2 Poems by Colin James

THE PARALYTICALLY OBSCURE AS BEAUTY CRESCENDO

A desirable three bedroom house just now listed
on a large plot in southern California.
Formally owned by an employed actor
whose tastes ran to the exotic.
Specifically in the opulent garden
where a rusted brick trail
begins and systematically ends.
The kitchen is newly renovated
complete with large granite island.
The house has three full bathrooms,
and the master bedroom is very spacious
with balcony and a lovely garden view.
Neighbors, a sprawling philanthropic cat sanctuary.
That night I slept the best sleep of my life.


SIN TAX AND THE ARRANGEMENT OF OUR WORLD

My lady loves having sex
on top of the hotel kitchenette counter.
I spray Windex everywhere
because I am courteous
after which there is no need to think
about ascendancies articulated.
“Honey, I need you up here!”
The problem with innocence is
it comes to an end
and the gaudy gold chits
they sell even in the lobby don’t
as much as sentimentalize.


Colin James has a couple of chapbooks of poetry published. Dreams Of The Really Annoying from Writing Knights Press and A Thoroughness Not Deprived of Absurdity from Piski’s Porch Press. He lives in Massachusetts.

Getting You from A to B with Peace of Mind by Ben Nardolilli

Two week countdown! Here’s your perk alert,
the express lane of jobs continues ever onward, past
sidewalk and roadway seating,
distance rules, which is why you have to be open
to swimming from borough to borough these days

What the fact? I know, a Shakespearean adaptation
is going on at the Empire State Building,
you can bet it’ll be a demonstration
of the myth of democracy or the neuroscience
of making memories that store the horizon we lost

The rise of freelance teams requires a certain
ruthlessness, a free sticker for you, if you join tonight
with the revolution, no, it hasn’t been cancelled yet,
celebrate crypto-independence,
the establishment is going after us all in the morning


Ben Nardolilli currently lives in New York City. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, Danse Macabre, The 22 Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Elimae, The Northampton Review, Local Train Magazine, The Minetta Review, and Yes Poetry. He blogs at mirrorsponge.blogspot.com and is trying to publish his novels.

2 Poems by Thomas Zimmerman

Like Poe

You’ve learned old girlfriends don’t stay dead and buried.

Everything’s inside your head: the eddies,
maelstroms, male-storms in the tarn of angst.

Been here before: dead-drunk in Baltimore,
a Ravens fan, a border state between
deep dreamless sleep and every morning’s wake.

You can’t imagine ever sitting down
to breakfast, not with what’s walled-up, bricked-in,
floored-over, and entombed. It’s not the body—
hair, feet, tits, ass, dick, and lips—it’s more

the feeling: cool black rain that breaks your fever,
motherlove, and tomb-as-womb reflexively.

You force a respite from your martyrdom,
you free some headspace to create. Till they return.


Leave Home

old Ramones record
beer smell still in the sleeve


Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, and edits The Big Windows Review  https://thebigwindowsreview.com/ at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Poems of his have appeared recently in Ephemeral ElegiesGrand Little Things, and Trestle Ties. Tom’s website: https://thomaszimmerman.wordpress.com/

In Common by Kenneth Pobo

In Siberia it got to be 100 degrees.
Permafrost keeps melting and
methane pours out, but it doesn’t stay
in Siberia, it hunts lungs all over

the globe. When Stan and I sit
on our porch talking about snazzy dahlias,
especially the crimson one, I think that
we’re breathing in our deaths,

our neighbors are breathing theirs in too,
our worldwide neighbors, same thing,
what we have in common.


Kenneth Pobo has a new book forthcoming from Assure Press called Uneven Steven.  His work has appeared in or is accepted by: Atlanta Review, Philadelphia Stories, Sin Fronteras, The Queer South Anthology (Sibling Rivalry Press), and elsewhere.

Zozobra Kneels by Jules Nyquist

Zozobra scrolls on his iphone
over bad news headlines.
It is time to stop self-isolating
and venture out with a mask.

He strips the bedsheet to cover his mouth and nose
and grabs two bungee cords
to wrap around his giant ears.

On the street, he wishes the burnt buildings
were meant for him, to take on the cares of the world.
He hooks up with the BLM protesters
marching for all those who have died in vain:
George, Breonna, Ahmaud….

Zozobra reaches out his red gloved hands
and the people reach back.
Some police stand up to him
behind their shields
but when they see Zozobra leading the thousands,
they pause.

Zozobra kneels on one knee in front of them.
Journalists upload the live feeds and soon protesters
from Minneapolis, Louisville, Albuquerque and Brunswick follow
as they kneel in the face of unnecessary violence.

This time, a few police kneel back
and the world stops.
COVID stopped the world.
Revolution rises with the next stop: the White House.

When #bunkerboy sees Zozobra coming with the
thousands of peaceful protesters,
there will be nowhere to hide.


Jules Nyquist is the founder of Jules’ Poetry Playhouse, LLC, in  Placitas, NM. She took her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College, VT. Her book Zozobra Poems is a winner in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards under philosophy.  Zozobra, the giant marionette, was created at his annual Santa Fe festival where he is built to be burned. He embodies gloom and by burning him, we destroy the worries and anxieties of the previous year. In these adventures, Zozobra becomes a father figure, saving the world from gloom and learning new insights about humanity.  Jules Nyquist’s website is www.poetryplayhouse.com

The Onion Theory of the Universe by Charlie Brice

He sat across from me at a table on the Psych Ward
at Denver General Hospital, 1970.

He cut an onion in half with the knife I let him use
when the nurses weren’t watching.

He handed me the two halves and sat back with a wizened wink.
“See what I mean?” he said.

George taught me to play chess seriously, to think about
checkmate from the first move onward.

He was a grizzled fellow who had, behind the psychosis,
a grandfatherly gentleness—a flannel flair.

We had to restrict his use of the Ward’s payphone. The FBI
complained that George kept calling to report the many

Soviet agents among his fellow patients and our staff. His
code name, he told the Feds, was Sargent Friday.

His was The Onion Theory of the Universe, it’s truth so apparent to him
that “see what I mean?” was his sole and sufficient explanation.

And perhaps, if you patiently unwound all those scale leaves,
you’d discover what George did at its (and his) core.

The Secret Service had alerted the Denver Police after George sent
over a dozen Spanish onion halves (his favorite) to President Nixon.

Apparently, Nixon never understood George’s handwritten note,
never grasped its truth. See what I mean?


Charlie Brice is the author of Flashcuts Out of Chaos (2016), Mnemosyne’s Hand (2018), An Accident of Blood (2019), and The Broad Grin of Eternity (forthcoming), all from WordTech Editions. His poetry has been nominated for the Best of Net anthology and twice for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in The Atlanta ReviewChiron ReviewPlainsongsI-70 ReviewThe Sunlight PressAnti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere.

The Man That Brought a Singing Fat Lady and a Violin to a Gunfight by Catfish McDaris

Of all that is written I only love what is written in blood. Nietzsche

Surrounded by dead guardian angels
listening to: The Mephistopheles of
Los Angeles by Marilyn Manson

Warming hands and face above a hell
fire in a 55-gallon barrel dreaming of
dancing with a senorita in Guadalajara

Palm trees figs and dates in Damascus
driving Thunderbirds through a sequoia
and zebras and swallowtails in the Mojave

Shackled by my years, gravity sucking
my energy, the sky, and ceilings piss
on my head, the walls yawn in boredom,

Nobody laughs at the ugly mirror, guns
mean noise and chaos, death should be up
close and personal with a lovely serenade.


Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. He’s from Albuquerque and Milwaukee. His newest books are Ghosts of the War Elephants and Meat Grinder.