Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 09/17/21

Downward Dichotomy

What the drugs do
is render you hopeless
then helpless till you
spell nihilism and ennui
backwards in your sleep.
When your real thoughts
come primal as beatings
in high school or at home,
where the drugs render
you numb enough to
stumble through the
lost and preconceived
until bloodied fists in
a botched drug mugging
go worse than sideways.
Sirens swallowing your
Fate while guilty and unclean
you watch the ambulance
cart your victim to hospital.
The cop says get in the car,
headed to lockup straight
wishing you were high or
could afford a good lawyer,
but you’d buy your high first
and save your life second.
It’s what the drugs do.

From Lower Depths

Too many ways
to drown with
someone you can’t save.

Wearing as much
sadness as any
beautifully masked face.

While getting high
in alleys with others who’ll fall
as hard from the lower depths.

Yet with each
unwrapping she still remained
outside the box.

Her bordello smile
welcoming me to lies
I preferred to truth.

Until she stole from me
precipitous amounts too often
not to be for narcotics.

I left her to memory
unable to forget
all she wanted me to.
I stay now in shadows
dreams telling me I’m closer
to finding a new lost cause.

Of Joyrides

Her loud carpenter, with hammer
driving nails tells me
the sex will be hot.

She takes her shirt off
slower than most strippers do
With the same junkie marks.

Pierced in more places
than the slain matador’s bull
before the dying red sun..

Her conversation
excoriates ex-husband
who stole her car.

For a meth fueled joyride
ending in a crash without
insurance or a driver’s license.

Her lips do their worst
and me no good,
as much as I like it.

No preliminaries
like we’re used
to avoiding.

She wipes black
lipsticked lips with
back of her hand.

After swallowing
there’s enough truth between us
for a false confession.

Count my twenties,
like a pit boss,
says “later baby.”

When she leaves
I can only think
later will be soon.

©2021 Rp Verlaine All rights reserved.

Rp Verlaine

Rp Verlaine lives and writes in New York City. He has an MFA in creative writing from City College and taught English in New York public schools until he retired. He has several collections of poetry including Damaged by Dames & Drinking (2017), Femme Fatales Movie Starlets & Rockers (2018), and Lies From The Autobiography: Vol 1 Seany, Vol 2 Natalie, & Vol 3 Dawn (2018-2020).

Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 09/13/21

House on Fire

The heroin Junkies
Like bite sized slices of death
To escape the pain of life
And the meth-heads like
Rocket fuel to the brain
To imagine a world
Better than the one that is
And there is the pot head
Creating a hazy space
Of zen
To escape the chaos
And the alcoholic
Embracing pain while numb
And then there are the abstracts
Who get high on art, poetry
Fiction and the movies
Escaping through their own
Imagination and will
I understand them all
It is those others who
Reading this, think themselves
Superior to the rest
Those that mainline reality
And revel in a world
Where those that have it all
Eat the bones of those not
Fortunate enough to
Be born with that silver spoon
It is those, well adjusted
Inheritors of this
House on fire that I have
No warmth in my heart for.

©2021 Jesse James Kennedy All rights reserved.

Jesse James Kennedy

Jesse James Kennedy is an American novelist and poet born in St. Louis Missouri. After a brief stint in the Army, he spent a good decade running wild, reading, and sharpening his writing skills. His first novel, Missouri Homegrown, was published by Perfect Crime Books to strong national reviews from Publishers Weekly: “Kennedy shows some impressive story telling chops in this high-action, heavy-body-count page turner… Not for the faint of heart.” And Booklist: “Fast-moving, wildly violent… Kennedy’s novel is vivid and rich in character,” and was nominated for the best novel by a debut author award by the National Thriller Writers. His second novel, Tijuana Mean, was published by the same publisher and also received a great national review from Booklist: “Kennedy’s involvement with his material has deepened. In heightened language, he explores the odd bond between cops and criminals, the poisonous tension between father and son. There’s a sixties vibe, too, with LSD visions and the Grateful Dead on car radios. These are gripping, beautifully executed scenes.” And his third novel, Black Hills Reckoning was published in May of 2021. His poetry and fiction have appeared in House of Horrors 2, Lummox no. 9, and the international poetry compilation Yearnings. These days he can usually be found somewhere in the rural Midwest writing and consuming copious amounts of bottom shelf whiskey. All of his work is available on Amazon.

Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 08/30/21

chris and his fucking jet fuel kicks

chris and pam moved into a little rambler
by the airport
it was their first house
chris was 3 years sober
pam drank socially
they didn’t keep anything in the house
that chris could get into
he’d been hooked on damn near everything
things went alright the first year
but pam saw a change in him
he wasn’t acting right
he wasn’t himself
not the same anyway…
it was like he was high on something
like he was on a light drunk
that he couldn’t shake
one morning she found a ladder against the roof
he said he didn’t know nothing about it
but then it happened again
a ladder against the house,
this time out back
he played dumb…
then pam got to talking to a neighbor
some old hag with a maltese and a black son
they were talking about how low the planes flew
they were right in the flight path
the neighbor said the pilots from northwest
would dump their fuel before landings

light bulb…

the next night pam stayed up
she took a 5 hour energy shot
she heard him turn off the TV
then she heard him at the door
then she heard him up on the roof
she sneaked out the back
and stood by the garage
she saw him up there
on the peak of the roof by the little chimney
a plane was coming in for landing and he was up there…
arms outstretched…
his mouth open to the sky…
trying to suck up all the jet fuel
he could get his greasy little addict’s hands on

©2021 Adam Johnson All rights reserved.

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.