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 We do not publish books.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, 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.