Heart Attack… by Don Comfort


Heart Attack

A flashing image fills my mind,
A Crucifix, attacked by Art;
All for One, offered to all
Transfixed by the demon’s dart,
The love one only hopes to find

Hung suspended on the wall.

In groves of pulsing neon sign,
A thought-web, tangled by design,
Flex the muscles of the Heart
Grown weak in sands of wasted time;
Prove the virtue torn apart

In the desolate ways of War.


Everything you need to know about Don Comfort can be found on page 98 of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.”

Copyright © 2012 by Don Comfort


Ribbons and Pearls… by Timothy Cole


Ribbons and Pearls

Ribbons and pearls, so tender
is the age
All dressed up with no where to go.
I know your secrets to your hate
and rage
A little girl— one too many has
tried to know.
Deep behind the garden and around
the bend
Daddy’s hands always seem to find
you there
The tears of shame escapes you when
You comb your long, blonde hair.
And the demons only come under the
Lock the door and close the blinds.
The virtues of shame have bloomed
much too soon
And the innocence is left behind.
For loving eyes have wept
From many eyes have been kept
And tomorrow is a new day.
Father’s arms are always open
and firm
Mother’s eyes are always closed
or turned
And the powers that be have fell
this way.
So the silence is never broken
And the words are never spoken
But I see your pain.
Trust is someone you’ll never know
Happiness is something you will
never show
And your past, — you will never
So look beyond those deadened eyes
Far from those painful cries
To a place where no one will hurt
you anymore.
Hold up that pretty chin
And fight to the bitter end
Because there are things worth
fighting for.


I am a 40 year old writer who has been writing for about 25 years. I feel drawn to write about human conflict, especially emotional conflict. I live in the southern United States and have a wife and three sons.

Copyright © 2011 by Timothy Cole


Ribbons and Pearls was previously published on Best Poems Encyclopedia.



In Which the Author Takes a Holiday… by Peter Fraser


I n  w h i c h  t h e  a u t h o r  t a k e s  a  h o l i d a y

       I turned my computer on, rapped the password in and entered my miniature world. Ah, Jonathon Swift, what would you think of all this? I also work in Lilliput.
       I spend too much time in front of this screen. I know that, but it’s become my employer and so I don’t have any alternative. I was once freelance, but the stability of income seems to have had a calming effect on me. Yet I still get out, I do have a limited life outside. Organisation is the backbone. You have to measure time, have an itinerary. And stick to it.
       Years ago I owned a fountain pen. And way before that I learnt to write with a nib and ink. It’s like having a connection to Dickens and his goose quill. Why did I tell you that? Was it to give my labour a respectability. Might be. Only someone my age would think like that.
        “cumalloverme, I’ve got my passport. I’m ready,” I typed earnestly into the keyboard.
       I got a new passport last week, I let my previous one expire. For occupation I wrote author. In a historical sense that’s stretching the meaning. I know.
       “Author? Yeah. So what’ve ya written?” The women behind the desk was rather inquisitive. Far too prying I thought.
       Hard to say. Well it’s not really. I don’t mind telling you. I write small character sketches for on line dating sites. I create lives. I deliver a small bang. They seem to appreciate my old fashioned prose. I’ll read you the last one I wrote.
       “iwanttobefeltup. woman seeking man. age 24. It all happens so easy, I’m way too randy and love to experiment. I just cum so quickly, I try to make it last, but I can’t. blow on my ears, touch my tits, squeeze my arse, nibble on my neck. and I’ll cum, sometimes again and again. I’ll do it anywhere. everyone seems to like it. I bet you would. hit me up and I’ll see if you get a turn.”
       That’s the style. You’re going to tell me it ain’t Proust. Please don’t. I get paid money for hundreds of these things, enough to go on a small holiday with cumalloverme. Which reminds me. No, no answer. I send them off, they are matched to a hacked face and body, then monitored for hits. Each character is assessed for response and ability to land a paying punter. The better the return, the more I get to write. Sometimes I track my fictional girls and their admirers, I like sites that allow the punters to leave comments. These are my reviews. Crude, slimey, pathetic, but sometimes with an ache of love. These improbably beautiful girls, with my words, undergoing a lonely scrutiny. If only they were real, if only there was actual blood flowing in their tiny capillaries. But there are real females, it’s just that the main body is fiction. That’s how I met cumalloverme. Her character was so ordinary, yes there is an ordinary demographic, but it is very small. It smelt genuine, as if it hadn’t been manufactured. “I’m looking for someone who is spontaneous and grounded at the same time. I love to laugh and hate scary or sad movies….” Confessional and domestic. Her picture was slightly out of focus and there was a detritus of homely life in the background.
       I replied. Way over the top. At times I can’t help myself, I don’t have enough restraint. “My words are my spore, they can penetrate and ooze into your blood, they might lay dormant, they might arouse your microbiology, but they are me, lazing peacefully, surfing through your veins.” I went on, almost poetic. Far too long. I piled word on word, grisly cliché upon lust, sodden imagery upon her girlish profile. She answered.
       I could focus on my work, I never had any trouble with that. I’d receive instructions from my employers, “….more emphasis threesomes, increase bondage, stop with the love stuff, more anal.” Their notion of what the lonely needed was at times prescriptive, but I obeyed and wrote to the formula. And there were days where I could write whatever I wanted. The emotion would soar, the juice squeezed into the keyboard. The author’s monetary reward would arrive and I’d repeat the sequence. My life easing into an organised familiarity.
       I think I had become a touch obsessive with cumalloverme. I would graft a clever letter to the creature. I piled it on. And in all modesty it was quite seductive. No truth, no honesty, just a continual fiction. I kept going over the enticement. Probably far too exaggerated, if there is an eventual meeting it will only be a letdown. Yes, too dishonest. No, too dishonest is not right. Really it was harmless marketing, no more misleading than a blurb on a book cover. The aim was to consort with her flesh, that’s what the deception was about. Once the procedure is accomplished, then we re-write the terms, we negotiate a reality. Yet, she mightn’t be open to persuasion or discussion. And this is assuming she has told the truth, which is most unlikely. Too many unknowns, there was no space to establish an immovable point of reference.
       In the morning I would log on and check to see if there was any instruction. “…try more fetish, liked the canine position one, good response, do some more, try to include some gays. keep going with the buttock jokes.” I didn’t mind guidance, in fact it made it a lot easier. So I would go out for a swim and a coffee, return with a few supplies and then get on with my improbable world. I had almost manufactured a universe, there was no real plot, but the mountain of character gave my people a sense of reality, a multiplicity of numbers. They moved around the site, almost with freewill. They interacted, fell in love and gave hours of pleasure.
        “cumalloverme. I want you to see my words as part of a giant jigsaw puzzle, each word fits into the eventual image. connect them all and you will eventually see me, someone bleedingly obvious, someone you have wanted to know all your life.”
       “letmegiveittoyou. woman searching for young chaps. 30 years. see my pic, not bad? but I want two young boys, can be gay, that will dress up and call me mother in public. must be thin and enjoy having buttocks thrashed, appreciates theatre, art galleries, restaurants, opera, penis size not important.”
       Cumalloverme hadn’t answered, usually she’s relatively prompt. What if she doesn’t want to go on holidays with me? No. She always answers in the middle of the night. A sex worker? No. She never exposes anything about herself, always willing me to go on and on. She wants to meet, but not just yet, she needs to know more about me.
       I make some dinner and watch television. I open a Romanee Conti, only five years old, far too young. I consult the Burgundy biblical text. Not one of the great years. A lot of cloud cover at veraison. I should wash some clothes, no, not yet. But I start mentally packing for the holiday. I know I’m going to go.
       “Slavegirl seeking master. medical reception by day, desperate by night. age 24. when I’m not eating sushimi I’m on the prowl for my next owner and yes I will do anything. choke me, spank me, make my eyeliners run, rip my clothes, leave marks on my body. I want to be a slave. I’m always obedient. make me scream, make me moan, you won’t be disappointed.”
       In the morning my instruction had arrived, but nothing from cummalloverme. “…more tits, more fetish, try lycra, what the hell is a merkin?” Simple, succinct. I understood. But. Where the hell is she, should I write again? Am I hounding her? Am I being unreasonable?
       I don’t feel ready to work, no return mail, no answer. So I go out again, the second time in two days. I immerse myself in frustration, perhaps I’ll take the day off. The air seems different outside.
       I walk towards the cafe, my cafe, really part of my apartment, well at least for breakfast. I wanted a brief rumination on my undelivered email. I want to agonies over the failing pursuit. After about half a dozen exchanges, we seemed to have reached an impotent ending. Premature. Perhaps. But I had done everything in my aging power to bring about a resolution. I admit I didn’t tell the truth, but how could she know that? No way. My words were as oily as possible, anyone would have accepted those words, anyone should have picked them up and rubbed them erotically over their body. Bugger it.
       I could see Lenin reading the Economist, a look of sentimental cynicism on his face. I sat down. He scrutinized me with a light humour.
       “You know how much Bill Gates is worth?” Pointing at an article in the paper, his finger jabbing the newsprint.
       “No.” Who cares? Although Lenin does, at the moment.
       “You seem a bit out of sorts? Difficult night? Didn’t sleep well? Should take some knock out dope. Just a blank emptiness all night.”
       “Na. No. I sleep alright. No it’s other things, No I’m O.K.” If only cummalloverme would just answer.
       “I’ve finished.” So I ordered my breakfast and started to look for a spare, preferably unread newspaper. There was a full day in front of me, I could go down the coast for a swim. A large women drinking beer, wrapped in a brown paper bag, asked me politely for a cigarette. I could go back home and check my emails again. Instead of a swim I could just take a walk along the beach. Was it time to make a decision? A familiar busker had started to perform on the other side of the road. Such an impossible noise. He should be getting better with all this performance, but he was definitely retreating into a shell of incomprehension.
       “You’d imagine if you went to the trouble of dying your hair yellow, blue and green you might be trying to affect a degree of individuality. That really you wanted to stand out. Even distribute some message you held important. Is that character just saying look at me, look at me and please give me your spare change. I mean, the noise he is producing, how can an out of tune stringed instrument deliver such a brutal sound. And that song, what is it? Is that a Beatles ditty? No, it’s John Lennon. I think the buildings are ready to fall. He’s going to bring all that stone and cement down on our heads. He’s from the King James, a prophet singing in Martian.”
       The waitress delivered my breakfast. The poppy seeds on the bagel ran onto my newspaper. This irritated me. The sound across the street brought the lady in the dress shop out to observe with displeasure. He’d stop briefly and ask for roubles, spondulicks, dollars, florins or francs, then resume at a random point in the song. No-one seemed to acknowledge his existence. Despite the fluorescence of his hair, the battering screech he created and the invitation to donate liberally, the world would not react. It’s thick sausage casing of indifference just walked by.
       “I went to that bar around the corner last night, just to see this musician they’ve started to play on digital radio. The place was packed. It even had a line up outside.” The coffee was at the right temperature, something they often found difficult in achieving. “What I was going to say, was that this muso sounded so much better on radio, way better than in person.”
       “Don’t think that’s how it’s meant to be. You got it arse round. It’s supposed to be better live. That’s the orthodoxy.”
       “Ionlywantasissyboy. female. 32. crawl over here and make my day. try licking my boots to start with. I like men on their knees, where they belong. I am a loving woman who takes no crap, but can still show you a good time. so, if you are a sissyboy, like all men are, message me and tell me what you have done to deserve my lurid ability to correct your faults.”
       The day was so long. It just kept going. I stayed away from my apartment. I searched out distraction. I pursued idleness. I even went to an art gallery. I drank coffee. I read newspapers. I was waiting for the night to come.
       “justonemore. woman searching for active genitals. age 29. you don’t think I’m this happy because I use sex toys, do you? wanna be a statistic in my notebook? one night only, if you think you’ve got something memorable, a donga that’ll last the distance and do the business, hit me up.”
       “maintaindiscipline. female 18. I’m a sweet and skinny young blond girl, with extremely large breasts. I guess it just turns me on to see a man take control. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps I’m old fashioned. I’m very friendly and very clean. I’m looking for someone who will deliver some order and might even like to get nasty. I can be very bad at times, I don’t know why, I think it was my parents. I might need to be restrained, to stop me getting away with too much. I’m looking for someone who appreciates old fashioned values and discipline. must be STD free.”
       “cumalloverme. can I adopt you? what about the holiday? tell me we are going together. tell me you will appear.” I kept it brief, I know I go on, but I can still do a bit of self control. I finally washed my clothes and started to pack the bag, unsure whether it would just be me or the saucy cumalloverme would actually appear. I went back to work.
       In the morning I read my emails. “…have you considered self abuse? more needs to be done with buttocks, they are more than just a joke…” But nothing from cumalloverme. She had jumped ship. She’d let me drift out to sea, far from the shark netting. Ah, she had abandoned me. Could that be true? I had done everything possible. I’d written myself into a conclusion. I left space for the bruised muscles in my mind. My bag was ready, my passport valid.


Copyright © 2013 by Peter Fraser



Strings… by David Newson



If there were not a sinew for every daughter in the village, a home would seem much further, because the silk string that sent them out was the same that had always led them back, constituting unique and unbroken avenues. That is not to say that the sons of the unnamed place, albeit more carefree in this concern, don’t also possess the twisting strand, secured, in several knots, to the wrist of each child before they are too old to know that it has not always been there; the other end feeding from the web of the town itself, a great tangle of the lace-like structure appearing as one might, often in a lightless corner of the cellar or along the beams in the barn, here reaching out through a decrepit stone well in the town square where curious little spiders spin their fluids endlessly into that air hardened rope; men and women making use of such production to join their children from the wrist to the eternal weaving of spiders, which itself is connected to homes, earth, flora of the region that one scarcely knows all the names of, and each other person, although when they look at the sky they look in exasperation, as it lacks the physical makeup required here, yet it can still be seen and, they feel, is a necessary part of life growing up in the hamlet.
       In a few short years, the children are instilled with the qualities that comprise a community, but grow, as all do, to eventually long for the unknowable lands of far away. There are now many young girls and boys encountering this exploratory phase, departing by various routes and revealing, as can be seen from the air as the sinews tense but do not break, something like the spokes of a bicycle tire, all calling the centre of the wheel, that old watering place in town, their birthplace. Of course, very rarely, a taut string would slacken, and upon no arrival, pulling it home, the father would see that their child was lost, and experiencing the many mixed emotions of a parent in such a state, would solemnly and not without breaking the hearts of onlookers, bow his head. But this was a rare occurrence, usually a person would carry that connection with them forever, forging new meaning and values with their free arm while persisting through the soft friction of the bound wrist.
       We speak about webs, those sinewy structures formed by spinnerets and if viewed on a much larger scale, one can perceive between the first village, and now hundreds of others, a potent network, lines of life drawn between places, fixed to the experiences and ethos, leading a person back, inexorably, home.

       When one looks they can see, overall, a flawed but practical structure, interminably formed and repeated. That is until meeting one of the very rare men or women with unbound wrists who come at experiences with different eyes, untrained eyes, and can themselves still find strings in the world, but do so alone and when they tie them down, they do it in a wholly different manner.


David Newson has studied writing, photography, and design at Ryerson University in Tronto. He is a newly published author of essays and prose poetry.

Copyright © 2013 by David Newson