Delicate and Coiled by Aaron Kent

We all barked
at the fox,
the size of a shed
slinking
across the dust
and mud…

…except you,
too full of us
to bring yourself
to turn
and expend energy
away from
the centre
of the universe.

Aaron Kent

Aaron Kent is a poet from Cornwall, UK. He has recently had a art-verse-novella released through zimZalla titled ‘Subsequent Death’, and a pamphlet through Eyewear titled ‘Tertiary Colours’. His first full collection,’Blood Fjord ’89’ is due for release in mid 2018. He is also in talks to release a collection on vinyl record, and a non-fiction book about the Godzilla film series. Aaron also runs the Saboteur Award longlisted site Poetic Interviews, where he interviews poets using poetry. Those taking part so far include James Franco, Phillip B Williams, Safia Elhillo, Luke Kennard, Max Wallis, Jeff Alessandrelli, and Melissa Lee-Houghton among others. Aaron is also a poetry and film lecturer, and he and his wife just welcomed their first child, Rue.

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Canicule by Nick Power

Tonight we sleep with all the
windows open
so as to organise our shallow
breathing into
boxcar salvos
that click-clack into
the ether

the Indian summer
embalms us

tomorrow a woman from the council
will knock on the door
and we will lie here
pretend to be dead, deaf
or at imaginary jobs

because we cannot pay her

Nick Power

I have had two perfect-bound books, ‘Small Town Chase’ and ‘Holy Nowhere’ published by erbacce-press, and have recently completed a forthcoming third collection, ‘Caravan’. I have had poems published at Your One Phone Call, M58, The Camel Saloon, Coney’s Loft, Ink Sweat and Tears, and PARIAH Press.

Challenge by David Spicer

I’m tired of phone sex coos and bathrobe hookers.
Give me a flamenco tearoom where I can chitchat
with rubbernecks about hypnosis and existentialists.
My brainwaves escalate on that Orwellian bonfire,
I’ve got a track record as the prototype squirrel.
I dream of keeping shop in a brownstone
to award-winning paparazzi. I’ll hold court
to bankrupt romantics, eat pagan marshmallows
with pickles in church, a tunic hiding my booze.
Call me a rooster or an isolation kingpin, I don’t care.
Just give me a buzzer, let me conduct research
on my favorite pop singer, allow me to throw
a firm knuckleball at my critics and retire me to Orlando
where I’ll wear spiked hair as I screen lackeys.
But don’t exile me to the hospital of the millennium.
I’ll be good and civilized. Try me.

David Spicer

David Spicer has had poems in Chiron Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. The author of Everybody Has a Story and four chapbooks, he’s the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He is scheduled to have From the Limbs of a Pear Tree, (Flutter Press) released in the Fall of 2017.

I Have This Fantasy by Jay Passer

of dying in a dark movie theater
during a 6 dollar and change

midweek
matinee.

it’s not very creative I admit
compared to say, how Mayakovsky died

or Lorca
or Crane-

but this way I can perish
within my element;

a fictitious universe
magnified by lonesome inevitability.

what I like best is how they find me
slumped in the sudden floodlights.

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.

Fixture by Stefanie Bennett

Just as the light dips its corona
My lodger – an echidna
By any other name,
Zigzags the curved terrace
To forage her banquet
Leaving furrows
Between iris and sage.

Sighted, our eyes interlock.
I blink; make hexagrams
From antiquated toil,
Shout
Eureka… !

The Buddha’s been
A long time
Coming.

Stephanie Bennet

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel & a libretto. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Qld., Australia, worked with Arts Action for Peace & tutored at The Institute of Modern Languages – Cook University. Latest poetry book ‘The Vanishing’, 2015

The Chambermaid Finds Something Horrendous by Paul Tristram

“Sylvia, quick… come in here a minute.
White, am I? Jesus, I wish I had just seen a ghost.
Look under the bed, on the right-hand side…
careful, I put my fingers in it, ew,
I’m never going to be able to wash them clean enough,
I’ll be like that Lady Macbeth about the place.
I know, I’m shaking too…
but, he left early this morning,
threw the keys at Shelly behind the front desk,
without stopping or saying a word
of ‘Thank You’ or ‘Farewell’.
I’m not sure, I’m scared to even try to think or imagine…
it’s bits of something… awful.
I’m shuddering, they’ll need the Police,
the hotel will be on lockdown,
business will dry-up like a bitter widow.
I’d go and fetch Mrs. Aveline…
but, she gave that young Tracy Summers
the boot in Spring
for finding the ‘Stillborn’ up in the attic room bathtub.
What’s that smell? Did you poke it?
I’m going to piss myself,
I swear, my nerves are laudanum-bound.
No, you can’t run away, you’re involved now…
pass me a pillowcase and pan & brush,
then boil me up some scalding water.
The best remedy for this nightmare
is to make sure that it all just simply vanishes completely.”

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/

Trying to Get Somewhere by James Babbs

stuck
the past tense of stick
a stick in the mud
something without much joy
and I don’t remember where we met
but she said her name was Joy
and she never seemed happy
a bit of irony
helping to break up
the monotony of it all
the game of Monopoly
which seemed to go on and on
does anyone ever win the game?
or does everyone just end up quitting?
and is quitting the same as leaving?
leaving the game to go and do something else
pieces left behind on the table
because
no one bothered to put them away
and I just wanted to get away
any way I could
all alone with my thoughts
driving in the car
listening to jazz on the radio
the headlights making holes in the dark
and I wasn’t in a hurry
the road was familiar to me
I knew what was waiting
just over the next rise
I’d driven this same road
countless times before

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.

BBW by M.P. Powers

It’s been twelve
years since Brobding Barb’s
big dumbloving double
F’s
bounced across the pages
of Plumpers, Juggs and
Gent.

Her specialty was
smothering small soft-
boiled
men into submission,
punishing them with
hammerlocks &
scissorholds

With her great thighs
like mating ton pigs

With her wholly rolling
voluptuary rump

she gave men the
business end of her,
submerging them deep in
the mystery of her
bulk

Brobding Barb,
who fell from the ranks
and faded out of FemDom
glory twelve years ago

is finally mounting her
comeback

She’s added about eighty
lbs. of blubber to her arsenel
been through two
divorces, drug rehab,
DUI
and she’s going
through menopause

I feel sorry
for her first
victim

M.P. Powers

M.P. Powers was born in Illinois, bred in Florida, and is now based in Berlin. More info here: http://poets.nyq.org/poet/mppowers

Fred on Birds by Marc Woodward

After laying the moles out on the wall
(glossy coats belying their broken backs)
to total up his catchers’ payment,
then cleaning the spring loaded scissor traps,
Fred would talk to me about all the birds
he’d eaten, how seagulls have little flesh
despite their size – less even than a rook-
and what they have reeks of garbage and fish;

how once he saw a blackbird in his pear
eating fruit that he’d been watching ripen;
so took his Webley Tempest (being fair)
and standing in the doorway of the kitchen
shot it dead at twenty yards for dinner
So I ‘ad my pear, didn’ I? he grinned.

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

To Breathe or Not by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Will someone please explain;
why I should bother to breathe?
Why take another step forward
moving closer to obvious oblivion?
Maybe I’ll strategically withdraw;
way back within my scarlet aura;
where a comforting gold yurt exists
floating there in a murky blue haze.
An oasis for Psilocybin tripsters
and amoeba-like shadow dwellers.
Perhaps I’ll just awaken from this
rancid fantasmic imagery and break
through to an orgasmic reality while
sipping on a large tepid green tea.
I feel strangled by a fortuitous life,
where oh where are the good times?
An entire country lives but a cold lie
elected deceptive heartless demons.
I want to go back to the good old days,
I want to live in a Rockwell painting with
a cold coke, while my trusty dog smiles.
Yes, today it’s tough to take a breath.

ken-allan-dronsfield-bio-picture

Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet from New Hampshire. He loves thunderstorms! His published work can be found in reviews, journals, magazines and anthologies throughout the web and in print venues. His poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net for 2016.