Saturday, June 30, 2018

Relapse by. Todd Cirillo

I have to contact 
an old girlfriend
to give her a new book
by a good friend
who wrote a great poem
about her.
It is autographed and dedicated 
with her name.
Thought she would appreciate it
and she will.
The book arrived yesterday,
she hasn’t been around
for two years.

my friends still write poems
about her.
I quit that 
awhile back
have to admit,

I haven’t quit


Todd Cirillo is co-founder and editor of Six Ft. Swells Press. His latest book is Burning the Evidence (Epic Rites Press, 2017). He has other books available and has been published in numerous national and international publications. Todd lives in New Orleans, Louisiana and can be found soaking his pirate heart in second lines and smiling under the neons searching for shiny moments. Look him up at Todd Cirillo

"The news is bad today, in America and for America. There is nothing good or hopeful about it--except for Nazis, warmongers, and rich greedheads" HST

Friday, June 29, 2018

Three Chord Morning. by James Walton

Just because
I’m on my knees
doesn’t mean I’m down

I could be praying, hell

Just because
I can’t afford
your lazy opinion

Doesn’t mean I’m poor, no

Just because
these hands hold dirt
doesn’t mean they’re clenched

They may be cradling, yes

Just because
in each of them a life line
holds a garden’s sanity

Doesn’t mean I’m rising, yet

James Walton is published in many newspapers, anthologies, and journals. He was a librarian. a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public sector union organizer.

Dear World. by Jake St. John

Dear World,
This is not 
who we are  
we do not
lock children
in cages
and torn
from their
mothers’ arms
we do not
allow Nazis
to march
and unopposed
in our streets  
we do not
use the flag
to further
racist agendas  
we do not
or support
sexual assault  
we do not
use disabilities
as punch lines  
America loves
dear world
this is not
who we
we do not
sit at tables
with dictators
shaking bloody hands
while placing
and citizens
in shallow graves
we do not
believe guns
have more rights
than our children
we do not
build walls
to keep
our neighbors
we do not
pull back
our hands
when those
in need
out stretch
dear world
this is not
who we

Jake St. John writes out of New London, CT and is the author of several collections of poetry and pamphlet poems including, In All The Cities, The Same Faces (CWP Collective, 2017) and Rotations (Night Ballet Press 2015).  His work has appeared in numerous literary and arts magazines such as, The Blue Collar Review, BURP, Big Hammer, and The People’s Tribune. Since 2007 he has served as the editor of Elephant and co-editor of Flying Fish.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Heartbreak. by Wayne Russell

it's okay to love again the darkness has passed with her the shadow fox abandon again this is just how it has to be sly as the brazen
sun sets on humanity a decadent lake shimmering a locket of her hair frozen in my heart the memories of us fizzle then fade out the ravens laughing caw leaves a soot-like residue within ice chambers of this heart so broken

Wayne Russell is a creative writer and shutterbug that was born
and raised in Tampa, Florida; he currently wanders the streets of
the middle of nowhere Ohio.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

As If Nothing Ever Happened. by Jesse Lynn Rucilez

    December 26th, 2017.
    Stark City, Oregon.
    1:11 p.m.
    “I don’t care who you are to anyone else,” he said, fists clenched at his side. Restraining himself. “You’re nothing to me anymore.”
    She looked hurt. Once, she’d been the world to him; everything. His eyes sparkled when he looked at her. Now, his eyes looked hollow; reflecting something she couldn’t understand. “But…it’s been three years.”
    “I don’t care if it’s been ten. Or a hundred. Or a thousand.”
    They stood on the vaunted Stark City archway. Above them, the dismal sky threatened rain. Below them, Stark Boulevard pulsed like an artery through the heart of downtown. This chance meeting had ruined an otherwise mellow day. He’d seen her on the archway and averted his eyes, determined to pass without a word. But she’d called out to him in a jovial tone. Called his name and walked over to him.
    Grinning. As if nothing ever happened.
    He exhaled. Not a sigh, but a sharp, sudden eruption. Almost a warning. Just the sight of her brought everything back. All the angst. All the anguish. All the anger.
    “Look,” she said, offering a conciliatory smile, “I’m sorry about how things ended between us.”
    He glared at her. The her from his dark, sordid past. The her which almost every man has once known and left behind. The her he associates with pain.
    “Five years,” he breathed, beginning to tremble. “Before you, I went five years without anyone in my life.”
She drew back, frowning. Confused. Offended. “I said I’m sorry.
    He winced as sharp memories tore through him. Afterwards. All those months. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week. A brutal cycle of rage and depression. Some days, unable to drag himself from bed. Some days, furious at everyone and everything. An aching, empty, loneliness in the center of his shattered being.
    All because of her.
    Again, she tried to smile. “It wouldn’t have worked between us. You know that.”
    “I don’t care.”
    “Well…I just wanted to say that it’s good to see you, and that I’m happy.”
    “I don’t care.”
    “Look, I was honest with you from the start.” She raised her left hand. “See? I’m married now.”
    “I don’t care.”
    “I have a daughter now, too. She’s beautiful.”
    “I don’t care.”
    She paused, imploring him with her gaze. “Can’t we…can’t we still be friends?”
    Incredulous, he shook his head.
    “Please?” Now her eyes shone with desperation; a child’s need for approval.
    Silent, expressionless, he bit down on his pride, on his roiling fury, and turned away. Not quite what she deserved, but good enough.
    “Why are you so angry?” she asked; hollow and frustrated.
    Unclenching his fists, he began to walk away…and didn’t look back.
    As if nothing ever happened.
—January 17th, 2017

Jesse Lynn Rucilez was born in Reno, Nevada. Growing up, Jesse was an avid reader of Sherlock Holmes stories and Marvel Comics. Throughout his life, Jesse has mainly worked in the security industry, both in Seattle, Washington and Reno, Nevada, and taught self-defense for several years before deciding to focus on writing. Inspired by authors such as Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Kurt Vonnegut, he prefers to write literary horror and science fiction, exploring what he calls “the dark side of the American Dream.”  More information about Jesse's fiction can be found @

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Strange Street. By Jim Bourey

From “PICTURES of the gone world” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A mime at the corner. Two beggars on the second block.
           A barker stands on a chair in front
              of a strip joint.
He brings out one of the girls.
          Evening gown at one in the afternoon.
          Her name is Fancy, he says.
          She is not beautiful.
          No cover charge, the barker shouts.

I go in. Two women dance on a round platform.
           Men and boys look up.
           They hold dollar bills, waiting for a signal.

I step back, lean against the wall. I have money for one
         beer. Three bucks.
                 Clothing falls away from
                  the dancers. Some men shout.
                  The girls move off the platform.
                    strut down the bar-top.
                     Collect cash.
I’m seventeen, carrying a fake ID. A fake me.
  Nearly naked dancers now. Spinning tassels
       glued to their nipples. Who decided
            that was sexy? That’s the big finish.
                            The Finale.

             Two new dancers climb the steps.
                The two that just finished
                  come out of the back
                    wearing halter tops and short-shorts.

They hustle drinks to the wall leaners. I’m broke.
     I gave five bucks to the mime up the street.
          My eyes slowly adjust to the sunlight.

Jim Bourey is an old poet who divides his year between the Adirondack Mountains and Dover, Delaware. His chapbook “Silence, Interrupted” was published in 2015 by the Broadkill River Press. His work has appeared in Mojave River Review, Paddock Review, Gargoyle and the Broadkill Review and other journals and anthologies. He was first runner up in the Faulkner-Wisdom Poetry Competition in 2012 and 2016. He has served as an adjudicator for the Poetry Out Loud competition in Delaware. In his North Country months, he is active with the St. Lawrence Area Poets and has taken part in Art/Poetry projects in Saranac Lake.

A Kiss In The Dark by Eliana Vanessa

how do i say
there is no more light

intersecting dreams
only you dared to invest
in the flicker of it
of something vastly misunderstood
and hidden

under broken fixtures
swallowing muted glow
falling between the spaces
a loneliness we excavated

the copper frailties
revealed to us
unbelievable findings
unearthed by our shadows
barely touching

memorize, sanctify faint light
cast low yet with incredible truth
the light endeared to us

though imperceptible
but to the blackest of wings

   Eliana Vanessa is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to New Orleans, Louisiana at a young age. Eliana's poems have been selected for display via a community project called St Tammany Poetry on the Streets, and she recently participated in the Jane Austen Festival (2017 and 2018) as part of a panel of other selected poets. Eliana attends several writing groups, including Poets Alive, Bayou Writers and Inklings in Mandeville, Louisiana. Her work has been published at The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press , The Horror Zine , Under The Bleachers .

Monday, June 25, 2018

Eye For An Eye   by Ahmad Al-Khatat


Before i had my hope in a jar  
Suddenly, this far fall off my hands
When I heard the sound of death
Hope flew with my youngblood  
Without the desire to come back  

Since then i started hunting  
Negativity in the darkness  
Falling into holes of fears
People were closing their  
Doors by my open wounds  

Nobody wanted to stop me
From walking to the mist of fire
My foots were dancing on the  
Flames ‘cause my hands were
Numbs to get to the heaven  

The stranger ‘tween you  
And me, it’s only myself alone
You sleep under the light of  
The world meanwhile I am  
Awake till you take me away  

A ghost from your wishes
Filled my tongue with blood
As if a Samurai sword have  
Slaughtered my fragile voice
‘Fore I say eye for an eye  

One drop of rain fits all
Although, we are still thirsty  
One dance and one word
Blooms one ring with my  
Heart in the little diamond

Ahmad Al-Khatat was born in Baghdad on May 8th. From Iraq, he came to Canada at the age of 10, the same age when he wrote his very first poem back in the year 2000. He also has been published in several press publications and anthologies all over the world and currently studies Political Sciences, at the Concordia University in Montreal. He has recently published his first chapbook “The Bleeding Heart Poet” with Alien Buddha Press. It is available for sale on Amazon. Most of his new and old poems are also available on his official page Bleeding Heart Poet on Facebook.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dry wells. by Tony Pena

A ghost staggering
through the dusty
streets at dawn
after the arsonists
took a match
to a once
beautiful world.
Only a drop left
in the canteen
of the saliva
we swapped
at Millie’s during
last call when our
tongues tangled
as “Free Bird”
rattled the jukebox .

My blood no longer
lit up with the wild
pink of your spirit
which careened
throughout my body
the night before
like a pinball
racking up points
at the eternal arcade.
But the persuasion
of your passion
has tilted and wilted
in the unforgiving heat
of hell on earth brought
on by the last swig you took
of Elmer Gantry’s Kool aid .

Tony Pena was selected as 2017-2018 Poet Laureate for the city of Beacon, New York.  

A new volume of poetry and flash fiction, "Blood and Beats and Rock n Roll," is available now at Amazon.  

He also has a self published chapbook, "Opening night in Gehenna."  

His publication credits include “Chronogram,”  "Dogzplot,"   "Gutter Eloquence," “Hudson Valley Transmitter,” "Red Fez," "Slipstream,"  "Underground Voices," "Zygote in my Coffee,"  and others.

Colorful compositions and caterwauling with a couple of chords can be seen at:

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...