Welcome to Popular Ink's INDELIBLE KITCHEN.

Now get the hell out!

Really, we would love to have you stay but we would feel rude about that as we have left. As in gone, defunct, kaput. We aren't here anymore. Sometimes, when it's late and we are worried about dying, we do believe in reincarnation. So, maybe we will live again. We'll let you know if that happens.


Soup Delirium

Overweight in the prime of stretching

I cave onto your bacon. Spans of roomy

deprivation. Scores of searing pan edges

marking my extremities. One arm

for breakfast. One arm for snake.

Try to dislodge the Alligator from the Python.

Meet the convex of city streets wherein

none of nature’s mastications are performed.

& suddenly it’s raining so hard, & there’s no where

to go. The sewer’s filling. The water’s up

to my knees. I’m sweating a little too, which

contributes. My clothes are pressing in on me

marking my skin with red pictures of hunting

animals and barcodes: a menu of simmering.


An Excerpt from “Adman” by Corey Mesler

So we say there’s no caffeine in our toothpaste.”

“That’s right.”

“There is no caffeine in toothpaste.”

“Right. We say that.”

“But there’s never been caffeine in our toothpaste.”

“That’s the pitch. ‘Always caffeine free’.”

“There’s never been—“


“And people will think…”

“That other toothpastes maybe, just might, perhaps have just a little caffeine.”

“Which they don’t want.”

“Not in their toothpaste.”

-“Adman” originally appeared in Heat City Review.


Notice by Louise Weinberg

“Notice” by Louise Weinberg. Photo collage with thread, ink, French bereavement envelope and vellum, 2006.

The Movement of High Waters by Louise Weinberg

"The Movement of High Waters," by Louise Weinberg. Photo collage print, 2005.


Sanguinistas! by Jay Snodgrass

I’m through bringing you these little vials.

In your vestment armor I envision a cleansing of the meat board.

Still no hammer can straighten the victory loom.

Saddle your viewfinder with the trembling of weaving.

You ought not prune your Hydrangea with the broadsword of Lo-angrick!

Swing me to the myriad. I have enlargened the hoop straddle

with ingots of Thule.

Gorge wedded to the throng toggle, I, steeple grouched the heathens,

but with flowers, sweet purple Pansies, Goth-weaver.

I’m journeying to the Mall of your choice in order

register thee, my cellular to the battle axe. such

a pretty compliment to the broken tooth,

also the queenly crown, her smooth crash:

Nordrun the cruise liner wishes to bury you.


Alex Podesta: Not Just Giant Rabbits

Alex Podesta, known for his giant man/rabbit sculptures, also makes other things. Here are some of them, plus a giant man/rabbit sculpture thrown in for good measure.

Podesta will be exhibiting his work at a show opening July 3 at Andrechsgalerie in Innsbruck, Austria and one opening August 4 at the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center.

Donations in Honor of Jonny Z/Jonathan Zanin

This is a repeat of an older post. We have posted this again as Jonny Z was a friedn to Popular Ink and we hope to get the word out so that people who want to donate to his causes can.

If you wish to send a donation to honor the late musician, activist and artist Jonny Z you can send a check to Chop Suey Books. You can support the nonprofit group dedicated to feeding the hungry, Food Not Bombs, or you can contribute to the Nonesuch Fund to help pay rent on the store that will be in serious straits because of Jonny Z's death.

Chop Suey Books

1317 West Cary Street

Richmond, VA 23220

(804) 497-4705


(To post a memory, a link or other info or to read memories of Jonny Z or view links relating to Jonny, see the entry “Jonathan Zanin: A Kiss for Jonny Z”)


A New Story by Zack Wilson


By Zack Wilson

My last crush occurred when I was 29 and still a schoolteacher. I suppose my age and workplace are relevant. She taught foreign languages and her name was Rachel.

She was a beautiful woman without realising it. About five years younger than me. Her hair was chestnut brown, like her eyes. She had big hands and her skin was ivory—white and soft. I thought I loved her.

I hung about with her most of the time at work. We always sat together in the staffroom. I took her shopping in the Christmas sales. We even went on holiday together for a few days in Edinburgh with some mutual friends. I really thought she liked me. Maybe I thought that if I just hung around with her long enough then we would become a couple.

She had a long-term boyfriend whom she left. I felt like I had a chance. I didn’t. She got back together with him when he got drunk and lay on her mother’s sofa calling her name into a bucket.

Just before the whole thing completely broke my heart and contributed to an alcoholic breakdown, I sat behind her at the Year 11 Awards Evening. This event was a load of self-serving toss dreamt up by the headteacher because of difficulties with Ofsted. It was also an event marked by the speech of a self-declared ‘Motivator’.

This bleached haired twat had been invited into the school as part of what was called ‘The Unstoppable Teen’ programme. This involved vast numbers of children of average ability being taken out of GCSE lessons to go and see this dickhead, who told them that they weren’t average but were brilliant and that they could all achieve great grades. Quite how not being in GCSE lessons would help this, I wasn’t sure. I am sure his fee came directly out of the school’s annual budget.

Anyway, I attended this event because I had to and sat behind Rachel. I’d smoked some dodgy hash to help get me through it and this probably made me a little solipsistic. I think she had a dress on and some kind of cream coloured woollen jumper. Her hair looked darker than usual and had had its style changed indeterminately and subtly in a way that took my breath away. She never looked like she wore makeup. Sitting behind her I could see the way her eyes shone in the twilit hall when she turned to one side.

The evening progressed without incident. There were some speeches and some prizes were handed out. I noticed one of Rachel’s dark brown hairs trailing across her cream shoulder as we stood to applaud deserving geographers or Special Needs scientists. Rachel applauded and smiled with the enthusiasm of a girl who’s been given a pony for Christmas. I couldn’t take my eyes off the trailing hair.

The headteacher made a speech. I can’t recall the details. The Motivator came on.

He told us about himself. About how he’d been a professional footballer as a youth, but had had a bad injury. He’d been hopeless and thought his career, even his life, was over. Rachel looked sympathetic and beautiful in the light reflecting from the stage.

But he’d picked himself up and gone to America. In America, he’d found a way to work, and a way to make money. I lost interest here, but Rachel didn’t. He went on to say something about how he’d found out he had a gift for public speaking. We all have a gift, he said, his blonde hair trembling in the spotlight. I

I noticed a tiny black insect crawling along, parallel to the dark strand of hair on Rachel’s shoulder. I wanted to tell her. I wanted to move it, catch it, hunt it down for her.

Her head was gazing at the trembling blonde thing in the spotlight. He was telling random Year 11s that they were “the best” and pointing into the audience. I forget what had led him to it. I tried to whisper “Rach” twice or three times. She deliberately ignored me.

The grey haired woman next to her smiled sympathetically at me. I grinned back. I tried to remove the insect discreetly with my index finger and thumb, but Rachel lifted her shoulders suddenly and moved slightly forward. She was besotted with the stage.

My hand slapped her on the shoulder, smudging the insect. She leaned forward, away from my offending hands. I could tell that she wasn’t grateful. I tried to stutter an explanation. She dismissed me with an underarm wave and I saw withheld tears reddening her eyes as the speech on stage finished and we all stood to applaud.

I didn’t speak to her again that evening.

I can’t remember speaking to her ever again, actually, and I wish there was some way now that I could tell what I lost.



Jorn Ake on Ryszard Kapuscinski

I have a reading and a show of photographs coming up in June in Warsaw, Poland, so I thought to get into a traveling Polish mood I would read some of the work of Ryszard Kapuscinski, a Polish journalist who had the tremendous good fortune and indeed, a tremendous amount of guts, to be given the opportunity to travel outside of Poland during the Communist era (basically from 1950 to the fall, and then to the present - he is still living) and write back about world events he experienced. The book of his that I am reading is called The Shadow of the Sun, a book which demonstrates all over again that Africa is not a sudden occurrence but a cycle of increasingly depressing intersecting spirals of Colonialism, tribalism, environment, poverty, corruption and famine. On the other hand, the respect with which he writes about the people he meets is sympathetic but not patronizing, nor is he unwilling to point out hypocrisy, bad people and absolutely bad ideas. He is not perfect - some passages are a bit dated - but he is good and fair. Here are a few quotes:

(from his introductory remarks) "This is therefore not a book about Africa, but rather about some people from there - about encounters with them, and time spent together. The continent is too large to describe. It is a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say 'Africa.' In reality, except as a geographical appellation, Africa does not exist."

(on the Ethiopian famine in 1975) "A human being always dies alone; the moment of death is the loneliest moment of his life. 'Mass death' means that, somewhere, a man is dying alone; but at the same time, another man, also alone, is dying as well, and, equally alone, another one still. It means that by coincidence - most frequently against his will - each of them, experiencing in solitude his own, singular death, finds himself in proximity to many others experiencing the same thing."

(upon visiting an African colleague's village home) "The yard's second focal point, besides the ancestral grave, is the kitchen. This consists of a hole in the ground surrounded on three sides by clay walls, and in it lie three blackened stones arranged in a triangle. You place the pot on top of them, and light a wood fire beneath. It is the simplest of appliances, invented during neolithic times but still useful."

(on wizards and witchcraft) "Our contemporary suspicion of and antipathy for the Other, the Stranger, goes back to the fear our tribal ancestors felt toward the Outsider, seeing him as the carrier of evil, the source of misfortune. Pain, fire, disease, drought, and hunger did not come from nowhere. Someone must have brought them, inflicted them, disseminated them. But who? Not my people, not those closest to me - they are good. Life is possible only among good people, and I am alive, after all. The guilty are therefore the Others, the Strangers. That is why, seeking retribution for our injuries and setbacks, we quarrel with them, enter into conflicts, conduct wars. In a word, if unhappiness has befallen us, its source is not within us, but elsewhere, outside, beyond us and our community, far away, in Others."

J Ake

Overheard in an Airport by Jorn Ake


Several years ago, while I was living in Prague, I found myself sitting in the Milan airport waiting for the final leg of a horrible flight back home. Seated behind me was a group of Blackwater-types on their way to Iraq, jawing back and forth at each other. Lots of testosterone. At one point, one of the guys said, "Nothing metaphoric about getting blown up." I thought, great line and wrote it down. The recent shots by James Nachtwey at 401 Projects gave me the rest.

Overheard in an Airport

Nothing metaphoric about getting blown up.
The air explodes like a motherfucker,
then there are pieces of bodies
all over you, someone’s brains and guts
and your blood on the ground.
Then if you’re lucky, they come right away,
put you in an ambulance
and take you to a hospital
where they cut off your clothes,
start swabbing you down and sewing you up.
Someone pulls a finger out of your pants,
so they count yours
8, 9, 10
8, 9, 10
then throw it away.

c. J Ake 2007


The Oculist Witness by Jay Snodgrass

--As with everything, this is self indulgent

The clinic at the DMV has me in the “Squinters” category

I look like a copse of lavender, with my one eye

Pirate-covered by the little paddle. I see a Z,

A memory of candlelight fading as I close my eyes.

The mind is a marching out of feelers, world replicators.

I’m not afraid to fail, I write a poem at you

Because it has teeth, not daisies. It’s a rage

Not from me, but from the not me.

These imitators can vary the length of a wave of light

Salmon-y, the hand of the optometrist rests heavy

On my shoulder. She smells like your apartment

In that gray I was drunk through. Your portrait

A calm hospital blanket over the jagged buzz

Of Picasso or the nerds lined up to fix your

Computer. Next letter I see is Omega, a listing

For apartments in tiny newspaper print.

It heaves with the functional body, bare ass to the breeze.

She puts the paddle over my right eye and I think

Of how to answer next, L, 5, Gamma. Inside here

Where the test burns me, in the thinking,

A certain descent to the bottom of the swimming pool.

I’m discovering ways to be a new man, a chemist

Or a lunger. Next time I’m in daylight, I’ll strut

With the awarenss of confession. “I can’t make it out.”

Open up to the redness, crinoline chemical on the gaze.

My eyelashes come together like the teeth

Of some tiny machine grinding chocolate. It’s late

Into the vapors, if I faint, it will be into snow

Mellow and loose, the crumpled undertow invents an Alpha.

Or the tumble of ice and waves, a cocktail:

Soft ice, the new glass of teeth. Soft teeth:

The new teeth of glass. In the waiting room

Marked in red pepper, saying goodnight Ms, closing time,

I fill in the bar marked Other with the word

“Breather." I close both my eyes and cave to the failure.

All my life it’s been a struggle to use indifference

As a guiding principle.


Shutdown by Jeff Crouch



At the Emergency entrance, those who could walk on their own were permitted to leave, but there was no where to walk. A few fleabag motels were about a mile away, but there were no sidewalks—only oncoming cars, apartments, gas stations, beer stores, topless bars, and an abandoned lumberyard.

Who among the leaving would know where to go anyway? A car was required.

City buses had been commandeered to take those who could sit up and hold on to their IVs and bladder bags to a downtown recreation center. Mats had already been unrolled for their arrival, and these patients had been told to hold onto their sheets and pillows. Most did so nervously.

Two security guards watched over their medication.

A few ambulances were carrying the more chronic to nearby hospitals, and they had two or three gurneys a piece. The hospital visitors, let alone the patients, were noticeably upset. The hospital had shutdown.

Tow trucks were available to move the cars not gone before 10 PM.

Large moving vans were lined up in the parking lot. A paper shredding operation was in full grind.

Like a line of army ants removing everything from a picnic, the movers rolled the hospital beds out the front door, to the parking lot, and into the trucks.

The generators had yet to kick in. Several men orchestrated the move with flashlights.

John Largent was on his cell phone to his boss. “I thought the fax order came from you. It was a secure fax.”

The power went off at 7:08 PM, and the backup generators had failed. At that point, John Largent put the shutdown order into effect.

The morgue had been emptied into one of the smaller moving vans. John Largent now knew there were six bodies without paper work, one of them his boss’s father-in-law and one of them his boss’s adopted son.

John Largent was going to have a busy night. He walked over to one of his favorite doctors and asked for a prescription to help him with his diet.



A New Poem by Felino Soriano

Vagabond's Vision #87

Modest moments
akin to almost nothingness,
pursuing an escape from cluttered attributes,
attributed to over-the-edge
pushing of saddening
Escape requires relinquishing desire.

the more elaborate retain closure.
A gifted hand
spun coloristic yarn into gifts
bequeathing symphony atop
doorstep's hardened hand.

A boy ran smiling
across lengths of rhythmic flowing air,
allowing panoramic views
birds from elevated vantage points
organic reasons to caw chamomile
sounds in celebrated versions of
unclenching sadness.

-Felino Soriano

The Bitter (Ex) Curator:

Exciting, insightful news will be forthcoming about the pretentious and contentious world of contemporary art and curating. At least it will be after I escape San Francisco and drive across the country to return to my native Tennessee. If only I was of a slightly older generation, I’m certain I would know of a Grateful Dead song that speak to all the emotions I am feeling now. It promises to be a long, strange trip but I don’t know if “Truckin” properly captures this Diaspora.



If you wish to send a donation to honor musician, activist and artist Jonny Z you can send a check to Chop Suey Books. You can support the nonprofit group dedicated to feeding the hungry, Food Not Bombs, or you can contribute to the Nonesuch Fund to help pay rent on the store that Jonny Z helped establish and that will be in serious straits because of his death.

Chop Suey Books

1317 West Cary Street

Richmond, VA 23220

(804) 497-4705


(To post a memory, a link or other info or to read memories of Jonny Z, see the entry “Jonathan Zanin: A Kiss for Jonny Z”)

I Heart the Stilt Talker by Jay Snodgrass

Catawampus trump us up to the stump

or, meaning this is a loaded option,

contagions aging in their rage

like, softly, locomotion.

All barge intact, wroth the Ironman.

Marvel will retire you before you rust

(Note alliterative ugliness. The sloth

is a two toed repetition.)

Now art, velocity, marvel at the monstrous

city, her two flag poles: inadequate & chimed.

Option Further is a dither of fur, mountained

on ruinous ore. Enter Delinquent the Progeny

You’ve proved by your portioned grove

my manners as ornaments on the roof.



Jonathan Zanin, known as jonnyz (this was his preferred way of signing things) or Jonny, was a friend to Popular Ink. His Bizarre Market in Richmond, VA carried our shirts and books. An advocate for the arts and a number of worthy social causes, Jonny Z helped us with our initial promotions and always cheered us along the way.

Yesterday, I read that Jonny was killed on the Boulevard Bridge in Richmond when he was riding his bike home from a fund-raiser on Sunday night. Reports say that the police have not determined how Jonny Z died. (See article from The Richmond Times Dispatch below.)

I cannot imagine that anyone who knew Jonny Z would want to hurt him. He was, in all aspects, a lovely person.

Just last week, I went by his shop to check on Popular Ink’s stock. I had in tow my eighteen-month-old daughter, May. Above his store (which he shared with Nonesuch), located in the bottom of a converted row-house, someone was practicing on drums. Jonny Z was leaning against a wall out front, smoking a cigarette and intently listening.

When he saw us, he stood up. He was wearing a tee shirt, jeans and sneakers. With his slight frame, unkempt sandy hair and guileless smile, I thought to myself that he looked more like a kid than the proprietor of a popular store.

“Her eyes just lit up with the drums,” he said, motioning toward Baby May.

“She loves to dance, but that might drive me crazy.” I gestured at the open window from where the drumming boomed.

Jonny Z nodded thoughtfully and set down his cigarette. “Not me. I love it. I love it when anyone tries to make music.”

After we went into the store and talked inventory, Jonny Z carried a box out of for me and put it in the trunk of the car. Ever polite, Jonny Z waited as I tried to get May into her car seat.

May deftly slipped out of my grip and situated herself proudly in the empty booster seat that belongs to her older brother, Henry, who was at school. She leaned over and peered at the open car door to see if Jonny Z was watching her sit in the big-boy seat. He was. He grinned at her.

Then Jonny Z stood by for almost a half an hour while I tired to coax May out of the booster and into her own car seat. Finally, Jonny Z convinced May that she should get in her own car seat so that she could show him how to buckle up the harness. May fumbled with her seat belt and got the latch to click.

“There!” she triumphantly announced to Jonny Z.

“There!” he said, giving her his trademark, boyish grin. “Perfect!”

As we drove away, May blew a kiss to Jonny Z, a gesture she reserves only for those in her inner circle.

“There!” she said.

Excerpt from The Richmond Times-Dispatch


An abandoned bike, a pair of sneakers and blood on Richmond's Boulevard Bridge were among the pieces of evidence detectives pored over yesterday as they tried to solve the death of a popular city musician, artist and activist.

The body of Jonathan Raymond Zanin, 26, was found about 4 a.m. beneath the north side of the bridge.

Police were unsure yesterday whether Zanin's death was an accident, suicide or homicide. The pedestrian walkway where his bike and sneakers were found is narrow, and the fence that protects walkers and riders on the outer edge is about 5 feet high.

"We're still actively working to determine not only the cause of death, but the circumstances surrounding his death," said Richmond police spokeswoman Cynthia Price.

She said there was no preliminary indication that Zanin had been robbed, but the investigation is continuing.

Links to things of Jonny Z

Style Weekly Story on Jonny Z

A photo tribute from Nonesuch

Photos of Jonny Z

The Bizarre Market

WRIR will feature a show of Jonny Z’s music, including Tigershark and Castle Danger

An NBC news segment on his death

Tigershark’s MySpace page

YouTube video of Castle Danger with Jonny Z on drums


A New Poem by Gentry Hoffman


Ossetian plain, Caucasian dirt highway
all roads lead through Troy and the usual delays

Troja Troja send my lady over
i last saw her crossing
the georgian border

Oh, Azerbaijan, who's side are you on?
Enough! bring the roses, i'm planting a garden.

Tbilisi, Tbilisi, Eurasia, she needs me!
the silk road dead-ended, a lake to a sea

And all i could smell was the rotting of fish
i wanted to help, but i never learned Ingush

i wanna fuck things up and then make them perfect
like Blumenbach, i wanna come around full circuit

But i know you're not listening
For you'd never deserve it
I do not have the nerve
To bus fare that desert

Georgia, send her bones if you've found them
If not, you may want to look in the mountains

I hope you are watching the mountains.

by Gentry Hoffman


Alex Podesta: Giant Rabbits & Other Art on Tour

Dearest editors and readers,

I am thrilled to have been invited to join the august ranks of The Indelible Kitchen. Although I'm not sure what place a piddler in the dead world of objects has amongst a group of writers, I would never miss a chance at shameless self-promotion. So... here is a picture from a recent show of mine at the UNO Fine Arts Gallery. Hope it is pleasing to your eyes. To follow should be pix from a two-person show in Innsbruck at Andechsgalerie, opening July 3rd and an August 4th opening solo install at the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans (www.cacno.org). Join me at either of these if you're in either area.

Thanks Again Supremo!
Alex Podesta


Popular Ink/Indelible Kitchen Contributors in Inaugural Issue of CaKe Poetry

Clay Blancett, Copyright 2007

Indelible Kitchen contributors and/or Popular Ink writers Jay Snodgrass, Clay Blancett and M. C. Boyes are all featured in the brand, spanking new issue of CaKe.

Here's a sampling:

When you are dead you still dream

the difference is you are not sleeping
though these dreams are all you will ever see
anymore. they are not fantastic or even splendid
dreams. insipid and annoying, at best,
these dreams will make you try to open
your eyes to escape.

only, your eyelids will be gone.
it would be better if your eyelids were replaced
by something gory, say oozing puss
or the decaying wings of a bat,
but the world of the dead is not a tactile place. you cannot reach out
and touch the worms that are working their way
through the place
where your small intestines used to be. There is no place
where your small intestines were, because
you are no more. you are dead
and you are dreaming an eternal dead dream.

It goes something like this:

A man is riding a bicycle stiffly, formally, as if as if riding a bike is a ceremony of state where a certain level of deliberation and decorum is required. You have never seen him before. He is wearing a blonde mustache that offends you somehow. Yes, it is the curve, the shape of the whole thing—insouciant but not quite defiant. The mustache is twisted into handle bars and carefully waxed. Handle bars, mustache, handlebars, bicycle—this is not lost on you. Around the man riding a bike wind begins to swirl. That swirl picks up water from nowhere until the wind is a whirlpool that has somehow lost its way. A whirlpool winding down the street.

you wish it was just a simple whirlwind.
nice and normal. you wish
it contained some scraps of paper.
papers with words on them. words that were meant
for you. That is what you wish
was in the whirlpool
that you wish was a whirlwind
that is winding its way down the road
by the man with the pretentious handlebar moustache
who is stiffly riding the bike
with the blatantly yellow banana seat.

you try to lift your lids—
open them to something better,
something you know,
something you can touch.
to the grey cat lapping
water from the rusty pail you left on the back porch.
to your mother’s arm, her soft blonde hairs
glistening slightly
under the yellow kitchen light.
but dreams are all you have left
and they are not even your dreams;

they are everything that you ever saw
that you never even
remembered when you were living.

These dreams are filled with all those things
that were never of any consequence to you

and you will feel you are missing something
but because this feeling is of consequence
you will not remember it

and it will not be incorporated into your dead dreams.

you will long for it—
the marked paper,
the hair on your mother’s arm,
the grey cat,
the rusty pail.

you will feel an ache in your absent side,
an itch on your missing right hand.

your entire being is that of an amputee
longing to be reattached.

if only you had died better you think.

you begin to weep the dry tears of the dead
but even this you will not remember.
all that you will see and feel
is the moment of waking
of not knowing where you are

M. C. Boyes

To see more cool pix and poems by the likes of Campbell McGrath, Maureen Seaton, Rick Campbell and others, visit CaKe at www.cakepoetry.com.