Drinking With Libertine Iscariot III by Paul Tristram

He was tackling another glass of Penny Dreadful port,
with a chaser of Absinthe…
whilst sorting through three months worth of neglected debt,
signing cheques with a yawn,
using a quill dipped in an ivory pot of menstruation blood.
I racked up two generous lines of Spitfire
upon the onyx mantelpiece as I waited,
blasting half of one up each nostril…
coughing and snarling I growled
“Enough Already!”
This transported him back, with a rush, out of his daze
and smiling, he spoke
“The carriage will be here momentarily.
The Scrubbers Arms first,
there are two new ships in town
and I thought that we could check out
the form of these new Sheffield Steel blades.
Then over to The Square,
to pick up last evenings gambling winnings.
From there, Madam Jenny’s and the Chinese Flophouse
at the far end of Pickpockets Row
to mellow and chill away the early hours.”
“I don’t do ‘Mellow’ nor ‘Chill’, you know!”
“It is more a turn of phrase, dear fellow.”
We exited the vehicle at Tabernacle Corner,
the steam of the horses breath
disappearing almost instantaneously into the thick city fog.
We followed the dim glow of three streetlamps
before turning left into Blind Drunk Alley,
rat-mazing the back lanes,
we only stopped once, fleetingly,
so Libertine could clout fuck out of a dipping street urchin,
who picking the wrong ‘Victim’ soon became a ‘Victim’
The Scrubbers Arms was packed to the debauched rafters
with pirates, footpads, cutthroats and other treacherous bastards,
singing seas shanties collected from all corners of the globe.
We each drank pints of Jailors Coffin Ale
and smoked pipe tobacco twisted into hand rolled cigarettes.
Before leaving the notorious establishment,
Libertine whispered into my shell-like
“It’s time for a little game of ‘Bird With Broken Wing’ me thinks”
Almost immediately we feigned total inebriation,
staggering towards the back entrance,
stumbling into one another
and falling and laughing over wooden stools and chairs.
We were followed, of course, by four wannabe muggers,
at the very first wall bend
we dropped our ‘Carrot And Donkey’ pantomime
and ripped tight the vicious snare.
Two each, is more than fair
when you are armed to the teeth, such as we.
If you are quick enough you can hear as well as feel
a steel blade slice and tear through the very air.
After avoiding the running feet
following the Beat Bobbies whistles,
we arrived at The Foxhole Tavern
at the left corner of The Square.
News of our shenanigans was arriving by guttersnipes
as we were demanding an audience with Blackjack Bill.
He paid up in full, all monies due,
after just one violent threat,
and a plea bargain, upon his part, was denied
to honour, afore mentioned debt in home burglary items.
We did not stop for one single drink,
the place being full of petty-minded cunts as usual.
Instead, following our cocks rather than our noses,
we strode the canal bank under the bridge to The Arches,
where we stopped to back-scuttle a Tuppenny Upright each,
ejaculating the adrenalin from our still ‘Fight Or Flee’ Bodies.
At Madam Jenny’s, we, being sexually sated for the moment,
ordered four higher grade harlots for companionship,
and headed out back to the Chinese Flophouse.
With opium pipes on fire and dangerous yet pleasant company
pretty enough to warm the cockles of your black heart.
We lay back upon foot high bunks,
amongst the squalid, seedy ruins of low-life humanity.
After Libertine’s Head Butler appeared, as planned,
with a further couple of Manservants
to escort the ‘Valuables’ back to The Manor House.
We rang the little brass serving bell for Pernod…
and with nothing remaining to stay careful for… we let go…
and sank further down into the squalid grime of these times.

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/




The Bitch Went Crazy by Alan Catlin

sd., to her old man,
” What the fuck
you doing looking at
a slut like that?
She’s so sleazy you
can’t even imagine
what kind of diseases
she got last week.
I see you looking at her.
You don’t think I can
kick your ass but I will.
That bitch reeks of all
the shit you don’t want
to know about and if you’re
smart you’ll keep your
mouth shut before this
bus gets to the end.”

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

War of the Worlds by Jeff Bagato

Saucer lands
and you wake me up
out of my mind—
where time lasted until twelve
o’clock but never got there.

Down on the lawn, we were waiting,
your clock works going hot wire;
how long before the rain of frogs?
How long before the brass bed revolution
and saucer eyes close down the American grind?
Saucer opens, and Voodoo Doll steps out,
putting pins in her arms
for love and fidelity: Now
mechanical bride can turn
down history: voting, smoking,
buying dildoes for butch
lovers, riding the tiger
in America—America, land
of the great communion; where coca
chewing gods in grass-stained feces skirts
are cleaner than laundry soap: “Nonsense,”
declares Doll, “Don’t get sarcastic
on me; I see clear through
the sticky male soul, he touching
his nuts every now and then to make
sure they’re still with him,
haven’t wandered off
to fight a war without him,
shake the hand of Britain’s
king, or catch a tan with supermodel
                  Mechanical bride stutters,
“You want it when?”
And all this time
she only needed a rewind

Jeff Bagato 2
A multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, Jeff Bagato produces poetry and prose as well as electronic music, glitch video, sticker art, and pop surrealism paintings. Some of his poetry has appeared in Empty Mirror, The Five-Two, Rusty Truck, Futures Trading, Otoliths, and Your One Phone Call. His published books include Savage Magic (poetry), Cthulhu Limericks (poetry), The Toothpick Fairy (fiction), and Dishwasher on Mars (fiction). A blog about his writing and publishing efforts can be found at http://jeffbagato.wordpress.com

A Poem in Parts from Forgotten Wars: Before You Pass This Night by Tom Sheehan

Before you pass this night
show me the star
you’ll travel by,
one without a map
and no destination,
but you mean to move
all the parts with you.

Before you pass this night
without a moon,
a torch,
but that star
with a string on it
tied one night
by your brother kneeling
his last kneel on the sand
of an unknown island.

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.

Bright by James Benger

At the park, among the other hens,
she calls it a career.
High above the streets,
cleaner, firmer than home,
she calls it a neighborhood.

She’s got an old
reciprocal push mower,
the blade just one shade south of sharp,
but she keeps that little patch of green
out front of the steps short,
neat and pretty.

She parks in a structure,
wears the fanciest clothes
to be found on the clearance rack
before the auto maintenance aisle,
she shuffles the paper,
copies, collates like she cares.

And she does,
because this is life, isn’t it?

She never raises her voice
when the rat terrier from two trailers over
pisses a spot of green to brown,
but she wonders why she doesn’t scream.

Some nights, after cranking over the ignition,
she doesn’t return to the park;
a short drive to the coffee shop/bar,
park on the street.

The acoustic she keeps on the backseat,
the one she found in a dumpster
back in her most desperate days,
it’s not much of a looker,
but it still holds a tune decent.

The tips from the
starving artist types,
it’s never much,
sometimes not enough to cover the gas
to get her back to the park.

But when she gets there,
sleep always comes easy,
and the mornings are always bright.

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.

Requiem by Milenko Županović

Legend that lasts
confession of
unknown artist,
whisper in the garden
a requiem for
the healing
of the soul
flying towards
the clouds
for the last star
whisper a prayer
to the small town
over the sea
for eternity
legend that lasts
on a desert island
the silence of eternity
lighted candles
in church with
artist of sorrow.

milenko photo
Milenko Županović was born in 1978 in Kotor (Montenegro). By profession he is a graduate marine engineer, but in his free time, he writes poetry and short stories. His stories and poems have been published by many magazines, blogs and websites, mostly in the Europe, U.S. and in Latin America. In 2010 he wrote and published his first book, a collection of stories, and he also written and published few collections of poems (ebooks). In 2015 he wrote and published his second book , a collection of stories and poetry. In 2016 he wrote his third book , a collection of poetry (published in USA, project ”Poems for all”) His book ”Martiri”was published in italian language. Milenko is an ethnic Croat and lives in the town of Kotor (Montenegro) with his wife and 3 sons.

Visiting The Chelsea Hotel by Pauline Sewards

we walk along the hudson river climb
onto the highline where monarchs swarm
purple verbenas and dry grass
cross block on block heart in mouth
walk don’t walk yellow taxi traffic horns
count down the numbers on west 25
spot the red brick high rise one time
‘world’s tallest building’

ventilator shaft intubates basement window
the building pegged by scaffolding breathes
like an asthmatic old man
tarnished plaques eulogise counter culture heroes
burroughs thomas cohen warhol

we search for traces of patti and janis
find only these damp bones
silt of cockroach wings stink of hooch
then glimpse awkwardly from fenced off steps
in corridors soaked with yellow light
pale shapes on walls where art once hung

Pauline Sewards 2
Pauline Sewards is a co-host of Satellite of Love poetry night in Bristol. She has been published in small press magazines including Prole, SouthBank Poetry and online at Ink, Sweat & Tears.