August 31, 2010

if there's any irony to be culled at this point in the narrative

it's that here
thirty-two years old

like a union pipe fitter

clothes from goodwill

a dented up
kia rio

i pull
three times
the pussy
i did at twenty-two

when i had
the body
of a gymnast

a shiny black
celica gt

and a closet
full of
tight fitting
euro trash.

by Justin Hyde

August 30, 2010

The Couple Fighting In Front Of The Box Office Ultimately Decide To Go Home

by Melanie Browne

It can seem like a small thing,
the refuge of the cinema on
a saturday afternoon, his hand
tucked in yours, your head
on his shoulder, sharing one
large Diet Coke,
yet society has conspired
against you,
clipped your sanity,
so you continue the fight
you started earlier that morning
about nothing really,
and now you can't even
remember the
name of the movie
you both wanted to see,
his back hurts,
she would rather
eat ice cream in the bath,
look at her Star Magazine

August 27, 2010


by Chris Butler

The kids are comatose

trying to dial-up utopia,

where everyone is everyone’s friend,

habitually addicting antisocialiogical

behavior of daily updates to claim face space

along the unpaved infomanic superhighway,

of double-jointed hitchhiking hookers

and pedophiles disguised as teenagers,

to be encased within the trappings of the web,

so just

pull the plug.

Oh well,


August 25, 2010

some more truth

*soldiers kill Afghan civilians for fun

August 23, 2010


by Leila Fortier

(click or double-click to view full size)


by Leila Fortier

(click or double-click to view full size)

August 21, 2010

within five minutes of entering the supermarket

by J.J. Campbell

standing in the beer
aisle wondering if the
imported shit is really
worth four extra dollars
when this attractive
black woman fell to
the floor

my first inclination
was to laugh

my mom of course
rushed over to see if
she was alright as the
woman was blaming
her heels and diabetes
for the fall

i settled for domestic

later in the fruits and
vegetables section this
little kid said hello to
me but he didn't use
my name or mister

he said hello to the
big fat guy

i laughed and thought
about karma

and the more i thought
about it the more i
wanted to teach that
kid how much the
truth really hurts

but i refrained
figured life would
get to him soon

at the community picnic

by J.J. Campbell

just another lost soul
that thinks the world
has gone to hell since
duane allman died

and here come the
other fuckers who
hate the government
until they want
something done for

a slinky dress falling
off the shoulder of a
leggy blonde that
knows how to get
what she wants

there goes the lawyer
busted for having sex
with underage girls
and all the whispers
that follow him

and here comes the
pastor whom no one
would expect holds
the darkest secrets
of all

but nothing stays
hidden forever in
this small town

infamy is as close
as the nearest
prying eye

August 19, 2010

The Rancid Rooms of Montreal

by Denis Robillard

I’m thinking of Montreal again
Sleepy out of the way diners
Run by hard working immigrants
Clatter of dishes, noisy kitchens
Cheap tips under chipped coffee cups.
Find jack there, c. 1953.
Sneering at red rancid rooms off St. Catherine
The gloom time of Peel or a Papineau Tavern
Where he’s drunk on Sang Du Caribou again.
I settle for a Cheval Blanc
Where my morning coffee is still doing its job
& Alcohol fumes from last night’s mess
Are still drilling a deliberate hole in my skull.
Today in a hypnogogic state I saw the face
Of a young Jean Louis Kerouac
On the back of a cloth mottled chair
At The Station Restaurant 8 am.
And this day will never be the same.

Items of Amorous Intent

by Denis Robillard

Dark sad eyes
Wild, wild eyes
Sweet look of
Innocence untried
Youthful charm
Long, artistic fingers
A tilted head
A poutey mouth
Shock pink lips
Soft white neck
Hair in pigtails
With bouncy wisps
And erotic curlicews
Eternal hours
Our nights of lovemaking
The weekends of
Wet ,wet rain
Descending into
Darkness as we
Dissolve these items
Of amorous intent.

August 18, 2010

What a Man Needs

by James Babbs

he needs water
and food
and cases of beer
for the long nights
when he doesn’t have a woman
beer for those nights
when she’s around
but he doesn’t want to talk
he needs money
and moments of anger
he needs rooms
he can go to
and hide from the light
with caller ID
so he can choose
whether or not to answer
he needs dreams
dreams of beauty
and death
hung with darkness
that feels like love
but doesn’t have a name

Nine In the Morning

by James Babbs

empty Bud Light box
blowing across the fields
it’s nine in the morning and
I’m thinking about sex
I haven’t been with a woman
in a really long time and
it seems to be a lot windier
around here these days and
whenever I see a woman
I try to picture
what she looks like naked
how her body feels
rubbing against my own and
I think
that’s one of the reasons
why I’ve been drinking so much
cold bottles of beer
but sometimes red wine
or whiskey in my coffee
when it starts getting cold

Cruel Summer

by James Babbs

it was a cruel summer
if you don’t believe me
just go ask
the women from Bananarama
see what they’re doing now
if you ask them nicely
they’ll perform
their remake of Venus for you
I used to masturbate
while watching their videos
I think one of them
married Dave Stewart
from the band Eurythmics
I wonder if they’re still together
does anybody here know
whatever happened to Annie Lennox
she frightened me
the first time I saw her
in the video for Sweet Dreams
late-night Friday
on cable TV and
I never had any plans for the weekend
I usually just slept in late

August 16, 2010

Fran’s Building

by John Rocco

A guy jumped out of Fran’s building
the 6th floor
3 floors above Fran’s place where
we play poker and drink.

The guy who jumped was
a loner. No one in the building
talked to the guy because they
thought he was a weirdo
and Fran turned out to be
the only one to talk to the guy
who was a recluse and fucked up
but he talked to Fran and two days
before he jumped Fran saw
him in an ambulance down
the block and had a dilemma:
stop and see him or meet the
band to jam but he stopped
and asked the guy if he needed
anything from his apartment.

The guy said no
thanks anyway
and that was the last
Fran thought of him
before he heard he
jumped early in the morning.
Also in Fran’s builidng
this WW2
Navy Captain
who had to order
hundreds of sailors
to their deaths
to save thousands of
other sailors
at Iwo Jima.
Fran plays chess with
the old guy
many games drinking
Anisette and the last
time the phone rang
and it was the Captain’s
nephew who told Fran
to tell the old guy to shave
in the morning because he
was going to take him to
the doctor but they were
really taking him to a hearing
to put him away in a home.

Fran didn’t tell him to shave
and they stayed up late
drinking Anisette and
playing chess.
I’m going over to Fran’s now
to drink in the middle of the day
and if the bricks could drink
in his building they would
and I’d give them a shot
but they can’t drink
but they can remember
architecture is alive
blood hard music
that we all live inside.


by John Rocco

All the teeth in my head are exploding
wet firecrackers finally going off
hunks of old lead and decay and
untouched summer girls in the park
down the hatch with a river of bourbon
thank god for bourbon
the true ones
drink 4 gallons of bourbon
a day in their minds
to become Davy Crockett
King of the Wild Frontier
who fought Mexico
16 corpses surrounding his corpse
his knife in all of them.

My summer has been like this.

The Age of Sail

by John Rocco

I’m a stowaway
on the bad ship NEVERMORE
her sails black with blood
her decks awash in whale cum
the Red Clock of Death
a doomed heartbeat below.

Our Captain, my Captain
is the Mad One
branded to kill
the cold fish world
the oceans endless
hot Siren crack pipes whispering
always whispering to him.

I hide in the stinking hold
entombed with rotting meat
and casks of grog.
I tap into both
and when I walk the
decks at night
past the humping shadows
the cursed meat
and the blazing booze
rush through me
pissing blood and guts
over the side.

This is bait
of course
for the aqua chicks
the Sirens, the Mermaids
the stacked sea Princesses
all tails and big tits.

This is bait to attract them
call to them
so I can sing my song
to them for a change.

I sing to them
each to each
as the Allman Brothers say
to eat a sea peach.

I sing of cemetery screwing
and churchyard orgies.
I sing of cannibal pages
and oxygen words.
I sing of the Harbour Inn
and the powerful Polish kiss.
I sing of sweet revenge
and always going too far.

I sing of eating
her whale’s tail
morning noon night.

I sing this mating call
of love to scales and tails
and to their land-loving doubles
you know who you are.

Shark Week

by John Rocco

Watching endless Shark Week shows
on shark bites and attacks and anatomy
I learn some important facts:

Sharks have two sex organs,
the second one a back-up
if the first fails.

Sharks have violent sex
often biting, tearing
huge chucks of flesh
off each other. You can
see the marks on many
of them.

Sharks will die
if they stop moving.

The shark has a third
eyelid that closes over
the blank shark eye
during frenzied feeding.

I don’t know why
but these shark facts
make me think of the
time this beautiful
Chinese girl said to me:
“I don’t love you.
I just want you to
fuck me…

August 13, 2010


by LD Wilkinson

before work
I find myself
into the Earth-blue eyes
of the Starbucks girl
how beautiful
these eyes
how beautiful
this aroma
of fresh morning coffee
and sticky
breakfast treats
how beautiful
these fleeting moments
of caffeine
and sugar
and dots
of electric light
in blue
green eyes
if it weren’t for
the fact
that I hate my job
and despise my boss
and wear my life
like a burn
I would leave
this misted paradise
in search of
indispensable misery

August 10, 2010


by Daria Souchkova

There’s a blindness that stings
a sun-encrusted sky. A rooftop,
bloodless, dies. The night
is singing. Plucks a lonely

eye. Shadows are blind.
Whiter white. Down they filter
salt. Whose sound is light. Saccade

on through the million sockets
in the night. Grope on your starry
cavern’s voice…enough!

Where Janus splits, a skyline
sickle rims a blind. Which-
inscribes sight?


by Daria Souchkova

A blue ray enshrines
a sphere's crater
lips, that,
splitting, scream the sun.

Cosmic scars reticulate
the sky’s
heart that,
scattering, captures light.

Bury my blue veins. Unearth
the shroud.
thunders my celestial pulse.

August 8, 2010

A Guided Tour of Hell

by Alan Catlin

"Sometimes hot sauce was the only
way I knew I was alive."
--Michael Connelly

Drunk on Stout and wee lads
of Irish whiskey: the Black
Bush, Tullamore, Power's,
Jamie and the boys, all the dead
soldiers of an armed conflict
with the unseen, boggy nights of
smoke, the landlord's face the last
sight I would see before the fall
and after, lying back down in
sawdust and ash, three quarters of
my way through a liquid guided tour
of hell, the blessed isle, a drink for
each county taken, until the weight
of it all dragged me down and I could
no longer separate the people from
the light that awaits me at the end
of this long, dark tunnel I'm sliding
toward the end of.

In the bottom of some hour

by Alan Catlin

after last call, nearly
snow blind in some field
on a stoned drunk mission
to head due north of nowhere,
alone and lost, skating ice,
the suicide oceans of night,
subzero windchill through
a forest of dead trees.
mounds of snow like headstones
in the Gravesend where no
man goes; staggering, close to
brain death, the body's folly,
walking on when there is no
place to go.

Your Eyes Are The Saddest Cowboy Lament

by Melanie Browne

Your eyes are
lonely like
the Streets
of Laredo,
at high noon,
with 100% humidity

You aren't a
jolly cowboy,
and I ain't a pretty
I don't have any
roses for
your coffin,
because I had
to buy a
40 ounce,

your eyes are
the saddest
cowboy lament,
when I look
in them
I see roadkill,
birds &
old people
with cataracts

I might dress up
fancy for your
I have some
new stilettos,
back seam
a handkerchief
made of
white linen

August 5, 2010

Skipping Rosetta Stones Across the Backs of the Ages

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

The dancing bear does circus tricks,

piƱatas on the cover of S&M Monthly,

and my days are filled with little more

than laying here

staring at the ceiling

waiting for the muse to arrive

with the fire.

Skipping Rosetta stones across

the backs of the ages.

There are large craters in the couch upholstery

from where the heels of my idleness

have come to rest for far too long.

I run my hands across the contours

of another wasted moon landing

and wait

for it to get dark.

The dancing bear mauls a midget,

shadows dance across my walls;

sometimes a foxtrot

never a waltz.

August 3, 2010


by Ben Simon

Back when I searched through wanton weeds for the lone lotus flower
The seasons all looked the same
And my indifference would not glide away
The summer equinox was oblivion
Until I met you on a blossoming hill overlooking your hometown
And I realized that the weeds were vestigial.

Our paths often crossed, no matter how many forks
We made light of Tiger Beat and left darkness for the birds and fish
I’d trade paperbacks for your warmth and intellectualism
And everything would always shine with you
As you’d fill me in on who was shallow and who devious
While we chatted by the lake.

As another sun dies down to Earth
I think of stars we should have crossed
I talk of shrinks who said “give up”
But, clenching our story tight
I must be on my way to the moon
Where we can count the constellations in our private hemisphere
And believe that nothing is absurd.

Namesake (For My Grandfather)

by Ben Simon

All of my images of you are taken from one photo
With your balding round head and your thick beige frames
I took you for granted my initial decade
Now I wonder if I have inherited you
And if you are more than a namesake
You’ve been away longer than you were here
But during your time here you made an impact
I’m pondering what of that’s mine and what is just yours
As I glue in the details of my namesake’s forty years.