Driver’s Side Airbag #30
52 pages

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we were such winsome little shits
the patron saints of cheap sex & filthy little secrets
we were the kids god threw away
ambulatory trash in an empire of gleaming freaks
tiny ragdolls with big sharp teeth
the angriest children you could ever fuck
prone to clever rebellions of the soul & massive unforgiven fuckups
dropped headfirst into a world we didn't understand
but were pleased to devour anyway
we consumed the city like the world's biggest cotton candy dick
spent long afternoons wandering down miles of concrete
trying to soothe whatever parts of ourselves that were left after getting fucked
we'd listen to pirate radio & screw strangers for chump change
& often for no change at all
we fucked drive-by shootists & cabbies &
big vicious dogs disguised in humanskin masks
then after the sodomy & sodapop
we'd go to the movies to forget our names
or snuggle like lazy fiends in muffin's oversized bed at her
indescribably squalid house
her siblings were all retarded & everybody else in the house was an invalid
the filth was unspeakable but somehow vaguely cool
nobody yelling at us to clean the house
nobody doing much of anything but drooling
meanwhile we'd get drunk & play practical jokes with condoms & thumbtacks
lying in bed together like warm yawning little gods
her dad would occasionally threaten to beat the piss out of us both
"if only you could walk, motherfucker" i'd say with a charming little smile
he'd laugh because he couldn't do anything else
we were the rulers of all we surveyed
until muffin got knocked up at age fourteen
& dropped a few more kids after that
all by different fathers & two babies came up retarded
being an illiterate junior high dropout on welfare was
something she was never encouraged to worry about
don't sweat the small stuff
becoming a teen parent under such conditions
was something that just fucking happened
i'd say that her hope for a future was lost after the pregnancy but
it was probably gone a damn sight before that
except for a few shining moments in those days when
we ruled the streets like
sparkling whitetrash

Shannon Frach

andrew.lying armless.and brain box.
lights.dull senseless light.

...stupid.drunk.andrew.speeding.80.on nameless face
highway.six girls.drooling with speed.
they crash.halfway between pain and oblivion.

andrew.fucked.a chinese social studies.
andrew-sleek faced infant.muscles whimpering in the sun.
roaring. with popularity. with rage.
and oh.the animals.stirring in their cages.the slow and.
steady grumble.of crumbling steel.

i knew him.with both arms.with brain.squirming. heard
the eyes beneath his face. the dripping of blood.
son of an alcoholic.son of endless fire.a child.marked.
with a thousand x’s.shoved in a corner of shit.and told
to behave.

how can the bleeding.lie silent.

die.with a smile.amused with your own excrement.painted
clowns.we are not toys.we are not dead.yet.
so i wonder.who.what. and is this real. or is there usual.

rotting.visibly this time.

he deserved it.


melody rose robins
(previously published in brouhaha #12, 22 Strathmore Village Dr., S. Setauket NY 11720)

tidy bowl erotic nightmare

I’ve been whispered to in a fever
that we are fragile, born from eggs.
That in face the wet sheets are
keys on a cotton piano playing
"sweet georgia brown" on my buttocks.
That I will die without friends.
That I am the world’s slowest learner.
That I exist because my soul won a meat raffle.

The ancients believed that a small
pre-formed being inhabits each sperm.
Not unlike the Tidy Bowl man.

I’ve been whispered to that
blue seas of infinity hide
in some sunny nook of the toilet bowl
and the voice in the gurgling drain
is a vampish Annette, urging Frankie on
and I think of the riot of beings in my testicles
as small captains without ships.

A carnal plunge passes through me,
a small shudder and release.
Someone please just jiggle the handle
that muffled panting from the toilet tank
is a tiny river of voices
tacking through my mostly fluid body
en route to the denser matter of my spirit
where a small watercraft drifts...

We are fragile, born from eggs.
Small hands grasp at my groin
as the sheets curdle.
I’ve been whispered to
that I will die without friends,
that beings are dying within me.
That a man in a boat is laughing and
it is a tiny, clean, blue revenge.

John Colburn

Blastocele Reminiscence Fiasco
by Bill Kaul

Basically, the planet is covered with bipedalists. A vague scum covers most of their faces, as they desperately try to he a Cover Girl or a Cover Boy, no shiny faces, plenty of rouge and brown goo or if too red already then pale powder and blue eyelids. Black stockings. Bicycle shorts and muscle shirts: tan skin from a bottle and not from sun unless danger man or woman. Genteel but sexy and shy like cars are shy, sexy and yet aggressive. Paychecks. That's it. Or almost it. It's a pitiful discourse. Not at all cool. The cat struggles to rise from the road. Its’ back legs are crushed. It claws at the air and rips it into ribbons streaked with carbon exhaust. No stripes on the cat, or on the road- they're covered with black scars, ribbons of rubber residue.

When l die, don't let them greasy sonsa hitches put no goddam makeup on my face, no shit in my hair, no vile sauce in my veins. Closed casket. Quick burial.

These and other thoughts were flashing through the mind of the hermit as the wind flashed by full of lightning and thunder, a warning from above that said You Are Puny You Are Small You Aren't Shit, mantra, a ray, a Mantra Ray gliding through the conscious sky... floating like a weasel on laughing gas into the ear of Methuselah's idol and bringing him to life, or to death...

She had been a whore, unpaid and whimsical. Full of prattle. Now old, full of regret and hope for richness like a creamy filling, blaming everyone else for her truancy and her Now Condition. He had been a sot, simple and full of vague longing, pissed at wealth and plastic and now he Had No Condition. He was Ready To Die.

When I croak, please don't let 'em fuck me, stick me, dress me and play with me. Even though it ain’t me, I don't like it, and Some One Will Pay, by Damn.

Every other person at the Bob Dole victory party was happy and eating little liver-pastry puffs and cream truffles and glib vials of champagne. A toast! some shouted. This just made Baudelaire feel sicker, and the roiling and rumbling in his belly was like acid poured on limestone and crushed under a shiny Oxford heel, followed up the pants leg like a dog writhing in hormonal frenzy along the seam of the doubleknit blue slacks into the vale of the starched conservative shirt-tail, on along the edge of modest power tie (?) and into the zona vaculosum of the neck collar, that tight string of cord-jugular which supplies blood to the loathsome reality of his Head.

Could he predict an eclipse? Find the murderer of God? Could he wash his hands in the pot of vestments reserved for the sons of Aaron? Time will teIl It will tell. Oh, yes, it will tell all right but in what language? On what channel?
The vitamin soak continues in the hopes of prolonging life and seeing the end of the story.

by livio farallo

old bridges are cruelest when they bring faces back to the window. faces with roses in their teeth. gums with blood from the thorns. i jump down the stairs. if i can only snap the string of memory perhaps we will be thrown in opposite directions and lose each other. again. perhaps we can finally watch bridges collapse in a gesture final as flame. i wish i hadn’t let you find me. we are drowning and my halo won’t fit over your smile. you knock on the window so i must break it. you move faster than a thunderstorm so i must shatter them all. you will never comprehend the ambush. neither will i. messy. final. unfixable. your faces skipping past windows. fruits in a slot machine. gruesome caricatures from a funhouse. each one the center of a universe. gone. one bullet swallowed.

hats cleaned & blocked, albinos meet
(from the hotel sterno - currently unpublished)

the dwarves deadbolted to the door of room 324 have a red ribbon
like a capacitor running between their mouths a ribbon which reads
atoms colliding - do not disturb. singing would be preferable, what

ditty wouldn’t, however the third floor decor is tacking decidedly in
the direction of a thalidomide rococo & refutes just such a request.
eyes adjust slowly to the scraps of lumen barely escaping the bulbs,

european pancake lamps no hat would hazard to smithy w/its’ head
w/out first invoking the mismeasure of man. think logarithms. to
yourself. think yourself to a perfect work boot & an albinism free

of folds, look in the laundry chute for a copy of the periodic chart
& isn’t it everything you’ve always thought it would be? footsteps
guided by finger cymbals & the counterpoint of the dwarves, they

base at the phone booth where a numeral’s cryptography reflects
the tacit bias against pachinko machines, autistic or otherwise, one
steel ball the difference between a busby & the conduction of jars.

Jeffrey Little

Schumann Locked-in for the Duration with Blank Pages
by Alan Catlin
(from Shelley and the Romantics, c/o the author, 143 Furman St., Schenectady NY 12304)

An invasion of polychromatic minor chords played by piano tuner inner demons with syphilitic sores turns the pages of his dreaming. Yet another night of total sense deprivation with mind eating termites making music, a pounding of the head against a mold-encrusted wall, perceived inside, as a signal for the first violinist. What follows is not the conductor or applause.

Before the end comes The Fear, maddening hallucinations so real, images of possessed half notes raise lumps beneath the skin and quarter notes become tumors, whole notes a symphonic explosion, a Walpurgisnacht like drug withdrawal, but in this case there can be no cure. Just death, a score written by broken fingernails and blood on a white wall no one will ever see or hear.


this woman asked me once
how does one so young
get to be so old
i told her it's hard work
but i recommend
living alone
listening to the music
of great dead men
and never seek out the crowds
for if you are genius
they will find you
no matter which rock
you try to hide under
and when they find you
they will eventually grow
to hate you
which is for the best
i tell her
for love has many peaks and valleys
but hatred
on the otherhand
hatred is definite
like a bullet to the back of the head
like a knife to the gut
like death tapping you on the shoulder
love comes and goes as she pleases
but hatred
hatred shall always be there

J.J. Campbell


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