Two Poems by Danny D Ford

She’s Gone

She’s gone to Milan
and left her perfume in the closet
sweet cheek and neck
hanging with the coats
Her hoodie lies crumpled
in the bidet
it’s clean enough to do that
she tells me
but I know
I wash my balls in there
I don’t know when she’ll be back
I have a faint idea
until then
I’ll just have to walk the rooms
checking the curtains to see
if any of her warmth
still creeps from the window
where she stood before lunch


There’s a town we pass often
called Bellano
which literally translates as
‘beautiful asshole’
No one around here finds it funny
Now in my time
I’ve been fortunate enough
to have opened
some sublime slender
to have pulled panties
from tight, smooth
to have stared into infinite
and to have kissed what felt like the cheeks
of God
I’ve never seen a view like this
the trees, the lake, the mountains
I guess
whoever named this town
had been more fortunate than I

Monday Morning 7:05 AM by Ted Jackins

These are the days
When all I want to
Do is lay the needle
Down on Bitches Brew,
Side two,
And throw open every
Window so that the
Sounds of the slowly
Falling rain gets
Lost in the faint
Crackle of the speakers.
I'll light a cigarette,
And sit by idle
On the couch
With my coffee
And my woman
As the cats chase
Buzzing insect
Intruders under
The kitchen table,
And for one brief
Moment not have
To worry about the
Slowly piling bills
Or whether or not
I'll be late
For work,
As the last gasps
Of summer fade
Into the run out
Grooves of
My periphery.

Pussy by Amanda Harris

You write about as well as I did
when I was six–
with your use of animals
and your need to make
every goddamn
thing you write
in the shape of an animal-
My friends think I shouldn’t
hate your guts,
but they’re nice people.
They don’t know what
it feels like
to look at a poem
and want to
gouge your eyes out
with fire.
For months, I’ve
been trying to forget
you exist.
I trashed my library.
I attacked my computer
with a blowtorch.
Every time I got in bed
to write or fuck though,
I thought of your bad words
and your bad sex
and it’s no wonder
a woman like me would
say such angry things
when the literary world
is contaminated
with men who
can’t fuck,
can’t write.

In which my Puritan ancestor visits me in a waking dream by Thomas R. Thomas

and another thing, you’re just dressed in a t-shirt.

but I’m home alone in my couch.

but it’s shameful. God will condemn you,

God doesn’t care what I wear at home.

and you should be ashamed

well, you might have something there. I don’t have the body
of a thirty year old,

of yourself and cover your shame.

and I can’t imagine God made this body, and look at you
you’re just a skeleton in a Puritan outfit.

Well, I’m dead you know.

That you are, and besides some nights even a t-shirt is too
much clothing, but I can’t take it off all because of you
damn puritans - thank you very much.

You’re welcome.

That’s one thing you Puritans gave to America.


Shame, thank you very much.

You’re welcome. What’s America?

Pow Wow by Bud Smith

other people don't understand
our window, washing machine
the trick to the shower
how to force open the broken
cellar door, cabinet, closet
where to find our condoms
secret fact, there are none
they can't stand in our doorways
even, and sigh how we can
or find the other shoe
the secret sugar, the pink candles
playing cards, remote controls
maps to wherever the dog ran
wish I knew too
our sheets could use more bleach
and our cops need to get laid
in this development, our fortunes
are invested in beer
we raise our fortunes to you
as you walk up the driveway
thanks for coming to visit
tell me about some things
I could never

Two Poems by Marc Olmsted

Vegan Lollipop 

she wants to be approached
she doesn't want the trim hipster beards
she wants trouble with her blue hair
vegan lollipop
the next big thing
glowing phones
has somebody called?
getting older
it's in the crowd
a pestilence
the next big thing
nobody won
hands of vapor
cigarette ruins
Poe's "Red Death"
"...dominion over all."

di Prima B-day

Hook knife suspended by itself

Poetry benefit - those who don't come send the most money

The silence is deafening
the gap between words
drive a truck through

between worlds
enlightened society flickers

here you are 80

Dharmic yammer
Political rant
Kitchen sink practice

Two Poems by Kevin Ridgeway

Cock-Blocked by Robert Stack and the Pillsbury Doughboy

twelve years old
and lying flat on the
pink fuzzy bath mat
of the only bathroom
in the house,
the sink running
two feet resting against
the door, a pair of
Wrangler jeans wrapped
around twin ankles,
a wrinkled picture
of Barbara Stanwyck
in a negligee
cut out of a movie
magazine taped
on the wall at eye level,
hard at work and

there is a loud
knock at the door.
my mother asks if
I am alright.

Yes, I yell back.

she asks me to hurry,
that Unsolved Mysteries
is about to come on.

at work fast.
Stanwyck sneers
with absolute
disgust as I am
just about to--

another knock and
hollers to hurry.
the creepy music and
Robert Stack's voice
ruin everything.

I walk out with my
Fred Flintstone t shirt
stretched to conceal
the miniature failure while
the Pillsbury Doughboy
giggles with delight from
a commercial; I bet his
mother gave that little
bastard plenty of time to
finish up.

The Macauley Culkin Lookalike Contest

you've got the goods, kid
the talent agent told me
after I wowed him with
a monologue from
Eddie and the Cruisers 2:
Eddie Lives!
and all his fellow
agents agreed that I
could very well be
the next tow-headed
miniature billion
dollar franchise
to sink
his Velcro shoes
in Chinese Theatre
concrete, immortalized
forever in between
Ethel Merman and
Billy Dee Williams

my hair was saturated
in Sun-In for each casting
call, where me and hundreds
of other kids ran our lines
from the same three page
scene in competition for
the coveted role as
Alan Thicke's son
in a sitcom pilot,
which I came very close
to landing but they
complained that I was too
reminiscent of Macauley,
which all of the casting
directors said until I called
it quits.

my headshot still greets
me from mother's wall,
a stark reminder that I
am a generic label
knockoff, one of
thousands of bastard
Culkins who never
amassed fortunes or
hung out with Michael
Jackson and Bubbles,
only to grow up to have
kids at Jamba Juice tell
them they look like
the fat guy from
The Hangover.

Two Poems by Joel Landmine

Extended Metaphor

I’ve heard of these shamanic “power animals.”
Power animals are supposed to represent a person's connection to all life, their qualities of
character, and their power.

Bullshit modern people
have adopted a bullshit version
of this totemic belief.

Except these bullshit modern people
just make up their own
and pretend they’ve always had it,
that it means something to them.

So I’ve given it some thought,
and decided to join them.
I’m as full of shit as the next guy.

My power fucking animal

is the snail.
That means something to me.

Sometimes I Think the Fates Are Just Shitty Kids Shoving Firecrackers Up Cats’ Asses 
and Lighting Bags Of Shit On Fire On Your Stoop

“I have a dentist appointment
tomorrow at one.
Please, please, leave before or after that.
Please don’t leave me while I’m sitting at
the fucking dentist’s,
with those protective glasses
and that little fucking bib
I don’t think I can bear it.”

It was the last thing I ever asked of her.

“Oh baby,”
she cooed sweetly, kissing my scowling mouth,
“of course I can do that.
You know I wouldn’t do that to you!”

And guess what?

Two Poems by Cassandra Dallett


I’d been walking along in the afternoon sun
when his fist hit my sternum
ripped my shirt open.
Reaching up I feel my chain still there.
That’s what he was after
but he’d missed.

I held my shirt closed,
felt a little raped.
He was gone before I could yell, or turn, or run after him
just a blur behind me
standing at Seventh and Mission
fingering my saved Herringbone
the top ripped open on my fly black shorts outfit
printed gold with Egyptians
there was nothing to do, no reason to call,
I lived with the Police
was out on a pass
from The Sherriff’s Work Furlough Program
what could I do but keep walking
Seventh Street is always bad news
the path to the VD clinic
or the police station

I crossed the street by the new jail construction
head to the Swap building.
Wonder at the fact that, though I have nothing
I have something
I‘m kind of homeless these days
since my surrender.
I live in custody but this piece of gold on my neck
a gift from a married man
is something,
someone else wants enough to take off my body
the day’s light cools
I sign in at the deputies’ desk
head back to the ladies dorm
throw my fly ass Egyptian short suit in the trash.

Open Containers

At dusk I’m dreaming country roads and pick up trucks
places I ran away from long ago
my bare feet on the dash
jean cut-offs leave thighs burning dusty vinyl
some dirty white boy behind the wheel gripping me one handed like a beer

Every summer these fantasies come
I close my eyes in traffic
will myself to another time
on a bed of moss under a canopy of green
where rain thunders through the hot build up
not like here where air keeps thickening but stays dry
the grass all yellow parched matchstick
not like here in drought city waiting to combust

I need at least a week with no rules or phones or interwebs
late nights empty bottles roll the floor
crickets fill the spaces warm enough to lie under
the speckled dome above us and he will worship me
hold me weightless in cold spring water
mud between our toes cat tails guarding us

why does everything have to go.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 by Joseph Hargraves

Leaves of bonsai Bodhi droop
    Over computer screen. Buddha
        Of bronze under Norfolk pine.

Christmas cactus un-bloomed.
    Dead English ivy turning
        To dust. I touched the quill on

Saint John of the Cross
    Statue. In monastery
        Where it was made

They poked a finger bone
    Of San Juan de la Cruz’s
        Onto the plaster poet.

T.S. Eliot Reading “The Wasteland”
    On Youtube:

From the past
    And hot coffee
        As I wait to turn to ash.

Fit for a mummy by Ben John Smith

She hated the way
I made the bed

I had put the sheet
Over the pillow
Like they do in hotels

"I hate it"she said

The Egyptians
Used to build
For the dead
So they could sleep

A man can't always
Please a single
Let alone
The whole fucking

I never made the
Bed again.

Just left all the
Sheets in a bundle
On the mantras

Man can't please
A woman
By making
A bed

Egyptians don't build pyramids
For the dead
Any more


saturday night london basement
escaped mothers dance like strippers with staring fakesters
and me
i’m moody drunk and high
staring down at the Kickers and box fresh Converse
some nobody saying
to my dead face of whisky misery-thunder
cab rolls us south in silence
and it is like magnets – our hands
i can’t not – tho i shouldnt
and its ok - i think i am helping you
and anyway we’re all having breakdowns really
and then we’re drinking more
under the Heathrow flight paths
and you fall asleep on me
i got one arm to drink with – reach for the valium with
and i wake you at dawn
for drunkards breakfast
unfinished toast
i leave with no job and half the bus fare
and really i wasn’t helping at all
having breakdowns really

"poetry reading" by Steve Calamars

I walk into the convenience store.  I have a book of poems by Todd Moore and a snub-nose 38’ in the pockets of my pea-coat.  I can either select a poem
or the gun.  I go for the gun and pull it from a pocket in a single silvery flash.  The barrel is resting snuggly against the cashier’s forehead.  His face slips
into transparency and his eyeballs seem to shiver.  I extend my free hand, fingers open, palm up.  He opens the register and places a stack of green bills on my hand like a pedestal.  I pocket the money.  I cock the hammer of the 38’.  He stops breathing.  I slide the barrel from his forehead and squeeze the trigger two inches from his temple.  The bullet shatters a glass cabinet behind him filled with cigarettes.  I pocket the 38’ and pull out the poems.  I read him 2; short, fast, violent.  I pocket the poems and walk out.  As I go, I know the poems didn’t leave an impression, nearly as deep as the blistering white ringing in his ears—

Four Poems by Rob Plath


you can feel lost
in yr own room
don’t let the four
walls fool you
& what good’s
the lamplight?
it might as well
be pitch dark
& yr ready
to scream
but then yr cat
jumps on the bed
& you feel her
heart beneath
the ball of yr thumb
& suddenly yr
home again



when yr demons
are all alone
sleeping on a cot of fire
in a barracks in hell
they’re tortured
by visions of you
happily drinking tea
& stroking yr cat
the morning light
illuminating yr clean
& manageable wounds



i sit on the hood of my 21-year-old car
for the last time
beneath a cloudless blue late september sky
it was already 14 years old when i acquired it
but every time something busted i’d fix it
i remember the mechanic once saying,
“it’s like you adopted an abandoned, beaten, old horse
covered in bandages…”
but it gave back in return
& held more loyalty than all my dead loves
i’d sit in the driveway some evenings
gently patting the dashboard
thanking the guts of the old engine
for pulling me thru those days like razors
& nights like jaws of nails
yes, these lines are for you, old boy



i painted my
goddamn blues

& then gessoed
the hell out of
my fucking darkness

historia by Jasmine Aequitas

i am quite drunk
the sounds of my elders
swirl around my ears
as i sit
on my fire escape

just another girl
from brooklyn

their spanish
is a relic
of my own

like warm milk
the crying
i find
in my chest

i smoke
my cigarette
and whisper
mi vieja

i am my
grandmother's daughter
and i drink to you


you are
my story

we always
a story
this way

and a search
for home

never knowing
how it will end

but i drink
look to the sky

how to make
home out of ash

even with
skewed accent
and broken word
raspy throat

smoke and memory
are a dream
not yet finished

About a Film by Chad Grant‏

Mark Rothko’s used razor
Etched a Prozac smile
On life’s concluding face
Allan waits for his Lolita
Of the Guggenheim
Questions to
A girl about
About a painting.
When finally inquiring about
Her plans
She sighs
And gives him
Abstract expression
As if he could
See right through her

Three Poems by Jeremiah Walton


you are my 5:15 sunset
you are my 5:30 burning lungs
you are my 5:45 face buried in the sand
seeing what chicken ostriches breath
you are my 6:00 death
you are my soul
possessing my body
you just killed the earth for Moonlight.


pulling rich men on camels through needles
the sigh of a thousand humans crumples all attempts to write love letters
cynicism stirs the sky line to suicides to scary to try
what a beautiful place I have found in a dream circling around the sun
bite marks on my shoulders will not fade
I won't let them
I want them to be there
for if any other woman touches them
they shall know my heart is not theirs to touch
they shall not touch it
I've remembered something soft
I've remembered a dream where a young girl possessed by my soul kills me
I remember sitting out front of Starbucks chain smoking wifi
then the young girl refuses rope and my soul ditches her in the starucks
to possess my body
the baristas didn't notice and kept frapping
I found two people who thought they were jesus
put them in a booth together
and they became one god
a bank built for robbing
impassioned silliness forced to get laid
curlicues of hair turn to snakes
o, it's just my soul's surreal clothing speaking again
put on your sunday shoes and masturbate quietly to get over the sunday shoes

Person -
from Latin persona
'actor's mask, a character in a play'
'human being'.

even if a mask
I've remembered something soft.


printing poetry onto slabs of beef
o well,
who needs ink
it was sort of bourgeois to begin with.

Three Poems by Mike Meraz

She comes into
The room
And sees all the
Empty wine
Spread all over the
On the fridge
In the
Trash can
She asks,
What’s the matter?
Is everything

You reply,
Things have
Never been

She looks at you
Happy and
At the


In New Orleans
I gained
15 lbs.
Grew a beard
Let myself

I was like a
Dead Jim Morrison
Walking the

Later to be
Put on

Later to be
Put on the

To be read


I look
At those
Who hold
As a

I am

Under its

And seeking

Apex Predators and Sunhats by Ryan Quinn Flanagan‏

The birds

fly in formation
on military

Past my tenth floor condo
in the Florida

Over hash
and eggs
and freshly squeezed

As the tiger sharks
in the surf
mistake the boogie boards
for seals

and act

Two Poems by Michael Ashley‏

Rising Demons

they are not red and muscular
but translucent and piss-thin,

they don't howl or scream
but sigh softly in my inner ear,

they take flight, not with a shadow
-bearing wingspan, but silently

their horns, like obelisks, push up
through the the earth

silver, plastic, painted in a factory
in central china, smelling of £land

if I were a lesser being I'd have shit
myself by now, instead I just smile.

Take nothing from the hatch

we have something you don't here,
a simplicity like open fires
and liquor hot down our throats,

the hole is filled with flesh
feathers, dead pigeons
a warm smile from close relatives,
a scribbled out paragraph
on the final page of long novel

the sharp edge of your elbow
cutting into my ribs,
eyes and teeth, a smirk
a snarl, your hot breath in my face.

Paddy Murphy’s Ode to OCD by Donal Mahoney

Lad, this stuff
has got to stop,
this standing
in the washroom wiping
till the tissue
comes back free
of any fleck of what some
forty wipes ago
it first went after.
Lad, the stuff is there;
it’s always there.
Forget it now.
Rewrite your poems.


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