Paul Beckman – Fiction


I got slapped down today for saying, “Yes, Ma’am” to a diner I was waiting on. She was dressed to the nines and sitting with three other “Ma’am’s and I had no idea what she wanted to be called so I asked her what her preference would be. “I’m sorry. How would you prefer I address you?” I asked and she said anything but Ma’am. So I was fucked, good and fucked.

She was probably in her sixties and I’m twenty five, well groomed, no piercings, tats, and not even a mullet. My posture is good, breath refreshed constantly, I’m attentive to my tables and pleasant at all times.

One of the women from her table went to the ladies and spoke to me on the way back. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “I’m Ethel; Mary Jane has a problem with Ma’am and would prefer to be called “old biddy” which was a term of endearment used by her late husband. Try it,” she said. “It’ll reflect in your tip also.”

I went back to the table with a water pitcher and asked, “Is everything alright with you ladies and all but “old biddy” nodded their assent so I said, “And how about you, Old Biddy, everything fine here.” The other three broke out in laughter and each dug in their purse and handed Ethel a twenty which she placed under her plate. “Old Biddy” fumed.


Paul Beckman was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His 200+ stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Matter Press, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His latest collection, “Peek”, weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. His website



Christopher Barnes – 3 poems


Jackie Stallone’s Nagasaki vacation
Wobbled crabbed.  The mushroom, belly-flopped by
Harbingered air raid ear-splits.
Implosion tarred on a megacritical squeeze,
In one howling flash.
Skin-rips tasselled her limbs.
The crumpled face
Pussed grisly.
Dior’s rig-out blistered.
The elegant Saké bar jiggled, molten.



Captain James Cook was earth-shook
To be weeping at Judy Garland’s final curtain.
Stuffy, rain-splodged beaten tracks,
A wind-leaf, uncomplicated service.
Kill time hearse, three elite Limos.
Wrapped in yellow roses,
The elfin coffin tensed at flashbulbs.
He was a true friend of Dorothy.



Prince Otto Von Bismarck lopes east,
Stages in municipal yards.
The lift jitterbugs debris
Into a thickset hopper.  Crumpling bulk-heads
Maul slop-reeking bins.
Hours are sedimentary.  Cylinders zigzag, throwback.
Pay’s a miser but back-slapping’s on tap.


In 1998, Christopher Barnes won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 2000 he read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches’ and at Christmas 2001 he debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of his poems.  Each year he reads for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and he partakes in workshops. In 2005, Christopher saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.


Welcome to Bindweed Issue 2!

Photography by Z. N. Thompson
Photography by Z. N. Thompson

For July, August and September all poetry and fiction published in Bindweed will be included in the later print anthology for Issue 2.

Bindweed Magazine Issue 1 will soon be available to buy in print. Read our news vine for more information:

If you want to submit for Issue 3 in October, November and December check out the submission guidelines at:

Happy reading, Heavenly Flowers!

Leilanie Stewart 🌺