17 October 2023

Four Poems by Mark Young



is available for you

to download with a brazenly in-your-

face, raw sound





a blockade of chronic catecholamine mediated stress

which expands or primes



more confident and powerful in her femininity

an ideal basis for the next step in creating HTS assays


fundamental to setting the stage


moral terrorism has a long history

studies indicate some role for genetic influence

on psychosocial, growth, scar, & physiologic

outcomes after massive burn injury



His 'consultant' wife & kilos of gold


How much does it cost to ship

a dog to Las Vegas, if it is actively

learning agricultural techniques?


Everyone I talk to says it depends

on whether or not it comes with a u-

nique & monoblock shell that serves


as the data historian in process-in-

tensive industries or, sometimes, on

who happens to be doing the surgery.



de Boulogne


Left over from the day

before, & lost for several

decades inside a film by

Robert Bresson, Napoleon

III was formerly a forest,

designed by Baron Hauss-


mann with sex workers in

mind. Apart from being in

a format that will not play

on most DVD players sold

in Australia and New Zea-

land, it comes primarily as


wall candy wallpaper, sub-

ject to change according to

dates, hotel policy, & other

factors. Sometimes may be

made of shortcrust pastry.

Zoom in to discover more.



A line from Wassily Kandinsky


A cartoon man. Double-click to

consume. Test certificates are

available upon request. Very pop-

ular for those that forge with a


striker. We blink, explore the

tracklist as well as various

archives deposited at Yale’s

Beinecke library that range


from casual to sophisticated.

Elsewhere, the dolphin, with

its notes of blueberry pastry,

has been upgraded. Sometimes


appropriate protective footwear

may be required, especially when

the eyes are the hammers. Around

sixty people attended the auction.

09 October 2023

Sex, Violets, and Other Words for Love by Kyle Kennan

It has been three and a half weeks since I saw him last, but I have not forgotten his violet eyes, at once secretive and sad. “It’s been too long,” he says. He kisses me deeply, guiltily, in the shaded driveway. The heat of the summer when we met has weakened. Now, the eastside air is even, warm, and soft like the inside of his forearms resting helplessly around my waist.


Like old friends we pick up where we left off but there’s a thin veil between us and I don’t want to be the first to move it. He is guarded and measured when he speaks, but in his silence, he is clear as the full moon. There is someone else.


He takes me to a dive bar where the amber light turns his violet eyes murky, obscuring his thoughts. I lean into this moment where I can be spared the truth and play pretend. He keeps his right arm around me all night long. When it’s not draped around my waist, it’s running up my thigh. It’s tucking hair behind my ear. It’s clutching my left hand. It becomes a part of me, another limb, another I piece I want to protect.


We go to the photobooth and kiss. The strip comes out wet and sulfuric. There’s a black smudge down the center, dividing us neatly, a smokey tear that reaches all the way to my heart. “That’s so strange,” I say. “I’ve never had one print like this.”


At home, he unties my linen blouse and pulls it gently over my head. He unbuttons my jeans and kisses my hips. He’s careful, or afraid, like he’s touching hot coal. On top of me, he kisses my ears, then my lips. “I’ve been thinking about this for weeks. I’ve missed you so much.” He moves further and further down until all I see is violet.


He tells me about his synesthesia. That’s why he likes shoegaze, the dreamy reverb, the harmonizing pedals, the sound you can see. I tell him I like sound you can feel. I feel his voice like a silk sheet, and I want him to wrap me in it.  “What color do I sound like?” I ask him in bed. He thinks deeply, his eyes suddenly still and intentional. “Orange… no more red. Salmon, coral maybe,” he says. The colors of sex and sunsets. Bursts of fleeting ecstasy, showstopping, chaotic. My color, my soul, is lustful. It is impermanent. I’m not sure where he goes on the nights he’s not here. I wonder what color she is. I wonder if she’s iridescent, indigo, enduring. I wonder if she soothes him in her cool emerald glow.


Later that week he is gone again, his reasons tenuous and last minute.  I go to a concert one night, the type of dreampop that breaks your heart and mends it in one set, only it doesn’t mend it this time. I devolve into hazy, hot tears and again, I see violet. I get terribly drunk off well tequila and the whole night is violet so I can’t escape it.  I stumble home and into bed without taking my clothes off.


He texted me at the concert, late, almost 11PM. “What are you up to?” In the morning I respond, “Sorry, went to a concert. Hope you had a nice night.” He comes over in the afternoon and we share a bottle of wine. He grabs my waist, both his hands tepid, but gentle and safe around me, and he guides me to the bed. On top of me, he holds my head between his hands and kisses me but stops abruptly, serious yet abashed. He stares down at me and brushes hair away from my eyes so I can see his clearly: violets in full bloom. Just in that moment I can hear the feint echo of something behind them, an earnestness for the first time. It’s just a flash, then it’s gone. He moves in me until I feel violets growing inside, blooming from deep within, reaching my smudged heart, permeating my red-hot soul. “I wanted you so bad last night,” he says. He makes my name feel soft in his lips, feminizing it, like he’s holding a crepe paper rose between his tongue and teeth. I want to feel him say it again and again and again.


I imagine this must be how the sunset feels each evening as people flock to appreciate her coral hues, her waning fury. Or how the fields of violets feel, their window for blooming and pruning short, fleeting, special. The love they must have for those brief moments of care and tenderness. Is it so bad to just be adored for one small moment, for nothing I’ve done but for my mere existence? To be objectified like a sunset, a flower, or a woman?


When he climaxes, I hold his head to my chest and think I love you, I love you, I love you. He leaves then, he’s stayed too long. He has plans, somewhere to be. I wonder, then, if he goes to the iridescent girl and holds her head to his chest and thinks I love you, I love you, I love you.

05 October 2023

Fudge by Andrew Weatherhead

Fudge by Andrew Weatherhead
available from Publishing Genius Oct 31

With Fudge (Publishing Genius, 2023), Andrew Weatherhead serves up minimalist poetry that strives to efficiently sublimate the mundanity of life. Weatherhead is largely successful in this endeavor, almost sneakily so; this is a disarming collection that rewards careful rereading.

A note about the structure. Fudge is comprised of seven sections, or seven long poems, if you prefer, some of which are in turn comprised of shorter titled poems. The poems themselves are so short and swift that the entire book can easily be read in a sitting. Weatherhead opens the first section, titled “Hollow Points (Sept 11, 2016)”, with “Sessility”. It’s quoted here in full to give a sense of the aesthetics:

            Walking around the city
Hoping I don’t see
Anyone I know, old
Air conditioner water
Coming down on 14th Street
Overcast, high of 88, wires
Connected to a head
On Mott, a scab
The shape of Queens

Clear, casual, and an invitation for the reader to wonder what we’re doing here. You could read it as 21st century imagism or affectless city-dweller cool, or as a critique of that rather lazy pose as the title implies. After all, who wants to be stuck like a polyp?

The loaded date also suggests that there’s more happening than simple descriptions, putting one in mind of Williams’s (in)famous red wheelbarrow and the hidden things of life that may be at stake. Indeed, as “Hollow Points” progresses, the poems dig deeper, strike harder, and read more and more like long senryus, offering readers a sly, darkly amused look at a life scrabbling for substance.

And that, I think, comes to be the main thrust of Fudge: what it’s like to try to live a meaningful life in a world driven to senseless, consumerist distraction, often in the face of truly serious shit that warrants our full, sustained attention (e.g., terrorism, pandemics, being a compassionate adult). “Events just barely happen… / The insurrectionists took selfies and left” Weatherhead writes in “Last Poem”. “I hold my small, beautiful wife / Heavy metals congeal in the aether”. Violence exists alongside self-centered frivolousness, just as tenderness occurs in the toxic chemical soup we’ve made of the world.

Some poems are more arresting than others. “Dead Air (21 Short Poems)” are just too short for this reader; they skip cleanly off my brain like aphorisms failing to find emotional purchase or resonance. “Poem While on Hold with NBA League Pass Customer Support”, on the other hand, is a funny, near-brilliant meditation on growing up, getting older, and constructing a sense of purpose in your one finite life. “20 Pandemic Haiku” are likewise winning. Here’s one:

            “Fuck, I mean, shit,”
Our neighbor screams
Through the wall

The poem begins rather than ends with its cutting motion, but it’s otherwise an urban description worthy of Basho or Issa.

Sit with Fudge a while and observations like these come to haunt your side like a funny, slightly sad friend; and as the world continues to be a speedy, confounding place, I’m grateful for its company.

Fudge by Andrew Weatherhead will be available from Publishing Genius Oct 31.

03 October 2023

chronic cough by Sadie Kromm

people tell me
that my brain
is like a dictionary.
i find it hard to
believe when it
often separates
like cheap alphabet
soup in a can.