Two Poems by Amy Soricelli

Love Leaves Me Blue

Blue combs my hair with his dark shadow hands in the dead of the night
smelling of cigarettes; Blue uses his teeth/removes my tangles
once a long braid down the perfect straight of my back.
The edges of empty/lost settle on the ground - the hair he cuts;
see them piled/chippy brown sniplets of high school feeling hair -
collects around the tiles on the bathroom floor...will find months later laying up in the sides
curled up, hidden.
Blue drapes his arms around me -leads me around in a blind-man-with-stick way
i feel around with my hands not trusting Blue-
the lonely rounded corners with nothing to hold onto; Blue smells danger
offers shiny coins for it.
Blue says "i love you" in hard pounding paragraphs stuck with pins against black paper
the rough on your hands leaves behind ash...
little words of ash.
Blue dances with knives in the sleeves of his coat
walks up the sides of buildings/ there are dogs with chains locked hard to the gates.
Blue whispers "you need me"
like a threat in the black starless night.

Weekend at the Cape

I took the sand away in a small pail -carried it lingering
across glittery pieces of rock - maybe stone.
there was no skipping but light light on the feet it seemed
always daytime there.

she lived on the top of the hill the very top
like ceiling clouds the air filled the mud room
slippers with tracking feet -
the umbrellas smiling always straight up like soldiers.

the wooden floors would crack the doors would creak -
no surprise behind curtains/the giggles trapped between the tiniest
rose buds as they danced around the hem
on my sailor-blue sneakers.

all sea glass in plates with the frozen smiling seahorse in its profile pose
delicate lace tableclothe/everything sprinkled with lavender;
slight breezes through open spaces in floorboards/
the sound of the ocean tapping at the door expecting to sit with arms folded on its lap.

One poem by Michael Lee Johnson

Common Church Poem

Sitting here in the pew
splinters in my butt
hours in prayer begging
Jesus for a quiet life.
Breathing here is so quiet,
so alone, so unnoticed,
so simple, you can hear Saints
cleaning my eardrums
so I can hear the scandals
of my wickedness-
crying here seems a
form of sadistic laughter.
Where is the priest, masturbating at home?
Is he bleaching down the walls
inside his confessional?
Is he out selling cassette tapes, reaping in riches,
spewing glibness, condensing remarks to those
in office, those in need of counsel.
Is that woodpecker I hear outside pecking my brain, calling me insane
or tapping out a new set of rosary beads, or a chisel and crowbar
to break my sins free?

2 Poems by Jonathan Butcher


We burnt down what was left of our 
responsibilities on the midnight fire;
scarfs and drinks keeping us warm,
the powders rush now creeping up our
backs like demented frost.

We share our tokens of pride without
judgement, clink glasses when 'great
minds think alike', "So will this continue
after we hit fifty?"- I have seen various 
casualties, and secretly pray that is not
our fate. 

The music from the battered stereo still
flows through the hiss, as we pick ourselves
up once more, and hope the end never finds
its path, as the fire leaves its embers to warm
the oncoming dawn, as we continue to drift
forward, but never even close to home. 
The Odds

We were ousted by the very mouths
that claimed to be our mentors, only
of course when our presence suited
them we are invited back to the fold.

When they wished to appear wise
about drugs, vandalism, walking
down parkways at 2.00am, and music
they only listened to in secret. 

Their false words of wisdom then trailed 
off like tired exhaust smoke, their eyes
that first seemed as bright as bonfires then
depleted, and stared stagnant like unmanned,
rotting sewage.

Yet we still repeated their phrases, 
their ill fitting wardrobes and backwards 
logic, yet always with a smile on our faces;
it was just far too easy aspiring to shit. 

5 Poems by J.J. Campbell

only the guilty run out of fear

let's go swimming
in a frozen lake

get out the snowboards
and go to the desert

bring plenty of
sunscreen for three
months in a cave

go rob the bank
a block away from
the police station

calmly walk away

only the guilty run
out of fear

go introduce a rabid
dog to your newborn

take bets on who
makes it out alive

always remember the
sheriff plays for free

unless you want that
newly built grow room
to become property
of the state

and only repeat the
lies you believe

otherwise you sound
like a fucking fool

avoiding conflict

string the holiday lights
up like hope still exists
in this world

be it bliss, ignorance
or a silly faith

you don't avoid
wearing it with

you obviously didn't
grow up with the pain
of abuse or ever take
a fucking punch at a
school recess

avoiding conflict might
have worked for you

but i'll bet you all 37
cents in my savings

that once you taste
the joy of defeating

you'll never avoid
conflict again

the rainbow

somewhere over the rainbow
there's an old man with a
gun in his mouth

having freshly penned his
last words he's comfortable
with his goodbye

somewhere over the rainbow
a bleeding child is placed
in a dumpster

a bleeding teenager tries
to quickly run away

guilt not far behind

somewhere over the rainbow
a good woman still cares

though she's grown tired
of trying to figure out why

somewhere over the rainbow
a man goes down to one
knee and asks his lovely
wife for a divorce

somewhere over the rainbow

a dreamer asks to go
back to the other side

to the other side

you can feel the
sweat on the back
of your neck as
soon as you walk 
out the door

you look at the cats
and how miserable
they appear to be

you start speaking
spanish to them out
of a habit taught to
you years ago

that should be enough
food and water to get
them to the other side

you don't allow them
inside anymore after
reading one too many
stories about household
pets eating deceased

a sad kitten looks up
from its bowl and you
walk away

you're not going to
be fooled again

the invisible muse

she's the kind of woman
that knows she's incredibly
attractive yet gets pissed
when she's in her finest
clothes and men start

the kind of woman that
wakes up each morning
believing the majority of
the earth is beneath her
yet will brag all day long
about her love of god and
work in the church

the kind of woman that
wants to be spoiled with
lavish gifts and treated
like a queen yet don't be
surprised when you catch 
her sucking dick in the
corner booth of a dive
bar with a latin man
twelve years older
than her

the kind of woman that
never takes responsibility
for her actions because
quite frankly she's never
had to

the kind of woman that
is embarrassed by her
family and the weekly
therapy session

the kind of woman that
knows she's really invisible
once that little blue pill
wears off

Complicated by Rebecca Gaffron.

I wake
with you
on my mind
and him
on my thighs
and realize
how sticky
this thing called love is

2 Poems by Ben Newell.

to be posted on backpage with naughty pic

I do, at times, consider prostitution
a viable option—

and taking it up the arse,
thirty minutes of degradation
for two-hundred dollars
preferable to eight hours
of the same
for much

plug for a porn novel

I’m issued the ISBN;
this and a form
to fill out,
providing input for the art dept.
as they begin designing the cover,
things I want
things I definitely
do not
Given the plot and characters,
I want
a nineteen-year-old
college slut
in cotton panties,
preferably an ass shot
with said slut
glancing over a shoulder,
eye contact
with potential readers,
reeling them in
with the promise
of more. 
I definitely do not want
a Fabio facsimile
with high cheekbones,
washboard abs
long flowing locks
the color of
Of course,
the final decision
isn't mine to make;
the art. dept
wields the power
in this relationship.
I’m just the writer
of dirty book
an inmate,
I’ve got my number
a solid idea
my next


I am made for Alzheimer’s
practicing forgetting since I was a child.
A pink thread of mist frays into light,
the sky a sun ached blue-white
full of calories and miscellaneous detail.
Suddenly a great shiver of katydids
blows a wind across the edge of the yard.
I have a need to explain everything in color,
the mood swings and the warmth of scars,
a strain above the eyes, a roll of breath
across a shape of lips I am not allowed
to wander through. This is the way
to dementia, the play of remembering
what needs to be forgotten, what needs
to never be remembered, what needs
to settle into the swamplands
near the gathering of love chatter
from grass toads and large mouthed frogs.
Everything else dissolves unto frames,
a black and white Humphrey Bogart a moment
before he walks out on Katherine Hepburn