Boiled Coffee And Canned Meat

I drive a car

of irreplaceable parts

going south.

I crawl out of town at night,

a girl with a limp on my arm,

not knowing which belt

or hose is cracked,

leaking like a fistful

of fluids.


The headlights reach down

where the pavement

is supposed to be.

I have a feel for the tires

as they pitch

into the shoulder.

Then slowly guide them out and away

from the deeper ditch below,

hot with toxic runoff.


If a computer can get a virus,

then my car has asthma.

It gets winded at stoplights

like a chain smoker

who just finished sprinting uphill

to the hospital.


There is nothing my car needs

that isn’t lying

out somewhere on the dark road ahead,

at a gas station or rest stop

filled up with strangers like us.

We live one mile at a time

on boiled coffee and canned meat,

nursing overheated engine blocks

to speed our planned obsolescence.


by Greg Jensen 



Greg Jensen has worked with homeless adults living with mental illness and addiction problems for the past seventeen years. In addition to being a poet, he is a dad, husband, and avid bicyclist who works on the Seattle’s original Skid Road.



Two nights after the breakup


I dial your number wrong

Suddenly, through fate and pulses

Twitches through air

I am connected to a stranger, you

Minus one number, or maybe two


Your name sloshes around, lulls out of my mouth


Loose on my misshapen tongue

Even after hearing an older woman answer

I carry on talking to you.

She doesn’t hang up, doesn’t break our connection

And in her reply there is a furry, conspiring, lilt

She is fluent in slurry and beg

In sludge-mumbled anger and desperation

And all that ugly language that love

Reduces us to. Or is the booze?

I thought I heard her say

“don’t do it”

I stared at the phone, glowing apps

But her voice could have come from antiquity.

“don’t do it”

maybe she said

“sleep on it”

Maybe she told me to shut the fuck up

Then hung up

Sending that connection looping back

A rubber band, snapping,

Racing back to where it lived.


by Jennifer Ihasz

Jenn Ihasz. is 42 years old and recently went back to college to study History and English Literature.


Mattias Renberg poems



In the early mornings

when the world sleeps

we stretch the thin membrane

hiding our sneering beast

from a world of ironed shirts.


Territorial claims at the bus stop.

An unaware prey (still sleeping),

is awoken by a hyenas’ mad stare.


The bus driver, half pig,

greets all and no one with grunts.

He is on schedule but actually never left the station.


The metro is buzzing: 

everyone is collecting nectar

for the sacred weekends.

And when the grasshoppers awake

later in the day,

Ironed shirts rule once more.

Only the occasional ragged dogs

rummage through the garbage

in search after some spilled honey. 




The Invisible Hand


Move along and continue to consume.

There´re still people over there to impress.

Never mind the elephant in the room.


New cars, jewelry, champagne and perfume –

Adopt the lifestyle and scent of success.

Move along and continue to consume.


There is no dusty scheme to exhume.

The wheels must turn to create progress.

Never mind the elephant in the room.


Dampen angst, down to a moan, and resume

The search for solace with food in excess.

Move along and continue to consume.


Limping charts and numbers reeking of gloom.

Suppress, forget and invent things to possess.

Never mind the elephant in the room.


There’s a dead emperor and no costume.

Calm down people, there´s no need for distress.

Move along and continue to consume.

Never mind the elephant in the room.



Mattias Renberg lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He has studied creative writing in both English and Swedish. He has previously been published in Over Yonder, an anthology by Rofous Press.

Peycho Kanev poetry



hungry helicopters

circling in the sky

killing the little

pieces of my sleep


my tired brain

wasted a long

time ago

on this battle

of existence

on this world

we called wonderful


and here is only

one cat on the floor

and there is only

one bottle of wine

and here I am



come and

get me


they do.




White Communion


I am watching

the smoke from

the chimney

the fog the whiteness

of everything around

and I rise from the mud

and step on the rocks

like some modern Lazarus

I stand up and look there

where my dreams can’t

find me

hidden even


my nightmares

that I am him




Something in a flowerpot


the night is coming slowly like an old

gray cat and I am

looking for matches to set the moon

on fire


the hunger of the mind

insist to carry on


she knows how much to fill my glass

and after that to stand up and

to pour water from the kettle

upon the thing in the flowerpot


my love is dying of thirst like

wheat in August


the streets are gloomy and silent

welcoming my steps upon the faceless

sidewalk, reminding me your silence

during the times of war


the world turns slowly like gymnast

going nowhere with all the things upon it

and the silence the silence, yes,

just for a while

while the audience applaud the bones

of Chopin


I can continue to paint but I will leave this

to the old dead dogs barking in my back yard

between the roses and the stones


she bents down over the flowerpot

and she says:

you are quiet

ah, you are so silent


my eyes believe in everything

and the honorable ladies sleep with

the picture of Paul Newman

waiting for their eternal repose


the water is pouring upon the green thing

just like the wind parts the curtains in the sky


but the world lies down on its back

and lies down on its back and waits

for me to penetrate it

but I sniff at the stench and the rottenness

of the centuries and pull back

talking to him:

child, ah, you are only child


and outside on the streets

little girls are playing,

not yet turned themselves into women

strong enough to bring down each and every






       I am thinking about the paintings of Caravaggio

       looking at the left hand (the one with the brush)

       and remain silent.




Small revenge


I don’t care about the metrics, the iambus

and the rhymes – I have read the classics and then

I’ve put them back on their dusty shelves:

we write about something that comes from the guts

and the nails as the flowers outside



The poetry, can I say that I don’t care?


I prefer to drink alone in this room in front of

one candle

as the shadows in the corners sits and show us

their ugly faces;

ah, I know that the words are greater that we thought

and we will fall in their holes,

we will spill ourselves like ink upon the Chaucer’s paper:

let me be myself while I read the classics,

let me be afraid in airplanes,

let me be bored in churches,

let me be silent before the tigers in my blood:

these words are too tuff for us to misspend them

just like the big boys during their time.


The rivers are flowing through me

and I burn like matchstick lighted by the words

of all Shakespeares …

And today I am closer to insanity,

I am watching the black birds on the wires,

waiting for our degradation,

for our small defeat while we walk upon the land of

Dylan and Frost, especially on the thin ice

of Frost…


…find me one small torch,

not too big, just big enough to set this night on fire

and I can hear outside the young girls laugh,

never heard about the hunger of Villon or the madness of Pound,

please feed me so well and I’ll never again use their words,

let me find a little warmth,

allow me to find my sunflowers

                shaking in the wind

                and under the sun

and the God of the Word not Death.





The night


The moon talks to me

and tells me stories of tortures

and burned love;

sad songs are pouring out from

broken window

and here is only the smell

of stale wine and cigarettes;


dogs are wailing in the dark

and nothing is real more than

it should be,

the dark stillness of time

is hanging like a broken clock

and finally the night

locks me in.



Peycho Kanev is the author of 4 poetry collections and two chapbooks. His collection Bone Silence was released in 2010 by Desperanto, NY and Уиски в тенекиена кутия (Whiskey in a Tin Can), 2013, Американски тетрадки (American Notebooks), 2010, Разходка през стените (Walking Through Walls), 2009 were published in Bulgaria. Peycho Kanev has won several European awards for his poetry and he’s nominated for the Pushcart Award and Best of the Net. Translations of his books will be published soon in Italy, Poland and Russia. His poems have appeared in more than 900 literary magazines, such as: Poetry Quarterly, Evergreen Review, Columbia College Literary Review, Hawaii Review, Cordite Poetry Review, Sheepshead Review, Off the Coast, The Coachella Review, Two Thirds North, Sierra Nevada Review, The Cleveland Review and many others.

E. H. Brogan poetry

Fan Death


from Grotesques


I turn the fan on night-times, so

I remember how to breathe while

sleeping, and so never

wake up dead. They think babies might

do this, they call it SIDS. Another country,

across the world, believes the same act

will fell their population, call it

fan death. Somewhere else they lock

cats out of bedrooms so they don’t

suck up souls lost in slumber. In a shack in Florida,

a young girl has her own habit: curl up

in a corner, pull the cotton sheet above

her head, and count her father’s footsteps

on her fingers, hoping that tonight

they fade into the hall. She hasn’t put together

that his steps form bassbeats in her more

twist-inducing dreams, that a nightmare is

two hard-soled shoes dropping closer

while in her sheets she turns. Most times

the sound’s not in her head, but a positive:

some nights, it is. Just a recording below her subconscious

beating background in her sleep.

Those nights she squirms, but she rests.




Any Body


from Grotesques


Close your eyes & any

body’s any other body, un-

light-marked: flesh warm in

the dark yields, tentative,

unsure. All skins brush the same,

raise undistinguished goosebumps

through the night. No one tells you who

you are as you drift by the crowd. One

hand graces someone’s back,

the other one a moth paused on some familiar shoulder,

owner indifferent, name unknown.




Zeno’s Paradox


(where destinations can’t be reached)

from Grotesques


The only way to suffer sadness is by

stretching onionskin elastic over

hipbones, shrinking down. I

will whittle to perfection,

thin as a whippet, as

a curling, snake-

like whip.






E. H. Brogan is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a B.A. in English. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Scissors & Spackle, Corvus, and others. Recently, she won a Brew Haha Short Story Writing Contest for memoir. This summer she is joining Kenning, a literary journal, as a blogger & community outreach. She is also a moderator for an online community of over 200 poets.


Charlotte M. Porter poetry

Snapshot With Suet


Say, has anyone found the old lorgnettes, those folding opera glasses?

Nice keepsake my musical sisters agree, sorting our dead Mother’s things.

Vissi d’arte, Vissi d’amore they yodel from Tosca.

On to the photographs, my favorite, 3 x 5 b/w, over-exposed edges on fire:

Flyway birds fill the trees, snip buds, litter ground with cuneiform. Late storm, no school. Hurry, we’re losing light, yells urgent brother Michael. I labor in webbed snowshoes, reach for boxes hung in rows above my girly feeder, a high-heeled boot laced with fat, table scraps. Suet for juncos calls Dad, leading pregnant Mom sidesaddle on our snow camel, three humps. Why not? Falling off unhurt, the little sisters, squint, point, hurl wet snowballs at hooded  


No, Grandma and Aunt R in capes, ambushed states our kid brother. See pointing at me, the fat teen Thunder Thighs lumbering across the frame.

I remind him that, inside Mother on the camel, he was not yet born, alive.

Big diff. The huge snow humps, chameleons he insists despite cloven hooves and cud. Who’s that? he asks about the agile boy in yarn hat, trailing seed from sack up frozen hill.

Not you I quip, suddenly too sad to dwell on Michael, his kindness and early death.

So where’s Dad?

There leaning in his deep great-coat, holding up the coffee can of suet while little sisters trip in snow pants, hand-me-downs one size too big.

Those two, now mothers both, still giggle, chorus. Fighting, we fell off the sleigh. The tracks, two thin lines, see they say lower left. Beaded caps stiff with snow, we brushed off our collars, hollered Wait!

But cold, you big kids and the parents lost interest in the game.

Of what?

What else? War, no, Peace. The sisters trump each other, interrupt. We were twin serfs, no, Serbian princesses kidnapped along the Hindi Kush, our camel caravan of sequins and silk high-jacked by hooded bandits.

Musquediento, your Highnesses! We greet in accented Flodge, our secret childhood lingo, curtsy, bow, dodge — all of us laughing now, ready to sit down and relax, napkins in lap, with tea-cakes and whiskey chasers. 

Hail, hail we toast the slanted blur.

Tall Dad?

Or giant windfall? Michael’s climbing tree, the ironwood downed by storm, nailed coffee can flattened on one side for suet.

Say, when did juncos last winter here?

I bite my lip — Michael’s eighth-grade feeders, off-camera memories. Mine.



Morning Scrabble


At my brother Michael’s gravesite, others toss handfuls of earth, stones, flowers. I throw small wooden squares with letters, stuffed in my purse and pockets, pieces from his favorite childhood board game — winning words, our excuse for wagers.

Before they dump out drawers at home, let’s see what’s left to play: O B T X R U D Z E S C H I F N A T M A …W. WOMBAT, RATFINK, tags for schoolyard FOES. FAUX, FINCH, short DEFT words like ZED and UR earned quick points. Easy vocab, RUDE, RAIN, SHINE, AFTER, we learned, ate money vowels that better earned their keep in CRUDE, INTRUDE, SHINER, SHAFTED, RAFTER.

For final rounds, our house rules allowed TV, DC, RSVP, abbreviations used as words, also REV (Reverend), RIP (Rest in Peace), even B (Born). No one ever dared to score with D, not even rash Michael, too soon wed to older ex-nun ATAR with STUN gun agenda for success.

Forced ROSE, our ruddy brother skipped FRAT fun, shortcut youth to TUX and BOURSE with her, TRIM in black FACE veil beside his casket — me FAT, DAFT, BORE/BOAR larded with loss, SNIFfling in the nave, WORSE, wanting to RUN like stocking, grasp threads, hasp, catch breath, barge, take charge — my own worst FOE in durable WORSTED serge, suited dirge, first word of MATINS (old Latin office), Dirige, direct us O Lord — gloss at his morning grave, high-point words I lack for grief.




Charlotte M. Porter  lives in an old citrus hamlet in north central Florida. A published poet, she was a top finalist for the Rose Metal Press flash fiction chapbook contest in 2012. Her creative nonfiction, as Wanda Legend, has been cited by New Pages.

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