David Christopher la Terre… Cynical Internet Pundit & Dead Jester


Cynical Internet Pundit & Dead Jester

we are being led. even the grumpy, cynical internet pundit – s/he’ll go kicking & hackneyed – but led down the same path to the same pit that history half-recorded: for the wits had their glasses shot off, & all the sportos were in charge of cargo transport. the goon squad is reborn everyday in learning institutions & halls of government. i painted myself as a satyr but still made bids with ATMs & communication companies, as head-nodding Heaven & organ-failure Hell looked on .. even this pendant life doesn’t accept characters or emoticons on their .docs. we didn’t make the template. we just went down the hole

dead jester: send more jesters. send a variety of shop-sink malbec with talons in spirituality & survivalist mediocrity. is this gonna be the matt damon version or the gary cooper version of floating literatzi bogem? a car is a salute is a hamburger. love comes slowly like an annual teetering orbit & we munch on panini mango in the channel-separation. hail, here comes the coolie retail chain blocked-hat. Caveat Bipedum; IED in the afterlife Barneys party dress parade ~ i walked out of the experimental film of my life .. this ‘anteroom’ smells like cliched embryonic buzz.


David Christopher la Terre is an old punk, advertising brat, artist, writer, hit-and-run orator, humorist, exfilmmaker, “asexual icon” and sentimental Modernist pursuing work in new formats, hybrids, language arts, Sound Poetry, decon, “post-mod,” prank-art … ‘living satire’ … he has been published in the Slate, Spleen, Lost & Found Times, Rag Mag, Roar Shock, Open Minds & Monkeybicycle.




Erin J. Jones… Short-term Collateral


Short-term Collateral

I had been there before, but I had never liked it. Nobody ever does. I did not seem right, it did not seem fair, yet it was legal and sometimes necessary. Where I stood was before the counter of a pawn shop. I looked around, as I waited, at the displays filled with musical instruments, firearms, televisions, jewelry, and miscellaneous this and that. It was a place of hope and second chances, broken hearts, and broken dreams.

I was going to start a new job in a couple of days and it would be at least two weeks before I would see a paycheck from it. It had been too long since I had seen the last one. I was not in dire straits by any means nor was l looking for a handout. I just needed enough for some gas and groceries. I just needed enough to help get me by until the first paycheck came in and then I would be sitting pretty again. Say what you will about your friendly hometown banker. He is a nice guy, professional, well educated, but he will not let you hold a twenty until payday. He does not do small, short-term loans. Family and friends are not always an option. Even if they are willing to help, it can be a hard line to cross.

The customer in front of me finished his business and headed for the door. I stepped forward and was greeted in a friendly manner by the gentleman behind the counter. Slightly embarrassed, I explained my situation to him and handed him my pistol. He took it and inspected it in a calm, professional manner. It wasn’t the best pistol that I owned, but it was my favorite. It was a .380 caliber with a combat grip and two seven shot magazines. I had bought it from another pawn shop two or three years earlier. Today my $300 investment was good collateral for $50 dollar loan. My heart sank and I swallowed a little pride. I understood it was only business on their part. There was overhead to take care of, taxes, and various laws that came into play. I knew that if I defaulted and failed to pay back the loan, they had to be able to sell it at a profit.

I completed the paperwork and accepted the money-it was just what I needed- enough for some gas and some groceries. It did not seem right, it did not seem fair, but it was necessary.


Erin Jones was born in Wisconsin and raised in Arkansas. After graduating high school he went off to college, dropped out of college, and enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served as a cavalry scout. Returning to college, he graduated from the University of Arkansas with B.A.s in communication and economics. Today he works as a mild-mannered salesperson. He has published in Criminal Class Review and Poesia. In his free time he collects beer cans and brewerianna.

Copyright © 2016 by Erin J. Jones









Pratima Annapurna Balabhadrapathruni… Candy is Bad


Candy is Bad

…., a lollipop is something sweet and sour stuck in a mouth that cannot open out the jaws in an outcry of anguish, or clench teeth in disgust. Candy fills spaces between painful instances and slithers citrusy sugar down the throat. Such cramped quarters. A cobweb glows in the dark and sums up Halloween.


Pratima Annapurna Balabhadrapathruni is a writer, poet and artist from Singapore. In the summer 2014, she participated in the Advanced Non-Fiction Seminar conducted by the International Writing Program, Univ. of Iowa. She enjoys interviewing poets and writers from her website is wordsatnine.com

Copyright © 2015 by Pratima Annapurna Balabhadrapathruni









Robert Bates… Knockout



“Mark wants to beat your ass,” Julian had warned me at the beginning of the school day.

More like Mark is going to beat my ass. Everyone knows I can’t fight. I sit in my seat wondering what will happen next.

Julian sees my worried face and says, “Relax, I got your back.”

The teacher walks out and I can feel Mark watching me.

Rachel whispers, “It’ll be really funny if you win,” into my ear from her seat beside me.

I turn and Mark is in my face. He pushes me and I instinctively push him back.

He hits me. Then I’m on the ground. Completely disoriented.

I wait for another punch to come but it never does. I finally regain my senses and get up to see Julian holding Mark with his arms pinned behind his back.

“If you are going to do something, do it now,” he says, struggling to hold him.

I hit Mark three times with my left hand then he elbows Julian and breaks free. He charges at me and before I can react his fist connects with my jaw.

I wake up with Rachel in my face.

“That was pretty funny too.”


Robert Bates is a bored Dollar General who writes things sometimes and also enjoys ice cream, long walks in the rain, and Christopher Nolan movies.

Copyright © 2015 by Robert Bates







David Christopher la Terre… Margaret-Piece


i called her a ‘commandant,’ but not aloud, & to-myself – the manager of our subsidy building – ‘a building full of retards’ as one local comedian said (after our underground power line caught fire &        displaced           150          of         us.          we’ve         had           a           lot         of           fires becausewe’reabuildingfullofretardsapparently. but that’s another story). & i often reiterate she was completely the wrong choice to manage a low-cost building of the mentally-ill, disabled, blind & elderly, since she was so insensitive, sadistic & passive-aggressive. i often thought: how could the holding-company appoint her? i even wrote a detailed letter to her superiors/my ‘advocate’ there, relating 18 months of mean-spirited victimization (& a ‘failed inspection’ due to boxes that had just come out of our family storage & hadn’t been distributed, but that’s still another story). more recently, she intentionally kept me waiting – procrastinating – & casually walked round the building while she got me a set of replacement keys, which cost $45 for three. i had asked her for a copy of the mail key until one could be made, but she told me “I never get them back.” i told her “i was a First Class scout; i’ll give you back your key!” i often wondered if it was just me she bullied or treated coldy, or everyone. (in hindsight, however, i really think it was everyone.) -what an odd choice to assign one so gratuitously stern, like some villain-marm. she seemed to get off on draconia, along with affixing excessive fines for simple maintenance or replacements that i always felt were personally pocketed.

-now i wasn’t responsible for her getting fired. the letter might not have helped, but it was 15 months old. one weekend i just saw a box or two of her materials by her office door: various files & a placard that read Margaret. i stopped seeing her car – always parked in the No Parking elbow of our driveway like a showpiece (with all its patriotic bumper stickers). at last i could discern that the office was virtually empty. finally i saw her the second-to-last time down in the basement – our ‘first floor’ – speaking seriously & quietly with our Resident Maintenance man (having replaced long-time repairman Tom, who died of swift & aggressive cancer & was the agreed heart-and-soul of the building). the next thing i knew; she was out & another woman was shuffled in – threw an Introduction Party – & was mysteriously & quickly replaced with another woman. (even since then the holding company has changed again along with the management).

& that was the last time i saw Margaret, again in the basement; coming to join the festivities of that mysteriously-vanished first girl. & i tell you: i felt bad. i shouldn’t, of course. i had no reason.

once we talked – briefly – of her passion for Civil War history. i don’t remember much other non-building discussion. i never saw her as anything but invulnerable. but this seems to be a story of one ‘mentally-ill’ narrator’s – humanity? – vs. another’s out-sane inhumanity, or some misplaced .. predator? i had every right to feel vengeful; i had every reason to feel righteous. but i didn’t. her karma burned up in the atmosphere. no, i don’t know what inevitably ‘caught up’ with her ..

i just think of that line ~ perhaps speaking of my own sensitive & even rigid mental illness ~ from Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion: “Damn this world that just won’t hold still for us! Damn it anyway!”


David Christopher la Terre is an old punk, advertising brat, artist, writer, hit-and-run orator, humorist, exfilmmaker, “asexual icon” and sentimental Modernist pursuing work in new formats, hybrids, language arts, Sound Poetry, decon, “post-mod,” prank-art … ‘living satire’ … he has been published in the Slate, Spleen, Lost & Found Times, Rag Mag, Roar Shock, Open Minds & Monkeybicycle.