Saturday, February 29, 2020

ORDINARY LOVE by Marc Carver

I went up to the boy and got a ticket for the film.
He told me the name of the film
and I said what other love is there.
Unrequainted he said
yea I can't spell it but I sure have had plenty of it
but you know every now and then you have to chance your arm
the women asked me what I wanted I said coffee
she told me she would make it with love
I said only if it is with requainted love.





 I do little else but write even when I don't write I am looking at ways and for things to write about so thanks to the world for giving me something to see

Friday, February 28, 2020

a bar in prescott, arizona. by jck hnry


face down 
drunk again
Prescott, Arizona
don't ask, I don't recall
a little bar, just off the tourist path
across from the square
and a statue
forgotten whatever


snow litters across yellowing grass
two am
nearly time for the kick out


she wanders in, like an old movie
just like
a forgotten memory
a wisp
of something left behind


before
miles, before


she kicks off the chill
lights a cigarette
smiles
bemusement, I'm guessing


i look at her
with my one good eye
acid etched memories


one night,
had turned into a month
crawling over each other
tasting
touching
wrapped in collective misery
searching for collective reconciliation


she touches my face
in a familiar way
her hands cold
"Jack," 


…she starts
but laughter stops every word


at the kick out
we stagger back
across a wide street
down an alley
to my five and dime rental


bed's too small
but we work through it


i collapse into her soul
and sleep, finally
dream of clear fields and foggy mornings


she whispers my name
again, and again
until I sleep, again


without waking






jck hnry is a neo-modernist, post-apocalyptic writer, living in the hard scrub of a californian desert.  after a 10 year hiatus hnry is back at it.  recent publications include:

includes publication in Horror Sleaze Trash, Bold Monkey, Red Fez, dope fiend daily and a bunch of other noble zines and journals.  Chapbooks/Books: “Snow in Summer and the Playground is Closed,” “Empty Houses-Kendra Steiner Editions,” “the Downtown Cafe (Erbacce Press),” “With the Patience of Monuments (neoPoesis) ,” “Crunked, (Epic Rites)” and “the Righthand Curve of a Continuous Circle. (Blunt Trauma Press).”  hnry is also editor and publisher of "Heroin Love Songs, V2.0, 7thEd" available now. for more go to jackhenry.wordpress.com.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

BUCK. By Jerry McGinley


He looks like his name would be Buck,
big and barrel-chested, his belly bulging
over a gold steer-head belt buckle,
boots long, pointed, and curled at the toe.
He wishes he came from somewhere south
like Kickass, Arkansas or Mule Breath, Texas.

He claims guys that eat bagels are fairies,
and the only woman could satisfy him
ain’t been made yet.  Brags that he’s 
the mean sombitch that lit Ol’ Satan’s
tail on fire.  Claims he’s stockpiling ammo
for deer huntin’ in Heaven.  Drives
a red Dodge Ram truck with Camels 
on the dash and a bumper sticker
says: Insured by Smith and Wesson.
Sign on his front door says: If this lock
don’t work, my Glock nine will.

When the bars close and the juke box dies,
he heads home, howling at the moon,
like the tattoo of the wolf on his shoulder.
Says in bold red letters, Lonely but Free!








Jerry McGinley is a poet and crime-fiction writer. He lives in Wisconsin.

Absinthe Tincture by Chuka Susan Chesney



A cabinet where we mull two hours before light
absinthe remedy
We seesaw between capsules

form a reservoir beside fresh-squeezed juice

Above the wormwood chamber
where disease is sugar cubed
across the petaled corridor 
of hemp-stretched beds

his clothes thrown down below

We nosegay pertussis
our brother nightcaps through
We hear the cinder cone
malady his bronchioles

Our father fetches him

The steam of licorice
hits his tongue with chartreuse
soot-ashed lungs
distress the heart-gilded door

Put him in a salt bath of sanguine orange

Transparent wisps of being
we tobacco leaf green
his soul Angel Flights

to l’heure verte

His candle-warmed spirit filigrees into flame

Spoon-lit angelica
botanicals his throat

Our brother doesn’t spill

Flash forward to verdure
We've shooed away the ghost





Chuka Susan Chesney is an artist and a poet. Her poems, art, and/or flash fiction have been published in Peacock Journal, Inklette, New England Review, Compose, Picaroon, and Lummox. Chesney’s paintings and collages have been in exhibitions and galleries across the United States.





Wednesday, February 26, 2020

After Dinner. By Mickey J.Corrigan


Let's go for a drive.
Clear the air
let it blow hard
through your hollow skull
the car streaming blackness
a dark bullet
and me
the gun. I will
cock it,
fire again.
Does it hurt you
more than it hurts
me?
Shove that feeling
like a switchblade
in the soft center
of your brain. 

Dig deep.

Drinks
are on me.




















Originally from Boston, Mickey J.Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Project XX, a satirical novel about a school shooting, was released in 2017 by Salt Publishing in the UK. Newest release is What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, 2019). Kelsay Books recently published the poetry chapbook the disappearing self. Visit at www.mickeyjcorrigan.com.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Detailed Description of An Inconsequential Event By jim bourey


Everybody, soon or late, sits down
to a banquet of consequence.
R.  L. Stevenson

The sterile sameness of the fast food joint
is interrupted by her entrance. Business
suit black, expensive splash of red scarf
around her neck, sensible shoes, computer 
bag wearing a groove in her shoulder.

My table, claimed three hours ago,
holds books, notes, computer, almost empty
pens and breakfast trash. I pretend
to write. My muse is constipated. Now
I’m drinking coffee fortified by shots
from a not quite hidden pint of Jameson.

The woman I’m watching orders:
double cheeseburger plain, coffee black. 
Card in/out of the payment machine.
No cash for her two-sixty-nine meal.
She comes to my quiet corner, sits
in the booth closest to me, glances
my way. I lean towards her, hold up

my Irish, nod at her coffee cup. She
doesn’t smile but picks up her cup, takes
a long swallow, lifts off the lid, tips it my
way. I fill her cup from my bottle. She swirls
three times, takes another long drink, tips
it my way again. I pour. She swirls, turns
to her burger and eats. I watch. Then
I gather my books, papers, computer
put them in my backpack. She looks over.

Her meal is finished, the lid back on her cup.
I leave. She follows.







Jim Bourey is an old poet who divides his year between the Adirondack Mountains and Dover, Delaware. His chapbook “Silence, Interrupted” was published in 2015 by the Broadkill River Press. His work has appeared in Mojave River Review, Paddock Review, Gargoyle and the Broadkill Review and other journals and anthologies. He was first runner up in the Faulkner-Wisdom Poetry Competition in 2012 and 2016. He has served as an adjudicator for the Poetry Out Loud competition in Delaware. In his North Country months, he is active with the St. Lawrence Area Poets and has taken part in Art/Poetry projects in Saranac Lake.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Blue by Susan Tepper


Keep those eyes dim
just north of downcast
supply lines roll shaky
this part of town


used to be shade trees 
moms with kids 
dripping ice cream cones
—strange how the seasons 


You’d think at least 
candles in squat clear glass
a bit of warm light
on the tables
—proprietor wants 
dark and cool air flow
blowing blue, baby, 
O so blue



Susan Tepper is the author of eight published books of fiction and poetry. Her most recent book just out in June is a road novel titled “What Drives Men.” It was shortlisted at American Book Fest Best Book Awards. Other honors and awards include eighteen Pushcart Nominations, a Pulitzer Prize Nomination for the novel “What May Have Been” (Cervena Barva Press, and currently being adapted for the stage), NPR’s Selected Shorts Series, Second Place Winner in Story/South Million Writers Award, Best Story of 17 Years of Vestal Review, Shortlisted 7th in the Zoetrope Novel Contest (2003), Best of the Net and more. Tepper is a native New Yorker.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Looking Through The Peephole. By DAH


This is half of my body
a sack of bones
a thousand dead breaths 
up to my neck in earth
sleep comes like dying birds 

I’m looking through the peephole 
of everyone passed-on 
stripped down to darkness
lying on scabby backs 
like rocks marking boundaries 

The entire world is plastic
and hurting
and up to its neck in filth 
and the temples are cracking
one by one, and the sky
will be nearly naked 

with only rusted planets 
like serious witchcraft
and before they make the gates
there will be zillions of souls
burnt to dust  

Then, a watery splash, and evolution
comes again
and for everything 
new figures, born and raised 
will be crawling to the shores 





DAH is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best Of The Net nominee, and the lead
editor for the poetry critique group, The Lounge. The author of nine books of
poetry, DAH lives in Berkeley, California, and has been teaching yoga to children
in public and private schools since 2005. He is working on his tenth poetry book,
which is due for release in September 2020, from Clare Songbirds Press.   

visit: www.dahlusion.wordpress.com

Saturday, February 22, 2020

ALL OF THEM SPIRITS by Angel Edwards

  watery Bay rum
             iced wine 
        ice cubes floating
           vodka tonic
            straight up
            on the rocks
          martini olives
          strawberry cordial
         elder berry exploding
           peppermint schnapps
          white wine carafe
             red wine bottle
            white grape sherry
            elder berry
                  scotch
            dram buie in a barrel
               gin gimlet 
               manhattan
              spicy ceaser
            tequila sunrise sunset                      
           cognac
                armagnac
            over proof moonshine                    
           brandied hot toddy
                vermouth
             in truth
        all of them spirits



Angel Edwards has performed music and poetry around the Vancouver area for the past 30+ years in bands and as a solo artist singer songwriter guitarist poet and owner of
"The Angel Edwards Music" 
publishing company
Her poetry songs and short stories have been published 
and performed on online radio stations and on numerous live stages
Angel's works have been published in many magazines  and newspapers in Canada,USA,Ireland, England,Serbia
Africa,Romania

Three books of her poetry were published in 2018
"Tales in the Dreams Garden"
"Lust Unfiltered By Love"
 By "Silver Bow Publishing"
and
"Spirits Dressed Up As Poems" 2019 (Silver Bow Publishing)
Angel is a member of AFM VMA SOCAN BMI and recent member of League of Canadian Poets

Friday, February 21, 2020

Serfs Up For Work. By Anthony Dirk Ray


hellish environment abound
as the heatwave intensifies
no relief for the camper of the street you say
at least vagabonds can find shade
laborers slave away
dying a little each second
the toil and grind
hacking away at their soul
leaving merely hours in a lifetime
for relaxation and enjoyment
no time to fully recharge
before the thrall resumes
while cold fingers point
and quenched throats command





Anthony Dirk Ray resides in the deep southern portion of the United States. 

After years of writing off and on, he is now sending some lines out. His most recent work can be found on multiple sites online.  Some of which are, Unlikely Stories, Mad Swirl, The Beatnik Cowboy, and Horror Sleaze Trash. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

LOVE LETTER UNDER A BARSTOOL by Roy Dorman


When Karly Redmond saw the manilla envelope taped to the underside of the barstool she immediately went into what she referred to as her “Walter Mitty Mode.”

Karly loved tending bar at Lester’s Tavern.  The loud juke box with punk rock bands doing wild covers of 60s hits, her lovable quirky customers, and the late, late nights were the staples of her life.

But when something came along that was not part of the usual routine, Karly was all over it.
The barstools had arrived earlier that morning, shipped from a bar in Austin, Texas, that had closed suddenly when the owner, Sid Benson, had dropped dead of a heart attack ten minutes after opening one morning.

Sid Benson’s wife, Bea, had hated the bar. Bea always said her husband was more married to it than to her, and after closing it an hour after his death, she never reopened it.  She sold all of the bar equipment, right down to the ornate mahogany backbar that had been in the building since before Prohibition.

The like-new barstools were going to replace the well-worn set that Lester’s customers had parked their butts on for years.  Ironically, Sid Benson had just bought the new stools six weeks before his death.

Karly had gathered all of this information from one of the truck drivers who had brought the bar stools from Austin to Madison, Wisconsin.

The backstory was very interesting, but it was the manilla envelope that triggered her imagination.
Karly had been in the process of helping to bring the bar stools into Lester’s from the service entrance in the rear. She had been systematically putting each stool upside down on the bar when she had spied the envelope.

“Juan Si quieres  Maria,” was printed on the front of it.  The envelope wasn’t glued shut, just fastened to the flap by its little metal clasps.  Karly agonized over whether she should open it.

For about a minute.

“How else will I be able to get it to its rightful owner if I don’t have more information than what’s on the outside of the envelope?” she rationalized.

From the little Spanish she knew, she was able to translate “Si quieres” into something like “If you want to.”

Karly held the envelope against her forehead as if by doing so she could psych out what Maria was agreeing to.  Was it a date?  Marriage?  Was Maria agreeing to running away with Juan to live happily ever after?

She undid the two little clasps and opened the envelope.  In it was — black satin bikini underwear?  Men’s black satin bikini underwear?  Three pairs?

“Whoa,” said Karly.  “Somethin’ hinky goin’ on here.”

Karly put the underwear back in the envelope and resealed it with its clasps.
The truck drivers were still outback closing up their truck and getting ready to head back to Austin.

"Hey,” she called to them.  “Do one of you guys know a Juan?”

The drivers looked at Karly, then at each other, and then back at her again.
One of the drivers, they both looked Latino, walked over from the truck to where Karly stood with the envelope.

“I’m ‘a Juan’” he said, a challenge in his voice.  “Somethin’ I can help you with?”
Juan looked like he’d been interrogated by strangers as to his nationality one too many times.

“Easy, Juan,” said his partner, Johnny Rodriguez.  “Get in the truck and we’ll head back to Austin.”

“Juan, do you know a Maria?”  asked Karly.  “If so, this might be for you.”
Karly held out the envelope for Juan to take.  He stared at as if wondering what trouble taking it may cause him.

“I know lots of Marias,” he said.  “So what?”

“Oh, forget it,” said Karly.  She started to walk back inside the bar.

“What’s in the envelope?” asked Juan.

“Don’t know.  Didn’t open it,” Karly lied.  “It was taped to the bottom of one of the stools.”

Juan stepped forward and took the envelope.  He studied the message on the front, undid the clasps, and looked inside.

Looking up, he stared at Karly as if trying to determine whether or not she had lied to him about opening the envelope.

Satisfied that she probably hadn’t, or maybe thinking that he really didn’t care if she had, he said to Johnny, “Let’s go.  I’ve got somethin’ to do in Austin.”

“Well, you’re welcome very much,” said Karly, smiling.

“Oh, yeah,” said Juan, smiling back.  “Thanks for your trouble.”  His smile said he thought that Karly had probably looked in the envelope.

“No trouble at all,” said Karly, still smiling.  “No trouble at all.”  And her smile said that, yes, she had looked.

Johnny watched the two of them and had no clue as to what the hell was happening here.  But it was a long drive back to Austin and he figured he’d have plenty of time to drag the story out of Juan.

Walking back into the bar, Karly realized she hardly knew anything more about the envelope’s story now than when she found it.
But she was okay with that.

THE END





Roy Dorman is retired from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for over 65 years.  At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer.  He has had flash fiction and poetry published in Black Petals, Yellow Mama, Literally Stories, Theme of Absence, Dark Dossier, Near To The Knuckle, Bewildering Stories, riverbabble, Shotgun Honey, and a number of other online and print journals. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

COWGIRL by Puma Perl

There’s a tall guy standing
standing at the end of the bar
He’s got a red striped tie
and a blue plaid shirt
I like his slouch,
I like his shades
and his big hands

We’re both drinking whiskey
but not together, not yet
I throw back another shot
and I want to cowgirl him home
by his long hair and longer legs

I surprise myself with longing
as I stare at his sad, smiling face
I’m a sharp shooting Annie Oakley,
I’m a rodeo, I’m a lasso, a trick
rider, I’m a stampede, a bronco
buster, I wear lariats in my hair

He may think he’s an outlaw
but he’s breaking, and he’s
breaking me down, gotta
cowgirl him home take
back to boom town,
ride side saddle and backwards,
gonna cowgirl that cowboy home take him.




Photo by Ellen Berman

Puma Perl is a poet and writer, with five solo collections in print. The most recent is Birthdays Before and After (Beyond Baroque Books, 2019.) She is the producer/creator of Puma’s  Pandemonium, which brings spoken word together with rock and roll, and she performs regularly with her band Puma Perl and Friends. She’s received three New York Press Association awards in recognition of her journalism, and is the recipient of the 2016 Acker Award in the category of writing.

Gerringong Cemetery. By Michael R. Griffiths

There’s a certain nonsense that disturbs the dead.     As we pile in,     exiled past the ablution blocks,     roused by the warm s...