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Time Stops-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
House of Un-Reality-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Ghosts of Borges-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Bitchers-Poem by David Spicer
Voltaire and the Literary Guerillas-Poem by David Spicer
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Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

thebitchers.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2018

 

THE BITCHERS

 

by David Spicer

 

 

 

They lived next door, all four of them: Buck Bitcher,

Betty Bitch Bitcher, Bucky Bug Bitcher, and Bonnie

Baby Bitcher. Their real surname Macintosh—

after the computer, not the apple. I don’t know who

pegged them with that moniker: neighborhood legend

claims it was Jim Tank, the blubber-butted dj

with a beer belly bigger than the full moon.

He had a way with words, in the words

of one of his friends. One Jersey day Jim

staggered onto his lawn and heard

the whole family bitching: The damn sun

is shining today, I wanted it to rain, Buck

Bitcher complained. I’m hungry,

where are my bugs? Bug Bitcher wondered.

Baby Bitcher—called that because she was the baby

of the family even if she was 30 griped,

Oh, you’d bitch if your nuts were chocolate.

Bitch Bitcher moaned, groaned, and bellowed

through the walls, Aw, none of you sad cartoons

are happy unless you’re miserable. Jim Tank

Screamed louder than a crooked politician

in an aircraft hangar, SHUTUP! YOU FUCKING BITCHERS!

After that day everybody referred to them

as the Bitchers. Talk of a reality show surfaced,

but Bug Bitcher demanded more money

than Buck or Betty—I mean Bitch—Bitcher.

Rumor was they were the model family

for Fear Thy Neighbor, an award-winning show

about dysfunction and murder. But they were just nonviolent

bitchers with no friends. They didn’t work, collected

disability and bitched it wasn’t enough money,

though Jim Tank told me they threw parties

Friday nights, just the four of them, holding bitching contests:

I don’t eat in restaurants anymore because every time

I do, I find a long black hair in my chili, Buck Bitcher bitched,

swigging a hot Bud down his gullet. Well, you’re too damn tight

for anything else, it serves you right, you dirty old man-bitch,

Baby Bitcher yelled. I’m depressed, Bug Bitcher cried,

all forty years of him, I don’t have my favorite food.

Bitch Bitcher snarled, Bug, how did I ever give birth

to such an ugly kid Robert Crumb wouldn’t draw him.

Year in, year out, Jim Tank recorded the family

and their repertoire of bitchograms, he called them.

Said he was going to collect them in a book titled

Four Decades of the Bitchers. That was nasty

if you ask me. He was an awful person

despite the fact he kept me ten years after I ran away

from my family, The Macintoshes—

 

 

I mean the Bitchers—when I was 16. The whole town

searched for months. I had to skedaddle: I tired

of the bitching about burnt pancakes, horny nuns,

and the governor they called The Walking, Talking

Cheeseburger. The fattest bull in Texas is skinnier

than him, they bitched in unison. I was afraid I’d grow

up a bitching Bitcher. I’m grateful to Jim Tank

for hiding me so well, though. We had fun recording

the Bitchers and laughed at them. I don’t think

the Bitchers ever had fun when I lived with them.

But I do. I’ve overcome my first sixteen years,

and didn’t even mind—much— Jim Tank making a pass

at me. After I kicked his ass, he didn’t try any of that crap.

Oh, my moon hurts, he cackled. I cackled, too. I lived

in his basement, where I used to cream him at Texas Hold’em

every night until I decided to go to the World Series of Poker

and finished third in a field of 5,219. I won six million bucks,

bought the house on the other side of the Bitchers, built

soundproof rooms for the obvious reason. The Bitchers

never caught on I was their long-lost son because all they

could do was bitch, bitch, bitch. Why’d ya do that?

Haven’tcha had enough of ’em? Jim Tank asked. I said,

Naw, man, I’m lucky, I have two families: The Bitchers,

who’ve never smiled, and you, who can’t keep

from smiling. Now I call that a sonofabitchin’ delight.



David Spicer has published poems in Alcatraz, Midnight Lane Boutique, Third Wednesday, Scab, Oddball Magazine, The Literary Nest, The Tipton Poetry Journal, Synaeresis, Chiron Review, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart once, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke's Press), and five chapbooks, the latest of which is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree (Flutter Press), released in August of 2017. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books.








Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.





In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2018