VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Dillinger

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Paul Warren

THE FEARFUL GIRL IS THE STRANGEST DANCER. 

The moonlit dance was never danced again .

The stonemason fled the scene .

In the stump of an old tree ,where hearts have rotted out .

Adam and Eve for a new generation ,scenarios the same ,just the faces that change.

Old leaves turn into lace skeletons. 

Feathers fall from the sky .

The fearful girl is the strangest dancer. 

The starlings return home.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Walter Shulits

I NEVER META-POEM  

Someone please help me…I was in LA having my 

left testicle cryogenically frozen while walking on 

hot coals singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” 

on the second Thursday after a full moon,

the latest lactose-free remedy for erectile dysfunction—

when, I don’t know, it happened so fast… I was pounced 

upon, pummeled by Paris Review storm troopers sent by 

the High Priestess of Poetry(whoever she is) 

or it’s possible I simply fell into the rubbish bin of New 

Formalism(whatever that is) and am now being recycled, 

or maybe I bumped my head on the ceiling of cluttered 

comprehensability trying to read Wallace Stevens- 

but suddenly it was no longer clear  if I was metaphorically 

drinking urine rather than beer or you know what instead 

of hot chocolate but regardless and damn the redundancies, 

I’m scared shitless, peeing rhymes in my pants

and have absolutely no idea where I am: Is this a catechism 

class for lobotomized lyricists, a 12-step AIliterative Illiterates 

meeting or a convention of MFA’s who have never been 

published; strange but

I always thought MFA stood for Mo—-r Fu——g As——e but 

now I see that dual memberships are no big deal. Anyway, 

the Charles Manson, James Jones or TS Eliot of this little 

circus/circle/cult is an eloquent 

but definitely not elegant symphony conductor or MMA 

impresario type,part swan part peacock wearing turquoise 

granny glasses and matching mustard-colored slacks, 

socks and shoes, a man— 

it’s hellish how much he does relish every chance to embellish 

his own self-esteem— brandishing a venomous verbal cattle 

prod sadistically triggered every time he hears the word 

“narrative” or any adverb at all, 

his second in command an overly Red Bull-ed gospel 

diva lobbing literary self-help f-bombs to dumb down 

the discriminatory disconnect between her brilliance 

and her blackness, the preposition “like” her

laughing gas pellet gun against camouflaged class 

prejudice, then there’s the red-bearded vegan bartender, 

quite possibly an operative embedded by Mike Pence or 

Steve Mnuchin, face hidden beneath a tented baseball cap 

furtively staring through binocular-like tortoise shell specs at his 

top secret block-lettered quatrain scribblings—or maybe it’s just 

sudoku—never saying a word as he lewdly licks his lips, while 

beside him a mild-mannered, pink-cheeked, 

Rudolph-nosed Scottish academic with a rubbery ruby-lipped 

smile cemented or stupored onto his face labours through his 

hourly regimen of curling goblets of merlot— up down swallow 

breathe– possibly a futile effort to become as chiseled 

as the Michelangelo-tattooed Jamaican poet in a snake helmet 

yodeling Caribbean haikus through a conch shell; he picked 

poetry over bobsledding because it’s less “reggaelated” and 

he’s having a “Marleyvous” time flirting 

with Marian the Librarian, olive contact lenses, grey steel wool 

hair, army fatigues and black sneakers, her six pencils neatly 

aligned on the upper right edge of her notebook, a metronome 

to entreat her feet to stay on the beat, she’s obsessed with

writing the perfect dissonant dirge in double dactyl with Dewey 

Decimal declension, her life anal and banal but a bacchanal

compared with the guy the storm troopers have dragged 

gagged and straitjacketed in the corner, a babbling brain-dead 

surfer dude in his dotage who had the audacity to wear a “Metonymy 

Is My Enemy” t-shirt—he probably thought it was a dope name for a 

heavy metal band or a cancer-causing carbohydrate excommunicated 

from the Ketogenic Church— but what’s 

gonna happen to me: hanging, guillotine, the rack?  I’m being 

dragged across the floor, why didn’t I wear my Lakers jersey… 

instead of this “Only Pricks Hate Limericks” hoodie. They’re 

pulling my pants off, OMG my tattoo— “Villanelles Can Go To Hell…”

LORCA 2.0: WRITER-MACHINE INTERFACE

One of the few principles Dumpster Fire Press has (and believe me there are few) is that as counter-culture publisher we are not one to sell out…as is pretty much apparent with the diverse amount of voices we have in our dumpster of talent and I mean that affectionately as everyone who contributes is a voice from the fire and all voices are equal.

While DFP stands firm when it comes to selling out or even endorsing products, the Editor In Chief does have a hard-on for new technology. Running a small press on a tight budget, managing various manuscripts, submissions, my own creative endeavors and not to mention attempting to break into new markets while contending with a language barrier.

Can almost be wrist slitting…



Enter Samir Karimo, award winning horror and splatter-punk author, we’ve crossed various paths over the years and he’s contributed to DFP as well beginning with VOICES FROM THE FIRE, DEATH BY PUNK, OCTOPI FROM THE SKY, BEDROOM ANATOMY LESSONS and the forthcoming WORLD ON FIRE: PROPAGANDIE…we’ve even had the honor of printing English translation of the first installment of his ever popular graphic novel series VALKIRIA with artist Felipe Arambarri and Miguel Angel Sanchez

Samir is one of those few writers that has finger on the pulse of culture ahead of time and has a pretty cool job in charge of commercial promotions of the LORCA AI software which he offered me a limited trial on…

It’s AI? Yeah, I had the same hesitations even Skynet as well but I also read a great book called BULLSHIT JOBS and the doubt became just a tad stronger when I was reading how technology for the most part is creating more beaurocracy and engineering more needless managerial jobs due to the displacement of manufacturing along with the lagging wages of the service…but that’s another conversation for another time…let share the official press release for Bouker itself regarding the Lorca program.

Lorca.Ai is an editor for literary projects that includes even scientific literature and its functions, not only corrects grammar and spelling, but its strength comes from the collaboration between users, creative mode, readability, detoxifying texts and text generation.

Lorca covers 4 categories, each one uses a project structure adapted to that environment.

For example in novels, It is allowed to create characters, places and plot lines. This allows you to carry the entire structure of a scientific document. And it has another two to cover blogging jobs and posting for the Internet. And a free category that allows structure by chapters and sheets. Another feature of Lorca.ai is the possibility of translation into English and/or Spanish of its texts, in addition to readability where the user can better address their audience and the presence of dictionaries with definitions, antonyms and synonyms.

It also includes an online note and comment mechanism. All this thanks to Artificial Intelligence Kathe. For more information visit www.lorca.ai, where after registering you can have access to a special trial period just by mentioning in the contact lorca-dumspterfirepress

For the brief time that I’ve been utilizing it for things outside of DFP and there are a multitude of projects…I don’t have to worry so much about organization, the writing process becomes streamlined and yield a substantial amount of flexibility within the frame work provided. It’s like a the swiss army knife of writing at the moment but I will be honest and admit I have only dabbled with English to Spanish texts yet from what I have experimented with…it’s actually not only spitting out accurate translation but giving me a good grasp on the language as well.

I look forward to exploring LORCA even more than the poet himself haha…yeah, lame joke but here are some shots demonstrate how multifunctional and accessible this program is to even a semi-luddite like me… though they are in Spanish…also huge thanks to Boukker for providing the visuals from their PR department.

It’s definitely program worth trying, especially if you have a mind like a bullet train and you’re being pulled every whichway in the real world.

Give it a whirl and mention Dumpster Fire Press and you’ll get half off on the subscription.

I’d like to not only thank Samir Karimo for making me aware of this LORCA but we are also grateful to Asniel Rodriguez CEO of Boukker for allowing us to test drive this innovation.

I dare say, we will be collaborating further with this company in the future along with the whacky creators affiliated with them.

Stay surreal and check out the links at the bottom for more info…

https://www.facebook.com/lorcaai

https://www.instagram.com/lorca.ai/

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Robert Fleming

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Samir Karimo

The Creepy Environmentalist

I was walking through the dark forest when I saw something creepy: a humanoid tree had relations with the environmentalist Little Red Riding Hood and while they exchanged caresses, the seeded sap fell on the girl’s breasts, leading her to become a carnivorous plant that absorbed the moans of her lycanthropic victims and zombies.  

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Kappa Waugh

Benedictus

Benedictine in a tiny bottle,

tongue in, tongue out,

mooning, dreaming, face

of the boy who’d borrowed

a dollar last week, but

won’t speak to her now.

She slips her fingers

past her waistband, a new

face, the man who fingered

her five years ago during 

that movie The Nun’s Story

Audrey Hepburn’s face joins 

the man with his warm hand,  

they both touch her, delicate 

then rougher till she comes.

She returns to her homework:

J’ai veçu seul; sans personne

avec qui parler veritablement.

Alone with St. Exupéry in the

Sahara; Benedictine in a tiny

bottle their only sustenance.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Reece Beckett

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Ethan Goffman

One Man’s Trash

As I emptied the trash, a trove of glasses slipped into the garbage bag’s gaping mouth.  “Hey,” I asked my wife, “have you thrown out my old glasses”? 

“They were just sitting in a heap,” she said. “Some of them must have been decades old.” It was true, I had left them beneath my nightstand indefinitely. Still, just tossing them out was wasteful. There were kids in third world countries who could use them. Of course, “third world” is no longer acceptable, as it can be seen as lesser; “developing nations” is now the preferred designation. But some of them never seem to develop, so is it really accurate to call them “developing”? As so often happens, I had become lost in thought, paralyzed. If I wanted to restore the glasses, I had better act now.

I dove into the garbage bag’s vast mouth, pulled like a tiny spaceship into a black hole on my quest to restore vision to distant corners of planet Earth. (Though if Earth is round, can it have corners? All metaphors fail, most sooner than later, though since we think in metaphors, since language itself is a kind of metaphor, we have no choice but to use them). I was adrift in a vast sea of waste—or was it an ocean, a galaxy, or even a multiverse—again with the metaphors! My associative thinking often keeps me from accomplishing much of anything.

Back to the universe—or whatever—inside the garbage bag, through which I swam in a primitive doggie paddle style. I never did master more sophisticated strokes that require you to turn your head to breath. Banana peels and apple cores drifted by, along with a huge, stinking squash rind that had been part of yesterday’s dinner. Should I not have composted them? An enormous, empty Amazon box bumped into my forehead—it had so recently been filled with sweet expectation. Should I not have recycled it? Still, we are a society built on waste, and it seems impossible to avoid creating vast troves of trash as part of the great American consumption machine. It’s all so overwhelming. And where were those glasses?

In the kingdom of the legally blind, is she with glasses Queen?  If I did succeed in my quest to recover this jumble of glasses and have them delivered to the yearning masses overseas, would I be endowing myself with a kind of kingship among the recipients? Would I be an emperor, and if so was this quest as much about my imperialist need to put a stamp on the planet as about compassion for others? Perhaps I was simply a condescending benefactor trying to buy cheap absolution for my guilt at being born among the lucky ones. Most likely, the recipients would soon take the magical glasses that restored their vision for granted, would expect more, would become entitled, the ungrateful bastards!

Getting nowhere fast and slow, I tried switching to the breaststroke, which was somewhat better. I swam through ghosts of trash past, a smart phone recently discarded, a Roomba, power cords beyond counting for God-knows-what devices. Fortunately, none of the larger items had been tossed into the trash bag. It could have been deadly to run into our last washer-dryer, a lemon that had needed multiple repairs before we discarded it after only two years. Made cheap in China, it had been easier to replace than repair. Who cared about the sweat and tears of the Chinese workers? Besides, they needed the employment—for them, it was an opportunity.

And now I came upon older trash—a flip phone. A netbook. A Magnavox Videowriter, my first word processor. Stuff no one under thirty even remembered. Had all this gone into the very same trash bag? Perhaps this vast bag was itself a metaphor or a dream? But no, it felt as real as the living, breathing smart phone in my breast pocket, the heartbeat that kept me connected to reality.

I decided I’d better call my wife and explain to her my whereabouts. But all I got was an error message explaining that I was out of service range.

I must be miles beyond those lost glasses by now. They scarcely seemed worth it. Perhaps this would turn into a quest for home, an insignificant version of The Odyssey. Could I ever find my way back through this wildness of trash?

But no, I was already home. We Americans literally are what we buy, and this was a record of my past, of who I was. I would learn to enjoy it, to luxuriate, not in the new and trendy, but my whole history of consumption.

So here I float, happily meditative among oceans of not trash, but fine consumer goods. I have attained a kind of Nirvana. I do not need glasses. For the first time in my life, I have 20 20 vision.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Emalisa Rose

The pipedream of permanence

These rocks wear our names in

a pipedream of permanence.

Yet somewhere we’ve buried

our cabernet moon, our clinking

of glasses, rhyme over reason.

The sun steals our shadow.

I sent you two poems, penned

in the frenzy of midnight and

madness; our signatures linked

in the marquise’s italics.

Turnaround/turnaround.

The leaves kiss the sparrows.

It’s all as we’d written, though

it’s now grown apparent –

You’ve come to forget me.

Our summer of dandelions

In remiss of their wishes

they collapse on the side road

of Autumn’s diminishing fields.

Depleted, exhausted,

they gave what they could

of their destiny, written.

Come what may follow.

Without seeking semblance

or accolades, dandelions

submit to the crosswinds.

The flowers within

With some tools and

some topsoil, we toiled

on that miniscule patch

between the swings and

the picnic table, to grow

our first flowers.

Sadly, our timing was off,

unaware that April still frosts.

Our seeds never sprouted 

but our teamwork and talk

rewarded a gift of together  time, both of us cherished

That red wing revival

Truthfully, there’s not much

deviation in the stenciling of

branch after branch, mile after

mile, on the winter worn sky.

Save for cliche, of the red wing

revival, that breaks through the

funk of it, soothing the sorrow,

eluding to, yes, there’s an afterlife.

All on the drive back, from

Aunt Marie’s funeral.

Pebbles of prophecy

Sketching the shoreline, we

capture the twilight’s transition.

Countering clockwise, as

the evening had widened

I blinked twice, all’s been redacted

Our morning time musings,

now sea siphoned scribblings.

Particles morphed

into pebbles of prophecy

Here, where so little sustains

past the waves’ grand rotations.