Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Open Mic at The Oswego Tea House by Peter V. Dugan

Rock-hopper Koala
a showboat showoff,
one of the real neophyte off-white
hot pants flappers.

Dances in an itsy-bitsy glitter
glass bikini
with the body of a brass wine flask,
suffers peg-leg stigmata,
recites sonnet texts from a silo oracle.

The accompanist Bristol Esau
(a snooker table pen name)
and a member of the royal society
of radio cyborgs,
tickles the Tibetan Ivories,
performing unicorn boogie-woogie,
an operatic euphony
on a withered out of tune
stuntman organ.

Together they open woe,
open wounds, peel away
scabby scars of society,
impale inanimate lunar moths
with needles of pliable tantric
marsh mellow melodies,

Odd asps of modern art
highlighted in a toga opine annex.
Music and verse presented
in a nanobot nutshell,
spiced with nutmeg,
saved by hell’s bells.

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 Café in Valley Stream NY and a reading series, Paumanok Pirate Poets, at Starbuck’s Long Beach NY.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Sweet Sangria by Lynn White

Between the sips of
white wine sangria and
a broken stream
of words
and smiling touches,
she began afresh.
“It’s not that I’m not tempted,”
she said
“and I don’t want to offend you.”
She took my hand briefly,
to show no offense
was intended,
then let it go.

I held on to hers
as she explained.

Then we walked in silence
for quite a long way
enveloped in the dark night.
Hand in hand.
Quiet footsteps
that didn’t break the silence.

She looked up at me and smiled.
I smiled back.
Or was I the first to smile
and she smiled back?

I don’t remember.
It doesn’t matter,
but we still don’t remember
as we smile afresh
sipping our white wine.

First published in Breadcrumbs Magazine as Breadcrumb 272, Fall 2017

Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. Her poem 'A Rose For Gaza' was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud 'War Poetry for Today' competition. This and many other poems, have been widely published in anthologies and journals such as Peach Velvet, Apogee, Firewords, Indie Soleil, Light Journal and Snapdragon. Find Lynn at: https://lynnwhitepoetry.blogspot.com and https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-White-Poetry-1603675983213077/

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Hotter Than July by Ian Copestick

It's a glorious sunny day, we're still in April
Yet it's hotter than July. For the last few days
There has been massive protests in London
Against global warming. If. I was them
I'd get out the deckchairs, the sun cream
A few cold cans of beer, and enjoy it
While we still can.

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.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Never Written by David M. Taylor

I studied your body tonight,
the story of your hips,
and punctuation of your walk.

I imagined the novel we’d create,
how I’d become the main character
who pulls you away from your life,
where we’d hide
in a lost cabin forgotten by the world
or a silhouetted townhouse in Manhattan.

The details didn’t matter as much as the plot
and where our words would take us.

I pictured us walking beneath the moonlight,
how my breath betrayed me in the chilled air,
but you laughed at my stories anyway.

I even heard the soundtrack,
the slow pacing of music building
until it crashed to the earth.

But I know it would all end in conflict,
that the resolution would escape my fingertips
because I’m not the main character
who could pull you away from your life,
and you’ll forever be the novel never written.

 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.

Friday, April 26, 2019


“Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water,” so they filled them to the brim…What Jesus did here… was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory.”
Holy Bible, John 2:1-11

“The weakest wine is better than warm water…Wine is the best reward of merit.”     
Su Tung-p’o, b. 1037, China  
My mother – God rest her sober soul –
sipped a glass of rum as a nightcap
until the day she died, at ninety-nine;
told me it was the secret to long life.

And my father poured into my mind
the idea that moderation was key,
with his nightly pints of Guinness
and whiskey on the side;
he died at a ripe old age.

And I know a bartender that swears
so long as you drink lots of water
you can drink like a fish forever.

But whoever came up with the theory
that white wine during the day –
pricy stuff or cheap chardonnay –
didn’t count as drinking at all
was a goddamn genius.

Dan O’Connell is a four-time award winning poet. His poems have appeared over seventy times, including in Mississippi Review, Parthenon West Review, and most recently America Magazine (Foley Poetry Prize, 2015), Ina Coolbrith Poetry Prize (2017), RavensPerch (2018), and Ghost Town Review (2018). He is the author of two full-length collections of poetry: Different Coasts, and Theory of Salvation. Find Dan O. at www.danoconnellpoetry.com

Your Dancing is Just a Weakening of the Knees. By Matt Dennison

Old girlfriend looking
happier with new boyfriend
than she ever did with me.

an old-I-thought friend,
won’t give me one free beer.

Am not invited to leave with
the people I arrived with.

Sitting on the barstool, drunk,
watching it all disappear.

After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s
work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon
River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made
films with  Michael Dickes, Swoon, Marie Craven and Jutta Pryor.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Sex Drugs & Poetry. By John Patrick Robbins

The first release from Whiskey City Press is officially out .

My book Sex Drugs & Poetry is available for purchase through Lulu.

Please pick yourself up a copy on the link below cheers and  thank you.


“Help me help you help me” by Jon Bennett

The thing about crime is
one often finds
one must
trust someone
who has no vested interest
in being trustworthy
And so, one crime
may lead to another
be it through bribery
or a heavy handed
In the end
one must sit
with oneself
in the blue light
of the television
wondering who has
told whom

Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.  You can find more of his work on Pandora and Spotify or by connecting with him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jon.bennett.967.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Sun Is Less Than Gentle by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

When the sun is less than gentle,
leaves barely stir.
I daydream of a nice cold 
beer and rum and coke.
The sun shakes me from 
daydreaming. It wages war
on my head; beats on me like
a drum. I laugh to keep from
weeping. The sun is an evil
monster. I feel it plunge its
talons into my eyes.
I fight it off. I go into a deep sleep
where my slumbers lead me
to an ice storm and I am in
the arms of an ice monster
who comforts me with a slow
dance and a pint of beer,
and for a few moments
I feel like I am winning this war.

Luis was born in Mexico, lives in California, and works in the mental health 
field in Los Angeles, CA. His poems have appeared in Ariel Chart, Beatnik Cowboy,
Dope Fiend Daily, Unlikely Stories, and Zygote In My Coffee.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

I'm Man Enough by Paul Brookes

18 in 1980 week afore starting uni,
lads night out and your dressed
in Burton's bright yellow like a canary,
socks, shoes, shirt, jacket, because it's cool.

Lads boast they down 11/12 pints
of John Smiths bitter a night,
shag a lass then do same next night.
You've never done neither.

Follow lads round like fresh meat,
loud and brash, they talk of shagging
bints, fast cars, live bands you've
never seen coddled by your mam and dad.

Four pints in and your eyelids droop,
bitter makes you fall asleep, lasses
in short skirts with intentions nuzzle
up but loud music means you can't listen

to what they're saying and wouldn't know
what to say. Lads jostle you. We're off
to neet club. A tha cumming?.  I shout
an apology. Got to be in by 11.

They get off. I leave the pub, buy
a pizza and pissed walk home uphill
chomping on greasy slices, cardboard
box too big, one side of road to another.

Paul Brookes is a shop asst. His chapbooks include The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). The Headpoke and Firewedding (Alien Buddha Press, 2017), A World Where and She Needs That Edge (Nixes Mate Press, 2017, 2018) The Spermbot Blues (OpPRESS, 2017), Forthcoming Stubborn Sod, (Alien Buddha Press, 2019), As Folk Over Yonder ( Afterworld Books, 2019). He edits The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews.

In Between Time by Ann Christine Tabaka

Unholy night.
Darkness shrouds day.
Gone are canticles of light.

Dispeller of fears
stands tall among
despondent axioms.

Flames on tongues ignite
a faith devoid of substance.

Heralded desires
and whispering affirmations
trickle through a translucent veil.

Wayfarers among us
trod the distillate path.

No recourse,
time dissolves.
Composite dreams drift aloft.

Daybreak beseeched,
shall not answer.
“Leave a message after the tone.”
CLICK … Hmmmmmmmmmm

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and three cats. Her most recent credits are: Ethos Literary Journal, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Synchronized Chaos, Pangolin Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.
*(a complete list of publications is available upon request)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Christmas in July. by Gwil James Thomas

And finally there was sun… 
in the River Avon 
g l i s t e n e d
like diamonds that summer evening –
as Miles wandered outside grinning
with two fresh pints of Czech larger, 
having finally closed his kitchen
for the day –
but before Miles could say
anything to me 
his boss then stepped outside.

“Doesn’t it get boring going out
every night?” Miles’ boss
asked him with a smirk,
as Miles paused before saying –
“Well, it’s a little like hanging up 
your Christmas decorations
every single day.” Miles replied.

And I couldn’t help but laugh,
as I rose my glass like it was
Christmas in July
and I too had lost myself
and the whole point amongst
all the festive mayhem,
once again.

“Gwil James Thomas is a poet, novelist and inept musician originally from Bristol, England. His poetry has recently been featured in Expat Press, Rusty Truck, The Beatnik Cowboy and here. His fourth poetry chapbook Writing Beer, Drinking Poetry will be published by Concrete Meat Press later this year. He currently lives in San Sebastián, Northern Spain.”

Saturday, April 20, 2019


I remember balking
at having to work,
and the bar owner saying 
that Thanksgiving 
was a busy day.

“People wanna get fucked up,
get away from their families.”

And he wasn’t wrong.
I was slinging drinks 
like a madman,
and made some good tips.

Then rode my bicycle home,
across town at two 
in the morning,
and got harassed by Sparks P.D.,
for riding on the sidewalk.

The same cop 
who’d given me a DUI
a few weeks before.
(I’m not even joking)

Twenty years later,
I see it’s still true,
about Thanksgiving,
as I stroll past the neighborhood dive,
parking lot eerily full
at nine a.m.

Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse, much of it on the so-called "grittier" side.  Folk poetry...for folks.  He has been published in Constellate Magazine, Poppy Road Review, and has an upcoming piece in The American Journal Of Poetry.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Slumming Before Sodo by Leah Mueller

The Red Front Tavern sat a block 
from the Amtrak station for several decades, 
until it fell to the wrecking ball
during the new Seattle gold rush.

Nick and I frequented a bar named the Blue Moon, 
a haven for alcoholics who fancied themselves rebels. 
We huddled in wooden booths and discussed left-wing politics,
while pouring cheap beer from endless pitchers.
The bar’s matchbook said, “Live Conversation.”

One night, Nick asked if I’d ever gone to the Red Front,
Seattle’s most infamous establishment.
I’d passed by many times, but never ventured inside.
We drove there at once, parked around the corner.

A man perched on the edge of a barstool, 
staring at the wall as he lowered pig intestines 
towards his face. The quivering blobs of gray flesh
dangled from his fingers, like toy prizes
suspended at the end of a miniature crane.
He took his time, savoring the sight of each morsel,
until they finally disappeared into his cavernous mouth.

A bulldog lay in the center of the room,
passed out cold in a puddle of beer and floor sweepings.
Hank Williams played on the ancient jukebox. 
The air reeked of vomit and disinfectant. 

Nick and I drank one beer, then another.
We surveyed the wreckage and laughed.

A uniformed man entered the building.
He stood beside the door and stared at the crowd 
with a bored expression.  The bartender hollered,
“Hey! Detox van is here! Anybody wanna go to detox?’

The bar fell silent for a moment,
then several men detached themselves 
from their stools and shambled towards the door.
Two guys dragged another fellow from his table.

He had fallen asleep hours beforehand
with his head beside an empty pint glass.
The driver had to tie him to a stretcher.
It took three men to carry the guy outside.

“Wow,” Nick laughed. “That was great. 
Can you imagine if a detox van stopped at the Blue Moon?”
I smirked, shook my head, but felt queasy inside, 
because the honest reply to Nick’s question 
was “yes”, and both of us knew it. 

“Another beer,” I told the bartender. 
He turned around, filled a pint glass 
and extended it in my direction.
2:00 was hours away, and my liver indestructible. 
It was a good thing I was still young
and could hold my liquor, at least
long enough for me to make it back home.

Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks and four books. Her next book, "Misguided Behavior, Tales of Poor Life Choices" will be published by Czykmate Press in Autumn, 2019. Leah’s work appears or is forthcoming in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Mojave River Review, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, Barnhouse, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

I love you by Elena Bello

I love you
With all my will.
There are so many people 
who hate each other and live together in the same house
we are like magnets and we live in different cities.

I love you though banks won't give to me a loan
We are going to live without documents, in the woods.

I love you 
even if ours will be always
a love made of stolen kisses 
Although it will only be twice a month when we make love
because the moon covers its eyes in front of our desires
of sex and madness.

I love you
because you are poetry.
I love you
because you are able to save me
From my incapacity to live
From my incapacity to walk like a soldier

I am unable to look at the hands of the clock
Too slow
Too fast.
Save me from terror
of this life made of walls
I need
to walk barefoot on the grass

Elena Bello is an art and social media enthusiast. Her energy is the always-ready fuel for every kind of adventure she wants to start. After the graduation at the University of Milan, she decided to give a twist to her life following courses about social media marketing and other funny stuff. She wrote poems too but she has no problems to use the graphics tablet to express herself.

Liver by Darryl Graff

 It comes, in every alcoholic’s life, the ultimatum from the doctor: Quit drinking, or die.

I had always thought this conversation would take place in a doctor’s office, with the door closed.  I’d be sitting in an overstuffed leather chair– perhaps brown, or maybe, burgundy– surrounded by framed photographs of the doctor’s family and diplomas from NYU and Columbia hanging from the neatly wallpapered office walls, and the doctor’s file folders, strewn atop his mahogany desk. The doctor would speak in a monotonous, compassionate voice.

Instead, a message went to voicemail on my phone as I rode the Q53 bus over the Cross Bay Bridge to Rockaway.

 When I got off the bus, I walked– as usual– past the Shamrock Bar on 116th Street. The neon Budweiser sign hanging in the window seemed to wink at me, almost like it was saying, “Come on in, Darryl, and have a couple of beers. You can always quit tomorrow.”  Off-duty union men huddled in front of the bar, smoking cigarettes, and laughing, and spitting on the sidewalk. I could hear “Hotel California” coming from the juke box inside the bar. 

When you’re a young man– when  they send you off to war– to prepare for battle, you wear a suit of armor with  three layers:  first, cigarettes;  second,  pot, and the third,  beer and liquor. As the war rages on, those enemies of yours find the weak spots in your armor and they are slowly peeled back, layer by layer.  First to go are the cigarettes; then, the pot, and, finally, the beer and the liquor.  Until you’re left standing, naked and vulnerable and   wondering, “Where did the time go,” and “How did I lose the war?” 

My doctor said that, in a month or two, if my liver stabilizes, he will allow me to drink two beers on the weekend But, only two .

When I was drinking a twelve-pack a day, it was Budweiser and it was all about drinkability: quantity, not quality.  With a two-beer limit, I’m thinking, Heineken will be my beer of choice, available at virtually all New York City neighborhood bodegas. Quality, not quantity.

 Now, of course, I could just never go back to the doctor, and pretend I never got the test results.  I could, instead, sit in my living room and crack open an ice cold twelve- pack of “existentialism,” and say,” Fuck it all.”  But I can’t do that.  I already broke the news to my wife. 

 Besides, I don’t want to die in a hospital bed, hooked up to some machine; not if I can help it. 

 If my liver gets better, and if I do get to drink two beers on the weekend I’ll take it. It sure beats   no beer  and, maybe, someday, I’ll be able to stop into the Shamrock Bar and have a couple of beers– just like I did so many times before.


I am a NYC construction worker and writer.  My non fiction stories have appeared in Akashic Books, Hipocampus Magazine, Foliate Oak,

Da Chuna and elsewhere. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Sun Emerges Red-Eyed And Weary by Ben Adams

there is grey-dawn
once more
in the soul-institutions
of these streets

in the minds
of broken lovers
of alcoholic poets
of failed stock brokers
& bus drivers

there is grey-dawn madness
like the drunken sun
struggling for water
or more wine
or beer
as he hoists up
and over the horizon
once more,
one more time

and the ash trays are full
the record skips
on the turn-table
the frost gathers on
unkempt lawns
in the heart of our
suburban wilderness
as the sun emerges
red eyed and weary to face
the day

lighting a cigarette
switching on the news
making & drinking
with us ready
and willing
in lock 

Ben Adams is a poet, writer, servo-clerk, research assistant and festival cash wrangler, with honors in History and English. His poetry has appeared in a range of print and online publications, including Australian Love Poems, The Grapple Annual, Red Fez, Tulpa Magazine and InDaily. Recently, his poem 'Wet Leaves' was included as part of the 2018 Raining Poetry in Adelaide street-art project, while several poems were performed for Quart Short Collective’s Spring Shorts reading night. He can be found on Facebook, shares poems and photography on Instagram @bts.adams while poems and politics can be found on his Twitter feed @badbadams

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...