March Poet

Misti Rainwater-Lites

Misti Rainwater-Lites is a prolific poet, novelist, and collage artist. She is the editor and publisher of the print poetry zine Instant Pussy.

What kind of art do you create?

I mostly write poetry. I also write novels and make collages. I've done one mixed media painting. It's mostly oils. I'd like to do more paintings and write more novels. Oh, and there is an art to making a mix tape. I love to make eclectic mix tapes. I'm still building my cd collection. When I have about fifty more cds I will make new mix tapes.

Where in the physical world can your art be experienced?

I had an art exhibit of my collages at a local smoothies/pretzel shop in Albuquerque last year. It was funny. No one showed up. I've read my poems in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Albuquerque. At the last reading at a coffee house in Albuquerque, I read my poems with Christopher Robin and Todd Moore to people who were more interested in their laptops and lattes. Next time I will be armed with a watergun. "oopsy daisy, did I get water on your laptop/in your latte? so sorry!"

How do you feel about the self-promotion seemingly necessary for art today?

I don't see anything wrong with shameless self-promotion. If you aren't a favored Hollywood or New York whore, if you are an obscure artist who is creating your ass off while living at the poverty level, if you don't blow your own horn it won't get blown. Your friends and peers can help promote your projects and they do...we all help each other out the best we can...but no one can or will do it for you as tirelessly and passionately as you can do it for yourself. That makes me think of masturbation. Well, there isn't anything wrong with that, either. Create! Masturbate! Blow all hell outta your own horn, baby!

How would you define "artistic success"?

Artistic success is loving the hell outta your creations, loving your creations enough to share them with the world and give them away for free if you have to. Van Gogh sold what, one painting? Before he blew his brains out in a cornfield? Now wealthy people spend thousands (millions, maybe, I don't know) of dollars on his paintings. He's just one example, the one that comes to mind most readily. The pinnacle of artistic success for me personally would be making enough money from my books/paintings/collages to live at a comfortable level and no longer being forced to compromise myself to make a buck. Why should I have to scrub potties/sell panties/field phone calls from irate customers/wipe snotty noses and tie shoelaces to survive? I am not defined by any of those things, damn it! I am a writer. I am an artist. Tell Oprah when you see her.

Which gives you the most satisfaction in your life: spiritual beliefs, material possessions, creativity? Which gives you the least?

My creativity and my spiritual beliefs are one and the same. I believe in myself and my vision so I create. That gives me satisfaction, even when my stomach is rumbling and I'm staring with disgust and hatred at the people on television (Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Brooke Hogan, et al) who have nothing of lasting worth or relevance to contribute to humanity but they keep on contributin' it, anyway, to MUCH success. Now, I love my M.A.C. lipsticks and pretty earrings and my scuffed Mary Janes I bought at Thrift Town for a couple of bucks but I don't need those things. They don't feed my spirit. Material possessions don't get me high or make me hot. I could lose all my shit in a fire and keep on truckin'.

How long have you created art?

Man oh man I wish I had these tapes I made when I was in kindergarten. I used to carry this little tape recorder with me everyplace I went. I would make up songs and skits. Years later my grandmother heard the tapes and said she had no idea I was that creative when I was a kid. I bought a Snoopy diary with my allowance when I was nine. My first poems rhymed, of course, and they exonerated rainbows and puppy dogs. I wrote a series of short stories when I was in high school about this guy I had a crush on. We were married in the stories. We lived in this huge mansion by the sea in Baja. What can I say, I was a late bloomer. I think I'm still blooming. My poems started getting decent when I was in college. I started making collages in high school. My collages didn't get good until 1999 when I lived in a crappy apartment in Bridgeport, Texas.

What inspires you?

good sex, bad sex, the crap I see on television, the crap I see in magazines, conversations with friends, rain, snow, rage, angst, hunger, ebullience, idiocy, marriage, divorce, pregnancy, loss, brutality.

What is art anyway?

it's anything that makes you say....a HA! Yes. Art affirms this bat shit crazy process we call LIFE.

This Ain't No Weather Balloon, Motherfucker
aliens need to get their shit together
and throw it in the faces
of dumb ass human beings
who dismiss UFO sightings
as weather balloons
weather phenomena
top secret military aircraft
i envision a big honkin’ ass
silver schoolbus in the sky
emblazoned with
in LED
complete with bass boomin’
for the illiterate
then the cool as shit cynics
would have to believe
and aliens would be
the new celebrities
driving in circles
driving in circles in Midland, Texas
circa 1989
driving to the Sonic
parking on the cool side
even though you were not
cool in your two-tone brown Ford Granada
with your frizzy black hair
listening to your “Pretty in Pink” soundtrack cassette
all the cool girls were blond
& they drove red Camaros
blasting Guns-N-Roses
& now the cool girls
drive SUVs and own houses in the suburbs
& they vacation in Aspen
& you pay rent on a one-bedroom apartment
across from the 24 hour laundromat
& for you a vacation is buzzing
on cheap champagne
& being licked clean
by your cunnilingus savvy husband
I Want To Be
I want to be the model on page 15, letter E
of the VSD 2003 holiday casual catalog
so carefree and effortlessly sexy
in a spruce mock turtleneck sweater
and mod A-line mini
with zipped up stiletto knee-high boots
with my body by Victoria and my face by M.A.C.
giving all my secrets away for free
and not asking
for anything back
I want to be a trashy hard-lovin'
whiskey guzzlin' rode hard and put up wet
divorce court with no alimony or child support
vet smoking and swapping war stories in prison
with the blues laid out in tattoos on both arms
my charms reduced to crude jokes about anatomy
and a canny understanding of The System and how to cheat
it at every turn even on the inside
I want to be the bony pointy-nosed bitch
on "Jeopardy" who knows about politics
and all the Presidents and archaeology
and the history of the whole wide world beginning
with the first flesh melted witch
I want to be the yoga practicing eight glasses
of water a day drinking clear thinking natural
blond size zero vegan native Californian with a
professionally decorated modern split-level
in Malibu with a dog or two and an occasional
boything named Alex who sends me dewy
white roses every January sixteenth because
I'm a double Capricorn with Venus in Pisces
and a 36DD
without the silicone
I want to be at peace with myself like Madonna
I want to be madly in love with life like Drew Barrymore
I want to be downloaded upgraded created
to be destroyed
the whole of female consciousness
without the pesky void.
life must suck for Scotty
we see him when we sing karaoke at Fiesta's
on Friday and Saturday nights
he always sings the kind of songs
I can imagine rednecks slitting their wrists to
in their trailers when the wife and kids and dogs are gone
he sings "The Dance" by Garth Brooks
and I always feel his pain
last night he sang it in a sadder, drunker than usual voice
told us he'd been drinking since one o'clock that afternoon
asked me if I had a sister
I told him she's pregnant and married and lives in Texas
"happily?" Scotty asked
"yes," I told him,"she's happily pregnant, happily married
and happily in Texas"
I guess we've all been Scotty at least once
drinking alone and singing to strangers
or shopping alone with no one to tell us
how we look in the clothes we try on
or driving alone with the moon and the radio
and little or no hope
waiting for a rope to hang us and set us free
swinging from a tree
deeply carved with somebody else's
Pout All You Want
your tapioca pudding brain won’t save you now, princess
the dragon of denial is breathing
his fire down your white swan neck
the witch who hates your bland milky guts
is boiling up a big ass pot of trouble
you can text your charming prince
until your acrylic nails fall off
he is drunk on his friend paco’s futon
playing video games
who’s your daddy and where is he hiding?
what’s a girl in suburbia distress to do?
drive like a demon
to the nearest mall
Eschatology Pageantry
33 like Jesus when he died
my blood is every bit
as precious
but who is crying
when I am trampled
by cracked clay feet
who is in charge
of the sky as it closes in denial
of my thoroughly stoned heart
no one sees me
no one sees a lot of people
we are all symbols, after all
flags that get in the way of the view
it’s Sunday morning (my ass is sore & I don’t know why)
boning up on cerebral radionuclide angiography
it hits me
a brick in my face
to be more accurate...a butcher knife up my asshole
it's sunday morning
my ass is sore
& i don't
know why this epiphany makes it hard
to focus on asymmetrical venous drainage
it was me & my best friend luci
last night at the nutty candy bar
we looked hot, as always
perhaps more so than usual
due to the recent laxative overdose weight loss
and silicone implants
we were sizzling like bacon
hanging out at the bar
throwing back jell-o shots and absolut royal fucks
until luci took off with some cheesy shit eating grin lobotomized
redneck in a dallas cowboys jersey
leaving me to fend for myself
i recall a guy named brock
or was it bryce? he smelled really good
and didn't ogle my tits
just glanced at 'em once or twice i remember
riding beside him
in his jeep justin timberlake booming from the speakers
after that
i draw
a blank so here i sit
befuddled, a bit panicked
my anus screaming
like a southern baptist preacher