Ouija’s Revenge by Jeff Bagato

Ouija runs amok spelling
character faults & lost fortunes
on the star profile fingertips of loose tooth millions,
a conquering look sputtering out from plastic
legs as horoscopic lies diminish
into termination—Ouija hand in hand
with the Big One—all the hooligans
cry ‘cause it just ain’t fair, pretty
or perfect anymore like when mommy
loved me all pork chops and apple sauce;
Ouija wipes away tears with a dash,
blessings come quick around
the corner like a porn star of the mind,
waving forever erection in a cotton candy
office party where the girls go
crazy—Ouija wipes away dreams plunging
darkness into despair, sweet
illusion wiping ass in a sanatorium
9 to 5 for a couple bucks and a porn mag;
Ouija has a way of ringing
in a new year when the old
one just got started; Ouija
runs forever in an alphabet
of time; Ouija at the race track
sniffs a can of horsemeat in every
ticket; Ouija dances in the rain;
Ouija on the rag nodding tell
me, tell me tell me another
secret or I might go
crazy

jeff-bagato

Jeff Bagato is a writer and electronic musician living near Washington, DC. Some of his poetry has appeared in Zoomoozophone Review, Otoliths, Clockwise Cat, Zombie Logic Review, Full of Crow, Exquisite Corpse, and Chiron Review. His most recent book of poems, Savage Magic, came out in early 2016. Other poetry books include And the Trillions and Spells of Coming Day. He has also published several science fiction novels, including The Toothpick Fairy, Computing Angels, and Dishwasher on Venus. A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.wordpress.com.

He Paints Distorted Butlers by Paul Tristram

Charcoal greys and off-whites,
sharp lines to the elbows.
Uncomplicated livery
complete with damp patches
and mould stains.
Often in simple masks,
hiding the energy
and palpable horror
barely from view.
Both sinister and serious,
he puppet-masters
their ridiculous almost-movements.
With a brush antiseptic
to reality’s interference.
There’s a schizophrenic
agony and fracture
to each fascinating composition.
He visually piano-keys
the shades of Winter’s cold morning
so perfect in its steam-breath isolation.
I’ve shuddered with each…
passing glance invested…
and sighed at the ache and knot
each delicate art-piece
has taxed deep from my insides.
The scrawl of his signature,
the manic flourish of each capital letter…
screams ‘Obituary’, ‘Madhouse’
and groans with the heavy wheels
of the Century’s Carthorse
genius-shunting ever onwards his name.

Unbreakable Published in BoySlut August 27th 2013 & Dead Snakes Jan 10th 2016

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 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Galveston by Michael N. Thompson

Dust devils murmur eulogies
right before they throw yard sales
one block at a time

Patsies who feel like a rainbow trout
wrapped in last week’s newspaper
call this whiskey weather

Some say this is God’s country
although miracles seem to be
in short supply

Bound and chained to inertia
only feels like a prison
once the chloroform rag wears off

A life of convention
is par for the course
in Galveston

When you sleep on a bed of roses,
it’s hard to notice
that the American Dream
is lying on its side
waiting to get kicked
in the ribs again

Michael N. Thompson likes bacon, fantasy football and Doctor Who.  His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and San Pedro River Review. He is the author of four poetry collections. His fifth, Days Of Swine And Roses, will be released through University Of Hell Press in 2017. Michael is currently at work on a crime fiction novel.  http://www.michaelnthompson.com

Under a Purple Neon Sign by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

A Gay Ball, reads a flier
from a stack of yellow
clippings.
Night to Remember:
Frank Westfall’s Famous
Orchestra all the way
from Chicago, Illinois
for the Tarro grand opening;
never forgotten
Christmas Eve 1924

big ballroom, big names,
big nights and newcomers
destined for bigness
under a Quonset hut roof
seating for 800
capacity 2000
parking for 500
(and the math works)

Dominic Tarro was found
January 30, 1930,
on the Sangamon River bank
bound with wire
―prohibition bootleg sugar
Sicilian style silence
played out against

the hottest line-up this side
of St. Louie:
The Kansas City Nighthawks
Ted Lewis, Guy Lombardo,
Lawrence Welk, Ray Anthony,
Tex Beneke, Duke Ellington,
Count Basie, Sammy Kaye,
Wayne (The Waltz) King,
Kay Kyser, Benny Goodman,
Tommy Dorsey, Ray Charles,
Little Jack Little, Ike and Tina Turner,
Everly Brothers, Johnny Rivers,
Chubby Checker, Fats Domino
―famed for breaking the piano stool
with his jiggle bounce―and scads more;
then came rockers Turtles, Styx,
Foghat, The Guild

the rockers roughest
on Dominic’s daughter
―late, no-shows, delays, refunds―
Joyce Tarro ambushed
in her home at 2 a.m.
carrying 3000+ in door take
taking 6 bullets
―Valentine’s Day repeat massacre―
the Saturday in ’76
I was in Florida missing the music

the black wreath lifted
from the door
rowdy roller skates rounded
where we circle danced McCartney’s
“Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five”
on oilmopped wood now
piled in dusty flea market
rejects stacked to the balcony
the stage crammed with
antique overflow entombs
musician autographs on a back room
wall―burned to rubble on July 31, 2011

a news clip claims Al Capone
frequented the Coliseum
under a purple neon sign
in coal town Benld
and like all who entered,
he couldn’t have imagined
what was to come.

wanda-morrow-clevenger

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- wlcblog.blogspot.com/ She is currently polishing a full-length poetry manuscript.

Embracing The Collision by Victor Henry

Misery touches personal pain and madness feels loss.
I’m stranded in summer moonlight near an empty field.
Red hawks sleeping till dawn.
Water flowing from a nearby creek.

You’ve lit out for Oklahoma City to see your grandmother,
Looking for Cherokee superstitions.
I’m left behind with a laminated map of Mississippi,
A state we agreed that they’d hang us first,

Before we’d ever get there.

Victor Henry

Victor Henry’s poetry and prose poems have appeared in various small press magazines, anthologies, and e-zines, such as Slipstream; The Paterson Literary Review; Nobody Gets Off The Bus: The Viet Nam Generation Big Book; Vietnam War Poetry; The Homestead Review; Red River Review; Dead Snakes, and Misfitmagazine, among others. Image of What They Wanted book cover. His book, What They Wanted, was published, on Veterans Day, November 11th, 2015, by FutureCycle Press.

 

Worn, Soiled, Obsolete by Scott Silsbe

There’s a man in the philosophy aisle of the bookstore
leaning against the shelves, thumbing through various
philosophy books, reading to himself, and animatedly
laughing aloud. I don’t want to confront him about it.

I call my boss’s cell phone and I can tell that he’s at
a high-profile tennis match by the way he answers,
saying, in a near whisper, “Call you back in a bit.”

Behind the front desk, there is a collage of notes
my coworkers have stuck there at over the years.
I just noticed a new one. It has a phone number
and then reads, “Ray had a kung fu book stolen.”

Scott.Silsbe - Copy

Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit. He now lives in Pittsburgh. His poems have appeared many places including Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, and the Cultural Weekly. He is the author of two poetry collections: Unattended Fire (Six Gallery Press, 2012) and The River Underneath the City (Low Ghost Press, 2013).

No Longer Here by James Babbs

almost summer and
some time in the night
I’m awakened
the sound of the rain
falling hard against the window
flashes of lightning
flickering on the walls
followed by thunder and
I have trouble
getting back to sleep
this sense of dread draped over me
heavy blanket weaved with regret
waiting there in the darkness
the empty half of the bed
pushing against my back
reminding me over and over
you’re no longer here

james-babbs-photo-2

James Babbs is a writer, a dreamer, a three-time loser and an all-around nice guy who just wants to be left alone. James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013) and has hundreds of poems and a few short stories scattered all over the internet.

Kiss Me Victoria Lucas and You Will See How Important I Am by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

She complains that she can’t eat in the lunchroom
at work anymore
that she is too sensitive to the sounds of people chewing
she says the sound of it makes her sick
that she cannot bring herself to look at them
so I ask her what she does at lunch now
and she says that she eats in her car
with the music on loud
so she doesn’t have to hear
herself chewing
and turns the rear view mirror around
so she doesn’t have to
see it.
Then I pull up her shirt
and start sucking on her breasts
very loudly.
Doesn’t it sound like someone eating spaghetti,
I ask,
slurping back a real big mouthful?
Pulling away
she hits me on the head
with the bottom of the tissue
box.
This must be what it is like
to be in an abusive relationship.
I tell her as much
but she isn’t having it.
Then I walk into the kitchen
and cuss out the oven
for not being good enough
for Sylvia Plath.

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.

 

Hustlin’ The Harpsicord by Paul Tristram

Tis the ‘Groupies’ which keep you warm of an evening.
Except, on those extremely rare occasions
when their husbands and masters
are not playing dice, cards
or off shunting a scullery maid or kitchen wench.
These frilly cuffs are an absolute nightmare
to dance and pound the wooden keys with.
I ripped the left sleeve completely off,
with my teeth, right up to the elbow
several nights ago in a brandy and claret nihilistic fury.
The powdered wig puts the lice to sleep,
but, the satin pantaloons play havoc
with the sweat-rash between my crotch and arsehole
making it burn and itch like a tuppenny bitch.
Luckily, I’ve got my syphilitic cock
dangling outside of the ‘Fall Front’, AaaahhH.
It’s young Jane’s ‘Coming Out’ party
and there’s a five guinea wager
on who’s dose of the pox
she’s carrying around come the morrow?
‘It Must Be Mine’ he mantras inside his noggin
as he winks and mixes a snarl with a smirk at the ladies.
‘Besides, it was me who gave it to her mother,
grandmother, older sister and all three cousins…
My God, that was indeed a most spectacular weekend.’

black derby

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/

Hating Change by Mather Schneider

The bartender gives the guy
his change, including 5

pennies. I’m out
of nickels, the bartender says.

The guy looks
at me. I hate pennies,

he says, I wish they’d
just eliminate pennies. I

smile and say, Why don’t you
leave them on the bar?

He looks down, thinking…
Then he gathers up all the change

including the pennies
and puts them in his pocket

smiling and wagging a finger at me
like I almost had him fooled.

mather-schneider

Mather Schneider is 46 years old. He has had hundreds of poems and stories published since 1993 in places like Rattle, Nerve Cowboy, Slipstream, Nimrod, River Styx and Smokelong. He has 3 full length books, DROUGHT RESISTANT STRAIN, HE TOOK A CAB and THE SMALL HEARTS OF ANTS, with another, PRICKLY, coming early in 2017. He divides his time between Tucson, Arizona and northern Mexico, where his wife is from. He earns his living by driving a cab.