Letting Go

Poetry by Lily Tierney Θ Photo by Maro Kentros
Thoughts moving stealthily
through the mind of a madman.
Innocence moves unknowingly
into his master plan.
Untold secrets save her
as she wrestles with an unforeseen
force where episodes occur more than
Letting go, she races toward an empty
place without sound. A safe place
where her dreams remain in black and white.
Her spirit is colorful as an orchestra
is always about to start.

The Blue God

Art by Andrew Thomas  ⊥ Poetry by Joan McNerneyimg_2488

The blue god of war
is so strong
he can twist trees
with the tip of his tongue.

You better not defy him
scream at him
lie to him.
He’ll explode and beat
the hell out of you.

He lives on nothing
will die for nothing
makes us children
shivering all night
crying in empty winds
turning our tears to ice.

The blue god of war
is so strong
northern winds bow
to his will.

He doesn’t dig
your moaning
and groaning.
You better shut up or he’ll
make mincemeat out of you.

He laughs at everything
has respect for nothing
makes us afraid to fight
when he spits in our faces
turning our tears to ice.

So we watch in silence
waiting for the coming light
when he will hold us
in his burning hands
and we will be born twice
once by fire
once by ice.


His long fingers
search coded panels
buttons cool smooth
attached to glowing screens.

Isn’t he powerful?
The general
general motors
general electric
and the major, major holocaust?

So admirable
the admiral
can sweep our planet away
in less than half an hour.

Another fact to live with
we can all blow up
in flames.
At any instant
galleries of murdered faces.

All of us born with this
strange dilemma.
Why do anything
when everything is wrong?
Our hearts caged in fear.

The eyes of the dead
are glassy and surprised
staring with open mouths.

Yes and always there is pain
of what could possibly remain.
Perhaps some slabs of concrete?
Is that all we have been building, buildings?


Occupant Apartment 2 D

His days marched in place
days like tin soldiers each one
pushing the next aside.

Hurry, hurry before it is too late…
inside a gaping hole to be filled.
More and more of the surface
of his life was covered by dust.

The hallway gave off a musty odor.
Night after night, lights burned.
Busted dreams heaped in boxes.
Black marks covered floors.

Less and less energy to clean up.
His body betrayed him, both his
bones, his breath betrayed him.

One edge of his room spoke to
the other. His fan purred all summer,
basement furnace heaved all winter.
This incessant sigh gathering dust.


This grey day unrolls before us.
I want to scream out against
flat skies, tear up coarse air.

I am put through my paces
with long lists of minutiae.
Acrid weariness crawls up spine.
My eyelids droop shut.

Today marches forward…another
tin soldier knocking yesterday aside.
Each night coming faster, faster.
Winds blowing stronger, stronger.

Cats howl in cold circles as
ragged leaves cling to boughs.
Raindrops fall like black ink
under small pools of street lights.

Darkness gathers close…
my shadow, that long black
silhouette slanting down
follows me into the long night.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


See more art from Andrew Thomas at

The Coming of Age

Essay by Jonika Wells Ω Photography by Aparna Mendu


I remember the day when I decided to get behind the wheel.  I had already waited longer than all my classmates. The exciting stories of their brand new driving experiences had gone cold by now. I had to ignite one of my own.

“No!” was my mom’s instant response to my wish to start learning to drive. “You are too young. Wait some more,” she said, asserting her power as my mother.

I turned to the only other person in our family of three and petitioned for a second opinion.  “Dad?”

“Well…” he replied, seemingly half-involved, as he took a turn on a street that wasn’t on the way to our home driving back from the grocery store.

“You took the wrong turn!!!” my mom and I screamed together.

“Well, don’t you want to learn how to drive?” he asked with a big smile, looking at me in the rear view mirror.

“Now?” I probed, confused and with a sudden nervousness grappling at my excitement.  Careful what you ask for.

“Now?” my mom echoed, panic-stricken.  “Are you crazy? Can’t she wait a couple of months more? You are going to let her drive on this street? You are crazy.” My mom tried to hand my dad a verdict on his mental status.  Secretly, I think I agreed with her momentarily.  Careful what you ask for.

Dad just smiled.

“We are going to Perrysburg High. The parking lot should be empty right now.  It will be perfect for her to practice,” he announced with the demeanor of a general laying down a battle plan that guaranteed victory.

I felt a sudden surge of confidence fill me and agreed that an empty parking lot would be like climbing a mountain laid horizontal. I pumped my fists and yelled, “Yes!”


By now my mom probably realized that my driving was inevitable like all other universal truths of this world- the sun rising in the east, the night in between days, partisan politics, death, taxes and the like.  Still, she continued staring (glaring?) at my dad for a minute or so to see if he would rescind his plan. Dad kept smiling, perhaps deriving some amusement from my mom’s understandable yet unproductive anxiety.  Or perhaps his smile was masking his own fear.

In a last ditch effort, Mom proposed, “Don’t you think my car would be safer and easier? Let her practice on that.”

“It is the driver’s responsibility to be safe, not the car’s,” He placed his hand over my mom’s and said, “Don’t worry, she will be okay.”

As we came to a stop in the parking lot, Mom had a look that said, “Okay…but I’m not just worried about her.  I’m worried about all of us.”

Each of us then swapped seats- dad to the front passenger, mom, with reluctance, to the back and I, yes, I to the driver’s seat.

My dad went over the controls with me. My mom repeatedly interrupted him with her own set of instructions from the back seat. This went for too long, and I remember thinking, “This is a car, not an F-16.”

Finally, I heard Dad’s voice say the magic words, “Okay, now start the ignition”.  He might as well have said, “Okay, now start living on your own.”

Eyes wide, I pressed the start button. I heard nothing at first except for my heartbeats. Then I pushed a little harder and ….vvrr…vvroom…vvvrrroooom! The car (and my future) revved to life.

It was not just the engine; it was the drum roll announcing my coming of age.  It marked one of the most important days of every teen’s life- the beginning of driving.

From here, I am not sure if I will ever take Robert Frost’s road less traveled and I do not know how many miles to go before I sleep. But I do know that there will always be roads to travel on and milestones to reach.

With great anticipation, I am looking forward to my journeys.


Jonika Wells is currently a high school senior and new driver. While in third grade, she was placed second at the 2008 Reading Rainbow® Young Writers & Illustrators Contest in Fort Wayne

Who are U?

Art by Barry Southerland  Õ Flash fiction by Tomas Sanchez Hidalgo



The latest fad this season as far as pets are concerned, says an advertising feature broadcast at the same time on the two state-owned television channels, after respective documentaries: on Silicon Valley, on channel 1, and another called Career Opportunities in Spain, Part I, on channel 2. It’s a guide rooster. It is the result of a long and costly genetic engineering project backed by 100% Spanish capital: deeply Spanish R&D. This new variety of gallus gallus or common European chicken, some seventy centimeters tall, with the same arrogant appearance and head adorned with a red comb, thick and usually erect, has a series of substantial and pragmatic differences for their new use as a pet.

They are designed for a highly diverse target of potential users, all of them with a common denominator: they like to go out for a few drinks, in any state, place, or circumstance. Partaking in -copious or not – alcoholic ingestion but responsible enough to not drive home, even so.

Thanks to this new genetically modified rooster, you can drink without later -spacial or temporal- location problems. The guide rooster -supplied through modification with a remarkable ability to pull – will guide you at all times throughout the night, bar to bar, and will bring you home safe and sound at the end. Once vaccinated and with the pertinent obligatory chip implanted, you’ll only need to clip on a special rooster leash and give him clear commands. He’ll understand. The stuff of trial and errors at the hands of a group of persevering and methodical scientists.

It should be taken for a walk around the area to be frequented to get familiar with it, and be shown a map of the neighborhood and/or town beforehand with a series of basic directions. And you should introduce it to your circle of friends, so it doesn’t feel left out.

They require a very Spartan keep, basically corn – also compound feed-based – and water. In that respect, several establishments in the hospitality trade at the national and international levels have joined the initial proposal put forth by some bars in the area of Malasaña in Madrid which consists of placing bowls with corn on the bar to give to the guide rooster right next to – with the hope of creating symbiosis, and economies of scale – the popcorn bowls for their owners.

The idea is to create a certain atmosphere in any given bar, of an undeniable comic element for the person who bumps into a situation of this sort for the first time upon walking into their local watering hole. The rooster is just as useful for dating: a shared fondness for the same kind of pet is as good a way as any other to break the ice. And, of course, it acts as an alarm clock in the traditional method – if you have early obligations to attend to the next day-.

Other benefits of the recent lab pet which came about unexpectedly a bit collaterally: if you have a rooster with a certified pedigree it makes you a little chic, makes you different. As with all things, there will always be classes, and everyone knows the unspoken rule in Madrid that you can’t get into places like Bangaloo, Gabana, or Vanitas with a common street rooster. Not to mention if you go to Cock, on calle Reina. It has also been a great help verbally alleviating daily tensions, if needed, without having to engage in fisticuffs. “I’ll sic my rooster on you,” has been, it seems, a leitmotif of their owners in recent times.

Another practical side of these lab roosters, after ruling out options like bricklayer roosters, or automotive driving industry operators, on the one hand, or, on the other, hunting or fighting roosters – due to economic unfeasibility in the first two, due to legal issues in the second two – has been to train them as police roosters, continues the advertising feature. Used in the different State law enforcement as narcotics, intervention, rescue, or forensics roosters, they were given characteristics genetically like an incredibly acute sense of smell and tracking ability – of cadavers, explosives, and drugs, for example -, as well as for crowd control and lifeguards, among others, mentions the aforementioned televised spot in closing. Afterwards, a clearly revival-type program on channel 1, with interviews with famous Spanish inventors: foosball, Chupa-Chups lollipops, and the yarn mop. On channel 2, the Career Opportunities in Spain, Part I, documentary continues.

Both varieties of rooster already discussed, guide and police – in this case more Spanish military police -, were bred for the first time Friday of last week in a raid led by this worthy force in Xandú on the premises of the El Trébol chain – leading brothel franchise since 1999-, as several panels attest to of the snow-inside-mall located off the Extremadura highway-.

In the aforementioned raid, a stash of drugs was confiscated. Several guide roosters were also seized from El Trébol customers. Reasons ranged from not having a chip, coming from some illegal lab, or belonging to an endangered species; some of these roosters were admittedly hungover a few hours later; some shallwesay laying hens were commandeered on the premises as well. All the fowl were classified at the police station as stateless.

“That’s interesting, stateless, I’ve never heard such a sad word or expression before,” says the sergeant in charge of locking them up – as well as of general maintenance of the station’s farm – out loud. He only finds that He never gave me a name the monster Frankenstein mourned, defeated, no going back, in reference to his creator comparable to it in terms of absence of identity, notary engaged with disaster and mass disappearances, pure and simple, in the rough.

Continue reading

Numbers and letters

Poetry by TS Hidalgo  ⊕ Graffiti Art Photography by Michael Marrotti


Sometimes, I tend to think that the profession of book editor

is the profession of a straw man.

I enjoy a lot, I really mean,

when I meet book editors,

who, after leaving their 9 to 5, find it urgent to blow off steam

(and they talk, then, harsh, about li-te-ra-tu-re;

about diamonds, also,

or about still-not-definitively-submerged dreams):

and, back into the fold, after a <<And now, what do I do?>>,

they take soma

(which, as we all remember,

has all the advantages of Christianity and alcohol,

without any of the side effects):

they are editing rubbish

(they seek rubbish,

they select rubbish),

that 100% suits a thorough marketing plan:

an Excel table is a full of possibilities living organism.

They live in this schizophrenia.

Row, row with all your strength!:

it is detestable to see a completely calm sea.  20161015_180303

the horror, the horror


<<Fucking Hell, I can´t believe it!,

what is the Valle de los Caídos* doing in the middle of Paradise?>>,

xxxx asked, on their honeymoon,

when they arrived at the USS Arizona Memorial

(ranked No. 1 out of 312 things to do in Honolulu,

according to TripAdvisor).

Subtle paradox, right?

Following that argument,

Hawaii itself happens to be the leader,

out of 51 states,

in a matter of homeless per million inhabitants.

Further still,

some Pacific islands remain uninhabited,

because of atomic tests

(including Bikini Atoll,

smaller than the world´s smallest swimsuit).

In a nutshell,

a sort of paradise, in its version Jekyll and Hyde:

Gauguin become White trash,

living within nothing less than a barrack of fair,

facing a courtyard filled with rubble

(or perhaps a vehicle that does not work).

What for, then, a Purgatory,

with seven cornices?

(not to mention the Ante-Purgatory).

Light is merely a reflection on the lens,


* A basilica-monument near Madrid dedicated to those fighters who died in the Spanish Civil War, and in which former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco was buried.




On the streets, in the squares, from the balconies,

near the port:

all our perimeter was a huge barricade

(and we recorded everything because we were afraid).

The sea was a natural retreat,

and the surrender was an unthinkable thing:

much blood had been shed,

a lot,

to spoil with a white flag

(to avoid losing custom, we released a few laughs, barefoot,

crossing ourselves at regular intervals.

And, then, nothing, just silence).



Poetry by Holly Day χ Photography by Aparna Mendu




he went crazy while I was still

at work. his friends had come over for lunch, saw him

go from reasonably odd to completely insane in

a matter of minutes. our son was sleeping in his crib

otherwise, they would have left, too.

I came in the door after

a long day at work, saw him pacing, pacing

lecturing wildly and waving his arms around his

head like he was trying to scare off

invisible flies.

“he’s all yours now,” his friends said when

they saw me, shaking their heads in sympathy but

not wanting

to get involved. Ten


years later, I’m sitting in court, telling

stories of how things went from bad to worse.

“I don’t remember any of this,” says the husband

I haven’t seen since our son was two years old.

“I’d like to apologize for

anything I did to you back then.” the lawyers smile at me

as if this will make it all better, will excuse the violent fights

the things he stole from me, the nights I slept with my son

curled up in my arms, afraid

of what was coming next.


Midnight Caller


at night the

angry thud of the



sounds like monsters

the groan

of the house quietly settling sounds like



I can almost see the deranged face

of my family’s murderer pressed against


the glass

sliding doors.






when it was finally warm again, we let the horses

out of the stable to feed on the new grass growing

in the front yard. I’d always be the Indian

my cousin, the cowboy, and we’d run screaming after

one another in an obstacle course between the horses.


I fell in love with Jason because the horses did, I think

Daisy and Dodge would let him drop from an overhanging tree branch

onto their backs without a twitch. I tried with Daisy

once, ended up flying halfway across the yard, and that was enough

for me. “She just don’t like Injuns,” Jason said

holding me in his strong, sunburned arms

while I tried to catch my breath

and I tried not to cry.


he married young, so young, and his wife

tried to kill me the first time she met me

a twenty-year-old maniac who drove with a kitchen knife laying in her lap

told me he had confessed to being in love with me

told her all sorts of quiet things about me

I tried to explain that things happen when kids grow up together

sure as curious farm animals, cats and dogs in heat

but she just didn’t want to listen.





the irony is not lost on me: checking

strips of treated paper every Monday, every Friday

praying and praying and failing to see

a “plus” sign appear in

the second window of the pregnancy test.


the irony is not lost on me: five years before

seeing this same sign made me

think briefly of suicide, led me to a life

I never would have lived, left me with a child

I would now die to have more of

if they could only be just like him.


the irony is not lost on me: two years, a single mother dating

squeaking by safely, using various forms

of uncomfortable contraception, and now

Husband #2 and I

can’t conceive. it’s ironic to think

that after the absolute hell #1 put me through

abuse, divorce, and complete financial abandonment

I owe him something

for giving me my son.


Take It


folded wolf

soft flesh beside me, I

am so hot, unfurls into something I know


baby bird above me, wolf

clutched in its beak, I

touch the white skeleton man, push it up, I know


what you want, man-child, wolf

creature, put it in my head, through my head, I

dream in kaleidoscopes, know


love for fractions of seconds, wrap me in sick sweat, wolf

spit, take this burning I

am almost burning–rip me up, make me know.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft LiteraryCenter in Minnesota since 2000. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, Guitar All-in-One for Dummies, Piano All-in-One for Dummies, Walking Twin Cities, Insider’s Guide to the Twin Cities, Nordeast Minneapolis: A History, andThe Book Of, while her poetry has recently appeared in New Ohio Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle. Her newest poetry book, Ugly Girl, just came out from Shoe Music Press.

Interview with an artist : Etienne Grinter



” This is my first interview and I’m a little nervous but it is an honor to be interviewed.
I feel like this is the first step to becoming noticed here in Jacksonville, Florida and all over the world as well.”

Tell the people who you are and where are you from?

My name is Etienne Grinter, Pronounced as a-t-on. It’s French for Steve. I am a 27 year old artist with two beautiful daughters. Father first, Son next. One guy told me I am very Humble although assertive.

Currently I have graduated with my Web Design Certification, attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pa for 3 years in (07) studying Graphic Design and Game Art; right after graduating from high school. Also I am certified Art Instructor for Michaels Arts and Crafts store. Always a student of art, that will never change.

I would say I am fascinated by everyday things that I see shapes, colors, people. I drift off into my fantasy world a lot. Always did in school as well, drawing on anything I could get my hands on. I try to recycle old materials a lot, trying to salvage the old to bring it back to life somehow with art. I lost the mother of my first child, my best friend in fact about 6 1/2 years ok now. I had stopped drawing at one point in time. It was a very dark time, still kinda is, but I push through it day by day. Art really keeps me going and so do my daughters. I really just want to make them happy while also being the best that I can be as an artist really.

Growing up in Toledo, Ohio which they call the Glass City or The Mud (Lol), there I graduated at Calvin M. Woodward. I had always thought about going to an official art school although I wanted to graduate with my close friends. It is a fairly small area not far from Michigan. A little history about Toledo is that for college Football it was divided. You were either Michigan Wolverines or you were an Ohio State Buckeye. I was the oddball among my friends and loved the Wolverines. GO BLUE!! The street Stickney use to be the boarder for Michigan although it was pushed back of course. The biggest game in the Big 10 conference in November will be these two going at it on the field.


Can you tell us about your latest project?
My latest projects have been really not creating new art but redefining some of my older pieces on a gallery or more professional level to be presented, also with some new artwork as well. I have been taking my old artwork and sketches and blowing them up to a larger size. I never really use to paint at all. I was more of the sketcher, the guy that drew your name in class for a few dollars for lunch. Nothing really to major, then it started to hit me later on in life as to what I would like to do with my art. I would say that my latest projects have been more meaningful, deep powerful images that were created back in 2010-2014. This is where I had my Artist Block I still kinda do.

These last few projects have been a combination of paint, wood burning, hot glue, memories and feelings I can’t escape. I have the occasional fan art like Dragonball Z, Hunter x hunter etc. things that you would look at and think dang man this is really a deep subject.

What message do you want people to receive from your artwork?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What message do I want people to receive looking at my artwork? Man this question is always a doozy for myself because I know the story behind each and every painting. Be we all see differently no matter how much in common we have, we all see things more to one side or the next. I would say that I want people to receive the message that my artwork speaks to them. You know. I want each and every piece to reach out an touch someone. If that makes sense. As if looking at it each and everyday brings some kind of clarity or relieve. I want my artwork to speak to their soul. I know that these pieces that I am creating now. They bring me joy, clarity, peace, serenity, freedom. Limitless freedom…. I did one piece which was my first wood burning piece. On like a 9×12 piece of wood that I bought from Michaels. It was really a test for myself. To see what would be created. What beauty could I bring to this piece of wood that is now in my hands. A part of life I wanted to breath life back into. I feel as though I want to breath life back into the people. If that makes any sense.

Do  you remember your first creative work, the moment you knew that you where an artist?
My first creative work would have been in High school my Junior/Senior year. I had a ton art classes and phys.ed. (Lol) It was a challenge for class in Mrs.Millers class. It took me awhile to do so. I really had to be cleaver and creative as well. I remember back then this piece was about 18×24 and every way you turn it there was a different picture. Just random things, an elephant, a column or clouds. My imagination had been wild, as a adolescent. Also at the same time this other piece that was a pastel chalk painting I did of a waterfall, took me longer to do both at the same time but as an artist I need multiple of projects to work on or it might not get finished (lol). This piece went into an art show at the Toledo Museum and I never saw it until I graduated. It was gone for about 2 years.


Who are your favorite artist and inspirations?
My favorite artist? Hmm… I would say one of the greats M.C. Escher. His artwork kept people’s minds working, thinking while staring at its beauty and trying to figure out what and where everything went. He plays mind games which I love with art as well. It’s like a chess game or checkers looking at his work. Seeing if you know his next move or try and figure out what he was thinking during that time. He really inspired me and is a strong influence on my abstract pieces and some of my graffiti work.

A recent artist whose story is an inspiration to me would be Audrey Kawasaki. She does a ton of pieces that are elegant beautiful, masterful pieces of artwork that when I had seen them up close and personal, well a print of her work. It was like she breathed life back into me again with her pieces. So simplistic, colorful but mute, strong but delicate. Her pieces spoke to me as I want my artwork to do with others. She uses mixed media as well. Oil and pencil on wood. I think she uses something else although I am not sure. What I would give to meet her!

What tools do you use to create?

image1Tools, tools? I use a bunch of tools, such as the Internet. Love it, inspiration from all different faces and people that aren’t known or seen before. Models that are up and coming. Pinterest is a tool I use sometimes mostly now it is Instagram. Ideas flow a bit when I flip through a few pages or so. Flow other artist, see different creators of comics that are up and coming. It’s exciting to know I am amongst these other influences as well. Building each other up. I use a mechanical pencil about a .5 for myself. Copic markers, ink wells, wood burner, acrylics, just about to attempt oils, hot glue gun, colored pencils, ballpoint pens, highlights. Anything really that I can get my hands on. I really like to use different elements that aren’t said to be art tools but who is to say what is and what isn’t. I remember never really having any of these supplies I have now. All I had was a pencil, a eraser, my CD player, cds and my imagination. I’ve came along way, but I am good with every tool that is placed in hand. From years of practice, trial and error. I always keep my errors.
Where can we see more of your art, what other places has your work been published?
As of seeing my artwork i am still in the process of getting a proper website up and running here soon. Other than at http://egrinter.wix.com/3nigma where my digital artwork is. I haven’t placed to much up. I have a red bubble as well which is http://www.redbubble.com/people/3nigma/portfolio. This is where I thought my cool little character “Inhale” would take off. I have a lot of digital work of him and about over 120 designs for him. Created him from graffiti tag I was doing. I’m an constantly on Instagram posting my artwork. Follow me @ french_e_designs.
The only artwork of mine that has been publish would be here at Section8Magazine. I had done a competition for a flyer in Pittsburgh, Pa which made it to the top 3. Also doing window murals where I use to work at downtown at Brueggers Bagels on Grant st and being recognized at DeVry University school I had attended at the time for web design.


Continue reading


Poetry by Amy Kotthaus ∗ Art by Gary Plummerpeak-sketch-mixed-media-on-paper-20-3cmx25-4cm



My eyes turn down,

from what’s in my blood

or watching your mouth

I do not know.

You passed your pack

down to my mother,

but she declined,

so I must shoulder it.

Bent and top heavy,

it makes me clumsy,

each pebble a boulder.

I create an ascent

of every downward slope.

Balancing the burden

ready to lurch

either way, me with it,

over the edge, off the path.

Even in all that tumbling,

the weight will not be shaken.

Passers-by stop throwing lines

I cannot grip with hands greased

from clutching my hair.

I will dig them into the dirt

and claw my own way

up this peakless mountain.




Twice she was approached

by a devil on the train,

pushing pamphlets, raving

of end times he didn’t know

had come and gone.

The rabid lilt of his sermons

worked a soporific.

She woke on Saturday

to find Mephistopheles

well-dressed at the door,

prepared to pray for the soul

he wished her to gift.

No time to entertain him,

she had fiends of her own making

singing her name in verse,

while Old Nick lay in bed.


Synaptic Ghosts


My pilgrim journey

is undulating fog.


The remembrance of cold

well water, quicksilver earth.


Visions of the future are

viscous ambiguities.


It curls my hair

and dampens my clothes.


Each day brings a lamp

to burn off the mist.


Those vaporous hands

I’ll never hold.

Bow River Valley mixed-media-on-canvas

Bow River Valley mixed-media-on-canvas

Perpetual Motion Machine


When it’s too much

perpetual motion machine,

I want to peel off my skin

and clean the sinew

and muscle from my bones.

You do the same, and lie

down here with me below

the white thread roots,

in the cool, quiet earth.

Let the land fill herself

in over us.

Wrap your skeleton arm

around mine; I’ll bend my leg

to rest on yours.

Sleep silent and still.

lake louise alberta: mixed-media on canvas

lake louise alberta: mixed-media on canvas

The Evangelist


In the dark, you bid them

speak in tongues.

Come morning, you shed them,

dried out skins.


Sketch of one of the three sisters peaks canmore (mixed-media-on-paper)



the point of V

will slice across

cut my tongue

to say the word

blood will spill

stain my lips

red in public

Morning Canmore mixed-media-on-paper

Morning Canmore mixed-media-on-paper

Bio:  Amy Kotthaus is a writer, translator, and photographer. Her work includes poetry, Latin translation, and black and white photography. She received her B.A. from the University of Southern Maine, and she currently lives in Maine with her husband and children


Art by Breanna Quinn ⊕ poems by Bradford Middleton


Walking out into the light for the first time in twenty-seven years
For the first time in this town that has apparently been home for the last eight or so years
And the thing that immediately hits home is the madness
The madness of the people who live in this place and how I nearly became one of them
From the guy standing outside a house on Lower Rock who stopped me only to mutter
‘I… I… five…’
I looked him in the eye and was immediately aware of the vacant stare that came back
‘Take care mate,’ I said as I walked off only to hear him shuffling off after me up the road
But even in my ridiculous state I lost him pretty quick even if I knew he was basically harmless


I was sat in one of my least favourite places
In one of the ugliest buildings in town and I
Didn’t think it was possible for it to get any worse
The joys of the housing benefit office on a wet
And windy Friday morning in the depths of autumn
Watching the clock and hoping it ain’t going to be
Too long before they call your number

But then somehow it gets worse yet as an old
Lady gets agitated at the entrance as the
Reception staff can’t help her with her problem
She screams “I’d be better off dead” before the
Bombshell drops “I slept in a cemetery last night”
And with that a couple of burly looking security
Guards move on in and clamp their hands to her arms

She sat on the floor, partly protesting and probably
For a bit of a rest after her night dreaming of
Being six feet under as then she wouldn’t have to
Live like this. The guards grab her arms and lift
Her up just to move her on out and as she screams
One final bellow, “I’d be better off dead!” I sit back and
Hope she doesn’t get her predicted demise.


We live in fear of our lives
They like it that way keeping us under control
So much to be afraid of they say
And that’s just the stuff we’ve told you about
Fundamentalists are the latest big lie
As Communists were in the days of the Cold War
And the Jews were to the German Fuhrer
Fear is the greatest way to keep control

When people are scared for their life
They tend to do as they are told
Worry about the fundamentalists
Get angry about the benefit scroungers
And ignore the fact our glorious leaders are giving themselves an 11% pay rise
Whilst me, at my job, I got 15p an hour more
And of course still need benefits to keep a roof over my head
But tell me how when the country is fucked how can all this be my fault?

Fear is the key; be afraid of what is different to you
And don’t trust anyone who is different to you
Read the Daily Mail and forget when they called to support Adolf before WW2
Look at the tits on page 3 of The Sun and in May don’t forget to vote for who they say
They just want you to do what they tell you to do
Work hard for long hours for the family back home
The home which is costing you more money than you can even comprehend
But whatever you do don’t question the free-market ideology because if you do you may well be seen as being different to them


We walked down to the beach and the first thing I saw on surveying the scene was a pub
A big sprawling green mass of a mess that suggested inside could well lay adventure ahead
After smoking a nice big one sat down on the beach we uneasily got to our feet white widowed to our peak
Staggering over pebbles towards the mess, our refuge lay ahead; we headed on in pass some old bikers
Who were stood out the front smoking their Marlboro red tabs of death as we walked on in
The room was a mass of black; walls, posters, flags and the like; Manowar one of the screamed which made me laugh
Behind the bar stood a young woman and in the corner were a few characterful faces that looked like they’d been here forever
We walked to the bar and ordered some beer, three pints for a tenner, fuck home I think I’ll have to move here
Finding a table on which to rest we tucked into our beer as an old geezer selected The Eagles on the pubs’ jukebox
As he finally selected his half-dozen selections we moved over to make our picks
Some great punk rock, some rock classics and some real weird shit; it almost seemed like perfection as we made some top selections
Moving back to our table I look up to see the old geezer clicking his fingers and banging his head to the teenage lobotomy
The Ramones plough through; the pub is full of joy and I immediately feel at home
Making me feel strangely comfortable as I rarely do at any pub in my town where people are too crippled to unleash from their cool, stoical hipster facade
Then I sit back and dream of what it must be like on a weekend night and all I can think is I’ve got to get back here sometime somehow.


It was only meant to be a quiet drink on a Thursday night but in this life with these girls that kind of thing just don’t happen
We started in early to get the most of the so-called happy hour and the people came and went but there we remained drinking
Doing that thing we love so much it’ll eventually be the death of us all
Once the two-hour happy prices shot up our drinking slowed down until we got to that point when it became a struggle to even make it to the bar
Then another friend came in the door and I noticed my beer was nearing its end
So up I got and offered to get some drinks and when I got to the bar I couldn’t believe my ears
After asking for a generic lager of no particular brand the barmaid told me I could get one for free
I stood, poised with a note in my hand and when it was delivered I almost felt compelled to hand it over
But when she turned and walked to help another customer I turned, walked back and spread those magic words…
FREE BEER at the bar, I was so full of joy at the prospect of all that FREE BEER
That I drank it down hating its taste but revelling in the fact that it was glorious and free, free bloody beer!

Smoke Signals from Hell

Poetry by Bekah Steimel ≅ Art by Etienne E. Grinter

image3falling feathers

shed from angel wings

where are the creatures of creationism?

shovels and telescopes reveal nothing

but dirt and stars

Heaven is a hypothesis

masquerading as conclusion

a verdict without proof

you should not gamble away

your inheritance

for a jackpot that may not exist

your life

is not an appetizer


before the entrée of eternity

the ultimate sacrifice

is not your death for life

but your life for death.


12:27 am


Time to justify the indulgence

to forgive the empty bottle

12:27 am

time to quit checking the time

and instead

move blindly with the minutes

and let them gently lead me

out of this confusion

out of the empty bottle

that is always a size too small

and a moment too late




You got over me

while I was still under you

Your carefully chosen words


My carefully chosen situations


Our reckless and youthful entanglement


We cut our teeth on each other’s hearts

you gnawed your way in

You fought to love and hurt me,

and then you disappeared without effort

You said this war is over

(love is war?)

You moved 952 miles away

(out of sight)

You got the life you’ve always wanted

(out of mind)

I stayed in St. Louis—the setting for

our story

I see you in parks and sidewalks and restaurants

that I hated

but still took you to

Because you loved them

Because I loved you

Because I love you

So, now I’m drinking wine and writing yet another poem

(that you will never see)

About you, yet again

(Still you never see)

So, I guess you won the war



See More Art from Etienne E. GrinterHttp://egrinter.wix.com/3nigma