cover painting, AKA

The world’s too close
too much information
at our fingertips
real or false,
it still sticks in the craw
the language has been co-opted
the same way
killer plaque
takes up too much space
on the old heart valve
even if you’ve got it stored
on a cloud
there’s always someone
who’s ready to go to War
over it
to blow themselves
for the glory
of the glory
of their asshole

If you’re a believer
no put down intended
unless you try to impose
what you believe
on the rest of us.
If we could think
about it
I think we’d all agree
we don’t agree at all.
But to get where the gods
who mediate this shit
gotta go
they’ve got to believe
their ambition can fix any
if not all
the problems
technological progress
has made
recalcitrant culture
bow-wow down to
making it worse, as gods do
‘cause a first option
is usually in a hurry
finding it easier to pile
new shit
on top of the old
without first building
a foundation to hold it all up
until infrastructure
totally collapses
and the taking care of business
as usual assholes
come in to rebuild
their fucking nuts.

Maybe LIFE
has always been
stupid & cheap
as a 3-card-monte scam
under the table deals
selling precious innocent clichés
to the masses are asses
swinging in the everlasting sunshine
like Cars4Kids scams
keeping our devices hooked
into whatever they’re selling
on the High Line most traveled
by tourists from all over the world
until they can’t even give it away
to the hungry mob
no mo’, no mo’
and have to put the trip ON SALE
before what they’re selling
indiscriminately shoots down
17 students in Florida
19 in San Jose
119 in Paris
212 in Istanbul
both black & white churches
praying for salvation that doesn’t exist
in South Carolina & Texas.

It happens so often
in so many places
it’s impossible
to find a difference now
keeping track of numbers
much less
daily targets
on the map.
Despite the hype
what happens in Las Vegas
never stays in Vegas
unless it’s the money.

Each and every one of us
are infidels to somebody else
in this out-of-control-world
where they turn grief into white noise
so often it sounds like
some lame top-40 love song
there’s no way to stop
being piped through malls
& insipid tourist destinations
all over the world
so as not to upset
the business
of business
is business
even before the genie
got out of the fucking bottle
drunk on blood
singing The Executioners’ Songs
until we’re all nauseous
from too much schlock
riding in a Yellow Submarine

thru the Sea Of Love                           
while we’re trapped
being designated witnesses
hoping we can
avoid participating
in the Fragmerican experiment
even if our karma walks into
some assholes with automatics
looking for their destiny
as the cowardly cringing Congress
ducks their responsibilities
over & over & over
operating like they have orders
from la Cosa Nostra
not to do the right things
sucking off the putz in power’s
vested interest pacifier
like greedy little bitches
to the very end
following their partisan
chickenshit NRA playbooks
all the way to prison
for their crimes
against humanity.
Though that can’t happen
in a chickenshit country
where corruption has become the norm.

Don’t worry, sportz fans
Artificial Intelligence
is on the way
to save the day
from blatant incompetence
& Diabetes-2 too.

That’s the only chance
we have
looking at their fucking phones
If we can’t quit a habit
at least as bad as smoking
what chance do we have
against the Nazis raping the Constitution
much less the Terminators
who are sure to come
some day
no matter what we do
or don’t do?

Smokers at least looked cool
while they poisoned themselves.
Face it:
Every simple selfie seeker
looks like some kind of
Louis CK wanker
jerking off in their own faces
in front of Home Depot
no matter where they are
in the world.

Not that I don’t appreciate
How beautifully different
all you universal tourists
look from each other.
That sweet cosmic sentiment
could be a genuine mantra
to get control of the out-of-control
and cut through the fear
dividing us
if we agree
We don’t need a weatherman
telling us it’s impossible
to find sanctuaries for different
anywhere in a world
where records are made to be broken
every time some pissed
Guns Are Us junky
actualizes their fucking RAGE.

Sad to say
the batshit psychos
will keep going off
as long as they know
their names will be spelled
when they shouldn’t be
spelled or pronounced
at all
by media magpies
repeating themselves
over & over & over
until the channel
we need to change
completely erases
those glory hunting
blood soaked names
from those sick cowardly acts
publically turning them
into anonymous fucking numbers
flushed right down the toilet
with their shit legacies.

If you have a better idea
to take away motivation
from the fucking psychos
before the snakes eat their own tails
after taking out half a town in Utah
a mall in Indiana
or a wedding in Tennessee
let’s hear it
let’s do it
let’s not wait
for the whores in Washington
to turn their tricks
for the NRA’s dirty money.

If that’s not a good enough plan
let’s take baby steps first
incrementally building up
the muscle memory necessary
to do things that work
before we become Sisyphus
pushing his own overgrown prostate
up the mountain
with a fucking toothpick again
in a time when most of us
have the attention span
of the premature ejaculation
of a sand flea.

First step, baby-baby-baby steps
is a warm up gesture
just for cleansing away
the psychic poisons
every time the illegitimately elected
putz in power tweets
do not acknowledge who
the illegitimate
draft-dodging Commander-in-Chief
thinks he is
by name of the position
Russia and the FBI
helped him steal
anymore than acknowledging
the cowardly shooters
by their cursed Christian names.
Instead, give them
and our criminal bully
El Uno
a number
we usually refer to
down here on lonely earth
as The Bird.

Second Step,
without embracing Luddism
as a way of life
Have any of you cyber sheep
even bothered to trash

the advent of technology

as the forerunner
of the death of civilization?
Reveling in it
strictly as an exercise
without ignoring reality
was reputedly
what unfortunately took out
the so-called Lost Continent
before us.

We don’t need a weatherman
telling us it looks like that’s a reality
ready to happen again, do we?
Since I’m in the barrel
as the boys in the locker room say
I volunteer the first baby step:

That might be an irrelevant segue
but pissing on false gods
is the kind of first step
that needs to be made
the kind of statement
needed to release
blocking the possibility of change
both inside & out the gestalt
once it stops working.
You all know it is
even if you’re riding
the tit of tech
like we all do
too much
for our own good.

We all know Google & Facebook
have sold all our personal info
double, triple & quadruple
to every friggin’ barracuda in the world
who wants to sell us something
we don’t want or need.
They’ve passed on
all our bad habits
to motherfucking Russia
just in case
we need to be compromised by pros
they’ve given all our personal info
to the CIA, the FBI and the NSA
where we’re kept
under the file name
or whatever the pet proclivity
our SUCKER don’t want
on the National Enquirer front page.

Knowing that it’s happening
won’t stop the shit from going down
won’t save the world
Mighty Mouse
even if Andy Kaufman
really did fake his death
it’s not worth
copyrighting as content
like Steve would have done
if he were still here
Making life better for you & me
selling it back to us
singing, the answers, my friend,
are blowing in our new shill phone
wrist watch
or other duplicitous Apple devises
that are about as appetizing as
dirty Harvey Weinstein’s device
passing itself off
as the first digital dildo
ever sold in prison
guaranteeing inmates
their pure fill of technology
so they won’t feel left out
watching the bad guys
continue fucking us
where we all breathe.
in pursuit of their pure fill
of the grandiose grandeur
of living with artificial reality.
Whether that kind of liberal shit
works or not
it feels pretty good to say it
pretty good to use it as a mantra
so whenever you’re ready,
be my guest
and feel free
to chant:

Steve – the make life better genius – Jobs
has earned the recognition
finally transcending
his own brand
and becoming Legacy of the Century
over everyone else
including YOU TOO GATES
and the two-faced, baby-faced
and his slithery SHERYL mirage
built to prove women can be as bad as men
or Mr. Flying Car

and other ambitious god-awful
billionaire predators
looking for greatness
masquerading as PC gods
one corrupt party or another
can embrace
up the ass
where their judgment
usually listens to one smooth
Eddie Haskell clone after another
who doesn’t have a clue
Bubba will be getting a blow job
symbolically from Mrs. Cleaver,
if they can convince us to inhabit Mars
before anybody else can
pass their shitty ideas
to the (putz in power)
to incorporate into his Space Force
before spreading the wealth
and laundering his Foundation’s investments
throughout the intergalactic
entertainment globe
and thru the woods
to take a group photo
at Allen & Company’s
Sunny Valley Retreat
formulating a strategy
to become the next
Legacy of the Century.

As generous Steve himself
would have said
about sharing his mantra
with the mamzers
who make up his team
as well as the competition itself:
All you’ve got to do, buckaroos
is turn on to whichever Dylan
gets you off in the moment
then say


on Steve’s dime
on me, Steve


before getting a FREE
which automatically
will anticipate
your need
to blow off steam
every time
disingenuously apologizes
and thanks you for being his FRIEND
with bogus kittens, flowers and rainbows
to use for selling your worthless soul
to some apeshit commercial terrorist
unless the putz in power
goes apeshit first
and shows us all the banality of evil
so “all his good Christians”
who have no reason
to destroy the country
other than revenge
for not being able to be
who they wanna be
so they support their own personal leader-
‘cause though they know
he really is their enemy
he is the enemy of their enemies too
Can’t pass that one up
‘cause there’s nothing else to say
nothing else to do
to relieve the frustration
you feel
no matter which side of the fence
you’re straddling
there’s no denying your space
has been invaded
from the other side
of the city
of the state
of the country
of the world
when we all learn
over the fucking Internet
he hung himself.

He died on the road
half-way across the world
on top of his game
but there’s no way to explain
that he did it because
this was as good as life gets
so why not go out on top?
Which makes sense
if you have to stretch
the envelope
before mailing it out.
to all of us
who thought we knew him
from his tv shows.
we all have our bad days
and some of us can honestly say
our lives SUCK
but after coming
thru shock
sorrow & slaughter
fighting to stay alive
with nothing to live for
I’m really too pissed
to even mention our tv friend
by his name
especially after commercials
on his show’s reruns
are dedicated to his memory
on CNN.
Is that cool, or what the fuck?
If he didn’t actually kill himself
as I’d like to believe
this alone would have made him do it
for real.

Nobody knows why
only the good guys
kill themselves
while the scumbags in Congress
and bad guys everywhere
never seem to die
soon enough
to save the day
from dying
when they fuck us
where we breathe
it’s so bad,
it probably did make our TV friend
fake his death
not so he could watch
how the world reacted to his death
like Tom Sawyer
but so he could carry out his plan
to save the day
for the rest of us
who seem to be too frozen
to act any other way
than the same way
we’ve always acted
when the rules change
without telling us.

It may not be fair
to make him a hero
when it looks like
all he really wanted
was to hang with Andy Kaufman
and be left alone.

Sorry, that’s no joke
even if you find the idea funny
I just can’t believe
our TV friend hung himself
even though he joked about doing it
on the air
which fit his sense of humor
though it didn’t fit
what I perceive to be
his way to save his day
at least not as much as faking his death

And I know that’s romanticizing him
but he wasn’t supposed to show up dead here.
Things are bad enough on their own
without him just dropping out
to see what condition
his condition could be in
if it was out.
That just changes everything
including the conceit
of saving the day.

Sometimes it’s all too much
to fake it
so if you can’t deal with it
you have to come up with something
you can believe.
outside Bullet Point Bob Mueller replacing Batman
Lots of people are sure
our TV friend  got whacked
for political reasons
but he was no double-crossing ward healer
the bad guys rub out
when they want to
shut the crowd up
and steal the vote
so I don’t buy that one
that one wasn’t part of his game
that one doesn’t fit who he was
much less his sense of humor.
Whatever he did
sticks out like a third thumb
in the third eye
you can’t move on
to save the day from
until you explain
the futility of it all
when all you want to do
is swing from the fucking rafters

Lucky for us
when RAGE starts to back up
and seems the only response
available to save the day
we already have
our brand new STEVE APP
to divert the poisons,
pain & confusion
for only a small monthly fee
all we have to do
is plug in and chant
You glorified marketing wanker
despite all your hype, you were no genius
but you sold it to the rubes
and that’s what counts
so now maybe you can con us again
when it counts.
I know it won’t bring our friend
or other old friends back
from wherever they went
or save the fucking idea
of saving the fucking world
from the putz in power’s plot to destroy it all
just to prove he can
if he wants to
at the moment
the mindless putz
decides to scratch his itch. . .so
just for a moment. . .
just for a breath
since there’s no other plan
maybe it will
shake rattle & roll
all the bad shit off us
and give us
room to move
in the very best John Mayall sense
when we say

As Steve himself would say
with more than a little  pride
on his Voice Mail,
from the great beyond,

 “How hip.”

© 2018 Mike Golden

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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

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an Octoberfest hors d’oeuvre

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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

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The 49th Anniversary of having to ask

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Charles Bukowski's
Six Inches

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

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Excerpts from
A Counter Myth
from Mike Golden’s

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Victor Harwood’s
excerpted from his novel

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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
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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

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

Max Blagg Commercial

  • 1965 collage by d.a. levy

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    Barney Rosset Interview
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