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Showing posts from August, 2016

JB Mulligan

mulching The crunch of rotted wood and mold as the pitchfork bites in, then pulls. The wobble of unruly wheelbarrows down the cobblestone path of the park. Raking the mounds over patches of dirt in the grass, around trees and bushes, next to the stone wall.  The body groans underneath the screaming yellow T-shirt slashed with the sponsor's name. A day off from work to work harder. Those who did and do this every day, who scratch life from indifferent soil, don't joke about beer and back rubs, or watch a perfect ass in taut gray pants clench, release, clench, release, behind that skittering rat of a dog. Life somewhere might be limited to a woman who has sagged with work and children, whose face is a soft puddled smile that used to light like a lover's moon. But here, I get this T-shirt, and we stop at noon for free pizza. JBMulligan has had poems and stories in several hundred magazines over the pa

Frank Reardon

A Letter to My Daughter I'm not going to glorify it. There's nothing of note to bring it all in as something only the strong and courageous consume. Truth is, I've never been able to handle it properly. Too many times I woke up without memory, the earth's heart once pumping, now shattered upon the ground; by my own hand, by my own fatal wallet and need to be seen as more than I actually am. There are years of stories, some humor's ax, others: the soaking of marrow underneath the broken land. If I could tell you what it's like to wake up in jail, break bones, hearts, and say things that are not in your head, I'd tell you to stay away. I'd tell you to stay strange, soul-rich, and daylight galaxy. What I fear more than death's knock is that you will discover your gene and marry too young. And not to a man, woman, or a dream, but to a bottle of whiskey. The same bottle I married when I wa

Jay Sizemore

Methamphetamine                      ~ after Bob Hicok Imagine a horizon stained with blood, clothes still warm from the dryer unfolded and heaped in piles, a holocaust of time traveling selves happening every minute without smoke. Your husband’s pale face a knuckle on the fist of a ghost, working at words like a wad of chewing gum. You remember the ferris wheel at the Barren County fair, those yellow lights rimming conjoined ladders that spun a galaxy of wants in your ribcage, his stubble rubbing your chin raw. His smile a haunted piano that played you songs, now a crumbling chimney of teeth set to grinding aspirin into dust. Once he plucked a lily from the hillside and threaded it behind your ear, months before he turned you into a smurf, palming packs of Sudafed from the pharmacy. You’d find the bathroom door closed, the acrid odor of flame against foil, cooking something akin to torment, a fish hook on each eyelid, pull

Tom Darin Liskey

Stormbringers  Those rough tongued river folk South of the Missouri Would confound me W ith their open vowels And sloppy consonants— Pronouncing the word “hail” like “hell.” I still blame them  For my childhood fear of summer storms When clouds blotted out the horizon, And daylight turned black. I would run and hide in the cellar As storms rolled into the valley— The farm reporter on the radio announcing:   “Hell” was falling to earth. But instead of brimstone,  Destruction came   In cold, hard clumps of ice— Sometimes the size of my hand. Hail that pinged off the rooftop  Breaking windows and banging up cars.  When I was a child  I believed summer was the devil’s season. Tom Darin Liskey spent nearly a decade working as a journalist in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. His fiction and non fiction have appeared in the Crime Factory, and Driftwood Press. His photographs have been published in Hobo Camp Review, Roadside Fiction, Blue Ho

Dennis Mahagin

How To Make It w/ a ‘62 Reissue Japanese Fretless Jazz Bass Plug her in easy, easy, yet with deliberate reverence, there’s a click halfway between shove and pluck, just above a patch of hum, and the stick… to love   her you must play some natural now lick the tip of your paisley diamond hard McCartney plectrum, then whip it away. Keep the EQ flat, but push volume between nine or ten; don’t think about the Mongoloid prodigy banjo boy from Deliverance, his ghoulish sockets, hootenanny whites under iris, shameful dungarees cum doom, and neither go near the line from Don Henley’s Sunset Grille , your talent isn’t there, and maybe never, yet still possessed of enough heart for foreplay, vibrato and the effort that kills… hammer on, tremolo, trill… pull off a thing between the tongue and teeth, the ninth and thirteenth phantom frets, so little time left, as your wind moans the lip of a bottle, o