Editrix Note: The ones I loved left so I learned to love others. 


Rob Plath...........................Double Feature
Ron Riekki.........................I Wanted to Become Famous
Jeffrey Zable......................53 Years Ago
A.J. Huffman......................Transgender Ken
Jeffrey Zable.......................The Purpose
Nathaniel Sverlow...............What’s Underneath
Jeremiah Walton..................Pornography
Nathaniel Sverlow...............A New Day Dying
Matthew J. Hall...................Opiate Revelation
A.M. Clarke.........................“Jessica”


Double Feature
Rob Plath

they abuse you
for years

& then they
slowly die

one fucking
horror show

after another


I Wanted to Become Famous and Instead I Became An Asshole
Ron Riekki

& so now I try to elbow Buddhism into my life,
popping that dharma stuff into my mouth
when I have a free moment for gladness,
letting my past get blown away by a MAC-10
and Mark 10 keeps echoing in my head,
something about rich people smoking Camels;
I forget, but I know that some people
from my youth got herded in with all
the alcoholics and some hit insane jackpots,
now millionaires I see on the spilled channels
of TV, but I guess if you’re writing a poem
you should have something to say
and for me it’s just a begging to exist
on the page, the bondage of breathing being
destroyed when I hit the landscape
of words and, really, if you get into that God
stuff, audience is just an effigy.


Jeffrey Zable

Me and my monkey were dancing

Something like a gig only we were

Holding hands and the crowd got

Louder and louder until for the fun

Of it we began to improvise and what

Came out of me and what came out

Of that monkey is still one for the ages

We left shit everywhere and I mean

Everywhere on top of the heads of state

And even in the mouths of babes it’s

Lucky it was all recorded cause events

Like that don’t happen every day

For when a crowd goes from love

To murder you know that’s news

And the only reason I’m around to

Remember is cause my bite was even

Greater than the monkey’s who put up

A hell of a fight as best I can remember

On that Saturday night 53 years ago.


Transgender Ken
A.J. Huffman

was the perfect brainchild for current
political and economic climates.
All they needed to do was change
his box.


Jeffrey Zable

Poor with purpose/

Is that how an artist

might say it/

I painted yesterday myself/

Saw this woman

walking down the street

and captured her smile

in my hands/

Painted her eyes

with my fingertips

and used their color

to express my feeling

for the bathroom walls/

Little if anything

means something to me now/

I strum this guitar

that hasn't any strings

and people keep humming/

Tapping to the beat.


what’s underneath
Nathaniel Sverlow

The Princess walks in

scarf around the neck

short skirt and tights

and thick high heels

and I wonder how long

it took her to dress,

whether, in between

outfits, she stared

at her legs,

her breasts,

her ass,

wondering why

anybody would ever

fuck her

But now,

in the open,

she’s bouncing around,

talking over everyone

about the night

she turned thirty

and drank and danced

with this guy

and that guy

who couldn’t keep

hands to themselves

I put on my headphones

turn the volume up

look away

I’ve seen it all before

on the empty balconies

of second floor apartments

in the passenger seats

of broken down jeeps

in the faces of the

last-call crowds

that lost track

of time

Some people hide it

Some people should

Some people wear it

like a scarf

or a skirt

or tights

or heels

desperately dressing

and undressing

what’s underneath


Jeremiah Walton

This room is an empty photograph

This room is vast

The chandeliers are stars

Supported by cigarette smoke and factory breath

Feet are supported by Mother Earth

Mother Earth supported by constant witch burnings,

abolition of attachment.

We surrendered our rights upon evolving to the point where magazine covers photoshop our bodies and bullets whisper “I love you”

Now we seek utopia like filth is problematic

I’m an anarchist that hates anarchy

I am a federal government that sells souls to broken bottles

I am a bottle opener and cheap adhesive

The application is of wet lips and gunpowder

The “ands” are getting to be dirty and old

The imagery has become stained

The nickels are hated

Quarters are most desirable

Dimes are easy to carry

Pennies are precise

But nickels,

those pesky

This poem wreaks of marijuana smoke

but I swear it’s sober.

The knife laws protect it from protecting itself

The shanks are hidden in the metaphors

Don’t get stabbed reading too deeply.

The maidens of our Mother are mindless

We are cutting the umbilical chord connecting our belly buttons to the soil

It is beautiful the way we handle our knives

It is beautiful how we smile

It is beautiful how we weep

I keep finding saw dust in my poems

and saw blades behind All teeth.

There’s a little less in this one

but it’s because the cut was a little more shaped than usual.

I forgot to brush my teeth today

Tomorrow I’ll remember.

Fill me up with coke and I’ll plant conversations in trash cans

Fill me up with gasoline and I’ll chain smoke just for fun.

Does this make me stupid or adventurous?

The knife cut my thumb off

I’ll hitchhike with this stub

till my poem finds a meaning

strips and masturbates like a rabid dog

let loose in a strip club

barking at the women

and drinking all the wine.

Mother Nature, God, Allah, Zeus, and all personified nothings are having an orgy upstairs

We’ll never get to heaven

unless we become angels

on a kite string,

but I’d rather fall to bed

and be beautiful broke free

than worrying about

the floors’ dust

and upholstery.

Silly silly poem

Use your left hand when jerking off

So it feels like someone else is doing it for you

Lonely lonely poem

you’ll find meaning one day

and be drunk enough

to get naked in public

and make porn with the world.


a new day dying
Nathaniel Sverlow

brittle bones

spilling onto pavement

trousers and dresses

hiding the essentials

essentially nothing

and the bulges and valleys


into each other

striking sparks


to a wicker life

that was

almost right

wrinkled hands

in the sack-lunch past



for that time

when time

was just time

and not time

that was







an empty bag

as pollen falls

from the death tree

and the moon


like an ashtray

while the sun

lights up


breathing in

a secondhand life

spitting out

a secondhand soul


wait patiently

for the garbage lid

to open

they can smell


a new day


once again


opiate revelation
Matthew J. Hall

I shifted uncomfortably on the shards of broken, noisy glass
you told me that I would never amount to anything
other than what I was on that green, Sunday, methadone, morning
you called me a worthless cunt
said I had ruined everything
the wind whistled through the window I had smashed
it was cold against my face
and while there was an element of truth in the accusation
it was then that I realized you had given everything of yourself over
to hope burglars and spirit thieves
and that there was nothing left
neither for you, nor me
save a small bottle of watered down methadone
that I had wasted our last five quid on


A.M. Clarke

from where she slept
one hand dangling, sleep numb
curved like a fish
shadows pooled in her palm
like a bruise


A.M. Clarke currently lives in Utah. She's too lazy to publish on a regular bases. She hates the snow and drinks too much tea.

Matthew J. Hall is a writer who lives in Bristol, England. For more about him and links to his published work please visit: www.screamingwithbrevity.com .

A.J. Huffman has published seven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her eighth solo chapbook, Drippings from a Painted Mind, won the 2013 Two Wolves Chapbook Contest.  She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poetry, fiction, and haiku have appeared in hundreds of national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, Kritya, and Offerta Speciale, in which her work appeared in both English and Italian translation.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Rob Plath is a 45 year-old poet from New York. Rob has been widely published both nationally and internationally.  He has 7 poetry chapbooks and three full-length collections of poetry. Rob also put out a play We're No Butchers (epic rites press 2011)   and a children's book Hearts For Brains (epic rites press 2014)  He's most noted for his 300-page poetry collection called A Bellyful of Anarchy published by epic rites press in 2009.  His most current book is a collection of creative writing exercises called An Ax For The Frozen Sea (epic rites press 2015). His novel Swallowtude is due out sometime next year.  And there is more stuff in the works...

Ron Riekki's books include U.P.: a novel, The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book), and Here: Women Writing on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, http://msupress.org/books/book/?id=50-1D0-3479#.VKZ4kmTF-PU.

Nathaniel Sverlow is a freelance writer of poetry and prose. He was born in 1983 in San Diego, California and moved to Northern California at the age of three. Since then, he has graduated from Sacramento State University and spends most of his time hunched over his computer hunting the Word. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beyond Reality Zine, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Literary Orphans, Map Literary, Black Fox Literary Magazine, Dali’s Lovechild, and The Vein. He currently resides in the Sacramento area with four roommates, three cats, and one incredibly supportive girlfriend.

Jeremiah Walton is 18, born in N.H., and currently traveling cross country.  He manages Nostrovia! Poetry, W.I.S.H. Publishing, The Traveling Poet, and works as an editor for UndergroundBooks.  You can follow him at his personal blog, Gatsby's Abandoned Children.

Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and percussionist who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. He’s published five chapbooks from four different small press publishers. Recent poetry, fiction, and non-fiction in Coe Review, Kentucky Review, Indigo Rising, Serving House Journal, Chaos Poetry Review, After The Pause, Snapping Twig, Lullwater Review, Snow Monkey, 2015 Rhysling Anthology, Brazenhead Review, Flint Hills Review, Mas Tequila, and many others.