Jim Murdoch

This is a
used poem.
It is in
good condition,
is complete and

No words are missing and
though they have
all been read before
the previous owner
was careful not to
read too much into them.

The poem will make sense
but it must
be said it doesn’t
quite mean what it used to
and it may require
some reader attention.

What you see
is what you
get but what
you end up with
is completely
up to you.



Jack T. Marlowe
personal history

memory: a pack rat
of places and
people too many
miles away or years
too distant

like dim postcards
of ocean, desert
and chameleon

and the chronicles
of black leather
ghosts, V8 cars
garage band
groupies, empty
glasses and beds
of no remorse

archived ephemera
heaped up like
so many
old newspapers

as i prepare for
the silverfish
and ravenous Time
to do their work.



Leigh Pierce
Shoo (Bar)Fly

They buzz annoyingly in my ear
No the left, the right, or the wrong
But all of the above


Sitting peacefully
Relaxing, keeping to myself
Not bothering or blaring
A little blabbering and blubbering
But that’s kept to myself
Unlike these pesky fuckers
Not the roaches, bedbugs, or even the beer bugs
Close, real close
Possibly a similar species even
Raised in a lab, a dark brown long neck test tube
The damned barflies
Fluttering around my head
In front of my eyes
Leaving trails
I try to shoo them away
Shoo (bar)fly don’t bother me – or some shit like that
No thin strip of metal with a flat piece of plastic
That won’t cut it this time
Nope. So I grab a bottle
I swat at them and quash them flat
Against the edge of the bar
To a rousing cheer from the bartender



Karl Koweski
Wet Wet explains the economy’s impact on exotic dancers

the dude introduces himself
as Wet Wet.
it’s been thirty minutes since
he walked through the door,
he’s yet to check out
Lita or Nadia,
scarcely glances at the porno
thrusting and gaping
on the tv screen.

he stands next to my chair
positioned near the
animatronic Crypt Keeper,
unplugged now that
Bennie’s left for the night.

“yeah,” he says
“I don’t care what
lies the media pundits spread,
you can always foretell
a recession by how attractive
the exotic dancers are.
women losing their
middle management jobs
with no where else to go
to make the sort of living
they’ve grown accustomed to
are forced to work the poles
and I’m here to tell you, friend,
we’re definitely in a recession.

I look at Lita
with her fried egg breasts,
fried bacon thighs
and frying pan face.

“Industrial Strip being the exception”
Wet Wet adds
“the poor stays poor regardless.
I’m talking Candy Mae’s,
The Body Shoppe, The Gentleman’s Club,
you know, classy places.”

I stare at the Crypt Keeper,
a left over prop from when
the Industrial Strip housed
a heavy metal club
full of high hair and leather
and the misguided belief
faster meant better.
put a blonde wig on
Crypt Keeper’s tattered dome,
open the burial shroud
at it’s sunken chest and
it wouldn’t look much different
from Lita or Nadia or Gretchen.

“places like that, though”
Wet Wet continues
“the girls won’t even
make eye contact with you
for anything less than a fiver.
a man could go broke
looking for a little attention,
and I’m here to tell you, friend,
there ain’t no STD
worse than poverty.”

I wonder if Bennie would consider
a boring lecture on economics
grounds for dispensing one of those
ass-beatings he’s always crowing about.

Lita steps out of the bathroom
followed by one of the few
Industrial Strip regulars.
Wet Wet withdraws
a crumpled twenty from his pocket.
“well it looks like its time
I do my part to help the economy”

as Wet Wet departs
I question how many hands
will touch the twenty
before its used to make
a car payment or
buy an HD television
or a pack of diapers.



John Rocco
She is in Books

When I see her ass in jeans
I think of the Rock Drill Cantos
sharp sinking into
river book with its tail in its mouth
and on the shore
Nick Adams watching his father
deliver a baby at the Indian camp.

Her feet in flip flops:
Emma choking on the swallowed heap
of poison from
Tennyson’s dark empty port bottles
while acid-head Blake draws the blues.

She is in books
licking the side of her lips
the corner
as she talks to me about
Alex getting brainwashed
to hate violence
and good old Ludwig van.

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