Submission Policy

Mel BrakE Press acquires first serial rights to all work published. Mel BrakE Press also reserves the right to electronically archive any content published.

All other rights revert to author upon publication.

Mel BrakE Press has a liberal submission policy, and will accept poetry manuscripts (not books) for its next publication cycle, the Spring of 2018.

We do not charge a reading fee. We DO NOT PAY TO PUBLISH YOUR WORK.

We only accept submissions via email for collection of poems. Please send no more than 3-5 pages of poetry as an email attachment using standard MS format. We do not accept epic manuscripts:10 pages or more will be rejected.

Please note in subject line: "Submission".

Manuscripts that do not follow our guidelines
will be subject to rejection. We do not publish books.

Direct submissions or questions to:

Thank you

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Poetry of Tom "WordWulf" Sterner

Mel BrakE Press is proud to publish the poetry of Tom "WordWulf" Sterner.

Tom Sterner Bio:

Tom Sterner lives in Redding, California and Arvada, Colorado with wife Kathy. He has been published in numerous magazines and on the internet, including Howling Dog Press/Omega, Skyline Literary Review, The Storyteller, and Flashquake. His internet pseudonym is WordWulf. A native of Colorado and proud father of five children and a stepdaughter, he writes lyrics, sings and composes music with his sons. He is winner of the Marija Cerjak Award for Avant-Garde/Experimental Writing and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2006 and 2008. Published work includes two novels, Madman Chronicles: The Warrior and Momma’s Rain.

The Poetry of Tom "WordWulf" Sterner

Those Without Graves

On the drive to work each day
I watch the soldier's cemetery pass
Everything seems equal there
stone tablets standing attention, the grass
trimmed by small brown skinned men
I see a lady bend down, she kneels
sets a cup full of wild flowers
before two stones, I feel

a hitch in my breath to watch

Flags always in evidence
the here and now of this place
and this day each grave is adorned
a tiny standard, its solemn face
Warm day end of May
I roll my window down
senses immediately assaulted
by a most deep and haunting sound

My legs walk away from the car standing

The first time I witnessed his marching
tartan kilt his regal attire
pipes slung over his shoulder
moaning, set the morning afire
There was certain precision to his gait
distance practiced known too well
Here walked the souls of these soldiers
to ring their lives with his mournful bell

My heart was flushed with guilt its watching

His lady, with a single flower
came to gather up her man
his pipes with their mournful singing
She held his arm with her hand
I went to the stone of her choosing
where Ian the first was lain
then to the end of the piper's walk
the sky shed a tear of rain

These eyes confused in their seeing

A newer stone whose name the same
here lies Ian the third
I followed the voice of the piper
loneliest sound ever heard
and there was Ian the Junior
standing aside with his wife
a fair compliment of mourners
bidding farewell to a life

What greed mine curiosity shown

The pipes trailed away in their singing
the reverend mumbled words to the sky
that Lord, they are brave in their going
these lads to their sweet by and by
A final note owned the moment
to soar with its soul way up high
The crack of twenty-one rifles
exclamation mark against the sky

What mortal undone was I

Ian the second passed by me
his proud pipes bellowed once more
His wife let fall of her flower
on top of that last mortal door
And he paced from Ian to Ian
this man no one could save
whose soldier's sin was still to be living
with father and son in their graves

And the rain hid my face from his eyes

Ode to Eos

Waking up to lavender skies
peeling off layers of sleep
the future comes from the east
Dreams and schemes of deliverance
appear as opiate fantasies
spider cross web of morning

Eos resides in our spirits
immune to time’s messages
whose breath fresh is dawn
whispers aweigh, secrets of night
lain on cloud pillow
held high and higher yet
promises to self are kept

Lift me up, sing to me
voices fresh a-morning
These are cleansing of solitude
a lullaby and just before
full consciousness, eve is lost
Behold the celebration
to which dawn aspires

Knots & Circles

Any circle, society, family
must find children on one end
elders on the other
When these touch, the circle is complete
We have nuclear equivalents
some device of cloning
sex therapists, gender benders
neuters and foreskin groups
I see a lady and a small boy
She is teaching him knots
he is feeding her cat
She drops her ball of yarn; they
bump heads reaching, fall down laughing

Family Thanksgiving

A basket full of hugs and kisses
a piece of cherry pie
a warm smile on a cold morning
a place to go and cry
stories to tell and secrets to keep
those kites that refuse to fly
holidays at Grandma’s
and there’s Grandpa’s knee to ride

A symphony of tiny voices
pictures hanging on the wall
loneliness and happiness
bathtubs in the hall
beginnings and birthdays
and fires in the fall
those letters that say, “I miss you
I miss you most of all”

All the fourth of Julys exploding
and when there’s a scraped-up knee
magick kisses chase the pain away
and cats up in the tree
new shoes and hand-me-downs
those brand new glasses, “I can see!”
fighting and loving and loving and fighting
the past that’s the past of “me”

Bicycles and training wheels
time gets in the way
fairy tales and teeth under pillows
that place where the old dog lays
special seats to sit and blankets to hold
report cards and bright sunny days
little pockets full of bugs and bolts
picnics and camping and weekends away

Where some friends belong and some are just friends
all kinds of neat stuff to share
noses and roses and photograph poses
everyone’s favorite chair
Countless messes made by “Mister No One”
the search for the three-legged teddy bear
pennies in couches, pencils and cookies
the feeling: there’s always someone who cares

It’s you I’m really talking about
and the others I’d like to see
what we are is what it really means
to be part of a family
I guess drifting apart is natural
the way God intended it to be
to be apart and a part, full circle
is to be part of a family

We all must grow in our own direction
for surely we must be free
but once in a while we should meet and remember
what it means to be family
It is you I’m really talking about
the pieces of you that are me
the pride I feel in the sharing
being part of a family

A Sense of Sixth

I can’t hear the night with the lights on
They blind my ears, destroy my focus
The tiger of fear stalks their shadows
creeping up to capture my spirit
and terrify the little boy me

I can’t see her face in the music
where I go to hide away from her
Songs I used to sing to her image
are my new door to freedom
in their legion of sadness

I can’t find my ass in the dark
with hands, invisible arms
a tactile prisoner of light
whose eyes demand proof and purchase
the illusive wall of life

Wednesday took the lies of summer
wrote them on a book of leaves
divided amongst the winds
scattered to hither and yon
tablets in stacks and stones beyond

These Hands

These hands awoke in water
to the voice of mother hum
They offered a bit of solace
I swam and sucked their thumbs
When the outside invaded
these hands made tiny fists
as they held themselves before me
punching holes in the mist

These hands have whispered prayer
whose voice the life I’ve lived
a quiet thanksgiving, my children
those gifts life has chosen to give
These hands have reached for the heavens
asking and wondering why
until they returned to the prayer
voices of answers inside

These hands have known the woman
in all her moods and graces
as she led them through the darkness
into her secret places
Even as she touched them
these hands were hers to teach
They stood upon her body
she drew them down to reach

These hands have served as warriors
to put the monster down
and fluttered in confusion
their life blood on the ground
They’ve gripped the steel of cages
when pushed behind the door
been manacled and chained
at odds with law and war

These hands have known the prayer
pressed against the lips of time
When the final truth has spoken
they have learned to say good-bye
When these hands are fin’ly resting
upon my quiet breast
of all the things these hands would do
remember they loved the best

Taking Daddy Home

You might have seen him
if you lived out West
He would be the man
who helped you fix your car
or offered you a ride
He was good and deep
in his quiet way

When he knew his time was near
he did some traveling
made his last good-byes
and I, being the oldest of his girls
spent some good time with him
helped him any way I could
in his end days as he had my beginning

My tiny boys
will never know him in the flesh
though I see him on their faces
My heart will remember
and teach them what I know
as they travel this road with me
taking Daddy home

The wheel turns
Daddy’s hope lives in my heart
He is more of me than I knew
I’ll take him from these Rocky Mountains
his Colorado roam
Those Black Hills are calling us
I’m taking Daddy home

I Would

If I could be a pillow
a safe place
to lay me down your grief
I would

If I could be a basket
I would gather all your sorrow
cast it out into the seven directions
I would

If I could be a fountain
I would flow with you
through the seven waters of your soul
I would always be your friend
I would

Might Have Said

I might have said I love you
ten thousand echoes reside
Three wandering moons of Atlantis
conspire to conceal, they hide
the city, my love is a rainbow
whose path is come open and wide
a tumble me down and forever
whistling of prayer, neap tide

I might have said who are you
whose sleep I have come to share
far misty mountains abiding
a halo of sun as they bear
tree children, my love is a whis’pring
wind through the needles, their hair
Lift me up, I’m a flying man
whose heart is lighter than air

I might have said where are you
lonely nights lying awake
a misty gath’ring of shadow
fair ghosts of tomorrow may shake
their heads, my love is a phantom
a cry of hope for their sake
whose spirit may lie in my bosom
a lay me down I would make

I might have said I’ve found you
into the face of the night
The sun, a cascade of falling
makes narrowing pathways of light
A fire, my love is a ribbon
shimmering gem of delight
the body of faith come rewarded
healing caresses ignite

I might have said I love you
then finally found your face
the stars, a sprinkling of Heaven
find sorrow and come to erase
the dark, my love is a promise
a choosing of time and place
whose moment I have come seeking
has found me and blessed me with grace


Pushing words away
lest they eat my sleep
become the only part of me
devour those golden hours
which amount to the rest of me
yes, away with dreams and all that seems
possessed to make an end to me

Anesthesia is an art
to which I might at once lay claim
a shallow grave divided
I might just lay between
some token awareness consciousness
which came first coffee or cream
blackout describes the best held dreams

I lit a candle to threaten the stars
but nobody’s laughing in this wayward place
would someone put out the light
stop this ringing in my ears
I am not afraid of the night
but see what is done in the light of day
no, don’t take my candle away

Insomuch as I Am Able

Insomuch as I am able
and ever bent to stand
I will sing a song of children
what they may say with eyes
and tiny hands touching
goodness and wellness
a solid stand of days

Insomuch as I am able
and ever kneeling tall
I will sing a song of mother
that voice before all others
the space she touched within
I’ve never been without
a simple peace of shade

Insomuch as I am able
and ever standing down
I will sing a song of family
those before and after them
storms of circles touching
sadness and gladness
a gentle cleansing rain

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Poetry of Kai Laursen

Mel BrakE Press is honored to present the poetry of Kai Laursen.

Kai Laursen was born and raised in Seattle. He earned an MFA in
Writing from California College of the Arts. Currently he lives in

The Poetry of Kai Laursen

for W.S. Merwin

through the bamboo forest
making friends out of clay
one who is far away
we dream them in waking

the star is fading
we invest in loss

we think about angel island
the deer that swim the channel
swimming against the current

the star is fading
we invest in loss

there is a poem in this pencil

hanging upside down
like a nuthatch

the star is fading
we invest in loss

friend the jet engine
friend the book
the look of the other
the last cheetah on earth

we have thrown away the ladder

the star is fading
we invest in loss

For David Wagoner

He read from Yeats, Thomas, Stevens and Auden.
Pray to the Muse, he exhorted.
What was her name?
She has a tragic sense of humor.

He praised and blasted my early poems.
That old raven; or hawk; the next moment—a dove.

When he read Yeats’ The Fascination of What’s Difficult—
That got me; the bolt burst off the door.
He even dared to pull the curtain on my father,
Whose mask hangs like a trophy, in my room.


This poem does not begin with a feeling-tone or image. This poem begins by chance at the Café Coyote. You wearing a buffalo skin robe, me in a blue tuxedo. The band plays a slow peyote song and the little people dance. I look you in the eye and say: honey, you look familiar. You laugh and pull your hair back in a ponytail. We speak in a secret language. We trade eyes. I place my hand on the small of your back. The moon takes a detour and makes love to the sun.


Tilkut prepared for the whale hunt,
fasting on fern roots and wild lily bulbs,
purifying himself in the sweat lodge.

On the fifth night of prayer and fasting,
Tilkut invoked the spirit of the whale.
He danced like a pine bough in a gentle wind.
Sage is burned. A haunting song began:

Salmon crooned in the whale’s belly,
baritones and high-pitched trilling,
the drone of plankton swimming,
a sea lion howled. And the whale joked:

Tilkut, all your preparation was in vain,
for as you cook me, I will rise up in smoke


The words on the will
Are a portrait of a man:
One third for the artist,
A quarter for the sergeant,
A cut for his attorney,
All the rest to Prince Charming.


Ugly puppy void like winter.
Beneath music is language.
How may purple please time?
Drive goddess chant petals.




The stones have their say, though some are hewn
for the walls of fortresses.
Whitecaps charge like horses in the channel.
Say it! All poems are not the ghost of a sonnet.
And faith does not prepare one for anything.

The stones have their say, though some are hewn
for the walls of fortresses.
Whitecaps charge like horses in the channel.
Say it! All poems are the ghost of a sonnet.
And faith does not prepare one for the darkness.

The stones have their say, though some are hewn
for the walls of fortresses.
Whitecaps charge like horses in the channel.
Say it! All poems are not the ghost of a sonnet.
And faith does not prepare one for anything.

The Poetry of Brian Hardie

Mel BrakE Press is honored to publish the poetry of Brian Hardie.

Brian Hardie Bio:

I am 25 years old and I have been writing passionately since the age of seven. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I now reside in southeast Portland. I have been published in over 50 small press journals/E-zines including The Pebble Lake Review(Houston, TX), Conceit Magazine(San Fransisco, CA), AMULET, Hudson View(NYC/South Africa), Decanto(UK),, SALiT Magazine(International),,,, VAZ!NE, Down In The Dirt Magazine, Expressions Online Literary Journal,, Lone Stars Magazine, Pure Francis, BLAZE VOX, and Angel Exhaust(UK). I read annually at the 3 day Unregulated Word Poetry Festival in Kansas City alongside S.A. Griffin, and Scott Wannberg, among others. I will be starting a year long study with poet Mathew Dickman at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in September. I have been a musician for 16 years, recorded and released 4 records, one noise/spoken word album, and tour the States playing music. You can listen to my band Fair Stand The Fields Of France at My favorite color is red, I guess.

The Poetry of Brian Hardie


ya know, provided I dont say something I would be safe from all stumptown eyes blinking twice, rather to leave it soft sizzling in a skillet amongst summer sex I will not have hence to where I will be longing. The crunch of buttered bread burnt to our crisp retrosexual romances, sliding poison lips down the curves of our lazy libidos, forgetting the transfer to walk back through the freedom captive in a capsule in a bottle on my dusted bedroom floor. Breathe, you.

cause you let the blahs set the groove as a mind stain, you will catch those tears in rain buckets while you bob with hands tied trying to remedy the riddle of the rotten apple brooding at the bottom. your last cigarette will burn with numb forgiveness, your withdrawal of substance will shake you sick in an unwelcome home, guilt will set the stage with barrels of booze, fear will be invoked in the thorns of our devils.


at the existent withhold, drowning
Columbia carp, smiling in memory in
smelly high school scent, and withhold,
to leave it and me a sake taken to leave alone,
gypsy love lost on the mind flowing a rapid
end to a long fight not won.

exhausted interviews seen to the channels
thought to provide a comfort, not even
on the edge, forgotten in the ring of
a text message vibration. Scandalous
strings strum covers of cliche sounds
heard so often. My machine gun trigger
invites me to blast happy tension into the
eyes and ears for conventional speakers to
later mention when addressing a non-pleased
audience, attending only for the will to
be seen in the eyes of any name announced.

Back to the triggers... no, never mind. I am
done now with you here. The only
reason I continue aloof is because it feels
good to do so with this one pen I found. The
art gods to be fooled not, I am not
bowing down to any of your cunt blood
feet. My scribbles look of a font anorexic.

A little matter for observation
to keep the sun from rising today. There
are more worthless awakenings in my
internet screen than a
more reflected truth in a mirror shattering
before eyes, complete.


gravestones- what a great job you do building up before i,
so vow before i lose it that you will be waiting. i lie in bed after i

over forwards in regret for weeks on end, oh exaggeration to that long enough plead to see my dead grandfathers eyes frowning down upon. left my bike in the tunnels where

suppose the lover i shared it with shares

of me with the ghosts of old town. where did i miss my
chance given conditionally? i feel i need to hault and suffer again, this
time not to leave others feeling so

guilty, or even holding thoughts that i point the finger. i
see i have damaged my own doing, forgot somewhere that

me eternally. i need the world to forget me and forgive what they

grandma snag me
and bring me
above with you


I carried you through like a trophy

Amongst southeast strips of scenic eyes,

Smelling flowers before standing delivered,

Possibly their smell could be of thought

Gone rotten, breasts all to me like

Goddesses of night, the hidden voice

Of pleasure speaking in the night,

In sheets soiled with tears, pillows

Penetrated for lusting ghosts, drinking

The water boiled to sanitize, sore pelvises

Thrusting to cum pain struck and more, to wit

On subject matter blurred by beginners luck,

Transforming my limbs into arms stroking the

Curves of a serpent, alluring hair I stroke, barbed wire

Fences surrounding her wall. Sidewalks talk of

Degrees increased with yards burning away, out

To the river flushing excrement exceeding decay, like

Memory clutches that weaken the present mind,

A different position for every episode

My future promises, an activity risen on ashtray

Dwellings, beaches of no sand or ocean, needles with

No prick, love without the L, the trots of no-legged

Fragile men. What varies is that scent descent

Into aroma therapy, nostalgic oils of

Innocent eyes, narcissistic neck stained

By an angels perfume.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Poetry of Jerome Brooke

Mel BrakE Press announces the publication, the poetry of Jerome Brooke.

Jerome Brooke lives in Thailand. He has written
Our Lady of Silk and many other books, available
from Amazon Books.

The Poetry of Jerome Brooke

High Priestess

Goddess of Jade, Lee Sun, cruel messenger of death,

Behold your servant.

Your maiden sings the pleas, promises of your city,

Offerings, she brings.

Bali, Isle of the Lost, fair land of the Lady,

Remembers the Goddess.

Bali, of the sea of storms, dark with gales,

Sends your priestess.

Angel of Death, the High Priestess dances,

Turning in her silk;

Servant of the Temple, covered in black robes,

Black cloth of Bali.

Prince of Mindanao

Prince of Mindanao, splendid in bronze,

Marching, so young, so pure.

Vassals bow before your horse, the warband,

Does salute you, bright in azure.

Gold and silver, robes of silk, gleaming bronze,

Vassals before you bow.

Girls beg for mere copper coins, peasants mutter,

Reap as you sow.

Bring the fire, young and immortal, dear one,

Prince of the lie.

Your arms will surely weaken, false friends,

You too will die.

Prince of Shades, see your lady, at your feet,

Captive of seeming.

Beauty she sees, a god among us, love gazes,

Love pure, fleeting.

Love below you, eyes of a peasant,

Girl in rags, low of the land.

Hate, envy, pity, all weave the web,

Pass on with your band.

War Leader

Through the waste marched the warriors,

Silent was the band.

In the swift, hot wind, were seen the men,

Quiet in the sand.

Gold, red gold, at their feet, gems,

Cast far, far away.

Swords no longer shone, as on parade,

Dull this fearful day.

My prince looked, saw this lost line,

Lost, dead on this dark day.

Men of the Queen, lost by fate,

Found where they fell, and lay.

The Barren Waste

Mount, ride my Prince, son of our Queen,

Lead us to Gold.

Pale is the horse, the dim white horse,

That I now do hold.

Our Queen sent us here, to Cebu,

Most cruel land.

Here we stand, awaiting her command,

Take my hand.

Now you will be lost, silent and pale,

Son of the Queen.

Lead us to Cebu, Land of Gold,

Never to be seen.


Ador, Lady with the dark, fatal eyes,

Sing now of the swift, troubled seas.

Weep no longer for the black river,

Flowing down to the distant waves.

Sail through the distant mist,

Mist of time, mist of dying souls.

c 2010 Jerome Brooke

The Poetry of G. David Schwartz

Mel BrakE Press is very pleased to published the poetry of G. David Schwartz.

G. David Schwartz - the former president of Seedhouse, the online interfaith committee. Schwartz is the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue, and coauthor, with Jacqueline Winston, of Parables In Black and White. Currently a volunteer at Drake Hospital in Cincinnati, Schwartz continues to write. His new book, Midrash and Working Out Of The Book is now in stores or can be ordered.
Check out my book on Midrash:

The Poetry of G. David Schwartz

Every Time I See A Blond

Every time I see a blond
I recall that you are gone
And each time I think of you
I am wondering what you do
Helen Hunt just to name
A single pretty one who I knew the name
She was in a T V show
Which I hoped would continue on
But exactly like that show
Things just cease to be
And as the elephant toppled down
Things will always turn green

Please Release My Wife

The evening news
Calls out blues
As my teeth chatter
Asking what’s’ the matter
I’ll cut the dawn
Release the song
And sing the blurs
With Sonny Albacores
Then as I realize
I do not see your eyes
The most delicious part of you
I’ll just shout out
Loud as I do pout

I Remember The Day

I remember the day
That you went away
When you went over the wall
I remember the look
With which you threw out
Witch seemed to make my heart stall
It was I recall
A sunny day and all
But my tears fell freely and dark
I remember the day
That you went away
A day which pieced at my heart
I recall there was a very tall tree
With bark and branch and all
I remember quite clear
As you were out here
And I was so deep in love with you
I never forgot it
I remember it all
Out along the back yard wall
I peered over the fence
And then as a coincidence
You were staring out at me
And I’m sorry to say
That on that day
I felt my heart fall away
And up until now
I didn’t know anyhow
How I’d get you to play
You know none of this is true
But I just had to tell you
Because as love is a charm
I really wish to be in your arms