Thursday, December 31, 2009

Michael Excerpt #2

(December 1969)
“Michael,” my dad growls, “remember the spin.” He stands at full height, and reaches for my hands. “This is the big time, you understand?” His hands dig into mine. Seconds pass, he almost smiles. His eyes get big and I shuffle backwards, remember how he looks with his belt in his hand. I put my hand over my face and hold it in. The green room at the Ed Sullivan Theater has three mirrors with three bright lights above each one, and a silver table with bowls of M&Ms, all the different colors.
The nice lady with the headset took my brothers and my dad and me up the elevator. She told me this place used to be called “CBS-TV Studio 50,” but they renamed it for Ed Sullivan. She blushed when she said it, and spoke low, as though it were her private joy. I was thankful. I said, “That’s nice,” and smiled so that she would know I was happy for her.
I try to stay on the other side of the room from my father, but after everything he says or does, he finds me like he’s forgotten something. He tells me every octave I’ve missed over the past four months of rehearsal. Tells me not to be nervous even though I am not nervous. That I have a gift and I have to use my gift. He wants me to do well, but the want stays inside a tangle of wire.
“LIVE” blinks across the televisions in the green room, and I see him. Ed Sullivan. He wears his hair shaped just so. He was running late today so he didn’t get to meet us before the show, but the lady with the headset assured us that he is very much looking forward to speaking with us. She also said that Ed Sullivan absolutely dies for our music. I didn’t know what she meant, so I smiled at her. There is a commercial break. Adults dressed in black usher us onto the studio stage. The lights come back up. Ed Sullivan says, “Here are five brothers.” He stutters a bit when he says, “They are a sensational group.”
I take two steps to the microphone and feel my body go hollow. I’m inside, and I buzz against the walls. Every instance of movement, even breathing, lifts against this gentle weight. I say and we toasted our love during milk break, just like I’ve said the words hundreds of times. I am so anxious to sing, but the silence makes the buzz louder. I look back at my brothers. The piano spills a couple of notes that float toward me. We become shapes that do not think, and I know that we are going to show something hidden. We are like a picture of a clothesline as the clothes billow. So one day, and that was Monday, I stepped up to her and I said. The line finishes itself before a drum snaps once. I take a breath where I’m supposed to, and I open as far as I can. I let everyone hold me, except they hold me with love because they really know who I am.

-Soren Stockman

Monday, December 21, 2009

Antagovision #48 Part 1

The Antagonist Movement has a public access show that runs every Tuesday night on MNN Channel 67 at 11pm. This has been playing for 8 years and we have more than 48 episodes! The clips that you will be seeing on our blog this week are going to be showing on television next month, so this is your sneak preview!

TiVo or DVR this stuff. And you can also watch it live on

Antagovision #48 part 1 from Ethan H. Minsker on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

AAM Orphans Potluck: In Photos

Many gracious thanks to Un for taking these photos which I stole off of facebook.

The Dojo

Red’s ability to fight wasn’t instinct alone; it was something he’d learned over many years studying under Master Woo. Red began teaching and now Dash wanted to be his number one disciple.
Dash asked me to come and watch as he tested for his yellow belt. I sat with the rest of the families, along the wall on the far side of the Dojo. On either side of me were suburban wives and the little brothers and sisters of other students who were testing that day. Dash had to do what essentially is a dance routine. He seemed like he did it right and gave me a thumbs up before sitting, legs crossed on the floor next to a line of students. We all sat quietly watching until the main event.
A black man testing for a second-degree black belt, out-sized Red, standing at 6’2”. It wasn’t his fault that he’d been born tall, but Red wasn’t swayed. The man should have acted small or bent his knees; the bigger the man, the more determined Red was to knock him into the dirt. After breaking boards, Red had a small cut on his heel. It wasn’t going to be easy for the tall black man, especially since Red became agitated when he got cut.
The test started and the two men circled, spun around each other and snapped out kicks and punches. Wherever Red struck his opponent, there was a small triangle imprint left from his bleeding heel. Red was taking it easy on the fellow at first, yet it was obvious he held control. His aggression increased and each strike was such a fast flash, it was hard to spot. Only the small red triangle remained as a confirmation. Then Red was struck across the face with a punch. His eyes erupted with anger. He lost control and jumped with a roundhouse that landed on the back of the man’s head. Red dropped to the floor and kicked the man’s legs out.

-from Rich Boy Cries for Mama by Ethan H. Minsker

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Girls and Big Mac's

1987 I was Seventeen. After school

In McDonalds, I noticed two tables of girls. One girl sat by herself, and the other was packed. They all had on the same light blue uniform from NCS, Sister’s school. I recognized the black girl sitting by herself. There weren’t many black girls at NCS, so she stood out. Nicole, Sister’s best friend. I hadn’t hung around her. When Sister and she were at home they went to her room and closed the door. Nicole was small and her skin looked like dark chocolate. She had buck teeth that she hid under a tight lipped smile. She was sitting by herself and some other girls from her school were giving her a hard time. I was familiar with taunting and quick to identify it. This is probably why Sister doesn’t like the other girls at her school, I thought. But Sister had a weapon against them. She had the highest grades in the school. They could say what they wanted but in the end Sister was smarter than all of them. I glanced at the other table. The girls were giggling and pointing at Nicole. Nicole sat erect. All the girls at the other table were hot and I would have loved chatting to any of them, but I also knew what it felt like to be the retard. “Hold on a second Dash, I got to do something.” I walked over to Nicole and sat down facing her, with my back to the other girls. “These bitches giving you a hard time?” I raised my voice to make sure they heard me. I turned to face the other girls. “You have a problem with my little sister?” I had on my leather jacket, my hair was bright orange, my jeans tight and black, my boots black, too. I looked crazy and ready to fight anything. They said nothing. “Then keep your fucking mouths shut!” I wheeled back to Nicole. My face turned cheerful. “How’s it going?”
“Better now… You know you’re too white to be my brother,” she said. I thought of Pierre and how when we were kids somebody said the same thing to us.
“Maybe I’m adopted?”
Dash slid in next to me. He leaned his crutches next to the table. I noticed a few of the girls watching him. That probably made a deeper impression on the girls than my threat. One girl pointed at Dash and whispered something in her friend’s ear.

From Rich Boy Cries For Mama by Ethan H. Minsker

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Some Thursday Poetry

Dumb Ruminations

When the light goes on
he folds paper he loves
hearing about ulterior motives
after the moment has passed

the metal skull clicks
the light goes off

From outside the door
he sounds like Velcro scraped
across brick the scratch
of fire across his face

you have waited for him
it has been your secret
deep in the air he travels
you fall like ashes into his ocean


you wave your hand
like crab apple trees
taking the wind
little weights swinging
sometimes in circles
but back and forth

a ring of light gold
around your finger
holds it there
until the solitaire
twinkles even at you

looking back at you
sometimes in circles

-Soren Stockman

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Everyone get excited for the annual Antagonist holiday party! This year were busting out with all sorts of cool stuff, from music, art, food (obviously) and writers!

The night will be hosted by our own Julian Stockdale and everyone should participate by bringing photos you have of Antagonists. We're going to put up stuff all over the walls, like a giant end-of-year scrapbook.

The night will go something like this:

6pm: Bring FOOD!
7pm: Photo Show Starts
730pm: Mystie Chamberlin
8pm: Bradley Dean
830pm: Holiday Horror Stories
9pm: Paloma
945pm: More Holiday Horror Stories
10pm: Raffle!
1015pm: Seann Branchfield & Band
11pm: Richard Allen Birthday Roast

Bring those dancing shoes, we've got 4 amazing musicians/bands playing!

And please bring food, we want to eat.

And bring your friends, we want to meet them.

Oh, where is it?
Niagara Bar!
112 Ave A (@ 7th St)

Time: 6pm-Late

Date: December 14th (that's a monday, kiddies)

It might be best if you take that tuesday off from work...or warn them that you'll be somewhat less capable that day.


D.C. Tripping

It was 1988 I was 18 years old and it was the day before I went off to SVA.

“Take this.” Baxter handed me a small piece of paper. It was acid.
“What’s this for? I turned it over in my hand.
“We are both leaving soon. So tonight we will have some fun.”
Pierre and Ukala had on strange smiles.
“Are they already tripping?”
“Oh yeah, for a few hours now.”
I put the acid on my tongue and let the saliva build so I could swallow it.
We piled into Baxter’s minivan and drove to a girl’s house on Capital Hill. Her mother was a lobbyist for the streams and rivers.
“You okay to drive?” I asked Baxter.
His head swiveled over to me as if invisible strings suspended it; his eyes looked dark since his pupils were completely dilated. “You are always safe in the minivan.”
I felt the acid. I could see details in the shadows, and reds were vibrant, piercing my retinas. Driving past the Capital building, its whiteness cut into the night sky. It looked like it would have made a nice party hat for a giant Prussian general. A few blocks later we backed into a parking space up the street. Looking out the window, I saw the corner and chuckled to myself. “Crack.” Pierre overheard me. “Fuck you, man, I’m telling you, it was the Mayor and he was looking for rock.” The rest of the car burst out laughing. “The mayor of D.C.’s a crackhead,” Baxter said as he stepped out of the minivan. “That’s funny.” We made it to the girl’s house, running in and pulling the door shut behind us. As a group, we stayed in one room, unwilling or unable to separate, making it to the basement office some time after three a.m.
The girl made the mistake of showing us the business phones, with conference calling and speakers. Pierre was the first to try it. He dialed the 7-Eleven and then the Tenleytown Minimart that was across the street from the 7-Eleven, putting the phone on speaker and mute at the same time.
“Hello. This is 7-Eleven.”
“Tenleytown Minimart. What can I do for you?”
“You called me.”
“No, you called me.”
They hung up and Pierre called back a few times, as the conversation escalated.
“Why you calling me… asshole,” said the Tenleytown Minimart.
“I’m going to kick your ass, bitch. I didn’t call you,” said the 7-Eleven.
We laughed, and I pictured a fight between the two clerks at the halfway point between both places.
“Wets carl swarm one erles,” said Ukala.
I dialed the numbers I remembered.
“Hello” said Charlie
“What’s up?” said Paul.
“I don’t know. You called me.”
“I didn’t call you.”
“I don’t understand. What’s going on?” said Charlie.
“I think someone’s playing a prank on us,” said Paul.
The room exploded with laughter. But they couldn’t hear us on the phone.
“Well then hang up,” said Charlie.
“Let’s go,” said Baxter. A faint blue light filtered through the basement window.
Baxter’s pupils had returned to their normal size.
“I don’t want to leave,” said Pierre. “It’s scary out there.”
“You’re safe in the minivan,” I said.
The minivan pulled us up the hill. The branches overhead and the buildings were flashing red and blue. Nobody said anything since they weren’t sure if they were seeing anything at all with the acid still churning in their systems. Reaching the top of the hill, we saw that there was a sea of police cars packed tightly around the side of the Capital. At the center of the activity was an armored Humvee which had crashed onto one of the cement pylons that ringed the Capital.
“What the fuck? I told you it wasn’t safe out here. It’s fucking World War III,” said Pierre.
“Oh man, I feel the acid again,” said Baxter. “The road’s moving like the back of a snake.”
“There is a cop behind us,” said Ukala. I turned and saw the cop car following close behind.
“Baxter, just keep following the snake back,” I said.
Pierre dropped his head into his lap and groaned. “I can’t go back to jail tonight.”
“Everyone just look ahead and act natural,” I said. Pierre lifted his head and we sat perfectly straight. I was going to jail. College, forget about it. Mother and Father were going to be pissed. Damn Baxter and his plan. I knew better than to be led down the hole by Baxter. There was silence in the minivan. “Is he still behind us?” said Baxter.
“Look in your rearview mirror,” said Pierre.
“Yeah, right! I got one of those,” said Baxter. “I’m wasted… I don’t see anything.”
Everyone in the car turned and looked out the back window at the same time, and there was nothing there.
The minivan parked on the side of Mother’s house.
“You want to see something,” I said to the group. They followed me into my neighbor’s back yard. In front of us stood a nine-foot grizzly bear carved of wood with a two-foot erection. “What the fuck!” said Ukala and I reminded him to keep his voice down. Next to it was a puddle, but since it hadn’t rained, I leaned down to have a closer look. I was seeing the reflection of the bear and its giant erection standing over me, when a beautiful gold fish the size of my forearm swam up to the surface, looking at me with its eye before heading back for the deep. “Oh shit!” I jumped back. “I must still be tripping. Let’s go to my house,” I said as I walked out of the backyard, checking the second story to make sure no one was watching us. The clock read 7:45 a.m. Baxter put a tape on the stereo.
“Who is this?” I asked.
“Fugazi. It’s a rare live demo.”
“I saw them play at D.C. Space. It was their second show. It was some kind of secret thing, and I snuck in without knowing who they were. It was great.”
I laid my head under the speaker and listened. Ukala turned on the television. The morning news was showing the scene we had witnessed at the Capital and I expected to see cops leading off someone we knew, but it was some deranged-looking man in his late twenties.
“An armored vehicle was stolen from a base by a former national guardsman and driven over one hundred eighty miles followed by, at times, more than a hundred law enforcement vehicles,” said the newscaster just before they cut to an officer at the scene. “We couldn’t shoot his tires out, so we had to wait for him to run out of gas.”
“That was real?” said Pierre, surprised.

from Rich Boy Cries for Mama by Ethan H. Misker

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


So raw I stick to the black floor that is one mile thick and I get all the coins under the first inch with my little nails, little because I pick at them. The dark room flashes purple like candy; always candy colors: purple and pink and blue and red. Women close their eyes as they dance, and I see them go into themselves, go far away. I know parts of their bodies hang loose above me, swinging down when they close their eyes. It is fun to crawl.
The air is heavy, pushing the floor down. The floor heaves like someone’s chest as they sigh, the people wander and creak the floor while I’m crawling to the other side of the stage. The stage is at the deepest part of the room furthest from the street. There’s a stick to the microphone, someone touched candy before they sang in it. Someone touches my shoulder, leans low over me, and says “Sugar, you know you can sing to me whenever you like.” I look at her eyes. “Sugar, I can feel you when you sing, I want you to imagine me. Just think of me and I’ll be there, okay?” She holds my shoulder still. Her eyes shine out from the candy colors on her face and I know her eyes will always see me, and when her face is dust her eyes will still be there, but I don’t look at her anymore. I look for more coins to give my dad so that all of us can leave.
I keep crawling and then I feel her eyes on me, warm then hot, feel her wanting and then her need, feel her begin me. On my knees, I use my pocketknife to carve a quarter from the corner. The first things I see when I turn around are her hands. She holds one with the other, all of her inside herself, protecting. I feel her on my shoulder, feel her touch me and I shiver. Now her eyes still shine, they sweep the floor as though for me. She puts the back of her hand lightly to her cheek, and her weight on both hips. Her eyebrows raise, she tilts her head up to the ceiling and back down and that’s when she notices me. She flinches away, heaves her chest, walks hard and she goes cold, won’t look at me. As my clothes sag and clink I stand against them and back towards the door, waiting. She won’t look at me. What did I do.

-Soren Stockman

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kickstarter Us to Lisbon!

Don't forget about this folks! We need help in our conquest of international art collaboration, give us some support!

Aqua Duck

1988 Washington D.C.

The aqueduct ran parallel to the Key Bridge. No longer in use, over time most of it had been reduced to rubble. The ruins sat just off the canal that flowed below M Street and had been a favorite drinking spot of punks for more than a decade. Reading like a juvenile’s diary, the graffiti embossed on the arch of the Key Bridge became my entertainment when conversation ran dull. “Eat the rich. Punk’s not dead.” Dates went as far back as ‘78, but most of the scribbling had been done in the ‘80s. Things such as iron crosses etched in black marker or three x’s carved over two bars like Washington’s flag of three red stars and to red bars. It was a symbolic of D.C. Hardcore. I had five days left until I moved to New York.
Paul and Charlie chugged Milwaukee’s Best in a contest of who could finish first. I slyly whipped out my marker, turned my back to the two, and added to the arch. “Charlie is a pussy.”
“Hey Charlie! Check this out. Someone wrote that you’re a pussy on the wall!”
Paul finished off his can and hurled it into the water. Charlie came in at a slow second and in his dopey stride, stumbled over to see what I was so fixated on.
“That could be any Charlie,” he said.
I pointed to the crude stick drawing I had done that had a giant head.
“Oh, man! Fucking assholes. You got a pen?” Charlie was an easy target.
“No,” I said.
Paul sniffed the bold lettered “Charlie” on the wall and commented that it smelled fresh. I noticed a new tattoo on Paul’s neck. It was a car, but not a cool car or a hot rod. It was a beaten up wreck like the cars he owned. Charlie’s stare then focused onto me. I pulled the marker out of the inside pocket of my leather jacket and scratched out the “Charlie” and replaced it with “Ukala.”
The aqueducts were a summer camp for the young punks and we were their counselors.
Harboring runaways, underage youth, and underage drinkers, it was a prime location for loitering kids. We mingled with bums on the prowl for a free drink. Bums bought booze for the under-aged and in return, got alcohol for themselves with our parents’ money. Well, at least Charlie’s and mine, Paul was poor. The dirty old bastards had another advantage in this exchange; they got to hang around and hit on our girls, but they were old and feeble and couldn’t do anything even if they wanted to.
The aqueducts provided four escape routes: two ways along the canal up to Georgetown via a dirt trail that ran up a steep hill and two others that ran down a path along an embankment. Parole and truant officers or a cop on the beat sometimes showed up. We’d disperse like a football team breaking a huddle. In the midst of night, we could hear their cars pulling up on the road below. Their flashlights could be seen bouncing through the underbrush in search of a pathway up. A cop usually tripped over a fat tree root midway up the trail, making sneaking up on us unlikely. But most often the authorities overlooked the area. I had walked that trail so many times that I knew where to step without making a sound. The downward paths led onto the end of K Street. The Whitehurst Causeway ran overhead and the Potomac River was about a hundred yards away. Most people used the end of K Street as parking and many petty thieves used the street as a hunting ground to steal from cars since it was tucked away under the causeway and brush surrounding the woods.
Paul broke into a car at the end of K Street and took a stun gun. It was sticking out of his back pocket when he took the marker from me and wrote under the arch: Paul kicks ass. Kiss Army. I had a vision of him when we had been around seven or eight and he had had the Kiss make-up on. Then Charlie’s endless prattle echoing off the arch brought me back to the present. His voice had a nasal sound, like his giant head was slowly collapsing inwards. I could smell fermentation and decay coming up from the bottom of the canal. What next, I thought. I was already bored and tried to stifle a yawn. I craned my neck to look at Paul. Paul’s eyes were riveted on a jogger on the other side of the canal. He had had that same look when we were kids, and I knew he was about to do something bad. During the daytime, Georgetown residents jogged back and forth along a gravel trail that lined the canal and even though it was dusk, there were a few left-over runners making their way home.
“I want to test this out,” said Paul, pulling the stun gun out and telling me about the car. “Maybe he was a cop?”
Then without warning, Paul turned to Charlie and pressed it against Charlie’s ribs, and a spark shot through his side. Charlie dropped to the ground, moaning and rolling from side to side.
“It works!” exclaimed Paul with a blank expression.
A jogger, unaware of a stun gun in the hands of Paul, pounded the pebbles. Sneakers tied snugly to his feet and headphones probably piping Billy Joel into his ears. He ran past Paul, who crept up behind him and stunned him. The man fell onto his side and momentarily lay on the ground randomly kicking as the residuals of shock passed, then rose confused and staggered away. Charlie was getting up when Paul handed me the stun gun.
“Go ahead, try it,” said Paul, motioning for me to shock Charlie again.
I looked at the hard plastic weapon. It was heavy in my hand. I squeezed the trigger. A blue spark shot out in the air. Charlie gave me a pathetic look. “No thanks.” I gave it back to Paul.
“Yeah, you were always the good guy,” he said.

From Rich Boy Cries for Mama by Ethan H. Minsker

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cowboys and Indians

“Running Bear is the only 100% authentic American Indian I have ever met,” said Edgea. “Not any of that ‘I’m a quarter Cherokee, half Choctaw, 1/18 Blackfoot’ confusion. At what point do you drop the title of Indian from your bloodline?” We were at Dupont Circle. I didn’t want to be there, but Baxter wanted to pick up some acid. My eyes swept over the scene, wondering if I might find the ghost of Ronnie Motherfucking Collins there.
“Do you think he would tattoo us?” asked Baxter.
“I think if you have the money, he will tattoo anything.”
I had seen the Indian with long black hair, tanned skin, a husky build, large belly, and a speckling of poorly done tattoos at shows. I guess what they say about barbers is also true of tattoo artists. If there are two barbers you go to the guy with the bad hair cut. Running Bear had a taste for drink and an authentic Indian name, but he also went by his white name, Duane. He was every bit the Indian we cowboys imagined, a Navajo from the Navajo Nation. He would later tell us that his wife and children lived in a trailer on the reservation, making them among the wealthiest in their destitute community. Running Bear traveled the country seasonally, tattooing out of the rooms he rented, making work and living space the same thing, sending a portion of his earnings home to support his family. His earlier tattoos were thick-lined designs speckled with dots, hammered out with guitar strings. Only when viewed from a few feet’s distance could a person decipher the images. In the 1980s, tattoo artists didn’t ink faces or hands. Running Bear had no problem tattooing any part you wanted. He didn’t care how old you were, or if you had infectious diseases. If you had the cash, drugs, or booze to trade, he would do the work. If you had a problem with the finished product or an angry mother came around wanting to know who had tattooed her 15-year-old child, Running Bear packed up his tattoo gun, sterilizer, and a few bags of old band shirts and moved on to the next town with his brothers in tow.
When Baxter and I decided to get tattoos, we knew that the work had to be done in one sitting. Driving out to Virginia, we parked behind a pawnshop, then walked into the building next door, up one flight. We found his apartment, a one bedroom with a basic kitchen. A kid was there before us, so we settled in for the wait.
Weasel, the ringleader of the skinhead/gay-bashing incident that would happen a few days later, was about to get his first tattoo. Baxter and I waited restlessly for our chance under the gun.
“Is it going to hurt?” whined the Weasel.
“Uh, yeah,” Running Bear answered without hearing the question.
“I'm on Quaaludes. Will they dull the pain?” His face was devoid of color. He took a sip of his third beer and squirmed in the barber’s chair.
“Okay, I want a star on the corner of my eye.”
“What? Girls get stars.” Running Bear said, brushing the long, black stray hair from his eyes. His head was always tilted forward and his hair hung in front of his face like a curtain.
He puffed at the joint squeezed between his fingers before passing it to his brothers, two of whom always traveled with him and lived off of his tab. All three brothers would have drunken fistfights, waking up in the late afternoon, covered in scrapes and bruises. None would remember the reason behind the fight or where it had taken place. The smallest one started complaining about his bloody knuckles. The Weasel just sat there, like a lump of shit, wasting prime time. I wanted to hold him down with one hand and punch his face with the other, but that wouldn’t get me tattooed any quicker. So I just sat there, and from the look on Baxter’s face, he was thinking along my lines, too.
“I'll get a tear drop instead,” the Weasel decided, but he didn’t know if that’s what he really wanted. After giving it a few more minutes, he would decide on something else.
“A tear drop means you killed someone,” Baxter interjected. It also meant you were in a Latino gang, but the Weasel wanted a new image. Either way, during the next few days he would come close to murder, get arrested, and then bailed out by his father, go on the run with his dad’s help, and eventually escape the conviction by moving to Israel.
Running Bear's eyes glazed over. Sucking in the last bits of the joint’s smoke, he shrugged and dipped the tip of the tattoo gun into the thimble-sized cup that held murky black ink. With his index finger and thumb, he spread the skin just above Weasel’s cheek, adjacent to his eye. Duane dropped his foot onto the pedal and the gun begun rattling off its ticking hammer; it was a noise I would soon associate with the onset of pain. He lightly pressed the tip into Weasel's skin and made small circles. The Weasel’s eye filled with black ink. He cried out and shoved Duane’s arm away and ran to the bathroom to flush out his eyes. "He's getting a tattoo right there. What does he expect?" Baxter shook his head.
Making it back to the barber’s chair, the Weasel braced himself again. But before Running Bear dipped the needle into the ink, he whined, “Just do the outline.”
“It's a small dot that will take a minute,” Running Bear scoffed. It was rare that Running Bear spoke at all.
“Just the outline,” the Weasel echoed.
A few seconds later, it was over and the Weasel slapped a $100 bill into Running Bear’s hand for a tattoo that had taken ten minutes and dashed out the door. Running Bear called the hundred dollars the “Moron Tax.” Baxter's tattoo took two hours to complete and depicted an HR Giger alien ripping through his flesh. $60. Mine, a serpent slain by a samurai, took an hour and a half. $60. They were both sizable pieces, prices slashed due to the fact we had brought our own case of beer. Between Baxter and me, Running Bear and the Brothers, it was gone in 30 minutes. Running Bear’s work ethic, tattooing hands, faces and underage kids, kept him out of the legitimate tattoo parlors. But somehow we had found each other, and for us he was cheap and we didn’t need our parent’s permission.
“This is good,” said Baxter as I tried to forget the stinging feeling on my arm. “It marks the beginning of something new. Your going to college in New York and me off to California.”
At Baxter’s house, I pulled off the bandage. The image of my tattoo was stained on the inside. Charlie stopped over and was as excited as us to see the tattoos. The skin was red and raised but the image was clean and black.
“I’m going to get one,” said Charlie.
“Sure. I can hook that up,” said Baxter.
Charlie wouldn’t stop talking about it. Listening to him grew tiresome.
“Baxter, shut him up before I go nuts,” I said when Charlie left to use the toilet. “When he’s alone, I bet he talks to himself.”
“He’s not that bad,” said Baxter. “Why don’t you come with us?”
“No, thanks.”
I smiled at Baxter. The next day, Baxter drove Charlie out to Virginia to see Running Bear and in a short time, Charlie had a large, black-lined tribal piece, lines that swirled to points, a fast growing ivy of pure abstract designs. They say tattoos are addictive; Charlie had become a junkie. A few days later, Running Bear left without warning and went back to the Reservation.

-From Rich Boy Cries for Mama by Ethan H. Minsker

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


There is a little vegan bakery located on St Marks Place near Avenue A. They recently reopened after being closed for 92 days of renovation. I do not know why it took them so long to renovate but I am very happy that they have reopened. I FUCKING LOVE THE VEGAN BAKERY. They have all kinds of healthy low calorie food that tastes fucking amazing. ( My friend Harry spits out anything I force him to try from the vegan bakery and my girlfriend absolutely refuses to eat anything from there. People are strange!) After the vegan bakery reopened I walked in and ordered a "spinach tofu turnover" and an "apple strawberry turnover" which was going to be my dinner and dessert. I told the men behind the counter how fucking happy I was that they had reopened and I was struggling to find quick healthy food in my neighborhood (the east village of NYC). They thanked me for being an enthusiastic customer. I then explained to them that I WAS NOT A VEGAN NOR A VEGATARIAN and I enjoyed eating cheeseburgers, pulled pork, turkey burgers, catfish burgers, beef on weck, Buffalo chicken wings, and flank steak sandwiches! A look of HORROR appeared on the faces of the men behind the counter at the vegan bakery and the customers that were waiting in line behind me shook their heads in disgust!!!! It was so silent in the room that you could hear a pin drop. It was if I said " I AM GONNA COME TO YOUR HOUSE AND KILL YOUR FAMILY AND BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN!!!!" Am I the only person who eats at the vegan bakery and eats meat? I find this hard to believe but this seems to be the case. I love my spinach tofu turnover but I also love my pulled pork sandwich.

-Brother Mike Cohen 11/30/09 NYC