Thursday, October 30, 2014

Father's Voice / The Tragic Miracle

JD DeHart is the author of The Truth About Snails, a chapbook.  His main blog is and he is a staff writer for Verse-Virtual.  His writing has appeared in a variety of journals and ezines.

Father’s Voice

Father’s voice is a whisper,
a barely there old scratchy
record sound.
The needle is skipping.
I cannot hear him on the phone.
I cannot hear myself
in the room full of people
and I wonder if it is him.
My father, growing inside of me,
like a lump in the throat,
saying, Are we good enough to speak,
Dare we eat a peach?
My mother is the booming voice
in the other room, doubtful
in her own rite and manner.

The Tragic Miracle

Spread on the tree is the tragic
miracle we have kept tied
up in scrolls and coloring books
for centuries.
Now, children, paint the picture
of David beheading Goliath.
We sell faith in the gift shop
and find judgment when we don’t
buy the t-shirt.
If we are found to sip something
strong, they throw us
out of the choir.
Faith is worn as a pendant,
symbol of forgiveness,
the abject figure
of a pained being, bones visible.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fallout from the War on Women / Two Flying Saucers / First Day on Parole

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, 
lives in St. Louis, Missouri. His poetry and fiction
have appeared in print and online publications 
in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Some of his earliest work can be found

Fallout from the War on Women

I was warm and toasty, 
curled up, napping 
in amniotic fluid, 
without a worry 
when suddenly 
this metal thing
came into my room 

poked around 
and pulled me out.
The doctor stabbed me, 
smashed my head,
cut off my arms and legs,  
threw my pieces 
in a bucket 
with the others.
It's been a busy day
at the clinic.

At the closing hour,
a nurse dumped 
the bucket
in a freezer sack,
took it out in the alley
and threw it in a bin.
In the morning 
a private truck 

took the sack to 
the garbage dump.
The driver tossed it 
on the highest pile, 
launching flies,
at least a thousand. 

Sitting up here now
I can tell you 
I don't need arms or legs. 
I can hear 
the angels singing.

Two Flying Saucers

A flying saucer whirrs 
through the kitchen air
almost hits him in the head

flies out the open window
followed by another saucer
sailed at him by her 

angry that he's earthbound
can't take her to the moon
one more time tonight.

He's getting old, he tells her.
She should have come aboard
when he was 23 and flew

all night from star to star.
He ducks again and gasps,
"Once must now suffice."

First Day on Parole

Sometimes a person
can go too far,
Mickey said,
two stools over
downing another beer,
his first day on parole.
Someone like that 
cops can find dead,
he said, after 
newspapers start
littering the lawn.

A bullet in the temple
that no one hears
because of a silencer,
he pointed out,
is sometimes 
the culprit.

Such a good person,
the neighbors say
about the deceased,
and that may be true,
Mickey admitted,
but sometimes a person,
even a nice person, 
can go too far,

say the wrong thing
to the wrong person
at the wrong time
and take a bullet
in the temple,
Mickey said,
because it's hard  
to put a cobra 
under a bed.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Alexis Rhone Fancher is a compulsive writer of erotica, an irreverent photographer, and
a lover of all things “bent.” Find her work in Rattle, Bloom Lit Journal, Cliterature, BoySlut,
Little Raven, Menacing Hedge, rawboned, and elsewhere. Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural 
Weekly. She lives in La La Land in an 8th floor loft studio with her collaborator/husband, Jim. 
They have a spectacular view.


I want to scream 
"Fire!" in the
kiddie matinee, 
just to watch
those little 
fuckers scatter.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Plan B / ....leave a message

Doug Mathewson 

Plan B

   Since Dad was in the Air Force our family often moved when we were growing up. Even after they divorced Mom kept moving us. It just became a pattern I guess, and seemed natural. Finally after we ran out  of child support and alimony Mom needed “Plan B”. Santa Fe seemed like a good choice for the three of us. I already painted a mental picture of myself in Art School, my sister planned to rope and brand a cowboy boyfriend for her very own, and poor Mom just wanted a life. A small restaurant with an apartment upstairs over in the Rail Road district was for rent and we got to work. The three of us were excited and all pitched in. Mom is a great cook (she make left-overs exciting even on the  third or fourth time around) and got guys from other restaurants to moonlight in the kitchen on their days off. My sister would wait tables and turn her charm up to eleven. All I was much good for was bus tables, mop the floor, and do whatever art work was needed on menus, signs, and such.
   We all wanted a south western name for the place. A woman’s name, something with appeal that felt intimate and friendly. Arguing back and forth over “Cowgirl this” and “Coyote that” got us no place. It was my sisters idea to hang around the Central Plaza and ask some of the old-time cowboys for advice. “Fine”, said Mom, “you decide, I don’t care, just hurry up, and tell your brother so he can do the signs and print some flyers”. Sis did go talk to those old boys who sat and smoked in the shade by the bandstand. She asked them, “what is your most cherished memory? The best, most wonderful thing you have ever known? Something that will always, always makes you smile no-matter what.” They were a little shy at first, but finally agreed unanimously. When I heard it, I just couldn’t help  but go way-way over the top with the artwork (I thought Mom would be mad).                            
   The restaurant has really worked out ok. Yup, “Rodeo Whore” is quite the little success story, and man do we sell a lot of t-shirts online! 

.... leave a message 

Hello, .... hey it’s me! I’m calling you from Heaven. Can you believe it? This is the last place I’d even imagine ending up! So I only get one phone call, like jail I guess, and wanted to say thanks and goodbye at least for now. Everything happened so suddenly
there wasn’t a chance till now to say how  great you were to me. 

Heaven’s not like you might think. Nothing at all like those cartoons of people with wings
wearing white robes and standing around on clouds. Maybe it was like that once, but not now. I’ll have to ask some of the old timers once I learn my way around. Heaven, or
at least heaven now, is completely individualized. You stay endlessly in what ever was the happiest part of your life. That's what it seems like so far.
Up here I am nine years old and spend my time sitting or lying under different folding tables. The they are in a store that my older sister, Tina, worked at part time after school. It was a pinata store with hundreds of pinatas displayed hanging from the ceiling. Underneath were all these long tables piled high with party supplies including lots of Mexican candy to fill pinatas. There were so many strange sugary treats.  Some with pictures of beautiful ladies with fans dancing, and other ones with funny wrestlers wearing masks! Candy with Jesus or with Saints I didn’t really understand on the wrappers, but all the candy was pure sugar (especially my favorites the decorated sugar skulls). Candy that makes your teeth hurt and your head spin.

Our mom had told Tina she had to keep an eye on me after school, so she took me with her to work. I’d read comics I had brought from home, or borrowed, and eat as much candy as possible. I really loved being there. Hot afternoons, lying on the concrete floor
in the shade of a table with tales of super hero adventure to sweep my racing heart and brain along.

There weren’t many customers during the week back then, and none at all now. Tina’s not here either so I don’t know if she has her own special time and place in Heaven or
has gone to Hell like Sister Maria Dolores said she would. 

So far I haven’t seen anybody we know which, all things considered, probably makes sense. I shouldn’t form an opinion yet as most people our age are still young and healthy. I do wonder about older relatives, old people who were neighbors, family
friends, the postman or anybody. I can’t really picture them damned for eternity 
so they must be in their own Heaven. 

I hope it will be a a very long time before you get here, and some how I know that you will, but when you do, look for me. “Tio Bo-Bo’s” store in an old strip mall on RT-66, three blocks west of “Old Town” in Albuquerque new Mexico. I have freckles and a buzz-cut. You’ll know me. I’m the kid vibrating at a frequency only dogs can hear, a Jarittos fruit-punch in one shaky hand an old copy of “The Caped Avenger” in the other.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Nilimesh Dutta lives in Kolkata. He writes very seldom, and writes in Bengali alternative little magazines.


 I was so drunk that I hollered frantically and puked
all over her place that night.
She’s a very good painter and when I woke up
from my dark slumber I figured in my worst hangover ever
that I puked over her paintings which were wrapped with newspapers
underneath the bed.
She was sobbing.
I went to the bathroom and gagged myself with my finger
and puked twice.
I couldn’t even stand properly.
When I got back, she already washed the place.
I muttered to her ears
This is just IT baby, our LOVE is just
like those puke stained paintings.
She didn’t answer.
I started fondling her.
She didn’t resist.
I undressed her.
The moment I was gonna put my thing inside her
She said

My penis just wilted like those puke stained paintings!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Name? Charles Banks, Jr.

Age? 25 years old.

Location? Long Beach, California

How long have you been writing? Since Age nine.

Do you have a specific writing style? I think every writer is different in his or her own unique approach to writing. But I don’t think I can objectively categorize my own writing. I do like to hear and read what readers of my work have to say though.

Do you write as a career? Yes. I have written seven books of poems (three poetry chapbooks) and aspire to write novels and screenplays.

Do you write full-time? Yes, full-time!

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? I think my greatest accomplishment as a writer is having the ability to recreate the human experience.

What is your ultimate goal as a writer? My ultimate goal as a writer is to recreate the human experience. Through writing, I have come to realize that all humans experience the same emotions, trials and tribulations, highs and lows, regardless of Race or ethnic background.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer? My greatest challenge as a writer used to be authenticity. But now I feel much more comfortable in my own skin as an individual. So much that I don’t have any anxieties about what I write, or how people will react to my writing.

What projects of yours have been recently published? In the last year, I have published three chapbooks of poetry. Concrete Promises (Writing as Curiosity), Burdens (Writing as Black Angel), and Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic (Writing as Black Angel).

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? At the moment, I am promoting my recent book, Confessions of a Hopeless Romantic (Writing as Curiosity), and finishing up another poetry chapbook called #TheRealness, which is two chapbooks in one. Confessions was inspired by the high and low points of a relationship.

Where can we find your work? My work is available on,, and

       How often do you write? I do not write every day! It all depends on whether or not I am working on a book. I like to develop concepts for books before actually writing the book.

       How do you react to rejections? Rejection used to bother me when I was younger. But, like most writers come to realize, rejection is a part of the business. And since I am a publisher also at Spilt Ink Poetry, I understand both sides of the coin.

       How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? It humbles me. It’s so difficult to get published. I consider it a great accomplishment to get published. It means that my words have resonated with someone, and that in itself is a humbling experience.

       What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? I would suggest that writers remember why they began writing in the first place. In my opinion, writing is a journey, and intimate journey between writer, pen, and page. It can be pleasurable at times, and unnerving. But that is life in a nutshell.

       What is your favorite book? I don’t have a favorite book. My personal library, which has over two hundred novels, anthologies, and poetry collections, is quite diverse.

       Who is your favorite author? Some of my favorite authors include Langston Hughes, Theodore Roethke, and Lucille Clifton.

        If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? I would love to meet Jesse and Celine from those “Before Sunset” “Before Sunrise” “Before Midnight” movies. I don’t know, I think it’s pretty cool that two complete strangers can meet spontaneously and instantly connect.

        What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer? Not sure.

        What is your favorite word? PEACE.

        What makes you laugh? Witty humor. Like television shows such as Frasier.

      What makes you cry? When children suffer from illness or disease.

What is your preferred drink while you write? I do not drink while writing.

Beach or Mountains? Mountains.

Cats or Dogs? Dogs.

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? The Beatles.

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra? Sinatra.

Shakespeare or Bukowski? Bukowski.

     Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like.

Personal website/blog:

Facebook profile or page:

Twitter profile:

Other page(s) or profile(s):

      Books for sale and/or press

QUESTIONS: Please answer in 5 words or less
1. Where do you live, city & country or state?  Long Beach, California, USA.
2. From your country what is the most unusual food you like, that most foreigners would hate? None.
3.  If you had to live in any country besides yours, what would be your favorite & least favorite, in that order? Paris, France. Genoa, Italy. Amsterdam.
4. If you were stranded naked on a deserted island & were allowed one thing, what would it be? (no transportation allowed) A book, a pen and notebook.
5.  If you could only choose one book as your favorite, what would it be? Charlotte’s Web.
6. If you could have a conversation with anyone, dead & alive, who would it be, in that order? Cain, from the Bible. Michael Jackson, Napoleon Bonaparte.
7. If you could have sex with anyone, dead & alive, who would it be, in that order? Mariah Carey, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Winslet, Stacey Dash.
8. What is your favorite movie & television show, in that order? Frasier, Dexter, Before Sunrise, Halloween, Chucky.
9. If you could only have one super power, what would it be? Premonitions.
10. If you found a magic lamp & got three wishes, what would they be? 1. Cancer-free. 2. Success. 3. WORLD PEACE.

Friday, October 10, 2014

West Virginia, 1987

Mark Sutz writes with stolen pens on diner napkins. He resides just around the corner.

West Virginia, 1987

The hunter pissed a hot stream of Tabasco into the bear’s mouth when he saw the animal, its paw trapped by the iron claw. Rain pulsed down in capsules thick like fingers. A deer stopped, licked the oozing sap from a tree. The hunter shouldered his gun, moved on gingerly. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Bradford Middleton was born in south-east London in 1971 and spent the next thirty years trying to escape.  He now lives in Brighton and has been trying to escape here since about 2008.  He has won a few local competitions, has been published widely online and recently completed his debut novel DIVE. 


Fuck fuck fuck
I ain’t in a long time
But right now
All i want to do is scream
My mind is bent all out of shape
Cos shit this week
Has been mostly insane
A neighbour hung herself
Whilst again I been
Drinking and smoking way too much again


Desperation has gripped me firm and all I know is now, now is the time I’ve got to get out
Out of this flat in this house of the last resort where the bugs now reign supreme
And the pesky maintenance guy is trying to blame it all on me
But not this time, not any more am I going to take the blame for something I ain’t done
How can one person be responsible anyway?  They come in from anywhere
Through the skirting boards, through the wooden floors and up the walls
Or worse yet lost in the acrid scum that has developed all over my carpet

But in this town there ain’t anywhere new for me
I dig up four of five places a day and they all reply with the same two answers
If you’re on housing benefit too bad, even if you work part-time
Or news that the place has already gone
Even occasionally I’ll arrange a viewing and grow excited and I’ll show up, wait
Looking like I’m casing the area for a burglary before finally realising that the agent can’t even bother to show
Leaving me just feeling angry and increasingly desperate, desperate to escape this house of last resort

When I moved to this town I was desperate, desperate for a new beginning
A bit of the quiet life that I’d grown accustomed to whilst away at university
But a job of any kind, let alone well paid and full-time, was impossible to find
So I fell in with the writing crowd, desperate to find some like-minded souls
After what I saw I decided it seemed like a bit of fun so I started the writing
Eventually I became a published poet and even finished my debut novel
But all this time the only job I could get was as a low-paid sales assistant role

Now they seem to be telling me that is not enough, you need more
More money to move in here despite the fact my life, miraculously, costs not much
Obviously I need to get some help off the housing benefit but I’d even need to do that if I was working full-time
So again it appears we’re in a place that reek of rented rooms rather than a real home
I’ve not got long, need to make plans and see what transpires
It could mean a move out of this city that seems to exclude my types
But where to then and could there be any better?

Friday, October 3, 2014

New York to Chicago An Email Alert / Singles Dance at the Union Hall / So You Came Tomorrow, Hear?

Nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes, Donal Mahoney has had work published in Mad Swirl and other publications in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of his earliest work can be found at

New York to Chicago: An Email Alert

By email I ask her
what color panty
what color bra

Red, she replies
Silk. Lace.

or panty hose?

Stockings, she says.
Very high.

Flats or heels?

in my suitcase,
she says. 
Small shop
off Broadway.

Take a cab
from the airport,
I tell her.
I'll pay

if the pilot
won't land in 
our yard.

Singles Dance at the Union Hall

A skirt too tight on Carol Ann
summoned forth a handsome man

who said he had a foolproof plan
to help her get that skirt off

once the dance was over but 
she'd have to take him home.

He couldn't help her now
and interrupt the band. 

Carol Ann had often heard 
better lines from men and so

she told him she had criteria
to qualify a man who sought

to verify her assets.
First, he had to be a gentleman,

obtain the blessing of her father, 
and flash a rock with many facets.

Only then might such a man
have a chance to say "I do."

So You Come Back Tomorrow, Hear?

The next morning the lady says 
take me out for breakfast
someplace I have never been
someplace I will never see again 
unless you come back 
and take me there again
an empty diner where the grill man 
gives us sausage, bacon, eggs, 
pours more coffee in our mugs.
That's the place I want to go forever.
So you come back tomorrow, hear?
and take me there again.