pain is a small dog in my lap
1. Support online literature. Bra it. Watch it deviously. Don’t be a sound sleeper. Don’t un-storm. Online literature is a staggering sky of nacho constellations: there goes oyster, there goes cheese or Sara, there goes a hot Thursday night of jalapeno thunder. Like zine-scene issue one. Sean Lovelace with the Introduction.
2. Sean Lovelace reviews Sean Lovelace. Clever fellow.
Thunk! Hold up, just got an email. No, no, that’s not right. My computer makes the sound of rainwater dripping off a man’s nipples when I receive an email, not a simple clunking. Someone is at the door! Thunk! Thunk! Like someone is throwing a bicycle lock into the face of a small goat.
3. Flash Fiction interviews Sean Lovelace.
Busy as a freaking bird, that Sean Lovelace. Busy as a bleeding. Busy as a clattered toad. Etc.
[my eyeball just fell into a jonquil clang of Pringle salt]
[fetch two cans of beer! hissing ones! gather round!]
I rubbed my eyes, the trout swimming away into murk, and went about my early morning:
a.m. cold. Wind dead as The Dollar. Me happy. Sucked down oil can of coffee. Shuddered. Stood in creek. Ice lay along the shore, frangible plates fracked up and broken on the mud and small ice-cities whitely all down the drained and frozen flats where delicate Krystal columns of flaky French fries and smiles sprouted from the mire. I took a long and smoking piss in the water. I feel this is good luck. I am sorry. It’s my way.
Stood in the cool flow throbbing my boots and opened Pank magazine in the flash light darkness. This Pank didn’t seem like the current PANK (big ol’ caps) I read and glow. I got my iPhone Google (weird, wrong light in the inky woods) and found they do indeed relate. Maybe earlier Pank I hold in my hands is father/mother/hawk of online PANK I read late into the floorboards? Maybe this Pank I hold in my hands, here in this smeared gray morning, here in this flowing stream, is the daybed and donned shoes of the present PANK? I dunno. I mean they still have PANK today. What is the difference? Most likely time. Most likely editors. Most likely the size of the letters.
[not actually sure how i got this print pank. it arrived at my stepway. sometimes late at night i just click/click/click things online and then things butterfly to my doorway. things are run by dogs. dogs herd items to my doorway. im saying. everything in this world is chased by a ghost dog.]
This print Pank didn’t seem to be kin to the current PANK, or maybe a distant relative, I mean the words. The online PANK has more neon blood coughing mist. Coughs of mist. THUNKS. Maybe it evolved? Maybe it was born a this and became something red and stretched glowing over flames.
[it’s issue one, Sean!]
We get an EDITOR’S NOTE. I am anti-EDITOR’S NOTE. I don’t want to see the wizard. I don’t want to be spoken to in excited whispers. Editor, go edit. Don’t tell me:
Pank, the word, is a verb. It is possibly…
Wrong! PANK is the sound made when the human eyeball is dropped from an apartment balcony into an aluminum dog dish below. This happened living room/late night post-disagreement, at a semi-kegger, Memphis, TN alleyway, a Tuesday. I can still smell blood and barbecue…
As witness, I remember the sound well: pank
Shall we review?
Competent is a word. The first 2 poems are competent. Poetry done well. As expected. The first two poems are competent. We get the nature swerve road thing that reminds us of the hit-deer poem. We get the mathematical problem poem where you are heading to a hospice. OK. We get that. OK. Sometimes I feel like a dried-off towel full of officer.
[hip a glass flask!]
The third poem is rather good. It is by Laura LeHew (so was the 2nd poem. actually both are right here). This one verves (not swerves). This one pops a bit.
Do you want to?
Me like. Who is Laura LeHew? Don’t know, but she calls herself a crazy cat lady. Meow.
Poem # 4, 5 are by Andrew Sage. Now this mag is beginning to moss the color of lightning. It rolls now. I will include one Andrew Sage poem in full here. Will PANK send me a cease-n-desist letter? I doubt.
I have brought everything I need into this place.
There is nothing I need that is not here.
And everything that is here I need. When I leave
I will take with me everything that is here.
And none of it will be needed in the place I go to.
Interesting, odd, subtext. A little fern of something. Thank you, Sage. (Here is another.)
Got up in stand. Sprinkled around some Tinks. Looked around, listened. Milky gray swirls of darkness. Big deer frost-crunched right below my stand, 15, 10, 5 yards. Body a thick, dark trunk of floating dark. Glowing fingers of antler bone. Buck, fer sure. Tough to see exactly how large. BUT I can’t see my bow pins anyway, now can I? No, I cannot. Buck frost-crunches away.
Big deer crosses way off center of corn field. Can’t tell what. Sun comes on up like we all expected. I pulled a novel by Cormac McCarthy out my pack and read a few lines and I thought, “There’s lots of movement today so I better stop reading.” I throw the book high into the air and it lands with a thump in a thicket. I think “But life is short and doing two things at once is the finest glow.”
I redraw my Pank Magazine out of my pack. Good heft, solid magazine.
I glow persona fiction, as you know. Gabriel Welsch brings us “Rove Speaks.” Fucking Karl Rove. Who does that? But it’s done well! Here.
Yes, yes, we get a few of the easy jokes and ideas, Bush as puppet with Rove’s hand up his ass, but Welsch shows us, if you twist things, a formed idea can reform, can ivy and bloom and thorn. Important lesson here–one thing can be done an infinite ways. CREATIVE writing, kids. So Bush runs off the bus, off on his own!
He said, “Wait here. I’m-a take a walk.”
One day something happens. Conflict! On the first page. Writer. Writer. Writer? Are you listening? Dialogue spot on, as you see. And it is funny. This line concerning Bush:
How had he gotten money? Who gave him that?
Next we have poems by Dan Pinkerton. You should read these poems. They are the best poems in this issue of Pank. Why didn’t you put these poems online, PANK? Fuck.
a yo-yo, two Oreos
four oboes, eight elbows
a full pack of lies.
Then we get some poems that are competent again. I don’t know. Good plain food. Tablets tilted. That one people write about people in jail, etc. One poem is a sort of memo and I glow organic forms but it felt a bit older yet sitting there. I think my head is high-webbed steel now. A couple more get really close to me writing them here. But I’m not going to write them here. Slaw. Sometimes I feel like the bones of a birch forest, only I’m purple.
A hawk scissored by. A black squirrel hopped along a low branch. Leaves whispered down and fell about me and one small leaf landed on my hat. That was odd. I took the leaf off my hat and smelled it. Then I ate the leaf. Not sure why. Why not?
About 8 am a doe entered the field and skirted the edge. Way out of bow range. I did the bleat can. The bleat can went all rollerskating. The bleat rose and fell/rose and fell. The bleat can sounded like a man handing his car keys to his youngest son.
“No problem, son. Where you going tonight?”
“Uh, tennis? I’m going to play tennis with my friends.”
“Where’s your racket?”
“Um. I don’t know.”
“You don’t own a racket, do you, son?”
“Right. Well, have a nice time.”
The doe came all away across the field to the bleat can!! Well, thank you, Mrs bleat can.
What is with this doe? I didn’t even know does responded to bleat cans. Well, they do. Maybe out of curiosity? Or maybe this doe decided to beat down any other doe in its zip code? Or maybe this doe just had its bedding area foreclosed and credit card debt like bags of boiled gravel and really didn’t feel so sexy this morning, not feeling sexy at all and this the rut and all, feeling rather gritty and bloated like a runover spider crab and really wondering why a big horny buck has to go and judge a doe by external appearance versus this deer’s inward significance, the thing that really matters, what is INSIDE, or maybe just a little smidgen of the doe’s brain was having trouble cycling serotonin levels this early Friday morning, etc.—my point is maybe this doe was just suicidal.
Because it came right to me. 23 yards, quartering away like a November moon.
There is a story in Pank told in four parts, with two authors. I have never seen such math. It is a yell of a story, too. Informative and made me take cards of empathy. Impressive. It is by Claire Thomas and Carl Peterson.
What the hell kind of thing is this by David Silverstein? Holy shit, now this Pank is branding up fangs. Now this Pank is rocked and wheeled and slid away. This is more like the current Pank. What is this? I’ll need to take a photo. I’ll take a photo.
Moe Folk (cool name) shows us that most stories should be about work, period. Hey, writers, especially you student-writers, quit writing about apartments and dogs and tables and hardwood floors and kegs and walls and tires and dachshunds and your mother and apartments and cars and zombies and cars drinking bourbon and apartments and elves and elves drinking bourbon and start writing about work, work, work.
Moe’s story online here. Glow.
There’s the sort of black and white photos you get in these magazines. At least they didn’t go cartoon on us, or even worse, cartoons about writing on us. So, yeh, some black and white photos, contrast, grain, rundown houses, people, whatever, blar, you know what I’m saying.
Whoa, whoa, whoa–scratch what I said earlier. Michael Moore has the best poems in this fucking issue. Wow. I mean they do what poetry does–each one a shoebox full of witch fuck. Good work, sir. They are here. Enjoy. I am going to repub one right here, though, because, as I mentioned , it is a witch-fuck of a poem:
A student of architecture
Who doesn’t look up from the ground
Long enough to study any buildings
Carries my future In a black bra.
Pank is pissing me off. How could you not put “Mahalia the Fish” online? Meg Thompson is going crazy right now. She is stalking the streets and gnashing her kidneys and smacking her chops at you, PANK editors. Meg Thompson is fourlegged garfish of hate. Meg Thompson is gonna granite teardrop your ass, PANK!
My toast was misshapen because I hack the crusts off with refrigerator magnets the size of winter melons.
glow. I wish Meg Thompson would publish more online. I’m having trouble finding her work online. It blars me.
There are some more poems, set in a tone and time I enjoyed. They had a controlled hand, a controlled pacing. I trusted the poet, Mr. Randall R. Freisinger.
There is a short story about breasts.
Joe Wilkins has two poems. Here.
I appreciate the contemporary sonnet. Thank you, Mr. Wilkins.
There is a poem about fishing.
Penny Zang (another razor name, wow) writes about work. What did I tell you? WORK. It’s well-done, and there’s a cat named Joan Jett. Glow.
Adam Katz is an interesting poet. He uses lists, odd fonts. Odd enjambments. Odd forms. He appropriates and collates. He spins. Honestly, it glow.
Some more poems. A few more. There is another poem. Maybe like I feel alchemical or that my forehead is hung out with the wash or maybe a resting belly.
Deer hit high in the spine and dropped like an albatross struck mid-air by a golf course. Dead as a freaking Pet Rock. I keep shooting high with my new PSE. It annoys me. I practice, shoot high on the stand. I am adjusting to my new bow, I think. My old PSE NOVA was deadly. This new Brute? I hope. Well, I keep practicing. But I digress…
The doe ran zero yards and zero feet.
The doe decided to never run again. The doe decided to swim. The doe is swimming right now in a marinade of soy sauce, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, onion, brown sugar.
Tonight the doe will swim in butter.
Tonight the doe will swim in wine.
And Marianne Boruch goes:
Here the eye takes
the brain walking.
And I thank you, lit mag, for my eye did indeed take my brain for a walk. And sometimes my eye bulged in its socket. And sometimes–maybe thrice–my eye fell right out my head…out my head!