Saturday, December 20, 2014

100,000 Dead Snakes!!!

Dead Snakes has just slid over the 100,000 visitors mark!

Thank you to all the poets, artists, and photographers that have made this possible!  And cheers to the readers!

                                                               Stephen Jarrell Williams

Jennifer Lagier- Three Poems & Photos

Where the Action Is

Hawaiian Hells Angels belly up to the bar. Low-slung levis bare tattooed butt cleavage.
Leather cuts display insignia, branch affiliation.
Molokai Joe announces he’s in lust with the barmaid: fine ass, red thong panties, no bra,
immense tits, grim reaper tank top.
Hector has no time for trim,
is here to score crack, Maui Wowie, or something stronger.
Negotiations require whiskey. Empty stools buffer drinkers from dealer and bikers.
Business concludes with shots of tequila.

After Deluge

Palm fronds bat morning air like wings of ascending green angels.
Bright sunrise lifts lavender lids, delivers clear morning.
Scent of vanilla macadamia coffee drifts from the kitchen
where I spread strawberry preserves over a muffin.
Rain storms have passed after stripping trees of their blossoms.
Mist lifts, reveals hills, the cabin-fevered outside and walking.
Tiny lizards skitter across steaming cement, disappear under ginger.
Geese and roosters patrol sodden lawns, forage for breakfast.
At my table, I scribble, unable to capture essence or acuity,
consider tossing in the towel, regrouping poolside.


Pele stirs, kindles volcanic ridge line.
Clouds simmer ominously.
Above bronze ocean, celestial embers.
Storm front rolls ashore, buffets green headlands.
Morning light liquefies, saturated with water.
Demoralized roosters—sodden, bedraggled.
Clingy humidity embraces on contact.
Showers steam against bare skin,
bougainvillea, plumeria blossoms.

Douglas Polk- Three Poems

A Glimpse of Hell

children slaughtered to intimidate,
or make a point,
futures destroyed,
and every sect,
the ignorance wide spread,
a cancer growing,
and mutating at an alarming rate,
the children gone,
the future only a vast emptiness,
filled with death and darkness,
and pulsing with hate.


the pain deep,
the cancer takes hold,
the pain,
and the fear,
beyond words,
the future withers,
before the eyes.

Christmas Tree

colored lights on a tree,
filled with ornaments,
store bought,
and home made,
mementos of the family raised,
and the times seen through,
celebrated every year,
at Christmas.

Paul Tristram- Three Poems

The Path Side Weeds

She likes to sit upon the cracked
concrete paving slabs
amongst the wild path side weeds.
It suits her much better indeed
than feeling awkward and out of place
on the manicured lawns
with neatly cultivated flowerbeds,
where the ‘pretty, perfect girls’ go.
She’s reading Sylvia Plath,
rolling her own cigarettes
and dealing darkly yet seriously
with her Change.
The cliques and gangs
and sheep like nonsense
make her cringe
and happy to try a different way.
She leans back against a graffiti wall
and watches the clouds roll by
and looks for shapes amongst them
just like Daddy taught her how to
(Before he simply disappeared!)
finding a wolf’s head, anarchy symbol
and a delicate skull and cross bones.
Yawning she rises and heads off that way
down to the motorway bridge
to count the day’s road kill
and record her findings in her A5 journal
of ‘Cool Shit Them Normal’s Don’t Do.’

© Paul Tristram 2014

Degradation, Comes With Your Glance

The medication does not stop
the crumbling that’s going on inside,
it merely takes away some
of the gnawing pains of the erosion.
And as she winces away his laughing face
from inside her traitorous mind,
her Mother’s scolding, condemning voice
takes its place, spitting words as sharp
and deadly as ice cold Chinese throwing stars.
“I should be able to go to the police!”
she mumbles aloud to herself.
“For my mind has been kidnapped
and held hostage for years
and no one can damn well see it?
I am being tortured and murdered slowly
and I know the names and faces of my killers.
The taste of their hatred and resentment
scents my soul and gives me internal vertigo.
But there is no physical evidence
to link anyone to the crime but myself
and explaining to the medical profession
just leads me back down much darker
corridors than I pace demented at home!”

© Paul Tristram 2014

The Confused Picture

Was painted by a desperate man
soaking permanently in thick, syrup depression.
Dripping squealing agony
from his scalpel like brush,
he marks and bores a tunnel, horrid.
No seagulls for a sky
but smeared semen eyes
with violent slashes of melancholy.
A fruitless basket of hunchbacked limps,
a smothered sunset boiling dry,
fiddle fingers broken sharp as utensils.
Centre stage:
a strangled, bright, bold yellow canary
nailed sideways to emphasize
the gravity of the waste and nothingness.
Intangible love sails purple………………….
……………………………...close to the edges
it’s bitter darkness the only side fixate-able
upon this yawning canvas of disappointment.
With over forty years of tormented images
sliding in Anarchy & Chaos circles
‘round the focus of its stubborn plight.

© Paul Tristram 2014

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight, this too may pass, yet.

You can read his poems and stories here!

J.J. Campbell- A Poem

an unsent letter to my father

you caught me
pretending i'm
good enough to
be remembered

that i'm worth
a few moments
of your time

your thoughts

a brief pause

a gentle crease
in the fabric
of time

though, given 
how the rest of
my life has gone

i won't trouble 
you any longer

J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) is some hack that dares to call himself a poet. Much to his horror, he's giving up his farm life for a life in suburbia once again. Somehow, he's been widely published over the years, most recently at Horror Sleaze Trash, The Camel Saloon, Midnight Lane Boutique, ZYX, and Raw Dog Press. You'll find this asshole most days bitching about things only he cares about on his blog, evil delights (

Scott Thomas Outlar- Two Poems

Killer Craving
itchy veins
underneath scab laden skin
wanting out
for the hunt
down to the alley
where the rats dwell
looking fat and juicy
smelling of piss and vinegar
with a jugular
ripe for the picking
sink teeth right in
lean back
and let the flood
wash over
in cool waves
of melted fire butter
a softness
to cleanse the hunger
a victim
to kill the craving
a nice spot
against the brick wall
to lean against
with a view
of the slivered moon
sliced perfectly
in thin, translucent air
gravity apparent
but still a sense
of floating
of emerging
of being birthed
for a moment
at peace
until the veins
begin to twitch
for the next

Musical Chairs
Salty animal flesh
from the belly of a swine
with brown sugar
cooked on top
and various wines to sip –
a feast fit for a King
or a beggar,
a god or a captive,
a warrior or a coward,
a big dog or a slave.
It’s all the same
while they’re spinning
around the sun
in karmic circles
and waiting in turn
for the next revolution.

Scott Thomas Outlar lives simply, spending his time eating, sleeping, reading, researching, taking meditative walks, gazing at stars, contemplating existential quandaries, listening to music, drinking wine, and writing prose-fusion poetry dedicated to the Phoenix Generation.  He can be reached at

Friday, December 19, 2014

B. Diehl- Three Poems

Harold Picked a Winner

Standing in line at a Starbucks with you
after a night of uncharacteristically heavy drinking ­­––
scotch on the rocks and

Your friends are with us and keep talking about
how your one sorority-sister has a big nose
and looks a bit like Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants.

But with you by my side, I don't mind the gossip.
I don't even mind that the cashier is openly picking his nose;
I don't imagine brownish-green boogers, floating in my
So long as you're laughing, I feel just fine.

There's just something about you, sweetheart.
I saw it last night, and even now, when I'm sober.
It's like your smile has a sound
that fills my inner-demons' ears ––
and they can't even hear when the summoner calls.

While standing in this line, I don't mind it's slow pace.
I'll stand here all day long, listening to you laugh
at your friends' cheesy jokes (stolen from Twitter
or some popular movie about college partygoers).

The line moves up; it's almost our turn.
And the cashier –– "Harold," according to his nametag ––
is still digging for gold (or maybe itching his brain).

I look back at your face ––
such little makeup, such natural charm ––
and I take out my wallet, happy to pay
(despite my usual reluctance to spending).


At the register, Harold just picked a winner.

And I'm starting to think
that for once in my life,

so did I.

Voodoo Doll

When the secret sprouted from
his throat like a jet-black rose,
my own mouth tasted of chlorophyll for weeks.
I couldn’t sleep, reading was useless,
and everything on television
seemed to be in a foreign language.

Fourteen years prior,
I witnessed his mother beat him ––
all because he begged her for
some two-dollar Spider-Man toy.
That nutjob wailed on him until his
head was a pink, pulpy grapefruit.
(He did not fight back, only waited.)

Before I knew it, I was listening
to anarcho-punk bands and getting
concerned looks from schoolteachers.
(I was only nine years old.)

At the age of twelve,
I watched him pick a half-smoked cigarette
from my father’s ashtray, light it up.
“Mitch,” I said, “you’re smoking?”
He shrugged, coughed, took another puff.

By the time I was fourteen,
my lungs were a chemical waste dump.

Within the next four years,
I became his personal first aid kit ––
answered his calls before the second ring.
But when his soulmate left him in 2010,
my quarter-life crisis began:

Nicholas Sparks novels became my bibles;
the sight of old men sitting alone in
diners made me throw temper tantrums
until I was escorted out by Security.

Months passed; snow fell and melted.
He showed up one day –– unemployed,
drunk as Ireland –– on my doorstep
at four forty-five in the morning.
“Mitch…what are you doing here?”
“I found my purpose, B. I’m at peace.”

And when the secret sprouted from
his throat like a jet-black rose,
I tried to pinch myself awake ––
from a truth too greasy to grip.
Anxiety dwelled; my flesh was unfazed.

But when he pulled out that thirty-gauge needle
and stuck it into his arm,

I felt everything.

Dementia, the Savior

“I’m really glad we decided to do this.
Look at her! She’s just as she’s always been: loving.”
That was all I could say when you,
sitting there at the breakfast table in your Mickey Mouse pj’s,
considerately offered me a bite of your napkin.

“I don’t know if today is the right day”
was your granddaughter’s response  ––
watching you stir your coffee with a peppershaker.

“It’s the perfect day, sis. … Come on, Nana,” I said,
helping you to your feet and leading you out
to the patio. “I know what you need.”

As far back as I can remember, that patio
has been your spot: a birdwatcher’s heaven.
Cardinals bathing in tap water,
robins belting out your favorite song,
woodpeckers hammering away at that
stone-dead pear tree, proving to you
that there is life after death:
this –– all of this –– has always been
the light that protected you,
warding off the darkness to a coma of fear.
Needless to say, things have changed.
But when my sister tapped me on the shoulder,
suggesting, for the second time,
that it “wasn't the right day,”
somehow, your words made more sense to me than hers:
“Oh, look at the monkey!
Oh! Look [at] that elephant [in] her nest.
Do you think she [has] enough pineapples to feed [her] babies?”

It will always be a mystery to me ––
whether you've simply been a fanatic for the birds,
or if you've idolized their strength to rebel against gravity.

Either way, Nana, I can assure you of this:
there is no longer anything beneath you;
there is no longer any need for you to rise.

You have no remembrance of your
maxed out credit cards or your best friend’s funeral.
You have no awareness of the wars or corrupt governments.
(Let's face it: sorrow can't get through a knobless, locked door.)

Just this morning, I read in the paper that three little girls were found ­­––
naked, bloody, and bruised ––
in an abandoned warehouse just a few miles south of here.
But I bet you don’t know about that.

Just this morning, I read in the paper that the Holy Ghost
has been trapped in the trunk of Hitler’s Mercedes-Benz since 1939.
But I bet you don’t know about that, either.

Look at the monkey, Nana. Look at the elephant.
They know that you have pried yourself
loose from the death-grip of a cancerous knowing.
They know this; they fear this. Can you smell their jealousy?
Can you hear their prayers on the nights you still dream in color?

Compared to you, Nana, the birds are enslaved.

Your jailed mind has made bail.
And I couldn't possibly be happier for you.

B. Diehl is a free-verse poet, recluse, and cat enthusiast from Phillipsburg, NJ. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading an obscure novel or listening to some indie-label band that most people would find untalented. 

Nancy May- Three Haiku

branches sway
in a cool breeze
kisses from you

frozen pond
snow on branches
fallen leaves

spring morning
dove’s wings unfold
we start over


Haiku can found at  Haiku Journal, Three Line Poetry, Poetry Quarterly, Inclement Poetry, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Vox Poetica, Eskimo Pie, Icebox, Dark Pens, Daily Love, Leaves of Ink, The Blue Hour Magazine, Kernels, Mused – The BellaOnline Literary Review, , Danse Macabre – An online literary Magazine, High Coupe, A Handful of Stones, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine, UFO Gigolo, 50 Haikus, The Germ, Boston Literary Review, Be happy Zone, Every Day Poets, Cattails, Ppigpenn, Creatrix Journal and M58.

She is a monthly contributor  at Poems and Poetry and The Camel Saloon. She has reached The Heron’s Nest consideration stage twice and the Chrysanthemum consideration stage once. She is working on her first haiku collection.

Craig Brandis- Two Poems

Getting Ready For Eternity
I see your height, I feel your weight
And watch you sew, to hew the new.
Laid in my tomb, without a comb,
This awful rouge would I gouge --
In hubris is debris. 

Tell Me

Tell me I’m late.
Tell me the house isn’t burning down.
Tell me again how selfish I am.

Clouds carry rivers across the sky.
Marines carry home their dead. Always.
Do you carry more than a hat and gloves?
Craig Brandis is a singer-songwriter and is the author of the poetry chapbook Altitude. His poems have been published in the New Verse News, the Friends of William Stafford Newsletter and The Camel Saloon.

Donal Mahoney- Three Poems

Veterans Cemetery

Families come
on Memorial Day
depending on the weather;
otherwise the Fourth of July, 
if it’s not too hot.

You can hear them coming,
adults in the rear,
reminiscing and talking,
children who can read
announcing the names
on the stones until they 
discover the right one. 
Then they shout.

Adults bring flowers, 
placing them softly
in front of the stones 
near our heads.
Children stick little 
flags from parades
in our waistlines.

Some ladies bring towels
and wipe down the stones;
others towelettes to remove
gunk from the lettering. 

All mean well and we 
appreciate the visit and wish 
we could say something.
It’s a thrill to hear voices.
Otherwise it's lawn mowers,
leaf blowers, snow plows 
the rest of the year.

Chicken and Noodles

During a long marriage
Wally told Millie 
over and over
time after time
chicken and noodles
never again.

He also told Millie
chicken and dumplings
were welcome
twice a week but 
chicken and noodles
never again.

No one knows why
Millie kept making
chicken and noodles
over and over
time after time.
She’s single again.

Ambulance Lights

Willie McKee works 
second shift
gets home at midnight
makes hot cocoa 
flops in his recliner

and counts the stars
through the blinds
nods to the moon
and every week or so 
sees ambulance lights 
pull up at Tom’s house
blink for an hour 
while the crew goes in
and restarts him.

But on Christmas Eve 
the ambulance lights
pull away in minutes
and a hearse pulls up
two men go in

bring out the gurney
as old Tom's wife 
stands on the porch
and smokes
and Willie McKee
tells his wife 
neighbors will never
hear Mabel curse
old Tom again.

Donal Mahoney lives in St. Louis, Missouri.