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David Oliver Cranmer

Not Just Another Playlist Often, I sit in my swivel chair looking out the window, while jazz, country, or rock music plays. This pleasure goes on for many hours a mystic trance of sorts streaming—the glue maintaining my soul. I turn the best songs into playlists (once we called them mix tapes) puzzling over the perfect order. Does Satchmo’s “What a Wonderful World” kick off my latest list or make it the big soulful closer? And does “Mack the Knife” go higher in the set than “Summertime?” That’s an Ella Fitzgerald duet! “Foolishness? No, it’s not” whether you are climbing a tree to count all the leaves or tapping to beats. These are the joys that bring inner peace and balance (to a cold universe) lifting spirits skyward. David Oliver Cranmer ’s poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in publications such as Punk Noir Magazine , The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly , Needle: A Magazine of Noir , LitReactor , Macmillan’s Criminal Element , and
Recent posts

Max Heinegg

Anamnesis 1. I pushed off with permission from the Electric City to Brooklyn. Broome’s green & dying sedan, Big Ed, rolled out of the slush, down I-90. Familiar roots dozed while winter sun lured me to a chastening, back to the city of my childhood from which to remember. 2. - For R. In his cups, my roommate, the professional dancer could grab a subway pole & pull parallel to the ground. He pocketed women & vested pleasures, secreted smokes, & taunted subway strangers with drunken melodies. He taught himself to drum just to join the band. For a week, he’d leave for Africa, returning with curios. He kept his room in a way I did not understand, owned an iron & several pairs of shoes. 19, I didn't decorate as much as find places to deposit myself. The day we met on 172st, we passed Washington Heights, & the hospital where a cop was killed, then drank good whiskey with ice. I plotted from a window how to start my l

Brenton Booth

The Pianist At the piano recital she started tapping her fingers on my shoulder. I thought she was measuring the bars until I noticed the articulations, glancing at her hand. For the rest of the concert she continued in time with the virtuoso soloist: never missing a note. Tears filling her once hopeful eyes, thinking of what could have been, before he broke her finger a few weeks after she was accepted into the famous music school in New York. To stop her from leaving. Brenton Booth Lives in Sydney, Australia. Poetry of his has appeared, or is forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Chiron Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Main Street Rag, Naugatuck River Review, Van Gogh's Ear, and Nerve Cowboy. He has two full length collections available from Epic Rites Press.

Corey Mesler

  I think of you tonight, my Beats I think of you tonight, my Beats, and I am grateful.  I walked the narrow lanes of Academia and never felt at home. There were men and women in the flowerbeds, their heads full of theorems and poems. There were teachers who could lift their own weight in prose.  I was lonely. I was too loose.  I was a lad from the faraway country of Smarting. But I had you as so many before me. I had you and I knew secret things. I could count on you like a percussion. And now I want to say: I love you.  If not for you, what? I want to say. If Allen Ginsberg did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.  COREY MESLER has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South . He has published over 25 books of fiction and poetry. His newest novel, The Diminishment of Charlie Cain , is from Livingston Press. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On , which won The Me

Internal Suffocation, poems by Juliet Cook

  Internal Suffocation I'm an adult so I'm allowed to watch as many horror films as I choose. Some people say that has a bad effect on my brain. I do sometimes have violent dreams, but the last disturbing dream I had based on a movie was re-seeing the rape scene from Boys Don't Cry, which was based on a real life hate crime. Sometimes I like some extremity in movies and art because I can turn them off, turn them back on, re-interpret them, revise them, re-analyze them,  do whatever I want with them.  Other times I can't control what my own mind sees or what happens to me. Sometimes my mind exaggerates things. Other times it blocks things out. Sometimes my brain cells discharge  uncontrolled electrical activity. Sometimes it's not up to me. When it is, I'll watch whatever I want to, whether it's based on real life or exaggerated make believe. Internal Suffocation  I know what's starting to happen. I've heard this before, this wooshing inside my brain

Three Prose Poems, by Howie Good

  Meds Four gray gulls paddle about like ducks, the sky above the bay rapidly changing moods, darkening, then brightening, then darkening again, while I make my own path up the shoreline, careful despite a brain half-paralyzed from new meds to step around the conchs and horseshoe crabs stranded at low tide, too many for saving, a massacre, the water rushing away over the pebbly sand whispering to me, as though in consolation, shush, shush, shush.   Interview Questions for a Job Yet to Be Invented Have you ever demanded, received, or paid a ransom? Seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe? Spent a night in the gorilla cage? Bought a human skull on Etsy?   Shared an elevator with the eighteen smallest dwarfs in the city?   Laughed so hard you dislocated your jaw? Asked Alexa the actual color of the Red Sea? (Intense turquoise.) Been bound and gagged and stuffed in a wheelie bin? Visited a parent in prison? Shrieked like a peacock or impersonated a disreputable poet with a pointy beard and long

Shae Krispinsky

  CONNOQUENESSING CREEK   Two days after my father died, somewhere in Center Township, we pulled off the interstate to get closer to the waterway  whose name for years I held between my teeth like a wrist, like a prayer.   Connoquenessing means  for a long way straight . The creek  twists and curls and crawls from the Beaver River through the Oneida Valley Reservoir then back to  the Beaver River some fifty-seven miles later.   Train tracks hemmed the creek where we stood, a nest of rusted railroad spikes at our feet. Connoquenessing means for a long way straight.  The current flowed without shame. Cars  passed over the nearby bridge. The late afternoon light hung   hazy and thick, a chiffon shroud. I bent down to touch  the water as one always must. The shock of the cold didn’t shock me so much. In the water I felt nothing. I stepped back defeated.   Connoquenessing means  for a long way straight . How often does meeting our hero disappoint us? It was too late  to keep the creek a dre