Pre-order Midsummer Madness 2022: Bindweed Anthology

Cover reveal! Midsummer Madness 2022: Bindweed Anthology is now available for pre-order. The anthology will be released on 21st June, available as a Kindle eBook and in paperback.

Check back for more updates soon…


Tom Barlow – 3 poems

The Beat

WBZ reached out with the beat from Boston
in ’64 and struck my libido like a tuning fork.
I hid the transistor radio under my pillow
and wondered what the lucky kids back east

had done to deserve the beat while nothing
moved in my part of America for days on end
except copies of the Bible and corn weevils.
We had no beat unless WBZ bounced off a

chance cloud, leaving me to imagine kids in Boston
necking to the music from subversive bands
while we in the heartland were trapped in
the amber of crooning Elvis. On those dreadful

nights when the reception failed, my fingers
frantically coaxed the radio dial. All I wanted
was to swing and thrust and howl to the songs
I knew were out there exploding the night like

a train wreck and the shackles on me rattled
as I danced to the static all by myself
there in the Ohio dark.


Gardening Lessons

The wheelbarrow tire is still flat, a
long-standing excuse I lean upon, for
I was not born with dirt under my nails.

I am therefore not inclined to bury pinches
of carrot seeds just to spend hours on
my knees trying to distinguish between

weed and vegetable. Still, when fending off
the chaos of a morning, I envy those who find
peace in the garden. My father claimed

this blessing, planting and tending his crops,
with our reluctant help, after a long day
making steel. I know he was aware of the

farmer’s markets groaning under the
burden of fresh produce only a few miles
from Monica Avenue. I do not doubt his

passion for gardening was true, but I have
long suspected there was also a lesson
for us in our labors, passed down one

generation to the next in case the end of
the world should fall on our days and we
would starve if we didn’t know how to

hill potatoes in the blistering summer sun.
If this was the case, the lesson didn’t take
and I will surely starve.


The Stoic

Grandpa Lester was stoic as Mount Rushmore /
only after his death when I was ten did I learn
that as a teen he ran away from the family and
joined the circus / this would have been back

on the Ohio farm around 1916 / plows / outhouses /
handsewns / prayer meetings on Wednesday /
dumb nights and coal smoke / buggy wheel tracks
in frozen mud / I never asked him about his youth

for I assumed he had been born seventy years old
and all those signs of a lifetime’s labor back on the
farm / a hundred acres and a milking herd / had been
done by elves / and now I long to know how a

taciturn farmer transformed himself into a circus boy /
did he bathe elephants / hawk circus peanuts /
was his ponderous nose covered in face paint / did he
hang with the human cannonball and the trapeze lady /

so rude of him to take such stories to the grave / although
I share some of the fault / I’ve never been curious enough
about anyone but myself / and I’ve lacked the courage
to run away from any expectations / so as I age my face

too is showing less and less emotion / for fear, I suppose,
that people will understand just how Grandpa shames me now.


Tom Barlow is an Ohio author of poetry, short stories and novels. His work has appeared in  journals including  PlainSongs, Ekphrastic Review, Voicemail Poetry, Hobart, Tenemos, Redivider, Aji,  The New York Quarterly, The Remington Review, Aurora Review, and many more. See more at

Tom Barlow



John Grey – 2 poems



Pain never goes away.

It settles down

on the darkest places

where it can fester

and get uglier.


In a year’s time,

it wriggles back

into the flesh and bones,

refreshed, empowered.


Your lungs have

barely recovered

and now, once again,

soft sleep currents

must give way to harsh

rapids of waking

at dark hours.


People say,

don’t be discouraged. 

After a while,

they get discouraged

saying it.





As darkness oozes into swamp,

their similarities busy with mosquitoes.

I’ve misjudged the time.

Solid earth is farther than the stars.

With every insect bite,

my arms feel like human sacrifice.


Hands sweated to oar,

I row through reed

and mangrove,

floating islands,

from isolated backwater

toward the distant light.


The sludge below

assures the feel

of suspended animation.

I’m moving

but not enough to shake

the drip of heat,

snakes cozying up to boat,

the grunt of frog and alligator.


Home is my destination.

These waters define home differently.



John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Penumbra, Poetry Salzburg Review and Hollins Critic. Latest books, “Leaves On Pages” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in Lana Turner and International Poetry Review.


Charlotte Cosgrove – 2 poems

The Day’s Events


I have a knack for seeing these things before they occur. 

I am not bragging, There’s no third eye or

Sixth sense. I just watch, listen, 

Replay. Every conversation, meeting, 

I am actively eavesdropping.

I have played it over, become surveillance.

As if I sit in an office chair, spinning, a long black

Cylinder shooting down from the seat

Splaying out in four legs, an animatronic 

Praying mantis. Multiple screens play,

Like bathroom tiles but with moving pictures

Entitled: The Day’s Events.

Because of this constant monitoring I am tired when I see you two 

Together, the looks, the ease, the sudden 

Disinterest in your respective partners.

And I wonder if you already now

How this will play out. Or if I’ll have to wait

For the footage to be played.



Eating Feelings


There’s been an evacuation in me.

A case of – It’s not you, it’s me.

Sense has left me, the good old common kind.

And now I am a shell, a scraped out creme egg.

I open a tube of pringles, unwrap a milky way

And it is like relieving toothache by a dentist’s injection,

Wrenching out a tooth from the nerve,

And I am left, slobbering. 



Charlotte Cosgrove is a writer and teacher from Liverpool, England. Her work has appeared in Trouvaille Review, Dreich, The Literary Yard and Wingless Dreamer. She has work forthcoming in Confingo, Beyond Words, The Broadkill Review, Words and Whispers and New Contexts 2: an anthology. She was recently shortlisted for the Julian Lennon poetry prize. She is editor of Rough Diamond Poetry Journal.


Joshua Martin – 2 poems

Scrape the Bottom of the Feet




& down to

drown in

pieces of


A pretty insignificant

office party blew

the lid off the

gov’ts plans /

executions /






            was ever



the saddest one

can jump




European Art House Skyscraper


Facile dimensions like comet’s tail

end of the line stockyard crashes


   bailed OUT, simpering in

      wetted state of



                        pretending. My moon lacks


       My THUMBS lack infernos. And,

                  inside a statement,

            making amended     CURTAINS

ruse meant having to become

      inebriated. Alas! Alas!

            Poor young cannibal

            pretending to pose for

            military photo album

            curving manufacturing


            devils     in     EASTERN

European         art        house


               built to reflect

                   orange. Pardon my

            French               loss.


                 to    regret



            tip of the nose

                        & hesitating.



Joshua Martin is a Philadelphia based writer and filmmaker, who currently works in a library. He is the author of the book Vagabond fragments of a hole (Schism Neuronics). He has had pieces previously published in Train, Fugitives & Futurists, Otoliths, M58, Punk Noir Magazine, Beir Bua, Scud, RIC Journal, Ink Pantry, Streetcake, The Collidescope, SORTES, Prolit, E-ratio, Nauseated Drive, and Fixator Press among others.