Letter Founder #55

Letter Founder #55, from Answer Shirker Press:
(Click pictures for larger versions)

Poem from the front cover:

Pay Stub
I found the discolored
rectangle of paper
while scavenging through
my mother's jewelry box

my father's pay stub
from the second week
of September
some shit job, flopping a mop
for $5.05 an hour
ten years later
he'd be dead of stomach cancer

I took the pay stub
and stuck it in my wallet

over the years
I'd lost everything
given to me
meant to keep him
close in heart and mind

rings pawned
trinkets misplaced
photographs trashed

this I would keep

I wonder
if years from now
when I'm gone
my children might find
one of my pay stubs
and realize
I, too, gave my life away
for almost nothing

-Karl Kowes

poem from page 5:

Thank you, Gay and Lesbian America!
We are finally winning
And you have been so cooperative

All those years
We hated you, we beat you

And you fought back
You stood up
You stood up for yourselves
For oppressed people everywhere

You fought us at Stonewall
You fought us in the streets
and worked to undo what we have done

You fought classism
You fought racism
You fought sexism

And you scared us
You were too loud, too strong
And you were getting stronger

But then, then you tackled marriage
And then we began to win
Because now the ball's in our court
You've been tamed

You concentrate on gay marriage as if nothing else exists
You have forgotten your strong roots
You have forgotten your anger
your open eyes, your compassion

Now you want to be just like us
Just like hte people who hate you so much
You are casting off the trannies,
the scared and bullied 8th grade queers,
the thousands dying of AIDS

You don't see them anymore
Your organizations don't support them anymore
There is no solidarity, only priorities:
Don't worry!!
They are not like us!
We are the new face of homosexuals:
Wedding bands!
Picket fences!
Throw pillows!

Please let us assimilate,
you say
Let us aspire to SUVs and soccer games
Let us decorate the interiors of your mansions

This will go on for years
We are winning
And you are whining
And all the while your fire, your defiance, your sharpness
It's withered to nothing

You don't scare us anymore
You want to be us
And we won't let you
But we will strong you along
and keep you occupied

You used to be everywhere
Fighting everywhere
Changing things, challenging things
But now, this isn't one issue
It's your only issue

And you've played right into our hands

Thank you

-Erin Reed

More in the hardcopy issue, which you can get (for freeeeeeee!) at various retailers around Lewiston/Auburn. Comment or email for more info...


a taste of Letter Founder #55

More coming later, but for now I'll leave you with this beautiful expression of humanity...

Glass Kidney
the desk & the pull-out
leave very little space
& Manhattan surrounds me
yet often I prefer
to stay in here

sometimes on late trips
to the bathroom down the hall

I notice a jar beside the door
of an old man I once saw
trying to make it
to the plumbing himself

impossibly frail
he managed a step
every 12 seconds

his aluminum walker
creaking against the tile

his tie and fedora
declaring his aim
to go it alone

now his jar always contains
24 ounces of gold

& I never sleep well

until I've seen to
its emptiness

-Mark Wisniewski

From the last page of Letter Founder issue #55, which is available free at local (Lewiston/Auburn) stores. For more info or to submit work/play contact Jessy at shirk@riseup.net


Feb 14th Dance Party @ The Bangarang!

the idea: hop til ya drop.

the goal- to screen print shirts with the logo 'lewiston is for lovers' and hand 'em out at the door as you come in. party favors!!

it's winter, we need some community, some body heat, some tunes!! come to the bang on valentine's day, alone or with your lovAH, we don't care- just dance-- (comment if you need the address)

when-ish? i dunno -- 6?

should there be food? i dunno.

but let's getogether and shake it like a polaroid picture..

-jessy k.



The most recent Earbait project that my brother put together is done and ready for play/distribution/purchase? This is Earbait 4, I think.

The project is that several artists are giving one set of lyrics, and all are asked to put it to their own music and vocals. So the compiled CD includes 12 different musical/vocal interpretations of the lyrics.

The lyrics to this Earbait project were:

"note found in a beer can in a parking lot on high st., portland, maine feb 09/00" music to original version: Kelly Nesbit / words: Karl Greenwald

I woke up with a turd on my tongue
The world was bitter to eyeballs and eardrums.
I wanted to spank someone.
I wanted to tell someone they were bad.
So, I spanked myself, 'cause I knew I'd be bad that day.

Bad like carry grant or frank sinatra. I had whores on the brain
And cocain, and cocktails, saxophoning.
Oh it hurts to be alive. It hurts to feel a need.
Is there anybody out there who knows the need I have?

And where were you when the mountains grew?
I'm stuck on the syllable of you.
And you're stuck on the syllable of me.

You've been made nervous by a star that's chosen to follow you, everywhere.
You've been made nervous by horoscopes assessing your situation, perfectly.
You no longer are interested by why. Has the world been by your side?
You have strange tangle things that whirl around your skin and bones.
And like all things it gets in the way.

The here and now is then and gone.
And beyond the waves a land awaits. Sparkling and warm.
Like bubble baths or esoteric stories.
Beyond the waves a land awaits.

Here is Track #2, "r.r.o.c. vs. lonergan" (r.r.o.c. is Rough Ride of Crafts; AKA Jessy)
(I apologize for the poor sound- it's crappy digital camera sound)

CD cover art designed and printed by Shara Dewitt of Nashville. This is a R.R.o.C. records release. For more information please contact Jessy at shirk@riseup.net



What: CozInk is a small(ish) group of artists in Maine, or with Maine roots, who collaborate, co-promote, and otherwise work together and support each other in various projects. The name is from: coz/cos = cousin and ink = writing/producing stuff, etc. so CozInk = cousins and family who produce art together.

Who: I'm Grace, I do the blogging and whatnot, and I formed CozInk as a way to organize all the different things our family members were doing. CozInk is made up of Jessy Kendall (music, publishing, writing), Jan Mayes (music), Myles Robert (art, music, writing, somuchmore), Grace Kendall (photography, art, organization), Sarah Kendall (photography), Shanti & Buck Curran (music), Gene Mayes (music, writing), and all manner of collaborators.