Rearview by Antonia Clark

Posted in Antonia Clark with tags on March 15, 2018 by Scot


As far back as I can see,
there’s no one coming, just
a long, long stretch of Iowa road
unwinding behind me. No trace
of what I’m leaving — a house
I need to believe is full of absence.
We always made love in the dark
in case we needed to pretend
it hadn’t happened.

Dry grass and rusted fences
rush by like bad memories.
I have to keep reminding myself
that I’m the one in motion.
This road’s so straight, all I can do
is accelerate, watch for a sign,
an exit. Still, from time to time,
I adjust the rearview mirror as if
I might catch sight of you, crazy
with pain and desire and change
of heart, gaining on me.


just four days before by J.J. Campbell

Posted in J.J. Campbell with tags on March 14, 2018 by Scot

they are closing
down the hospital
i was born in

that’s certainly
a way to make
me feel old

just four days
before another

they say it’s
to save money

instead of
saying the

only the poor
use this hospital

and we’re not
in the business
of helping those

for the children by DB Cox

Posted in DB Cox with tags on March 13, 2018 by Scot


when he was a child
he carried a little
of the world
around in his pocket
a smooth rock
from the creek
that ran through
saturday woods
a copper penny
found by a steel rail
all to hell
by heavy metal wheels
back then
he had a certain way
of looking
at the world
close to the ground
direct contact
he could see things
that are now
out of the picture
perspective wrecked
lost in the mad static
of everyday noise
need a push
need a shove
need a boost
need a new drug
to take him
from point “a”
to point “b”
hauling ass warp speed
no time to focus
on a chaotic world
always in his
rearview mirror
forever fading
like that shadow
of a kid
who was unafraid
to stand up
& speak out
for what he believed
to be right

why you can’t
put a price
on human life

he has no idea
where or when
he lost his way
in that crazy space
between the dark of night
& the light of day

Evening News by Alarie Tennille

Posted in Alarie Tennille with tags on March 13, 2018 by Scot


In Akron today, a cat pounced
at a flat-screen TV, knocking
two U.S. Olympic skiers off course
before being apprehended. Both
skiers have been airlifted
in critical condition, the gold
medal going to Norway. Details
at ten.

Congress called an emergency session.
This is an outrage that cannot continue,
a disgrace to our country. Constituents
are tired of senseless violence killing
dreams, stealing futures, say Senators
X, Y, and Z. It’s time to act.

Sources have leaked proposals:
requiring background checks
on all cat owners or an outright ban
of indoor cats, a move endorsed
by the FTC. Conservatives call
for building a wall to keep cats
from infiltrating our borders.

Rest assured, say all respondents,
we’ll do everything we can to keep
our young people safe. Rest assured,
assured, rest, safe, must keep ourselves
safe, safe, safe. Must do something.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

NOT LONG by John D Robinson

Posted in John D Robinson with tags on February 14, 2018 by Scot

After he died I got rumours
that she was prostituting
herself for alcohol and
codeine: I made a visit,
the door was open, I
found her semi-naked,
semi-conscious on her
lounge floor, laying close
to the gas fire, she was
badly burnt and had over
medicated: I called the
services, maybe I saved
her ass that day: she never
thanked me for it, it was
love and hate between us,
no middle ground:
she died a little while
later, overdosing on life
and prescription drugs
and alcohol and a
broken heart that
could take no more.

Matador by Alan Catlin

Posted in Alan Catlin with tags on February 12, 2018 by Scot


Three days into a drinking
holiday weekend, shot full of
chemicals, beer and Red Bull,
he’s as hyper as Old Jake,
The Raging Bull himself
before a grudge match.
The whole world is a boxing
ring for him, stocked with men
he imagined his wife was having
it off with. He’s strung tighter
than a taut bale of barbed wire,
a snip away from release,
from turning whatever bar he
happened to end up in into a
killing field full of blunt force
trauma victims: his fists bloodied
and held high in victory for cheering
crowds only he can hear,
compressed eyes pinched
into tiny balls like buck shot
pellets stuck in hardboiled egg
whites, blood drops tattooed at
the corners, vestiges of physical
pains he could no longer endure.

Three Poems by John Sweet

Posted in John Sweet with tags on February 12, 2018 by Scot

down canyons of static

cold as snow as
cold as christ and we’ll
make it warm with

we’ll set that fucker on fire
in the back of his truck

will leave the baby at the
desert’s edge with a guitar and
a handful of broken glass
and we’ll teach it the myth of
robert johnson

we’ll place it’s fragile skull
between the boot heel
and the rock

we’ll sing to it softly
until morning comes


one from the age of subtle atrocities

living close to water
and without fear

living alone with the
wife and the secrets

small failures mean nothing
in windowless rooms,
small victories even less


it isn’t a story,
but an idea

man locks his daughter in
the basement when she’s
18 and then keeps her there
for 24 years

rapes her

fathers her children

signs deals for the movie,
the sequel,
the video game

considers god like you
would a second helping
of dessert

considers dessert

all of these choices to
be made while the crows
gather outside your




blurred outlines january late
afternoon grey houses in early evening
light, this woman who will set her child on fire,
these young men who will rape a teenage girl then
leave her in a vacant lot, this moment that will
arrive already ruined beyond repair and then
the one after that and then the
one after that

and the war, of course,
and without an end in sight

the mindless need for victory

the makers of bombs and of poison gases
balanced out by the
need for money to survive

the future still only a theory but
the possibilities narrowing

woman at the edge of the road opens a
can of lighter fluid and
all we have left is despair