Monday, December 31, 2018

Sirens By William Taylor Jr.

I wander the city with my tourist's
heart half drunk on fear and desire,

the listless afternoon
heavy like a dawn
nobody wanted.

An old man on Market Street
plays a violin, the sound of it
giving voice to the ancient
sorrow that surrounds us
like a mist.

A  kid on a corner
sells maps to dead stars

 as a skinny girl says into a phone,
 please don't look  for me no more.

People in lines at grocery stores
wave expired coupons
like so many flags
of conquered countries,

while billboards flash and offer
yesterday's machines.

The air is filled
with the songs of sirens

and not the sexy kind
with breasts and soft music
to lure you to your doom,

but the ones that come searching
and screaming for you
when you're already
pretty much there.









William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of SanFrancisco.  Heis the author of numerous books of poetry, and a volume of fiction.He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 KathyAcker Award. He edited Cockymoon:Selected Poems of Jack Micheline,published by Zeitgeist Press in 2017. From the Essential Handbook on Making it to the Next Whateveris his latest collection of poetry.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Food Tour Frenzy By Mark Antony Rossi


Some stereotypes die harder than others
And to my unusual surprise
I discovered The Italian food
in Italy was not Any better
than New Jersey
And I unexpectedly fell in love with German food And brandy (need another poem for that!)
And the best Chinese food I ever had in my life was in Amsterdam.
And wherever I traveled
and felt locked in a culinary corner (France and Turkey)
the best fall back food plan
Involved a variation of Greek Salad
Nobody messes up a Greek Salad.
Nobody.








Mark Antony Rossi's poetry, criticism, fiction, creative nonfiction and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Anak Sastra, Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Brain of Forgetting, Deep Water Literary Journal, Dirty Chai, Enclave, Expound, Farther Stars Than, Flash Fiction, Gravel, Indian Periodical,  Japanophile, Journal of Microliterature,  Kulchur Creative Journal, Mad Swirl, On The Rusk, Purple Patch, Scrivener Creative Review, Sentiment Literary Journal, Snapdragon, Syzygy Poetry Journal, The Sacrificial, Toad Suck Review, Transnational, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Wild Quarterly and Yellow Chair Review. He is the Editor in Chief, Ariel Chart 

http://arielchart.blogspot.com




Saturday, December 29, 2018

I hear a Symphony By Jason Baldinger


Wednesday night
is not a good night
for cocaine

but with the house
stripped near bare
since she’s been gone
how could I fail
not to find
the teener
lost in the nightstand

a bump
another bump
calling friends
rambling light speed
they hang up
who the fuck cares
if they don’t want to party

it’s late before
the need to scare up more
maybe the sun was up
maybe it wasn’t

the curtains pulled
black out in the bomb shelter
except for little streams
of light, picking cat litter
out of the carpet
teeth vibrating

wait, do I even have a cat?

I’ve been doing shots
to bring me down
a quarter bottle
wild turkey, a mostly
full bottle of peppermint schnapps
she left in the liquor cabinet
disappear

I think it’s ten am
I think everyone’s at work
no one answers their phones
anymore anyway

I leave messages
voices hidden in electronics
me playing electric piano
in my underwear
phone close to the keyboard

fingers numb
play fat chords
wrong, strangle
the truth
I keep shouting
the words
over and over
The Supremes
I Hear a Symphony







Jason Baldinger is a poet hailing from Pittsburgh and recently finished a stint as writer in residence at the Osage Arts Community. He’s the author of several books, the most recent are This Useless Beauty (Alien Buddha Press), The Ugly Side of the Lake (Night Ballet Press) written with John Dorsey and the chaplet Fumbles Revelations (Grackle and Crow) which are available now. The collection Fragments of a Rainy Season (Six Gallery Press) and the split book with James Benger Little Fires Hiding (Spartan Press) are forthcoming. Recent publications include the Low Ghost Anthology Unconditional Surrender, The Dope Fiend Daily, Outlaw Poetry, Uppagus, Lilliput Review, Rusty Truck, Dirtbag Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nerve Cowboy Concrete Meat Press, Zombie Logic Press, Ramingo’s Porch, Blue Mountain Review, Red Fez, Blue Hour Review and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance. You can hear Jason read poems on recent and forthcoming releases by Theremonster and Sub Pop Recording artist The Gotobeds as well as at jasonbaldinger.bandcamp.com

Friday, December 28, 2018

How I Stay A Good Person. by Meeah Williams



Today I woke up
& wanted to bash someone’s
head in

I mean, I really really
wanted to do it
so bad I could feel my forearms swell
like Popeye’s
with the urge of it

but I didn’t.
Instead I smoked a bowl
& watched 7 straight movies
where people bashed
in the heads
of other people
for me

then I laid myself down
in this bed
another good day
doing nobody
no harm

said this guy I met
& I rewarded him
for his good behavior
with the best blowjob
money can buy





-Meeah Williams is just someone else writing poems on the internet.

Waiting at the Bar for the Game to Start. by Kevin Hoskinson


Talking tv head interviews
Springsteen about his book
when it just hits you:

You don’t like rock stars
admitting to depression in
these tabloid interviews.

So you elbow Phil, the guy
next to you: Look, he’s a star.
Have some pride.  Stand tall.

Stage-leapers tear at his clothes
while he dances in the dark.
Yeah, he’s the boss, all right,

knows people max out their cards
to pack and scream in his arenas--
what’s he depressed about?

You shake your head & curse
the success that’s gone to his.
You’d trade places. The mortgage,
 
you throw in, is late. Daughter
cuts her arms to feel something.
Wife swallows pills to feel nothing.

You glance at your unsigned tab,
order another double rye, neat,
& ask to change channels.




Kevin Hoskinson is a retired community college English professor who enjoys workshopping poems in area poetry writing groups. He has published poems in the Wayne Literary Review and the Edith Chase Great Lakes Symposium. He and his wife live in Berea, Ohio.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Wake Up. by Kelli J Gavin



He smells the coffee she has made for him
Every morning as long as he can remember
Coffee brewed strong and black
Never with cream or sugar
Just the way he likes it
Bold and shocking
No coffee to smell this morning
Only the memory of a scent once anticipated
He rolls onto his side to see if his bride
May still be sleeping next to him
Her small portion of bedding not slept in
She was never there in the night
How did he not know this
Didn’t he feel her stir beside him
Muscle memory takes over
When he thinks she was
Always there next to him
Memory has failed him
When he remembers she hasn’t
Been beside him for quite some time
Coffee hasn’t been made in 4 months
Every morning since
He continues to wake up
Believing he smells the coffee she brewed for him.






Kelli J Gavin lives in Carver, Minnesota with Josh, her husband of an obscene amount of years and they have two crazy kids. She is a Writer, Professional Organizer and owns Home & Life Organization and a small Jewelry Company.  Look for Kelli’s first book of short stories and poems in 2019. You can find her work with The Ugly Writers, Sweatpants & Coffee, Writing In a Woman’s Voice, The Writers Newsletter,  Writers Unite!, Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Rye Whiskey Review, Spillwords, Mercurial Stories, 121 Words, HerStry, Ariel Chart, The Basil O’Flaherty, PPP Ezine, Southwest Media, Otherwise Engaged, Pleather Skin, Paper.Li, The New Ink Review, among others.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Find Kelli on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @KelliJGavin Blog found at kellijgavin.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Lost and Found. by Larry Smith



I am calling the restaurant this morning
to see if they’ve found my sense of humor
which I lost with my appetite last night.
They are checking the lost and found.

I had been drinking the house red
and eating their Cesare Salad
when friends began talking of politics—
what’s wrong and how they can do nothing.
With a meatball just touching my lips
the talk turned to today’s religions.

The woman who answered now is checking the drawer.
“Where were you sitting?” she asks. I tell her, and
they are sending someone back to check. In this long
pause, I ask, “What else do you have in that box?”
She almost laughs, “Oh, a scarf, a pair of gloves,
two credit cards, and three memories—
did you lose any of that?” she asks.
I hold silence a long time wondering why I called,
and then I ask, “What size are the gloves?”






Larry Smith is a veteran poet, fiction writer, editor and publisher of Bottom Dog Press in Ohio which has published over 200 books of poems, fiction, and memoirs. His most recent book is Tu Fu Comes to America: A Story in Poems (2018). He is a biographer of Kenneth Patchen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He and his wife Ann live along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Anniversary. by David M. Taylor


I once went to a wedding
where the bride married a man
who looked like Michael Bolton.

During the reception I grew drunk
and tired of their dancing bodies,
how their platitudes laid prone
in the half-empty banquet room.

I stole two bottles of wine
and snuck into the reception upstairs,
where people laughed
and the bride’s uncle spoke about marriage.

He said time forces itself
on the body and mind,
that those we love grow old and die,
but our job is to love them in the meantime.

I held his words in my pocket
before paying a dollar for a dance.

I haven’t thought about them in years
and wonder if they still hold his advice
like I hold on you,
before time eats away at our youth.






David M. Taylor teaches at a community college in St. Louis, MO. His work has appeared in various magazines such as Albany Poets, Misfit Magazine, Rat's Ass Review, and Trailer Park Quarterly. He was also a finalist for the 2017 Annie Menebroker Poetry Award and has four poetry chapbooks, the most recent of which is Growing up Black.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Toast. by Antony King



Another good man!
The gent said with a bark!
Just keep the booze flowing
I ‘ll say when to stop!
He weaved to and fro
For he could barely hold on…
To that old wooden rail,
I fear won’t last too long.
He raised the glass high
Proposing a toast…
Here’s to the gal!
That I love the most.
With a tear in his eye
He began to tell tales
Of a woman whose beauty…
Would make sirens wail.
He spoke of this love
So deep in his heart.
If she weren’t my wife’s sister…
I’d be happy…  as a lark…
                                     
Antony King 2018





Antony King is a writer/ poet from Eastern Kentucky. Antony spent his formal years in Cleveland Ohio where he underwent private instruction in The Arts, Music, and Literature. His love of the classics guided him to poetry and fueled his passion for writing. After art school, Antony spent 22 years in the world of advertising, and design. He began honing his skills both as a writer, and an artist. Antony is a proud member of several poetry groups and has been published in SpillWord Press, PPPEzine, and Piker press to name a few. He has also had the honor to have his works read in the UK.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Bumpy Necessity of Travel by Mike James



 Curves change the landscape. Drive straight through a mountain, all you see is darkness.
Even in a hurry, tunnels are the wrong way to go my friend. Take the side roads. You will get there soon enough and whoever expects you will still call you friend. Go ahead and stop at an outpost bar. Bless it on your way in with the name you wish you were given. Imagine you live within walking distance. Conjure up one favorite relative to get you out of any mess you might stumble in. Think about how your sister was never mad that you couldn’t fix her car. Love and sweat are little match for dirt and years. The bar’s resident biker will play darts for peanuts. He’s dressed like a prop for a movie. His voice a rasp of smoke and promises. He tells you he hasn’t been home for years.








Mike James has been widely published in magazines throughout the country in such places as Laurel Review, Negative Capability, Birmingham Poetry Review, and Chiron Review. His eleven poetry collections include: Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog), My Favorite Houseguest (FutureCycle), and Peddler’s Blues (Main Street Rag.) He has served as an associate editor for the Kentucky Review and Autumn House Press, as well as the publisher of the now defunct Yellow Pepper Press. He makes his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. More information can be found on his website at mike.jamespoetry.com.

Damn By Tissy Taylor

Lost girl, your truth
Abused
Misspent
Your face and name
Relevant
Accelerate
Fast-moving train
Emptied pockets
A liar's game
Fantasize
Wonder this life
Spill my breath
Splayed sane
Captivate
Infatuate
Attracted
Distracted
Lover, what's your play?
Kiss me
Send me flying
High my desire
Wishes and dimes
Whores and good times
What do you want?
Is now the time
Understand
Reprimand
Figure out
What it's about
Gimme a dollar
Yours for an hour
Gob smacked
I'm jacked
Want to retract
Every mistake
That i ever made
Yeah that's the way
This game is played





Communications Manager/Business Analyst for Automotive Industry giant. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada. Writing since I could hold a crayon in my hands. Penned a weekly family column in two community newspapers. Writing poetry is my passion. My first book of poetry “Madness, Chaos Unravelled was recently published. 




Friday, December 21, 2018

Christmas Chaos by Ken Allan Dronsfield


Bundled wishes
and rowdy crowds!
Holiday cheer;
a long nip in the mug.
Awaiting the parade;
careening balloons
screams in harmony,
Caroler's galore.
A tempest within time,
but year after year.
A Constant Chaos;
I still Merry on!










Ken Allan Dronsfield is a disabled veteran, prize winning poet and fabulist from New Hampshire, now residing on the plains of Oklahoma. He has three poetry collections, "The Cellaring", 80 poems of light horror, paranormal, weird and wonderful work. His second book, "A Taint of Pity", contains 52 Life Poems Written with a Cracked Inflection. Ken's third poetry collection, "Zephyr's Whisper", 64 Poems and Parables of a Seasonal Pretense, and includes his poem, "With Charcoal Black, Version III", selected as the First Prize Winner in Realistic Poetry International's recent Nature Poem Contest. Ken won First Prize for his Haiku on Southern Collective Experience. He's been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and six times for the Best of the Net, 2016-2018. Ken loves writing, hiking, thunderstorms, and spending time with his cats Willa and Yumpy.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Beer With Bukowski by Scot Young


It was three in the afternoon and we were the only two in the Frolic Room on Hollywood Boulevard. I sat two stools down from him and studied his face in the back bar mirror through the bottles of tequila and whiskey. He nodded toward the mirror, held up a High-Life, downed it in one Chianski gulp , slammed it down and said, Another.

I whispered to the bartender, who looked like every other actor waiting to be discovered,
tell him I’m a poet.
Bukowski emptied another one, tapped it twice and went to the john. I leaned in,

What’d he say?
The bartender stood polishing wet rings on the bar and sounding like Cagney,

He said Who the hell ain’t?











Scot Young herds goats with the woman of his dreams on a ridge top  farm in the Missouri Ozarks.He is widely published online and in numerous print anthologies with recent publications in  This is Poetry, and Gasconade Review 2 and 3. His first chap Brautigan Meets Bukowski is out of print with a copy archived in the Brautiagn Library. His new book, All Around Cowboy will be published by Spartan Press. He is the editor of the Rusty Truck and the publisher at Rusty Truck Press.  

Bourbon & Beer by Terrence Sykes

Kumba ya
 my Lord
 Kumba ya

carry me
 fly me
 over the
 River Jordan

to a
land laden
overflowing with
Bourbon & Beer











Terrence Sykes is a GASP Gay Alcoholic Southern Poet & was born and raised in the rural coal mining area of Virginia.     Although he is a far better cook &  gardener – his  poetry - photography - flash fiction has been published in India, Mauritius,Scotland, Spain and the USA. ..Other interests include heirloom vegetable research & foraging wild edibles .

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Stoplight Serenade. by Scott Thomas Outlar



I’ve seen a lot of wrecks lately
I’ve seen a lot of wars lately
Seen a lot of this vs. that
in the streets
Seen a lot of people
spitting in each other’s faces

whole lot of luck
with that doing ya
one lick of good
in the end

I’ve seen a lot of rage lately
Seen a lot of lowdown, cutthroat, coldhearted, dirty tricks
Seen a lot of swine rolling around in their own slop

whole lot of fun that’s gonna be
when they start driving those pigs
right back into the sea

Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of wrecks lately
Hell, I’ve watched a lot of wars
on my flat screen, HD, color TV

Yee haw




Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site17Numa.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live events, and books can be found. His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His next collection, Abstract Visions of Light, is forthcoming in 2018 through Alien Buddha Press.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Never Tell Them You Are The Words by Ryan Quinn Flanagan


He says he is homeless
and passes the bottle
and you are smart enough
to not say that you
are a poet

to point out
that your woman believes in you
in a way her creditors
do not

and that you still have all your teeth
even though they are
rotting

and the way he coughs into his gloved hand
with the fingers cut away for dexterity
and shows you the blood
so you know such things are tubercular

and not wanting to be another one
of deathbed Edgar’s tell-tale hearts,
I move away;

to a brand new city
when I can.










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, Horror Sleaze Trash, The Dope Fiend Daily and In Between Hangovers.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Astronomers with haiku" by Rob Schackne



                                  don't the moon
                                 look big
                                 comin' after me

Astronomers with haiku
between bouts with

Supercomputer

listen for a sound
sharpening a pencil

counting syllables
the clouds fidget

the moon sneezes

the Milky Way forgets
what rockets do

how high up
how far away

nothing will say
the rain has stopped
this very large array
it slips off track
how it works







Born in the US, I came to Australia in the early 70s. I worked on stations, in factories, and in mines. I was lucky that between bouts of this hard work I went to several universities and I could learn what I wanted. I've recently returned from Shanghai where I spent 15 years as a Foreign Expert English language teacher. I now live in country Victoria where I enjoy the blue sky and the fresh air and the birds. I take photographs.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

We Both Should Have Known To Leave The Past Where It Belongs by Mela Blust




the sky cut stars that I know
and call home
you don’t come to my window anymore
you won’t admit it was too cold
you’re out there drowning
and some of us are still testing the water








Mela Blust is a writer and artist from the south, who currently resides in rural Pennsylvania. She has always had an affinity for dark things. Her work has appeared in Nixes Mate Review, Califragile and Little Rose Magazine, and is forthcoming in many publications.

END TIMES. by R.M. Engelhardt



Waitin for the resurrection
The bartender pours me
Another drink

A guy who looks
Like Jesus walks
Into the bar

The punch line
Gets lost in translation
He calls me a cab
And then mysteriously

Disappears

The end







R.M. Engelhardt is an author, poet & writer whose work over the years has appeared in many journals & magazines such as Rusty Truck, Thunder Sandwich, Full of Crow, In Between Hangovers, Writers Resist and in many others. His new book of poetry is called " Coffee Ass Blues & Other Poems" published by Alien Buddha Press (2018) . He is also the host of The Troy Poetry Mission, an open mic for poets located in Troy, NY.

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...