Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell

playing in these fields

i can still remember
sitting on the porch

holding hands

sharing a cigarette


talking about our
children one day
playing in these

the only time
in my life that
a future felt
like it was
even possible

you are married
to another woman

and any kids are
left in the towel
on the floor

not exactly the
future i thought
of on that old

the kisses taste
somewhat bitter
in hindsight

come over and play house

sometimes the hate
bubbles up inside
of me

i look for your
beautiful face
to calm me down

but you left years
ago and i'm pretty
sure that means
you're not coming

walking alone in
a grocery store

wondering if any
of these lonely
women want to
come over and
play house

the demon always
looks for streaks
in the hair and
yoga pants

i tend to look for
stunning eyes and
a sophisticated brain

i would compromise
and settle for the
middle but

there is no
with the evil
inside of me

slowly going to hell

the last time
i kissed your
lips the world
was broken
and slowly
going to

it's almost
like time
has stood
still ever

J.J. Campbell is stuck in suburbia slowly going insane.  He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Dead Snakes, Mad Swirl, Your One Phone Call, Horror Sleaze Trash and Misfit Magazine.  On most days, you can find J.J. bitching and moaning about things only he cares about on his highly entertaining blog, evil delights.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Poem by Jimmy Pappas

Last Words

The message was brief:  She's dying.  She wants to see you.
In twenty years of marriage, nothing was ever that simple.
Even the divorce we both wanted turned into a thousand-
piece jigsaw puzzle.  Curiosity trumped all other feelings,
so I made the trip.  Her relatives greeted me with affection.
No one wanted to ruin the final wish of a dying woman.
They led me into the room where she had been propped up
on pillows while she waited for my arrival.  She looked like
Skeletor, a Masters of the Universe character our son
played with before he went through a windshield searching
for the dryad in the tree.  With all the guards having fled,
her skull planned its escape from prison.  It did its best Edward G.
Robinson imitation.  Nyaaah, try and stop me now ya lousy screw,
nyaaah.  Then she gave me one of her patented cliche smiles.
What the hell,.  I smiled back.  The others left so we could be
alone.  I sat down by her bedside, held her hand, and bent over
to whisper in her ear, I am going to piss on your grave.

Jimmy Pappas received an MA in English Literature from Rivier University.  His poems have been published  in such journals as Atticus Review, Dead Snakes, Kentucky Review, Cha:  An Asian Literary Journal, Off the Coast, Boston Literary Magazine, and War Literature and the Arts.  He is a recent first-prize winner of the Poetry Society of New Hampshire's National Contest.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Two Poems by Bea Garth


Sunlight crumbles
drifts like snow
everywhere we look
it is white
--the air cracks
flashing lights
cameras poised
click at our
singed eyebrows
knock kneed
we hurry off
to wash our hands
lather elbows
teeth gummed
from a sweet caress
--everything must froth:

fingernails shine beneath
their white halos
reveal pink moons,
ears buzz
from hydrogen peroxide
waste baskets careen
while your smile floats
a brilliant ghost
stairs dribble hot wax
coat your back
as they carry you down
and away
--the cold hits hard,
my hand reaches,
the sunlight cracks,
emptiness remains.


I felt your voice
whisper to me
causing the down
on my neck to rise
chilled then warmed
with pleasure.

Now I stand alone
facing this massive bed
heavy white knotted
like a white capped sea
bobbing, twisting
under the moonlight
--I crawl under a corner
and fall asleep.

It is this persistent unreality
that hurts when I see you
--a thousand nuances
sink and fray
sea tossed
in this rough no-time.
You look at your watch
and I set my own.
Salt-water mists
swirls about our legs,
congeals, pulls us
like peanut brittle
a sudden slap--the door shut--
our hearts hardening
there is nothing we can do
but break

Bea Garth is known for creating visually rich narrative poetry as well as for her unique visual art.  Early on Bea was influenced by her grandfather and great aunt's love of poetry and Asian art plus her parents' early occupation as archeologists.  She has been an extemporaneous poetry and arts organizer and editor off and on for many years in the San Jose, California area as well as Eugene, Oregon.  Currently she is president of Quicksilver Artists, a San Jose art and poetry group.  She is often found painting and writing in her studio with her cat Keiko or renovating houses as a property manager.  She will have her manuscript of poetry and drawings called, Eating the Peach, published sometime this next year by Blue Bone Books.  She has previously had poems and artwork published in a variety of small press magazines including The Song Is, Synchronized Chaos, Lake City Poets, Alchemy, Poetic Space, Denali, Coyote's Dance, The Other Paper, Writing for Our Lives, Caesura, Fresh Hot Bread, Sparring with Beatnik Ghosts, Sheffield Phoenix Press (cover for Where The Wild Ox Roam) and the poetry anthologies Elegant Stew, Women's Dreams/Women's Visions and Song of Los Gatos.  You can find examples of Bea's artwork and poetry at

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

A Year Alone in Oz

Long Beach was a bowl of Chinese porridge
A storm of honeybees in my autumn parlor
Where my old quilt became a calligraphy brush
As I chased the seagulls and kissed her treasure right on its lips
And ours was indeed a most delicate merging
In the midst of those wispy one way streets
Back when there were still harps a'plenty
And more than enough angels to strum them
When 'ere they pleased
Until I looked for a summer that didn't yet exist as
I learned my own great expense
That eventually we all become artifacts
And that all of that happens much too fast
As decades crumble and cannon last
Till only chimera like memories of the past
Become a tunnel of love ride in a swan boat made for one
Smelling of stale dust motes and setting suns

Buyer's Remorse

Once long ago near the gilded splendor of secondhand book stores
The tide pools of Saturday night revealed blue steel waves
That were served up on toast and then sparkling without a map in hand
They settled on the deserted sunset thoroughfares of the origami like water
That was blooming with all that we didn't plan
Back when the pale moon hinted at free love
Back before I first became the shepherd of dinosaurs
Back when such darkness was but the prelude
That coiled in her "I will always love yous"
That eventually wilted since they were blurted out too freely
And therefore could not stand up to the price of purchase
Once they had been bought

A Tangle of Glances

The brambles and thorns of morning quivered like a koi fish
In that gentle dream of haystacks where she first made freckled love to me
That trembled like a painting of that dawning in the mirror of her hair
So like burnished gold and then while she gestured like a daguerreotype
Explaining how all this could not last because it was never meant to be
But still none of that matters anymore now that it's all devolved into summer repeats
But still I hear her voice so fetching in the secrets of its own dance moves
Where something struggled to make a baby that could never be
A 'borning because we had become imaginary in the acid rain much too soon

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Three Poems by Paul Tristram

Her Heart is a Derelict Playground

Where the swings are now only used
by the ghosts of memory.
Who would have thought
that building a wall
would leave you feeling so
cold, lonely and vulnerable
to the real enemy . . . Yourself?
There's a boarded up candy shop close by,
the once bright colors are faded
to something resembling nicotine stains.
It's hard to view without wincing,
so wince she must,
which keeps the "cringing" company at least.
That "hurt" doesn't heal with isolation,
it merely festers into a soul shadow.
Dark thoughts multiply by the counting,
spite, meanness follows "not letting go"
and masochistic self-righteousness
is the sure way of keeping you
stuck and squirming inside that hole.

The One That Got Away . . . Can Stay Away!

To be genuinely happy to be who you are,
where you are and with whom you are with
at this very point in life is two fists full
of Luck & Chance, "straight as an arrow" Fate
and a thousand hurricanes of Magic
all focused in upon on exact point and principle.
You've reached the sumMIT of something important,
the woes and troubles that dogged your footsteps
were needed, you've faced down every struggle,
survived each enemy, learning and growing
stronger with each "hard knock" lesson.
Emerging scarred but magnificently Triumphant!
take a breather (You've Earned It!)
smile and feel proud of yourself,
you are on the right path at last
and exactly where you need to be.
The stepping stones are aligned and ready
for the next part of the journey, Soldier . . . Well done.

Closing Doors Behind You is the Way Forward

Unless you want to sit in a room alone,
drinking into the small hours
talking dumbly into the past?
You've lived in bedsits,
you've seen it time and time again.
Broken men and women . . . given up on life.
Remember that computer guy who lived upstairs?
Cried himself to sleep every night pathetically
like an eight year old girl for months,
six other rented rooms listening to him.
Come to terms with your past,
lay it to bed and walk on from it.
Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself,
you're still breathing and that's all that counts.
Strike off in a new direction,
you'll do better this time, you're wiser now.
Baby steps and small potatoes . . .
just being up and moving is winning.
You don't need to be lost like they are,
open up those metaphoric curtains
and let the sun back into your life . . .
it's good to see you emerging out the other side.

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet.  Buy his books, Scribblings of a Madman (Lit Fest Press), Poetry from the Nearest Barstool at, and a split poetry book The Raven and the Vagabond Heart with Bethany W. Pope at  You can also read his poems and stories here!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

She Looked Like a Peony

By a lake that was like my childhood nursery
Where I contemplated the impossibility of my first love
Beneath a moon that seemed to me to be suffering
Slouching by dark trees like divided continents
Touched by patches of bandaged chilliness
Whose insufficient evidence and unverifiable agendas
Snatched me down into a descent into printed words
And a fame I came to love found on streets full of poets
As pretty as an opera house dancing to the pipes of a new year dawning
Sleeping on the mattress that imprisons us both
Dead birds now who are victims of a brutal winter
Gone for a long time because we loved someone too well
Crying in the bathtub and on a blue street corner
Whose youthful gait was like a nice catholic girl afraid of all she felt
Death haunted in my immortality
Melancholy in the sweet scraps of my own memorabilia
And clear eyed in my loneliness
Bereft and cooked over an open fire
Angelic for reasons beyond what is needed
To interact with a too rough muse
And in my own entire universe of exalted moments
As I walked across the land of
The one perfect woman that I never quite met
Amazing bebop in the flux of my chronic distortions
An error in the text of some Mesozoic forest
Intricately connected in a Sahara Desert of mask making blown into neutrons
A jagged riff in the oblivion thunder of the void
Swallowed up by vortexes vanishing
But always still always a believer in true love.

Yet to Be Titled

Back when a wine cask was a time machine
While hanging out on a beach of surrealistic bubbles
French kissing I didn't say a word about her gratuitous nudity
Because I was no stranger to jigsaw puzzles
We were like bees drinking orchid nectar
As we awakened journey deep in our fizzy drinks
Transformative like Doctor John Lilly inside his isolation tank
Shaded by the shadow of the Beatles
Cooled by the civil disobedience of a world slowly turning to ice
We became tremors that could never be replaced
A bell tower that collapsed
Locked in a love like Cleopatra and Marc Antony
That eventually gave way to a fallen upon sword by one's own hand
And a much too teased and ornery asp

Arranged Like a Pinwheel

The noonday sun was a sizzling cast-iron skillet
Its light through the trees sugar dusted sleeping dogs
Looking for comfort in the shadows and shade
While I spent the afternoon in the LA County Art Museum
Seduced by heavenly abstract paintings
Like elaborate mirrors made of the ice around champagne
That shimmered like your long blonde pigtailed hair
And your granny gown that twisted around your svelte young frame
Like a lavender turntable playing Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze
In that series of interconnected rooms
Where though you ignored me you were well aware
Of exactly what I wanted as I stared
At what I thought at the time was the truest love I would ever feel
But how little did I know that the only one I would love forever
Was someone I didn't yet even know.

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Poem by John D. Robinson

I Miss Elizabeth

Throughout my life I have
always had few friends and
amongst the best was
work united us as friends, we
were both married with
children and then
simultaneously we found
ourselves temporarily
separated from our partners;
we began to socialize in
and out of work; Elizabeth was
an attractive veteran
dope smoker with
long blonde hair, a well shaped
body, long legs and a
wonderful sense and enjoyment
of life;
for about 18 months we
spent a great deal of time
with one another; one cold
November week we were
residents of Samye Ling
a Tibetan Buddhist monastery
in the wilderness of Scotland;
we went armed with a carrier-bag
of home-grown and an endless
supply of beer; it was a wild
fucking week with very
little meditation or
Elizabeth could take her drink
and with a playful glint in her yes,
whilst out drinking
would get me into some
difficult situations, she'd say
in a loud voice
something like "Why don't you
go over to that fat guy with all the
mouth at the bar and tell him to
shut the fuck up"
"I haven't drank enough yet"
I would say, "Let's move on"
With a fearless and adventurous
spirit, Elizabeth traveled alone to
India, smoked heroin with some
mountain people and brought
back some beautiful and exotic gifts for her friends;
shortly after we were both
reunited with our partners, her
husband was killed in an
accident in South America;
I watched on as Elizabeth gave
up on life; she took handfuls
of pills and steroids and drank
and smoked and she never
smiled, my friend Elizabeth
was always smiling;
whatever was in her heart was
no longer there and her
body and mind plunged into
a silent hospital coma for long
months on end;
the blonde hair now silver, the
eyes still staring blankly, her being
motionless and unresponsive;
I visited regularly and spoke to
her and held her dead-like hands
and told her of her sons that
would never visit; the pain was
too much for them and her
eyelids never fluttered but I
hoped, in some way that
she heard my voice;
just like I can hear hers
right now.

John D. Robinson was born in the UK in July 1963; began writing poetry aged 16 and published first poem a year later; over the years his poems have appeared in many small press magazines, journals and online publications; recent work has appeared in Bareback Lit, Red Fez, Underground Books, Dead Snakes, Pulsar.  He has published several small chapbooks of poetry, 2 short story collections, is married, has 1 daughter, 2 grandchildren, 4 cats and 1 dog; he has worked a variety of jobs since age 15 and continues to do and he enjoys wine and other pursuits that may not be considered healthy.