The Sounds of Samsara, By John D Robinson


Born in 1963, John D Robinson is a UK poet. Hundreds of his poems have appeared online and in print. He has published several chapbooks of his poetry and 3 full collections. His work has appeared in such publications as Raw Art Review, Rusty Truck, Misfits Magazine, Poetic Diversity, Hobo Camp Review, Eunoia Review, Tuck Magazine, Poems-For-All, and The Sunflower Collective, to name a few. His latest collections include Hang In There (Uncollected Press), A Hash Smoking, Codeine Swallowing, Wine Drinking Son Of A Bitch (Alien Buddha Press), and The Sounds of Samsara.

Publishing February 15th


Mike Zone

Hunger: A Confession

We were looking for stolen cocaine
at the time
I was living out of my car
three months
eating once a day
I needed a job
we went to the dilapidated house
waving unloaded guns
the acquaintance who would soon be my friend
used his fists like hammers
the guy and his girl
kept pleading
kept denying
until something snapped
as the middle-class kid
in the hoodie and bling
pretending to be gangster
clean, well fed and smooth
bellowed and shrieked
tears streaming down his face
a swift kick from steel toes behind his knee
buckled and broken
I sat next to him
a sinister Buddha
removing my mask
he started talking
knowing what it meant
I ate well, that day

Alan Catlin

Leper’s Head

She asks if you’ve
got a light and you
say that you do as
she leans in close
almost touching your
hands with her face,
looks up at you
as you strike a match,
cup the flame protection
from sudden breezes
inside this three sided
bus shelter box, snow
outside impelled by
the wind on Central Avenue;
as she inhales her
eyes meet yours,
the smoke snaking
from her nose as she
whispers, “I like a man
who can light a girl’s
fire.” Leans closer still,
cigarette forgotten for
the moment, says,
“I can tell you’re a man
who likes lighting girl’s
fires. How would you
really like to light mine?”
opening the top buttons
of her coat revealing
a see-through blouse,
breasts, “How would
you like to come
inside with me?
All the way inside.”
She seems like some
thing left over from
a dream, a distant
memory so vivid
and distinct you almost
forget to notice the
arrival of your bus.

Vapor Vespers: One Act Sonix


New York multi-instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music) partners with Alaskan playwright/poet Mark Muro for a triptastic slam of storytelling and genre-skipping sounds

New York/Anchorage, January 7, 2020 – It’s a sonic funhouse that draws upon everything from Fripp & Eno ambience and Krautrock space explorations to 70s Miles Davis funk-jazz-noise bromides, acoustic folk and baroque classicalism, all to season a world of surreal spoken word ruminations. These narratives explore scenes that are as varied as their musical backings – dramas, large and small, that take on “big think” spiritualism, romance, lust, obsession, death and the petty splendors of daily existence – with recitations that are part Eric Bogosian hyper-monologue, Bukowski/Henry Rollins poetry slam and, occasionally, a little un-PC Rudy Ray Moore party record bawdy.

Welcome to the world of Vapor Vespers, an edge- and button-pushing transcontinental collaboration between acclaimed NYC & Hudson Valley-based multi-instrumentalist Sal Cataldi (aka Spaghetti Eastern Music) and Alaskan playwright, actor and slam poet Mark Muro.

Drawing inspiration from music-powered spoken word icons like John Cooper Clarke, The Last Poets, Lord Buckley, Joe Frank, Henry Rollins and beat god Jack Kerouac, and the O.G. of monologues, Ruth Draper, the Vapor Vespers are unwrapping their ambient, industrial, funk, fuzz and jazz noise-flavored brew with One Act Sonix, a 13-track collection now available for digital download, streaming and in CD via CD Baby, Spotify, and other services. Sample via tracks below:

Cataldi and Muro’s partnership goes back to when they met in their teens in Queens, New York. Here, in the heart of blue-collar New York City, they formed a lifetime friendship and creative bond over a steady diet of Carvel Flying Saucers ice cream sandwiches, Sundew Jungle Juice, Sun Ra, Henry Miller, Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and the original spoken word recordings of the 50s and 60s from Caedmon Records.

A longtime denizen of the New York City and now Hudson Valley/Woodstock music scenes, guitarist/keyboardist Cataldi is most recently known for his solo project, Spaghetti Eastern Music. Here Cataldi fuses Eastern beats, Spaghetti Western film soundtrack ambience, Krautrock spaciness and psychedelic and funk/fusion flavored electric guitar instrumentals with gentle acoustic vocal songcraft, straight out of the John Martyn/Nick Drake songbook. Time Out New York writes: “Cataldi’s largely instrumental, Eastern-influenced jams are infused with some delicate guitar work and hauntingly moody atmosphere,” while The New York Times proclaims he has “a beat unmistakably his own.” Called “truly excellent” by The Village Voice, “a jazz virtuoso without the need to prove it” by Aquarian Weekly, “beautiful and unique” by WFUV’s Mixed Bag, “wonderfully melodic and off-center” by WFMU and “part Sergio Leone fever dream, part Ravi Shankar raga, a whirling dervish of musical creation” by Hudson Valley One, Cataldi keeps up a steady schedule of performances at leading venues in the Big Apple and the Hudson Valley.

Bronx-born Mark Muro has been a cultural force in Anchorage, Alaska since relocating in the mid-1980s. His short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies including North of Eden and The Anchorage Daily News and he has produced and performed in a series of one-man shows including The Bipolar Express, Indistinct Chatter and Not Marketable at theaters including Cyrano’s and Out North, and also at the annual Alaska One-Minute Play Festival. Muro has acted in numerous independent films and commercials, performed standup comedy, represented the state of Alaska in The National Poetry Slam. He also served as host of the PBS radio show, Stage Talk.  His newest one-man show, Bug Boy: Curse of the Ant Queen, premiered in November 2019 at Anchorage’s Cyrano’s Theater.

One Act Sonix was recorded and engineered by Sal Cataldi about the studio aboard his houseboat in Port Washington, Long Island, Houseboat Garlic Knot Studios, and Sonic Garden Studios in West Saugerties, New York (1/4 mile from the legendary Big Pink house made famous by The Band). All tracks were mastered, and several remixed, by Grammy-winning engineer Bob Stander at Parcheesi Studios.

For more information, please visit


Contact:; tel/text 516.236.3817

J.J. Campbell

in slutty romance novels

she could barely
muster a whisper

her love was never
strong enough to
illicit the kind of
passion you read
about in slutty
romance novels

i always blamed

in her final breaths,
she forgave me

i asked for what


i chuckled

i guess that covers
most of it

J.J. Campbell

whatever resembles prayer anymore

she’s the last dream
i ever want to have

the answers to whatever
resembles prayer anymore

the woman with her neon
soul breaking down this
wall that’s been built
for years now

i doubt i ever get
to taste her

walk hand in hand on
some tropical beach

as the sun sets on the
latest tragedy

Trixie Von Poleschlammar

Science Daddy

Science is a thicc-ass Daddy
Shove your findings published
in peer-reviewed journals
deep down my throat

I’m wearing tight tight yoga pants
and I’ve just wasted $100
on Doterra lavender oil
instead of vaccinating
my kids, Daddy

I’m a bad bad girl

Punish me

Lecture my ass
on the importance of
making medical decisions
based on empirical evidence

Beat the woo out of me,
Science Daddy,
so I no longer spread
harmful misinformation
just my legs


Puma Perl

dreaming in daylight

she fakes orgasms
with herself
just to get it
over with,
hopes sleep
will come,

she misses
nicotine patches,
and glorious
in darkness,
for the magic,
like a robot.

the sun
does push-ups,
fantasy runs laps,
moon exploded,
hours knock
on windows,
she sleeps
in daylight,
night waits.

David Boski

Out to Lunch

One of the local crazies
was walking toward us
shouting non-sensical bullshit
and the ladies in front of her
looked nervous.

As I walked by, we made
eye contact and she screamed:
“and you, you and your dog
raped me last night,
you fucked me!”

I chuckled and then I thought about
how she was probably normal once,
how she was somebody’s beautiful
little girl once; but that, that was a
long time ago.

Now she was out to lunch,
now she had a creative imagination.

I was jealous of it.

I was in awe.

I hope we showed her a good time.