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Monday, February 18, 2013

Serious Ink – Illustrated by Andrew Goldfarb

“Pinstriped skin? You want pinstriped skin?”
So, needlessly, you repeat it.
“Okay, okay. The Pinstripe Kid.”
He’s old. He fetches his needles
and a jar of powdered black ink.

“Take a couple months. At least weeks,
you know.” Yes, you know. The man slakes
the ink from a cracking teapot.
Though chilly, you take off your slacks.
“So what’s up?” he asks. “You pissed off

at your mother?” But when he asks,
it’s at the back wall, an aside.
So you don’t say anything.  “Fuck,”
he barks, laughs or coughs.  What?  “Hell. Stripes.
You know? Never mind. You ready?”

You are. Each etching stroke feels like
bursting across a finish line.

More Andrew Goldfarb awesomeness including art, music and performance
at The Slow Poisoner 

Friday, February 8, 2013

A vision quest vision. Livia Stein, illustrator

What happens as I watch a spider’s web
over a small stream: after many hours,
a wave of bugs on an advancing wind
washes over the spot. “It’s the spider’s
I think watching several wing pairs

stick and tangle. Only then do I hear
the approaching rustle behind the swarm.
It’s a woman in hiking boots, long hair,
and a bikini, swinging, like Occam’s
Razor, a broad stick to de-web her way.

“Hi.” She could be
Goddess in human form.
“Ya’ll having a party over at Bonne’s?”
“It’s a retreat.” Her hips shift and she seems
to give, by repetition, a koan:
“Ya’ll having a party?” I don’t know. Her

weedy pubes spin out thick and uncontained.
When she blazes on, the spider web’s gone.

Visit Livia Stein's website to see more of her work.

We're out of control, and cocktail sauce. Livia Stein illustrated

Italics are the crab talking (I think).

We’re out of control, and cocktail sauce

Destined to boil, that crab (I imagine)
sees me, seeing it. You make a bitter
familiar, tied to the harsh schedule in
your prison. Both of us will be better
come dinnertime. I’m not hungry. My pain

won’t be mellowed by hot buttered spider.
My wrists ache—plus all this lack of control.
I’m too nervous to wield the shell cracker.
I wish you’d climb out of there and side-stroll
out the door, through town and to the ocean.

We’re underwater. We just gotta roll—
even if it’s California. The banks
closed on the seabed, but I’ve got my whole
life ahead of me. So what? I got tanked.
Too late? Too early? Here is here is here

is here is where I am with claws and shanks.
Adapt. Bubble. Crawl—and then an arm yanks.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Discharge - Derek Wilson, illustrator


Sitting in the back of a Greyhound bus,
you find out who you are without orders.
Without family meeting you there to fuss,
you get dismissed last. At o dark thirty
you might sleep, but you can’t, and there’s no rush.

Two hundred miles to Brookings. Forty more
to Cairn Station. And then you walk a mile
to the house and whoever you find there,
strapped for cash, fast asleep and unable
to meet you, hug you, tell you where to toss

your reeking, desert-dusted duffel bag.
You drive to McDonalds, and then you give
the orders: Big Mac, Coke, side of Kabul.
You’ve choppered, jeeped, flown, bussed, walked and driven
for two all-beef patties in the free world,

and in the world, water-tight as a sieve,
gonna have to figure out how to live.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Miserable Mofo and the Less-Blown Minds – Lauren Ari, illustrator

       "I'm a wearer of the dark. I have a dark suit." —Dave Thomas

Despite the violent oscillation
of our heads, some of us punks were able
to half-wonder: what will become of us?
That caricature motto, “No Future,”
begs certain questions in the aftermaths.

Crocus Behemoth blew our minds often,
mad head warbling a la climaxing teen;
and better than those sound-scrapes, his bitter
perspective conveyed diagonally
convinced us of our own foresight as punks.

But bands split up. A crash time-stopped D. Boon.
Pop culture punks bit the dust on drugs (yawn)
while other artists coupled and had kids,
went to sew the sutures of middle age…
Crocus took up the accordion, whined

on about himself, swimming past his art
and the girlfriends that came and went with it.

by Lauren Ari