Scott Manley Hadley

talking to a friend about our polyamorous friends

One of our friends says
‘They will end up as killers,
Like Fred and Rose West,
This is how they started.’

In shock at his words and the venom with which he says them,
I tell him that Fred West used to eat onions as if they were apples,
A fact I heard on a podcast.

But the friend continues his disapproval
And says
Over and over and over again
‘Well, me and my girlfriend
Aren’t bored
Of fucking each other.’

I do not think
My bisexual polyamorous friends
Are bored of fucking each other
I think they are so
Excited
By sex
They want more of it.

Fred and Rose West
Had a homemade neon sign saying “cunt” above their bed.
They lived in Bristol.
They were good at DIY.

They are nothing like my
Tasteful
Middle Class
West London
friends.

Sex
Is not
A moral failing.

Killing people
Is.

But if we’re getting Catholic about it,
Envy’s just as bad as lust.

Stare Down The Gods, by Adrian Manning

Stare Down The Gods

Stare Down The Gods
By Adrian Manning
Holy&intoxicated Publications

Adrian Manning is a UK poet whose work has appeared in print and online the globe over:  his voice is sincere and delicate and he is a poet who is unafraid to let the pen scratch the truth into paper. Manning writes with a resonance that permeates humanity and its flaws and beauty and has the ability to knock you into next week with just a few lines. He has published over 20 chapbooks, he has established a strong presence in the small press for the past two decades, and ‘Stare Down The Gods’ is a testament to this respected well-deserved reputation. For Holy&intoxicated Publications, it is with a sense of honour and excitement to release this collection. If you are familiar with Manning’s work, this book is a must-have, and if you are unfamiliar with his work, then this is a must-have book.  — JDR

Paypal £5:00 / $5:00 plus p&p to johndrobinson@yahoo.co.uk

Thumper Devotchka

Don’t you know who I think I am?

“I don’t think this wedding will go ahead and that’s sad,” I mumble through tears and smoke. She doesn’t say anything, she doesn’t usually say anything, this is not shocking to me but it is hard to comprehend.

I say everything, not really for her or I but because I have always had this mouth on me and a historical need to fill silence, often with emotion and, as she kindly tells me before bed, drama.

“I don’t know what to believe?”

“Listen, neither do I,” I respond as I’ve responded for the past 5 years. My emotions are loud, intense and manic. We live together in semi harmony and to be reminded again that all of it is too much lonely, predictable and ultimately boring.

This whole life, if I am honest with myself, is deeply boring. Even with the theatrics I struggle to feel connected. Interested. Here.

I tell a friend, “I could pack my life into a suitcase and leave.”
I think I read that somewhere but I use the material as my own.

Often when I feel like nobody I paint the walls with somebody before me. Idols. Villains. It isn’t important as long as it fits the script.

Some lyrics remind me I have been used for my body a few times while in blackout. I try to swallow the psychological reminders. She notices. Asks me what’s wrong.

I am honest, mostly to my detriment. Honesty makes people uncomfortable. Crying even more so. I am honest, and I cry. She doesn’t like this.

People make very little sense to me.
Fragments of them touch my heart and then I fall out of love (if I’d ever been in it) and return to myself. My selves.

It’s all about me still when the cards are down.
I have an escape rope and an internal off switch, perfect for times like this.

No one else can keep up with the rings I run around myself. No one asked them to.

Everyone in my hallucinations plays the marching drums. We go to war all the time. I am not scared of overflowing. There is beauty in my intensity. There is wisdom in my ability to flit in and out of states, timezones, love affairs and sadness.

And there’s carnage. Blood. Guts. Dust.
I’d be alone if I knew how to but I am a child every second day and children… need looking after.

Morning is here. My eyes roll back. It’s happening again. Life. It sneaks up on me and I swallow it like a badly manufactured vitamin. It doesn’t taste nice but everyone tells me it’s good for me.

I feel even less invested in further altering who I am upon waking. I stare at her in bed and think, ‘I don’t like you anymore,’ a strange mantra considering it may not be real.

Spitefully, I make some noise getting my things together and leave without saying goodbye. If I’d have said “have a good day” it would have been dishonest, something I’ve learnt people do not like. I weaponise my authenticity as a way to disarm others when they feel upset with me.

“I am honest.” Now what?

“I don’t know what to invest in!” she half shrieks at me from under the covers. It makes me sick and angry and un-attracted to her. All side effects of the idea she may leave me before I leave her. ‘Get in quick’, I think.

Investment. I’m not meeting my end of the bargain. I am a pyramid scheme who got what I was asking for and never really returned from it. My body is still in the old apartment. Another house haunted. Another ghost formed out of circumstance.

I eat the flashbacks and the bathroom. I blame myself again and move on to the next thing.

Tonight, it is her disappointment and the fact that my battery won’t charge. Fuck! My battery won’t charge.

My priority is distraction, especially after this skull fuck of a conversation.

I piggyback myself home from a free course I was granted due to my Government Standard insanity. I talk my way out of a 10 grand debt and simultaneously force a toothbrush down my throat and pat myself on the back.

My love will destroy you.

James D. Casey IV

Hand Snakes & Fingernail Soup

maggots in the meat
puking reflections
dreaming dreams
of becoming flies

heads up
duck
goodbye and thanks
for all the fish

plastic mountains
under mind control
wooden bones
creaky souls

human teeth boiling
in cat bile
mind and body
blown away

alligator feet around
hand snakes’ necks
French kiss
pig parade

scabs on the dog
brewed into beer
turn turds
milky missiles

three cheers
for dead youth
mushroom cloud
confetti

coffee in a
crystal skull
pointing at our wrists
asking for the time

suicide notes
as paper airplanes
aurora borealis eyes
swollen and blind

angles mistaken
for parabolas in
the business of living
never follow the crowd

fingernail soup
testing the water
not all good things
come to an end

Arlen Russell

Fuckpig

Aside from a broken, bloody nose, Constance Gibbons was a knockout. A lithe figure, with pretty, vacant green eyes and toenails the color of eggplant.

Her husband, Rick, had given her the broken nose. His eggs were runny. After he’d corrected her for this grievous infraction — breakfast being the most important meal of the day and all — he’d bent her over the formica countertop in their kitchen, threw down the sweats she was wearing, tore aside her panties, and got himself ready to mount her. As a courtesy, he spat on two of his fingers and primed her pussy before he slipped inside her.

To start, there was always the brief exhilarated shudder Rick gave as he gripped her hips, and the walls of Constance’s pussy gripped him. At this point, Rick would slap her ass — often multiple times — with real fury and agitation, as though he were shocked and angry that Constance was capable of doing this to him, making him shudder and quake just by hugging him with her pussy. Rick would then embed his fingernails into Constance’s hips till he saw red blotches on her skin, and once he was over the initial shock of her engulfing him, he’d gyrate himself towards orgasm with no particular rhythm or skill.

“How’s it feel, fuckpig?” he would ask her between gasping breaths. “Feel good, fuckpig?”

“Yes,” she said, robotic.

“Ahhhhhh,” he said, getting closer. “Fuckpigs don’t talk. Fuckpigs oink. Oink for me.”

“Oink,” she said.

“Squeal for me, fuckpig,” Rick said. “Squeal loud.”

“Squeal,” she said.

“I said fucking squeal!”

Constance licked her lips, tasted the all too familiar coppery flavor of her own blood.

Weeee,” she said.

Rick shut his eyes and cried out, “Fucking squuueeeal!”

WeeeEEE.”

Squuueee—”

“—eeeeEEEEEE!”

SQUUUEEEAAaallll!”

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-EEEEEELLLLLL!!”

“Aw fuck yes!”

He was getting close.

“I want you to snort, piggy, big ol’ fucking snort,” Rick said. “And look at me while you do it.”

She turned to face him and, without a trace of self-consciousness, opened her mouth and snorted. The lower half of her face was coated in blood and snot.

Rick shut his eyes and concentrated on his thrusting. He was so close now.

EEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!”

“Fuck yeah, piggy!”

The squealing continued. It grew whiney and hoarse. The grip on Rick’s dick grew steadily tighter, till it was holding him like a vice. The urge to come was momentarily stalled by panic. Constance had never felt this tight before. She was starting to hurt him.

He opened his eyes. Only Constance wasn’t there. He was fucking a boar. Unmistakably, a boar. Only a pair of pretty, vacant green eyes gave anything away.

Hell was an ammoniac slaughterhouse. Rick was up to his knees in pig-shit. Little white piglets nipped at his heels and curled themselves between his ankles, making it difficult to move without falling. Strangely, these piglets were without snouts. And Rick couldn’t see their eyes either.

He bent down to examine the little piggies more closely and saw they weren’t pigs at all but giant white maggots.

Suddenly, Rick couldn’t breathe. His throat was on fire. His nostrils flared and whatever was living in the air of this charnel house found its way onto his tongue. His senses of taste and smell were so befouled he yearned for a cup of burnt ash to imbibe. His skin was peeling. His eyes stung. His fingernails were shed as though being slowly torn out by invisible pliers.

He regained consciousness in the kitchen. It was dark now, but light enough for him to see the boar and what it had done to him. His knees began to buckle and he fell, hands clasped over the gaping wound where his cock and balls used to be. Blood poured through the slats between his fingers.

The boar turned to face Rick, its long, distended belly dragging across the kitchen floor.

Rieeeeeeck.”

Alan Catlin

Dirty Girl Scout

When God made cut-off
jeans and specially modified
wife beater tees and put them
on a woman with a Daisy Mae
body, you knew there was a
reason and a purpose to life.
That she could pound flaming
shots of whatever you put
in front of her and swear like
a stevedore, didn’t diminish
the package, actually added
traction, among the guys she
hung with in after hour, no
close bars. Used to claim
she was a girl scout in her
youth, the kind scout leaders
warned all the other girls about
and who was envied by all.
Was asked by one of the bar fly
mountain men she hung with
if she’d ever been a brownie
and she said, “Wouldn’t you
like to know.”
The way they were looking at
each other it wouldn’t be long
before they found out all there
was to know about each other.

James D. Casey IV

The Neverending Nothing

painted faces
painted on the faces
of a triple-headed frog
walking through the rain
whispering to itself
things no-one can hear
that only come out
at night

pagan free wild
ripped apart
for less than a dollar
trees stripped
bone dry
lissome beings
crying
under satin sheets
torn away

strange chords play
stars dance
asleep
inside the deep
everybody
wants to rule
the world
but the nothing
lasts forever

walls of amber
behind blank stares
black eyes
broken dreams
glowing embers
forgotten

too many things
too little time
great feast
rotting promises
smoke filled lungs
taken
chance by chance

odds and ends
stolen away
better safe
than sorry

Lee Kirk

Bad Pill

Rose poured
from her friends’ nose
as he pulled his fist back.

Near midnight,
halfway up Sauchiehall Street.
Under a neon casino sign,
he came towards us.

My screams were louder
than his shirt,
more feminine than
the girl hiding behind my back.

I used her handbag
like a shield,
defending us both.

The windmill for insignia
kicked in,
making my jaw sloppy,
my eyes rolling backwards.
Feeling sunburnt under
tungsten lights,
I felt something,
stir from my belly.

As he got closer,
you could see the coke
around his noseholes,
flaring like a mad dog.

Throwing a punch,
clipping my left ear.
I was about to strike back but
Instead I was sick, sick, SiCK!

Projectile, steaming hot,
all over his chest,
looking like an SVQ level 1 art
abstract island.

He stopped
as sirens got closer.

Looking down
at his shirt,
then back up at us.
Then he ran away!

She thanked me for saving her.
My breath pumping harder
than any muscle in my body.

I said
you’re welcome.
She said
her name was Lisa.

Two fire engines zoomed past.
I asked Lisa for her number.

‘Naw, you’re alright’.

So I walked away in slight defeat,
towards the smoke of where
the fire engines went.

The art school was on fire.
The universe can protect you
In the strangest of ways
sometimes.