White Noise by Jennifer Lagier

“God finds all the prayers of mankind in his spam folder.” – New Yorker cartoon caption

Junk mail collects to await the almighty’s attention:
venal tattles, crass pleas, virulent curses.
Hillary’s desire to muzzle and neuter Bill.
Bernie’s utopian New Age aspirations.
The Donald’s boasts of large penis, power, achievement.
Chris Christie’s self-serving political deals with the devil.
GOP leaders, desperate for a viable candidate.
Ted Cruz begging Heidi and the children
to forgive and forget, finally love him.
Affluenza teens who complain of mean parents who
won’t pay for prom suite or limo.
CEOs angling for greater market share.
Trust Fund beneficiaries craving more money.
Sometimes the higher power views
a representative sample when he needs a chuckle.

jen-2016

Jennifer Lagier has published twelve books and in literary magazines, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press). Forthcoming chapbook:, Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Website: : : Poetry by Jennifer Lagier : :

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The Day Micky Fitz Died by Paul Tristram

The day Micky Fitz died,
leaving this world ‘Out In The Cold’
he took a large chunk
of my adolescence with him.
No doubt, off to ‘Smash The Discos’
up in that Big Bar In The Sky.
I remember the teenage, Welsh back lanes
being full to bursting
with his Sarf London accent
reflected and imitated
in the young spikey-haired
and shaven-headed voices around me.
“Today’s Youth Stand Together,
In Your Combat Or Your Leather!”
There’s a natural energy
and justified anger captured perfectly
in every ‘The Business’ record.
The sound of Punk Rock Rebellion
with Street-Smart Common-Sense.
I think of those days fondly
and truly miss them,
though they were as hard as
Saturday night knuckles
and economically
some of the poorest times I’ve known.
But, they could never take away
our pride, music and passion
or stop the ‘Saturday’s Heroes’
all over Great Britain
from fighting ‘The Real Enemy!’

Arty Pic Of Pauly

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) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

“to be alone in winter is a thing to die of” -Puccini (La Boheme) by Paul Koniecki

veronica

and jesus came to
a workshop i was in
and said

we want to learn to
write poems like
beatrix kiddo

taking heads in
the house of
blue leaves

i replied
Snow
aisha

and muhammad came to
a workshop i was in
and said

we want to learn to
write poems like
harry calahan

swaggering boldly
in the shadow
of coit tower

i replied
Falling
parvati

and shiva came to
a workshop i was in
and said

we want to learn to
write poems like
harry angel

seducing epiphany
proudfoot in
the rain

i replied
In The Night
sylvia plath

and ted hughes came to
a workshop i was in
and said

we want to learn
to kiss you like
anton chigurh

the sound of
snow falling
in the night

i replied
Go
every poet must learn
to kiss death for themselves

paul-koniecki

Paul Koniecki is a poet, performer, and founder of Pandora’s Box Poetry Showcase in the greater Dallas area. His chapbook Reject Convention was published by Kleft Jaw Press in 2015 and his poems appear a variety of places including, Richard Bailey’s film, One Of The Rough – which was recently picked up by AVIFF Cannes.

A Wedding Ring Tale by John D Robinson

On the 3rd meeting I asked
‘How’d you lose your
ring- finger?’
‘It was winter, icy, I was on
my way home from work
and I slipped and grabbed
hold of an iron railing to
save myself, the spike of
the fence slipped in between
my wedding ring and finger
and I hit the deck hard
and my finger was literally
ripped off, there was a
lot of blood and the pain
excruciating;  I looked
and saw my finger and
the gold band on the ground;
a passerby telephoned an
ambulance; I picked up the
ring and finger; but it couldn’t
be saved and 3 weeks
later my bitch wife left me
for some asshole mechanic at Kwikfit’

john-d-robinson-2

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.

Stored Away For The Revolution by J.J. Campbell

succumb to the white noise

the trembling hand reaching
for a loaded gun

the last three days in your
delicate arms

all hope extinguished in the
eyes of children as a red hot
rage protests in these dying
streets

laugh

laugh at all of them that
dared to not believe in
you

wash away your sins in a
fresh bottle of liquor stored
away for the revolution

break out the good silverware
and the plates only used on
holidays

they are serving up your lord
for dinner tonight

may we all dine in the lavish
relaxed nature of hypocrisy

j-j-campbell

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) has given up the farm life and is now trapped in suburbia. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at The Australian Times, Horror Sleaze Trash, In Between Hangovers, Mad Swirl and Bad Acid Laboratories, You can find him most days bitching about something on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Coming Attractions by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Alcatraz
was a prison
long before it
became a tourist
destination.

In much the same way
my friend’s older sister
has not always stripped
for money.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan Black & White

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a happily unmarried proud father of none. His work can be found both in print and online. He has an affinity for dragonflies, discount tequila, and all things sarcastic.

Neighboring Lights by JD DeHart

In the night, I have
bad dreams about people
accusing me of snuffing
out all the candles

When I wake up
and decide to roam,
the world around me
is dark, save one or two
neighboring lights, and I
cannot help but ask
questions about why
they are up too –
the same dream, a
different one?
Sleepless for whatever
reason exists.

jddehart

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.

Dancing Demons by Jonathan Beale

Forged in man’s minerals, the brassy orator
Laying my ghost in metal.
My half ghost in armour hold hard in deaths corridor,
To my man-iron sidle.  Dylan Thomas

Dancing demonically
Caravaggioing the room the space
Playing with your heart and mind
Loving the reason – without, the reason.
An echo is heard…
Emphasing the decision is made.
There is no going back.

2

Better a bitter ending than an endless bitterness. Persian proverb

The sky is scarred by the black cloud the dragonfly
Cuts toward its wanton wake:
There is still innocence life is here-and-there
A private chaotic architecture
The life breathes the silken air of the soul
Upon a canvas of experience
Living in the night storms torment
And in tomorrow’s tomorrow.
Until they begin again.
With regret and satisfaction once the day is done.

Jonathan Beale

Jonathan Beale has 500 plus poems published in Penwood Review, Poetic Diversity, Ink Sweat & Tears, Down in the Dirt, Mad Swirl, Pyrokinection, Ygdrasil, Van Gogh’s Ear, The Beatnik Cowboy, The Jawline Review, Bluepepper, Jellyfish Whispers, The Outsider, and Yellow Mama. His first collection of poetry ‘The Destinations of Raxiera’ is published by Hammer & Anvil. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Destinations-Raxiera-Jonathan-Beale-ebook/dp/B018F6GWQ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1452199641&sr=1-1&keywords=jonathan+beale He studied philosophy at Birkbeck College London and lives in Surrey England.

Twatted Him Right ‘Round The Old Noggin by Paul Tristram

She used a warm saucepan off the cooker.
There was no ‘Ding!’
just a muffled, dull thud.
Like a coalscuttle
being lobbed onto a mattress.
There were faggots, peas
and mashed potatoes everywhere.
He didn’t even jump up
from his armchair by the fireplace.
Just sat there like a right pleb,
wiping onion gravy out of his eyes
and yelling pathetically
“What’s wrong with you, woman?
You’re like a lunatic about the place.
I haven’t done anything wrong.
I’m sick to the hind teeth
with all this kack all the time, mun.
You know she’s fresh widowed
and is grieving, for Christ Sake!
I only bumped into her once
on the cowing Main Road
as she got off the bus coming from bingo
and I was toddling home from darts.
It’s not like back in our day, see,
the streets ain’t sodding safe anymore,
what with all the heroin louts about.
Nancy up Pen-Y-Bryn
had her handbag snatched last Christmas.
I only walked her home 3 streets, I swear.
Only I don’t know why you’re so bothered?
we’ve been sleeping in separate bedrooms
since you started going grey.
And you’ve been dying that hair of yours
nigh on two long, lonely decades!”

Scribblings Of A Madman

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) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

Cheese Crackers by John Grochalski

–after scott silsbe

star’s bar was always pitch black
when my grandparents took my brother and i there
it was a place where light tried to escape
when you opened the door
the people were like mole people
holding their eyes and pleading for you
to shut the goddamned door again
there were only faint hints of neon in the place
the jukebox, the poker machine
where my grandma blew tons of cash in quarters
trying to get rich
like she did at home with the calendars full of lottery numbers
i liked the amber light behind the bar
it illuminated all of the bottles in an eerie orange
a macabre showcase
a foreshadowing of things to come
it held a comfort for me at an age
when comfort was rare or hard to find
and whenever i was in a bar as an adult
i always looked for the same illumination
that conversation with the regulars could never give me
we went to the bar with my grandparents
because that was what they did
if my brother and i stayed with them
we never deviated from the events of their day
breakfast, trolling for trash, the bookie, the bar
kid movies and amusement parks
were for the rich and for philistines

i don’t remember much else about star’s
just my grandma plugging quarters into the poker machine
giving my brother and i money
to play oldies on the jukebox
i remember rubber faced men and women at the bar
how they made no sense and still laughed
my grandpap nodding at them, stoic and silent as always
the bartender served us ginger ale
and gave us small packages of cheese crackers
the drafts were served in juice glasses
and sometimes i skimmed the foam off the top of grandma’s
as i took it over to her
where she was at the poker machine
cursing up a storm in the heat of trying to make millions
if it was a good day
we hit the five and dime on butler street
for cheap toys and baseball cards
a bad one, we had another draft
then went home for tea and pork loin
lawrence welk and the sounds of gypsy kids playing
hopscotch or kickball outside in the street
the ones my grandma deemed white trash
certainly not good enough
for regal, worldly children like my brother and i
to play silly games
or try to pal around with.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.