George Freek: “I Dream of My Death”

I Dream of My Death 

after Li Po

A cloud stumbles over
the remaining light,
as day dissolves into night.
A sickle moon cuts into my dreams.
Trees are bent like old men,
huddled around a circle of stones,
trying to warm fleshless bones.
I hear the lake’s waves,
cracking against the shore
like voices of the dead,
calling from their graves.
From the lake’s pavilion,
voices are faraway.
Are they happy or sad?
I no longer care. I can
barely hear them anymore.
Languid anemone line
the barren waste of the shore.

 

George Freek is a poet/playwright living in Belvidere, IL. His poetry has appeared in Carcinogenic Poetry, The Adelaide Review, Off Course, The Tipton Poetry Journal, The Ottawa Review of the Arts, and The Sentinel Liteayr Quarterly. His plays are published by Playscripts, Inc.; Lazy Bee Scripts; and Off The Wall Plays.

Robert Beveridge: Two Poems

Decay

When there is nothing left but sky,
but air,
all there is to do
is look up
and wonder

 

Just You Wait Until Your Mother Gets Home

is it the hot dogs or the sense
of existential dread that keeps
us at the kitchen table, awake,
at two AM? We think this is
debatable, but we ran out
of relish three hours ago.
We pull the halves apart, add
the extension leaf, stare
into its starless void.

 

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in New American Legends, Toho Journal, and Chiron Review, among others.

 

Glenn Ingersoll: “you have to come to a certain place”

you have to come to a certain place

with your eyes closed
your hands behind your back
fingers interlaced
toes pointing in
scarf slipping from your neck
a pigeon on your hat
a booger stuck in your nose hairs
a bead of sweat on the tip of each nipple
knees red
buttocks itchy
a fly’s the only wings on your shoulders

 

 

Glenn Ingersoll works for the public library in Berkeley, California, where he hosts Clearly Meant, a reading & interview series. He has two chapbooks, City Walks (broken boulder) and Fact (Avantacular). A multi-volume prose work, Thousand (MCTPub), is now available from Amazon.com; ebook from Smashwords. He keeps two blogs, LoveSettlement and Dare I Read. Recent work has appeared in Courtship of Winds, Visitant, and Caveat Lector.

Alan Elyshevitz: “Identity”

Identity

It would take an actuary
to count this colony of old Jews
who frequent a tailor from Palermo.
Once, I was a teacher, married late.
Polymorph, I am a composite
of chromosomes and scars.
Sometimes my old bull mastiff
perceives me as nothing,
sometimes everything.

 

Alan Elyshevitz is the author of a collection of stories, The Widows and Orphans Fund (SFA Press), and three poetry chapbooks, most recently Imaginary Planet (Cervena Barva). His poems have appeared in River Styx, Nimrod International Journal, and Water ̴ Stone Review, among many others. Winner of the James Hearst Poetry Prize from North American Review and the Nightjar Poetry Prize, he is also a two-time recipient of a fellowship in fiction writing from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For further information, visit https://aelyshevitz.ink.

Morgan Bazilian: “Dublin”

Dublin

Dublin in the sun
Stilted and foreign
Not used to the attention

The light moving into the corners and cracks
The bits of dust
The drunks, pale skin turned red

She showed herself
Down Camden Street
With the flowers and the fruit from Spain

The people squint from inside pubs
Or out on the quay drinking light pints
The canal starting to smell

Old men rolling up their pants
In Stephen’s Park
Winding trails of asphalt

Thrown out fried food
Mixed with glass
And dried blood on the curb

Then the night
A small red tinge in amorphous clouds
And a hint of quiet

 

 

Morgan Bazilian has published about 50 poems.

DS Levy: “Reverse Psychology”

Reverse Psychology

Pauline decided to rent a cabin in the woods where she could die peacefully. She sold her house and everything in it except for some clothes, her car, and a framed photo of her beloved toy poodle, Beau. For weeks, she lived among tall trees where no light could penetrate. At night, her heavy head sunk deep into the pillow. Once, she heard a terrible scream, but knew it was a vixen calling out to her mate. She went back to sleep, unafraid. If it had been human, if someone had wanted to come in and kill her, so what? She put her trust in the Good Lord, knowing that soon she would enter His Holy Kingdom.
_____Instead of growing weaker, however, Pauline grew stronger. The food she’d packed in had run out. Her appetite, ravenous. One afternoon, she decided to drive her old reliable Buick into town to buy some groceries. On the way, she passed a purple Baja Bug in a dumpy car lot. A frivolity, the modified Beetle nonetheless called out to her. She had always lived her life inside the lines. She went back, traded her car on the spot, and drove off.
_____When she got into town it was late. She was famished. There was only one restaurant, a bar, its neon sign promising “Liquor – Dancing.”
_____A good Baptist, Pauline had never let alcohol pass through her lips. Nor had she ever smoked or danced. Entering a place like the Stumble Inn was sinful. Even so, she parked her Baja Bug outside and went in, sliding into an empty booth in the corner.
_____A man with a mischievous mustache sashayed over and slid in across from her. At first, she thought he might be a ghost who’d walked out of the wood paneling.
_____“You must be new in town.”
_____“Just passing through.”
_____He offered her a smoke. Though Pauline had been taught that cigarettes were harmful to one’s health, her body a temple, she thought, Why not? The man tapped out a stick, and she put it between her lips and let him light it, and immediately she choked. The man raised one of his bushy eyebrows. They both laughed. After a while, she got the hang of it, holding the cigarette gracefully between her fingers, sucking its smoky warmth into her lungs.
_____The man plunked some quarters into the jukebox.
_____“Dance?”
_____Pauline didn’t hesitate. He escorted her onto the floor where it was just the two of them. The bartend and waitress looked on, while Tony Bennett crooned “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.” The man reined her in tight, his flannel shirt soft against her skin, his Old Spice Cologne tickling her nostrils. He pressed her tightly, their hips held together like praying hands.

 

DS Levy‘s work has been published in New Flash Fiction Review, Little Fiction, Barren Magazine, MoonPark Review, Cotton Xenomorph, the Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia, Brevity, and others. A collection of flash fiction, A Binary Heart, was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press.

Joseph Farley: Two Poems

Morning Rise

Syringes and orange juice
Start the day,
An early morning fix
To get through
The beggar morning.

 

Naught

I regret nothing,
that zero.
How could it intrude
into the world of numbers?
We would be in our prime
if I called the shots.
But nothing is there
under the bed
and in the closet.
It’s odd these days,
and the nights uneven,
all empty as a ghost
hungry to be there.

 

Joseph Farley edited Axe Factory from 1986 – 2010. His books and chapbooks include Suckers, For the Birds, Longing for the Mother Tongue, Her Eyes, and Labor Day. Labor Day, a novel, is being reissued in a special edition by Peasantry Press. Farley’s work has appeared recently in US 1 Worksheets, Home Planet News Online, Mad Swirl, Ygdrasil, and Horror Sleeze Trash.