Friday, May 14, 2021

born naked die the same by Keith Pearson

we built our house from rusted car parts and animal scraps. water runs downhill where we sleep. from our bed we can see the city float at night. oh look the light reflects off your skin like the moon off snow. 
let me taste you. did i mention the bag of stars 
i gathered last night? 
they are in the sack on the floor at your feet.
better wipe that down before you drink. remember what frank used to say. 
born naked die same.
kiss my mouth and taste the ashes there.
everything makes sense
he would say
at the bottom of the bottle.
even the goats were cold ice hanging from their beards. every book in the house became food for the fire then our bed. we wrapped ourselves in the last of the skins when it was still warm. we huddled and prayed. 
sometimes there is no escape
from gods bad dreams.
we let the fools make the soup.
 it was years before we lost the masks. 
folks forgot where they left their smiles. 
teeth remained a mystery.
spoons long forgotten fell from the trees.
in time no one cared. 
such things as gestures and greetings 
became rare
like dogs with good manners.
“you cant try to stay you either will or you wont” – the national
they doctored the moon to stay full. 
it glowed for months.
in time people came to yawn at the sight.
wolves grew tired of howling and walked thru the suburbs every afternoon begging to die.
you and i would sit on the porch and watch 
as it crossed the sky.
we never grew tired of the sight.
one day the rains came and washed it away.
while others celebrated and drowned 
in the flooding streets
we went to bed thankful for what we had.
such lovely bones.
broke off a piece of her sandwich
passed it to him thru the open window.
here you need this more than me she said.
he wanted to suck on her fingers.
as he chewed he asked
will i ever see you again?
as sure as tomorrow she said with a wink
and turned and walked away
and of course 
he never did.
he requested she sneak in 
and smother him with a pillow
but she could not bring herself to do it.
later when they were running 
in the desert an hour before dawn 
from six men 
and a burning car
she understood 
how easy it would have been.

Keith Pearson
I live in southern New Hampshire and works with special ed students at a local high school.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Sticks by Wayne F. Burke

October afternoon and
some clown juggling
sticks, in the park--
an escapee from the circus
who slept with the
Tattooed Lady
who was married to the
Strong Man
who threatened the Clown--
a sad melodrama
the Clown ran from
his big gun-boat shoes flopping
and bright red nose
scaring the children
all along the road
to the next town.

Wayne F. Burke's poetry has been widely published online and in print. He has published six full-length poetry collections, most recently DIFLUCAN (BareBack Press, 2019). He lives in the Pine Tree State.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Boston? I could sure use a Joe and Nemo Hotdog by Doug Holder

 *** Joe and Nemo was once a famed hotdog stand in Boston's Scollay closed in the 1960s. It was very popular with soldiers and sailors--(for a beer and a dog)-- during and after the great wars.

I could use one right now
don't hide the horseradish 
I am familiar with pain...
I want mine
rude and red
and I will be

I want to saunter
down Scollay Square...
Yes I know
the Old Howard
burnt down
but for me
it is still the
toast of
the town.

I want to pop a beer
wipe the foam 
on my brow
to beat
this summer's
relentless heat.

I want to see the soldiers
those doughboys
and Ernie Pyle
huddled at
the counter
biting and bitching
on the 

Doug Holder is the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press. He teaches writing at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. For over thirty years he ran poetry groups for psych patients at McLean Hospital, outside of Boston.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

That year, we’d like to forget by Emalisa Rose

Tim says we’ll look back and laugh,
sometime soon.

Sweeping the brush from the bramble,
he says rainbows will bow at our feet.

And birds will deliver their poems to
our door.

I ask him “When Timothy, when?”

He picks up the broom and starts
sweeping again.

I go back to my bourbon, forgetting his
cabernet prophecies.

When not writing poetry, Emalisa Rose enjoys crafting and drawing with charcoals. She volunteers in animal rescue. Living by a beach town provides much of the inspiration for her art. Her work has appeared in Beatnik Cowboy, Spillwords and other fine places. Her latest collection is "On the whims of the crosscurrents," published by Red Wolf Editions.

Monday, May 10, 2021

loitering in the square by jck hnry

they begin to arrive just after dawn 
drifters or transients, 
or hippies as the tourist ads announce. 
a young man with brown eyes and  
long stringy hair walks up and asks, 
hey man? you seen my old lady? 
i laugh, no one says old lady, and point 
up to the window of my hotel 
room at the Hotel Arcata. 
so she’s your old lady now? 
i start to speak but stop, 
turn toward the hotel 
yet my feet cannot move. 
Tammy emerges from 
the front door, fresh and clean, 
full of life, a life my mind cannot 
she runs up, kisses me hard on the mouth, 
says, thanks man, runs up to the kid  
with brown eyes and stringy hair, 
says, hey where you been

jck hnry is a writer/publisher/editor, based in southeastern california.  recent publications include:  Deuce Coupe, Rye Whiskey Review, Razur Cuts, Cajun Mutt, Dissident Voices, Horror Sleaze Trash, Bold Monkey, Red Fez, dope fiend daily and a bunch of other noble zines and journals.  Books include:  “With the Patience of Monuments (neoPoesis) ,” “Crunked, (Epic Rites)” and the upcoming "Driving w/Crazy (Punk Hostage Press, 2020).”  hnry is also editor and publisher of Heroin Love Songs and 1870. for more go to



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Spirits by John Drudge

A sense
Of connection
A taste of being
When the self
Falls apart
Liquefied and fluid
In deep frenetic activity
A lift off of energy
And gusting winds
Through minds 
Screaming at large
Into seas strewn over
With waves of joy
And swells 
Of bearable death

John is a social worker working in the field of disability management and holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology.  He is the author of three books of poetry: “March” and “The Seasons of Us” (both published in 2019) and New Days (published in 2020). His work has appeared widely in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies internationally. John is also a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and lives in Caledon Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

IN MY SOLITUDE by Milton P. Ehrlich

I feel your presence
and hunger for your
embrace to entwine 
us like twin molecules.
I monitor a thread of
your breath mingling 
with mine for company
so that I’m never alone.
I cling to the photograph
standing before our silo— 
resolute farmers prepared
for whatever unruly surprises
stormclouds may have in mind.

Milton P. Ehrlich Ph.D. is an 89-year-old psychologist and a veteran
of the Korean War. He has published poems in Poetry Review, The
Antigonish Review, London Grip, Arc Poetry Magazine, Descant Literary
Magazine, Wisconsin Review, Red Wheelbarrow, and the New York Times.

born naked die the same by Keith Pearson

we built our house from rusted car parts and animal scraps. water runs downhill where we sleep. from our bed we can see the city float at ni...