I wish for brother to be not such an unfamiliar word to me lighting candles and minds with stories, climbing mountains made out of the storeys of the house we almost grew up in together – backpacks on, climbing shoes, ropes made out of bedsheets, tiny mountaineers opining on everything, opening gifts at Christmas, now pining for rewinding – if we could, I wish we could do it together
Dad says “Fluids!”, when we complain we are hot. “You’re dehydrated,” he says, even if we think we’re not.
“You need fluids!” Dad says, when we’re playing in the garden. “Fluids!” he says, when we pound the streets of London.
“Fluids!” he says in Paris as we watch Mickey’s parade. “Fluids!” he says, as we retreat into the shade.
“Fluids!” Dad says, in Portsmouth and in Yarmouth. “Fluids!” Dad says, and every time we laugh.
“Fluids!” Dad says, as we walk on Jersey’s shores “Fluids!” he says, in every place that we explore.
“Fluids!” he says, putting a drink in front of us. “Looking forward to some fluids”, as we ride the airport bus.
“Fluids! Get it down yer”, when we’re in town, shopping. “Fluids!” in Orlando, when we’re Disney park-hopping.
“Fluids!” is his mantra up in the Scottish Highlands. “Fluids!” as we float towards Gothenburg’s islands.
“Fluids!” he says in Miami, Wales and Spain And on the beach in the Bahamas he repeats himself again.
“Fluids!” Dad says, in Nottingham and Birmingham. “Fluids!” Dad says, by the canals of Amsterdam.
“Fluids!” Dad says, as we push through Times Square. “Fluids!” he barks and wags his finger in the air.
“Fluids!” he will say when we hunt for the Northern Lights, “Fluids!” he will say when we sample Stockholm’s delights.
“Fluids!” He grins and stretches out the word. “Fluids!” we all chant, as we explore the world.
I have been sheltering people subconsciously and still when I send them the miniscule the threads the summary the dregs they do not respond why do they not respond? it has been too hard to give them anything so far and now I have given something they do not take it take it take my ovaries take my diseased womb take everything that has to come with it take my tears take my worst fears my operations take everything I am showing you because it is nothing compared to the rest of the things I have I have so much stock in the back room take this and then if you run out I will give you some more see how you get on with this first I say and they don’t take it I can’t say anything more to convince them because my voice box is shattered and speaking is too hard it is shattered as in tired shattered as in destroyed shattered as in shards sticking in my throat and what am I supposed to do with this? what am I supposed to do with these fragments of words they won’t take? I cannot pull them out of my own throat and put them inside someone else’s there are other people who would happily take these shards and eat them like sword swallowers like fire eaters if it would spare me there are people who would do anything to spare me and other people who will not take my spare words who will not spare me their words any words would do just to say message received a delivery report a read receipt signed in their handwriting fucking anything what am I supposed to do with this silence? I can’t replace the shards in my throat with silence I could soothe them with something soft I could soothe myself with something soft I can’t reach out I can’t reach out there is no future I can see I am too afraid to look cover my eyes this isn’t me I have shelved myself temporarily maybe forever and I need people to tell me that they still see me to tell me I exist to remove these shards to tell me shards are not the only thing left in my world replace the shards with real words walk to me reach out to me touch me without expecting me to reach back sometimes I can’t reach back so quickly it’s the shards you see those damn shards every time I move every time I try to speak they stick I need everyone else to stick softly take a shard and sand it down sand me down make me see me make me see them and in seeing them see me make me see them and in seeing they will see me make me see them and in seeing them I will see me remove the future from my sight where it can’t hurt me remove the shards from my throat where they can’t bite me fight for my sanity make me make me see only the soft make me see softly speak to me softly say anything softly fucking anything softly
Sam Rose is a writer from England and the editor of Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. Her work has appeared in Scarlet Leaf Review, Rat’s Ass Review, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Haiku Journal, and others. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to rock music and eating too much chocolate. Find her at her website and on Twitter.
My thoughts came together While strolling in the fall, As the leaves were tumbling. Acrobats soared through The sky with A coloured silhouette. Glorious colours were scattered At my feet.
I saw footprints In the snow today. I could be part Indian. The tracks were on a road To another woman’s house. I should have seen it a long time ago. All the signs were there.
The soup told us winter was coming. The beef bones had stewed all morning Until the vegetables and spices were added. I dipped my cornbread Into the stew, Getting ready for the upcoming chill.
Here comes my regular customer. I’m getting the peanuts out. She’s not a good tipper And she is so messy. We won’t make a profit today. She’s such a party pooper.
Moss Covered Shoes
Moss covered shoes were found In the forest. Had someone walked a mile in them? There is probably a story here. Perhaps the moss felt like carpet beneath someone’s toes, And they left the shoes there to collect dust.
Mary Bone has been published at Literary Librarian, Spillwords, Vita Brevis Literature, Halcyon Days, Best Poetry Website, and Family Friend Poems
the morning red sky the pearl diver on board ship ferrymen’s ayres seaweed under sea with the most propitious pearls hidden by seaman matutinal sun keel swimming to new island laden with the pearls when the tide is out pearl diver is fetching pearls from sunken vessel weird of afterglow pearler singing song of moon breaks sea-solitude under summer moon a pearl in dreamy gull’s beak marine wizardry
Pawel Markiewicz was born 1983 in Poland (Siemiatycze). His English haikus and short poems are published by Ginyu (Tokyo), Atlas Poetica (USA), The Cherita (UK), Tajmahal Review (India) and Better Than Starbucks (USA). More of Pawel’s work can be found on Blog Nostics.
Before I sleep and slip, Into a deep coma of dreams, I place my feelings into a bottle, And throw that bottle in the ocean blue, To cast out negativity, And to reach some form of life, In my dreams.
I send out thousands of words, But no words are strong enough, To express how I really feel.
There are some stunning humans, On this planet, Yet when I look in the mirror, I see a dark creature, Not worthy to walk this land. When the night comes, It covers my imperfections, When the sun rises, I slither back, Into the shadows.
I don’t feel like a human being, Maybe because, Deep down, I don’t speak human.
In mercado cages dull peach-faced love birds lack the sunshine they need The carcasses of dead animals are more vibrant than the live ones
A poster shows two female boxers One is Elena Menendez They are both heavily muscled and know that they will be hit as hard as they hit and that it will hurt them in the day and damage them in the night and in the weeks and months to come until the next fight which will be worse and the next worse yet until they can no longer raise their fists to defend themselves
I look in Elena’s eyes and see her thoughts: Why did I have to be a fighter? I love the sweet sounds of the violin Why couldn’t I have been a violinist?
A peach-faced love bird escapes its cage flies up and perches on a dead electric wire next to Elena’s photo posed with her fists up dangerous despite her fear
My wife is having a manic episode and has convinced herself that she is invulnerable that it is safe for her to drink the local water I leave the bathroom give the attendant ten pesos return to my wife standing under Elena’s poster just as she is finishing a big dirty glass full
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. His new poetry collection was published by Pski’s Porch Publications in 2019, The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face, He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.
i still remember the look in her eyes the first time i heard that song blasting between the neon at the club
i had dreams of forever
and she just needed another free drink
neither of us left satisfied that night
for the rest of our lives
i stopped believing in love when the woman of my dreams decided she’d rather have a life without my dick in it
of course, we were going to remain friends for the rest of our lives
until three weeks later
she called with the news of a new boyfriend
i was out two thousand dollars and had a broken heart that never would be repaired
that was twenty years ago
time doesn’t heal shit
an old lover whistling in a graveyard
embrace the pain
an old lover whistling in a graveyard
that haunting laughter in the distance is god
she doesn’t necessarily expect and wish for your failure
but success is as likely as the souls in this graveyard ever seeing the sun
the empty page eventually becomes my therapist
i only wish it would ask better questions
pressing my lips
the rain touches her lips like tears from a god we all stopped believing in years ago
i remember unbuttoning her shirt and pressing my lips to a nipple
she started to pull down my jeans and i was thankful i lived a quarter mile off of the road
and none of my neighbours could see this part of the property
J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is currently trapped in suburbia, plotting his revenge. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Record Magazine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Horror Sleaze Trash, Synchronized Chaos, and Chiron Review. His most recent chapbook, the taste of blood on christmas morning, was published by Analog Submission Press. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights & Goodreads
Octopuses hand them tools as they work to right the Costa Concordia laying ruined on its starboard side
After work the divers drink in bars and recount their undersea exploits to avid women
while the octopuses slither back into their holes where some of them fondle large wrenches or pieces of steel cable
There is something so strangely tactile about these objects The octopuses embrace them with their entire bodies and have multiple orgasms far more orgasms than the divers who have gone to bed early to be ready for another day at work under the surface
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, is based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. His new poetry collection was published in 2019, The Arrest of Mr Kissy Face, He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.
you have to wonder at the flavour, and savour the smell, accept taste the bitterness of it; gooseberries and fresh appleflesh. you have to get sunlight pouring over windowsills and spilling into ditches onto drunks going home. that’s wine, see? this: going home. a skip in the road and light which shines in a bottle. a kiss from your friend returned again after too long gone off at sea.
D.S. Maolalai is a graduate of English Literature from Trinity College in Dublin and has been nominated for Best of the Web, and twice for the Pushcart Prize. His poetry has been released in two collections, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden (Encircle Press, 2016) and Sad Havoc Among the Birds (Turas Press, 2019).
In our chapel at Golden Pines, Amber light through stained glass, Across the burgundy cushions, Greying heads, hip and knee replacements, A new organ fills the room: Bach, Widor’s toccata, Three manuals, hundreds of stops. Digital, no pipes, which means to some It is not real. Oh, but is it— The swells, crescendos, The noble trumpet of the Prince of Denmark’s March. It replaces the kind of organ You used to hear in cafeterias, Playing for the Civitans. Our friend explains, improvises for us; Keys change. How many would be so bold As to put on display the skills Of a life’s work, now Compromised by time. It is marvellous, we think, in every way. At last we have at Golden Pines An instrument fit for a sanctuary, For a service of last rites.
Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladders, published in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.