Archive for July, 2011

Poetry # 135

In this issue a couple of poetic doctors publically and fictionally breach the doctor-patient confidentiality, college professors profess a professional admiration for sadism. Although these poems smell like Marlboro Menthol Lights, I assure you they are Reds. Your respiratory system has no chance.

Yours truly,

Luis Rivas

Amber Bromer

Henry Ajumeze

Almighty Editors of Poems

Gloom Cupboard


The Pros And Cons Of Education

By Tyrel Kessinger

God forbid

she said

some grandmother in line

at the neighborhood grocery store

wearing her grandson

across her chest

in one of those baby slings

invented by cave women

resurrected for the new age

and of course

some say

they gave us bigger brains

(though I have my doubts)

God forbid

such a thing

by which she meant

heaving storms

the slipping

of overburdened tectonic plates

falling cosmic rocks

the grandson’s brains

growing much too large

and one day

rejecting her god

after just two

philosophy classes

at a local

community college

she means

just bad things in general

as if there might actually be

a god to forbid


last time I checked

the one thing I’ve noticed

this god does not forbid


sending people

up shit creek


a turd to float on. (more…)

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Prose 128

Issue 128 of fiction brings you the unwanted, the imprisoned, and the unhinged.  What is real?  Only the best writers can answer this with positive uncertainty.  Sit back and let Matthew Burnside, Timothy Bearly, and Jennifer Walkup turn your world over.


Procession of the Dogface Lepers

Matthew Burnside

“The one thing nobody can do for you is walk on your own two feet.”

       ―Old Dogface proverb

Once a year, we clear the streets for the lepers. Old as sea, sun, and star, the Festival of Maw has been the most prized of my people’s traditions since the beginning of our recorded history. The horned hail from all directions: north, south, east and west. In ragged droves and clanking caravans they come, snaking through the hills and treading the sharp-pebble beaches, marching the sun-baked cobble streets of Lamsdown, weighty cowbells swinging from the necks of the adults and tinsel chimes tinkling on the children’s dainty wrists.

Barefoot and threadbare they walk―day and night, without rest, without drink―suffering the elements and bearing their burden in silence and humility. Some will sew their mouths shut in protest while others haul impossibly cumbersome items strapped on their backs in lieu of the conventional albatrosses. Lead anvils; sacks of dirt, sand, or seed; grandfather clocks; bedposts; small, uprooted trees; rubber tires; anything to spite the cruel lot of my tribe who go out of their way to make the long pilgrimage even more oppressive than it already is.

Those who relish the migration of the lepers like sport plant thorns or spread broken glass ahead of time along the Trails of the Filthy, pelt the Dogfaces with soured trash or spoiled food as they pass by their village. They’ll enjoy chilled purified water in their presence, a delicacy afforded only to those born of my caste, while the Dogfaces grow up drinking from the streams where we deposit our refuse, in which we urinate and defecate and dispose of our dead and contaminated.

All along the trails around festival time, you’ll spy horned dolls strung from tree limbs, snouts stitched smiling to mock the horned ones. At festival’s end, each doll is clipped down and tossed into the stream.


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