Heroin

FAIR WARNING:  The poems in this mini chapbook contain profanity.

I know, mama says you can always choose nicer, softer words…  but, I cannot candy coat raw emotions without denying how I feel. There was nothing nice or soft or gentle about my nephew’s body being discarded like an empty paper cup tossed out of a car in a McDonald’s parking lot.

The second poem is about a girl I knew a few years ago, a neighbor who tried so hard to get clean. She was like a different person, happy and free, until her old dealer showed up in red car. It’s a little hard to avoid people, places, and things when they bring the shit right to your door.

The two poems are interrelated as my nephew had been clean for years. Why would he use again? Did he have a choice?

My father has this theory that some deaths by heroin overdoses are murders that will never be investigated, book closed, wrote off as just another addict OD.  It doesn’t matter how well they got their life together, how much time had passed… assumed moment of weakness, leaving loved ones shocked and confused, looking for answers, something that might make sense.

If you want to read the poems, here are a couple photos of an unfolded chapbook, rotated so you can zoom and read… link to PDF below.

Of course, the chapbook itself is free to download if you want to print & fold your own copy.  Here’s the PDF link: heroin.pdf   (print actual size  & here’s “how to fold” instructions if you need them).

Here’s what it looks like printed & folded:

Yeah, I’m out of colored ink, so the artwork came out black & white. Thanks for reading!

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Feeding Rats on B Street

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Free to download PDF version: Feeding Rats on B Street

Yes, I’m asking you to print & fold your own copy of this little book. It requires just one sheet of paper. Open the pdf and print at actual size. How to fold instructions are located here.

Since this is the first in a series of mini chapbooks featuring my bad poetry, I’ll share a little background.

We were playing with this idea in 2015, but got bogged down in alignment issues.  Half the text must be inverted, so I was printing one half, rotating the paper, and running it through the printer again. That’s where the alignment issues began. The feed on my cheap inkjet printer consistently sucks the paper in with little regard to the margins set by the word processor. It wants, and takes, more than a quarter inch. Paper folds created another alignment issue. It seems the outside layer requires a bit more paper than the inside layer for all edges to align properly. Printing on a copy weight paper improved results.

I kept trying to adjust the margins and column widths, then ended up doing a cut and paste the old fashioned way (scissors and tape) with Jim Villani at the Pig Iron Press before running off hard copies. They were fun to pass out at poetry readings.

I forgot all about making chapbooks until a couple weeks ago, when the idea of using GIMP for the layout popped into my head.  It worked. So, I updated the back cover and here it is… the very first in a series of mini chapbooks available as a pdf so anyone who desires a free copy can print and fold their own.

Is the alignment perfect?

No, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.  It’s a frikkin piece of folded paper. Chapbooks are not meant to be perfect. The intent is to distribute words (poems or little stories, with or without illustrations) in a fun, economical, and tangible manner.

If anyone else is doing this, please let me know… it would be fun to collect chapbooks.

Thanks for reading!

All Smiles (printable)

allsmilesAll Smiles… download: allsmiles.pdf

Print actual size for 1″ stickers.

 Circles are 1.1″ diameter to make sure that the background color covers the entire 1″ sticker. Layout pitch is 1.125″ center point to center point for OL1025 adhesive back label paper from OnlineLabels.com so check your label paper to see if the layout is the same.

This is a free printable… please do not sell it as a download or collage sheet. Thank you!