Monday, November 17, 2014

poetry by riff wilder

riff wilder is the chief instigator of “fauxbrow”, a mix of newbrow and no-brow with early 20th century fauve and surrealism. wilder’s signature style is lyrical and psychedelic. Recent publishing credits include Comets and Criminals, Nite Blade, Chrome City, Chronogram, Goblin Fruit, Existere Journal, Semaphor, Cordite Review.

In the 1990s, while lurking in the east coast art scene, wilder was fined over $50,000 by the City of New York for creating a poster that announced an experimental poetry reading. In response, wilder helped fuel a grass roots community in support of the first amendment in a battle over the rights of artists to create posters. wilder’s efforts were aided by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Auster, and dozens of other notable artists. This became a cause célèbre, led to pitched battles in Gotham streets, courthouses, and media outlets, and to a precedent-setting, art, music and literature affirming legal victory for free speech. Wilder’s continuing efforts to protect free speech have recently helped a number of artists, including household names, to avoid jail time. from Horror Sleaze Trash

#558: Picture Of A Materialist

                            Despising life,
       afflicted by self-loathing, such a bummer …
                so crammed in behind its wheel,

             A Dandy-Chrome-Wheeled-Hummer.

#641: Silly Old Hound

                                      What he cares for …
                                       Acquiring Power.
                                         Not much else

                                  A never-ending struggle.
                                          Over & over.
                               Scrapping for material gain.
                                   Wanting material gain.

                                 Chasing Chasing Chasing
                                     more material gain,
                                 incredibly short-sighted,
                                        Silly Old Hound
                                           chasing tail.
                             Twisted in ten thousand ways,
                             So Very Many Silly Old Hounds
                                     groping night & day.

                                          Chasing tail.
                                 They rarely do anything
                                        other than this.

  #344: Auto Idolatry

        Longing to write for a major magazine,
                        youthful blogger speaks of it
                                shaking up scene.

                Loud, brassy, shartruce green,
               Cock-Rock-Blowhard Limousine.

                   Pistons pounding powerfully
                  like jackhammers, up & down.
                        Egocentric & vainglorious
                     owner of this boat renowned.   
                         Reveling in recklessness,
                  clueless crackers circling ’round.
             Jokers croaking, “That’s amazing!”
                 Scenesters deem it way profound.

                Loud, brassy, shartruce green,
               Cock-Rock-Blowhard Limousine.

                         Everywhere it goes
                 hot air kissing its windscreen.
               Touting tastelessness a’ plenty,
                bug-eyed noobies call it mean.

                Loud, brassy, shartruce green,
               Cock-Rock-Blowhard Limousine. 

#67: Drilled In Mideast Dirt

                      Senselessy appearing  
              Four Clicks South Of Kyrgysztan,
                    G.I.’s towed in choppers
                      en route to a firefight.

              Grunts are out protecting causes
                      Shrill And Un-American,
                 empowering the heavy-handed
                       tyrants of a distant land.

                 State Department Bureaucrat
                        serving with aplomb,
                  gleefully dispensing monster
                       bunker-busting bombs.

                       Missing targets wildly,
                     wasting tots & toddlers,
                       innocents eliminated,
                    leaving windswept bones.

                  One can’t help but wonder
                      how this comes about.
               Groups of plain folks mutilated,
                          villages wiped out.

                         G.I.’s also shot up,
               holes blown through their shirts.
                 Lives destroyed for oil wells …
                       Drilled In Mideast Dirt.

#89: The Playbill Labeled “Fauxbrow”

                 Viewing much from dizzy height,
                       finding world is in decline.

                         In reveries disconsolate,
                       Little Bo Peep Sits & Sways …
                        wishing for a rocket sled  
                              to carry her away.

                         Initiatives, contrivances
                       otherworldly machinations
                           off of a conveyor belt,
                             electric incantations.

                         Pacing round ghost ship,
                           Keats & Percy Shelley
                             utterly intransigent,
                           bug-eyed mugs insane,
                         noting purple mountains
                              over fruited plains.

                           Clark & Lewis At The Helm
                             course correcting here,
                        apropos resourceful types,
                        twin cartoonlike engineers

                Humming, “Dum-dee-dum-dee-dum,”
                           managing to minimize
                        pet peeves & conniptions.

                                Exercising mind,
                            observing, seeing all.
                          Taking note of players,
                   The Playbill Labeled “Fauxbrow.”

#11: Flagrant Business Sissies

                        Spotlight on the fellers
                       felling old growth trees,
                    profiting from taking down
                    homes of hapless creatures!

                      Unfortunately Financiers
                   screwing planet everywhere.
                         Paving Over Wetlands,
                           calling that a ‘win’

                           Corporate crowds,
                a pestilence spreading once again.
                  Global Warming’s one of many
                            evil things they do!

          Flagrant Business Sissies,
     shortsighted money grubbers
      flaring out in all directions,
            Trashing Planet Earth.

All contents copyright 2014 by riff wilder, POB 210433, San Fran., CA  94121  
LINK:    |

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rockford Illustration

This is the Sauger, a fish I didn't know much about, or hear talked about much here in Illinois, but it is one of our indigenous species.This is one of my favorite illustrations from Jenny Mathew's Freshwater mermaids of North America series. What I like about this piece of art is that it challenges all the cliches about what a mermaid is. The color is very a realistic depiction of our local streams, rivers, and lakes. I was watching pretending not to watch when she studied photos of the fish she was about to transform into fanciful chimeras, and she was very exacting about the anatomy being realistic. This mermaid means business. I wouldn't want to tangle with her. To me she seems like the protector of her domain. 

And this is the Walleye. Here I'm blown away by the graceful transformation between fish and woman, and impressed that the artist has chosen to depict an older woman with grace and beauty that is different from the standard hallmarks society places upon ideas of grace and beauty. This mermaid reminds me of Helen Mirren. Lately I have been looking at a lot of blogs and stories about mermaids, and it seems the old stereotypes about women and body forms are still in place. This collection of drawings really challenges those stereotypes, and turns them on their ear. These are no Daryl Hannah mermaids. They're not The Little Mermaid. Nor are they the fearsome monsters of a spurned sailor's lore. They're women, and fish, and they live in The Mississippi and Lake Michigan and The Rock River and Sugar Creek. 

If Dame Helen Mirren were a mermaid, she'd definitely be one of these mermaids, and kick Daryl Hannah's ass. Am I right?

See All The Mermaids From Rockford Illustration

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mermaids To Swim Into Rockford August 1st

Artist Jenny Mathews, founder of The Rockford Illustrating Company, will display her new series of artworks, Freshwater Mermaids of North America, August 1st at 317 Studio and Gallery, 317 Market Street, Rockford, Illinois, at 6 p.m.

Mathews' mermaids challenge stereotypes of female beauty, and societal standards of acceptable body types. These are not the typical depictions of the mythical creatures, instead they draw upon species of fishes indigenous to fresh-water bodies of water in the Midwest. In her own words, Mathews describes her inspiration for her Mermaids series…

“Freshwater Mermaids are something I started working on when doing a public art project for the city of Beloit, WI. When I painted my first river mermaid, and it occurred to me the mermaids we are all used to seeing are ocean mermaids.  They are often long, and have flowing locks of hair to compliment their beautiful, sparkly and graceful bodies. We have seen them starring in movies and cartoons, and in popular culture all around us.  The famed oceanic mermaids have tails that move up and down like other swimming mammals, but freshwater mermaids live way up north in freshwater lakes and rivers.  I figured they probably do not leave for the winter, they are elusive, well camouflaged and quiet, and so obviously cold- blooded. Cold- blooded swimmers evolved differently, with a side-to-side swim movement, and a vertical tail and gills.  These are the primary differences between freshwater and salt-water mermaids.  Once I realized what I was looking for, it was easy to find what Freshwater Mermaids looked like.  Their elusive figures and faces revealed themselves to me every day, and I could hardly sketch fast enough. Unlike their glamorous saltwater sisters, they are as varied in shape, size and color as the women you see all around you every day.” 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Two Poems By Jesus Correa

Two poems by Jesus Abraham Correa VII from his upcoming book, Iced Cream, published by Zombie Logic Press. The book will be available for sale in August of 2014. You can pre-order your copy now Iced Cream by Jesus Correa

 for the drowning to come

the power is all gone, and we are all in the dark

it’s been raining for weeks, and it’s never going to stop

that’s what the weather man said, before the power went out

we’re all going to drown, we are all going to drown

and there’s no more TV, no more cartoons

goodbye career, and goodbye to you

and so we all start to climb, to the highest of grounds,

but we are all going to drown, we are all going to drown

now your money’s no good, it’s just paper with ink

but you still taste so good, and your lips are still pink

and the tide is coming in, hear the water rush into town,

if you hold me while i drown, i will hold you while you drown

so children eat your ice cream, while there is ice cream to be eaten

and parents beat your children, while there are children to be beaten

and i am trying to be happy with every breath that i breath in

but we are all going to drown soon and it makes me so sad.

so i don’t forget

dig a tiny little hole

for your tiny little bones

for your tiny little life

has come to a close

so these tiny little tears

run down those tiny little cheeks

and they run run run

for tiny little weeks

then we all move on

and the world spins around

it all moves along

as the world spins around

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Scream and Scream Again For Iced Scream By Jesus Abraham Correa VII

Iced Cream by Jesus Correa
I love books. You do, too. That's why you're here. I started publishing when I was a teenager, using any form of technology I could to get the word out. When I was 18 I had the good fortune of being "discovered" by one of Chicago's most unusual presses, The Press of the Third Mind. I remember writing over half of the poems that would end up in my first book, Concave Buddha and Other Public Dis-Service Announcements in the two weeks before it was published just to lengthen what was a chapbook into a full-length poetry book. It meant the entire world to me that someone thought enough of my work to publish my first book. It still is one of the enduring highlights of my life. 

Twenty-five years later I am in a position to publish the first book of a poet I feel very strongly about. It's really a one-of-a-kind book. I know, because I've been reading it and re-reading it for two years now waiting for the poet to give me final permission to publish it. This Spring, he did. 

I've started a crowd-funding campaign to help me with the costs of this book. I have also taken a summer job working with a landscaper. I have to admit getting my hands in the dirt has been an unexpected joy, and I tell the guy I work with he should be charging people to come out and get a chance to do this work with him. Nonetheless, it's hard work, and I'm tired. So, I'm asking for a little help from the artistic community to make this project happen. 

I enlisted the top professional video producer in town,Tim Stotz to make a fun video for the campaign, and he sure did. I know how worn out everyone is being asked for money all the time, so I wanted to make a project that offered something back even if you don't choose to contribute, and something pretty special if you did. 

Please help me out and Scream For Iced Cream

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Poetry By Gene McCormick

Gene McCormick has had fourteen books published: non-fiction, fiction and poetry. His most recent short story/poetry collections include Rain On The Sun (2008); Tanya, Queen Of The Greasy Spoon, (2009); An Ice Axe At Dusk (2011, March Street Press); poetry chapbooks, Lives Of Passion: Edward And Antoinette, (2013, RWG Press), Livin’ The Blues At Cranky Jack’s Bar & Grill, (2010, BoneWorld Publishing/MuscleHead Press), Naked Skeletons (2010, Pudding House Publications) and a series of self-illustrated broadsides. His writing and art regularly appear in select literary publications; a number of his poems have been converted to music and performed professionally. McCormick lives in Wayne, Illinois.

Cold Coffee

There is a man sitting over in the corner by himself watching as I count out thirteen dollars to myself, all I’ve got today. A ten, three singles. He’s not a threatening presence, just there maybe verifying that all I have is thirteen dollars—as if that needs verification. Sure as hell don’t need a money clip to hold thirteen dollars, four bills. Have a money clip back at the house, gold-tome-plated metal with the head of the racehorse John Henry. Don’t use it because even there were a need for it, it is clamped too tight to easily slide bills in and out. It never really loosened up but probably would if it got used more. As things stand, it is like brand new, waiting for new money. Well, I have enough money to buy a cup of coffee; two cups and a decent tip. Said she’d meet me here at nine-thirty. It’s just past that now and it’s not like her to be late though I don’t really know that for a fact and as a matter of fact it’s not like me to be early.

God, I hate to wait for people.

She isn’t shilly-shallying, no shilly-shallying going on at all as she stands staring in the bathroom mirror, thighs flush against the sink ledge, moving small pastel-colored bottles and jars of creams, gels and liquids about, thoughtfully, preparing a composition as though setting up a chess board. She stares at the bottles, shakes her head almost imperceptively and shifts them about again and again, faster, and then still faster like a terrier with a toy mouse. Finally, squeezing some cream onto the tip of her index finger, she writes to him, to each and all, a message on the mirror.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m late.”

He looks at the clock on the wall, then at the man sitting in the corner who looks back at him.

She lays flat on her back on the cool bathroom tile floor, eyes open. It’s uncomfortable.

Okay, he decides she’s had enough time to get here. He pats his pants pocket, feeling the dollars and heads across the street to the Super Walmart.

Against all odds, she falls asleep on the bathroom floor, the tiles now warm to her body.

Tuesday Is Trash Day

Because it has a short, strong spring,
every time someone pushes through 
the screen door it slams twice:
bam, then bam again, bouncing off
the door jamb emphasizing a 
coming or going—one of the few
things around the house that 
works well, if at all.
But her, her leaving…
Saying goodbye to her was like
taking out the trash and the hell with
the screen door banging twice.

Sunny-Side Up

Laying about, a red pajama sleeve 
bunches about the crook of her elbow,
its folds mimicking petals and leaves
of, say, a rosebud or chrysanthemum
made of 60% polyester.
Momentarily gazing at her floral elbow,
Della straightens the sleeve and resumes
staring at the ceiling, one hand resting
on her inner thigh.
Her bed partner is immobile, turned away
as early morning school busses rumble by
and as she begins to move her hand.

Twenty minutes later in the kitchen,
she cracks eggs on the edge of the skillet
and fries sliced potatoes for her man,
slouching at the table.
“Working a split shift today, hon?” he asks.
“Yeah, breakfast for you and lunch at the diner.”
“Just asking.”
“Screw you.”
“Don’t break my egg yolks.”
“Screw you.”

Della reaches for the coffee can of tip money,
counting exact change for bus fare.
“I need beer money,” he says.
She tilts the entire can of change into her purse.
“Screw you and screw your damn beer,” she says,
slams the screen door, heads to the bus stop.

Jazz After Hours : Jammin’

In a retail storefront, rented space just large
enough for an afterhours jam session, two guys, 
day jobs done, chill, make small talk and ease 
into after dark jazz improvisations.

The taller dude stands as erect as a bugler at revelry,
trumpet in hand, spitting some “April In Paris”
while the sax shoves his glasses up his forehead 
and goes with some mellow testing
and then, seamlessly, it is a jam, an oblique riff
with the trumpet on top of the sax, backing off
as the ax starts flowing tamped velvet, 
the sax guy into it, grinding the balls of his feet, 
closed slits for eyes.

Easing off the horn, the trumpeter sits cross-legged 
on the floor pulling myriads of musical instruments 
from sacks and wicker baskets: harmonica,
a children’s xylophone, cow bells, chimes, 
a baby blue kazoo, a penny whistle, ping pong balls
all the while rocking side to side mix-managing 
musical tools while the sax man contributes 
African skin drums and a kalimba. 
They are their own audience; a half hour, an hour 
passes blowing-pounding notes that don’t bounce 
or reverberate around the empty room; 
the essence of cool, they breathe and slide.

Two animated young Latino girls pass by outside,
hearing the blues from the shady storefront.
They try the door, holler Yo! It rattles but is locked.
(The door is an old wooden one with chipped and 
peeling white lead paint, warped from tens of years 
of Midwest weather but still able to keep 
things out and things in. A shade covers 
the window portion). The girls shrug and move on, 
unnoticed. The music continues.