I Was Stuck Up In One by Alan Catlin

of those one horse, lakeside
towns with nothing to do
but drink beer and watch
the crows outsmart the farmers.
I decided this grill
with a neon BEER sign
in the window was as good as
any to bury a few dead soldiers.
It’s not often you get lucky
enough to find a female
bartender under the age of 109
or with an IQ over that of
Bessie the Cow but this was
one of those trips.
After a few, she’s starting to
look real good and she can even
carry on a half way intelligent
conversation with words used in
it more complicated than long
neck Bud, not that I was overly
interested in her mind.
After a couple of more, she’s
starting to look like a mighty
fine way to kill a few hours
with, and I was just like working
up enough nerve to try one of my
better come on lines when that
creep face Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
appeared on the tube.  I hadn’t
noticed him being the second coming
of the antichrist before, but
the way she was carrying on,
made me swear never to buy
another win three ticket with
the numbers 666 in it, not even
as a joke.  What she was saying
about EZ Jr. and the FBI made
headlines of The National Enquirer
seem like the Christian Science Monitor
of veracity in comparison.
I gathered Federal Agents had
planted a transistor in her teeth
that picked up messages from outer
space.  Sd.”Here, do you want to
listen?” opening her mouth real wide
and getting in my face.
Fortunately, I was just leaving anyway.
Imagine what might have happened
if I told her I was working as a
Federal Marshall.”

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.

Ten Years Gone by James Babbs

ten years gone and
I don’t really know
what made me think of her
something I saw on the internet
or a song I heard on the radio
when I was driving home from work
she was tall and beautiful
and had long dark hair
and I guess
I didn’t know enough to
make her want to stay with me
but I hope I gave her a few laughs
and one or two good memories
and every now and then
she fondly remembers me
the same way I remember her

James Babbs-Author Photo

James Babbs is a writer, a dreamer, a three-time loser and an all-around nice guy who just wants to be left alone. James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013) and has hundreds of poems and a few short stories scattered all over the internet.

Those That Know by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

an evening out
in the upstairs
Loomis House
was a first

Psychic Medium
Rose Fulhorst paced
the purported
haunted hotel’s
floral carpet
behind my chair

answer yes or no
she instructed
or say maybe

I found her
notably correct

though we never
had a pet dog
best I know

though I entertain
my own take on
finessing finis

though I did get
an epic headache
and nausea
the next day

that feeling
those that know


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- wlcblog.blogspot.com/

The Only Witnesses by Nate Maxson

Typically expecting lightning to strike twice
I end up spending a few hours extra, post-lightum if you will
Waiting in a field for the miracle to prove itself scientifically
You can stand next to me if you want, I won’t bite (but not too close)
And I know, this bears a resemblance to the old “Linus and The Great Pumpkin” fable
Which nobody will remember in fifty years so what’s the point of explaining myself again?
Don’t get me started on the iconography of cartoon sainthood: I still have a few more years at the community college before I’m ready for my exam
And my jovial mood here at this junction despite my lack of a winter coat can probably be best attributed to my having mastered the most sublimely quiet of bird calls, the ninth degree winged mating songs or shotgun wedding ballads as the case may be
Why do you think you’re standing here?
I’d offer you something to eat
A garish communion off the decomposition of my martyrdom
But I’m afraid
(You my shadow audience and surrogate androgyne have no need to be)
I’m being whittled
By an unseen hand
Down to the pretense
Of a tree falling
And no one believing
Until the light (so we know at last it’s human) repeats a note
In the sequence infrared

Nate Maxson

Nate Maxson is a writer and performance artist. He is the author of several collections of poetry including ‘The Whisper Gallery’ and ‘The Torture Report’. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.