Ian Copestick

Beatnik Blues

I’m listening to free jazz, reading Ginsberg and Kerouac
No matter how much the past enthralls, I know I can’t go back
This place is always Stoke on Trent, not San Francisco
I’ve got to deal with what I’ve got, into the past I cannot go
I wish I could go on the road with Kerouac and Cassady
In a ’49 Hudson, but I know it will never be
Speeding from coast to coast, Bebop on the radio
Seeing Ginsberg reading ” Howl”, everybody shouting ‘Go!’
I have to live in the here and now, not in my dreams
And deal with 2019, no matter how dull it seems.



A (Non-Self-Promotional) Letter from The Editors

Attention to all contributors and readers of The Beatnik Cowboy,

The upper and lower head pleasing and recently remade literary journal Horror Sleaze Trash has just released a new print edition featuring many of our fearless and genius contributors, standing tall alongside several other poets of equal stature among each and every page. We hope that the underground scene can continue to be seen in the rare glimmers from the light of day.

David Boski

Winning and Losing


‘and remember boys:

winning isn’t everything,

but losing is nothing’

my father said to us

before our first soccer game.

we were 8 years old and he

was our head coach;

we ended up losing our first

6 or 7 games, all massive

blowouts, before the league

stepped in and my father lost

his voluntary position. they sent

us all to new teams, and at the

end of the season we were all

supposed to receive trophies;

my father woke up late that

Saturday morning, hungover,

and by the time we got to the field,

everybody was gone and I never did

get my trophy; but he reminded me

and my angry mother that I didn’t

win anything, so he didn’t know why

the fuck we were all getting trophies

anyways. he was right, and that quote

has stayed with me my entire life;

and I’ve had plenty of losses that

were a whole lot of nothing, and a lot

of wins that weren’t much either, and

even though he lost his volunteer job

as a head coach of a kid’s soccer team,

that was nothing too; because he’ll always

be a winner to me.

Ian Copestick

My Thrill

What’s more exciting than being a writer ?
I don’t know about you
But I can’t think of a thing
I sit down, tap out a few lines
And in a matter ( sometimes )
Of minutes it’s published all
Over the World Wide Web.
Just think of it, WORLD WIDE
Perhaps it just shows the limit
Of my imagination, but I really
Can’t think of anything more

Luke Kuzmish

autumnal (fragment)


Ellyn picks up a stick
that lays in the road

mustve come from
the white oak over there
when it stormed last night
I woke up at 5 from the thunder
crashing on the predawn
without any sympathy
for the three doubles
in a row
I pulled

I don’t know trees
their names or leaves
and I sleep heavy and sound
through precipitation and guilt
caffeine and bad dreams


Paul Hellweg

The Universal Idiocy of the Human Race


Remarque wrote the words

I borrow for the title to this poem

my response is

oh my yes and amen.

I’ll never forget being dumbstruck

learning that the average IQ was 100

and I’d always felt anyone under 120

was moron par excellence.


What, me intelligent?

Maybe not. The crown for idiot king

lies upon the head I call my own

I always thought there was hope for humanity

and still do,

but I read about war

in novels, poetry, history

trying to comprehend the incomprehensible

why humans so willingly kill one another

when the species’ survival is at stake

with or without intelligent leadership,

mostly without.



Ian Copestick

My Teachers

I remember when I was a kid at school,
I really suffered from the hatreds.
I hated everyone and everything,
But most of all, I hated myself.
My ginger hair, my glasses, my acne,
And most of all, my shyness.
Nothing seemed to ever go my way.
The only things that gave me pleasure
Were records, and more importantly, books.
Jack Kerouac, Richard Brautigan, Henry Miller
These glimpses of life
Helped to save mine.
Now here I am over 30
Years later and still it’s
Books that keep me going,
Dostoyevsky, Bukowski,
Raymond Carver, Knut
Hamsun, Philip Larkin.
Helping to explain this life
That makes no sense at all
To me.