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A Fond Farewell, Okay: A Tribute to Elliott Smith

By Janea Wilson

When Elliott Smith died, Beyonce’s “Baby Boy” was the number one pop song. Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix was the best-selling book. And I was sitting in my room at my desktop Dell  chatting on AIM with a long-distance friend, likely talking about Smith, without having known he’d passed away.

I’m not sure how much time had slipped by—probably not much. Twelve years ago, I was as active in a multitude of internet communities as I am now, and news traveled quickly even then when “viral” was something more clinical than digital. And I was devastated.

For more than half of my life his music has been integral to my being. I’ve got his XO heart tattooed on my forearm as a tribute to him. I often dream about some sort of music fest that is strictly A Tribute to Elliott Smith. Is it so strange that someone who struggled with so many maladies could have so much influence on me? Smith’s musical dexterity has impacted not only me but so many singer/songwriters, musicians, poets—call them what you want.

Elliott Smith Memorial Wall Restoration

Elliott Smith Memorial Wall Restoration

Just look at the Figure 8 Wall (where Autumn deWilde shot the album photo) and the efforts to keep it restored as a memorial to the late musician. Many visitors have penned his own words as an epitaph to the artist: “I’m never gonna know you now, but I’m gonna love you anyhow.”


One of the most charming things I find about his music is that the titles are seemingly apathetic or flippant, but the attention to detail, the complex arrangements, the highly-developed melodies of those songs are anything but:Oh Well, Okay. Whatever. Stupidity Tries. Everything Means Nothing to Me. No Name (#1, #2, #3…).  The list could go on.

It’s difficult to express exactly what I want to say; risking melodrama is not what I aim with this would-be eulogy.

I guess I just want to pay respect to a man I’ve always considered a dear friend. I’ve got to say goodbye for now, but maybe it’s more like See You Later.


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Location Location

by Gerard Sarnat

Location Location

Basket cases of Auschwitz survivors willed that their ashes be scattered
at Gucci’s or Dodgers Stadium so their daughters & sons might visit…
Forest Lawn cut loss-leader deals with W.C., Errol, Clark & Humphrey

among nebulae of movie stars in order to attract full-pay customers.
Pierce Brothers Inc.’s black hole gobbled up Marilyn Truman Zappa
& angled for Palance & Steiger freebies to attract their satellite fan clubs.

Yiddishkeit Hillside invested heavily in the borsht belt firm of Jolson
Benny & Berle, while Hollywood Forever landed Bugsy ‘n Johnny Ramone.
Pops’d have none of it, opting instead not for pristine seaside panoramas,

rather staking value claims in the Simi Valley tulies where he plus Mommy
could be parked in peace where the kids won’t come, faraway from LAX
but within room service of gas fumes & crash site freeway miasmas.

Albeit took decades, Dad made it his idea to flip eternity from East Rockaway
to Beverly Hills to the boonies back into City of Angels as long as the cost
of such a switch would be born by his decadent children — which we did.

– – – – –

POET AT WORKGerard Sarnat MD received his education at Harvard and Stanford. He established and staffed clinics for the disenfranchised, has been a CEO of healthcare organizations, and was a Stanford professor. He and his wife of forty-five years have three children and two grandchildren with more on the way, and live in the room above their oldest daughter’s garage.

Gerry is the author of three critically acclaimed collections: HOMELESS CHRONICLES from Abraham to Burning Man (2010), Disputes (2012), and 17s (2014) in which each poem, stanza or line has 17 syllables. For Huffington Post reviews, reading dates including Stanford, publications and more, visit His books are available at select bookstores and on Amazon.

Gerard is currently featured as Songs of Eretz Poetry Review’s Poet of the Week with one of his poems appearing daily. Dr. Sarnat is the second poet ever to be so honored.

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by Sarah Davis


Beware of the men with shifty eyes
They are perverts
Beware of eyes
They will release your demons
Your mother will not believe you
And all of your relationships will suffer
Do not feel guilty for wearing short skirts
I wear short skirts
And there is nothing wrong with that
Everyone does it, even some men
If you do not do it, try it
It feels good to feel
The breeze between your knees

Women of the world: RISE UP!

If someone tells you not to travel alone
Go there. Buy an enormous backpack
With pockets to hold enough faux engagement rings
To barricade yourself from the banter at bars
Do not be afraid

Women of the world: RISE UP!

If you want another cookie, eat one
Or you will be unhappy
Plus Crème Brulee flavored yogurt is just not the same
You do not need to look like a model in a magazine
Do not be afraid
Some of the best women I know
Have more cushion for the pushin

Women of the world: RISE UP!

Take it easy
And for God’s sake stop gossiping
Dont believe the dancing woman in white that appears
In tampon commercials
She is a liar

Women of the world: RISE UP!

Do not be afraid of love
Because it will hurt you
But you will be stronger for it
Some of the best women I know
Have fragmented hearts

Women of the world: RISE UP!

This is a great life
Get dirty
Buy those shoes
Defend yourself
Empowerment is the only hope
Do not tear down other women
They are your best friends

Women of the world: RISE UP

The world is yours
Here, take it.

– – – – –



Sarah Davis is working on her Masters in Fine Arts at California State University Long Beach. She works two jobs to support her growing coin collection as well as feeding a few stray cats in the neighborhood. She enjoys the work of Cecilia Woloch, Anne Sexton, and Tony Hoagland.

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The Same South

by Forrest Evans

The Same South

It always snows in Georgia
if you think of the cotton as snow.
You can smell the past in the leaves
and drift with the sway of the trees.
And if you don’t look down,
the mountains will feel like heaven.

Airy and sweet, meek and subtle—
There’s a hell and bliss in the south
and all the strange fruits ripe there;
but the jam isn’t as sweet as ignorance.
They ripe, are whipped and folded
into the meringue and creams.

To be eaten with the collards and
whatever’s left of the hogs and fathers.
And call you, “Docile and articulate.”
What’s the point of picking fruits if it’s meant
to fall on the ground near its roots?

You can’t smell the cookin’ from the
top if the fruit is covered with cream.
When will they learn? All that is
beautiful is not sweet and white,
it began brown as the soil you walk on.

– – – – –

forrestForrest Evans is a short story writer, published poet, and librarian. She recently received her B.A. in English from Fort Valley State University and is a graduate student of The University of Alabama. Previous works of Evans can be seen in The Lavender Review. A military brat and raised in the Bible belt, Evans has returned to the south to continue writing. Evans lives between Georgia and Alabama where she writes and fights under education and gender inequality.

lipstickparty mag has also published Forrest’s poem, “Cobalt.”

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