Archive for December, 2022

Facundo Rompehuevos

Posted in Facundo Rompehuevos with tags on December 5, 2022 by Scot


Dedicated to the late Mexican day laborer Jaime Morales.


To my uncle not my uncle

I had to lie to the coroner
that he was my uncle
because otherwise
they wouldn’t give up his

they asked for my name
date of birth, my relation
to the deceased

my name is ________
date of birth is _______
and he was my uncle

I made it all up
picked a name
a date of birth
my mother’s name
and her birth date
at random
said I never knew
my father

the only problem with
this was that I didn’t
write it down and when
they’d ask me again
my answers would change

but you said your name was
______, your date of birth
_______, your mother’s name
_____, her date of birth ____

nope, there must’ve been
a mistake, I said, and all
was forgiven

I filled out the required
forms and they said they’d
email me when his ashes were
ready for pick up, which they
ultimately would never do
and I called them
only to find out their number
had changed, then I’d call
another number, then another
and did this for months
his ashes held hostage
by the bureaucracy of
the local government
where men and women
have grown comfortable
with grief and disdain

all I have is a box
of some of your CDs
a broken flip phone
some mail and my memories
of you in the morning sitting
at the blue wooden bench
with your coffee, donut
and a copy of la opinion

when the nursing home called
they said I was listed as the
only living relative, but you
told me you had a son and
a daughter, and an ex-wife
who hated your guts but that’s
what you wanted – to die alone
and it took me a long time to
find peace with that
that sometimes people just
want to die alone and in peace
to be only surrounded by their
own disintegrating thoughts
to battle with your faith or
lack thereof, to cry in final
acceptance to purge regret
from your slowing mind

although the bureaucrats
threw away your ashes
like incorrectly-filled out
forms or broken paper clips
I save your memories and
take them with me wherever
I go and they will be the
bullets in the gun I point
to the motherfuckers
when their time comes



In loving memory to Suicidal Joe, former drummer of Amentia, founder of Skaters Versus Society AKA Suicidal Venice Skaters, and one of the realest punks in the entire San Fernando Valley. SVS C/S!

Suicidal Joe

he was a punk and a skater
with the words SUICIDAL
tattooed on his lower back
in homage to his favorite
band, Suicidal Tendencies

he was half-white and mexican
reluctantly admitting being
half-white in a mostly mexican

we would ditch school and just
stay in his room, getting high
and drunk, while his mother
and step-father would smoke
a carton of Marlboro Reds
on the dirty, old couch
in the living room
watching TV

we always found enough money
to black out on gin or vodka
and beer, paired with whatever
drugs we could get at that moment
often pills and acid, sometimes coke
if we had the money

his room was covered in
Insane Clown Posse and
Suicidal Tendencies posters
and ash trays, guitars, amps
and a drum set, which Joe
would play and we would
reluctantly allow him to play
in our bands that mostly
just existed in his room

One day sitting down in his room
prank-calling his then-girlfriend
saying he had been killed by a bus
while riding his skateboard
hearing her cry, us too numb
on drugs, alcohol and nihilism
to care, I had awoken 23 years later
sitting in a room in Watts
not a single beer or liquor bottle
or drugs in sight, save the psych meds
going on five years clean now
a stack of recovery books half-read
remembering how joe and his
family had to move for some reason
unable to remember why through
the dense cigarette fog of memory
but i heard that he had found god
and heroin, both which would
eventually claim him

we found each other skating
we stayed with each other because
of the secret, unspoken pain we held in
a love forged in trauma and poverty
but also because of music, even though
and I can finally confess this now
that you’re gone, but I’m sorry man
Insane Clown Posse fucking sucks

Mike James

Posted in Mike James with tags on December 5, 2022 by Scot



Younger, I read signs, stayed off grass, picked no wild or house flowers
Older, I made my own signs of printed, block letter warnings
Now, I ignore instructions, forget absolutes, and give up old thoughts of home


It’s All So Brief

No more afternoon naps
Sweet, gauzy fantasies to wake from
No more magazines, well-travelled postcards,
Bookmarks, questionable motel beds
No more 2 am hemorrhoids even
No more after dinner holding-forth to impress friends, forbear silence
No purpose for ties, shoestrings, tomorrow’s shadows


Five Beds

The Rainmaker’s Bed
The head is in a desert mirage
The foot is in another mirage

The Summer Bed
The sheets are white linen
A beach is nearby
So there’s sand in the sheets
No one minds when happy

The Pillow Bed
Think of accordions
Playing on silence

The Winter Bed
It’s heavy like winter
You sleep beneath white snow & a black bear
The bear won’t wake until spring
The bear is warm beside the snow

The Canopy Bed
No one can paint on the ceiling
From a canopy bed

Pris Campbell

Posted in Pris Campbell with tags on December 5, 2022 by Scot



Unexpected Changes

He rides his bike daily
down the cul de sac
past our house, this half-man
half-boy the kids call retardo.

He doesn’t seem to notice.

I think of when my own legs
pumped my bike over
the waterway, then north
past Mar A Lago when Trump
with his private club Beach Boys concerts
was still failing in his attempt
to break into that Palm Beach haven
of old money.

The bike route dead ends
at the inlet where our sailboat
entered one rainy midnight returning
from the pink and yellow house
covered upper abacos.

My balance held me in good stead
on both bike and boat,
rather then bouncing off of walls
unless grasping a chair
or waving my arms like someone
on a balance beam.

I miss the sweet smell of grass
when I mowed, soil under my nails,
driving to the store for a sack of coal
to grill chicken with the neighbors.
I miss long chats, longer kisses.
Gone, all gone.

My brain, once an A plus, falls
to an F after short chunks of concentration.
The teacher is strict.
My body buckles, a knight trapped
in a welded-on suit of armor.
I topple, exhausted, into chairs or bed.
My fork weighs a ton.

So many doctors….but in those earlier
days of this inexplicable illness called
myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome
that has taken me captive, I’m told
it’s emotional, that I’m depressed….
even ridiculed by a smug faced neurologist.
I long for the hand of my always-kind,
dead childhood doctor.

Thirty-two years now chained to my house,
but not a thief like Marley, friends gone
around corners I can’t follow. I write poems
from this twilight zone of life’s curve ball, play games
with memory. I dream the sea calls my name
and I fall into the surf. Sirens carry me
to new shores where nails from
this crucifixion are at last extracted
and I trace steps down long paths
always hoped for but never taken.

Linnet Phoenix

Posted in Linnet Phoenix with tags on December 5, 2022 by Scot


Writing the Sunrise

violet, you had once said,
was the colour of the sun
in the most beautiful sunset
you ever yet witnessed,
overlooking a beach
thousands of miles past

this morning, as I left you
above fields of powder-milk mist,
the sun was blood orange
in a violet mixing-bowl sky,
in an ocean trench of purples
where the clouds held secrets
in mauve shadows of their eyes,
& it was painfully in the now

I didn’t stop to try to photograph
the blush of the clouds’ undersides,
or the pastel smudges of pink
that reminded me of you
drawing fly algaric in a pre-dawn
moment of your inspiration

I remembered, in the witching hour,
wanting to part the ghosts of cloud,
to rearrange those seven sisters
with my cool fingertips raised up
as I prepared to crumble constellations,
&, as you smiled in the dark,
I could have sworn I tasted ultraviolet

Matt Borczon

Posted in Matt Borczon with tags on December 5, 2022 by Scot