My Character’s Death

A poem by Alyssa Trivett

Record relaying to needle
blood seeping in
room top-spins and my head
kicks the coffee-burned throat
half scowl up again. Circus tumbles
and words water-slide down my arms into cement.
Made conversation in sample cup wisps
with the electric fan blades whirring.
Fingernails chomped off like a wine cork, obliterated.
Someone is calling my name from the other room, or maybe,
it is the neighbors’ ghosts who never introduced themselves
yelling get off my lawn kids insults through the vents.
The last movie-thought displays in my head.
and piano neck wires snap,
this is death, this is death!
I can’t tap dance off the stage,
I never had the correct shoes to begin with.

Alyssa Trivett is a wandering soul from America’s Midwest. When not working two jobs, she listens to music and scrawls lines on the back of gas station receipts. Her work has recently appeared online at VerseWrights, In Between Hangovers, and Hidden Constellation. She has fifteen poems featured in an anthology entitled Ambrosia, a collaboration with eight other poets, released by OWS Ink, LLC.


I Wondered

A poem by John D. Robinson

How a poem could be written
about a beautiful
11 years old boy
who was hit by a car as he
stood in a safe-zone, waiting
for a break in the traffic to
cross safely;
he was air-lifted to a city
hospital and into emergency
it wasn’t good, wired up
to a machine to breathe,
damage to his young
brain overwhelmingly
he would never see again,
never again look into the
eyes of his parents, he
would not be able to walk
or talk ever again; he’d
live in a world of numbness,
darkness and emptiness,
cruelly robbed of the
beauty of life and love
and wonder of feeling,
of sensation;
he was just 11 years old
just starting out;
for nearly 2 weeks, an
eternity for the family,
the ventilator and the
medicines kept his little
body alive and no more
could be done and the
medics decided to stop
the medicines and then 3
days later, the ventilator
was switched-off;
for a few brief moments
the young kid struggled
and then he passed
and I wondered
how a poem could be
written about
something like that.

John D. Robinson is a poet from the U.K. He has published two chapbooks of poetry: When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide (Holy & Intoxicated Publications, 2016) and Cowboy Hats & Railways (Scars Publications, 2016). His work has appeared, and continues to appear, frequently in small press and online literary journals.

Dead Aunts, Convents, and Open Spaces

A poem by David Spicer

In our lemon-crème Packard
convertible, Dora and I smoked dope
to the memory of Aunt Mitzi—
not much, just a pinch to flutter appetites.
The prairie roads tormented us with dips,
a phobia of open spaces presiding
over feet that stomped to the rockabilly
beat of the stereo. Dora was my fourth
cousin, so incest never attacked my moral
balance when she suggested in the top-down
speeding wind, Eat my snatch, horny boy,
I’m not in the convent anymore. I didn’t,
even though Dora, a blue-eyed blonde charmer,
reddened after my refusal. I’m no checkers expert,
but I figured it was my move to a concrete
alternative. Let’s go see the cedars,
let’s follow this highway and scoop
up a little chow, maybe biscuits and jelly.
Dora wanted to go horseback riding.
You won’t regret it, she promised,
its joys are no myth. Let’s rent
a couple Appaloosas. She had a point:
we could no longer battle our grief,
but we could trade our rags for a costume
of brand new jeans and cowboy hats.
O.K., I said, ripping rubber on Highway 2
outside Revenge, North Dakota,
let’s stain this town with stoned graffiti.

David Spicer has had poems published in Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Yellow Mama, and Dead Snakes, as well as in the anthology A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and two of Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net prizes. He is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks; and is the former editor of the poetry anthology series Raccoon, as well as Outlaw, and the publisher Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

I Give You Permission to Drink Out of My Skull When I’m Dead

A poem by P. L. Munn

The dream of coming home to you

is a dead dream, and it’s been dead

for quite some time. I am who I am,

but I am also who I was. Improved?

Yes, but I haven’t forgotten who I was,

and I live with that every day. I won’t

apologize for the mistakes I’ve made

because those mistakes helped me

become who I am. Why should I feel

sorry for doing what made me who I

am today? Why live under the chance

that I could have been someone else

had I not made those mistakes? You

are a ghost to me these days, who

comes to me late at night, on my

sleepless nights, where I stay awake

and ramble on and on and on and on

and on about you, and those days

are few and far between. Buckshot,

missing the target I’ve locked on to,

but spreading about everywhere.

For the stings of injuries dealt to me,

I also dealt to you several injuries.

Should I be forgiven? Probably not.

Do I forgive myself? Never. That’s

not the point. The point is that we

are who we are, and I don’t know

you anymore, but I know myself

more than I ever did before. So,

when I die, don’t grieve. Just lay a

half-empty pack of Pall Malls and

a bottle of Wild Turkey and a copy

of “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” atop

my corpse. And I give you permission

to drink out of my skull when I’m dead,

as long as you believe that I never in

my life meant to hurt anyone, ever.