Guest Feature – A Dim View of the Hippie Movement ~ Chris Rodriguez

At the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,
Strawberry Alarm Clock awakens a
stream of consciousness,
artificial spirituality laced with LSD.
Transformed Beatniks don beads, become hip in
bell-bottomed hip-huggers encountering
their id at a Human Be-In.
Back to the land communes in Strawberry Fields
support organic humanure-spiked food
free for sexual favors at local markets.
Nature Boys in old timey clothes fertilize
filth-crusted bodies with free love,
In a Gadda da Vida, honey!
Urbanization spurned, freaks still choose
Frisco as their center of (de)light.

Free press rings in news,
Feed My Headlines proclaim –
Dr. Strange and Jefferson Airplane attend an
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test at a Grateful Dead revival,
the church of drug induced Nirvana.
Liquid Light Shows draw tie-dyed run-away teens,
down the rabbit hole of
wide-eyed, White Rabbit wonder.
At the Height of Haight Happening,
Hare Krishna chants induce superficial
infatuation with Asian etiology.
‘Keeping it Real’ gets Gays
out of the closet (Far out!),
riding a rainbow of psychedelic ribbons
of Pride to The Castro district.
Hirsute Flower Children with lice, but nice
bare-breasted chicks making love
in patchouli-scented crash pads singing
“love the one you’re with,” oblivious
ball and chain toking through hours
and daze hazy nights.
The free-love train is not a smooth ride.
Stick it to The Man – the mantra in a man’s world.
The Bearded Curtain lacks money,
root of all Establishment evil.
Women serve as replacement currency
coerced to entice new males’ members to enter
the communal state of orgiastic bliss.
Babies abused in false belief,
“It’s alright, it’s his bag. All love is beautiful.”
Magical Mystery Tour, Woodstock,

Summer of Love sexual stew of STD’s
spawns a free clinic that treats
Joplin’s botched abortion.
By all means do your own thing,
tune in, drop out, turn on – blow your mind as
Manson’s musical of murderous missions
taunts L.A. Elysian Park love-ins.
Tricky (Sock it to me?) Dick, with a double (under)handed flash of the peace sign,
tries to send Jo-Yo packing back to Nutopia.
The “Death of Hippies Funeral” buries the
counterculture movement, but uptight,
hung-up, assertive feminists
rise like the Phoenix
from the ashes of burned bras,
born of the so-called age of enlightenment
which kept girls prone,
minds closed
legs open
to Masters and Johnson’s post-revolution probe.
Ouch!


Chris Rodriguez has retired from the horrors of conventional life.  She
now lives on the brink of inspiration in a 100-year-old cottage in
Pocatello, Idaho. Her works have appeared in various themed anthologies
including Rhetoric Askew, Kelly Jacobson’s, The Way to My Heart: An
Anthology of Food-Related Romance, Anchala Press’s Flash Fiction for
Flash Memories and several by Horrified Press/Thirteen O’Clock and
coming soon to Left Hand Publisher’s, Mindscapes Unimagined.  You can
find her latest at https://www.chrisrodriguez-onthebrink.com or
https://www.amazon.com/author/chrisrodriguez-onthebrink.

Advertisements

Notes On A Suicide by Hemingway – A.G. Diedericks

The cosmos misplaced me
left me to meteor into this zeitgeist
of insipid distractions
Where i roam as an anachronism
under the city of lights
in pursuit of remnants from Lutetia
with nothing but a pen & piece
of paper to live on

Problem is I’m not a poet
Let me tell you how i know it:
I kill a reader
every time i get published
I drag ’em out
to the Battle of Normandy
and en garde my quill
up against their arsenal;
I tread belligerently
over land mines, unarmored
until there’s nothing left
of me to spill

Because who am i
without these lacerations
cut on truth
cut to the left
cut with avant garde

I look on as they flee for shelter
in colloquial boats
Washed up on the shores
of contrived obeisance

I write myself out
and into pastiche
Here..
Where i can marvel at all the
artifacts
that has since been decimated
by phosphorescent eyes

In this solitary hamlet
away from the hullabaloo
of small voices;
I swim naked in a cesspool
of regret & excuses;
The past is a rope that pulls me up
from the quagmire of my present;
The ghost of Hemingway smirks
at my attempted suicide
as he steals all the bullets from
my plagiarized shotgun

Leaving me tied to the
dénouement
of his sagacious notes,

“Your abstract is redundant. The expatriates weren’t lost in an archaic era. We Roared the 20’s with the clamour of our own literature. How is the reader supposed to find any emotive resonance in this? Your soul is still buried underneath the words, and it will only come to life once you’ve unearthed your own voice. I suggest you go and pick a fight with a bull in the streets of Pamplona; You’ll find everything you need there.”

Introducing Nitin Lalit Murali – Room 101

konzentrationslager-1530186_1920

I live in a room that’s both my last meal on Death Row and the Gas Chamber. When it’s the former, I embrace this illusion we call ‘free will’ and enjoy a sumptuous meal according to my desires, but I’m soon dragged away by the guards of tyranny, and a brutal genocidal force, and I’m strapped in the chamber, my fear echoing, my heartbeat an odd time signature that you can use in a Math Rock song, and I’m soon left writhing with apparitions surrounding me, threatening to engulf and envelop me, and as foam drips from my mouth, and my irises disappear, I’m slowly fading, clutching to pillars of delusion that only seemingly held me. Delilah defeats Samson thoroughly here, because he’s denied his strength even after he’s tortured, and his eyes are gouged out. This room’s both pleasure and pain. The unmitigated dark pleasure of the ebb and flow, and twisted secrets kept when I’m with a woman – personifying and venerating her, giving her a place outside restrictions, smashing Time and his infuriating ticks, tocks and chimes. But it’s also the pain of watching her dissipate within seconds and replaced by a deep-seated primal fear of watching dimensions split and cacophonous syllables spoken by a horrific deity slowly inching their way into my mind, scalding reason, and overwhelming and overpowering me. This room’s both catharsis and oblivion. I find here, the catharsis of downers, alcohol, and jazz – the juxtaposition of a slightly loud piano and a gentler alto saxophone, and the ephemerality of sex and fluid, of women entering and leaving, but I also slowly find that with each transient nirvana I’m granted comes a plethora of soul-sucking thoughts, ripping my heart from its place and placing it out of reach, showing me just how vulnerable and insignificant I am. I find that with each orgasm comes guilt, because she isn’t here to stay, and will waltz back to her life the next morning while I’m fox-trotting out my life in click-bait and endless cyber repetitions. This room is many things, but despite the moans and sighs, the false lull of pharmaceuticals, and the chaos and quietude of a mind, it lacks love.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

You can find more of Nitin’s work at Fighting The Dying Light

When You Understand – The Stories In Between

And sometimes we adopt these casualties as if they were our own, in the darkest of times, during the only thing we know as real. Finally we struggle to give it away but the most painful of realizations is the moment when we understand this is ours to keep. I will open your eyes to the death of innocence. There is a truth in my anger, an outstretched grasping hand. There is little sympathy in this place, and even less understanding. We are all washed as clean as we can get. But save the dirt and praise tomorrow because it all makes no difference.

Do you want me to really show you something? Really? Because I can. But you may not like what you see. If you want me to, I can turn this whole thing inside out and pull what you thought was reality away, piece by broken piece, then maybe, just maybe, you might have something to say.

 


More from this author can be found at The Stories In Between

Introducing: The Stories In Between – Mirror

Fucking mirror.

I have no desire to look at myself right now. But I can’t help but look. Each time, for just a moment during the approach, maybe, maybe this time, something will be different. But it’s not. It’s all the same. I can’t find a way to get away from this, it’s always the same. There has to be something that can carry me from this place, something more has to be waiting . . . it’s just too hard to accept that this is all there is. Where is the hope? Surely it doesn’t lie in all this.  I don’t care how deep you dig, nothing of any value lives here. And I’m sure, soon, you’ll give up. It’s too much work. It’s not worth it. I’m not worth it.  But please, before you walk away, look at my face one last time.

How careless is all this? How many things have we dropped along the way? Sometimes we step over and other times we just step on. Have you looked at your shoes lately? There may be more than gum on your soul. If you found a way beneath these layers can you accept what’s exposed? This is all for you but can you take it?

The mirror tells no lies. Well, maybe a few, but there’s enough truth in there that we can dismiss the lies. How else can you see the lines and darkness beneath the eyes? Who could ever look at yourself in the way you can? It takes a lot sometimes but other times, not much at all.

Because sometimes it really doesn’t matter. And other times it truly does matter but we just don’t give a shit.

Fucking mirror.

mirror-mirror-mirror


Life is pretty good these days. But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember. It’s quite easy, too easy, to slip back to what once was, realizing it still is. I have the knowledge that there is an underlying hope in all this, which is one of the greatest gifts the years have given me. So the question remains, are you willing to expose that which lies in between? – The Stories In Between