Friday, April 13, 2018

John, by Matthew Borczon

John

had been
a fireman
less than
a year
when he
got a
call a
small boy
fell into
the deep
end of
frontier creek
John said
they were
on scene
in less
than 10
minutes
but it
was too
late he
dove under
the water
until he
found the
body and
did CPR
for 20
minutes
in the
ambulance
until a
doctor took
over
but the
boy died
less than
an hour
later and
now John
can't swim
at the
beach or
in a pool
or even
take a
bath without
searching
under the
water for
tiny hands.

Matthew Borczon is a poet from Erie, PA. He has been a nurse in a combat hospital as well as a county prison. He is currently taking care of adults with developmental disabilities. He has published eight book of poetry, the most recent is My Reality through Alien Buddha press. He publishes widely in the small press and when he is not working he is raising 4 kids with his wife of 22 years.

Friday, April 6, 2018

A Haunting Gaze, by J.J. Campbell

there's
a darkness
in your eyes

a haunting
gaze that
sucks me
in and
convinces
me

i never
want to
leave

i
understand
it's not
exactly
love

but we're
not exactly
the kind of
humans

that need
such shit

holding
hands on
the eve of
the apocalypse

is thrilling
enough


J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) is old enough to know where the bodies are buried. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, Mad Swirl, Horror Sleaze Trash, Rusty Truck and In Between Hangovers. You can find him most days bitching about something at his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (http://evildelights.blogspot.com)


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Choosing a version, by Rob Plath

you dream yr mother’s alive again & yr both discussing her death.  in the dream, the dead version’s in the cemetery like in real life & the alive version sits at the kitchen table w/you. the alive version is trying to ease yr grief. she keeps telling you not to dwell on the dead version. it’s strange tho b/c the alive version isn’t bothered at all by the dead version.  the alive version only thinks of you.  you both continue into the wee hours of the night.  when you awake in the morning, the mid-September light is shining.  you jump up & make green tea & open the kitchen window.  the breeze presses thru the mesh, generously filling the little room.



Rob Plath is a 47-year-old poet from New York. He has over a dozen books out. He is most known for his collection A BELLYFUL OF ANARCHY (epic rites press). He lives alone with his cat and stays out of trouble. See more of his work at www.robplath.com

Friday, February 9, 2018

Oblivious, by Misty Skaggs

Oblivious

If you try and convince me
you can’t smell the rain coming,
I’m liable to conclude
you’re full of shit.
Or else I’d shake my head
and bless your heart.
It’s hard to imagine existing

with your nose stuck in the air
and not a clue what the wind
is trying to tell you.
Listen. The rain crows
are cooing soft warnings
as they pick through the grass
waiting for the worms to wake up.
Look. Every little leaf
turns its pale belly skyward.
There’s a storm coming
and they’re ready to drink it all in. 


Misty Skaggs is an author, artist and activist hunkered down at the end of a gravel road in East Kentucky. Read more of her poems and see pictures of her favorite tree on Instagram @mistymarierae.



Friday, January 19, 2018

Hunger by John Grochalski

hunger

he’s eating something italian
out of a styrofoam container
over a blue garbage can that matches his coat
occasionally he lifts up a plastic jug to his mouth
and takes a big drink
of something cloudy that has noodles in it
he’s a discerning and somewhat picky eater
picking things out of the can
and discarding them at will
he likes the half-eaten bacon roll
but isn’t much for the unwrapped snickers
a few blocks ago i had a hunger that i couldn’t stand
and had to stop and split a butter bagel with my wife
after all, it had been ten hours since my last meal
and i wasn’t sure if i could hold out for lunch
he goes back to the italian food
which might be beef or chicken or, god forbid, veal
there’s not even an italian joint around this block
so someone had to go far to toss this out
but it’s his good luck that it was sitting there
on top of the half-drunk tub of coffee
and the barely touched pork fried rice
he has a beard like santa claus
that is wet from the cloudy noodle concoction
just like the front of his coat is soggy too
and as he chews he doesn’t even watch the crowd
glide by playing on cell phones
while i think for a single moment
about buying him a bagel and a coffee
but don’t because i’m a chicken
and i’d probably be doing it more for myself than him anyway
so i walk off and head into sunset park
so proud of my imaginary altruism
astounded that my stomach is still growling
taking pictures of that beautiful skyline of manhattan
there in the distance
looking fat enough to feed off of everyone
looking like a crystal or golden palace of plenty
depending on your position
and the tilt of the morning sun.


John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016).  Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.