Thursday, December 15, 2011

David Blaine

---original msg---


Dear Karl,

OK, I have attached the interview with Catfish and a photo of him and his daughter.  It's an older photo, but it tied in well because Catfish had a flash fiction about her published at OutsiderWriters a while back, and I linked to it.  
I also attached a  poem Catfish published this at his blog, but shortly after that he closed down.  So it's nowhere on the net for anyone to see anymore.  If you like it that would be a great piece to have re-published, and if you really like it I can send you some more stuff some time.  I don't go for grandiose long winded bullshit bongo bios.  

"David Blaine lives in rural Michigan and works at the family hardware store with his wife, children and grandchildren."  My blog is called "A. Hello Whiskey" and it's at



ps there is a story going round over here that you, through your mothers side, are related, by marriage, to
Billy-The-Kid, who rode with Charlie Boudrie down New Mexico way! is that true? forgive me for asking
I do so only because I have somewhat indirect connections with the Texas branch of the Ring.

  § ¶ 

David Blaine

A Small Death

You are too soon parted from here.
The August afternoon sun beats down,
softening the asphalt.
Aroma of decay wafts in the breeze.
Green bottle flies swarm and fire ants creep,
trespassing against your broken form of feathers.
The quills and vanes still tremble, slightly,
as air flows through and around them.
These wings once held you in the sky
as if pinned against the clouds.
Their colorful array of bars and stripes
are still in tact
but you are at once
morbidly still,
and curiously quiet.
No more does your shrill shriek
boom down from towering heights,
to send field mice scurrying to their dens.
No longer do you return from the hunt
bringing fresh meat to the nestlings.
The wind whistles in telephone wires
and plays a requiem for you.

The Luxury of Agony

He was a fledgling painter who came from a family of farmers.  He said he couldn’t afford the luxury of agonizing over finishing touches.  I noticed that his novice gaze tended to jump around a bit, but assumed he was looking at me, hoping for signs of arousal.  This was what I’d been craving; this was what his art was all about.  With each stroke I wished he would close his eyes, take his time.  He’d end up taking it anyway.  There was no promise about the outcome; that was part of his ethical code. 

He told me that his work was all about breathing; you could do it anywhere.  But he’d almost drowned once at a swimming party, when he was in the first grade.  He believed we re-negotiate our roles daily and re-visit the lost battles in our sleep.

He taught me that context is key, and I realized how universal things are:  How my mother used to cry waiting for Khrushchev to drop the other shoe.  How we hold our breath now, when a jet flies too low.

He said that our insecurities allow us into this world, that in Afghanistan, the men write love poems to their friends.  I’d long been longing for such an exotic way station, but he’d grown tired of being my back door man.  He told me that impressionism actually peaks in the teen years.  I worried how strangers, mere passersby, would view us. In the end this hadn’t been my best-laid plan.   And he really couldn’t afford the luxury of agonizing over finishing touches. 


death as a play in three acts


lurid leering boogies under the bed bad guy

with a gun car crash train wreck greasy bag o’ rags

and kitchen match waiting for midnight to burn my house down

khrushchev calls the cold war to order with his 9 ½ D gavel

bomb shelter in the neighbor’s basement sleep well tonight

god and guard are watching but it’s good friday

god’s kid got killed on a cross again

and they can’t watch all of the ruskies all of the time


my girlfriend’s brother

first one on our block

came home in a flag

inside a box

the radio is my messiah

cuz’ i’d rather my country

than me

i’d rather red than dead

canada is only an hour away

but the draft is over

the month i turn eighteen


success is killing me now

my beer and my steak

each twenty four ounces

death and I have smartened up

he’s out from under the bed

playing the ambassador

the diplomat

i know he’s no friend

but he’s not my enemy either

i can run and jump

but i won’t outrun my parent’s genes

i find myself wondering

what’s next after this?

the curiosity might kill this cat.


Ode to a Bad Example

A curious portrait of postman

as dog.  Uncut,

cut from the same cloth as all

common men.  Commonly

seen debauching his era—

pissing on everyone’s collective porch.

Falling through life or what passed for it:

A state of inebriation— drunk on the heady

and ordinary alike.

In loose association with loose companions

without peers

without friends

chasing off paternal memories

chasing skirts in a most non-paternal manner.

He was on track—

every day if he could—

burning through bets and betting on getting

loaded, laid,

fan mail.

A quarrelling brook, a roaring spring

of poetry and prose spilling

from a soft heart impaled

on the thorns of his own rose.

Impetus for perfection

in a love/hate relationship.

He commands, advises, implores,

even now, past his prime and

past his time:

Don’t Try.

To which I respond:

Why would I?


Maybe She Meant It

Was that a hatchet or a tomahawk that had just flown past, 
grazed his ear, and embeded itself into the plaster?  
He instinctively raised his hand to the lobe but hadn’t even noticed 
the blood until she pointed to his fingers.

The next time
you touch 
my sister 
I’ll be giving you a vasectomy with a Bowie knife.  


The McDaris Interview

David Blaine: I noticed that in all your biographical material Catfish McDaris is born in 1953 and then the story fast-forwards to the time he came home from the Army and started traveling America.  Has he ever had a police mug shot taken? What name appeared on the placard?  

Catfish McDaris: Steven Carl McDaris.  I got busted at 13 for stealing soda bottles for their 4 cent deposit. I no longer drive, but I did for almost 40 years. I quit 7 years ago, when I quit drinking. After my younger sister died, I drove to the graveyard, opened a bottle of Cuervo & got stinkoed. Cops got me for O.W.I. even though I never drove drunk.  I tried to take a cop's gun away; that's the only arrest as an adult.

DB: Tell me a bit about your early life.  What did your parents do for a living? 

CM: My dad was a master bricklayer. Mother was a mobile librarian, a manager at Sears, & Zale’s, & she worked for Norman Petty Recording Studios. (where Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, & Stephen Stills recorded) in Clovis, New Mexico.

DB: That connection to the Norman Petty studios, what did she do exactly?

CM: Mom kept the books for Norman Petty.

DB:  Did you ever get to meet any musicians that an average Joe would recognize?

CM: I met Stephen Stills, Sam & Dave, Three Dog Night, & partied with Waylon Jennings. Our hometown band was Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs, their hits were Sugar Shack & Bottle of Wine. The Fireball drummer used to babysit me & later I was their roadie for awhile. Also I worked for The Shyguys & The Apple Glass Syndrome. I worked with my pal, Bennie Barrow (a relative of Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde fame) doing a few psychedelic light shows for Iron Butterfly & Strawberry Alarm Clock, but mostly The Flock & Zephyr. (2 super bands back then)

DB: Are you musically inclined at all? I don't mean at a professional level, but do you strum the guitar or blow the harp or anything? Cowbell?

CM: I used to try to play guitar & congas, but I sucked.

DB: Do you express yourself artistically in any other medium that writing?

CM: I do a bit of drawing, I had 3 sketches in a recent Nerve Cowboy.

DB: Do you consider writing an art form?

CM: Hell yes, writing is an art form, anything you pour your soul into is art.

DB: You mentioned a younger sister passing away, are there any other siblings?

CM: I have two brothers and two living sisters.

DB:  Where did you go to school and what type of books did you read as a child?

CM: I went to school mostly in Clovis, New Mexico, except for a brief time in Monterrey, California. I read all the classics, my grandmother & I played Scrabble, & worked crosswords. I loved adventure books, especially about Geronimo, Sir Francis Drake, and Darwin. But I dropped out of high school in the 10th grade.

DB: Wait, you're talking about loving adventure books and reading the classics, then you say you dropped out of school in the tenth grade.  That's not congruous at all. What drove you to that?

CM: I was in a hazing incident in the 10th grade. You were expected to buy a huge paddle made in purple & white (school colors) & have the dude's name & his lady's on each side & he was then supposed to try & break it on your ass. I refused & I almost took his life. I also had been taking too many drugs & I was a full fledged hippie, so school seemed like a waste of time.

DB:  Did you have any jobs as a child, to earn spending money?

CM: After I dropped out of high school I became a journeyman bricklayer & I had lots of hustles on the side. I had a lawn mowing service (my pals with electric mowers), I had several pin ball machines, I had a matchbox business (not cars).

DB: Did you participate in any social activities like Cub Scouts or Little League?

CM: I was a Boy Scout, played football, threw shot put, ran track, I got along with the jocks & the heads. I belonged to the Tijuana Pussy Posse.

DB:  How long did you live in New Mexico? 

CM:  I lived in New Mexico until I split for the army.

DB: Since you’re a couple of years older than me, I’m guessing you were drafted and served in Vietnam.  Am I right?

CM:  I sold 2 kilos of Acapulco gold to an undercover cop, so I was going away for 2 to 10 years. I got the best lawyer in Clovis & paid $5,000, he was to get me off, but I messed with both his daughters & he found out. So, July 71 at the age of 17 I went to Ft. Polk, Louisiana (Little Vietnam) for boot camp. On our last weekend, I went to New Orleans with some amigos to party, we were late coming back, so we were recycled. (did 8 week boot camp all over) Then I was sent to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma for artillery training. I got a 2 week leave before reporting to Oakland for Vietnam. While on leave, Tricky Dick said no more troops to Nam, so I went to Germany for 2 1/2 years. I got out in July 74 & traveled & lived in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico & lived around Santa Fe & Espanola.

DB:  OK, when you started train hopping and hitching across America, did you stay any place for an extended time?  Long enough to get a job and find a place to stay?  What kind of work did you do?

CM:  When I was 15 I hopped a train from Dallas to Clovis. (500 miles) I was with 2 pals & we got lost & an old hobo taught us how to survive. A year later I hopped a fruit express in Fresno into New Mexico. I've done lots of short rides & 1 not that long ago. I rode the rails while in Germany also. I've done a lot of hitchhiking especially to Denver, I've lived there many times. I worked at a metal shop, a skyscraper delivering steel doors to each floor. I hitched in Mexico to Guaymas & spent most of a summer fishing. The worst hitch hiking experience I had was in Slayton, Texas just east of Lubbock, a state cop took me & they shaved my head (I was 16). They put me on a work chain gang for 67 days with no phone calls. I wrote long detailed letters of my adventures in Europe. I got my G.E.D. in the army & took enough general college courses through the mail I wasn't too far away from a degree. Things didn't work out though. I worked in a zinc smelter in Amarillo, Texas. I did brick & stone work all over the southwest. I worked for the Santa Fe National Forest Service as a surveyor & firefighter, painting flag poles (that's scary), I worked for plumbers & carpenters. I washed dishes, cooked, bartended, bounced, I was a roadie. Finally I ended up at the main post office in Milwaukee.

DB:  You say you almost got your degree but things didn't work out, what happened?

CM: I took courses from the Univ. of Maryland while in the army & when I got out I wanted to be a game warden, so I enrolled at Eastern New Mexico Univ. only to find out if I got a degree I'd have to run for office, so I abandoned that path. I had a trade (brick mechanic), but the Post Office was much easier than making a straight wall & fighting the elements.

DB:  Judging from your bio statement that you’ve been writing for about twenty years, I’m guessing you weren’t writing yet at this point in your life.  Were you thinking about writing at all back then?  Were you keeping a journal or anything?  I mean, besides in your head?

CM: I wrote long rambling letters to my grandmother (she was 3/4s Cherokee) describing the army & Germany & my travels (mostly to Holland) & castles. I used to go to a nudist colony outside of Frankfurt & to see all the concerts there. Many years later, when I was pen pals with my wife before our marriage, I started writing love letters, mostly in Spanish. Then I wrote protest letters to the newspaper. My 1st paying gig was Humor In Uniform ($75) for a story. I wrote a western in the Louis L'Amour/Zane Grey style, it never saw daylight. Then I started writing stories & a few poems & I discovered Bukowski & the small press. An Indian editor (Dave Low Dog Reeve) from Zen Tattoo took some words & I told him I wanted to quit the post office & start a catfish farm & that's where the Catfish handle came from.

DB:  Well, there's one question I won't have to ask! 

DB:  Clovis, sounds a lot like a typical Midwest small town, aside from the geography.  County seat, 30,000 people, two thirds white, one third Hispanic, agricultural economy.  Again, except for the geographic differences, do you feel living in Wisconsin is similar, culture wise, to living in New Mexico?  Is there a reason you settled in the upper Great Lakes besides the Post Office gig?

CM:  Clovis has huge sand dunes (used to sand surf & have keg parties there) the Clovis man was found there. (prehistoric). Clovis was wet (had alcohol), Texas & the time change was 10 miles east & it was mostly dry for 100 miles, so lots of drunk cowboys. There was also a huge Air Force Base (Cannon), so lots of flyboys. My mom's only sister married a Milwaukee Polack (when I was 10) & that's how I eventually moved to the Brew City. Milwaukee is green & had lots of jobs, Clovis is arid & the railroad or government was the only great jobs.

DB:  How long have you and your wife been married?  Tell me about when and where you met.  How does she deal with being married to such a wildman?

CM:  I've been married for 28 years to a beautiful Mexican lady named Aida, after the opera. We met in Puerto Vallarta, we were both on vacation, her from Guadalajara & me from Milwaukee. While waiting for our first date, I ran into Elizabeth Taylor & her boyfriend lawyer, Victor Luna, I bought them a drink & got her autograph. I kept talking about that almost to the point where I blew my chance at a long & happy marriage. We became pen pals, after I met her parents, & she came to the U.S. a few times. She had studied English at the British Embassy for 8 years, so her English was different than ours. She has a degree in French & worked for a French mining company translating. Aida got her U.S. citizenship 3 years ago after we got hassled on a trip to Paris. We have a 23 year old daughter (Eli-short for Elizabeth), who is just about to get her Master's degree in Criminal Science. I'm not really so wild, I'm like an inside dog I only do it on paper.

DB:  Lets move on to your writing. If I asked you to limit it to just three writers, who would you say most influences your own writing?

CM: My 3 writing influences are Bukowski, Louis L'Amour, & Edgar Rice Burroughs.

DB: What things going on in the world and in your life affect, influence, or inspire your writing?

CM:  Anything & nothing can inspire my writing.

DB:  How do you feel about the direction publishing is moving?  Some of the things I'm thinking of are the death of independent book stores, the move to Print On Demand, and of course, e-books. 

CM: I just did 2 hardcover joint books at, Dancing Naked On Bukowski's Grave with Australian writer Ben John Smith from Horror Sleaze Trash site, & Tales From A French Envelope with New Jersey writer Craig Scott from Ten Pages Press site. I love both books & stand behind them. I did an e-chap called 72 Magpies Fucking In Buffalo at Ten Pages. I still have a chap called Making Love To The Rain with Leah at Alt-Currents.

DB: Do you enjoy reading your work in public?  Would you say that you enjoy hearing the spoken word any more or less than reading a page, or screen?

CM:  I used to love to read my stuff, I needed a drop of liquid courage, now I take Xanax. Once I get started I can roll. I don't really like to hear poetry read, unless someone is exceptional.

DB:  What's on the horizon for Catfish McDaris?

CM:  I just got in Kerouac's Dog #5 the Passion issue. I'm working on some new stuff called Fucked Nine Ways From Tomorrow. I'm rewriting a play I did called Maria Takes A Powder & always working on a novel to escape the small press. I've been offered a tentative editor job (if it goes print) I haven't decided if I'll saddle that palomino. 

CM: On my eastern horizon are steel heads leaping in Lake Michigan, to the west is a field of dancing horses.

DB:  Sounds like a great place to be.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Some Old Frens


                sonny n little max
                i met sonny in Fitzroy, early '59,
                just before my 16th birthday

             judy, benita, oliver, david, simon, john laurie,1972 Dromana
             first met judy late '65 thru pauline (walton)
             when i was a student at RMIT school of art

                 first met him early '65 at Fat Black Pussycat in Sth Yarra,
                 a friend of judy

Joan Sedorkin

♣ ♣

Dharma for Joan Sedorkin
five years ago she came to the art class I ran
with five different groups over four years
Joan came to the first and stayed till the last
it was two years before she told me she’d read
‘On The Road’ in 1958 and with a girlfriend hitched
north from Sydney n stopped at Cairns
met and married a Russian fisherman
made a home raised a family buried a husband
Then - aged seventy-eight she left Cairns
with two suitcases
to get away from demands of family
‘to find her self’
moved into a rooming-house in Brisbane
started to paint and write haiku
we had both lived a life knee-capped
by low self-esteem non existent self confidence 
but over the years I’d learned how
to change that handicap
n learned how to dismantle
its power bit by bit
n I showed her how to do it
later I found out she was blind
in one eye - sight failing in the other
no wonder she couldn’t draw details
then an Indian doctor and laser surgery
restored the sight in her good eye

enter a king-tide of wild colour like a sudden burst
of parrakeets among a crush of blue blossoms
I watched her discover a sense of her Self
n become a terrific painter
she drew with an intoxicating fragile line
admiring of her own work
no longer putting it down
her death a few months ago affected me
more than I would have thought
Dharma Bums was her favourite Kerouac book
for her I later wrote of the silent encounter
I’d had with Gary Snyder
her favourite poet
in a bar in Melbourne
in the later years of my alcoholism 

Karl Gallagher, 2000


A GHOST BETWEEN US (for Joan Sedorkin)

Around 1980, aged 37 I was standing
at the bar of the
Albion in Carlton
taking notice of nobody
watching life passing by the window
in the early afternoon drinking alone
although several friends were around

I was away with my own thoughts
so long as I had a drink in front of me
and one on the way
that's all i really cared about.

Jukebox sounds came from the back bar
I was lightly swaying to the music
friends passed by saying hallo
smiling generously I replied
feeling good man feeling good
but I was disinterested

interested only in myself
listening to some hidden beat
some universal soul
alone in a crowded bar.

A voice I hadn't heard in years said
'Hey Karlos how are you man.'
I turn and face Nigel a sydney poet who's
grinning grabbing my arm telling me he's
here for the poetry festival
talking loud he says
'Why don't you say hallo to Gary Snyder, over there.'
which I don't believe but look anyway
I see two guys nearby leaning against the wall
drinks in hand watching me
one I recognise from photos as Snyder

it dawns on me
that maybe they have been there
for some time
for how long?
I've been at the bar for over an hour.

We are about eight feet apart
and for a few seconds our eyes lock
and suddenly I feel ashamed to be seen
getting drunk
alone in a crowded bar
at mid day
disinterested in the company of others.

I felt the ghost of Kerouac pass between us
Snyder takes it in
sees a well liked guy
sees that I am on the same greased slide
of alcoholism
that took Jack down
the path of bitter loneliness

the scrambled brains
the mindless bad mouth
the deep disconnection
the desolation

I didn't go over and say hallo
we both knew what we had seen
I turned back to the bar
picked up my drink, downed it
and ordered another.

karl gallagher


Friday, December 2, 2011


                   § ¶ δ∮◎◎◎◎◎◎∮

                   § ¶ δ∮◎◎◎

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kell Robertson


---------- Forwarded Message ----------

Subject: Kell Robertson
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2011

Kell Robertson, 1930-2011: Cowboy-poet celebrated 'guns, guitars and women'
Steve Terrell | The New Mexican
Monday, November 07, 2011

Kell Robertson, a poet, songwriter, country singer, storyteller and local character, died Monday. He was 81. Robertson died on the property where he had lived for about 15 years, southeast of Santa Fe near N.M. 14. A friend and neighbor, Joanie MacCallum, said he'd had a peaceful night surrounded by loved ones.

On Sunday, friends visited along with his daughter, Penelope Read, who flew in from San Francisco to be with the ailing poet, sit at his bedside and hold his hand. But though Robertson had been talking, joking and telling stories the night before, friends said, by Sunday afternoon he'd slipped into unconsciousness and never awoke. Robertson was hospitalized about three weeks ago for liver problems. On Saturday, the hospital released him, telling friends that he had only a few days to live.

He had lived since 1997 on the property of fellow poet Argos MacCallum — Joanie's brother-in-law. The two had met in 1989 at a poetry event at the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center in Fort Worth. MacCallum allowed Robertson, who at the time was homeless, to move into a small building on his property. Robertson referred to it as a "converted chicken shack," though in reality MacCallum built it for Robertson three days before he moved in.

Robertson often described himself as "an old drunk." His songs celebrated a life of "Guns, Guitars and Women," as the title of one of his tunes said. He sang of saloons that were "cool and dark inside." Friends remember him with an ever-present cowboy hat on his head, a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. In a 2004 interview in No Depression magazine, Robertson said, "I've always thought that my biography is in my poetry and songs."

He said he was born in 1930 in Codell, Kan., the son of a saxophone player who abandoned the family when Robertson was a toddler. His mother remarried a man who kicked him out of the house at age 13. But that was not before his mother took him to see Hank Williams play in Louisiana. "I was a hood," Robertson told The New Mexican in 1998. "My biggest thought [up to that] time was I wanted to own a gas station or rob one, make some money, get a chick and ride across the South being Jesse James or something. But then I went to see Hank Williams and saw what he did with that audience. How he touched everybody so deeply. I figured to myself, somehow I've got to do something like that."

Through the years, he earned his living as an usher in a movie theater, a fruit picker, a dishwasher, a soldier in the Korean War, a disc jockey at country and jazz stations, a bartender and an insurance salesman. . . . He also fell in with San Francisco's North Beach scene in the 1950s and '60s, and he published a mimeograph poetry magazine called Desperado in the '60s.

Said MacCallum: "I think he should be remembered as a major American poet. To him, poetry was a job. And he did it with relish." Besides publishing several books of poetry, Robertson released three CDs of his music, all of which were recorded after he moved to Santa Fe. He performed locally in places like the now-defunct Oasis Cafe and on KSFR radio. Longtime musical cohort Mike Good, who flew from Ohio to be with Robertson on his final day, said Monday that he took at least four road trips across the country with Robertson. "We drove the back roads, just seeing everything and talking," Good said. "He really opened my eyes on how to perceive things. ... He was really connected up there where all that — poetry and music — comes from."

In one of his songs, "I Always Loved A Waltz," Robertson contemplated his own epitaph: "Just write on my tombstone, Lord if I get a tombstone/Or maybe just a honky-tonk wall/That he was crazy for ladies, Lord, and guitars and babies/And a damned old fool for the waltz." His most recent performance was a poetry reading in July at Teatro Paraguas Studio with MacCallum.

Robertson will be buried Tuesday in a private ceremony on the MacCallum property. MacCallum said a public memorial featuring music and poetry by Robertson's friends is being planned for February.


if you want to know how good Kell Robertson was then read 
this assessment by the late Tod Moore, 2008



Under the discount store
the fast food place
the furniture outlet
under all that asphalt
is one of the best chunks
of black bottom farm land
in southeast
My grandad grew corn
wheat, oats and alfalfa,
rotating the crops by
his almanac and the taste
of the dirt, and there
under that corner
my grandma’s garden grew.
The house was somewhere
near the bicycle rack
and the barn was where
they have that bank
of video games.
Under all this asphalt and concrete
plastic and steel, I learned to cut
a calf, learned to drive a team of horses,
learned to work in this earth
and in that barn, learned
from a third cousin who
teetered on the edge of womanhood
another meaning for kisses
beyond the peck on the cheek
I got from grandma.
I close my eyes and see it,
butt my way under that old
Jersey cow
squirt the hot steaming milk
into the cold tin bucket, hear
the hogs snorting around for slops
we saved for them.

I open my eyes and almost
get run over by a housewife
with a buggy full of disposable diapers
and sugar-coated cereals.

The security guard takes my arm, asks
if I’m alright, leads me out into the parking lot
asks me what I’m doing there if I’m not
going to buy anything.

I’m visiting my grandad’s farm I say
underneath all this crap
is the sweetest little farm
in southeast

Walking away
into the shimmering heat
rising from the parking lot
I swear I hear
Grandma calling us for supper.
There’ll be beans and cornbread
and iced tea...tomorrow we’ll start
plowing the lower forty.
Then we’ll come home and sit
on the front porch, watching the dogs
playing in the yard, dreaming
of going to town next week
to sell some hay and get
a store-bought hat
to wear at the dance at the Grange Hall.
Maybe my cousin will be there
and she’ll teach me more
about this kissing business.

Right now
looking back at the parking lot
full of people doing something

all I can see is what we’ve lost.

Kell Robertson


Kell Robertson Interview

this is a beauty, worth reading

[30th august 2012, I clicked on above 'link' and I couldn't get back to the interview, but I'm sure if you 'googled' 'kell robertson interview' it would turn up somewhere.]

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hugh Fox

[This is a little late. I've been away for a month and after being back for a month I'm only just catching up. karl]

Hugh Fox, 1932 - 2011

Hugh Fox, East Lansing Born February 12, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois died on Sunday, September 4, 2011 at the age of 79. Hugh was Professor Emeritus at Michigan State University having taught in the department of American Thought and Language. He was a poet and writer having over 200 novels published.
(Lansing State Journal on September 6, 2011)


Hugh Bernard Fox Jr. (February 12, 1932 – September 4, 2011) was a writer, novelist, poet and anthropologist and one of the founders (with Ralph Ellison, Anaïs Nin, Paul Bowles, Joyce Carol Oates, Buckminster Fuller and others) of the Pushcart Prize for literature. He has been published in numerous literary magazines and was the first writer to publish a critical study of Charles Bukowski.
Fox was born and raised in Chicago as a devout Catholic, but converted to Judaism in later life. He received a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was a professor at Michigan State University in the Department of American Thought and Language from 1968 until his retirement in 1999. Hugh Fox died on September 4, 2011 in East Lansing, MI.

Fox was the author of over sixty-two books, including six books on anthropology. He wrote over fifty-four books on poetry and many volumes on short fiction, and published many novels. Fox also wrote a number of books on pre-Columbian American cultures and catastrophism. Some of these works were labeled in the pseudoarchaeological category, such as his book Gods of the Cataclysm: A Revolutionary Investigation of Man and his Gods Before and After the Great Cataclysm (1976). Some of his books with these themes have been compared to the work of Ignatius Donnelly.
His book Gods of the Cataclysm received a number of positive reviews. Editor Curt Johnson praised the book claiming “Hugh Fox’s Gods of the Cataclysm...ought to be required reading for cultural historians of all disciplines.”[
The Ibbetson Street Press of Somerville, Massachusetts published Way, Way Off the Road: The Memoirs of an Invisible Man by Hugh Fox with an introduction by Doug Holder in 2006. This book recounts Fox's life and the people he knew from his extensive associations with the "Small Press" marketplace over the years, including Charles Bukowski, A.D. Winans, Sam Cornish, Len Fulton, and numerous other people.
Fox's novel e Lord Said Unto Satan was published in the spring of 2011 by Post Mortem Press (Cincinnati). His final novel was Reunion, published by Luminis Books in summer 2011.
(From Wikipedia)


Hugh Fox


Writing these poems

becomes self-flagellation,
at the same time peoples
the vacuum with sparks of
his presence, please, God,
give him back to me for
just a handful of years
and I will give you a witness,
like Peter, Paul, Augustine,
Aquinas, Luther, Loyola, Wesley,
give him to me and I will give him
back to you shining with yourself,
not for me but for HIM,
to unfold the folded in the light of
Your being, so he can become what for all
eternity (in the madness of your pans)
he always was...and let me in my own
last years, move at last from JOB to

(Clock Radio, 1987)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dancing Naked On Bukowki’s Grave


All night I dreamed of the poems of Ben John Smith and Catfish McDaris in their new book Dancing Naked on Bukowski’s Grave.  I read non-stop the Catfish section which comprises the second half of the book, tore through it like the sex-crazed maniac I’ve always been, running down the street after that guilt-ridden fantasy bus headlined real life.  Afterward on the bus, and in my tortured sleep, I began to understand the meaning of the ritual phrase that’s what I’m talking about.  I formed words in my dreams to explain to Catfish how reading his amazing output was like looking into his soul, if anyone has such a thing, because oddly, he approaches soulful material through an outrage of the senses, because he talks about boogers and shit and glorious cunt-holes that most people lack the courage to discuss, yet isn’t that where we all live?  In God’s lap? . . . where Catfish firmly sits while fervently invoking Him in the moving “Calluses”: “I believe in God/I just feel like/kicking his ass/sometimes, when/terrible stuff happens/to the innocent”.

Take for instance “Even Rats Party in Hell’s Kitchen”, a fantastical portrait of the toilet at Dangerfield’s Comedy Club, the cooking up of a poetic recipe that starts out with some possibly true measurements.  1) toilets in NYC and Paris are in “dim decrepit basements, swampy funk-ridden holes”;  2) “the stairway is rancid”;  3) “a cloud of maryjane fumes engulfed me”; 4) “I heard female laughter and an Asian language coming from the Men’s Room”;  the rest could be called imagination straight from God when he introduces “a talking rat” with “a tiny hard-on”.   With these ingredients Catfish leaves the kitchen and enters the inner rooms of the soul, a mystical journey to jolt the jaded and wise-up the weary.

“While Bogart Played with Rock Hudson’s Balls” is another myth-buster.  We knew Rock was gay but what about Bogart?  I always suspected he was a real pussy with his various wives in spite of his tough guy image.  I could imagine Lauren putting him to bed with a glass of warm milk.  Sure, he smoked, but that only began as a way to show what a regular guy he was.  Then he became addicted to sucking butts.  Maybe Rock was the one with the real balls; gay, and enjoying his lifestyle to the hilt.  Like the cops in stanza three.  What’s this tough guy bullshit all about, anyway? Think about it with help from Catfish.                                                                                                            Patricia Hickerson

Humphrey Bogart Played With Rock Hudson's Balls

Two guys in the park were smoking

a blunt, one held on to it, his pal grew

bored, so he unzipped him &

sucked his big banana dick

The cops came just as the dude

did, he couldn't stop, it was like

Old Faithful, glug swallow glug

the cops tapped them both on

the head, then on the mushroom

They started to charge them with

possession & indecent exposure, 

but they let them go, they could

hardly wait to get back to  the

squad car.

Catfish McDaris

To purchase this book go to this site
type in Dancing Naked On Bukowski’s Grave and click Get It

Catfish McDaris is based in America and operates a poetry blog:

Ben Smith is based in Australia and operates a poetry blog:


I grew up in NYC/Jersey. I graduated from Barnard College. Came to California in 1956.  I was 28. I’ll talk about my writing . . .  not my career as a Warner Bros. dancer, artists’ model, mother of three, teacher, reporter.  I started with poetry at age 7, much later reading my poetry in San Francisco bars and bookstores. Got a masters in Creative Writing from San Francisco State, and a doctorate in education from USC where my husband was associate professor for 23 years. I became a paid propagandist for the Communist Party; sold pornography to various Penthouse publications such as Forum, Letters, Erotica, Variations.  Then back to poetry; I came to the realization that literary trash, sleaze and the truth carried by these ideas are paintings of the world to come.  These “paintings” have been published in the chapbook Dawn and Dirty and the broadside At Grail Castle Hotel, both from Rattlesnake Press; other poems have been published in Convergence, Medusaskitchen, poetrynow, Presa, Choices, Echoes, Passager, catfishgringoriver, poets for peace, living waters, Rattlesnake Review.

Here’s a couple of sites where Patricia’s work can be found:


Rumour Has It:

Patricia Hickerson is writer and at 83 a survivor and rumour has it that in the old days she knew them all  - Kerouac, Mailer, Pollock, Kline, Billie Holliday, Charley Parker, Brando, Montgomery Clift, Corso, among others. . . in the bars and hipster joints around the Village in NYC. 

"My husband was an addicted gambler from the age of 12, son of Communist parents. His father ran for Congress on the CP ticket in 1932. His mother was very beautiful and an intellectual. His parents are featured as Arthur Raymond and Rebecca Valentine in Henry Miller’s Sexus. Miller does a beautiful and fairly accurate job of describing them. My father-in-law had been a boyfriend of Henry’s in Brooklyn.
Because he was a gambling addict as well as a brilliant lecturer, my husband hung out with some very dubious characters in his constant quest for money and we all worked for the mob on a low level during the 70s and 80s, mainly counting the take in porn theatres around
Northern California.
I started writing porn, first for small mags like High Society, Pillow Talk; then later through one of my mentors, novelist Mary Bringle who knew an editor at Penthouse Letters Michael Dorsey, I began to get published in Letters, Forum, Erotica, and V.K. McCarty’s Variations (for women). These stories are definitely fictional. At one point I wrote a sex advice column with the nom de plume Juanita Bottom. There had been several Juanitas before me; even the letters are made up. The pay was phenomenal."

Catfish McDaris recently won a Flash Fiction contest at Buns & Barbs judged by the 2009 poet laureate, Jonathan Penton from Unlikely Stories; he has an interview with Charles Plymell; and a video with Belinda Subraman on Outsider Writer; he has work on/in The, and Black Listed magazines.

He has been published in New York Quarterly, Louisiana Quarterly, George Mason Quarterly, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Bukowski Review, Chiron Review, Haight Ashbury Review, Sho, xibLobster Cult, Thirteen Myna Birds, Beggars & Cheeseburgers, Sex & Murder, Gutter Eloquence, Naughty Girlx, Unlikely Stories. and many more.

He won the Uprising Award in 1998. He has won the Poetry Slam twice at the Green Mill in Chicago, birthplace of the poetry slam. His last poetry reading was at the Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore in Paris.