Leah Mueller

Two Tabs and the Dead

Blue VW van,
anachronistic for 1982.
Dane County Coliseum,
Grateful Dead.
I dropped acid with a few
of my co-op roommates.

Snow fell hard
as we screeched
into the parking lot
and lurched to a stop
between parallel lines.

Inside, we spiraled
in opposite directions,
propelled by lysergic motors
that showered sound
and set us to dancing.

A man named Robert
attached himself to me.
He’d lost his shoes
somewhere in the building,
but didn’t need them,
because he wanted
to walk outside barefoot.

The security guard
stopped us at the door
and said we weren’t
allowed to leave the premises.
He was ancient
and stoop-shouldered
and wore a lime-green,
three-piece polyester suit.

“Why can’t I go out?”
my friend demanded.

The guard shook his head
with regret, said
“It’s snowing, son,”
and then after a while,
“You don’t have any shoes on.”

His voice was gentle
and apologetic,
like he understood
our wish to go outside,
and felt bad, because
he couldn’t grant it.

Robert looked down
at his enormous, knobby feet
and nodded with
sudden understanding.

I stared at the guard,
noticed he had
a tiny cloth bumblebee
on his coat lapel.
The bee was smiling
and waving one of its legs.

“I like your sticker,” I said.
The guard looked pleased.
“You want one?” he asked.
“I have an entire roll
inside my pocket.”

He stuck in his hand,
pulled out a fat roll
of cloth bumblebee stickers,
extended it in my direction.
I chose one for my shirt.

“Thanks,” I said,
as Robert and I turned around
and headed back to the stage
for the second set.

Mendes Biondo

She Played On Herself The Best Electric Guitar Solo

she was under an heavy rain
a hot one
artificial rain coming from the shower
she decided to put that flowing
over her femininity
and she felt like Danae
she said
I’m a goddess now

the pleasure began to rise
as the twilight sun
as the high tide with full moon
as the adrenaline of a lioness
while following the gazelle

she wanted that pleasure
she knew it was good and right
because she was a goddess
and all is good and right
when the pleasure is strong

she cried
yes
she wanted it
yes
the rain over her
yes
the feeling of being immortal
yes
the feeling of being right and good
yes
all this pleasure is here for you honey
yes
the thought of her lover giving pleasure to her
yes
the feeling of freedom and power
yes

drop over drop
the shower was on the floor
flooding the white porcelain
breaking the banks made with the flesh of bare feet
her rain with the artificial rain

at the end
while the breath tried to slow down
after a long high moaning
the roar of her little inner lioness
only the tapping of soaked hair left
and her shining smile
brighter than the summer sun

Life in The Fast Lane: Snail Vixen

image1

Life in The Fast Lane: Snail Vixen
By Casey Renee Kiser

***

SNAIL VIXEN

I rise
from this game show garden
Only cheaters get watered here
Still,
I seem to be the only thing
growing

I have invaded the faeries’
beauty
but cannot absorb it-
They can keep that
nonsense
The flowers here are fake,
depending on your brand of sunglasses
All the ‘cool’ fireflies gather
at your third eye,
spies

I’m slow
but I’m gangster
I have risen
and I’m getting the fuck outta here
where paper planes fly
and people still nap
under trees

image3

***

SERIOUSLY THOUGH

every time I see James Franco
I get bromance crabs.
Fuck James Franco.
Every time he smiles,
a Cheshire cat takes a shit.
Fuck James Franco
and his pineapple express-dick face.
I had a nightmare
that James Franco also wrote poetry.

From Snail Vixen and the Crystal Garden

image4

***

Yes, James Franco is pretty. But there are surely more intriguing whores out there.
Maybe that’s true. Maybe not.

But one thing is for sure… This book really has nothing to do with Franco.

The Crystal Garden, like Wonderland, is a place where nothing makes much sense.
Or does it??

Depends on which way you decide to go. Never mind the cat. It’s there to confuse you.

My name is Crystal. Join me for a strange and unapologetic trip through the poetry garden.
Is it a dream? Or a nightmare? Depends on you. Actually, it could be a party.
After all, James Franco is there.

BUY A COPY HERE

image2

***

Photo credit: Jasmyn Taylor Givens

More on SoundCloud

Irvin Lee

Before That Glint Leaves You

deathly love was always
caught here.
somewhere in the mind.
somewhere between
torn and caged palms.
somewhere the wicked
sinister man shoots.
somewhere the woman punts
another bastard child out
of her pool, and for nothing,
though the earth
has suffered enough.
there is no safe haven.
and the woman murders
with a walk.
and the whore’s ghastly grin.
and the cowboy ups the 6-shooter.
murder was written before that glint
could reach your pubescent eyes, child.
it was all written.
all of the whores
and murderers
and murders
and suicides
and bombings
and stabbings
and rape
and love
and death,
dogging down
the last drip of life.
you see, child,
this world wants everything.
it wants your balls and a kiss
goodbye, and as long as
there’s juice pumping through
your veins, you’d better know
now that it’s gonna get all
it can get
before that glint leaves you.

J.J. Campbell

behind closed doors
 
i enjoy
a woman
with curves
society tends
to only agree
behind closed
doors
i have never
minded being
the freak out
in the open
this society
has already
rejected me
enough
if all that shit
makes you
stronger
i doubt i will
ever die now

Leah Mueller

Warning to Literary Posers

Be careful when you try
to publish your poetry
and be on social media
at the same time. Eventually,
every indie writer in
the herd of literary oddballs
will send you a friend request.

For a while you’ll feel important
when they publish your work
on their Weebly sites.

Suddenly, one of them
will get pissed off
at the other, for being uncool,
or for having different politics,
or for being insensitive
or for a host of other
trumped-up reasons.

(Yes, I said “trumped-up.” Fight me).

They will tear into each other
like rabid weasels, and
it will have nothing to do with you.

One of them will decide
it’s your fault too, since you’re on
the other person’s friend list.
They’ll block you on Twitter,
and you can forget about ever
submitting to their shitty magazine again.

No one bothered to tell you
what the argument was about.

Mind you, these are sensitive folks
who write poetry,
people too blind to know
who the real enemy is.

It’s not me, motherfuckers,
I’m 60 years old and have been
out of high school for 40 years.
You sniveling little tattooed poser
with an MFA in your back pocket,
you don’t even know what pain is.

Perhaps you shouldn’t be so careful.

HSTQ: Spring 2019

HSTQ Spring 2019

horror, adj.
inspiring or creating loathing, aversion, etc.

sleaze, adj.
contemptibly low, mean, or disreputable

trash, n.
literary or artistic material of poor or inferior quality

Welcome to HSTQ: Spring 2019, the curated collection from Horror, Sleaze and Trash!

Featuring poetry by Angelica Arsan, Dave Newman, Tohm Bakelas, Meeah Williams, A. Theist, Gary D. Morton, Irvin Lee , Casey Renee Kiser, J.J. Campbell, David Boski, Megan Alyse, Omar Alexandre, Ingrid M. Calderon-Collins, Mela Blust, John D. Robinson, Winter Zakalwe, Ben Arzate, Robert Ragan, and John Grochalski.

Kindly PayPal 5 USD to arthur.graham.pub@gmail.com,
or download the FREE ebook instead!

John Grochalski

jed and ethel

jed and ethel
sleep on a bench
across the sidewalk from
the big supermarket
they sleep while people
complain about cantaloupes
and the cost of pineapple
jed and ethel
have been living on the streets
in the neighborhood
for about two or three years now
right around the time
we were told the economy
was back and full swing
jed and ethel obviously never got the memo
they sleep on the bench
while people walk by
holding wine bags and gourmet vegan wraps
jed wears a green hat
from a nintendo game character
and a free t-shirt from the new hipster coffee shop
who gave it to him
for their ironic idea of free advertising
ethel wears her winter coat
in all kinds of weather
she’s usually pretty quiet
but sometimes she sits on the bench
and screams at the people
complaining about cantaloupes
and the cost of pineapple
sometimes she says to the people
carrying wine bags and gourmet vegan wraps
hey, but do you have a dollar for me?
jed’s still able to sleep
when ethel goes on like this
he’s put up with way more than shouting
sometimes jed and ethel smoke pot
with another guy, maximillian
they sit at the bus stop a block away from the bench
and get stoned
as people walk by carrying lackluster cantaloupes
and over-priced pineapples
complaining about the smell of the marijuana
and saying to themselves
well, if they have money to do that
then why are they living on the street?
as if getting
the occasional life-numbing high from a third party
is the equivalent of them
somehow shunning the rest of us
here in boot strap america
but people like to say dumb shit like that
because they are afraid of homelessness
they see themselves in jed and ethel’s eyes
deep down
they know it isn’t all cantaloupes and pineapples
and wine bags and gourmet vegan wraps
or maybe they are just judgmental assholes
and jed and ethel
are just props
to boost up their own self-esteem
their own sense of value and self-worth as citizens
road signs to prove that we aren’t all random cogs
in an unforgiving capitalist mouse wheel
to be honest
jed and ethel aren’t even their real names
i have no clue who they are
where they came from
why they chose this neighborhood
if they’re married or just shackled together this way
jed and ethel are just names
that i came up with
about a year ago
when i was walking down the street
on some lazy summer sunday afternoon
swinging my bag from the wine store
passing them sleeping on that bench
on my way to the supermarket
for some fresh fruit
a cold six pack of beer
and one of their kick-ass
gourmet vegan wraps.

Charles Austin Muir

Jim Morrison Library Poem

Inspired by “People Are Strange”

No one knows my name here.
I come here several times a week
and the only recognition I get
is from a card scanner.

As always,
the guy at the circulation desk
scowls at his monitor
as if I haven’t just walked in.
He gets the same treatment from me
even though I like his
Naked Lunch T-shirt.

I pull my CD from the hold shelf.

I enter the empty meeting room.

The doors of perception
are so clean here
that the doorway has no door anymore
and the library’s bustling floor
appears to me as it truly is:
A house of solipsistic quests,
catalogued and controlled.

I suppose it’s my hold item
that’s got me thinking about doors:
Strange Days, by The Doors.

Here’s strange in three steps.
One: Look outside
and make sure no wide-eyed
children are in sight.
Two: Open backpack.
Three: Pull out Fleshlight.

Clear. Check. Check.

Good God… I can’t believe
I’m going to put my penis
in this thing.
It’s so grandiose and sci-fi-looking.

Woooooo doggie.
The toothy squeezings
of the Fleshlight Destroya
grind me down to nubs
of ecstasy.
The synthetic sex mouth
loves me two times
and I would go for three
but for the town council meeting
that’s supposed to start.

The Fleshlight Destroya
is aptly named.
I am destroyed.

Destroyed and…
still unobserved.

Apparently
I can’t even disturb anyone
getting off
with a gadget that looks
like a planet eater
in a Star Trek episode.
Maybe I should try
the Autoblow 2 tomorrow—
from what I saw in a video
it sounds like a giant robot
with asthma.

Let’s push this
Lizard King of the Library
act as far as it will go.

Afterglow.

My legs shake.
I pump them down
the central aisle.
They take me by
the book return window.
I’m drawn to something I’ve never
noticed on the other side of it:
Desks and carpeting.

And right in front of me
at crotch height,
the guy in the Naked Lunch T-shirt
is sorting media in a basket truck.
What the fuck!
He’s noticed me.
Or rather—my groin area.
And in my euphoria
I realize that despite my
failed attempt to provoke
I still wear the chain
of conformity.

I still subscribe
to the library’s
seclusive program.

But how many walls
do we really need
to police our patronage?
Must we be complete strangers?
Aren’t we strange enough already?
The clerk with his elbows in a pile
of CDs and DVDs and me
with my concealed
penis swallower, the two of us
posing as if responsible use
of lending materials is all
that matters?

The rules are so ingrained in him
he reaches for my hold item
which I haven’t even checked out
yet. His hand hovers in the window
like an American prayer
that doesn’t care if it’s answered.
And in my post-orgasmic high,
I think…

why deny him.

Here you go, Naked Lunch Man.
Here is my Doors CD.
But before I hand it over
you will do something for me.
You will break the chain.
You will touch my fingertips
on the cracked jewel case
and I will trace your toils
down your oily thumb.
No one will think
we’re being impractical.
No one will notice.

There. It’s yours. Thank you,
Naked Lunch Man.
It was a pleasure to mind meld
with your fingers.
To scan your phalangeal
barcode.
For a moment we transformed
this slotted node into a bridge
between flesh and purpose,
intimate yet still contained,
the library equivalent
of a glory hole.

I’ll be back tomorrow
(with the Autoblow 2).
But in the hours between
I’ll think about you
as I make my way through
the rain and uneven streets
of this town that wants
to devour us both.

Come to think of it,
you should get a
Fleshlight,
Naked Lunch Man.
The Destroya’s teeth
may open your mind’s
doors
to a world you’ve
never seen
before.