Lisa Carver is a Stone-Cold Super-Kool Shock-Troop New Rational One-Woman Army-of-Multitudes Condemned-to-Flesh, Over-Running the Dross and the Every Hysterical Strawberry Shortcake Pop-Hurricane Nightmare, Victorious Over Every Last the Latest-Other-Self-Delusion, Braver than Ulysses, Kinder than Murderous Super-Hurricanes, Yet as Vicious as a Columbine Without Firearms. She's Likely to "Win" in the End, Yet "Loss" is No Nightmare to Our Lisa "Kristee" Carver. The World's a Mess. It's in Her Hyper-Selective Kisses and Many More-Than-Worthwhile Super-Book Efforts. Born in 1968 and Barreling Toward Her Singular and Cheerfully-Angry New Immortality. So! ___________ is Unreservedly Recommended, a Book-of-the-Year, ___________ will Give Winston Smith and Sylvia Plath Ten Thousand Reasons to Reverse-to-Happy at the End. File Under 22nd Century Shock Troop Mass Lit. 



"Let's Crush the Springtime"
John and Betty, war veterans, Academy Award-winning screen-writers, and well-received first-time novelists, married two years and the parents of a beautiful baby girl, living in the finest house in Columbus, Ohio, both close to forty years old, John listens to the radio at noon stretched out on the living-room carpet in a robe, Betty drives around town with their daughter.

From this first paragraph, Dear Reader, it's all too painfully-obvious, if John and Betty don't splinter soon, they'll only become worse than irrelevant. See the Quick Collapse of their New Meaningless Suburban Empire. Or Look Away, Dizzy.



Our theme? Modernity! Pointless, purposeful, impossible and fun and horrifying, slo-mo, sudden, and endless!



If Bizarro Sporty really wants to make a good first impression on her boss, if she believes in the product she's pushing, don't be afeared. I, the true Our Sporty Spice am tuned-in, turned-on, and a drop-out? I am such a drop-out, so much down-and-out, that homeless men look like sell-outs next to me.

Someone. Someone stand next to me.



In a pantry,
In a parlour,
In a dug-out shelled on all sides.

In a good mood, on a crying jag,
On the deck, at the railing,
On the way to Mecca.

On drugs, of a type,
Of a well-off family,
Of nothing at all.

We stride down your street.
We stand outside your house.
In the street at dusk.

We linger.
We kiss.
Your lights flash on!


In a supertown on a, I guess, mesa, Posh and I are photographed for the cover of Please Kill Me Weekly. Luckily we find the secret elevator, down to the Carlsbad Caverns where we attempt successfully a fistfight which Posh wins.

At the end of this ordinary day we collapse into a stack of fur coats. We wake up on a jet over the Pacific Ocean.



I know you can explain.
Please don't explain.

I can't explain.
You won't explain.

The science-fiction magazine
Helps me to understand On the Road.

Jack Kerouac is the fastest man alive!
Jack Kerouac is the Flash!

At the end of the poem
Be sure to make an impact on the reader!



Let's make a movie about how fabulous it is to die for freedom. Let's lie and not tell anyone that the only way to accomplish freedom is to insist, "I'm free."

You either have the courage to admit that you are a free human being or you have the right to be slaughtered anytime a boss says, "It's time to go get slaughtered."

Living On Your Knees or Dying Standing Tall is only a fake choice. We die on our knees, all of us.

So if you're not into life, good luck with that death thing.


In a diamond-encrusted cavern-like showroom, in the center of empty space, standing on an exploding-star mosaic, I was there, I'm still there, the doors are locked.

A Death-Squad Leader in a speaker-truck parked out front on Cheapside, he rants into his microphone: "Kit Kat 66! See him die! The traitor had the gall to say that Universe City was not The World! Kit Kat 66! In a gas chamber! You're next!"

I'm still standing there watching white light in the gloom when a movie star, or at least she looks like a movie star, stands in a doorway half-dressed. She gestures, I approach. She says, "I'm illusion, Kit Kat 66. I'm made of light. Watch!" The words "We love you" and "We're sorry" appear in the air between the movie star and myself. I smile, hang my head, and wait.

A voice from inside the doorway: "Come here, Kit!" She laughs. "Come quick!" I go inside, see her sprawled on a bed. "Illusion?" I ask. "Real!" she says. "Kiss me!" she says.



Sporty Spice woke up in the bed of some apparently rich person. It looks like gold-flake paint on the headboard, she thought. I can't believe I'm not dead, she thought.

Dressed in some man's suit, she eventually found her way out of the big empty house onto a sidewalk in an unidentifiable city. Pleasant enough, apparently springtime, little children walking to the park with their nurse.

She found a half-pack of cigarettes with an Ohio tax stamp, cluing her in as to her likely locale. She began to walk in the over-sized oxfords, choosing to walk down the least expensive street at each corner. Destination? Ghetto!

Six months later SS was singing for the Next Nothing and soon was paid a record-high advance by Universal Music Group. Sporty quit before the first recording session. She disappeared into the Los Angeles dusk.

Sporty Spice re-appeared in London, always talking about Tokyo.


Esther Lustig, modern co-ed in the Fall of 1986, was determined to rush the Psi Delts; she was willing to give all, including her life, to be numbered alongside the sexiest girls at State.

Her friend Dashiell now called himself "Dusk". Dusk worked at the Student Union Information Desk for $3.35/hr. He was not a student, he called himself a "neutral observer," in love with Esther, in love with life and death (maybe) and rock music and whatever. He was 19.

Esther met Dusk at the end of the day at the front gate of State U.:
"Dash! Dash! It's dusk!"
"I'm Dusk, Esther! You're all day, all night, dear Esther!"
"Dear Esther? Dash, dearest Dash ...."

The two of them waited a few minutes for dusk to resolve itself into night.

Esther and Dusk walked High Street. Esther said, "I'm in college in the capital city, you're getting paid to read books all day, I mean are our lives over with or what?"

Dusk answered, "Esther, I'm pretty sure that this is nowhere near the end of our lives."

"I know, Dash, sad and happy and all that--I mean, this, right now forever, right? I'm 21, it's all over, right?" Esther cried like mad, Dusk held her, kissed her face, her mouth, like they were lovers.

Three weeks later on a Friday night, Esther was hazed by the Psi Delta girls. The sisters got her drunk and put her through the rituals: the symbolic rape and versions of every kind of horror until Esther fell comatose into a ditch.

Dusk rang the sorority house buzzer early Saturday morning. What a vicious lie, he thought, as a beautiful Deutscher Girl opened the door wide.

"You must be Dusk!" she gushed.
"My name is Dash or Dashiell. Dusk is just a stupid nickname from a long time ago."
"O.K. 'Dash!" How about some champagne?"
"At eight in the morning? Perfect! Where's Esther Lustig?"
"She'll be around soon."

Their eyes locked. She was blandly beautiful like every other Deutscher Girl. Dash was unfazed, he almost didn't see her at all. He felt panic. Calm. Then panic again.

For an hour, Dash and the sister (whose name was Trish) sat almost entirely silent side-by-side on a couch. When the university bells rang nine times, another sister helped Esther hobble into the room.

Trish crossed the room, smiled, kissed Esther lightly on the mouth, and announced, "Esther Lustig, Psi Delt For Life!" Dash clapped once.

The Next Winter, outside at midnight by Lake Erie, Esther and Dash stood in the snow, breathing in New Cold Air, looking around in wonder at the New Frozen World.

"Are we married?" asked Dash.
"Never. Ever. Never," answered Esther.

They turned to face each other, reassurance for now, for then, for the future, for the no future, slow, fast, stop, go, wreck, repair--the snow started up again. They walked back towards the car.

Dash drove. Esther slept and dreamt she was in love with somebody or something.



John goes into a camera store on impulse, finds a pair of binoculars, aims them out the window, and sees Betty for the first time. He whispers to himself, "I belong to you," replaces the binoculars, and wanders the city in a daze the rest of the hour until time to return to the tire-burning factory.

Betty attempts to evade an evangelist on the bus, is unsuccessful, so she finally says, "All right! I believe! Go away!" The evangelist adds "one" to the tally in his pocket notebook and retreats to the back of the bus.

John discovers that Betty lives in a building opposite his YMCA. At first opportunity he approaches her, introduces himself, and asks her to dinner. She likes his looks enough to say yes. The date is fine. Although Betty makes clear that she wants no boyfriend, John thinks of Betty as his girlfriend in his heart of hearts. Betty is beautiful. John has no deformities.

Oh, and the world is on the brink of nuclear war. I say "Oh" because John and Betty couldn't care less. They don't want to die, of course, who does? But beyond a certain awareness of life being suddenly snuffed out, these futuristic lives of theirs are fairly ordinary. Ordinary in that they go through their days without falling apart.

For their second date, for their third, for every date, every day Betty likes John a little more. John's love is unending.

A friend of John's, Johnny, cowers in a dugout in Central Asia beside Foreign Legionnaire Josette. Johnny loves Josette, Josette loves Johnny, and soon they will be dead. At that moment Betty writes a poem:
I am for sex
I don't know sex
Here comes super sex
I am too pure
Sex, dope, I'll never know
If I was high
If I was always fucking
I'll never know.
And, checking in with John, he stands on a catwalk heaving tires into a holocaust.

Betty's on the telephone:
"John, how is it that I like you?"
"It's just that you didn't hate me straight away."
"This is love?"
"Not at all. You're right to like me, you're right not to like me, Betty. I'm a safe bet."
The phone line hisses silence. Finally, Betty says, "My father died when I was little."
"Then I'm your father for now. I don't know." Not even Betty knows that she smiles in gratitude.

John can't sleep that night, so he listens to war bulletins on the radio, half-praying for an American victory, with the rest of his mind trying to picture Betty. At that moment, Betty dreams of a super-heroic suburban kid called Esther.

John sees stars when a stack of tires overturns on him. He laughs as he climbs out of the imitation of wreckage. Co-worker Josie corners him at break-time against a candy-bar machine.

"I'm into you," she purrs.
"I'm all about that," John replies, uncertainly. Josie presses her mouth against his. Now every break is about sex with Josie.

Three days later, she doesn't show. Co-workers reveal that Josie was killed in a car crash. John breaks the glass in the restroom mirror with his forehead.

Betty decides to write a novel about her dream heroine, Esther. She keeps her date with John at a drugstore lunch counter. She notices the gash in his forehead.

"So you broke up with a girl?"

John has taken to carrying a notebook since Josie's death. John notices that Betty is carrying a notebook as well and proposes that they each write a poem. Betty consents. They each bend over their pages.

Betty's title:
Launcher countdown superslide
At the end of time
For all time, my timeless
Stanzas overcome death.
I am so right, so always
Deceived, so easy
For now, for not yet
Away from the wrong
Toward more wrong.
You thought I knew.
I never knew.
The sun splashes down.
My world ends again.
"I feel like my poem is all last lines," says Betty.

John's title:
Deceit of a fortune simplistic.
For a girl, for Josie, her shroud.
I wear a black carnation for a worse world
Minus a girl who gave herself to me.
One day, she's mine, next day
She's dead.
Is she dead?
Yes, she is dead.
"Oh yeah, this girl I know died," says John.

Betty wins the poetry contest and pops the prize into her mouth: one perfect cherry.

On May Day, the tire-burning factory goes on strike. Instead of arguing with the workers, the mysterious owners shut the factory down for good. Soon enough, John is sleeping in the park, eating at soup kitchens. Betty quits her job and joins John in the park.

For ten days the two of them have been tracing circles around their nondescript city. At last Betty has to say it: "Let's enlist in the goddam Army."

John doesn't look forward to being shot in the head, but he knows she is right.

Six rigorous months later, John and Betty patrol a Kashmir village in Occupied India, two MPs in love. In that six months they had slept together at last, John no longer a father or even a brother to Betty, no, now he is her confessed boyfriend! John can't believe his luck.

In white helmets and MP armbands, armed with cudgels, they patrol a weird world, a world away, worlds without end, identical except for sex, automatics in holsters, two army cops in love.

At the end of their service contracts John and Betty are rotated back to Ohio and honorably discharged into post-war boom America. They enter U.S. airspace. John remembers Josie. Betty wonders what television will be like.

Back home in 2 1/2 year-old costume, the two at first sleep outdoors, walk in circles around the city, uncertain and happy. At last John calls Paul, his union rep from the tire-burning factory days.

Paul says that John and Betty could easily get hired as city cops, ride in the same cruiser and all, but John quickly nixes that idea. "Still hate cops," he explains.

Paul arranges housing at a hotel for striking workers. "Take as long as you want to decide what's next for you. Goddam war heroes."

The sun rises and sets and rises, the earth speeds through space in an elliptical orbit around the sun, millions of people are born, die, and John and Betty wait in line for fish sandwiches at a fast-food restaurant. "We won't work here," Betty whispers to John.

On a cold spring day, John calls Betty on her celly: "I can see you."

Betty stops and scans her worldview until she sights John. His heart filling with warmth, a certain heat, John runs toward her full tilt, stops short, and kisses who seems like the only friend he's ever had, namely Betty. She smiles like mad--on the radio, on the TV, over loudspeakers, at that moment Year One of One-Hundred Years of Peace is announced and our heroes want to believe it.

"Happy Century of Peace, John!"
"Fly kites, Betty!"

Soon, Paul pages John with good news: "You and Betty are to report to Supercool Pictures in Los Angeles, next Monday, 8 a.m. A thousand a week to write dialogue for the new Sex Pistols biopic!"

An eventful bus ride later, a secretary shows Betty and John to their windowed office. Two years later, the two win Academy Awards and book contracts, John with Random House, Betty with New Directions.

John travels to Texas to write his first novel, The Story of Hate.

Betty stays in Columbus to write Fake World Real.

In Texas, John walks from his hotel to the Mega-Lo Mart, to the desert, to the taco stand, to the coffee shop. Every day. He writes one page at each station.

In Columbus, Betty registers in a creative writing class at Ohio State. Her finished novel receives an "A".

Some nights John calls Betty:
"How come we're not married?" he asks.
"We're better than married. We're fated, doomed, stuck, um."
"Um is right. Let's render unto Caesar, go through with the stupid ceremony."
"Yes and yes and yes."



Yes, there was a pretty Ice Skater in her short dress,
Her skates on the floor next to the bed.
Her mouth was cold, of course.

The phone rang. It was a Spy, he said.
He told me to take the Ice Skater outside,
To look straight up.

We did.
We disappeared.
We reappeared.

Now the Skater was a Cinema Star.
I stood beside a movie camera.
Someone shouted, "Action!"

A pretty Policewoman was at my side.
She whispered close to my ear, "We love you."
My life in Supertown.



for Lisa Carver
The last Salem One-Hundred crushed
In definite summer, infinite somehow
What-is is at the same time
As what's-going-to-be----
She opens/closes a magazine.
She lies down, she sees possibilities----
In early spring a punk kid blooms.
In early summer in upstairs rooms----
Fast. Slow. Somewhere.

for Nicole Dexter
The millionth flower flows out towards open sea.
I don't know you, you don't know me.
Inside the meat locker tap tap.
I've learned to love my trap.

Nothing is wrong.
Nothing is right.
Turn off the lights.
This is the night.

for No One
You sing your signature tune on a soundstage.
No crowd, only recordings of crowds.
Flesh, cling to it, you've got it.
You've got the beginning, the middle, and the end of fun.
I know you, baby. I know you well.



Silvery coins in a slot.
We stand-by, side-by-side before
The bullet-proof plate-glass window.
It snows.
She wears Trans World Airlines gear.
I have no hat. My suit is gray.
I have adored her for thirty seconds,
Thirty seconds since I ever saw her,
An Adoration escalating fast towards Love,
When I say-- I say "Hi" probably.



      "Instead of taking the test/I took 2 to the chest!"
       - "Youth of the Nation" P.OD. 2001
On the news, on the radio, on an earpiece, on the bus, all-out everywhere at once, I'd never been happier, never been happy at all, maybe. It was springtimes ago but that half-second resonates into the Two Thousands and Forever.

John woke up his neighbor, near-death narcoleptic, traveled troubled trail to United Dizzy Farmers where he emptied a cup of coffee into his gut.

Betty stuns the boys at her busstop, rescues others' days from dullness, and that's why I worship her. Johnny's cool, too, I guess. These 2 kids keep exploding onto my scene and I couldn't be happier. Stopped my sobbing.

A loopy, loveless day, Betty by herself in a crowd, Dressed-to-the-Nines, born to kill, smiling a hundred different dazzling smiles at her office job. At lunch she placed a call to John's answering machine: "If you so much as even dare to let me love you any less it could only mean you're not real and I'm in a hospital bed in a coma for five years." Click!

John, hearing the message after arriving home from the tire-burning factory, cried like a happy man for 15-20 seconds. There were plenty of days coming, apparently, and he was glad of that fact.

In all-out nowhere for ten thousand invisible reasons Betty walks from coffee shop to apartment house, brave, unaware that she is the Enemy of God. For today God has gone mad.

Ten minutes before the end of the world, she finds John sitting on her steps. "Ready?" she asks. "As ever," he answers.

They walk side-by-side to the park where they watch the world come to an end. Betty asks, "Why does this always happen?" John searches his pockets for a cigarette. Betty looks at the sidewalk, intent on an answer. She's pretty. It looks like rain.

Psycho vs Psychic for the Mass-Culture-Minded, a struggle to see who can love whom best. Maybe it's imaginary, yet John doesn't care if it's illusion, and Betty cares even less.

See, everything happens all at once, all over, all of the time, events and my god, the excitement! Or--nothing happens at all (my god, the excitement!) John exists. Betty exists. I call that unbelievable luck.

"John was dead, man," said Paul. Betty was nonplused.

In a remote Foreign Legion dugout at nearly that moment, John was near death. Josette held him in her arms. Surgeons saved his life and he was shipped home to Ohio where Betty met him at the spaceport.

Betty did not recognize the face beneath the unzipped flap. Lids popped open revealing metallic eyes. Paul slapped Betty on the back, John spat blood, everything was at last set right again.

In a coffee store in the distant far future, John and Betty drink tea in a bright orange tea-room.



Sporty was a potential picture star in the distant future. The producers wanted to rape her for her screen test--she said, "No way!"

So tall and pale with black hair, she attended auditions, was offered a part every time, she said "No" every time.

Finally, it was announced everywhere that the exotic girl from Ohio would play the Anti-Christ. She prepared for her part by rolling dice in a darkened room, muttering into telephones, and posing for unearthly beautiful photographs.

And when I saw the movie, Sporty Spice was more perfect than anything else I had ever seen. Outside the theater, the city was strange and new, and previously meaningless events now held new significance.


In a random time and place, she never expected anything except maybe a glass of water. Across the room she spots a slightly big head and a profile she imagines she'd never get tired of studying, maybe worshipping, and unbelievably thirty seconds later she's talking to this creature, a Ukranian Jew sporting a long-time lived-in new wave look, maybe 25.

Sporty tells her lies about herself, too late! She'll tell the truth next time. Sporty Spice walks home alone.

Another night, an American girl, Sporty sees her off and on all day, a lovely girl, poetic without realizing it. At the end of the night the two stand together at the jukebox.

Sporty touches the girl's face, tries to find a new way to say "You're beautiful."

Sporty shivers with lust, walking home by herself.