February 9, 2016


I’d found these pants
behind a bin, had them
cleaned and returned
to a bedroom floor, thanks
to a friend. She’s known
I’ve operated this way
ever since she met me.
She doesn’t know it’s her
who turns me on
when I know she’s wiggling
her little butt into my pants.
I like to find them
slightly torn so I can work
a little stitching of my own
into the lace. This way
she compliments me too
as she takes my gifts
away, inspecting the place
my fingers worked all day.

So she sits with one of her
little friends, talking
I suppose, until the time
arrives to climb the stairs.
Stripped of clothes, she wears
only my little pants, nicely
prepared for her. I guess
her friend eases them away,
steals them perhaps, tomorrow
when she’ll wear them herself.
There on the bedroom floor
lie my little friends, washed
pressed and stitched for another
day when they’ll return
in another form. My friend
returns the same. Bare
bottom raised as she lies
with her face down, ready
as my inspection’s taking place.

Linda Kemp

(Linda Kemp’s poems have appeared in magazines such as The Reater, Critical Survey and Staple).


It should not have been as hilarious as it was
when the pallbearers almost dropped you;
I just kept thinking thank God the unbearable
bellyache is over. Your graffiti bloodsplatter
pattern suggested a .357 to the mouth;
we confirmed this with our mops and sponges.
I put my finger in the hole in the wall
where the bullet passed through,
having passed through you first.
I imagine it’s still in orbit somewhere,
and will eventually pierce an alien being
whose body will slap down to earth
some lovely summer Sunday like today.
But your fifteen minutes were fantastic!
They glued your noggin back together
like a bone china crackle finish wig head!
Father Fluchet made an exception for you
(lucky you!) and everyone sobbed and said poor you!
Church ladies bucketlined casseroles in and out
of the house for three whole days, and those who had eaten
your jalapeno lasagna were cooler for the day
than those who had not when the eulogist
praised it at the service. After we buried you,
I took the weed your friends left on your grave
and smoked it out on Thunderbird dam.
And there, amid the grackles and bass boats,
I tried like heck to believe in the enormous, people-eating
freshwater octopus that some say roams
these dirty waters. But what I decided instead
was that some people just never really do
learn how to swim.

M. Jeanne Skvarla

Stepmother’s Tale

February 9, 2016


He was a banded offer:
want him, get her too.
She grizzled for her sainted mother.

Three’s a crowd. God knows I tried.
He didn’t want the bother.
I took a course in parenting. She cried.

Drove me quite demented,
with her snow white, black and red.
I heard the rumours: squatting in
a house with seven men.
He blamed me, slept in the spare bed.

Even the mirror lied. The fairest! She!
You bet I wished her ill.
The rest you know about: the fatal fruit,
the glass box on the hill.

Ann Alexander

(Ann Alexander lives in West Cornwall. Her first collection, Facing Demons, was published by Peterloo Poets in 2002. Other publications include: Too Close, Ward Wood Publishing, 2010; Nasty British & Short, Peterloo Poets, 2007).


February 9, 2016


On weekends when the woman walks up hills, she does it to see the sun. At sea level, thick smog obliterates the sky, a gray and toxic smothering. Despite the altitude, once she gets above it she breathes easier. She has not seen such a blue sky from down below since childhood.

masquerade party –
strangers crowding into
a downtown loft

When she tries to get some of her co-workers from the factory to climb with her, they merely laugh. “But you can see the sun,” she exclaims. “And the sky is blue!” Her friends prefer the mall or the movies, so she climbs alone.

shooting star –
how briefly its wake
marks the dark

Years pass, and she has to climb higher and higher. Having retired, she can climb more often, but it’s slower going now. One day when she arrives above the timber line, stumbling among rocks shining with lichen, she is breathing in stabbing gasps. Soon she will be too old for this, she thinks. Head spinning, she clings to a nearby boulder and stares up into the blazing heavens. Then she looks down at the tide of gray creeping up the slopes. She knows it is only a question of time until she will be forced to go up and up.

moon colony –
again, the supply ship
arrives late

Penny Harter

(Penny Harter is the author of many poetry books and chapbooks, including The Resonance Around Us, Mountains & Rivers Press, 2013 and The Night Marsh, WordTech Editions, 2008. Website HERE).

Contemplating my death…

February 9, 2016


“Stop fighting me!” he said, trying to pull on the arm he held.

He was in a precarious position himself, straddling the rail as he tried to lean over far enough to get me and actually hold onto me.

“Let go of me!” I yelled back.

But he was too strong and managed to haul most of me over the rail, enough so that I wasn’t in total danger of falling again.

See, here’s the thing. In that moment before I let go, I really had been contemplating my death. I’d come to terms with it and accepted it. I also, however, had known Dimitri might do something exactly like this. He was just that fast and that good. That was why I was holding my stake in the hand that was dangling free.

I looked him in the eye. “I will always love you.”

Then I plunged the stake into his chest.

It wasn’t as precise a blow as I would have liked, not with the skilled way he was dodging. I struggled to get the stake in deep enough to his heart, unsure if I could do it from this angle. Then, his struggles stopped. His eyes stared at me, stunned, and his lips parted, almost into a smile, albeit a grisly and pained one.

“That’s what I was supposed to say. . .” he gasped out.

Those were his last words.

Richelle Mead
Blood Promise


February 9, 2016


“Well,” she said, “I see it hasn’t got a fuck of a lot better since I was away.”

Alastair Reynolds

Redemption Ark

DIY Birth Control…

February 9, 2016


bitch popcorn,and blood

Reading today

February 9, 2016