Spider by Chris D’Errico

Tonight the late sky is whiskey-colored.
This is the desert
where weird things happen. That streetlight
could be a paranormal orb.
That plastic grey shopping cart abandoned
under that fifty foot Mexican
palm tree might not have been abandoned
but left there
on purpose. That drainage ditch to the right
of that crumbling
levee might contain clues to a mystery—
what fell
from the heavens landed in this dry place
where seeds struggle.
By morning the weather will be a statistic
we must live with.
See the spider already dead in that web
by the mailbox—we
could meet there barefoot and caffeinated
as a protest against
vacuity. I’d look you straight in the eye.
Our faces white
as fjords, I’d tell you: in jaws of speculation
we carry everything
ungrounded, up for grabs.

Chris D'Errico

Chris D’Errico has worked as a short order cook, a doorman, a neon sign-maker’s helper, and an exterminator, among other vocational adventures. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he writes and makes music. For more, visit http://www.clderrico.com

The Devil Is On His Way by Matthew Borczon

when the world
blows smoke
up your ass
and the devil
is on his way
night tosses
hard shadows
across memory
and your voice
is drowned out
by the sound
of somebody
screaming about
how much he
loves that girl
who’s running
the other way
holding a smoking
gun and muttering
a prayer to St. Jude

and you will know
you are home
because even
a lost cause
is still a cause
and no one else
can tell you what
you kill or die for
under the street lights
on a hot summer night.

matthew-borczon

Matthew Borczon is a poet from Erie Pa, he has three Books available, A Clock of Human Bones From Yellow Chair Review Press, Battle Lines From Epic rites press and Ghost Train from Weasel Press. He works as a nurse and a navy sailor in Erei.

24/7 by Howie Good

You’ve made arrangements for Boston University to come at 10 a.m. to pick up Aaron’s brain. People across New England should be concerned over what will disappear next. You’re not just killing a person. You’re killing his whole family. It’s something the government should have been doing. But all these people are seeing these things. They find mass graves. They witness executions. I mean that’s warfare – it’s clear and simple, and it’s in HDTV.

*

The cops are at the door right now looking for me. Tune in, tune in, tune in. If you don’t want me to jump, let me know. I like to drink and laugh, and I like to get laid like everybody else. Could I please get some viewers? The open eye is very human. There’s also a darkness. Sometimes it’s accidents, too. The headless torsos usually have this Elvis stance. It’s just a family of everybody. I have explained this time and time again, but they won’t listen. The one who tires, loses.

*

All it takes is that one person asking, “What if there’s a fire?” And now that room is on fire. I don’t feel like I’m leaving the place. I feel the place is leaving me. It just explodes. We suddenly become archaic remnants of the pre-digital age. She wants to close the frontiers. Did you know that? Two Armenian assassins, slim, undersized, swarthy men, lurk in a doorway. They shot seven people in the head and then took the people’s cars and left. But it’s a world I can’t escape! It’s a little bit like the Americans in Vietnam. I can’t escape. If I turn there, it’s there – it’s everywhere.

Howie Good

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

Natural Born Killers by Alan Catlin

They’d done tours of duty in places
that didn’t have names and were no
longer on maps.  What was left
of where they had been had been
looked like a lunar landing site after
a B-52 bombing raid with a napalm
chaser.  Nothing they did was ever
even remotely official and the scars
they had accumulated were so off
the charts, plastic surgeons just smiled
and walked away.

In between assignments, they shacked up
with women whose role models were
a cross between Blaze Starr and Mata
Hari. Could drink “mucho machos” under
the table, and would still be asking for
more after.  Smoked roll-your-owns with
stuff inside that either flash froze
your organs on impact, or cauterized  them
closed, and with each extended inhale acted
as if they hadn’t felt a thing.

Accepting spur of the moment, it-seemed-
like-a good-idea-at-the-time challenges
from them landed more than one guy in
a federal lockdown for extended periods of
time or in an ER casualty unit that with trauma
units, so stressed, they were triaged out of
existence.  Only read books with Suicide in
the title and had Goodnight Moon tattoos
on intimate places of their bodies that were
rumored to explode after extended contact.

“Keeping up with them was a real challenge,”
their wild men liked to say,” if you survived.”
R&R would never be the same after they
painted the town red then burned it down.

acatlin multi

Alan Catlin is a widely published poet in the US of A and elsewhere. His most recent book is “Books of the Dead: a memoir with poetry” about the deaths of his parents. He is a retired professional barman and the editor of the online poetry zine misfitmagazine.net.

Henry Charles by Wayne F. Burke

Bukowski sits on a stool
at the supermarket cash register
fat-rolls around his belly and straggly hair
he wears a fire engine red supermarket shirt
and is bullshitting with a woman customer
instead of ringing me up
and I get upset
grab the glass jar of oil, or honey, or
whatever,
and stalk off without paying
and go to the back of the store
(I work there too; wear the same red shirt)
and meet Jigs, a childhood pal of mine
and say “fucking Bukowski is on the register”
and he says “Chinaski?”
“Yea.”
We get onto an elevator.
The oil, or honey, or whatever
is all over my fingers
because the jar leaks.

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).

The West Glamorgan Dragons & The Mountain Daughters Of Annwn by Paul Tristram

There’s a ram’s skull, horseshoe-nailed,
to a hollow, tawny owled, old oak tree,
at the foot of the first mountain climb.
Carefully placed empty, cider flagon bottles
mark hidden hedgerow entrances and passageways.
The fields and meadows directioned
by saplings bent or snapped in cowpats…
you need a quick, Welsh mind
to rhythm this pulsing countryside.
The traps are many, complicated and dangerous…
constructed for ‘Screaming’ rather than ‘Fatality’
The dogs do not bark nor full moon howl,
and are bred to avoid the open ground,
except following wind-whistles and running-the-hunt.
You’ve more chance of seeing ghosts…
yet, they pride in numbers, these ragged hillsides.
Not a waterfall crossing, cave tunnel
nor inner-wood foot trail remain long unwatched.
Each Gravestone is a living Tree,
selected by a Warrior’s heart,
Celtic knot-worked by blood and ancestry
into The Living Path which re-births onwards Eternal.

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) 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/

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-2

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
hamburger:

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

jeff-bagato

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 http://jeffbagato.wordpress.com