Friday, January 31, 2020


Rearranging Deck Chairs on the S.S. Trumptanic

Fifty-one percent
of the American public
want Ginger Judas convicted,
frog-marched to prison, locked behind bars.

Rethug lawyers and toadies circle their wagons,
circumvent the Constitution,
whine and spew disinformation,
claim day is night, up is down.

Their goal is to normalize corruption,
obstruct justice, hold and abuse power,
replace republic with dictatorship,
disenfranchise voters, suck taxpayers dry.

They posture, lie, protect their mad leader,
double down on culpability,
reinforce white male privilege,
rubber stamp whatever nonsense they’re told.

--Jennifer Lagier

Thursday, January 30, 2020



                                         Photography by John Grochalski

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


my local baseball card shop
rides the trump train

people can reveal themselves
with the weight and force of a hammer

or it can be as subtle
as a simple suggestion

all we were talking about
was the baseball cheating scandal
and a new manager for the mets

maybe i spied some 1988 topps
and had a ten-spot burning a hole in my pocket’
to try and finish off the set

but then i saw that hat on display

black with cheap stitching
like it was made in some sweatshop
we americans love to pretend to forget

all aboard the trump train!

just sitting there
with the mets and yankees ones

like part of a team

it’s always jarring to see that shit

especially somewhere that you
shop in at least once a week
to get that wax and gum-stained nostalgia

that cardboard fix

and i wasn’t prepared for a moral quandary
my conscience suddenly faced with a dilemma

all i wanted
was to recapture a childhood thrill
and call some millionaire ballplayers cheating scum

not get trapped inside
my own partisan debate

weigh the ethics of capitalism

yet there it sat
mr. baseball card selling man

the river wide
that suddenly separated you from me

that hat

looking as cheap and sleazy
as the orange-colored russian asset himself

all aboard the trump train!

and i bought those baseball cards anyway
and now i only need ten cards to finish the set

but it feels
as tainted as the constitution
my good man

a hollow joy

like dimestore candy

or how republicans must feel
every time they smile wide and say

god bless america!

--John Grochalski


Tuesday, January 28, 2020



 They strike in the night
when you are tight asleep.
They don’t care about age or infirmity.
They’re the physical embodiment
of karma or hell.
They inhabit all Dante’s circles.

Since banning DDT,
they are multiplying
and marching.
They don’t care if you live in
a hovel or a suite. They want to
feed off your blood and lay eggs
in your bed.

Bites make you tear your skin,
leaving scars on body and soul.
getting rid of them
will require professional help.
Some will escape
to another dwelling.
They got to my neighbor,
then they got to me;
hell travels forward..

--Jeri Thompson

Monday, January 27, 2020



                                                Photograhpy by John Grochalski

Sunday, January 26, 2020



“poetry should again assume responsibility for the description of history” – Ed Sanders

Poets must witness the trial
Of the criminal-in-chief

Let them sit in the Senate chamber
Let them listen
Let them observe as
Elephants and donkeys
Bellow and bray across
The insurmountable aisle
Refusing discourse
Avoiding evidence
Casting their predetermined
Pre-sworn fully biased votes
Into the thickening miasma of
Poisoned political process
Puffing and strutting
Playing to the cameras
To the corporate media
To the exhausted electorate
Who await the foregone conclusion
The predestined verdict
As though it could be
Considered news

Then let the poets report
What they have experienced
In real time blogging
As broadsides, chapbooks
Printed each day and distributed
On street corners while still hot

The truth not the news
Outrage not entertainment

Send in the poets if you dare
Let the poets speak!

--M.J. Arcangelini

Saturday, January 25, 2020



        “People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times
         as opposed to once. They end up using more water.”

                                 Donald J. Trump, 45th President 
                                of the United States of America

Marizio Cattelan’s solid golden crapper
has gone missing, prematurely ripped
from its moorings at Blenheim Palace,
the birthplace of Winston Churchill
in Woodstock, England.

The irony is breathtaking: A theft from the birthplace
            of the man who saved western civilization
of the contrivance essential to the very existence
            of humanity as we know it. Over the years
an armada of typically porcelain relief receptacles

has afforded generations of leaders and followers,
            noblemen and commoners alike, momentous
moments of mercy and, for some, mystical inspiration.
            The famous psychoanalyst, Erik Erikson,
in his justly ignored book, Young Man Luther,

argued that Martin Luther’s constipation rendered
            him terminally antagonistic to the bowel
paralyzing rigors of interminable hours imprisoned
            in the confessional. Peristalsis became, for him,
a manual task only enabled by long walks around Rome

where he became disgusted with sales on indulgences
            and the blatant salaciousness of his fellow
clerics which convinced him that absolution,
            as well as laxation, is something strictly
between a man and his God. Absolution probably

wasn’t on the mind of Thomas Crapper, royal sanitary
            engineer to King Edward VII and King
George V, and inventor of the floating ballcock which
            enables our toilet tanks to fill with water
and, notably, the U bend plumbing trap in 1880

which vastly improved the S bend trap because it
cut the odor by leaps and bounds and, thereby,
 pleased both monarch and prole. Hence, the term
            “crapper” which has rightly immortalized
the inventor of this life saving/sustaining appliance.

Crapper also invented the man hole cover, but
            I shall leave that connection to the few
psychoanalysts left who might prattle
            on the subject. Deep into this poem
I realize that I have neglected to mention

the title Cattelan gave to his lustrous creation.
            He called it, “America.” I suppose,
being Italian, Cattelan, felt a kinship with
            his countryman, Amerigo Vespucci,
argued by some to be the true discoverer

of our large land, and felt he could comment
            on the dire situation in which we find
ourselves with a billionaire in the White House
who feels put upon if forced to read
anything besides the wrapper on a Big Mac.

Still, he is a billionaire, fixated on gold and
            most certainly convinced of the greatness
of his kak. What better contrivance to welcome
            and contain the presidential poop than
a solid gold commode worth three million dollars?

No one has direct knowledge of where Cattelan’s
            crapper has gone to, but investigators could
do worse than work their way into the living quarters
            of the White House, which is, of course,
the people’s house—a place where even the lowest

among us deserves, in this democracy, to defecate
            in the same splendor as the leader
of the free world, a right we hold to be not
            only self-evident, but the very essence
of the pursuit of happiness.

--Charlie Brice

 Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), and An Accident of Blood (2019), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta Review, The Main Street Rag, Chiron Review, Permafrost, I-70 Review, The Paterson Literary Review, and elsewhere

Friday, January 24, 2020



                                             Photography by John Grochalski

Thursday, January 23, 2020


Downtown Squirrels

Downtown squirrels live a gritty life.
Not many plots of grass or leafy trees.
Downtown squirrels are grounded squirrels
who spend their time dodging cars
and dogs who chase and bark. They dig through trash
for food and fight gardeners for palm fronds.

Downtown squirrels don’t have the luxury
of their uptown brothers who needn’t live
like bandits. Uptown squirrels make
people smile and children giggle. They live
in nut-filled parks, free of
guard dogs and rush-hour traffic.

Who scratched the lucky lotto ticket
or threw the dice that decided against us
and not our uptown brothers?

--Jeri Thompson

Wednesday, January 22, 2020



How soon, I wonder,
Before it starts for real?

Will it announce
With self immolation in the square?
Or a policeman's gunshot in a crowd?

The full manifestation
Of the Cult of Trump.

Is this the death of civility?
No, of civilization.

A friend composes a riddle:
What is the difference between a Republican cop

And an SS guard?


What is the difference between a separated family in Texas

A child concentration camp in Arizona
A woman deported to die at the hands of her abuser
And Auschwitz or Buchenwald?

While some debate the tactical value
Of denying service to hate squads in suburban restaurants

I fantacize peppering the chicken salad with ground glass.

And I'm a committed pacifist.

From whence cometh our comfort
As the ground shakes?

We are all of us slouching towards Nuremburg.

--Charles Kruger

Tuesday, January 21, 2020



"Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

the weaker sex
denies the

their grip
of power will

slip from their
fetid fingers

within their
manly brains

--Thomas R. Thomas

Monday, January 20, 2020


Three years....a little reminder of where we are as a nation:

Moscow Mitch’s Kangaroo Court

Pelosi pounded Senate Republicans for wanting to forgo witnesses and other evidence in trial. “Documentation, witnesses, facts, truth, that is what they're afraid of,” she said.

“Kangaroo court: any crudely or irregularly operated court, especially one so controlled as to render a fair trial impossible.”—

The senate majority leader boasts,
I’m not an impartial juror,”
vows coordination with White House lawyers
to cover up corruption, obstruction, treason.

Alt-right Faux News cultists
confuse literacy with liberalism,
rage and defame, pollute social media
with simplistic propaganda.

Republican senators stonewall,
commit to quick impeachment acquittal.
Adderall-addicted Pretender-in-chief
sniffs, rambles, unravels.

At rallies across a divided country,
frustrated constituents demand justice,
promise to bring a blue wave in November,
cleanse Washington’s fouled Augean stable.

 --Jennifer Lagier 

Sunday, January 19, 2020


homeless quilt

the cops are smiling
on facebook

beefy knuckleheads
who haven’t read a book
except to throw one at you
for some trumped-up bullshit

they are holding up
a group of taped together cardboard signs

a homeless “quilt” they call it in their post

signs they took from people
panhandling on the streets

one sign says

need help
thank you &
god bless

another says

trying to make it
anything helps
god bless

there are seven to eight more like it
all bunched together

and the cops in the picture
are smiling their cops smiles
while dressed in their little cop uniforms

they look well-fed
like they’ve never missed a meal

never not had a roof over their heads
or someone else to wipe their asses

or been stuck on the street
any longer than it takes
to order a cup of coffee

catch their little cop reflection
in a rearview mirror

before marching off to hassle
another broken someone

whom america has gone
and yet again let down.

--John Grochalski


Saturday, January 18, 2020


hymn to endless war

after september eleventh
everyone had tower ash in their mouths
everyone wanted a fight
now bang the drums of war

my brothers’ best friend
was black ops, first over
my brother wanted to be there
he, perpetually mad at me

I, with history, listed all the misdeeds
the malfeasance, the meddling
the bloodstains across this country's
short timeline. two thousand people
died needlessly, but that moment

that moment could have been
unique. if we had said our foreign policy
led us here, our policies were cruel
were wrong, maybe the world
could have forgiven us, maybe that's fantasy

instead we got twenty years in endless war
most of our history is endless war
most of my life is endless war

it's been pondered with
this administration that
our reichstag fire is near
that fascism will be brought
in, the gleam will fall out
of the eyes of democracy

I wonder if that reichstag fire
happened that september, we missed
It, didn't notice it in our collective
grief, our collective rage. the pump
primed, the military industrial complex took hold

now let us praise powerful men
they beat the drums again
there is only blood and money
to our history, no substance
all we are is the ash of endless war

 --Jason Baldinger

Friday, January 17, 2020


observation in a bar

In a hotel bar
Greensboro NC
my phone sounded
a news alert.
First to hit, HuffPost.
AP, BBC, Aljazeera
soon after.
Ballistic missiles
hit our base in Iraq.
Iran has slapped back.

Asked my server,
Do you have anyone
in the military?
No, she did not, but
she shared the news
through the joint.
Heard a few "what?"
"our base?", et cetera.
Minimal fuss and flurry.
Coverage appeared
on the many TVs.
A few minutes passed.
Channels all flipped
to a basketball game.

Thing is...
no one cared.

This is how we go to war.
The poor/poorish who
pay the blood ransom
are minimally bothered
until the blood is theirs.
Meanwhile, profiteers
scurry joyously to their
overflowing coffers.

--Lana Dealy

Thursday, January 16, 2020


it’s winter and the teen girls
like the pins on my messenger bag

we cry silently
for acknowledgement

we stand stoic

and pray to the gods
for a seat on the evening bus

it’s winter and the teen girls
like the pins on my messenger bag

they point to me and say, hey
as if we were old friends

they say,
we like the pins on your bag

i look at the pins
as if i’d almost forgotten
that they were there

the one that says,
gay rights are human rights

the one that says,
trans is beautiful

the one that says,
fuck trump

the one that says,
read a book and not your phone

the pin for elizabeth warren

and i feel self-conscious
and i believe nakedness is relative

yet i smile
and thank them

think about how someone
could’ve just as easily said
how much they hated me

i mean
this is america after all.

--John Grochalski 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


Food for Thought

Waitress makes a mistake
calculating change, says
I don’t know what
I was thinkin’

Customer wearing the red
Trump 2020 hat responds
Don’t be thinkin’.
Don’t be

--John Burroughs

Tuesday, January 14, 2020


george w. bush does not live in perpetual war

tonight the missiles
are flying in the middle east again

another cartoon tough-guy president
is dick-wagging the only kind of freedom
that america has got

the freedom to destroy

i’m drinking beer
but daydreaming vodka

and the upstairs neighbor
has decided to buff her floors
on a hopeless tuesday night

making it impossible to think or read

but i think of you tonight
george w. bush

i think of you always when the missiles fly

and in your texas mansion

eight years of horror
and hundreds of thousands of deaths on your hands

brushed off like dust on your shoulder

painting pictures of soldiers
that you helped get killed

fat from another barbeque
after another one of your paid speeches

a contented international terrorist
farting on his plush couch

watching reruns of rangers games
putting back a bowl full of pretzels

i think about how
you don’t live in perpetual war

george w. bush

how easy it must be to hide
under that legacy and your daddy’s money

writing shitty memoirs

coming out every so often
to play the loveable idiot

having michelle obama give you candy

there are kids, george w. bush

some adults now really

who’ve never lived
without war

without their moms and dads being shipped away

or living somewhere in a village
hoping not to get blown up
by one of our corporate, freedom bombs

or buried in the dirt
never getting to have once inch
of the privileged life you’ve lived

i think of you tonight
george w. bush

lost in the quiet
of your overgrown home

as i lay here stone-cold sober
on my own couch, hating you

as the neighbors buffing machine roars on ad nauseum

and the bombs fly for nothing
but some rich boy's ego

yet again.

--John Grochalski

Monday, January 13, 2020


Standing Up to Trump’s Hair in a Mighty Wind

              “Let them hate me, so long as they fear me.”

Underneath his harvest of smart hair,
King Don, the chosen one,
The stable genius,
Tweets from Mar-a-Lago,
With no credible or trustworthy evidence,
To kill Qasem Soleimani,
Victor and subduer of ISIS and the Taliban,
Hero and beloved commander of Iran’s
Military forces in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq,
Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Yemen, and
Western Afghanistan.

The only member of Congress
Briefed, Lindsey Graham,
Senate Judiciary Committee chair,
Surrogate vice president,
Disciple and True Believer,
Champion of Manufacturing Consent,
And co-author of Making Fascism Great Again,
Brags and celebrates
About their brilliant geopolitical chess move.

Lying in wait, the Iranians play a slow checkmate game.
What Trump, the smartest man in America,
Doesn’t grasp with his hole in one trophy
Is that he’s been trumped.
Without realizing it, the God-ordained monarch
Has united Shia Muslim countries in the Middle East.

Now, the wannabe racist redeemer
Has set back any possibility
For peace, forever.

--Victor Henry

Sunday, January 12, 2020


Feel Like I’m Fixing to Die Flashback

“Be the first one on your block to have your boy come home in a box.” — Country Joe McDonald

Patriotism flows, miles wide, a millimeter deep
as Cadet Bone Spurs distracts from impeachment
by assassinating General Soleimani,
blind-sides Congress, bypasses the constitution,
shocks un-consulted military leaders and allies,
puts Russia and China on the same page.

Fear of World War III escalates.
Twitterer-in-Chief vows to annihilate
Iranian cultural treasures,
spews idiotic, juvenile threats.
MAGA supporters cream their shorts
at the thought of Armageddon.

Those with both oars in the water
wonder when impotent old white men
will stop slaughtering the next generation.
Faux News network tools titillate
its addicted cult members.
They haven’t figured out
it’s their kids’ blood
that will most likely be shed.

--Jennifer Lagier

Saturday, January 11, 2020


the man in the trump 2020 t-shirt
in the grocery store

there are white power groups
putting up fliers on 86th street in brooklyn

and a banner that hangs
over the rush hour traffic on the BQE
that says, protect white jobs

the politicians are on twitter talking politician talk

they hold rallies with people screaming
this is what democracy looks like!

they write things like
hate has no place in this neighborhood

but all i can think
is that they obviously
don’t drink in the bars down here

the man in the trump 2020 t-shirt
in the grocery store
…he knows the score though

he can walk like a proud peacock
up and down the aisles of this place

grabbing his pasta
and his cans of green beans

trump’s salivating, moron fascist face on his chest

with the words get over it, snowflake
written in big block letters

and no one will say shit to him
because this ain’t manhattan

he can give the arab girls a once over on the street
so that they know what’s what

he can go on twitter and tells those politicians
that they’re the ones
putting up those white power banners
the ones hanging up all of those signs

yeah, they did all of this to make the neighborhood look bad

because nothing is real
everything else is fake news

and he can take himself to his local bar
where everyone knows what a stand-up guy he is

a local fixture
a regular joe

and he can tell his jew jokes
without anyone giving him shit

get himself a couple of laughs

bitch about the muslims, the mexicans
and the blacks all moving in around him

telling anyone who’ll listen
about how his girl is always on the rag

that the politicians down here
don’t know shit about shit

or even what time it is.

--John Grochalski

Friday, January 10, 2020


The Same Old Song

I started work at age sixteen,
Over thirty years ago, and in
That time we've been through
Depressions, recessions and
Other financial crises. Through
Affluence and austerity.
Boom (so called ), and bust.
But one thing has never
Changed. The poor stay poor.
The rich get richer.

--Ian Copetsick

Thursday, January 9, 2020


Tell Me

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Franklin was queried as he left
Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation. In the notes of Dr. James McHenry,
one of Maryland's delegates to the Convention, a lady asked Dr. Franklin "Well Doctor
what have we got, a republic or a monarchy." Franklin replied, "A republic...if you can
keep it."

Tell me how the demented fascist authoritarian
In the White House became a graduate of
The Electoral College.

Tell me why the orange malignant abomination
Is doing everything he can
To turn the planet into a giant
Greenhouse Gas Chamber.

Tell me how the corrupt racist tinted tyrant
Has managed to escape punishment
For putting thousands of migrant
Children and families
In for profit concentration camps.

Tell me how the tiny-fingered tweeter
And Democrat centrist neoliberals
Can aid and abet neofascist, right-wing coups
in democratically elected countries
Like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil.

Tell me what gives president bone-spurs,
Avoiding the draft five times,
The right to be president for life?

Tell me when does Congress
Become a rule of law again
Instead of a rule of men?

--Victor Henry

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


The Dawn of the Red Hats

down the long marble hallway
there are echoes from a radio
someone is playing in one of the many
offices and rooms, the sound of a
president at a rally and he is telling
them that anyone who disagrees with them
is their enemy: their child, their friend,
their neighbor, the poor, the educators,
journalists, writers, diplomats, shopkeepers,
the tired, the hungry, and even the dead,
and he jokes that they are in hell now
as he mugs for the camera that you
cannot see, but you know it’s there
it’s always there, looming, watching
him so you can watch him too but
you walk deeper into the halls of a
building to file more papers so you
can prove you are who you say you are
so you can go home and bundle
yourself against the cold with your
thin blankets in the dark and listen
to the silence of the snow fall
against the window, and the silence
is beautiful, beautiful in the long night
of waiting for the sun to rise, and you
almost hope it doesn’t because you know
it only brings more long hallways,
more radios turned on and up by unseen
hands that might also one day applaud
with the sound of cheering, the sound
of one man’s victory over all his enemies,
all those people you know who
think something different, and for that,
deserve whatever they have coming

--James Duncan

Tuesday, January 7, 2020


Sidewalk World

The homeless are scattered
like broken teeth across the sidewalks
in my neighborhood. Some broken
at the root, some just chipped.

I walk past without eye contact.
It’s hard to do
when I’m carrying food
or wearing my coat.

Meanwhile, my two cats lounge on my bed.
When they get hungry, they circle
their plates and mew. I forget the sidewalk world
when both crawl into my lap to nap.

--Jeri Thompson

Monday, January 6, 2020


Comic Book

Super Villain The Orange Skull
a Reichwing drama llama
in search of an island for a secret base
has been checking out Greenland
while boldly binge-watching Fox News
as hench-persons
battle with the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. (of recession)
plotting and scheming how to pay the bills
while other minions
implement plans that even bad Captain Planet villains
would reject as unrealistic (and evil)
while The Orange Skull
stamps his tiny bone-spurred feet

--Mark A. Fisher

Sunday, January 5, 2020


Lord of the Flies

the president has been impeached
but nothing will happen to him

trump has done it again
climbed to the top of the landfill
and stuck our flag into it

shit and flies
in the warm methane breeze

beneath him
he has slathering pigs in power in the senate
to salivate and drool
over scraps of his power

the only thing that can make all of this disappear
is the ballot
in November 2020

oh look he’s tweeting something from on top of the dump

so there’s that

 --Heidi Blakeslee