Don Rock Cover Art

Special Thanks:
Special thanks to the artists, illustrators, photographers, and editors who helped out to get this first issue off the ground. They Include: Blair Gauntt/Idezin Digital Workgroup, Peg Dana, Ericka Wildgirl Dana, Eric Houts , Christopher Schipper and: Becky Danielson ( Tobey Anderson (

Don Rock Editorial

OBSOLETE! Introduction to Issue #1: Life in Post Imperial Amerika Ricardo Feral Doopers: Design Beyond Obsolescence Will Grant Beerch & Bong: Intoxitocination Mick Farren Hard Times at the Aces High Alissa Bader The Mile High City’s New Green Economy Todd Colby Gas Stations and Wierdos Electric Pony Light Amy Digi The Demolition of Yankee Stadium bart plantenga (excerpt from) Beer Mystic: A Novel of Intoxication and Light Mali Delaney Dragon 66 Reviews Rich Dana Dumpster-Diver Gardening Robert Dana Blood Harvest

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Thanks to the advertisers who were willing to appear in the first issue- For current ad rates and sizes, please send a request to: OBSOLETE! is edited and published by Rich Dana

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Pronunciation: äb-sə-lēt Function: adjective Etymology: Latin obsoletus, from past participle of obsolescere to grow old, become disused, perhaps from ob- toward + solēre to be accustomed Date: 1579 1 a : no longer in use or no longer useful <an obsolete word> b : of a kind or style no longer current : old-fashioned <an obsolete technology> 2 of a plant or animal part : indistinct or imperfect as compared with a corresponding part in related organisms : vestigial synonyms see old

publication in the tradition of the International Times, OZ, The East Village Other, The Berkely Barb, The Chicago Seed, The Whole Earth Catalog, PUNK! and the other great underground rags of days past.... We are interested in high-quality poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, comics, photography and other 2D art. Submissions can be on any subject; however, we are especially interested in work that voices alternative, nonmainstream, even radical views on politics, technology, the environment, and modern culture. Poems can be traditional or experimental, fiction of any genre will be considered, and non-fiction should be fast-paced challenging. Please submit no more than four poems, one short story, two REALLY short stories, or one essay. For visual art, please submit no more than 3 pieces in any one media. Want to pitch a story idea? Contact us at the address below. Please send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) with your work if you would like it returned. Do not send your only copy! Please do not send original artwork. We ask for first North American serial rights only. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication. OBSOLETE compensates it’s contributors- please contact us for current rates.

OBSOLETE Magazine is a quarterly tabloid

OBSOLETE Magazine is a publication of OBSOLETE Inc. , PO Box 72, Victor, IA, 52347.

If you are a perceptive and relatively unmedicated reader, you may have noticed by now that this is not an “e-zine” or a blog. This is a real, turn your fingers black, pulpy paper product. If you have the curiosity to explore further, you may notice that it is, in fact, an old-school newsprint tabloid, complete with slapdash layout, smudgy printing and inflammatory rhetoric. You may feel that a publication like this is an anachronistic throwback, a vestigial appendage on the body of the digital infoorganism, a bit of paper best suited to line the cat box or wrap a fish. However, it’s not just the newspaper that has become obsolete. In post-post-post-modern society even the term “obsolete” is becoming obsoleteproducts are obsolete before they hit the market-place, technology is only good as long as its replacement is in beta-testing. Maybe it’s time to re-examine the printed word. Perhaps the newspaper is for the “early adopters” of post-apocalyptic technology. For now, I hope you will find it more of an informational eddy, a small backwater in the info-stream where ideas can slow down and swirl around before being used or disposed of. On the other hand, if this paper is used for nothing more than lining the cat box, I posit that it has been more useful than 99% of the web content that you were exposed to this week. In the early part of the 20th century, Harold Innis, a Canadian media theorist and predecessor of Marshall McCluhan, postulated that great civilizations were those that balanced “time-binding” media (which retain ideas and history), and “space-binding” media (which allows ideas to travel rapidly). He felt, back in the 50’s, that western soci-

ety was relying too much on time-binding media like radio and television, and that the over-exposure was leading to a culture where “...the emphasis on change is the only permanent characteristic.” He felt that this trend would kill shared experience and local identity and create and atmosphere of paranoia and rigid political militarization. No one knows what Innis would have thought of the internet, but despite all of the great gifts of modern technology, some of Innis’ warnings seem to be coming true. Despite the gushing flow of “free” information, cultural ridgidity appears to be setting in. As we go to print on the premier issue of OBSOLETE Magazine, “The Amerikan Empire” is in full decline. The earth seems to be facing daily major assaults from its most troublesome species. The catastrophic oil-rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has officially eclipsed the Exxon-Valdez spill as our nations biggest man-made environmental disaster. Midwestern farmers report an onslaught of herbicide-resistant “Super-weeds” - the product of over-reliance on chemical inputs in monoculture farming. Even human attempts to adopt “green lifestyles” have unintended negative consequences- European drivers thirst for non-fossil-fuel-based biodiesel is causing rainforest deforestation throughout Indonesia because of the increased demand for palm oil. Even human interactions with their own kind fail to live up to the definition of “civilization”. The human race has taken the idea of “evolution” in directions that Darwin never could have predicted, choosing to continue to leave the physical realm to the mercy of medieval feudal fiefdoms, while focusing on evolving the mutant offspring of their own misguided attempts at god-hood. Cor-

porations and “financial instruments” take on life, procreating through phallic 1s and yonic 0s in their digital primordial ooze. No wonder the late great comedian Bill Hicks called humanity “just a virus - with shoes...” “Okay, Captain Bringdown,” you say, “...but I’m just trying to get by here!” You are doing the best that you can. We all are. What is an under-employed hipster with an over-extended credit card to do? More rushing ahead just seems to get us where we are right now. Perhaps it’s time for a lateral move. Instead of sending new technology to the “developing world”, let’s look at the adaptation strategies that the 3rd world has adopted to survive the foreign technology onslaught. What we can learn? Let’s dumpster-dive our culture and see what the corporatocracy has left behind. Make something new out of the empty vacu-form plastic package that they sold you your life in.

by Ricardo Feral There are columns in nearly every magazine espousing the latest gimcracks and geegaws and a myriad of websites dedicated to reviewing the latest new cars, motorcycles, running shoes, home entertainment systems, cellular phones, computers, home appliances and sex toys. I love gadgets and I love reading about them. I like having the latest cool stuff as much as the next person- but there are those objects that transcend trend, that exist in a time-capsule of near-perfect design. Over time, they may be tweaked, overclocked or souped-up, but their source-code remains intact. Their simplicity, functionality, reliability and replicability make them cultural icons and their very images become memes. The futurist Ray Kurzweil once commented; “I’m an inventor. I became interested in long-term trends because an invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.” Throughout history, there have been examples of inventions whose usefulness has long out-lived its inventor. Here are a few examples of 20th Century designs of the highest order..... In this new era, when the “Amerikan Empire” is sliding into decline and the only things we seem to be able to manufacture are high fructose corn syrup, “financial instruments” and porn, it might be helpful to look more closely at gadgets that really work.....

The Dymo Label Maker
If you are over 25 years old and live in a country that uses the English alphabet, you probably have used a Dymo label maker at some point in your life. The hard plastic embossed labels have adorned everything from file cabinets to sports equipment, lockers to utility panels, notebooks to foreheads- from their invention in 1958 until the advent of digital labelers in the mid 80’s. The daisy-wheeled pistol-shaped labelers and their shiny, brightly colored strips with raised white capital letters may not be as popular now as in their heyday, but they are still available- in new, ergonomic designs. The classic models can still be found on ebay, at yard sales and flea markets everywhere. The peel-and-stick plastic labels still have many advantages over their modern counterparts- they require no electricity to produce, the plastic labels don’t fade when exposed to the elements, in fact, they are virtually indestructible. Not to mention that they just look so damned cool. So cool, in fact, that the look of the Dymo embossed label has been duplicated in several font designs, like “Punch-label” and “Plastique”. The font suggests a low-tech, retro, DIY attitude- and we here at OBSOLETE are down with that.

The 3-speed Bicycle
Before the 1970s explosion of Japanese road bikes with derailleur gears, the English-style 3-speed ruled the roads. In fact, the 3 speed roadster accounts for more than ½ of the bicycles ever built. The Raleigh DL-1, with it’s fully enclosed chain-case, rod and roller brakes and giant 28 inch wheels made it the perfect all-terrain bike of it’s time. Designed in 1913 for the British military, it eventually served across the empire as the bike of choice for police, mailmen, couriers and commuters from Kingston to Shanghai. The first manufacturing facility built in post-imperial India was a bicycle factory, which still produces an exact replica of the DL-1. Across Asia, the English-style roadster is the platform of choice for cargo bikes and pedi-cabs. At the heart of every English-style 3 speed is the Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub. The fully enclosed hub is nearly impervious to the elements, and extremely rugged. To disassemble and reassemble the planetary gears of a 3 speed hub is a lesson in physics, and some might say a peak into the clockwork of the universe (okay, mostly old hippie bike mechanics say that...). Many variations have been built with up to 7 speeds, and the “DynoHub” includes an AC generator for powering lights. In America, 3-speed bikes built in the UK with Sturmey-Archer hubs were sold up until the late 1970s, labeled Robin Hood, Sears brand, and even K-Mart. Easily found at second hand stores for $50 or less, these workhorses will still out-ride and out-last a cheap mountain bike from Walmart.
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The Safety Razor
Inspired by a woodworker’s plane, the first safety razor was invented by in the late 1700’s in France. The design was perfected during the 1800’s by British and German companies, but it was not until a traveling salesman from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, King Camp Gillette, patented his design for the double-edged razor in 1904 that the modern safety razor challenged the popularity of the straight razor. By securing a contract with the U.S. Military to supply the Gillette safety razor to each and every G.I. during World War II, these virtually indestructible little tools became the standard issue shaving implement world-wide for decades. Wilkinson Sword, a British company, introduced the stainless steel blade in the 1960s, significantly improving blade life, as well as creating an iconic object that has become an international symbol for “danger.” Adopted by 1970’s punks as a symbol of the movement, the double edged razor blade has been adapted for use as drug paraphernalia, jailhouse shiv, and professional wrestling blood-letting tool. With the advent of the era of cheap, plastic and disposable, U.S. manufacturing of the Gillette-style safety razor has ceased, but they are still found at nearly every American drugstore or grocery. Because of the longevity of the handle as well as the steel blades, they continue to be manufactured and used around the planet and have, arguably, the lowest environmental impact of any shaver, with the exception of the traditional straight razor.

The AK-47
In the movie “Lord of War”, the protagonist Yuri Orlov, played by Nicholas Cage lays it all out; “Of all the weapons in the vast Soviet arsenal, nothing was more profitable than Avtomat Kalashnikova model of 1947. More commonly known as the AK-47, or Kalashnikov. It’s the world’s most popular assault rifle. A weapon all fighters love. An elegantly simple 9 pound amalgamation of forged steel and plywood. It doesn’t break, jam, or overheat. It’ll shoot whether it’s covered in mud or filled with sand. It’s so easy, even a child can use it; and they do. The Soviets put the gun on a coin. Mozambique put it on their flag. Since the end of the Cold War, the Kalashnikov has become the Russian people’s greatest export. After that comes vodka, caviar, and suicidal novelists. One thing is for sure, no one was lining up to buy their cars.” Designed by a wounded tank commander and aspiring agricultural equipment designer named Mikhail Kalashnikov, the AK-47 is perhaps the quintessential product of the 20th century. In an earnest attempt to create a weapon that would defend his Communist homeland from the aggression of fascist Germany, Kalashnikov unwittingly invented one of the key elements in the blueprint for Soviet expansion. By making the AK-47 design a sort of “open source” technology, the USSR licensed the manufacturing of AK-47s to facilities in Finland, Hungary, Bulgaria, China, North Korea, Egypt, Iraq, and other countries. Today, it is estimated that there is a one Kalashnikov-style rifle in use for every 66 people on earth. As Yuri Orlov points out, the very image of the AK is a symbol of revolution worldwide, and a symbol of the business of revolution. It is the world’s deadliest meme. In another Hollywood film, “Jackie Brown”, Samuel L. Jacksons character Ordell says; “ AK-47. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes.”

Illustration by Becky Danielson

by Mick Farren Joey had finally and reluctantly sold the sunburst Fender to the Chinese kid. In the end it had to be the Chinese kid. He was the only one who’d answered Joey’s ad on Craigslist who could meet the asking price. Only the Chinese kids – the kids who’d arrived with their parents after The Crash – had money any more, and, for once, Joey actually had enough cash to drink in the bar. Across the street from the Ace High Tavern, the unemployed boys and girls were, as usual, lounging in the doorway of the derelict, boarded-up movie theatre, passing round a bottle. In the good times the movie house had been called The Gem Cinema, but people had started to forget the name after the bank had sold off the neon sign – again to the Chinese, who seemed to be collecting everything that had once been America. Although the Ace High remained open, Harry the Owner had also sold his sign, the four giant playing cards that made up the electric poker hand from which the bar’s name was derived. A Chinacorp exec had made Harry an offer he wouldn’t refuse. His patrons protested, but Harry the Owner had merely shrugged, claiming the sign had to go anyway because keeping it on added too much to his already crippling energy bill. The boys and girls in the movie theatre entrance would routinely drink themselves stupid on some really nasty shit before they got too crazy-loud and the cops rousted them out of there. The stuff called Little Demon was among the nastiest, and came up from up El Salvador or some place south where the poverty was even worse. The boys and girls bought it in flat plastic pints at the 99 Cent Store. The raw amber rotgut was made from corn syrup and heaven knew what else, but, in these hard times, alcoholics managed as best they could, even down to doing shots from clear bottles with no labels and dubious purity; firewater by any other name or none. And Joey would have been right there with them if he hadn’t unloaded the guitar. Joey had half hoped that he might slip into the Ace High without being noticed by his once and future friends. He knew the boys and girls would, after a while, undoubtedly drift across the street, following him into the bar and hustling him to buy them a drink in a glass. His plans were thwarted, however, when Tommy No Dime looked up, spotted him and waved. Joey noticed that Lothar was among the wino crew in the doorway, passing the pints in the paper bags. Lothar didn’t come out too much any more. He spent most of his time just sitting around the house hallucinating. People adapted differently to the post-Crash world, but Lothar wasn’t adapting at all. After the Palin assassination, the merciless revaluation of the Yuan, and the inevitability of Terminal Tuesday, everyone had known there was no going back. Most did what they could, and made the best of it. Lothar had trouble finding any best to it at all, and Joey had ten bucks on him in the Ace High suicide pool. As he pulled open the street door, Joey glanced up at the sky before he made the transition into the dark interior. He never ceased to be amazed how so much still stayed the same even when life was so very different. The sky was still blue. The sun still shone. The wind continued to blow in from the west, and the crows still cawed and flapped on Elm Street in the quiet of the city dawn. The lines outside the State Relief Office, and the wreckers hauling away the abandoned cars could almost be forgotten. Somewhere in his subconscious Joey figured a depression should look like a depression. It should be shrouded in a perpetual grey overcast, with one dismal day following the next. He expected a dark age to be dark, and resented sunny days, when the air was close to clean, as a cruel tease. Then the door closed behind Joey and the gloom of the womblike bar, with its enfolding smell of spilled beer and industrialstrength cleaning products, made it easier to put aside his illogical resentment of nature. He swung onto a stool, pulled out his newly acquired roll, and placed a twenty on the bar with ostentatious care, making it clear to Harry the Owner that he was in funds. Harry was leaning on the far end of the bar, in conversation with the elderly man with the long wild hair who went by the name of Old Beau, and the woman in the silk shirt and leather jeans whose name of Magda, but when Joey flashed the cash, Harry straightened and moved to take care of his business. “What’s it to be, young man?” “A shot and a draught.” “You want the good stuff?” Joey regretfully indicated otherwise. “Hell no. I’ll go to the well.” Harry placed a shot glass on the bar, and pulled up a bottle from bellow. The label read Ancient Exceptional. Harry was a master at locating supplies of really cheap, really unpleasant whiskey. There had been a time when Joey had drunk Jack Daniels, but those days had long passed. Indeed, in recent months, Jack Daniels, and other
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old friends from the days of jobs and credit cards, were becoming hard to find even if you had the exorbitant price. The best intelligence was that the Chinese were simply buying up all the Jack before it so much as left Lynchburg. It was as though they had a lien on the good stuff. If you asked in the liquor store, the kid behind the counter would like as not tell you it was “on backorder.” Backorder had become part of their lives and their daily vocabulary. When there was no toilet paper in the store, it was on backorder. If there were no light bulbs, they were on backorder. Scarcity and shortage were the way of the world. Harry set the shot of Ancient Exceptional in front of Joey and started to fill a beer glass with Pabst from the tap, at the same time, he resumed his previous conversation with Old Beau. “You hear anything of Charlie?” Old Beau shrugged. “Charlie’s out in the hills again. Told us he was going fishing, but we all knew he was expecting the black helicopters. No one’s ever been able to convince him they’re not coming because the world doesn’t give two fucks about America any more. I mean, who’d want to take over this mess?” “The Chinese seem to.” “Well that’s the wheel of the fucking dharma, isn’t it?” Joey had heard variations of the same conversation too many times before, and his attention refocused on the shot in front of him. The temptation was to down it one glorious old-school swallow, but common sense dictated he pace himself and limit the first hit to no more than half the measure. The last thing he needed was to end the night messed up, broke, and with no memory. He knocked back half the glass and gasped. Ancient Exceptional was truly awful. “Damn, Harry, white lightening in a mason jar would be better than this.” Harry winked. “You should have been here Tuesday.” Joey grimaced and quickly swallowed a mouthful of watery Pabst. Then he let out a long breath and allowed himself time to take a leisurely look around at the interior of the bar and its denizens. Two badly tattooed girls from the outside of town were nursing beers, sharing a table and a cigarette. They were young, probably not much above drinking age, wearing too much makeup, and failing to hide their anxiety. Most likely they hoped a couple better-heeled guys would come by to keep them amused, pick up the tab, and maybe feed them. Bad times bore down, even on good time girls. Their anxiety stemmed from the fact that no betterheeled guys had so far materialized, and sooner or later Harry would expect them to buy another drink. Harry cut women far more slack than the men because they were good for business, but no one hung out in the Ace High indefinitely on just one beer. Joey was half tempted to move over to talk to them, but they looked dumb and he knew would end up buying their booze. Later for that. Right then Joey was more interested in the other woman in the place. Magda was probably forty, but she looked good on it, with her mane of red hair and very noticeable body. Stories circulated that she was a working woman, and doing well in comparison to most. The consensus of rumor was that she turned tricks as pro-dom maybe over in Shelbyville – chaining, flogging, and cash-transaction humiliating the newly arrived salary men from Chinacorp – running her own dungeon, paying off the cops and the Chinese liaison agents to keep everything plumb level and on the square. If it was true, Joey found it admirable. Now America had become little more than a Chinese yard sale, Beijing might as well take the kink along with everything else. The stories about Magda were highly plausible, and the leather jacket with the scarlet pentacle on the back that was draped over her shoulders was more than enough proof that Magda had money coming in from someplace, and also that she had a taste for the dramatic. She’d looked up briefly when Joey first came in, and Harry moved to serve him. Since then, though, she hadn’t paid him any attention, staying in closed conversation with Harry and Old Beau, and, at the same time, idly swishing a Cheepad. As far as Joey could hear, they were swapping stories about the extreme times in the immediate aftermath of The Crash. Magda let out a wry laugh. “Folk were reverting to some atavistic, splatter-movie metaphysics back there for a while.” Her voice her voice was low and nicotine husky, but with a definite and unmistakable authority that was maybe an off-duty holdover from her alleged profession. Old Beau nodded. “That’s a fact. “You remember when those Pentecostal assholes started painting the buildings red? That was fucking eerie.” Harry poured Old Beau a fresh drink. “I’m glad that shit bottomed out.”

“There’s not so many of them packing for The Rapture any more.” Magda gestured for a refill. “Hysteria burns itself out.” The old man was drinking Dewar’s. Somehow Old Beau always had cash, although nobody knew its source. Some claimed he’d been a respected artist back in the day, but what kind of artist was a matter of debate “The Russians sat about for more than a decade after the fall of Communism, blinking and wondering what the fuck happened to them.” At that moment, the lights in the Ace High flickered and dimmed, the TV tiled-out, and Magda’s Cheepad fluttered, all in unison. Everyone paused, wondering if it was the start of a rolling blackout, or maybe server failure. No one wanted to speculate on worse. Then the power supply or the aberrant server seemed to right itself and the various screens returned to normal, proving it had been just one of those glitches that could never be explained, although Charlie might have claimed it was print-and-forget, brainwash moment. “You figure we got a decade of this?” “When the Roman Empire collapsed there were five hundred years of chaos and barbarism.” “But when the British Empire collapsed they grew their hair, bought cheap guitars, and handed us the Beatles.” “What do you think, kid?” Joey’s mind had drifted away from the thread of the conversation. He’d been imagining Magda, in dom corset and heels, plying her vice in her rumored dungeon, but the direct question jerked him back to the present and he answered without thinking. “I just sold my guitar.” Magda sadly sighed. “That doesn’t bode well.” © Mick Farren, 2010
Mick Farren is a legendary poet, musician, author, critic, activist, countercultural icon, and one of the last true gonzo journalists. As lead singer and chief anarchist of the legendary Social Deviants, Farren helped blaze the trail for the advent of punk rock. He has co-written songs for the Pink Fairies, Motorhead and Hawkwind, as well as writing over 40 books, including science fiction novels and non-fiction. Farren served as writer and editor of IT, the International Times, one of the UK’s premiere underground newspapers. Mick Farren blogs at


Alissa Bader
Photos by

When Alissa suggested a photo feature on the Medical Marijuana Clinics of Denver, I loved the idea. Denver has been in the news a lot lately for it’s burgeoning MMJ scene- in fact, it’s quickly becoming known as “America’s Cannabis Capital”. Politicians like Senator Chris Romer (a Democrat candidate for Mayor) want to pass new laws to establish cadres of gun-toting enforcers with the assignment of regulating the clinics into oblivion. For now, patients will still have a natural and safe alternative to the addictive and dangerous drugs pushed on them by Big Pharma. Interesting side note: News sources report that as of January, 2010, there were nearly 400 legal MMJ dispensaries in the Mile High City, outnumbering Starbuck’s franchises in the entire state of Colorado by nearly 2-toone. Can you say “Grass-Roots Capitalism?” ----Alissa Bader has dedicated herself to spending a lifetime hanging out with those people her mother once warned her about. Alissa also purchased her first package of bacon, ever, last May. She lives and works in Denver, Colorado

Gas Stations & Weirdos
Oh blue flower thigh you are silk and matted with blood and fur. The bus seats are lavish and primed for your sweet flesh while jumpers swoon over your eagle parts. Yes! Think claw think gangrene all misanthropic and molecular then reach into the bed: red rim around beet piss. From Brooklyn a caller i.d. illuminates the welts enough to spark principle to sit and think or scoop chocolate from a bin of thistles. I am moving into the new cape with a tenderness you know from way before you were born. I was walking down Bergen Street with a capsule comment: my lungs want to breathe you in while my body brays at the open sky in a calm and reassuring way. An android full of nut butters and quinine. Do you feel calm and reassured? Is that my hand you’re holding? I want you to hold something cool and silver and instructive. Follow me home so I can call the police and tell them you’re finally here for me.

Electric Pony Light
This is what I look like when you’re not looking at me I feel feverish my eyes are bigger in your electric pony light. There will never be more of me than you can handle ever, I swear. Leave the heavy lifting to my sturdy legs. Parts of me are strewn on the floor, I can pick them up later. Leather wristband, cold cream, and my lost in space feeling marking what remains of the morning: you and your helium will. It’s curtains for the sheepish and sullen. They can suck it. What I’m trying to say is: morning with you is a luxury in the puzzle of my day. Give me the soft solace of your arms. All amber-scented and clear-headed, you move through me like a bright tiger jolts the green with her stripes in the woods. You might be more awake than even I could imagine but the way coffee tastes in your mouth when I lean in makes my spine buzz with jazz. When you’re not looking I’m right here.

Todd Colby has published four books of poetry: Ripsnort (1994), Cush (1995), Riot in the Charm Factory: New and Selected Writings(2000), and Tremble & Shine (2004), all published by Soft Skull Press. Todd has performed his poetry on PBS and MTV, and his collaborative books and paintings with artist David Lantow can be seen in the Brooklyn Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art special collections libraries. Todd serves on the Board of Directors for The Poetry Project, where he has also taught several poetry workshops, and he posts new work on

The Demolition of Yankee Stadium The Demolition of Yankee Stadium

Amy DiGi studied at the Art Students League of New York with Mary Beth McKenzie and Joseph Peller. She received her MFA in Painting from Lehman College and her BFA in Drawing and Art/ Design Education from Pratt Institute. Ms. DiGi is a United States Coast Guard Artist. She lives and works in New York City.

In the spring of 2010, the old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx was demolished. As fans of the Bronx Bombers stood by as “The house that Ruth built” was reduced to rubble, one die-hard fan worked to capture the moment. “ Men had little tears squeaking out the corners of their eyes,” says Painter Amy DiGi, who furiously painted and sketched the demolition. “I was the only broad painting on the platform... I’m thinking, ‘what were those bitch-asses thinking in that board room when they decided to tear it down?’ “ Her pictures say something about the event that news photos can never capture.

Beer Mystic: A Novel of Inebriation & Light
by bart plantenga

Beer Mystic is a unique literary adventure that will take you on the longest, rowdiest literary pub crawl ever. Follow the Beer Mystic’s story around the world through excerpts in a global network of host magazines. For a complete list of excerpts, visit
Furman Pivo believes he [plus beer] may be the cause of a rash of streetlight outages. This sense of empowerment transforms him into the Beer Mystic. He has a mission and a mandate. Or does he? In any case, 1987 NYC will never be the same and the rest is history or myth or delusion. Beer Mystic Excerpts #37-8 In an unpublished piece, Luc Sante writes: “These inscriptions, these erasures, these black holes that dot the lower end of Manhattan like empty stars colored black by a 4-year-old are not just about war, but about what Virilio in his Guerre et cinéma calls the guerre lumière, the war of light, which dates back to the earliest use of the military searchlight in 1904. During World War I, lights aided infantry movements. While during World War II, warplanes created lightning flashes, flares, to illuminate the earth to enable them to take essential reconnaissance photos. We are now witnessing a similar war – albeit within a more personal or circumscribed landscape – along the Bowery backbone with arteries radiating East and West like lit or darkened ribs. What we are left with is sensory hints of an ebony and ivory conflagration where the preserving streetlights salvage property at the expense of dream, and the darkness is a return to the primal dream at the expense of property – darkness encourages both dreams and petty criminality. However, newfound corridors of darkness unleashes fear and nurtures new industries in its wake, not to mention new security and surveillance technologies. This process highlights lighting’s almost Manifest Destiny-level innate colonization tendencies that may end up transgressing its supposed purpose and benefit to humans. As the Beer Mystic [nom du guerre] seems to be saying: Aufklärung is German for both ‘Enlightenment,’ and, in military circles, for reconnaissance, surveillance. A consequence of too much light over-exposing our present reality is manifested in the condition we commonly refer to as information overload – more images than the eyes can consume. What I suspect he further desires to reveal – so far as we can ascribe it with conscious purpose – is the tautology of how excessive wattage blinds and its glare blurs. Blinded by the light is right. In the name of bringing things to light, seeing, and illumination many crimes are committed – see totalitarianism, fascism, et al. By putting out a few lights here and there he simply proposes that we keep lights down to an organic and harmonious equilibrium [he advocates atmospheric lighting – candles – and NOT pitch darkness] thus encouraging our eyes to see more and stimulate our other under-utilized and withering senses. Light, ironic as it may seem and despite its historically good image, and not darkness, stimulates the very conditions for the destruction of society and light itself. As Horkheimer and Adorno noted in their Dialectic of Enlightenment: ‘The Enlightenment has always aimed at liberating men from fear and establishing their sovereignty. Yet the fully enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant’.” The Rum Seer offered me swallows of rum from her mouth. Like a raven feeds her young. Deep into the craw. She was certainly beginning to show me she was worthy of my gratitude. “This is MY black hole.” She ran her fingers through her hair. “Absorbs all light, all looks. I only wear black. Black lingerie. Black sucks the false gaiety out of the world. Bright shit’s just a redundancy of false hopes.” “You sound like the Amish.” I opened my second bottle – this time with my teeth. Her eyes did not light up. “Like the Hasidim.” “The body’s 93% water,” she said matter-of-factly. She knew it was only 67% water but was exaggerating for effect.

“But mine’s 50% beer.” We wound through more black-eye sites; the streetlights in front of the police precinct on East 20th St., which I tried to convince her were like “an audacious and cathartic liberation” like a Pollock, like graffiti, like... alas... “What d’you do for female companionship?” “I get by. I sometimes count on magazines.” I lied, thinking of Nice, Elsa, Jude, Rita, Djuna… And we walked into the talk and somehow ended up facing Macy’s window with its “Golden Age of Classicwear” diorama, revealing an age when everybody was happy, dressed nice and sat around a fireplace and a board game. Suddenly she grabbed my beer and, in a fit of pique, pushed my head back with a forearm to the chin and poured it no-nonsense down her greedy gullet. So, I grabbed her flask and returned the favor. The orality of drinking suddenly looked like the orality of sex. And suddenly we’d progressed from a policy of Mutual Deterrence to the most intimate of bodily fluid exchanges. “Oblivion; it’s my specialty,” she declared. Running on empty, we went to a Korean 24-hour deli to refuel. They’re always 24 hour. Even at three a.m. you’ll see somebody squatting outside, trimming green beans, washing bokchoy. Each Korean deli contains well over 10,000 anti-shoplifting watts, so entering here means crossing over into enemy territory. “Heard they’re all Moonies, you know, right-wing pod people.” She put on her shades, covered her exposed skin as we roamed the aisles. I squinted as I scrounged for change to pay for two Rolling Rock long-necks. She protected her face from the ravages of redundant light with the collar of her jacket. “Figh dolla,” said the man behind the counter. “Wha’! Rolling Rock’s not a foreign beer. Come ON!” “Figh dolla.” “It’s from friggin’ Pennsylvania! One of the original of the 13 United States of this here America.” “Figh dolla.” He was glancing left and right for back up. “Let’s just get outa here, Furman.” The light was detrimental to her skin. Fluorescent light is said to promote acne. “Hey, if I was fuckin’ Axl Rose or fuckin’ Travis Bickle or fuckin’ Mickey Mantle or fuckin’ Gypsy fuckin’ Rose Lee you’d...” The deli man reached under the counter. “Just pay’m. Come on let’s vacate these premises. I mean, why don’tchu just send a whole string of these delis the way of your street lights?” “Maybe I should.” We waltzed around the corner. She hummed a tune in back of Macy’s by the loading docks where I opened the bottle with my teeth and handed it to her. Whereupon she took the other bottle, reached down under her tight black skirt and opened the long neck with her vagina. And I heard what sounded like bells wrapped around the necks of distant sheep. “I think the good shepherd’s comin’ our way...” “Tha’s me.” She showed me the little brass bells that dangled from the pierced labia. She smiled because she knew exactly how spooked I’d be. “It’s so I always know when someone’s fuckin’ with me.” “It don’t hurt?” “No, if you got the technique down. Ring mah bee-ee-elll…” “I know somebody that just did the same... was there somethin’ in People Magazine...? And you know that they’re twist-off, right?” “I don’t believe in twist-off.” She took her bottle and stuck the entire neck down her throat and chugged the whole cold thing. In seconds flat. Chucked the empty against a brick wall. This is how woman provokes me best. I made an amorous lunge, which she dodged. “If you even could.” “Could what?” “Be fuckin’ me...” “Yea, well, none of this is exactly me, myself.” I had to be humble. “I mean, this could go on forever,” I warned. “Listen, I’m too impatient for forever. I want EVERYthing now. So is it you, then, doin’ the black-eyes? And if not, stop claiming them for yerself. People used to live forever before religion told them there were two worlds. Part one, here; part two, there; now and later. Dead and gone.” I nodded knowingly not to betray ignorance. “Tha’s when churches went into business.” She seemed
continued. . .

to know a lot. But wanted to know even more. “Monks’ve been brewing liqueurs outa anything since who knows when.” “Tell me somethin’ I don’t already know.” We continued to wander a precarious path uptown. “I was Mata Hari in a former life. Plus I used to be scared of the dark. The unknown eats away at you. Things move cuz yer mind makes telephone poles follow you. Half the world’s animals are nocturnal. I know cuz I used to be a bat in a former life.” “Before or after Mata Hari?” “Before... I hate people with tans. I love jazz Negroes.” “Me too. Although I don’t know any.” Well, Nice, but I am not talking about her. “When I do the sex thing and it’s good, I see phosphenes. You know, those delirious fireworks of the soul projected on the backs of our eyelids. And then I pass out – into delicious blackness.” “Sounds like epilepsy to me.” We tugged at and under and inside one another on the proverbial steps – alas – down to her A train. She crushed my nose into her hirsute armpit. Hair made her feel more European. I tasted the sweat – sodium chloride, lactic acid, traces of potassium, magnesium. She rubbed her knuckles on the seam of my crotch until she had a brush burn to show me. Misshapen lust hidden inside the blurred flailing – going nicely nowhere. Passersby confused us for assault and battery. But where could our kind of reeling lead? Did it need to go somewhere? “How do I know like yer the one responsible for all this... this stuff... that like happens?” “The black-eyes?” “Yea, like how do I know it’s you and not just chance or solar flares? Or we see only what we wanna see, like predictable coincidences that we give meaning.” “And sometimes we don’t even see that... Listen, I do it for myself and for anyone who wants to live in the low light, you know, like atmospheric lighting where we all look and feel better, that grey area where things happen.” “That’s very magnanimous – and retrospective of you.” “I don’t do it to impress girls.” “I’m no girl.” Whereupon she began to describe her “sous sol” again, this time as a place I might never escape from, a dark cave done in “velvet underground” and day-glo black velvet paintings. Basement windows painted black. Her “piece of death.” Where she’d feed me exotic patés from her mouth. Where she becomes an animal of another species communing with her Nico, Joy Division, and Sisters of Mercy discs – “morbid dance music for the dying and other undergrad existentialists with hairstyles.” A touchy-feely bower full of empty psychotropic prescription bottles, glowing skeletons dangling from her pipes. “I’ve draped various tomb rubbings from the pipes, which I got by going to cemeteries in Queens, where I rub crayons and pastels over a sheet of parchment draped over tombstones.” Her faves were the various smiling death heads with wings. As a dominatrix, in this basement [of her parents’ home!], she had set up her little dungeon like others arrange their kitchens. And suddenly she was kissing me. Or was I kissing her? To make brief our encounter the kiss will suddenly lunge into the orifice of character as if to assume the responsibility of a verb related to conflagration. [The Rum Seer, née Tura Sultana: “I never was overly impressed by him. The slide from respect to pity was quick. Although he could be so terribly endearing whenever he was trying so hard to entertain and impress. Furman Pivo is always going to be caught

in the physics of inertia. Hope and glue. Naiveté and mistaken purpose. ‘Keep moving,’ I remember him saying, ‘so things don’t latch on to you – laws, wives, preconceptions, jobs, looters, artists, and dust.’ He has, I s’pose, learned the art of the dodge and bob – appearing to move while standing perfectly still, even to the point of appearing to be someone, someone of substance. I am reminded of a quote I came across in Peter L. Wilson’s Sacred Drift by a Muslim heretic, I think named Ibn somebody: “Bedouins are more disposed to courage than sedentary people” basically, he goes, because wanderers don’t depend on laws that destroys our will to resist. So, with that in mind, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. So I think something is happening with his black-eyes although at the time I was holding my cards close to the bosom and so I was not ready to admit this. I think it’s on the skin stretched across his six-foot frame – he’s much taller emotionally by the way, when he’s wearing his big black boots – where the alchemy takes place, where substance goes insubstantial, fact melts into rumor, and all phenomena transform into delusion. Now ask me how I know all this. Or is this just all about men?”] Her mouth pulled you into her face, a whirlpool that wrung my dragging soul around the mischievous features of her face. A mouth always busy. A mouth that sucked the dials off the clock, the fingers off my hand, like there was no soup nor tomorrow. A mouth that enveloped my identity in the surface rapture of her face. Her tongue like the first darter perch I ever caught, dangling from my line in Bear Mountain. And then she mysteriously left me standing there as she retreated down the subway station stairs with great haste. The smile was certainly her favorite wound. It dug up

Illustration by Tobey Anderson

bones like a dog full of jazz. I didn’t notice until I got home – me and this big Bozo face full of lipstick. And so this is why people on the 2 a.m. streets were snickering. Or maybe it was blood or something. Others may have wondered what new fashion sub-cult I was loyal to and whether they were early witnesses to a new trend. What new club I could lead them to. Once in my new place I realize I never got around to telling the Rum Seer about my room, the checkerboard linoleum... I listened to my messages, again only one – from Nice, “‘There is nothing wrong / with sobriety in moderation.’ That’s poet John Ciardi. I see you with my eyes closed right now and I’m wondering where you are.” I watch the long artificially illuminated skies scrape across New Jersey. There is new grafitti on the corrugated walls of the empty warehouse across the way: IYNIKE and under it SAM COOKE (33) MURDERD 1964. I’d like to tell her about the timeline of events in my life in blue and mysteries I’d unraveled in red that I’d strung along my wall and decorated with salvaged beer labels from my Euro-pilgrimage. And the map of NYC with little pushpin flags tagging all my black-eyes. I’d like to know where Nice actually is. The closest phone that she can say is her phone is the pay phone on the corner of 10th and B. The Rum Seer was now long gone into the ground that shakes and lets off steam. I realized then that NOTHING happens forever, which leads to fear leads to disillusionment leads to the fridge and a last beer, a Palm “gul en mals” [generous and tender]. To the night’s last tender beer. ~•~ In pursuit of Nice’s beckoning voice and in avoidance of Djuna, I walk by the library branch on Second Avenue, then the Jefferson
continued. . .

Market branch, 23rd Street, Tompkins Square – of course they are all dark and closed behind thick grates of secure mesh, because it’s nearly midnight in our concrete insomnia. She is nowhere. I leave notes, slip them under the doors of the various far-east squats and tenements that smell of brick dust and rotting wood. I no longer live with Djuna, haven’t seen her for weeks, have somehow lost Elsa’s number and can never pinpoint the whereabouts of “my” Nice. I leave a note for her under the door of theTompkins Square branch of the public library and continue along the terse perimeter of the park. I suddenly witness a drug entrepreneur, in full scurvy skin and grin behind loud gold, pulling a blade, getting into an associate’s car. With a certain slo-mo style copped from Scarface [somewhere between the élan of a fencer and the hair-trigger viciousness of a petty mobster], and with the passenger door open, he inserts the blade into the torso of the guy riding shotgun. There is blood and the kids keep on shooting hoops. It used to be people only opened letters in this kind of casual fashion. But this entrepreneur had such grace that people in cafés caught mid-sip, mid-allusion, were impressed by the balletlike beauty of it and forgot whether it was better to yank the blade out or leave it in. The blade handle just quivered there because the car, although top of the line, was revealing a somewhat rough idle. A New York Post headline wafts by my feet: “Warm ‘E’ Train Hums Hobo Lullaby.” The Crack Cartel, with its hierarchical dreams, is a strange and terrifying yet logical affirmation of Capitalism around here. Its get-rich-quick schemes pushed three or four notches beyond even those of the infomercial and the telemarketer’s repertoire. Operates outside the mechanisms of reason and morality. Crack, like military hardware, goes where it is paid for. Like the physics of fluids with a combined density of blood and bile. Like the makeover of luxury into necessity, crack creates its own heroic needs. And the victimizers, suspended in their mumbling mythos of pain and craving, forget that they too are victims of their own strategic victimization. They have allowed the magnification of profit and firearm calibers to skew all sense of prior proportion. Packing firepower means responsibility, an increased peer pressure to use the gun. This pressure replaces wit, cunning, negotiation. And my dark bowers become their fields of play. The cops in this scruff of the ’hood are bred to resemble these hoodlums. This is accomplished by having a gene withdrawn that is essential for the manufacture of nitric oxide, the molecule that allows nerve cells to communicate and is an essential brake on excessive volatile behavior. The absence of this gene leaves the enforcement agents wildly impulsive [“rogue cops”], sensitive not to their surroundings nor their purported vocation but to the most minute slights which might set them off, it makes them relentlessly aggressive, often to the point of killing targeted humans – the Michael Stewart Phenomenon, or like Michael Carter, ad nauseum. In effect, rogue cops are truer to themselves and to their service than the more sedated/civilized among them. Rogue cops are the crack entrepreneurs of their occupation, terrorists with a licensed raison d’être. And Rum Seer wonders how I feel about exacerbating this state of things falling apart. Hmm. The cover of night is a savage and delirious color of freedom in the state that does not yet exist. Will they name this area after me? I don’t think about it too much, Madame Rum Seer. I remain adamant: Darkness remains a no-man’s-land where adventure is reinvented, yea sure, it drags some suspicion, fear, apprehension along with it. OK, granted, but these are our primary colors. Night is feminine, the mother of the gods, the unconscious swim in the womb. The Greeks believed the darkness of night preceded the creation of all things. It is fertility, germination, the anticipatory state, the promise of awesome eruptions. Although they do not as yet know my face, the Cartel, Law Enforcement, and the Yuppoisie’s brittle alliance do not like me. I adversely affect one man’s livelihood, another’s dominion, and the yup’s right to an unfettered lifestyle. I destroy turf, the very idea of turf as ownership. I will make parents think twice before they toss their kids to roam the streets past midnight. I will re-establish the diurnal-nocturnal cycles that will allow us to go back to sleep without fear we are losing out on some event or profitable opportunity. I will reconstruct repose. Peace and happiness for every man, peace and happiness through all the land, as the song goes. Someday my retribution will seem as natural as Marinus van der Lubbe’s torching of the Reichstag in Berlin. I’m talking about, for instance, 12th and A. Check it out. It’s black-eyed to the max going on a month now. I sent a string

of eight streetlights on the ol’ black-eye one ferociously charged night. Perhaps you saw it the night I took the Rum Seer there. A darkness so conclusive and pervasive that the Cartel has since packed up and conquered new turf. The cops, pretending to be undaunted, skirt its perimeters and huddle in the bright newsstands squeezing free candy bars and sodas out of the proprietors. There are almost no parked cars around here. Yes, this is urban renewal my way. The Cartel members tell a slender range of discount Shakespeare stories that involve knifings, bro’s blown away, boxing, dead lifts, AIDS, the next big thing, gold, Nike, all pacing about with gila monster eyes and arms like baseball bats, arguing with anything passing by. The Yuppoisie, meanwhile, snuffed by the arrogance of their accumulated comforts, continue to enlarge the gaping holes in their jeans, hunting for the proper grimy nouveau edge, where illicit adventure might resuscitate their over-furnished lives. And when they park their shiny modes of transport they hope to find streetlights so they can abandon their tin cans for evenings of worry-free expense-account dissipation. I’ve black-eyed this vigilance of light, and so they must go east, further into the toxic repose of the cornered beast. I have thus, in my own way, facilitated the redistribution of wealth. Because darkness initiates an entire process of reclamation. Bye bye radio, radials, plates, plugs, window, seats, grimy guts, crankshaft, doors. BMWs strewn like felled antelope on the Savannah, picked clean by scavengers crouched in the carcasses with their grimy knuckles. And within a week, a Mercedes will be wingless, legless, eyeless, gutless. Adapt and thrive, leave or die! There’s something haunting and beautiful about a carcass of steel. Like an abandoned dream. Like the pig eye I found in the gutter in front of my new walk-up chamber that once was an abattoir. I now feel like part of the natural order of this asphalt jungle. I am ally to the scavenger, one of them. I could demand commissions from chop shops. I need an agent. But I must remain satisfied with the highly codified nods and subtle eye signals they tip my way. A secret agent does best when he keeps ego in check. I go on breathing. My black-eyes reshuffle the inevitability of the inevitable. I add exclamation points to despair and danger! Make them seem like hope and love. Yes, these haunted hulks of steel are my trophies, my sculptures. I take curious admirers like Nice and Rita there. In winter these steels skeletons hold the cold. In summer they retain the day’s heat past midnight. ~•~ bart plantenga is also the author of Wiggling Wishbone and Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man. His book YODEL-AY-EE-OOOO: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World received worldwide attention. He is working on a new novel, Paris Sex Tete and a new book on yodeling Yodel in HiFi. His radio show Wreck This Mess has been on the air on WFMU [NY], Radio Libertaire [Paris], Radio 100 and currently Radio Patapoe [Amsterdam] since 1986. He lives in Amsterdam.

(For Rain/for Richie)
Dragon double-six, you dominoed Right out of this world Catapulted up through sixth gear All your senses Straining, cut to ribbons, Flayed wide-open throttle Hell-bent for heaven, In the wind. Unkept promises, vows left Unspoken, undeclared

Passion spent,

Used-up rusted shut or Broke apart, Where the metal meets the sky, unhealed Wound, scarborn, lace Stitched with needle blows, Riveted to the Tattooed map of your heart Where

The hunter should be, orion your third eye His star-sword tip. At the crooked crossroads Lines converge Rise or fall according to their laws The hawk drifts upward, riding one Current, while blood rains Down, tracking along a riverbed. I never met you, saw your image

In skin,

On the luminous page, That turns by itself, a leaf, a life At a time . . . . . . . . and once, passing by, in your taking out the trash while the raven croaked and the stars wheeled, spun the planets round the sun the moon overhead in a dream in a dance

black hat,

Photographs by Ericka Wildgirl Dana



like satellites to one long lonesome note, a keening song sung a little too hard, too high & too late, for comfort. Ride the wind, let all the bells Ring, Chime the blood-red raven’s caw Calling you home. She’s calling you from home.


Mali Delaney

h h
Your source for excellent organic catnip, kitty greens/pet grass YYY and other good stuff for pets and people! YYY

Mali Delaney is a heretofore virtually unpublished writer who has spent her entire adult life as a working stiff. Dreaming along the byroads and making poems of daily occurences, the dark light of observance in the regular headlamp gloom. She has consistently refused to deal with publishers, agents, book tours and other forms of sado-masochism that comprise the writer’s path to paid perdition. She hopes that in the preapocalyptic neverland there will be space for true mavericks and renegades like her heroes & herself. “Mickey Spillane is a hero because he always mentioned how much Hammer tipped his waitresses.” She is currently working on an interlocking series of novels, known as “the novelization-in-progress”.

Made By Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World Mark Frauenfelder (Portfolio, 2010)
DIY folks, the Internet stopped being an end in itself and became a tool to get things done in the real world.” As the “Foodie” movement toward locally raised food has raised the awareness of what we eat, the “Maker” movement holds the potential to do the same for so-called “Consumer” goods. Instead of shopping for the latest avatar of personal satisfaction, why not use what is at hand and build it yourself, sew it, repair it, modify or decorate it? What Michael Pollan has done for food, Mark Frauenfelder is doing for “stuff”.


The Big Bang Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)

graphic novels. Collins, no stranger to the pulp genre, has paid his rent writing novelizations of popular films and did an extended stint as a writer for the “Dick Tracy” comic strip. His devotion to popular fiction and his scholarly dedication to the pulp genre made him the perfect writer for Spillane to tap to take charge of his unfinished works. In The Big Bang, Collins shows his ability to take on the voice of the master, serving up 247 pages of terse, bloody, libidinous and completely politically incorrect first-person toughguy story telling. Set in the 60’s, Hammer takes on the hairy hippies and drug-addled crazies of swinging Greenwich Village, blowing open the biggest heroin ring in the cities history. Unlike Robert B. Parker’s attempt to complete Chandler’s unfinished Poodle Springs, The Big Bang works precisely because of Collins skill to work unrepentantly in the brutal style of Spillane. Where Parker’s voice was unmistakable and Poodle Springs read more like a throwback Spenser novel, Collins rarely lets on that this book was completed in the 21st century. He occasionally slips in some detail to provide historical context, which Spillane never would have bothered with. Otherwise, this is a seamless, classic Hammer book.

Case’s medical bills, and as soon as possible he went back to work, hammering out an amazing new album with X drummer DJ Bonebrake and Ron Franklin of Gasoline Silver. Wig! is a raw slab of bluesy, swampy, rootsrock, recorded in just 3 days. Packed with blues harp and distorted tremolo and slide guitar, it comes off as a scorching live recording laid down by a man on a mission. Like a steel guitar player in a storefront gospel church, Case is making music like he means it. It’s definitely a change- at times sounding more like Dr. John or Junior Kimbrough than the polished California pop master or the thoughtful singer songwriter of the past, Peter Case still manages to sound authentic and natural singing the blues- and damn it, he’s earned the right. YepRoc is offering Wig! on CD and vinyl, and all of the songs on the record can be previewed at the YepRoc website.

Free Web Book
Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden Gilbert Livingstone Wilson, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 1917)

Wig! Peter Case (YepRoc, 2010)
Mark Frauenfelder knows about technology. He is former editor at “Wired”, a co-founder of the amazingly great blog “Boing Boing” and editor of “Make” magazine. He has bulletproof cred when it comes to writing about what is hip and groovy with the average iPad owner. So why is he writing about raising chickens? Made By Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World is a wonderfully deceptive little book. Frauenfelder chronicles his family’s transition from tech-boom suburbanites to barefoot coconut harvesters, their continued evolution, and his personal search for equilibrium in a disposable society. It weaves together entertaining tales of failed projects and small, daily successes. A bit like a modern suburban Swiss Family Robinson, Made by Hand is such an easy and entertaining read that it nearly masks the serious social message that underlies the story. Although the author writes at length about gardening, beekeeping, raising chickens and other elements of “Urban Homesteading”, this is not a how-to guide. As Frauenfelder recounts his own slightly naive forays into “DIY” (DoIt-Yourself) culture, he reveals himself as a sort of wired Bodhisattva. In the chapter entitled “Learning How to Learn”, he writes; “...It’s as though the folks who have been spending their time creating the Web and everything on it suddenly looked up from their monitors and realized that the world itself is the ultimate hackable platform. In other words, for these creative

Make no mistake; Mickey Spillane’s work is pulp. It was pulp when I, Jury came out in 1948, and it’s pulp now. It has never received the belated critical acclaim of Hammett, Chandler, or even his contemporary, Jim Thompson. What Spillane did achieve was selling a shit-load of books (over 200 million world-wide), relying on an oh-so American combination of graphic vigilante violence and lurid sex. When Spillane came home from WWII and invented his signature character, Mike Hammer, he was giving birth to a representation of the post-war American male id. Hammer appealed to the blue collar G.I.s, who entered the monotony of suburban life after the chaos and anarchy of war. Unlike the moral ambiguity and elegant toughness of Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe, Hammer was a dogface, just like them, and though they could no longer solve their problems with a Colt .45, Hammer could. Mike Hammer was the prototype for James Bond, Dirty Harry, and every other wisecracking tough-guy since, and the cultural significance of Spillane cannot be over-stated. During his later years, Spillane took a shine to a young journeyman writer named Max Allan Collins, best know for the “Road To Perdition”

The music of Peter Case was the soundtrack for the coming-of-age of a lot of post-punk, preGenXers. With The Nerves, he recorded “Hanging on the Telephone”, probably the single greatest “new wave” song ever, which later became a hit for Blondie. His next band, The Plimsouls, appeared in the brat pack classic “Valley Girl” and their single “Million Miles Away” became an instant 80’s standard. In the years that followed, Case released a string of strong solo records, while gaining notoriety as a musicologist and historian of popular music. The original fans of The Nerves and The Plimsouls are no longer spikey-haired kids, and neither is Case. In 2009, he suffered health problems and underwent heart surgery and, like so many aging residents of post-punk, postprosperity Amerika, Case was left with a sixfigure hospital bill. Friends like T-Bone Burnett, Dave Alvin, Stan Ridgway, Syd Straw Van Dyke Parks, Loudon Wainwright III and Richard Thompson appeared at a benefit to raise funds to cover

This classic text on what is now known, as “sustainable living” has been a standard of back-tothe-landers for years. Originally published in 1917, it is a recounting of what the author, Gilbert Wilson, learned about indigenous agriculture from the Hidatsa women of Minnesota. Perhaps the most comprehensive description of how to plant and manage a traditional “Three Sisters” garden (corn, beans and squash), ever written. Buffalo bird Woman’s Garden is a blueprint for how to most efficiently raise enough food to survive and thrive without canning or refrigeration. In this traditional system, corn plants are grouped in mounds and the beans are allowed to climb the cornstalks, binding them together, while “fixing” the nitrogen in the soil that the corn needs to grow. The squash plants spread out across the ground, smothering weeds. As well as being complimentary to each other botanically, corn beans and squash, along with the “fourth sister” of sunflowers (grown surrounding the garden) provide the protein, complex carbohydrates and calories needed for complete nutrition. Along with complete directions on how to lay out plots plant gardens, there are sections on seed saving, food storage and tool making. This amazing book is available in its entirety online at:

“Bringing Third World Technology to the First World”

Iowa’s Rural Hackspace & Skunkworks

Dumpster-Diver Gardening Dumpster-Diver Gardening
by Rich Dana We began dumpster-diver gardening sometime in the early 90’s, when we came across a vendor at the Brooklyn Terminal Market tossing flats of broken and wilted bedding plants into the trash. Neither Wildgirl nor I were strangers to dumpster diving (a proud trash-picking tradition that is now fashionably know as “Freeganism”), and W.G. immediately hatched a plan for me to distract the shop owner by buying a bag of peat moss while she filled the trunk of her ‘74 Valiant with rescued greenery. “We didn’t need the plants, ” she recalls- “but they didn’t have to die. They were hurt but still alive. All they needed was some TLC and a home.” Fast-forward 10 years. We no longer live in New York. We have a small organic farm, and grow a lot of our own stuff. On a blistering July afternoon in Coralville, Iowa, I noticed one of the seasonal garden centers set up in a grocery store parking lot was breaking down for the season and again, they were dumpster-izing flat after flat of sad, leggy, brown and bolting tomato plants, squash, peppers, herbs, and flowers. A lot of the higher-priced organic and heirloom stuff was left behind. I took as much as the old Subaru GL would hold. What I have discovered in the last few years is that throughout the Midwest (indeed, much of the country), huge numbers of plants get dumped, given away or sold for next to nothing sometime in the last part of June to first week of July. If timed properly, a pickup truck can be filled with blueberry bushes, roses, prairie plants, perennials, and lots and lots of vegetable plants for less than twenty bucks- often for nothing more than the price of gas. If you are a non-driver and really hard-core, you can do it with a cargo bike, shopping cart, hand truck, wheelbarrow or travois. The keys to success are timing, speed, and a modicum of stealth. Despite the fact that the stuff is being jettisoned, employees, particularly middle managers, can tend to flexout on people who want their trash. In most cases, though, if you time your arrival properly, the peons who got exiled to the sweltering parking lot to haul the stuff to the dumpster are more than happy to have you lighten their load. A lot of people like to get their gardens in early and planting in July just seems contrary to the American puritan work-ethic. What kind of deadbeat plants a garden in July? This is one of those great situations where being lazy pays off. Your neighbor the foodie-nazi paid 25 bucks for a few Green Zebra tomato plants... you are hauling in a dozen of them for free. If you feel that you absolutely must plant something in early spring, you can start the season by tossing some brassica or greens seeds around. This will make you feel like you are doing something, and you will get some fresh greens to eat after the long winter. By July, your crop of mustard greens, radishes, lettuce or spinach has bolted, you have collected the seed for next year and turned the rest under, and you are ready for the flood of refugee plants. In my experience, these stressed-out dumpster plants are often already flowering or even bearing fruit. They have been stuck in those pots for a long time, they have become root-bound and they think they are going to die, so they try to make seeds. Once their roots are unbound, they are ready to party! Placed in some decent soil with a little compost tea and lots of water, they come on remarkably fast, and generally produce vegetables only a few weeks behind schedule. You don’t need a huge space to grow your own food, and in the twilight of our empire, there are plenty of empty lots and abandoned properties that can benefit from some guerilla “foodscaping”. If you are managing to hang on to your suburban dream-home, I’ll bet you are ready to give up some lawn mowing and score some fresh produce from right outside your back door. After all, they don’t call Whole Foods “Whole Paycheck” for nothing. For those working in a very small plot, I suggest that you find a copy of John Jeavons’ classic book “How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine.” This book is the bible of “companion planting” or “bio-intensive techniques” and explains what kinds of plants can share space, allowing you to double or triple your food production per square foot. Some issues have come up over the years of dumpster-diver gardening. Garden center plants are often hybrid varieties, non-organically raised in industrial facilities and after being stressed in poor growing conditions, they can carry pests, fungi or plant diseases. You do need to know what to look for and what to pass up. Also, seeds from hybrid varieties, if saved, may not produce the same plants next year. In some cases this can be fun- we have the weirdest assortment of winter squash growing from years genetic roulette and cross-pollination. The bottom line is, dumpster-diver gardening is a great way to get into growing your own food. The risks are modest and the benefit is huge. Make the rounds and scope out the possibilities. Summer is still young- get out there and start diving!

In Memory of Robert Dana
This premiere issue of OBSOLETE is dedicated to Robert Dana. RP was a writer, teacher, and publisher of immense skill. In over 55 years dedicated to the perfection of his craft, his work touched countless readers and listeners, his mentorship molded the careers of scores of writers. He was also a great father who encouraged every creative endeavor, every hare-brained adventure and every half-baked scheme I ever undertook. He believed in putting it out there, every day- enjoying the successes, learning from the failures, laughing, cursing, crying- getting up tomorrow and doing it again.

Say “Goodbye.” Say whatever you want. Summer here begins like thirty years of trying to breathe under water. Blue corn surging the plumped lap and sow-belly hills. Sweat. Nights rinsed in hot moonlight. The farmer who looks at you and crumbs dirt from under a thumbnail black as cake. You don’t leave it. You give two fingers to a whirling gear, your children to the church. Slash lips and tongue and arms until blood rains on the harvest, tasselled and feathered and green as the dumb god of grass. Robert Dana 1929 -2010


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