These are the poems from ArtCrimes 06
editor publisher Smith
November 1988
44 poems - 26 poets

Life In A Peaceful New World

editor's note

I would like to thank my father for doing the front cover
and my mother for doing the back cover
and both of them for doing me.

excerpt from a Nicanor Parra poem

En poesia se permite todo.
A condicion expressa
         por cierto
De superar la pagina blanco.

"In poetry everything is permitted. / With only this condition,
of course: / You have to improve on the blank page."

Street Cat
by Amy Bracken Sparks
from The Falling Woman Poems

Psyche scrapes her belly
over a cyclone fence,
her one bad eye a field
without stars, gaseous sky
still over the mills,
impossibly hideous
like infinity.

She molds herself to the door,
rat tail so frozen if bent
would simply break off.
Primed on open tin cans,
her claws, her teeth
ready for mangy dogs.
My arms are shredded
from all the times
I broke her embrace.

Ugly princess saved by
no god, she fell,
her crushed spine a line
of tiny boxcars slammed
together without warning.

What's Real
by John M. Bennett

Since the roof's shingled with
sinks I oughta keep my thinkings
clean. But the drains don't work and the
runoff rains through the house
whenever you crosses my mind. So I
sleep under a table and store my
soup, hoping for drought or the
weather in cans

by Dale Vidmar

Constantly finding a ball
or a rake

an old shovel all rusty
from moisture seeped

through the roof
a pushmower

which once filled summer
with scents of fresh clipped grass

and a worn pair of garden gloves
almost buried beneath

a small pile of leaves
long since dead and windswept

into a corner while
cobwebs ply their strength against

the red rollerskates
Sissy used to wear

on Saturday afternoons
at the playground

Ring of Bird
by Ralph La Charity

large   noisy   showy  &  crested
rapt & rapid rap am
mind frisk that jazz is am
take me   (get thee)

   to where the sleaze
                                has dimension
                                                      & is noble:

                     Am the Cockatoo

paddy & tarpaper
tin can ripe right
betwixt Mind's firm thighs for days am ...

         Living Citizen Word Force Frisking Back am

Fahrenheit factotum fare-thee-well d'Harpsichord

             Zamboanga           Probolinggo
          the Sunda Strait & the Banda Sea

   Cafe Krakatoa
                                               kapahulu kakayua

by John M. Bennett

Sunk knee deep in the floor I
felt the wall pulled my hair. What
was it, me? The rugs splashed up and my
undies wet. I gotta cross the room like
wading through a toilet and what're the
stairs, a waterfall? Is everything
in the kitchen boiled?

by Joyce Porcelli

How did I ever get stuck in this pit of ooze...
Too old to quickly leap from it as it suffocates me...
the few gasps of air that I manage to take quickly evaporate..
the sun that filters in takes its hasty leave before I've
even had a chance to feel any warm glow...
this ooze pulled me back in....
it's not my nature to be part of ooze...
meeting up with nice guys that are afraid to be nice guys...
how unendingly sad for them...for me. Nice has become a dirty word;
unbefitting in a real hero of the late 20th century on the
planet earth....

If the ooze would saturate my brain,
then these moments of insidious cognition would be wiped away,
and reflection would be a thing of the past.

She Was
by Kevin Williams

   She was
   trying to
      a life
  that would
 make sense
   of things
  she found
in gift shops

We Know
by Jo Smith

We know what to do
We work and play
We have fun
We look fine

March of the Toads
by Ron Haybron

The toad people march today
They're coming to cart you away
They'll have guns and spears
And all wear bandoleers
The toad people march today

The toad people march today
The toad-king has sent them to say
"Give up anthropoids!"
In so many woids
The toad people march today

They're coming all warty and brown
They'll pull your pajamas right down
And give twenty licks
With a couple of kicks
To pound you right into the ground

The toad people march today
They're seeking a human to flay
A few pounds of skin
But a hint of a grin
Will prove it was all just in play

The toad people march tonight
They're looking for riot and fight
They'll cut off your toes
And most of your nose
And tweak your ear with all their might

The toad people are sick and tired
Of lawnmowers that cut up their yard
They lose hands and feet
Small fragments of seat
And living without them is hard

It's too late to run from the toad
They've captured the highway and road
You can't flee in your car
You won't get very far
When you turn on the key you'll explode

by Ron Haybron

I irrigate my colon
Brush off all my clothes
My mind is full of nasty thoughts
I never fool with those

Cannibal Saliva
by Steven B. Smith

Marijuana and Mozart on a Sunday morne,
plethora of complacencies
of tongue, beard, bush.

Poets fall down.

by Luigi-Bob Drake

                        THEY GET JEALOUS.





by Melissa J. Craig

Holyday special

Look super shine in this holydays
bay a super cut blow dry sperm
at this incredible super price for
only $25.00 in all

Have beautiful holydays
Have man

Have marry
Bring this cupon
Feliz Daddy o o o

let go
by Crow

"let go"
then she was able to cry
laugh and
and often lighthearted
she said. "this
felt secure".
she realized that sex
she became bruised,
she was free
frigidity melted.
in the fourth
passionate person
a sufficient
first section
point. his
was not able,
ship, basic
committment is
turning point
finally offered
yet never reach
the first few months.

Marriage Proposal
by Steven B. Smith

December of 68 I was lying on LSD on my bed downtown Baltimore.
Walls, floor, ceiling, doors all painted flat black.
Metallic mobiles and assorted assemblages hung from the ceiling
turning at will in low green and blue light.
My future wife walked in and sat so she could see me in the mirror.
So and so just got married she said.
That's nice.
Watch her reflection watching me.
So and somebody else also married.
More silence.
Watch her reflection evaluate my reflection's reflection.
Even through the LSD I could see she wasn't talking what she was saying
so asked.
I just want to know what's going to happen she screams
stalking into the living room.
I lie there amid my hallucinations and resentfully realize
I'm too weak not to marry her.
Another's strong needs always overrode my indifferent apprenticeship.
20 minutes later she skulks back to the bedroom.
OK I snap.
OK what? she snaps back.
We'll get married.
Six months I finalize
feeling sure the artist within will wither once reduced to marriage,
suburban boxes, the upperclass hypocrisy rampant in her family and friends.
We had a rich wedding in a high Episcopal-cum-Catholic cathedral.
Reception held of course at the country club.
None of my freak friends came.
The day of the wedding
I put all the trash left from moving in the middle of the floor
smoked the last of my grass
took off all my clothes
and slowly danced naked about the trash
sprinkling it with my box of monosodium glutamate
and chanting unknown chants of sorrow.

A Reading Poet
by Christopher Franke

A real bad bard--
concurrent with
a movie of:
pimps, whores, and dope--
I've been a fool in school,
a poet to pupils,
for money
and a plastic lunch,
& under a 'prohibition'
as though Pope said,
'Drink deep but not the dregs.'
And I have read
at a college or two,
for no credit.
--Not that I'm read.

Not that I'm read!--
I've read my work
to the accolades
of jukeboxes
in bars; and behind bars,
in work houses,
like speech
were a breach
of security:
I've been
non in-
mate non grata.

I've read to the crazy
and had them laugh
where they shouldn't 'of'.
I've read to the sic
and made them snicker.
Putting them out
of their misery,
to the bored,
I've read reams.
I've read to the ignorant
and been ignored.

I've read my poems
in a parking lot . .
to attending cars;
and gone
to a junkyard or two.
I have been at
the water's edge,
the bridge's moving
over head;
and I have driven
the aged
off their rockers;
and put in a tizzy
a poet or two.

I've read
in libraries,
to clutches of poets,
and community centers, too;
in vain in churches,
in bookstores, and in justice centers,
to music, and dissent! At Workshops,
I have found poems
quivering before Occum,
or in vises caught.
Like notches on a handle,
they spoke of the drafts
through which poems
had passed.
Against their versions,
I progress.
To 'curb the doggerel',
I've hit the road . .
and read on the street.
I have read to concrete & glass;
I've read to blossoms & to grass.

And then in coffee houses,
I've read to chess and talk,
above the mechanizations
pf Cappuccino and Expresso;
and, also, I've read my poems
to bursting rooms
to demimonde
and demitasse
and to the volumes
on their shelves . .
at home.

Untitled 1
by Lila Voss

It felt so good to be finally
She was right where she should be.
Life was what it was
And rightly so.

The days rose and fell
Rich, complete.

She began noticing
Just how many
Little red trucks were
On the road.

Thumbnail Sketches
by Patricia Fallon

Thumbnail sketches
"Going no place"
Is this Art free?
Can Art be pro rated like teaching?
Beauty is in the cuticle

The Gift - Pt 1
by Steve Garee

Over and under the freeway noise I heard her plastic
heels draw closer. I'd observed a white Cadillac drop her off
minutes before, the street being deserted since. Had watched her
stand in that well worn streetwalker fashion, half in half out of
a closed storefront. Clutching a seedy brown paper bag to my
breast I glanced up and down the Cincinnati street looking for
non-existent rides trying to imagine what line she could recite
for this particular situation. Deciding since a business
proposition was to take place (unless I did something as fatuous
as running along Linwood Avenue in the opposite direction) I
should browse the wares for sale.

Turning to look at her I adjusted my eyes from the
dirty gray of the freeway to the clash of her black skin and
saffron chemise. Quickening her pace to almost a trot she
approached me smiling, apparently proud of her gold tooth. My
heart skipped a beat and then began to pump faster; as if a car
had pulled over to the heed of my call and I was taking that
initial long stride, changing in my hands the bag for balance.
The backwash from the freeway traffic twirled her shift and
indiscriminately pushed debris around at our feet as I waited
for her to speak. She looked into my eyes for a minute before
rumaging in her small black vinyl purse. Pulling out a twenty
and thrusting it towards me as she said,
"Here sugar, take a cab."
I stared at the money speechless and penniless for a five count
before I stammered,
"That won't help much, you see I'm uh, going to Cleveland."
"Cleveland, shit honey you must be crazy!'
Returning the money to her purse she spun laughing and bopped
back to the storefronts.

Idea For A Play About A Young Man Who Carries Baggage
From A Terminal Gate To An Airplane
by Bruce Checefski

The play takes place at the commuter area of a major metro
politan airport. The woman accepting airline reservations
is of the same race as the young man carrying baggage.
(i.e. mother figure) Play takes place through two seasons:
winter and summer.

room setting: chairs with televisions attached
additional characters: mother/son
set: coffee, vending machines coffee, polyester clothing

young woman: reading USA newspaper
young gay man: sunglasses, leather pants, smoking a cigarette.
                       eats a hot dog during the play. Moves from
                       center right position to putting luggage near
                       gate, to hotdog stand, to cigarette machine.....

casual man of Puerto Rican race
Business Man
Writer from the mid-west.

Most of the dialogue occurs between the two black characters at
the terminal

Play begins with the mother/son relationship, ends with others
boarding the plane.

Mid-west character, writer: heavy corduroy jacket with jeans and
              black shoes. Stops to read the New York Times to ensure
              that he will not be seduced by New York. reads about
              murders, death, & AIDS. At one point the AIDS text is very
              visible to the audience. All the  while he is sitting
              in the terminal feeling like he's been imprisoned by the
              drab looking walls, cinder block, yellow. He's impatient
              because he is on his way to Philadelphia to repossess
              his car which was stolen 6 weeks previous. But, at
              the same time he recognizes his uniqueness and sees that
              the world is unfolding before his eyes for him. It
              belongs to him. These characters are here at precisely
              the time he needs them to be, he sees them, he sees
              himself in each of them. He imagines himself being each
              person he meets, even the ones he reads about in the
              paper. He sees himself laid out at a GAY Liberation
              funeral for having died of AIDS, he sees himself shot
              down in the streets of Greenwich Village. Even while
              reading about the 'puzza' murders he imagines him-
              self as the victim. At one point while reading about
              a young man who was being held in a state prison for
              drug trafficking, and while seeing (his) picture in
              the newspaper, sitting on a horse (picture slide) he
              imagines himself in that situation; being imprisoned
              while reading about a Soviet Jew who was being held for
              political reasons he imagines himself as that Jew in
              that prison (slide from newspaper)
              He sees each as a hero.

man sitting at Terminal reading a newspaper.

Lights go out. Walk to the front stage explaining
what the character sees himself as. Slides in background.

Lights go out.

Man sitting at Terminal reading a newspaper.


Late Medieval Saint
by Charlotte Pressler

He was a late medieval saint, and in the dream I was talking
with him. He did most of the talking, of course. Saints tend
to be like that.

"When I was becoming a saint," he said, I was either very
good or very wicked, angelically pure or utterly bestial.
The reason for this was that my desire to please men and women
had utterly disappeared; I only desired to please God. And
since I no longer cared for the estimation of men, but only
for my friendship with God, I did not withhold myself from
any thought or deed which I might imagine unless the grace of
God interposed and forbade it. And since I had not always
that perfect sanctifying grace, for it was God's pleasure to
sometimes withhold it, that grace did not always stay my hand,
and in its absence I not only imagined but willed and committed
the most frightful abominations....."

Untitled 2
by Liala Voss

Bulldozing down the highway,
In a deadly race with Time
Toward the Future,
The night air blasts through the window
And roars in my brain.
I want the wind to be a bullet
That leaves amnesia in its clean cut groove,
While my body attempts to
Regurgitate the Past.

The Gift - Pt 2
by Steve Garee

I've told this story before and the question always
arises, 'Why didn't you take the money?' I never have an answer
but I'll now attempt to give one. In the split second after she
offered the money to me it ceased in my mind to be twenty
dollars. Oh it still could have been money, but it also could
have been a Dresden china doll or a ticket to a Red's game. What
it was, it was a gift. The gesture smacked of humanity, of
fraternity, and I didn't know how to accept it. This had nothing
to do with that beware of strangers bearing gifts crap, I just
could not understand why she would consider giving a gift to a
honky stranger. I honestly doubt she's done anything similar
before or since, and I wish I could ask her why. Why the gift?

poet's gift
by Jo Smith

was stickynew
was hotdamp
was trueclean

demanded to surface
began to emerge...

was siezedquick
was formedsolid
was coatedsmooth

wore thick hard layers
of incomprehensible

was presented modestly
to those with broken teeth
while those who bear siblings
slice the shell with knowing minds

taste the sweet stickynew
touch the hotdamp
swallow the trueclean

Monism Monitor
by Robert Garnack

The spokes are spun
in a liquid generation
and it finds a heart beat.
Craters on a swift wind
whistling the waste of time
that my empty mind will eat.
I dropped my speculations in a night deposit
to retrieve nomadic dreams
Cracked a mad shaft falling asleep
The frenzy blue sky screams.
In an open grassland the clouds pass
as their shadows cross my thoughts
I close my eyes to erase the day
and the pressure from the dots.
The blood flows to find another day
In a live spirit
I've got to go my way.

Untitled 3
by Lila Voss

Walking in the rain with the dogs
Wet hair
Raincoat and hood,
I feel that old self curl around me:
A favorite shirt,
So comfortable, but
A little too small.

any invert
by Joffre Stewart

any invert
for Security
rapes Freedom
court martials Equality
batters Nonviolence
pollutes routinely

while it aborts choice
with IRS rip-offs
for a racist, nuclear ISRAEL
of Ruling Class

Pasta Less Filling Than Romance
by Jim Lang

hr words
formed solids
to tap against
like a forehead

as i left rectilinear
they elongated
and accomodated
th absence
alone and seen

hr sculpture
rose up
under hr
an enormous vehicle

hr last wave
travelled yards & yards
in th heat
from th surfaces
moved my appearance
up & down & up
like the sun long
after the set

Writings On The Wall
by Les Black

50 For A Day
I Love You
Hump Hump

by Dale Vidmar


Time Piece
by Dale Vidmar

The tick
in pockets of businessmen

Wall streeters
figures of
loss and gain
loss and gain

world marches
up and down
to the sound
buy and sell
buy and sell

hands mark
the now
loss and gain
buy and sell
then . . .

the double play
by Jim Lang

the double play
is numerologic
5 to 4 to 3
something golden
in th hypotenuse
of a glare/
round th leading
past th pitcher's
th hitter and
his rbi
forced out/
only the homer
is unambiguous -
let yr selfs in

hey mister
by Steve E Gloom  aka   Steve Melton

day after night
after day a
dim bulb dangles
from frayed cord,
the mind and body's
         slow decay
         Hey Mister!

         eye doodah fun
         key cheekun
         wit my sister
         Psyche Lulu.

         she just coocoo
         for cocoa puffs...

Waking alone
Pull back the shade

cambodia in cleveland
by Steve E Gloom  aka   Steve Melton

the hallway's always gray
gray sunset on west 84th

yellow babies
running and screaming
down the gray hallways
of cambodia in cleveland.

dusk mothers play
unintentional, oriental charades,
planting rice paddies
in ohio mud,
a backyard refugee garden,

no speak English.

for you
by Steve E Gloom  aka   Steve Melton

my thicklegged microwavable wife,
i will wear a king louie bowling shirt
for you.

by Luigi-Bob Drake

you get up in the morning, drive to work,
come home, watch tv, go to bed.

you get up, drive thru yr life,
to work, to come home, to forget about it.

get up, go work, drive
home forget. you forget
up, try to get
to work, forget to come home.

you can't get it up, are driven to work,
come home to find that a wife you'd forgotten
ranaway to iowa with a shoesalesman, you don't remember
that she took the tv.

my words
by Steve E Gloom  aka   Steve Melton

my words are




what are yours?

by Daniel Thompson

Out of the body politic dying
Nights without bread
Led to the carnival knowledge of color
At the nip and tuck of the budding revolt
In naked beard and scandalous sandles
I was overcome by the shallow, wee town
And contrary minds of the city sprawl
My mustardseed faith moved the mountain on me
And the flowers crushed on the sidewalks of time
Were my seedy bedparnters in crime
Rocks from the cradle and the billy club rub
Were wisdom cracking the star-spangled fang
After the dogbite the rabbis returned
With plastic priests and pasturized milk
So I wrapped God's news in an old fish story
...and man swung from ape's umbilical cord
Till guilt edged the serpent under the heel...
Bruised legacy and the bootstrap snapped
When all the innominate, hump-the-dump bones
Were grinding the stones and sticks to fire
While I Adamed an apple off the knowledge tree
And turning the other tongue in cheek
Slicked my good hair in her downhome desire
Then shifting to high gear in the wilderness streets
Where pot and panic handlers begged to differ
Of necessity tripping fantastic light
I turned on the system, the dark riders circling
Brother, can you spare a victim?
And moved on as thin as a praying mantis
...alive again; deadly as sin...
On the nit of my grit and the grin of my skin

Love Poem
by Daniel Thompson

Or do
What you will
My love
I'll be your
Sheet your pillow
Your arms against
The night
Have faith
My hands
Will lie untroubled
Out of sight
Or wakened
Rub our blind love
To double sighs
Of light

The Rich Get Richer
by Steven B. Smith



The rich get Richard Nixon

the advantages of atomic weapons over cyclon-b
by Luigi-Bob Drake

they're faster
more efficient,
cost effective,
and you don't have to look at the faces.

Junkie Luv
by Steven B. Smith

My eyes slither open, shut
In golum time my tongue
Rasps brown lizards
As I hiss my want of you
In careful solitude
O my preciousss

Sleep whispers soft leavings
On my lids my head nods
Nods my precious
These fingers numb in spite
The clash of needle
And the floor


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