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Spook on Rye-Fiction by Will Bernardara, Jr.
A Study in Loss and Hunger-Fiction by T. N. Allan
Tepid Strawberries-Fiction by Preston Lang
The Ice Tombs-Fiction by j. brooke
Uncle Harry-Fiction by Michael S. Stewart
Run, Robby, Run, Part 3-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Hunting Ghosts-Fiction by J.M.Taylor
SkitzoFreniC-Fiction by Michael Bauman
Candy Man-Fiction by Frank Quinn
A Dog of War-Fiction by Robb T. White
The Retiree's Epiphany-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Reckoning-Fiction by Edward Francisco
Sarcasm's Dream-Fiction by Erin J, Jones
Dishes, Dishes, Dishes-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Angels in Vegas-Flash Fiction by Tom Darin Liskey
An Alto for the Choir-Flash Fiction by Hillary Lyon
A Splash of Red-Flash Fiction by Daniel Clausen
A Slight Disposition-Flash Fiction by James Coffey
Together Forever-Flash Fiction by Bill Baber
Talky Tina-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Play Dead-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Boycott This Poem-Poem by Michael Marrotti
Monaco-Poem by John Doyle
He Dubbed Himself General Custer-Poem by David Spicer
Moment of Madness-Poem by Meg Baird
A Beautiful Chaos-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Phantom Voices Floating...Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Dirty White Girl-Poem by Ian Mullins
Don't Do It, It Ain't Worth It-Poem by Ian Mullins
Cursed-Poem by John Grey
Regarding the Coming of Man-Poem by John Grey
Threshold-Poem by Kenneth P. Gurney
Word Salad With Ranch-Poem by Kenneth P. Gurney
Turnabout-Poem by Kenneth P. Gurney
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel and Daniel Valentin 2017



by Michael Bauman


Mystery abounds us as we walk through the flood gates, never questioning where we came from or who we are. Sentimental capacities crowd our lives with liquids not yet understood by the human race. We can truly begin to induce the womb and list all our preoccupations in order of importance. Pickled inheritance makes the room smell of otter bone and flesh. Listening to the pussy willows outside as they flutter in the breeze. Bumble bee once told me of her inspirations. The men and women that shaped her psyche and molded her into a temptress of the night.

          Bequeathed and thirsty, I searched for more out of the industrial mechanics that were shipped out in groups of many. Long before wondering what would become of the old wool train. Samples of desk mule and tile-batter ruin my mood as I walk into the kitchen for a drink. Sapphire rubies fall from my lips as I take a second look at the bear trap in the corner of the room. What would happen to my darling Olivia?      

Anger courses through my veins as mumbled once by the prince of tides, leaving little to the imagination of young ones. "Hold it over here" said the tiny blueberry muffin girl, staring deeply into his eyes. He grimaced, only willing to hold his sarcoma, Jeremy leaped forward trying to stop the madness from spreading past this darkened room.

          We may not have the upper body strength to wander as far as we should from this place. We have candy lines and red leeches on our side, something no one could argue with. Time to take out Biscuit, but first the dome.

          "Water births are so beautiful" said the angel Ark almighty, sometimes referred to as Archimedes. Born soon, water babies know exactly who they are, weeping from tree-limbs under a silver moon.

          Another Saturday night and the lights lay dim. Honey in my tea sure sounds delightful, many thanks! Lustrous bounty fills my head as we listen to the dreambeats of madness. Misty darling, won't you fetch my perched bird? He's sitting on the long side, the one by the Cartier and switch blade machine. You know it’s the same one you so delicately placed under my chin as I slept. Listen to Penelope, she knows all the books, but hey, what about the dome?

          Try taking it from my side, the ever-wondering Beetlejuice monster stands similarly like a shadow I once vanquished. Tomatoes in my pasta never seemed like a good idea, but surprisingly I winced at the thought of never finding them again. Why so toiled? I'll tell you, almost never did I look back when filling up the tank on alongside the old dust road. Diner happy as I stand downwind. Sure was a beautiful day to paint.

          Ringworm dolls leer at me as I try to sleep. Go away demon seeds, you're not wanted anywhere around here at all! The dolls are on my nuts now. Why try me? I'll win every time, you'll see how you hurt my life. But I'm not worried, Alice always find her way through the looking glass simply by clicking her little red shoes. Angry birds don't fly far from home.

          The sunlight dimming wand was waved through the air like a car trying to get out of a pretentious bind. He lifted his gum-filled taco to the lady’s lips, never asking if she even wanted to dance. “Walk me home” it bellowed, “Wash my feet and then cleanse my soul.” Meow, ouch! Sure isn’t the day for such a glide, now is it?

          Licking the cone with the utmost delicate maneuvers, we sat across the water looking out at steamships. All that steel and no driver really makes me worry as I live only 2 miles from the Moore. Deliberately ignoring the obvious, Olivia lifted her pampered colored overalls and threw them at Tim like she was mad at him. Never knowing everything, the petrified tree lies dead-center in the steamy bog…Then the happy critters come. Look over there, it’s Penelope with the rice! Perfect for throwing into the dome as it’s where all the power plays go down. You haven’t yet put a sponge to my throat dear boy, how come?

          Mmmm lucky charms, remember them? I don’t ever want to end up like one of those delinquent children being called into principal McKinney’s office on a Saturday afternoon. Sarah-Lee Roth, get the fuck in here before I choke you with your own blonde braid. Lord have mercy!

          Aunt Sally once told me of a wishing-well that went all the way from here to Siberia. I always wondered how long it would take to jump in, always tipping my hat on the breathing part. Let me ask you a question mate, how’s the dog? Never mind all the countless nights I spent rolling sushi, and for what? That little liver plant is leaking like a faucet, mocking my very existence. Oh no, please don’t let me ponder anything more until I have figured out the meaning of life.

Dripping mushrooms ruin everything below from my textbooks, a liverwurst sandwich, hand-held portals and a battery pack. All stacked one on top of the other until I can't stand it anymore. Now we leave. Great Lakes, I haven’t even seen your beauty and yet here I am melting plants freely amongst all my stuff. It’s gonna be a long one, I can tell. Great!

Elevated gears are a thing of the past. Never before had I wandered so freely through a field of dandelions and fresh cut daises. Was this all I had to offer the world, a lit biscuit served to the mouths of many? Leaving little to the imagination as I thrust toward the twilight sky, transcending into light. What a beautiful night for a trip to the violent lined soaked couch cushions of this generation and the one before.

Heavy hair weighs down my lustrous soul. Looking through the pine covered windows as I dance to the breeze. Luscious lips wrap around me as I grab onto the everlasting weeds at the bottom of the boathouse. Sail away with me, come follow us through this whirlwind of life’s spectacles. Side show tickets sure have gotten steep. Better leave it to the tin man of many sorts. Watch out for the boy made entirely of gold and silver, he’s not a pleasant one to argue with. Again, it all comes back down to the dome.

Whimsy has always been a word that sounded magical to me. Never looking past the prior attempts at happiness. Word to your wife, the eloquent retard with the blank stare. Go fuck yourself ducksteen Bill. RAIN Brushing down on me like pellets falling out the barrel of a broken gun. Watch towers of the east, come get me. Show yourselves for the true coward that you are and always will be. Come fly away is a command by the lord himself. Frolic away as I chase you down with machete rubies and other various jewels alike. Ponder this, cheese. Bahahah you won’t catch me, I’m the powdered toast man.

I had a cat once when I was young and some grapes for breakfast. “Nothing prior?” asked Mira as I lynch me another one. Hang em’ from the bull’s horns as I decide what to do with the rest of him. Cauldron bubbles fly around as floating bumble bees. Will this ever stop? Penelope always asks me the same question, which to this day I still cannot bring myself to answer. She’d ask me “do you like your tea hot, cold or room temperature?” WHYY, just leave me alone!

Red cups are my favorite, if I do say so myself. Mugs can be vicious and also not that pleasant to hold. Tall glasses look good but only with frosted edges. Plastic materials make things so much more convenient as I throw out dishes along with my guts, soaring through the air like a witch on a vacuum cleaner.

When I was young my mother loved her vac, she’d call it the son she never had even with me sitting right there. “Play with me mommy, don’t lock me out. Don’t scoop me up.” I’d sit at the top of the stairs in our duplex apartment. The bathroom was at the top on the right. Smells of burnt cotton escape from the doors bottom crack and still resonate to me still to this day. I never saw the point of it all. Just use plastic cups and save yourself the stress and embarrassment. Clearly dirty dishes drove my mother insane and it hasn’t gotten good for anyone since.

What did Buddha drink when he was flesh? Hot or cold tea, who knows? When was that even, in the 1700’s? All these questions and not a single reference for answers. Why must we pose all these questions when not even the true poets of our past can hook us up with a response? Okay final question, I promise. How tall is the largest mountain and can I steal a piece for my armoire at home? Woops a daily double. Woo-ray, I can’t see sand anymore. Finally, I’m out of the desert.

I’ll never know what the room feels like when I’m not in it ’cause I always will be. Ugh, save me from myself and my own sensibilities. Why keep it anyway? It needs hardly requires any nurture. A high-top kitchen table lays to the left on its side. I know something less than desirable happened here, between the sink and the stove. Seems way too far gone for any reconciliation to occur, right? Or what’s happening? Screw it let’s do this!

TRAINS TRAINS GO AWAY, COME ON BACK ANOTHER DAY. TRAINS TRAINS GO AWAY, COME ON BACK ANOTHER DAY. TRAINS TRAINS GO AWAY, COME ON BACK ANOTHER DAY. Over and over again in my head like a Nelly track. Make me stop, my singing voice throws off everyone else in unison. Unicorned game-head chickens run freely across the farm. Those are the small ones, right? Any discipline for these chickens or what’s happening? Baby don’t be sad, I’ll take care of this. I’ll take care of everything from now on. Don’t you worry. Just rest your head down gently on the pillow as I pour the arsenic in your haterade while you sleep. But mother, please give me more.

Behold to my surprise – The BMG, aka Blueberry Muffin Girl, Olivia, Aunt Sally, the Ringworm Dolls, Buckeye and even the dome is all me. That’s right, EVEN THE DOME! Truth be told, I am what I am, and what I am is who I’ve always been – a truncated elephant holding tightly upwards onto his rusty trombone. At the very least I would like to one day turn into the benevolent beast that I saw in the park one Saturday night, in 2013. I’m just a man trying to hold onto my one can of tuna-be-nots, and if I have to kill the bombastic goat to my left, so be it. Today is the first day, and tomorrow is the second, but I always end up in the same place every morning… inside the body of a fat Skitzo.




Michael, 31, is a Brooklyn Italian Jew from Sheepshead Bay. Devilishly handsome, wildly successful. A warm-hearted, Gemini cuddler, with a passion for Balinese monkey parks.

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel and Daniel Valentin 2017

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2017