Steal Away

nuTillaPoetry by: Tilla Sonrise

look into these eyes
remember these thighs
never yours to touch
but you swore you owned me
sneaking into my cabin at night
trying to know me

steal away you wretched soul
steal away you wretched soul

a nation of miscegenation
in the cotton fields we congregation
and mourn for selma
me, sarah gudger, frorida, weezy and thelma
wishing for the congo
before you were welcomed there
they’ll be singing
my spirituals in congo square

steal away you wretched soul
steal away you wretched soul

oh you wretched soul
mammy to your chilluns
while mine are sold
oh hated lover
your hands are warm
but your heart is cold
what will be said 100 years from now
when this story is told
the lies will say i loved you
and longed for your affection
when giving in
was my art form of protection

steal away you wretched soul
steal away you wretched soul

make me hate my midnight skin
and mourn my locks
sell my spot on endless blocks
because through 400 years of raping me
you’ve taught me i have no value
calling me
“nigger wench” and “black bitch”
my soul quotes you loosely
the horrible way you used me
so psychologically damaged
the last line of my grandchildren
will feel it and their pain will move me

steal away you wretched soul
steal away you wretched soul

sneaking into my cabin
late at night
under the threat of death
i had no means to fight
my soul looks down on my ancestors
sad because they too long to be white

steal away
steal away
steal away
you wretched soul

steal away
steal away
steal away
you wretched soul

‘Yo’ know de sta’s don’ shine as bright as dey did back den. I wondah why dey don’. Dey jes’ don’ shine as bright.’ Sarah Gudger

Alina Smocov | VISUAL ARTIST

Portret finisat complet

Portret finisat complet

My name is Alina Smocov, visual artist from Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

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EtschingLight (etchings-aquatints)

Alina Smocov, ''Self portrait with scissors''

Alina Smocov, ”Self portrait with scissors”


Check out: and see more Alina Smocov artworks.

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Daddy Wasn’t Much On Brains

Poetry by Andy Roberts ∝ Photography by Matt Gold


Daddy Wasn’t Much On Brains


The man with no name

was my first hero.

He wouldn’t giggle like a schoolgirl,

disappoint his dad.

My father never said much,

but I’ll never forget:

“You laugh just like a little girl.”


Daddy wasn’t much on brains

but he made a man of me.


I’d take a bullet in the arm or leg,

maybe wince a little,

grit my teeth and ride on,

cop that Eastwood squint.

All the way into my 50’s,

showing that dead motherfucker

Daddy didn’t raise no fag.




I have been climbing driftwood for decades,

Douglas Fir tossed ashore by the Northern Pacific,

stripped of bark, smoothed to bone.

Pik Up Stiks released from a giant’s hand to fall

in sand jeweled with turquoise, green and amber agates.


I rise, fall, stumble,

chasing that moment of utter stillness

that opened to me – I caught a glimpse –

thirty seconds in 1969 on a winter beach

in Newport, Oregon when the sun

spun down to fill my head with light.


Fifty years ago

I almost had it

without even trying.

My head a vehicle

filled with light, transcending.

All desire reduced

to smell of wet kelp

drying in the sand.


Andy Roberts, a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, lives in Columbus, Ohio where he handles finances for disabled veterans. Recent publications include Atlanta Review, Barbaric Yawp, Chiron Review,Iodine Poetry Journal, The Midwest Quarterly, Mudfish, Pennsylvania English, Slipstream, and The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. His latest chapbook, Yeasayer, was published by Night Ballet Press in 2016.

Matt Gold Originally from Ohio, Matt Gold has been living in Bloomington, Indiana for the past fifteen years and recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY. He divides his time between pursuing his musical career, acting auditions and photography.  As a singer and songwriter, Matt frequently performs; some of his music can be found online at

As evidence of the democratizing nature of this approach to photography, Matt has no formal training in the visual arts. When he took a simple picture of his cat on his Sony Ericsson Z310A flip phone, Matt was amazed by the quality of the camera. He started exploring different subjects and this collection has grown from that picture. He continues to use this technique today, despite the advancement in current cell phone technology.

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Poetry by Oguns Peter ♥ Art by William Shenewolf


more than ever

i wish the smell of water

would obey the language of cartography?

for night comes and ragged doors

open to a road where trees burn

from the top leaving their roots

to grow

into a body

dreaming and drowning

each time

the skin of the sky

spread faded faces

FB_IMG_1467125833024 (1)


perhaps the sun never told you

of the secret life

of a dog   dying many times

whenever it coughs the word



Poetry by Stephen De France Ω Art by Yuki Yasuda

Being a recluse is a side effect
of being a writer,
being bleary eyed and
pale from sun deprivation
is another—and once you pass beyond
the half century mark on the calendar
your dating world transmogrifies.
What I mean is
there is a new unreality evolving from the
computer dating culture—a new world paradign
where nervous biographical blurbs,
dance from the truth & very old photographs,
shot through camera lenses smeared with vaseline,
or laced through cheese cloth,
or anything else that erases time or wrinkles
or signs of age from the face.
Forget the corner bar & hot spot,
folks there are not so easily fooled.
Enter an anonymous world—a disney land
world of lies, omissions, and personal fiction.
A world where nervousness prevails—a 21st
century existential house of sand
built around a fear of time, a fear of age
as every ad proclaims
life is too short & time too fleeting—
these ads lament our mortal race
against Alzheimer’s, stroke, bed wetting—and simply put
we must party now, live large in our stolen moments,
guzzle garden party drinks & take cheap flights to Paris.
Smile into out-of-focus-Kodak snap shots in Venice,
Geneva, Egypt & send them home to Bakersfield.
Desperately we must have fun, knowing soon our thighs
& asses will spread wider than any economy airline seat.
We are the Cougars and Jackals—-mostly we are afraid
to stop moving—-for if we do—we know our loveless souls will
transfigure like Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde into a cess pool of broken
*promises, a foul place where ancient dreams gatherer to die.

image (2)


Dogs baying, howling. Men in a jeep.
Drinking beer. Pointing guns.
Shrubs cracking under wheels.
I’d seen them earlier today. Sitting in
their jeep. Shooting squirrels out of
trees. Blew ’em all apart. But I ran
till the forest was quiet.
Resting here beside a clump of dead
branches I hear dogs baying. They’ve
found me. They’re close. I hear shells
rattling into rifle breaches, bolts
jamming shells into firing position.
I’m running again.
Behind me a bolt slams down,
the popping crack of a gun,
the side of the tree next to me explodes.
I run hard.
Run with all my strength.
I leap over my trail & crash into
tree cover. But the jeep is rattling,
jerking itself through underbrush behind
When I hit the stream
the coldness of water tears breath from
me. I stop for a second to regain
direction. A 30 bore bullet smashes my
flank, it’s like being clipped by a
truck. I’m down, then up and running.
Over there,
I see my fields golden in the sunset,
it’s my spot. I have to try for it.
Wildly with total concentration,
I run
Over bushes, brush past trees, knock
branches down, in my thirst to escape.
I’m moving now. Flying over earth,
my mind afire with the pain in my flank.
Now breathing coming hard.
What’s this? A strange taste.
Choking. Blood in my throat.
The ground rushes toward me.
Something going down.
I’m on the ground.
Breathing blood & foam from my mouth.
More burning, body going numb.
Try to get up. Can’t.
Someone standing next to me.
A boot rolls my head over.
Didja hit em?
Yeah, deader ‘an hell.
He didn’t hit me. He couldn’t have.
I’m still running, still alive.
I see my spot now.
It’s here. Tall grass. That good smell.
So tall.
All the way up to my shoulders.
But I don’t remember it being
so dark.

image (1)


Steve De France is a widely published poet, playwright and essayist both in America and in Great Britain. His work has appeared in literary publications in America, England, Canada, France, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, India, Australia, and New Zealand.

yuki_yasuda ☁︎†☁︎ 私の自由な自己表現の場所 自由な世界観の方と繋がりたいです∞ I love art&collage. I want to connect with people from all over the world. Follow me please† I am Japanese. ☁︎†☁︎


Flash Fiction and Art by R.E HengstermanHASH2

I suppose doubt began to creep when daylight slipped past the horizon. Or maybe it arrived with the first hint of hesitation from my erection. If I’m honest with myself, I will choose the later, but none of this is really about honesty. So I let my mind wander until a single drop of rain splats the windshield, snapping my attention back to the present. I’m making the twenty-minute drive across town, and its enough time for me to slip-slide down the rabbit hole. Above, a full on rain hides among the cumbersome gray clouds, as it has since daybreak.


The moment I arrive the sky finally collapses, releasing everything trapped between the gray. And with the rain, the last vestige of my confidence washes away with it. A reasonable person would take this as a sign. Apocalyptic rain on the way to meet a lover. Instead, I sit in isolation with the rain and draw comfort from the pit-pat-pit metal sound that taps the roof. I figure I’ll buy some time, for the stimulants to work, so I watch the run-off vanish into the storm drain, pulling all the street trash along with it. I extended my arm out the window and feel the water against my clammy skin. I allow it to pool in my hands and use it to rinse the sweat from my face.


Today, I take a little more time than usual. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s the increasing fragility of my erections. Or maybe the magic hasn’t had a chance to work yet.


Either way, I find myself asking the question, “What the fuck am I doing?”

When you realize this is a question you frequently ask yourself, it becomes problematic. Nevertheless, I continue the one-sided banter.


“I am a man,” I whisper. And as if that’s not enough I add, “I’m doing what men do!” The conversation feels both odd and pathetic, but mostly pathetic.


Deep inside I twist. Anxiety brings tiny beads of moisture to the surface of my skin. I feel uncomfortable and moist in the wrong places. I steady my hands and pound another bottle of $1.99 gas station magic. The sexual arousal concoction is followed by a wave of nausea. The bottle says one every 12 hours, and I’m on my seventh in the last 30 minutes. This is also problematic. I toss the empty, and it lands twisty on the seat with the others. My heart begins to sprint.


DESPERATION“I am a man,” I whisper again, but louder. The volume just above a hesitant question.


Twenty feet from me, in a dimly lit townhouse, a lover waits patiently and unaware. I work myself into the ritual. I rock sideways in my seat. Then I rock forward. I squeeze the wheel hard and push my ass firmly into the seat. The rectal pressure brings a hint of stiffness to which I stir with anticipation. It’s time.

Ahead, the porch light and windshield meet the rain, and all kaleidoscope into a blur of distortion. I rub my eyes to sharpen my focus, and beg the last bottle to work quicker, muttering “get hard motherfucker, get hard!” The radio plays an unfamiliar song. The wipers dance along rhythmically, and I feel they are mocking me.


How this all came to be, the limpness that softens my manhood, I can say with certainty is a small part of a long, sad story. I will say, I am no longer myself. I haven’t been myself for a long time. The endless lies are the dark curse of sexual indulgence. Or for that matter, endless lies are the curse of any indulgence. Right now I hastily chase the growing tingle in my cock that’s pulling my forward with an invisible tug, past the door, up the stairs, and into the bedroom. I rush to undress before the feeling retreats, and I implore the same from my lover using words that hide my desperation.


The door shuts, and quickly I disappear into her.

When I awake, I feel her weight straddled between mine. Misfired semen is still moist on satin sheets. I shift away from the wet and find her ear within the darkness and whisper a few words to soften her disappointment. I can feel her finger lightly trace my chest, but her words remain internal and thus fail to impale my manhood. I don’t question why, but I am forever grateful.


I close my eyes and let the moment fade to black. I love you fixes so many things I think to myself as I drift towards sleep, the words still slowly dragging across my lips.



Bus Stop

Fiction by Mike McCorkle ℘ Art by Rachel Derum

‘Shooting Star’

It was getting dark man. It lasted thirty-six hours. Something like tat. It was fucking dark anyways. What were we doing? Just a bunch of fucking kids really. Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty. A bunch of fucking kids. It was their first time, but I had some real shit, so I knew it’d be a good spin. Was it twilight? Summer? The dropper was broken – but nobody cared. So I spilled some on my god damn arm man, had to just let it set in. Big fucking deal. Am I right? Wrong. You can’t forget it was dark outside. You can’t forget that shit. And we were just kids. Anyways we left Sheila’s and headed to the park, starting to feel it. She had these weird back trails that ran all the way through the woods. I didn’t like any of them. Homeless hideouts. I don’t know man, we were just looking for a good time.  That shit started to hit me. And I am fucking G-O-N-E, gone mother fucker. Gone. Here I am supposed to be leading the group of idiots on their first big trip. I couldn’t see shit. Later I figured it was like my vision had not adjusted to the night from the chems, but at the time, I felt like I just went fucking blind. And it was dark man. I am not going to say I was scared, but they were. So the next thing you know man, I’m like screaming in the dark like a bad game of Marco fucking Polo for my friends. I was kinda freaked.  But then we all find each other in this fucking awful pitch black part of trail to the park. And come to find out they couldn’t see shit either. So that made me feel better. But then, for a split second, I felt like we were just a sorry fucking bunch of high kids sitting in a huddle in the middle of the woods. Strangers came. Thank fucking god. Some fucking strangers came and led us out.

‘The doors are few but precious’

Ashley’s was crisp. Like a fucking crisp dollar bill. That night we took something new. They were unstamped. But what the fuck? Like I have never. We all felt it. It was night outside. The air was warm. I couldn’t stop looking at Ashley. She was suddenly the only thing I wanted. I touched her hand and I felt some kinda static shit pull me in. So we held fucking hands for like four god damn hours. Now knowing me, that’s some weird shit because I didn’t even want to fuck. I just wanted to hold her god damn hand man, and feel that static. Weird shit man right? Anyways Terry came out that night and fucked Ashley’s gay friend. It was kinda weird because no one knew that about Terry and we all felt bad that he never told us before. And then we all sat on the back porch, looking out at the lake. And the fucking clouds were a castle in the sky, and when I looked at them damn things closer they turned like a zoo. Lions and giraffes and elephants. And then I looked at Ashley and Vinnie, and fucking even Jerrell, and they were all seeing it too. And that’s not normal shit man. People never see the same shit. They will lie and pretend they did, but that night that shit was real. For a few hours we stayed there. Then Terry started puking and choking on the drugs. But we were all so fucking stoked out that no one knew what to do. And then like Vinnie remembered that Jimmy Hendrix died that way or something, so we all got up and checked on him. He was fine. Or at least that’s what he said. Weird fucking night man. Anyways, it’s my stop.


So we were all drinking over at Vinnie’s and the cops showed up. I tried to run out the back, but fucking Christ man, when I flipped up the stupid crack sheet covering the glass door, old Johnny fucking law was standing there blocking the way. I ran back in and sat down in a corner. They came in of course. Started hassling us all. They kept asking ‘Who here is drunk?’ and all that shit. Of course everyone stayed quiet except me. I raised my had like a dumb fucking bastard. But they just ignored it. Weird shit right? Then they asked, ‘Who here has a fucking car and can drive like everyone home?’ And I, fucking wasted, raised my hand again. So they said, ‘Alright motherfuckers, load up with that guy and get you asses out here.’ Well they didn’t say the ‘motherfuckers’ bit, but the rest is true. So I drove everyone home. But on the way I lost track of the gas and we split the mail boxes coming out the neighborhood. Fucking shattered the windshield. Ashley got all cut up. But we took her to Vinnie’s and cleaned her up alright. Someone got my plates and they took my license. I wouldn’t have drove, but the fucking cops man. Lazy bastards. So now I’m here with you .

If you ask me he had it coming. So I didn’t feel too bad when I saw his face all smashed up. Vinnie had told Jerrell he would pick up the snow, so we gave him all our money. Four or five hundred. We got it stealing dvds from the corner market and selling them to the pawn shop on the other side. Anyways Vinnie was a piece of shit and took the cash, picked up the drugs, and made snow angels all night with the girls till the bag was nothing but numb licks and a piece of plastic. And I when I called Vinnie he just acted like a dumb bitch about it. Saying it was an accident, and shit was taken too far. And all the while my mom is fucking sick man, like I was going to use that money to flip and get her something real nice. She’s not too proud of me you know. I know she cries about it. So I needed those fucking drugs to get the extra cash, and then I would have been able to make everything all right. But fucking Vinnie. He’s not the kid I used to know. Not that kid anymore. And everyone knows Jerrell is crazy, so he fucking laid into Vinnie real hard with some brass fists and shattered his eye socket. I watched, and he kept hitting him. Vinnie cried and looked like a poor bloody sack of shit. I never saw him again. But if you ask me he had it coming. I mean man, I got a sick mom.



Yeah they just cut me loose. Cops picked me up for a little b and e. Big fucking deal. I know what you’re thinking, but I swear to god I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for Terry. He said that all old folks get the good pain medication for like their arthritis and shit, so it was like a sure bet.  So we went in and found the stash hidden behind the only bathroom’s mirror. But old father and mother time came in just as we were leaving — and in my hurry, I fucking tipped over grandma and she got a bit banged up. You know man, I am not a bad guy, just hard times. You know my mom’s sick right? But me and Terry got out, no big deal right? Wrong. Johnny fucking law caught up to us in a dimes time and we were both penned up for three weeks till the pricks at county let us out on account we’re minors. Yeah, I know, I got a fucking record now, but that ain’t shit to me, just a file somewhere with my name on it.



Yeah man, I am sure I don’t want to talk about it. What the fuck do you want me to say anyways? Oh, my mom’s dead, how’s your fucking day going? You’re a piece of shit for asking me – you know that? Bastard. Talk to someone else today.

“I don’t really know what ever happened to the parties. I guess I don’t get invited anymore. “

I don’t really know what ever happened to the parties. I guess I don’t get invited anymore. Fucking growing up and shit anyways. Booze are for kiddies. I’ve just been plugging veins. I don’t really feel like I should tell you this, but it feels fucking amazing. Best fucking feeling in the world. I shouldn’t tell you that. But man, would I lie to you either? Sometimes I just feel so fucking heavy. Like I just want to fucking cry and die and burn it all away. But then a little prick and its okay. It takes you somewhere else, somewhere new. It opens my mind to all the possibilities. It’s kinda a good thing like that. I wish someone showed it to me sooner. That’s why maybe I am doing you a favor after all, you just can’t be a stupid fuck on it. Know your limits. It’s the dumb fucks that die, not knowing their limits and all. Continue reading

Birthday Party

Flash Fiction by Denis Bell  φ Art by  Kutay Gulaydin 

A kitchen paved with marble tiles. Granite counters topped with pitchers of Kool-Aid and bowls of Jell-O. An ice cream cake and a stack of paper plates. Looking at the food, Joanne feels a craving in the pit of her stomach.

In a room down the hall a home movie is playing. Chasing butterflies on a hot summer
afternoon. Collecting snowflakes in winter. The magic of a first kiss. Getting wasted with Alex and Tina in a Volkswagen van on a road trip to Monterey. Riding bareback with Mark at a cabin in Big Sur.
Slow down, Joanne says, you’ll be there before me.


Exchanging gifts at a friend’s baby shower, a panda bear and a hand-knitted sweater with a matching pom-pom hat. The date is April 15, 1980. Elizabeth is expecting a boy at the end of May. Perhaps they’ll date in high school. He won’t be able to handle her, Joanne says. A sudden pain like a corkscrew twisting inside her belly and bloody sheets and… oh my! If she doesn’t get out of here post haste then she’s likely to turn into some type of gourd and there’s more to see here this side of midnight.

A bouncy castle and a Slip’N Slide. A spare bedroom set aside for surplus items. Portraits of beloved family pets, long passed. A Munchkin costume from an old school play. Old bed sheets, dull and grey, stained by half a lifetime’s worth of unrealized hope. The sweater with the hat, and a stroller.

In a corner of the room sits a beautiful child named Amanda Jane. Ringlets of golden brown hair, cheeks like puffs of cotton candy and sparkling green eyes that look like Mark’s. Joanne reaches out trembling hands and picks up the child. Feels for a moment the pulse beating inside the small chest, a rush of warm breath on her face. She dresses the baby in the sweater and sets her down in the stroller.

Back in the kitchen a chef in a lab coat is hard at work preparing a feast. Plates piled high with raw nerves. A pot of something soft and pink blistering on the stove.
Excited shrieks erupt outside. A B-52 is coming in for an emergency landing and My Little Pony is kicking up a storm. A cousin packs up the mood in a plastic box to be buried in the back yard at the end of the day.

Elsewhere, the party is about to begin. The place is literally bursting with life. Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse are setting up in the lounge and River Phoenix is getting ready to welcome the guests.

About the Author: Denis Bell is a mathematics professor by day and a writer by night. He was born in London, England many moons ago and now makes his home in Jacksonville, Florida. His short fiction has appeared in many magazines, both online and print. His ramblings (both literary and mathematical) can be found on his website

Stylist: Marta Rodriguez Miguel
Make up artist: Belia Conde Aguilera
Photographer: Kutay Gulaydin
Model agency: star model agency


Comic by Tara Lucy

See more Comics and Illustrations by Tara Lucy in Issue #33 of Section 8 Magazine also check out her website