Daily Archives: January 1, 2016

“Simply” by Anthony Keers

She was in front of me but
separated by her job.
She walked up and down the congealed
floor beneath her,
holding chilled bottles in her hands and
pouring their contents into glasses
for the slowly deteriorating mutes.


She was small, but commanded authority
like the most caring of leaders.
Her hair was dyed a hazelnut red and
had been slightly curled at the bottom.
Peacefully, it fell over her shoulders
and glistened in the white lights above, as
the moisture in the air hugged her.


She came over to me and smiled.
Her teeth were marked with smudges of red lip stick,
and her fake eyelashes were parting at the edges,
as the glue failed in its duty.
Her face was round and displayed a small, alluring
double chin.
The smoothness of her skin was real and frightening.
It covered her in blinding blankets of sincerity,
that shone in the sewage around us.


The music was deafening and the bass
shook my insides,
perpetuating my new found childhood nerves.
I asked for a drink, but she couldn’t hear.
I moved closer to her and raised the volume
of my order in her ear.
It was probably the closest I would ever get.


She nodded and said, “Okay.”
She quickly turned and walked over to the fridge.
I gathered what little change I had left,
placed it on the counter
and watched her walk back over.


She wasn’t beautiful because beauty’s ideas
are man made.
She wasn’t vain because vanity is the medicine
of the diseased.
She wasn’t hollow because life hadn’t got to her


She was simply-







Anthony Keers lives in the city of Manchester, England. His inspiration tends to come from his own thoughts and the people around him. He tends to focus on the negative and the humorous, such as issues in relationships, families, money, and anything else that he finds interesting.

“Cannibal Run” by Gary Pierluigi

I ate the last atom,
their seamless eyes
protein to frigid
blood on lips;
begging forgiveness
they had none, only
accusations until
the howling snow
covered their skulls. I
wanted to erect a twig,
plant a scarf, name a
street; take shelter
in the atom.


Father, I knew what
I was doing; forgive me.
He slapped both cheeks,
told me to wipe the
blood from my nose
and pray to the virgin
Mary. I spat on the cross
and made love to her;
surely she would
sprinkle me with
grace, and still there . was
no answer, no calling
in the clearing, only those
skulls buried in snow
betraying belief in the
kingdom come.


They wore
their white gloves to
twist in the thorn, all
but one, and he remained
silent as vinegar stung
hands and feet, running,
on rusted nails
standing dumb
I cowered and cried
without sound, screeching
wounds testament to the
darkened heart; a
frozen face of fear
running black top
caskets, graven images
in cut glass; no
prodigal son, father
to the driving rain
around steam trains
and those seven monuments
buried as light as
those seven skulls.


I drank deep the poison
there and was reborn, running.
Yes, father, I will do as you ask
and expect nothing
in return.


Your hands are steel.
They crack stainless.


Hungry child I run
hanging onto wishes
under a cloudless sky,
gentle winds ruffling
gauze curtains and
feathers dying like
dreams running
to the other
side, hope the greatest
drug; faith for the
sons of pain running naked.


He saw me coming
in the distance,
arms held open,
and I believed they
they would stay open.


Father, why
the enduring
shadow carved in hatred.


I ran running
out beyond the river.
Odd, these creatures that
bury themselves in
shallow earth and pray,
running faster, deeper, into
salvation’s comfort,
of all dreams
razor gauntlets , my
a running sore.
You bastard,
why did you die on
that hospital bed,
your seamless eyes
begging me to get you
out. I had nothing
to mourn. Hear
my heartbeat
running to hold
little arms and legs
that trusted your
quickening sand
in the hourglass.


I mailed you letter
bombs, ran in the
still street;
withdrew my
painted face
from the bedroom
window, each cricket
so luminous I fell
radioactive and ran
running to
idling metal,
pretending I wasn’t


I was always too
young to hurt.


Your fists became numb.


I ate them whole
to preserve the
the un-kept promises.








Since first being published in QuillsGary Pierluigi has been published in numerous poetry journals, including CV2, Queen’s Quarterly, On Spec, Filling Station, The Dalhousie Review, The Nashwaak Review, Grain, and Misunderstandings Magazine. He was short listed for the CBC 2006 Literary Awards in the poetry category, a finalist in the Lit Pop Awards, and received an honorable mention in The Ontario Poetry Society’s “Open Heart” Contest. His first poetry book, Over the Edge, has been published Serengeti Press.

“Pods Rattle” by Diane Webster

Catalpa tree pods
rattle in November breeze
like Halloween skeleton
not yet removed
or hollow jingle bells
left unwrapped
till Christmas.







Diane Webster’s goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life or nature or an overheard phrase and to write from her perspective at the moment. Many nights she falls asleep juggling images to fit into a poem. Her work has appeared in Philadelphia Poets, Illya’s Honey, River Poets Journal and other literary magazines.

“Departure” by Nyki Edwinna

The pieces of my heart
Please do gather yourself


My falling tears
Please learn how to stand still


The trembling of my lips
Please go back to sleep


The shaking of my hands
Please let go of what you never had







Nyki Edwinna is the author of Mental Orgasms and the founder/CEO of the communications company, Words From A New York Writer, LLC. She writes poetry, articles, short stories, erotica, and inspirational quotes. Moreover, she is the owner of an online store that caters to poets, writers, and artists.

“Midnight’s Womb” by Zachariah Shaskin

When night falls
I see
mannequins roaming
in somber streets,
rabid dogs
diseased mongrels
devouring gentle hands,
aching appendages bleeding
in garden of delights.
Flights of fancy smothered,
drowned by septic serpents,
writhing warriors
dead and gone.
There is no one
in our dreams
to see us waiting,
patiently stalking power
in witching hours,
upon celestial carcasses
bright & scattered
in eternal manic embrace.
Encased in midnight’s womb
we howl at full moon
in angst ridden release
never letting on
to this our lycanthropy
hidden beneath the surface.








Zachariah Shaskin is an outlaw poet roaming wild over the prairies of North Dakota. He is rarely seen, but sightings have been reported sporadically, usually after sun down on the new moon.

“A Walk in an Arizona Backyard” by Steven Davis

Broken holes once garnished
With rattlesnakes and rabbits
Are now counted among
The dead.


The wild sage rustles its
Scratchy tufts, a bobcat
Prowls alone along the


These suburbs house friendly
And gentle, settled folk.
The wild beyond still looms,


The pine and cactus stand
As guardians of life
And harbingers for those







Steven Davis battles schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.  He currently does volunteer work and writes poetry.

“The Graduate Brood” by Aaron Lee Moore

There’s a peculiar nest in the sky
Having nothing in accord with Nature,
Where hawks and fowl pick their feathers out of compulsion,
Sustain themselves on their own vomit,
Strutting and fretting in fear of one another.


These strange birds read Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, and such
–But never Aristophanes–
Then hold a parliament of fowls
Where they squawk at one another
In crass cacophonous cackles.


Their seed cups aheap in millet, sunflower, dried papaya:
“Reason is virtue!” parrots an abstruse African Grey
Before knocking the head of another cuckoo
With the latest edition of Roy Flannagan’s The Riverside Milton








Aaron Lee Moore is a doctoral candidate in Sichuan University’s Comparative Literature program and recipient of a Full Chinese Government Scholarship. Two years prior he was a Peace Corps university English teacher serving in Xindu, China. He received an MA in American Literature from Florida State University where he specialized in Faulkner Studies and received a BA in English from Radford University. He is also the chief editor of a print literary magazine, Floyd County Moonshine, which has been in production over 6 years. He grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd, Virginia.

“Stifled” by Megan Donofrio

He fed her paper mache heart to the dog
before she could poison him with her personality.
It had taken him a lifetime to perfect
the etiquette of a pessimist
and he wasn’t about to squander the wine
in his half empty glass
just to wash down her sentimentality.


Even the dog found her core to be
a struggle to digest,
hiding itself behind the garage
to vomit up the syrup that held together
her honeyed character.


Affection was a charade.
He’d been convinced since he was a child.
She tried to cure his cynicism,
but there would be no exhuming
the emotion he had shredded
way back when.
The pieces had been buried
in the corners of his mind,
withheld from the one organ
that could do him damage.


He’d hauled his heart upon a cutting board.
It was how he managed to sleep at night.








Megan Donofrio is a currently a Creative Writing student at the University of Illinois. She harbors a deep fascination with dark poetry and credits musical geniuses and brilliant lyricists as her greatest influence.