#10

Nigel Adams
Pornography and Propaganda

There is no real poetry
any more –
just pornography
and propaganda.
But this moment,
this fractured second,
that your eyes wander over
…and wonder whether…
to read further
or whether this is just more rubbish
to reject or recycle…

…this moment of confusion
that has more potential
than anyone recently born
on any English council estate,
and more gravity
than a tower falling
in the tarot
of post-modern fatalism
this moment was poetry
(or maybe just more
pornography
and propaganda)

 

 

Greg Oguss
The Return Of Eddie “RUTHLESS” Payne

I wake up. Dead again. This time, I come to sprawled in the middle of a side street in a seedier section of Koreatown, which basically means: I’m in Koreatown. Next thing I know I’m kidnapped by these 15 year-old Korean kids out joy-ridin’ in a ’69 Merc. They trade me and the ‘Merc for a 12-pack of that cheap Chinese beer. Sing Ha? Sing Tao? Sing Sing? You know the one…Then this Korean grocer, mean little eyebrows, all squinty-up comes flyin’ outta the backroom with some kinda wacking stick above his head. I mean, I’m not makin’ a racial comment here. I learned as much from Polanski’s “Chinatown” as anyone, okay? I’m just saying this Korean grocer, he wasn’t the best example of his race. Fuck, I like everybody. I’m nice guy, you all know that. But this grocer, he just doesn’t give a shit, right. And as the 15-year old kids make a dash with their beer, he grabs me by the shirt, takes me in back and beats me senseless with that wacking stick of his. Then things get all fuzzy. I black out.
When I come to again, this time I’m in a room way in the back corner of the Cedar-Sinai ER. The door’s shut and the nurse is telling me where I am. She speaks quietly, soothingly. She’s young, pretty, but does her job efficiently and doesn’t let that shit get in the way, taking a quick read of my vitals, starting a painless IV and getting some fluids going, etc. The vitals seem “normal.” I lie back and try to “detox,” empty my brain. That’s pretty easy, as usual. Within minutes, my usual team of docs is comin’ into the room–Pimental, Chiang, most of them are there—either on call or I guess they’ve been summoned. It’s all a big relief. And I don’t ask many questions. I just know somehow I made it back to West Hollywood, CA. 90210 district. My old stompin’ grounds. My docs look at the chart, the vitals. The blood work comes back from the lab in fifteen minutes maybe. Then they tell me the diagnosis: severe dehydration. Prognosis: uncertain. So they keep pumping me full of fluids. Only the “good stuff.” Then, after a half another hour, I’m whisked up to a nice spacious room up on the “private” 8th floor. Lyndsey’s not around like last time. I think she must be in court or in jail. At least that’s what one of the orderlies tells me. They keep me under observation for 10 days. But I quickly start putting on the weight. As soon as I get off that “nothing but straight fluids” through the pic-line shit, that’s when I discover something. Here’s the kicker: Ya can’t beat that Cedars egg custard. Fuck if I know what egg custard is, but ya can’t beat it. I MEAN, YOU CAN’T FUCKING IT BEAT IT, am I makin’ myself clear???
Look, I’ve had $5,000 bottles of wine, 50 year-old bottles of Glenlivet scotch, fucked women who could make you cum with just a glance in your direction, gotten sucked off by hoes who could make you cum twice by lifting their armpits a little (and yes, hoes do not equal women, sorry, gals, there is a difference). I’ve shot up china white, snorted Bolivian marching powder, downed jars full of percocet, percodan, codeine, all the benzos, the tricyclics, thalidomide, ketamine, X, smoked up the best reefer from Cali to Jamaica and feasted on the caramel-hazel-nut brownies at the Sugar Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker St. in the West Village, but listen close to me now…
There is something in the egg custard at Cedars-Sinai that will get you off like none a this good shit. And they know it, and it’s a very good thing. It’s the best high you will ever experience. And it’s clean and it’s non-addictive. Unlike everything I just mentioned (including women, hoes and the brownies at the Sugar Magnolia Bakery). So bust a limb, fake a suicide, or shoot yourself in the balls if you have to, but get yourself into the brand-new Alexander Solzhenitsyn Wing of the ICU of Cedars which, outside of the privacy of 8th floor, is the only place you can get this Egg Custard shit. I know this because another orderly “tipped me off” and my assistant “liberated” four cases of it from down in the Solzhenitsyn wing a few hours before they let me go.
Okay, so now I’m “relatively” clean. Feelin’ like a million bucks thanks to a couple gallons of that Cedars miracle juice they call “Egg Custard.” And so the docs decide to release back out on the street. Plus I got some extra lbs. So the next role I land, you think we aren’t going to spread the story all over the press about Eddie Payne’s “miracle weight transformation” and how I “threw myself” into the role with De Niro-like abandon to pull off the film convincingly? Hell, I don’t care what story it is, just get me an older, heavier-set role to play and a director who can fucking tie his own shoes. And the press raves–Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, the Tangiers Inside Scoop–they’ll all start rolling in, setting the town a-buzz before anyone’s seen the damn film. The story fuckin’ writes itself. You think I won’t finally win that Oscar for packing on the weight just like De Niro did for “Raging Bull”? Worst case, I mean worst fucking case, I end up with a “serious film” finally on the resume, some long overdue critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination. That’s worst case, we’re talkin’.
My theory? My fuckin’ agent, Lubenmeyer, was behind the whole Koreatown to Cedars nightmare from day one. That bastard. Hell, he probably owns stock in the fuckin’ corporation that makes the Cedars’ Egg Custard, for all I know. What I gotta go through to pay for an addition on that summer home of his out at in the Cape? Come to think of it, maybe I should ask Lubenmeyer about picking me up some shares of that Egg Custard manufacturer, if they’re publicly listed on the NYSE, the NASDAQ, the AMEX, or whatever. As soon as I can get some bread, that is. Hell, I might just buy a couple thousand shares on margin, if I can.

 

 

Marie Lascu
The Artist

He is such an artist,
his voice the chariot skimming the lake
and I’m thinking things…
which makes it all less than I thought.
In what’s left of a forest in the back of this house
there are birds whose calls
slip in and out of weeping ghosts,
and I figure it’s Michigan, and anything could have happened here.
What day was it, that I forgot,
and missed the switch
that explains the tired voice I find myself with.
A rose I cleaned,
meant to inspire someone’s day,
left a mark on me that would make my newly deaf calico cat
jealous.
And it stung not when I received it, but when I noticed it hours later,
and that makes me wonder…
which part do I deserve.

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