The Deaths Offscreen by R.T. Castleberry

We amplify our purgatory
with sloe gin, cracked ice,
tensions of an Urso lighter,
Pall Mall’s in her mother’s Dunhill holder.

With a sense of silk shawls settled
on a love seat,
we have clouded over,
turned country syllables to leery conclusions,
praise and laughter to accusations
of kited checks, click bait gossip.

This precinct is a haunt of bones,
sunstruck fest of pipe or needle, Mezcal worm.
Tired, injured,
my hair chopped careless short,
her eyes gripped in cocaine slumber,
we are intent on violations.

Like a corpse stain on bungalow carpet,
we are skeptical–and angry for it.
Her arm is wrapped, elbow to wrist.
An In Utero tee drapes
bloody from a kitchen table.
We are haphazard children, slicing
Hermes scarves to seal anniversary’s wound.
There is no lie except getting caught.

I am a co-founder of the Flying Dutchman Writers Troupe, co-editor/publisher of the poetry magazine Curbside Review, an assistant editor for Lily Poetry Review and Ardent. My work has appeared in Comstock Review, Green Mountains Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, RiverSedge, Caveat Lector and Your One Phone Call.

Cat Scan Press & Paul Tristram’s ‘Neurotica’ Poem

Cat Scan Press will be back up and running in 2017!
Releasing full length poetry collections.

Starting with a double whammy
of previous Cat Scan Press released Paul Tristram chapbooks
(Now expanded to nearly 200 pages each)

The Urban Punk/Street Smart
‘Always Lost & Lost Always (Poetry From The Street)’ 2007

and the Notoriously Dark  ‘Neurotica’. 2007
-title poem below-

There will not be a submission window.
Poets will be approached by us,
we are scouring already… we are looking for Brilliance
and will be only publishing a select few each year.
Watch this space!


“It’s a deranged game of two halves!”
said my psychotic reflection not calmly
to my un-self composed schizophrenic self.
“We cannot help you hide it away forever.
There are wigwams upon the horizon,
somebody is being watched
and it might just be you, my friend?
The Mask is oh, so delicate
and yearns to slip, again
but in the right place at the wrong time
would be absolutely disastrous.
You will never get them to understand
whoever they are or might not be.
We must follow the zigzagging light,
keep to the shadows and back lanes.
You are The Entrance and must be kept safe
or extremely defended and lied about.
Sharp things have teeth and moans of their own
and bending is far more important than breaking.
There are always, at least 2 different ways to win
but they always involve avoiding defeat, first!”

First Published in print in In Between Hangovers 2007

and Published online in Blood Moon Rising 2015













The Fall (Poem) & The Underground Gang (Drawing) by Stephen Jarrell Williams

You’ve gone over the edge
Bad writing
Hardly any words

Less to bleed out
When you hit bottom

The fat lady pointing down at you
Singing and laughing at your little spat

She spits out a wad of Bible pages
You never read and should have.


Not so long ago, Stephen Jarrell Williams was called by some, the Great Poet of Doom… Now, he writes at night, enthused, and waiting for the Coming Good Dawn.


Private Audience by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

the Adcock girl
was attentive
to the poems
from memory
on Sunday nights
before church

just a short
lived ritual––
the lines less
important than
the act of
memory recited
to an


Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native. Over 369 pieces of her work appear in 132 print and electronic publications. A magazine-type blog updated at her erratic discretion is here: http://wlc- She is currently polishing a full-length poetry manuscript.

I Turned Around Slowly and then I Was Somewhere Else by Leslie Bohem

Right now it’s raining in Paris. There is a sound that the cars make on the streets. It is a mixture of sounds really.  Tires on wet cement mostly, a loud, echoing roll decorated by the squeal of brakes and by the constant honking of high-pitched horns.  If I turn my head crossing the street I hear it, so clear and clean.  I swear that I could be anywhere, with my eyes closed, and you could play me that mixture and I would know that I was hearing Paris in the rain.  It’s something 1 love, that peculiar combination of sounds. It’s something that can make me happy.
Other cities sound different in the rain.  In Santa Cruz the rain was just rain and the sound that I remember there was that sound that seals made. If you were walking home late at night, the town would be very quiet. Then you could hear them, barking on the rocks just off shore. It made you think of sailors and those little “widow’s watch” balconies where the wives would wait for their man’s return.
I remember one weekend in Santa Cruz when you were coming up from Santa Barbara.  I remember that I hurt all the time then, dull and hopeless, and I think I can see now that what I wanted from you was a safety and a confessional, and that only children ask that of each other, before we grow up and learn to be alone.
I don’t quite see what kept you coming when you were always saying that nothing between us could last or be important to you.   I suppose you found a reason in your own troubles, but the kind of love that I carried was too self-involved to take much notice of that. And then too it seems to me that you had a way of making all your troubles natural, so that everything that was wrong was wrong with me. But maybe that was not your fault at all.
It seems that I was always reaching for you, that I held your hand too often or leaned in to kiss you too many times.
I was always terrified of being in bed with you. It was so awfully important. I really did believe that something could happen there that would change us, and now I think I understand why that whole pursuit was pointless.  I think that you can only feel the way I felt when you haven’t yet started to see everything in terms of its ending.
That weekend you were visiting for the last time.  It amazes me that we, people I know, could have been given to that sort of drama, to farewell scenes and all the lingering glances that go with them.  I would never now think of sleeping with someone for the last time; I simply wouldn’t call back.  I would be happiest, I think, with the same, but it does seem sad to be unable, anymore, to live life as if it were romantic.
I knew that it would be the last time, and I knew that there was no way to change you or me or the way we were together, and I knew that I would try harder than ever to do just that that weekend. I would hold onto your hand more tightly and kiss you more often and bed would be more awfully important than ever.
The week before you were to come, I slept with the girl who lived across the street. I thought that it would make me calm and sure.  I knew that you would find out, I would tell you if no one else did, and I thought that maybe, if I seemed to care less, you would begin to care more.  But one mistake I hadn’t yet learned not to make was to follow any emotion other than love or lust into bed. By the time you came for the weekend things were worse with me than they’d been.
Just like the seals or the sounds of traffic in the rain, there are smells and tastes and textures that come from very specific places. Your memory for me is your blue flannel nightgown. It was so old that it was no longer even soft. You must have already had it forever when I knew you. You probably still have it. I can remember the first time you came out of the bathroom and into bed. We were still so close to being children, although that was something we couldn’t have known. It was a child’s nightgown. It had hung over your breasts before they’d started to grow. Your other boyfriends had reached under it as I was about to do.  It held so much of you then, that blue nightgown.  It connected me to parts of you I hadn’t known. There were all the other connections in us, the triangles formed by a TV show we’d both had watched when we were twelve, or by a song we both had dreamed our different dreams to. But the blue flannel nightgown.  I had been so close. It was like touching your life.
Right now it’s raining in Paris. There is a sound that the cars make in the streets. If I turn my bead, I hear it so clear and clean and I swear that, no matter where I was and with my eyes closed, if you played me that sound I would recognize Paris in it.

Les Bohem has written a lot of movies and TV shows including the mini-series, Taken which he wrote and executive produced with Steven Spielberg. and for which he won an Emmy award.   He’s had songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Freddy Fender, Steve Gillette, Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde), and Alvin (of the Chipmunks).  He is currently producing his series, Shut Eye for Hulu.

Misfit by JD DeHart

A final piece
of punctuation makes
you wonder where
the Flannery creature
wandered to at the end
of the story,
eventual redemption,
imminent capture, or that
vague masterwork of
it’s anybody’s guess.


JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. He has recently been nominated for Best of the Net, and his chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available on Amazon.

Just Before Close Of Play by John D Robinson

5 minutes to closing time
mum and dad drop-off
and leave an 18 year old-
naive-never been kissed
before frightened
daughter clutching her
caged hamster;
she is scared and simple
thinking and doesn’t
understand what’s
happening to her
whilst people around
her discuss and make
phone calls and look
at the wall clock and
then at the young
woman who is
whispering to her
a temporary home for
the night has been
and tomorrow she’ll
still be fearful and lost
and homeless and without
a family
and not knowing why or
how this has happened
to her
and many more discussions
and phone calls will be
made by complete
strangers and she will
wait and talk only to
her hamster and await
for these others to tell
her what is going to
happen next in her life.


John D Robinson is a published poet; ‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016) Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Publications 2016); a contributor to the 2016 48th Street Press Broadside Series; his work appears widely in the small press and online literary online journals including Rusty Truck; Red Fez; Outlaw Poetry; Degenerate Literature; Haggard & Halloo; Beatnik Cowboy; Boyslut; Anti Heroin Chic; In Between Hangovers; Your One Phone Call; he is married and lives in the UK with his wife a dog 3 cats and copious amounts of wine.

If You Don’t Love Me At Exactly The Speed I Want And In The Fashion I Demand… I Will Destroy You Completely (That’s How Much I Love You, Bastard!) by Paul Tristram

… and there are queues of fools
waiting to throw their hearts
upon her butcher’s cart.
Blind and with their common sense
sucker punched and tied up in knots.
Whilst Good Girls,
nice and pure of soul…
sit home alone
daydreaming about Valentine’s Day
in November.
And ticking away Eternity
one lonely evening at a time.

paul smoking - Copy

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 books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!

Sheepherder by Guinotte Wise

Drover was a word he liked
so he said that’s what he’d be
didn’t know the meaning but
he’d heard it on TV seemed
a job for grownup men a
position with some power
herding droves of animals
across rivers through passes
near canyon walls turned
purple in the late day sun
and lazing by a campfire
drinking hobo coffee.

But, lots of buts in such a
life, and lacks of luxury
he missed the power grid
he did and emanations of
it lighting up the world
no TV here, no pre-bake
at four twenty five for
pizza or charger for his
useless iPhone just a
handcrank radio that got
static or gospel on a
clear starry night fade
in and out, his book of
Dylan Thomas now well
thumbed and memorized
Death quite thoroughly
deprived of its dominion,
the sheeps’ thick noise
now his only music you
get used to it, hear the
different pitches, one for
fear and panic, one for
peace, the Border Collie
patrols and bunches ex-
citing heh heh hehs from
outliers and deeper baas
from those inside the
woolly shifting shape
of ruminants. Once a
month they brought
more food and books
he’d thought to order
letters from the outside
world, damned few these
days of social mediating
who thought to write the
lonely drover no one this
time, that’s who he sighed
forgot the can opener the
raven took his small good
one hopping away with it
as a prize hid it god
knows where the glint
of chrome excited the
collector/hoarder in him.

He had a highway-pull
sheep wagon aluminum
top and canvas liner, had
seen winds of eighty miles
an hour, rains that lasted
days the rubber tired
wagon moved by ragged
open Jeep to new grass
he’d run that Jeep every
day to keep it charged
but gas was low. They’d
bring him more with salt
and flour and jerky and
that. No charger for the
iPhone, no towers any
where, no one to talk
to anyway, Jessica quit
him, said I wished I
could quit you and
laughed her brokeback
mountain joke laugh
quit him quite finally,
said you’re fucking
crazy, what a waste
of an MFA. It’s only
for one season Jess but
she was gone like
summer wages.


Guinotte Wise lives on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas. His short story collection (Night Train, Cold Beer) won publication by a university press and not much acclaim. Two more books since. His wife has an honest job in the city and drives 100 miles a day to keep it. More books: More GW:


Break Me by Robin Wyatt Dunn

Break me at knife
When I’m dead inside
And alive at night
(in dreams)

Hate me at kites
When I fly right and dive straight into the dark
(of your eyes)

Blind me at bark
when I river the reasons for your deliverance
late, but better for it:

taste me and kneel
when I am gone away
into you
and into the city


Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in Los Angeles. In this picture he is holding his tiny chapbook MARY, from Rinky Dink Press.