J.J. Campbell


she was a heavy set
blonde with curves 
in all the right places
piercing eyes and a
tattoo on her left foot
as she told my mother
about her recent cardiac
event, i was undressing
her with my eyes and
wondering if her panties
were edible
i’m sure she noticed me
as our eyes met once
or twice
she was the kind of doctor
that probably has fucked
a patient or two
or maybe that’s just one
too many porn movies
i have been watching
when we got back to 
the car my mother told 
me she didn’t like her
i chuckled and 
said i understand
mom said she looked 
like a floozy
i laughed
that was exactly 
why i liked her

Donna Dallas

Fascination Hallucination

I open up 
spill out the sea 
with it all the lies  
and all the fake leads 
float in
sand castles flattened by heavy boots 
slide down as I erode 
under your fist 

I long to be crushed by something larger 
than a tidal wave of goodbyes 
and the flaccid vacancy of hellos 

We’ve succumbed to the Netflix gods 
they seduce us with their series upon series 
I’ve yet to feel anything 
even if it’s a pin prick 

When I feel something other than numbing delight 
I’ll be sure to call you in – 
to share this fascinating hallucination 
if it takes you over 
we can plug the holes of our treachery 
with our stubbed toes 
our tears 
and our ripped $2 bill 
each torn half tucked into our wallets
centuries ago
written in black marker on each: 
when all hell breaks loose 
tape here

Daniel S. Irwin

Tuesday’s Child

I was going to kill my neighbor’s dog.
Somehow, I never got around to it
And it slipped into Wednesday
Thursday, I had lost the mood for it.
Friday, I couldn’t remember why
I wanted to do it in the first place.
The weekend was wonderfully
Wild and crazy, ups and downs,
One of the usual weekends for me.
Monday, I sunk back into normality.
I was going to kill my neighbor’s dog.
Of course, I never got around to it.
That’s crazy, I’m due for a change.
Now Wednesday… by Wednesday,
I was back in the asylum by then

Jonathan Hayes

Hanging Out the Window

Still, in our underwear,
we yell, “Murderer!” 

at the man hanging out his window
– next building over from us,

as he knocks the pigeon nest 
off his brick window ledge.

Yet, we will support his store
in the morning when I buy 

my $1.50 24oz Budweisers, 
and you will comment 

on how the shelves have dust 
and the prices are almost at cost.

Paul Tanner


you stupid piece of fuck meat, I told her
and smacked her tit. I don’t even love you. 
you love me though, don’t you? 
uh huh! she nodded. 
why? I asked her. 
because I’m a stupid piece of fuck meat! she said. 
atta girl, I slapped her tit some more …

afterwards we passed a cigarette back and forth:
I don’t think I liked that, she said, staring at the ash.   
don’t worry, I’m not saying you raped me or anything. 
I wanted to try it too. I just mean, it’s not for me.
she held out the smoke. is that ok?
of course, I took it off her. sex is about communication.
we’ll do what you want next time. and thank you for telling me how you feel. 
she hugged me as I toked on the last of the dog-end …

I’m pregnant, she said, pressing her heel into my scrotum. 
urgh, uh, I squirmed. whose is it?
your brother’s. and you’re going to raise his baby, she said
twisting the heel. won’t you?
urgh! yes! I said. yes mistress! 

I enjoyed that, she said afterwards, taking a deep drag. 
can we do it again? 
if you want, I said. 
she laughed.
what? I said. what’s so funny? 
but I don’t think she heard me.

I adjusted the bag of peas between my legs 
and waited for her to pass me the smoke. 

Leah Mueller

Baseball Before the Apocalypse

Cluster of bodies, soap
bubbles at a Cubs game:
1983, our bicycles shackled
to poles outside, entwined in

a steel snare. To saw through
tempered metal would
give thieves the pick of several. 

We smuggled imported 
beer in white bottles, eight 
bucks a pack, and salads 
in sturdy plastic containers
from the Bread Shop.

Bleacher seats three dollars, 
nicknamed the “Animal Section.”
No one at the entry gate
ever checked for weapons.

We were good to go, unless
bottles protruded from the 
sides of our backpacks, 

or we spilled marijuana 
on the sidewalk by mistake
as we entered Wrigley Field.
A friend once said,

“If you were one of the lucky
people who got to change 
the scoreboard by hand, you’d
be so fucking cool by default.”

We drank beer, passed
joints, ate salads, and
when the game was over,

we took our trash home
and disposed of it properly.
We were good citizens.

No one patted our thighs,
thrust their hands up our shirts,
groped under the waistbands of 
our shorts, searching for explosives. 
No one checked our health records

for evidence of compliance.
It was just a goddamned Cubs game,
a few 23-year-old kids,

and a summer that would end
like all the others after.

John Grochalski

supermarket tough guys

his cart
is practically up our asses

he’s angry, obviously
for having to grocery shop

or whatever white, male malaise
has caught his eye that day

maybe his sports team lost

he clearly wants to run over us
though we are no meanderers 

when he passes us, my wife says
run up my ass, why don’t you

he stops and turns around
with a practiced clint eastwood glare

the kind that used to scare his wife or his kids

he says, did you call me an ass?

my wife says, no, i was talking to my husband

she points to me
so, of course, i have say,

and even if she did call you an ass
there’s not a goddamned thing you can do about it

he doesn’t seem to like that
starts ranting and raving at us

until my wife says, why don’t you calm the fuck down

his eyes bug out

like no woman 
in the history of his white, male reign on earth
has ever told him to calm down before

he takes a step forward
so i do the same

almost nose to nose in the fresh meat aisle

as people around us pick pork chops 
and plan their evening meals

supermarket tough guys on a monday morning

middle aged men
doin’ the toxic masculinity rag

i tell him why don’t we take this outside

though i don’t think
i’ve ever told anyone
to take something outside

it seems funny to me to even say it

he glares at me a moment, contemplating

then he says,
as soon as i finish my grocery shopping, pal

storms away with his cart
full of red meat
and potato chips

while i stand there
chest puffed and fists clinched

heart beating a mile a minute

until my wife snaps me out of it
and says to me

now, where in the hell in this place

do they keep
the goddamned chicken?

Anck O

Just a Bit More

When man seizes himself
Walking down the crowded pavement, amidst strangers
Helplessly laughing to deceive himself
That he is not all alone in this world,
That moment,
He believes he won’t bend
At the cold blade of a knife in his back,
He won’t grieve the blood
Painstakingly lost from his hot flesh
And at that same time,
When he hears sounds of music
That softly meet his ears, he tells to himself:
Listen? Someone’s singing to you tonight.

How quickly does man find a reason to kill himself,
O man, how much quicker,
Hundreds of excuses,
Thousands of lies,
To live but just a little bit more.

Donna Dallas

Regretful Wretch

Hold on Dark Lord – when I brimmed
with your eggs
open legged and wild-eyed
I moved soooo fast then
now I’m slowed to a dumb
old mess
why didn’t you make me
your vampiress 
while I oozed with potent venom and froth
you lifted me up
shared my blood with
your dark angels only to
drop me
as I fell I realized I would break
(thanks…for nothing)
into a thousand pieces
(and I did)
some old hag 
swept me into a plastic bag
tried to glue my parts
I came back
all fack-yacked 
an awful science project gone awry
I begged
to be put out of my misery
howled for you…… 
your icy cold fingers poke me
your horsemen scream a laughter
that shatters through my days
I swear I didn’t swear
if I did……………………. 
my fingers were crossed