Tuesday, May 30, 2023

You Can Run By Alec Solomita

The blues quotes Joe Louis

as I take a hit of weed.

The blues says to me,

“You can run but you can’t hide.”

Been running pretty well

until the arthritis began

to visit my left knee 

while the gout sojourns

in my big toe. Oh, I can

still run, but Jesse Owens

I am not. And, you say, hide?

And I say where?

I’m back in seventh grade

when I came in second-to-last

in the 50. I won’t say who

came in last, but his first

name was Mitchell.

’Course we had nowhere to hide

as the big boys clapped us 

over the finish line.

At first the hit of skunk

belies the blues’ remark

but the blues is always right.

You can run, or try,

to the sunny side of the street,

but from Brownie McGhee 

and Big Bill Broonzy, well,

there ain’t no escape, ain’t no harbor.

They slip through the dope

like the high notes of a blues harp.

Alec Solomita is a writer working in the Boston area. His fiction has appeared in

the Southwest Review, The Mississippi Review, Southword Journal, among other

publications. He was shortlisted by the Bridport Prize and Southword Journal. His poetry

has appeared in Poetica, MockingHeart Journal, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Amethyst Review, The Lake, The Galway Review, and elsewhere, including several anthologies. His poetry

chapbook “Do Not Forsake Me,” was published in 2017. His full-length poetry book,

“Hard To Be a Hero,” was released by Kelsay Books last spring.     

Sunday, May 28, 2023

SUBWAY By Wayne F. Burke

I told the guy making my sandwich
not to ask me any more questions
and he said "will that be all?"
I said "ring it up so I can get out
of here." He said "excuse me?"
I said "you heard me, I don't
stutter." He said "I am just asking
questions." I said "no you're not
you're harassing me." He said
"take your change and leave!"
I said "thanks asshole" and
I walked to the door. He said
"have a good day!" I said "fuck you!"
He waved.

Wayne F. Burke's poetry and prose has been widely published in print and online (including in THE RYE WHISKEY REVIEW). He was nominated for a Pushcart by THE DOPE FIEND DAILY in 2022. He lives in Vermont (USA).

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Lemonade Hair by Rory Hughes

lemonade hair dead and deflated thin like a bleached ghost; mascara rings fat as a star pitcher’s eyeblack; she cracked her broken finger back into place with a short scream behind the teeth, limped to the kitchen, put a handleless pot of water on the hob and collapsed onto the plastic flooring, her palms honeystuck with dead maggots and rice; she felt the phantom pains of her morning bones askew; the sun no more than an iced butter square of frosted glass heating her skull; her arms gave way to the greased insectarium of the floor and she writhed with them and shed her three-piece exoskeleton of piss, ash and chinese takeaway; swallowed a sharp ghost that clawed down her gullet and hocked a dry flubber of catarrh onto her chin; she’d watched that film six times the saturday her father had rented the vhs from blockbusters; she felt old, she wasn’t, but she felt it, everything made her feel it; innocence was wonder and not knowing, but now we know it all so the wonder’s all gone, there’s answers to every fucking thing and they mostly suck; this wasn’t age, no, this was karma, a necessary exchange; a string of bad decisions now manifest as an oblique fracture of the proximal phalanx of the index finger;

Rory Hughes is a South London-based writer and music journalist. His challenging short stories have appeared in publications such as BlazeVOX, Angel Rust, Fleas on the Dog, A Thin Slice of Anxiety and Squawk Back. He is the Feature Editor for music magazine, Astral Noize and has a novel, Theseus 34, to be published in 2023.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Inebriated By Skaja Evens

I dated a guy for a year or so

He introduced me to pot

I liked what it did to my awareness

Like removing the filter from my decisions

After we split, I stopped

I never wanted to need it

I can thank my genes for that addictive nature

It comes to mind tonight

As I drink my way through several tiny bottles

And my body reacts much the same

Inhibitions completely gone

Skaja Evens is a writer and artist living in Southeast Virginia. She runs It Takes All Kinds, a litzine published by Mōtus Audāx Press. She’s been published in various places, including Spillwords Press, Medusa’s Kitchen, Ink Pantry, Off the Coast, Synchronized Chaos, and Blue Pepper. She can often be found listening to music, considering the impossible, and enjoying her cats’ antics.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

HOW TO LIVE By Duane Vorhees

The true eloquence 

is in your eyes.

Don’t starve yourself

and spare your hoard.

If you badge yourself, beware

but prepare to brave

your firing squad

without blindfold or frown.

Downpours occur.

Don’t ignore life’s storms--

open your door

to the flood – and to love.

Experience becomes example

becomes expression becomes


The wise carpenter

treasures the differences

between a drill

and a bolt.

Cherish your garden.

The white dandelion

of age and the red

newborn poppy

deserve equal cultivation.

Duane Vorhees is an American poet living in Thailand. Hog Press of Ames, Iowa, has published four of his poetry collections: HEAVEN, MEMORIES LINKED LIKE OASES, GIFT: GOD RUNS THROUGH ALL THESE ROOMS, and THE MANY LOVES OF DUANE VORHEES

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Meetings by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

for the sake
of meetings.

It is
just not what
I prefer.

There are
things we could
take care of

with a
short email 
or a text.

We do not
need hours to
take up our

day.  No
meetings at
noon or at

nine in
the morning
or after

lunch when
all you want
to do is

let five
o’clock come
to go home.

Born in Mexico, Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Ángeles. His poems have appeared in Ariel Chart, Fearless, Mad Swirl, The Rye Whiskey Review, and Unlikely Stories.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Dungeon Music by Ezhno Martin

I've moved back into my mom's basement Samantha
it's a great place to drink beers
and piss in the empty cans

I'm sure I'm spilling on both ends
but there is a certain consistency to coming up short 
so I'd say there is a science to me burning up
cause I'm always left some portion of empty

there's this song I like to sing
it says “I don't deserve this”
and I got it on repeat
a 3 minute beer and still be ready for the refrain routine 
it'll probably take me years to figure out it's supposed to be sarcasm
right now I'm stuck on feeling sorry for myself
and doing everything in my power not to remember
all the chances I had to change

I got this new girlfriend I found on the internet
she's a sorry excuse for a human being 
and so am I
she carves “help”
into her chest right above her breast 
with the her dad's buck knife about once a week
the blossoming scar is an ugly unripe purple an inch deep
like a blister that won't pop
that's how I feel like you're living inside of me now
sometimes my mom catches me facefucking alcohol
and chases me out of the house screaming
I try not to listen but I think she's saying something about a future she'd hoped I'd want to have 
I'm trying to figure out where to go from here
       I'm still stuck in the same place I was when I ran away from you              in Chicago on a middle of the night greyhound
knowing I'd have to start a new life
and completely unprepared to contemplate how

The most sense I can make I've stolen from this new girlfriend
          she says that when she was 12 she used to invite pedophiles 
           to hang out outside her window
          hoping one would eventually lose their mind and break the glass
I go to the ghetto to walk around in the middle of the night
with the stink of suburbia on me like a bullseye
                    I show my pure white skin
                    more and more of it every time
     no one has taken the bait yet to rapture my blood
                   but I'm not ready for a better plan

Ezhno is a feral misshaped mass of broken dreams that doesn't believe in pronouns and would prefer to just be called “Ezhno.” This is equal parts ideology, loneliness, and the fact that it's been a while since anyone screamed “Ezhno” during sex. People just aren't as loud and adventurous as we think they used to be back when we were younger and better at everything. Ezhno is a freak who makes books for freaks via EMP Books, obsesses about a certain New York Basketball Team, and takes long urban hikes in the middle of the night. Ezhno has substituted god with a ghost who goes by Samantha, and the prayers for forgiveness have yet gone unanswered. Do not introduce your dog to Ezhno; they will be licking each-other's teeth, biting each-other's necks, pissing on your clothes, and stealing food off of your counter within five minutes.

You Can Run By Alec Solomita

The blues quotes Joe Louis as I take a hit of weed. The blues says to me, “You can run but you can’t hide.” Been running pretty well until t...