Subconscious Apocalypse by Jake St. John

Into the open night
With freedom on your sleeve

Dripping with summer heat
And exhausting all avenues

Waves blanketing the shore
And receding on rhythm

Orange moon sitting soft
And bleeding onto the black page

The lights are all off
But no one is sleeping
Brains are tingling
Wrapped in linens
Thin and barely visible
When damp

Dully illuminated by street lamps
Possibly existential on some nights

But I’m closer to the water side
Somewhere
In the apartment
An appliance is humming
I’m not sure which one
Because they all sound the same
By this point

Languidly slouched in reason
As cars pass below the radar
And out into the dark
Vanishing
I’m tired
The lights hurt my eyes
I’m giving up my position
They’ll be on me in no time

Sometimes the most happy
Are only happy
Because they don’t know any better

To delay the inevitable
Is to call it upon you

The pine tree
Is still green
In the grey rain

This foggy slate
Of twilight
Has set
In some sad
Twisting manner

Time is blurred
By my lack of interest

To remember the future
As a child
Was gold
Summer was the longest season
Of the year
But now it’s fleeting

There is a time
For all this
Of which most I don’t understand

But severely lacking
In judgment
I reinforce with
Spontaneity of the heart
Where the deeper side
That invokes dreams
Begins to take over

Keep your head down
And you mouth shut
Hold on
And you might just

Wake up!

This is not the time
To be discussing political motives
No time to be researching
The king’s soil
These are times
Of the unsuspecting hero to rise
Grab the throne
And tarnish it
All in the name
Of modern appliance

Jake St. John Photo
Jake St. John writes out of New London, CT and is the author of several collections of poetry and pamphlet poems including, Rotations (Night Ballet Press 2015), Looking For Sunflowers (Good Cop/Bad Cop, 2012), and Change of Address (Unarmed 2010). His work has appeared in numerous literary and arts magazines such as, The Blue Collar Review, Big Hammer, and The People’s Tribune. Since 2007 he has served as the editor of Elephant and co-editor of Flying Fish.

A Poem in Parts from Forgotten Wars: 1. Those Last Moments Recaptured by Tom Sheehan

They come again,
without prejudice,
in another millennium:
I know the weight of an M-1 rifle
on a web strap hanging on my shoulder,
the awed knowledge of a ponderous steel helmet
atop my head, press of a tight lace on one
boot, wrap of a leather watch band
on my wrist, who stood beside me,
who stand no more.

Sheehan served in the 31st Infantry in Korea 1951-52, graduated Boston College 1956, published 30 books, multiple works in Rosebud, Literally Stories, Linnet’s Wings, Serving House Journal, Copperfield Review, Literary Orphans, Eastlit, DM du Jour, In Other Words-Merida, Literary Yard, Rope & Wire Magazine, Green Silk Journal. He has received 32 Pushcart nominations and 5 Best of Net nominations.

Alright by James Benger

At those moments
when he finds the time
to remember remembering,
he reaches for the best.

Although his head tells him
to go the opposite direction,
plow straight into the under,
he always goes south.

Twenty-eight,
or was it thirty-two years ago,
that trip?
The borrowed T-Bird,
the cases and cases,
some cold,
some late enough,
it didn’t matter how cold they were,
ZZ Top in the tape deck,
the end of Texas, an inevitable dream.

How did they not get popped?
How is he still here?

His mind wants to make him ponder
how had he not done those things,
he would be somewhere else,
somewhere better,
or at least somewhere.

His head’s creeping in,
saying, “You dumb kid,
you ruined it all.”
Saying it just like he used to say,
back in the days when he said things.

When that happens,
like it’s happening now,
if he can,
and right now he can
as he scoops up dog shit
from the less than a postage stamp
of grass surrounding his single-wide,
he cranks up the Walkman
and the Reverend tells him,
“…that’s alright.”

James Benger
James Benger is a father, husband and writer. He is the author of two fiction ebooks, “Flight 776” and “Jack of Diamonds” and two chapbooks of poetry, “As I Watch You Fade” and “You’ve Heard It All Before. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and son.

 

Mail Order Marijuana by Cole Bauer

For dealers on Earth

My wife and I
We began smoking
Religiously together
Thanks to her mom
Many years ago

Over four states
Through various forms
To smoke
Multiple strains
And edibles

The best weed
My wife and I
Ever had
On the west coast
Was sold by
The best dealer

Good personality
Care for the product
Above and beyond
Customer service

He even began
Selling via the mail
Once we left
For the south

Down here
Where the food
Is better
Things are cheaper
Life is easier
Quiet and cleaner
But the weed sucks
In comparison to his
Or any California
Strain

They say
You can’t have
Everything
You want
All in one spot

I’m stubborn
And motivated
I’ll change that
False saying

Cole Bauer
My name is Cole Bauer. I’m an American screenwriter, author, and poet currently in the dirty south of the U.S.A.. I was born and partially raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. I was raised and lived for most of my life in San Diego, California. I’ve lived, off and on, in Texas for six years. Traveled around America as well. I am inspired and motivated by street-writers like Charles Bukowski, John Fante, and Dan Fante. I enjoy clearing out my brain on to blank sheets of paper and empty screens. I love writing random short stories, pilot scripts, and film screenplays also.

Bedfordshire Clanger by David J. Thompson

My English girlfriend promises me
a Bedforshire clanger tomorrow
for breakfast. I don’t know exactly
if that means I’ll need my Viagra,
or just a handful of extra napkins,
but I’m hoping maybe some of both.

David J. Thompson
David J. Thompson lists John Prine, John Sayles, and Frank O’Hara among his list of heroes. He enjoys The Simpsons, and he loves Spain and the American West. Please visit his photo website at ninemilephoto.com

Inside Staring Out by Bob Carlton

Again the assemblies
of the night convene–
I have no part in it,
given only to watch
the proceedings, record
a stray scrap
of understanding.
Most of what goes on
is in a language
I do not truly comprehend:
the words are mostly the same,
but the implications
I cannot say.

Bob Carlton
Bob Carlton (www.bobcarlton3.weebly.com) lives and works in Leander, TX.

Thoughts Race by Rajnish Mishra

Every day, every place the sky
is the same but the ground beneath is not.
The roots go down and spread downwards,
they rarely rise skywards.

When float the broken bergs of clouds
over sun’s vermillion tide,
every dawn, every dusk
the sky is the same
but the ground beneath is not.

Mind brings to fore my places first
before sky comes and joins,
then evening softly comes in train,
gives pointed, pain to pine with.

It’s not known. It’s not planned.
For who would know
stepping up from down below,
after months on flat wide roof,
that evening’s thorn piercing
on tip the venomous layer of past,
on touch that numbs all pain, pleasure too?

Breathe yes I do, yet mind is lost,
in the land of dormant past,
escaped present-prison, it happened
after ages that pages blank were filled thus.

Thoughts race
so fast, so much, so far!

Rajnish MIshra
Rajnish Mishra is a poet, writer, translator and blogger born and brought up in Varanasi, India. He is the editor of PPP Ezine, a poetry ezine. He has a blog on poetry, poetics and aesthetic pleasure: https:/poetrypoeticspleasure. wordpress.com

Skinny Jeans by Omar Alexandre

I’m in a bar taking shelter, damaging the liver and trying to avoid the zombies. There’s a band on stage making noise and the singer seems like a douchebag. He’s going on about something, trying to make a point about art. But it’s not hitting me. His skinny jeans distract me. Why would he do that? My condolences to your testicles….asshole.

I’m a little drunk and I’ve got a bone to pick, so listen up. There’s nothing more pretentious in this world then a fucking douchebag who thinks he knows what art is. Your fucking denim wearing, skinny jean, too cool to care, cunt bubbles. They’re all doing it wrong.

You gotta dress cool. Smoke cigarettes to be cool. Pretend to be cool. Everyone wants to be cool. Writers want to be cool. Musicians want to be cool. Actors want to be cool. Collect vinyl to be cool. Shoot film to be cool. Read to be cool. Cool is a dirty machine sucking you dry. Stabbing you in the gut. I want to be lame. But even being lame can turn a profit. So I’m stuck with cool.

Leave the antics for the actors, the posers.
Get on stage and expose your truth, bleed.
It’s not a cliche. It never is when you’re exposed, naked to the bone

Get loud. Get angry. Give me a truth that has to be let out. It doesn’t matter if the world doesn’t see it. You need to see it.

What the hell am I talking about? I guess I’m pretentious as well. Hell, I know I am. I’m letting you read this, aren’t I?

Omar Alexandre
My pen name is Omar Alexandre. I write from Miami, Florida. I’m an aspiring filmmaker. I’ve recently completed my first short film and one of my music videos will be screened during the 16th annual Miami Short Film Festival. I’m submitting 5 poems. Thank you for reading. Instagram, @alexandre88

 

The Birth by Lana Bella

Elsewhere, the crevasse of
memory yawned to capture
the plies of a slime-tongued
diadem, moved me through
the world with steel teeth of
familiarity. My heart pulsed
thin, lay to wings quivering
a little less than slow-borne
damselfly. A quiet pause, a
lowered gaze, the skin of my
second-old feet peeled back
like feathers, and embryonic
fingers sieved this emerging
world from the old; my still,
silvery eyes, reflected back
from the dark band at water’s
edge, caught on that snarl of
self-agony swells. Strained on
one leg I brushed the womb,
ill-conscious like a rusty nail
to pierce, gartering taut with
arpeggio and fluid and blood.
Daughter of this new earth, I
elided with breaths of a babe
of breech birth, turning flesh
slowly into my mother’s hands.

Lana Bella Black & White
A three-time Pushcart Prize & Bettering American Poetry nominee, Lana Bella is an author of three chapbooks, Under My Dark (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2016), Adagio (Finishing Line Press, 2016), and Dear Suki: Letters (Platypus 2412 Mini Chapbook Series, 2016), has had poetry and fiction featured with over 400 journals, Acentos Review, Comstock Review, Expound, Ilanot Review, Notre Dame Review, Rogue Agent, San Pedro River Review, Word/For Word, among others, and work to appear in Aeolian Harp Anthology, Volume 3.

Calimari by Simon Cockle

A squid’s tentacles are tapered moons;
the craters stick at it, despite
the insistent ripple of the muscles,
as they circle the planet brain
in the thin soup of the ocean.

But, when battered and deep-fried,
they curl in on themselves
as a hurt child might, thumb
in mouth, and present as sullen coils
of sinewy protein on chipped plum slate.

Is it not more preferable, though,
to have enjoyed that viscid life in the sea,
the thrill of so much easy current
to play out against, than to have
spent your time on dry land;

sporting when the sun was high,
until the shadows of fishing boats
reached down through the depths
to the sea-bed where you waited
for the hook’s irreversible smile?

simon-cockle
Simon Cockle is a poet and writer from Hertfordshire. He writes as part of Poetry ID, a Stanza of the Poetry Society. His poems have been published in Envoi, iOTA, Prole, The Lampeter Review, Picaroon Poetry, Skylight 47, An Algebra of Owls and the London Progressive Journal, amongst others. He was invited to read at last year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival, and will be returning again this year. He teaches English at a local comprehensive school, and has a wife and daughter who nod reassuringly when he reads them his poems. More of his poems can be found at https://simoncockle.wordpress. com/