Godliness Is Next To Cleanliness By William Tecku



. . . not vise versa, is what rabid hounds

Hosanna in First Class as they pray

for the dead dog, locked in coach

overhead luggage, to fetch life

back into its bones before we land

in the quicksand of another war

worse than what Bow Wow

barked on the Breakfast Club.

I say, can I get an “Amen!”?



While Khan Sheikhoun innocents beg not to be cleansed

by more of their government’s chemical weapons,

“Godliness is next to cleanliness,”

yelp their Pontius Pilate pilots

as we buckle into our





and pray we are as clean of sins

of omission as our short-in-the-polls-

long-in the-Twitter-tooth Cujo in Chief

howling tomahawk and cruise missiles

into targeted headlines that don’t bring back

a single Syrian nerve gassed to heaven

but make us feel righteous

to have pulled the trigger

and fired a few rounds

into the bulletproof mouth

of another crazy canine.



William Tecku’s website: www.roadreflections.com



Two New Poems by Dave Benson


Half Lune Musing

Not a full moon,

no big ol’ gloomy baboon,

just a half moon,

half way up there,

half way up where?

maybe a half-loony moon

playing with half a deck,

like a half poet

who spends half his time

speaking half in rhyme;

or like the half dollar

in my pocket,

half the money I’ve ever made

selling poems to the poor;

for sure, a half moon,

like when you’re feeling

not so great but

not half bad either;

what ever happened

to the other half?



In the autumn of my current life

my skin grows lichen and bark,

my face wanes craggy and dark,

I feel new shoots sprouting rife

from my ears and nose and other holes,

and my thinning disheveled hair

more than hair resembles foliage,

my trunk shorter and  stumpier,

limbs gangly and longer with age,

as I turn another page,

elbows and knees knobbier,

hips and shoulders harden in knots,

my gnarled toes curl and twist a lots

as they begin their new journey

burrowing deep into the earth

in search of a new birth,

dangling from my fingers

will I bear figs or pears?


Five New Poems By MARC CARVER



I had an idea

for making love to the same woman

less boring

I would put a screen over their face

and you could pick anybody you wanted

I wouldn’t pick a supermodel though

I would go for the lowest dirtiest slut

I could think off

loads of makeup


the lower the better

I have never found a woman

low enough yet

but there is still time



We went to the fish and chip shop


and her

I ordered two fish and chips

Mrs Woo

asked if we wanted salt and vinegar

I said vinegar for me

and she said

only salt for her

I told Mrs Woo

we could not be more different

She just looked at me


the way a lot of people do



I see a man

bent slightly forward

hands in face

as if he is putting on a mask

He sobs

the only way

a man who wears boots and cream shorts can

screams with misery

then he takes his hands from his face

he starts to laugh

and his face changes

then he looks at me

and laughs even louder



I lost it yesterday

that demon

that is inside me

came out

it is like the cobra in the pot

all it needs is a flute playing

to bring it out

then when it does

it is like a nuclear explosion

I haven’t seen him for a while

thought that

he may have moved house

and moved in with someone else

but oh no

he is still there.



I get a strong desire

to ask a woman

any woman

if she will have my children

if she got upset

I could say they are outside

only joking

but what about if it worked

I could say that I don’t have long

and would like to leave something behind

Why not it worked for Crowley

New Stories by Ashlie Allen


We were painting pictures, a bottle of wine glowing in the background. It was too sunny, so we closed the curtains. I guided your hand towards the canvas, helping you create visions. You giggled and said I was awkward. I grabbed the wine and drank heavily, desperate for paralysis. I wondered if you knew what anxiety was and if I looked like the devil. “Please keep painting.” I begged. You were unaware that the paint was black.

When you finished, I jerked open the curtains, wanting you to see your creation. “Where are you?” you cried. “You made a masterpiece.” I winked, though you could not see. My entire body was covered in black. I was your creepy, drunken art.




I’m best friends with my static radio. I sit outside with it, blasting classic music while watching my nieces and nephews play. I wish I was them. They don’t understand why I’m out here every day or why I look so pale. They often ask if I’m sick or just bored. “Give uncle a kiss and forget about him.” I’ll say. Once, when I was a kid, I played without worry. There was just the wind brushing against my skin and the yummy scent of burning leaves. The radio is my soothing breeze and holy incense; it is my Medicine-man.




He complained, did this citizen, to his
Alderman about the injustice of sidewalks,
About the poorer people who wouldn’t
Pay for them the way he had to. The day
Was bright, he stood righteous, while
The Alderman watched and said nothing.
The man discomfited became, as well, silent,
But moved his feet restlessly. Then finally:
‘Maybe I shouldn’t complain. Those people 
Can’t help their state. I should know that.’
And then a woman phoned about those
Same poor people who would benefit
By subsidy housing, habitat for humanity.
‘Why should we be taxed to help that riff-raff?
They’ll ruin this neighborhood, lower the value
Of my house so to trap me with them here.’
The Alderman said nothing. Silence deepens.
Then she wept. ‘I know I shouldn’t be that way.
It’s not very Christian, is it?’ He said nothing.
But he heard the anger behind her tears.
There is no Law in the spaces between words.
There is no Ethics in the clarity before ideas.
There is no Morality in the emptiness of clear
Water no longer muddy. Just a mirror, 
Flawless, reflective, wherein one sees 
One’s own meanness. The Clarity does
Not judge, but requires its reflected self 
To endure its own judgement. The sidewalk 
Discomfits. The man’s feet pace restless;
Shelter of the Other brings on her guilty tears.