Tuesday, August 31, 2021

His Church of No Church by C.L. Liedekev

My friend Buck
had hairy fists,
a sausage of fingers, a bottle
that dangles like prey in talon.
A desperate grasp,
as winter invades the room,
presses its change
into everything it touches.
Uniform in its weight,
its breath as screed. It was
the leather jacket of his life.

He always pushed
shots and liquid acid, black outline
charcoals of cityscapes
and anger, crux of Frank Miller
as reference point, as the
horizon, constant escape.
Sometimes night-time slips
its harness pushes headlong
into an open plot point,
into the crescendo of lust,
of laughing and destination
as the broken tip of the knife.

He did not know he was a church,
a church of no church, a choir
of voices stapled open in gravel
and grave light. A fading baseline
settled along his teeth, placed
a note on each word, as he would
preach of anarchy and riot, of
confrontation as the art form,
of the moment the booze slips
its bonds, down his throat,
and opens my tiny life to possibilities.




C.L. Liedekev is a writer/propagandist who lives in Conshohocken, PA with his real name, wife, and children. He attended most of his life in the Southern part of New Jersey. His work has been published in such places as Humana Obscura, Red Fez, Open Skies Quarterly, River Heron Review, Vita Brevis, amongst others. His real goal is to make the great Hoboken poet/exterminator Jack Wiler proud. So far, so good.



Monday, August 30, 2021

a difference of priorities by Keith Pearson


he goes out on a lark 
one day
and discovers
there are clocks 
everywhere.
she is down on
her knees praying
at the toilet bowl.
she is begging him
to call down lightning
or at least fetch her up
a clean towel.
he is more interested
in this new thing 
called time
and cannot see
that her hair is 
on fire.





Keith Pearson
I live in southern New Hampshire and works with special ed students at a local high school.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Poetry by Brian J. Alvarado

once more round

stead, fastened to our fashioned grooves,
we gear up to singe our backsides 
yet again on our way around the 
unsung, youngest sun we’ve ever known.

glasses rimmed with sediments of time,
fire becomes water in our alchemist bellies,
the gullet blaze reverts temporal debris 
to glass, in cruel circadian clockwork.

do we ever endeavor to hydrate enough
for the high duration of time suspended
over hot and hasty horizons,

or do we gasp long and late for the heirloom,
exhausted and afraid to grasp for 
luminanary air with empty plates?

a seer took crackled form on our flesh,  
and vanished without warning or counsel, 
well before our dry eyes could muster 
so much as a damp soothsayer’s glance.


Kinfolk

I had friends in the
way-back-when
that truly believed
grass was life.

Out here, it was often refreshing,
even if for one measly pint,
to just sit at the local bar
and watch the final call happen,
just because I could.

I sometimes felt so frail
that I feared others can see
my very heart beat
through that itchy, 
starchy sweater.

And yet I’d often wonder
what it would be like
to be born with
transparent eyelids.

I grew my hair down just
so that I’d have something
to tear out in the end.

In the way-back-when,
I was as happy as
a crock-pot clam
boiled, sealed shut
at the lips. 

* Previously appeared in DenimSkin Review, 2015*


would you?

If you grew motionless in
your upper deck Megabus seat,
because of the Boston chills, and 
your inability to turn down a secret-
spiced joint from a station bum,
the top of your Yankee cap threatening 
to break through the ceiling as you
begin to question your own mortality
accompanied by a cold sweat rid of
hiding under a minimum four layers,
your last supper of two backpacked 
McDonald's burgers and a Sunkist, atop
an open laptop while for a moment 
you wish that the universe had taken 
its own life as a scapegoat over yours,
hastily eradicating your porn while you 
ponder leaving behind riddles and 
high hopes for healers and solvers,
setting the song that you'd like to 
be found still listening to, to play over 
and over, queuing your "I love you" texts, 
as your eyes get heavy and instigate a nap,
fearing an aneurism’s silent precision, and 
fighting off sleep like the death penalty 
all because you would much prefer
a more personal deathbed,
would you drift off? 
would you wake up?
would you ever come down?






Brian J. Alvarado is a Puerto-Haitian Bronxite with pieces published or forthcoming in Squawk Back, Trouvaille, Alien Buddha, Beliveau Review, Cajun Mutt, and The Quiver Review, among others. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Susquehanna University.





Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Void by Linnet Phoenix

Yes, I would miss you.
Like stood staring up
at the clear night sky
confused, wondering why
Venus had vanished
stage left. Stepped out
the galaxy for a smoke,
broken down in darkness,
made for the Milky Way.
Lost in a late super nova,
slipped over the corona
of a black hell rim hole.




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.

Friday, August 27, 2021

billy joel > elton john by John Grochalski

i am drunk
and i am tired
and the world has had
its way with me again
 
sometimes i type things
into the internet void
just to see what happens
 
it’s like fishing
 
sometimes other people will bite
 
they’ll yell at me
i’ll yell at them
they’ll yell at each other
 
tired and drunk people
who the world has had its way with
 
wasting their precious hours
of personal time
 
when it dies down i’ll write
 
oh yeah, but billy joel
wrote his own songs
 
then they’ll yell at me again
i’ll yell at them

they’ll yell at each other

ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS 

until it’s time to go to bed
and pass out
 
wake up to a world
that’ll again have its way with us
 
wondering what in the world
we were all so pissed about

last night.



 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. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Tender To The Touch By Ashley Karlsson

Let's not kid ourselves, the party is our mecca.

 And after tonight, we will be nothing more than strangers.


The freedom of the act leaves wicked consequences behind.


Let's not play a game, let's simply play. 

And I will act as if it's good for me also.







Ashley Karlsson is a photographer and writer who lives in Oxnard California.
Her work has been published in a few mags scattered across the web and largely cast into the trash basket.


Fly by PW Covington

Kick, Punch

Tear at the stucco and concrete walls
Destroy the stalls, just outside the gates
That lie about clarity
I did not intentionally drown in this pit
I just opened my mouth
And the decay rushed in

1988 or 89
It was winter time
I can't remember, exactly, when

I was just a school boy then
Ripping and ranting
Beat
Beat the world, the sky
Beat the streets that hide
Molestations and homicides
Fly
Fly high, and higher still
On wings that Beat
Like poetry in alleys

Like a hustler at orientation
Like a root that's reached the sky





PW Covington is a Pushcart-nominated poet and writer. He writes in the Beat tradition of the North American highway.
   More at www.PWCovington.com


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Getting Him Back By Michael Morell

 Last night my dog strolled

into the living room,

lifted his leg, and urinated

on the carpet.

Son of a bitch, I thought.

I jumped up off the couch,

walked outside to the yard,

and pissed in the doghouse.


(appeared in Silt Reader print journal – now defunct - late 1990s)




Michael Morell is a poet and photographer living just outside Philadelphia, PA. His work has appeared in such journals as Rattle, Slipstream, Modern Haiku, Failed Haiku, and elsewhere. Michael's book of Japanese short form poetry, leaf raking, was published in August 2019, by buddha baby press. In 2017 he earned a Master's degree in Applied Meditation Studies.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Old-Fashioned by Lori A Minor

Old-Fashioned
she only comes
to babysit me





Lori A Minor, editor of #FemkuMag, ubu., and Otoroshi Journal, is a queer, chronically ill poet who uses writing to heal from trauma. She was shortlisted for the Touchstone Award (2017, 2019) and selected for A New Resonance 12. Lori is the author of five chapbooks, including Recycled Virgin.


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sleet, & Freezing Rain by Timothy Resau

Loss, like the passing clouds….
Gone quicker than
words written in the wind.
The idea of seeing Time.
The unforgettable psycho-dreams.
A belief in the definition of whiskey,
& life’s never long enough.




Timothy Resau has been published in the U.S., Canada, Portugal, and the U.K. Recently his work has been in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Sideways Poetry Magazine, Sylvia Magazine, The Beautiful Space, and an essay is forthcoming in Loch Raven Review, as well as poetry in Rat’s Ass Review, Native Skin, and Pure Slush. He’s just completed a novel called Three Gates East. His career has been in the international wine industry.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

King Street Sonata by Harris Coverley

Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata
rings out of an open window
above a long dead shop
onto the still warm street
just after midnight

the residual ale in my gums
my kebab in its foil bag
the mint sauce—the fresh onions

I wonder who would be listening
to that stuff

I feel like the sun is still with me
a little orange
on the edge of the eyes

the smell of weed
strong and bitter and punishing
like a rotting lemon

some quiet chat outside a doorway

the succession of single cars
going about their steady singular journeys

my worn boots on the pavement
the buckling slabs
the blue bags
the black bags
the shit unbagged and never-will-be-bagged
the grass in the cracks

the coating of everything
in a vague lethargy

the craftsman’s table left
underneath that open window

the centre of this town
the heart of a body
beating slow
as in sleep

and
Ludwig ends
and EDM replaces it

beauty only visits this place
in brief doses

and the kebab is already cold.

a five minute walk
like a fragment of God himself.




 Harris Coverley has verse published or forthcoming in Polu Texni, California Quarterly, Star*Line, Corvus Review, The Oddville Press, Better Than Starbucks, EgoPHobia, 5-7-5 Haiku Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review, and many others. He lives in Manchester, England.


Friday, August 20, 2021

haiku for Chris at the Exchange #1 by Tohm Bakelas

small-talk bartender
asks me how i am doing—
“all right man, all right.”



 
Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 12 chapbooks. He runs Between Shadows Press. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Rekindled By Matt Amott

 

Never thought
I would see
her again,
until there
she stood.


10 years
of wondering,
gone


the moment
our lips
first meet
in the parking lot
on a Thursday.


Better

late
than
never.








Matt Amott is a poet, musician and photographer who rambles around the Pacific Northwest. He is co-founder and co-editor of Six Ft. Swells Press and has been published in numerous collections as well as three books of his own, THE COAST IS CLEAR (Six Ft. Swells Press), GET WELL SOON and THE MEMORY OF HER (both by Epic Rites Press).  He can be reached at sixftswells@yahoo.com and purchases can be made at Amazon and www.sixftswellspress.com



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

fantasy beyond reality by jck hnry

 Tammy and i sit 
in the back of an old Ford Econoline 
watching the sun 
dip below a far horizon, 
the Pacific roils 
upon the shore, 
and the night air 
begins to sing. 
 
her belly thickens 
with someone’s 
child, it can’t be mine, 
i no longer possess that skill. 
 
sleep comes fitfully, 
my shoulder cloying 
and cramped. 
dreams into nightmares. 
i wake in the chill of 
my hotel room 
at the Hotel Arcata. 
 
it’s already Thursday 
morning 
and my flight leaves 
at 6 am. 



jck hnry is a writer/publisher/editor, based in southeastern california.  recent publications include:  Deuce Coupe, Rye Whiskey Review, Razur Cuts, Cajun Mutt, Dissident Voices, Horror Sleaze Trash, Bold Monkey, Red Fez, dope fiend daily and a bunch of other noble zines and journals.  Books include:  “With the Patience of Monuments (neoPoesis) ,” “Crunked, (Epic Rites)” and the upcoming "Driving w/Crazy (Punk Hostage Press, 2020).”  hnry is also editor and publisher of Heroin Love Songs and 1870. for more go to jackhenry.wordpress.com.

-

 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Laurel Canyon by John Drudge

We stopped 
At the country store
In the canyon
As always 
Where everyone
Is everything
All at once
Long beyond
Stark definitions
Of ourselves
Watching the pain
Wash over
Endless sunsets
As dreams whistle
In the trees


John is a social worker working in the field of disability management and holds degrees in social work, rehabilitation services, and psychology.  He is the author of four books of poetry: “March” (2019), “The Seasons of Us” (2019), New Days (2020), and Fragments (2021). His work has appeared widely in numerous literary journals, magazines, and anthologies internationally. John is also a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee and lives in Caledon Ontario, Canada with his wife and two children.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Metaphysics and Bananas by Lauren Scharhag

after The Uncertainty of the Poet by Giorgio de Chiroco

I feel this indecision:
am I a banana, 
alone, or in a bunch?
Certainly anonymous,
certainly not autonomous.
Am I a statue, 
chalk-white with ages,
headless and limbless,
just tits and ass?
Yes, I am a looker.
Yes, I am gazeless.
Stone collides 
with the stoneless,
the easily mushed. 
These are my choices?
Is that a choo-choo coming,
rattle and clack, 
my ship coming in, 
faceless, launched?
What door should I be 
slouching towards?
If I go in, is there any guarantee
I'll come out again?
I don't have to be frozen.
I don't have to lie here, scattered, 
creeping towards impending rot,
having never known the pleasure
of being peeled and eaten,
of being halved for the I scream
you scream and a cherry 
on top. I don’t
have to watch 
the shadows creep 
despite that blue sky.
I am form. 
I can have both: 
these marble bones and this
highly bruisable skin.
I can be clad only 
in dimples and folds,
testament of bygones,
when the cushion still pushed, 
sustenance unconsumed.
My trunk implies
I am rootless, 
a turn-about fair player, 
both goer and stayer,
lingerer at thresholds.
Yes, the dark is light.
Yes, it's now, then. 
Yes, these stairs lead down
into dirt, or else water.
A cut branch gives at least
one last time. This shoot
may latch again.
The answer is always
depart. 
Depart.

Depart







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




Sunday, August 15, 2021

No Sleeping Through It By Alicia Mathias


 
  sloshes of ink

splash my palm

   split my wrist



and translate

  a cloud's

       ache



     storms reignite

     and jump

           tracks


      trains

  are runaway

   words



            flicking

        bits

            of tornado



   i will let them

          wear

                    me







Alicia Mathias is a writer, artist, and photographer. Her poems and/or artwork, can be seen in: Ann Arbor Review, The Bitter Oleander, bradlaughsfinger, The Canopy Review, Chiron Review, Clockwise Cat, Fearless, January Review Journal, SetU Magazine, Newington Blue Press, Porter Gulch Review, The Rye Whiskey Review, Sore Dove Press, Unlikely Stories Mark V,  and elsewhere. She lives in New York, with her favorite muse, Zeppelin the Wonder Cat. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

this morning by Scott Ferry

 i shear the charred roses off
near the vibrant ones still breathing
i also cut the petal-less heads off before
they grow into hips
 
i let them fall to the ground
some dead get stuck in with the living
tangled in the branches but too many thorns
to try and extract them
 
i do this with my voice sometimes
i do this with my spirit sometimes
i cut and cut and cut and hope
i don’t cut an artery
 
or a silvery thread
i hope i can still pretend to be
what i pretend to be i hope to still
hope with all of these amputations
 
i love too much i have been told
i love too little i have been told
i have cut the dead accusations
i have cut
 
i remember only to be soft
with my grip when lifting my barbed arms
when carrying them to the garbage
when holding up what remains



Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN. He has recent work in the American Journal of Poetry, Misfit, and Spillway. His second book, Mr. Rogers kills fruit flies, is available from Main St. Rag. You can find more of his work @ ferrypoetry.com. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Once Upon A Time by Ann Privateer

When we were fish
We swam together
When we were trees
We grew close
Enough to touch
Now we’re in cars
And apart.





Ann Privateer is a poet, artist, and photographer. Some of the her recent work has appeared in Third Wednesday and Entering to name a few.


Thursday, August 12, 2021

Snapshot Flashback by Ivan Jenson

I have
random recall
of you leaning
over a sink
devouring a mango
at midnight
or you at a wild party
in the arms of
an Arminian guest
learning how to tango
and it’s funny how
nothing profound sticks
and I would say
my all time top pick
would be when
you encouraged me
to break the law
of gravity
and believe
in myself
like nobody’s business
and to always
show some class
even when life
kicks me in the ass




Ivan Jenson is a fine artist, novelist and popular contemporary poet. His artwork was featured in Art in America, Art News, and Interview Magazine and has sold at auction at Christie’s. Ivan was commissioned by Absolut Vodka to make a painting titled Absolut Jenson for the brand’s national ad campaign. His Absolut paintings are in the collection of the Spiritmusuem, the museum of spirits in Stockholm, Sweden.  
Jenson's painting of the “Marlboro Man” was collected by the Philip Morris corporation. Ivan was commissioned to paint the final portrait of the late Malcolm Forbes.  Ivan has written two novels, Dead Artist and Seeing Soriah, both of which illustrate the creative and often dramatic lives of artists. Jenson's poetry is widely published (with over 600 poems published in the US, UK and Europe) in a variety of literary media. A book of Ivan Jenson's poetry was recently published by Hen House Press titled Media Child and Other Poems, which can be acquired on Amazon. Two novels by Ivan Jenson entitled, Marketing Mia and Erotic Rights have been published hardcover. 

Ivan Jenson’sl new psychological thriller The Murderess is now available on Amazon.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

So Hard by Susan Isla Tepper

You cried so hard 
so long
the gods of such matters
took you at your word
your begging wish    
to transcend 
this particular channel

to go
anywhere, anywhere

You stumbled out onto 
a lost land
where you could not
breathe/ eat / tell truth
from fantasy

distinguish between 
love and war
without choking
on your own breath






Susan Isla Tepper is a twenty years published writer in all genres.  Her current project is an Off-Broadway Play on the subject of art and life.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Chill Within The Room By John Patrick Robbins



Maybe it's a fairytale we have outgrown.

But it might just be that the glass has cracked, allowing all the magic to run out.

The dark surely will encompass all.

So hold onto whatever it takes to get you through.

Maybe, is a question that poisons hope yet bleeds an ounce of truth.

Whisper your secrets to strangers and bury your hopes for the moment.

It's a long dark night that certainly faces us all.







John Patrick Robbins is the author of the Still Night Session's 
from Whiskey City Press.
His work has been published in Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine, Lothlorien  Poetry Journal, Horror Sleaze Trash, San Antonio Review, Fixator Press,Piker Press and The Dope Fiend Daily.
His work is always unfiltered. 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Green Bottles By Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

Inebriated nights
spent in one room

as the world spun
all the way around.

The green bottles piled
up in the kitchen table.

The skies grew darker
and dreams washed away.

The singing night birds
sang a secret song for
the lonely drunken man.



Luis has lived in California for 45 years. He works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. 

His poems have appeared in Ariel Chart, Dope Fiend Daily, The Rye Whiskey Review, Under The  Bleachers, Yellow Mama Webzine, and ZYX. Kendra Steiner Editions has published 8 of his chapbooks.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

[ i've canceled prior appointments before ] by john compton

the gas coddles me
like we've been lovers 
and it is affectionate 
kissing what little body 
i am willing to offer 
but it tends
to that small area of flesh
like it is infinite 
and all of me. 

i want to die
but it is too kind
and tells me not today,
today you must live.




john compton (b. 1987) is gay poet who lives in kentucky. his poetry resides in his chest like many hearts & they bloom like vigorously infectious wild flowers. he lives in a tiny town, with his husband josh and their 14 dogs and 3 cats. he feels his head is an auditorium filled with the dead poets from the past. poems are written and edited constantly. his poetry is a personal journey. he reaches for things close and far, trying to give them life: growing up gay; having mental health issues; a journey into his childhood; the world that surrounds us. he writes to be alive, to learn and to grow. he loves imagery, metaphor, simile, abstract language, sounds, when one word can drift you into another direction. he loves playing with vocabulary, creating texture and emotions. he has published 1 book and 6 chapbooks published and forthcoming: trainride elsewhere (august 2016) from Pressed Wafer; that moan like a saxophone (december 2016) from kindle; ampersand (march 2019) from Plan B Press; a child growing wild inside the mothering womb (june 2020) from ghost city press; i saw god cooking children / paint their bones (oct 2020) from blood pudding press; to wash all the pretty things off my skin (september 2021) from ethel zine & micro-press. he has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Am I The Only One by Daniel S. Irwin

Am I the only one
Who gets tired of these
Boring pathetic so-called
Poems that are nothing more
Than strings of unrelated lines
Only held together by
The claim of some sort of
Meaning…which isn’t there,
All backed up by stupendous
Near-God bull crap credentials
Which are but a mockery of
One’s inability to communicate
An actual thought?
Hell, my dog has papers, too.



Daniel S. Irwin, native of Sparta, Illinois (St. Louis area east of the river not Chicago), has had work published in over one hundred magazines and literary journals world wide.

Author of nine books…some frequently seen at local church book burnings.  Recent work can be found in/at Horror, Sleaze. Trash magazine, Beatnik Cowboy,

The Dope Fiend Daily and one here at The Rye Whiskey Review.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Pretty in Pink by John Doyle

I'm standing all alone
Dennis Wilson tells me for the 19th time since 1978,
Bray, County Wicklow
 
asking grifters like me to send its ashes home to France;
two men on bikes at Cassoni's remark
how boring trains look these days 
 
as I hold Bray's ashes, as rain delays itself, graciously.
Listening to Frank Furillo save J.D. LaRue’s soul on Youtube
I call one half of team Raleigh to come collect his chips,
 
the other mutters that his brother's wife's a cunt - I think that’s his brother
briefly becoming my shadow,
nightfall nude as someone's baby five doors down -
 
taking their first bath, pink and safe, chuckling.
France isn't stamped on this horizon -
not yet - be patient my child, all beauty fuses us as one,

then leaves us standing - all alone

26th July, 2021, approaching 9 p.m.




 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.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

Looking Back at First World Behavior in the Apocalypse by Puma Perl

It was all about improvisation.

My shades fell down.
I tucked ruffled checked pillowcases
into the window sills.

A ghetto Scarlett O’Hara.

My left hearing aid broke.
I put the phone on speaker
and used ear buds.
The only one I talked 
to at length, three dimensionally,
was the dog.

A recluse at a younger age than planned.

I started to get used to masks.
It was hard to breathe 
and, glasses always fogging,
even harder to see.

I experimented with dish soap
and eye glass sprays,
left the house regularly
without them, and seemed to see
just as well as before.

Salons were closed;
I cut and dyed my hair,
tweezed my eyebrows,
filed my nails.

All that stuff I never did anyway,
back in the days of cutting real needs
into halves and quarters.

I burned out five car batteries
because I had no place to go.
My apartment walls are dingy
and my intercom rings at night.
The elevator’s always breaking
because the delivery guys 
block the doors on each side.
Amazon boxes line the hallways.
There are fewer deaths
and more arguments.

And it continues.
First world problems in the apocalypse.




Photo by Ellen Berman

Puma Perl is a poet and writer, with five solo collections in print. The most recent is Birthdays Before and After (Beyond Baroque Books, 2019.) She is the producer/creator of Puma’s Pandemonium, which brings spoken word together with rock and roll, and she performs regularly with her band Puma Perl and Friends. She’s received three New York Press Association awards in recognition of her journalism, and is the recipient of the 2016 Acker Award in the category of writing.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Beer Hall Rule By Tim Heerdink


Catching a breath & a brew with Brewer
after a stretch of poetic rendezvous
in a state earning its name misery,
HofbrÀuhaus welcomes us after 5.

Sitting in majestic hall
where many of drink
found their glorious end,
I ask my tour mate,
Half-liter or whole?

That’s an awful lot,
he says with uncertainty.

Off in the great place of Munich,
the rule to this day remains:
If you’re going to be in this hall
after 5 when the day draws long,
you better get yourself a grown man beer.

So, we clink, drink,
sink, & think
until forces call us
to come home.





Tim Heerdink is the author of Somniloquy & Trauma in the Knottseau Well, The Human Remains, Red Flag and Other Poems, Razed Monuments, Checking Tickets on Oumaumua, Sailing the Edge of Time, I Hear a Siren’s Call, Ghost Map, A Cacophony of Birds in the House of Dread, and short stories, The Tithing of Man and HEA-VEN2. His poems appear in various journals and anthologies. He is the President of Midwest Writers Guild of Evansville, Indiana.

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 ...