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 Si Philbrook

i am pissing blood. i am pissing blood into a dirty toilet bowel, kidneys all fatty with burgers, liver fucked with the cirrhosis of reading too much bukowski. yes i'll have fries with that. the kids from next door are smoking on the street corner. our children will hate us. they must. not for simple lack of trust, or wanks disturbed, but for all the lies we hide behind, keep score would ya and choose the ones to make the cut; the tooth fairy, santa claus, and jesus; muhammed, yahweh, krishna all the lot; even here our own-sown lies deceive us, we just can't see that we are all we've got in this sad, cold life, and when we are through sorting tin cans from paper to save the planet, as we drive the mile to school to pick them up, it's clear, the lies are there to see. our children will hate us; they must, for we have turned their world to empty dust, slowly.

i am pissing blood. the blood of the new and everlasting covenant, conveniently forgetting the lie (why bother with small details). a man wearing a dress, incanting spells and dishing out blood and flesh does it for me. star trek - the next generation. captain kirk speaks mandarin and has no truck with sex and all that brings. he will abstain from mucky rendezvous and alien fucks, for the greater glory of the people's republic. i'll guess at one more decade till china will rule the world, the subtle irony of clearing up the mess we made of it. all the shit we have spewed into the air. toxins we have dumped underground, additives of every sort that run through our food without permission, not a sound of contrition when caught, hands in the till of our future; our children pay the bill.

i am pissing blood. i am pissing the blood of my friends. i am pissing the blood of the labelled. disabled. mental handicap. spastic. loon. learning disability. utility words to keep them at bay, away from our lives. i am pissing their blood and it is no less red. their love is just as sharply felt, their hate as fierce, their touch as soft, as though it matters what imperfect hand is dealt to them, to any, we are not perfect but we are beautiful in all our tears, in all our imperfections. our defects are our beauty. humanity is near to being bankrupt if it cannot love the weak, the poor, the ugly "less", who are the whole of us, and is it not enough that they must learn to love these hard-won scars without us picking at them till they pus. our schadenfreude. grateful it's not us.

i am pissing blood. the blood of the lonely. i am one of you. prozac nation filled by strange equations of balancing need with pills. don't bother listening, just tick repeat prescription. love, love is not blind, we are blind, we see the waste of human detritus and think to medicate it away. set it free. let it be felt, this squalid lonely stink of pain. SET IT FREE that we may show real love, none of us are above loneliness, none of us are free from the fear that steals away all hope. we can only confess to being human, to being alone through the cold night that we call life. you look at me and want me to condone these pills, this indolence, this lack of strife towards the simple truth that we fail to see, despair is love, made real in you, and me.

i am pissing blood, the blood of the moon, all rich with life, vibrant in your whispered reds. the very blood of life, beauty. beauty you are woman, not in the curve of your breasts or the fullness of your lips. you are beauty in the spirit, the verve with which you throw yourself at all life's trips and pitfalls. beauty you are woman through eyes age-wearied in their love and breasts made rich in the suckling. and those that know will see the beauty, truth that does not fade or grey in the eyes of man; woman you stand tall and fierce with eyes of fire, with all the desire of sex crackling through your touch, and i hear the aching call of eyes, and your lips are just soft enough to remind me that what we are, is love.

i am pissing blood with broken glass, each shard a sharp reminder of the pain we have made. i am pissing the blood of the broken whore, crack-fetid and congealing as it leaks from her nose across the floor, token efforts of paramedics can't stem its flow, crimsoning a shit-stinking rest room, in a piss-stinking bar, in a dead-eyed city. the beauty of people dies too soon, and we let it die, whimpered and un-cried. "gather up in the arms of your pity, the sick, the depraved, the desperate, the tired, all the scum of our weary city". gather them up, hold them and learn to see the beauty that they are, for they are us, in our desperate lonely ugliness.

i am pissing blood and it is my blood. my words. my hopes and fears. my humanity and i am ugly. beautifully ugly.

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Si Philbrook's MySpace poetry blog has close to a quarter of a million hits. He has been published in journals and ezines in the UK and US. He is one of six people who run NeoPoiesis Press. He is also a staff writer at The Plebian Rag. He lives in Brighton, UK where he works with people with learning disabilities. "decade" was previously published by lines written w/a razor.

Comments (closed)

Si Philbrook
2010-04-03 02:23:13

Thanks so much for publishing this here. It means a lot when editors accept work that is important to me.


2010-04-08 18:42:12

This is as solidly built as anything I've read. As much as I admire the sentiment, I respect the workmanship, the care and measuring of material, the well-planned structure, the deft execution.

Samantha Rae aka Leccie
2010-04-12 05:34:03

This is a good read. Harsh truth with bloody imagery

sean reddan
2010-04-12 06:13:45

excellent work by Si, excellent!

2010-04-12 08:51:31

ravenous!! simply a profound microcosm on display in such a shit forsaken cosmos...

2010-04-12 09:45:35

The ugliness of humanity ... at least on the surface of the beauty within. We are blind to the true nature of anything. Like a genius who cannot control his brain, we are given the ability to think, and are mostly unable to utilise it ... at least in the right way. We use it to ruin, to maim and to defile. Within the human race, often the most beautiful are the eldest and the most learned through life-trials. Probably humanity in its entirety will not learn to use that love inherent in all of us until its -almost- too late. Excellent write Si :)

Duane Kirby Jensen
2010-04-12 11:56:51

This is strong and visceral.
I value how you never play it safe.

Mike Carson
2010-04-12 12:27:17

This cuts straight to the bone and I am afraid we will remain unforgiven...we all thought we could do better than our parents...again you give us words that sting with their too much truth...I guess I'll have that beer now...

Chuck Steffen
2010-04-12 22:45:19

Si, is not only a great poet as evidenced by this sprawling, epic write here. He also introduces poets he has read and shares them with all of us other writers on myspace. I am so elated you chose to include one of his poems in your e-zine, he has done much to support the renaissance of poetry from its supposed grave, as it has exploded on the internet in the absence of being heard or read in any other place.

Newamba Flamingo
2010-04-13 22:36:02

One of my favorites of his and of anybody's. Just a brilliant piece.

2010-04-17 11:40:12

This is one of my favorites of his. Thank you for publishing it.