Head Stones

Time is on my side
just came on the radio
No one can stop them playing
Too old to rock and roll, too young to die
But here they are, dead and still playing
The clicking noise is Mick
Ron can’t look up anymore
Charlie defying
The heartbeats of the band
Someone tell Keith his nose fell off
They sway
Finally dancing with Mr. D.

Brett Hamilton is a teacher of English, Speech, and Drama at Central High School in Pueblo, Colorado.  He is also a dancer, actor, mime, and prize-winning film-maker. He has taught, choreographed, mimed and danced in six states over the past 30+ years. His poetry has been published in Towers, Grassroots, Scientific Problems Itself,  Wildcat tales and a couple other print publications.  Hamilton sometimes writes lyrics and makes music videos for Steve Ball, a Seattle Musician. His video, "Unwound", won the Pueblo 24 Hour Film Festival in 2013. His blog, "Language is the arbitrary currency of meaning" is at   zoegraceli18.wordpress.com



on mantles born beneath the ribs
and below the shoulders
the essential dispositions
couched in rhythmic procession
twisted and spooked

like the earliest part of morning
when it is not day nor is it night
ideas throw roots within
the object of their information
moves as the assertion of forces

reaching for the mind with wires
pounding on the hearts private room
emanate cortexual substucts
all those acquired madnesses
which swing the heartache

of twelfth hours
pressing on the very doors
curtains billow through broken windows
the air has texture like granule smoke
their arms reach in

riding the thoughts of decay
which grow inside the force of motion
with hands that look for my throat
lodging inside volitions secret retreat
they are horses racing down

eating the earth like determined men
limping in ruts of their own damage
their feet held to the fire
the hammering process goes on
finding reason in every circle

Dave Marston hails from Portland, Oregon, and is just beginning his writing journey. He says the attraction to poetry is its capacity to express abstract thinking without the need to fully unpack the meaning involved.



I’ve noticed, the closer you get to the real thing in any bout of writing, the more formidable are the perverse interruptions, the deflections, tempting diversions and sheer obstacular incidents. The Alchemists were so familiar with it, they gave it a name – Ophiucos i.e. the Great Snake (no less!)- Ted Hughes. Letter to William Scammell. 2nd October 1993. Letters of Ted Hughes. Selected  & Edited by Christopher Reid. (Faber & Faber, 2007). 648, 649.

The heart is husbanded with your deeply serious moon-bedrizzled eyes
A mysterious dead-bright-diamond tear-crush
‘Shaken in a dice cup and held up to me’
Wine-lipped, it talks but does not talk
It shares its grief with an innocence clean and pure as dead babies a
Thousand lineaments and taut strings
All late coming to the courts of God

Girl, you do not question the life
‘out of living’
You do not question an embrace
You hold it hot, feel all the shipshape heart fill up into it
You feel it heave with blood-throbs

It survives
On shoots, leaves, air, guilt
Curses and verses –
As for me myself!
I dribble with poetry
As black as does not trigger-rush a happy smile-child
With a healing saliva because it cannot

I am stuck in a rut, cockle, mucous-eating membrane
I am daft with the drug that sizzles in a girl
My art is being driven to the brim of a precipice and taught not to jump
An Aunt Sally to frigid stoners
Comical, curlicue-like mokomoki
“He is not to be allowed to sleep” he hears the pick-a-pockets yelp
“He is not to be allowed to weep
(Or keep)
For that would mean another life
And he mustn’t be allowed to have that
You see, he is not to be allowed to live
Except in disguise, of course
He is not to be allowed to rise
He is not to be allowed to give” he hears them beg
“Or receive
He just won’t be gone”

Like That? On on on
The the blood gush
It is all good
So not the devil but the devil disguised as the devil disguised
And trying hard
To be content to be just that

O gape, enunciate, hawk up gobfuls

Rehan Qayoom a poet, editor and translator from London.  He writes poetry in both English and Urdu and has appeared in numerous literary publications and anthologies.


A Famous Student

Yes, I remember Hannibal.
A voracious reader with a huge
appetite for learning.
Devoured everything he could
get his hands on.
We differed just once
and only because he had a bone to pick.
He ate his heart out
when I told him he wasn’t suited for
Early Childhood Ed.
It’s been gnawing at me ever since.

Art Heifetz  has published over 100 poems in 10 countries. Nominated for Pushcart. Won second prize in Reuben Rose competition. See more at polishedbrasspoems.com


The Portrait of Fernand Fleuret

Wringing in long hands a yellowing
Book, legs clamped wide on the slanting
Floor of quiver-strokes, a forehead white
With the miserable, one eye wide in a blankish room
Barren of the furnishing historically expected, slumping
For his portrait and facing away from a desk—                                  from captured apathy

Wrangled by dental pliers earlier today—trembling
Gazer of butts, romanced room on the banks
Of the river's door to the arrow-barges, perhaps by the tracks
Where monocled fem-doctors whiz by to abort prodigy
For the women who work the corners, to marshal horny monsters
Loaded, the hardy spineless larvae that only pay—                           from defeated love

He'll sit at spangled cafe chairs like a veteran bum
To amaze the critics of engineered art-columns who abridge ballerina ranks
Live at the project gate where freshman gangsters sell noise
From tombstone dump trucks. He'll try spades
With a curtsy to monastery maggots, jumped again
By morticians who matter and lace drinks—                                     from unbeatable death

Seasonally nervous with helicopter searchlights,
He dashes the dregs of power-washed graffiti porn,
Downs arterial blood cells worth barring kitchen salt,
Blindsided by the rest of the racecar inmates
We all expected, grumpy in our wine glass gaze
At impressionist portraits, pacing the gallery                                      from expected surrender

Hart L'Ecuyer has poems published or forthcoming in the Blue Lyra ReviewPARAGRAGHITI, and Futures TradingHe has taken workshops at New York University and Webster University and has read his poems for the Ethical Society of St. Louis, the River Styx Hungry Young Poets reading series, and the Webster Groves Art on the Town festival. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Phizzog Review. He lives in St. Louis.



Slip of wrist and a small cut
At first, it is nothing
Nothing he tells himself
By lunch, it is really irritating
So the scratching continues
On the drive home, in the privacy
Afforded by automobile, he digs
Probably feels worse than it is
In the mirror, he sees a small red
Face peeking out, Don’t mind me
The mouth says, I’ll be gone soon.

JD DeHart has recently had work published in The Literary Yard and Garden Gnome, among other publications.  He is an English teacher and is currently working on his Ed.S. degree.



The mother pelican
was thought to tear
her breast to restore
dead chicks with her
blood, that they may
have life.  Depicted
in her nest, she was
said to be in her piety. 

I don’t know which is
the more surprising:
a divine myth born of
regurgitation, or the
fact that the holy bird
depicted on so many
church frescoes, which
inspired both Aquinas
and Dante to call Jesus
the Good Pelican, or
Our Pelican, was both
female and a mother.

M.V. Montgomery is a professor at Life University in Atlanta. He is the author, most recently, of the short story collection Beyond the Pale (2013). This and 'My Fair Zombie' which appears on the Flash Fiction October 2013 are part of his new collection 'Night-Crawl', published via Red Dashboard LLC, Oct 2013.


The Show-Trial

“So the dark souls fly off/ Don’t listen, let me rant on deliriously.” –Anna Akhmatova

Thinking about those Russian Revolution Trojan Blues long after the fact of their lamentation from the deserts of New Mexico:
With Lazarus on the stereo and Trotsky at the crossroads
What have we learned today?
Can we begin to deconstruct the seashell into a whimper yet?
Into a stillness
The Chekovian gun of the Manhattan project hovers above the stock exchanges, the digital age is a coda
Whose remaining time is symbiotic to purged manifestos but listen:
100 years in and the flesh still recoils at my halitosis (best to get the punchline out of the way quickly)
While forgotten exiles pace cages in the plaza
Contemplate the flashpoint between poverty and showbiz
Experiment determined a bust after how many graves were filled in with concrete? (exactly)
Show’s over, we’re packing up the revolution in tupper-ware and tinfoil
The miracle cured death without disease
Under my boots this jackal-sapped land will sing if it’s the last conjuration I make, that was the assurance I gave when communication stopped
Earth gone hushed, I am waiting
Mopping the floors of fast-food restaurants to feed the winners’ ever expanding appetites for exotic lard, was not for us
Not for us, the frivolous dance craze, the bargain
For us: the fire, the bitemark instead of the signature
But first I’ll roll my lazy blue eyes back into their proper sockets like stones,
Etching a letter to the burglars before they come:
To whom it may concern, consider my resignation tendered when your crops yield no wheat and your cows no longer milk
(don’t need those things any more, right? Everything achieved fresh in the supermarket?
Well it makes no difference but don’t tell the repomen)
The plan is realized at last in blueprints of spark and sweat
And Morse codes preceding rhythm or form or the ascendance of my mad-scientist fetish
Not quite my original design, this one’s a new path dropped in coals through the electric garden
Swathed in pale moon dusk parasites
With the frontier subdued, we smoked it until the sores healed
So I won’t feign surprise at what these plague survivors call the good ol’ days
What they do for entertainment,
There is a terrible genius in how your self-orphaning tyrant  gets all the applause, while I remain a sideshow entertainer
And I will outlive him, if it means leaving my skin for a cool rock like a casual snake
Because the poisoning was entirely mutual, you know
For all of us
We didn’t even do it proper, in a temple
(the surface of placid water, a thin line)
But rapturous and drunk on honey
Union of past and future for a blink, for a nickel
The old watchmaker I will someday mutate into throws a paper airplane across his ocean
(gray tumbleweeds turning in breezes of coffee grounds and motor fumes)
Crawled far back in his cavern, littered with stomped piñatas
They build glass cities and fly kites higher than the tops
With my mountain tomb as the sewer system, where one day I will sleep
The secret is I was intended as a Typhon reptile musket-ball shot futilely to the center of a mustachioed Olympian, an assassin
By she who bangs a drum before morning
To rattle the wineglasses on their shelves, mother anarchy
With a leather heartbeat recipe to make silver medicine in a jar
Shake it and listen:
With the hunt on, cameras rolling
You dig your hands into the stag’s Chernobyl belly
(oh golden auctioneer boy, the different between us is that I know I will fail)
Not to keep warm, be sure of that
Smudge on my glasses easily mistaken for a satellite and that for a star and so on for a plethora of worlds
These hammers
Are warmth enough for two
Climb up on this copper horse
And shake for me:
Consider it a going away present
Something shiny as a penultimate crime
Snowglobe to bust on the hide of a nuclear submarine
Silver time-capsule
Housing not an ending
But a reckoning,
A murmur
(someone’s gotta sign the check)
That there’s a red bird
In my bandaged daydreams of those who swim in scar tissue
And swoon when their off clocks strike five
Steamwhistles are obsolete symbols but surely when you hear one your gut hungers a simple labor voided by generations
Significantly paralyzed by an addiction to affirmative propaganda
Tracing it in ash calligraphies on my hip
She taunts me with a symbol:
A sickle, an anemia
My riddle as the ice splinters
You stay very still knowing the whole tundra is just a stage
As the blue curtain opened:
First, we drenched the dolls in kerosene and then into the furnace with them
Firecrackers popping from glass faces
If only the sacrifice were so easy
Then he who reintroduced me to electricity,
Pulled coins from behind my ears and laid them on my eyelids
Could also escape, and truly I’d like to let him
But they’re such cheap tricks, and he doesn’t know why the homeland is a menagerie of car crashes
And has a singular vision shoveling white robed pilgrims down his gullet
The tinpan alley healer cum plumber that I made a deal with
In candle wax and saltwater and televisions left on till they burn out:
Knows him
The far shore (allow me to introduce you)
Goddess of velvet
The celebratory fracture
Smiles rabid in the desert

Nate Maxson a 24 year old poet and performance artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico. So far he's published two books of poetry; "Vaudeville Jihad" in 2011 and "I Wished For A Serpent" in 2012. Nate's writing has a regular metaphysical twist to it, though he's yet to write something about zombies per-se.


Working for Action and Being

I won’t start with a hero waking for action:  an actor implicated in forms of love and biology.  I begin with a timeline.  The time of the world when wolves were created.  It is apropos of a given formation of man’s consciousness.  The werewolf, the wild man, etc.  Instead of a theory of art and consciousness, presume an illuminated ideology, an unadorned still-life.  Start with a thing that might be loved by the eye wholly, singly, without remorse.  That is why I begin with a timeline.  The time of the world when the wolf was created.

Matthew Kirshman currently lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two daughters.  He is an English teacher, but before that had a varied career--telephone repairman, bartender, and cook, to name a few.  Writing since the early 1980s, and publication credits include: Charter Oak Poets, Dirigible: Journal of Language Arts, Helix, Indefinite Space, Key Satch(el), Phoebe: The George Mason Review, posthumous papers(NothingNew Press), Vangarde Magazine, and Xenonarts.com.


The Purse

We’re off to the church and I ask for antacids,
Sandy rummaging from the back of the wagon
A black, unnerving purse: the florid

Ornament, the bronze handles, the fashion.
She clicks open locks, plumbs
The magically deep clutch: children,

Food coupons, pens and comb,
Stamps, a cell phone, keys…
And two sticks of fuzzy gum.

I mention price and pretense, the vanity
Of interior red silk crepe.
She says, “Nothing.  Knockoff Hermes.”

Explains, “Greek for gussied up,
The plush look on narrow budgets,”
Returning perfumes and powder, lip

Gloss, lotions, cream…  We shoot
Past our numbered exit, misled
By luxury and lining, the Juicy Fruit.

John J. Ronan is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Poetry, 1999-2000.  His most recent book, Marrowbone Laneappeared in 2009 (Backwaters Press); Linda Pastan has called John's work "Very good indeed: original, assured, just a touch sardonic." His poems have appeared in Confrontation, Folio, Threepenny Review, The Recorder, Hollins Critic, New England Review, Southern Poetry Review, Louisville Review, Greensboro Review, Notre Dame Review, NYQet. al.



You will find nine women
in your kitchen this morning.
All of them will be talking at once,
none of them telling the truth.
You will trust the tall brunette
thinking she is the only one not lying,
and she will capture your heart.
Later she will kill you in your sleep.
That is when the fun begins.

Kevin Acers lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, their cat, and a potted plant named Fronds Kafka. His writings appear in Red River Review,Oklahoma ReviewThe Prose-Poem  ProjectIllya’s HoneyThe Centrifugal Eye, and Decades Review. His book Time Machine: Prose Poems and Vignettes, is available at Amazon.  He is working on a second collection, Dead Mouse Poems, with publication expected later this year.


(These works posted on Artwork/Photography page)

INTIMATES AND FOOLS, a collaborative work by Sally Deskins, artist and poet, Laura Madeline Wiseman (click title to visit work on Artwork/Photography page).

One Eyed Monster and Haiku by Denny Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published. Some recent credits include cover art in Third Wednesday Fall 2012 issue, interior art in Dreams & Nightmares 97 & Stinkwaves #2, poetry at Way Too Fantasy &Blind Vigil Review, and fiction at Wordhaus. He does have a website (Recently updated) with previously published works. The address is www.dennymarshall.com. (click title to visit artwork/poem on Artwork/Photography page).