Thursday, December 1, 2016

Due to personal issues this project and all others associated with Kind of a Hurricane Press are closed indefinitely.  All work that has already been published will remain live on the site.  All work that was accepted but has not been published is now released back to the author.  All print copies and issues will remain available through their current sales channels.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Poem by Daniel Slaten

Start the Panic

he dances backwards into the room
the moment everything explodes
a mushroom cloud of watermelon-scented
covers all but the only thing
the everything the anything
the absolutely nothing thing
               that matters
or doesn't does it
no of course it doesn't
it never will it never did
               it never should
and so it is
and so it isn't
a celebration of movement
               in that
of utter panic
when the watermelon-scented
woke us all from our slumber

Daniel Slaten writes short stories and poetry in small notebooks and on sticky notes.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Three Poems by Angelica Fuse

Winged Poem

I saw a winged
poem today whose
name said he was
but he was no devil
just an arrangement
of friendly whiskey
verses offering opium
to children.

Monkey Business

I am from the tree
dangling, an ensemble
of animal parts, teeth
that rattle, this is my
territory, I beat my animal
chest, bray like an ass,
piss on the floor,
then climb back up to
survey my finer points.


lathe and labyrinth
we drove deep into the night
looking for monsters
forgetting our swords at home
but at least we had our
smart phones so we did not
get too lost
then entered the open mouth
of the cave
[bad idea] now still turning
we are beating hearts
lost in the dark.

Angelica Fuse is an unquiet voice.  She enjoys reading by an imaginary fire.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Poem by John McKernan

Go On

Mister Mayor
Call Prince Adam

Ask him
How to lick
Arsenic off vodka ice cubes

Then call up the Insurance Company
Ask if they pay
In the event of suicide
Listen close

If you're paid up after two years
We'll send you a feather bed
Of maggots
And have Hugh Hefner deliver it

John McKernan grew up in Omaha Nebraska and recently retired from herding commas after teaching for many years at Marshall University.  He lives in Florida and West Virginia.  His most recent books i s a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust.  His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Field, and elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Poem by Marc Carver


I come to a river
there are three otters swimming in the river.
I put the diamonds on the bank and swim,
one of the otters comes to me and lays in my arms, like a baby.

His two fins at the back open out
and he becomes a small child resting in my arms.
He swims away
and I look at the banks, they are filled with bright green and red frogs bubbles all over their body
then I look for the diamonds
they are gone.

Friday, July 15, 2016

A Poem by Charles Eugene Anderson

Dine-In Communion

Eating is Freedom

The signs are everywhere.
I'm hungry.

Eating is Life

Pass one.
Drive some more.
Pass another one.

Eating is Divine

Pull off the interstate.
See the right church.
Drive to parking lot.

Eating is Tranquil

The line is too long.
Decide to go in.
Get out of hoover-cruiser.
Adjust pants.
Belt on last notch.
Time for another belt.
God has blessed me.
I'm his faithful servant.

Eating is Girth

I'm ready.
The line inside is almost as long.
I will be forgiven for fasting too long.

Eating is Repentance

I'll stand in line as long as it takes.

Eating is McDonalds

This time my number is twelve.
There were twelve disciples.
I look at the priest behind the counter.
He'll deliver the sacraments if I'm patient a little longer.
He says to me, "What are you waiting for?"
I say, "The Happy Meal."
I take it with my hands open the way I've been taught so many years ago.
The priest speaks to the woman behind me, "May I help the next sinner in line?"

Charles Eugene Anderson lives in Colorado.  He's been lucky enough to be published in many publications for the past twenty.  When Charles isn't writing, he likes muscle cars, running, and baking.  Find out more at  or

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Poem by Mark Niehus


Name Box
Date Box

Yes box
No box
go to question 37

Hi question 37
Yes box
Can you house me?
No box
go to Section E

Section E can you house me?
Yes box
with conditions, are you poor?
Yes box
are you lying to me?
No box
are you hiding zee moniez?
No box
please just house me!
Yes box
go to promise box

Promise me box
I Promise box

Sign me


Date me


Now fold me just so

Mark Niehus is a poet and artist who drives a cheese truck, between deliveries he explores the mechanics of human behavior.  Belief, need, ambition, self worth, inspiration and hope, occupy his mind while customers comment on the weather.  Finding a place for his writing has become important to him, though the reasons for this beyond the obvious are  unclear.  He likes to get close to instinct and invention to create unique combinations of poetry, street art, music and performance.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Three Poems by Natalie Crick

Love Me

Two friends.
Chalk and cheese, gelled with want.
The shy one with silver sticks
That clunked on wooden boards
Skipped to a secret song.

And him, a gauzy giant,
The bitter scat his excuse.
It shines for special occasions,
Shouting about life of biting tongues:
I am history reinvented.

Blink twice.  I am not out of the ordinary.
He tells me how I have a nervous laugh
And how nice
The mice looked, strung up in grey wire.
An easy spear through each socket.

Would I like to walk with them?
It would be like kissing the flute
With my eyes smoking and hissing,
Ash sinking in each pit.
Let me roll in icy pools.

The Other does that,
Hair wet and black,
Tossing acid.
Do you ever sleep?
He wants to be loved.

I do not react.
The sun lets them in,
The moon breaks in two.
Bell, once.
Bell, twice.

One is finished.

Sunday School

Madeline loves it
And sits as Mother would.
The priest is like her Father
Dressed all in grey,

Palms fluttering with
Paper clowns,
Legs and arms spinning anti-clockwise
Like the priest's eyes slide

From side to side.
We are his for an hour
But he cannot touch us,
For we are jewels to be watched,

And, one day taken.
Nobody has ever held his hand
But Grandmother, with rings like
Little girl's warnings.

This is my house of God,
Rain thundering as
Unanswered questions.
Their faces are taught and chilled with frost.

He is the bee of androgyny
Thrusting candelabras as tusks.
This drone of activity,
It is all too much for me.

Faces dumb as naked dolls.
He strips them, licking them with stars
Like potential girlfriends
Or meats to be weighed.

And We Are Hiding Now

For some time they sat in the cornfield
And spoke like dull mice
About what would be done.
When the sun, a ruined fruit

Ripped the dilute garden growth
And spread a red alarm over tall shears
The eldest was heard to say
"Bury them in the cellar."

Skins of lice lamented
Over the pulsing stalks,
Their drones blanched in the air
Curdled and hot.

The house was distant and brown
Weeping a creeping shadow from within,
That seemed to warn:  "Keep Out."
A blaze from the forgotten.

Old plastic swing swung over the perimeter,
A goodbye, flinch.

The sky was high and blue.
In the giant shoots
Lurking softly and surreal,
Two ducklings on the gilded shore.

The sea was swimming with flushed young men
Severing feathered heads
With long silver scissors.
Pointed thorns in a paper box.

The woman roared like the man.
"Stop," said the girls
With frilled socks.
Once the heavens were purple

Like a bruise, the corn
Grew cold and wet.
The house stood waiting, a deadened bulb
With a swift march

They advanced through the field,
Cutting stems.

Natalie Crick has found delight in writing all of her life and first began writing when she was a very young girl.  Her poetry is influenced by melancholic confessional Women's poetry.  Her poetry has been published in a range of journals and magazines including Cannons Mouth, Cyphers, Ariadne's Thread, Carillon and National Poetry Anthology 2013.

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Poem by Jeff Grimshaw

Friday Morning with Ducks

There is no difference between
Ducks and mechanical ducks
From my vantage point
Or rather my
Of vantage points
As I negotiate the
Mesconetkong Creek Bridge
Although I have no reason
(Cough!) to believe that
Any of the ducks
Are mechanical ducks
Not even the one
Jerking his head back and forth
Watching the bread crumbs
Float by
Like a mechanical duck
Doing a bad imitation
Of a cartoon duck
At a cartoon
Tennis match

I am en route to
The post office
I should subscribe to more magazines
I will have to do some research
And see which ones make
The best paper airplanes

My Sherpa assistant
Is in the vestibule of
The health food store
Eating a bag of healthy
Potato Chips
And wondering if the song
They are playing on the radio in there
Is a country song or not
Because it is what he
Always wonders.  "Jeff,"
He'll say, "Is this one a country song?"
"No, Pasang, this is 'Bohemian
Rhapsody' by Queen.  If you want to hear
A country song you have to listen
To a country station."
And then he'll make a notation on
A 7 Grain Bread label and five
Minutes later say, "What about
This one, Jeff?  Is this one
A country sond?"  And
I say, "No, Pasang, this is still
'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen," and
He makes another notation and
This goes on all goddamn night

But now he's eating his healthy blue
Potato chips and I am
Wiping the ducks off my retina
By checking out
A 17 year old girl with a
Pierced belly button
It is unseasonably warm
For January thank God although
The pierced lip I could
Do without

My cell phone bill!
A postcard announcing
Brookdale Community College is presenting Little
Shop of Horrors next month!  A mutual
Fund prospectus!  An envelope full of
Discount coupons I will never
Use!  My post office
Box is a Gateway to Exotic
Adventure  and Unsolicited

Ducks and (perhaps) mechanical
Ducks and Pasang and the teenage girl
With the belly ring all bob
In my wake like flotsam

My God it is February 3rd and
I have not changed the calendar page!!

So I take care of that
The mad dash back home is frankly
A blur and the artist
Who lives next door
Is sweeping cat food
Misfired ice melt & elderly
French-fries from
The sidewalk
Wearing her smock so everybody
Knows she's an artist
I suspect sapphic tendencies as
Well but then of course
I always do she has a slightly
Unhealthy blue cast because
I am watching through the
Sheer blue curtains which
Sometimes when the sun
Floods through them makes
My gargoyle pencil holder
Look blue but not particularly


Someone is selling a PT Cruiser for
8K or Best Price
The UCC is having a pancake-and-sausage
Breakfast tomorrow.  Gene the
Town drunk is
Lurching down towards the
Delaware with a 24 pack of
Not particularly tasty beer
Earlier today I was stopped at
A red light and he asked me
How my daughter was doing
But did not pay
Overly much attention to
My reply and just now
The artist paused in her
Sweeping to consume
A bottle of Yoo Hoo
I like the way she
Smears the Yoo Hoo mustache off
Her upper lip and decides
This chick
Is no lesbian.

A delivery of French bread sticks
To the restaurant across
The street!  Zut alors!

And now out one more time before
Lunch (meatloaf on
Rye or failing that
Tuna salad) and the ducks take
Off, quacking or (could be)
Clanking, into the air,

And from up there
The car roofs
Are just so many
Blue and Red and especially
Silver potato chips

And even 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by
Queen is just barely audible
Enough to permit the ducks to smile
Although of course their bills
Will not.

Jeff Grimshaw has had poems and stories published (among other places) in New York Quarterly, Asimov's SF, Pyrokinection, and Chiron Review.  He's the co-writer of the screenplay for Michel Gondry's movie The We & the I (2013).  He generally makes his living as a baker, and lives in Milford, NJ.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Watching and Listening To

I never discovered the identity of the highways
That were all mixed into one
And are now as cherished as stolen horses
As they have become happy memories
That are like paint drips and fantasies
That remove all the door knobs of back so long, long ago
When there were adventures of her own
In the tape hiss and the clipping
And the fold rock strums of the riverbank on which she was last seen
But all of that is metal to be refined on some other day
During the hollowness of some far away Sunday afternoon
Because this morning is a vacant lot full of tumbleweeds
Desperate to detach and hurry off toward the drained coffers
Of she who was always only a mirage
That evaporated in the harshening light of noon.

Blink and You'll Miss It

After a day whose big sky is like festive fabric scraps
My all night impatience became a house that was empty
And didn't even have enough ink left in it
To wake me up the next morning to the emptiness
Of those blessings whose shaggy hair was Welsh and fierce looking
As they rippled like wadded up sheets of aluminum foil
That sounded like a Russian orchestra as this was accomplished
And was something which was only usually hinted at
In the grimaces of the distorted twin guitars
That are but yet another transition
As time seems to warp into those intimate moments
That suddenly becomes aware of their own ragged blades
And which are nothing less than my complete resurgence
As they skim over these waves towards far from home again

Vanishing Seeds and Bonsai Trees

Peppermint vines creep through the ghost like snow
Velvety icy and bubbling phantasms made of penny candy
While the fragments of a harpsichord
To which the water colors of Diego Rivera dance
Become the egg yolk words to the chorus
Of the shallow waters of the reggae ice cream truck
That will always reside in her touch

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Poem by Jeffrey Zable

Walking My Poem

I was walking my poem down the street
when a beautiful woman stopped and said,
"My, what a handsome poem.  Mind if I pet it?"
"The pleasure is all mine," I responded, "and
I'll even have my poem recite for you."

"Oh, to be a virile, young man again
who could catch the eye of beauties like you--
to sweep them off their feet,
and wind up beneath the sheet
for a night of unforgettable release."

And as she walked away
without the slightest appreciation,
I continued down the street,
dragging my poem behind me.

Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area.  His poetry, fiction, and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of magazines and anthologies from the mid-70's to the present, most recently in Serving House Journal, The Vein, Weirderary, Futures Trading, Mocking Heart Review, Bookends Review, Unscooped Bagel, Grief Diaries, Houseboat (featured poet), 2015 Rhysling Anthology, Poetry Pacific, Third Wednesday, Flint Hills Review, and many others . . . 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Three Poems from Ken L. Jones

Where Can I Find Her Paintings?

TV was a highway of personal beliefs
That were tan all over
Card decks slipping open like rodeo clowns
And all of this still makes patterns
On the cloudy pumpkins in my backyard
As I dive into all that is mild and tender
And will always be a taco stand
That stands up to the elements
Even as it blossoms submerging the hours
As I slowly sip its white grape juice
Laced with rivers that lead to a frozen lake
That now has barbed wire all around

A Silence So Deep

Wow pumpkins are turning into gold tarnished TV shows
And yet this pilgrim afternoon o' the sea
Is my Lord Of Hell is Venus In Furs to me
And as the taper candles that are the stars
Vault my thoughts way beyond Mars
Causing my past and present to dance
Like elves down strings of memories
That are like the Appalachian Trail
Where they are raked up like fresh baked leaves
By Andy Warhol who is greasy from kicking it old school
And planting the seeds for dust and diesel trucks
Late for the multiple layers of the kid in you

Gifts From The Dark Edges

In the underbelly layers of a long time dream
That hardly softens all that is so long lost
But whose after school detention's airy melodies
Are more poignant than any Doors' song
And yet somehow all that has gone before
Makes my remembrances dive and soar
Until they devolve like whatever the dog
Turned into in John Carpenter's The Thing
Served with a creamy thought

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Poem by Peter Magliocco

not a supernova supertrain

Star ether braids itself thru time
penetrating the gravity of sweet yearning
levitating a breath of multitudes
from trails of dying comets
where sin was born finally
just a bridge connecting humans

in a race to reach ultra-heaven
coloring my graphs of infinity
beyond the corner convenience stores
selling generic ambrosia as last meal
while I speed thru the stop sign
at the cul-de-sac of your heart-fall

there starlight still breathes us in
beyond a disinherited galaxy
of little earth stars we homed in
curious substitute for an afterlife
immersing ourselves in cyber ships
(modeled after "The Crystal Ship")

of classic Rock & Roll perhaps
we had little chance when the dry
cities closed up all around us
squeezing out the flesh of stardust
vampire aliens played with constantly
leaving us husks of forgotten desire

Peter Magliocco writes from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he's been active for several years in the small presses as both editor and contributor.  His latest poetry book is Poems for the Downtrodden Millennium, from The Medulla Review Publishing.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Good God Mother

I am a straightjacket girl in a ballroom world.  I have
forgotten how to follow the glitter-
brick road.  Mirrors come to paint me.  It tickles.
I laugh and break.  Their concentration
requires definition – mine.  I look myself up
and down seems to be the only probability.  I jump
on one foot in the middle of a rainstorm
hoping to strike right.  Wrong! 
Everything runs.  Back
to basic training I go.

Of Coffee

drip     pools
cup carries

Reverberations.  In Blue.

I am a broken hollow
filled with my own echo.  I haunt
myself with abandoned
desires designed to trick me
                                              out as “normal.”
It never works.  I am immune to the sound
of my own voice (not to mention
my truly pathetic sales pitch).  Still
I practice repeating retreating
repenting (occasionally)
even reinventing . . . harmony
is the definition
                          [of so much more than]

A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses.  Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press) are now available from their respective publishers and  She is a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2400 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Three Poems by John W. Sexton

All Aboard

electric jellywhales
pulse opera . . . their myths
of shallower times

          immortality card:
          go straight to hale
          do not pass gone

technology keeps
us grounded . . . the
ant subterranean railway

          the bodies
          black foliage . . . artichoke-seals
          snout the silt-seas

bond with local life . . .
in lichen cloak and hood
your mind deepens to stone

          tunnel cities of
          the fretted terrain . . . existential damp
          seals us

the astromaggots . . .
all aboard the giant plum
for the fall to earth

          Mrs. Eyes
          is an innovator with leftovers . . .
          candied fly wings


her pubes of kelp
rich with nutrient . . . her larder full
of drowned seamen

          old granny ten-tits
          . . . the elepig
          squeals the sky in half

falls a paragraph of fog
. . . moon-silver
a dog barks in full-stops

          an innocent evil . . .
          the shadows slip
          from their puppets

three fine mice-men
the serval girls
purred you petrified

          oh that mad hairday . . .
          a lather befell
          the city

through a door
in your soul we entered . . .
we rifled your light

          from his cabinet
          of paralyzed faces . . . her lips creased
          for the everlasting time

my darling abalone
your mucous body slips
from its dress

          one kiss
          the frog prince turns
          into a glass summer

Those Innocent Days

his spine cracked . . .
Dick Shinnarry
is lost for words
          tethered to his winged goats
          . . . blue, the goatherd doesn't wake
          on the moon

travel by slime machine . . .
leave in disarray
arrive in a heap

          space krill
          were once called dark matter . . .
          those innocent days of science

the slush oceans a hint
of vanilla . . . narsharks
display their sweet tooth

          the mirror overcoat . . .
          we admire ourselves
          down his long back

the ant's chair . . .
yes, your arse
looks big in this

          expleting the crossword
          tussle . . . lost for swords
          nine down

all the truths
that ever were lost . . . and this is the ear
that Jack has

          violation a way of life . . .
          glove puppets
          accept the finger

Matryoshka fell
asunder . . . no custody
of her lesser selves

          a downpour of diamonds . . .
          the solid steel river

John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland and is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being The Offspring of the Moon, (Salmon Poetry, 2013).  He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTE radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episode from 1999 to 2002.  Two novels based on the characters from this series have been published by the O'Brien Press:  The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed, which have been translated into both Italian and Serbian.  He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem "The Green Owl" won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007.  Also in 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Poem by David Russell


Lurching, they bluster--ghouls into the chasm.

Fierce lava, blowing, nullifies their fall
And dissipates harsh gravity's concussion,
Forces a seething screen of phoenix cowardice,
Leaping to swell
Into a fresh, mendacious crust,
Tripping and throttling the led
Into a smear upon pure metamorphic beauty.

The skeleton's jaws yawn apart;
A stranded mountaineer was frozen
At his prime pinnacle,
Denied warm, compromised decay;
A calcium landmark now, but broken loose;
A boulder never neutral
To those in fear.

One gouged and bored--
New Sisyphus, with ever-sinking aspiration
For no stress, no fall--
For him the indefatigable light
Breathes limbo silicosis.

Can they combine?  Eternity transcends the cheap ideal
Of mutual obliteration.

A mountaineer trapped in a submarine,
A miner in a satellite,
A megalomaniac performing his own precious lobotomy
Hoping the abolished question mark
Can keep things safe and solid.

Purgation's smudged when bound to fire,
Denied release from fizzy process,
And even air can clog and sludge
The ultimate suction of life's syllables
Into fatuous pinprick stars,

No line can break full circle.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Poem by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

Eyes to See

The flavor of carrots is generated by 36 genes;
29 of these genes,
inserted just so in the human genome,
confer near immortality--
works on 11% of us.

Folks don't react well, knowing
the people next door are going on without them.
Disaster on this scale is a cultural tsunami.

Not content with their brief
day in the sun, many of the 89%
               burn, rend, scream, kill:
               embrace death,
               if only they can take some
               immortals with them
               to the vanishing point.
It's over.  No one speaks of that time.

After the Mayfly Wars we begin the Live:
               artworks on a grand scale,
               literature refined to pellucidity,
               but creative breakthroughs, not so much,
               that's a game of youth
               and there is so little of that.

Carrots, carrot genes,
everything tastes like carrots
               broccoli, corn, potatoes, carrots
               tomatoes, peas, raspberries, carrots
               filet mignon, even human flesh:
               carrots, all.

Then folks get desperate, but
nothing works
the taste is in us
not the foot
               potting soil
you can run, but, you know . . .

So I'm trying to remember that genetics shtick
and it's hard, oh so hard, after unnumbered years
of purposeless satiation,
but I'm teaching this kid,
and she's getting it, and I've never prayed so hard
               for eggs, potatoes, rosemary,
               onions, chicken, pepper, apples,
               chocolate, artichokes, mango, mustard,
but no carrots.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel lives in a hollowed-out gourd hanging from a red oak out behind a house occupied by a colony of artists far more accomplished than he is.  A leaf lacquerer by trade, he edits The Lacquered Leaf and dreams of a day when his gourd will be hung from a black walnut.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Poem from Brendan McBreen

when life gives you lemons

the grass is greener
keeping the doctor away
the mice will
make mountains
out of the frying pan
into a gift horse's mouth
but don't cry over
all the tea in China
because the bigger they are
in glass houses
the harder they fly a kite
without a paddle
until the cows come home
in sheep's clothing

measure twice
die by the sword

and when in doubt


Brendan McBreen is a poet and workshop facilitator with Striped Water Poets in Auburn Washington.  He is a humorist, a haiku writer, a student of Zen and Taoist philosophy and psychology, a collage artist, a sometimes cartoonist, a Gemini, and an event coordinator with the Auburn Days festival in August.  He is a former coordinator of the August Poetry Postcard Fest and in 2009 was awarded a residency at the Whiteley Center in Friday Harbor.  Brendan has been featured at various local venues and is published in many journals including  Raven Chronicles, Bellowing Ark, Crab Creek Review, bottle rockets, Leading Edge, Origami Condom, Circle Show, in the anthology In Tahoma's Shadow, and in the UK journal:  The Delinquent.

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Poem by Bryan Damien Nichols

Desires and Dreams

     -- for Alexander Shacklebury

Your desires are seen through dreams,
And your dreams, through desires:

          your desires:  your dreams:

As patent as an etching in graphite,
The result somehow stained in
Aureolin, boysenberry, turquoise, and lime--

Like strange ferns thrusting through electrified water
At chimerical dusk--

Like a Christmas tree you've never seen adorned
With bulb and trinkets and tinsel

           but hanging upside down.

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978.  He earned a B.A. summa cum laude, in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.  He has practiced law both in Houston and in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.  Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, TX, with his loving wife, Michelle.  Bryan is best known for the poetry he writes through his two heteronyms:  (1) Kjell Nykvist:  and (2) Alexander Shacklebury.  These two heteronyms were featured in Bryan's debut poetry collection, Whispers From Within (Sarah Book Publishing).  In this new collection, by contrast, Bryan writes in his own name, and explores numerous themes and issues that are important to him personally.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Two Poems by Sheikha A.


from a pot of pestled roses;
the hour of midnight prints
labels on foreheads of walls
hiding behind dirty glue, dried
toilet smells and secret closets
of re-fleshed skeletons; scrape
back a few inches to see life
curl into a wrinkled death, skins
on bones peached pink/melba
desserts/laced torso/girdled
thighs/bedside candle-plumed/
carpet of glass/lotion and whip--


Blue mountains on white snow
rest like gods returned from war;
chest armors scuffed with dust,
rectitude attacked with iron blades;
caves of victory like dug reticules--
worms once feasted on ripe roots
now travel towards a shortage
to harvest sleep under vapored
time; they will grow scorpion
claws, suck marrows dry,
tear out of sands,
be who they are,

Sheikha A. hails from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates.  With over 70 publications in various print/online publications such as Red Fez, Ygdrasil, a New Ulster, The Penmen Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Poetry Pacific, Mad Swirl to name a few, and many anthologies, she has also authored a short poetry collection titled Spaced (Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013) available on kindle.  Her poems have also been recited at two separate poetry reading events held in Greece.  She edits poetry for eFiction India.  She maintains all her publications on her blog

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Three Poems by A.J. Huffman

Embracing Change . . .

I’m settling in
and every minute can be
daunting.  Becoming
your nothing, I’ve met
with suggestions
on tweaks and additions.
One of the biggest developments
is a hope that you devour
what you love.

And what you don’t.

Masterful Interpreters of the Human Vibe

I thought everything was right
with the world.  I saw dark
eyes below the surface.  There were deep
days of secrets.  I thought I had everything
contained.  I soon learned betrayal
was a one-room efficiency
across the parking lot.  I have one foot
in a place I knew I could never leave
without dying.  I did not want to grow
up.  I did not want to learn
about wearing my sins like a blanket,
but I was in no position to change things.
The risk of chaos was always near,
and poison literally hung in the air. 
I saw it as the subtle difference
between hope and desire.  There was still
something pure about that.  Of course,
it helps to be able to breathe
in dirty air.

Ungusted Wind

Heavy silence
weighing on lungs,
waiting for another breath
of memory.  A tussled-hair anticipation.
A relief from smothering
heat that never comes.

A.J. Huffman has published twelve full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses.  Her most recent releases, Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers.  She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2500 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya.  She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Poem by John Pursch

Flytrap Knuckle Sawdust

Into hand and out of mind, the coldest of ancient time-lapse fusion generators peddles its wares to childhood memories of long-forgotten carousels of nameless visages gone to fallow graveyard icicles in soldered unknown pirouettes of bifurcated ovens, folding subterranean rivulets in periodic building creaks, settling boneyard catacombs for futuristic generations to dream about in wanton heat replay of slo-mo's levitating jungle.

Stumbling into memorized rotisserie of highfalutin crockery and tailings sifted hourly by time-reversal junkies stirring cream in partly cloudy skyline beach on lunging temporal islands, standing lunatic lobotic leaders in numbered turnstile overcoats of fleshy gabardine solution sets, frosting differential brainpan gears with choicest bits of drilling sturgeon sideways glance from hovering groupies bent on pants regard and buttoned flytrap knuckle sawdust, pent in pending pentagrams of sawed-off cocktail roundhouse blues, topless scurvy shopping lists, and catatonic spouse machines, left beached and frantic, unattended in the checkout eyes of cancelled kisses.

Down to final swallow of succulent drip-shoot coffee canteen cafeteria blintz eruption police evasion escargot, she laughs a lot in solid rewind perspiration, seated over caustic influx bellhop door of dourly diurnal dihedral detrimental daguerreotypes of dawn-smoke doppelganger decoupage, deftly daft in toffee-tapered topographical toboggan tense of crammed grammatical thunder, cashing year-long photographs of librarian heads in thuds from well beyond eternal stacks of spearfish periodicals from decades drummed with thumbing thigh-scan surgery of lost enabled duodecimal decisions dogs on skewered impetuosity to sweaty fever omnibus in cornered trimaran of basal hat collection crosstown catnap snips, ferociously entailed in governed mental squad rant volume population drift.

John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona.  Twice nominated for Best of the Net, his work has appeared in many literary journals.  A collection of his poetry, Intunesia, is available in paperback at  His experimental lit-rap video is at  He's @johnpursch on Twitter and john.pursch on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Poem by Linda M. Crate

100% Cruel

there's a 1/16th

of me that's curious to see
where you went,
but the other 15th of me is just
glad you're gone;
i wouldn't want to live a life
catering on you
i could only imagine how exhausting that
would be--

                                                            i told them to tell me
                                                            when you fell flat on your face because
                                                            i wanted to see it
                                                            part of me still does while
                                                            the other 1th of me
                                                            says that's just plain cruel;

can't be any crueler than the 100%
of you.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvania native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville.  Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print.  Recently her two chapbooks, A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press--June 2013) and Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon--January 2014) were published.  Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015.  Her novel Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Three Poems by April Salzano

Spoke too, Gone too

soon.  Decubitus.  Succubus.
Fuck you, bitch.  Trapped
between two worlds, one all goddamnit &
other polite and subtle as a hemorroid.
Excuse me.  The disease
of powerful seething, driving
to distraction.
Phone on hold.
Hold the phone.
Stop the fingers
on screens they aren't really
touching.  A book
on Auschwitz.  Life
on fire.  Death at the door.

I Know Where My Hands Have Been

They find things in the dark,
proud tongues talking, taking
signs away from languages and cupboards,
cupping the moon and casting it
aside in favor of brighter light.
How bare their intention,
how wrinkled their skin.

Let Every Sound Be

anything but familiar, all excuses,
original as origami
animals and balloon breasts stuffed
high in shirts that are too
small.  Let anyone who can,
do, and those who can't, crawl
on fours across floors
made of water.
Let the sun go out.
Keep the moon on hold.
Dictate the way the cards will
fall, and sweep them under hand-
loomed rugs and quilts of clay.

April Salzano is the co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press and is currently working on a memoir about raising a child with autism, as well as several collections of poetry.  Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle.  Her chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is available from Dancing Girl Press.  Her poetry collection, Future Perfect,  is forthcoming from Pink. Girl. Ink.  More of her work can be read at

Friday, February 26, 2016

Three Poems by Joanna M. Weston

The Depth of Cold

a wedge of rime on the sky
this glacial sheet of stars

where tossed paper napkins
and a footprint coin snow

pigeons lost in hoar-frost
are speared by fallen icicles

an apron of milk spilt
the gelid end of solstice

in a river of ice-floes
shards of arctic moons


     -- 1st line from Sylvia Plath's "Years"

they enter as animals from the outer
rim of countries stretched by hunger

stealing comfort from the night
fleshed bones gnawed to the pith

incoming nightmare spectres
spiders weave old catastrophes

each broken promise spells our past
these strained smiles glisten

a paralysis of searchlight fear
marooned in focused high beams

horror's welcome plastered on skin
time disables our emotional centres

faith blankets all uncertainty
disbelief burned at every stake

These Nights

     -- 1st line from Thomas James' Love Song

love, the gold mouth has broken open
silver tongues spill on creased sheets

an arm fingers cradle moonlit words
the night's shadows waver over skin

a movement of dream in curled limbs
whispers of sweat speak wild roses

what questions can be asked of love?
lips caress night's hand and breast

the tide falls and sleep moves in
mouths close on raptured speech

Joanna M. Weston is married, has two cats, multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses.  She has a middle-reader, "Frame and the McGuire," published by Tradewind Books, and poetry, "A Summer Father," published by Frontenac House of Calgary.  Her eBooks found at her blog:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Three Poems by Mark Young

Satisfying the Mittag-Leffler Condition

If grandma gets a bedsore the best thing
to put on it is a discernible cluster of
shamanic metaphysical teaching
features--an enclosure of plinths in a cube,

Frobenius extensions of rings via centralizers,
endomorphism towers locked in position
at the base of the pole, or people from the

settling basin of the Palo Verde Irrigation
District who like to make use of the "boys
& motors" obsession.  The final depth
of the mulch should be three to four inches.

A Line from Dante Alighieri

A narrow stone stairway
leads down to a cave cut
into the rock.  Worms are
passive creatures unless

they're part of a zombie story
set in a secluded area of the
Tasmanian rainforest.  The same
stuff that cleans your toilets

or bleaches your hair travels
through to the upper nasal
& oral cavities & lights up
your next dinner party.

Lychee Lodge sits within a
dark wood.  A Jungian analyst
mentors single men & women.
This website feels right for you.


Minoan civilization
is an artificial wave
in the hair.  Diacritics
dreadlocked in instead
of beads.  Genetic markers,
carrier codes.  Meaning
imparted by their up-
braided placement.  The

color has already been
bred in, an aposematic
act, an unsubtle warning
to the traveler that not
everything is what it
seems to be.  Metabolism
abounds.  Bulls pace the
mazes of the royal palace.

Mark Young's most recent books are Bandicoot habitat & lithic typology, both from gradient books of Finland.  An ebook, For the Witches of Romania is due out from Beard of Bees.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Three Poems by Ken L. Jones

Rising in the East

Now that I am so very old
I often think about being young
A baby sometimes but mostly earlier
And what it felt like to be in that liquid room
Where a heartbeat was my metronome
And I and she were as one
Something I did not understand
Until I too was but a small part
Of repeating all of that

For Those Who Love Black and White

The candle's wobbles splinter the glory days
Oddly moving and big time unexpectedly poignant
Santa Lucia in a flying Barca Lounger
That whips you back to live long and prosper's psychedelic rock
That I once heard in the Huntington Botanical Gardens
That had all the stunning beauty of after it rains
Where I remembered reading Ant-Man in a used car of great wonderments
Near my favorite pizza place that was an Oz all of its own
Back when every Christmas was a necromancy
An aluminum foil that was molded into the cherry orchard's great coats
Back before I became chained to the oars of the glaciers
That still slowly advance over the red clay roads
Towards a certain long closed barber shop
Where as always my heart lies in repose

For the Snow

There is a seasonal cool that is settling in on the dry cornfields
That are near her secondhand shop so like a dark wood ruby
And later there will be a disco ball in each glass of wine
That we will drink near downtown tribal streets
That are milled out of all that has been recovered
From the frenetic duck and cover that is constantly tinkering
With winter's thinly sliced silhouette until it becomes
But a Lego set of all that we have lost

For the past thirty-five years Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published author who has done everything from writing Donald Duck Comic books to creating things for Freddy Krueger to say in some of his movies.  In the last six years he has concentrated on his lifelong ambition of becoming a published poet and he has published widely in all genres of that discipline in books, online, in chapbooks and in several solo collections of poetry.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Poem by Pamela Ahlen

Night Life

A dark and diazepam night,
when wake-time's saxatile,
crawling out from under the rock
and roll of an old picture show.
I read from Dali's secret life,
the childhood part about bestial women,
as manically absurd
as a re-run of badgers roaring matriarchal,
gnawing on the bones of my obedience.
Yes, the babushkas,
a clutch of beet-boiling dumpling-beaters,
their sauerkraut sweat and fruitcake disapproval,
serving shame, my every tick watched, stopped,
congealed like stinky cheese in the clockarium of my brain,
beasts whose DNA I bear, whose garnets I wear--
the persistence of memory
preying on my pillow like a mantis alive and busy.

Pamela Ahlen is currently program coordinator for Bookstock (Woodstock, Vermont), one of three Vermont literary festivals.  She organizes literary readings for Osher (Lifelong Education at Dartmouth).  Pam received an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  Her poems have most recently appeared in About (Black Earth Institute), Bohemia, The Sow's Ear, and The Comstock Review.  She is the author of the chapbook, Gather Every Little Thing (Finishing Line Press).

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Poem by Ruth Bavetta

Last of the Summer Wine

The silver bracelet around my wrist
was forged from snakes and desert air.
All around me figs and honey
gathered moths with crayoned wings.
As the colors flowed and fused,

I ran to join the festival.
There, among the rhymes that failed,
I drank champagne and laughed and sang
without a thought of coins or shoes
or where the other guests had gone.

When the tide swarmed through the door
and the lanterns sizzled out, I was left
to burn my fingernails for light.
The sea was dark and deep and cold,
but as I sank below the waves,
I held my ten small lamps aloft
and birds flew down to kiss the flames

Ruth Bavetta is an artist and poet whose poems have been published in Rhino, Rattle, Nimrod, Tar River Poetry, North American Review, Spillway, and Poetry New Zealand, and many others.  Her work is included in four anthologies.  She has published two books, Embers on the Stairs (Moontide Press) and Fugitive Pigments (FutureCycle Press).  Two more books, No Longer at this Address (Tebot Back) and Flour, Water, Salt (FutureCycle Press) are forthcoming.  She loves the light on November afternoons, the smell of the ocean, a warm back to curl against in bed.  She hates pretense, fundamentalism and sauerkraut.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Poem by Arturo Desimone

Despite My Best Efforts at Arriving Late to Every Meeting, There it Persists, A Fetal Clock Nascent in Me

My hands like leaves,
my 2 gentle hands:  husband and wife

I want to pull husband from wife
child from mother
master past his managers
politician past stage managers
they have misunderstood unity
and reunion is not in the air-conditioning
It is at the frontier of death
and the lovers are many

the winter kills the beggar saints
who could pay radius
the winter kills micro-organisms, but the demons
will awaken, with or without the pagan carnival
that allows the stupid country-folk to remain animate
and survive the demons, mocking them in the anonymity
of the act of wooden masked mating.

The solitudes can be lovers
and never partners, and never
house-bound, for that is
the heart's death
preferred to its wings set
on inexterminable fire:
my only race was concealment.

Arturo Desimone's poems and short fiction pieces have previously appeared in Counterpunch, New Orleans Review and The Missing Slate.  A recent artistic collaboration with the Netherlands-based Iranian film-maker, Atousa Bandeh, brought his poetry into the video art film The Apology Triptych.  Arturo was born and raised on the island Aruba, in the Dutch Caribbean, and is currently based between Buenos Aires and the Netherlands.

Friday, February 19, 2016

A Poem by Inna Dulchevsky


Long slim fingers
Of willow that weeps
Clicks dry-bone knuckles
Extends thirsty branches
Crooks hungry figure
Over my comatose posture

            "weep!  weep!"

Shelters me under my fear
Into my dreary presence
Into pulsation of old rotten flesh
That surrogates my heartbeat

Swills from me
As if      she rejoices
Over the body of water

Green silent lake
  White stormy ocean
      Running wild river
           Stinking swamp

  Dry salt

White Lotus flower

Inna Dulchevsky spent her early school years in Belarus.  She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.  She was awarded the Frist Prize 2014 David B. Silver Poetry Competition.  Inna's work has been published in numerous anthologies, books and journals including Pyrokinection, Jellyfish Whispers, Napalm and Novocain, Petals in the Pan Anthology, Element(ary) My Dear Anthology, Happy Holidays! Anthology, book Lavender, The Cannon's Mouth, The Otter, New Poetry, Calliope Magazine, Calliope Magazine Anniversary Issue, Aquillrelle Anthology 4th annual Lummox Poetry Anthology, KNOT Magazine, Antheon, and is forthcoming in Secrets and Dreams Anthology.  Her interests include metaphysics, philosophy, meditation and yoga.  The light and expansion of consciousness through the connection with inner-self and nature are essential in the writing of her poetry.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Poem by Scott Wozniak

A Steady Diet of Incendiary Devices

Last night
I found myself
shotgun shells
and drinking

The shells
sent buckshot
through thoughts
piercing holes
in my mind.

The gasoline
set a fire
in my gut
it became
a lantern
lit with instinct.

In my heart
the two mixed
and I exploded
like your typical
white trash
Fourth of July

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Poem by Ellen Webre

Gumdrop Spices

Chocolate cakes and strawberry jam
live in the many refrigerators of the snow prince.
He's decked his halls with boughs of icicles,
woven spirals glinting crystalline in the setting sun.
Skinned animals spread on the floor,
but my lips are still blue as the roses littering
my wake.  The dog purrs in my lap,
the cat wags her tail and begs for a piece
of the gluten-free darkness in my hand.
Peaches roll on the floor, quickly smashed
and sweet beneath frosty boots.
My liege sits beside me with a glass of plum wine.
I curl beside him and hands braid my hair
into sheets of diamonds.
It's okay to feed them, he says,
Chocolate has never been so poisonous as you.
A golden tub fills and I am warm again,
melting into steaming music,
disembodied fingers sliding softly
into my flaccid womb
where now only stalactites grow.

Ellen Webre is a senior Screenwriting major at Chapman University, and is minoring with Anthropology and Asian Studies.  She is a dream-wrought poetess who has featured at the Ugly Mug, Coffee Cartel, and Mosaic poetry readings.  Bitterzoet magazine has published a mini chapbook collection of her work called Bound By Red String.  When not reading magical realism, she can be found trying new recipes or photographing strangers.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Poem by Keith Moul

Rending Mouths

The agitator rises before God
and the audience, performs
his cleansing without strings,
woodwinds or Brillo
and topples the house.

Upstaged, the comic, accustomed
to doing nothing, launches
off his edge profane missiles,
incendiary tracers, scatter-shot,
aiming to rend the trigger mouth
and other mouths to gurgle blood.

Eyes divert from the stage to train
on the blessed show back and forth.
Eyes tear in elation.
Voices scream "thumbs down!"
House spots dart at dark figures
like light sabers.

Keith Moul's poems and photos are published widely.  Finishing Line Press released a chap called The Future as a Picnic Lunch in 2015.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Poem by Nava Fader


Formation in corners a long-
forgotten membranous vis-

cosity hardened detritus
sleep's willing or unwilling

roaming fluttergirl your
fat ass goldtooth indicator

rot cheeses in bottles over-
ripe vinegars a failed Below this temperature, honey can be either in a metastable state,

meaning that it will not crystallize until a seed crystal is added, or, more often, it is in a "labile" state, being saturated with enough sugars to crystallize spontaneously.

domestic fligh spirits
genie in the jar wishes

amber rock prop windows rock
salt Modern uses

health applications health
hazards religious

significance Gallery see
also but listen if not

savor:  bees can take honeydew, the sweet secretions of aphids or other plant sap-sucking insects.  Honeydew honey is very dark brown in color, with a rich fragrance of stewed fruit or fig jam.

Nava Fader received her masters' from UB Poetics Program, writing her thesis on Adrienne Rich.  She is the author of All the Jawing Jackdaw (BlazeVox), Hitching Post (BlazeVox) and several chapbooks.  Recent projects include a manuscript of fake translations from Dante's Inferno, poems from Garcia Lorca, and work with Wikipedia.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Poem by Karla Linn Merrifield

Another Ars Poetica

It started with Picasso's La poete mirroring her bad acid-trip

A Baudelairian butterfly sipped from folds in the gray fleurs du mal--
set to acquiescence, heart beaten to Chopin's funeral march in Opus 35,
succumbed; but she learned junkets to Cuba don't make a Cubist of a spongy
She ends up back in Miami in mixed media, content to imitate art, whatever.

A nine-time Pushcart Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, Karla Linn Merrifield has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies.  She has eleven books to her credit, the newest of which Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada (FootHills Publishing), a sequel to Godwit:  Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry.  She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye (, a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society, and TallGrass Writers Guild.  Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet,

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Poem by Sheikha A.


My spirit is the name of horcrux --
a bait on a curved needle --

things that haunt haven't a home
other than things like us;

it isn't easy to watch stars grow bones;

their faces have carved into odd designs
from having sampled one too many; I would know

from having watched pieces fall off
my face, like a discoloring on seepaged walls

a thousand ways to see
a thousand ways to feast

to get visited on the wall by the beds,
an axe lifted for assault,

but the eyes too hollow for reading,
and especially when the intent is bound

in muslin meant for burying
fates -- if one of the components used

was a tooth from a hairless mammal,
and a bark sharper than the blade of the axe's --

the hooded haunt holding my body down
must want something else.

Sheikha A. hails from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates.  With over 60 publications in various print/online publications such as Red Fex, Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, The Penmen Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Poetry Pacific, Mad Swirl to name a few, and many anthologies.  She has also authored a short poetry collection titled, Spaced (Hammer and Anvil Books, 2013) available on kindle.  Her poems have also been recited at two separate poetry reading events held in Greece.  She edits poetry for eFiction India.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Poem by John W. Sexton

The Complete Box of Heaven

The Complete Box of Heaven arrived in the post.
On every single side of the parcel were the words:


The parcel was slightly crushed on one side.
On the removal of the brown parcel-paper I found
a single box that could be opened on any side.
On each side was a large number, the same
on ever single side:


"It's got six written all over it," I told my mother.
"No," she said.  "That's the number nine.  You're
looking at it upside down.  Nine is a sacred number."

Inside the box were nine other boxes.
"See," said my mother.  "I told you it was the number
nine.  Nine is the number that Heaven adds up to."

Once outside of their box, the nine boxes
appeared much bigger than the box they'd arrived in.
Along with the boxes was a sheet of instructions.
The instructions explained that the individual boxes
each contained a different aspect of Heaven.

Box one contained the Void.  Box two contained the Word.
Box three contained the Waters.  Box four contained the Angels.
Box five contained the Firmament.  Box six contained the Dome.
Box seven contained the Days.  Box eight contained the Nights.
Box nine contained the Mystery.

The instructions were very specific.  Do not open box one
before box three.  Do not open box six before box five.
Do not open box four before box six.  Do not open box eight
before box seven.  Do not open box seven before box six.
Do not open box six before box four.  Do not open box four
before box three.  Do not open box three before box seven.
Do not open box seven before box one.  Do not open box one
before box eight.  And under no circumstances whatsoever
open box nine until all the other boxes are opened.

"What box should I open first," I asked my mother.
"Any box really," she said, "just as long as it isn't the box
that you shouldn't open before the box
you shouldn't open it before."

"Mother, that's not helping," I said.
"Just listen," she said.

"I can't hear anything," I said.
"That's exactly what you're listening for," she said.

We sat there in silence, all of Heaven before us.
But we were no closer to it then
than we were before it had arrived in the post.

John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland and is the author of five poetry collections, the most recent being The Offspring of the Moon (Salmon Poetry, 2013).  He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTE radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes from 1999 to 2002.  Two novels based on the characters from this series have been published by the O'Brien Press:  The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed, which have been translated into both Italian and Serbian.  He is a past nominee for The Hennessy Literary Award and his poem "The Green Owl" won the Listowel Poetry Prize 2007.  Also in 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Three Poems by Vernon Frazer

Dressed to Collect

  rent vapor a mirage
doubling razors caught
                     while calypso circuits
                   blend into facet glands

narrative flares flashing pineal
mirrors whitewash the malediction
            that hints collateral witness
     shared half-time swallowers bereft
        flume dimension bandits
        haunt the formal apron corners

            (testaments to radio bluster)

        recumbent declaratives waking
                          homely phenomena tokens

maple rung declaratives
transform polarities before mop gestures

      dispensing subterfuge
      walk vortical across a wood eponym

no lining, no listing, sly lacing
       applicable to historic intervals

           in leather tempo gadget swagger

Delivering the Music

the postmark that got away
replied no sending firm attached
or matter
               to the subway
     stationed             at last roll
            blithely to oblivion


aiming at the train stop
no message              detached
ambeince in card charade

    patio affirmation      a reflux insurgent
no aromatic emblem           attacked
                                     the gastric epitome


no disincentive     urgently packing
                      to stay

              a                  while
        packet               surges
        ahead                destroying
          the track
                        least afforded


reaching digestive entropy
the rage in the gut dispersing

lettered pages
                 of leather intention

     silver studs
     left there for the beating to dry
                   the hand played
the frayed cuffs
      melody               cleverly left
                  as origin

              and destination

Solo Camaraderie

delirium as its sub-glottal potentate
portends the viper's grim ascent
through hitching catacomb securities
no crack too small to writhe though
and deliver the fangs of awareness
when throttled gorges prove munificent
beyond spectral revolution pudding
clarified as butter in a milkstorm fog
attenuated leaflet foliage autumnal
in the nominative plural of its craggiest
rocks turn to pilfer sonata seepage
derelicts at roadside fumigation stands
their twisted enmity a baleful glance
turned hay under the reaper's path
no delaying the transformation deluge
or beluga dreams shelled a casing
the weeping carnage left bedeviled
circuits to enter the contrary demotic
for emblematic weeping as muttered
under the swelling casement seal
humidity posing under its strong suit
veiled the kelp fractures a wall away
from the shore-worn port of entity
where no shopping intruders allow
an affair among ruins to fester long
in the aftermath treaty of harelips
gone hunting tainted vesicle rumors
that launched the greater velvet trial
verbose as its aged seekers claim
re-presents the pastime glory back
from the day it never happened
that way no respite from the nattering
stored for playing poker-faced stud
drawn with a half-stacked deck in hand
or clip as chosen or preferred to ride
shotgun as a native pellet sunning
chronic pellet arrears as bullets
when the hedges slow their lyric
trudge against the beveled wind
revised under begrudging trials
that later falsified their intrusion
proclamations abound irrational
pudding lepers seek hands out
to the presently stretched as limits
will go farther when never tested
the clipper's glide an afterthought
pledged as a blind sequel dotage
offered androgynous surface dwellers
a handout where the tunnel meets
excessive heat residual mouthwash
in a darkened preference setting
sea mambo escalades to banish
all nocturnal menu supplements
rutting with a renewed disposal
dial all the chattering party callers
to burst their lineage circuitry
before the next apartment drone
defrays the cost of empty protocol
wipers left their unseemly surging
under a cry for curious drivel claims
renewed evocative misunderstanding
in cults that waver by definition
for shark indulgence pamphlets
gone the way of dividend rehearsals
whisper their sloppy matrix buttons
hammer the new rehearsal fabric
smithing the iron to its dungeon core
while dissidents stammer vacation
breezes residential duct wipes home
to pass the vantage past fried nights
to comb a vestige over its last run
hiding old futures in the gene cleft
trying new gospels though fruition
seeds she old bones with tuna
scenes weathering the clipboard
sergeants circling the motor pool
to view the diorama speaking true
tire legends when they brag of rubber
from solitary recreation days in port

Vernon Frazer's most recent books of poetry include Selected IMPROVISATIONS, T(exto)-V(isual) Poetry and Unsettled Music.  Enigmatic Ink has published Frazer's new novel, Field Reporting.  Frazer's website is  Bellicose Warbling, the blog that updates his web page, can be read at  His work, including the longpoem, IMPROVISATIONS, may also be viewed at  In addition to writing poetry and fiction, Frazer also performs his poetry, incorporating text and recitation with animation and musical accompaniment on YouTube.  Frazer is married.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Three Poems by Christopher S. Knodel

Parasite's Host

                           Silent.  Hidden.
           Feasting.  Reproducing.  Excreting.
Strengthened.  Buttressed.  Exhausted.  Weakened.
                 Fading.  Strangling.  Dying.
                       Skeletal.  Bloated.


The Drink

      Some people say I have
      a drinking problem.  I am
      merely living life the way
    I know how.  Each morning.
    I'll have a snifter of brandy.
    At lunch, I'll enjoy a couple
      of beers with the boys.  Is
        that so wrong?  It does
              not affect my
                 work or
         I think I'd know
        If I had a problem.


Lady Death

   She smiles, and passes him a pinot noir.
      He sips his, admiring her boudoir.
            He hasn't known her long,
                 felt her siren song,
                    and followed
                      her back
                       her lair.
                    Her dark hair
                and lashes frame a
           face so stunning, it masks
       her cunning.  He gags then, from
 the arsenic.  The black widow kills again.


Christopher S. Knodel is an author, poet and ultra-distance runner in San Antonio, TX.  He is a freelance journalist and writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column.  His poetry and short fiction have been featured in The Asses of Parnassus, Ealain (MPA Publishing), The Wolfian, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Zodiac Review and Zombie Logic Review.  He can be easily spotted by his kilt, tattoos and six inch, flaming-red, Van Dyke goatee.