Edited by Raindog (RD Armstrong) // Art Direction by Yazoota // Illustrated by Claudio Parentela, Yazoota, friends & family

Published monthly // Available by subscription: twenty dollars for twelve issues (basic rate)

This is a special annual issue (still available for three dollars)

Copyright 2000 Lummox Journal

These poems are used by permission of the authors and may not be reprinted without their permission. Please contact RD ARMSTRONG at the Lummox Journal (POB 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733-5301)

The editor would like to thank the publications in which some of these poems first appeared.

POETS IN THIS SPECIAL ISSUE (in order of appearence)

Jen Mertens, Frances LeMoine, Bob Slaymaker, Maria Daleo, Belinda Subraman, C. Mulrooney, Errol Miller, Dave Church, Larry Jaffe, Richard Wilmarth, Ed Galing, John Macker, T. Keyser, Jon Richards, Alec Kowalczyk, Lawrence Welsh, Scott Wannberg, CC Russell, George Gott, Mather Schneider, Nancy Means Wright, Robert Stevens, Sean Bergeron, Marc Olmstead, Mark Edward Marston, Barry Frauman, A. D. Winans, Julia Stein, Ifti Nasim, Gerald Locklin, R. Flowers Rivera, Gwynne Garfinkle, Craig Sernotti, Monica E. Smith, Neca Stoller, Phil Taggert, RD Armstrong, Jacqueline Kras, Leslie Cohen, Holly Day, Paul Kloppenborg, Tim Scannell, Rick Smith, Amber Goddard, Christopher Harter, Todd Moore, Jerry Ball, B. Z. Niditch, Lyn Lifshin, FrancEyE, Adrian R. Ford, Devorah Namm, Corey Mesler, Michael H. Brownstein, Elizabeth Howkins, John W. Levin, Linda Lerner, René Diedrich.

(This page last updated Dec. 6, 2000)

Introduction & How/What To Submit

"Every day should be National Poetry Month!" -- Ellyn Maybe

Well, it's springtime, again. A time of renewal and rebirth. A time to rise and shine. A time to celebrate all that is right with the world... Okay, okay. It's also National Poetry Month and I'm just a shameless huckster trying to cash in on the focus du jour.

Normally, I don't print much in the way of poesy; that doesn't stop the poets from bombarding me with submissions all year long. So, I look forward to this issue so I can showcase the best of what I get over the course of a year or so. I figure I owe it to them. After all, they took the time to send their little scribbles to me.

I recently did a reading at a local venue in Los Angeles where I was surprised to find that only 10% of the 30-something poets in attendance would admit to sending their work out to mags or zines. TEN PERCENT! So, I dedicate this special All Poetry issue of the Lummox to all the poets with guts enough to send their work out, risking ridicule & rejection.

Here are some things to consider when you are submitting your work to the Lummox Journal: "Presentation is 50%" -- The POEM is a manuscript, to be treated with respect. It is a reflection of the Poet-Mind. If you send a crumpled piece of paper with your 'best' scrawled on it, then I wonder where the respect is. It's an insult. It means you don't care what happens or what I do with your 'masterpiece'... if you don't care, why should I? Why waste my time and your money?

Make sure there aren't any unwanted typos or grammatical errors. Some editors will correct your errors for you, but I'm not one of them.

Thanks to the cult of the Poetry Slam, many poems do not work well on the page. Don't bother to send me these poems. If it doesn't stand alone, unassisted by your voice, then I don't think it's poetry and I won't print it.

Always (even thru E-mail) send a 'cover letter' which includes some bio info - a short paragraph is all that's necessary. Also include an SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope - with correct postage amount). Fifty-five cents is a paltry reading 'fee' yet some poets are too cheap even for that. Make sure your return address is printed on each page or, if you're doing email, make sure your return address is correct. Nothing is as exasperating as not being able to get back in touch with the poet. Finally, I like to know how you came to submit to my mag, so I appreciate it when you tell me where you heard about the Lummox. The old rule-of-thumb is to buy a copy of a mag before you submit to it, but with the proliferation of zines, mags and journals that's pretty much impossible. Now it's mostly word-of-mouth, so it helps the editor know where to target if you mention where you found out about the mag.

So, with that out of the way, let's get to the meat... RD Armstrong, Editor


fake anchor haiku

it's on for face time
above the waist I'm

HOLLYWOOD the caves
are in-and-out
the rest is dullness
and whores across from Home Depot

why did I like her?
she was to bounce
free in the air
between sunset and pounce
not to be dyker

the Stock Exchange
it and Beverly Hills
are all the boom there is

I'm a dollar
worth a swallow
she's a fraud
Tennyson's Maud

her ass is a full moon
over the weeds

C. Mulrooney
Los Angeles, CA

the jazz hurts

there's a moment
between the notes
between the keys
where you have to
hold your breath
and this ragged sharpness
digs into diaphragm
and heart

the jazz hurts

Larry G. Jaffe
Los Angeles, CA


This morning I dreamed myself
dreaming an America where I wrote
my wife a poem	it was just like
assembling glass shards into the shape
of a window that shined a light in on us
naming itself
Ramblin' Jack Elliot Sunday
	this is the last dry winter of the millennium
I embrace the cold, yellow field of dawn quivering
with pine siskins
and all of these mornings
all of them
speak to the latent Texas Music Cafe
in all of us except for those
who speak the truth because
there is no truth to speak of

this morning I dreamed myself dreaming
a window      inside it a dry orange moon swelled
America slept in the silence of its history:
Ben-Hur outlived Bob Dylan
at the party the Church Of Zero acolytes
drank too much
the sweet scent of wisteria disappeared and
the Sunday Times headline read:
guns, nirvana and hygiene.

John Macker
Las Vegas, NM

Wishing Winter

I smell fall coming
feel the straps
holding me down
a hand striking...
me alive.
and only then
I long
for the absence of smell
in the cold winter death.

T. Keyser
San Antonio, TX

Reflection in Anthony

is desperado
the song she sings
for boys crashed
in anthony
the lyrics leaving
memories on highways?

he tries or tried
in vinton
santa rosa
but commitment
leads to expectations
and expectations
are heading west

Lawrence Welsh
El Paso, TX


This touch at the speed of light -
lips to the back of the hand
to the raise of knuckles
to the thin layer
of dead skin
over bone.

And when I was writing to you last,
I left the 'k'
out of skin.

I don't want to get
over all of this,
but it has to mean something.

The response of hairs
over the neck,

the little fears

CC Russell
Laramie, WY

When Only The Moon Rages

Scotch-tape my soul
to the abysmally clear mirror
of a Medusa dawn;
unearth my inward occupations,
draw me out, draw me
near, draw
the line
across my stalwart dogma.

Backspackbackspacebackspace to begin
a new paragraph
of quicksilver verses
which penetrate
my airtight denial--restore me
to the eye of Eden's debacle,
when madness
had to be

Robert Stevens
San Pedro, CA

Poem For A Friend In Prison

hello joe
i could handle the name change
but they keep transferring you
to so many different units
that I'm running out of space
in my telephone address book
and now they're shuttling you
from prison to prison
i know this is america
but this is a bit too much
even for a pro like me

all these prisons being built
like factory assembly lines
I mean there's only so many
license plates that can be made
makes no sense to me

you ask how I'm doing
which is kind of you
given your own circumstances
I'm confined to my own prison
even if there are no keepers

life has become a surreal movie
with nothing but bit actors
like those sin-alongs
they flashed up on the screen
in the old days when I was a kid
follow the bouncing ball
but I can't carry a note
never could
so I just faked it

it's a hard life brother
on the inside
	on the outside
somewhere in between
they're killing civilians
in Kosovo
making the world safe for democracy
whether they want it or not

I tried placing a call the other night
to my translator in Belgrade
but couldn't get through
maybe the CIA was tapped into the line
do they know I once worked for the post office?
not that I'd "go postal" on them
Brother we're all dying
truth is that we were born into
this terminal disease

it's clear the trouble lies with the judges
who must be poor mathematicians
when it comes to handing out time

what the fuck is the world coming to
when poets write only through e-mail?
the old man down on market street
the one with no legs and a scateboard
has more moxy than the president
and the sob sister media crying
about how poor Monica was taken
advantage of
half a million dollars for a few
blow jobs
is proof enough that capitalism pays

this is a bitch of a poem
not a bitching poem
I know you know the difference
even if the jailers don't
those count dracula look alikes
thirsting for your blood
stepping on over and around
dead bodies
looking for live spirits
to bury

I wish I could tell you there's
light at the end of the tunnel
but there isn't
the new governor believes in
capital punishment
as if death were a spanking
or going to bed without supper
got to get me a new dictionary
the one I have must have belonged
to bill clinton with all
its tortured definitions

the message of america can't be found
on Mount Rushmore
it's written in blood at the
Texas Book Depository Store

I heard a guy at a bar last week
say that if you reduced the population
by a third and closed our borders
there would be enough food for everyone
in the world
too much breeding he said
but this same guy breeds killer dogs
and has six children and one on the way
it's this kind of shit that's driving 
me sane, and just when I was getting the
insane part down to perfection

christ Joseph, I feel like I'm the lone survivor
on the Titanic, walking alone on the ocean floor
with a view of reality to draw on

better watch it brother
you might get what you wish for
a new trial a new judge a new jury
but would the outcome be any different?
the D.A. should wear a black robe
a wig, powder on his cheeks
bend over and beg forgiveness
what's left of elliot ness' gangbusters
could take on the wise guys
outside the court house
hell, I might even buy a ticket
mouth a few obscenities
to take the edge off the hype

we are born we die
we spend time in between
be it behind or outside the walls
and the stock market keeps going
and the prisons keep getting built
and all I can do about it is write
these "bitching" poems
to an audience who does nothing but bitch

sometimes I think I'm a retarded space alien
put here by a superior race
you are on the inside me on the outside
inner parts of a human computer
waiting to be blanked from the screen

A.D. Winans
San Francisco, CA

My first day in New York

At the Kennedy airport I told the cab driver
About the YMCA 
He dropped me off in front of the door.
A woman checked me in
I dropped my luggage in the room.
Came out of the room looking for a toilet.
I saw few men standing in front of the urinals
I stood in front of an empty one and released
Myself.  Suddenly I noticed someone is watching me.
I looked over my shoulder.
A sailor was standing next to me
I was very impressed by the warm welcome
And American hospitality.
Being an Eastern and newly arrived in this country,
I did not want to be rude.
So I told him very politely
"Thanks but I am vegetarian."
Ifti Nasim
Chicago, IL

I Do Not Love You

    I do not love you
    for what you give     but
    for what I am
    when I am with you

    I do not only love you
    because of     but
    in spite of what I am
    you love me still

    I will never love you
    despite anything     but
    because of everything you are
    I     love     you

Monica E. Smith
Liberty, OH

Tallulah Falls in Winter

Old Tallulah Falls stands in a graveyard
of bare oaks. With calm servility,
the falling water has iced and stilled.
In apathy and abatement, the creek
has lost half its flow. Once I slid my feet,
like a sled on the ice. My hands reached
to touch soft clouds of air wandering
from the mouths of cowed birds.

This year I leaned hard against
the cabin's glass porch wanting
the bright, upward childhood of ice and flight.
In a light, surprising snow, birds glide
with unapproachable grace, their shape
less primitive than kindness,
more like charity, moving smoothly
in the polished disparity
of the winter sun.

Neca Stoller 
Columbus, Ga.

Yukio Mishima 1925-1970

Samurai angel of art and duty
erotic clown in army boots
narcissus before the fogged mirror
Words are purity's conscious razor
but in your slash of language 
beauty retreated behind a mask
to a fluent thrust of man to myth
to conscripted logic, flexed to a point.

By patriotism's blood proof,
Your nostalgia clouded idioms in ink
To belief as resolution of night thoughts on paper, 
existence marching past blossom, 
past full bellies sleeping,
past culture as Nippon on its knees
the ultimate fetish of duty and diary,
blade of sunrise and secrets within the bud.

Action is life's single choice 
but your supreme synthesis in erect veins
was an act performed in clots
kamikaze of beauty and brilliance
galvanised by sunlit skin
before false recruits,
the punctuated longing of sword to man
thorn of the Emperor's flower,
or droplets beside the broken pen.

Paul Kloppenborg
Glen Waverly, Australia

April 25, 1995

She tried to imagine 
air and dust crushing 
her small fingers, 
a film of birth run back 
ward so the slippery 
hair's cushioned 
again in a warm 
dark.  The crushed 
cement, blown to a
soft skirt.  She tried to
imagine the wind
braiding with children's
dazed crying, their
denim full of leaves.
If she could think of 
them becoming stone,
the rivers of fire
smoothed into a 
roundness others
would pick up and
hold, or white dust
light as moths
floating under sweet
Russian olives.  If she 
could imagine 
them reaching for 
stars as they twisted 
thru the luminous rain,
hovering and waiting,
listening to the
grass, the geese, the
moans of trees
loud enough
to rock them

Lyn Lifshin
Vienna, VA

no equal

what i want is razor
edge cutting     not well crafted polite;
don't need to see a bruise
but feel the wound
the blow that caused
what the poem is
trying to show
what i want is
the hot searing kiss
in a man's phone voice
burning inside when we talk
in his eyes when we meet
what drives voice: breath
without which there's no life;
all poems fail
when it comes
to the touch of flesh

Linda Lerner

My Hands Give Me Away Like A Free Sample
Like Judas, 
My hands are
Put upon 
When asked to hang 
Or count a few pieces of silver.

Their only will is to remove my
Freudian slip, caress nakedness,
Which makes us one again.
But I must wear my costumes:
The schoolmarm-dress they tug 
Around the neck, beads the fingers
Worry with my black knit mini-dress

They struggle with silk,
Lacing up my tall shit-wading boots, 
Never concealing their contempt for the eyes. 
They don't obey me or
The wisdom of winter flannel,
Crawling like zombies wired on crack;
They won't bear rings or painted talons,
Appeased by the solitude of skin,
They are driven to create during
A sleepless rush across keyboards, 
Assaulting pads of paper with
Inky ammunition cracking through stiff
Joints in sporadic rounds that defy the kidneys-
At times I must lie on them until they tingle with sleep
To keep the teeth from chewing them off.
At others, they turn on each other
With desperate prayers.

In daylight,
They betray me,
Facilitating words like wild,
Broken wings, flying without feathers or fear.
The mouth was not estranged by their
Red-peppered thumbs, teeth that bucked,
Became bitter;
They just drifted apart
Like couples who take a booth
In restaurants and eat without 

René Diedrich
San Pedro, CA

RD Armstrong AKA Raindog
LUMMOX Press c/o PO Box 5301
San Pedro, CA 90733-5301
United States

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