Monday, August 1, 2022

Hair, Kristin Garth

When Bundy’s arrested in Pensacola,
you’re five, young enough to have survived, though 
not completely intact.  Long brown bourgeois 
hair, middle parts attract evil, Mother knows,
and so it goes, long locks lopped to a safe 
Dorothy Hammill wedge.  Old enough to pledge,
through tears, to grow it back, once you  escape 
a Mormon culture where it’s always alleged 
your body is to blame — for any male-
induced indignities or pain.  Short hair 
won’t stop your body horrors, nor the jail
which holds one misogynist though there 
are others, free, who teach you prayers 
that you will not tempt them with your hair. 

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Rhysling nominated sonneteer and a Best of the Net 2020 finalist, the author of a short story collection You Don’t Want This (Pink Plastic Press), The Stakes (Really Serious Literature) and many more books.

Three Poems, Marcus Myers


When You Discovered Only You Could Ever Really Hear the Sounds in Your Ear
[A letter to my daughter]

“Dad, do you hear 
that crackling sound in my ear?” you asked at four.

“No, other people 
can’t hear the noises made
in our own ears,” I said.


“We don’t share the same head.”

“Wouldn’t it be funny if we were conjen twins
in our momma’s tummy, 
and we shared arms, a chest and some legs?”

“You know it would be funny. And we would hear
many of the same sounds. But even then, we 

likely couldn’t hear any noises together
made by our inner voices.”


“Because we still wouldn’t share the same head. 
Even if our heads were conjoined (I pressed my fists 
together at the knuckles) we could only share one ear. 

Make sense now?”

“No! Everybody stuck together hears the same. If I don’t talk,
my conjen twin she hears the quiet voice inside me.”

I was not overly satisfied with my argument. 
By the next time we talked, I’d looked, 
I’d read about it and learned we as conjoined twins 

would each have flashes of each other’s thoughts 
since our brains would be enmeshed 
by nerves and blood and so, “Yes,” I said, “you’re sort of right,

their inner voices might each sound very much the same because of how close 
their eyes and ears.” In this moment 
our imaginations fused around limitations 

of what’s unlikely but real, and when you pressed your face to mine, we became two
joined—if only briefly—by the words 
you said: “You’re my twin.”

I Imagined Your Birthplace as a Nest 
[A letter to my daughter]

Before you, our baby girl, opened the rooms 
we roomed in then, we made a space for you
within our bright apartment. Windows 

through which the sun drew our breaths
and returned the eggshell enamel of those walls
to pine floors. We lived—closed but porous—

in what seemed a tower above the river, 
within a space not unlike a nest  
hidden above the river swollen with city.

I recall your mother’s balconied eyes, 
blued with the fleck and flame 
the river bends away from the city 

down where we emptied our quiet
stares, after finishing the Spartan
dinners we set. Outside our kitchen window 

a laundry line, which I saw as the chalazae
the material chord of our bond,
holding the yolk of you to our shell,

the proteins of which I imagined we unwove 
during each argument. I did not then imagine 
our angry heads, but maybe 

the way they seethed and shook
above your silent formation,
above our busy hands, 

our palms damp and wrist-flung 
as if to throw the nest we’d made for you
out the side window. Imagined 

or not, this discord decentered us.

Phil Mostly Gets It Right 
[A letter to my daughter]

“They fill you with the faults they had / and add some extra, just for you.” –Philip Larkin 

An old poem by now—“This Be the Verse”? I recited these lines for years 
as a new father after every story, still do, of familiar dysfunction: We can’t help 
making children—we adults—miserable, it reasons, because “fools in old-style 
hats and coats” ignored them, drank and fought, in the same rooms, sulking 
ankle-deep in wrapping paper, calling it wonderful, life, acquiring our taste for happy tears, 
ironed crayon leaf transfers and fresh Hallmarks to color over pain. Handed down 
to you, here’s your great-grandmother’s table, sconced in her dark parlor, so many nights 
she sat, lone-sipping slow-fermented losses—charcuteries, cakes before three courses 
of rumination. So stylish, your Nana’s Nannie, my great grandma. I’ve enfolded
a picture, pasted it in, of her in her signature cat’s eyeglasses, in her atomic whimsey,  
and I wish you could hear her thrumming wit, the story threads she unbraided 
from the beehive hair she piled atop her head—her father, who lived close
enough to school to walk home to eat, to find one day, instead of lunch, his mother
had blown her head off against the mantle—and we’ll have to accept the sting 
of her divergent mind, let’s call it spiritedness. And hopefully you’ll have to accept none 
of the hypomania your Nana and I have inherited. And I hope I haven’t passed
down to you any of my depressiveness, the historic display case of genetic 
melancholy, a storied metal in quiet circulation. Though there’s no shame. I know 
you’d smile a frown to recognize the coin toss of her whimsey, now ours, how this verve 
and glee can land up or down, how quickly it oxidizes into a sad face 
or quicksilver state, flipped and tarnished 
by the pull of moon. 
                     But Larkin’s poem advises we hit the road 
away from family early as possible, refraining from having “any kids yourself”. (Your mother, mostly secure and full of hope, never recited this poem. I’m afraid we wanted to have you 
to love and save the damaged among us—I’m sorry!) Your mom and I will have fucked 
you up, no doubt, in other ways only your kids will know. Even us loving adults 
invariably do their numbers along the way. And I’m starting to see that perhaps kids 
turn and double back to gun it up this one-way street yourselves. Perhaps 
you flatten us, bad hats who’ve worn too many fools for you, friend or teacher
When you pack and move a thousand miles, you leave us 
preserving such messy rooms as this.  

Marcus Myers lives in Kansas City, MO, where he teaches writing to high school and college students and serves as a managing and co-founding editor of Bear Review. Brown-thumbed but trying for green, when not teaching or parenting or celebrating Bear Review contributors, he reads, gardens, walks and backpacks as his preferred modes of inquiry and joy. A semifinalist in the 2019, 92nd Street Y's Discovery Poetry Contest, his poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Common, The Cortland Review, The Florida Review, Hunger Mountain, The Laurel Review, Mid-American Review, The National Poetry Review, Poetry South, RHINO, Salt Hill, Sweet, TYPO, Windfall Room and other such journals. 

Selected Works, Heller Levinson


Rural Songs from the Gunboat


sweet wheeze ka → boom

                    pikeberry lullaby


ether loiter              troll transcendence


in the riparian quench of a stalled orthodoxy




edges toy beginnings


soil plum(b)s porosity


declawed serenades sprinkle the field,

flake-offs from dispirited mechanisms, tune-

less, blunt, root


idential, roil whereabouts, consider plantings


the hurt fled otherwise




the night sky


even so



bud pubescent hammock gruel sift surmise palpitant outline sketch dialysis wriggle configure calve wary callow brink                  manifestation mulls

milk prep curdle               cradle abeyance ladle crop fickle in the lurk bellows


                              bramble arbiter

                              pattern prolix curvature zeal

                              slump cowslip

                              verdancy slouch


edge assemble consultation brew           constituency poach           pattern probe loft

in the mould formative knead

                    ‘When making an axe handle the pattern is not far off.’

                                                            where in the






armature reel stencil dart pattern pluck pluperfect comatose rain

          -- how many configurations bedeck the plank –

                                                  where in the




stamped in armature signature slap where is ambage? recalcitrance?



lurking in distillate residual prehistoric psychic trench -- tomahawk sun, wood ar-

ousal – loaf-affiliates saunter, float silhouettes, draw the

flux of

evolutionary doze


Note: SHAPE SLUMBER emerges from Heidegger’s notion of a cabinetmaker’s apprenticeship. He asserts that the teaching is not merely one of learning the utility of the tools & the forms he is to build, but, most importantly, & above all, ‘to  respond to the different kinds of wood and to the shapes slumbering within wood – to wood as it enters into man’s dwelling with all the hidden riches of its nature. In fact, this relatedness to wood [my italics] is what maintains the whole craft.’


This ‘relatedness’ includes the smell, feel, & tone of the wood, . . . its pulsative vocalisms.

The ‘draw,’ in the 3rd to last line, would denote the draw as configuring (as in artistic ‘drawing’,) as well as the ‘drawing’ near, the bringing to, the shapes appearing.


whereupon the dark rang forecast falter felony

upbeat melody plea fidelity quell threnody days like this proper attire propel pinch a beat crash a cymbal starlit bowsprit turnabout heave heave come to me cleave(oh―age) my darling pluck a’here pluck there turps rubout scrub on all fours floorboard scratch squeak ploan moan yesterday’s clothing even under the radar pathos visible has a way unerring divisibility surmise come as you are watch for seepage planetary rotation is indistinguishable from Buddhism  (?)  in & out burger gas prices counting shades of confinement perpetuity complex liner notes the leaves are raspberry blush when counter clockwise cluck cluck cluck pass the buck whine a shoe drill a hole kill a mole feather fright molt delight the earth is a cube the earth is not a cube sheaf theory establishes reliability over & over again rhapsody senility come as you are duplicitous contraband controversial conundrum crux buster sums on board come out come trip the meter fret the reaper where’s the speaker nevermore forevermore more’s the least of it how shallow amplitudinously remote grab a hold hold a hand grill a chill steal a shovel what comes from the earth returns to the earth so says tracking data attached to the open sets of topological space hi ho hi ho ringalevio                  approaching finality the end of world history at this late stage of things during this late stage of things how to conduct oneself? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the question lodged in dilemma. not a clue. this way, → push pull pulley lever scramble brake accelerate more/less perhaps/maybe monkey wrench quench down the trench if then where when


why not

Beloved Ambiguous


lark-fell oneiric pine starlit ambiguity, fertile nexus, --

confluent, lateral, explosive, shunning stratified sterilized mimetics   brokered definitions   sclerotic conditioning


rooted in blazing emotional turquoise pinwheeling gemstone cogitation the living lapse erupts as cosmos, as electrical discharge exfoliating

exuberant apertures

Heller Levinson is the author of LURE (Black Widow Press, 2022), and lives in New York where he studies animal behavior. 

Selected Works, John Bradley

On Being Struck by a Conjunction Traveling at the Speed of Ignorance

If you told me that I literally had to eat poop every single day and I would look younger, 
I might.  I just might.
    –Kim Kardashian

I’m pretty certain I would.  No, I know I would
eat poop at least once a day—if you told me
all guns would decompose into rock salt

and burr.  All the plastic in the ocean would turn 
into krill, kelp, coral song, tufted rain.  I would gladly
eat my poop.  And yours.  And yours.

If you told me Putin would become a baby
tarantula under a rock on the sleepy soil of Siberia
to be eaten by a larger tarantula.  I would.

You would.  We would eat Putin’s poop right now  
without plutonium bacon.  If you told me there 
would never be war of any kind, not with missile, 

bomb, bullet, kiss.  I would eat Kim Kardashian’s
literal poop.  If you told me the planet grows younger, 
ever younger.  O Lord, I’d eat your waste, too.

Circumstantial Evidence

The small silver crucifix bearing traces of Drano.

The two-hundred-fifty pound biography of J. Edgar Hoover, its pages bearing teeth marks.

The parrot who endlessly recites Emily Dickinson’s “I’m Nobody! 

Who the hell are you?” to a revolver at the bottom of its cage.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg digging their own graves on the White House lawn.

Frida Kahlo’s back massaged with a smooth wooden spoon by her spider monkey.

The handwritten note in the margin of a collection of Sappho: Language is always a modality of desire.

Specks of lipstick from the lips of Marilyn Monroe clinging to a toothpick inside an unmarked white envelope.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg digging up Crazy Horse’s unmarked grave.

A thread of blood zigzagging across the clear glass dinner plate forming the words: Paper fan.

You shadow me

You shadow me far enough behind to be my brother, but never close enough so I can ask.  Did you ever finish that book about Houdini in the next life writing on the bathroom mirror with a bar of soap a message to his wife in the bathtub, hands dangling over the side?  All these purple paper clips in my pocket—I have to get them back in dad’s desk drawer before I can sleep.  I draw maps of tongues, all sizes and shapes, the intersection of pronunciation and future income.  Your brown brogans, two sizes too big, you stuff with newspaper in the toes, which makes them go squish, squish.  When I open dad’s desk, there’s that small drawer I can’t find the key to that you once told me you opened with a black Lab’s incisor.  

I draw maps of dragonflies trapped inside a donkey’s bladder.  

Something’s humming in hereCan you hear it? I say to my mother, who slips into the room just as I sidle away from the desk.  I once won a medal, busy with bronze bumps, which I lost long ago, for drawing a map while blindfolded of a mountain range that melted into black licorice.  If you look up at the sky and a raindrop—traveling at speeds only a liquid crow can know—passes through your pupil, it will take eons before it arrives at the point of departure.  A car pulls off the road and comes to a skidding stop, the driver scribbling on his hand a word made of circles and squares.  If I get out the frying pan and start scrambling some eggs, sprinkling on top some chopped black olives and feta, please, sit at the table with me for a bit.  

Pretend you want to stay.  You want to say: To linger in the lilt of the tongue.  When I get out of bed, I know what I’ll find in my pocket—a map of long fingers stuffed with cow nipples and red silk.  Downstairs someone’s going squish, squish

You know I’ll do most anything in defense of the sleepless tongue.  

Sleep for Rent

Though it’s already morning, I need somewhere to lie
this heavy body down.  There’s a wooden sign 

on the nearby yellow house that reads: SLEEP 

FOR RENT.   I knock on the door and a sullen woman 
appears.  I tell her of my need.  She pauses, pushes 

the door open wider, turns, and I follow.  She leads me 

to her garage, the open side door.  You’ll have to pay
she says, as if testing me, for last night.  I’m so tired 

I agree.  She points to the beds with her chin and murmurs, 

You can have the one with the crib railing.  I look around.  
What she calls a bed is a blanket, folded lengthwise 

in half, spread out on the concrete floor, with a pillow.  

There are two rows of these so-called beds, three feet 
apart.  Unsure of which bed she means, I wander 

amongst them.  A few renters stroll off into the morning 

glare, having had their fill of sleep.  I want a bed away 
from the door, away from the light, but I notice something 

has been scattered over several of the blankets—dried brown 

pellets.  They look like cat food, though I see no cat about.  
I end up back near the door and find the bed I’ve avoided 

has no brown pellets strewn across the blanket.  Then I see 

a wooden railing, broken from playpen or crib, leaning against 
the garage wall.  This must be the bed the landlady told me 

to take.  I lie down on the blanket, the concrete floor 

pressing hard, the sun boiling in the window, burning 
through my eyelids, through my jellied eyes, 

to the brain’s pulsing core.   There’s nothing to do 

but lie still and mutter: Morpheus, come find me, 
hold me in your long, bony arms.

The Eclipse of Uncertainty

Q. What exactly are killer robots?
A. The fear of snare drum, bell, glockenspiel, marimba, cymbal, gong.

Q. Why are autonomous weapons so attractive?
A. It has been found that binoculars from New Jersey may alter the skyline of Hong Kong.

Q. Is there anything morally wrong with deploying a killer robot in war?
A. I was falling into a trumpet just before the last act, while you were singing inside my splendid belly.

Q. Could a robot ever act morally?
A. I never encountered Margot in orange-gone-green language slippers.

Q. What if autonomous weapons could be perfect?
A. Pieces of Irish Catholic clothing in the bottle of wine perplexed everyone on the living room floor, which undid the magnetic seal.

Q. Would deploying killer robots be unfair?
A. A person someone buried in the south of France could not stop saying: Even a feather or an avocado pit targeted for amnesia must nap.

Q. Could deploying killer robots make war too easy?
A. I tend to eat the texts I don’t agree with to prevent unfleshed people from nibbling my wings.

Q. What exactly are killer robots?
A. I see two small insect-like children nested in my body, said Julius Caesar, with a slight touch of vibrato.

Q. What happens now?
A. Never play a dirty valveless horn while burning Dallas or Berlin.

On the Finding of Fecal Pellets in a Stargazer’s Braincase

I am not in control of my father 
lurking in the bathroom shower, waiting 
to pounce on whoever enters 
with abalone eyes.  It’s hard to push 
a few silent words out of the Andes
flying out of Indiana.  I could hear Gene 
Kelly in the kitchen eaten slowly 
by 17-century French DNA.

I do not own Greenland, though I do 
wear red shoelaces retrieved from the Adam 
Eve Amusement Park.  Even my mother 
claims she saw Catherine Deneuve 
with a trace of Ernest Hemingway
on her upper lip.  I cannot control the soft, 
glowing, rectangular eggs in your 1975 
canary yellow Volkswagen van.

Holes forming in Australia.  Stargazer
ash stashed in the freezer.  A crow 
(that once lived in Borges’ armpit) sleeping 
in the mailbox.  I just paint the lightbulbs
whatever blue they tell me to, blue
shoe soles as the earthworms pass below.

In Some Localities It Is Still Illegal to Fly Out of Your Body

Someone loiters over a flattened hat (or is it a kidney?) lying in the street and photographs it with a wallet-size photo.

While the spheres—smelling of migrating rain—never pause in their work, eating the air.

Really.  I’m only telling you this because I know some obnoxious poet with speakers mounted on his car will be driving by your house tonight loudly reciting “There Is No Bodily Form That I Cannot and Will Not Escape.” 

While a man in a silver raincoat goes door to door selling lightly used cars once owned by celebrated celebrities.  Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.  And Francesca Carbonata, the Venice Beach surfer with the butt implants.

While a shout, injected with sleep, gives birth to another shout.

While you mistake me in Athens, Ohio, for a mail carrier from Des Moines who was prosecuted for taking a bite of a cello.  Near an oily black pool.

The spheres—engulfing a gray pickup truck disguised as a gray pickup truck—never pause.

A room full of teeth my mother cleanses, with a Q-tip dipped in baby oil, an eyeless face carved into a petrified ham sandwich.  

So in the southwest corner of the basement someone is holding a match, trying to ignite a glass of milk while blindfolded.  The cold in the concrete floor creeping into the bare feet.    

While the spheres—translating tight little bags of netted rain into rain—never pause.

Really.  I go about carrying a hollow Bible, once owned by Henri Rosseau, filled with fire ants which keep spelling the word PALPITATE.  Finger, hand, head, eyeball, cup.

While visible wavelengths—stiletto red, stiletto blue—eradicate a pair of eyeglasses dipped in honey and doused in a spill of sugar.  In a spill housed in a finger.  Hand.  Head.  Eyeball.  Cup.

Letters to Infinity

I wrote a letter to the moon with breast milk and arsenic.

I wrote a letter to the teeth of Paul Celan with an icicle dipped in solar salt. 

I wrote a letter to Joan Baez, asking her if we were married during the year I was living inside a wandering mailbox.

I wrote a letter to the KKK asking them if it was true that they were the Kalamazoo Kosmic Klezmer band.

I wrote a letter to Dorothea Lange’s camera, describing the diagram Euclid drew of a tongue intersecting a wet plum.

I wrote a letter to Laika, the Soviet space dog, but it was delivered to a tiny snail shell.

I wrote a letter to the moon using a crow feather dipped in the Gobi.

I wrote a letter to the Tower of Babel, but it was delivered to a stolen white tuba.

I wrote a letter to a murmuring mound that moves from place to place one grain at a time.  

I wrote a letter to Machu Picchu, using only the words further and flutter and farther.

I wrote a letter to Thomas Merton, each word tied by a thread to the breeze made by a bee’s wing.

I wrote a letter to Covid-19, but it had to be burned thirty-nine times, the ash cauterized.

I wrote a letter to the Eiffel Tower, but it was delivered to a warehouse of untranslatable faces.

I wrote a letter to the pomegranate on the kitchen counter, too gnarled and brown to be broken open to eat those juicy red carpet tacks.

I wrote a letter to my father falling from the night sky; he’s trying to read the Gospel of the Asterisk by flashlight as he’s falling, sand leaking from his left boot.

I wrote a letter to my baby teeth, but when I placed my ear to the envelope, I heard someone tossing dice into a hot frying pan.

I wrote a letter to the day I was born, which wrote a letter to the day the alphabet will be devoured by a poisoned armadillo.

I wrote a letter to Fulang Chang, Frida Kahlo’s naughty pet monkey; the letter smelled of a fish in the pocket of an asbestos raincoat.

I wrote a letter to Herbert Hoover, or was it J. Edgar Hoover, asking how to boil the weevils out of the Book of Infested Insomnia.

I wrote a letter to Elizabeth Bishop’s toucan, Uncle Sam, using smoke from Krakatoa.

I wrote a letter to Lorine Niedecker, cutting small squares and triangles from a leaf throbbing with liquid light.

I wrote a letter to the moon, which wrote a letter to the back of my head, saying: Tell me long and slow in Sumerian everything you owe.

Nine Things to Do If You Dream of an Immediate Rat

Draw a square around your eye.  Thicken
the wall but for one small hole.  Let the letter 
“L” glow in its lowly, lovely lair.

Someone in Istanbul is using a credit card bearing 
your name.  You bought a statue of a shark springing 
from the back of a woman with a faulty valve.

Hold tightly in your left hand a spoon.  When it falls, 
your will be clutching a violin—or is it a scrub brush—
in the Upper Volta.  Swallow only when the bell allows. 

Shimmering red, apostolic green.  An iguana breathes 
when you breathe.  Your left foot, no, the right 
half of your tongue, it’s begun to swell.

Rub your face with an unpeeled onion.  Then try 
to pry from the wall the shadow of a mammal 
eating with a group of mammals a molten star. 

Be gentle to the arsonist’s charred kidney.  The WWI 
soldier hiding in a jam jar.  Be kind, whenever you can,
to the bottle of fox urine in the medicine cabinet.

Draw a crown around the downed crow.  Erase 
your fingerprints from the moon.  Now.  Note:
Someone replaced the sandstone eyes.   

Yes, an eel can slip into your leather knife pouch.
If you should exhale through a frozen green 
pea.  The letter “L” palpitating loudly.

If rain was a word, it would rain.  If rat was a riddle, 
you would dream the flicker of a tongue.  And wonder
if it was your own.

John Bradley's poetry has appeared in the American Poetry Review, Calibanonline, Diagram, Hotel Amerika, Lake Effect, Otoliths, Pedestal, Sulfur Surrealist Jungle, SurVision, and other journals.  His most recent book is Hotel Montparnasse: Letters to Cesar Vallejo (Dos Madres Press) a verse novel.  He first encountered the poetry of Cesar Vallejo in Thomas Merton's Emblems of a Season of Fury and became further fascinated with his work while reading Poemas Humanos / Human Poems (Grove Press, 1968), translated by Clayton Eshleman (Eshleman's first book-length translation of Vallejo).  Bradley's admiration of Vallejo's poetry led, many years later, to the writing of Hotel Montparnasse, the hotel where Vallejo finds himself confined after his death.  The recipient of two NEA Fellowships in Poetry and a Pushcart prize, Bradley is a frequent reviewer of books for Rain Taxi.  Currently, he's a poetry editor for Cider Press Review and editing an international anthology of poetry on the war in Ukraine.

Three Poems, Heath Brougher



notwithstanding impressions extension moment the shudder precise harmless 
despite plants beautiful mistresses merged sublimated movements melted 
confidence accused reassured humanity with body disappointing industrious solutions
must sometimes go weapon out and belly in
slinging quivering yet graceful arrows 
for the sake of life itself burned blazing 
ribbon cuttings for Death Stores
into my already wounded retinas rest for the weary, as they say—
and, as usual, what they say makes no sense

..mirrors fooled embroidered eyelashes 
into thinking they were lamps arched
in directions of epitomized hear and sear 
mixing with the shadows until gold pieces 
dropped tragic from the unsparkly reflection of identity itself.

———The Sound of the Creaking Door Wisps Against 
the Repeated Victories of Not Properly Understanding Anything———
          quoth Audacious Aunt Unauthentic, 
               —the sister of Mean Mister Mustard 

the instrument interrupted the evocation 
of the dream’s possibilities and manifested
our silent attention into a state of crowd-altered 
spectrums of spurious sentences as society tends

..spring bore bitter April casting shadows 
into instrumental mirrors inflicting 
the bemoanment of our sculpted statements 
regarding the inherently insane societal sonics 
of the instrument garden’s heretofore unaddressed suchness
of the inexactitude of the previous moment’s falseness..

Glued to the Sky

I’ve seen a Monstertruck horse birth itself from your mouth
more so like a dragon because it spit flames from out it’s Bizzarro pipes
wearing wearys of vicious tendencies to slander their wrist in public
in fact right in front of the windmill and preschool 
and that was the day the children learned about the color red 
one day you’ll find yourself stuck on an onion airplane 
with a man who talks cloud and aloud about the utter imprint of silence
and hey sunshine hanging in the mouths of nothingness
Juliets of morphinemarshmallow statues chrysanthemuming 
to fertilize hashtag HandsInTheirBloodyHeavyWithDopamine
AndStrychnineAndTheTrumpet’s hairdo 
and polar unity magnets wrapped in Tesla coils
and werewolf enamel 
and baskets full of hands of other hands plucked right off
and vomitflavored mouthwash 46 blind mice and inhuman proclivities
I can hear the rednecks waving their terrorist flags 
all moonshined up and ready for a fight and glowworms luminescing 
because of the rampant nuclear waste and big Pharma
shoving killpills down everyone’s throats and perceptions bent humans
and blueberry milk and the embryo of the Golden ratio fleece
and silvertongued-mommas were the main course of the veins
unlike the healthy blood that used to roam through circular sanguine hallways
of brains like in ever baked overbaked ovenbaked pie
in the micro macro depending wavelengthwise 
on green clouds and spam what fish time fish dead fish no new fetch first fist festival aquamarined aquarium is aquamarine—
unlike us yet exactly like us.


Peace period war period perfection period discombobulation period nonexistent period prima period imperfect period ha period dress period interpretation period not strong enough to stop the flow period colostomy period periphery period “poems” period hegemony period primal period promulgates periodic periods periodontal period phobic period inconstruction period pointless period jostlejoustabout wrestling seepspouts period permanent period possible pineal connection to the Multuverse period personification of everything period eyes period always human eyes period manipulation of nature to fit human perceptions only period pulseless compared to any other animal period evolution no longer applies period humans have lied their way straight outta sanity—period!

Heath Brougher is the Editor-in-Chief of Concrete Mist Press and co-poetry editor of Into the Void, winner of the 2017 and 2018 Saboteur Awards for Best Magazine. He received Taj Mahal Review’s 2018 Poet of the Year Award and is a multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. He was awarded the 2020 Wakefield Prize for Poetry and has published 9 books. After spending over three years editing the work of others, he is ready to get back into the creative driver seat. He has four books forthcoming in 2022. 

Art Museum, Paul Vogel

Beneath a full moon 
the museum resembles 
a bird of prey; its wings 
form a moveable plasma lamp 
armed with sonic ascendancy cannons. 

Sensors on the fins monitor 
wind speed and direction. 

A pedestrian suspension bridge 
connects to an entrance hall 
of flying buttresses, pointed arches 
and ribbed vaults. 

Down below, a group of cyclists 
sorted by age, sex and basket size
ride by in their underwear 
celebrating the Lunar Mortis 
sponsored by the Church of Khonsu. 

Before the museum stands 
the greatest sculpture in the city 
“The Unnamed General 
on His Unnamed Horse” 
both lost in the Great JalapeƱo Fire. 

Balancing formal acuity 
with evocative content 
it unites the populace 
and projects shared values. 

A noxious gas is released 
and the midnight crowd enters the exhibit 
in an orderly fashion 
watched over by muscular docents 
armed with thermal handguns.
Slam circuits vibrate 
through windswept corridors 
of speaking walls 
covered in hermetic runes 
and biomechanical tubes. 

The first image displays 
in crystalline detail 
the pregnant uterus of a New Forest pony.
The second image shows 
a small group of squirrels 
tussling over a pine cone full of nuts. 

Copper flashing 
and sheet metal paneling 
manipulate the plane of focus 
towards the view looking west 
showing the Ring of Flames 
mounted on variable geometry pylons. 

A glass wall surrounds the courtyard. 

In the center, submerged in blue liquid
is what appears to be a baby’s arm
holding an apple. 

The museum cafe offers 
an ever-changing menu 
of contemporary cuisine 
inspired by the feature exhibition
“Nature and the American Vision” 
appropriate for appetites 
both hearty and petite. 

A holographic menu appears 
at each table. 

For dining al fresco 
service extends to the terrace 
offering a view of the Great Aqua Pit. 

Hand railings protect visitors from injury.
A healthy selection of beers 
and imported whiskeys 
enlivens the performance 
of traditional Irish music. 

Sample a tray of Weyauwega cheese. 

Visiting artists promote 
updated cultural hierarchies 
while keeping patrons busy with trivia.
Today’s special treat is Smart Fescue 
a rare breed of sentient plant life
renowned among city botanists 
and grown using the Cage System. 

An interactive hydrologic touch-tank 
contains lake sturgeon and stingrays 
as well as captive orcas 
festooned with ornamental starfish. 

Head-mounted goggles, haptic suits 
and omnidirectional treadmills 
offer visitors multidimensional 
telepresence immersion. 

Underlying algorithms are preserved 
as consciousness is carried 
across to new platforms 
collaborating with viral systems 
to enhance glowflow personalization. 

An assembly of dilithium crystals 
form the walls of the intermix chamber.
Last is the inclusive Gift Shop. 

Store assistants present each visitor 
with an individualized 
commemorative stone. 

Popular gift items include 
Kandinsky wallets with 
magnetic money clips 
Larry Sultan Oranges on Fire tea and 
Frank Lloyd Wright leather checklettes 
which come in two styles 
Classic and Grand. 

Make sure to ask about 
the membership discount.

Paul Vogel is a poet from Milwaukee. His most recent chapbooks are Ecology Center (2021) and Art Museum (2022), both published by Associate Adjunct Press. He edits, a poetry website designed by Sam Helgeson.

Notes, David Hay


A stray hair of a cloud caresses the lip of the moon,

My eyes once pebbles carried by the inflexible current

Of a raging river,

Erode into their fleshy moulds and gloop to goo.

The flow of screams from the one mother's throat

That forces stars to slide out of the sky,

As the veins of constellations

Cascade down to the dirt,

To form flesh that tickles the roots born

Like me,

To worship the sun's absence.

David Hay was inspired to write after discovering the Romantics, particularly Keats and Shelley, as well as the works of Woolf and Kerouac. His work has been accepted for publication in Dreich, Abridged, Acumen, The Honest Ulsterman, The Dawntreader,The Babel Tower Notice Board, Ink, Sweat and Tears, The Lake, Selcouth Station, GreenInk Poetry, Dodging the Rain, Seventh Quarry and Expat-Press, among others. His debut publication is the Brexit-inspired prose-poem Doctor Lazarus published by Alien Buddha Press 2021.