So Here’s My Work Day – krista schwimmer

Parturition – Ronald McKinley

Bamboo – Mary Getlein

The Old Vine – Majid Naficy

A sample from 2008 – Roger Houston

Beauty is the Outcome – Tyler Uhlenhake

Chemical World –

Humberto Gómez Sequeira-HuGóS


So Here’s My Work Day

by krista schwimmer

There’s a British man

who walks in first

wearing a puka shell necklace.

He says he can only afford

the $20 to $30 range & sits down.

I plunge into

the card reading & sure enough

he is satisfied, nodding me on.

The day fills up

& soon the usual crowd is waiting

as I read one person after another.

Two young women come in.

I start on the woman

in the white pants outfit

(who picks the High Priestess

as herself).

She claims I’ve read her before.

I don’t remember. The other woman

with long, brown hair rushes away

to put quarters in her meter.

She returns holding her left arm.

A car hit her while

she was crossing the street.

Now why didn’t I read her cards first?

She’s alright, just shook up

& soon we are looking for

marriage in her cards. They leave laughing.

I stop for lunch, go upstairs

& get into a conversation

about swingers & such.

Shawn from the mailroom sits in the background

grinning. Men love hearing women

talk about sex.

Now it’s back to

the cards & a lovely lady in her 60’s

who relishes her reading. As she leaves

she sees my last name, “schwimmer”, posted on the door

& exclaims its rightness, how I am like a trout

coming up & up & up.

I almost start to cry

when Sami appears.

He is the last client

but just as we are delving

into his father’s death & small acts of revenge,

I hear a scream behind me.

I pull back the rain-ruined curtain

to see a toppled wheelchair

with arms waving side to side.

For some reason this woman decided

to take the two stairs

in her wheelchair. Wrong door.

It takes three of us to turn her upright

while she cracks jokes & waves

her right arm spastic-ally at us.

Jo stands before her

like a heron fishing, helps her with water

& takes her to the bookstore itself

where wheelchair girl is given a free book.

Finally the day is almost over

with Sami slouching towards

the gated front door. He decides

to tell me how the orgasm of a pig

lasts 30 minutes. Did I know that? & please

don’t tell your husband, he concludes.

I count $210, pack up my dolphin

table cloth & call home.

Yes, indeed, the life around a card reader

is something to remark about.



By Ronald McKinley

The unhampered motion of being and thought

Infused with pleasure and passion

Cycled like a quantum wave

Smell and palate change form

Sight, hearing, taction evolve

The space-time continuum breaks and mends your bones

The caress of measured events

Particle by particle emerge

Secure the loop of existence

Vision and sight don’t always synchronize

Lost to some ego by-pass

When all is one

The singular focus of a love driven existence

Religion will become obsolete



There is a grove of bamboo trees

outside my window

When the wind blows,

They move with the wind

a hummingbird shows up every now and then

he hovers around my home made mobile

When I see him, my soul lights up

Oh yeah – there’s that cute little hummingbird

reminds me of youth and fairy tales

when animals could talk

and people could understand

The sun shines strongly through the window

I look for the bird

but he’s not here yet

The bamboo remain to wave with the wind

All is well again, all is well

– Mary Getlein


The Old Vine

by Majid Naficy

There is a green fence

Between death and me

Covered by an old vine.

When passing by

I part the dense leaves

To see the other side

But the sun blinds me.

I pluck a single leaf

And like an old palmist

Stare at its cryptic lines

Asking myself in silence,

“Who has planted this vine?”

And before people point at me

I brush the dust from my clothes

And go on my way.


Beauty is the Outcome

by Tyler Uhlenhake

Her soul dims and brightens as her heart peaks and shallows

Wondrous the sight, battling the sallow

The universe calls on her, she replies with all she is

The total evokes a voice singing louder than a thousand

violins heavenly sent

Searching, but not forever wandering, the truth vies

Not known to her, Known to those who surround

That her triumph moves in a way

That present, past, and future hope is never spent

Beauty is the outcome, and such beauty is bliss


(A sample from 2008, hecho en Venice) 23:43 Friday, April 11, 2008, 5th and

Vernon, Venice Beach ….. A quiet spot, parked here, behind Suzanne, With iron

fence perimeter; I plan On a long contemplation, to compose Some fitting

testament. Well, I suppose I understand how Leonard Cohen felt With her, on the

Saint Lawrence, having dealt With fields of trash and flowers long ago. Inside

my feverish brain, perhaps I know The answer to the riddle. Tasted salt, And

sailor I became, as all the fault Was held aloft for judgment, ’til up rose That

resurrection son. Therefore, I chose A vision all my own, and so began My

careful study, parked behind Suzanne ….. Roger Houston, (Venezian-in-exile,

just checking in. See you on Abbot Kinney Sunday. Ciao)


Chemical World

We are the solitary inhabitants of the subconscious world generated by neurotransmitters. Our sensation of living is the intermittent reaction we exhibit through opposite emotional expressions when extraneous agents stimulate our mind with simulations of desirable pleasures.

In the world excited by the selfishness of the prime rate, we are the serves of an estate demarcated with warning signs of private property and punishment. The regime that protects the estate is trademarked by bankers who use it to compete in the market for profits and instigate the fabrication of war as a good investment product.

The life we live is the effect of the balance of power, poverty and friction. The tax and prefixed value of our labor in the market controlled by speculators are the conduits and end of our freedom. We are separated by the equality of ambition and competition under a law enforced through the exercise of the fear of the Landlord performed by his army.

We live in a state of illusionary motion watching the spectacle of delightful living—animated by clowns, magicians, contortionists, and entities of bizarre appearance—projected through our naked retina by the architects of deception on TV. Our mind is the precious prey of the men of god—politicians, priests and generals—who strive to capture it enticing us to surrender our will to them with promises of world supremacy, peace, and eternal salvation.

In that place—where life is a probability valuated by insurance experts—planted with ICBMs and nuclear waste sites; celebrated in war movies and victory parades; remotely separated from the root of our nature, we are the suspicious semblances of an individual existence turned on and off with the remote control operated by the lords of social drugs and illusion.

Our experience of feelings, in economic “reality,” is an extension of the brain’s virtual arrangement of the self in the flitting moments of excitement precipitated by the chemistry of desire and illusion; of life and death.

—Humberto Gómez Sequeira-HuGóS

Categories: Poetry