Ian Copestick

Done For The Night

My new boots
are starting to
let in water. I
can feel my
socks squelch,
as I walk to the
off-license, and
back. On the way
back I’m emptying
cans as quick as
I can. I stop, pause
to roll a cigarette.
The motherfucking
rain soaks through
the paper before
I can even put
in the tobacco.
Like a contortionist,
I try to shelter
myself, under my
coat. It isn’t easy,
but I manage to
roll one, light it.
Crack open one
more can, I’ll save
the rest until I
get in. Turn on
the T.V., then I
usually turn it
off in disgust.
Pick out a CD,
and a book.
Roll another
cigarette, open
another beer, then
that’s me. I’m
done for the
night

Judge Santiago Burdon

Niceguy37

Nice guy 37
he’s definitely your type.
He likes music, dancing
he’s every girl’s white knight.
Gets out of the shower to pee
Doesn’t fart under the sheets
My mom even likes him
and she hates everyone
including me
He’s funny and sensitive
cries at the movies
Doesn’t smoke marijuana or drink beer
When he burps says excuse me
Never has bad breath
Muscular body not overweight
A talented cook and
always on time for a date
Remembers birthdays anniversaries
and smells baby’s heads
Rather than watch sports on Sunday
He goes antiquing instead
Never in between jobs
always has money
Educated, reads books
thinks the three Stooges are funny
When he goes to the store
gets everything on the list
peace sign tattoo
he’s a pacifist
A Liberal in his thinking
Democrat when he speaks
Republican with finance
Always puts down the toilet seat
Likes cats and children
Gets excited when it snows
Has a clear complexion
sometimes picks his nose
Seldom gets angry, curses or yells
When he goes to the beach
he collects seashells
Asks how your day was
And listens to your problems
When listening to music
Doesn’t turn up the volume
You two were made for one another
Hand in glove fit
there’s only one problem
The guy I’m describing
doesn’t exist.

Daniel S. Irwin

First Amendment

So I’ve decided ain’t nobody
Gonna make me wear a mask.
I’ve got my First Amendment rights.
I’m gonna pursue my happiness.
And, I think I’ll quit wipin’ my ass.
Cut the crotch outta my pants
So my gonads can swing free and easy.
An’ I’m gonna start takin’ a dump
Wherever and whenever I like:
Out front in my yard,
On the neighbor’s porch,
On the sidewalk and in the street,
In the aisles of the grocery store
And the church any day of the week.
I’m talkin’ freedom, you sick fucks.
This virus thing is just political bull.
It’s all a hoax, Number One said so.
And…damn…I feel like shit….
Cough, cough.

Luke Kuzmish

jersey poet
after Damian Rucci

a jersey poet
says you know you’ve got the audience
when someone wants to stab you in the gut
just for doing your job

bleed black onto shag carpet
with cigarette ashes, domestic beer,
someone’s phony service dog,
and the woe of hopeful poets
dying to become like the older poets
who don’t bother with hope at all

he says let the girl from
a hippie van commune
sew your wounds shut
with her shoelaces

chicks love a scar and a good story
or a bad story told really well

————————

a tiny cage

the screen is dirty
the window too, but still
the gentle breeze
swaying August leaves

Noah told me
don’t focus
on the screen
if you’re looking
for magic,
or beauty,
or anything
that’s not
a tiny cage

Michael Ceraolo

An Anonymous Life and a Not-Well-Known Statistic

The poet’s rule is that no subject
for a historical dramatic monologue
can be a living person,
so I may
be a violation of that rule because
I may be alive in 2020
when this poem is being written
It is impossible to say for sure
because no one knows anything about me
other than the information that I am
what is represented by the poem’s title

The frontier did not end in 1890
as the Census Bureau said it did
when it declared the frontier closed
Nor did it end in 1920 when
another census showed that for the first time
more of the country’s population lived
in cities than lived in rural areas
No,
the true end of the frontier was in 1956
when I got a job, maybe my first one,
and for the first time in the nation’s history
more people worked for someone else
than worked for themselves
Both
my life and this fact should be better known,
though given the passage of time
the first is highly unlikely

J.J. Campbell

other than ourselves

imagine if we learned from history

imagine if we taught the truth instead of
whatever you needed to pass the test

imagine if we were never taught to be greedy
to burn the fucking bridge before it takes
you down with it

imagine if we loved someone other than ourselves

imagine if hatred didn’t come naturally

imagine if loneliness didn’t exist

imagine if we aged gracefully

imagine if our fellow man was actually our brother

imagine if the cages had no locks

__________________

a bank robber

i grew up
wanting to
be a bank
robber

that used
to make
my father
laugh

he knew
what real
crime was

he worked
for the federal
government

John Cecil Dendy

Acetylene Inn
(it’s a gas!)


Hadn’t hardly had time to get settled in
at a old honky-tonk the Acetylene Inn
in the Oxygen Bar with a Nitro Gin
and another cowpoke named Mickey Finn.

Now Mick was a-wearin’ tennis shoes
instead of boots but he refused
to explain to me how come the change
(like socks on a rooster, looked mighty strange).

But T-bones was cookin’ on the propane grill
and life seemed mighty good until
a slam of the door and who walked in
but Minnie Sparks with a nasty grin
and a bone to pick with poor ol’ Mick
(who suddenly looked a little sick).

She slammed his boots down on the table
and spoke some words that I’m unable
to repeat without embarrass-ment.
(That woman shore was discontent).

Then things went from bad to worse
she whacked him with a big-ass purse
and in that purse was a .45
all cocked and loaded and man alive!
that thing went off and ricocheted
off the propane valve like a hand grenade.

That ricochet, it made a spark
before pluggin’ some bottles of Maker’s Mark
and Nitro Gin (one-eighty proof)
that exploded with a fart-like POOF!
while the propane tank shot out a flame
like the jet exhaust from a fighter plane.

I was not inclined to share the blame
so I bailed out a window and ran like hell
while bottles was explodin’ like shotgun shells.

A con-flag-ration was unfoldin’
when Mick ran out! He was proudly holdin’
his boots, two steaks, and a bottle of booze,
sat down on a rock and yanked off them shoes
so we ate and we drank ‘til things started to spin
and watched the demise of the Acetylene Inn.
A-men.

Gwil Thomas James

J. Molina.

The haunting
nature
of everything
is that years
after your death
you still remain
largely in
the shadows
and the fact that
you upheld such
artistic integrity
is probably
the reason why
and a sadness
washes over me
when I think of
all the great art
lost through
the ages that
could have
changed lives,
saved lives –
that will never
be known by many,
or any –
a ghost in the canyon
strumming away
for every
sad hard change –
you were ready
when the world
wasn’t.

Anthony Dirk Ray

Slay the Word

many may think that
the life of a poet
is carefree and reflective

full of contemplation
and observance

possibly one of a knight
drenched in medieval
fantastical realms

well that may be true
some of the time

but it’s also a life of shit
and utter redundancy

a stodgy and mundane existence

I’ve just spent the last 5 minutes
cleaning off dried turd particles
from the underside of a toilet

the brush

my sword