•  The Statute of Limitations and the Oscar of Liberty – Swami X
•  We Are Venice – Mark Lipman
•  House Finches – Krista Schwimmer
•  Once again I am here at the beach to die… – craig bowman
•  One for the ladies – rf wagner jr 
ª   Star Spangled – hillary kaye 
•  George Bush in Venice – Jim Smith 

————

The Statute of Limitations and the Oscar of Liberty

Give us your poor so we can rob them some more

Give us your sick + we’ll pile them on the

 Welfare Floor

Give us your ignorant + we’ll keep them that way

Give us your minds + we’ll lead you up the one way

Give us everything, cause we’re gonna take it, anyway 

You can give nothing away, you’re only here for a day

You are a ray from the eternal sun\That is only one of many, 

which all returns to One

It’s not really here, and then again, it’s never done

You can’t give away, you can only share,

 We’re all on the run

If you dare the soul to bare,then same essence

 We’re from

You’re only alive when you care about, at least,

 Another one

Life is good, life is fair, life goes on forever,

     Life is One

– Swami X

————
We Are Venice

By Mark Lipman
We are Venice.
The Jack Kerouacs of Venice
The John Haags of Venice
The George Carlins of Venice
The Jim Morrisons of Venice
We are what makes Venice cool
We are the Philomene Longs
And the Vera Davises of Venice
The Peggy Kennedys
And the Jim Smiths of Venice
We give Venice a heart.
We live wherever we can
And we all call Venice home
Some of us have been here days
Some years, some our entire lives
The ones who have been here the longest
Are often the poorest
Where do they call home?
Venice.
To take one part off
Is like amputating a limb
You can not do it and remain the same
Lose one part and you diminish the whole
All you’re left with is a shell without a soul
Venice, we make you tick
And you wouldn’t be Venice without us.
For those who have come lately
And there are more than a few
Stagnant and cold if your blood’s not renewed
For the few who have more
And the more who have less
None should be despised
Instead may we treat strangers with kindness
Lest they be angels in disguise.
Yes, Venice we be
A shared history with Abbot Kinney
It is you, it is me, it is we
We are Venice
————-
House Finches
By Krista Schwimmer
She comes to the bird feeder
after moments of watching
from above, amidst wire and sky.
She lands lightly, revealing
a bosom of dark stripes
beautiful as a girl’s new breasts.
She watches and eats
moving all the day long
her head slightly to the side.
Sometimes her mate risks
the feeder first, his red head and chest
exposed as a saint’s stigmata.
He stares at me, then eats
once pulling his body taut
to sing forth his song. And what a song!
Tell me, then, friend, why is
the world so full of horror when
daily the house finches feed?
———–
Once again I am here at the beach
to die…
Living outside is tumultuous,
in the Venice stimulation of mankind, happening
from a beatnik age of bare feet,
yet the modern bare feet ferment 
a highly intoxicating wine of a thousand words.
How foolish now I am apart of a destructive cycle
death on the Abbot Kinney street
me out no where to been seen
couldn’t afford a place to sleep
getting bills from helpless hospitals
with tears dripping on my sandy feet.
I am wondering why Venice Beach exists?
To end and renew through death,
a paint brush in the temple,
with blood along homeless sands?
Souls grow more out of their bodies at night
besides cold waves helps one’s heart beat,
at each pumping drum circle,
die when the beat of bongos end.
I can feel this fire burning
over the Santa Monica mountains
it’s lingering smoke trails poisoning the pink sunset
and suffocates my homeless job hunts on Lincoln boulevard.
My ancestors of the sun live,
at our blue globe I peer from ocean winds,
while here on the hill people are dancing languidly
as if waiting for an end to near.
Yet can the Venice force die,
or is it like a Stanley Kubrick obelisk?
I am half starving on the bum coast
but as Sunday drum circle is dispersing kids
they taunt a cornered cop
and the city youth are mad
I will paddle myself out to the Pacific
after I am dead.
–craig bowman
————
One for the ladies
I sense the full moon getting underway./ So bright it was last night, took holiday./ Tonight’s encore will surely do me in./A full moon over Venice: back again./ Perhaps it’s waned a bit; not quite as bright./ But I’ll be happy once it’s in my sight./ We’re all waning a bit, but we still glow,/ especially in Venice. Apropos/ to mention that the source of my delight/ is not limited to Venetian moonlight./ But it’s right up there. No need to explain/ the powerful attraction I obtain/ from lunar maximum. I love to play/ beneath its fire. Such Lycanthropy………rf wagner jr 
————
Star Spangled 
by hillary kaye 
 
The star spangled banner the idiot of hope is back
the four corners of the world are darkened with despair
do we now awaken out of a dream?
The hideous captor offers up warm cups of cream clotted and filled with blood
ancient city of Mesopotamia the world that Gods touched with their crimson eyes
oh how they are burnt now from so much more than even Gods could understand
knowing that man was capable of love and yet had chosen this.
Corrupting power of contagious desire pulling forth even the gold teeth out of the tiger and lamb
who now lay down so as not to be taken, at least not this time.
The gray grim reaper pulls out his knife and instead of having to come after prey
they jump upon it to eviscerate themselves in what once would have been a fight to be alive.
The monkey the tiger the elephant are they running back into the woods where trees are bought and sold
to be used in the homes of people with silk couches.
The streamline look of opulence captured in the reflection of a mirror, but not mirroring all that has been lost.
————-
George Bush in Venice
By Jim Smith
George Bush was on another bender.
Yolanda shouted at me through the open door:
“You better go see about George,
He’s acting really crazy.”
“Ok,” I said, and headed toward the Town House bar.
I had never liked the s.o.b. when he was president.
It was generally agreed that he was the worst ever.
Which only added to his drinking.
But what sent him over the edge
was when him and Laura split up back in ‘09,
Something seemed to snap in his puny little brain.
He disappeared from sight for a while
Said he gave the secret service the slip
and drove until he ended up in Venice.
I ran into him in the bar.
Thought he might be an Bush impersonator.
I liked him as soon as he complemented 
my poetry in the Beachhead.
We were talkin’ and laughin’ 
before I realized he was the monster, himself.
Nowadays there are two George Bushes.
One is the adolescent frat boy
who likes to get drunk at the Town House
and then run around North Beach
ringing doorbells and turning over trash cans.
Most people say, “Oh, that’s just George,
another kook on the beach.”
The second George Bush personality is a 1960s hippie.
He’s let his hair and beard grow long and wears a head band. 
A head band!
He’s begun looking for answers to questions he didn’t know existed.
George has developed a taste for pot and LSD
but most of his adventures end as bad trips.
He tells me he sees the ghosts of all those Iraqis
who died because of him.
And he says he doesn’t have a friend in the world,
outside of Venice.
Some of us have had to sit suicide watches with George
when he gets this way.
When I walked into the Town House, 
I saw that George was the center of attraction
jumping up and down and telling whoppers about world leaders.
He saw me, and yelled out, “Longfellow.” (his nickname for me)
“Am I glad to see you. Hey buddy, do you have my cell phone?”
I sat down at the now empty table. 
The frat boy was gone, too. George, the latter day hippie, 
was looking into my eyes. What did he see, I wondered?
“Yes, George, I took your cell phone because you asked me to.”
“Why would I do that,” he demanded.
“Because last time you got drunk you called Laura and she hung up on you.”
“Well, hell. Screw her,” the frat boy interjected from somewhere in there.
“But I really need the phone. I’ve been thinkin’ about that Iraqi thing, 
and I think they set me up to have the invasion.
You know, Rummy, the neo-cons, Mr. Cheney.
(Dick Cheney was the only person who George never called by a nickname.)
“I want to call Mr. Cheney and ask him.”
“George,” I said, “you’ve already phoned Dick Cheney several times
and he always hangs up on you after cussin’ you out.”
“You’re right, Longfeller. It’s just. It’s just. I don’t know.
“All those people – dead. What have I done?
They told me I was doin’ the right thing.
Givin’ the terrorists what they deserved.
But those little Iraqi children. 
They didn’t hurt anyone. Now they’re dead.”
He broke off with tears welling up in his eyes.
What could I say? I hated our mad president’s guts,
but felt sympathy for this shattered man.
Finally, I said: “George you have to make amends
as best you can.
“You got to explain what you and your pals have done,
and how horrible it was.
You know Harry Truman never said shit 
about dropping those a-bombs on living, breathing people. 
So we never learned anything.”
He straightened up. A new George was emerging before my eyes. 
“You’re right, Jim.” (he used my real name).
“You know they’ve put out a warrant in Europe for my arrest.
Tomorrow, I’m gonna fly to The Hague and turn myself in.”
Gonna take my medicine.
He looked around the bar and said,
“Let’s go to Abbot’s Habit for a cappuccino.
Boy, am I gonna miss Venice.”

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