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Showing posts from July, 2020

David Cranmer

The Inconsiderate
On a dirt road threading out of Port-au-Prince A man discarded alongside the ditch By thugs, former Tonton Macoute, Laid flat with machete hacks Bits of bone and brain fan out from the wound Blood seeping into the dry, dusty ground.
Our squad arrives securing the scene, Interviewing witnesses and recording the crime Two MPs stoop by the corpse, and strike a pose A souvenir picture is snapped while nearby Cordoned off with onlookers, a woman cries.
Étienne, our assigned interpreter, tells the GIs The weeping woman is mother to the deceased But they do not flinch—it is lost on them How they are treating her son’s remains Like the trophy hunters of some big game.
Years on, these soldiers would be dead too, But that day in Haiti, it was going well for them.
David Cranmer is the editor of the BEAT to a PULP webzine and whose own body of work has appeared in such diverse publications as The Five-Two: Crime Poetry Weekly, Needle: A Magazine of Noir, LitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element

Richard Fox

Rudy Dog and me
Blood in Rudy’s diarrhea. Again. Standing, he rocks. Tail glued to anus. Fifteen years threaten to topple him.
I stroke his back, trace each spiny ridge. My hand nestles his rib cage,  supports legs that crumble from caress.
I lift him into my arms,  palm cups his bottom. He jerks his head away. My chin, a hazard? His nose searches. He nuzzles my beard.
Rudy and me, we’re mates crawling the same arc. After my chemo, he curls next to my chest, a sentry for a decade. We share his purple blanket.
Aging, disease disrupt the fulcrum. Must help him up, down from the couch. Cuddle him when confusion mars his face. 
We sense our debility, the erosion of awareness. Gastric attacks leave him more brittle. Infusions wither me irreversibly.
I wonder, should we pose beneath the purple blanket? Me, holding his rear paws? He, snout balanced  on my shoulder? Let sleep bless our arrival. 
When not writing about rock ’n roll or youthful transgressions, Richard Fox focuses on cancer from the patient’s point o…

Susan Tepper's Confess, reviewed by Rusty Barnes

Susan Tepper Confess $8.00  ISBN:978-1-950063-38-3  21 pages Cervena Barva Press
Susan Tepper's Confess is a small intimate gathering of reflective poems from Cervena Barva Press published in 2020. One of the many problems with collecting a group of poems is that you have to decide if you want a book with some unity, not a miscellany. Miscellanies are all right, certainly, and they comprise most books of poetry printed today, but you want another unifying factor. The title CONFESS  lends itself to the illusion of forward momentum. What is the narrator confessing, and to what end?
"I come to you broken/have been trying to say/all that is not the way/it shows on the surface," the narrator says opening the first poem. They follow this statement up with a nostalgic description of an old photo as an illustration of exactly how broken they are, with the placid surfaces of the photo's subjects--Victorian women--undermined by the fact that the narrator has baldly told us they'r…

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

For a Very Tall Gentleman who does Not Fit in Elevators

ever wondered what the rodeo would look like if horses rode people through the streets really whooping it up? it is nice to think of the master race as a thing of the past the same way cable cars are only dragged out for nostalgia children thrown into schoolyards of hate like tiny grass shoots into the path of summer lawn mowers the blade is the same to us all why so many shave with such care before putting a loaded gun in their mouth and I know this very tall gentleman who does not fit in elevators he works in a drugstore downtown, drinking up all the cough syrup on break and it is good to pass the time, what else can be done with it? meals planned like executions, the necessity of sleep turned to dreams; a phonebook on the floor with many numbers in it.
Ryan Quinn Flanaganis a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and onli…

Drew Pisarra

Erbium

For lack of anything better to do at 4:30 a.m., I decided to break out the Ouija board to see if we might reconnect so that you could tell me where I’d flamed out for from the looks of things, life’s burned to ash. Is it common to cling to a past that did not last? I would ring you up if you were still alive. You’re not. You know that better than I. What we’ve got are A through Z above zero through nine, the words yes and no, plus the phrase good-bye. So… Are you game? Shall we give it a try? Calling Keith, I mean Ken, or was it Carl? I forgot your name whoever you are.
Drew Pisarra is currently at work on a series of sonnets inspired by the Periodic Table of Elements, a project funded in part by the Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation. His first book of poems, Infinity Standing Up, was released in 2019 by Capturing Fire Press.

Howie Good

In Case of Fire

The seamstresses bend to the demanding work of sewing mouths shut with curved needles and fire retardant thread. And why shouldn’t they? The only words anyone ever truly needs have all been cannibalized for parts. It’s the reason I carry a lot of photos in my phone. Still, if someone announces, “I think I’m going to kill myself,” you should take it seriously. I’ve been lingering for a while now very close to a volcano with a beautiful name.



Whiteness of a Different Color
This feels like the worst place you could possibly be. There’s just barely enough room in the outdoor holding pen for everyone to stand. Cameras survey faces for unconscious signs of hostility. “Government,” a tearful 11-year-old girl pleads, “please show some heart.” It’s been a long day and an even longer night. Time doesn’t pass so much as flop around. A mother with two young children clinging to her skirt crosses her arms in a vain attempt to hide her trembling. You have no real chance of escape. The …