Archive for November, 2022

Tohm Bakelas

Posted in Tohm Bakelas with tags on November 11, 2022 by Scot


september night, october morning

She buys Sensodyne for my sensitive
teeth and a new blue toothbrush
because my old one was used
to clean crud from beneath
her son’s dirty fingernails…

At night we crack windows open
just enough to taste autumn,
just enough for the room to
grow cold for our bodies
to become one in sleep.

And in the morning
we begin the day
by making love.

Afterwards we talk
about life before
eating breakfast
around one pm.



autumn blues

i don’t require much—
just the occasional poem,
maybe just a bird or two,
perhaps most definitely you,
but it isn’t easy for me
when it all leaves.

and if i had to pick
only one to keep,
it’d be simple,
it’d be you.



somewhere in a dream

It is mid-October, another brisk
morning. Outside smells of
decaying leaves. December’s
icy fingers tighten around your
throat. Your breath dances in
white porch light. Unseen cars
are heard on distant highways.
And you taste dying chimney
smoke from neighbors’ homes.

You remember your childhood
years, reminiscing all the good
times with friends you no longer
see—raking leaves and jumping
into giant piles, carving pumpkins,
trick-or-treating, runny noses, horror
movies, and school breaks.

You dream of some place you
can all be together that isn’t
somewhere in a dream.

But then your kids call your name.
You’re thirty minutes late to work,
and still standing on your porch.

Gabriel Bates

Posted in Gabriel Bates with tags on November 11, 2022 by Scot




I’m watching
my kids play
at the park,
and I can’t help
but think to myself,
“how in the hell
can these two
perfect things
exist in the same world
that created nuclear bombs
and climate catastrophe
and all the rest?”

I mean,
the news shows me
what’s wrong
with the world
almost every day.

but right now
all I can see
is my son
running toward me
with a stick
in one hand
and a bunch of hope
in the other.

Edward L. Canavan

Posted in Edward L. Canavan with tags on November 11, 2022 by Scot



lonely heart pines

follow the tire tracks
swerving across the empty field

down around the bend
just beyond the break

you’ll see all the signals unread

the bridge may still be burning,
but cross it anyway

there you’ll find me

head in hands
heart on sleeve

wondering why
i ever left.



Edward L. Canavan is a Los Angeles based poet whose work has most recently
been published in Poetry Quarterly, Cholla Needles, and Spillwords.
His second poetry collection entitled “Protest and Isolation” was
released by Cyberwit Press in July 2020.
Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, he currently resides in North Hollywood,
California, where he practices Buddhism and listens to Son House.

Cord Moreski

Posted in Cord Moreski with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot


Teenage Wasteland
for Tohm Bakelas

Eighteen is a few hours away
and with that you’ll leave

with only a high school education
a duffle bag full of clothes

a Greyhound schedule
you’ve memorized for months

and pay saved from washing dishes
and scrubbing away at shit stains in toilet bowls

your mother will be too busy
snorting oxy on the dinner table to notice

your stepfather too hungover to challenge
your manliness to another fistfight

you raise the volume on your radio
and hum along to the music playing

but not too loud
while you glance over your shoulder

then back out your bedroom window
into the quiet, inviting night.

Tim Peeler

Posted in Tim Peeler with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot


The ghosts are wandering,
Searching for the concrete floored
Wooden hulls of the factory ships
Tailing ripsaws or driving dowel pins,
Operating a Carolina machine
Setting a limited range of patterns
For legs and arms and seats
Upholstering, sewing,
Carrying that shit into trucks
Three hacks high in summer heat.
The ghosts are looking for missing fingers
For the dope truck pulled into the parking lot
Set your watch by it at 9 AM
For bosses who shit themselves
Over a nickel raise
Then sent a minute-man
To speed up the line.
The ghosts pass through abandoned mills
Like wind over fallow fields
Hunting for all that beautiful furniture
They made but could never afford.



He wanted to be a trucker
And he spent most of the time
In his classes emulating
An accelerating tractor truck
With an endless number of gears.
His voice was a cross between
A hillbilly growl and blue tic howl.
When he downshifted
His school desk shook,
The Beta Club girl with cat eye glasses
Who would one day marry him,
Giving him her exasperation face.
By third period he’d had a workout
Having driven through a selected reading
Of Macbeth and a sociological survey
To determine the state of one’s
Familial dynamics,
So he lay his head on his open
World History book
Cheek to cheek with
A Roman emperor
And dreamed a Peterbilt technicolor dream
Honking his horn at every stocky country boy
Who raised his hand in that universal sign,
And the miles and days rolled by
Over and under him
Till he turned 16.

It was so Quiet in the Room

All you could hear was
Two poets
Their Pushcart nominations.

Rusty Barnes

Posted in Rusty Barnes with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot



That Goddamned Simple

I have cultivated in my middle-age
the great round belly of the Buddha
as well as the beard of Jesus Christ.

I hope not to gain the single solid eye
of Odin or the piece-meal sentience
of Osiris. I don’t desire their powers.

Instead I gather for myself their looks,
various as they may be like carvings on
a rock outcropping or carved into wood.

The advantage is in the wisdom gathered
behind their eyes and in the sharp-
smelling wool of their tunics and hats.

For wisdom can be faked by clothes
and looks and the presence of many
books. Trust me, I know this to be true.

I wish only to love as the gods loved in all
their so human foibles and to mess over fewer
people than were messed up before me.

It ought to be that goddamned simple.


We Men

Always in the cool gray season of the rut
we would take their antlers and clamber
clumsily up the steep hill and into the woods
proper, where we used our pitchy hands
among the branches of a suitable pine to settle
ourselves and wait for the horny males to arrive,
every five minutes or so viciously slamming
the tines together to mimic the way the solid bucks
flew at each other in a rage of hormone
and muscle in pursuit of their mates. How it
hurt me even then to know that in a few months
time we would shoot them and rip out their
entrails in the name of sport or food: the half
hundred poor reasons we give men to kill.

Changing Times by Pris Campbell

Posted in Pris Campbell with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot

The Sanibel bridge, torn apart in the middle
by Ian appears on t.v. looking unreal.
The lighthouse keeper’s dwelling is
washed away. Houses are submerged,
residents stranded, like in Ft Myers, next to them,
where I visited my friend and her brother,
my boyfriend, during Easter our senior
college year. I felt safe, just as I did
when my husband and I stayed in a rental
oceanfront condo at Ft Myers Beach
five years ago, never thinking water
would one day wash the land from beneath the bed
we lay in, that the birds we saw in the sanctuary
on Sanibel would be the only ones able
to fly right away to safer homes.

Meteorologists say warming oceans
are feeding the storms, making them worse.
Our home sits eight miles from the sea
on the other coast of Florida. I hold
my breath wondering if that biggest
chunk of Arctic ice will indeed break off,
etching new shorelines everywhere.
Perhaps it’s time to buy another sailboat,
load it with clothes , food, books,
fishing rods, a desalinator
and paper for hopeful poems I’ll pass out
to groping hands camped out on high rooftops,
purloined surf boards their only transport.

BIO: The poems of Pris Campbell have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including PoetsArtists, Nixes Mate, Rusty Truck, Bicycle Review, The Red Fez, Boxcar Poetry Review, and Outlaw Poetry. Nominated seven times for a Pushcart, the Small Press has published twelve collections of her poetry. Truth and Other Lies, from Nixes Mate Press is her most recent book. She also writes short forms and took first place in the Marlene Mountain monoku contest and the Sanford Goldstein tanka competition in 2021. A former Clinical Psychologist, sailor and bicyclist until sidelined by ME/CFS, a neuroimmune illness, in 1990, she makes her home with her husband in the Greater West Palm Beach, Florida.

Bradford Middleton

Posted in Bradford Middleton with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot



Tonight I’m going back to the start
As I sit here, disconnected & smoking
More & more all the time, with just
This typing machine, a big fat smoke
& a lusciously full decanter of wine
For company I have nothing else I need
To make this a truly righteous night
Spent working on these words as I have
For years now…


I was on my way to the mecca of
Expensive drinks and lavish lives
The other day and going from station
To station I noticed one thing about
All the towns between here and the
Hallowed turf of blessed south
London, a place someone I thought
I knew once told me I should move
To, any reason he saw for me to
Escape the torture of this life down
Here in this crazed hole by the edge
Of the sea, and as we progressed
North the one thing I noticed was
All the towns looked the same and
I almost instantly thought that all
The inhabitants would look the same
And all their minds would think the
Same and it would be a nightmare
Like Invasion of the Body-snatchers
But with chartered accountants in
Place of aliens and I know right now
They ain’t ever gonna be the life for me.


Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Posted in Ryan Quinn Flanagan with tags on November 9, 2022 by Scot


All Those Crosses

There is a small churchyard
at the corner of Paris and Brady.

Littered with all those crosses.
Each one, with a name and date.

In downtown Sudbury.
Just beyond the Bridge of Nations.

The opioid crisis hitting this blue
collar mining community
particularly hard.

And the churchyard has run out of space.
All those crosses spilling over into
the parking lot next door.

Which has begun a legal argument
between the church and local businesses.

More crosses erected
every day.


Weekend Kids

were told
to pack a bag
so their “no-good father”
could pick them up

so they could
spend the weekend
at the beach

with their father’s
new lady friend who
they were told was
“nothing like their
whore of a mother”
who would be by

to pick them up
on Sunday.


Voodoo Doll Smack Around

He sticks
a needle in his arm,
tells me it doesn’t

I guess
he doesn’t see me


Marc Olmsted

Posted in Marc Olmsted on November 9, 2022 by Scot



Sitting in the sweltering shade of the car we’re trying to sell
an energy drink substituting for a nap (burning manic in the brain – )
I will wear my Vampiro wrestler t-shirt to the Dharma Zoom group now

Vampiro the Canadian wrestler who made it big in Mexico and has a collectable action figure
Vampiro the oath bound local protector lokapala of my skull palace
Vampiro the Goth Bodybuilder (as if) a Misfits missing band member
(&) whose daughter is cute & wise beyond her teen mind
(mom looked like a Telemundo star and is now his ex)
I am Vampiro inseparable in the imagination – grotesque, full of groans,
Golgothic with thorn crown of a bashed folding chair, blood charismatic,
unstoppable Goth Hulk (who is Frankenstein already)
lost creature, hurt mutant, escaping the mob of torches
I am Vampiro king of vampires commanding good behavior, co-existence love & let die
I am Vampiro going Vegan tomato juice is my blood a kale greenish glow in the night
no bats were harmed in the writing of this poem
Vampiro for President
Vampiro the Poet Vampiro who hides his aging wounds Zero Vampiro ak-ak from the clouds kamikaze killer of none
Harmless Vampiro tamed, signing pictures at the Wrestle-Con
Vampiro fanbase keeping you alive as the words chanted charted under electric bulb as midnight approaches and I have yet to feed