Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mike Gamms - Another Night in Hollywood

Why am I even going to this party? I'm not going to like anyone here and they aren't going to like me. Especially if I keep drinking like I am now. We haven't even gotten to the door and I already want to leave. I see the person I can only assume is the host approaching us.

"Hey guys thanks for coming!"

He is as big of a twit as I imagined. The kind of tool who tells his friends back home he works in the film industry when in actuality he rips tickets in a movie theatre. Him and Roger have some pointless conversation about God knows what. I over hear him say he moved to Los Angeles for the weather. God, people are fucking lame. I'm not sure if I'm more pissed about what he said, or the fact that I've undoubtedly said the same lame crap before. I try to convince myself that it's different because I'm aware that I sound like a jackass, but I'm not sure if I really believe it.

I continue trying to forget what he says before he's even done saying it. If it's important enough I'm sure I'll hear it again. I don't even remember his name and hopefully in a few minutes I won't remember his face. I'll let Roger make small talk with idiots and hopefully I'll be left out of the conversation.

"Who's your friend?"

"This is Chuck, he's a writer-"

That's fucking great. There's already enough self proclaimed "artists" at this party, and now I'm one of them. I'm not sure what annoys me more, that people are going to think I'm one of them, or I'm actually going to feel like one of them. The host looks to me for some sort of conversation, but I don't even bother.

I am quickly on the move. Roger can handle this guy on his own. When I finally find the beer, they have nothing but a few dozen Mic Ultra Lights. Don't get me wrong, I'm no beer snob, but I'd prefer to have something with a little more kick than that. But I think the point of having such a sissy beer in such low quantity is so that people like me don't get drunk and make a scene. But considering the fifth I drank for lunch, that's all but unavoidable at this point. I complain about the booze selection to a woman at the bar but she doesn't see the problem.

"I like this beer. It's low calorie so I don't feel as guilty about skipping the gym tomorrow."

I debate telling her that her fat ass probably makes her feel more guilty than any beer could, but I'm feeling pretty lonely and the company of a woman doesn't sound like a bad idea at this point. And besides, pretending to be interested in her isn't going to make me hate myself anymore than I already do right now. I tell her I love Mic Ultra because I have to do twice the work to get half as drunk. She isn't smart enough to get it, but she's smart enough to know it's a joke and laugh. Some girls are so desperate for male approval its sickening.

Just as I'm starting to think today isn't going to be all that bad, the guy from the front door is headed my way again. Roger is no where to be seen, so I'm actually going to have to talk to him on my own. I can't remember his name or much of what he said, but that fedora hat and beard tell me he's a struggling artist. I'll just get him talking about himself while I concentrate on downing these beers. I ask him if he's working on any projects right now. This will keep him occupied for a while. Plus he really doesn't care what I have to say anyways, he just enjoys hearing himself say it.

"I've got a terrific script I'm directing. In fact, I wrote it myself!"

I tell him it sounds great. But really I just wonder if his girl blows him as much as he blows himself. I don't get how people like him can think so highly of themselves when there is clearly so much to dislike. Or maybe I'm just bitter that fools like him can find bliss in their own ignorance while I constantly drown myself in my own self misery. I can't take listening to this guy anymore, so I excuse myself to the bathroom, grabbing two new beers along the way.

This is where I find Roger. The only other person here foul enough to not only take a shit at the party, but to bring his beer with him. After we finish our respective business, Roger pulls out a bag of coke. Knowing Roger, this isn't surprising. Roger may pretend to be my manager, but it's mostly just a gimmick to trick girls new to Hollywood into sleeping with him. Not that he isn't still successful in his own right. Roger makes most of his money owning shady motels off the Sunset Strip. Renting out motel rooms by the hour, you get pretty familiar with the world of cocaine and loose women. I'm not saying I'm any better than Roger, I just can't afford as much as blow as he can. I have to skip meals to buy 3 dollar bottles of whiskey. But if Roger is buying, I'll gladly partake.

Coke makes me feel unstoppable. All the self hate seems to disappear. I stop destroying myself on the inside and start destroying everyone around me. Today's cut is pretty strong.

We wipe our noses, licking the last of the residue off our fingers as we head back to the bar for more beer. I stumble into some guy, spilling his drink. Unfortunately, he's the kind of guy who takes himself way too seriously.

"Who the fuck do you think you are, asshole!"

His tight shirt and smug expression are a dead giveaway of an aspiring actor. The coke has me feeling powerful and fearless. I tell him I'm a talent agent at CAA and I want to sign him.

"Really?!?"

The look on his face says it all. It's almost sickening how quickly he changes his opinion when he thinks it might help his acting career. But he just as quickly realizes how foolish he looks. Making such an insecure little man look stupid only proves to make things worse. He takes a swing at me, but somehow in my intoxicated state, I am able to dodge his attack. I can't help but laugh.

Distracted by my own good fortune, I forget that the actor doesn't find this as funny as I do. The second punch doesn't miss. The haymaker to my jaw has me hard on the floor. I try to shake it off and get on my feet, but he clocks me square in the jaw and darkness fills my eyes.

Mike Gamms is a 24-year-old unemployed writer living in Los Angeles. Originally from Upstate New York, he occasionally writes awful things at www.mikegamms.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Emily Idzior - Hollyweird Boulevard

Crazy ass bathroom broke into the coffee

ate all the stars and went home

Where did all the people go?

I counted the stars four by four through my breath

Broke into your heart and took it for myself

I still talk about the past

Buy something here buy something now buy something whenever

$2.99 for a memory of you and me

I’ll never remember you better

Cold and windy sunny and windy my hair is full of sand

I want to color inside the words

I took a picture

I held your hand on the beach

I took a picture

and laughed

When I went to Hollywood, I felt weird


and stiff like someone might see me

you saw me standing there walking away

the stars were outshone by the city lights

but they’re closer so why wouldn’t they

I broke into the coffee I broke into the stars

you broke into my heart

Emily Idzior is an aspiring poet and librarian who has to shush people poetically. She has a MA in salad making and wishes she loved tea without sugar but, alas, has a sweet tooth. She cannot quit waffles or coffee and writes in her personal blog once a year.

Also, she has a cat.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Damian Alonzo - Untitled

Whenever I’m in Hollywood, I always feel like I’m walking through the footprint of a giant dinosaur. The stuff in is interesting and all, but you find yourself wondering what it may have been like before its current, not-so-glamorous state. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by the occult. The more “left-hand” and esoteric, the better. I guess I’d be turning over branches and rocks trying to find the ever-elusive “missing link” in that dino footprint. At least then I’d be putting my degree to some use, right? Well, in a way, my search for the occult kind of did (is doing?) that.

As you may or may not know, I am a practicing Heathen. Yes, put yet another tally mark on the anomaly that is Damian. Asatru, as you may find, has some curious history behind it. It was founded around the same time as the American Church of Satan (LaVey) and the “hippy” movement, and I believe it all came out of Berkley. So you have Wiccans, Satanists, and Vikings offering all kinds of alternative philosophy to the masses in the 60’s.

Wicca becomes mostly associated with women, especially with the Dianics getting out the strong, female voice of our pagan sisters. Satanism is almost theatrical right out of the gate, and weaves in and out of the media’s spotlight to this day, getting people to embrace the god within themselves. Asatru was easily the little sibling of the three, providing people of European descent a religion and philosophy to “return home” to. As you can see, this idea would be very problematic for many to accept with open arms. Indeed, not obviously “white”, I’ve had my own struggles walking the Odian path throughout the last five years or so from people within the community that I should feel comfortable in. But I’m stubborn, and will not be told I cannot belong or that I am not good enough (a little LOL for you- some paleoanthropologists think that unusual stubbornness is a trait left over from the Neanderthals of what is now Germany). So on to Hollyweird.

You always see this stuff in movies. The lights are off in some place that looks abandoned. You hear muffled voices carried off by the wind. Candles’ glow pulsates in a dark window. You take a few steps closer and swear you pick up the smell of something in the air. Sage, perhaps. Now you’re at the window looking in. Hooded figures huddle around an altar, their arms raising and lowering as they chant. There are a number of statuettes on the altar that you do not recognize, along with some odd looking instruments that resemble medieval weaponry. Then fear roots you to the floor as you realize there’s a (probably naked) young lady tied to the floor, squirming and trying to scream! You have just stumbled upon a cult ritual, no doubt! Probably…dun dun duuunnn…SATANISTS!* Or in my case, there’s just no naked people. Or Satanists. Just some silly Heathens up to their monthly moon worship, or seasonal welcoming.

The first time I was invited out to Hollywood’s Besant Lodge (a stone’s throw from the Hollywood sign) to do a ritual, I was flat out excited. I felt like a kid who was just promised a new toy or something. Occult Hollywood! Something was plucked out of the footprint that I never imagined I’d get so intimately close to. And what a place, let me tell you. It smells old, for starters. That’s the first thing I always do when I go to a new place like that…I take a big whiff. The paintings on the wall are something out of The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, I kid you not; portraits of random people without titles, and a really awesome and creepy painting of a castle. To add to the strangeness and amazing energy of the place is a really small stage at the far end from where the door is. A fellow Gildie pointed out that they used to play silent movies at the Lodge, and that it’s actually a CHURCH on Sundays! The plain old good feeling you get when you’re in there is just something else.

With the lights turned out, it’s a different story. You quickly begin to feel unsure of your presence there as your friends become shadows, and the dagger in your hand feels more like a weapon for self defense than a ritual tool. But the chanting begins, and it takes the edge off. You harness those feelings of insecurity and use it to channel the essence of …Thor…or Vanaheim …or whatever or whoever you’re aiming to bring into the room. Neopagan ritual in a historical place like that is pure magic(k). Then we take down our banners, horgh (altar), and pitchers of mead…and just feast as a family around the hearth.

The joy that that little piece of Hollywood has brought to my heart in immeasurable. Looking at it now, I actually feel as though the Lodge was never touched by the menacing foot of a prehistoric beast. It’s a window of history that is largely undisturbed, waiting to be discovered by those lucky enough to be granted permission to enter its portal.

----

I have purposefully omitted certain things about myself, the history and current state of Asatru, and the particular group I have associated with in the past, as I did not want to add too many unnecessary distractions. If you have any questions regarding Asatru, Paganism or Satanism, please contact me through Facebook via private message and I would love to chat about it!

*The iconic imagery of a female being sacrificed by a cult comes from LaVey. He was very big on using the nude female form as a living altar for his perverted rituals. Aleister Crowley was also into this sort of thing.


Damian Alonzo is an Anthropology graduate and a native of Los Angeles. His focus for the last ten years has been on folklore, with an emphasis on Germanic Heathenry, the supernatural, and youth culture. Most of his free time is spent playing too many hours of PC games, otherwise he might actually have more writing done.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sap Attack

I'm in total acceptance of the fact that some weeks here are going to be very full and some weeks are going to be very flimsy and almost completely empty of any writing. On those weeks, we will just be starving for the full weeks of beautifully written pieces that we can consume rapidly.

Then we will just wait for more.

I was talking with a friend about how impressed (and a little jealous) I was of her ability to perform in front of crowds (she's in a band and does stand-up comedy) and how awesome she is for being able to put herself out there like that. She said she felt the same way about me with writing and this blog, and I was like... what?

Getting to the point, I wanted to thank everyone who's written anything so far. I realize it's scary to put yourself out there, even if it's just friends or other aspiring writers reading your writing. It's like standing out on a stage and trying to connect in some way with your audience. It's not always comfortable, but I really appreciate everyone's effort and I think you are all totally beautiful and inspiring. So thanks for putting yourself out there.

Wow, how sappy.

I only have a couple submissions for this week's theme, "Hollyweird," so if you still want to write something, get it in to writingwriterwritest@gmail.com.

Theme for 4/1: "Twenty minute stories." I think this will be super fun exercise for us all! And for those of you who feel like you never have any time for writing, it only takes twenty minutes. Here are the guidelines: Sit down or stand up. Write down the time with a pen or type it into whatever program you use to write your writings. Start your story or poem or lyrics or dramatic scene or whatever flows out of you. Write for twenty minutes. Put down your pen or take your fingers off the keyboard. Write down the time. Send in your submission with start and end times to: writingwriterwritest@gmail.com

Theme for 4/8: "Favorite Things." Write about your favorite sweater, your favorite place to vacation, your favorite memory. You can even turn in a recipe for your favorite food. Write about Oprah's Favorite Things if you don't have any of your own.

Thanks and have a great week!
-Katie

Katie McMahon - hear me Out

what. the. fuck.

here is what it's like to feel connected.

I can find myself here with all of everybody's body.

where was this before?

why was this not an option?

I had no idea, but

I am in love with this

new, scary, fully brimming, confusing, upsetting, fucking overwhelming, saying things out loud feeling.

hear me out:

I am terrified and tousled and awake.

worried and frustrated, allowing myself to be thrown through

this new door.

nervous.

wired.

it's so freeing to find me here.

and you say, "so what? who cares?"

we are just bodies next to bodies next to bodies,

but, who would've thought that this would set me free?

so this is what it's like to allow yourself to be.



Katie McMahon is a lady who lives in the North Hollywood area. She has a bachelor's degree that she keeps on her bookcase and looks at sometimes. She is getting a master's degree to put on her nightstand. Sometimes she takes pictures which you can look at here, but you don't have to if you're busy right now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Emily Idzior - In Love

When I was in Elementary school, I don’t know which grade and I don’t know what age, I read a poem by Emily Dickinson. I really liked the way she used language and I felt like I understood what she was saying without being able to really say out loud what she was really saying. I became a tried and true Emily Dickinson fan. I reached out to others, as well, trying Bronte and Shakespeare and eventually nabbing Poe into my circle of authors I loved to read.


By High School I was positively obsessed with poetry and novels and reading things that could captivate me. Words that could make me feel something that made me think “OMG. ME TOO!” Or, “That’s so true!” It was a love affair. I ate up everything. I read a lot of Science Fiction but mostly humorous things like Douglas Adams and Piers Anthony. I was delighted and happy with the way they effortlessly utilized puns to make me laugh. I read “Jane Eyre” but did not care much for “Pride and Prejudice” or “Emma” putting the final nail in the coffin of “Emily does not appreciate old books.” I yearned for a challenge. I probably could have read “Moby Dick” but instead I began writing poetry. I began searching for something that I could fall in love with.


There was this one evening I was particularly interested in something good to read. At this point there were two places I could depend on for a good recommendation: My High School Creative Writing teacher, Mrs. T, and Borders (the book store). I browsed one evening and came upon a book called “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” A book that had never been recommended to me and, since it was published in 1999 and this was about 2002, probably not read all that much by very many people who could recommend it. I loved it. It was eerily similar to one of my all ready favorites, “The Catcher in the Rye.” I was hooked.


This is around the time that I continued to encourage myself to be a writer one day. Specifically I had decided to be a poet. So I applied and was accepted into a Camp for the arts, in the Creative Writing program. It was here that I learned that you could actually BREAK THE RULES. You were allowed to write whatever you wanted and you didn’t have to rhyme and you know what? If you wanted to, you could forget about punctuation altogether.


We read Billy Collins and Naomi Shihab Nye and “Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. We had to do assignments where we wrote a warped view of a popular superhero, we looked to the National Enquirer for writing prompts. We wrote the kinds of things I had been searching for.


So far I had evolved from child writer (obsessed with Shel Silverstein and short rhyming poems) to adolescent, full of angst and rules, and was now entering into a strange location in which I was looking for literature to show me some kind of way. Show me what to do, oh Literature gods. I read Oliver and more Collins and searched for writers who wrote things that spoke to me. I read “The Bell Jar” and felt crazy. I thought they were all speaking to me.


I entered the University’s Creative Writing with the most na├»ve outlooks of life. I thought that all writing had to enlighten and teach. All poetry somehow had to teach essential world truths. Had to teach me how to be a better person and writer. I read books my Dad read (“Listen as the day unfolds, challenge what the future holds” etc and etc.), falling for books like “Johnathan Livingston Seagull” and “Illusions.” I read “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran and was convinced it held all the truth I needed (outside the Bible of course) and read and re-read all of these books until I am sure quoting them became my friends least favorite thing about me.


Somehow I stumbled into a writing program though, that did not share my world view on poetry. I found myself one day, after numerous intro classes that gave me safe poems to read, poems that did not challenge much beyond asking me to describe a sunset in a different way that had not been done before, I found myself in a class reading a book called “Tender Buttons” by Gertrude Stein.


“A box is made sometimes and them to see to see to it neatly and to have the holes stopped up makes it necessary to use paper.”


And I thought: WHAT THE…………


And then I fell in love.


I fell in love with the kinds of writing that could challenge me to think differently. It was refreshing to read something that did not tell me how to think but instead painted with words. It didn’t have to make immediate sense didn’t have to follow all the rules. It didn’t have to reveal anything extraordinary except that language itself is immense and infinite. It can be misunderstood and misheard and it can tell a story and it can teach you to just appreciate the word “bread.”


I discovered Anne Carson, who lives in Canada, and devoured all I could find by her. I relished my classes that taught me to think differently, to approach language and poetry in a different way. I loved my Professor who was constantly teasing out the parts of me that still wanted a poem to enlighten me. I read Alice Notley and cried when I heard the poem “Red Shift” by Ted Berrigan.


We read Beckett and Arianna Reines and Claudia Rankine. With these poems and “hybrid” works of writing I challenged thoughts and what “writing” had to be. I read Delillo and decided to never read a book that had a beginning, middle, and end again. We read a book that will forever stay with me, “The Material of Poetry: Sketches for a Philosophical Poetics” by Gerald L. Bruns.

Two of my favorite quotes, from two different chapters of my life:


You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

--Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese”


And


I was tired of

ideas, or, rather, the activity of ideas, a kind of exercise, had

first invigorated me and then made me sleepy, so that I felt

just as one does after a long, early morning walk, returning

unable to decide whether to drink more coffee or go back to

sleep. The uncommon run of keeping oneself to oneself. The

piggy-back plant is o.k.

--Lyn Hejinian, from “My Life”


My “what the….” moment sparked in me an admiration for all writing that can challenge me to think differently but can still tap into something human inside me. Writing that can move me without telling me why I should be moved. When I think “What the…” I think of a poem that challenged me, that moved me, that made me sparkle instead and want to share with the world all of the words I had read. To make you feel what I feel when I read something that doesn’t make sense, at first, but soon, doesn’t have to make sense at all.



Emily Idzior is an aspiring poet and librarian who has to shush people poetically. She has a MA in salad making and wishes she loved tea without sugar but, alas, has a sweet tooth. She cannot quit waffles or coffee and writes in her personal blog once a year.

Also, she has a cat.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Damian Alonzo - Untitled

It was raining outside, and Greg Nelson was driving from the lot of a local radio station. This was the first time anyone had expressed any interest in his professional opinion about anything, and it did not go at all how he had expected. He turned his radio on and tuned in to his interview. Due to delay, he was able to catch the last portion.

And we’re back with Greg Nelson…full-time spiritualist and part-time professor. As I’m sure everyone’s well aware of by this point, we’ve seen a disturbing increase in homicides and otherwise violent behavior lately, and while some are quick to crack down on parents or the police, there are others who have a very different take on what is going on. *pause* Ghosts! Demons! *laughter* In all seriousness, the commercial shamans and warlocks out there really have come into their own. Greg, could you fill us in on what you think is going on here?

Well, as I’ve said numerous times already, I’m not either of those. I’m morally and ethically opposed to the idea of furthering the pollution of the spiritual environment. But…

So you’re like the Green Peace of ghost hunters, basically.

I’ve never thought of it that way, but I suppose so…even though I don’t “hunt” anything. In any case… as you’ve already alluded to, yes, I do believe that we’re at the forefront of an assault by otherworldly beings. This is only a warning, and I believe that if we do not stop this wanton abuse and desecration of the spirit realm, things will get progressively worse.

Let me see if we’re on the same page here. So we’re at…war…with ghosts
.

Not yet. And I never once said “ghosts”, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t put words in my mouth.

*laughter* Well, what else could you mean?

What I mean is that there could be a thorough, cladistic breakdown of the various types of otherworldly beings if anyone took the time to do it. Problem is that it’s a bit difficult, as you could probably imagine.

What, like goblins and unicorns? Orcs and hobbits?

Goblins, perhaps... Otherwise no, we’re not discussing mythological beasts or creatures of high fantasy.

Okay, all right. Jokes aside, what do you think is happening, or will happen?

Thank you. *pause* These commercial warlocks that you’ve mentioned…they’ve been tampering with something that they know full good and well will have detrimental effects on our world. These malevolent spirits have toyed with us for centuries, though I believe what we’re seeing right now are otherwise benign spirits that have been forced into “action”, basically.

Action against the warlocks?

Not in particular, no. Just against us.

*long pause* I don’t know, Greg. That’s a, uh…pretty crazy theory you’ve got there. Wouldn’t something have already happened? Why now?

Because it’s not on their terms anymore. We’re forcing them out into the open when they don’t want to be. I can’t be certain, obviously, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say that they were probably just as interested in our idea as we were at first.

At first? Humans have been communicating with ancestors and earth spirits since time immemorial.

Communicating respectfully, yes. And with good intentions, for the most part. Commercial warlocks force them into being without asking. There is no give and take. We aren’t asking for a fruitful harvest anymore, for example. Instead, farmers are contacting these warlocks to force earth spirits into slave labor, essentially. And they don’t even know what they’re getting! I’m surprised the fey world hasn’t done us over already, to be perfectly honest.

Fey?

Faerie. The “folk”, if you will.

*pause* Um...right. I’m being told it’s time for a commercial break. We’ll be right back.

Greg shook his head as he punched through a yellow light. The rain was falling hard, now, as water danced erratically off the hood of his car. He turned off his radio and checked his phone. Two new voicemails and six text messages. He tossed it on his passenger’s seat and kept driving to his apartment. Just one more thing to add to the list of failures in his life. It reminded him of the time his brother first joined the military and shot right to the top. He’d always say how surprising it was, and how great it felt being trusted to lead men into battle. Their parents were always happy to have Tommy around. Greg was the one expected to struggle, and get little out of his efforts. He constantly had to remind his dad what it was he was going to school for, and what he was doing with himself after he graduated. Well, now there wouldn’t be any surprises. The whole family was tuned into that fiasco.

He approached the garage to his apartment and slowed down, noticing a red truck parked in the small guest lot. Pulling into his spot, he checked the text messages on his phone. One was from Tommy, who was “coming over with some beer”. He smiled and walked up to his unit.

“Not exactly what you had in mind?” Tommy said as Greg walked in. He already had a couple of beers and was watching a sitcom.

“Eh, you know. Gonna take some time for people to understand.” Greg sat down and opened a can.

“Screw ‘em. I’m with you, man. These idiots running around…making money off that stuff. Isn’t right.”

“Yup.”

They sat silently for a little while, watching the terrible comedy play out on the television. The rain outside seemed to be letting up.

“You know,” Tommy began, “I was thinking about starting something up. I’m in R&D now, and there’s an awful lot of talk going around about this spirit stuff you’re interested in.”

Greg put his beer down. “Tom, you know I’ve been wanting to set up my own business…”

“Yeah, yeah,” Tommy cut him off. “I’m trying to help you out, too, Greg. I could bring you aboard as an advisor or something. You’re worth a whole lot more than this. I’m just asking for you to not be stubborn this one time. It doesn’t have to be about you or me, it can be about helping people.”

“Isn’t that convenient, though? The government is totally okay with these guys coming to power, and now they’re establishing a new program to take them out. Right.” Greg sipped his beer and looked at Tommy.

“I know how it sounds, but we have the resources that you never will. If I get this unit on its feet, it’ll be the break you’ve been waiting for. People will take you seriously, Greg. Hell, I wouldn’t doubt it if you were the primary advisor to the whole thing!”

Greg started to respond when his phone rang. And then Tommy’s. “Private number. Yours?”

“Same,” Tommy responded. “Answer yours.”

Greg slid his phone open and set it to “speaker”. Tommy’s phone stopped ringing. “Hello?”

There was deafening static on the other end for a few seconds before he got a response.

“Mr. Nelson…We must ask that you stop.” His phone chimed, indicating that the call was dropped.

“What the hell?” Greg asked his phone as he stood up, staring at it like he’d never seen or heard anything so weird in his life.

“Give it to me, I’ll have it traced and get back to you. Make sure you’re actually answering your house line.” Tommy said, marching out of the apartment.

Greg sank into the couch, staring out at the night.


Damian Alonzo is an Anthropology graduate and a native of Los Angeles. His focus for the last ten years has been on folklore, with an emphasis on Germanic Heathenry, the supernatural, and youth culture. Most of his free time is spent playing too many hours of PC games, otherwise he might actually have more writing done.

Mary - Untitled


What the fuck am I doing when I let someone actually see me
What the fuck am I doing when I take down the layers that cover the words inked on my wrists
The heart carved into my tin man costume
I swear I have a brain
I swear I have a heart, look, it’s right here
I swear I have a home
And I just want to go back to it
And show you what the fuck I mean
When I say I’m scared, when I’m afraid, when I’m doubting
Every second every word every thought every move I make
But I do it anyway because I have to keep moving
And I have to take steps forward not back
And live in the moment
And live in the risks
Even though they scare me into feeling one hundred percent
Like I don’t know what the fuck I mean or what the fuck I want
But I can’t stop won’t stop shouldn’t ever take no for an answer
So here I am and here we are
It's me, unedited, unadulterated, uncovered.
And what the fuck else can I even say.

Mary is a somewhat recent college grad who still hasn't quite figured out where she wants to live or what she wants to do with her practically meaningless degree. She is currently settled in the cornfields of Northern Illinois and spends her time dreaming of a world where she could get paid to write and drink coffee all day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Luke LaGraff - Where is the Earth?

There's a come around
A thing I've heard called
A thing I've heard screamed

This sound is coming from Earth
I can't understand it, can't comprehend it
I feel it conveying it's terrible worth

To know this, is divine
I feel lucky to have the experience
I feel it emoting sublime

One day on Earth-
Moments in exponentiation
Involute change. Pain. Joy.

Luke LaGraff is a lover of sandwiches, egg nog, and one of a kind days. He used to forget them, but now has realized he shouldn't; they have more meaning than ever at this point of his life. He enjoys the sun in LA and watches hockey and funny things whenever he can. He listens to people. He's from Tennessee.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mike Gamms - The Next Morning

The good thing about passing out in the bathroom is you don't have to go very far for your morning piss. Mid stream I realize my urine contains the last drops of alcohol left in the house. This is shaping up to be yet another shitty day.

I think about eating something, but decide otherwise. There is no way I can hold any food down before I get some booze in my system, and besides, eating only makes it take longer to get drunk and I don't know how much longer I can take this sobriety. Sobriety makes you see clearly, and the problem with seeing clearly is some times you don't always like what you see. I wonder if everyone think I'm a tool when I say shit like that, or is it just me.

But, atleast being a drunk gives me an excuse for being such a fucking loser. Unemployed Recovering Alcoholic doesn't have such a great ring to it either. It gives people hope to think that if only I could quit drinking I might turn my life around. Little do they know, I can't turn my life around, and that's why I drink.

It could be worse I guess. I could still be a drunk back in the shithole I call home. Atleast now I'm a drunk living in Los Angeles. Maybe I won't die poor, drunk and alone 5 miles from where I was born, but I sure as shit might do it 3000 miles from where I was born. I'm not sure if that's any better, but at this point it's enough to give me even the smallest glimmer of hope.

I feel a little better than I did last night, but still miles away from how good I felt a few years ago. I think it's because the bed bugs tend to ease up during the day light. It doesn't make any sense, but it's almost as if they can sense when I'm weakest, when I'm really beating myself up, they go for the kill. Maybe today won't be as bad of a day as I thought if I can get drunk enough to not feel anything by the time the bugs inside me come out.

I start rummaging my apartment for any booze I can get my grubby little hands on, when I hear a knock at the door. Fuck me. I can't even drown in my own self misery in peace anymore. I tell them to leave me alone, that I've seen the word of God and I'm not interested.

"I'm not a god damn Mormon, man. It's Roger! Let me the fuck in!"

Misery loves company, and Roger's the only company I get these days so I better let him in. He might have something to ease the pain and I'm outta booze. I could go for just about anything right now.

Roger bursts through the door. As always, he's dressed in only the finest clothes Beverly Hills has to offer. To everyone else he may look like a million bucks, but I know that in his soul he's worth nothing more than a crumpled dollar bill pulled from a stripper's panties. Roger's a lot like me in that sense. Drinks too much. Fucks too much. The only difference is Roger enjoys every minute of it. He's a bastard, but happier than a pig in shit while doing it. He also genuinely likes people, where as I dispise them. I have no idea why he's here, so I ask him what the hell he wants.

"I have to stop by here from time to time to make sure my favorite client hasn't choked on his own vomit. You are far too young to go out that way, and besides you haven't written for shit."

As fucked up as that maybe, it actually makes me feel a little better, just knowing that someone cares even a little bit. That may be the lamest thing I've ever written. I'm such a pussy sometimes it's sickening. I tell him not to worry, but he notices the empty orange juice jug in the bathroom.

"Did you drink yourself till you passed out by the toilet again? You really are trying to kill yourself aren't you?"

Shit. What a thought. I wouldn't say I'm trying to kill myself, but I'm sure as shit not doing anything to keep myself from dying. Not sure if there's much of a difference. Why do I find chaotic self-destruction so desirable? Are Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain really figures to look up to, or were they just fucked up, self-loathing losers who couldn't get their shit straight either? They got everything I ever wanted and they sure weren't any happier than I am now. I'm starting to believe there really is no light at the end of my tunnel. I debate telling Roger that all my dreams are really the same nightmare I'm trapped in now, but he already thinks I'm crazy so I just nod and brush it off, he doesn't really wanna know the answer anyways.

"And don't think I'm going to let you sit around this house feeling sorry for yourself all damn day. It's Saturday. We're going out."

I try to tell Roger I'm going to write today, but he's heard this one before. He stops me before I even start.

"Don't give me that "I'm writing" bullshit. We both know you haven't written a fucking word in months and you're sure as shit not gonna start on a Saturday."

He's right and we both know it. I mean, I've written some words and sentences here and there, but nothing even close to resembling an actual work. For me, there's always been a thin line between writing and drinking, but these days it seems more of the latter and less of the former. I still carry my raggedy old notebook with me everywhere in hopes of scribbling even so much as a thought down. But all that proves to accomplish is making me hate myself more for looking like one of those prententious aspiring artists I hate so much. I wish I could stop judging myself all the time and just enjoy myself for a change.

"My friend's having a party. There will be girls there. And booze."

I tell him I don't like to socialize with people before I'm drunk. It's too much work. Pretending to be interested in people you find boring. But he knows me too well. He pulls out a fifth of Southern Comfort from his suit coat pocket. I reach for it but he pulls away. Bastard.

"I know I can't get you out of the house without an incentive. You are like a dog really. You can have it when we get in the car."

Minutes later I found myself drinking straight from the bottle in the passenger seat of Roger's Mercedes. Saying that, I sound like I think this makes me something of a badass, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I guess his car is considered nice by most, but I am extremely uncomfortable in it. I've been wearing the same jeans for weeks, jeans I bought used for a few dollars at Goodwill, and I stink like booze and cigarettes. In this car, I am out of my element. I belong on the bus with the other undesirables and low lifes. But this is where I'm at, might as well take a swig. I ask him where we are going.

"A party in the Hollywood Hills. I know this producer-"

I cut him off before he can even finish. I don't wanna go to some ass kissing "Hollywood Industry" party and he knows it. Everyone sucks everyone elses dick in the hopes that they'll be the one to help them "make it big." I'd rather stay at home with my bed bugs than rub crotches with the likes of that crowd.

But that was Roger's plan the whole time. He knows if he surrounds me with people I hate more than myself it might make me feel better. And as childish and immature as it sounds, he's right. I may hate myself, but at least I'm not one of them. They should hate themselves but aren't insightful enough to realize how pathetic they are. That's the problem with being insightful, not only do I notice everyone elses flaws and hate them for it, but I do the same to myself.

Maybe I don't hate these people as much as I am just jealous of their ignorance. What I would give to just be a normal happy fucking idiot like them for a change. Treating people like they are lower than me may make me hate myself even more tommorow, but at least for tonight I'll feel good about myself. Even the thought of this temporary joy has me thinking tonight might shape up to be better than I thought.

Mike Gamms is a 24-year-old unemployed writer living in Los Angeles. Originally from Upstate New York, he occasionally writes awful things at www.mikegamms.blogspot.com.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Scott Joel Gizicki - Sepia

Why is it you think you put pins in me
to mark where you've been? What's mine
is mine; and yours is yours. Have you
ever woke to find that you can't find your
identity? I can assure you that it's not
under the bed. I won't do this again. I
feel the pain of emerging into this mold;
bodies colliding thoughts finishing the
sentences and faces unable to mask the
urge to throw up. I'm nauseous. Is this the
ebb or the flow? It's starting to fool me and
I can't have this moment last forever if this is
how it shall remain.

Scott Joel Gizicki is just another one of those new Los Angeles residents that acts and enjoys writing as well. After being born and raised in Detroit, he finally made it 3,000 miles to the city he's always wanted to live in this past August. He hopes he can stand out from the crowd; at least a little bit. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Please. Write.

Hey everybody! Today is a new week with a new theme. This week's theme "What the--?!" is turning out... not so swimmingly, I have to admit. I will not give up yet!

Not... yet.

I want to put it out there that if you haven't loved the themes we've had so far, then please go to our facebook page and suggest a theme that you'd like to write about. Share our blog with your friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, your dentist, therapist, and anyone else who knows how to read and write (or you can read the posts to people and/or animals who can't read). If you are not a writer, please share your other creative talents with us! We will accept drawings, cartoons, sketches, photos, essays, poems, short stories, drama, and... seriously anything at all. Seriously.

Send all submissions to: writingwriterwritest@gmail.com

Theme for Friday 3/25: "Hollyweird." Send in submissions that relate to fame, fortune, misfortune, trips to Hollywood Boulevard, poems about your favorite movie star, a drawing of Kelly Clarkston, whatever you want! I'm desperate.

Theme for Friday 4/1: "Twenty minute stories." I think this will be super fun exercise for us all! And for those of you who feel like you never have any time for writing, it only takes twenty minutes. Here are the guidelines: Sit down or stand up. Write down the time with a pen or type it into whatever program you use to write your writings. Start your story or poem. Write for twenty minutes. Put down your pen or take your fingers off the keyboard. Write down the time. Send in the story* with start and end times to: writingwriterwritest@gmail.com

*If you do not want to write a short story, you can also use the twenty minute guideline for a drawing, poem, lyrics, etc.

FUN!

Have a great week! Thanks to anybody who's reading this!

-Katie