Thursday, December 24, 2015

Alan Catlin- Three Poems

Don't Drink the Water

No subject was safe
with him, especially
the weather.
I watched as he worked
the aisle of the bus,
moving from seat to seat,
diagonally along the rows
attempting to engage
the unwary in conversation,
"Lousy weather we're
having, isn't it?
I'll bet you don't know
why either, it's them
weather satellites
the government's been
putting up in the sky.
Messes up the atmosphere,
that's really what
they're for, who do you
think they're called
weather satellites?
I'll bet you never
thought of that before
did you?  And that's not
the half of it.
The government's been
putting stuff in our
drinking water,
supposed to be for your
teeth but it makes
people crazy."
"That would explain
what happened to you,"
I said, "Wouldn't it?
I'll bet the moral
of the story is:
Don't Drink the Water."
"Who are you anyway?"
he asked me.
"A government agent
in disguise." I said.
He turned pure white,
pulled the stop rope,
muttering, "I think
I'll walk from now on."
I haven't seen him since.

The Grand Marshall of  Nowhere

Settling on the rickety, out of balance
bar stool, he said, “There’s a warrant
out for my arrest. On another planet.”
Most people making a statement
like that would be totally disregarded
under the assumption what he said
was just some obscure shock value,
in-the-moment thing or maybe
wishful thinking as in, “Hey, someone
out there, somewhere, wants me.”
Even if somewhere was some indefinable,
unrecognizable place in the cosmos,
and those doing the wanting were so
alien, we couldn’t begin to envision
what they were like and what they wanted
with him. Though we were welcome,
of course, to make a few wild guesses.
Maybe it was the way he looked,
that bold attempt to achieve instant recognition
that had largely succeeded. His look included
several outstanding features, not the least of
which were: a mostly shaved head,
now patched with stubble after inconsistent
attempts at grooming, remaining, exclamation
point waxed locks, stretched down the back
of his skull in a line, each dyed a garish neon-like:
red, blue, green, yellow. His mascara highlighted
eyes with tattooed tear drops at the edge leaking
red down  his pocked marked cheeks toward
leather vest and pants. Gothic scrolled lettering on
each forearm in black ink said : ZAK SABBATH.
His alternately gold capped and tobacco brown
stained teeth, had never been brushed in this
lifetime ,and an unhealthy cast to his unfocused
eyes, suggested the unnatural yellow tinted
iris implants hadn’t taken and his sight
was shaky at best, so when he spoke
it was to a moving shadow somewhere
behind the bar, “I expect they’ll be here
to pick me up soon.  Might as we have
something to drink while I wait.”
“Like a Brother from Another Planet.”
“Just like that.”
“Stay away from the jukebox, it’s been
“Oh, really?  What did they do to it?”
“God only knows.”
He looked over toward the wall recess
where the infernal machine sat, emitting
its timeless, neon glow.  His staring became
so fixed, so intent, you might think they
were communicating.
And maybe they were.
In their way.

Life Cycles

They are the worm people,
who sleep on funeral parlor castoffs,
barely worn sheets, a hundred hot rinses
could not remove the scent of death from,
an odor they wore like second skins,
peeling off as if once upon a time,
they’d spent too much time in the sun
and now all memory of it must be shed,
revealing an unnatural pallor of time spent
in airless caves, stagnant barroom holes,
inhaling each other’s stale breath,
rust flaking from unwashed-for-decades
hair, no longer dandruff, but something
scaled, bed bug sores or skin ulcerations,
partially healed, leaking fetid fluids they
share like communicable diseases,
drinking the welfare checks of long-dead
relatives they claim as alive, forging
signatures, census forms, keeping the bodies
on ice in deep freezer chests until the power
fails and a new life cycle begins.

John Pursch- Two Poems

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. Twice nominated for Best of the Net, his work 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.

The Ever-Falling Bomb

“Here I am,” she thought in green dissolving panes of spacetime burbles, flooding spontaneity within a pair of psychedelic booties, wiggling toes of epsilon against their soothing soles. Turned her head, surveyed the room, a kitchen in a Quonset hut, a woman cooking human food, another baby wailing on and on within a virtual dreamscape of cellular thunder, impressing sensory assumptions on newly prescient walls.

Her obviated shins are somewhat out of view beneath translucent thighs and now slip decades far ahead behind temporal wind afloat in activated time machine to Your Nuke deli newsstand pews in worship of the ever-falling bomb, creating every savory hour of ladled shop talk tugboat captain crew aloft in peopled transport saving yet another million borrowed souls from petrodollar insufficiency to fresh ideal endless bifurcation into treed domain dementia.

“There ya go, Lola. Isn’t that wonderful? Yes, say yes, dear,” soaring now in warm caress of mother’s full embrace, lighting up all circuits, reverts temporal slip to ground, zeroing to actuality obtained.


Kabuki gazes into offshore fog of hazelnut emphatic youth, contemplating life on ordinary planets, praying for reprieve from prosecution.

“What have I to fear, anyhow? In the futile analysis, planned pubescent mutation devolves to feline feeding frenzies well below the surfeit of piebald tire irons, thrivers, and trundling incendiary devotees of screw-top inner psyches, inertial boxcar pilots, and flawed phlegmatic Romeos in crawling chrome of corridor corrosion, stifling any meal hurrahs for subtle wisdom innuendo, pushed calmly into oncoming traffic.”

He expects no answer, being a thoroughly atemporal pan-identical non-entity. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

David J. Thompson- A Photo

                                                           "Eyeless In Yellow"

Ayaz Daryl Nielsen- Two Poems

seeking the feral
and unpredictable

Time-spawned caravans of martyrs,
those who died for others, arriving                                        
through forgotten graveyard portals 
Clear, pungent story-tellers of the sacred 
within our peeled and cored images.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Stefanie Bennett- A Poem

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry & has poems appear in
Shot Glass Journal, The Provo Canyon Review, Snow Monkey, Dead Snakes,
Ink, Sweat & Tears, Pyrokinection, Galway Review, The Camel Saloon & others.
Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queens-
land, Australia. Stefanie’s latest poetry book “The Vanishing” was published by
Walleah Press [2015] & is available from Walleah, Amazon & Fishpond...
And I will love you because
The world never did.
And I will cloak you in syllables
To keep inquiring eyes at bay.
And I will cover our footprints
So daringly
That no-one will ask
                     Ever again
For a sequel to love and loveliness.
And you will love me because
The world never did.
Because the gentleness of fortitude
Is a hard act to follow.
And we will scrape up
Our worldly ruins
To begin building this hectare
                           Of the heart
Cupped between the planet’s breast.
Know that the quiet
Will be
As fragile
As your face.
And the melody – clear
As a single
Across the idioms
Of free space.
In a land where
No wall stands,
We will meet and set
Our lives to the order
Of simple things:
We will love because
The world never did...
And give back what was
Never taken
When the time comes.
[following the painting by Charles
Billich. Poem 1st published in
Overland Quarterly Magazine]

Monday, December 14, 2015

Linda M. Crate- A Poem

maybe you're my cure
maybe you're just my ailment
crawl into my veins
i want to taste your chaos
free me of the bondage of myself
let me unravel
hide my secrets in your bones
i don't know if i need you,
but i want you
let us kiss as the ocean kisses the shore;
we can be just as mercurial
for i am moody as the moon and maybe one 
day we'll decide to join as one
kiss beneath an audience of stars and sun
dance with the wolves and fly with
the birds. 

Dustin Pickering- A Poem

Whirling Dervishes

We dance like children
in poverty, happy and ne’er longing for more.

The force is continued in the small
of your hand:
life is a distant star,
a dream.

Nonchalantly, I wait for time
to pass,
but it is not soon enough.
Blind fools dance.

I cannot change
these lives of fantasy.
The cold river warms
until it changes hue.

Face the secret room
with no walls,
and yellowing wallpaper.
No actual existence.
No transcendence.


Matthew D. Laing- A Poem

Matthew D. Laing is fairly new to writing fiction and poetry for publication, but has been dabbling in the craft since his time at university. He has been published so far at Bewildering Stories, The Literary Yard, and Three Drops from a Cauldron (including one print volume). Matthew writes from Canada, the land of igloos and polar bears. 

Lost at Sea

We aimlessly drift
in the wide, never-ending sea;
into a vast nothingness
of sapphire and royal blue
of hesitant breezes
of salt water and salty air.

The wooden hull is decomposing,
decaying; almost malleable pieces
of timber and steel,
of rotted cloth and vermin
of empty stores.

We dream of the shoreline;
great trees and rich soil,
of a fresh start
of water free from poison
of lands barren and wild
of gold. 

Richard Schnap- A Poem


I smell the smoke
From the undead factories
A poisonous pungency
Woven in the wind

And I hear the cries
Of the ghosts that slaved there
For the vampires of industry
That drank their souls dry

And I feel the groans
From the earth beneath them
Where they writhe in their coffins
Unable to sleep

And I see the night
In the eyes of their children
A sky black as ashes
That’s absent of stars

Noel Negele- A Poem


This is what some scientists
are sure we will become
after a couple of years of progress.

The mind will be free of flesh
inside the mechanical skull
of a robotic body.

After the earth has become
an infertile surface,
a man made giant tumor
floating in space

we will be human minded robots
spearing the space for knowledge,
infinite and immortal
boundless by sexual tensions,
the need of water
or love.

At the top of our game
when it comes to arranging
our biochemicals
we will not feel hatred
nor the need to harm someone.
Our serotonin levels
will always be balanced.
We will not feel lonely
even after being centuries alone
drifting in space
with no limit of fear;
learning and naming 
galaxies and constellations;
discovering new life forms
and methods of math.

The scientists say we will
finally reach a conclusion
that is total.

none of us will be here
to witness
all that madness 
taking place.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Paul Tristram- A Sketch

                                                           "Magic Mushrooms"

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 book ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at
And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope

You can also read his poems and stories here!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Stefanie Bennett- A Poem

Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry & has poems appearing
in Illya’s Honey, The Fib Journal, Pyrokinection, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Provo
Canyon Review, Eskimo Pie, Poetry Pacific & others. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/
Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Qld., Australia. Stefanie’s latest
poetry book “The Vanishing” [2015] was published by Walleah Press & is
available from Walleah Press, Amazon & Fishpond Books.
HOME GROWN        
The Dust Devil Family
       Like a top –,
       Like a mule –,
And won’t
      Ever forsake
      The past
      For last.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kyle Hemmings- Three Poems

Kyle Hemmings has work published in Pure Slush, Your Impossible Voice, Abstract Jam and elsewhere. He loves manga art, pre-punk garage bands of the 60s and The Cramps.
In Her Sleep, She Became a Toy

While the night exhaled clusters of swallowtails,
 the little girl's plastic bear, one with eyes
that glowed a radioactive yellow in the dark,
awoke her and led her by the hand.
 Under the empty playground of sky,
they ate the scraps of this afternoon's picnic,
 or sucked the ragged rinds of honeydew.
They became giddy at the thought
 of owning the left-over world,
scavengers of candy fish and lost shoes.
When morning slipped in hues of insidious blush,
 the grown-ups remained sleeping.
 Or they dreamed of eating
 until their bellies went bust
and they would never be too bloated to fly.
The bear and the little girl prepared a breakfast
for two and sat across from each other, eating in silence.
They knew that the only thing that would rise now was the sun.

The Orchard Saint

It will cost you your life, if you embrace thorns & cabbage patch roots. For you, they are two reflections on either side of a dewdrop. Your mother prayed for twenty years that you would not get wet. Dust motes appear between the lines of the psalms she sang. But now the hang-dog king of make-believe boundaries & fantastic derivatives believes that you have a green thumb& a golden tongue. Rumor has it that he caught syphilis from the maiden of wishing wells. At the insidious edges of dawn, dogs yowl the insanity of hunger. The barbarians leave footprints in the night.

Saint Abha, the Amphibious Queen

She married three disposable kings of Siam & left each one dreaming of flying fish. Incarcerated for infertility, she tricked the guards with a flash of mermaid eyes. Fifty miles from shore, she invented her own island. There, she fed bits of herself to the sharks, nurtured Beluga whales. She mistook a wasp for a wisp, a bird for a telegram. Carrier pigeons carried to her bits of mainland. At night, she slept next to open coconuts. She heard the drip of voices--someone from afar still loved her, perhaps a prince-in-waiting with shoes imported from Lombardy. She wished he had wings & could share a span of warmth. She wished she could shunt a cold lonely wind. Legend had it that when war came to her tiny island, she turned into a sunken treasure ship or to the glistening dots upon saltwater. Some said her name stuck like taffy to their teeth. But not before leaving the enemy with a mouthful of scorched earth.