Michael Marrotti

Marrotti

Established In 1981: Built To Last

Established
in the 80’s
when it was
socially
acceptable
to use the
word faggot

Pop music
was extraordinary
imported from
Britain when it
still had Great
in the title

Mohawks
were in vogue
Not these assholes
enamored of
hip-hop culture

Reagan was
passing
out in the
White House
decades before
my white privilege
and believe it or not
commodities
were still made here

I’m from a generation
that has a set of balls
the last of our kind
I’m not manufactured
in China or apologetic
for being honest
I’m from America
before it grew
a vagina
Built to last

Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh using words instead of violence to mitigate the suffering of life in a callous world of redundancy. His primary goal is to help other people. He considers poetry to be a form of philanthropy. When he’s not writing, he’s volunteering at the Light Of Life homeless shelter on a weekly basis. If you appreciate the man’s work, please check out his blog:www.thoughtsofapoeticmind.blogspot.com for his latest poetry and short stories.

Brandon Greer

Brandon Greer

?

 

Fuck the mail

fuck the time clock at work

fuck the front right

tire that is going flat on a 30

year old piece of shit.

 

Fuck the speed limit

fuck the grocery list

fuck the bum begging for

change to be dropped in his

piss-stained coffee can.

 

Fuck the brightness of day

fuck the darkness of night

fuck the gray area in between

where no one can seem to

get their shit together.

 

Fuck happy hour at the bar

fuck dinner served at 5

fuck the neighbors hiding in

their closet with needles in veins

and pistols cocked.

 

Fuck the rain on the grass

fuck the stars in the sky

fuck the sound of the

train rolling its thunder

across the nearby tracks.

 

Fuck all expectations

fuck all regrets

fuck everything I’ve

written tonight—

fuck me

fuck you

fuck this poem—

 

9/20/16

“Notes from the Edge” Facebook group, that is connected with Stay Weird and keep writing, is now accepting submissions for its Second Chapbook.

“Notes from the Edge” Facebook group, that is connected with Stay Weird and keep writing,  is now accepting submissions for its Second Chapbook.  If you’re not a member that’s ok.You can submit your entries here.   We will be accepting poems, short stories, and topic related art (black and white only). Cut off date for submissions is around December 13th or so. But get them in early. There is limited space. You can submit up to 10 poems. Normally only one will be picked, if it cuts the literary mustard. Ha.  I will try and inform you if something is accepted or not.  If you don’t get accepted please understand it might not be bad writing. It just might not fit our themes.   Good luck and. ………. Stay Weird and Keep Writing! !

Scott Thomas Outlar

scott thomas outlar

 

Abandoned City

 

 

Who lived in this street?

Who died in this street?

Who wept in this street?

Who screamed in this street

about God,

about war,

about love?

Who built this temple?

Who tore it down?

Who spit on this grave?

Who rose again

on the sixteenth day

as the sun

burned, burned, burned

with its song of the ages?

 

 

CHECK THIS OUT!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fscott-thomas-outlar%2Fabandoned-city&h=cAQHE5wBB&s=1

 

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, and interviews can be found. He has three poetry collections currently available: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016).

Matthew Borczon

Wanda

 

 

on the

day Wanda

hung herself

the ice

covered

the sidewalk

and her

car wouldn’t

start she

was broke

hungry and

Zeke had

been dead

9 years

to the

day

so she

opened the

windows in

the hope

that the

cold would

keep the

smell down

until the

spring thaw

when maybe

someone

would find

her.

 

 

Tim

 

 

used to

get beat

by his

dad for

almost

any reason

bruises on

his back

and legs

a broken

wrist when

he was 10

at 16

Tim joined

the cross

country team

and ran

until his

lungs hurt

more than

his bruises

or scars

even though

he was

only the

fourth fastest

on the

team he

was happier

than we

had ever

seen him

on the

day his

dad died

from a

massive

heart attack

he ran

15 miles

without stopping

smiling

the whole

time.

 

 

Sara

 

 

was 18

when she

went to

have her

left breast

tattooed

the artist

got to

cup her boob

for better

than an

hour which

she knew

he loved

finishing the

outline he

said he

needed a

break and

she waited

20 minutes

before knocking

on the

bathroom door

she found him

dead with

a needle still

in his arm

a month later

when she

went

back to

have it

finished

everyone

remembered that

she called

the ambulance

and did CPR

so they

finished it

free and

promised

not to

leave the

room

this time

until it
was done.

 

 

Matthew Borczon is a writer from Erie, Pa. He publishes widely in the small press. His book A Clock of Human bones won the Yellow Chair reviews chap book contest in 2015. His next book Ghost Train will be published by Weasel press in mid 2017. His online work can be found at Dead Snakes, The Bees are Dead, Dissident voice, The Hobo Camp Review, The Yellow Chair Review, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Anti Heroin Chic, Revolution John, and many others. He has 4 kids 3 jobs and still finds time to write most every day.

John Grochalski

 

trolling for hookers

 

 

two

in the morning

liberty avenue

is a ghost town

steve wants to go to the gay bar

to see what it’s like

whatever that means

he shakes his porn shop bag

full of blow job videos

says, come one, dudes, come on

we follow

two men holding hands

bold even within the desolate confines

of downtown pittsburgh

watch them

go inside a club

pounding music

we stand outside the steamed windows

daring ourselves

but for what purpose?

when calvin says,

but i thought we were looking for hookers

we move on

turn the bend

and there’s this six foot black thing

in a gold-lamé mini

a mound of red hair in the street lights

she stubs out her smoke

with gold heels

looks at us bored

says deep voiced

what can i do for you gentlemen tonight?

and steve and calvin

are gone before we can even answer

running drunk two blocks

i find them in an alleyway

pissing against a graffiti wall

porn bags hanging out

of their mouths like dogs

muffled voice saying

but, dude,

she had an adam’s apple.

 

 

some panic

 

 

there are mornings

where i wake up wondering

less about my own day

than maybe the end of someone’s life

there’s some panic in my heart

but little fear

the noise of a city will wake you up into reality

the way some civilizations are just meant to rise and fall

like lumbering giants or explosions in the sky

each one of us a cog

a galaxy stretching itself to the end

disengaged and ignorant by their ease

tethered more to little failures than the big picture

but still playing their game

one pitted against the other

make the other man fall

it’s very hard to look around

and in the brief moments that i do

it might just be better to shield my eyes

avoid the ideologue chewing up oxygen

at the end of the bar

the abject racist who lives up the street

on the news the bloodshed can be tremendous

it can look like a film set if you let it

really, you don’t have to face anything at all these days

no matter what’s coming in the end

this life can be for getting lost

amidst the shattered bones and charred flash

the endless war and animosity

live online and prosper

or it could be best that there are people out there

trying with violence and rhetoric to suck up all the gray

forcing us to pick a side

but which one when they both seem so the same?

there’s some panic in every decision

in moments like this

i’m anxious for the very next line

but it will get written

as this history of alienation gets written

murder upon murder

tragedy heaped upon tragedy

genocide around every corner

a whole love-starved world of us
waiting only to drown.

 

 

the hypochondriac

 

 

i used to keep myself

up so many nights thinking about sickness

about dying in my sleep

about being the only twelve-year-old boy

who was going to have a heart attack

every growing pain that i suffered

was proof positive that my body

was failing me from the inside

i couldn’t sleep as a result of my worry

so i added insomniac to the list

all i could do was lay there in bed

listen to my brother snore across the room from me

my mother snoring in my folk’s room

the old man downstairs asleep

where we’d left him since he passed out at eight o’clock

with the television on as low

as we could secretly put it in our small home

and i’d think this is it, the end

i’d stop breathing the minute i drifted off to sleep

suffocated by i have no clue what

or that headache from yesterday was a brain tumor

the scratch from the cat would get infected and poison my blood

i’d stare at the clock knowing tomorrow at school

would be a long fucking day

if i didn’t get those thoughts out of my head

and get some sleep

but i couldn’t help it, it was all there in me

cancer, HIV, pneumonia, the plague

the black death, latent chicken pocks,

the mumps, the measles, that heart attack lying in wait

all of it coming to get me

sometimes all at once

while i laid in that bed terrified

until morning or sleep would finally come against my will

or i’d start thinking about something else

instead of all of that rot

something like the front door being unlocked

my old man’s cigarette still smoldering in his ashtray

set to burn the whole house down

or that my dear old snoring mother in the other room

had left the gas range going

and the goddamned oven on.

 

 

duncan

 

 

duncan is running around the kettle bar

with his sister olive

screaming and yelling

while people are eating bar food

or starting in early on the day’s drunk

duncan is maybe three but still looks vacant

olive is pushing two at best

and has a set of pipes on her

that could raise the damned

there are no other children in the bar

because it’s a bar

duncan’s old man is your garden variety domestic asshole

with his receding hairline and dad gut

his sculpted man boobs

under an ugly maroon v-neck sweater

with tufts of chest hair coming out

he apologies to my wife and i

when duncan and olive repeatedly smack into our table

but he doesn’t mean it

because we reek of childlessness and other malaises

because his america counts more than mine

dad is enjoying his stolen afternoon beer too much

to worry about duncan and olive

killing other people’s time

he’s too caught up in the entitlement of being a parent

at the turn of the twenty-first century

praising his children

for what used to garner an ass whooping

duncan’s mom is a beast of a woman too

who wears the wounds of a war

of knocking out two kids in under four years

on her soulless stomach

i think she has diamonds

embedded into her glasses frame

for that extra douche bag oomph

and somewhere on her fat dego ass

i’m willing to bet

is a faded tattoo of a beloved cartoon character

she got at the beach

before duncan and olive were a drunken mistake

in the gleam of her eye

she thinks naming her children

duncan and olive

makes them more than the common

screaming creeps they are

mom had been carrying olive’s dirty diaper for fifteen minutes

until she set it down on the table next to us

blue and white and brown ball

of non-biodegradable plastic

a table someone else will eventually eat/drink on

she doesn’t care

because duncan and olive are so precious

their shit doesn’t stink

they’re the zenith of what she’ll accomplish in this world

ignorance that she’ll pass on

like family jewels and disease

boutique named monsters free to run around a bar

screaming and yelling

and raising hell on a monday afternoon

where we are all captives to this mundane madness

that gets passed around these days

under the guise of precocious ingenuity

duncan in his rookie-of-the-year t-shirt

olive in her plaid dress

smacking their heads off the worn bar and laughing

the little philistine prince and princess of bay ridge

with ketchup stained faces

from french fries flung on the bar floor

like nut shells and sawdust

little landmines we’ll try not to slide in

as we forgo another beer

and get up to leave

to duncan screaming bloody murder

to an old hootie and the blowfish song

as olive prat falls and farts

and our proud patriotic parents

order another round.

 

 

the wine clerk

 

 

i remember

needing a job in buffalo

when there were no jobs

sitting in some half-empty frat bar

while the college chick bartenders

got drunk on white wine and watched tv talk shows

scanning the local rag

and coming up with nothing

i remember needing rent money

and gas for a car that ran when it wanted to

arguing with my wife

because i felt impotent and dull

sitting in the apartment all day

or hustling it out on the streets to no avail

the temp agencies couldn’t find me anything

they could only test and test and test

and shrug their shoulders when i failed them all

i remember not taking a job for bath fitters

because the boss thought that writing, listed on my resume

would interfere with me working the warehouse

because he was afraid i’d leave the job

if i ever sold a book

because he asked me if i liked kayaking

how i couldn’t work for someone who liked kayaking

and how i’d leave the job for less than selling a book

i remember seeing that ad for a wine clerk

in the midst of my fourth pint of the day in that frat bar

while the college chick bartenders got sloppy

and started spilling their plastic cups of purloined white wine

thinking that a man shouldn’t shit where he eats

but i remembered the rent and the car

and the testing and the temp agencies and kayaking

then i thought how hard could selling wine be?

i remember that warehouse as big as a car dealership

the shelving a silver and red metal skeleton city

reaching up toward the sky

my clumsy, hungover ass carrying cases

of wine and booze down ladders

hoping that i didn’t fall to the concrete

and die in a hail of wine and scotch and glass

i remember feeling sore

the pain of hauling boxes for a solid eight

watching kids ten to fifteen years younger than me

do it with such ease

laying on the couch at home listening to the classical station

because i thought i was some kind of bukowski

wondering where all the decent jobs in buffalo were hiding

getting hauled into a wine testing center

being told that the varietals tasted of black currant

or grapefruit or cherry or blackberry

that you could taste the dirt of france

the stone sea sides of italy

thinking how i’d never get to france or italy or anywhere

making the kind of money i was making

thinking that it was all bullshit

and forgetting to spit the booze into the sink

after each sip as my only revenge

i remember

drinking wines that cost more than my whole paycheck

and the irony in that

i remember not shaving, not bathing for days

going a month in the same clothing

my pants stained in wine from asshole customers

dropping bottles every hour on the hour

and i remember that little man

that little napoleon of a boss

who hauled me into his office every day

so that we could talk about the state of my wardrobe

so that we could talk about why i hadn’t shaved

so that he could tell me the customers paid my salary

and put his kids through school

so that he could give me a routine psychological evaluation

but never once giving me the gentle mercy of firing me

i remember sitting in my car

in the parking lot of the wine store

drinking half a six pack or two tallboys

just glaring at that building

before i found the courage to walk on in

and start the retail horror show all over again

i remember getting drunk on my lunch

at an old man bar across the street

spending saturdays drinking wine samples

until i couldn’t see

only i don’t remember how i made it home most nights

luck

my wife

the rent

our life

the chance to one day maybe see france or italy or anywhere

and i remember them working us nine til nine

every day for over a month

when thanksgiving and christmas came

how i grew to hate christmas carols

how i still can’t hear them

how that little napoleon watched me work for twelve hours

building booze display after booze display

hauling case upon case, as customers crawled up my ass

how he then pulled me into his office

to tell me what a shit job i was doing

how i needed to be more of a people person

be a little ray of sunshine, he said

to remind me about the wine-soaked pants

and the dirty shirt and the facial hair i refused to shave

i remember thinking

how i could commit murder if i put my mind to it

i remember drinking vodka

straight from a mag bottle in my car on my dinner break

watching the customers stroll into the store in santa hats

not a goddamned care in the world

how they must’ve worked better jobs

found the buffalo, new york that had alluded me

i remember how the months moved

like dragging anvils across broken glass

how the want ads still held nothing for me

the hopelessness in a saturday night driving down delaware avenue

too tired to fuck

too tired to sleep

too shell-shocked from the hoi polloi to even go out to dinner

another month of nine to nine shifts

for inventory in that metal warehouse city

the christ wound i received on my side

cut from a nail on a case of french wine

that cost two-hundred dollars a bottle

i remember suicidal thoughts

thinking that i didn’t want to be bukowski or anybody

how i was sick of being myself

nothing but a wine clerk in buffalo

on eight bucks an hour

and i remember the sinking stench of failure

when i woke up the next morning

hungover immaculate

the scent of stale beer and wine in my nostrils

having to rise up out of that warm bed

to do it all again.

 

John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novels, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013), and Wine Clerk (Six Gallery Press 2016). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where the garbage can smell like roses if you wish on it hard enough.

Marcus Severns

Carry On

 

Bonaventure
Survival
With misfortune
Enough to cry
For centuries.

Awestruck
And stranded –
Retaining hope
Even though
I’ve been abandoned

By my father
And my dreams.

Giving up everything
Except for hope

Because despite the continual
Condition
of Submission
And depression

My spirit desires
To rise above
The ashes
of My burning past.

Look!
The sun is rising.

I too
Will carry on.

 

 

Kelly And David

 
David caught me checking out his girlfriends tits
When they fell out of her blouse.

He shouted to her, “Cover up woman! The whole world can see your hooters.”

She pulled a blanket over her chest
Then her eyes fell on me
And they rolled up and down my figure,
Then she made eye contact
And her cheeks turned red.

Her eyes darted to the television,
And that seemed to be the end of that.

I felt bad about the situation,
So I gave David my favorite poetry book
And a novel from a series I had yet to finish.

He accepted the gifts with gratitude,
Then he recited a poem he wrote from memory.

It was a good poem. I was glad he wasn’t mad at me
For checking out his woman.

He had practically adopted her two children,
And they didn’t need any problems.

A week later
She took her children and ran off with another man.

I was crushed for David – he was in love with that woman,
And he enjoyed being a father to her children.

Her oldest daughter who was 17 told me
“My mom said she had a crush on you –
She was thinking about seeing if you wanted to elope
Before she ran off with the other guy.”

I nodded, keeping my thoughts to myself.
She said, “My mom’s a weirdo, right?”

I didn’t say anything.

I kept thinking about her breasts.

 

 

Ambivalent

 

I take bad news
With indifference.

I’ve seen so much of the world.
Blood,
Poverty,
Sleepless nights,
Girlfriends on meth –
I take them all
The way
I think about rocks in space.

They exist,
I just don’t care.

I’m homeless again.

My dad drove me 2000 miles
To abandon me
In Knoxville,
TN
Without money,
Car,
Or way to survive.

I have other family,
But they’re just
The same.

I’m a
Desolation Angel
With a half-smile

Indifferent to the world.

 

 
Boozin and Trippin

 
At the time
I had 3 girlfriends.

The petite one would come over
And I would pull out my dick
And say, “Suck it!”

She would.
Then I would pick her up
And put her on the kitchen counter
And fuck her.

When she was gone
I would get drunk and call
The one who lived down the street
And say, “Come over, I’m lonely.”

She would get there
With a bottle of vodka
And I would say, “Let’s make out.”

She would laugh, and say,
“You can’t just be that blunt about it.
You have to just do it.”

I pulled her close, kissed her,
Then went down her body
Kissing it as I went.

When I was done
She would pull me close
Then ask, “Which girl do you love most?”

I wouldn’t answer. I don’t think I loved any of them.

She would get upset with me for being quiet,
Then she would leave.

I was terribly drunk then, and called the other to visit.

She came by with two boxes of cough meds.
We ate them down
Then went spiraling into an alternate reality.

I think I liked her the most,
But it could simply have been the drugs.

I guess the moral of the story is
All four of us got chlamydia
And I think it came from that first cheating bitch.

Haha! I laugh
Because
They all knew I was seeing all of them at once,
And because I gave the infection back to her
After she caused them all
To break up with me.

I guess there is no moral….
The immoral of the story is this:
Do drugs not women. Women have diseases.

 

Marcus Severns (pen name) has published in magazines and newspapers including The Curry County ReporterEveryday Poems, and Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. In 2008 he was featured on the cover of Tennessee Magazine as the winner of a regional writing competition. In 2016 he published his first book of poems, The Days The Nights The Love.