To Write in Circles


Never must become nowhere.

Driving backwards

into once again, dinging mirrors

tomorrow’s bumper rubs yesterday’s

shine from existence.  Eventually

(originally added as a footnote)

must witness eternity,

collapse inside its own insanity,

reflect upon infinity.  Only

then can after sneak up on ever, and crack

today down the middle.  Whatever.

Everything has already named itself


I Am Penny


dreadful(ly useless).  I stick to pavement

face down.  I am bad

luck, a shiny pittance, a weight

in shadowed pockets.  Drop me.

Remind me I am nothing

more than another childish wish.




How calm you stay

in bed

without pants.

This room is living—

absorbing me,

you.  Needing the wound

we refuse

to talk.

Spasm instead

behind shallow curtains.

The floor is learning

to be.

The ceiling chooses

not to be.

I fold

into a cloud,

hover like a drawbridge.

You anchor darkness,


with a purr.

On the Phone


that night peril and bravery ended

with the day, and mystery seemed to be

a lost lesson.  I said it was late

and had to go become

unhinged.  I wanted to cut loose from the world,

become a permanent outsider, but it hurt

me to think.  I did not want to teach anything.

I felt tainted by the things I knew.  I heard

nothing.  I was struck with sudden revelry,

floated in stasis inside an almost-fictional world

of solid and silence.

The Road to Insomniac Road begins somewhere around my fourth cup

of caffeinated bean juice. I cannot breathe

until its kick-started steam strokes my brain.

Fingers of a fickle lover, it picks

each day’s scars: to-do’s that didn’t

get done, mistakes that shouldn’t have been

made, absences holding space for something

forgotten. Each is plucked like strung chords,

tuned deliberately off-key. The unsoothing

cacophony rocks me, one second at a time,

until dawn.



Because Cobwebs shine like diamond tiaras

in the moonlight, I believe I am

Cinderella. Crawling

through midnight’s masquerade

with one shoe on, I emulate balance.

A flawed perception of tomorrow

cuts the darkness ahead of me like

magic. Wand at the ready, I stumble

into the harsh light of “Happily

Ever After,” gag when I see what I am

supposed to slip more than my foot into.



Popcorn Unplugged Oil-slicked theatrical, returned

to base form. Golden nugget

of potential, unactualized

growth. Threatening

form of favored vegetable, waiting

to crack unsuspecting enamel

A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, fourteen 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.

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