VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Kristen DiLandro

Little failures everywhere

Black bulbs the size of pin heads germinate below the translucent layer of skin. Like clockwork, they grow thick, sharp sprouts reaching toward the sun. This coarse overgrowth reminds me how long it’s been since I’ve wielded a razor. No skirt today. Covering the legs is easy. But out in the open, my face conceals nothing. If you stand far enough away–or don’t have your glasses on–my eyebrows resemble an elegant arch. Up close, you see the stragglers, hellbent little strands challenging the formation. Examine my mug for 30 seconds and you’ll find (in addition to the unsightly hairs) age spots, wrinkles, dry patches, melasma, scars. Trousers can’t disguise my face. 

My failures also stack high. Issues pile up. The New Yorker. Nearly every flat surface in my home is a vertical calendar with months and weeks of other people’s writing to read. Maggotbrain. Alta. Piled up. The Sewanee Review. Piled on the coffee table. Outdoor. Piled next to the toilet. Vanity Fair. McSweeney’s Quarterly’s 58. The gangs all there. They are either towering mountain on the right half of my desk or they’re cozying up to the books beside my bed. Like too close talkers, the editions encroach on the Mary Gaitskill’s, Stephen King’s, Mary Karr’s, Chuck Palahniuk’s, Carl Jung’s, Zadie Smith’s, and a Dorothy Parker or a Harry Crews–who are patiently waiting for me too. On Saturday, the piling up breaks me down. I’m crying.  

“A clean house is the sign of a poorly lived life.” Or so goes the cliché. In Shirly, the biodrama about Shirley Jackson, she tells Stanley Edgar Hyman, “a well-kept home is evidence of mental incompetence.” In my apartment, clean dishes overwhelm the metal drying rack. The dirty ones sprawl out like sunbathers in the ceramic sink beach. Laundry accumulates in two hampers. Broken down cardboard slumps in the corner, taunting, “You never take me outside on time!” The compost bin’s top looks like a funny hat set atop an unruly hairdo of kale stems. The shoots, stalks, and skins prevent the lid from fitting right and instead it’s like a floating beret. 

Jackson might compliment my mental competencies. Still others might envy my well-lived life. From where I sit, I see my failures everywhere. 

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Iris Gipson

Bitch

Bitch you say? You gon’ learn today. When you say bitch make sure to add that extra adjective.

Beautiful bitch

Intelligent bitch

Tenacious bitch

Champion bitch

Harding working bitch

Brilliant bitch

Innovative bitch

Talented bitch

Courageous bitch

Helpful bitch

Hold on I got some more bitch

Bold bitch

invincible bitch

thoughtful bitch

Chic bitch

Honest bitch.

Behold incredible thighs curves and hips bitch

Brave bitch

Irresistible bitch

Trustworthy bitch, be sure to hold on to that bitch

Caring bitch

Humble bitch

It’s about to get bitchier in this bitch.

Boss bitch

independent bitch

Triumphant bitch

Clever bitch

Headstrong bitch, that bitch is a mighty force to reckon with

Let’s not forget warrior bitch. I am the shit bitch

Wise bitch

Strong bitch, shaking off bitch nigga bullshit.

Oh yasss bitch!

Breathtaking bitch

Inspiring bitch

Thoughtful bitch

Cute bitch

Heroic bitch, duntdadun bitch that muthafucking cape slay

Bad bitch

Iconical bitch

Terrific bitch, hands down the best bitch, head bitch in charge

Charming bitch

Honorable bitch

Dependable bitch is representing too

Ain’t no downfall with a down bitch

Real bitch cheers to you

You sassy bitch, amazing bitch

Pretty bitch shout out to you

Roll out the red carpet for the best, the baddest bitch of them all.

Her majesty sitting upon her throne with her head held high.

Take notes and bow your heads for her royal highness

QUEEN BITCH!

Yasss bitch, yasss bitch, yasss!

No I won’t go away

 I will cross your mind every day.

  Even when you’re mad you can’t push me to the dark corners and shadows like I never existed.

 I will dance in your daydreams my smile on replay.

 You tried it though staring at your phone wondering if you should call me.

  Will you deal with rejection finding out you may be blocked, the length of time we’ve been apart, I may have found someone else.

 Driving yourself crazy.

 You can’t forget me.

 I curled up inside the dark places filling them with light.

 I made the chaos uncomfortable.

 I won’t go away.

 I will flow with you as you move about, in a brief moment you may rest your eyes and you will imagine me sitting by your side with my hands rubbing your head you release that content sigh.

 All is right in the world until you open your eyes and realize it was a memory, of me and you in unison entwined in each other’s arms embracing the whole of the galaxy.

 For when we entwine we can hold our faith in our arms.

 when we entwine we create a divine intervention that alters both our realities.

 Our destiny soft spoken as we whisper to each other promises of a great future.

 I will set your body on fire when you think of my touch igniting the flames of passion within you.

 A powerful blaze that can only be extinguished with the healing waters of my devine energy, cascading down your throat chakra.

 Cooling your heart chakra.

  Charging your solar plexus.

 Filling your sacral chakra with blissful nectar.

 Providing you with longevity, giving your root chakra the heavenly release it deserves.

 In the silent moments, I will glide through your heart.

 Increasing your blood circulation.

 Blowing more oxygen in your lungs.

 I won’t go away. 

You will smell my scent on your t-shirts, accusing yourself of tripping because the shirts have been washed more than once.

 I will tip toe across your chest when you lay down for bed at night.

 Your arm reaches out searching to pull me closer.

 You toss and turn I was a phantom in your dreams.

 You hear my voice pounding against your eardrums.

 No I won’t go away.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: R. Keith

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Merritt Waldon

For Ferlinghetti__3/6/2021

Sitting in beige bar stool higher than the desk

Realizing a long with a great poet that I too

Have not lain with beauty all my life

Although beauty is everything, all of it;

The great mysterious sonata in one fell swoop

Never dying yet lying apart the multiple tones

Of home & security as the hushed bells

Of this dull cathedral clang against dry bones

Ever aching eternities awaken here

Where there’s honeydew

& wine of paradise plenty 

Reverberation of cyclical journeys

& revisited songs of youth

From a top weightless towers the word always

Looks smaller; yet is it not more vast

In its burgeoning

The missing of things year collides

With a great wall of humility

As I repeat the telling of oneself

That beauty is an idea

 & I have often slept alone

In the after midnight concerts of ink

& whispering, huddled in corners

Reciting ever flowing poem

Of beauty sleeping where

She pleases

After karmas grenade, and all has settled

Beauty doesn’t come around like she used to

And I am found whining Counting Crows songs

Trashing my own ego in the slaughtering ink

Of long nights of the dark souls slipping

Into the gut chuck of getting older &

Basically nothing in the grand stream

Of All that flows

Blasted to bits by truth & consequences

Goes to prove, it all comes around

Goes around

Spins like a top 

Or like a dervish twirling to

God sound

I stand looking out my white window out

To west main street, like a broken down

Clown/ trying to defuse the bomb

That’s on the inside

Away from the world

]having a vision of KEats in my situation

Yet we both would do the same

Search out the comfort of drink

And words

Hopefully at the full aid of muses

Dancing in circles, or keeping warm

Laps of the night

Yes, to sip and dream awake

The insatiable appetite 

Of such a pair

Wait. What? Where am I?

Miami…? No I was just in Indiana;

Or was that another time

There’s a map somewhere, I’m sure

In a Grecian urn

Hidden away

In the quiet


Between beauty & Keats, my liver__

Blue velvet coat/jacket

Eyes like black holes with the faintest hit of light

Around the pupils

Tonguing bright stars like oceans

Throughout time

Alas, what pen moves now

Irradiated with spirit

A lantern of blue fire

Across the blue lines

Towards a singular star

See them trembling?

I watch them wrecthing in wet joy midst

One another at the smile of his face

Drunken & lost

Within the whirlpool of vision

Hear the resounding rhythm

Driving the world mad with

Despondent beauty

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Dillinger

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Shane Allison

Bitch God Hustler of Heaven

For Vytautas

He’s a hard-hearted bitch

Hustling on street corners

Bare-assed on the black, plush seats of cars

Shooting birds

Mooning God

Spitting sperm on the gates of heaven

Because he knows he isn’t going to heaven 

For calling his mother a high- riding bitch

And blaming God 

For leaving him no choice but to sell his ass on the boulevard corner

Where the shit of birds 

Dries on the windshields of Cadillac cars

Where he gives head to unknown men in the front seat of their car

He wishes he could say that it was better than heaven,

that he saw stars and little blue birds

Circling over head. He’s a street smart bitch 

Who pleasures men in black limousines on the street corner 

As they scream,“Oh God”

But God 

Does not forgive hustlers who deface the paint jobs of cars 

Parked on the street where an undercover cop stands on the corner 

With hair the color of an angel from heaven 

Rubbing his denim crotch. He will never be that bitches

Jailbird

For he is a bird 

Who can’t be caged, God

Life’s a bitch 

When one loses his cherry in the back seat of dark cars

With legs pointed to the skies of heaven,

Feet scrambling, scraping the black tops of street corners

He stomps on those hustling hoes that invade his corner 

Clip the wings of those birds,

Those angels pushed out of the gates of heaven 

for pissing in the face of God 

Giving golden showers to tricks in their cars

A low-down and dirty bitch

Standing on the corners of streets waving down cars

driven by men with wings for arms in the face 

Of the bitch Goddess of heaven 

John Wants My Ass

John wants my ass

But he won’t admit it ‘cuz he’s afraid his wife will find out.

Even though I keep swearing to the teeth that she won’t.

He wants to tongue my asshole,

But he won’t come clean, that he wants to get in my jeans

After telling him that I’m his fuckbuddy for life.

He can tongue my scumhole until the cows come home

But all he says is, “I’m gonna call the cops if you keep calling here.”

After letting him know he’s got a fuckbuddy for life

And I’ll bend like a stem to get my ass rimmed,

He threatens to sick the brass on my black ass

Just because I know what I want.

I’ll bend like a stem, to get my ass rimmed

By that redneck mouth of the south

‘Cuz I’m a fucking slut, who wants a tongue up his butt

By that pansy John Hanvey in the bed, his wife lays her head in.

John  slobs on my Indian corncob with his mouth of the south,

Cuz I couldn’t get him to stop from staring at my cock,

In the same bedroom his wife lays her head in.

He fucked me like hell in a Chicago hotel,

For he was transfixed on my dick,

That redneck lunatic

Who fucked me like hell in a Chicago hotel

And forced me to scream his name.

This southern lunatic

Can’t get enough of my dick 

Who forces me to sang his name

While he fucks me like the redneck hick he is   

Tonight I’m Eric Estrada

Tonight I’m wearing panties

I’m a big shooter

I’m a top

I’m a bottom

I’m someone’s jack off buddy

Tonight I’m a stud

Tonight I’m a muscle daddy

I’m an afternoon delight

I’m a Queens encounter

Tonight there are no strings attached

I’m a midtown guy always on the prowl

it’s blowjob time

I’m a bear

Tonight I’m looking to eat butt

I want slow, sensual bodywork

you’ll find me at all down town clubs

I’m just a college student looking for fun

Tonight I am that fun hang out buddy

Tonight I’m a bachelor

I’m an Asian stud

I’m a lesbian police officer

I look like George Clooney

Tonight I’m Donnie Osmond

I’m Eric Estrada

I’m looking to worship big cocks

I’m handsome with a big cock

I’m adventurous & open-minded

everyone gets no hassle blowjobs

I’m a black top with 9 scrumptious inches

Tonight I’m married

Tonight the wedding ring comes off

I’m old fashioned, yet modern

I’m looking for a Japanese girlfriend

I’m gonna be somebody’s suga daddy

I’m boyfriend material

I’m chasing my cheating boyfriend down the street with a machete

Tonight I’m a medical school hottie

Tonight I’m Greek and new to the city

I’m experienced and well hung

I’m a show off

Tonight it’s my first time

I’m cute as hell

I’m looking to $ervice you completely

I want my ass filled up

Tonight I’m your body-shaving buddy

I got a juicy cock

I’m a loving guy

I got a thin rod with a mushroom head

I’m a Queens male looking for bisexual fun

I only want a discreet relationship

nobody’s perfect

everybody’s perfect

Tonight let’s fuck

Tonight we play

I give free sensual, erotic massages 

Tonight I got a BIG thick dick

I got a FAT pink pussy

I’m sucking young fat ass cock

Tonight I want a jock

Tonight I am that jock

I’m a nerdy guy

I want to sniff used underwear

I’m a park stalker

I’m a transgender maid

Tonight I suck & lick

Tonight it’s full service for all midtown boys

Tonight it’s free dildos for everyone

I got an ass you wouldn’t believe

I’ll jack off in front of you

I’m a bi femme

I’m a walking G-spot

I’m your Asian masseur

I’m that 50+ male

Tonight I’m available exclusively for you

I’m Jenna Jameson

I’m a phone sex operator

I’m a cute girl with baby fat

Tonight I’m in my mid-twenties living in Soho and I want it now

I’m a cock-craving maniac

I’m your daddy needing dick

I’m your sexy lioness

I’m your dyke on a bike

Tonight I’m young & white

Tonight I’m your Brooklyn boy

Tonight I’m clean-cut

I’ll massage your ass

I’m your disease-free top daddy

I’m your hairy-chested German

Tonight I’m looking for fast fun in downtown Manhattan

I’m jock strapped in midtown

I’m fat & feminine

Tonight I’m in all places at one time

But tomorrow I won’t remember your name


Fucked

Fucked

Fucked

It’s fucked

Everything

Is fucked

Everything is 

fucked

I worsh

I worshipped 

I worshipped you

Worshipped you

You

You were

You were my

You were my Hero

You were my Hero

There wuz

There wuz no

There wuz nobody

Like you

Like you

I ain’t never met 

Anybody like you

Said

I

Ain’t

Never

Met

Anybody

Like

You

There ain’t

There isn’t

There ain’t

Nobody like

Poets like you

Poets like you don’t

Poets like you don’t grow on trees

You 

You know 

You know what 

You know what I’m

You know what I am

You know what I am sayin’

You know what I’m sayin’

Do you see what I’m sayin

Do you fucking know 

What

Am 

Saying

Damn 

Damn I 

Damn I thought you 

Damn I thought you were the shit

I thought you 

Were the shit

I thought you was the shit

Thought you wuz the shit, man

 I

I use 

I useta to

I useta to love

I used to love your

I used to love your work

I useta love your poems

Shit I useta love your poems

Useta read em

Useta read em ova and ova

Ova and ova again

Again and again

And again again

Over and over again

You 

You were 

You were like 

You were like a 

You were like a celebrity

You wuz like a celebrity to me

A star

A star

A      bright and shinin’    star

A bright and shinin’ star 

A real star

I thought you were a star

I  wrapped

I    wrapped

Wrapped you

I wrapped you      in red

wrapped you    in red carpets

Red carpets

Red carpets I wrapped you in

Now it’s

Now it’s fucked

Everything is

Everything is fucked

Everything is fucking fucked up

It’s dirty

Dirty

Filthy

O so filthy

O it’s so fucking   filthy

Tainted

Tainted and fucking filthy

Fucked up and filthy

Now I

Now I hate 

Now I hate

Can’t even see straight

Now I can’t even see straight cuz I hate

You.

You

Hate you

Wish you

Wish you were

Wish you 

Were

My heart is

My heart is bleeding

My heart is bleedin’

I’m bleedin’

Believe I’m bleedin’

Never want to

Never wanna

Never wanna see you again

And I never want to 

I never want to see you

Again

Cuz I don’t 

Cuz I don’t know

What I might

What I might do

I don’t know what I might do

Don’t know what I might do to you

Everything is fucked

Everything is

Is fucked up everything

This shit is fucked up

This shit be fucked up

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: László Aranyi

deumus

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Morley Cacoethes

Pebbles of Desolation X

Beechnut gum from my tobacco pouch

dusts these pitiful pulp magazines. Ol’ Morley 

waiting south to read, viewing southward, 

the papers and pencils and the heights 

wilt able in one day. My poor endeavoring 

human desk at which I sit so often during 

the day. I wave to all those snowy majesties.

Pebbles of Desolation XI

So I renege on some in Brooklyn.

The store he’s housed and got stuffed 

curses to see him pulling endangerment, 

her last agreed no more dead already. 

My father is a dream, long said any them, 

pale, he had it pinned to her last agreement, 

her con mainstream in him. I had been 

along to say anything from his bed 

and some confidence to the street.

A gleam in the front goes off in the gray 

darkness of the meat, but Ol’ Morley sees 

his bed sleep and steak cold swirling. 

The meat sheets around bareheaded 

and wants a good stuck to their available.

We had become such a vague ephemeral 

crowd that the down man hoped on our agreement, 

in the night under a loin street. A gleam 

has now completed its time butchering,

thin and pale, but our hands insulted in blue.

Pebbles of Desolation XIII

O haunted fools, we are you! Don’t swim

even a thousand miles away like a living message 

to a long letter. I’m right there. Every minute 

a thousand miles away for weeks. Don’t despair, 

mountains. I’ll take cups of hardships, but I know 

how I shall repay the saffron freezing in bondage.

I know how I shall ever haunt this world left alone, 

swimming to my mother to come from the burning river.

FINAL CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: GODS, GUNS GLORY & GREED

Getting things in order for what will be our final anthology before Dumpster Fire Press officially shuts down in February 2023…not that we won’t be back but for a plethora of reasons a one year sabbitical at the very least is needed…

Earlier this year we hit you with BEDROOM ANATOMY LESSONS focusing on a wide array of romantic and erotic experiences touching on the pure and toxic.

Then came along WORLD ON FIRE: PROPAGANDIE…pandemics, war, the erosion of civilization, and all sorts of apocalyptic variable fueled by you guessed it…political propaganda.

Now in the traditon of our third and final anthology akin to last year’s CHILDHOOD’S END which encompassed two themes…TWILIGHT OF THE SUPERHUMANS and WAITING FOR LUCY…we present GODS, GUNS, GLORY & GREED

art by Dillinger

What brought that world on fire fueled by propagandie that teaches us bedroom anatomy lessons?

First off, I’ve always been a fan of comics and the foundations of pulp fiction which birthed them…an American invention and what is the most American genre that shined thorughout pulp and even cinema…the western!

art by Dillinger

Good old fashioned western pulpiness of rugged individualism full of greed, guns, glory with a touch of god via Amerikan Biblicism. The first half of the anthology will feature poetry, art and stories in homage to that bloody fisted and bullet drenched genre illuminating a whole slew of things. Organized like a silver age comic almost with satiric ads here and there as well.

Country western stuff with some cityfuck twist, I don’t know…if this press actually knew what it was doing would the logo really be a flaming dumpster? Hell let’s make it a cheeky homage to pulp and consider the Lizard King and his almost famous catch phrase “When the Music’s over”…possibly directed by Sergio Leone and starring John Wayne.

Now onto final half which gets to the cornerstone of most this shit derailing a progressive evolution…religion!

art by Dillinger

Cults, religion…what a way to control humanity. Going backward as we thrust into the future, have our beliefs really changed all that much. World on fire amid the inflictions of bedroom anatomy lessons…do you like Jung? What do you know about totems? WE ARE CULT! IT’S A CULT THEME! How about just doing something wickled, violent and depraved or even hopeful and redeeming in a primal idenity most complimentary or a dreamscape nightmare vision. Pick any side of the ever varying spectrum in the modern animal kingdom both hidden and blatant.

of course there’s poems, stories and art dealing wtih cult antics and mysticism but we alslo look at political animals via various covers of Time Magazine provided by DFP heavy hitter Paul Warren and various totem-esque tribes…did I mention the EIC of DFP will also be attempting to weave a frenetic unifying religious text around these words and images?

Shit is getting real and hard boiled as we head into the sixth extinction and head toward the twilight of DFP’s second phase.

DEADLINE OCTOBER 1st.

Head to the submissions page for guidelines and such.