note from editor:

For weeks now, I've been waking up around 3AM, the "witching hour." Sometimes it's only after snapping myself out of some sort of dream paralysis, or after a series of short dreams where I think I am awake, but I'm really not. I googled slight variations of "waking up at 3AM ghosts?" or "waking up 3AM aliens?" and came to the following conclusions: Maybe all of the above. Or try eating a spoonful of peanut butter before bed. 

Last night I dreamed I was on my sister's porch in Goshen, Indiana and it was night, and the sky was clear and still and the stars were twinkling with menace or maybe it was false bravado, like they knew what was coming. What came next was a football field-sized UFO, like an upside-down city on the deck of a cruise ship, and it was slow and it was passing me by. I started jumping up and down and waving my arms and calling out to it, "I'm right here! Take me!" Then I woke up. 

Tonight, I did not dream, but where I am now it is 3AM, and I woke up and came across an article of Boyd Bushman in my Facebook trending feed, because that is where I've been getting news lately, and the first video was deleted from Youtube, due to copyright infringement, but who knows what that really means, and the above video comes with commentary and pursed faces, but it's better than nothing. 

I don't know what it all means. I figure everything is either a hoax, or a cover-up, or somewhere in the grey, and I always choose the grey.  

Claudia Lamar, October 2014

Visitors

there is a flying saucer
hovering,
a huge motherfucker
from the Planet Crouton
in galaxy triple X ten
Star Zone alpha omega delta-fy
and with ray guns enough
to destroy the city
but for some reason
doesn't,
and lands on the roof of
Dunkin' Donuts
and a little man crawls out
and goes inside
and asks for the key to
the restroom
but they won't give it to him
because
he is not a paying customer.



Wayne F. Burke's poetry has appeared in Bluestem, the bicycle review, Red Savina, Forge, Insert, Black Wire, Curbside Splendor, The commonline Journal, and elsewhere.  His book of poems WORDS THAT BURN is published by Bareback Press (2013).

Night Scream

This night has nothing to be ashamed of, and just staggered in this place at last call - drunken and unshaven, a kind of fuckless orgasm with no one to tuck it in bed.

This night has roamed across concrete, faced neon beer signs in liquored mirrors with hollowed eyes seeking reprieve in thirsts and pleasures sought. This night is curious. This night is weak.

This night is drenched in vodka, diazepam - forty miles from nowhere, wild and bewildered in a ceaseless thrust. This night aches. But then we see this:

Two bodies galloping against each other under cool sheets, a shudder, then a glow of silver on her snowy thigh, drying.

A bond, however fragile. Until morning when it takes flight and then it's gone?

Oh, who the hell knows, but I do know this night will stay in bed.




Tony Walton is a Caribbean writer living in the Cayman Islands. His works have appeared in Storyteller Magazine, Moonkind Press, Whisperings Magazine, Mountain Tales Press, Out of Our Magazine, Poetry Bay Magazine, Burningword Magazine, Wilde Magazine, Nite Writers Literary International Literary Journal, Avalon Literary Review, Iceland Daily, East Lit Literary Magazine, Boston Poetry Magazine, Eunoia Magazine, Olentangy Review, Carnival Literary Magazine and Verity LA.

Sound body

We don’t know how a pig wrote itself a will, but it was in a pig’s handwriting, and we loved that pig like a squat pink brother, so we did its bidding. We made Albert into a pig-sized sandwich, and at the funeral, we placed the sandwich on an extra-large platter by the pulpit. Naturally enough, our church filled with a sweet, smoky scent, made ever the richer by all the pinewood; we had had the corpse prepared only too well. By the end of the first hour, our mouths were flush with water, and we began to whisper so. “Shame on all of you,” said the priest. Bless that priest. If not for that priest, we all should long ago have been made into animals.



Steve Subrizi is a poet and singer-songwriter from New England who has performed his work in lecture halls and dive bars across America. He co-hosts the Boston Poetry Slam at Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the author of one e-chapbook, Newly Wild Hedgehog (NAP 2011), and his poems have appeared in such places as NeonMuzzlePANK, and The Scrambler. His first studio album, Home Alone Forever, came out in June 2013. For further reading and listening, please visit www.stevesubrizi.com.

Company

The raccoon-people,
My own
Dark eyed
Cousins,
Out where the metal trashcans border the tree line
Have turned their old peaceful art of butter-churning
Into wooden noisemakers
Molotov-stills
An industry of firewater



Nate Maxson is a 24-year-old poet and performance artist from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

4 in the morning

at 4 in the morning it's just me and the truckers on the road

and the psycho killers in their minivans.

no one else is up and dressed, pants on one leg at a time, coffee sloshed.

there seem so many trucks but it's really the same number as always - just the lack of other cars makes them look like Stonehenge has decided to relocate.

there's the truck from Sysco with its cargo of Bloomin' Onions/Awesome Blossoms/Texas Roses. there's the truck from Wal-Mart with its cargo of Chinese plastic wrapped electronics. There's the BP truck with its tanks full of black paid for in blood. there's the psycho killer's minivan with its grim sacrifice carefully wrapped - a Chinese baker, perhaps who had stopped to get gas too late at night?

citizens with day jobs and for-profit criminals are all snoring - it's still yesterday's night for them.

us, we're all driving into the morning of their tomorrow (except for the Chinese baker, who will have no more tomorrows or even today).




Mark Bonica is a father, husband, soldier, photographer, and oddly, economics professor. His poetry has appeared in a variety of online and print magazines including Words-Myth, Righthandpointing, Oak Bend Review, and others. He has recently published a chap book, Oneironaut, and a collection of short fiction, Love Stories in Extraordinary Time. He blogs at recalcitrantegg.blogspot.com, and www.bonicaphoto.com/blog.

Recycled Lover

Your recycled lover is made from your own bone and uneven pelvis,
from the days when you could not fuse properly, the torn ligaments
that only a bow-legged widow could stitch, the shark-tail of a thought
when you were naive enough to collect inkberries in a yellow-green field.
You wanted to prove that you could survive being poisoned,
that you could survive a cluster of tall needy men.

Your recycled lover and you once made a stone baby
and you never forgave each other.
Only the stone baby could not break.



Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s. He blogs at http://upatberggasse19.blogspot.com/

 

Deep Space

I’ve been abducting all the good attractive poets
So we can expat to a basement in Siberia
And freeze together. This is the only thought that ends
My loneliness. What do you do when your friends
Don’t even know you? Type “kalen rowe”
Into Google. Not much comes up. You guess
I don’t exist. There is little to no freedom in not existing.
First of all, you can’t get any good spaceships.
You have to take the refurbished ones into orbit.
And when the autopilot ejects in the escape pod,
You have to float through Saturn’s ring all by yourself.
Picture it subtle. I can’t. Not for this long. Soon it will
Unsettle. Soon you turn into something else. Soon.
A glimmer in the internet. Don’t make me think—
A cloud vacationing before the rain. Just sit there.
You can enjoy this crowded place while it lasts.



Kalen Rowe is a kid in Houston, Texas. He has lived in Idaho, Montana, California, and Colorado. He has been published by Gargoyle Magazine, The Aletheia, and few times by Glass Mountain. In 2013, he helped found and now assists with Anklebiters Publishing, which prints Poets Anonymous and Mimic Magazine. kalenrowe.com.

 

The animal we fear most is God

We mimic beasts 
behind a stick-teething fire 
 
behind the unsubtle glow-snap 
of lightning pitched  
 
overhead   
 
the moon fanglike 
in a mouth 
hinged with shadows 
 
swallows everything 
as we cry out 
 
give back our stars, 
our brave morning light  
 
not tonight
 he says
 
again & again he 
takes until a savage 
backlash ensues 
 
ensures our mutual 
distrust for one another 
 
ashamed we piece together 
temples from bloody stones 
 
surround ourselves 
 
with veiled sanctities 
all so no one will see us 
praying in the dark 




John Roth is a native Ohioan who haunts his parent's basement.  His poems have appeared in Red Fez, Red River Review, and The Red Booth Review.  He likes the color red; scandalous red.

Pain Taxonomy

Dr. Dog says
I need to
name names.
But some truths
are extradimensional.
I have climbed out
my tree, and now live
in the ozone.
Got a real
barnburner
up in my retina.
Been ejected
from one borderland
into another
uncertain
district. Woke
with welts
on my thighs
in the shape
of linden leaves.



Jill Khoury earned her MFA from The Ohio State University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals, including Blood Lotus, RHINO, and Inter|rupture. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and a Best of the Net award. Her chapbook Borrowed Bodies was released from Pudding House Press. You can find her at jillkhoury.com.

 

Dark Passage

Some unseen medium – viscous, oozing like oil from deep in the tar sands – slides over the skin of our vessel, frictionless, darkly sensual, like black water from an abandoned well, like shadows from beneath the eyes of a Bedouin dancer.

And we have been journeying for so very long that we don’t know, can’t remember, if we are traversing the empty space between two planets, or if we are moving through the deep mantle of our own earth, buried under heavy layers of rock and soil and decaying organic matter.

And the lights we see through the viewport could be either stars or pinpricks in the earth’s crust. And the sounds we hear could be the music of the celestial spheres, but they might just as well be the tortured moaning of vast continents adrift.




Jeffrey Park's poetry has appeared most recently in unFold, Aberration Labyrinth, Burningword, and the science fiction anthology Just One More Step from Horrified Press. A native of Baltimore, Jeffrey currently lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school. Links to all of his published work can be found at www.scribbles-and-dribbles.com.

Handful of Blue Sky

the middle-aged man in the hotel room
stole an umbrella from a public beach
had lips as red as sideshow devil
and as hot as coffee fresh
from the tiny microwave

he lodged that striped umbrella
between the front bucket seats
as he drove to the local dive
in his lap a rumpled paper bag
holding a brown wig he called "bunny"

he wanted you
to dress like a French maid
and scuttle across the floor
like a soft shelled crab
he wanted you

on your knees and open
mouthed like the cave of Orpheus
through which he would play
his untuned lyre and prophesy
all the troubles of the world

what you gave him
instead was a declaration
of independence disguised
as a handful of blue sky
and a shaker of salt



Hillary Lyon is founder of and editor for the small poetry house, Subsynchronous Press. Her work has appeared in EOAGH, Shadow Train, Eternal Haunted Summer, Red River Review, and Red Fez, among others. She lives in southern Arizona.

 

Theatre in Trance

(You must read this poem aloud for it to work. Think of it as the spell to right the universe or an experiment in a temporal consciousness. Take a breath then begin.)

Beginning
The beginning
Of the beginning
Of the very beginning
Beginning of the very beginning
The beginning of the very beginning
The very beginning of the very beginning
The very beginning of the beginning
The very beginning of beginning
The beginning of beginning
The beginning beginning
The beginning
Beginning

(Repeat the first stanza or move on to the next. Repetition isn’t inherently redundant. Language isn’t necessarily thought. This poem isn’t about ideas or closure. Choose.)

Ending
Ending ending
Ending of ending
The ending of ending
The ending of the ending
The very ending of the ending
The very ending of the very ending
The ending of the very ending
The ending of the ending
The ending of ending
The ending ending
Ending ending
Ending

(Only from risk rooted in desperation, in which the artist stands to look like a fool and the soul holds its invisible ground can poetry re-find a reason for being. Now move on.)


Drew Pisarra has written a poem for every Fassbinder movie he could find and a few that he couldn't like this one. When not writing poetry, he likes to blog on Korean movies at koreangrindhouse.blogspot.com and tweet on Shakespeare sonnets at @mistermysterio. 

 

Death Cannot Be Proved

It’s the hour of the wolf in a janitor’s closet.
February is waiting at the end of the hall.
Ghost-mice are performing a danse macabre.
Here, at the institution, everything closes.
We never mention the rooms inside this room,
the dust-defying gravity, the phases of the moon.
We don’t talk about the inevitable silences
or darkness pooling under a door.
We say little or nothing . . .
Established in the year Zed, the institution
is as dull as a morgue or an office meeting.
The air scarcely shifts, the files unmoved.
Our business is zero.
Now it’s 4 a.m., and the roaches hold rule:
tiny tyrants throwing terrible tantrums.
Whom the ancients regarded as very old souls.
Whom the gods embraced in their ruin.




Pushcart-nominee Bruce McRae is a Canadian musician with over 800 publications, including Poetry.com and The North American Review. His first book, ‘The So-Called Sonnets’ is available from the Silenced Press website or via Amazon books. To hear his music and view more poems visit his website: www.bpmcrae.com, or ‘TheBruceMcRaeChannel’ on Youtube.