As The Crow Flies by Stephanie Wytovich

In a chair next to a window, there is a girl,

a shadow, a wilting orchid. When no one

is looking, a petal drops, a rib pokes out,

a flutter of wings hits the glass like bodies

on pavement: the sound expanding, growing,

blossoming like cancer until it stops breathing,

the emptiness a pressed crow, a tarred feather,

all those little feelings marinating inside her

like grinding teeth and blood clots, the crowded

room now filled with nothing but ghosts.

Stephanie M. Wytovich is an American poet, novelist, and essayist. Her work has been showcased in numerous magazines and anthologies such as Weird Tales, Nightmare Magazine, Southwest Review, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2, The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 8, as well as many others.

Wytovich is the Poetry Editor for Raw Dog Screaming Press, and an adjunct at Western Connecticut State University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Point Park University. She is a recipient of the Elizabeth Matchett Stover Memorial Award, the 2021 Ladies of Horror Fiction Writers Grant, and has received the Rocky Wood Memorial Scholarship for non-fiction writing.

Wytovich is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, an active member of the Horror Writers Association, and a graduate of Seton Hill University’s MFA program for Writing Popular Fiction. Her Bram Stoker Award-winning poetry collection, Brothel, earned a home with Raw Dog Screaming Press alongside Hysteria: A Collection of Madness, Mourning Jewelry, An Exorcism of Angels, Sheet Music to My Acoustic Nightmare, and most recently, The Apocalyptic Mannequin. Her debut novel, The Eighth, is published with Dark Regions Press.

Follow Wytovich at and on Twitter and Instagram @SWytovich and @thehauntedbookshelf. You can also find her essays, nonfiction, and class offerings on LitReactor.

This poem was originally publishedin The Apocalyptic Mannequin , Raw Dog Screaming Press, 2019

The Witching Hour in Washtenaw by Andre Peltier 

It’s the witching hour at 


and the full moon floats 

through fog. 

While Scarface 

and the Birdman 

sit high upon 

their hog.

Spinning bootlegs 

in the morning of the 

Milky Way.

With visions upon


but the visions have 

nothing left to say.

Nothing left to 


nothing left to sing.

The thoughts are 

empty as the 


the island bars 

will bring.

It’s midnight dark in 


we’re dancing with 

the ghosts,

The spectres of 

lost innocence 

who wander down 

the coast.

Boris and Bela, 

behind the bar, 

flicker blue and 


But the bar is 

closed and 


there’s no one who 

can stay.

Rainclouds with their 

downpour dreams 

veil lonely crescent 


While haunting eyes 

and haunting chains 

are condemned 

to doom.

And here in Ypsilanti 

with terror

born of time

The ghouls will 

circle stardust 

and cover us in 


And the ghosts of 


are the ones we’ve 

left behind

Without opening 

our eyes or paying 

any mind

And the ghost of 

Friedrich Engles 

is blowing on his 


Through ragged 

river valleys 

and yellow fields 


Andre F. Peltier (he/him) is a Lecturer III at Eastern Michigan University where he teaches literature and writing. He lives in Ypsilanti, MI, with his wife and children. His poetry has recently appeared in various publications like CP Quarterly, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Provenance Journal, About Place, Novus Review, Wingless Dreamer, and Fahmidan Journal, and most recently he has had a poem accepted by Lavender and Lime Literary. In his free time, he obsesses over soccer and comic books.

Twitter: @aandrefpeltier

Poor Samantha Gray by Shaun Jex

She sits beside the window

To watch the children play

And yearns to frolic with them

Does Poor Samantha Gray

With plaintive voice she calls out

But none can hear her say

“Will no one cast a friendly eye

Toward Poor Samantha Gray?”

The innocents all unaware

Keep on their merry way

With ne’er a thought or trouble spared

For Poor Samantha Gray

For far beyond the playground

You’ll find a stone of gray

And written there upon it:

“Here Lies Samantha Gray”

Shaun Jex is a writer living in the Dallas, Texas area. He is the former owner and editor of the Citizens’ Advocate newspaper. His non-fiction work has appeared in publications such as Celebrations Magazine, Old School Gamer Magazine, Cowboy Jamboree, Constant Readers, and Texas Heritage Magazine. His poetry has been published by Light Poetry Magazine, and The Dirigible Balloon, among others. 

Twitter: @followthatgoose 

Three Horror Poems by B F Jones

Escape Satan if you can

If only you hadn’t stopped and glanced down at 
the young woman sacrificed on the alter of your beliefs.

The moon bouncing on that young pure flesh. 

And silhouettes on top of the hills giving you away, 
turning you into the mice for hundreds of starved cats – 
their familiar unsmiling faces 
in every street, 
every town, 
every corner 
until that last one you can no longer escape from.


She’s not in it anymore. 

She’s lying in hospital, her fractured body heavily bandaged, 
only haunted eyes escaping from white gauze, 
burning with alienation 
that drove her to the dusty ledge 
for what was meant to be her final jump. 

She’s not in it anymore.

You are. 
And you stare at your eyes 
In the cracked mirror 

And you know 
You are the caged animal. 


Imagine getting so scared that you die. 

Curled up in a wardrobe, trying to escape the nightmarish vision that will become your demise.

Imagine dying mid-scream. 

Your mouth distorted by fear while the last of the oxygen escapes your body. 

One breath out. 

No more breaths in. 

B F Jones is French and lives in the UK. She is the co-editor of Punk Noir Magazine. She is the author of flash collection “The Fabric of Tombstones and Artifice” and the chapbook “The Only Sounds Left”

You Should Have Left This One Alone by Kristin Garth

Freckles imperceptible unless you’re close enough to touch, might spy, then, the inked ribbon she would rather not discuss.  It’s tattooed about the fourth finger of her most forgetful hand.  The left one knows that she is dead though the right doesn’t understand. 

There’s a pacifier in her pocket though she’s never nursed a child.  Never was anybody’s  nanny but once upon a time a Girls Gone Wild — orally fixated when she took ecstasy; perhaps it heartens back to this or perhaps when she was three.  

Either way she pops it in her mouth several times a day — pitch plastic and a comfort she dare not throw away.  Embossed with skull and cross bones as if the poison is her mouth.  It was stuffed with cotton once so the purge would not leak out in the visitation before a thousand guests.  They had to cut the back of her final velvet John Paul Gaultier blue dress.  

Her abdomen still swollen from the lake in which she drowned — a body unrecognizable on the day its found returns to its perfection with affectations of every age she lived, a body conscious floor length dress with a collar bibbed.  Black satin ribbons in her severe hair will steer an army toward her cause before it is aware.  Fishnets contrast with her pallor, heather gray to milky blue.  Rainbow banded silicone, thigh high, discretely out of view.  As is all her body to normal mortals without a taste for death.  You may only observe her after you have lost your breath for at least two minutes, eyes rolled back in your head, somebody crying or wishing you dead.  

But it doesn’t happen.  You open up new eyes.  You see ghoulish goings-on you had not realized, gargoyles and ghostly figures that linger in most halls.  Every woman you choked out, other ones you don’t recall are nude seated lions lewdly strewn about your floor.  They nuzzle against your pinstripes when you open up your door. Though they must have before you are sure you never felt the pressure of their ever present tongues.  

But everything is different since the afternoon you hung — the noose slipped off the shoddy beam inside this low-grade place.  Light to dark to light again then surreally face to face with a retinue of devotees who snarl when women pass.  No breathing hookups notice them only just this last.

Neither girl nor woman though her socks are pink and past her knees.  She tiptoes over gargoyle groveling spines, if she sees, means she is one of these.  Maybe not precisely because she can come and go.  These gargoyles are imprisoned even if you do notknow exactly the details or dimensions of the afterlife.  Desire hobbles them in place, mass masochism in still life. This last is something equally deceased but different than any you have known.  Though she paused precisely at your peephole, you should have left this one alone. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonneteer and a Best of the Net 2020 finalist.  Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of 21 books of poetry including Crow Carriage (Sweet Tooth Story Books) and The Stakes (Really Serious Literature) and the editor of seven anthologies. 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

Empty Pendant

Some nights the bridge she can see from her bed

will twinkle with lights golden and red, two 

lanes of vehicles coming and go, lead

a dainty damsel out her window, through 

a foul darkness, opening doors.  Awakes

adrift in some duckweed, a small boat 

without oars amidst the green water snakes,

bald cypress trees, moss in a bruised throat,

discrete mysteries she holds squeezed in a fist,

severed chain, gemstone deplete.  Four prongs,

empty pendant, small silver teeth she twists 

into the sky and huddles beneath; as long 

as her arm can brandish its meager weight,

she may float home before it is too late. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonneteer and a Best of the Net 2020 finalist.  Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of 20 books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and Girlarium (Fahmidan Journal).  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


wood that the
wood-termites chew
withstands the
it’s a wood-bank,
like a food-bank
for foragers.
eaten away,
the planks and posts
stand still,
an image
of intensely slow
hosts for the hungry,
pallid as ghosts.
good will
is in good supply
here in these halls
of holes
and grainy porridge
“please, sir,
may i have
i read dickens
in the woods,
with the sense
of convalescence,
even as the
walls weaken,
mumbling not
with wheedling
of the ways of the
woods and the
needing, and yet
not pleading.

George Pestana is a software developer and poet living in Texas.  He has a love for cats, word-play, and semi-deep thoughts.  He has written four collections of his poetry (“Raven”, “Breathing in Quarantine”, “Apollo’s Arrows”, “Bathysphere”), and is working on his fifth (“Cressida”). A selection of his works as well as links to his books can be found on the website he created :     Find him on Twitter  @OddWritings


after Servant 

2 AM tolls in a decomposing house.

Below maidens, mannequins, a demon

will rouse.  With mendacities, mud,

her pupils flood to Stygian pools.

A spouse suspended in sleep 

abdicates a supervisory rule.

As sanity seeps through the 

ductworks and pores, upstairs 

she creeps towards a saint she 

abhors. On altars in attics 

attenuated servant supine, 

metronome-captivated lullabied 

mind levitates static, for innocence 

sacrificed.  Summoned home by 

a potion, iPad looking glass device, 

one will atone for a crime another

commits then buries the burden 

with a borrowed seraphim

until she digs them both up 

at 2:00 am. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker.  She is a Best of the Net 2020 finalist.  Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of 20 books of poetry including Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), and Girlarium (Fahmidan Journal).  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

Mean Girls

A cursory glance is all it took

I put a spell on you

straight out of my book

Shadows and nightmares

You’ll visit dark places

Nancy Downs

And evil clowns

Forever haunted

By terrifying faces

Here comes Carrie

Prom killer Queen

Nothing can save you from

The demonic Christine

Lisa Mary Armstrong lives in Scotland with her children.  She tutors law and researches women and children’s experiences of the criminal justice system.  In what’s left of her spare time she likes to write poetry and fiction, drink tea and play the piano. Find her on Twitter @earlgrey79_lisa

Heard, not Seen

The blackness hides them in the night

Haunting sounds of creatures

who likely can see me

knowing that I cannot see anything

Heard and not seen; what could they be

Heard and not seen

A mile away scream

The echo shakes

A looming fear

The atmosphere is different here

Sweat forms puddles in the dark

I wish for sparks of light anywhere to assist

This blackness unkind, unwelcome, an abyss of loneliness

Heard and not seen

Where could I be

Heard and not seen

A mile away dream.

Rickey Rivers Jr was born and raised in Alabama. He is a writer and cancer survivor. His work has appeared in Sage Cigarettes, Crepe & Penn, Hell Hued Zine (among other publications). His second mini collection of 3×3 poems is available here:

Find him on Twitter @storiesyoumight