Monday, September 30, 2019



Everything fell from the statue
and crawled toward the city
toward the people drinking coffee
or wandering aimless streets
the people arguing
and the people asleep on benches
and some saw it coming
and thought they could fix things or hide
maybe escape
but there was nowhere to go
and the things crawling from the statue
came to the city
and the people were consumed for a time
and then some of them
went about their business
and some retreated to darkness
and when the bombs finally dropped
it was the children
who went to the statue
and stood there accusing the lie
and when death came
it came for everyone
and all that was left
was the statue
broken and aflame
and then there was nothing
and no way home ever again

--Jeff Weddle

From the book Citizen Relent published by Unlikely Books

Sunday, September 29, 2019


the belly of hell

yesterday’s clothes
wet with sweat
hang limp a locker

today’s clothes
come off
lie on a vacant bench
socks on cold concrete

yesterday’s clothes
again, now slowly
clammy thermal underwear
jeans then flame-retardant pants
thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt
flame retardant coat

helmet under arm
rubber boots slide on
squeak across tile floor

already sweating
locker room door opens
door to the shop floor opens
constant thunder

storms of graphite
climb in cracks
irritate any exposed skin

this is the forecast
the weather of a ten-hour night
the belly of hell awaits

--Jason Baldinger

Saturday, September 28, 2019


Women’s Work

They think it is just the
child care
or the care of the home

when they talk about

women’s work

but it is more
it is the labor
of lifting and carrying men
of making sure they are
emotionally sustained
that they are cared for
and loved
and promised that everything
will be okay

This is women’s work
as much
as managing accounts
and picking up the children
when they fall.

This is women’s work
as much as changing the coffee filter
and knowing which kid
on the soccer team has a peanut allergy.

We are open
to everyone
lovers and friends
coworkers and strangers
we with the power to heal all
and openness
are considered
only feminine

instead of human

We are the nurturers
which means
we are


and you can come to us
mouths open
teeth bared
whenever your
matters more

than ours

--Ally Malinenko

Friday, September 27, 2019


Drafting Pencils

Salesmen would use
our drafting pencils
and keep them -
as if they were
just pencils.

That is like using,
a machinists micrometer,
a welders mig welder,
a carpenters Skilsaw.

Tools of the trade.

Some day I’m gonna
break into his
gold embossed
leather briefcase
and steal his
vapid personality.

--Thomas R. Thomas 

Thursday, September 26, 2019


fear and loathing in springville, ny

somewhere out there
was a book of poetry
with my name on it
but an editor who wouldn’t return my calls
so i made art out of carrying
windows and doors down wet planks
in an early april mixture of snow and rain
when the truck died in springville
i wanted to call it a sonnet
hungry and tired we were miles away from anything
but some asshole’s half-built mansion
but the radio worked
so joey and i sat huddled in the cab
listening to hate-filled pundits
and sipping the dregs of cold coffee
waiting for someone from the company
to come and pick us up
my body was writing haikus
to sore backs and banged up knees
to a rust belt city where a guy
couldn’t get a decent job to save his life
and all joey wanted to talk about were guns
and school shootings
how much he hated black people
even though they didn’t
have anything to do with either of those things
and how when his dad died
he’d probably sell the company
to the competitor
instead of carrying it on
maybe get himself a house down south
near half-naked women on a beach
i thought about my editor
and my book of poetry
how no one buys poetry
but almost everyone owns a gun
i thought about the turkey sandwich
that i didn’t buy at the wegman’s
on our way to the job that morning
a little insurance for my stomach
that i wasn’t willing to make
how joey’s dad ate two slices of pepperoni pizza
every day for lunch
and paid me next to minimum wage
to break my ass
and act as a sounding board
for his idiot son
so when joey turned the ignition again
just for shits and giggles
and the car suddenly turned over
and we pulled out of the work site slop
back on to the highway
i thought about how
when we got back
i was going to secretly quit the job
drive down to the pizza restaurant
and get me two slices of pepperoni
eat them in the car
with a nice cold beer
and some coltrane playing on the stereo
pretend that i was a millionaire
best-selling author for an hour
then crawl the two miles back to the warehouse
to wait on the next job
or the next immortal poem
to come.

--John Grochalski


Wednesday, September 25, 2019


King of His Universe

He lived in the best Penthouse
in the best city, with the best
view. He only shit in a gold toilet.
He works for himself and has
personal assistants to run his
life, there is no mud on his shoes,
a private chef brings in his meals.
He has a model wife, but he has
not found the perfect woman. He
knows he is good at sex because
he practices on his own. If he needs
an elephant at 3 AM someone
will get him an elephant pronto,
this is the power he wields
and he is king of his universe
even if his queen has not
been crowned.

 --Julene Tripp Weaver

Julene Tripp Weaver is a psychotherapist and writer in Seattle. She has a chapbook and two full size poetry books. Her most recent, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and won the Bisexual Book Award (2017). Her work is widely published in journals and anthologies. Find her online at & @trippweavepoet

Tuesday, September 24, 2019


The Terror

our government is holding us hostage

wack-a-zoids with high capacity rifles
are blowing us away

we only hear about the ones with high death counts
there are hundreds of others on smaller scales
happening every day

the government is allowing this to happen
they know that gun control would stop it instantly
but they won’t do it, they won’t help us

everyone knows that scared sheep
will just stick to the herd

and there’s so much money to be made
in the business

of death

--Heidi Blakeslee

Monday, September 23, 2019


                                AN EXCELLENT CONCOCTION

He spreads truth 
with raspberry jam 
on crackers 
eats it whole

has never tried it 
with another flavor

--Robert Beveridge

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in New American Legends, Toho Journal, and Chiron Review, among others.

Sunday, September 22, 2019



it takes a rhythm
to do the the boring things.
one can’t dream or think

or you lose your way in the
pursuit of mediocrity.

one two three four
one two three

--Thomas R. Thomas

Saturday, September 21, 2019


The Space Around You At Every Moment Of This World

This is somewhat of a comfort
at a high price
the price of freedom
just try to break
the routine
just you try it
after the war
That's what draws me to them
their wild scratching
and then they sing out
beat hips punk da
da they dare
Focus: berries
They didn't need
to talk about me
it was in their looks
as I trudged with the rugs
washed with goat soap
in the icy lake
we brought them back
they said my legs were pretty
I knew I should hide them
my most useful items
in my toolkit
my basket woven
of the best grasses
twigs I could search for
it was not enough to please them
it would not be what I remembered
it was the rounded loaves
the fish baked inside
little roosters it was called
We lived inside stone circles
to weigh down the tent
now it is called Barras
where it filled with water
my red felt
zigzags at the seams
where my fingers can follow
they have big hooves
for walking
on the crusty snow
Soviet architecture
down in town
where in summer
at the dance pavilion
others gather
Mosquitoes or no mosquitoes
anyway I left them
to their elbows
their stepping shoes
Doghair birch and velvet
cover mountains
beside the patch of H
two oh
even here I start to miss
things absent
from my thoughts
Well I died
nobody noticed
not even the rich the known
nor the poor
not known to them either
The herd has found lichen
here often
pick the best to chew
purple glint eyes golden
In 1496 the familiar
was not
that anymore--
backwards writing
the mill hidden
by all those willows
houses too slanted
to be of any use
color became
something else
around so much water
riches resources
I know green is a color
but that is not green in Duerer's "Willow Mill"
That is the color of electricity and metal sun rain.
J.V. Cunningham
proposes noise
creates all.
the body the bones
look time
in the face,
then erase
this memory.
This might take
some thinking
then forgetting about
the thinking. I got lost
at purposes.
Normally, I should last
until fiction then
want to sneak a peek
at death
towards the very end
without actually
ending up there.
Here lies my white '81 VW Rabbit
rusting just a little bit more
after all that hullaballoo
over the oil
I will join it soon
my rabbity teeth
lost under some tires
or that cheap jack
in the back under
the heavy hatch
everyone slammed too hard
like it was an old pickup
and not the European auto
it was never dying
how it did my youth
The auto junkyard
a lot
up to
possibly volcanic
what happens
in Raymondville
Pie Town
easily Poe Town
& whether it is
beside the Mississippi
or another long place
time is not enough
for life living
it was not stormy
at the graveyard
or the junkyard

--Susan Kay Anderson