VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Harry McNabb

I Want to be a Pet

I slept on the floor of the lettuce room.  It was wet.  My pants were wet because whenever my clothes are wet, I shiver out a small allotment of fear-pee.  I had no choice.  My father had given me a knuckle sandwich when I’d said I needed a place to live.  That knuckle sandwich was not a tasty sandwich.  It stunk of mint and was made from the knuckles of an unclean race.

The walls were black.  Made out of the same plastic that they make garbage bags out of.  But they were smooth.  What light there was reflected off the lettuces and into the black walls, where, if you pushed yourself, you could see what should be stars, but weren’t.

I rolled over onto the t-shirt I was using as a pillow.  Why do they think lettuces needed this much water, I thought.  It seemed like a waste.  I imagined that I was on a surfboard lolling in the waves and with a significant amount of trouble, went to sleep.

I woke up to a lady yelling “homeless person!”

“Homeless person!” she yelled.  It was weird.  She was smiling.

“Homeless person!” she shouted again, with a smile on her face.  The people shopping for lettuce seemed more put off by her shouting than by me sleeping under the lettuce trays.  Jacie had forgotten to wake me up.  I was in trouble.

“Homeless person,” she shouted again, still smiling.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, I – “

“Homeless person!” the lady shouted again.

She appeared to really like saying “homeless person.”

I saw my manager, Casey, come walking through the door.  He looked annoyed.

“Homeless person!” said the lady.

“I’m the manager, ma’am,” said Casey, “can I help you?’

“My lettuce is bad!” the woman shouted.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” said Casey, “we have some very fresh lettuce over here that I can show you, I- “

“My lettuce started to go bad when I started coming to this store.  Now I know why,” she said, looking at me.

Casey looked at me too.  The muscles below his eyes contracted slightly betraying the fury underneath his customer service persona.

“Homeless person!” the lady shouted again, pointing at me.

“He is not a homeless person,” said Casey, “he’s been on break and he took it in the wrong place.  I assure you ma’am; he is not the reason that your lettuce has been tasting bad.  But, since you have been having issues with your lettuce, we will supply you with a bunch of our finest lettuce for free.”

This appeared to mollify the woman.

“I’ll take your lettuce, but I’m not coming back here,” she said, “this place is filthy.”

Casey escorted her to a tray of our most expensive lettuce.  I put on the apron that was where I was sleeping.  I put it on and tied it in the back.  I also picked up the t-shirt I had been sleeping on.  I had a massive headache from tiredness and laying my temple down on that wet, hard surface.  I hastened towards the breakroom, through the bright-eyed shoppers who had probably gotten good night’s sleeps last night. 

I came into the breakroom and hid the t-shirt behind the couch.  I sat down and massaged my head.  There was a blanket next to me.  I put it around me, trying to warm up, or at least soak up some of the moisture.  Jacie came in.  She was wearing her overcoat.  So that’s what happened. She was late.  She was carrying a basket.

“Hey,” she said, “I’m sorry I didn’t wake you up.”

“I’m probably going to get fired,” I said quietly.

“What happened?” she said.

“This lady saw me sleeping and basically threw a fit and Casey saw too, so he’s going to be on my case.”

“Casey on your case,” said Jacie.

“That’s right,” I said, brightening up a little, “Casey on my case.  What’s new.”

I looked at her basket.  It was filled with rubber models of whales and submarines.

“What’s with the toys?” I said.

“Oh, they’re my son’s,” she said, “for some reason, when he was a kid, he was obsessed with whales and submarines.”

“Yeah?” I said.

“He would always draw pictures of whales and submarines,” she said, “once he got good at drawing them, he did nothing but draw pictures of cyborg whales that were half-whale, half-submarine.”

“Half-whale, half-submarine.  That’s really cool,” I said.

“Yeah, you’d probably like the drawings.  They’d be right up your street,” said Jacey, hanging up her coat, “these days all he draws are naked men.”

“Naked men?” I said.

“yeah, well,” said Jacey, putting on her apron, “he’s a teenager and he’s gay, so he’s just into naked men right now.  My parents keep pestering me to send them some of his drawings, but I’m afraid to send them these pictures of naked men, so I keep making up excuses.”

“There are plenty of images of naked men throughout art history,” I said, “look at Michelangelo’s David.”

“I know, but he always draws the men masturbating, or sticking butt-plugs up their asses,” she said, “anyway, I’ve got to go tell Casey I’m sorry for being late.”

“I’m surprised he doesn’t draw pictures of naked men sticking those whales and submarines up their asses.”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” she said, “why don’t you spread those whales and submarines around the room, I brought them in to try and brighten up the place.”  She left.

I massaged my head and looked at the basket of whales and submarines.  Even though I felt the pain on the top of my head, I knew that root of the pain resided in my temple.  Rub rub.  Rub rub.

There were some shelves that no one ever used, so I decided to put the whales and submarines there.  The whales stood up on their own, but the submarines fell over when I tried to set them up.  I started thinking of whale-submarine hybrids.  What they would look like.  How they would be able to fire torpedoes. 

Casey came in.

“What you did today just can’t happen again,” he said, “we’ve told you couldn’t sleep here when you asked, and that hasn’t changed.  I’ve talked to Mike and we’re taking you off the schedule.”

I nodded.  I took off my apron.  I wondered why I had put it on to begin with.  When Casey left the room, I took a whale and submarine for myself.  I wished that I could combine them and make a subwhale.  Maybe someday in the future whales would learn how to equip themselves to fight humans and, hopefully, win.

I left the store.  Maybe if I begged my dad, he would let me live with him.  I would eat his knuckle sandwich like crow.

I walked down the street to the bus stop and waited.  When the bus came it was empty.  Except for the driver.  He was a really weird driver.  He was really skinny with slanted eyes and two snakebite piercings below his lip.  The snakebites looked like fangs and his appearance suggested a snake.  He looked at me like I was trash and that pissed me off.

How do those lucky people afford the luxury of viewing other human beings like trash.  We’re all just trying to get along.  Seriously.  I can’t stand those people. 

I went to the back of the bus.

For a few minutes, I slept.  I was going to miss my stop.  I didn’t care.  I would take another bus.  I needed sleep so bad.

I woke up to a sound of whirring electricity.  We were not in Kansas anymore.  The bus was in a nebula of some kind.  A red nebula.  I thought that it must be a dream, but I had the clarity of wakefulness.  Perhaps it was a lucid dream.

The snake-like bus driver was standing in the middle of the bus looking at me.  He gestured his hand towards me, and a gaseous red orb appeared between us.  I got up because I was nervous.  Then I realized I was not the same height as I had been before and that I was shrinking.  Oh lord.  It was like that movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

I shrunk to the point that the bus resembled the Grand Canyon.

The giant bus driver waved his hand again and I found myself imprisoned inside the red orb. 

“You will make a nice pet,” said the bus driver.

“A pet?”  I thought.

Then, I thought: “A pet!”

“Oh my God,” I thought, this was exactly what I needed.

“Thank you,” I said to the bus driver.  “You are about to go on a journey, auxiliary to mine,” he said.  “You will never have to worry about having a place to sleep or needing food ever again.”

“What will you feed me?” I asked.  I didn’t want to eat dogfood.

“You will be able to eat pasta, pizza, hot dogs, and steak,” said the bus driver, “and in the afternoons when I get home from driving the bus, I will stroke you while you nap on me.”

With what felt like electric honey coursing through my nervous system, I asked the bus driver, “can I fist-bump you?”

The bus driver smiled.  “You may,” he said.  And he fist-bumped my tiny little fist. This was the start of something great.

SOCIAL YET DISTANCED & AWKWARD

I say stuff about stuff regarding Dumpster Fire Press and name drop like a mother fucker in a socially awkward manner and had I had seven more minutes probably would’ve droned on about even weirder shit concerning pending projects…

https://anchor.fm/emotionalorphan/episodes/Social-Yet-Distanced-Welcome-Mike-Zone-of-Dumpster-Fire-Press-eogpuf/a-a47orl7?fbclid=IwAR0eXwQtGMXY1vgDneEPO4gUsXY33ACPAQd1BKFEiS6fUXpvpMoQ69Q6eW4

Thanks to the Emotional Orphan of the Social Yet Distanced podcast for having me

VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Roz Washington

Poured chocolate over her responding navel region

 a sunny afternoon of Arizona

glowing thighs of correspondence,

her moistened opening

my fingerprint imprinted as that code to open her mind

nothing selfish, I’m just selfless in how I express magnanimous acts to express my inspired infatuation, not at all scripted

this is a spirted connection through poignant conversation

purposefully placing words to her sexy cerebrum

I plan to disassemble her walls of pleasure to the natural molecules

simple touches to those erogenous membranes, our mainframes of daily interactions are interfacing the correct programing, let’s nibble and savor on portions of our seasoned beings

sultry experiences makes us Chefs in the kitchen of sexuality, I want to physically knead her willing body with a warm sedative of an ointment

prepping takes time, consumption can take place in a matter of minutes, we enjoy the hours of the moon while ingesting all of this intake

the dinner table slathered with uninhibited pheromones derived from our eyes, I delivered a full morsel to her lips

her body language delivered an appraisal, an everlasting satisfaction

I have no doubt she’ll revisit my embodiment of ecstasy…

The Journey

It started with a driving desire to relocate

Then the actual taste of the different atmosphere changed my perception to a grand clarity

I felt youthful to an all-time high thus far in my Life

I was living a dream out of hotels for weeks

‘til it became nearly three months passing, yet I was still happy to be hearing the unique chirps of unique birds in this sunny setting, many nights watching the common streetlife of the townfolk, getting acquainted with the hotel workers and such, obtaining monetary benefits just above living

finally landed on a steady income

though the pressures of paying daily for a bed to rest on is peaking, I’ve nearly stayed in hiding at my jobsite during after hours, many of my peeps helped me with financial aid to keep my paid for nightly rest

I finally landed on steady bedding of shelter

figuratively and literally, they gave me solace to stack my bread, so I could rise to an independent living,

I mingled with many troubled minds as well optimistic ones during that stay

the staff of that sheltering supported so as I did my daily chores

gave viable suggestions to my fellow residents

I still managed to maintain my theme for this reason for transcending to this location

work and play

I definitely made times to add lovely experiences to my soul and furthermore I’ve found it interesting that many enjoy the Backpack Life with a Bike out in this land,

such a different way of Life out here

I stick to my practical movements, making waves in San Diego, there’s a sexy dame that’s assisted me

she’s always involved…

The floor just slowly starting to fall before my eyes or rather I just started to elevate

now my inner shine is glowin’

my cardiac bloodstone pumpin’ more power

my nervous system shocked to a strengthenin’, I can actually see brainscans, so I visit Mars for a minute

now I’ve gathered higher knowledge of the actual Earth living…

I return enriched alien of the living planet, Martian glyphs put me onto extraterrestrial diets of stimulating consumption, my daily ingest was increasing all of my abilities of my body parts even to the very atoms of my constant existence

I’ve been cleansed of worldly sickness

Thoughts clear

Body in motion

Soul cleansed

now I’ve rebounded with a great sense of intuition, I’m keen ta’ schemes, examin’ ya’ eyes, I’ve found the prize ya’ was lookin’ for, don’t explore no further, I went into attack mode because my infused intergalactic intuition was tingling, I’ve talked to tha’ Watchers, I can dismantle you into easy parts, yes, I’ve taken on internal sabbaticals, it’s no wonder why I return each time cemented

been spoken on as a Gilded One

it’s no wonder I’ve been spoken upon to being on covers as the “Golden Choice” leaving the minds of women moist

I can hoist to different positions

that means my levels have heightened in human interaction, I fully enjoy sincere kisses from Earthly women,

I’m astronomical in how I land upon minds with this expanse of thinking

grandiloquent is how I’ve been categorized at times ‘til understood, I’m rocking out in tha’ desert at this current point to still pull upon tha’ fire from my resting point on this Atlas…

Such a unique world in this flammable valley, I feel like I’m dancing with cool deceptionists at times of nothingness to invest in

but of course, I will not…I’ve acquired a side-by-side in a sense

 a Phoenix in a sense

as the Sun rises so shall I…

I’m here to burn away all constricting beliefs…

Explode from within your deepest feelings…

Show yourself…

2021 Officially Begins

Dumpster Fire Press is proud to present the first release of 2021…

STRANDS OF STRUGGLE by Brenda Christie, a strong and unique voice who takes the reader into a variety of places both tragedy and triumphant…there’s so much here difficult to put into words from a language and realm older than words and Christie delivers on that through her own person journey exposing the inner depths of being and what it means to express one’s soul she’ll take you through a multitude of highs and lows going inside and out…

While I cannot do poet’s work justice, perhaps one just needs to let the work speak for itself…

 14 Days                                                                                                                                                                                  

There is a hush,

that pulls apart

the moon and spreads like laziness.

A starvation,

for touch hides in a locket

of words kept hidden from civilization.

You shake,

the whisper that screams down 

the throat and burns in the hands of church.

Her breath,

swallowed the tongues of her

ancestors. To end grief is to save a life.

The coo of a song,

blooms bent across the hydrangeas scent,

but sleeps with sorrow and wakes the mourning.

She fenced mirth,

molting into gardens of twisted stars,

pulling skies into our robotic exoskeleton,

with metal jaws wide,

chomping on the shedding light, stretched

outward, dangled in branches of leftover constellations.

As hooded darkness looms,

hiding isolation into our pockets, sewn, and

unraveling into ourselves,

with grey strands plucked,

leaving roots opened to rise in graves of suns,

beating on tongues of hurling storms, soaking in murky waters.

Her clothes hung,

like a taco hangover, slumped against the core

of her heart, wrapped in a collapsing cloud of freckles.

She is all the colours at once. At full brightness.

She is years of decades,

slow walks of shapes; slow walks of shadows.

Dark creaks of silence; contactless tiles

like thorns,

folding in, towards the spine,

to form a circle that clips on the outside in.

Earth tilts our heads,

as we bow for greed and power to the inevitable.

It gives so much and takes away more.

She is the fingers,

stroking the core of society.

Telling her, what she can and cannot do.

The bony fish,

whispering down the curves of isolation, reflecting

light against the walls that bare the cracks of her teeth.

A tightened knot loosens each time a breath is taken in moonlight.

Like a leash of foxes,

living underground, burrowed deep in thought, she is

hungry for thirst to fall on the tongues of the forest.

The world erupts,

and dwindles into shattering shards of cold stones,

dipping her panicked feet into burning sparks of twilight.

Wings spread like freedom,

holding spines of chapters with words thrown into

the wind of clouds, caressing new births of sky.

Hands deep,

wide in clay. Touching the silk of porcelain on grey skin

with pale fingers falling into the sky with eyes wired shut.

One day,

the bloom of warmth, will grow stems of gardens, scattering

speckles of scented light turning on its head.

Freedom, sprung tulips, dipped in a summer dream of marmalade.

In the skull,

behind the bones, she resides.

Telling stories of echoes filling her lungs.

Her past,

a lone star. Bent backwards. How lovely, was her vision that turned full,

in clothes of sorrow.

I will follow,

where she bleeds. Absorbing the stitch of wounds on lips that whisper in graves.

How lovely it is, to look so far away and be visible.

Poet Brenda Christie

2021 has officially begun for DFP and it is an honor to present to such a captivating and romantic (in the true sense of the word )collection of poetry. I humbly thank, Brenda for entrusting me with her work and look forward to any future contributions she makes in the world of words.

“Brenda Christie’s ‘STRANDS of STRUGGLE’ unravels the intricacies of love, mystery, animal rights, activism, victims of crime, natural disaster, bullying, and the year, 2020, which has masked the world in fear. Brenda’s inspiration came from songwriters like Gordon Downie, whose poetic lyrics are forever carved in her soul, along with intense admiration for strong people like her own mother, who exemplified personal stories through poetry. Words are magical, each one telling a story that invites the reader into this captivating world of poetry created with amazing compilation of stories found in ‘STRANDS of STRUGGLE.’ The skies will brighten as we slow the clouds, enabling us to see a world with shapes of new eyes watching us from the stars, moon and sun whispering to the universe.”

See ya’ in the fire kids…

(still have to work on a better sign off)

Visions of Things to Come

I’ve been quiet for the past couple of weeks dealing with work and thinking what DFP’s next move or rather what direction it shall take and while things haven’t been fully formulated nor edited yet, I’d like to present with visions of a few things to come within the next several months…

First off, I’m proud to announce that Dumpster Fire Press will be featured on THE SOCIAL YET DISTANCED podcast hosted by Fran Lock and Jack Varnell…expect not only a socially distanced experience but a socially awkward one as well as we discuss DFP from its frenetic origins, what it’s doing or where it may even be along with all sorts of oddball tangents more than likely instigated by me…

VOICES FROM THE FIRE is finally going to be launched starting January 3rd. The rolling blog/e-zine from DFP featuring ONE POET, ONE ARTIST and ONE WRITER each week later to be collected into a tangible anthology at the end of the year.

Submissions: 12 pt. Times New Roman

No more than four poems,

Flash fiction is welcome

Short stories no more than twenty pages

Artists, fuck man…I’m new at this send whatever just no dead rodents stapled to cardboard sent to my house.

can you guess what I might be doing?

clockworkoomphstudios@gmail.com

By the end of next week expect DFP’s first 2021 release… STRANDS OF STRUGGLE the highly sympathetic, sometimes jarring yet uplifting poetry collection from Brenda Christie…

While Dumpster Fire Press is not an aggressive publisher and plans on releasing one title a month along with quarterly anthologies that doesn’t mean there won’t be any surprise bonus releases or anything…

and further entice like a pusher making a fetal junkie aware of its latent addiction to junk I present some images from projects in development all through the spring of 2021…

VOICES FROM THE FIRE SUBMISSIONS

Prepping manuscripts to start filling in the 2021 year…

Don’t jump the fucking gun, I’m not accepting manuscript submissions on an official basis yet unless we’ve personally corresponded but I am about to embark on something soon that I hope will have you picturing slitting my wrists as I type away at my computer.

So, I’m pleased to announce to distract myself from the tearing away of my flesh the official arrival of VOICES FROM THE FIRE.

Part of DFP’s mission is to give voices to the voiceless, those on the margins of society, those who never had a chance to speak, yada-yada-yada, how many times is this written on the site.

Let’s get down to it Voices of the Fire is going to feature those voices…

ONE POET A WEEK (starting)

ONE PROSE WRITER A WEEK

ONE VISUAL ARTIST A WEEK

We will started accepting submissions on Janaury 3rd 2021

Expect a preview of what’s to come shortly.

I will hate all of you as I continue my regular one to two title release schedule along with other fun projects in conjunction with trying to write and release my own work but it will be worth it as I will be proud to release your work and admire you exposing the essence of your being and projecting your awareness of how fucked up and beautiful the world can be…

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Times New Roman, 12pt. 1.5 Spacing at the most

Poetry 1-4 preferably 1 per page.

Flash Fiction

Short Stories nothing more than 20 pages

Artists, fuck man…I’m new at this send whatever just no dead rodents stapled to cardboard sent to my house.

clockworkoomphstudios@gmail.com

Sweet Christmas!

Taking a bit of time off to revise the site along with recuperating from an insane publishing schedule….

In the meantime…get yourself or someone you love or are bitter enemies with one or all of these Dumpster Fire Press titles:

THE GRIND a collaborative poetry text by myself, Wolfman, Roz Washington and Push Cart Nominee Robert Ragan with art by James Maj…

The novelette HONEYDEW:THE CORRECTED TEXT by R. Keith…

the much anticipated poetry collection from John Doyle LEAVING HENDERSON COUNTY

and who doesn’t like biting social satire from Editor in Chief of Alien Buddha Press? THE ENTIRE BLOODY SAGA: RED FOCKS THE COLLECTED WORKS…

So glad you could join us and hopefully we’ll have something cool for you up before 2021.

Take it easy guys during the holy, holy daze of what is called by the market “the holidays.”

It started off with ONE HELL OF A MUSE and ended as one hell of a year

A Bloody Good Time…

Ha! See what I did there?

Dumpster Fire Press is thrilled to release our fourth and final release of the year…THE ENTIRE BLOODY SAGA: RED FOCKS THE COLLECTED WORKS!

Editor in Chief of Alien Buddha Press’ interconnected fiction of a world gone awry not dissimilar from our own! Collecting the novels: The Philanthropist’s Suicide, The Bloody Waste, Haight, The Corona Carlyle Conspiracy and Otis Chang-Hussain along with the short story Fire & Ice. A must read for fans of Red Focks of Alien Buddha Press and satiric social commentary.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08P3SBR29/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_dp_Ai7WFb8EKRA1G?fbclid=IwAR1bKHjrOas7RIWNWBKnSrbd8MxjOwLbcuT9MWzFPDqryvrxTKOX6yaqUKI

Just in time to coincide with Alien Buddha Zine issue#21 featuring Dumpster Fire Press before any of even knew what was going to happen…

It’s been a wild time this year and what a way to end 2020 than for our final release to consist where everything just about started years ago before we really get down to business…whatever of that means…other than refining the wordpress and getting down to a steady rhythm of sorts…I guess.

I have had the benefit of being Red Focks’ fiction editor for a bit of time, even before this press started. Red is the one who really gave me a shot via small press publishing when he accepted my manuscript VOID BENEATH SKIN years ago when I didn’t have a direction, he gave me a shot at writing installments of the graphic novel series AMERICAN ANTI-HERO allowing me to play with his creations and aid in the crafting of his fictional world which means a lot without really knowing or having met someone.

This relationship has continued for years with various contributions being made to various anthologies and Alien Buddha Press putting out other poetry collections A FAREWELL TO BIG IDEAS and ONE HELL OF A MUSE and seeing as how I don’t like to publish my own work if I’m the exclusive contributor it’s going to continue that way for the foreseeable future. (I think we should all be noticing the shameless plugs here, it’s small press none of us really make any money, haha)

All kidding aside, though if it weren’t for Red, Dumpster Fire Press wouldn’t exist.

I was thinking of getting into editing as a side gig because my real gig is kind of unreal in a variety of manners and asked if he needed an editor, beside I have this degree from a community college just languishing what else was I going to use it for in our capitalistic realism driven world (Mark Fisher is probably not very proud of me right now with that failed attempt at a joke but that’s how hauntology sort of works I suppose)

I got the privilege of working on THE BLOODY WASTE and OTIS CHANG-HUSSAIN before they got accepted for publication which led to a Managing Editor position at Concrete Mist Press which resulted in some pretty challenging and rewarding editing gigs, one of my favorites being HAIGHT another tale by Red put out originally by Cajun Mutt Press in which I may have bordered past editorial into something more assertive ultimately leading to a failed venture with another publisher that has already been chronicled enough on here but still was an experience I found fulfilling both in a creative and technical way which not only sharpened my skills as both writer and editor but even contributing to the enlightenment of characters but enough of that existential bullshit no one really wants to read about…

Red Focks is the guy who defended me online when things went awry and encouraged me to strike out on my own and generously allowed me to again edit and collect his work in this tremendous volume that I hope everyone enjoys. It easily could have been published through his own venue but again showing a strong sense of trust and sincere belief in what for the most part a stranger was doing with his supposed attempt at a small press, Red put some faith in me and for that I’m genuinely grateful not only for this but for everything and I like to think we’re going to be continuing within the realm of small press like this on the same path because ultimately again we’re in this together and not like some lame mantra but let’s be honest mainstream reading is not where it’s at…people are going to want things by the people and the engineered corporate artists feeding us recycled hyper-realized aspects of bubblegum pop culture and pseudo counter-culture…

The game, if there is one has been upped because there isn’t even a game at all so…

If you’re a fan of Alien Buddha Press or Red Focks give it a whirl.

If you’re almost a fan of Dumpster Fire Press or unsure give it a whirl, if you don’t like me but like my editing most definitely give it a read.

It’s damn good social commentary and writing by a damn good writer, artist and indie press operator.

Also just in time for Christmas pick up this anthology by Alien Buddha Press by a bunch of writers whose work I respect and admire ….

Now this being the fourth and final release of 2020, it’s time to take a break for about a week or so…

Hopefully we look different in a more appealing manner for you guys and have something more of substance to share.

2021 is bound to herald more flaming garbage and dare I say a reign of writers?