John Yohe

what sissies want

I want a little black dress
to be forced to wear in public
to the mall
so everyone will know
that I’m not a real man

I want a little black dress
w/long sleeves
to make my arms look thinner
hem so short
you can tell
what kind of hosiery
I’m wearing
bend me over
easily assert your dominance

I want a little black dress
tight to show off my best asset
w/plunging backline
so everyone can see
my padded bra strap
which is also black
because bad girls wear black bras
and I want to be bad

I want a little black dress
w/high heels
to wear to a bar
full of strong brown-eyed men
so they will know
what a slut I am
and treat me accordingly

I want a little black dress
to be the woman I want to fuck
as a way to attract the attention of women
because I still want women
in little black dresses of their own
to talk to me
take me home
we could lay in bed
creating a fantasy
kissing
rubbing nylonned legs
together
making a wish

Gene Goldfarb

Astronomy Meets High School Boys

We finally were able to take a decent picture 
of the true black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. 
A bunch of high school boys wonder if we could somehow 
tickle or nudge it delicately so it would jiggle wildly 
or do something amazing. What a question!
All sorts of variants and constants need be considered
in doing anything with this gigantic black hole,
the only constant we have is how high school boys think.

Daniel S. Irwin

Only Sleeping

He is not dead.
He is only sleeping.
That’s why he hates it
When the cat wakes
Him up by pushing
Its ass into his face.
Varmint!  Good thing
He doesn’t sleep with
His tongue hanging out.
Sometimes he does
If he’s really zonked.
The usual story of a
Life of disappointment.
Bad women and good booze.
Or was it/is it/could it be
Good women and bad booze?
The only time he got the two matched
Was bad women and bad booze
Amounting to kicks to the head
And mornings full of sorrow.
Good women and good booze
Was only at church communion.
But heathens don’t go there
And ain’t no Flowers of the Altar
Come to save him from himself.
It’s the Devil’s life and the Devil’s plan.
He’s nothin’ more than a mortal man.

HSTQ: Spring 2022

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: Spring 2022, the curated collection from Horror, Sleaze and Trash!

Featuring poetry by Featuring poetry by C. Renee Kiser, Joseph Farley, J.J. Campbell, James Diaz, Jay Passer, Jay Maria Simpson, Bogdan Dragos, Kristin Garth, Noah David Roberts, Eric Lawson, John Tustin, Daniel S. Irwin, Sherry Shahan, and Noel Negele.

Get your FREE ebook here!

Ryan Quinn Flanagan

If Your Dick Were Any Smaller, it Would Mail Me Love Letters from Micronesia

The S.S. Minnow gets on my knees. Jimmy Boy Rock guts a twelve string Fender with his galloping back nine horse teeth. If your dick were any smaller, it would mail me love letters from Micronesia. I am not trying to be kind, so much as honest. Dredging lakes named after habitual nose-pickers out of their only spawning water. It’s Rocky Horror for rocky shoals. Jack Daniel’s and smoke rings and layer cake concept albums over a garage sale turntable. Friedrich Nietzsche stuck in some squeaky animal balloon threesome that never included god. And those rats you keep trying to catch all look like syphilis with legs. How Byron came to see the Greeks once he soured on the Ouzo and pita. Do not commit suicide, everyone commits suicide these days. The inmates have replaced the warden with a Barcalounger made of Hate. Awning over awning like sunscreen for cracking death-march sidewalks. That crunchy yellow grass that makes you think you are walking on tiny instances of tinfoil. Someone to carry the baseline that is not a stork or a flatbed or some yummy mummy surrogate offering up her high end hotel womb for an extended stay. “You’re so overrated that Tripadvisor can’t keep up,” I hear some familiar smart mouth say. In a voice that could be mine if nails started eating hammers and jimson weed made a comeback that nervous Nancy guillotine never could.

Jeff Weddle

A Sudden Knocking

Small killer with big dreams 
her mind like the gears 
of a forgotten music box
unloved and lost
in a hot attic.

Thoughtful assassin
not wanting you to suffer
(just a quick pop
then nothing)
used up and lost in tears 
most eyes would never recognize.

Little shooter on the move. 

Knives are fine in a pinch
or poison in a frosted glass.

Deft beauty out for blood
in the nicest way possible.

That’s her at the door right now. 
Do you answer? 

She is quite lovely after all
and a brilliant conversationalist.

For reasons you will not understand,
you are her greatest ambition. 

She will be loving, soft,
the one you have wished for, 
and prepared for anything. 

Consider well. 

You have this final chance 
and there are many worse ways
to go. 

Sherry Shahan

A Most Disgusting Poem: Homage to Sixto Diaz Rodriguez

I’ve written in every kind of pleasure dome
I’ve scrawled in bowling alleys, biker dives
Dance halls, strip bars, old folks’ homes.
All the times I’ve hummed requiems
The same lines, rhymes, sooty impromptus.
So if you read on you might see yourself in this poem.

A most disgusting poem.

A future ex-husband limps through the door 
Eying an after-hours’ beast hoping to score
The bartender mixes a dirty bloody Mary 
And sightless Andy chokes on his cherry 
Then the local convoy be-bops in
And bit by bit the party begins.

There’s Vinny “Do-Diddy Pimp” Victor
Looking to procure a virgin stripper
Preaching is a sullied pope
While everyone downs the soap
That cannot revive their hopes.

And there’s old horn-dog Jeff
Who underwhelms even himself
And a topless waitress with a silicone ass
Who assumes little more than she grasps.

Yeah, every night it’s the same old scene
Smoking dope, sloppy drunk, being horny
At the Halfway-Inn, again. 

And there’s old preacher Jerry with the pool boy wife
A blue-eyed voyeur with a martyred life
And the professor with blue pills in his drink
Who never gives love, only nervously blinks.

Yeah, rank and file it’s the same old scene
Placated, unsubstantiated, masturbated at Mr. Spate’s Inn, again.

And there’s the young blood with the homespun soul 
And the Queen of Hearts stumbling down a rabbit hole.
And there’s ice-maiden Jane who forever reminisces 
She kneels, blesses herself, and doles out French kisses.

Yeah, they all show up, the Iggy Pops and Jim Crows,
Deadheads, redheads, and dirty blondes stealing the show,
Who speak in tongues, consult with nuns, and wish to be mistreated
Who misplace their dreams only to claim they were cheated.

Yeah, every night it’s the same old scene
Smoking dope, sloppy drunk, feeling horny
Mislaid, even, at Royal Albert Hall, again.

Noel Negele

Days of Beauty, Strange Days

I move from place to place,
collect stories, meet new people,
take in the landscapes—
I don’t stay long in a single job,
I don’t anchor myself in one field—
I end my relationships after
two to three months,
don’t give women enough time
to fall in love with me
or truly know me,
its cruel to do that—
I’m weary of weeping faces.

At the new warehouse
I work in a freezing environment 
with three other coworkers 
on such a mind-numbingly
boring post 
that it’s made a talker out of me.

We face each other 
while breaking boxes
for nine and a half hours 
everyday,
dressed in high visibility 
jackets, skull caps,
face masks, scarfs—
the only thing visible
from our facial features,
our tired eyes.

We kill the time
by talking about anything
and everything 
while slowly going deaf 
by the loud machinery all around us.

Nihal, on my right
is a 22 year old Algerian
already married with
three kids, he says.

You really stepped your foot in it,
I tell him.

He shakes his head regretfully.
Apparently, his 19 year old wife
wants three more kids.
It’s stifling, he says,
I don’t make nearly enough money.
I don’t know what to do.

On my left, Neil, a fat boy
from Liverpool 
breaks the boxes with his elbows.

Don’t you just wish
you paid more attention 
at school, I ask him.

He says he has a better job waiting for him
in September,
a job at a call centre.
Somehow, sitting all day in front of a computer 
taking abuse from raging customers
sounds better to him.
I imagine him getting fatter and fatter
in a cubicle
leaning dead over his desk
at the age of 34 
because of his oversized heart
attacking him 
and lying there for hours and hours 
until his irritated boss approaches his body 
and gives it a shove 
and asks just what the hell
is he thinking going to sleep
on the job.

Opposite me, stands Steven
a 58 year old Scotsman,
all skinny and feeble and kind
and more energetic than the rest
half his age.
An ex junkie, 
my favourite person in the warehouse.
“Been on the Junk since I was thirteen,
me, pal, had to move to Ireland to get clean.”

I ask him if he got clean on his own.
Aye, he says, all by me-self.
Now, I just take Valium 
from time to time 
to take the edge off.

I nod. Valium is a hell of a tablet.
A very tasty poison.

At the bottom of each 
cardboard box,
bold capital letters in red
read:

WAYS YOU CAN USE THIS BOX:

  1. MAKE AN IMAGINARY RACE CAR
  2. MAKE AN INTRICATE CASTLE FOR YOUR PET
  3. PUT IN ALL YOUR OLD CHARGERS
  4. GIVE IT NEW LIFE BY RECYCLING IT

I take a black marker and write 
over the red words.
I have to entertain myself, somehow.

WAYS TO USE THIS BOX:

  1. STORE COCAINE IN IT
  2. SUFFOCATE A CAT
  3. USE IT AS TINDER TO START A FOREST FIRE
  4. FILL IT WITH KILLER BEES AND LEAVE IT ON A DOORSTEP

I put the box on the conveyor belt
and watch it travel through the warehouse.

After work I frequent 
a beat down pub 
in an ominous alley
you wouldn’t go through 
even if it saved you a lot of time.

The men there are dark-faced,
their women mean-looking,
all their hearts filled to the brim
with hatred,
it’s a foolish affair to hate,
yet they’re consumed by it.
I study them. I see the old me
shoulder to shoulder with them.

I drink two or three beers
and call it a day,
proud that I can drink 
not to get drunk,
proud I can take the world in sober.
Glad to not be leaning 
heavy against anyone,
glad to be able to help people
I care about, finally.

I wish to be kind 
but I’m afraid
of being kind
towards the wrong person.

On the ride home
I smirk at my rear view mirror.
The wind is in my hair
and the smell of spring 
is a fine smell indeed
and although there are many burned bridges
in my past 
I make plans for my future
too hopeful to even write about
lest I jinx them.

In these days of solitude,
in these days of beauty,
I am used to being 
a stranger amongst strangers —
I am my own home now
and when I go to bed
I don’t toss and turn
I slip right into
oblivion.

Kristin Garth

Some Men Who Have Paid To See You Nude 

include rock stars, a priest in clerical 
collar, serial killer when he still had 
at least twenty dollars & compensable 
labor outside of death row, a sad 
ex-FBI agent turned lawyer turned strip 
club owner turned Clyde while Bonnie shot cops 
popping up through a sun roof window, golf trip 
titans with vacation condos they bought 
to fill with small town rented pussy explored
spread wide on granite kitchen islands —
at least that was their thoughts that pour 
into your ears in the VIP, man
addicted to speed who runs a pharmacy,
two psychologists who’d shrink you for free.

Jay Maria Simpson

Black Stockings

I bend over backwards for you
dressed in black stockings and ginger wine
gymnast
dancer
who plays Chopin on your seductive
grand piano

YOU SAY

You love my suppleness
my gracefulness
the way that I expose my self
mind
slippery soul
silence
mania

YOU SAY

You love how I show myself
to the night
under the
drunken
stars

I TREMBLE

you climb into the shower with me
your dark eyes staring me down
you suck my nipples and make them sing
you erection breaks free inside of me

lather me
fall to your knees
understand