Sunday, January 31, 2021

Everyone’s Favourite Villain by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Boy do they love to talk a septic tank 
out of shit, about everyone’s favourite villain,
until they need something and come
crawling back out of the roach walls,
only after dark and long enough to make 
some idiotic demand of this man who hardly sleeps,
who busts his ass and does so much for each one of these 
ungrateful little pricks
who turn around and slander his name in various smut parlours
for advantage
thinking he doesn’t see it all, 
that their deception has been so sly
that he’s not just taking numbers.




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.




Saturday, January 30, 2021

Songstress at 75 by Damiana Blume

Last night’s bourbon still sits on the small table
before her velvet couch.
Ice long melted away, one drop at a time like tears
dripping from Ray’s tenor sax.
Its notes, higher and brighter now than the voice she rode
through night trains in Mobile and Memphis.
She stumbles to the mirror. She doesn’t recognize that face
staring back at her from there. That face staring back the years
of juke joint johns on high flyin,’ high flurtin,’ bourbon nights.
Her hand, once delicate and sure, knarled now and brown speckled
balances the blond wig on her head.
a little too blond, a little too low on her brow.
Her hand hesitates as she smears memories across her lips,
a little too red.




 Damiana Blume is a writer/artist living in the west Texas city of El Paso, where she creates pictures in both words and paints.  Her interests include education through travel and the advancement of the arts. As a transplant from rural northern New York, she sees the differences in the environments offered by the natural world and draws upon this diversity in her work.




God and Nietzche Spent a Lot Of Time Arguing That Night by John Doyle

Jesus waited hours and hours, looking at his watch.
God and Nietzche hurled insults at each other,
buzzards circling around Calvary 
like those sounds you hear at cockcrow
you thought only pioneers who spoke little English heard :
That was 1820s Pennsylvania, this was death’s door now,
and God’s boy waited around
as Daddy and some jumped-up German were held apart by strangers 
leaping from their tables
at Sears, shouting “just cool it guys, come on…”
Jesus stared at some caves,
remembered what Johnny Cash had told him about Nickajak.
God and Nietzche had spent way too much time arguing that night,
the phone call came from Golgotha next morning,
someone tried to reverse charges




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.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Helsingør Ferry by John Greiner

I loved her when her blood ran cold,
for she reminded me of the Baltic Sea.
We met on the ferry to Elsinore
with a bunch of waiting to be drunk Swedes.
There were no Hamlets amongst the Danes
just curt shopkeepers without soliloquies.
I adored the ice that stilled her eyes
as she stared off when I took leave.




John Greiner is a Pushcart Prize nominated writer living in Queens, NY. He was educated at the New School for Social Research.  Greiner's work has appeared in Sand, Empty Mirror, Sensitive Skin, Unarmed, Street Valueand numerous other magazines. His chapbooks, broadsides and collections of poetry and short stories include  Turnstile Burlesque (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2017), The Laundrymen (Wandering Head Press, 2016), Bodega Roses (Good Cop/Bad Cop Press, 2014),Modulation Age (Wandering Head Press, 2012), Shooting Side Glances(ISMs Press, 2011) and Relics From a Hell’s Kitchen Pawn Shop (Ronin Press, 2010). 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Something Else by John Drudge

It did not make him happy
To remember his father
Even though
He had forgiven everything
There was something 
Too unfortunate
To play it all out again
Something lost and found
At the same time
Something too slippery
To hold onto 
For too long
So he took another drink
Of the tall whiskey
And wrote about something else
That was still 
His father




John works as a clinical social worker and is the president of a national disability management company. He holds degrees in Social Work, Psychology, and Rehabilitation Services and has studied philosophy extensively.  He is an avid traveler and a long-term student of the martial arts holding a 3rd degree black-belt in Kempo Karate. His diverse educational and experiential background gives him a broad base from which to approach many topics in his poetry. John currently lives with his wife and two children in Caledon, Ontario, Canada. 



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Same Stories by Nathan Tompkins

The same old fuckers
warm the same old bar stools
drinking from the same damned 
half-flat bottles of beer.

They nod to each other
in near tandem, take a drink
heads bowed to a drunken altar
praying to the gods of memory

to let them forget just for a night
as Ninkasi’s blood burns their lips.

Everyday it’s the same damn thing
the same people, the same sad stories,
only the faces change...

bars are where lonely people go
to pretend they’re not alone.




Nathan Tompkins is a writer living just outside of Portland, Oregon.  Hi work has appeared in many places.  His last chapbook, Howl Drunkenly at the Moon, ws published in 2018 by Alien Buddha Press, but it was needed to solve the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020



Monday, January 25, 2021

The crowd in the room of the body by Scott Ferry

The adolescent argues with his penis behind a thin door.
The toddler whines with one hand in his bile-pea soup.
The father tries to hold his children who flicker on and off like neon ghosts.
The professional grips his stethoscope and mumbles diabetes, potassium.

The husband traces his wife’s lower back, reaching for her round wetness.
The poet pretends to feel old things, hanging ants and spiders on fiery webs.
The athlete breathes to the bottom of the lungs, shakes in fluid.
The drunk silently sets the whiskey up into the cupboard, smells his throat.

No one talks. Everyone talks.
The room is not the light. None of these are me. The clipboard is blank.
The light is the room. All of these are me. The blank is





Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN. He has recent work in American Journal of Poetry, Misfit, and Cultural Weekly, among others. His second book Mr. Rogers Kills Fruit Flies will be published by Main St Rag in Fall 2020. More of his work can be found at ferrypoetry.com.



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Whiskey Haiku Lament by Terrence Sykes

drinking cheap whiskey
     drowning in this paper cup
          In this dive motel




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.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

LOU REED by Scott C. Kaestner

velvet underground morning haze
cool like lou reed not giving a shit
got zero fucks to offer kind of chill
the planet bent on self destruction
not me man, i’m all good, whatever.





Scott C. Kaestner is a Los Angeles poet, writer, dad, husband, and lives by the ethos ‘coffee first.’ Google ‘scott kaestner poetry’ to peruse his musings and doings.



Friday, January 22, 2021

Embers by Elizabeth Ashe

My problem is the same
as it has always been – alcohol 
is the only way I know you.

I pour a neat, 
Glenlivet in cut crystal.
Water would be better,

a few clear drops
that mean progeny.

I have defined all of the wheres.

I have the eyes of a sky on fire,
like yours, Father.

I drink the liquid embers in the glass,
the ash, whatever dust of you
is left in the air.




Elizabeth Ashe is a sculptor and poet, who earned her MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and an MFA in creative writing from Chatham University. Her public art projects have been on view at the Bemidji Sculpture Walk, Sukkahwood Festival, Art All Night DC, and the H St Festival. Ashe's poetry has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Vagabondage, and Badlands Literary Journal, among many others, and art reviews in Artscope Magazine. Her work is included in Studio Visit Magazine, issue 46. 
Ashe is a member of the Washington Sculptors Group, and is on the steering committee of Emerging Arts Leaders DC. Ashe lives in Washington, D.C., where she has an active studio practice. She is the Gallery Manager for DC Arts Center, and Exhibit and Event Technician at the Katzen Center, American University.



Thursday, January 21, 2021

Too Late For Redemption by Dennis Moriarty

I am somewhat distant high on a mountain
Snorting
Clean lines of freshly fallen snow.
I am staring
Into the white eye of a blizzard shuffling
Metaphors like a deck of cards
Looking for the one that best describes
How I feel.

I am the eagle that is soaring above stoned
On adrenaline
And the rush of the wind,
My arms are the wings that are surfing
The sky
Searching the horizons for what lies
Beyond.

I am a wild horse caught in the storm tripping
Over my hooves
In thunderous pursuit of the wide open spaces
In this land of the free.
I am descending the mountain nostrils a-flare,

My ice hooves
Are melting my flanks are on fire and down
In the valley
I am all snorted out, shaken awake by the tone
Of your voice.
Soft words and deep understanding all delivered
In the dialect of pity.
You tell me it’s never to early for a man sin
But it’s always too late
For a man to be out there seeking redemption.





Dennis Moriarty was born in London, England and now lives in Wales. Married with five grown up offspring Dennis likes walking the dog in the mountains, reading and writing.
In 2017 he won the Blackwater poetry competition and went to county Cork in Ireland to read his work at the international poetry festival. Dennis has had poems featured in many publications including Blue nib, Our poetry archive, Setu bilingual, The passage between and others.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Too Long in a Barroom by Ruth E. Walker'

Wine smacks my lips and roomsmoke
licks my heels 
whispers through my hair and
turns the room blue in a wash
soaked, I spin to catch sight 
of the ocean
pretending it doesn't care

beyond window panes
cartwheeling gulls– see them – tease
waves and wind
defying the expected
with centuries of catch me loser
and the promise of dumpsters

I have no idea why this has meaning

scratched in a bathroom stall
that made its way to me
names, numbers and promises
like the birds – see them arrive
through the haze
of expectations denied






Ruth E. Walker's poetry and fiction have appeared in Canadian, U.S. and U.K. journals, magazines and anthologies. A partner in Writescape, she edits fiction and memoir, and develops and facilitates writing workshops and retreats in southern Ontario. 



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Even the Vineyards Cried by John C. Mannone

The crew slipped off the waterlogged planks
with the goats. Wooly-oil stench and urinated
    hay wafted from the cabin. Outside,
    the air moistened with hope.

They rushed out, grasped the dirt, embraced
the wet smells now sunken deep into nostrils.
    Knees pressed into the wet rust-red clay,
    hands thrust high in thanks.

Limestone slopes sipped the noonday sun,
    and the cool evening sweetly kissed
    the Muscatine vines.

It was Fall, in the aftermath of the deluge,
the once barren fields now covered
    in grasses clovering air.

And the vineyards grew in grace
    trellising the harvest-green face
    of  the Armenian mountains. 

When fine wine dripped from lush grapes,
a feast, as if a wedding, was planned.
    So came the farmer & his wife,
    his sons & their wives

    with all their intoxicated dreams
    that stripped the dignity from men.

Even the vineyards cried
at the nakedness of their father—
    the rape of their mother.

Their sons could not cover-up
the deceit of their younger brother,
    Ham, who was drunk
    with lust.




John C. Mannone has poems accepted in North Dakota Quarterly, the 2020 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition, Foreign Literary Review, The Menteur, Blue Fifth Review, Poetry South, Baltimore Review, and others. His won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020) and the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Prize (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). His latest collection, Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry, is forthcoming from Linnet’s Wings Press (2020). He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and other journals. A retired physics professor, he lives near Knoxville, Tennessee. http://jcmannone.wordpress.com




The Priest Said To Me by John Doyle

At every crossroads
it's too easy -
 
too easy to say I asked the devil if I could play some blues
in exchange for things
 
I regard as essential - 
a soul, a pair of sneakers, 
 
my wallet
containing the only way I know 
 
to get from places worse than Hell,
worse than one-hit musicians
 
the devil cheated.
I never heard the devil play the blues.
 
It would've been wise to ask him first,
rather than parting with things 
 
we considered essential.
Now, a map however - that might be worth it -
 
but isn't a map just the blues in pictures -
the old water-tower, the rusted railway line 
 
on Saturdays through the forest, sneakers off
while we wade through the river 
 
with the wooden railway bridge
heaven-high above us,
 
knowing what we’ll laugh about at the crossroads -
then stop laughing. When we returned we told everyone 
 
we’d found a body, poked it with a stick.
Even I believed myself




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.



Monday, January 18, 2021

Love Drunk by Lorretta Jessop

Drank you up, despite of age
obsessed with the rough surface,
lively currents,
hidden depths. Your life,
merged with mine
saltwater meeting fresh.
Whirlwind love, meeting by chance
at a bar, seemed fated.
Funny,
I feared you’d see me
as a shark
of constant devotion, but I see now
the drink
is eating you
and I’m drowning;
drunk for months
staying by your side.

Hair of the dog
keeps your black dog at bay. Pinot taken
each day
as a pill; stressed, suppress –   
possessed.
Each insidious bottle
empties 
leaving gritty residue. 
Proseccco bubbles are the morning’s
glory-less aspirin. Double-barrelled shots
hit between the eyes;
turn you from
Romeo to Hyde – 
not that you’d remember.

A black stool cries
internal bleeding but you still
stake your claim
at the bar, as if it were
your very own wedge
of waterfront sanctuary; 
unaware your skin reeks
of bar-mat – 
low-tide mangroves
and dank, dying things.
What home thrives in an estuary? 
Professor, my love, 
this is my last call.
You will be 
my worst hangover, lingering
for years. 





Lorretta Jessop is a reformed pen-pusher and covert café polygamist living in Sydney, Australia. She has been featured on the 2RPH radio program New Voices as an emerging writer and intends on dedicating 2021 to drafting her first novel: Phoney which aspires to take a literary-selfie of what it means to live in Sydney.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

MAKER’S MARK by J. Archer Avary

there I was
by myself in the
empty auditorium
minding my own
business
when I noticed 
an unattended 
booze cart 

I looked around
saw no cameras
so I reached over
and snatched myself
a big bottle of
Maker’s Mark
and nonchalantly
made my exit
but as it happens 
the joke was on me:
the entire bottle
spilled out
as I drove home
in my Saab 900
soaking the cloth
seats with whiskey

the Saab smelled
like a distillery
for several weeks
a cop pulled me
over one night
thought I must
be drunk and ran
a sobriety test

I touched my nose
with a fingertips
recited the alphabet
backwards
blew into the
breathalyser
and after that hoopla
the cop let me go






J. Archer Avary is a former television journalist, marine conservationist, and champion lionfish hunter. His work has appeared in Bright Flash Literary Review and Guernsey Poets. He was born in Albuquerque, NM and lived in several US cities including Omaha (NE), Milwaukee (WI), Asheville (NC) and Atlanta (GA) before moving to Grand Cayman in 2014. He currently resides in Guernsey with his wife where he is a furloughed aviation worker.



Saturday, January 16, 2021

Two Fifths by Bruce Morton

Reminded of the worn cliché
That those who can are the doers
And those who cannot are teachers,

I fixate on those two bottles,
Of Dewars and Teachers whiskey,
Next to each other on the shelf

Waiting to be poured. I wonder
Which one will be neat, with water,
Or on ice. We are not talking

The top shelf here. Not single malts
But blended, with a burn and buzz,
But no savor, just done and taut.



Bruce Morton splits his time between Montana and Arizona. His poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Muddy River Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Halfway Down the Stairs, Ibbetson Street Review, and San Pedro River Review. He was formerly Dean of Libraries at Montana State University.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Fed With Lies by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

Blinded to what they
do not want to see,
seeing what is not
really there, who knows
what is real and what
is make-believe?
 
These are the times
we are living in.
The gullible are
feed with lies. They love
the taste of horseshit.
It’s their candy.
 
Raised on hate, they see
things only one way.
There is no changing
their minds. Do not think
about changing their
hearts. It’s too late.
 
Conspiracy theories
are served on their plates.
They eat up and are
filled up on lies which
to them are gospel.
How they love their
 
faux king, who has no
loyalty but to
his own self-interest.
Like a wounded dog,
he fights to the end.
My apologies to dogs.




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.




Thursday, January 14, 2021

My Name is Katarina by Troy Schoultz

By age fourteen I wanted to ditch shooting hoops with the boys
And have Daddy makes his own fucking waffles.
I was tired of wearing sweatpants, tired of my
Wild hair, sick of my brothers putting me in headlocks
And calling me “Kit-Kat.” My name is Katarina,
I want to be a dancer,
And I’ll make your lives hell until you remember it.
On Wednesdays after morning mass
I’d stop by the church and light a candle for my mother 
with a stolen lighter I keep next to my stolen eyeliner, lip gloss
and the pocket mirror she left me.

I lied about my age to get this waitressing job,
And it looks like I’m still serving waffles to men with hangovers.
The goddamn name tag
I wear only has enough space for “Kathy” but I
Make a point of correcting the customers. 
Yesterday some old creeper, almost thirty, complimented me
On my smile, but it wasn’t my mouth he was looking at. Gross.
But I guess it’s a step up from headlocks free throws..




Troy Schoultz is a lifelong Wisconsin resident. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in Seattle Review, Rattle, Slipstream, Chiron Review, Word Riot, Fish Drum, The Great American Poetry Show, Steel Toe Review, Midwestern Gothic and many others since 1997. His interests and influences include rock and roll, vinyl LPs, found objects, the paranormal, abandoned places, folklore, old cemeteries and the number five. He is the author of two full length collections and two chapbooks


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Negative Capability by Gregory Luce

To fly straight between
low clouds and high water,
racing just ahead of the fatal
longing, the craving for
the next hit, the next
kiss, the next shot,
the fix that fixes
nothing, living between
the mire of the past
and the glittering
illusion of the future.






Gregory Luce, author of Signs of Small Grace, Drinking Weather, Memory and Desire, Tile, and Riffs & Improvisations (forthcoming), has published widely in print and online. He is the 2014 Larry Neal Award winner for adult poetry, given by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He writes a monthly column on the arts for Scene4 magazine. He is retired from National Geographic, works as a volunteer writing tutor/mentor for 826DC, and lives in Arlington, VA.



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Twenty-Twenty by Chris Butler

Anarchy in Twenty-Twenty!
Internationally it is illegal chemical warfare to use bear mace to the face and tear gas stink bombs,
but our own servers and protectors
use it as the first line of defense against its own citizens,
as a form of peaceful and equal dispersing of violence.   




Chris Butler is an illiterate poet howling from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. The next books in his Poems of Pain series, DEAD BEATS (by Dr. Randall Rogers & Chris Butler) and DOOMER, are scheduled for release in 2021. He is also the co-editor of The Beatnik Cowboy. 

   

Monday, January 11, 2021

Searching for Real by Dan Provost

For Mike Taylor
 
I’ve chased the gods
many times in
 
dreaded dreams
where I was hoping to touch
at least a tassel of a robe or
 
find a hint of something that
truly exists.
 
Sometimes, I also feel a touch
on my shoulder during a 37 Miller Lite
binge.
 
…A ghost that
whispers in my ear,
 
Saying--
 
And even if you could, so what?
 
I raise my bottle…
Toasting the invisible,
quiet hero…
 
Hoping he could
hop the gate around
my fence
 
…and tell me
 
if I should or not?




Dan Provost has been published throughout the small press for many years.  He is the author of nine books and lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife Laura




 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Make Me Feel Something by Lisa Reynolds

I tell him I want more 

not too much

just enough to make me feel something

like this crazy world we’re living in is worth the effort

you know – 

and he nods like he understands

but I don’t think he does

cuz his hand shakes when he pours

just pours -

mouth closed with a tight knit smile that says

this will make you feel something even if I don’t.






Lisa Reynolds is a writer of poetry and short stories, known for her reflective writing style. She is published in numerous online and print publications. She lives in a small community east of Toronto, Ontario.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Buzzing by Carrie Magness Radna

When we were younger, I kissed you by a Marshall amp
after the guitars of your band stopped all of their buzzing,
& did you feel the same electric buzz 
when we laced our fingers together,
when we stepped away from the microphone?

That same night
I read a poem by a recent refugee
at the makeshift punk club in an abandoned strip mall in OKC—

No one cared to listen at first,
until I screamed out loud: “Shut the fuck up!”
People began to cheer; I can hear fights starting outside—

(Hey, it was the ‘90s)
I don’t need to be high to feel alive. I’m already there—

As the chords died from your guitar,
you motioned me over,
& mouthed: “Sing some words with us, Babe”

So fucking nervous—I kept my eyes closed
as I stumbled over my consonants
& turned my words around

as you strummed out your broken chords
while the others danced & sweated for longer moments
without really listening to us—

& when the amps went spotty suddenly,
breaking down the simple dichotomy too easily,
you sighed & pulled me aside,
& kissed me under the lights—




Carrie Magness Radna is an audiovisual cataloger at New York Public Library, a choral singer and a poet who loves traveling. Her poems have previously appeared in The Oracular Tree, Mediterranean Poetry, Muddy River Poetry Review, Shot Glass Journal, Poetry Super Highway, Polarity eMagazine, Walt’s Corner, The Poetic Bond (VIII & IX), First Literary Review-East and Jerry Jazz Musician. Her first chapbook, Conversations with dead composers at Carnegie Hall (Flutter Press) was published in January 2019, and her self-published chapbook, Remembering you as I go walking (Boxwood Star Press) was published in August 2019. Her first poetry collection, Hurricanes never apologize (Luchador Press) was published in December 2019. Born in Norman, Oklahoma, she lives with her husband in Manhattan



Friday, January 8, 2021

My Uncle from Pottsville by Mark Tulin

Uncle Leo liked country music
in a town called Pottsville
He played Cash and Merle 
on a wood-grained clock radio
in a warehouse full of red potatoes
His old rump sat on a spinning stool 
as time passed slowly 
with each cigarette and phone call

He lost his balance in a dumpy bar, 
his life sucked inside of an old coke bottle
and a whisky sour
He chased the ragged night 
in his Oldsmobile
and never got a moving violation
or arrested when he punched a cop

His fingers browned with nicotine 
and feet turned a nasty shade of green
His Bic Pen bled from his heart
and left a big hole in his shirt pocket 
Some days he ate an Italian submarine
and a bag of barbecue chips
and imagined being a monkey in a cage
playing the tambourine. 




Mark Tulin is a former psychotherapist who lives in California. He has a Pushcart Prize nomination and authored Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories, and Junkyard Souls. He appeared in numerous publications and podcasts. He can be found at https://www.crowonthewire.com.


Thursday, January 7, 2021

persona non grata by J.J. Campbell

i just washed my hands for 
the twentieth time today

i have a mask that goes 
with every t-shirt i wear

being a loner, i have always 
been ahead of the curve with 
being socially distant

hell, i see these beautiful women 
walk by day after day and i might 
as well be the living embodiment 
of persona non grata

there’s a sad song playing in 
the distance

if life was a movie, this would be 
the time for a shocking death

or for the main character to reveal 
some startling truth

but everyone already knows 
about being molested

nearly being killed by the father

drinking and driving

failed suicide attempts

the abortions

the old lovers

the lesbian that still haunts 
the dreams

perhaps, it is time for a sunset 
and a lonely boy accepting fate




J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) was raised by wolves yet managed to graduate high school with honors. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Red Eft Review, The Beatnik Cowboy, Synchronized Chaos, Horror Sleaze Trash and Cajun Mutt Press. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)







Wednesday, January 6, 2021

panther hollow lubrication by Jason Baldinger

it wasn't the night security
almost caught him pissing
in a potted plant, it was wild
turkey and pbr, panther hollow
lubrication, mostly competent
velvet underground covers
here comes the ocean
 
the reverend was blackout
blotto into the wall
outside his apartment
fractured his wrist
a fact hidden till the next day
 
that winter was mid shelf
bottom shelf tours
the snow would come
the next night
twenty five inches deep
 
my housemate and I
run the penn ave iditarod
to dj a valentine shindig
we tried to neutral slide
down 40th, couldn't
bailed to an open grocery
if the weather wanted hostages
at least we'd have limes
 
in the snowdrift dunes
the icehole days to come
no one would come
to the next gallery show
canceled. the touring band
talked about nothing
except jared leto

maybe you don't know this
but leto owns a decommissioned
military base in laurel canyon
not far from where charles manson
was employed by the cia
to kill what they call the sixties
 
decades are decorations
skimmed surface of memories
blurred on a precipice
of collateral damage
and barely keeping shit together
another hangover close at hand
 
in nicotine and suicide attempts
the reverend was right
don't get your hopes up






Jason Baldinger is a poet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

 A former Writer in Residence at Osage Arts Community, he is co-founder of The Bridge Series.

 He has multiple books available including and Everyone’s Alone Tonight with James Benger (Kung Fu Treachery Press) 

the chapbook Blind Into Leaving (Analog Submission Press) as well as the forthcoming Afterlife is a Hangover (Stubborn Mule Press). His work has been published widely in print journals and online. You can listen to him read his work on Bandcamp and on lps by the bands Theremonster and The Gotobeds.





Tuesday, January 5, 2021

I Will Never Be Ready by Kevin M. Hibshman

I watch as your body becomes painfully thin.
Your veins showing through your ashen flesh.
Food has long since lost any appeal to you.
I make sure you eat something every day.

You are mired to your favorite spot.
The sofa we made into a bed.
All of your favorite things within easy reach.
You fall into fitful sleep whenever you are able to.
Surrounded by artifacts from a world we once shared.

We have not surrendered.
We have accepted the hard facts.
Your pain has made you even more beautiful to me.
I have often asked for the impossible.
I am asking again as
I will never be ready for you to leave me.




Kevin M. Hibshman has had poems published in many journals and magazines world wide. In addition, he has edited his poetry zine, Fearless, since 1990 and is the author of sixteen chapbooks including Love Sex Death Dreams (Green Bean Press, 2000) and Incessant Shining (Alternating Current, 2011).

Monday, January 4, 2021

Demon by Linnet Phoenix

I am jealous
of this she-devil
a spirit siren
that holds you
in her thrall
would that I 
could dilute her
devastating call
smash glasses
watch a fatal spill




Linnet Phoenix is a poet who currently resides in North Somerset, England. She has been writing poetry for years. Her work has previously been published in Heroin Love Songs, Punk Noir Magazine, ImpSpired Magazine and others. With poems in the upcoming Spring 2021 edition of Poetica Review. She also enjoys horse-riding in rainstorms.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Double Maker’s by Brian Harman

It started at the Tartan Room,
a side door dive bar 
for the up in years, Rick’s 
longtime Harley stop, a place 
for those who would drink 
a Rusty Nail with a T-bone.
I should have ordered 
an old Scotch on the rocks,
but it was my co-worker
Steve’s going away hangout,
and so, it was a double
Maker’s Mark, and another,
and as soon as the Tartans 
took over the room, it was 
off to Marty’s down Tustin 
Avenue, an even more 
casual hole, with pool tables, 
darts, a bartendress who’d 
been there forever. A couple
tequila shots and a pitcher
of beer later, a few friends
dropped off, so we called it,
headed to NORMS for some 
greasy, late night steak 
and eggs. In the booth, after 
a bite or two, that’s when 
I must have fallen asleep,
head resting forward, 
face above the 7.99 T-bone, 
hash browns, and over 
mediums. When I awoke,
the steak and eggs didn’t
sit well, didn’t smell right,
and after getting home,
I fluffed the porcelain 
pillow, too old for this shit 
anymore— should have
just ordered a Rusty Nail.




BRIAN HARMAN lives in Southern California where can be found drinking craft beers and writing late night poetry. His work has been published in Misfit Magazine, Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, and elsewhere. His poetry collection, Suddenly, All Hell Broke Loose!!! is available through Picture Show Press. 


Saturday, January 2, 2021

New Found Friends by S. A. Gerber

Never too high, 
sometimes too low. 
Never enough whiskey, 
not enough blow. 
 
Women flock close, 
aiming to please. 
draining the substance, 
greatest of ease. 
 
New found friends, 
come and go. 
When to bail, 
they instinctively know. 
 
When holding, there’s  
always a crowd. 
When you’re dry, 
just dark clouds. 
 
Drunk by day 
and by night. 
Reality is fading 
losing the fight. 
 
Place now chilled, 
to the bone. 
Phone is ringing, 
better off alone. 




S. A. Gerber is a native and resident again of Los Angeles, CA. after having spent  twenty-four years in a neighboring “city of sin” in the Silver State of Nevada. 

His work has appeared in such diverse publications as Desert Voices Magazine… 
Subtopian Magazine…Talking Sidewalks… Mad Swirl, (where he is a “contributing 

Poet”)… Sediment Literary and Arts Journal… Poetica Magazine… Black Heart Magazine… The Blue Collar Review…Los Angeles Review of Los Angeles… The Linden Avenue Literary Journal…The Poet’s Haven…Stray Light Literary Magazine… Literature in Los Angeles Magazine… Opiate Magazine… Pacific Poetry… Neologism Poetry Journal…The Lyric…Free Venice Beachhead… The Shot Glass Journal…,Dove Tales-“Empathy in Art: Embracing the Other”, Writing for Peace, International Journal of the Arts, and Alien Buddha Press-Holiday Anthology-2020. 

He is also a member of the Los Angeles Poet’s Society, (where his work can be found “Spotlighted” on their website). 

His three (3) volumes of poetry, Under the Radar, Inventory, and Old School Rhyme can all be obtained on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, as well as Beyond Baroque Bookstore in Venice, Ca. The Amber Unicorn in Las Vegas, NV. The Book Monster in Santa Monica, Ca. , The Book Jewel in Westchester, Ca. and  City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco, Ca. 

 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Jack & Lucy by Lauren Scharhag

I keep feeling soft thumps 

on the edge of the bed at night.

Startled from sleep, 

I raise my head and look,

but you are not there.


I am still picking your fur

from the fibers of my clothes.

The towels in the laundry basket 

retain the indent of your form.

Some of my books were mauled by you

in kittenhood, covers still dotted

with little tooth and claw marks,

a sort of feline Braille.


I touch them and recall

you pushing your head

into my palm. 


Our time has made me--


I am loveless and adored.

I am empty and full.

I am lonely and never lonely.

I am joyless and overjoyed.






Lauren Scharhag is the author of fourteen books, including Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press) and Languages, First and Last (Cyberwit Press). Her work has appeared in over 150 literary venues around the world. Recent honors include the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Prize, three Best of the Net nominations, and acceptance into the 2021 Antarctic Poetry Exhibition. She lives in Kansas City, MO. To learn more about her work, visit: www.laurenscharhag.blogspot.com




Alice, from Old East New York by Emalisa Rose

From her hospital bed, piping with morpheme, she caresses those triple crown days - of dirty martinis, five olives of deep tans on curves, a...