Monday, August 19, 2019

Marty by Kevin Ridgeway

I saw a
of my father
taken when
he was just
five years old.
without tattoos
on his arm.
a clean slate
like the one
my nephew
still enjoys
today. long
before he
cared about
what other
people think.
before he
his pain
behind a
wall of
and a
it was
my turn
to feel
the shame
outside of
a clean slate.

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.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Late Friday Afternoon Visit by D.C. Buschmann

Cradling her beer bottle
like she feared
it’d get gone,

she greeted me with a smirky smile.
The eyes,
I don’t want to remember.

Her late-70s legs, shapely as a cheerleader’s,
sidled up to her bottom
on her smart new recliner.

Compensating for wine-budget priorities,
her ceiling fan sliced the heat
like a desperate machete.

Veteran bug-eyed shih tzu, staring
from across the room,
knew best.                 

Held captive, I listened
to her spirits-infused verbosity—
a scene with more violins

than a D-rated soap opera
that I quickly pushed
buttons past at home.

Even today, five years later, my scorched
ears reel, tail feathers smolder.
She complains that I never visit.

D.C. Buschmann is retired. Her poem, “Death Comes for a Friend,” was the Editor’s Choice in Poetry Quarterly, Winter 2018. She has been a finalist in several essay and poetry contests, but has never won anything. Her work appears in anthologies in the US, the UK, Australia, Iraq, and India and has been in or will appear in Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library’s So it Goes Literary Journal, Flying Island, Poppy Road Review, San Pedro River Review, The Great American Wise Ass by Lamar University Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Nerve Cowboy, and elsewhere. Her first chapbook is being pondered.

Saturday, August 17, 2019


called me
from his
to say
it's not

To just
in the
n' find
to do
with what
little time
I have

we both
our flat
asses off
real writers
don't have
that kind
of freedom

He said
he was
to everything
the wannabes
he shouldn't

Hustlin' hard

But only
when he
wanted to

at some point
we all
end up

And nobody
the goddamn

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. Hillbilly Hand Grenades ; Hellraiser's Hieroglyphics

He is founder and co-editor of The Angel's Share Literary Magazine (Shine Runner Press).

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, Punk Noir,  Mutata Re, Ariel Chart, The Beatnik Cowboy and Apache Poetry.

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


Friday, August 16, 2019

cicada in a wine glass by Jonathan K. Rice

cool night
on the patio

server brings
our wine

and two glasses

there is a shadow
in one of them

I take the glass

it’s a cicada
dead dehydrated

I think of its
years underground

flight and music

I toss it toward the dark

we pour wine
toast its

lingering song

Jonathan K. Rice edited Iodine Poetry Journal for seventeen years. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Killing Time (2015), Ukulele and Other Poems (2006) and a chapbook, Shooting Pool with a Cellist (2003), all published by Main Street Rag Publishing. He is also a visual artist. His work has appeared most recently in Foliate Oak, Grey Sparrow, Mad Swirl, The Main Street Rag, Minute Magazine, South Florida Poetry Journal and forthcoming in Abbey, Amethyst Review, As It Ought To Be, First Literary Review-East, San Pedro River Review and Trailer Park Quarterly He is the recipient of the 2012 Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award for outstanding service in support of local and regional writers, awarded by Central Piedmont Community College. He lives in Charlotte, NC.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bar Talk by George Perreault

Back in the day could walk up
before any game get a ticket for the
Sox, sit anywhere, they’re happy just
sell you some peanuts, a beer or two,
Celtics, same deal and they were
the champs then, Russell and them,
so I’m meeting this guy beforehand
joint downstairs at the old Garden

the Iron Horse where trains come in
real dark place so I go way to the back
thinking to see him stumble a bit
but he just walks up, sits down and I ask
how, he says your kinda guy always be
sitting far end of the bar, so we start
placing our friends like McCann for sure
he’s in the middle stirring up some shit

then tales of things gone awry, learning
to watch, get the landscape like once
this Mary Jane in our class she had
a younger brother with a fancy name
and then years after school I thought
probably was him in a bar and would
have said hi but did you risk it maybe
slide up on a stranger and say hey

is your name Valentine considering
some of the places you’ve had a drink
how folks might wind up bleeding,
maybe walk in and everyone turns
elbows on the bar looking your way
and you recognize some prize fighters
some worse and just have to wonder
how thirsty is it today?

George Perreault has worked as a visiting writer in Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington.   His most recent book, Bodark County, is a collection of poems in the voices of various characters living on the Llano Estacado in West Texas.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The City Astronomer by James Steck

Elements are measured through light waves;
the spectrum of planets
exists in the colors we can’t see
reaching out to hold your lovers
wandering so casually through the night

through city streets
down 15th reflected
in the windows fogged by the morning.

Nothing sees them,
not the cherry blossoms, nor the monuments’
pale faces
not the damp grey joggers;
I look through the telescope
to see across the fabric of skyscrapers
wave after wave—
empty mouths.

James Steck grew up in upstate New York, and now lives in Washington, DC. He teaches high school English and coaches track and field in Fairfax, Virginia. He often draws in relation to his poetry. His writing is influenced by romanticism and realism while focusing on contradictions, the body, and everyday life. You can find his work in The Ugly Writers, The Woove, and The Silhouette Literary and Arts Magazine.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

finally ready. By David Boski

the beer flows freely
the memory fades quickly
the depression disappears—
momentarily at least.
as the hangover waits patiently
building its strength.
the whiskey makes an appearance
the regrets build up 
the opinions are spoken
the arguments and debates follow
the cigarettes breathe 
like a bottle of uncorked wine
and the sleep hits you 
harder than a prize fighter can.
while the dreams take a night off
before you wake up confused—
the hangover finally ready.

David Boski lives in Toronto. His poems have appeared in: The Rye Whiskey Review, The Dope Fiend Daily, Horror Sleaze Trash, Under The Bleachers, Down in the Dirt, Beatnik Cowboy, Winamop, Ramingo’s Porch, Cactifur, North Of Oxford and elsewhere. His chapbook “Fist Fighting and Fornication” is out now and available through Holy&intoxicated Publications. 

Marty by Kevin Ridgeway

I saw a photograph of my father taken when he was just five years old. without tattoos on his arm. a clean slate like the one my n...