The Truth About Snails by JD DeHart

In 2014, over the course of some snow days, I put together a collection that would become The Truth About Snails.  At the time, most of the writing I was getting to was speculative and science fictional (I guess that’s a word) in nature.  So the first collection of poetry I put together reflected this.

Poems were inspired by years as a comic book reader and sci-fi fan.  They were not fan fiction, really, but reflected larger themes of science fiction and fantasy that I enjoyed.

This is the text that appears on the back of the book:

“Ordinary objects take on a new form, and myths become real and move next door in the verses contained in this collection. Whether it is a recasting of the myth of Sisyphus, or the titular truth about the origin of our shell-bearing planet dwellers, each poem offers a new view of an old friend. Much of the writing was inspired by the comic books and science fiction, and on concepts beyond the scope of the real world, and cast firmly in the supernatural.”

My hope is that this book can be the first of many.  I am already at work on a second collection, which is out for review now, as well as a variety of articles, reviews, and prose works.  I reprint some of my favorite poems at, write reviews and post them at, and tweet @jd_dehart.

Whether you check out this chapbook collection, a future book, or just read my work around the web, I appreciate the read!

The Truth About Snails is now available both on Amazon and Red Dashboard, the publisher’s website at


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.

The Bad Poet by John Grochalski

the bad poet
is always online
starting shit with other poets on social media
you poets aren’t real enough, he says
whatever that means
you’re all a bunch of fakes!
bukowski rip-offs!
even though his poems read
like he wrote them on the shitter
during a bad bout of diarrhea
with a copy of love is a dog from hell on his lap
the bad poet
is the only true poet
according to himself
he’s doing things that no one has ever done before
he’s rewriting the dictionary for christ’s sake
he has the word original tattooed on his ass
and he’s managed to fool
a few online magazines
they’ve taken his poems about being a real poet
poems about how shit the scene is in every city
and how society is such artifice
the bad poet
he’s in all the issues
next to all the other plastic bad-asses
writing about the same exact thing
anemic wordslingers duking it out for the lawn chair throne
a bunch of little dictators in online rags
that no one will read except their husbands and wives
the bad poet
has declared himself the genius amidst fools
but he’s just history repeating itself over and over again
and he’ll keep writing his doggerel
just to get a rise out of the insipid hoi polloi
that only exists in his mind
or to piss off his mom and dad
he’ll keep writing even though he’s just as dull
as all of the other bad poets out there
another mind-numbing voice in a cacophony of nitwits
who can spell correctly
waiting on the next bad poet to come around
with his ass full of brilliance
shaking his tail feathers
calling him just a wimpy poser too.


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.

The Farmers Market At 7 by Ricky Garni

Every day there is a new tomato.

This one was made by a girl early in the morning.
This one was made by Martha Washington.
This one was made by a purple Indian.
This one is as gold as the sun.

Farmers enjoy lying to city folk.
And getting up before the dawn.

Ricky Garni has worked over the years as a teacher, wine merchant, composer and graphic designer. He began writing poetry in 1978, and has produced over thirty volumes of prose and poetry since 1995. His work can be found in many online publications, print magazines and anthologies and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize on seven occasions. His dual volumes “The Tablets of Domino” and “Via” are slated for release in late 2017.

Pole Dance by Mike Ferguson

Pole dancing
with the
Beach Boys,

the half-empty
is uncomfortable,
wants to speak
but is told it was just
a recording.

A lysergic echo
with fists,
he taps out off-beats:
tumblers vibrating
knelling out
within ocean waves

where love once moved.

Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson is an American resident in the UK from ’67, permanently since ’76 when Michigan then presaged the Trumpworld of today. Published widely in the poetry small presses as well as education texts, he is now retired from actual teaching.


Dead Pennied Eyes by Paul Tristram

She felt no guilt nor shame,
only a sickening pleasure
as her dark craft of poisoning
went completely undetected
and was blamed instead
upon a midlife cardiac arrest.
The night before the funeral,
she sneak-thieved into the parlour
and with a ‘Rot In Hell’ smile
stole the Taxman’s pennies
from his once electric-blue eyes.
They found her at Dawn,
soaking in a thick red bath of suicide.
Wrongly finger-pointing
the cause upon widowy grief.
Yet, she had severed her mortal coil
with hope and excitement
in her treacherous, black heart.
To witness him mournfully start
upon his 100 year wandering
upon the banks of The River Styx,
safely from the slow moving dredge
of Charon’s psychopompic boat.

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!

What I Really Think of You by Catherine Zickgraf

I don’t fault you for clinging,
splayed low on my shower door.
You’re hung on the scum,
my hair on your tongue—
non-pubic at times, and otherwise.

You drool, eyes up.
Microscopic, your wants.
For the course of a week,
you’ve obsessed on me nude.
You’re fuzz at my feet:
you’re spotty, browned,
segmented like a roach in the ground,
Your sooty antennae squirm in the steam.
My exfoliates feed the pit of your mouth.

I tend not to blame you for being you
or for not being me, in complexity.
Decide though, I could,
to despise your existence
and bleach-force your corpse
down the slime of my drain.

Catherine Zickgraf

Catherine Zickgraf has performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities, but now her main jobs are to hang out with her family and write more poetry. Her new chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is available on Find more of her poetry at

Baby Number 4 by Jo Else

She could have stopped at
But four will show how rich she is.
Now she can draw and play all day,
Paint sparkly cards and faff around,
Make lemonade that tastes like piss,
While Latvian cleaners do the bog
And Aussie nannies mind the kids.

Her husband barely contains his rage
Though much too suave to say.
In six months’time he will be gone
She’s digging her own grave.

Jo Else

It’s no fun being a dyspraxic with a deficit visual memory. Imagine if Sylvia Plath had to do formatting- she’d have topped herself even sooner…. Poetry keeps me sane, the rest drives me nuts and I’ve won no awards. And there’s nothing wrong with Readers Wives, my Mum was one.

Three questions that baffle me more each day by Les Bohem

Is the fear of death a stronger drive than need for sex?

Why does everyone want more?

What does become of the broken-hearted?

Les Bohem has written a lot of movies and TV shows including Twenty Bucks, Daylight, Dante’s Peak, The Alamo and the mini-series, Taken which he wrote and executive produced with Steven Spielberg, and for which he won an Emmy award.   He’s had songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Freddy Fender, Steve Gillette, Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde), and Alvin (of the Chipmunks.)  His short novel, Flight 505, was published last year by UpperRubberBoot .   His new album, “Moved to Duarte,” was just released on Jack Rabbit Day Records to much critical acclaim and no sales whatsoever.  

Borne Back by Ian C Smith

Driven through time to my old area,
the day splendid, unlike movie funeral weather,
an observation Jane would have appreciated,
I gaze at sere paddocks, towards mountains, picture
my former home, the huge bird’s nest fern now splaying
from the sandpit built when my tall men were tiny.

Spotlighted by angelic glass, Jane’s loved ones bear up,
fill in those gaps we each have of friends’ lives.
Outside, a smiling stranger in dark shades approaches,
raises them to reveal himself as my ex-plumber.
There is always someone you know out of context at funerals.
I shake the priest’s soft hand, thank him, share a joke.

Back home, another bewildering loss, this time a vase
despite fewer places for downsized me to search.
The vase won’t hold water, a reminder of audacity.
I find it on my desk where I placed it when moving.
Realisation repeated, glasses, books, secateurs.

The priest spoke of how funerals have changed
since he conducted his first when I was a Grade Sixer,
a boisterous year I would repeat if granted a wish.
He was already well into his career of caring
by the time I lugged my dodgy vase across Europe.
In my pew I mulled over these correlations in our lives,
the lights of cities ever blinking off then on again,
to not forget them, the reality and the dreams.

Ian C Smith

Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in , Antipodes, Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Stony Thursday Book, & Two-Thirds North. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.


Bull by Wayne F. Burke

it was the first day of the Festival
of Pamplona
and I was running like a mother
down a narrow cobblestone street
and I heard a scream
and looked back
at one of the bulls
which had speared a big guy
who went up in the air
like a rag doll
and I ran like a motherfucker
and got in front of a fat guy
El Gordo
for protection,
and then Jake
came running
alongside of me
and I said “Jake! You dirty old–
pass me the wine skin!”
and I grabbed the bag and took a big squirt,
letting the stuff hit the back of
my throat
before I swallowed,
and Jake and me made it
into the bull ring
along with all the other

Wayne Burke

Wayne F. Burke’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications (including Your One Phone Call). His three published poetry collections, all from BareBack Press, are WORDS THAT BURN, DICKHEAD, and KNUCKLE SANDWICHES. A fourth collection, A LARK UP THE NOSE OF TIME, is due out in 2017. His chapbook PADDY WAGON is published by Epic Rites Press. He lives in the central Vermont area (USA).