Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Lookalike By Gloria Mindock


Nancy was the spitting image of Patty Hearst. She could not drive anywhere without the police pulling her over. She always had to get out of the car, have her car searched, identification checked, and questioned. It was tiring. 

Nancy thought about dying her hair, wearing disguises but why should she have to do this just because she looked like someone.

Four of us were going over to hang out with Nancy and her roommate and have some beers. She lived on the outskirts of town in a white apartment building. For some reason, I always got the creeps in the area she lived in. I was afraid of being raped or assaulted. Do not know why these feelings were so strong.

Some guys who lived in the building came over and partied with us. It was a lot of fun. Everyone was having a great time. I was always on guard and had a rule to drink only one beer. Never leave it unattended. I kept to this rule of mine.

A guy I worked with months ago arrived at the party. He was extremely funny. I did not pay attention to how much he drank. Later, when it was time to leave, he said he would give me a ride home. I was glad because it was dark out. I got into his car and noticed he had a stick shift. Oh I remember learning how to drive one of those. I could go backwards easily but not forward.

He started the car, turned onto the highway and was really going way too fast. I love speeding but only when I am in control of the car. All I could think of is that I am going to die in a crash and maybe other people. I told him to slow down. He didn’t listen.

I made it home and boy was I glad. He left his car in my parking spot and walked a block home. So happy about that. No more driving. 

As I was opening the door to my apartment, a guy out of nowhere appeared. Asking if he could crash on my floor. Fear overtook me. I opened the door so fast and slammed it shut and locked it in a hurry. Whoever this guy was, he was not to be trusted. If he was to be let in, my body would be found the next day. His eyes were black. Evil. The killing kind. Geez… and I was worried about where I partied. Home is where the slaughter is.





Gloria Mindock is editor of Červená Barva Press. She is an award-winning author of six poetry collections, three chapbooks and two translations into Romanian and Serbia. Her poems have been published and translated into eleven languages and her recent book, Grief Touched the Sky at Night (Glass Lyre Press, 2023), won the International Impact Award, the Speak-up Talk Radio International Firebird Award and the Independent Press Award. www.gloriamindock.com


Friday, March 29, 2024

TGIF By Rocío Iglesias


Let me tell you how the city feels to me

brimming with the nearly insuppressible urge to destroy something, anything

corralled by the well-trained, well-meaning voices of requisite optimism 

Pessimism in the face of genocide is not business casual 

They are not expecting me to be the furthest point from Them, 

A little garnish for the white DEI coordinator 

A little pin that says his pronouns, which are of no surprise to anyone,

but we're all so very thankful you started the trend

that was so brave of you


Let me tell you how the city feels to me

Laughter covering up a hive mind desire of capitulating to the dark thoughts

We're all committing to the bit, writing it in plain English but adding "lol" at the end,

so our parents don't get worried

so our friends don't think it's time to call someone on our behalf

I'd love to call someone on all our behalf

last time I did I got a response in my email saying I have misunderstood the situation

it is not extermination, it is conflict 

so I must be confused, try again


Let me tell you how the city feels to me

Wet and coruscated, bright and sentient 

Vibrating with the tender desperation of our sterility

and on a global scale our generosity for the human spirit is breaking 

There is only so much livestreamed death a person can take before the screws come loose

Before the dark fiber running through us all snaps too tightly in place

Before the constant clanking coming from the basement starts to climb the stairs 

I am so tired of pulling the covers over my own eyes so I can sleep at night







Rocío Iglesias is a queer Cuban-American poet. Her work has appeared in various print and electronic publications and can most recently be found in  O, Miami's Ventanitas collection and Better Homes and Dykes. She lives, breathes, and works in Minneapolis, MN.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

On Tuesday There Was a Point When Bourbon Seemed Like a Good Breakfast Food By jim bourey


That was when morning newscasters started their phony emoting

about the cargo ship disaster at the Key Bridge. 


The day before, it was more political insanity and human 

trafficking. Sunday, they spoke about mourning for 

those people slaughtered by terrorists at a progressive

rock show playing in a Moscow theater.


Hard to write a pensive, idyllic poem

when all those sad and frightening noises 

pour into my quiet corner. So I dig

around for a sweet memory, the distraction

of a song, the “remember when” 

that might have been

real for a moment or two. 


Usually I can find something 

to cue up laughter or calmness.

Today it’s not working.

It’s not working at all.

And it’s time for breakfast.






jim bourey is a poet from the Adirondacks in NY.  He’s the author of three poetry books including Out There and Back Again (Cold River Press, 2023), The Distance Between Us (Cold River Press, 2020), and Silence, Interrupted (Broadkill River Press, 2015). He is co-author with Linda Blaskey of Season of Harvest (Pond Road Press, 2022). His work has appeared in numerous journals in print and online. Many of his poems have also appeared in a variety of anthologies. He currently runs a poetry reading series in Malone, NY. He is an associate editor at The Broadkill Review.




Wednesday, March 27, 2024

A Suburb of Myself By Dan Provost

 I failed the beer philosophy of

hidden pain, tried to twist tears with
artistic motivation---

Exchanged drinking rights
for lawnmower chores and paper 
hats that were worn during Christmas.




Dan Provost's poetry has been published throughout the small press for a number of years. Some recent publications include: Ariel Chart, Poetical Review, Merak Magazine, Oddball Magazine, Deuce Coupe, Misfit Magazine, the Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press and the Dope Fiend Daily. He has two books coming out in 2020. Under the Influence of Nothingness by Kung Fu Treachery Press and Rattle of a Realizer, published by Whiskey City Press. He lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife Laura and dog Bella.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Flashbacks By Jonathan Butcher


This mirror of time, which casts
unfair reflections. sees your face now 
aged but without the shadows
of toil, refusing to glance forward.
A slight flash of memory, 
like misplaced lightning suddenly 
reminds me of why this would be
the case.

Then in the same breath, this pub
reveals yet further flashbacks;
a conversation picked up two
decades later, your stance
at the bar still with false pretension,
but now without the same flair 
we remember; any grace left behind years ago. 

The drinks thankfully mask 
this irritating nostalgia, 
like trinkets once linked to pleasure 
discarded in city alleyways, now 
just an empty shell of what they once 
offered. I slowly sink back into the here
and now, reminding myself of the benefit
of hindsight. 


 



Jonathan Butcher has had poems appear in various print and online publications including, The Morning Star, Mad Swirl, Drunk Monkeys, The Abyss, Cajun Mutt Press and others. His fourth chapbook, 'Turpentine' was published by Alien Buddha Press.
He is also the editor of online poetry journal Fixator Press. 


Monday, March 25, 2024

When You Fall By Skaja Evens


You never know how you’ll break


A million tiny pieces, perhaps

Microscopic

Invisible glass

Crumpled

Impossible to repair


Or,


In shards, large

Jagged

Vicious

Resilient

Incompletely mended


In either case

Parts of you are lost

You’re never the same







Skaja Evens is a writer and artist living in Southeast Virginia. Publication credits include Spillwords Press, Medusa’s Kitchen, Ink Pantry, Off the Coast, The Crossroads Lit Magazine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Synchronized Chaos, and Blue Pepper. Her first book, conscientia veritatis, is forthcoming from Whiskey City Press.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

ATOMIC GRAFFITI By Glenn Armstrong

You could do worse than shoveling shit

in a Kentucky stable where stud horses  

dream of the cheering race day crowd. 

Who’s to say the guy who works third

shift at ampm is less than the CEO

of fill-in-the-blank corporation? I recall

turning knobs as a night watchman, trying

to stay awake. Nothing ever happened.

They might as well have put a cardboard

cutout of me there. I could have been 

dreaming about fucking in an atomic bomb

glow; both getting vaporized near the base,

whether or not the U.S. retaliated; 

leaving dark shadows on the ruined wall.





Glenn Armstrong was an '80s NYC club kid. Foundational music from the Ramones to P-Funk informs his poetry. His work has appeared in The Beatnik Cowboy, The Rye Whiskey Review, and others. He lives in San Diego.

Friday, March 22, 2024

meditation By Scott Ferry


here is a bag of giant asian wasps

i have to put it over my head

how do i feel about it?

 

i can pretend they are not wasps

but winged angels and that each searing sting

is an exquisite epiphany

 

i can be excited about pain

because it feels stronger than

anything else

 

and i can learn to breathe through it

to go into a bliss compartment

i have dug in my reptilian brain

 

here i have already died

and am drifting in absinthe

and chloroform

 

buddha sits next to me

chewing on a live electrical wire

and laughing between shocks

 

the sky is clear today

i can see through the imaginary bag

and the imaginary coral-jawed hornets

 

my body created as an agony container

wherein i can decide to respond to

noxious stimuli

 

i have decided to be free

but like the buddha my body still jolts

and i curse while weeping in joy

 

here is a muzzle of ordinary discontent

here is a boat and a flamethrower

here is a clear view of nothing

 

i kiss each sin with swollen lips

i sing the murder to sleep

with a prayer

 




Scott Ferry helps our Veterans heal as a RN in the Seattle area. His most recent book is a collaboration with Daniel McGinn titled Fill Me With Birds on Meat for Tea Press. His tenth book of poetry, Sapphires on the Graves, is upcoming from Glass Lyre Press in early Summer 2024. More can be found at ferrypoetry.com.

 

 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

A Night Out By B. Lynne Zika


What do you mean we can’t go to your place?

He turned off the ignition

and left his hands on the wheel.

Hell, he didn’t have a place we could go, either.

It was the parking lot or nothing,

and I’d waited too many months for nothing.

Divorce can leave a woman on the prowl.

 

I’d dressed carefully, soaking first

in a hot bath with sesame oil,

legs and underarms shaved silky smooth,

long hair shining, and a dress

which whispered sexy but didn’t scream.

Eyelids lined and shadowed sultry.

Lips plump and moist.

It was the first time

I’d ever been in a bar alone.

 

He got down to business

right there in the front seat,

the lights of the parking lot

casting shadows in a grim film noir.

Twenty-eight years old, two kids,

and starting life over… like this?

He paused and peered down at me. Say,

how old are you, anyway?

and I needed someone so much,

needed someone too much,

to shove him off, smile, and say,

Hey, handsome, fuck off and die.







B. Lynne Zika is a poet, essayist, photographer, and fiction writer currently living in Los Angeles. Her books The Strange Case of Eddy Whitfield, The Longing, and Letters to Sappho: Putting Out the Fire are available on Amazon and through other booksellers. In addition to editing poetry and nonfiction, she worked as a closed-captioning editor for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. She has received awards in short fiction, poetry, and photography. Her father, Yewell C. Lybrand, Jr., was a writer himself. Before his death at 36, he bequeathed her this wisdom and mission for a lifetime: Make every word count.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Making Stars By Susan Isla Tepper


Losing my bearings

along the way

I found you floating

in a filament sky—

its tendrils and the 

clouds breathing life

into making stars—

Not even a mouse 

could be quieter.

And you, out there

seemingly content, 

while my struggles 

with strands 

in the atmosphere—

a daily occurrence— 

I was unsuited, you see.

Defined by wild wisteria & 

shouted misgivings—

So loud, my head loosened.






Susan Isla Tepper is a twenty year writer in all genres. Her stage play "Crooked Heart" will be featured in Origin Theatre Company 'May Play Festival', NYC.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Drunk at the Vatican By John Drudge

Under a Baroque stare

Lost in a rapture

In Vatican square  

Off the pedestal

And hunting down truth

Snatching eternity

From the hands

Of the sinister

Blurring the lines

Between art and reality

Architecture and paintings

Sculpture and music

Everything all at once

In a frantic dance 

Of redemption 

Like being hit

With the kitchen sink

In the name of the father

And the son

And the spirit of the ghost






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 five books of poetry: “March” (2019), “The Seasons of Us” (2019), New Days (2020), Fragments (2021), and A Long Walk (2023). 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.

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...