Kristin Garth is a poet from Pensacola. Her work has appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic, Fourth & Sycamore, Infernal Ink, Moonchild Magazine, Occulum, Quail Bell Magazine, and many other fine publications. Her chapbook, Pink Plastic House: Three Stories of Sonnets (2018), is forthcoming from Maverick Duck Press. To learn more about Kristin, check out her website kristingarth.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter @lolaandjolie.
She’s seeping with your secrets, slipping, slick
against her thighs. She’s sleepless shame, your weakness.
She’s memorizing lies. She swallows sick
suggestions. They swim inside her skin. Stress,
she sucks in silence, synthesizes sin.
She’s shut away from sunlight, slumbers in
a shed. She’s sure she’s now a number, been
some sad statistic in their heads. She spins
savagery to salvation, a saint
to psychopath. Smiles seem self-directed,
she sometimes even laughs. Her self restraint,
survival, soul sacrificed, protected.
She simulates so sweet a girl alive,
a strategy assumed so she’ll survive.
A thing that happens to you on the way
to Pittsburgh, post mid-trip burrito stop.
“His favorite,” her whisper is to say
he’s made this trip before. He makes her swap
her seat, brandishes silver tubes of foil,
golden signet ring, slides in next to you.
Delicious smell a clenched stomach spoils.
He’s going to hurt you, not a fear just true,
and no one knows you’re here. He puts it down
unopened to open you, trace goosebumped
inner thigh to pink cotton-pantied mound
his newest home. After, he says, “Eat some,”
and he says, “my child,” though you’re nineteen,
as hungry as your future is unseen.
The doll that does him in: an explorer
he buys a five-year-old he’s flown across
so many states to rape. Human horror
a monster makes vacation. Only costs
besides a ticket: earrings, baby doll.
Surprises he surrenders not to mom
but men with pointed guns. A sting they call
the trap he’s tangled in. A reptile calm,
a predator who still has teeth and tongue.
His story (little girl he knew to be
pretend; could not come for a thing so young)
undone by the dark-haired doll they see.
He hangs himself in jail before nightfall,
a pedophile who dangles for a doll.
All Hail! Care to learn more about Kristin Garth and her writing? Then, give the image below a click, and read this interview conducted by Ambrose Hall over at Mr. Volpone . . .
Elisabeth Horan is a poet, mother, student, lover of kind people and animals, homesteading in Vermont with her tolerant partner and two young sons. She enjoys riding her horses and caring for her cats, chickens, goats and children (not necessarily in that order). She teaches at River Valley Community College in New Hampshire. Follow her @ehoranpoet.
My Beautiful Bride
Be my knife-whyfe / be glinty-bad
You are migh lyfe-whife
Hesterprynne me; fuck who u like.
Wear this lyfe-vest; don’t drown bad—
Fret in the marriage mud dark and oily as drug trees,
hung fruity in the night—
Lightly does nothing for my libido / teddy,
naughty; knotted limbs / akimbo limbic systems
Razor smart u r & shave me ripe n ready;
we r nothing if not hot n heavy
Yet i carry u lite as pigeon feathers / usher me home
notes from the war zone
Never shot down. O, brave flier; no Crow
Martyrdom suits thee as do my chain-link
Ball bearings resonate 4 u:
a soprano; sticky up for this alto,
Beautiful as Elton; candlelit keys
be my knyfe wyfe / love me lightly;
Dearest Diana, wood-wynd arc de triomphe;
death of my dutiful bride—
Ur smyle like dendritic tentacles
high as this merciful shade-tree.
This is not a funeral for anyone but me.
I know how hard u’ve tryd /
In this rut lops of my far-flungs—
be my knife-whyfe / be glinty-bad.
After the Heart Gentrifies—
This is for the gup-gup
Loyola trag and sung-mets
Viohgen rencia street wyse
Ogreling digrupties vayalon
This is for the vorpaic neverthegress
And the up-tit way you hover-crust
Alwize ubeen and garantia me.
Why shan’t we gib nup le plea’surie
Who cunt we be nick to wunder, O
Bucks at the waddly peat!
Faya nago linkie
U r sumpin’ freaky
Favorina is the best-must way
Gonzojing upper tooterary mucks
Ein not linder by my ranc.
This is for the yung best we newsome
Darlish-devil-dee, I adorn u in twinzle;
Yet ring-a-ling in righter straight
and cleverley; and null the creator nippe,
Softly touching rainbowlings.
All Hail! Elisabeth Horan’s poetry has appeared in a number of online journals, including Anti-Heroin Chic, Horny Poetry Review, Rat’s Ass Review, and Verdencies, as well is in print journals such as In the Name of the Voice. To learn more about the latter venue, please click on the cover image below to visit its publisher, Alexander & Brook . . .
J.J. Campbell (1976- ?) is old enough to know better. He’s currently trapped in suburbia wondering how long will it take to drink his life away. He was most recently published by The Commonline Journal, Horror Sleaze Trash, In Between Hangovers, Synchronized Chaos, and Tuck Magazine. You can find J.J. most days waxing poetic or something like that on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights.
there’s no desire
left in your kiss
we are dead inside
lost souls trapped
in suburban hell
the picket fence
just like every
the bus station
is twenty miles
you would run
if you thought
a fucking lie
a naked wonder
i picture death
as a long-haired
the kind of dirty
blonde that has
tattoos on the
left arm and
a list of names
on the right
i would offer
her a drink but
i can’t afford
as she slips
off her coat
to reveal a
i might as well
enjoy a few
seconds of life
for a change
standing in a sex shop
i never met
the last woman
i fell in love
the one before
that was a fan
the one before
that was a lesbian
and the one before
that was a single
i’m standing in a
sex shop looking
at all the different
pussies on the
judging from my
this only seems the
logical next step
All Hail! Speaking of the logical next step, Midnight Lane Boutique has got a little somethin’ somethin’ special just for you! Simply click on the yummy mummy below to learn more . . .
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Columbia Review, Studio One, and Tau, with work upcoming in Examined Life Journal, Midwest Quarterly, and Naugatuck River Review.
A Winter Divide
A dim winter—
there are two existences at work here.
A dull thing come to life
in your company
and underpasses, alleys,
hard places to live.
Above us, frigid stars.
All around, deep snow banks.
But, with you beside me,
I can stroll a long way in the cold.
Meanwhile an old man
roams the margins
from left to right then right to left,
where a highway overpass
becomes a nameless hotel.
God knows who lives there.
From the brightly lit river walk,
a gathering of homeless seem so gray.
The city is small and spotted white,
a minor winter postcard.
I’m thinking cold
but knowing love.
We huddle together.
They cluster apart.
we share the world.
The Problem with Progress
I can’t really compare
the new mini-mall
to the woods that
were here before—
maybe if I ranked
new shoes above butterflies
or considered Chinese takeout
superior to the scarlet tanager
in every conceivable way—
at least, the raccoons
will have a dumpster
to forage through—
but who asked
for their opinion?
All Hail! Midnight Lane Boutique is dedicated to the memory of Joe Dunn, actor, impresario, poet, publisher, and friend. Have a desultory New Year, everyone . . .
We will meet again
one day, we will
gather at the river