Triptych by Troy Kody Cunio

Eating disorder-
saw ugly in the mirror
tried to disappear

 
//

 
Eating disorder-
a wretch of feathers as the
last swallow flies away

 
//

 
Eating disorder-
tried to fit whole world down throat
still feel so empty

troy-kody-cunio
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 (rejectedlit.tumblr.com). You can find his books at payhip.com/tkcpoetry.

Oh Yeah by James Babbs

didn’t I tell you this before
because
I’m pretty sure I did
about the guy with the gun
who got t-boned by a drunk driver
while he was getting chased by the cops
it seems like we were right here
sitting in this same room
drinking this cheap red wine
just like we’re doing now
remember
it was when you got that call
from your younger brother
the brother who’s always getting into trouble
the one you said
you hadn’t seen in more than a year
it seems so clear to me
oh yeah
it was when I tried to kiss you
remember
and you suddenly stood up
and told me you had to go
well
I guess
I should’ve left that part out
come on
let’s have some more wine
and just relax
I’ll try not to be an asshole
okay
you can tell me about your brother
and what he’s been up to lately

James Babbs Photo
James Babbs is a writer, a dreamer, a three-time loser and an all-around nice guy who just wants to be left alone. James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013) and has hundreds of poems and a few short stories scattered all over the internet.

Are You Experienced? by Mark James Andrews

I was perched on the toilet at 7 AM when I suddenly
noticed a crow doing the same

without the comfort or decorum of a pot up in the leafless
ash tree planted for privacy

peering down through the window at me when the bird
reached behind a wing with his beak

& produced a blue tip stick match and began striking it
against the bark to no result but scratching

continuously and sounding to me muffled by the closed
double glass like the intro to

Are You Experienced? which I had not heard in at least
4o years.  I tranced in the performance but

it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this crow simply
wanted a cigarette which I had not smoked

also in 4o years when the bird dropped the match, shook
its shaggy head and flew off

to the next door neighbor’s roof & gave me a sidelong
look which seemed to say

Come fly with me and together we’ll join the circus.

mark-james-andrews
Mark James Andrews has had a full and checkered career as a gravedigger, inspector at a defunct auto plant and jail librarian. He is author of several chapbooks of poetry including Burning Trash (Pudding House), Compendium 20/20 (Deadly Chaps) and a poetry CD, Brylcreem Sandwich (with Tom Brzezina). His poems, stories and nonfiction have appeared in over 50 print and online publications including Chiron Review, Working Stiff; The Anthology of Professional Wrestling Literature & Art, Underground Voices, Misfit Magazine, Gutter Eloquence, Short, Fast, and Deadly and Red Fez. He continues to live and write on the borderline of Detroit most of the time.

The Revolution by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

The revolution is ecstasy
And will come over and over again

Until the red roses of the moon
Grow above the purple grass of Mars

While the zipples
Fly above

Eating the wimples of Tanzania
And the Sight of Beethoven’s symphony

Fills my ears
Climbing up above the yellow hills

And purple clefts of Pluto
The god cries out

No
Revealing the utter contempt
That the dead has for the living

My mind is lost
Blown up inside a rifle

As I drink the blood of the newly dead
While swimming in green scum
Above the hills of Tanzania

John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller is a novelist, poet, and former Foreign Service officer having served 27 years with the U.S. State Department in ten countries – Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Korea, India, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent, Spain, and Thailand. and traveled to 45 countries during his career.  Jake has been an aspiring novelist for several years and has completed two novels, (Giant Nazi Spiders, and the Great Divorce) and is pursuing publication.  He has been writing poetry all his life and has published his poetry in electronic poetry forums, including All Poetry, Moon Café, and Duane’s Poetree. (under the name Jake Lee).  He is looking forward to transitioning to his third career – full-time novelist and poet after completing his second career as a Foreign Service officer, and his first career as an educator overseas for six years upon completion of his Peace Corps service in South Korea.

A Love Poem for Batman by John W. Snyder

Darling,
I call you out each night
just so I can show you
what I’m still willing
to tear down for you.

Sometimes
I imagine you hiding in the dark
waiting for the screams.

This is all for you, you know.

The blood on the walls,
the blood on the street.

All the blood!

I spell out sweet nothings with my fingers.

Unlike you,
I never had a problem getting my hands dirty.

You answer back with your perfect jowls
and explosive fists.

After all, what kind of daddy would you be
without giving a good spanking now and then?

I don’t mind.

I take comfort in knowing you won’t ever let this lonely grid of stone stay lonely for me.

Even in the daytime
cracked skull echoes
echo you name.

I see bats in the veins
I play like violins.

You were always there,
even in the beginning.

I remember that first date,
a beautiful night-punctuated by gunfire and moonbeams.

I was in my best tux.
And you,
you were so ornery you had me bent over a big vat of chemicals
before we even got to dessert.

You undressed me so well with your claws. That kind of love can drive a guy
mad.

If you’ve ever skinned someone,
you know,
it’s a lot easier getting the skin off than it is getting it back on.

It gets all gooey and slippery—just a mess.
You skinned me into a new man, darling.

You made me—
with your justice,
and your strength,
and that acid.

So, though you may have tried remembering who we were before

we can never stop dancing.
You need me now.

You made me.
And I remake you every night.

Never stop playing

Father.

Never stop playing with me

batty-daddy.

Because you made me

but I didn’t ask to be made.

John W. Snyder
John W. Snyder is a Pushcart nominated poet from Staten Island. He is most known for being a chatchki walking around in a human suit.

 

Inspired by that episode of Portlandia where they wonder about where the delicious chicken came from. by Kristine Brown

Behold, the essence of pink
they say bacon is societal Prozac
though of this, I’m not too sure
the movie BABE—that old VHS
stays in my dresser, preserved.
Red meets white
completion, potential, quite lush, the pink
the wider I’ve come to smile
an optimal selection
for clear celebration.
Salmon revives this ordinary night.
To imagine takes the cake over cramming.

kristine-brown
Kristine Brown is a freelance writer and editor who resides in Southwest Texas. She is a cat fanatic, and recently had her first collection of poems, Scraped Knees, published by Ugly Sapling (link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998496901/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_101IybN9ACW0D).

Checking Out by JD DeHart

In a moment of imperfect
capture, a snapshot
of the once great celebrity
now appearing as a beached
whale decorates a checkout
experience at the grocery,
completing with a scabrous
headline to match

As iced packages of dinner
that probably won’t get made
slide slowly by, the tabloid
instructions in living provide
a background of diversion
from the dull conversation
of cashiers about weekends.

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