Reveille by Robert W. Getz

my wife likes this special milk
for breakfast and we were out
so i had to leave early to get

it, and as i unlocked the door
and stepped into the bright day
the sudden roar of a crowd

smacked me like a tidal wave
overwhelming, as if i were being
cheered by a crowd, it was

coming from the park down
the street which was filled with
kids and a voice over the

p.a. cried out ‘WELL, IF
YOUR NEIGHBORS WEREN’T
UP BEFORE, THEY’RE

UP NOW!’ and with that the
music began and the screaming
began again and i pulled out

of the driveway leaving the
pounding roar behind me
the unending human surf

Robert W. Getz
Robert W. Getz lives in Glenside, PA. His latest book of poetry is “Pomp and other Circumstances: Poems 2014-2015.”

Ten O’clock by George Anderson

A new member
of the Social Golf Club
innocently asks,

“How did
Ten O’Clock
get his nickname?”

I quickly scan
the foyer
for Ten.

“The boys
reckon
he’s usually
drunk
by 10.”

“P.M.?”

“No, both.”

He smirks
& quips,

“Sure is excessive
even by our standards.”

“You know Sebastian,
the boys have another theory.”

“What’s that?”

Ten is hurrying our way
carrying a six-pack of stubbies.

I tilt my hand above my mouth
& adopt an appropriate angle:

“He is usually seen drinking
in the 10 O’clock position.”

George Anderson
George Anderson is a teacher, critic, poet and short story writer. He is editor of the blog BOLD MONKEY which reviews small press publications: https://georgedanderson.blogspot.com.au/ His most recent work will be found in Lummox Press Anthology 5, The Blood Machine, Bad Acid Laboratories and the chapbook ‘Teaching My Computer Irony’ in the Epic Rites Press’s Punk Chapbook Series 2016.

 

House of Knives by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Walking into the House of Knives
in the mall
I think of Caesar, how it didn’t
end so well,
all that blood for housekeeping
to sop up after the
fact…
And the missus grabs my arm
dragging me inside.
Some Brutus behind the counter
with a Roman nose
and smirking.
As though he works on commission
and knows we are there to buy.
Pulling many knives out from under glass
for the missus to hold.
“I think these will work,” she says,
running her fingers across the
blade.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan
Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a happily unmarried proud father of none. His work can be found both in print and online in such joints as Your One Phone Call, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Dead Snakes. He has an affinity for dragonflies, discount tequila, and all things sarcastic.

 

Sphinx by Nate Maxson

Here they come now, approaching the sphinx
Not a dead, noseless hulk like they have in Egypt and Louisiana
But a living, blue eyed stone
Hushed but with the potential to answer questions
It doesn’t riddle you, you riddle it
And if you cannot riddle: silence
How about that?
If America had a sphinx in her forest (it is a she, like a ship, isn’t it?)
Ah, the parades we would lead into its quietude
Limestone oracle, not immensely tall but man-sized with gems for eyes
Here they come now
The penitents dressed in Italian silk suits mumbling pieces of Latin doggerel prayer that could only mean, “have I got it right this time?”
Split down the middle, night and day: like the jazz song or the line where brown lake water meets the air
In their center, our favorite image: girl in a cage, wearing a striped, gray, prisoner shirt (a counter to her captor’s flagellated finery) and thin, thin the way we like them
On second thought though, “she” could be my doppelganger though I’m on the shade of the sphinx’s green eye (the dry side) with the jugglers and the musicians and the tamed fire eaters
I’ll whisper in one gold, crescent ear (the half of the mechanism I’m allowed to touch) while I watch her pleading, soon burnt blue familiar eyes watch me with minimal guilt stage whisper, “who’s the future now?”

Nate Maxson
Nate Maxson is a writer and performance artist. The author of several collections of poetry, he lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Currentsee by Moly Tov

sun
bleached

ass
hole

if ever
there was

one

in a crowd
always
gasping

and choking
on close air

too thick
to suck

down
aren’t we

tired
a following
exhaustion

conclusions
cliffs
to fling from

ourselves
scattered

Moly Tov
Moly was a Spring 2016 resident poet with the Lehigh Valley Vanguard. Moly has had a few poems published, both online and in print, and a varied sampling of Moly’s poetry and paintings can be found at her blog: TheHodgeandThePodge.wordpress.com She has also been known to color the occasional comic book: zombieroyale.wordpress.com

 

Grave by Thom Young

I’m building a graveyard
in
my heart
where they rest
in
peace
the blondes, the brunettes, the raven haired beauties,
and the misty eyed red heads
some had fragile smiles
and iron hearts
not wanting love
until
I moved in and out
of their lives
like a ghost
and the end
called
in sick
with what
we once
had.

Thom Young
Thom Young is a writer from Texas. His work has been in The Commonline Journal, 3am magazine, Crack the Spine, Word Riot, 48th Street Press, and many other places. A 2008 Million Writers Award nominee for his story Perico. He is one of Amazon’s most popular poets hitting #1 in Poetry Anthologies and Short Stories and his latest A Little Black Dress Called Madness hit #1 Poetry in Germany.

We All Have Toothache, Hangovers & Bad Hair Days But To Make Fun Of Other Peoples Makes You A Cunt Not They! by Paul Tristram

Screaming LIVID from insecurities pulpit,
finger-pointing Hell & Damnation to one and all.
That’s beyond envy & jealousy…
it’s disgusting… I’m lost for words
and you’re completely riddled through with it.
The only thing keeping you together at the seams
is your uncontrollable anger?
Punching innocent people in the face
with accusations and slander
whilst demanding at the top of your vicious voice
everyone’s understanding & sympathy?
‘Life’s Not Fair’ is your favourite cry
and you are absolutely right,
if it was I would be able to scrape you off
the bottom of my shoe and walk away.
That wind’s picking up a beauty
and I heard a house just fell on your sister,
be careful crawling back down
into whatever decrepit little hole you slithered from.

pauly hat
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/

The Morning after the Announcement of the Poet’s Death by Nick Allen

ill-defined at distance   along the shimmering path of a golden sunrise
three cyclists approach crabbed over their machines   clouds of steambreath billowing   silhouettes pressing left before right before left
in uncommon rhythmic perambulation   part-arachnid   part-crustacean

glistening in the early sun   laid out on the window sill like a confession
ribs sucked white   clean of meat and sinew   pint glasses bookend the hasty altar
a cat prowls under the ledge unable to see the bones she can smell

it is seven a.m. and outside the paper shop a pair of undercover fishermen
unaccountably camouflaged   sip at lager cans as they wait for their lift
today’s paper has Heaney’s face on the cover   the big man   who quietly left

Nick Allen
After a lifetime of denial Is finally willing to admit his poetry habit in public. Enjoys wearing black and gets most of his sustenance from double espressos and malt whisky. Believes in global worker solidarity and that the Brexit referendum should be quashed as the public voted on promises based on a false prospectus

 

Spaces by J.S.Watts

I like spaces                   places
where the silence  pours in
like rain           and fills you up
with echoes

J.S.Watts - cropped
J.S.Watts’ poetry and prose appear in publications in Britain, Canada, Australia and the States and have been broadcast on BBC and Independent Radio. She has published five books: two poetry collections, “ Years Ago you Coloured Me” and “Cats and Other Myths” and a multi-award nominated poetry pamphlet, “Songs of Steelyard Sue”, published by Lapwing Publications and two novels, “A Darker Moon” – dark literary fantasy, and “Witchlight” – paranormal romance, published in the US and UK by Vagabondage Press. See http://www.jswatts.co.uk

Cairn Prayer by Larry D. Thacker

Build me a cairn on the mound of my grave.
Let it be something I might be curious about
If I happened up on it under the evergreens,
Finding it tall and out of place, unnatural,
Full of stones attending something but so
obviously the resting place of a man’s bones.

Stack a stone for every brother and sister
Gone before me, one for every friend made,
Two for every friend lost, a stone for each
Man I’ve killed, two for every one I should
Have but still walks the earth and knows
He does so only because I chose that fate
For him. A stone for each son and daughter
I know and two for each I’d yet to meet,

And a stone for my wife, and a stone each
Of my past wives living and dead, stones
For those I’ve hurt in heart and body, one
For every answered prayer and two for each
Unanswered, a stone for every country I’ve
Walked and every sea in which I’ve waded.
Cap the uppermost with a stone for my God
And pour over the lot pebbles for every horn
Of drink and every storied poem of my lips.

Larry D. Thacker is a writer and artist from Tennessee. His poetry can be found or forthcoming in journals and magazines such as The Still Journal, The Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee, Mojave River Review, Broad River Review, Harpoon Review, Rappahannock Review, Full of Crow Poetry, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, AvantAppal(Achia), Sick Lit Magazine, Black Napkin Press, and Appalachian Heritage. His stories can be found in past issues of The Still Journal, Fried Chicken and Coffee, and The Emancipator.

    He is the author of Mountain Mysteries: The Mystic Traditions of Appalachia, the poetry chapbooks Voice Hunting and Memory Train, and the forthcoming full collection, Drifting in Awe. A student services higher education professional for fifteen years, he is now engaged full-time in his poetry/fiction MFA from West Virginia Wesleyan College.