Burgundy by John Patrick Robbins


They say drunks get sentimental with age.

The old dog’s , prefer to sleep more in the sun than to chase cars .

The fight just leaves us and we are left sad, empty and often alone.

I do not believe I have lost my edge but I do often question my purpose.

I pen lines and no longer care if people read them.

I no longer write to entertain, I am simply passing time.

A wasted line and another hour past.

A shared drink with my only true friend and the voices in my head.

They no longer concern themselves with the opinions of others as well.

I guess that’s why drinking alone feels so right.

The liquor’s warmth has replaced my passion and memories have replaced you.

Old dogs die hard as so will I.

Alone underneath the sun.

John Patrick Robbins,  is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review and Black Shamrock Magazine. His work has appeared here at Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine,  1870 Magazine,  Piker Press, San Pedro River Review, Heroin Love Songs, The Dope Fiend Daily,  Sacred Chickens. 
His work is always unfiltered.

A Bachelor’s Guide To Everything by John Patrick Robbins

A Bachelor’s Guide To Everything

An old friend asked me.

“I don’t get why you just don’t stop all these stupid games, I mean just marry me and we can spend the rest if our lives together. “

Sara was delusional about our relationship more so than I.

It was something and at times it beat nothing.

It was sex to me and love to her.

Cold as it sounds it’s simply the truth.

And Frank didn’t entertain her delusions which would always certainly end with her upset and Frank relieved for a nice vacation from his favorite dwarfs company.

“I would love to come visit you sweetheart but honestly my GPS is broken and I view our relationship kind of like a timeshare.

You know, more a rental that others have the option to buy.”

“Hey, asshole! seriously I’m not going to wait for you forever !”

“And sweetheart I respect that. I mean if you find a guy that’s semi brain dead and not chemically assisted to get stiff on  a regular basis. By all means hop on that dick and ride that fucker into the sunset.”

“I cannot believe you are just letting me slip away you conceited prick!”

Sara replied building up to her usual blow up.

Frank simply got up and poured himself a drink .

Holding the bottle up.

“Care for one sweetheart ?”

“No I don’t want a drink you bastard !

Why can’t you just love me? What’s wrong with me ? “

“Well sugar, nothing aside from the fact I do not love you and I never will.

We’re friends and that’s it.”

It was harsh but Frank knew sometimes the truth was always the best route .

“Oh so you fuck all your friends?”

Frank kicked back his drink.

“Well I would but Bernie’s wife would probably get pissed. I mean with Simon already hitting on him every two seconds .  Honestly why have a conversation when you can have an orgasim , that’s what I always say.”

“I swear to fucking God ! , why does everything have to be a joke with you.”

Sara, was pissed beyond words as everyone has feeling’s, well minus Frank.

“Sugar , who said I was joking. I mean a relationship between an agent and literary brothers  is a special one . We actually  all have been thinking of building a commune  in the Midwest and maybe becoming modern day beatniks or professional open mic poets .”

Even Sara had to almost laugh at that one .

And as Frank mixed her drink along with his own as he took a seat beside her on the couch.

“Look sugar, I know it hurts but trust me.  I’m not the one .”

“Yeah but I’m in love with you so guess I am an idiot .”

“Sara cut the shit !, you’re not in love with me, you’re in love with an idea that can never be me. There’s always someone better. I’m a good time and that’s it, nothing more .”

The conversation continued and eventually like anything else in life it ended with bitter words and in Sara’s case some tears.

And as Frank sat on the deck afterwards, watching the sunset.

His ever faithful four legged drinking buddy finally joined him.

“Hey there you nutless wonder . Glad you finally chose to join the land of the living cause I really didn’t feel like digging a hole today.”

Boozer just looked at Frank and walked on past him and jumped into his chair he kept outside as he cut a fart while in midair.

Then stood there looking at Frank for a treat.

“Wow asshole what you do for an encore go shit the bed?”

Boozer was getting older much like Frank the eternal bachelor’s enjoyed some drinks and what little time they had together.

Listening to the sounds of the waves crash into the shore.

There was a peace in being alone most feared to embrace.

Frank was certainly not  most people.

Sometimes alone with your thoughts and old dog and some stiff drinks.

Was the best company a man could ask for.

Well until you got that urge .

But escorts were a simple fix and far cheaper than divorces .

Frank was forever the bachelor it seems.

John Patrick Robbins, is the editor in chief of The Rye Whiskey Review  and Black Shamrock Magazine.  His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Fearless Poetry Zine,  The Dope Fiend Daily, Piker Press, San Pedro River Review,  San Antonio Review ,Romingos Porch and Schlock Magazine. 
His work is always unfiltered

Indiana Cold by John Patrick Robbins

Indiana Cold

I had lived in the south for most of my existence.

Yet here I was stuck in the midwest in a snowstorm.

Freezing my balls off, watching the snow pile up with someone I had met off the internet and now was my constant companion.

It was a different kind of cold and it was definitely a different kind of place.

I was used to people who could do more than stare. Susan’s family were as welcoming as a cemetery and the weather outside matched the scene within.

I tried my best to ignore the awkward silence, but even I found it to be the wrong kind of silence.

“I know it’s rough here baby, but let’s just get through these two weeks and get the hell out of here and back home.”

Susan said as she snuggled next to me on that old couch.

The room was like everything about that place. Cold and unwelcoming.

And I just worked on the house for something to do, so as not to go insane from boredom.

Fixing holes in the walls from her drug addict brothers, left behind wrath.

Susan’s father was a closet case and first class prick.

A bitter fool who took everything out on everyone else, for not choosing to live his life to suit himself.

“This weather may keep you all here longer than you originally planned kids.”

“Well let me start breaking shit so I will have something to do.”

I replied to her father, as he shot me a look of pure disdain.

“Baby stop.”

Susan said, almost laughing in spite of her father’s scowl.

I didn’t push the issue and later on, as I sat alone watching the void.

Of barren fields being buried quickly by the snow I felt the oddest since of peace.

Swigging a bottle of almost empty Jim Beam I brought for the trip.

As Susan and her father were off to get supplies and I was left with the house, that was a home in title only.

The drinks went down fast, as I viewed a coyote off in the distance.

He was alone and understood the silence as so did I.

We had our freedom and that was about it.

We are no longer together, but I will always recall the coldness, that was that little house in Indiana where the silence was always a bit off.

Nothing was ever said between me and the people there.

I never waste a word, as I never waste a line to indulge in some sort of twisted parody of reality.

Susan was like a vault of secrets and if the walls could speak they would whisper the true origin of nightmares.

Old Jim Loveless, never liked me much and that was one thing that pleased me greatly.

I heard he died a few days back.

They pitched him into that cold ground and few if any seemed to give a damn.

It snowed that very night everyone is remembered to some degree.

Just not in the way that always paints them as anything more than a miserable child molesting prick.

It’s often cold in Indiana in the winter, seems it matches some of its residents’ personalities.

There is a lot to be said in the wrong kind of silence.

John Patrick Robbins,  Is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review. His work has appeared here at Punk Noir Magazine,  1870 Magazine,  Sacred Chickens,  San Pedro River Review,  Romingos Blog,  Heroin Love Songs,  The Blue Nib, Piker Press and Schlock Magazine. 
His work is always unfiltered.

Excess Baggage by John Patrick Robbins


Excess Baggage


Sandy sat there in the living room with Vincent and Reggie, the two men were usually all jokes and relaxed when Sara was around.

But this morning was not normal.


Henry had been missing for a few days and being his, wasn’t a normal kind of job this wasn’t totally out of the norm.


“This just doesn’t feel right guys, Henry should have turned up by now.”


“Hey, I’m telling you he will be fine Sandy you know the kind of guy Henry is. I bet he will turn up this evening, you’ll see.”


Vincent said as he sipped his coffee and vaguely tried to sound reassuring.

As Reggie remained unusually silent through their entire conversation.


“I need to report him missing, I can’t take this anymore! He is just going to have to get pissed at me. I have to know he is okay.”


Sandy said as she got up and made her way towards the kitchen, to use the phone.


”Hey sweetheart.”

She heard Vincent call after her as she entered the kitchen.


She didn’t care about the so called rules and edicate that people in her husband’s world had to supposedly follow. It was his world not Sandys after all; she was his wife not his employee.


Sandy already had taken the phone off the hook, when Reggie removed it from her hand.


Sandy looked at Reggie befuddled, unsure as to why he was even standing beside her in the kitchen instead of Vincent.


“What are you doing?”


“Look Sandra.”


Reggie said as he placed the phone back on the wall.



“We need to talk before you make that call, let’s not play any games here. You know Henry wasn’t simply just a nightclub owner.”


“Look Reggie, I know Henry was no angel but he was my husband okay and if something is wrong the cops need to be out looking for him!”


Reggie just stared into Sandys eyes, giving her a look that told her she needed to listen.


“Hey Vin, why don’t you warm the car and don’t forget that other thing I asked you to do.”


“No problem.”


Sandy heard Vincent reply without the slightest bit of hesitation.


Reggie waited to hear the front door close.


“Look I’m going to be frank right now, you’re not going to make that call. Instead what you are going to do is relax, clean whatever you want. Hell just go about your day, pick your kid up from school but you’re not going to the cops. Are we clear?”


“Go to hell you son of a bitch!”


Reggie grabbed Sandy by the throat with a vice like grip.


“I’m already there bitch! And you truly don’t want to test me so shut the fuck up and listen!”


Reggies grip tightened around her throat.


“Your Henry, got himself in some deep water and started stepping out of line okay, we looked the other way with the whores and the drugs, but he had a real big mouth and never knew when to shut the fuck up!”


“Seems he ran his mouth off around a fucking narc and your beloved husband, was going to squeal to the feds about some shit he shouldn’t have been talking about. Now his fuck up wasn’t my problem but he damn sure didn’t mind selling us up the river to save his spoiled ass.”





Sandy struggled to breathe as the man who had turned into something she could not recognize but damn sure feared maintained his grip.


As all of a sudden he released her, spinning her around to look out the kitchen window.


“Please stop.”


She managed to blurt out as she gasped for air.


Reggie wrapped his arm around her waist as he pulled her hair.




He said as she viewed Vincent lugging what appeared to be a heavy garbage bag. To the trash cans that stood at the front of the driveway.


Vincent wasn’t a small man but he struggled to put the bags in the cans.

And Sandy without a doubt knew what was in them.


Reggie whispered in her ear.


“Now what you are going to do is wait till the garbage is taken and report that piece of shit husband of yours missing! And if I were you I wouldn’t know a damn thing as to where he might have gone. You fucking understand me?”


A tear rolled down Sandy’s cheek as she just nodded her head.


Reggie let her go and stood staring at her and suddenly the monster was gone as he spoke as nothing had just happened.


He smiled at her.


“I’m glad we have an understanding.”


He said as he pulled an envelope from his jacket pocket, as he placed it upon the counter.


“This will take care of things for awhile and as long as you play by the rules these will continue to come in, as I will be managing the club from now on. All you gotta do is sign some paperwork I send over and I will promise you, you will be taken care of.”


“You do that and you will provide a good life for yourself and your son. Because trust me Sandra, you take another route and your husband won’t be the only thing that gets taken out with the trash, I promise you that sweetheart!”



With that said, Reggie was gone and as Sandy shook uncontrollably as she burst out in tears. She viewed Vincent pause as he got in the car as both men waved goodbye.


Yes this wasn’t supposed to be her world. But from here out, she was plagued in the knowledge that one false move.

Could easily bring the devil back to her door.


And she would ensure no matter what, if that day ever came to reality.

She damn sure wouldn’t be here to answer.




John Patrick Robbins,  is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review.
His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Red Fez, 1870 Magazine,  Romingos Blog,  Piker Press, Sacred Chickens,  San Pedro River Review,  San Antonio Review. Schlock Magazine .
His work is always unfiltered.

The Ghost Of Gimmick Fall by John Patrick Robbins

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The Ghost Of Gimmick Falls

The damn air conditioner was on it’s last leg and a thousand some dollar television camera, was yet again on the fritz.

And with Saturday’s television taping approaching, most bookers would be pulling their hair out.

Freddy Carson, was far from most bookers of a professional wrestling territory, as you could get.

Half mad genius and a hundred percent bullshit artist, he had one of the best minds in the business.

As he sat in the offices that stood over top the television studio. Where sunshine state pro wrestling was filmed going over bookings and numbers. It was just another day at the office for the semi retired wrestler.

“Jesus Christ  Skip! It’s bad enough you can roast chickens in here without you cutting those stinking ass farts of yours!”

“Hey you’re the one that ordered the take out from that greasy spoon, so don’t blame me pal.”

“Hell I don’t recall you eating a damn thing, unless you count a bottle of Johnny Walker you prick.”

Freddy said, as he shot back to his best friend and the man whose voice was synonymous with S.S.P.W. television.

It was just then there was a knock at the door, as one of the production crew let Freddy know a young guy was looking for him, downstairs by the ring.

It wasn’t unusual for young kids to stumble in off the street, it was usually all the same old bullshit.

Either they had a belly full of beer and wanted a fight, or they were some amped up jock wanting to chase what they believed was their dream.

What stood before Freddy was the latter of that equation.

A bleach blonde giant, who looked to be six foot six and ripped like he was born with a barbell

In his hands.

“Mr Carson?”

“That’s what they call me kid, how can I help you?”

“Sir I want to be like you, I mean I want to be a wrestler.”

And with that Freddy like a robot went into the spiel.

The kid was a mark as they called them and even though he looked chiselled from granite.

Upstairs he was still green as a glade of grass.

The kid was persistent and he kept just begging for a chance.

But just like Freddy himself understood, when it came to this business just because you knocked at the door didn’t mean anyone had to let you in.

It was a life few understood and most never truly wanted.

But as they kept talking the television crew started to pay more and more attention.

They were eager for entertainment. It was a side to the business that was a harsh reality.

“Please Mr Carson, I just want a chance!”

Freddy knew there was no talking the kid out of it so he just told him to get in the ring.

And as he stopped before leaving the studio to go smoke a cigarette, he whispered to Shooter Stevens who simply looked at him deadpan as always and replied.

“Alright Boss.”

Freddy enjoyed watching the loudmouths get stretched, hell when he had a snoot full he was known to still get in there and do it himself from time to time.

And as the crew started taking bets and one even bothered to film the damn thing.

Freddy was already out the door and behind the building when he noticed the guy hunched down near the dumpsters.


The dishevelled brute called out, as he struggled to pull himself to his feet in vain as he fell on his ass.

“Hell Doc, don’t hurt yourself let me come to you.”

Freddy said as he sat down next to his old tag team partner as he tried to ignore the stink.

Doc had shown him the ropes and together they had drawn big money in New York.

They were one of the best heel teams so they say.

Freddy had made a real name for himself and Doc had fallen from grace so to speak.

“Hell chief, how long have you been out here?”

“Long enough to catch a buzz you old bastard hell I’ve missed hanging with you!”

“Yeah we had some damn good times, I see rehab went well.”

Doc busted up laughing and launched into another coughing spell, which had Freddy worried his old friend was going to drop dead right there.

Which although he had respect for the man. He damn sure didn’t want to have to be giving C.P.R. to someone. Who smelled like they drank Kentucky dry of it’s bourbon and maybe chewed on dead dog’s ass somewhere in between.

Finally his friend caught his breath.

The two friends spoke for a while talking about old road stories and ring rats.

All the highs and lows and that shit that goes somewhere in between.

Doc stared off into the distance.

“Sometimes I wonder why I’m still alive man, I used to be something, kids asked me for my autograph now people act like they don’t even see me.”

Tears began to flow from Doc’s eyes as Freddy just put his arm around his shoulder.

The business was a cruel bastard to some and a dream come true for the rare few.

Freddy stayed with his friend as long as he could but time was money even Doc understood that.

“Hell Doc, I got to split man but I almost forgot hell you lent me some money when we were out in Kansas running the loop figured it’s about time I paid up.”

Freddy handed him what he had in his wallet and told his friend to swing by the motel, just down the street where they would have room for him.

And with that Freddy was halfway back to the entrance of the studio.

When he noticed that kid being supported by two of the crew members.

Apparently old Shooter, had broken his leg or at least he thought so.

Freddy told the crew to take him to the emergency room and get it looked at.

He also told him if he still wanted this, to come back if he really wanted to train.

He prayed he would never see that kid again but he knew he most likely would.

The business treated wrestlers like the diving horses down at the local state fairs.

Soon as a horse broke its leg, they just shot it in the head and found another.

Freddy was one of the fortunate ones unlike his old friend Doc.

The kid had a broken leg but that was no match for a man with a broken soul.

Doc was a sad reflection of what he himself could have easily been.

The show went on and so did Freddy Carson.

Avoid that rear-view at all costs for its truths can easily haunt you to the grave.


John Patrick Robbins, is the editor of the Rye Whiskey Review and Under The Bleachers. His work has appeared here at Punk Noir Magazine,  Piker Press, The San Antonio Review,  San Pedro River Review,  Heroin Love Songs, Romingos Porch,  Sacred Chickens,  Oddball Magazine, The Blue Nib, The Dope Fiend Daily. 
His work is always unfiltered

Crystal Magic Meth by John Patrick Robbins

John Robb new

Crystal Magic Meth


He had been up for days looking out the window, wondering were the cops staking him out .

Talking to friends and mostly the voices in his head.


He dialed his dealer and left yet another voice message.


Tommy was speeding out of control but so is the nature of the beast on any good binge no matter your poison.


He picked at his skin,  he lost track of reality .

It was far from the bullshit they sell you on some after school special.


He didn’t know what it was, he only understood it was his center and the only thing that felt right.


Totally spun and running on fumes of death and decay.

Tomorrow did not exist as it all became a blur.


“Dude you need to fucking sleep !”


Bob yelled at him.

His old friend was beyond frustrated, as  he battled his own vices.


And watching Tommy go off the tracks was far from easy without any true way to help himself let alone his old friend.


“Fuck man you see that house over there ?, somethings up with those people man !, I’m telling you they’re watching us!”


“It’s that shit you’re on dude !, nobody is out to get you , well maybe that dude right there jogging down the street!”


Tommy looked through the blinds before he caught on his old friend was fucking with him.


“You fucking goober .”


Tommy shook his head and had to laugh .


Even in a fog of his own, Bob could always be a first class smart ass.


Tommy knew the shit was getting to him but so was life in general.

The party was always full throttle with him and his roommate.


Maybe that’s why they truly understood one another and clicked from the start.


He checked his phone just in case he didn’t hear it go off.



Still no reply .


“Shit man , let’s go to the bar I need something to fucking come down.”


“You need to stop fucking with that shit dude and you would be fine, but hell if you’re buying let’s get the fuck out of here !”


The ride to the Thirsty Camel was quick, they joked about all the same bullshit.


Women and the lack there of them.

Old drinking stories.


“We really both been through the ringer huh cowboy ?”


“If you consider we both poison ourselves nonstop with toxic chemicals and slightly toxic relationships. Yeah you could say we certainly had our fair share of troubles brother.”


It’s weird how two of the most toxic people can forge a friendship that’s more honest than those of so called normal people.


The Thirsty Camel was dead as always.

And Tommy was glad for that, Bob was bad enough around close friends let alone total strangers.


And as spun as Tommy was, the last thing he needed was to be playing referee between some stranger and his often inebriated friend.


Becky behind the bar tried to pretend Tommy didn’t look like he was on the verge of death.


“Hello stranger what will it be?”


The usual for me sweetheart and whatever my buddy’s having .”


Becky looked at Tommy and paused for a second .


Then she got his Beam and coke placed it in front of him as she leaned in close.


“Tommy are you alright?”


“No I am Tommy, that alright fucker I ditched while I was hopping bars with another dude called Mr okay.”


An old fart halfway across the bar snickered as he shook his head.


“Tommy I’m not joking , you do realize you came in here by yourself right ?”


Tommy just looked beside him where there was nothing but an empty stool where Bob  should be.


He just acted quick and played it off as a joke.


Ordred a club sandwich and some fries to go .


Sometimes on a good binge of any kind we are confronted by our own personal demons .


And other times we share space with some old familiar ghosts.


Tommy stopped calling his dealer least for that night.


Bob always said you can’t chase the sunset and expect nothing more than the darkness eventually.


Sometimes he heard voices and spoke to old friends .

And old memories came to life and told more truth than any living fool cared to share.


Eventually he would kick the habit or die trying.


Old ghost’s and familiar faces are seldom left behind.


John Patrick Robbins is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review , The Abyss and The Black Shamrock Magazine .
His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine , Ariel Chart,  San Pedro River Review , San Antonio Review,  Piker Press, The Blue Nib, Red Fez , As It Ought To Be Magazine.
He is also the author of If Walls Could Speak Mine Would Blush published under his pen name Frank Murphy from Syndicate Press.
His work is always unfiltered.

Nurse by John Patrick Robbins

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He had started drinking early and largely hadn’t slowed down aside for the occasional trip to the bathroom to either take a piss or puke.
They all viewed him as a hardship case .

His wife had left and took the kid .
His fridge was empty minus some yuppie IPA beer she had left behind .

it would remain untouched indefinitely like some odd relic in a frozen museum.

Larry Cook was killing himself slowly but then again, aren’t we all dying slowly to begin with.

The bartender shook her head as she walked over to cut him off .

” Larry I think it’s time for you to go home buddy, maybe sleep it off or get something to eat .”

Larry looked at Debra, she was older but still she was a woman and Larry damn sure wasn’t picky .

“You all serve food don’t you sweetheart ?’

“Yes we do want me to get you a menu ?”

Larry just shot her that famous shit eating grin of his and replied .

“Hell no need for the menu sugar pants , just bring me a bowl of bud with a side of that sweet little ass of yours for good measure.”

Jack who was always perched at the end of the bar busted up laughing, as he about hacked up a lung in the process .

As Debra fought back the laughter herself .

“Just carry your crazy ass Larry !”

Larry didn’t press his luck as he made his way back home and about busted his ass getting through the door .

And although he knew it was pointless he looked in the fridge anyways.

It was like an old abandoned house .

With that goofy ass looking beer sitting right there on the top shelf just mocking him.

Larry knew it would be a waste, but fuck it !


He was drunk and only yearned to get even more shitfaced than he was before he finally passed out.

He looked at the weird ass beer, his ex truly had taste for shit, why did you think she ended up with Larry for so long he thought to himself .

And in that odd analogy he made himself laugh .

Larry popped the top, took a gulp and almost spit it out .

It tasted like yard clippings and a dead squirrels ass that had been lying in the hot sun for two weeks .

He looked at the can with rainbow colors and a fucking unicorn on it and some odd fruit loop name.

No wonder the world was going to hell he thought to himself .
Yuppies were poisoning the beer now soon all men would be wearing buns like some skinny jeans wearing, gay ass samurai clan.

But old Larry was holding out, he poured the rest of the poison in the dogs bowl.

He figured as much as he enjoyed eating shit he may enjoy some high culture crap.

He puked in the sink and went to bed sleeping most of the next day.

Most viewed Larry Cook as a miserable old drunk who really went to hell after his wife split out on him.

Larry drank himself silly everyday, was his own boss and didn’t answer to a single solitary soul.

The phone didn’t ring , his wife wasn’t around and he didn’t have some annoying little son of a bitch.

Asking him a million questions when he didn’t have the answer to a single one.

Sometimes what is viewed as one man’s hell is truly another man’s
paradise .


John Patrick Robbins; is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review , The Black Shamrock Magazine , Drinkers Only and Under The Bleachers. 
His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine , The San Antonio Review,  Ariel Chart, Oddball Magazine, Piker Press, San Pedro River Review , The Mojave River Review.
He recently published a book under his pen .
If Walls Could Speak Mine Would Blush.  From Syndicate Press. He is also the author of Sex Drugs & Poetry from Whiskey City Press.
And Once Upon A Nervous Breakdown from Soma Publishing. 
His work is always unfiltered.

Missing Persons by John Patrick Robbins

John Robb new

Missing Persons


I catch myself often, looking for you in a sea of people.

I know you will never return and I know I will never move on.


We are pathetic in that sense as human beings.


I can never settle for anyone that I don’t have that instant connection with.

I write and even as the years pass you still remain somehow sickly entwined with every story.


I am dying and I realize that to survive, first you must want to live.

I no longer care to live anymore I only want to escape.


Close the coffin and allow me to miss you no longer.



John Patrick Robbins
Is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review  Under The Bleachers and The Black Shamrock Magazine.
His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine, Ariel Chart,  Eighteen Seventy,  Piker Press , San Antonio Review,  Oddball Magazine,  San Pedro River Review.
He is also the author of Sex Drugs & Poetry from Whiskey City Press and Once Upon A Nervous Breakdown from Soma Publishing.
His work is always unfiltered.

The Book By It’s Cover by John Patrick Robbins

The Mandalay Bay Event Center was packed Vegas was alive as always, but especially when a big fight was in the air.

They were there to see Ron, and he knew tonight was his night.

The crowd was electric and come hell or high water, he was leaving that cage with the belt or being carried out on his shield like the true warrior he was.


It was himself Ron “The Wrecking Machine” Vasquez vs the champ Phil “Wildcat”Carnie.

He had been the champ for almost two years he was the favorite.


Most were betting on the champ but Ronnie knew most those fools were going to be very disappointed when he went in there and took what was his all along.


He and Phil were the main event and now after what seemed like an eternity, it was finally time.

He sat there in the chute ready with his corner.


His music played and he began his journey to the cage.

The people screamed as some cussed him while others cheered and security pushed them all back as he concerned himself with none heading towards the cage.


It was the most unreal feeling a man could experience.

And if you lost focus you could easily get lost in the moment.


He paused before stepping into the cage the ref outside looked him over as so did the well endowed blonde sitting in the front row.

As she made eyes at the jacked up light heavyweight.


And to her surprise he seemed to be checking her out as well.

As he winked at her before stepping up into the cage.

He was a matador in the arena and here he was staring at her.


As he circled the cage as again what seemed like the entire arena cheered. And as he came full circle she swore their eyes met yet again.

She felt the excitement as it ran through her body, he was a true man’s man.


The guy beside her nudged into her and cheered loudly he looked like a fighter as well and she was sure she had seen him before, but aside from just coming out and asking him she remained silent as he had been a nuisance all evening.


As he cheered on the fighters and coached from the sidelines, yelling at the top of lungs and spilling over priced beers along the way.


The Champion was announced and soon made his way through the sold out crowd.


It was the fight folks had been waiting a year for and was finally going to happen.

The champs confidence bled through in the crowd, he was arrogant and saw Vasqez as a stepping stone a mere detour to the huge money fight another title and going up to heavyweight would be the true reward.


He looked across the cage and straight through Ronny.

And as the ref went over the rules and told them to touch gloves he simply blew a kiss and flicked him off.


As again the crowd went nuts they were savages more caught up in the spectacle than the actual contest.

Most just wanted to get drunk and hopefully see themselves on T.V. and nothing more.

Fights broke out all over the damn arena.


Being in the cage was actually the calm within the storm.

Ronny just laughed at the pricks antics cause all too soon none of the bullshit would matter.


Big John looked at both of them “Fighter are you ready, Fighter are you ready? let’s get it on!”


It was time to dance and Phil came out as arrogant as ever the overrated fool he was slamming his foot as to make Ronnie think he was going to either shoot or strike.


He wasn’t impressed in the years he had been watching him from the sidelines and he damn sure wasn’t impressed now.

Phil threw a head kick missed and as he spun around.


Ronnie lit him up like he was in a pinball machine.

And as the champion was off balance he stumbled backwards and caught by a left hook from hell.

He fell backwards into the cage and that was all his opponent needed.


The punches were fast and hard and soon the lights went out on the champions reign.


As the crowd went insane as so did Ronnie as he jumped on the cage.

As the tight body blonde was cheering with all the rest.

And as he stood on top of that cage he pointed to her.


She blew him a kiss and to her surprise he jumped to the outside and headed in her direction.

She was lost, it was like a true fairy tale moment except he was a chiseled from granite gladiator.


Beth couldn’t believe it as he made his way towards her and then was even more shocked, as he pushed right by her as he picked up the man sitting beside her annoying the shit out of her most the night into his arms.


As they embraced deeply and the whole crowd seemed to for a brief moment go silent as her heart sank and her world was turned upside down.


As Ron “The Wrecking Machine” Vazquez grabbed his lover’s hand and pulled him towards the cage.


And as he stood there in his moment he could barely find the words to speak.


As they put the championship around his waist and he lifted his partner again in his arms.


Meanwhile the champ had slowly regained consciousness.

As he awoke to find himself dethroned and his nightmare opponent embracing another man as he looked to the doc.


“Hey doc am I dreaming?”


“No champ I’m sorry you lost.”


Phil was befuddled to say the least, as the crowd if so was too damn drunk to care and the tight bodied little blonde felt as defeated as the former champ.


The gladiators had left the arena and the amped up jocks were left scratching their heads.


Ronny was a beast in that cage and was ever too happy to shatter the beer guzzling buffoons delusion of what a fighter has to be.


The champ had arrived and he was officially off the clock.

His job was to kickass and take names later and what he did beyond office hours was nobody’s business but his own.


The former champ was yesterday’s news the second the lights went out.

The fight game was a sea of sharks, blood was in the water constantly.

Backstage his opponent shook his hand and offered to buy him a beer.


He didn’t refuse and I’m sure if that blonde from the crowd had been offered she would had not either.


Life’s filled with surprises so they say.


Fight night would from here on out would never be looked at the same.


John Patrick Robbins: is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review and Under The Bleachers.  He is also author of Sex, Drugs & Poetry from Whiskey City Press.  And Once Upon A Nervous Breakdown from Soma Publishing. 
His work has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine,  Ariel Chart,  Piker Press, San Pedro River Review,  San Antonio Review,  Red Fez , Blognostics and The Blue Nib .
His work is always unfiltered. 

Two Birds by John Patrick Robbins

Mitch hated the memories of the slaughter house, it was the job he knew would haunt him until his dying day .

The dried blood in the air , death was an all too familiar smell that lingered and was enough to make you sick .

It was weird but made easy with modern technology.


None of which was at Ives slaughterhouse it was old school all the way.

Mitch was strong and after years spent at this job he became even more so.

He worked the kill room.


It was him and a sledge hammer that he became extremely useful with.

Most animals gave up knowing death was upon them .

Some fought, all would lose .


Mitch never forgot the first time .

He puked afterwards , eventually you just learned not to care .

The key was hitting hard and fast on that frontal lobe once you heard that crack the skull made you were fine.


There was no such thing as painless a death , people told themselves that lie to sleep better at night .

Mitch spent years doing the work nobody else had the balls to .

It translated well when he became an enforcer .


People seldom went without a fight and sometimes the ignorance of not understanding what was coming , was bliss .


Animals were lucky in that regard .

Mitch lit a cigarette and waited , the wind was freezing standing in that field .

The sedan carrying Philip made its way down the dirt road .

The farm was a total front it mainly served as a dumping ground .


“Fuck its freezing out here “!


Marty said as he hopped out of the passengers seat and quickly pulled a hooded Philip from the vehicle.





Bruce as usual was silent he left the engine running and the lights on , he had done this almost as many times as Mitch .

The only difference between the two was for Mitch, this was a job and nothing more .

For Bruce it was enjoyment although largely silent he enjoyed death and was a mad dog that Mitch knew eventually he would have to put down .


Marty kicked Phil in the back of the knee he dropped like a sack of potatoes at the feet of

Mitch .


The boys pulled him to his knees removing the hood .


“Philip sorry to have dragged you out of bed bud but we need to talk “.


“Mitch I’m sorry please whatever you think I’ve done “.


Mitch just held his finger up and like some trained animal Phil went silent .


“You know something Phil , one thing I hate is a liar , because you see even little lies always lead to bigger ones . The fact you even tried to have the balls to steal from the hand that feeds is disgusting to me”.


Tears began to flow like a river down Phil’s face and Mitch couldn’t blame the man for crying.


He knew the man was scum but he was still someone’s father and husband.

But he was also a thief , an addict and worst of all a rat .


He knew he couldn’t trust the slimy little bastard but in this line of work its wasnt like you could put an add in the paper for help.


So you dealt with snakes , men with no honor who were as expendable as the cattle Mitch once so easily slaughtered so long ago.


Mitch went and grabbed the sledge hammer from the back of his truck .


The sight of it sent Phil into a panic .


“Please for God sake don’t do this I can make things right just let me go Goddammit “!




Bruce laughed and it was now Marty who remained silent .


Mitch didn’t hesitate he just brought the sledge hammer down with and ungodly force .

That sickening thud made little sound and a mile from any real highway nobody would know about this incident besides the three men witnessing it .



Phil was gone and no sooner had the sledgehammer cracked his skull had Bruce and Marty grabbed his convulsing body and began dragging it to the whole dug that would forever be Phil’s unknown grave.


Bruce as usual began going through his pockets removing Ritchies wallet a true scavenger that he was .


“Fuck this dudes floppping around like a danm fish“.


Bruce said in a twisted glee .


After Bruce made sure to pick the bones clean so to speak the boys pitched Ritchie into the damn near frozen earth .


“Fuck it’s freezing out here course least it aint as bad as things are for that winy bitch Phil huh man“?


Bruce asked looking to Marty who had the weirdest look in his eyes .


The first blow knocked Bruce into the grave , blood flowed from the wound but the mountain of a man struggled and began to get up .


The second put him down for good , well at least good enough .

Marty had not missed a beat and like clock work already had the tractor running and was pushing the earth down into the grave .


Bruce’s eyes met Mitch’s he had seen that look in many men and animals alike .

Death was always the same he never kid himself about that .


Mitch never hesitated but he never enjoyed his job either.

His truth was as cold as the earth he buried people semi alive in .

The worst monster that walks this earth can easily be viewed from the mirror.


John Patrick Robbins
Is the editor in chief of the Rye Whiskey Review , Under The Bleachers and Drinkers Only .
He has been published here at Punk Noir Magazine , The San Pedro River Review , Ariel Chart , Oddball Magazine , Piker Press , Blognostics , As It Ought To Be Magazine , Red Fez , The San Antonio Review,
He is also the author of Sex Drugs & Poetry from Whiskey City Press and Once Upon A Nervous Breakdown from Soma Publishing.
His work is always unfiltered.