My Sweet Love by Matt Dennison

Our shotgun
Tom was tall
and blond,
owned a truck,
had a job
with the city,
lived alone.

Tom had been
in hospitals,
his father told me
one night between
shared drinks
on the stoop.

They had held him
down and applied
the shock-stick
to jizz himself
all over himself
while they laughed
all over themselves.

He could not have
normal relations
after that.

Perhaps that is why
Tom whipped his dog
with a sharp metal chain
every night behind
our soft wooden

Perhaps that is why
my love, my joy,
my daisy

chose me over

Matt Dennison
After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made videos with poetry videographers Michael Dickes, Swoon and Marie Craven.

Hepatica by Kenneth Pobo

Picture Dusty singing
“Breakfast In Bed”
to Norma Tanega.
They touch tenderly
in places that Ed Sullivan
fears, the swingin’ sixties
a time when even famous
heads get bashed
against a wall and
careers come down
with a terrible disease
and die of truth.  Norma
puts her head on
Dusty’s chest.  The sun
has already gotten up
to make breakfast
for a hepatica blossom.

Kenneth Pobo
I am a minor authority on Tommy James and the Shondells. I’m growing 30 dahlias this year Recent book: Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt, Urban Farmhouse Press, 2015.


Wanderlust by John Doyle

Calabria, Cantabria, Azores,
it’s like Cicero wrote the lyrics for Kokomo
instead of Mike Love…

John Doyle
John Doyle Bio: The only good bio is a bio strung-up outside some gold-prospector’s wooden shack with his dog Jake sniffing at its last remaining remnants of sanguine flesh; So I will keep it simple, I’m from County Kildare, Ireland, and I love nothing more than stumbling across 3rd Division football games in Slovenia or Belgium on a Sunday morning as a welcome interlude while trying outsmart fellow bio hunters.

The Junction by Emily Bilman

From his bronze bust, blasé,
Freud gazes at
the labyrinths of our libido,
his hands in his pockets.
Dedalus-like, the maze-exits
elude me like the thorns
of your absence.
Born by the blood
that cleanses us
like a resilient river,
we escape
the ogre-Minotaur
at the junction
of our inner journeys.

Emily Bilman
Dr. Emily Bilman is London’s Poetry Society Stanza representative and hosts poetry meetings in her home in Geneva. She earned her PhD from East Anglia U where she taught literature. Her dissertation entitled, The Psychodynamics of Poetry, was published in 2010. Modern Ekphrasis, dealing with the poetry-painting analogy from Plato to Derrida, was published by Peter Lang in 2013. Her poems are published in The London Magazine, Hunger Mountain, Offshoots VII & XII, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Iodine, and Aois 21 in America and The Inspired Heart Vols. 1, 2, & 3, and Ygdrasil in Canada. Two poetry books, A Woman By A Well and Resilience, are published by Matador in England. Her website is


Navy Man by Jon Bennett

I have to admit
even after all the years of drink
dad still has the bemused look in his eye
looking at a painting of a sailboat
recognizing its year of production
the class, the country of origin
the knots employed
and perhaps even connecting
classical music from that period.
Even after all the years of drink,
after all, it was only drink
while I’ve lost chunks of years
from all the dope
and can barely recognize a bos’n hitch
let alone tie one.
I have to admit, as he says,
“things havent’ only changed,
they’ve gotten worse,”
he might be right.

Jon Bennett fuzzy
Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his stuff on iTunes, Spotify, and

Hippiecrits by Mark Antony Rossi

A hopped-up hippie
told me too much beef
will give me colon cancer.

I replied “once you quit smoking
Pot and Parliament
then you can lecture me
on clean living.

That SOB
ran for Congress
Got arrested for nuke protests
And became a vegetarian.

Good advice is hard to take.

Mark Antony Rossi’s poetry, criticism, fiction and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Another Chicago Review, Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Collages & Bricolages,  Enclave, Expound, GloMag, Gravel, Flash Fiction, InBetween Hangovers, Japanophile, On The Rusk, Purple Patch, Scrivener Creative Review, Sentiment Literary Journal, The Sacrificial ,Wild Quarterly and Yellow Chair Review.

All The Phones At Positive Pie by Ron. Lavalette

All the babes at Positive Pie have
phones that go unanswered, phones
that bleep and glurg incessantly;
insistent phones that flash and flash
and stab their heedless owners’ eyes
and ears and only add to the general
beer-filled boisterous brouhaha, add
to the overall overkill of noisiness
to no avail:
                          all the babes at Positive Pie
ignore their phones. The more they ring
the more they get ignored.
                                                  The old man
at the end of the bar, at the bitter end
of his working Wednesday, watching,
has seen the babes ignore their phones
before, has heard the glurg and buzz
and, buzzed, he works to find the words
to turn it into certain verse, to turn the
worst of sounds around, to make the
endless ringing sing a song.
                                                  He thinks.
He finds, at last, the ink. He sings along.

Ron. Lavalette - Copy
Ron. Lavalette is primarily a poet living in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, land of the fur-bearing lake trout and the bilingual stop sign. He has been widely published, both online and in print. A reasonable sample of his published work can be found at EGGS OVER TOKYO. Ron. blogs at: SCRAMBLED, NOT FRIED .


Summer Rain After The Longest Damn Day by Gareth Spark

Smoke harnessing sky, old June
sits well on your shoulder-
dead tree spikes against
your thunder-full cloud;
and I do not move, still dressed
for sun bath and want
the rain to come, want to feel
beneath an action of the world,
to know,
water on shoulders,
that I am not a thing apart,
not memories, not dreams
but animal hair, and gut and bone.
Come rain and show me
the precious primacy.

I’ll sit here in the clogged heat
and wait.

Gareth Spark
Gareth Spark is from Whitby, Yorkshire. His short fiction and poetry has appeared in Shotgun Honey, Line Zero, Out of the Gutter, NAP, Poetry Bus and Deepwater Literary Review, among others. He reviews poetry online for Fjords Review, among others.

Like We Were Friends or Something by James Babbs

I didn’t know him
he just came up to me
when I was sitting at the bar
took the stool next to mine
he started talking
like we were friends or something
talking about some guy he’d seen
yeah he said
he was down at Casey’s
out there in the parking lot
holding a bottle of pop
and he was smoking this little cigar
he pronounced cigar like see-gar
then he threw his head back and laughed
craziest thing I ever saw he said
I guess I didn’t get the joke
hey man  he said
he slapped me on the back
nearly made me spill my beer
I put down my glass
turned around and looked at him
hey I said
I came in here
for some peace and quiet
I have no idea
what the hell you’re talking about
he leaned over and
gave me this huge grin
okay he said come on
let me buy you a beer man
I put my hand up
no I said
that’s okay
no he said
and he waved at the bartender
before I could stop him
he pointed at me
another beer he said
for my friend here
then laughed again
I said look
we’re not friends
before I finished the beer I had
then picked up the new one
the bartender had put in front of me
okay he said
I took my beer and moved
to the other end of the bar
I heard him laugh again
then watched as someone new came in
and took the stool
I had just left behind
I saw the guy turn
and start talking to them
it was my turn to laugh

James Babbs Photo 2
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.