Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Slivers by John Doyle

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard 
Anne Sexton

'Mourning' is such a stagnant word,
a forensic patch one's grief clings to;
If our lives unhinged our souls from these
wintry spells, though intermittent, somehow the storms would never fully pass -
and if you're not careful,
our feet will twist like fork-lightning, body's loss-filled rhythm.
Anne Sexton homed in her co-ordinates
due south of peaceful climes; I watched, the window pane as sharp as knife
cutting blood from eager tongues, elderly folk from the bowling club saw nothing
(or at least it seemed that way, as they sipped their tea, and chattered).
I remembered Alan, my old boss
in the netherworlds of horned beasts and
sons called Ethan riding bikes
on the soreness
of blistered moons; he measured each passing day,
a chisel that pierced his veins, and drove him wild in the dying forests;
there was nothing left for Alan,
overachieving every goal he set, except how to breath, how to see.
We mourn our dew-glazed kin,
we mourn Squanto, planting maize
in worlds built for God, the four elements
Caelus gave us -
fire, water, earth, and slivered glass of sea.
Let the Englishman's God rest his florid crown,
pray that maize will grow like glass falls
from shattered windows,
the rapture matching the soul's lost weekend of rhythm.
Oh Alan, oh Anne, I have the wildest dreams some nights,
I see you as Adam and Eve, and the forests are a circuit board
lingering in electric-blue digital light

About John Doyle:
John Doyle is at present watching Rocky V and wondering why he could have been at such a loose-end to be reduced to this, I mean, seriously... 
He accepts all major credit cards, but will start dancing a whole lot sooner if you just point a gun at his feet and fire at will.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Solivagant Soul by Amit Parmessur

He proudly lights a cig in the
bus filled with Sunday people. With
the conductor too effete to
tell him off, the smoke stirs livid

looks. He swears in the language of
a faraway father, feeling
hot and frustrated with someone’s
pretty wife just in front. Looking

at the scenery through the stained
window, he gulps some local rum,
his Rasta headband swaying to
every whim of the tired driver.

Drunk, he soon falls asleep after
a few drags on the bent cig that
drops from his old, wrinkled fingers.
After being mocked by well-dressed
passengers, he wakes up to have

a few more puffs, starting to swear
again (this time in his mother
tongue). He looks wildly for the cig
that has wandered into someone

else’s territory. He then
worsens the situation by
releasing from his shirt pocket
stolen coins, with them scattering

everywhere like the rapid shells
of paralysed tortoises. Shamed,
he sits erect, and smiles at the
Sunday people—very kindly.

About Amit Parmessur:

Born in Mauritius, Amit Parmessur is a poet and teacher. His writing has appeared in over 160 magazines, namely Galaktika Poetike, WINK, The Rye Whiskey Review, Night Garden Journal, Ann Arbor Review and Ethos Literary Journal. He loves to pick off past experiences and turn them over in the light. A one-time Pushcart and two-time Best of the Web nominee, he nowadays edits The Pangolin Review.

Monday, April 22, 2019

An Actual Turd by Brian Rihlmann

we believe
we must have
our "shit together"

you know...
the car shiny
the bed made
the house clean
and bills paid

(hey, that rhymes!)

own the latest gadgets
and the newest fashions
have our hair glued into place
just right

the garage organized
on top of things at work
our relationships in order

only healthy
loving relationships

and only with those
who have their
"shit together" too

we must have
all this

or there is unease...

but how do we expect this
when we can't even
squeeze out
an actual turd
the way we would like?

one swipe

About Brian Rihlmann:

Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. He has been published in Constellate Magazine, Under The Bleachers, Cajun Mutt Press, and has an upcoming piece in The American Journal Of Poetry.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Consumption by Tony Pena

Fuck that eyes
be the window 
of the soul shit
as pretty blues pry 
my skull open only
to loot my mind
for gold nuggets
to drop as bait 
at the bar to snag 
a cowboy who looks 
like a young Robert 
Redford and fucks
like Charlie 
the chihuahua 
thinking a leg
a bitch in heat.

About Tony Pena:

Tony Pena was selected as 2017-2018 Poet Laureate for the city of Beacon, New York.  
A new volume of poetry and flash fiction, "Blood and Beats and Rock n Roll," is available now at Amazon.   His publication credits include   "Dogzplot,"   "Gutter Eloquence," “Hudson Valley Transmitter,” “Misfit Magazine,” "Red Fez," “Rye Whiskey Review,”  "Slipstream,"  "Underground Voices," "Zygote in my Coffee,"  and others as well as a self published chapbook, "Opening night in Gehenna."
Colorful compositions and caterwauling with a couple of chords can be seen at:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Expensive Prayer by Ahmad Al-Khatat

I wish I had more mistakes than sins
I want to have my brain cells fully damaged
as the friend I always trusted before is
now a dark cloud in my miserable season
Love is blind more than love is happiness
as it is an expensive prayer for me
even my siblings are deaf to hear the beats
of my broken heart from the liquor I drink
Grains of salt are above the roof of my mouth
meanwhile, I never swam in a salty ocean
nor; added salt on my tasteless plates of food
I just lick salt off my hand after I drink a few shots
I respect more faces then they deserve
only death is the path to end my anxieties
dark poems won't solve anything about life
those tears will later fall along with ruby blood

About Ahmad Al-Khatat:

Ahmad Al-Khatat, was born in Baghdad, Iraq on May 8th. He has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and has poems translated in several languages. He has published two poetry books “The Bleeding Heart Poet” and “Love On The War’s Frontline” which are available on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

I've Given Up Frosting For Lent by John Dorroh

There are no signs announcing that you
have arrived in Bumpass, Virginia, nor is there any
rationale for why we detoured to take a picture.
I wanted frosting in a bad way and stopped
at the Piggly Wiggly to buy a cardboard can of blue Duncan Hines,
a ham steak, and locally produced strawberry jam.

Trending are tall cakes with two-inch frosting
that I want to apply onto the back of your neck with a putty knife.
They are eating cake without it, enjoying it without fat…bullshit.
Give me frosting with flour, eggs, sugar, and baking soda.
Give me the law to cram down your throat. Give me a spoon
to dig into the can and smear on the small of your back.

I am celebrating the death of thick colored lard with sugar,
red dye #10 and filamentous crystals, pulverized at the factory
with commercial rollers and antiseptic sprays. I am living
on the edge of the edge of the wall, the sweet divisionous sector
of pious disrespect for science and order.

I am in love with frosting, froth, and frenzy; with Bumpass, Virginia,
and the manager of Piggly Wiggly, who gave me a hug and a coupon
for one free ham steak with the purchase of a slab of Wright’s bacon.

About John Dorroh:

Whether John Dorroh taught any high school biology is still up for grabs. However, he showed up every morning at 6:45 with at least two lesson plans. His poetry has appeared in Suisun Valley Review, Dime Show Review, Rat's Ass Review, Sick Lit, Walk Write-up, Indigent press, and others. He also dabbles with short fiction and the occassional rant.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

you would make your own by J.J. Campbell

sometimes the drugs
just don't pack the
same punch

the bottle gets lower
and lower

faster each damn day

you would make your
own but you know the
fucker next door would
call the cops, accusing
you of cooking meth

that old fucker will
die soon

and hopefully the
new neighbors

won't mind the fumes

About J.J. Campbell:

J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) is trapped in suburbia, wondering where the lonely housewives are. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Fourth & Sycamore, Horror Sleaze Trash, Synchronized Chaos, The Stray Branch and Red Eft Review. You can find him most days bitching about something on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (

Slivers by John Doyle

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard  Anne Sexton 'Mourning' is such a stagnant word, a forensic patch one's...