Previous Feature: Jeff Bagato

Jeff Bagato is a multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, who produces poetry, prose, electronic music, glitch video, street art, and pop surrealism paintings. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including Chiron Review, The Five-Two, Otoliths, and Outlaw Poetry. Short fiction has appeared in The Colored Lens and Gobbet. His published books include the poetry collections Cthulhu Limericks (lulu.com, 2011) and Savage Magic (ibid., 2016), along with the novels Computing Angels (ibid., 2015) and The Toothpick Fairy (ibid., 2015).

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Ouija Gets Infected by Flarf

Ouija hacks up a big ball of phlegm
marked “Grow penis like the pros”
and “wife won’t stop flirting;”
her temp rises, fever coming on strong
with visions of “Russian brides
do it all night long” and
“soap on a rope for your sins”—
the thermometer pops pretty
quicksilver stains on the bed spread,
then another hacking cough,
gagging and hawking
until out comes another blast:

“Fly a real airline route on autopilot.
We know exactly what you need
to feel satisfied.
Don’t slow your life down,
step into the future. Feel
the call of your body;
feel the passion of life.
It’s going to be a beautiful evening”

Ouija sticks the point
of her planchette in a tissue
and blows out the final indignity:
“Make dollars just sitting
at home. Even a child knows
how to make money.
Launch the robot
to get more money”

And as the cash rains down,
Ouija falls into the deep
sleep of the spammed

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Ouija Leans In

Ouija knows what it looks like
when letters fail:
a gibberish, a hash, alphabet chop suey
with crumbs and bits falling
off the table and onto the floor,
where the dog eats it,
sucking up trash like a vacuum cleaner;
his little doggie nose
makes no more sense of it all
than the brightest on the block;
it needs ginger or spice
or char from a hot griddle
lighting up the broken words
until meaning catches fire
and the gravy forms thick in the pan;
she has to discard the dead letters
like the offal of a gutted message—
a false vowel bumps up against
a string of ohs or eyes already too long,
or two consonants that don’t pair
like bee vee or zee tee
or que anything—
still Ouija plows on, pushing
against the alphabet
like Sisyphus at the stone;
one false move and the avalanche
will squash her flat,
but it’s hard to salvage
a thought or prediction,
or missive from beyond,
when you forget where you started
and can’t remember
where to begin

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Ouija’s Vacation

Wading into the kiddie pool,
Ouija dances a little jig,
kicking up spray on the breeders
and the bores, until some
boys and girls hose her down
into submission; taking a seat
at the side, scowling and gnashing
her dainty plastic teeth,
she growls out a few choice
phrases: “What prizes can we find
in piss water and diaper rash
when little monsters keep manic
joy in check like sheriffs
at a carnival or a needle
among balloons?”
She throws her pretzels in the water
and heads for the showers,
washing off the goo
and buzzing on about soap
in her eye; soon she can see
clearly, picking out the letters
spelling: “Don’t get greedy at the picnic,
keep laughing into the sun,
and run into the night
with fireflies and moonlight
and a head full of golden rum,
leaping at letters outlined by stars,
a message of summer dreams
and your angels at play—Run now
before the sun catches your death
and burns it on your soul”

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All Hail! To learn more about Jeff Bagato, click on the Ouija board below and all will be revealed . . .

And, be sure  to check out all of Jeff’s glitch videos (accompanied by his own original music) at Bionic Eyes.

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