Short story from Michael Robinson


Michael Robinson (right)and fellow contributor Joan Beebe



She had left the church at age sixteen never wanting to return. Now twenty-six years later she found herself sitting in the pew quietly weeping. She thought, would there be absolution for the kind of life she had had? It all was a blur, the drugs and prostitution. It started the night that her father wanted to have sex with her when she was sixteen.

He came into her tiny room with the shades closed, with the smell of jasmine in the air. She was a medium sized girl. He body had developed nicely, and her father watched her attentively while she lay in bed with a sheer night gown surrounding her delicate body. He stood in the shadows of the room and watched her for a long time. Finally he got the courage to sit next to her.

She awoke, alarmed to find her father watching her with probing eyes. He began to touch her shoulders and her body froze. He continued to move his hand down her breast. His hand started to shiver.  She was unable to mutter a sound other than a weak whimper as he continued to probe her tender body. He was physically demanding in his sexual advances with her. There was no sensitivity as he all but forced himself onto her.

She found herself staring at the ceiling while he pleasured himself with her. She was numb that night that her father forced himself onto her. Now for ten years there had been a chain of unspeakable experiences with pimps, Johns, and being hooked on cocaine. One day it quietly came to her that if she could make it back to the church, she could regain her life before that night with her father.

She had always believed in god since she could remember and she did not blame him for the many years she was mental, physically, emotionally scarred by life. She stumbled into the church with her tattered soul, her clothing revealing her now fully developed body, damaged from years of abuse.

A nun was kneeling at the altar for her morning devotions when she noticed the young woman. The young woman’s physical appearance brought tears to the nun’s eyes. The nun knew her story and had lived the story herself. Both women kneeled at the altar and simultaneously began to weep. It was at this moment that life began for them both. A nun and a prostitute had found peace and absolution for sins that had been committed against them. It was their faith that had allowed them to discover the true meaning of absolution.

Short fiction from Henry Bladon

Just an Ordinary Experience

Magritte's Reckless Sleeper

The Reckless Sleeper 1928 Ren? Magritte 1898-1967 Purchased 1969

I knew I shouldn’t have told you my dream about the gravestone. As usual, you wanted to sound clever and said that the apple was a representation of my desire for wisdom, and that the hat was about my fear of power. The mirror was a little too obvious and I was disappointed in you. You can’t say ‘That’s about taking a look at yourself.’ You may as well have said it’s about introspection and searching the soul. I’ve come to expect more from our chats. The bird? Freedom, you stated, with no small amount of confidence. By this time, I was getting weary again. And I shouldn’t have mentioned the candle. That set you off on your usual path of criticism about religion; how you don’t trust it and that it is only there to control people. Stop worrying, it was just a candle.

Luckily, I forgot about the bow, so I didn’t have to listen to your suggestions about my childhood and whether I might have been teased because my mother bought me shoes with bows on and how that has created a subliminal block and led to psychic conflict.

That’s the trouble when you have friends who are psychoanalysts, you’re not allowed to have an ordinary experience. Call me reckless if you chose, but I like sleeping in my box with my red blanket. It’s the place I feel safest of all.

The Reckless Sleeper, by René Magritte (Belgium) 1928.

BIO: Henry Bladon is based in Somerset in the UK. He is a writer of short fiction and poetry and teaches creative writing for therapeutic purposes. He has degrees in psychology and mental health policy, and a PhD in literature and creative writing. He frequently writes commentary about mental health issues and his literary work can be seen in O:JA&L, Tuck Magazine, Mercurial Stories, The Ekphrastic Review, and Spillwords Press, among other places.

Poetry from Margarita Serafimova

We were on the beach, and then we weren‘t.

There is nothing more to say.

It is empty, seen from above.


In a Capsule of Close-up Infinity


When we look at one another,

and only our bodies are between us,

our tenderness is surgery of a star.


The whale before the horizon is serenely

and solemnly breathing.

And who are we?


The wild stones, in love with the sand,

with curls and quaint beauty,

they breathe too.

And I am breathing with them, mouth to mouth.


Leaves, my kings, your bright is dark,

and your dark is bright.

You are in the sky.


The stars are coming.

Time is racing asphalt.


Leaning on the window’s shutter, eyes closed,

I was inhaling deeply from the bunch of sage you’d hung up there.

“I am having sex with the Earth”, I told you.

“How so?”, you asked.

“Here, like that, with the scent – it enters me, and I give myself.”


Soaring is the hyacinth,

a crown of itself,

a crowning of the own,

and an I above the crown.


The permutations of love were taking place in a sunlit space.

Spring was maturing into summer,

death was evolving, it now involved planets and roots.


It was a circle.

Somewhere in it, I overflowed –

my eyes had mirrored themselves in the deep of yours.

Gray flecked, with lights.



Margarita Serafimova was shortlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize 2017, Summer Literary Seminars 2018 and 2019, and Hammond House Prize 2018; long-listed for the Christopher Smart (Eyewear Publishing) Prize 2019, Erbacce Press Poetry Prize 2018 and Red Wheelbarrow 2018 Prize, and nominated for Best of the Net 2018. She has three collections in Bulgarian. Her work appears in Agenda Poetry, London Grip, Waxwing, Trafika Europe, Landfill, A-Minor, Poetry South, Great Weather for Media, Orbis, Nixes Mate, StepAway, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Leveler, Mookychick, HeadStuff, Minor Literatures, Writing Disorder, Birds We Piled Loosely, Chronogram, Noble/ Gas, Origins, The Journal, miller’s pond, Obra/ Artifact, Arteidolia/ Swifts&Slows, Memoir Mixtapes, glitterMOB, TAYO, Guttural, Punch, Tuck, Ginosko, etc. Visit:

Short story from Michael Robinson

One Night in the Shadow of Bliss


Michael Robinson (right)and fellow contributor Joan Beebe

Lace bra and underpants covered her body, as she stood, in front of the mirror, her eyes were strong. Her pupils opened wide filling with moist tears. Her memories returned to the night when the moon was full when the stars were bright in the night skies, she saw a glimmer of life. The smell of sweetness remained in the air while there was darkness reflecting from her heart. She wanted to leave those thoughts behind and accept warmth of a man’s touch. It was more than his touch, it was her life she began to remember her past which was painful. The following morning her emotions would be raw. However, for now it would be safe to be a woman in love, to feel the sensations of womanhood. She would forget the painful past for those hours with him.

The gentleness between them was electrifying with foreplay. Holding her close to his body, kissing her from the top of body gently, and quietly moving his fingers across her lips. She laid there with her eyes closed enjoying the moment. He touched her breast with his fingers playing with her pierced nipples between his fingers. She knew what would be next because they had always made love with his lips replacing his fingers on the left nipple. The earring in her navel made his touch even more exciting to her.  

She began to moan, breathing deeply. Her skin was smooth, and his tongue covered her stomach the movement of his lips and tongue made her cry as she had several orgasms. She was in a state of total surrender to his every touch. Knowing that her pierced clitoris would be next. Her pubic hair was soft from the wetness of his tongue. He didn’t mind kissing her vagina. He loved the fluid of her body mixed with his saliva leaving a tart taste. It was always like this when they had intercourse. He would wrap his arms around her midsection holding her tight enough that the sweat between them united.  

She loved being this close to someone that made love feel love for herself in this manner. Certain that he would always be gentle and sensitive to her sexuality. It was not being fucked like with the others. It wasn’t that kind of relationship between them. He wanted to satisfy her to make her feel love and connected to him. He wanted her to feel like she and he was more than a one-night stand and each time he was determined to express his desire to be the only man she would ever want to be with. She loved him so she gave herself to him without hesitation.

Touching his eyelids slightly with her manicured red fingernails with her open palm she closed his eyes. Her lips were soft and full. She touched his nipples with her lips biting the hardened nipples of his. He would shake with excitement, as she moves down his body, slowly with intense she made him moan. She gentle climbed on top of him and for what was a moment of ecstasy both had an orgasm together. A quiet moan which gave her gratification knowing he was fulfilled by her.

He was the one man she gives herself totally and he knew it by the way she made him feel and respond to her gentleness. The street lights pierced through the closed curtains reflecting the soft powder blue color of the them. She saw his reflection as she stood with glazed eyes watching him. Her brown eyes did not reflect life but rather despair. She quietly put on her red skin-tight dress. Lying on the dresser was an envelope with payment for the night encounter. The light in the corridor was a shock to her eyes. Her red heels were lost in the thickness of the carpet in the hallway. She returned to the corner in which she worked and waited for her next customer knowing she was loved in a world of pain. 

Poetry from J.J. Campbell

Author J.J. Campbell

Author J.J. Campbell

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is old enough to know where the bodies are buried. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at The Rye Whiskey Review, The Dope Fiend Daily, Fourth & Sycamore, Horror Sleaze Trash and Cajun Mutt Press. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (
long days of pain
there’s an old
black soul deep
inside me
these long days
of pain are nothing
the ache starts
in the small of
the back and
climbs the spine
until it rests in
my brain
on the good days
i’m only crazy
on the bad days
some motherfucker
is going to find out
how much evil is
inside me
when the darkness takes over
laughter is the last
thing that leaves
a crazy mind
when the darkness
takes over every
nook and cranny
it can either be
the slow decline
or a rush of blood
to the head
there’s a shotgun
in the corner for
a reason
sign language
my mother
is losing
her hearing
i let her know
the only sign
language i
remember is
how to sign
eat shit and
she laughs
and gives me
the sign that
i am number
the same year you were molested as a child
picture that
utopia you
about as
a teenager
and then
you realized
what death
was the same
year you were
molested as
a child
utopias never
have existed
at least not
without the
help of
and a
society can
never reach
its full
getting warmer
the weather is
finally getting
soon, it will
be short skirts
and a lonely
man seeking
an adventure

Poetry from Vijay Nair

Author Vijay Nair

Author Vijay Nair




















Organized Crime


The very essence of organized crime is,

To constitute nothing less than

A gang war against any society

Yes, Communism is an organized crime!

It is the dirty side of a bootless ideology

In India, it is an abortive whorehouse

Provinces in, putas and ponces are

Proselytized mouth pieces

Of this uncivilized band

Marred agriculture everywhere

Environment who degraded?

Wrecked all industries but

Ferried refugees, narcotics,

Ruined communal harmony by

Endorsed terrorism,

Disesteemed work culture with

Crocodile tears of unemployment

They use to take from others

Without wilful, voluntary consent

But, with the crown and title

The outset of force to grip life is murder,

To lay hold of liberty is slavery,

And to seize property is theft

Intellectual property theft is one of many

Organized crime they constitute

From the very beginning

Organized crime on top creates

Individual violence at the bottom

Beware, all the faced off comrades

Amassed vexation drives

Any civilized animal to go crazy one day!!!

©-Vijay P Nair -2019    



Poem from Yusuf Baba Mohamed


Author Yusuf Baba Mohammed


Who has strangled you
That your voice no longer echo
In the four walls of the black room?
I thought you got no more shackles
I thought you live no more in bondage.
If your freedom is free
Why will your voice tremble
Like startled slave caught in chains?
To my pains
I see no dream of sliver spoon
In between your sadden lips
Neither did I foresee it in your rebirth
May the lyrics by the ancestral hands
Save you in their songs
That shall be sang by births
May your freedom be free
To let your voice be muscles
Of a giant again.
Yusuf BM (YBM) is a poet, writer, spoken word artist, motivational speaker and a photographer. Yusuf is a member of the Hilltop Art Center Minna, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and SEVHAGE Publishers, as well as Founder/C.E.O of Teen Poetic Globe (TPG); a platform aimed at encouraging young artists around the globe and to promote poetry culture. He is also a blogger owning a blog known as Giant Tori-Tori Media Plus.