Two Poems by Sarah Ahm


The salt in your eyes drips
rolling on your right cheek
a whole world of merry demons
as I drown,
pushing my way deep in the miser ocean.


The summer breaks
shattering light,
rays burn
the likelihood of a smile
as barrenness fondles my hand.

Three Poems by Ford Dagenham


steel planes scratch straight white flames over the sky.
placing the coffee cup on a chair I pull the chair nearer

out here in castle grounds the quiet of mowers and the fence kids loud cries of fun and quick horror
The Sun Is Hot.

pages flare with nuclear glare and when the clock says
5 or 6 or 7 or 8 I will drink something harder.
lonely and empty things riot on the borders of plastic zen.

quiet finger-winds blow on yellow brick outside.
this forms an ambient movie I call
stare at the phone ringing like a fool in a movie
I call Black And White Coda.


hammers from hard ground going at it in my head.
of howling dogs today.

whisky hangover again I never learn.

near gone gin bottle falling off the fridge
left index toe.

I say
28 times

then open some wine


work in a hospital eye always out for a compassionate and giving nurse
but even all the rough and large ones have dull and bald men
them off in the morning.

Teeth. by Devlin De La Chapa

The movie star scribbled autographs, posed for pictures, shook hands with his counter elite, then
he went home and drank himself into a stupor. He despised his life. He loathed his wife. But he
loved his teeth. They were ultra white. Sleek. And perfect. His climb to stardom began in a “Close-
up” toothpaste commercial. His decline in stardom happened when he “air-jerked-off” while in a
rock band to a crowd of misspent youths who’s mama’s and papa’s tried to sue him for everything
he didn’t have. After a year of drinking and falling and getting back up, he stumbled into an agency
to beg the receptionist for a five to buy a forty but ended up signing a contract worth thousands
instead when the agent behind the receptionist jerked-off to the magnificence of his teeth. He was
now able to buy every forty in the liquor store around the corner.

New Job in a Small Office by Donal Mahoney

Third day on the new job and Sue calls.
Will I hurry home and sit with our daughter
while she runs with Sean to the doctor.

I tell the boss why I’m leaving.
He says too bad about the boy and calls
the timekeeper who marks his ledger

and begins to keen for the parents
and for the deaf mute bobbing in the back room
stuffing envelopes and licking them.

I’m four tiles away from the front door
when my co-workers rise from their desks,
zipping their flies, changing their tampons.

They sing, a cappella,
“We’re all going with you.”
Except for the receptionist

who is eight months pregnant.
Her nails are chipping,
her ankles are swelling.

She sits all day, eyes
on the switchboard, ears in receivers,
her stomach a zeppelin

a moment from lift-off.
When the others rush out the door
it’s too much: She screams, throws her

breasts in the air like beach balls
and cries, “What soul among you cares:
For months my vagina’s been itching.”

Three Poems by John Tustin


Little Chinese chicks in striped socks
on their way to school
away from me

Young teachers
in flimsy summer dresses
taking my baby
walking away from me

The rainbow of high school girls
outside Dunkin Donuts
chattering, waving their hands
silken legs, animated faces
turning their heads
away from me

On the bus
on the street
in the window
white and peach
and yellow
and brown and brown

As I age
as I wither
as I ponder
as my eyes darken
in dim energy and inactivity
they turn further and further
away from me


I’ve never been to prison.
Never been locked up.

Never been on the streets.
Or had a tooth knocked out.

Never had cancer.
Never been in the hospital overnight.

But I have been married.
And that’s hard time.


There’s a madman in my skin
picking at the scabs
needling the scars
fingering the sores

There’s a madman in my clothes
getting jerked off by whores
hating them
calling them bitches under our breath

There’s a madman behind my eyes
eating subtle poisons
popping pills
not sleeping

There’s a madman in my bed
leaving come stains
and half-formed thoughts
obsessed with legs
with feet
with lips with hips
with eyes with thighs

There’s a madman beneath my heart
scratching our balls
talking to ourself
singing the same songs
to earless heads
to blank expressions
to canceled faces

There’s a madman in my smile
wearing a mask the world cannot look through
we cannot see beyond
eyes wrapped in gray gauze
with barely the strength
to hug the kids goodnight

There’s a madman in my skin
dying to get out
dying to die

Two Pieces by Michael Frissore


They order scotch on the rocks until they shit Michelangelo’s David. He glances Wanna fuck, she
does a Groucho Marx impression using the tampon that fell out of her purse. There are dirt and
leaves all over the floor of his room, and a refrigerator, no door. In the kitchen he bends over
like her father – head first into the open oven. Like his own father. She can’t win here. She
spanks him and says Move over.


Her moustache is sexier than any man’s, including Rollie Fingers. Many hover, wanting to pluck,
thinking it’s painted on. Others ask her where Higgins and TC are. Still others are her son, her
mechanic, people who gave her blumpkins before she became a she. Their hands retreat, hoping
her ‘stache won’t eat their beards. She laughs because she knows this is a Woody Allen line.
Still it hurts because that’s how she lost her beard.

Two Poems by Zach Wilson

Can I Buy Salvation With A Visa?


God says,
cash only.

And Donne says reason is our soul's left hand,
faith her right.

That makes me a paraplegic,
soul bled out from the screams
of my mother's womb.
Circumcision truly is a bitch.

And if final hope is
indeed flat despair;
I've been sleeping
in the palm of Armageddon
for far too long.

Don't wake me,
I'll find my way back
to the crumbs of this
clumsy living
with a hand. - Yes,
thats all
anyone needs.
I flat-lined at hello
and waned
at goodbye.


Break a line,
maybe of poetry,
or geometric
Break a line of power,
emanating electricity
or one of corruption.
Break a line of formation,
one of warfare,
or intellectual paradigms.
Break a line of genealogy,
or the expectation that follows.

For the art
of Breaking
is a freedom,

and Point A to Point B
is shortest distance
to nowhere.

Three Poems by Paul Hellweg

Reading Bukowski Backwards

It’s been said we read to know
we’re not alone. Hungover,
breakfast at Mike’s Diner,
chipped-cup coffee, black, strong,
bring it on, bring it on.
Tried reading my favorite poet backwards,
caffeinated fields of asphodel,
my beloved skid row elocutionist
read like a Jedi Master, green,
wisdom for now, truth for the ages.
From the poem, the last winter:
“Now long too
waited have I,
on it bring, on it bring,
agree can we now ...”
Up, down, backwards, forwards,
direction matters little,
poetry inspires, words resonate.
Seeking affinity anywhere, I’m desperate
for the one and only message
every spirit craves, every soul needs, and
until I find it, I’d like another cup of coffee
and one more good poem, black, strong.

Breakfast at the Local Diner

Attractive young women peddling death,
cholesterol, bane of arteries young and old,
refined carbs, ticket to front-row seat
at the next diabetes fund-raiser.
Bacon, eggs, pancakes,
ample butter, extra syrup,
delectable as the servers,
sweet, friendly, earnest,
low-cut uniforms,
Wonder Bread breasts and
leave-me-a-big-tip eyes.
I only go there hungover,
these days all too frequent,
the artery-clogging fare and
a twenty-something’s smile
antidote to life’s pain.
This morning, that is enough.

God Is On Our Side, but Where’s Buddha?

June 1968, year of the Monkey,
mud-brick hooch thatched with rice straw,
dirt floor, dirt yard,
yellow-skinned babe toddling bottomless,
defecating anywhere, anytime the urge arises,
mama-san rushing over,
dangling babe by arms,
no Pampers, just mongrel mutt
delighted to eat the mess and lick clean
blissful baby butt.

Seeing that, on routine patrol,
armed with M-16s and
all the best firepower technology had yet
been able to muster,
we gagged and berated and condemned,
but mostly gagged.
They’re the Other, we thought, not one of us.
We’re civilized,
we have disposable diapers choking our landfills
and a proper sense of shame
when it comes to bodily functions,
not to mention B-52s capable of bombing
this shithole country back into the Stone Age.

June 2011, year of the Hare
three boilermakers thus far tonight,
desire strong to write a poem based on
the theme of forgiveness, but
whom do I forgive?
Them, for shooting me, or
myself, for allowing all that horror
into my life?
What I really needed was sufficient courage
to just say “No thank you, Sir”
when my dear uncle Samuel
requested my attendance
at his then current tea party,
the one in Southeast Asia,
3.5 million human beings destined to die
for the sake of our myopic national interests.
Old, young, male, female, babes without diapers,
they were the Other, them, not us, but
most of “them” didn’t have
the option to say no,
not when we brought the war
to their doorsteps and
didn’t even knock before entering.

Two Poems by Mike Meraz

Somewhere Between God And The Devil

somewhere between God and the devil
each man searches
for his own niche, his own groove
in the pavement of life.
(some find it, some don't).

somewhere between God and the devil
each woman searches for a man
who has found his own niche, his own groove
in the pavement of life.
(some find him, some don't).

Cheap Ass Poem On A Friday Night Because I Was Bored

this is my
"now I'm really pissed off" hair cut
and these are my
"never been in your room" shoes
and this is my
"everywhere but in the national publications" pen
and these are my
"never will be immortal" thoughts
being read by your
"how does he get away with this shit" eyes.

For Gram Parsons by Melanie Browne

Tonight I decorate
my bar with paper lanterns,
and listen to The Burrito Brothers’
Dark end of the street

I finish off a Bud Light
and staple the
last glowing orb in place

I stare up at
The lanterns,
their colors like
a dirty cantina

paper devils,
ominous and dangerous,
throw our silhouettes
around the room,

each one becomes
Spinning off
Into the wilderness,

until it’s
only the night,
the imaginary stars,
and more
luke-warm beer

Twisted Or The 1,287 Word Sentence In William Faulkner's Absalom! Absalom! by Catfish McDaris

I sat trying to think of titles

Pop That Thang
Pop That Ugly Thang
Jackalope Mambo
Mezcalito Mambo
Magpie Jones
Wolfman Funk
Naked Tattoo Douchebag
The Douchebag Gargle
Fingerfucking The World
I'd Love To Eat Your Mother
Vagina Jones
Horsedick Mambo
Bald Pussy Itch
Pussy Fart Blues
Nipple Cunt Funk

Something else came about,
I knew Burroughs had used
guns & paint to create, I'd try
something with a twist like
Chubby Checker's peppermints

I wrapped 50 thumbtacks & 7
shotgun shells in a roll of
aluminum foil & surrounded it
with 8 cans of spray paint in
rainbow hues, then I placed

Sheets of canvas in all directions,
surrounding the microwave & I
juiced it up with an extension cord

Just before I could crank it, my lady
came home, I was cursed in 3
languages & my rocket never
left my pocket.

scribbling like a symphony by Steve Calamars

i feel these girls

out like rubik’s cubes

and then i feel them up

like braille picassos

almost reading their minds

i thumb thru their thoughts

and ear-mark their insecurities

getting inside their heads

i pour over past pains like

passports and catch a train

of thought straight to their hearts

where i piece together their

pensiveness like a puzzle

creating mental pictures of happiness

that thru their imaginations look

more like masterpieces and less

like the crudely traced knock-offs

they actually are—


About Me

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