Thursday, March 28, 2019

Armed With Lies by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

I take you with me
armed with lies, watch them
grow high as the stars.
I take myself so
seriously, that I
make myself laugh till
I pass out, my flask
in my pocket, safe.
I take you flask and
take sips, little ones
throughout the day to
get me past morning.
Afternoons are so
easy. I stand in
one place and have a
hand out, armed with lies,
I tell my stories 
about needing just
pocket change to
get by. I need a
whole lot more, but I 
take what I can get
to keep this flask half
full, to give me strength,
to keep going on.


About Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal:


Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, born in Mexico, lives in Southern California, and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His poetry online and in print has appeared in Ariel Chart, Blue Collar

Review, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, Unlikely Stories, and Yellow Mama Magazine.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Listener by Danijela Trajković

nobody wants to listen about my love anymore
neither my best friend nor God nor you
but yet there is someone willing to listen
there he is a little further away from me rasping his horns his tail hitting the floor with satisfaction
in the dark I know he keeps listening after the hits and a terrible groan
let him I don't send him there from where he came from

at least he listens to me






About Danijela Trajković:

Danijela Trajković is a Serbian poet, short story writer, reviewer and translator. She holds an MA in English language and literature from the University of Philosophy in Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia. Her work has been published worldwide in journals, newspapers and anthologies. The most recent in World Poetry

 Almanac, edited by Dr Hadaa Sendoo and Balkan Poetry Today, edited by Tom Phillips. Danijela’s first book ‘22 Wagons’, selected Anglophone contemporary poetry was published in 2018 by Istok Academia, Knjaževac.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Ring Shopping by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

They were out shopping for rings
when he asked her.

About the rings in the sink
and if that meant sinks could love
other sinks.

And it was then that she remembered
her father’s words:
that this one was all wrong,
a complete nut job
and that he would not pay for
the wedding.

Let’s look for rings some other time,
she said.

So they went to a department store
at the far end of the mall
instead.

Where she tried on distressed jean jackets
and he stood still in pose
beside the store mannequins.

Hoping to trick the customers into
thinking he was one of them.





About Ryan Quinn Flanagan:


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Horror Sleaze Trash, In Between Hangovers, The Dope Fiend Daily, and The Oklahoma Review

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Gory Details by K.W. Peery

In September
of 86
Scary Larry
McGreggor
buried three
greedy bankers
just eight miles
Southeast of
Birch Tree
Missouri
N' while
their bodies
were never
discovered
ole Larry
kept his
bases
covered
Until lung
cancer
caught up
with him
and he
confessed
all the
gory details
from a
morphine drip
deathbed
in room
number
twelve
at the
Las Palmas
Hotel
in Hollywood








About K.W. Peery:

Americana songwriter and Kansas-City-based storyteller K.W. Peery is the author of eight poetry collections: 
Tales of a Receding Hairline; Purgatory; Wicked Rhythm; Ozark Howler; Gallatin Gallows; 
Howler Holler; Bootlegger’s Bluff; Cockpit Chronicles. 


His work is included in the Vincent Van Gogh Anthology Resurrection of a Sunflower, 
The Cosmic Lost and Found: An Anthology of Missouri Poets (Spartan Press), 
Best of Mad Swirl Anthology 2018 and the Walsall Poetry Society Anthology, Diverse Verse II & III. 

Peery’s work has been published in The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, San Pedro River Review, 
The Gasconade Review, Big Hammer, Blink Ink, Rusty Truck, Mad Swirl, Veterans Voices Magazine, 
Outlaw Poetry, Mojave River Review, The Asylum Floor, Horror Sleaze Trash, Ramingo's Porch, 
From Whispers to Roars, Culture Cult Magazine, The Rye Whiskey Review, Drinkers Only Magazine, 
Under The Bleachers, The Dope Fiend Daily, Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine and Apache Poetry. 


Credited as a lyricist and producer, Peery's work appears on more than twenty studio albums over the past decade.


Website: www.kwpeery.com

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Sun Comes by Wayne F. Burke

The sun comes
out and
dispels any
doubt of
the day or
season,
but too late
for me,
you know the
reason:
work to go to,
3 o’clock,
oh when will
I be
free of this
wage-slave life,
and able to
wander through the
day
at my leisure
following Missus Whim?









About Wayne F. Burke: 

Wayne F. Burke has published six full-length volumes of poetry, most recently DIFLUCAN (BareBack Press, 2019).
A link to the book:


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Bingo by Terrence Sykes


Bet Ethel is laid up again tonight with her gout

Is this the fourth or fifth time that Maria has won tonight

Now Dorothy - don’t talk - I would like to win one for once - just once

Go and tell Mary Ellen that number again - her hearing aid battery just died

Only when Miss So & So  bites the big one will I ever have a chance to win

B  I N G O!!!










About Terrence Sykes:

Terrence Sykes was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia.  This isolation brings the theme of remembrance to his creations, whether real or imagined.  Other interests include heirloom vegetable research & foraging wild edibles .  His poetry - photography - flash fiction has been published in India, Mauritius,Scotland, Spain and the USA

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Splitting At The Seams by Victor Clevenger

it was one
of our
longer
arguments
& afterwards
band
of horses
played
no one's
gonna love you
& I had
Todd
Moore’s
dead reckoning
opened
when she said
you’ve
got
compassion
& crazy
& I’m
not sure
you’ve
found a good
balance
between
either one
of them
okay I tell
her
maybe you’re
right
& then again
maybe you’re
wrong
maybe I’ve
got a real good
balance
& maybe I’ve
figured that
out by
reading this
poem here
on page
32
& thinking
hmmm
that seems
quite
appropriate
for our
situation







About Victor Clevenger:

When not traveling the highways across America, Victor Clevenger spends his days in a Madhouse and his nights writing poetry.  He lives with his second ex-wife, and together they raise six children in a small town northeast of Kansas City, MO.  Selected pieces of his work have appeared in print magazines and journals around the world, as well as at a variety of places online.  His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, as well as the Pushcart Prize.  Victor’s most recent published collections of poetry include a split book with Tom Farris titled Ginger Roots Are Best Taken Orally (EMP, 2018), A Finger in the Hornets’ Nest (Red Flag Poetry, 2018), and On The Tip Of Our Tongues (Analog Submission Press, 2018).  He can be reached at: facebook.com/thepoetvictorclevenger 

Cheers



Monday, March 18, 2019

Southie Unbound by John Patrick Robbins


The bag was already around his head duct tape around the neck.
And the agony of suffocation was in its last seconds.

Ben didn't enjoy the scene it just becomes part of your existence.
Bruce on the other hand was different sort of sick.

Philip tied to the chair was fighting a losing game.
His body convulsed fighting for air.

Bruce sat in front of him and viewed the whole thing.

"God he really takes longer than anyone I have ever seen to die."

Bruce laughed.

"Man this prick got any beer in that fridge?"

Ben opened the fridge without a second thought.

It was a sad situation some old Chinese food cartons and a bottle of ranch dressing.

And of course a few cans of beer.
Well guess if old Philip had the bank to have a fully stocked fridge he probably would have had enough coin to pay his fucking debt.

Ben took two beers out.
Tossed one to Bruce who still sat directly in front of Philip’s now lifeless body in the small living room.

Bruce cracked the beer took a drink and spit it out all over Philip.

He looked at the beer.

"What the fucks this Goddamned shit."

"I believe it's spring IPA in other words what candy as yuppies call beer."

"Yeah well it takes like yard clippings and piss fuck this shit."

Bruce said as he hauled off and punched Philip’s face.

It was a weird sight as the head was like a speed bag.

Ben twisted as it was had to laugh.

"Yeah don't take any shit from him there Brucey, I mean he should have went and bought some better beer being we came all the way across town to kill his ass."

"Fuck you Ben that shit is disgusting besides I never liked this prick anyways!"

"Well he’s fucking dead and this isn't a bar so unless you want use this guy as a punching bag some more lets split."

"Yeah fine by me man hold up one second."

Bruce said as he went through Philip’s pockets looking for his wallet.

It never failed Bruce always had to have something extra.

He eventually produced it taking whatever money was in it.
Tossing it aside down at Ben's feet.

He didn't know why he did but he picked it up.

Looked through it found some pictures of what could only assume was Philip’s family.

There was a gorgeous blonde with a cute little girl.
They looked happy.

Ben tossed tossed it away.
You just can't think of shit like that in this line of work.

And Philip was no saint but still he was somebody's father and husband.

Playing God was something that never sat well with Ben.

And everytime he did something this fucked up he just wanted to turn a the gun on himself even more.

But this was his job.
He had a penchant for violence.

He texted the number with the code word let let the boss know it was done.

And as they sat warming the car in the parking lot outside the Riverview apartment complex.

Ben saw that same little girl walking hand in hand with her mother.

The little girl looked towards their car.

Bruce didn't notice and for once Ben was happy his coworker was a sloppy bloodthirsty psycho.

Although he thought maybe just putting a bullet Phillip’s family was far more merciful.

Then forever scarring that child from the vision of hell that lay on the other side of that door.

And as they drove off Ben remained silent.
As Bruce rattled on.

Gleeful as he played with the radio.

"Man that this job fucking great dude lets stop by Killarney's fucking first rounds on me you silent prick."

"Yeah sounds good."

Ben replied as Bruce just was in the glee of a job well done.

He was ready to get blasted out of his socks probably get some crack and burn through his money as always.

Ben would sip his beer and wait patiently.

For little did his partner know Ben's night was far from over.
There was no off the clock for him.

The only difference in this job from any other is when the moment came to punch Bruce's card.

Ben would for once enjoy his work.

There's no rest for the wicked and no walking away from this life.

Sometimes you just have to take out the trash.

Bless me father for I am sin.











About John Patrick Robbins:


   John Patrick Robbins

Is the editor of The Rye Whiskey Review, Under The Bleachers and Drinkers Only.

He is also the Author of Smoking At The Gas Pumps by Soma Publishing and A Cold Beer Beats A Warm Heart by Alien Buddha Press.

His work has also been published here at the,

Dope Fiend Daily, Ariel Chart, The San Pedro River Review, The Mojave River Review, Stanzaic Stylings, Blognostics,  Red Fez,  Punk Noir Magazine,  Blue Pepper, Angry Old Man Magazine, Spill The Words, Academy Of The Heart And Mind, Piker Press, A Beautiful Space.

His work is always unfiltered 




Sunday, March 17, 2019

One of the Nicest by David Boski

His mother’s eulogy made us
all want to cringe;
it was clear she no longer knew her son,
or who he was, or who he became,
before his suicide.

She had kicked him out of the house
when he was still a teenager;
he struggled to make ends meet,
briefly living in a garage,
and sleeping in a parked car.

Of course, she didn’t mention any
of this during her speech,
she didn’t tell the people in
attendance the truth;
that she was a cold mother,
who had also used his obituary as
an opportunity to promote her
career as Sneezy the fucking clown.

So here it is; she was a detached,
disengaged cunt, but her son’s name
was Derick, and he was one of the
nicest guys I’ve ever known.







About David Boski:

David Boski lives in Toronto, his poems have appeared in: Under The Bleachers, Down in the Dirt, Horror Sleaze Trash, Synchronized Chaos, Winamop, Outlaw Poetry, Spadina Literary Review, and elsewhere. His forthcoming chapbook "Perhaps You're A Cunt?" will be released by Analog Submission Press soon. Holy&intoxicated Publications will be releasing his second chapbook "Fist Fighting and Fornication" in the summer months. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Interview with Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Question 1:
How would you describe yourself to your readers off the page?

Answer: 
Of late I am a full-time shoveller of snow with silly Popeye arms from all the effort.  But other than that I am a quiet unassuming small town Canadian who lives a fairly humble life up in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with my wife and the bears that walk down the street.  Off the page I much prefer a quiet life of near solitude and as little drama as possible.

Question 2:
As an avid lover of music are there any bands that have significantly influenced your writing style?

Answer:
I don’t know if there are any bands that have directly influenced my writing, but they certainly play a major part indirectly in writing and setting the mood and everything else I do.  I believe music is the finest of the arts and there are just so many bands/artists that have been formative for me such as:  Velvet Underground/Lou Reed, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, the Pixies, Ministry, Tom Waits, Muddy Waters, Joy Division, Leonard Cohen, The White Stripes, Nirvana, Bjork, Lead Belly, Smashing Pumpkins, Portishead, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Led Zeppelin, Bauhaus, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Black Sabbath, Guns N Roses, Radiohead, The Beatles, Queen, Megadeth, The Ramones, Pink Floyd, The Stooges, Hank Williams Sr., Howlin’ Wolf, The Melvins, White Zombie, REM, Cream, The Tea Party, Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, CCR, Rage Against the Machine, MC5, Bob Marley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Beck, Bowie etc.  There are just so many but those are some I can think of off the top of my head.  There is just so much good music out there to last many lifetimes.

Question 3:
Does your knowledge of history inspire any aspects of your work?

Answer: 
It certainly does.  Even if I am just using historical references for satire or to make a comparison, I find that history filters into a lot of my writing.  My early writing was filled with historical references which were really the backbone of the work and as I’ve gone on the history has taken a bit of a backseat but I find it is still always there filtering through in one form or another.

Question 4:
What is your least favorite part of writing?

Answer:
Editing.  I love writing and would do it every day if I could and I don’t mind assembling works, but I can’t stand editing.  I know it is a very important part of the thing and I do it, but man I can’t even explain how much I hate the editing process!

Question 5:
Out of your current body of work which book are you the most proud of writing?

Answer:
Hahaha, they are all my babies and like any parent, they won’t tell you they play favourites even though we all do.  For me, it switches over time so there is no consistent favourite.  I think if you’d ask most writers though, they will tell you it is the work they are doing at the moment.  Not because they are trying to be coy or anything, but simply because that is where their current headspace is at and where all their energy is presently directed.

Question 6:
Do you ever envision yourself writing something outside of poetry?

Answer:
I have written one collection of short stories, but I would really love to write a novel.  I just haven’t built up the courage yet to go all in.  I started one and wrote the start and the end (4 pages) and it has sat there for almost two years now.  I’m sure I will get back to it when I feel brave enough to do so, but staying focussed on a single consistent narrative or mindset for any period of time is very tough for me.  I get distracted easily and like to jump around.  Even in single poems I will wander around a bit and jump all over the place.  So writing a novel seems like Everest to me.

Question 7:
Is there anything in your time as a writer that you would have done differently?

Answer:
There was no way for me to know at the time, but when I was starting out I wish I could have understood my market earlier and not cast such a wide net.  I could have saved myself a few 1000 rejections and many more you just never even hear back from.  A world of headaches could have been avoided if I understood my market more.  But it was tough back then, well before the days of the internet.  Everything was hardcopy mail out with Self Addressed Stamp gig and it was costly and time consuming and you almost never heard back.  When you did, maybe one in every twenty or thirty was an acceptance.  The market has opened up a lot since then and is far different.  But yeah, I wish I could have somehow known my market and the pitfalls of buying that giant book of publications and sending out largely blind.

Question 8:
In what ways would you like to improve or change yourself as a person or as a writer?

Answer:
I always try to be a good person first and foremost.  I try to be as loyal and truthful and kind as I can be.  Personally, I would like to improve my self-confidence as a person.  I think we are all wounded in some way and some of us are very honest in our writing about that fact, but yes, more self-confidence would be something I have to work on both as a person day-to-day and with my writing.  Ego is horrible so a certain amount of self-doubt can be helpful in always remaining humble and grounded, but I certainly have too much self-doubt which I let bring me down and negatively affect my mental health more than I would like. 

Question 9:
What are your ultimate goals as a creator?

Answer:
To create something new and something you are proud of.  I think that’s what everyone wants to do.  Chase the golden line as they say, the golden poem.  And to come as close as you can as many times as you can.  I never stop trying and I guess that’s part of the sickness that people talk about.  The high you get early on and trying to get back there again and again.

Question 10:
Does the renown you have in the writing community give you any sort of anxiety or impact your life in any negative ways?

Answer:
Hahaha, I don’t know about any renown or anything, but being out there and visible in the writing community does cause some personal anxiety to me.  I am on medications for various forms of anxiety as well as other things that are hardly all be the fault of writing, but when you put yourself out there as we all do trying to create than there is a certain level of stress that comes with the territory.  Lots of early rejections helped me grow a thick skin about that part of it so that isn’t really a problem anymore.  It is more creating and putting yourself out there so nakedly that can be tough to deal with.  In truth though, we are all going through much the same thing and most are very supportive and understanding about that.






Friday, March 15, 2019

The Fall by Amit Parmessur

one must be a dope not to understand
a woman can’t just fall down and
break her crown. she can’t have her first
ride (one she wishes to take off
her life list) in an ambulance
just like that. she says she just tripped
on the stairs and literally
fell on her face. or tripped over
the cat. a woman can’t just fall
down and cut her heels. what happened?
she’s not sure. we better ask the
bluebirds and asterisks that are
still whirling round in a halo
over her head, i guess. she’ll be
stuck in that hospital for long.
one must be a dope not to empathize.
she’ll have nightmares in which wheelchaired
women, with eyeballs hanging from
void sockets like broken flowers,
have each a knife to cut themselves
completely if need be one day.
what she won’t tell is how the glass
had severely pierced her slippers.
how she stayed, for endless minutes,
half sitting, half reclining, with
her vision riveted upon
him before he beat her. how she
ran away, clutching her izzat
even tighter to her slashed chest.
he would once wrap her with kisses!
a woman can’t just say she was
beaten by her husband who used
to love her. or can she? maybe.
one must be a fiend not to assist her!






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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Caught, Once Again by John D Robinson

A diazepam pickup today,
I made coffee and swallowed
10mg and by the time I
rolled a joint, it’s easy
soft wisdom drenched my
muscles and calmed my
thoughts and I sat
listening to the radio:
George Butterworth’s
‘Banks of Willow Green’
caught once again
in its poignancy and
beauty and I ponder
his death aged 31 in
World War I and how
one time he wandered
just a few miles from
where I live, collecting
traditional folk-songs
and the music ends and
my work’s mobile
phone rings,
I spark up the joint
and hit the
answer button.





About John D. Robinson: 

John D Robinson is a UK poet: hundreds of his poems have appeared in small press zines and online literary journals  :
His published solo chapbooks are
‘Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Press 2016)   scars.tv/
‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016   sold out)
‘An Outlaw In The Making’  (Scars Publications 2017)
‘Hitting Home’  (Iron Lung Press 2018  2nd edition)   ironlungpress.bigcartel.com/about-iron–lung–press
‘In Pursuit Of  Shadows’  (Analog Submission Press 2018  sold out)  www.analogsubmission.com
‘Echoes Of Diablo’  (Concrete Meat Press 2018)  adrianmanning.wixsite.com/concretemeatpress
Too Many Drinks Ago’  (Paper & Ink Zine Publications) http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PaperAndInkZine
‎ ‘Hang In There’      (Uncollected Press  2019    USA)  therawartreview.com

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

UNDERGROUND CLOWN by K.W. Peery

There's a
tattooed clown
in the underground
drawin' cartoons
proclaimin' to be
the second comin'
of Charles Bukowski

And
if he keeps
poachin' lines
and directin'
his dyslexic
rhymes
toward me

He'll find
the truth
soon enough

Because it's
too goddamn easy
to act tough
behind
a flickerin'
computer
screen

And a
whole lot
harder to
breathe
through dirty
bong water
when he's
drownin'
in his
sleep







About K.W. Peery:

Americana songwriter and Kansas-City-based storyteller K.W. Peery is the author of eight poetry collections: 
Tales of a Receding Hairline; Purgatory; Wicked Rhythm; Ozark Howler; Gallatin Gallows; 
Howler Holler; Bootlegger’s Bluff; Cockpit Chronicles. 


His work is included in the Vincent Van Gogh Anthology Resurrection of a Sunflower, 
The Cosmic Lost and Found: An Anthology of Missouri Poets (Spartan Press), 
Best of Mad Swirl Anthology 2018 and the Walsall Poetry Society Anthology, Diverse Verse II & III. 

Peery’s work has been published in The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, San Pedro River Review, 
The Gasconade Review, Big Hammer, Blink Ink, Rusty Truck, Mad Swirl, Veterans Voices Magazine, 
Outlaw Poetry, Mojave River Review, The Asylum Floor, Horror Sleaze Trash, Ramingo's Porch, 
From Whispers to Roars, Culture Cult Magazine, The Rye Whiskey Review, Drinkers Only Magazine, 
Under The Bleachers, The Dope Fiend Daily, Stanzaic Stylings Literary Ezine and Apache Poetry. 


Credited as a lyricist and producer, Peery's work appears on more than twenty studio albums over the past decade.


Website: www.kwpeery.com


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Your Brother Anthony Goes Down and I’m Not Really Sad About It by John Dorroh


Your brother’s blood is as thick as syrup,
and I heard from a very reliable source
that he may die sometime this week. So
we’d better cancel our plans to go to
the First Baptist Casserole Contest down
at your cousin’s Place. Tell her after the
funeral, we will all go to the Passion Play
and get Uncle Buck to lay hands on me
for this thyroid condition. It’s all in the family,
you know.

He lived on beets and beer for years, the
occasional piece of fried chicken, and absolutely
no vegetables, except French fries and cold
green bean casseroles with extra cheese and
Durkee fried onion rings. That’s it. No water,
no vitamins or minerals, just large servings of pride,
and fruit cobblers in July when the blackberries
began to liberate themselves from scratchy vines
and bushes.

No, I’m not upset about his passing, as all of God’s
creatures eventually wear themselves completely out,
whether it be a bit early or a bit late – no  one gets to choose,
except for those who commit the sin of suicide. Can you imagine
not getting to see your house of gold just because you could
not wait for the angel of Death to come and get you? Sort of
jumping the gun, I’d say.

Anthony chose his circumstances and called the grim reaper
a bit prematurely, but by God, he’s a grown man; had the proper
upbringing and came from good stock. Come to think of it,
we should go to the  Casserole Contest down at Palmetto Grove.
I think your shoepeg corn casserole is vetted for a blue ribbon.








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.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Prepositioned by Wayne F. Burke

To, is, and, if, but
the prepositions of grammar school
rendition;
how about “then” and “than” and
“was” and “were”?
The teacher explained usage
but I did not get it;
got “your” and “you’re”
“their” and “they’re”
but not then/than
or was/were
I do not believe the
teacher knew
more about it
then/than I did
but she the one
flunked me,
told my grandparents
I was/were slow
which was/were news to
them/there and
suggested I be put into
“special class”
which
back in them/thar days
was/were called
“retarded.”






About Wayne F. Burke:
Wayne F. Burke has published six full-length volumes of poetry, most recently DIFLUCAN (BareBack Press, 2019).
A link to the book:

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Temporary Ascent of Me by Meeah Williams

I felt like a human being today
& it was a good feeling
for a little while.

For a half hour or so I understood
why people look up
into the trees, slow down at intersections,
buy scented candles.

I think I figured out
why they laugh at stuff,
why they peel their lips back
& smile at each other.
I tried it myself. I felt like a grinning
skull but people grinned
like skulls right back.
I felt uplifted.
I felt like they were giving me a chance.

Encouraged, I told some lady pushing a stroller
out of the Food Mart "Hey, ma'am,
that's a great looking baby
you've got there, a really top shelf
baby" & she smiled back
a little nervously.

I can't blame her. I probably
went too far. I wasn't ready.
I felt like a bear in a top hat.
Evolution takes time, maybe millions
of years. I didn't think I had that much time.
Because it was damn hard
to get the hang of it, this being
human thing,
it was a Wifi connection
I kept losing
& I wasn't sure it was worth
crossing the street to get back.

So I went home & put on a nature show.

I watched one animal eat another,
one animal mount another & a large peaceful
bucolic feeling came over me & I imagined
human faces grafted onto the crocodiles & ocelots,
onto the gazelles & hippos all the human
faces I'd seen today & I felt so good again
that I ordered a pizza from Dominos
& with a slice in one hand & a black Sharpie
in the other, I ate my pizza standing up for a
change & started drawing a kind of
fucked-up peaceable kingdom all over
the first of my many white walls.




About Meeah Williams:

Meeah Williams (is a writer & graphic artist who lives in Seattle. Links to some of her recent work can be found here: neutralspaces.co/meeah_williams/

Monday, March 4, 2019

No Electronic Submissions by Ben Newell

I’m at the post office

trying to purchase stamps

but

this touch screen isn’t

working worth a damn;

I remove

and reinsert my card,

tap

the appropriate icon

again

and again and again

to no avail:

“SHIT!” I say—

This means Kroger

and standing in line at

the courtesy desk;

I sure hope

that editor appreciates

all of the above

when he reads this.






About Ben Newell: 

Ben Newell, 46, works as a dishwasher in Jackson, Mississippi.  His chapbook, You Are Being Detained, was published by Epic Rites Press as part of its 2017 Punk Chapbook Series.  


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Swiftly The Turtle by Smokey Dodge

Nobody yearns for change more than the man who loses sleep over it.

Wasting late nights with constant worry.







About Smokey Dodge:

Smokey Dodge is a poet, Musician, Teacher and drifter of this world.
We may never meet more than today.
But just Incase this is goodbye.

I got nothing but love to share.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

For My Sake and Theirs by David Boski

I once knocked a man out while I was
wearing a dress shirt and a bow tie;
he wouldn’t stop barking at me, I warned
him to leave me alone, but he didn’t listen.
another time I punched a man with a
lighter in my hand and the sparks flew
right off of his face, it was quite a sight;
this was after he looked at me and said:
“look at you, what the fuck are you going
to do? look at y…” but he didn’t get to finish.
more recently, I broke a man’s front teeth
in a crowded pool hall bar, after he got angry
that me and my friend had put our pints on
“HIS” table; again, there was a warning, more
than once, but he didn’t listen either. they all
looked at me and saw a very tall, very skinny
man; once wearing a bow tie, another time
drunk off my ass, and another time with long
hair and bangs; but what they didn’t see was
the madness, the apathy, and the chaos behind
the eyes, or know that I can become unhinged
at a moment’s notice and that I always throw
the first punch when that happens. plenty of
others have made that same mistake, and they
too have been met with fists. winning or losing
has never been a concern, but as I have gotten
older, I have tried to avoid putting myself in
these precarious situations, for my sake, and theirs.







About David Boski:

David Boski lives in Toronto: His poems have most recently appeared in: Under The Bleachers, Horror Sleaze Trash, Duane's Poetree, Winamop, Beatnik Cowboy, Rusty Truck: He has forthcoming chapbooks being released by Analog Submission Press and Holy&Intoxicated Publications later this year. 

I’ll Carry Your Ghost. By Linda Imbler

I shall open all envelopes of complaint, accept denunciation by those passionate in their stinging rebukes. I’ll take the ...