Monday, May 2, 2016

A Poem by Wayne Russell

The Loss

As beauty lies weeping, somewhere
out there, up in the frozen tundra of
northern snowy winters dream.

Sins of my heart, beating longing for
you and this infused raven abyss, bring
thee back to my longing arms.

Forest of clay melt beneath ashen Gothic
feet, your absence an eternal torment,
kiss me quick; bury my memory with the
ages gone before.

Intrusive the silent frost of your black eyes
lye, lament thrust and gathered upon lonely
window pane, strewn empty inner child,
lost; forlorn.

The ensuing years pass and reap regrets.

Here I am with you, concussed in a strange
dream, out in the bitter chill of formlessness,
vagrancy of night, running rampant with the
golden wolfs of Dionysus, a bastard child;
reaping what he has sewn.

Wayne Russell is a creative writer that hails from Tampa, Florida.  He has been published in Nomadic Voices Magazine, Zaira Journal, Danse Macabre, The Bitchin' Kitschs', and Rolling Thunder Press.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Poem by Paul Tristram

Over Blue Cheese Dressing

He broke her down to ghostlike
within a matter of premeditated merciless minutes.
Words poisoned with an unfair, exaggerated truth
when not completely false and cruel
with no other purpose than being hurtful.
She sat shocked and temporarily defenseless,
letting this new reality slowly suffocate
and smother her funny bone battered senses.
Unable to comprehend the Changeling
now sitting smirking wickedly before her.
When that narcissistic actor's mask slips
and you first see that disgusting beast
squirming naked within its seething ugliness
heaven dies somewhere deep inside of your.
They think they've tricked you and they have
but they've also unwittingly tricked themselves.
You will recover, slowly and in time
but they will never again find a heart and love
as pure and true as yours to soothe their troubled soul.
In the end karma always settles its debts
and they have damned themselves to all but falseness.

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.  But 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:

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Poem by Pearse Murray

You Pulled Me

And you said that I was your sunglow.
But you also said, "Not too close," reminding me
That the sun's function is to warm the earth
not to burn it.
You hopped on a freight train which rolled
On steel-silk lines across the Prairie
And dipped into the horizon
Vibrating my heart's yearnings.
For the distance and nearness of you
My body asks where did you go?
The scream in the heart
Cannot fully hold, cannot fully let go.
You tug at me but you are not there.
Will distance become our way of life?
And as the cooling of the heart reaches its frazzle,
I cannot add more silence to the silence of longing.

Pearse Murray has published poems and short fiction in a wide variety of print and online media.  He was born in Ireland and lives in upstate New York.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Poem by Norma Ketzis Bernstock

Cleaning House

He's in her pantry,
in the jars of sauce,
the Old Bay tin,
the mushroom cans.
He's in the fridge,
the second shelf,
the olive tapenade.
On the left,
the produce drawer,
blueberries and red.

She's cleaning house,
sweeping out,
removing signs of him:
the books he left,
the socks and shorts,
slippers by the door,
the sateen sheets he loved so much,
he loved her on those sheets.
She'll wash and scrub and bleach them clean,
the sheets belong to her.
She'll sleep on sheets he never touched,
she'll sleep alone,

Norma Ketzis Bernstock lives in Milford, Pennsylvania.  Her poetry has appeared online and in many print journals and anthologies including Connecticut River Review, Paterson Literary Review, Lips and Stillwater Review.  Her most recent chapbook, Don't Write a Poem About Me After I'm Dead, was published in 2011 by Big Table Publishing.  Her previous achievements include a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Scholarship to the  Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and recognition by the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Swimming in Yellow

Yellow swimsuit + ocean = sharkbite.
The strange man with an obvious death wish
on television could not have explained it
any better, and I thought, how unfortunate
that one of the most popular beach songs inspired
myself, and doubtlessly millions of other females
to buy yellow polka-dotted bikinis. 

I rush to my summer drawer immediately, yank
the suicidal fabric from its home, toss it
in the garage with the other bleached out suits
set aside for chlorinated water only.  I make a note
to pick up a new black suit or two, a color
the great white predators all but ignore. 
Then I make another note to pick
up a pair of camouflage swim trunks
to send to my ex for his birthday.  Underwater
predators confuse them for sea turtles, often
like to take a tiny bite
or two.

Color Fills the Universe

He flickers, a thick viscous light—
life-generating.  She is
kaleidoscopic cavern—
endless, formless, all-
consuming.  Their touch is
simple, studded with fierceness—
desire set ablaze.  The world burns
around them like a rainbow
whose sole purpose is to dissolve
their skin.

Tossed Salad

I hate you like a tossed salad.
A bowl full of healthy
diet-perpetuating rabbit food.
I pick at tasteless
leaves slathered in oil and vinegar. 
Fork over fork, I consume.
My inner carnivore growls
in protest.  Remains

A.J. Huffman has published twelve full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2500 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Three Poems by Linda M. Crate

you can't run

it played out like
an anime
the sort i didn't like
i was the first love
only so you could find a second one
at the same time,
but i was the one that was punished;
just like in the anime world you were never
punished for your sin
i was just scorched for loving you--
so hard i tried to get
you back,
but then you told me of her and how she completed
you and gave me the unapology of the year
full of false sincerity and lies
so i am not sorry that i hurt you with my letter
i hope that my words always carve
deep into every orifice of  your soul and i hope that
the universe punishes you with the ire
of a thousand angry unicorns--
and just like the animes i like to watch you're going
to have to face me again after all the hurt
you put me through
i wonder if you'll make it all about you
at her wdding or if you'll ignore me completely
or if we'll gaze at one another
like in an anime,
and you'll be shattered while i'll be fine.

burnt flesh

you were voldemort
leaving behind a thousand scars
as you shattered other's lives
you only hated me
because i stood up to you and i wouldn't
die just like harry,
and i promise you that you will
regret making me your
i will hex you into the most painful corner
of oblivion
if you thought severus or dumbledore were ones
to be reckoned with you ought to
see me when i'm
in a foul mood--
you always told me that i didn't have a temper,
but what would you know?
you're only a self-absorbed man who thinks
only of lust and revenge and one who runs
from his problems,
but you can't always run;
as intelligent as they say you are
you are quite a fool--
one day we will face one another again and i will
make sure you're the one that hurts
i'll be the one that scars you
so you can know what it feels like as i burn
through your skin.

just a fly

i know i should pity you
because you don't know how to feel
or what a heart is meant to
be used for,
but i cannot;
you broke me so thoroughly for the purpose
of nourishing only your own soul
that i just want to shatter you
i want the whole world
to see your
blackened heart and for them to see that your
charisma like tom riddle's
is only a farce--
those cold blue eyes remind me only of winter
sharp and jagged as the icicles you
thrust through my heart,
but like fawkes
i knew enough to rise from my ashes;
because i am a raven with the heart of a phoenix
i will reinvent myself to survive,
but you will perish
under a tide of self-loathing because you
crave change you're not brave
enough to seek--
i will smash you beneath oceans of success
make you see that i'm the writer and you're just the
fly who wishes he could hold a pen.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvania native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville.  Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.  Recently her two chapbooks, A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press--June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon--January 2014) were published.  Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015.  Her novel Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Three Poems by Bob Carlton

Love Poem Without the Word Heart

Set down
amid concrete and steel,
city streets and smells,
I am left
in silence and solitude
to fill with my emptiness
the erotic void of your absence.


stooped and bent
I appear
a human question mark
and you
my answer
proved false

For and To Make Seven

You do not exist
any more
for me.

Or any less
for that matter.
And matter it does
to me.

Bob Carlton lives and works in Leander, TX.