William James… 111 Words


111 Words of Anything Goes


Azalea ran the numbers though Katz’s equation. Pushed the button. The machine clanged three times. The jackpot was hers.

Terry was in the playroom plugging tokens into the high-stakes claw machine. He maneuvered the claw over the thousand dollar bill, but won three butt plugs instead. Each time he grabbed his prize out of the slot, he shouted, “Look folks, another cliché!”

Azalea got careless. She was hauled out of the casino in chains.

Terry wrestled with the cops. He got a black eye. Later a sore bottom.

Katz was the big cheese of the operation. His brainiac hacks worked every time.

He kept himself out of danger with cunning schemes.


Copyright © 2014 by William James Lindberg


Jennifer Roush.. The Jazz Trumpeteer


The Jazz Trumpeteer

Cheeks of pink, eyes of blue
I loved the jazz trumpeteer.
A gentleman; always in tune.
Never drained spit on a peer.
Takes my hand, asks, “hey Jen!
Go out with me today?”
“We can hide, we can seek.
Practice all day in the caves”
“Here’re my friends”, gleefully
Strange, the looks on their faces.
Try to run, try to flee
In my head I win these races.
All his friends took their turns
What they did wasn’t just jerking
I shift my butt, it still burns
But nothing’ll stop their circling.
Day the next, in the class
I play every drop of fear.
He, speechless, I “goodbye”
Motherfucking jazz trumpeteer.

Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer Roush


In this particular piece, the author, Jennifer combined 2 Lines with the 111 words of anything goes. Notice how cleverly she wove the prompt lines “the girl shifts her buttock, but they keep circling,” in her narrative. Her use of crass language is reminiscent of the author of those two lines, Charles Bukowski. All in all, good work for a few minutes of time.

Click here if you would like to participate in the WRITING CHALLENGE.


William Doreski… At the William Stafford Memorial and the Last Concert


At the William Stafford Memorial

On the left coast, cypress pointed
like thorns scrabble at the sky.
Along the river, a mock Stonehenge
casts sinews of deep shadows
among which you pose smiling
and rapt in your bubble-pattern scarf
as you lean on William Stafford’s
Giacometti-shaped memorial.
If your shadow catches up with you,
both of you may go adrift, floating
over Portland, your scarf a cloud,
your smile a daylight crescent.
Meanwhile Stafford’s ghost muddles
among the first spring flowers,
red and blue trimmings to border
a lush and consequent afternoon.
His pacifism warps the horizon
to conform to your fondest moments:
those spent reading or thinking
in a shower of pastels, shared
only with gravest reservations.
The cypress scratch but can’t damage
the sky. Leaning against
the starkest of infinities,
you uphold yourself and the world
with your bubble-pattern scarf
as casual as the poet’s ghost
fluttering in flaccid light.

The Last Concert

The stars dress more formally
since we counted the oak leaves
fallen that one drab afternoon.
The stars exude atomic hues
to endorse the famous nudes
that step from art museums
to dance to certain tunes scraped
on home-made instruments sporting
one string each. We share a love
of such primitive music, the cries
of mating cats and dog-bark
tuning a chorus in G flat.
By the Charles as conventional
music fumes from the Hatch Shell
couples explore each other’s seams
and find the weak spots where thread
has rotted in the damp climate.
We watch from a safe distance,
remembering that we have counted
enough oak leaves to carpet
the entire river basin. Two
or three little sailboats flicker
in the cold November wind,
their bow lights tracing them back
to the dock to tie up for night.
The last concert of the year
has set the musicians shivering
before an audience upholstered
with boisterous winter coats.
The stars observe with indifference,
but their formal dress expresses
not only the nudes dancing
in Copley Square despite the cold
but also the rehashed Beethoven
churning beside the river.
We watch from a safe distance,
too old to expose ourselves
to the yellow lamplight, too shy
to let the stars understand us.
We can’t process each other
the way those young couples do,
but we can parse the starlight
and read in the various hues
the journal someone has kept for us
in our long, unaccounted absence.

William Doreski’s most recent book is The Suburbs of Atlantis (2013). His poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals. He lives in Peterborough, NH.

Copyright © 2016 by William Doreski


Stephanie Goodhue… Think Outside The Box Color


Think Outside The Box Color

Ignoring the ravages of time
As they bristle beneath deeply etched wrinkles
Irrevocable vanity is stoked
The fire below is a bloke who misspoke
Morning confidence shattered by the magnifying mirror
His words still ringing in her ears
“Gun Metal Grey”
She’s fifty shades away from caring
What the professional colorist had to say
Root shock has a way
Of balancing on the edge of a déjà vu all day
Leave it to John Lee and Muddy Waters
“I’m bad like Jessie James”
So with untamed hair of gun metal grey
She arranges a dual with vanity at sundown
A challenge of some renown
Where a bourbon whiskey round
Catches the aces and eights by surprise
Just beyond tell tale salloon doors
That even the score
Swinging towards grouper-esque lips
In the eighth round

Copyright © 2016 by Stephanie Goodhue


Sy Roth… Three-Three Time Chutzpah Dance


Three-Three Time Chutzpah Dance

Sam was not a large man,
Perhaps fifty pounds heavier than his wife.
She, a half-inch taller though, towered over him.
But what he lacked in height,
He made up in petrified chutzpah
Hidden behind his bafflegab, she so detested.
Chutzpah shambled along beside her
Stiff-legged, round the fringes of her existence,
A darkling hovering beneath her voice,
Murmuring, deep-furrow-browed simian
Laid low among stygian stars.
Mired in eternal evenings,
He, a grumbling miser eaten by the moon’s rays,
While spirits shuffle in like dowagers on midnight errands
To stand at rigid attention
Until he hears her squeaking steps approach.
In the waning a.m., he wakes,
A lonely iceberg afloat on a frozen sea.
He dares not wake her.
His warmth oozes from his bed
And he supposes, silently, that she might hear
His morning’s bubbling waters.
His head bowed low,
He seeks pennies that litter his bifurcated roads.
Left adrift in the dry darkness of a sandy desert
Enshrouded in a blackened blanket,
And the rising morning’s orange sun does nothing,
But kneads the back of his neck, unlovingly.
Chutzpah carries on.
He follows the day’s lead and routines
Unfurls like a muddied flag before his dazed eyes–
Trampled limp, then
Hung to dry in a breathless zone of muted days.
He skates past the days in a dance of daring curlicues.
Figure-eights helter-skelter,
He skirts around them all,
Shakes off the bugle trumpet of each morning.
That plays taps for his waking.
Clarion calls echo a death threnody
That bugles his silent brain.
Chutzpah waits in the trembling silence of all lost causes—
Zyklon B sheep.
Crossword puzzles assuage
Seeks ephemeral moments to stimulate his tired neurons.
The morning’s cryptoquote hides
Scrambled, a camouflaged secret
He keeps tucked away in a bag hidden
Behind the green fronds that sway in his sunrises-to-be
When lily-white suns dangle mysteriously in a burnt- orange sky.
He lives in those moments for the seconds–
The seconds, ticking time bombs,
Interminable seconds of an endless chutzpah.


Forty words when terseness if not his forte. So, Sy Roth writes whenever he can with verbosity.

Copyright © 2016 by Sy Roth