Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Old School Football by Dan Provost

Three yards and
a cloud of dust only
exist on you tube videos.
Old footage of Walter Payton &
Emmitt Smith deep in the I
Seven yards from the quarterback.
Ready to run into eternity.
Very few mention Matt Suhey or
Moose Johnston, who bruised their
soul for the movement—first downs,
clock management and touchdowns.
Even fewer comment on the war raged
by Revie Story, Jimbo Covert, Larry Allen
and Eric Williams, huge men who sacrificed
broken fingers, ankle breaks, shoulder separations
for ownership of a place in sport not bigger
than a walk-in closet.
Everything evolves, your values, responsibilities,
Mortgage payments.
Change is a necessary part of the evolution process.
Sport is no exception.  The game of football is
now featured by names like Mahomes, Lamar Jackson,
DeShaun Watson…athletes who can cock the rock
and fly into endzones across the United States.
Being sentimental is not an evil trait however, closing my eyes
for a second, remembering how individual battles were
fought in the pit.
Triceps bulging, legs churning—running backs finding creases behind
stout fullbacks and massive offensive lineman…
Stares into opponents’ eyes…A silent agreement of
who would have loved to play for another quarter.
And who wouldn’t…

Dan Provost's poetry has been published throughout the small press for many years.  He is the author of nine books and lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife, Laura--and their Bichon Frisce...Bella.

Monday, November 23, 2020

When My Mind Decides To Eat Itself by Kevin M. Hibshman

It sets a lovely table.
It breaks out the fine china and expensive cutlery.
You might say it's a “soiree.”
I'm never informed about the guest list.

When my mind decides to eat itself, it's a real event.
The recipe varies from depression to torment.
There is never enough wine to make me forget why we're all seated together.
When my mind decides to eat itself, it wishes to gorge and it is always sure to leave no crumbs behind.

Kevin M. Hibshman has had poems, reviews and collages published in numerous publications world wide. Most recently, his work has been published by Rye Whiskey Review, Drinkers Only, The Crossroads and 1870. In addition to editing his own poetry e-zine, FEARLESS, he has authored sixteen chapbooks including: Incessant Shining (Alternating Current, 2011) and Love Sex Death Dreams (Green Bean Press, 2000).

Friday, November 20, 2020

Washout by Jonathan Butcher

A cover slipped, that grim smile,

that expands as acceptance grows.

A mild washing of thoughts cleanses

each person of the dust that lead to false

liberty; it's now blown into clouds of denial.

One by one, each item falls like faded leaves,

almost expected, due to the grace of that one

offering, that blinkers judgment, and would

excuse starvation if carried far enough.

Their message flashes in multi-colour,

with each view that changes in their favour.

Pockets stripped empty by blood-clotted 

fingers, that never seem to reach the bottom.

Again, they hold court over thousands, 

the blank crowds that soak up each word

like torn sponge, that leaks out over decades,

and creates a stain we can never seem to remove.

Jonathan Butcher is a poet based in Sheffield, England.
He has had poetry appear in various publications including:
The Rye Whiskey Review, Mad Swirl, Drunk Monkeys, 
The Morning Star, Popshot and others. His third chapbook
'Corroded Gardens' was published by Fixator Press.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Twelfth of Never by Lauren Scharhag

Your third marriage was surely 

still in its honeymoon phase

when Johnny Mathis crooned 

about unending love.

I never knew whether to 

admire your commitment 

to finding The One 

or to shudder 

at the desperation

casting a pall 

on this time’s charms.

By the time I came along,

full of the questions children ask,

Will I be rich?

Will I be famous?

Will I fall in love?

You had an answer ready:

Sure, kid. 

On the twelfth of never.

When the last husband up and left,

people asked if you thought

he’d come back.

You told them the same.

You said it so much I thought

you’d invented the phrase.

Yet, you kept his picture

under your pillow,

and quit leaving the house

in case he returned.

Twenty-two years of

hovering by the phone,

watching the road for his car,

stopping all the clocks

at the hour of his departure. 

And then, 

three months after you died,

the letter came.

He, too, had racked up 

another divorce or two.

He was just out of prison. 

If you would just take him back,

he swore, this time, 

it would all be different.

This time, it would be forever.

It was the impossibility 

you’d always dismissed:

the bloomless bluebell,

the scentless clover,

the mute scribe.

The twelfth of never 

was finally here,

but there was no one 

to tell him that 

you weren’t.

Lauren Scharhag is the author of fourteen books, including Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press) and Languages, First and Last (Cyberwit Press). Her work has appeared in over 150 literary venues around the world. Recent honors include the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Prize, three Best of the Net nominations, and acceptance into the 2021 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit: www.laurenscharhag.blogspot.com

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Rye Seed by PW Covington

For the 2nd day in a row
I find myself incredibly mentally altered
Not disturbed
Before noon
I know this because
At some point I recognize the Native American
Call in talk show
On the public radio, inside
And that show ends at noon, on weekdays

If the worst thing they can say
About me, when this is over,
Is that I spent most of it
Sitting stoned alone
In my garden
Feeding mountain finches
Rye seed from my faded red feeder

That’s exactly what they can say…

   PW Covington writes in the Beat tradition of the North American highway. He's riding things out, in a hidden adobe, somewhere just off Historic Route 66, in Northern New Mexico. Follow him on Insta @BeatPW.

Friday, November 13, 2020

FIRST DATE by India LaPlace

He has a way with words
And I have no sense of delayed gratification,
Which means that for the last half of our time at the bar,
I fantasized to the sound of his voice
And forgot that I had decided not to sleep with him on the first date.
And I remember nothing
But the way he looks when he smiles
And the thought of cumming to that laugh.

I went home with him.

Previously published at Horror Sleaze trash and in Sad Discoveries 

India LaPlace is kind of like if a dive bar and a dumpster fire had a human baby. She is a poet from the United States and a single mom who is aspiring to be a person with self discipline. Associate Editor at the sensational Horror Sleaze Trash. Generally pleasant, naturally cynical. Easily won over by a good book and a twisted sense of humor. You can find her on Instagram: @indiabrittany

She still loves Louis C.K. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Hollywood Blows Part 2 / Sequels Vs Prequels by John Patrick Robbins

The ride over to Monument studios was a silent affair.
Being that Simon felt like death warmed over and largely wanted to kill Frank.

And as they sat there waiting for Mrs Phelps to arrive, Frank couldn't resist twisting the knife at least just a tad.

“So can I get you two gentlemen anything while you wait?”
The secretary asked.

“Hey sweetheart, any chance you could get us two bloody Marys?" 

 My agent here really likes a little hair of the dog if you know what I mean.”

Simon just shot Frank a look of pure disdain hidden behind a pair of borrowed sunglasses.

“Hey sweetheart don't be fooled by his silent act, this guys a total wildman I mean you should have seen him last night .”

“I’m sure Mr Murphy , well sir feel free to help yourself to the bar over in the corner Mrs Phelps should be with you shortly.”

The secretary said and quickly made her exit as if second hand hangovers were catching.

“Well she was friendly, I do believe I will enjoy that open bar. Hey kid, what are you having?”

“Dude are you trying to get us kicked out of here! This isn't a goddamn bar asshole !”

“Wow so aggressive, hey you think that chick has an instagram? I should send her a friend’s request. I mean sure she left like she was grabbing a quick ticket off the Titanic and all. 
But I really think we had some chemistry.” 

Simon put his head on the table.
“You don't have an instagram, you asshole.”

“True that, but I just figured being I have your password and all Being I sent your dick pic all over the net, maybe I’d do a little networking. I mean it's the least I could do.”

Frank said as he sat down next to his very hungover agent.
As he placed a bloody Mary in front of him.

The smell of the vodka, damn near made Simon want to hurl all over the glass top table.
As bad as Simon felt he wondered how anyone could bear this feeling on a regular basis. Let alone his seldom sober client  who although he drank far more than himself the previous night seemed to show little to no effects.

“Hey dude, look at this shit, people really seem to love your dick next to the Eiffel tower.”

“Give me my damn phone you fucking klepto, and this isn’t my dick it’s your’s, you fucking bastard!"
Simon snapped as he shoved his phone into his pocket.

“Hey how would you know thats my dick, I mean that's kind of strange wouldn't you say young sir?”

“Because you sent me a video of you with that girl I had just started dating.”

“Hell I totally forgot about that, how are you and Wendy doing?”

“She canceled out on a date saying she was sick. And instead went and blew my client! So yeah we're not on speaking terms!”

Frank busted up laughing and kicked backed his cocktail.
“Ain’t love grand kid, hey she really didn't appreciate you. I mean  sure, she gave great head. But dude,  you need someone who truly appreciates you and doesn't sleep around for some spare change or film these precious moments and share them with you.”

“You sent me the video you dick!”

Finally just then Mrs Stacey Phelps entered the room.
“Gentlemen I’m so sorry to have kept you waiting. Glad to see you made yourselves at home.”

Mrs Phelps said as she took her seat.

“Mr Murphy, I have to say I really love your book. Honestly you had me cracked up so many times.”

It was always good for Frank to hear his words connect, even if it was total bullshit . Being this was coming from the same studio executive that brought us superhero and talking car movies.

I mean if you tried to dive into this deep intellectual film studios pool.
You would probably snap your neck.
But Frank was at least mildly amused by the fact she had what looked like a straight from book store copy of his most recent scribblings.

She was on the hunt for something with the one thing all these high dollar films lacked. Substance and some balls and Frank knew it.
This was a dance to get the other in the sack and although he knew Simon had his best interests at heart. These were truly uncharted waters for them both.

“Mr Murphy we want this but there are some issues.”

“Aren't there always, so what are the issues Mrs Phelps.”

“Please call me Stacey, and well honestly Frank I mean maybe if we could tone down some of the womanizing. I was thinking maybe change it a bit, does the writer have to be based in the South? Why can't he be from New York? Or even on the West Coast.”

Frank slightly laughed getting up to mix himself another drink.
He held up his glass.

“Anyone care for a refill?”

“No but please help yourself,'' Stacey quickly replied.

Stacey leaned towards Simon.

“Tell me, does your client always hit the sauce, so heavy this early in the day?”

“You have to forgive him. I think he’s just a bit nervous.”

Simon was fighting his urge to start puking all over again and he wasn't even sure why.
And although he knew there was nothing he could do to keep his client from screwing this up, still he was determined to try.

And if he could resist his urge to puke in the garbage can he figured that might just help his odds.

“So Stacey are there any other issues?”

Frank asked as he joined them both with his fresh cocktail in hand.

“Well I’m glad you asked, I mean I was thinking. What if we changed direction and focussed in on the relationships between the writer and his young editor? I mean the LBGTQ market is hot right now.”

“You know Stacey, you really have a point but I think the real tensions lie between these Scott and Ryan characters. I mean you can cut the tension with a knife.”

Stacey lit up like a Christmas tree as even though stone cold sober she was clearly drunk on something.
“I am loving this but what if it was a love triangle between all of them.”

Frank could sense Simon's blood boiling because even though he was having fun with this clearly delusional woman.
Simon knew his client like the back of his hand and knew he would eventually screw this up on purpose.

“You know Stacey,  I think it makes as much sense as doing a big budget version of Flipper and instead of using an actual dolphin casting Adam Sandler instead.”

The women looked at Frank with a sense of shock.

“Wait who told you about that? Have you been talking to Disney I swear I'll match whatever they offered.”

Now it was Frank and Simon who were both silent.
The discussion went on for awhile and as Frank grew annoyed as their host, with his refusal to budge of raping his story and basically being paid off to use it in title only.

“Mr Murphy, this is a good deal we can both end up making some real money from this.”

Frank didn't bother to reply; he simply stood up and reached in his wallet and dropped a few bills on the table to which Stacey Phelps looked at him strangely.

“You don't owe me for the drinks Frank, let's just take a break on this. Why don't we meet tomorrow?”

Frank just looked at the executive with a sense of disgust and replied.

“I’m curious, in that whole Flipper film, does Adam actually get caught in a tuna net and killed?”

“Jesus Christ! Of course he doesn't you loon!”

“Shit well that sucks. I thought kids movies were all about happy endings. Oh well, films aren't what they used to be that's for sure. Well my dear, if ever you need someone to write that scene drop me a line, otherwise au revoir it's been interesting.”

Frank was out the door and almost to the elevator before Simon caught up with him.

“You fucking dick! What was that man?"

"C’mon at least let's try to hear what she has to say tomorrow.They really want the rights to this book man”

“Yeah you write books kid?”

“No but-”

“Then shut the fuck up! And book us the first plane out of this asylum. before over inflated egos and the weight of million dollar mansions causes this fucker to fall into the ocean.”

Simon knew the argument was pointless but he was far too hungover to press it. He turned his phone's notifications on and the damn thing was going off like crazy.

“Jesus dude, seems you're really popular.” 

Simon looked at the notification on his newly installed Grinder app.
It appeared Antwon, was single and looking to more than mingle in the studios restroom.

Frank just looked at his best friend and agent with a shit eating grin.
Sometimes Simon  had to question why he hadn't become an accountant instead.

John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of The Rye Whiskey Review  and Black Shamrock Magazine.  His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine,  The Dope Fiend Daily, Piker Press, 1870 Magazine, San Pedro River Review,  San Antonio Review , Herion Love Songs, Romingos Porch and Schlock Magazine. 

His work is always unfiltered 

Old School Football by Dan Provost

Three yards and a cloud of dust only exist on you tube videos.   Old footage of Walter Payton & Emmitt Smith deep in the I formation.   ...