Bad Metaphor of Dying by Dan Provost

Bad Metaphor of Dying

I am that bare, crumbling
building that hasn’t been
inhabited in years.

Seeing those who
pass by my isolation.

Hearing their
inane conversations

that contribute nothing
but disdain for those residing
on this bitch called earth.

Falling memories crack
off my foundation, while

ten stories up—I teeter towards
the darkness of empty.
Plummeting, dropping
Off bit by bit.

Until the frame—barren.

Becomes the final segue from

A former collegiate offensive lineman and football coach for 26 years, Dan Provost’s poetry has
been published both online and in print since 1993. He is the author of 15 books/chapbooks. His
latest, Wolf Whistles Behind the Dumpster was released by Roadside Press in November 2022.
He has been twice nominated for The Best of the Net and has read his poetry throughout the
United States. He lives in Berlin, New Hampshire with his wife Laura, and dog Bella.

The coming of snow by Lou Conover

The coming of snow

Comes the brown snowfall
The low, heavy green clouds redden
then darken to brown
Then let drop their leavings
one by one
or with a chill gust,
a blizzard of whirling, hand-sized flakes.
They cover the ground.
They pile up in drifts.
Dry, crisp, curled, veined and stemmed.
When they have relieved themselves of all that weight,
the trees reveal their skeletons
reach up with thin, bony, crooked fingers
toward those clouds that bring another kind of snow.

Lou Conover has never participated in a writing workshop and has no training as a writer besides failing a creative writing course in high school. With degrees in music, mathematics, cognitive science, and teaching, Lou is a practicing musician, an engineer, a mathematics teacher, and, by accident, for the last eighteen years, an artist. Lou lives in Western Massachusetts, has a blessedly gender neutral name, no pronouns, no active social media accounts, and two children.

The Impresarios of Light by Mark Young

The Impresarios of Light

arrive in darkness. Those who
are surprised by this bat it away
by saying it’s a way to heighten
the contrast. Others, with more
extreme views, ascribe it to the
influence of those game-playing
wikis which elevate the eldritch
to a necessary component of any
form of fine art. The impresarios
emerge smiling at all the misinter-
pretations, do not seek to remind
the mind-blind crowd that darkness
always travels at the speed of light.

Mark Young’s latest collection of poetry, with the slow-paced turtle replaced by a fast fish,
will be published later this year by sandy press.

Brick By Brick by Dominik Slusarczyk

Brick By Brick

We can grow or
We can shrink or
We can stay the same;
The worst bit is
We don’t get to choose our chocolate.
I pray the sun shines bright when I wake.
You pray for happy rain to bless your wheat.
Our prayers fight in
The sky with shiny guns.

Dominik Slusarczyk is an artist who makes everything from music to painting. He was educated at The University of Nottingham where he got a degree in biochemistry. He lives in Bristol, England. His poetry has been published in ‘Dream Noir’, ‘Home Planet News’, and ‘Scars Publications.  

parallel by jck hnry



she lay nestled  
in the branches 
of death 
deep in a permanent 
where dreams & truth 
& terror  
blend into 
a pastoral 
& the smiles 
of old ghosts 
are the floormats 
of eternity. 

jck hnry is a queer writer based in the high desert of southern california. over the years i have found success at: rye whiskey review, mad swirl, alice says go fuck yourself, 13 mynas, and others. in apr 23 GUTTER SNOB PRESS will release “LOS ANGELES.” a chapbook anthology. in 2021 PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS released “DRIVING W/CRAZY, a poetic memoir to their father’s last years battling with mental illness.

The Silver-tipped Fire Hydrant by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The Silver-tipped Fire Hydrant 

I never understood why they didn’t just paint it 
or find a matching part, 
but the silver-tipped fire hydrant just sat there 
out front my house. 

Strangely out of place  
around all the other yellow uniform hydrants 
in the neighbourhood. 

And I felt a kinship with my silent silver-tipped friend. 
We were both paralysingly quiet, had trouble fitting in. 

Then one day, 
I found that someone had spray painted 
some ratty blue expletive over the silver head 
of the hydrant.  

It was as though my own face  
had been spray painted over. 

It sat there for years like that. 
No one cared. 
Which prepared me for the rest 
of my Life. 


Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, Fixator Press, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

Destruction by George Gad Economou


drunk sparrows fall like flaming
meteors causing holes in
streets pedestrians scatter while
nightingales go into
hiding finding crepuscular caves in
virgin jungles to wait for
the new beginning they desire the
new phoenixes to
be emerge out of nuclear mushrooms and the
sparrows keep on
falling down drunk and burning burning and drunk
the cats have no idea how to react to the
sudden barbeque gift and the cities are
emptied buildings torn
down for material the nightingales sing their
mellow melodies in their caves to help
the bears fall asleep again and some rocks fall whenever another
sparrow lands on the distant streets of faraway cities.

Currently residing in Greece, George Gad Economou has a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science. Has published a novella, Letters to S. (Storylandia), a poetry collection, Bourbon Bottles and Broken Beds (Adelaide Books), and his drunken words have appeared in various places, such as Spillwords Press, Ariel Chart, Fixator Press, Outcast Press, Piker’s Press, The Edge of Humanity Magazine, The Rye Whiskey Review, and Modern Drunkard Magazine.

canvas asteroids by Mark Young

canvas asteroids

In the prosaic sense that things
just work, find the ordinal of a
number using some black magic
& lots of glitter. Once that is done,
use screws of varying sizes to add
the back to the seat of the trephin-
ation machine. Putting a hole in
the head might seem quite easy
& straightforward when coded
from scratch, but getting the colors
right is a complex task. The moon
might arrive upside down before
the job is finished & draw the light
away. Sometimes it is the vibrations
from a herd of wombats digging
holes that causes the drill to slip.

Mark Young’s most recent book is the downloadable pdf, XXXX CENTONES, available from
sandy press —

FAITH AND GUTS by John Tustin


It takes faith to not rely upon faith.
It takes guts to not actively be in love.
It takes fortitude to forgo passion for concealment,
Trade exhilaration for contentment.
Don’t let the world fool you –
There is more potential downside to jumping from an airplane
Than upside
Unless the plane is going down, too.
It takes character to dismiss charm and to keep beauty at a distance.
It takes strength to embrace loneliness
And a strong heart to turn sadness into expression.
It takes a defective sanity to hold onto hunger,
To delight in the potential of conflict
While avoiding conflict if you can,
Letting it come to you if it must.
It takes wisdom to capitulate and rebel in equal measure.
It takes guts to quietly love everyone –
Enormous guts and hidden audacity.
It takes a miracle to love oneself truly.
It takes a certain kind of faith in the natural world
To not blow on the dice before you throw them.
Faith and guts.

John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. contains links to his published poetry online.

Progress by Mark Young


We didn’t realize he might be somebody’s grandfather. The age of the char-à-banc had
passed us by, & the advent of VistaVision, with its initial attempt to emulate the golden ratio,
was something our teachers wouldn’t or couldn’t talk to us about. Dogs fought in the street &
distracted us. The town grew dustier by the day. The Town Hall collapsed under the weight
of woodworms & the local records all went with it. We coughed, & carried on as we always

Mark Young’s most recent book is The Advantages of Cable (Luna Bisonte Prods).