Acid Mount Fuji by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz

my room is dark, save for the glow

of my computer screen

& i’m moving to music

moving with music as if

i were no longer human

but a verdant leaf or hydrangea

or a pile of dried earth that lifts & twists

from a burst of hot wind

i touch

the air behind the air & finally 

remember the space

between my lengthy dreams 

& you weren’t there

as you had previously always been

& perhaps

this was simply a chance 

to be the person i was



A Clutch of Poems by James Lilley


My nan died and we sold her house 

Losing a part of  my past 

Hours spent in the surrounding woods 

Vibrant and alive 

Suddenly I’m back in 1995

VE Day anniversary 

Dressed as soldiers, marching up mountain road

Aunts , uncles cheering 

Waving the jack 

Lost in the woods 

Little brother crying 

Sunlight fades 

So like the memories 

Nostalgia rush 

Tarnished pale photographs 

Dog eared yellowed scrap books 

Hidden in draws 

Monuments of what was 

And what can never be again.

Judas Kiss

I often ponder looking back at you 

A disarming smilie, the playful twinkle in your eyes 

What were you hiding, what secrets did you keep 

Faux begging,

unapologetic apologies 

Smell so sweet, hiding the rot

Lost in the dark pools of your eyes 

Forgetting the Judas Kiss

What lies did you tell me, what secrets did you keep ?

Longing for the pain, the venomous tails, missing the hurt, missing you.

Scottie Pippen 

I’m sweating so much I’m dripping 

I’ve taken so much I’m tripping 

Blocking out the world, distorted face you look like Scottie Pippen

Am I to old to dream 

My life comes apart at the seam 

I’m stuck down in this deep dark hole 

Looking for the scattered remains of my soul

But I am man

I don’t talk about these things

Keeping secrets and all it brings 

But Truthfully I’m getting farther 

A sad reflection of old 

Pictures like Dorian grey 

Rather melt away 

Back to the pot I’m whipping 

Air filled fumes heavy I’m tripping 

I can’t look in the mirror all

I see is Scottie Pippen.

James “Lights Out” Lilley , Father of three. Working as an Arcade and Casino Engineer, has numerous works published to date and was named Versifications Punk of the Year 2020. He is the author of The Thousand Ghosts of You and The Blue Hour. James is the British Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion and an active Bare Knuckle FC fighter.  Find him on Twitter  @jameslilley1411

All Bang No Whimper by Tiffany Shaw-Diaz

it was an ordinary crash 

each car tangled into 

a web of metal and shards

maybe there was a fire

i walked out

and you got on your knees 

to give your life to christ

the hotel had a full-length mirror

and for the first time in nearly a decade

i looked upon my own flesh

and said it was good

i’m almost certain there was a fire

in kindergarten i remember the drills

devise a plan

get out

you can’t stay in a burning home

humans are so primal

they see an inferno and their pupils

dilate in desire

but my hands are on fire

flames licking back my skin

to the bone and i’m honestly

too tired to even care if 

you touch me and the fire obliterates you

Trusty Grey by Mark McConville

You feed me fables 

While rocking me to sleep

In this abandoned building 

Where ghosts appear and then fade. 

The church bells ring outside 

I can here wanderers of faith 

Talk about life and its terrors 

And the way it can torture you. 

To hear men and woman of faith 

Talk freely about the end of the world 

And the blackness of death and the bleakness of a fruitless future 

Tells me that we are living in desperate times. 

As I lock on to their words 

You can pull me back 

And you can become a monumental pillar in my life 

Talking with wisdom and clarity 

While all seems to be decaying. 

The people of faith are no longer there 

It is only us and the ghosts 

I open my eyes and see a room 

Bare and common. 

The room has no colour 

You shine though, shimmering in vibrant strips of gold, 

while I appear to be sitting in a trusty grey, 

I am used to it. 

So as the fables become imaginative 

We do not need to feel God’s immediate 

Glow or touch, we only need each other, 

To fight this war, this unprecedented, 


And I must admit 

You are my saviour of the broken. 

Cracked by Edward Lee


Who hasn’t,

at least once in their life,

looked in a cracked mirror,

only to realise

the mirror is smooth,

their hand already in motion

to touch the cracks

before noticing the truth,

before seeing their face fall

from sight, the vision of their eyes

the last thing to go, the shock

on their face remaining in the air

like a shimmer of heat

of a hot summer’s day?

Edward Lee’s poetry, short stories, non-fiction and photography have been published in magazines in Ireland, England and America, including The Stinging Fly, Skylight 47, Acumen and Smiths Knoll.  His play ‘Wall’ was part of Druid Theatre’s Druid Debuts 2020. His debut poetry collection “Playing Poohsticks On Ha’Penny Bridge” was published in 2010. He is currently working towards a second collection.

He also makes musical noise under the names Ayahuasca Collective, Lewis Milne, Orson Carroll, Blinded Architect, Lego Figures Fighting, and Pale Blond Boy.

Find him on Twitter:  @edwardleewriter

His blog/website can be found at

Dirty Joke by Kristin Garth

A dirty joke before you understood,

Genetics predestined a young girl who 

Wanted to be good to forfeit childhood 

To the first man you ever knew. 

By elementary school, bend over 

Or reach for ploys, paper airplanes, one 

Boy who beseeched your lips to hover, 

Part for a succession of classmates’ tongues.  

You heard the snide whispers about yourself 


Stung in the cafeteria

Dill pickle betwixt virgin lips

By stealth 

Little snickers

Scurrilous quips

The site of you always seemed to provoke

You were never as dirty as their jokes

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

Poems by James Lilley

Ain’t No Sunshine

In the stair well

Of a high rise

Grey monolith stretching into sky

Poignant acrimonious stench

Ain’t no sunshine

The place is home

For those on the

Boundary of society

Searching for warmth

Atop cold concrete

Ain’t no sunshine

At least there’s no rain.

My Baby

Not my baby,

She screamed hysterical

Hand outstretched to the heavens

Begging skies with no answer

Not my baby

As they zipped up the bag

A boy not yet a man

Slain in the Steets

Not my baby.

“The Long Drop”

He took the long drop

In the morning in May ‘58

Twelve people watching

Chaplain whispered did

About confession

But he wasn’t sure what was going on

Through the gates

You can see golden sands

Sun rise over the bay

Did he see the ocean before

He swung

“Forty Five”

Andy was twenty nine,

Lived with his Ma

Walked home from work

Just a few blocks

Until a group kids started


On the corner.

They spar names

And threw empty

Beer cans,

Flicking cig butts

Still smouldering

Oldest was about fifteen,

He started taking

The long way home

Even though it took an extra

Forty five

One day his mother

Tripped and fell

Laying dying on their vinyl floor.

He was too late

So he walked his old route

With the weight of

A 21oz Glock

In his  pocket

He got off a guy in work

When the kids came

He emptied the clip

This is for you ma.

He didn’t hit a soul

Now he’s serving twelve.

“Back of Class”

She used  to pass

Me notes under tables

At back of class

She showed me how to kiss

And roll a joint

I let her paint my nails

Black once 

To match hers

She cried when she showed

Me the scars

On her legs

James Lilley, 34, Father of three. Working as an Arcade and Casino Engineer, has been writing for year but the 2020 lockdown saw him submit and have published his first work. Has had numerous works published to date and was named Versifications Punk of the Year 2020 and has secured a deal with Close to The Bone to have his poetry collection The Blue Hour published in Jan 2021. James is the British Bare Knuckle Boxing Champion and an active MMA fighter.  Find him on Twitter  @jameslilley1411

All Of Which…

In amongst

the hood rats

loose gats

prison tats

back to a life

on the wrong side

of the cracks

gotta get paid

any way you can

laid off

cut loose

your American dream


swirling the gutter

diving back down

at first sight

of crumpled dollar signs

doped up smiles

for watered down vials

wrong avenue

wrong time of day

roaming any territory

no guts, no glory

no gang ink

just a white boy


to put dinner

on the plates


to end great

we all know

which pandemic

goin’ to end first

only question

you gonna

take the time

to read the rules?

Scott Cumming never considered himself to be a writer until recently, but turns out he has some stuff to say. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Bristol Noir, Fevers of the Mind, Versification, Close to the Bone and Shotgun Honey (upcoming). Catch up with all his misdemeanours on Twitter @tummidge

Like A Rolling Stone

the family patriarch sat

at the head of the table

presiding over the

Thanksgiving festivities

he carved the turkey

he said the prayer but

didn’t believe in it

and when the subject of

his thrice-divorced grandson

the wayward black sheep

and his bastard children

came up (in hushed tones)

the old man laughed

like a velvet thunderclap

“that Joey’s a rolling stone,”

he said. “ain’t no moss gonna grow on his balls.”

J. Archer Avary is a chameleon, a product of his environment, a restless wanderer. In past lives he was a TV weatherman, punk rock drummer, champion lionfish hunter, ocean conservationist. At age 44, he still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. Maybe a poet?

J. Archer Avary was born in Albuquerque, NM. He left the United States in 2014 and now lives on a tiny island in the English Channel. 

Find him on Twitter: @j_archer_avary

Two Poems by Wayne Jermin

That’s All Her Life Was Worth

They came through the kitchen door

She didn’t stand a chance

She was cooking my favorite meal 

Waiting for me to return home from work

One quick blow to the head 

Is all it took

Her precious life stolen by opportunists

Junkies looking for their next hit

I found her lifeless on the tiles

Eyes open

Hair soaked in blood

The only comfort I take is that she didn’t feel a thing

All they took was some jewelry and petty cash

Just enough for weeks worth of brown

That’s it 

That’s all her life was worth. 


Heart racing like beating bass drum

Chest tight like hangman’s noose

Beads of sweat race from my forehead

Gasping for breath like drowning waters

No warnings, no reasons and no contrast

Anxiety is a right bitch!

Find Wayne Jermin on Twitter   @waynejermin