February 22, 2015

I. Claudius – by P.A. deMatteo

 

The friendless,

Irreligious, elderly West Village Manhattan Fruit, an I. Claudius Westenhouse the t’ird,

Rose from a deadly slumber

That Chrissmas morn’,

Ripped an illicit if not

Colossally revoltin’

Machine-gun fart

Of such positively demonic intensity,

That Lenny Grabler and family’s

Little puppy Sam even began barkin’,

For the luv of Christ.

Then, I. Claudius hit the east side

Bathhouse like the

Plague had hit ‘em,

Despite his cussed

300 lbs. of lard.

Father Damien was there,

Prancin’ around nude with

His  27 year old,

10 inch Dominican dinga-ling

Bouncin’ the hell up and down

‘sif he was purposely wigglin’ up

A storm.

Padre Damien completely

Ignored I. Claudius

With the bitchiness that only

A new York city faggot

Was capable ov.

 

Some other Caribbean

Hispanics left the steam

Room, their cocks

Humongous as the

Italian sausages they done craved.

 

Those cocks were off limits

To I. Claudius And all of t’other

Fruits o’er 45 y.o.

 

Anyhow,

To make an

All too long story

Short,

  1. Claudius picked

up a nasty

case o’

bedbugs at the

east side club.

Father Damien wasn’t even

Touched by ‘em.

  1. Claudius had ta throw all ov his cussed

Furniture out. Even a

Minimalist extermination done by his

Landlord hymen berger did nuttin’.

‘twas a rent-control.

Anyhow,

  1. Claudius

Gave up the dance,

Moved down the hell

To the Jersey Shore,

& quickly became so

Utterly bereft

That he

Jumped into the north atlantic

Late one night

Just dreamin’

Of 18 year old studs galore,

Until a

Wave knocked him out

& drowned him,

Which may have been

All 4 da better,

Indeed!

 

The End!

 

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P.A. deMatteo

  • During the late 1980’s, my poetry was published and featured in Manhattanite Harold Serban’s THE POETRY EDGE. I was also a regular reader at the Newyorican Poet’s Café but the late night hours and the ordeals of returning to the Bronx got the best of me.  A short story of mine entitled TONY diPASQUALE published in NUVEIN MAGAZINE. Currently, I have several poems accepted for GAY FLASH FICTION and INCLEMENT MAGAZINE.

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February 1, 2015

For Opera Queens Who Have Considered Suicide: When a Phone Call is Enough – by Chuck Teixeira

 (c) Chuck Teixeira, 2014

 

This is Terence.  May I help you?

Wow, Tavis! Thanks for calling. Sorry about static on the line. What can I do for you?

Appear on your show again?  Never expected to be invited back. At least not this quickly.

I feel like a celebrity when you put it that way.

Yes, I’ll cull non-essentials from my calendar.

Come now!  What do you mean by urgent?

I’m glad to hear ratings went through the roof. But producers were in no danger of cancelling, were they? I must be careful about where I appear. I can’t risk my inchoate crossover appeal.

Like the Jessye Norman-Justin Timberlake duet?  I may have missed that one.

A show about opera trivia?  Sweet Cheeks, there is nothing trivial about opera.

Irreverent or irrelevant – which one?  Are you sure there’s an audience for either.

Did you say thinnest edge of interpretive ice?  I hope you didn’t say bitchiest.

Maybe start with Mimi in Boheme.  What can you expect when you fall for a tenor?

And why does she take so long to die?  Only a heart of stone could watch the death of Mimi without laughing.

No, not really mine, not really original.

Musetta’s prayer?  Comes down to “I’m garbage; Mimi’s a saint.” Even in her prayer, Musetta’s trash.  Lying to the Madonna about Mimi’s being a saint.  What was Mimi doing with the Viscount?  Did she leave voluntarily to freeze in the street?  Or did he toss out the ungrateful tart?

Yes, I know you also like dishing oligarchs and speaking truth to power, blah, blah, blah.  But getting back to Boheme, while Mimi slips away, so does the hall – decked as it is with ragged reprises.  And does anyone think for a moment that the doctor will arrive on time?  Doctors don’t do well in opera.  Or in most other places. Mentioning the profession is like telegraphing “TRAGEDY.” One shows up near the end of Traviata. Says he can’t help then hangs around to fatten his fee . . .

Madame Butterfly!  There’s a woman who knows how to exit!

No, she didn’t need a doctor in the versions I’ve seen; but, just between us, Baby Cakes, the last Met production could have used some help.

I’m not sure why it offends you.  I can promise it won’t happen again.  As long you keep your distance, Magnet Man!

Consult on a new series re-working Verdi heroines?  Off the top of my head, I’d suggest an episode merging Violetta and Gilda.  Consumption from a C-major curse. Paris courtesan found sacked in the Seine. Done in by own Dad instead of her boyfriend’s.  Who’s behind the series?

God, not Tyler.  I mean is he a eunuch or just a bottom?

Oops! The two of you an item?

Yes, probably, the only one who didn’t know.

Didn’t know that either.

Desdemona?  What’s his thing?  Will he cast you as the Moor?

I am not flattering you. I’ve heard you in the shower many wonderful mornings.

All right.  I know it’s over.

All right.  It never was.

Color-blind casting?  Jerry Hadley could have been great.

Star power?  Yes, very famous. Three Grammys – Susannah, Jenufa and some other famous cunt.

Not sure how to describe his sidelining.  Unhappy marriage? Unhappy divorce? Two plugs of the same rancid snuff.

No, Hon, he’s not available.

No, I don’t even know his agent.  But I know he’s not available.  He fired a bullet into his brains.  In his garage north of New York City.

Several years ago. Wasn’t it news in Los Angeles?

Yes, of course.  Pushed out of print by bigger items that day. Like a steam pipe blowing in Manhattan’s Diamond District. Or the plane wreck in Sao Paulo that left 200 dead.

A rumor that he had spent the previous night with me?  First I’ve heard it.  We weren’t that kind of close, alas.  Things might have been better.  For him and for all of opera.

But I made the news now, right?  Or at least got a few social media posts.  And you want me to do it again?  Down to specifics.

Sorry, those dates don’t work.

I can name the date?  Any date that’s good for me?  I’ll get back to you.  Right after I corner the future. Shouldn’t take too long in light of my recent television success.   I’m glad to share that with you.  Wish I could share other things too, Mr. Bun Mountain, Mr. Great Gobs of Glute.

Sorry. I promise it won’t happen again.

 

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Chuck Teixeira

Chuck Teixeira, a tax attorney in San Francisco, has published Sierra Showdown and Against Slander, two collections of short stories that have appeared in various magazines.  He has also collected his published poems under the title, High Summer in Endurance.  All three books are available on Amazon.com.   Chuck’s nonfiction has appeared in  professional publications of the Bureau of National Affairs, Thomson, Matthew Bender and the San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journals.

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January 25, 2015

Prom Dress – by David Dominé

(c) David Dominé, 2014

That night when I pulled into the gravel driveway, the moon hung low over the apple orchard. Remembering the smooth fabric of Anne Spicer’s dress, I loosened the velvet bow tie at my throat and took a ragged breath. The sting of peach schnapps lingering in the back of my throat, I saw him standing at the back door. But I lowered my head and went in anyway. The belt was lying in its usual spot on the dining room table. Nearby, crumpled up on the floor, lay one of Anne Spicer’s dresses. He must have found it under my bed. It was the one she forgot to take with her earlier that afternoon after we scrambled to put our clothes back on when my father’s car crept up the drive.

It was the last time my father beat me.

The next day, I caught the Greyhound headed north, the wheels of the bus grinding the asphalt beneath. Leaning into the coarse upholstery of the seat, I recalled the gleaming dance floor and the cool blue taffeta of Anne Spicer’s dress. She had pressed herself close and mouthed the words to “Forever Young” as my fingertips traced a bit of delicate lace accentuating her bare shoulders. A band of sequins ran above the contour of her full breasts. The sound of the road lulled me to sleep and I dreamed of silk and curves.

A day later, I arrived in the city and soon found a rundown apartment. My bedroom window looked out over an alley that smelled of egg rolls and shrimp fried rice, but it had curtains the color of the dress Anne Spicer wore to the junior prom. In the darkened room during that first week, I often thought about her gown and how it had caught the disco ball sparkle in its sheen. After I got settled in and found a job, I bought a second-hand sewing machine. By the end of the year I was wearing dresses of my own design.

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 David Dominé

David Dominé lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where he teaches foreign languages and translation at Bellarmine University. In addition to an MFA in Writing from Spalding University, he has an MA in Spanish Literature from the University of Louisville and an MA in German Literature from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He also completed studies in literary translation at the Karl-Franzens Universität in Graz, Austria. He has published numerous articles and non-fiction books with topics ranging from folklore and architecture to bourbon, travel memoirs and regional cooking. His stories and poems have appeared in journals such as the Wisconsin Review, Golden Walkman, The Bookends Review, and Danse Macabre. His current projects include the forthcoming novel Peter Paul’s Kitchen and a true-crime book about the 2009 murder of Jamie Carroll and the subsequent trials of alleged killers Jeffery Mundt and Joseph Banis. He is also co-founder and regular contributor to the blog Literary Labors (And the Occasional Cheese Dip). F

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