Friday, May 31, 2024

Oh My Tears of Sorrow, How Soon They Turned to Tears of Rage By John Doyle

I stand on a razor blade that slits the throat of modern time,

The New York Dolls mean little to a Nihilist and the Holy Ghost on days like these;

Johnny Thunders -  who mentioned some good times he had -

was somewhere east a thousand hours before he died. I neglected his soul

in those most sober 

of its hours.

An acid test with bar staff is simple. 

Do they acknowledge you outside of working hours? 

in the street, 

in church, in the local gamblers’ anonymous? 

Lou was a hospital porter, then tried black magick in sales, 

then something he never quite disclosed, 

this was his dislocation from reality. 

He called it his missing years - to be fair

I don't think he'd ever heard of John Prine,

though vis-a-vis, not hearing of John Prine 

is not something you'd put on your CV 

if the urge 

for something more exotic 

came hunting for your talents,

or what was left of your Old Testament killer instinct 

after a breakdown such as his.

Lou fills up my glass, hums something about Jesus

becoming disillusioned - something about missing years.

So who you been talking to then, 


Years are things that sit on treetops, years are soap operas sprinkled down glass panes 

with thumb-smudge sounds, 

then - concrete death several stories below.

They slide under doors in the condos and whorehouses - the black mass priests;

they crawl into your brain 

through the electric neon Ouija Boards - Mick and Keith;

They squirm beneath your covers at night

no matter how tight Mrs. Jones tucks her boy in - 

those mannequins 

falling from blacked-out windows.

When I first heard Station to Station

I felt it was Bowie's true masterpiece -

nothing changes 

in the illustrations of black smoke

from voodoo candles, 

except now the mannequins have melted,

the smoke a series of clouds that your death mask

seeks down-payments from; 

Los Angeles - 

lost angels, coming home,

families blinded by their cocaine-white


the brigadier-general who seeks a civil war. His shares are climbing higher than the F.T.S.E index,

as is the Whore of Babylon's black-hearted brother today,

love/hate knuckle tattoos 

on supermarket receipts instead of his mountain-top knuckles.

Everything here makes up particles

in petri-dishes syllables made from components

deep within mother earth's chasms

wearing corduroy pants, two holsters, and a belt no-one knew why he wore.

I knew -

that’s why I receive Holy Communion every day,

that wagon from Wyoming’s got blood dripping down its sides

telling me there’s rust flaking on Heaven’s gates

Half  man, half creature of very odd habit, John Doyle dabbles in poetry when other forms of alchemy and whatnot just don't meet his creative needs. From County Kildare in Ireland, he is (let's just politely say) closer to 50 than 21.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Life's Bar Tab By Wayne Russell

I found myself falling
through the cracks of
society at a very young
age, I was abused and
told that I would never
amount to anything, but
I proved the naysayers
wrong on one account,
I wasn’t stupid by any
means, a 130 IQ is not
Einstein by any means,
he had an IQ of 160, but
I’m proud of my mental
fire power. It took me so
many years too forgive
those that were both
mentally and physically
cruel to me, I may have
finally forgiven them, but
the scars will remain for
the duration of my life,
I ended up in self-medicating
with booze too numb all
the pain, too wash it into the
gutters of pub life, where all
the broken down old barflies
hang out and we scrub all our
scars and wounds down with
cheapest whiskey and rye
that the house has.      

Wayne Russell is a creative jack of all trades, master of none. Poet, rhythm guitar player, singer, artist, photographer, and author of the poetry books “Where Angels Fear” via Guerilla Genius Press, and the newly released “Splinter of the Moon” via Silver Bow Publishing, they are both available for purchase on Amazon. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Still life with Hyde Park By Dennis Moriarty

Mid day mid week and the park is peopled

by office workers and city gents

with mobile phones glued to their ears, leaches

sucking the life from their boredom.

There are ladies that lunch on salad leaves and

sparkling wine, their voices loud

and shrill as geese that strut the shore and shit

all day on the grass.

Designer dogs with designer owners, pugs and

bulldogs with heads too big

and tails too small, their ears erect and quivering

like antenna searching for

calm among the crackling static of chaos,

mothers with babies and toddlers with fathers, stay

at home parents in a play away world,

tourists with cameras like a spare appendage, clicking

and snapping still life with Hyde park.

And then there are those that come from nowhere,

street dwellers without identity,

without a voice seeking refuge from the everyday

madness of their everyday lives.

They sit here from early morning through until dusk

when they scurry away like ants

back to their hills on the streets, the lost and the lonely,

the half alive half dead and the long time forgotten.

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.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

It’s Not Like By Daniel S. Irwin


It’s not like
I don’t have
A reason
To live.
I just can’t
What it is.

Or is it that
I actually,
For real,
Have no
Reason to live.
What would I
Be doing with a
Reason to live?

If I really knew
What life
Was all about,
I wouldn’t need
Another drink.
Then again,
Maybe I would


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. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

Breakfast of Champions at the Pittsburgh Airport in Early Morning By Joan Leotta

To sustain me for my super early morning

round of flights to reach rural North Carolina

from Pittsburgh, (city of champions,

and my childhood stomping grounds),

I sought out a touted

airport  bagel shop.

HOWEVER, their counter staff was

resisting the advertised  

five am opening on my travel day.

“Closed until ten” the sign said.

Wandering down the hallway,

surprisingly (to me) I found

an active bar, complete with 

sports on two television screens,

terrible towel banners, and

people perched on tall stools 

the curved Formica bar,

some at tables, all with drinks. 

I hoisted my short self onto

a barstool and asked the lone server

“Do you have coffee?”

 “Yes, but no milk.”  

So, I took it black, moderating

its bitterness with sugar

instead of whisky. 

Menu food categories boasted

“Breakfast of Champions,”

(Toast, eggs, and a Bloody Mary)

and a list of side dishes.

I chose to supplement

my caffeine infusion with

toasted plain bagel, cream cheese.

While waiting for my order, 

at least fifteen folks of various ages, 

dress, stages of wakefulness,

stepped up to the counter, 

requesting bar or table service

Bloody Marys, Long Island iced teas, 

beer, and/or espresso martinis. 

Most requested open tabs.

While I was there, no one

ordered any food. 

It seems in my hometown,

Breakfast of Champions

has become a liquid ritual. 

Does black coffee count?

Joan Leotta plays with words on page and stage. She writes and performs tales of food, family, strong women and has a one woman show as Louisa May Alcott. Internationally published as an essayist, poet, short story writer, and novelist,  she’s a two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee and was a 2022 runner-up in Robert Frost Competition. Her two chapbooks are “Languid Lusciousness with Lemon”  and "Feathers on Stone." 

Joan Leotta
Author, Story Performer
“Encouraging words through Pen and Performance”
Twice Nominated for Pushcart and Best of Net 
"Feathers on Stone" poetry chapbook available from me and at

Other Joan Leotta Books
Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, Finishing Line Press (Amazon)
Morning by Morning and Dancing Under the Moon, two free mini-chapbooks are at 

Thursday, May 23, 2024

in dreams all things are weightless by keith pearson


i have fallen down

half man half memory

curled in the corner

nursing at your breast

your hands so small

fitting easily at my throat.


my dreams shed their skin

again last night

crawling from my dark sleep

reaching for your clenched fist

touching instead your soft stomach

your hourglass shaped scar.



stuck deep in black water

having forgotten how to swim

trapped inside a padlocked box

you have carefully stored away

your finger on the switch of

the machine that keeps me alive.


keith pearson was born and raised in new hampshire and works at a local high school in the math department.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

When Soda Was Medicine By Robert Donohue

One time, while entering a subway train,

There was a passenger who would repeat

What he believed as we all took a seat:

When Coca-Cola really had cocaine

Was when America was truly sane.

Chanting this slogan, crazy and complete,

He proselytized, like nothing could compete

With what his message then was making plain.

His troubles I’m not fit to diagnose

Yet can’t imagine doing otherwise.

I was no help to him, however close,

And you might think I’m only cracking wise

To say his sermon had some merit, but

The lithium was in the 7-Up.

Robert Donohue's poetry has appeared in Apocalypse Confidential, Pulsebeat, and The Road Not Taken, among others. He lives on Long Island, NY.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Sometimes By Jake St. John

On days when 

an unprompted 


creeps in 

right after 

a morning dream 

sneaks away 

like a one night stand

you're left laying there 

wrapped in sorrow 

and you look

out the window

and realize 

it's raining 

and you take that 

as a sign 

whatever that means.


Jake St. John lives in the woods on the edge of the Salmon River. He is the author of several collections of poetry including Lips Leave Scars (with Jenn Knickerbocker, Whiskey City Press, 2023) Ring of Fog (Holy and Intoxicated Publications, 2022), Night Full of Diamonds (Whiskey City Press, 2021), and Lost City Highway (A Jabber Publication, 2019). He is the editor of Elephant and is considered an original member of the New London School of poetry. His poems have appeared in print and online journals around the world."

Monday, May 20, 2024

After Hours By Barry Basden

The Katy Did closed and we followed two girls in a red Chevy, flirting at stoplights until we scared them home.

A man in a bathrobe stepped into the yard. “You boys go on now. There’s nothing here for you.”

I moved toward him and his hand lifted. When I saw the gun, I forgot everything else.

Barry Basden lives in the Texas hill country with Bean, his little rescue terrier. He reads a lot and occasionally writes.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

For The Mourner By Alec Solomita

For the mourner

only one thing is:

things like business,

cooking, seeing

birds stir the spring air,

falling snow, even

watching the home team

as it falters once again,

all vanished.

For the mourner 

only two things help: 

a martini’s olives at the

bottom of the blue-hued

glass, and sleep. Deep

sleep and streaming dreams

that terrify enough to wake

you to another Klonopin, ushering

you back into a wild, uncertain dark:

anywhere to douse the dying spark.

Alec Solomita is a writer working in Massachusetts. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including Poetica, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Galway Review, The Lake, The Rye Whiskey Review, and several anthologies. His chapbook “Do Not Forsake Me,” was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. His full-length poetry book, “Hard To Be a Hero,” was released by Kelsay Books in the spring of 2021. He’s just finished another, “Small Change.”

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...