Hoping To Be Found by James D. Casey IV

It’s hard to get out
Of the woods
When you’re so lost
All you see is
Dead ends

Fading fast
Up on the cross
The fire
Is getting cold
Looking for a way out
It licks your cheek
Tells you which way
To go
Only to realize
You’ve been had
It’s lied to you

The story of my life

Finding a groove
Among my mental state
Which has eluded me
Since 2008
Seems to be the difference
Between sane and
One in the same

My neck broken
By an old spirit
In an old courthouse
That shit fucked my head
For life

Nobody knows me
Because I am not me
I don’t even feel the same
I don’t even feel like me
I’m a different person
In those woods

Friends are a commodity
That I used to cherish
Family too
But now it seems
The new me
Or whatever me
That is now
Pushes them away

Nobody knows my struggle
They don’t ask
They just see the exterior
And accept it
As me
Not knowing
They are talking
To something else
And I’m in there
Crying out
Hoping to be found

James D Casey
James D. Casey IV is a self published author of three volumes of poetry: “Metaphorically Esoteric,” “Dark Days Inside the Light While Drunk on Wine,” and “Tin Foil Hats & Hadacol Coins.” His work can be found in print and online in several places including Triadæ Magazine, Pink Litter, In Between Hangovers, Indiana Voice Journal, Beatnik Cowboy, Dissident Voice, Scarlet Leaf Review, Horror Sleaze Trash, Zombie Logic Review, Your One Phone Call, I am not a Silent Poet, Tuck Magazine, and Outlaw Poetry to name a handful. Links to his books, social network profiles, and other projects can be found here: http://louisianakingcasey.w ixsite.com/big-skull-poetry

Blue Spatter from a Bleeding Sky by Ken Allan Dronsfield

Lightning strikes flash
in a sky of bluish black
shredded trees leave
startled birds scream
the eye now arrives,
calming of the storm
dripping blue spatter
from a bleeding sky.
A jovial bliss survives
within a lucid fantasy
frowns caught amidst
a dream catchers web.
bottle patiently waits,
the shot glass grinning
blue spatter blinding
within the bleeding sky.

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.

Well, What Do You Expect? Standing In Doorways & Blocking Exits When There’s Screaming Sirens Coming Down The Road… You Useless Plank Of Fucking Wood! by Paul Tristram

You’re lucky it’s just sprains and bruises.
That carpet burn on the end of your nose
makes you look like a right div,
but you deserve it.
What’s the matter with you anyway?
You know better than all that old nonsense.
They’d breached both front and back doors
and were heavy-boot-falling the stairs.
There’s only one way up to the attic
and onto the roofs
and you were having a little stuttering, panic attack
right in mid rat-run, you big girl’s blouse.
If you can’t scarper, then just slide…
over to one of the walls.
When it’s ‘On Top’
hallways are fucking expressways.
Maybe you should ladder-rung back down
to ‘Shotting’ or ‘Magic Shopping’ again?
Get you out of the Den for half the day
and away from our busy bolt-holing feet.

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/

Waterlogged by Alan Catlin

Her name was on every No Call list
known to man.  Said she was: Tracy,
Trixie, Lexi, Tonya, Ashley, Caitlin,
Emma, Tessa, one name for every day
of the week and two for Sunday.
Had outstanding warrants in seven states
that authorities knew of. Had more low
level felonies than a computer could keep
track of and whatever she was on made her seem
as if she had been whaled on by a Toxic
Avenger with a mean streak and heavily into
vengeance is mine.  Replied to direct questions
in a kind of gibberish only someone with
a waterlogged brain would say, something
that sounded like the last hours of someone’s
life dripping from a leaky faucet into a
stainless steel sink in a locked room where
no one ever goes.

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

Spahr Avenue by Jason Baldinger

sparrows turn
to fireworks
every time I crack
the back door

only mind
when I power on
the wet saw

hands vibrate
through ceramic tile
inches from the blade

I wonder how
many syllables
are in each of my fingers

Jason Baldinger
Jason Baldinger is a poet hailing for the Appalachian hamlet of Pittsburgh. He’s the author of several books the most recent of which, the chaplet, Fumbles Revelations (Grackle and Crow) is available now, and the collection Fragments of a Rainy Season (Six Gallery Press) which is coming in September. Recent publications include the Low Ghost Anthology Unconditional Surrender, Uppagus, Lilliput Review, Rusty Truck, Dirtbag Review, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Winedrunk Sidewalk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Nerve Cowboy Concrete Meat Press, and Heartland! Poetry of Love, Solidarity and Resistance. You can hear Jason read some poems at jasonbaldinger.bandcamp.com

Chaos In Creation by John Grochalski

i once read a poem
that ended with the line
we are created by being destroyed
the rest of the poem wasn’t much
but that line stuck with me
i thought about all the times that i’d been destroyed
like back when i was a fat kid
and the kids in school took it out on me
the humiliation of clothes shopping
or something as simple as eating a meal in public
those days it felt like i had to shed a cocoon
every morning just to get up and go to school
or falling in and out of love
how i wished that it would always happen for me
but the times that it did
were more torturous than pleasure filled
and every day seemed a test in patience and empathy
a battle of the flesh that ended in hot disappointment
and the desire to simply walk off alone
love destroys a lot of people
but i’m not sure that it leaves creation in its wake
the last time i was destroyed
was probably when my wife
was diagnosed with breast cancer
that wasn’t just destruction but a kind of death
a seismic shift
the shedding of one life
and being thrown violently into the wilderness of the next
where the only game plan was survival
i felt like a helpless child all through her treatment
a bumbling, stumbling fool
who threw why us? tantrums, pissed off at the world
and the man that rose from the ashes of that
is afraid of his own shadow most days
a man who can’t figure out what he enjoys
from what he’s simply able to endure with relief
not so much created
but left half-formed and aimless
a nervous, paranoid animal with a chip on his shoulder
waiting for the next shoe to drop
wondering how long this latest incarnation
has the stamina to last.

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.


The Anatomy of a Tittyfuck by Tom Farris

This is what the poet
I roleplayed as on that blow-up queen mattress
would have said about it:
it’s only good
if your head
is in just the right place
which is up
through the lower-middle
of the warm globularia
the convergence of boobs,
stimulated nerves
of the mushroom head-cloud
by the weight
of soft mammary glands,
the masculine mashed
by organs of feminine nurture.

before the moment
I found this out
she was wearing
a hot pink bra
new and able to be seen through
one of my white button-up dress shirts.

We were playing out a fantasy
where I was a famous academic poet,
some gross nature bard
like Heaney or Hughes,
and she was one of my many college fangirls
whose dying dream, whose life goal, whose main ambition
at that point in her professional career
was to sleep with me.

and after I read her some okay poetry
and my advances were too soft
she lunched at me with a furry
mounting my lower belly
her lips smearing my face
as my hands ripped the buttons
to cup her bra

she shouted
“read me more”
in her swiftest, lowest voice
and I tried to come up with shit
as I unbuttoned her bra
to stroke the nipples of her tits
just the way she liked.

Soon she moaned, swooned,
and fell onto her back,
and I pressed my fingers
past the hair between her legs
and into the folds of her cunt
and found her clit,
and rubbed my inner knuckles along it
the way Reese had told me to do
before a party one time
at a Monica what’s-her-name’s,
and her head arched back,
and her eyes closed,
and her mouth pushed itself
into the shape of what she was feeling

Then she looked at me
with eyes full and wet
and said,
“I wanna do something for you
to make you feel happy.
Just tell me, baby.
Tell me what you want.”

First I told her
I wanted to see what she looked like
in the newest black lace bra she bought.
So she put it on
and I admired how it made her breasts look.

And then I asked her
if she could rub my penis
between her breasts.

So she got down to my thighs,
pressed her breasts together with both knuckles,
smiling as my heads writhed in pleasure
wholly ignorant of the pain her breasts took on.

And that’s when I found out
it’s only good
if your head
is in just the right place
low enough in the heart of your needs
to say exactly what you want
high enough to remember
getting that at the expense of a lover’s unwanted pain
shouldn’t be the price.

Tom Farris
Tom Farris is the subject of many poems and books of poems, including Victor Clevenger’s tom farris is my brother. He has been published in such dope places as The University Scholar and Mad Swirl. He literally does nothing else but mess with stuff, mostly notebooks and keyboards, with his fingers all day.


Her Bed Fell Out of the Wall by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Her bed fell out of the wall
like a pile of roaches.

A murphy bed
which she sat on
in the absence of

Flicking her lighter many times
before she could light her

A pair of mating doves by the window
slowly growing to hate
each other.

And when I coughed there was blood.
And she said that was good luck.

I told her I couldn’t find a job
and she smiled
and said she gave them

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, Homestead Review, Horror Sleaze Trash, and Dead Snakes. He has an affinity for dragonflies, discount tequila, and all things sarcastic.

A Carrier Bag by Paul Brookes

As I put another’s shopping
through the till,

she shouts in my ear
“Can I buy a bag?”

She is not in the queue.
Doesn’t seem to notice it exists.

I apologise, queue gets longer,
my finger closer to the bell button

to call more staff to empty tills.
“O, please.” She says “Just one.”

The customer who waits
For her shopping tells her,

“Take one. Put money by his side.
Long as its paid for he won’t mind.”

Two shiny five pences appear by the till.
“And get out of my bleedin’ hair.”

Another one in the queue asks after
the bag lady to which the customer

who waits replies “She needs a bag
For shoplifting.” “That’s surely not true.”

“Afraid it is,” she says, pays and leaves.
Untold stories are unbought goods on shelves.

Paul Brookes was, and is a shop assistant, after employment as a security guard, postman, admin. assistant, lecturer, poetry performer, with “Rats for Love”, his work included in “Rats for Love: The Book”, Bristol Broadsides, 1990. First chapbook “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley”, (Dearne Community Arts, 1993). Read his work on BBC Radio Bristol. Recently published in Blazevox, Nixes Mate, Live Nude Poems, The Bezine, The Bees Are Dead and others. “The Headpoke and Firewedding” (Alien Buddha Press, 2017) illustrated chapbook, “A World Where” (Nixes Mate Press, 2017) “The Spermbot Blues” (OpPRESS, August 2017).


People Always See Trees But Nobody Really Notices Them by Isabelle Marlene Serna

| |
I cannot walk. I cannot speak.
My tears are leaves.
I grow I rot I sway
I soak I snap I break.
gush of wind—honked horns
squirrels climbing—mouths gossiping
leaves falling—eyes blinking
I see all speak all hear all
walk pass me, many
pass me
[don’t you see me?]
Hear me rustle. Hear me sway.
Hear me! Hear me! Hear me!
| |
Why do you cut
scrape trim strip slice.
like a forgotten lover
castaway loner, I am
secluded ousted defeated
[why must you treat me this way?]
Why! Why! Why!
| |
In my veins
I bleed. My dry roots sneak above
black-brown coarse rough, ground
cracked, chapped like
chapped lips
a chance, a choice
to look. I cannot see.
I cannot see! I cannot see! I cannot see!
| |
My family
lives near me.
I hear their cries. I hear their screams.
Eradicate my kind
[what is left of me?]
all of us, not just me
fabricated into sizes
[why me?]
[why me?]
Real yet invisible
Living yet breathless
You sadden me! You sicken me! You disgust me!
You see
But do you notice.

Isabelle Marlene Serna
I.Marlene Serna was born in 1996 in Dallas, Texas and currently lives in College Station, Texas. She is a young, American writer who has written poems and short stories. She is a student at Texas A&M University- College Station, Class of 2019.