LAST STOP TO SASKATOON
One Book. One epic Poem. Am unadulterated, uncensored, stream-of-consciousness protest against the state of the world.
Available right here at our bookstore –
LET IT BLEED – By Nicole I. Nesca –
This isn’t just a book of prose and poetry but a beautiful streetwise and lyrical telling of a life in pursuit of truth, sex, love, youth-lost and experience. With an alternating rhythm of long free-flowing sentences and short, minimalist statements, Let It Bleed is an original urban street-hymn that hearkens to writers of yesterday like Sylvia Plath and also the more modern rock and roll writings of Patti Smith, but always and forever original and unique.
Available right here at our bookstore –
Ted Prokash’s site – Great indie writing –
The home of subversive writing –
Thirty West is dedicated in providing an outlet for artists of exquisite caliber –
Showing aspiring lit zine editors / publishers how it is done –
VidLit is a community in support of writing. Period. We believe writing is not alive until someone reads it –
G.H Neale’s site – Author and big part of the underground literary revolution –
Half blog and half publisher, we are a literary website and writers’ collective for those off the beaten path.
Junkyard Lucy is a collection of stories by underground writer Tony Nesca. Stylistically alternating between Nesca’s unique free-flow style, full of that incredible, rhythmic prose that only he can do, and street-tough, short declarative sentences, the writing shows incredible range. The themes are varied and widespread – from love, sex, music, death, old age, rebellious youth and everything in-between, Junkyard Lucy is a subversive celebration of being alive, a
romantic, sexually charged discourse on life, alive, unfettered and free.
We sat for a second in silence surrounded by squeegee kids with tall beautiful Mohawks smell of marijuana in the air on the corner of Stradbrook Street and Osborne starving artists university students with their pointed shoes and spiky hair we was playing the slow lament tune wind whistling Dixieland blues, firetruck making its run old drunk walked out of sleazy hotel he stumbling poor desperate poor, punk rocker hand stretched out I gave him his bread man Barney adding a few coins we was hillbilly intellectual riding the death-ship unafraid bloody and cornered,
“Let’s forget about it” I said,
“I hear ya, there’s The Toad In The Hole, is it open yet, let’s have a dozen”
The Toad was an Irish pub I think Jake already there taking in the fumes could hear Louis Armstrong in the background Jake sitting in a corner by a window facing the Osborne Village with all the freaks parading their shit up and down the street while Satchmo played the blues, sorta dark place emblems from U.K. soccer teams all over the walls fish and chips kidney pie young people hanging out at the tables old guys at the bar, not kidding when I say Jake could have fit in to the early jazz era perfectly with that thin mustache cigarette dangling from his lips man insecure sneer hair thick as the devil’s, Barney ran to him they hugging while the music switched to Celtic room thick with smoke, we talked at light speed all at the same time words rolling off our tongues like spider-web fantasies, good friends listen closely while piano plays solo at the midnight serenade, cool cool movement running down Bourbon Street, love that clarinet she plays as I pack my suitcase Jack green-grass telling me shit doodle dandy, got the blues mama he tells her street corner hooker laughing in the rain, “you like jazz?” she saying “you like blues?” as I dance through the grim sunlight church bell ringing, feeling easy street under my shoes jazz-man old and wiry smiles crocodile beer and crucifix wine,
“…christ man (in mid-conversation), you’re like Indiana-fucking-Jones” Said Jake,
“Seen the world twice over” Said Barney,
“But do you really think you guys at Greenpeace are accomplishing anything?”
Music plays on feel Bessie Smith eyeballing me crotch heavy with sensation, two lesbians making love-electric, love-electric tornado valley brimming sexual movement that girl shaking her THING to that fucking crazy Ska beat ass rotating Wildman-blues, she slinks over red red lips wide open long moody thigh slips in and out of black dress, “what’s up baby?” she says old drunk leaning forward gives a wink and a smile “what’s up love-thing juicy?”,
“Look Jake, it’s not really about whether we’re actually stopping anything..”
“Well then what the fuck…”
“Let me finish…it’s about raising awareness to an issue so that the people with the real power will do something”
“You guys are both talking shit” I said,
Walking the sweaty Winnipeg summer streets man see the long-distance-runner copping a feel, see that old crazy broad on the corner giving head in rhythm bop bop bang, she got one tooth missing she beautiful and distant, hear the muted horn as it sings that sad note early Sunday morning, can you hear it? off-key love all there is, she banging those round wild hips all over the world, she got sleepy overbite mouth closing over it like rose pedal madness, you gotta see Paris in the moonlight she says, don’t give a damn about Paris I say her ass in my face telling me stories, touch her lips with mine softly explode while running the gauntlet,
“All I’m saying” Said Jake “Is that I can’t stand futile efforts that are really, really, just an attempt to appease your own conscience…it’s like someone saying, ‘I will not buy any stolen car stereos, that’s my part’…what the fuck does that do?…is that going to stop the theft of car stereos?…of course not…this is futile bullshit that solves nothing”
“You couldn’t be more wrong man, think what would happen if by setting the example more people, a lot of people, maybe even most people, would stop buying stolen car stereos?..do you see what I mean?”
“He’s got you there” I said ordering a few shots of Sambuca,
Waitress 5 foot tall big hips and breasts like the atom bomb brown eyes large beautiful round thighs genuine smile 18 or 19 years old T-shirt says ‘hug me’, who wants anything more I think, who deserves anything more keep the music going she fall down lovely she got it electrifying old man trouble we in love I say, oh yeah she says we cooked in lust cuz you know it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that yeah-yeah,
“I think both of you got it wrong” I said, “you’re missing the bigger picture”
“Oh yeah?” Said Barney,
“Yeah, all anyone has to do in life, their only obligation, is to live in character, to do exactly what comes naturally to them, know what I mean?…when you live OUT of character, that’s when depression sets in and the whole world goes out of whack”
Night always comes from a distance purple and grey, out in the graveyard the devil sings in the moody dusk he got the midnight blues guitar out of tune wails forever, forever lonely and beautiful she winks like madness, she smiles happy discord silent wisp in your ear goes nuclear baby baby baby please don’t go,
“Besides the fact that I get chicks from all over the world” Said Barney,
“You got me there man” Said Jake shaking Barney’s hand,
“Yum yum googly-fuck” I said,
“Tell him about Jasmina” Said Jake
“This tall French chick Barney, goddamn almost indescribable beauty man, sexy sexy, 18 years old”
“That’s a bit young, wouldn’t you say?”
“Normally I would agree with you but she’s different, very intelligent and mature, and experienced…it’s different in Europe, you know?”
“More mature than you” Said Jake wiry grin,
“Sounds funky” Said Barney,
“I’ll bet” I interrupted those fuckers “as soon as she sees you, Barney, she’ll make a B-line straight for you”
“I wouldn’t mind meeting her”
Then his head went down for an instant thinking about someone else, someplace else, she crawls into your mind nothing you can do pal, brain tilts to one side and slips out your ear tough-looking wise guy butts cigarette on the face of the world gone far far insane, slinking down that filthy back alley with the garbage cans like tombstones she winks goodbye, goodbye cuz the sky’s blue and lonely, goodbye cuz the punk-rock jazz beat can’t last forever, goodbye cuz there ain’t nothing else to do in a smoke-filled room but keep singing honest lies about love and hate as the sky turns red/purple and dances fat-ass wanting to the end of the night…
Gassino was its name, Italian village on the outskirts of the northern city called Torino and it was in the foothills of the Italian Alps built on a slope stretching up and up to the top of the town where old villas sat facing the village below them lights twinkling like fireflies at night looking for love, sex, vengeance – mountains loomed over everything tall and majestic clouds like gentle explosions framing their peaks just outside my backyard you felt like you could touch them, like you could spit on all their holy bullshit and the hell with everything, when you’re fixing to die it all comes together anyway, all to an end and everything in the end and to the beginning and back again, I lived there, in one of those villas, a particularly modern one built out of orange bricks and just about the size of a small school, fucking big thing man, but welcoming and warm and always full of people lit up like firecrackers fixing to die…
Mother there, grandmother, great-grandmother, father and brother back in Canada, myself a kid of 14 just coming into puberty and digging all the young Italian chicks walking around the village and trekking up to the mountains right by the path in front of my house, all this beautiful rendering of flesh and youthful desire some kind of torturous heaven for a kid my age, man oh man…from my place the journey to the village was all downhill a twisting narrow road lined with small stone houses and cafes on both sides me hugging the walls as cars raced by without a thought or care about my ass, and I would ride my bike down those streets hitting speeds dangerous to body and soul and thinking back I realize my damn luck cuz the road was so steep, y’see, that hitting the brakes was impossible – you started at the top of the road, took the plunge, and until you hit the flat land of the village center you were at the mercy of the gods and of those fuckheads driving those cursed Fiats like there was absolutely no time to waste, not a second to spare, life is short, yes it is, feeling the wind of cars as they barely miss you, feeling the rush and the fear of near-death, and the graceful radiant luck as you skid to a halt at the mouth of the village….
Went flying over handlebars and smashed right into a fence once, car tire racing by my head as I lay on the ground wondering if god loves me….stopped taking the bike after that…but those jaunts to the town center were full of problem-free joy and if you have ever been to Italy then you understand what I mean when I describe that constant smell of cooking that is always present, that life-affirming aroma that hangs in the air like the solution to everything, especially pervasive in the small villages that dot the entire country and that are the real Italy, but no matter, the butcher’s shop and that strange looking woman hanging on the front stoop as a thin trickle of blood flowed to the street, the café with the old men playing cards and drinking espresso and brandy day and night arguing about soccer, politics, life, the bread shop – man, the bread shop – you want to talk about smell? Is there a better aroma than baking bread? All kinds of bread, flat bread, long bread, sourdough, pane toscano, French baguette, panini, pancarre, I would stop there every day after school and just hang out for a while, just smile and dig being alive, what ever happened to that feeling?
Then there was the outdoor swimming pool just a few blocks from my school, used to go there with my friends and cousins during summer break and the girls our age were there and we awkwardly flirted and dug their bathing suits and their mischievous smiles and their need to play the game, and all the village young people would gather there on a Saturday afternoon feeling like this was everything, this was the entire world, there was nothing else, and if there was, we couldn’t have cared less – this was the world, and it was fine, and it was enough – one of the lifeguards was a woman, maybe 21 or 22 years old, and she was my first crush, my first older woman, I never spoke to her of course, never even smiled at her, it was enough to look at her in her black bikini, red bikini, purple bikini, gold bikini with black dots, thick brown hair curly and wild, tan skin and painted toes and thighs as round as heaven, and it was enough to think of her when I was alone at home hand in my pants all my fantasies as real as anything and in my 14 year old head she was there, sitting right beside me in my room as we discovered rock and roll, as we listened to old April Wine records and wondered and marveled at this new thing called rock and roll…
I used to think that rock and roll made me feel like an animal, my first and truest love causing an explosion in my life beyond description, all that guitar riffing and fuzzing tearing the skies wide open, those drums banging the shit out of all things decent and holy my head snapping back and forth like war-time Ohio and Alan Freed sweating buckets spinning Little Richard records with no time left….and the walk uphill as we went home sun just kind of hanging low waiting to disappear, took the opposite way many times up an open road large field on either side town cemetery large and wild I would stop there…great-grandmother’s grave was there and I would rest back against tombstone and think – about her, about me, about my school, about Canada I left behind, about father and brother in Canada, about doing something stupid and crazy, but enough with it, I would slowly make for home my young knees feeling no pain walking the steep slope home road turning to gravel then through the woods past the wild dogs and even wilder cats, took great-grandmother there for a walk once – she was about 84 years old, very short, chubby, big nose, kerchief on her head, but in incredible shape and endurance like those old-village people are without even trying and felt mischievous started telling her all sorts of stories about bandits in the hills, and wild animals roaming the countryside, and the bandits would kidnap people and hold them for ransom, great-nonna beginning to get scared hanging on to me tight yet enjoying the trip, I could tell, I think she knew I was bullshitting but enjoyed the thrill like riding a rollercoaster, y’now, a safe kind of scare….
So 45 minutes after leaving the swimming pool I would reach the beginning of my street gravel road leading right up to our house on the corner heard my dogs barking then saw them at the fence causing all sorts of shit, German Shepperd bastard, Collie, Chihuahua all excited to see me, front gate green with long cement stairs leading up to an archway and there sat my great-nonna her thick grey hair in a bun peeling potatoes or mixing salads or playing solitaire, I walk in and she hugs me then gives me shit about something, mother and grandma cleaning or visiting with aunts and uncles, uh-huh…our backyard about the size of a soccer field but on a slope except for the flat stone patio grand and large that circled the house and there I went to kick the soccer ball around dreaming of being a professional soccer player playing for Torino in Serie A all those fat-ass lazy fans cheering for me and me fucking around with the groupies, what a life, huh, I didn’t stop until I heard my mother screaming it was suppertime and there came those Italian scents, there came that food and that way of living but just before I go in I see something through the slats of our fence neighbor’s villa being right there…I see the daughter girl my age called Fiorenza sun-bathing in her red bikini and I watch in silence and I feel like the sun is melting and I feel hidden and brave and she lifts a thigh to the sky, yawns, turns her head in my direction….she sees me….she frowns….then she smiles and winks and closes her eyes…
The first casualty in the so-called self-publishing revolution has been literary fiction – if it ain’t about vampires, werewolves, wizards, wargs, elves, spaceships, robots, superheroes, zombies, super-spies, dragons, detectives, car chases, explosions, then it’s buried somewhere deep and dark and beautiful and good luck finding it. I figured the best writers were all dead and gone and that I was one of the last rock and roll survivors beating on the keys late at night and writing about – god forbid – people…we are in a cultural wasteland, make absolutely no mistake about it…the geeks have taken over the world and they ain’t letting go anytime soon –
So imagine my delight when I discovered Ted Prokash at Joyless House Publishing-
http://www.joylesshousepublishing.com/ – this guy writes and publishes his own stuff, like we do here at Screamin’ Skull Press, and he writes like one of the Lost Generation from the 20’s – you know, that ex-pat American and UK bunch hanging out in Paris, drinking, fucking, doing drugs, reading, writing, loving, hating, and trying to figure out what the hell this thing called life is all about – he especially reminds me of Fitzgerald, but with a good dose of Americana punk-rock/rock-punk thrown in there, and a touch of Iggy Pop for good measure.
It is beautiful work man, I dug it the second I read the first excerpt and I wrote this review about his novel, A FOOL FOR LESSER THINGS –
I am reading his second novel, THE BROTHERS CONNOLLY, http://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Connolly-Ted-Prokash/dp/0692393595/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1451614214&sr=1-2, and it is just as smoking as the first one – second review for Mr. Prokash coming soon, kids…so check out his site, read his work, buy some shit, and while you’re at it buy some of our shit as well, go through our site, see and feel the wonders and marvels and, ahhh, fuck it, BUY OUR BOOKS!…
Thus on New Year’s eve, 2015, I write these words, 6 Rye and 7’s in me (more to come), while listening to The Replacements, their “PLEASED TO MEET ME” album, nice and loud, alone (wife Nicole at work), feeling dizzy and happy and ready for another kick at the goddamn wheel man, more laughs, tears, triumphs and beautiful failures – I’m also thinking some good grass right now would really fit the bill, don’t ya think?
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM TONY AND NICOLE, SCREAMIN’ SKULL PRESS –