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Electric Windmill Issue No. 006 - Electric Windmill Press

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Copyright © 2013Electric Windmill PressAll rights reserved. Except for brief passages quoted in acritical article or review, no part of this publication may bereproduced in any manner without the prior writtenpermission of the publisher and respective author.Published and Distributed by:ELECTRIC WINDMILL PRESSBrian Le Lay/Jess DykstraPO BOX 230881Boston, MA 02123editorialstaff [at] electricwindmillpress [dot] comwww.electricwindmillpress.comCover Artwork: “The Keyhole”10” x 12” acrylic painting by Jess DykstraElectric Windmill No. 006Printed in the United States of America


ElectricWindmillMarch 2013Issue No. 006


Call for SubmissionsWe are currently accepting submissions for Issue #7,which will be published in May/June 2013.Electric Windmill accepts submissions on a rolling basis forpublication as a front-page feature on our website or for inclusion inour bi-monthly issues. You may review our recently updatedguidelines here: www.electricwindmillpress.com/guidelines/Submit to Our AffiliatesThe Weekenders Magazine is anonline literary magazine currentlyaccepting poetry and short fiction.Submission guidelines: www.goo.gl/FdwCMDrunk Monkeys is an eclectic webzine that provides a home for emergingwriters and poets, offers in-depthdiscussion of cultural issues, andfeatures critiques of film and televisionthat rely on analysis rather than snark.Submission guidelines: www.goo.gl/7UxQ6Check for Electric Windmill updates!www.electricwindmillpress.comwww.twitter.com/e_windmillpresswww.facebook.com/electricwindmill.press


Subhumansby A.P. CarlsonWewerepunksafterpunkreallydied.Wehatedswastikasandvowedtobringastraightrazortoanyone’sthroatthatdidn’tcuttingdeeptolettheairinandbloodout.ButNazisweredeadsowevowedtofightagainstotherthings,weputonGerms,sangandfoughteachother,removingearringsfromflesh,producingbruisesandbrokenfingersbutitgotsenseless.Weturnedupamps,clickedondistortionpedalswithabuzzthatmadeourpulsesrushagain.Strokingstrings,kickingdrums.Playonesongwithpowerchordsforfortyfiveminutesstraight,butthenitgotold.Drankwhiskeywithbeerchasers,racedonhighways,talkedshitatshows,yelledatgirls,lacedconversetightandmoshed.ButbytheendIwasdrunkandpukingindirtystalls,Weweretired.SoweputonAngrySamoansandbrokeoutlines,talkedallnight, screamingallnightandoutsideintherushdrunktripwehearamantellhisgirlhe’llhither.Sowehadtojump him.Hithimharduntilhechokedonhisbloodpooledinhismouth,stompedonhim,crackedhiskneecap,brokehisarm.Andasmybuddiesspatonhim,Ijustwatchedhimcurlup,small,crying,bloodyandbent.Wewerepunksafterpunkwas dead.2


Screaming in the Hospital Sheetsby Jeffrey GraessleyJohn Fante was given a square afterhe died. a memoriam at the baseof Bunker Hill by the city masterson Fifth and Grand. his work, an interlaceof low-life living, suffering, and joythat comes with extracting what’s kept insideonto the page, stretched to taste the dust, poisedover the beautiful and deprivedfaces that stare asking for more, but don’tever get their fill. He treated the streetslike an almost-finished canvas, he’d groankiss finishing touches to make a creasein the literary scene while diseasetook his legs and sight; death his last reprieve3


eyond the custodians’ reach. This accounted for the building’s odorand the illness of its occupants.The workforce was relocating to the fairgrounds, and nobody knewhow long the cleanup would take. The underpass was swamped, andthe alternate route to the exit was miles down the road. The girl’sfeet were yellow from sulfur skirting the edges. I offered a ride, butthe hardest to convince are those for whom message boards make moresense as unmade beds than as something new to read.5


The Morning Afterby Ryan SwoffordThe time I woke upwith tea stains on my bedmy teeth on my headthe sleep in my eyesand the black on the windowwith the frost in the forestwith the peachin the bowlrottingThe time I woke upwith ache in my backwith hurt on my headwith warmthin my chest(hanging on my armsaying you love me)And her legswere warmlike buttermilkin the summeron the tableof my templeOpen sesamelove gatesyou hurt meso badbruised meyellow6


In the Bedroom Mirrorby Kelly CreightonIn the mirror in our bedroom I adorn my winter coat of jade.Frost at windows; belt loops hollow, I wrap it tight.A coat too elegant for my milk pint escapes.This coat I wore the day we met, it had drew you to me,then threatened you as though I wore it searchingfor new lovers over silver foil tops.The bedroom mirror echoes the curling corner of lips,that land your words like punches on numbed ears;made me soothsayer of your tirades.I restyle my hair before the glass, foretell the responseyou would give if you returned now; I change it backto the style that causes you no offence.Putting my green coat to sleep its musty casket where the softbeatof moth’s wings accompany my lullaby for thingsthat were once lovely, now wretched.Donning my shawl I step out of our room for my daily tripoutdoors, the gale that whips my head unfelt;holds me liable for bad choices.Ruminations of tender promises from our verdant months, nowmy blistering internal rage, cooled like this milk.I am unseen by every man I pass.7


I hurry back to the halfway house where you left me; I will waityour return, put the milk on ice and decide my prospects.Appraise myself in the highest mirror.A figure at the door makes me race; it is your brother usingyour key,alone he bags belongings from your bedside locker.I watch him through the upstairs window.This window is my looking glass where I see myself in jade.I still linger where last we fought; my fingers slip frombottle neck, a hemorrhage on the ground.I remain in carpet crumples; eyes pleading with the mirrorin the bedroom, coat belt found around my neck,you tightened it, kept me here forever.8


A Young American Bleedingby Kevin RidgewayIt was a week before the iron birdscollided into the skyscrapersforever changing the culturallandscape of Americamy youthful landscape was changingby the day, by the minutejazz fusion and marijuana werethe word as I sat there alonein my brother’s Upper Manhattanapartment, drunk on cooking sherryI procured from their claustrophobickitchen, reading aloud from thepocket book Nietzsche and Kerouac’sMexico City Blues withMiles Davis blaring ominoussigns of something cataclysmicin the rancid late summer airI was covered in mosquito bitesfrom a trip to the woods overlookingthe West Point Naval academy,scratching an itch that wouldn’t leavelittle did I know how long my hairwould grow,or the angry beard that was in myfutureI would come to be less than freethan I was in the days beforethe world was set on fireI enjoyed those moments anddanced right into the fascist flamesof the next decade10


92by Owen LucasOutside the club there was a blackChrysler and several men dressed inSuits with imperative expressions.He walked over slowly and got inAnd the door was closed behind him.They pulled away into the darkness.He was handed a cigarette andFrom behind the glass a voice spoke.Our universe is expanding exponentially,Sal. I sent Reuben across the EastRiver to the Morriones. He will beOur man with them. You and HerschWill go with Giuseppe to the CopaAnd communicate my terms to ourFriend little Michael. I don't wantAnything to be ambiguous this time,Sal. I'm taking the Czech with meTo Pittsburgh. We'll be back in a week.The streetlights swung away from himAnd formed and broke and reformed.Light does not reach us from beyondOur station, Sal. We do not feel it, theAcceleration that drives our worldsApart; and even light cannot reachTo every corner. Nothing can travelFaster than light, except maybe for God.Perhaps not even God. But what doesThis signify, Sal? That you and I areBound to act only according to our will.There is no ministry over men like us.11


Don't give me reason to be sad, Salvatore.I have been a very good friend to you.A week. Do not forget that we spoke.He got out of the limousine, and asIt pulled away the pale shape ofA hand moved darkly behind theBlack glass of the passenger side.12


Why I Have Never Been to Indiaby Tracey Lander-GarrettThis is the India of my imagination: where the kitchens smellof curry and cardamom,coriander and cumin, anise and saffron, odors as familiar asfamily.The hot wind on the street carries these scents and singingstrains of sitar amidstdiscordant harmonies: peacock yowls, mournful cows, andmotorcycles honking at box trucks.Here, young men with skin the color of burnished leather smileor scowl,their black eyes burning with secrets, splashes of spit tobacconear their feet.In the bazaar, cross-legged men charm cobras from baskets, orstand to throat-sheathe scimitars.Swamis snooze on beds of nails, or turban-headed, blackentheir heels in burning coals.Cowled women, bedecked in marigold and magenta, gleamingblack braids swinging likeropes of ravens' feathers, paint lotus blossoms in their palms tocradle divinity.In this, my imaginary India, every temple has an animal—inone, rats dance Bollywood for supper,at another, monkeys mug tourists for cigarettes, in a third,mongooses (mongeese?) pray for peace.13


Here elephants frolic, until in musth, they break chains andtrample neighbors, devouring front lawns.Rage forgotten, loins quelled, still they are shot while breakinggrass over their wide gray knees.My Taj Mahal is a rajah's mirage: entered only in dreams, forthe Rakshasa live there,the Tiger-Men, feasting on virtuous men and virginal maidens.Kali opens wide her arms, all ten of them, holding a scimitar, atrident, a shield, a spear,a severed head, a sacred flame, revenging goddess of death,destruction.In the midst of the red clay plain, the river Ganges meanders,its banks scattered with rubies,where wild crocodiles fill their bellies, and dead bodies floatto disappear, cleansed.Even the kama sutra travels abroad by Kindle in full-colorillustrations—who needs Shades of Grey?—indeed, what need have I to go to India?All I have ever required of it I already own, long drawn uponmy memorywith its indelible ink.14


THEN PUBLICANS RAISED HELLS LIKEWHITE ELEPHANTSby Gerald YelleWhat a breach: standing close in confessionand hearing how a brother smacked his child.The story, in harsh whispers, the detail in thetone: There’s no use pretending; the narratorno one you’d pull for. Nor are you (like thesmoker beside him) the audience intended–you’re a standby without status, lost on thefringe: One of the too kind. And it isn’t goodenough being good of kind or kind of good.An off-room lavender, felt more than seen. Thesilence of a brother. The idea that one can falloff a dock of reconstructed newsreels thatfill him full of sweating from the nostril, likea beast it’s best to pretend to be in love withbut suspicious of, thrilled when it slips, givingevidence that it might feel the same.15


Skin too white for black hair,Hair too straight.We tried red lipstick.Dracula would have loved me,Built but ugly.I decided I’d rather be blondLike Marilyn Monroe.I already had her body36 – 24 – 36.)At seventeen, I still had blond hair and her body,Why not Hollywood?So there I wasNo jobNo schoolNo moneyThey weren’t looking for LanaAt that drugstore anymore.The want-ad read “wanted –Dancers and models –No experience necessary”I had a choiceHow to earn a living –Lying downOr standing up.I made my choice,Put my bathing suit on under my sweater(they might want to see my figureI wanted to be prepared.)“Take your clothes off,” he said17


And stared.“Ha, Ha,” he said.“Ha, Ha, Ha,Take that off too.”I did.He sent me toSan Francisco’sMission DistrictNeighborhoodBurlesque house.(The carnival came later.)I got drunk the first timeOn Pink Ladies and Grasshoppers.(I was a sweet kid.)I walked around the stageTook it off, down to panties and pasties.Cops were backstage every show.They were young and horny.I was young and scared of jail –They liked my show, they said.Afterwards, we all went outAnd got drunker.Still drunk, much later,No school, no chance,Why not a carnival?I was still standing up.The barker is an asshole.“Balley, Balley, Balley,”18


He screams. Every twenty minutes,He screams.Six of us in a one room trailerBehind the tent, no toilet,Twelve hours a day.Put it on, take it off,An ugly dwarf plays records.For this they pay us$150.00 a week.People bring their kids in the tent.The cops don’t like us.The food is rotten.And the goddam barker screams,“Balley, Balley, Balley!”What you saw, Mr. Critic,Was a stag show.That happens after carnivals,At respectable, traditionalBachelors’ parties,At the Elks, the Eagles, the Moose –Old strippers do that.Tired, slow moving strippers.No jobNo schoolNo moneyNo chanceNothingTo do butLay down.19


Guns Drawn in a Church ServiceShoot the Preacherby Jeffrey GraessleyAlbert Camus taught a godless beliefsystem of paradox absurditythat advocated discovery, briefinstances of meaning, disharmonycut strings on corporate ideology.argued for personal identity,he understood applied psychologyenough to fuse his prose chemicallyan orchestra of synapse firing;that later rejected communismdespite backlash from his peers, retiringthat dead belief into fractured schismsof torn and bent metal, like that quietcar accident that took out a giant.20


152by Owen LucasEliot breathed in the lightOf cold, out-thrown stars, satAt the foot of the dropoffUnder the dim hillside.His leg was losing itsSensation, but he would notGet up and go backInto the unlit yard and the houseWhere his brother andHis mother and his fatherWere asleep and dreaming inTheir beds. His thought wentOut of him like a cataractInto a frameless space whereDim fires danced. The lightOf his thought swung inThe dark as if affixedTo a centrifuge. He couldFeel the motion of it andHe felt sick, and the earthWas growing cold under him.At the near edge of theWood, motionless, bare ash treesWove their silhouettes intoThe belly of the starbowl.He began to fall asleep butHe shook himself awake andWent silently back into theGreying yard and the houseAnd crawled into his bed.21


Grandma Versus the Robot from Marsby Kevin RidgewayI feigned illness to get out ofanother dreary first grade daymy mother took me toGrandma’s antique manorand forced me to sit onthe sofa and not movean inchI demanded that my grandmotherbring me stacks upon stacks of newspaperand her ancient jar of Elmer’s glueshe shuffled across the housein her moo-moo and pink flat shoesgetting the supplies and broughtthem to my “laboratory”we twisted legs and arms togethercrinkling the paper into a long torsoand used a Calendar section photographof Michael Landon for a face at thefront of a gnarled square headwe let it fall over to dry as I dinedon off-brand Fruit Loopsit stood five feet, this paper manor as I dubbed him the robot from marsI asked my grandmother towrestle him to the groundshe rolled her eyes andshe elbowed him, causing hischest to cave in;22


she took him by the legsand spun him aroundtossing him upon the coffee table;but she refused to hit herBonanza heartthrob in the kisserand started a slow dance with itwhistling an old ragtime songmy face turned solemnshe saw this, sighed,and rubbed a paper handacross her behindand she then gave him a left hookright in his pointed jawadmonishing him:“Don’t get fresh!”before handing the rumpledremains of our creationto me and sighing again“You’re a brat, you know that?”23


Mountain Splashes Goneby Catfish McDarisRainy mornings in your armsthe sky a purple bruisecedar fire under blacken coffee potponderosa pine & blue spruce shadowsvelvet slopes & valleysAnasazi ghosts dance abovecrumbled adobe & stone kivasshards of fading potterybasalt flint arrowheadsElk antlers lockedin battles never finishedskeletons bleached sun whiteStreams sing to rocks nakedred dogwoods blush while cutthroattrout wait for dragonflies.24


Carol in the Windby Breeand you may hear marching bandsthat arent playing anywhere closeby,but, faint as you might, hearthem the sameand your head tells yousomething is something worthlistening toeven if you canthear it25


Spam Lyricby Gerald YelleIt rained that first night but the sun rose andthe walls and ceilings were awash and wewoke up and noticed we’d forgotten to closethe door. Not that we had to lock: we hadlittle a thief might want. The street oozedintangible wealth: the hills lined with the hutsof Geats and Beowulfs, vetiver and casuarinaholding down the soil, giving the hills a confidenthands-off look. Still, you never know.Burglars take risks. We shut the door andleft for our morning walk. Neighbors joined us.We crested the ridge and stopped near a stagewhere some kids were setting up amplifiersand mic stands. I stopped, but Em kept walking.I became distraught when I couldn’t find her.I explained to a neighbor that my need toknow where Em was stemmed from an overabundanceof love. He said nothing, but hisgreat height inspired a candor I hadn’t feltbefore, and I revealed thoughts I didn’t knowI had: In younger days I stood with Sting:“If you love someone set them free”–and maybeI still believe it, but I can’t help thinking thata lover who doesn’t try to make the belovedconform is simply not serious. “Love isa battlefield” is more like it, especially whenyou see all the broken hummingbird mothsand butterflies strewn back of the audience.26


Blue Moon Nightby Kanchan Chaterjeethey say it's a blue moon nightsecond full moon in a monthwhich is quite rareand specialI look at itthrough my office windowit's the same, old moonand I'm workinga night shiftgot to finish myheap of papersentries to be madethe computer screen is glaresat meit's a blue moon nightmy wife and kid son stay at a placesome 400 miles awayfrom hereand they are fighting theirown battlesmy supervisor saysthat his son gets 20,000 bucksas his pocket moneymy wife gets the same paycheckat the end ofa grueling month27


it's a blue moon nightand my kid sonwho is crazy about carsis dreamingof an Audiand I'm herewith a heap of papersa job to be donemy eyes redthe computer screen glares,mocking me, there areentries to be madetonightit's a blue moon night28


She Could Only Love a Drunkby Jeffrey GraessleyF. Scott Fitzgerald had to prove his loveto Zelda by selling his first book, shewanted the high life, intolerant ofanything less, she’d scream like a bansheeat the Country Club getting drunk with herFather’s money, smiling at potentiallovers until Scott came back to inferhis book deal, that Zelda found essentialbefore marriage plans could continue,and they’d hit the bottle hard, and oftenborrowed money, living on new issuesof mainstream magazines, like a fortunesat hot in their pockets to be wasted,apposed to barstools, intoxicated.29


SpleenBaudelaire translationby Owen LucasI should seem the king of a rainy country,Rich but impotent, young and yet aged,Who, tired of the sycophancy of his tutors,Idles himself with dogs as with other beasts.Nothing will entertain him, game nor falcon,Nor his people dying below his window.The groteque ballad of a favourite clownDoes not distract the temper of this invalid :His bed in fleurs-de-lis has become a tomb.The courtesans, for whom any prince is fine,No longer know what immodesty to employTo draw a smile from the decomposing youth.The craftsman who made him of gold wasNever able to extirpate the corrupt element :In bloodbaths come down from Romans, thatThe powerful may recall in their last days,He could not thaw out this insensible cadaverWhose blood is the green water of the Lethe.30


Handling the Ashfor CGby Breeand when we carry an urn(hoping we earned the honor)we best find some straitsor islandsor fields between the foldsand lines our smiles makewherefore to scatterthe holy remains, and berather sure not tospill anyashinto the wells andcrevasses crying createson our otherwiseflat faces.31


Digbyby Gerald YelleThere’s no good bridge to the past.You’d have to slip by too many peoplewho won’t look the other way.There was one once but I pushed mysister off it. And my daughter. Theyweren’t as much fun as in the old days.I had to calm the Danny Thomaslookalikes and the new Herb Alpertswho acted like I’d done something wrong.Tomorrow when you go to the moon,think of the heat you’re leaving.We’re wilting on the stoop on a hardday’s night and it’s not so easy todo what’s right. Even when it lookssimple. Like skimming stones withDigby: he’d move his hand so fastI’d want to cry in sympathy. Wet thebed in triumph. Other than thatI don’t remember him. He lived on ablock with a view of the Meadowlands–the New Ark that’s going tokeep us afloat. He lent me The Hamlet,a sewing machine salesman’s tiradeagainst some white trash upstarts.After I read it I lost it. I apologized andoffered to pay for it. Digby preferredI replace it, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.It might’ve made a difference.I’d have taken responsibility. Digbywas incredulous, then peeved. He beganto snort heroin and drink grappafrom a jar, saying I shouldn’t bother.32


ContributorsThank you to each of our contributors!Kanchan Chaterjee,(“Ennui” and “Blue Moon Night”) is a 44 year old maleexecutive, working in the ministry of finance, government of India. Although he does nothave any literary background, he loves poetry and scribbles as he gets the inspiration.His works have been published in various online and print journals, including MadSwirl, Eclectic eel, Bare Hands Poetry, Jellyfish Whisperer, Mad Rush, and others. He hasbeen nominated for this year’s ‘Pushcart Prize’ in the U.K. He lives in Jamshedpur,Jharkhand, India. His email is chatterjeek40@yahoo.comA.P. Carlson (“Subhumans”) is a poet from Orlando, FL and has a BachelorsDegree in English Literature from Florida State University. He has been a writer at anews magazine and a content writer for a radio station. He has written published poemsalong with articles that have been in print and online journals and blogs. Often he goes tolocal open-mic nights to read his poetry and fiction. Samples of his poetry can be foundon his Web site at www.apcarlson.wordpress.comJeffrey Graessley(“Screaming in the Hospital Sheets,” “Guns Drawn in a Church ServiceShoot the Preacher,” and “She Could Only Love a Drunk”) is a writer from La Puente,CA. His latest poems can be found in The Rusty Nail, The Chaffey Review, and TurbulenceMagazine. His recent discovery of the BEAT generation has prompted loving and longingthoughts for that simple, drunken, far-gone time in American history.Gerald YelleELEPHANTS,” “Spam Lyric,” and “Digby”)(“Dabbawallas,” “THEN PUBLICANS RAISED HELLS LIKE WHITERyan Swofford (“The Morning After”) theweekendersmagazine.blogspot.com/Kelly Creighton (“In the Bedroom Mirror”) was born in Belfast; she is a poet,writer and artist. She writes about local landscapes and relationships. Having publishedpoems in anthologies and shorts in magazines, Kelly is currently editing her novel.Bree (“My Advice for the Kid Was,” “Carol in the Wind,” and “Handling the Ash”) puts onevents and has published as Green Panda Press in Cleveland, OH since 2001. She is theauthor of poetry collections and memoirs including "Laying Pans" (Ecstatic Peace 2009),"Let Cupid Know" (Ronin Press 2011) and "The Rainbow Sweater & My Mother" (GreenPanda Press 2012), among others. Her work can be found in little mags like Big Bridge,Bottle of Smoke, Arthur, ReMark, SplitWh*skey and more like them.33


Kevin Ridgeway(“A Young American Bleeding” and “Grandma Versus the Robotfrom Mars”) is Kevin Ridgeway is a writer from Southern California, where he lives in ashady bungalow with his girlfriend and their one-eyed cat. He attended a left leaningprogressive liberal arts college in Vermont known as Goddard College, where his cookiecutter illusions and delusions of the world were completely shattered and he became agentleman drunk and alternative scholar. Recent work has appeared in Gloom Cupboard,Haggard & Halloo, Red Fez, Carcinogenic Poetry, Breadcrumb Scabs and Underground VoicesMagazine, among others.Owen Lucas (“92,” ”152,”and ”Spleen”) is an English graduate fromCambridgeshire, in England. He’s been writing for three years and in that time has beenpublished in a number of zines and a local South London anthology, Clinic. Hehas featured in readings in Camden, Camberwell, New Cross and Mayfair.Tracey Lander-Garrett (“Why I Have Never Been to India”) teaches atBorough of Manhattan Community College and plays Dungeons & Dragons in her sparetime. She’s had work published in Brooklyn Review, Mid-America Poetry Review, TheWeekender, and others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and too many cats.Kay Kinghammer (“After Hearing Stripper’s Carnival”)Catfish McDaris (“Mountain Splashes Gone”) is an aging New Mexican living nearMilwaukee. He has four walls, a ceiling, heat, food, a woman, two cats, a typing machine,and a mailbox. That’s enough for him. He writes for himself and sometimes he gets luckyand someone publishes his words. He remains his biggest fan. He ’s been sliding in theshadows of the small press for 20 years.34


Thank you for reading!Electric Windmill Press is a book publisher and bi-monthly literaryarts magazine based out of Boston, Massachusetts. You canread more about our mission and submission guidelines here:electricwindmillpress.com/guidelines/electricwindmillpress.comeditorialstaff [at] electricwindmillpress [dot] comBrian Le Lay/Jess DykstraPO Box 230881Boston, MA 02123

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