Tag Archives: Memoir

Children, Churches, and Daddies – “Once, I Found that I Might Be a Good Friend”

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The Story is titled “Once, I Found that I Might Be a Good Friend.”  This was the first story of mine that was accepted for publication. I still think that it’s a good piece, and it has a special place in my heart.  It’s about a kid that thinks he has the tenacity to solve the world’s problems.  He does not.  The magazine is called Children, Churches, and Daddies (the stipulation for publication being that the author not discuss family or religion).  You can also click on This Link to read the story for free, but you’ll have to look for it by scrolling through the contents of the magazine.  Figure out how to buy the magazine by clicking either of the links below.

Cultural Touchstone

Children, Churches, and Daddies – Vol. 229

Children, Churches, and Daddies - collage copy

Children, Churches and Daddies (founded 1993) has been written and researched by political groups and writers from the United States, Canada, Australia, Belgium, England, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Norway, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey (as well as input from both Japan and Slovenia). Regular features provide coverage of environmental, political and social issues (via news and philosophy) as well as fiction and poetry, and act as an information and education source. Children, Churches and Daddies is the leading magazine for this combination of information, education and entertainment.

All magazine published from Scars Publications are released on the web — and pre-2010 issues are also released as a free downloadable PDF file e-book (All issues have been available on a web page, as an Internet Issue, with an Internet ISSN number). In this way people can enjoy the magazine on the Internet for free.

Cc&d magazine originally started as a print-only magazine, and within a year was placed on the web. Because of years where the magazine did not exist except in collection books, cc&d magazine has made every effort to continue to have issues available for free online. Print issues are offered to people who are interested in keeping a hard copy for their own records, but since over the years cc&d magazine has been available for free on the web, free print copies are not given away.

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Down in the Dirt – “Beauty and the Bus”

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The story is “Beauty and the Bus.” It’s a charming little gem all about my penis, which puts me on par with the most hackneyed of all male writers – I can only go up from here (no pun intended). The magazine is Down in the Dirt.  Just Click here, and enjoy.

Also, you have several options when ordering the print edition of Down in the Dirt Magazine, containing my story “Beauty and the Bus.” The story appears in the 2011 anthology of Scars Publications’ contributors, as well as a a bevy of other Down in the Dirt compilations, which is pretty cool and I’m fucking stoked. People seem to be digging the bizarre and embarrassing crap that I’m willing to reveal about myself. Click the links below to find the order forms for any of these various Scars Publications.

Perfectly Imperfect

1000 Words

Bleeding Heart Cadaver

Down in the Dirt, Vol. 101

Down in the Dirt - Collage copy

Read the intro letter from Scars Publications editor, Janet Kuypers:

Hi there, from the new editor of Down in the Dirt… I wanted to formally say hello, and give you any information about the connection Down in the Dirt has always had to Scars Publications.

Let me start from the beginning… I (Janet Kuypers) have run Scars Publicaions since its inception in early 1993, shortly before the birth of the literary magazine Children, Churches and Daddies (byline: the UN-religious, NON-family oriented literary and art magazne). In 1994, cc&d magazine ran supplement sections occastionally inside, in a section called Down in the Dirt. As cc&d got more and more popular, we stopped this insert. But the logo design for Down in the Dirt was there, and when Scars Publications expanded in 2000 (with its own domain name, then eventually mp3 audio and the video additions), we considered starting Down in the Dirt as its own magazine (instead of having inserts in cc&d).

Now, I had enough on my plate, so I did not mind giving the reigns to Alexandria Rand for editing this publication. I gave her magazine templates and form letter responses from cc&d, and she ran Down in the Dirt for nearly a decade. When she decided that she wanted to step down as editor, I just could not let the magazine die (I mean really, it was an off-shoot of my magazine, by baby, so to speak, and it used my artwork and templates for design). So although it means more reading and more designing on my part, taking over as editor was something I could not pass up.

So I have done everything in my power to keep Down in the Dirt magazine just as Alexandria kept it running — it still combines poetry and prose, and (unlike cc&d, which separates the poetry and prose into different section) accepted material flows between styles throughout issues. And yes, as I write this letter months after taking over as editor (this letter was written toward the end of January in 2011), people still send submissions to Alexandria’s old email address (so yes, we still keep that email address open for people who only know of the old address for emailing submissions).

It has always been Scars Publications’ policy to not accept the same writing to both magazines, because all accepted writing appears under the author’s name in he writings section of http://scars.tv and there cannot be repetition of accepted writings. But now, as the editor of both magazines, I get to read a greater variety of writings, and it is an honor to further immerse myself in the literary world with Scar Publications.

Thanks for being a part of Down in the Dirt, and let’s keep this magazine going for another decade!

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PostPoetry – “My Legacy as Written in the Lives of Kin”

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“My Legacy as Written in the Lives of Kin” is the true story of my maternal great-grandfather, who got locked up for breaking the law, and whose children subsequently hitchhiked across the country to ask Herbert Hoover to pardon him. It sounds crazy, but it really happened. Lifetime made a movie about it, though they left out the key points of prostitution, grand theft auto, and suicide, and replaced them with religious jingoism. I attempted to get in touch with the screenwriter of The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue in order to discuss his sources. He never responded. (Incidentally, the message boards and comments on the IMDB page are fascinating.) For me, the piece was a means to reflect upon how failure can feel pre-ordained.

PostPoetry was an awesome dual language (English and German) publication out of Britain (so’s I’m international).  Since the release of the second issue of PostPoetry – the issue in which my piece appears – the magazine went through a restructuring period, and has reemerged as The Transnational, an equally awesome periodical with much the same premise as it’s progenitor.  Regardless of the restructuring, it is still possible to purchase a copy of PostPoetry Issue II by following this link.

Ben Leib hat die vergangenen zwölfJahre seines Lebens als Kellner, Student und Junkie zugebracht – und jede dieser Lebensstationen hat ihm ein gleichwertiges Maß an Qual zugefügt.

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About Postpoetry:

Despite the associations which the name carries, PostPoetry doesn´t consist of poetry alone: PostPoetry is open to a wide range of forms and styles: We are always looking for texts (epic poetry, diary extracts, comments, essays, thought experiments, experimental and absurd texts) which offer a new approach to the political and social landscape of the previous century and of the present.

PostPoetry is a modern way for the generation of the 21st century to express itself. Texts can be like old scars and calluses, like blood and dirt. Or they can be melancholy, quirky, ironic or enlightening. They can dissolve existing boundaries and suggest new ones. They can make us question our beliefs about what writing can do. Texts can champion social justice and human rights, war and psychological violence, giving rise to provocative or soothing thoughts. And if they don’t entertain, they should at least make us laugh or cry. Or both.

The PostPoetry mission is to cull the submissions we receive into a printed collection that will stay with you long after you read it, a collection you’ll return to again and again.

We’re a print journal. Which, of course, doesn’t make us better than online journals, but we like the fact that our contributors’ work appears in a pleasant magazine that, between readings, will grace perhaps hundreds of bookshelves and coffee tables.

The PP Mag doesn’t set thematic limits. Texts and pictures will be collected and arranged in an appropriate aesthetic form in the printed magazine. The web presence can be your point of orientation – the pictures and texts that you find under the category of “samples” are a little glimpse of what you’ll find in the printed version of the PP Mag.

The PP Mag is bilingual: available in English and German. (We will publish English as well as German texts and translations.)

Topics aren’t compressed, allowing you to say what you have to say. PostPoetry want to join the play of your thoughts. This is the only way PostPoetry can react to impulses and present events.

The PP Magazine isn’t commercial. PostPoetry is financially and politically independent.

PostPoetry is a platform for political and socio-critical texts and artwork. PostPoet(People) enjoy the freedom afforded by speculation and criticism.

PostPoetry believes that all great literature is revolutionary and necessary. Great writers are honest. They call upon us as readers to experience the intangible.

PostPoet(People) show us parts of the world that we have never seen, places we’ll never see, situations we will never experience while making us see through their eyes what has been right in front of us all the time.

Great writers can channel emotions and find new ways to stretch all sense of the conventional. PostPoet(People) see their world with open and critical eyes – and express it in a whimsical, oblique or tightly structured manner. Thus, the visual plane is not limited to one dimension: it is open in all directions.

So if you have something to say – say it.

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The Transnational:

We publish poetry and essays from authors from around the world. We are always looking for texts (poetry, diary extracts, comments, essays, thought-experiments, absurd and experimental texts) which offer a new approach to the political and social landscape of the present day. (Please read the submission guidelines, before sending texts).

Texts which are published in the Transnational can dissolve existing boundaries or suggest new ones. They can make us question our beliefs, champion social justice and human rights, war and psychological violence, giving rise to provocative or soothing thoughts. We believe that all great literature is revolutionary and necessary. Great writers are honest. They call upon us as readers to experience the intangible.

We are a print journal. Which, of course, does not make us better than online journals, but we like the fact that our contributors’ work appears in a magazine that, between readings, will grace perhaps hundreds of bookshelves and coffee tables. The Transnational shows its readers parts of the world that they might have never seen, places they might never see, situations they will never experience while making them see through the writers eyes what has been right in front of them the whole time.

The Transnational does not set thematic limits. Topics are not compressed and will allow you to say what you have to say. The Transnational wants to join the play of cultural thoughts, social ideas and therefore react to impulses and present events.

The web presence can be your point of orientation – the texts that you find under the category of samples are a small glimpse of what you will find in the printed version of the magazine. The website and magazine are bilingual (English and German) – texts can be send in both languages.

The Transnational is not commercial. We are financially and politically independent.

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Foliate Oak – “Long Rides and the Things We Ran From”

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All right my beautiful friends, another of my stories was published. The story is titled “Long Rides and the Things We Ran From,” and was featured on the homepage of the Foliate Oak website. It is an essayistic piece outlining my general ethos about bus travel, and the discomfort inherent in that particular mode of transit.  I’ve spent more time on buses that most, and this piece culled from that experience. I am quite proud of it. Unfortunately, while the story was archived for years as an addition to the September 2011 issue on the Foliate Oak website, they had to trim the fat when updating their website, and were unable to retain four years of archives, which is sad but understandable.  They now have a new webpage, and the publication is alive and well.


Foliate Oak Homepage


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Windmills – “Wake Up Calls”

Windmills - Collage - Horizontal - 3 copy

Another story is available in print… In Australia!!!  “Wake Up Calls” is the name of this newly published story.  It’s about this time that my buddy almost died from a severe diabetic low blood sugar, and involves seizures and wooden spoons.  Windmills is a little magazine published through the Deakin University Student Writing Group.  There is something absolutely lovely about receiving a little envelope from the other side of the world with a magazine in it, and knowing that a group of students sat around a table together, read my story, and concurred “This is good enough for our publication.”

You can query about ordering a magazine at the email address: words@deakin.edu.au, but as of now, the website is defunct.

Words@Deakin is a group of Deakin University students in Literary Studies and Creative Writing at the Waurn Ponds campus, working together with two staff members, Dr Maria Takolander and Associate Professor David McCooey.

Windmills - Collage - Horizontal - 3 copy

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The Stone Hobo – “After the Fall”

“After the Fall” is a story about the feeling you get when someone you think you love doesn’t notice you despite all of the spectacular things that you do deserving of notice.  Well, maybe this isn’t a feeling that you get, but it’s something I experience regularly.  It’s also about being young – the petty dramas of fresh adulthood, and the incredible luck that the young seem to possess as well.  I am proud of this piece.  It was one of the earliest short stories that I tackled and my gratitude goes out to Morgan Spiller for helping me to edit the piece.

“After the Fall” was originally accepted by a lovely little online publication by the name of Stone Hobo.  In fact, this was one of the earlier stories published on their website.  I watched their publication grow slowly, and an evolution in the appeal of their site was taking place as well.  Unfortunately, like so many up and coming publications, Stone Hobo went defunct after about two years in existence.  Their site is no longer active, and the domain name seems to be back up for grabs. I hope that this story is readable again sometime, but for now it will rest happily in the greatest obscurity it has enjoyed thus far.

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Pom Pom Pomeranian – “Unreturned Calls”

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“Unreturned Calls” is a story about the desperation of trying to get someone you love, in this case a family member, to be more responsive.  How do we tie ourselves up in personal relationships and what are our expectations?  It’s a good little story, less than a thousand words, and it might break your heart just a little bit.  

Pom-Pom-Pomeranian is a single issue zine published by Bank-Heavy Press out of Los Angeles California.  You can buy issues at $7 a piece, plus one dollar shipping and handling.  Super cheap.  And the offer stands: If you show me a copy of the magazine you have a choice – I will either sign your copy or you can hit me in the face with it.  I know it’s a difficult decision.  Click on the image to the right to make your purchase.

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Bank-Heavy’s mission statement:

Bank-Heavy Press has one major goal: to bring great poetry and fiction and art to print while building a community of creative people of all talents, ages, forms, and backgrounds. Poetry, fiction and art shouldn’t need to conform to any one type for recognition. We tear up at the sight and sounds of fresh, raw, energy in any shape or form.

So, here we are pulling road-kill from pavement and digging in trashcans to bring you what the corporations want to hide, the best stuff from the lowest and highest places to fill your minds with the art of everyone that is licking splinters and hugging rabid animals.

At Bank-Heavy Press we are quite fond of physical books made of paper (lots of paper), and we love getting intimate with trees before chopping them down for everyone’s reading pleasure. Each book touches our hands and is hugged by us, and sometimes kissed by us, and stapled together by us. We’re telling you this so that you know how much we care about each lil’ Bank-Heavy book-baby.

We have completed many anthologies and chapbooks and celebrate each and every book like it is our first. We publish quarterly anthologies of local (Long Beach area) writers and artists, as well as non-local creators. We also publish chapbooks and thoroughly enjoy putting together these books and feeding them to the word-hungry masses.

Print must not die!

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Scholars and Rogues – “Peripheral Adventures”

Scholars and Rogues - Collage - Vert2 copyThe story is titled “Peripheral Adventures.”  I wrote it one night after a particularly strange evening, and it was kind of a lark when I came up with it.  But then I submitted it to Scholar and Rogues, and am happy to say that they accepted the piece.  It’s about a dude who’s so drunk that he is no longer able to take care of himself – a frame of mind that I can relate to and know too well.  The piece appeared on the homepage of the journal on November 9th, and is now available in its archives .  Also, if you get to the end of the story, the last word of the piece is “Adventure.”

I’m stoked to have a story appearing on Scholars and Rogues’ website.  This is a rad little publication, disseminating primarily left wing journalism, and I’d like to think that my little story fits right in.  In their words – Scholars & Rogues is a diverse band of thinkers, social analysts, activists, grousers, jesters, and troublemakers. We’re all different in a variety of ways, but we share a general belief in progress, a conviction that smarter is better, and a passionate distaste for convention.

S&R isn’t a current news site and we’re not a typical political blog (although that’s how we started out back in 2007). There are some fantastic sites out there where you can get quick, first-on-the-scene takes, and if you explore the blogroll you’ll see what we mean. We’re more like the editorial desk. We see our mission as comment, analysis, informed opinion, deep insight. We try to figure out what things mean, and in passing that perspective on to our readers we hope to foster a greater tendency toward critical thinking in society. Many of us are convinced that if you take care of the society’s cultural spheres, the politics will take care of themselves.

http://scholarsandrogues.com/2011/11/09/sr-fiction-peripheral-adventure-by-ben-leib/

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