Philosophy of Pessimism by James D. Casey IV

A murder of crows
Tap on the moon
Calling out nocturnal beasts
For play with paper clowns
In vain

Breathless fathers
High on fire
Take one last look
Learning the heart’s
Filthy lesson

Philosophy of pessimism

Hold on to yourself
Face your fears
But do nothing about them

Or push the sky away
On a midnight street
Hoping the crows
And clowns
Don’t sabotage the night

Either way
The killing moon
Still drives fathers insane

We’re all just savages
On a long distance trip
That will make you lose
Your mind


James D. Casey IV is a published author of poetry, an artist, free thinker, madman philosopher, hat lover, cat lover, feather spinner, crystal collector and owl enthusiast from the American South.


Sounds by R Soos

I press my ear against this wall
knowing there’s yet another wall beyond

I want to hear the spirits and insects
creeping between the grout

and that sound – must be a mouse
or perhaps a full grown rat

I wonder if the guards ever chase them
down and tie them in little tiny electic chairs

just for practice


r soos is one of those old poets who hasn’t learned better, and intends not to. He blogs several times a week at . His books are available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. His life has the same aches and pains as all the other old folks he knows.


Being a Man by Jon Bennett

I try to be a man
I buy socks and pay taxes
The other day
old Dr. Kinker, the legendary
North Beach pornography scholar
was sitting in front of a wine bar
There were Swedish 17 year olds
and Dutch women, and blonde
pug dogs
all waiting for the cable car
in front of him
Dr. Kinker unzipped
and furiously whacked it
until a waiter came along
“What are you doing?!”
“Being a man!” shouted Dr. Kinker,
“I’m being a man!”
and really
it’s just that easy.


Jon Bennett is a writer and musician living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his work on iTunes (his latest album is “A Saint’s Book”) or by connecting with him on Facebook at


Subculture Degenerate by Paul Tristram

Grinning through the chaos, anarchy & mayhem
breaking apart another drunken, fractured day.
Reeking of debauchery, police cells, the gutter
& the arse-end of ‘The Wrong Side Of The Tracks’
Antagonizing the system, straight & narrow
& refusing with two prison tattooed fists swinging
& a defiance & determination Snowdonia sized
to be a part of that mind-fucking matrix,
sheep following, assembly line, normality bullshit.
Which destroys the beauty & creativity
of a soul born to soar like a motherfucking bastard!
I wear no leash, follow no leader
& ask fuck-all nor expect anything from anyone
except Me, Myself & I.
Undiluted, uncompromising & unrepentant
right up to the hilt & onwards to the Welsh Bitter end!

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!


Escape Artist by Howie Good

I like to walk around with a friend and a granola bar, especially when I’m wasted, my mind free of the tedium of this size 71/2 head. Understand? Ambulances roam the roads in anticipation of frequent car accidents. Canaries are there, and there are lemon trees, and they bring smallpox and hundreds of words, none of which rhyme. The sky gets so dark sometimes that shadows from all over the world seem to appear out of nowhere and then leave me with eyes engorged with blood. Today yet another woman said the darkness reached up her skirt. Point me to the doorway to the river. I just want to sit and play guitar to the goldfish.

Howie Good

Howie Good is the recipient of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry for his collection “Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements”.

Swayback by Abigale Louise LeCavalier

I cant remember my name
shifting uncomfortably
in my comfortable chair,
it’s about the bad music,
and the words that chirp by.

A threat to the nervous system.

Buckling under the pressure
to perform like a star
like a super-star,
like broke-down swayback
like a defunct Prozac robot.

I’m a biter
an endangered species;
upright uptight
living for last night.

‘…and it breaks my heart to see you this way…’

That’s what they say,
listening to some other daydream
and I sit and ponder
how I’m going to get through
the next five seconds.

I’m a candle without a wick.

I’m a cigarette without a match.


Abigale Louise LeCavalier lives in San Diego California by way of Mammoth Lakes California. An admittedly ‘self absorbed poet’ and full time Alien, Abigale writes from the heart. Most of her pieces are dark and revealing narratives of things and issues she has had to deal with in her life. Giving the reader a look on the not so bright side of life.


At The Diane Arbus Exhibit by John Grochalski

somewhere vacant
between the photo
of the clown in the fedora
and the gaudy suburban christmas tree
i realize that this is what i’m doing now
to simply try and fill in the moments
like everyone else here
i have this time that i must cut down this afternoon
like timber forests, like stalks of tall grass
only to begin the work of existence again the next day
before this exhibit
it was a thirty-block walk up madison avenue
dodging people and traffic
it was an indian food lunch on 46th street
a ride on the D train that simply took forever
a stop at the ATM
where my OCD got the best of me
and i could not leave the vestibule
without making sure i had my debit card at least six times
it was those trying moments
crying like a child in a cold yellow vet’s office
putting my seventeen year-old cat to sleep
because she’s gone senile
and could no longer hold in her bowels at will
only hours after waking
into another cold gray dawn
to another cold gray puddle of piss on my couch
i realize this
i feel this moment weigh on me like an anvil
life and death at the diane arbus exhibit
hold my fingers to my nose
smell the acrid ammonia scent of the dead cat’s urine
underneath the traces of turmeric and cumin
embedded in my fingernails
checking my reflection in the smiling visage of the clown
i acknowledge this existence
somehow keep it together in the moment
then slowly move on
to the next picture.


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.

Crushed by Nicole Surginer

The crow lingers here still,
hovering horizon of
charcoal coated cloud;
Swallowing up the light
of hope’s glimmer.
I remain hopelessly adrift,
flighting spaces between
love and despair .
I taste the crushing
anguish of acrid air .
The blackness of void
bleeds from my heart.

Nicole Surginer 2

Nicole Surginer is a poet from the small town of Bastrop, Texas. She is inspired to write by her love for nature’s enchantment, a fascination with the power of raw, intense emotion and a desire to create beauty with words. She has been published in Tuck Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic, Indiana Voice Journal, Tuck Magazine, Sick Lit Magazine, Your one Phone Call, In between Hangovers and pending works in the Contemporary Poets Facebook group anthology, “Dandelion in a vase of roses”.

House Clearance of the Dead by Grant Tarbard

I was the house with stewed walls, patched with my
mother’s challenging liver suppers. A
poet’s house with milky tea and dry sponge cake.
I was the window that bred mould in the
bedroom I stared out of as a puppy,
a scene scented with nimbly discarded
pornography and hushed with lavender
oil. Once, in the death of the day, two sweet-
hearts fucked in a car beneath my window.
The girl’s squeals and pants steamed the windshield, the
unstirring midnight swayed to her gull chants.
Now, I am a house clearance of the dead,
nameless with borrowed clothes, gardens grow out
of my head. The notes I hum fall as stones.

Grant Tarbard

Grant Tarbard is the author of the newly released Loneliness is the Machine that Drives this World (Platypus Press). Follow him on Twitter at @GrantTarbard.

How Did I Love Thee? by Wayne F. Burke

let me count the swizzle sticks
and empty bottles
the cocktail shakers
and the olives
the coasters I never used
the glasses I did not bother with
the ice cubes I did not want
the puddles on the bar
the soggy dollars
the hours
the hours
the stools and chairs
the jukebox
R7 “Riders on the Storm”
A4 “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford
the ashtrays
the smoking cigarette butts
the pickled eggs and crackers
the Slim Jims
the beer nuts…
I loved you more than the summer days
I glimpsed through
the curtained windows.

Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications. His three published poetry collections, all from Bareback press, are WORDS THAT BURN, DICKHEAD, and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES. His chapbook PADDY WAGON is published by Epic Rites Press. He lives in the central Vermont area, USA.