Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kenneth P. Gurney


Physics, Not Chemistry

In a universe made out of strings
we are all marionettes
with no idea of who maneuvers
our feet and arms
above the black velvet ceiling.
Delphi asked me to jump rope
some double dutch game
with heal slapping.
Fearlessly I joined in
but we fell into a tangle of limbs:
my right foot slow to clear
the rotating blur.
She thumped the ground
under my tall body
in a whoosh of breath,
then spread her legs
and drew me tighter to her.
During our first kiss 
I found my mind
both on her soft lips 
and wondering
what caused this 
sudden amor
after all those school years
of orbital proximity.

Impossible Angle

I am in the laundromat
worried about rinse cycles
and dryer sheets
and my book remains 
unopened, as the clothes
slosh around 
in some vague 
imitation of a circle
with sudsy splashes.
There is a small zoo
of stuffed animals
in the dryer
and it reminds me
of Noah’s ark
and the cataclysmic events
an old testament god
visits upon his people,
and how thousands 
of dust mites
must be clinging on
to the zoomorphic fabric
for their very lives
at this moment.
To birds, I believe,
the inventor of glass
is the devil incarnate—
which assumes
birds believe in god
and the devil—
or, maybe, in some 
Buddha-like wisdom
they understand
glass’s existence 
forms a cosmic balance
equal to the constant seed 
in the bird feeder.


My posture was bad 
from writing poems all day
at the computer
and my back would not straighten
when I tried to sit up
or stand up
and I lay down
bent and curved
on the floor, hoping
gravity would settle
my parabola,
and slowly I inched
my way through
the jolting pain
and wished
I’d taken up yoga
at age ten.

bio:  Kenneth P. Gurney lives in Albuquerque, NM, USA.  He edits the anthology Adobe Walls.  His latest collection of poems is An Accident Practiced.  To learn more about Kenneth, visit:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Battle Scars - John Bennett

Kamini Press
Ringvagen 8, 4th Floor
SE-117 26 Stockholm
ISBN 978-91-977437-5-4

Henry Denander presents another fine, handsome, classy little book of poetry on his Kamini Press imprint, this time by a guy who's been writing and publishing for more than forty years on the good side - that is, the side I presume all readers of BEATNIK inhabit, the side of the outlaws and the misfits, the firebrands, the men and women who are sometimes too inventive and personal and too free of habitual restriction to be appreciated in their own time, but might, if we ever bloom into a courageous race, be discovered again and have laurels tossed on their graves (though most would settle, like Jack's ghost probably does, for empty beer bottles and fag packets). Bennett has been associated with a whole lot of poets you'll probably like a whole lot, since you're here and not at the page of the Poetry Book Society, but I won't mention them because I don't want to try to elevate the man on the strength of his connections. There's too much of that in mainstream poetry and in the small press - Charles Bukowski called it "clasping assholes" - and our poet doesn't need it anyway. Let's just say that in Battle Scars we get 30 poems, none of them more than 8 or 9 lines long, on subjects ranging from "techno-corporate dictatorship" to the ageing process, all crisply expressed and humorously cynical. You think you have not read very much at the end of each one but you find the words echoing in your mind, the ideas sinking themselves into your consciousness and making you think again about something you thought you had an absolute grip on. So you go back and read again. It's nothing to change the world, perhaps, but none of your ideas or my poetry are either; and Bennett would be profoundly suspicious of anybody who wanted to, I suspect. I liked it very much. If you're interested after hearing me waffle on like this, why don't you visit the Kamini Press website at for more information.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Kyle Hemmings

Editorial Intrusion :Here's two poems by Kyle Hemmings, from New Jersey in that big country off to the left of us. See the customary bio at the bottom for details. And while you're here, scroll down a little for recently added poems by Felino Soriano, Tyson Bley, Joe Marchia and England and Essex's own iDrew. I edit this page, so I could be accused of bias, but I think we've got a mighty gathering of contemporary poets and writers here. Bruce.

5 Things I Know About Linda K. Wu

She scrapes a living by sending via email
ads for erectile dysfuncton products.
Her last lover exploded inside her.
He died pop-happy. From that time on,
she imagines her vagina as a kind
of birthday balloon that floats
from party to party, heaven being
composed of wishes (one-third)
and two-thirds hot air.


Her real lover is the guy on tv
who solves every murder mystery
by a last minute stroke of random
genius. If he can find a way
to step out of the screen
and catch her from falling
ten stories of endless sky ennui,
it would be an act of true brilliance
her story being written into the script.


It's hard to keep a secret:
her mother is a doll
with one blinking eye.
And being the daughter
of a doll, she can only fake
orgasm. Eventually, all
her lovers die of winter suicides
in a river running past tea gardens.
She gets to keep their reflections,
the last laugh is on the living
who lie face up.


She would appear to them by the bridge.
At such a distance, she seemed a shroud,
a kind of vision. One by one, she married
each man, even gave them a child. In their
sleep, she whispered that her time was up.
A change of season. The husbands howled,
in time, became inconsolable wolves
with sheepskin fur.


She loves him for his tin can life
of brand name acquaintances, his poster boy poses
his mindless prattle on tv talk shows.
Each night she cuts herself a little deeper,
trying to bleed out, getting to the real Her,
who was once a child in some fairy mother's womb
blinded by amniotic visions of starry love.
Your Lover Is a Fembot Named Lucille Ball
Somehow she seemed more real
then my ex-girlfriends
who became pickpockets
of dust-memories,
collectors of lint
from old boyfriends
once thought of as lustful mites
regrettably discarded,
increasing in size & worth.

With Lucille, I didn’t exactly
initiate the sex.
She read me a submenu.
i knew she was Java enabled.
i said “Lucille, skip the basics.
Just jump to Sample and Vibrate.
i struck a resonant chord
between us.
We both had such dirty minds.

Kyle Hemmings lives in New Jersey. He has a new chapbook of poems from Punkin Press titled Fuzzy Logic and an e-chapbook titled Avenue C, from Scars Publications.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Felino A. Soriano


Approbations 779
—after Ray Drummond’s Ballade Poetique #2

Individualized twirls
            fathomed relegation
                        centered reconstruction
                        toward inclined fashions of preferential holdings.  Of
                                                                        saddened movement:
slouching disposition, heard by the stiffened bones of skeletal antiquation
                                                sifts of dusty integration an
olden memory disregarding pliable constructs
removing absence
            exterior ambulation
                                                collecting hearsay among intellectual findings,

Approbations 780
—after Matt Ray’s Think of One

                                                hand against struggling
comprehended soliloquy adage of compensation
                                    alone prophet tangible coincidence.  The
one of
                        distant remorse
warming contours
                                    delving silence’s unobstructed freedom

—combines collaborated angles, slants of pliable intuition
            forming abstract translations of transitory logic
                        holding into worth a delicate promise of renewed

Approbations 781
—after Armen Donelian’s Spree 

                                                            corporeal fascination               learned
                                    architectural thrusts of
fundamental openness, faith
combines then widened
                                                            prosperity, personalized motional
highlighting spontaneous fulcrums
amid the stagnant and
                                                foreseeable nonchalance.          Expand and
recluse: optional advancement frequent radius uncovered whole though
effort reclaims adrenaline’s private intuition.

Tyson Bley


Ad Busting

grammar bolus on my favorite billboard
at long last replaces energy drinks serving their own  
tentacular life-cycle
viral idea kills for sport
reprimanded, heavy-handed use of handsome chapel output
religion’s alien hand paints
cthulu waffling on
pet peeve jacked up on tourette’s
strange tear obsession driving rend
in best playstation move: umbrella boat runs aground
full of nutella’s motion blur resistance
chicken of the sea tuna head-butting simulated jogger
the street’s snake oil flog; culprit evacuation
logo options based on lifeguard art
drug dead slush pile in pylon grass
russian low-budget swedish massage hints at witchcraft
city-dwelling not around much
brontosaurus college humor: knifeblood’s fresh sharpies
avoid motorcade, resume in ambush’s restless bend
biometric army satire recession
dreamy surgery’s habitable awakening
king of the hill is about shaking your fibonacci sequence string bike chainsaw-less-shotgun-less-bra-less
options based on hungry hungry hippos

Film For Stool

the end of a couple of great loves
shut the rock up
several tetris b-pictures
mysteriously appeared in
the dark dusty backroom
in this muck that was
soprano mosaic

a jenga tower can’t pee around sneezing
but at least remains intact, unlike
some folks who disintegrate
into a mess of blocks
to restore the hovercraft rally
a sonic boom pools beneath the drifter
oil lamp, dig a scar without distraction

all my grandmother wanted
was an official permit to
become nice circuitry
and really, don’t worry about
spare time:
stick the tractor beam with staples
to the model aircraft

holidays are for toes, sneak peeks,
for reactions, the reaction satellite’s
halo-smudged outing,
past the stolen hair lineup,
a bit of learning on the side
i.e. bonnets shutter adultery;
lab-grown books from accidental skin

a couple of notes on dysentery:
changing your mind invariably
coincides with a sharp pain
a famicom disc system says it will
film it for stool
the dry wind likes dramatizing
for sahara above scorched mons
pubis wasteland

anything can happen to androgenic hair, 
tack your lost princess leia bikini
barnacle among the family
photos, that popsicle conglomerate,
monopoly of sightseeing which
got a little piece of the singularity
like a perfectly rendered mega man
on a glasscased chunk of berlin wall

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Joe Marchia: Three Poems


The Adam Bomb

and it was right to build beautiful things.
He said touching the rib

tender like a wound. They've built
the Adam

that crushed thousands of
ribs like yours

He said, sensually
stroking he said

Touch me tell
me I'm

a statistic.

Lonely Again In Autumn

Last autumn’s nostalgia hangs in the
air like the brisk wind of the season.
I want to live again like I did in that time.
Walk the same streets a year older;
revisiting old memories tied
to the senses. The sensational reverberation
of seeing an old friend with a
coy smile. The faint optimism
of a naive dreamer on my tongue.

Teeth to Bare

Coffee breathes in wisps that stain the
brown furniture and bookstore chain

seats. Me and you, opposite, talk
of the latest mad stories I can't

believe thats how it is now. You
are only in town now to tell me
stories because your eyes are

frozen over and sterile. You used
to be better than me at being

a human being, what happened
to empathy? Squeaky- chair with
bad posture sitting eyes fixed to

facial imperfections; a new twitch
you picked up with no charm like

a fish nailed to wood. Unlike your
old smile, no teeth to bare.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

iDrew: Three Poems


well i got a reply from this editor
asking how i do my name
i said
iDrew to co-ordinate with my titles
you know how we girls like
things to match

he replied
well miss iDrew
is a bit of a funny little word
as you like playing around with words

now i’m wondering
how the fuck does he know
i’m so not blessed
in that department
and why are men so obsessed

but i’m thinking of making up
a new word for titles
it will be at the top of the page
yet i’m betting most he editors
still won’t find it
not even with a diagram
on the cuntents page


with a tinsel halo
and a pair of little feather wings
butter wouldn’t melt
dressed in white
like a choir
we were singing naff pop songs
as loud as we could
snaking our way
along the high street
pretending we were dead good

lined up
on the guest list
we sounded like a latin prayer
mia donna christina
emma victoria alice emma
rachel drew hannah gemma
holly joanne holly may sophie

but after the club shut
we were that dun in on holy water
hannah had a gutter wee
down the side street by monsoon      
donna caught a whiff of the body shop
threw up on their doorstep
she almost passed out outside waterstones
sat on the pavement taking deep breaths
legs wide open
for no apparent reason
tossed a burger
at the window of jane norman
holly had dun her first pill
was electric and sparklin’ and buzzin’
all loved-up with everyone
one of the emma’s gave it large
about some flash buff bloke
fingered for a phone number
and a bottle of doubleewekaydee blue
alice reckoned she’d given some lad
a shuffle in his pants
slut rachel fessed she went
so much further
than that

becci’s hen night was well wicked
shame becci vanished with the stripper
wasn’t around to witness
christina flashing her tits at some fit copper

even though we’d forgotten
most of the words       
we was still singing robbie’s angels
with our voices ever so saintly and sweet
that angelic
are we


it’s not my pussy
if anything it’s a lion
even down to a little tiny
golden mane
it’s not my muff
or minge
and don’t call it a fanny
it’s not victorian
gash sounds like an injury
vagina is just
so text book medical
but there really is no need
to cradle it in a gusset
of fanciful euphemisms
my cunt is my cunt
beautiful and divine
glorious and heavenly 
and i so love my little cunt
for it gives me so much
pleasure and ecstasy

Writing under the name of iDrew to co-ordinate with her titles, Essex girl Drew has previously been published in various magazines such as: ‘The Delinquent’, ‘Battered Suitcase’, ‘All Things Girl’, and the ‘Read This Skin Deep Anthology’.  She enjoys shopping, boys and clubs but claims these are all merely research for her writing.   She is also one of the founding members of the Clueless Collective and can be found at:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Michael D. Grover


Confessions Of An american Outlaw #23

I realize where I am
Choices I've made
Artist over American
Poet over drone
It's not that I look down on them
I mourn the lost Poems
Eaten by that ugly monster of responsibility
Aborted, ripped out of their bodies
Kept in line by time
Watchdog time clock & security cameras
They killed the fucking Poems
They eat Poems
Breakfast, lunch, & dinner Poems
My father he wanted to be a Poet
Howled with Ginsberg in the sixties
Communist manifesto, & James Kavanagh
He asked me to hold them for him
He may need them back someday
Now they collect dust on my shelf
Because he had a family
Once I was gonna be a father
He screamed at me What are you doing
Because they sucked every Poem right out of him
Every Poem he would ever write
They took them armed in business suits
Hiding in boardrooms
They live off the anxiety of dead Poems
I do understand the choices I've made
& my present condition
I do understand I am not the first
& I wont be the last
To take a stand for what I am
Even if it might mean loosing everything
I do understand this is an eternal struggle
Playing out over and over
I do understand insanity is only
Getting beat down over and over
I forgive you
You can't help the psychosis that was given to you
You could not help the manipulation
Which was survival to you
You could not help it
But it's gone too far
I forgive you
Though you chose to run off with a needle
And my twenty bucks
Because you couldn't take the World
You were too beautiful for it
There were Poems inside you
That they killed like babies
But you couldn't take care of your own son
& I loved you because I saw Poems in you
I didn't realize they were dead Poems
& you were doin' that dance, that survival shuffle
I forgive you
Layin' in the bed
Sweaty in the summer
Reading about the beats all day
As outside
The sky grows dark & rumbles
Everyone is holy
But they won't be enlightened
They all have dead Poems inside of them
Everyone is drug down by the weight of now
& every moment they've lived before now
It accumulates on their backs
Like dead weight
& you can't even save yourself

For Politics

There are politics in everything
& nothing is fun anymore
Even where you live
This craft that you love
Even this Poem

Before we knew
It used to be fun
When we laughed & played
When we were children
No cares
Then we started to see it
Lurking behind everything
They took it all away
One thing at a time
Politics behind everything
Politics behind politics
& we wished we didn't know
Because it killed the World
Blatant, rubbing your nose in it
Crowd reacts like well trained dogs
It's all breaking down
None of these systems have ever worked
Breeding corruption
Where you work
Where you live
What's your party
If I could live without them
Mediocre & safe
All about money
People in positions of power
It's who you know

Politics has nothing
To do with art
With this Poem
Yet it still persist
Like a thorn in the foot

For Time

Think of what it's taken from you
Wasted days
Wasted nights
Wasted years
Wasted Poems
Poems that were aborted
Poems you scribbled down
Quick on break
Born in captivity
Time wasted
Time is money
It's not your time
It's their time
Clock & it's flat white face
Mechanical hands
Always movin'
Time is mechanical
Clock waits for you to punch in
Punch out
So you can rest & do it again
It's overwhelming

Now you've got
Too much on your hands
Too much idle time
& it seems you get
Nothing done
& you've got no resources
To do anything
If you wanted to
Movies in the library are free
You go every Wednesday
But you've watched so many
That it's hard find them anymore
Each week you come back with less
This week it's down to three
Clock watches you watch them
Flat black face
Red digital numbers
No arms or legs
Mechanically ticking away
Wasting away your life
It watches you as you sleep
Wake up
It knows what time it is
No alarms to go off
Only function time
& you barely look at it
Mechanically moving on
Springs forward
Falls back
Never sleeps or takes a break

Food Stamp Day

I get a little crazy on food stamp day
When yesterday I was hungrier than I remember
When the employment rate doesn't look better
When the news still tries to feed you optimism
When your bank account is way in the red
When you get so poor there's nothing to do
When you've always got friends no matter what you do
When you took them with you today tonight you all eat good

I get a little crazy on food stamp day
Spent about half of it on luxury stuff
Perhaps that's why you'll be starving by the end of the month
Tonight you're gonna eat like the president does
& that's all that matters right now
There are pistachios, & cashews
Humus, pita chips carrot juice
Veggie burgers, & veggies
Pierogies, garlic, & sour cream
Waffles, butter, & syrup
Chocolate chunk cookies

I get a little crazy on food stamp day
& become a shopaholic
I shop till I drop
Heart & mind race down kroger isles
& the body follows
& I'm sure by next month I'll be hungry
Because I get a little crazy on food stamp day

Michael D. Grover is a Florida born poet. As a wanderer he's traveled and lived all over the country. He currently lives in Toledo, Ohio.
His poetry has been published all over the literary underground. Michael currently is a resident artist at
the Collingwood Art Center in Toledo. He hosts a monthly reading with John Dorsey at a local coffee shop.
He runs the Covert Press. His newest chapbook is titled "Confessions Of An american Outlaw". Michael is the current head poetry editor at

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hands Off, Ye Ten Percenters

Readers of BEATNIK might be interested to see this post at the Allen Ginsberg blog about a new, and I feel obliged to say, utterly stupid project by a "comedy" blogger in which On The Road is paraphrased into allegedly modern, and allegedly funny (actually it's rather racist), street talk. Kerouac's own image accompanies it with a sideways baseball cap photoshopped onto his head. Seems a ludicrously inappropriate and insulting thing to do to a serious writer, especially one who drank himself to death in part because of the mockery his life's work was subjected to after the release of On The Road. Peter Hale at the Ginsberg blog thinks it's funny, but I'm inclined to believe the folks at the Ginsberg Estate would.

What next, Gregory Corso in an advert for McDonald's?

Gerry Nicosia has been right from the start, y'all.