Thursday, September 24, 2020

Still Kansas by R.D. Ronstad

The Amish are singing

in the lounge car.


Elks' blood stains

the engine.


Time has jumped

the tracks.


Three travelers are

off the grid.

The curators' talk 

is hard like hale:

They  bob their heads

 in darkness.



The moonless night paints

 windows black.


The steel doors open/close

like cell doors.


The bars have all shut down

in my right hand.


I conceive a picture

from a hundred yards out…

A string of fiery windows

in a silhouette of cars


A black mass fronted by

an eery, suspended cone of light


Flashlights lightly hopping, near

the engine, down the rails


Myriad stars overrunning

an ebony sky

Glow grazing a small

black knob; perhaps a body

...called Still Kansas.

R.D. Ronstad writes mainly humor pieces and poetry. His work has appeared at Defenestration, Scarlet Leaf Review, Every Day Fiction, Rat's Ass Review, Bindweed Magazine and a number of other online sites. He lives with no dogs or cats but has nothing against them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

RETIREMENT by R.M. Engelhardt


I will be an old
Poet an old man
In an old suit a tie
And a fedora hat
Reading old poems
About the old days
To young kids who
Won’t appreciate
Poetry or jazz or
The silence of the
Mind nature or
Music the mystic
Or the magick of

And it is
Then at that
Very moment
When one of
Them makes
Another fart joke
In the middle of
My reading that
I shall pause
Smile & then with
A magick incantation
Turn into a fifty foot
Serpent & eat them
All in the school
Auditorium telling
The school principal
That they all just
Hated my poetry
And left as I let out
A loud & infinite
Belch and I get on
The bus
& leave

R.M. Engelhardt is a poet, writer & author who's work over the last 20 years has been published in such journals as Thunder Sandwich, Full of Crow, Rusty Truck, Writers’ Resist, Dry Land Lit, Rye Whiskey Review, Hobo Camp Review & many others. He currently lives & writes in Upstate NY and his new books of poetry are entitled "DarkLands" (Published By Whiskey City Press 2019) & "Where There Is No Vision, Poems 2020"  (DeadMansPressInk)

Both are now available on

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

as people toast memories over drinks by J.J. Campbell

it’s the realization that 
you’re not going to be 
missed when you die

that your obituary will 
never be published

there will be no funeral

no drunken brawl in 
some bar as people 
toast memories over

no wife to become
a widow

no children happy that 
the old fucker is finally 

the shotgun still rests 
in the corner

it gets more inviting
with each passing 

J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) was raised by wolves yet managed to graduate high school with honors. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Red Eft Review, The Beatnik Cowboy, Synchronized Chaos, Horror Sleaze Trash and Cajun Mutt Press. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (

Monday, September 21, 2020

The High Hurdle by Bruce Morton

We were a sorry lot.
We were sorry a lot.
Sorry we were not home
Sorry we were here
Sorry she was not here
Sorry to be in the army
Sorry to be drinking
Sorry we were not sorry
About being so sorry.

So Jumpin’ George
Set up his plank bar—
Called it the High Hurdle,
Where sorrows could be
Poured or shaken,
Taken on ice or neat.
It was a low hurdle
And we were not sorry
When we stepped over it.

Bruce Morton splits his time between Montana and Arizona. His volume of poems, Simple Arithmetic and Other Artifices, was published in 2015. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various magazines and anthologies including, most recently, Muddy River Poetry Review, Mason Street Review, Main Street Rag, Nixes Mate Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Blue Unicorn.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

BAR SCHOOL by Patti Cassidy

If  guy buys a babe

A shot and a beer

Every Saturday night

For almost a year-

He might think it’s time

For him to move in

Then he sees another guy

Buy her tonic and gin

When they walk out together

He orders a mescal

And slides down the bar

To pick up the next gal.

It’s not money wasted

It’s a lesson well-learned,

You change up the drinks and

You might not get burned.

Patti Cassidy's been on the poetry beat for most of her life, but she's best known for her  plays- many of them set in bars. Find her in Boston... or Paris. Or wherever fine spirits are sold...

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Your Friend, the Writer by Jeff Weddle

Your friend, the writer, needs groceries: 
kale wine ground beef potatoes beer bread 
bourbon spaghetti & sauce gin rum ham 
mayo absinthe milk Snickers fish sticks 
vodka scotch rye ayahuasca peyote 
weed and Spam.
Your friend, the writer, needs readers 
love hate notice explication a good woman 
a bad woman a dog a cat a publisher
 an editor and a bookie with a heart.
Your friend, the writer, needs a priest 
a rabbi a hooker a nun a Smith and Wesson six shooter 
fifty boxes of shells a dozen Spanish orphans 
a plot of land and a shovel. 
Your friend, the writer, needs earthworms 
pickles shears rope caviar statues of Napoleon 
poison pens cigarettes laughter and bombs.
Your friend, the writer, needs your wife 
your daughter your blood skin bone flesh 
muscle soul a quick nap a good night’s sleep 
a beating heaven and hell. 
Your friend, the writer, sends his regards 
confusion congratulations regrets condolences 
phobias love ambivalence spleen and contagion. 
Your friend, the writer, wanders in 
wanders out stares at the ceiling 
bites his fingernails scratches his ass 
smells his fingers yawns and giggles 
stares at the mailbox 
tries to remember your name 
and doesn’t write anything at all.

Jeff Weddle is a poet and writer living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He won the 2007 Welty Prize for Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press, and has also received honors for his fiction and poetry. Jeff teaches in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama.

Friday, September 18, 2020

easier by Tanya Rakh

it’s easier when no one loves me
I scream at the walls here alone
plaster peels slowly around me
in my sad rubber house

Tanya Rakh was born on the outskirts of time and space in a cardboard box. After extensive planet-hopping, she currently makes her home near Houston, Texas where she writes poetry, surrealist prose, and cross-genre amalgamations and works as a professional manuscript editor. Her poetry has appeared in journals including Danse Macabre, Literary Orphans, Yes, Poetry, and Miletus International Literature Journal and is featured in several issues of Alien Buddha e-zine. Her first poetry collection, Hydrogen Sofi, was published in 2019 by Hammer & Anvil Books.

Still Kansas by R.D. Ronstad

The Amish are singing in the lounge car.    Elks' blood stains the engine.   Time has jumped the tracks.    Three travelers are off the ...