Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Renovations and such

Hi everyone. ART AND FIST blog is somewhat under construction since I recently received some constructive criticism about it's uninformative nature.  I am currently working on linking all artists who have a website to their work.  Bear with me, time is not always on my side.  Also, there are a few new sections in the sidebar. Check 'em out.  Thanks for your patience. 
- K

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ezra Salkin

 Reprieve for a Sinner?

  The blow from the glossy butt of the shotgun sent Peter’s gaze spiraling upwards.  He watched as a couple of dented pieces of enamel rode a short arcing stream of blood, like shooting stars. They soared over the woods into the autumn sky. Then he saw nothing but frigid soil.

Wiping his nose with his tattered sleeve, Peter rolled over to face the man with the gun. He looked back at his sleeve, smeared red, then up again at the man in the hat and vest.  

            “Now Bill I--.” There was a burst of light, and the ground next to his hand exploded. Dirt and leaves pelted his face. Peripheral noises disappeared.

Surrounded by silence, Peter stumbled in the other direction. Dry twigs cracked beneath him.

Sound returned in time for him to hear the shotgun pump. Another deafening boom, more specks of flying dirt.


A boot kicked him hard in the ass and sent him sprawling into a brown pool. His limbs flailed wildly and he choked on the murky water, before wallowing onto sodden earth. He scrambled forward but didn’t make it more than a couple of yards before a rock embankment stopped him dead. He turned and sat against the cold stone, shivering.

He watched his neighbor Bill O’Connor trudge forward, slow and deliberate. The cool water rose up to his knees, and the serenity of the rustic scene was disrupted by the sloshing of his boots. His face was ashen.  He pumped the shotgun, and a crushed smoking shell fell into the muddy pond, with a soft plunk.

“You got anything to say, you son of a bitch?” Bill said through clenched teeth. He leveled the silver barrel at Peter’s face.

“Now Bill, I--.”

A flash of color caught his eye. A bright-eyed peacock was watching him from the other side of the pond. It looked royal in its radiant plumage.

Do we even got those here in this country?

            “The hell you lookin at boy? I’m about to blow your god-damn head off!”

            Suddenly, Bill was transfigured in a diaphanous light, like Jesus in the paintings of the idolatrous Italians who Aunt Flannery had ranted about.

            Peter watched the capillaries break in Bill’s bulging eyes.  Blood trickled out of his ears and nose. He fell back with a loud splash, a buoyant smoldering heap among the leaves.

            Peter looked up. Where had the bolt come from? The sun hung low in the sky. There were no clouds. He crossed himself the way he had seen some priest do in a horror flick and picked up the shotgun.

             Aunt Flannery don’t know a damn thing about idolatry!

Peter looked at the majestic bird which continued to stare at him, compelling him forward. It almost looked pleased with itself.

You sure is pretty!

The bird looked back with its strange glittering eyes.

Bill’s ole lady’s gonna  give me a big wet kiss when she sees you.

The Peacock’s calm turned to horrified consternation, but it was too late. Peter shot it and it joined Bill in the watery sepulcher.

Humming an old gospel tune, Peter hoisted the bedraggled sack of prismatic feathers over his shoulder. He climbed the rock embankment and started home.


 A pale sliver of moon was visible while the sun set over the hills. Bill’s and Peter’s neighbor, Esau MacDaniel, hadn’t killed anything yet. In the twilight, he saw a curious tuft of color move west, behind a long rock embankment. He had seen something like that in a book once.

Well I’ll be damned.

He closed one eye, leveled his rifle and fired. Blue-green-eyed feathers exploded into the air, and there was a cry unlike any bird Esau had ever heard. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ben Gaugush

   Intimate Danger

The group sat, scattered across the clearing.  The strenuous journey and the humid jungle air had drained us.  The group was hungry, but searching for fruiting trees would just have to wait.  Smaller monkeys screeched and howled in the canopy.  The wind carried a stench that kept tensions high.

            My mother fingered through my coarse black hair as I rested my head in her lap.  She pulled a tick from my neck.  I missed how she used to carry me against her chest while collecting figs in the forest.

            We had only been on the move for a few days now.  The fire that engulfed our old camp could still be seen smoldering over the peaks.

            This jungle, though similar to our home, was foreign to all of us.  The wind blew to a different rhythm, the trees seemed to whisper amongst themselves, and beyond the foliage we knew strange eyes gazed upon us.
            Dad and older men had left to scout the area.  The only reason we had even stopped was because my mother refused to go any further.

            There were too many youngsters with us.  My father was used to leading hunting parties, not his extended family.  So with the others, he scouted the area for tracks, water, or a safe place to rest for the night.

            Ants were busy along their highway.  Groups of them were hauling large insects, spoils of war.  Their hill must not have been far.

            Youngsters had begun to wrestle in the middle of the clearing.  Mothers ignored their children’s screeches and cries.  I didn’t feel like playing; my father wasn’t playing, why should I.  I wanted to go, but to my father I still was not old enough.

            I began to explore the tree line along the clearing.  Over my shoulder, mother moved her gaze to the others.  I cut into the tree line.  As I moved alongside the clearing, I preyed upon the unsuspecting members of our group.

            Grandmother sat with my aunt, who was much younger than my mother.  My grandfather wasn’t far from them.  He reclined, covering his face, while one of my cousins pestered him.

            I moved unseen through the underbrush.  I came along a girl; she was close to my age.  Her father was with the scouting party too.  She was unaware of what lay lurking feet away, out of sight.

            A large chimp burst from the underbrush.  The lunging black mass was followed by more galloping brutes.  They stormed the clearing, clubbing any startled victim within their reach.  Before I knew what to do, her head was bashed by a lone fist.  The clearing erupted into a chorus of shouting and warring chimps.

            I stayed hidden in the tree line as I watched my family attempt to fend off these foreign monsters.  The attacking chimps clawed and gnashed at the others, who failed to escape the cadre.  From behind me I heard the sounds of branches snapping and foliage tear.

            It was the scouting party.  They rushed past me, leaving me still unseen.  They burst out into the clearing driving into the group of rogues.  I saw my father bash the face of one who had been feeding upon an infant.  My uncle laid his teeth into the shoulder of another.  The clearing had transformed into a mass of black mounds and a crimson mist began to drench everything within it.

            The war party began to flee.  They went off in their own directions dispersing into the jungle.  My father and the others gave chase, leaving behind the

dying and wounded.  I stayed in my hiding place, only to look out into that clearing where flesh had been ripped and torn.  That girl’s eyes were still open.  As her head rested upon the ground with her mouth agape, she stared back at me.

            It was nightfall before any of the scouting party returned.  There were no more than four of them left.  They were greeted by the few survivors of the brutal assault.  I finally crept out of the tree line and approached my father’s side slowly.

            My father’s right eye had been gouged from his face.  He was covered in an array of gashes and missing tuffs of hair.  He grabbed me by the shoulder and hoisting me up, pulled me into his lap.  His heart was still beating against his chest.

            That night we sat there silently, hungry.  With the little more than half dozen of us left we grieved in quiet, letting the jungle croon for those who had been lost.  Sitting in my father’s lap, I fingered through mother’s black coarse hair.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dylan Patten


David Carlton

The Last Time I watched Office Space

 It was 4 years ago.

 She was visiting me at college.

 Halloween weekend,

We watched a movie.

 I spoke

 “6 Months and Counting”

 She pointed at the screen

“Shush, T.V.”

Then kissed my collar bone

 The television lit my October bedroom

In shades of pale blue and purple

 It went to commercial

 She asked a loaded question

 I responded with one of my own

 It was reflexive

 Easier than breathing

 We were children playing

With a gun

Too big for our hands

 Fools rush in

 Her response was full bodied

Human fire works

Civilizations rose and fell

 We were Adam and Eve

A man and a woman

We invented lovemaking

The movie continued without us

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whit Arnold


HOW TO: Build Your Own Skateboard

• 2/4 or 3/4 piece of wood
• Saw (electric or hand saw)
• Sandpaper (a sander if possible)
• Power drill
• 8 bolts and 8 nuts
• Screwdriver
• Pliers
• Any pair of roller skates
• Grip tape

Warning: Some of the necessary tools can be considered dangerous if not used with caution.

Board Design
1. Sketch your desired shape onto the wood.
Note: You can choose a number of different shapes, see examples on page 2, or design your own.
2. Use saw to cut out your sketched shape from wood.
3. Take sandpaper or sander to smooth all edges around cut out.

Wheels and Trucks
1. Remove trucks from roller skate with a screwdriver.
Note: The wheels will remain attached to the trucks.
2. Align trucks in an appropriate location on the bottom of your board.
Note: Remember to keep them balanced and centered.
3. Mark the holes locations for screw holes with a pencil.
4. Use drill to install eight holes.
5. Place trucks back on the board.
6. Secure trucks with your 8 bolts and 8 nuts using screwdriver and pliers.
Note: If you aren’t comfortable because they are too loose or tight adjust with the same tools.
7. Apply grip tape on the top of your new board.
Note: To customize your deck, create your own design with grip tape.
8. Now go skate with your homemade skateboard.
Note: With another piece of wood you can make another board for a friend with the trucks from the extra roller skate.

Ariele Chapman

Kristina Vance

Ode to Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Oh, how your sponge-like texture caresses
And bounces off my taste buds
with each salivating smack of my overeager lips.

Your caramel sauce drips
From your mushy crevasses
As is slithers past
Each irregular piece of your bready goodness.

My eyes are larger than my stomach
As I pass spoonful after heaping spoonful
of your irresistible, just right sweetness,
into my yearning mouth.

My spoon screams
As it scrapes the last skid-marked bits
of amber colored goo off the now lonesome plate.

I revel in ecstasy
As I feverishly gulp milk
From the small, ceramic mug –
washing down all the pumpkin taste,
leaving little hints of cinnamon
clinging fast to the top of my palette.

Oh, how you come along but once a year,
always leaving me wanting more.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Claire Khoury

I was running for my life. Thickets and thorns were scratching at my tired thighs and aching calves, painfully reminding me of what had just happened.
Whizzing by park benches and lamp posts I couldn't stop no matter how badly my lungs were shrinking. My heart was racing as fast as my feet.
Focus on breathing, in and out. In and out. I sounded like a donkey, hee hawing but my mind was what I wanted to stop.
I remember a dim lit candle and the spanish guitarist plucking away parts of his soul through the somber melodies and erratic fingering. Sitting in that dusty bar thinking this was a good idea for a while. I was too confident in that black dress, teasing my hair with my fingertips and trying not to look like I didn't belong in there.

The glass on the bar looked dewy and I remember I liked it. Slinking my fingers across the drops of condensation felt familiar tracing back to when I was a child and would sit at the windowsill of my families bungalow, drawing pictures on the window when it would rain. I felt alive when it rained and yet miraculously restless as my father droned on playing keys on the piano as he often did during the storms.

The guitarist took a break and the cliche, background bar music began to play. He was twenty minutes late and the cigarettes I had were too few now to continue waiting.

I am not a patient person and unless I have a cigarette to fill the time I become antsy and bothered. I was bothered all right and twenty minutes is too long to wait, especially for a guy.

"A woman should always be the late one. The man waits on you, not the other way around. If you get there before him, leave," my mother used to say to me as she would brush my curly hair out, trying to make it straight. She bought me my first hair straightener and told me to treat it as another appendage.

My unruly curly hair would make men nervous. Meditterranean and Arabic women with their wild hair made her fearful. They looked untamable, and I was supposed to be tamed.

I got up and left after thirty minutes of my legs falling asleep and my backside becoming numb. I was livid.

As I walked out of the bar and down the street, I was going to go home and watch another old movie again. I would have probably mixed it up a bit and watched something other than Casablanca this time.
Like a whiplash, my body was stopped and pulled around like some sort of jitterbug dance move, nearly dislocating my arm.

-"Give me your money." He was tall, rotund and hispanic, showcasing a toothy mouth topped off with a sparse "stache."
-"Please, let go of me and I'll give you what's in my purse. I don't have any cash but I can give you my credit cards."
He hesitated to let me out of his firm grip and I rubbed the skin on my arm where he had touched me. It felt rough like after an indian sunburn.

You should run for it, Claire. He's not armed and he's too big to keep up with you.
I didn't have much time to think, but my cleverness reminded me of Pseudolus and for a moment, just for an spec of time, I felt cunning and alive.

Throwing down an Old Navy Debit Card I kicked my black stilettos off and I ran through the alley all along the dirty pavement, nearly skinning off my callouses. I heard him yell something as though he planned to cut me off, but I was too fast for him and knew these streets all too well. My brothers and I used to map out this neighborhood when we would shoot our documentaries back when we were younger. I'm still young and I shouldn't have been in a place like that on this night. I realized I had all the time in the world to be old. You're only young for so long, and it's so hard to keep the memories. I cherished the ones I still had.

Running through the alleys and streets, passing lamp post after lamp post, trash bin after recycling bin, I couldn't stop until I got home.
My arm was throbbing and my shoulder kept clicking. After a mile or so I decided it was safe to stop. I called a cab to take me home. The ride back felt longer and I wasn't in the mood for small talk.
Exiting the cab and walking up to my house, I felt a wave of relief.

I sat on the steps and continued to catch my breath. I noticed my hair start to frizz and looked up at the cloudy night sky as I sniffed in the smell of the air. It was going to rain. It was going to rain right now.

As the drops fell from the sky, I lifted my face to catch the sweet dewy beads. I was getting cleansed by the rain. As I stood up to walk inside, I noticed my reflection in the window. My hair, now wet, was becoming curly again. I liked it better that way for once.

For once, I felt I was who I truly was. Untamed, unmarked and naturally curly

Monday, April 6, 2009

Scott VanArsdale

Austin Breed

Kristina Vance

Dylan Patten

Happiness is all there is, in her
Smiles ablaze
Heart of fire

A fire so bright it blinds
But I don't need vision to see
Beauty is not limited to sight
I'll look on

Maybe I'll wear this on my sleeve
Ha, maybe

I slap it on my sleeve
Like a name tag
"Hello, my name is : Great Intentions"

Entering the battle field
Instantly seared by embers
Embracing the boils and scars

Vanquishing my fears
I confront her

"Hello, my name is : Fraught With Disappointment"

My sleeve smolders and I persevere.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Brendan Dacey

Brendan Dacey

Kia Pantaloni

I asked the black and white girl
with the tangled mane
and the broken garters
What's the price for the soul
of a whore?

She looked at me and said,
The price to dunk a fool
at the county fair
into a freezing tub of water

What would happen if I
placed my arms around you?

She lifted her shirt up,
displaying grotesque burns
in repeated imprints
of spreading hands

What would happen if I put 
my lips to yours? I replied

Your lips would seal shut with
the black cum of one thousand
wretched men

What would happen if I put
my hands around your throat?

She crooned, Instead of screaming
I would sing.

What would happen if I put 
myself in your mouth?

She answered with a boney
hand to her breast, Your member
would cringe from the ancient gin
that burns my throat.

I looked her in the eyes and said,
What would happen if I put
myself inside of you?

Then I'll never let go,
she said as the liquid rouge
melted off her lips
and she came apart one by one
like cigarette ash to the wind

Ulises Garcia

Matthew Cox

Remembering, Reliving: Anti-Fading

Matchbox rooms
stood erect above a 
half hanging rail
that watched my
bumpy laundry basket rides.
The markings on the doorway
told me the previous family
was much taller than mine,
and I admired them.

My father spent weeks
making the shingles blue,
and I spent weeks
covering them with circles of dirt
in efforts to be
Cal Ripken Jr.
I heard the neighbors fights
the same time I realized
crawdads don't
live long in a glass box
full of sand and water.

My father chewed the peppermint,
so I chewed the peppermint.
We planted rows
of something beautiful.

My mother taught me
to fold socks,
and praised me when
my clothing matched.
We made giraffes from
paper plates,
and I always hid behind her.

Today I told a girl
that it would rain.
I really thought it would.
I wanted it to rain
because I know how she is
when it rains.

Today I was a genius - or a child,
because I believed it would rain.
And the same way
my grandfather died too soon,
not from cases of Natural Light
or cartons of cigarettes,
but because I stopped
tying his feet in the sailor's knot
he taught me long ago.
The simple pleasure of 
untying the knot
made him a child.
And unlike a Navy tattoo
on freckled weathered skin,
and the paint of the ship
he sailed,
a child's spirit never