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feature literature

Emily Habermehl: 9 Poems
Excerpt From Poem"Fire"

"It’s not like
She’s never tasted fire
 
It had engulfed her, forcing her skin to blister
Flames whipped up in the folds of her skirt
Smoke smothered her face
Flames chewed her eyelashes to the root
Her tonsils singed she couldn’t always
Talk

(Scream)

She had stood in a burning storm that turned her sky to ash

It wasn’t that she couldn’t take the heat
(She had a metal lock box for her vital organs)
It was simply time
To stop burning

She makes graves for cinders
She’ll never write her stories in charcoal
Again
..."


About Emily Habermehl: Emily Jean Habermehl was born in Philadelphia and has called Austin home since 2001.  She has been writing poetry since she was 12 years old and currently works as a licensed social worker for a large non-profit agency.  She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007.

 
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feature writer archives

5.2009:
Guest Editor Mick Parsons
Featuring Jose Zarate & Matthew Vetter
2.2009:
Jerry Judge
1.2009:
Scot Kaplan

May 2009: Guest Editor Mick Parsons, featuring Matthew Vetter & Jose Zarate
There are a few things in life that give me real pleasure: spending time with my wife, going to the track, watching the Bengals win. Another opportunity, even more rare than a Bengals victory, is when I can help introduce new or unheard of writers to a wider audience. Such is the case with Matt Vetter and Jose Zarate.

When I first met Matthew Vetter, I was impressed with the depth and voice in his poetry. His dedication to the word is profound, and it has been a pleasure to see that time and experience have fermented and taken shape in his new work.  He draws from everyday life and from the internal and external landscapes that make up a poet’s world – and, in the process, draws us all into a world in which even the smallest detail becomes earth shaking.

Jose Zarate’s work is rooted in an unrelenting, unforgiving desert that’s (also) home to poisonous scorpions, carnivorous wild pigs, and a largely unacknowledged border war.  The one act play, The Smugglers, is about one aspect of this border war, and gives us a clear picture of who is doing the fighting, who is probably winning, and who always loses. Jose’s ear for dialogue and his eye for drama that is too real to really be called drama make him one of those writers, like Matt, that I expect to hear and read more of in the future.

From Rhythm:
"...3 a.m.

From the living room,
light from one lamp.
Vincent is reading
the poem over and over.

Aching to pulverize his father’s bones,
Vincent once, in his twenties,
began to dig up the grave.

When Vincent’s eyes close,
he is eight and his hands are tied
to the back of a kitchen chair.
His father’s gin face
in his face calling him trash
like his mother, saying that he’s
only good as a practice drum.
The sticks beat to a rhythm
that the band will no longer
let his father play...."

Site Feature Scot Kaplan brings three essays, Art and Donuts, When We Make Art, and an ongoing work, What is Art plus a gallery short films documenting performances and situational works alongside an ongoing gallery of visual arts works with expositions on their creation and outcomes.
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2.2008 Guest Editor Ralph LaCharity : Privileged Miscellanea 12.2007
Paul A. Toth
11.2007:
Matt Briggs
"It all comes down to the ring of bone.
Where ring is what a bell does.
"
-Lew Welch


Two things about bars (dives): Mirrors, & smoking. I like 'em, taverns (gin mills) that is, or, as Mick calls 'em, toilets (saloons). Yeah---sitting in a toilet, smoking a cigarette, eavesdropping withal, at once covert and sidelong, staring at myself in a mirror... what could be better? Diving horizontally in a fundamental drift, you bet. Tell me ...

You have assembled a smorgasbord of the possible. That’s what a feature is. What this feature is. Ancient Egypt’s corruptions articulated as minutiae beloved on the sly. Even dust motes are collages, and we all know collages rule.

2007 was the year the public smoking ban began to be enforced in the toilets of Ohio. Another wake-up call? The better among my pub crawling brethren are all scofflaws. As of this date mirrors are still OK. Somewhere, nightly, the poets are still singing...
Paul A. Toth is a Flint, Michigan native now living on Sanibel Island, Florida. Paul’s previous works includes critically acclaimed novels “Fizz” and “Fishnet”,and short story works including “The Pop Lady Comes on Wednesday” which earned him an honorable mention for the work, and a slot in the “17th Edition of the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror”. His audio work, which often combines story and music, has been widely published, and he produces tracks for Mad Hatters' Review. Two films, "Fizz" and "Knotted", have been based on his stories. The latter was a semi-finalist on Triggerstreet and was also a IFilm Plus Selection. Paul’s essays on music, sexuality, psychology, literature and art have appeared in a number of journals including salon.com. Currently Paul acts as fiction editor for storySouth.  Matt Briggs is a Seattle, Washington native. Previous to the publication of his first book by Black Heron Press, Matt was a reservist who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

In 1999, a collection of linked stories called "The Remains of River Names" was published Black Heron Press. In 2002, he published "Misplaced Alice" with String Town Press who would also publish "The Moss Gatherers" in 2005. September of 2005 seen Matt's first publication on semantikon, his piece "A Fifth of July", part of our American Canons edition. His first novel, "Shoot the Buffalo", was published by Clear Cut Press in the same year, a work selected for a American Book Award in 2006. In Spring of 2008, Final State will publish Matt’s new short story collection, "The End is the Beginning" In Fall 2008, they will also publish "The Strong Man: Confessions of a Bacon Smuggler". Featured here, exclusive excerpts from both forthcoming books, plus, an unabridged version of Matt's essay "Pacific Highway South: Best American Strip City" along with audio of Matt reading from his short story collection.
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10.2007:
Nick Barrows


Nick Barrows came for the hills of the Westside of Cincinnati, Ohio were he began his first days of memory behind the bar of his father's Tavern down by the River Ohio. His works have appeared in Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety, (1997) Trained Monkey Press (Broadside #22), and he is the former music editor for The Citizen (1998-2002). In 2000, Nick teamed up with the Cincinnati based band, 4 Track All-Stars, where he can be heard on their self-titled debut (on tracks Ghosty Moe, Bebop 2.0), and of late, he can be seen from time to time out with local hip-hop band DaMuttss, doing spoken word.
 
5.2007
F. Keith Wahle


F. Keith Wahle is a Cincinnati, Ohio native. Wahle’s poems have appeared in a diverse array of literary journals including “The Paris Review”, “Ellipsis” and the “Cornfield Review”; this feature represents the first collection of Wahle’s writings and performances presented in the web medium. Off the page, Wahle worked in the mid 1990's to help develop the now annual Cincinnati “Performance and Time Arts Series”, Wahle is also a three time Ohio Arts Council Fellow, first, in 1984, in 1990 and again in 2003. On stage, Wahle is known for his memorable collaborations with dancers Judith Mikita, Cheryl Wallace, any many others, to bring physical form to his incisive use of vernacular. Seven books of poetry in all, Wahle's last three books, “A Choice of Killers” (1998), “Farewell to Happytown” (2004) and "The Invitations" (2006), feature photographs by Brad Austin Smith and Amberlyn Nelson. Feature includes work from "A Choice of Killers", "Farewell to Happytown" and includes video performance of "Secrets", and an exclusive "Secrets" broadside poster.
4.2007
Lupa

Exclusive excerpts and audio clips from two forthcoming works---"A Field Guide to Otherkin" on Otherkin and Therianthropy, and "Kink Magic: Sex Magic Beyond Vanilla" (with Taylor Ellwood) on sex magic. Review includes e-book, "The Liturgy of Lupa" about her experiences, practice and life writing and living as a modern pagan.   
Excerpt from The Poem "Radio":

"In through the mail slot,
preaching slang as reverb
and busting a logic that rings
inside the shopping malls.

Shout out go to the Westside!

Behold, a new slide trombone
that will eat away at your
country’s side
and never miss the whacking
of a bad mannered boy.

We pull on bar stool
and sigh the long wind day,
never resting on nest eggs
as long as that tune hits the feet.

The bong grows dirty
and the nails become gray;
now you wished you’d
stayed awake in biology.."

Excerpt from Secrets:

"...Your secret of how you smuggled sixteen thousand heavily
           sedated virgins
across the Mexican border into Texas.
Your secret of where you hire pack elephants in Cleveland,
           Ohio,
and of what their mysterious cargo will be.
The secret of your continuous pajamas,
your frostbite secret, your exploding handkerchief secret.
No one will find out from me what is behind
the enormous painting of Charles Dickens on your dinning room
           wall.
Nor will I tell the secret of how much you paid for the
           mink-lined false teeth you carry everywhere,
or the secret of the bright pink locomotive in your garden..."

Excerpt from Field Guide to Otherkin: Personal Mythology, Imagination and Metaphor

"...With the advent of science as the primary tool for explaining the whys and hows of the physical world, mythology became mere stories, removed from the 'real' world by the veil of the five senses in ordinary consciousness. Once we found out that the sun was a huge burning ball of gas millions of miles away, we supposedly no longer needed the myths of Apollo, Amaterasu, and other solar deities to explain anything beyond ancient cultural storytelling. The moon, as well, was no longer a huntress, or a rabbit, or an incestuous lover with his sister's fingerprints on his back..."

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Video
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QT: 21 MB

WMV: 42 MB
 f keith wahle video: secrets
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1. Excerpt from "A Field Guide to Otherkin"




2. Excerpt from "Kink Magic:Sex Magic Beyond Vanilla"
     
1.2007
9 Works from Richmond VA writer T.M. Weygand
11.2006:
Guest Editor: Nathan Singer  with works from
Aaron Kerley, Paul Toth, Yvette Williams
10.2006:
Taylor Ellwood
1 new Short story and Two Essays
Excerpt from "Our Father Who Art In Richmond"
"It’s hard to be reasonable
In the rain
In the dark
In the middle of November
When one no call no show can make you
feel six years old again
I know my daddy loves me
It’s a mantra
He doesn’t get a song like Jesus
But I suppose they’re out there holding hands
Dad and God
Ever present and never there
Putting my back against a wall
Over and over..."
Guber einer rob tyner | The mo-town thro-down | Dope and fucking in the | Streets
The factory machine music | Steel presses blues in e 
..."    ---Aaron Kerley "Guber einer roy tyner"

"What Marty saw when he entered Brooklyn Doughnut that Friday morning broke his heart. His hands fell to his side. He did not "let them fall" or "relax them" or "unfold them" or "drop them at his sides."  The arms fell of their own accord and would have kept falling and bounced off the floor...Paul Toth "CC: All, Clowns"

+ Music and poetry from Yvette Williams
"...The businessmen...approached the archaic gods...such as Christianity and Islam...made a deal with the gods. ...old men would use the drugs, along with TV...to program even more people into becoming non-thinking defined humans, in return...(those old business men and bankers) could keep control over the masses and more importantly keep control of the thinking...and talk about profit. One hundred and ten percent!”

                ---From Cut-Up Commodity, cut up fiction
                    by
Taylor Ellwood
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2003-2006 Archives
5.2006:
Guest Editor: Mark Flanigan
Blue Collar Dispatches
3.02006:
Mick Parsons
Expedition Notes Complete
2.2006:
Literary Divergents
NYC2123, Jay Bolotin and Staggering Statistics

"We were tripping in the backseat
of a car heading for Chicago,
holding hands
under a secret, blue blanket
because we were already obligated
to others;
    
 ---From, Trip by Stephen Foster


"Each member of the execution committee stared at me in disbelief. As I dashed around the room seeking an escape route, the baffled beholders gazed at me, gazed at each other, gazed at the doctor who performed this execution, stunned about what they were witnessing.."

   ---From The Waning Hours Of Headless Sensation
      by Tony Neal

There was a time
the stars that were your eyes led us on,
casting certain light like in childhood stories.
We could be sure of it,
then.

(The Faith was strong,
omniscient. Undefeated. The
forecast of the generals was optimistic.)

Since nightfall forty days ago, we are stumbling blind.
Bourbon and prayers are no help against the coming winter.

(The saints no longer listen.)

                  ---From Expedition Notes by Mick Parsons

semantikon's annual review of written word off the page and into the world.

This year:
+ Comic creators of future bleak sci-fi comic, NYC2123, Chad and Paco Allen, featuring interview, broadside poster + issue no. 1 of NYC2123 in PDF format for you to read and share.

+ Exclusive new clip from Jay Bolotin's woodcut film, "The Jackleg Testament", featuring the vocal talents of Nigel Robson and Karin Bergquist.

+ Audio feature: Staggering Statistics interview with two web exclusive MP3's from their forthcoming album "All this and more..."
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1.2006:
Angela Marsh
7 new Poems
12.2005:
Anthony Barnett
Script: A Night for Magic
11.2005
Jeff Crouch
7 New Works
you spoke
your words are whispers
stealing around
the air
and my breath
soft
cool
filling the space
i feel mute
and your lips
move slowly
trembling
when you pronounce
"r"
a shadow begins to fall
i think the sun is rising
finally
so i cry
don't want the whispers to stop
we're only allowed to do this in the dark
                                      ---Relics by Angela Marsh
In the early 1990's, a surge of 1960's cultural nostalgia reared its ugly head. It could be said that the choice to lionize the success, the unresolved agenda of 60's idealism, could not have found a better companion soundtrack than the music of the The Doors. When the media rushed to name "Generation X", it done so with the all too comfortable mythology of a broken poet. They chose the life and times of Doors front man, Jim Morrison.

What remains are the words. As Morrison said "Word got me the wound and will make me well, if you believe." A Night for Magic, composed by playwright and actor Anthony Barnett, brings a performance piece constructed from interviews, performances, lyrics and the poetry of Jim Morrison and in his own words.
                
                ---From semantikon intro to Anthony Barnett's
                   The Electric Shaman
  Lincoln in bubblegum
            stuck to the Dairy Queen wall

 when Honest Abe falls, there must be another

 I mount my penny on the Dairy Queen wall
  with a big wad of my favorite cherry-flavored

 having ordered my usual

 next in line for drive-up now,
  I count forty-nine Lincoln's in a half-foot square

 these are the pennies that don’t make dollars
              

        ---Adhere, by Jeff Crouch

                   

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10.2005
Joseph Winterhalter
Artist Manuscript V.A.B. 13833
9.2005
Special Feature
American Canons
6.2005
Former Feature Update
New Works from .03-04 features
1. A number of possible Articulation
4 . A number of possible assassins
7. A number of possible axioms
18. A number of possible Bindings
30. A number of possible cigarettes
40. A number of possible drawings
50. A number of possible dualisms
51. A number of possible dystopias
53. A number of possible erasures
58. A number of possible exploits
67. A number of possible facts
76. A number of possible fractals
98. A number of possible Howls...

           ---From 13833 Variations of Apathetic Brilliance by
              Joseph Winterhalter

As a better unified peace movement coalesces, aims feet toward a march on Washington DC in late Sept, we sense something is moving, Barely one year into a new administration. Stop. New administration? Sorry. Must be that “traditional” administration ---semantikon offers up 9 works documenting the current political environment.


---FEATURING WORKS FROM:

Anonymous, Matt Briggs, Lindsay Caron, Mark Flanigan, William Levy,Nico Vassilakis,
Max Skeans, Cybil Weigel, + The Constitution of the
United States of America
Semantikon is pleased to bring news of our former features from the 2003-2004 season. Inside, get news, links, updates on all your favorite writers from our first year not to mention exclusive excerpts from their forthcoming novels, plays, performance pieces and current projects including exclusive new works from the likes of Aralee Strange, Willie Smith and Nathan Singer. Bess Rose Miller and T.M. Weygand.
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5.2005
Ralph LaCharity
News of Her / News of the War
4.2005
William Levy
7 Works
3.2005
La Tasha N. Nevada Diggs
7 Works
Thar they fell, Twin Towers that lit twin fuses . . .

Fascinatin’ Fascism, heretofore creeping, insinnuative and sly, only
on occasion Kleig lit — Now up on its Hind Legs, duplicitously bawling
and blithering braggishly while the Bill of Rights burns,
that’s Fuse #1 . . .

Pre-Emptivity Ruleth ! With all that well-hidden 3rd World weaponry
of mustered pay-back backed up squarely ’gainst levied Major
Applications of Amerishan Milit’ry Get-Down you Betcha ! Fuse #2 . .

 ---From FUSING the ORDER Consorting with Alpha Males
thru the Bars of Oakley & Norwood by Ralph LaCharity

"...Chantal licked her upper lip and looked down at the placid water. Then she turned and looked at me. Our eyes locked for an instant, then Chantal looked down again. "Do you know what they should be selling here?" she asked.

"What?"

"Inflatable Golems."

" Brilliant! A million-dollar idea. Inflatable Golems in all sizes. It could be bigger than Mickey Mouse," I said enthusiastically. Laughing uncontrollably at the idea I almost fell off the bridge, just at the spot where the legendary St. John of Nepomuk was thrown into the water in this city of heretics..."

           ---From Playing Tennis with Kafka by William Levy
you showcase      the worst      of summer
by noon           the forest      details your scorch
I taste the battery         from your match

alone, I chase the hum of helicopters. make a melody from the evoke of hum
          alone, I sing blue lakes’ din

leave me a rock with some seed. leave me a drop or more.
my name is why

I am here      in pink carpenters      and ashy palms
while rain purees      the soot
I pelican         from couch    to window


         ---From Blank Cassette by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
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2.2005
Literary Divergents
Lackluster World, Charlie Chaplin, Staci Podiak
1.2005
Mick Parsons
7 Poems and 1 Short Story
10.2004
Stacy Sims: 3 e-stories
+ forthcoming book excerpt
semantikon's annual review of written word off the page and into the world.

This year:
+ LackLuster World creator Eric Adams with excerpts from two issues in PDF plus Interview!

+ Charlie Chaplin 1917: Chaplin in in his ascent from 1920 film festival.

+ Audio feature: Singer Songwriter Staci Podiak brings three new tracks.

"...Secret government emails suggest that the sun is actually holed up in a large hay barn outside Ashland, Kentucky,self barricaded with semi-automatic weapons, moonshine,
along with 625 concubines and their daughters.

All the snipers are in place. Negotiators are bored, hungry, and needing to fuck their underling’s wives.
Navy Seals in space suits are prepared to haul the carcass back and staple gun it to the sky. They understand instinctively
that no one will know the difference.

We watch the 24 hour news channel
in case they interrupt regularly scheduled executions
to report the imminent return..."


           ---From Equinox by Mick Parsons, 1 of 7 new works

Add crap coffee to remains of Starbucks Venti, double shot, skim milk latte. Check voice mail. Seven messages. Hang up. Decide to deal with that later.

Google hot guy from weekend party. Two “Brad Barnett’s” in Cincinnati. One is accountant the other dead in 1974. As seem to remember guy from party is in advertising or something like that, think maybe his name was “Brad Bartlett” – hard to know as was over served Old Fashioned’s. What the hell is in Old Fashioned anyhow?

Google “Old Fashioned” cocktail. Hmm. Interesting. 2 oz. Whiskey or Bourbon, Splash of Simple Syrup, Bitters & Soda. Fill rocks glass with ice. Add simple syrup, bitters, liquor & soda, Garnish with an orange slice and cherry..."

           ---From e-story Productivity, 1 of 4 works by
              Stacy Sims

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9.2004
Mark Flanigan
5 New works + 7 Minute Poems
8.2004
Dan Raphael
6 Works of Poetry
Summer 2005
Krista Franklin
8 Poems

is only
a necessary Art
after one no longer fears
being let go of
first.

it is a strength
that cannot be manufactured

it is a strength
no one, not even I,
can teach....
          yet you must learn.

it is forged through
desperation

still, it is a strength

one
stronger than yours

 ---From The Art of Letting Go by Mark Flanigan,
     1 of 6 new  works

moon beams on frozen white schoolyard
an ocean with its own light, the dreams of grass long surrendered to the future
driven to press their tongues on the transparent underside
ululating a cacophonous blues celebration I feel in several body zones

ice whiter than the moon can know, flailing like a bucket on a string,
driven through the buckets bottom to a lineless moist horizon
that prays against gravity, prays against evaporative sun-flash:
how some clouds are misers, some clouds simply incontinent,
no place to put a name, no structure to navigate with more than mass and memories—
sometimes the more I let go, the more room I have for repetition--

---From Some Say the Year begins with Ice by Dan Raphael
    1 of 6 new works

oh, no one must've told you/ you're supposed to/ bear the weight/ write the poems/ cook/ do the dishes/ clean the house/ read to the baby/ play with the baby/ clean up the baby/ clean up after the baby/ scrub the baby's sticky handprints off the wall/ scold the baby when he does it/ if you do it later/ he won't understand why/ remember that/ you must remember this/ be omnipresent/ you can't take your eyes off of him for one minute

your man/ you can't take your eyes off of him for one minute/ no one must've told you/ you have to stroke him/ ego/ dick/ whatever the moment calls for/ cremate your losses/ place their ashes in the urn/ which was once your heart/ or release them/ disperse them over the wind/ of your children's laughter/ these may be your only choices/ get used to isolation/ be strong/ there is nobility in strength/ this should comfort you/ strength in isolation

      ---From Superwoman by Krista Franklin 1 of
         6 new works

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5. 2004
Willie Smith: Exclusive E-Book Submachingun Conciousness
4.2004
Nathan Singer: Prayer for Dawn
excerpt + 3 Poems and Audio
2.2004
Bess Rose Miller
Selections from "From Kentucky Roots"

  It’s one of those nights I’m drinking alone in my basement studio; snapping polaroids of my hemorrhoids, bending over backwards to allow time all the time in the world to kill itself.
     For the moment I’ve convinced the functionaries I’m disabled – unfit to work. Even the therapist has become at my hard head so pissed he last week told me to beat it; leave him alone; go home; subsist off my check.
     I’m faking it. I’m a spy. Insane Welfare recipient my cover. In reality, I’m hip-deep in top secret doo-doo. If I told you, you’d hafta put down this book and steal something else. Suffice it to say it has everything to do with those behind the lines reading between the lines.
    I miss the days of bulb release. Today you gotta set the timer. Get X amount of secs to get into position. Oh, you can program the secs. Once you create a password, override the default, study the tutorial in what to update – but who’s got the time?

           ---From Willie Smith's novella, Submachinegun
              Conciousness
an exclusive
semantikon e-book
   

I was tired of being the only freak around
so I went to where the other freaks are
but we didn’t have anything to talk about
Some tried to dance but fell down and hurt themselves
some of us smoked opium and got nosebleeds.
I was tired of being the only young person around
so I went to where the other young people are
There was techno and keg stands and Rolling Rock
and some girl got gang-raped
while she puked out a window
and told me I’m too fat.

I was tired of being the only artist around
so I went to where the other artists are
We questioned each other’s integrity
then begged for work at
Hallmark and Dreamworks and Elektra
I offered to sleep my way to the top
but was respectfully declined.

---From Dalton's Rant found in the novel, A Prayer
    for Dawn by Nathan Singer

   

"They say Great-grandma Fannie
had hair so red
that if you broke a strand
she would bleed to death.
But a black and white photo
shows mostly shades of gray.

They say she helped
fight a fire--
a bucket brigade--
to save a neighbor's home
and her seven months pregnant
with her fourteenth child.

They say she was missed
after the fire died down;
they searched for her
and finally found her
face down in the creek
they'd carried water from
a tin bucket lying by her side
while the stream flowed
over and around her
and fanned out her long, red hair..."

            ---From Visions, by Bess Rose Miller found in
               From Kentucky  Roots
 
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1.2004
Michael Crossley
7 works from 3 Crossley Chapbooks
11.2003
Patrick Sebastian
7 works from 3 Crossley Chapbooks
10.2003
Aralee Strange
3 works and 2 cut-up poems
"...The Drunk Girls
     Agree they would all probably sleep with him      again.
The Drunk Girls
     Don’t know why their parents married
     when they don’t sleep in the same bed
     & don’t even speak to each other at a decibel lower than a shriek.
The Drunk Girls
     Share their stories of free abortions by      faceless doctors in nameless clinics
The Drunk Girls
     Confide their friendship in one another, clink      their beers in hearty cheers
The Drunk Girls
     Swear off boys, admitting their fingers are      their best friends
The Drunk Girls
      Dig the fact that they can talk about it
The Drunk Girls
     Console each other in their insecurities,
     Hardly believing that she thinks she has big      thighs
The Drunk Girls
      sexy in a city discuss Sex in the City,
     and all admit that they hated to watch Aiden      go..."


       ---FromThe Drunk Girls by Michael Crossley, 1 0f 7 works
"In my experience, it was the lucky kids who got into trouble only to be grounded or lose their allowance for a week. These possibilities, of course, implied that they went places to be grounded from and received an allowance that could be suspended. I knew neither of these luxuries. My parents must have graduated from the Butcher Holler Gestapo of Child Rearing & Endangerment. While Mom could do some damage with a hairbrush and Dad resigned himself to a belt or bare hand on occasion, their very favorite ever-ready arsenal was as close as our backyard elm. ...When the chores weren’t completed, when I “talked back,” when I persisted in shutting my bedroom door despite their wishes, the offended parent went for the living room corner where three or four switches leaned at the ready...

As a result of my diet choices, I’m sometimes labeled a hippie, even though I was in a high chair, not in the Haight Ashbury Summer of Love. And, sometimes I’m grouped with the supposedly eco-mad “tree huggers.” Of course, it’s a label. It’s shallow and trite and meant to be offensive. Yet, I have to say the truth is, it does warm my heart with a certain satisfaction to see a tree, any tree, all of its limbs intact."

       ---From Tree Hugger by Patrick Sebastian, 1 of 3 works from his chapbook "Growing up Jimmy: Tales ofBible Belt Survival on the yellow Brick Road"

"...here’s to us
moundless grimey tribe
our speech simple minded
our history unwrit
our lives expendable

and here’s to them
who better remember the pendulum swings both ways
all our days numbered on a big clock tick tocking every
one by one."

       ---From Dr. Pain's Main Street Ramble Bone


say you hanging out on Gabriel’s Corner
say you waiting for the horn to blow
say you waiting for the bus to come
say you wait a long time
and your mind is fried
and your feet hurt
and it’s early
and you’re late
and you got another 12 hour day to do in 8
on no sleep because a beat to shit chevrolet
parked down on the street won’t won’t won’t
start every morning at day break

       ---From Dr. Pain's Main Street Remedy

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