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Archive for June, 2009

#99

Ivan Brkaric
Accordion

After a few beers out comes the accordion.

“Uncle, play us those songs you use to sing.”
Beautiful songs from when you were small.

The notes you did not know,
but the tunes your mind will never forget.

Oh how you played an instrument of zeal
that held our family together.
How we would sing and dance
to the sweet sounds you’d create.

And now the seasons have passed.

Some of us have died.
Some of us have grown too old to sing and dance.
Some of us have moved away.
Some of us were too young to care

Oh uncle, how your accordion use to keep us together,
but now we have ‘grown’ in all different directions.

Uncle it is sad to see.
Your accordion stored in a closet.

It will soon collect dust for eternity.
Only to be played in our memories.
But uncle when you pass,
who will play the accordion that made our family last?

(more…)

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The Snob Report #1

Greg Oguss
Nobody’s Special and So Are You: Synecdoche, NY

He was born, he suffered, he died.
–Stan Brakhage

I come, I shoot, I return.
–Tsvetan Todorov

The above epigrams are two of the formulas that theorists have proposed to express the Grand Master Narrative of human existence. As these samples suggest, most GMNs boil down to a few basic humanist propositions dressed up by their interest in the ‘deep structures’ of civilization, i.e., we are all the hero of our own tale, with the same essential hopes, dreams, frustrations, frailties and neuroses. For adherents of GMNs, all great works of art must somehow evoke the profound tragedy that is the life of the common woman or man. If many great anti-humanist works quickly spring to the mind of the contrarian (from Oscar Wilde’s sophisticated satires to the scabrous nihilism of Gaspar Noé), humanism’s penchant for romanticizing the fight against middle-class anomie has at least fueled many of America’s treasured stage-plays dating back to Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” and Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” (more…)

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#98

Allyssa Kasoff
Generation

Here’s to the generation
of daisies yanked from ground left to
rot behind waxy ears overloaded with
whispers of I, you, them. Ornamented,
punctured with peace signs.
Disco balls that spin and sparkle above
boys and girls summoning each other
with sunken eyes.
Alarms that siren our bodies for morning
class. Mind stuck between 3 and 4 A.M. Caressing
bellbottom dreams that hug and flair out
past thighs. Angel sleeved blouses, marshmallow
heels and Candies that dress innocence in labels.
Clogs clacking down Bowery streets delivering
in soles next minute’s fix for junkies who
shiver and shake for a packet of pure white.
Tie die shirts streaked with blues, reds, yellows that
bleed into each other. No room for blacks or whites.
British flag shirts protesting stars and stripes in favor of
crowns and queens. We hide behind
horn rimmed glasses, because
we cannot trust our eyes to see.

Reinvent ourselves
in bloodshot eyes that avoid graffiti glaring at us
as violence sprayed in pinks and greens. Braided hair
intertwined with Marlboro Lights and secrets. Last night’s
mascara that drips and sticks to skin like leggings. Begging
for Little Red Corvettes zooming down Fifth Avenue
fast enough for us to forget who we are. Snorted from
mirrors lined with cocaine. All that remains are reflections.
Painted lips, blue eyes and pink cheeks make us statues.
We do not see the homeless babbling to strangers
about life inside of paper bags and vodka handles.
People thrown out of homes like rotting apples.
Streets blanket them with their rocky coldness.
We are warm inside.
The elite is immune to AIDS. Reganomics.
Fucking family values.

Exist
as searing lattes whose steam clings to air
like ghosts held in hands that strum black
guitars until they splinter and bleed.
Raspy miseries trapped in blue
eyes. Unwashed hair greasy with the memories of
Hamptons getaways, overdoses, nirvana.
Traffic lights blink red, yellow, green, green, green.
Bohemia clings to skin in peasant shirts that
hug and dangle like semicolons.
Stomachs grumble for bagels and boredom.
Feet stomp on dreams tucked in pavement’s cracks.
Lips tuck romance away in storybooks that rot
in attics. Addicts of burning lights, benzene drips, blurry truths.
Hipsters parade down Bowery streets in
tight flannel shirts exposing midriffs and bones. We see
the world through vintage Aviator glasses, as if
flying away is a fashion statement.
We have been to Tokyo, Milan, Barcelona, Rio and Paris, but
how far do we have to travel to escape ourselves?

(more…)

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#97

Christian Ward
The Weathergirl

Clouds blew their cover
during the night, rain
scudding across the window
in code. I should have known

something was up by the signs
she gave me: fabricated television
appearances, forecasts gathered
from the tornado swirl of tea leaves,

stilettos bought instead of wellingtons.
Perhaps I should have seen this earlier;
not cracked at the checkpoints on her body,
not interpreted her body language

for something else. I always checked
the coast was clear just in case,
always wept in Morse.

(more…)

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#96

Mel Bosworth
1989 Chevy Blazer

178K miles. One owner. Black & Silver. Red interior. Two-door. V6 engine. Strong 4X4. New tires. Trailer hitch. New stereo/CD player, one year old. New catalytic converter. Minor upholstery damage on driver’s seat. Minor rust in wheel wells. Small crack on windshield, no spider web. Could use new starter, and front end alignment. Reliable daily driver. Available for viewing/test drive anytime. $500, FIRM.

(more…)

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