The Turtle Crossing Guard by Mike James

The Turtle Crossing Guard

Once, a boy only wanted to be a crossing guard. He knew there were yellow school
crossings and yellow deer crossings and yellow cattle crossings and even yellow bear
crossings. Those didn’t interest him. He only wanted to stand at a yellow turtle crossing,
with a stop sign and a sash. He wanted to protect their slow way across. After school he
practiced sign angles. Kept a whistle handy. Could say Stop in seven languages. His
mother knit a colorful variety of sashes. His favorite was purple, so perfect for an off day.

Mike James makes his home outside Nashville, Tennessee. He has published in numerous
magazines, large and small, throughout the country. His many poetry collections
include: Leftover Distances (Luchador), Parades (Alien Buddha), Jumping Drawbridges
in Technicolor (Blue Horse), and Crows in the Jukebox (Bottom Dog.)

Quatorze: juillet by Mark Young

Quatorze: juillet

The tracking device be-
neath the skin be-
comes an alarm clock.

He wakes, tripped; a
loop of marching bands
& syncopated Sousa. Sand

beneath the skin, be-
hind the eyes. Personal
trigger, not brainwash-

ed but conditioning
without product. Which
hand to move when the

clock starts ticking, what
call does nature answer?

Mark Young’s most recent books are The Toast, from Luna Bisonte Prods, & The Sasquatch
Walks Among Us, from Sandy Press. Songs to Come for the Salamander, Poems 2013-2021,
selected & introduced by Thomas Fink, will be co-published in October by Meritage Press &
Sandy Press.

Some Distant Point by Jason Ryberg

Some Distant Point

There’s a man with a blur for a face,
a can of beer and a cigarillo, standing
in a corner of a fancy living room, somewhere,
with a hardwood floor, a Persian rug and
an empty chair in the other, a bay window
between them, showing us a Spring day of
impressionist blues, yellows and greens
with a barbwire fence and an old dirt road,
trailing off to some distant point on the horizon,
and each post crowned with an old boot.

Jason Ryberg is currently an artist-in-residence at both 
The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s 
and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor 
and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection
of poems is Are You Sure Kerouac Done It This Way!?
(co-authored with John Dorsey, and Victor Clevenger,
OAC Books, 2021). He lives part-time in Kansas City, MO
with a rooster named Little Red and a billygoat named
Giuseppe and part-time somewhere in the Ozarks,
near the Gasconade River, where there are also 
many strange and wonderful woodland critters.

Weathering by Kevin M. Hibshman


Hard facts pummel us daily like the wind and the rain.
We stand like statues, growing brittle round the edges while attempting
to remain implanted in this harsh, damaging reality.

Life may be a game.
The players shift places.
The board remains the same.

We rise from the ocean netted with debris and what the waves wouldn’t swallow.
We are nearly convinced that we shall survive whatever situation and circumstance
happen to toss our way.
We have made ourselves believe in the possibility of tomorrow.

Kevin M. Hibshman has had his poetry, prose, reviews and collages published around the world, most recently in Punk Noir Magazine, Rye Whiskey Review, Piker Press, The Crossroads, Drinkers Only, 1870, Synchronized Chaos, Yellow Mama, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Literary Yard, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and Medusa’s Kitchen. He has edited his own poetry journal, FEARLESS for the past thirty years. He has authored sixteen chapbooks, including Incessant Shining (2011, Alternating Current Press).He received a BA in Liberal Arts from Union University/Vermont College in 2016. A new book, Just Another Small Town Storywill be available from Whiskey City Press in 2021.

Caesar Salad On the Rocks by Jeremy Scott

Caesar Salad On the Rocks

Carrots jumbled in the food processor
with alphabet soup and lampshades,
[i’m eating it yum, yum, yum]
Drinking Caesar salad on the rocks,
postwar croutons float in the miasma,
limited vocabulary tossed, frothing,
over three extra shots of espresso.
Oh don’t forget the dressings,
caked on makeup of mud and
DDT, try and get some eyelids,
if you want to be a normal boy,
but only if you want to be,
I understand if you don’t.

Jeremy Scott (he/him) is from Albany, Georgia. He’s @possiblyarhino on Twitter. His debut novella, Marginalia, will be published by Alien Buddha Press. His work has been published or is forthcoming in All Guts No Glory, Angel Rust, BOMBFIRE, Fifth Wheel Press’s flux digital anthology, Selcouth Station, Versification, and others.

My Other Lives by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal

My Other Lives

I don’t forget to cry,
which means my eyes still work.
I always cry these days.
I am living in purgatory
for the sins I committed
in my other lives.
I have returned to this world
over and over again
in a different body each time.
I have returned to this world
not to get things right,
but to pay for the things
I have done. Centuries have
passed and I suffer in every
new life. The irony of it is
that I don’t remember the things
I have done in my other lives.

Born in Mexico, Luis lives in California and works in Los Angeles. His latest poetry book, Make the Water Laugh, was published by Rogue Wolf Press. His poetry has appeared in Blue Collar Review, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, Pygmy Forest Press, and Unlikely Stones.

Epitaph And A Rain Check by John Patrick Robbins


Epitaph And A Rain Check

Don’t trouble yourself with my direction.
Simply enjoy the miles together.
Don’t cry for what no longer will be, just enjoy what was.

Wine to a kiss, bourbon to the wind.
I never was a set image but I am certainly one of life’s truest characters.

Never removed from the hearts that knew me best and cursed by strangers who can’t find
themselves even when looking in the mirror.

What’s real is never replaced.
Rest easy and farewell my friends.


John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of The Rye Whiskey Review he is also the author of the Still Night Sessions from Whiskey City Press.His work has appeared here at Fixator Press, Punk Noir Magazine , Horror Sleaze Trash, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, The Dope Fiend Daily, Piker Press And Fearless Poetry Zine.

His work is always unfiltered.

In a snow globe incident by Joshua Martin

In a snow globe incident 

In the barbershop filled with relics to Mayakovsky
my pear shape ears met the gas heart gaze
of tirelessly opaque beasts cornering one market or another
until the strapping lines disordered enough waste
to present the newest and latest trend in wearable smells
at ease though underdeveloped like car engine fumes
which I spit out as undernourished icicle breads
then a line of third rate dog shampooers struck the gong
that indicated a notion invisible to the fingerprint touch
but prey to the visions of deranged priestly pederast
and I wanted a personification of all the evil at play
so easily found on billboards and newspaper stands
expressly forbidden was the chattering jelly fish I proposed
to clumps of bashful hair piled against the wall
comatose like all the flatbread pamphleteers of violence
who throw nose congestion #s at parliamentary posers
then no one knew to let me dial back my rage
because I’d lost my pointer finger in a snow globe incident
some years prior among apparatus green as folds of paper
phosphorescent waves generating pride of the yankee underwear
like I knew that behind it all there was an exit
as if I suspected through my bars an alternative reality
beyond all the snip snip snipping scissor infections
and barbicide drunk driving season of the witch sitcoms
then a drill to the neck hairline ensued
while dawn’s earliest practitioners squirt hair gels
just to appear obvious and transparent
though enough proved to be enough
at least as I spoke through a ringtone contest
hoping for a pause on political ideology
at least until the sparkle of my arms returned
and return it would at least I had to promise
to feel for a moment the freedom of ceasing operations
and burying the internet memes once and for all

Joshua Martin is a Philadelphia based writer and filmmaker, who currently works in a library. He is the author of the books Pointillistic Venetian Blinds (Alien Buddha Press, 2021) and Vagabond fragments of a hole (Schism Neuronics). He has had pieces previously published in Coven, Spontaneous Poetics, Ygdrasil, Expat, Selcouth Station. RASPUTIN, Train, Fugitives & Futurists, Otoliths, M58, Punk Noir Magazine, Fixator Press, Beir Bua, and Scud among others.



the glaciers like what we are waiting to say
the rivers erode banks’ slow truths
the mountains hiding things we may never say
the volcanoes forgiven for their drunkenness
the oceans and our shared subconscious, dreams
the earthquakes where we all just say the same things
the tornadoes of things said in anger
the hurricanes of cacophony of accumulated convos
the aurora borealis or australis above us, shimmering
the forests of silence, except for the wind in needles and leaves

a lake of us together–ripples from our canoes’
circles all around from the drops of rain
concentric epics with every impact
upon the undulating surface
Venn diagrams infiltrating their eddying

we are dropping the paddles
breaking the rudders
just waiting as the sky above
becomes the water below
and what we say is now only

about the stars; we’ve forgotten
the shores

do we need to go home, ever again?



Joseph V. Milford published his first collection of poems, Cracked Altimeter, with BlazeVox Press in 2010 and has another collection of poems, Tattered Scrolls And Postulates, Vol. I, from Backlash Press (2017). He edits an online literary thread, RASPUTIN (, which publishes poetry exclusively.