Fortress Of Solitude by Julia Knobloch

My friend said you looked like a fucking twelve-year old.
Why bother? I said some people don’t age
because they are not ready. Some have good genes.
Some wait for the one chance they think they deserve.

I saw the man behind your young features,
when you looked up at the sun, squeezed your eyes, and smiled.
He was hiding in cold movie parlors, behind earphones
and apps, your even face the door bolt of his fortress.

I saw a man wanting to love and live in freedom
the everyday fancy of New York City,
or travel to unknown Caribbean beaches.
I sat behind closed blinds with him for too long.

I hoped I was the chance you thought you deserved,
the love for whom you would leave your ageless solitude.

julia-knobloch
Julia Knobloch is a journalist and translator turned project manager and executive assistant. Before moving to New York from Berlin, she worked 10+ years as a writer and producer for TV documentaries and radio features. Her essays and reportage have been published in print and online publications in Germany, Argentina, and the US (openDemocracy, Brooklyn Rail, Reality Sandwich), and she occasionally blogs for ReformJudaism.org. An emerging poet, she recently was awarded the Poem of the Year prize from Brooklyn Poets for her poem Daylight Saving Time.

 

Vegetarian Is the Night by Jeff Bagato

The little man was dressed up like a turkey,
raw legs plucked naked
as a wet cat and blood streaming from
his asshole cavity, skinny little
wings looking so pathetic I could just
squeak, and I guess I did cause he shot
me a look like mind your own
perversion and this deep in I couldn’t
resist, “Thanksgiving was rough on all of us;”
“Like I care about your problems,” he sniffed,
“A carcass happens to be prime protection
from the cold this time of year, and I prefer
wearing what I eat, I’ve got to feel a part
of its life—I’m in it and it’s in me like
trichinosis comes alive and stumps
the mission of Fatima before man,
an angel on each shoulder and the best
damn hospitals in the world ready to fix
every ill, and I am not just what I
eat, I am what eats me”—I said
“Pardon me, but I have a date with a
cabbage”

jeff-bagato
Jeff Bagato is a writer and electronic musician living near Washington, DC. Some of his poetry has appeared in Zoomoozophone Review, Otoliths, Clockwise Cat, Zombie Logic Review, Full of Crow, Exquisite Corpse, and Chiron Review. His most recent book of poems, Savage Magic, came out in early 2016. Other poetry books include And the Trillions and Spells of Coming Day. He has also published several science fiction novels, including The Toothpick Fairy, Computing Angels, and Dishwasher on Venus. A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.wordpress.com.

Tony Brush Park has Sinks and Restrooms by Jason Baldinger

Silsbe turned his car into an accordion
to fit the last free spot in Fairview
1-2-3 street,
American flags, Italian flags
sewn together,
Italian American, never forget

We were early for a reading
adventure in our hearts
East Cleveland, without a map
J & L fest, the feast of the assumption
the virgin mary never dies
she rides cloud cars to heaven
I don’t believe in heaven
but what if instead of dying
we all got to ride cloud cars

This is Little Italy proper
a street fair crammed into five blocks
Sublime is playing, I don’t feel Italian
I feel thirsty
In La Dolce Vita
Collins and Silsbe order beer
I order Stella Artois
if it’s good enough for Slayer
its good enough for me

Stella is awful
but its too hot for boozy beers
it is cold, it doesn’t taste bad
if you drink it quick
wipe the foam mustache away
I swear I catch a glimpse of
Marcello Mastroianni

Marcello, how did you end up in another poem?
I swear you were buzzing around toward the patio
sneaking furtive past the poster of Pavarotti/ Sutherland
that’s staring from the wall
ahh Marcello, beware false idols

Outside I think I see you in the alley
with the other old men
leering at teenage girls
in summer short shorts
placing bets
which ones
in back seats, yards and streets
under heat haze strings of glowing light
will lose their virginity tonight

Were you the priest
goth monotone through
church steps service
Was that the nicene creed?
Was it the prayer of the eucharist?

through him with and in him
all glory and honor is yours
almighty father
forever and everrrrrrrrrr

I think we need another bar
I think we need a patio, more cold beer
this is happening
people jam the streets
everyone who is working
everyone who is drinking
a pug ties a cherry stem with its tongue

I don’t know if I want to read poems
tonight
anymore
maybe I want to stay
in this strange catholic world
unstuck in time

I saw a room for rent
1929 1-2-3 street
the woman’s name: Maria Carletti
almost eighty, broken English
morning and evening church
a novena at two pm everyday
she believes no women in the rooms
and lights out at eleven
I sign the lease, lemon juice and powdered sugar
think
ahh maria, beware false idols

Silbe and Collins take off
Wedding Present blares from car window
accordion transform to Corolla again
I am free here
Disco Inferno on the street stage
six tickets for a hot sausage sandwich
five more for a ride on the Ferris Wheel

I wander down Euclid Avenue
up to Lake View Cemetery
as far west as Midtown
the city crawls
the university, the hospital
try to destroy East Cleveland
time rides a cloud car
the sky is a symphony
the embouchure of heat lightning
the skyline foxy in the dusk

I drink bad beer
give my heart to you, East Cleveland
pray rain heals stigmata
pray for rain
not something gentle
not even a summer storm
or a damn fine spring soaking
I want biblical rain
I want all of Lake Erie
dumped on my lap
I want
the clouds to remind me
Jb, beware of false idols

Jason Baldinger
Jason Baldinger has spent a life in odd jobs, if only poetry was the strangest of them he’d have far less to talk about. He’s traveled the country and written a few books, the latest of which are The Lower 48 (Six Gallery Press) and The Studs Terkel Blues (Night Ballet Press). A short litany of publishing credits include Blast Furnace, The Glassblock, Lilliput Review, Green Panda Press, Pittsburgh Poetry Review and Fuck Art, Let’s Dance. You can hear audio versions of some poems on Bandcamp, just type in his name.

 

James Bond 007 by Daniel de Cullá

Solitaire was walking in a bright room
Her heart breaking with the Tarot cards.
Between pain and pain, she draws a card.
James Bond 007 is looking through the keyhole.
It is the letter of The Lovers that he has prepared
Or is the fate based in Harlem!
-If Bond comes tonight, I’ll give to him dinner.
And if he asks for clean clothes, I will change him.
Bond has left, we think it’s unnecessary to comment.
At night, comes Big, international band brain
Taking Solitaire, draging her, of hairs
Because she don’t want to leave with him.
He has mistreated her till the last stitch of his cloak
And, also, he has told her that Bond is son of a criminal
Who poses as a spy by Ian Fleming
That appears in the Ferguz Hall’ cards
As The Hanged Man.
The City has a unique chimerical fantasy
Its women have long hair, black and twisted eyes
City’ Cats, penetrating Eye Listings
Static rest next to the chimneys of houses.
-Good morning, Bond, we have your Beauty
We’ll fall in Love with her
if you don’t  surrender to our band.
-I have a clean gun, and I have to unload it on your chest.
-Get up from here, Solitaire, come and throw the cards
That Love lifts women to hope
And a spy does not detract from his text.
Helping her get up, and also, coming to help
The King, the Queen, the Horse and the Jack
Allegorical Major Arcane
He has ridden her in his long floating car.
They have run five leagues
And in the shuffle of twentyone cards
The Lovers’ card has left.
Bond has stopped the car to carry out reading the card:
-Solitaire, behind that hermitage that you see in the distance
I’ll fall in Love with You
Intending to love You, loving You too much.
They will arrive at the hermitage and there
He kissed her modestly.
Upon entering the City,  bells were ringing
Sounding like other times: “Live and let die”.
That the spy, to be a spy, must have three matches:
Do much, talk little and not praise in life.

daniel-de-culla-3
Daniel de Culla (1955) is a writer, poet, and photographer. He is also a member of the Spanish Writers Association, Earthly Writers International Caucus, Poets of the World, and others. Director of Gallo Tricolor Review, and Robespierre Review. He has participated in Festivals of Poetry, and Theater in Madrid, Burgos, Berlin, Minden, Hannover and Genève .He has exposed in many galleries from Madrid, Burgos, London, and Amsterdam. He is moving between North Hollywood, Madrid and Burgos, Spain. His address is in Burgos, just now. He has more than 70 published books.

 

Hookers & Chicken Wings by Paul Tristram

“That’s all I want for my birthday, man!” he declared.
“A whole bucketful of mixed fowl to myself, you know.
Just three girls, I’m not greedy… you lot can have the rest.
A brunette chick to suck my cock
whilst a redhead’s licking my arsehole
and I’m burying my spicy bread crumbed
and greasy barbequed face
into a sleazy bit of blonde white trash for desert.
Enough alcohol and uppers to raise the Titanic
and then sink the fucker again.
A Shadwell Army scarf from the movie ‘ID’
A Wychwood Brewery Viking drinking horn.
A new pair of classic brass knuckles
I broke the last ones getting married.
And Gal Gadot’s name tattooed on my fucking knob!”

“So just the ‘Gal’ part for short then, mate?”

“Nuh, initials only… no capital letters or punctuation, cheeky cunt!”

hoodie
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/

Elevator to the Gallows by Alan Catlin

They must stay up nights
thinking up stupid cocktails
to foist off on the young and
impressionable, cynical shit
made with stuff that doesn’t go
together, like Gin, Vodka, Rum
and Rye, partial shots of each topped
off with Irish crème and stirred,
served as a shooter and given
gross names with sexual connotations,
knowing full well that the name will sell
the drink and all they will taste is
Irish crème until they chuck it all up.
None of the names will turn up in
an over the counter bar guide:
Bloody Orgasms, Blow Jobs, Blow Jobs
with Extra Tongue, Purple Jesus Motherfuckers;
Cumshots, we call them in the trade,
and I’m willing to bet there is some
slick, greasy, smartass fuck in NYC
who’s taking all the credit for inventing
the trend.  If there is and someone finds him:
this Between the Eyes with a Silver Bullet
is for him.

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

Ink Sounds by John D Robinson

The radio switched
to silent,
t.v. off, silent,
darkness outside,
quiet,
the only sound
I hear is
this pen scratching
the paper and it
is a sound
I like.

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.

Snowball by Jon Bennett

The poet laureate of Martha’s Vineyard
writes about snowflakes and egrets
I can’t get her drift
I try to get it
but when I leave my house
instead of snow I see
soot black windows and
people falling from them
I’ll never make it to Martha’s Vineyard
to me a snowball is when
a girl spits cum
in your mouth
and egrets are simply
white birds.

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

Looking for Kerouac’s kindness in the wilderness by Matthew Borczon

today even the outside
needs an overcoat
as branches cut light
into slivers across city streets
I’m bent over walking
like I’m a hundred
years old  because today
like every day
I’m a hundred miles
from healthy  an hour
late a dollar short
and I’m caught in
a laughing nightmare
a strangers dry kiss
and I’m not this tall
so I can not be
on this ride
so I walk the long way
back toward something
I think I lost long long ago
between the graveyard
and the ball field
between the factory
and the ship yard

and just because I lost it
doesn’t mean I don’t need it
its older than the language
of my grandfather and useful
as a one eyed man in the
land of the blind looking
for the devil in the details
and the angels in the ruins.

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.

Nanticoke by Michael N. Thompson

This old roach motel town
is less of a home to me now
and more like a stage prop
for the midnight movie
playing in my head

Pennsylvania Pulp & Paper
and the other blood money factories
rusting into amnesia
hold about as much charm
as Hemingway’s shotgun

Bowling teams and dart leagues
won’t bleach it all away

When you’re meant for more
than the world is willing to give,
it makes more sense to pull
the blade from its sheath
and carve out a new scar

Oblivion is worn
like a party dress
and ambition is just a promise
waiting to be broken

Nanticoke is one of those places
that’s made for leaving
not living

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. http://www.michaelnthompson.com