Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bittersweet Observations

Bittersweet Observations comes down Monday at Rockford Art Museum, and will be replaced by a show about biker culture. Jenny and I had a lot of fun helping install this exhibit, and working with the other wonderful Rockford artists like Jeremy Klonicki and Sarah McNamara. But as Tom Petty sings in the Wildflower's song, "It's time to move on..." And we have. In fact we've already put the finishing touches on our next project, a book titled Lonely Bird. It has a wooden cover. The book release party is at Luna Datura's Curious Gifts October 7th during Fall Art Scene. For jenny it will be only one of a half dozen shows she is exhibiting in, but for me it will hopefully be the conclusion of a busy season here at Zombie Logic Press. I'll still be editing Zombie Logic Review and Outsider Poetry, and working on the book after Lonely Bird, but Winter will hopefully not be as busy as the rest of the year.

Atrocious Poems A To Z At Rockford Art Museum

Maybe after Art Scene Jenny and I will have some time to do something like what we're pretending to do in this photograph, taken by ace photographer Ryan Davis. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Poetry By Jon Bennett Not John Bennett or John M. Bennett

Jon Bennett has appeared in Between Hangovers, Mad Swirl, and Your One Phone Call. He is NOT John Bennett or John M. Bennett. 


I assume the model train enthusiast’s
life is in perpetual disarray,
kids on drugs,
alcoholic wife:
“Go play with your trollies!”
“Not trollies, Dear,
but down in the basement
driving the Norfolk Southern
he’s the conductor, by God!
For the same effect
I’ve used drugs, sex, food,
and drugs
mostly drugs
they haven’t worked
so I’ve taken out a note
on a Lionel layout
deluxe model
Finally the rails
will never end!


And I looked at her kid
who was a little baby girl
and everything she did
was magic
But the mom was an activist,
and she said,
“If you really loved
my little baby girl
you’d give a shit
about Palestine!”
so I said,
“You don’t get it, see,
I love everyone,
I’m a humanitarian!”
and that’s when
I took
the first bite.


A bit of news for my fellow
clock and watch repairmen,
the Association has decided
delay mechanisms will no longer
be referred to as
Instead, we’ll use the term
“wound back”
and, on a personal note,
whenever my brother
pisses me off
I’ll call him,
‘wound back’

Hawaiian Islands Pidgin Poems By Joe Balaz

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai'i Creole English) and in American English. Some of his recent Pidgin writing has appeared in Unlikely Stories Mark V, Beautiful Losers, Otoliths, and Yellow Mama, among others.  Balaz is an avid supporter of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin writing in the expanding context of World Literature.  He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.


Might as well dress up like wun deer
and run in front of wun mountain lion.

Same smell. Same station. Same result.”

Dose wuz da comments
addressed to da television

dat we wuz looking at
in da living room.

Ronald had moa to say too
while we watched da news

about da teenage girl
dat had her leg bit off

by wun shark in Australia.

He continued
wit wun deadpan expression,

“Dere watah.  Dere rules,”

as we wuz informed
how da young person

wen bleed to death
and die on da beach.

Blunt and unfeeling
is wat some people would say

but Ronald
wuz just telling it like it is.

Even his cruel joke
kinnah summed it up

on how he viewed
da whole situation—

“Sharks and me
have wun understanding.

I stay out of dere ocean.

Dey stay off of my lawn.”

Poet Joe Balaz


Eric stay chilling out right now                                              
but last night he wuz off of da chain

cause he wen lose his temper
and false crack his competition at da bar.

Too much alcohol and testosterone
wuz racing through his veins

and screwing up his brain.

He couldn’t handle
dat da adah single guy

sitting on da adah side of da woman
dat he wuz trying to talk to

wuz making moa headway
in da pickup game den he wuz

so he wen figure
he go take care of dat real fast.

following wun idiotic notion

is wat wen ensue.

Da adah guy had no idea
dat wun suckah punch wuz coming

wen Eric wen make his move.

Da uppercut blow

wen catch da victim
right undah da jaw

and he wen collapse
and bang his head on da floor.

He ended up in da hospital
wheah he’s still in wun coma

so dats why

Eric stay chilling out right now                                    
in wun jail cell.

Foa sure
he going face multiple assault charges

cause he wen swing and connect
wit some of da cops dat wen arrest him too.

Da whole situation
will certainly go down
as wun night on da town

dat Eric nevah going forget.

Everyone has da right
to be stupid once in awhile

but it looks like
Eric wen just abuse da privilege.



I’m sending you dis email
to inform you

dat I’m working on some new plasticity

to devise moa ways
to stay ahead of da game.

It’s wun mattah of maintenance, dear,
and it’s absolutely necessary.

Your mood swings on da links
are driving me crazy

but dats understood
as being par foa da course

in dealing wit da opposite sex.

I have to say dough
dat I haven’t seen wun birdie in awhile

and bogeys are piling up everywheah.                              

I don’t even bother to dream
about dat elusive hole in one

cause lately

I’m not even stepping out
of da golf cart.

No wondah certain guys
seem to drink wun extra amount

while sitting dere like sponges
at da nineteenth hole.

Da pressure is getting to me
and I’m tinking about exploring new greens.

Maybe wun different layout
would do me some good.

So I’m going to cancel
da upcoming tee time

while I sort tings out.

Yours truly
and brightly forevah

wit rainbows
and wun cherry on top.



She posted on Facebook one day

dat she wuz allowed to come and go
as she pleased in high school

and dat it really didn’t mattah
if she wuz dere or not

cause latah she received
her GED in one day.

Don’t know how true dat is

but her general attitude can explain
why she’s flipping burgers

and flipping you da bird
every time you disagree wit her.

She’s wun smart aleck hard head
acting like wun know-it-all

and she’s raising your blood pressure
to new heights.

Da good ting dough
is dat at least she’s working

and not sitting on wun couch
watching television all day

wit wun new baby
as wun meal ticket

foa get all kine free social aid.

As to weadah she going turn da cornah
dat remains to be seen.

She’s wun rebel
witout any meaningful claws

but still yet she like make
kitty kine cat fight.

Moa den once
her maddah wen lament

dat she shouddah been wun boy.

It would be really good
if somehow life
would kick her in da rear end

and make her wake up.

Den maybe wun lightbulb
going get turned on in her head

to make her cool her sassy jets.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

More Poetry By John Yohe

John Yohe has worked for the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service for sixteen years as a firefighter and now a fire lookout.

Your love

I lift your love out of its cage
writhing in my hands
hissing and rattling
open mouth fangs
scales smooth and slippery
an earth scent

I lower your love scared and angry
to the ground
to walk upon
to test my faith
to demonstrate my dominion
and your love accepts my weight
and I speak in tongues

raising your love again
draping it around my neck
it rises
as if to strike
as if to bite
but instead lowers itself
down into my shirt

The day before the wedding

The day before the wedding she and I
met at the lake and took a walk along
the beach with shoes in hand the sun still bright
though setting fast the wind and waves still strong
and loud
                our feet in cool wet sand and she
looked down and said no more tomorrow I’ll
be married we can still be friends and it
was no surprise I know that women see
these things as endable like that and I
do not and grabbed her hair to kiss her but
she pushed away
                             we turned around to go
back to our lives and she looked at me
and shivered and asked me quietly do
you know where wind comes from
                                                it comes from heat

lv, Heather


Had a good day this afternoon. Went out with Joe to Sweetwaters. We had drinks and we read. I read Galway Kinnell’s Three Books, and Joe read some lame-ass book on how to make a million dollars. Christ, how do I end up with these people, really? The entire time in the café I was looking out the window, and the sun was out and hitting our table and I kept thinking that Geoffrey was sitting across from me rather than Joe. How terrible, I know but it was actually very nice. So long as I didn’t look at Joe or talk to him I could actually imagine that it was Geoff. And I kept wishing that he’d walk in somehow. Yes, I am a goner on this one. Yes, indeed, but for the most part, I’m enjoying myself. We ate a pear tart, Joe and I. And I nearly cried at how beautiful it was in the sunlight, and how wonderful it tasted, and how I’d give anything to be sharing it with Geoff rather than Joe. First off, Joe ate over half of the thing without even thinking about it. Geoff never would have done that. I am constantly thinking of being someone else’s girlfriend. God, why do I do this? What I was thinking in that chair, at that table, in the sunlight, while drinking my latte, was wouldn’t it feel really wonderful if Geoff came into the café and came up behind me and put his arms around my shoulders and kissed my jaw, just under my ear, before saying hello very low and then sitting down opposite of me (where Joe was) in essence replacing Joe. That’s what I was thinking. Okay sweetness, must go now. I am the most awful girlfriend in the universe. Good thing you never went out with me.

                                                            lv, Heather

In the morning your husband calls

In the morning your husband calls with a question
about your son's band practice and you stand naked
looking out the hotel window explaining about
your other son's football practice later
and I think of minor guitar chords
because you are the type of woman
who thinks herself merely plain
though men fall in love with you over
a Victoria's Secret model any day
with your sense of humor that can make fun
of Victoria's Secret models
and our love of their underwear
though this is only a minor event isn't it?
one more night and you'll fly back to Omaha
and I'll fly back to Kalamazoo
and the rain that covers you one day

will cover me the next but I'm not sorry

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