March 30, 2010

Stapled Dust

by The Poet Spiel

Lena double-baggies Delmar’s

last-poured bowl of Cheerios

stashed away untouched left dry

on the top shelf of the pantry

for god knows why.

His ruddy face had landed kerplop in them

as he had his final stroke.

She mixes them in with the bastard’s ashes

bone splinters teeth and all

staples the bag to the wooden cross

he’d set up in the backyard

to use for the days

when he couldn’t get to Mass.

She takes a rolling pin to the works

and treats the whole lot like thug booty

a trade for those lippy lavender lusts

he gurgled up and out of the promises

he’d made against her best advice

not to teach Christopher and Jeremy

that those righteous s.o.b.’s at the church

were “Father”— Delmar’s own dust right now

knowing gawddam good-and-well-enough

the reign of fucked-up Father Timothy

draining the sweet sap from his own pecker

(how many decades ago?)

(how many times had he bawled about it?)

and the frail old queen swishing around

sprinkling his incense cassock starched

like an old maid’s funeral attire

lying in wait for his sons

cause he remembered what a fat cock Delmar sported.

Run them scammers fresh out of proud

Lena shouts as she slams the bag once more

sending the ashes and Cheerio dust flying.

Fuck their chilly heart-raping souls

and now Delmar’s cross comes crashing down!

Bankrupt bastards are after your Oldsmobile

your precious Hummel collection

ten cents on every dollar

the risen cream on every pint of milk

and your twelve year-old’s pussy

Father? Father of what?

Pray? Prey with an E that’s what.

God’s mouth to a snake!

Her father was a Methodist

and she didn’t even call him Father.

Called him Pop if she called him anything

if and when he came home.

And she learned she could pray to something bigger

than herself when she white-elbowed her way

through two-tit cancer then

came out of it never calling anybody or anything Father

much less some Irish bastard who collects

innocent boys and rides their little fannies off

on low and mighty clouds.

Well Delmar was just as much to blame as

that fucking Timothy.

Same with all those Catholic Mommys and Daddys who

kowtow around making special cookies

publicly casting off big bucks spouting pucker lip tributes

instructing their vulnerable little ones

that those suck-up supplicants are sacred Fathers and

can be/should be trusted.

And if she can ever get her hands on the dust created

and stirred up by the Mommys and the Daddys

Kathy and Bob next door and the Dodds and the Flanders

the Doughertys and the Romanos

who misguide their kids just so plus all the

Fathers’ Timothy and Benjamin and Jonathan

and Paul and Peter who play out the charade

“Cheerio Goons” she cries she’s got plenty of

big black baggies and her rolling pin’s got

plenty of spunk left in it and if that’s not enough

there are cheapo cargo ships departing this

country every day desperate for slave labor in the galleys.

Maybe Rome will welcome them


March 28, 2010

fucking her pussy

by Jackson Warfield

after those three bottles of champagne at dinner
we wanted it so bad
that on the way back to her place
to pick up her room mate
we had to pull into a sign factory
off route 33
park in the shadows
and tear off each other’s clothes
“how bad do you wanna fuck my pussy?”
she whispered in my ear

I buried my face in her tits
and said, “pretty bad, babe. pretty bad!”
“but how bad? Tell me how bad
you wanna fuck my pussy!”

I jammed it into her and growled, “argghh!”
and she moaned and said, “ohhh!”

I squeezed her ass
and rocked her up and down
for all I was worth, which
at the time
was about $18 and some loose change
in the cup holder

after we finished up
we drove down to her place
got her room mate
and drove back into the little city night

now, nearly two months later
and our fling long past
I still can’t find the words to describe
how bad I’d wanted to fuck her pussy that night
and how bad I’d like to fuck her pussy again

playtime sermon

by Jackson Warfield

back when I was a little man
I’d sit on the floor in the kitchen
and play with my toys

around two in the afternoon
before heading off to work
my father would walk in

dump a spoonful of instant coffee
into a cup of cold water
mix it around a minute
slug it back and return the cup
to the counter

then he’d look over at me
stare a moment
and say, “Jack, you should learn
to enjoy suffering
because that’s all there is
in this world.”

March 26, 2010

Subconscious Hotel

by Jack Ohms

just took a room at the Subconscious Hotel
(bit like Elvis's place, only twice as swell)
pretty roomy
I'm going to get my bags sent up
(always have baggage, wherever I go)
shower off
room service stuff
then I'm going out for a stroll
see what's out there
it's after dark
but I've got a feeling I
might just bump into a few
old familiar's

postcards will be sent
believe me
postcards are always sent
from Subconscious Hotel


by John Rocco

Blown another deadline.
My writing never
happening it feels.
Why are deadlines
so deadly
scaring the ink?
It’s like deadlines
are dead letters
dead men drunk
and being without her.
Deadlines end it all.
I don’t want to end
it all.
I want to drink the Shogun’s sake
and piss it out on the moon
or the sun
like Mishima
whose last deadline
he carved into his
hard belly
like writing.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

March 24, 2010

Girl at the Gas Station

by James Babbs

the girl at
the gas station
emerges from
the storeroom
fighting hiccups
she laughs
excuse me
I do
because she’s

when the girl at
the gas station
it reminds me
of the chimes
hanging in
the tree
my bedroom
I think
the people
next door
put them there

the girl at
the gas station
has several
piercings in
her ears
wears earrings
the stud in
her nose and
when she
opens her mouth
I see
the metal in
her tongue
what else
she has pierced
but I’m
too afraid
to ask

the girl at
the gas station
good afternoon
at the same time
I say
how are you
so that
our voices
each other

the girl at
the gas station
stocks cigarettes
from behind
the counter
her back to me
when I
come in

the girl at
the gas station
knows my name
I always
use my
credit card
and sign
the receipt but
don’t know hers
she never
wears her
name tag and
the old women
just call her

the girl at
the gas station
argues with
somebody on
the phone as
I stand there
waiting and
she says
before slamming
down the phone
turning to me
all smiles

the girl at
the gas station
has never
been married
somebody told me
she has
a child
and if
that’s true
so what

the girl at
the gas station
the same girl
from yesterday
she smiles
doesn’t seem to
mind being
someone else

March 20, 2010


by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Hot night

taking my woman
naked in the backyard

spinning her around
smoking my cigar

catching her on fire

her long blond hair

I smack her in the head
a battery of blows
snuffing out the flames

her fizzled hair black and wiry
eyes wide

I turn the hose on
watering her down

her boobs speckled with ash

she laughs
doing me like a different woman

her head smoldering
bouncing her body on top of me

the moon looking down
with a couple of neighbors
giggling behind the fence.

March 18, 2010


We never thought we'd live
to see ourselves on silver paper.
Almost didn't make it
on account of the wagon
axle binding and rain
washing out
the pass at Stemple's Creek, but
Helen (on the right) wouldn't bow
to troubles, and our only
comment is, we're a lot more
fun than we look.

by F. John Sharp


March 17, 2010

Al’s Story #2

by John Rocco

It’s been awhile since I’ve hung with the
Switchblade Sisters
all that summer lost
but I write one of them on the cursed
primrose-lined avenue to Hell called
Fucking Facebook
and tell her I’m going to Mexico
for blood
to kill marlins and to watch the bulls die.

It’s all Hemingway bullshit
death wish WILD BUNCH
the walk to death wish dance
tequila tsunami
Bataille wants to die
to explode.

I call it a vacation.

And she writes back
(she and her sister
learned English from

“Have fun in Mexico
and careful with those bulls.
I wanna go to Mexico.
I have only been there once
and it was for 30 minutes getting ‘stuff’
and my friend got robbed
and told he has 15 minutes to leave Mexico
so we drove out of there back across the border to San Diego.
with no special K hahaha”

You can’t
make this
shit up.

*John Rocco at MySpace:

March 16, 2010

Storm Drain

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The police cordoned off the area around the storm drain

out front my house

when I was ten

and would not let anyone know what had been found floating


Within minutes

a crowd gathered in the street

and with no yellow-tape-answers forthcoming,

speculation begin.

It’s a child’s body!

It’s Hoffa!

It’s long forgotten stolen bank haul!

It’s the family dog that hasn’t been seen

in weeks!

Out of the way, it must be my dog!

The old lady in front claims she caught a partial glimpse

of an alien space craft down there

when she passed over it the previous day

That’s preposterous, says another onlooker

a city planner I know assured me our storm drains

were built to withstand an alien attack.

The shell shocked solider in a blue cap

and overalls begins waving wildly:

It’s the Communists,

or the terrorists,

no, it’s the Communists…

Or the Chinese…

The Chinese?, some other woman mutters in a panic

The woman ponders for a second

then whispers to her friend

and I can not make out the whisperings as they get more frequent

and make their way throughout the ranks

of the crowd.

I am ten

and excited by the ad hoc broken telephone game

that has sprouted up out of the uncertainty

of the moment.

I wait impatiently for the wild eyed whisperings to make their way

around to me

and by the time they do, the Chinese in the storm drain

have once again become Communists

and likely a few other incarnations

in between.

Although the man beside me says the Communists

are armed with red spiked helmets

and a cache of stolen grenade launchers,

I think his imagination lacking

and determine to correct his shortcoming.

Just then,

a kid about my age

on a bike pulls up

and asks:

Hey, what’s going on?

I lean in and whisper to him

that a reliable source had just confirmed

there is a man eating alligator on the loose

in the storm drain out front my house

and that he has a mouthful of Communist hostages

and is demanding a zillion dollars in unmarked bills

and a helicopter to take him

back to Florida.

The kid grows wild-eyed and cranes his neck back and forth

to get a better view.

When he cannot see anything,

he rides off excitedly to tell his friends

the news.

The next day at school

we are all asked to recount the story.

Only this time the Communists are gone,

and the overwhelming crowd consensus is

an angry weather balloon

in fishnet stockings.

For Freedom or Democracy or Something

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

After basic in Borden

the soldiers congregate in Fred Grant Square

for a send off

before being shipped out to Halifax harbour

for deployment.

With each major deployment,

the municipal authorities

bring out the decorated veteran amputees

of the last war

to show off their shiny medals

as they limp

and wheel down main street.

The glares of both the veterans and

the soldiers are filled with contempt

when they look at unmarried men

of draft age

ignoring the festivities and

going about their daily business.

The soldiers say they are fighting

to defend me

but given the chance

they would kill me in a second.


they've found someone else to kill

half a world away

while I buy my carton of milk and

check out the girl at Crossovers

they say can shoot ping pong balls

out of her cunt.

March 13, 2010

hips, thighs and ass

by Steve Calamars

i pitch panty-droppers
like hand-grenades at a
thick-thigh’d girl in
black stockings and

her comic-book body
all hips, thighs and ass
spilling out of a
short black dress

my fingertips roll around
her curves like pin-balls and
slip between her thighs
like wet nickels

panties pulled to the side
i read her pussy like braille
and cause her body to spasm
intricate as sign language—

March 10, 2010

The Suits Won’t Go Away

by Doug Draime

I’ve seen these Suits
with dead faces,
since I was a
kid. I remember
closing my eyes tight,
after looking
at an insurance salesman
or a preacher ( how do
you tell the difference? ),
and praying he would not
be there
when I opened
my eyes.
I still do it at times with
CEO’s in their
designer suits, and generals
in battle dress: death arrayed
in ribbons across
their breast.
I shut my eyes tight still,
at morticians and talk show hosts,
and lying politicians,
with a hint of color in their
Porky Pig neckties.
Not to say, though, that all
men who have worn or who wear
suits are on my shit list.
Camus looked fantastic in a suit.
Presley wore suits with an unmistakable cool.
Miles and Coltrane and Kenneth Patchen
wore suits.
And Einstein wore a black rumpled suit
with impeccable class.
I admire men like that who happened to
have worn suits!
Men who have something to sell
other than
war, mind control and
spiritual stagnation.
I know the Suits will not go away,
no matter how long
I close my eyes and pray.
It’s been the same since
the white race rose to power.
The Huns were Suits, and down
the line, Hitler.
Many of our leaders imitate him,
wearing his Suit of death:
perfect fit, no tailoring

The Body Of Truth And Honor In The Mind Of The Imperialist

by Doug Draime

festering with
calculated immoralities and despicable
atrocities, that insist a deity is its comrade
and unquestionable leader

no conscience to
infuse its legs with strength
no life giving plasma flowing to
cell, nerve and muscle

choking on the
burning blood, flesh and bone
of the indigenous people of North and South
America and the indigenous people
of Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia

spewing out lies from the puppet media
and evil from the churches its body consuming
itself, all decency and beauty
being eaten away by greed and barbarism

truth and honor
die without sustaining nourishment
die without any illuminating light
die in impenetrable darkness

March 9, 2010

Raindrop Baby

by Michael Lee Johnson

I’m a raindrop Chicago baby

silhouetted in the night,

single-ringed single person

minus the 24 carat gold.

A harvester of night life,

star crystal,

a gatherer of sluts

in my imagination.

March 8, 2010

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

by James Babbs

I guess I must have passed out
because the next thing I knew
I was waking up to
somebody pounding on the front door
okay, okay, I said as
I watched a couple of empty bottles
fall to the floor when I
got up from the couch
whoever was out there
kept on pounding and I screamed,
alright, I heard you, already and
my head started to throb
when I, finally, opened the door
Candy came stumbling in
she was a cute brunette
I’d met a couple of months ago
down at the bar where I hung out
she was lonely so I bought her a few drinks
I thought you had a boyfriend, I said
Candy kicked some bottles out of the way
before she fell into the chair
I told him I had to visit a sick friend, she said
that’s more true than you realize, I said
I went back to the couch and sat down
started feeling around on the floor among all
the bottles and got one that wasn’t quite empty
here’s looking at you, I said
I drained it and tossed it across the room
so what’s up, I said
oh, I was just bored, she said
so I thought I’d come over and give you a thrill
on any other night, I said
that would be great
I thought you liked me, she said
I do, baby, but I’m sick, remember
she didn’t get the joke
Candy got up and went into the kitchen
I heard her rummaging around in the fridge
ain’t you got any food around here
I heard her say
no baby, I said, we can live on love
I heard a car pull up outside
somebody got out and started screaming
the voice came closer and closer to the house
Candy, you bitch, get out here
I had three guesses who it was and
the first two didn’t count
he started pounding on the door
I groaned and rubbed my forehead
oh god, Candy said as she came out of the kitchen
she went to the door and opened it
what the hell, Ray? she said
whaddya do, follow me?
you bet your ass I did, Ray said
he was as big as his voice
he thrust a finger toward me
it’s a good thing I did, Ray said
what’s that suppose to mean, Candy said
she got right up in Ray’s face
she started shoving him
whaddya gonna do? she said
be a big man and beat him up?
I tried to squeeze myself into the corner
trying to make myself disappear
Ray walked right over to me
you been fucking my girl? he asked
jabbing his big finger into the middle of my chest
I felt like I was going to vomit
Candy grabbed Ray’s arm
nobody’s fucking anybody, she said
leave him alone, Ray
this your sick friend? Ray asked
yeah, Candy said, can’t you see he don’t look so good
suddenly, on top of everything else
I had to take a terrible piss but
was afraid to go to the bathroom
I crossed my legs and bit my lower lip
c’mon, honey, Candy said
she started rubbing Ray’s shoulders
c’mon baby
she kissed him and
they turned toward the door
as soon as they did I headed for the bathroom
but Ray spun around and screamed, hey
and I felt the piss warm and wet on my legs
you better leave my woman alone, Ray laughed
goodbye friend, said Candy and
they disappeared out the door
I heard Candy giggling in the dark
heard the car roaring to life and
I stood there shivering from the cold

The Borders inside Borders

by Robert Laughlin

To visit the Balkans,
don’t fly to Athens or Sofia;
it’s a quicker trip to your new bookstore.

The sidewalk store that used to be
was cramped for space
and put its books in tall cabinets
covering the walls and defining shoulder-width aisles.
An occasional label,
with fading ink, on the edge of a shelf,
was the only thing to say
where one kind of reading bled into another.
That implied a book buyer’s state of mind
existing then:
a willingness to cross over into uncorrelated zones,
no less interesting for their surprise.
And, indeed, a customer often left the store
with reading he hadn’t known about when he walked in.

The big box store that stands now
has space enough inside
to give each type of reading interest
its own discrete section with a freestanding cabinet
and placard above,
whose lettering can be read from anywhere in the store.
Go see how few people
follow an urge to flit across the parsec-wide aisles
to visit other sections.
Most go straight to their planned purchase
and then to checkout,
shopping for one ingredient,
not the jumbleaya of the world’s knowledge.

In the Depression (not our current one),
a great man mourned
that he would read so few of the books he touched;
he hungered to read them all.
For his distant progeny,
a division
of a category
of a Dewey decimal
may be almost too filling.

March 7, 2010

About Me

by John Rocco

The bastards killed the two things
I love most in New York:
Shea Stadium and Coney Island.
So what if both were falling down wrecks
wrecking us in bad hearts and worse love?
They were alive
the concrete ashtray
and the splintered boardwalk.
They lived and now they die
like the great samurais
who wrote poems with their gut blood
in the middle of it
or the best death scene ever in the movies
Lizabeth Scott in the Bogart film
dying after shooting the tough guy
and wrecking the car
closing her eyes and dissolve
to a parachute opening
and the last word:

*John Rocco at MySpace:

March 6, 2010

Watching Fox News

by Steven Kunert

I may someday get run over by a train,
perish in a hurricane,
get cancer of the brain,
maybe go insane.
Or I might die in throes
of heart-attack pain,
stumble off a cliff in Maine,
be crushed by a fallen crane
or murdered by my wife’s secret lover, Jane.
But no matter what, I’ll take true solace
and everlasting peace to my grave,
knowing I never succumbed
to becoming one of them.

March 5, 2010

Blue Tree Jewelry Stand

by John Swain

Her rings tremble like leaves
while necklaces hang from a nail.
I swallowed diamonds
when she closed her eyes.
Distances between night and day
fade like sugar
in a glass of water.
Visions confuse our tongues,
blue shadows flood the room.
I imagine quiet sleeping,
I imagine children climbing
magnolia leaves in jubilee.

March 4, 2010

what the U.S. military calls "collateral damage"


March 2, 2010

A Future In Sales

by Quinten Collier

Age is the peddler’s enemy:
covenants made
in the shades of entwined bodies
dwindle now
that the mouth is not so comely;
now that the flesh is used, emulsified
and bleached to petrification,
and the charming guffaws
on loan from salesmanship
have yellowed
to transparency,
it is time to find another
as weathered and incapable of being loved:
it is time to find a home.

March 1, 2010


by Mike Meraz

I hadn’t heard from Richard
in three years
but suddenly there was a message
on my machine telling me to call
I took the 13 bus to the Valley
because that’s where he was staying.
6 Motel. some things aren't done right.
I went to his door.
"hey man"
"let's get out of here..."
we walked over to the diner across
the street sat down ordered food when
he got a call on his cell.
"wait, I have to get up and leave.."
"what’s up?" I asked.
"I have to call work but I forgot
the number I'll be right back."
I sat there and ordered a drink
for 30 minutes I waited
and still no Richard.
I finally got up and left,
unpaid bill,
walked back over to the 6 Motel,
knocked on Richards door.
he came to the door half dressed,
there was a whore in the background
getting dressed,
I asked him, "can I have the money for
the meal, I'm broke."
he gave me 40 bucks and shut the door.



by Mike Meraz

it is madness, I think,
to be seduced by a woman
you have never met before.
a woman you have only created, really,
in your head.
there she is: tall, European, attractive.
she writes poetry.
she has sent you her poetry.
it is all brave, deep and cool.
it has cost you 3 hours of your life
and eight four dollar beers.