Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Goodbye Mr Gargoyle By Nick Gerrard

A joker, nun or jester standing tall amongst beer bellies, navies or studded youth

An original amongst men he never let his artistic aspirations fester.

Standing out from a crowd, being a face first there.

Together we robbed safes, cars and pickled jars and sold old furniture and rented our rooms for beer.

You dared step wherever was forbidden.

And you made me laugh so much and there are stories that must remain forever hidden

Your sense of style was like no one else, you are in the book of new romantics, first before Steve strange.

I was happy you found love at last and spent your last years so happy. Even though the habit you wore was no longer a nun’s

You were cooler then the coolest guys. You shunned fashion and fame cuss you disliked the shoes.

I giggled and lied with you, I fought with you, we tricked and treated, did good and cheated.

We ran from cops, we pilfered shops, we went first class and went on the lash

In dingy Irish pubs in Digbeth to selling t shirts in Camden, it was all a gas.

You were a one in a million, my mate, my companion. 

You stood out and dared to be different. And I’ll remember super gluing the locks to stop the city and trashing a Rolls Royce just cuss it was there.

And now you are gone my mate. My books are full of you. My life is fuller because I knew you.

I loved you back then and I love you still. I am proud of you and miss you. Good bye and stay free

My friend 

A. Gargoyle still written on the envelope of the dole cheque.





Nick writes Gritty realism or social realism or as he likes to say 'Working-class kitchen sink drama! ‘ His short stories, flash, poetry and essays have appeared in various magazines and books in print and online. Nick has five books published available on Amazon and elsewhere. His short novel out last year, Punk Novelette is all about a group of friends growing up with punk in the 70s in the UK and the effect the movement had on their lives. His latest short story collection is Called Struggle and Strife; fifteen short stories covering the political and personal struggles of today, yesterday, and the future. Stories of casual workers, holocaust survivors, refugees, slum dwellers, and trade unionists. Tales of protests and fight-backs against oppression, and the daily battles of ordinary people. https://nickgerrardauthor.wixsite.com/books

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

here is By Scott Ferry


a key that doesn’t open anything

a flat bone to spread butter on metal

a rusty jug of coins vomited then cleaned

a miraculous escape from the fossil record

a book of corrupt chambers

a detailed diagram of the inside of the moon

a crisp whisker frozen then kept

a dance for statues

a script for the bluelipped

a box of expired candy hearts

a cramp in the side when exiting the theater

a missile defused and painted pink as a pig

a jawbone of an ancient vengeance

a star a corridor a door stained with words

a ghost in a pope costume sulking in the lobby

a bowl full of expensive teeth

coriander and brushfires in a straight row

mechanical love like a path of gold minnows

corduroy steps down into the lower boats

a long gap spanned with a leap

a mossy door under the lake

a copper key slick as night

and no hole in the water’s

music






Scott Ferry helps Veterans heal as a RN in the Seattle area.  He has two books coming out in 2024: Fill Me with Birds with Daniel McGinn on Meat for Tea Press and Sapphires on the Graves from Glass Lyre Press. More of his work can be found at ferrypoetry.com.

 

 


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Reasons To Drink More Wine By Trish Saunders

Dying doesn’t scare me, you lied.

Here’s how it works: push back the chair, grab your keys and leave. 

To prove your point, you did just that, killing the conversation 

with a door slam so decisive, nobody could properly open or shut 

that thing again, and it was perfect, just perfect that my glass was empty,

Billie Holliday was killing it: “I’ve been down so long, down don’t worry me.”

and let everyone know how much better she was at singing or even talking 

about blues than anyone else.

 

There’s too much regret in this room. 

As I’m writing this, I decide to burn it, in solidarity with your cremation,

I'm alive. Unbelievably, you are not.  Well, maybe you are somewhere 

laughing, please, be laughing at us.  



 




Trish Saunders writes poems and short fiction from Seattle, has been published numerous places, including the Rye Whiskey Review, Off The Coast Literary Journal, and the American Journal of Poetry. 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

stray cats By John Grochalski

the cats

in the alleyway

 

fight and fuck

and cry into the void

 

while i sit

drunk on the couch

 

pouring myself

vodka and wine eternities

 

hoping the tears won’t come

 

but knowing that

tomorrow morning

 

sure as hell will.






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.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Lap Dancing A Soon To Be Corpse By John Patrick Robbins




Laughing merely at the decadence the dim lights hide more than blemishes as the audience is hidden from the footlights view.


The catacombs are our common ground.

So easily we are lost in the depths so beyond a simplistic facades comprehension.


Backrooms allure purchased pleasures temptations.

A tease in a red-lights hue.

A bitten lips  trickle of blood the essence of this lifeless form.


Her body’s rhythm enchanting even to the near death experience.

A lifeless form she inhales the decay to expel the venom that is desired yet never contained.


She lays with dead as many call it necromancy.

As she simply refers to it as a relationship.


The music fades, her body's perfume delicious as I so thirst to be buried alive.






JPR, is a southern gothic writer his work has been published in Horror Sleaze Trash, Punk Noir Magazine, Distrub The Universe, Piker Press, Spill The Words Press, Sava Press, The Dope Fiend Daily and Fixator Press.


Thursday, January 25, 2024

THIS IS NOT A PIPE By Glenn Armstrong


I miss smoking or ingesting nicotine 

in any form. Coffee and cigarettes

built America. You didn’t have all 

these prima donnas afraid to die, 

wanting to live to 120 or forever 

after the Singularity or whatever. 

It’s just that dying of lung cancer doesn’t 

appeal to me. I could stand to lose 

some weight, but why is it that people 

in the Before pictures of these diet 

plan commercials look happier fat

than in their thin After photos? Still, I don’t

like wheezing when I bend over or climb

the stairs. Whatever happened to that Atlanta 

girl who worked the Macy’s perfume 

counter? “Guys don’t need to count calories,”

she said. Dammit, I should have kissed her 

when we were alone, but I’ve always

gravitated toward the wrong women. I think 

I’ll have another slice of pecan pie. 





 Glenn Armstrong has been a journalist, art model, and monk. His work has appeared in The Dillydoun ReviewThe Beatnik Cowboy, and The Rye Whiskey Review. He lives in San Diego.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Last Call By Michael Minassian


Alone at the bar,

I tap my foot

to a Roy Orbison song,

something about sorrow

and a woman from long ago.


Tonight I couldn’t write

anything longer

than what fits

on the beer coaster,

making up excuses:

I’m hungover,

have a headache,

a woman I slept with

had hairy armpits.


Not that I cared—

I thought I was in love

but she loved women more.


Is that all there is?

she whispered

when we woke 

up in the morning,

kissing me once 

before she got dressed.


The bartender interrupts 

my reverie:

Closing time, he growls

slapping a wet towel 

on the bar in front of me.


I search my phone

for her number…


Last call, I think to myself.








MICHAEL MINASSIAN is a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online poetry journal. His poetry collections Time is Not a River, Morning Calm, and A Matter of Timing as well as a new chapbook, Jack Pays a Visit, are all available on Amazon. For more information:

https://michaelminassian.com

 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Where Are the Sonnets? By Steven Bruce


She said, None of your poems rhyme

and where are the sonnets?


Oh, but life’s rhythms

aren’t written in syllable counts.


Nor is our iron forged

by trite rhyme schemes.


At worst, man’s form

is a hurricane colliding

with an erupting volcano.


At best, it’s a night of music,

libation, and a partner he adores

climaxing at the end of his tongue.


Man is a simple beast grazing

in fields of dissonance.


He never stops

to appreciate the flowers


because they never stop

to appreciate him.


And his mind’s a gun chamber

loaded with infernal reflections.






Steven Bruce is a writer and multiple-award-winning author. His poems and short stories have appeared in numerous international anthologies and magazines. In 2018, he graduated from Teesside University with a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.



Friday, January 19, 2024

Taking Up Space By Bruce Morton

Elbows planted
Firm on the bar
Holds down his place
He contemplates space
Black holes and voids
Thinking—
About everything
He avoids here
Sipping just one more
Beer calculating
The elasticity of red light
As it stretches in the night
And the difference between
A gigayear and yesterday




Bruce Morton divides his time between Montana and Arizona. His collection, Planet Mort, is just published (FootHills Publishing, 2024).

Thursday, January 18, 2024

So, I Moved To This Strange Town To Die (DRINK UP!) By Kevin M. Hibshman


...or perhaps, not.

DRINK UP!


Lately I view death as a friend waffling about among the blind and belligerent who are sorely afflicted , helplessly addicted to lost causes.

DRINK UP!


I want to simply close my eyes and drift, slipping mortality's rusted chain from my ankle.

If I cannot fly, I just might try to swim.

DRINK UP!


I just want to rest, to ease the pounding in my head and in my chest.

DRINK UP!


No drugs, no sex, nor the desire to perspire.

DRINK UP!



I realize that I can't check out just yet.

Something great might lie ahead?

Find me a bar and a best friend to rent because liquor is expensive and my check's already spent

DRINK UP!








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 Cease To Destroy from Whiskey City Press is currently available on Amazon. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Battle of the Bands By Robert Donohue


What happened to those bands you once saw live

Back when the scene was really underground?

You know the ones, who pioneered the sound

Yet somehow never managed to survive.

It could have been they were too cool to strive

And sabotaged their chance at being found.

It’s possible they might be sill around,

Content to play a warehouse or a dive.


What if you were the one who could decide

Which rocking bands find purchases on our shore

Instead of being swept out on the tide?

What would you use this special power for?

Would you enlighten us, or just deride

Our taste? Would you be right, and nothing more?






Robert Donohue's poetry has appeared in Apocalypse Confidential, Better Than Starbucks, and Oddball Magazine, among others. He lives on Long Island, NY.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Closing time By Alex Stolis


We’re a deadly crash waiting
to happen, emergency room
doors closing fast,

tonight is one of those
nights, the kind that never end,
the last of the bombast,

we are unarmed
and unprepared
for what comes next,

but I love how your hair falls
over your eyes when you smile
that smile that smolders,

fingertips a breath away
from my forearm, neon blaring
jukebox howling,

bartender knowing,
the crowd thinning,
and closing time

looks like longing, feels
like a whisper
before the end of the world.







Alex lives in Minneapolis.

Monday, January 15, 2024

The Cumulative Effect By J.D. Isip


The power had been out for days.
Bottle of cheap whiskey, a third gone,
my brother hadn’t even got to her death.
My little dog shivered under the covers.

Eyes bloodshot, “You don’t know how hard it is,”
what he tried to put into order, the difficulty of it
plain on his red face, “What do you know anyway?”

Before I could make my case, if possible,
the dog went still, a warm stream of urine
pouring over my leg, “Oh shit! Oh, goddamnit!”
My dog leapt to a corner, eyes wide on me.

“It’s okay,” I said, “It’s okay. You’re just cold.”
My brother began to cry in starts, like hiccups,
“You’re right, you’re right. I don’t feel anything.”







J.D. Isip’s full-length poetry collections include Kissing the Wound (Moon Tide Press, 2023) and Pocketing Feathers (Sadie Girl Press, 2015). His third collection, tentatively titled I Wasn’t Finished, will be released by Moon Tide Press in early 2025. J.D. lives in Texas with his dogs, Ivy and Bucky.

Drunk Haze by George Gad Economou

swilling down bourbon till the very end of memories,  stumbling my way out of the barroom engirdled by fancy dinner-goers in a bar not for d...