The Calm for W.P. by Stefanie Bennett

She died, and the micaceous almost summer winds
Dizzily scudded across Arizona
Via the Pacific crest
Piercing Sacramento’s side.
Neither dust
Nor blind intervention
Rattled that topaz blue.

She left, with a casket of leaves embellishing
The motorcade, her wish
Homely attuned
As it lassoed the sweet aroma
Of Ponderosa
And a spotted owl’s
Digital refrain.

This, the forest’s logbook accentuates
In incised resin
The colour of rain, while
‘Days of Our Lives’
Winged on cable, and
CNN’s disfigurement
Abetted
The able.

Stephanie Bennett

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel & a libretto… tutored at The Institute of Modern Languages & worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was bourn in Queenslans, Australia. Her latest poetry title is “The Vanishing.”

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The Arbitrary Abattoir by Paul Tristram

The abandoned abattoir setting
was an arbitrary choice.
Not discovered by ‘Scouting’
which is normally the case…
but, on an afternoon Autumnal stroll
which I participated in with Dr Peters.
The out of town car park, situated close by
on the almost deserted country lane,
and the short canal walk to the building
made it all the more appealing
for its privacy, seclusion
and gothic sense of romantic foreboding.
I was casually aware that illegal substances
were being consumed at the soirée,
but, there were only adults in attendance,
and I myself never dabble in anything
other than Courvoisier and Amyl Nitrite.
There were thirty guests invited…
yet, some brought along a friend or two,
no actual ‘Head-Count’ was given.
Mostly made up of ‘Gaspers’, ‘Voyeurs’,
‘Swingers’ and ‘Weekend Sinners’.
The ‘Erotic Asphyxiation’ which went wrong,
was preformed and participated in
by an experienced married couple.
Whom have previously attended
over forty five of our little ‘Get-Togethers’.
The ‘Marital Problems’
which have only just come to light,
were, of course, unknown to everyone present,
apart from the couple themselves, obviously.
When the Sad Event took place,
I was not anywhere near to witness it…
I was in a deep, meaningful conversation
with a severely depressed hermaphrodite
who goes by the name of ‘Bonnie Prince Albert’.
We were stood just outside the back entrance doors,
poor Bonnie was quite intoxicated
and crying pitifully over the loss of a brother
to cancer just two months previously.
From what I can gather from everyone,
who was not off playing their own games,
stood close by and a-watching…
there was absolutely no sign
of anger, argument nor struggle…
her ‘Light’ simply and quietly went ‘Out’.
Where upon, I was searched for and found,
and immediately dialled the three 9’s.
As for ‘Foul Play’, ‘Ill Will’,
a dastardly premeditated plot,
an ingenious pathway into obscure murder?
I shall let you work it out and decide…
after all, you are the investigating Police Officers,
whilst I am merely an off-duty Magistrate.

Arty Pic Of Pauly

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

Away From the Light by James Babbs

in the darkness I can be
anything I want to be
the powerful super hero
who comes rushing in
and saves the world from devastation
over and over again
in the darkness
I’m stronger than I really am
and I can fly
I don’t even have to try
it doesn’t take me any effort at all
and I know the answer to every question
I never harbor any doubts or fears
I know how to take care of things
I’m capable of building bridges
that span incredible distances
and I can tear down the highest walls
if that’s what it takes
in the darkness I’m everything
I always wanted to be
and I will never hurt you
I won’t fuck things up
by doing something stupid
I’ll always keep myself together
and never break your heart

James Babbs-Author Photo

James Babbs is a writer, a dreamer, a three-time loser and an all-around nice guy who just wants to be left alone. James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013) and has hundreds of poems and a few short stories scattered all over the internet.

Two Lads by Paul Brookes

at my till. I put first lads
goods through while second

says to his mate,
“I’m gonna get a kitchen knife
and rip your twatting head off.”

Blip

“I’m gonna put it in shoebox
Set fire to it. Piss on the remains ”

Blip.

“Do you want a receipt?” I ask
the first lad.

paul-brookes

Paul Brookes was, and is a shop assistant, after employment as a security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer, with “Rats for Love”, his work included in “Rats for Love: The Book”, Bristol Broadsides, 1990. First chapbook “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). Read his work on BBC Radio Bristol. Recently published in Blazevox, Nixes Mate, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, The Bees Are Dead and others. “The Headpoke and Firewedding” (Alien Buddha Press, 2017) illustrated chapbook, “A World Where” (Nixes Mate Press, 2017) “The Spermbot Blues” (OpPRESS, August 2017).

 

Apron by Andrew Taylor

the Coca-Cola apron is pale
blue red green and black

Original taste partagez un
Coca-Cola St-Malo except

this is Bordeaux the teenage
lovers remain long after their

espresso is drained a cyclist
coasts through the arcade

wine case rear carrier perfect
for fruit and vegetables

Like you can make me feel
across the sweatshirt

as the rain gives way to late
afternoon sun

Andrew Taylor 2

Andrew Taylor’s second full collection, March, is forthcoming from Shearsman Books in September 2017. Poems have recently appeared in Stride, In Between Hangovers, Zarf and Molly Bloom. He lives and works in Nottingham. http://www.andrewtaylorpoetry.com

 

Unwelcome by Rupert Loydell

I allude to myself in the landscape,
allow myself the luxury of hope,
recall singing these songs to you
as a child, visiting these places
when you were small. We shared
jokes, made cardboard houses,
still shared common ground

before you became older
and I unwelcome. I have
torn up the map, pasted it
into new paintings and let
reference numbers, grid,
hills and trees and roads
become a sort of pattern

under layers of colour.
I have to talk myself back
into being calm, am working
through panic and unrest,
trying to remember when
we were both carefree
and easier to live with.

Rupert Loydell

Rupert Loydell is a Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University, a poet, editor and artist. He has run Stride magazine since 1982 and is a contributing editor to International Times. Shearsman recently published Dear Mary, a book of poems about art, colour, annunication and Italy.

Fusion by Jay Passer

I’m the hologram your mother always warned you about
you are a warm ladleful of hollandaise

nothing was quite real for me as a child
except for the collie dog that I was allergic to

I’m a slurp of stone soup and a compulsive masturbator
you are pillows and panties and selfies and candy

old age is growing in all the wrong directions
my scrawls are hardly at risk of arrest and imprisonment

while you execute gymnastic quirks of charisma
balancing nuclear warheads on your elbows

I collate geographical innuendoes on photoshop
as the sky remains cluttered with ominous misgivings

I quake and quiver after a particularly intense reverie
a grizzly bear on the loose or an alligator or an elephant

or the Venus de Milo in disguise as an ecdysiast
visions summoned in an instant via smartphone

to unlock the grail of my fervor for you
I have yet to conjure the perfect password

Jay Passer 2

Jay Passer’s work has appeared online and in print since 1988. He lives and works in San Francisco, the city of his birth. His latest chap, Flower Omelette, co-authored with Misti Rainwater-Lites, is available from Lulu.

Validation: 21st Century by Stefanie Bennett

Quickly; Pablo! Invert the canvas…
Upon us attests the ‘Book of the Dead’.  *
Add crocus yellow
Spiked with garnet
To line her eyelash
Before the flash of life fades.
Rouge, I tell you, won’t soften
The cheek. Instead
Fashion the brow’s panorama
And dimple a linden leaf
That pipes melodic.

Master of the cuneiform palette,
Let’s forfeit
The signature corner.
‘Guernica’
And our Philadelphia vixen
Are companionable.

(* Muriel Rukeyser, poet)

Stephanie Bennett

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel & a libretto… tutored at The Institute of Modern Languages & worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was bourn in Queenslans, Australia. Her latest poetry title is “The Vanishing.”

The Apathetic Berserker by Paul Tristram

I never noticed how heavy the battle-axe was until now.
I only picked it up to cut down an apple tree,
because I couldn’t be bothered
to walk all the way over to the barn for the ladder…
and I was feeling peckish.
I remember when simply scratching my hairy-arse
would make entire Nations cry, shake and squeal like rodents.
Now, it’s a chore just beer-belching and yaawwwwwning.
Thank Odin I’m a Viking
and don’t have to shave,
I just couldn’t be fucked anyway…
I haven’t bathed in forever
and smell ripe enough for burying, twice.
I fell asleep in my wild boar and weasel broth last evening,
and the half-naked Christian slaves depress me.
I’d kill for some energy,
or rather, I’d get someone else to do it for me…
fuck this, I’m off, slowly and in my own time,
down to the fjord’s edge,
to drift-off lazily to the Longship Builders a-sawing, gently.

paul smoking - Copy

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

January 7, 2017 by James Babbs

This morning
I stood in the bathroom
gazing down into
the hole at the bottom of the sink.

I stood there
watching the water disappear
and, suddenly,
I wanted the same thing.

All I had to do
was figure out a way
to make myself small enough
to slip down the drain.

I really didn’t think
it was such a difficult thing.
It was only a matter of time.

James Babbs-Author Photo

James Babbs is a writer, a dreamer, a three-time loser and an all-around nice guy who just wants to be left alone. James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013) and has hundreds of poems and a few short stories scattered all over the internet.