Sunday, August 14, 2022

The Butcher of Ramsey Street : Case Now Closed by John Doyle

"Bet he drinks green tea too", a more slim that usual detective notes,
"and it's the only thing he orders from the cafĂ© underneath the railway arches, and orders it "on the go"', with one hand on the mobile phone to his ear, I know, 

I've seen it before, on his tail, leaving St. Kilda for Fitzroy. 
He calls the girl behind the counter "Magda", even though her name is Radomila,  
but hey, that's ok, lol, they all say.

Benjamin fell asleep in '36, wild and barren Australia mourned, 
urban Australia mourns 37 different years, Benjamin's returned, "a different Benjamin" McGurk tells me. 
Someone else me told me he was the devil 

stealing lover's dreams from TV screens, old ladies choking on scones at tea time. 
He swiped their love like hidden diamonds, 
like a hoodlum with a sack marked swag. 

He stands no taller than a rock, 
doesn't walk on water, or convert oil to petroleum from sin. No surprise - that no frame, 
that no bone, is huddled in the bastards of his skin.

I stood there listening to the spirituals with my sisters, back down on the Yarra-bed, 
the waters running dry, the songs smothering the sky - suddenly - the butcher's cut loose 
on the empty houses; I dry myself quickly, 

tell my sisters I love them, fix a flashing siren on my roof, 
leave with my Mojo on safety-mode. 
When I got back to Australia they'd changed from pounds, shillings and pence, into dollars, 

when I got home to Fitzroy, the beer was flat and the blues had turned every colour but blue; 
the queens of London City said their prayers 
but did not have any souls, I was the only one in the precinct who didn't find that to be a surprise.

I'm listening to Dylan from '97 onwards, that creepy, somewhat silent stranger, in the hat and waistcoat who sits near the back of the church on a Sunday and is either the first or last to leave,
there's no middle ground with that guy,

I take a leaf from his scripture, a feather from his hat, 
I walked into Danny's dreams, warned him that previous night, there's a killer on the loose around the spinal cord of town, hanging like an electric fence over water, 

the fire in the heart
or the grease smothering the machine
which one burns you faster?

Hey Danny, which jackdaw swoops to snip your holster?
something came up long before daybreak
koshed the moon from behind;

dragging that moon behind a tree
he went through its pockets
poured a stale shot of rum on its lapels -

his footprints in the fields remain like fossils,
Danny's wheels covered-over everything else - a shame, that boy
covered over hard evidence - instead of sleepwalking before getting permission from the dark - like the way

gold bullion looks like dirty water coming from a poor man's 
rag-stuffed well,
dogs, usually match-stick legged, keeping a three-score distance,

the way the bones in the waves
subtly tune to a jazz session, sleeves wet, 
windows welded by the sun, everything beautiful stolen, though safe for now, behind closed doors; safe for now, I said...

The killer I see sipping on his green tea
is an ideas guy, giving investors a solid return on their capital
still calls that waitress Magda - no-one's laughing.

If I want to find redemption I guess I better sin to get there first
a tribal elder told me - I drew a necklace of swollen sorrows, handed down from the Southern Cross -
the first sin I needed to commit was to let the drowning man die of thirst, no green-tea left, sorry Benjamin, we've ran out of coffee too -

the second sin I committed was to let Galilee run out of turpentine;
On the thirteenth day they went to stone me
but I'd escaped on a swinging saloon door, shortly before midnight on the ninth, 

making Geelong as the Southern Cross 
signed off for sunrise,
dust-swarms, shaking trees, puzzling the elders in Gippsland,

The third sin I'll commit is to accuse Ben Avraham of theft, false-selly, that is.
When he turns to slap my cheek, he'll knock me 37 years back in time; last time I drew my blade on Ben
His barndoor missed my face by twenty or twenty seven years, there'll be no sad and sorry miss, this time of all times.

It's worked. My soul is damned anyway, best to shoot a hangman down,
then hang like a walk-on extra, immortal in a hail of lead -
ant-sting holes on a cooled-down saddle, as I clip-clop into Jackson's Hotel,

37 years of old ladies' dreams, sipping tea politely
with an old-time horse of war, Nell apologizing to Helen, 
Edith says "it's cucumber, not ham" they want on their sandwiches.

Danny's left his doctor's office meanwhile,
cycling down Flinders
I meet him head-on, we cycle back to '85,

in the dream that we remember
like in the dreams I used to have
so long long ago, Reggie C. was my witness, "he was on a tram going down Collins, about to meet me for a beer"

Reggie told the courthouse
who turned and roared "show him mercy, your lordship!" all in tandem -
this was how the butcher of Ramsey St. wound-up swinging

from a gallows in the outback,
instead of on T.V. screen
like he'd planned for me.

Me, you ask, how am I doing now?
I wound up an expert marksman in the Salvation Army,
driving my Neighbours crazy, blowing brass instruments, from time to time

John Doyle became a Mod again in the summer of 2017 to fight off his impending mid-life crisis; whether this has been a success remains to be seen. He has has two collections published to date, A Stirring at Dusk in 2017, and Songs for Boys Called Wendell Gomez in 2018, both on PSKI's Porch.

He is based in Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. All he asks is that you leave your guns at the door and tie up your horses before your enter.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Little Girl Feet by Kevin M. Hibshman

There once was a man named Pete.
As a man he was complete.
He took steroid injections and offered protections for folks
toughing it out on the street.

He was tall as a mast and you could call him big-assed with just enough curves to make it sweet.
His muscles bulged and he had names for them all.
He walked with pride, boasting a manly stride and was definitely packing some heat.
There was just one thing amiss and it interfered with his bliss.
It was hard not to notice his little girl feet.

He was no fey intellectual.
Never went metro-sexual.
He keep his private life quite discreet.
He wooed all the ladies and fended off the crazies.
He could serve up the potatoes with the meat.

He bit into bottles and lived life full throttle.
He didn't like to swim with the dudes at the gym and instead of showering made a hasty retreat.
He wore shoes two sizes too big and stomped around in heavy boots at the gigs.
He never had to try to catch a hottie's eye.
Poor Pete could walk through a wall and could've had it all
if only his toes weren't so remarkably petite.

Kevin M. Hibshman has had poems published in many journals and magazines world wide.
 In addition, he has edited his poetry zine, Fearless, since 1990 and is the author of sixteen chapbooks including Love Sex Death Dreams (Green Bean Press, 2000) and Incessant Shining (Alternating Current, 2011).

His current book Just Another Small Town Story from Whiskey City Press is currently available on Amazon. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Sting by John Patrick Robbins

I've sat looking across the table, at a woman.
So empty within that I had to think to myself,
If I dare share a night with you, 
Will I risk losing more of my dignity than the empty orgasm’s release of a forgettable moment’s overrated encounter?

I'm not saying I'm better, 
I am simply trying to say I am not the one.

I stay to myself for the simple reason, 
I have no desire to share something that won't be heard to begin with.

Some people believe I am cold.
It takes far more strength to be honest and being true to one's self,
Than to sell my truths for a shared misery's prison cell.

The bird alone in the cage needs only a mirror, 
As I speak to myself because I want depth.

And, my darling, 
I would break my neck from a deep dive within the confines of your soul’s plastic pool.

My venom’s real as my approach, 
Smooth as sandpaper and honest as death.
There is no grey area in dealing with the likes of me.

I would say goodbye,
But that would give the delusion of concern.

John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review and Black Shamrock Magazine.

His work has been published at Fixator Press, Horror Sleaze Trash, Fearless Poetry Zine, The Dope Fiend Daily, Punk Noir Magazine, Lothlorien Journal Of Poetry, Piker Press and The San Pedro River Review.

He is also the co-author of the Mirror Masks Nothing along with Kevin M. Hibshman from Whiskey City Press.
Available on Amazon.

His work is always unfiltered.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

What It's All About By Ian Lewis Copestick

Well, this is it,
what it's all about.
Laying back in the sun,
with a shitload of beer.

Closing your eyes, and
If there is a heaven, it
must be something like

No worries, no problems,
just sunshine, and pure
All I can hear is that
beautiful birdsong, and
little kids playing in their
paddling pools.

Feeling the warmth on
my skin.
The cold beer entering
my system.
This is better than drugs,
it's a natural high.

It almost makes winter
seem worth it.
It's what it's all about. 

Ian Lewis Copestick is a 48 year old writer (I prefer that term to poet ) from Stoke on Trent, England. I spend most of my life sitting,  thinking then sometimes writing. I have been published in Anti Heroin Chic, the Dope Fiend Daily, Outlaw Poetry, Synchronized Chaos, the Rye Whiskey Review, Medusa's Kitchen and Horror Sleaze Trash.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Heaven Is A Dive Bar In Tucson by Judge Santiago Burdon

Heaven is a dive bar in Tucson.

It's just past the Old Pac'em Inn Steakhouse on Drachman. A place where nobody knows your name. There's the  Neon scent of  spent memories 

An ancient jukebox from the fifties, scratches out top 40 songs from the 70's  on warped 45's,  there's no labels to know which song you select.

Bar stools of exhausted foam padding with the ass impression of the last person that sat there. There's the one beer sign, with a flickering neon light, resonating a low humming sound refusing to die. It advertises a beer the bar doesn't serve with an  outdated slogan: 'If you've got the time... We've got the beer'

The red vinyl booths are arranged in a horseshoe shape around rustic tables. Their legs have matchbooks and bar coasters jammed under them trying to level them out.

A single bulb dangles from an electric cord with a plastic cover made to look like stained glass above a pool table that once had a green felt top. It's now stained from spilled beer and cocktails, with burns from cigarettes left too long in between shots. The  pool cues are made from crooked trees without tips so there's no need to chalk up.  The bathrooms don't have doors, there's no mirrors, they were broken years ago.  Paper towels and toilet paper have never been available. One of the two urinals is covered with plastic, with an"Out of Order" sign, but it gets pissed in any way. I can't remember there ever being a toilet seat, but there's a condom machine, that on occasion dispenses a condom. The entire floor is made up of twelve by twelve inch mismatched and different colored tiles, where drunks and defeated fighters have fallen, as well as the occasional glass. It hasn't been mopped since the Kennedy Administration and sometimes your feet stick. The only item on the menu are little Tombstone pizzas and packaged peanuts. The bartender always says they're out of pizza.  There's only one beer on tap, it's the  same brand that has been served for years. The walls are adorned  with photos of everyone whose shadow has graced the doorway, mine is there somewhere, I've never checked to see, I was probably drunk at the time.

God lives on the premises in a room near the front door. You're greeted with a smile, it's actually his blessing and he's always willing to give you a tour. I'd invite you to come on by for a beer or two. Maybe get branded with a likeness of God, you're then eligible to discounted drinks for life. Unfortunately Heaven is closed, I'm sorry to say. It had a good run. Maybe you know of a dive bar in another city? If so, tell me about it.

On an cool July morning in Chicago, Judge Santiago Burdon like Dickens' David Copperfield was born on a Friday. He attended Universities in the United States, London and Paris focusing his studies on Victorian novels and authors. His short stories and poems have been featured in Magazines, On-line Literary Journals, Podcasts and a collection of Anthologies. Santiago's first book "Stray Dogs and Deuces Wild a Collection of Cautionary Tales" was published by HST Press January 2020. He is presently engaged in finishing his novel "Imitation of Myself ". It tells of his experiences as a drug runner for a Mexican Cartel. Judge Santiago Burdon turned 67 last July and lives modestly in Costa Rica

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

About Myself by Susan Cossette

I’d like another cigarette,
another glass of wine.

I wish I was a man
and a Protestant.

I don’t go to church.
I am still afraid
to sleep if I don’t
say a few Hail Mary’s,
pray the Act of Contrition.

I am so tired

of painting my eyes
of keeping my scarlet lips shut

When you and your friends talk business.

Susan Cossette lives and writes in Minneapolis.  A Connecticut native, she once auditioned to be a crowd extra in the Nicole Kidman remake of The Stepford Wives but was rejected for lacking Stepfordosity (yes, that’s a good thing). 

Abbie Hoffman once came to speak to her undergraduate Students for Peace group to recruit idealistic liberals to travel to Nicaragua and pick tobacco (it was the 80s).  She was put on the wait list after asking if there were blow-dryer facilities at said tobacco farm. 

Voted “Most Likely to Work for K-Mart” by her college classmates, she has since worked in financial consulting, nonprofit, and adult films (not really).  Among her favorite memories are being excommunicated at the Vatican, riding the elevator to the 40th floor of the English Department of City U in Manhattan with Allen Ginsberg (“C’mon, Prof. G, I know you’re the voice of your generation, but I am late for class!”), and stumbling into William Burroughs wandering the halls. 

Be sure to ask her about the time she table-hopped to William F. Buckley Jr.’s table at a restaurant in front of her boss to nail a promotion for her first fundraising job. 

Buy her a few pinot grigios, and she’ll be your best friend for the night.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Glorious Abandon! By Randall Rogers


Mystify your world

look for souls you’d

want to go to heaven with

and drink with them

love them

toast them

share truths

and insanity with them


as brothers


spend time

in sweet inebriation


with their wives

in carnal knowledge

with them

hold dear to

mystery to

define them

in alcoholic shining armor!

enhance amber clarity to


position in their

thought where they

rest assured

come fortune or naught

failure or success

grounding of a middling

stifling drudgery life

or cognitive tempest

sex with you

is the answer

too all will be well….

With another round.

He is Randall Rogers, visionary poet of the prairie.  A cowboy, yea, a beatnik; a Beatnik Cowboy.  He is an old young, sorry.  Here he exhibits new work.  More flashes in the pan.  I hope the world, nay, you editor, approveth of seeth/something here. (Currently reading "Pilgrim's Progress")  Adios!  I kind of reworked these to work in booze but they are total virgins (never put out).