The Stuff Left in Parking Lots

by 90s Meg Ryan



released March 10, 2014

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⚑≰⚐≱⚐≰⚑ 90's Meg Ryan ⚑≱⚐≰⚐≱⚑


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90s Meg Ryan Muncie, Indiana

In 1989 Meg Ryan immortalized herself as Sally Albright.
Throughout the next decade, she mesmerized us all.

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Track Name: Wyatt Sparks – "Friday"

went well
Lana did
good too
her friend
was blonde
and cute
and maybe
We went
to Whirlaways
the name
of a horse
I only half
knew Frankie
and none
of the other
people we
went with.

came too
four hours
we talked
I sort
of stood
her knees
& there were
other people
but in
my mind
so many
sweet things

told me
but then
didn’t take
his piece
after all
his only
option now
he told me
was to write
and lay it
in his
right desk
drawer with a note
he could
kill himself
get famous.

didn’t have
his passport
he had to
stand outside
while we tried
to get
to this
pinball bar
down the block.
He had
no one
to stand with
so I went
was cold
we were both
freezing our asses
Nadiv said
are you in love?
It looks
I crept
up into
my old lines
when I was
I would
bang my
hands down
and say
I have
a blackness
inside of
a heart
instead of
a heart or
one all
& juiced
when it wasn’t
right, true
then I was in
love, which
would pass
and regroup
and so forth
and so on
as it does
but I
should have
said something
different I think
or think
that now
that is.
WYATT SPARKS lives in Chicago and is the author of Second Man On The Moon (Nap, 2013) and As We All Change (Love Symbol Press, 2013).
Moondog is the music behind the poem.
Track Name: Yvette Nepper – "Blueberries"

several years ago I went on
exactly four dates with this guy
whose name I can’t remember.

for whatever reason
I’ve stored some of
our encounters in my mind,

like how he brought me blueberries
to work, at the counter where
i was selling tickets during

the day;
and he asked me if I wanted
to have sex with him over a
text message.

I think he heard voices because
sometimes he’d stop and listen and
look to the side where nobody was

we went to see a
Coen Brothers movie,

and I felt embarrassed because he laughed really
loud the whole time.

he met me at Kaldis where I seemed to offend him about something I never put together.
(his nose was running)

he rode his bike there, in the
cold, i gave him a ride home,

i was scared.

Carol and Amber lived in the
Roanoke on Ludlow before they decided
to cool down,
before they decided to break-up.

it involved
getting separate apartments;

so Carol and I signed a
lease on 12th and Race
and Amber lived down the
street, a bicycle’s ride away,
a walk in the snow.

we sat around Carol’s
desk and listened to
music on her computer.

we made mixes

we drank coffee in the winter

we had a TV and VCR

we had a cordless phone
and one of us was a phone sex
operator all day long.

when guys called for requisite
humiliation, our group of friends would
pause the TV and laugh
fake laughter, enough to fill
the room, enough to fill
the man on the phone in the
cold that winter calling
from a different city,
calling from a different room.

we only needed two places
other than home:
a place to get warm and
a night to go dancing.

Kaldis had two bathrooms.

the non-smoking side was
a model-home for visitors

and on the other side i had a
date with a schizophrenic

on the other side i had
too much coffee

on the other side
Alan was commissioned to
paint his art all around us.

at home, one of us was a
phone sex operator all day long.

she sounded like a little girl;
she gave lots of spankings;
she was a feminist;
she was a sadist.

we made out in the bedroom on
the floor during a party.

she told
me not to get nervous.

every thursday night we went
dancing at Jacob’s.

we parked in the alley next to
the building (every single time).

we walked in like we owned the
place (every single time).

say “hello” to Jaunita,
he’s a really good bartender,
get in line for a drink.

i kissed a girl on the dance floor.

i fell off the dance floor.

i climbed the ladder and requested a song.

i went to bed the next day.

Kari and I made-out on the car ride here.
she’s dead in a car accident now.
she’s dead in a car accident all the time now.

the day I found out, I brushed my teeth.

I was eating a crab cake on Main St when Bethami
called and we met her at
the hospital and then Kari died
and stayed Kari in her early
20s forever.

I chanted in my car
that morning and didn’t
know why.

It rained all afternoon
it was dangerous rain.

Carol and I started buying
pot from our neighbor downstairs.

her daughter, whose name I
can’t remember, went to the
Creative and Performing Arts

she wanted to have
slumber parties at our place.

she’d come knocking at our door
after we were already stoned on
her mom’s weed.

I hope she’s Madonna now.

Carol and I paid the bills

one of us thought the
heat wasn’t working.
one of us wanted to sleep
in the same bed.

one of us bought an
electric blanket.

Now i’m anchored to the
university, I lead a university-

I live inside the little
map with the little buildings,
the shuttle drives by my house
in half hour increments
and we learn things.

Kim and I fell in love at
a potluck on 12th and Race;
she was in graduate school
and I was keeping warm.

we have a son named Desi,
he’s starting to dance and
point at things.

it seems like his life will go
on forever.

Carol and I were eating
breakfast one morning
when we saw two men shooting
at each other in the snow.

it was hard to believe because of
the snow.

I ordered a pizza later that day
and was
afraid to go outside.

I hold onto the memory like a
smalltown girl with
grocery bags.
I didn’t even know how to
park on our street, let alone
process violence.

insert the total number of
my graduating class;
Randy Travis and Garth Brooks;
how many stop lights in town;
and when we finally got a McDonalds.

the man who swept the stairs
of the church put money
in my meter so I wouldn’t
get tickets (right in front of the Lord’s Gym).

Washington Park was just a
gazebo and a bunch of
people I didn’t know-----back then.

Carol and Amber eventually
broke-up and Kari died.
Kim and I fell in love.
and the guy, whose name I can’t remember,
brought blueberries to the museum while i was working.

now it seems like i’ll remember all of those things forever.
YVETTE NEPPER lives and writes in the city she loves, Cincinnati, OH. Her chapbook, 26 poems for grown ups and children, was published by Perfect Lovers Press last year.

LAURA BIRDSALL composed the music and managed the soundtrack production for the poem "Blueberries."
Track Name: Alexis Pope – "Tragic Queen"
(Tragic Queen)

I remember soil frozen in December
A vague crunch under foot
The slow silence that ascends underneath me
From your cold face to my hardened body

What bit of bread left inside my pocket
The sounds of children wail behind us
And this refuses to quit No, not unless
somehow you make me a better woman

Could you lift me above the waters
that ice at this time of year This season has left
me naked & freezing Walls that rise above
We cannot stop climbing & the bricks

they won’t soften You don’t soften
while I am this small curled thing against your feet
I am this woman all dressed in black Always ready
Always ready for whatever ends next
ALEXIS POPE lives in Brooklyn. Forthcoming from Coconut Books in 2014, her first book was selected for the Joanna Cargill First Book Prize. She is the author of three chapbooks and is in the MFA program for poetry at Brooklyn College.
Track Name: Alexis Pope – "Human Behavior"
(Human Behavior)

Lapping up curdled milk you
choke on thick cheese of soured
milk You wore either eight dresses
or nine pairs of slacks That day
in January you marched to my hind
place Dark & nearly cloudy I want your
sunlight to be almost You touch my field
& sunflower panties Warm not hot
Weather I fucked you or not Sunny day
in clouds blackened by blood clots
We settle for nothing less than disaster
of chance or wild life eats us Hopefully
my death will be a crime scene of envy
All the paparazzi will be there to ease
your pain over my passing in such Manner
Say these deaths happen so easily No one
finds me for three years I sat in front
of the television watching Bones
It’s called depression You tell me
It’s serious I say Nothing is serious
Only our thoughts on it Actually
one time something serious happened
But I forgot What happened was
I bought the cat although I am allergic
I really like sneezing I just wanted
something to live beside
ALEXIS POPE lives in Brooklyn. Forthcoming from Coconut Books in 2014, her first book was selected for the Joanna Cargill First Book Prize. She is the author of three chapbooks and is in the MFA program for poetry at Brooklyn College.
Track Name: Derek Hurt – "Old Fashioned Cooking Recipes"
“Old Fashioned” Cooking Recipes

Think of all the times in your life
using the phrase:
“I am so sorry.”
Reflect on this for about an hour.
Begin a new project in your life
for ten minutes.
Abandon it.

Go out tonight.
Learn to enjoy yourself.
Give a piece of yourself to someone
you have never met.
Flavor to taste.

Take a deep breath and jump.
The water will be cold,
Boil at medium high heat
for twenty minutes.
Dip your head under the water.
Listen to everything around you.
Come back up and fill your lungs
with air.
Try to imagine life
without the last step.

Spin around three times
and don’t fall down.
Learn to make bread.
Find out what talking to yourself
at night
is all about.
Keep a candle burning
to give a false sense
of security.
Count ninety-nine sheep.
Save the last one.

Go to the supermarket.
But the first thing you see
over twenty dollars.
Give it to the next person you see.
Cope with loss,
but understand charity.
Discover what this person means
in relation to you.
Find out their name.
Write it down.
Write it down.
And again.

Stop believing in monsters.
Turn the lights off at night;
save electricity.
Leave your doors unlocked.
Leave them open,
if you want.
Wash your hands
to avoid

Buy a baby calf.
Name it.
Find a wife.
Have thirteen children.
Give yourself up for
Tell the children to raise the calf
after you are gone.
And their children.
And their children’s children.

Buy something you normally wouldn’t.
Put it on display.

Liver and Onions:
Learn a foreign language.
Travel abroad.
Speak to people you do not
Spend money you did not
Earn money you can never

Vegetable Stew:
Learn to paint.
Find the closest river
in your area.
Paint it as you see.
Finish the painting and
go for a swim.
Figure out how deep the river is.

Deviled Eggs:
Take the first three pages
of every book
you have available
and rip them out.
Keep these pages in a
safe place,
you will need them
Burn the remains of
the books.
Write your own.
Call it the best thing
to happen
in one hundred years.
Tell no one of the book.
Lock your door.
Shut the blinds.
Strip down and
paint a self-portrait.

Buy a newspaper.
Read it from front to back.
Keep the obituaries.
Attend a funeral
of a stranger.
Learn their life as
best you can.
Understand how they died,
and why.
Apply this knowledge
to your own life.
Go home.
Write your auto-biography.
Chew on it for a while.

Celebrate an unimportant birthday.
Take of photograph
of the most interesting thing
you can find.
Write a story based on nothing.
Realize the mistakes you made.
Learn to be steadfast in temperament.
Rip every door off the hinges.
Apologize for nothing.
Be sincere for everything.

Lamb Chops:
Chop down the thickest tree
you can find.
Burn the stump.
Salt the earth.
Tell everyone.

Learn how to swim.
Learn how to cook.
Forget the things you
never wanted to find out.
DEREK HURT was born in a barn in the mid-mid-west. He has written biographies of history's most unimportant men. He enjoys a fine grilled cheese.
Track Name: Mike Young – "ONE FUTURE DOES IT ALL"

Someone took the couch. I hope they took it
back to let my rivals crash after the stage lights
have burnt out, long after they answered
incorrectly: “For no points at all,
what’s the most comfortable language?”
Reupholstered it in cucumber peels.
Gave it cushions that gather you in
like making out without philosophy.
We’re tired of staying right here,
but not of staying. All the way home,
but you can never figure out which way
it should face. I hope they let anyone sit on it
who’s on my list: dads with eye patches,
nerds with CCCP t-shirts. No, I insist.
That’s not history, it’s a foaming tablet.
That it shrinks collapsingly, as every middle
gathers all there is from the hoax of approximates.
Plus a stack of atlases, to fix the leg. No actually
I hope it slid right off the truckbed, no bungee cords,
onto an airstrip dotted with radishes, into a soggy
new poem about an airstrip dotted with radishes,
that truck truck truck of legend skidding through six
poems a trip, O restless diet, driven by a forced-into-
retirement preschool algebra tutor who signs up
on every service to post that she’s the next Buddha.
Her clutch pedal is a squawk I’ve never fallen asleep
forgetting. Get up and circulate. I hope they need
the rest more than you and I do, because that’s it
for couches. From now on find me by the window,
stiff as a pet who can't rank dangers. If you can’t see
what I'm seeing, go ahead and make it up above me.
MIKE YOUNG is the author of "Look! Look! Feathers" (stories) and "We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough" (poems) and "Who Can Make It" (chapbook of poems) and, forthcoming, "Sprezzatura" (poems).
He edits NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, and writes for HTMLGIANT. He lives in Northampton, MA.
Track Name: Melissa Swantkowski – "Some Times In Our Minivan"
Some Times In Our Minivan

When school let out for summer, Dad bought a minivan and showed up to take Timmy and me and Timmy's friend Joshua for ice pops. He parked in the bus' spot and opened the hood and the trunk. There was a crowd, and we'd have given anything to just be on the bus, but Dad said, "Look, when I push this button the doors open on their own," and suddenly we were inside.

"You can even do it when the car’s in motion," Dad said. Joshua, who was always holding us back on things, said, "I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way. It makes me nervous."

"Watch your hands," Dad said, "Keep them inside, and just watch."

As soon as Timmy was busy with whittling and archery and summer shorts, we drove to a farm. Dad slowed and tested the hazards.

Mom said, "Oooh look at those cows and the pastures and that little gazebo. Look at those flowers in front."

She turned around in her seat and said to me, "You'll get married here one day, I think," and to Dad, "Sarah will get married here one day. I think."

Dad said "No one's good enough for my little turkey," and gobble-pinched under my chin, and then Mom said, "I've collected this baby blond wig, and the perfect pink nail polish, and lacy white gloves, and a dress that goes down to your ankles and I'm saving them all for you to wear when you meet the right nice boy," and then Dad said without looking at me, "Wait. Full stop. Are you sexually active?"

Mom said, "You know, good idea, sure. Henry, I think it would be an okay time to bring up the birds and the bees, what with Timmy at camp at all. It's a quiet, special time," and Dad said, "You think this is a really a good time to talk about pulling out and rubbers? Is that what you mean to say, Barbara? We are in the middle of a field with the cows and the pasture and the flowers over here. We are taking it all in and you're over there talking semen in front of my little girl."

Mom said, "What I mean is, Sarah, would you just please tighten your shoelaces. Now push your hair behind your ears. Can you please just yank that bit of skin off your cuticle. Your hands should go in your lap. What I mean to say is"...and Dad interrupted, "How about saying no. Yes, saying no all of the time. That's the thing to say even if that little scumbag Joshua says he's got something to show you."

Mom said, "Henry, pipe down, she's not even six yet, and if I meant anything at all, I meant feminine hygiene, honey one day, what will happen is, well what I meant was," and then Mom turned around again and folded her own hands in her lap and said very softly, "Plus, I've got a veil and that dress and it's in all hanging a lint-free dry cleaning bag, and I'm certain you'll fit into it one day and then we'll talk more."

Dad took his hands off the steering wheel and wiped them on his pants. He used his shirt sleeve to pat his forehead though it wasn't wet and kept his eyes on the road the whole time, never once offering to open the doors.

Some time later, with the back seats folded down, I didn’t exactly take the candy, but I knew what was being offered while Joshua whined, "Everything seems to be moving very fast."

I gobble-pinched under his chin and said, "Don't be a turkey."

It was raining when they thought Timmy and I had fallen asleep in our reclinable seats. Mom and Dad drove back out to the farm, and Mom sighed and whispered, "She was going to get married here one day but look out there, Henry." She put one hand on her chest and the other on Dad's arm.

Dad said, "It may have been another farm that had a gazebo. It's difficult to tell between farm and farm and farm and farm..." repeating farm until Mom raised her voice to say, "And now the roads are flooding and if only we’d bought a Jeep with four wheel drive."

Dad rocked the minivan in and out of reverse. We were stuck. And then Dad wailed "I’ll never be a grandfather." And Mom said "Henry, you should have let me tell her about dental dams when I wanted to," and Dad said, if I remember correctly, Barbara, if I remember correctly what happened was..."

And suddenly everything on me felt feverish and full of more blood than it needed to have. "But Dad," I said, "Joshua is Timmy's best friend." Then Timmy coughed, or maybe choked a little bit.

We’d had a lot to eat for dinner.

Then came an ambulette. The ambulette! We all climbed out of the minivan and into the ambulette, each of us holding one of Timmy’s limbs to buffet his shock. I patted Timmy gratefully for taking the attention off me. And Timmy recovered enough to say, "This is so not fair. The siren sounds like a dumb kazoo," and Dad said, "Son, I think you were faking it a little before. You sure seem to have your sense of humor back," and then Timmy passed out, but just for a little while and maybe just for effect.

I knew Timmy had been expecting more.

The last time Mom and Dad drove me out to the farm they said "Up and out. We're dropping you off. You were going to get married here one day, but the pastures and the cows have been slaughtered and Timmy's bought the ambulette company because he liked the kazoo siren so much. You see what it does for his mood, don't you? He’s done so well for himself, and a full two years younger, at that. And Joshua's gone to work for him. Such a nice boy.

So this is your home now. Dig a well and watch you don’t burn it down, won't you?"
MELISSA SWANTKOWSKI writes fiction in Brooklyn. She is one half of The Disagreement, a reading series based in NYC, and the prose editor for Bodega, a magazine of literary work.
Track Name: Wet Blankets – "Skating"
Song written and recorded by Wet Blankets in Bloomington, IN.
Wet Blankets' first EP is available through Crossroads of America Records here:
Wet Blankets is Aaron Denton.
Track Name: Dead Birds – "Bills"
Song by Dead Birds, a now defunct band from Muncie, IN once called Scales. Recorded with Keaton W. for a case of beer.
Track Name: OSIMER – "Whippersnapper"
Recorded through the same soundboard as Clapton's "Cocaine," this song is forthcoming on a big ol' space rock EP - look for it online.
"Whippersnapper" belongs to OSIMER, four Hoosier dudebros bunkered down in a canyon in the Hollywood hills with skateboards and rock n roll instruments - surfing the sound waves.
They're on FB, TWTR, INSTGRM -- /Osimer317

Aaron Cook, Dan Shannon, Greg Hunter, and Andy Colich.

Editor's note:
I met Andy at space camp. I was in 4th grade, and he was in 5th. He listened to Blink 182 the whole trip.
I've been listening to these guys play music since junior high, and I am stoked they're still stoked doing it.
Track Name: Short Hand – "In Ninjitsu"
"In Ninjitsu" belongs to Short Hand.
Short Hand's upcoming album "Punk Heart" was recorded in Muncie, IN.
Short Hand is Peter Davis, a professor at Ball State and author of "Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!" and "Hitler's Mustache" and, most recently, "Tina."
Track Name: Short Hand – "Poet Teardrops"
"Poet Teardrops" belongs to Short Hand.
Short Hand's upcoming album "Punk Heart" was recorded in Muncie, IN.
Short Hand is Peter Davis, a professor at Ball State and author of "Poetry! Poetry! Poetry!" and "Hitler's Mustache" and, most recently, "Tina."