ménage à trois by Vanessa de Largie

i spread
my thighs wide
and receive
what you
give me.

your tongue –

your mission –

your wife

I wish to surpass myself
surrender to the pleasure
you bestow.

I spread my legs further
in acceptance

heart pounding –
secrets unveiled.

an amorous banquet
for three.

Vanessa de Largie
Vanessa de Largie is an actress, author, journalist and sex-columnist. Her work is regularly published in Penthouse Magazine, Maxim Magazine, The Daily Telegraph and The Huff Post. When she’s not being creative — you’ll find her sleeping.


Guilty as Accused by Rajnish Mishra

Unreal voice from my past, who are you?
I suspect I know you. I suspect I do not.
I ask again, who speaks?
It’s me.
‘Me’ who?

Ah yes, so it’s you,
my elder near-twin:
same home, same school, same grandmother,
same uncles, same aunts minus one
and different mothers.

Sixteen years, no twenty have passed,
since we last met or talked.
You remember our cousin’s wedding,
way back in the previous millennium:
really, in the previous millennium.
Millennia change in a moment, not pass, you see.

You sound strange, unknown, and then confident.
I sound hesitant, tentative, and then confident.
We are both professionals with over twenty years
over our first twenty and two more.
We are good at sounding confident
even when we aren’t, at least I am.

Twenty years is a lifetime.
Many were born, many died in that span.
Generations passed, if not ages and now,
you speak of my next;
I keep silent about your previous,
and mine.

Guilty unaccused.

I don’t have anything else to speak
It should end now, the call.
We know, I know, you know
that this visit may be your last.
You know, I know that you know,
but hope I am wrong,
this call is the last.

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

Time Running Out by Ananya S Guha

Wearing this mask
in childhood of winter
something rattles bones
ominous prey of fair weather
eyes bulge out
overwhelmed at sights of
skies darkening, a glint of hope
that night falls and dusk is
smattering sunlight
lenses prowl, overarching
spots like dew fall on sodden ground.
Living is for every archaic purpose
moments tie up with blues.
Juggle with words
open your mouth
it is dry, the blood is running
out of time.

Ananya S Guha ( 1957) lives in Shillong, in North East India. He has been writing poetry and publishing his poems over thirty years.

Briefly, And In Flames by John Sweet

a week of luminous
grey skies and damp heat

a lifetime of inadequate saviors

starlings and grackles and
dingy laundry refusing to dry in
overrun back yards

are you still here?

are you still expecting mercy?


no one wants to know about love
when the house is on fire

no one cares about an indifferent god
but that’s all you’ve ever had,

four walls and a door and your
life seen through dirty windows

the ruined bodies of nuns buried in
the sandy soil between
one starving country and the next and
how much could we get for
their bones?

who puts these prices on
human misery?

we have been lying to each other
for so long now that
anything less feels obscene

john sweet, b 1968, still numbered among the living. A believer in writing as catharsis. an optimistic pessimist. Opposed to all organized religion and political parties. Avoids zealots and social media whenever possible. His latest collections include BASTARD FAITH (2017 Scars Publications) and APPROXIMATE WILDERNESS (2016 Flutter Press). All pertinent facts about his life are buried somewhere in his writing. )

In The Name Of The Lord by J.J. Campbell

they are silencing
another voice of
freedom today in
the name of the

i must have missed
that part of the bible
where jesus said fuck
that loud music and
put on some southern
baptist sermon of fire
and brimstone

to think that some
people still think
dancing is evil

no wonder their
daughters are all

J.J. Campbell
J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) has given up the farm life and is now trapped in suburbia. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, Easy Street, The Stray Branch, Pyrokinection and Horror Sleaze Trash. You can find him most days bitching about only the things he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)

The Kitchen by Alyssa Trivett

You sit in the creaky chair,
in the kitchen, near the island,
while cats congregate.
We converse of
bad and good things to come,
and how I have to keep you going
since I have already lost one.
I often see thorns in sidewalks.
One day, they will bloom,
and turn slab concrete gray into cardinal reds.
Let time enfold, or float,
as our minds unwind.
Use the dustpan and
sweep everything evil under the rug.
Clutter-free. Like the infomercial says.

Alyssa Trivett
Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from the Midwest. When not working two jobs, she listens to music and scrawls lines on the back of gas station receipts. Her work has appeared in Scapegoat Review, Peeking Cat, on VerseWrights.com, Walking Is Still Honest Press online, and Duane’s PoeTree site. She has fifteen poems in a poetry anthology entitled Ambrosia, released by OWS Ink, LLC. All proceeds from the anthology are being donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org.). Digital link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/742799 Amazon Kindle link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074WCLD69/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk

In the Rust Belt, People Are Pierogis Stuffed with Snow by Justin Karcher

We’re cracking open thermometers with erection pills and scented candles
I’m afraid I’m in love with everybody
But a lot of people have high expectations when snow’s dead and buried

We’re writing eulogies in grease on bathroom walls
Everybody’s never full and the fun parts of us burn with something that isn’t quite desire
But I don’t think there’s a word for it yet

It’s a little more complicated than that, because it’s tough to preserve what makes us great
But we try – there are invisible wrecking balls following us around
So just live while you can I guess – like we have about two months

To kiss everybody we want to kiss, to climb trees in parkways
And shake the hands of branches that touch the sun
To maybe dance in the moonlight when there’s grass on the ground

And music in the air because although the snow is beautiful
We stuff blizzards with everything that makes us sad
And then we build snowmen in our backyards of everybody who has never loved us back

And then we wait for the heat to rise so those memories melt into water
And we can wash our faces with it

Justin Karcher Author Photo copy
Justin Karcher is the author of Tailgating at the Gates of Hell from Ghost City Press, http://ghostcitypress.tumblr.com/gcp003, the chapbook When Severed Ears Sing You Songs from CWP Collective Press, https://www.cwp-press.com/#/when-severed-ears-sing-you-songs/ and the micro-chapbook Just Because You’ve Been Hospitalized for Depression Doesn’t Mean You’re Kanye West from Ghost City Press, https://gumroad.com/l/karcher2017, as part of their 2017 summer micro-chapbook series. His recent work has appeared in Thought Catalog, Occulum, L’Éphémère Review, Anti-Heroin Chic and more. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ghost City Review. His one act play When Blizzard Babies Turn to Stone premiered in February at Alleyway Theatre in Buffalo, NY. He tweets @Justin_Karcher





To Gauguin Dying In The Marquesas by John Grey

From eternally open windows,
you hear wind cavorting through palms,
a downpour, quick and sudden as a brushstroke,
the east-west dispersal of the waves.
Your body feels like a puddle on the sheets,
but your head’s perfect
now the ears have replaced the eyes,
tones filling in for hues,
the air outside for canvas.
Was that the fat woman whose legs
slapped together as she walked?
Or the fishmonger pushing his cart?
Or young girls giggling?
Unwashed, unfed, bed blisters,
a cobalt colored cough…
and yet gold bodied nudes pose
on the walls around you,
bathed in frond and pool and frangipani,
above cane chairs where friends,
ghosts and real, have sat and argued.
You’re still strong enough to live
but not to do what’s in you.
The next painting will have to struggle
with your weary body, fermenting lungs,
hands that no longer can do ordinary tasks.
You sacrificed everything to color.
Now the colors keep their distance,
as if there’s no way to repay.
A woman enters, once your lover,
now your nurse.
Your next work will be
the face of one who does not
wish to see you suffer.
Always the artist,
your breath sketches
while it can.

John Gray Copy
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, South Carolina Review, Gargoyle and Silkworm work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

Sea dogs by Mike Zone

mysterious Amerikan knight woman
sea dogs at her feet
punch-drunk, shipwrecked on the island
offering waves, phallic foam
coral reefers- echo boom
sploosh- goop- fwoosh
fing-fang-foom eruptions
salt caked ragamuffins with little boy fantasies
dream storm babies sitting atop a broken mast
Quentin rubbing lantern oil on Bob’s back
Bob nervous in the groin
sighs uncomfortably.

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

Open Mic by Michael H. Brownstein

Hi, thanks for the nice intro—
But I don’t play a musical instrument.
I can’t sing worth a prayer.
I don’t write poetry
And I can’t tell a joke to save my life.
I do carry a gun.
I shoot people.
Better call the authorities before it’s too late.
This place is packed.
Someone is sure to die.

Michael H. Brownstein has been widely published throughout the small and literary presses. He has nine poetry chapbooks including Poems from the Body Bag (Ommation Press, 1988), Firestorm: A Rendering of Torah (Camel Saloon Press, 2012), The Possibility of Sky and Hell: From My Suicide Book (White Knuckle Press, 2013).