August 4-10, 1997: Karen Choy and Casey Butterfield

week of August 4-10, 1997

Karen Choy
Casey Butterfield

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Karen Choy


Karen is immensely fond of anything obscene, absurd, revolutionary, green, or related to Elvis She happily concocts poetry, short fiction, screenplays, essays, letters, and editorials in her North Hollywood lair, though lately she’s been picking up hot vibes at Carl’s Jr She will soon move to Chicago to shack up with Marx and Shakespeare and, regrettably, a few math books (damn those general ed requirements!) She will miss Los Angeles dearly, especially the Americanas, Redd Kross, and fruit salads from The Farmer’s Market Look for her return winters and summers You will know her when you see her After one torrentially cold winter in Chicago, she will come home as The Girl With No Ass.

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Karen Choy and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.

God Bless the USA

as the cars pass
i notice men turning their heads
and looking at me like i’m a famous landmark
as if i am the disrobed Statue of Liberty
transplanted to the streets of North Hollywood
for the express purpose of promoting
the freedom of all citizens to masturbate
at busy intersections


the smell of your hands
after grinding love
perfumes the air
like a sundae’s
strawberry fields

i can still feel the
ache that i thought
was death
but drinking
your presence
eclipses the pain
of innocence
that i feel


the woman next to me
is telling her daughter
how much she would
like to be 6 years old again:
“You can be naughty
and get away with it,” she says

it is then and there
that i realize
is my very favorite word in
the entire English language
and that i too would love to be
6 years old again

burroughs vista

he bled burroughs
i could tell by the way
he took the beatings
breathing through it all
his smooth porcelain jaw
cut by frank dim hair
contorted into that
sly knowing smirk
lusting after their
erect eyes and flat breasts
in a gesture of
post-pubescent hunger
salvaging everything
under the edge of the blade
he’s a rare edition
bookmarked in the folds
of my gray brain

the joy of public transportation

the woman on the bus
in the aisle across from me
is hunched over her seat
making love to her fried chicken
i can hear her sucking the death out
of those thighs
those dead chicken thighs
and if chickens had nipples
i swear i’d never hear the end of it

octopus ointment

threads of cotton candy
swirl in my twirling brain
round and abound surrounding
my hazy blue mind
black lungs laboring in mine

these fluffy pink clouds
my head swims in their arms
their limber fingers soak my pores
i don’t want to hit bottom anymore

arms winding round and round
five past one to one before four
so slowly melts my confectionery whore
impotence dulls the giddy tryst
bluer and bluer becomes the night

blackest white burns buzzing jangles
driving the purest feeling flat bored
until tomorrow when the moon is born
i can fondle life never more

Pimpin’ It At Carl’s Jr
the waitress just came over
and touched my napkin dispenser
there was a tension in the air
i felt awkward like
i had just taken her bitch
and she was jealous
and that by intimately touching
the dispenser in front of me
she was reaffirming the
sanctity of their erotic connection
and that for all she cared
me and my Coca-Cola
could go straight to hell

Casey Butterfield


Casey Butterfield has been a valley girl for 17.5 years, and will finally shed this label when she moves to Berkeley on August 16th She has been published in AXsS and _two_, both of which she helped to put together Lately she has been most inspired when stuck behind smokers in L.A traffic

The following work is Copyright © 1997 and owned by Casey Butterfield and may not be distributed or reprinted in any manner whatsover without written permission from the author.


The knife
Would slice cleanly through the skin
Like her body through the water
The thin liquid guilt running radiantly out

But he knew that he could not, 
Could not just slip into the slit of her throat, to fall on top of her hard damp form
In the blackness of an infinite disorder he could not consolidate

Not there
Not death at the salt lick
Verdant and wild like the jungle of his mind
The geometric ordered patterns across the palm

He could not leave it


the bus

social contract in the war zone that is L.A broken windows and etched initials
on brown backs of full felt seats
and the man in front
with the sleeping bag
and peanuts
and beer
who says he’s going to San Bernardino
and smiles at me
and says goodbye three times
before I walk down the black rubber steps
and the plastic doors squeak closed


We have trod the same 1% line
Of spelling bees and dictionaries,
Street names and stories shown off to the proud family
I wish I had known you then,
When we devoured the same books
And grew fascinated with the same far-off people I can almost guess at the overlap of dreams
I only knew the path’s divergence
You with your magic mushrooms
And friends who have no hair
Me with my

Shangri L.A
Friday morning and it’s Utah,
Cars disappearing in wetness of heat
Only the craggy mountains visible
Behind a yellow mist
Sun haloing the sky
Clouds like garters and granite birds
Like a Kansas prairie vista
Over Tarzana wilds If I keep driving I’ll get to
Grand Canyon.

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