Friday, May 25, 2018

Poetry By Ann Christine Tabaka

Ann Christine Tabaka has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from publications. She lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and two cats. Her most recent credits are: Ariel Chart, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, Oddball Magazine, The Paragon Journal, The Literary Hatchet, The Stray Branch, Trigger Fish Critical Review, Foliate Oak Review, Better Than Starbucks!, Anapest Journal, Mused, Apricity Magazine, The Write Launch, The Stray Branch, Scryptic Magazine, Ann Arbor Review, The McKinley Review.


The Pain is Real

The knife wound was deep,
the pain is real. You hover

over me like some specter
from beyond the grave. Fiery

eyes pierce my heart. I bleed
upon the earth. Red rivers

flow forth from my wracked
body, feeding your greed.

Torn limb from limb like an
old rag doll, the torturer has

his way. The ground opens
and swallows me whole.

I am forever lost, devoured
by the hunger of the undead.

Poet Ann Christine Tabaka


At What Price

He stood outside the door
asking for directions,
lost hope in hand.
Paying the toll with
a pocketful of dreams.
Aspirations evaporating
at the sound of his own voice.

A pervading ache,
a need he could not fill.
Giving blood to pay his dues.
Nowhere left to go,
he steps off the curb.
His foot sinks into the soft mud.
He watches while it sucks him in,
even deeper as he struggles to get free.
He is gone


Final Act

Bone chilling, cold shoulder,
he says his good-byes and

spreads his wings. Freedom
his only desire. Crumbling dreams

in his hands, like so many dried
winter leaves. With an audible

sigh, he disperses them to
the universe. By all that is holy,

I cannot breathe. He has crushed
the very life from out of me. Fingers

touch, hearts do not. Farewells
are always hard. A little death

each new day, without him by
my side. Physically, he is still

here, but his heart is miles away.
I cannot bring him back to life, if

he does not want to stay. Bone
chilling, cold shoulder is his finale.


After the Stroke of Midnigh

After the stroke of midnight
when most are fast asleep
into the ancient graveyard
stealthy he does creep

Seeking out the marker
of a long forgotten soul
he digs into the hard earth
to obtain his unholy goal

He collects the fleshless bones
and gathers them to his sack
then quietly leaves the scene
with his booty on his back

Once inside his dark room
a single candle he does light
sorting all his treasures
working late into the night

Femora, tibiae, and ulnae
plus other skeletal remains
sorted by type and stacked
with such thought out pains

Grinding them into powders
for poultices and potions
carefully carved magic charms
and other ghoulish notions

After the stroke of midnight
another night of work begins
he sold his soul and must toil
to atone for all his sins


The Final Mile

Brittle bones and broken smiles,
the pathway stretched and worn.
Trodden dreams dissipate and
fade into the past. Seeking solace,

repentance lost, seasons turn again.
Staring out through fading eyes,
the years march swiftly by. The
juxtaposition of fate and fact. 

Timetables made. Days spent
planning, the mantle clock loudly
chimes the hour. The mundane
routine of daily life yawns again.

Twisted bodies and aching limbs. 
Porcupine quills and serrated
knives, mind numbing sensations
linger on. Burnt toast and sour

milk, the daily fare of late. Clouds
across the moon, another night
goes by, all the while we lumber
forth until we reach that final mile.


Fallen

the sign said open
so she walked right in
checking her wings at the door

red papered walls
in a room filled with smoke
and the smell of cheap perfume

whispered conversations
in an unknown language
heard only by discerning ears

bleary red eyes staring out
from under thick mascaraed lashes
followed her every move

working her way to the back of the room
she finds a quiet corner
to wait her turn

all the while a neon sign flashes overhead
with the words
“Welcome to Gehenna”
An array of colorful capsules,
each one has its job.
A need to fill
beyond existence,
keeping him alive.



Thursday, May 24, 2018

Five Poems By Timothy S. Meyer


This Meyer tries to keep up with the women :  wife, three daughters, two cats, twelve chickens.  He and the dog lock eyes furtively.  The dog's been neutered; they both work in the trades.  He has been most recently published in Zombie plus Blue Collar Review and Neologism Poetry Review and hopes to release a chapbook before the Big One gets him, tentatively titled The Jungle of Self Pleasuring.


Transformative Exercise

Father, on a morphine meter out to meet the pain
in suspenders, black box on his hip;
didn't like the loss of control and would not push the button
as we sparred with our eyes in the sitting room.


Now he walks by the river to find a driftwood bole
shaped like half a walnut shell, weathered,
about the size of a soft-shelled turtle, thick but light.
The river rolls slow, painfully clear,
like gelatin with a purpose.


He stands on a rock to release his find.
His girl, half in half out, watches it float.
"Look father," she points underwater, " a bobcat."
and there it is, transparent and spotted
like a trout, and it rises
becoming gryphon,  then deer as it moves
up past him touching his cheek with its nose
whereupon he gives it a piece of baklava
he finds he has been eating.  


Royal Jelly Collector

the sound radiating over the crystals
has a hollow box quality pierced
by high squeaks from the inner facets
that can cause water to seep from the elbows
this explains the rubber bedspread


these intense cells are beyond the vision of a cave
their sounding makes one hair stand
the size of a microscope


forest life antennas precipitate a grip
set the jelly on the bed then long weeks
crushed rain for groceries
can't go out for the map and white room with Big Bee
keep coming out of his noises


Bird in an Envelope

Mother's dead but I still get letters
from the tax man.  Her chimes sound in the back yard
whenever a black van goes by.
The children have learned to duck and cover.
I wish to have been taught such things,
we were just told to buy plenty
hot dogs and cart the dry ice
down into the shelter.

I have her pink slippers still
that I wear under the new moon
to make little slices into my porch rail,
gobbling the white tabs and trembling
to the ju-ju beat that is always around.

Play your hand straight
and be sucked up by hooded drones
or confuse the situation.
It is following canyons in the blood;
you will always hear the grinding teeth
at the moment of change, might be
the wife eating salad over a blues tape
or something in your chest that is vast
and no doctor can ever explain.
Right then, you make your move.


that forgotten song

when the automatic night
with its groves of squalling trees clamps down
the cold fever sings out the deeds
our flesh can do by day
that we are too timid to imagine


the snake's black iron eyes
float up over the smooth hill's rim
there she stands ready to climb, serene,
up to the place where cold feels like heat
she checks the feelings of the things she sees
here one heart burning faster than the rest
in a fire at her feet
so she puts it in her pocket and ascends
and we can recall the rest
how the heart grew old as she climbed
into the world and went to her place
there to be and put the now stone heart
on the mantle where after years
the rain pounded in and it broke open
and produced a purple seed and on and on
I just wanted to hum a few bars
to help me remember that old song


ZooM

We watched the monkeys nutting off
like a purge.
The bars were getting thin.
You dropped the yellow vinyl purse
and a tube
of peach lipstick rolled out.
I extended it an colored my throat
to the sound of apes freaking.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What Poets Can Do For Me

Here are a few very simple things that poets who want to support what I do here at Zombie Logic Review, Zombie Logic Press, and Outsider Poetry can do that don't require money, or much effort, and would make it much easier for me to get your work in front of the eyes of more readers. 

Number one

Like Zombie Logic Press on Facebook

Like the Facebook page. Otherwise Facebook makes me pay to show other people your poetry. And I have. I wish I didn't have to. If 10% of the people who sent me poetry read what I was posting life would be so much easier for me. Also, I don't deluge the followers with anything but the poetry being published here and at...

Like Outsider Poetry on Facebook

Like that Facebook page. I use it far less than the Zombie Logic Press page, but I post the poems being published at Outsider Poetry there.

My personal account on Twitter

That's my personal account on Twitter, and I'm not overly concerned if you want to like that or not as I talk about a lot of things other than poetry. For instance, I posted about the NFL today, and I doubt very many of you care about that. However, I do have a Twitter account that I use exclusively to post about poems, and that is here at Outsider Poetry On Twitter

That's it. If you could share those links so I could reach a larger audience that would be helpful, too. 

Thank you. 

Three Poems By Michael A. Griffith

Michael Griffith began writing poetry to help his mind and spirit become healthy as his body recovered from a life-changing injury. His works have recently appeared both online and in print in The Good Men Project, the Starving Poets Tour anthology book, Dual Coast Poetry, Degenerate Literature, NY Literary Magazine, and Wild Words. He teaches and resides near Princeton, NJ.

Exterminator

Rats' nest hair,
the exterminator was here again today, mumbling,
grinning like he'd sniffed his own pheromones
or killed the neighbor kid's dog.

Handed me a Watchtower and receipt,
blessed me in Jehovah's true name,
and thanked me for the sunshine.

Took his hoses, took his tank,
tossed them in his white van,
and rumbled off to his next stop,
gangsta reggae low-dub bass
pumping hard.

Ten minutes later the roaches and ants held me at bay
and I couldn't get safely to the toilet or the sink.

Could be I'm not a believer in one true name,
a meme of the rapture waiting to happen.


Dark

Them dark pines out back,
as tall as they is dark.
They hide what they won’t show;
dark at noon, dark at midnight.
They hide a bit of me
and good bit of you.
They hide what I don’t want known:
dark secrets from our dark hearts.
There among the tall dark pines
bones green with moss and leaf-fall.
They lay there, hid, overgrown;
roots tangled 'round bones half-buried.

Those pines sway only on dark winds,
winds that blow like that sawblade time
when you tried to go from me, to go to him.
Dark words met dark mind
met dark heart met dark
blood met the dark dirt.

Three years gone now,
they feed on your dark
and on my dark.

Three dark anniversaries gone.

Your bones there, cold, hid,
but I can still feel that hot sin.


Alligators of Abilene

Alligators of Abilene take the mall's escalators
up to the dude ranch diner
where bulls eat fat dictators ala carte blanche.

Marmalade, the farmer's daughter,
heaves like an avalanche as those alligators
race up the promenade for her virginal lemonade.

Their teeth tickle her lemon patch's hair.
Ticker-tape falls from her quaking face and
her squeals alert Daddy's piggies that it's time

to eat again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Poems and Photos By Zombie Logic Review Correspondent David J. Thompson



It More Than Sucks

Sophie broke up with me, Mike says
before I can even sit down next to him
at the bar. She says I like watching football
more than spending time with her.
Oh, man, I say. That really sucks.

I get the bartender’s attention, point
to the Pabst bottle and shot glass
in front of Mike, indicate that
we need two more of each.
It more than sucks, Mike says.
I’ll never meet anyone like her again.
I put my arm around his shoulder,
remind him that’s exactly what he said
when Stephanie divorced him
and when Karen dumped him
three months ago. He says
he means it this time, Sophie was
really special. I tell him to forget her,
he’ll be over her in a couple weeks.
We watch the bartender put the drinks
in front of us, then down our shots
of Jim Beam and a swallow of beer chaser.

As we stare at ourselves silently in the mirror
behind the bar, Mike says, Sophie was going
to get her nipples pierced for me, too,
I was really looking forward to that.
I tell him that, sure, that would be pretty cool,
but he’s still way better off without her.
I don’t know, he says. She was talking
about all three of them. Think about it.

After a few seconds where all I hear
is the clack of pool balls behind us,
I tell him that Sophie might be special
after all. Chug that beer, I advise him,
then go give her a call and beg her
to take you back. Promise to do whatever
she wants because she sure as hell sounds
a lot more fun than watching football.


Repent By David J. Thompson



Fluff And Fold

In lieu of paying taxes,
my landlord now keeps
four mental patients
from the county asylum
shackled to the wall
in the musty basement
of my apartment building.

My neighbors complain
that they can’t get to sleep
at night because the nuts scream
and rattle at all hours, but when
I go downstairs to do laundry
they always have quarters
for the washer and dryer,
and they’re happy to help me
fluff and fold my clothes even
with one arm chained to the wall.



Montana Doors by David Thompson



My Real Name

She asks me if I want chocolate cake
for dessert. No, Maria, I say, showing her
both my palms in an I give up gesture.
I can’t eat another bite. Really, I can’t
It’s my weekly dinner with the old woman
across the hall. She’s skinny as can be
with the world’s most narrow face
framed by thin white hair hanging lifeless
and uncombed to the collar of her housecoat.

Thanks for dinner, Maria, I tell her
as I push back my chair to stand up,
I’m in a hurry to get back to my apartment
for the ballgame that starts in a few minutes.
She motions for me to stop, says softly,
You know, Maria isn’t my real name.
Really? I answer. What is it then?
She looks away toward the back window.
I don’t know, she replies like she’s talking
to herself. C’mon, I say. How can you not know
your own name? She grips her wine glass
but doesn’t drink. Without any emotion
she says, At the end of the war I was
in a camp for lost children, you know,
and it seemed like weeks since I had eaten.
They gave me a cardboard badge
with my name on it, but while I stood
in the next long line, I was so hungry
that I couldn’t resist eating it. That’s all
I remember except that it tasted pretty good
and everyone started calling me Maria.

 For a few seconds all I could hear was
the faint hum of the refrigerator. 
Sweet Jesus, Ma . . ., I said breaking off
the last word about halfway and pulling
my chair back up to the table. Do you have
any ice cream to go with that cake?

Last Stop Party Shop by David Thompson


David J. Thompson is a poet and photographer, and Zombie Logic Review's roving correspondent

Closed Twice by David J. Thompson

Monday, May 21, 2018

More Poems By Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Dirty Coal


The coal mine of his head
was caved in by a deliberate brick
and all his ideas were trapped inside
deprived of oxygen and smothered
in soot, his many dirty ideas
knowing they would never see
the light of day
and the doctors tried to work
through the blood rubble of
smashed cranium
and the family found god late
like betting on a horse that won
at the track three years ago,
but there was nothing that could
be done


so that his few remaining ideas
were left to have it out,
cannibalising each other
until the tapping grew
silent.


The Dishes All Put Away for Murder


Stacks of books are an unconditional enterprise
the tyranny of staple guns and children force fed vegetables
each evening like 3-speed blenders new to the world,
when I urinate I stand over the arc of it and think
of rainbows, how people snap pictures like Japanese fingers
and crop them down to nothing
the mud huts of Inner Mongolia just highly stylized dirt
glam rock in a home owner’s sense
the spiders from Mars all nesting in passing comets
and somewhere a little closer to myself
scraggly ear hairs must be plucked out by
industrious tweezers
the dishes all put away for murder
and a strange realization that what I think
is important means nothing
and the things I hold onto escape me
like a trapped bird back
to freedom.


Refuse Cheese


I was suddenly startled half-awake on the couch
by this giant head on the television
that kept screaming:
REFUSE CHEESE!  REFUSE CHEESE!
and I thought to myself
what the hell is this guy’s problem
that he has it out for cheese?
They always give these crackpots face time
to build the drama.
It was not until some moments later
when they showed some protesters holding up
signs that read:
We Support Refugees!
that I understood.
Deep Guttural Belch


you have travelled such a far way
to be expelled.
You must be tired in that carbon monoxide
poisoning sort of way.  
Where nobody moves even though
they look like they should.
That’s how my friend Kevin looked
when he hung himself.
The stillness of a windless field.
But you’ve come so far.
Perhaps they will give you your own
time zone to play with.
Or the keys to the city perhaps.
I made the guest bed up with fresh linens
if you want to lie down.
I hope traffic wasn’t too bad.
Just So the Little Old Church Ladies
That Go Door-To-Door
Know


Any
man
who
sticks
his
own
toothbrush


up
his
butt


before
brushing


is
beyond

saving.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian born author presently residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario Canada. His work has been published both in print and online in such places as The New York Quarterly, Windsor Review, Vallum, The Antigonish Review, CV2, Horror Sleaze Trash, Evergreen Review, Your One Phone Call and In Between Hangovers.