Wednesday, June 22, 2022

At the Dog Park by Michael Ceraolo

It’s maybe a mile or so
east of the mouth of the creek,
                                             and,
though not yet recognized as such
by the local municipal authority,
the property owners (the local hospice)
have acknowledged reality and posted signs
about keeping your dog on a leash
(there are fences on three sides,
the fourth side is the lake
                                        Interestingly,
the property on the outside of the fence,
though having the same owner,
has signs posted prohibiting dog walking)
It is one of the last days of winter,
                                                  yet
the temperature is twenty degrees above normal,
though the lake remains shrouded in fog
even in the late morning
None of the deciduous trees have bloomed yet;
on the ground are last year’s
oak and maple leaves and sweetgum balls
in various states of decay
The concrete drive is badly cracked,
                                                     leading
to a garage-like building
with four bays in front:
three of the bay doors slide up and down
while the fourth has been removed for repairs
There are three bays in the rear of the building
that each have a two-door covering
where the doors open out,
                                       and
there are similar covering on the windows
There is a residential structure
next to the garage, left over
from when the property was a religious retreat;
the basement and first-floor windows
and most of the second-floor windows
have been replaced with wood
There is a winding asphalt walkway,
covered with moss in many places,
and periodically interspersed
with half-circles of brick
There is an asphalt lot
on the east end of the property,
                                              probably
a parking lot at one time,
                                    though
now the front gate is kept locked
to keep out vehicle traffic,
                                       and
two large piles of wood chips
sit near the lot’s center
Last weekend the baseball team
from the Catholic high school next door
was practicing on the asphalt
and adjacent grass,
                              with
the weather much less hospitable
There is another paved path
that starts and ends with no
particular rhyme or reason;
perhaps a remnant from when
a sanitarium occupied the property
I try to pick a time
when no one else is here,
                                      or
at least when certain others
are not here,
                   because
their dogs are too aggressive,
even violent,
to be let off the leash




Michael Ceraolo is a 64-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) published, and has two more in the publication pipeline.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

JACKASS by S.F. Wright

Don’t draw
Attention
To yourself;
At least
Pretend like
You’re doing work—
And I won’t
Bother you.

None of us
Wants to be here;
Let’s just
Make it bearable.

But
There’s always
One.

As I was
Lecturing to
20 mostly
Catatonic
Teenagers, 
Vaguely
Appreciatory of
The few who
At least feigned
To pay attention—
What do I hear?
A video playing
On someone’s phone—
This person 
Not even using
Earphones,
But playing
The video’s audio
Through the phone’s
Speakers,
No doubt thinking
That because
He was in
The back,
I wouldn’t
Hear.

Granted,
Earphones
Are prohibited,
But this kid
Was in the corner;
He could’ve 
Put on his right
Earphone,
Which I would
Have pretended
Not to have seen.

All of his classmates
Have figured this out;
Why couldn’t he?

I paused,
Stared at the back row,
Said,
What am I hearing?

No answer.

I waited another
Beat,
The video
Still playing faintly,
And then I said that
If I didn’t hear
Whosever phone that was
Turned off right now,
Everyone would have
To move
Their seats
To the front
(I let them
Sit in the back:
That way,
They are
Far from me,
I am far
From them).

A second later,
The video
Turned off.

My annoyance
Subsided,
I went back to 
Affecting to lecture,
Most of
My students returned
To staring
Into oblivion,
The courteous few
Resumed
Pretending
To pay attention.




S.F. Wright lives and teaches in New Jersey. His work has appeared in Hobart, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and Elm Leaves Journal, among other places. His short story collection, The English Teacher, is forthcoming from Cerasus Poetry, and his website is sfwrightwriter.com.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Backbone by Ian Lewis Copestick

I've
finally
discovered
some
backbone.

Some
spirit.

My
give a
shit machine
is
broken.

And
thank
fuck for
that.

I can feel
my strength
returning.

I'm sick
of self pity,
now I'm
getting
angry.

If the world
spits in my face,
and
pisses on
my shoes,
do I give up ?

Fuck no!

I come out
swinging.
I may get
battered, but
at least I've
gone down
fighting.

It's better to
die on your feet
than live on
your knees. 





Ian Lewis Copestick is a 49 year old writer (I prefer that term to poet ) from Stoke on Trent, England. I spend most of my life sitting,  thinking then sometimes writing. I have been published in Anti Heroin Chic, the Dope Fiend Daily, Outlaw Poetry, Synchronized Chaos, the Rye Whiskey Review, Medusa's Kitchen and Horror Sleaze Trash

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Evolve Past The Pain by Jesse Rucilez

Life is so fragile, 
And frayed at the seam,
For childhood is naught, 
But nightmare and dream,
For every smile there’s a tear,
For every laugh there’s a scream,
And we strive for contentment,
In the spaces between,
Desperate for order,
In the chaos supreme.

Youth is both starburst,
And dark whirlwind,
That hardens and molds us,
Into women and men,
Then comes maturity,
And molds us again,
Into cynics and skeptics,
Who seek to pretend,
That our heights and our depths,
Are a means to an end.

Together, we’re alone,
On this treacherous plane,
In the void of this universe,
In this world gone insane,
We live and we die,
And evolve past the pain,
An eternal conundrum,
Which none can explain,
We struggle and triumph,
In the end, all in vain.

 


Jesse Rucilez was born in Reno, Nevada. Growing up, Jesse was an avid reader of Sherlock Holmes stories and Marvel Comics. Throughout his life, Jesse has mainly worked in the security industry, both in Seattle, Washington and Reno, Nevada, and taught self-defense for several years before deciding to focus on writing. Inspired by authors such as Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Kurt Vonnegut, he prefers to write literary horror and science fiction, exploring what he calls “the dark side of the American Dream.”


Follow Jesse @ Jesse Rucilez (jlrucilez.blogspot.com)

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Last Time by Daniel S. Irwin

The last time I really gave a shit
Was like all the other times
That I really gave a shit,
The shit ended up on me.
Nothin’ complex, just a fact of life.
Assholes and heartless bitches
Seem to way outnumber the
Righteous and good ones.
If that was the Godly plan,
It was a sorry ass piss poor plan
Put together by some moron.




Daniel S. Irwin, a native of Sparta, Illinois.  Retired military.  Dudeist priest.  Dedicated heathen. Work published in over one hundred magazines and journals world wide.  Founder of The Hardened Sailors’ School of Vulgar Vernacular (now disbanded). Latest work can be found at/in Horror, Sleaze, Trash Magazine, Beatnik Cowboy, Cajun Mutt, The Rye Whiskey Review.  


Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Skin Suit Situation by Murders Row



Tanned to perfection and torn from another.
We dress to impress and some to enhance this masquerade.

Red wine in crystal glass as you are in agony upon the precipice of this plane’s escape.

So restricting our forms as the tattoo reminds of borrowed suit’s owner.
We can disembowel another and eternally dissect ourselves.

Did she know enough pain in the deceit?
Burn of blade, emptiness of deaths promise.

A slumber’s intrusion, a lock’s hope, and barred windows lie.
Painted truths cast from your life's very essence.

How is it to die for another's art? 
My sweetest canvas of near unrecognizable flesh.

I will wear you well.







Murders Row are a group of artists who choose to remain anonymous. 
Their art is dark as so often is life.
 That is all that needs to be said.





Saturday, June 4, 2022

Hear Me Out by Kevin R. Farrell

The first thing you should do is believe me...

Bedroom war stories
wiretapped lullabies
backyard glances
front porch longing
branches stretch like morning arms
as shadows yawn across a black cats path
while the sun no longer warms
only brightens these winter days
the moon howls on the horizon
waves ripple like a tv on the fritz
blinking flatlined dead ends back to life
gravel heeled
screeching halts

the skinny of it
artists starve themselves
the haves convinced they have not
haikus but not
prose but not
poetry but not
truth but not
oh what it feels like to be alive
but not

faith in symbols
proper burials
lacking humanity
relationships are recyclable
to let go of triggers by holstering words
damned if you do
don’t if you’re damned
the death of a generation
meet the generation of death

spill your drink
spill your guts
chaos is inviting
order is passé
catacomb depth wishes
broken vows of silence
the crucifix is in
crosshairs of crisis
prayerful hands empty
palms up
time’s up
breathe in emptiness
breathe out nothingness

this is everything
still not enough
gluttons for monotony
root causes stuck in the weeds
mind full not mindful
life is deadly
in death we never die

...the last thing you should do is doubt me.





Kevin R. Farrell, Jr. is a New York based artist, poet, and educator whose work has been published in BONED – Every Which Way, Burning House Press, Rumble Fish Quarterly, Adroit Journal, Ink in Thirds Magazine, Foxhole Magazine, Yo-NEWYORK! and others.

In 2021 Farrell released Best of the Worst which consists of 20 poems that have risen to the top of the trash heap that is his constant documentation of a life spent toeing the line between spiritual bliss and emotional upheaval. As a recovering addict each day can be a struggle when dealing with the dumpster fire that is modern day existence. Sometimes Farrell attempts to put out the fire, on other days he warms his hands by the flames.


At the Dog Park by Michael Ceraolo

It’s maybe a mile or so east of the mouth of the creek,                                              and, though not yet recognized as such ...