HSTQ: Fall 2019

Fall 2019_cover

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 2019, the curated collection from Horror, Sleaze and Trash!

Featuring poetry by Mendes Biondo, Ben Newell, Alan Catlin, David Boski, J.J. Campbell, Casey Renee Kiser, John D Robinson, Anthony Dirk Ray, Damion Hamilton, Johnny Scarlotti, Maté Jarai, Jacob Ian DeCoursey, Scott Manley Hadley, Bogdan Dragos, Jack Henry, A.Theist, Thumper Devotchka, and Garvan Giltinan

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Stephen Watt


In pumpkin shades of streetlight
the vampires, the witches,
the double-stitched cloaks of aspiring wizards
swish through willowy, puddled alleys,
round the draughty tenement doors
and their gloomily-lit hallways.

Sacks of sugar-coated lollies
promise twilight turmoil, late-night frenzies
wrestling with demons and sibling rivalries.
Tangerine skins and monkey nut shells
will cling to shabby carpets
like departed souls that refuse to be expelled.

When the town sleeps, a pylon on the hill crumbles
like the burnt wick of a birthday candle.
The damp soil underfoot moulders and rots
until skinless fingers rake the sod,
hauling its entire frame to the surface
and we watch the shaded Mound of the Hostages
as it slowly lurches down towards us.

Ben Newell

St. Tropez Tan

to my dishwashing job
when I see
a big-ass beer truck
parked outside Walgreen’s…


The driver mops his brow
with a handkerchief
then hoists another
backbreaking case.

He hasn’t found his
and something tells me
he likely never will—

As for me
the only water on the horizon
is mixed with
commercial-grade detergent
and sanitizer.

But I’ll keep getting shit-faced
and dreaming
of hot sand beneath my feet
as topless French women
beg for my autograph.

John Grey

Torture Trail

The love of the rack and the cat:
torture seemed easier
than another day in the family home –
that’s why she said “I do” –
the road to severe pain
began with a long white dress –
she was through with boredom,
thought maybe she’d scream and bleed
for a while,
even fight back
like she never could with malaise –
a knife plunged deep into this stranger’s chest
sure beats a kiss on the cheek before bedtime.

Thumper Devotchka

Mirror Figures

Go figure doll.
Watch that figure doll.
Figure it all out.

On Fridays,
mirror figures will take my life.
Go figure doll.
Drop the sugar rules.
Be a darling,
my sweetened schoolgirl.
Be a darling,
know what you’re good for.

And don’t let them stain
your skin with fingertips.
Don’t let them stay long enough
to backhand, or leave handprints.

On Fridays,
mirror figures will lie more.
The camera will add ten times
the amount that I asked for.

My fun costs
whatever you got soldier,
and no I’m not
from around here.
Ask me next year
when I’ve grown older
and more desperate.

Like men who ask dolls
what fun costs.

Jacob DeCoursey

The Weight of a Black Anvil Night

I’ll pull out
and cum on her, keep cumming,
keep cumming until she is trapped in white.

In time, the white will harden, then crack.
And she will emerge a moth,
flutter out the door

toward clouds bruised
by the weight
of a black anvil night.

If there’s a rainbow around the moon,
I’ll watch her go,
but only if.

Forgive me, but I’ll need the distraction,
some color to look away towards
and pretend is significant.

But tonight, she lies naked in my bed,
legs wrapped around my waist, and asks,
Why haven’t you written a poem about me?

I stop and tell her,
Because I’m not miserable,
and because you’re here.

J.J. Campbell

laughing on the cross

another empty bottle
for the pile in the corner

happiness is a language
i never learned how to

and society has no place
for those of us who refuse
to be fake or play along
with rules we don’t like

if i drink enough, i see
jesus laughing on the

a beautiful woman stuffs
her panties in my mouth
and i go to bed with
something resembling
a better tomorrow

i’ll wake up alone

by choice

another lie i have come
to grips with

i took their advice and
tried to create my own

but that’s like sending a
monk into a crack house
and wishing him the best
without giving him a few
pointers on how to make
it out alive

Anthony Dirk Ray

Rancor Romance

an encrusted blank expression
envelops her face
as she admits
to not loving you anymore

the nights of yelling
of cursing
of disrespect
of hatefulness
from both parties involved
spitting verbal venom
takes its toll

fueled by alcohol
regret and selfishness

feelings of a life squandered
decisions of comfortability
under the guise of love

acrimony supersedes thoughtfulness
bitterness abounds
animosity released
complete antagonism achieved
a loathing unleashed
resentment acknowledged
and acted upon

a wash of relief
overtakes you both


Mendes Biondo

The Last Summer Sun

there will be farewells and goodbyes
words of reassurance
eyes full of tears
but not now

there will be the smell of train brakes
at some provincial railway station
rivers swollen with fall rain
but not now

there will be our last hug
the sun fleeing to the west
shining on all windows
but not now

now there are fingers intertwined
hot and lustful kisses
your breasts still full of summer
and the slow dance of your womb

now there is your skin
now there is your hair
now your eyes surround me
in the warmth of their 

autumn will come
with his cap of dead leaves
and the chill of the new season
but not now

now we are here
naked and on fire
burning in the flames
of the last summer sun