Instant Pussy: looks strange but tastes just fine


Polite was taught to me at a very young age as keep your fucking mouth shut–anything beyond please and thanks, lid on it. I remember quite vividly the struggle this produced in even asking for basic things. Like, “May I use the restroom?” or “Can I have something to drink?” I would sit there, the words stuck and anxiety growing. In my head I would be saying, ok dummy on the count of 10, say it out loud.

Time moves painfully slow when you’re having this sort of mental fuckery–might as well call it torture. The helplessness of being a child in an adult world, amplified. When we are babies, we do not have the recognition that soon we will have the ability to communicate our needs clearly with words. Once you know… and yet that ability has been taken away from you for whatever reason, it is torture.

I’m not crying about it anymore, externally or internally. It is at the crux of what made me a writer. The power of words–what you say and how you say it, that stuff goes deep down into the bones. I consider it a severe abuse of this power– twisting words with an agenda to manipulate, to control, to subvert. Today I am grateful that embracing my own voice on the page, evermore, helps me to say it out loud.

if somehow we didn’t

have wings that clip
to the black surface
of our waking lives
we might soar
instead of
at the light
we might
take that road
into night
with less trepidation
than ever before

they say
she is not afraid
like it’s a bad thing
when they are really bold
they say
she is fearless
in a tone unkind

and quite noticeably

“if somehow we didn’t” was previously published in Instant Pussy #69 — available here Contributors include Ben John Smith, Jay Passer, Rusty Barnes, J.D. Nelson among others…

heyyMichele McDannold is the author of Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days, a book of poetry available from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS. She was the Editor-in-Chief at Red Fez Publications for five years and is currently the editor/publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature. She has an extensive collection of flannel and rubber chicken heads. For more, please visit



wow. you know, i always hated blurbs. i have to wonder what the point is… who–if anyone–it convinces of, what? anything??

did you know that publishing houses, when requesting book blurbs, will send their own write-up for the person to “okay it” and write off as their own words? hmm. i did not know that until recently. it’s making more sense now why i have failed at fully embracing this practice in book marketing.

luckily, i have only been asked to write blurbs a few times by authors/poets clearly confused. it gives me a good chuckle to know that the publisher has always known best and said — oh, just use that one on the web. here’s one that i can honestly stand by though…

April Michelle Bratten’s poetry does not pretend. It does not put on airs; it is exquisite. Her relationship to the word is careful and creative but she leaves room for the reader to interpret, to draw their own conclusions, to have a moment to themselves inside the thoughts of another. It is so rare to find this in a poet—willing to stand aside from any platform and simply bear witness.

– Michele McDannold, founding editor and publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature

It Broke Anyway by April Michelle Bratten (NeoPoiesis Press)

I really started to fall in love with April’s poetry several years ago. This poem from Red Fez, “Legs,” ( was one of my favorites from my feztime. and as with all things good, it eventually led to more goodness when April sent some kickass poems to me at Citizens and we ended up with this fun little book.

"Drink This" little book by April Michelle Bratten (Citizens for Decent Literature Press) photo by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

“Drink This” little book by April Michelle Bratten (Citizens for Decent Literature Press) photo by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

anywho. the best explanation/thoughts about blurbs i have ever heard came from BUD SMITH. supersmart and funny guy. he probably wrote an article about it or will if you ask him, so hit him up

he was also very kind when i sent him this as the LU’s “book blurb” for EVERYTHING NEON

The Literary Underground cannot officially endorse the use of book blurbs, hyperbole, and most especially not cheese plates at poetry readings. We are pleased to support and promote the use of the internet search engine of your choice for finding and reading any and all Bud Smith writes/writing/poetry/flash/shorts/novels.. twitters, even. It’s all good. If that doesn’t convince you to buy his latest book of poetry “Everything Neon”, then I don’t know what to say for you. You’re going to DIE! QUICK! GOOGLE!! NOW!!!

another one i can stand by. seriously, what are you waiting for?
you can even get it on Kindle, if you’re into that sort of thing.

anyway, my point is… the “underground” does everything better! not hyperbole at all!! it’s TRUE!!! #truefuckingstory

i am embracing this process because why the fuck not. these guys rock…

here’s a couple of blurbishes that recently came in for my upcoming book Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS

Photograph by Jinn; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5.

Photograph by Jinn; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5.





good monday morning Michele!! enjoyed your new book immensely thoroughly!! here’s back cover punk poem blurb!! thanks for asking!! 


talk to me

as i lay me down to sleep i pray the lord
my soul to keep if i die before i wake i pray
the lord my soul to take my soul to take my soul

talk to me whisper in my ears words i can’t possibly understand
sing all night as we speed from springfield to las vegas do your
patti smith poet punk fuck you scream in dutch to telephone
poles mowing them down with electric guitar never more than
four chords as we plummet south talk to me whisper in
my ears words i can’t possibly understand sing all night
as we speed from las vegas to hollywood do your michele mcdannold
stealing the midnight from a handful of days punk hostage press 
fuck you scream in arabic to telephone poles 
mowing them down with electric guitar never more
than four chords as we plummet south talk to me talk to me
whisper in my ears talk to me whisper whisper whisper 

–ron whitehead, outlaw poet GONZO master
copyright (c) 2014 ron whitehead



Catfish McDaris

Michy McDannold is a great writer from the Land of Lincoln. Her words are poignant, sad, happy, insightful, and full of emotion. Most important they make you think and they stick with you like biscuits and gravy. When I read her poems I feel her love and I’m glad I had the pleasure of meeting and reading with her in person. Michele’s energy is what drives the small press and keeps it alive and vibrant. I recommend you buy her book, all you cheapskate motherfuckers.” –Catfish McDaris


that last line, yo. got a good kick out of that. you’ll have your chance, if you make it to the THIS IS POETRY event where my book is being released as well as the first volume of TIP as well as a kickass band as well as drag queen karaoake as well as…


**TOP SECRET SECRET** the lineup is starting to take shape: RON WHITEHEAD & RYDER COLLINS !!!!!! can i get a whoop whoop?!?

see you there!



til the punk gets it


yesterday was pretty fuckin awesome, not just for a monday but for days in general. been trying to plan a trip to louisville next week for Gonzofest ( and finally got the reservations done and paid for. 2nd-6th, babies. the poptarts are already packed. i bought a dress, for fuck’s sake. heels even.

as if that wasn’t enough awesomeness… finalized some details with my publisher. yes, MY publisher. those two words have been rolling around in my head non-stop for the last 24 hours. my publisher. my publisher! fuck!! my publisher? good god, my publisher. look, fuck off with your eye-rolling. i live with too much self-doubt to even bother ever worrying about getting full of myself. sheeeit. still, fuckin A, bitches! PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS.

i am the happiest.. there is no more amount of pride i am capable of and at the same time EXTREMELY humbled to be a part of the punk hostage family.

so, yep. i’d say i had a stellar fuckin Monday and the best damn nap to top it off. i mean, seriously. like sweet baby jesus blessed it himself.

Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days by Michele McDannold coming soon to Punk Hostage Press

i don’t know what you’re doing with your dreams but my vote is for living them.


The Daughters of Bastards by Iris Berry

Better Than A Gun In A Knife Fight by A. Razor

Untamed by Jack Grisham

I Will Always Be Your Whore by Alexandra Naughton

8th & Agony by Rich Ferguson

Showgirl Confidential by Pleasant Gehman

and more and more and more

SB Stokes, Dennis Cruz, Frank Reardon, Joel LandmineCarolyn Srygley-Moore, S.A. Griffin, Yvonne de la Vega, C.V. Auchterlonie, Danny Baker

and soon soon soon

Sonny Giordano, Diana Rose, Annette Cruz, Vicky Hamilton, Nadia Bruce Rawlings, Lee Quarnstrom, Kimberly Kim, Nadia Bruce Rawlings, Richard Modiano, Puma Perl, Hollie Hardy, Carlye Archibeque, James Trompeano III, Kate Menzies, Michael Marcus, Vicky Hamilton