I Tried Believing In You When I Was Small…But I Grew Up To See Your Lies Fall by Paul Tristram

Every word, phrase or saying
that ever came out of that cruel mouth with rotten teeth
was clichéd crap, bullshit or half-truths.
You spoke from a high throne of nothingness.
No one ever respected you or wanted you around, clown.
The proudest moment in your pathetic intellect-stunted life,
the dizzying heights of success that you were able
to laughingly achieve was to become just a runner-up
at your chosen profession.
You despised me because you saw in me
that which you could never hope to be,
the things which you were cheated from at birth;
Bravery, Originality, Style, Class,
Sincerity, Honour
and the full potential
to be successful
and not just to achieve my goals
but to actually outdo them.

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. You can read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

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.
You can read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

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I Did Not Go Looking For This by PW Covington

I did not go looking for this!
It found me, stalked me, seduced me,
Swung open the passenger door in front of the San Antonio Greyhound station
And jumped right in
It bled red onto my cluttered floorboard and drank the last of my travelling wine.
I did not go looking for this.
When I weighed anchor in the mist
On a God-less Mogadishu night,
The mujahedeen punk-ass hid itself
And played spades in the chain-locker until the storm-winds picked up.
It jumped out at me, horny and afraid,
From an alley in the Tenderloin
Lecherous tongue and demon hard cock, hash-stained fingers and a needle in its shrivelling arm
It left saliva on my cheek
And salvia stains in my homeless dungarees .
I did not go looking for this!
I just knew how to find it
I followed the sound that hunger makes in the morning
Because, that tune has soul…
And I’d ride five thousand miles EASY, when I’m in the mood for SOUL….

PW Covington is a disabled veteran and convicted felon.  His work has been published by both universities and underground 'zines. He travels widely, but lives in rural Texas with his bulldog, Chesty.

PW Covington is a disabled veteran and convicted felon.
His work has been published by both universities and underground ‘zines.
He travels widely, but lives in rural Texas with his bulldog, Chesty.

Mnemosyne or The Unexpected Death Of Virginia Woolf by Karen Mary Berr

Here she is, here again,
that woman you once were,
that sum of memories
you drowned in purple wine.
The nostalgic beast who lurks
in the lacery of your mind,
opening your still eyes
in this last day you are a life,
returning you to reality
as you enter water.
You feel the electric world
the raw nerve of the world,
throbbing, throbbing,
through her blood-heat.

When you came tonight
that red clock had shrunk
with all the grapes of summer.
The river was kind, static
to the point of blackness,
lying in a self-absorbed luster.
Its dark bed was bottomless
– nothing lower could be looked to.
It was just like the long lie
your fever bathes into
since all stars have failed.
You thought you’d burn with them,
cold, neutral,
your sex petrified in crystal.

But now every drop of milk
in your skin of lotus flower,
changes into indelible ink.
The white disk of the sun
stretches flat on water
strewing turbulent blue mirrors.
There’s a clatter under your feet,
the sound of remembering,
round stones, like chains.
Mud slips between your toes,
soft, pleasurable,
as some new uterine blood.
And your heart is turning green
like a cruel joke.

You thought it would sink
and fossilize without a face.
A porous rock bedded in clay,
careless of its own ache.
You thought you’d be free, at least,
to enjoy your mineral end.
A colorless dot in a colorless vein
running to a colorless sea.
How you needed that rubbish.
And surely a heart of water for this life
would have been a better heart.
Now in the lucid blue current
all the love comes back too clearly
and it whirls again like a fury.

You thought today was your last death,
your last fight.
Well. It is your last death.
Nothing was any closer to you
than these sunken strata of rock.
Or the willow that bleeds honey,
and the past all sealed in its rings.
They have collected the lost songs,
the forgotten names, the cummy words.
And suddenly it is right.
Your naked soul and the whole river
curled up at your feet.
The stones in your pockets
take down the blue breath of your mouth,
whistling ” Write, write ! Remember !”

Karen Mary Berr was born in France, where she studied Applied Arts and Art History. She lived in Bosnia, Lebanon and Canada, before returning to France in 2004. Short films based on her poetry have been featured on Moving Poems,Hypocrite Design Magazine and File Electronic Language International Festival (Highlike). Her poems have been published in Lost Coast, El Aleph Press, Deep Water Journal, Construction, and other reviews.  https://soundcloud.com/karenmary/virginia-1

Karen Mary Berr was born in France, where she studied Applied Arts and Art History. She lived in Bosnia, Lebanon and Canada, before returning to France in 2004. Short films based on her poetry have been featured on Moving Poems,Hypocrite Design Magazine and File Electronic Language International Festival (Highlike). Her poems have been published in Lost Coast, El Aleph Press, Deep Water Journal, Construction, and other reviews. https://soundcloud.com/karenmary/virginia-1

Deleted From History by Jay Passer

they called for my head under
boiling skies of mutiny.
a circus escapee locked in a box,
they had me sawing off lengths
for the casket,
to bury the bouquets, boughs of live oaks,
the cinema gone brackish-
an owl on a steeple attempting
to decipher the moon.
I gave up my spine plus the chakras,
a love letter to Buddha signed
Mister X.
I purchased a bicycle sight unseen
off the Internet,
same as my soul mate,
delivered to the door
by the golden-oldie concierge with
peaked cap and creased slacks.
you weren’t on the menu,
never on the boards,
like honey
stored in a whiskey bottle.
and for the finale the
rest of us
deleted from History,
blood trickling from a blasted sky
fields vanquished with
flourishes of opium,
while the 6 o’clock newscaster, meeker
than a field mouse
the message
deadly as a
diamondback.

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.

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.

Going Down by Glen Armstrong

1.

I spend hours licking the zipper
on a stolen pair of women’s jeans.

Rehearsing to please.
Unhinging my tongue.

Becoming one slick entity
with whatever waits
beyond that veil of denim.

And the wheels all over town
wear down

as I go down
on copper teeth.

2.

I shave and repeat
my mantra:

“love quivers deep within
Queen Kali’s pebble of flesh.”

Anoint myself with Bottled Night.

Read some highlighted passages
from Memoirs of Josephine.

Imagine an exotic place where
thick, clear liquors pour
from lips they’ve shared

with lizards.

A place so underground
that it’s a little Chinese.

Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has two chapbooks scheduled for 2015: In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All.

Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has two chapbooks scheduled for 2015: In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All.

So Long As It Comes Easy by Jennifer Lagier

Ah, the irony,
Camille reflects.
Her first week
of Estrogen cream
and her partner
announces he’s lost
any sex drive.
What’s a girl to do?
she wonders,
considers computer dating,
casual hookups,
discovers the
Good Vibrations website.
Studies a column titled,
“Kink for Beginners.”
Researches toys to give
herself pleasure.
The Rabbit Pearl
(originally seen
on Sex & the City)
advertises pure bliss
for only $65.
She browses
for a new lover
among their
best sellers.

Jennifer Lagier has published nine poetry books and in multiple literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools and is now a retired college librarian/instructor, member of the Italian American Writers Association, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Website: http://jlagier.net

Jennifer Lagier has published nine poetry books and in multiple literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools and is now a retired college librarian/instructor, member of the Italian American Writers Association, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Website: http://jlagier.net

The Metaphysics Of Smoking Re-Burns by A.J. Binash

Interpreting the circumstances of reality
Is all about perspective.

I pondered this
While walking down the street
With Ryan. Watched him pick through ashtrays
Stationed outside the bars,
For cigarettes that he could confiscate
The last few drags from.

“That’s disgusting.”
I told him.
“What if some cold sore lipped fuck
Had their lips around those filters?”

He lit one of the re-burns,
Behind his back a full moon gleamed,
Illuminating a ring around his blonde hair
Like a halo,
But he was no angel.
I heard a demon laughing
In his cough.

“Could be someone like that.” He said.
“Or maybe it was some bitch
With big tits
And a big ass! Just waiting for me to fuck it.”

“Maybe…” I said.
“But we all know pornography is fake
So why trust your fantasies?”

Void of tobacco,
His re-burn reached the filter.
He threw the butt onto the ground,
With the other hand
He fished inside his pocket
For another. We approached a crosswalk
A red hand flashed on a small screen
Above our heads. Advising us
To wait our turn.
I pushed an arrow on the stoplight
Alerting the mechanism
That we wished to cross.
A robotic voice responded,
With overtones of a white-man’s throat.
“Please wait.” The voice repeated.
We stood there staring at the cars
Passing us by.

“I don’t jerk off.”
Ryan said. “And I like to think of
Not so much who smoked it before me,
Rather who is smoking it now.”

“Well, beggars cant be choosers.” I said.
“Yes they can…everything is a choice.”

He flicked the cigarette onto a snowbank.
An orange glow faded from the re-burn
As moisture soaked the fragile inferno.

“Right…so how do we make the right choice?”I asked.
He cackled.
“I don’t know, man. I figure if I wake up tomorrow,
alive, I must have done it right yesterday.”

He then proceeded
To pick through another ashtray.

I watched the ashes
Turn his clean fingernails
To black.

A.j. Binash is a post-post-post-modernist poet from La Crosse, WI. He has released a book of poetry entitled Cautionary Tales of an American Boy Out Past Curfew (Rattlesnake Valley Publishing) . He has also been featured in the W.F.O.P. (Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets) Muse- Letter and Murmurations Magazine, among others.

A.j. Binash is a post-post-post-modernist poet from La Crosse, WI. He has released a book of poetry entitled Cautionary Tales of an American Boy Out Past Curfew (Rattlesnake Valley Publishing) . He has also been featured in the W.F.O.P. (Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets) Muse- Letter and Murmurations Magazine, among others.

Red Umbrella In The Rain by Gene McCormick

Impressive, a round umbrella
spanning one-and-a-half people
as shelter from pattering rain.
And red! Not bright red, but red
with deep scalloped edges arched
like tunnels and tines arcing
to the apex of such tunnels.
It speaks élan with its circumference,
red covering, ebony shaft
and highly-grained wood handle.

Sidewalk passersby make do with small
fold-up black polyester umbrellas,
some with prints of ducks or fish;
a few hold a soggy newspaper overhead.
Hoodies are raised and tied.

In a jostling crowd the red nylon disc
is safe harbor,
keeping things as they are not.

Gene McCormick has written sixteen books, a mix of non-fiction, fiction and poetry, and claims to have read them all, making him the only person in the galaxy to have done so. He divides his time between Wayne, Illinois, and Paris, France, and much prefers Paris...but then, who the hell wouldn't?

Gene McCormick has written sixteen books, a mix of non-fiction, fiction and poetry, and claims to have read them all, making him the only person in the galaxy to have done so. He divides his time between Wayne, Illinois, and Paris, France, and much prefers Paris…but then, who the hell wouldn’t?

Ballot Paper by Emma Lee

I admire the sharp corners,
the pristine white page,
the ordered list of candidate’s names,
the blankness of the boxes
waiting for my penciled cross.

I know my MP’s name.
I don’t know his address,
even though activists dug up his lawn
and planted blue flowers
in the shape of a pound sign.

The ballot paper’s surface
is not smooth, but pitted and cratered
like the moon, its difference
to earth could be a metaphor.
How can something so richly blue
understand the problems
of a rock silenced by space’s vacuum?

My MP has never asked for my vote.
He is safe enough not to care
where I put my cross.

Emma Lee’s “Ghosts in the Desert” is forthcoming from Indigo Dreams Publishing (2015). Previous publications include “Mimicking a Snowdrop” (Thynks Press) and “Yellow Torchlight and the Blues” (Original Plus). She blogs at http://emmalee1.wordpress.com and is a blogger-reviewer for Simon and Schuster. She also reviews for The Journal, London Grip and Sabotage Review magazines.

His Spotlight On Self by Elaine Woo

Multi-coloured you,
flashlight hands over ears,
oregano scent cloud preceding you
clamber a hedge
not surging fear but ego shine

Whipping flickers, the glare of self spotlighted

Cityscape of garbage filled gutters
rotting bin stench permeating
tired  red brick buildings
Michael’s  bathtub with a crawling
cayman, gnashing its teeth,
unable to satisfy its appetite

I turn your craving in intervals
curiosity in ink on paper
Spurned, sorting out my dislikes
by laying tracks of words

The glorious shaped capturing
the end, so electric and dark
my emotions and your lack

Elaine Woo is the author of Cycling with the Dragon (poems), published by Nightwood Editions, Gibsons, BC, Canada in Fall 2014.  When not writing poetry, she can be found blogging at http://opalescenthomebrew.blogspot.ca/

Elaine Woo is the author of Cycling with the Dragon (poems), published by Nightwood Editions, Gibsons, BC, Canada in Fall 2014. When not writing poetry, she can be found blogging at http://opalescenthomebrew.blogspot.ca/