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Showing posts from May, 2013

“Even if you’ve never had a piano lesson in your life…” Illustrated by Bill Griffith!

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“Even if you’ve never had a piano lesson in your life…”1 three Zippy the Pinhead comic strips2
1. These days you can get a gloss of anything you don’t understand, watch Liberace’s spot for The Baldwin Fun Machine, get sold and ring it up with shipping—without leaving your post. Then videocapture with all your being!
2. Saturday Night Sing-a-longs—teens thing they’re tops! Mom puts out a plate of garbanzo crescents. Dad plugs in the home fog machine and flash pots. Suddenly you’re three of the many Osmonds. “I think about your lovin’.” “Double lovin’.”
3. We’re graced with a visit from our long-nosed friend, so we gather around the keyboard console. His face opens up—such a sweet audience. When he starts to get confused after a while, we explain: the organ sounds best off. So stop
the one-finger harmonizer, and roll out the F’tang F’tang Olé Biscuit Barrel.
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[1] So begins the TV ad for Baldwin’s value-priced home organ pitched by Liberace. He performed a one…

Meeting the Doctor, illustrated by Christian Roman

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“Transplants are commonplace nowadays, even routine, so no impediments remain to performing the process on oneself. Pleased to meet you. Doctor Kenneth Frank—Ken’s fine. Transplants. Symbiology. You’ve probably guessed the hand you shook just now was not always mine.
My gardener, a former cowpoke and prizefighter, possessed musculature that was enviable, indeed. When he quite unexpectedly passed, I imagined a mutually beneficial arrangement. His cadaver agreed, you might say. His arm lives on, serves me and retains
the strength and soul of his brawn and breed. You felt him in the handshake. You met him, too, just then. Sadly, his left hand would not accede motor control (damned thing). But look here! Mismatched, it’s true. My left belonged to a concert harpist. Female, yes.
It was her dominant hand, so although in school, I was right-handed, I now find myself ambidextrous— and master of this limb’s delicacy. My sutures have become gestures with the power and finesse of music. See my ankle? The fine need…

House Guest, illustrated by Sybil Archibald

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House Guest
Plastic wrapped her from the inside, entered as a gas and sealed her. The home closed its doors to its bride, repossessed the meaning of “where the heart is.” And she might have died
on the curb but for a neighbor whose own scarred heart bled quite enough. After all, what’s a great room for? “The Big One doesn’t make us tough,” she said. “It just shakes off our pride.”
She gave her time to sleep and slough the cellophane around her brain. Too, there was the brother she loved who had not made it past the strain. On a clear afternoon, grief tore
the seal open and out she came, shaking, wet, ready to begin.

Unearthly Whiz, illustrated by Stefan G. Bucher

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As I've approached artists for this book, I have been telling them truthfully that
I would be "backflippingly thrilled" to get a piece from them. Since March,
I have turned a lot of back flips, figuratively.
The incredible Stefan G. Bucher, warned me offattempting a literal one,
but getting this piece from him brought me close to endangering myself and others
with spontaneous acrobatics. 
Here's "Unearthly whiz," illustrated byStefan G. "The Daily Monster" Bucher. Unearthly Whiz
         Initially sparked by the documentary, Wretches & Jabberers

A’s for appearance, the first shapes one sees, and mine don’t help to make my beauty’s case. Beard bramble, beach-ball belly, buzzard eyes, bottom bite—and bejesus, what a face— cleave all my encounters to choppy seas.
Do you think you’d do with a self like this: a knack for remunerative visions but no rein on the way you come across? My gifts for profit get badly shaken by swiveled necks, bulged eyes and guts th…

Zombie Movie Climax, Illustrated by Art Moura - Please vote

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The amazing Art Moura submitted a whole graveyard full of zombies in illustration of this poem. Which one or two do you like best?
published in Turbulence Magazine, Issue 8 (2012)
Zombie Movie Climax

This is a zombie movie scenario starring me as me myself, and also as the zombie who shambles
patiently through the abandoned midnight neighborhood scene:
Hero-me stops running, grabs zombie-me by the lapels,
yells “Wake up! Smell the roses!” Both shaking violently.

Close up on two faces. The living one: “Look at yourself!”
A spark ignites in the zombie’s eyes. “You’re animated!”
The room spirals and goes bright in a frenzy of cellos.
Their clutch breaks. The hero cries, “You don’t have to be so dead!”
The zombie’s mouth closes. Then opens and moans, “Oh. I see.

Animation. It’s all. I have. So. It has. To be. Good.
Enough. For me.” Dawn’s first rosy finger touches the east.
Zomb-me turns to look. On the face of it, life doesn’t hold
much for the vitally challenged. On the other ghastly
hand, what might a …