Homestead by Mike Zone

Written by Mike Zone

The wolf is dead.
The gift of exile bringing a gun to his mouth.
Did he really pull the trigger, so his grave could be the freshly dug out snowbank on the outer rim of a pond; spring washing away earth loosening fleshing into fishmeal?
Let the brains spattered on the knife struck bark on the fall-down tree decide. It never fell but always stood, split by lightning seven times, remaining intact bearing the last will and testament of one Jakob Blake. Not fully gone and buried but found out in the open abandoned by wolves and the son wounded of pride.
The horses were starved munching on fence posts, when Cody approached the farm his mom bought years ago.
“A hobby farm, to work the stress away, it’s hard at the office…physical labor, nature and animals does a body and mind good,” she queerly smiled with an awful sadness, forcing invisible wires to pull the mouth wider and tighter.
Cody shuffled his feet, pulling down maroon slouch beanie further down to hide his eyes. The skeleton boy dancing for the next great cancer host hoping it’d be him since Nexus the cat died. He tugged at the oversize sleeves of his flannel shirt, rolling the cuffs up and down, nervously contemplating sex and death in front of his mom.
Josh in algebra had filled his head with stuff of sticky fingered wet vaginal entry, describing a texture of shaved slick, shave deli-styled ham. The girl his friend had fucked he wanted to momentary fuck in this moment forgetting the loss of furry best friend who would sometimes watch him jackoff imagining stray pussy, horror show pussy, cop pussy and intergalactic pussy…then he remembered Nexus and his curious eyes watching, feeling shame, climax onto the sheets…
Images in his brain as his mother sat at the table in front of him, smoking again like she used to before he was born. Lost, lonely, and desperate, needing love and some sort of affection he couldn’t give as she was just living toward death.
“I think…I think he didn’t leave. He’s coming back…just wanted to get a drink, maybe something to eat…good God, I hope he’s not with that whore.”
Cody knew all about the whore.
“My Gypsy-Moonpie,” the Wolf howled drinking out of a jug of something of gasoline and cinnamon, needlessly smashing it against a set of dead landscaped rocks.
“My wild bride and I, we fucked like drugs! Chemical addiction enticements…a cock at three a.m. inside her…our dopamine receptors on fire, sweat, cum, spittle and cunt-juice intermingled …in those blue eyes I saw the wild blue flame of God!”
Cody snuck his hand in his pocket, getting hard, working himself beside the fire, watching melting snow licked by the flames. He wanted a girl who tasted like peaches and cherry pie.
“Carol tastes like key-lime pie.”
“What?” Cody jerked up realizing he had said aloud what he was thinking.
The Wolf got in his face acid sweat bathed and screamed.
It was their first “family” bonfire.
Carol was appalled by Jacob’s language, but something mysteriously drew her to this “wolf” which inflamed her most primitive senses and hyper sexualized inclinations. Carol had “…fallen from stark gray skies, wings aflame, flesh rooted veins singed clutching broken halo…” Jacob had told her tugging at the back of her jeans as she sat next to some bland businessman at the bar.
“I like you,” he whispered as she turned around and became The Angel of the Flame.
Then came the whore…hungry for a wolf’s cock at three a.m., three months leaving her half past dead with the farm she just bought and the horses nine days into starvation carrying the memories of their ancestors running through middle eastern fields along the Tigris and Euphrates millennia ago where food and water were plentiful…or so Carol imagined, for that is what Jacob The Wolf had told her.
“Each animal shares a singular soul with all those who have come before and those who live now, sharing the dreams and consciousness mindscape of other’s lands away.”
It’s probably why she was letting the horses starve outside, leaving them unsheltered so that they could access the memories and experiences of their ancestors and somehow survive on the future tense might of their far flung descendants sustenance, all they needed to do was focus, so that she could see if a dumb animal lacking an individually fully refined soul could it, then she could do so and find out if Jacob did indeed run away with the whore he referred to as his “Gypsy Moon”, for she was his “cougar” three years and a decade past his senior, who would claw through mountains to protect her wolf who seemed to care not despite sacred devotions and the underlying suspicions she had regarding the “ghost-boy” who stood in front of her.
“Beware the boy, he haunts us…he’s phantom body not unlike a succubus drawing energy from our totem ways to sustain his own presence since he was born without one, as his mother you should really have known this all along.”
All Carol could do, nude on the floor covered in a baptismal pool of vodka and sex sweat could do on her knees was weep knowing this was true as the Jacob the Wolf howled giving revealing to Carol her true wild cat nature who yet couldn’t under stand the scent of her own son.
Of course she knew about the body, could the ghost really have done such a thing, to have the capability to reach out and kill the record of a living being for the sake of pretending to be alive?
Cody wondered if his mother got sick of bowing to the Wolf’s whims as it followed the trail of it’s seemingly ever shifting moon who sometimes came in and out of their life at sporadic violent closed door movements making him think of sex with his friend’s girlfriend in class bringing up the image of his dead cat and the sickening feeling of his cum splurging inside a dirty sock so his mother wouldn’t find out the shameful thing he did because he was supposed to be quiet and studious so he could be someone one day, unlike the Wolf who somehow was man his mother would ordinarily condemn but fell down on her knees for when given the chance, throwing her own status quo life away for some sort primal matrix narrative but what sort of thoughts of these were like this for a boy to have?
Somedays he didn’t feel real or perhaps it was the way everything it was. If he tore the flesh off from the German girl’s face at the coffee shop would circuitry and wire be exposed? Why did he have these thoughts? No one really made him feel alive, was he already dead? For a time he drifted from home to home, never really noticed; shortly living with his dad when Jacob entered the scene he was ignored as his father paraded young woman after young woman into the living room leasing in a new in unison followed by various stays at friends houses in various rooms sometimes being mistaken for said friend who wasn’t really friend but an acquaintance one day going too far and being mistaken for a stranger’s long dead son but that’s another story for another time when he learned about balance and what was deemed the true nature of god and real title of witness…it’s when he knew the Wolf, Cougar and Moon were soon to be drawn into a bloody showdown and someone would be made to witness it, or halt it or even accelerate, he knew not purpose has as he not even figured out puberty as the day of knowing grew nearer.
Carol looked at him, eyes glazed over with crystalline tears, something clawing to get out of her throat.
Cody shuffled his feet, haunted by the prospect of what needed to be said.
Both opened their mouths in a natural sequence of verbal violence which would render their entwined lives forever changing the course of each one’s world.
“The wolf is dead. Did you kill the wolf?”
“Ghost or not Cody, I am the cougar, I will rip your heart out if you’re lying to me.”
“Mom, I can’t kill what I found dead.”
“He wouldn’t kill himself like that.”
“That’s why, I thought you did it.”
“That whore made him do it, made him stop loving me.”
Cody got nervous, shuffled his feet, and shrugged his shoulders.
“I hope everything just wastes away hungry and dies.”
“What if it doesn’t?”
“You have nothing to worry about Cody you can’t even love, I’ve seen your empty eyes, you’re not even alive, may as well be an abortion that lived.”
“Mom, can’t we just start over or something?”
“I can, you can’t.”
Cody took his hat off , wringing in his hands hoping to get some sort of cosmic liquid out to rend this universe askew right for what else can a young man do without being brave or bold in a world he never asked to be born into let alone feel welcomed.
Carols shrieked, pushing the bottle of bourbon onto the floor, tearing pages from some sort of esoteric text, her body contorted into something not quite humanoid nor feline.
“Get out, ghost! I ban thee from- “
The door flung open and a Lycan shadow cast over mother and son, the form of man holding another man stood there with a big old familiar grin bearing more apparent canines than ever. Jacob dropped himself Jacob the corpse on the floor as he himself Jacob the Wolf leaned against the door gesturing toward the body not fully him on the floor.
“The problem with being Schrodinger’s Bastard is that you can both be alive and dead at the same time ‘cause God doesn’t actually have a witness in the unstable molecules of it all , ‘cause y’all mixed up with bunch of your own mumbo jumbo to realize what’s what.”
The moon rose and shined brighter than it normally did, lunar light flood the room with blue like the color the flame of god or rather what was considered the infinite-eye.
The boy faded into the ghost he was dispersed into the magnetic field of the wild and crazy eternity.
The mother turned into a cat that was no cougar but a broken three-legged tabby. It scampered out.
Jacob laughed as the husk of man began to drool, bones cracking, hair sprouting to fur, given it’s true free form of something lost and ferocious…a wolf graying of age, ribbed and starving following the cat for consumption.
The light went dark as Jacob laughed.
She came in a blue dress and silver jewelry, put her arms around his neck.
The Moon had found her Wolf whole just as he said they could do together, if they could only rewrite the lives of others or show them what a fragile construct their world could be.

Mike Zone is the Editor in Chief of Dumpster Fire Press, the author of One Hell of a Muse, A Farewell to Big Ideas and Void Beneath the Skin, as well as coauthor of The Grind. A managing editor at Concrete Mist Press, a frequent contributor to Alien Buddha Press and Mad Swirl. His work has been featured in: Horror Sleaze Trash, Better Than Starbucks, Piker Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, Outlaw Poetry and Cult Culture magazine.

A Strange Night by Ian Lewis Copestick

 A Strange Night

It’s a strange, strange night,
with a really weird feel to it.
The orange streetlights
hardly penetrate the thick,
dense fog.
It’s the kind of night that
makes you think of horror
films, of slashers, of crazy
monomaniacal monsters,
who only want to kill.
Cheery thoughts, then as I
walk home from the shops.
I light a cigarette, and crack
open a can. Sometimes my
imagination can run away
with itself, and it’s best to
try to ignore it, or pour it
into a piece of fiction.
I will try that when I get back.
For now, I stick to the lighted
parts of the path, and start to
walk just a bit quicker

While They Prey by Liz Davinci

In “While They Prey” there are devils – exploiters of fellow humans – selfish, greedy people existing alongside the average people, who are living their lives and playing.  They are happy and aware of the devils, but still they play – run, jump, laugh and have fun. “While They Prey” was composed in July of 2020 and belongs to the Contentment segment of Liz Davinci’s album “Pax Victoria”, set to release in January of 2021. Lyrics: Devil’s choir I’m on fire Uncivilized, canonized screams Wandering out of this still day While they prey Running down the hill arms raised We’re crazed, we play Devil’s choir Never tire Restless fire set free Running up the hill we play While they prey Fluttering until it seems safe In case Devil’s choir High on fire Never tire.

Liz Davinci
Reverb Nation:


The Season of Strangers Discussing My Pubic Hair by Kristin Garth

The Season of Strangers Discussing My Pubic Hair

— and you because a man online hacks my
emails, discussing what my submission
entails — (pubic hair/orgasm denied,
escalating anal sex discussions
anticipating activities dom
is contemplating, post rape by
one dated who didn’t communicate some
desires acquirable by force) – shares wry
commentary, excerpts with bdsm
group chat, of which we both are members. When,
shy, I come to you, tame overview, system
administrator, who offers me random
generated password, date, if I dare,
during which you discuss my pubic hair.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and on December 14th, the deluxe edition Puritan U Succubus Alumnus (also with Hedgehog Poetry).  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website

The Choice Is Yours by Ian Lewis Copestick

The Choice Is Yours

Never forget that,
no matter how bad
today may have been,
tomorrow is always a
new set of opportunities.
Every 24 hours is another
chance to change your
life, and yourself for the
better, or worse.
The choice is yours.
However you approach
it, tomorrow is always
there for the taking.
Unfolding like a piece
of origami. Opening up,
like a rose on a time
delay film.
Every minute of every
day is a countdown to
what could be the best
day of our lives.
Can’t you feel it ? 


K. A. Laity

It was the clown.

The party had been lively enough before her arrival. Shrieking children seemed to entertain themselves for a while. She promised fun on her website—that balloon-littered vomit of coarse Pantone tones with too many gurning GIFsa and autoplay videos. That should have been a warning flag. It had been almost impossible to find the contact info. But they persisted: she was local.

Nothing in her arrival suggested more than the usual horrors of face paint, oversized shoes and a larger-than-life ‘personality’ as promised.

But the children were weeping now and several demanded to go home. Unmitigated disaster.

Not everyone could tell jokes, eh? But most would avoid actually blowing up a hamster.

They would never look at a balloon without shuddering now.

David Nolan talks about The Mermaid’s Pool


Detective Inspector John Smithdown is a good man with some bad things to deal with. It’s 1988 and ecstasy is flooding the streets of Manchester. The Second Summer of Love is here. Tell that to the locals on DI Smithdown’s patch.

Over one weekend, Smithdown is faced with a missing single mum,  machete wielding gangs in Oldham, simmering racial tensions across communities and a mutilated body found at the edge of a remote lake with a mythical reputation. People say bad things happen at the Mermaid’s Pool.

They’re dead right.

David Nolan – author of Black Moss – brings you a second helping of Manc Noir. Things just got even darker.

To Medicate or Self Medicate in Pastels by Kristin Garth

To Medicate or Self Medicate in Pastels 

A dilemma, physician’s office, 

pre-dates a pandemic by just some weeks.

Nervous ass crinkles paper.  Ghost Sophists 

of panic-attacks-past harass what leaks 

through ducts, expelled wet truths upon cheeks, tears 

thin paper, freckled fists attempting to resist

the gravity of pain, its endless drips.  Despair  

you can’t restrain before the blonde internist,

who looks like your Barbie dolls — is that why 

you confess it all — nights you cry yourself 

to sleep, indignities you push inside 

as deep as pastel kitchen knives, bookshelf 

of broken hymen hymns scribbled, first, at five

about sad men who swallow you like pills,

self medicating like you never will. 

Author’s Note:  This is the story of me deciding to take help offered to me from my doctor for my anxiety/depression. It’s changed my life immensely. My abuser did not take medication that he required and it is one more way I’m proud to be different then him. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website

8 Poems from Tali Cohen Shabtai


When I don’t have cigarettes,

it determines my

Sabbath fate.


it all begins with a cigarette on


with an exhale just

before sunset

until the inhalation

the next day when the stars


with the blessing “That distinguishes between sacred and profane”

This is the most important day

to consume cigarettes, because the day when

God rested

from all his work is not an idea.

That every business is closed

in Jerusalem, even if they made

enough from tobacco

consumption during the week.

Really, there’s a woman for whom the cigarette is

her language

and the way she counts

in cigarette butts

corrects her phobia

with numbers.

I need a cigarette that does not exceed 10 centimeters and is no more than 7 millimeters in diameter

The effect of the nicotine substance found in tobacco on the human brain

inspires in me at the same time

the quality of writing on the Sabbath.

It should be seriously considered

that there are withdrawal

symptoms arising from a lack of

nicotine in the brain that is prevented from me

to contain them

when a person does not consume cigarettes

on the Holy Sabbath.

Accordingly, the biblical saying will come here that

“the Sabbath may be broken when life is at stake”

Should I silence any thirst

and adhere with the Creator blessed without

any adherence to an object

for an entire day?

Generally the week enters on the Sabbath.

For me? On Sunday.

Dear poem

I offered congratulations from this morning to tomorrow

even though I was corrected regarding the date of birth.

How do I explain that a person

has no idea when

he will end his life this time around?

I write to my mother my love for her

in the most unexpected moments

of tribute

how will I explain that perhaps it is the penultimate

greeting of a daughter to her mother before the present


the latter and not the resurrected midwife

from the year 80

the umbilical cord between me

and her placenta and not to give birth

to me again? but to kill.

I look at my father and cry for another

twenty years or so

that he will not be here

I was ahead of the artist to “grow and sanctify her great name”

in the Kaddish prayer in the twilight hour in Sacker Park.

I shed a tear.

If you live in consciousness as I wrote

“God does not pass over life from man, as he does not

pass over death.”

You are the most miserable person there is, with such insight

you do not enjoy a single piece of bread and no


You are dead.

A letter to myself

There’s a whole world

waiting for you

around the darker

corner of life

in which

you are adept enough to sort clothes

of the same

ethnic group of

the black cloth

of your life.

If you hadn’t been a little better

than the decorations that would add


so as to decorate the rhetoric

of the black cloth of your life

I promise you that you would


to see

a star fall in the dark! 


You are willing to come

To Jerusalem

Where I kill myself

Every single day –

You can’t live in a place

Where the Transfer is

Conceptually different

For you –

As much as you warned me

About America

Where people don’t realize “

The difference between Poetry

And Song”,

I want to go back to

Europe – where people live

By caricatures

You say you like Jews

You thought I came from

Those countries – where it is forbidden

To uproot

My Ghetto

So I am going to the hospital

What the hospital asks

Is one less lady

Who smiles.

My Doctor

I have

My own “Thousand”

Carring your signture.

I wear them as an amulet–

Much like Umm Kulthum’s scarf amulet

The one she carried at every performance,

With a Thousand seeds of Parisian cocIne in it

I walk with them–

Like the thousand chemicals

In the poison that

Nietzsche carried permanently

In his pocket

But I don’t praise it–

So don’t ever try to train my brains

To be pleased

You know my heroes,

I was happy before I knew them

Before I barely knew

The difference between you and

A passer-by.


I build tactics

While you sleep

On how to admit

To my crime

We make love


Your Carnival

And my War

On a bed where

“The half of the wharf that is bleeding

Is the half where I always


I like your gestures but

I can’t take you

To portray Others

In my language

I can’t live like this

And you can’t either

There is no better


I failed to be


* A person in the process of conversion

A Letter From Israel

I miss you so much

My poet

I miss Oslo.

You come to visit me,

Like a platonic figure


For a woman who lost the


In a city with no drawing,

With a man stuck with a broken foot


To the celebration of the woman that I am

And the women here named the same

Perfume over ten years

While I named (at the same time)

The same pills.

This is my accompaniment

I can not beautify

My life

As you can’t either.

So I’m eating you

A little too much – sometimes with

My ripeness.

With my clouded eyebrows

And a cigarette in

My mouth

You wear the Kippa that I bought you

With Norwegian letters

Spelling your name

There is no better tribute here

My love,

This is


By the force of my doom

By the force of my doom

The outcast

The blood of disgrace

Is in menstruation.

And not upon

(A foreign)foreskin

In humility

And not as

A wife to bear it

In humility

For this

I give

No guarantee.

Tali Cohen Shabtai, is a poet, she was born in Jerusalem, Israel. She began writing poetry at the age of six, she had been an excellent student of literature. She began her writings by publishing her impressions in the school’s newspaper. First of all she published her poetry in a prestigious literary magazine of Israel ‘Moznayim’ when she was fifteen years old. Tali has written three poetry books: “Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”, (bilingual 2007), “Protest” (bilingual 2012) and “Nine Years From You” (2018). Tali’s poems expresses spiritual and physical exile. She is studying her exile and freedom paradox, her cosmopolitan vision is very obvious in her writings. She lived some years in Oslo Norway and in the U.S.A. She is very prominent as a poet with a special lyric, “she doesn’t give herself easily, but subject to her own rules”.Tali studied at the “David Yellin College of Education” for a bachelor’s degree. She is a member of the Hebrew Writers Association and the Israeli Writers Association in the state of Israel.I n 2014, Cohen Shabtai also participated in a Norwegian documentary about poets’ lives called “The Last Bohemian”- “Den Siste Bohemien”,and screened in the cinema in Scandinavia. By 2020, her fourth book of poetry will be published which will also be published in Norway. Her literary works have been translated into many languages as well.

Hispanic sonnet, or Punk sensibility by Alex Z. Salinas

Hispanic sonnet, or Punk sensibility

By Alex Z. Salinas

Chicano poetry necessitates punk sensibility.

“Necessitate” is a word choice professors may

Respect. The distinction between primary &

Higher education is critical thinking & diction.

Diction—try out this word at a party. Electrify the

Ladies. Wink wink. Guys, Irish painter Francis

Bacon revered venerable masters so mightily he

Snatched their frameworks & muddied ’em.

Chicano poetry necessitates destructive flair.

I’m truly scared to detonate how I really want to.

Scared I’ll explode in a million directions &

The shards will hint of Mexican dark chocolate.

If you make a show of reciting poems to every

Mirror, you’re ripe for the big leagues. Right as a

Bent [insert noun]. I hate punk rock, therefore am punk.  

Bio :Alex Z. Salinas lives in San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, WARBLES and DREAMT, or The Lingering Phantoms of Equinox, both from Hekate Publishing. His poems, short fiction and op-eds have appeared in various print and electronic publications. He holds an M.A. in English Literature and Language from St. Mary’s University.