A poem by Colin James

I slipped out the back door
where a white limousine was waiting.
The driver informed me
there was a very large thermos bottle
in the back seat of the limo that I
could urinate in should the need arise.
I found this information less than useful.
It would have been easier to put
a worry blanket around my shoulders,
but then things could have become too warm,
like the person who adheres to conformity
after years of feigning credulousness.

Colin James has written a chapbook of poems, A Thoroughness Not Deprived of Absurdity, available from Pski’s Porch Publishing.

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.

Night over Lower Manhattan

A poem by V. St. Clare

The paved beige stretched over, beneath

The careless sky, didn’t you see the street

Ran with cheap beer and perennial philosophy?


When that poor sod couldn’t even shuffle his way to work

Amid the signs and sights of this cold city


Nero’s circus wasn’t always round, and when it was there was far more blood.

I knew. I know. A thief in the night

The uncarved Wall stands between me and the street

He’s pocketing here and there, this and that, beast and birthright


But nobody told you he could climb; everyone at this open-air party

Sulks and skulks and trudges the timid notion that even Heaven plays


In tune with those double-dealers that straddle the sidewalks, selling

Souls and organic salads and plastic-wrapped theodicies.


Ninety-eight ways to go out with a bang in the televised jungle,

But you’ve stuck it to him, haven’t ya?


Our supple bodies stuck to the storm drains

A trillion lives and miles disgraced by everything under Heaven,


And among toils and boiling Heads that roll and rage below the quiet stars,

I’ve cast my vote to the thoughtless wide,


the careless Sky and the barren streets

16 Weeks

A poem by Jeremy DeHart

Sixteen weeks until I lay out the palm branches
in anticipation for your grand arrival back into
le détroit du Lac Érie upon the broken back of
the sieur de Cadillac.

Sixteen weeks in frozen mid-apocalypse
with the outspoken faceless ghosts from
under the floorboards groaning endlessly
below my ears clear into morning daybreak.

Sixteen weeks of anticipating the packages
that come with foolhardy joyrides deep on the
outskirts of sanity, peeling out real wild down the
interstates of brain waves.

Sixteen weeks of insomnia bursting my eyeballs
asunder liberating the blood-red wine onto the carpet
staining the sweaty backs of rats into nervous

Sixteen weeks of frightening stares from the
frigid army of empty flamingos that harbor
the outcome of American waste while the
fruit flies perform their ballets.

Sixteen more weeks of waiting anxiously
for some kind of outcome to this life thing.
Stuck somewhere between suicide and discovery,
am I losing my mind or am I gaining new
drug induced perceptions?

Secluded Beach

A poem by Atom Rush

Willows whisper in the shade of the absent moon,

blackness becomes a beacon

to creatures of love and lust.

A candle melts lopsided,

still glowing, still glowing, bleakly.

Where the light vanished into shadow.

Where the tide draws back into the ocean.

Where we leave particles that the water forgets to sift.

With pain,

we hold regret,

shattered antique pictures

of bashing bearded souls

eroding the shore with verse,

venturing to speak when all else is quiet.

So this one time I had a fish.

This beach of uncertainty

where Whitman meets his lover for a swim.

Where rosaries fall and drown in its undertow.

Where solitude creeps up on me,

leaves me dissident.

Where poems strip the fruitful tree

and meet as piles of leaves,

wet and deserted.

So this one time I had a fish.

Ah, but is Art so perfect?

Why must we demand the reader take notice?

To lie alone on a dark plain

reciting these words

to a throbbing earth

with more heart

than the creatures have to hear,

such distant cries and howls

fading in the west.

Fragments of What Could’ve Been a Bold Statement

A poem by P.L. Munn

My shoes over-worn slip on sidewalks and hardwood floors.

“Why don’t you buy some new shoes?” You ask me.

Well, the thought has crossed my mind,

but I kind of like the scraping sound.

Let’s see how long this will last.

I crossed this room swishing,

saw the reflection and laughed out loud.

The frame lay crooked, rusted. and not once dusted.


Awaken and shaking.

Bruised black like post-season plumb skins,

groped filthy and gorged. Little beast.

Oh! What a joy this has become.


This platform is evidence of a meditation.

One wasp circles a quivering spider web.

The crouching spider wobbles up the post and hides.

This model is non-universal yet non-exclusive.


Recognition depends upon the reconciliation between the image recieved and the image the memory recollects.

I’ve been staring at this goddamn reflection for three hours.

Inconclusive, this operation is at a permanent halt.

This message will self-destruct eventually.


A poem by Siarna Kinney

when i first got my period i cocooned on the bathroom floor

and cried for hours begging it to stop

i was tired and didn’t say anything more

didn’t sleep for days

was startled by the sound of my own voice

i became so desperate that pornography was more believable than god

but today i still search for the face of jesus in the faces of those women

fake cum cries

pretend orgasms like white flags

my womb is a bomb shelter with tissue plaster

it’s an empty room that i stuff with men if only to feel better

maybe he will be able to hold back his disgust long enough

to jerk off on my homely body and hide the scars in milky white