Drinking Problems by Sudeep Adhikari

I once read a great story that
Julian Casablanca from “The Strokes”
was sent to a rehab in Switzerland
when he was 13. He was said
to have a drinking problem.

At 13, I had a drinking problem
too. My mom used to
spank me for not drinking two
glasses of milk a day.

Sudeep-1

Sudeep Adhikari is a structural engineer/Lecturer from Kathmandu, Nepal. His recent publications were with Beatnik Cowboys, Zombie Logic Review, The Bees Are Dead, Silver Birch Press and Eunoia Review.

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Other Beds by Marc Woodward

Some are soothed by the furry ticking
of a bus on the street outside.
The waft of deep fried cooking
from the midnight Chinese,
even the lairy looking lads
Oy!-ing home at one AM.
Then four o’clock taxis
and the rumbling of trains.
These urban constancies
keep everything in check for some –
they pin them to their place:
create a sound frame
round the picture of their lives,
set them in their home.

But I can’t sleep in their beds.
At night I keep the window open
to hear the little brook
skeltering under willows,
owls calling from the oak,
the whickering of a moth
around the porch light.
I hear you breathing
pinned in your frame
not by particulating buses
and the rhythm of traffic,
but by the pirouetting of the earth,
the travelling of bats;
a dawning of chiffchaffs.

Marc Woodward

Marc Woodward lives in rural Devon – but you can probably guess that from his writing! He has been widely published – recently in Acumen, Caught By The River, The Clearing, Prole and Popshot. His chapbook A Fright Of Jays is available from Maquette Press and more work can be found at http://marcwoodwardpoetry.blogspot.co.uk

Ten Years by Rupert Loydell

Can you write through worry
and tunnel out with words?
Can you sing yourself to sleep
with your fingers in your ears?

I have questions that should
not be asked or answered,
rhetorical and theoretical.
That way madness lies

and all the signs point there.
You say it might never happen,
encourage me to ride it out,
say it’ll be alright. But it isn’t.

Blue skies and seas, clean sand,
cannot make up for what ten years
of stress has done. Broken tongue
and broken mind, disappearing ink.

Rupert Loydell

Rupert Loydell is a Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University, a poet, editor and artist. He has run Stride magazine since 1982 and is a contributing editor to International Times. Shearsman recently published Dear Mary, a book of poems about art, colour, annunication and Italy.

When You Can’t Sleep by Jay Passer

thousands of cars pass beneath the mid city window
on a daily basis

and the clinic wants to know why I need a new inhaler
every 3 weeks

it’s not just asthma
but accumulation of psychic arrears

how to justify morons ruling the world
is a catchphrase caught in the throat of felled monuments

mammon at the altar of blah blah blah
nobody’s got enough money

to satisfy dreams
when you’re alone, not likely to awaken

Jay Passer 2

Jay Passer’s work has appeared online and in print since 1988. He lives and works in San Francisco, the city of his birth. His latest chap, Flower Omelette, co-authored with Misti Rainwater-Lites, is available from Lulu.

The Last by Paul Koniecki

people on earth
were the world’s
greatest martini farmers

with no one
left to satiate
they decorate their

favorite ancient olive
tree with broken
computer parts and

empty glass dancing
like moon-wash and
click-holes in the leaves

paul-koniecki

Paul Koniecki is a poet, performer, and founder of Pandora’s Box Poetry Showcase in the greater Dallas area. His chapbook Reject Convention was published by Kleft Jaw Press in 2015 and his poems appear a variety of places including, Richard Bailey’s film, One Of The Rough – which was recently picked up by AVIFF Cannes.

I Faked Every Orgasm & I Want That Fucking Rib Back Right Now, You Hear Me! by Paul Tristram

Aye, you can have the top bunk, lad, it’s all yours,
no good to me see, my back’s knackered,
and it may as well be Everest
I’d be climbing up to just to get some shut-eye.
I’ve only got 6 days left, any road.
I’ll be 72 year old next March,
never been in trouble all my life until now,
few fist fights when I was younger, like,
but ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ and all that kack.
‘Contempt Of Court’ it was…
in a ‘Civil’ not a ‘Criminal’ one.
Going through a messy divorce, see,
55 years married and chained to ‘That’ I was.
I’ve never hated someone so much
in all my born days, and I’ve lived awhile & all.
Separate bedrooms for 30 odd years,
and she used to hide my cowing shoes,
not so I wouldn’t go off gallivanting…
but, so I couldn’t follow her down the road on the slap.
Then she started seeing that ‘Oldest Rocker In Town’,
Teddy Boy with a receding quiff, cunt Terry 6 months ago.
‘Blatant’ fucking ‘Blatant’
I never understood what that word meant until now!
Anyway, she only brought the beer-bellied fucker
to our divorce proceedings, talk about rubbing it in.
I never knew I had a temper like that in me, mun…
flew at ‘em pair of bastards, I did, like a whippet…
an old, tired, worn-out, riddled with arthritis one,
but, a whippet all the same… look at me shaking yuh!
Our Shelly was gonna let me have their spare room,
the one downstairs next to the toilet,
handy that’d be, I’m up at least 15 times a night
to use the fucking thing, as you’ll soon find out.
I was gonna let her have the Council Bungalow,
seeing as the kids and grandchildren
have all fucked off to get on with their own lives…
But now, nuh, I’ll fight her bloody tooth & nail for it all!

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/

Empire by Dan Sicoli

a whisper descends upon our desperate street
as undulating trees sway and shiver
kidnapping clouds

a time of pendulums
over a snippet of youth
a comforting thought
of your beautiful transcendence
revealing
an emergent and unfettered republic

and yet young couples
ballroom dance
                a dervish of skirt here
        a devil of hand there

opaque vows
unfamiliar
with a lusty frontier

Dan Sicoli

Dan Sicoli, of Niagara Falls, New York, USA, is the author of two poetry chapbooks from Pudding House Publications (Columbus, Ohio), Pagan Supper and the allegories. He can sometimes be found in local dives, saloons and barrelhouses banging on an old Gibson with an area rock’n’roll band.

 

Fatherhood Has Made Me Want to Climb Mountains by Aaron Kent

Since your birth
I have craned my neck
to the south
and buried my head
in thoughts
of Kilimanjaro.

Your amber hair
urges me to
follow the wind
and mark craters
on the foothills
of Everest.

You are the reason
I want to prove
my worth
in fatherhood
and perseverance
of Aconcagua.

I have scaled
the sheer vastness
of my love
for your soft dimples
and will shout it
from Mount McKinley.

You are every
family reunion
I am uninvited from
and you are
the fire I need
upon Pico Cristóbal Colón.

I don’t know
if this is a need
to give you a great story
or a great father
but I want to watch you
from Mount Logan.

I want to set sail
from the Earth’s core
and give the world
a reason to turn
as I watch it caress you
from its highest peaks.

Aaron Kent

Aaron Kent is a poet from Cornwall, UK. He has recently had a art-verse-novella released through zimZalla titled ‘Subsequent Death’. He has a collaborative book with photographer William Arnold – The Last Hundred – due out in late 2018 / early 2019 with Guillemot Press, and a pamphlet – Tertiary Colours – due out in mid 2018 with Knives, Forks, and Spoons Press. Aaron also runs the Saboteur Award longlisted site Poetic Interviews, where he interviews poets using poetry. And he was recently announced on the shortlist for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Aaron is also a poetry and film lecturer,and his wife gave birth to their first child in July.

 

Wilde’s Trivial Marriage by Mike Ferguson

1

Natty in-man,
Edwin Windzor by name,
luxuriant dresser

but scat scat scat
scatty from his amusing
heritage,

a jocular error
in breeding – an expeditious
squat by siblings.

2

What worse than
a smutty spouse,
her turret slog

his trepidation?
Devious, they evolve
wilting to awesome

metamorphosis, and
this their touch
of interregnum.

Mike Ferguson 2

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.

Hush by Jon Bennett

She was born to be
the ballerina
in the music box
the world can’t help
but watch her
spin
Cheek bones that could
shave Parmesan,
when she whispers
angels cock
their ears.

Jon Benett

Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his work on Pandora and iTunes. For booking please contact jonbennett14@hotmail.com