February 2013


We hope you made your New Years Resolutions and sending us writing is included...if not, our nightmares may seep into your head and you will turn more zombie than you could ever imagine...

Voices from Deep Inside the Refrigerator

No, the light is not lit…… in case you were wondering.
It would be too easy to compare this to a Siberian cavern;
it is immeasurably worse. Perhaps the strangled cries you hear
come from a bowl, or maybe a jug, or even a jar.

There are only two ways to die here. That is certain.
Either suffocate in sealed vacuum or have you essence
slowly depleted to the world-at-large. Yes, it is horrible, but then,
we are accustomed to suffering in many forms, are we not?

Someone, a well-intentioned friend, probably, will try to convince you
that what happens inside your refrigerator is an unavoidable part of existence.
“Why be concerned with the inevitable?” they will say,
“Everything is pre-fated to its own particular doom.”

As you sit at the kitchen table, burdened with a fresh, chilled secret,
you notice the refrigerator motor seems to have
a peculiar, extra whine tonight.

Merely coincidence………………. or not?

You imagine they are trying to escape, kicking at the bottoms of grooved-lids,
faces muffled in thick or thin plastic, hands searching for purchase
along the inner surface of flawless curved glass.
Entranced, you pull open the door; the light does not go on.

A bulb lies shattered, broken by high-pitched screams;
those that could not be contained.
Tonight, you will be dining out.
No, upon deeper inspection, you find you are not hungry at all.

Soon after, your refrigerator lies empty at the curbside,
doors removed to protect the always unsuspecting.
Now nothing further can be mistakenly imprisoned, and Fate,
for this moment, anyway, has been thwarted.

You return sluggishly to your kitchen table.
A damp chill is in the air and you have not eaten.
You slowly begin to recognize that everything around you is a container of some sort.

The place where you live is a box,
within which are sealed many vessels of keeping.
The darkness here is harshly intense, a secret refusing to be named.

Said the Abomination to His Love

I can’t see you, or even hear through the clouds in your voice.
Given feelings and fiber, your pale imitation stares back with
forgiveness. Pour forth, deplete yourself until you flood the
void with indirect piety. Flourishes of lightning offer momentary
reflection to an unmitigated darkness.

I am sated, an overwhelmed levee with a river drowning in
my throat. Suffused by months of utter sunlight, silence breaks
sound in decibels immeasurable, where I am sutured to receive
the body familiar. Perilous while they have agitated your
essential self, I can only be stilled by that similar, intolerant love.

 Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. Along with his a wife, Vickie and a daughter, Sage his work has appeared in hundreds of publications including Prime Mincer, Sheepshead Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Fox Cry, Prairie Winds and The Red Cedar Review.

Death Spirit

No one knows yet everything knows
Amalgamated time includes
Present, past, and theoretically a future.
When you were only once a baby
You had all this rolled into one.
There was no death spirit per se.

Life and death mitosis soon occurs
The cord keeps getting longer and then snaps.
The person who says funny things
Your laugh tracks with the connection
Listen oh so closely and you will hear the snickering
Of thousands of the angels whispers

There are longer and longer connections you all share.
The connections which were once a few feet
Are now circling the world and not even wires.
Though some wires are needed, and your spirit
Jumps into the scrambled connection while
You look back always back and I
Laugh cry, et cetera.

Tree Tops

Up here with me you will know life
Among the leafy treetops
And little birds and noisy insects.

An infant's savage mind, the bird's
Understands love perfectly.
It sings of slavery you might call freedom.

You glance up, but freedom does not know you.
No words or melodies are found to sing to you
Of freedom in these trees.

I can move about here freely
Not my real body, but a memory
Of flying backwards, like a hanged man
Who never got round to being hanged,

Lost Love In Winter

the once green branch lies still and broken
love frozen whispers on the biting wind
i was a blessing not a curse now cannot root nor grow
a rare gift please let me wither away

in the terrible glory of summer she stood in the center
touched me and made me forever in the center
once i turned away she was in me in the center
before i knew my center turned outward to her mind

how can i know anew the love of summer
not i who sings of someone half remembered
though on some apocalyptic plateau
return the bones of memory laid bare

my doom now travels with me arm in arm
a vain companion gifted in my sleep
i will be alone among the masses
my blood waters crops of precious stones

the roar of cataracts far below
in subterranean caves brings forlorn hope
a fatal elixir the ecstasy of wicked love
each sip accelerates oblivion

Ike Milligan lives and writes in Maryland. His work has been published in TBA