Thursday, January 31, 2019

Skull-ring by Mike Zone

“you fuckin’ troublemaker,
come over here”
She yelled from the car
dented, black and rusted
giving me tips on drinking and driving
“taking the highway instead of the backroads to avoid police, you have to be smart”
I knew, I’d regret getting into the car
later into her
but I did it anyway
just like I spoke to her at the bar
was it the crossbones choker?
the too tight shirt and exploding cleavage?
the weather beaten face with glitter?
how about the exhaust pipe whining cigarette voice?
“I need a man to take me home and use my body like a whore.”
followed by staccato wailing
David Bowie as Pilate
the story of her outlaw father
who definitely wasn’t in Heaven
last temptation
I’m no Christ

Mike Zone is the author of Void Beneath the Skin, Fellow Passengers: Pubic Transit Poetry, Meditations & Musings and Better than the Movies: 4 Screenplays. He is the co-writer of the graphic novel series American Anti-hero from Alien Buddha Press. His poetry and stories have been featured in: Beatnik Cowboy, Horror Sleaze Trash, In Between Hangovers, Mad Swirl, Rasputin Poetry, Synchronized Chaos, Triadae Magazine and Your One Phone Call. He scrapes by in Grand Rapids, MI

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Safe Place ~ by. Tracey Sivek

 The noises in my head are alien to me

never before have I heard these vibrational

mysteries clamoring inside each thought    

Lies rest in my breathlessness

while ages of mistrust surge through

every pore on my mind...what's

left of my soul

Your kingdom has come and your God

is mocking you for the travesty of souls

left in your wake...

your sex heaves from you like a sinful puke

Here in my crystal palace in blind-sight

of all the tricksters there is one...only one

that sees me...through his mindlessness

It's here I'll stay...there in the void with

a love not labeled

where I can be who I am unrestricted

undefined by my equal sinners

Alone but not:  here where my minds chaos

is now making sense to me

I'm comfortable in my safe nothing

Thank you

Tracey is a native of Northern Michigan.  She has work on Writerscafe and Cosmofunnel.  She is also the Author of "Zero Evidence of Life" found on
Her publications include .
The Abyss, Under The Bleachers , and here at The Rye Whiskey Review .

Diamond In The Slag by Wolf Kevin Martin

sing new songs

hurts my eyes
the sun



my hands
in the dirt

run on

left again

after the
beer was gone

her brain stale

caffeine soaks in


I can already see the everything bagel
in her hand


she then puts it down
closes her eyes

for a second

doesn’t know
I'm cracking open a beer

double shot
of Jameson

exhale of smoke
another line

another mirror
left the rest

a lifetime ago
the room

still holds


leaving little

miss her

into flames

I'm still

in the

she left

The Wolfman Kevin Martin is a photographer and poet from North Carolina now residing in Pittsburgh, PA.  Contributing images and poetry to: The Arrival Magazine, The Rye Whiskey Review, The Dope Fiend Daily, Under The Bleachers, Cajun Mutt Press, Alien Buddha Press and The Pangolin Review.  The Wolf's first poetry collection "My Head Fits Through Your Noose, Let Me Swing Awhile? is published through Alien Buddha Press and was released in January 2019.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Just Another Whiskey Morning. by John Anthony Fingleton

When I wake up in the mornings now,
It’s always dark outside;
And I wish, I could go back to sleep,
Or find some other place to hide.
But I know what dreams are waiting;
Like those voices in my head,
So I toss and turn –
And try to think - of other things instead.
But it always turns around somehow,
Until I see her face;
Although I rearranged the furniture,
Thought I wiped out every trace.
Still somewhere on that crumbled bed,
I’m not exactly sure,
A fragrance seems to linger
From that perfume, that she wore.

So I reach out for that bottle,
It’s now my only friend,
And walk around this house I’ve made a tomb,
Nobody ever telephones –
And the postman seldom calls -
It’s just another whiskey morning, on my own.

I go and turn the TV on,
It might help my mind escape;
But those early morning breakfast shows –
No! I just can’t concentrate.
The movie channel showing
Another re-run of ‘The Kid’
That reminds me how she laughed and cried,
At those crazy things that Chaplin did.
And the radio doesn’t help a lot,
With their old nostalgic songs,
Words that seem to underline,
How much that I feel wronged.
What chance have I got to forget?
When the stories all the same;
Broken dreams and promises –
Love gone up in flames.

So I reach out for that bottle,
It’s now my only friend,
And walk around this house I’ve made a tomb,
Nobody ever telephones –
And the postman seldom calls -
It’s just another whiskey morning, on my own.

There are dirty plates, stained coffee cups,
Overflowing in the sink,
I’ll wash them up tomorrow,
But right I need a drink.
And I haven’t shaved since - God knows when?
But I’ll have to go out soon –
I’ve just opened the last bottle,
It might last me until noon.
Some moments when I’m sober,
And I know this can’t go on;
But when she walked out with my heart and soul,
My pride just tagged along;
So I lift my glass to other fools,
Who have fallen for false charms –
Those who reach out for cold bottles,
Instead of warm and loving arms.

So I reach out for that bottle,
It’s now my only friend,
And walk around this house I’ve made a tomb,
Nobody ever telephones –
And the postman seldom calls -
It’s just another whiskey morning, on my own.

It’s just another whiskey morning……. on my own.

John Anthony Fingleton: He was born in Cork City, in the Republic of Ireland.  Poems published in journals and anthologies in, Ireland, UK, USA, India and France as well as three plays produced. Poet of the Year (2016) Destiny Poets International Community. Poems read on Irish and American radio as well in Spanish on South American broadcasts. Also on some blog poetry websites.  Contributed to four books of poetry for children.  Has poems published in numerous national and international journals, reviews, and anthologies.  First solo collection ´Poems from the Shadowlands´ was published in November  2017.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Water versus Wine by Ahmad Al-Khatat

I drink
clear pictures and happy fantasies

I drink
dark poems and sad realities

 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, January 27, 2019

Drinkin' Shine and Feelin' Nothin' by Ken Allan Dronsfield

We’re cornstalk cowboys,

drinkin’ shine from jelly jars.

Burning ice cold flaming tears

toasting every Friday night.

Life lives in evanescent dreams

all the while in a gifted stupor.

An apparent suicide attempt

on the porch after midnight.

John took a swan dive directly

in mother's lovely rose garden.

Cross-eyed gazer to the stars

thoughts rattle about the brain,

kindergarten fun eating paste

and thinkin' bout the untouchable

prom queens and cheerleaders.

Perhaps a bit short on looks,

but I’m so freakin’ shy by nature;

thinkin' I'll just sit right here drinkin’

shine and feelin’ absolutely nothin'.

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.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Begin Again by Alyssa Trivett

A new day begins.
Van Gogh yellows
outside my window,
plugging up the horizon.
It's going to feel good
to let it go, let it float away
as my insides healed,
like dropping unwanted keys
down a sewer.
Or blowing out a candle.
Or finally turning around in
that driveway you always
dared yourself to,
and you did.
Hands on the wheel.
Now, we begin,

Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from the Midwest. When not working two jobs, she listens to music, chirps down coffee, and scrawls lines on the back of gas station receipts. Her work has appeared recently at In Between Hangovers, The Penwood Review, and Apricity Magazine.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Dandelions By Cheryl A. Rice

The last act is always a blur.
I just loop the first around, never-ending courtship,
flowers, flowers like a spring cemetery,
roots embedded in vases of ice.
Grow with me, grow with me!
My best should be yours.
I pretend to allow for your preferences, but really,
I wait for you to come around!
I wake up to taste the appetizer of your moving man.
I know myself how the mind wanders, 
one in hand, one in bush, one in far off was.
Your slightest kiss is charged with love,
like the watch of a god, true time.
Of all the gin joints, I pick you, ginless,
clear canopy of light between us and the day. 
Dear steps, dear teachers, I am 
a big believer in destiny.
Where our two souls end up in anybody's guess.
Good. Good night. The night is good with you,
enough blanket to cover the winters with.
I conform to your fetal sleep, 
green fins folded to your blue clay rump.
Purple twists our divergent acts, needs of the business.
your slight taste on my tongue is all I keep.
The rest is yours to give again, to give away, to keep.
Two beings is the idea I am trying to absorb.
How to trust? How to wait? We've discussed too much.
I've opened the doors of the coffee shop 
of our mind a hundred times, 
decorated the tables with dandelions and myrrh.
It is all I can dream of.
It is all I can stand.

Cheryl A. Rice is founder and host of the now-defunct “Sylvia Plath Bake-Off.” Her work has appeared in HomePlanet News, Mangrove, The Temple, and Woodstock Times, among others. Chapbooks include Llama Love (2017: Flying Monkey Press), Moses Parts the Tulips (2013: APD Press), and My Minnesota Boyhood (2012: Post Traumatic Press). In 2014 she was nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology. Her RANDOM WRITING workshops are held throughout New York’s Hudson Valley. Her poetry blog is at:

For Weekly Updates on the Poetry World of Cheryl A. Rice, go to:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Artist by Paula Hackett

There is a rumor
we are a sick           
and disgusting lot           
Started before we           
knew of it.
Saying we jump           
from windows,           
drink an unkind
That we care
for ourselves only.
Let us then meet
by a stream
using the water
for our thoughts
throw a party
of sickness laughing at our
tragic fortune.

Paula Hackett's poetry is influenced by her life experiences growing up in Berkeley during the vibrant and explosive 60's. The daughter of novelist Paul Hackett, she studied under John Beecher, Angela Davis and Grover Sales. She has written lyrics in collaboration with her brother John Hackett, for many great jazz composers including Teddy Edwards, John Handy, Ivan Lins, Joe Sample, Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson, and Cedar Walton. Her life long love of jazz is reflected in her many poems about musicians and in her CDs with pianists Rudi Wongozi and Connie Crothers.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

My Medicine Cabinet by John Grochalski

my medicine cabinet
is probably an alcoholic

with all its migraine medicine
and gas pills taking up space

with its stomach remedies
and red rash make up

the packs of half-used breath mints
growing fuzz in unwashed corners

my medicine cabinet
is probably an alcoholic

I hope to god it gets
itself some help one day.

John Grochalski is the author of the poetry collections, The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and The Philosopher’s Ship (Alien Buddha Press, 2018). He is also the author of the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Closed Railway Station : Lucan North by John Doyle

Mid-West agriculture brown as lungs

tethered soul, cobwebbed soil, moist, prowling;

and breathing to a round of thunderclapped applause

Clark Kent leaves a vapor trail behind him

and the jocks spellbound

in their open top rockabilly jukebox car.

I’ve opened my eyes, the 12;44 clutches bends like the mist

seduces letter box, the padded flap of correspondence, mist-cold floor.

There are sprigs of mountain -

a surviving telegraph pole brown as Mid-West lung

jutting its way through the trailing thunder, the letters read of siblings, Canada Dry, Pepsi Cola

rockabilly jukebox car, gifted boys leave dust as footballs land 5 days later

John Doyle became a Mod again in the summer of 2017 to fight off his impending mid-life crisis; whether this has been a success remains to be seen. He has has two collections published to date, A Stirring at Dusk in 2017, and Songs for Boys Called Wendell Gomez in 2018, both on PSKI's Porch. 

He is based in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. All he asks is that you leave your guns at the door and tie up your horses before your enter.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Bukowski Drank Here by Scot Young

Everybody thinks they’re a goddamned poet. So whatta you write?

Bits and pieces of my life, I said.

Haikus? he belched , swirling the wine in his glass.

Yeah, sometimes, I said

Get off that shit, real poets don’t write that crap. Hell, Kerouac couldn’t even pull it off.

He gave the high sign to the bartender.

Set the kid up too, he said

From the book jackets I’d seen, he looked like Chinaski. Same slicked back hair. Same pock marked face. He toasted, clicking his glass to mine, downing it like a shot, then nodding to the bartender for another. We stared straight ahead at the rows of liquor bottles, repeating this ritual through the remainder of the Frolic Room’s happy hour.

Fuck a haiku, he said, suddenly breaking his silence.

You know, every time some sonofabitch writes a poem about me, I end up in a bar. Hell, I didn’t drink in bars—too damned expensive. Tell them to leave me the fuck alone. I’m worn out bar hoppin’—fuckin’ poets

He spun around on his stool, stood up, cigarette hanging from his lip, adjusted himself and walked out into the Hollywood night.

The bartender, walked over from the other end of the room , placed the tab beside my glass and said,

Hey bud, that’ll be $ 83.50

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.  

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Bar. J. Barrett Wolf

The bar I can't go back to
is on California Street
at the end of the cable car line.

Old-school dark wood,
a huge back mirror,
all the bottles lined up
like a firing squad
locked and loaded
for the sad, happy denizens
of downtown San Francisco.
It's been thirty-four years
since I stepped in between
two drunks, ordered them
to take it outside,
because I'd be damned
if they were going to fight
in my home away from home,
where we played quarters
and celebrated my graduation
from the police academy
and my father looked at me
like I was an adult for the first time.

Where we'd slip outside
to smoke joints in the red brick alley
or buy a drink
for the slim, black-haired girl
who took me home
and went completely wild,
scaring the hell out of me
in the best possible way.

I can't go back because
these are memories.
I walk down California Street,
from Polk,
but the bar, the drunks, the girl,
and the thinner man who wore my face
are gone.

J. Barrett Wolf lives and writes in Binghamton, NY, where he has hosted monthly poetry open mikes for ten years, currently at The Bundy Museum in Binghamton.

He has won numerous awards including first prize in the 1993 Stamford Festival of the Arts Poetry Contest, for his poem “Old North Field,” and First Place from the Performance Poetry Association of Long Island for his poem “Antschel.” The Broome Country Library commissioned him to create a commemorative poem for their tenth anniversary.
He produced the reading series “Here & There: Poets from Near and Far” with funding from the Broome County Arts Council and has performed venues as diverse as Colorscape Chenango, The Broome County Library, The Limestone Dust Poetry Festival in Huntsville, Alabama, Mariposa Coffee House in Washington, DC and a number of lovely little pubs on the Isle of Arran in, Scotland.

Wolf has  studied at The Irish Writers center and travels annually to Scotland to workshop with poets from the British Isles.

His first volume of poetry, “Stark Raving Calm,” was published in June of 2011 by Boone's Dock Press.

You can find out more at:

Time Is Me by Devika Mathur

Needles in my mouth, poking the sustenance of time
with a swab of cotton dipped in grey pause
A pause from the rigorous living and the dead,
beyond the veil, a harmony exists, a topology of Stardust
covering my naked breast.
A musical building devouring me with lust
sprinkling some on the nape of my neck,
Beyond this, precision exists forming clouds,
resembling my black locks elongating the path,
to travel the unfathomable soil,
the color is not Auburn, it burns
it burns on my arms, it burns on my wet tongue,
twisting in forward steps,
each moment time moves, I stay here to glean the patterns,
to play hide and seek with the mirage, a shadow.
I draw curtains, performing segments to watch
the porcelain body of time's shadow,
drawing paintings on the cerulean sky and I see,
a fragile moment of reflection
swallowing the colossal truth of me
Time is Me

Devika Mathur is a published poetess from the country of love, India. She writes for her own blog
Her work has been published in Madswirl, Visual Verse, Subterranean blue poetry, two drops of ink among various others.

Friday, January 18, 2019

A T.V. Life by Ian Copestick

When you start to measure
Out your life, by which T.V.
Shows you watch, then you
Know that you're in trouble.
' It's 2:15 so it's Father Brown,'
Or, ' It's 4'O"Clock, it's time for
Friends.' This should tell you
That you really need to be
Doing more with your time.

Life is short, although at times
It doesn't feel it, and planning
Your days by the T.V Times,
Really isn't how you should be
Spending it.
Get outside, take a look at the
Sky, the trees and all of the
Other cool things. Breathe the
Fresh air, while it's still there.
Because the way things are
Going, that stuff won't be
There much longer. On the
News the other day, it said that
In London, the pollution's so
Toxic it killed a little girl.
But, if it wasn't for T.V., I never
Would've known that, and
Tomorrow they're showing
Reruns of Quincy.

Ian Lewis Copestick is a 46 year old writer (I prefer that term to poet ) from Stoke on Trent, England. I spend most of my life sitting,  thinking then sometimes writing. I have been published in Anti Heroin Chic, the Dope Fiend Daily, Outlaw Poetry, Synchronized Chaos, the Rye Whiskey Review, Medusa's Kitchen and Horror Sleaze Trash.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Wearing Wounds Well. by Scott Thomas Outlar

I prefer a shirt
that has been through
some wars
over some
sanitized, fresh-pressed, sell-out version
from a plastic package
bearing a sweat shop
corporate label –

The shirts I wear
wore out
all name brand tags
ages ago …
I’ve got the holes
around my neck
to prove the point –

I prefer a shirt
with some character …
a little hint of blood
a little sweaty sex
a little ash and mud
a little dust and grime
a little spill of wine
a little sentimental press against my flesh

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, live events, and books can be found. He has been a weekly contributor for the cultural newsletter Dissident Voice since 2014. His fifth collection of poetry, Abstract Visions of Light, was released in 2018 through Alien Buddha Press. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ladies In Waiting. by Peter V. Dugan

Outside the bar
sixteen and seventeen
year-old princesses
dress in tank tops,
tie-dyed tee-shirts,
cut denim shorts,
and Indian skirts,
smoking cigarettes
and drinking
from wine sacks
and bottles of Jack.

They moon-dance under
the neon lights
and dream of bankers
and brokers
driving white  
to carry them away,
but tonight they settle
for black leather
bikers on Harleys.

They are the wild flowers
that fills empty spaces.

Peter V. Dugan is the current Nassau County Poet Laureate, NY (2017-19).  He has published six collections of poetry and co-edited Long Island Sounds 2015 and Writing Outside the Lines poetry anthologies. He has received Honorable Mention from the American Academy of Poetry, LI Bards Poet Mentor Award by the Bards Initiative and he has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize. Mr. Dugan also hosts a reading series, Celebrate Poetry at the Oceanside Library, Oceanside NY, an open mic for teens and college student, It’s poetry, baby! at Sip This CafĂ© in Valley Stream NY and a reading series, Paumanok Pirate Poets, at Starbuck’s Long Beach NY.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

"F.U.R.F." (A Meandering of Mole-Man Jack) by Hex'm J'ai


Crossing the bridge
In the crisp
Just before
The broken

Mending Wall and
Desert Places
Full of Birches!?!

Robert Frost
Can lick my sack!

Nature is NOT!
Some snow covered
Utopian bullshit
On a farm in
New England!

Nature is...

Nature is that
Writhing, shambling
Crawling from the

A body wrought
From stone and steel
With patches of
Parks and pines
And memories
In crumbling
But the heart
And head

Nature is
Grotesque and
But always

Nature is
Melting popsicles
And snubbed out
Blunts on the

Nature is
And petals
Savage and
Grimy fingers
Scrabbling for
Some filthy

Nature is
Sewer grates
Leaves and wrappers
And traces of


Mr. Rockwell....
Fuck you too!
And your Americana!!!

Uncrating a Turkey?
Facts of Life,
Missing Tooth,
Freedom from Want,
Dead Man's Hill!?!

Fuck you and
Your "Ruby"
Ruby's an
Apologist ploy
To sate the
Of your faux
Your cartoon

Is this!
Moves and stretches
And shakes
Right before you!
Is all of
Is all of

Where's my
Cab Calaway
Leonard Cohen
Perry Farrell?

Where's my
Duke Ellington
Sylvia Plath
Joey Ramone?

Where's my
Andy Warhol
Langston Hughes
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Pablo fucking Neruda?!!?


Here's the Rockefeller

In the corpuscular
Of it's jaundiced
I see
Silhouettes of
Trying to tame
The beast

Let them build it!
Let them become
One of us
For these shadows,
These capitalist
Belong to every
Set upon the
They might hold
The deeds
But they're ours
To do
Let the beast

Mr. Frost, Mr. Rockwell
And you Rockefeller
Fuck You!

Respectfully yours;

- Mole-Man Jack

Hex'm J'ai has been crafting works poetic from an early age.  His first publication came when he was aged 14 in a local paper.  Since that moment he has created at least 4 chap books, and has performed at various open mics in the NY capital region, dabbles in photography, visual media and has been coaxed to play with noize on occasion.

Hex'm J'ai was born North of where you're sitting/standing.

Hex'm J'ai enjoys hiking, heckling, films, various forms of debauchery, new and interesting mistakes and all things occultie marvelous.

He currently resides on the USS Vinland which is in orbit somewhere over Schenectady NY.

For The Mourner By Alec Solomita

For the mourner only one thing is: things like business, cooking, seeing birds stir the spring air, falling snow, even watching the home tea...