Happiness by Jared A. Carnie

Happiness eludes me like a


Sometimes it’s a sharp crackle

and sometimes it’s a wall

painted like a dark window.

There is warm skin

on my cold skin

and smiles

like baskets of guilt

through the trapdoors

of my eyes.

Jared A. Carnie’s debut novel, Waves, was released in 2016. His first poetry release, LYME, will be available soon from Paper Swans Press. He can be found at www.jaredacarnie.com.

Homeless by Megha Sood

Those dark cumulus clouds circling in the sky

Pregnant with the rain. A silent pause.

circling the abyss before they fall and wreak havoc.
tightening the vortex around my chest, those grey skies
fondling the belly of the umber earth.

the pain slowly drips and gathers in the drain.
that sluice channels it all over the city.
wreathing in pain. Pointed and pinched by those sharp pointy
heads of the skyscraper.

Anxiety slowly seeping in the pores of this vapid city.
Rain unearth the worms, renders them homeless.

I’m sleeping unaware of this voiceless din.
The hairy worm slowly crawls in my ear.

Megha Sood is a contributing editor at Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madment, among others, and is Poetry Editor at Ariel Chart. Sood has published over 300 words in journals such as Better than Starbucks, Kissing Dynamite, and Foliate Oak. Sood is a two-time state-level winner of the NJ Poetry Contest, and a national-level poetry finalist in the Poetry Matters Prize (2019).

Beckoning by Gerard Sarnat

Thoroughly deranged by Rimbaud, quit tagging at 18, we’re poles apart giraffes and groundhogs —  he a genius, precocial, hatched full form; me more accountant, pasticheur, froggy, altricial.

Still, apothecary Keats and doc Williams managed to be read.

Kunitz succeeded Sophocles and Frost as the oldest working poet, peaked in his 90’s, may Stan’s word storm rust in peace.

Healer molt to anecdotalist at sixty-two, soup stewing back of the stove bubbles up chance memories.

Only once in a while chunks of reality drop in.

Future problematic, address book tattered, thinned; more meditative present merges with wilier pasts; divisions  time  truth   breakdown    ellipse     branch       bog in begin.

Polonius, don’t overreach as Wally Steven’s mickey mocker: after shaving (how are you tied to that jowly ripe man?),

sing your stories outloud as the nascent troubadour I am.

Gerry Sarnat MD’s won Poetry in Arts First Place/Dorfman Prizes; was recently nominated for a handful of Pushcarts/Best of the Net Awards; authored HOMELESS CHRONICLES (2010), Disputes (2012), 17s (2014), Melting The Ice King (2016);  and’s widely published including recently by: American Journal Of Poetry, New Delta Review, Brooklyn ReviewLos Angeles Review, San Francisco Magazine, New York Timesgerardsarnat.com

Ave Maria by Justin Karcher

There are nights

me and Sam get together

and play darts

with the used syringes 

that have killed

our acquaintances

maybe if we were better people

those acquaintances 

would’ve been friends

but those opportunities 

are long gone

Sam always tells me

that you can’t cry in space

that your eyes 

make tears

but they stick as a liquid ball

in zero gravity

and can’t flow downward

the way they do on Earth

in conclusion

the universe doesn’t care about our momentum

to feel better about this

I tell myself that aliens are real

that they’re sitting in flea market lawn chairs

on the beer belly 

of the Aurora Borealis 

and staring at everything

oceans, rolls of toilet paper

bars on the Strip

cancer patients riding carousels

I imagine

the aliens are impressed

with how we persevere

how we keep waking up

despite always missing

the bullseye

Justin Karcher (@Justin_Karcher) is a Best of the Net- and Pushcart-nominated poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, New York.

Buoyant by Kim Kishbaugh

An octopus doesn’t have eight arms
rather six
plus two legs
the legs to crawl
the arms to swim
to eat
occasionally to be eaten

What we know
we do not know
we know not
what we know
or don’t

I know my love for you
knows no bounds,
I need but two arms
to hold tight
to you
when life’s currents
threaten to drag me to the seabedYou are the ocean’s salt
that safekeeps me
the current that propels me
I stand on both my legs and reach out my arms
just two
enough to hold you
and swim us both to shore

Kim Kishbaugh is a writer and editor who lives outside Chicago. She is the social media editor and accidental critic at Escape into Life, where her poem Old Dog recently was published.

Facebook Stalker by Jeremy Mifsud

Jeremy Mifsud (he/him) is a queer and autistic poet from Malta. Social ineptitude becomes a catalyst for his art as he weaves unsaid words into poems and stories. He is the author of From the Backseat of a Bus (Ghost City Press, 2019) and Welcome to the Sombre Days (2018). More of his work appears Terse Journal, Door is a Jar Magazine, Burning House Press and others. You can find Jeremy on his website or on twitter.

a perfectionist vision… by Benson Egwuonwu

a perfectionist vision 

exhibits a tranquil existence

like breakfast dishes laid out 

with Christmas wishes

and kids swimming in the garden pool 

splashing round

family structures and personal ruptures

emotions gone to ground

the white picket fence encircles 

a brick house of politics

with affairs, disputes 

and tear stained apologies

child rearing policies, punishment 

swing the rod in it – 

this is not going to work.

Benson Egwuonwu is a poet based in London, United Kingdom. His work has been published in Millenialogy and Notes. He was a featured performer at TEDxEY in 2015. You can follow Benson on Twitter at @bensonpens