Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alternative Reel Poets Corner: Dan Fante

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Alternative Reel Poets Corner

Dan Fante

Dane Fante  - Poets Corner - Alternative Reel


Dan Fante was born and raised in Los Angeles. At nineteen he flunked out of school and hit the road, winding up in New York City for twelve years where he worked at a hundred shit jobs and drank himself into numerous arrests and bad marriages.


Once sober he began to walk on water and write insane, first-person novels and plays. Today he lives in Arizona with his wife Ayrin and five year old son, Michelangelo Giovanni Fante. Fante hopes one day to learn to play the harmonica. 


Dan Fante's Website:


For Mark


Walk with only words and books 

as your friend


Dream the dreams of deviant dead writer saints 

who coming before you drowned the pain 

of their purest hearts in vats of gin

like a flailing unloved cat


Embrace selfishness and joblessness

And glue your ass hopelessly to the evilest drunken crack whore

Who’d trade your balls in a second

For the guy at the end of the bar 

With the pitted face 

And a fifty-dollar bill


Do not be courageous

remember that all men are fools

and liars

soulless captives of their own 

blood-stained necessity


And forgive nothing


Then maybe one day

Like me 

Your feet aching and your skull still raw 

From last nights festivities

You’ll kick over a box

Or turn a page

And finds yourself 

Face to face 

With the blurry eyes of God






Broke again 



and hoping to mooch a free month in Malibu 

I discovered that now there are wild parrots breeding on Point Dume 

In Malibu


loud noisy green fuckers 

laughing in the high trees - following me up the road in the afternoon

sun from the highway

chattering their non-sense like a orchestra in warm-up chaos 

This time I'm coming home with all that I own in a plastic bag

along with my typewriter and my taste for gin  


Mom opened the door 

and smiled when she saw me


that night we laughed about the parrots and talked on endlessly  


Dickens and Rupert Brooke and Mallay

and that jerk T.S. Elliot


And I went off to the spare bedroom 

drunk on free gin

sad for my old man's fading ghost

and thanking Jesus there was one person left alive

who'd still listen to my 








at the home

I read her some of my new stuff

while she squinted at me – straining to hear


My savvy mouth sputtering out

chain-saw syllables

beneath those perfect and unspoiled steel-blue eyes


This ancient ex-editor

who’s read more and knows more about writing and poetry

than I’ll ever hope to know


Five minutes into it – looking up – I said, “Well whaddya think?”


She seemed distracted

ten thousand brow wrinkles – flattened out – then returned 


“Do you still have that phones sales job,” she said

“No Ma, I don’t have a day gig anymore – writing is all I do now”

“Well, get one, for chrissake,” she hissed – 

“and help me up – I need to get to the bathroom”









I met the meanest bastard starving cat

while sitting with a book, on a bench

at Venice Beach


He saw me and came up


with one green eye and one yellow eye

and a fresh slash on his scarred ear


Angry as a wounded wolf he kept his distance

and his look said

feed me or fuck off

that bench you’re on ins my territory


What he didn’t know is that I know desperate too

and crazy

and what emptiness and aloneness and rage can to

when you’ve got nothing but your own pain in your pockets 

 and your home is a busted-out 1978 Pontiac parked in and alley in West L.A.

and the voice in your mind is carving you up and killing more of you off each day

and you wake up and drink more rat-piss wine and God becomes a guy coming out of the 7-11 handing you chump change toward another fucking jug and fear is your finest feeling and all love is dead and all time is dead and even your eyes stink and your gut is bloated with the screaming voices of those you hate and the only real sanity there is can be found in the small miracle of sucking back one more drink


That mean white cat didn’t know that I’ve been cut too

from the same cloth

the only difference between us

is twenty years and my typewriter





Now that I’ve written 

ten years worth of books and plays

and given up booze

and filthy glorious pornography

and my clothes don’t stink from booze from sleeping in my car last night  

and my hair is thinner and I’m twenty pounds to fat

and deep in my fifties with return calls to make and responsibilities

and the arguments I have with cops are no longer about bail

or unpaid warrants

or where I hid my gun


I now feel qualified to testify that nothing has changes

that this thing that all my life within me has ticked and squirmed

this unfilled hole - 


this need to yell out and change things and never be satisfied

this voice that has survived jails and three divorces and frequent attempted 


and bankruptcy 

and dozens of self-improvement weekends


This rage still guides my vision

and demands that I go head first against my life

like a fool 












Charles Bukowski once remarked, “I have just read the immortal poems of the ages and come away dull. I don’t know who’s at fault; maybe it’s the weather, but I sense a lot of pretense and poesy footwork: I am writing a poem, they seem to say, look at me! Poetry must be forgotten; we must get down to raw paint, splatter...”  The highly talented writers featured in Alternative Reel’s Poets Corner share Bukowski’s vision as their writing seeks out new literary frontiers, exploring the raw underbelly of modern society in the process. Eclectic, offbeat, humorous and often disturbing, the poetry collected here is not for the squeamish, so if you were actually expecting Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson, please exit now. Everyone else, we suggest that you open up a bottle of cheap red wine and explore Poets Corner!


Interested in featuring your poetry in Poets Corner? Just email us at with some samples of your work.


Dedicated to Ray Bremser [1934-98]

Posted via email from ttexed's posterous

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