John D Robinson

The House Clearance

Her thirst for sex was ferocious,
married with 3 children,
she struggled to love and bond
with them and her husband
left, taking them with him

I was called in to pack
what was left behind,
as she had to move from
the 3 bed house

I had never seen
so many batteries and
such a staggering array
of sex toys

‘What the fuck is this?’
asked my female colleague,
holding up a pair
of nipple clamps

‘Fucked if I know’
I lied, ‘I don’t know
what half of this shit is’

‘Neither do I’
she lied in response

Willie Smith

Owed to Greed

Pad over to the Poet’s pad. 
Surprise the clown making love to his fist. 
Hoping thereby – he grunts – to get a 
handle on some angle for an ode. 
Sputters, between gasps, concentrating on 
his two-stroke: “Booze in kitch, under 
sink, Popov – beside cleaning fluid can.” 
Spurts across the room at a shelf 
stuffed with self-help books. 
Myriad animalcules perish – 
dried to a horrid death – 
on the binding of a Webster’s. The 
Poet snaps, zips, buckles. Slouches 
onto the couch. Re-enter 
with glasses and the bottle. 
The Poet replaces glasses. 
Mumbles, hates to wank in focus. 
Pulls from his pants a ballpoint. 
Rolls eyes at the ozone. Explains he’s 
fingering the Muse’s organ. 
Play her like a fugue. 
Force registers howl. 
In his grave Bach flips. 
Hand the Poet a vodka flip, 
highball just mixed. 
Both eyes out of his skull lower. 
Chugs the flip. Falls 
to scrawling in a spiral pad 
snatched off the cocktail table: 
“Able was I ere I saw Elba.” 
Sip my drink; suppress a grin; 
start session with: 
“No longer, then, 
I take it, are you Napoleon?”  
The cat catapults across the linoleum; 
caterpillars into the Poet’s lap; glares up 
like I’m in the wrong pigeonhole. 
We chase the tom under the sink, 
whooping like Genociders and Injuns 
bombed on hard cider. Exit – two drowned 
rats in a failed thought experiment. 
Anything held against me, the Poet 
yells, I – hustled out the door 
into the back of the van –  
simply never meant!  

J.J. Campbell

the poor side of town

all the streets
in the poor sections
of towns all look
the same
more churches than
well-kept lawns
more liquor stores
than cars on blocks
my friends would
always get nervous
when i would drive
on that side of town
at night
that made me laugh
i always felt more
comfortable on the
poor side than the
lower middle class
side i grew up in
we all blow smoke 
up our own asses 
over where i lived
the poor side had a
true sense of reality
and after all
it is only death
we’re all going 
to go sometime
i’d rather die 
around better 

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Watering Hole 

He is standing in the middle of the street.
In very short shorts from the 1970s.

Emptying a purple watering can over a pronounced pot hole.
A light sprinkle at first, then he tips the can.

Watering this hole caved right out of the pavement.
That cars slow and weave to avoid.

I wonder what he is hoping to grow.
Hopefully not another child.

He already has too many of them.
The child services lady keeps sniffing around.

Like she remembers those old scratch and sniff books
that made a tire yard smell like bubble gum.

I loved those books.
Sitting in the basement crawlspace
surrounded by panicked silverfish 
and old potatoes with roots long as 
some city busses.

Perhaps that explains some of the disconnect.
Mine and his in this more immediate of slash pieces.

This middle-aged man who remembers to shave.
Watering the street in a black wife beater
that has seen better days. 

A scarred left knee from an old surgery.
And always the stupid purple watering can.

Dana Jerman

Lust Straddles the Grave

a nude dream

in an enclosed space humping dirt dripping over human priapism pre-rot rigor a dusty ooze front-seat fuck young mouth wide voiceless back and open brown white sugar decay hard but won’t cum see yourself bob over his pulled down shorts blondegrey peach fuzz and post-pubescent genital musk sick-sweet suck sounds of the last creamless cockhead pull-pushpush-pull off to exhale warm hands grappled for a strange empty press into breasts amber piss after the pleasure soaking seat and down into sock and sneaker someone else will until and sniff and wince and maybe understand

a free hand into oily hair a red fist the sunset finds his chest and burns a hole where I’ve kissed.

Dana Jerman

Natal Chart of the Scammer

…our poisoned mothers touched dicks and you oozed out. An antibirth of piss-froth like a sick green worm. Wow, here you are again and look, I’m sitting in your mother’s open tongueless rotted swallow-pit while she fester-bleeds from the eyes and let’s me slice-fuck her fast with a razor in her slack pussy, rubberized and morbid from disease. Her corpse is my candy and you’re a halfwit bastard from a blind whore-hole. God disdains your filthy shit brown blood, your life is a wasted harvest. Endless yawning trash packed with maggots and convex with flies. Bloated and useless as a gangrened gash. Wet with the pus of unending infection.

Fucking your dumb trick mouth, my rabid cock fills your neck. My jism polishes the worthless wax-packed drooping hairy insides of your ears, exploding like a hundred boils gravid with hot blister-bile. Splashing the walls of your spit-dung hut, you and your mother, wretched on all fours. Naked sightless bitch hounds clawing at fetid fecal- dirt with bleeding cracked black nail beds, the rust of your choked speech like howling vomit, you’ll never forget how…

David Estringel

Blue Light

Leaning against an old Chevrolet on Maudlin Street, I smoke a cigarette—hard—chuckling at the hisses and howls of alley cats beneath the butcher shop’s broken neon sign. They flick their tails and prowl about, pestering fellas headed home to cold wives and cold dinners, straight from the misery of their long evening shifts. Persistent, with purrs and claws—smooth as cream— they graze oily pant legs (and thighs) for want of a rub…or two. Tossing my smoke at the sidewalk—a cherry-bomb explosion drawing the glow of hungry eyes—a young, new one to the corner catches my eye, preening her strawberry-yellow hair, distracted by night shadows that stretch and duck in the periphery. I light another smoke and call her over with a “Psst,” motioning with my hand, as tracers from a flaming tip pull heads from her pounce in unison, to and fro. Cautiously, she turns to me, as the sign overhead begins to flicker blue, casting a harsh pallor upon angled faces with its undead light. Calling her over, again, she slowly heads my way—eyes shining and features soft. “What’s tonight’s special?” I ask, as she pulls the cigarette from my newly shaken fingers and takes a drag. Letting out a long sigh, she blows a steady stream of spite—sweet—into my face, and jabs, “A pound of flesh with a side of soul. Hungry?” looking as if she’d heard that line one too many times. “Nah,” I answered (a burn taking over my cheeks), “not tonight.” Then I turned and walked away down Maudlin Street—not looking back—wishing I knew her name, loving her.


Originally published in Terror House Magazine

Brian Rosenberger

Silence is Golden

He no longer goes to bars.
Happy hours are to be avoided.
Too much talk about sports, politics, 
Religion or relationships.
Those problems endure regardless 
Of what the patrons drink.
Depression, best consumed shot by shot,
In the shadows, by yourself.
It goes down much smoother,
With ice or not. 
Certainly without conversation.
His preferred glass, Evan Williams and Pepsi,
Or just bourbon and more bourbon.
The calories, not a concern. 
No judgment.
He knows the bartender, after all.
The soundtrack of his demise, his future,
Probably both. Various podcasts, music, 
The sometimes TV shows,
Or his damn arguing neighbors.
Sound travels in his subdivision.
He delights to the sound of barking dogs,
As long as it’s not his dogs.
Never a fan of leaf-blower symphonies
Or fucking lawn mowers.
He prefers the occasional gunshots. 
More final.
He drinks in darkness, in sunshine
Today, a sky full of dark and threatening skies. 
The Sun, a tomorrow away.
It could be Heaven. It could be Hell.
He never waits long for the next glass.

Ruth Niemiec

Small Talk

I think you misunderstood
I ordered an oat milk latte
This is clearly a cow’s milk latte

Let me make it clear
I don’t want milk from the bosom
of an animal
of a mammal
Oats suit me just fine
crush them,
pulverise them
mmm make it violent
Yum, yum

I don’t ask for blood transfusions
I want my blood
in my veins
dripping wet gold
on my chains

I think you misunderstood me
Just the coffee beans with oat milk
That’s enough to wake me
from the dread of existence
Take the sleep
from my eyes
Take a hit
that dark blend
and hope that I awake to
motivate myself to
run to work sweating
sit at my desk and say thanks
and yes

I ask my former self
the sperm
why did you swim
so fast
are you punishing me for pain

Sorry mister!
I zoned out, haha
sorry, yes, no, thank you

Yeah, I just prefer oat milk in my lattes
Have a great day