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 We do not publish books.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

Thursday, December 15, 2011


We are esteemed to present the poetry of David Michael Joseph


David Michael Joseph is a Filmmaker, Poetry/Short story author and Screenwriter from New Jersey, but living in Los Angeles. He has made four short films. Shadows of Sepulveda and C.A.k.E. His latest film is presented:

He also has been published in: AMULET, THE ULTIMATE WRITER, CONCEIT MAGAZINE and Danse Macabre du Jour.

Fibbing Raccoon

I tell the raccoon he was a liar
For there is no good in this sector of reality
He laughs at me as he digs through the refuse of man
But to him this is a treasure trove
His laughter makes me laugh
I forget the world is so serious
But I leave him and ask the humming bird the meaning of life
She smiles and says
“On a fortune cookie from east, there is a saying
Life is not a gift but a duty”
I tell the humming bird she is a fool
She should move to the East
Where the axis spins and the rain clouds back peddle
Who am I but the son of a fool?
Yet, we all play the clown in the circus of life
I choose to be the ringleader of this asylum
The doors are open but the windows closed
Where are the guard dogs of the sane?
I believe another lie-sanity is a gift
I believe insanity( is the ultimate level)
For the real world is a maximum-security prison
Racism, poverty and gay porn
All met to keep us in place
For the hardest ward to escape is the mind
But I know a trap door
It's called fantasy

10:02 am

My eyes fight the light
My mind twists
The fumes of the mid night hour,
Have resonated in my mouth
I think I saw greatness
Truthfully, that is the last bit of liquor talking

As the voices thundering in my dome,
become echoes of shames
I press the replay button,
And it all slowed down

I see a man who looks like me
He is dressed like me
He is a better me
Making sweet love to his Jack and Coke.

Love twisted

There is an eternal struggle between the body and soul
For both fear love
For love is death
The end
The end of life as we know it
This force has control that we cannot
taste, touch or feel
But burns our bodies like flames on the flesh
For the heart is an assassin
The body becomes a prison
The mind becomes a liar
This handicapper of the physical being
Emotions strong enough to stroke the fire of war
Hate is just love turned inside out
Apathy is the real killer
The real soul breaker
When we don’t care
We do horrible things
Like the DMV


We are most happy to present the prose of Raud Kennedy


Raud Kennedy is a writer and dog trainer in Portland, Oregon. To learn about his most recent work, Portland, a collection of short stories, please visit


“You’re not supposed to tell your friends the truth,” Ray, a boy of ten, said to Lucy, his golden retriever, who was the best listener in his entire world. She’d stare back at him and pant in agreement at anything he said. “At least not when it’s the real truth of why you think they do the things they do. You’re supposed to keep it secret because they’re not gonna want to hear that part.”

The two of them were sitting on the grass in the backyard, and Ray talked to her as he brushed her. Lucy was blowing her winter coat, and they were surrounded with so much loose fur he’d brushed from her that it looked as if they were seated on a picnic blanket made of yellow blond mohair. Every now and then the breeze would lift a tuft of fur into the air and carry it up and over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. He hoped the neighbor liked dogs.

Ray pulled the fur from the brush and added it to the rest. “Boy, Lucy, we could make a wig for dad out of all this.” He put a handful on her head. “Or one for Mom in case she goes bald like Grandma. She’d like being a blonde. You like it.”

Ray’s mom and dad thought he and his sisters were too young to notice or understand the things they didn’t want them to see, like the hard looks they gave each other when Ray or one of his sisters came into the room when they were speaking in hushed voices that somehow were louder than any shout. But Ray noticed and he understood. His mom and dad liked to drink, wine from the box, light beer that defeated its purpose when they drank twice as much of it, and sometimes hard stuff on weekends, but Ray’s dad had gone away on a trip and since getting back a few days ago he hadn’t been drinking. But his mom had. She kept at it like she hadn’t noticed, and when his dad made a point to say he wasn’t going to have anything when she was opening the tap on a new box of Riesling, she gave him a look as if he’d betrayed and abandoned her to raise three kids she didn’t want to have much to do with. She hated their constant need, their constant questions. She was hiding from too much pain of her own for their questions to simply be questions. Each one was a potential opener to a lid she was trying desperately to keep on.

Once Ray had asked, “Do you love Dad?”

“Of course I do. That’s why we got married.”

But Ray’s older sister had told him otherwise. “Cynthia says you got married because you got pregnant with her.”

His mom’s voice quickly snapped from patronizing to angry. “Cynthia doesn’t know what she’s talking about. She needs to mind her own business and keep her mouth shut.”

“She said she did the math.”

She called Cynthia a little bitch under her breath. She said it quietly so Ray wouldn’t hear, but he did, and if she’d been honest with herself, she’d wanted him to hear. She’d never liked her eldest child and felt huge amounts of guilt over it. She thought a mother was supposed to love her children and she thought she was a bad person for feeling so little when her daughter was born. She hated feeling that way, like something was wrong with her, so she hid it from herself and grew cold toward Cynthia even as she gave birth to her son and youngest daughter. As Cynthia grew older she sought the approval that her mother wouldn’t give her, and the hurt and frustration at not getting it grew into anger and defiance until the two of them openly undermined each other. Once when the fighting got bad, Ray asked his mother if she loved his sister, and she felt so exposed and guilty that her only safe recourse was to fly into a rage of indignation and send him to his room. How could he ask such a question? she’d called after the cowed boy, but he knew why he would and so did she. Everyone did except maybe the youngest. A mother didn’t have to love her children just because they were her children, but she couldn’t accept that and hated herself for it and took her hate out on her daughter until the hate was mutual.

She’d seen a program on television about dogs and at one point they talked about a mother eating her young, and it struck such a chord with her that just for a brief moment it cut through all the lies she’d told herself, all the glasses of wine she’d drank to keep a lid on her feelings, and she admitted to herself that she’d never wanted to have kids, and had never wanted to marry the man she married and she hated everything about her life. But it was a short lived admission. She drowned it in wine and by morning it was again deeply buried among the lies that propped up her self-image.

What had gotten Ray in trouble this time and sent out to the yard to groom Lucy had been another question about love. Like his older sister he had uncovered another uncomfortable truth. His mom had been picking at her morning grapefruit, feeling more hung over than usual and pretending it didn’t show like she’d learned to do from her own mother, when Ray had asked, “Have you stopped loving Dad because he doesn’t drink with you anymore?” If her husband gave up drinking it put her own drinking in far too bright of a light. She resented always being made out to be the bad guy. Now she was being bad for drinking, but she couldn’t imagine her life without it. The idea filled her with such panic she literally could not even think of giving it up.

Ray cleared the brush of more fur again. Lucy was shedding so much he could pull little tufts free from her flanks and hind legs. “But I can tell you the truth, can’t I girl?”

Lucy panted contentedly.

Ray’s mother appeared at the back door. “Come one, Ray. It’s time to take Lucy to the vet.”

“The vet? What for?”

“She’s gonna get fixed.”

“What do you mean?”

Instead of explaining, she just got short. “That dog is not having puppies. Ever. You hear me?”


We are honor to present Myth of the Eternal Return by Jerome Brooke


Jerome Brooke was born in Evansville, Indiana.
He now lives in the Kingdom of Siam.
He has written our Lady of Silk and many other books.

His work has recently been published in a number of journals, including World of Myth – Welcome to Wherever - Indigo - MelBrakE Press - First Literary Review - Penny Ante - Conceit - Pink Mouse - Inquisition – Censored Poets – Cynic - and Mirror Dance.

Myth of the Eternal Return


Hunters of the Dawn

Chill Warning

Wolves howl, chill warning,
Song of blood.
Hunters smile, men reach for spears,
Stone, one with wood.

Our Lady of wolves, with fangs,
In dark shadows is seen.
Howl, children of darkness, follow,
Run with your white queen.

Circles of shadows, cover the prey,
Red stains the snow.
Blood, on white snow, ice and fire,
Stars spin, and glow.

Children of Dawn

Fire dances, in circles of stone, leaping high,
Night flows, silently, outside.
Stones dance, in shadows, shadows of fear,
Fear carried, with the tide.

Dawn comes, with light and ice,
Ice that cuts, blades of death.
Hunters stand, round the dancing fire;
Hunters, wolves of the North.

Spears reach high, women sing,
Hunters turn, and dance.
Blood, warm food, elders smile;
Hunters raise the lance.

Our Lady of Wolves

Our Lady of Wolves, with fangs,
In dark, cruel shadows, is seen.
Howl, Children of Darkness, follow,
Run, run with your white queen.

Circles of shadows, cover the prey,
Red stains the snow.
Blood on white snow, ice and fire,
Stars spin, and glow.

High, over the sea, stands the Lady,
With hair of gold.
On hills of pure silver, hard driven,
By gales, ever bold.

Our Lady of Wolves, soft and kind,
Dance with us, brave one.
Run, leader of hunters, cruel and swift,
Slay her, the waiting, swift deer.


Cruel and Fleet

Our Lady of Wolves, soft and kind,
Dance with us, brave one.
Run, leader of hunters, cruel and swift,
Slay her, the waiting, swift deer.

Our Lady of Wolves, with fangs,
In dark shadows, is seen.
Howl, children of darkness, follow,
Run with your White Queen.
High, on the hill, round the lone prey,
Wolves sing of cold.
Wolves, gray hunters, sing and run;
Hunters fleet and bold.

Blood of red deer, sing the hunters,
Blood for the long day.
Blood, sings the Lady, red blood,
Blood of helpless prey.

Stars of night, burn the flowers,
On the dale.
Spears of red dawn, gather;
Hold them well.



Spears reach high, women sing,
Hunters turn, and dance.
Blood, warm food, elders smile;
Hunters raise the lance.

Wolves sound chill warning, howls,
Songs of red blood.
Hunters smile, men reach for spears,
Stone, one with wood.



Around the lone, tired man, hunters,
Wolves, a circle formed.
Wolves, white wolves, howled,
Howled, and swarmed.

Blood of timid deer, blood of swift horse,
Rich blood, the pack had known.
But now, slow, one fell, and rose, in the snow;
Human blood, would be their own.

Rushing to the lone, tired man,
Sharp fangs bare;
Wolves closed, icy howls rose;
Fear filled the air.

Down, came the heavy axe, cruel,
Sharp, with dark stone.
Soon cries arose, surprise and pain;
Soon, stood the man, alone.

Wolves lay, where now the man,
Silent, now stood.


Fire in the Centre

Fire in the centre, rising high,
Cold, flowing outside.
Food is good, hunger bad;
Work well the hide.

Babies soon sleep, small ones play,
Some old ones die.
Hunters draw near, men with spears,
Sharp and cruel, children cry.

Spears find rest, women run,
Children look in.
Food, warm food, women smile,
Hunters now grin.

One dries her tears, one looks,
One now does leave her lair.
Hunter smile, hunters near,
Women frown, and stare.



Hate, she is bad, hate, she does no work,
She is fair, very fair.
Hunters eat meat, from the fire, hunters sleep,
Women now, will dare.

Blows rain down, hunters wake,
Women run, and lay.
Hunters laugh, women hate,
Short, short is the day.



High, over the sea, stands the Lady,
With spear of gold.
On hills of pure silver, hard driven,
By gales, ever bold.

Our Lady of Wolves, soft and kind,
Dance with us, brave one.
Run, leader of hunters, cruel and swift,
Slay her, the helpless deer.

High, on the hill, round the lone prey,
Wolves sing of cold.
Wolves, gray hunters, sing and run;
Hunters fleet and bold.

Blood of red deer, sing the hunters,
Blood for the long day.
Blood, sings the Lady, red blood,
Blood of swift prey.


Our Lady of Silk

Ador the Queen

Ladies of the court, with grace and charm,
All walk with our Ador.
Ladies of love, and courtesans of song,
All these and more.

In robes of gold and red, silk of pale flame,
Walks our Lady, our maiden fair,
Black eyes flashing fire, burning and cold,
With circlet of gold, holding dark hair.

Noble knights, with swords of steel and honor,
Slay and burn.
Spirits of fire, red crosses on fields of white,
All dance, all turn.

Priests, in robes of white, aged and solemn,
White hair, marking wisdom,
Listen to music, music of stars and spheres,
Wise, in the laws of heaven.


Ladies of the court, with grace and charm,
All walk before.
Ladies of Love, courtesans bold, all walk with her,
Our Queen, Ador.

Lady of War, Queen of Strife, so cold,
Use the spear of Fear.
Lady of Love, Queen of Hearts, so pure,
Slay with words, so dear.

Crystal Palace

Near the centre, near Saint Peters,
Stands the crystal palace.
In the palace, near the silver fountain,
Sleeps our Queen, in lace.

Through halls of gold and bright silver,
Proceeds our Noble Queen.
Leading her knights and great lords,
Trailing her robe of green.

Above the black towers, dark clouds gather;
Red banners wildly toss.
Our Lady of Swords calls, calls out to the ranks,
Pale Legions of the Lost.

Gates of iron close fast, under blue stars,
Cohorts of the moon.
Our legions march, with spears, march to death,
On the morn, so soon.

In her palace of crystal, sleeps our lady,
Our Victorious Queen.
She speaks the name of one, one in her legion,
No more to be seen.


Knight of the Cross

For her knight with the Cross of Red,
Fell her precious tears.
For the crusader, the Green Knight,
Were her consuming fears.

Half a world away, marched the warriors,
Crusaders, our Legion.
In the desolate waste, rode the knight,
Marked, as Champion.

Champion of the True Queen,
Knight of the Cross;
Ride to victory, ride to the fore,
Into the mist of the lost.


Silk and Steel

Turning, turning, the red token waved,
Turning in the air.
Hearing the cheers, the High Queen smiled,
Our Lady once fair.

On his black, brave steed, the knight held high,
Then set, his iron lance.
His wild, brave horse reared, pawed the dusk,
Then did proudly dance.

High, high was his heart, high was his lance,
His cold, iron lance.
Fast, fast was the charge, fast the dance,
Their reckless dance.

Racing, racing, two iron warriors now rode,
Rode, and did clash.
Riding, riding, lances aflame, raced the men,
Raced to cut, and slash.


Fair Lady

Red, red was the blood of the Emerald Knight,
Her dying knight.
Red, red were the lips of the queen, fair lady,
Now in his sight.

Lips of cruelty, lips of fire, lips of love,
Red, red lips.
Red, red were her claws, red her fangs,
Red at the tips.



Cruel Babylon

Thunder, cruel master, sounds far away,
Ashes blow in the sky.
Fear walks the street, cries ring out,
Filling the empty square.

Tremors move the land, the valley,
Of death and desolation.
Death walks the winding streets,
All is barren, all is lost.

Lava flows near, fires rise and dance,
Ending desperate life.
Hope slowly dies, life departs,
Death reaches out.

Red chariots fill the square, troops fire,
Then fall back.
Iron arrows fill the way, iron sharp,
Hard, and fleet.

Ice and Snow

Ice and snow, lay before them,
In rags, a dirty band.
In front was the man, the tall one,
Wooden spear in hand.

Blood was seen, red on white,
Where he had gone.
Next, came one with hammer,
Crude axe of stone.

Blood, blood could be seen,
Where feet had lain.
Hunger, relentless hunger walked,
No game to be seen.
Last, came one with a metal can,
Filled with precious ...gas.

Where is the tank, it was here,
Yes, here in the pass!

Fangs of the Night

Tyger, Queen of Dark Night,
Queen of Day,
Always you walk, always you hunt,
Searching for prey.

Dead shadows, shadows of cold night,
Shadows now cold,
Hiding claws of death, dire claws of pain,
Hiding fangs of gold.

Snow leopard, queen of death,
Follow this, our band.
Embrace us, kiss us, one by one,
Silent in the land.


C 2011 Jerome Brooke


We are very pleased to introduce the exceptional collection of Bruce McRae


Bruce McRae was born August 3rd 1954, Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada. Soon moved to Niagara Falls, then the village of Chippawa.

He studied film, radio and television production, 1972 - 1975, while playing in a number of bands in and around Ontario.

He moved to London, England, 1979, making song demos. Joined Restaurant For Dogs. Formed duo The Caretakers. Traveled city to city; Toronto, Vancouver, London - several times; and also Bristol, in the west of England.

He began poetry readings in London, 1994, and acoustic gigs. First poems published,
1997, hundreds of publications since.

Cosmo’s Little Adventure

The universe went bang.
It woke in a cornfield,
unable to remember yesterday,
ashamed and soiled.

The universe stumbled
down a country lane,
weaving like a prizefighter.
Never more alone,
it paused at the river,
munching on a stolen apple,
collecting its senses,
bending down to drink
of the sweetened waters.

The universe wandered
without aim or purpose.
It tried hitching a lift.
Dogs barked as it passed
the tilting barns and farmhouses.
It came to a village.
On the green in its quiet square
the universe smoked a cigarette
as evening darkened.

The first of the stars appeared,
awakening lost memories,
rousing forgotten emotions.
A warm summer night,
it lay on a lawn,
wearied, eyelids fluttering,
sleep coming down gently.
The universe dreaming
of light and of love.
Dreaming itself into being.

Dumbstruck Pantheon

Galaxies no bigger than a thimble.
Galaxies burning the last candle,
that believe themselves to be everlasting
bouquets thrown by a virgin bride.

Galaxies. Celestial tops and arid plains.
Fiery cartwheels in the long black of night,
with bluebells and fumaroles and gullies.
With green skies and a bit of a temperature.
With snowy summits of eternal yearning,
with storm clouds, desolate and vast shadows,
eternity yawning in the dread silence.

Galaxies craving the company of other galaxies,
gathering in groups and gossiping,
feeling sorry for themselves, fishing for compliments,
weary of holding up the sky, suffering for an eternity
from isolation, from a lousy sense of humour,
their timing off, their delivery awkward,
the one joke they know older than the dawn of light.

Galaxies gagging on superfluous atoms.
Drawing the circles of themselves, their former lives.
Clocks, but not for the telling of time.
Coins, but not for spending.

Faraway Suns

More stars than toads or moths or damselflies.
More stars than knots or wedding rings or roses.

From under my pillow I can hear the stars reflect
upon the hideous triumphs of function and form.
They influence my moods and fads in furniture.
The tears of the stars are what water our vegetable gardens.

Black stars. Furnaces of indigo. Of indefinite colour.
Stars that creak in the wind. That create weather.
Fallen stars I collect like acorns or raspberries.
Aloof stars, haughty and remaining at a distance.
Copper stars on silver wires, suspended from the impossible.
Flowers of wordless fragrances gathered at the river’s bend.
Little explosions taking forever to divulge their secrets
to the sleepy child, the fox, the worm and the hare.

A star-quelled night in a curious village.
I’m awake and listening to stories of epic proportions.
Tales of gods and animals, of eternal love and despair.
Saints wailing on the green sward in Capricorn.
Souls in Aquarius singing an epoch-long mal aria.
Faraway suns, their arms burdened with green planets.
Bright wells serving the will of the people, the strangest people,
who are very like us, and very much different,
who wish upon stars, studying their bones, and who wonder –
outlandish questions for which no answers exist.
Countless sums beyond number.

A Small World

The little planet thought it was an egg or a softball. It cried out for a mother, but no mother was there. Once or twice upon a time the little planet wandered off among the stars. Far from its sun it shuddered with the cold, and had only starlight to guide it. Soon it was lost, and again it spoke, attempting to be heard; again the little planet cried out and none came to its aid. No one was there to say to the little planet: There, there, little one; know that I love you . . .

No Blur I

I’m a cute little nebulae in Ursa Major.
I don wigs and wear theatrical costumes.
I love ballroom dancing and adore Segovia.
Some people think me a bag of old wind
or lofty statement of profound disillusionment,
that I’ve fallen foul of my own vast dimensions.
When, essentially, I’m freeform and debased.
I invest in and invent a composite destiny.
I suffer the indignity of beauty.

It’s from this sky-high vantage point
I choose to ponder meaning and existence.
I see the void consuming and re-creating light.
I see stars jostling in the vacuum’s expanse.
I squint at moons, planets, meteoroids;
they being small and uneasy in deportment.

No smudge I, I’m a celebrity, a minor deity.
A cradle, flower, eye-candy, wound.
And encourage guests into my cold kitchen.

Won’t you seek me out in the darker quarters?
Won’t you look upon me?

Among The Ashes

A pinpoint, so heavy
no light escapes
its black-eyed surfaces –
is the official story.

What they don’t tell
you about black holes
is they’re not black
and they’re not holes.

Singularities are signs
on the interstellar highway.
They’re always hungry.
And angry. And disappointed.

They’re doors and windows.
They’re houses on fire.
A black hole is
larger than its sum.

They taste of licorice,
smell like linseed oil,
and make a sound
as if whales laughing.

If you find one
give it wide berth.
Don’t mention the wars.
Never insult its heritage.

A former star,
black holes are sensitive
about their weight,
their lack of visibility.

Density and destiny
go hand in hand;
so we all know
where this is going.

We all serve fate.
In the long night
we all turn
to a higher power.


Are comets leftovers from the last supper?
Are they die cast in the casino of night?
Are they messenger boys delivering the good news,
telling us Newton was right or the mighty have fallen?
Are they primitives from the outermost places?
Cold and inert, do they every burst into song?
Haven’t we seen their names under the big lights?
Couldn’t we liken them to passersby, visitors
from a strange country, with odd accents
and carrying books written in age-old scripts?
Is it me, or don’t they seem like elderly tourists to you,
snapping photographs, gawping at planets and moons,
leaving a trail across our usually pristine carpets?
Do you never hear them muttering about dust and ice,
complaining about the solar winds and stellar prices?
Can it be they’re prescient, our futures already known,
that our every thought and deed is predetermined,
our fates laid out before us in some manifest plan?
Are our lives predestined?

Pluto, Or Bust

The edge of the edge of the edge . . .

After Pluto, then what?
More nothing. Ruin engaged
with the absolutes of nothingness.
Dark bodies of the void.
Tumbling ice. Imaginary fragments.
A ballet of rubble.

The first astronaut to Pluto said
what what what.
He saw the star was a sun
and said what.
He scanned Charon, muttering what.
He surveyed the starscape, longing
for home in the primordial whatness.

Pluto, which was, but now isn’t, a planet.
Like the tenth planet. Like Planet X.
Like a rogue planet
discovered by accident. By the Hardy Boys.
By wistful intuition.

Pluto, last stop on the Interstellar Express.
A buggy blot on a lens or a mirror.
A snowball thrown by a once-playful god,
a god grown vindictive and angry
among the excesses of pure abandon.

A Hell Of A Night Out

Neptune is Nut’s eyeball.
A breath cryogenically preserved.
The home of weather.

But don’t expect free delivery.
When on Neptune don’t complain –
you should have known better.

Because Neptune is a hum-job.
It exists to please you,
to pleasure the senses.

Come, visit its windy temples.
Approach on your knees.
Mistake dullness for simplicity.

I enjoy its gas mountains
and venereal rhythms
and the blue before all others.

I go there in my dreams.
I go moon by moon,
toying with the delicate network

of tragic wishes and whispers.
I sip from its chill.
I embrace the dualities of perfection.

Big Wind

On Uranus they’ve rid themselves of puerile jokes
and childish puns concerning body parts.
No street signs warn of impending perils.
There’s no complicated system of taxation
to thoroughly confuse the average man.

It’s a long way down through its shredded cloud cover,
the puckered depths a shrouded mystery.
Perhaps you’d find a parking lot or shopping mall.
Perhaps a swimming pool, one difficult to maintain,
what with the ridiculous winds and frosty temperatures.

I imagine the sunsets on Uranus are fairly miserable.
I imagine unattended resorts and cinemas.
That the tunnels there are often closed for repairs.

Pioneer, beware the false idols of weightlessness.
Pilgrim, travel hopefully, depart often, arrive seldom –
Or one must suppose, as so little news gets back to us.
Or so one guesses, which is the nature of space travel –
your destination will many times elude you.

The Vain Planet

Like a church bell, Saturn rings
in the supernatural octaves.
The belle of the ball, he is a she,
her face always being turned away,
its make-up smeared in an infinite
vanity mirror, lips and cheek
anointed with crushed flowers,
with essence-of-meteoroid.

Saturn is spilled perfume
or knot of butterflies.
Behind windswept scaffolding
is a factory at night.
The solar system’s bullet hole.
A reason for wonder,
for childlike delight.

An artist in a fit of pique
threw down his palette,
and Saturn became –
stains of colour and dun light.
The loveliest attraction
in a void half-perfected.
A carnival sideshow.
Songbird in an ice cage.
An eyeful. A slideshow,
with and without substance.
Always being born.
Always dying.

Out Of This World

Jupiter, where it’s difficult getting a foothold,
the Masters of Kinesis having ruined everything.
They’ve ruled with a gassy fist in a paper glove
and don daft and purple pantaloons.
We, the Jupiterians, demand wise council
and are instead buffeted by high winds,
by rhetorical gusts and blustery semantics.

Jupiter, dependant on tourists for our livelihood.
A day is a year long, every month a June morning.
Space-fishing is a cottage industry.
Because we’re oversized we bow to gravity
and have yet to fully explore and exploit the skies.
Of course we acknowledge the slight possibility
there are other lives on other worlds –
but it doesn’t seem bloody likely.

Jupiter, with its many fine motels,
superb restaurants, and beaches as you’ve not imagined.
Never mind the crashing comets,
there are relief grants and global wide health plans.
And we would welcome your little red rockets.
However alien, we encourage the vicissitudes of Man.

In The Asteroid Belt

A hat would serve little purpose
in a place such as this.
Neither would espadrilles or blood-red lipstick.
You wouldn’t bring an espresso machine here –
and why would you want to anyway?

Here, between Mars and Jupiter,
the main theme is about leaving it all behind –
the cocktail parties, the soap operas,
the fancy-dan can openers and flavoured straws.
The whole point is a fresh outlook, a blank slate,
a new way of looking at death and at love.
A last chance to take stock
of what appear to be our ever-dwindling options.

Employing extraordinary means and methods
you’ve come a long way in the mighty blank.
You’ve traveled by whim and prayer.
You’ve arrived at a place of no surrender,
no retreat, with no chance of changing your tact;
an atom amongst the pinballing remnants
of what might have been but never was.

Old World

On Mars you can never catch your breath.
You could walk all day and never get there,
that pretty pink atmosphere, its alien sun.

If you enjoy thunderstorms you’re on the wrong planet.
There are no roads, no bridges to be washed away,
no inns to gain harbour.

On the little red rock there’s not a bush or a hedge,
its stone gardens unattended, arctic, lonely.
We miss green, question ourselves,
and feel always inexplicably light-headed.
Phobos bodes unwell, and Deimos is careless,
both casting a thin shadow.
The stars there appear multi-dimensional.
Sparks without fire. The incense of Heaven.

Everywhere is the same destination,
superbly mapped, if never traveled;
but no signage, no rest, no hurry.
You’ll find the wind on Mars slight, pale with fine dust.
Ancient wadis bearing remnants of age-old ice,
hydrogen frost confirming a curious natural history;
and one that can never be written.

We sit in our domes and whisper rumours of home.
In the aftermath of a prehistoric apocalypse
we marvel at the abrasive landscape,
wondering upon the meaning of men.

A blue star wanders the pockmarked firmament,
Earth a hissing world on a static path,
we Martians otherworldly to the off-worlders.
Those long abandoned, who are the envy
of our future classes. They who have mass
but are made mad by starry influence.

No Restaurants, No Atmosphere

There’s not much fun to be had on the moon.
No oranges. No tunes. No cheesecake.
Grey compares itself only to grey,
growing comfortable, becoming satisfied.
A last carnation is continuously expiring.

The only hotel is closed for winter,
which I can assure you is a very long time.
There was once a pub, but now no one can find it.
Just a few footprints to capture your interest.
Just dust moaning to other dust.

Although bloody cold in the absolute vacuum,
we do have the stars, mon frere,
and these move unceasingly.
In a place where it’s always half past midnight
there’s a beautiful Earthrise
to occupy the mind and assuage the senses.
There’s an overabundance of quiet on the moon.
But, alas, no parties. No rivers. No rhymes.

A Song For Singing

The third stone from the end,
Earth is a blue spasm.
Children of tyrannical carbon,
we enjoy the warm waters,
its salt stinging in our veins.
Home of the tentative slug,
here’s where we keep the waitresses.
All roads there lead to the Triassic Era,
to a reptile sunning itself
or tiger stalking beauty.
We hold geology at arms’ length,
much like a bad stink.
Not to mention the psychic landscape . . .

From old diaries and letters we surmise
a planet much contented without us.
A motherlode for realtors,
gods seeking personal redemption
admire our polar sunsets.
In its looking-glass I too see myself,
a product of genetic preconditions
and Darwinian permutation.
Even angels need a place to fall,
mistaking welcome for culpability.
The aliens have to land somewhere.

Earth, a windy perch for the nightjar.
Often referred to as an island or ball
or bell for ringing; the brightest rose
in the night-darkened garden.

Good night, sweet dirt,
you would want to cry at your end,
our world brightening and eternal.

Parting The Veil

Venus lies bitter on the tongue.
The rivers roll past unnoticed.
Your sorrows weigh little.

My fellow investors, I’m being informed
Venus is rich in unnatural resources.
Smoke is its main export.
Dirt is going dirt-cheap there.
There are seventeen words for Welcome.

But the Venusians are a funny lot.
They speak little and say less.
A number are employed in the lava industry.
And, like for many of us here at home,
love is considered a commodity.

When I’m tired I go there
in the rocket in my mind.
I enjoy its heavy metal anthems –
melodies you can cling to desperately.
There’s not much birdlife in the caustic fog.
A few swans though. The occasional waterspout.
A number of large meals laid out.
And eight or nine seasons.

Holidays such as Easter on Venus
are quiet and informal affairs.
Celebrants run in to, and from, a burning building.
Treasure hunters leave immense treasures.
They fall to their knees in praise of cold water.
Their politicians tell them the same lies
we’ve eventually become accustomed to.
At night you look up into a vague light.
You begin there.

The Messenger

Mercury doesn’t ask questions.
It’s a planet, damn it,
and doesn’t care to speak
of such trivial matters.
It doesn’t need to know
anything about anything.
Like a child with a toothache,
it’s coddled in realism.

Mercury, a no-nonsense world,
its pockmarked ass pointed to the sun
but its gaze directed toward Heaven;
its eyes pleading with the stars’ jury.

A house that’s settling.
you won’t see ghazals being written there.
It’s far too far to tune in the radio.
And just try getting an electrician.

Mercury is ageless, give or take an era.
Unmooned, it is above despair,
unconcerned with the human condition.
It’s a world that’s taken to its bed
and is weary beyond all contemplation.

Or Clouds Of Angels

The sun, claimed the noted astronomer,
is comprised of serious green zigzags.
At its core are fragrant triangles
powering vast engines.
It’s ever so warm and inviting.

The sun, the eminent astronomer said,
has a tattoo of outer space
on its left buttock cheek –
admitting later to exaggerating
the full extent of his experience.

In truth, it’s a gigantic teardrop,
he continued. The sun is a button.
The left nipple of a goddess
human sorrow has partially undressed.
It’s a mouth saying Oh or No.

The class shuffled nervously at their desks.
The sun, the astronomer insisted,
is a pig in a party dress.
It’s a knot of burning sparrows’ breaths.
What we thought junctures of energy
and matter are merely gooey atoms.

The sun, he carried on, now in full stride,
is a monument to cosmic abeyance.
It hangs from a length of chicken wire
and bathes the wounds of a leper.
An ounce weighs no more than a gram.
Midnight rarely visits her.

So, the sun is a woman, we assumed,
the astronomer’s voice trailing away,
his attention focused elsewhere,
the lost rays lording it over the fallen.
And darkness winning.

The Worry In Dark Skies

What did Mars say to Venus
that caused her to blush?
What did the astronaut see
on his way to the sun?
Who murdered Plutonian summer?

So many questions to ask,
time doing its terrible two-step,
space expanding to fill itself,
light in two minds
whether to stay or go.

Is Saturn really a hamper
of dirty hotel linen?
Are Neptunians angry
over the state of their moons?
And where in hell has my rocket gone to?

There’s so little time to posit theories,
to even whistle a tune.
There are so many stars to count
it’s no wonder I’m mad with sleeplessness.

A pervasive curiosity,
the entire night is rocking.

Heady Stuff

Beyond the bounds of physics
and gravity’s bonds.
Beside the laws nature provides us,
under a seventh moon,
two light rays converging
after a long journey,
two atoms crossing paths,
a blue sun, the neutron pebble,
a fiery decimal tailed
by numberless zeroes . . .

To the house of the proton.
In a chair of quantum packets,
you and I starry fixings,
miraculous sparks, awareness
our incredible burden.

So we chat about choices
and the value of money.
So we sleep late.
Revel in childhood memories.
Pine about love.
We go to the movies,
attempting to lose ourselves
beneath the pinwheeling galaxies.

Children of the cosmos.
Babes in the void of wordless chaos.

Here And Now

Space-time is doing a striptease.
It’s showing us its stretchmarks,
its multi-dimensional wrinkles.
Space and time aren’t wed,
they’re conjoined twins,
the left hand of a monster,
the right hand of the beast.

Space, with its thin shanks,
its almost-abandoned laneways,
its quest for power.
Time, going anti-clockwise,
doing its own thing in its own way,
and to hell with Providence.
The two of them canoodling
throughout history and the cosmos,
looking for an edge,
making it all seem to happen.

Space-time, its dreaded conundrums,
the skewered narratives,
the ramblings without end,
the last sentence first
and first sentence last.
Its lessons and rhythms.
Its epitaphs and deep waters,
here and now not here and now –
but it could be and would be and is.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


We are esteemed to present the fine work of William Wright Harris


William Wright Harris poetry has appeared in such literary anthologies as Immortal Verse and Favourite Memories, through such online publications as Poet's Ink and, and literary magazines such as Write On!!! and Ascending Aspirations. He is a student of English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville, and have been fortunate enough to study poetry in the workshop setting from Marilyn Kallet, Arthur Smith, Jessie Janeshek and Marcel Brouwers. He has also been lucky enough to receive several awards, such as the Editor’s Choice Award from as well as be published in three countries: England, Canada, and of course my native United States of America. Some of his influences are Jack Gilbert, eecummings, William Carlos Williams, Pablo Neruda, Arthur Smith, Mina Loy, and Ezra Pound.

darkest of blues

the darkest of blues is not azure or sky the shoulders of latobius and jupiter locked over the shimmering
emerald body of earth her body undulating in palpable anticipation
the darkest of blues is not the sting of a string under the fingers of john lee hooker notes and chords being
born and dying between the small stretch of air between callous and neck

the darkest of blues is not maya or turquoise held sacred for many and costly for more even as the gods
themselves laugh at human hubris
the darkest of blues is not the ivory keys consumed by charlie spand as he sat upon his pew his piano a
deity most are too ignorant to believe in

the darkest of blues is not the Scottish flag forever draped around the corpses of its sons and daughters a
shroud of martyrs a blanket for the damned
the darkest of blues is not the pounding of johnny b gayden bringing thumb to string in such divine and
orgasmic splendor before splintering like eggshells down the bodies of others lovers
forgotten and forgiven

the darkest of blues is not ocean arms as boundless as the trident of poseidon foamy salted beards leaping
high only to crash the dreams of those souls swallowed
the darkest of blues is not the drumming of willie hall wandering down beale street to drown itself in the
welcoming waters of the mississippi river

the darkest of blues is the melancholy miles separating two hearts in the corners of tennessee

Christmas Tree

We had driven the holiday garbage a quarter of a mile
to toss in the nearby apartment complex's dumpster.
Wrapping paper, used paper plates, broken plastic silverware
sitting next to crumbled aluminum cans and Christmas cards.
There we left the plastic tree that my family had used
every Christmas for thirty-eight years.
Its trunk was a bent stick of wood, about the size of a broomstick.
The tiny green slivers of plastic that were once pine needles
had started falling off about two decades or so ago.
The tree itself would lean, not
from the weight of the ornaments, but
from the weight of so many years.
From raising two kids and being stored eleven months out of the year in a brown moving box.
From hanging tiny orbs from its branches and
from having the giant five-pointed star sits on its head for so many years;
driving more nails into an ever-widening hole.
I can remember throwing the box unceremoniously into the bin,
thinking the last person in our family to touch it should feel sympathetic,
to be sorry the tree is being abandoned.
To feel something.


I will never know you,
my brother.
I will never see my father’s eyes
burn out of your skull
or my mother’s smile
dance across your face.
What was it like,
the day you died?
Did bent seraphim wings
embrace you
as our mother’s umbilical cord
from her- a pink noose?
Did the sun shed a tear for
the memories you will never know
as you were
plunged from a womb that
couldn’t hold you?


How I miss night in Chicago.
Streetlamps humming along with
the corner jazz musicians.
The howling of cars dancing beneath trains.
Ordering Chinese food at
three twenty-eight in the morning.
Ice skating on Michigan Avenue before
losing another game of chess at Hyde Park.
I miss the streets- worn, cracked
by the love of a million feet,
veins running through the city.
Standing where Sandburg stood.
But I don't miss my first wife.


a laugh
flutters and f

dying in the wind

Ode to a Raindrop

I am a god,
or at least,
a part of one.
I spiral,
turn in the air,
a broken tear
falling from clouds
upon the tops
of umbrellas.
I can make mud,
even puddles,
cradles for toy boats
estuaries that
boots may
jump into.
I am an unborn
snowflake, a
tiny river falling
to the earth in
a single, deadly,
happy fall.

the stampede of ramses




our love
as dew
a blade of
a tiny bead
on the
life and death
creation and
in that
of a

Ode to My Guitar

Orgasms should be this pure. Your
soft maple neck, holding the same

fingers that hold you. The way light
shimmers off your glittering body

when I swing you in my arms. My
digits slide up and down your

strings, stopping at frets only long
enough to make you sing or scream.

All Kinds

Have you ever been so alone
you shouted into an abandoned well
just to hear your voice echo back?
Or held the door open for a group
of people just to feel them walk by;
just to have another person close to you?
An old woman hording cats,
trying to build friendships.
The old man feeding pigeons,
enjoying the feeling of being wanted. Needed.
Tommy Lee Jones in Coal Miner's Daughter, saying,
"There's all kinds of lonely people in the world"
into a cold telephone.


linnaea borealis
the morose miles
of separation
your petals
are not as tragic as
the stem that
bore them
into this world
destined to be torn
to pieces and scattered in
the breath of autumn

ode to corn on the cob

how i wish i could become you
pulled from
a pot of boiling water or
a chunk of aluminum foil roasting over red coals
butter smeared down my body in long gestures
pepper adorning my sides
hot sauce dripping between my kernels

teeth ripping into me in unspoken ecstasy
while gripped tightly in each hand

how i wish i could become you
at once being needed
and wanted


We are honor to present the works of Nicolas Grenier


Nicolas Grenier is a young French poet.
He is published by fifty literary reviews, and worked with a former Minister.
In addition, he is also a professor at HEC, and he lives in Paris.


Snow, in the air taken, dizzy,
To the origins quite coming back.
(White cloud falling back
On the landscape, silently.)


As a vast dream lying
You stare at the sky
Back to the air, fleeting.


Between sky and earth,
Snow, as a Beauty
Which is changing
Every moment
The form of the landscape.

(All three poems were translated by Emmanuel Cheiron)

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Mel BrakE Press is pleased to welcome back Poet Jerome Brooke who was published in our Winter 2010 Edition. This time Jerome has submitted his chapbook,
"Astarte The Queen".


The poet (Jerome Brooke) was born in Evansville, Indiana. He now

lives in the Kingdom of Siam. He has written Our

Lady of Silk and many other books.

His work has recently been published in a number of journals, including Indigo -
Mel BraKe Press - First Literary Review - Penny Ante - Conceit – Pink Mouse – Inquisition - and Mirror Dance.

Astarte The Queen

Lady in Mail
Come, lady in mail, use your nails, so cruel,
Do you fear my lance?
Queen of Desire, use your fangs, like a tigress,
Forget all shame, dance the wild dance.
You stalk the shadows of the night, silent and deadly.
            I fear you not.
Leap at me, you will soon cry out, and fall back,
            Content with your lot.
Who is the hunter, who the helpless prey?
            You cannot hide.
Your face now wet, your cries rise, like a tiger,
            Fallen to its side.

Death of the God

Baal, Lord of the city, carried his great spear of gold, and traded blow for blow,

Gainst his foe, the prince, favorite of our Lady fair.

Armed by his lover, Astarte the Immortal, with sword of silver, and mail of gold,

Fell blows did strike the hero, consort and lord.

Forged in the fires, flames of the underworld, quenched in the waters of the Styx,

Baal could not match the blade, sword of our prince.

Baal was cast down by the hero, lord of battle and rapine, with his sword of might,

Fallen was Baal into the dust below.

Nevermore to rise, he did clutch at the arrow of gold, loosed by bow of silver,

Bow of Astarte, the fair.

Great flames did Astarte command, from wood of oak, gathered by her command,

Baal was cast into the fire, his soul to consume.


Chariot Regiment

Chariots gleamed in silver and gold, racing on,

Two by two, bright in gold.

Astarte, Empress of the lands, in silver mail was clad,

Leader of the warriors bold.

Arrows did rain down, javelins flew;

Battle on the dunes, near the sea.

Panic spread, the craven foe wavered,

Then did flee.

Fleet horses sped, wild charge, into the morn;

As warriors fought.

Their reckless dance, in the wild advance,

Victory sought.


Battle of the Myst

Astarte the Queen, Immortal Lady, did call her mighty father,

God of Light.

From the north, the gale did answer, dark clouds the sky did fill,

Torn by thunderbolts bright.

Myst did rise, and covered the ground, cold and damp, like unto the shroud,

Her foes did cower.

Astarte thrust high her sword, glowing bright in storm fire,

Sign of power.

Her craven foes, in ranks did waver, the cowards did flee,

Her chariots bright, forward did race.

Her legions brave, did take the field, and the foemen scattered,

With steel sword, and cruel mace.


Save Yourself

Broken swords, chariots upended, sad wreckage,

Still bodies, did cover the field.

For their lives, did flee, the craven foe;

Spared were they that did yield.

Woe to vanquished, slowed by wounds,

Enemy of our land.

War cries sounded, moans did rise,

Red, blood red the sand.

Great victory; all hail our leader,

Warrior queen.

Long life, and victory, such was the shouts,

To our queen, in triumph seen.


Days Lost

City of empire, seat of the ruler,
Burning, doomed to fall.
Fallen are the towers, once high;
Now mere ruble, ruins all.
Citadel high, abode of the prince,
Lost now is the son.
Stray dogs do roam, where warriors once walked,
Home of none.
From stone tower hung the body,
Hung on high.
Last of the dynasty, proud and unbending,
Doomed to die.



  Fall of Tyre
How fairs noble Tyre , stranger, centre of  royal power?
                        Do her banners stream?
Have her legions marched to victory, and droven all before them?
                        Why do your tears now fall?
Fallen, fallen is the city, proud Tyre , her towers toppled.
                        Hear the wails of her women.
Scattered are her children, bound with chains,
                        On the day of shame.

Bards will sing of her fall, the plunder of her gold,

Conquered by the foe.

Slaves, mere slaves are her sons, and concubines,

Harlots her daughters.


Sad Stories of the Death of Kings
Tyre has fallen, her treasures plundered, her women slaves.
            Woe to the vanquished.
Her king dead, his own blade covered in blood,
            His death thus secured.
All her glory saved, saved only by songs, songs of her bards,
            Names of her kings,
Graven on lost pillars in the desolate waste, in forgotten runes.
            How the mighty are humbled.
Where is the gold, treasure of the hoards, the ransom of  kings?
            Did her lords seek to buy their lives?
How did the Sea People smile, smile at the offer of half, half the kingdom.
            Foolish hope of doomed men.


Rose high the Fire

Flames rose above the towers, searing and cruel,

Fate most dire.

Screams shattered the night, people filled the way,

Some covered in fire.

Lost children cried for succor, standing by still bodies,

Alone, and without aid.

Foemen, minions of our prince, slashed at the last of the guard,

Red blood ran.

Girls without robes, despoiled by savages, wandered,

Slavery their fate.

Proud city, bastion of empire, fallen this day,

Glory to the dark prince.


Fall of Ninevah

Hope was abandoned by the people gathered,

            Filling the marble temple of Ashur.

By the altar of alabaster stood the High Priestess,

            In robes of white.

With sword red with blood of the temple guard,

            Strode the conqueror.

All fell to their knees, hoping to be spared,

            To bear the chain of the slave.

Bowing, the high lady advanced, and fell to her knees,

            Before the warrior.

He drew her to her feet, ripping open her robe,

            Well pleased with her charms.

Her life was spared, her fate that of the concubine.

            Better than that of her sisters,

To be used as whores by the common horde,

            Dishonored, filled with woe.


Lost City

Far in the desert, trapped in a mirage, lay the lost city,

By time lost, by all forgot.

Her towers lay toppled, her walls had crumbled,

Such, truly, was her lot.

Gold and silver were strewn in the ruined palace still, with emeralds bright,

Of her lost glory, they did sing.

Helms and mail, near the gate did lie, among scattered bones of men,

Faithful to the king.

Lions now roamed thru royal halls, of the palace decayed,

Final masters of the land,

Here once walked the lords of the earth, names now forgot,

Written, traced in sand.



We are most happy to present the poetry of Raud Kennedy


Raud Kennedy is a writer and dog trainer in Portland, Oregon. To learn about his most recent work, Portland, a collection of short stories, please visit

Making My Own Acquaintance

I used to smoke, crave it, enjoy it.

Now it’s something people do

who are ambivalent about life,

not sure if they want to live or die.

I used to drink a lot.

It was the high and low of my day.

Now it’s what people do who are in pain.

Their pain has taken on a life of its own

and needs to be fed and cared for

like a lost soul they’ve brought home from the bar.

I used to feel sad and needed that sadness

to have something to escape from

because without it I’d be left alone

experiencing an uncomfortable silence

with a stranger.


In bed, prolonging the moments

before pushing back the covers.

The voice on NPR, a reporter in Afghanistan,

refers to the spring fighting season

as if he’s announcing the opening

of ski season at Mt. Hood Meadows.

I brush my teeth, minty fresh, extra whitener.

Death tolls from suicide bombings.

Toweling off after showering, it’s total US casualties,

a number that could be the population figure

of a small city. A city of dead young men and women.

The refreshing lather lifts my beard

as my triple bladed razor shaves my face kissable smooth.

Tell me again why we are there while I am here.

Getting Through the Day

How hard is it to get through your day without getting angry,

or swearing at the car in front of you for going a little slow?

Or hating someone you really just don’t understand?

How hard is it to get through your day

without pulling a knife or chambering a bullet?

How hard is it to not thrust that blade or pull that trigger?

And what does it mean for the rest of us

if the people you respect, look up to, idolize,

encourage you to do just that? To thrust, to squeeze, to kill.

Are we back to building backyard bomb shelters all over again?

I linger over the Cold War and laugh at the peace dividend.

I hear songs from the 60s and laugh some more.

Love thy brother? How can I love someone

who can’t get through the day without taking from another

that which is most precious?

Meeting my Past

Some insights are so clear to me today

that I accept them as truths.

But only a few years ago

I would’ve been hesitant

to consider them at all.

If I met my old self on the street

and we talked over a meal,

I’d consider him problematic

and be concerned for his future.

I’d have no desire to be pals

and would walk away after our meal,

relieved to be free of him,

and he’d probably feel the same.

His addictions would make him uneasy.

My sobriety would remind him

of the demons nipping at his heels

that he would soon have to face.

But he’d come up with another reason

to avoid that thought.

He’d say to himself,

that guy is quiet, that guy is dull,

and his impatience to lift his next drink

would write me off.


Mel BrakE Press is very proud to present the poetry
of Clinton Van Inman


I am a high school teacher in Hillsborough County, Florida. I am 65 and a graduate of San Diego State University. I was born in England. I consider myself the last of the beat generation and my collection of poetry will be called “the Last Beat,” as I still fight for the cause.


I double humped round in roses

charm some vision in a paper cup.

Old Orestes from a diamond moon

rises from stained glass and finds

no meaning beyond my movement.

But only when worlds collide

will the silence of my Trojan Seas

protect me from his desert sands.

I am now an o-as-is only

but dare drink my deeper waters

you last king in a sandman’s dust.


Drag your white skull beyond blind seas

that tumble dazed to you mono-eyed magic.

Go tell Neptune when the night is through.

Charm him, too, with your waxing and waning.

But you can’t catch me with those half veiled smiles.

Your borrowed brilliance exposes you.

I know your darker side.

Go charm some other star struck rhapsodist.


Each year the light is less.

We can barely see it now,

the faint necklace of

the Milky Way.

The old ones were wrong,

you know with their waxed fingers

pointing up like abandoned adobe.

Yet you know better in your cubical gardens

and half moth-eaten moons,

you have arrived in



I bet you never knew

How lucky you’d become

As they chopped your paws off

And painted them blue

To make a nice little

Key ring out of you,

You lucky charm, you.

Don’t think we’re really mad

But just the same

Our eyes are now fixed on

Some bigger game

Than your little paws,

Like ivory tusks and tiger teeth,

Alligator skins and eagle claws

Perhaps someone will do this to us one day

When they reach out from outer space

Perhaps we too will be their lucky race?


I’d rather be a handful of ashes

than a truckload of dust.

I’d rather be unknown

Than be a big bronze bust.

I’d rather be a blazing comet

Than a chilly moon.

I’d rather be a mountain lake

Than a city lagoon.

I’d rather be summer shower

Than a mighty monsoon.

I’d rather be too late

Than too soon.

I’d rather be a spermatozoon

Than a spittoon.

I’d rather be a knife

Than a spoon.

I’d rather be a sleep

Than a swoon.

But of all the things I’d rather be

I’d rather be with you.