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Karen Cline-Tardiff

  Friday Night I’m gonna smoke all your cigarettes,   Make you go crazy trying to   figure out if I’m really that girl   in the album liner notes   of your favorite band. You pour your beer in the trash,   refuse to drink the backwash.   But hell, it’s Friday night and   there’s more than leftover beer   in your future and mine. We think about fooling around,   but the couch is full   of passed out hippies and   covered in cigarette burns,   and shit, it isn’t even our house. I bum your last smoke   but your lighter is dead.    Kinda like tonight you joke   and I give you a pity laugh. Karen Cline-Tardiff has been writing as long as she could hold a pen. Her works have appeared in several anthologies and journals, both online and in print. She founded the Aransas County Poetry Society. She has a Kindle book of poetry, Stumbling to Breathe. She is Editor-in-Chief of Gnashing Teeth Publishing.
Recent posts

Rebecca M. Ross

To The Thinking Camel Cricket That bent-legged audacity compelling your jumping cockeyed bravery to cross thresholds, climb silently through damp basement spaces to enter darkened dwellings only to receive a post-shriek boot to your humped back, a trigger-forced splash of spray, or a body glued immovable-- Once I understood your blind defenselessness, seemingly random leaps meant to terrify your own larger fears, my unease around you lessened Still, though take your crooked-bodied friends and get out of my house. Rebecca M. Ross is originally from Brooklyn but currently lives, hikes, and teaches in New York’s Hudson Valley. Rebecca’s writing has recently been published in Uppagus , Whimsical Poet , Streetcake Magazine , The Westchester Review , Soul-Lit, and Peeking Cat . She has poetry forthcoming or published in Last Leaves, Pif Magazine, and The Metaworker .

Brian Harman

To the Priest Who Stole the Eulogy I Wrote for My Uncle’s Funeral Standing, kneeling, sitting on repeat on a front row pew at a church in Riverside, California, with welled tears in my eyes after my heart was gutted the day before at my uncle's open casket viewing, I was in shock when I heard the priest plagiarize to family and friends in mourning, the eulogy I had written about my uncle, that I was about to deliver minutes later, that the church strangely requested I email to them earlier that morning, so they could get an idea of who my uncle was, which I blasphemously learned the real reason was so the priest could thieve my words, my sorrow, my full on sentences as if it was his own sermon, and when the priest stammered and ad libbed “Carlos loved Pepsi… Pepsi is life… ” I couldn't help but shake my head at the absurdity, and I looked around and saw my cousin did the same – yes, my uncle loved Pepsi, he drank a liter everyday wi

John Dorsey

A Long-Handled Spoon the big lost river is still your body the old fisher king there’s water in idaho the hand of god exchanges rain. The Desert this town a little good dirt dad caught a train into manhood & jumped off. Little Kids stripped moaning hands in pockets the shouts the beatings a wine jug of hot win In Pocatello embree haunts the cold railroaders stoned by local magic a beer that no one touches. John Dorsey  lived for several years in Toledo, Ohio. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw's Prayer (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), Sodomy is a City in New Jersey (American Mettle Books, 2010), Tombstone Factory, (Epic Rites Press, 2013), Appalachian Frankenstein (GTK Press, 2015) Being the Fire (Tangerine Press, 2016) and Shoot the Messenger (Red Flag Poetry, 2017),Your Daughter's Country (Blue Horse Press, 2019), Which Way to the River: Selected Poems 2016-2020 (OAC

Drew Pisarra

Eros Thanatos Brutus Am I sick? And does sobriety mean this body will walk without knots while soaking up life’s crassest joke? Who does that? Again, am I sick? And will I take to a healthy bed where I’ll have the courage to act sick at night and attract neo-kink-isms fostered by some sister spirit that fists and fingers a long-misnamed disease? There is a crime of illness in your mind that I need to know better and more: along the way I promise you beauty, I promise you warmth. But first, desire: Tell me why are you so hard-headed, so hard-hearted, so hard-pressed, so hard that you should have me on repeat: for here are six or seven me’s hiding faces and phalluses in the dark. Mourning the Crown Prince Grief doesn’t linger. It sticks. It makes the hands fumble and the throat gunge up. Time doesn’t heal. Time inserts itself within the pain. The clock is crueler than the calendar. Eventually the hour hand lets up. In the almanacs charting t

David L. Williams

Homework Dylan’s desk did not stay vacant long, Though I know it got stared at emptily A short while, till it got reshuffled back In line with other daily absurdity. He’d been a quiet kid, and had no friends That I could tell, but of the pleasant kind Who did his homework, stayed out of the way, Polite enough in ways we teachers liked. I never got to know him very well, Grading his papers, making pleasantries That daily went by virtually unnoticed As Dylan did, almost in secrecy. Not bothering others, he got left alone, So it’s no big surprise that no one knew him, And none of us knew much about his family As we discovered sadly on that day. Administration promptly filled me in Before the first bell rang, and now the kids Had filed in, edging around his desk, Then sitting quietly, and so I guessed They’d heard the news, at least from one another. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any comments. From what we knew, there wasn’t much to say; Eerily gone, with his ent

PRYING, Jack Micheline, Charles Bukowski, Catfish McDaris, a Review

Roadside Press $18.00 https://www.magicaljeep.com/product/prying/71 Limited Edition of 69 The three poets nesting cheek by jowl in this fetching 2022 reprint of the 1997 Four-Sep Publications chapbook Prying from small press dynamo Michele McDannold's Roadside Press will be familiar to anyone paying attention to even the tiniest of the outlaw poetry scene in the last 50 or so years: Charles Bukowski, Catfish McDaris and Jack Micheline. Bukowski and Micheline need little introduction; their long shadows hover over the outlaw poetry world even now years after their deaths. And the third, the only living poet of the three within, Catfish McDaris, has been building his own small press reputation with considerable success, for nearly as long as the former men. Illustrations are from Scott Aicher. It's most fun to talk about the living McDaris. He appeared and appears so widely it's difficult to keep track and critique, or not, but as his portion of the cover copy says, he doesn