Friday, January 12, 2024

Four Poems by J.J Campbell

Creatures of Mercy


these lost desolate angels


creatures of mercy sent to kill 

off what little life i still have 

to live


i never wanted to be famous 

or popular


but i also never wanted to feel 

used and alone


i was born with the wrong spoon 

in my mouth to have a say in any 

of this shit


so, go work in a factory


bitch about the money


marry some fool that believes in love


have two kids for the tax breaks


find that perfect home in the suburbs 

and become a fucking statistic


or keep thinking those poems you write

mean something to someone other than 



either way, you will learn the hard way that 

not every fucking soul gets to be remembered 

or thought of kindly


the quicker you pick that up, the sooner you 

can actually figure out that there is nothing 

here you should ever give two shits about


go seek out the truth and be disappointed 

that no one has any clue any longer that 

such a thing even exists



All the While Sharpening the Knives


the subtle way she walks 

into a room


takes you by surprise


imposing yet beautiful


you can’t imagine anything

but her from now on


elusive, hard to figure out

but she becomes the muse


the only one to get your jokes


the only one that listens to 

your despairs


all the while sharpening the 

knives because you never 

know when they are needed


she doesn’t forget anything

but only remembers what 

she wants


every male that has ever said 

something stupid to someone 

they love knows what that 



i think the muse knows 

i love her


i’m just not sure she’s 

at the point where it 

means something 

to her



All the Signs are There


riding the waves of pain


like holding the sharpest knife 

you can find in your teeth


she touches your hand and you feel 

a fire you haven’t felt in thirty years


and at the oddest times


life will remind you


the only way out is to die


the left hip is bad, the back is worse

you’re starting to forget the simple 



all the signs are there


so is the shotgun in the corner and 

all the bottles that still need to be 

finished off


none of the dreams ever come true 

like you thought they would


still not smart enough to just accept 

the wins


perfection is for the perfect ones


no one has ever mistaken you for that


she told you she loves you


you said it back as quickly as you could


that’s a start



As Cheap as Wine


the neon gods start laughing


you ever see a paisley rainbow


all the butterflies dancing 

on the same beat


i can recall the days where the 

drugs were as cheap as wine


of course, none of it ever 

lasted long


my daydreams have become 

purple nightmares where 

my demons start to pity me

and think they no longer have 

any use of my dysfunction


i’ve started another suicide 

note, just in case


the calm before the storm 

never comes anymore


the constant violence

of this life


as i ache myself to sleep 

each night


i’m too old for this shit


scribbling down words

watching it all fade to a 

dying blood on the page


of course, this could be 

the gin talking

Bio: J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) was raised by wolves yet managed to graduate high school with honors. He's been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, Misfit Magazine, Disturb the Universe Magazine, Dumpster Fire Press and Lothlorien Poetry Journal. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, Evil Delights

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Three Poems by Catfish McDaris

Five Finger Discount

Nasty Jack was a greaseball biker

from near the Mexican border, he

got his name from his Levis being

so stiff, he could stand them up in

the corner awaiting his reentrance


He was always working on Indians

and Harley Davidsons, occasionally

he applied his magic to four wheel ve-

hicles, but he preferred the freedom

of riding in the wind, unless he was


Pulling a big shoplifting job requiring

a crew to cart away the stolen goodies,

his hands were invisible fast, I worked

with him a few times as a distraction

man or driver, Jack knew no fear


I’d entered stores with him and never

seen anything, outside he’d unload

eight huge Porterhouse steaks, three

bottles of Heinz 57 and he’d grab a

rack of fifty packs of Marlboros


Situated right in front of the checker,

he once walked away with two dollies

of booze, one had nine cases of Corona

and the other had top shelf tequila and gin


We never knew what Jack would show

up with next, but he never came home

empty-handed, he wrote a note goodbye and

said forget about being thieves, he was going

fishing at Boca Chica where the Rio Grande

flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.



Fred & Georgia


Fred was a 59 
headbanger always listening 

to Led Zep with his vintage walkman

& saying NO! when nodding

He ate fried chicken through

a straw, drank cocaine, &

snorted whiskey & champagne

nobody squeezed his lemons

One day he ran into Georgia who

was 24 & fan of Bob Marley & sang No Woman 

No Cry at the top of her lungs

completely out of tune

Fred loaded a Meerschaum with

dynamite skunk weed they soon

got naked and watched the egg yolk

sun disappear into the purple black 

Nine months later Georgia

gave birth to a rhinoctopus

they called Ringo Jupiter &

Fred danced like James Brown.





Jose’s amigos arrived from Austin

in a new 4-cylinder Mustang, they

said it had no pep, they asked him

to destroy it for the insurance money


They harvested 20 lbs of psilocybin

mushrooms, covered them with honey,

froze them, and transported them in an

ice chest, 10 lbs were Jose’s if he did


The car, he wanted to strip it and sell it,

but they insisted he blow it up and burn it

he drove out to a caliche pit followed by

his lady and soaked the Mustang in gas and

torched it, later he called the cops


He tried the mushrooms before selling

any, they were strong, sort of like good

acid, but they made him laugh for hours,

Jose decided to go see Iron Butterfly


With a quart of Coors he ate some ‘shrooms,

parking his short a few blocks away, the

hallucinations slowed him into snail turtle

motion, his stomach was grizzly growling


Seeing a dark backyard, he dropped a load

and a rat dog kept barking so he used it for

ass wipe, he gazed up at the brilliant sky


It started raining whores and tequila, he felt

thirsty and stiffer than petrified wood, he led

three senoritas to his car and got a bucket to

catch some cactus juice in, looking in the

back seat he saw the stinky little dog


Jose figured he had been adopted, he asked

“What’s your name boy?” The dog replied,

“Quicksand, motherfucker and I need a bath.”

Bio: Catfish McDaris’ most infamous chapbook is Prying with Jack Micheline and Charles Bukowski. His best readings were in Paris at the Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore and with Jimmy "the Ghost of Hendrix" Spencer in NYC on 42nd St. He’s done over 25 chaps in the last 25 years. He’s been in the New York QuarterlySlipstreamPearlMain St. RagCafé ReviewChiron ReviewZen TattooWormwood ReviewGreat Weather For MediaSilver Birch Press, and Graffiti and been nominated for 15 Pushcarts, Best of Net in 2010, 2013, and 2014, he won the Uprising Award in 1999, and won the Flash Fiction Contest judged by the U.S. Poet Laureate in 2009. He was in the Louisiana ReviewGeorge Mason Univ. Press, and New Coinfrom Rhodes Univ. in South Africa. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

One Poem by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

A Real Escape Artist  The woman upstairs  ran a tight ship, never let her husband speak out of turn and made him deal weed in the basement: ...