This Place by Dan O’Connell

It’s the kind of place that’s got
Vomit in the urinal by 8:30 and
By midnight everyone’s drunk as cows.

There’s 30, maybe 50 people drinking Jim
Beam or Bud, PBR and beers named
After mountains or engines.  Puddles
Of Guinness lapped up by a bulldog.

Pints of $5.00 margaritas topple
Soul after soul into a strangers’ arms
Tattooed with personal flags.

The kind of place where some excuse
For inane shouting like pool or darts
Creates bonds deep as sewers
Between men and women in tailored suits
And bikers who deal in the back booth.

It’s that kind of typical dive where the people
Who live in the upstairs unit
Drink for free and stay frozen in time
For just that reason;

It’s where people go
To spend their last twenty bucks
With no money left for rent and nothing
In the fridge but anger;

The sort of saloon with a TV
Rigged up in a corner above the booze,
Three people gazing at the game all night
Like a stupid war movie
As if shackled to the stool like slaves

But, we are free.

All along the City’s central drag
Places like this filled to the brim,
About to explode at 2 a.m.
People tumbling into taxicabs

Or turning keys with 25 knuckles
On the wheel. People staggering
Down the street as if following

And in the morning, resurrected
By the hands of water and Ibuprofen
We drag ourselves to that realm
Of existence called work

And sustain the economy
Of this great nation, oh
This great nation, oh
This great nation of ours.

Dan O’Connell is a four-time award winning poet whose work has appeared regularly in small and large publications since 1986, most recently Big Bell Magazine (2016) and America Magazine (Foley Poetry Prize, 2015). Dan O. is a former Philosophy and Rhetoric professor. He currently lives in San Francisco, where he has his own law practice and occasionally teaches law.

Break Up And Build The Wall by Robin Wyatt Dunn

break up and build the wall
for my all
He is Pan
so numinous
so pulchritudinous
so virtuous and old
the bowl of god
and the god of bowls
now growing old under your stem

hem his heart for me
for I have seem him skipping over the tops of the trees
where you were singing

Robin Wyatt Dunn
Robin Wyatt Dunn lives in Los Angeles. In this picture he is holding his tiny chapbook MARY, from Rinky Dink Press.

Free-fall Love by Gregg Dotoli

Jomeo and Ruliet
dizzying heart pumping elation
junkie-like want
schemes , dreams and uncut hope
anything to sustain this dream-high
the weakening love-dam
leaks fragile rapture
as time deals a nagging feeling
reminding all lovers
talk lessens, kisses diminish, moons fade
hastening that trip to normal
old feelings
crash in a hole
where melted hearts
now freeze and shatter on impact
creating a blinding mountain of red crystal

Gregg Dotoli lives in New York City area and has studied English at Seton Hall University. He works as a white hat hacker, but his first love is the arts. His poems have been published in, Quail Bell Magazine, The Four Quarters Magazine, Calvary Cross, Dead Snakes, Halcyon Magazine, Allegro Magazine, the Mad Swirl, Voices Project, Writing Raw and Down in the Dirt.

Some Sunday Morning by Gregory Luce

First I think there
was a bell, or,
no, it was a mockingbird
mimicking an alarm clock
and then a siren, but
that was the cat crying
to be fed and then
water hissing through
the pipes in the wall and
a TV news program
from across the
courtyard so even
though it was Sunday
and I didn’t have
to get up I
got up.

Gregory Luce
Gregory Luce, author of Signs of Small Grace (Pudding House Publications), Drinking Weather (Finishing Line Press), Memory and Desire (Sweatshoppe Publications), and Tile (Finishing Line Press), has published widely in print and online. He is the 2014 Larry Neal Award winner for adult poetry, given by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He recently retired from National Geographic and lives in Arlington, VA.

Kool-Aid Goodbye by David Spicer

No Trespassing. All violators will
be shot on sight: the sign at the trailer
park entrance demanded traffic
end here–smog arrived on this Texas
horizon. That morning, no promenade
of perfumed tennis players, no Japanese
gymnasts, no fiesta for footballers.
Only a gazebo I had built the previous
week, my debt paid to Rancho, car
salesman owner of the empty park.
As I escaped over the barbed wire,
mud dropped from my boots.
In the distance, I watched Rancho
on the porch of his shed sipping
an olived lime drink. The trailers
nothing but shacks, ditches everywhere,
no streetlamps. Snakes and eels
on the slimy ground. In the safe zone
now, I saw Rancho, crown of thorns
on his bloody head, shrug his skinny
shoulders and yell, You sell-out, Brody!
Swallow the Kool-Aid Goodbye, and meet
us at our cathedral in the sky, you small,
traitorous lizard liver, you scuttling crab!

David Spicer has had poems in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gargoyle, Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The New Verse News, The Laughing Dog, Chiron Review, Easy Street, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, among others, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net twice and a Pushcart, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), and four chapbooks. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

Blood of Alchemy by Mark Antony Rossi

glorious demons
the creative ones
in mad muse.

mix fine recipe
to counter reality:

the real enemy
as all artists know,

bent on belittling
our lives
with narrow bands
untested truth.

Mark Antony Rossi’s poetry, criticism, fiction, creative nonfiction and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Anak Sastra, Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Brain of Forgetting, Deep Water Literary Journal, Dirty Chai, Enclave, Expound, Farther Stars Than, Flash Fiction, Gravel, Indian Periodical, In Between Hangovers,  Japanophile, Journal of Microliterature,  Kulchur Creative Journal, Mad Swirl, Purple Patch, Scrivener Creative Review, Sentiment Literary Journal, Snapdragon, Syzygy Poetry Journal, The Sacrificial, Toad Suck Review, Transnational, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Wild Quarterly and Yellow Chair Review.

Singing the Longshoreman Gospel by Cole Bauer

I pour a drink
Vodka in a foam cup
For our temporary neighbor
The longshoreman

He has complained on us
He has complained to us
When we’re silent partiers
But these walls are thin
Late night wasted sessions interrupted!

I pour a drink
Vodka in a foam cup
For our temporary neighbor
The longshoreman

He was angry towards the staff
And the guests and the neighbors really
Having a melt down about anything
Leaving a shit in the toilet
And checking out

I pour a drink
Vodka in a foam cup
For someone I wished I would have poured a drink on
Or given one too
Because nothing shines in his darkness
The longshoreman

Cole Bauer
My name is Cole Bauer. I’m an American screenwriter, author, and poet currently in the dirty south of the U.S.A.. I was born and partially raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. I was raised and lived for most of my life in San Diego, California. I’ve lived, off and on, in Texas for six years. Traveled around America as well. I am inspired and motivated by street-writers like Charles Bukowski, John Fante, and Dan Fante. I enjoy clearing out my brain on to blank sheets of paper and empty screens. I love writing random short stories, pilot scripts, and film screenplays also.