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 We do not publish books.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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Allegory of Man and Love:
We are the Water
By: Angel Luis Padilla

Water, in us,
In nature,
In our emotions,
With relativity to the mind and spirituality,
With the split decision to flow,
Or to crash.
How must we take this poem?
For to fully understand it, we must be one
With the flow of its magic.
Follow this water into the point
Where insanity becomes sane.
It is our love for such things in earth,
And these are my reasons to love you,
Whether you stand ten feet or ten miles
In distance,
We are connected by that common tear drop,
Which mimics the connectedness of the earth’s seven seas.
You truly portray the beauty of innocence
You’re perfect to me
You bring me joy
I feel comfortable with you at all times
I can tell you anything, and do anything with you
I’ve told you my hardships
My life circumstances
I’ve expressed myself to you in the purest form of love; my tears,
I’ve done everything I could’ve possibly done to make myself apart of you
To make myself feel free with a person:
Everything about you sets me free into a world resembling the kingdom above
Our love is the mere image of gracious tides of an endless ocean,
What is inside us, not just water, but our love,
Which flows through our veins.
It is the tranquility of the mind,
Which takes all shapes or form,
Which sets peace over the horizon sun,
Which sets us stranded into the deep seas,
For together we are our own boat,
To set sail for an endless journey of divine fortitudes.
We flow over, around and through our obstacles,
We are the water,
We are the peace,
We are the twelve gallons of abundant happiness.
We are the water my love,
You and I,
We are the water.

Poetry Collection of Nathaniel S. Rounds

Imitation Salvation

Spiderman comes in a Candy stick
Healing comes in a Methadone bus
Mother comes in a memory
All of it is short-lived
With a bitter aftertaste
That kicks you in the Head
I choose to walk down Artz Street
Watch the self-aware step Into
Micro cars and melt into
Waterfront highway
Your golden necklace with Gifts from the sea
Are a cargo crate away
I just have to lift it With my boom truck
Reach through rusty holes
And feel for promise
But something bites when I grab the prize

Petunia (Red)
It has never been easy to Wear this crazy cry Called
Conceived as a terribly Elegant flower
With a need to break the Vicious circle
Before his slender stem Was broken
And when grower and grown Quarreled
It was not with the Present company
It was with their Particular betrayers
Long dead
Like the past by which They were consumed

For you see

When you outrun the Crying madness
And then become overcome By it
You can only crumple like Old paper
In the cold, wet grass
And pray for it to be Over
And to be punctuated by Silence

Valid Mover Voids Marvel

Coyly perverse hogs
Use reverse psychology
To dredge up the ideals
Of your mother and father
And serve them to you as
Photographs of important ritual
To be re-enacted
At tri-quarterly meetings
Of the mind when drenched
With dishwater
And soggy echoes of mod revival
It’s Dad’s pair of shades
Used for avoiding Blindness
From an old sun

Schemes by the Slice

I had to cut up my father Into a hundred pieces of Memory of flesh
The heart that motivated Movement was placed in a Jar
With a disconcerted jury Always present, waiting For the jar to crack
And when it did
They could not stop the Heart from falling out
And from rolling out of The room
To the cool breeze of a Spring afternoon

There were other parts of The puzzle
Hands that dealt the Blows that blinded
And that silenced cries Of protest
Feet that ran to freedom From patriarchal Responsibility
And followed the heart

What I discovered is that The cuts divided flesh But not purpose
And that the ill-Conceived will be made Manifest
Even in a bloodied puzzle Of limbs and stratagems

Bio: Nathaniel S. Rounds was born Nathan Klemperer Pirsch in Bromberg Stadt, Posen, Prussia. He immigrated to WichitaFalls, Texas to research the manufacture of steel taco trucks through its city archives. Taking up cluster ballooning, he flew to Boston, Massachusetts and landed on Mike’s City Diner, where he now washes dishes in exchange for free corned beef hash. 
Poetry Collection of Tendai R. Mwanaka
The Tunisian revolution.
It started with Mohamed Bouziz, gunning an unstoppable bullet with his death. He was 26, married with children. Had a university degree but couldn’t find employment. Had a market place, was a hawker, selling. Had his things confiscated by a woman police. He protested and she slapped him, the humiliation of it all! An Arab woman slapping an Arab man, is unthinkable? He tried to pursue the case with the authorities but they ignored his complaints. He committed suicide by electrocuting himself, the speaking protest, a tidy rhythm. This suicide started humming like winter metal. Tunisia exploded and Bennali was kicked out, creating debate leaf-shaped points across the Arab world....The Arab world: is now a boiling pot... One country after another, each, a long Moor’s hour from unriboning decades of dictatorships.
The Egyptian revolution
Young babies, young children, young people out welling, youngling, unwarping. Christians and Muslims taking us to the edge of intention and showing us what lies beyond doubt? Old men down warping, fathers and mothers. The Israeli press called them stray dogs. But the figures kept ballooning. It started with tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions... Cairo is bustling; a mass mortality horizon, Alexandria and Monsouri city are swamped. Tahrir, the liberation square is the hub of this monsoon chanting
“the nation wants the ouster of the regime.”
The day’s song is a lament drawn out like a final breath lost in the stars. Its millions wearing the country’s flag as if the pharaohs have thumped every other country at the CAF African nation’s cup to win it again. Jubilant, passionate, angry... It is a carnival atmosphere. It is a nation raising its bread, the symbol of its suffering and hunger. It is a nation crucifying effigies of its napoleon. It is a nation waving placards written with the fine point of their anger and pain
“Mubarak go to hell”
“America butt out”
“Tel Aviv is mourning”
“Mubarak leave-
we want to live.”
They name the forms of control, youths screaming for an open road to somewhere. Over 30 years of mis-governance, human rights abuses, curfews..., suffering. It is over 30 years in which America and Israel ruled by robot controlling Mubarak. Giving the top brass of army and security the loot of the 2 billion dollars, American taxpayer’s money: just to protect Israel. Israel would joke
”we have one person controlling 80 plus millions of enemies”
Now they have to face the 80 plus million enemies across its borders. Israel is a bubbling “spoilt” child, afraid, scared....
The Libyan war
Before even the first protest was drawn out, there were the killings for years and years. Gadaffi, the giraffe, that fringed phylactory-bound, son of a prophet has now taken the whole country into ransom, pelting his people with bullets, bombing whole towns into rubble, his needles of bullets pointing eastwards.
For many years he had guts and beauty, an intellect that despised the humanist pretensions of the west, its white-skinned predacity. He could smell the corruptions of empires, the annihilations of naked creatures. He was brother man to the revolutions, but now he is now being absorbed by his own medicine, the sulphuric acid melting into him. 
Praying for light and air- a darkness approaching he had never sensed before, he has developed a white finger. Now his western fingers, his white friends, are in the war, against him. Such ill-conceived wars are just what they usually need for the roar of that unreasonable action.
East is revolutionary, the uprising, the wars for towns, adding to strategic places? NATO( rather the: Not Asked To Overstay, organisation), the de-facto UN of the west, is at its games again, curving their own cake in Libya. They want the ouster of Gadaffi, bombing, as usual, innocent people and towns into rubble or collateral damage, that clever American coinage of terms...
Even though I don’t subscribe to NATO’s ulterior motives of invading other countries without a by-your -leave but 41 years under one dictator is far worse than NATO’s games minus those stupid killings. At least NATO won’t stay (overstay) for that long. It told us so! And we are always so stupid to believe?
But Gadaffi has to realise as soon as possible that a man who lacks the means to an end is headed towards a shapeless wilderness. That if you are a king, never undresses your minors. He should ask Mubarak, Bennali..? Now the modern pharaoh is bedridden, facing a death penalty, creating beautiful soap for us whilst Bennali enjoys Saudi’s banquets. Too bad!
Gadaffi should know that too often self-induced addictions to grand delusions cause a man to plot his own undoing. Ask the British, Soviet Union, Byzantine became Ottoman Turkey, Alexander the fool, and now America…
But NATO or Gadaffi answers, both are not the answers to Libya. The revolutionaries (NTC) might be the way to the answer. But, for most of us, the liberty to interpret, to think about it all is frightening. Is this new baby (NTC) a darling or a stranger?
The answer is: It should always be about the people….
The Ivory Coast war
Quattara and Gagbgo are the fighting gods. It’s the Ivorian phenomena, again and again. It’s the geometry found in the shape of their living. It happened in year 2000 and now it’s back again. It’s the fate they have always chosen and live in even though they know it could kill them.
There is a question I have always wanted to ask. Why are francophone countries always raked by civil wars, and are so poor? Could one point the finger at the French? Remember Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Central African Republic and the list is endless. I am out of line here. After all, its one’s self that constructs the place he inhabits.
Abidjan is now littered with corpses rotting, and little kids, kid soldiers are stepping on these corpses as they rush to a killing, diving into this reef of confusion. Grandmothers and mothers oyed and oy-veyed at the little ones playing big soldier mentality in the battle consumed streets.
It’s so sick, sick, sick, sick, sick, sick....

Tendai R. Mwanaka was born in Zimbabwe, in the remote eastern highlands district of Nyanga, in Mapfurira village. Left Nyanga for Chitungwiza city in 1994, and Tendai started exploring writing that year, when Tendai was barely twenty. My first book to be published, Voices from exile, a collection of poetry on Zimbabwe’s political situation and exile in South Africa, by Lapwing publications, Ireland, 2010. KEYS IN THE RIVER: Notes from a Modern Chimurenga, a novel of interlinked stories that deals with life in modern day Zimbabwe was published by Savant books and publications, USA 2012, found here; A book of creative non-fiction pieces, THE BLAME GAME, will be published by Langaa RPCIG( Cameroon 2013), a novel entitled, A DARK ENERGY will be published by Aignos publishing company( USA). Tendai was nominated for the Pushcart twice, 2008, 2010, commended for the Dalro prize 2008, Tendai was nominated and attended Caine African writing workshop, 2012. Published over  250 pieces of short stories, essays, memoirs, poems and visual art in over 150 magazines, journals, and anthologies in the following countries,  the USA , UK , Canada , South Africa, Zimbabwe, India , Mexico, Kenya, Cameroon, Italy , Ghana, Uganda, France , Zambia, Nigeria, Spain , Romania, Cyprus, Australia and New Zealand.

Poetry Collection of Linda Woolven

Winter Strangers

The dirty grey of winter
laying its slush into storefronts,
as they open their winter doors,
yawning wet ice crystals
into breathy steam.

The bars burp into the night,
clouds of yeast churn
with the snowflakes that settle
in the hair of the regulars
trying to shut out
the cold:
the dark loneliness of December,
on bar stools
with other strangers,
equally starving,
in the death of winter.

Music plays, loudly,
like heavy feet
falling in the snow,
so distant,
of loneliness,
and the emptiness of
drunken conversations.

The blackness of the street
pencils in, like erasable charcoal visions:
all temporary for the night,
where amber bubbles
caress, then bruise
with forgetfulness.

Anxiety/Summer Storm

White caps of madness,
as memory stirs
the shadows
of the deep water:
the black wounded depths,
running from consciousness,
into huge untreadable
And you are swallowed
into the unbreathable strangle of the past,
suffocating in memories
so painful when they surface.

tries to dog paddle
in the storm.

as your lungs fill
with huge gulps
of desperation—;
howls from the past—;
force breaths of fear,
and crawls with indecision.

You are stillborn
on the waves,
locked in the
of your own

Cold and shivering,
in the
the thunder.

Childhood Hide and Seek

The smell of
damp wool
and summer wind
hiding with me,
and I am back
to all
those valleys
so long ago.

Little girl
in sandals
runs in the street
lost at play
with the neighbourhood children.

Her insides stilled for a moment
feeling free and happy in the wind.

The count is done
and someone is looking for her
in the twilight
as the stars stare overhead.

Soon the street lamps
will wink, light between the leaves,
and she’ll be called home for the night.

To bed and the darkness within,
where the wind is shut out
and the shadows sometimes
loom into
words raging
in her ears
and her tears
find her pillow
and she lies in
the wet dampness
of her

Night Sky

The moon
at the horizon,
slack eyed,
lazy its journey.

Summer’s ripe
on the stalk,
heavy and full on the vine.

Gossamer wings
edged in sliver,
whisper soft things
in the night.

little child goes to bed,
scared of shadows
and the voices in the dark.

The moon
slows to watch,
through the blind.

As stars select
their toes for pointing.

So soft on
the stage.
So fairy eyed
and dreamy.

As the child
falls asleep,
sucking the night
sky with his thumb.

Tucked warm
in the night’s embrace
and its midnight layers.

Two Italian Lovers in the New Country

He leaves his socks on,
he is always in a hurry,
puts the blinds down
so it is always dark,
like he can leave
the smell  of oranges
and sunshine outside.

In here, it is serious business.
Like a exercise routine, or morning ritual.

He remembers each of his moves,
going through then
one by one, so thoroughly,
making sure to do each one
as thoroughly and well as he
does everything else,
even with the lights off.
and the sounds of the old country dimmed.

It is his ritual,
I, am his ritual,
and we have been doing it
for over 25 years.

I am an anniversary, an echo,
of the old country:
his peasant girl
in bare feet,
smelling of olives
and the sea.

He finds it
in my recesses
where I keep it:
my gift to him.

It is belonging,
even here, with the rituals so far
from our home.

Two Italian lovers, husband and wife,
finely aged in the
Toronto cask that our
house is with its blinds down
on such days,
to a fine wine,
a memory of the old country.

Linda Woolven have published over 75 poems in journals across Canada, the United States and the U.K.. The poems have appeared in Journals like, Descant, Dana Literary Society, Amethyst Review, Write On, Sepia Poetry Magazine, New Mirage Quarterly, The Kaleidocope Review, Canadian Writer's Journal, Pink Chameleon and Fullosia Press. One of my poems received an award from Dana Literary Society. Linda also published a chapbook, called "Life's Little Lessons" a few summers ago that featured 26 poems. 
Linda have also published a short story in Happy, and a story in Characters.

A Poem by Louis Marvin

Cuthburt Spinetingler

The bartender was an older gentleman, and he liked to play Sinatra and “rat pack” era stuff.

“My mother made me promise on her dying bed, that I can’t change my name, ever.”

“Yea?  So what is it?”

“Cuthburt Spinetingler.”

The old man laughed turned to smiling and wiping the glass he had.

“Like some kind of chiller name, or a writer of detective novels, or maybe some musical name?”

“No, she said it had intrigue.  Maybe could attract the ladies, maybe bring me to great things.”

“Here you are though, talking to me and listening to Bobby Darin at 2:28 a.m. in the morn’.”

“Maybe if you was in porno, and it was closer to the 70’s, the girls would think of Burt Reynolds and Spinetingler speaks for itself.”
“Burt Spinetingler.  Pleaser of ladies, rough on the tough guys.”

“Never get married though.”

“I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Spinetingler.  You may now kiss and tingle.”

“Dear please, I have to tinkle.”

“Did you say tingle?”


He poured the man another tequila and popped another Rolling Rock.

“This one’s on the house Tinkler.”

“Speaking of that, be right back.”

The barkeep watched him head to the john.  He chuckled under his breath and wiped the bar.

Louis Marvin-Louis was a copper crusher foreman in Globe, AZ.  Marvin was a Reynold’s Metals supervisor in Phoenix, Arizona.
Louis Marvin read a poem where the rock band, The Gin Blossoms played in Tempe, Arizona.
Born in Burbank, raised hell in Phoenix after Waylon, and is with Chinese girls on Pacific Island., had a failed relationship with who wants him crucified, and is friend/colleague with
The Poetry Collection of Sy Roth

Sunday Morning Rye-Wound
By Sy Roth

Sunday mornings,

Garden City wraps around the corner.

In tow, Mother shleps me to George’s Bakery,

sweet smell of baked goods shoving its odors

Up the street and into my nose

typewriter staccato bread slicer clacking for the famished,

Readies another rye, pimpled with caraway seeds

one, I would eventually tuck under my arm,

smothering its warmth.

Line extends beyond the stationery store,

Five stores down.

We snail our way to the front of the line

watching George-happy recipients

hie their breads and cakes home

protecting them like a cache of Chanukah gelt.

Inside the door, mother orders me to

“get our number”.

Numbers are vital.

Gelda, behind the counter,

moves each along with a rod poke,

loudly announces “customer 28, customer 28”!

Customer 28 responds “here”, and moves forward.

Gelda slices his rye punctiliously,

Pulls the red and white string from a ceiling container,

Wraps his cake into a box,

Until our number, 31, is called.

“Number 31,” Gelda calls in a scratchy tremolo.

Mother pokes me to answer.

I found no voice in the brouhaha.

Ticket held tightly like a knife in my fist.

Number invisible.

Silence reigns in me,

Turtle’s head hidden in my hard shell.

All wait for a response.


My voice, to be heard first?

Visibility on a white steed.

Mother who taught me invisibility

pushes me- announce, she barks.

Even the rye could not induce me into the arena of men.

George’s lions roared me into silence.

Here!” mother proclaims, glares.

Red-faced shuffle to the counter.

At home, the rye, no longer the same

Sunday, a mirage, a steamy memory,

Mother clucks,

“Perhaps invisibility is better.”

She shmeered her slice of rye sadly,

butter like viscous concrete over its surface.

He swallowed his shame instead.


By Sy Roth

Watch the houses that house them.

Observe the curtains rustle in the windows.

See shuttered windows.

Hear whispered breath uttered in shadows

Lese majesty on any truth.

Don’t confront them.

Lock the sibilant susurrations of lies—

It did not happen--

Away behind solid doors,

Sturdy, metal doors,

Solder them closed

Nightly, truth taps at the walls,

Plays a pince-nez tune in a darkened cell.

Beats away at the darkening noon,

Behind tightly shut eyes

Imagines truth out and about

Prancing sprite in a verdant forest.

Deny them exit from their hidey-holes,

He won’t let them out of their empty rooms.

Darkling memories button Away--

Like flies buzzing around death,

Emily’s world of circling secrets

Locked in the ink of memories.

Trained night clown whose

smiling face does not reveal him.

Unbending lips may not bend

into a smile, corners curled intersect an intersection of

Unspoken words in his silent world.

Not here,

Spirits whimper.

Not here.

Let them be still

Behind the drapes

Behind the windows

In an airless world with their

Secrets maintained.

A Discourse between Thinkers

By Sy Roth

Gandhi sits cross-legged at the feet of Einstein.

Diapered, pampered by his rectitude.

Oversized eyes lost behind his glasses.

Gandhi speaks first while Einstein draws on his pipe:

So Einstein, Mr. Genius,

what is it that you do?


I trace realities from broken lines that illuminate the heavens.

You think me brilliant, Ghandi?

A genius, I could create this?

with a Jackie Mason shrug.

No, we are merely interpreters,

puzzle-masters reconstructing the nothing,

DaVincis envisioning something from bread trails

left helter-skelter in well-worn footpaths

trod by a million other dopes like me.

I chew the crumbs hungrily, spit them out in masticated mash

for others to nourish their curiosities.

Einstein, another long draw on his  pipe, exhalation of puffs of smoke:

Gandhi, you think I created this?

I, the great conductor?

A Jackie Mason finger poked in the eye of the air.

Think again, pal, not me

there must be a band leader swishing his baton,

Benny Goodman maintaining universal rhythms.

Would we be here without one?

Gandhi scribbles every word:

So Einstein, now that you have gobbled the crumbs, chewed them,

explained what others have failed to see,

found a universe in the merest of particles,

how do you lead your life?

Einstein thinks, ruffles his white mane,

sadness echoes in his response—


…as if everything is a miracle housed

in a boardinghouse of atoms,

woefully awaiting collision with others.

Gandhi, momentary pause,  thinks:

What is it I do here in my diaper at the feet of Einstein?

I think I collide silently with others.

Einstein crosses his legs,

waits for the next question, smoke drifts in Morse from his lips.

Einstein believes its all relative.

Gandhi resists speechlessly.

Even the Dark Night Sings the Shiva Song

By Sy Roth

Even the dark night sings the shiva song.

Rain patters a soft refrain against the roof.

The windows weep in long mascara-running drips.

Inside they gather round the cakes

Fill their mouths to bursting with macadamia nuts

And Russell Stover chocolates.

Black strip of cloth,

neon sign attached to her bodice,

she whispers about the room

vodka, Xanax and memories anesthetized.

The guests laugh and nod knowingly

staving off their own demise.

Her Bette Davis eyes follow their movements

until the last door slams shut

and they shuffle out into the rainy evening.

Waxen image of life remains behind.

Light resides instead in the cliff-hanging photos,

Her red hair, wind blown above canyon rims,

Where darkness replaces the light

and sorrow stretches taut as a drum head over her reality.

The Wallflower

By Sy Roth

A beauteous garland of flowers, they declare,

Surrounds the garden

Dresses it in colorful saris.

All speak of their pulchritude,

ignoring the others.

But Lacy-leafed ferns,

chided children of the forest floor,

wait in the soil, bide their time,

an artist’s monochromatic palette.

Their exiled faces crammed

into overcrowded trains of resplendent flora,

searching for their own earth pockets to plow.

Obdurate roots sprout legs in the moist soil,

their flags unfurl in whipping spring winds

a verdigris sea pushing their popinjay neighbors aside

trumpeting their independence.

Like Alfalfa’s cowlick,

mint green leaves emerge erect fans

delicately curlicued arms,

supplicants genuflecting to the heavens

embracing their freedom.

They elbow the others into corners,

their terran-flagged territory anointed.

Nomenclature doesn’t truly matter.

Just a Sargasso Sea of whispering leaves

dominate the landscape.

Slow motion time cameras watch them blanket the others,

their colors canopied beneath their green swatches.

The others listen for the new sounds of the garden,

delicate breezes borne in their swaying arms.