VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Damian Ward Hey

I Got You

(Addiction’s Lullaby)

While I’m here, Motherfucker,

and you got your jack up going,

let’s get something straight.

Your momma don’t own your ass.

Your daddy don’t own your ass.

Your old lady don’t own your ass.

Your old man don’t own your ass.

Your landlord don’t own your ass.

Your boss don’t own your ass.

Your job don’t own your ass.

Your pimp don’t own your ass.

The government don’t own your ass.

The IRS don’t own your ass.

Bank of America don’t own your ass.

The policeman don’t own your ass.

The Office of Corrections don’t own your ass.

Life don’t own your ass.

In fact, don’t even God own your ass.

And if even God, His Almighty Self,

don’t own your ass,

ain’t no fucking way you do.

So, guess who owns your ass.

That’s right, you nod-off motherfucker – I do.

I own your ass.

And I’m the kind of motherfucker

leaves you to drown

face-down in your own puddle of

piss, sweat, and I-don’t-give-a-fuck.

Fuck with me, I’ll rot your skin off,

no matter what the fuck color it is.

You understand?

Alright, then. 

There we go.

Ok.

Now, you just rest into it, baby.

Like I said –

I got you.

Pax Vobiscum

There were no people at the laundromat,

or on the street, or hanging around the corner bodega,

or loitering in front of the liquor store.

There were no long-used cars behind the church,

waiting for shuffling old men and old women to return;

there were no children wearing uniforms and book bags,

chasing each other around in the school playground;

there were no small groups of cold men,

clustered together in the parking lot

in front of the orange home-improvement retail store;

and there were no pick-up trucks, offering a day’s work,

paid in cash money, under the table,

and off the books. 

There were no people at that crack house in Wyandanch.

The fixing crew had been by and done what it could,

so we spent the day working in the yard. 

As day grew on,

we found the frozen body of a dead cat

stuck to the patio stones.

We scraped it up with a snow shovel

and dumped it into a thick, black garbage bag

which we left out on the curb for special pick-up.

And when we tied the bag shut, the last thing we saw

were the bones of the half-decayed cat skull

grinning up at the sky through the ice and leaves.

I see Love hanging out at the food court

I see Love hanging out at the food court

at the ass end of the mall

and think,

Wow – Love looks like shit!

The old man was right to badger you, Agathon –

you overdressed dandy.

Sure, your heart was in the right place,

but you couldn’t possibly have been more wrong:

Love is not beautiful, youthful, or wise.

Quite the opposite, in fact:

Love is a ragged person without a home,

digging around in the trash,

looking for thrown-away, half-eaten hamburgers,

begging young people for change,

and being a general pain in the ass.

I see it, first-hand:

the ugly incarnation of desire,

barely recognized, but unmistakable.

Why

does something catch

as I look away?

Why,

when I look back,

is the beggar gone?

Pain

When called

to wander through you, Pain,

we play

that game we invented.

I’ll ask

“How do you justify faith?”

You’ll answer,

“The wronged body.”

Then, I’ll ask,

“How do you fortify spirit?”

And you’ll reply,

“The gut of time.”

All along,

you’ll infer the pitch of my questions;

while I

gauge where your responses will land.

And when

the game is done, for the time being,

we’ll walk,

together, in silence, toward your horizon.

Or else,

you’ll leave me behind, at your nearest edge.

DEATH BY PUNK: submissions

Dumpster Fire Press is proud to announce its first anthology for 2021…

DEATH BY PUNK

cover by Dillinger

The name and art say it all…

Punk themed and possibly death themed wherever you really want to go with it along with various levels of outrageousness

Send your poems, stories, art, even essays to

clockworkoomphstudios@gmail.com

DEADLINE… MARCH 1ST 2021

art by Dillinger

grinding through the flames

Taking about a week off unless I go crazy from overwork…

However, DFP will be announcing its first anthology and seeking submissions.

yeah, my girlfriend bought that for me…

VOICES FROM THE FIRE WILL RETURN JANUARY 31

Stay surreal

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Jared & Amanda Morningstar

The War on Christmas? (J. Morningstar)

You mean like the war

that poorly-educated rednecks,

with arsenals in their coat closets,

think they can wage to overthrow

their star-spangled government

that has a defense department

gifted with nearly

a trillion dollars a year

by the same politicians that

they, themselves, were responsible

for electing to office?

Someone better tell these

wannabe HollyJollySantaJesus Destroyers

before they go up against

the strange bedfellows that are

AmazonWalmartCocaColaHallmarkEtc

and the mom-and-pop shops

illuminated like the Griswold House

in every downtown in America

that they don’t stand a chance.

It’ll be over before

it even gets started.

Which, of course, it hasn’t.

And it never will.

An Ember’s Lullaby (Amanda Morningstar)

Orange and yellow shimmer back

in the lake; it could be beautiful

from a different angle.

Every night, she had the dream;

every night, her world was burning.

And then she was at school again,

Confusion’s delusions.

And then she was in class again,

at her desk again,

was she in that dress again?

Remembering premonitions

as her world burns down around her.

It didn’t feel like she had been sleeping:

“I had the dream again.”

“But you’re wearing the dress.”

The hallway is full of echoes

as they all scream into the void.

She slams her locker shut

and the voices disappear.

She stares:

Alarm. Warning. Danger.

A call to action. A call to run away.

She waits in the office;

she waits for them to tell her it is all a dream.

“You can’t go home.”

They all refuse to say the words

as the world burns down around her.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Harry McNabb

Mr. Socks and the Giant Bee

I decided, after I had seen a post on social media about “coming out day,” that I would make a pivotal decision about my sexuality for forever or for the time being.

I said to myself that if the boss called me in to his office in the next 30minutes I would announce that I was gay and start looking for a man to have sex with.

I have heard that it is not so hard to find a man to have sex with.

Men want it more. It’s sad if you’re a straight man, but not so sad if you’re a gay man. This was a large part of why I made this resolution.

So, I went back to work drawing pictures of cats and dogs for the military and when the PA said, “Mr. Socks, please report to Mr. Panthershit’s office, I thought to myself, “all right, time to find a man to fuck.”

The PA said for 5 other people to come to the office, too. I wondered if we were all fired. Perhaps, I thought, I would become gay and fired on the same day. That would be a turnip for the books.

Turnip for the books is better than saying turnup for the books because you imagine a turnip being given to more than one book. I imagine smiling cartoon faces on the turnip and the books in my mind when I say it.

I and 5 other men got up and went to Mr. Panthershit’s office on the other side of the floor. I looked at the other men walking with me. “Would I fuck them?” I asked myself.

We arrived in Mr. Panthershit’s office. Mr. Panthershit was a short man with glasses. He had a bucket underneath his chin to collect large amount of drool that was frothing out of his mouth. I did not judge. When I am really hungry, I drool like the dickens. Although I have never used a bucket? I wondered, where would I buy a bucket? I had never seen one at the grocery store. Maybe I just hadn’t looked hard enough for one.

“Gentleman,” said Mr. Panthershit, “I have just seen a creature on the television that I would like to eat. It is a giant meowing bee. It is six feet in diameter, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it since I saw it on the news 15 minutes ago and heard the enchanting meow that it emitted into the reporter’s microphone. I have summoned you here because I need one of you to catch it and give it to my cook, Emile. By tomorrow, I want a meal of bee. Please catch it for me and I will give you one thousand dollars. Now, be gone. Time is of the essence. Good day.”

We left.

The workday was a relatively painless piss in the pot, and I went home, wondering about which website I would use to find a man for me to have sex with. At that point, at the end of the day, I was not sure if I did want to fuck a man. I just knew that it would be easy, and I prefer to do easy things rather than hard things like try and get a girl to want to fuck me.

I was caught up in this maelstrom of conflicted feelings when I went onto my balcony to smoke a cigarette. I was smoking my cigarette and wasn’t really getting anywhere when I heard a voice in my head.

Hello! It said.

“Hello,” I said, not knowing who I was talking to.

I have come from Denmark because I am fully grown and want to see the world.

I looked up and saw a giant bee with a big friendly smile on its face.

“Meow,” it said.

“Are you the voice inside my head?” I asked

Yes, sir, the giant bee communicated to me, I can only communicate via telekinesis, sadly with only a small fraction of the world’s population, of which you are one! On the outside, I can only say “meow.”

“Meow,” said the bee.

“Ah, I see,” I said, “well, welcome to America, Bee. We’re pretty fucking dirty immoral people here. I think we should all kill ourselves, frankly.”

Oh no! You are not dirty and immoral at all! I have experienced many kind words and happy smiles from the people of this country! I could never think those horrible things about you at all!

“Well, get a load of this,” I said, lighting another cigarette, “my boss wants to eat you. He saw you on the news and he just told me to hunt you down and give you to his chef.”

That is not something I am comfortable with, but in the interest of good relations between the humans of America and the giant bees of Denmark I would not have a problem with sacrificing one of my six arms because I can regrow them.

“Like a starfish?” I said.

What is a starfish?

“I think you have barely scraped the surface on the wonders of the world outside Denmark,” I said.

I let the bee into my apartment, and we sat discussing the business of the world. I told it many great stories and it was enthralled. I have to say, it’s positive outlook on life and its naivety were greatly refreshing to me, and as I explained the different aspects of the world to it my own appreciation for those things grew.

However, it was getting late. I needed to go to sleep, but I didn’t want it to leave.

You are tired, said the bee, yet you do not want me to leave.

“Well, you guessed it,” I said.

Why don’t you let me stay and show you my wet hole.

“Meow,” said the bee.

“A wet hole? Is that what I think it is?”

A giant bee’s wet hole is a lovely present that we share with all creatures. When we make a person happy with our wet holes, we give birth to thousands of lovely giant bees with their own wet holes. Please, Mr. Socks. Will you try my wet hole?

I really liked this bee. This was one cool, awesome bee.

But I was not used to this, I was nervous. Still, I asked “bee, what is your name?”

XXXEFORfussMeAT30?, said the bee.

“XXXEFORfussMeAT30?, will you accompany me to my bed?”

The next morning, I woke up cuddling the warm fur of the giant bee. I wanted to take it out for a steak dinner that night. I knew, already, my eyes blinking the sleep off of my eyes, that I wanted to do that.

But how would I afford the steak dinner?

A lightbulb appeared above my head.

I could take the bee to my boss, the giant bee would let the chef, Emile, cut off part of its arm and I would get a thousand dollars.

“XXXEFORfussMeAT30?,” I said, “wake up! we need to go to my boss and get that grand.”

Okay, said the bee, do you think your boss will be okay with just eating part of my arm? It does regenerate, but the best meat is in my bosom.

“I’m sure he’ll be fine with it,” I said.

We walked to the bus stop and took the bus to my work. Because of the fact that I had a giant danish bee, everyone we met gave me approving smiles. I really liked this fucking bee.

We went into the office and all my coworkers were impressed.

“Man, you’re gonna make that thou,” they said, “way to go Mr. Socks!”

I was happy to the max.

I knocked on the door of Mr. Panthershit’s office. His chef, Emile opened the door.

Mr. Panthershit was still drooling into his bucket.

“Aha!” he said, “I knew that you wouldn’t let me down! Emile, sharpen the knives!”

“Well, Mr. Panthershit,” I said, “the thing is, you can’t eat the bee. You can only have a piece of it.”

“What?” said Mr. Panthershit, “But I want the whole thing! Stand aside, take your thousand dollars and begone! This bee is mine!”

“I won’t let you kill this bee,” I said, stepping in between Emile and the bee, “it is a wonderful creature! It is the first telekinetic species ever to develop on planet earth.”

“I don’t care if it can turn lead into gold,” said Mr. Panthershit, “I want it in my belly right now!”

“I’m afraid I can’t allow that,” I said, “I have become very attached to this bee.”

“Give me the bee or you’re fired,” said the little man, standing up.

“You’ll have to fire me then,” I said.

“Fine,” said Mr. Panthershit, “fuck off.”

The bee and I left. We did not exchange telekinetic messages all the way down the elevator and into the street.

I am so sorry, said the bee, hovering next to me as I stepped out on to the street, I didn’t want to make your life worse! I am so sorry!

“It’s okay,” I said, “we’re together so it doesn’t matter.”

It does matter, said the bee, I can’t cause trouble for other living beings. I absolutely cannot cause suffering. I must go.

The bee flew off.

“XXXEFORfussMeAT30?!” I said, “no! don’t leave me!”

But by the time I had uttered that sentence, the bee was already miles away.

I looked down at my socks dejectedly.

That’s why they call me Mr. Socks.

I don’t wear shoes. Only socks.

“Well, I guess I’m going to Denmark,” I said to myself.

If there was one takeaway from this sorry business, it was the realization that I was not sexually attracted to men or women. I was attracted to giant bees.

“Wet holes, here I come!” I said.

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Marc Olmsted

LIZARD SKIN BLUES

I voted of course

recycled

marched with a sign

as planet boils & species die

& my own blood’s stand-off

w/ gallons of cancerous pesticides

& tons of phony chemical sandwiches

consumed more than half decade

lizard skin where once infected

I am the planet Earth

I am the compost bucket

dissolving bag of turds

plutonium drum rusting

at the ocean’s dark floor

cracked with an angler fish glow

NIGHT OWL PROPHECIES

Nearly dawn

cable TV

The Deer Hunter

Frost/Nixon

Fall of Saigon & post-Watergate

New day for Old America

& impeachment of Trump

prophecies of déjà vu

wakefulness to dream

to wakefulness again

NEW YEAR’S

Fireworks above the suburbs

reflected in dark windows

though several nights ago

the thunder was a pistol

on the wrong end of a drug deal

just a block and a ½ away

3AM in the park of fixes

I heard 2 shots the first pop the second

A cannon boom & a man went out

through the sound barrier crack

that opened the worlds so briefly

& he stepped through

With a red pool

catching the streetlamps

in the wolf hour

Flaming garbage

It was a short week for DFP, after the deluge of two releases and the premier of VOICES FROM THE FIRE…

This week was more the routine I’m going for even though civilian life isn’t exactly normal right now working a job that shouldn’t be demanding with a consistently fluctuating schedule in which one is not allowed to defend themselves when having their dignity assaulted by hostile consumers upset at the failed attempt of a fascist coup…seeking a new source of income in which more kinky fascists twats (see Paul Tanner you’re a positive influence) need to know what you do on your own time in order how to tell you to live to bestow pending employment which still isn’t enough to live due to excessive bullshit jobs endorsing private surveillance, more needless exorbitant salaries and information moving which could even be automated driving up the cost of living, you know like a private tax…

Remember kids, it’s not freedom if it lies beyond open carry and telling someone how to live…added bonus if you can spread a potentially lethal disease…

Art by James Maj original The Grind conceptual cover art resembling jail cell bars

Let’s be honest if that synthetic urine doesn’t work for a subpar warehouse gig, there’s a Bud-Tender and Axe-Throwing Coach opportunity out there, somewhere…how about both?

Spark a fatty throw sharp objects maybe consume a bit of alcohol, what could go wrong?

Which brings me to some semi exiting news…

Dumpster Fire Press is still seeking submissions for VOICES FROM THE FIRE, still a little light, would like to keep going three times a week at least…maybe four.

Poetry, prose, flash fiction, art of any sort, even comics…let’s get zany

Poetry no more than four poems submitted

Ficiton no more than twenty pages

Flash Fiction

Art? I don’t care, whatever you want in any medium

Submit to the point I want to slash my wrists…

Just remember Times New Roman Font, 12pt.

1.15-1.5 spacing at the most

clockworkoomphstudios@gmail.com

We’re about having voices heard, whether those voices have had a chance to speak or not, this dumpster fire that is life burns fierce but can go unnoticed for the most part.

Get published, get noticed, sound off or don’t…maybe get published.

Once a voice arises from the fire on the site, there will be a year end VOICES FROM THE FIRE ANTHOLOGY which I hope becomes a semi impressive tome.

In addition I’ll be announcing three more anthologies which will trickle out during the rest of the year with some pretty intriguing and bizarre themes and I can’t wait for a lot of you to contribute and see who else wants to become a Voice From the Fire.

The about page has info on how and where to submit if your brain has been scrambled from my scribbled typed babbling.

Take it easy,

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Samir Karimo

Diesel Boy

I’m awake.

I’m in a cabaret. In the distance I can see the crown of the Chrysler Building and at same time hear the enigmatic voice of Ella Fitzgerald who seems to speak to aliens who play with my essence. 

 I see some silhouettes in the dark.

I still remember that Marinetti, or Pollak of Light Gang, spoke of a zeppelin that would allow us to escape from this corrupted world dominated by the tyranny of the enemy forces together with the factions of METROPOLIS.

 But there’s still a chance…

When I was a little boy, I was told that I’d be the bridge that would unite all sides in this bloody city.

 I’m a cog in the diesel-shaped machine

. Yes, my blood is not normal, but it’s made of Diesel, the primary substance that makes the Maschinenmensch, the human machinery moves, and the city is renewed at every moment, rebuilding itself at ease.

But if my rare diesel shaped blood is misused it can lead to a stage of drunkenness that could communicate with the cabalistic forces… I’ve got to fire this rocket….