Archive for August, 2010

by RC Miller
Calliope Nerve Publications
37 pages.
reviewed by Joseph M. Gant

Though drawing quite steadily from the vocabulary of contemporary dark verse, RC Miller uses specific surrealism and absurd humor to disarm any preconceptions of the poems in Gore. The turns are sharp, well executed, and refreshing. If there is “shock” in these poems it is a shock to any misplaced expectations regarding a book titled Gore.


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Poetry #124

Gloom Cupboard Poetry #124 brings to you the voices of new and established poetry writers. This issue features the work of Saberi Roy, T.M. De Vos, Lyn Lifshin, David M. Morton, William Merricle, Tyler Bigney, Debrenee D. Adkisson, Jan Darrow, Meghan K. Barnes, and Ian C. Smith. Do enjoy.

Wet Sands

by Saberi Roy

Stretched body wide, the armchair reclined and between the creases
Time passes like slumber. To the north when naked silhouette fed
Agonies and wetness reached a degree of imperfection.
Whispers that reached my ears could have been more than what was said
and the eyes have seen more than what could be seen. Clothed in
full, bodies have danced in the dark yet I see them
naked and vulnerable, hurt and torn, as meanings
derive from raw shapes and endlessness of primordial necessities.

Bio: Saberi Roy’s poetry has appeared in Carcinogenic Poetry, Psychopoetica, and First Science among others.


by T.M. De Vos

The only interesting events
take place between those
who need no light to find each other,
whose eyes are accustomed, already,
to the dim, in spaces that are always bare,
suits tacked and square, socks put away.
Desks are somewhere, idling,
sound evaporating from them like pianos.

You wake, head to toe with others,
hair soft and stiff
as a taxidermied animal’s.
Someone approaches:
the bodies do not separate
like a handful of batter being grabbed.

He is known for being kind.
He brings you water when he questions you,
the clear column
blameless and vertical in his hand
as your life is not.

The others know the instrument
he applies to you
like a carpenter planing a board.

What is love, finally,
but rubbing at a thing enough
for its nerves to tell it you are there?
A bag of laundry tumbled in your scent
might be as good.

Think of how they cut and hang a dog
to punish it for who has laid out a bowl
often enough for it to return,
how they string it across the porch
of the one who is too dark,
or has loved the wrong person:
Look at this soft thing you fed, all guts now.

He has no choice;
he is very sorry.
He adjusts to your darkness,
blank and black as a cave,
and your organs inch forward in schools.

Bio: T. M. De Vos received an MFA in 2004 from New York University and a Hopwood Award in 1999 from the University of Michigan. Her work has appeared most recently in HOBART, Dossier Journal, Bosphorus Art Project Quarterly, Tidal Basin Review, Sakura Review, The Whistling Fire, Shady Side Review, Umbrella Factory Magazine, and the Los Angeles Review. She is a staff member of Many Mountains Moving and a contributor to Fiction Writers Review.


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Kristina Marie Darling, a twenty-five year old, two-time Pushcart nominee and author of Fevers and Clocks, Nigh Songs, and Traffic in Women, discusses her personal writing style and breaks down certain aspects of the publishing world for up-and-coming writers.

-M.K. Barnes


How do you determine what topics to write about, and how does this affect your personal memoir and nonfiction essays individually? 

I try to address topics that aren’t usually the subject of essays or memoirs.  When I read a nonfiction book,  I’m always thrilled if I encounter something I’ve never seen before—particularly experiences, images, or themes that we wouldn’t normally think of as “literary” or “significant” enough to include in a serious work.  I definitely emulate writers like Sarah Manguso, Poe Ballantine, and Kathleen Finneran, who see philosophical significance in everyday events. 

For an individual work, this often means that I immediately rule out certain subjects.  I wouldn’t ever write an essay about a trip to Paris, my cat, or my grandmother because these seem like easy choices.  I think it’s good for nonfiction writers to challenge themselves, and try to find beauty and strangeness in the most unexpected places.  (more…)

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Prose 121

Prose issue 121 brings you the long and the short of life.  From birth to death, youth is constantly redefined.  Michelle Elvy and James Mills take you on a journey of life: rebirthed.


Bedtime Story

Michelle Elvy

Let me tell you, child, the story of how your father became your father.

Not the story of how his sperm crashed into my egg, how mad passion made a sweet sticky union that turned two into one and then in a split second became three. That is a good story, too, but this one is better.


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Immediate, honest and to the point … it is hard to review a book or writer that reminds you of    your own writing style but the poems of Jim Murdoch succeeded beautifully in convincing me. ‘This is not about what you think’ is actually not about what you think, as each reader constructs an own interpretation of the poems. Just the same for the very appropriate book cover! Seemingly a Rorschach-test the image is open to many interpretations, as the poem ‘Making Sense’ clearly underlines.

Immediate, honest and to the point … but so beautiful and pure in the messages and living truths the author passes to the reader. The delight of reading returns when opening this book, savoring writing that takes you to a higher place of mesmerizing, recalling and interpreting. Very few writers succeed in doing this in a short but rhythmical style. Not a word too much, not a word less that necessary, Jim’s credo being, as stated in the book’s introduction: ‘Say what you have to say and get off the page.’. Congratulations Jim, I can do nothing but recommend your work highly … I adored it! And there is more!  (more…)

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