Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Festival Minor by Ben Nardolilli

Dust rises off the floor, I call it a partner,
Sure it has callous bad timing,
And it gets into the lungs,
But am I any better? I’m a particle
Sucked into the city,
Pulled through the galleries of Manhattan
And the avenues of Brooklyn
Where I leave behind a trail of irritation,
I must cause some choking too,
Doors close on me, trains are delayed,
I block toilets and bathrooms,
And take up too much space at the bar,
Then the dance floor behind it
As I whirl and twirl
To Cuban Jazz, Afro-Funk, and Blues,
But for now, that’s no issue,
Here in my room I’m a macrocosm, again,
And my moves are seismic,
Raising up the dust like Lazarus for a dance.






Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, fwriction, Inwood Indiana, Pear Noir, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is looking to publish a novel. 



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Temporary Remedy by Ivan Jenson


Set these words
to music in your mind
and dance within your senses
as if you were intoxicated
on your wedding day
and everyone was there
to celebrate your love
now watch
what I write
become a living
breathing thing
like a first born
bundled up and crying
just for the sake of sound
and then I want you to
read carefully
the following directions:
take everything I say
for granted
and let this poem
disintegrate like
a prescribed tablet
on your tongue
and wait for the literary
ingredients
to flood your blood stream
like an opioid
but be prepared
when you reach
the end of this
poetic intoxicant
to again return to
the nagging void





Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and contemporary poet who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled Absolut Jenson for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spiritmusuem, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden.  
Jenson's painting of the “Marlboro Man” was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. Ivan was commissioned to paint the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes.  Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 600 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson's poetry was recently published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon. Two novels by Ivan Jenson entitled, Marketing Mia and Erotic Rights have been published hardcover. Ivan Jenson’s new novel, Gypsies of New Rochelle has been released by Michelkin Publishing. Ivan Jenson's website is: www.IvanJenson.com



Monday, July 29, 2019

Late Sunday at Vesuvio by William Taylor Jr.

You eventually reach a point when time
becomes a thing that chases you,
with a flashlight, a  mirror,
and a finely bound edition
of your collected failures,

and it finds me here, at  my
balcony table, with that sinking feeling
that I will fail to solve the major
and ongoing problems of existence

before the yoke of Monday morning
pulls me back to the reality of things
like an animal to the mess it's made.

I console myself with the fact
of this glass of wine,
the sun still in the sky,

and maybe just time enough
for everything to fall into place,
and everyone to be saved,
forgiven, and redeemed
before the darkness comes.

I'm watching three guys down in Kerouac Alley
smoking something that makes their heads
shake funny,

as the woman at the table next to mine
declares that right now she is so fucking fucked up,

and me, I'm just trying
to get there, too.

The guys in the alley,
they're jerking their heads
and talking to the dirt

as I pray for the pretty waitress
to hurry and bring me something good.




William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including Rattle, The New York Quarterly, The American Journal of Poetry, and The Chiron Review. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a collection of short fiction. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. To Break the Heart of the Sun is his latest collection of poetry.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

A letter to my great-great-grandchildren, who by the time they get to read this, will be living in a cave and eating each other’s toenails. by Mick Corrigan


I have stuffed myself with all the stuff
put more in my mouth than my belly can hold
passed out face down, on the all-day, all-inclusive, 
all you can eat, all the nom-a-nom-a-nom buffet.

(and by “I” I mean “We” and by We I mean “They”)

Brow sweat dripping from the hard work of others
my pre-coronary, bacon infused glow 
like a foie-gras fattened sunset,
arteries setting, setting, setting,
my massive arse a sight to be seen
clearly visible from several counties away.

After everyone ticked the box 
approving terms, confirming conditions,
to continuously improve the end user experience
we set fire to the planet with strong words and a hearty appetite,
a magma of stupidity readily erupting from vague intentions and frilly rhetoric
of the great and the good who turned out to be neither and about as useful 
as a saddle on a fart for riding down to the shops.

Tonight as you huddle like desperate moths around a failing light
and the hedgehogs of wrath come looking for payback,
your ancestor, your great-great-grandfather, 
the bequeather of air unfit to breathe and water unfit to drink
writes this to say hi, goodbye, I am so-so-sorry. 


Mick Corrigans’ poems have been rejected by some of the finest magazines around the world, his debut collection, “Deep Fried Unicorn”, was released in to the wild in early 2015. His poem “Snowbound” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize 2018 by San Pedro Review, USA, his poem “If Harry Clarke made a stained-glass window for the Magdalene Women” was nominated for a Forward Poetry Prize 2018 by Poetry Bus, Ireland.
He spends his time as though he has an endless supply of it, between Ireland and the island of Crete. He plans to do wild and reckless things with his hair before it’s too late.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Open Container. by Kevin Ridgeway




the cop asked me 
if it was an open beer 
in my hand 
that i was drinking
I told him 
I must have mistaken 
Bud Light for Pepsi, 
both blue cans 
he let me go after 
confiscating my weed 
and pouring 
my blue courage 
into the gutter.




KEVIN RIDGEWAY lives and writes in Long Beach, CA. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, San Pedro River Review, The Cape Rock, Spillway, Up the River, Suisun Valley Review, KYSO Flash, Home Planet News, Cultural Weekly, Big Hammer, Misfit Magazineand So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. He is the author of six chapbooks of poetry. His latest book, A Ludicrous Split, He also has a collaboration with fellow poet Gabriel Ricard,  available from Alien Buddha Press.

He also has a new book out with Spartan Press.
check it out and get yourself a copy today.


https://stubbornmulepress.bigcartel.com/product/too-young-to-know

KUDZU LAMENT. By Terrence Sykes




got laid off again
drank my last beer
from the six-pack
tossed it over the hill
that damn kudzu
creeps every night
swear one morning
gonna wake up & find
this old trailer & myself
strangled in its clutches



Terrence Sykes is a GASP Gay Alcoholic Southern Poet & was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia.     Although he is a far better cook &  gardener – his  poetry - photography - flash fiction has been published in India, Mauritius,Scotland, Spain and the USA. ..Other interests include heirloom vegetable research & foraging wild edibles .

Friday, July 26, 2019

Planked in the Spit by Ken Allan Dronsfield

I watch as bubbles slowly rise,
from the bottom of the mug to the rim
Rising, much like rain in reverse, fizzy,
building in a crescendo all along the top.
While destitute of a pious contentment
I've never been a confirmed infidel.
Wry of a grin at the rising of the cross
at the bar in front of the horrified crowd.
Resolute in the squeezing of the trigger
I watch the blood slowly rise, bubbling
from the wound and down his cheek.
crimson stains the spit and dirty floor
life drains from a fixed blue-eyed gaze.
Two quick chugs from the waiting ale;
the gun slips and drops to the floor
with a thud, as the crowd now moans.
I watch the glass; empty but for foam;
he who kills freely now lies dead in the spit.
Revenge, redemption, closure, a final
breath taken from this sphere of misery.






Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, prize winning poet and fabulist from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma.  He has three poetry collections, "The Cellaring", 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderful work. His second book, "A Taint of Pity", contains 52 Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection. Ken's third poetry collection, "Zephyr's Whisper", 64 Poems and Parables of a Seasonal Pretense, and includes his poem, "With Charcoal Black, Version III", selected as the First Prize Winner in Realistic Poetry International's recent Nature Poem Contest. Ken won First Prize for his Haiku on Southern Collective Experience. Ken loves writing, hiking, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.   


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Dog dream. By Alex Z. Salinas



I dreamt I was a dog with a broken
Nose and the only way I could eat
Was to let my saliva drip and pool in
The dirt until it formed slush ready 
For my consumption, and later, 
Somebody like Jack London or
Sigrid Nunez—not a poet but one 
Of those highfalutin novelists with 
Lots more time on their hands—
Adopted me and wrote about me,
But in their stories, not only did my
Nose work, but I could talk, and I was
Addicted to beer, wine, liquor,
And for a very long time I cried—
I wept and whimpered because I was stuck 
Inside the broken boozehound who’d spent 
His entire life face down in the ground,
Unable to escape from his nightmare, 
Running in his sleep from God knows what.




Alex Z. Salinas lives in San Antonio, Texas. His poetry has appeared in the San Antonio Express-News, As It Ought To Be Magazine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Duane's PoeTree, and in the San Antonio Review, where he serves as poetry editor.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

after a night of drinking by J.J. Campbell

listening to the
muse snore at
1:30 in the
morning

not in bed like
i would love
to, but over
the phone

making sure
she doesn’t
choke on her
own vomit
after a night
of drinking

i believe they
call this love
in the digital
age






J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) was raised by wolves and is currently trapped in suburbia. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Record Magazine, Misfit Magazine, The Beatnik Cowboy, Mad Swirl and Synchronized Chaos. His latest chapbook, the taste of blood on christmas morning, was published by Analog Submission Press in July 2018. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Gimllum by Janna Grace

I tell myself I like to keep it all to myself
poems and orgasms and shower songs,
back scratches that I let dip a little low
like a gnome
mining in the deepest, darkest cave,
gluttonous, gleaming, bent over like a wild thing
hunched above its kill
twisting entrails between talons
in firelight.

We look so beautiful in light that flickers
away when you just might catch a hard line—
or a reflection in a scuffed-up spoon...
but really, I'm just afraid who will take them,
(or really, take to them),
if I let them out.

The stories we tell ourselves
are the stories that keep.




Janna Grace lives in a half-glass barn and her work has appeared in The Bitchin' Kitsch, Plastik Magazine, and Red Eft Review, among others. She has pieces forthcoming in Otoliths and Horla and she teaches writing at Rutgers University. Janna is the editor of Lamplit Underground and her debut novel will be published through Quill Press in 2019.


Website: JannaLiggan.com

Twitter: Lamplitug

Monday, July 22, 2019

WALKING AROUND by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

I walked around
Vegas with a
beer in my hand
while fake Michael
Jackson did the
moonwalk to Beat
It on Fremont
Street. It was just
the right song on
the eve of Punk
Rock Bowling. Do
not ask me why I
said this because
it just seemed so
to me. After
a pair of beers
and another
pair, each song seemed
to be the right
song at the time.






Luis was born in Mexico, lives in California, and works in the mental health 
field in Los Angeles, CA. His poems have appeared in Ariel Chart, Beatnik Cowboy,
Dope Fiend Daily, Unlikely Stories, and Zygote In My Coffee.

a version of a moment of clarity by Anggo Genorga

this version of you
right here, right now:

restless, helpless, goddamn juiced,
gettin' down onna same old blues number,

is a version of you
back then out there ---

w/o your own hate poking at your guts
unlike now, messin’ w/a day old headache.




Anggo is  from the Philippines and working as a manager of a band called Wonder Woman's Electric Bra. Their recent and old writings can be found at The Dope Fiend Daily, Horror Sleaze Trash, Jerry Jazz Musician, Devote.se, Outlaw Poetry, Midnight Lane Boutique, Mad Swirl, Ppigpenn and Empty Mirror. Also on print published by Tangerine Press, Paper And Ink Zine, Red Flag Poetry Postcard Series, Guide To Kulchur Creative Journal Issue No. 3, Silver Birch Press' Bukowski Anthology, Critical Mass Issue of Maganda Magazine, OMG Cupid by Get Jazzy, Talk Dirty and the book for benefit Verses Typhoon Yolanda released by Meritage Press.

I'm also on Instagram: trainwreck_x

Sunday, July 21, 2019

THE SEX-STARVED WIFE: WHAT TO DO WHEN HE’S LOST DESIRE. By Ben Newell



I slide 
this title into its proper slot
and formulate a solution—

Call, text, email.

Or just 
come the fuck over.  

But make it early, baby.  

Most Saturdays
I start drinking around 3:00 p.m.
and you know what that does 
to a real prick. 





Ben Newell dropped out of the Bennington Writing Seminars during his first semester, eventually resuming his studies at Spalding University where he earned an MFA.  His first full-length collection of poetry, Fuzzball, was recently published by Epic Rites Press.

 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1926860667/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_c8rnDbWM37NAQ

Journey Back to Canaan (for Jake St. John) by John Greiner



                        I

In New England
knee deep
in the whiskey
killing time; 
Jake's message
ends in 
the poem,
a recitative
for the song
that words fled.
Passing by
it adds up
to notes 
long gone
and an angel
broken on
the ground
who grasps
for a melody.
We never
heard that song
straight,
fresh.

The band wanted
to play on and on 
but was left to go 
dead on the turntable.
We suffer
the indignity
of that silence.

The kids are shushed
somewhere else
not knowing
the divorce to come
that will take them 
to the funhouse in rubble
where they will be able
to pick through 
the remains 
of nursery rhymes,
longing for the love 
of the cow 
who jumped
over the moon
and landed 
without applause.
The leap is simple.
There are few grand gestures
and even less noble ones.

Sweat drenched,
we lie awake listening
to the snores of hard 
won success at our side.

II

It's been raining all week.
The soaked run to the museum.
Central Park is devoid
of picnickers and sightseers. 
The tourists come in to see
all of the things that they don't
    want to see.
Snuff time, seek culture.
Bored on the benches they snore.
Snuff culture and just settle.
I stand around
a secondary character
in the eyes of third stringers
waiting to get away
and go home,
wanting to get a seat
on the subway train
that is always going nowhere fast.

III

Home.
I've made it
almost home.
The COPA
América Cup
is on all 
of the so many
television sets
in the bar
down the stairs
from the 
elevated
train, 
out here;
Queens,
Astoria,
home.

Home.
I've made it
almost 

Home.
The bar
is packed with
yellow jerseys,
the unrestrained
roar of the want
and triumph
of home.

Colombia scores.

This is 
for a moment
the somewhere else
come back to,
the place left
behind.
Home.

IV
By now,
In New England
Jake is drowning
in the whiskey
and time 
has been killed
in the city
where the submarines
are built 
to save America
from all the fish
that swim upstream.
The weather
has gotten funky
in this post-nuclear
apocalypse age.
So much has passed
without ever coming.
No one seems to give
a damn about what's next.
I'm knee deep
in the night,
in this city
where tomorrow
is drenched in
an anticipation
and anguish
no different
from today's.
Up there
in New England
Jake is in his wilderness
ready to wrestle
and be blessed
and dream of
the ladder
with the angels
going to and fro
while shutting out 
the sound
of all the snores
that rise up.
Here, 
in New York City
the Colombians
are living home.
I imagine New England
while looking
around at all the TVs.

V

We weren't around
for the song
that fled words.
We weren't around
to hear it straight
from the saxophonist
who wished
to become a saint
on the night
that he forgot
the mountain 
that he wanted
to climb.
We, like the long gone band,
have been left to go dead
on the turntable,
children lost
in the funhouse rubble,
divorced 
from 
mother,
father
and the dignity
of sound.
Qatar
loses
to Colombia
one - nil.
Far from home
the Colombians
celebrate
with Jamaican rum
and Mexican beer.

I pay the bill,
walk out
caught 
in the 
sound build
to song
that races
away
from
words.





John Greiner is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer living in Queens, NY. He was educated at the New School for Social Research.  Greiner's work has appeared in Sand, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Valueand numerous other magazines. His chapbooks, broadsides and collections of poetry and short stories includeTurnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2017), The Laundrymen(Wandering Head Press, 2016), Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press, 2014),Modulation Age (Wandering Head Press, 2012), Shooting Side Glances(ISMs Press, 2011) and Relics From a Hell’s Kitchen Pawn Shop (Ronin Press, 2010). 

Stumbled Upon Answers by Julie Eger

(the wheels in the bar go round and round)

His name is Wheels.
I don’t know how or where he got his name.
He’s the drink slinger at the local watering hole.
His sideburns go all the way to his chin.

Their names are Dutchie, Mousey, Gomzee,
Hair Bear, G-Man, Carbo, and Eff-Oh.
He’s watched them look for answers
on the tips of their stir sticks,
in the melt of their ice,
in the foam spilling over the edge
of their dark lagers.

He’s watched them since I was 16,
when everyone thought I was 18,
back when somebody else owned the bar.

Today I’m 48 and the other day
Wheels told Fuel Oil Phil
he thinks the real answers
are in the baskets of peanuts
they have to shell themselves.




A three-time winner of the Wisconsin Regional Writer’s Jade Ring, Julie Eger’s work appears in Fictive Dream, Flash Fiction for Flash Memory, Runcible Spoon, Fifty Word Stories, the Cadence Poetry Anthology, Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine, Your Daily Poem, Spillwords and Potato Soup Journal. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and a black Golden Doodle. You can connect with Julie at https://julieceger.wordpress.com/.

Chaser by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

I am back on that lazy orange shag again. 19 years old and playing poker for shots. The loser having to drink. In that basement apa...