The Halfway House Of Depression by Kushal Poddar

This, the halfway house of depression,
swirls around her, she in the middle,
on a pirouetting stage that reveals
her shame how much she may veil herself.

This, they say, holds together all the life
one leads to nowhere and try to lose
it in some blind corner. The walls will
speak soon. The quantum will reach there.
Hide, I whisper, and she covers her nothingness.

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”.

Advertisements

If You Drink In The Morning, The Heroes Will Never Come by James Lee Jobe

IF YOU DRINK IN THE MORNING, THE HEROES WILL NEVER COME. This is the name of your death. This is your death by the glass. It is easy to see your death if you look through the bottle of wine, holding it up to the morning sun. Your death in purple light. Your death in pinot noir, your death in cabernet sauvignon. The heroes are not listening to you now, they are all washing their capes for another day, another needy victim. No one listens to a drunk anyway.

James Lee Jobe has been published in Manzanita, Tule Review, Pearl, and many other periodicals. His online publications include Convergence, Knot Magazine, Poetry 24, Medusa's Kitchen, and The Original Van Gogh Anthology. Jobe has authored five chapbooks, and his blog is PABLO, at jamesleejobe.blogspot.com.

James Lee Jobe has been published in Manzanita, Tule Review, Pearl, and many other periodicals. His online publications include Convergence, Knot Magazine, Poetry 24, Medusa’s Kitchen, and The Original Van Gogh Anthology. Jobe has authored five chapbooks, and his blog is PABLO, at jamesleejobe.blogspot.com.

Stiff Dog by Kyle Hemmings

i’m trying to bring the stiff dog back to life. shake her, pull her ears, rub her belly. make cat sounds, even flap my arms like a bird. we’re in the center of the woods, if the woods has a center. i was never up far enough to get the complete view. all i know is there was a fluttering over the sun-dappled leaves and the dog took off and vanished like a stray bullet. there were no gunshots or yowls. no signs of a struggle, no bloody fur, no marks at all. maybe an instant death, like the kind my sister, a morphine junkie back in Des Moines, always hoped for. maybe what killed dog was a vision, as if she had been dreaming. maybe she saw into the future, the way i sometimes do at night when i’m alone and the crickets are silent as flowers. maybe she saw the way my father would die falling from a roof on a dry hot day after hammering nail after nail, landing head first. maybe she saw my mother sleepwalking into the street at 3 a.m., the way she sometimes does and being hit by a car steered by a faceless driver. maybe she saw me diving from a branch of the highest sycamore tree and into a pool of multi-colored reflections too shallow for my own good. maybe she saw this life as a small fenced-in enclosure from which there can be no escape on most days. maybe she ran so fast her heart turned weak and flabby. maybe it approached the beat of a hummingbird’s wings. maybe dog is faking her own death. if so, she’s a better actor than most of us. or maybe dog saw herself dying in the act of trying to save us from our own futures. maybe she’s still dreaming of her favorite doggy death. maybe she’ll stay dead so we can move on and forget what the future once held.

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Your Impossible Voice, Night Train, Toad, Matchbox and elsewhere. His latest ebook is Father Dunne's School for Wayward Boys at amazon.com. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/

Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Your Impossible Voice, Night Train, Toad, Matchbox and elsewhere. His latest ebook is Father Dunne’s School for Wayward Boys at amazon.com. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/

Janine Plays Dead by Nick Power

Janine plays dead
facedown in the blue pool

arms limp,
weightless with the
gentle pull

brown medusa hair
married to water
like long
strands of seaweed

she can hear voices-
her mothers, then her sisters,
calling out after a newly adopted
bloodhound in the
bush

from a mans mouth,
she hears
her name

everything falls away
then,
multitudes of colour
dissolve,
sounds dissipate into
a low rumble
as she pushes deeper

slowly,
the weight of the world
breaks from
its silver cord
and drifts away
to the depths

Janine remains like that
in complete serenity

and wonders wether she should
come up
for air

Nick Power has recently had his first perfect-bound book 'Small Town Chase' published by erbacce-press, and is in the process of writing a new collection.  He's had poems published at M58, erbacce-press, Boscome Revolution and Jarg Magazine.

Nick Power has recently had his first perfect-bound book ‘Small Town Chase’ published by erbacce-press, and is in the process of writing a new collection. He’s had poems published at M58, erbacce-press, Boscome Revolution and Jarg Magazine.

A Ten Question Interview With The Artist…PW Covington.

Why do you write?
When I first started writing poetry, I mean actually sitting down and actually focusing on writing poetry, it was after I had returned from peace-keeping duty in Africa as a member of the US Air Force. Writing helped me collect my thoughts and experiences. It gave me a physical place that I could “put” that stuff, and then walk away from it, put it up on a shelf, in a note book. It helped make experiences and emotions into tangible things.
These days, as I am published more frequently and broadly, I tend to think of writing as a door way to places that I simply can not access other ways.
It’s that whole “reach beyond one’s grasp” thing that excites me the most. Once a piece of writing is published or otherwise released into the world, there is no telling how long it will live or how far it will go. It’s that uncertainty that is so exciting for me these days.

What books do you read?
I am always reading at least two or three books. I write a quarterly poetry review column for a Houston based Indie Lit journal, so I’m usually pouring through a collection of Independently published poetry, but I also enjoy alternative fiction, creative nonfiction, and some professional stuff, too, having to do with post-trauma mental health treatment and recovery.

What inspires you?
I live in a very small town in a very Conservative part of Texas. George Bush is still praised as a divine figure here. Most social life in my area centers on children and church. I am single, childless by choice, and despise all organized religion, especially Christianity, so…inspiration pretty much has to come from within, for me.
I travel a lot though, hell, I have to drive at least 150 miles to get to anywhere worth mentioning, and that movement itself can be inspiring. Since I was a child, I have always been keenly aware of how the world, and the people of the world, are interconnected. Parochialism offends something very deep within me. It’s that movement, that connection, celebrating those differences, while recognizing the things we all have in common….That’s probably my greatest inspiration.
That, and the judicious use of drugs and alcohol.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?
Man, I’ve been farting around with this poetry stuff since the 1990’s….I’ve written while homeless, while in prison, while working as a merchant seaman, and until about 2010 or so, I never really took myself or my work very seriously.
Just last month, I was down on the US/Mexico border, the city of McAllen, Texas had put me up for three nights in a King suite at the Holiday Inn, certainly not the kind of dump I’m used to making myself comfortable in on my own dime….and at one point that second night, I was sitting on the sofa in the living room, my feet up, smoking some great weed I had gotten earlier in the day from a student at the college campus where I read some poetry earlier in the day, and it hit me…I had pretty much accomplished what I had always wanted to do, I had become what I had always envisioned myself being.
I don’t know if that answers your question or not, but…

How Do you deal with rejection?
My stuff isn’t for everyone. I’m cool with that. Shit, I wouldn’t WANT to be published by the kind of wankers that brag about their abysmally low acceptance rates and that treat poets like prospects for Home Owners Associations.
I’ve been shot at by Somali militiamen, I’ve been locked up in Texas prisons, I’ve been homeless on the streets of San Francisco. The opinions of poetry and fiction editors at journals that no one even reads do not fucking bother me.

Who are some writers you admire?
In no particular order, and with no elaboration; Chuck Taylor, Jr., Jack Kerouac, Tom Robbins, Brian Allen Carr, Hunter Thompson, Gary Snyder, Carlton Mellick III, Jim Thompson, Barry Gifford, Bukowski, Lilly Penhall.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?
I dabble in photography, Asian ink work, and mixed media collage.

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?
Get the fuck out of Texas as quickly as possible and never come back….ever.
Keep copies of EVERYTHING…especially the things that you are told that you won’t need to keep copies of.
Smoke more marijuana. It will NOT hurt you.
Don’t be afraid to end friendships. People grow apart. You’re not supposed to be stuck with folks forever merely because you once got along.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Kill your fucking television. Be the type that has programs made about them, not the sort that watches programs about others.
Drink, smoke, fuck, drop acid, laugh, suck cock, travel, fight, fall, listen….always listen….everywhere, to everyone.
Try to have friends in as many time zones as possible. Visit them.
If you’re any good, and you’re doing all of this other shit, the writing will take care of itself.

What is your writing process?
There’s a process? I’ve always thought of it as more of a binge activity, writing.
I’m not one of those “10 pages a day” fuckers….and don’t even get me started on crap like “30 poems in 30 days”. Writing is an art to me, not a product. If I wanted to PRODUCE, I’d work at a bakery or a factory or something.
Rarely do I sit down and with pure purpose, write….usually a phrase, just a few words come to me…usually while I’m high, or driving, or driving high…I’ve pulled over on the side of the highway before and started a piece….sometimes, it’s something leftover from a dream that I can capture before it disappears.

Hell, I can’t tell you what the man behind the curtain looks like, I’ve only caught the briefest sights of him myself.

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.

A Photo Of The End Of The World by William Doreski

A photo of the end of the world,
framed and hung on flocked
working-class wallpaper. A beach
deserted under bluffs
fuzzy with stubble weed.

Could be anywhere: Cape Cod, Wales,
Nova Scotia, Brittany. Often
we walk there, down on the beach,
in sleep so bottomless
we could be treading on stars.

You hung this photo to tease me
back fifty years to a night
of beer and sex and rumpled tides
ebbing and flowing toward dawn.

Then, sodden flesh and the end
of everything draped over us
in a stink of wool and fish.

William Doreski's work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013

William Doreski’s work has appeared in various e and print journals and in several collections, most recently The Suburbs of Atlantis (AA Press, 2013

Hotel Blue by Daniel Ortiz

I am the type who thrives on solitude
but tonight, loneliness has finally
set in. It sits on my shoulders
with its icy grip.
It whispers vindictive in my ears and
crawls through my mind at a
snails pace.
I miss the nights with
deep conversation and deep penetration
I don’t just mean sex; penetration
into another’s mind and soul.
Over two years have passed since
those nights when anything and
everything seemed possible
The plans we made all fell through
Ideas shared have been lost in the ether
I try and push it all to the back
of my mind, but on nights like this
it all comes rushing forward…the
night at The Hotel Blue and how you
sucked the life from me in more than one way
and how you stuck that knife in my heart
and twisted…

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.

Amsterdam by David Cooke

The adverts along
the canal can talk
in anyone’s language.
They are as clear
and as quaint
as pidgin:
FUCKY FUCKIES!
NON STOP! LIVE!
directing the drift
of clients,
the anonymous
losers and tourists,
who haunt
this brash locale
where, at our feet,
neon floats,
reflected
on dark water.
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.

Practical Hypnosis by Richard King Perkins II

Your shadow, even at dusk
doesn’t amount to much more than a flatline.

Animal darkness staggers through the cinders
of an orange blaze—
falls twisted into a fetal pose.

In the spindly carcass of night,
look up at your hand
look at the lines in it
look at one spot

sinking floating drifting down

you won’t be able to take back
the kiss unleashed upon my mouth

can’t shun the resonant cascade
of murmurs from your visceral debauchery.

You grope for remnants of fire
splashed across an intractable horizon
in the first cold morning ever known.

Demagogue light deceives,
you lie hidden in dawn’s advance

alive in subtle ways
glistening  in the hum and gurgle
of a deeper oblivion.

Asensually, I continue testing keys
in blatant claret script;

you’re mentioned briefly in chapter seventeen—

streaming golden moonlight.

Richard King Perkins II is an advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee, a Best of the Net nominee and recent finalist in The Rash Awards, Sharkpack Alchemy, Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contests.

Richard King Perkins II is an advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, IL with his wife, Vickie and daughter, Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee, a Best of the Net nominee and recent finalist in The Rash Awards, Sharkpack Alchemy, Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contests.