sized type, and the result is something between a sense of Dali’s surrealism and Kafka-like craziness.



Debra Purdy Kong, writer, British Columbia, Canada
I like the magazine a lot. I like the spacious lay-out and the different coloured pages and the variety of writer’s styles. Too many literary magazines read as if everyone graduated from the same course. We need to collect more voices like these and send them everywhere.

    Ed Hamilton, writer

    #85 (of Children, Churches and Daddies) turned out well. I really enjoyed the humor section, especially the test score answers. And, the cup-holder story is hilarious. I’m not a big fan of poetry - since much of it is so hard to decipher - but I was impressed by the work here, which tends toward the straightforward and unpretentious.
    As for the fiction, the piece by Anderson is quite perceptive: I liked the way the self-deluding situation of the character is gradually, subtly revealed. (Kuypers’) story is good too: the way it switches narrative perspective via the letter device is a nice touch.



Children, Churches and Daddies.
It speaks for itself.
Write to Scars Publications to submit poetry, prose and artwork to Children, Churches and Daddies literary magazine, or to inquire about having your own chapbook, and maybe a few reviews like these.

    Jim Maddocks, GLASGOW, via the Internet

    I’ll be totally honest, of the material in Issue (either 83 or 86 of Children, Churches and Daddies) the only ones I really took to were Kuypers’. TRYING was so simple but most truths are, aren’t they?

    Fithian Press, Santa Barbara, CA
    Indeed, there’s a healthy balance here between wit and dark vision, romance and reality, just as there’s a good balance between words and graphics. The work shows brave self-exploration, and serves as a reminder of mortality and the fragile beauty of friendship.

    C Ra McGuirt, Editor, The Penny Dreadful Review (on Children, Churches and Daddies)

    cc&d is obviously a labor of love ... I just have to smile when I go through it. (Janet Kuypers) uses her space and her poets to best effect, and the illos attest to her skill as a graphic artist.
    I really like (“Writing Your Name”). It’s one of those kind of things where your eye isn’t exactly pulled along, but falls effortlessly down the poem.
I liked “knowledge” for its mix of disgust and acceptance. Janet Kuypers does good little movies, by which I mean her stuff provokes moving imagery for me. Color, no dialogue; the voice of the poem is the narrator over the film.



    Children, Churches and Daddies no longer distributes free contributor’s copies of issues. In order to receive issues of Children, Churches and Daddies, contact Janet Kuypers at the cc&d e-mail addres. Free electronic subscriptions are available via email. All you need to do is email ccandd@scars.tv... and ask to be added to the free cc+d electronic subscription mailing list. And you can still see issues every month at the Children, Churches and Daddies website, located at http://scars.tv

    Mark Blickley, writer

    The precursor to the magazine title (Children, Churches and Daddies) is very moving. “Scars” is also an excellent prose poem. I never really thought about scars as being a form of nostalgia. But in the poem it also represents courage and warmth. I look forward to finishing her book.


    Gary, Editor, The Road Out of Town (on the Children, Churches and Daddies Web Site)

    I just checked out the site. It looks great.



    Dusty Dog Reviews: These poems document a very complicated internal response to the feminine side of social existence. And as the book proceeds the poems become increasingly psychologically complex and, ultimately, fascinating and genuinely rewarding.

    John Sweet, writer (on chapbook designs)

    Visuals were awesome. They’ve got a nice enigmatic quality to them. Front cover reminds me of the Roman sculptures of angels from way back when. Loved the staggered tire lettering, too. Way cool.

    (on “Hope Chest in the Attic”)
    Some excellent writing in “Hope Chest in the Attic.” I thought “Children, Churches and Daddies” and “The Room of the Rape” were particularly powerful pieces.



    Dusty Dog Reviews: She opens with a poem of her own devising, which has that wintry atmosphere demonstrated in the movie version of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. The atmosphere of wintry white and cold, gloriously murderous cold, stark raging cold, numbing and brutalizing cold, appears almost as a character who announces to his audience, “Wisdom occurs only after a laboriously magnificent disappointment.” Alas, that our Dusty Dog for mat cannot do justice to Ms. Kuypers’ very personal layering of her poem across the page.

    Cheryl Townsend, Editor, Impetus (on Children, Churches and Daddies)

    The new cc&d looks absolutely amazing. It’s a wonderful lay-out, looks really professional - all you need is the glossy pages. Truly impressive AND the calendar, too. Can’t wait to actually start reading all the stuff inside.. Wanted to just say, it looks good so far!!!



    You Have to be Published to be Appreciated.

    Do you want to be heard? Contact Children, Churches and Daddies about book or chapbook publishing. These reviews can be yours. Scars Publications, attention J. Kuypers. We’re only an e-mail away. Write to us.


    Brian B. Braddock, Writer (on 1996 Children, Churches and Daddies)

    I passed on a copy to my brother who is the director of the St. Camillus AIDS programs. We found (Children, Churches and Daddies’) obvious dedication along this line admirable.



    Mark Blickley, writer
    The precursor to the magazine title (Children, Churches and Daddies) is very moving. “Scars” is also an excellent prose poem. I never really thought about scars as being a form of nostalgia. But in the poem it also represents courage and warmth. I look forward to finishing her book.

    Brian B. Braddock, WrBrian B. Braddock, Writer (on 1996 Children, Churches and Daddies)

    Brian B. Braddock, WrI passed on a copy to my brother who is the director of the St. Camillus AIDS programs. We found (Children, Churches and Daddies’) obvious dedication along this line admirable.


    Dorrance Publishing Co., Pittsburgh, PA
    “Hope Chest in the Attic” captures the complexity of human nature and reveals startling yet profound discernments about the travesties that surge through the course of life. This collection of poetry, prose and artwork reflects sensitivity toward feminist issues concerning abuse, sexism and equality. It also probes the emotional torrent that people may experience as a reaction to the delicate topics of death, love and family.
    “Chain Smoking” depicts the emotional distress that afflicted a friend while he struggled to clarify his sexual ambiguity. Not only does this thought-provoking profile address the plight that homosexuals face in a homophobic society, it also characterizes the essence of friendship. “The room of the rape” is a passionate representation of the suffering rape victims experience. Vivid descriptions, rich symbolism, and candid expressions paint a shocking portrait of victory over the gripping fear that consumes the soul after a painful exploitation.

    want a review like this? contact scars about getting your own book published.


    Paul Weinman, Writer (on 1996 Children, Churches and Daddies)

    Wonderful new direction (Children, Churches and Daddies has) taken - great articles, etc. (especially those on AIDS). Great stories - all sorts of hot info!



the UN-religions, NON-family oriented literary and art magazine


    The magazine Children Churches and Daddies is Copyright © 1993 through 2017 Scars Publications and Design. The rights of the individual pieces remain with the authors. No material may be reprinted without express permission from the author.

copyright

    Okay, nilla wafer. Listen up and listen good. How to save your life. Submit, or I’ll have to kill you.
    Okay, it’s this simple: send me published or unpublished poetry, prose or art work (do not send originals), along with a bio, to us - then sit around and wait... Pretty soon you’ll hear from the happy people at cc&d that says (a) Your work sucks, or (b) This is fancy crap, and we’re gonna print it. It’s that simple!

    Okay, butt-munch. Tough guy. This is how to win the editors over.
    Hope Chest in the Attic is a 200 page, perfect-bound book of 13 years of poetry, prose and art by Janet Kuypers. It’s a really classy thing, if you know what I mean. We also have a few extra sopies of the 1999 book “Rinse and Repeat”, the 2001 book “Survive and Thrive”, the 2001 books “Torture and Triumph” and “(no so) Warm and Fuzzy”,which all have issues of cc&d crammed into one book. And you can have either one of these things at just five bucks a pop if you just contact us and tell us you saw this ad space. It’s an offer you can’t refuse...

    Carlton Press, New York, NY: HOPE CHEST IN THE ATTIC is a collection of well-fashioned, often elegant poems and short prose that deals in many instances, with the most mysterious and awesome of human experiences: love... Janet Kuypers draws from a vast range of experiences and transforms thoughts into lyrical and succinct verse... Recommended as poetic fare that will titillate the palate in its imagery and imaginative creations.

    Mark Blickley, writer: The precursor to the magazine title (Children, Churches and Daddies) is very moving. “Scars” is also an excellent prose poem. I never really thought about scars as being a form of nostalgia. But in the poem it also represents courage and warmth. I look forward to finishing the book.

    You Have to be Published to be Appreciated.
    Do you want to be heard? Contact Children, Churches and Daddies about book and chapbook publishing. These reviews can be yours. Scars Publications, attention J. Kuypers - you can write for yourself or you can write for an audience. It’s your call...

email

    Dorrance Publishing Co., Pittsburgh, PA: “Hope Chest in the Attic” captures the complexity of human nature and reveals startling yet profound discernments about the travesties that surge through the course of life. This collection of poetry, prose and artwork reflects sensitivity toward feminist issues concerning abuse, sexism and equality. It also probes the emotional torrent that people may experience as a reaction to the delicate topics of death, love and family. “Chain Smoking” depicts the emotional distress that afflicted a friend while he struggled to clarify his sexual ambiguity. Not only does this thought-provoking profile address the plight that homosexuals face in a homophobic society, it also characterizes the essence of friendship. “The room of the rape” is a passionate representation of the suffering rape victims experience. Vivid descriptions, rich symbolism, and candid expressions paint a shocking portrait of victory over the gripping fear that consumes the soul after a painful exploitation.

 

    Dusty Dog Reviews, CA (on knife): These poems document a very complicated internal response to the feminine side of social existence. And as the book proceeds the poems become increasingly psychologically complex and, ultimately, fascinating and genuinely rewarding.
Children, Churches and Daddies. It speaks for itself.

 

    Dusty Dog Reviews (on Without You): She open with a poem of her own devising, which has that wintry atmosphere demonstrated in the movie version of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. The atmosphere of wintry white and cold, gloriously murderous cold, stark raging cold, numbing and brutalizing cold, appears almost as a character who announces to his audience, “Wisdom occurs only after a laboriously magnificent disappointment.” Alas, that our Dusty Dog for mat cannot do justice to Ms. Kuypers’ very personal layering of her poem across the page.
    Children, Churches and Daddies. It speaks for itself.

    Debra Purdy Kong, writer, British Columbia, Canada (on Children, Churches and Daddies): I like the magazine a lot. I like the spacious lay-out and the different coloured pages and the variety of writer’s styles. Too many literary magazines read as if everyone graduated from the same course. We need to collect more voices like these and send them everywhere.

    Fithian Press, Santa Barbara, CA: Indeed, there’s a healthy balance here between wit and dark vision, romance and reality, just as there’s a good balance between words and graphics. The work shows brave self-exploration, and serves as a reminder of mortality and the fragile beauty of friendship.



Children, Churches and Daddies
the UN-religious, NON-family oriented literary and art magazine
Scars Publications and Design

ccandd96@scars.tv
http://scars.tv/ccd

Publishers/Designers Of
Children, Churches and Daddies magazine
cc+d Ezines
The Burning mini poem books
God Eyes mini poem books
The Poetry Wall Calendar
The Poetry Box
The Poetry Sampler
Mom’s Favorite Vase Newsletters
Reverberate Music Magazine
Down In The Dirt magazine
Freedom and Strength Press forum
plus assorted chapbooks and books
music, poetry compact discs
live performances of songs and readings

Sponsors Of
past editions:
Poetry Chapbook Contest, Poetry Book Contest
Prose Chapbook Contest, Prose Book Contest
Poetry Calendar Contest
current editions:
Editor’s Choice Award (writing and web sites)
Collection Volumes

Children, Churches and Daddies (founded 1993) has been written and researched by political groups and writers from the United States, Canada, England, India, Italy, Malta, Norway and Turkey. Regular features provide coverage of environmental, political and social issues (via news and philosophy) as well as fiction and poetry, and act as an information and education source. Children, Churches and Daddies is the leading magazine for this combination of information, education and entertainment.
Children, Churches and Daddies (ISSN 1068-5154) is published quarterly by Scars Publications and Design, attn: Janet Kuypers. Contact us via snail-mail or e-mail (ccandd96@scars.tv) for subscription rates or prices for annual collection books.
To contributors: No racist, sexist or blatantly homophobic material. No originals; if mailed, include SASE & bio. Work sent on disks or through e-mail preferred. Previously published work accepted. Authors always retain rights to their own work. All magazine rights reserved. Reproduction of Children, Churches and Daddies without publisher permission is forbidden. Children, Churches and Daddies Copyright © 1993 through 2017 Scars Publications and Design, Children, Churches and Daddies, Janet Kuypers. All rights remain with the authors of the individual pieces. No material may be reprinted without express permission.





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