He’s Up There by Paul Tristram

Parkour-ing the early hours of the morning.
Left jutters for avoidance and escape,
right movements circular and more fluid,
raising both speed and momentum.
Obstacles are merely springboards…
running up vertical brickwork is easy,
if you accelerate with the top half of feet,
forehead focused upon balance and target,
arms to sky-rudder your monkeying hands
ready for the grip after rapid upward palm-padding.
Slope the square and awkward angles,
blur the iron railing fencing…
as you bolt, jump, leap and squirrel along.
Chimney pots are strategic vantage points,
slate deflects impact when fleeting
and knowing how to bounce
and instantly withdraw pressure…
leaving ‘Teaspoon Tapped On Boiled Eggshell’
cobwebbed patterns… as you roll and tumble by.

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/

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Cruel Monster by J.J. Campbell

picture the only
woman you ever
loved

and now picture
her sleeping in
a bed with her
wife

what kind of
fucking cruel
monster does
this

as the years
pass by it never
gets easier to
take

sometimes you
get shit on enough
you think that’s
simply how life
is

try doing that
for forty plus
years and then
try to imagine
what happiness
actually is

impossible isn’t
even the word…

J.J. Campbell

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is currently trapped in suburbia. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, Otoliths, In Between Hangovers, Winedrunk Sidewalk and Tuck Magazine. You can finding him most days bitching about something on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Ice Cream Days and Coke Bottle Nights by Alan Catlin

Roller skate waitresses in
legs-up-to-here shorts,
two unbuttoned down tops,
three on a hot night.
White Castle burgers:
five bucks feeds a family of
four with a decent tip for
the girl.
Gets mom out of the house
and away from the stove,
gives the kids a treat and
dad a major eye full.
Hot Summer nights, windows
rolled down for hot, limpid
air, ventilation for unfiltered
cigarettes.
Clip onto window trays,
bring your own green glass
Coke bottles, discard when
empty under nearby elevated
commuter railway supports.
Bottles that can be repurposed
as weapons to be used on
unsuspecting, ride-the-milk-train
cheaters and drunks.
Those lost soul losers destined
to be robbed and beaten blind,
if they’re lucky, if not, left for
dead under concrete stairways
like just so much garbage,
not to be found for days, missing
persons.
Oh, the stink of it, the grease.

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.

The Bitter Truth by Jennifer Lagier

A health aide awakens mom,
administers her 8 a.m. methadone,
mixes lemon juice, honey, hot water,
offers saltines to counteract bitterness, nausea.

“It’s too sugary” mother complains,
despite no alterations to a concoction
identical to the brewed toddy
she praised yesterday.

Medication for terminal cancer
has perverted her taste buds,
stifled appetite, stripped every
mealtime of pleasure.

Mortality contaminates beverages,
once-favorite dishes,
ironically infuses soup, sherbet, tea
with insufferable sweetness.

jen-2016

Jennifer Lagier has published thirteen books, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle Press). Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018). Website: jlagier.net Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JenniferLagier/

Thoughts & Prayers by Neil Fulwood

Thank you for choosing thoughts & prayers.
Before using thoughts & prayers for the first time
please read the following guidelines. Thoughts
& prayers should be deployed only during times
of tragedy or national mourning. Thoughts & prayers
are unsuitable for small-scale incidents,
unfortunate accidents or bad luck. Thoughts
& prayers are not to be activated privately –
the manufacturer’s warrantee will be invalidated
unless sound bite or news camera footage
can demonstrate media-appropriate usage.
It is recommended that thoughts & prayers
are kept in a locked cabinet and wrapped
in oilcloth. You can obtain spare cartridges
of thoughts & prayers from your local retailer.
All thoughts & prayers are government-approved.

neil fulwood

Neil Fulwood lives, works and subsidizes pubs in Nottingham. His debut collection, No Avoiding It, is published by Shoestring Press. He hasn’t stopped going on about it yet.

Punch by Jim Zola

Limbs twitch. Memories of sap
rise in the roots. I try hard
to resist God’s tug. But there’s

this stick stuck in my lumpish fist.
She eggs me on, jaw flapping
lies about my knots. I show her

the nature of my grain.
We club each other senseless
with love.

Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for Deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children’s librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbook — The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press) — and a full length poetry collection — What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC

Buried Music From A Life by D.N. Simmers

After Peter Robinson

There was music oldies
on the T. V.
Older than I am.
I remember when my mother
would swing
around the living room,
dancing to the music.
Music from the big band era.
Let her head go
one way and
her feet go the other
as if she
was back being fifteen
and there were boys
to impress and
parties to go to in a new dress.
I remember her swinging to the beat.
Not one I would grow to love.
Not hard rock or metal
or the screech of a voice
lost in a swirl of smoke.
Lost years
in the years
of dust and death.

D.N. Simmers

D.N. Simmers is an on line editor with Fine Lines. He is in the current Poetry Salzburg Review and the Common Ground Review. He is in two new anthologies and is on line in riverbabble, Wilderness House Literary Review and Whispers. He was in Van Gogh’s Ear, Paris France.

5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Non-Stick Pans by Paul Tristram

1. You should never leave ‘Magic Mushrooms’ boiling unwatched, ever!
No matter how merrily they are dancing and singing away to themselves… they are simply not to be trusted. They are full of murder, mayhem and mischief. Just 30 seconds or so away from the stove, to book the evenings £8.50 Hooker, or to hide under the stairs from the BANGING Bailiffs and the results could well be catastrophic.
‘Little Cunts’ they are and ‘Little Cunts’ they will always stay, when not being closely monitored. Your ‘Sanity’ is at stake here, for Christ Sake… and if that’s not enough to get you rightfully worried, they’re also dab-hands at pyromania. Remember, ‘Arson’  carries a Mandatory Life Sentence, even if you are home alone when the blaze kicks-off. They take the endangerment of The Fire Brigade and any neighbours close by, very fucking seriously indeed. Oh, and one but important detail, blaming your ‘Psychedelic Dinner’ for actually starting the fire, behind your back, does not stand up in a Court Of Law as a defence strategy… unless you are looking for time in ‘The Looney Bin’ instead of ‘Prison’.

2. ‘Panning People’ is often times an extremely fun and enjoyable past time. There is nothing quite like the Whoooooosh… Ding!’ sound of slapping someone across the bonce with the flat underside of a frying pan. But after a few wallops it starts to play havoc with the Teflon. We suggest that you keep your ‘Old Pan’ handy as a spare, for these special sporting occasions.

3. Ex’s; in fact don’t even let the useless fuckers back in the house, never mind your kitchen, for fuck sake, mate, no good can come of it. That’s where you keep the oil, gas, boiling water, knives and other really sharp and pointy objects. You know the Roger Moore, yeah. One word and one word only ‘Vindictive’.

4. First Dates; that’s what Wetherspoon’s is for, you numpty, what are you thinking? Stop letting the little head make decisions. You should never be ‘Cooking’ with all that ‘Sexual Energy’ and fucking ‘Cock-Blindedness’ exploding around and inside of you. In fact, you shouldn’t even be smoking cigarettes around ‘Her’ until you can cum in a decent time, place and manner, you lunatic.

5. Family and Friends; Fuck ‘em, let them buy their own. Are you ever ‘round there bothering them like a begging pest for theirs, no, right then, exactly. They’ll never come back the same, and that’s if they ever come back at all? This will potentially spark off a disastrous chain of events resulting in something atrocious, violent and horrible happening. Soon enough you’ll be fighting with people whom you once loved dearly. There’s nothing nastier than punching fuck outta someone you’ve forgiven for ‘Small Things’ over decades. Shit like that mounts-up, sunshine… and when that ‘Dam’ finally ‘Does One’… well, it doesn’t bare thinking about. Burying a Brother or Mother is never very pleasant at the best of times, especially when you are standing, handcuffed like a criminal’, between two uniformed Screws. There’s this guy in HMP Belmarsh doing 30 Years for an incident that went tits-up rather rapidly over a cracked plastic fucking egg timer. You have been warned.

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/

Pull Your Finger From the Plug by Benjamin Brindise

didn’t know what to expect
blank faces and loaded glances
Oh—this is the poetry guy
Can’t wait for this to be over

just finished a poem at Tapestry Charter School—
three hundred kids clapping and I am disappointed in myself
was only an old man yelling at them
assumed they missed the point

The room is dark
hear someone suck in air through their nose to hold back tears

The gymnasium clears out, but there’s one kid
he’s as tall as me and maybe sixteen
He comes up to me with tears in his eyes
says: Thank you

Late at night I think of the people I’ve talked to—
wonder if I’ve ever managed to deconstruct a wall brick by brick
or if these bloody knuckles I carry daily
are just a sign walls can’t be brought down

We walk through the charter school halls—
he tells me he wanted to kill himself,
but he’s doing better now
His girlfriend helps, I give him my card
When he sends a message on instagram I don’t respond

It’s the summer and I’m teaching poetry to kids
They tell me it’s boring
I envy them and wonder
what it’s like to find someone’s suicide note uninteresting

Six months pass before I message him back
apologize for being busy and think of empty nights I’ve spent since
drunk in front of a computer screen
convincing other people I’m a writer
Why do we ignore the ones most like ourselves?

They always thank me for coming—
never sure what to say when they tell me it helped
glad they have seen what cracks in the dam look like
hope they have learned to pull their finger from the plug

He never messages me back
I think about that a lot

Benjamin Brindise is the author of Rotten Kid (Ghost City Press, Spring 2017) and a Teaching Artist at the Just Buffalo Literary Center. He has most recently been published or accepted for publication in the My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry anthology, The Magnitizdat Literary, Foundlings, Page & Spine, Ghost City Review, and Peach Mag among others.

 

South of Right? by Mike Zone

You can’t knock it out of the park
all the time
that’s the false promise of joy
tangents of discontent
collecting all along the way
wild nights
every time- a blond
blue eyed cutie passed by
my friends and I
would grab our crotches
chant in unison
“Apple-pie pussy!”
exactly how much apple pie have we eaten?
why is the human race, not yet extinct
for our quasi-sorrowful behavior?
you ever see The Pieta`?
goddamn, I hope the afterlife
is nowhere near like that!
my holy virgin mother (who was no virgin nor holy)
distraught- cradling my near naked body
stabbed in the side by a spear
religion inspires art
art is a mirror held up to life
what a depressing state of affairs
no wonder, everyone walks around, so uptight
when they’ve outgrown “apple pie pussy” battle cries
we’ve traded them in for new kinds of prisons
live action moments frozen in time
Cunt Bombs- that’s what the men are
whiney, status obsessed, falsely brazen
the harpies flock to them
clawing, tearing, scraping- shrieking in desire
sacred proclamations and undying wavering tributes
it’s a tidal wave of mythos
slaying the grass of our prairy erthed minds
“Zone, you’re crazy.”
“Zone, you need a new overcoat.”
“Zone, it’s better to join them, than beat them.”
“Zone, you’re alone”
in the beginning were either us ever alone
by choice?
and this is what the clarity of solitude is known to bring
the tyranny of impoverished people
depleted lands and mechanized minds
steeped in mentors’ mysterium
and something might be wrong or entirely wrong
but everyone wants everything right
for fear of being alone
but just remember- the lone-wolf and cub
bloodied dharma-bums and bandits
growing and bonding
upon the many roads of retribution and wisdom
where can anyone truly go
without breaking- fetters
of the past and possibly bleak manifolding futures
ahead of us?
Ah, the multiverse existence, what a trip.
and here I was reminiscing about
steamy, nose turned up in the air
apple pie pussy
another nail in the coffin

mike-zone

Michael Zone is the author of Fellow Passengers: Pubic Transit Poetry, Meditations & Musings and Better than the Movies: 4 Screenplays. His work has been featured in Because Eileen, Dead Snakes, Horror Trash Sleaze, In Between Hangovers, Sick Lit Magazine, Three Line Poetry, Triadae Magazine and The Voices Project. He scrapes by in Grand Rapids, MI