Thursday, May 26, 2011

Acceptance at Wigleaf

Very Excited about Wigleaf acceptance of my flash, "The Brando Method Thing: Sal Mineo On Watching Brando at the Actor's Studio." Should be up around late summer/early fall.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Up at Ozone Park, Spring 2011

A poem: Catching Bears at Night. My thanks to Lisa Cihlar, a great poet at Zoetrope, who supplied the prompts.

Catching Bears at Night

Don't speak,
just pretend
you're not the precious mink or otter
I've trapped along shallow water
living your life skipping stones
dreaming of a soft catch.
When I was young, before I bought
coon cuffs or bandit busters from
arctic renegades, tundra-shifters,
I could reflect someone's hunger
underwater and spent Canadian
sunsets with trachea closed,
hands tied and labeled.
I too fell prey to a padded jaw.

I could have designed a trap
to kill you quickly
but that kind no longer exists.
Just pretend I was hunting
golden bears at night
and wound up with a piece
of my own flesh.
By morning, I'll have lost
our appetite for wild honey.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Check out Eskimo Pie

A great poet. Check out her Sacrimento Poetry site, full of great writers/artists.

The Problem of the Tortoise and Me

The Problem of the Tortoise and Me (Pubbed in Girls Without Insurance, 2009)

You've been carrying this little girl on your shoulders for what seems forever. Miles and miles, past old signposts. Here, numbers don't matter. You let her down. You're short winded. You have a stabbing pain in your side. You've had it forever or maybe from the end of the footbridge where you were jumped by a shadow, the same one that lurked in school hallways, stood at the head of class. It once had a face. You can't seem to recall it. Or. You don't really want to. Not a need. All shadows have the same face.

"Do you know where your house is?" says the little girl.

"Yes, I think so," you say. You point straight ahead.

But really there are no houses in this area. Only fields and parks and little sidestreets that are either dead ends or detours. But you have a vague sense of the direction your house might lie in. No, not vague. Straight. Straight ahead. There is no other direction.

"Do you want me to go with you?" says the little girl.

Her gaze is steadfast. There is something defiant about her stillness. It's thick and three-dimensional. And even though, she's only standing a few feet from you, it could be miles. But again, here, numbers don't matter. In fact, you might be her own shadow.

Before you can answer because it's probably taking you forever, the little girl turns and walks away. In the background, there are a thousand colors and their values, mixing. Now, you can't see anything. You can't distinguish shapes. So you turn around. You're going to take a slightly jagged line. You might have to cross backyards and empty built-in pools. The pools were always fun when you played Follow the Leader.

But to get to your house, you'll have to cross three fields, twenty or thirty houses in the shapes of octagons or squares that keep growing bigger if you enter them. You think area, area, area. Circumference was a problem in the pre-calculus days. And there's more. Women with crazy hats and men who have forsaken their wheelchairs. And the farms. You'll have to pass the farms. At least one of seven pigs, five cows that moo the moon, and sheep. The baby was your favorite. You remember calling her by some Scottish name, but really, back then, Scotland was only a forethought.

You've walked forever. Occasionally, you check yourself for signs of blood. Then, you think: When did Scotland ever bleed?

You're there. You step inside the house. The little girl you carried on your shoulders is sitting at the living room table playing Chinese checkers with your father, whose trousers were always baggy. Your mother is making stir-fry chicken in the kitchen. You think of all those tiny animals, dead or otherwise, jumping about in the pans, the wok.

"I'm home," you call out.

Your father and the little girl act as if they can't hear you. Your mother comes out of the kitchen, walks past you, and closes the blinds. She turns on the lights. It could be evening, late, twin-twilight, Arctic, or Scotland.

I'm home, you say again. You begin to tell everyone about the farms you passed. You keep repeating it because by doing so you believe you can make those animals stand at attention even if their bodies are stuffed and their eyes China glass and cloned. Those incredible cows that keep getting fat and never burst. What patience! The sexy primal pigs. Jumping without sunscreen into daylight! And the sheep, you say. Yes, the sheep. Only the sheep. Only the sheep won't rise.

Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure

My flash, Prarie Rose, pubbed in Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure, May 11,


A Poetic Spoof

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, I want to believe in the limpet-shaped hegemony of snails or what else is there to dream?

In our lives connected by so many chitinous ribbons, I once heard a snail sneeze then forget who it was. The sea was cold and Sarah Palin spoke in omniscient voice, in Roman disguises or a fire, appeared as an amalagram of back strokes across rough waters. Then the night sneezed. When the night sneezes, it turns to day. When the day holds its breath, it's time to elect Sarah Palin's most wistful reflections echoing within the conus of despair-to-being.

Once I was a boy. Once I closed my eyes and imagined the Redwoods of duplicit intent. That I needed to be saved was what I projected onto a crowd of hungary faces. Sarah Palin has memorized the ticks of modern psychology.

When Sarah Palin spoke at Potsdam, she encouraged us to remove our turbinate or murex shells that made us allergic to allergy itself. She asked us to shape our hands into wine glasses and taste the imaginary tannins of our ubiquitous bonds. Many of us stood strong and fierce but remained fearful of crustacean theories and the small lives of rocks.

Sarah Palin reminds us how she was once very tiny in a forest of men. This was before Ben Franklin and the invention of wingless sex. A man with obscenely large hands gave her permission to believe. A tree fell not far from Sarah Palin's frostbitten toes.

Through the nomadic blare of HDTV eyes, Sarah Palin asks: Is there a constitution for unloved otters? Is there an amendment for monotoned hunters who shackle herbivores wearing pajamas of matching colors?

I wanted to believe in the urgency of everything. I wound up believing that Vasco de Gama and Captain Cook were the same small fry.

Once Sarah Palin stood before our homes. Once I spoke from a bipartisan house of infinity. I gave my soul to the talking whales.

When someone teaches you to breathe, you can then sing.

I once sang for Sarah Palin and she replied with astrea longing and rasping tongue. I remembered the drowning mothers underwater. In my head, I lashed out at the world with forsaken conveyor belts and fresh water schematics. I wanted to love the earth's fading blue eyes and lilting tongues. I wanted to believe in a month of yesterdays, of cruise ships never arriving. I wanted to love the child in Sarah Palin until I no longer strived for the namesake of identity.

When Sarah Palin warns us of the dangers of the New Science, our televisions will burst, our CYMK dreams exposed for what they really were, our daughters will step on the Rostellaria shells of a new fever. We will toss our bottles of existential antacids onto the shore of the outdated and the frugally faithless.

(Published in The Literary Burlesque)

Friday, May 20, 2011

from Avenue C

The Green-Eyed Shwemyethna

Eyes that flash a beautiful anger,
two green moons,
an anger endless as dog day shadows.
I watch this moon-girl, bare bellied, waist wispy,
gyrate on the dance floor, as if she‘s possessed
by fever or the ghost of a scarred ancestor.

The DJ, too stoned to get off his ass,
can’t stop playing West End Girls.
Moon-girl spins around & around
drunk on her outrageous momentum
as if she could make the world rotate
on its own fables.

Spin along the edge of your own spoon.

She weaves her crazy limbs under the dash of lights
until they blur into four or eight arms
& her strange dance taunts me,
robs me of all false name pretense,
the body no longer a shock absorber
to sudden love.

Back at my apartment,
a grotto of night,
I embrace her quiver,
mimic her trilogy of sighs,
grip her arms white as heroin,
a shade of Alice, a shade of sugar.
Her love is hard & fast,
sand & death & moon-dust kisses
but she soon evaporates from the room,
past the wall of white sleep,
perhaps too, from the agenda
of stonewall rules & shallow breathers.

Tomorrow, the city will wake with the bustle,
the roar of downtown buses, the grumble
of impatient commuters & scam artists.
It will rain green, the weathermen predicted it,
everywhere it will rain green droplets,
& people will think green rain,
shake off green rain at bus stops,
this green rain, its tragic love affair
with the earth.

& somewhere a water-sister cries over her brother-
lover addicted to solids & city street maps.
I know that story.

& the world will know green
but it will not remember
the green-eyed Shwemyethna
who died in my sugar-deprived sleep.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mr. Thing's Genre

I've made a page for my pubbed genre stuff and that page will probably get bigger. Check it out along with The DogPunk Tapes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Review of Step Away and My Story

A review of Darren Richard Carlaw's new zine, Step Away, which celebrates "the walking narrative," and the "sights and sounds of the city." If you scroll down, you'll find a review of my story "Cat People #9: Tales of Manhattan." The reviewer compares my piece to 40s pulp and Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief. NewPages

Arthur Lee and Love

Miss you, Arthur, and those amazing songs.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DogPunk's Dilemna

Does writing make you happy?

To me, it's an addiction. Most days, it's killing me. On some days, it's a diva muse back from rehab and smiling.

Why I like my own blog

Now on what other blog can you get a serious dissection of Husserl's Phenomenology or Heidegger's ontology along with an old Monkees tune? Huh? Tell me.

Arnold's Shocking Revelation

from AOl news: Arnold Makes Shocking Revelation

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child with one of his household staff.

DogPunk: Somehow this doesn't shock me.

The Dog Punk Tapes

I made a page for some recent and old stories/poems published in various places.

Cult Classic?

You can’t buy money with happiness. Michael Caine in Deadfall

Just what constitutes a cult film is not exactly clear. What is generally agreed upon is that cult classics retain a very loyal subculture of fans. Many are considered cult films because they deal with controversial topics or fall outside of standard narrative and/or cinematic conventions. Harold and Maude or The Big Lebowski are examples. Another variety is the It’s-so-bad-that’s-it’s-good kind. Mommie Dearest and Plan 9 from Outer Space are examples of the latter.

My nomination for new cult classic—Deadfall (1968), directed by Bryan Forbes—falls somewhere between the previous two categories.

The movie is based on a novel by the once prolific thriller writer, Desmond Corey. The plotline contains all the seeds for controversy. Jewel thief extraordinaire, Henry Clarke, (played by Michael Caine in his early Harry Palmer days), goes to incredible lengths to get close to his victims, even going so far as becoming an alcoholic and getting admitted into a Spanish sanatorium. There he is recruited by a visitor named Fé (played by the lovely Italian actress, Giovanna Ralli) to collude upon more heists with her and her much older husband (played by Eric Portman). Predictably enough, Henry falls in love with Fé and unwittingly becomes entrapped in a diabolical triad. He learns that Richard (Portman) is an ex-Nazi and homosexual. (As a sidenote, in real life, Eric Portman was a Nazi sympathizer.) But the real shocker is what he learns about Fé. I won’t divulge the secret, but suffice it to say that Henry’s physical deadfall mirrors his descent into a world of moral decay among the affluent and beautiful.

The film seems to have more flaws than qualities to recommend it. First, the recommendations. The music score by John Barry is hypnotic and brilliant. In fact, Barry himself makes an appearance in the film, conducting an orchestra while Henry and Richard perform the heist. And the same lady who sang Goldfinger, the Whitney Houston of her day, Shirley Bassey, sings the theme song: My Love Has Two Faces. The photography, shot in Spain, is gorgeous and compliments the romance between Henry and Fé as well as underscoring by irony-- the ensuing tragedy. Also, Caine turns in another fine performance and Ralli is stunning to watch.

The flaws. Forbes uses too many close-ups that over dramatize. The pacing is off. The romance between Henry and Fé is rushed. The heist itself, while exciting, is too incredible to be believed. And the film sags somewhat after the first heist.

So why am I nominating this film to cult status?

I love this film not despite its flaws but because of them. I remember the late sixties and being naïve enough to believe that romance is not incompatible with sultry sex. I remember the idealism of a generation that is captured in the film’s meandering conversations, those concerning love and philosophy. But most of all, I remember a time when I could be shocked, when my ideals crashed against the hard wall called reality. In life, many of us take a deadfall but manage to live on.

---Published in Silkworms Ink, June 2010

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Check Out Mr. BubbleHead

He has his own page. My collection of BubbleHead stories:Mr. BubbleHead. Some have been pubbled in Berg Gasse 19, Gold Wake Press, Fix It Broken.

Rusty Barnes Has a New Book!

Rusty Barnes has a new book of stories called Mostly Redneck. Knowing the caliber of his work, this has got to be great! It can be ordered at

Noir at Ranfurly Review 14

Missing Persons

Nick Costello is contorting his body into impossible positions. He is squeezing his frame to fit against the edges of a rectangular space that is without screen, a spill of blackness. This is the Bronx. This is someone’s version of a god-forsaken section of it, an abandoned house sometimes used by junkies, the homeless. In this section of the Bronx, everyone’s story is a shade of gray. Nick’s fedora scrapes against his forehead, his .38 in Weber rig nudges against his ribs. He wonders if he will fall head-first against concrete, a sizeable drop. Will he not become his own victim. Once upon a lifetime, Nick was an honest cop, not a private dick promising rich dames wearing camel-fur that he would find their AWOL hubbies, their poodle-pampered lovers. Nick always came up emptyhanded.

One night, someone struck Nick from behind, and when he woke up, he felt he was falling through floors, phantom floors, endless deceptive floors.

To get inside this house is not an easy feat for a man built like Nick, old as Nick. He is short and bald, a paunch that seems to grow another inch every three weeks. He is fifty-two and some ugly days and nights. His goatee is a marriage of salt and pepper. Nick thinks: I’m too old for this shit.

Nick is inside the basement. A scent hits him, stinging, something fetid, rotten. On concrete, his steps are slow, stop-and-go, slower than his breaths. He is slightly out of breath. He is shining a
flash-light against the rusted metal of an old oil burner, a trail of glass syringes. The smell begins to devour him. Nick turns and stands over the body. Nick is scared. His breathing races.

He squats and points the flash-light at various angles. Her legs are white, crossing over, slender as a pom-pom girl’s. The panties are pulled to her ankles. Her blonde hair is matted, having lost its life and lustre. One half of her face is smashed in. The other half is perfect, expressionless, gives up nothing. On the street, Nick drops a dime to call her husband, the old man, Feinberg.

--Mr. Feinberg. Nick Costello. I know it’s been a while. Listen. I found your wife. I’m afraid it’s not good news.

There is a silence deeper than the Bronx.

--If the cops had done their job . . .

--I know, sir. I’m so sorry.

Another chasm of silence.

--How much do I owe you?

Nick tenses his eye muscles.

--I don’t think this is the right time to talk about money, sir.

--How much do I owe you?

--Let’s call it an even three hundred, sir.

--You’ll have a check in the mail.

Nick looks up at the sky. It is the color of an old woman, ashen, hoping when there is no reason to hope.

Listen, he thinks. Somewhere. The Dodgers are losing a game in a strange city.

Somewhere. A man beats his daughter while the mother tells herself that she is helpless to prevent this.

Somewhere. A racehorse named Lucky Lightening, Nick’s
favorite, finishes in third.

Copyright © Kyle Hemmings

from Amsterdam and Other Broken Love Songs

A Fembot’s Guide to the Joy of Sex
for Linear Dummies

Knock-kneed boys
& Californica girls
who fire together
wire together.
Excuse me,
[soma soma]
if my neuronal net
is showing
but you don’t know
what you’re missing
if you don’t get charged
& do the Binary Gastropod Slick .
Stick to me,
[No reflexive puns intended.]
i luv getting nervous
w/ you.

Potentiate this.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cat People

Check out my chapbook from Scars Publications: Cat People

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Early Stooges Outake

A Special Thanks to Punkin House . . .

A special thanks to Punkin House for all their work in promoting my chapbook and those from others. They have some great authors. Check out my 2010 chapbook from them, Fuzzy Logic. That kind of describes a type of formal logic and also the way I think after leaving a bar at 4:00 a.m.

You Tube and Roky Erikson

You Tube has some really great songs from the 13th Floor Elevators, a band I only recently got turned on to. Read about Roky Erikson's musical genius and tortured life. Glad that things have come around for him. Also vist Randy Holden's website: He has some sound samples of recent recordings only available from his site. Check out Raptor. Brings back memories of his days with The Other Half. A very cool painter also.

Up at Gone Lawn

Will have some prose pieces up at Gone Lawn within next month (May or June, 2011) or so. They are from my chapbook, Cat People, from Scars Publications. Also just started reading Watchmen, the graphic novel collection of the comic series. A serious knock out.

Made Wigleaf's Long List 2011

My prose piece "Nine Reasons Not to Kill Yourself East of St. Marks" made Wigleaf's long list 2011. It was the second piece in my chapbook Avenue C from Scars Publications. That book was based on my experience and observations of NYC in the late 80s and early to mid-nineties.