Mountain Under the Earth by Grant Tarbard

We are two strangers in this mouse hole with
only bones of tourists to nourish us.
We dig through stone until the chalk chokes out
all light, a ceremonial landscape
of darkness, our silence is a sentence,
a jumble sale of nouns piled up amongst
soiled clothes and earth worms. We dreamt of a night
full of emeralds and gold Christmas baubles.
Our tattooed shut eyes are an incubus
and we two are life coming into this
world from under your feet. I am a dress
extra in this act of creation, she
is the consort of this black earth’s sighing.
To breathe true life we have to go upwards.

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.

Punishment by R Soos

this cell is not what you believe
you believe I am punished sitting
here on this bunk with an unresponsive
cellmate lost deep in his solitude

the true punishment was when you lied
and then felt compelled to embellish
the lies through the phone on facebook
in the newspaper in court over and over

stabbing the truth with your deceit and envy


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.

suck sf by Jon Bennett

There’s a bunch of new restaurants
with one word names
in San Francisco
chow, fig, lark, grub
there’s nothing substantive
about these names
they imply a depth of meaning
they simply don’t have,
but here are some of my own
scab, dust, apoplexy,
dope, chigger, and
My favorite is suck
they would sell boba tea
and blowjobs.
Yeah, I’ve been thinking
of moving
for a while.


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

Playing With Her Cello by Paul Tristram

Between black-stockinged legs,
fingers bent and rigid,
then flexing and soothing,
strumming Pizzicato,
holding and vibrating
each deep, longing note.
Sharp, high-heeled shoes
grounding her soaring soul.
She weaves that elbow-bow
like a possessed magician,
masterly blurring the lines
between sensual fact
and heart-breaking superstition.
Rolling sweat and tears
down polished maple wood.
As she dips and climbs kamikaze
those four glorious strings.
Fearless, completely focused,
ripping that dense harmony out
from somewhere primeval inside.
Flushed at the finishing flourish,
brought back to earth with a bump
by our stamping feet, standing ovation.
And the many ‘Glad Blessings’
of all lucky enough to witness
her beautiful emotions
laid bare this spectacular evening.

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!

Bionic Just The Same by Abigale Louise LeCavalier

I pulled a nail
out of my head
the other day,
more out of anger
than in a panic,
it’s a real bitch
being bionic.

I’ve taken a knife
to my womanhood
in front of the world,
I know pain
and I have been dead

I know what it’s like being dead.

That scares an audience;
that and being a man-made

Mulling around in my afterbirth
looking out of my one good eye,
feeling my way through life tragic,
picking metal shavings from my own vomit.

So melodramatic!
So VERY punk rock!

Eh, the ruminations
of a tired poet,
reality of dinner for one
and horrible coping skills;
it’s made me the woman I am today.

Bionic just the same.


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.

Zygote #1 by William Merricle

The reason I lie
face down in the road
is to aid and abet
the crossings of chickens.

A blankness of light
under a full bone moon
induces professionally-
useful melancholy.
Empty is not a void
-ed. In other words,
there is an unlimited
future in entropy.
The road is much
more wide than pure.


William Merricle is the author of several chapbooks, including Chaos Theory (Nightballet Press, 2013) and Fractured Fairy Tales (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016). His work has appeared in Pudding Magazine, Portland Review, and Slipstream, among many other magazines. He has no known peccadilloes.


Johnny Says by John Grochalski

all i need
is for this moustache
to come in
get old enough to grow a beard
it’ll be lit
like maybe this summer
mad chicks all over me, bro
leather jacket and shit
expensive sneakers
maybe a chain
i’m talking mad bitches
like not them ugly ones
sitting over there
but like tits
like an ass, bro
you wait
chicks love moustaches
especially arab chicks
latina chicks
they dig beards too
mine is gonna be mad tight
i’ma trim that shit every day, yo
i got a job too
some ladies clothing store in queens
mad girls come in there
in shorts’n’shit
and you’ll see me
you’ll see me
chick on this arm
chick on that arm, bro
i’m tellin’ you
leather jacket
tight beard
maybe a thin chain
you’ll see, bro
you’ll see
i’ll be up in so many bitches
this summer
i’ll have to grow
a second


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.

Moncontour by Andrew Taylor

On the terrace the Slovakian
waitress speaks English

The net is made of concrete
the slide is yellow and green

Kenkō would appreciate the shade
thrown by the poplars

a light aircraft circles the lake
the lip salve is melting


Andrew Taylor is a Nottingham based, Liverpool born poet and academic. His latest publications are Air Vault published by Oystercatcher and Liverpool Warehousing Co. Ltd. a pamphlet of poetry with a CD of found sound, released by zimZalla. His second full collection is due to be released by Shearsman Books in 2017.


Ben Stone’s Final Scene on Law and Order by John Doyle

So be it;
our sacrificial lamb
touches Adam Schiff like a hunk of porcelain,
brittle inside as out,
there are lights hidden from this room,
O’Flaherty’s Bar and Pool Emporium
three blocks away,
flashing its wears as every hooker
who harnessed electricity pre-Tom Edison – and wired it up
to their make-up kits and short black skirts; he’s Moriarty again, back to his stuttering slurred
neo-con villainy, something that shaped old man Schiff’s tentative embrace,
this wayward son strung-up by his smile, not porcelain-made,
no, not even that strong


John Doyle is from County Kildare Ireland, or so he alleges; he finds poetry to be a therapeutic release from horrors he must endure every day, like television sets fat to their faces with celebrity chefs and cops shows, and endless wailing of neighbours’ children having overdosed on ice-cream. He is one year older than the age David Brent was when he said he was in his 30s.

It Ain’t Pretty by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

A woman
who forgoes sex
is like a man
who has something
against breathing
and I told him to
pack in it
that such women usually
do not forgo sex altogether,
just sex with you
or end up murdering you
in your sleep
with a sloppy ice pick of child rage
like Trotsky
but he was adamant
that things
would work this time
that he could turn things around
in the sack
so I wished him luck
and waited for the call
to come down
and identify the

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.