That Lonely Last call by David Cranmer and B F Jones

B F Jones, David Cranmer, Mashup, Poetry

The dose of poison
to stifle
the living dread
is up
three fold
what it took
when I first slid
down the longneck chute.

The warm embrace
gone too quick
no longer enough
until
the next brief moment
of abandon
at the arms of an ephemeral ghost.

What had died
and spiraled
too far,
can be glimpsed in
that lonely last call.



David Cranmer’s poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in publications such as Live Nude PoemsNeedle: A Magazine of NoirThe Five-Two: Crime Poetry WeeklyLitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. His debut chapbook, Dead Burying the Dead Under a Quaking Aspen, is now available. He’s a dedicated Whovian who enjoys jazz and backgammon. He can be found in scenic upstate New York where he lives with his wife and daughter.

B F Jones is Punk Noir’s co-editor and write Flash Fiction and Poetry. Her collection of interlinked stories, Something Happened at 2a.m. was published by Anxiety Press. She also has one flash fiction collection, Artifice, and two poetry chapbooks, The Only Sound Left and Five Years, all published by The Alien Buddha

Skipping Stones by Matthew McGuirk

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

It wasn’t quite like the ripples 

that surface on a glass pond 

as the rock skitters across, 

but it might have been

something like that. 

Paid leave were the words,

therapy was their direction,

words were the infraction,

 nothing more

than

  words,

but that’s not what they said!

It was obvious they saw the stone 

skipping across hard asphalt 

and chipping away

at a polished surface, 

something time worked at, 

perfected.

Flecks hid under cars and 

slipped through sewer grates,

scratching, 

sullying

and maiming the stone. 

He was crossed legs

and paper and pencil on his lap.

His office was a leather couch

and a chair in the corner 

if you didn’t want to be cliché.

He wanted to know how I was, 

where I grew up 

and what my parents did.

He couldn’t hide wanting to know

how school was,

did I like my students

and the courses I taught?

It sat there just

broken, 

shattered, 

vulnerable, 

ever exposed to 

the light of day,

waiting for people 

to stop and examine it

or pass it by

because it was of no need. 

Mostly,

 he wanted to know if I was happy.

I asked him if he knew why I was here,

maybe turning the table.

He nodded

and asked if I ever had feelings like that.

I just laughed

because it was a question

that anyone who knew me 

would scoff at

and it seemed right 

that I should too.

The jagged edges, 

the surface no longer smoothed by a river

or polished day after day, 

were exposed.

A hand might go to collect

them up and catch a sharpened point,

something they weren’t ready for,

something that wasn’t there last time. 

I left feeling nothing was resolved.

Did anything need to be fixed,

uncovered?

I marked the session off

knowing I just had to go

until I met the quota, 

the number that said

I’m OK.

Still, a part of me wants to know

what they saw, 

how a few words

spun their minds,

turning my smile

around,

like they were just now

seeing me for who I was.


Matt McGuirk teaches and lives with his family in New Hampshire. BOTN 2021 nominee and regular contributor for Fevers of the Mind with words in 50+ lit mags, 100+ accepted pieces and a debut collection with Alien Buddha Press called Daydreams, Obsessions, Realities on Amazon. http://linktr.ee/McGuirkMatthew Twitter: @McguirkMatthew Instagram: @mcguirk_matthew.

2 poems by David Cranmer

David Cranmer, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Twilight Falls and the Monsters Are Due

The unbidden lurks,
as anxiety mounts
over life’s frailty
—setting off a burst of barks
that fails to beat it back.

The seed is sewn,
the weight takes root.
Even my girl playing
“Chopsticks” as a lark,
can’t change the weather.

I don’t scream into the wind,
or whine, blaming the universe.
I take it in, absorb the blows,
mercy will come
by daybreak.


Limelight

Thank you for sitting with me
in the limelight
of a Charleston, West Virginia, hotel
that’s seen better days.
The white hot light is dimming
and we both know where this is going
but thanks for playing along,
you saying it’s going to be all right.


David Cranmer’s poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared in publications such as Live Nude PoemsNeedle: A Magazine of NoirThe Five-Two: Crime Poetry WeeklyLitReactor, Macmillan’s Criminal Element, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. His debut chapbook, Dead Burying the Dead Under a Quaking Aspen, is now available. He’s a dedicated Whovian who enjoys jazz and backgammon. He can be found in scenic upstate New York where he lives with his wife and daughter.

2 POEMS BY JAMES LILLEY

James Lilley, Poetry

Dead Butterfly

I remember when I was six,
A butterfly, dazzling, divine
Floated on by,
I danced, chasing it across, freshly cut lawn,
Abruptly stopped by a web, hidden,
Dew drop covered sparkling,
The spider devouring the butterfly,
What was I supposed to do?

Now as a man,
I watched her walk away,
Slamming the door,
In a act of finality,
She was my pili-pala
My nature was that of the spider,
Damaging her, not that I wanted to,
Blackened clouds following,
What was I supposed to do?


Ghosts

Empty head, except, its full of ghosts,
my brother gone he haunts me the most,
The shadows pass my windows, playing tricks,
Back in the desert, behind sun bleached walls,
screams call my name,
too scared to move, I wish I was home.


2 POEMS BY SKYLA ALLEN

Poetry

Kitchen Nectar

I find it romantic
that I know the exact
metallic babble
your keys make.
Or better yet,
the soft, pink shape
your mouth takes
when I kiss you
for the 100th time
that day.

I consider myself lucky,
when I brew your eye color
into my morning tea.
Sipping, stirring, slipping into
your swirling irises;
A subtle taste
of new perspectives
as black pupils dilate,
rings of honey rise
sweet, timeless, dripping
dissolves overtime
into warm & golden eternity.


From Yard to Table

dead flowers in vases
decay in their alien graves

for the sun to tease and water
to ease them but only for a moment

to pluck is not my first instinct
in fact it hurts to do so and i empathize

a whim for fleeting beauty out wins the outcome i choose
to ignore

for the flowers are lovely in their moment
why watch them whither and rot?

ripped from their rightful place
for nothing but my own temporary delight,

in my own vase
collected, arranged, and displayed just out of the sun’s reach

all for a fleeting feeling
of false freedom

i break them, bring them, and borrow their life, color, joy
preventing my own form of fading, yet i still chose to destroy

and until they’re in my marble-stiff hands while i return to Earth to rest,
i believe to pick flowers is to kill, and i hope their roots grow through my sunken chest.


Skyla Allen (they/she) is a writer/artist based in central IN. They have an M.A. in creative writing, a love for poetry, and a heart full of things to say. They are currently a poetry editor for Dollar Store Magazine, and many of their works, including their first chapbook, have recently been published in several magazines/presses such as Gutslut Press, Sage Cigarettes Mag, The Red Lemon Rev., The Bi Women Qrtly., Giving Room Mag., Alien Buddha Press and others. More of their work and thoughts can be found on Twitter @Sky_laZybones.

FAKE BARBIE HEIRESS BY KRISTIN GARTH

Kristin Garth, Poetry

Fake Barbie heiress has no stock in Mattel,
faux Handler trust fund unverifiable by
Citibank so her loan could prevail.
Uses a YSL concealer to brighten
stressed eyes, Chanel Pink Fantasy tweed
so lawyers sympathize . Good ideas shod
in fraudulently purchased Jimmy
Choos sound better to bankers. Pastel facade
accessorizes an ancestry of graft,
indictments, falsified documents filed
with a steel finished handcuffed aftermath
for its creator Ruth, dollmaker exiled
from her dreamhouse company. Beats
Fake Barbie Heiress as first courtroom Barbie.

Author’s Note:

I was inspired by Inventing Anna, the Netflix documentary about the fake German Heiress Anna Sorokin who went to jail for fraud. Though it would be funny to make her a Fake Barbie Heiress — only when I was researching Ruth Handler the creator of Barbie did I learn that Ruth herself was convicted of fraud and removed from Mattel for falsifying financials, much like Anna Sorokin.



Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonneteer and a Best of the Net finalist. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of many books of poetry including The Stakes (Really Serious Literature) and a short story collection You Don’t Want This. She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com

4 POEMS BY D.S. RANDOL

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

love song

 

These things you create, they sing

            but why do the songs croon, managing such somber tones?

Like what is it that's written out of love to make all this shit so goddamned sad?

Dog always dies,   best friend with mohawk, always dies. An overdose,

or kill every dog you see, no emotion — 'cept for love, love love! 

Love the singing, love the signing with love at the bottom of the page that's riddled with blood,

better to have lived and have been killed or sent into poverty perpetual than to haven't lived at all and all the different pieces of my watch come apart and I forget what time 

     it is, time to eat, time to make love to someone I'll second-guess in the morning, time to wake up, time to fake 

on love,

 

fuck,     "hey,    good morning,     I'm making scrambled eggs."

 





not mattering as matter as mattering

 

 

I will keep reassuring you that, they won't tow your car, hun, up until the point where the sun says that it's had enough and pulls out a 12-gauge that would make anyone from Missouri quiver in their jeans.

 

We left your car at the welcome center, where at 4am, a couple, whom through my rear-windshield looked as far away as any real jaguar on YouTube or real life really, traded stances from yelling at each other like they could have or should have been to sleep at that point to 

    hugging

 

     tenderly.    As if    they already were.

 

 

It's been about 12 hours since then, and I keep thinking to myself: where did the weekend go? Hiding in an attic as Monday MONday MONDAY methodically bands C4 all around the foundation with about 20 menthols stuck in his greasy smile. 

 

   and soon we'll meet that fate like every other day has an awakening that's reaped spiraling down to a moonflower wake.

 

and hun, I don't actually know if they'll tow your car. Maybe they 

 

     could. I choose to believe they won't, like I choose to believe that time is circular with 

     the exception that

it's the weekend until I'm well and goddamned ready for it to not be anymore.     

    And I'll yell that to the sun and keep it on the edge and I'll hug you and I'll hug you and I'll keep us both off the edge   in the meantime.

 

    I don't know if they'll tow your car, or if we'll make it to next Sunday. 

 

But I don't know,    they probably

                                won't.                  & we probably will.

 

 

 

  Mm.  Bluejays.

 

 


cheating on suicide

for Jinx

 

When paper and letters stop being worth collecting — a tumor in my lungs

 

 

I take a long drag, long (aloha), on a machine that allows me to bellow smoke like a signal

 

to pathways of old, to become a cloud, condensing and fleeing towards the ground

 

faster,     falling 

 

faster, and to unsafely inside I love 

 

you

 

 

        The alcohol pretends to be a strawberry and I am   a cube of pineapple

 

The kitchen pretends to be a ballroom and I am no longer afraid of the acid in my throat

 

It burns away my wallet and I am fucking free

 

and I'm free faster and faster I am falling, dragging every second along the asphalt

 

my feet scrape and I remember every single time I broke skin

 

 

Falling faster    and 

 

faster I can utter the words that allow me to speak no further

 

I look with my silent hands, they reach for the wind at my face—the fog—and I cannot taste it fast enough

 

    because

 

in this race to face death

 

it's    that I found you. I keep

 keep finding 

 

you. 

 

 

     now and like the smoke, you appeared out of my mouth, building in front of my sight

 

with a swiftness that eludes every single bruise and cut I've hunted   down

 

in the pit of this place, I get that darkness fails me or,     I failed

                                                                                                 it.

 

 

An organ, a belt. A bed, a place to live     —      Leaves.

 

Miasma escapes my nose and it is replaced by the scent of the earth.

 

I'm falling I'm falling because I was out of space

 

and it was fast

 

and it was hard

 

 

but easily said, easily held— 

 

a register—the bell. seems that I find that I

 

just  don't care anymore. 

 

 that —           

   that     there's someone  else.

 

 

 

 

 


we're going to Saturn and we're bringing flowers

 

there's something I need to say about flower petals

     the parting of the lips /

I want you to powerwash me, 

    not with a hose, a showerhead that can't ever seem to be consistent,

but the way planets spill into blocks and then into ink and moans /

    a flower petal falls onto your back and brings along with it the same side of the coin 

that a gnat does, the petal settles upon your flesh and becomes comfortable in the same way that a gnat touches, lands, and explores us 

    but it's not the same, is it?

The wind sways away the flower, because we're always outside even when we're not, right? you can't escape the moon and the trees that turn blue in the breeze 

 —  the hand swats away the gnat, because we're always inside even when we're not. right? you

can't escape the sun and the eyes and the wings and the breeze of all these things you could never bring yourself to expect,        someone's breath

 

I want to tell you something about flower petals

     the parting of lips,

once you pull them apart and peer inside, to see who it is that holds your cheek and kisses you like blowing the wish off of a dandelion, it's hard to put them back together the same way again

    touch me, touch me, hold me, is it a flower, or just a bug, 

or is it sweat from the rock that we've built here in the darkness?

 

, don't tell me, I'm close, baby — I'm close —

    

 

 

 

 

 


D.S. RandoL is driven by birds and trees, good music, and anything else with passion innate. He writes to measure a life and sleep a little better at night. Other than poetry, his interests include birdwatching, the guitar solo in Banned in D.C., and picking up trash on the side of the road. He has been published previously at the Cathexis Northwest Press and SledgehammerLit. You can also stay updated on further publication on his Twitter, @DSRandoL

2 POEMS BY LEIA JOHN

Poetry

My Bloody Valentine

 

I want to live with you.

           Inside of you.

To stretch myself under

          your ribcage and

wrap my nervous system around 

          your spinal column,

to kiss your tarry, smoke-

          blackened lungs, 

          croon to your liver, 

          caress your spleen.

 

I want to love you from

        the inside.

To wear your flesh as 

       my own

and to appropriate 

    your eyes

so that I could see the beauty you do.

 

I want you.

  For your blood to

      be my own, and to be connected

         with you forever.


 

 

A Love Poem Told in Hair

 

I want you to find

 my hair in your bed;

  a rainbow of reds, pinks,

    browns, blues, greens, blonde 

      and maybe even a little bit of gray.

 

I want you to find

 it wrapped around the

   base of your cock when

    you take a shower, and

 

between your ass cheeks, in

 your mouth when you eat lunch,

   scattered across your favorite 

    clothes and clinging to your cat's tail,

 

plastered on your shower 

 curtain, and in thin, curling 

   esses around the drain of your bathtub.


Leia John is a writer, poet and all around fucking lunatic. 

2 POEMS BY BETH MULCAHY

Poetry

i swear

honestly, i wanted you to be honest
then your truth ripped the seam
of my hope and security
your truth cracked the center
of my comfort and certainty
honestly, i wanted you to be honest
i just forgot, i guess
that your truth wouldn’t be
what i ever wanted to hear
honestly, it is better
that your honesty
break the balance of my heart
than pretend
to be something
you honestly can’t
the truth is,
i asked for the truth.
the ripping, biting, seething
tearing, bitter, cold,
lost truth
real tears and cracks
are better than false seams.
honestly, i wanted you to be honest


February

I wanted this love to bloom
through the snow
winter, they say
makes you appreciate the sun
but the clouds are blinding
if you look at them too long
and the wind can make your heart so cold
you believe it will never be warm again

I wanted our love to bloom
through the winter
I wanted to be alive
when the sun came out
when the flowers came back
I wanted to be living
not trying to be born


Beth Mulcahy (she/her) is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet and writer whose work has appeared in various journals, including Full House Literary and Roi Faineant Press. Her writing bridges the gaps between generations and self, hurt and healing. Beth lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and works for a company that provides technology to people without natural speech. Her latest publications can be found here: https://linktr.ee/mulcahea.

3 POEMS BY JP SEABRIGHT

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

CUM SHOTS

 

your cunt         a bullethole

    my silicon    pistol

discharged       its shots

     harness        lies discarded

            on the   floor



Semaphore

 

pluck out mine eyes
so I can no longer see
your semaphore
those coded messages
of inarticulation
I am left to decipher

pluck out mine eyes
so I am blind to how you feel
instead
go on
say it


I dare you



My girlfriend is in Paris

 

     climbing up the Eiffel

les garçons gaze up her skirt

     for she is quite an eyeful 

wind whips hair about her face

     a modern Botticelli Venus

at the top she turns and waves

     as Europe comes between us


JP Seabright (she/they) is a queer writer living in London. Their debut poetry pamphlet, Fragments from Before the Fall: An Anthology in Post-Anthropocene Poetry is published by Beir Bua Press. Their debut prose chapbook NO HOLDS BARRED is out early 2022 from Lupercalia Press. They were nominated for a Pushcart Prize in October 2021. More of their work can be found at https://jpseabright.com and via Twitter @errormessage.