Unlikely 2.0

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Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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by Bill Berry
Part 17



It was 3 am. Tracks had closed an hour ago. Spooky had been hanging out and talking with the DJ, Tim, about music. Tim was Karl's roommate and went to art school and studied photography. He was dating Christine. Christine was some rich girl who hung out in the scene and took photos for her photography class, just like Tim. Christine didn't know much about music or punk, but she knew a lot about photography and liked to smoke dope. Tim loved Nina Hagen, was really cute, and knew a lot about music and art, so while Karl, who was a bartender at Tracks, cleaned up, Spooky flirted with Tim.

"You wanna go to this party?" Tim finally asked.

"What party?" Spooky asked.

"I dunno. Karl knows somewhere where there's a party. You wanna go?"

"Is Christine gonna be there?" Spooky asked.

"No. She's out of town this week, taking photos in France or something. She'll be back next week," Tim replied.

"Well, sure. I guess. Why not?" Spooky smiled broadly, "We should stop by the Ansonia and pick up some liquor," Spooky suggested.

"Sure," Tim said as he continued putting his records away.

"Great," said Spooky, "I'm gonna run to my car and pull it around front and I'll pick you up and we'll go, okay?"

"Sure," Tim said as he continued putting his records away.

"Great," said Spooky, "I'll see you in a minute."

Spooky jumped out of the DJ booth and ran outside. On her way to the car, she passed a group of skinheads.

"Hey," she said as she walked pass them. One of the skinheads hit her the back of her head and she fell down. Without thinking, she closed her eyes and curled up. The skinheads began to pummel her with their boots. She began to weep. A girl mocked, "Don't cry or it will get you," and Spooky stopped. There was a blow to her face. She opened her eyes. Around her was a blur of people, boots, jeans, and anger. She felt tugging at her ankles and she screamed, kicking violently. Another blow to her face and the world went black.

Tim sat in front of Tracks with three crates of albums stacked beside him. He heard the door of the bar open. Karl walked out.

"What are you waiting for, dude?" Karl asked.

"Spooky was supposed to pick me up and we were gonna go to that party," Tim replied.

"Oh," Karl walked back inside the bar. A moment later he came back out. Tim was still there. "Wanna catch a ride with me and Six?"

"Sure. Can we stop by the house so I can drop these albums off?"

"Yeah. I wanna stop by Gacey's anyway." Karl pulled a wad of cash out of his pockets, mostly singles, and he counted them, fifty total. "I'm gonna get Six to pull the car around and we'll pack up," Karl said, "Then we'll stop at Gacey's and drop your records off at home and head off to the party."

"Ok," Tim replied.

"Cool," Karl said as he walked away.

At the Sterling Clubhouse that night Doug sat around watching TV and listening to Black Flag. Scooter and Duncan were there and everyone was drinking beer. A fresh shipment of crystal had just been delivered by Daisy, so the whole gang sat around playing drinking games and smoking drugs. Doug was getting too high to sit in the house all night.

"Let's go!" He wailed as he threw an empty beer bottle into the corner of the living room. Its shatter sprayed Jennifer in the legs and she started to bitch.

"Shut the fuck up," Duncan yelled at her. He raised a fist in her direction and watched her shrink. Everyone laughed.

"Fuck you!" Jennifer yelled. She marched out of the living room and into the bathroom to wash the shattered bottle from her jeans.

"Bitch," Duncan muttered under his breath.

"Let's go!" Doug repeated more loudly.

"Where?" Scooter asked.

"Tracks," Doug said.

"Tracks sucks," Daisy said, as she inhaled the brown smoke that rose from the tinfoil. She passed the crystal to Duncan who did the same.

"Yeah," Scooter said, taking a swig of beer, "Why do you want to go there?"

"Because it's filled with posers!" Doug screamed. He hit the volume on the stereo and Henry Rollins went full blast. Over the raging vocals of the band, Doug howled.

Karl sat in his bedroom watching porn. Some father and son were fucking in a bed. The father had wandered in, pulled the son's covers off, and was jacking off to the sight of his son's ass. With his cock in one hand, and a straw in the other, Karl inhaled coke as he stroked his cock. The March Violet's "Walk Into the Sun" blared on the stereo as Karl came.

"Turn that down," Jennifer screamed as she came out of the bathroom. No one heard her. "Turn it down!" she demanded again. Still nothing. Jennifer walked over to the stereo and shut it off. Doug snapped around and glared at her.

"What the fuck are you doing?" he demanded.

"You're an asshole," Jennifer said. Scooter, who Jennifer was sleeping with, looked at her.

"You need to have some respect," Scooter said.

"I agree," Doug said, grabbing another beer from the fridge next to the stereo, "Scoot, teach your woman some respect. NOW!" he demanded. Jennifer stood staunch.

"Fuck you!" she screamed, "Fuck you, and YOU!" she pointed at Scooter, who was up out of his chair at the same instant and snatched her pointing hand. He yanked it around back of her and pushed her, full force, into the wall. Jennifer's arm was locked behind her.

"Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?" Scooter asked. Jennifer screamed.

"Well?" Scooter demanded? Doug sat down where Scooter had been. He took the foil off the table in front of him and set it to flame. He inhaled the burning drug.

"You're hurting me!" Jennifer cried out.

"Answer me!" Scooter demanded a second time. He pushed her arm further up her back and her face into the wall. Jennifer screamed louder.

"I'm sorry!" She shrieked, tears running down her face, "I'm sorry!" Scooter let go of her arm. Jennifer fell to the floor.

"I'm not the one you should apologize to," Scooter said as he walked away from her and back over to the table. Doug handed him the crystal. Scooter smoked it greedily as Jennifer crawled over to Doug.

"I'm sorry," She begged. Doug looked down at her and smiled.

Tim got the last of the albums loaded into the car. "Thanks for giving me a lift," he said to Six.

"No problem," Six said, "I was gonna head up there anyway tonight. I figure this way, you can get me in for free. I'll help you carry in your albums." Six smiled.

"Sure," Tim said.

"Can I get a lift, too?" Karl asked, pulling his pants up as he hurriedly stumbled out of the house. His jacket was half on and his hair hadn't been combed. Six thought he was beautiful.

"Sure," Six said, "but you'll have to fuck me for it." Tim laughed as Six waited for a response.

"Whatever," Karl said, pulling on the rest of his jacket and stumbling into the backseat of the car.

When Jennifer got tired of blowing Doug, she came up from under the table to smoke more crystal. Scooter looked at Jennifer. She passed the drug to him and smiled, her lips smeared with lipstick. Scooter took the drug, inhaled deeply and passed it to Daisy, who dumped more crystal on the browning foil. Doug walked over to the stereo, tucking his cock back in has pants as he went, and turned the volume up. Skrewdriver, now a white-power skinhead band out of England, blasted out of the speakers. Doug began to skank around the living room, throwing his hands in the air. Duncan joined him and they bashed into each other purposefully. Jennifer took out her compact and began to fix her make-up. She looked at Scooter, who was still glaring at her.

"I said I was sorry," she said flatly. Scooter said nothing. He stood and grabbed another beer from the fridge and joined his friends dancing and smashing around the living room. Daisy continued to smoke more crystal. Jennifer snapped her compact together and put it in her army purse. She looked at Daisy, who was intent on inhaling every curl of smoke from the tinfoil.

"Let me get some," Jennifer said, holding out her hands. The skinheads behind chanted along to the music, but every time the song said Britain, they changed the word to Detroit. "White Power! For Detroit!" they screamed over the lyrics, "White power! Today!" Jennifer took the drug from Daisy and smoked.

"It's talking to me, the smokey-smoke," Daisy said, "It wants me to smoke more and not ever stop smoking, it said—the smokey-smoke." Daisy shook some more crystal from the bag on the table and wiped the back of her hand across her face. Her hands were shaking. "The smokey-smoke said so," she mumbled to herself, "Yes. Yes, the smokey-smoke." She popped her head up from the pile of drugs in front of her and beamed at Jennifer, who was busy burning and inhaling drugs. Daisy watched the smoke curl into a finger and point at her as it pushed its way into Jennifer's mouth. Behind Jennifer, the smokey-smoke had turned her friends into jittering fools, but not Daisy. Daisy followed the smokey-smoke as she watched it curl around Jennifer and cup her gently. Daisy smiled. "It likes you," she said, and turned back to the pile of drugs in front of her, arranging and re-arranging the little splinters of brown crystal. "Yes, yes. It likes Jennifer, the smokey-smoke."

"Huh?" Jennifer asked, handing the tinfoil back to Daisy. She exhaled completely as she spoke. The smokey-smoke spat out across the table and pinched Daisy in the face. Daisy screamed and fell back as if slapped. She threw her hands in front of her face and shouted, "Stop it! Stop!" Doug, Scooter, and Duncan smashed beer bottles on the floor as they danced and Jennifer stared at Daisy with irritation.

"What's wrong with you?" Jennifer demanded, "What the fuck is your problem?"

"Stop it!" Daisy screamed as she flapped her arms in the air before her. "Make it stop!"

"What's wrong with you?" Jennifer scolded again. Daisy began to wail. Tears streamed her face suddenly and she lurched forward towards the table.

"Smokey-smoke," she hissed at Jennifer, "We have to watch the smokey-smoke."

"What?" Jennifer asked. Her face pulled into a scowl of confusion. "What the fuck are you talking about?"

"Don't let it get you. Watch," Daisy said as she lit the lighter and set more flame to the drug. The crystal popped, bubbled, and smoked slightly. Daisy inhaled deeply. "See," she said, "Did you see?"

"You're high," Jennifer hissed. She threw her hand out at Daisy's face and stood up. Scooter slammed into her body and she fell back onto the floor. He laughed. "Fuck you, asshole!" Jennifer screamed at him. She scrambled back and stood up further away from them. Daisy grabbed her arm.

"Don't let it get you," Daisy whispered in Jennifer's ear. "Don't let the smokey-smoke get you." Daisy nodded with complete certainty up and down. Jennifer looked at her with disgust and jerked her arm away.

"Thanks," she said snidely, "I'll try and remember that." She looked at Daisy and looked at the guys knocking each other around and punching one another. Not knowing what to do, she opened the front door and left.

"Hey Karl!" Six called from across the empty bar.

"What?" Karl shouted back.

"Can you give me a hand over here?"

"What are you doing?" Karl asked

"I'm trying to get the basement door opened so that I can bring some of Tim's albums downstairs to the basement bar," Six replied.

"I'm coming," Karl said as he wiped his hands.

"Thanks," Six said to Karl as Karl pushed the door open for him. "Can you help me carry some of these downstairs?"

"Sure," Karl said, taking half of the stack of vinyl that Six was carrying. "Where's Tim?"

"He's in the DJ booth setting up," Six said as he walked down the steps.

"Oh," Karl replied. They walked through the empty downstairs bar and to the back DJ booth. Karl set the stack of records he'd been carrying next to the turntables and Six set his stack next to Karl's.

"Thanks," Six said.

"You're welcome," Karl replied.

"Hey," Six said as Karl turned to leave.

"What?" Karl asked.

"You know my friend Rusty?" Six asked.

"Yeah," Karl said, "I do."

"Cool," Six said. They stared at each other for a minute. Karl turned to leave again. "Hey," Six said more softly this time.

"What?" Karl asked.

"Here," Six said, and touched Karl on the shoulder. He pulled Karl into him and kissed him deeply. Karl returned the kiss for a moment and then pulled away.

"I have to finish setting up the bar," Karl said, "Besides, I've already cum once today."

"I haven't," Six said as he lowered Karl's hand to his crotch. Karl felt the enormity of Six's erection. "Please?" Six asked. Karl lowered himself before Six and undid Six's fly. The cock popped out erect and ready. Karl curled his hand around its warmth. It pulsed slightly in his grip. He stroked it a couple of times and slid his mouth onto the shaft. Six let out a soft moan. From across the room he saw Tim come down the steps. Six put a finger up to his mouth and Tim nodded. He slipped back up stairs to finish setting up the upper DJ booth.

"Where the fuck did she go?" Doug demanded.

"I don't know," Daisy whimpered. Her skinhead bangs were caught in Doug's fist. Daisy knew the smokey-smoke had gotten him and she wept. "I don't know," she repeated.

"Cunt!" Doug yelled and threw her to the floor. Daisy hit hard and stayed there, staring at the floor and weeping. She was secretly looking for slivers of crystal that had fallen onto the floor. "Let's go!" Doug yelled. Scooter and Duncan grabbed their bombers and charged the front door with Doug.

"Come on, bitch! Get the fuck up and get it together!" Doug yelled at Daisy, who moved slowly, shaking and still groping for crystal. Doug, loosing his patience with her, stormed to her, pulled her up by her hair, and snatched what was left of the drug and its paraphernalia off the table. He shoved it in Daisy's bag and pushed her purse in her arms. Daisy, jittering uncontrollably from smokey-smoke, walked quickly and confusedly behind Doug. Behind her, back in the house, she heard the smokey-smoke laugh and she felt scared.

In the car, Duncan fumbled for the keys. It was like a scene out of a movie. He managed to get the key into the ignition and start the car just as Doug threw Daisy into the backseat next to Scooter. He plopped down next to Duncan and screamed, "Hit it!" Duncan threw the car into reverse and peeled out of the driveway. Doug reached into the backseat and snatched Daisy's purse. He pulled out more Crystal and looked at the bag.

"Fucking bitch smoked most of the meth!" He screamed. Scooter looked at Daisy's mascara smeared face and punched her in the gut.

"Stupid cunt," Scooter said. Doug laughed. The radio blared more white-power music as the car plummeted down the road towards Tracks.