Bare by Sudhanshu Chopra

5-7-5 reminds me of
my work schedule
though the vending machine
does not drip

Will you eat something?
is the sweetest question someone
could ask
someone, and not
Will you marry me?

Santa must hide his
pack of joints under
beard of smoke for
wintery commute and
jaunty ho-ho-ho!

Glasses are for guests
who drink from bottle
at home
So I cut the chase
and hand them one

Sudhanshu Chopra
Sudhanshu Chopra draws inspiration to write from observation, memories, subconscious, books he reads, movies he watches, and music he listens to; sometimes a phrase or simply a word is enough. ‘He writes at


Yankee Girl Reverie by Carla M. Cherry

They say a lot of male mechanics dupe women, but not mine.
He is my sweet stand-in for Daddy.

I tease him. “You look like Harry Belafonte.”
I look better, he quips, and we laugh.

I always get a hug and kiss on the cheek
before he asks what is wrong with my car and beckons for the keys.

You have a way to get home?

I could take a cab but I love the lilt in his voice.
I take the ride to keep him talking.

Today I ask,
What part of Jamaica are you from?

St. Mary’s.
It’s a lil country town.
It’s quiet.
No chasing after ten o’clock.
There, you wonder where it is.

I nod, smile about my Some Day-
Caribbean sun browning/breeze licking my skin
mauve hibiscus nestled in the crook above my ear
bunches of Kiss Me Over the Gardens in purple drapes over my hands,
evenings under the red thistle of the bottle brush tree,
a plate of callaloo and plantains
balanced on my knees.

Will you ever go back home to live?

We all say we will but we don’t.

As we drive past the delivery trucks and body shops along Route 22,
smoky air seeps through the windows–
I roll them up, clear my throat, expelling the odor of progress.

Carla M. Cherry
Carla M. Cherry is an English teacher and poet from New York City who has been published in Anderbo, Soar, Obscura, Dis sident Voice, Random Sample Review, Eunoia Review, MemoryHouse Magazine, and Down In The Dirt. She has also published a book of poetry, Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings. She hopes to earn an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

I’m Running by Robin Wyatt Dunn

I’m running
over boards and rent stakes
high treason
mass murder
old fames, memes, words and stories
churning into a fluid:

dropping me lottery into the abyss
fragment on paper
stone to water

fill me with the emptiness of the sound
as I drop

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

Up Front by JD DeHart

Don’t plant a seed
in the hidden corner.
Don’t leave the work
to inference.
I don’t want to have
to find your meaning.
Arrive at the door
and say hello.
Speak up, say what
you mean.
The direct approach,
the bold question,
brazen answer,
open and honest reply.
Or else speak in poetry
terms that I can apply
in whatever way I like.

jd dehart
JD DeHart is a writer and teacher. His chapbook, The Truth About Snails, is available on Red Dashboard.

Happy as a ‘Pig In Shit’ within his Stupidity, he Stayed by Paul Tristram

Throwing his rattle out of the pram at every little turn,
issuing pleas for sympathy instead of using stamina
when the going gets tough, brutal and real.
Explaining with a trembling ‘boo-boo’ lip
the unfairness of why he isn’t getting his own way.
Whilst pointing fingers loaded with betrayal
and accusation at everyone’s back not in punching distance.
But expecting ‘Stupid People’ to understand the ‘Big Picture’
is like trying to explain Heaven to a dog
then getting annoyed because their eyes shine back empty.
They cannot see beyond the next move
and if you stay stubbornly in the game with them after realizing this?
Then it is in fact you who is now wrong,
congratulations, you’ve let their idiocy rub off on you.
Not only are some people stuck in the same
rinse/repeat cycles of behaviour all the way through life,
some are blindly going through the motions
of twatish systems perfected by their elders and un-betters
generations before…we’re talking historical denseness here.
Walk away from that shit-storm of nonsense,
there is no winner, only frustrating complications
besides losers are for leaving behind not dirtying your energy with.

Scribblings Of A Madman
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) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!

This Symmetrical Life by Grant Tarbard

The woodpecker in my throat is whittling
the morning’s call. I hear spring skipping ropes

whipping the turf of the council designated grass patch,
the children’s excitable bones circulate

with a flighty breath whispering music
hall songs of the old ragged open leaf,

echoing a prayer to the walls of the wind,
a howling instrument for speaking with this symmetrical life,

running side by side like railway tracks but never meet,
just glimpses when the chorale unearths you.

The woodpecker pricks my flush melancholy,
and I know the sloe drizzle publishes rivers.

Grant Tarbard 2
Grant Tarbard is the author of the newly released Loneliness is the Machine that Drives this World (Platypus Press). Follow him on Twitter at @GrantTarbard.

Portrait by Gareth Writer-Davies

on white paper
you make the mark

and slowly
the image is worked

I do not ask if you began, with the nose or the chin
these are your choices

how do I begin to write?
but an intuition that one word, will lead to another

we talk
the small secrets of the ear captured

and animate still
(your final touches)

I have
the first stanza by heart

Gareth Writer-Davies was Commended in the Prole Laureate Competition in 2015, Specially Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition and Highly Commended in the Sherborne Open Poetry Competition. Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and the Erbacce Prize in 2014. His pamphlet “Bodies”, was published in 2015 through Indigo Dreams and his next pamphlet “Cry Baby” will be published in 2017.

Opening Everywhere by Paul Koniecki

the stage
is a kitchen

the kitchen is
a playhouse

in a dream
about a rose tattoo

the magnet
on the refrigerator


outside the
world is burning

and all of the
water is gone

a small magnet

one side
of the ‘fridge

like a pulse

or a box-kite
held by twine

and the scent
of last chance

fecund air

on stage
a man in black

walks in
and whispers in

your ear
i want to

rewrite the last
line of your life

outside the world
is turning

hurry the woman
with the rose tattoo

is walking by
and if you

were wondering
by now

the magnet
in the kitchen

holds up a
picture of

the two
of you tomorrow

walking in a park
in the rain

Paul Koniecki is co-curator of Pandora’s Box Poetry Showcase in Dallas Texas and an original contributor to the White Rock Lake Zine Machine, currently on display at Deep Vellum bookstore, and his poems are in One Of the Rough, a film by Tropic Pictures, that was just optioned by AVFF Cannes. His book Reject Convention is available at .

Co-op on a Saturday Night by Susan Evans

Fridge thin, had to pop in
to the Co-op; which I hate
to do on a Saturday night;
when I planned a quiet one −
the ordinary shop for basic
sustenance, amidst the party
people exuding lustfulness…
needs must. Browse shelf
stacker; wildly singing to
Hozier’s `Take me to Church’─
love the song & hearing them
unabashedly sing-a-long…
Skipping on to spare till, they
spare me the thrill of hanging
behind thigh-high, kinky boots
figure; in queue for booze &
smile at my style-conscious,
canvass bag, begin scan & ask:
`so what have you been up to
today?’ `writing poetry’, I say.
`You do poetry? No-one has
ever said poetry when I asked –
I think that’s kinda beautiful…’
(I thought they were kinda beautiful).

Susan Evans Performance poet Photo Credit Andrew King 2015
Susan Evans is widely published in indie poetry magazines & journals; in print & online, including: Amaryllis, The Angry Manifesto, The High Window, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Jawline Review, The Journal, Message in a Bottle, Militant Thistles, Nutshells and Nuggets, Obsessed With Pipework, Prole, Proletarian Poetry, Snakeskin, Yellow Chair Review & Your One Phone Call, among others. UK-based (London & Brighton) Performance poet, Susan Evans, was shortlisted Best Spoken Word Performer in the Saboteur Awards, 2016. Her first full poetry collection is due for release in early 2017. You can find her here: Photo Credit: Andrew King

Global Imagi-nations, Mumbai August 2016 by Debarun Sarkar

She grew up in Muscat she said
the last time I met her
I do not know much about Muscat
I didn’t even know which country it was in

She made me recall another person I had met
long time ago, now
who grew up in Nigeria
The weird migrant accent of English
was the reason I made the connection I thought
Immigrant Indians always have a weird accent,
especially when they come back to India,
not the usual Western countries such as UK or the US
but the ones who grew up or lived in a random country
on the map of the globe

Remember the globe?
I do not think children nowadays feel the excitement we felt
when we first bought it.
Google Earth and Maps and its countless derivatives
even the open-source ones probably have taken away
the charm from a map on the wall and the globe
Maybe they think such things are only for the ironic nostalgic

Long before Ambani’s Reliance made the marketing phrase
karlo duniya muthi me*, when they launched their CDMA network
some street hawker on the street probably thought of the phrase
while handing his unsold globe to his son or his daughter.
It isn’t at all ironic that somewhere close by Ambanis are probably
sipping on some unimaginable imported liquor, or their assistant is.

I’m writing these words
in the city of Mumbai near the Western suburbs
not very far from the resort like house of Ambani
which he doesn’t even live in, most of the time
while most people in the city
while away their time
in what a friend aptly described as
‘pigeon holes’
while dreaming of laboring in Dubai

*grab the world in your hands, was a the landmark advertisement slogan by Reliance Communications when they launched their telecom network in India. The price wars the company resulted in, led to the wider mobile telephony penetration across India.

Debarun Sarkar
Debarun Sarkar sleeps, eats, reads, smokes, drinks, labors and occasionally writes and submits them. Recent works have appeared or are forthcoming in Visitant, Off the Coast, The Opiate, Literary Orphans, Rat’s Ass Review, The Sunflower Collective, A Story in 100 Words, Aainanagar, among others.