Brothel Babies on Repeat… by Paul Tristram

She’s surfin’ that dusty mirror once again,
underwear on inside-out
for the second day running
(They’re never on for long anyway!)
‘Sweetheart’ in big Fuck Off letters
tattooed around her self-harmed throat
and ‘Pay First, Sucker!’
under a pink skull & crossbones
upon the left of her Brazilian mound.
She gulps away another childhood memory
of horse riding on that farm back home
in that now psychological foreign land
with a mouthful of warm, flat Special Brew.
Punter 13 is knocking frantically at the door
(Ooooh, that’s her lucky number, usually!)
He’s sweaty, scabby, smelly & mean
but still she licks & sucks
his pathetic cock like it’s an ice-cream cone,
woodpeckering his puckered arsehole
with a viciously thrumming digit.
Punter 19 wants a ‘Shitter’
which breaks up the monotony slightly.
He comes bearing gifts,
a crack rock & spicy Indian curry first,
watches as she wallops both down,
then lays crying naked as she squats
bored over his chest and lets her arse explode.
Outside in the evening skies
owls are hunting voles and shrews,
blissfully unaware of the barbarism
going on inside the walls of this building.
Punter 22 is an easy one to finish her shift,
he cums every night, literally,
watching her lick cherries & whipped cream
from around the edge of the toilet bowl.
The next ‘Knocks’ are the Pimp & Dealer
who help her glass-pipe the days money away.
Then Prince Heroin for sleep & comfort,
unfocusing from ‘Memories’ and the Pain.

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!

Words by Alan Catlin

We were always one drink from
love or war in those days.
Investing quarters we could not spare
in jukebox songs we did not understand,
“I started a joke, it started the whole world crying….”
she would say and I would reply,
“It’s only words and words are all I have…”
And we would play fight with plastic
knives and forks pretending to be
characters in a play like Romeo and Juliet
on the cold side of some moon evoked in
another song, on the playlist that defined
our lives, until the fights would become
real and our time together became a B side
only kind of love, like the flip side
of “Words”. ”So I say to myself is it real?
So I look inside myself Can I feel?”
A Sinking Ship that became
Too Much of Nothing that became
a Saturday Night Fever we could never
have imagined or hoped to see.
Long before the first disco ball spun
our eyes were blinded by the light.

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

Mr. Testicles by Jon Bennett

This loud fellow
hasn’t been coming long
you can tell by the
swagger and bombast,
“Hey bro! If the bar
ain’t bending
you’re just pretending!”
Later, I hear him
say quietly to a woman
in the stretching area
“You a fine bitch,
bitch, how you get so fine?”
She ignores him
or maybe doesn’t
understand English
and I curse myself
for not being a man
and saying something
being a man
just then
doesn’t seem so great.

Jon Benett Painting
Jon Bennett hopes you’ll forgive his trespasses. — Painting by Andrea Hasko-Marx, c. 2017

The Mouse River by Frank Reardon

The Mouse River wants a life
today. Stones, mud, branches are not enough.
It doesn’t want words, prefers to pulverize,
swallow midnights and grind stars
underneath — sparkle the depths.
Old grain factories
a mile around the dead weed bend
with eyeless rivets and rusted steel,
the empty guard tower of forgotten workers
picked defeat over fight:
Open mouths burned the evidence.
Walk in, rapid says. Be cold. Forget the pen.
Be decay. Lose mind to hysteria.
Become thought not words.
Back home the pork loin slow cooks.
Her mind: one thousand miles away,
locked in violence.
We are born this way.

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.

Night Terror #32 by Matthew Borczon

I was
back in
the isolation
room when
the baby
died silently
as I’m
getting ready
to take
it to
the morgue
I feel
a hand
on my
shoulder and
a doctor
says I
want you
to get
in bed
and hold
this baby
for as
long as
you can

then take
it home
with you
he’s yours
now forever.

Matthew Borczon 2
Matthew Borczon is a nurse and navy sailor. He has published two books of Poetry, A clock of Human bones from Yellow chair review press and Battle Lines through Epic Rites Press his third book Ghost Train will come out later this year from Weasel Press. He publishes widely in the small press.

Badlands by Michael N. Thompson

The husks of foreclosed dreams
burn like Louisiana cane fields
in the malaise where fist meets face

Former gods of war,
tied to their terror
like dogs on a chain,
drink whiskey and rye
up on the levee,
but this isn’t a Don McLean song

Cowgirls wait for love
at the end of the bar
like it’s a welfare check

Their blind faith
provides the same comfort
that a steering wheel
gave Dean Moriarty

This drawn-out scene
feels like an old George Jones song

All that’s missing
are the steel guitars

Some call it the badlands
and others hard country

Neither one is wrong

Michael N. Thompson
Michael N. Thompson likes bacon, fantasy football and Doctor Who. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals including Word Riot, Toronto Quarterly and San Pedro River Review. He is the author of four poetry collections. His fifth, Days Of Swine And Roses, will be released through University Of Hell Press in late 2017. Michael is currently at work on a crime fiction novel.

Teleshopping by John Doyle

Teleshopping is moments away, moon takes cover behind black,
mourn us now, midnight has struck;
our bodies – simply sentient, have turned to dust.

This is how morning greets us, rows and rows of weight-loss tat
do the Charleston, in hours that fall from grace – on this former silver screen.

Adorno put his pen to his head and pulled the trigger, splash of red on the buttons, and the shrapnel turned the screen black

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.