June 2012



Zombie huggers we call them, ZETA, the Zombie Ethical Treatment Association,
parading along city streets, flaunting purple ribbons,
chanting zombies are people, too, marching
for zombie rights, seeking donations for the cure,
but we all know the only cure is double death
from a bullet right between zombie eyes,
those dull, lifeless eyes, good only to guide
in one direction—toward raw flesh
like the day they stumped into our crosshairs,
those whom ZETA claims are people, too,
ZETA the do-gooders, the left of the left,
right toward our bait of road kill—
deer, ground hog, varmints and new double dead.
Suddenly ZETA appeared—30-40 of them—
all wearing purple ribbons, shouldering pickets,
brainwashed liberals of all ages, armed with only purple spray paint,
circling around their brainless mascots in a human shield,
causing us to shoulder our rifles,
we who earned the right to bear arms,
to bag our limits as dictated by state game and hunting law.
All we could do was watch,
watching the membership grow—the membership of the zombies,
fifty strong now, stumping toward our bait,
purple ribbons flapping in the wind.
We opened fire
and bagged our limits and took home trophies,
mine the late ZETA president, a hottie named Chalice.
Finally I got to mount her,
right in my den, one fine taxidermist job,
undoubtedly a blue ribbon winner at the fair,
perfectly spray-painted purple.

Bob Petras is a graduate of West Liberty University and a resident of Toronto, Ohio.  His poetry and fiction have appeared in more than 120 publications, most recently in Phantom Kangaroo, Haunted Waters Press, Death Head Grin and Speech Bubble Magazine.

According To Chinese Custom

According to Chinese Custom
A man who wears
a green hat
admits he cheats
on his wife.
I heard on the news
of the death
of a Chinese man
who died wearing
his green hat
with its poison
Peacock feather.

American English professor and award winning poet, Michael D. Brown, lectures internationally and provides literary reviews for universities; author of 17 books including 6 volumes of poetry. Currently teaches English in China. His latest book, "Brown's Simplified English Grammar," is available in Manadarin. Recipient of the New York State Senator's award for poetry with numerous publishing credits in magazines, newspapers, and journals. His most recent poems have appeared in 20 journals in just the last 5 months including: The Tower Journal, Kalkion, Writing Raw, Velvet Illusion, Mad Swirl, and Inkwell and Quill.

Zombie Sculpture

The town's art council commissioned a sculpture.
It was to stand in front of the dilapidated city hall.
The sculpture committee wasn't into all the modern
stuff. It wanted something traditional, but something
that would catch the eye.

White marble was for too expensive, so they cast a
huge block of yellow poly-vinal-chloride. They injected
it with air to fill it with voids.

The old sculptor abandoned his hammer and chisel;
He took a machete to block to carve out the basic
outline. Huge kitchen carving knives were the next to
come into play etching out the gross detail. Pairing
knives added the delicate touches. A rough rasp
polished the surface. It left gouges and burrs. Last of
all, he added divots and wrinkles that oozed drops of
fluids putrid. 

The sculptor was pleased with his work. He invited
the committee to see. When she pulled back the drape,
they stood in awe; it was perfect. It represented the
agricultural theme of the town. It was a giant rotting

Mike Berger has an MFA, and is retired and has been writing for two years. He has published several hundred poems including seven chapbooks. A full collection is in process.

When The Dead Wake Up

No one told me
How to do this-
How to wake up
After being dead
And start living
Again in the world

How to be a slave to
The hunger,
To the very smell of
Human flesh

No one taught me
How to live
Amongst cannibals-
How to watch them
Eat their own kind,
Using bones
As porcelain toothpicks
To get the brains out of
Of their decayed
And rotted teeth


No one showed me
How to crack open
A skull with my
Bare hands or
How to properly
Suck the juice
Out of a brain

I was clueless-
A newborn child
Of the plague
And I  had barely
Learned to drag
My own two feet before
The first wave
Of hunger hit me
And I found myself
Face deep in my
Fiancé’s chest 
Covered in blood
And gnawing on
His rib cage like
A starved dog

The taste consumed me
Drove me into a frenzy
I had no idea that
That human meat
Could be so sumptuous,
So addictive,
So easily available
And up for the taking
That I lost control
And gave into what
My newfound appetite
Required me to do-
Prey on the living
And feast until
They were dead

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an Alumni to Seton Hill University where she was a double major in English Literature and Art History.  Amongst having numerous publications, the most recent being her poem “The Craving,” she enjoys painting and playing the piano. She is currently attending graduate school to pursue her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, and is working on a novel. She plans to continue in academia to get her doctorate in Gothic Literature.


Et Tu, Navum Necatum?

I killed Julius Caesar with a steak knife at TGI Fridays.
His blood on my napkin was brutal with gravy stains.
Sloppy. Only sloping can describe this;
The porcelain, the propane, and the maintenance of kitchens;
And who does this, this, industrious labour?
Are you too a team member,
Or a sales associate,
Or a representative of customers?
The hands are pitching in;
And in every place, or slice stabbed,
In the white robed man that I knifed at TGI Fridays,
Eating pork dumplings with an Amstel Lite;
His righteous indignity,
Replete slave and laurel wreath,
Forced our hand.
No man can live as such a king
Jack Daniel’s burger and onion rings.

Thomas M. Moomjy resides in New Jersey. When he's not writing poetry or playing guitar, he can be found teaching English composition and working towards a PhD in American studies. 


I am not the wall of forbidden death
Dead at the toe nails
Of a deprived loveless manifesto
I am floral,
Oozing out scented promises
Smeared inside the core of an endemic democrat
I am not the head
Volleyed against the cold steel
Of echoing pellets
I am the voice
Moisten with oil
Calling from the deep
Where the blackest of succor finds succor
I am life
Whose present sleep
Is accounted not for slaughter
I am not the spirit
Who’s dead to our infirmity
It maketh not intercession
In our days of groaning
I am not the end, yet born
I am the truth in Christ
I lie not.

Chinedu Johnathan Ichu is a 35 year old married African of Nigerian decent; I have been writing now for 8 years, my work mostly reflects the time, life and thought of a typical African irrespective of race, gender and tradition. Although within our dear African continent there are too many obvious challenges confronting writers, it hasn’t deterred me from continually shifting my beautiful African mind into over drive whenever am being inspired or the need arise, for me poetry is like a large jump starter, one of my aims first as a writer is to positively show case Africa to the rest of the world, to make them understand that we are good for those relevant things that comprehend and compliment existence, it is my duty as a writer to make sure my work is well grounded and speaks volume to whoever decides to read no matter their orientation because it cuts across all barriers.

Poor Ghosts

Poor ghosts,
blurred nubbins of we know not what
long-vanished species,
their necropoli carpet this small world,
which we mine
for their metal-rich skeletons.
Them we can use,
but not so the ghosts:
not frightening enough for a sideshow,
not even really in the way,
translucent markers only
of ancient deaths



my companions grow
with each festering bite
inside, we scream

David Kopaska-Merkel describes rocks for the State of Alabama.  He has published 1200+ poems, short stories, etc. since 1972.  He won the Rhysling award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. His latest book is _The Tin Men_, a poetry chapbook co-written by Kendall Evans.

He blogs at http://dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.blogspot.com/. @DavidKM on twitter.

The End Of The World

-to R.A.

At Sunday School today I was gazing
out the window when Miss Hooker called on
me to lead the class in the Lord's Prayer
and I think she did it on purpose, to
bring me back to reality, if that's
what God is--reality. I'm not sure
but I said Yes ma'am and cleared my throat and
rose and closed my eyes and bowed my head and
took it from the top and sailed right through all
the way to Amen, which I spoke of course
but didn't hear my voice or maybe lost
it, Miss Hooker and my classmates shouting
it out so that it almost scared the sin clean
out of me. Then Miss Hooker set us free,
dismissed us that is, because only God
can do that, set people free that is, if
that's reality, too. I guess it is
if God is, real I mean. I've never seen
Him, at least not directly. Miss Hooker
says that He's everywhere and created
everything and there's a little bit of
Him in everything He created. Fair
enough. I can see that. I guess I mean
I can understand it, it makes good sense
because at regular school when we draw
and color and fingerpaint and make things
out of Playdough and papier-mache I
can always tell mine from the other kids'
and our teacher can, too. But my work's not
perfect and God's should be--how can He make
an imperfect thing? I'd ask Miss Hooker
but I already know what she'd say and
she always takes God's side anyway, not
that I blame her, she is the teacher, and
has red hair and green eyes and a million
freckles so she's perfect herself and proof
that sometimes God can really nail it. No,
she'd tell me that the world was aces 'til
Adam and Eve fussed it all up when they
blew off God in the Garden of Eden
and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree
and suddenly knew too much so God had
to keep His word and make them leave the place
and that's the world we have now, full of sin,
death, lies, broken promises, and hardships
of all kinds. And then He flooded the earth
and drowned all the sinners. Noah and
his family and all the animals
two-by-two started all over again
but even that didn't take, so even
later, and I'm no good with dates, God sent
His Son, Jesus, to be born of Mary
and teach the people how to be decent
and He worked a few miracles and then
got in trouble with the authorities
and died on the Cross at a sacrifice
and whoever believes that Jesus is
the Son of God and died so that people
wouldn't have to be really dead when they
die will live in Heaven forever. So
they took Him down from the Cross and stowed Him
in a cave but on the third day He rose,
which is a neat trick. I'd pay to see that.
And the point is that it can happen to
me, too, and not just crucifixion or
death some other style but I mean rising
from the dead. I'm not good with the details
but when I die they'll bury me and then
my soul will leave my body and I'll go
to see God to be judged and if I've been
good and believed all that about His Son
then I can stay in Heaven but if not
then Hell's to be my home and that's not good,
because I'll wish I was dead all over
again and I already am, that's how
bad it is. It's in the Bible somewhere,
the explanation I mean. Or maybe
my soul stays in my body until one
day Jesus calls it up from the grave with
all the other souls, like graduation
or commencement or whatever it's called.
But wouldn't it be easier for God
just to make everything hunky dory
by snapping His fingers, if He has them?
It seems to me that He went to a lot
of trouble to make a bad thing better,
or is it really worse, when He alone
of all others could have things perfect by
hitting us with a wholesale miracle.
Instead we've got to work out things His way.
When I got home from Sunday School today

Father asked me what I learned and Mother
said that I look right grown up in a tie.
They don't go to church themselves but sleep late
and have barely risen when I get home,
sitting at the kitchen table in their
robes and having Sanka and Tareytons.
I learned, I said to Father, that dying
is the only way to live, I mean live
forever. Oh, said Father--sorry I asked
--and hid himself behind the sports pages.
I think I get you, Mother said. That's God
for you. That's Him all over. She lit her
cigarette and inhaled and then exhaled.
I thought of the Holy Ghost. Maybe that
means I'm saved, saved from Heaven
and Hell. It must be the end of the world.

Gail Acuff has been published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Adirondack Review, Ottawa Arts Review, Worcester Review, Verse Wisconsin, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, Poem, Amarillo Bay, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, and many other journals. I have authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). And has also taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.

Hands On The Headboard

I's a snowy, winter night
I am bundled, safe in bed

I hear the familiar creaking
of the door. I know the foot

I am silent, gripping the brass
headboard, knowing it to be a
strong friend to hold my hand

The events start, I am aware. My
mind has learned to play the game
with me.

We travel far, through a clear blue
sky. Looking for friends, pretending
they have invited us over to play

Just as things began, they have now
ended. I hesitate to let go of my brass
friend. I curl up in a fetal position

Now I am free for tonight. I wipe the
tears that had gathered earlier, while
in flight. Now I hold my friends hand
once more, this time to just cry until
I fall asleep.

Mildred Speidel Bio TBA

MSSNG: the i

There’s no i in bad,
But I found one in terrible.
There's no i in fate,
and coincidence's i's offset one another.
i can be found in destiny,
but control lacks an i.
There’s no i in good,
Because it set up camp in evil.
There’s an i in lie,
But truth doesn’t have one.
I found an i in alive, two in imagine, and think.
I found two i's in finish,
But complete has none.
There’s an i in existence, in question, in will, and in life.
But I failed to find an i in absence, answer, obstacle, and death. There’s no i in name or face or legacy, or easy or encourage or team or commentator or crowd. But I found an i in child.
I found an i in birth.
I found an i in conceive.
There’s no i in expect,
But surprise has one in it.
Instigate’s i’s cancel each other out.
There’s no i in you or me,
and there is no i in us.
When it counts, though, we can always find an i.
I found an i in raise, and in infant.
You won’t find an i in Jameson Darrell Ford because there’s no place for another i in history.

Tyler Ford aka Jack Beanstalker was born in Albuquerque, NM. He's currently a first year creative writing student at UW-Milwaukee. This is his first publication.