We’ve Locked PC Cockblocker In Cell 3, He Claims That He No Longer Wants To Be A Police Officer But A ‘Sky-Driver’ Instead? by Paul Tristram

‘So, this is what it feels like
the other side of the locked door.’
he thought to himself
as he scraped the words
into the thick paint of the walls.
Right above the Gang Graffiti
and philosophical statements, like
‘Silence Is Golden’
and ‘Say Porthcawl (Fuck-All) Is Best’
“I’m finally getting away from her,
she cannot touch me in here.
No more tears and bullying,
I’ll be free from her now,
the W-W-W-hore!” he stuttered
cowardly whilst looking slyly
over his left shoulder,
still afraid that somehow
she might actually overhear him?
He laughed, involuntarily,
then shit himself uncontrollably,
it was mostly solid & he smiled with glee.
He had not felt so liberated
since safely back in childhood.
“Mother Washes!” he chuckled
and scooping a handful of stinking muck
which was sliding out of his trouser cuff,
he smeared war paint all over his face.
“They’re Coming To Take Me Away!”
he sang in a voice almost not his own
“Ding, Dong The Wicked Witch Is Dead!”

As the Psychiatrist listening at the door
evaluated and made his decision
“He should be reprimanded not sectioned,
forced to face this and not run away from it.
It’s not a breakdown but an escape attempt
away from adult and professional responsibility.
Get his wife here and emotionally shame
and embarrass him until he snaps out of it!”

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) 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/

Even if by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

there are not aliens
in space
there is a woman
in your bed
not always
the same woman
or bed
but that is why variety shows
are so popular
game show yellow cars
driven off into
twenty different ways to style your hair
before baldness
makes it

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.

Whatever Pleasures (North Beach Poem # 37) by William Taylor Jr.

Another day readied for the scrapheap
of forgotten things,
and I’m doing what I can
to keep the fear at bay long enough
to make it through the afternoon,
stockpiling whatever pleasures
I stumble upon, however strange or small.
There’s a pretty girl down in Kerouac Alley
standing in the sun in a purple dress.
She’s posing  for someone’s photograph,
as perfect as anything that was ever dreamed.
She catches my eye and smiles,
acknowledging the fact of us
caught together in this moment,
uselessly beautiful and absurd,
her presence a momentary balm
for all the meaner things that forever lurk and hover.
Her smile lingers as I sit with everything
lost and ruined and forgotten,
everything murdered and betrayed
throughout the years
hunched upon my shoulders
like a dirty beast.
I go to the bathroom
and then the bar for more wine
and return to find her gone.
I take a drink for us both
and look around for something
new to dream.

William Taylor Jr. lives and writes in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. His work has been published widely in journals across the globe, including The New York Quarterly, The Chiron Review, and Catamaran Literary Reader. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, and a collection of short fiction. He is a Pushcart Prize nominee and was a recipient of the 2013 Kathy Acker Award. To Break the Heart of the Sun is his latest collection of poetry.

In The Grasp Of Thank You by Frank Reardon

All those bipolar days and nights
locked up in Madison County
with the long haired man
who claimed to have murdered
two people with a shotgun.
Out on bail, grime under the nails,
hadn’t showered in days;
Natalie calling me to come over
to fuck, to argue, to push me out the door
twenty anxious minutes later
with a bottle of two buck chuck
and the empty downtown streets
of Huntsville. Still alive, still human,
still holding out the doomed hand.
A whisper from the boneyard,
sleeping next to Thomas Ellis
who died of the plague in 1903,
and Mary Pollock who sang
religious hymns to children
before her heart burst in 1911.
A little notebook stolen
from a Dollar Store. A pen
ripped from the metal beads
of a bank, the metal clasp still fastened
at the top. Poems, screams,
and holidays otherwise spent
day dreaming. She was still a toddler then,
still a walking music box.
The single crystal glowing
on the broken backs of snow covered
pine trees. I could do no wrong, she still
loved, regardless that I stood in the food pantry
lines. She still sang to me
on the phone after I dipped
my hand into the work cash register.
All those bipolar days and nights
arguing with myself, and walking
up and down Airport Road
from Al’s bar to The Thirsty Turtle,
looking for a way out, or a way in.
Romantic ideas that kept my blistered
feet going, still without a single publication,
without music in my ears. Families
on the their way to Thanksgiving
feasts, their faces gluttonous
with joy and feelings I had never
felt before. And me, on my way
to the nearest bench to sit far
away from it all, wishing I could
remember a time when I wasn’t me.
And I waited, and waited,
for the earth to crack open
underneath my feet and swallow me whole,
but it never did. Instead, the shape
of the world decided to evolve,
it gave me another chance,
embraced me as the forgotten one.
It’s quite remarkable to love, and to be loved.

Frank Reardon was born in 1974 in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently lives in Minot, North Dakota. Frank has published poetry and short stories in many reviews, journals and online zines. His first poetry collection, Interstate Chokehold, was published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2009 as well as his second poetry collection Nirvana Haymaker in 2012. His third poetry collection Blood Music was published by Punk Hostage Press in 2013. In 2014 Reardon published a chapbook with Dog On A Chain Press titled The Broken Halo Blues. Frank is currently working on more short fiction.

The Counselor by Alan Catlin

He looked as if he were the body double
for the original Incredible Hulk gone
to seed.
Wore a not quite large enough XXL
orange T-shirt that said:
“Florida the Gunshine State”, on the front,
and “Shoot ‘em as you see ‘em” on the back.
Had a chewed-to-mush stogie in the left
corner of his mouth near the scar he got
calling a Cubano drug runner a wetback
greaser in a bar in Miami a man had to have
a serious death wish, or a posse large enough
to talk down the James Gang, even to think
about walking in.
Used to stub out a lit cigar on his forehead
to impress women he wanted to sleep with,
or dealers he did business with once, and once
only, to show how tough he was, and impervious
to pain, a trick that came off as something
only a seriously deranged person would
attempt. This too had its advantages.
That is, until the scarring got so bad,
grown men blanched when they got close
enough to see what he had done to himself.
Whores began charging him double just to be
alone with him, triple of he got near enough
to touch.
Didn’t have a personality so much as a series
of traits that ranged all the way from vicious to
cruel and everything in between.
Would have looked perfect, if he lived long
enough, outfitted with that metal collar that
got applied to the neck of Brad Pitt as a sleazy
shyster in that Cormac McCarthy scripted flick,
that collar that was a self tightening, vice like
iron maiden thing, that gradually squeezed
the life out of the wearer, severing the head
from the body, as it clicked shut.

Alan Catlin
Alan Catlin is the poetry editor of misfitmagazine.net. His latest books of poetry are American Odyssey from Future Cycle and Last Man Standing from Lummox Press

No Courage There by Jennifer Lagier

Camille savors the vision
of prominent Republicans
contradicting The Donald
when confronted
by news anchors
on network TV.

Politicians attempt to backpedal
the would-be Groper in Chief
as he vehemently insists
the election is rigged,
denies brutish behavior
captured on video,
calls women nasty, fat pigs.

One by one, die-hard supporters
piously voice disapproval
of sexual harassment, assault.
They hide behind “decency”
but fail to pull their endorsements.

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

Tryst by Stefanie Bennett

The longhouse is like most others: elongated
And meant for rustic living.

Waup,* whose ancestors stretch 15 generations
Plus, busily skillets flat corn-bread

Half mixed with maple syrup and mustard-ginger.
The rest will accompany chilli pinto.

Beneath stern-eyed tin plated portraits, newspapers
Sub-titled ‘noble savages’

Habitual Clan Mothers gather and discuss
A country’s war profiteering.

The day rolls over into antiquity. Vigorously…
Survival re-invents itself.

(*Waup Athoo Kwey = White Fawn – & thinking about
Standing Rock’s Dakota Sioux ‘environmental crisis’)

Stephanie Bennett
Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel & a libretto… tutored at The Institute of Modern Languages & worked with Arts Action for Peace. Of mixed ancestry [Irish/Italian/Paugussett-Shawnee] she was born in Queensland, Australia. Her latest poetry title with Walleah Press is “The Vanishing”.

A Night Weeping – San Francisco by Bill Gainer

At the window table
street side
the Asian girl’s tongue
her lipstick

Her companion
sips his tea
misses it.

Love’s – want – wish
kissed into a napkin.
The busboy
cleans the table
dreams left
on the smudged edge
of a half full
wine glass
the dishwasher
doesn’t care.
The waiter
never enough.

The Asian girl –
smile broken
follows him past
the register
out the door.

The chill
of a night
holds her tighter
than he
ever will.

Bill Gainer is a storyteller, humorist, award winning poet and the maker of mysterious things. He earned his BA from St. Mary’s College and his MPA from the University of San Francisco. He is the publisher of the PEN Award winning R. L. Crow Publications and is the ongoing host of Red Alice’s Poetry Emporium (Sacramento, CA). Gainer is internationally published and known across the country for giving legendary fun filled performances. His work is not for sissies. Gainer’s latest book, Lipstick and Bullet Holes, is from Epic Rites Press, Canada (2014). Visit: billgainer.com.


What Getting Fucked Up Is Like by Thomas Fucaloro

This is not an excuse.

Ok, maybe it is.

As someone who likes to
get fucked up we are all full
of inebriated excuses.

Like Pigpen from Peanuts
I walk around with a constant
of weed smoke
like a force field
that isn’t really there.

And you hear Mingus
play “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”
for no other reason
Than the next note.

A soft saxophone fucked up
on the standup bass plucked
from the ears of reality.

Yes, yes being fucked up
is like a Charles Mingus song.

Thomas Fucaloro
Thomas Fucaloro is an NYC poet. He has 2 books out by three rooms press, his latest one, “It Starts from the Belly and Blooms” has received rave reviews. He has graduated with an MFA at the New School for Creative Writing. He has been on 3 national slam teams and was the Inspired Word’s 2012 Grand Slam Champion. He is a co-founding editor of Great Weather for Media and NYSAI press. He is a writing coordinator at the Harlem Children’s Zone. He just recently won a performance grant from the Staten Island Council of the Arts and the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. His new chapbook “Mistakes Disguised as Stars” by tired hearts press was released in March and his next chapbook “Depression Cupcakes” will be released in June through “Yes, Poetry.”

Non-Fiction by Beth Gordon

To some it reads like a fairy tale: 323 reindeer
died in Norway this week, a single lightning
strike and down they went, their mouths
filled with wild mushrooms and artic
char, dreaming of berries, not far to fall on

short but sturdy legs. Odd but not rare.
19 cows in Texas, chewing grass with mild
herbivore teeth and then the flash, the collapse.
A freak accident said the farmer’s wife but she
doesn’t know the truth.  Lightning killed

38 sheep in India a few days ago and 21 pigs,
black and crispy, in Joliet, Illinois. Soccer teams,
charity golf outings, debutantes sipping ice
tea beneath a weeping willow on a balmy
Mississippi evening.  Nothing super


Beth Gordon
Beth spends most Friday nights in the home of her friends, JD and Dale, drinking wine and writing about drinking wine. After doing this for a couple of years, they decided to see if anything they had written might entertain other people. She has most recently been published in Straight Up Magazine and on-line at the Dime Show Review.