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Christmas with Stanley-Fiction by Robert Kokan
Gravedigger Sunrise-Fiction by Zach Wilhide
Billy at One O'clock-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Christine's Tune-Fiction by Andrew J. Kolarik
Paid in Full-Fiction by Bill Baber
Is Today the Day?-Fiction by Thomas X. Cross
Dead Bodies Everywhere-Fiction by Roy Dorman
Murphy's Law-Fiction by Edward Ahern
The Ghost in the Factory-Fiction by Jeremiah Minihan
Communication Breakdown-Fiction by Joe Surkiewicz
So Long, and Thanks for All the Texts-Fiction by Jay Adair
Time-Share-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
It's Xmas and Maureen Feels Like Death Warmed Over-Flash Fiction by Gay Degani
Uncle Andrew-Flash Fiction by K. A. Williams
In a Nearby Church-Flash Fiction by Bethany Cody
What Happened after His Head Oozed-Flash Fiction by Michael Dioguardi
Prospero's Last Party-Flash Fiction by Jacqueline Doyle
Slick-Poem by David Spicer
Word Cruncher-Poem by David Spicer
The Life that Lives on Man-Poem by John Short
Pet Shop Story-Poem by John Short
dear tom-Poem by Meg Baird
the canvas-Poem by Meg Baird
A Killing-Poem by Ian C. Smith
Green Grass-Poem by Ian C. Smith
No Joke-Poem by Ian C. Smith
a soft landing-Poem by JJ Campbell
going through the motions-Poem by JJ Campbell
the shotgun still rests in the corner-Poem by JJ Campbell
an earthy affair-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
death loves the deep-space pirate-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
robotic mistress-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
A November Morning-Poem by John D. Robinson
Hard & Heavy-Poem by John D. Robinson
The Storm-Poem by John D. Robinson
The Earth Keeps Sabbath-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Obituary-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Rock Whisperings-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Longing-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by A. F. Knott 2020



by David Spicer



My father called me clumsy, so I never

grabbed the concept of smooth, silky, suave—

in a word, slick. Slick as a bald wrestler’s

pate, slick as an auctioneer, slick as a plate,

slick as an erect pecker. My father wasn’t slick.

Once he tripped over a cracked sidewalk

and I laughed.  He said I’d have to work hard

to be a slick dill pickle, insouciant as a savant.

I thought I could learn shiny, sleek: just attend

a slick school teaching glib as a tool, just study,

use my cauliflower to whiz through life

like a wizard smoking a spliff breezing

down the road without a care in the clear air.

One day, driving my rusty twenty-year-old

Caddy in the rain, I hit an oil slick. My tires

keeled through the slick day. So slick

no cars broadsided the Caddy. The car kissed

a concrete wall. I gashed my eyebrow

when my head hit the steering wheel, the wound

slick after it healed. Slick as the paramedics’

raincoats, so slick, I lied later, I won

it in a knife fight outside a St. Louis jazz

club where slick Miles played: some punk said,

Hey Slick, cut the schtick, before I cut you

another proud scar. Today, I long for slick:

a slick poem in a slick rag with glossy paper

full of slick poets. I read them and wish

my poems were slick—slick as a black Bic,

slick as magic tricks of words, slick

like a licked cue ball, slick yelling in the theatre,

Hey, Slick, sit down. Slick like the Brylcreem

I wore in the eighth grade, an Elvis cool cat

that slicked his hair into a duck’s ass,

slick as an embezzling accountant,

slick as sour grapes that betray me, as a slick

walrus grabbing the slick magazine from my

greasy hands and eating it: slick print, slick ink,

slick words slicked out like slicorice the walrus

loves, bitterslick, sickslick, clicketyslick, suckslick,

clacketyslick, snakeslick, slick, slick, slick, slick. 





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.

A. F. Knott is a self-taught collage artist focused on book layout and book cover design as well networking in conjunction with Hekate Publishing, one of its missions, bringing together artist and writer. Sometimes seen selling in New York City's Union Square Park. Work can be found on 

flickr.com/photos/afknott/ Any exchange of ideas welcome: anthony_knott@hekatepublishing.com

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2020