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Simon Perchik

You stir this can before it opens as the promise a frog makes when asking for a kiss :the paint
warmer and warmer will become an afternoon with room for mountains and breezes close to your shoulder
though that’s not how magic works –there’s the wave, the hand to hand spreading out between the silence
and your fingers dressed with gloves as if it was a burden and the brush raising your arm the way this wall
needs a color that will dry by itself leave a trace :a shadow not yet lovesick no longer its blanket and cure.
Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge,Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Gibson Poems published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, 2019. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com. 
Recent posts

Catfish McDaris

Drunken West Milwaukee Blues

Drinking mezcal chewing up the worm
listening to Santana’s Blues For Salvador
the police car shined a spotlight in my van

This Barney Fife looking motherfucker
swaggered up and asks me if I’ve been
drinking, I nod my head and take a swig

“Keep your hands where I can see them
and get out of your car,” I finish the bottle
I get out slowly, he has his pistol pointed

At me, “That’s not nice,” “What did you
say?” I did my magic on him and reached
out and took his gun away, I pointed it

At his chest and said, “How does it feel?”
I gave him some gunslinger tricks, threw
it up in the air, caught it behind my back

I ejected the magazine and unchambered
the round in the barrel, faster than sight, I
put it in his holster and raised my hands.

Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog…

Larry Thacker

What’s on my mind? 
The problem is, you sit in class, or a boardroom in a high rise office building, or within some congregation, say, at a recital or a baptism, but can’t just sit there.
You observe yourself, as you’ve been taught, from outside yourself. A witness to your breathing, visualizing it: understanding, but not quite understanding,
that most of what you’ve pulled into your lungs your whole life, isn’t oxygen at all.
And that you’re a fool for thinking so flippantly for so long about an exchange so potentially deadly.
That this meticulous mixture is a wondrous thing hardly considered moment, to moment, to moment.
And how something very scary, full of cosmic witchcraft propels your heart muscle to twitching like a restless fist-sized alien in a ribbed calcium cage, a body zoo you transport everywhere you go.
And they wonder why you can’t concentrate.
Larry D. Thacker is a Kentuckian writer, artist, and educator hailing from Johnson City, Tennessee. He lives with his wife, Karin, and th…

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

Brief Conversations With Gary In Downtown, Los Angeles  Thanks for the pancakes. You should smile more. You are my heart, Luis, you are my soul. What is your name man because I don’t want to call you Fraser? You remind me of Fraser. Hey Luis, what do you know about Jennifer Aniston? I saw her driving in a red car. My stomach is killing me. I should not have eaten that Chinese food out of the trash. It is cold, Luis, aren’t you cold? There is this guy at the tent that tried to stab me last week. Could you get me something to eat? It’s my birthday Luis. I have a 25-year-old daughter. Voices told me that I should jump
off this bridge.

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, lives in Southern California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His other poetry books, broadsides, and chapbooks, have been published by Alternating Current Press, Deadbeat Press, Kendra Steiner Editions, New American Imagist, New Polish Beat, Poet's …

Howie Good

Advice for the Perplexed
Wash your sex toys (your unmotorized ones, at any rate) in the top rack of the dishwasher. Next up, put on some music. Have a trick for getting bong water out of the carpet; white wine, ironically, gets out red wine stains. But as of now there’s no proven method to erase false memories and the like. Try to avoid being carried off by a UFO when you can just walk. Make mute despair your default greeting to people you happen to pass on the stairs. And always remember, a wild bull becomes docile if tethered to a fig tree.
Howie Good is the author most recently of What It Is and How to Use It from Grey Book Press and Spooky Action at a Distance from Analog Submission Press. He co-edits the journals Unbroken and UnLost.


Rob Plath

the mover

i dreamt my mother was helping me carry her own coffin
to the cemetery

strangely, she was both inside & outside of the box

she was so calm
for a while i doubted she knew who we were planting in the ground

but after a considerable amount of steps i was certain she recognized her own weight

yet it was as if she was the mover of a piece of furniture & not her own pallbearer

peaceful as if she were merely rearranging a space— perhaps moving a large cedar chest
for fresh linens
from one room to the next
Rob Plath is a writer from New York. He is most known for his monster collection  A BELLYFUL OF ANARCHY (epic rites press 2009). His newest collection is MY SOUL IS A BROKEN DOWN VALISE (epic rites press 2019). You can see more of his work at robplath.com

Gary Powell

Corporate Warriors
We are profiles in likeness in our gray business attire, splash of color in our ties, cell phone whining in our ears.
We have important places to be as we careen through streets and airports, teleconference with peers, interface and meet.
We do it for our families, our companies and our teams, for the false sense of security that allows us to sleep through the night. For the sweet suck of the deal.
We queue up at our cubicles, genuflect and cross ourselves before the throne of the corporate prophet, awaiting the news: merger, acquisition, or divestiture.
And in the CEO’s name we pray:
This stock option is my body Think of me when you eat. This red ink is my blood Think of me when you drink.
We are the gray men, the hollow men, living in a dead land, a land stuffed with IOUs and motherfucking lawyers.
We are the in-between, the rut and rub on the road from desire to spasm. We are the gut wrench of the downward trending Dow.
So:
Give us this day our daily bread, man, and forgive us our debts, althou…