Thursday, June 21, 2018


You lose slowly, one needle
at a time. First time
you slip it in your pocket
like a dirty coin, but soon
s the size of a fist
and there
s no room for your own
alongside it;

one day your hear
its footsteps shadowing yours,
though you never look back
and never see its face;
soon you
re growing smaller
day by day, till one night
re just a hand
in someone else
s pocket.

When you look outside
everything is green cold
crazy and beautiful
and you never want to
go out there again,
no matter how they scream

this is the real world
where everyone belongs;
see that face on the street
that hand in the pocket,
s you;
s all youve ever been,
s all we ever wanted
but not me: leave me here
with my bazooka
ll fire my own way to hell.

Drowning Without Tears

Only an illusion,
of course; the hours
never stop bleeding
you dry, though sometimes
they sit you by the river
and tell you that
the coursing of the cool water
is also the coursing
of your life, gushing aside
from the mainstream
to quiet little eddies
hidden amongst rocks.
Many a wise head
can be found bobbing
under a jetty beside
the dead ducks.

When you understand
why drowning is
the only option,
life in theory becomes
easier to bear; but only
as long as you sit by
the river, sagely nodding
your head. If you are required
to go back into the tepid flow
it won't be long before
you're thrashing with the rest
of the soon-to-be-deceased,
trying to kid themselves
they know how to keep
their heads above water.

Contentment is only
for those who can afford
to keep their feet dry;
who can buy into the notion
that the clock may be
ticking, but you don't have to.
Wind how you will,
we all bomb out in the end.

Routine Admission

Thought Id met the devil himself,
but he was just the average everyday
limping into the hospital
with his cock cut to shreds
like someone had got it real hard
then taken a razor blade to it

me I seen it all before;
you hit the low ground running
thinking they can
t get no sicker
and here
s this guy, looks like
every guy out there,
only thinking how hard
his dick hurts and where he can post
the pictures on-line

when somewhere there
s a baby
blood pouring out of his ass
in a river red enough
to wash me and bent cock
all the way to Hell

where Satan himself
will sit shaking his head
when I tell him
all the things I
’ve seen.

Citizen Of Nowhere

Voices dissolve me like
a soluble pill, but light
burns through my skin,
rendering me a shadow
of the roles I’m required
to play. The loyal employee
you would have me fabricate,
and the wild boy I would be

if only you’d stop screaming
too loudly or whispering
too quietly, pushing light
into my eyes like a face
through a windscreen

when I crash head-on
into the world.

Me vs Meds

You could call it a trade-off,
I guess. Each walks away
with some of the little he asked for,
but none of the whole he dreamt.
I get to sleep a little deeper,
and he gets to hear a scream
without leaping out of his skin
and streaking his bones
down the street. But he's the man
I see when I glare into glass,

and he looks like a bum to me;
some homeless derelict with
un-matched shoes who only talks
to the pet in his pocket. We talk
the same talk, we slurp the same meds,
but I'd cross the street to avoid him
if I could. I wonder if
he feels the same about me?


Nothing’s happening here.
The world still turns
and grows old, the sun
still burns out its fuel
at a pace steady enough
to roast itself dry
in a million years or two,
but nothing is happening
down here in the dirt,
the dregs. All we are is people;
all we do is scream.
Nothing’s happening here
to cause Saturn to thaw out
a new ring, or Mars to thicken
to a more bloody shade
of red. The gas giants
are still full of hot air,
Pluto is so negligible
it’s barely there, more woof
in its name than its weft.

We’re nothing that might
cause any other dweller
of the cosmos to blink once,
then get back to dreaming
and dreading, growing weak
and growing old;
looking to the black sky
and finding nothing but comfort
in the hot burn of a cold universe
into another, as indifferent
as the last. Our predecessors
had Shakespeares too.

Ian Mullins
an old otis redding record still playing
i still hear all the old songs
when i dream about holding
you in my arms, foolishly
thinking forever was actually
fucking possible
i still can see you walking
out the door as i sat there
stunned, wondering what
cruel trick was next in
my life
and they say heartbreak
will make you stronger
scars will add character
and alcohol is a lousy
i never saw the guidebook
on what to do when you
could never get over that
and how the scars just
become a maze of hurt
and alcohol, the only
demon that never let
me down
it's a race between
loneliness and death
rye whiskey is in the
lead, tucking me into
bed each night as i try
to figure out when these
wounds will ever get
the chance to heal
a sign of a possible heart attack
a doctor once told
me back pain was
a sign of a possible
heart attack
i told him i'm only
surprised that i have
one at all
a heart he asked
there's an endless
line of women that
have told me i'm
a heartless bastard
wow he said
yeah, the bastard
thought is just
wishful thinking
try not to choke on it
it's all part of the
the stop and start
trying to get to a
place on fucking
while battling old
lazy motherfuckers
on lunch break
the homeless getting
their exercise for the
and all my demons
that understand
all of this shit
is pointless
squeeze the marrow
and try not to choke
on it before you die
your death is
not a choice
only an ending
to the book
haunts me the most
of all the women i
have fallen in love
the lesbian still
haunts me the
she's the one i
remember kissing
me between drags
on cigarettes
the one i could
spend hours
talking to over
endless laughs
over the small
talk of dreams,
marriage and
one day children
she's married to
a woman now and
happy i suppose
i'm lonely and
the depths of
no one used their
tongue better
i suppose her wife
is happy as well
the car on a hot summer day
i remember when she
came to me and said
she paid for her own
i asked her when i
got her pregnant
she asked if i
the car on a hot
summer day
of course, i did
but i wanted to play
the role of asshole
i asked if she knew
it was mine
she said yes
i said fine, you did
the right thing
there wasn't anything
more asshole than
saying that
as deep as the rivers
you could always
laugh instead of
cry but then you'd
be as shallow as
the prick you
came from
the tears should
be as deep as
the rivers that
get polluted on
the way to the
ocean of doubt
and remorse
that's some real
life metaphorical
bullshit right there
J.J. Campbell
The Worst

Cover the mold
of crusty experience
with a blanket.  Blunt
the accusing finger.

Let's hope the best
is yet to come.

That was a then-ago,
the old self torn down
by numerous literary
reconstructions, fresh

The door slams shut
with such force that
the glass cracks, a space
I will not enter again.

Something like a new 
person has grown up in
the corner, just out of focus,
blurry face,  new purpose.


spiral, down, further.
The text and image denote
an image,
lines of the figure sucked
into vortex.

Like political debate,
like the grave.  Swirls
of experience line up
around him.  

Large-eyed, he is moving
ever down, past what
used to be, reality
bent by the light.


And did you know
that beneath the polite
surface I have polished,
another, more critical
person hides?

It is not that I am
harboring a fine sense
of disdain.  It is simply
that I have learned the space
between mind and mouth

and how to use it.

One does not wear one's
heart on the outside,
one does not breathe each
bit of air externally.

There are organs of idea,
ontology, and performances
that are best held in check
for polite conversational


Can you place
the smile in a dark closet?
I hardly think so.

It is a clap on the back,
devoid of that awkward
patting that suggests:

Will this contact end?

Cutting Corners

The town used to seem
immense, sprawling.  We
were not aware of the way
road connected to road.

Directions switched in the crisp
February air, images from
a few years ago, shops now
erased by the accumulation
of months, building up the way
snow kisses distant mountains.

Perhaps it is the vantage 
of a hotel room on the eighth
floor, overlooking the concrete
landscape, hemmed in by
those mountains, that finally 
reveals our true navigation.

JD DeHart

Saturday, June 9, 2018


the night struggles on as technology
continues to antagonise leaving me
now sat here writing these words listening
to some fight on the radio, uncaring who
wins but kind of wanting it to continue
as obviously the main programming will
drone on again, and for probably days to come,
about the damn royal wedding.

is this what my saturday nights have
been reduced to? in recovery from friday
and just wanting to sit alone in a dark
room waiting for a reasonable hour to
go rest up this weary old life of mine
in its favourite place but now, half-ten,
i can't see me lasting much past eleven.
is this what my saturday nights have
been reduced to?


I'm going to kill all modern
technology by post as electronics
confound me to the point where
all I want is to go live in a
cave and write, posting crazy
poetry to editors who will doubtless
ignore me once I'm rid of all
social anti-social media death
KILL it now, start afresh and
finally turn my back on all this
god damn technological shit.


The phone that taunted me has gone, been replaced
By a new fangled thing that looks as if it can cook me
Some dinner but still it remains not ringing forever it
Appears to remain unlisted so here I sit dreaming of
That day, she'll call, I don't know who or where it'll
Come from, and all she will say, it's obvious really,
"Are you really so alone?"
"No" I will respond, "It's just usually the only people
Call me are drug dealers desperate for a sale..."
"That explains so much of your poetry, I've read a lot
And got to say I just love it"
So if that woman exists can I say I'm here, call me anytime
As I usually keep varied hours, just do a bit more digging
And call me, 601053 and who knows maybe you'll feature
In more of my poems than this one.


There was a beauty, a ravishing hot young blonde
Woman in the bar last night and obviously she was
With a guy, a lucky young man who reminded me
Of a better looking version of my old self, and I saw
Them stood at the end of the bar and it appeared that
She was going to buy a round but then there were
Problems with her card, as just like the queen she
Never carried cash on her luscious young body, and I
Finally saw the guy pull his wallet from his pocket
Handing over notes to the barman and I thought, even
As the rain began to fall outside, that I'd spend all my
Money enticing her into my bed not caring that it would
Leave me short of rent money because if I landed on
The street at least I'd have the memory of a night
Spent with that young luscious gorgeous creature.


as my mind unravels
i sit, contemplating
my next move and
where it will take me
and what it will mean
in this life of mine
all i can see ahead is
a better life away from
here as it becomes clear
my dreams were never
meant to be lived here
by the sea in Brighton town.

i know i don't want to
remain here, bored of the
same streets, the same job
all the same shit
that curses this life
but after another job search
begins and so far no
response at all to all my
pleads for something,
anything better than
what i got as without
a new job how can i
move on out of this
nightmare situation.


i sit alone
saturday night early
but my eyes still feel heavy
heavy, needing rest
knowing the next few days
will be an undoubted test
long shifts at work beckon
my soul struggling as my mind
ponders the most radical of


Bradford Middleton

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...