Snow by Ian C Smith

Fashionable ladies tripping along white streets
past tall buildings, their long skirts and boots
in one of the many prints of Utrillo’s snow scenes,
remind me of the bare beauty in a world quieted,
whitened streets, leafless trees eerily lit, a wonder
of muffled sound walking to the bus with my mother.

I feel the icy sting, smell the sharp memory,
my hand snow-ploughing a fence, a cheap brooch
I gave her for Christmas glittering on her lapel.
I jog-trot to keep up, listening to the sound of tyres
yowling along Staines Road to my school, the town,
the shock of a dog dead under the viaduct.

She queues; I watch snowflakes duel with gravity
before a sawdust smell, the pet shop, a puppy
that will die of distemper trembling near the stove
in our cold house of post-war rationing
after we carry her home in a box through
a frosted realm illuminated by daytime headlights.

When Utrillo saw his 1934 scene in winter light
he could be excused for believing trouble was over
but the next war changed so much between then
and those dying days of dogs before our emigration.
His picture in my beach shack speaks
of long gone snow, shadows that still come and go.

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.

Beyond The Mountains by Julia Knobloch

Beyond the snow mountains in the east,
a friendly giant kept watch over a land
where yellow-striped umbrellas swayed
in the afternoon breeze and birds swirled
around self-absorbed lovers dazed by a waving
sea of swamp grass bending time and space
until nothing was left but silence.

At year’s end, a white peacock spread his fan,
and the snow fell ever so slowly and softly.
It covered strawberry blossoms,
orange flowers,
lavender fields —
wait, what else? I don’t remember.
But I won’t forget how a crackling fireplace
was the only source for sound and light.

Sometimes I still visit the old rooms where the curtains whisper,
I step out on the deck, where the leaves rustle,
just to find the chair where I left it for him,
the sunny spot he loved so much —
before he yelled, Well, fuck your deck!
before our land of September
slipped through the friendly giant’s fingers.

No place to sit for us now, never,
in the wise endearment of our life’s late evenings,
of fifty years well spent together — golden,
as people say they are and as the sky is right now,
over the islands in the Upper Bay.

Julia Knobloch is a journalist and translator turned project manager and emerging poet. She recently won the 2017 Poem of the Year prize from Brooklyn Poets. Her writing can be found in Green Mountains Review, Yes, Poetry, in between hangovers, poetic diversity, and with Brooklyn Poets.

The Center by John D Robinson

She told me I was
thoughtless, self-
centred and self-
indulgent and that
I thought the world
revolved around me:
I shook my head
and said
‘Are you trying to
tell me it doesn’t?’
she didn’t speak
again, packed her
clothes and made
it back to her
mother’s again
for a while.


John D Robinson is a published poet: ‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016) ‘Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Publications 2016) his work appears widely in the small press and online literary journals.


Johnson Absolutely by Jeff Bagato

He’s quick to point out the real
calibrated meaning stocks bring
to the officer’s mess when Savage
rides Harley through stainglass
cafeteria window waving six
foot rubber dildo so hard
it breaks—two johnsons
better than one when straight-rushing
bellybutton of the beast—
and the soldiers fire
bullets ricochet
clean off silicone penumbra,
a smell like white jissom
pours hot into mess hall
regurgitations ‘cause cum and
common rye don’t make good sandwich;
Savage bayonets to the rear
as sweet singing anthems turn
to cries patriotic
motherfuckers can’t abide
as the fire escape holds open
arms to federal regulator
lecture up and down steel
steps like Shirley Temple tap dance
on the good ship Lollapalooza
(another great day for marketing
when the sinners can’t
seem to turn off the jingle
in the jangle of the matriculated mind);
Savage waves her cocks—
the day belongs
to silicone hallelujah
and the jissom crust on everyone’s
black market

Keep the poison coming,
it’s a long way to the end
of the bank


A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music, glitch video, sticker art, and pop surrealism paintings. Some of his poetry has appeared in Empty Mirror, Futures Trading, In Between Hangovers, Otoliths, Your One Phone Call, and Zoomoozophone Review. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), Cthulhu Limericks (poetry), The Toothpick Fairy (fiction), and Dishwasher on Mars (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at

My First Night Back by Scott Laudati

we were far apart once
but you can hear my heart now
in this chest,
and your hair used to itch
my skin if you didn’t tuck it back
but you’ll never hear about it again
because i left you once
and i learned
to miss everything,
coffee at sunset
and all night sirens up and down
while the pitbulls howled at
newspapers blowing by like
white rabbits taunting them
in the night.
and the coffee fades while the rum kicks
in and all those sounds fade to the periphery
like a television on in someone
else’s apartment.
and your hair crawls across my chest
like the tiny arms of a friendly spider.
you always knew what you had
but it took me a little longer.
there’s no escape in my forever now
our bones can grow soft in peace.
and that future we always talked about
can’t come soon enough

Scott Laudati

Scott Laudati lives in New York City with his turtle, Tango. He is the author of books Play The Devil (novel) and Hawaiian Shirts In The Electric Chair (poems). Visit him on instagram @scottlaudati


Harvest At The Front by Ian Fletcher

They know this soil
could grow the corn
they sow back home
would repay their toil
season after season
until they lay beneath
after lives well lived.

Yet here in no man’s land
the fields are ploughed
into craters and mud
by shells and seeded
with bullets that will reap
the harvest of their blood.

Ian Fletcher

Born and raised in Cardiff, Wales, Ian has an MA in English from Oxford University. He lives in Taiwan with his wife, two daughters and cat. He teaches English in a high school. He has had poems and stories published in Tuck Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, 1947 A Literary Journal, Dead Snakes, Schlock! Webzine,, Anotherealm, Under the Bed, A Story In 100 Words, Poems and Poetry, Friday Flash Fiction, and in various anthologies.


Starting Tomorrow Or The Next Day… I’m Going To Stop Putting Off Things Until Tomorrow Or The Next Day by Paul Tristram

No one tightropes a straining nerve that well…
without seasoned psychological trench-experience
and a Tenth Dan in mental breakdown recovery.
The fridge has started humming distant opera music again…
and the coughing up of dusty moths
is just a self-preserving delusion…
to keep you from focusing so intently upon The Crack…
look a squirrel… searching for a leapable cliff.
When that metallic taste turns coffin-wooden
and you can smell bonfires in your storage heater living room…
it just might be time for a little sleep.
But, they’re twisting ropes inside your banging cranium,
so you reach for the snake-like telephone,
then quickly discard it, after recalling
that last time you made the nice lady at The Samaritans
shudder pitifully as she broke down and cried.
There is ‘Hope’ just as long as the bottle-clanging
Milkmen appear with the David Farquharson ‘Grey Morning’
but, it’s only just turned evening
and there is still the life and death triathlon of The Witching Hour
to traverse and shipwreck your clumsy way through yet.

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!

The Lightweight’s Mate by Ian C Smith

McInnes flamboyantly places his bet, going for the odds,
scorns my opponent, taller and older than me,
sallow acned skin ink-dark gloves to shoulders,
short-priced to pummel me into loserhood.

He said my pre-fight confidence impressed,
pleasing me for my bluffing ability
when I asked later, dubious of his bullshit,
a madcap gambler’s, no safety card, all show.

Round’s end, arms leaden, lungs clamorous,
sensing my tough act must overwhelm one of us,
I watch illustrated man’s corner tell the referee
he is struggling to raise his right eagle’s wing.

Florid with praise, McInnes tipped me lavishly.
I kept mum about wobbly legs, fear of failure,
chance’s fickle part, us both playing risky roles
lusting for mythical status, short on spirituality.

McInnes robs an armoured van, gets clean away,
pays cash for a Fairlane in Melbourne’s biggest showroom,
guns it toward Sydney’s glitter, an ambush of cops.
We were seventeen, the future uncharted shadow.

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.

To Do Better by Ally Malinenko

In a lab somewhere
they made a human
heart out of spinach leaves,
washing it down
then pumping it full
of cardiac cells
until it grew and beat
not quite animal
and not quite plant

and I think about my own paper
heart and how if it tore
I could wrap it up
in moss
or oak leaves
stitch it together with bark
and twigs and some mud
how I could fashion
a house

for my heart

and I would visit it
go for long walks in the woods
and it would tell me what the trees
are like when they’re all asleep.

In a lab somewhere
they’ve made a womb
out of circuits
and computer chips,
plastic and wiring.
A box into which
we can start up
a little tiny person
maybe with a spinach heart
maybe with apple slices for ears
roots for veins
and computer chips for eyes

Something not mechanical
not plant
not  animal
something new
to leave behind
something to take over
when we are gone
to do better
than we have done
to live lighter
than we have lived.


Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collections The Wanting Bone and How to Be An American (Six Gallery Press) as well as the novel This Is Sarah (Bookfish Books). She has a poetry collection forthcoming from Lowghost Press entitled Better Luck Next Year.

Winter 1979 by Jason Baldinger

Corner of Bethoven and Apollo
hanging drywall in a warehouse
no running water
piss in a bucket
scan the east side of the city

Shake dry wall dust out of my hair
the sun in this city
is the strange case of Jekyll and Hyde

When its grey
with the brutal winter light
it could still be hell with the lid off

When its sunshine
especially in the spring
especially in the fall
I swear it’s the garden of eden

Today, as I look
at the Immaculate Heart of Mary
it’s both, sometimes at the same time

Pellegrino used to live down the street
late 70’s, he’s got his stories out
I can’t keep dates straight
let’s say winter 79
he climbed that Douglas Fir
on the hillside, drunk
cut twelve feet off the tree
so his wife could have
the Christmas she wanted

He tells me about Chessie
a polish drunk, a few hairs over five feet
who stuttered
and played the accordion
he fired howitzers during the great war
his brain never recovered

His sister was in an institution
after his parents died
he couldn’t afford it
so he moved her in with him
lived off her social security checks

She died near the end of the month
he didn’t call the cops
didn’t call the corner
waited days till her next check came
bought a ton of beer
drank himself silly
then called the corner
who couldn’t tell when she died
her skin was wax, her ears were black
they covered her in a sheet
took her away
while Chessie rambled
he swore he fed her breakfast that morning

Chessie claimed he married Spanish Ann
who no one ever saw
but when he mentioned her
he’d wheeze in nasal voice
Blue Spanish eyes
tears falling from your Spanish eyes
it was nothing like Humperdinck

The alcohol got the better of Chessie
he lost the house, taxes and loans
no more iron city pounders
he died alone
in one of those goddamn government rest homes

Jason Baldinger

Jason Baldinger is a poet hailing from the Appalachian hamlet of Pittsburgh. He’s the author of several books the most recent of which, the chaplet, Fumbles Revelations (Grackle and Crow) is available now, and the collection Fragments of a Rainy Season (Six Gallery Press) which is coming in September. Recent publications include the Low Ghost Anthology Unconditional Surrender, Uppagus, Lilliput Review, Rusty Truck, Dirtbag Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nerve Cowboy Concrete Meat Press, and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance. You can hear Jason read some poems at