Cannibal Suicide

I poured a finger of scotch into a coffee cup
and ate the cup and licked up the spilled scotch
and ate the mouth of the fifth down to the neck and
was wolfing the table leg, when
mother came in to iron some bugs out
of her pocket calculator
and couldn’t help but notice the ruined fifth,
the cup nowhere and the table wobbly
on three legs. She threatened to knuckle down
and hand it to me,
but I trumped her rump,
tugged the table leg out of my throat
and clubbed her to death. Blood spattered
the venetian blinds and mother slumped
to the foot of the refrigerator.

I threw up a window and sat on a foot stool and
reswallowed the table leg
and munched on the arm of a chair
till I was stuffed, then jerked down the wallphone
and ate out the mouthpiece
and considered sucking the news off the tv,
but decided instead to put the mouth
of a firearm to my temple
and pray


Willie Smith is deeply ashamed of being human. His work celebrates this horror. 

Once upon a bicycle

Once upon a bicycle, 
I fell and scraped my knee.
The stranger came upon me
and bellowed, "Come with me."
My bike was left in the dirt
where weeds poked through the spokes.
The metal rusted through the silver, 
the leather cracked, the reflector broke.
He wrapped me all in bandages, 
my toes to head to chest.
Only my bloody knee was exposed, 
the blinding crimson expressed
all that I could not; 
my mouth was bandaged, too.
"I want my orange bicycle," 
I tried to say to the man in blue.
"Don't move," he said. "Don't try to talk. 
This is serious work I do."
I hungered for the handle bars, 
the ground rushing past my seat,
the air biting at my lungs and face, 
long grass whipping at my feet.
He's tying me with bandages,
long and white, around the bed.
"This won't hurt. With any luck, 
you'll never hurt again."
Once upon a bicycle, 
I fell and scraped my knee.
The blood is spilling on the bed
as the stranger watches me. 



Veronica McDonald lives in San Diego with her husband, two toddlers, and two black cats. She received her MA in Literature from American University. Her short fiction can be found in Beorh Weekly and Scrutiny. Check her out on her website.


It’s Like You Were Never Even Here

There is an effect that sets in when a person leaves this place of white and attempted sterility. The microscopes will long for your eyes.
Myself and those before you called it the effect of, “it’s like you were never even here.” After a week setting off from the halls of red pathological waste boxes, dry ice and senselessness we will forget you were ever here to begin with. We’ll only recall a name and some attributes, not the good ones. The scalpels could never slice those away.
Yourself, you may think back to that cramped office with Ryan each time you smell cigarette smoke and see an energy drink. Energy better spent in the present. Let your mind be iodine-swabbed to a sterile yellow.



Mike Salgado is a poet and Training Senior Specialist with Eurofins Lancaster Labs. He is also a poetry and art editor for Marathon Literary Review. You can find more of Mike’s work in Third Point Press, Lehigh Valley Vanguard, and G3: Genes, Genomes, Genomics. He has poetry forthcoming in The Electronic Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature by tNY.Press.  Mike currently resides in Lancaster, PA where he is active in the growing literary community. Find him online at Michael Salgado Poetry & Further.

Renfield’s Syndrome

My uncle used to smoke hash
and walk the high beams
of Detroit, no harness,
and on late-night TV I see
cops with their PB&J sandwich halves,
their steaming coffee, standing around
the taped-off crime scene
of a dead body, a dead mouse,
a wilted rosebush.
It’s not that I don’t have strength,
it’s that I tend to write my
strong foolish words
on yellow notebook paper—
I’d walk the high beams
but no amount of hash
is ever enough. I’d love to duck
under the caution tape,
squat down to inspect
the carcasses, flick my
cigarette, say something
Law & Order-worthy,
prick my finger on the final stem
with any remnant of color to it
and suck the blood
oozing from my wound.
There are other ways to survive
but I’ve never learned.
There are other ways
to get high. This one barely works.



KG Newman is the editor of a high school sports website,, and lives in Aurora, Colo. He is an Arizona State University graduate and his first collection of poems, While Dreaming of Diamonds in Wintertime, is available on Amazon. 

Error, (I have been disconnected)

I’ve been using the internet, lately.
Googling feelings, specifically,
is it normal to cry in every airport.
I want help, are you like me? Connect
me, but not too much. I don’t want to know
how you’re afraid of dying, how everyone is,
like how my father’s father died, like how I’ve never known
because I’ve never asked.
Professional tells me, “You could benefit
from something new.” We could all
benefit from something new. 
Hey, Google, I’m growing out of the people I loved.
In my neighborhood we talk, drink
breathe the same. See, best friend, I’m ice cubing
out of our previous existence, 
Tell me about your carpets,
your coffee preference, your SATs, only don’t cry,
all I’ve ever learned is that we’re closer
when we’re strangers.    Google, save me
a bite to eat— I won’t make it
home for dinner tonight. 



Khadija Hussain is currently a junior at an arts high school, where she studies poetry closely under the guidance of poet Bruce Cohen. She has been published in Bard College's Yolk Magazine, and Sunken Garden Poetry's online magazine, Theodate. She has also been awarded prizes on a national level by the Scholastic Art and Writing recognition program. 

Jersey Gothic

beautiful boy lashes himself to a microphone in a storm, counts out self-blame for woven static, his bones equivalent to knives carapace reflected armor with a jagged red edge, polishing his boots with scabs. sidewalk crack silent lips. stifled hurricane eyes.

do you remember when you were twelve and I was eight, lakeside summer sick with stone-fruit, twined rope knot bracelets, sunset fizzed like lemonade when you guided fireflies into my hands listen: neither of us knew how to spell fear there is a man in a cabin locked these fifty years and his eyes are lost marbles, his fingers are snakes. we drank gasoline juice in swim trunks stapled to splintering chairs. he was the shadows of dead trees on your window at night. Listen: it should be me with algae for eyes, wandering forever barefoot over pine cones and gravel. My fingers wound through fishing hooks. My gravestone teeth. except you pushed me out his front door, your hands more ungentle than I'd ever known.

(I sat up all night with your changeling corpse; your parents didn’t notice how the seaweed mocked your eyelashes.)

 hear me through the cracked ice in that winter lake, hear me through the scrawled palimpsest of your skin. If the cabins awake and the pine trees catch fire: keep watchful, caged barbed-wire boy. My sneakers still slap the fastest in all of New Jersey. Here is my slingshot and the memory of raspberries. My glow-stick crown. If the drowned man tries to touch me my tattoos will melt through his hands. I've got the snarlvines of forest fire sunsets, an armada of wild geese and tadpoles to steal you back.

 I'll tell your parents, here is your son; seaweed-scented with a wounded raptor's eyes, chestnut-stained nails, hands cold enough to steady close. Feed him your casserole. Wash all the softest mint-green sheets. I'll point out the castaway boy in the man's rolling voice, salvaged and mine. How we've both drifted home. 



Kayla Bashe is a writer/actress studying at Sarah Lawrence. Her work has appeared in Vitality Magazine, Liminality Magazine, and The Future Fire, and her suspense/magical realism/subversive romance novellas are available from Torquere Press and Less Than Three Press.

Acid Bath Confession Letter

(To John Wayne Gacy)

Place me inside the envelope though I am naked
except for unintelligible scribbles. Seal me in
the secret spit thirty-three men already know

that you have defiled bodies; your body
is a knife, tearing with hands, throats
collapse. You want to clear the air,

the moldering crawlspace where rot breathes in,
where time calcifies under quicklime,
and faces stretch in frozen masks,

choking on dirty underwear, screams unheard.
Not out of the closet but below ground,
you could not stop yourself.

Stamp me with your signet, a burden
I am willing to bear only to be torn
open again. First, just write

I did it. List names, all of the names.
Before you burn me with wax,
I see your fingers crawling

back inside, unfolding me, smearing me
with fast food stains as you walk me
over to the motionless ones,

drop me down, and pour more chemicals
where we will all dissolve
as your balloon body

floats to the next boy.


Justin Holliday teaches English. His poetry has been featured in Glitterwolf, Sanitarium, Leaves of Ink, and elsewhere. His reviews has been featured in New Orleans Review, Lehigh Valley Vanguard, and The Adroit Journal. 


The Cannery

the heads line the wall of her basement
like pickles or tomatoes in clear glass jars
tiny strips of paper scotch-taped to the lids
first and last names covered in a thin sheen of
sticky dust, sometimes, she arranges the jars
alphabetically, sometimes by last name, sometimes
by first, a confusing mix of ancient and newer loves
young faces mixed with old. Sometimes
she lines the jars up by date, from the very first kiss
to the last bad blind grope in the back of a car
but that arrangement always makes her sad, reminds her
of how hard it is for an older woman
to find love.



Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minnesota, since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, and The Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.


The Filleted Mermaid

Her turquoise tail shimmies and spirals to neon noise indifferent to the eyes filleting skin from ribs. The moon helps her swallow a spoonful of bitter memory. Her bones blade through her back, scalpels once sharpened on a bathroom door as fingers plucked scales into grout—fallen stars left to cool, their color bleeding into water dripped from clean hands. Ink jetted through her translucent torso like a celaphod’s smokescreen. Blue echoes eclipsed her breasts, leaving luminous crescents—birthing modesty. She dragged the shards of beer bottles before removal to watch the glittered red pearls form.  Every night she casts herself back into brimming floor, tongue clinging to the salt shaken from tilted glass. 

Hannah Rose Neuhauser is from Louisville, KY, but currently lives in Ann Arbor where she works at 826michigan. She spends most of her time with words, young authors, and robots. Her work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Cactus Heart, Maudlin House, and apt. She tweets @velvetraccoon. 

Indigo Winter

They buried me alive, in a casket -for a secret.
Endless hours, I have shivered,
and stared into a sea of iridescent silk.

My air is thinning.

My final moments will be spent alone in a midnight blue cell;
my worth measured in the ohms I generate trembling.
I am my own fading battery.

No one will come.

I am tied to the frigid womb of a dead mother.
A birth that will never be.
An inmate in this indigo winter.

My eternal season.



Chris ‘Irish Goat’ Knodel is an author, poet and ultra-distance runner in San Antonio, TX. His poetry and short fiction have been featured in/by Alba, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Ealain, Haiku Journal, Grey Wolfe Publishing, Highfield Press, Icarus Down Review, Kind of a Hurricane Press, Pretty Owl Poetry, The Wolfian, The Write Place at the Write Time, Writer’s Quibble, Yellow Chair Review, Ygdrasil, Zimbell House Publishing, & Zodiac Review. He can be easily spotted by his kilt, tattoos and six inch, flaming-red, Van Dyke goatee.


The Convict

A nineteen-year-old girl
tied to a cemetery tree. Look up
he says, and she does it: dark morning

clouds adrift, scrawling across
the sky their illegible script.

Wind slips like a razorblade
over the strop
twisting branches. Rainwater

gurgles into the ground.
The ligatures tighten.
I’ve been here my entire life

looking up, losing feeling
feeling bound
to the body and its habits,

to the earth and its laws
to its laws and its




Cameron Morse taught and studied in China. He is currently an MFA candidate at UMKC and lives with his wife, Lili, in Blue Springs, Missouri. His work has been or will be published in I-70 Review, TYPO, Otis Nebula, Sleet, Steam Ticket, Referential Magazine, Rufous City Review, Small Print MagazineTwo Hawks QuarterlyFirst Class Literary Magazine, Phantom Kangaroo, Cha and District Lit.


You’ve had enough.
You plan a trip to the tundra.

You want to stand
on a barren Arctic shore
before an invisible ocean
on a moonless night,
mindful of nothing besides
your scratchy coat.

Death comes in, wearing mittens over his heart.
His ribcage protrudes through his torso.
He rattles the air, eager to start a skirmish,
only to retire into a hammock
and swing his bony legs in the air.

Death is ill. Death waves
the world’s most terminally boring flag.

“Hey Death,” you say, “can I make your day
sweeter somehow? Stop sulking,
Death! Make angels!”

Your lot in life is skydiving with the skylarks,
pomegranate slushie in hand.

My lot in life is being your commissar,
healing your warts,
being your bud.

Every morning, we get on the train together,
trade lychee custards.
Our alchemy is never to say goodbye.

We spin our vinyls infinitely,
and that's what fortifies us.

Don’t fall for Death’s lovesong,
steel yourself against the derecho of fruit flies
that make holes in our hulls.

Stave off the tundra.
Beware the feathers of its cardinals.
Linger here;
dare sin and repent.

Scan the ocean
like it’s a farmer's market
and hook the tilapias of the morning.



Originally from Moscow, Russia, Anton Yakovlev studied filmmaking and poetry at Harvard University. He is the author of chapbooks Neptune Court (The Operating System, 2015) and The Ghost of Grant Wood (Finishing Line Press, 2015). His work is published or forthcoming in The New Yorker, The Hopkins Review, Fulcrum, American Arts Quarterly, Measure, The Nervous Breakdown and elsewhere. He has also directed several short films.    


bright, with the glory of all (to be read at my funeral)

and, of all my broken parts:

the bruised and worn, 
the reddened,
the sagging, 
and the almost-falling-off,

i will regret not a one;

i have worn them proudly, 
like medals of honor,

and even hidden
underneath socks and sweaters
they have shined, bright,

with the glory of all.

(…that i have stepped on,
that i have crashed into,

been burned by,
bitten, sickened, stuck,

and the few reminders
that i have left myself…)

there is a glowing
that i would not trade
for a second chance.

i will take it with me.

and, i am taking all of it.



Andrew Chmielowiec lives in Seattle, Washington, and most certainly does believe in ghosts. he has self-published a chapbook by the name of "sir baden powell patrol award winners, 2003-04," and has a modest amount of short poems featured in small publications. his current writing can be found at