April 30 – May 6, 2012: Steve Ramirez and Jay Passer

week of April 30 – May 6, 2012

Steve Ramirez and Jay Passer

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Steve Ramirez

Bio (auto)

Steve Ramirez has never been captured on film (unless you count the spectral image taken at the infamous 1951 séance). While attempting to dance with a drop of rain at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in Wichita Falls, he discovered a talent for fog. Yesterday morning, he graciously accepted the award for Most Inspired before falling back to sleep. He usually sees at 24 frames per second, but when kissing switches to a high speed camera on a revolving track. Previous occupations include: coal miner, poltergeist, hubcap salesman, medical leech, spatial geographer and mongoose.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Steve Ramirez and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


On his 12th birthday, she asked him if he wanted to play doctor.
They snuck into the basement and she made him undress.
She pressed her lips to his chest and told him he had a heart murmur.

Surgery wouldn’t be required, but he’d have to stop
falling in love with strangers for at least two weeks.

For his 14th birthday, she wanted to play house.
Again, she told him to undress and they climbed
under a sheet of canvas, matted with old paint.

He couldn’t quite get comfortable no matter
how they twined the puzzles of their limbs.

She said this is how their lives would become.

When she turned 16, she invited him to a party
at her parent’s house and kissed him next to the lake
while her family was calling her to blow out the candles.

Then she kicked him in the shin and couldn’t stop giggling.

On prom night, she told him she wanted to make love.

She had paid for a room already, watched him undress,
then walked up to him and pressed her lips to his chest,
before telling him the heart murmur had gotten worse,
and this time, surgery couldn’t be avoided.

There was no other way to be sure.

 Jay Passer

Bio (auto)

Jay Passer’s work has been around the block, published in the little mags and online since 1988. Author of several chapbooks, most recently Only Human By Condition, available from Crisis Chronicles Press. A forthcoming chap, At The End Of The Street, due out late 2012 from Corrupt Press. Passer spends most of his time wandering up and down the Northern Pacific Coast doing what Americans are so very fond of, dreaming.

The following work is Copyright © 2012, and owned by Jay Passer and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Obsolete as the Radio is Bleak

All the jazz settings
All the fedoras
The emergency calls to the fire department
Televised rescue scenarios
Soundtracks of catcalls for taxicabs
The double-decker bus set to third-world imbroglio
How to cut off a chicken’s head with aplomb
While balancing cell phones from fingertip to ear
Cybernetic showgirls strut and advertise
Timpani set to porn on the fly
To the power of ten fingering the spine
Where motive begins captured in the telescopic lens
Session musician incapacitated
The smooth child sitting in a roomful of eyes
Cigarette plumes and rocks glass in hand
All the black-and-white sirens
The still-life alibis
All the established outtakes of couture
The boots and fancy oyster shell specs
Inimitable street-life flashing the price
How to forge the ticket
One winner away from
I’m out of here

Dry Cycle

the launderette window glazed with humidity
and inside, disembodied voices warble out
from front load washers and plastic ficus
the cheap martyred opinion of Ms. Pac-Man
the parallel universe of a 19th Zenith
doling dozens of quarters 48 minutes twice
the filth of the life wrung out
vanquished to the consciousness
of sewer-dwelling phantom crocs
I steal a glance at the tube-top girl
wrapped in army blanket
sagacious in anonymity
cold room
errands amended
gas jet shuddering
and rain
cleansing the streets of tomorrow