Friday, August 18, 2023

My insatiable appetite By Eric Chiles

I blame it on a big family.
There were nine of us
and never enough food.
Mother would cook and serve
and stay thin while we
fought each other with forks.
Plates were always licked clean
out of hunger. Three of us
- Mary, John, and Matthew
- starved to death. The rest of us
ate their share. Because of this
there's always a gnawing
in my heart which hears my
stomach complain it's empty.
It isn't. It just worries that there
won't be seconds. There never
were then. Mother wouldn't
let us chew our sibling's bones.
Remember the children
in Africa, she'd say. We aren't
cannibals. We're Christians.
Still, we wanted to. Hunger does
that to a person if it's sharp enough.
Today in restaurants I steal
food from other people's plates
when they get up to go to
the restroom. They never notice.
They were only children.
That's why they're so svelte.
They don't get that fat
is for survival.

After a newspaper career, Eric Chiles began teaching writing and journalism at colleges in eastern Pennsylvania. He is the author of the chapbook "Caught in Between," and his poetry has appeared in Allegro, Blue Collar Review, Chiron Review, Main Street Rag, Plainsongs, Rattle, and elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Star Gaze by Ruby Mohan

Wearing your mistakes
As the hurricane dresses
Or a tornado
Dark circles under blue eyes are smoky.
The lipstick is a tad too red.

Dress swirls gauzy
Whipping about curves
Fastening to nubs
Revealing far too much
Of the goddess at war

I imagine you striding to your closet.
Rummaging through clothes
Tossing them on an unmade bed and carpeted floor
Till you smile with smug satisfaction
At last, the dress to kill with.
When inhibitions won’t.

I can read it in your eyes.
You know how irresistible you look.
Stilettos stab the white marble with a purpose
In the empyrean where your gaze flies
Unbuttoned guitars fire phoenix skies.

Light colors should not be worn in the evenings.
You break every fashion rule made.
Edging in between the lines, you’re iconic scorn.

To love this wild,
How can he survive?
Where will you strike first?
Oh, my eyes! My burning eyes stargaze.

Ruby Mohan is an American writer, humorist and poet of Asian Indian ancestry. Her cosmopolitan literary works are informed by transcendentalism, science, logic, and ethics. Her award-winning poems, admired for their feminism, are published in literary journals worldwide. She straddles two continents with homes in Chandigarh (India) & Texas (USA). Twitter: @RubyMohans | Instagram: rubymohans | Facebook: Author Ruby Mohan

Friday, August 11, 2023

“Can We Be Evil?” By Ace Boggess

                question asked by Grace Welch

What leads us 

to ugliness,

a term I prefer 

to the one

you chose? 

I robbed &

wounded; you 

loosed havoc 

against friends & 

lovers. Neither 

of us wanted

to be monstrous.

It takes awareness

to wage war 

in heaven, &

we had none, 

broken beings


our glistening,

bloody swords 

at the sun.

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy. His writing has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, and other journals. An ex-con, he lives in Charleston, West Virginia, where he writes and tries to stay out of trouble. His seventh collection, Tell Us How to Live, is forthcoming in 2024 from Fernwood Press.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

gentle whispers by J.J. Campbell

as you get older you 

learn to manage the 


that no one gives 

a shit you feel bad 

or have aches and 


eventually, the voices 

become gentle whispers

or maybe this is just 

better booze showing 

up to the party

they are expecting me 

to drink myself to death

i told them i will restock 

that bar at least five more 

times before i die

they are taking the under

i am filling another glass

J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) is old enough to know where the bodies are buried. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, Misfit Magazine and just good poems. You can find him most of the time on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (

Friday, August 4, 2023

Strange by Alan Catlin

all those



reminders for

people who

have died:

Dave who went

to work and never

came home

Joe who felt ill

on cross-country

trip and learned

he was Stage IV

Todd whose 

intestinal infection

proved fatal

Mary Anne whose

cancer came back

Lisa’s as well

Cait who was told

she was cancer free

happy birthday


Alan Catlin has published in journals from the days of the mimeo revolution, in small press venues, to larger, more mainstream presses, to the internet poetry journal scene. He has three full length collections coming out in 2023 from Kelsay Books, Impspired and Roadside Press.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Dear Patience By Curtis Blazemore

How easily you sucked it in. Rolled my flirts into a big fatty and lit it up with those blue-red eyes.

You passed that glassy look back to me.

I’d heard you were a Disney girl. Heroine without family. Beauty begs for beast in a custom tux, desperate for PG kisses.

We got high on coming on. I blew “This is for reals, Princess” into your pink promise-ring lips.

Your sisters wouldn’t sit still for it. You were always the one pulling scotch away from Daddy. Johnny Walker breath, filthy red and white Santa in the chimney.

They wouldn’t sit with drunk in front of DVDs, vicarious Cinderella or Snow White or Contemporary Strong Young One Of Color Waiting For Her Prince To See She’s Been Right In Front Of Him All Along Wanting Him To Protect Her So She Can Sleep A Hundred Years Away.

You sat and smiled but never pleaded “I want a pony!” at Christmas time.

You waited, with your mouth closed.

“My pony will walk right up to me,” you recited to your pillow, “intoxication in his maple bulb eyes,” the satin rope from his halter held by a handsome talker, who opens your mouth with a wet red apple of his own.


Curtis Blazemore has been on the planet far too long, publishing various works in between having bad luck and making people rethink their faith in humanity. No matter. He sees sentences in the exhaled smoke and scribbles furiously. He hopes someday to be able to afford a Greyhound bus ticket to Graceland.