always up to read, listen or think on something new. if you'd like to send your work, gmail: bongbard1309

Jun 4, 2014

Happy Rock/Under the Table - Shawn Martin Macrae

Happy Rock
I withdraw my bank account and take the first train out of town. I hide out in a cheap room. A low place with rusty running water and bed bugs that will feast upon my flesh, but that's the least of my worries. I dead bolt the door and close the curtains. I convince myself that I'm free of conviction, as I load my pistol and set in on the bed. I sit by candle-light and think about how I left him back at Happy Rock. A secluded place in the woods where a rock overlooks the lake along the back side of town. It's a place we'd frequent for the sake of getting stoned; a happy place but not anymore. Had he not mentioned my time behind bars, his ball-breakin' malicious remarks about consequence and loneliness, I would not be barricading the door with the table and chairs that furnish this rat infested room. I knew he passed the instant I heard his head against the rock, his eyes gone blank. Maybe it was the drugs that made me panic, forgetting to push the body into the lake. I'm usually sharper, my senses more acute. It's too late now. I sit and wait for them to find me; to take me away, but I won't go peacefully. I listen to sirens echo throughout the vacant late night streets. I blow out the candle and sit silently in the dark.

It was a friday night, and Beckett finished her off. He zipped up and ushered her out of his room, and she sank into the comfortable cushions of his couch. They weren't dating, but the feelings were mutual in a sense that there were no feelings. No emotional baggage to drag about. Her voluptuous assets kept him interested, and she stayed so long as he filled her pockets with her drugs of choice. Whatever allowed her a momentary state of ecstasy.

-Lookit dis bastard, Beckett laughed.

Having spent an hour passionately hugging the porcelain bowl, Joey was sitting adjacent to her, lounging in the recliner already coming down. They'd all been popping a variety of uppers as if the pills were a taste of the rainbow, but the fix was running its course. He seemed to be veering in and out of consciousness, cradling the bottle they'd been previously passing around. Vixie chain smoked cigarettes and watched Joey slowly fall into that state of catatonic despair to which she hoped she wasn't bound.

-Ya think he's alrite?
-He's fine, Beckett replied.

He walked over and gave Joey a swift kick to the shin. It barely startled him. His eyes only widened and briefly twitched around the room before he dozed back out. They both laughed, and she contemplated snatching the baby's bottle, but Beckett beat her to the punch.
They poured shot after shot, as if to duel, as loud down-tempo blared through the stereo speakers. They playfully mother-fucked each other awaiting a white flag, or any sign of surrender. Riled up by the persistent banter, their voices rose over the the music and filled the room with a cacophonous racket. Then it hit her.
She felt as if she forcefully threw herself against a self constructed wall of bricks. She was coming down and getting drunk harder than ever. Her heart raced a mile a minute: that blood pumping Olympian striving for unattainable hurdles. She started fidgeting, as if an ant colony were crawling along the marrow of her bones, and she doubled over as if to vomit, but collapsed to the carpet writhing and wailing.
Beckett leapt to his feet with exclamation as if out drinking a 110 lb pound girl deserved a pat on the back. He staggered about the room pumping his fists like a typecast asshole on a shitty reality show. He seemed to care less when Vixie's eyes rolled to the back of her head, her body slowly going limp on the living room floor.

Shawn Martin Macrae is a nervous man. A paranoid and delightfully miserable man. He is a writer. He lives in a small town somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and when you feed him after midnight he becomes a ghostly figment of his own imagination. That is when he writes the bleak and often unsettling scenarios you can find haunting various online literary venues.

Jun 27, 2013

splash the cold - molly bond

We met inside a sea anemone
those tentacles are surprisingly strong
we couldn’t break our grip as the wave crashed over us

Your skin is freckled rocks with
the splick click stream rushing over
her hands
fish angling through your sand

When I see you I drop my eggs they explode
into the concrete in yellow bubbly streams
shells lie hollow
beige skin turned towards the sky

Oh take me to a cave filled with moss let me
lie in its beds, feel water trickle down the stalactites
when the tide comes, it will flood and

Molly Bond is a high-schooler at the San Francisco School of the Arts. Her work has appeared in Metazen, Dogzplot, Newport Review, Used Furniture Review, Vox Poetica, Up the Staircase, The Weekenders Magazine, Orion Headless, and Bicycle Review. She loves Flannery O'Connor.

May 30, 2013

White Collar Crime/Bloody Sam - Ross Peterson

White Collar Crime

It was midnight when I got the call.

Gin drunk and covered in shadows,

Mary Anne O'Shanter spewed the fix.

Her husband, the Fat Man, and Fontaine

were pulling out.

No deal.

I rolled a cigarette,

forgetting about the one I left lingering.

Set up,

I inferred.

What I needed was a shovel, some suspenders, a can of soup,

chewing gum, a gallon of gas, and a Halloween mask.

It didn't add up.

The kidnapped McLean baby,

the stolen .455 Webley-Fosbery,

the midget named Carlos.

A piece of the puzzle was missing.

I knew I was close,

but what did the dude rancher with the gold teeth mean when he said 'I was born ready'?

Why did the flashlight salesman take all the Gideon Bibles out of the Wagon Wheel Motel and flee for Arizona?

Why would Mrs. Baker lie about her uncle's shoes?

I was like a hawk hovering over dozens of squirming bald pink baby rats,

I was ready to kill, to feast, to have seconds and thirds.

Problem was,

I didn't have any talons.  

Bloody Sam


eaten alive by fire ants

and freeze frames of ass-kickers.

The gloomy 1850s desert pisses yellow mustard

onto the 5-o-clock shadows of Slim, Buck,Tex, and Nobody.

Bloody Sam

sweats tequila through his bandana

like some fictional character,

clasping his gut wound

in slow motion,

and falling off of his horse.

Ross Peterson is a freelance writer from Missoula, Montana who strives for a hard-boiled, bizarre world with his poetry; he also writes genre movie reviews for both and He's pretty awesome.

May 22, 2013

Appeasing the Situation in Lebanon, NH - Roy G. Guzmán

Home is where the mind, having failed three landings,
traces back its history to the schoolyard; to the grand
church in the middle of the square; to the icon of a flutist

guiding children at the park to find their individual parents.
Ghosts of horses trot without purpose. Every stone
and every tree is where it should be.

The old man of Lebanon solves last Sunday’s crossword puzzle.

Depending on which corner one stands and with what
propulsion, there are mountains. Window-shoppers fill
every street, and buses never drive students on Sundays

from the college. The benches, if one should remember to clean
them, remind one of the meeting places long gone, where poets
would confuse lines or artists would assemble their watercolor

creations. The old buildings and the parents and the pancake
drifts would convene in the middle of the town.

So what compels one to share one’s obsessions, David,
at the Farmer’s Market, by the lilacs overlooking the mountains?

If you swerve off the road we could end up in White River Junction
and have us some brunch at the Polka Dot. Or jettison ourselves
onto the rooftops of the summerhouses, all while I recite De Burgos.

None of this belongs here, David. Forget the Psalms. Sing

the hymns of the Middlesex artist instead. Learn Rachmaninoff.
Take a cruise to the Balkan Sea. Think of the droves who’ve died
defending this foreign landscape to preserve these massif obsequies.

None of it is ours; I will never be yours.

Come on, brother! Let us have one last round of these imperial stouts,
and bid goodbye to these bucolic but ultimately parochial theories

of yours, at home, in your head, in New Hampshire, in the nowhere.

Roy G. Guzmán works extensively with haikus, autobiography and hybrid pieces. A native of Honduras, he also explores citizenship and identity.  You can find him here.

May 2, 2013

Snake Meets Dragon in Her California Lair - robert beckvall

Jack had driven to San Diego enough times while working out of Tucson.  This time it felt different.  He had dropped the venom at the lab after the Prescott snake hunt.  He watched the news and looked at the internet and continued to see Dr. Wang working her magic on the world.  He was driving with sweaty palms and a butterfly stomach.  He looked in the rear view mirror and checked his hair.  What the hell was he so nervous about?
He followed the directions his navigation device told and showed him, but he also stopped from time to time on the side of the road or at a truck stop to look at his map.  He combed his hair more than usual for him, and even got caught sniffing his armpits.  What was a business meeting felt suspiciously like a date.  This made him chuckle to himself.  He felt like a jackass.
He made it into town and decided to stop off and pick up some coffee.  He could check his e-mail while he drank it and try to calm himself down before the meeting.  Maybe he should call.  He knew about last second changes in schedules, running one of the largest labs and research facilities in the Southwest.  He would call first to see if she was ready for him.
“Dr. Wang, there is a Dr. Veenum on the line.  He says he has an appointment with you.”
“Thanks, I’ll take that.  Hello Dr. Veenum, it is a pleasure to speak to you.”
“Well, I don’t know which is worse.  There are snakes in New York too, if you know what I mean.”
“Of course, I blocked time out for our meeting.  I was just tweeking the project plans and going over my end of things here.  I keep the main models of the projects here in San Diego.”
“If you are in town, come on over.  I look forward to meeting you Jack.”
She hung up the phone and looked in the mirror in her office.
“Give me about 30 minutes.  I don’t want any phone calls or visitors for the next half an hour.”
She had a nice bathroom and tub in her office.  She ran a bath.  She giggled because she felt like she was getting ready for a date.  She quickly slipped out of her clothes and got into the tub.  She lit an incense and opened the windows to the outside.  She put on her music.  She slipped away for a few precious minutes with a mix of Pat Methany, Pink Martini and The 12 Girls Band.
The sign was not too gaudy.  He thought it might look as ridiculous as the name, Sludge-Bot.  The buildings were simple, plenty of windows and plants and benches to sit on outside.  He pulled in expecting guards and having to show some credentials or ID.  He just found the stalls marked visitors and pulled in.  He looked in the rear-view mirror and grabbed his briefcase and computer.  He checked to see if he had some of the business cards.  He looked in the mirror and smiled.  He took out a piece of gum.
Dr. Wang got dressed and put just a little make-up on.  She owned the factory, and that is sexy enough.  She looked good in her lab coat.  She loved wearing these at the factory and at the clinics.  Black pants, working shoes and a rainbow of different color shirts.  She grabbed a red one for good luck.
Jack came into the main lobby and saw a man and two women sitting behind the large crescent moon shaped reception desk.  There were plants in the lobby and behind this large desk.  The Sludge-Bot logo was behind them on the wall.  There were models of the various machines under glass where people were sitting waiting for their appointments.  He came over to look at these.
Someone was called, and they came out to meet him and let him know that Dr. Wang wanted to escort him personally.  He waited by the glass case and continued to look at the models.
“He is waiting by the model case in the lobby Dr. Wang.”
“Thank you.”
She came out of her office and stood in front of her office manager’s desk.
“Professional as always.”
“I’m nervous.”
“I don’t know and I don’t know if I like it.”
“You look great boss.”
She walked over and held out her hand.  They did a soft hand shake, and she took one of the mints in the candy dish.
“See you soon.  I am going to give him the tour.  I’ll have my phone.”
“Any important calls coming in?”
“If the president calls, I’ll take it.  Otherwise, put the world on hold.”
“Yes mam!”
They smiled at each other and she slowly walked out the door.
“Well, here goes everything.”

published in red fez, blackheart, madswirl, carcinogenic, beatdom and CHA 
born in burbank, died and fly from the fire in Phoenix, swam ashore this island and rescued by Chinese girls 
former newspaper writer, wrote way to two graduate degrees 
read my poetry the same place the gin blossoms played! And no beer bottles met my head, except to drink.

Apr 25, 2013

hail mary, full of grace - rachel seiderman

shelly has a preoccupation with jesus. after a kiss or two
she's soft like pure gold, she wears a cross
around her smooth-skinned neck and no one questions
it. she laps up glory. her tongue is a checkerboard
and i have three kings skipping back and forth along her
pearl teeth. her gums are pink, strawberries and cream, i
lick her greedily in public, in church. we sin in the last
row of pews, then she goes and crosses herself and asks
the good lord and his sweet son for forgiveness.

last summer i sat idly playing with shelly's hair
as she explained that jesus, her savior her dear darling her
manwhore, died to save her and her alone. there was
loud ungodly music screeching from speakers in
passing cars. she told me that teenage boys worship
all the wrong things. instead of breasts and
fingertips and slow tongues they should feel the
pull of the madonna, the only mother. mary, mary --

quite contrary, i say. shelly shrugs and smiles.

at night i lay in bed. shelly regrets nothing. shelly
has god and jesus and joseph and mary. the father, son and
holy ghost.

once, once shelly regretted something. i kissed her hard and she
shied from me. i was too rough. i scared her.
i broke something fragile in her body, she bled and wept
and prayed and prayed for salvation. she screamed and railed
and steepled her fingers and said jesus! with feeling.

what happens when jesus is too busy? when god forgets
to look down lovingly from his high horse? when the
virgin mother bleeds like all women and the myths and lies are
uncovered by people who aren't even looking to lay christianity
to the wayside?

maybe joseph ejaculated into mary's bathwater. sperm
are first-rate swimmers, shelly. sperm could find a needle
in a haystack and then shoot themselves enthusiastically
through the pinhole. it's time to face facts. the god of
abraham is the god of his offspring, and jesus's father may some
day turn a blind eye to hitler's atrocities and stalin's and the
catholic church's. the rosary beads are growing cold in my
open palm.

Rachel Seiderman is a first-year Master's student at Michigan State University.

Apr 18, 2013

bard in the wings/pimp/aria/nicki/their first time - jnana hodson


The cabby to the airport
would soon be teaching dramatics
though he hates Shakespeare.

In the event
of emotion discomfort
please use bag.

An airplane far below
was a crucifix stalled in place
as the world moves.

We entered
and then left
through different states.


most despicable of men
twists a girl’s need
puts her on the street
and dope in her veins
reduces her to bones
devours her flesh
in three fast years
and takes the profit

the tribal lord:
the women work


A love poem?
The sirens!


How could your hair be as thick and as beautiful
as the arms of a large kelp floating through the office?

I imagined brain-waves from a waterfall
when you spoke with such maturity.

How furiously in those dreams
you returned my passion.

The boss’ daughter, so full of scorn,
would be water crashing on rocks the next day.


Thinking of her the day after, wondering
if she was holding true to tradition.

The regret, the epithet. He had no way
of knowing how valid they were.

In the rapture, the promise
she’d be true, anew.

Jnana celebrates a long list of American symphonic composers. He blogs at Jnana’s Red Barn (

Mar 26, 2013

ars erotica/from wind sock etiquette/unfinished things - zach fishel

Ars Erotica

Your skin
is a favorite

shadowed hem

pulling the hair
of stair

climbing angels
amiss of angles.

It’s not the motion
but stillness of

a chewed lip,
the spit

caught between
the recess

of breath,

in another’s
bitten pause.



I sleep in seashells to hear
the     ocean.          Forget it
     or otherwise, on
either side of the shore.
Doubled speak
spoke in doubled up sureness.
The lapping either way
Teleprompters tell us
what to watch. The news is not new,
nor     ever    will it be seen
in this optional


Nooses are not solitary,
as a rope is wound of three chords.
Chords of sheet music spray
the studio floor. Talking suspensions
with magicians is illusionary.  Scatter the scrabble
board            and count the waves.
        Light pollution can corrode an en
tire car in several
short years. Too much repetition
zips through a  streak of cobwebs
woven in triangular (dis)repaired intentions.
Hug nothing in a mirror,
since someone
else will already be doing it best.


                Stretch marks
of etched great black
pack rats reach the straps slung
to the bed
              posts of eternity. A shotgun
in the mouth of an addled
whore isn’t much different
than an empty tomb filled with
        the privy of a hip
against a hip,
as married folks fuck for money.
                She is asleep with the wasps
in the smoke.

Unfinished Things

(For Jordan Herzog)

Impossible home
sickness clings
to shoelaces stumbling
down the bus steps
in mid-April as
a kite dives and
suddenly you’re
given control.

Park fountains and
watermelon stands
are the taste of
wet grass and batting cages
next to the hotdog
vendors and hula-hoops
running away
from children
hunting jobs
and doormats,
fleeting as the stardust
welcoming us home.

Diluted apathy is a
cheap wine in
the cornfields
we’d sneak
off to in another life
neither of us are brave
enough to live.
The jug in the dirt
with letters never written,
just waiting for the
constant abuse of
June bugs humming under
The porch lights
In a rough whisper
of drifting light.

Zach Fishel is the owner/operator of Horehound Press, specializing in
limited edition chapbooks and broadsides. His poetry can be found in
numerous journals and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart. His
first chapbook can be found via NightBallet Press or you can feel free
to contact him directly for anything word related at

Mar 19, 2013

Humpty Dumpty Couldn't Be Put Back/Kristalltag/Three Hags Content/Scent of Mothballs/Napalm Would Smell As Sweet - SY ROTH

Humpty Dumpty Couldn’t Be Put Back

Powerwash the pronouns from Mount Rushmore.
No theys there, only men.
Unveil the symbols to a Gypsy Rose Lee striptease.
Bury them in grandiose similes like
pomaded hair, golden epaulettes, auroral idols
in Grand canyons of poetic flourishes,
miles of dentile Cheshire-cat smiles.
Personify Alliterate Assonate Consonate them.

Drown them rather in abstergent waters.
Hammer the accolades into a necklace,
albatross to be worn about the neck.
Lei them without aloha.
Sing sim shalom to their frozen narrative.
Hide aufwiedersehens in the shadows.
Toss their stories from skyscrapers.
Watch the splat on the sidewalk below,
Humpty-Dumptys never to be reassembled.


Space exhaled a puff of air.
Caught in its stream,
pathless terrene thought it appropriate to cleave
a fresh path,
form a new road,
unzip the miles-thin protective layer.

Airiform meteoric hand swooped in--
glass jugs exploded in a grand cosmic plie,
windows shattered, crystalline light show.
Creations crumble, heavenly chaff in its random wind,
clinking chimes in twenty-part dissonance.

Cataclysm in its whimsical wake until
the bagmen seek bits to sell on eBay.

Three Hags Content

Three hags watched
their pot boil and bubble. They
fabricate an unbridled brew of

thimbles full of pricked pinches of this and that
newts’ eyes and ravens feathers, form
bucking bronco pate.

Brutish darkness dwells there.
Beelzebub’s dreams, aboard a snorting steed,
exhales iniquity, an
ape throwing  his feces at his jailors.

Bifurcated-genome-sequenced beings
recently erect after bare-knuckle walking.
Consumed by stampeding desires
yee and haw for control.

Starry-night stars shoot against a blackened sky,
Seeds they bred gnaw through their heart,
roar to the surface with wooly ambition.
Willful disintegration,

turns all into a crimson river,
hoodoos of inchoate admonitions.
Pot boils over.
Three hags content.

Scent of Mothballs

Mopheus lazes on his
green, wharf –fading eyes,  an
enervated flame fizzling windless.

Charon rolls the oars silently
barely slicing the inky water,
Styx turgid waters thumping the barge.

Charon’s unreflected.
The passenger licks his arid lips
searches for words—

any words--
beleaguered in a desert thirst
Styx cannot slake.

Lilacs dare not bloom,
willows sway awkwardly in a Macabre Danse,
turtles arhythmically flail on their backs.

Watchers grieve at lost possibilities, where
Only chaff and wilted flowers
scent the room with mothballs.

Napalm Would Smell As Sweet

A war is a war is a war
by any other name, Napalm would smell as sweet.
Cannons hurl their guts
like drunken sailors’ on madcap shore leave.

Uncivil matters begin that way,
silent anticipation before
explosions rip the night red,
kick morning-puffs of earth into
guileless mushroom cloudlets.

Rubicons crossed
songs get sung in hollow chest barrels.
Fodder girded with anticipation follow,
unfurl flags, signatories of sides
rights to defend
rights to abolish
wrapped in crimson brocade,
festive omens of what has to be.

Motley dressed for immolation, they
warble war songs to shout down the barrage.
Fields purged,
their red towers support the sky, beneath
swampy marshes for grim reapers to plod through.

The hurly-burly done,
ragged pieces remain--
blinded eyes,
memories etched behind them,
dough faces piled upon dough faces,
war in their nightmares.

Sy Roth: He comes riding in and then canters out. Oftentimes, the head is bowed by reality; other times, he is proud to have said something noteworthy. Retired after forty-two years as teacher/school administrator, he now resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications such as BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, brief, The Weekenders, The Squawk Back, Bareback Magazine, Dead Snakes, Bitchin’ Kitsch, Scapegoat Review, The Artistic Muse, Inclement, Napalm and Novocain, Euphemism, Humanimalz Literary Journal, Ascent Aspirations, Fowl Feathered Review, Vayavya, Wilderness House Journal, Aberration Labyrinth, Mindless(Muse), Em Dash, Subliminal Interiors, South Townsville Micropoetry Journal, The Penwood Review, The Rampallian, Vox Poetica, Clutching at Straws, Downer Magazine, Full of Crow, Abisinth Literary Review, Every Day Poems, Avalon Literary Review, Napalm and Novocaine, Wilderness House Literary Review, St. Elsewhere Journal, The Neglected Ratio, and Kerouac’s Dog. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Also selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway, September 2012. His work was also read at Palimpsest Poetry Festival in December 2012. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics.

Mar 12, 2013



You figure the native is restless
in his small jungle of a bedroom.
He torn toms email.
Or earplugs himself into

a downloaded cave,
before a make-shift altar
where his Gods spit fire
or take turns swapping solos.

He does not speak to you.
unless the bumps, the bangs,
the mattress boings, cell phone
whispers, the breeze from his

air guitar, is a language.
It is. You spoke it once yourself,
though with less technology.
Yours was the bone you prayed

that one day would take
your toss at its primitive word,
turn into a spaceship.
He has the spaceship.

But not the steering. Little navigation.
It's not a jungle like yours was.
It's a universe.
He's moving forward —

one digital bleep to your pound
of a base drum,
tapping the invisible, the world-wide,
not your letters, your late-night radio.

But it's all in a room like yours was.
An isolation like you knew.
It's what you were
bewildered by what you've become.


I'm staying at the old house for the weekend.
She keeps my old room in a time warp.
Banners and posters. A couple of books.
The single bed I gave up for the double life.
Window is the best match for what I'm feeling.
Nothing's changed.
It's still much more looked out of than stared into.

So what do I see.
Aliens on the old decrepit tennis court.
Less gravity where they're from.
They're not used to lob shots
dropping back to earth.

Maybe they're ghosts
and are whacking that spectral sphere back and forth
on what used to be a court
but is now just a field,
overgrown with mist and weeds.
That's my mother, a prime-time player in her youth.
She's battling a second cousin.
Someone's yelling "Love!" or was that "Deuce!"

Or are these just real people
on a freshly laid tarmac,
its service lines drawn like a new city grid,
net bobbing, umps focused,
crowd roaring, and top seed battling
second pick for the tournament.

No, it's just memory.
I was twelve and found this racket
in a cellar trunk,
within its frame, more gaps than string.
I ran up and down the backyard of this house,
slamming that ball at no one.

This is the window with the best view of the games:
the dearth of real players,
the service not returned.


Factory shadow can't quite reach
the two of us, lying together
in the least of the great outdoors.

It's more a parcel of land
than a meadow
but the dandelions don't know that,
cap the grass like sun.

Gray, mournful doves
rustle through dead leaves.
Toads squelch in brown mud
like fingers tapping jelly.

Crickets warm up
their unseen orchestra,
click and clack
between nearby gear and belt.

For all our deep breathing,
we can't out-exhale the funnels.
A purr, a sigh is lost.
Our sounds of being
can't hold a note to industry.

So you impress my chest
with your throbbing,
a pulse on a par
with bellicose assembly lines.

Ears to the ground,
we hear the rumble of trucks,
the hissing of smoke,
crackling of fire -
strange are the heart's commissions.