Ethan Taylor – 3 poems


The man across the street
Has cut his hand on glass again,
Has called the day a whore again
And spilt his thoughts on war.

The man across the street
Has pulled the road to him again,
Has spat his teeth for them again
And found he had no more.



The breaking of eggs escapes me,
Warned me, taught me,
Showed an old man a peach
And called it flat.

On behalf of a particular everyone
Sugar spoils the wine
And eternity isn’t so sweet at
Their temperature,

But neither is love.



Let him remember his mother
And the last of the blackboards
On the fourth of every month
Riding night’s final poem,

Falling, as you did, into his promises
To quit his job and marry young,
He can spin his appetite across the fence
And leave it for the tender crows.

He is no longer affably sick,
He bites his legs and other organs,
The last of the puppets sit with an old man now,
He cannot sit alone.


Ethan Taylor is an Actor/Poet living in London, UK. He has been published in both online and hardcopy literary magazines including ExFic, Message In A Bottle, Snakeskin, Lighten Up Online, Peeking Cat and the Poetry Shed. He is the Artistic Director/In-House writer for the theatre company Who Said Theatre and his plays The Old Friend and Taking An Age received five-star reviews at London venues. He is also a series writer for the website


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Andres Botero – 2 poems


The DNA double strands run parallel to
A river, it is a unfathomable body of self-contained water,
A place for vessels, pirates and odd creatures,
That is DNA through the nature’s eyes, but DNA through the
Artists’ eyes could be an evocative blue or a quixotic and cozy red.

For Dali, DNA are stairs ascending to heaven or maybe descending
To hell, electrical ribbons, electrical bullfighters that are interconnecting
Hearts to a human bullring, a railroad from which the wagons of life
are been transported to the next winter.
For El Greco, DNA is prolonging its shape into elastic figures; it is
Elevating its shape to a superior being, because from a
Superior entity it comes.
For Picasso, DNA is the essence of the cube, it is a geometrical space
with four sides, four angles and four letters,
Simple letters that can combine each other forming a complex
Hereditary language, an arithmetic waterproof code which is
Revealing astonishing messages.
For Matisse, DNA is full of colorful possibilities, moreover it has its
Black and white areas, those gaps are taking the mutations’ names.
For Seurat, DNA is a point in the space, a simple and complex
Point, an endless point within a point.
Points that come together are becoming a nucleus, a zygote and a specific organ.

DNA is nature while art is nurture; art is nurturing the
Divergence’s power.



Birds are anarchists because they do not
Fly following patterns, maybe that is an erroneous
Judgment at the murmurations’ time.

Birds were born yesterday under a clear
Knowledge that resides inside the eggs, but
eggs come from similar birds able to hold
Their breaths until that creation’s moment,
A creation’s moment can be understood as
“Original”, singular figures can be created by
designers, a fitting dress, a lovely summer’s
Hat, a bridge’s between chemicals elements,
A bond connector, the fundamentals behind
The Van Der Waals forces,
Chaos rules and creates too.

Chaos as birds is enigmatic,
We may know the nest’s essence, which it is
Community, but never understand
The essence’s unity and divinity.
We may never comprehend one or two chaos’ reasons,
Chaos deals in a regular basis with pride and bureaucracy.


Andres Botero is a microbiologist but in his free time he writes poetry and short fiction. In his poems he combines elements of poetry and biology. A lot of his previous works have been published in newspapers and magazines (articles about science and literature).

Paul Beckman – Fiction


I got slapped down today for saying, “Yes, Ma’am” to a diner I was waiting on. She was dressed to the nines and sitting with three other “Ma’am’s and I had no idea what she wanted to be called so I asked her what her preference would be. “I’m sorry. How would you prefer I address you?” I asked and she said anything but Ma’am. So I was fucked, good and fucked.

She was probably in her sixties and I’m twenty five, well groomed, no piercings, tats, and not even a mullet. My posture is good, breath refreshed constantly, I’m attentive to my tables and pleasant at all times.

One of the women from her table went to the ladies and spoke to me on the way back. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “I’m Ethel; Mary Jane has a problem with Ma’am and would prefer to be called “old biddy” which was a term of endearment used by her late husband. Try it,” she said. “It’ll reflect in your tip also.”

I went back to the table with a water pitcher and asked, “Is everything alright with you ladies and all but “old biddy” nodded their assent so I said, “And how about you, Old Biddy, everything fine here.” The other three broke out in laughter and each dug in their purse and handed Ethel a twenty which she placed under her plate. “Old Biddy” fumed.


Paul Beckman was one of the winners in the Queen’s Ferry 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His 200+ stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, Pank, Blue Fifth Review, Flash Frontier, Matter Press, Metazen, Boston Literary Magazine, Thrice Fiction and Literary Orphans. His latest collection, “Peek”, weighed in at 65 stories and 120 pages. His website


Christopher Barnes – 3 poems


Jackie Stallone’s Nagasaki vacation
Wobbled crabbed.  The mushroom, belly-flopped by
Harbingered air raid ear-splits.
Implosion tarred on a megacritical squeeze,
In one howling flash.
Skin-rips tasselled her limbs.
The crumpled face
Pussed grisly.
Dior’s rig-out blistered.
The elegant Saké bar jiggled, molten.



Captain James Cook was earth-shook
To be weeping at Judy Garland’s final curtain.
Stuffy, rain-splodged beaten tracks,
A wind-leaf, uncomplicated service.
Kill time hearse, three elite Limos.
Wrapped in yellow roses,
The elfin coffin tensed at flashbulbs.
He was a true friend of Dorothy.



Prince Otto Von Bismarck lopes east,
Stages in municipal yards.
The lift jitterbugs debris
Into a thickset hopper.  Crumpling bulk-heads
Maul slop-reeking bins.
Hours are sedimentary.  Cylinders zigzag, throwback.
Pay’s a miser but back-slapping’s on tap.


In 1998, Christopher Barnes won a Northern Arts writers award.  In July 2000 he read at Waterstones bookshop to promote the anthology ‘Titles Are Bitches’ and at Christmas 2001 he debuted at Newcastle’s famous Morden Tower doing a reading of his poems.  Each year he reads for Proudwords lesbian and gay writing festival and he partakes in workshops. In 2005, Christopher saw the publication of his collection LOVEBITES published by Chanticleer Press, 6/1 Jamaica Mews, Edinburgh.