Dating The Infinite by Willie Smith

I went out with the infinite.
We swapped spit
in the backseat of a jalopy.
Explored ourselves
while ignoring the movie.
Walked home from the parkinglot,
falling all over each other.
Detoured through the park.
Dallied on a bench.

I sneaked a hand up her skirt.
She held me by the stones.
We gazed at the stars.
I wanted to go all the way.
She said I could have more and more,
but not that.
My mouth to her bosom sank.
I kissed all galaxies known to man.
Above a zillion crickets,
she giggled: I hadn’t scratched the skin.

My chin found her lap.
Her thighs spread.
The egg wet my face.
Till awake I became suggested.
Alone on my threshold,
with a scent on the fingers
and a hint in my tongue.

BIO NOTE: Deeply ashamed of being human. His work celebrates this horror.

Cellos by Kushal Poddar

Once we invaded
to play cellos
to the cellophaned
chairs and tables.

Obliterated scribblings
flew around, swirled.
A cat arched her back.
On the floor

its nails doodled
but we didn’t see
our hearts in those.
We didn’t find peace.


Kushal Poddar, widely published in several countries, presently lives at Kolkata and is editor of the online magazine ‘Words Surfacing’. He authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press, Ohio), “A Place For Your Ghost Animals” (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), and “Understanding The Neighborhood” (BRP, Australia). His forthcoming venture is “Scratches Within”.


Ode to a Life I Forgot to Live by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Looking into a crystal ball at my life;
rummaging through my minds attic
searching cherished moments that
brought a smile to a rose, a giggle
to the jello, and warm feelings of joy
within the ballad of a Bluebirds song.
Excited whispers at the spying of a
small baby fawn in the peaceful wood.
Clipping playing cards onto bicycle
spokes; so proud to make ’em loud.
Many wonderful memories, but I do
not remember other things, like my
first day of school, or my graduation.
I remember my home phone of almost
50 years ago, but can’t remember my
wedding anniversary, isn’t that so odd.
Time goes on as your memory is filled,
it’s just an Ode to a Life I Forgot to Live.


Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet from New Hampshire. He loves thunderstorms! His published work can be found in reviews, journals, magazines and anthologies throughout the web and in print venues. His poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net for 2016.


On The Fringe Of Lunacy by Jason Cueto

My clairity comes in a bottle
My sanity comes in a pill
Another night tossing and turning
Alive in my own personal hell

Do you know what its like
To feel schizophrenic
How did i get here
And why am I so jaded?
Buried alive by life
Were all living a lie
Drink.fight. fuck. Work. Die.

Its all so predictable
Follow the money
Not your dreams
Society’s lies
Material things
Fake tits, fake lips,
Bad songs, bad scripts
Say anything
Fuck everybody
Drink yourself half dead
Wake up
Comeback to life
Only to do it over again.


Jason Cueto is a writer, guitarist, and general creative misfit. His work has appeared in Ravenscage ezine, scheduled to be published in sick lit magazine, and is featured across Facebook and steemit.

My Beloved Son by Helen Freeman

That instant, a vision triggers off in my head
of your fingers round a sawn-off
shotgun, eyes like stray bullets
frozen inwards, I
know what  you were doing.

I imagine all the other parents sobbing
frantic pleas for protection from
you, the monster I had made,
forged from steel, iron
willed.  Were you born to kill?

After your feed, I would hug you close to my neck
and breathe in the scent of fresh bread,
your whole hand entwined around
my thumb.  How could I
not know?  Why couldn’t you

tell me?  Now I’m the pariah, the psychopath
pelted with ketchup-soaked tampons.
Your room is just the same, clean,
made-up.  I’ve set out
brownies for you.  Come soon.

Version 2

Helen Freeman published a collection of poems, Broken, in the recovery time following a severe road traffic accident in Oman. Since then she has completed several online poetry courses including ModPo and the Poetry School. A Third Culture Kid brought up in Kenya, she now lives in both Edinburgh and Riyadh.


How to Write a Poem by Michael Zone

It was raining
my mother’s heart broken
pancakes were  burned
the cat rolled over
god what a mess


Michael Zone is the author of Fellow Passengers: Pubic Transit Poetry, Meditations & Musings and Better than the Movies: 4 Screenplays. His work has been featured in Because Eileen, Dead Snakes, Horror Trash Sleaze, Three Line Poetry, Triadae and The Voices Project. He scrapes by in Grand Rapids, MI

I Am The North Side by Paul Tristram

Where the thunder cracks to lightning.
I ride the howling winds
with damage & destruction
in each blasphemous fist.
Down from the cancer black mountains
with violence in my pitiless eyes,
a selfish grin upon my merciless lips.
To the pathetic salt-ringed
hovel of your ruined hearts.
Bellowing fire & surging on the flood.
There is chaos to my magic,
mayhem & the murder of nostalgia
is the wicked game I play.
I freeze & terror indiscriminately,
grinding bones of safety & security
under deranged, wayward feet.
Cower, little puppy dogs…
the lean & fat you chew no more.
It’s a blood red moon
that guides me yonder.
To bring the horn of bedlam
smashing through your broomsticked doors.

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) ‘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!

Effect of Hope by Robert Beveridge

Outside, the man is calm, nothing moving except his eyes, which follow the beige horse which holds his house’s title deed in its teeth. As it falls to second two laps before the finish, he throws up, the vomit stringed with blood, to the amazement of those around him.

The chips flow through her fingers at the blackjack table until she is no longer sure whether she is taking money in or paying it out. The multicolored stacks lose their meaning, as do the numbers on their faces; she has no perception of the difference between one and one hundred. Soon, the numbers on the card will lose their meanings, too.

One last time, the man thinks, then I’ll go home. Takes the last five from his wallet and puts it on the counter. The woman, glaze-eyed, takes it and begins to dance. His tired wrist and sore penis take even more abuse.


Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. He went through a messy divorce with Facebook some months ago, and as a result his relationship with time is much improved. Recent/upcoming appearances in Pink Litter, The Algebra of Owls, and Main Street Rag, among others.

Untitled by Gabriella Garofalo

A blunt denial, you feel as if
you were
In a meadow when October starts
showing his fangs
When a blue wind
makes whirls of dust and leaves
To slap your
words, shatter your eyes:
A surprise visit,
it’s life –
Shame that hopes and
Just dashed off to hide, no, look,
She can make do with a breathing soul –
Sisters, who’ll breeze in among stones and
The desert’s light or the young
Never mind, they’ll stone her
The sky already stuffed like the
tube at rush hours,
Heaped thoughts pushing
you, bloody attention seekers –
Careful now,
no shelter for deviant stars?
Well, the moon
knows better,
She wears a dreamy gaze
While zeroing her light:
Intruders may catch you naked or shout
‘Cracked wheat, endless spark’ –
Such stupid nicknames if you are naked
And your name is life.


Born in Italy some decades ago, Gabriella Garofalo fell in love with the English language at six, started writing poems (in Italian) at six and is the author of “Lo sguardo di Orfeo”; “L’inverno di vetro”; “Di altre stelle polari”; “Blue branches”.



Polio Turtle by Al Ortolani

It took ten cents to ride the bus uptown,
and then a penny to give the elevator boy
(although he was a man) to take us to the fourth
floor of the Professional Building. The doctor
charged $5 a visit, but he let mom pay it out
over time. She said that with seven kids
the doctor’s account was revolving. Afterwards,
we walked to Chubb’s where she bought
me a six cent Green River in a paper cone.
Not counting the doctor’s bill, Mom and I could spend
the day for 17 cents each. Lunch at Woolworth’s
was out of the question, so was the Five and Dime
unless I needed a shot or stitches. Then I could
choose from anything under 49 cents.
Polio closed the city pool that summer, and
the following fall all the school kids
were fed sugar cubes. I wondered
what an iron lung would earn me at Kress’s.
When my best friend got sick,
mom broke down and bought me a painted turtle.
He crawled on colored pebbles
below a plastic palm tree.

Al Ortolani’s newest collection, Paper Birds Don’t Fly, was released in 2016 from New York Quarterly Books. His poetry and reviews have appeared in journals such as Rattle, Prairie Schooner, New Letters, and the New York Quarterly. His poems been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Currently, he teaches English in the Kansas City area.