June 28-July 18, 2004: Matthew A. Barraza and Elea Carey

week of June 28-July 18, 2004

Matthew A Barraza and Elea Carey

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Matthew A Barraza

Bio (auto)

Matthew A Barraza 35 East LA Born, bred and hope to die in LA, but hopefully not by her hand Human service/mental health professional (credentials/licensure and names of companies/affiliates declined to protect the innocent ) by profession and choice Writing since grade 5, since arthritic nun- penguins and molester priests chastised me for skipping past the Gospels to the Book of Revelations and asking loudly, vociferously and emphatically what all that Great Whore of Babylon and the 7 hills and headed beast business was about Never got an answer and have been wondering (and writing about it) since “Published” mostly in college magazines and newspapers, at least 2 rejections from the New Yorker Actually got a handwritten rejection slip once stating, “Do keep trying!” on it one time Revolutionary Time Bomb Un-American as fuck and proud of it.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Matthew A Barraza and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Grandma’s Window

Night, with aching bones and worn muscles
overlooking the antfarm freeway with its lightspeed nonchalance
one thousand clusterfucks going nowhere
freeway veins stretching into City Terrace oblivion
this is my town I grew up here I destroyed here
I spray painted its walls and made love in its bushes
and puked its parks This is Home, my Fourteenth Ward
my inner void, my destiny, my casket
my God
nothing’s changed everyone’s going
somewhere and no one seems to
know where
or why
Night, with the ennui of inner city slum and oath I’m staring out of grandma’s corner window
with red lamp light and hum of computer beast
the drugs are taking effect, reminiscent of a warm
familiar glow from another world ago
Old wounds resurface but they don’t matter because
I found grampa’s Daisy BB Gun
and his .38 and his 9mm and his .22
and I can crawl around in the backyard
and play.

last rites

they brought the prisoner in shackled
dirty from head to toe
bleating, babbling and chewing his dirty tongue
he was refuting dogma
he was writhing and lashing out at sacred texts
he denounced authority and God and mostly religion
anything organized sacred anything that maintained order
anything that kept the rich from murdering
the poor
he denied everything
sang a Circle Jerks song about it:
Deny Everything! Deny Everything!
and just wouldn’t shut
the fuck up

they began to read official things about his plight and
he refuted everything:
the charges leveled against him
the crimes they accused him of the deeds he was convicted of committing
he flailed his manacled dirty rotten bleeding hands
he whipped his mangy sordid musty mop of hair
he bared his broken teeth stained w/ mould and gingivitis
and curses he refused to listen
as the Men In Suits read these things
and prepared the cross for him
and los clavos for him
and marked his wrists with barcodes
–the human postage of progress incarnate
he screamed louder
denied further
denounced deeper
and finally gave a last exhortation
about dying standing up rather than living on his knees
as the Men In Suits looked uninterested and summoned
the hooded Executioner Cops to come
and nail the bastard down once and
for all The prisoner did not scream
as surgical steel punctured skin, flesh, bone, tendon
and finally artery and he barely flinched
as they rose him on the cross in front of the crowd
gathered together at the Wal Mart Stadium in Urbana, Ill He exhaled finally and whispered as the crowd roared
and hoisted beer cups and sticky popcorn mustard fists
at him and all he stood for

he smiled and expired cackling out only a barely audible
to their beer cups and peanut hot dog breath and designer genes
and so the prisoner
died happy
and it was the only eternity
that seemed to matter
that day
as the Men In Suits
called in the ice cream gas trucks
to appease
the sweaty masses

Elea Carey


I have a degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University but mostly I have been loving life as a farm- and housewife in rural Kitsap County, Washington, across the Puget Sound from Seattle.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Elea Carey and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

October 23, 2002 — I imagine my family

A little boy, not little anymore,
but eighteen now He was followed by two girls,
now thirteen and eleven The youngest girl is my reward
but then she’s only eleven,
and I was pretty wonderful at eleven, too,
to hear my mother tell it,
and then ceased to be wonderful,
at least it felt that way
I got pregnant with these children
whose faces I never saw.

Dedicated to the One I Love

To Tommy who beat me
and Rick who played rhythm To Huggy, in secret
To Tom, who took the first nude pictures
To Roy and the light on his porch John, who was nineteen Casey, who moved in for a while
I have a list of lovers It is mine, my history
Mack, whose last name I didn’t want to know Paul, who let me in his house at all hours Chris, who left for New York the next day
One who is still a secret from everyone One who is still a friend One who fed me coke from a spoon and wore amber perfume
Then the long descent of first love,
a terrible falling-down-stairs,
a moving away Then college, marriage, and beyond.

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