The Review

By P.C. Darkcliff

I would give the place five stars, despite its poor reputation. My chair was comfortable, everything sparkled with cleanliness, and the personnel was formal and attentive as if they expected the governor himself. Unfortunately, the governor didn’t even bother to call.

When a man in black came over to me, I sniffed as if I could already smell frying meat.

“Are you ready?” the man asked. I shook my head and tugged at the belts that strapped my hands. Cold sweat gushed into my eyes.

“No!” I screamed when another man reached for the large switch. He pulled it anyway.

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When P.C. was in kindergarten, he convinced his classmates that his grandma was a tribal shamaness. Then he learned his letters, and kidding his friends no longer seemed adequate—so he started to write.

If My Poem Had Long Hair

By John L. Malone

If my poem had long hair
dyed black
& a voice
gorge deep
& musky honeyed
as Chris Hemsworth
you’d listen
If it had abs
biceps
a chiselled face
like The Rock
you’d pay attention
if my poem was lean
& loose
exuded menace
you’d come onto it
so, baby, couldn’t you
close yr eyes
ears
& imagine?


John’s been thinking about how he could make his poems more sexy.

Am I the Only One Who Does This?

By John L. Malone

I’ve been clearing up the house
sweeping up the crumbs.
It’s a monthly ritual.
Am I mad? Or just dumb?
I clear away the cobwebs
sweep up the dust
collect and bin the rubbish.
Somebody must.
They won’t wash themselves,
mum used to say.
The sink’s full of them
so I put them away.
Make the place spotless
so it shines & it hums.
& I better get a move on
before the cleaner comes.


John L. Malone wrote this piece “… because you don’t come across many funny flash fiction poems :)”

The Life and Death of a Dad Joke

By An Anonymous Dad

Walking into a KFC in Bardwell, Kentucky, I thought of a hilarious joke. I figured I’d test it out on the cashier, since she looked like she could use a laugh.

CASHIER: Welcome to KFC, how may I help you?

ME: I was thinking … Since we’re already in Kentucky, shouldn’t this place just be called FC?

CASHIER: (blank stare)

ME: … because the K would be redundant … Get it?

CASHIER: Yeah, I get it.

ME: (nodding eagerly)

CASHIER: It’s dumb. Can I take your order?

ME: (in my head) Only if you promise to give it back.

The Things You See at Traffic Lights

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By John L. Malone

The blue Yaris pulled up at the traffic lights alongside his HiLux; the driver began picking his nose. Christ! did people still do that? Soon it would accrue a fine. You weren’t supposed to even touch your face. What would he do next? dig a finger into his ear, clear out some wax, have a good itch? scratch his balls? He was amazed at this guy’s brazenness, his folly. The things you see at traffic lights, he thought. Then he realized he was looking at his own reflection in the Yaris’s side window.

              
John is a South Australian writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story

The Monsters

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By Robert Keal

Most of them wear multicolored armor, probably to psych us out.

They fight with their hands and their feet; nothing, no one can keep them down.

Be careful, their favorite move is ‘the crusher.’ They scoop you up in one big grab and squeeze: Your cries won’t fit their ears.

We’re only vulnerable during the day – it’s safer to come out at night.

That’s when we gather and start talking; it’s clear none of us can live happily here. Not in the monsters’ grip.

Yep – these monsters are really scary. Especially while sucking their thumbs, silent and sure.

           
“I write to make peace with what’s in my head.” – the writer

What Was He Thinking?

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By John L. Malone

What was that guy thinking? Did I agree to this? I must have. What was I thinking? I should never have posed nude, for starters. That wasn’t necessary. And sitting in public view for all to see. You know what I look like? A guy sitting on a toilet seat, hunched over, muscled legs taut, trying to take a dump instead of having a good think. At least he could have put a cubicle around me. Even a bronze statue deserves some dignity.

            
John Malone is on a roll. His chapbook of poems has just come out.

On a Sticky Note Found at the Bottom of an Elizabethan Trunk

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By Michael Thomas Ellis

‘Tis writ that only rot be wrote
by those who seldom write nor writ,
and those what learned to write by rote,
shall rare see quote what rough they writ.
— Bill

          
“I write because I’d never be able remember these things if I only spoke them out loud. Besides, imagine the looks if I did.” – the writer

The Return of the Native

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By John L. Malone

So what’s your story? You’ve been out all day, don’t come home at night, and just when we’ve locked up and getting ready to go out, you rock up! Nice one. I know what you want. I know what you’re after. So, what’s your story, eh? She looks up at him with her mock-innocent amber eyes, but the cat has nothing to say.

           
John’s new poetry chapbook, Hope is the Helium, is coming out this year.