Saturday, April 6, 2024

Two Poems by Matt Borczon

My First Job After the War

Was as a

prison nurse

and the inmate

in our isolation

cell had been

shot 4 times

in an attempted

robbery and

I watched two

nurses stumble

over bandaging

him like monkeys

trying to type

Gone with the Wind


late into 3rd

shift I decide to

fix the mess

they made out

of him and I

understand really

no one learns

this kind of

thing in school

and they don’t

see enough gun

shots in the ER’s

of Erie Pennsylvania

for anyone to

get good at it


when I finish

the kid asks

me why are you

so much better

at this than

those other nurses


and I was

only three months

back from Afghanistan

and I was

still not ready

to talk about

any of it not 

with my wife

or kids

or father


not about Helmand

or my nightmares

or all the holes

I bandaged and

debrided or about

all the wounds

still too fresh

to close


just feel lucky

that I am better

than them

I said as

I walked out

of his cell.



Aaron Was Scary


I used

to fight

him in



around town

until he

became an

enforcer for

the local

drug gang



they say

we all 

meet someone

tougher than

we are

and when

a group

from Detroit

decided they

wanted to

control the

drug trade

in Erie

they sent

some guys

in only

Aaron didn’t

go down

like they

thought he



a few

days later


killed his

son walking

home from

school and

no one

has seen

Aaron in

almost six



they say

he just sits 

home sad

and alone


in a

way he

never saw



Bio: Matt Borczon is a nurse in a plasma donation center and a retired Navy sailor. He has published 18 books of poetry. His latest Post Deployment is available through Dumpster Fire Press.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Two Poems by Jay Passer

It Feels Like

she's gonna be

my last

great love;

just like

she was

20 years




that time

same kinda thing


this one's


the same

age as

that one was

back then 


that's right,

just a

poor kid



this time

I'm not 20

but 40 

years older,

give or take

a minute or

a thousand





galaxies, or 

on some rainy 



by Picasso


this time,

that time,

in fact

both times,

she's a



what a



she might as

well be an




from the 

shtetl or

on a



its always

back to



same thing

that time


this time,

in fact

all the damn



hard landing,

soft touch






same tiresome


same glorious




rainy morning,

her red hair 

wet, her 

cold white



in mine

Not Even Malpractice

Theres nothing wrong with me other than an overactive libido. The chronic pain, apparently, is psychosomatic. And all the bloodwork on Gods green earth wont make her answer my texts either.

Bio: The poetry of Jay Passer first appeared in Caliban magazine in 1988, alongside the work of William S. Burroughs, Maxine Hong Kingston and Wanda Coleman. He is the author of 14 collections of poetry and prose and has been included in print and online publications worldwide. A lifetime plebeian, Passer has labored as dishwasher, barista, soda jerk, pizza cook, housepainter, courier, warehouseman, bookseller and mortician's apprentice. Originally a native of San Francisco, Passer currently resides in Los Angeles, California. His latest collection of poems, Son of Alcatraz, released in February of 2024 by Alien Buddha Press, is available on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

One Poem by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Aswan Willie Dixon


Aswan Willie Dixon

took the power of Egypt 

with him wherever 

he went.


Dealt dime bags

out front this Bloor West Village 

head shop 

in a tri-coloured beanie.


Went home to the same woman 

every night, and this half-blind

rescue dog named Horus 

that never learned to 

play fetch.


Ate frozen peas from the ice box 

with a generous stick of butter.


Over all those scratchy records.

Promising he wouldn’t go back.


Come raging cannon

or fodder.


That was Aswan

Willie Dixon.



Bio: Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and mounds of snow.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, The Asylum Floor, Horror Sleaze Trash, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review. He enjoys listening to the blues and cruising down the TransCanada in his big blacked out truck.

Two Poems by Matt Borczon

My First Job After the War Was as a prison nurse and the inmate in our isolation cell had been shot 4 times in an attempted robbery and I wa...