Anthony Dirk Ray

Waiting Room

in the crowded room
waiting on the second
nerve pill to kick in
surrounded by
young and old
black and white
men and women

I don’t think the old black women
are here for a vasectomy
it is a gender fluid world now
so I could be wrong

maybe they have trouble peeing
what if their occupation
was that of a degrading dominatrix
specializing in water sports
the inability to pass urine
would be affecting their income
and livelihood

it could be a tax write off

 

Richard Faircloth

She’s a Lot Better Than Me…

… and I knew that.
christ!
so why did I climb into the ring with her?
really?!
and why is the bar always jumping
when you’re getting your ass whupped, gloves off,
“… the hell were you thinking?”
by the sexiest woman?
“don’t you ever think?
not deeply enough…
“god damn you!”
that’s a righteous right hook…
“you are such a…”
and a stinging jab…
“I should cut your…”
below the belt, but the ref doesn’t call it,
just pours me another shot
“… can’t believe…”
that smells like guilt,
“… back of my truck – my truck… ”
and tastes like eighty-proof stupidity,
“… my own fucking sister??!

(also known as my boss’s wife…)

my corner man slaps another beer on the bar,
trying to stanch those cuts, but
ass-hole!”
the bell rings too soon,
“fucking pig!
and the next punch
“mother-fucking liar!”
really connects.
god, she’s beautiful.
she telegraphs the next combination,
but I’m too proud to duck:

fuck
(full wind-up bitch-slap)
you!!

and the fight’s over –
I hit the floor,
she hits the door,
and the crowd goes wild.

HSTQ: Fall 2019

Fall 2019_cover

horror, adj.
inspiring or creating loathing, aversion, etc.

sleaze, adj.
contemptibly low, mean, or disreputable

trash, n.
literary or artistic material of poor or inferior quality

Welcome to HSTQ: Fall 2019, the curated collection from Horror, Sleaze and Trash!

Featuring poetry by Mendes Biondo, Ben Newell, Alan Catlin, David Boski, J.J. Campbell, Casey Renee Kiser, John D Robinson, Anthony Dirk Ray, Damion Hamilton, Johnny Scarlotti, Maté Jarai, Jacob Ian DeCoursey, Scott Manley Hadley, Bogdan Dragos, Jack Henry, A.Theist, Thumper Devotchka, and Garvan Giltinan

Kindly PayPal 5 USD to arthur.graham.pub@gmail.com,
or download the FREE ebook instead!

Stephen Watt

Samhain

In pumpkin shades of streetlight
the vampires, the witches,
the double-stitched cloaks of aspiring wizards
swish through willowy, puddled alleys,
round the draughty tenement doors
and their gloomily-lit hallways.

Sacks of sugar-coated lollies
promise twilight turmoil, late-night frenzies
wrestling with demons and sibling rivalries.
Tangerine skins and monkey nut shells
will cling to shabby carpets
like departed souls that refuse to be expelled.

When the town sleeps, a pylon on the hill crumbles
like the burnt wick of a birthday candle.
The damp soil underfoot moulders and rots
until skinless fingers rake the sod,
hauling its entire frame to the surface
and we watch the shaded Mound of the Hostages
as it slowly lurches down towards us.

Ben Newell

St. Tropez Tan

Driving
to my dishwashing job
when I see
a big-ass beer truck
parked outside Walgreen’s…

CORONA
FIND YOUR BEACH

The driver mops his brow
with a handkerchief
then hoists another
backbreaking case.

He hasn’t found his
and something tells me
he likely never will—

As for me
the only water on the horizon
is mixed with
commercial-grade detergent
and sanitizer.

But I’ll keep getting shit-faced
and dreaming
of hot sand beneath my feet
as topless French women
beg for my autograph.