A Taste Of Honey by Martina Reisz Newberry

This world was created to dumbfound,
to make incomprehensible the
reasons to be alive.  Think of it.

Look around. The insanity is
as palpable as rain in your face.
We are cimmerian shade deeply

rooted in shadows, as unreal to
each other as we are to ourselves.
I can prove this with a memory:

a shabby apartment, a bed meant
for one used by two and sex there so
honest, it bled out honey onto

the sheets.  All these things behind rarely-
opened doors.  It was the least pride I’d
ever known. I was recondite to

myself. Through the hours spent there, I could
hear the gods cackling, sending visions
of farceurs and robots through my head.

None of this was unique. Millions of
bodies did what we did. It may have
been love or just the contents of a

newly-opened jar laid on its side,
contents spreading slow like melted gold
(or raw honey) over years, over

terror, over moments and music.
Insanity ruled and we quit each
other. The aluminum taste of
lithium has never left my mouth.

Martina Reisz Newberry
​Newberry’s books are NEVER COMPLETELY AWAKE (Deerbrook Editions), TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME (due out in late 2017 from Unsolicited Press), WHERE IT GOES (Deerbrook Editions), LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Editions), RUNNING LIKE A WOMAN WITH HER HAIR ON FIRE (Red Hen Press), LIMA BEANS AND CITY CHICKEN: MEMORIES OF THE OPEN HEARTH (E.P. Dutton &Co) Her work has been anthologized and widely published in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian Newberry, a Media Creative.


After Rumi by Mike Zone

the mouse and camel in subtle worship
under nuclear colored skies
restless ground
dead mountains protruding
following a candle lit
one would lead the other
chest full of laughter
where the other would not
watching the crow fly
talons crushing/gripping the frog’s eye
so much for friendship and string
no open windows here

Michael Zone is the author of Fellow Passengers: Pubic Transit Poetry, Meditations & Musings and Better than the Movies: 4 Screenplays. His work has been featured in Because Eileen, Dead Snakes, Horror Trash Sleaze, In Between Hangovers, Sick Lit Magazine, Three Line Poetry, Triadae Magazine and The Voices Project. He scrapes by in Grand Rapids, MI

Hail by Hanoch Guy

are carried by rivers
across the wooden bridge
and through the gate.
Young and old
skeletons intertwine.
Bones blindly seeking bones.

Row after row
they stand
in the frozen hail,
ignore commands to return.
March through snow fields,
fall into fox traps,
step into
merciful ice that yields
under their feet,
encases them
in mammoth remains.

Snow continues cruel and soft.

Hanoch Guy spent his childhood and youth in Israel surrounded by citrus orchards ,water melon fields and invading sand dunes. He is a bilingual poet in Hebrew and English,.
Hanoch is emeritus professor of Jewish and Hebrew literature  in Temple University
He has taught mentoring and poetry classes in the Musehouse center in Philly.
Hanoch has published poetry extensively the US,Israel and the UK in Genre,Poetry Newsletter, Tracks , the International Journal of Genocide studies Poetry Motel,Visions International,Voices Israel and several times in Poetica where he won an award
He has also won an award in the Mad Poets Society.

Broken Branches III by Thasia Anne

The tiny half grown birdling flew away in the wind
She crashed in and out of nests strewn with litter
And then onto the next nest;
trying to become at least
half of what mother bird had made herself to be

Finally flat on the ground bound by bruises
tied up in hand made nooses
Tiny; sought strong straight trees for answers
Trees; with stepping stone bark
Trees; with branches that bent willowy to reach her
Trees which beseeched her to stop trying to heal all of the other broken winged birds
To heal herself;
To deal with all the self-inflicted wounds
To become in tune with what she wanted, needed, or was fleeing from
Tiny, rested, nested, and became aware of the view

Thasia Anne
Thasia Anne is the producer, director, and participant in Women of Word featuring a few Man Made Words (WOW) on Edinboro University of Pennsylvania campus. WOW has as the troop of poets reading individual poetry woven into conversation, with 2017 being the seventh year. She has been published in “Our Favorites”; Poets’ Halls Press, “Spitmag; Art and Poetry Magazine Vol.2, & 3”, “Poetry of S.O.U.L. An anthology of selected works from Poets around the world”, “Word Stock” and “Delirious, A Poetic Celebration of Prince.”

Wrong Dick… He’s On T’other Settee by Paul Tristram

Ooh, you are much more pretty close up,
even in these half shadows,
and you were fucking stunning to begin with.
You smell absolutely gorgeous,
like sneezing whilst ram-raiding
an exploding florist in the Summertime.
But, he’s only 4ft or so away
and probably going to wake up any second.
Someone’s going to get knifed.
There’ll be complete fucking hell up.
We’ll never live this down, like ever.
Stop grinding a second, let me adjust myself,
I was half-drunk and almost asleep.
Stop panicking, it’s only me,
I’m just reaching ‘round to feel your arsehole
this is all brand new ground… mMm.
You swallow? Really, cool, no, don’t stop,
I’m just logging it in my wank-bank for later.
OK, this is getting dangerous now…
we’re just finishing off, yeah?
I think I’m going to be first… quickly, yes,
Oh My God, you just feel so fucking good.

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/

Betrayed by Rita Hayworth by Alan Catlin

Tango tunes, music to dance
the night away, flushed by sweet
wine, a taste of liqueur, her face
a lover’s incantation, a siren singing
the irresistible, breathless words of
love all those moonlit nights outside
her second story bedroom window,
surreptitious as a burglar dressed
all in black, the love of her the worst
kind of drug, stronger than compulsion,
primal, it pulls you beyond reason,
beyond the dream image of her
silhouette behind the drawn shade,
a profile of a movie screen lover
embracing the tangoman, stung by
the kiss of spider women, that last
embrace an acceptance of the venom,
so sweet, so pure, so everlasting.

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

He Never Asked Me by John D Robinson

No doubt the man was
convinced I was having
something with his wife:
for whatever reason he
never asked me direct
but dropped little word-
bombs of his suspicion
which were without
his wife and I had
experienced a great deal
together but fucking
wasn’t one of them,
everything else but
I didn’t tell the asshole
this, I let him keep on
guessing and he died
never knowing if I’d
fucked his wife or not
and all he had to do was
ask me and I would have
told him ‘She loves you
man, we’re friends, sex
has nothing to do with our
love, it’s beyond that’
but I think maybe he’d
not understand this
being the outdated macho
silent brooding bullshitter
that he was.

John D Robinson 2
John D Robinson born in the UK in 63, is a published poet; ‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016) Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Publications 2016); a contributor to the 2016 48th Street Press Broadside Series; his work appears widely in the small press and online literary journals including Rusty Truck; Red Fez; Outlaw Poetry; Bareback Lit; Degenerate Literature; The Commonline Journal; Haggard & Halloo; Beatnik Cowboy; Boyslut; Anti Heroin Chic; In Between Hangovers; Grandma Moses Press; Yellow Mama; Hobo Camp Review; Eunoia Review; Zombie Logic Review; Rats Ass Review; Sentinel Literary Quarterly; A Cavalcade Of Stars; Dead Snakes; Hand Job Zine; Horror Sleaze and Trash; Outsider Poetry; Your One Phone Call; Spokes; Grandma Moses Press; Down In The Dirt Magazine; Walking Is Still Honest Press; Poems For All: The Sunflower Collective: he is married and lives in the UK with his wife.

Broken Hand by Jon Bennett

There’s nothing to talk about
she doesn’t read books
and I’m not handsome
plus she’s drunk
and without cocaine
her mood darkens
“You’re always wasted,” I tell her
“I’ll cut down,” she says, “just let me
do it my way.”
She brightens talking about sex
which figures since
she’s a bona fide nymphomaniac
(I thought I got lucky finding her
and I did
but so did the majority
of waiters in North Beach)
“I broke my hand this morning,”
she says
“How’d you do that?”
“Jerking off,” she laughs
then she quiets down again
She broke her hand
and I’d say she also
broke my heart
but that would be

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

To The Woman Eating A Hostess Ho-Ho by John Grochalski

–after steve henn

first you torture me
with the shouting into your cellphone
and now this
what’s next? waterboarding?
truthfully i didn’t even know that ho-hos still existed
go me for studiously avoiding certain aisles at the grocery store
but back in my younger, more formative years
i tell you i could’ve eaten a box of ho-hos
i probably did at least once or twice
i could probably do it now
i haven’t been to a doctor in six years
so lord knows i don’t have the burden of
a diabetes or high cholesterol reading weighing me down
but i realize it wouldn’t be fair to my wife to indulge this way
not with the way i complain to her about my weight
asking her if i look fat in anything that i wear
like a thirteen year old girl
it’s a symptom of my youth
hey at least i stopped punching myself in the stomach decades ago
plus just this week i had my name included in a work email
of people who need “ extra big sizes”
for the free t-shirt the boys at corporate are giving out
outed like a goddamned government informant
so a box of ho-hos isn’t really
high on my list of priorities right now
though the wife says i’m on the list because i’m broad
what in the hell does “extra big size” mean anyway?
but if you ask me deep down i have to be honest
what i really want to do right now right here
on this evening subway ride home
is grab that delicious cylinder-shaped pastry
right out of your grubby hands
reclaim the ho-ho of my youth
find a corner of this train
crouch down like a ravenous rat
hissing and batting at people
while i devour that precious of all confections
getting the chocolate and cream all over me like some holy baptism
at least until pest control
or the police show up and taze me into a peaceful oblivion
where it’s grilled chicken and salads
and rational thought
all over again.

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and the forthcoming novel, The Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.

Arrow by Blaine Kaltman

It’s hard pulling back a bow, to shoot an arrow, don’t let go

There’s pressure mounting on your arm, you quake and shake, protect from harm

Your muscles tense to hold the course, resistance must be met with force

The more you pull the more you endure, But hold that string! Stretch it more!

It takes great strength to make a change, to shoot that arrow ‘cross the range

To hold that string, to make it bend, to see your dreams through to their end

But someday we will shoot it free. Our lives, our arrow, you and me.

And when that time to shoot has come, we’ll shoot that arrow into the sun.


Blaine Kaltman has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Queensland. He is the author of “Under the Heel of the Dragon” http://www.ohioswallow.com/author/Blaine+Kaltman and the producer, lead actor, and screenplay writer of the award winning film “Back Alley Bulls” http://influxmagazine.com/back-alley-bulls-review/. He is a Foreign Service officer with the US State Department and fluent in Mandarin Chinese. His latest artistic venture is a hard rock band named Stone Mob and a cowboy themed video to support their first single “Murder Town” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK-S9vPdpNs . But none of this has stopped Blaine from writing poems almost everyday for the past twenty years.