Tuesday, May 21, 2024

An Almost True Story by Oliver Kleyer

Taking a morning walk
Through the rainy streets of Dublin,
I ran into an old gaeilgeoir,
who gave me a nearly toothless smile.
Poking the mouthpiece of his pipe between my ribs,
he asked me: „Cad a deaifa leis na
riatais atà ag troid i gcoinne na
dífhostaí ochta? Sílim gur chaill siad…

Being unable to either get a word in sideways
or to understand his rant, I nodded here and there,
smiling, not wanting to be impolite.
But if it hadn’t been for Anna Livia Plurabelle,
I probably would still be standing there,
listening to a hard luck story I don’t understand.
She suddenly appeared, flapping her wings,
pushing me towards Half Penny bridge, telling
the surprised gaeilgeoir:
Is oth liom do mhiadha chloisteail.
Ná bac leis an dorchadas. Beid túna leigheas.

Never mind the darkness. You will be healed.

--

Oliver Kleyer is a teacher and poet from Northern Germany. He teaches German as a Second Language in a refugee camp. He writes in Geman and English. His works have appeared in 101 Words, The Creative Zine and Bubble as well as in anthologies like FromOneLine to another or Dadakuku 1.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Legacy by Wayne Russell

Life, reduced to a pile of photos,
and it is written; just seek, and it
shall make itself known.

Bits of poems, scattered and flung,
throughout the memoir of your life;
beneath this finished terminus; this

pyre, a compilation of dust and ash,
your life, living on in the vacarious
eternity's domain; a vault, a tomb an

urn; and the crows that are singing to
keep your memory company; when
visitors are nought.

The stars are dumb and numb, just
knowing that nothing lasts forever;
no, not even the sun that shines;

or wars, that are fought; nor the child
that is born; a catalyst of fertility for
generations yet to come.

--

Wayne Russell is a creative writer that was born and raised in Florida, he moved to Ohio in late 2016. His first book of poems, "Where Angels Fear" was published by Guerilla Genius Press in 2020 is available on Amazon; his second book of poetry is titled "Splinter of the Moon" and will be available via Silver Bow Publishing in early 2024.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Eve by Stephen Jarrell Williams

My first and only love
left me
years before I realized it

an eternal lump in my throat.

--

Stephen Jarrell Williams has had over a thousand poems published here and there and distant places where the light still glows. He can be found on X/Twitter @papapoet

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A Man Faces Up By John Grey

I admit I’m impossible.
And I’m only faithful
because I believe in repetition.
Affections feels creepy coming from me.
I work all day.
Nights are for drinking.
Three o’clock in the morning
is a time for jerking awake
from a foul dream
and staring at the ceiling,
the walls, the woman beside me.
I have my doubts that
any of this is real.
It looks too much like death
and I can’t hear her breathing.
I ponder my own demise.
The inevitability of it.
The interrogation
by those in the next world,
the ones I leave behind.

My mind blanks on cue.
And my heart
is not a viable instrument
when it comes to remorse.
It has a tough enough job
pumping blood to the far ends
of my body.
I’m not such a bad guy.
I’m worse.
And yet my beginnings
were the same as anybody else’s.
Three a.m. is such an empty time.
I’m disturbed by what tries to fill it –
my extinction, total absence,
even in people’s thoughts.

I’m not afraid of hard work.
I’ve always had a taste
for the high of alcohol –
though not the subsequent let-down.
Can’t fall back to sleep
so my mind takes on organized religion,
doctors, medicines,
people who try to cheer me up,
and the day my senses completely shut down
and my soul has to decide
whether or not it really exists.

The woman beside me
curls up at the edge of my vision.
She does her best to be my savior,
says I work too hard,
drink too much.
That doesn’t bring on hangovers
but bouts of acute pessimism.
Why make the best of life
when all the power rests with the worst of it?

Slowly I doze.
Before I know it,
I’m back in my nightly coma.
I awake to a new day
and I have no choice but to accept it.
I’ll be off to work soon
and to the bar tonight.
I will awake again in the middle of the night,
inappropriately and lamentably.
I wonder why she stays with me.
She wonders who she stays with.
That’s all we have in common.

--

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.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Intellectual Properties Yard Sale by John Patrick Robbins

I believe I will trademark my demons and write a book on how to properly open portals to hell.

Simply start a publication and run an open call for submissions.

Be honest and await the torments to begin.
Hang around long enough and become as twisted as those you equally despise.

Gain some nonexistent ground.
Mad are the editors who will easily fathom this truth.
If someone has to ask:

“Hey man, care for a drink?”

Then you aren't in the ever-so-vicious circle.
Be grateful and shut the fuck up and kindly leave me the fuck alone.


























JPR is a Southern Gothic writer. His work has appeared here at Disturb The Universe, Fixator Press, Lothlorien Journal Of Poetry, The Dope Fiend Daily, Horror Sleaze Trash, The San Pedro River Review, Spillwords Press, and Svartedauden Zine.

His work is always dark and unfiltered.

Friday, May 10, 2024

12 Steps by Cat Dixon

Like a kite string cut and discarded,
a holy sheet ripped into a rope,
a blueprint of our past lost
in the cabinet of archives,
she followed me down.

Like a rehab center that profits
off repeat customers,
parents who practice the art
of terrible parenting,
a brass bell on the reception desk
that has lost its tongue,
she followed me down.

Like an operator that refuses
to patch through the emergency call,
a water bottle filled with vodka,
a water tower that crashes to the ground
and floods the small town,
she followed me down.

--

Cat Dixon is the author of What Happens in Nebraska (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2022) along with six other poetry chapbooks and collections. She is a poetry editor with The Good Life Review. Recent poems published in Thimble Lit Mag, Poor Ezra’s Almanac, and Moon City Review.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Carcasses of Spiders by Ace Boggess

litter the glue trap meant for mice
like cut coal fallen from a train,
so many I wonder how to extrapolate the number
of terrors that lurk in walls, flimsy ceiling.
These could be part of a plastic playset
of Vlad the Impaler’s flying corpses,
except they nailed themselves in place
by crossing a tiger pit at night.

I feel sorry for them, although I hate them,
tremble at their dead legs pointed toward nirvana.
Is this the grief of a genocidal tyrant?
I’d think one body would ward off the next;
they keep coming when no one’s watching,
accepting death as long as the path is straight.

--

Ace Boggess is author of six books of poetry, most recently Escape Envy. His writing has appeared in Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Notre Dame Review, Harvard 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.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Why Not Celebrate Something? by Roberta Beach Jacobson

In the southern hemisphere
in the month of March
in a capital city
on a balmy Saturday
at precisely 1 p.m.

snare drums call out

Foreign tourists
along the parade route
assume
it’s a local holiday
of some sort

Maybe they’re right

--

Roberta Beach Jacobson (she/her) is drawn to the magic of words–poetry, song lyrics, flash fiction, puzzles, and stand-up comedy. Her latest book is Demitasse Fiction: One-Minute Reads for Busy People (Alien Buddha Press, 2023). She lives in Iowa, USA. https://linktr.ee/roberta_beach_jacobson

Friday, May 3, 2024

Business in Philadelphia by David Sydney

On the plane to Philadelphia, Mel and Franklin, two strangers, sat next to one another…

Mel: Ever been to Philly before?

Franklin: My first trip.

Mel: You haven't missed much.

Franklin turned from a journal he'd been reading and looked out the window.

Mel: The name's Mel.

Franklin: Nice to meet you.

Mel: What do you do?

Franklin: I'm a quantum physicist.

Mel: Huh?

Franklin: I'm working on implications of the Pauli exclusion principle to string theory

Mel: What?

Franklin: It's really not that interesting. Actually, I'm pretty bored with it. How about you?

Mel: Me? I'm a drycleaner. I've three places.

Franklin: Do any of them turn clothes around in 24 hours?

Mel: Sure. In fact, one's in by 9 and out by 5 .

Franklin: No kidding? Dry cleaning out by 5? And you don't ruin buttons?

He pointed to his shirt, open at the sleeve because of a crushed button.

Mel: No.

Franklin: Now that's really interesting.

--

David Sydney is a physician. He has had pieces in Little Old Lady Comedy, 101 Words, Microfiction Monday, 50 Give or Take, Friday Flash Fiction, Entropy Squared, Grey Sparrow Journal, Bright Flash Literary Review, Rue Scribe, and Pocket Fiction.