Sunday, September 29, 2013

Confessions Of An american Outlaw #360 / Substance Abuse

Michael Grover

Michael D. Grover is a native Floridian now living in Toledo, Ohio. He sees himself as an activist for poetry, and hosts a weekly reading at The Collingwood Arts Center where he lives. Michael has been published all over the world, and has performed all over the country. He has had over a dozen chapbooks including his newest Some People Go Crazy which is available on Citizens For Decent Literature Press. His first full length collection of poetry A Shotgun Does The Trick is forthcoming on Tainted Coffee Press. Michael is the current head poetry editor at

Confessions Of An american Outlaw #360

I was thinking about writing a Poem
Conspiring to commit a crime
Conspiring to write a Poem
Maybe not even a good Poem
Maybe this Poem
Something deep, in these shallow realms
I have breath, therefore Poetic license
We don't need no stinkin' license
We don't need permission
I was conspiring to write a Poem
Because I could, because I should
Commit Poetic acts of terrorism
Even if it might not change one thing
It is my obligation
Because I can
I stopped thinking about writing a Poem
Conspiring about anything
& I wrote a Poem


Substance Abuse

Substances abused
The things we put in our bodies
To conjure this Poetry
Another night with the pen and pad
Because it's been too long
Been playin' with time
Walkin' through it like it wasn't there
Tonight romance the Muse
Make beautiful music
Like Ming, thumping the bass in the background
Like . . .


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

the model / comedian / gimme shelter

John Grochalski

My poetry and prose have appeared in several online and print publications including:  Red Fez, Rusty Truck, Outsider Writers Collective, Underground Voices, The Lilliput Review, The Main Street Rag, Zygote In My Coffee, The Camel Saloon, and Bartleby Snopes.  I have two books of poetry The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch (Six Gallery Press) and Glass City (Low Ghost Press), and a novel, The Librarian forthcoming. My chapbook In the Year of Everything Dying can be viewed via Camel Saloon’s Books on Blogs series (

the model

he says this autumn has turned

back into spring

he was a bus driver for two years

but quit because he couldn’t handle

doing eight straight every day

but look at these guys, he says

as we watch the drivers change shifts

now they make eighty grand a year

for what?

sitting on their asses?

but it’s no matter to me

i’m 72 years-old and have a gig as a model

man i got the body of a 20 year old under this jacket

because i walk from brooklyn to manhattan every day

it’s only coincidence that i’m on the bus this evening

talking to you

but this modeling gig is big time at some art school

they have me get up on a stool

sometimes in a g-string

sometimes naked

all of these old ladies paint me or sketch me

i get a couple hundred a session for that

more when some of the old bats take me home

for a personal session or to ride my stump

so i ain’t so worried about giving up that bus driver gig

all of them years ago

who wants to sit on their ass all day every day?

i mean look at me, man

72 years old and i look like i’m 20

rock hard

no butter no bread no pizza

and i don’t even miss it but sometimes

because life is hard

and you got to have something in it to fill those hours

trust me i know

i lost my whole family seven years ago in a car wreck

my wife my daughter my mother

after that i just cut out of life

i slept in my car down at the 68th street pier

because i didn’t want to go home

i had no home, kid

i had no money

but i wasn’t about to go

and become something like a goddamned bus driver

there’s money to made anywhere

like this guy from a diner called me

because he heard about my mother dying

he wanted to meet me

said he was her old boyfriend

so i go to his diner and he starts telling me all about my mother

shit from before i was born

and he’s crying and i’m crying

only i notice this girl sitting near by

a cute blonde in baggy jeans and sneakers just writing away

turns out she worked for warner brothers

a few weeks later i get a call from her to meet at that diner

when i show up there she’s dressed to kill

painted toenails

fishnets tight

yellow skirt

says they want to do a movie about my life

she offers me good money but i don’t take it

i tell her i got money

which i did from the insurance settlement from the car wreck

i tell her maybe i’ll sign on for a movie

if i get a terminal disease or something

and this girl is so kind i start telling her more about my wife

bless her soul

and we hit it off

it turns out she’s an actress too

stared in the men in black films

the diner has her picture up there on the wall

it’s still there

and even though she’s 19 and i’m older than her old man

we start seeing each other

it blows me away how she handles my stump like she does

sure, i give her money

a grand here

a grand there

for acting lessons or whatever

she keeps telling me she’ll pay me back when she gets famous

but i tell her we have an affair of the heart

not the pocketbook

and what do i care for money?

having lost my family recently

my wife my poor sweet wife

she looked just like olive oil

she knew warhol and was a painter too

warhol was from pittsburgh

just like that steelers hat that you’re wearing

and i can’t help but think my wife sent me this blonde

to help me get over her

christ what a wild ride existence is

all that love

all that sex

you just don’t find women like her now

especially not on these buses

where all of the women are losers

even with their painted toenails and haircuts

there all dead

they go home and hump their cell phones

still live with their parents

but, man, you really should try getting a modeling gig

i mean i never believed that at 72

i’d have women chasing me the way that they do

chomping up my stump the way that they are

it’s almost like i’m in heaven despite it all

i’m in heaven here on earth

this bus

this life

talking to you on a random monday night, kid

it’s all bliss.





he’s thirteen


he always has something smart to say

about everything


it’s dumb shit

but it’s enough to make the sycophants around him

cackle like fucking hyenas


i don’t like this kid

i don’t like his face or his jokey crap


i didn’t like him when he was younger either

and just honing his comedic skills


i think maybe i don’t like him

because he’s thirteen and i’m thirty-nine


i was a comedian too when i was his age


i used to burn the adults up with my stuff

and get the kids howling


one of my teachers tossed me

out of her classroom for a week


she made me carry all of my locker things and books

inside of a black garbage bag


but i never had hangers-on the way this kid does


and girls


he’s thirteen and he has fifteen year-old girls

already giving him the eye


fifteen year-old girls ignored me

when i was thirteen


and fifteen

and eighteen

and thirty-nine


this kid is a looker

and he doesn’t need to use his humor

as a defense mechanism because he’s ugly and fat


like i was


he’s going to break a shitload of hearts as he ages

because looks and humor are a deadly combination

and he’s already wise to that


that’s why he can be such a smartass


i know that it’s wrong to think this way

but i hope this comedian knocks up

one of those girls he’s got fawning over him


some seventeen year-old

when he’s fifteen and even more funny than he is now


i hope that he has to drop out of school

and get a job at mcdonald’s


then maybe i’ll start eating fast food again


i’ll visit the kid

while he’s frying horse meat and potatoes at the job


dust off some of my old a-list material

just to see how it goes over with him


show him that i got no hard feelings

about him being a little prick back in the day


and that i’m still a pretty good comedian too



gimme shelter


there’s this part in the stones’ song

where merry clayton is belting out the words





with a such a ferocity that she damned near

squeals the line


right after

you can hear mick jagger shout, whoa


completely improvised


a complement as solitary and brutal as a song

that’s held up better than most for over forty-years


whenever i listen to gimme shelter

i think about being in sandy monroe’s apartment

which was above a sub shop in pittsburgh


how a group of us would go to his place to get stoned

and listen to records on monday nights

before the football games


most of us broke and hungry from the smells

of roasted meats and baking bread coming from below


it was sandy who first pointed out

the clayton/jagger exchange to me


excitedly shouting


here it comes!

listen to this!


as clouds of perfumed smoke choked the air


and to this day i wait for it to come

like an expectant child





even though i’m getting grayer by the day


and, yes, maybe i play the song too loudly at home

or in my headphones


i’m sure that i am today

because this old bitch on the bus keeps giving me the evil eye


while i have the stones playing

waiting on merry clayton to tear my heart to shreds

with her ominous, pleading threats


she’s put cotton balls in her ears

and keeps shaking her head at me


like i’m some kind of fucking devil


like it’s 1969 and her world is being destroyed again

by this piece of music


she’s moved seats three times to get away from the noise

and is starting to rally the troops in her favor


soon they’ll go to the bus driver


but i don’t fucking care


i’ve suffered these people so much on this bus

that it’s time i made a little bit of racket


have suffered so much bullshit

both monumental and trivial since those youthful days

at sandy monroe’s house


that i’m going to hear merry clayton belt it


and this lady and her minions

can either give in and wait me out


or else

it’ll be altamont all over again


Friday, September 20, 2013

Skulls & Flowers / Unemployed Daytime Sick Poem / Dear Blue Morning / Wood Through The Trees

David Mac

David Mac is one of the greatest forklift drivers ever to emerge from the UK. His prose and poetry has been published in many mags, journals, sites, zines and blogs. He has various self-published collections available, plus collections with Erbacce Press, Knives Forks & Spoons Press, Ten Pages Press, Writing Knights Press, and Like This Press. He lives somewhere deep in the Bedfordshire hell, above a shop that sells booze until 10pm. He likes wine, cats, and Humphrey Bogart.

Skulls & Flowers

The skulls and the flowers

The us in life

And I am thinking of things to do

Ways to live and die

The sun shines

Crawling down the street

As people go about their business

Going nowhere

They are living too

They are dying because

The skulls and the flowers

Each of us will grow

Each of us will grow until

We bend and break

The skulls and the flowers

Have us now

So we shall live

Until we are given the signal

Until we know nothing

Until we know when

Until then I shall buy you a coffee

And never think of asking your name


Unemployed Daytime Sick Poem

Reality TV

Chat shows
Four walls
And all the wine in the world


If you dare
Cheer the host on
Watch him
Move amongst the crowd
He is great
A shining idol
An effigy
The majority are dumb
And more lost than yourself

I get up and switch off

I guess I’m alive again
For now
It’s been a while
I put on Son House
His voice up from the hard earth
His slide guitar
Nothing but the blues

I go to the window and

Look out
In the street the
Doomed souls stir
Like flowers losing petals
One by one
She loves me she loves me not
Or like an insect having its
Legs removed by a

They are all trying to get

But there is only one way

Somewhere better than this?

I’m not so sure

So here’s a toast

For I know we won’t survive


Dear Blue Morning

Blue morning dear
Dear blue morning
The girl I meet in the supermarket
With her kid
Who smiles at me with her eyes
Blue morning dear
Dear blue morning
All art be spontaneous
Coffee cups and church bells
Blue morning dear
Dear blue morning
Buying papers picking flowers
Van Gogh tips his hat
Tilts his red head to the side
Bids hello
Blue morning Van
Van blue morning
Schools and graveyards
Newborn babies bawling
Back from the dead
The children can hear the voices
But I have long since forgotten


Wood Through The Trees


She used to like me to chase her

through the woods as if I was
going to kill her
She’d scream and take off and
I’d be close behind
closing in
For some reason this
did it for her
but women are very
And then we’d head to the
pre-arranged secluded spot
where the murderous pursuit
would end 

And I’d jump on her

force her
to the ground and
push myself on and
inside her

It was good and free

and the forest didn’t seem to

It made me feel like a

wild beast
which is a nice way to feel

and sometimes takes the

edge off
feeling like a

Monday, September 16, 2013

Death is Behind / The Offer / One of Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne’s Versus the Faces of Stoya

Rich Boucher

Rich Boucher lives, works, writes and performs steadily in Albuquerque, and is the occasional Guest Editor of the weekly poetry column “The DitchRider” at Rich’s poems have appeared in The Bicycle Review, Visceral Uterus, The Mas Tequila Review, The Camel Saloon, Apeiron Review, Brawler, The Subterranean Quarterly and The Nervous Breakdown, among others, and he has work forthcoming in The Lake, Menacing Hedge, The Broadkill Review and Gargoyle. Hear his poems at

Death is Behind

The perfume burned his eyes
holding tightly to her thighs
And something flickered for a minute
and then it vanished and was gone.”
– Lou Reed, Romeo Had Juliette

Death is behind the image of the girl

with her thick thighs as wide apart as goal posts;

death’s behind that girl with her fingers

holding the pink of her portal open for me;

death’s behind that girl keeping her clear high heels on

in that moonlight bed, on those silver silk sheets

in that room awash in a perfect, soft and creamy gloom;

death is behind that girl, hiding

like a small sun, with its faint golden light

peeking out from behind the edges of the sight of her

and I know I’ll never stop watching her:

as long as I keep my eyes closed she will always be there,

there in the same baby oil, thigh-highs, pearls and perfume place

where I know I last saw her in a dream,

there, there between me

and Death


The Offer


Weeks after we’d broken up, after the weeds on the ground gave way to the new flowers of the summer and the nights were full of fireflies and Ferris Wheels, she came up to me at the café we used to hang out at and told me that she and the girl she’d started seeing wanted to know if I would like to go out on a date with them. If I would like to go on a date with the both of them. If I would. After placing my eyes back into their sockets I asked her to repeat herself; I also asked her to repeat myself; I asked her to repeat everybody there because I was sure that all I could hear were police sirens and burning bushes. She told me that she and her girl were talking and that they wanted to be alone with me. She asked me if some night in the coming week would be good and as she asked me that angel wings came out of her back, and I worried that my breath was like the Devil’s. Somehow I had the composure to say sure. Sure, I’d be there. Sure, I’d love to. Sure, I’m able to jump off the roof of this place and fly like Captain Marvel over the city. Four hundred angels chorused Carmina Burana in the amphitheater of my chest but I didn’t let it show. A few days passed and in those days I kept polishing the chain mail of my desire and ambition, driving through every red light there ever was. I forgot to eat. By the time the next weekend came around I was as dangerous as a stick of old dynamite on a wobbly kitchen table. I saw her again at the café and this time she was with her girl. Her girl left their table and took me to the side to tell me that the date was off, that my ex had got cold feet about things. I said I understood and someone else used my face to smile; God probably found that very amusing. I said it was cool and Rodin’s Thinker finally stood up and walked away.


One of Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturne’s Versus the Faces of Stoya


I put on some music before sitting way back in my leather chair

in front of my bad, dirty-minded laptop, lube nearby;

before I realized it time was passing and the Nocturne was over;

Claire de Lune by Debussy was busy waterfalling notes out of the speakers

as I performed an image search of Stoya’s face in the winter,

which is to say I performed a search of what her face looks like in the winter,

not that it was winter when I performed the aforementioned search

and God help me, Google helped me to see her against white sheets,

white skin, little nipples, little red nipples and lips a dark red with a cigarette dangling,

lips pale pink pulled apart by fingers so thin as to pose like a mere imagining;

snow so warm to the touch I could almost leave reality

and meet her right there in my laptop screen;

I looked for her face in the summer, too, hoping for a fire to warm myself to

and found smoke like a small white fire rising from her open mouth

and I could have screamed but reached instead for what I needed to grasp;

I searched for Stoya’s face plus Armageddon plus me plus math plus her mouth

and came up with dozens of results for Marilyn Manson for some reason

and so I started again back button unbutton back button unbutton some more;

I searched again and again, typing and tapping with spit-slickened slippery fingertips;

I searched for Stoya’s face plus dark vampire tower in a black-and-white movie

and came up with nothing I could use with my bloodshot eyes at 1 AM

and so I closed them, performed a mental image search for Stoya that girl Stoya

and came up with countless results for Stoya grimacing painfully as his cock enters her ass

Stoya smirking as he shoots it hot all over her chest

Stoya letting herself get wrapped up in Saran Wrap against a pole in a garage

Stoya letting me get wrapped up in all this

the mix I made has come to the last song on the list

but I am not done; I could go for hours.