A Grim Remainder by Bob Carlton

This is the cell
of the usurious stranger,

his last thoughts
scratched into stone
by bloody nails,

a new set of figures
divorced from
old interests.

Bob Carlton

Bob Carlton (www.bobcarlton3.weebly.com) lives and works in Leander, TX.

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Let’s Do Something ‘Fantastic’ Today (Part IV of The Candletree Graves Poetry Sequence) by Paul Tristram

Catch the two shilling coach over to Southaven.
Stop for an hour at Highacre on the way,
I’ll take you in The Journeyman’s Knob
and treat you to a little spot of lunch.
We’ll have pigeon pie with tatties
and wash it down with blackberry wine
and a couple of tankards of nettle ale.
A day away from Wrathsea will do us good,
your Ma said she’ll happily have the children
and the ‘Field Work’ don’t start up ‘til the weekend.
We ain’t been off a-travelling since our courting days,
I’ll wear my best cap and waistcoat.
I’ve made cheese and spring onion doorsteps
and borrowed a flagon from The Loach until next pay.
Go well some water and wash the housework
from your tired face, my handsome girl.
Grab your pretty bonnet and shawl
and we’ll get out from under this roof for a time.
Besides, the talk going all ‘round the village
is that they’ve got two of ‘em Tantrum boys
locked in The Stocks in The Square over there,
and there’s to be a public whipping at 2 of the afternoon.
The best of it is that they were arrested
on mere rumour and reputation alone,
so they might even be innocent, this time…
now, there’s a juicy situation and predicament
that we’re not going to want to miss out on, my dear.

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/

Writing Poems In The Free World by John Grochalski

having used google
to help me write poems
this morning

i’ve looked up

guns, hitler, nazis
mark david chapman
communism and genocide

i should be expecting a knock at my door
any moment now.

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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.

“Dead Friends, Dead Days, Dead Loves” by Alan Catlin

The scene was like stepping
inside a Russian novel, one like
The House of the Dead,
like Cancer Ward or like the
Gulag Archipelago primed.
Novels filled with characters
who were not quite dead yet
but who wished they were.
Characters who had woken up in
some place even worse that a
death house, spirits all around,
heavily armed with instruments
of torture, more Medieval,
more primitive, than anything
a Spanish Inquisition could have
devised.  Lights inside this
place were incredibly bright,
flashing on and off at random,
timed intervals, fit inducing,
intense, accompanied by
ear-bleeding loud, Post-Industrial
Death Metal Music, alternating
with monotonal nonsense words,
spoken as if they were recitations
from some made-up-on-the-spot
satanic language uttered by fifty
shades of dead demons, their controllers
all in black leather suits trying to
induce everyone inside to reveal
secrets they might have once known
but no longer applied to anything
in this life. Not that what was said
was important, it is the process that
is important, not the actual message.
And to think, you came here of
your own free will, sauntered up
to the bar, and ordered a specialty-
of-the-house, drink, and twenty years
later, here you are, wondering of
there is any point in wanting to leave
to even dream of ever being anywhere else.

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.

Family Album by Grant Guy

Just because he murdered 6 people
Doesn’t make him a bad boy

Said the mother
Before she plugged him

What runs in the family
Stays in the family

Grant Guy is a Winnipeg, Canada, poet, writer and playwright. Former artistic director of Adhere + Deny. His writings have been published in Canada, the United States and England. He has three books published; Open Fragments, On the Bright Side of Down and Bus Stop Bus Stop. He was the 2004 recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Making A Difference Award.

Oh For A Ladle and A Goodly Sieve by Tom Sheehan

If there ever was one moment, one breath
like a new clear lacquer on an old crate,
it was the day by the flat rock your pond
reveals only when August takes off weight,

leaves everything under a fine microscope,
earth-fire ashen yet in the faulty lines,
a sign dry August dares read of that bond;
it says such a moment can have no redesign,

cannot come back as trued, that its death
is final, except full perfection’s retell.
Do you remember, in tangerine moonlight,
night syrupy, how your breast quick fell,

just one, from cupped safety of your hand,
a cub from den, fledgling escape high nest,
petal and aureole abloom in one slow rush,
bound by rock, my waiting on all the rest?

Sheehan served in the 31st Infantry in Korea 1951-52, graduated Boston College 1956, published 30 books, multiple works in Rosebud, Literally Stories, Linnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Copperfield Review, Literary Orphans, Eastlit, DM du Jour, In Other Words-Merida, Literary Yard, Rope & Wire Magazine, Green Silk Journal. He has received 32 Pushcart nominations and 5 Best of Net nominations.  

The Detritus of Dreams by Howie Good

You probably won’t look like the real you.
Chances are you’ll be in somewhat of a panic.
That’s why you must educate your nerves.
You won’t know what you’re breathing.
You won’t know what’s in your house.
Check that the doors and windows are locked.
Start naming the things in the room.
Think, “Hahaha that’s so funny!”
and then hope something like the thought
“OMFG what am I laughing at?” occurs to you.

Howie Good

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of The Loser’s Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize for Poetry from Thoughtcrime Press. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.

 

The Last Dance by Jeff Bagato

Kiss pretty my darling, for while
Christmas falls into embers we
shriek enjoying last crystal traction
mass, candle visions of forgotten
transcendence—Who
made that collect call?
Who mispelled his own name?
Who gave fire to children, rained
hard shadows of the last dinner
before you grow into briefcase,
kissing kiss kiss like walking
from treetop road with no shoes, your glass
plate enema bag waiting forever,
patiently oozing its fragrant oil like gravy
on the tongue bites office clerk hot;
the orgy butter in you spits out
sad rectum and here comes enema,
the totem and the taboo, the mama and the
papa and the three little pigs; big
brother is watching you and your
choice of channel—go for it, daddy!
go for the knob, turning in your
sleep like embryo walks the plank
and dreams of mommy spilling endless
milk for fat baby whispers, turning
wrist until carpal tunnel lies
spill over necktie like milk vomit
clots the pores, like half-caste answers
and details the day, turning knob
like whiskey spills for the priest getting one
from his cigarette like the last holy nipple
of Mary, turning,
wrenching, twisting, jacking
off the knob in your hand,
too useless to come in the face
of conformity, twisting, leaving
relativity, joining the people,
kissing pretty my darling as Christmas
falls twisting into embers of joy

Jeff Bagato 2

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

Brambling The Nettle by Paul Tristram

Entangled, tightly, in the sinewy
green and purple, arching stems
of my complicated embrace.
I shudder at the stinging,
swollen kisses
of your sharp,
pursed mouth caresses.
Weeping drupelets
as we vice and snake
botanically.
Grinding your hypodermic trichomes,
the sweet, burning acid
of your affection
helps me peak
in this thorny giving and receiving,
green leaved petrichor union.

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/

Only Twenty More Years Until Retirement by John Grochalski

she stands
at the podium
with idiot knick-knacks
like face masks of birds and storybook characters
toys that make horrible noise
to the infirm or hungover
she screams, i work with kids!
because if you work with kids
you have to shout out loud like an asshole
and she keeps shouting
and singing in between the shouting
and the idiots sitting around me
in this hell-fire colored auditorium
think that this is a grand showcase of talent
a break from their otherwise monotonous existence
they laugh into each other’s fat faces
spraying bits of complimentary bagel and coffee
on each other’s cheeks
as the riot on stage keeps on with her juvenile torture
as always i am confounded by these types
outnumbered by them, as if in a street fight
in moments such as these
a touch of weakness shakes my spirit
and i wind up wondering if it’s me and not them
who has it all wrong
i wonder why i don’t find things like motivational speakers
or disney or broadway musicals or ice breakers
or this honking idiot on stage funny at all
as the crowd around me falls to their knees in laughter
begging her to do more of her shtick
this woman is akin to a dog whistle
and i am surrounded by capitulating mutts at attention
i think maybe i should just give in and surrender
but when she tells us all to stand
rub each other’s shoulders and sing row row row your boat
like kids do! she screams
and they all rise up in unison to do it
like lemmings
i simply sit there
as utterly alone in this world as always
seemingly pitiful to the naked eye
but as right as rain
as goddamned sure of myself
as i’ve ever been.

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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.