A Fistful of Dope Breaks (3 Poets)


We pick and borrow
what we know

regurgitate our urge
for originality

and gorge on what came before

We render our lives
as if they were interesting
forgetting trillions and trillions of men lived
and died before us
the memory
of man stretched

to the breaking point.

No final morals, no meaning, no universal
summaries, no make-up

just a hiccup of percussion
on the drum of a mammal’s tongue
picking and borrowing all he’s ever known

and rowing into a whirlpool
like a bored god’s mouth.

Mather Schneider “Born in 1970, live in Tucson, Arizona, married, no college degree, no awards, 4 full length books available on Amazon.”



I went to Mexico
— last year — water clear
— as your eyes (blue as a charm) —
but it didn’t last, but it did ~
— hovering yr thin, but muscular, body
— — to an arch, inviting yr beauty
— [in] to my black soul windows, of
— lustful, wide, duplicate energy
— — in the orange vortices of
— — wisping horizon dusk —
— — — corazon of the Pacific
— — — — — earth turning to
— — — its many sleeps & wakings . . .

‘Sometimes I love myself, &
sometimes I judge myself (alone
w/assorted chocolates &
psychoactive cocoa)’

-and I have pictures when memories are gone,
walking in old age down the sandpaper dobe
roads,.. dry western air chipping old age off
the melanin grooves of my face — . . .
& this is what Spengler meant
as the vast rotations of fellaheen life . . .
characters of earth moving sad indolences,
making small grooves of something-nowhere-paths . . .

walking past palm trees
on the narrow sidewalks
on an immaculate haze of
tramadol, clonazepam, &
carisoprodal — like the
Miltown & Equanil of Kerouac –

as the sun beats down
on my bopping head.

8:38 am
Feb 15, 2014

When not working with his writing partners Aleister and Emaly, Jonathan Romano is usually sleeping above his hundreds of poems tucked away in a thrift-store briefcase under his bed. He has authored two chapbooks: _bone-dial=wind haikus_ and _Monongahela Sketchings_. He resides in Monongahela, PA.



One of my exes,
the preacher’s daughter
with parents from Africa,
stroked my face one
afternoon tellin’ me:
You’re not like other boys
You’re not hard or soft
You’re something in between.
And I further agreed

recognizing that side of me
that only emerges out on the court.
Cuz 89 was the year of the Snake
and the Good Lord
painted my teeth with lye.
Don’t I love

settin’ a screen
on a motherfucker.
Feeling the impact,
the soft skid and squeak
of my heels holding ground.
Watching them fall,
staring down with my look like
“Shoulda known yo”

Don’t I love
throwin’ the bow.
Bowen got rings, you know.
Justa little “tap tap”
after the pump-fake,
shakin’ hands with the third rib.
They holler, I’m Magic
I’m Kiddin’ around.
Grin, hustle, make some

Don’t I love
castin’ tha scoooowl,
Brr no handshake no good game
No goin’ nice, never got me nowhere
but home.
Then I head home,
shut out the clicks and the “pffts”
and, 100 paces ‘cross the park
I realize I forgot my basketball.

For sake of face I can’t go back
I’ve lost about 4 basketballs
this way.

Remy Antonio Albillar is a poet and essayist from the Southwest. He is a Tejano and a Sonoran dawg. He is currently lives in Boston, pursuing his MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Emerson College. Charles Barkley is his favorite role model. You can hit him up at on IG: @remyondemand

The Laugh and Smile of Blue Paint

Humor Demands Distance
by Gabriel Ricard

Comedy requires common sense hang.
Wit means painting all the soup cans blue.

She’s a rebel, rebel, (yeah, yeah),
and everyone is too uncomfortable
to disagree with her.

Her childhood took up seventy-nine separate acts.
Twenty-hour ballerina classes spent trying not to get pregnant.

She doesn’t write about it,
or about running Manhattan for ten full minutes,
so people tend to hear about her circumstances naturally.

Hearing tragic stories by accident! Jesus! The horror!
Fuck yourself blind! Write a letter with a fistful of paint!

She wears her hair like Mabel Normand,
and only puts on a coat when she’s half-sick to complete death
of keeping things to herself.

Wake up. Beg down. Buy some good weed
from the grief-stricken serial killer at the 7-11.5.

Visit South of the Border,
and then tell everybody that the situation in Mexico
is worse than anything they’ve seen or read.

She falls in love with semi-pro cult journalists,
steals their parents’ good vodka
and drinks it from the paper cups
found in all agreeable hotel lobbies.

Blood-alcohol levels are for those who like a little science
to go with whether or not they torched a cop car.
If they might have married the bottom half of a horse costume.

Grocery shopping takes up hours of her airborne days.
She can still dance to the same five songs from the August 1995 playlist.
She licks what’s left of the cashier from her fingers.
She robs JROTC kids with candy bars
pressed against the back of their wooden necks.

And her mental health has never been better.

Her psyche doctor is from the collapsed, detrimental old-school.
He smokes lights. Empty packages all over his office.

Pills are administered in sealed envelopes,
but he throws in a few candy hearts
for the sake of personality.

She’s the only one who ever laughs at that,
because his usual clients are too busy
trying to slip through the bars on the windows.

Bake your loose screws into a pie, bring it to a cakewalk,
win the impromptu pie-throwing contest,
and then make an obvious joke to someone about life
not being as easy as everyone would like it to be.

She paints the soup cans blue.
Demands love for fifteen minutes of every hour.
Took rubber bullets to the stomach in Oakland one time.

Found eighty grand in unknown poker chips
in a Wal-Mart shopping bag at Union Station.

Ask her about it, stupid.
She’ll just smile
and maybe take fifteen minutes away from you.

It’s as good as capitalism is gonna get these days.


Gabriel Ricard is a writer, editor, and actor. He is a contributor with Cultured Vultures, an editor with Kleft Jaw Press, and the Film Department Editor with Drunk Monkeys. He lives in Oregon. His first book “Clouds of Hungry Dogs” is available at http://www.kleftjaw.com/shop and Amazon.com

The Pace of an Absinthe Paradox

OVIRI (The Savage – Paul Gauguin in Tahiti)
by Strider Marcus Jones

wearing the conscience of the world-
you make me want
less civilisation
and more meaning.

drinking absinthe together,
hand rolling and smoking cigars-
being is, what it really is-
fucking on palm leaves
under tropical rain.

beauty and syphilis happily cohabit,
painting your colours
on a parallel canvas
to exhibit in Paris
the paradox of you.

somewhere in your arms-
i forget my savage self,
inseminating womb
selected by pheromones
at the pace of evolution.

later. I vomited arsenic on the mountain and returned
to sup morphine. spread ointments on the sores, and ask:
where do we come from.
what are we.
where are we going.


Strider Marcus Jones – is a poet, law graduate and ex civil servant from Salford, England with proud Celtic roots in Ireland and Wales. A member of The Poetry Society, his five published books of poetry are modern, traditional, mythical, sometimes erotic, surreal and metaphysical http//www.lulu.com/spotlight/stridermarcusjones1. He is a maverick, moving between forests, mountains and cities, playing his saxophone and clarinet in warm solitude.

A Cruel, Cold Weapon

Poem 4.
Joseph Altamore

[A Lost Metaphor]

didn’t really ever
hit us

there was the occasional
or shove, the spit
in the face
but for
a man with
anger that weakened
the pillars of hell,
he was surprisingly in control

he did, however, have a
weapon of choice:

a cold glass of

she would
cry, scream, cry, scream,
and all at once
he would pounce upwards
out of
his desk
the couch
their bed

she always
where he was going
“don’t you dare, you fucking
bastard! don’t you fucking
but he had already made it
to the sink
by then

as the terrible
shot out of the nozzle
it was as if
he was a demigod
of sorts
as if
he had channeled the
powers of
as if
all of the elements
of nature collectively
rallied for him:

“smite thy woman, albert!”

and he would
chase her
while the food was cooking
chase her
while the morning news was playing
chase her
while the phone was ringing

and that
was no longer
that water was
truth serum, love potion
sulphuric acid
whatever he desired it
to be

but for
it was just



Joseph Altamore is an emerging poet from Rockford, IL. His work is usually prose style poetry. He has been writing for four years but only very recently decided to submit his work for publishing. So far, he has been published in an online publication named Dead Snakes.

The Wrist-bound Judgment

by Darius Stewart

In the early Sunday morning drowse
of the Travis County Jail,

paired off, handcuffed,
each to another & shuffling

in our over-sized flip-flops, we make our way
to court, waiting for the judge to appear

in his choir robe, yawning & wringing his eyes
of sleep between reading, one by one, the charges

we each face. I’m handcuffed to a man
who’s light-skinned—redbone we’d call him

in the ghetto—who insists on scratching
his balls each time the judge pauses

to allow Spanish translators to repeat charges
the non-English speaking are facing,

whether or not the court should contact the Mexican
consulate, & so forth, & it seems redbone

has made a game of this—at once enticing & irritating—
like so many men I’ve met outside these court room walls.

He might as well be any one of them, except the tattooed
tear below his right eye suggests he’s not

one given to sentimentality—a perpetual crier—but he’s a murderer
—yes, that’s what the tear means—& I wonder

what circumstances brought him to such depths
of human frailty—to kill a man & have forever

stamped on his face the night it all went down—
a drive-by shooting, a knife wedged between someone’s heart

& lungs somewhere in a black alley, the possibilities are endless—
& I shake my head, chuckle, knowing the crimes

he’s committed far supersede the drunk-
driving charges he’s now facing, & no one’s the wiser

save those who can read symbols on a man’s face
& know he’s completed a rite of passage,

a Bar Mitzvah of the ghetto variety, though
how does my second-degree felony charge stack

against his crimes, I wonder—me, who prefers Pinot Gris
to malt liquor, me who sautés & brines, writes

the moon into a story of unrequited love, me who witnesses
tufts of pubic hair wiring their way upward each time

he scratches himself, pondering
if it could ever work out between us.

Or is it the bond of incarceration that bonds us
as we are wrist-bound to one another, as if

we are indeed a portrait of perfect compatibility
—his Eliza Doolittle to my Professor Higgins.

Though of course, this is mere fantasy,
synapses snapped in the brain preventing

mind’s access to rational thought—
though in bearing this, seeds of regret blossom

in my throat & I’m choked with grief, knowing this is the end
of our courtship, & I must touch everywhere but where

our wrists are communally bound,
kiss his lips, that lone tear, awaken him

from the life that’s led him to this place.


Darius Stewart was born in Knoxville, TN, in 1979. He holds degrees from The University of Tennessee and the Michener Center for Writers (a B.A. and an M.F.A., respectively). He has been previously anthologized in two volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology series, The Best Gay Poetry 2008. He’s been published elsewhere in Callaloo, The Seattle Review, Meridian, and dozens of other journals. He has authored three chapbooks: The Terribly Beautiful (2006), Sotto Voce (2008) and The Ghost the Night Becomes (2014). He bartends for a living because it makes more money than teaching, and lives with two dogs: Fry (his) and Waffles (his housemate’s, who doesn’t think he’s an artist, but he is).