ISSUE 4 / SPRING 2006
Issue 4
Fiction
"And So It Begins..."
I Have One Video
by Allison Carter

Flash Fiction
Time Will Have a Short Introduction
by Elena Minor

Short Stories
La La's Guthriecrucian Songbook, A Bildungsroman
by Kim Gek Lin Short

Oregon
by Trevor Houser

For the Dogs
by Katie Flynn

Date-Stamped
by Deidre Woollard

The Canvasser
by Michael Scott Moore

La La's Guthriecrucian Songbook, A Bildungsroman
by Kim Gek Lin Short

Soyabean Gallery, Hong Kong
February 16 - July 15, 2001
from China Cowboy

Untitled
September 1987, Age 10

Why can’t Batman play the guitar?
Why O why O why?
Because a guitar is made of wood.
Goodbye goodbye goodbye.

Why O why O why O?
Why O why O why?
Because because because because.
Goodbye goodbye goodbye.

Why can’t the clock eat the sandwich?
Why O why O why?
Because the sandwich has too much cheese.
Goodbye goodbye goodbye.

Why can’t a garden use toothpaste?
Why O why O why?
Because the toothpaste lives in the bathroom.
Goodbye goodbye goodbye.

Why can’t Elvis fly a spaceship?
Why O why O why?
Because the door won’t let him in.
Goodbye goodbye goodbye.


Untitled Fragment
February 1989, Age 11

Take me dining in the diner diner;
Take me dining in the diner diner.
Take you dining in the diner diner;
I’ll take you dining in the diner.

Click clack open up some ketchup, boys.
Click clack open up some mustard, girls.
Mustard, ketchup clickaty-clack,
Take you dining in the diner.

Untitled Fragment
September 1989, Age 12

This bean is your bean, this bean is my bean
From Hong Kong island, to Kowloon island
From the China Sea, to the gallery
This bean was made for you and me.

The Meanest Thing That Man Has Ever Done
March 1990, Age 13

I'm just some lipstick, some powder on my face;
I could have been a cheapskate, traded mascara for grace.
But when it all comes down to it, mascara’s more fun.
And that's about the meanest thing that Man has ever done.

Won’t love me without it, but wants to rub it off.
Spends money thinking ‘bout it, but what’s left for my coif?
I'm the girl that lives here, lets his hands on me run,
And that's about the meanest thing that Man has ever done.

I wake up each morning, those are pearls that were my eyes,
With careful persuading, the bags shrink down in size.
In war I’ll pack some polish, who needs a gun?
And that's about the meanest thing that Man has ever done.

I kissed your little feller, my lips they swelled to two;
When it all was over, I reapplied my goo.
I buy myself some talent, I waste it all on Ren.
And that's about the meanest thing that Man has ever done.


A Kansas City Leanin'
March 1990, Age 13

It was late last night when all alone, my belly started rumblin,
He’s the only help for me, but my man he left me grumblin,
My man he left me grumblin.

Now get my boots and my old songs and an advance allowance
I’ll get the pills, the killing meals, rid my belly’s contrivance,
Rid my belly’s contrivance.

To leave this man, the rotten hand, who asks another lady
To help for him, retrieve the thin', to make his gal more purdy,
Make his gal more purdy.

But this gal, she has a plan, she’ll outdo his dealin,
She’ll go out and gad about and fix herself a stealin,
Fix herself a steal.

If she has one then she has two, Kansas City leanings
To get her there, she’ll dye her hair, and use up all his earnings.
Use his hard got earns.

Why should I care, when he’s my man, he has another lady?
He don’t know, but off I’ll blow, to Kansas City, baby,
Kansas City, babe.

The Book From Life's Other Side
The 189th Day, Age --

In this store’s library of stories
Are shelves that are written from life,
There's shelves of joy and of sorrow,
There's shelves of peace and of strife,
There's shelves of youth and of beauty
Old age and the blushing young bride.
All ‘gainst the wall, but the saddest of all,
Is a book from life's other side.

It's a book from life's other side,
Someone who fell by the way;
A life has gone out with the tide
That may have been happy one day;
Some poor old mother at home
Is watching and waiting alone,
Just longing to hear from her loved ones so dear,
It's a book from life's other side.

This book is that of a farmer
Who spilled all his beans to the girl.
Digested and making her shiver,
The beans from her belly must hurl.
His last earthly treasure, he stakes it
In the window it gleams with rawhide,
When he saw what it was, it stirred him a buzz,
It's a book from life's other side.

This book will bring him the girl,
Who’s lying in bed with the quakes,
She calls him in, says they blow like sin,
She cradles her belly of flakes.
He takes the book from the window;
The one that will cure her of ails,
It is hard, she sighs, the rules you abide;
But the human he must have his Grail,
It's a book from life's other side.

This book it cures of the shivers,
A girl whose belly is hot,
The book ladies they will come hither,
To sell the book he is bought;
Perhaps the girl will get better.
She is his darlin' and pride,
But help her, she leaps, there is no one to weep,
It's a book from life's other side.

I Got Your Woman on My Mind
c. 1997, Age --

You think I'm dumb, don't know a lot,
Just honky tonk on my mind.
You think I'm small, can't read your scrawl,
Think I'm far behind.

But I know the hours, the frequent showers,
The smell you bring and hide.
Honky tonk skronk don't make that funk,
I got your woman on my mind.

I got your woman on my mind.
I caught you in your crime.
I know your gaming ways.

You talk to me of studies, think I'm some fuddy-duddy.
But I know anthropology from dating.
You think you're smart, talking art.
But I know the chippy you're bating.

I got your woman on my mind.
I caught you in your crime.
I know your gaming ways.

Principia de Puella La La
or, La La's Eight Principles
c. 1999, Age --

Lao Ren, Lao Ren, tell me where have you gone?
Since old Hong Kong's cellblocks where did I do wrong?
Is it a Kansas City baby to whom you're tying your reins
Or a San Francisco lady you let arouse your shame?

Eight rules there are to win me, to assuage my losing game,
Eight years there were you hid me in some synapse in your brain,
Eight principles I have for you, adopt them if you like,
Eight reasons I won't let you in my heart to hike.

Smiling was your first sin and the father of the rest,
And the hee-haw that came after weren't even second best,
But the third thing you need to quit is lying all the time,
To chippies and daughters and girls who blow your mind.

Your little singer lover, Me La is her name,
She could rope a cowboy and ride the road to fame.
She ain't no La La, but you want her just the same,
And that's the fourth error in your heart's poor aim.

You'll take this little chippy to your mother's home and bed.
You'll drink too much soymilk to quiet voices in your head.
But number five's more serious than these petty whines.
The fifth principle I have for Ren is to keep better time.

There is a little something you can do to win me back,
It's called six, seven, and eight things that Ren sorely lacks.
But even if he does this, acquires manly charm, 
He'll have to make the loops each day to make up for the harm.

If all this is okay with you, I'll tell you number six
It requires an end to your habit to girly match and mix.
Number seven and number eight, they are intertwined
And have to do with Ren's poor taste in women all the time.

The little singer may warm you with her blind girl ways,
But a real woman would scald you with her feminine rays.
So seven is to be yourself, the responsible man of mine,
And eight will find you leaving all them rest behind.

Belly Rumblin' Song
December 1999, Age --

He was a soybean farmer, and he heard of Patsy Clone,
Through city and the country, whichever's less the lone,
Through cellblocks and teakhuts, the motels on the plains,
Comes a-grumblin through the country, for his girl with eyes of pain.

Listen to the grumble and the rumble and the groan,
Not from her belly, these sounds of Patsy Clone.
It's a long time she's been waitin', she's been maturin' ripe and round,
Roll into San Francisco on a Ren to stardom bound.
[BELLY RUMBLING SOUNDS]

There's other gals and other songs and mermaids from the sea,
There's farmin' Pets from Texas and the hills of Italy,
There's soyabeans from Hong Kong, there's beans from Missouri,
But every bean in her country, sings her belly's key.

There's Betsey Johnson gals and gals who lack that sense,
Gals that sing for dinner, and gals that sing for rent,
Through the smoky open-mics, they're sung for allowance.
These songs of Ren, these songs she sung
All to force his penance.
[BELLY RUMBLING SOUNDS]

Now the seats they are a crowded, in front of Patsy's stage,
All to hear her rumble, with her belly, churn and ache.
Listen to the grumble and the rumble and the roar,
She's rollin' through Missouri to the West Pacific shore.
It's a long time she's been waitin', she's been maturin' ripe and round,
Roll into San Francisco on a Ren to stardom bound.
[BELLY RUMBLING SOUNDS]

There's gals of every shape and size, gals of every height,
There's gals with black and brown hair, and gals with blonde highlights.
From the vineyards and the orchards and the Napa Valley rain,
They're rolling into nightclubs for Patsy's eyes of pain.

Ren's truck it pulls into California on a bright and happy day,
Full of gas and little girl sass and you could hear the people say:
"There's that American out of jail, and he has with him the girl
Headin' into stardom on her blinded eyes of pearl."
[BELLY RUMBLING SOUNDS]

About the Songstress

Blonde, bad, just under 5'3 in cowboy boots, Chinese folk-singing sensation, La La is best known for her karaoke headliner as "Patsy Clone" at the Kansas City nightclub, China Cowboy. Upcoming shows include Sha Tin Bar in Hong Kong, The Saloon in San Francisco, and the annual Guthrie-themed Hootenanny sponsored by the Bay Area organization Cowboys Against Child Abuse (CACA). She lives in Hong Kong with her adoptive father, William O'Rennessey, also known as Ren (pronounced run), an American soybean farmer and artist. 

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