Mug Story by Troy Kody Cunio

He’s got two coffeemugs on the table in front of him. One for the ash and one for the wine. The ash mug has a glow-in-the-dark alien on it. It fades exactly 37 seconds after the last thing I have to say. His smoke’s blending with the fog – I can’t tell where the night ends and his breath begins. And what would another dawn be but another excuse? He doesn’t kiss me but I know the bitterness his mouth must taste like. Will I see you again, I say. You already have, he replies. The question is, will you ever stop?

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.

Loyal Love by Victor Henry

“How cruel, you say. But I did warn you?
Shall I count for you love’s ways? Fear, jealously,
revenge—pain. They all belong to love’s innocent game.”
Tristan and Iseult

She was his Venus in the night sky.
Once he found her
The rest of her galaxy was dark energy.

He would stay with her forever
Long after history abandoned them,
Long after the sun had become a red giant.

Where was their energy going?
Was it expanding?
Racing into a chasmal corner of cold matter.

Where was their god during all of this?
The one they placed their faith in.
Only to discover consciousness

Was not a conscious choice.
That during their rem adventure
Life didn’t represent reality.

When they died together
In a suicide pact
There were no pearly gates,

No heaven opening.
No deity greeting them.
Only blackness.

Victor Henry
My poetry and prose poems have appeared in Misfit Magazine, Dead Snakes, Homestead Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Red River Review, and Slipstream, among others. My book What They Wanted was published last November 11th, Veterans Day, by FutureCycle Press in Lexington, Kentucky. http://victor-henry.net/

On The Planet Zantari by John (“Jake”) Cosmos Aller

On the planet Zantarri deep within
The sea and the moon shine on

With an intense inner glow
Best laid plans of mice and men
Lay scattered here and there

And in the graying
Dying decaying decadent light
Of the lunatic light of the full moon

I arise
Admits the narcotic mists
and nefarious dreams

Pruned
In homage
To the ancient ancestral burial grounds

The blood
Of my people runs deep
Drums beat

A savage primitive beat
Trees dancing oh in time
To the fire flies

Flying over
A miasmic mist of death
Life, and more

While Allah proclaims
The sacred words of love

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.

Mark Rothko by Gabriel Hadad

Amazing twilight bursting
wish I weren’t blocked so that I could see it
Next time maybe
no matter
Instead I look up and see
Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko colors
mixed on a stretched warm cloth called the 6:40 p.m. sky
That should be enough…
It isn’t, but no matter
Three minutes of daydream are better than anything
today, yesterday, forever, no matter

gabriel-hadad
Gabriel Hadad. I work doing translations and stuff in the North East USA.

Why’d You Shave Your Head? by John W. Snyder

I wanted
to have a Britney Spears
            breakdown.

I wanted
to scream people in half
with chainsaw-tongue
and lash at their
heart strings
with my novella life.

I just lost my head/my hair.

There’s
a poem in my skin
All I need
is my skin.

I wanted
fur for a moment.
Animal!
Nonhuman!
Inhuman!
Better than you-man!

I wanted
want.

Not from me
                          for me

I wanted.

You get what you give
so any day now
I’ll be getting someone’s hairy regrets.

There’s no more answer in my ANSWER
so I’ll pose a question(s):

                stripped?

                striped?

                sturdy?

Third one’s false.

God told me to.
Goddess told me to.
Ganesha told me to.
Gary Oldman told me to.
No one told me to.

“No, no I said ‘Why’d you shave your head?’”

Oh. I thought you said something else.

Well,
I tried to cut my own hair
but it didn’t work out

so I had to shave it all off.

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.

Parties Two Weeks From Christmas by Kristine Brown

I am walking home again
headphones lodged in oozing ears
the office ten feet away from me
screams with filial dysfunction
and I ask myself,
“Can’t she just take a day off?”
I am walking from home tomorrow
cardigan old, a hole expands
the bus stop twenty feet away from sleep
sneers with destitute lechery
and I tell myself,
“Buy a damn car.”
I am walking in circles tonight
a party clatters on the floor below
the girls five minutes away from dreams
laugh in their crystalized play
and I sing to myself,
“Summertime Sadness.”
And as always,
winter is here.
I’m waiting in earnest for another.

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).

Eyes in His Pockets by JD DeHart

He carries his eyes
in his pockets, takes them
out and softly plops them on
when he needs to see.

Carries his ears in his
brief case, which is another
matter.  He struggles with
the clasps.

His mouth he keeps on at
all times and, if you ask me,
that’s the trouble with our
world these days.

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