Exuberant Ashtray #4 Spring Issue 2009


Drinking at Sal’s Place

Imagine the sky folded
under your arm like a newspaper,

the stories written in a language
you always meant to learn and never did.

Why bother to even open it?
If you come with me to Sal’s Place,

the faces of the daytime drinkers
will contain as much news as there is.

It’s like my wife said,
at least I think it was my wife,

I was fond of pictures but now
the nails on the wall are quite enough.

Howie Good


The Last Whiskey

So what brings you here?
And why after everybody else
has been and gone?

I do not know,
it replies.

I was just told
to be here at one a.m.
and finish the job.

John Grey


My Old Car

Your pink hair
swaying back and forth
in my first car
meeting with the bass and tumbling
back towards the seat
while I tried not to notice
at least too forthcoming
the see-through shirt
sprouting unearthly tits
or the lines you drew up
in between head bobs
on the armrest seperating us.

Joseph Veronneau


The first step out
the fairground front gate
and all the emotions rush back
like banished demons
and blood
to the head.

Agitation takes on the tempo
of colored
seizure lights,
and the smell
of horse shit,
and corndogs.

The Tilt-o-Whirl scrambled
my senses
and sexual organs.

I think they speak a lot
about the human condition,
Eager to enter,
relieved to leave-
we let our guts get eaten
by ring-toss conmen
and pictures
of five-legged

Abigail Beaudelle


Noisy Neighbour

The woman in the flat above me keeps have obscenely loud orgasms
and I mean loud, gratuitous orgasms
those full-throated, high-pitched, head-thrown-back, breathless climaxes you usually only see in porn movies.
Sometimes she screams ‘oh god!’, ‘oh god’, sometimes ‘ohhhhh fuck!’ ‘ohhhh fuck!’, sometimes – ‘fuckingggggg helllllllllll’, ‘fuckinggggg helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!’
and I sit and wonder –
‘exactly what is he doing to her?’
‘or what is she doing to herself?’

I regularly eat my wife out for over half an hour AND I’ve bought her a Rampant Rabbit Vibrator and I never get that result.
What do I have to do exactly?
and how is it fair and democratic that a woman should be capable of such orgasms and a man should happen to get intimate with her?
She is like one of those ‘Stepford Wives’. Seriously, she could shatter glass … .
Now, I’ve started asking my Wife to groan louder when we have sex –

‘Come on’ I’m snapping ‘sound like you’re enjoying it’
or –
‘Oh yeah, louder baby’
or –
‘I really like it when you groan’

None of which works. She just comes with her little feminine gasp and a shudder. Whatever I do.
She keeps saying – ‘I’m very satisfied with you as a lover’ and I keep replying –
‘Well I am not. I sound less of a man than that guy upstairs’

I mean why can’t she be loud just for me? Everything was fine before. But now … sex is a struggle to complete.

A totally impossible Olympic hurdle of a motherfucker.



Haddam Meadows memory

Sometimes I miss
making Jack Daniels
candy by mixing it with
instant pink lemonade

sleeping in my
beat tent with
coat hanger stakes

dirty clothes
to keep me warm

charring stolen steaks
on a refrigerator grill
over deadwood fire,

enough cash from
gathered cans
for my next
pack of

Yvon Cormier


Ian Curtis

Sylvia Plath


Erek Smith



My father pisses in bottles
he hangs by their handles
on the rail of a stainless steel pushcart:
a bedside table that holds a lamp,
2 liter bottle of Coke,
broken alarm clock,
roll of toilet paper,
and T.V. remote.

I sit in a chair by his bed,
stare at the muted T.V.,
try to think of something to say,
ignore the foul odor
of his unbathed body
I need to wash
and bottles of piss
I need to empty again.

He sucks on a peppermint,
because I won’t give him a cigarette,
because I made him get a triple bypass
five years ago
so he wouldn’t die,

Paula Ray


ring! ring! ring!

i adjust my top-hat and max’s cat extends
her hand and signs my wrist in parallel lines
of blood like poetry and she bounds onto the sofa
and leaps into the haze of 7 torched blunts

and i remove my aviators and squint into the black lights
at room’s black meaning while in the kitchen
a champagne bottle booms like artillery and discharges
foam onto the linoleum and drowns the blasting death metal

and the ceiling twists towards me and max’s sudden
smile hits and he mutilates me like a cheese-grater. and
you, you ridiculous woman, you expect me to call you back?

D.C. Porter



He knew he had
handed me
I cut off his

But I still
for a live

Wordsmiths Are A Wait Staff

the forever inarticulate
try desperately to use
demanding words with
syllables they can

the forever inarticulate
imagine themselves to be
beyond the rest of us
in word and deed

to them
we appear to scrape
their crumbs

if only they were learned
enough to realize
we are picking up
in earnest
meaning nearly
through their misuse

meaning that
slides away


so we wait
for their

we are


The Government’s Got Nothin’ To Do With It

the one’s who wouldn’t work
when they could’ve had a job
now think everyone’s in their
lazy-ass ghetto theatre

i’ve always worked
i’ll sell you a t.v.
i’ll sell you a hair clip
i’ll sell you my tit
for a fucking dollar

what do you think a prostitute is?
why do you think they call her a “working” girl?
it’s not about SEX, you morons.
it’s about WORK!
what part of that four letter word do you not

call girl
that’s not lazy
that’s a career…

and it’s headed up!

and i spit on you who’ve never bothered to try
to make a living
but who now cry

“we’re so poor! look what the government’s done!”

what’s the government?

look what you’ve done!

you’re still the same flat out lazy pieces a’ shit you always were
and the government’s got nothin’
to do with it.

Suzy Devere


Love Delusion No.2

Searching for a heart of gold
A teardrop after midnight
Blue eyes in the morning
Afternoon delight
Looking for a kiss
A mystery girl
Dream lover
Is what makes the world go round
But it isn’t the truth
The truth is
A 468th menstrual cycle
Beer farts
Bad sex
And 10,000 hangovers

The Kiss

For the dream is a kiss
From a street hooker
on a
ragged city street corner
on a dead
sunday morning
Feeling immortal
and laughing at the sun

Joesph Ridgwell

(These poems are part of Joseph’s excellent forthcoming collection
from Blackheath Books, LOAD THE GUNS).

Mr. Bones

If you look
at man

without his skin
and see his skeleton
you’ll notice he’s not
much different
than most
on the planet.

He has a backbone like a horse
and ribs
like a cat
and a skull
like any mammal
on all fours.

The similarity
interests me
on a basic
primal level.

Smart as we are—
rocket ships,
the knowledge of our own mortality,
science, medicine, astronomy—

we really are
just bones
from the bowels
of the earth.

The Soul Monster

I sit here
on my couch
and look at the walls

to kill.

What do we have to do
to liven up the night.

Streets, cars, walls,
malls, restaurants—
everywhere we go
it seems
people are holding back
the fire blazing
in their bones.

What else could it be
but fear
their lives.

I’m disgusted
by the whole damn race.

I don’t belong here.

I should be dancing
around a drum circle, naked,
with the rhythm of cannibals

with the flames
of a bonfire.

Right now, I’d rather
eat worms,
lick the skull of a dead man
than sit here
like a civilized chimp
feeling guilty
for craving
the taste
of blood.

David Dannov


born to be kissed
and born to be hated
born to paint with fingers
born to pour glasses of red wine
born into the light
born into the darkness and
the horror
born to wave anti-war posters
born to bow in front of the faceless flag
born not long ago
born with Joan of Arc
born with Hannibal
born with Buddha
born with the Devil
born with a cherry seed in the throat
with knife in the belly
born to be dead
born to spray seed
born to be left by the perfect woman
born with no face
born to walk on the avenues of dead
born to listen to Mahler
born to eat apples and oranges in the
summer Sunday morning
but at least I know:
there are no diamonds in the mine.

black and red

the roses colour slowly
in red

as the old men play chess
in the park

somewhere a child is dying
somewhere somebody beats his wife
somewhere in this world starts a war

somewhere someone falls in love

as the old men play chess
in the park.

the sun goes down

one spider spins his web…

….the fly is buzzing.

the old men put the chess pieces
back in the box and go.

the blood is dripping upon
the roses


this is what will be
left of me:

two closed

my heart in your hands

waiting in vain
for another turn of
this stupid dance
while the saddest song
is playing.

Peycho Kanev


I learned

while swiping her credit card
that she was a breast cancer survivor,

that her husband was in Las Vegas
attending a heating and cooling convention,

and that my blue shirt matched
the blue in my eyes.

I handed her a pen and found myself
in the unflatness of her chest.

David LaBounty



4 Responses to “Exuberant Ashtray #4 Spring Issue 2009”

  1. puma said

    good issue. why didn’t i submit anything, i am asking myself. next time.

  2. excellent!! – haha!! like the devils being beaten into submission.

  3. Fantastic line-up. Great work.

  4. james darman said

    Another killer issue!!!

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