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The Grove-Fiction by Kim Bonner
Sawed Off-Fiction by Allan Leverone
Buried Memory-Fiction by James Flynn
Laying Blame-Fiction by Julian Manthorne
Salmone Puttanesca-Fiction by A. F. Knott
Jedda Summons a Higher Power-Fiction by Robb White
Cherry-Orange-Grape-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Jingles and Mr. Hammer-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Shhh...Listen to the Ekko-Fiction by Brian Fugett
Serial-Fiction by Doug Hawley
Somnium Trivium-Fiction by Michael Steven
An Arms Deal-Fiction by Matthew Licht
The Decline of the Midnight Sadist-Fiction by Gary Clifton
Stormy Night at Pussycat Manor-Fiction by Michael D. Davis
Passengers-Fiction by Dan A. Cardoza
Storm_Flash Fiction by K. A. Williams
Becoming Made-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Feeling Like God-Flash Fiction by Luann Lewis
The Coyote, the Dog and the Woman-Flash Fiction by Phyllis Peterson Levine
Fried Zucchini Sticks-Flash Fiction by Cathi Stoler
A Woman of Good Hard Hands-Poem by Otto Burnwell
Abduction-Poem by Jimmy Broccoli
Jitterbug-Poem by Robert Beveridge
Abandoned House-Poem by John Short
The Beauty of Trees-Poem by Ann Marie Rhiel
Regrets-Poem by David Spicer
Hospital on the Hill-Poem by Stephen J. Golds
Panic Attack-Poem by Kevin Ribshman
The Dark-Poem by Kevin Ribshman
Empty-Poem by Connor Orrico
Endless-Poem by Connor Orrico
Effort-Poem By Connor Orrico
Corpulent Octave-Poem by Harris Coverley
Small Town Story-Poem by Harris Coverley
Dans le Bain-Poem by Harris Coverley
Many Surprises-Poem by Walter Ruhlmann
In Another Waiting Room-Poem by Walter Ruhlmann
Innocent Blood-Poem by Walter Ruhlmann
Ebola-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
I Am an Organ Donor-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Just Part of the Food Chain-Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
Today's Adventure-Poem by John Grey
Creating the Master race-Poem by John Grey
In the Old Mansion-Poem by John Grey
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

82_ym_regrets_rosmus.jpg
Art by Cindy Rosmus 2020

REGRETS

 

By David Spicer

 

 

I regret not writing this sooner.

 

I regret not applying better parental skills toward my eleven cats.

I regret I didn’t travel to the Galapagos and their 200-year old

headless shells,

to Ireland to hear a barmaid’s lilt singing Danny Boy,

to temples of chanting Buddhists in Thailand, to cracking icebergs

of the Arctic.

 

I regret my shy nature, its reluctance to engage with train station
          strangers.

My regrets could fill an Earth-sized bowl. My regrets could be yours:

Did you steal a candy bar and get caught? Did you French kiss

dates and regret it because they bit you? I did and I don’t.

 

I don’t regret slugging my father in the mouth the last time he pushed
          me.

I don’t regret catching my mother telling yet another lie.

I don’t regret showing my twelve-year old brother a Playboy.

Your  regrets? Did you ever sneak a peek at a nude sunbather?

 

I regret not watching I Love Lucy when my sisters giggled.

Maybe my humor would be more raucous.

Maybe I’d possess a Shih-Tzu’s impatience with his human.

Then I could tolerate shrill voices that haunt my sleepwalks.

 

I regret disliking rap music—except for Ton Loc jiving Wild Thing,

I regret selling my off-the-wall record collection to a dealer,

I don’t regret buying double that number of cd’s because I’m

an audiophile who hears the silence between a country singer’s notes.

 

I don’t regret blasting the Byrds’ Turn, Turn, Turn in the dorm.

I regret I didn’t study as diligently as many students—

not reading more Milton, Yeats, Dante, and Shakespeare.

Now I regret not reading younger poets—their insights may surpass
           mine.                   


One night I pointed a gun at my brain because my father hated me.

The gun called me a coward. I didn’t pull the trigger: I don’t regret
          that.

I don’t regret avoiding the draft and dodging a Cong bullet.

I don’t regret shooting a rifle when forced to in the Air Farce.

 

I don’t regret eating too much junk food in the barracks.

I regret not hiking up the Sandias bordering Albuquerque.

I regret my life was a black hole when I transmitted pilots the weather.

I regret I didn’t walk to the off-base bookstore often and read more
          Ellen Bass.

 

I regret not tattooing a raccoon howling at the moon on my left butt.

I regret getting cut from the tenth grade baseball team.

The coach said I had the most heart but the least talent.

He appointed me team flunky but I quit, which I don’t regret.

 

I don’t regret fronting a guitar player $35 a week after I met him.

He repaid me after I nagged him for weeks.

I learned not to loan money to friends or acquaintances.

Or books, or records, or movies. Or to borrow from relatives.

 

I regret a coworker borrowed my copy of Atlas Shrugged.

She returned it with her dog’s puke stain on it, a testament

to the pup’s critical talent. I’m glad it wasn’t a first edition.

I regret she apologized for her pet’s taste. I don’t regret I laughed.

 

I don’t regret never apologizing for transgressions.

One time I fantasized garroting an adversary. I won’t apologize
          for that.

I didn’t apologize for yelling, Spit it out, Scates, when he stuttered

after pulling down a map, and there she was, Naked Miss June.

 

I regret farting in college: more than 20 roommates disowned me.

I plugged up the poots like a dam-fingering Dutch boy.

My grandmother told me, There’s more room out than in.

My grandfather said, Pull my finger and make a wish.

 

I regret harassing a woman by saying, Show me your tits.

I regret not knowing better. I regret I wasn’t taught well.

I regret not learning quicker. I did, finally.

I regret my narcissism, regret not seeing all people are narcissistic.                                       


Do you regret reading this? Will I regret writing it? I don’t regret

writing anything. I have boxes and boxes of regrets and non-regrets.

I don’t regret writing love notes to women I’ve loved.

I regret not writing them to women I could have loved.

 

I regret never having a mentor as a young man,

my old man useless in that role. No older brother.

I regret gravitating to males I saw as fathers.

I don’t regret my own counsel. I don’t regret despising lawyers.

 

I regret buying encyclopedias from a door-to-door salesman.

I didn’t need those books, don’t regret giving them to my brother,

who shelved them in his dark, melancholy den. I don’t regret

never visiting him, because I’m dead to him anyway.

 

Regrets are cotton balls with bloodstains.

Regrets are wounds that don’t heal. Do you scratch your regrets?

Regrets are lonely shadows that lurk in my loony brain.

Regrets are grey clouds that reappear with moody weather.

 

Regrets, do I ever approach you like a scruffy panhandler?

Tell me when you don’t want attention like a doting aunt.

Regrets, do you think people mean it when they send a Regrets card?

Can you tell me the last time you felt compassion for a victim,
          Regrets?

 

Should I regret not looting a house or pissing on a midnight golf
          lawn—

not feeling the rush through my body like a wheelbarrow of berserk
          smiles,

not running naked through a mansion with a pillowcase full of stolen
          jewelry,

not pissing in the 18th green hole—ah, adrenalin, chock full of maniac
          energy!

 

I don’t regret heckling a comic, stealing a laugh from him.

He called me an asshole and I told him he could lick me
          where the moon

didn’t moan. I don’t regret telling a professor she broke a promise

by assigning A students a term paper. She frowned like Medusa

                                                                             

but I didn’t turn to stone. I don’t regret murmurations, darkening
          skies,

I regret the sea rising, I regret my old girlfriend doesn’t call me,

but we haven’t slept together in decades so she isn’t my girlfriend.

I regret I haven’t seen her. But I don’t regret marrying the One.

 

There must be a god of Regret. Give me a second. I’ll Google that.

Hades! Imagine that. I don’t regret Google. I regret Facebook
          and Twitter:

deluded parrot ranches. Imagine the gods of Twitterers and Frienders,

calling everything and everybody amazing and awesome in Greek
          or Latin.

 

I do and don’t regret flunking Trig three times, I don’t regret not
          getting an MFA.

I love my lack of an MFA. But sometimes I do eat a regret morsel
          like a cracker

crumb off the floor. I regret my lousy study habits. I don’t regret
          the lack

of discipline to snag a degree that means I’m a sellout. I do regret
          my sour grapes.

 

I played air guitar one night alongside Bloomfield at the Fillmore
          East, regret

not strolling to a Village hotel with a streetwalker who said, Hey
         Babe, want some fun?

I regret not losing my cherry to that pro I didn’t know.  I regret losing
         it to my uncle’s

woman after he egged me on to fuck her. I did and he dropped her
         like a dead cat.

 

I regret never sailing on a boat. I could have imagined Ahab pursuing
         Moby Dick,

his men scurrying like fish, like manic clouds after they boarded their
         ship helmed

by a captain who loved the sea but hated the whale more. I don’t
         regret

hating continent-sized oceans and the thought of drowning. Have you
         ever sailed?

                                                                      
 I regret not telling my father he was a redneck Buddha slob with
         spaghetti gobs in his gut,
not standing toe-to-toe to him the minute I grew taller than him.
         I regret I had no finesse

as a child, lived inside my body wishing I could escape. But I wasn’t
         Houdini, was I?

I’m a prisoner in my body but have no regrets. Regrets are fools
         I no longer love.

 

I regret endings must happen. I regret I’ll die some day. I regret
         I don’t know

what Death is. Do you regret that? Will you and I meet in the heaven
         or hell of regrets

and guzzle boilermakers trading regrets like kids with boxes
         of blemished baseball cards?

Or will we suck black air after the alleged white light and regret
         having believed anything?

 

I regret I ignored my dying sister, a force of nature, the wind refusing
         a cowboy’s rope. I wish

I had visited her, but I was a sad owl lingering on a lonely limb.
         Do you regret reading this?

Are you a sad owl? Do you regret dark sins? Like that tree swaying
         with the breeze that’s

the ghost of your vanished lover? Is there something you don’t regret?
         Are you human, too?




David Spicer has published poems in The American Poetry Review, CircleStreet, Gargoyle, Moria, Oyster River Pages, Ploughshares, Remington Review, Santa Clara Review, The Sheepshead Review, Steam Ticket, Synaeresis, Third Wednesday, and elsewhere. Nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart twice, he is author of six chapbooks and four full-length collections, the latest two being American Maniac (Hekate publishing) and Confessional (Cyberwit.net). His fifth, Mad Sestina King, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.



Cindy Rosmus is a Jersey girl who looks like a Mob Wife & talks like Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out 5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do whatever the hell she wants She’s been published in the usual places, such as Shotgun Honey, Hardboiled, A Twist of Noir, Megazine, Beat to a Pulp, Out of the Gutter, Mysterical-E, and Twisted Sister. She is the editor/art director of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s a Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights activist. She has recently been branching out into photo illustration, under the guidance and mentoring of Ann Marie Rhiel.

















In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020