2 poems by Courtenay S. Gray

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

540

I have never wanted to be
happy. not ever and certainly
not today. with a life full of shitty
situations, death, hatred, and decay—
wanting to be happy would be
an outrageous thing to ask for.
I know not to get comfortable
at any point because what goes
up must come down. when I was
at school; I used to catch the 540
back home. sometimes we’d walk
and stop by the Mcdonalds for the
monopoly stickers. XY would win
a sugar donut and I’d turn the hand
dryer on while she went to the bathroom.
that town almost killed me, but I still didn’t
wanna leave. and, now I live in a different
town where bad things still happen to me.



love box

how can a girl know so
much about the world
without having had a
man touch the most
intimate parts of her?

all she knows is the
feeling of her own hands,
of her own fingers. she needed
his hands, his fingers to scope
out the premature beginnings
of loneliness and bring them
to completion.

at this point, she is chasing
pity fucks and any man
who would be willing to
love for one evening. he
must make the most of
the act of taking her virginity.
she will bleed, and she will
probably cry at least once.
but at least the deed will
be done and she can die
knowing that one man’s
penis rose to her birdsong.

their heads will bang against
the double glazed windows
of the five star hotel where
they serve blackberry wine
instead of coffee. with each
rhythmic thrust, she sheds
her angel wings — becoming
one with the world of dirty
lust and orgasmic dreams.

she’s the devil you know
and the one you ply with
diazepam to numb the yelps
of the emotions which make
her seem a little too human.
pain dissolves into sex and
sex dissolves into being a
scapegoat for erudites and
aristocrats. they’re a lot less
inclined to hurt you if you
mirror their image.


Courtenay S. Gray is a writer from the North of England. You’ll find her work in an array of journals such as A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Misery Tourism, Expat Press, Red Fez, and many more. She will often post on her blog: www.courtenayscorner.com Twitter: @courtenaywrites 

Ashes to Ashes by David Cranmer and B F Jones

B F Jones, David Cranmer, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

We’re gone all too soon,
suddenly,
just particles drifting apart
bit by bit.
Immaterial clouds dancing
to the sound of a broken orchestra.

What I so valued,
our love,
won’t beat for another
twenty-three millennia or more
or maybe never again.

And I miss you so
as distance stretches
I fade away
while you float,
bright still,
and I cling to a memory
I wish to revive,
re-live maybe once again

——I choose
to believe in continuity,
gods just need time to reunify
under a faraway neon star.


5 poems by Alec Cizak

Alec Cizak, Poetry

“9/11”

 

 

We didn’t teach that day,

we stood on the roof of

the eyesore in Koreatown

housing my employers and

the corrupt management co.

refusing to exterminate

mice and rats stealing crumbs

from my carpeted floor

at night.

 

We stood on the roof,

my ESL students and I,

smoking cigarettes and

pretending we knew who

Osama Bin Laden actually was,

marveling at the empty

streets below, and the quiet

skies above.

 

New York took the hit,

Los Angeles went to sleep.


 

“Noise”

 

 

Rock and roll deemed it 

a Spiritual Freeway, 

an express lane to

 

nirvana.

 

A microdot, or perforated tab 

sectioned from an illustration— 

Mickey Mouse, Popeye, a dancing bear

 

(like this shit was made for children).

 

I remember November,

a freezing night in Bloomington, 

three hits rewiring my sanity. I sat 

in an old man’s rocking chair 

on an unheated, glassed-in porch.

 

Public Enemy and Anthrax 

shredded skyscraping speakers, 

confused my eyes for my ears, 

listening to the floor, a wild oak sea, 

rolling, rolling, rolling.

 

I calmed the rocking chair, 

the only thing I could

 

control,

 

my mind scrambled for 

meaning in a hallucination, 

struggled to fabricate God

from a vision that did not

 

(actually)

 

exist.


 

“P.O.V. Shot #3”

 

 

The lone window 

in your Bachelor’s apartment 

on Ardmore faces north, 

the dotted hills 

a few miles away, 

a rather quick

jog up Normandie on 

the 206, one-seventy-five 

one way, or three dollars 

for an all-day ticket.

 

Steam paints ghosts 

on the window in the 

mornings when you brew 

instant coffee on a crusted 

hot plate resting atop

a microwave next to a fridge, 

a corner of your tiny room

you call the kitchen.

 

As the sneaky desert 

temperature rises, smudges 

appear on the window, traces 

of your fingers, wiping away

the steam in the morning so 

you may enjoy your instant

coffee, plot your escape

from this four-hundred dollar 

prison while you gaze

at the Hollywood sign and 

remember a time you 

believed 

anything 

could happen.


 

 

“Here and There”

 

 

It’s funny

how quickly

the time arrives

to consider

what you’ve done

so far.

 

Vultures

loiter on streetlamps

grunting

at your belief

you are in a position

to consider

a future.


 

“The Darkness Is No Plague”

 

 

There it sits,

a gargoyle on my shoulder

guarding the keep

from persistent joy;

 

Sometimes it sleeps

and I can see the sun,

feel the atoms of life

halt the grand march.

 

Sometimes the joy

blooms to a sonic boom,

wakes the dragon

and reminds me

 

the darkness

is no plague,

merely,

a destination.

 

 


Alec Cizak is a writer and filmmaker from Indiana. His most recent books are available from ABC Group Documentation. He is the CEO of Uncle B. Publications and the chief editor of the digest magazine Pulp Modern.

I refuse – a poem by Sebastian Vice

Poetry, Sebastian Vice

Are you listening?
No, I refuse
You’re too goddamn boring
Molesting my ears
Filling them with verbal diarrhea
Trivialities and banalities
A pathetic attempt to be interesting

I was raped when I was 11
My father killed himself in 2002
I’ve starved
Been beaten
Abused
I’ve cried alone in the shower
Attempted suicide three times
And I’ve masturbated
Not because I was horny
But for the brief moments I could forget
The pain of being human

So no, I’m not listening, nor do I care
Unless…

You tell me how,
you got blown behind a dumpster,
puss oozed from your dick after an untreated STD,
your nose bled after snorting too much blow,
your botch suicides
your uncle’s molestation

Then I’m listening
Then I care

Sebastian Vice is the founder of Outcast Press, an indie publication
specializing in transgressive fiction and dirty realism. His short
fiction and poetry has appeared in Punk Noir Magazine, and A Thin
Slice of Anxiety. His flash fiction piece “One Last Good Day” has been
nominated for Best Of The Net 2021. He has forthcoming short stories
in Cinnabar Moth Publishing, Close To The Bone, Terror House Magazine,
and Outcast Press’ anthology In Filth It Shall Be Found. His debut
novel Heaven’s Tourist will be published by Cinnabar Moth Publishing
(Nov 2022). You can find him on Twitter: @sebastian_vice.

The Shade on Twitter Street by Tia Ja’Nae

Poetry

we are gathered here together to celebrate the mess/of folks in the twitter streets showing us their asses/trying to bring beef until you show up at they address/quiet as a church mouse sorry that they reckless/out here being petty censoring the writing best/raising up their profile on their rival’s armrest/who made these people god to decide on whose a guest/the ones throwing shade need the raid they use for pests/playing checker games won’t get you wins on chess/nor more than smoking ganja will bring back hess/slander competition and get nerve to profess/that they are the victims unjustly in duress/is this how certain indies treat their publishing folk/waiting in the wings hoping certain publishers croak/mad as hell when they become a little publishing joke/cuz not every writer writes a checklist of the woke/if you see like I see you can figure out the press/cuz its more than one entity causing the duress/follow your nose and let the censorship caress/if you tweet like I tweet you won’t even need a guess/these woke types of people follow in the same plan/these type of sheeple wallow in the same pan/the pull out method ain’t work for Afghanistan/nor is it working for the literary Taliban/who stepping in the streets touting racial progress/but lacking dark faces on the masthead dress/who fronting new writers that they paying even less/taking violence out of crime cutting creative access/just ask the publishers who feel betrayed/watching folks they gave their start to let them bleed with no aid/watched a lot of cold shoulders claim they got to get paid/is this how certain writers comp literary upgrades/and if that be the case then why they need the Medicaid/it is what it is how you like that shade/cuz a bitch is a bitch no matter how they portrayed/just ask the publishers trying to convalesce/from the competition running rumors knocking their success/mad cuz they wont follow the mantras to oppress/now every other week its indie slander and stress/where I come from that’s called beef/and you step outside you gonna have to knuckle up chief/fucking with folks money you get branded a thief/they would know that if they stopped with the twitter queefs/let me break it down how this will transgress/cuz the shit would be funny if they had some finesse/the entire scene is crashing to hell on the bullshit express/trying to err to the side of olive branches with woke god bless/this a very small pond running out of clean water/once they pull the pin the grenade gets hotter/your sales won’t go father than a fly swatter/run and tell that on your next twitter blotter/right after you cry victim louder than a sea otter/the writers and the fans just won’t even bother/and won’t be nothing left but hack ass squatters/like those weekend cats they call blues lawyers/simon and schuster will be happy for the dollar/cheering another indie thrown up on the alter/you’ll be the last of the first of the rest of the cannon fodder/while you nut jobs celebrate the handiwork of your slaughter/it is what it is I said what I said/this shade needs to stop its become too widespread/it ain’t my fault if that don’t get through your thick heads/maybe you’ll get it once you see the red in your overhead.


Tia’s work has been featured in Pulp Modern, Punk Noir Magazine, Pulp
Modern, Close To The Bone Poetry, Satire has been featured on HumorOutcasts,
ArticulateMadness, PulpModern Flash and the upcoming issue of
Econoclash Review.  Her written work has been featured in Shogun Honey,
Tough Magazine, 45th Parallel Magazine, 365 Tomorrows, Flashback
Fiction Magazine; as of late two of her short stories have appeared in Tough Crime Stories 2
and Shotgun Honey Presents Volume 4: Recoil.

4 poems by Amy-Jean Muller

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

All Dead Men

 

Your temper blasted off like the confetti on the birthday you told me 

I was nothing. 

Conveniently forgotten during a three volley salute. 

And I think about it as I hear the bullets cut the sky, 

breaking like the fireworks from that celebration 

but flying over as silver sparrows in your mourning.

There where tears on handkerchiefs for sure that day, 

much like this one 

only with quivering smiles at your better memories,

when I wasn’t nothing

and you were alive.

And the thought brings me back to the reality of your casket

the one I picked out for you

in white 

But for me,

your haunting is heavy and dense like the flag they place on your coffin 

which they wrap up tightly in a fold.

Much like the secrets we kept between us

that I shouldn’t speak of 

because all dead men are hero’s 



Road Dog

 

Grief sits with you like the stink of a dog

who snaps at your heels when you try rescue him from the mud.

You haul him on your back despite the stench

while the sepsis in his skin festers in every good thought you have and every smile you feel.

Because you shouldn’t carry anything but the weight of him.

The sight of him,

his stench,

and the breath of his carrion, 

seeps into you when his sorrow howls 

and plays out scenarios in your dreams of how he got there. 

Hit down on the side of the road

beaten bloody by a life that dragged him there;

behind some car

in a sack,

with rocks that cut him open,

that you now feel. 



Your Hair Woman

 

It’s not the same 

unless you let him pull it really hard from behind

until there’s an vicious arch in 

your spine. 

For his visual treat.

Long locks are so feminine, and easy to grab, 

and measures your glory when he’s back there. 

He’ll hold it, twist and tug

pressing into you firmly with a

Thud, Thud, Thud.

You sultry woman!

It’s not the same 

on your body unless you 

treat it, or tease it, or tweeze it, or bleach it 

and don’t complain about it please

and smile for heavens sake.

Remember your hair;

can’t be au naturel,

you have to keep him keen 

just slide back sweetly like peaches and cream.

Because 

Its not the same 

darling

Unless you’re just right

Just like in his wet dreams 

where your pussy’s shaven and tight



I’m not porcelain 

 

Don’t talk to me like I’m some 

thin 

frail piece of porcelain 

about to crack at your pressure 

and judgment in the deliberation

into the state of my mental health 

because you don’t hear the things I tell myself

So 

Fuck you

 


Amy-Jean Muller is an artist, writer and poet from South Africa who lives and works in London. Both her art and writing explore culture, memory, mental health, identity, femininity, and sexuality. She has exhibited her art in South Africa and London. Her writing can be found in various publications and is a regular contributor for Versification, The Daily Drunk and Poetry EIC for Outcast Press. Her poetry book, Baptism by Fire, was released in January 2021. She has been nominated for both Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes. She also writes transgressive fiction and is currently completing her first novel, a collection of short stories, and a second poetry collection. amyjeanmuller.com | Twitter: @muller_aj

Before Gravity’s Pull by B F Jones and David Cranmer

B F Jones, David Cranmer, Mashup, Poetry

I pull back from enforced darkness as
yellow rays from the lantern skip on
cobblestones, the street is too quiet
now as I paint a reflective past of a
time and place where you walked as a
god across my terrace, into my cafe

Materialising before
Me
Claiming the twilight and brightening the night
Sitting, sipping the drink I took to
You
Lips on the edge of a perspiring glass
Eyes on the horizon, on everything and
nothing,
On mine.

And the night slipped away
Giving way to numbered days

When the sun shone on a smiling you
When your laughter shattered the odds
Before gravity’s pull became apparent
Before our plans were ripped away.

I was thinking of you today, times past.


Summer evening, 1947 by David Cranmer and B F Jones

B F Jones, David Cranmer, Mashup, Poetry


A quiet evening with you, on the veranda,
Light illuminating your golden hair.
You in that tube top and gazing down
Smoldering flame. Smoldering out,
Til all that remained were dark skies
To keep company with memories of you.

A quiet evening with you, hot air waltzing,
stale look in your dirt brown eyes.
And in your mouth, words you no longer mean.
The burning light of longing having slowly
tarnished, a flicker growing ever faint,
Since that first morning, after.


Poems by Max Thrax

Poetry

HAMMETT

Thunder of consonants
Rolling out line
By line

Fifteen cigarettes
Before you roll
Out of bed

Throw the typewriter
Down the stairs

Broken keys
Lines staggered

She smiles
And says
Too soft


RIMBAUD IN AULIS

Provincial boy
Communion medal
Your poems scrawled
On your mother’s skirts

Her eyes
The eyes
Of a horse

Her hooves legion
And her punishments

Gare du Nord boy
Reading Faust
With a bullet in your wrist
Beware family men

No longer a boy
Not a man
A thing
Exchanged by weathered hands
Around the Cape and Horn

Rotting bone
A long, immense, rational
Derangement of the cells

From common bonds
You fly
Boy with sticky hair
And blue eyes reflecting
Holes in the sky


AMOR FATI

Because I am drawn
To worldly things
I am drawn
Drawn out
And shot down the drain


TARTU

Smell of rain
And I am there
Tartu

On Devil’s Bridge
I taste your hair
Fingers touch
Then disappear
Tartu

Parapet bare
Carve it all
To us alone
Tartu

Evening comes in winds
Breeze from Annelinn calls
Just to hear
I am here
With you

Back again to village life
Taking in the country air
All it took
For me to fall
Was you

Dropping my reflector
A tiny light
Dies second by second
Off Devil’s Bridge
Tartu


ROOM 306

When they laid her
On the table
She cried because
She swore she bore
A bomb inside

Strapped down
She screamed
To all the saints

Her face
Turned to ash
And blew away


BOA

At dawn
The walls turn to scales
Two yellow eyes
Stare back at me

I never ask
Why they stare
Only why
They never blink

And why the tail
Rising from the floor
Never coils
Or catches me
To squeeze


Max Thrax lives in Boston. His novella God Is A Killer (Close To The Bone) will be published in May 2022. Find him at www.maxthrax.com or on Twitter @ThraxMaximilian.

Little birds by Claire Marsden

Poetry

You are my little bird, 

caught in a net. Broken, 

yet beautifully whole. 

On whispered wings I’ll show you

how to carry your suffering. 

I’ll place a saucer of stars 

upon your brow, 

and my devotion to the sky 

will be your anchor. 

The sun will never claim you. 

I’ll make you sovereign of your universe, 

knowing, 

all the while, 

that behind my smile, 

I’m a shelter of bones.