Archive for the ‘Hybrid’ Category


by Howie Good


I’m standing in the crooked window of a feeble yellow house drawn in crayon by the child I was. Friends disappear like incautious snowflakes. Hearts hunch their thin shoulders against the cold.

You don’t know who I am or what happens next. If an underworld informer told you, would you believe it? There’s a “s” as in salt, there’s a “n” as in November.

Office girls visited on their lunch break. The flowers were leaking blood. Children couldn’t stop sobbing. You can still see the marks where the nails went in.

No need for thorns. Thorns are obsolete. Fire, fire, madmen scream and stab themselves in the neck and arms with dirty needles. Got a minute? Shine a light down the abandoned Turkey Fat Mine. Summer shines up from the bottom.


Read Full Post »

Arrival and Departure

by Howie Good


I wore my only suit. A flock of wild turkeys I met on the path said continue straight ahead. It was still night under the trees, but I abstained from sleeping. I could hear lovers panting before I could see them. The ground shook at shorter and shorter intervals. Nobody knew for sure back then the number of volts it took to kill a healthy man.

Read Full Post »


by Lydia Swartz

I do want a place where I am in control. This is that. Once you yield the mic, there is no vice but mine, no mercy nor poignant emotion, no anger that matters but mine.

Up here with the mic in my hand I know it for sure. The only story is mine. I can make you believe my truth when you want to settle for lies.

I can make you cry, I can make you laugh. Right now I am making you say to yourself, No she’s not. No I won’t. You know I’m right.

I can shine like a dull knife. I can cut myself open & show you the mess. I can name the parts with their beautiful names as they drip reeking ichor on your ears. If you turn away, that is your malfunction.

I can pick words that make Flesch & Kincaid shudder, that would paint the page red with squiggly lines. I can use words that would make your spam filter dance like water on a griddle. I can speak in ALL CAPS & no moderator tells me to watch my tone. I can misquote dead white guys & you cannot post an authoritative link to shut me up.

I can leave out the most important ingredient or tell you to fry when you really should steam. I can tell you to cut with a router or sand with a saw. I can make summer cold & bleak. I can make winter sweet & dry. I can tell you I’m hot when I’m not.

I can slip you the tongue, & by tongue I mean tell you disgustingly explicit stories of sex. In my stories, which are true while I tell them, imaginary beasts fuck with parts that no one has or wants to have.

I can introduce you to babies I never bore, but I named them before they were not-born. I can talk to my daddy, 10 years dead. Don’t you see him? He’s here to my right. I can tell you shit I never told my shrink, cuz it isn’t true, or because it is.

I can drop the F bomb or whisper the N word, but I will not. But I could. But I won’t. But it made you nervous for me to say that, right?

I can make this a story instead of a poem. I can tell you I’m not a poet. I don’t write poems. I write words & I find a mic & I say them & you can’t do shit about it.

& now I’m done, too soon or too late. That’s up to me. Goodbye.

Read Full Post »

by timothée barrus/

you won’t like this poem/ i’m telling you to leave now/ NOW/ we are subversive/ they get off the ferry with their camping gear — the loud chattering laughter of boys — and you would never know that many of them were dying/ we talk about death a lot the boys and i/ we are not afraid of it/ such talk whether it’s the writing of a poem or the enactment of a play can make the normals nervous/ such a downer/ the normals think it’s so depressing (you should really stop reading right now and if you think i am writing this as a scandal to make a buck then you are fucking ignorant get the fuck off my poem) but we do not find death like that at all/ we think of it as release/ a flock of birds burst into the air/ there are a few of us who wish they could be released right here right now/ to not have to live (more like endure) a life like this where the infections all have scratching voices and the pills make you sick as dogs and give you neurological nightmares and life has been reduced to one humiliating medical examination after another and another and another/ and the ONLY thing that treats the fungus is a very serious antifungal/ AND YOU ARE LIVING FOR WHAT IS IT (?!)/ and if you do not greet this facsimile of a life with open enthusiasm, smile, baby, smile, you get labeled as insane, and they have pills for that, too/ you will be punished/ there’s a leading AIDS researcher infectious disease specialist in the States (we have had knock down drag outs) who really hates my guts who finds my books appalling and my bad attitude a problem because i do not subscribe to the politically correct rhetoric that aids is just an inconvenience now that can be managed by the drugs/ how convenient for them/ we are subversive/ we have swallowed death whole as leather/ death is nothing more than the timing of your belly as it burns with rust/ the boys and i talk about what a relief it will be for thousands and thousands of nightengine miles and curves among the river moons when it becomes dark enough to become very still/ so this disturbs you/ and i should care what the fuck you think because//////////////// if hiv has somehow become more than an inconvenience, then there must be something wrong with YOU/ those of us who HAVE IT/ in our brains and in our bones/ the old move the shells around the blame game/ i just don’t buy this bag of shit as anything but the lie of paradise/ there are people with hiv who lead productive lives/ but not everyone responds to these pwerful medications in exactly the same way/ the normals do not know about the humpback anymore than they want to discuss death and dying/ if you are on some of these drugs long enough you will get the humpback/ it’s a layer of fat that forms in a clump on your back and you are now a humpback/ people do what they can to disguise it with their clothing/ and then there’s bone death (especially from prednisone) where your bones simply die inside your body/ i can’t even begin to describe the pain/ for that one, i was on a morphine drip (which caused me to go mad)/ the bone replacement surgeries just seem to go on and on/ when the boys tell me they just can’t take anymore, i believe them/ i do what i can to keep them alive/ i do NOT know why i do it/ often the boy will beg me to stop/ a few have asked me to kill them/ grace jones says: i just turn away/ you can turn it off/ i would kill them when the wind turns and there the house of death is sitting on the shells/ but i just turn away/ and i turn it off/ and i hate myself for it/ because i fail them/ we are subversive/ i do not know why i turn away/ i do not know why i have taken away guns and razor blades/ i am tired of it/ i think a kid should be allowed to kill himself if that is what he wants although i have interfered in suicide after suicide/ i am conflicted/ it is one thing to think a kid should have the right to end his life; it is another thing to not pump his stomach out or not cut him down from a noose hanging in a closet/ as time goes on, I side more and more with death/ from where i stand the air is drawing the cold from moonlight/ i know how they think/ they look around/ they see a vast north sea landscape both invigorating and rugged, very rugged/ it can kill you if you let it/ i say nothing/ we connect our jujus mentally: they know/ yes, all you have to do is walk out into long enough and you will die/ no, i probably won’t stop anyone from going on a simple hike/ eavan will kill himself if he has to go through withdrawal one more time/ kilian would kill himself if eavan wasn’t in his life/ brandon will kill himself if the humpback gets much worse/ nino will kill himself if he thinks he has to go back to live with his family (the fact that his grandmother once rode on a motorcycle with him is IRRELEVANT (!) and he has his reasons, remi will kill himself if the depressions don’t lift; please don’t be helpful and suggest medications because we are on them all/ etienne will kill himself before his liver gives out completely (the hiv drugs are hell on your liver and the blood tests for the liver tests are just plain hell especially when they have to take the blood from your foot because they cannot find a vein) and he has to endure that pain (we all know that the rhetoric about how we will be kept pain free is a vicious lie; they don’t even try)/ tristan has already killed himself/ tristan might as well be dead/ can you possibly imagine living with these plagues and not being socially allowed to speak of death/ take your social prohibitions and stuff them up your normal ass until you choke on them/ i will kill myself before facing one more orthopedic surgery/ we won’t start looking for you until after dark with flashlights/ finding more and more breath in the radiant venom of the dim/ the locals find us as amusing as any rambunctious church group/ bodies are a problem unless they’re lost at sea/ this is only a poem and if poetry disturbs you get the fuck off my facebook page/ there are a couple of people i am going to ban tonight/ one of the reasons i love facebook (i expect they will boot me off as i am always being complained about — i have been kicked off everywhere from arts journal to the new york times — but as yet, no cigar, i’m still here) is that i don’t have to listen to the haters/ i have my own hate to live with/ take YOUR hate and get the fuck out of my way/ i can delete any hater and i can ban them and i can tell them to shove it up their ass/ you know who you are/ the poetess from germany found her own cage being rattle back/ my bile, my bile, my kingdom for my bile/ go fuck yourself you moralgrinding cunt/ i don’t have to be nice to you/ sweetness everywhere and the fire turning ourselves like a spit/ we have rented transportation and we take off into the winding mountain roads and the dark green enclosure of the trees/ they often come to me in the middle of the night and we will drink EXPENSIVE wine and speak about our lives the whole night and we will sleep together as a group/ we are subversive/ they are my revenge against the normals can you get it/ i know/ i know/ all your dreary rules/ suck my big fat white cock/ what saint/ i am bitter as almonds/ anger makes you squirm so fucking what grow up/ i don’t write pretty poetry/ it makes me sick to read it/ it does not reflect the world i KNOW/ YOU survive at sex work/ YOU survive this this this is not much of a fucking life it is a TORMENT their lives are TORMENTED so don’t ask me to save them and contribute to the torment/ i am not looking to you for help, support, or the time of day/ I CAN HANDLE IT and have been handling it for a LONG fucking time/ they LOVE me/ why do you think i PICKED them/ i will not describe our new building to you/ ever/ we are remodeling the inside/ everyone has a job/ there are new power tools they love new power tools/ we get to work/ THEY ARE ARTISTS THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING/ no one needs to hold their little helpless hands WE ARE NOT HELPLESS (!)/ i am too old to sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor/ i have rented rooms at a hotel some miles a way/ but i can’t leave them alone tonight/ not on their first night here amidst the sawdust/ the mood is up/ this is an adventure/ that is what i do/ i create adventures/ maybe the kind that can faciliate you to think of something other than yourself or all your fucking cocksucking sorries/ have you ever seen the sun come up across the great north sea and the cutting cold; the steel of metallic unbearable tears between your teeth and the dripping from your nose and suddenly you do not feel small you feel all the hurts around you and very much vigorously alive/ fuck you/ we are subversive/ and we are flocks of bursting birds again/

Read Full Post »

Yellow Boy and the Angry Ghosts

by Stephen Nelson


Yellow Boy is alone in his room. A hip hop beat cracks walls. Flakes of plaster fall around him. In his head he unscrambles static E-systems, coughs into his hand, and sniggers. His temple vein throbs, alerting the eye to trans-dimensional ghosts attempting to re-align his karma. Glide slither, glide slither. He feels Cult Girl on his tongue. The sick systems collapse as he imagines folk art and outsider religion. The trans-dimensional ghosts smoke like cooked meat. He continues to cough.

There is a knock on the door and the sudden scent of burning oils. It’s Cult Girl. She sits on the bed and maintains a silence which unsettles Yellow Boy. At the window he witnesses a riot and the martyrdom of three women whose bodies are left lying in the mud. A passing dog sniffs at the bloody corpses before trotting off down a narrow lane. The riot advances to the next city.

Yellow Boy feels the touch of a trans-dimensional ghost on his luminous skin. He shivers in a filthy ice bath. His supernatural battles are a constant strain on Cult Girl. She never knows where his mind is at any given moment. She notices the blue light on his forehead, blue veins crackling under translucent yellow skin; he notices her ink stained fingers.
– I tried to draw the demons for you, she says, following the line of his eye.
– They disappeared last night, he says, But came back in a dream.
– I’ll try again tonight, she says
Outside, the yellow moon falls on the bodies of the martyred women.


The trouble with Yellow Boy is his awareness of infinite parallel existence. At one level, his mind is ravaged and fragmented; at another, he experiences wholeness and has the ability to disentangle himself from any parasitic attachment. In order to drain the trans-dimensional ghosts of sucking power he needs to transfer the essence of one sphere into the energy of another. It’s a simple matter of conversion. Cult Girl is his conduit.

Their love-making is sacred and filled with mystique. She becomes his dakini; he worships her with seraphic fervour. They find themselves drawn to the lingam of a dark temple in Southern India. Outside, the crowds approach with offerings of milk, spices, and yellow garlands. The sky is shimmering white. Yellow Boy and Cult Girl sit atop the Shiva lingam, entwined in a tantric embrace, while the crowds jostle to gain the favour of the blessed apparition. The intense energy of the sanctuary penetrates Yellow Boy’s cellular structure. For a moment he is caught between universes, a riot of conflicting experience mashing his brain. Cult Girl is lost in the deep silence of their union. Her eyes are closed but the light in and around her body is visible. She imagines herself playing with colour like a child playing with a yellow balloon.


Yellow Boy sits with Jehovah on a Tibetan mountain top. They are temporarily suspended above the twelve planes of existence. Below them, legions of angels come and go with rapturous singing. The sky is a sea of white. Cult Girl wanders amongst marvellous beings who lounge around the shores of a crystal lake smoking long, thin Italian cigarettes. The lake reflects the mountains and the sky. The sky is a sea of white. Cult Girl is temporarily blinded by radiance.

Anybody else would enjoy the acclaim, but Yellow Boy is racked with guilt and constantly at war with a sense of his own superiority. It’s as if the fact that he is special is of no consequence, but is, rather, a load to bare, a burden to shed, a weight to drop on others. Jehovah is tired of his melancholia. Cult Girl on the other hand, warms to his tortured sensitivity. The shimmer is a sea of sky and white.

No one could have predicted the outcome. The trans-dimensional ghosts are no longer relevant. Yellow Boy finds himself in relaxation classes with a group of pregnant women, while Cult Girl and Jehovah shift between alternate realities with great élan, graciously attended by the marvellous beings, whose cigarettes Jehovah has temporarily confiscated.

Read Full Post »

Cocktail olive tits (a dot inside an O)

by Leslie Arbetman

there is no
fucking white

no hole.
the tea party took
a turn to the

the moon doesn’t

neither do cats.

they don’t possess
the muscles, the
where-with-all, or
mental acuity to.

so let’s just
slash & burn.

it worked in
the 80’s.

and that shit was

this is fukt.

Read Full Post »