Sprinklerhead/Cassette Tape/Widow Code/Bathtub Soliloquy – by TOM SNARSKY

The effect was immediate: I fell
For you like a dinner plate.

This year’s “stiff competition” is next
Year’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and we

Should be concerned. Call a medic,
Or maybe a rain delay. Whatever

Gives you enough love to sleep
Halfway through the long, lonely night.

Cassette Tape
You come from anxious stock:
daughters in the pharmacy, love
sealing the wool at centigrade.

How many woozy lambs would it
take for you to fall in love with
sound? It follows sharply through

the ravine, on your coattails like
mildew on the fine morning. His
hand burns with seeds, the kind

that fall into the soil and dissolve
without a word. One foregone
conclusion is he’s messing you up

with winter; another is he’s singing
with that wet kind of fear you like.
It is absolutely not necessary to make

that choice at this time; you should
know, though, that time is likely
to forge a decision and pass it off

as yours, without your permission
or so much as a passing glance.

Widow Code
I mistook your body
For a flood & died in it

Every decision is insane
N’oubliez pas ça

The secret admirer
Walks out from the mist

& takes you
As his only prisoner

You have four options
None of them are pretty

bathtub soliloquy


i can hear the chain


i know you’re up there


out there

at least i

think i do

does the chain connect

me to you

(chain of fools)

or is it just over here

on the tub


like i’ve been born




Tom Snarsky teaches mathematics at Malden High School in Malden, MA. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in H_NGM_N, aglimpseof, minor literature[s], ex-ex-lit, Of/with, Zoomoozophone Review, The Helios Mss, and elsewhere. He lives in Braintree, MA.

*Featured photography courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*



I’m Her. And You’re Him./Blink./ – by PAM JONES

I’m Her. And You’re Him.


A few feet in front



I see you there

Smiling at me,

The way that you do


Arms crossed

Dark hair


I run to you

but she’s


and so is he


And when our

Outstretched arms


You’re a hologram


Nothing more


So my eyes brim with tears

And I walk


But not


A pang

of sadness



I blink away

My tears

As I ask you if

We can just start over?

that it’s advice a

Good friend once

gave to me.


before I realize

you won’t read it


At all


I was once libido-worthy

I looked great

And I was a good mom


Now I don’t exist


Improbable, impossible

But we had a connection

I know you know it


Wrong. Bad timing. Geographical limitations.

but it still happened.

now i’m the hologram

that never really existed in the first place.


Pam Jones is a retired stay at home mom. Both of her kids have flown the coop but that doesn’t stop her from baking cookies and cupcakes from scratch every time they visit. She loves to start the day with a cup of coffee and her crossword puzzles. She writes poetry as a hobby and is excited to share her work.

*Featured image courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*

The Bridegroom Rejoices in the Fragrance of His Beloved – by RANDEL MCCRAW HELMS

The Bridegroom Rejoices in the Fragrance of His Beloved


My bride is as a fragrant grove,

Her savor is the salt of love.


The scented braid beside her ear

Loosens my knees when I draw near.


Beneath her tongue lies liquid silk;

Her breath, a waft of honeyed milk.


The scent of each breast is risen yeast,

Her navel, wine, a heady feast.


Under her arms, amongst the hairs,

Lies memory of foxes’ lairs.


Syrups glisten her lips below,

There is, I swear, no sweeter flow.


And best of all, between her knees,

The faintest tang of ripened cheese.


Randel McCraw Helms retired from the English Department at Arizona State University in 2007, having taught classes in the Romantic poets, the Bible as Literature and contemporary literature there for thirty years.  He is the author of five books of literary criticism, including “Tolkien’s World,” “Who Wrote the Gospels?” and “Gospel Fictions.”

Making poems is his lifelong avocation, and now he has time to write them as much as he wants. He is preparing a book of poems to be entitled “Matters of Life and Death.”

Blame it on the Chiffons / Rumble – by PATTI SULLIVAN



Or maybe it was the Ronettes
or just that Wall of Sound that made me do it
pushed me across the dance floor

my hand reached up, tapped Joanne’s shoulder
to cut in on a ladies choice slow dance

never mind that they had been a couple
all the way back to the sixth grade
it had been nothing but Joanne and Danny forever

I didn’t care and ignored her angry look

she of the in crowd, leader of her pack
she of every outfit just right
with shoes and purse to match

shaking that dark mane of teased hair she mouthed NO
then finally saw I was not going away
she unclenched herself from him

as I slipped ungracefully into her vacated spot
feeling his sweaty palm on my back
we sort of glided there for a minute or so

the song was “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow”
or maybe it was “Baby I’m Yours”
it was over too fast and I had to give him back

her friends could glare all they wanted
I’m now standing a bit taller and stronger
since he had sort of danced with me

more like a quick jostle around the floor
it brought me that much closer to Shangri-La
nothing could hurt me now since he’d been mine.




On entering freshman year at high school
some of the girls practiced B.Y.O.B.F. (bring your own boy-friend)
others had the far-sightedness to date older men
so they had their boyfriends waiting for them after junior high

I was just another invisible girl to ignore or laugh at
finally catching someone’s attention, he wasn’t the one I wanted
so that first dating round was all practice till the real deal came along

I’d gotten a ride home from the dance with my friend’s mom
when the unmistakable sound and smell of boy-car
pulled up in front of my house and idled in the driveway
that guy I’d had my eye on had followed me home
my mom stepped out onto the porch saying come inside now

my friend’s mother gave the car a look to kill
they wanted to nip this romance in the bud
but it takes more than moms to keep teenage forces from colliding

if he’d been on the football team or part of the class council
instead of a nobody maybe they would have welcomed him differently
but then only a streetwise wanna-be hood could be so irresistible to me

later I would finally have my taste of that teenaged two-step
sweet tuck-n-rolled slow dance of a mixed cocktail
mingled in the dark with English Leather, Marlboro’s, Zippo lighters
and over-heated engines.




Patti Sullivan’s books include, For the Day,  Not Fade Away, and At The Booth Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers 1966.Poems appear in Solo Novo,  Lummox, ARTLIFE, and Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace. She assists with Corners of the Mouth, Poetry at the Steynberg and the Annual San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival curated by Kevin Patrick Sullivan. She is also a visual artist with several book covers to her credit and group and solo exhibits.



How I Say I Love You – by MELISSA LIBBEY


How I say I love you

I’m a master with words.
I can string a sentence together like a seamstress weaves a hem.
I can make a simple event sound like the most marvelous thing to happen in the history of forever.
I could convince anyone that a life without words is a life I feel that is not worth living.
But words fail me when it comes to saying I love you.

I want to be able to use words.
I want to be able to display my feelings with synonyms and syllables and metaphors galore.
I want to paint a picture with my discourse and hang it on a wall.
But I don’t know how to say I love you.

How can I tell you as your hands are sliding up my back?
How can I tell you as your lips brush my neck?
As your fingers are tangled up in my hair?
As your arms are wrapped around my waist?

As we share the same breath, as I taste your lips on mine.
I decide that instead I will show you.
I’ll keep you warm as you sleep next to me so that maybe I’ll make an appearance in your dreams.
I’ll wake up with you before the sun is up so I can make you tea to warm your soul.
I’ll make you laugh hoping that it will make you think of me while your gone.
I’ll wait up for you so that I can hold your hand while you fall asleep so that we can wake up together and do it all over again.

Maybe I get tongue-tied when I try to find the words.
Maybe I get shy when I’m consumed by the love I feel for you.
I know that I can’t seem to find the words to say how I feel.
But now you know that’s how I say I love you.


FullSizeRender (2)

Melissa Libbey is a recent graduate with her MA in English and Writing Studies. She is also the first intern for Sick Lit Magazine. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found drinking wine while petting her dog. She has also been published on Thought Catalog, Kean Xchange and her twitter: @Miss_Libbey16

*Photography also courtesy of Melissa Libbey*

I Think of You in Terms of Hysteria – Poetry Collection by WEASEL PATTERSON

I think of you in terms of hysteria

the moon hangs empty tonight
leaving tall buildings
and sharp sins to shelter us

under busted street lights
you lure me closer
lips cinching
tongue plucking teeth
leaving the taste of maraschino cigs
the taste of tobacco with class

my fingers climb the stairway of your back
but you have eaten too many thorns
your stems have grown jagged

i slice my hand trying to get inside you
dance the tango while you make the earth quake
you were obliteration
pulling apart our bodies

yet this is what i crave
dust and debris piling in my throat
the taste of our home crumbling into dissolution

you slipped away from me
left your last words on the concrete
they were the shotgun shells
pumped into my gut

the last delirium that will never heal


my thirst quaked for your tastes
when the fevers left
I searched for you
inside every crevice made
from the linings of our last breath

we were weak
fingers wandering
the final roadways of our bodies
no recovery in our sleep
only erasure as we fall
to our frailty

such is uncertainty
such is time—

eroding our vision
taking away our patience
for each other as we eat of our flesh—
we are hungry creatures
wanting each other to die
so we could meet in the other life

our hands gather at the confessional
arsonist waiting inside

when the fires touch your skin
I could only think
of how lost we will be
when we finally share
our last rites

We Think We Know What Snow Looks Like When it Falls

walking downhill
feet cling to slippery sidewalks
as the snow falls
you huddle against me
while we try to keep balance

I want to ask you
if these skies have always carried
the grey of ourselves
but I stay silent
fearing your answer

my father always told me
not to trust anyone else
people are like weeds
you can rarely pull them out
once they’ve gotten in

so I learned not to talk with people
sewing my lips each year
to keep from being infected

we crawl downward
towards a coffee shop at the end of the hill
could you hear my heart stop
underneath the steel of my chest
could you feel the skips
each time your hand brushed my arm

I can’t peel it back for you
it’s tradition in the family
to lock the muscle into place
and save face when you want to open yourself up

we hang out in the drive-thru
no lobby to fight this cold
I think about how you would taste if I kissed you

drivers honk at us
because we are not cars
only bodies that mesh together

maybe they are bitter
seeing two men entangled
uncomfortable with the idea
that we may be lovers

but these drivers have everything
they got jobs
they got kids
and every other goddamn thing in this world
and they want us out their damn way
so they can get their booster shot
to get them through the day

and we have nothing

I wanted to fuck you here
in this drive-thru
anger still blasting at us
while I strip you down
to the pale white skin
what would these bastards think

I am selfish
learning about desire
craving a taste
like every time I see a cigarette
lying on the ground

though you will never know this
you swallowed the balance in my steps
made my rebirth wobbly

we grab our oil
walk back uphill
bodies warming
the grey gets harsh in the clouds
as you slowly loosen yourself from me

I Still Dream of you When the Stars are Gone

you were the centerfold I stared at in the dark
growing crinkled over time
catching a few rips on the edges
but flesh is only temporary

when I thought about tasting you
the air stood still
my frame grew fragile

hushed breaths squeezed out the thinning of my dreams
as I let you roam around inside me
we were skeletons
playing bass with each other’s veins
waltzing jitterbugs through our blood

this is all we have left
chunks of bone
growing brittle over time


my therapist said
I should empty the bad dust
piling up in my skull

I tried to peel it back
in order to scoop the mess out
but jackals are too addicted
to their demons

so I light up in the parking lot
to cure the remains
I failed to take out
but self-medication
can’t erase your taste
from my past



Weasel is a degenerate writer who received his Bachelors of Arts in Literature at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. He currently uses it as scrap paper to fuel his two publishing imprints Weasel Press and Red Ferret Press.

Blue Rose Suffering – by C. STEVEN BLUE

Blue Rose Suffering 


All the false promises you gave

All the rivers you were gonna save

All the children lying in their graves

Can’t hear you any more


All the love you can’t return

All the lessons you’ll never learn

Until your tattered world

Comes crashing down on you


How many dreams

From so many dreamers

Wither up and die

Can you tell where they went

When you no longer see

The sparkle in Love Song’s eyes


I was the eternal smile

You’ve stolen it away

You’ve robbed and pulled and pricked me

Till I’m full of your decay


Blue rose is suffering

Sing it gospel style

Famous spirits now join in

You walk a familiar mile


First love returns to you

And spreads her fertile wings

You find old friends

Sing old songs

And think of long gone things


I used to be a gentle soul

But your world has crushed me

I gave you all my faith and trust

But you still don’t trust me


I went to school

To learn your golden rule

But you do unto others

However you please


I loved a girl

I gave her my heart

But her commitment

Was only a tease


Blue rose suffering

Sing it gospel style

Famous spirits now join in

As you walk the familiar mile


First love returns to you

And spreads her fertile wings

You find old friends

Sing more old songs

And think of long gone things


How long you go on suffering

To heed the muse’s call

When all you need is time, you think

To get up when you fall


To write—and write—and write—and write

And write some more again

If only you had the time

                To write

You know the muse would send


You know they say

If you live long enough

You’ll disprove all your beliefs

Not only the ideas

And principles you stand for

But all of the metaphors

Causing all of your grief


And all of what’s matter

In the universe

Be it light or be it dark

                Means nothing

In your little scheme of things

Except the inspiration

That gives you the spark

                And the time to write it

                And to dream . . .


Blue rose is suffering

Sing it gospel style

Famous spirits now join in

You walk a familiar mile


First love returns to you

And spreads her fertile wings

You find old friends

Sing old songs

And think of long gone things


© C. Steven Blue


CS Blue_Corv2_alter2a_satur_CROP2


C. Steven Blue is a Poet, publisher, producer & host of poetry events, musician, artist, multi-media performer and videographer. Steven was born in Phoenix, Arizona, but grew up in Pasadena and Hollywood, California. After a 27 year career in stage production, He and his wife retired in Eugene, Oregon, where he continues his poetic journey. Steven is a street poet, with no formal education in poetry. His poems have poured out of him since he was a boy. He won his first poetry award at age twelve.

Steven has six published books of his poetry. Through his publishing company, Arrowcloud Press, he has published other poets as well as poetry anthologies for the city of Eugene, Oregon and the Oregon Poetry Association. He has been published in over a dozen countries and interviewed on television, radio and in literary magazines. His work appears in countless literary journals and anthologies, both in print and online. He is also the pioneering author of the very first—ever poetry chapbook actually published as a Facebook page: www.facebook.com/591180474377593. For more information, go to www.wordsongs.com.