Feature Poet: Linda M. Crate

Linda M. Crate is an author, poet, and writer from Pennsylvania. Her work has been published in numerous journals, including The Borfski Press, Literary Alchemy, The Mystic Blue Review, Occulum, Rosette Maleficarum, and The Wire’s Dream. You can find more of Linda’s work on her Facebook page, and also follow her on Twitter @thysilverdoe.

*

as the world spun madly on

there was a church
with red doors
i stood beneath as the rain fell

the coldness bit
like hard, silver bullets as i waited
for my mother;

i could feel the people staring
as they drove past
glared back so they’d look away

none of them took the hint
just kept gawking
like i was some exotic bird

they’d never seen before but i was
just trying to get out of the rain
that melted away the paltry sum of snow

which had fallen that winter
unlike this one so bitingly cold where
a homeless man almost died

buried in the snow
waiting for someone to hear his hoarse
cry for help as the world spun madly on.

*

stop predicting the end of the world

i keep telling people to stop predicting
the end of the world
because i want to keep living,

and i am tired of all these people
coming out of the woodwork like an infestation
of bugs gone too long untreated;

they all seem to say the future is full
of all these terrible things
maybe it is and maybe it isn’t

they don’t seem to have a clue when the world’s
really ending and until then i have writing to do and dreams
to achieve and goals to accomplish

don’t bother me with the
apocalypse
if it comes it’s not like we can do anything but watch.

*

a rural nightmare

walking home from work
at midnight
one summer a man came
around the corner
with his dog

three nights in a row
asked me where i lived,
but i wouldn’t tell him;
doubled back so he couldn’t see
where i went

didn’t want to be inconvenienced
by his need
didn’t realize walking down a sidewalk
made me a target for the tongues
of thirsty men

who couldn’t carry a conversation
about anything i’d be interested in
in a million years
makes me all the more eager to escape
this goodbye town

just a joke
a rural place calling itself a city
smashed in the middle of nowhere
with bars and churches
on every corner.

*

All Hail! Linda Crate has five published chapbooks. Her latest, splintered with terror (Scars Publications, 2018), is available for free in PDF format. Simply click on the cover art below, and enjoy . . .

Or, order the print version of the book here.

Previous Feature: Scott Wozniak

Scott Wozniak is a poet/chaos enthusiast living in Oregon. His works are widely published both online and in print, and have been included in the 2018 Holy & Intoxicated broadside series. His first full-length collection, Crumbling Utopian Pipedream (2017) is available via Moran Press. Follow Scott on Twitter @sewozniak.

*

Drinking Draft Beer Out Dirty Lines

In front
of the bar
a gun fired
three rounds.

Inside,
no one
flinched.

Everyone went on
raising glass
to mouth,
never bothering
to look around.

For these folks
it’s been a slow run
to the grave,
a stray bullet
would be a welcome
bit of luck.

And they all know,
too damn well,
that luck
never
shows its face
in this place.

*

Looking for Scars with Blinders On

At the age
of fifteen
she found her first
boyfriend dead
from an overdose
in the van
they lived in.

Every boyfriend after
was an addict,
they all cheated on her
with lovers
who took the shape
of powders.

Lying
and sneaking
behind her back
to chase
the dragon’s ass.

If you ask her,
none of it left scars,
her life hasn’t
been traumatic,
just normal shit
all kids deal with.

*

Bloody Gashes

She was reading
a chapter titled,
“Profuse Vaginal Bleeding.”

It made me think
about our hidden
bloody gashes.

Gashes
of the past
that left scars
even though
the bleeding
never stopped.

Gashes
we accept
as part of us.

Bloody gashes,
dripping, oozing,
staining the people
we dare hold dear.

I’m glad I have you
to compare gashes with.

Most people
go through life
all alone,
bleeding in secret.

*

All Hail! With illustrations by the artist, Janne Karlsson, Killing Our Saints (Svensk Apache Press, 2017) by Scott Wozniak, is available on Lulu. Simply click on the cover image below to learn more . . .

Previous Feature: Jeff Bagato

Jeff Bagato is a multi-media artist living near Washington, DC, who produces poetry, prose, electronic music, glitch video, street art, and pop surrealism paintings. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including Chiron Review, The Five-Two, Otoliths, and Outlaw Poetry. Short fiction has recently appeared in The Colored Lens and Gobbet. His published books include the poetry collections Cthulhu Limericks (lulu.com, 2011) and Savage Magic (ibid., 2016), along with the novels Computing Angels (ibid., 2015) and The Toothpick Fairy (ibid., 2015).

*

A Spell Through Time (Doom Pussy poem)

Sex is the non-language by which
we disobey god,
by which we explode reason

Fucking defeats language—
Fucking denies language power—
Fucking is the fruit of the tree and defies god—

Fucking disobeys god—

Fucking—the new god—the author of all—
Fucking disobeys god—
Fucking brings into being the strength
of man and woman given to oneself

Fucking, I find the god in me—
I give myself fucking—
I give myself god

Fucking is magic that defies reason—
I am fucking myself into your hearts;
by myself I gain power,
I author my own power

I control time—
I make time mine—
Fucking time is mine—
Fucking time is my power

By fucking I go outside time
and out of reach of god or reason

Out of time, I disobey—
absolute ruler and rigid controller of all
things I disobey you—
I break you down—
I reuse you for my own fucking power—
I take my own time—
I fuck myself—
I reach in and take time—

(language)
I fuck language
and disobey,
and fucking—authoring
this spell takes me through
time for my own being

I birth myself out of time
and bring this self back through
time and language
to power

disobey god

fucking yourself out of time

*

All Hail! Care to read more from Jeff Bagato’s “Doom Pussy” series? Then, give Gobbet a visit by clicking on the pentagram below . . .

And, be a sure to visit www.jeffbagato.com, to learn more about Jeff’s writing and publishing efforts.

Previous Feature: James Reitter

James Reitter is an Assistant Professor of English at Dominican College and has been publishing poetry for over 20 years. He lives with his wife, two cats, and a 1956 Royal typewriter in Poughkeepsie, New York where he is a member of the Hudson Horror Film Festival crew.

*

Merci!

The Reaper came
to me, took me
by hand, propped
his sickle up against
my slouched shoulder.

Pointing down with
knuckled doom,
smiling all the while,
he asked me what
did I see.

Confused, I didn’t
know what to look for
despite all his help.

*

Why I Don’t Dust

Staring at the metallic sunburst
hung on the living room wall.
Shadows of cobwebs are cast
flowing from currents of air.
It is all artificial: the sun,
the wind, the light.

Cobwebs tell a different
narrative. Their story
has arc & movement
their characters are
time, dust, cat hair
forming a new chapter
each time I decide to
read & learn.

*

When the Dead Come Calling

Accountability is all the dead
will ask for when they call my name
Ask me what I’ve done, what I’ve learned
and all those many failures

They will ask if I deserve to be with them
if I want to be with them

Judge me on my vision of reunited Heaven/Hell
or festering ooze of bone and muscle

There are no promises I can make
none that they can keep

When the dead come calling
I’ll answer the door
naked and ready
Invite them in
for a drink or a smoke,
see where the evening takes us

*

Footsteps at Night

Placing my head down
I heard footsteps every night
& imagined I was being protected
by some fantasy warrior.
An older me realized
it was my beating heart
& that vitality gave comfort.
Now it has turned into a clock
& every tick is time running out.

*

All Hail! Time is indeed running out! So, click the GIF below and learn how to make the most of it . . .

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