Bart Plantenga’s
Confessions of a Beer Mystic #31


In pursuit of Nielle’s beckoning voice and in avoidance of Djuna I walk by the library branch on 2nd Avenue, then the Jefferson Market branch, 23rd Street, Tompkins Square — of course they are all dark and closed behind thick grates of secure mesh because it’s nearly midnight in our concrete insomnia. She is nowhere. I leave notes, slip them under the doors of the various far east squats. I no longer live with Djuna, haven’t seen her for weeks. And somehow I have lost Elsa’s number.

I leave a note for Nielle under the Tompkins Square branch of the public library and continue along the terse perimeter of the park. I suddenly witness a drug entrepreneur, in full scurvy skin and grin behind loud gold, pulling a blade, getting into an associate’s car. With a certain slo-mo style copped from a flick, (somewhere between the élan of a fencer and the viciousness of a petty mobster) and with the passenger door open, he inserts the blade into the torso of the guy riding shotgun.

It used to be people only opened letters in such casual fashion. But this entrepreneur had such grace that people in cafes caught mid-sip, mid-allusion, were impressed by the ballet-like beauty of it and forgot whether it was better to yank the blade out or leave it in. The blade handle just quivered there because the car, although top of the line, had a rough idle. A New York Post headline wafts by my feet: “Warm ‘E’ Train Hums Hobo Lullaby.”

The Crack Cartel, with its hierarchical dreams, is a strange and terrifying yet logical affirmation of Capitalism around here. Its get-rich-quick schemes pushed 3 or 4 notches beyond even those of the infomercial and the telemarketer’s repertoire. It accentuates the laws of supply and demand. Operates outside the mechanisms of reason and morality. Crack, like military hardware, goes where it is paid for. Like the physics of fluids with a combined density of blood and bile. Like the makeover of luxury into necessity, crack creates its own heroic needs. Desperation sells the stuff. And the victimizers, suspended in their mumbling mythos of pain and craving forget that they too are victims of their own strategic victimization. They have allowed the magnification of profit and fire arm calibers to skew all sense of prior proportion. Packing firepower means responsibility, an increased peer pressure to use the gun. This pressure replaces wit, cunning, negotiation.

The cops in this throat of the ’hood are bred to resemble these hoodlums. This is accomplished by having a gene withdrawn that is essential for the manufacture of nitric oxide, the molecule that allows nerve cells to communicate and is an essential brake on excessive volatile behavior. The absence of this gene leaves the enforcement agents wildly impulsive (“rogue cops”), sensitive not to their surroundings nor their purported vocation but to the most minute slights which might set them off, make them relentlessly aggressive, often to the point of killing targeted humans — the Michael Stewart Phenomenon. In effect, rogue cops are truer to themselves and to their service than the more sedated among them. Rogue cops are the crack entrepreneurs of their occupation.

Some woman around here sold her kid for 3 vials — 3 highs lasting 15 minutes each. And then what? Well, food. She stopped eating. This is the nightmare inside the dreams of the desperately industrious. The dream of the shunned sharing in the shrill celebratory chorus of greed. And boy! does the Crack Cartel grease the wheels of commerce! They spend like there’s no tomorrow. Which is very likely.

The cover of night is a savage and delirious color of freedom in the state that does not yet exist. Will they name this area after me? I don’t think about it. Darkness is a no-mans-land where adventure is still possible, yea sure, it drags suspicion, fear, apprehension along with it. OK, granted but these are our primary colors.

Night is feminine, the mother of the gods, the unconscious swim in the womb. The Greeks believed the darkness of night preceded the creation of all things. It is fertility, germination, the anticipatory state, the promise of awesome eruptions.

Newstand headline:


Annie’s Got Her Gun:

The Truth About Women and Their Guns.


Although they do not as yet know my face, the Cartel, Law Enforcement and the Yuppoisie’s brittle alliance do not like me. I adversely affect one’s livelihood, another’s dominion and the yup’s lifestyle. I destroy turf, the very idea of turf as ownership. I will make parents think twice before tossing their kids to roam the streets past midnight. I will re-establish the diurnal-nocturnal cycles that will allow us to go back to sleep without fear we are losing out on some event or opportunity. I will reconstruct repose. Peace and happiness for every man, peace and happiness through all the land as the song goes.

12th and A is where I’m talking about. Check it out. It’s black eyed to the max. I sent a string of 8 streetlights on the ole black eye one ferociously charged night. Perhaps you saw it the night I took the Rum Seer there. A darkness so conclusive and pervasive that the Cartel has since packed up, and conquered new turf. The cops, pretending to be undaunted, skirt its perimeters and huddle in the bright newsstands squeezing free candy bars and sodas out of the proprietors. There are almost no parked cars.

The Cartel members tell a slender range of stories: knifings, bros blown away, boxing, dead lifts, AIDS, the next big thing, all pacing about with gila monster eyes, and arms like baseball bats, arguing with glossy mags of gruesome muscle rolled tight in their backpockets.

The Yuppoisie meanwhile, snuffed by the arrogance of their accumulated comforts, continue to enlarge the gaping holes in their jeans, hunting for the proper grimy nouveau edge, where illicit adventure might resuscitate their over-furnished lives. And when they park their shiny modes of transport they hope to find streetlights (light misused as surveillance and security in the name of the acquisitional state) so they can abandon their tin cans for evenings of worry-free acquisition.

I’ve black eyed this vigilance of light and so they must go east, further into the toxic repose of the cornered beast. I have thus, in my own way, facilitated the redistribution of wealth. Because darkness initiates an entire process of reclamation. Bye bye radio, radials, plates, plugs, window, seats, grimy guts, crankshaft, doors. BMWs strewn like felled antelopes on the Savannah, picked clean by scavengers crouched in the carcasses with their grimy knuckles. And in a week a Mercedes will be wingless, legless, eyeless, gutless. Adapt and thrive, leave or die!

There’s something haunting and beautiful about a carcass of steel. Like an abandoned dream. Like the pig eye I found in the gutter in front of my new walk-up, a chamber that once was an abattoir.

I now feel like part of the natural order of this asphalt jungle. I am ally to the scavenger, one of them. I could demand commission from chop shops. I need an agent. But I must remain satisfied with the highly codified nods they tip my way. A secret agent does best when he keeps ego in check. I go on breathing. My black eyes reshuffle the inevitability of the inevitable. I add exclamation points to despair and danger! Make them seem like hope and love.

Yes, these haunted hulks of steel are my trophies, my sculptures. I take disciples and girls like Nielle there. Her last phone message was beamed in from where? When? “‘Drunkenness and immorality will be the stench in the nostrils of God.’ That’s Billy Graham. But Furman, we know better don’t we?” We touch the burnished steel together.

“Like Ahab, champion of darkness.” She notes as my hand guides hers then watch as hers guides mine to places I have not gone before. In winter these skeletons hold the cold. In summer they retain the day’s heat past midnight.

(to be continued) #1 #2 #3 #4 – #5 – #6 – #7 – #8 – #9 – #10 – #11 – #12 – #13 – #14 – #15 – #16 – #17 – #18 – #19 – #20 – #21 – #22 – #25 – #26 – #27 – #28 – #29 – #30

How to become a Beer Mystic – by Mike Golden


Bart Plantenga – is the world’s foremost Beer Mystic and authority on yodel-ay-ee-hoo!

Sharon Mesmer interviews the old Beer Mystic @
Confessions Of A Beer Mystic by Bart Plantenga

Leave a Reply

At last a Smoke Signals NO BRAINER

Truly, we’re fucked if we can’t call off and reschedule this whole lose-lose election the failed two-party-system has stuck us with in order to keep control of the country. In order to change things it's going to take a plan that bars anyone who ran for POTUS in this election and replaces them with... »

Jack Wesley Hardin’s

If you unlucky enough to be out in the soup tonight, baby, you don’t have to be told this toxic brew of critics and crucifiers alike is not pissin’ chicken soup for the soul down on us. All you gotta do is watch the waves of rage exploding out over the high bluffs above... »

an Octoberfest hors d’oeuvre

I am FiFi (not my real name), the French maid sex slave of two beautiful, brilliant, strong Amazon Lesbians. And though they tell me I am badly flunking the French part of my maid, What, Dear Vibrator, I must ask, is the correlation between pain and sexual excitement? Am I a sickness? »


As she obliviously barked on, I looked out the corner of my eye to see if everyone was staring at us. But they were totally frozen in time. I mean, they were all completely stuck in mid chew, or suck, as they case may be -- trapped in the unconscious flytrap of our... »

Joey Amdahl’s
The Big Dumb Nothing
fiction from MODERN (you call this) LIVING

See my thirty-five-year-old boss Betty Allen standing at the door of the club. She scratches at an itch that’s under her tight black skirt and her hand yanks up her fish net stocking at the knee. . A tattoo of a zombie geisha fills up her entire upper arm. The tattoo goes against..... »

The 49th Anniversary of having to ask

Though they probably don't have the balls to do it, the best opportunity Trump will ever have to be trusted by the great majority of Americans would be by using MLK's 86th birthday to name who’s really responsible for the assassinations of JFK-MLK- RFK, before bad-politics-as-usual buries the truth again forever… »

Charles Bukowski's
Six Inches

Sarah picked me up and placed me down between her legs, which she spread open just a bit. Then I was facing a forest of hair. I hardened my back and neck muscles, sensing what was to come. I was jammed into darkness and stench. I heard Sarah moan. Then Sarah began to move me slowly back and forth. As I said, the stench was unbearable, and it was difficult to breathe, but somehow there was air in there—various side-pockets and drafts of oxygen. Now and then my head, the top of my head bumped The Man in the Boat and then Sarah would let out an extra-illuminated moan. Sarah began moving me faster and faster »

an excerpt from John Goodman’s
Avant-Garde and Tradition
Photograph by Robert Frank

I don't want to be so junglish that I can't climb a stairway. I got to climb mountains all day long? We're going to the moon, right? Well, I'm with the guys that wrote music that got us to the moon. Not the guys who dreamed about it. Bach built the buildings, we didn't... »

Excerpts from
A Counter Myth
from Mike Golden’s

Sad to Say, if you ask any graduating class today who James Earl Ray was, less than 10% of those over-priced diplomas would know the confessed, then-unconfessed, alleged-assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King was indisputably one of the three biggest hand-picked-stooges in history, along with Curly Larry Sirhan and Mo Harvey Oswald... »

A Thanksgiving Prayer from William Burroughs

Thanks for the wild turkey and passenger pigeons destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts... Thanks for vast herds of bisons... Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes...Thanks for a nation of finks... »

Victor Harwood’s
excerpted from his novel

That Saturday night Malraux and I sat side-by-side, facing the room, watching the crowd flow in and out in waves as it passed through the Dingo, quick to find out what was doing in the Quarter, savor a Jimmy Charters Gin Fizz and head off for dinner at the Brassarie Lipp or the Dôme... »

Now entering the 50th year of having to ask

“I’d rather be dead than afraid,” the spirit said to Hicks It was Dr. King’s mantra, but all Wild Billy saw was a poor lost soul who didn’t know he was dead. “I never felt so small as when I realized it was my job to inform Dr. King’s spirit his body was gone »


They took their beer from the bar to a table in the back, and then Johnson started talking about whore houses it had been his distinct pleasure to know. Like shortstops or writers, there was a rating system."There was a place in Jersey. In Wildwood. A grand old House, for its... »

Die for it or live for it, it always comes down to whether you go for what looks most inviting in the moment or wait for what you're lookin' for. Call it Yes or call it No, to swing or not to swing appears to be the only room left to move in... »

What's Happening In:

Little Rock - Arkansas Times
Buffalo - Artvoice
Athens, OH
The Athens NEWS
Austin, TX - Austin Chronicle
Baltimore - Baltimore City Paper
Birmingham - Birmingham Weekly
Black & White
Boise Weekly
Boston Phoenix
Boston's Weekly Dig
Boulder - Boulder Weekly
Charlottsville, VA - C-Ville Weekly
Chicago Newcity
Chicago Reader
Chico News & Review
Cincinnati - Cincinnati CityBeat
Rochester - City Newspaper
Minneapolis - City Pages (Twin Cities)
Lansing - City Pulse
Des Moines - Cityview
Halifax, NS - The Coast
Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs Independent
Columbia, SC - Columbia Free Times
Atlanta - Creative Loafing (Atlanta)
Charlotte, NC - Creative Loafing (Charlotte)
Sarasota, FL - Creative Loafing (Sarasota)
Tampa, FL - Creative Loafing (Tampa)
Dallas - Dallas Observer
Dayton - Dayton City Paper
Oakland - East Bay Express
Hermosa Beach, CA - Easy Reader
Eugene, OR - Eugene Weekly
New Haven - Fairfield County Weekly
Calgary, AB - Fast Forward Weekly
Athens, GA - Flagpole Magazine
Jacksonville, FL - Folio Weekly
Fort Worth, TX - Fort Worth Weekly
New Orleans - Gambit
Vancouver, BC - The Georgia Straight
Hartford, CT - Hartford Advocate
Honolulu - Honolulu Weekly
Houston - Houston Press
Springfield, IL - Illinois Times
Durham, NC - Independent Weekly (NC)
Corona, CA - Inland Empire Weekly
Madison, WI - Isthmus
Ithica, NY - Ithaca Times
Jackson, MS - Jackson Free Press
Los Angeles - L.A. Weekly
Las Vegas - Las Vegas CityLife
Las Vegas Weekly
Louisville, KY - LEO Weekly
Long Island, NY - Long Island Press
Maui, HI - Maui Time Weekly
Memphis - The Memphis Flyer
Knoxville - Metro Pulse
San Jose - Metroactive

Great Moments in Sportz
Fear & Loathing @ The Kentucky Derby

RALPH STEADMAN remembers meeting HUNTER S. THOMPSON: I heard a quick hiss from the spray can Hunter was brandishing. He had Maced me again!...

HUNTER meets RALPH: Another problem was his habit of sketching people he met in the various social situations I dragged him into--then giving them the sketches. »

Mike Golden’s
Inside Outsourcing
Even if eating it is not exactly their thing they always have the option to use it as a dildo made exclusively for them personally by white trash fashionistas from the south of France collection, Dominique, would you like a tattoo of your face on your ass, dear, while you’re waiting for the designer to take measurements we can use to fit your soul into a gift package? »
Although Tuli was dubbed “the Noel Coward of Bohemia” by his friend co-founding Fug Ed Sanders, I always thought of the multidextrous humanist-humorist as “the Tom Paine of standup protest performance art”, but no matter what handle any of us pin on him it’s safe to say he has probably subliminally influenced more underground writer-poet-artist-publishers than any other Boho to come down the page this century. »


painting collage of UBU, THE DECIDER by aka
Fred Wistow introduces Malcolm Gladwell

Max Blagg Commercial

  • 1965 collage by d.a. levy

  • Before you leave...
    visit Lally's Alley
    for daily updates
  • Visit Richard Cummings'
    The Fire Insider

    for daily updates
    Dick Lit
    Missionary Positions
    fiction by Joe Maynard

    Painting by Peter Cross

    "dick lit" is here to acknowledge the good, bad and ugly that goes with it, as it celebrates every young boy's quest to get off the next time, and every old man's quest to get off one more time, before there is no time left to get off on... »

    an excerpt from Ellen Pearlman’s

    Nothing and Everything is about the relationship of Eastern thought, particularly Buddhism, to the arts in post-war New York City —from the early 1940s to the early1960s—a handful of individuals brought about major changes in music, performance, dance, theater, installation, video, mixed media, painting, and sculpture, as the evolution from modernism to postmodernism broke down the idea of art as a practice devoted to a particular medium. The world—or life itself—became a legitimate artist’s tool, aligning with Zen Buddhism’s emphasis on enlightenment occurring at any moment.... »

    A Message from Senator Franken

    Please take 2 minutes to watch this important video.

    Alan Greenberg’s

    For three hours Ali was in the ring sparring, and the entire time he never threw a punch. When he finally stepped down I asked him what he was doing. “I’m gonna get that sucker so tired of punching me he’s gonna fall flat on his face,” Ali replied. And so the “Rope-a-Dope” was born, not in the ring in Zaire, but in a gym in Pennsylvania. »

    Up on the stage a man who looks like Klinger on Mash lifts his dress for the audience to inspect him. He has a clit. An actual clit. Then suddenly the legs spread, and PRESTO SLEAZO, there's a schlong! What a bargain! A real live hermaphrodite is about to take the skin of his female genitalia and stretch it over his male genitalia and get it on with itself »

    Great Moments in Sportz
    Professor Irwin Corey Accepts The National Book Award for Thomas Pynchon

    It happened Thursday, April 18th, 1974, at Alice Tulley Hall, and those that were there will never forget it (if they remember it at all). The National Book Awards, commercial publishing’s now defunct version of the Academy Awards was in the bottom of the ninth, down »

    Mimi & Richard Farina Live

    In 1965, Mimi and Richard Farina dropped by the studios of WTBS (now WMBR) with electric guitarist Barry Tashian (of Barry & the Remains) for music and talk with DJ Ed Freeman. Richard is on dulcimer. One of Mimi’s two guitars is tuned like a dulcimer. The explanation for the brief gap in the tape has long been lost.


    Michael Disend's RIDER OF THE JADE HORSE

    Li looked firmly into his eyes. “No! I want man who is also a woman.” Penman nodded against his will, his gaze stealing down toward the strap-on dildo she was generously coating with lube. It thrust out like a red cannon from her leather harness. Why red? Is it because she’s from China?


    Dick Lit
    Stacia St. Owens’

    “Dick lit” has been around since the first caveman’s curiosity stuck his dick into the equation when he rubbed those two rocks together around it until....
    Millie tittered, which is how girls used to be taught to laugh. Tilda wondered if this were an intentional jab.

    Barney Rosset Interview
    (The Subject Was Left Handed)