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featured poets & artists


doug stone

was born in toronto, canada and spent the 1960s to 1980s hitch-hiking, making candles and pine furniture, working in factories, toiling for ibm, as the manager of computer security for general foods, etc. then I entered the entertainment field. I work in los angeles, where I have lived for the past twenty years. dstoneent@comcast.net




in the exaggerated States of America,

I see you.

You're the shining image

in a blind-man's wet dream.

You're the glossy coupon

cut from a $10 magazine.

The night has clipped and trimmed me

and left a little on the sides.

The neon is nipping at your heels -

its imitation sky hums and crackles.

Like you, it's comfortable

in its nightime disguise.

Lizards in air-conditioned vans cruise the rap night,

riding on the screech of tires, drums and sperm.

They're lookin' to lock horns with emptiness

and put the fucker in hospital,

`cause, hey, dude,

sometimes emptiness needs his ass kicked.

It keeps him humble.

And you,

you come in shiny as a new penny,

sitting on its edge,

not knowing which way to land,

and everybody wanting to go 2 out of 3.

But you,

you cross your legs,

and tuck it away,

because you know you're the buried treasure

on a one-eyed Sailor's map.

You're the note that breaks the string,

the 10-year guarantee with parts and labour.

The poor man's dream

and the rich man's toy.

And I'm brushing back my hair with a razor.

I'm slicking back my hair with your tongue.

I'm walking upside down inside a daymare

that's been ridden hard and put away wet,

while the neon whispers lies,

that I'm getting too old to hear

and promises, promises that died before

you were ever born,

back when we had to walk 10 miles in the snow

just to get a little.

Not like now, not like now,

when they're born to the neon,

born to the night.

And me?

I buy a drink for emptiness,

`cause his nose is bleeding

and hey, why make an enemy of him,

`cause even in the vacuum of space/time,

energy bubbles,

and so does emptiness -

he's the champagne of despair.

And you,

you're the bed who picks herself up and walks

while you're still lying in it.

The night air shakes with the promise of easy pleasure

in one simple payment,

on a plan that everybody qualifies for.

`Cause if you're just pussy,

then they're just a wallet

and you can ride desire sidesaddle

like it was a fat golden calf -

and hey,

when's Moses coming down with those commandments anyway?

The night exhales Monarch butterflies

and hangs them up to dry

like bright silk kites,

pinned to the wind.

The neon glows within them.

It's the trapped gas

being squeezed up from the mines,

where night has trapped desire and all her minions.

Cave-ins happen so often around here

that no one notices them anymore,

unless they slow down traffic.

But you,

you don't care.

You plan on living forever,

skating-boarding down your own veins

like a secret molecule riding a private joke.

You're gliding on the swing that never comes down.

You're the battery in a brain-fuck vibrator,

`cause when the cock goes in the air

the brain goes in the mud.

You're the mint julep masque on the Devil's face,

that cleanses the dirt off sin -

the secret prize at the bottom of the candy box,

the nipple centre of the target that everyone

points their feathered shaft at.

You're the back-seat girl,

rising like Venus on a crushed petal in the powder-black night,

where there is no sleep, no rest,

only 1,000-watt ceilings that crush the open eyes

and tear apart the myth of safety like an over-ripe melon,

so filled with emptiness, that it bursts,

spraying seeds and broken bits of sticky, sweet juice

into the face of night,

into the maw of death.

But you,

you're the young sweet hairdo blowing in a spring breeze.

It's not light bulb bright for you,

rolling in the dewy flower of a cardboard dream.

It's an angle, a look, a "too pretty to break," smile.

A flick of the head,

as your breath breaks into the neon,

and you disappear into an old man's tears.

Yeah, you.

You're the warm meal at the mission.

You're a hot needle on a cold night.

You're lying between the sticky sheets

of a young boy's eye-dreams.

So let's drink another drink.

Feel it tickle and burn

as it goes down,




Until the neon shines thru the empty glass

and shatters the light

into a 1,000 broken pieces.


Napoleon In Rags

for Ann

I took you behind your books of history

and we crouched there naked, but never bare.

And whatever sadness had been spilled upon your dress,

before I'd met you,

was too imbedded in the thread to be wiped away.

My tiny, threadbare rag of now

could not clean so deep a stain.

I longed to take you outside the gates of your Nunnery,

and pull you back from the ledge

that had seduced you to leap.

But, you were unreachable -

like the stacks of books you had written,

that no-one could bargain permission to open and read.

Each page sealed together

tighter than a farewell kiss.

The books whose heavy presence

bent the wooden shelves

above our heads,

in the dark, black room of our wordless lovemaking.

Not even the, "Knock, knock,who's there?" volume of our fucking

could vibrate a single volume closer to the edge,

where it might, in curiosity,

peer out from behind its curtained bindings.

No amount of sweat or jism could tempt it down

to reveal one naked page.

A page that might be shared

with a lover.

Dark and deep were the mines where you had buried

your heart‚s riches away.

Where you interned your memories

behind monuments of pain.

Where you enshrined your life tragedy,

embrossed a Tombstone with your family crest

and fought to preserve your right to bleed.

So that the betrayal

and humiliation of your love and dreams

might become mythical enough to justify your still being alive.

But what magic talisman had strength enough to shield you?

What tiny, naive caress, could clothe your loss

and cover the tattooed map

you had welcomed into the pores of your skin?

Instructing you, directing you,

inch by inch,

blue-line sexton clear,

towards the edge of the flattened planet,

where all ships are lost and disappear.

Why was there no accompanying chart to remind you

exactly what it was that you had buried there,

in the depths of your spirit's graveyard,

back in the days of your desperate love?

So you did not move, but clung to the darkness

of your tragedy and its bittersweet music,

which cried of despair

and abandonment

and the all too human heart.

Only the romance of my hurled stones,

tapping against your fourth story window,

awoke you to my presence and cut through

the rope that bound you to yourself.

But I was too young to own a pocket,

that could forever be filled with earthen, lustful rocks

and was too lost in the sound of my own, aimless, footsteps

to find your window in the dark again.

Why was there was no accompanying chart to remind you

exactly what it was that you had buried,

back in the days when you could still remember?

Why did the only shovel you still possessed

have a handle which turned blood-red,

every time you dared to dig into the pit

where your pale, bare skin, had been shed?

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