Poetry.

101 by Mark Young

101

In any use of promised
closure in order to reap votes

minimize the status
of the myriad rows of
figures. (C. P. Cavafy)

Why give notice of a crisis? That
doesn’t suit anyone’s interests.

Investigations waste time,
more so when it is not clear
what the outcomes may be.

Use terms like “everything
is still unclear.” & try not to
misspell that finishing word —

“nuclear” can end up nightmare.

 

Mark Young lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia. His newest collection, taxonomic drift, is due out soon from Luna Bisonte prods.

A Bouquet of Mistakes by Howie Good

A Bouquet of Mistakes

There’s not much around that we can call wild. Is it a creature with two horns, or is it a seashell? You haven’t found it yet. It could be a mud puddle. It could be a bright red tractor in the rain. It could be an altar left behind by a tribe. The world has got all this shit in it: texts, tweets, emails. Everything just accelerates. I don’t remember who told us. I just remember darkness. I want to proceed by means of violations and defacements. My sneaker has a hole in it; my car has a flat tire.

Howie Good is the author of three recent collections, I’m Not a Robot from Tolsun Books, The Titanic Sails at Dawn from Alien Buddha Press, and What It Is and How to Use It from Grey Book Press.  

Travel Notes by Ricky Garni

TRAVEL NOTES

GOOD NEWS

All those hours spent in a tree are now lost to me. 

THE ARGUMENT AGAINST SWIMMING

Any fish in the world can do it better than you.

The difficulty of eating a pizza in a polite way while swimming the butterfly.

THE ARGUMENT AGAINST THE CHARLESTON

Dated; embarrassing; complicated. Difficult to say if you don’t like to say the word ‘Charles.’

THINGS YOU CANNOT DO WHILE HAVING A POUNDING HEADACHE THAT ISN’T A MIGRAINE

Draw a bearded Satan in Hell woodcut as well as the mature work of Gustave Doré (mustachioed.)

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT THE NOBEL PRIZE CEREMONY YEARS AGO

Before Orhan Pamuk accepted his prize, there was a great fanfare of trumpets, and then a woman came to the stage and said Orhan. 


Ricky Garni grew up in Miami and Maine. He works as a graphic designer by day and writes music by night. His latest book, A CONCERNED PARTY MEETS A PERSON OF INTEREST, was released in the Spring of 2019.

huffing raid at five in the morning by John Grochalski

huffing raid at five in the morning

perhaps it isn’t
as bad as the wafts of morning breath

filmy sugar residue
plastered to the tongue
from last night’s potion
of vodka and wine

coming off a restless, anxiety filled sleep
in which the recurring dream was my own demise

or the sound
of my wife’s hands
slapping the cracked linoleum of the kitchen
before my eyes
have even adjusted to the light

i just wish there
weren’t so many of them

little kafka fucks scurrying around

big ones leading the little ones
leading the ones that are no bigger
than a speck of dirt

racing for their goddamned lives

as i grab the can
from under the sink

and spray like an assassin

until there’s a cloud
of stink and foam so pungent

that if it were anybody else but me doing the deed

i’d be on the horn
with the ever-loving landlord
or that crooked EPA.

John Grochalski is the author of the five poetry collections and two novels.  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.

Dedicated to Scott Weiland by Rus Khomutoff

Dedicated to Scott Weiland 

Arrest this lament
this false flag of endeavor
parachute of the midnight aplomb
splendor soils christened by an exorama
defouled by a parasite cancel
who are you in the liturgy of night?
nameless index
of heathen imperial purple
no margin, no reprieve
augur of ceremonial reimagining
of unnoticed thoughts
searing in erasure
murmur of accidental day
a chastised saucerful of secrets
eviscerator heaven on call

Rus Khomutoff is an experimental poet in Brooklyn, NY. His poetry has appeared in San Francisco review of books, Proprose magazine and Hypnopomp. Last year he published his debut, Immaculate days (Alien Buddha Press). This summer his new chapbook Radia will be released by Void Front Press.

A Kick Me Sign by Brian Rihlmann

A KICK ME SIGN

i walked away
from you
from them
from this city
that was bad, bad
and found another you
another them
another dimly lit bar 
to drink in
and practice seduction 

and when the brief blossom
of expectation withered
and became an ugly thing
a common thing
like the same faces
every morning
and dodging the same potholes
on the drive to work

i walked away again
and again…

yet all along 
if i’d been listening 
i would have heard 
a rustling sound
close behind
like the flapping of a “kick me” sign
taped between my shoulder blades
where i couldn’t reach

and no one told me
or they did
but again
i wasn’t listening
or maybe i just couldn’t hear
above the deafening promises of “over there”
that raged like whitewater 
between my ears

 

Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. Folk poetry…for folks. He has been published in Constellate Magazine, Poppy Road Review, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review and has an upcoming piece in The American Journal Of Poetry.

 

 

Flowers of the Field by Bruce McRae

 

Flowers of the Field

They named the flowers purple wreath and prickly Moses.
They called the flowers sneezeweed, three birds flying, Spanish shawl.
Like Old Testament gods, the people placed names upon
plants and flowers encountered in land and time.
Red cape tulip. Snowberry. Mothers of thousands.
They said rose of heaven and yellow adder’s tongue.                            
By any other name they planted estates of delight,
pollen wafting aloft, seed fluff adrift, the bee decidedly obliged.

                                      *

There are flowers also in hell, wrote Williams.
Temple bells. Sweet sultan. Stars of the veldt in the devil’s garden.
The dancing doll orchid. Spider lily. The Egyptian star cluster.
Colours punctuating dark green, summer infused with the sexually brazen.
Sun drops. Shell flowers. The Himalayan blue poppy.
Flowers to be milked. To delight the eye. There to be eaten.

 

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,400 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press); ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy; (Cawing Crow Press) and ‘Like As If” (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

Two Poems by Kevin Ridgeway

 

One Paycheck Wonder

the training video
said to turn away from
the meat slicer, smile
and show the customer
the thickness of each cut
for their approval, which
I did, but not only had
I forgotten to wash my 
hands and put on gloves,
but the not even remotely
slice of Italian prosciutto
was a crude hunk of fat
pulsating in my hand,
when my housewife customer
mad dogged me and said
I had to be fucking kidding
her before she asked for
the manager, who sent
me on a break where
I went out back and hid 
inside of a walk-in freezer,
sweat frozen in icicle
formations on my nose 
as my nervous half boner
shrunk back down to calm
flaccidity in my fifteen
minute reprieve from a
part-time minimum wage
hell where the customer
was always right, even 
when they were wrong,
so I lied through a shit eating
grin when I told an old geezer
who’d given me a hard time to
have a “nice day” before I
punched out of my final shift
as one of the only vegetarian
non-union deli front counter
boys in Price Chopper history
when I tossed my hair net on
top of a trash can of rejected
meat that spoiled my appetite
although I didn’t have a
paycheck to buy food.

 

Two Guys Talking Gibberish to Themselves

They pace up and down
opposing sides of the street
talking gibberish out loud
to themselves, in danger
of being popped by the fuzz
until me and another vagabond
move the two men to face
each other as though they
are having a conversation,
and then somebody sells them
a bag of methamphetamine
which surrounds them with a
crowd of invisible demons
who tear them apart.

 

Kevin Ridgeway is the author of Too Young to Know (Stubborn Mule Press). Recent work has appeared in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, Gasconade Review and The American Journal of Poetry, among others. He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.

Two Poems by J.D. Casey IV

The Immeasurable Power of Zero

a stolen story
of fame
almost
touched

doesn’t matter
what you had
or
what you have
to look at

everything
changes

the sound
of it all
a memory

doesn’t matter 
when

it’s what 
you do with the power
that counts

maybe that’s why he is what he is
maybe that’s who…
counts

back catalog
blah blah
if the song isn’t right
your name
is emanoN





The Corner of Murder and Broadway


glad to see
the lights

nobody
can take it from you
now

given
at a price

out in the cold

no one blames
you
not sober enough
to hold a
baby

love
broken
like
bad
Jazz

James D. Casey IV is the author of six full-length collections of poetry, founder and editor-in-chief of Cajun Mutt Press, and extensively published by small press venues and literary magazines internationally. He is a southern poet with roots in Louisiana & Mississippi, currently residing in Illinois with his Beautiful Muse, their retarded dog, and two black cats.

The Peel by Alisa Velaj

The Peel

You say you disdain
romantic affairs, my
friend,
At a time that the cuckoo’s
song
Frightens you so much at
winter nights,
Making you hide your
dreams
From her echoes.

There are pincers that look
like Stymphalian Birds.
That song, my darling,
Catches you, holds you
tight
Like midnight dreams,
When misdoubts beat
Against the walls of
curiosity,
As if they were bats.

Void of all romanticism,
they beat and beat
Against your sparrow-like
curiosity…

Translated into English by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj

Alisa Velaj was born in 1982 in Albania. She has been shortlisted for the Erbacce-Press Poetry Award in 2014. Her works have appeared in more than ninety print and online international journals and magazines. Her poetry collection, With No Sweat At All, will be published by Cervana Barva Press in 2019.