Friday, December 29, 2023

nightmares become movies By J.J. Campbell

my dreams somehow
manage to twist themselves
into nightmares and those
nightmares become movies
that play in my mind for
years and years and years

i spend most of my
time awake pretending
depravity is a gift

that the madness deep
inside of me is a blessing
from some god that knows
i know it doesn’t exist

i saw a beautiful black
woman wearing sunglasses
in the grocery store today

i swear she was staring
a hole right through me

i often pretend the first
love of my life is going
to show up at my front
door one day with roses
and a shotgun

and like always

i’ll make the decision
that no one can understand


J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) was raised by wolves yet managed to graduate high school with honors. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Cajun Mutt Press, Synchronized Chaos, Horror Sleaze Trash, Mad Swirl and The Beatnik Cowboy. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Tomato Heart By John RC Potter

Give me your heart
and I will show you
a dried tomato,
withered from too much
its seeds shrivelled
from too much exposure to the

The skin of this tomato
is pinched and thick:
good protection
from the sun and the rain,
from words and tears.

I suspect there is a whole other life
under this coarse exterior,
but I will never pierce through it
in time to save
the salvageable flesh within.

I think
            in our world
                           we could live without


John RC Potter is an international educator from Canada, living in Istanbul. His poems, stories, essays, and reviews have been published in a range of magazines and journals, most recently in The Serulian (“The Memory Box”, September 2023). The author has over a dozen upcoming publications in the coming months, including an essay in The Montreal Review. Web: Twitter: @JohnRCPotter IG: jp-ist

Friday, December 22, 2023

Madness By JPR

It's hard to admit you no longer resonate with people as I prefer to spend my hours in either nature or a cemetery.

I've always loved both.
I love solitude, I love the peace and quiet.
As people make little to no sense to me.

Their logic, their insane amounts of jealousy and odd concern over what others have, and furthermore what they do not.

The need to bash anything that does not resonate with their standard of what is their so-called norm.

I do not like people and that alone makes them think that somewhere deep down I desire their company.

In life, you sometimes meet that one person who speaks his mind.

And for that, some would say I need help.
As for those who believe this I would reply.

Like you don't?

John Patrick Robbins was here.
I know, it disappoints me, too.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Friday's Call By Christina Chin and Uchechukwu Onyedikam

brimmed with devotees
a nearby chapel
blaring gramophone
hundreds gather
in a street protest


Uchechukwu Onyedikam is a Nigerian creative artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. His poems have appeared in Amsterdam Quarterly, Brittle Paper, Poetic Africa, Hood Communists and in print anthologies. Christina Chin and he have co-published Pouring Light on the Hills (2022).

Christina Chin is a painter and haiku poet from Malaysia. She is a four-time recipient of top 100 in the mDAC Summit Contests, exhibited at the Palo Alto Art Center, California. She is 1st prize winner of the 34th Annual Cherry Blossom Sakura Festival 2020 Haiku Contest and 1st prize winner in the 8th Setouchi Matsuyama 2019 Photohaiku Contest. She has been published in numerous journals, multilingual journals, and anthologies, including Japan's prestigious monthly Haikukai Magazine.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Note to Self By Bruce Morton

Noise annoys.
Seriously, what can I say?

It is a law, the force of gravitas,
Inevitable as we grow older.

What was a smile, now a smirk
From judgment grown colder.

In the embarrassment of health
There is nothing life threatening.

Except, of course, life.
That's life. A pulse, the beat,

The inhale, the exhale, the twitch--
The numbness that projects

To protect from the dumbness
That sags, warps, and inflames.

Yes, the instrument is out of tune
But is played, still, because it is

The only instrument had--
And the only of the kind.

And is so much better
Than silence.


Bruce Morton divides his time between Montana and Arizona. He was formerly dean at the Montana State University library.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Day In The Life Of A Liar By John Grey

Sorry I'm late.
Traffic jam.
5K race.
Space station debris.
Elephant escaped
from zoo.
Vandals transposed
street signs.
GPS jammed
by Martians.
Presidential rally.
Filipino parade day.
Terrorist attack.
Eclipse of the sun.
Waiting for Godot.
Sudden summer
snow shower.
Porta-potty overflow.
Rock concert.
Dam burst.
Pamela Anderson.
Virgin Mary sighting.
Second coming.
Look, I'm only late
by five minutes.
But if you figure in
the meteor that smacked
into the Midwest
and briefly stunned
the planet out of its rotation,
I'm actually early.
But, no need
to pay me the extra.
I love my job
and would do it for free.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in New World Writing, Santa Fe Literary Review, and Lost Pilots. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires”, “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the Seventh Quarry, La Presa and California Quarterly.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Barbecues Float By DS Maolalai

after another week of record-
breaking weather, the pavements
are finally slaking, the flower pots
wet. in the courtyard, the air stinks
of leaves and tobacco ash,
rich as the dregs
in an office canteen
empty coffeepress,
saturday morning.

cobble drinks moisture. reflects every light
source like the slick skins of snails
moving slowly. everyone breathes
and will sleep soon with unbothered
sinuses. barbecues float
the unburnt end of yesterday's
charcoal. hands on all patios
reach to a sky jammed
impossibly thickly

with these stormclouds,
all crowded as books
on a bookshelf which close
over each other's covers
and bend into dogear and flay

as they do in the best
kinds of second hand bookstore
where you'll spend half an afternoon browsing.


DS Maolalai has been described by one editor as "a cosmopolitan poet" and another as "prolific, bordering on incontinent". His work has nominated twelve times for Best of the Net, eight for the Pushcart Prize and once for the Forward Prize, and has been released in three collections; "Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden" (Encircle Press, 2016), "Sad Havoc Among the Birds" (Turas Press, 2019) and “Noble Rot” (Turas Press, 2022)

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

First Day At The Fast Food Restaurant By Juanita Rey

The guy is twice my age
and shameless.
How do I recover from
“You’ve got a big ass.”

A sleazy confrontation
in the refrigerated room –
to my coworker,
I’m a piece of meat.
May as well freeze me,
stick me with the patties.

Another girl says,
“Tell the manager
and he’ll laugh right in your face.”

This is my first day of work
in this place.
A beginner’s job
and it feels like I’m even
lower than that.

When my shift is done,
I trudge home
feeling as empty
as my purse.

I take a shower
to wash away the disgust.
The water’s as stifling
as unwanted company.


Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country five 
years. Her work has been published in Mixed Mag, The Mantle and The Art Of Everyone.

Friday, December 1, 2023

After Midtown By Thomas Zimmerman

I’m thinking of that time in Midtown. I
read Heart of Darkness in the hotel bed.
Next day, took photographs of bricks, a burned-out
snuggery I loved. Then bought three books
of poetry. Saw works by Rubens, Brueghel,
Tintoretto, Caravaggio.
The night before, two members of our favorite
band, in concert in a stranger’s living
room. And how could I forget the morning
sex? Right now, it’s late Beethoven in
my earbuds. Ale in front of me. The sky
inscrutable: from clouds to sun, then bluster,
sun again. Gods being gods. The music?
Beauty tempting terror. It’s sublime.


Thomas Zimmerman (he/him) teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits The Big Windows Review at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. His poems have appeared recently in dadakuku, Grand Little Things, and The Minison Zine. His latest book is Dead Man's Quintet (Cyberwit, 2023). 
https:/ Twitter: @bwr_tom IG: tzman2012 FB: Tom.Zimmerman.315