Starry Night

shit, Vincent, i don’t think
you could have ever imagined
your Starry Night
would end up tattooed
to the lower back of this woman
who on all fours waits on the bed
looking over her shoulder
telling me with her eyes
to hurry up and fuck her

Jose Pepe Arroyo



Don’t you dare stare into her face
as her shadowy form marches down the street,
hair tied back, dark eyes, no smile for those lips.

Her bones stand still outside the grey office
as she inhales from her cigarette enough life
to show up.

Is that a warhead hurtling down?

She strolls to the toilets and hammers down a fifth of vodka,
her features deadpan like deflowered oysters.
Another day begins.

Bogdan Tiganov


Birdman Blues

When you’re poor

You have to shit

In an un-air-conditioned

Bathroom as rivers

Of sweat rush down

Your face I was listening 

To a podcast

About daring prison breaks

Dillinger El Chapo et al

And I thought, emotionally

I’m no different 

Though it shouldn’t 

Have to be this way 

When love dies

And you find yourself

Doing hard time

One should be able to

Walk right out the front door 

And not have to sit there 

Plotting your own great escape 

In an un-air-conditioned 

Shitter as rivers of sweat 

Rush down your face

Jose Pepe Arroyo



it was all in the way you 

carried yourself before 

i set out i shined

my own shoes 

so the populace 

could see my work

my battered wingtips

with the laces busted

they walked much

but got nowhere

and still i stumble

through callejones 

and cantinas

of my memory

searching for me

with an old shoe shining box 

strapped to my shoulder

asking drunk men 

“shine your shoes?

shine your shoes?” 

but the drunks have 

no money to shine

their shoes and they 

send me to buy them 

some smokes instead

and i run and get the smokes

and steal one for my ear

and by the end of the day 

i manage to hustle 

a few pesos

and i walk home 

smoking that cigarette

counting them

Jose Pepe Arroyo


Night Tram

Asleep, or half so
with my feet
At rest on the opposing seat
My pissed up face
pressed up against
Against the window

A woman in a uniform
nudged me
Gently and said
“Could you move your feet”
I said
I could but no ones sitting there.

There are no other people here
Besides you, me and hopefully
A driver.
And she shocked me when she sighed
Took off her hat and sat beside me.

And set her feet beside mine on
Her opposing chair.
She said “Know what two stops more and
I am going home.”

Turned out her name is Emma
She has three mouths to feed
And she’s falling back on credit cards
A city falling out
Into my eyes
Lights so bright and skirts so short
They may as well be naked arses.

Sitting next to me like she
Had given up the ghost
With the flicker yellowed stamps of
Streetlamps streaming past.

“This tram will stop
so where will you get off?”
I tend to fall through doors
And wander homewards.
Sometimes I even get there.

She put her hat upon my head
For momenmts there
I was the conductor
That made me smile
I said “Emma could you move your feet”
She said yes
Just one more stop.

How awesome can those random strangers be?

Stuart Knowles



She went to bed

wearing her yellow

hairband and said

she’d never take it

off. Later I crept in.

How she flinched

and twisted like a

shrimp, grabbing

it in her sleep and

fought to keep it on.

Long may she win.

Caroline Clark


Their dagger eternal

They’re strolling tonight
popping a virgin
they’re happily married
their children run surgeries
their children’s children PhDs
they own the brothel
the hotels and the factories
they know good business practice
they don’t fart in public
sip the finest wine
snort grade A coke
they’re jogging this morning
a smile tattooed across
scouting for the kill

Bogdan Tiganov



Essential toy

mimics itself—

this is to be!

O, revel, splash!

Purer on the inside

such is never seen.

All I possess—this.

Caroline Clark


harry dean stanton says i can remember him anyway i want

my maternal grandfather’s
given name was jerome

but everyone called him harry
grandma ann sang i want that man

i cant answer for the dean part or
anything beyond my own bad choices

but if you knew ann then you’d have
seen he never stood a chance

it’s an understatement
to say that i am jealous

of the painters and the actors
and the sculptors self-evidently

covered in each day’s miraculum
knowing i’d give anything

for a studio of my own
to have something to come out from

i even put on a bowler
and an eye patch before

i sat down just now only to find
nothing helps this poem

Paul Koniecki


Regret Times Five

I hätte pas dovuto

сказать questo ich

не sollen sagen dire

das je non надо dire

nicht это have dû

avrei said ça n’aurais

shouldn’t that было.

Caroline Clark