Alcohol Piracy & A Very Merry Un-Birthday Beating – Excerpt from the Novel ‘Kicking Back Drunk’ by Paul Tristram

We left the gardens at 4am, all six of us. We had £5 between us
but there were no shops open anywhere.
“Well, I can’t go all morning without a drink!” I exclaimed.
“Neither can I.” said Slag.
“The shops don’t open for fucking hours.” explained Ethel.
“That’s the last of the dope.” declared Blim unhappily, as he
passed the last few drags of the last joint to Slag.
Dai Not Guilty started to stutter something then stopped and
settled for kicking a can down the street.
“Stop that shit with the can.” said Slave “The law are patrolling
around and they’ll hear it.”
Dai stopped at once.
“Right!” I exclaimed.
“There is only one thing for it.”
“Burglary!” everyone said as one.

Reality avoiding minds think alike. Slag said he knew of a good
place in the Ferry.
We started walking.
It was a mile and a half to medication.
On the way to the Ferry, we beat Ethel senseless.
We were all draining the last dregs from our cider bottles.
(Which were plastic, I must add).
Ethel suddenly remembered watching Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
on the TV a few days before.
He started wishing us all a very merry un-birthday, individually.
It went on for about twenty minutes without any rest.
You just don’t fuck around with five alcoholics who have no alcohol.
I snapped and attacked him.
I started beating him with my empty bottle. After two strokes the rest
were upon him.
He received a black eye, bruising to the chest, back and legs, also a small cut
above his left eye.
“You wish any of us a very fucking merry un-birthday once more, you
cunt, I’ll break off your head and shit down your throat!” threatened
Slag.

And he meant it, and if he didn’t, then the rest of us did. Ethel staggered
behind us as we set out on our quest once more.

We arrived, it was easy, a piece of piss. One fence and a poxy little
padlock that you could open with a nail file but of course we didn’t have
a nail file. Slave suggested that Blim tried using his knob. Slag argued
that it would be too small.
I jumped over the fence, took a sleeper from my ear and did the business in
seconds. I opened the doors, walked in and came out smiling with a
crate of Colt 45 under my arm.
I passed the crate over to Slag.
As I climbed back over the fence the sun came out of hiding.
How wonderful it is to be alive, I thought to myself.
I gazed at the sun lighting up the clear plastic of the crate, thinking,
what a beautiful sight.
The sunrise wasn’t too bad either. I murdered the sunlit clear plastic
of the crate in seconds and gave everyone a can. We headed them. It was
perfect, six men stood in a line, beer cans held at the mouth like bugles,
heralding in the new sun.
It was poetry of the senses.
My heart sighed somewhere inside me. It was a frantic race to
pleasure. I could swear that I won that beautiful, soul quenching race.
I’m sure the rest of the boys would each have a different opinion.

We set about the business at hand, which was of course, to rob the
place blind. Ethel, Dai and Blim jumped over the fence and started handing the
crates over to me. I passed them to Slag, who gave them
to Slave, who took the crates off. He ran and hid them in the bushes
by the canal, which was about 100 foot away.

While doing my work, my mood seemed to brighten. I became very
thoughtful and inquisitive about life and other normally shite things.
“What’s the meaning of life?” I asked Slag, the workmate by my side,
with what I thought was a very profound and sincere look upon my face.
“It’s alcohol!” panted Slave, as he approached for another load.
“Of course it’s alcohol.” retorted Slag sarcastically.
“That’s why we’re stealing it, you dull fuck!”
“No, it’s the answer to Jack’s question, alcohol.” said Slave
“And don’t call me a dull fuck, you dull fuck!” he added.
“The answer to what question?” I asked.
“The meaning of life.” answered Slave.
“Oh, for Christ sake, you asked Slag what was the meaning of life
and I answered it for him.
The meaning of life is alcohol!” he exclaimed.
“Oh!” said Slag.

I stayed silent and stopped thinking. I just carried on passing stolen
crates of the meaning of life to Slag and he passed them to Slave.
We had loads of them.
It was all the meaning we would need for a while.
We became mechanical.
We had the whole thing running like a military operation.
We finished with the crates of the meaning of life, then the boxes
of crisps began coming over.
“These must be the food of life!” I joked.
Nobody laughed except Ethel and he was on the other side of the fence.
He was also a nutter, so it didn’t count.
I stopped joking.
Suddenly a man appeared at the end of the lane, of course it was our
end of the lane.
He was right upon us.
Slag pulled out two cigarettes, gave me one. We lit up and started
talking about bus times, hoping the boys didn’t make a sound over the fence
until he had passed. He was walking two mongrels. As he passed
three boxes of crisps flew over the fence.
“Jesus Christ!” he shouted.

One of the boxes hit one of his dogs. It yelped and hid behind one of his
legs.
Slave had just come back from one of his loads. He ran to one of the
boxes of crisps. I pulled out my Stanley knife and held it behind my back.

Quick as a flash, Slave pulled down his jeans, sat on the up-turned box
of crisps, imitating a toilet.
“Nice day for a shite outdoors!” he said, smiling at the man with the
dogs.
Obviously I realised that Slave had to quit sniffing glue, he was in another
world.
The man with the dogs bent down and picked up the box of crisps that
had hit his dog, saying loudly to himself.
“The place is full of booze and they’re nicking fucking savouries,
the cunts!”

Then he walked off carrying under his arm a stolen box of 48 packets
of chicken flavoured crisps, my favourite.
I put my Stanley knife away. Lady Luck was licking our arseholes and
she was doing it good.

We carried our stash down the canal, then Slag fucked off to phone
Andy’s.
Andy’s was a cool taxi service. They’ll fill their boots with anything for you as
long as you pay extra and gave them a bottle or two.
We ordered three taxis.
We arrived at my place soon after, we paid the drivers and gave them
a crate each, took the stash inside and started drinking properly.

The next thing I knew I was coming to, on top of the roof wrestling
with a fireman who was standing on a ladder.
There were eight police cars on the road with an ambulance and a fire
engine standing by.
There was a ring of policemen around my house.
I could think of better ways to wake up.

 

 

 

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. Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And also 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.
Buy his book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036
And also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

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In The Depths by D.N. Simmers

“The ripest pathos becomes the animating gurgle of
air bubbles from the soul in the depths.”
DURS GRUNBEIN

You were dying. Father. Came to you with both hands. Could not see me. Only Pain. Old things long forgotten. Time and space passed by, your face gaunt and thin.
“ I don’t want to live like this..”  coming out between air bubbles around your Mouth. Talked about the old farm and killing chickens. Chasing little pigs around a fenced yard: not seen this place, nor heard of it , no pictures into words, as if we were
there. Your dreams living back,. When time would stand with you, as a friend: listen to everything.  Like a good young dog. Following you. Now its time, to say goodbye. Then it’s over and  I miss you. She misses you: All you family were there. Final goodbyes. At the funeral home. Then we carried you. Six of your brothers and, sons. To your grave.

D.N. Simmers is an on line editor with Fine Lines. He is in the  current Poetry Salzburg Review and the Common Ground Review. He is in two new anthologies and is on line in riverbabble, Wilderness House Literary Review and Whispers. He was in Van Gogh's Ear, Paris France.

D.N. Simmers is an on line editor with Fine Lines. He is in the
current Poetry Salzburg Review and the Common Ground Review.
He is in two new anthologies and is on line in riverbabble,
Wilderness House Literary Review and Whispers.
He was in Van Gogh’s Ear, Paris France.

A Ten Question Interview With The Artist…Cathy Bryant

Why do you write?

I’ve always written, and I think it comes from my love of books. I escaped from my unhappy childhood into the books I read, and it was always my dream to write, or at least be part of, a book myself one day.

What books do you read?

Anything and everything! I’ve read several books a week since I was small. I read more novels than anything else, but also poetry, nonfiction, short stories, vintage cookery books and good children’s books.

What inspires you?

Inspiration can come from anything. Ted Kooser wrote a famous poem about his grandmother chucking out the dishwater. He takes something very ordinary and transforms it into something beautiful. So sometimes inspiration comes from the quotidian, and sometimes it comes from odd things or conversations. My novel ‘Pride and Regicide’ began when I mispronounced ‘Prejudice’ to myself! “Where’s my copy of Pride and Prejudice?” was what I tried to say, but somehow I said ‘Regicide’ instead. Then I remembered the character of Miss King, and the idea for a novel was born.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

As a child reading books, I knew that these were the most wonderful things in the world (this was before sex, obviously). One book that fascinated me was The Early Asimov, Isaac Asimov’s accounts of submitting his early stories and getting rejections, and then getting publication and payment for them. I wanted to do that! So I was dreaming of being a writer at a very young age. Unfortunately lack of confidence stopped me from pursuing the dream for a long time.

How do you deal with rejection?

I’m used to rejection! I submit around 300 poems and short stories every year, and I get about 50 pieces published, or placed in competitions. So I get about 250 rejections every year! It’s just part of the job and I don’t mind it at all. It’s a huge contrast to my younger self. I got my first rejection when I was twelve and the next at nineteen, and that persuaded me that I couldn’t write and had no business to hope to be a writer. If only I’d known then what I know now!

Who are some writers you admire?

So, so many! Dead: Plato, Aristophanes, whoever wrote Gawain and the Green Knight, Jane Austen, Marie de France, Tove Jansson, all three Brontes, Sylvia Plath, Tanith Lee, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip Larkin, Elizabeth von Armin, Dorothy L. Sayers….I could really go on forever with this list.
Living: Keir Thomas, Rosie Garland, Karen Little, Angela Smith, Sheenagh Pugh, Fiona Pitt-Kethley, Ira Lightman, Winston Plowes, Dominic Berry, Sue Barnard…. I could go on forever with this list too!

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

It’s the only one I do well. I draw and paint very badly, I sew very badly, I sing very badly, I play the ocarina and flute very badly. Fortunately I’m at an age where I’ve stopped myself from prohibiting activities just because I’m no good at them, so I do all those things merrily when there’s no one around to be horrified by them.

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Leave home and take any job to get away from your family. Here’s the name of your soulmate. Be nice to yourself. Sugar is at the root of many of your problems. Don’t worry – everything will get a lot better. The things that happened to you weren’t your fault.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes! Have a go at all sorts of things. Don’t shut yourself into a box (e.g. “I’m a poet but I can’t write prose”) too soon. Don’t try to create and edit at the same time. Don’t worry about rejections. Send as many pieces as you can to different places – that way a rejection or two won’t matter as much. Learn from your fellow writers and enjoy the warmth of the writing community. Be warm and helpful to other writers in your turn. Give yourself permission to write and permission to take time for it, whatever your other commitments are. Ignore any nasty ideas that you aren’t good enough – we all get that sometimes. Celebrate any successes with great joy.

What is your writing process?

Because of my health problems (arthritis, fibromyalgia and various other stuff) I spend quite a bit of time resting, so I often write longhand in bed, in an exercise book (a cheap ‘Moleskine’-type one). I use tratto fibre tip pens which are very light but have amazing ink flow, so I can write fairly fast with them despite arthritic fingers. Then stuff gets typed up on my computer, where it gets edited in the cold light of morning. I do all my submitting and editing and practical things like that on the computer. Every writer I know has a slightly different process – we pick what works for us, I suppose.

Cathy Bryant has won 19 literary awards, and her work has appeared in over 200 publications. Cathy's published books are: 'Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature', 'Look at All the Women', and 'How to Win Writing Competitions (and make money)'. See Cathy's listings for cash-strapped writers at www.compsandcalls.com

Cathy Bryant has won 19 literary awards, and her work has appeared in over 200 publications. Cathy’s published books are: ‘Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature’, ‘Look at All the Women’, and ‘How to Win Writing Competitions (and make money)’. See Cathy’s listings for cash-strapped writers at http://www.compsandcalls.com

For A Few Pennies More (Sometimes/Arranged) by Petra Creffield

OK Let’s start with it
And how we gotta write out some shit
Cos sometimes this group, you know,  it can be arranged
And let’s be honest, things needed to be changed
My week has been a hell hole of shit
And maybe this is my only release,
To sit down and write about it…

Vent my spleen into rhymes and into words
Cos everything else just makes it feel worse
I’m sick of the fuckers in the world only looking to make you feel small
I’m sick of tick boxed bureaucratic numb-nuts filling in their endless forms
To decide if you are fit,
To decide if you are alright to jump through even more of their idiotic hoops

And we stoop

Bending ever lower
Trying to fit in boxes not made for any human to fill
Making you feel ill
As you bend and you try
You even cry
In front of them, like a fool

Hoping waiting for some humanity to be naked in her eyes
You smile, you agree at the soulless dead entity
You try to explain while she ticks all the wrong boxes
Condemning you to hardship for the foreseeable future
She may as well have kicked ya
While you’re down there anyway

But what choice but to see and agree
With all their fucking fucked up expectations
Go home, kick the dog in endless loop of frustrations
You know it isn’t right
You know, it is,
Every kind of wrong
But know you will be back next week to sing their song

For a few pennies more

Petra Creffield is a writer, photographer and teacher born in Leeds and currently living in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. She has written poetry since her teens and for the last 10 years has regularly performed her works at open mics, festivals and events in Brighton, Chatham and most recently in Holmfirth. Her work has also been published in ‘In Betwween Hangovers’ ‘Insight Magazine’ and ‘Ars Interpres International Arts Review Magazine’. In 2006 she self-published her first volume of poetry entitled ‘To All The Men I Have Loved Before’ and is planning this year to publish an updated version of the same title and also to write her first children’s story book.

Petra Creffield is a writer, photographer and teacher born in Leeds and currently living in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. She has written poetry since her teens and for the last 10 years has regularly performed her works at open mics, festivals and events in Brighton, Chatham and most recently in Holmfirth. Her work has also been published in ‘In Between Hangovers’ ‘Insight Magazine’ and ‘Ars Interpres International Arts Review Magazine’. In 2006 she self-published her first volume of poetry entitled ‘To All The Men I Have Loved Before’ and is planning this year to publish an updated version of the same title and also to write her first children’s story book.

Back Alley by Cynthia Bryant

Taken
To a hovel on the outskirts of Juarez
Discarded bits of refuge blow lifeless
Across dead earth

Given
Tranquilizers an hour before arrival
I enter the paint less door
To warning drums in my throat

Women who have forgotten how to breathe
Sit in musty couches that line dreary walls
Face forward, remember yesterday

Mother
Determined to have her way
Chit-chats about repainting the dining room
When we return

A squat woman takes my hand
Leads me down the darkened hallway
To a lighted room–
Given gas almost immediately
I twilight sleep into night terrors
Loud squeals, sounds crash
Brightly colored lights flash
Assault senses

The womb contracts
A ruinous running remedy
Pours into a far away bucket

I hear my screams
Then awaken– two tampons
Stuff the sacrificial gash
Groggy mind splintered beyond belief
Or caring

Father’s sin scraped away
Murderers paid in full
I am encouraged to leave
Post haste
Forget the body
Buried out back

Cynthia Bryant's poetry bites hard then takes you into the dark recesses of her life. Finding poetry and maintaining a good sense of humor helps her rise and tread water withe best of them. Cynthia maintains a website known as Poet's Lane, you may find her on Facebook as well as PoetsLane.net

Cynthia Bryant’s poetry bites hard then takes you into the dark recesses of her life. Finding poetry and maintaining a good sense of humor helps her rise and tread water withe best of them.
Cynthia maintains a website known as Poet’s Lane, you may find her on Facebook as well as PoetsLane.net

Err with Verve by Susan Castillo

I never could hold a note.
But that didn’t stop me
from trying out for choir.

The Choirmistress,
starched formidable Virginia matron
looks at me over gilded specs
as I caterwaul with gusto.

She smiles, says, “That’s  good, Susan:
Err with Verve.”
Against all odds,
she lets me in.

 Susan Castillo Street is a Louisiana expatriate and academic who lives in the Sussex countryside. She is Harriet Beecher Stowe Professor Emeritus, King’s College, University of London, and has published two collections of poems, The Candlewoman's Trade (Diehard Press, 2003) and Abiding Chemistry,  (Aldrich Press, 2015).  Her poems have appeared in The Missing Slate, The Stare’s Nest, Nutshells and Nuggets, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Snakeskin, Message in a Bottle, Literature Today, York Mix and other reviews. She is a member of three poetry groups: 52, Goat, and Slant 2015.


Susan Castillo Street is a Louisiana expatriate and academic who lives in the Sussex countryside. She is Harriet Beecher Stowe Professor Emeritus, King’s College, University of London, and has published two collections of poems, The Candlewoman’s Trade (Diehard Press, 2003) and Abiding Chemistry, (Aldrich Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared in The Missing Slate, The Stare’s Nest, Nutshells and Nuggets, I Am Not a Silent Poet, Snakeskin, Message in a Bottle, Literature Today, York Mix and other reviews. She is a member of three poetry groups: 52, Goat, and Slant 2015.

Matter/infinity by Mercedes Webb-Pullman

Matter/infinity

“infinite matter –
the non-dimensional ‘thing’ of intersecting attributes”

Dan Costello – Alchemy and Me.

“as above, so below”

the Seal of Solomon.

The fragment 
Your flesh is always mortal.
You are the body, you’re not in the body.

Everything changes, including the way
of change and reasons to change.

Everything sings,
even eyes first confronting space
where you can resign from extinction.
No one else can. Not even those
who succeeded without trying to love you
and many who will claim you at the end.

Stop dreaming then, you
who won’t allow your death to exist,
though existence is rarely rationed.

Forget those
who darken heaven. The girls
in cooking class, there’s no way
you were ever blackboard monitor
so you envied them.
From their clean ovens bread rose
steaming like adult thunder
and you heard them hold safety
under their thumbs.

A dozen different angles dug to escape
your heritage prison
which never lightened,
expensive sorrow that travelled everywhere
and sat between threads in the lace of your veil
like a black hole.

How little
were you supposed to keep?
The girls stand along your factory forecourt
at dawn, the orphans. Often
they throw butts in the trailer
door, and every time they do
dust flies up from their feet.
Hurricanes of dust
turn above eternity

and their feet are rough
with answers, scarred by answers.
They have none of your short
snappy repartee.
As soon as they hear your confession
they answer with their own
and they drop down to deliver you
from a knowledge that can kill
and you kneel to farewell them
like a hostess of dust

because: doesn’t
dust dance best in the wind,
howling through the fierce fixed galaxies
beyond the here-and-now shroud
of the mother ship?
It rises up in you, and you never
stop joining it. As Alexandria found
in her untimed red fire.
Where do you stop discovering?
Some chance upon your mind from their dust;
they hate being alone. They build
their winter systems out of you.

How dreadful to lose. And now
always the long ago. Long
ago you were a mind.
Matter cold, earth cold, (that) over.
The winter satellites rise
like upper case asterisks
marking the mountain top
where the black hawk wakes.
Back behind reason or excuse,
the last morning of the system. The motes
of your mind apart from the silent
dust of the earth.

And you let them go, big drifting plumes
like smoke from totally unknown towns
and the drums’ deep beating,
riding the ferry of song until
you lose the dust

on tightly woven carpets
in large cities, as if
the importance of weaving, making
all in order from the edges in,
was actually of a moment.

Illumination always throws a lot of light
and you return, fully
arrived from those fires
you your self initiated.

He will leave you in the still dawn,
taking his empty, lightless lantern,
his dust, the dust you never own,
so you can start loving him.
Love has nothing to do
with the end of space.

Mercedes Webb-Pullman graduated from IIML Victoria University Wellington with MA in Creative Writing in 2011. Her poems and short stories have appeared online and in print, in Turbine, 4th Floor, Swamp, Reconfigurations, The Electronic Bridge, poetryrepairs, Connotations, The Red Room, Otoliths, Cliterature  among others, and in her books. She lives on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand.

Mercedes Webb-Pullman graduated from IIML Victoria University Wellington with MA in Creative Writing in 2011. Her poems and short stories have appeared online and in print, in Turbine, 4th Floor, Swamp, Reconfigurations, The Electronic Bridge, poetryrepairs, Connotations, The Red Room, Otoliths, Cliterature among others, and in her books. She lives on the Kapiti Coast, New Zealand.

Cardboard Boxes By The Door by PW Covington

Home,
For a change
In my place
Packing a bowl, in my blue-lit
Living room
 
Boxes,
Empty
Sit by the door and leak nostalgia
They brought books to me in the mail
Books of poetry
Written by friends
Rum bums and
Mystic saints
 
Empty,
I used to fill boxes this size
With baseball cards, then
Postcards and love letters
Movie ticket stubs
And other paper
Souvenirs

Tan,
Cardboard boxes
No hope for re-use
I have little need for pulpy tabernacles
In this age
Of pipes and bottles and
Insomnia drenched
Texas nights

Gone,
Something has been lost
I do not even try to fill
The empty spaces
Begged by discarded, cardboard boxes
Stacked up
By my door
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.

I Wish I Still Smoked by Robert Wilson

There is
misanthropy on my
breath and
dried blood
lodged beneath my
fingernails. I can’t
tell if it belongs
to me or
the planet I
lamentably walk on.
I fill these
summer nights with
the cracks of
knuckles against
drywall, trying to make
symphonies from
subjugation. It never
works and never
will but that
won’t stop me. I’ll
drink anxiety to
keep me awake
just to be
sure. All these failures
I refuse to eject
from my arteries when
I could just French kiss
the sun instead. It
would be my
last kiss. It would
be my first look
into beaming,
bleak reality.

Robert Wilson is a writer and poet from Morgantown, WV. His writing is known for being dark, confessional, and cathartic. Robert's work has been published in San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Amomancies, Deep Water Literary Journal, and others. He loves coffee and pasta.

Robert Wilson is a writer and poet from Morgantown, WV. His writing is known for being dark, confessional, and cathartic. Robert’s work has been published in San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Amomancies, Deep Water Literary Journal, and others. He loves coffee and pasta.

Hollywood Squares and Starving Artists by Kevin Ridgeway

I was waiting to board an airplane
at SFO when Richard Greco and the guy
that played Urkel got on with the
first class passengers long after their
fame and catchphrase human punch line glory
had passed; they refused to look at the coach
passengers from behind their sunglasses as
we filed by.  the co-pilot chatted them up about
the charity basketball tournament they played
in having been fixed, and they both agreed,
having lost the game to NBC’s Must See TV
All-Star Prime Time Players in a screecher
that gave Meredith Baxter-Birney heat stroke;
that’s when our plane hit severe turbulence
and I thought to myself that I did not want
to die on the same plane as Urkel and Richard
Greco, a moment in history that would include
me on the flight registries as a passenger in
the last row of coach next to the bathroom
and it’s relentless turds, two drunk men surrounding
me and finding excuses to touch my knees and my
thighs, with stale blue corn tortilla chips as the
last reported meal to canned laughter and
sitcom funeral applause.

Kevin Ridgeway was born in Bellflower, CA and raised in nearby Whittier, where he currently lives and writes. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Re)verb, San Pedro River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Bank-Heavy, Misfit Magazine and The Mas Tequila Review, among others. His latest chapbooks of poetry are On the Burning Shore (Arroyo Seco Press) and Riding Off Into That Strange Technicolor Sunset: Dallas-FT. Worth Poems (The Weekly Weird Monthly).

Kevin Ridgeway was born in Bellflower, CA and raised in nearby Whittier, where he currently lives and writes. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Re)verb, San Pedro River Review, Right Hand Pointing, Bank-Heavy, Misfit Magazine and The Mas Tequila Review, among others. His latest chapbooks of poetry are On the Burning Shore (Arroyo Seco Press) and Riding Off Into That Strange Technicolor Sunset: Dallas-FT. Worth Poems (The Weekly Weird Monthly).