Shattered Wig #28

Shattered Wig #28
Coming In November!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Shattered Wig Review 28 Sneak Preview #2


I've got it in my head to start a war.
But I think my war could be a good war, a just war.
A war of medals and brotherhood and good-natured cussing and yes trench-foot and shrapnel and tears but the trench-foot of dark infant glory, the shrapnel of stately limps, the tears of chaste nationalistic Teresas, of breath-taking panoramic landscape cast of thousands.
In my war all troop formations will conform to the Golden Ratio.
In my war all bombing targets will be chosen by the I Ching.
In my war the enemy comes running straight for you naked except for war & skewers himself on your bayonet & no blood just small clear rivers of war & his god will carry his soul straight to heaven & your god will make sure you never die in a war.
(In my war one thousand twenty-four Myrmidons stack responsibility papers in deep garbage cans of war.)
This isn't a meditation, this is an alibi.

Oh and there will be many alerts. I will paint war in the most beautiful colors. My war will look good in the living room or den.
A soldier long at war in my war will clutch a small bird a short distance from a village where a boy on a rooftop will be mistaken for the devil and shot. The bird will be warm in his hand—he will let it go.
& there will be spirited and beautiful movements against my war. The youth will spend their youth on war. Large war signs proclaiming NO WAR. Kissing, drinking each other's tears, they will come of age in a time of war.

I will make war impossible. I will make war safe & navigable. I will seek to make war more transparent. I will constantly seek greater transparency in my war.
My war will destroy anything approaching within 200 miles.
In my war all snipers will be certified judges and will grant all targets a speedy trial before shooting them in the head.
In my war everyone had a way out.

Every outpost will be supplied with an authentic Tibetan monk who will be given the necessary firepower to reliably enforce reincarnation on the ground.
In my war no one asks and no one tells.
And just as you are crawling out of the reach of the mortar fire you will come upon a mound of angelfaced young bodies stabbed to death with the sharpened ends of rose stems. And the roses will continue to bloom!

Kiss everyone you've wanted to kiss. It's time for war.

I'm beating a drum!
I'm getting some action!
I'm driving out all Poisons!

—R.M. O'Brien

R.M. O'BRIEN was born in Oswego, New York in 1983. He was awarded a BA in Liberal Studies from Purchase College only after he agreed to pay $50 to be registered in a "dummy" class. If he is known at all, it is probably as the principal songwriter and singer for Nuclear Power Pants. To date, O'Brien has self-published a small handful of poetic tracts which he leaves around wherever, and he curates the monthly reading series WORMS in Baltimore, Maryland, where he lives with a man, a woman, and a dog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shattered Wig Review 28 Sneak Preview #1

For those not yet clued in: Blaster Al Ackerman is a legendary word conjurer, mail artist, neoist, recluse, imbiber and former Texan. He also is one of the best read people I know and he has an encyclopedic memory of books and their details despite his heroic, shamanistic consumption of various spirits throughout his adventurous life.

He is the author of The Blaster Al Ackerman Omnibus, I Taught My Dog to Shoot a Gun, Corn & Smoke (on Shattered Wig) and many others. Ever since he moved to Baltimore in the early '90s he's been the backbone of Shattered Wig Night and the Shattered Wig Review. So I figured it would be appropriate to start stirring up some interest in the upcoming new issue of Shattered Wig with a new short short by Dr. Ackerman.

Who Can Know It?

A good many years ago I found myself stopping by Bert's Transport Cafe, in the seedy Islington section of London, to see my brother Padua, who was dying. Padua died that very night out behind Bert's cistern. I was on my hands and knees watching closely. Padua died with a look of horror on his face--and why not? Who wouldn't take it hard when the time came to see the cruel gray flames licking ever nearer and feel the hell-breath of eternity and smell something tiny and rotten fixing to mumble in yr ear for ever and ever. I couldn't blame Padua for taking it hard.

To make matters worse, while my brother was breathing his last so was his good pal Chief Constable Wilson, whose body lay not ten feet away, twisted grotesquely on the ground beside the cistern. The Chief-Constable's death was the result of a virulent strain of gleet--and so was my brother's. Even stranger was the fact that both men looked as though they had been struck down by some unknown power. Their eyes, now closed forever, had had in life only one story to tell, the tale of two little boys shooting dung-tipped arrows through the wash hanging on the Pelunsky's line next door. They had been bad boys, and as adults they were both little better than animals. Worse than animals, a lot of people said, remembering episodes of white slavery, dope-running, dognapping, common buggery and mopery with intent to loiter. Fair amount of reckless driving too.

Needless to say, when my sister Susan told me all this, I couldn't stop crying. I loved my brother. I loved Chief-Constable Wilson too. For that matter, I loved Woody Alonzo, the so-called "Human Fly of Islington". I also loved the "Maida Vale Sports Club Boys", that large gang of sordid little gangsters trained by Woody Alonzo to scale walls and break into apartments. When I heard that Woody and the Maidas had all perished that same night under the steps of the New Hope Baptist Church, less than three blocks from where my brother and Chief-Constable Wilson lay, and that the cause of death had reportedly come from over-sporting on Buzz Bomb Fluid, a popular prison opiate made from fermented potato peels, melted soap, velcro, and raisins...well, when I heard about this tragedy I cried even harder.

It was around this time that Tosser Stitt the cut-rate Islington mortician showed up. I was still out back on my hands and knees and when Tosser saw me he shook his head and spoke in his familiar froggy whisper, "Looks to me like there might be more to this mass burial party tonight than meets the eye, eh, Clamhead?"

I could only blow my nose and nod.

No question about it--something was definitely in the air that night.

A little later a journalist friend phoned Bert's with the news that President Kennedy had been shot.

--Blaster Al Ackerman

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Got My Ass Whupped By Gertie Stein

Well I am happy to say I'm included in the new City Lit anthology - City Sages: Baltimore with the likes of Poe, Mencken, Michael "Hot Lips" Kimball, Joe "Swan's Neck" Young, Laura Lippman, Mad Bell and many other fantastic Baltimore writers living and dead, but I had to eat humble pie or crow pie or gelatinous bladder legume when the Baltimore Sun Read Street blog decided to promote the publication by pitting the book's authors gladiator style in a popularity contest.

I am happy and proud to say I appeared up against my old inspiration and mentor Gertrude Stein, pictured above in front of Old Glory which she actually sensibly left behind for the sensual pleasures of France. My favorite story of her and Alice in France was that when young Paul Bowles came star struck to meet them Gertrude would have him wear shorts and lederhosen each morning and then have him wash their poodle Basket and afterwards run Basket up and down the yard to dry him (or her) while Gertrude and Alice watched giggling from an upstairs window. Much more perverse and fun than Poppa Hemingway's need to go off into the wilds of Africa to shoot big beautiful things.

Anyway, I got my ass kicked in the voting. Gerty got in the twenties and I got four. And the salt in the wound is they used this photo of myself from an old Sun article about Normal's where they had me pose nerd-like on a stool hovering moon-like. I had submitted to them my recent author photo in a bandana astride my Harley, but I suppose the lighting was off on it.

But to be fair to myself, I have to say I didn't vote and my beloved Everly thought the voting was today, not yesterday, so her vote wasn't tallied. But then again the sacred and profane art of writing isn't about getting done up in gowns and singing on a gaudy stage for rich fatcats in slipping dentures, damnit!!! We struggle and create alone in darkness in order to squeeze out a few sparks of lasting pulchritude and then we keel over from eating poorly and our relatives sell our junk at a yardsale and discuss how our toenails at the time of our passing resembled long curling tendrils of banana peels.

I think the living writer who got the harshest deal in this cruel event was Michael Kimball who was up against Frederick Douglass for Christ sake! Not only up against a time tested author of moving historical tracts, but the representative of an entire Freedom Struggle. Yowch.

Here is the link to more info on City Sages: Baltimore, which won't be in stores until May:

I love you Gerty and Fernhurst Q.E.D. and Others changed my life.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Haiku for Glenn Beck

Blotchy anger clown

I guess that you never got to

Clap the erasers

- Everly Brown