A Woman About A Poem by Mark J. Mitchell

For JJ

I dreamt a poem.

Words outlined a space,
almost erased, in the shape of her body.
Letters dangled—L, C, B, then Z, S, D—
showing where her ears might be.
Periods were only symbols of her eyes.

Time, like music, flowed
and shapes grew. Then ebbed.
Then staffs struggled to hold the dotted notes
of her form in empty longitude. Coves vanish,
harbors expand. Her beauty only
swells and too eager words
cannot plot her place on a chart.

I wake to the blank page
of empty sheets, scentless.
I wait—not patiently—for her
to travel home across
that flat, unfolded map.

Mark J. Mitchell
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Soren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics, (Folded Word). His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage Press and a new novel is forthcoming: The Magic War (Loose Leaves Publishing). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city.

Where the Poor Come to Live by Jennifer Lagier

The lucky ones who can afford homes
are celebrities,
trustafarian millennials,
old beats and hippies
who bought when this
was a hip bohemian Valhalla,
in the 50’s & 60’s.

Now minimum wage workers
pay exorbitant rent
for postage stamp apartments,
falling-apart shacks,
enrich slum landlords
who refuse to maintain
leaky roofs,
non-functional plumbing.

The homeless panhandle at stoplights,
seek shelter in public library,
post office, under store marquees.
They sprawl upon margins of beach,
greet tourists entering Fisherman’s Wharf,
squat on land they will never own,
sleep exposed to frost, wind and rain.

Jen & dogs in Cambria
Jennifer Lagier has published thirteen books, taught with California Poets in the Schools, co-edits the Homestead Review, helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium readings. Newest books: Scene of the Crime (Evening Street Press), Harbingers (Blue Light Press), Camille Abroad (FutureCycle Press). Forthcoming: Like a B Movie (FutureCycle Press, 2018). Website: : : Poetry by Jennifer Lagier : : 

Afterlife by Robert David Verdon

nibbling at the hothouse horizon
creeping into the day-moon’s shade
a vinyl disc warps over my head
as I pedal harder through bricolage to reach
the inevitable endless end
bendless bend
(picture if you can)
then realise I am not alone

we are all on bicycles
standard as icicles
or cloudy crescents of
processed algae on a fork

immortal day, ale-pure, found in the faraway,
like grist sprouting under a mill-stone,
revive us, sweating all a-lemony
for a timeless lifetime of eternal work

Robert Verdon
Robert Verdon has been writing for may years. He once belonged to Aberrant Genotype Press in Canberra. He came 2nd in the 2012 W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize, and was Highly Commended in the 2012 erbacce Prize, UK. His books include The Well- Scrubbed Desert, Her Brilliant Career, & Before we Knew this Century. He is currently completing PhD on the imaginal scene in poetry composition. His hobbies include cycling, walking and 10-pin bowling.

Lost in the Undertow by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Footprints in sands lead into the sea
careless whispers ignored or disregarded
desperation dance whilst reaching bottom
salt water screams are muffled but heard.
Kicking swiftly and grasping at the clouds
waves roll on towards a nervous beach
seeking an inhale, gasping on seaweed
Irrational babbling in breathless chants
foggy dreams awakened within a lifeboat
voice declares, “just lost in the undertow.”
Squeaking of oar locks rowing to shore
flyover by seagulls, a innocent curiosity
squealing children play on the beach
as saltwater flows slowly from my lips.

ken-allan-dronsfield-bio-picture
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet from Oklahoma. He loves thunderstorms! His published work can be found in reviews, journals, magazines and anthologies throughout the web and in print venues. His poetry has been nominated for two Pushcart Prize Awards and the Best of the Net for 2016.

Eating Her Out As She Stands Wobbly Yet Rigid In A Bus Stop In Aberdulais by Paul Tristram

I have wanted this for so very long,
finally opportunity raised up
its pretty little head tonight.
A bedroom would have been nice,
a settee at a friend’s place
or even a walk into secluded woods
on a warm summer’s day.
But, that was not meant to be
and this is as romantic as it gets.
We have a 35 minute window
before she’s missed and looked for.
Both drunk, she’s thrown up twice
on the short stumbling swagger
from the tavern clearing out last orders.
She’s wearing my long winter overcoat,
one broken heel and ladders in her tights
which I’m not going to climb
but, completely eat my way through.
It’s pissing down with rain
as she falls backwards against
the cold aluminium of the bus stop.
I half tumble clumsily down onto my knees
between her swaying, shaking legs.
I hear footsteps upon the road behind,
but, she digs her fingernails
into the back of my head
holding me tightly in place.
So I leave her to steer our topsy-turvy ship
as I work away down in the engine room,
digging her scent… forever into my memory.

paul smoking - Copy
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/

Are You Interested In Catastrophes? by Alan Catlin

end of the world theories,
millennium apocalypse in
sixteen ounce shaker glasses,
crystal chasers and dime bags
of uncut dreams of hard rock
cafes three subway stops
past the end of the night,
Cyrillic alphabet cities and
rock candy mountains,
places even your local crips
and bloods wouldn’t collect
bounty on what’s sold over
the counter as a cure all
for what ails dead headed
street thugs and minor movie
stars so far over the rainbow
the tied-off sky has bled out
all its color.

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

What More Do You Want? by Jon Bennett

I don’t know if it was speed
but he looked bad
the old Irish queer
could dance though
and would grab a handful
of whatever crackhead
was glued to the bar
do the tango
His shop was failing
but when he died
after selling antiques
for fifty years
he found a place
among them
in a very
nice
vase.

Jon Bennett
Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his work on iTunes, Spotify and Pandora.