Thursday, March 31, 2022

Whiskey Wisdom By Roger Turner

 

A man is always looking
To get some free advice
So go and find the fellow
Drinking whiskey over ice

Your friends will tell you one thing
While you're both knocking back a beer
But really, I mean really
Is this the stuff you need to hear

Find a whiskey drinker
He'll tell you how to buy a car
He'll share his whiskey wisdom
About what's a good cigar

A man who drinks good whiskey
Whether neat or over ice
Is the best one you can turn to
When you're looking for advice

He's made it and he knows it
He's not drinking at the pub
He's sitting in a wing back
Drinking whiskey at the club

So, if you're looking for assistance
And you need some good advice
Go get some whiskey wisdom
Sharing whiskey over ice





Happily married writer in hiding. I enjoy good bourbon and cigars and try to see the good side of life from the dark side of the bar. I love twisting my endings so it isn't what you're ready for. Small gatherings in old school settings are my favorite place for inspiration. Life is flawed...so...share your flaws and put pc to rest. I live for today, remember yesterday and never plan for the future...it may never come.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Not Within My Power by Daniel S. Irwin

It is not within my power
To raise the dead.
If it was, I’d probably
Screw it up anyway.
Raise up the wrong ones
Or raise them up
In their rotting state.
You might could make
Some money at it.
Knock, knock…
“Brought your wife back.
You gonna pay me?
What?  You remember her
With more meat on her bones?
Well, at least, she won’t be
Nagging you all the time.
What’s that?  The new wife
Won’t stand for it?
Okay, my bad.  Guess I’ll
Just take her back.
You’re sure now?
Quite a conversation piece
When the neighbors drop by.
Yes, well, maybe she’ll
Help me re-dig the hole.
Oh, Hell!  The dog’s
Running off with her leg.
Here, boy!  Here, Boy!”




Daniel S. Irwin, native of Southern Illinois (such as it is).  Artist, writer, actor, soldier, scholar, priest among other things.

Work published in over one hundred magazines and journals worldwide.  Has appeared in over one hundred films. 

Speaks fluent gibberish when loaded.  Not much into blowing his own horn as you are only as good as your latest endeavor.

Once turned to religion but Jesus just walked away. 

 

 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

clarity in troubled times By Keith Pearson


he found himself
in an alley
a place he had
never been
an empty bottle
of 7 mules
in his coat pocket.

someone elses coat
his left sock gone
no hat.

all he could
remember
was drinking
from her cup
that look in her eye
&
the strangest colors
in the
western sky.



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

Monday, March 28, 2022

Shrouded by Kevin M. Hibshman

There are losses we cannot recoup.

People that cannot be replaced.

It as if someone has dropped a shroud over my senses like

throwing a scarf on top of a lamp shade.

What little light gets through is a false hope.


There is weeping and anger.

There is a pit hollowing me out from the inside.

Everyone is suffering.

Please don't leave me here alone with those I do not like in a 

world I have never been truly able to comprehend.




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).

His current book Just Another Small Town Story from Whiskey City Press is currently available on Amazon. 




Sunday, March 27, 2022

No Love Tonight by Gail Constable

Blue dress trimmed with
Sequins, showing skin
In all the right places, 
Louboutins with 
Platform heels, seen
In every bar, got appeal,
Seems to play a game
Yet she never says her
Name, drains her gin
Then hits the dance
Floor, body movin' 
To red hot paces, she's
Always got attention
From all the guys faces,
One more drink and
She leaves alone,
Headin' to her bed,
At home, tears on
Her pillow for the love
She wants, not a one
Night stand, dreamin' 
Of a forever man but
Not to worry, maybe
Magic will greet her
When she arrives at
The door of the next
Bar.



Gail Constable is a published poet, mother, grandmother and great friend. Her second passion is vocals and you find her weekly singing at her local bar. Gail currently resides on beautiful Cape Breton Island, Canada.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Barfly By Sharon Waller Knutson

She smiles in a pretty face,

lifted and botoxed,

until all the wrinkles


are as smooth as the sheets

where she entertains

the men she meets in the saloon


as she sips sugared daiquiris

and salted margaritas

and buzzes through the crowd,


swaying on mechanical hips

and knees on the dance floor,

a head resting on breast implants


and lands at midnight in the lap,

of a man, young, old, married

or not, she doesn’t care


as long as he leaves before 

the harsh daylight reveals her turkey

neck and senior citizen skin.






Sharon Waller Knutson is a retired journalist who lives in Arizona. She has published several poetry books including My Grandmother Smokes Chesterfields (Flutter Press 2014) and What the Clairvoyant Doesn’t Say and Trials & Tribulations of Sports Bob (Kelsay Books 2021) and Survivors, Saints and Sinners forthcoming by Cyberwit. Her work has also appeared in Black Coffee Review, Terror House Review, Trouvaille Review, ONE ART, Mad Swirl, The Drabble, Gleam, Spillwords, Muddy River Review, Verse-Virtual, Your Daily Poem, Red Eft Review, The Five-Two and The Song Is…

Friday, March 25, 2022

No One Told Me by Brooks C. Mendell

After flushing, washing my hands and checking my hair in the mirror, I opened the door and stepped into the hallway. Two girls, sipping from red plastic cups and waiting for their turns, looked at me and giggled. A boy, flirting and joking with the girls, smirked under his baseball cap. 

“Is something funny?” I signed to Sammy, sitting on the floor with his back against the wall. He stood up.

“You make a lot of noises in the bathroom,” answered Sammy. “You fart. You piss into the water. You say things. You’re loud.”

“How would I know that?”

“You wouldn’t,” signed Sammy. “Unless someone explained it to you.” 

“This is stupid,” I replied. “We all shit the same.”

“Calm down,” signed Sammy. “They don’t know you. They think they’re the cool kids.”

“Why would they laugh at someone they don’t know?” 

Behind Sammy, I saw the smirking boy mouth gaping words like a seal and wave his hands through the air in gibberish, mocking an entire group of people he knew nothing about, the ignorant motherfucker. The girls laughed into their cups.

I stepped past Sammy and punched the boy in the face.

Sammy grabbed my shoulder and yelled, “What are you doing?” 

I read Sammy’s lips and signed, “that asshole insulted my mother.”

“He doesn’t know sign language,” said Sammy.

“How would I know that?”

END



Brooks C. Mendell writes and works in forestry near Athens, Georgia. His stories have appeared in venues such as Storgy, Spank the Carp, DSF and The RavensPerch. www.brooksmendell.com


Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Major Contagion By Titus Green

“The word is now a virus. The flu virus may have once been a healthy lung cell. It is now a parasitic organism that invades and damages the central nervous system. Modern man has lost the option of silence.”

(William S Burroughs)


Yahoo delivers a burning, broken, chaotic world in its little morsels of digital bait. 

US Journalist shot dead by the Russians

Millions in China Face Shutdowns as Covid Surges

Cunning Coroni isn’t finished with Asia just yet. It’s just getting restarted down in Seoul, dropping pathogen bombs from vast, invisible Zeppelins packed with Ominous Omicron.

South Korea exceeds 380,000 new cases in a day shortly after its presidential election.

Reuters and the New York Times dutifully spit out the miserable portraits of people stuck in kilometer testing lines, functioning, surviving only through the digital opium sucked in through fatigued optical nerves from the Android syringes they hold aloft, directly in front like mirrors of diseased reality. The virus is mutating, and so is the endless misery.

Back at Yahoo, its servers are serving up more spiritual junk food. London stabbings and dire economic forecasts juxtapose the celebrities announcing that they are happy with their bodies, sex lives, Botox doses and bowel motions. A few click spaces down succubus index fingers beckon from the confines of showbiz box stories, designed to be clicked and forgotten. 

Click! Click! Click! We want your attention baby. 

We want to suck the marrow of your mind dry. 

And take your IP address hostage.

Celebrities recline on beaches or have frozen grins on their real sweet-success, contract-ready faces filling binary-code boxes attached to blocks of vapid text

_________ rocks the reggae look at red-carpet in New York

_________ has fans stunned by her abs

_________ wows in red bikini 

_________ has fans talking with her wild new cleavage tattoos

that will be viewed and instantly forgotten, this rotten click-bait.  

Isn’t even clicked by the non-existent fans and stinks of PR methane. A sickening odor of triviality rules these segments of cyberspace. Meanwhile, more information war missiles are propelled across the borders of sanity.

PM ‘More than Convinced’ Putin will fail in Ukraine 

Says a party politico who likes parties, at the wrong time,

And whose convictions are no longer than YouTube commercials or the attention spans of Generation Tik-Tok or rap artists’ interview sentences

Putin’s rhetoric now more virulent amid Ukraine war says expert

Nothing is more virulent than conflict commentary now, not even Crafty Coroni, who’s been trying to ambush me for months. Opinions are spurting out of every species of screen, soaking senses with their septic touch, urinated by ‘experts,’ verbally incontinent and intoxicated with self-importance. TV and internet media has a non-stop conveyor belt of seated imbeciles contaminating language in soundbite factories. 

Facebook regurgitates the outside world, vomiting war, scandal, celebrity and the a.m. musings of people we haven’t known for years, who have suddenly awakened as philosophers ready to imitate the paid pundits, infected by the media pathogen with the insane craving to opine and excrete beliefs like diarrhea patients deprived of Imodium. 

This unsocial media platform feeds on our boredom and delusion like a ravenous parasite, a vast global tapeworm with a light blue logo wriggling through the membranes of our intelligence, sponging off our sentience, profiting from our mindless clicking, cultivating our ‘profiles’, trapping us in its gossamer web of distractions and making sure we share and share. Caring is sharing and scaring when you find out who’s sharing your likes and choice of emoticon.

The war videos are cascading down my news feed, alongside films of grown men falling down flights of stairs and one-trick ponies making themselves viral. I dare not return to Yahoo or Google because I don’t want to see any more stories about celebrities monetizing their orgasms or read copy from illiterate scribes about the elongated clusterfuck lives of D-list rehab’s usual suspects.

Facebook is Corona’s jealous twin, watching its sibling take the infamy awards and bask in the hatred of the world while it mutates unnoticed. Once Facebook, now Meta, its latest variant welcomes you to breathe it in, to swallow its protein and start replicating the memes, flying the flags, sharing the outrage, recycling the petitions, changing the profile pics, tweaking the statuses, finding less and less satisfactory versions of yourself to present in 21st century abnormality. 

The current, contagious mutation of this complex virus is infecting its host with violent sanctimony, causing the infected to present the following symptoms: an uncontrollable urge to post on moral, social and political issues with an amplified sense of righteousness, solicit agreement with these views and then insult and isolate any persons with contrary opinions. The pathology of the condition is caused by exposure to and absorption of these views and behavior patterns through contact with media channels, especially certain talk-shows and news channels known for their mind-corroding proteins.

 Nietzsche wouldn’t last long on Facebook. His erudite candor and withering witticisms would offend. They’d turn on him, these modern experts on right-think, and press the HATE SPEECH alert button, but not before convulsing at their keyboards and spilling their Fairtrade Skinny Lattes in rage. Friedrich would be arrested virtually by Silicon Valley, but not before pouring linguistic Greek Fire on its ‘community guidelines’ and safe-from-intelligence spaces. Would the woke inquisition then burn the philosopher at the stake, as the flames singed his handlebar moustache, and he cried ‘there is no such things as right?’

Meanwhile, back at Yahoo:

Holly Willoughby's animal-print M&S dress is set to fly off the shelves

And

Russia 'pulls back helicopters' from key airport in Ukraine's south as setbacks mount

The virus continues spreading, infecting and confounding. It will never disappear and will laugh at any sincere, well-meaning vaccines and spit out their needles for fun. It will last for eternity, because there will never be zero media!





Titus Green was born in Canada but grew up in the UK. His short fiction has appeared in numerous online and print magazines, including The Collidescope, Adelaide Literary Magazine, HORLA, Literally Stories, Sediments Literary Arts, Fear of Monkeys, Stag Hill Literary Journal, The Chamber, S.A.V.A Press and The Font. He teaches English as a foreign language for a living.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Corner Table by Sterling Warner

From Coltrane to Bird
freestyling jazz enthusiasts
strike notes sharp and flat
drummers roll wooden sticks
around kits, riding cymbals,
providing crescendos, milking
dark corners—drawing inspiration
from unpainted walls clinging
to the lingering scent of cigarettes,
cigars, reefers and perspiration.

Pushing smoky spectres around 
shouldered genius patiently skulks 
as improv evolves, flashy players
and discordant sounds ever at odds
prevail, glassy eyes hide behind 
dark heroin glasses while throaty 
voices bring scat to the forefront
like Ella Fitzgerald, wordless vocables
pulling theme and variation full circle 
in arpeggio fragments, patterns, and riffs.



A Washington based author, poet, and educator, Sterling Warner’s poems and stories have appeared in many international literary magazines, journals and anthologies such as the Eunioa Review, Verse-Virtual, and Anti-Heroin Chic. Warner’s most recent poetry/fiction collections include Serpent’s Tooth, Masques: Flash Fiction & Short Stories, and Flytraps: Poems (2022). Currently, Warner enjoy writing, turning wood, participating in “virtual” poetry readings, and fishing along the Hood Canal.

Monday, March 21, 2022

TERRA INCOGNITA by Michael N. Thompson

The day drunks inside this darkened barroom
resemble a scene from Trees Lounge
but like the George Jones song goes,
its “hotter than a two-dollar pistol” outside 
so this cold beer feels like heaven 
as it washes down my throat

A string of sad song country tunes
bleeds from the jukebox speakers
and I watch two old geezers argue 
with the fury of a thousand Republicans 
trying to abolish Roe versus Wade
about why the Giants aren’t in the World Series

There aren’t any pretty girls
to occupy my mind
but one who’s at least
twenty years my senior
slides into the stool next to mine
and tries to convince me
the romance of how it was
outweighs the romance of how it is

Two random strangers stand up
and begin to slow-dance
to a Tom waits song
while the rest of us
stare down at our drinks
wishing we had the guts 




Michael N. Thompson likes bacon, cats and fantasy football.  His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and San Pedro River Review. He is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent being A Murder Of Crows published by University of Hell Press. www.michaelnthompson.com


Sunday, March 20, 2022

Married By Nadja Moore

It's always the same. Wife tries to help. Husband can't believe what she's saying, says, "think!" She says, "why d'you even care?" He gives up. Grumbles. Fumbles with himself later. She grabs dinner. Makes dinner. Goes shopping. Talks shit about the husband while he's cuming behind his desk at the office. "He got fat". The girlfriend replies, "Oh you wouldn't believe what Gary did the other day!" And they all shake their heads over a salmon salad. "Men", they all say in unison. At the office, after he fumbles with himself and puts his computer away in his computer bag, the husband makes a brief appearance at the pub. Football this, cricket that. "How's the wife?" asks Gary. "The pain in my arse my doctor can't cure".



Nadja Moore is a writer based in Surrey, UK. She has a day job, a roommate, a band called Lilies in my brain and no pets. Her poems have appeared in Horror Sleaze Trash and Terror House Magazine

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Wasp Honey by CL Bledsoe

The first rule in life is you’re going to get stung.
The question is whether you get the honey. 
You’ll be standing there, like a fool, regardless
of how much you meant it. The wasps meant
it too. Name anything that isn’t a metaphor
for love. Don’t say love, because none of us
will admit we believe in that. But we hope. 
She said she’d been smiling all week
when I told her how beautiful she looked
last night. I didn’t tell her I started drinking again
because it was the only way I could stay
alive. The problem with the past is it won’t
go away just because it’s over. You have to dig
a hole in the desert, beat it to death 
with the shovel, and kick the past in, still screaming. 
If I could see you, I’d say don’t call my name,
no matter how much I want to hear it.  




 Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the poetry collections Riceland, Trashcans in Love, Grief Bacon, and his newest, The Bottle Episode, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue located here: https://medium.com/@howtoeven His own blog, Not Another TV Dad, is located here: https://medium.com/@clbledsoe He’s been published in hundreds of journals, newspapers, and websites that you’ve probably never heard of. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.




Friday, March 18, 2022

Dating in the Stoned Age by Tony Pena

Fred and Wilma ain’t got nothing
on Mule and Meg making plans
for some grub and a flick.
 
First, catch the latest Star Wars
a month after premiere, sharing
stale popcorn at the theater 
 
that died as a soft porn house before
reborn like Lazarus as a second run
joint with torn screen and tacky floor.
 
Later, Dick’s Diner ain’t romantic
but if variety is the spice of life,
the selection is sumptuous.
 
A thousand and one sauces
to drench a dry bird and palate
cleanser of watered down RC.
 
And as for the nightcap,
he could yabba dabba do her
for two hours on hot sheets.
 
Mule wonders, as the acrid smoke
and stink of burning weed engulfs
his Nova stranded on the highway,
 
if Meg would’ve come out had
the red rose he stole from Bob’s
gas station been free of blight.



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:

Www.youtube.com/tonypenapoetry
Www.facebook.com/tonypenapoetry



Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Mourning Soul By Lynn Bowen & John Patrick Robbins


Gaping hole, searing loss.
Rendered heart
Persevere, the only path.

Sorrow's scent pervades every breath.

There is magic in the madness of old scribblings and forgotten songs.

Cold winds and whispered truths, long are the nights as timeless are the tides.

The ebb and flow of memories, yearning...taunting.

Bringing me closer to the end. 
Or will it be the beginning...







 Lynn Bowen is a Virginia-based writer and poet. 
This is her first publication. 





John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review,  Under The Bleachers , The Black Shamrock Magazine and The Abyss.

His work has appeared in Fearless Poetry Zine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Piker Press, Spill The Words, Elephant, The San Pedro River Review and Punk Noir Magazine.

His work is always unfiltered.



Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Pondering the Shoreline of Existence by Ann Christine Tabaka

I was cleaned today.
I was put away / high upon a shelf, 
    safely out of sight.
Left to macerate like some specimen in a jar. 
Emotions raw – from entanglement.
Knife separates flesh from desire / sinew from pain.
Devoid of contrition - my penance is great. 
Parmenides walked an ancient shoreline pondering existence. 
The sand beneath my feet is real,
yet it flows freely from my hand – back into the sea.
Dispersed throughout vast oceans,
    its identity is lost.  
I am trapped in a world of my own sins. 
If existence is freedom,
    then do I cease to exist? 




Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year, her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020 and 2021,” published by Sweetycat Press. She is the author of 13 poetry books. lives in Delaware, USA. She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: Sparks of Calliope; The Closed Eye Open, Poetic Sun, Tangled Locks Journal, Wild Roof Journal, The American Writers Review, The Scribe Magazine, The Phoenix, Burningword Literary Journal, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Silver Blade, Pomona Valley Review, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Fourth & Sycamore.
*(a complete list of publications is available upon request)



Monday, March 14, 2022

Turquoise Hope By PW Covington


We lay in my adobe refuge
Smoking
The world dies outside

Summer often ends abruptly in the mountains
We keep to ourselves in such seasons

When this ends, I want to
Take a vacation, she says
Somewhere far away and foreign
Someplace I can hide
Invisible and muted
Deaf and unaware
Of the chittering, native, word-sound-voices
Above all your vices,
She says

I fill that room with smoke
Sativa curls caress the pine vegas
Reminding me of bingo halls
And sawdust floors
And steel guitars
And red dirt roads

Iron oxidized like blood vessels
Twisted around property lines
Mesquite posts and barbed wire
Defensive

Basalt over sandstone
Copper tears dry into turquoise
On nights like this
And the parking situation has not improved

I nod and I hold her close until
She’s snoring
Every dream-filled breath of solitude and slumber

All I want to do is rejoin the galactic and fantastic
Human shit and shine show
The cum and go show
Casino sunglass Saturday night show
Gospel mirrors and Cotton-Eyed Joe show
The mask and pony
Serotonin and endorphin show
French kissed like a 220 socket
I want to jump back in and swim in it
All of it, 1990’s leftover sex and patent leather
Baptize me in your lack of better judgement
I’ve been made of stone too long

It’s all about the breath this year
Aspiration and ventilation
Inspiration, greed, negotiations
Basalt over sandstone
Bourbon over ancient, icy, things
Subtle turquoise hope




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

Rules For Working in A Bar by Clay Hunt

To Justin Frahm, thanks for the first and the eleventh, and to my wife Laura Adkins for the tenth . 1.Keep your eyes on the ground. You’ll a...