Five Fleas Merch

Morning of September 17, 2023

all five faculties

what happens when you

don’t write things down

~Mark Gilbert

finding a soft spot in the icehouse of protracted pain

~Patrick Sweeney

tone in which the merchant said: we're not open

~Patrick Sweeney

the inner voyages of the bedridden sailor

~Patrick Sweeney


between raindrops

white space

~Mark Gilbert

fire does not give rise to perspective

the birds don’t sing

autumn does not come

autumn from now on without legs without god without man

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

(Originally published in BarBar)

I would know Tom Wait’s

voice anywhere ...

all gravel and grit

~Jennifer Gurney

the universe is snow-winter

one day we will fall into the grave

slowly like snowflakes

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

clutter of neurons


cling to the branches

~Mark Gilbert

after a trip to

the joke shop near Grandma’s house –

itching powder strikes

~Jennifer Gurney

a million fragments

each one labelled

with a memory

~Mark Gilbert

evidence of rickets deep in the bone texts of the Shang

~Patrick Sweeney

Metzenbaum scissors for the cut of his jib

~Patrick Sweeney

sandy beach scattered clouds a fake puppy runs toward the camera in slow motion

~Mark Gilbert

Afternoon of September 14, 2023

strange dream:

I spill a glass of wine

on Jack Kerouac

~Sharon Ferrante

Pyrites Pirate

I drink from the vessel,

casks of wine;

why leave it to the rats on board?

Pyrites Pirate, iron awe

to steal from sinking sailors,

wine-press gang.

~Stephen Kingsnorth



human extinction

and then life renews itself

no bones about it

~Robert Witmer

a young girl digs

discovers a fossil

marries him

~Sharon Ferrante

setting the bar

fairly low

a pagan funeral

in limbo

~Robert Witmer


the fruit of life’s gamble

snake eyes

~Robert Witmer

lace ships

harbor in a summer sky

mojitos by the sea

~Robert Witmer

in the sky something absurd

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

penthouse windows the rich know way of opening

~Robert Witmer


⸮ With fewer words, more space for thought,

but space between the terms creates

prompts required for eroteme ?

~Stephen Kingsnorth

Colonial Power

rickety split

the banana tree

in the garden


a ramshackle hurricane

snake eyes

in a pair

of loaded dice

~Robert Witmer

Evening of September 13, 2023


the dog emperor

visits Earth

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel

I Dew

We only eat olives

in the twilight,

just as the kittens


to darn

their socks,

for certainty

is a lousy lover,

little more than

fodder for the plot.

~Kelly Moyer

cone fizzled out

we thought and breathed a sigh


~David C. Kopaska-Merkel

There are as many explosions as there are stars in the sky

Every night to underground storage and bunkers

An alarm siren sounds


Life is wonderful as if it started from an egg and not from a dead chicken

~Mykyta Ryzhykh


of your death

stop texting me

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel


last sliver of hope


~Roberta Beach Jacobson

the sway of curtains


claw marks on the moon

~Kelly Moyer

harvested field

strewn with dead sparrows


~Bipasha Majumder (De)

so much meaning

packed in the singular question –


~Jennifer Gurney

Religion is a hobby club for those who have never died

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

shells on the beach war

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

open bellies conceal simple truths

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

tropical jungle death of a thousand sucks

~David C. Kopaska-Merkel

unclaimed i tether myself to driftwood

~Kelly Moyer

Morning of September 12, 2023

the offspring's weight in rice the crops of sin

~Richard Magahiz

they like to dance  crypto tracking nodes glow amber

~Richard Magahiz

drunk by the feeder hummingblurred

~John Pappas

this space intentionally left blank verse

~John Pappas


the mewl within her

peanut butter breath

~Jean-Paul Moyer

~ for Simone

my whiskers brushing both sides of the argument

~Patrick Sweeney

morning light

the heron becomes

an apostle

~John Pappas


the mountains crumble


you come back to me

~Richard Magahiz

slack tide

somewhere between

yes and no

~John Pappas

waiting out the rain

on a borrowed front porch –

the storm as company

~Jennifer Gurney

post-war existentialist shuffling to the broken rail in a ruined church

~Patrick Sweeney

the dynamic uncertainty of the butterfly's journey

~Patrick Sweeney

shopping for pillows with the left side of her head

~Patrick Sweeney

Evening of September 9, 2023

ruins speak the language of stones

we are all giant boulders

beside the eternal river of silence

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

(Originally published in Zin Daily)

String theory

The light from distant stars;

Could be merely

Light reflection from

The bottom of a leaf?

~David Eberhardt

Boxing before and after midnight

Basketball in the morning

Football match in the afternoon

War tomorrow on schedule

~Mykyta Ryzhykh

(Originally published in INTERALIA MAGAZINE)


roost near the dusk like pigeons


on strange wings

strange bodies rise

~Noah Berlatsky

sixth birthday

bikers' child receives

his first leather jacket

~John J. Dunphy

scratching my words fleas

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

ominous clouds behind

     evening trees at sunset

ghosts in the branches

~Steve Van Allen

Poem after music by Albéniz - “Cordoba”

As the guitar can be

Made to sound like

A voice?

Purple flowers hover the streets

In Seville…


~David Eberhardt


lunar tides


~Roberta Beach Jacobson

Two-word poem

Rampant lizards.

~David Eberhardt

Evening of September 8, 2023


I feel the tickle

of stars in cells

I never knew

I was comprised of.

~Kate Langan

daily bus ride

the tobacco stained smile

of the bus driver

~Mona Bedi

No Mercy

Her fun


were laid down

in the for

mative years

of her youth

and honed

in the bat

tles of life.

~Kate Langan

where no one comes looking wildflowers

~Mona Bedi

shining the knife before placing on the table    divorce papers

~Arvinder Kaur

in the middle of it all stream of consciousness

~Arvinder Kaur

insomnia the world I have made inside me 

~Mona Bedi

blue moon always plus one

~JL Huffman

and he says he loves another version of me

~Mona Bedi


A year ago, she ceased

taking the elixir of air

into pink lungs

and died, finally

succumbing to the tempting

invitation of her diseased heart,

proffered over the two

indifferent years preceding,

and became deceased.

~Kate Langan


I am so full of noise inside

I rattle when I walk.

~Kate Langan


accidental pictures

of my feet

~Linda L Ludwig

holding the shape of his bunion grandpa's moccasins

~Arvinder Kaur


Anger all evening

eating up the space

between the brain cells!

Get you gone

~Kate Langan

Afternoon of September 5, 2023

conference room

a dozen zombies deciding

who to fire

~Ruth Holzer

holding the world together human rights

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

Fairy Tales


I never did get the chance

to write a poem last night

because I was too busy

reading to my kids

before bed

in an attempt

to make time stand still.

But it never does,

not for art

and not even for love.

~Gabriel Bates

running with stencils Banksy

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

yellow is the taste

of sunshine

after a long rain

~Jennifer Gurney

mashed in the mammogram machine lunar eclipse

~Ruth Holzer

changing the shape of things a little silicone

~Roberta Beach Jacobson

girls night out

too many margaritas…


to a hangover and

the sour scent of lime

~Wanda Amos

climbing Mt. Tam

I trail behind


to betray you

just because I can

~Ruth Holzer