An image of suburbia
Chain link and close supervision
A spider’s weave and her poison
A blank and unhealthy reflection
On repeat and on repeat
Because a hook is a hook by any other name
Anthony David Vernon is a Cuban-American literary writer and master’s level philosophy student at the University of New Mexico. He has a book out with small press Alien Buddha Press entitled The Assumption of Death.
Ritchie Rich & the Subway Pulse
You can’t get anywhere
without the underground
and here comes Ritchie Rich
in metal face stud
and green garbage bag ensemble,
counting rats large as block parties,
feeling the subway pulse,
that joyous skip in his step
so that the suits push each other
to get out of his way,
the smell of fake Cubans from
the busy bee newsstand –
shouts Ritchie Rich with his
arms and legs wide open;
everyone is alive and the train
is on its way, even if you can’t
hear it yet.
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, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.
toxic tears flood the streets, gravitational forces
shift power drawing us one day upward, then downward
upward again, there with the ghosts of long gone heroes
forgotten words branded with nuclear fire on leviathan walls
there’s nowhere to run, escaping’s not an option anymore,
horrors inflicted on all continents, there was once
a last generation, called from the greatest sage of the gutter,
now, we live in a yellow sea of nothingness, sharks and whales
play five-draw poker, Neptune laughs and Dionysus swills
Mad Dog, fiery rainstorms and massive hurricanes
ravaged countryside and extirpated cities, giants
fall, dwarves rise up from the planet’s core ready to conquer
a world that never was theirs, down the line in
some far distant future tourists flock to watch
the death of the sun, while in the withering today
the sun showers a world devoured by prehistoric maggots.
Currently residing in Greece, George Gad Economou holds a Master’s degree in Philosophy of Science and supports his writing by doing freelance jobs. 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
Running for Heaven
The coming smack
face in the mud
poking out tongue
like a blind worm
tasting the last taste
of this world
knowing it will only get better.
Stephen Jarrell Williams loves to write at night, waiting for the coming good dawn. Then he sleeps like a hibernating bear. You can still find him on Twitter @ papapoet.
A Heckler in Albany
for dan wilcox
is stuck in the past
but it’s too hot
to respond to anything
other than kindness
your silly beret
would never pass muster
in a missouri field
dirt under your fingernails
& little by little
its absence takes it away
you were once
that sweet bird of youth
we all try to hang on
to words like that
but now that boy you once were
is invisible just past the county line
where nobody is listening
to the jeers
of old crows.
John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including Sundown at the Redneck
Carnival, (Spartan Press, 2022). He may be reached at email@example.com.
The weight becomes a burden
when you are not as strong as
you think you are. Your heart is
a ticking time bomb. You are not
far from being set off. You are
a foot short from the graveyard.
Your heart can only withstand
so much. It beats at a pace not
long for a funeral. To be buried
or not to be, oblivion awaits.
Take your pick of cemeteries.
There are pretty flowers in your
forecast. It is not a secret how
much you long for solitude.
Born in Mexico, Luis writes from California and works in the mental health field in Los Ángeles. His poetry has appeared in Escape Into Life, Fearless, Kendra Steiner Editions, Mad Swirl, and Unlikely Stories. His latest book, Make the Water Laugh, was published by Rogue Wolf Press.
flat tires at midnight,
an iron nail in the sidewall,
and whispered swears
a demon who
asks if you need help
as you finish putting
on the spare
some call him Old Shrug
others call him Scissor Jack
he will stand over you
keeping his claws
deep in his pockets
reminding to turn the nuts
in a star pattern
and then he disappears
in a puff of stale tire air.
Jonathan S Baker is the author of Cock of the Walk (Laughing Ronin Press 2022) and co-author of contemplating The End of Insomnia While Inside the Postmodern Mausoleum (EMP 2022). They are also the co-editor of The Grind Stone and Editor in Chief of Pure Sleeze Press. They were recently named Poet Laureate of Your Brother’s Bookstore in Evansville Indiana and co-emcee of Poetry Speaks a long running spoken word series in Evansville Indiana.
ROUND AND ROUND
The night passed in a cacophony
Of pain and sorrow
Manic I ran screaming off into realms
Of madness and repetition as
Round and round I went
Not knowing what I was doing
Just ticking boxes in my mind
Like a zombie following old instincts
Of regularity and routine
My mind dying, slowly being
Eaten by a worm from a glass.
Waking the next morning I
Made for the door again, off
Walking again, walking off
This bout of madness as
Round and round I went
Again. Early morning
Sunday and the only people
About seemed wrecked or
Sad that they are again out of
Bed at this unholy time but me
Well with work in a few short
Hours I’ll head back home, eat
Some breakfast, smoke a joint
And get a couple of sneaky hours
In bed before the onslaught of
Yet more madness at that horror
Show of a place called work.
Bradford Middleton lives in Brighton, UK. His poems and stories are dotted all over
the internet as well as in journals, anthologies, zines and four individual chapbooks.
He is currently looking to sell his latest novel to the highest bidder. Get in touch
@BradfordMiddle5 on Twitter if interested.
I sit cross-legged in the rain
and I’m thinking things over.
Sitting until my legs go numb,
until I begin shivering, think-
Dumber than an animal, I sit.
Not smart enough to get out
of the rain. If grandma were
alive her head would be shake-
Big rains all around me and
my clothes cling to my body.
Love doesn’t come but hate
melts in the incessant bash-
water. I tremble. Close my
eyes. It’s good enough for
now, I mumble internally.
I dream of life beyond love,
dream of home. Begin to s-
John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals since 2009. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.