For You Never For Them by John Patrick Robbins

Did they sell you the same bullshit they sold me?

Yes you reading this now.
Did they tell you could be anything or did they simply say nothing at all.

Did they try there best to break you in half?
Only making you more stronger from spite .
Did they poison your existence and turn you inside out ?
Leaving there scars for others to see.

Did you turn to others?
Did you turn to drugs ?
Did you turn to a freak selling your soul a second at a time?

Did they call you a junkie without cause ?
Do they cast there bullshit upon you as well?

Yes I was there to and guess what?
I’m still fucking standing just like you.

So Fuck them all !!!

John Patrick Robbins

John Patrick Robbins is a barroom poet and professional drinker and fulltime smart ass. My works been published with In Between Hangovers . I also can be read on most websites and probably a few bathroom walls also. It is unfiltered like my thoughts . Cheers .

Best Effort by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

a six inch florist ivy
posed a challenge
possibly the first
of its genus
to survive me

a month later
bacterium spread
despite my best effort

the vintage green
glass rim pot
hers now mine
remained indifferent

there were ivy stems
in my wedding bouquet
and pink roses
like the ones
on her estate sale
good dishes
no one but me


Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native living in Hettick, IL. Over 459 pieces of her work appear or are forthcoming in 156 print and electronic journals and anthologies. Her magazine-type blog updated at her erratic discretion: http://wlc-

This Poem Is Full Of Corners by Paul Tristram

You will walk along until you
down a line
or two.
And before you know it
you’ll end up with your nose
Until the next sentence
grabs you by the scruff,
spins you dnuora…
leads you
                            and then
Before leaving you
to stare bewilderingly
at a couple of lines from a previous work

‘I’d love to share your sunset,
but all I can see is the sky’

The door out
is over that way,
those first three bends
and then the second corridor.

But first, I want to share something with you,
when I said, hand-on-heart,

“Honestly, I Swear, I Lied”

I was, in fact, only speaking a half-truth.

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) ‘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!

Blank Look #147 by Carl Mayfield

can’t see 60 in the rearview mirror
                          the face in that mirror
stunned enough
                                  to still be alive
wrinkles where directions
lose their way
eyes clear all the way
to the bottom
a voice within
a three note song
to let the birds know
we’ve been listening

Carl Mayfield’s most recent chapbooks are All the Way Up and High Desert Cameos. Lacking the decency to be discouraged, he pushes on.


On the edge of a Lea by James Walton

I had not expected that.
Death arriving as Katharine Ross
straight out of the Graduate
you’ve put away the sundry things
she smiled except the handlebars
but overall we’ll get you there

I have a question still.
The look on your face the bus scene
but I was drifting in and out
of Van Gogh’s mad courtyard
council workers re make it
every other day by numbered hues

I thought maybe over east.
Were the raindrops real in ‘Butch’?
how tissues fall from a sleeve
in weary non compliance
there are no names for days
and the songs have new titles

I need the breadth of an elephant’s memory.
That really wasn’t me on the bike
just another actor she laughs
if you give up this precious object
we’ll walk over to the native meadow
where the sky’s a shackled prism

and I’ll tell you everything.

James Walton

James Walton is a poet published in newspapers, journals and anthologies. He’s been a Librarian, a cattle breeder, but most of the time a Public Sector union official. Short listed twice for the ACU National Literature Prize, a double prize winner in the MPU International Poetry Prize, and Specially Commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition – his collection ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ was published in 2015.

Leaving That Goddam Place by Gareth Culshaw

The wind is lost in the trees,
it drops to the floor in the shape
of leaves.

My last few days of a sunlight
that never grew. The stepping the ladder
and wearing a tie.

Never came to anything but concrete
eyelids. Arthritic minds eroded
my view of things.

A few more bus trips and I’ll be
waving away the clouds. See a new
horizon,  bless the sunlight

that others find but never see.

Gareth Culshaw

Gareth lives in Wales. He has his first collection by futurecycle in 2018

An Open Letter to Flies by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

I apologise for the recent strips of fly paper, seems
rather drastic I know
but your buzzing has become intolerable
of late, the many eyes upon me
at all hours
your maggot offspring in my sink
where the dishes go
we must have boundaries, countries do it
and seem to get good results
which reminds me: why are you always
trying to fly in my nose and ears?
What may seem a natural den of procreation
is in fact a biological way for me to breathe and hear
and live.

It is not that I wish to deny anything else its health
or general well-being, but your continued presence is harming mine.
Always buzzing against the windows from which you came.
If you want out so badly, then why did you ever come in?
Please leave me alone and I will endeavour to do the same.

Sincerely yours,

xxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxx

Ryan Quinn Flanagan Black & White

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a happily unmarried proud father of none. His work can be found both in print and online. He has an affinity for dragonflies, discount tequila, and all things sarcastic.

Snowing, Brightly, Snowing by Les Bohem

I woke up in the dark. I was afraid to go back to sleep.  I had gotten decently drunk in the early evening and hoped to sleep straight through until morning, but now I was up and there was no going back to sleep. It was a nightmare that had awakened me. It was the nightmare that I was afraid of. I could feel myself dropping back into it and I had to force myself up out of it as if I were really climbing.
I always dream in strange beds and these dreams are usually nightmares. That’s why I had gotten decently drunk, because I knew a nightmare was coming. I have spent many nights shivering on the edge of a bed, unwilling to risk the terrors waiting for me on the other side of my pillow.
I reached out now and looked at my wristwatch. It was just past ten. There was nothing to do but get dressed and go out again.
I had dreamed that I was watching myself sleeping.  I was in a relative’s bed, a bed I had often seen as a child but had only slept in once, rather recently.  There were large worms crawling along the wall towards me.  I (the watcher) reached out with a butter knife towards the worms to keep them from entering my ear. I cut them in half as they moved across the wallpaper. But then I was no longer there watching; I was just in the bed and one of the worms was entering my ear. I knew that it would grow until there was a huge and angry thing inside me.
I took the dream with me out of the hotel and into the cold street. It was snowing and there was no one outside. The streetlights reflected bright off the piled up snow and that reflected lights made the buildings look artificial. I walked towards the river. It was late and there were only a few people in the square in front of St. Stephen’s.  The top of the church was hidden in a fog.
After I’d passed the church I was alone again.  I walked over to the Donau Kanal and across it. The wind off the water made it terribly cold. I walked through a part of the city in which I’d never been. There were no bars or cafes, just shops, long ago closed for the night.
Finally, I came to a large intersection of several streets. Past the streets, the elevated S Bahn ran. There were some squat buildings on either side of the track. It seemed to be a terminal of some sort. There was no one waiting there for the trains.
Beyond the tracks, there was something big in the darkness. As I approached it, I could see that it was the top half of the Riesenrad, the famous Ferris wheel.  I walked slowly towards it. Its old cars, not moving, looked solid and sad.
The entire Prater was closed for the winter. There was no gate.  I walked past the Ferris wheel and through the deserted stands.  The Fun House, the bumper cars, the carnival booths with their fading, festively painted faces and the large grey steel shutters of mouths, closed down tight.
I kept walking, passing through an area of new and depressing apartment houses.  At last I reached the river.  It was like the back end of a railroad yard there, deserted and grim. I followed a street along the front of a housing project that faced the river. When I came to the next street, I turned back towards the Ringstrasse and the center of the city.
I came to an U Bahn station and went down into it. There was no one waiting for the train and, once it came, only a few people on it, sitting alone and silent. I rode the train to Karlsplatz and changed to another. The dream was still with me and wanted to ride. There was no one at all in my car on this second train.  I got off at the Volkstheater stop because I had to use the bathroom.
It was cold in this stop. The lights were dim.  I went up the escalator and found the men’s room.  I opened the door. Hot air came out at me. Hot air and the smell of urinal cakes and the bright white of light on white tile.  It was harsher than the reflected streetlight on the snow outside my hotel.
Sitting on the floor in front of me were at least ten men. All ragged, homeless drunks.  They looked up at me with animal eyes from the warmth of their cave. A few of them grunted something. I shut the door quickly and went down to the other side of the tracks.
I took the U Bahn back to Karlsplatz and then from there to Stephansplatz.  In a city where you hardly saw any people on the street at night, I hadn’t expected to find ten homeless drunks in a subway men’s room sitting on the floor.

Les Bohem has written a lot of movies and TV shows including Twenty Bucks, Daylight, Dante’s Peak, The Alamo and the mini-series, Taken which he wrote and executive produced with Steven Spielberg, and for which he won an Emmy award.   He’s had songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Freddy Fender, Steve Gillette, Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde), and Alvin (of the Chipmunks.)  His short novel, Flight 505, was published last year by UpperRubberBoot .   His new album, “Moved to Duarte,” was just released on Jack Rabbit Day Records to much critical acclaim and no sales whatsoever.  

Gay Cowboy Erotica Sells Well by Russell Jones

You can’t dally when you’re high
on horseback, riding. Men
ripple in the shirtless sun, cavalier, throbbing
guns ready to hit the saloon. They suck on
shots of neat rum, whiskey, chase hard
hands at the poker table. Careful, boys,
you never know who might turn you
in to the sheriff. You may have to pound his
door, ask the town for mercy. They’ll strip you
of your wins. Sure, you’ll be full of spunk
and go out fighting, but they’ll kiss your ass
goodbye from this two-bit town, dripping, hot
and lonely. You’ll scour the desert aching for more
than a piece of death, almost, almost, until you come
to Tonto’s place, find him winking, beckoning you inside
and before you know it, you’ll be fucking his brains out.

Russell Jones

Russell Jones is an Edinburgh-based writer and editor. He has published four collections of poetry, and has edited two writing anthologies. He is deputy editor of “Shoreline of Infinity”, a science fiction magazine. Russell also writes stories for Disney and YA novels. He has a PhD in Creative Writing.

Wasps In Autumn by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

is thought
these stinged
things know
is emanate
thrusting chitin
in earnest
onto incinerator panes

a throng of
black corpses
in white sills


Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native living in Hettick, IL. Over 459 pieces of her work appear or are forthcoming in 156 print and electronic journals and anthologies. Her magazine-type blog updated at her erratic discretion: http://wlc-