Escaping The Web by Scott Thomas Outlar

Now that I have cum…
my mind is clear
yet less focused,
less fiery, less whatever.

Now that I have cum…
life and death
seem meaningless,
the chaos matters not.

Now that I have cum…
the rage is spent
but so is all passion
along with the urge toward
a higher destiny.

Now that I have cum…
the trap is set,
the snares have grasped my flesh.

Now that I have cum…
I must
escape this foreign bed.

Now that I have cum…
I must
leave the past behind
and set sail alone
toward a better day.

Now that I have cum…
I will grow
a new seed,
a stronger seed,
a better seed –
more evolved, more intense,
more geared toward
and ready for
the Apocalypse.

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.

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.

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Brain Freeze by Alan Catlin

He stood by the bar,
stunned to silence in
mid-sentence as if
something inside had
overheated like a car
engine where gears
no longer meshed,
gaskets no longer sealed,
all vital fluids heated
to a rolling boil, steam
filling all the emptiness
and about to leak out.
Or, worse,  a fire
started, embers became
flame, oil black smoke,
gasoline fed about to
completely combust,
a petite mal turning gran;
everyone standing back,
leaving plenty of space
and fresh air as if he
were about to explode.

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere.  His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents.  He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine  misfitmagazine.net.

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere. His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents. He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine misfitmagazine.net.

Incorrigible by Cynthia Bryant

Somewhere
to a nonplussed audience
of her parents
a molested daughter
blurts out the secret
about her lately pouting tummy
how it came to pass

Somewhere
a mother screams
unintelligible sounds rise
to blot out offending words
that present too hard a choice
Calls the police
on her canary-yellow kitchen phone

Somewhere
the fury of a father
shocks high-color to face
as he pummels daughter
in attempts to exorcise
the madness
that threatens exposure

Somewhere
nosey neighbors open front doors
stand in groups in their yards
make up minds by committee
about what sort of folks
and who’s at fault
when laundry is aired

Somewhere
small town police arrive
lights flashing
as parents point to daughter
an undone puzzle on the floor
police gather the pieces
pile her into the back of a squad car

Somewhere
an unheard daughter
one month solitary in Juvenile Hall
revisits over and over
the last few moments at home
outnumbered
incorrigible

Cynthia Bryant gathers fruit for her poems from many trees.  Her poetry ranges from world news, to poignant pieces closer to her heart; love, family, incest and injustice.  Cynthia has been invited to read her poetry throughout California in diverse venues including coffee shops, fairs, art galleries, schools, battered women's shelters, and a federal prison.  First published in 1997 by two important journals dealing with childhood sexual abuse, Cynthia has since been published in over 30 anthologies.  Her books Sojourn, Pebbles In The Shoes, and No Time To Shoot The Poets were accepted into the Ina Coolbrith circle library section in Sacramento's State Library's Special Collections Reading Room.  Cynthia served  as the 4th and 7th Poet Laureate for the city of Pleasanton, CA.  She currently resides in Salinas, CA with her husband and her two Boston Terriers where she maintains the website www.poetslane.net for poets and poetry lovers.

Cynthia Bryant gathers fruit for her poems from many trees. Her poetry ranges from world news, to poignant pieces closer to her heart; love, family, incest and injustice. Cynthia has been invited to read her poetry throughout California in diverse venues including coffee shops, fairs, art galleries, schools, battered women’s shelters, and a federal prison. First published in 1997 by two important journals dealing with childhood sexual abuse, Cynthia has since been published in over 30 anthologies. Her books Sojourn, Pebbles In The Shoes, and No Time To Shoot The Poets were accepted into the Ina Coolbrith circle library section in Sacramento’s State Library’s Special Collections Reading Room. Cynthia served as the 4th and 7th Poet Laureate for the city of Pleasanton, CA. She currently resides in Salinas, CA with her husband and her two Boston Terriers where she maintains the website http://www.poetslane.net for poets and poetry lovers.

The Eternal Life Of Birds by Jim Gustafson

They are, I think, different than we know
so constant their voices pass through
as train whistles do, late in the county
at crossings, when all day-things rest
and night knows it best not to move along the tracks.

They are, I think, something other than we see.
When they fly and circle in the thermals
it is to deceive all who would follow them
to the place of which they sing.

On the precipice of past dreams, strains of air
are the brush strokes of their wings, so slight
we do not know they touch the canvas of our cheeks.

They are, I think, strangely hidden within
themselves. Even those who hide in camouflage
to watch and pull them close with lifted lenses,
cannot see all that’s drawn beneath a feather’s embrace.

They are, I think, endlessly alive.
If not for the murderous car and the feasting
of beasts, they do not die.

Jim Gustafson’s most recent book, Driving Home, was published by Aldrich Press in 2013 and is a 2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee. He holds an MFA from the University of Tampa, teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.  www.jimgustafson.com

Jim Gustafson’s most recent book, Driving Home, was published by Aldrich Press in 2013 and is a 2013 Pushcart Prize Nominee. He holds an MFA from the University of Tampa, teaches at Florida Gulf Coast University and lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.
http://www.jimgustafson.com

I Live In This Shadow God Time by Kushal Poddar

You know I had no
religion. I strolled
in these streets, naked,
God following me
for one more crumb of
biscuit. I knew he
would grow up, faster
and lose control
over the growth, would
grow older, die sooner,
leave me with his shadow,
his echoing barking.
You know I have no
religion, except
staring at the street-ends.

Born  in a warm corner  of India, a lone child and brought up with his shadow mates, Kushal Poddar (1977- ) began writing verses at the age of six. He adopted his second tongue as the language to dream on. Widely published in several countries, prestigious anthologies included Men In The Company of Women, Penn International MK etc  and featured in various radio programs in Canada and USA and collaborated with photographers for an exhibition at Venice and with performers for several audio publications .
He is presently living at Kolkata and writing poetry, fictions and scripts for short films when not engaged in his day job as a counsel/ lawyer in the High Court At Calcutta.  He authored, The Circus Came To My Island’and his forthcoming books are “Kafka Dreamed Of Paprika” and “A Place For Your Ghost Animals”.

Trouble Every Day V by Glen Armstrong

There is at this fine moment
Gentlemen
Only so much whiskey only
So much throat one can offer
Another throat

To preserve that mysterious bond
That binds fuckups

Who wait most of the night for a broken

Leg
Convinced that it’s a shapely
Leg
Or a cold mutton
Leg

We’ve misplaced our pants
And that opportunity

Which mere hours ago
Seemed real enough

The three-legged dog knows which direction
To piss / tolerance

If not

Obedience / the shortest way home.

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.

Home by Karen Mary Berr

Strange word – Home,
hardly a warmth,
a belief, clear as a tear,
that someone wanted you here
when no one was really called.
A harness playing Humanness
in your most recurrent dream.
The one made of broken plates
and vows, repeating
what the splinters sighed,
calling you ‘child’
unceasingly.
The one in which you bury
the cat with flaccid birds,
get drunk on milk,
pretend that love, like ivy,
cannot stop itself.
That bone-white cage
you escaped a thousand times,
for lovers who knew not your name,
but your clandestine lust
for deviant hearts.
That dream dissolving
just before you wake up,
eyes and lips swollen-red,
halfway between promised lands
and empty skies.
Leaving beneath your ribs,
between your legs,
solely the pulse of exile.
No matter where the wars bloomed,
indoors, outdoors,
there never was any escape,
any safe return.
No prodigal orchard,
no forgiving city,
only the memory of a man
with whom you’d have gladly died,
and that you untied
– or was it the contrary?

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.

Repercussions by Emma Lee

Please, it’s not you,
it’s me.

She curls, turns away.
He slips his shirt around her shoulders.

It’s not really me.
It’s him.

He pulls the bedcovers over.
There’s more to tenderness than touch.

It’s him.
It’s wrong it’s like this

He waits for her to turn and let him in,
let him help her move from victim into survivor.

Please, it’s not you.

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.

Time To Use The Knife by Jennifer Lagier

Wendy is ready to cut the umbilical cord,
tired of being mother to Peter
who behaves like he’s ten,
surrounded by his band of lost boys.

How many more nights
will she spend in a bed by herself?
He avoids work.
Plays games till dawn.
Sleeps through late afternoon.

Why is she the one tasked
with cooking meals, doing laundry,
dealing with creditors,
cleaning his house?

What was once magical is now
a burdensome chore.
She’d have left this isle earlier,
but is terrified of pirates and crocodiles.
They block every route.

She wonders if Tinkerbell accepts bribes,
would be willing to help her escape
this piss-poor, enabling relationship choice?

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