Numbness by Karen Mary Berr

Maybe in some otherworld,
where no blood drips, and flesh
is just one flash from a derelict past,
where tears lie silent and dry
as placentas of salt,
where everything has a soul
but no nerves and no stomach,
men could find a form of ecstasy
in this awful stillness.

Maybe if we were all mad,
hysterical and naked, howling
like sex-wolves of the sixties,
but not inert as plants
retracting in a triumphant mist,
if we were not provided
with vacant eyes and defeated hearts,
a horizon could brutally break
through computers’ screens.

But we return from drunkenness
with no dream, no vision.
We’re immune to revolutions,
the past runs in our veins for amusement
and future eats it like a tumor.
Today has once again been cancelled.
It opened gently like the fist of a baby
eager to grab some brand-new toy,
now moves, blind, a blade above the wrist.

Hope floats like a gigantic organ in a jar,
with no way to sink
into this salt-saturated water,
bitter as sorrow, bitter as the Sea of Asphalt.
There’s neither end nor awakening.
Memory continually bumps against defeat,
and awakens cold
as though she slept with someone dead
— lusting for a bed she has never been to.

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.

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.

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The Scribblings Of A Mad Man by Paul Tristram

Hey Folks, Fantastic news at the ‘Your One Phone Call’ House. Our very own Paul Tristram has had his bizarre short story/abstract novel accepted for publication by ‘Lit Fest Press’ in the USA. He’s got a carpet burn on his face and the police have been around twice already. We’re extremely proud of him and if any of us remember the end of this night then it didn’t end right!Tall cans in the air motherfuckers…yeah! Dai Shotter, Esquire

Letting Us In by Emma Lee

He dismantles as she assembles.
The audience tweet about colour schemes:

His twin cots are a rich, polished wood
assembled long before the due date,
in a room decorated in heritage green,
that he restores to a spare room
and then returns to his office,
drawing plans he won’t fulfil.

Hers are white, set against on-trend pale grey
and pale cotton bedding,
assembled in a fog of shock,
a stuffed toy in place of each stillborn.
She looks out over skyscrapers,
that become mirrors in the winter sun.

On twitter, the white/pale grey combination wins.

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.

C’EST LA VIE by Jay Passer

every day is Halloween
clowns are terrorizing France
you need an oxygen mask to step out the door
the pet food industry could feed most of Africa
the military budget could finance the terraformation of Mars
it’s ugly out there and a thousand times scarier
holing up in a small room changes nothing
pontificating in poesy is like farting in the dark
yelling about it to the Government, another dead end
the clowns have a monopoly on misery and ecstasy
some people like clowns but these days for the most part
they seem to have a pretty bad rap
especially in Montpellier where a pedestrian
was recently beaten with a tire iron by yet another Bobo
say one of ‘em appears at the door on October 31st
maybe a nice caramel apple for a treat
laced with cyanide
see?

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.

Radio Interview with Walker Vreeland and Susan Lambert

I am a great believer in knuckling down…but that often involves picking up tools along the way. Earlier, I heard a radio interview with the lovely Walker Vreeland and Susan Lambert. If you are of an artistic persuasions and feel it’s tough…you are not alone. It’s all part of the ‘Human Condition’ and I would like to thank these two for being brave enough to share with us. Susan Lambert is available for Skype sessions and you can contact her over at Facebook. Without further ado, I would like to hand you over to Walker Vreeland…just click on the link below.

http://www.interviewwiththeartist.com/all-episodes/episode-44-susan-lambert-lcsw-the-depressive-episode

Charms, Discounted by Kinga Fabo

Pungent, yellow – seven rays.
Hits the eyes.
Piercing stench. It is being sterilized.

“Act natural!” Secondhand clothes
by the kilo.
Across the Chinese market and below

led by the coloured smell of poverty.
The rubber. A condom failure.
Use, toss, and let there be

heady odorous-orgy.
Wealth – is in unconscious pleasure.
Holding out another measure.

A flashy skirt – perhaps. But as the eye
runs down the thighs it’s clear,
my tights were bought last year.

A ladder in the fabric. As though
it were the brand. A streak remains,
a stitch unravelled by your gaze.

(Translated by Owen Good, finishing
touches by Kinga Fabó)

 Kinga Fabó is a widely published, internationally known Hungarian poet (linguist, essayist). Her bilingual (Indonesian-English) poetry book has just come out. Further translations of her poetry into other foreign languages are being in progress. She has an essay on Sylvia Plath as well.


Kinga Fabó is a widely published, internationally known Hungarian poet (linguist, essayist). Her bilingual (Indonesian-English) poetry book has just come out. Further translations of her poetry into other foreign languages are being in progress. She has an essay on Sylvia Plath as well.

Trawlers by David Cooke

Gale-battered survivors
of distant water, they trawled
a featureless nowhere

to make ends meet.
Enduring iron cold
and routine extremes

of oceanic storm,
they hove past torpedoes,
mines, gunboats.

Sweeping channels
to keep them clear
for North Atlantic convoys,

they netted scrap
for years, ending up as pawns
in Cold War, Cod War,

and scuppering deals.
Holding their own
against the worst

that arctic skies
and deep swells muster,
they came to grief

on a creeping tide –
twelve miles, fifty
and then two hundred…

While here’s one
that’s found its anchorage
beyond breakers’ yards,

where unindentured
boys with rods
fish for tiddlers

and the Sainsbury’s trolley,
sunk for a lark, may still one day
be salvaged.

David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and has been widely published in the UK, Ireland and beyond. His most recent collection, Work Horses, was published in 2012 by Ward Wood Publishing. His next collection, A Murmuration, will be published by Two Rivers Press in 2015.

David Cooke won a Gregory Award in 1977 and has been widely published in the UK, Ireland and beyond. His most recent collection, Work Horses, was published in 2012 by Ward Wood Publishing. His next collection, A Murmuration, will be published by Two Rivers Press in 2015.

Grocery Store Lines And The Price Of Peace by Daniel Oritz

Sometimes you wait for the hands
on the clock to move closer to 5 o’clock
Sometimes you wait for the light
to turn from red to green
You wait for the woman you love
to look back at you with
longing and recognition
Sometimes, another sip of beer means
waiting for another one.
This constant game of waiting
coupled with heartbreak
and disappointment in-between
makes for a half-bright soul…
This world is a crazy place
and we’re playing a crazy game…
and I’m here, now, waiting for the next chapter.

Daniel Ortiz was born, he has lived, and eventually he will die. He writes poetry upon scraps of paper and exists upon scraps of life. He spends most days looking for a way out. His words and art have been featured on horrorsleazetrash.com and in bathroom stalls across America.

Daniel Ortiz was born, he has lived, and eventually he will die. He writes poetry upon scraps of paper and exists upon scraps of life. He spends most days looking for a way out. His words and art have been featured on horrorsleazetrash.com and in bathroom stalls across America.

The Wooden-Pillowed Hotel by Paul Tristram

Back when I was in Junior School in Skewen,
aged around eight or nine years old.
They took the most disruptive of us,
from my year, out on a minibus trip
(Not to a theme park or scene of beauty
like all the other kids often went to!)
down to visit Neath Police Station.
They led us in, not through the front door
and foyer like the honest people
but around the side and in the backdoor
just like all the real criminals.
It was to be an educational visit
or a cautionary clairvoyant trip,
the resulting choice being up to us?
We were first led up a dark corridor
where the Officer informed us with a chuckle
that the prisoner or prisoners were first led.
Then through a barred gate to a room
where the Desk Sergeant sat being just that,
‘This is where the prisoner is booked in
whilst all the information and evidence
relating to the crime or crimes is collected’
we were told before being led back through
the barred gate and down the dark corridor
(Which I now noticed had dozens of trails
of rubber boot and shoe soles up and down it!)
We stopped at Cell 1, where the iron door
was unlocked and we were all led inside
to stand in a police cell for the first time.
I looked at the thick small glass blocked window
high up on the wall which you couldn’t see out of
and was only barely letting in a dull bit
of the grey Welsh Winter, afternoon light.
Then at the graffitied walls, accomplished
by scraping away the paint or with fag ash,
I bit my lip as I recognized some of the names,
also prison and gang sayings which I had heard
countless times before like ‘A.C.A.B.’
‘Silence Is Golden’ ‘Snitches Get Stitches’
and ‘No Dope-No Hope- No Bail-Just Jail’
Then down at the wooden bunk a few feet high
with a blue plastic covered mattress upon it
about half the thickness of a baby cot’s one.
At the top was a large, greasy, wooden block
with a circular hole cut out of it for a pillow,
where you could rest your weary head
whilst composing various alibis (Obviously!)
When we had all scanned the police cell
the Officer took his truncheon from his belt
and rapped it against our knuckles firmly,
it didn’t feel like wood at all but like iron.
(I had seen the scars these things made
and now I knew exactly why they did so!)
“This is what we use on nasty, horrible people!”
he stated, tapping it on his own outstretched palm.
At exactly that moment a drunken shout
came from the next cell, loud and fierce
“Johnny Toshack’s Black & White Army!”
followed by a rhythmical banging of
‘Duh, Duh, Duh Duh Duh, Duh Duh Duh Duh’
Some of the boys around me jumped scared,
some giggled nervously whilst I smiled wisely
for I recognized my youngest Uncle’s voice
singing the Swansea City Football Hooligan song
he always whistled coming up the back lane
to let us all know that it was him approaching.
He was probably in on another ‘D&D’
(Drunk and Disorderly) and I wondered
if he had done it on purpose because last night
he was at the house when I spoke about this trip?
I suddenly felt proud, now I had something to add
to the conversations instead of just listening,
the other kids in my family would be jealous.
Soon we were led back out of the building
and into the yard where the Officer explained
that we had all just seen a future which he was
certain none of us wanted to experience for real.
Then one of his Colleagues appeared to give
out stickers, badges and colouring in flyers with
‘I was a good boy at the Police Station today’
(I took mine home and my Father mischievously
wore one on his ‘going out’ overcoat for weeks!)
As he passed them around he asked searchingly
“Which one’s the Tristram?” and when he saw me
he scuffed my head and slapped my shoulder
with a big grin as I scowled, pulled away
and climbed back into the open minibus to wait.
Whilst he said with much mirth and merriment
“He looks just like his Father and Grandfather,
Jesus Christ but I must be getting too old for all this!”

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/

Poison by Neil Fulwood

Every thorn has its bloodstain, just
like every rose has a poet to tell its lies.
PR works wonders. Who do you trust?

It’s all about image. The cut and thrust
of advertising glosses the painful surprise
every thorn has. Its bloodstain, just

fading now to a shade resembling rust,
is map-like. But used by which side’s spies?
PR works wonders. Who do you trust?

Answer: no-one; nothing. Even the dust
stops your voice, obscures the skies.
Every thorn has its bloodstain, just;

sometimes it’s only a scratch, a trust
betrayed but only mildly. Nobody dies.
PR works wonders. Who do you trust

when men in suits try, as they must,
to upend truth, to persuade you otherwise?
Every thorn that has its bloodstain’s just
PR working wonders. Who do you trust?

Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book 'The Films of Sam Peckinpah'. His poetry has been featured in The Morning Star, The Stare's Nest, Butcher's Dog, Monkey Kettle, Nib Magazine and Ink Sweat & Tears. He divides his time between the pub and cinema, and somehow manages to hold down a day job.

Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah’. His poetry has been featured in The Morning Star, The Stare’s Nest, Butcher’s Dog, Monkey Kettle, Nib Magazine and Ink Sweat & Tears. He divides his time between the pub and cinema, and somehow manages to hold down a day job.