On My Arm Tonight by J.J. Campbell

your beauty
chokes out
all the air
in the room

i order you
a drink and
fully believe
you’ll be
going home
on my arm
tonight

though,
i’m pretty
sure every
other fucker
in here with
his brain
between
his legs
thinks the
same damn
thing

J.J. Campbell
J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) has given up the farm life and is now trapped in suburbia. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, Easy Street, The Stray Branch, Pyrokinection and Horror Sleaze Trash. You can find him most days bitching about only the things he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Shit, I think I Loved by Isis Zystrid

making mountains out of molehills,
i will climb these insignificant
insights
till i am blue in the face–
please no oxygen mask,
this one i want
to feel.

i’m not sure why
i am so upset but
upset i am,
there are just too many nicks
in the paintwork
and at the moment
i cannot bear
to stretch my limbs.

tell me,
explain to me,
give me anything
but your hours upon hours
in the passing days
your scarcity of acknowledgement.
turn me into a chemical concoction
in a makeshift meth lab,
burn me and roast me
into something new.

anything but this endless wanting,
anything but gazing into
empty spaces wondering,
neglecting denial.
i am under a pile
of hastily assembled wood–
use an ax to get me out,
i shall pay no mind
to how you release me.

i can deal
with sharp edges
but just reconsider numbing me
with bitter stagnance–
i do not give you insecure ladders
to climb,
nor a riddle with a surly consequence.
just tolerate me being too upset,
tolerate how i have not become
unattached from inaction–
because shit,
i think
i loved you
a little bit.

Isis Zystrid
Isis Zystrid is a poet who resides in Seattle with her houseplants. She enjoys the rain and hearing others complain about it.

 

#WhiteLivesMatter by Michael Marrotti

Death to the white man
He’s given the world
everything he has
to make it a better place
Who cares about that
The real racists
are screaming
white privilege
with rap stage names
like Lil Gotti
Claiming to be
disenfranchised
Obama in their eyes
is unworthy
of achievement
Contemptuous
of those who rose up
from ranks of bottom feeding
Propagating
their racial rhetoric
all over Facebook
Courtesy of Steve Jobs
and Mark Zuckerberg
Each time I have
a glass of orange juice
I can’t help
but think of OJ
The slave trade is deceased
Let’s switch the roles
Why bother
No one knows about Barbary
Using the word hustle
to describe a multitude
of different things
I’m on a quest for knowledge
Your incognizance
is your own decision
Kiss the dream goodbye
I admire the preachings
of Martin Luther King
Although it now feels
like a nightmare
White Lives matter
Go ahead and vilify
me on the telephone
Think of the man
who created it
Plenty of us
voted Obama in
for a second term
Keep the scorn
for yourself
We’re not the enemy

Michael M
Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he’s not writing, he’s volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man’s work, please check out his blog:www.thoughtsofapoeticmind.blogspot.com for his latest poetry and short stories.

Indigent by Sergio A. Ortiz

I’ve squandered the rainbow,
the swallows I set aside for poems
are in the red.
The account of my sunsets has been frozen.
I owe the treasury five thousand fifty butterflies.

Sergio Ortiz
Sergio A. Ortiz is the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. His collections of Tanka, For the Men to Come (2014), and From Life to Life (2014) were released by Amazon. He’s a two time Pushcart nominee and a four time Best of the Web nominee. His poems have been publish in over four hundred journals and anthologies.

 

Pike Place Public Market by Jennifer Lagier

I have wandered into alien territory.
An albino transvestite asks if I know
the world as we know it has ended.
He is framed by two homeless women
swaddled beside ragged dogs
within filthy blankets.
A toothless musician sits upon
a plastic bucket, rattles Starbucks cups
filled with percussive pebbles.
“I am soooo screwed up,”
the chick with dilated pupils falling
out of a passing pedicab announces.
Fish mongers hawk slabs of halibut,
pink salmon cadavers.
The hulking black guy dressed
as a turquoise tyrannosaurus
twists red and green balloons
into improbable animals.
I cross the intersection,
am accosted by an activist
clutching a clipboard.
He rants about the injustices
wreaked by a corrupt legal system.
The buffed bike cop arrives on cue,
clears a swath to permit passage
of cash wielding tourists.

jen_2012
Jennifer Lagier has published ten books and in literary magazines. She taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate monthly Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Forthcoming books: Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle). Website: http://jlagier.net

 

Mixed Martial Arts Cage Fighting (for Matey Tristram) by Paul Tristram

It’s not unsettling losing,
it’s the winning suddenly.
Staggering back into focus
with demolition in every part of you.
And they finally crack,
right down the middle.
They can’t see it yet
only feel it.
But you are outlasting
the horizon.
So they fall,
every finger and toe, motherfucker!
I don’t know you from Adam
but you raped the universe,
Kennedy died because of you,
Hitler looks just like you
and my daughter told me
in her sweet, angelic voice
“Don’t you dare lose, daddy!”

Stripper scan
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) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1943170096 ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326241036 And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1326415204 You can also read his poems and stories here! http://paultristram.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

Some of These Days by James Babbs

I still feel lost
losing my mind
listening to the sound of the rain
tap
tap
tapping
on the roof above my head and
the wind again
something torn loose
something pulled apart and
carried away
some things get scattered
but leave behind traces
I’m burying myself under the ground
closing the basement door behind me and
walking slowly down the stairs
the sound my heart makes
like the beat of a drum
pounding in my ears and
I’m not as young as I want to be
at the bottom of the stairs
I stop and look around
teetering on the edge of darkness
before fumbling for the light switch
I’ve been thinking about
all those things that haven’t changed
remembering
some of the things you said
nights of loneliness and drinking
trying not to drown
holding my arms above my head
the writing on the walls
the mirrors
see how they catch the light
reflecting
only what they are given

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.

No Worse For Wear by Ben Newell

I’m finally getting a sofa.

Long overdue
as my current one is 13 years old
and
approaching biohazard status;
I have my brother
to thank for this, my most generous brother
who’s always willing to flow me
his castoffs.

In preparation for the delivery
I pull my old one away from the wall
and discover
down there with the dust bunnies
a cigarette lighter
and the April 2011 issue of Hustler.

No telling how long these items
have been in hiding;
I never even knew they were missing—

Later that night
I kick back in relative luxury,
utterly amazed
at the comfort of my new sofa.

Soft, yet supportive . . .

And the lighter no longer works
but the Hustler does.

ben-newell
Ben Newell, 44, works as a library clerk at a small college in Jackson, Mississippi. Recent pub credits include Full of Crow, misfitmagazine, Nerve Cowboy, Pink Litter, Red Fez, and Your One Phone Call. He likes hot weather, ice cold beer, and reads far too many books about serial killers.

Whisper When You Want To Scream by Mikel K

I’m not sure, but words may linger
where they are spoken, and if they are screamed
they also linger, but not as quietly.
Words that are screamed hold their anger,
and fifteen minutes later, a day later,
a week, a month, all the years until the screamer dies
those words hang there, angrily in the air where they
were shouted out, drowning out words of love,
and regular words that are lingering, too.

Mikel K - Copy
Mikel K is a poet and memoirist living in Atlanta, Ga. K was voted best Atlanta Poet, the last three years in a row, by readers of Creative Loafing, Atlanta’s weekly newspaper. He has a BS in English with a minor in Journalism from Georgia State University.

No Escape by Jon Bennett

Say you’re an insurance claims adjuster
or do benefit allocations
for an obscure government agency
the Office of Thrift Supervision or something
your cubicle might be swell
but there will still be
a little man with clenchy fists
who’s got your number-
“I know your game, WRXJ7,” he’ll say,
“but it’s not gonna fly in MY department!”
Take me for instance
I got a job replacing the bearings
in wheelchair wheels
My boss said,
“Too much grease, Bennett!”
The price of greasing wheels
keeps going up
but we all need a niche
only there’s no safe place
don’t fool yourself
you’re always going to be
in the hot seat.

Jon Bennett
Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his stuff on iTunes, Spotify, and http://www.jonbennett.info