UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT

B F Jones, Paul D. Brazill, Punk Noir Magazine, Stephen J. Golds

PUNK NOIR MAGAZINE will be opening up for submissions again from May 1st with not one but TWO new editors!

As Paul D. Brazill shuffles off into the shadows, B F Jones and Stephen J. Golds will be the new editors of Punk Noir Magazine. Both writers are regular contributors to Punk Noir Magazine and are more than familiar with its ethos, so good times are just around the corner!


B F Jones is French and has been living in the UK since 2002. Her flash fiction and poems have been published in various online venues including The Cabinet of Heed, STORGY, Back Patio, Idle Ink, Misery Tourism, Spelk, Ellipsis Zine, Funny Pearls. Bristol Noir, The Daily Drunk, Dead Fern Press. Her first collection, The Fabric of Tombstones, was released in April 2020. Her next one will be published by Close To The Bone in December 2021 and her two poetry chapbooks in September 2021 and April 2022.

Stephen J. Golds was born in North London, U.K, but has lived in Japan for most of his adult life. He writes primarily in the noir and dirty realism genres and is the poetry editor of Close to the Bone Press. Some of his writing influences are Charles Bukowski, John Fante, James M. Cain, Tobias Wolff and Jim Thompson. He enjoys spending time with his daughters, reading books, traveling the world, boxing and listening to old Soul LPs. His novels are  Say Goodbye When I’m Gone, I’ll Pray When I’m Dying (Red Dog Press) Always the Dead, Poems for Ghosts in Empty Tenement Windows and the story and poetry collection Love Like Bleeding Out With an Empty Gun in Your Hand. He can be reached on Twitter  @SteveGone58 

Repetitive by B F Jones & Stephen J Golds

B F Jones, Poetry, Stephen J. Golds

Repetitive

It comes when the dreams don’t,

the midnight walls constricting –

within the gut of Jonah’s whale.

A mind like mosquito bites

thoughts twisting

like stagnant laundry or

a child’s wonky windup toy.

Staring into a colorlessness with dry eyes.

Gnarling the night away with

each wring of a bloodied lip

body twitching to the rhythm of

an invisible metronome.

It’s here, always

casting its searing iron

time after time branding your soul

with the rusty-red glow of inferno

Tu et Ego by Stephen J Golds

Close To The Bone, Poetry, Stephen J. Golds

Tu et Ego 

I, I am 

the garbage bag 

split in the bottom, 

you carry on Tuesday mornings. 

The dead potted plant,

you glance at occasionally 

when it’s raining outside. 

The radio with no batteries 

on the shelf above the kitchen sink, you’ll one day place in a cardboard box 

for Good Will. 

And you, you are 

the twisting echo 

in a smudged plate glass window. 

As all murmured reflections 

a beautiful deceit in reverse. 

A sparrow in yellowed grass 

for the tom cat with ripped ear and 

all encroaching darkness. 

Sunlight ricocheting through curtains the color of torn bridal wear.  

And we, we are 

neither 

here nor there and 

what dreams may come. 

“Where Do You Think These Thoughts Stem From?” by Stephen J Golds

Poetry, Stephen J. Golds

“Where Do You Think These Thoughts Stem From?”

Trying to explain 

to the fat quack 

slurping at a styrofoam coffee cup, 

after all the bullfights, all the women, the Nobel,

Paris, Michigan and all those green hills in Africa, 

Hemingway still ended it all 

in an early hours kitchen 

with that shotgun. 

The fat quack,

he too,

one day will rot in the ground 

and the pretty receptionist who cleared her throat, avoiding my eye contact, 

the old man selling newspapers from a cardboard box and the girl selling woodblock prints from a market stall, the bus driver with his wooly sweaters, too.

Everyone who walked away with hands bloodied,

every woman I called mine with candle in hand,

mother, father, sibling, friend, 

broken bones in decomposed materials.

A time when your name 

is uttered carelessly into a dwindling, twilight space 

for the final, 

last time.

The fat quack nods, his leather chair squeaks,

writing me a subscription,

I will throw in a trash can on the way to a bar. 

5 Poems from Stephen J. Golds

Poetry, Stephen J. Golds

4:27 in a Morning That Won’t Die 

Where does 

the light 

go when 

it leaves 

me here 

fumbling in 

the dark 

waiting for 

the tipping 

of chair 

and 

creaking of 

rope taunt 

against beam? 

In Bed 

Looking at you sleeping there

it makes me think even hell 

is endurable when you’re there 

with someone who whispers 

the words “I love you,” in the night. 

But then later I’m alone 

darkness crawls across naked floors

on deformed belly to remind me 

love always ends and 

hell is always infinite.

Chalk Outline in the Dirt 

Come untied,

pulled apart.

A ghost before birth, 

dead before being fully formed. 

Deformed shapes in dust 

where something used to be.

Two seasons long, 

been and gone.

A self harm still leaks

leaving crimson trails behind 

everywhere I’ve been to,

everywhere I’m yet to go. 

Bleeding out slow 

37 years old, 

full of bullet holes,

duels I drew too slow.  

You were the only song 

I knew the words to,

a pile of empty clothes & 

bones without you.

Out of Sight 

Fingering splinters, 

Picking flint – out of my mind.

Ripping away at myself 

one stitch at a time. 

Getting a grip 

All choked up,

black and blue.

And it’s so fucking vacant.

And it’s too fucking warm.

Shut the door on me.

Slam the door on me.

Pursed against fabric of night. 

Screwed up letters unwritten, unsent.  

Curled burnt in Autumn fires. 

Rosary repeated on scraped knees.

Bounced off Discolored faded walls, 

thrown through doorways, 

86 me.

86 me.

Rehab

Too many relapses, interlude cold turkey. 

Weight lost, stomach cramps, 

the shits and the shakes. Hearing 

voices where there are none. Mental

movies on repeat, the screen 

holding you there, a detox most painful.

In My Heart by Stephen J. Golds

Poetry, Stephen J. Golds

In My Heart 

My brain. Black and grey 

on a computer screen. 

The doctor’s talking but I can’t understand 

a word she’s saying. I stopped listening 

after the word ‘lesion’

Staring at the white circle on the screen. Something that shouldn’t be there but is. 

I wonder if it’s from the time

I was in a boxing ring I shouldn’t have been in. Outclassed. Outgunned. Out of my mind. 

The ropes holding me up, 

rocked to my core, refusing to quit. 

Refusing to be knocked down. 

Waiting on the bell. 

After, a migraine lasting days, 

two black eyes and a 

swollen forehead. 

But

my gloves hadn’t touched the canvas. 

Thought I’d got away clean 

after I healed up. 

But then, 

a year later

the hospital and 

the MRI result on the screen and 

that large white spot —

a bullet hole through my mind. 

I’m sure there’s a conspiracy 

to kill me this year. 

I thank the doctor and 

leave the hospital. 

Hit a bar by the university to drown myself. 

But

the next morning, 

brushing my teeth before work 

there’s a beautiful woman 

much younger than me and 

much more alive in my living room.

Her laughter had filled my night. 

Bathed the whole apartment like 

a bright light. 

I look at my reflection in the mirror 

grinning because I know then,

I will never let my gloves touch the canvas. 

Three Poems from Stephen J. Golds

Poetry, Stephen J. Golds

The Bus to Nowhere

Spending gathered loose change on Day Tickets. 

Riding the bus in circles around town 

because there was nothing else. No one else.

The Jamaican bus driver always nodded, 

knowing the kid’s face well. 

Part of the Sunday route.

No one else seemed to notice him. The ghost

constantly at the back like the grimy windows, old piss odors and curse word graffiti carved into plastic seats. 

Never pressing the bell just traveling 

through space & time. 

Free for a day. 

Things I’ve Noticed Since 

The bulbs in my apartment seemed brighter. The copper pipes within the walls didn’t hum as much during the early hours. The sound of the alarm clock didn’t make me want to vomit.The train was less crowded in the morning rush hour and the faces there weren’t as ugly. The briefcase was lighter in my clammy hand. 

The working day passed by less painfully. Food tasted like something. Whiskey used to work. 

The crows clustered on the power lines weren’t noisy. My head didn’t ache. The record player didn’t jump as much and words came easier. The night streets were not as deserted nor as wide. 

My muscles didn’t ache as much and I wasn’t so breathless all the time. I didn’t know the way to the hospital or even know the women’s name at the reception desk. 

I know more now

than I want to know. 

She

I was born to love this mistress. 

She’s stood by me my whole life 

the only one 

who never lied. 

Her soft hands to my face.

Loved me since I was a child. 

She wants to kiss my throat with 

Lips of a straight razor and

I want her to.

Her cold hands to my face. 

Too in love with her, 

too sick for her.

Those beautiful empty, 

black eyes look into my mine.

Her skeletal hands to my face 

I was born for her,

to be held by her.

Every single action in my life 

has led me to

taking her warm, darkness 

in my hand & walking together 

into that coma dream night. 

Her dead hands to my face. 

Four Poems from Stephen J. Golds

Poetry, Stephen J. Golds

My Parents Worried

At six years old 

chewing bubble gum,

I enjoyed playing 

Russian Roulette

with a cap gun. 

Diet

Stepping naked 

onto the scales 

after a shower

this morning,

the needle 

informed me 

I had lost 5kg. 

It’s as though you were 

a weight of muscle 

wasted and gone.

It is said

the human soul

weighs 21 grams,

I wondered what else 

was ripped away from me  

the day I kicked you out. 

Unbalanced

When I was 8 years old 

I tried to hang myself 

from my cabin bed 

with a belt 

because all of 

my broken toys 

wouldn’t fit 

in the toy box. 

When I was 34,

I tried again 

for the same 

reasons. 

She Always was Quicker

Like the child that discards the toy

then becomes distraught when another child 

picks it up to play with it,

I thought as I dialed, listening 

to the dial tone, wondering if 

I should hang up but didn’t. 

She’d already blocked my number & 

I wished like hell 

I’d just hung up.

Three Poems from Stephen J. Golds

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine, Stephen J. Golds

PhotoFunia-1590663152A Broken Record Playing to an Empty Room 

It’s when I’m alone

in my own apartment, my own bed that

think about her most and I’m alone

in my own apartment, my own bed a lot recentlyToo much.

Leaving for work while darkness

still loiters in the sky,

Occasionally, I glance back into the hallway and

catch a glimpse of her there like a shadow passing

across the walls, a ghost in a photograph.

Does the love we might have had 

haunt the empty rooms of her apartment 

as it drags itself around the floorboards of mine 

leaving behind a bitter scent 

that stings the eyes? 

When she cleans the dishes in the kitchen sink

feels the hot water over her hands does the memory of us fucking there ever flash through her mind, a momentary blinding stroke of lightning in the skyline of that deserted city?

The couch too, when she’s sat there watching tv with the newest one, the one that isn’t anything 

like me, does she feel me there too?

Inside her again like a tear in the fabric of the seat,

or a dark stain on the cushions that she can’t scrub out? 

When she places the needle down on an old record, 

let’s the music we shared crowd the air from that 

cheap record player and sways slowly in her bedroom 

does she remember that I was the one

who taught

her

how to

really 

dance

 

Uninhabited

Palsied hands on a door

too white in this

early morning fog.

Empty bottles &

words like shards

of glass.

Wearing the dull

costume of a part never

intended to be played.

Unable to recall

the words said,

though these scars remain.

 

Carry

 

The cemetery inside me.

Too often I visit it to loiter among

the graves, placing my hands

on the too cold stones,

scraping away the moss that’s

grown over the important parts.

Drunkenly I mourn, knowing

things that are dead,

always stay dead.

And maybe

that’s for the best.

Three Overly Sentimental Love Poems for The Recently Departed by Stephen J Golds

Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine, Stephen J. Golds

Three Overly Sentimental Love Poems for The Recently Departed 

 

Questions Over an Empty Grave

 

The woman who called me on my cellphone

to wish me a happy day before

I pushed myself into the rush hour subway

wasn’t the one

I hoped it would be.

You, I mean. You.

 

The woman who knocked on my door at 1am

with a wicked smile &

a gift of something she thought

I wanted, needed, no,

she wasn’t you either.

 

And that’s the way I’ve been thinking…

I’d like to think

you’re painfully thinking

of me

this painful way I’m thinking

of you.

 

But, I know. I know

you’ve already washed me away with

last night’s date &

this morning’s shampoo.

 

What is this bloody mess

I’m grasping with in my stained hands,

this septic wound coined Love when

I’m the only one left

holding the damned, poisoned thing?

 

You said you’d go with me

into that dark place, but

the dark always scared you and

I let go of your hand

somewhere months back.

I didn’t even realize you were gone.

Were you even really here to begin with?

 

You said I need to change but tell me

where is the success, the victory

in changes made and problems fixed,

when they’re improvements made alone &

birthed from a death like this?

 

What are the true weight of

a lover’s kisses

in the humidity of the

rain drenched night

when they aren’t yours

on my sensitive flesh?

 

What is the meaning of sex if

I’m no longer moving inside you?

It’s something boiled down to

a self congratulatory act

of malice that leaves me

spinning records with ghosts

isn’t it?

 

And finally,

finally, what good is being happy

if it’s being happy

without you now that

you’re another dull ache that

I carry around in my guts?

 

All The Unanswered Things

 

Love is subway stations

out of the town you grew up in

and love is the dials on the washing machine in the laundromat

when you’ve used the last of your change on the coke machine.

 

Love is the rabid spotted dog

that refuses to sit

and love is the black alley cat

after you’ve trodden in its shit.

 

Love is the silver pocket watch

from the flea market in London that stopped at 12:06

and love is the paper airplane

in the classroom waste paper basket.

 

Love is the moisture on your face

when you’re without tissues

and love is trying to smile at yourself in the

mirror on a Monday morning before work.

 

Love is the movie bank heist gone wrong

with a crew full of psychopaths and bad acting

and love is the overweight librarian

without her reading glasses.

 

Love is going to sleep

not dreading tomorrow

and love is something that

I am thinking about now

that it’s apparently too late.

 

 

For C.

 

It’s hard for me to sleep knowing

you’re in someone else’s bed tonight,

 

being all too painfully aware we share

the same night, the same darkness

 

but that’s

all now.