Saturday, May 30, 2020

CORNELIO REYNA by Tim Suermondt

One of his hit songs I’m sad,
alone and forgotten
waifs nicely through the fog
of Mexico City.

I admit it’s tempting
to laugh at a man
who could sing such a sappy
song with such a sappy title.

Yet for all our bluster,
the singular hope is always
present: to love and to be loved
forever, for ten minutes at least.

Another song of his I’ve
fallen from the stars follows,
and why not? What goes down
must come up. Isn’t that it?



Tim Suermondt is the author of five full-length collections of poems, the latest JOSEPHINE BAKER SWIMMING POOL  from MadHat Press, 2019. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, december magazine, Galway Review and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.


BARROOM BLUES by David Radavich


I can’t even remember
the whorled wood.
The glass.

It’s been so long

since anyone’s taken
my order.

No laughter
to shout down.

No wings arriving
on a plate.

No shifting
on my hard stool.

Just this house mug
on the sofa,

TV on mute,

this wan smile
trying to conjure up

camaraderie
in the lost night.







David Radavich's narrative collections are America Bound: An Epic for Our Time (2007) and America Abroad: An Epic of Discovery (2019).  Recent lyric collections are Middle-East Mezze (2011) and The Countries We Live In (2014).  His plays have been performed across the U.S. and in Europe.



Friday, May 29, 2020

she moves like a stevie ray vaughn song when she walks by Paul Koniecki

she moves like a stevie ray
vaughn song when she walks

the virtuoso of oak cliff plays
"there's a floodin' down in texas"

as her thigh-high leather boots
smash the morning dew

strutting to brunch
in a promenade of anti-shame

calling out
rewind that last part baby

it’s gonna be a 5150
house party kinda day

we drank a lot of jameson
and all the stubborn mules

i liked how the ice was
already crushed

mint and ginger muddled
with some lime

frosted copper mug
shot touching skin

straight heat waves
bent phone poles

fur lined kneecaps
our moment before the rain

each time she took up
my colors and my helmet

the moon swallowed the earth
and the flood grew

she moves like a stevie
ray vaughn song when she walks






Paul Koniecki lives and writes poetry in Dallas, Texas. His poems appear in Richard Bailey’s movie, “One of the Rough”. He was a featured poet in Ireland at the Blackwater Poetry Festival and he co-facilitates the Poetry/Love revolution Meet Me With Curiosity at Klyde Warren Park.




Thursday, May 28, 2020

Gathering by Susan Tepper


Do they speak in tongues
during the gathering—
bones put in raffia baskets
made to carry bread loaves 
and other savory items. 
Reduced now
to a flicker of memory. 
Are the bones arranged
the same way bread
hung over the sides,
and vegetables
held its center for balance.
Grass has become overgrown 
thicket.  A maze mostly
dark never to come out.





Susan Tepper is the author of nine published books of fiction and poetry.  Her most recent titles are CONFESS (poetry published by Cervena Barva Press, 2020) and the road novel WHAT DRIVES MEN (Wilderness House Press, 2019).  Tepper has received many honors and awards.  She’s a native New Yorker.  www.susantepper.com

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Goes to France, Starts Speaking Italian. By Ryan Quinn Flanagan


Crossing the street is an adventure.
There is a crosswalk, but the cars don’t stop.
Once across, you have to look both ways 
across two different bike lanes where the bikes
constantly race by with a single ring of the bell
before trying to cross the other side of the road 
in a similar chaotic manner.


Inside the Monoprix, there is a single security guard
at the top of the stairs.
Monoprix is like the Walmart of France.
We have to go downstairs where they keep the food.
Everything in small single packages.
Fresh baguettes stocked by the entrance.
We grab one and look for meat and cheese.
The French love their ham.
It’s Jambon everywhere.


We find a pack of chicken and a pack of bacon 
and get a little pack of gouda.
My wife picks up some good French butter as well.
Lastly, we grab a few bottles of cheap French wine
and a pack of bottled water and head towards 
the cash.


The young woman in front of us
is having her shopping rung through,
but does not notice us waiting to place
our items on the conveyor.


Scusi,
I say tapping her on the shoulder. 


She turns and moves and I smile.


On the way back, I forget about the bike lanes 
and almost get run over.


The elevator takes as long as everything else here.
We get in and it stops on another floor.
The woman who gets in is French.
She stands about a foot from my face 
and stares at me the entire time.
I stare at the ceiling, trying to look away.


Back in our room, I ask my wife what the hell is 
up with that no personal space and stare 
right into your eyes thing.


I know right
my wife says.
Must be a cultural thing.


Then she laughs and asks me why I suddenly 
started speaking Italian.


When?
I ask.


To that woman in line at the Monoprix,
she says.
You said “scusi” instead of “excusez-moi.”


I think for a minute and then laugh.
Well, that’s just like me, isn’t it?
Goes to France, starts speaking Italian.


It totally is!
she laughs.
Remember when we were in Florida
and you ordered Alaskan Pollock instead of
fresh grouper right off the dock outside?


I tell her I do
and we both laugh.


Squishing by her to get into the bathroom,
I grab her by the shoulders and say:
“scusi.”


She laughs so hard she chokes
as I close the door behind me
and try to figure out why the toilet is 
backwards so that it catches the shit 
and not the pee and always 
leaves a stain.





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, Under The Bleachers, The Dope Fiend Daily and In Between Hangovers.




From Paris Poems which is available now on Amazon from Black Shamrock Press.

Pick yourself up a copy today.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Blue's Ain't Dead by Rob Azevedo

Penniless, from the crowded stage
the yellow-eyed blues man
sets off rockets with his red guitar
as the tangled wino's huddle
over small glasses of rye
and pick at each others teeth
as the short order cooks stare
longingly at the tramps backstage
lined up to swallow tongues
while the valet stacks lines of powder
on some strangers dash
and plugs his nose
cursing the skies shouting,
"The Blues Ain't Dead!"
"The Blues Ain't Dead!"





Rob Azevedo, from Manchester, NH, is a writer and radio host with a new booked called "Notes From The Last Breath Farm: A Music Junkies Quest To Be Heard."

Monday, May 25, 2020

Stuck in a bottle by Chuka Susan Chesney

of Covid 19
Can’t venture out
Stuff delivered to me

Mask round my face like
a storage device

I’m quicksand in the quarantine
of cushiony space

For tonight’s Bolognese
I require red wine
but Safeway won’t deliver
unless I sign a form

Can’t sign the form
to prove I’m over 21
Too scared to signature beside
an Instacart guy

I’ll call the firemen to fetch some Pinot Noir
deliver it to me
before 3:30
Twelve minutes go by
Thirteen minutes go by

I’m here at the store
my hero tells me in a text

Do you want red and white
for when you need some next?
I know you like to braise a pot
of mushroom…Okay

they don’t have Pino Noir but
they do sell Cabernet
and a couple dead soldiers of
blanc de blancs chablis

I can tote these to your porch
wear my grenadine bandana

Oops, I’m getting buzzed
there's smoke in the cantina





Chuka Susan Chesney is an artist and a poet. Her poems, art, and/or flash fiction have been published in Peacock Journal, Inklette, New England Review, Compose, Picaroon, and Lummox. Chesney’s paintings and collages have been in exhibitions and galleries across the United States.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Nobiscum Deus. By Matthew J. Andrews


Find the holy in the ordinary, 
the wise proclaim.


Well, the wine opener, 
when it reaches peak tension,
sure looks devout,
its arms skyward in praise,
giving thanks for abundance.


I feel closer to God already.








Based in Modesto, California, Matthew J. Andrews is a private investigator and writer whose poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Dewdrop, pacificREVIEW, Deep Wild Journal, Song of the San Joaquin, and Eunonia Review, among others.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Bold Proposal. By David Spicer


At some point fighting wears down our spirits.
After decades of brawls we’ll have to say, Enough!


We’ve brawled enough the last decade. Enough!
Lines in the sand threaten to bloody us more.


We can’t cross those lines without tasting blood.
How about a beer at the bar of your choice?


You can choose the beer at your favorite bar.
We’ll talk about the Lakers and the Pistons.


You don’t like the Larkers or the Pistons?
See, already we have something in common.


Common, uncommon, already we’re talking.
Sure, I’ll have Irish Whiskeys. But they’re on me!


We’ll drink Irish Whiskeys until they’re on us,
until drinking at some point lifts our spirits!








David Spicer has published poems in Santa Clara Review, Synaeresis, The Sheepshead Review, Remington Review, Steam Ticket, Third Wednesday, CircleStreet, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Moria, Oyster River Pages, Gargoyle, and elsewhere. Nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart twice, he is author of six chapbooks, the latest being Tribe of Two (Seven CirclePress). His second full-length collection, Waiting for the Needle Rain, is now available from Hekate Publishing. His website is http://www.davidspicer76.com

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Departed. By Angela M. Carter


 You ever know from the get-go you wanted to fuck with the world?

If the day wants me sober, I drink. If it commands I sit down
I stand up and straddle. 

Being obedient is for the dead. 

The departed are everywhere. Machines driving automobiles. Instruments untuning their arresting chaos
with the gluttony of monotony.

Their lifetimes a game
of hide-and-seek-of-self. 

There’s more chance of breaking when you are truly living. And I’m in a million pieces. But I want

to feel
to be enthralled and bewitched so my heart escapes my skin. 

If someone cuts it open, it only expands.






Angela M. Carter is an author, poet, novelist, motivational speaker, spoken word performer, visual artist and an advocate/activist. Her first collection, Memory Chose a Woman’s Body (unbound CONTENT, 2014) is a poetry memoir, which spotlights the effects of the silences endured after abuse, neglect and depression. Angela is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee, nominee for the 2015 Virginia Library Literary Award (poetry), and has been featured in a multitude of venues, including The KGB Club in Manhattan and Busboys and Poets. Her publications include Silver Birch Press, Deep Water Literary Journal, Whurk, Vox Poetica, the Plath Poetry Project, Premiere Generation Ink, City Lit Rag, The Word Ocean, Worst Week Ever, Our Stories Untold, Gutsy Living, and several anthology publications. She is an advocate of the healing ability of the arts. www.angelacarterpoetry.com

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Every Year by Jesse Lynn Rucilez


Every year, there is less joy in my life,
Why this is so I cannot say,
I just know that it is,
That it sucks,

Every year, I see my closest friend less and less,
Why this is so I cannot say,
I just know that it is,
That I miss him terribly,

Every year, there is more regret in my aching past,
Why this is so I cannot say,
I just know that it is,
That I hurt in a secret place,

Every year, I am one step closer to the grave,
This is how it should be,
The way of all things,
Death awaits like a long-lost lover–

Or a universal mistress to us all…





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.” 


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED by Ken Pobo


I figure that we need some
elegance in our windy lives
so I dig out the silver ice bucket
with penguins all around it,
pour stiff martinis.

Richard Harris returns
from the dead to sing
“Macarthur Park” to us.
He has arrived from Heaven
where streets run Drambuie
gold.  You can drink
heavenly footprints.  I clank

more ice into your glass.
The cop sky
knocks hard on our door,
looking for Mr. Harris.  Too late,

he’s already back in heaven,
blowing up mansions.




Kenneth Pobo has a new book forthcoming from Assure Press called Uneven Steven.  His work has appeared in: North Dakota Quarterly, Chiron Review, Atlanta Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, and elsewhere.




Monday, May 18, 2020

a new hobby. By Jonathan K. Rice



she likes cigars, 
top shelf rum

likes sitting at a bar
listening to old men
talk about Cuba,

the music, food
coffee, Hemingway

no one cares anymore
nobody leaves

why risk the Florida Straits 
to settle in Miami

when you can just as easily 
live and die in Havana






Jonathan K. Rice edited Iodine Poetry Journal for seventeen years. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Killing Time (2015), Ukulele and Other Poems (2006) and a chapbook, Shooting Pool with a Cellist (2003), all published by Main Street Rag Publishing. He is also a visual artist. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including  Abbey, Amethyst Review, As It Ought To Be, Diaphanous, Eunoia Review, Gargoyle, Grey Sparrow, Harbor Review Magazine, Inflectionist Review, The Main Street RagPlum Tree Tavern, San Pedro River Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Trailer Park Quarterly and the anthologies, Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race and The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina. 


Neighborhood Color. By Mickey J.Corrigan


The bars are closed, the virus amuck
but the neighborhood drunks are still
drunk
architects of their own undoing
on foot, on motorbikes, on the sidewalks
bloodied, unconscious, arising only
to head back to the local liquor store.
Johnny glides by after his solo happy
hour after happy hour, slick rain-soaked
streets, his scooter takes a sharp turn
splat
face down on his driveway
hot asphalt for dinner
rises up on his knees, praying
he can go inside and drink.
Carson has passed out again
in the sun, on his back
at the bus stop, brown
booze
bag within reach
after wandering the city
for hours, unwelcome
everywhere
he manages to make
a place for himself
in this harsh, dry world.
Stevie used to walk miles
delivering the US mail
shine or moonshine, he
still carries a sack
on one sloping shoulder
pension checks and cash
for the package store clerk
he covers mile after mile
circulating like an old bill
nobody
in this goddam town
is willing
to pay.







Originally from Boston, Mickey J.Corrigan writes Florida noir with a dark humor. Project XX, a satirical novel about a school shooting, was released in 2017 by Salt Publishing in the UK. Newest release is What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, 2019). Kelsay Books recently published the poetry chapbook the disappearing self. Visit at www.mickeyjcorrigan.com. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Blur by Tony Pena

I wore my glasses
to sleep on the sofa
again , an absolute
wonder the wire didn’t
mangle, but the weight
of a world worn tight
like skin still not finding
solutions as my dreams
continue to bleed
time and confound
in elaborate plays
of ill preparation.




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:

Saturday, May 16, 2020

THE CONCERNS. By John D Robinson


‘You only seem happy or content
when you’re stoned or drunk
or both, all your waking hours
are consumed by this and of
course, sex’ she said sharply:
‘That may be’ I said: ‘But
I’m a poet’
‘So that gives you a free
licence to be an alcoholic
drug taking bum whose
only concern is with his
own little seedy world’
‘I haven’t signed a 
contract’ I answered:
‘Don’t call me, I mean
it this time, don’t call
me again’
the door opened and
slammed shut, the sun
had spent herself and I
opened a bottle of wine.





John D Robinson is a UK poet: hundreds of his poems have appeared in small press zines and online literary journals His published solo chapbooks are
‘Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Press 2016)   scars.tv/
‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016   sold out)
‘An Outlaw In The Making’  (Scars Publications 2017)
‘Hitting Home’  (Iron Lung Press 2018  2nd edition)   ironlungpress.bigcartel.com/about-iron–lung–press
‘In Pursuit Of  Shadows’  (Analog Submission Press 2018  sold out)  www.analogsubmission.com
‘Echoes Of Diablo’  (Concrete Meat Press 2018)  adrianmanning.wixsite.com/concretemeatpress
Too Many Drinks Ago’  (Paper & Ink Zine Publications) http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/PaperAndInkZine
Pushing Away The Hours    2018   www.lulu.com/.../john-d-robinson/pushing-away-the-hours/.../product-23872337.html 
‎ ‘Hang In There’      (Uncollected Press  2019    USA)  therawartreview.com





WORSE THAN COCK BLOCK by George Schaefer

The bell rings so someone bought the bar a round. You look up  to politely acknowledge the kind stranger. You have another shot You go with ...