Self-Abusing Wondershow by Jeanette Powers

the red-head
with the mayonnaise skin
thinks that I
have a superficial
              rough exterior
(as opposed to her
uncracked porcelain)
and that it’s masking
my vulnerable soul

as if this skin
weren’t susceptible
                to injury
at the mercy
of my more dangerous intentions
weren’t already a carved invocation
to my reckless lack
                                            of inhibitions

in fact,
I’ll give you a knife and a plunger, baby girl
if you’ll dig deeper
                (cut me).

Cut through the pliant flesh
to the bone of this abrasive
to find me sandpaper
and road rash to the quick.
I’m a cat’s tongue,
rusty barb wire,
the teeth of your
grandfather’s chain saw
              (cut me).

This isn’t some show
I put on for protection,
a self-defense mechanism
                (when I need to hide
                I huddle down between
                the breastbone and spine
                of my dangerous muse)
this wicked excursion
I call myself
is someone terrified
of the lost boundaries
of self-hood
and so falling full-tilt
in the effort
of blind flight
and revealing myself
both to you and to me
(cut me).

I imagine you would like
to see me as a mirror –
pretend I’m a delicate flower
in need of a real man
who’ll cook dinner
with nothing but an apron on,
you wish I was someone
you wouldn’t have to worry about
introducing your friends to:
the ones with Windsor knots,
wool coats and three mortgages.
But that’s not a good idea, dear.

I keep the company
of drunks and cross-dressers,
sluts with romantic streaks,
poets and other chronically
self-abusing wondershows
and the reason why
is because at the core of me
is a little Houdini
who escaped the ‘should do’
and ran to those alien entities
who know my skin is soft
and my soul is hard
because that’s the way
they are, too.

That’s the way you have to be
when you’re an abandoned,
out-cast, self-destructive pariah
and willing to pay
the price
of not playing nice.

I’m a bad ass victim,
an expert novice,
I’m fucking me,
no apologies.

So cut me,
cut me,
cut me,

see my skin breathe red
see me breathe deeply

is what it means
to keep going
in the face

Jeanette Powers is an anarchist performance artist who uses poetry and art to question habitual behavior and to dismantle internalized obedience. She can most often be found near a river with her hound dog, Olly Mas. Connect with her at or @novel_cliche



Rohihgya Refugee by Eddie Awusi

She approached me,
With a catalyzed look,
That hung on two worlds.
Covered in a shawl of reeds and dust,
She picked her emaciated steps,
Through mangled roads;
Aiming to cross her ordeals,
Of genocidal tatmadaw’s fire.
She is too weak to flee but she is fleeing.
Her torturous life lay within her manacled years.
Hoisted like a failing Union Jack.
She lives in death and dead in life.
Appearing and reappearing like a shadow person.
The earth trembled beneath her fragile steps.
This feminine victim of rohingya ethnic cleansing,
Walking unsteadily like a frightened child,
When he schools his legs to walk.
She is one, out of a sagging list.
Her sense of human hood,
Is dripping off her skin,
Like water; splashed on the back of a duck:
This ghostly woman,
Once the envy of a noble sea.
Her footfalls falling,
Like a poor kiss on the earth.
As she made it through the shrubbery.
Into another devastating life.
Cruelties in IDPs.

Eddie Awusi is a Nigerian writer of Isoko extraction.
 He graduated from the prestigious Delta state university,
 Abraka in 2007, where, he got a Bachelor of Arts degree
 in English and Literature. He has been published in Dissident
 Voice, The Australian Times, Tuck Magazine and other
 numerous magazines and anthologies. The pen and paper;
 are his playmates.

Rock Star by John Patrick Robbins

I sat there amongst total idiots .
Lost in the verbal rumblings on a serious cocaine induced binge.
Fuck man your so deep you must be taking all this in.
Its probably great for your writing.

Jerry my friend for the night said.

He was the less annoying of the group so I just let him ramble hit the bottle on the table and tried not to heave up the scotch in the process.

Scotch they said was a acquired taste .
I didn’t have to eat the ass end out of a horse to know it tasted like shit .

And this high dollar bottle reeked of a used ash tray and a yerinal cake .

The dealer who I wasn’t found of held court at the head of the table and the rich junkies and whores sat there paid close attention.
Not cause he held there interest .

Hey just held the coke.

Fuck why was I here ?
I always got caught up in bullshit!

I would get lonely find myself amongst assholes and realize least being alone meant you didn’t have to breathe the same air as these fuckers.

The owners lived in a nice house it had a nice pool out back with a great view .
It cost a fortune the couple that owned it were perfect in there eyes.

And to me they were closet freaks .

The mans wife sat close to the prick with the coke and after everyone was fully loaded her and the dealer would probably slip off to a back room and fuck.

People in this environment lost there souls they were kinky they were bland and ordinary there was no passion so they did whatever it took to make themselves seem unique.

I could be home drinking my bourbon alone and happy .
But here I was the great burn out
making a showing .

So Jack man I like your words the dealer said in his snarky tone.

We should hang some time I’m a writer to.
Yeah we should I said .
Thinking to myself I rather hang with my dog than some jackass who thought he was a writer.

Yeah I write stuff bout my world might even see if anyone wants to publish it.

Well I don’t think hightimes publishes books do they ?
The dealer just looked at me.
Yeah I don’t know.

It wasn’t much of a slap but he knew I was telling him to fuck
Off !
There’s nothing tuff about being an idiot .

I sat there looking around the room thought of how people acted more when they pretended to have a good time than actually done so .

It was rock n roll all the dope and dipshits you could handle.

I had to escape .

I wasn’t rock n roll.

John Patrick Robbins
John Patrick Robbins Is a writer ,Comedian and full time drinker who’s writing is largely influenced by people and stories I here’s around him everyday. Stay crazy .

A Poem in Parts from Forgotten Wars: I Who Lost One Brother by Tom Sheehan

who nearly lost another
remember the headlines, newsreels,
songs of bond-selling, gas-griping,
and movies too true to hate.

All Mother Earth bent inwards,
imploding bombs, bullets, blood,
shrieking some terrible bird cry
in my ears only sleep could lose.

Near sleep I only remembered
nifty bellbottom blues he wore
in pictures my mother cleaned
and cleaned there on the altar

of her bureau as if he were Christ
or Buddha, but he was out there
in the sun and the sand and the rain
of shells and sounds I came to know

years later moving up from Pusan.
I never really knew about him until
he came home and I saw his sea bag
decorated with his wife’s picture,

and a map with unknown names –
Guadalcanal, Saipan, Iwo Jima,
the war.

Sheehan served in the 31st Infantry in Korea 1951-52, graduated Boston College 1956, published 30 books, multiple works in Rosebud, Literally Stories, Linnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Copperfield Review, Literary Orphans, Eastlit, DM du Jour, In Other Words-Merida, Literary Yard, Rope & Wire Magazine, Green Silk Journal. He has received 32 Pushcart nominations and 5 Best of Net nominations.

The Last Taste by David J. Thompson

In Cadiz, in southern Spain,
I know a shiny bright bar
just a block from the beach
that makes you think of Hemingway.
The barman speaks no English,
wears a short white jacket
and a big smile, brings me
glasses of draft beer and tapas
of cheese and black olives
and anchovies in oil.

Eventually he asks me
about a racion de camerones
like I had last night
and the night before.
I nod and grin and soon
he slides me  a white plate covered
with  peel and eat shrimp. I stare
at it for a second, signal him
for another beer. Each bite seems
more delicious than the previous,
my fingers grow moist and sticky
even as the pile of napkins grows
on the counter. Too soon
the shrimp are gone, I lick
the last taste from my fingers,
try to stand up straight,
then gesture for more beer.

Eventually I have to go.
There’s a train to catch
back to Madrid in the morning,
a flight home in a couple days.
I say Adios to the barman,
walk back to my hotel unsteady
in the smell of the ocean,
the moonlight in the palm trees,
and a breeze all the way from Africa.

David J. Thompson
David J. Thompson lists John Prine, John Sayles, and Frank O’Hara among his list of heroes. He enjoys The Simpsons, and he loves Spain and the American West. Please visit his photo website at

Words (My Muse) by Lynn Long

Words ebb and flow
With the tides
I watch them go
From me to you
and back again
You are my muse
My sometimes

And when we speak
My heart awakes
A floods released
Words cascade

Into the river
far below
Spilling forth
They free the

Alas, my words
will have to keep
As silence takes
me back to sleep

Lost in dream
I await
For my muse
Ever late

Lynn Long
Lynn Long- Poet, writer, aspiring novelist, daydreamer and believer in the impossible Contributing artist and Published in the following Ezines, publications and online journals Stanzaic Stylings Antarctica Journal PPP Ezine

Repeat by James Benger

Another bottom-shelf night
with nothing to show for it.

If he stretches,
flexes what’s left of that memory,
he thinks he can almost kinda remember
a time when he had dreams,
a time when he was going to do things,
he was going to get things done,
he was going places.

She’s bitching about something,
he’s not sure what,
but he’s sure he don’t much care.
She’s not the first she,
she keeps it up,
she won’t be the last she, neither.

not cause he likes it;
cause that’s all the job will allow.
He knows he could do better,
knows there’s potential.
For certain, he ain’t happy,
but he’s comfortable,
or at least as comfortable
as this allows.

She threw something hard at the tv,
missed, but it was close.

He sees the kids in the dirt around the park,
sees the tomorrow in their eyes.
God, what to have that back,
that black open nothing of promise.

She slams the bedroom door.
He sets the empty on the
upturned cardboard box that serves as a coffee table,
goes to the kitchen,
cracks the next.

James Benger
James Benger is a father, husband and writer. He is the author of two fiction ebooks, “Flight 776” and “Jack of Diamonds” and two chapbooks of poetry, “As I Watch You Fade” and “You’ve Heard It All Before. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.