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THE BAT SHAT

Volume 1: Issue 3

a journal of premier poetry

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: ENRI ZOLTZ

• VELCOMEN •

ENTER LET’S TALK FUNNY

Poetry to be to you to straightforward for likes and dislikes; not friend likes, but soul-tasting love-flicking likes. Or, patoowie, walking around the horse dislikement and delinking and decrepit embankment and flavorless underdevelopmint. THis has been checked for errOrs. How badly do you to feel for us all of us then? OUr now being so fragile as to be nincompooped by our own rugged slog. But yet you read on. This is called trudgery and will not be held on top to you in a court of flaw or you to be held under thin-like so many pounds of brick in a muddry puddle so deep as to call it a pit of centerother-sidesmanship. Eat from these plates and filibust your glasses with the grape of no reentrance. Be with us all, as we with you after a hardly no at all time. In whole and in parts. You like this. -- E.Z.

• POEMS •
Volume 1

issue 3

the bat shat poetry journal

pg. 2

TABLEAU

Offerings by the Glass:
Layover by John Phillips......................................................................................................................................................$4 The Commoner’s Song by CK Baker................................................................................................................................$5 Cuckoo by Changming Yuan...............................................................................................................................................$6 Spring by Holly Day.............................................................................................................................................................$7 Word by Steven Kuhn...........................................................................................................................................................$7 Sanko Line by CK Baker.....................................................................................................................................................$8 Money Farm by Nicholas Brower......................................................................................................................................$9 Catfish Mitchell by John Phillips.....................................................................................................................................$10 Missed Opportunities List by Paul Hostovsky..............................................................................................................$11 The Language of Birds by Steven Kuhn.........................................................................................................................$12 Feather by Changming Yuan.............................................................................................................................................$12 The Morning After by Holly Day....................................................................................................................................$13 Treehouse by Lucile Barker..................................................................................................................................$14/15/16 Bathroom Talk in Boston by Paul Hostovsky...............................................................................................................$17 You Said Something by Louis Marvin............................................................................................................................$18 one poem (Grease fillets) by Zachary Scott Hamilton.................................................................................................$19

3

Layover by John Phillips

 There are a lot of sweatpants here.
 Gray, and blue, and red;
 Plush and mangy,
 Rotten and new.
 Sweatpants in the corners of the senses.
 Also two girls, breasts squeezed into matching t-shirts,
 Keeping the male gaze folded up
 Like a love letter in their back pockets.


• POEMS •

They are speaking to a shredded-jeans demigod,
 Tufted chin smug as if he'd had sex for breakfast.
 They all glimmer in the morning of the sweatpants.

4

The Commoner’s Song by CK Baker
In time You’ll recover And absolve Push those Scorned impressions Aside Hammer down The jaded edges And sing That delightful Commoner’s song The one you sang So well In what seems A lifetime ago You really had it You know That fiery disposition And nimble cunning Those butter chords And derelict style We could see it We could all see it It was all it took To turn the evening tide (And rile that buck fever!) Heads bashing Tongues lambasting Middle fingers high And Raising Cain On those May Fly Statesmen There were no rules When it came to Your survival No textbook rallies Or common bonds No structured songbird Or bravado stage You either made it Or you laid it “Life by the balls” Mr. Poppy would say A Kaleidoscope of dreams With rich coloured imagery Hardened artisan seams In a carefully woven motif But something got lost In the needle point Something sinister And distorted Took hold The quirks And street genius That were your lifeline Gave way To grunts And squeals And chilling Night crawlers The colours Faded quickly To a cold Confining grey There was no grace In this world No retribution Or switch back No salvation Or accorded finale Only edged platforms And blackened steel That kept you cased In a silent Vanquished cell Shivering cold with fear Night without day All in the shadow of death Time heals all And the Polish sneakers And open sores Are long gone But the Roman nose And shallow cleft remain Indeed the falconer Beat the widow maker This go around And I’m hopeful It won’t happen again And if it does You’ll see me Hand on heart Standing with that Old verse in hand: “He’s ain’t tainted Or silly, And most certainly Not forgotten… He ain’t loony Or fixed, Or a product of his selfdoing… He’s just a straight shootin’ guy, Who had the most of it Figured out…”

5

Cuckoo by Changming Yuan

With a thin

Blood-throated voice
You call out aloud

Trying to wake up

Millions of millions
Of trees and rocks

All deeply lost in
Their cold dreams

Of last
6

winter

Spring


 the first tendrils poke
 through the frozen soil like the first
 fully-formed tentacles of a
 nautilus, a squid.
 unlike
 
 the squid, however, there will be no
 larger body
 
 emerging, no dishpan-eyed monster doomed
 to crawl into the house and eat
 from the trashcan. tiny feelers
 of perfect emerald
 
 emerge as well, also not attached
 to a body, no subterranean
 monster determined to lay eggs
 in my children's flesh.
 
 when flowers unfurl, I expect
 only death. by Holly Day Word by Steven Kuhn I dreamt of a new word last night. Refreshing, in 3 or 4 syllables: like “honeydewdrop”, or “applesnap”, It was a joy to write on lined paper. 7 A perfect word, it encompassed something beautiful. It popped like “apoplectic”. A dignified, but sweet fruit, like “aplomb”. It sat atop a poem, the best I’ve ever written. But 4 lines in, I realized I was sleeping, and I wrote the word on my hand, knowing that dreams fade on waking. When I woke, there was nothing written on my hand.

Sanko Line by CK Baker
There’s a barnacle scar Deeply engrained On the basalt stack At mark 32 Whispering summer Winds Scented oil Cotton And roe Drift As waves brush And shape The sandstone shore The briny air And lost erratic Set a tone to this Pollyanna portrait

Its Andrews undulations And gifted benches Its concessions And traces of the Barry Burn Its sculpted driftwood And Sanko lines Make this picture Almost perfect Children play And venom spews From the caterwaul pair

Those odd looking mates Casting smiles With arrested despair Settling pot shots Swiping bugs Dipping And darting As photo men And muscles And long neck seabirds Make their turn The hunched hoody And sorted sidekick Get their fill Of moss and rubble Chubby and kelp “Nice to meet your acquaintance” The pho man would say An odd drop And ironic turn To those horrific corners Of timeless desperation Down by cannon bridge Harbor seals And carriage horse Are fronted by Raven’s shade Jolly tides 8

Pause In quiet bays With curious looters And nob pickers Sand merchants And field totems All streamed by light Cirrus strands Blanket the Outer rim Hovering craft And shimmering willows Bolt the evening frame Blood orange And tethered With a filtered glare Dusky dolphins And seabirds And shifting tides Are all settling in For the long night stay

Money Farm
Life is a money farm and we sit like so many rows of sun baked vegetables growing fat on nutrient rich inactivity pale, weak and well behaved We sway in unison as amber waves of money shitting humans, once breaking our own backs with rough calloused hands, now too soft to bear the weight of realization We simply mutter “squish” and rot silently in Ra’s embrace

by Nicholas Brower

9

Catfish Mitchell


 
 Ya ever reached down deep into an upright bass and ripped out a thick,
 wriggling, joyful F; or a wet, floppy trout of an E?
 
 I mean, just grabbed it, right at that hot moment, as the 
 guitarist
 yanks the chord from his fists of strings, as the horn players' 
 backs
 arch, pressing their metal into the smoky air.
 
 Oh, man.


See these hands? My right one is bigger than my left. They've got hair
 on the knuckles. Raw fingertips covered by brown blisters spackled
 with calluses, peeling at the edges. On a good night, I can touch the
 moon with these hands.
 On a regular night, I can touch Savannah.
 I see these interviews in the shiny mags, guys saying "it's my job to
 make you happy, you folks in the front row, back row, at the bar."
 10

Man, they sell records with that, and it's nice, but I tell you what
 it really is. I hit that note for me. Reaching down into that bass,
 pulling up a big stinking fish of a note, getting that joy, that's for
 me, that's what my job is, and if you guys in the seats feel it too,
 well I hope you get just drunk and forget your wallet in the tip jar.

by John Phillips

Missed Opportunities List
My dictionary, which was my mother’s dictionary, does not contain tofu, Fu Manchu, go mo fo, or fee fi fo fum. It does contain Vixen, which is a female fox, the name of a lesbian bar in Provincetown, and not a bad Scrabble word either. A murder of crows, an unkindness of ravens, restore my faith in the collective noun. Therefore I will take my bubble bath now. My potato peeler, which was my mother’s potato peeler, has only just today begun to blunt. And ‘cotton balls’ is a complete sentence. Buddha spelled backwards is Ah ddub, which one says in a tub, to dub oneself the happy Buddha of one’s bathroom. And if a thief stole in, in a black woolen cap, and pointed a gun, and said, “Your money or your life,” wouldn’t you say—wouldn’t even your mother say—that “your money or your life” is a complete sentence, with an implied subject, predicate and indirect object? Damn straight you would, you goddamn piano player. Go ahead, throw a stone. For once in your life, throw a stone. Throw one at me. I’ll take your picture throwing one stone at me. Show me your teeth, you vixen. And I’ll show you the blood my dictionary lets. My mother should have been a lesbian rabbi making love to a congregation of one in a lighthouse in Provincetown, Massachusetts. My father was the artist, my mother the apologist. And the widow. The artist’s widow said his theory of Heaven could be summed up by the light bulb—not the halo, it wasn’t a halo—above the figure in his final painting. Then she got into her Toyota Elephant and drove away. And we all understood the importance of what she had told us. For she’d been the dissolute wife of a dissolute dead artist. And we all knew what it meant to be hungry. And we all knew what it meant to lose the remote. And though I wanted to use ‘pleasure’ as a verb, not ‘buoy’, I used ‘buoy’. As if to masturbate in a coffin. Then I went straight to bed and dreamed of a hundred emaciated haiku poets, all standing on the side of the road, all holding up their poems. And their poems were traffic signs: beautiful, mournful, necessary, and without the slightest editorial. I read them over and over, hooked arms with the blind girl tapping her cane, read them aloud to her as the world drew up its skirts, like a drawbridge, and let us pass. by Paul Hostovsky 11

The Language of Birds
There are true things woven in and between the threads of wicker summer chairs, under orange juice caps left unscrewed for hours on a Sunday morning countertop, and lying on my carpeted bedroom floor beneath finished crossword puzzles now discarded. Outside, hidden birds chirp of these subtle, true things (if it’s not too hot) clearing their throats while ducking from shadow to shadow, grateful for the trees. And, like in a dream, I recognize their colorsthe shapes and curves of the letters, but I cannot read the words they form.

For all the beauty I can appreciate in their songs, I cannot speak the language of the birds.

by Steven Kuhn

Feather
by Changming Yuan A white fluffy plume From an unknown bird Happening to fly by Drifts around, falling down Slowly as if to wipe out All the dust at dusk With its invisible fingers

12

The Morning After


 I pretend I'm blind so they won't bother me
 but I have been alive just long enough
 to read men even
 with my eyes closed, hands out, fingers
 reading the Braille of sweat on skin.
 
 if Joey wants to talk to me about how
 I killed his brother, that's just fine. Joey
 can come in and sit
 beside me, here, on the prison
 cot, and I'll tell him the story
 
 of how the world looks when everything you see
 is tinted red, how even flowers look
 suspicious when you've
 just killed a man. I pretend I'm
 deaf so they won't talk to me, but I
 
 have been alive just long enough to know when
 someone is in my room, can feel footsteps
 through the soles of my
 feet, know exactly when to strike
 at invisible things. if Joey
 


wants to hear why I killed his brother, that's fine. Joey can come in and lie beside me,
 here, beneath the stiff
 white sheets of the prison cot, and
 I'll tell him about how the world
 sounds when your ears are full of blood, and how
 even songbirds sound suspicious
 when you've just killed a man.

by Holly Day

13

Treehouse

We didn’t want the three Maywood boys in the club in the treehouse in the forest, but they were always bugging us, no tormenting us, to let them join. One night Glenny and me were up there necking, way after dark and there was nothing but darkness around us, and the leaves above were starting to drip.
“I feel sorry for them,” I said, “I remember when they had a father and then he disappeared. Their mother is useless and always complaining about what she doesn’t have. And she thinks he’s coming back.”
“Yvonne, you are so dumb and so young. I can remember my dad hiding the paper, even though I could barely breathe. Doug Maywood will be coming back in two years. On parole. He assaulted a cop when he was being arrested. Stole a lot of money to please that silly woman. She drinks all the time now. He was a lawyer and he was sent up the river for fraud.”

14

“Where the hell is that rope ladder they use?” I heard Dougie Maywood mutter. “Richie, I think they put it halfway up and twisted it. You’re gonna have to climb up and get it free.”
The ladder wasn’t halfway up; it was all the way up, a handmade deal that Stuart and Jill had made from stuff leftover from her father’s boat and added on to. It was curled on the open side of the structure like a tired old snake.
“Shit, why me?” Richie grumbled. “Why doesn’t Les ever have to do this stuff? Why can’t we go home and watch TV, be comfortable?”
“Look, we’ve made it this far. Those snobs are such idiots. Or maybe we could just booby trap the trail.”

I could feel my nose starting to itch and I knew that in a minute or two I was going to sneeze. I pressed my face into Glen’s shirt and he pulled me close, figuring out what was happening. Oh, God, his mother used that cheap detergent my mom wouldn’t even have in the house because I was so allergic. His mother had used too much bleach and smelled like straight chlorine, which was why I couldn’t swim in the Hawley’s pool.
“I don’t think we should do this,” Les whispered. “I heard something in the bushes. Maybe a rat.”
“There’s nothing there,” Richie said, and I could tell he was glad he had someone to pick on. “You’re as chicken as the new preacher’s wife.”
I didn’t like her much, either, not because she was afraid of everything. She disapproved of everything, including thirteen year old girls going steady.
“Ouch, you pushed me,” Les said. “I twisted my ankle.” 15

We could hear him rubbing it, and they continued to fight, all of them getting more cranky. “Let’s go home and you can soak it or something,” Richie suggested. “You wanna go home and face the lush?”

I was about to sneeze again, and Glen passed me a rumpled tissue. We could see the light flickering down the path again. The wind was up and I could tell it was going to rain soon. We climbed down and went the opposite way on the path. There was lightning, too close, and we ran, stumbling out to the playing fields. We were soaked and cold by the time we got to my house, and the rain kept up until after midnight.
The next day we went back to the treehouse, but it was gone. There was only a blackened leafless, bare black trunk, standing there like a charred finger.

Treehouse
by Lucile Barker
16

Bathroom Talk in Boston
by Paul Hostovsky
A beautiful woman with a small dog, small breasts, foreign accent, stops me in the Public Garden, and says: “Excuse me, do you know the bathroom?” And I wonder if the locative case in her native tongue is absorbed by the accusative case. And I wonder if the tongue is employed in a first kiss in a beach town of her native seashore, the waves lapping at our feet, as I look down in the general direction of her urinary tract and feet, and say: “Yes. I know the bathroom very well.” She smiles hopefully, gives me her great big brown expectant eyes, and says: “Yes?” And I feel a delicious pressure building in my chest, and in her chest, and in the air between us, a kind of referred pressure from her bladder, or her colon, a kind of grammatical pressure from her tongue and my tongue which are meeting here in my favorite context: ‘Bathroom talk’ my mother called it, banishing it from the house, then banishing us from the house when we couldn’t stop laughing at the thought, couldn’t stop crooning at the sound, and the sense, and the nonsense, and the signifiers and the signified. The nomenclature we invented as we went along, went about our business, which was the business of the body, the business of being in a body in the world, a world that preferred to keep that business hidden, secret, except for the children and the dogs and a few banished grown-ups. “Yes, yes,” I tell her, and I hold out my hand to her, pointing with my other hand at the gold dome of the State House. I’m headed there myself, I tell her. It’s the best-kept secret in Boston. The cleanest, most exquisite public toilets in the city flush and gleam there, flash and yearn there, there in that stately place, for patriots and foreigners alike. Though a dog, even a small dog, wouldn’t be allowed in. No.

17

You Said Something

they unfurled banners and marked calendars appropriately

you said nothing nothing walked out on you they were treated as importantly as things like nothing, absolutely, maybe and something you said something something hung around ought to be

you said maybe maybe shrugged and looked up and down

you looked on and you said

you said absolutely absolutely knowingly nods

“maybe absolutely nothing is something”

lead by absolutely by Louis Marvin maybe, something and nothing walked bravely into the big, scary world 18

Grease fillets for sale grease fillets for sale come one come all grease fillets

III.] Scuffed diamond housing ivory diamond chair – king seat.

II.] Think in light. Be the camera and record only light. Now record shadows. Think in shadows. The double fractal tree limbs reflect in the bus stop windows. Be a mirror, now reflect light and seek shadows. Now ice it, soak it in Plexiglas, dip this reflection in plastic, wax or ice and watch the shadows sink, the light fades. Now become the glass of this jar, you're the fern. Now look on the oaks with lights and shadows for eyes.

[I.] Washing threads in my teeth again, the cloth is simple green going through with stapled edge and dynamite staples, the needle it is the entrance maker. Thank God. This jar is making sense with gold and light and crystal light and shoe string glows before the black and white photograph. The separate entrance comes into play from the ceiling, very nice slippers for my mouse are hidden under the books, so taught in the threads of this jar. A carpet A flashbulb window for her little wall. She's sleeping. Shhhhhhhh. An ancient typewriter for her husband. A small camera with bedding for their child. The kitty cat sniffing at a lock, picks up the mucus, the odor and moves on like every night. The jar makes sense in fluids. Green aluminum light filters in for the dinner table. I'm washing threads in my teeth again. one poem by Zachary Scott Hamilton

19

CK Baker points to the sky and yells: www.hookmachine.ca

// Zachary Scott Hamilton is the author of fourteen Zines,

• Credits •
Holly Day is a housewife and mother
of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota who teaches needlepoint classes in the Minneapolis school district. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai'i Pacific Review, The Oxford American, and Slipstream, and she is a recent recipient of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her book publications include Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar-Allin-One for Dummies, and Music Theory forDummies, which has recently been translated into French, Dutch, German,

Lucile Barker is a Toronto poet, writer and activist. Since
1994, she has been the co-ordinator of the Joy of Writing, a weekly workshop at the Ralph Thornton Centre. Recent publications include Memewar, Room, Antigonish Review, Rougarou, Litterbox, Flashlight Memories, Bat Shat, Snakeskin Review, Hinchas de Poesia, Jet Fuel Review, U.M.ph.!, Menacing Hedge, Nashwaak Review, H.O.D., the Danforth Review, Vox Poetica, Connotations, The River, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Binnacle and Whistling Fire. She is a two time winner of Press 53’s 53 word story contest. The Golden Age was the 2010 first place short story winner in the Creative Keyboards contest, a project of the Hamilton Arts Council. Poetry and short stories are also forthcoming in Ginger Piglet, Curbside Splendor, Vox Poetica’s Birthday Celebration, and Wordsmith. The child of evangelical missionaries, Nicholas Brower grew up living and traveling throughout Europe and south America. At the age of 18 he was lured into the military with promises of women, unending glory and a free college education. He served four years in the USMC and was discharged in southern California and spent the next five years surfing, writing and pursuing a BA in literature. He currently resides in rural Washington State.

including Temple of Sinew, The Orchestra of Machines, Wallet of Hexagons and HAIR LAND (named Zine of the month by the Independent Publishing Resource Center). His work appears in various magazines including: Ignavia Press (issue 4.1), Otiliths (a journal of many e-things), Sein und Werden and Karawane magazine. He Recently  went on tour with the band Holy! Holy! Holy! And installed artwork with partner Molly Pettit for a photo series, which appears online at his website: WWW. Blackmonsterzine.weebly.com. His book, The Teacup of Infinity will be released in February of 2012 By The Black magic LSD sex cult.

Without much prompting at all,

John Phillips states:
“I'm a musician in the wilds of North and Middle Georgia, raised by

Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese.

Paul Hostovsky is the author of three books of poetry, Bending the Notes, Dear Truth, and A Little in Love a Lot. His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009.

Louis Marvin mildly boasts: “burbank conception, desert fired, island life teach, coach, soldier, champion with Chinese food and girls published slowly but surely” www.louismarvinlives.com

possums in the hills of that fair state, and a strange man for the job. I am a magician in my spare time and believe that all art is the art of illusion. I perform feats of sleight-ofhand with objects, words, sounds, and emotions. I believe that the best poems and stories cast two or more shadows. I have written my entire life, and lost much of it to cruel revision.”

Steven Kuhn expects a visit: http://steven-kuhn.blogspot.com

Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of
Chansons of a Chinaman, grew up in rural China, holds a PhD in English, and currently works as a private tutor in Vancouver; his poetry has appeared in nearly 520 literary publications across 21 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Kanto, SAND and Taj Mahal Review.

The Bat Shat Vol. 1, Issue 3 by www.thebatshat.us is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialNoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. xx

• Editor’s Note •
“Don’t trend on me. I am having a hard time making flags that don’t have snakes or private parts on them.” – Enri Zoltz
False starts and false promises. Not even hard deadlines could force us to put a journal-child, a magazine-baby, into this world that wasn't filled with what we knew had to be the best of the best. Why, this best of best? Why pause after just why? Because this a conversation. A conversation with who we are and why we are. A conversation with who our readers are and who we think they are and who they need to be for us to be who we say we are. There's a lot of guessing. There's a lot of game playing. In this tinder-age of man and man's dominance over that which is most un-person, there is still beauty in searching out the fine detail of a well executed circle; be it from coffee mug or child's crayon. Be it phony or calculated in authenticity, on x and y axis points perhaps, it is comforting to us at our very center to have these circles both exist and to have them constantly be recreated. Either way, as we assimilate in our cities, making them the cyclical living graves of steamy all-the-timeness, we also retreat into the woods and folded earth-creases that show us our smallness, our most intimate roundness when faced with the vantage of no-more-to-seeness. All of this rich experience must go into the recipe for being alive; and, xxi using words to make this point emphatic is at once vital and seemingly unimportant. The goal for The Bat Shat, thus far, has been to focus on the small streams that make break in the landscape; reminding us to be at once alive in the system of streamness and also aware of the embankment, the grand noise that surrounds us.

The Bat Shat
is composed of unknown ingredients, but: Enri Zoltz is acting as Editor-In-Chief JC Martinez is considered to be Chief Technologist Ello Piaro is credited as Art Director Crosby Jones is used as a Human Resource T. Bird is oddly Supportive Other Anonymous Contributors*: P., D.L., T.M., J.C., L.W., C.R., L.M. & K.K.
*possibly editors or whey against curdle