As I stretch out comfortable
on the non-rack of my bed,
O divine one whose existence
I know only by my own laughter,
you come and I’m so pleased
for you only to see my words
and know how lucky I am to
have few fans for when I slip
up and write stupidly and
inelegantly you still give
a slight smile and nod of
acknowledgement in the great
Doesn’t Matter, in the wind
through the tall white pines
Chuck Taylor currently lives in a two room apartment with his darling wife Takako Saito and their cat, Pounce. His most recent book is POET AND VAMPIRE, from MadcityPublications in NYC and available online.
sitting in a room
at the doctor’s
on x-ray results
i look down at
my left hand
and see your
i rub it and
start to laugh
if i had known
how the last 25
i would have
had that initial
put on the
J.J. Campbell (1976 – soon) is old enough to know better. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, The Camel Saloon, Horror Sleaze Trash, NewPoetry.net, and ZYX. His last book of poems, Sofisticated White Trash (Interior Noise Press) is available wherever people buy books these days. You can find J.J. most days bitching about things only he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)
grape apple cherry
the flavors of Candy
the lipstick of Candy
piano low on the radio
scalp needs a good scratch
sipping and contemplating
scars on skin white and pleading
to the god up there please martyr me
I could use
a sandwich a burrito a bowl of rice
rain falling or oceans at the shore
some pup sickeningly loyal
I could use a piece of Candy
I can go to the corner store for a piece
what the hell
it’s as good a system as any, right?
ask the veteran, he nods his head
on crutches or wheeling backwards in his chair
there’s a certain stench about the whole business
and yet two times a dozen tourists make 5 times the cop presence
now we’re talking
breath caught low in the throat
no surprise at the bus stop
lying prone with a cardboard box for a house
inside of a shower inside of a bank an outhouse an industrial complex
there’s no room in the Officer’s Club for
sweet girls named Candy
only in the barracks
plum apricot guava
the tastes of market value manufactured in chemical factories
something in the skies
helicopters and satellites continuing to offer wonderment
in lieu of cartoonish physics
Candy smiles she’s slow clicking on those stilettos
now we’re talking
Jay Passer’s work was first published in Caliban magazine in 1988. He lives in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, the city of his birth.
hacking up hairballs
and a dull white noise.
My neighbor high off his golden ass
on bath salts
screaming at his girlfriend
and shoving his daughter
off the edge of the oak.
Some mountains can be flat
peeling themselves apart
from the inside.
you and I
staring at each other
under a blistering sun.
A sum of the parts,
I stare into your eyes;
the deepest ocean
couldn’t hope to compare
Just then I notice tears
run down your face
across a dull orange sky.
Besides being published in bathroom stalls across America, Tyler Gates is also the author of the novel Unhinged as well as the chapbook On The Pitfalls of Being a Cockroach in Love.
The end is always
And the bad
Exceeds the good
But makes it more
Death is the birth
Of something new and fresh
So all the words
Will flow together into thoughts
Once I kill
The source of nothingness
And boredom is no more
Something has peeled back
And the skin
Of what is never real
Has been stripped away
And picked at
By my own curious fingers
And the flesh beneath
Is all I want to be
Jennifer-Crystal Johnson is originally from Germany, but was raised an Army brat. She has published one novella under her former last name, The Outside Girl: Perception is Reality (Publish America, 2005 – out of print as of 2013), a poetry book, Napkin Poetry (Broken Publications, 2010), and a collection of poetry, art, and prose called Strangers with Familiar Faces (Broken Publications, 2011). She’s also published a collection of short horror stories called If You’re Human Don’t Open the Door (Broken Publications, 2012), a personal development book called The Ten Pillars of a Happy Relationship (Broken Publications, 2014), and a freshly published collection of more horror stories called Our Capacity for Evil (Broken Publications, 2015). She has several poems and short stories published on Every Writer’s Resource and is currently working on a science fiction novel. Jen owns and operates Broken Publications (www.BrokenPublications.com) and publishes an annual anthology to raise awareness about domestic violence called Soul Vomit (www.SoulVomit.com). When she isn’t writing or editing, she enjoys playing games with her three kids, watching crime shows on Netflix, or reading. She lives in WA State with her three children and four cats. You can connect with her at http://www.JenniferCrystalJohnson.com, @brokenpoet, or http://www.Facebook.com/JenniferCrystalJohnson.
York was a treat, a day out,
with museums to call museums
of which you could only do a corner
at a time; the Street,
the ephemera, so accessible,
joys from a past so precious
to the young: then not so far gone.
The grass. The white walls.
The Shambles so economical
with space. The Minster spacious
and grand, guarded by robed
curators who answered questions
and took you up the Tower.
We used to go by train from Darlington.
It was a treat, a day out,
and fresh as daisies
seen from child-height
all those years ago.
Sally Evans lives in Scotland and has Welsh connections. She has had several books of poems published including Poetic Adventures in Scotland (2014) and the Bees (2008).
just another love poem
delivered in the mail
sent three years too late
put in a whiskey bottle
and thrown in your ocean
a restless choppy
tide of hate
and when you find it
drink the whiskey first
it’s probably still good
Thom Young is a writer from Texas. His work has been in 3am magazine, Horror, Sleaze, and Trash, Word Riot, The Legendary, and many other places. A 2008 Million Writers Award nominee for his story Perico. His books have hit #1 in Kindle Free in Mens Adventure, Action Adventure, Western, Police Procedural, Poetry Anthologies, and Comedy. @thomyoung Instagram
Lucky number 13
is where the magic starts,
it’s where the fun begins,
despite what the occult numerologists
might try to dissuade you with
during their rap about bad mojo –
nah ah, no way, there is no curse
such a sacred symbol.
13 is where the war kicks off,
it’s where the action is;
13 is the guts of the cancer,
it’s the heart of the matter;
13 is the broken window pane,
it’s the black cat under the ladder;
13 is the dragon’s scaly tail,
it’s the well that won’t run dry.
13 is a nuclear bomb.
13 is an evolving virus.
13 is spilled red wine on new white carpet.
13 is the pregnancy as it’s aborted.
13 is a horror flick coming alive.
13 is Hitler in his heyday.
13 is the sun’s last cycle.
13 is an eternal black night of silence.
13 is the last gasp from collapsed lungs.
13 is the final solution,
it’s the endgame made manifest;
13 is the wrong choice at the wrong time,
it’s the karma so unforgiving;
13 is the implosive entropy,
it’s where the party dies.
Scott Thomas Outlar survived both the fire and the flood – now he dances in celebration while waiting on the next round of chaos to commence. Otherwise, he keeps things fairly chill, spending the days flowing and fluxing with the tide of the Tao River, laughing at life’s existential problems, and writing prose-fusion poetry dedicated to the Phoenix Generation. His work has appeared recently in venues such as Section 8 Magazine, Dead Snakes, The Chaffey Review, Corner Club Press, Black Mirror Magazine, Dissident Voice, and The Kitchen Poet. Scott’s first attempt at a blog is 17Numa.wordpress.com.
A crow sometimes
doesn’t take care
of its blackness.
A nightingale sometimes
doesn’t take care
of its voice.
I no longer care about things, even care itself.
Ali Znaidi (b.1977) lives in Redeyef, Tunisia, where he teaches English. His work has appeared in various magazines and journals worldwide. He authored four poetry chapbooks including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), and Taste of the Edge (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014). He also authored a fiction book titled Green Cemetery (Moment Publications, 2014) which is in fact the first Tunisian flash fiction collection originally written & published in the English language.
You can see more of his work on his blog at aliznaidi.blogspot.com.
The thing about hospice care is that
at some point, there is a tick of the clock
where you spin from having an ailing loved one
in the house, to having a dead body in the house.
And then you have to remove the corpse.
So we took the kids to the park.
On the way, the city had put gates across
our alley shortcut, gates to keep the cars out.
But some enterprising neighbors had rigged
their own patchwork lumber-and-bullshit barrier
across the pedestrian opening, and we undid it
and walked through.
“Hey!” a woman called from an upstairs window.
She harangued us for coming through the alley,
and so Uncle Matty cursed her, cussed her hard,
jumping a little and stomping,
and we all felt the thrill of having been trapped
in a water balloon heavy with lukewarm tap water
and hitting a blade of summer needle grass
and collapsing into noise and light again,
and escaping for real the tranquil voice
of the hospice nurse and the dimmed room
with the curtains drawn.
I still think of her, the subject of our misplaced
anger, her flabby triceps brushing the sill — you see
I still can call up that ancient feeling — and the thankful
target she gave us on the way away from
that soon-to-be-empty house.