Monday, February 16, 2009

Editor's Note - Shoots and Vines is Moving

It's been a wonderful two and a half months since S&V first began, a thought I had while washing dishes. :)

S&V has grown so quickly: sixty-four contributors in the online zine alone since inception.

Beginning today, S&V's new home will be at Many thanks to Lynn Alexander for helping through the beginning stages of setting up the new site. I couldn't have done it without her.

New submissions addy:
New info addy:

New site:

On the drop down bar of the new site is a list of all the contributors. Each piece of work has its own page. I hope everyone enjoys the new look, still dark and disparing. :)

Take care and check out the new site. Bookmark it, tell your friends, and keep submitting!

Thanks to everyone for making this such a huge success. I never would have dreamed this zine would hit over 5800 views in less than three months, but I also didn't have any idea how many great writers were still hiding in the underground.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Featured Writer: Julie Buffaloe-Yoder Day 3

Buster Peacock & The House of Many Colors

When the city of Freeville

widened the highway,

they didn’t plow down

a single shingle in


White Pointe

Golf Crossing.

Instead, they took

Buster Peacock’s land.

A blind old black man

in a felt blue hat

with a sagging shack

on twenty acres of

scrub pine and sand.

That house was old

even in Jim Crow’s day

when Buster carried

his sweet Veleetha

over the threshhold,

felt the angles of her face

the curve of her hips,

a perfect place for babies:

Buster Jr.


Little Toot.

Buster Peacock could feel the color

of four rooms with his fingers, the tips

of his toes—the brown creak and sigh

from tired floorboards at night.

The way the feather bed felt

like cool water blue when

the breeze blew gauze curtains

over Veleetha’s sleeping face.

That little red place in the doorway

where Scoochie bumped his head

when he got so tall, the gold notches

where Buster Jr. carved his name,

the yellow dip in the hallway where

Toot liked to slide in socks.

The silver click of the cuckoo clock

exactly eight steps from a gray hum

from the refrigerator, the green smell

of the breadbox on a hot June day.

The city could not understand

why Buster cried so hard

over a broke down shack.

They gave fair market value.

But they didn’t care that

you can’t place market value

on a breadbox or children

grown or a wife passed on.

The day they moved him

to a retirement home,

the dozer crushed

through his front door.

Buster could feel color

all over again.

Waiting For Mother

Waiting for mother was easier

before autumn crackled in

and ate the days up early.

It was my job to never cry

and light the living room fire.

I was six and alone with wood

and the sharp clear bark of cold.

The wind tip-tapped

the spider crack windows

looking for a place inside

to build its nest.

I knew Mother would come,

she would come home and see

me in the big of the dark,

clumsy with wood and the room

closing its teeth around me--

the naughty buds of fire

refusing to open and grow.

The room smiled pumpkin warm

when I coaxed the fire to raise

its broken, bloody wings.

The branches fluttered shadows

like long lashes on the walls.

Those nights were yellow glad;

I could play and wait, listen

to the purr of wind against the sky.

I liked to watch the moon

scrape across the window.

I liked to tell stories to my dolls,

hold them close to the fire,

watch their smiling faces melt.

And the moon held me.

And the smoke held me.

And the long curly hair

of the shadows held me.

And the moon made me full.

And the fire ate my fever.

And the rise and fall of flames

sang me softly to sleep.

Sometimes when I woke,

the fire left burning sores

on tangled legs of branches.

Sometimes when I woke,

the moon rattled at the window.

The cold was thorny

up and down my back.

The knots in the wood

stared like bad baby eyes,

and the clock was click click

clicking its high heels

in the crying midnight room.

I knew when Mother came home,

she would come, singing red shoes,

the pretty side of her face

an orange fire glow.

She would turn off the bad baby eyes

and the meanness of the moon.

She would listen to the falling leaves

and hear the angel wings with me.

She would fall asleep, and I

would rub her small, soft feet.

I would smell her lemon hair.

I would find her missing slipper.

I would kiss her warming temple,

never ever burn.

Waiting for Mother was easier

before the greedy winter came

and chewed up all the wood.

One night, the wind slapped hard.

I only found the skinny twigs.

One night, through the click of cold,

I filled the fireplace with dolls

and books, pennies, chairs,

stale dry blankets,

And I let the room catch on fire.

Upstairs, on my mattress,

I waited for Mother

to creep up the wooden steps

and tuck me in.

She would come quickly.

She would come warmly.

I knew she would come home

and I would not be alone.

And together we would listen

to the broken goodnight moon,

the glowing wind, and babies

falling from the sky.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Featured Writer: Julie Buffaloe-Yoder Day 2

Shaqueena, Big and Tall

Shaqueena had the biggest tits

I’ve ever seen, I mean each

of those puppies was the size

of a Rottweiler’s head.

Even us straight girls

couldn’t help but stare

at them in gym class.

Soapy globes in the shower,

suntanned worlds unknown,

Shaqueena had the power

of a woman in eighth grade.

Those glamorous glands

didn’t slow Shaqueena down.

She didn’t try to stop them

with eighteen-hour harnesses

or hide them behind books.

She put them out there, honey,

for all the small girls to see.

Goddess of the braless,

large dark nipples peeking

through thin white lace.

Bouncing on the playground,

they’d hit us in the face.

We memorized her mammaries,

worshipped her jiggling temples,

wrote poems about them,

gave both of them names.

We were jealous as hell.

Shaqueena, Queen of Meat.

Sturdy, curvy, proud, loud.

When God was passing out

boobs in the lunch room,

Shaqueena took all the trays

and ran away, laughing.
Washing Away

That old shell of a building used to be

where Jeeter Davis picked the blues,

while us girls picked the sweet meat

of blue crabs to sell for market price.

We worked with red bandanas

on our heads, and boys on our minds.

Our squeaking rubber gloves

on warm, wet wood kept time.

The mockingbirds sounded

like little boats chewing foam.

The shush of shovels in crushed ice

meant supper would be on the table

for at least another season.

Our fathers were worn out

after a good night’s catch,

their boats heavy with a living.

But they kept us full

of their stories, oh Lord, that day

Jeeter Davis sang the one about

the cheating wife and the clam bed,

we thought we would die laughing.

Now there’s a big, black boot,

some old net that needs mending,

and an upside down crab pot

floating in the tide.

There’s a rotten crate

with SHRIMP stenciled

on its side, the letters R, M, P

almost faded away.

There’s a mossy brown stump

where the oyster bed was,

the handle of a shovel,

and two rusty pennies, heads up,

lying in the mud.

There’s our old crab house

creaking in the breeze, and inside,

the briny smell still echoes

like Jeeter Davis’ cold, steel blues

sliding off the walls.

There’s glass that snaps underfoot,

three rubber gloves, a pink hair brush,

a radio that might still work,

and a guitar pick crusted with scales

stuck in a crack in the ice room door.

There’s half a receipt book,

and compliments

of Bell-Munden Funeral Home,

there’s an unmarked calendar

still opened to the year

when we lost our soul.

Across the bay,

there’s a healthy row

of condominiums growing.

They call it Fisherman’s Ridge.

There’s a billboard that has

a happy family on it.

They’re not from around here.

There’s a cartoon picture

of a boat and a shrimper

hauling in his heavy nets.

He’s bathed in light and way

too clean to be working.

They tell us maybe

we can get big tips over there

if we entertain the tourists

with our watermen’s accents

or serve imported crabs

in the restaurant

or mop their pretty floors.

So shiny, so bright,

like the Whore of Babylon

like a brand new bay.

God help us.

We’re all washing

We’re all washing away.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Featured Writer: Julie Buffaloe-Yoder Day 1

Aunt Aggie and The Alligators

Aunt Aggie never had babies.
She had alligators
that floated under leaf wet logs.
She had a mud brushed shack
beside a slow moving river
downwind of Ocketawna Swamp.
She had boxes of fossils
on her kitchen counters.
Six foot long rattlesnake skins
hung as decorations
on her front porch.

Half Cherokee, half Irish,
Aunt Aggie had one brown eye
and one blue; she had two
bright silver braids that swung
past her ass when she danced.
Aunt Aggie smelled like cypress,
muddy boots and fresh mint tea.
Her hands were as loving tough
as summer collard leaves.

Aunt Aggie had no neighbors.
She had a Smith and Wesson
and ninety six root thick acres.
She had record breaking reptiles
who turned over her trash barrel
in the lapping heat
of those thick cricket nights.
She had the faded yellow skies
of August hurricanes,
not too many water bugs,
mildewed faces growing
on her window screens,
and every knick knack
Woolworth’s ever sold.

Each spring at dawn on the edge
of the riverbank, Aunt Aggie threw
leftovers, buckets of fish guts,
and rotten fruit in mossy holes
where the gators waited
for her to call them by name:
Miss Eula Belle!
Matthew-Mark-Luke and John!
Josiah Ezekiel Twain!
Old Slow Moon!
Little Bitty!

During mating season she crouched
waist deep in swamp to watch
the big ones make the water dance;
kept a two-by-four held tight in case
the young ones should try to get fresh.

Aunt Aggie had a fit that stormy day
when relatives explained the papers
that came in the mail from The State:
Eminent Domain.

They said maybe she should take
the money they offered.
Find a nice retirement home.

Everybody thought Aunt Aggie
would shoot the lawyers
and the politicians
and the real estate developers
and the police in their fat heads.
Instead, she cut all her silver hair
and let it float down the river
with the moon of the green corn.

They found Aunt Aggie the next week
curled up and brown on her porch.
The biggest gator next to her, eating
fish heads, bread and moldy cheese.
Aunt Aggie’s last supper
before her babies were put to sleep.

Snake Handling

They call him Rattlesnake,

a row of diamonds

sliced across his back

in a bar room brawl.

All the girls say he is

the best thing to curl up

on their hot back porches

since before the devil’s fall.

They say he’s so pretty

like slant-eyed danger

wrapped in gold-brown skin,

muscles the size of sin—

he smells like a man, damnit.

This laying on of hands

fathers do not understand,

this power to tread through

tall grass, groping under

the dark side of logs,

searching for an answer.

When they dare to hold him,

they shed their old souls

and are born again

beneath a thrill of stars,

dancing to the rhythm

of the rock of ages.

Speaking unknown tongues,

that ticking crescendo

of dry pinestraw is alive

like tambourines of fire.

Like strychnine shooting

through a country girl’s veins.

The sting might not kill

but it makes them feel

like it will, and even if

they swell, they don’t

give a damn—they say

it’s better than Heaven.

I've had work published in Side of Grits, storySouth, Clapboard House, The Wilmington Review, A Carolina Literary Companion, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women, Grain, and Pemmican.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

When the Wolves Came Down the Mountain by Jason Michel

When the wolves came down the mountain, we rang the bells and took turns throwing rocks at the damned wild hounds. All teeth and eyes. There seemed to be no rhyme nor reason to it all, ‘cept they wanted our blood split from open wounds onto the female earth’s holy gash.
And we damn well wanted theirs.

An aged Scotsman stood next to me, the one we called Ancient Mac Cock on account of his obsession with his withered mediocre genitalia, and launched a large stone that misfired and smashed the dull stained glass window that showed Christ’s crucifixion on the grim, hunched-over Presbyterian church. When the realization of the consequences of his wayward action hit him, he turned to me and whispered, “Might wake th’ ol’ bastard up fer once, hey lad …”

As I brought down a rock and cracked open the skull of one of the beautiful creatures, watching its pale blue eyes become shot with spilled scarlet ink and its grey purple cerebral mass seep through its ears, I noticed a little girl squatting over the dismembered stomach of a lupe and pissing all over its entrails, washing the blood away. Then I knew I was nothing more than a cell in a gigantic beast that went on forever and forever. The question was whether I was a virus or part of the immune system. As I looked around at the carnage and the numbers of the dead on both sides, I glimpsed the answer and prepared for tomorrow.

Jason Michel has been turned on, tripped up and stumbled over all around the world on an eleven year(so far)self imposed exile. He now lives in France.
He has recently published his first novel “Confessions of a Black Dog” at and has had work published in various print and online magazines.
His work can be seen at

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Todd Among the Nightingales by Mikael Covey

Todd meanders down the street, scrawny, pot-bellied; I see he’s lost most of his hair now. Comes over to the guys outside the half-way house with a big smile on his face. They’re sitting there smoking cigarettes watching the grass grow, whatever. Friends of his, I guess.

I’m making a delivery, dropping off a package. “He was one of the Chicago Seven” I tell ‘em. Todd smiles, starts recounting the names “Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin...” Yeah, and Todd Obermeyer.

We used to talk about it, back when I was his caseworker, as if that’s all there was. Paging through the high school yearbook, pictures in black and white. Pretty girls in pep club outfits, Pierpoint Rustlerettes 1967.

Todd looks at the pictures objectively, distantly; tells me how shy and dysfunctional he was in school; even though his folks had money. A scrawny little mouse with droopy eyes and big ears, short hair cut. Like none of that ever mattered anyway. “I’m forty-eight years old y’know.”

Then in college, somehow in a fraternity, in with the bright young going somewhere crowd. The cusp of future leaders. Chicago ’68, when he had the breakdown. They brought him back from Canada, put him in the hospital for twenty years. Ten more after that on the outside, still that’s all there ever was.

Lives alone in a spotlessly clean apartment, government funded. Everything neat and orderly, very nice. “I got no food” he says, objectively, not that it matters. Just something to talk about, making conversation. We have to meet, we have to talk. What else is there to say.

First of the month his check comes in. The vultures swoop down and take it away. Tougher needier mental patients who prey on the weaker ones. Borrow things, like your money. “They talk me into it” he says “what can I do? He says he’ll pay me back, and he never does. Next time I’m gonna just tell him no.”

Aint gonna happen. I’d like to see Todd get really angry about it, just to see how far he’d go before he’d back down. Like a couple of pomeranians fighting each other. Or maybe that’s how we all are when you think about it.

Take him to the food pantry where people donate food so that others who don’t have any can come get some. Todd’s very picky. “Do you have...” this, that, the other, like we’re at the supermarket, anything you want. I’m embarrassed. This is free food Todd, just take what the lady gives you, okay? Asks if he can come back every month, his problems would all be solved.

I like Todd, he’s so different from what you’d think a schizophrenic would be. So quiet calm peaceful. That slight smile, like things are amusing to him, or beyond his control. Always so friendly, gentle, dignified in his own way. A pleasure to visit with him, to escape from the constant tension and stress of the job. Just to sit here in this spotlessly clean apartment, reminisce about old days.

When I get to know him better, he confides in me a bit. The color coded signals God uses to tell him things. He saw a man on tv wearing a blue suit. Blue means royalty, that was a good man. Something yellow in a magazine would be a warning. Don’t go out today. Orange is even more dangerous.

That was years ago. I’m surprised he’s made it this far. But I like Todd, I’m happy to see him. Later run across him meandering down the street, big fleshy bulge on the side of his neck. “Todd, how you doing?” “Well...I got cancer. Of the lymph nodes, I guess. They’re giving me chemo... I’m fifty-eight years old, y’know.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Photography by Jeff Crouch

Remains Day

Sense of Play


Jeff Crouch is an internet artist in Grand Prairie, Texas. Google him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Editor's Note

It's been a great week.

S&V Print Issue 1 is at Penny Lane Coffee House. Penny Lane Coffee House is a locally owned and operated business in Evansville, IN. Local writers and musicians show up every month to read their work and play their music. Inside you'll find a reading area, fair-trade coffee, vegan muffins and soup, and great conversation. Religion and politics are not taboo here! If you are in the area, bypass Starbucks and hit this sweet spot that Heidi and Paul have nurtured into a breeding ground for underground art.

Antony Hitchen has a new chapbook out this month. It's entitled 'The Holy Hermaphrodite' and consists of cut-up poetry and one prose piece. The poems chosen all concern the over-coming and resolution of dualities (sex, race, sexuality, religion etc, etc) unified in the body of the Hermaphrodite - a symbol or physical representation of all things unified and at peace.

Shadow Archer Press has published other books by great S&V writers. Stop by to buy their books and keep an eye out for Antony's book.

Coming soon, collaborations between David Oprava and myself, and Matt Finney and myself. We selected six word prompts and went from there. I'm excited to be working with two fantastic writers. Audrey Victoria is providing the art. You can see more work by David, Matt, and Audrey in S&V's print issue 1. Both zines will be available on open book and in print. I'll add links as soon as the work is completed.

I really want to spread the word about another great place in southern Indiana which works very hard to bring quality goods to quality people.

Joe's Records in Evansville, Indiana.

I take the baby into Joe's a couple of times a month to pick up music or games. Just the other day, I was looking for Ingrid Lucia's album that has the song 'Down Home', and Joe found it for me. Although I could have just as easily ordered it from Amazon or some other store, there is something special about ordering music from a locally owned and operated record store, especially when the owner sold me my first Cocteau Twins CD when I was about thirteen. Joe carries a large selection of music by local artists. If you are in southern Indiana, stop by to see Joe and tell him Crystal sent you. He'll probably tell you all kinds of stories about me from back when I wore ripped up fishnets and combat boots.

Comment, comment, comment! Let the writers and artists know when you like their work. Not only is it a good push to keep writing, but it gives us direction so we know when something works, when we connect to the reader.

This week's lineup

Tuesday: Jeff Crouch
Wednesday: Mikael Covey
Thursday: Jason Michel

Featured Writer: Julie Buffaloe-Yoder

Have a great week!

Calls for Submissions

S&V will now be publishing a monthly zine on open book. Each month will have a different word prompt or topic.

March - Darkening of the Night

Send subs to and add March to the subject.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Featured Writer: Doug Draime Day 3

Attending A Poetry Reading At The Local College

What good does poetry do? Can it stop the
wailing of the tormented? Can it end
the continual political slaughter of
millions from war, starvation,
abortion, capital punishment, racial
genocide, or territorial domination?

Poets still sit in the coffeehouses and
bars in America,
talking like badass street fighters,
though few
have ever thrown a punch
and probably wouldn’t know how to make a fist:
publishing in the
little mags only
they read, and,
to each other. They’re
content like everyone
to get drunk and
talk shit.

In other countries they lined poets up against the wall
and shot them down
like wooden ducks in a shooting gallery
or imprisoned them like wild animals

for speaking out against
the State,
for publishing poems of
and dissension,
for standing up
for truth
and human

Poets in America suck on the tit of academic,
curdled lies, defending the “artistic freedom”
of submerging an image
of Christ in a bottle of urine.

*Reprinted from Doug's book: Transmissions From The Underground
Watch for it at deadbeatpress sometime in February 2009.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Featured Writer: Doug Draime Day 2

Burning The Complete Works of Sylvia Plath

The suicidal Muse ran up and
down my walls screaming for
Sylvia Plath. It wasn’t my
Muse; it came with her. She warned
me about something like this
happening if my writing
became too positive or
encouraging. So, I called her
“Look,” I said, “it’s running up and
down my walls screaming for
Sylvia Plath.”

“Calm down,” she said, “just turn the typewriter
off and it’ll stop.”

“What?” I said.

“Turn the Corona off and it’ll stop.” she said

The Smith Corona was a gift from her when my ancient
Remington bit the dust. I told her to hold on a minute and
went over and turned off the machine. She was right, the
thing just disappeared with a puff of smoke. Back on the
phone, I told her it worked. She was silent for a moment.

“What are you going to do now,” she asked.

“What do you mean?” I said.

“Well, I mean, you got the thing stirred up
somehow and now every time you turn
the typewriter on the Muse is going to get
out and cause havoc. Each time it gets worse.”

“No shit?” I said, shocked.

“No shit!” she replied.

I thought for a moment. “Will burning the
Complete Works Of Sylvia Plath work?”

She was thinking now. “Well, you could give that
a try, probably wouldn’t hurt to burn all the Ted
Hughes stuff while you’re at it.”

“Thanks I appreciate the help,” I said and hung up.

I didn’t have the Complete Works Of Sylvia Plath
and nothing by Hughes, so I went out and bought
them. When I got home I went outside, threw them
in an empty trash can and was about to torch them
when something like a spiritual revelation hit me.
I grabbed the Complete Works Of Sylvia
Plath out of the trash can and ran inside, turned on
my oven and baked her with the oven door open for
an hour. Then I gingerly took the smoldering books,
holding them with a pot holder, outside and threw them
in the trash can with her former old man, and torched
them good. I watched the books burn to ashes, then
emptied the ashes in my septic tank. I felt something
lifting from me and I knew it was over.

I went in and turned on the machine. It purred
like a kitten. I waited for a moment and then
typed my first line: The Suicidal Muse ran up
and down my walls screaming for Sylvia Plath.

*Reprinted from Doug's book: Transmissions From The Underground
Watch for it at deadbeatpress sometime in February 2009.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Featured Writer: Doug Draime Day 1

Someday I Will Write A Poem That Will Flood The World

And I will own all the
arks, boats, ships,
rafts, and canoes,
and tug boats, ferries,
all forms of water transportation.

People will have to come
to me for their means
of survival.

The stubborn and destitute ones
will drown in my poem
sinking to the bottom,
screeching like anchors on

The rest of humanity will plead
for cut-rate discounts. But fuck them,
I’ll make them pay out
the ass. No rainbows
this time.

4 a.m. Reflection

If I say it was
torrid, what of love?
As my mind tosses
in memory like a
violent sea,
settling for the
compromise of
touching the stars
climbing the ladder
of lust. Meaning?
Love? What aches
in the heart?
Familiar images of
erotic passion
and the comfort of
someone being there. Knowing
the emptiness
and sting of
ambivalence. Why do we betray
the intimacy?
Why do we betray
the giving?

Doug Draime emerged as part of the underground literary movement in Los Angeles in the late 1960's. Most recent books: "Bones" (Kendra Steiner Editions) and "Los Angeles Terminal" (Covert Press). Forthcoming, "Transmissions From The Underground" (d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t/ press) and "Farrago Soup" (Coatlism Press). He moved Oregon in 1981, where he stills resides.

Order Doug's book and support small press: d/e/a/d/b/e/a/t press

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Belt loops by Crystal Folz

We go to a party at a friend's farm. The moon sits in the sky, as bright as the Skoal ring on the back pocket of my husband's blue jeans. I carry food into the house. He totes his guitar and cooler out to the weathered gray barn.

Moths whirl in the spotlights set up around the table. Laughter stirs the tassels on the corn. They play Hank Sr., Waylon, and Kristofferson before meandering into that harmonic southern rock they quietly strummed in their rooms when learning to play the guitar.

Sometimes on date night we take the pickup. Before we leave, my husband cleans out the truck. Tool belts and safety glasses and shotgun shells are placed inside the garage door. He gets a sheet from behind the seat, one that has holes cut for seat belt buckles, and tucks it in tight. I prop my foot up on the dash, and he lets me take control of the radio.

I've always wanted men, not boys - gruff and greasy men who seem to have been born knowing how to weld, whittle, and eye which socket they need to loosen a bolt.

There's little things I've stopped thinking about for a long time: the way he plays with the back pocket on my cutoff shorts when I sit in his lap; how he tucks the sheet between us on hot nights so we don't stick together; how he says my accent is sweet, secretly knowing I've spent years trying to shorten those long vowels and remember the 'g's at the end of my words; and those calloused hands, fingers that snag strands of hair when he brushes it over my shoulder.

I lean up against the truck, fixing to grab him another beer, and wonder if he wants me to be hard enough to take care of myself, or soft enough to let him drag me back by my belt loop whenever I walk away without kissing him first.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What I Saw by D.C. Porder

when it first happened
dad wasn’t really that blind.
what he saw were (in his words)
“black columns” on both sides
of his vision. each day
they encroached further
towards the center
of his blue eyes like curtains
across stained-glass.

the day he lost his sight completely
we ate chocolate cake.
dad thought it would
be funny. then long strings
of tears rushed down
his cheeks. dad

cried through the night.
his eyes were worthless
except for that.

D.C. Porder studies writing at The New School. Read more at

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Two Pieces by George Anderson

On the Seine

it's raining in the
French Quarter as
we eat delicious

skewers of prawns
& mussels smash our
greasy white plates in

the fireplace later
sit under umbrellas
sipping Veure Clicquot

Yellow Label from plastic
champaigne glasses & in
the dark follow the brightly

lit tourists' boats trying to
forget Gaza where militants
fire make-shift rockets &

where schools & hospitals
at this very minute are being
bombed by the Israeli Air Force

the general election only three
weeks away our bottle dangerously
nearing the end of its usefulness.


She was born
on that late Friday evening
without lips
without a nose

her left foot attached
to her knee

six toes on her right foot

her heart & lungs
sweetly pumping

the neon grey noon
a slowly understood beauty
the handwriting describing this
barely legible

god's attempts at perfection reconfigured,
her colostomy bag one day attuned
to life's tragic appendage?

George Anderson lives in North Wollongong, Australia. Erbacce-press in July 2008 published a chapbook of his poems 'Dancing
On Thin Ice'. Check out his new blog:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Editor's Note

S&V Issue 1 has been well received. Copies will be floating around this week in Evansville, Indiana. Stop by Penny Lane Coffee House, and River City Food Co-op to pick up a copy - while supplies last. It will be printed and distributed until April, when the second issue prints.

All contributors were sent copies last week. If you haven't received yours, it's because I don't have a snail mail addy for you.

If readers would like a copy of the print, please contact me by email: I ask for $1.00 to help pay for shipping.

Coming this week, a printable Outsider Writers mini-zine which provides a mission statement and links to the group. Check out my blog on Outsider Writers later this week to print off a copy.

Kristin Fouquet just interviewed me for the OW zine coming out this spring. Keep your eyes open for more information about S&V and why I love it.

Small Press Information:

Andromache Books is a small, independent press publishing literary fiction and poetry of the highest quality. We are dedicated to the vital and delicate art of literature. We are not in it for the money. (What money?) We are in it for truth and beauty and all that. We are decidedly not the mainstream.

Andromache Books is a cooperative, not-for-profit venture, run entirely by the authors themselves. We seek to bring only the best and the brightest to light. For further information about our books contact us

We are:
Grace Andreacchi, managing editor
Nikesh Murali, poetry editor
Edward Hadas, business manager
Andy Scheuchzer, mascot

Out titles so far include:
Mark Edwards, Clearout Sale
Grace Andreacchi, Scarabocchio, Poetry and Fear

Coming soon: Poetry from Robin Ouzman Hislop, and our Contemporary Poets Series, edited by Nikesh Murali.

Call for Submissions:

Shoots and Vines is looking for poetry, prose, flash fiction, art, and photography for the April 2009 print issue.

The Legendary:

Team -

Jim Parks is a newsman, deckhand, farm hand, truck driver and ramblin' man. Keep him away from the fire water and don't mess with his food or his woman.

Katie Moore is a mother, writer, and that order. Sorry, husband. She has been known to plan an orgy and occasionally she feels the need to dance like Kevin Bacon in Footloose.

*Calls for Submissions and information about small presses are posted every Monday in the editor's note. If you'd like to submit your mag or press, please email Add mag or press in the subject line.

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Featured Writer: Alan King Day 3

Saturday Morning

And the Boulevard wakes
like a child -- rubbing its eyes,
stretching to greet first light.
But you're wide-awake with

the other silhouettes inside
a darkened theatre, and
all around you -- the loud
snapping of cellophane wrappers,

cookie dough candy and gummy
bears sweetening the air.
"How come you're always by yourself,"
your father asked once. His mind

so one-track women only exist
as cure-alls for everything, even
a work-week that pounds you
like a heavyweight.

But how do you explain the rush
you get from conquering that near-empty
dark space -- the throne-sized seats,
and jesters on a screen fit for a king?


Fred picks at his batter-
fried onions, shakes his head:
She said it would never work

with me; that I know too many
An ex told you the same thing
before demanding you either
cut your play sisters loose or lose her

for good. And why does it always
come down to the final proposition,
as if life had a limit on possibilities?

And what happens when neither party
stops fighting the forces of arbitration?
Maybe you end up dateless on a Saturday night,
sharing appetizers with your boys

in a log cabin-style restaurant –
considering the symbolism
of a talking moose head on the wall.

The Meek

…the angels fall from heaven
…the day the earth stands still

-The System, "Don't Disturb This Groove"

like that night, skating around
a darkened rink with several
other silhouettes and Tanya
gripping my nervous hand

her skin glowing from
the purple "Couples" sign
and popping Bubblicious
behind her thick pink lips
was all I knew of beauty

and would probably be
the only time this chunky
12 year old would get
so close to divinity

to think this moment
seemed impossible,
or would be the closest
thing to knowing a man's
frustration for obsessing
the unattainable

but Tonya locking her
fingers with mine and smiling,
I'm convinced God grants
the meek a small taste
of their inheritance

like your cool older
cousins along the rail,
watching – grinning
and nodding: Yeah
I see you, playa