The Monster Bazaar

Louis Wenzlow


For When They Come

There needs to be a
labia or scrotum,
stitches, piercings,
an abrasive to underline
the condition.

Animals must play
a role, signifying
we all inflict/suffer
in different ways, or . . .

Jars of eyes.

Brazilian uber-wax
striping down
to the sub layer.

Stray pubic hairs must be
plucked out
with surgery grade tweezers.
Off, off, you lendings!

Old men are babes again.
Pristine, deeper

and deeper penetration.
Pain and knowledge beyond
our standard electromagnetic
range . . .

. . . all so we will be ready

when the earthlings come.


Body Glittering

You are not comfortable
in your body.

Your barnacled seashell eyes
bludgeon the landscape.

Your elbow reflexes
only one way.

When you breathe into a cup
the residue is like a
canopy/lost dreams are beautiful.

FYI I am ordering a semen sample
for on your way out.

And can you read the chart
on the wall there, the lowest

Caress those tiny letters.
Don’t stumble
over the finer print.

Softly now. Gently.

Others are coming, fresh,


Love Lessons from the Monster Bazaar

Whenever they went to the bazaar, she always bought two, one as a nestling and the other for dinner, to remind the family that everyone is meat.

Another day, she culled only the adopted children. This was to teach un/fairness. The rush and primal pull of blood for

no one came back from there, yet they loved her like crazy, like Father, who only played for meals, if he played at all, until her grin that night, the smudge of red, lip smacking

vengeance, she said, was the secret sauce. If you could just bottle it, the world would forever be raving/ravenous but

what shocked them most when her own time came was how unprepared she seemed, increasingly so, as their slow-roasting hunger and love manifested.


LOUIS WENZLOW‘s poetry and short fiction have appeared in The Airgonaut, Cease Cows, Cleaver, Eclectica, The Forge Literary Magazine, Jellyfish Review, here in Jersey Devil Press and other places. New poems are forthcoming in (b)OINK and The Inflectionist Review. He lives with his family in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

The birds are stealing my dreams

Tara Campbell



The birds are stealing my dreams
they whirl above my bed at night
and settle on my headboard
ruffling feathers
twitching wings
cock silent heads
to track my breathing
slowing, deepening
they know to wait until I sink
until my eyelids flicker
until I weave the dreams

The birds hop to my pillow
and tug things from my ears
nightmares — sharp, dry sticks
tinsel-shred adventures
tuft-of-down romance
throughout the night they take it all
my slumber’s residue
they weave their nests
and bear their young
in shiny hope and sticky fear
dust-bound regrets
and shimmering delight

I used to write my dreams
into lined-paper cages
or tell them into amber
now all that’s left is glitter on my pillow
or a thorn
a twitter at the window
the birds wake me with the sun
to sing my dreams back to me.





TARA CAMPBELL [] is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and an assistant fiction editor at Barrelhouse. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Litbreak, Masters Review, Luna Station Quarterly, Quail Bell Magazine, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. Her novel, TreeVolution, was released in 2016, and her collection, Circe’s Bicycle, with be published in fall 2017.

Free Association

Alex Ledford



Trees: Good.
God: Damn dog. Mad god.
Hell: All Montagues. Especially that one.
Vindication: Of the rights of whoever wants ‘em.
Vindictive: Everyone.
Strangers: Your personality is showing, mine is not.
Tension headaches: My face hurts from oversmiling.
Eat: Or don’t.
Eye roll. Delicious. Delicacy. Indecent.
Iambic: Inhale slowly, exhale heavy sigh.
Paint: Pointillism.
Rock stars: Always wear capes.
Husband: He’s working, he’ll get here soon.
Solve for X: Can’t be helped.
Chromosomes: Determine fate.
Dress: Flourish of colored perfume.
Boots: Still kick, guard your shins.
South: Compass rose, night blooming jasmine.
Police blotter: Check the airwaves for dead friends.
Free fall: You’re a hypnogogic jerk.
Talking: Nonsense through sleepy teeth.
Mother: I’ll name her Inconsistent. She’ll grow tall as an oak.





ALEX LEDFORD received her MFA from the University of New Hampshire. Since graduating, she’s returned to her native North Carolina to write, teach, and help with Outlook Springs, a fledgling journal. Other work has appeared in Midway (nominated for Best of the Net 2017), So to Speak, Bop Dead City, and elsewhere.