New haiga by Pris Campbell

Pris Campbell has published her haiga and free verse in numerous online
and print journals. She has three chapbooks out, the most recent is
Hesitant Commitments
(Lummox Press). She lives in the greater West Palm Beach, FL, with her
husband and a cat who sits on her poetry drafts. See her website at

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Gwilym Williams is holding a Bukowski night

Bukowski Night

I'm holding my annual Bukowski Night
I almost wish you were all here
but if it don't come bursting out of you
then please don't come
Allen's come to do his Kaddish
or so he always says
it could be cool
it should be cool
it comes unmasked and from heart and mouth
the Buds are cooling in the icebox
the olives are in the communal dish
whispering Allen's already warming up
my God, this dude wrote Howl!
and now he sounds like he needs a mike
Charles is pilfering my shelves
and betting on Allen to extrapolate the extrasensory
Charles reckons the sun is burning his gut
how come the moon is out?
I slip on the Dylan  
My guests chill out with Szirtes' whiskey
George gatecrashes late with his Jamesons
– but we know a triple distilled when we meet one
there's no other way
there never was.

* Gwilym Williams is a regular IS&T contributor

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Jayne Dunsmuir is riding the trains

The Benefits of Train Travel

When something tells you
You need a vacation
Take a train across country

Forget the planes
Leading to comic-strip beaches
Why would you dig in the hot sand
Why would you allow yourself
To get stranded
Between the land and the water

When you could sit quietly
In the smoking car
Drinking the beer someone passes  

With the sound of the bones
Of the irrefutable engine
Flattening a rail

That may as well have been put there
For you alone
The consolation of certainty

That comes from having no say
The choices were made in some past
When men rode horses along the track

Drew your route on parchment
Decided ‘this way’
Felled trees, dug mountains

Wrestled with obstacles
On your behalf
You ride the fervour of their certainty

And later, with a book in your hand
Look out to the vast various scene
Unravelling for your pleasure

You feel your heart mauled by
Everything you see because
It is momentary and unknowable

And what better than to suffer
Just a little in the comfort of the carriage
Where you witness

The door of the trackside diner
Opening to the hand of a woman
With long black hair

Holding coffee, a paper bag
Sees you watching from the
Window of the passing train

Thinks something of you
Perhaps nothing
And is gone before you give a name to it.

* Jayne Dunsmuir is a photographer living in New York.

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Colin Cross has achieved a childhood ambition


as a young child
at primary school
in the New Forest
I was fascinated
by the large lorries
with large suction attachments
you used to come
to the school
every week
to pump out
the school toilets
and one day
I went home
and told my parents
when I grew up
I wanted to be
a lavatory man
having spent much
of my adult life
working shitty jobs
for crap pay
I walk two dogs
for an elderly
friend of mine
this involves
picking up their shit
and it makes me
feel good to know
that in my
early sixties
I have finally
at least partially
my childhood ambition

* Colin Cross lives in Norwich and is a regular IS&T contributor

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Amy Curtis is chasing the horizon

chasing the horizon

standing at this point in time and space
seconds passing by like words off a page as i read
each second a word that's not been said
i look for something to take my aim for
space stretches out before me
as far as the eye can see
no clouds or mountains to obscure the view
no answer strides up and tells me what to do

* Amy Curtis says “When forced to write about myself I continually type, delete, type, delete, type, delete…”

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Jessica Patient tells the story of the lost

* Jessica Patient won the WordSkills creative writing competition in 2008 and has several flashes, poems and short stories published. Her blog is She is currently writing a novel.

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Alex Allison is worried about first impressions

first impressions

i probably didn’t give a great first impression
slimy and wailing ‘n’ that kind of shit.
i don’t think my impressions have improved
my wailing is just a bit more eloquent.

* Alexander J. Allison

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