Spill yer guts.

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Tim Raven
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:40 pm

Duane – thanks for the support, especially your post.

Love’s Truck Stop

It reminds me of a Tom Waits song
I can just about get my mind around it, and then I read it again
and all I can say for sure is that
It really SOUNDS cool.
And I want to be inside that poem.
my two cents.

Tim Raven

Tim Raven
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:52 pm

Keeney, I'm a sucker for a sports drama. I think I was four, my parents were at a party down the block, and I was watching afternoon TV in 1968.
It was a black and white Boxing drama movie and I cried like a motherfucker at the end because no one was watching me....
Boxing movies get me that way.
And sports movies, to a lesser degree. I think The Natural was almost perfect.
Your story was cool and manic, I love that kind of tension...with the feel of something futuristic.
Yeah, I wanna drink some beers with you.


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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:56 pm

Diane, you posted a poem in the Pav quite a few months ago. Could you re-post that work again in here?
I'd like to read it again.


Tim Raven
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:01 pm

PAUL - my many, many apologies for messing up your name.
It is inexcusable.
such an unintentionable mistake. I meant no insult, Chief.
Paul, how can I make that up to you?


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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:02 pm

I've re-written the last one....

Hearts of Oak

Scholars have told me
that the heart is a muscle
experience tells me
that heart is a vessel
both craft and container
and embracer of souls

So gather your guests
both family and friends
and hold them deep
and safe
your loving

Tim Raven

In memory of Huck Barkin

Tim Raven
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:04 pm

I Don’t Like This Hotel

I sit on the pot
and my balls kiss the water


that’s right, I now sit down to piss
in private
I drink a lot of beers
behind these closed doors.

With repetition
you’ll find that the shortest
path between
quiet and death happen
while you are alone
balls hanging
in the still cold water.

Tim Raven

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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:18 pm

An Ode to a local watering hole here in Burbank:

The Blue Room

listless coumadin powders
arouse temple lads into flight
temporal groans were emitting
from those terrible flashes of light

A penny for your thoughts
Ms. Saundra
this hour is slathered and tight
with wooly and bully and
such creative fucking
down abandoned alleys
down abandoned alleys

It was a real cluster fuck, man
And then the fuck was immediately re-clustered
I wonder if these dogs go through menopause?
it’s a parade of defecation
that pussy was way too tight

Tim Raven

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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:36 am

Some things are better left unsaid.

diane bartels
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby diane bartels » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:37 pm

Tim, re the two poems I have put on here, one is Chinatown Breezes, which I have copies of and can repost if you like. The other one I wrote one night for here, (and yes Mr. Wyatt, here comes the good news), there is no other copy of that un anywhere in the known or unknown universe. My best guess is 2 or 3 months ago. I shall search the archives and see if I can discover it. Just not right now. Tired.

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Chuck Messer
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Chuck Messer » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:41 pm

I like this here thread. So far, my favorites have been Tim's "Hearts of Oak", Keeney's Ginsbergian piece "Stroking the Needle"
and Diane's "Rain in Spain".

Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

Tim Raven
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Tim Raven » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:16 pm

Chinatown Breezes.
Diane, that was the one. If you could repost that one here, it would make me very happy!

However, you intrigued me with the other mystery poem. Hell, I say lets read 'em both...

Frank, if you are going to make subtle editorial comments, then you need to have some skin in this game. Post somthing heartfelt that's not a political repost.
I suggest:
1. Reveal something personal that you would never reveal in day to day conversation.
2. Something that you are passionate about. Tell us a secret, my friend. Do it, it's like good sex.


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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby Moderator » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:26 am

Frank -
Tim is correct. No offhandedly, snarky editorials here. Get in the spirit.

Everyone: I'm giving this thread the special dispensation I give the Depression thread. No snark, no nastiness. Stick to the subject. Some really good stuff being posted.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

diane bartels
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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby diane bartels » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:44 pm

Thanks Chuck and Tim for liking my poems. Thanks Steve for the respect given this thread. There is another poem of mine where the only copy is here. I have to dig for it, when I find it, I will repost.

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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby paul » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:04 pm

Evil~ Barber is right. I started with Prilosec, and I do Omeprazole now, but I've found most any generic time-release that ends in "-prazole" keeps the burn away. The only trick is, once you start, you really can't stop. It comes back with a five-fold vengeance if you stop. A guy at work took it for years, quit for a week and was in a Torquemada level of pain. Just sayin'. The doc did the blood test on me and said, just take the pills, you'll be fine. My 2cent.

Rick~ I very much like your poem. That says a little, because I am a picky sonuvabitch. This bit right here, this sent a shiver through me:

"Stolen, too small uniforms,
denoting rank more than
Black socks
dead around ankles thicker than trees.
Bare arms
like toddlers
sleeved too tight,
biceps in raw cotton,
clamped like tourniquets.
And faces
painted faces
tattooed faces
anything to render them
still within the rules.

The indecipherable rules."

That's a great rhythmical image. I have no idea whatsoever what game (assuming it is a game) you are alluding to, and it doesn't matter. Good Art does that, makes us not care so much what it is, but more so what it is. If that makes sense. Keep on.

Diane~ Please do, find and post. The varying voices are good for us.

Frank~ I know you mean no harm, and poetry may not be your forte, but I bet you can whip up a pretty good Haiku, yeah?

Lori~ Do you write poetry on a regular basis, or do you find it comes more when you need that cathartic release? I've noticed that in my younger, bleaker times, the poems came together as if they wanted, needed to. But the times I forced myself to write when falling in that sucking black abyss... after coming out the other side and rereading it, I hated it. Felt too forced. Juvenile. I'm just curious.

Tim~ No worries, farts occur. Thoughts to follow.

You know, for all the years I've been writing poetry, and been online, I have refused to get involved in poetry threads on boards. Partly because I don't have time to check and recheck who posted what, what so-n-so said about me, how much encouragement or criticism I can give, but mostly because there are so many, millions of people I don't know, whose opinions and critique I don't have the patience or inclination to wade through. I think that's why this appeals to me here and now. Not that I know you guys per se, but this is one of the few boards I read constantly, and I know and feel the tenor, the vibe, of the posters. Thousands of people all vying for attention on a worldwide BB, trying to be cute and clever little wordsmiths, who think of a great ending line then Socratically backfill till they have a poem- that's not writing. Here, a place of readers and writers, who write and read, attention is paid a bit more. For the most part. :) This is a place I don't mind sharing, talking.
Well that's it for that, then.
So, influences. Tim, you called Buk, and he is definitely one of my favorites. Pure. Thanks for the Tom Waits nod, I'd like to be that good. He is in my top ten musicians of all time. Interestingly, when I used to sing with the band, and nowadays for Karaoke, I have heard people say I sound like a mix of Tom Waits.... and a chain-saw. :?

Incidentally, Tim, did you purposefully write my title, then line-structure your accolade to coincide with the symmetry of my poem? Like literary feedback? 'Cause that's pretty damn clever if you did. Nice.

Off the top of my head, without too much thought, some folks I like are W.S.Burroughs, Buk, Poe, T.S.Eliot, Coleridge, Sparrow, Marge Piercy, Kathy Acker, Hal Sirowitz, Sappho, Mirabai, William Blake, Pablo Neruda, April Bernard, Shel Silverstien, Lewis Carroll, M. Doughty, Kathy Ebel, e.e. cummings, Edwin Gorey, Wanda Phipps. I'm sure there are more. W.C. Williams. You could toss song lyric writers in there, then we'd be here 'til Michaelmas. I've a file of random poems I find and pop them in there, I'll need to find that. I'll find something, then get on Facebook and tell people about it, prefacing it with, "Why don't you people TELL ME this stuff is out there?! I can't do it all on my own."

Tim, amigo, my dos centavos:

Canny Beast~ I'm sorry your relationship is over, but yeah, that's fuel. I read the word 'incarceration' as a double metaphor, for jail, for love. The wrong kind of both. To be honest (as I hope we all should be cool with here) it sounds more like a writer in their 20's, not quite grown up yet, gloating at being able to see things 'no one else can see'. As a result, it's a nice juxtaposition from the opening line "As I get older...". Here he is, older, and feeling the same fire, anger and betrayal as he did when younger. An interesting mix.

The Consequences of Sleep~ IMO this falls in a category that I don't know what to call it. I have a few myself, where it's not just a prose poem, but pure prose that feels more like a poem than an actual story. I read some of these at open mic nites, and often they're a Rorschach for discussion later. Personally, I think the kid was having you on. He knew that horse would bolt. Pan is a little heartbreaker.

Breaking the Law~ I really like this, but for personal reasons. I was born and raised in Maryland, and I'm all about the Inner Harbor. Up and down the coast. Delaware, Virginia Beach. Crabbing, shrimping. Down here in TX it's gulf shrimp and crawfish, but I love it all. Your poem evokes those memories of doing that work, getting pinched, getting tail-stung. Bittersweet, but pleasurable.

One Trumpet~ I used to like to say of my poems, "Sometimes I can't go a metre before my iambic feet stumble." It wasn't clever then or now. But somehow, oddly, seems to fit. A sweet tribute.

My Thought~ That's pretty tight. I still can't make sense out of certain feelings. 1) I'm not sure if I like it or not. 2) If it's good enough to make me unsure about my feelings, I like that. 3) Does that mean that I actually do like it? 'Cause, I'm not sure if I like it...... ad infinitum. Good job.

10 Stories High~ I like the first stanza a lot, not so much the second. But what do I know?

Outrage~ Ten stars, I love this shit! This is my kind of work, brother. Relatable on every level, the mirrored anger and frustration retooled to make the reader pissed off at you, then realize that they're exactly the same dick they hate you for acting like. That's my sentence and I'm sticking to it. Really great one, man.

Hearts of Oak~ Very Most Eloquent. This is the real deal. Tight. Also "and" sounds better than "an". Good call.

I Don’t Like This Hotel~ Pretty funny, in that sad way old men try to force themselves to not comprehend. We all have a check-out time, all right, and sometimes we forget stuff in the room.

The Blue Room~ One of those 'inside' poems. Not that the reader needs to know the what and the where of your poem, but just the obvious sense that the reader is missing something in the writing that you feel is important, because we're not privy to why you wrote it.

I'm not saying we need always know where they come from, but a reason I like Harlan's work is because he will occasionally discuss process, and I like watching the DVD extras to get the behind the scenes scoop.

Here's a couple I thought of posting while thinking about Tim's.


Ledge precipice heightens awareness
numb senses killing the reflexes
face-down righteous concrete baptized
I was in that head and I saw it hit.
Watched my best friend go that way
swan dive song
good-bye floor fifty-seven
hello- end.
So, where’s the story of your life?
Nothing left to tell that way.
And I wonder
looking down from the top,
if I fall, how long does
it take for me to stop?
I was just curious.

I find it hard to hold a hand that isn’t there.
I like to get fucked up and pretend that I don’t care.
I like to climb so very high and get real scared
and wonder what’s the best way to get down.
And I wonder
if I could sum it all up,
if I knew all the answers
at one hundred miles an hour,
what would god think when I stopped?
I was just curious.
It hasn’t killed me yet.

(my Bukowski tribute)

Buk, Missing

Chinaski knew it.

Prophet? He’d have laughed and
fucked your sister.

He knew the rat-trap evils of this convalescent world.
His highness and the lowness,
the shit-storms and the firestorms and the
storm drains clogged with ragtag fakirs and
miserable sops to whom god won’t give a break.

Hustle the buck and it’s good
when it works out.
What more can a man ask for?
A good woman? Check.
A roof for the night? Check.
A beer and a pint to ease
the dumpster diving demons
tearing at your cerebellum? Check.
Dignity? Pending. Check.

Ink is in the pen, pussy is in the bed, beer is
in the fridge and the suffering gremlins pry
the last honest boards loose from the
moorings of my mind, poor bastards.

Sometimes I am given to flights of fancy.
I apologize.
Sometimes it’s the easiest way to write.

Gonna sleep now. Thought it would be
a good idea, don’t you?

P.H. 4/2011

Grave of the Unknown

Walking into the graveyard, a close set pair of thorny, hard-branched shrub-like foliage crossed limbs to insure a resentful angry-welted skin scraped welcome- ‘I wouldn’t go in there if I were you.’ As though they know something we don’t. Which they do. Go ahead, try to photosynthesize sometime, see how far you get.

Lately I had taken to walking the graves. The streetlights filtered weakly and hazy through the trees, the humidity turning the air typically gothic. Walking, smoking, drinking wine, enjoying the living pleasures on the land of the dead, where they cannot. The questions that came to mind, philosophizing over the erosion of memory, this being the most perfect of a sad and apathetic example in microcosm. Plastic flowers on old dirt. Guy tombstones and gal tombstones. The husbands’ is larger than the wifes’. You’d think that in death they’d finally be equal. Tall monuments and waist-high jobs easy to vandalize. The childrens’ have a particular frailty to them, wrenched from their home and and shattered like the ten commandments upon the mothers’ stone.

A ghoul sat up and put his hand on my foot. “Who are you that you should be here? This is our home. Who said you were welcome?”

Somewhat taken aback, I said, “I am what you were and you are what I shall be. Sometimes I like to see the homes I may someday reside in. One day, my friend, we may be neighbors. Can you not be civil, even now?”

“Humph.” It lay back down huffily, like a sound sleeper aroused from a good dream. “The living are all impetuous.”


The Final Word

Sometimes the words come easy,
sometimes they come so hard,
sometimes they come not at all,
and I’m only left with what I feel.
I fucking love you.

PH10/ 30/ 03


Tried to have the face you wanted, but
the pumpkin starts to rot once it’s been cut.
A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
no one said it was meant to last.
Alarms are sounding for no apparent reason
doesn’t make the danger any less real; hide.
Though I thought I loved,
that is so far above me now
I’ve made my vow, and I refuse to feel.

PH1992 for Sharon's Spousal Abuse Gallery in Martinsburg, WV
The medium is the message.

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Re: Spill yer guts.

Postby paul » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:14 pm

I thought these were editable? Maybe I was hallucinating.
1) It was supposed to read Also "and" sounds better than "an". Good call.

2) No complaints to Rick and the lovely site, but I do wish the line-breaks and all the small typeset adjustments came through here, not just everything slammed to the left. I like a deckle edge, but I use tabs and spaces that feel, to me, to lend a better emotional reading. Different, of course, if I am reading it aloud, and a minor carp to be sure. Just saying. S'all good.
The medium is the message.

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