Sunday, July 5, 2020

OUT OF MY MIND by Bradford Middleton

Snow falls outside my room as another day
Deep in the heart of addiction kicks off
I scored on Monday and laughed my head off
Yesterday, Tuesday, I can't really remember
But there was no drinking because this
Gear is simply too too strong, i feel lower
Than in a long time, so much higher than
I can ever remember being used to.  This
Morning came around and I woke after a
Restless night and got right back on board
The train to nowheresville, where i'll sit
Brain obliterated and unable to do anything
About it as the need for just one more will
Always come back and soon I fear I will
Hear my brain go pop, never to return to
How it was before this new bout of addiction.

Bradford Middleton was born in south-east London during the summer of 1971 and won his first poetry prize at the age of nine.  He then gave up writing poems for nearly twenty-five years and it wasn't until he landed in Brighton, knowing no one and having no money, that he began again.  Ten years later and he's been lucky enough to have had a few chapbooks published including a new one from Analog Submission Press entitled 'Flying through this Life like a Bottle Battling Gravity', his debut from Crisis Chronicles Press (Ohio, USA) and his second effort for Holy & Intoxicated Press (Hastings, UK).  He has read around the UK at various bars, venues and festivals and is always keen to get out and read to new crowds.  His poetry has also been or will be published shortly in the Chiron Review, Zygote in my Coffee, Section 8, Razur Cuts, Paper & Ink, Grandma Moses 'Poet to Notice', Empty Mirror, Midnight Lane Gallery, Bareback Lit and is a Contributing Poet over at the wonderful Mad Swirl.  If you like what you've read go send a friend request on facebook to bradfordmiddleton1.  

Saturday, July 4, 2020

In My Favorite Blue Undershorts by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

I was never worried about myself.
Somehow, I knew I was fucked.
No need to adorn aging skin tag 
guillotine necks with pearls.

Sitting up in bed 
of this second floor biker motel
watching dealers and sketchy junkies shuffle up 
to the neighbouring door and give some lazy
predetermined knock.

As I sat shirtless 
in my favorite blue undershorts
watching the kids from India
killing the national spelling bee.

Getting increasingly drunk
so that I started to wonder about 
those stains on the towels 
in the bathroom that wouldn’t
come out.

The weird ripples 
in the flowery wallpaper 
above my head 
that betrayed the working 

Double checking the deadbolt 
on the door
before pulling the curtains
and sprawling out in the middle
of the bed.

Cheering on 
my favourite brown boy 
from the provinces 
who was admittedly nearsighted 
with a noticeable lisp.

When he lost,
I rolled over and made 
my body into a star.

Drooling over all the pillows
so housekeeping would know 
I was there. 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly,The Rye Whiskey Review, Outlaw Poetry Network, Under The Bleachers, The Dope Fiend Daily and In Between Hangovers.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Eviction by Scott Ferry

my father’s ghost lived
in his beloved mammoth mt. condo for years

one tenant i found didn’t pay rent
blew tobacco and had a dog

he never cleaned and i attempted to evict him
phoned his mother to get money

one night the other roommates woke up at 3 am
to steps and deliberate clanking of ceramic

and when they turned on the light—
dishes stacked in exact piles

even pots and pans fitted inside each other’s
aluminum skins but they were the only ones there

the smoking renter still out drinking
they called me the next day

said everything looked ready to be placed
into boxes

my sister and i decided my father either
wanted him to move out or was packing his

brown-green 1970s plates for a move
from this state to the next

he died so suddenly after his retirement
he never got to ski again like he was 20

single drinking until 3
he wasn’t about to let someone else

inhabit his lost skin

Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN. He has recent work in Misfit, MacQueen's Quinterly, and Spillway. His second chapbook Mr. Rogers Kills Fruit Flies will come out in October 2020 from Main St. Rag. You can find more of his work at

Thursday, July 2, 2020


“It was only in wine that Confucius laid down no limit for himself, but he did not allow himself to be confused by it.”

“Alcibiades bade the attendant fill it again for Socrates. Observe, my friends, said Alcibiades, that this ingenious trick of mine will have no effect on Socrates, for he can drink any quantity of wine and not be at all nearer being drunk.”   

battered Irish bar every half block and corner
all chipped dark wood like a clipper’s cabin

framed slogans supporting an erstwhile revolt
and fossilized jokes about Paddy going to heaven

dented crane-shaped men, skin scaly as fish
women like weather-beaten bollards

bartender’s curse-crusted pleasantries
and a fight between friends for no reason

every inch filled with mirror or realia
I try the tap at each one –

Mary Magee’s, Tempest Bar, Tailor’s Club,
Scallywags, The Playwright, Gossip,

DJ Reynolds, Smith’s, and then the bastards
O’Connell, O’Neill, O’Malley

and finally Hellcat Annie’s where
the Westies gang plotted murder –

until I’m satisfied of my complete sobriety
like Confucius or Socrates 

and start the morning walking toward
Penn Station but wake up

on the emerald cement of 
Hudson River shipyard

Dan O’Connell is a four-time award winning poet, and multiple finalist and honorable mention. His poems have appeared over seventy times, including in Mississippi Review, Homestead Review, San Francisco Reader, Parthenon West Review, RavensPerch and Ghost Town Review. A former Philosophy and Rhetoric professor, Dan has his own law practice with a focus on protecting renters and workers. He is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Different Coasts, and Theory of Salvation. Find Dan O. at

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

An Old Fashioned Contemplation by Anthony Dirk Ray

I prefer my whiskey neat
or with a tiny splash of water
but tonight
I made the wife and myself
an old fashioned each
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it
despite not usually taking whiskey on the rocks

as I sat on the back patio
sipping my drink and toasting a stick
a thunderstorm rolled in
I realized just how good I felt in that moment
numerous lightning bolts flashed in the distance
boisterous bangs of
resounding raucous thunder followed

bringing to mind memories of my past
from drug induced years
to the present day
where drams and drams of whiskey are drained

somehow I always seem
to feel the most alive
when I am killing myself

Anthony Dirk Ray resides, works, and writes in the sweltering southern portion of the United States near the Gulf of Mexico.  After years of writing off and on, merely for sanity, he is now sharing some lines. His work can be seen on multiple sites online and in print. Some of which are Mad Swirl, Unlikely Stories, The Beatnik Cowboy, The Rye Whiskey Review, Three Line Poetry, and Horror Sleaze Trash.  His site, Gloomy Forebodings...poems, stories, and mediocre musings, can be found online at

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hanging Fire by John Drudge

Always waiting
But now for nothing
But the end
Or is it the beginning?
Or maybe I’m waiting
For everything
Maybe just anything
Deep in the core
While hanging fire
Beyond these long days
Of waiting
For something more

John works as a clinical social worker and is the president of a national disability management company. He holds degrees in Social Work, Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services and has studied philosophy extensively.  He is an avid traveler and a long-term student of the martial arts holding a 3rd degree black-belt in Kempo Karate. His diverse educational and experiential background gives him a broad base from which to approach many topics in his poetry. John currently lives with his wife and two children in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Today by Alyssa Trivett

We trolley hop
'round downtown sidewalk squares where all of the
packed at night bars are
empty like a rotted birdcage today,
behind roadblocks where
plastic Barbie furniture makeshift tables soldier in place.
My words rabble roused
but he doesn't seem to mind it.
My wish was to spend
another hour in
the company of him,
and even though
it isn't quite possible today,
I'll cherish the moments
we do have
in the best ways.
A Van Gogh yellow sun
pours down on us as
we trot back to our cars,
record scratching pavement
in worn out soles.

Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from the Midwest. When not working two jobs, she chirps down coffee while scrawling lines. Her work has appeared in many places, but most recently at Ex Ex Lit, and Duane's PoeTree site.

OUT OF MY MIND by Bradford Middleton

Snow falls outside my room as another day Deep in the heart of addiction kicks off I scored on Monday and laughed my head off Yesterday, ...