The Old Poets by J.J. Campbell

sunshine
on the
shores
of the
apocalypse

surfing
the waves
of chaos

the old
poets still
in love with
old what’s
her name
from last
night

waking
up on the
beach

i’d like to
manifest
something
other than
destiny this
morning

maybe
breakfast

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)

To Live Another Day in La La Land by Peter Magliocco

The fates of mortality lurk coyly
in the bio-system of snails & men
never abating until the day comes
for corporeal judgement’s folly.
Then carbon dust covers rose gardens

leading to gates of smoking infinity
where all deceased specimens await
permanent cosmic enshrinement,
along with lesser annoying beings.
I decided to forego the experience

& continue inhabiting my psyche;
while driving thru North Las Vegas
dawn nips at mass murder memories
like lust in my marrow of cowardice.
Nothing I tried restored my faith

in lost denizens of compromised dignity
who now strolled down the avenues.
There young women wearing summer garb
penetrate the voyeur’s ogling eyesight
into a nearsighted appreciation of flesh

still alive on Veterans Memorial Drive,
where tented street people nestle
in blowsy improvised shelters
with their crude belongings on sidewalks.
Unfortunately I espy my missing daughter

sashaying there, like a social media tramp
destined to end up a lurid shooting victim
of the city’s next high-roller jackpot killer.
Sweet psychodrama of the morning!
I’ve unconsciously made a wrong turn

into the cul-de-sac of old hang-ups
that never die, & suddenly burn rubber
only to crash into a nearby flowerbed
of a horrified-looking senior-slum matron
with rifle upraised, firing the final mantra.

Peter Magliocco
Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he occasionally edits the lit-zine ART:MAG. He has forthcoming poetry in HARBINGER ASYLUM, POETRY PACIFIC, MIDNIGHT LANE BOUTIQUE, and elsewhere. His speculative sci-fi novel The Burgher of Virtual Eden is now an ebook available at all the usual places.

Unanswered Letter by David Spicer

Like the last gladiator circling the far north’s
taiga, I fling myself in your direction,
victory in my limbs lifting me to punish
you with double entendres and electricity
of my studied stupidity. I remind you
and myself as I decay day by day that we
exploit each other with the acid of our
smogged words. Catherine, I’m a reactionary,
and you an insurgent against war stories
of the Philippines and the Yukon.
Steer clear of my sabotage, and don’t eat
crayfish I offer you, my glowering sweetheart.
Let’s construct a new device we use
to compose letters, one that mollifies
you in the panic of my swiveling
elevator moods. I flex at the crevice
of my abyss and squeeze bandaged limbs,
knowing you might deprive me of your
face’s faults and beauties. If you’ll welcome
me this one last time before I kick
the casket I’ll never buy, I promise that
the black clouds of my psyche’s distemper
won’t hurt you, that the gold cross
I bear will shine and won’t rot as long
as you remain an itch I can scratch.

David Spicer
David Spicer has had poems in Chiron Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Easy Street, Third Wednesday, Reed Magazine, Santa Clara Review, Rat’s Ass Review, Midnight Lane Boutique, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. The author of Everybody Has a Story and five chapbooks, he’s the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. His latest chapbook is From the Limbs of a Pear Tree, available from Flutter Press.

The Guy With The Vertical Hair by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

he told me how
he got into
a religious debate
up at Number 7

ticked off the
tender royally
with his two cents’

we discussed the
pitfalls of religious
debate on a barstool

we discussed the
raft of possibilities
the history channel
pitches
agreeable on all points
for the most part

except he can’t stand
the guy with the
vertical hair

Wanda Morrow Clevenger - Copy
Wanda Morrow Clevenger is a Carlinville, IL native living in her husband’s hometown of Hettick, IL, population 200 give or take. She’s placed over 422 pieces of work in 149 print and electronic publications. She is currently attempting to sway a publisher into accepting her full-length poetry manuscript. She hasn’t seen any pigs fly by so believes she’s still got a shot.

Of Martinis and Mishaps by A.J. Huffman

after Party Foul, artist Michael Godard

I lost my head, and my hand
slipped.  Gripless wonderfuck,
I dropped my guardian glass and broke
two olives’ backs.
I tried to call 911, but forgot the number
of sirens it takes
to split my head-
ache into a hangover.

A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, fourteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

 

a sampling of Dancing with Chowski, Part 5 by Kari Rhyan

I come out of the kitchen
and think about
everything I regret

That time with the guy
a name caller
that careless purchase
a paperweight.

I move into the living room
And think about
Everything I regret

That guy with the gun
could get me killed
the elder with a temper
much worse than mine

I sit at the computer
And think about
Everything I regret

shooting down my hair
making way for my

fingers. The tool at the bar
the one who said no and no
the cowardice that enveloped
after she that thing
the time a friend left my eyes
don’t look at me anymore
the lie that was discovered
after coming home
the milk and the murder
and marrying

all made way for you.

My previous work, Standby for Broadcast–a memoir on the dangers of canned patriotism, family loyalty, and discount retail–focused on my time as a Navy nurse in Afghanistan, and has received praise from Kirkus and Blue Ink, and are widely available online.

Honeydew by Kyle Manning

Nearly 27 years on this earth
And I still can’t discern if
Honeydew has a taste now
The self help section
of Barnes N Noble takes up
Many Rows
How often we feel the need
To mine the unidentified
For our fingerprints
And mental footnotes-
We grabbed coffee and
I asked her if she
Thought about death
And she replied,
“Weird first date question,”
And I told her she looked
Like my Ex,
“Never using Tinder again,”
She said and I asked her
What honeydew tasted like
To her,

“It tastes like honeydew.”

Kyle Manning
Hi there! I’m Kyle Manning, sharing musings out of Portland, Oregon. I only wish to lend a hand through life’s madness by assisting an escape to the grey, where you can sit and read and rant and be loved even more for not knowing a damn thing but wholeheartedly getting it in some way. Cheers.

Out of Everywhere by Dan Raphael

then this storm-surge of a million micro-reactions, things shaved away,
not inert but sleeping soundly, appearing to, unseen eyes winking open,
fumes building in another dimension trapped inside my body,
like a  meal that ends in hunger, like all the scenery of a two hour movie
twitching to unreel from my organs, my ribcage

the brain stays mum, as if it knows whats next, has options, references,
a random move generator: who will the arms and legs listen to.
if i scream i’ll stop hearing, encased in the waves emanating from me,
my torso no more than outlines, as if my tvs an x-ray screen,
seeing with sound, smelling like a week without power,
no one near enough  to witness the many layers of dough curling from me
like a mass of blank birds leaving a lake from one gunshot—a starting pistol;
a thunderstorm of pellets, seeds, cookie fortunes compressed into periods

where am i on the richter, where the highest and lowest pressure fronts meet
impelled by hungers, festering questions, the same door for how many years
the same key in the same lock, same ribs running into the same wall
but today reversed—what walls, what possibilities, what flushed fauna
running gainst the inside of my ribs, not knowing the midnight road
just outside me—abandoned trees, historic fences,
spontaenous constructs or impulses coming out of nowhere at a mile a minute,
lightless, driverless, gps seized by a newly mutated virus

how could we have thought living further above the ground, packed as closely
as cigarettes, would lead to anything but the inescapable urge to fly out a window,
the strength  to run down all those stairs and burst into the treeless concrete shadows,
all this glass with no one to reflect but me. so many cameras needing to edit, to create,
to repopulate this city so windy the ghosts are only passing through,
the food i smell could be from next door or half a mile, could be inside me
hoping some natural hunger would break through to allow its escape

dan-raphael
For a couple decades I’ve been active in the Northwest as poet, performer, editor and reading host. Everyone in This Movie Gets Paid, my most recent book, came out June 1st from Last Word Press. Current poems appear in Otoliths, Rasputin, Mad Swirl, Oddball & Unlikely Stories.

This Much by Adrian Manning

the wind
blows
the tree
and it bends

the wind
blows
and I
resist

only one
of us
will last
another
100 years

this much
I know

Adrian Manning
Adrian Manning is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet from Leicester, England. His latest chapbook is “13 Poems From The Edge Of Extinction” published by Crisis Chronicles Press in the USA. He is also the editor of Concrete Meat Press.

Dreams Last Even in War by Linda Imbler

Among scarlet guns,
held in the unrested clench of fists
of tired troops,
in the long, long battle,
dreams last.

Among the fogged schizophrenia
of peace wanted
and war necessary,
within all the fighting,
dreams last.

Among the uncharitable cargo
on the backs of soldiers,
even within the tense disembarkation
of olive drab or navy blue
in all their hearts and heads,
dreams last

even unto the insistent numeration
of the final count.

Linda Imbler
Linda Imbler is the author of the published poetry collection “Big Questions, Little Sleep.” Her work has appeared in numerous journals. Linda’s creative process and a current, complete listing of sites which have or will publish her work can be found at lindaspoetryblog.blogspot.com. This writer, yoga practitioner, and classical guitar player lives in Wichita, Kansas.