Stephen Mead – 2 poems 



It came through at once,

Came as braille,

The canvas & that touching

Since you didn’t really reach

Out of anything but

My system analyzing

Time out of mind to be

These clearly surreal fingers,

Their sculpted span, a mass

Of presence shaping what went

Beyond letters & dreams,

The shadows of pages

Where we talked our heads off

In sleep, in exchanging silences

With strangers, in omitting

The distance which was

Our eyes calling from photos

Held in envelopes, held in

Our palms pouring

The other’s face,

The other’s mouth

Over sheets of

Private flesh




You have the sheen of certain paintings

Even as landscapes climb, solid steel & concrete

High rises blocking sun all around you, you,

Jungle dissident planted, a misfit, in this

Beat box ghetto…


Does the undercurrent contain jazz?

Listen, orchids rustle a tropical breeze

Through hair, the tattoo of blues

Bruise-stuck to skin.

With them the city is polished

Bright as moon in clear midnight.


Your gaze pierces sky scrapers.

These apartment projects become

Some evergreen glade

When you enter, a starling.


Mote on the move, light glints

As fire off the heat breathed.

These notes instill pure nitro

Nuances, a good fever’s rhythm.


Lulled by such thrumming

The landscape becomes still.

You lend it some more potency

& resonate.


A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads. His latest P.O.D. amazon release is an art-text hybrid, “According to the Order of Nature (We too are Cosmos Made)”, a work which takes to task the words which have been used against LGBT folks from time immemorial.  In 2014 he began a webpage to gather links of his poetry being published in such zines as Great Works, Unlikely Stories, Quill & Parchment, etc., in one place:


Ace Boggess – 4 poems 


VEB DEFA-Studio für Spielfilme, 1960



With props from our futuristic past—

cardboard, tin & string—how did we

break the alien code, learn

of an invasion force that never came?

We send a team, we rocket

through the roiling, radioactive clouds.

When we arrive,

we see that those who would destroy us

left their shadows on the walls.


Apologies, Mr. Stanislaw Lem.

Your message was garbled, or we were.

We might as well skip Venus altogether,

return instead to Solaris

where dreams come alive in ghosts of mind &

no one ever really wants to leave.




              Universal Pictures, 1971



Another way of saying one bomb

welcomes the apocalypse—see,

it’s not the bug-eyed greenies that get us

but our will to split an atom.


How I used to love this movie

when it popped up on my Sunday channels:

first film to let me feel its tension

under skin like shards of splinters.


The virus is the story, I thought,

unwilling to perform an autopsy on narrative.

Watching today, I know the bad guys are

we: a mean bunch of dumbfucks &


cosmic cavemen first encountering

solar fire that sears our bones to powder.

We frighten ourselves, shout: Look!

There are monsters here. Now run.





              Paramount Pictures, 1953



tri-colored eyes the Martians have like separating lenses

of course we know there are no Martians

unless there are in which case….

sure some folks believed it when Welles put it on the radio

people like mutts who hear a tap at the window &

think the cat has come inside

excited over nothing

but that was sound & this is Technicolor &

what gets me: the breakdown

on those three Martian eyes: red blue green

not quite primaries but almost &

how the Martians see our world as if watching

a 3-D movie without glasses

dirty flat & nauseating

I’d want to destroy it too

I’d want to see it dead

although from the look of things I guess it is





Jofa-Atelier Berlin-Johannisthal,

Prana-Film GmbH, 1922



Never, never were things made to last so long

That what was chilling now seems more like art,

Although its writers got the story wrong.


Before Lugosi, Karloff, or the classic Kong,

It earned its shivers, gave the crowds a start,

A passing fright not meant to last so long.


The film, though grainy, sputters right along

As Mr. Schreck, who’s creepy for his part,

Does Orlok well but gets the story wrong


Despite so many silent voices & the organ song—

Not prime (producers of this version weren’t smart

About preserving music that wasn’t meant to last so long)—


When Orlok dies without a dagger’s prong

To slit his throat & pierce his soiled heart.

See how they got the master’s story wrong?


Still, this iconic image holds up well as any throng

Of Nietzsche’s phrases or the five words by Descartes.

I only hope that I might last so long,

& no one says I got my story wrong.


Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). His novel, A Song Without a Melody, is forthcoming from Hyperborea Publishing. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, RATTLE, River Styx, North Dakota Quarterly and many other journals. He lives in Charleston, West Virginia.


Terry Severhill – Poetry and Flash Fiction


Where there is no sadness I wonder. . .  .  .   .

 “Smothered in the arms of an aunt whose connection to me is vague. Is she my mother’s sister? Is she my father’s? She seems to know me. I have a hesitant moment in the arms enfolding me, telling me that things will be okay, that is was for the best.”

How can non- life be for the best? Isn’t life what it’s all about? Not just mine or individually but in the whole scheme of things? We’re told that the universe is expanding. That it will eventually turn its cold shoulder on us and coast to a stop. Devolving, becoming less and less complex while life, rising to levels of incredible complexity, a counterpart to the cosmic death spiral. In the end, when all is dark, cold, not a distant memory anymore because there is no one or no thing to remember. . .  .  .   .

If no one is around do the falling tears of angels make a sound?



Dragon flies don’t breath fire, little men with big egos do. The expiration date is meaningless. Standup comics should sit down and shut up. Keeping the unicorns off grass seems to be more important than fact checking who killed Ben Gazi. The generators of conspiracies fuel up with half -truths from yesterday’s garbage. We all know that the CIA uses diminutive genetically engineered ponies with a single spiral horn to assassinate our dreams. Freddy Flintstone and Fred Kruger have the same mind set, the same IQ and the same socially insecure number. The left hand doesn’t give a shit what the right hand knows. Space aliens capable of interstellar flight never seem to opt in for roadside

assistance. Their insurance policy excludes coverage in near earth orbit. My god can beat up your god. Heck my little sister can too. If you can’t follow me then why are you close enough to read this bumper sticker?



A hundred buildings

A thousand corridors

Ten thousand unknowns walking towards an uncertain purpose.

Looking for validation, who if they were to be honest (so few are)

are emotional invalids with no rehab insurance.

So many unknowns, so many corridors,

Pacing, walking, running into dead ends.

Doubling back— climbing ladders, slamming their heads

Into invisible glass ceilings where the Chosen look down,

Snicker then go back to discussing mergers, the plight of the poor,

Holding solo cups filled with wine or champagne,

Disguised to resemble wine glasses or brute flutes.

Two Buck Chuck is a folk hero in the corridors.

The masses of unknowns toil in upward mobility and

just as rapidly filter back towards the bottom rung of the ladder to nowhere.

They genuflect in yoga poses and deposit their blood, sweat,

Tears and other bodily fluids as sacrifice on the altar of success.

Disciples of self-esteem claim that success is a state of mind.

A state with no leadership, lacking in resources, bankrupt,

Its boarders defended by assumptions,

Presumptions, and conspicuous consumption.

The faithful disciples hold monthly meetings dedicated to past and future

Inductees into the hallowed ranks of the Honorable Mention.

They pride themselves in their lofty status —

A rung above the Also rans –

Who hold fast — clinging to trophies emblazoned with “ Participant”.

No Name, no date.

No effort, no doubt.

The unknowns in the corridors

Those who own the corridors

All seem to forget that no one gets out alive.

That life is a sexually transmitted disease that is 100% fatal.


Terry Severhill 


Vern Fein – 2 poems 


“I’m so thankful for the atom bombs.”

Who would not take a celestial rag 
And wipe away every drop of blood
No matter how patriotic
And wring it out in some far away ocean
That doesn’t exist?

There once was a farm boy
Who loved the sea more than crops.
No girl in tow,
Pearl Harbor enlisted him in the Navy.

They put him on a supply boat,
Delivering materials for beach landings.
At first, nothing much happened.
Just sea storms in a light craft.

Then, in the Philippines,
A Japanese air attack.
“Lost some good men.”
Wished he had prayed with one who died. 

Assigned, finally, to attack Honshu, 
The main island. 
Truman nodded.
The bombs dropped.

Little Boy incinerated 80,000 human beings in Hiroshima in a minute.
Fat Boy incinerated 39,000 human beings in Nagasaki in a minute.
Not counting fauna. 

(You and I were not ordered to attack Japan,
Not asked to sacrifice our own lives).
Years later, he said in the local paper: 
“I’m so thankful for the atom bombs.”

That’s what war does. 



Death sharpens my pencil.
Life lived. 

Death sharpens my pencil.
No eraser.

Death sharpens my pencil. 
End well. 

Death sharpens my pencil.


Vern Fein is a retired teacher who finally has the time to write and is delighted to do so. He has published one poem in *82 Review, has two poems pending publication this summer in The Literary Nest,  and has a short story pending publication in the the online magazine Duende from Goddard College in Vermont.


D J Tyrer – 3 poems 


Change your appearance

Being who you want to be

Seeking acceptance

Forging ahead with your life

Despite the stares and comments



Always I am fearful to overreach

To ruin what I have through greed

To exchange a penny for a chance at a pound

To exchange good for a shot at great

I dare not reach lest my grip should fail



Without you, I feel so alone

Your presence is my life’s warp and weft

How can I ever reconcile this

Without you I am utterly bereft

Your love is something I’ve never known

Something I must do without

Your presence I so sorely miss

My love for you I long to shout

But my heart demands I stay silent

Our love is clearly just not meant


DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing, was placed second in the 2015 Data Dump Award for Genre Poetry, and has been widely published in anthologies and magazines in the UK, USA and elsewhere, including issues of CyaeghaCarillonFrostfire Worlds,HandshakeIllumenThe PenScifaikuestSirens Call,Tigershark and Anthology 29, and online on Staxtes English WednesdaysPoetry BulawayoPoetry Pacific, Scarlet Leaf Review and The Muse, as well as releasing several chapbooks, including the critically acclaimedOur Story.


DJ Tyrer’s website is at


The Atlantean Publishing website is at