Transcending Temptation

Photography by LaChele Claypool Ø Poetry by Michael Marrotti

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It’s been a few
new years
resolutions
since the last time
I’ve made that same
mistake

The one where
accusations fly
over going out
to perform at
an Open Mic

The one where
every phone call
or text message
paints me in
a guilty light
affirming her suspicion

Recently
I’ve been devoted
to keeping it kosher
since the last time
I succumbed
to the temptation of
a Jewish mistress

I considered
the advice of
my fellow Christian
by turning
the other cheek
faithfully speaking

Keeping
my zipper up
to the sky
riding along
with my high
and inhibitions

Just saying no
like Nancy Reagan
is a task of simplicity
when nobody wants
to be involved with
my chemical imbalance
or lack of many inches

Every man
has his weakness
or in my case
extended list

I’d prefer
to have surpassed
all this running around
preliminary hearings
and pleading the fifth

But nothing
is guaranteed
when the
horrendous content
of my poetry
contradicts my
physical appearance

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Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh, using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he’s not writing, he’s volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man’s work, please check out his book, F.D.A. Approved Poetry, available at Amazon.

See more LaChele Claypool  on insta…

The Incremental of All

Art by Antoni Hidalgo  ⊗ Poetry by Sandra Kolankiewicz

walking

They should have told me when it was over
I would remember only certain parts,
neither what I want to recall nor wish
to forget. I would have taken precaution

to learn more about transitions, how each
moment becomes the next. If you don’t stand
in your body today, years from now you
won’t remember what was going on in

the room, instead recall what you saw out
the window while thinking of something else.
Having a good memory is not about
luck but a history of being there

and nowhere other. You always see the
pots hanging on the wall, or the glass first
roll before it breaks, the balls from discrete
games colliding in the air above the

playground, bright blue eyes in a raw face on
the other side of that inner tube and
smiling at you around a cigarette,
the wet toe of a shoe as you are told good

bye. My old parents long for the filters
youth desires to shed, to know when day
starts and ends, to distinguish between a
meal on the plate and one evoked, their grip

on the seasons dependent on a time
when tinkering with tubes in a shed could
produce sound, quartz merely quartz, crystal just
the glass wear in the breakfront they’d be left.

walking-1When I Am Old

By that time I will be sifting through the
dredges, for all else will have been resolved.
If I could bequeath a heritage to
you it would be the gift of context, the
ability to place everything
in a perspective that makes sense from all
sides and ignites good will and compassion
but also keeps you from being a fool,
meaning you’re able to read the minds of
others and forgive them. How to choose from
that and the other gifts you’ll come to take
for granted? We think we have a thousand
summers instead of one for every year
we are alive, confusing them with the
Saturdays we have had five hundred and
twenty of by the time we are ten. Though
I don’t do math, my mind can divide and
make percentages that my spirit must
calculate. What an effort keeping up
becomes when you don’t have the background, aren’t
one of those who’s born knowing everything
and rarely makes a mistake, so humdrum
they might as well be hierophants while I
embrace what I never let myself know.

walking-2
The Secret of Eden

If you could apply yourself to something
else, would you? Concentration, being all
and nothing, because what’s the point?
We have a thousand words for heaven
in a hundred languages. You cruise from
here to there and back lazily as a bee
among flowers, unaware of the pollen you’re
spreading. What does it matter that you
can’t make it out of your yard, or the people
you see walking past your house all seem
to have sprouted something? You don’t need
to compare, your awareness untested,
happier than you’ll ever be again.

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Artist Antoni Hidalgo (inercies_) 1969, is an Mollet del Vallés, Barcelona based artist who has made some collective and individual exhibitions and combines the artistic work in the environment with the creative photography.

It’s possible to see more on @inercies_ (instagram) and inercies.com (other personal works: sculpture, photography, literature…).

Sandra Kolankiewicz poems and stories have appeared most recently in New World Writing, BlazeVox, Gargoyle, Prairie Schooner, Fifth Wednesday, Prick of the Spindle, Per Contra, and Pif. Turning Inside Out won the Black River Prize at Black Lawrence Press. Last fall Finishing Line Press published The Way You Will Go. When I Fell, a fully illustrated novel, has just been released by Web-e-Books.

Robot Voices

Comics by Emiliano Zingale

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update

Interview with an artist : The Dirtball

The Dirtball of Kottonmouth Kings, performing in Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven on Fri, Dec 23, 2016

The Dirtball of Kottonmouth Kings, performing in Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven on Fri .Dec 23

Tell the people who you  are and where are you from?

I go by the name “The Dirtball“, of which is a long explanation why I use that name, but in short, its unique and is a name I have had since I was about 13.  I’m from the Central Oregon area, and still reside in the mountains outside Bend.  The Northwest is my home. 

Can you tell us about your latest project?

I have four solo albums already out and available in stores and on itunes, and am about to release my fifth effort, FIRESTRIKE.  I am a member of the rap group Kottonmouth Kings as well, and we have been pumping out records continuously since I joined.  Lots of good material there!  It has been a minute since my last solo release, “Nervous System”, and the amount of songs I have built up has gotten a bit ridiculous.  Hence, me being stoked about this FS release!!  I love to be on the end of an album where you have too much material and get to choose.  Its an album packed full of aggressive bangers!  There are a few mellow areas, but for the most part it is straightforward smashing rap music! 

What message do you want people to receive from your music?

I’ve always been an artist that creates for a good time and a fun time.  Never really strayed too far into conscious or political rapping.  If it’s not about my emotions or laying out a template for others emotions, then you probably won’t see me doing it.  Every rapper has their lane or issues they discuss.  I like to simply rap about having one hell of a good time!  Party raps!  Now some of my songs will get dark, and put you into a darker world I own, and some will drift toward the struggles of life, but for the most part it’s good timin’ party rap!  

Do you remember your first creative work, the moment you knew that you were an rapper?

I do!  It was a long time ago, and it was called The Dirty D Project Vol. 1.  I had a band that I rapped with in Salt Lake City, while I was in college over there, and during those times I honed my rapping through my drumming.  That’s how it all started.  I have played drums my entire life and one day long ago, I put a mic in front of my face while drumming, and it was a wrap from there. I began to weave my raps and rudiments together to create a unique faster flow.  Becoming a fast rapper was never my intention, but the drumming brought it on.  Once I jumped off the kit, and did the Vol. 1 project, That was the moment I knew it was going to be a career.  Never knew how many twists and turns would occur, but it was on! 

Who are your favorite musicians and inspirations?

I am a fan of several, in several genres.  Willie Nelson, Bob Marley, Sting, Dr. Dre, Perry Farrell, Outkast, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, Soul Coughing, Nirvana, Public Enemy, BDP, and it could continue….. 

What tools do you use to create?

I continue to run a bedroom pro tools setup.  It’s not in the bedroom, but it’s simple and works for me.  We have producers that mix and master most everything in LA.  I just track in the comfort of my own studio.  I do dip in and out of different larger studios when I’m on tour or working on Kottonmouth records etc, but there is something about the creativity your get at your own pad.  Also, doing it this way takes a lot more self discipline to not let a wall build between you and the studio.  That’s where copious amounts of weed come into play with tasty beers on deck. Studio flow….. 

Where can we hear more of your music, what other places has your work been published?

You can hear and purchase everything on itunes.  Some are available in Best Buys, as will be the new release FIRESTRIKE coming spring 2017.  You can also cop all the Kottonmouth Kings records in stores and on itunes.  Our music is all over the underground. Visit my socials for all info on releases:  facebook/thedirtball, instagram/thedirtball, and twitter/thedirtball.   

What do you hear yourself doing in 20 years?

Of course the music will always be flowing.  I’ve made a career of it for the last twenty years, and though I have lots of trades I could be doing, making music will always be the focus.  Creation of tracks, ideas, and melodies, will consistently change with me, as has every album I have done.  I always strive to switch up styles as I progress and get older.  Its best to just let that part happen.  A goal of mine is to bring the acoustic guitar into the game.  For right now tho, rap is my focus.  I’ve still got many many patterned bars to give.  It’s my passion, and that passion will never go away.  In 20 years, I will still be delivering music to my fans.

If you could work on a creative project with anyone in the world from any period in time who would it be?

Man I could answer that five times over.  It would really have to depend on the genre of music.  I often wish I was making music in the Johnny Cash times.  When outlaw country was born.  I’m a big fan.  As am I of Willie Nelson.  Those would be two amazing projects.  On the rap tip, that’s another hard question.  I always loved KRS-1 growing up and still do.  That would be a good choice, but if I have to be that guy, I will say ultimately, Eminem.  What rapper wouldn’t want to do an entire project with him.  It would be gnarly.  That is a tough question to answer.  Bob Marley? 

Any last words you would like to say to the Section 8 Magazine readers worldwide?

Mush respect to Section 8 Magazine for holding it down and interviewing me!  Major respect to all my fans out there and all of our KMK family!  Don’t forget I have a show at Studio Seven in Seattle WA, December 23rd 2016, so come on down and tip a few back with me for the holidays!  Myself and DJ Eddie Ruxspin will be delivering the BOOM!  See you there!  Remember…..love what you do, and do what you love!  Drt

The Dirtball of Kottonmouth Kings,  performing in Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven on Fri, Dec 23, 2016

i wish this was just a nightmare

Poetry by linda m. crate ∞ Photography by Michael T. Perkins281

 

don’t want your new world order

full of white supremacy,

and a patriarchy

who uses women for their own

sexual gratification

refusing to accept them as

humans;

i still want to know how someone

like you could be appointed

president

with no experience

and such hate and vitriol for so many people:

women, muslims, blacks, lesbians,

gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and queers—

your hateful dictomy

of humanity

makes me want to shed my skin become anything

other than human

because there’s no where we can run to,

and i just want this to be a bad

dream because at least then

i could wake up;

but it’s been eight days since i woke up to the bad

news and it’s clear you’re not gone yet

so i will simply have to fight

for everyone and everything i believe in

because you won’t pull me so low to hate you

i will combat your hate with love

and light

because only they can shatter the

darkness you’d conceive into the world.

  • linda m. crate

Continue reading

‘The New King, Asmodeus’ ~Summoned to Life Saga~ (Pt.1) “Fury & Death”

Poetry by James Dennis Casey IV æ Art by Max Alley

pope-pony-ride

A skeleton rider
Upon a rotten horse
Ancient warrior
Enchanted steed

Runes scribed
Into his bones
By embers from a mystic fire
With emeralds for eyes

Summoned to life
By black robed priests
Under a full wolf moon

Reciting their creed to the night

Sent to spread fear
Fury & death

A dark cloud follows behind
Raining poison among the fields
Bringing sickness and disease

They are riding to slay the jester king
Leaving devastation in their wake

The king is ready
Though he the fool
Has gathered an army
Of fresh faced soldiers
Never battle tested

Poor souls never stood a chance

©James Dennis Casey IV

benefit-street
“Goblin Chef”

Another sleepless night alone
My eyes burning with hallucinations
Dancing shadows and little goblins
Traipsing across my bed sheets

One even tried to serve me lobster claw

Don’t ask me why

I stare at the ceiling tiles
Watching as miscellaneous shapes form
Like some creepy cloud animals in the sky

My mind is weary and unpredictable
After no solid sleep for three long nights
I can’t take much more of this

As these esoteric visions taunt me
They sing dark lullabies no one can fall asleep to
Eerie songs of bumps in the night
That serenade me into madness
Maybe I could sleep
In a padded room

When I close my eyes
And try to drift into dreams
I’m walking off the pier to nowhere
Falling into a bottomless pit
I get scared and they pop open

And sure enough
there he is again
Still trying to feed me lobster

I didn’t even know goblins could be chefs

©James Dennis Casey IV

boat-keys
“Cravings”

Colors of thoughts
Shadows inside
Not what I expected

Thoughts unreal
Not something unwanted
Something craved

Endless nights
Vast plains

Darkness

A black river
Runs through me
Inside my blood
Inside my thoughts

Cravings unheard of
Seem so wanted
Never driven away
Yet drawn closer

Some day soon
It will strike
Drowning conscience

My conscience

In a way I long for it
I wait patiently
Sitting up through the night
Wondering what is there
Not scared
In a way happy
Life is a candle
Burning until it goes out
What is after that?
Nothing?

What about all the cravings?

Existences
Known only to you

The black river flows faster
Becoming more fierce
In it’s own way gentle
Then the creature awakes
As the river drowns me
Taking me to where I belong

To satisfy the cravings

©James Dennis Casey IV

lunch-in-space

“Tripped the Light Fantastic”

A cosmic rendezvous
At the Devil’s Thumb
A real seedy bar & grill
On the south side of the Milky Way
With aliens from X Nibiru

They demanded to speak with the manager
Because their meat was undercooked
Mine was just fine
But then
Of course
I was high on space junk

The pink is better than the yellow
Good shit
The manager man
If that’s what you would call it
Arrived at our table
With pug dog eyes
Protruding from a
Thumb-like head
Speaking in clicks & whistles

My friends shot him on the spot
Killed him dead

They all laughed
I laughed along
Even though my blood
Felt like jello

They threw a chunk of gold
On the table
Tipped the waitress
With some of the good shit
And we tripped the light fantastic
Down to the next bar

Gotta love those space gangsters
They keep it interesting for sure

©James Dennis Casey IV

elephant-in-library

See more art from Max at Max Alley : maxalley.org

STILL PLYING

Poetry by Jack Phillips Lowe ∝ Art by Maro Kentros

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Long off the grid,

I had assumed him dead

and buried for years.

But there was his tag,

freshly scrawled in red,

on the men’s room wall

at the Rainbow Restaurant

in Elmhurst, Illinois:

KILROY WAS HERE.

 

If you happen to cross his path,

please let him know

that I was happy to learn

he’s upright and breathing.

Saddened a bit too, though,

to find him working

the hash house circuit these days.

But glad, nevertheless, to see

a craftsman still plying his trade.

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NO IDEA

Arnelle sat on the bathtub’s edge,

shaving her legs with a pink plastic razor.

She and Wendell were going to dinner and a show.

Thursday night was “date night,” see?

 

Finishing up, Arnelle happened to glance at her bare feet.

They were back again—patches of wiry red hair,

almost a half-inch long, on every one of her toe knuckles.

There were nests of the same on the flat tops of both feet.

 

“Ah,” she muttered, “Daddy’s legacy.”

As a young teenager, Arnelle had seen similar hairs

sprouting from her father’s feet when she gave him

his nightly “horsey ride,” as he called it.

Mom had walked out by then, so he was free

to make Arnelle sit on his legs and hop up and down,

as if she were riding on a horse.

Daddy claimed this soothed his aching feet

after a long day at work.

 

The “horsey rides” stopped

one day when Arnelle was sixteen.

She came home from school to find Daddy

in her bedroom, sniffing a pair of her panties.

By nightfall, Arnelle had packed a bag

and used most of her Confirmation money

to catch a train to Chicago, where a girlfriend lived.

That was in 1998.

 

Since then, Arnelle had tried hard

to shut Daddy out of her mind.

 

 

 

She didn’t act like him. She didn’t even look like him.

Proudly, she was a honey-blonde, just like Mom.

The only things that reminded Arnelle of Daddy

were those damned red hairs on her feet.

But they were soon to be history.

 

Wendell walked into the bathroom.

“I’ve heard of women grooming themselves

in different places,” he observed, reaching for his toothbrush.

“That, though, is really unusual.”

 

“You have no idea,” Arnelle replied,

scraping a big toe clean.

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Continue reading

RESEARCH

Flash fiction Tom Larsen  Art by Texas Fontanella

scan-199-11th-nov

 

I catch a ride outside of Dallas, Gary, Lexus, Florida tags. Gary’s bound for Vegas and he’s ripped on something, speed, by the sound of it. Wouldn’t be a stretch to say the highways run on amphetamines. He goes on forever about his car wreck, his DUI and his gambling problem. Mostly he talks about his wife, Stupid Bitch.

“The stupid bitch blows in like a tsunami, BOOM, table goes one way, chips go the other. I’m holding three kings with a thumb up my ass! OOH, but when I’m on a roll you don’t hear a peep. Money can buy some peace and quiet, I can assure you.”

Gary likes to assure me of things. So far I have his assurance that the Rangers suck, the Cowboys suck, money makes money and Angelina Jolie’s tits are real. How he knows the last is what I want to know.

“Stupid bitch finds out I tapped the college fund and goes ballistic!” he waves his hands. “My kid is three! When you feel it you go for it, fuck the college fund. Sorry, that’s the way I am. She knew that going in, stupid bitch.”

Gary stops a few times for I know what and a cell phone call. Whoever he’s plaguing doesn’t answer, caller ID, a wonderful thing. After the last stop he comes back a mess.

“You all right?” I have to ask.

“Sure,” he just sits there. “I’m broke, I’m sick and my wife just left me. I’m fucking great!”

Christ, what do you say to that? In the first place it’s none of my business and in the second, I’m pulling for the stupid bitch.

“Sick?”

“At heart.”

“Maybe if I drive.”

“Stupid bitch,” Gary blubbers.

“Come on, switch seats,” I pop my seatbelt. “You can rest. It’s rough, I know.”

His eyes cut over. “What do you care? You don’t even know me.”

“You picked me up. I owe you,” I force a smile. “You wanna talk? I’ll listen. Put on some miles, it’ll do you good.”

We switch. He talks.

“I’ve known Jeanette since the seventh grade. We got married in high school. Can you believe it? Hell I would have married any girl who’d fuck me. High school, can you imagine? You don’t even know who you are yet!”

Nice car. It occurs to me that in my six decades I’ve never owned a nice car, or even a new car. My wife sprang for a Beetle when they came back out, but I rarely drive it. My own car is a twelve-year old station wagon with a hubcap missing and a check engine light that’s always on.

“I mean what do you know in high school? Nothing.” Gary rolls his head against the headrest. “If you could see the kid you were in tenth grade you’d cringe. Things you thought were important weren’t important and people you thought were cool weren’t cool. I just learned how to drive and now I’m getting married? You know who does that? An idiot does that. First class, I can assure you.”

“It works for some.”

“You know who it works for?” his head rolls my way. “People who peak in tenth grade. You can see the ones, 18 going on 50, the nobodies who know it.”

“Yeah well, …”

The thing about luxury cars, the luxury. I suppose you get used to it but I don’t see how.

“A guy your age. How many times have you been divorced?”

“I’ve never been divorced,” I level with him.

“Never.”

“Married twenty-five years,” I smile to think. “I’ve known my wife since we were kids.”

He waves me off. “You could tell me anything. How would I know?”

“You wouldn’t, but it’s true. The difference is I was over thirty when I got married.”

Gary thinks about that while I lock on the fast lane.

“So … that’s the way you planned it? You said to yourself I’m not getting married until I’m thirty.”

“No, not like that. It wasn’t really an issue.”

Push it to ninety, smooth as silk. Gary doesn’t seem to notice.

“It was my idea,” he tells me. “My wife, Jeanette is a piece of work. Type triple A with a face and body to match. I couldn’t let anyone come between us and I thought marrying her would be the way. Can you imagine that?”

“You were a kid.”

“So how come I’d do it again?”

I cut inside on a long banked curve. Not much traffic so I goose it to triple digits. “So, you love her, right?”

“From the neck down. I had a dream once where I could unscrew her head,” he laughs. “That was a good dream.”

Cruising at 120, the road unwinds like a video game. Lexus, nice, if I could afford one I wouldn’t get one. The thing about luxury, it makes me nervous. A nice car would mean too much to me. I’d obsess. Better to have a car you don’t care about. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the station wagon.

“Happily married, what a crock!” Gary snorts. “So what are you doing scuffling?”

I tell him the truth. I’m doing research for a hitchhiking memoir. I have to admit it sounds pretty wifty.

“So you’re a writer,” he bobs his head. “You’ve been published?”

“Not so you’d notice.”

“Another road book. Good luck with that.”

I give him a look. His head keeps bobbing.

“Anything memorable happen so far?”

“Depends on what you mean by memorable. Strangers confined together, it’s a unique situation. Somehow it always makes an impression.”

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“I bet this never happened before,” Gary nods to the small handgun cradled in his lap. I ease off the gas as my limbs stiffen. Continue reading

Pun,2,3

comics by Sarah Walker

real-change_trudeau phones-for-you magic-trick
hello-shitty_final

This is what Creation is

Poetry by Pat Galvin  Π Art by Gary Plummer

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Today I read that science already knows
the answer to the meaning of life.
One of them was watching his favourite
American football team when the screen
filled with snow and a sound like the hiss of
a serpent pushed at his eardrums.
He lunged at the television, banging and
slapping the top of the set until the picture
returned. For a few seconds it felt like
he was in a snow storm, standing in a field
with snow-flakes falling and bringing
his gaze down to the ground and
slowly back up again. In the distance was
a church spire. Why had he never seen it before?
It must have been here all the time, fifteen years
since they first moved in. Perhaps the hypnotic
snow flakes were the reason and the way we see
things and hear things in the dark sometimes.
Was he coming out of a dream or was he
moving between waking and dreaming, walking
between life and after. This is what creation is,
he thought, this is what we are. Something that pervades
every atom of the Universe and is changing, being renewed
and is happening to everything all of the time
and happening so fast, faster than the speed of light,
so fast you cannot see; pure magic, beyond knowing.
When we were children our imaginations could grasp
the stories, could live them as play, today our feet
are firmly on the earth, at least we like to think so
or are we simply fooling ourselves.

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Pat Galvin was short listed twice Hennessy Tribune. Won Cecil Day Lewis Award. Poetry Ireland,The Shop, Southword, QLRS, Orbis, The Stinging Fly, LigatureUS, Parameter and
others. Debut collection ‘Where the Music Comes From’ was published by Doghouse
in 2010. ‘Donnellys Hollow’ in Niall MacMonagles 1916 anthology‘Windharp