etude 1/2/17 by Troy Kody Cunio

My body is getting too big for my clothes
My heart is getting too small for my body
My metaphors are getting too easy for my poems
My problem is getting too body for my mind
My mind is getting too closed, like my heart
My metaphors are getting too close to similes
I am becoming like a simile
Like a simile, I am becoming
My poems are getting too meta for me
My hands salted to crack across my swollen belly
My problem is getting too big for its poem
My body is getting too metaphor for my body
My problem is getting to my heart

Troy Kody Cunio lives in Orlando. His work has appeared in NYSAI, Beech Street Review, The Literary Bohemian, Sweet Wolverine, The Kitchen Poet, and others. He is the uneditor of Rejected Poetry Journal ( You can find his books at



Clean House Today by JD DeHart

The dust of my life
has gathered on the window sills
and on the spinning fan blades
that scatter small bits like
a pepper grinder.
A stack of mail sits on the counter
so deep and long
I have forgotten its purpose.
Syllabi gather like a congress
of old friends who have turned
against me.
Where did I find this need
to shred the evidence of my existence,
to cast off the unnecessary fragments
that other people probably
paste in well-meaning scrapbooks?

jd dehart
JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available on Red Dashboard.

Hot by Devon Balwit

Now, scientists confirm
            what we’ve long known,

that our earliest ancestors bloomed
            in Sulphur, bubbled from magma.

In the distant distance, we labored
            hydrogen like stars.

Daily, we still burn hot, tasting metal
            on our tongues.

That our organism formed in calm pools
            was a kind fiction

when any mirror reflects four billion years
            of banking embers in cells’ braziers.

Devon Balwit is a poet and educator from Portland, Oregon. She has a chapbook, Forms Most Marvelous, forthcoming from dancing girl press (summer 2017). Her recent poems can be found in: Oyez, The Cincinnati Review, Red Paint Hill, The Ekphrastic Review, Noble Gas Quarterly, Timberline Review, Trailhead Magazine, Vector, and Permafrost.

Poem 3 by Ananya S Guha

Why do these hills waver
when Christmas
walks across them
and oranges ripen
Get the ones from Cherra
I say, the baskets over ripe
as bystander haggles
I haggle with winter
it’s pristine charm
foreboding weather
run down memories
compelling me to wear
coats of dust, hidden
dreams, mufflers stained
with marks of wine
I drank on evenings
of pleasure.
Little ones ripple with laughter
Crows caw, caw
my mind sinks into horizons
of a hill town which I ask
to love,

Ananya S Guha ( 1957) lives in Shillong, in North East India. He has been writing poetry and publishing his poems over thirty years.

Hey, Are You The Guy With ‘Made In Wales’ Tattooed Around His Belly Button? by Paul Tristram

Man, that was hilarious and scary
all at the very same time.
At one point, you actually ran
up that big bastard’s back
like he was a fucking stepladder.
You’d have made it out too,
if you hadn’t have slipped
in that beer puddle.
Anyway, two of your mates,
with the green and red mohawks
just came out 5 minutes before you.
They headed over the road
to The Winston Churchill.
Christ, you’re a bit more banged-up
(Excuse the pun!) and bruised
than when they nabbed you last night.
Sure, help yourself, fuck it, have two…
they’re Regal King Size.
Nice to meet you, by the way…
they’ll be talking about you lot
for weeks ‘round this place.
My Treacle thinks you’re hot,
in an insane kind of way,
but, she’s never had any taste.
Eh? No, no, it was a joke…
I’m fucking married to it, mate, innit!

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 books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!


Death Row Romances by Alan Catlin

Powerful men with a troubled
pasts and no future excite her.
Guys with red devil tattoos on
their biceps and broken, bleeding
hearts above the groin. Badges
of honor earned the hard way
along with scars from knife fights
and stolen half ton trucks wrecked
at full impact, in flight, cross county,
pursuits. Safe behind bars in Max,
no hope for parole, three times lost,
consecutive felony convictions safe.
So unlike the actual men in her life:
home, drunk, pissing themselves in
the night, hog farting snores and
swamp thing body odor stench.
She feels body heat just writing
her locked up man’s name and if
he was a killer, so much the better.
She can come just hearing his voice
and there are no marks after,
no broken bones, statements taken
except, I Do, when the justice of
the peace asks if you will take this
man to be your lawfully wedded husband.
So what if it doesn’t end well.
What does?

Alan Catlin
Alan Catlin is the poetry editor of His latest books of poetry are American Odyssey from Future Cycle and Last Man Standing from Lummox Press

Whiskey & Popcorn by James D. Casey IV

We live in a void
Crossed between hell and
The digital world

Television screen faces
Closed caption thoughts
Our rulers have antennas
In place of horns

Everything is on fire
Crashing and burning
But all we can see
Is what we’re fed

The underbelly reality
Is far worse than it seems
Things they don’t show us
Terrible and unforgiving
Driven down
Hidden behind coding
Pretty 1’s & 0’s

It’s all in the way
You look at it
I guess
Ignorance is bliss
After all

I just hope
There’s plenty of
Whiskey & popcorn
For the season finale

James D. Casey IV is a published author of two poetry books: ‘Metaphorically Esoteric’ & ‘Dark Days Inside the Light While Drunk on Wine.’ He is also working on his third under the title “Tin Foil Hats & Hadacol Coins” that is expected to be published in the next few months. Mr. Casey’s writings have been published in international ezines and on several websites. Poetry Life & Times, Artvilla, Realistic Poetry International, and Poetry Super Highway have him listed in their poet archives as well. You can find links to his books, social network profiles, and other projects on his website at http://louisianakingcasey.w