Passing the West Virginia State Line
She reaches into her purse
pulls a pint of Jim Beam
uncaps it, helps herself to a slug
leans over kisses me, offers the bottle
Sometimes all you have left is to celebrate your escape
Jason Baldinger is a poet hailing from the Appalachian hamlet of Pittsburgh. He’s the author of several books the most recent of which, the chaplet, Fumbles Revelations (Grackle and Crow) is available now, and the collection Fragments of a Rainy Season (Six Gallery Press) which is coming in September. Recent publications include the Low Ghost Anthology Unconditional Surrender, Uppagus, Lilliput Review, Rusty Truck, Dirtbag Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nerve Cowboy Concrete Meat Press, and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance. You can hear Jason read some poems at jasonbaldinger.bandcamp.com
All balance has been lost… it’s bewildering!
and that is the understatement of the century.
Dragging the limp feet of her lacerated soul…
around and around
in ever decreasing broken circles.
For once, something supernatural,
a ghostly vision,
would make much more sense…
than the stark, dark, reality
of this throat-choking nightmare.
That invisible stake through her heart
is as real as her trembling,
‘Grasping For Straws Which Are Not There’
The same, once soft and gentle hands
that caressed and cradled the ‘Thing’
which is now consuming and destroying her.
Frightened amber eyes of ‘Last Breath Roadkill’
and a mind which abattoirs
between flatlining and reviving itself, cruelly.
She re-shoulders the mountain-heavy burden
of inescapable, impossible, self destruction…
whimpers, out-of-bodily, towards another cold Dawn.
violence for the sake
of just being fucking
why not take advantage
of stupid gun laws
why not sell the drugs
you stole from the police
go turn some random
field into your personal
it’s called white privilege
for a fucking reason
you didn’t own the slaves
it’s not your damn burden
open another can of natty
light and turn the damn
it’s a saturday night in
drexel on a tuesday
the way the good lord
J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is currently trapped in suburbia. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, Otoliths, In Between Hangovers, Winedrunk Sidewalk and Tuck Magazine. You can finding him most days bitching about something on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)
A few drinks after hours and she
thought that her life was an epic saga,
a high octane drama, an action movie
like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”,
the European versions, that she was
the star of. Her life, before stimulants,
was more Asperger’s than wizard of
the code world, toxic avenger, steeped
in international intrigue masquerading
as a bisexual madwoman on tour as
the lead singer of all girl Alt band that
made Patti Smith in her prime seem
tame. Whacked on whatever, she
tangoed to an inner music louder than
any juke box made by man or healed
by alien, gyrating like a heat seeking,
spotlight heliotrope, refueling her body
with more kinetic energy than a laboratory
lightning strike, so turbo charged she needed
no head lamps to illuminate where she
was headed in the dark.
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.
‘I’ve got to wear this’ she said
slipping back into the dress of
the previous night; ‘I wasn’t
expecting any of this’ she said
as she buttoned and zipped,
‘I mean, I had planned to go
home last night’
I propped myself up in the
bed; ‘This could be your
home’ I said,
she looked around the small
untidy cluttered room that
was my world:
‘I’d cramp your style’ she
‘You may be right’ I said,
rising naked from the bed
and stepping over a few
bodies sleeping on the floor:
‘Take care’ I said, kissing her
she draped her arms across my
shoulders and kissed me hard,
‘Who the fuck are these people?’
‘I don’t know’ I said, ‘See you
‘If you’re lucky’ she said
closing the door behind her.
John D Robinson is a published poet: ‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016) ‘Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Publications 2016) his work appears widely in the small press and online literary journals.
was our nickname for the lean-to
squeezed into the bit of square-footage
not monopolised by the lorry,
but it was less the doss-house
of the National Service sitcom
than the grease-monkey version
of a gentleman’s club – we’d withdraw
not for brandy and cigars but tea from a flask
and whatever was packed in our snap bag.
The décor: two seats from a scrapped
Datsun Cherry, an upturned crate
by way of a table, a sink the colour
of hypoid oil, and one tap – cold –
that took bolshy pride in its job description.
Neil Fulwood lives, works and subsidizes pubs in Nottingham. His debut collection, No Avoiding It, is published by Shoestring Press. He hasn’t stopped going on about it yet.
The elevator repairman’s keys
fling, slingshot on the half-ripped
right-hand side belt loop,
clinging and clanging,
a noise reminiscent of
dragging Terminator’s metal arm
across the floor.
They are only his temporarily,
after all, soon to be handed
to the next victim.
Sweating in eight-hour increments,
patches of blood monkey-climb his shirt
from yesterday’s round-the-clock shift.
A faded name badge
peels off from unwashed fabric,
like sun-burned skin
making a new home on carpet.
His suitcase of door stops,
lubricants, and rope gauges,
sits in the open,
an odd assortment of tools;
to help him stay focused
while children scream
and one hit wonders
blare over the intercom.
Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from the Midwest. When not working two jobs, she listens to music and scrawls lines on the back of gas station receipts. Her work has appeared in Scapegoat Review, Peeking Cat, on VerseWrights.com, Walking Is Still Honest Press online, and Duane’s PoeTree site. She has fifteen poems in an upcoming anthology entitled Ambrosia, a collaboration with eight other poets, soon to be released by OWS Ink, LLC. All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. More information can be seen here. http://ourwriteside.com/ambrosia-ows-ink-poetry-anthology/
Mondays I wear fundamental black.
For patient beginnings.
Close to the border, I wake up
in a dusty existence
by a window without curtains.
I rehearse the war,
the growth of my frozen children,
the walking, the loving, the singularity.
I am born under surveillance and
to me all things appear significant;
the imperfect good intentions,
the miracles which exist only in books.
Maria Stadnicka is a writer, freelance journalist and lecturer. Winner of 12 Romanian National Poetry prizes, she worked as a radio and TV broadcaster. She has lived in Gloucestershire, England since 2003. Published poetry collections: O-Zone Friendly, A Short Story about War, Imperfect. http://www.mariastadnicka.com
After Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
So this about a dog
and an old friend and he
the old friend lost
his dog and now
he is walking.
He could not handle the loss of his four footed friend, his dog.
He was lost
and now with a new leash,
has a new lease on life.
And a little furry
tail that wags
and he is off around the
blocks in rain and wind.
He was so sad.
I am not saying getting a new
dog erases all the memories
of his old dog
but there he goes.
And there is almost
a smile on his
D.N. Simmers is an on line editor with Fine Lines. He is in the current Poetry Salzburg Review and the Common Ground Review. He is in two new anthologies and is on line in riverbabble, Wilderness House Literary Review and Whispers. He was in Van Gogh’s Ear, Paris France.
I was born to Dead-End!
A ‘Full Stop’ to an otherwise fertile line of ancestry.
A seedless apple
in a busy, blossoming orchard of growth and re-birth…
stuck inside my very own desert.
I can afford to buy the best perambulator in town,
but, will never actually need one…
that’s a lightning bolt to my pride and peace of mind
which I never fail to feel the terrible shock of.
I have stopped frequenting Public Parks
on warm, sunny afternoons… it’s simply torture.
Beaches, in the Summer months, give me soul-vertigo
and bring on desperate urges to self-harm…
the false gateway between my spiteful legs,
the quagmire of my futility, that bastard, impotent thing
which brings me pain instead of pleasure
which I can prune and piss through… but, never actually farm.