Sally Johnson 

Scattered tribes inhabited a rock surrounded by the living water

Days to years to decades seasons passed.

Aware of each other but without conflict. Each one held the truth.

Days to years to decades seasons passed.

Language  was discovered  bringing about confusion and misunderstanding.  Giving birth to lies.

Days to years to decades seasons passed

Inner knowledge diminished and eventually disappeared.

Days to years to decades seasons passed

A barron rock surrounded by contaminated dust…….

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Jack Day

Sun Dried

Inside I feel fried and dried, liken to the way a lichen feels.
Humor has lost its appeal and tears no longer fill.
The corners of my visual field from which the universe is built.
How many times have I died? Lied? Been tried?
Why am I still alive? 
Where was the good wine spilled?
I never really liked pills.
I didn’t take the bait, never had a need that couldn’t wait.
But where did the feels go?
Lost to the sauce? Maybe…
That’s is why she stole my baby.
But I dealt with that, I got fat and off my back.
Oh my GOD so many nice sacks.
And doses too often split with more than a few.
But then there was you, spirit molecule.
Ripping my head apart by the follicles.
Are you responsible for this soulless desert?
Or are these just the cards we are dealt.
Feeling things that should have never been felt.
Climbing up the robes of GODS, discarding the role of cogs.
Here enters the endless fog the desert bog land of petrified logs.
I guess I should have stop licking frogs…

Allison Grayhurst

Stage
 
 
No warmth in my
shoes. No gently touching
of my eyelashes.
The crater has left its imprint
and my only child is weeping.
Love has sunk below the line, grows painful as
a thousand papercuts. Why is there this
push into the primal darkness, where everything
is surface and small and contagious? Why can’t
we, of all lovers, overcome?
Touch my fingertips, tell me we can breathe it out
and return to the depths of our true connection.
Tell me we are brave enough to walk away
from this cancer breeding side,
face each other like we use to,
free of defense and the bitter masks
of useless pride.
 
 
 
 
 
Otherwise
 
 
I would make room for truth
to quicken me, and laziness
and anger would lose the reins.
 
my dreams would be pure
and my sense of justice would never be offended.
 
when the bank account ran out
and tension forked into my throat and
the trees have lost their glory, then I
would be humbled and know the way
is to let go.
 
my death-wish would be
but a small ripple in my soup,
and all my passions would be holy.
 
the bitter wrinkle would
not distort my face and forgiveness would
be part of my unconscious nature.
 
when the toilet floods I would laugh
and I would be grateful for the great loves I have.
 
there would be no fear of doing good
and I would kiss the faces of my enemies with pleasure
and with quiet wonder.
 
 
 
Door With No Dreams
 
 
The braid is made
of thorns and weeds.
The last brutal kiss is locked
tight in my throat. Breathing is
hard, as is smiling at the one
who rules with guilt.
I count four windows with
no opening. I place my
hands on the back of a cloud,
and know the cloud is all that I see.
 
 
 
 
 
The Bane of My Hypocrisy
 
 
Point – a head twisted backwards,
gazing with upside-down eyes
at the rainy world, a tightly woven
madness that is interrupted at the moment
of release, beauty recovered
but broken before experienced – an acorn
crushed by a car wheel – the treacherous and
oblivious – a candle looked at but never lit.
It is the time of a baby’s teething, when pain drools out in
a flooding aftermath of unnameable agony.
This is the child who
has no use for the outside world. This is me curled into
a dull surrender – unsure if there is a next move,
if there will be a time when I can rid myself of the bile
filling my belly – the corporate pimps and sluts, the self-
important money-makers, the big little people,
these devil’s minions who try to bury me in their fear
and their soulless security, panting at my doorstep
with their sewn-on smiles and breath
of fresh infant’s blood.
 
 
 
 
In Perspective
 
 
Watching with chaos
rampant in my head, the unbroken
bread leaves me dreamless.
But that will be for now and though
grace is dim, it is near like the ghost
of a dead loved one. The wind warns me
to keep breathing. These bleak months will
work themselves into a monumental miracle,
and every gesture I do today will paint my
room new for tomorrow. In all the places
that count, joy will be fed. It says
humble your sail and drift with the hungry tide.
It says, hold this sand and plan your next
sculpture. Soon these cruel days
will be a grain lost
beneath some ageless waters.
 

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Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three of her poems have been nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, and she has over 1000 poems published in more than 410 international journals and anthologies. Her book Somewhere Falling was published by Beach Holme Publishers, a Porcepic Book, in Vancouver in 1995. Since then she has published twelve other books of poetry and seven collections with Edge Unlimited Publishing. Prior to the publication of Somewhere Falling she had a poetry book published, Common Dream, and four chapbooks published by The Plowman. Her poetry chapbook The River is Blind was published by Ottawa publisher above/ground press December 2012. In 2014 her chapbook Surrogate Dharma was published by Kind of a Hurricane Press, Barometric Pressures Author Series. In 2015, her book No Raft – No Ocean was published by Scars Publications. More recently, her book Make the Wind was published in 2016 by Scars Publications. As well, her book Trial and Witness – selected poems, was published in 2016 by Creative Talents Unleashed (CTU Publishing Group). She is a vegan. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay; www.allisongrayhurst.com

B Bryon

dad.

 
 
I remember watching ‘Empire Strikes back’
with my dad for the first time
That scene appeared
where Darth Vader ask Luke to join him and rule the galaxy
I turned and looked at my dad and said
I would have so joined him.
My dad’s face red
his teeth crooked
he screamed –
do you want to go to hell?
that’s where Darth Vader is going … he’s going to hell!
my dad danced out of the room
i looked around for him
trying to explain
that it wasn’t Darth Vader I wanted to join …
it was him.

Patrick Winters

The Life and Death of Jacoby Fogg

I was born as a bastard on Hallow’s Eve;
Spent my first hour cryin’ for some reprieve.
They wrapped me up and they took me home
To a house of ten, where I was all alone.
I had a cold, cold, black, black nursery—
The color of Hades and half as serene.
Fed on mother’s milk and teethed on silence,
Raised on television, belts, and violence.
I dressed up smartly and I went to school,
Looking like a dapper, sulking ghoul;
Sorta learned my lessons and practiced my tongues,
Climbing that Ladder of Crooked Rungs.
Got me a coffin—it fit from nine to five,
Day-dreaming of when I might wake up alive.
I paid my taxes and I bought an apartment
Spending time passed out or feeling disheartened.
Never walked down an aisle, except in a store—
Just made my love with hundreds and whores;
Never bore a child who could carry my name—
Why rub dirt on what’s already a stain?
My life went on without much further note,
Until a rattle came up out of my throat.
I died on a Wednesday, feeling no pain;
Got buried next Sunday, in the pouring rain.

I sighed in Hell as it poured down rain

Patrick Winters is a recent graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL, where he earned a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. He has been published in the likes of Sanitarium MagazineThe Sirens CallTrysts of Fate, and other such titles.

Isabelle Marlene Serna

 

Bed and Fridge

 

 

She got me up daily!

Oooh girl, you got me

sprung. You are so

cold-smooth to the

touch. Silver-front black-edges

You burrrrrrrrr me

to sleep. Lay on these sheets that

clothe me. With comfort

Lay on me.

 

Baby, cool me

Oh, when you spread open

cool breeze. Let me melt

Your ice. You turned on 24/7

plugged in and runnin’ like a

7-eleven. Pull push jump

On me.

I spring I hold I flex

Every edge on you

I will

caress.

 

Oh, you cool my springs

Hungry, I crave

Fill me. Baby

memory foam

Ain’t got nothing on me.

 

Every crevice corner edge curve

I will plush and

Lull you

to sleep.

 

Your front is cold

hot in your

Behind. I squish I dip I plush

Sink into my

comfort

Baby, whirlpool my

Wonder.

 

I want to hear you

Bounce. Destress

muscles ease not

tense.

 

Baby, our hearts inside

don’t lie. Half of

the same. Love—

Hallelujah. I pray the Lord

Please just

Stay. Lay on me

We are one of

the same.

 

Jimmy Tucker

Write Like Burroughs

 

Everyone is writing like Burroughs.
Trying to write like Burroughs.
My wife wrote like Burroughs.
Toed that line, walked that walk.
Danced that dance, necromanced.
We fucked in bug crawling romance.
She died like Burroughs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy tucker is from Charleston, SC, went to the University of South Carolina and would like to thank you for your time.