Buzz Kill by Dale Champlin

What is so mesmerizing about a quarter inch of beer?It’s more than I might want    but a binge for a fruit fly. One-by-one they muscle up to the bar        take a sip,list off the barstool        dead drunk        then just dead. And yet—      body floating,      wings askew,      each one takes a little tipple        before the big sleep. The saloon’s amber walls rise        slick and slippery.None of the fruit flies        trust their wings. Continue reading Buzz Kill by Dale Champlin

Masquerade by Anna Kapungu

A femme fatale I played the characterRecount stories of deceitTo win your heartBlonde hair, pink lips, reflection of a pictureA haze, I walked into your EarthDisguised as a desperate childWho thirsts for waterHunger for power of possessionPossession of your heartAn act the drama of ShakespeareProfess love that was odiousShow of affectionWith bile on my tongueHold no time for shamePlaced in a cornerThe living hours gave me … Continue reading Masquerade by Anna Kapungu

Voices by Xavier Jones

We are the friendliest publishers, because we do so involuntarilyMessages are incessantly slapped into our handsAnd with the greatest indifference we read the texts aloud,Well as loud as the authors would like to think we doNot forgetting of course, their sense of righteousness, and therefore urgencyWe must repeat this message for an undetermined durationAll the while we are assaulted with new publicationsEither demanding or enacting … Continue reading Voices by Xavier Jones

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The Opiate Books Presents: The PornME Trinity, 2nd Edition by David Leo Rice

Perhaps too unbelievable to fathom at the beginning of 2020, The PornME Trinity by David Leo Rice has taken on an entirely new meaning and resonance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. An (ongoing) era, as we all know, when everyone was forced to acknowledge just how bleak and ersatz their existence really was when confined to four walls (whether at work or at … Continue reading The Opiate Books Presents: The PornME Trinity, 2nd Edition by David Leo Rice

Looking in the Mirror by Margaret Wagner

My lips on the right side have an open spacelike a squiggly line drawn by my four-year-old self.“Close your mouth,” my mama said, “Your upper lip will curl.”My lifelong struggle to keep my mouth shut, stretching the upper lipover my horse front teeth, like a t-shirt that rides up. All those words, all those words not spoken back.Only the slow seep of air through the crack … Continue reading Looking in the Mirror by Margaret Wagner

The Cost of Living in Hell by Susie Gharib

After years of living in Frostitowne,of surviving blizzards and unabating snowstorms,he resolved to renounce one of the ruling gods,and by incensing his anger,secure a lodging in the infernal underworld. His frozen marrow that imbibed the heat with gleeastounded Charon who had earlier ferried him.The cramped toes that looked like frosted clawsbegan to drip their molten wax.His chilblains dissolved in the boiling sulfur that poured on his … Continue reading The Cost of Living in Hell by Susie Gharib