Monday, July 31, 2017


Empathy Blows Away

His feet are swollen and barefoot
and blackened
by what started as hardship
but now probably is disease.
He shuffles his way onto the train
a stick of wood in his hand
cloth draped over his shoulders,

I need help, he says
near tears
Can’t you see, I’m about to break down? he asks.
Can you see?

Everyone shuffles left or right
looks up or down as he passes
avoids looking directly
even as they dig out change or dollars

I don’t even have shoes, he says, his voice breaking.
If everyone on this train gave me a dollar
I would have enough to buy shoes.
I wouldn’t have to be barefoot.

Can’t you see I’m about to lose it?
Can’t you see I’m falling apart?

Please, ma’am, stop staring at my feet
he shouts from the other end of the train.

Mama, the little girl next to me says,
that man has no shoes.


No Mama, he’s barefoot
did you see his toes?
Should we give him money, Mama?

Will you be quiet? her mother says tugging at her braids.

But Mama, he has no shoes.

Listen up, she says
That is his fault. You hear me?
We all make our choices in this world.
You will be best served to remember that.

And I watch the little girl look from her feet
to his
and back to hers again
as empathy turns light as a dead leaf

and blows away.

--Ally Malinenko

Sunday, July 30, 2017


The Greatest

The Donald claims he’s our voice,
will bring back the American Dream,
urges the use of nuclear weapons,
invites Russian spies to help
him take Hillary down.

He tells us what a smart,
successful, great guy he is.
Has plans to fix the economy,
bring back jobs,
annihilate ISIS
the day he’s sworn in.

Lacking filters or impulse control,
he lies as easily as breathing,
spills state secrets,
shoots from the hip,
spews infantile tweets.

--Jennifer Lagier 

Saturday, July 29, 2017


“Trump has Won the Presidency”

I will find beauty.
I will hunt for it
and force myself to see.
These lilies, for example, still fresh
from my daughter’s combination
bat mitzvah/quinceanera.
I will not see them as vulvas
ready to grab.
I will not focus on
how all of them are white.
If not these flowers, trees.
Or wren, rocks, fountains,
sidewalks bright with children’s chalk.
Surely something can force my eyes
from images of swastikas
and “Die Nigger” on buildings,
can make our broken country turn the other way.
There must be beauty fierce enough to save us.

--Alison Stone

WineDrunk SideWalk: ShipWrecked in TrumpLand week TWENTY SEVEN wrap-up

Are you there, kittens? It’s me, Ally.
We just recently slithered past the six month marker and all I can say is HOW. How is it already six months? How is it only six months. Stop the ride. I want to get off.

Claws out, kittens. This is about to get bumpy

This week began with Sean Spicer taking his podium and walking, leaving millions concerned with
Melissa McCarthy’s career, following the appointment of Scaramucci (cue a thousand Queen jokes) the “Mooch” (I can’t make this stuff up) as the White House Communications Director. He then proceeded to delete a whole host of old tweets in some sort of disturbing version of “transparency.”


Following Spicer’s hissyfit, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was tapped to succeed him which was fine with the Mooch as long as she keeps the same make up and hair guy. (Again, I can’t make this stuff up.) Granted, Mooch’s hiring was supposed to move things away from the Russian investigation but unfortunately Mooch’s shorts are looking a little dirty. Apparently at a January meeting with the head of a Russian sovereign wealth fund they talked about possible joint investments.


Meanwhile back at the ranch, Jared “My Daddy’s a Criminal Too” Kushner spent two hours with congressional investigators during which time he claimed all his actions were proper and he did not collude with the Russians. So pretty much he’s lying. And then the internet mocked his wife because an old tweet of hers misquoting Albert Einstein made the rounds.

I know. It’s top tier petty to enjoy this but honestly I despise this woman so I’m gonna enjoy it.
Then the rumor mill started really churning when DOUCHE said he was thinking about replacing Jeff Sessions with Rudy Giuliani which I suspect is a giant ruse to get Jeff, who recused himself from the Russian investigation, to resign. Not to mention Guiliani as the head of the DOJ seems in many ways even WORSE than sessions when it comes to horrifying ideas about people of color. So while DOUCHE wouldn't commit to firing Sessions he said he's very mad at him (insert toddler with a temper tantrum here). Sessions tried to kiss and make up by DOUCHE wasn’t having it. Now why is this important? Because if DOUCHE goes ahead and makes Giuliani the AG he can fire Mueller and end the Russian investigation which is where I think this is probably going to go. I don’t mean to be Debby Downer, kittens but this is not looking good.
There was even chatter that Rex is on his way out so….CHAOS REIGNS! (that’s my antichrist joke).

And if that wasn’t chaotic enough  DOUCHE held his own little Hitler Youth Rally at the Boyscout Jamboree in West Virginia during which time he bragged about winning the election, lambasted the fake news, pissed all over Hillary, mocked Obama for never going to a Jamboree – which our Dad did go to in 2010 and there are pictures to prove it – and then to just round out the Hitler image, he ranted about LOYALTY.


And then Tuesday came and everyone’s favorite “maverick” John "Fuck Health Care" McCain sauntered into the chamber like he’s some kind of fucking hero and voted to take away everyone’s healthcare….after just having treatment for his inoperable brain tumor, mind you. The irony is lost on no one. Because only two Republicans had the balls to vote no (thank you Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – feel free to take that Texas piece of swine Blake Farenthold up on that duel suggestion. Aim for his crotch, ladies. Update: Collins later got caught on a hot mike calling him unattractive, so…) and then Mike Pence broke the tie and just like that health care died. Here’s the breakdown on who voted what.
The only thing we can do is hope to god since this is a preliminary vote that every American everywhere, I’m looking at you Trump supporters, light up the phones of every senator who voted Yes. The next 24 hours are crucial. Because, Trumpers, they have rightly and completely fucked you too. I just hope you realize this before you’re dead.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m pretty upset right now. There are people that matter to me that I am very worried about. 

So what happens now? The Senate will have 20 hours of debate, evenly split between the two sides so that they can bring up issues, amendments, horrors, shit shows, germane to the bill. Then something “fun” called vote-a-rama is gonna happen at which point they’ll vote to just repeal , which will fail and then they’ll vote to replace. That requires 60 votes. Chances are good the “skinny repeal” will be up which repeals the individual mandate, employer mandate and the tax on medical devices. You keeping up, kittens? Good, go call your reps.

And then because Tuesday just wouldn’t die already, the Senate Judiciary Committee dropped its subpoena against Paul Manafort because he just met with the Senate Intelligence Committee to chat about the Russians.

And while he was there, we all aged about 1,000 years, n’cest pas?

Wednesday we woke to find out that for the 1000th time Republicans have proven that they do not know how to govern. They repealed the repeal (again not making this up). Confused, kittens? Me too. Basically all the senators did yesterday was bring the bill that was passed in the House to the senate. Tuesday night our hardworking nincompoops brought to the floor their most complete version of the repeal/replace plan. Because that piece of crap legislation that would allow for junk insurance to prosper was not assessed by the Congressional Budget Office, it needed 60 votes to pass.

Guess how many votes it got, kittens?

Forty-motherfucking- three.

I’ll wait while you laugh at how freaking incompetent Republicans are.

Finished? Okay.  Then DOUCHE got on twitter and blasted Murkowski because she has a soul and 
he’s bitterly jealous.

Now the senators need to vote on a different repeal – one that is repeal ONLY (no replace). Basically they’re just going to deny people coverage. And guess what? THAT didn’t pass either! It needed a simple majority and instead was vote No 54-45. Seven Republicans voted No.

The fact that only SEVEN republicans are okay with killing people is revolting.

So now we’re up to choice number 3 which leaves much of our Dad’s law in place. They’ll roll back the mandate that most people have insurance and a tax on medical devices.

While this was happening, DOUCHE went on his twitter account and said that transgendered people were no longer allowed to serve in the military because of the “tremendous costs and disruption”

He called transgendered people a “burden.”

Burden? No. Beautiful. Brilliant. Beyond. Badass. Belonging. Beloved. Blossoming. Bold. Boundless. Brightest. Brilliant. Bonafide.

But not a burden. I was pleased to see #TransRightsAreHumanRights trending as moral outrage caught fire and this was one of my favorites:

But seriously kittens, I think it’s important to understand that this is not something that down the road could hurt people. This is something that IS hurting people right now.  Aside from denying their humanity DOUCHE is denying them an income, access to health care and retirement. He is taking their jobs.

So why would he do this? Good question, kittens. Turns out that House Republicans put together a gross bill that includes DOUCHE's border wall. There was in-fighting among defense hawks that wanted a ban on Pentagon funded sex reassignment surgery and House GOPers that were against the ban. So the hawks turned to DOUCHE. So he turned to Twitter to debase humans.

And then during a press conference in order to stop the press from asking about the transgender ban, Sarah “DOUCHE is my King” Huckabee Sanders, read a letter from a kid named pickle who loves Trump. I AM NOT KIDDING.

Hot take: Pickle is actually DOUCHE. He wrote the letter himself. In crayon. 

On Thursday, to follow up on DOUCHE’s tweets about transgendered service people, the DOJ filed court papers saying that Title VII doesn’t apply to sexual orientation discrimination. This is alarming for a number of reasons – the DOJ isn’t involved in the case and more importantly doesn’t usually take part in legal issues with private businesses. Now Title VII does cover sex discrimination based on stereotypes which is often what is invoked when there are cases of sexual orientation discrimination. The DOJ is saying that is not the case.  Last month the seventh circuit was the first federal court to rule that it DOES apply to sexual orientation. The second circuit is hearing the case of Zarda vs High Altitude. If the second circuit follows the seventh it will rule that Title VII does cover orientation. If it rules that it does not, the Supreme Court is going to step in because it abhors a circuit split – different laws applying to different parts of the country. Then maybe we can end this once and for all and it will rule that Title VII does cover sexual orientation.

Did you enjoy your law lesson, kittens? You’re welcome. I learned it all from this amazing woman.

The Pentagon fired back that no one was going anywhere and nothing had changed. 

In one small bit of good news the House approved bipartisan sanctions against Russia (and Iran and North Korea) while limiting DOUCHE’s ability to waive them. Putin is spitting mad. And while all of this is going on, Sessions is doubling down on sanctuary cities, Trump is forcing him to change his address to “Under the Bus” and North Korea is probably going to have a missile that can reach the US in….oh about a year. At least if these are the end times, it looks like they won’t last very long.

His approval rating is down to 40% and that includes states he won in. Fuck you, Pennsylvania. Too little, too late.

Then the Mooch started talking about how Bannon sucks his own cock.
I"m not kidding kittens. He literally said this.
This is our government now.

But let’s get back to this Healthcare Bill because that is way more important than toxic masculinity running the White House. After all it’s another day so another opportunity to screw over poor people. It is, after all, the Republican way.

Now that we’re on our THIRD attempt at a vote, what’s going up is being called the Skinny Repeal. They’re starting with cutting the mandates that people, you know, have health insurance and that employers give their employees, you know, FUCKING health insurance. Oh and also fuck you to maternity care AND planned parenthood. Even the insurance lobbyist said this was bad news.

In the dead of the night, kittens, something incredible happened. The skinny repeal STILL FAILED! You’re not surprised though are you? You know, as we all know, as even THEY know that the GOP cannot govern.  So what does this mean? More than likely the vote to repeal and replace the ACA is dead. 

Ding dong the bill is dead!

Front and center in all of this had been John McCain who after receiving a brain cancer diagnosis returned to the Senate to ceremoniously vote to repeal and replace and then voted No in the end. The whole country (and possibly parts of the world) are losing their minds. People are calling it the McCain Moment.  The post had an article saying “The night John McCain killed the GOP’s healthcare fight.”

Um, No. NO. NO. NO.

What he did was hard, sure. But Senators Murkowski (AK) and Collins (ME) did all along was much harder. They voted No from the start. They were the only Republicans to vote against the Better Care Reconciliation Act which would have led to 22 million more uninsured Americans.

They saved lives from Day One.

For this they got death threats. DOUCHE mocked them on twitter.

So while everyone – and I mean everyone because women are tripping all over themselves to thank McCain which honestly is PEAK white feminism – I mean you can’t even acknowledge your fellow sisters? What the what?

Take a minute to thank these women.

But more importantly, take a minute to thank the all the activists that went to DC, that were arrested and slept in their wheelchairs and never stopped fighting for all our rights.

This is Stephanie Woodward, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, being arrested.

Thank her.  Thank the 60 others who had the courage to go to DC and refuse to be ignored. Thank @ADAPT, the disability rights agency for staging this protest.

They are the fucking heroes. YOU are a fucking hero for protesting and calling your Senators. You who turned yourself into a righteous pain in this admin's ass. You did this too. So thank you.

Remember kittens, WE control our government. Not the other way around. Those Senators WORK FOR US. 

In response DOUCHE decided to tell a bunch of police officers that police brutality is okay.

Oh and the Mooch's wife filed for divorce. Women really ARE leading the resistance. 😉

AND just when I thought I was done with the week, Rince Priebus has been FIRED and replaced with a general named John F. Kelly.

I can't. I'm weary. I need a nap and a thousand bottles of wine.

You see, kittens.
There are so many fires. One after another. We have to keep fighting.

Until next time

Chins Up, Claws Out,

Coming up we've got some bad ass women up on the blog with Alison Stone at 10:30 and kicking off tomorrow is Jennifer Lagier.

Friday, July 28, 2017


Berlin Alexanderplatz

It won’t take long now
before you discover
how sorry you are
about everything
you’ve broken and beaten.

God, I’d love to be there
on the day you regret
some invisibly damaged
who is not me.
I’m not suggesting that
there’s penance to be done
or that
the sky will crack for
anyone’s ascension.
Atoms won’t split willy-nilly.
Protons won’t flee from electrons.
There’ll be no nucleic rift.

The universe broke down
a long time ago, my friend.

Long live hydrogen, the combustible!
Long live helium, the eternal high!
Long live carbon and the copies that repeat
            and never fade.

--Drew Pisarra 

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Elegy for The Orange Menace

The White Truth has been thinking about all the times his whiteness has been tainted. He remembers duels with Black Panther, The Falcon, El Gato Negro, how their blood trickled onto his crisp uniform to untuck a sheet. The White Truth channels all his pain into healing drops. He recites a poem:

The triumph of will may bring
the fallen back to our earth,
this world of eternal struggle.
It is not truth that matters,
but victory, reason reserved
only for the few. May our lies
remain big, our terror a bridge.

The White Truth cries enough tears to deny newsprint its ink. The climate around him changes. Orange liquid lifts from the ground to mix with clouds. It begins to rain. The White Truth feels his eyes burning away. He can’t imagine a world in which he can’t judge what he sees. At the hospital, the press calls. “Don’t worry,” he says. “It was a freak accident, an isolated incident.”

--Daniel M. Shapiro
(from the Chapbook The Orange Menace) 

Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of Heavy Metal Fairy Tales (Throwback Books, 2016), How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside press, 2013), and The 44th-Worst Album Ever (NAP Books, 2012). He is a senior poetry editor with Pittsburgh Poetry Review.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017



Donald Trump uses
his voice like ventriloquists
to speak for us all.

Trump's Small Hands

Trump uses small hands
to rape America and
make it great again.

Freedom Only Exists

Remember freedom
only exists in a world
without any walls.

--Craig Firsdon

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


for Mindy Mastruserio

Blood above the bed after a near-week of late-August is brown
and the jellied bits of brain too are brown
and the smell is tended with paper plates of cat litter here and there
and a loud fan in the window not oscillating
There are stained photos on a shelf in the closet
and prescription bottles all over and dirty silverware
I don't know what to do with the sheets but pull them into a plastic bag
and turn the mattress and gag

There is traffic and commerce and couples meeting for drinks still
Flights still leave on the hour for Paris, Barcelona, Reykavic
Tokyo is out there with its bullet train
I will fall in love and marry, but not for years yet
I will never lose this smell
I will go tracking it through friends' apartments
To Austin, St. Louis, and Portland

I will cross the Rockies by jeep and the wind will not blow it away
I will drink away an afternoon thinking only of baseball
And still there will be a speck of it
A whole cosmos one-zillionth the size of this one
but always there stained brown
even in the blank sky of summer nights at home
no flickering moment of memory is heavier
more jagged at its edges and more corrupted

What does Kierkegaard say about love? Or Peter Cetera?
We are to carry it and breathe it in, bathe in it like the waters of our births,
To know it as complex as a premonition of death
This is the task we have been set
by philosophy and by pop music
This is the stuff of art that matters

This is despair, I guess
This is love.

--Kristofer Collins

Monday, July 24, 2017


Mixed Message : A History Lesson 2017

This is what 
the Fascist’s did 
in the 1930’s and 40’s:

cleansed the race 
of the genetically impure

the mentally ill 
sexual deviants 

the cripples 
and the infirm

Now here 
in Washington DC 
Today in June of 2017

republicans release 
details of crafted-in-secret 
No Health Care bill

arrest the protestors 
in the halls of Congress:

the disabled in wheelchairs 
on oxygen 
disability disadvantaged all

and either forcibly carry them out 
or escort them from in front 
of the Majority Leader of the Senate’s 
office door outside

to where the box cars are waiting

--Alan Catlin

Sunday, July 23, 2017



they have us
standing behind barricades
in midtown manhattan
right on the one side
and wrong on the other
the tourists are having a field day taking pictures
when not snapping photos
of themselves standing
in front of the president’s gaudy skyscraper
posting them to facebook
and instagram
for the folks back home below the mason/dixon
on the wrong side
they are angrily waving their american flags
their cop flags
wearing their make america great again hats
holding signs saying ban the muslims
ones that say, build that wall
of course they are chanting
one blonde barbie-doll is clapping
and jumping as if she were watching the NFL
with the exception of one misdirected black man
they are all white and tired
with little dignity left
and nothing to cling to in this world but nationalism
and ancient, racist rhetoric
yet somehow the country is still theirs
on the right side we are trying to drown them out
with chants
against fascism
against capitalism
against the patriarchy
against abject hate
against that american colossus white supremacy
holding signs and marching to drumbeats
it’s 2017 and we are literally reminding each other
that muslims are people
that women are people
that black people are people
that gays and lesbians and transgendered people….are people
how dumb men in cheap suits
professional liars
who couldn’t tell you where the clitoris is located
are making laws governing women’s bodies
down in washington d.c.
and it feels good to be around these chanting folks
it’s easy to feel so alone these days
isolated and insecure
it’s refreshing
it feels almost comforting
to scream out loud into the humid manhattan sky
if you don’t stop and think
that america is constantly reinventing the wheel
a nation full of barricades and bullshit
so willing to hit the reset button on progress
at least once a generation
how that bile is always lurking below the surface
red hats and red faces
fist pumping jingoists en masse 
fear and ignorance and hatred on display like pride
a man with a fat ass riding his bike
back and forth across our barricade
making the “loser” sign with his fingers
calling us commies
telling us  my country love it or leave
how we should all be locked up
as if it were that easy
as if that were all that they needed for salvation
their hatred to reign supreme
another wall
another barricade

--John Grochalski


Saturday, July 22, 2017


Just Block Him

Just block him, you said.
I don’t understand, you said.

I know, I said.
I should.
It’s just.

Just what? Just block him.
He’s a troll.
He’s an idiot.
It’s just Twitter.
Just block him.

I know but
the thing is
I want to think
I can change him.
Can slowly dismantle
centuries of thinking
or worse
that if I don’t fight back
I’m letting down all the other
women who speak up
and talk about these things.
That we are tethered to fighting
like a ship at sea
trying to stay afloat in the tempest.
We have no choice.

Just block him, you said.
Do it. Otherwise I’m going
to say something.

I thought of all the arguments
all the articles to verify and link to
all the work to prove my humanity
to a human who thought
I was lucky things were the way they were
that they could be so much worse.

That starving was better than drowning
even though they both ended in death.

Alright, I said.
I’ll block him.
And I won’t think of it as quitting.

But when I logged in
it was already done
and he had blocked me

and I know he didn’t
not really
not in the big scheme kind of way
but truth be told
It sure feels like

he won.

--Ally Malinenko