Donna Dallas

Melancholy with a splash of Tito’s

I wanted to write that I’d felt
several times I would never 
outlast that I’d never get 
here – I’ve laid still

under naysayers and boasters
I played dead to avoid
being beaten to death 
even when I lay buried deep in soft

earth I dug and clawed out just 
in time to breathe I wanted
to say it would be ironic 
to run into the few sharers

and we would laugh recalling
how lovely a share it was
in those hazy days
I wanted to say I thought of you

wondered if I killed you as well 
it’s a slow death but oh how 
desirable to feel it…..one more 
time one more day

I’d give a lot of money 
a piece of myself
although there is a part of me 
that lingered in that place

if you lose your arm or a finger
you still feel that it is there
it yanks at me always
moves me and I 

sometimes feel 
that old part of me 
saunter into the room
in search of you

David J. Thompson

The Phases Of The Moon

I don’t exactly understand why, but
my new girlfriend won’t come indoors
after dark when she’s having her period.
When I ask her about it, she just murmurs
something about needing to live in harmony
with the phases of the moon. I’ve decided
to buy her a tent and good a sleeping bag 
for her birthday, and an economy-sized box
of Stayfree Overnight Maxi Pads.

John Yohe

Porn Hub

one lesbian in 
pantyhose sniffs the
feet of another

your step-sister says
she won’t tell anybody
from your point of view

the girl instructs you
how to jack off and laughs at
your pathetic dick

a man spends an hour
groping a woman on a
bus while she acts calm

your ‘wife’ looks at you
while having sex with a real
man with a real cock

a woman touches
herself in her car in a
Walmart parking lot

this compilation
features twenty-one facials
in seven minutes

a ‘daughter’ brings her
boyfriend home to her ‘mother’
and guess what happens

do you relate to
the woman with the strap-on
or her girlfriend

a woman is caught
and ravished by tentacles—
only in Japan

a woman takes off 
everything but her hijab
filmed by her husband

your mom has sex with 
your bully so he’ll leave you
alone and you watch

a man in anger
management fucks the mouth of
his hot therapist

two full hours of girls
masturbating and reaching
orgasm—two full hours

there apparently 
are amateur women who
like to give blowjobs

a black man makes a
white woman say the n word
while he slaps her

this sissy trainer
uses het porn clips to show
you that you are gay

Joseph Farley

A Plague of Lawyers

It was a Tuesday, not much different than any other Tuesday. The city had recovered somewhat from the trauma of Monday, but had not yet reached the middle of the week. No, it was not Wednesday. People would not have tolerated it on a Wednesday, or so I’d like to think. On Wednesday you have moved a little closer towards the next weekend. It is a hill you can stand on and see Saturday in the distance. On Wednesdays there’s more hope, and a greater possibility for fighting back. 

That is just my opinion. I have heard the counter argument that Wednesdays are more complacent, less likely for rebellion, precisely because it is one day closer to the weekend. Grin and bear it. We’re almost there. Just two more days. 

I reject that belief. No. A plague such as this so close to the weekend would not have been tolerated. Anyone would have been able to see the risk it posed to the weekend, not just the immediate weekend budding on the horizon, but all weekends. No. It had to be a Tuesday. So it was a Tuesday. Not much different than any other Tuesday. But I’ve said that already. Time is short. No time for repetition. I must tell what happened while it is still fresh in memory, while details still are details, before they have begun to blend. No. The story must be clear.

As I recall it was close to noon. Not exactly noon. A little before or after. The sky had been clear until then. Suddenly it grew cloudy. No. Not suddenly. That’s not exact. Gradually. But not slow and gradual. A hurried gradual, but still gradual. What? You say that sounds “sudden?” It doesn’t matter. Details. Not every detail is important, but some are. Let me finish. Let me tell the whole story before you interrupt again with questions. Can you do that? You don’t know if you can? Fine. Ask. I just won’t answer. I’ll go on. It is up to you to listen.

Men and women in pinstripes, mostly blue and gray and black. And searsucker. There was some searsucker. Not much. Just enough to remind you of summer days at a court house in Georgia. They began falling from the sky. All were carrying briefcases. Brown and black briefcases. Most were expandable – the briefcases I mean, not the lawyers. If I am to be honest, some, the younger ones or more wild eyed, had backpacks. No, it was not a plane accident. It was something unworldly. They fell from great height, you could see it, but landed on their feet, heels in some cases, and started running. 

What do you mean you don’t believe me? No, it wasn’t on the news. But it happened. How do I know? I was there. I saw it all. Please, let me finish. You can pick my story apart after I’m done.

Well, you are right. They didn’t all land on their feet. Some went splat and just oozed away, down the drains or remained as some kind of stain on roof tops and road surfaces. But you interrupted me again. I had asked you not to. I know it is hard for you. You have questions. Everyone has questions when I tell my story, but you need to be patient or the process narrative will take much longer. Time is always tapping us on the shoulder, saying we should be elsewhere. Just listen.

They ran in all directions, the ones that could, thrusting petitions, summons, subpoenas, lawsuits of all kinds, and contracts into the hands of all they came upon. They barged into businesses, restaurants, offices. They shoved their papers through open windows of cars and into the laps of the drivers. They spread out, rampaging throughout the city raising legal mayhem.

No, they were not passing out religious tracts. Why must you keep interrupting! These were legal documents. Of course I know the difference. I was served by more than one of them. I had to find an attorney that had not come from the sky and hire her in order to defend myself. I was in court for months before the matters were dismissed as frivolous. By then I was bankrupt. Why? Legal fees, court fees, depositions, motions, subpoenas, the time away from work. The scandal of it all affected my family and business. I lost customers. I lost contracts. I lost my wife. Lost my business. The divorce compounded things. That’s why you see me the way I am now, dirty and disheveled. It was the plague. I was one victims. 

What plague? The plague of lawyers! Haven’t you been listening? You must pay attention. Every word I say is important. Of course you have not heard of it before. No one wants to talk about it. They can’t. They’re not allowed to. Not everyone fought as hard as I did to clear their name. There were many settlements with releases signed, all with non disparagement clauses and specific wording barring discussions of the lawsuit and all incidents leading up to it with anyone, especially the media. I have searched for years for someone, anyone else who went through what I did. I have met those who let their eyes meet mine, and seemed to acknowledge the truth of that day and the months of terror that followed, but none would or could say anything. They were all bound by the terms of their agreements. They had to be. Who knows, I may be the only one who can talk about it without legal repercussions.

Can you please not interrupt? If you can’t control yourself I will have to try to ignore you. What were the terms of the agreements? How would I know that? You are right. I did say before that I would ignore you, but that’s not always easy to do. I’ll do my best to ignore you. It requires focus. Unfortunately I do not always have that. There are so many other things tugging at my mind. Please do your best not to say anything until I am finished. Yes, I know it will be hard for you as well. It is natural to have questions, to want to comment, but time is limited. I can’t be here with you for as long as you or I might like. Am I being watched? Probably. But I also need to keep moving, go elsewhere, share the news with others.

Since you asked about the settlement agreements I’ll tell you what I do know, which isn’t much. I can only go by what was suggested as a resolution to me. What did they demand? The first request was a jar of pickles, a thousand dollars, and for me to hop on one leg in public while singing Yankee Doodle. Of course I rejected the request. The demands went up and down from there, but I refused to bargain. The fallen attorneys who sued me huddled in the judge’s chambers, and made a final demand for me to lower my pants and slap my own rear a dozen times. I rejected that out of hand. It was about dignity, my sense of self. Principal. Yes, I lost everything, but I won. I won. The cases were all dismissed and rejected on appeal.

Clearly, you can not refrain from asking questions and I lack the discipline to ignore your questions. Look at the time? I can’t stay here long. Just let me finish my testimony.

What was I charged with? I won’t tell you. It is too demeaning. The court dismissed all of the allegations. The judge said the cases were unprovable, ridiculous, impossible. I believe they sued her afterwards. I believe the judge settled. I read that she retired from the bench after gargling vinegar and decorating her robe with onions. But that doesn’t matter. The fact is there was a plague. It may still be going on. Spreading. But no one talks about it. Those who know about it are all sworn to secrecy due to those damned releases.

My court cases? Yes, you could look them up. No, there won’t be anything in the record of lawyers falling from the sky, but that happened. Yes, the charges and the decision can be found if you use the right search engine. Give you my name? No. I won’t do that. I value my privacy. I would have liked to tell you more about the plague but I’m out of time now. You interrupted too much. But I can give you this. Take it. What is it? You can read it yourself. It’s in your hands now. Open the envelope. A lawsuit? Yes, I guess it would be. I work for them now. Who? The fallen lawyers. 

They started a firm a few months after they landed. Quite successful I understand. After I had lived on the streets for a few years, they searched for me an offered me a job. I was suspicious, resentful, but in no position to reject their assistance. They hired me as a process server and general delivery person. This is my first week on the job. It doesn’t pay much, but it’s helping me start over. I guess they’re not all bad, or shall we say, a little short of being totally evil. I think they’re trying to make amends for what they put me through. One gave me a jar of pickles this morning with a ribbon and bow on it. Another bared her ass in the hallway and gave it a slap. I took these actions as almost an apology, or as close to an apology as a fallen lawyer is capable of providing.

What should you do? I can’t tell you what to do. Hire a lawyer if you want. I have a dozen cards I could give you if you need one. Are they all fallen? Probably. They’re the only lawyers I know now. Should you settle? I haven’t read your papers. It depends on you and your situation. And your sense of integrity. If you have that it could cost you more. Homeless? Well, yes. I was for a while. Just a few years. I am in subsidized housing now. And I’m working. It could be worse. 

Don’t cry. What? You don’t want to wind up like me? I don’t know how to take that. What’s wrong with who I am? I am human. I still have my pride. What are you doing? Stop! Pull your pants back up! It will do you no good to slap your cheeks now. I only serve the papers. Call the firm if you want the negotiate.

HSTQ: Fall 2020

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 2020, the curated collection from Horror, Sleaze and Trash!

Featuring poetry by William Taylor Jr., Michael D. Amitin, Casey Renee Kiser, Judge Santiago Burdon, David J. Thompson, J.J. Campbell, Johnny Scarlotti, David Boski, Kerney Bee, Daniel S. Irwin, Paul Tanner, James Diaz, Andy Seven, damion snow, Jeffrey Zable, Jeff Weddle, John Maurer, John Tustin, Donna Dallas, John D Robinson, Dave Cullern, and Matt Amott.

Kindly PayPal 5 USD to arthur.graham.pub@gmail.com, or get your FREE ebook here!

More of the lovely Miss Ginger HERE

Paul Tanner

diamond

she was stuffed 
into a long skirt.
it was like clingfilm around her thighs
and hugged all the way down to her ankles: 
she looked like an upside-down pear.
she could barely move in it.
and as she went past me 
doing these little trots in heels, 
I saw there was a hole 
in the stitching at the side,
high up on her thigh:
this tiny peek of leg flesh, 
like a diamond in the dark.
all I could think about
was running over 
and licking it:
would it be stubbly? 
would it be smooth?
would it taste of some lotion,
or just good ol’ sweat?
I wanted to lick that diamond
so bad 
but I’m a good man 
so I didn’t 
and she trotted on
quite safe in her little stifled trots.
I wanted to lick that diamond 
so bad 
but wrote about it instead 
and now you do too,
don’t you? 

John Maurer

Blood, Blood, and Tears

No one has even noticed my brain is outside of my skull
Sitting in my hand dripping out its serotonin and dopamine
The reuptake isn’t great when I’m spilling it out
Like my heart fell off my sleeve and onto the page

I’m still saying what they tell me not to
I have too much free agency for an agent in my early twenties
I say fuck because I’m fucking fucked
If I tell them to fuck off, they fuck on
Even if I don’t give a fuck, they will take a fuck
Like my poetry is a cheap whore, only meant for one night stand

They want to tell me where to put my line breaks
And for that, they will take…hmmm…nine eighths
Plenty more if they can and more if I’m desperate,
and I’m plenty desperate
I would take minimum wage for a page, but who would pay
To see auto-autopsy
To see half of a heart transplant
To see me write poetry until I have a nosebleed

Anthony Dirk Ray

Forebodings

Kenny opened his eyes slowly, but the minuscule amount of sunlight coming in from the inch of open curtains was enough to make him squeeze them back shut again. His head ached and his stomach was twisted with pain. The thirst that he felt was immeasurable. Kenny pulled himself from the comfort of the plush hotel bed and staggered to the sink for handfuls of tap water. As he sucked down copious amounts of liquid, he attempted to put the pieces of the previous night together. 

Kenny was the singer of an up-and-coming band known as Winter’s Dread. He remembered opening the show for the well known regional act Gloomy Forebodings, then drinking, doing blow with the headliners, and meeting some girls after the show. Kenny’s band played music on the extremely heavy side, so the majority of attendees were usually young and sweaty guys looking to fight. It shocked him that a fair amount of attractive girls were at the show. 

He found a towel on the tile floor and picked it up to wipe his mouth and face. The room was mostly dark, but obvious that it was littered with empty beer and liquor bottles. Kenny made his way back toward the bed. He just needed a few more hours of sleep before the band or their road manager would be knocking on his door. As he went to lay back down, he was able to make out a figure on the opposite side of the bed.

Kenny then had a memory of a sexy blonde in a cut off black t-shirt and short jean shorts that came on to him pretty hard. She was with the group of girls backstage, and this one had taken a liking to him. A faint recollection of the two of them snorting heroin off a guitar case entered his brain. Then he recalled getting head from her while others were in the room. He wished he could put more of the night together, but it all melded into a fuzzy blur. 

Kenny crawled into the bed to snuggle up to the mystery girl. He wanted to make some memories that couldn’t be forgotten. But as soon as his naked skin touched hers, he felt the cold, clamminess of death. Kenny instantly released the tit of the corpse, recoiled away, and sat up on the bed. He switched on the side lamp and slowly turned to verify: The once living, breathing, sexy blonde, was now wide-eyed, stiff, and lifeless, with dried vomit down the side of her face. 

Kenny frantically began to switch on every light in the room. He knocked over bottles in his haste, which heightened his anxiety further. The room had to be cleared of any illegal activity before he could do anything else. He flushed every baggie that he found, empty or otherwise, and continued his search. 

Kenny found the purse of the dead girl and looked inside. He removed her wallet to search for an I.D. A driver’s license was visible through a clear portion of the wallet. Jessica Stevens was her name, and she was only…16 years old! Kenny’s heart dropped, his breath quickened, and a feeling of despair overtook him.

Kenny thought, not only is this girl dead, but she’s underage, and she died from drugs that I gave her. He fell to his knees and broke down. Kenny knew that there was no way out of this. Thoughts of gloom, sadness, and regret overwhelmed his being. 

The eyes of the cadaver seemed to follow Kenny everywhere in the room. He covered her head with the sheet, sat on the bed, and put his face in his hands. Kenny knew that he had to call the police and give this girl the respect that she deserved. He was terrified, but knew of no other option than to face the dismal consequences. 

Kenny picked up the phone with trembling hands, but before he could dial, there was a loud pounding on the door. 

“Police. Open the door,” a gruff voice shouted from the other side. 

Before Kenny could do anything, the door exploded open, and large monkey-like beasts charged in at him. The largest creature opened its mouth to reveal a pair of large, jutting fangs. Just before they entered Kenny’s skull, he awoke in a panic. 

Kenny shot up in the bed, switched on the side lamp, and looked around frantically. He was in the same hotel room, but there weren’t bottles everywhere, and best of all, there wasn’t a dead girl beside him. In fact, there was no one there but him.

Kenny sighed deeply and let out a slight chuckle.  It was just a dream, he thought, as he laid back on the comfy, down pillows. 

However, the relief he felt didn’t last long. The entire hotel began shaking violently. He had been in a few earthquakes in the past, but never over twenty stories in the air. He was about to flee his room and find the stairwell when the shaking intensified. Rumblings, deafening crashes, and sounds of devastation flooded his ears. Screams of terrified and dying people could be heard all around. The hotel started to crumble and break apart. Massive chunks of falling debri rained down on him, and the floor began to give way from under his feet. 

Kenny was awakened by the shaking of his bunk. It was lights out, and his cellmate, Big Chocolate, was ready for another piece of ass.