Writing

Thaddeus Rutkowski — in conversation with John Wisniewski and Mark McCawley

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Thaddeus Rutkowski

in conversation with

 

John Wisniewski

and

Mark McCawley

 
 

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Warning: The Suppression of Mirth and Scurrilous Laughter by bart plantenga

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WARNING: High Levels of Scurrilous Laughter

by bart plantenga

 

“L’humour est le plus court chemin d’un homme à un autre.” (Humor is the shortest road from one person to another.) • Georges Wolinski, satirical cartoonist at CH [RIP]

1a moquezThe nervous laugh, the golfer’s clap of hilarity, is applied in situations involving severely uncomfortable moments of consciousness, when one realizes that a humorist is suddenly talking about you or your type or talking about something you have no clue about, but you laugh anyway just in case – so as not to appear clueless or unhip.

These unsettling ah-ha moments occur in connection with the most scurrilous, upsetting of art forms – mockery, satire, burlesque, parody – which breed unease because here is where we undergo dramatic renovations of our comfort zone. But that’s the extent of our arsenal. They have our health benefits, we have heightened derision. They have the generals & the priests, we have the cartoonist & the stand-up comedian.

That the art of laughing at – & then getting others to laugh at – the absurd cruelty of the entitled, those who possess the power to make but mostly break is something we should not under estimate. The ultimate target of satire & comedy is hypocrisy, big hypocrisy as perpetrated upon us by those we entrust with our vote, our hard-earned wages, our lives, our rental agreements, our subscriptions, our souls.

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An Art Show Mating Call by Michael Pool

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An Art Show Mating Call

by Michael Pool

 
 

 Copyright © 2015 Steve Rainwater

Copyright © 2015 Steve Rainwater

 
 

Kate was standing in the center of the gallery discussing the finer points of one of her most experimental pieces when Mandy interrupted her with a nervous look drawn across her face.
“Sorry to disturb you guys, but I need to borrow Kate,” Mandy said through her teeth. Most of the time such an abrupt interruption would have annoyed Kate to her core, but the disturbed look on Mandy’s face had her begging all the necessary pardons and following her friend and yoga instructor past the free-form statues and swirling canvases into the back room of the gallery, where they could speak in private.
“So what’s up?” Kate asked when they arrived, unable to keep the irritation out of her voice.
“You need to read this—but try to remain calm and centered if you can.” Mandy slipped Kate a small, white slip of paper.
“Calm and cent—“ Kate started to say, but her mouth fell open as she read the first line of the letter, which had been Xeroxed from a handwritten original. “Oh no… oh god…” she mumbled as she read. “This can’t….”
“Ok, ok,” Mandy said, failing to hide the panic in her own voice. “It’s not that bad. People know what a creep he is, ok? And even if they don’t, this isn’t exactly a normal thing to do. Kate, look at me—it’s fine.”

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Two Poems by Win Harms — Hastings and Abbot Street by Gabor Gasztonyi

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Two Poems

by Win Harms

 
 

"Hastings and Abbot Street, Vancouver, BC, 2013", Copyright © 2013 Gabor Gasztonyi

“Hastings and Abbot Street, Vancouver, BC, 2013″, Copyright © 2013 Gabor Gasztonyi

 
 

i imagine hemingway’s last minutes

 
 

driven by soul and too much scotch

i wonder if he really wanted to die

i think about what that shotgun felt

like as he held it in his hands

was the barrel cool in his throat; did he gag?

what was his last confession?

a story of a safari gone awry or

his best friend having his leg blown

off in the great war

maybe he thought about a woman he loved

many years ago that didn’t love him back

all these thoughts in those last moments

living is waiting to die

building up to this last moment

channeling your goodbyes

love was a game but it was pretty to think so

of course he had these feelings so

what does that make me

as i contemplate hemingway’s

last lovely minutes?

 

~Win Harms

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Millennial Rx by Rebeka Singer — Video Still by Stasja Voluti

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Millennial Rx

by Rebeka Singer

 
 

"Untitled Still of Video Poem Project", Copyright © 2015 Stasja Voluti

“Untitled Still of Video Poem Project”, Copyright © 2015 Stasja Voluti

 
 

Here’s my soul. I’m giving it to you. Do you want it? Will you take it? I don’t care for it much anymore. My soul never gave me much. And now here it is: I’ll curse it out. “Every inch of my tar black soul,” Lana sings. That’s mine. Thank you, Lana, for making tar black souls sound soulful.

 

I watch a Harry Potter film each night, sometimes two in a row, either the same, or two separate films in the series. I drink champagne and pop Xanax to numb the fear that I might actually be alone, or, worse, I might actually need to be alone.
See, I want to be in love—with my boyfriend or ex-boyfriend, he never really can decide his status, or my ex-husband, whom I left for my phantasm of a boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend. Never can tell. Can’t tell much. Wish I could say, “Can’t tell me nothing” like Kanye West. An ex-friend text me the other day: “Don’t parade your life around Facebook like Kanye West. You’re not a rich, famous rapper— yet.” That’s not verbatim.

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