Saturday, April 18, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems


All the gestures she
used to repel evil
spirits, projected auras,
embodied voices speaking
variant tongues, were
of no use, insufficient
for the task of banishing
the one she was in
need of most, an unfriendly
servant of the distilled
ones, he who was denying
her service, jet fuel for
an internal rocket launch
she was determined must have
to leave the current, mundane
gravitational pull of sobriety
or so she seemed to be
saying, in an incredibly
roundabout way, eyes
glazing over, wide with
adrenaline, fears she can
no longer control, in total
denial of what was be said,
"You want to leave now?
or should I call 911 for
valet service?""Valet service!?
What are you talking about?"
"Handcuffs, strap down gurneys,
full body restraints, shots of
Halodol with Thorazine chasers---
you know, the usual stuff."
"You think you're so smart.
Just wait for the next full
Moon. I'll be back for you."
And she would be, fingernails
filed as claws, teeth as fangs,
the wind howling at her back.


Wherever it was
he'd been doing
time, there was
a premium paid
for head cases,
cold blood running
thin as the long
white scars that
would never com-
pletely heal on
his face as if
some wild thing
had tested its
claws for sharp-
ness there & a
demon had picked
the scabs off
at night from
each end creating
running sores down
his neck & forehead
where the black
eye patch sd.
CLOSED above
the socket where
the eye should have
been & what was
left in his mouth
like teeth was
gold capped, though
the spaces in be-
tween were black
crowns waiting to
be honed to a point
like those fingers
of his rattling
dollar coins on
the bar surely any-
thing they touched
would die a horrible
frostbitten death
Hell Hounds

"Do not eat anything in the underworld"

Wherever they had been,
their environment had treated
them in an unkind manner,
unless they were accustomed to
wearing clothes that had seen
the inside of forest fires, lakes
of industrial wastes that could
only be encountered wading,
knee deep, through concrete
sewage pipes into culverts
where stagnant runoff bred
mutant insects, plants resistant
to every known defoliant,
every toxic killer spray
currently in use.  Surviving
these ordeals had made their skins
tougher than rawhide: sunburnt
and cracked where thin coats of
muscle, sinew, flesh covered
bone met their clothes that had stiffened
into something like denim armor,
layers that glowed in the dark with
a strange phosphorescent aura of
other worldliness that made their
eyes mostly off-white with pale
shaded liver spotting where irises
should have been, their black tongues
flicking broken stubs instead of teeth,
their breath a visible waste cloud
as they hissed something about a
powerful, more than one keg of beer
thirst, a kind of smile on the desiccated
strips of skin where their lips should
have been, their cheeks the last firewall
of resistance for what burned inside.

John Pursch- Two Poems

Antoinette the Unfurled

She were an inveterate liar from day one,
hull the whey through gradient school
of minority fledgling ink retardant fish mechanics,
to chesty right of your every nocturnal daydream,
stumbling in misappropriated gumdrop milk bottle
stoolie spansules of hopelessly caressed soap dish
legal fruitcake surprise raids.

Her confidantes were all simple farmhands,
existing in dubiously simultaneous rat traps
of fire escape jungle chop suey lingerie commotion,
devoted to antiseptic notational blues of pall bearer
shock resistance masterpiece triage interludes,
conjoined at chopped porpoise measuring flan
torpedo feather proving groins by hobbled alien
Ferris wheels.

How a man could ever have munched
a shucked and solemn indemnified charity
for such lowbrow and ostensibly purposeful
an action figurine as Antoinette the Unfurled
Screech of Diabolical Cordite Menses
is so tarred and bulimically scratched
to bullfrog salamander salami swami stupa
schlock as to tender feet for pavement dues,
in trebled publican nudie galleries,
soiled to caterwauling fish rag sarcasm junkies
in flexing glass erector suits on washboard alley
bailiwick ablution headquarters just south of
slanted bollocks biscuit shoots of bamboozled
bubonic choke points.

Umbilical Flotilla

Bleary quiet mumbling chunks of human waste
erosion shots impaled our spacecraft sidebar
lollipops with ladled lobe deflection mantras,
toiling surreptitiously till thimbles cried a
troweled dear certificate of silken sinkhole
sap secretion’s classic flyer lossage streak
down thigh lunge pewter’s importuning
opulence to cold cream petulance to mossy
mixer beeswax bunk bed shellfish amplitude
of crawdad feasibility in nightshade denouement.

Hemmed showers curtailed paws into tensor overload,
fixing crabby cesspool collapse with old cry stairwell
topsoil pleats of plaintive skyline humping blackout
Sterno peaks and ontological eruptive cinders,
bent in mutinous backlog.

Hats evoked my cranial engraving sire’s imperial tie dye turban,
toppling a one-eyed swordfish into winking elbow halter moons
beneath a British sunset.

Sanded yetis posed for flowing fantail blitz bereavement spunk
in beveled spender comedy endowment jeans of caustic pliers,
torn pajama cookie trikes, and hortatory embassy police.

He paused to conquer shaven city sea lane apple
clapboard talismans of taut religious derrieres,
flexing prostitution welts in elevated train
shot dateline smudge coulisse,
spent wickedly for daylight traipse parades.

The curtain rose on yet unaltered plethora
of morbid hulk Cyrillic coverall repellant fleas
in dubious enchantment chard’s umbilical flotilla,
casting yawns from epiglottal foxhole teeth to coxswain gel
to grossly underestimated prose coyote taste bud grease
to sympathetic liner grout of salient and mordant peculation.

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in many literary journals. A collection of his poetry, Intunesia, is available at Check out his experimental lit-rap video at He’s @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Alan Catlin-Three Poems

The Avenging Angel
What she perceives
as a low, sexy voice
slightly hyped by
high test speed is
a sound as if
from beyond
the grave, a banshee
wail, savage keening
from the darkest
point inside
the occluded soul,
something from inside
the rock of her heart,
withdrawn from
circulation & pressed
in vinyl, re-
mastered as long
playing CD selections,
two cuts for a
buck, her remaining
life force a garish,
object among neon
embers, spiraling,
variegated among
lost schematic patterns
of virtual light.
The Black Hole
He looked as if
his brain had
been sand blasted
clean of all
thoughts, memories
& ideas, all
the blood drained
from his body
& replaced by
a liquid that
smelled vaguely
of formaldehyde,
claimed to be
a true denizen
of the night
in need of
the elixir of
life, sat smoothing
out an incredibly
wrinkled Gold
Certificate twenty
dollar bill
on the scarred
surface of the bar
with an inane
grin on his face
that seemed to
suggest he expected
service sometime
in the not too
distant future.
White Sickness
He looked as if
he had been kept
in cold storage
hanging upside down
by his ankles
by some creature
like The Thing,
all the blood
had drained from
his body and re-
filled by a team
of misguided, well
meaning scientists
who substituted
ethanol for his vital
fluids, primed his
artificial heart until
all systems were Go
and sent him back
on the streets moving
by rote animal robotics,
completely without
motivation or purpose
except for a deeply
instilled prime directive
endlessly repeating
through the snowblind
static of his alcohol
soaked brain, Go Forth
and Procreate, a purity
of purpose hard to
deny, drawn as we was
like a moth is to flame.

John Pursch- A Poem

Spankle Spunky Two-Reward
Savory hovering parakeets
isolate striated pheasant appendectomy cures
for worming caricatures
of residential stocking souffles,
calmly canonized in basket blur routines
as Spankle Spunky Two-Reward,
the Bubble-Faced Rabies Kitchenette Sailor
(an idolized and cranked-over
waste can antic purveyor
from seedless Cotton War bag
munchy fetish police).
He rode from Ding Dong dusky
daily noontime slouch showers
to cemetery egg fog cooler rostra
in stale night mustard chalice entrecotes
of truly known incendiary nomenclature,
spying rudely on deboned hysteria tycoons
from oaken lonely wholesome tributaries
of the Minty Mess o’ Simply Apoplectic
Flunky Satiation Choice Brigade;
always swearing,
hunchback hind a-blazing,
wracked by cue ball keratosis,
keyed to pseudopodal tonal halls
of bulky malefactor cruising steeds
in salivating trains of chunky purple,
bent in awful hurling siren sanction
underwear deployment interregnum
nightmare standoff.

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. His work has been nominated for Best of the Net and has appeared in many literary journals. A collection of his poetry, Intunesia, is available at Check out his experimental lit-rap video at He’s @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Neil Fulwood- A Poem

Rating the Hotel California on TripAdvisor
No vacancies at the Heartbreak Hotel
and Lonely Street a dead end:
a coat of paintwork in it
backing the RV up to the intersection.
Two limeys failing at the American dream.
It didn’t appeal, another night
kipping among the redwoods, no water
or sani-dump or electricity hook-up.
Another morning stripped to the waist
over a sink the size of a cereal bowl,
upper torso, pits, the quick scrape
of a half-arsed shave. We were after
a hotel, a motel, a cheap room
above a liquor store, anywhere
with a functioning shower and a toilet
that operated on some other principle
than chemical deconstruction.
It was a desert highway, dark, something
rising up from the road or the earth
in a warm haze. A slow lazy guitar line
unspooled from the radio. In the distance
a sound like a carillon, but nothing
for miles around to suggest a church,
a monastery, anything with a belltower.
The parking lot shimmered
like a swimming pool. The concierge
had the smile of a pimp being interviewed
by the Grim Reaper.
The lobby ululated. The bellboy
didn’t look like he even knew what
a Lambretta was. The carpets
were patterned like Kubrick.
The room was 70s Euro-cheese horror,
Edwige Fenech promising heaven
before a mask with a straight-razor
straight-up ends you. The revelries
in the courtyard are best not mentioned.
The night porter’s vaguely Germanic lisp
bothered us. We only figured on staying
the one night. That was a while ago.
Checking out is like something from Kafka. 

My brief third person bio: Neil Fulwood was born in 1972, the son of a truck driver, the grandson of a miner. For some weird reason, he started writing poetry. Even more weirdly, some of it's been published.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Michael Keshigian- Three Poems


Just hung there, above the horizon,
watching space rocks fly by,
donning a wry smile
against the darkened backdrop
in anemic white garb,
resembling a freshly cut fingernail
found on the black desktop.
I tossed my cap
towards the lower point of the crescent
beyond reach of the trees,
landing it gracefully,
like a frisbee on a finger,
how did the cow jumped over
this slightly cocked glow
without bumping its head
on the unseen portion?
The iridescent float winked
to share such sport,
but startled I turned
to watch the cat
play the fiddle
till the dish came home
with the spoon.


As twinkling stars
and rotating planets
in florescent pencil
erase themselves
in the bright morning light,
the winter moon
abandoned by night,
hovers ashen
in the blue cube
and casts its disposition
without assisting
in the onslaught
of illumination.


Born at a specific time
in a specific place,
minute gasps of life
floating within the giant arteries
of universal flow,
the mammoth
sauntering slowly outward
envelopes us all
and thrives on the nourishment
provided by minute creatures
to sustain its existence
beyond numbers
we can barely fathom,
epochs of the continuous saga
studiously chronicled
in paper packages of cumulative scribbling
to eventually be ingested.

Michael Keshigian’s ninth poetry book, Dark Edges was released September, 2014 by Flutter Press. He has been widely published in numerous national and international journals most recently including Poesy, The Chiron Review, California Quarterly, Poppy Road Review and has appeared as feature writer in over a dozen publications with 5 Pushcart Prize and 2 Best Of The Net nominations. (

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Denny E. Marshall- Three Haiku

Invisible man
Breaks into my house last night
Give clear description

Martians seen future
Move all to the new planet
Unoccupied Earth


Now intelligence’s
May contain artificial

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, & fiction published, some recently. To see more of his works visit