WHAT WH ITE E LEPHANT
WHAT WHITE ELEPHANT THEMARCHISSUE
HOROSCOPES CONSEQUENCES! EDITOR’S LETTER? ...2 ...4 ...6
SKIN STORIES & A LATE NIGHT ...8
Blown out pupils are the continual prices I pay for happiness, though this mask
4 12 9 19 14
He jerked off five times a day, so maybe my amateur cunnilingus wasn’t good enough
SHAUN OF THE DEAD ...10
There was a pause, but Josh could make out “looked what up?” somewhere in the middle. “No, our family goes way back,” said Shaun. “Way back.”
WE FEAR PENIS
Why is female sexuality so much easier to accept, to visualize, to objectify, than male sexuality?
JUST SOMETHING; DON’T USE FOR ANYTHING ...13
Philosophizing the art of doody; composed in the wee hours of the morning (Sorry ladies...)
AFFECT RESIDUUM; ANOTHER ...14 BAD DECISION
One man’s soapbox is another man’s treasure, and a recount of the past month’s peaks & follies
T SANCTIONS & REPRIMANDS
AFTERMATH THINGS OVERHEARD THE GUEST LIST ...18 ...19 ...20
POETRY & PROSE
YOU WANTED HOROSCOPES EVERYTHINGBUT WERE TOOTO KNOW ABOUT THE FUTURE AFRAID TO ASK
ARIES - An elderly Asian woman will slight you this month, and give you an irrational fear of all Asians. You’ll feel the sun as close as you ever have, and it may or may not burn you. It’s up to you to figure it to be what is to be. Follwer, you’re a jerk-off; follow her. There’s no use crying over spilled blood! As the duality of your choices drive you to the brink of insanity, you taper off... TAURUS - A Capricorn is going to take your inner bull by the horns so get ready to be bored to death. Actually, you’re pretty boring yourself so this match might work out for the best. You’re going to learn how to open a checking account this month. Way to go. Keep your stubbornness alive by holding on to your indignant sense of self worth and stability. NO one likes the smell of bullshit. Let your soul guide you to happiness. GEMINI - I’m not gonna lie to you, Gemini, it’s gonna be a tough month at work; inbetween sexual harrassment (which you like), and getting your ass chewed (which you don’t), you’ll deal with increasingly annoying customers, and getting asked to work on your day off because another co-worker can’t seem to make it through a 4 hour shift without getting sick, again. If things become overwhelming, you can always call in & say your Father another family member passed.
CANCER - A Scorpio will try to steal your car, so make sure your insurance is up-to-date. And make sure you remember how to mix primary colors. Something will make you crave McDonald’s, and you’ll dive right in, forgetting every good piece of nutrition advice you’ve ever received, like usual. Next month, I fortell your ability to reason (I have the power to know this). Or otherwise be prepared to be wrong again. LEO - sOME SAY THE END IS NEAR. Sorry, your soul had had the caps lock on, and it was completely out of control, brother dude. Calm down for a second. You will start looking for a new job this month, something that challenges you & gives you room for growth. Unlike the job you have now that you put as little effort into as humanly possible. Just try not to act too desperate and bitter when you don’t get what you want for christmas...next year. VIRGO - You’ve had a rough couple of months of egotism, alcoholism and drug abuse so don’t be a pussy and decide to quit having a personality now. The leaves spin in the fall for you. So don’t lose my keys, dick mouth. A friend will call with startling news tomorrow, so make an effort & answer your phone. No one is buying the “I didn’t see the message” excuse; we all know you coddle that phone like it’s going out of style. It’s the only thing you can love that won’t leave you.
LIBRA - Bitch. You’ve stolen the hearts of millions with your mediocre shit creations. Stop making things; nobody is into your “deeply profound surrealistic” bullshit. In other words, you can go into a new field, like art curation, or hell-- become a lawyer. Everyone else is. This month, try something fun & different like entering a rap competition. You’ll make it to Texas if you dream big. Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen had it coming anyway.
CAPRICORN - Weak-ass pussy coward bitch. And those are all your positive traits. Your tactless nature, and fake personality will be a boon for you this month. You don’t need to learn to read or write. So, just take it easy. Anyone’s capacity for bullshit is limited, and it’s probably better for your health to not open that can of worms. It’s nothing that a hardy shot of penicillin can’t cure, or is it?
SCORPIO - You suck. Sorry, that’s really not the direction the stars are pointing, that’s just me speaking in my capacity as a pseudo science astrological zealot. The planets are definitely not in your favor this month. Neither are your friends, family, or loved ones, but you know... you suck so that should come as no real surprise. My crystal ball tells me you’ll make people cry over petty issues and you yourself will cry in front of scores of people over the drop of a hat. Eat your wheaties.
AQUARIUS - Orange. That’s not your lucky color this month or anything, I just wanted to throw it out there. Orange. You’ll probably do something embarassing this month, like comment on how large and obvious the bartender’s tits are-- and she will totally hear you! You drunk. You should make your whispering less like, “HEY, I CAN’T STOP STARING AT HER TITS’” and more like, “Hey, I can’t stop staring at her tits.” You know, it’s all in moderation. If you want to seem like a belligerent drunk, go for it. I’m not stopping you.
SAGITTARIUS - Fag. You’re going to opt for cosmetic surgery this month. I’m not sure why-no amount of cutting, pumping, sucking, or reshaping will do much to tranform that terrifying grotesque mug of yours. Remember that what you can’t change with elective operations, you can always numb with another prescription medication. If all else fails, you can always sell them on the black market; cheaper than actually working, and less shame-inducing like prostitution.
PISCES? - Weird. It will be month of miscommunication, and general anarchy-- the type of situations you’re comfortable with. If your friends react negatively to your ruses, just paint them as the villian. As the old saying goes, “The cow says moo”, but when the cow says moo, you should make lemonade instead. This month will bring you nothing but good fortune, provided you don’t call any of your friends dumb, and they try to punch you in the face. It’s easier than you think it is.
fours glued the bottom “KILL YOUR- bybecause last timetoyou passed out of it from said glue down SELF”huffingAmbien™and chokingup and fistfuls of you woke had
I HATE EVERYONE. THEY SHOULD ALL KILL THEMSELVES.
or every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction is Newton’s third law of motion. Yeah, I googled it. Fuck you. But what does this mean for us in our lives? Nothing? Are physics irrelevant and inapplicable to the common, simple man? Oh my fucking god, I cannot believe you just asked that. What is the matter with you? Have you been drinking furniture polish again? Of COURSE physics are relevant! Of COURSE they’re applicable! Do I have to shake you like a baby? Allow me to provide examples. When you push your chair away from the table, you’re applying a force to both the table and your chair. Since the combined mass of the chair and your body is less than that of the table, you scoot away further than the table. If the table is fixed into the floor with bolts because you’re some kind of insane freak who bolts your tables to the floor, then the force you’re applying to the table also gets distributed into the floor, and from there the supports of the building you happen to be in. Now, imagine you are a 500 lb disgusting waste of space. The table is a flimsy piece of pressboard with pine two
made a table with your barely-abovechimp level construction skills. Good job. Except this table weighs 15lbs, and it isn’t being weighed down by the dozen cardboard chicken buckets filled only with regret and the tears you’ve shed as a result of the realization that you will never see an attractive person naked in real life, even if you had the money to pay. You decide you’re going to turn your life around and scoot away from the table of shattered dreams and clogged arteries. But even though the industrial pallet jack you use as furniture has casters on the bottom of it, the force required to affect your inertia can only be produced by one of NASA’s Titan IV rockets. So when you apply a force to the table in an attempt to scoot backward, you end up with more of a effect. Now you’re even more desperate because the sky is raining buckets, literal buckets, down on your miserable head. As you flap your nubby little arms to try to protect yourself from the falling avian bones which are brittle and splintering, long sucked dry by your unslakable gluttony, one of the buckets lands on your head, blinding you. At first you are relieved, as it acts as a sort of improvised helmet against the cruel assault from above. But when you go to remove it you realize that your shoulder and neck fat prevent you from being able to reach your own head.
“My god,” you think, “How long has it been since I’ve washed my hair? How long as it been since I’ve bathed?” Suddenly you realize you don’t remember anything but fried chicken. Has it been weeks? Months? Longer? Were you born here? You try to wriggle your legs out from under yourself only to find that you can’t be certain you even have legs. When you peer down, under the bucket, all you see is yards of doughy flesh, quivering like a gelatin as you strain and strive. You can’t feel your legs. Are they asleep? Are they gone? Were they ever there? You don’t remember walking. You don’t remember ever being able to stand. There’s a buzzing sound, and you hear a door panel of some sort slide open. There are footsteps. The bucket is unceremoniously knocked off of your head by a broom in the hands of a man in a blue jump-suit. “Thank you,” you say, tears in your eyes. At least, you try to say. The sound of your own voice startles you. It isn’t the voice of an adult human. It’s more of a squawk, like something a baby would produce, only deeper. You begin to cry and gurgle. You don’t understand what is happening to you. “What is my life?” you desperately wonder. Then, the forklift which is your throne of misery and shame begins to tilt back. You see some kind of haz-mat team scurry into the room. Your underside is hosed off and scrubbed with warm, soapy water. Your seat is righted once again. The janitor is gone. The room is clear. The table is once again back on all fours.
Another man comes in, tall and thin. The glare from his thick glasses obscures his eyes. Where is the light coming from? You strain to look up, but for the second time your neck fat foils your efforts. Wordlessly, the man draws a green liquid from a bottle in his pocket into a large syringe. “What are you doing?” you attempt, but all that comes out is inhuman gurgling. You realize your cheeks are too fat to produce viable human speech. “Shhhh,” says the man as he slips the needle into the folds of your horrifying flesh. You don’t twitch. You don’t even feel the pinch. There is something soothing about it, though. Something warm and safe. Like your mother putting her arms around you as a child. You start to wonder if you ever even had a mother, but the thought is cut short by a wordless bliss. The tall man leaves and some sort of large chute is lowered down onto the table. You hear a schluffing noise, and when the chute is retracted there are another dozen buckets of fried chicken on the table. This pleases you, and you rock forward to gorge yourself anew.
And that, children, is what happens when you ask me stupid questions. Consequences...
I’ve lived hard for the past few weeks, and so has Slain brain. Crepsly has lived hard his whole life, and so has Slain brain, and so have I to some degree. Mrs. Scholar is picking up on the living hard, but I’m real glad she’s at home right now. I’m here at slain brain’s, still, I think for well over 24 hours at this point. Me and Mrs. Scholar came over last night, I was kind of tired and hungover from doing opiates the night before and had a full day besides, writing a speech in an hour and a half and having the added stress of skipping my lifetime wellness class in order to complete an assignment at the last minute whenever I had weeks to work on it. So, we get over here, me and Mrs. Scholar, to Slain brain’s, and chance and Rachel are here. Rachel is real into her Bioshock playtime, which is cool, and Chance had been here all day getting sacked on liquor. It was his birthday; me and Mrs. Scholar had been here the night before doing opiates and spray painting zine covers, doing opiates, and we were the first ones to wish him a happy birthday. Some whirlwind of deal making and plan designing came about, and a few of our peers ran off to pick up pills, alcohol, and cigarettes. Crepsly had worked on painting some mushrooms on the back of Chance’s electronic tablet, one of those android or windows operated works. They explorative group back, and shortly after, Chance and Rachel were gone. Mrs. Scholar and Slain brain kept drinking, and Crepsly was off to work, we had plans to run over around two o’clock a.m. and get some cop coffee and generally help Crepsly keep some of his humanization while working a pretty thankless and just keep him company. I was feeling kind of bummed about not getting real shit done, some vague sense of it, anyway, not one I can really explain at the moment. I turned on a video game and used the stereo for music. I didn’t want to drink enough to get
drunk, and I didn’t want to take enough pills to get high, but I did end up taking some oxycodone and two shots of some whiskey. We waited two hours before leaving after I drank, but I was definitely fuzzy. After Crepsly left, the three of us did some spray painting for some of my folders and for some of the insides of zine covers. Slain brain had gotten too drunk again, and he was talking quite some amount, so much that it was hard to have a real conversation with him. During this, Mrs. Scholar was having good conversation with him, and for the first time in a while, I really felt the hit of being the third wheel. I think it’s from all of the hard living I’ve been putting myself through. It’s not so much that my living has been hard, but that I haven’t been managing the stressors well. I may actually project without realizing it, though at the second I feel like I’m pulling this out of my ass -- it’s something I’ll need to really think on. We’re at Crepsly’s work, and I was sweeping even though I didn’t quite want to, and some things were bothering me. I was worried that I was missing the last party night I’ll ever have, even though that’s entirely untrue. I should be reading about school stuff, and I should be sleeping so I can wake up and do homework. I’m not working toward any of those goals at the moment, but that’s something I’m feeling okay about, under the circumstances. I’m working on this. Then Mrs. Scholar told me that her and Slain brain made out for a moment, it kicked me off into something a little deeper. It’s confusing, that whole idea of when it’s okay to step outside of monogamy and if it’s okay or not. I think it comes down to romantic intent, in all reality, but some part of me is still worried about something. I think it’s the misunderstanding I have when I think about it in that light, what if I wanted to kiss someone? I wouldn’t want to tell Mrs. Scholar about it, because I would actually like the girl a lot, I’m sure. Mrs. Scholar likes slain brain a lot, and they didn’t kiss because they don’t care about me. They just feel that it’s not the most important thing, or, I don’t know how slain brain perceives how I feel
about it, and I’m not sure Mrs. Scholar is really concerned about it. I think we resolved it, I resolved within myself, that you can’t really plan something like that. It was Slain brain’s birthday, he’d been begging to make out while stressing that he’s not wanting to live with her. No, the thing is that I haven’t thought to do something like that because I haven’t been in that circumstance of someone, some lesbian, wanting to make out with me, for shits and giggles, once. What kind of competition is Slain brain? Maybe the point to take from that is, Mrs. Scholar isn’t courting. Happy birthday, you know? Within getting into this deeper funk at Crepsly’s work, before I’d gotten all my issues really resolved, I had to work to resolve that funk of not being into the things going on around me; I went to my car and read about ten pages of my political science book. While I was reading it, I came to understand better about congress and the senate, how their actual proceedings are regulated in the process of dealing with bills, writing them and the groups of people that work on their research and all of the various efforts that go into writing laws, passing legislation in America. It all is so constant, like a big fucking river of ideas, needs, desires, wants, all of it on the east coast, a national government that is constantly being ran by people whom are mostly concerned with being reelected their next time their in the race. This reminded me the first lesson a lot of kids learn when they begin studying astronomy: they are very small, and the rest of this place is very big. We came home and Mrs. Scholar was tired, and I was still in a bit of a funk, but working through it. This is when I decided that drinking would be good, I did my drinking after I served my duty as designated driver for our fairly regular, go hang out with Crepsly at work time. I drank too much too quickly, mind you, approaching hour 20 of being awake under rough circumstances, anyway, mind you. Crepsly gets off work and does something, and we’re off to breakfast with Mrs. Scholar sleeping on the couch. Somewhere in there, I feel very terrible. I visited the bathroom twice, and the
second time I came out my food was on the table, but I had to run outside and find hidden refuge behind the restaurant’s storage shed. There, I puked, terribly sticky, bile and alcohol and water and terrible looking yellow pieces that could be pine apple that I’d eaten the day before, could’ve been snot, could’ve been pieces of my throat that felt raw and scorched for a while after. I went back inside the restaurant, feeling in lesser states of urgency, and asked slain brain for his car keys after I threw my vegetable omelet and potatoes into a styrofoam box. I left the restaurant for the last time, then I laid down and closed my eyes. I was asleep within minutes and was having dreams whenever slain brain knocked on the door. On the ride home, I was asleep again by the time we were in Slain brain’s driveway. I walked in the house, got to business. Led Mrs. Scholar into Slain brain’s bedroom, threw the leftover food into Crepsly’s short fridge, and was asleep in five minutes of walking in. I slept wonderfully. Me and Mrs. Scholar, at separate times, both woke up and didn’t know where we were, figured it out, and fell back asleep. Around 5 p.m., we woke up and walked out of the bedroom just in time to scare Crepsly who was about to open the bedroom door. Hi, Crepsly, good evening. Slain brain was gone, it took Crepsly a second to remember that he’s at birthday supper. Crepsly was watching shark week, and I laid down and watched some with him while we smoked some pot and talked about the sharks. Slain brain came in and told us he wasn’t actually going to Joplin, he felt beat from living hard. Me and Crepsly ran to Starbucks and got some coffee, and I got two bucks to give back to Crepsly for a couple of footballs of xanax. I’ve taken one, slain brain took one and Crepsly blew one or two. Slain brain slept after Crepsly left for work, and now he’s awake about five hours later. Him and Crepsly are going through a bit of static now, I’m high and slain brain got a bit higher. He’s playing a game and I’m wrapping up the chronology of the last two days pretty well. FIN
SKIN STORIES &
A LATE NIGHT
Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to have a cure, and then I realize it’s only in my headphones, a case of a reclusive. I can’t be spontaneous ‘cause then I’d be too easy to find, a light within the dark, when I’d rather be a love unknown. There were consequences when I met you, though those past stories just morphed into lines, lines of drugs – spitting image of my bleeding mind, bursting veins under a curtain called skin—tracks. Blown out pupils are the continual prices I pay for happiness, though this mask of indifference only holds so much, a candy coating film layered thin. I float above the stars with a vibrancy that wavers and warbles on the tongue, throat and lips. I’m a crest fallen drama, a disappointing suicidal lover. There were consequences when we met, trust me I haven’t given up on them yet. I’m a mature adult, though young
enough to still lose myself underneath the spiraling shadows of how far I can climb continually high. You’re a poison and I think I like it, a masochistic tendency that I dwell on lividly. Whispers of hours, times and days—a continental drift of only one subject: far away. I find myself crawling, bawling and scrawling, testimonials line my skin—stories I hold or then hid within. I want to bring you down yet then what would happen to the surprise? Letters of lies cloud my vision, a view of creases and folds conspicuously falling in with the tides. It was all a sacrifice, I couldn’t put you out. You wouldn’t have made it. It’s calling me, pulling me in and chaining me. The scent and speed is gaining time with the ecstasy, rolling and boiling under my skin, below the heart only to find my true reality—my ever present search for infinity.
I’ll tell you now; it was all for him. Every word I wrote. Every query I sent out. Every rejection I got back, it was nothing compared to him. I first talked to him online when the internet was just growing popular. Chatrooms, back then, were beget of the devil. So our relationship was a dirty and sordid thing. I guess the early internet naysayers weren’t wrong. Sure, I liked his dry humour. I loved his smile. But I didn’t fall in love with him until we started sending porn to each other through pixels. I crept into my Mom’s laundry while she was out and stole her lingerie, so I could dress up for him. I knew was that I’d do anything — anything. For him. Dirty, and sordid, and terrible. So terrible. And I still didn’t get him. It drove me mad, so I acted cool and listened to all the right music. I dated other guys, and other girls, and I did it all to make him jealous. Then, while I was in a relationship with them, I’d masturbate in front of him at night. I’d film myself screwing my girlfriends and send him the videos. I hope he liked them. He jerked off five times a day, so maybe my amateur cunnilingus wasn’t good enough. Then again, maybe he was a sex addict and anything would get him hot. I hated it. I hated it, I hated him, and I hated me more. I told him I loved him and he told me he loved me too. Unconditionally. He finally said yes to a relationship, after a bottle of wine on our first proper date. We announced it to our friends. At least, I did to mine. Then he stopped taking my calls. He changed his number. That
was that, and let me tell you, that sucked. I loved him for too long after that, until I heard through the grapevine he was seeing someone else. It was complicated between them, my source told me. Complicated, my ass. He was just fucking around with some other chick now. I changed my number too, and I tried to leave him. Instead of writing love letters I’d never send, I wrote stories. Short stories, then longer ones, then novels. I got rejected, rejected, and rejected again. From magazines and anthologies. Then from agents and publishers. But, like all those polite rejection letters said, “It only takes one yes.” I got my yes, but not from him. I built my career for tonight. Today, I saw him, just like I’d always hoped I would. I’d hoped to be more successful, in all honesty — a New York Times bestseller. But modest achievements are all I can brag. I saw him at a book signing, anyway, in a children’s bookstore. He took a copy of my latest novel up to the counter and lay it in front of my shaking hands. “Hi.” “Hi.” I glared at him and wrote in the cover, “If you were a character, I’d kill you off. “Unconditionally yours, Melissa.” He took it wordlessly. I found his address. And I got out my knife. It’s cold in my hands and it makes me bleed if I clench it too hard. I walked to his apartment. Now I’m standing here, my nose leaking with cold. I’m afraid the cold will bite away the front of my brain, and I wish it would. All I can think about is how fat I am and how ugly I am and how I’d be better off killing myself than him. I ring the doorbell. His wife answers. I pull out my knife.
The patron’s name was Shaun Paretsky, and based on the information associated with his library card he had not set foot in any of the sixteen county branch libraries for six and a half years. His date of birth was the exact day when George H.W. Bush vomited on the Japanese prime minister, during Josh’s freshman year of high school, which was just one of those facts that Josh Motte, part-time library staffer, happened to know. Josh was like an idiot savant of history and civic detail, a personality trait that earned him many invitations to fun parties, at last count three in the past year. Josh was au courant of Shaun’s facts (name, DOB/vomiversary, date of last modification to library account, taste in DVDs) because he had just looked up Shaun’s library card number and put him in the queue for the public Internet stations. That accomplished, Josh left the staff desk to shelve three-day-old newspapers just dropped off by the big gay mailman, the one who made eyes. The papers all carried variations of the “Israel vs. Iran” headline, in 200-point type, even the ones downsized to tabloid size. As it happened, Shaun parked himself immediatly next to the artfully undulating Newsprint Wall in a comfortable green armchair, sipping an iced sweet coffee beverage, waiting for other patrons to finish using the free computers. It would be a long wait-fifteen minutes--because it was the day after a government holiday, meaning regulars had been deprived of free public broadband for 24 hours while the library was closed, ergo were eager to milk the pinging udders for infotainment. Shaun took out his phone to kill time. He cradled it in the hand opposite his coffee, then set it in his lap so he could insert the earbuds that hitched him to the bitten Apple. The phone murmured loudly, even through the earbuds. Recent technological
advances had left Josh never feeling sure if people were speaking to other humans or to Siri, now that custom voices were available for download, just like the ringtones that had been collected and discarded like so many Garbage Pail Kids. Your phone could sound like Chris Brown or Rihanna, or both of them at different times of day for different tasks. Didn’t matter. It could even sound like a dead person, so long as some form of voice recording had been made. At last Shaun spoke. It appeared he was using the phone for a traditional purpose: live voice chat. “Hey bro,” he said. Then: “I went on this site. I looked it up.” There was a pause, but Josh could make out “looked what up?” somewhere in the middle. “No, our family goes way back,” said Shaun. “Way back.” Shaun slurped from his straw, dribbled on his cleft chin and wiped his hand on the upholstery. Then he flicked his ponytail to the right. “I found out a lot of ‘em were Jewish!” Josh heard more murmur as he perused some lesser headlines. Google was giving smart eyeglasses to Joplin schoolchildren. Governor Steelman was visiting the Branson waterfront to assess the damage. “I’m at the library to print those documents. When I get that refund I can upgrade to a new laptop and go back to trading... Well, yeah, I get one. I can deduct my whole rent at the ExtendedStay since I’m self-employed. I just put mom’s address down as my permanent address if anyone asks... “Yeah... “But a lot of ‘em were Jewish! Through mom’s side. Dad’s side had the Cherokeeslash-black great-grandpa who came over on the Santa Maria or whatever. But with the Jewish, if you can prove you were in the Holocaust they’ll give you benefits.” Josh rolled his eyes in a way that even he recognized as being actively grandmotherly, and he considered his own grandmother, who voted for Eisenhower and taught art to kids who said Monett rather than Monet, and then he muttered, “Who’s ‘they’?”--a question grandma had often asked, rhetorically, sometimes answering herself with three words, “You and me”--and perhaps it was unhelpful, in that moment,
that Josh also indulged in some very bitter thoughts related to his own tax returns. Regardless, he spoke with just enough volume and gravel in his voice that not only could you hear the air quotes, but Shaun Paretsky could too. Shaun looked up from his checkerboard of apps, flipped his golden, shiny ponytail a second time and seemed to know exactly where Josh was coming from. Shaun said, “Fuck off, old man. Enjoy your dead trees. When I get my refund I’ll get you a bumper sticker that says Dead Tree Parking Up My Ass.” “I am so sorry, Mr. Paretsky,” Josh said, without a gape-mouth pause or any physical display of shock or whatnot. He scratched that thinning part of his crown that he called his Ozone Hole--a reference that people only understood if they knew what Garbage Pail Kids had been--and he pasted a customer-service smile of the most genuine sort onto his face, in a totally nonmechanical way. “Mr. Paretsky, I was just thinking of something my grandmother once told me; I didn’t even realize I was speaking aloud.” Shaun slammed his phone down without so much as a “Call right back, bro,” and bared his teeth in preparation for the delivery of his own air quotes. “’Aloud? I didn’t realize I was speaking aloud.’ Are you fucked in the head? Get a script for some Ritalin, rearrange your labia and shut it. Loudest fuckin’ library I ever saw. Full of riffraff, too. Look at that fat bitch over there playing FarmVille. I have actual business to get done, but here I am waiting on Star Jones over there to finish sheep-fucking before I get a computer.” “I am so sorry for the wait,” Josh said. His fake smile was still serving him well, in the sense that it had not yet devolved into that smirk he reserved for listening to Jehovah’s Witnesses and people from St. Louis. “I know it’s an inconvenience for an entrepreneur at your level. Now, I don’t really care what you call me. I’ve been insulted by two sitting Republican governors and the associate editor of Details magazine. And I am pretty sure those events took place when you were still taking afternoon milk in grade school. But...”--and here Josh took on a look of profound sympathy, as
if Shaun’s grandmother had been the one who just died the week previous and not the reverse--”I, we, just can’t have you making comments about the other patrons. Especially with the racially charged language and the curse words. We just don’t do that in the public library.” That was the precise moment when shit went off the hook. Josh had come in the door that morning epecting something more garden-variety on the menu for the day... a pooped computer chair, say, or vials of K2 in the children’s area. “What the fuckin’ fuck, dipshit? This is a free country and I will say MY freedom of speech when, how and to whoever’s I want to. Including your faggot ass and that black spotted heifer over there.” “Oh, I just really... wish you hadn’t said that,” Josh said. He was acquainted with the heifer in question, whom he could now see in the corner of his eye, approaching Shaun and the green armchair from behind, eyes bulging, handbag swinging. She had a name and it was Sherlu Nickle, and Sherlu taught learning-disabled kids at Pipkin Middle School (her class was currently hanging out with a parent chaperone, in the children’s area where the erstwhile K2 vials had been located) and one of the most salient aspects of Sherlu’s personality, other than her love of Tarzan movies, was that she was pretty well suited to dealing with squirrely youngsters in an inner-city environment. Josh told her last week that he would have enjoyed a dinner party with both Sherlu and grandma. “I am SO SORRY,” Sherlu said, over the top of Shaun’s head. “My name is Ms. Nickle.” She turned to Josh. “I was unable to hear all aspects of the conversation this gentleman is having with you, Josh. It sounded like there was a debate goin’ on, about agricultural supply and demand, as well as the different former hostesses of ABC’s The View.” “Uh, yes,” said Josh. “Well. Yes, once again you pretty much have it right, Sherlu.” Josh wiped his brow. Sherlu laid her handbag on the purplish couch opposite Shaun’s seat. “Hoo boy,” Josh whispered. “The laying of the handbag.”
WE FEAR PENIS
Jen Will Tell Me
There’s a Manhunt advertisement featuring two hot, dog tag-wearing gay dudes on the precipice of making out that’s getting some L.A. mommies’ leopard print Snuggies in a bunch. The billboard, a plug for Manhunt’s hook up app, has some moms upset because it’s too close to the elementary schools and bakeries for comfort. “You try explaining the “Zero feet away MANHUNT MOBILE” phone application to your 9-year-old son. A 9-year-old who loves Army guys, and so noticed the dog tags right away,” explained Kelly Cole, a self-professed “liberal feminist complaining about a sexpositive, homosexual billboard.” I have a hard time judging this situation since I don’t have children, so who knows how far I’d go to protect little Dior. But I’d like to think that if he asked me about what they were doing in an ad like that, I’d probably be like, They’re just really good friends. I understand not wanting to have the sex talk with your nine-year old child on his way to soccer practice, and really no parent wants to have the sex talk with his or her child ever. He will discover it on the Internet anyway! But the fact is that images of sex are everywhere, from television to countless other aspects of visual culture. The real tea is that for the broad American population, even the “liberal feminist” sector, gay male sexuality is threatening, frightening, and scary precisely because two men, father figures, are not supposed to be doing that. We expect our men to be strong, builders, father figures, doers. The idea that two male figures would engage in some kind of intercourse is frightening because inevitably one of the male partners will get penetrated or be subservient to the other—which some see as a feminized gesture—and thus strips away stereotypical manliness. One time I asked my grandmother about gay sex. I think I was still too young to realize what gay was or even what sex was for that matter. But I had heard about “gay people” because they/we were on the television all the time. So I asked her, point blank,
“Grandma, how do gay people have sex?” Her disgust in explaining the juicy details of gay butt sex is virtually the same logic that goes behind straight guys being into two chicks getting busy, whereas the idea of two guys working loads out of each other is disgusting, gross, appalling, and needs to be censored immediately. It’s the same reason that there are more lesbian sex scenes and innuendos on television and in popular culture than gay ones. Look—we are afraid of the penis. So the potential for two penises getting together can really ruin somebody’s day. I have never seen a stiff penis, or even a flaccid one, on any television show or movie that was out and visible for more than five seconds. Okay, well I guess there was Shortbus, but still. Even Boogie Nights, the most notorious huge cock movie ever, didn’t feature Mark Walhberg’s real penis. And let’s not forget about that HBO “Hung” which has us believe that the main character is exactly that, except we never get see it. I need me some proof! Despite the lack of peen on the screen, I have seen numerous breasts and vaginas, not on request, on a range of sources throughout visual culture. Why is it that female sexuality is so much easier to accept, to visualize, to objectify, than male sexuality? Why is it that nearly every movie about college has a lesbian innuendo, but a similar thing between two dudes would either be a farce or receive a bunch of “boo’s” from the audience? For some reason, this positively harmless Manhunt ad has been called “pornographic.” I don’t see anything even remotely pornographic about this billboard. So why does gay sex— get tied to pornography? Gay male sexuality seems to only work for the masses when it’s neutered—when it’s completely emptied out of even the slightest suggestion of sexual activity. Think about any gay characters from television today—none of them get laid. They just sit there looking cute, and are of course happy to deliver a fabulous quip. I understand that we don’t want to talk to our kids about sex of any kind. But the way to protect our children is perhaps not by huffing and puffing and shielding their eyes from what they’ll discover on their own.
Trashman Mike (part three)
DON’T USE IT FOR ANYTHING
The bathroom is good for jerking off, as well. This is fun when your junk is out, anyway, and you have a moment to yourself. 3:15. Of course, as always, the fun has to end and a cleanup has to be progressed through. Now, it’s simple. Assume you know what to expect: a bad chunk hanging on your asshole. Take few, not many, squares off the role, and into your fingers, and wipe toward and to the asshole, heading downward, and knock that hanging piece of poop off of your body. Look at the toilet paper and acknowledge where in proxmity to the cleanup zone it has been and what parts of the toilet paper are dirty. If it is clean, use the whole open area of the paper to cover your finger as you run it through the asscrack, over the asshole. Do not wipe hard, but make contact with the whole of everything. Work timely and gently, but not so swift as to miss places and/or hurt yourself. Again, look at the toilet paper. Assess the damage. Fold the paper in half and wipe again, and look again, then a third time. If this is not enough, shift your weight around, as there is probably shit deposited in some fold of your body that needs to be exposed, otherwise, you probably have not folded the wad of toilet paper to use it multiple times.
Look at your poop. Assess it, again, science can tell you that you can tell things about poop that are useful to know. Flush the poop, unless you are not so concerned with germs, and are concerned with environment and/or religion. God wants you to love the earth, I’m sure, but I don’t know how to properly love the environment. Maybe you ought to flush, even if only for fun. Do your hygeine thing. 3:25: Word counts: 242.255 439 255.301 231 301.310 289 310.315 192 315.325 293 33.77 38.5 32.111.... 38.4 29.3
3:36. It’s really late, and I have two finals tomorrow, starting in the morning. I will send this to mr.ficklebritches to make him laugh, although I’m sure it will come back to haunt me sometime. I really hope not.
Clean up & stand up.
When I was younger, all I needed was a smile to put faith & trust into another individual. My litmus test was severely lacking because I so readily put the value of a deepseated & heartfelt connection with another person over the need to see beyond someone’s outside projection. I always gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. I guess I always took the golden rule to heart, and always considered that by my own helpful, or generous actions and behavior, those things would be reciprocated back to me. I have always been accused of having too big a heart, and this glaring weakness has been a difficult lesson for me to learn. I put too much trust into other people. The result of this unbiased, readily given openness of myself, as you can imagine, has opened me to, and subjected me to a bountiful array of various hypocrites, hucksters, con men, manipulators, and well practiced actor charlatans, all justifying the ends to the means in order to use me and slander me. This cycle has always repeated itself because maybe I want to have hope in humanity; maybe I do want to surround myself with a group of loving, caring, well-meaning individuals whose only goal is to help me in this adventure called life, as I help them and continuously grow-
ing that relationship into something beautiful. A support system to build each other up against everything in the world that tries to tear us down. And it’s been hard; some of those relationships I believed were fair, and coming from a place of love, when really it was the sole intent to cajole me into paying their way through life, yet all the while ranting about the evils of buying into the monetary system. Or a time when I’ve always been the one to be your rock when you’re down, your person of comfort, cheering you on when you feel scared or defeated, and championing your wins when you finally prevail. So when the time comes and I need that kind of person, to help guide me; talk me back away from the ledge and give me the courage to believe in myself, and instead you run and hide. Apparently the relationship is only convenient when you need help, and when the shoes are reversed, I’m too much of a hassle, you don’t want to deal with the drama, and furthermore you’re “moving on” with your life, casting insinuations that I’m less than you because I don’t have the balls to instantly take some random chance. It’s pretty cowardly, and quite honestly a devastating blow to my sense of trust in another person. What is so frustrating is the thought that you’ve done everything in your power to succeed, help out and try to do everything in your power to help those people in your life you consider to be special, to be a friend and to have those people stab you in the back at their nearest available opportunity. I mean why? Why, when I’ve done nothing but try to be there for you, would I even deserve this in return? You
can lecture me about responsibility and then the first chance you get you steal my possessions and sell them? Use the courage I helped you find when you were too scared to do anything but keep making the wrong choice, and then you do a 180 and try to criticize me for the very fears and inhibition that’s held you back for years? Why? It’s so puzzling because my mind starts over analyzing to the point of, “I’ve done every reasonable thing I can do to help/love/support this person and now they’ve shit on me” and I don’t know what to do from there. Is it my own poor decisions in the first place, picking people that seem genuine, seem honest and reliable, only to find out that’s exactly the ruse they need to play to pacify their next victim? I’m scared because I’m afraid I don’t possess the skills to truly understand someone’s nature, someone’s intent. I’m scared I will keep making these same decisions, keep getting burned by ex-editors, and ex-best friends and reach a point where I’ve become truly jaded and afraid to even venture outside my own psyche. I am afraid of the assholes winning and I’m becoming nothing but a shade; a pale former reflection of the light and creativity I used to bring into the world. I’m afraid of changing in the worst way, and I’m afraid of becoming like you; the assholes. Bitter, cruel, opportunistic, anachronistic, weak & cowardly to admit when I’m wrong, own up for my own bullshit and try to even have a real connection with another human being for anything but selfish reasons.
I MADE ANOTHER
A good friend of mine was once quoted as saying, “Consequences always come later”. Adverse effects always come later-- kind of like stumbling upon an amateur spanking webcam show, by complete accident. It could happen. Another example might be what our co-editor’s calls, “living too hard”-- he excused himself from another evening of the zine staff boozing it up around town visiting multiple dens of inequity and other places of ill repute, not because his spirit wasn’t into it (he’s one of the more debauched motherfuckers among us), but because his body hurt, goddamn it. The human body was only meant to ingest so many substances in so many hours and days, and the whole staff just got a little carried away in the moment of things. Fucking drug addicts. Things happen because something already has-- it’s a neverending cycle you can’t do anything about so shutupaboutitalready. Fuck. It’s like your boss yells at you because you were late getting to work. And you’re like, “Fuck my life”, but your boss doesn’t care because it affects him. Does it affect him too? Probably so. But it’s okay! Chain reaction of events... that’s it. It’s not like people are dying out there or anything because you were late to work. It doesn’t really matter. By the time you realize you are fucking up, it is already too late to avoid the adverse effects. It happens. That causes another set of events and you’re trapped in an unending parallel universe of cause & effect until you stop perceiving anything. Because consequences are fun.
THE CONSEQUENCE OF DESTRUCTION SMASH
Arthurford Bliss Sparkly
Rash words have living, breathing consequences. Breeding distrust, building block upon block of unnecessary upset. “Never let the sun go down on an argument…” Echoes a wise old woman’s words. But tonight, I will make an exception to that steady rule. Perhaps, it will all look less vicious, in the light of day. So I the let glowing orb of the sun slip behind the horizon and see what tomorrow will bring
LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT
A Camel Light
Looking behind The passenger side Rearview mirrors reflect a happier time In my life Wrecked by reckless behavior Who knew? Who knew I’d come crawling back to the very shit from which I withdrew I need a savior From the things you do Seduce The very few Moments divine I refused
paper house keep me sheltered paper skin please keep me in hold these matchstick bones securely as The Nothing clouds roll in ‘cuz I will gulp this crisp crackling thunder drink the cold hard rain with a grin ride the wild whipping wind like a Lover whispering reciprocal impermanence
feel like plasma now mystical and encouraging vacant, too in the bone is a coal that smiles at ceilings when they run this programming
SAFE ON THE SOFE*
Slunk In the corner The very nook Of the squashy cush Where it’s all Sunk From years of Slump And laying back fuck And film night drunk In the corner Against the wall And furthest away From all the others Where cosy Doze And fallen Daze Meet the clumse* Of not carelessness But never-minding The wine Glasses Smashing The cushion red staining Because this, this is coze* This is not giving up This is me not giving one more fuck To the day
to the immediacy of leisure thoughts. am i to be help accountable for acts of the instinct? probably. am i okay with it? dear reader, not only am i okay with it, i’m ready to go absolutely, clinically batshit crazy. it’s so much easier and more playful that way. in the end I don’t want to go crazy, i’d rather arrive that way
STALKERS IN THE STREET
Please understand, I am no pretender nor usurper to any Crown, Pauper in all but morals, I have determined that the keystone of my arch is the woman who found me mending in July. I have never eaten a persimmon, and yet I love the way they taste
THE CONSEQUENCE OF GOING CRAZY
Rutherford A. Jones
I love your suffering and the cheap scent of your desperation so satisfying to inhale I’m not the only one who enjoys your pain as all the predators smell blood in the water It’s a truly violent act to bring someone to life just so you can kill them I applaud your murderer for returning the favour you bestowed upon me
i have the scent of rock n roll lyrics on my fingertips. the lunatic fringe. the conception of no-count reality. the world is in a tailspin and i’m a no-gravity situation. there are times, end times or not, when we have to embrace the laziness of craziness. at some point, we have to surrender
Theoretical Voodoo Lounge of
In trying to find words for the ever changing human nature, things become a blur. Peoples' judgement is so clouded by the idea of “things,” having things more specifically. It’s become driving force. People have personal morals towards things and this is the reason why we can’t argue these topics among society, we are too sensitive to the thought of open mindedness. If we could come to terms with the fact that we are equals. We need to realize the fact that we are all trying to get the same things. We're all trying to live, to make it, and to idealistically thrive and move forward towards ultimate happiness. When in reality we all live among pessimistic fools who can only think of themselves and their idea of happiness. That doesn't mean don't thrive for happiness, it means people lost the meaning of life when people began to take life itself, the thing we are all striving to preserve for granted. They see things as things their possessions, and no one is saying no. No one can say no. Should I blame the government (Mmm cliches) People can’t deprive other people of their idealistic euphoria. People lost their way, as humanity (in its present and only present form) began to destroy itself, ourself from the self proclaimed source.
But I came to realize the amount of selfishness that goes in to even thinking that way. It's absurd to me that a person can be a better PERSON than another man. I'm not talking about being a better athlete, or dick, or any of the above. Just at being a person, simply human. Perspectives are only what you make them, everyone is trying to express their own personal perspectives, and we the people cannot grasp that someone else is the exact same as us. We are only different in ways of making ourselves different. Everything is a cliché. Life itself has already been done, leaving no spontaneity. Everything that anyone can say is just another cliché. As I read over this I think: this is only a selfish (in a lack of better terms) perspective of another person. Its all just a cliché that no one can do anything about, it’s almost to be expected that I have conspiracies against government, order and all establishment in general. But if we as people would take the time to realize what we’re hurting by not seeing things in their entirety. If people could learn to except things for how they are, in their natural form and take nothing of it for granted, human nature, the search for “happiness” human nature can be altered if not changed if people had the will power to not fall into the cliché of life itself. What we do is what we become. If we could learn to strip others of all bullshit and see them as an equal being, then there is beauty and peace, among other things. But the concept of peace, and things is a cliché in the eyes of the other person.
Killer Jack Attack just dropped the soap. If you flip your brights on-- I will stop this car. It makes me happy to deny drunk black I just got called an “asshole ass bitch”. people of what they want: the potty, Gotta love the creative insults of our and free chocolate eggs. customers. ...but why would you pay any price to Horses like to get fucked up because play in urine?. they know how to party. Don’t have a date for New Years? Save up your tears and make a tiny ice sculp- I can tell if girls have diseases by their body language. ture. Perfect for that birthday party no one will attend. I know you mean it in the nicest way but, “she’s so co-dependant.” If I’m ever at a juice bar I can say “Hey baby, I fuck like I juice. It’s messy, Also... motherfucking wonderful. sticky, and someone may get cut.” There’s no snow, but we could always sled down the infinite black abyss of my feelings.
For some reason I have written down, in Latin, “I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.” Fruit flies or not, I do have a heart.
If I knew I’d be sleeping on the streets tonight, I would have worn different shoes. I’m just saying, I don’t think one Guinness is gonna hurt the baby. I would marry a taco if I could. In my bible, Jesus has a ray gun. Pew pew. My dad’s used to having hair in his mouth.
Bring the coke!
Good job, Greg. You’ve solved the mystery of why all the office supplies come in boxes labeled “Staples”. I can’t understand what they’re saying... they’re laughing in Spanish Dear pair of boxers in my laundry that are not mine: where did you come from?
“Where are you from? No... Where are you from?” You are really hot though, and you’re too much for the backseat of a 1997 Honda Accord to handle.
This sweater would look good on me of I was a slightly effeminate black man.
THECONSEQUENCESISSUE WHAT WHITE ELEPHANT
Oh you majestic bimbo, might I chaperon your pintsized love muffins back to your wee domicile? “I like my friends like I like my coffee: white & Christian... motherfucker.”
Sergeant Heartstomp - DESIGNer Madame SuperDuper - HOROSCOPES Killer Jack Attack - KING OF THE WORLD Peanut Scholar - ORATOR OF THE OBVIOUS
YETI DETECTIVE JOSH MOTTE TRASHMAN MIKE CREPSLY PEANUT SCHOLAR VELVETEEN JEN WILL TELL ME SLAIN BRAIN MELISSA RILEY
BLISS SPARKLY THE MOBBLEBERRY ARTHUR-SAID BORDERLINE BEAUTIFUL MISTER CRASH RUTHERFORD A. JONES A CAMEL LIGHT ZANNUS