April 30, 2010


by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The armies of Napoleon marched
for glory.

The armies of Hitler
for vengeance.

The armies of workday feet
that march outside
my morning window

march without purpose
or direction.

Some have briefcases
and others throw breadcrumbs

and a few hawk bibles
to anyone
who will listen.

April 29, 2010

Pabst Blue Ribbon

by John Rocco

“Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!”
--Frank Booth in BLUE VELVET

It’s the middle of the day
so I take the day by the throat
with a 40oz of Pabst Blue Ribbon
but when I open it in the car
at the red light
there isn’t beer inside
but a fucking fat-ass genie
all black cartoon moustaches and blubber cheeks.

I’m bitterly disappointed to have him
in the bulging passenger’s seat but he promises
to grant me three wishes and I
automatically unconsciously consciously
wish back that day last summer when she
was my personal soul Hammer above the rocks and the waves.

I wouldn’t change anything about it
the sweet painful loss of her
the day long grinning at its end
when she wouldn’t get into my car
riding her rusty bicycle home.

*John Rocco at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/29281

April 27, 2010


by Russell Streur

Saint Hedwig prays
Bare knees in snow
Washes the feet of lepers
Sleeps on the ground
And it’s a normal afternoon
In the dead of winter
With the bells of her church
Ringing every hour
On Humboldt Avenue
Wednesday when
Rhonda steps off the Dementia Bus
And takes her usual seat
In the palest of sunlight at Annie’s Place.
I have always wanted,she says, to turn my body into shrapnel
and knock on the doors of heaven with the skulls of my enemies.
So tossing back
One last suicide belt
She detonates herself,
Naming that tune:
Happy Hour,
On Real Cold Ice.

April 26, 2010

"Nothing To See Here"

by Shawn Misener

First you were my baby
then an odd cuddly squirrel
then my wife, trailing behind
and now a busted colostomy bag

There are shadowy folks watching
at the weeded fringes of this parking lot
the smell of pepper beef and broccoli
descending like eager spores

Take my shit and shove it
or bury it, there's nothing else to do
and nowhere else to hide

I'm fuming pissed because my intestines
drag across the pavement and leave a trail

somebody fix me
I scream to the shady crowd
who back away and melt into bushes
somebody heal me

why would a squirrel
take the time for my embrace?
why am I not afraid
for the first time ever?

I think that home is very, very far away
and I can't sit here under the weight of eggrolls
and die without knowing what exactly
is nestled in my arms

why i'm giving sobriety a chance

by Justin Hyde

i can't have six

seven beers a

nice safe guffaw

through center soul

it's twelve


and five or six shots

coming to naked

on a strange couch

sandpaper of a siamese cat

licking blood off my knee

band saw

and a roofing crew

off in the distance

neck and neck

with a

chorus of hammers

in my head.

April 22, 2010

The Light

by Mike Meraz

just in case
something hits me
I keep a large pad
of yellow paper
by my bed
yesterday my computer
broke down
now the pad of paper
sits there
a glow
like some
huge light
waiting for me
to point it at
something; you,
me, anything…

The Grand Scheme

by Ed Makowski

For a few months
I devised a plan
to buy motorcycles
in Fall
and sell them in Spring
at a profit.

No one wants to store
something an old habit
all winter
and prices are highest
after the first 80 degree day.
I collected four bikes
between Fall and February,
then in April
planned to sell.

With other riders
I went to a swap meet
in another state
with the four bikes
and all of our spare parts

We pulled in at four in the morning
and a guy with a flashlight
ran up to the truck bed, another vendor,
offered cash for the first bike he saw
“Does it run? Got a title?” No. Yes.
One down. Cash.

I sat all day
in a folding chair
behind sunglasses
watching junk collectors.
a circular revolving door of
dreams based on rusty
painted metal parts

The potential that these inanimate objects
go real fast
or make a lot of money
or make the seller or purchaser feel
or smart
or savvy

I imagined the entire weekend life
of the vendors surrounding us.

Load everything in the trailer.
Drive to a fairground in another state.
Unload the trailer.
Pull up the pants, eat a hot dog.
Sell a few things.
Load the trailer again.
Drive the same old and new old things
home to another state.
Unload the trailer again.

Many of them had trailers and RVs built
specifically for this purpose.

Everything of mine
except one bike and

So disgusted at
the tide of useless junk
washed in then reclaimed,
the fat crowd shuffling
flies on feces feverishly panting,
arguing to pay seven dollars versus twelve
for a '75 CB550 tool kit, that

I pushed the last bike,
a non-runner,
into the walkway
and wrote FREE on the headlight.
Slid the title between the
seat and tank
driving home empty

April 20, 2010


by Chris Butler

The unicorn

is the first lover

not to return

the favor;

an incongruous

creature obscured

by a constant


from a polar gender,

adorning a

cochleated horn

of ivory,

unsaddled by

leather straps

tempering her


by bidding

good riddance

before being


April 16, 2010

beneath the bleachers in hades

by Steve Calamars

freeze-tag with
medusa tends to
leave me
frozen stiff

so i keep things
loose and stick to
with hercules

or shooting spit-balls
thru a long red straw
at the strain-soaked face
of atlas

sometimes i run circles
around hermes or tease
cerberus by dangling a
scrap of meat up above
his three heads
out of reach

but mostly i can be found
beneath the bleachers in hades

my hands up persephone's skirt
my lips on her neck
leaving her with hickeys
big as summer roses

April 13, 2010

The Last She Said Poem

by Doug Draime

She said all my
writing was full of rage,
and morose,
and that I just used
being a writer,
as an excuse for
being a drunk and
an asshole.

I was blind drunk again and she
was driving. We were headed
down Fountain Avenue
in Hollywood, in her mini-
Volvo station wagon.

I attempted, unsuccessfully,
to push her from
the car.

Last I heard she moved back
to New York City,
and was working for a
lesbian stage actress,
who paid her in
sex and cocaine.

I’m still an asshole but I stopped

April 12, 2010

After the following: the Harbour Inn, Linda’s Place, the Lakeside Lounge, Lucy’s, Doc Holliday’s

by John Rocco

Crashing my car into the back of a taxi
I’m having a very New York moment.
Another bastard cab crashes into me from behind.

The hood of my car crumbled, bent in the air
before my eyes, all the molecules of metal
gone soft waving hood ocean
my radiator stuck in the trunk.

It’s April 1st
Spring a horny bastard ready to attack
so bring on the cops
I’m not drunk yet
or young anymore
and when the young cop asks me,
“What kind of retard are you?”
I know he’s on my side
like the cabbies who drive away
on 13th Street and 2nd Avenue
and the grey old janitor
who comes out of a basement
to give me a rope from nowhere
to tie the hood down
and it helps
but lost, driving over the
Manhattan bridge
the hood jumps up
covers my windshield
but I use my mirrors
left and right
to get that fucker back to Queens
but I end up in Coney Island
because that gorgeous slut
all big tits and boardwalk ass and the Cyclone
that gorgeous slut is always calling me
calling me, calling me, calling me
texting me: “I want your tongue inside me.”

She never leaves me alone.

*John Rocco at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/292819823

April 11, 2010


by J.J. Campbell‏

the rain gently hits
my bedroom window
as i long for a love
that left this earth
many moons ago

the gentle caress
of your lips on my
guilty skin

the chills down my
spine every time your
eyes cut through the
bullshit of society
and pierced my soul

how i wish for another
30 seconds or a better
choice of words

though i wouldn't
trade this pain

i deserve it

i understand that

it's the other side of
karma that they don't
tell you about in the


by J.J. Campbell

yesterday was the first
day i kissed a woman
in five years

and today loneliness
wants its fucking space

and i've reached an age
where succumbing is a
lot easier than the fight

so hello

and the false belief that i
actually have something
to say that needs to be

April 5, 2010

Full of It

by Derek Richards

Father would make promises; Sunday morning bowling.
An afternoon fishing Parkhurst River.
Tiptoeing into my parents bedroom, up close
to the fancy-black bottle on the nightstand.
Empty. I had once asked Mother why he drank
so much. Because he works.
She had been wrist-deep in a soup of dish-soap
and soaked grease. She could spend an hour on a single dirty pan.
My friends, Chesepeake Johnson
and Olly Mathers had fathers that drank too.
Because they don't work.
I was born in 1984. The year the Rubber Factory
closed, and many fathers lost their jobs.
Also the year Mother divorced her first husband,
Dewey Fuller, the town's Mayor.
Mathematics came to me at an early age. Father
always insisted he couldn't add two and two
for any good reason.
The older I got, the more instinctively I felt
my Father was sinking. Mother would always deny
anything was wrong, despite never placing the
clean dishes away without breaking one.
And so it had been another Sunday morning,
watching a man named Daddy snore the day away.
Often Mother would snore right in-sync.
Failed promises, mathematic mysteries.
Always trying to subtract a fancy-black bottle
from the empty spaces between sleep.

April 2, 2010

Hello my name is cocaine

by Gina Ricardi

My name is cocaine – call me coke for short.

I entered this country without a passport.

Ever since then I have made people rich.

Some have been murdered and found in a ditch.

I’m more valued than diamonds, more treasured than gold.

Use me just once and you too will be sold.

I’ll make a schoolboy forget his books.

I’ll make a beauty queen forget her looks.

I’ll take a renowned speaker and make him a bore.

I’ll take your mother and make her a whore.

I’ll make a school teach forget how to teach.

I’ll make a preacher not want to preach.

I’ll take all of your rent money and you’ll be evicted.

I’ll murder your babies or they’ll be born addicted.

I’ll make you rob, and steal, and kill.

When you’re under my power, you have no will.

Remember my friend, my name is “Big C”.

If you try me one time you may never be free.

I’ve destroyed actors, politicians and many a hero.

I’ve decreased bank accounts from millions to zero.

I make shooting and stabbing a common affair.

Once I take charge you won’t have a prayer.

Now that you want me, what will you do?

You’ll have to decide, it’s all up to you,

the day you agree to sit in my saddle,

the decision is one that no one could straddle.

Listen to me, and please listen well,

when you ride with COCAINE you are heading for HELL.

Cocaine Suicide

by Gina Ricardi

Snort a line,
think, think. I just want to think.
In my own world, no one around,
can’t hear a sound, just want to think.
Think about life, think about death.
Think about how I’m a winner, snort a line,
I’m a failure. Think about love, think
about hate. Think about that really long
debate, the one I had with myself. Should
I shoot myself in the head? Maybe I
should live, snort a line, but I might as well be
dead. How did I get here, what am
I doing? Snort two lines. Was I put on this earth
just for existence, or am I really real? Snort a
line. I do not feel. At least not right now.
Think, think. I just want to think
in my own world, no one around, snort three
lines, can’t hear a sound, just want to think.
It’s like I can’t talk, my mouth’s glued
shut. I’m stuck in a rut, snort another line.
I can feel it in my gut. I just want to
cut, see the blood drip down my
arm. Why is it that I’m the one I want
to harm? Escape reality, snort three lines.
Snort two more lines, think, think, think.
I can’t stop thinking. My brain
feels like it’s going to explode. I
Don’t wanna deal. This pain is so
real, now I can feel. Snort five lines.
This pain is so real now, I can feel,
this pain is so real now, I can feel,
I don’t wanna deal. Snort ten lines.
I’m out of my mind. My heart stops.
I’m gone.

Ecstasy is hard to describe

by Gina Ricardi

It’s like falling
softly into a pool
of crystal
mountain water
floating on your
back circular
beneath vibrant
sky, deciphering
codes in the
clouds, spinning,
dizzy, fast.

It isn’t at all
like going clear
out of your
head, lunatic
mad, throwing
yourself in
front of a
runaway train,
insane, hallucinating
black widows and
black helicopters
behind you

It’s a lot more
like jumping into
your own brain,
what’s inside,
accepting past
failures, freeing
self destructive
demons, forgiving
yourself and
those you love
and even those
you despise.