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Showing posts from July, 2019

Mike James

Crossroad Blues
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees” Robert Johnson
Some people go down to the crossroad from heart hunger, from being badly loved since that first kiss. Others want advice disguised as directions. Others go because they were born fearless, want to learn what fear is.
It helps if you smell like film noir dreams and worn out coins. If you carry bad luck, in your back pocket, as if it’s a postcard from home.
Most days, the Devil wears a fedora. His smile, forever white. His voice, the accent of an old friend. There’s a joke he loves to make about how his handshake isn’t as warm as people expect. It’s his eyes though everyone notices. No one ever says if they are hazel, brown, or blue. Just that they hold your attention longer than any wish.
Mike Jameshas been widely published in magazines, large and small, throughout the country. His thirteen poetry collections include: Jumping Drawbridges in Technicolor (Blue Horse), First-Hand Accounts from Made-Up Places (S…

Susan Tepper

The Plan
is a dream set in motion by chaos
fallen angels come to shake things up
no discernable reason you can fathom
reliance on whatever say the weather
shot in the back
handcuffed to a truck mirror
opportunity to see for yourself in harshest light percussion noises & street traffic jamming
suffering dogs howl their persistent hunger flesh is flesh
is other beasts huddled around smoking barrels watching
cops everywhere watching don’t lift a hand who dies or what
their coffee & donut on the hour while
prostitutes dimpling for any ready cash smile and jump fast into cars.
From the doorway ice melts down in your hair.
Susan Tepper is the author of seven published books of fiction and poetry. Her forthcoming book titled WHAT DRIVES MEN is a road novel full of zany characters and situations, soon to be published by Wilderness House Press. Tepper has received many honors for her writing which include 18 Pushcart Prize Nominations, 7th place on the Zoetrope Novel Contest shortlist, and a Nomination for a Pul…

Daniel Crocker

Mercury Must Be In Retrograde or Some Bullshit
You go to the reading and then to a nice dinner with friends. You started drinking early and on the drive from St. Louis to Cape you puke all over yourself Fajita Nachos It's your medication making you sick again You know you shouldn't drink on it But sometimes you want to have a nice dinner with friends. There might be something more to it
You slap yourself. Then you slap yourself again harder. You tell your wife this is no way to live You tell your wife that you want to kill yourself. You puke again
It's okay, she says, it's okay
You've been so nervous for so many weeks now that there's not enough klonopin left to do the job even if you really wanted to. And you did
didn't you? For a moment you thought about it and rode the rest of the way home with puke drying on your best pants and a wife who says it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay like a prayer.

My Penis
I've never been happy with it not being as big as I'…

Larry Smith

A Work Story             “A good man is hard to find.”
Work shows up one day red faced with lunch pail and takes a seat at the bar. I ask, “What’ll you have?” And he, “What you need done?”
Four days later the new kitchen is finished shining chrome and real tile floor. I tell him he can have free drinks for as long as he lives, and he laughs, says, “Hey, the job ain’t done.”
When I get home that night, Work is sitting on the porch and says, “I’ve come for that drink and to sleep with your wife.” I laugh, but he doesn’t.
He’s fixed the porch now and put in a new furnace, while I just drive the kids to school and sleep on the couch. This weekend he and Grace are heading to Vegas.

Larry Smith is a poet, fiction writer, critic and biographer of Kenneth Patchen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He taught at Firelands College of Bowling  Green State University for 35 years and founded Bottom Dog Press which he serves as editor-publisher. A native of Appalachia's Ohio Valley, he and his wife Ann live along the shores…