June 2013


Face Eater

(after the painting by Dana Schutz)

As my face eats itself
slowly from within
teeth tear at my tongue
my tongue at lips
quieting the screams
disquieting the appetite
from myself a mouth
hungrily gnawing at my eyes
as if it were a scavenger
feeding on the carcass
of my countenance
is nature’s way
the truth of cannibals—
do unto other first

and then unto thyself.

Neil Ellman has beentwice nominated for Best of the Net, as well as for the Rhysling Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey.  Hundreds of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals throughout the world.  His first full-length collection, Parallels, is a selection of more than 200 of his previously published works.

Brain surgeon

It was final exam
the big day in my ”life”
from the ceiling a bright light
reflecting some stain of  blood
in the sharp iron saw
cutting through the skull

I twisted the cap of the head
like a jar of jam
and what a wonderful sight
the brain grey and fat
fresh and irresistibly delicious

But under the hard tension
I suddenly lost my control
and I could hear my professor shout
Mr. Zombie, don’t eat the patients

Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has been published both in English and Swedish magazines and anthologies as The Horror Zine Magazine Fall-Winter 2012 (ISBN 978-1480237131); SNM Horror Magazine; The Poetry Box Oct, Nov, Dec 2012, contributing to forthcoming anthologies from Horrified Press: Just One More Step, Suffer Eternal anthology Volume 1-2, Hell Whore Anthology Volume 1-2.

Scent of Love

Replicated from nature,
to make a woman
quiver with desire,
the pheromones arrived
in a plain brown wrapper,
LoveScents stamped as sender.

When he showed up at Jen’s door,
she took one whiff
and became a lioness in heat,
stubbing out her cigarette
and dragging her prey to bed.

At their passion’s height,
her yappy dog, she too                              
tantalized by the scent of love,
caught his leg and wouldn’t let go.
Awakened by the barking,
Jen’s roommate staggered in,
turned on the light and stared.
He hid his shame beneath a pillow.
Only the dog was unembarrassed.
Coffee, anyone, asked Jen,
heading for the kitchen.

You smell really nice,
the roommate said,                            
leaning closer and licking his neck
like an actress auditioning for
her first vampire film.
The dog bared its fangs
and growled.

Big-boned Ballerina Nightmare
Miss McGurphy’s ballerinas
had the girth of a small Volks
we never called them fat
they were just full-figured folks
in the bar below their school
you could hear the clip-clip-clop
of their enormous feet
as they pliéd and pirouetted
and tried to keep the beat

on that sad and fateful day
the bar lights shook
the plywood floor gave way.
it was raining ballerinas
on the half-crocked clientele
they used their pink tutus
as parachutes
and smiled as they fell
remembering Miss McGurphy’s
kind and sage advice
to make a graceful landing
like the prancing feet of mice

Art Heifetz has had over 80 poems published in 9 countries, including Transylvania. He currently teaches night classes in ESL to undead from around the world. See polishedbrasspoems.com for more of his work.

The Living Dead

When your bit… your bit.
You can scream and cuss and shake your fists
You can curse your gods till the end of it.

It’s a timeless question like the Earth is old.
The answer to we may never know.

Bacteria? Virus? Maybe a mold?

Like an avalanche it starts real slow; it’s an ache, a pain, or could be a cold?

But when your bit… your bit…
And that’s the end of it.

Your flesh grows pallid and your chills grow deep.
At the end of days you’ll wish for the endless sleep.

Then the aches get worse and your fever burns.
But deep in your stomach you start to yearn.

Your friends grow weary then flee with haste.
Through bloodshot eyes you ponder their taste.

Because when your bit… your bit…
But that’s not the end of it.

Your eyes roll back, blood pressure drops.
Your heart rates flat but your feet won’t stop!

Raise up your arms and arch your back.
You shamble on at the head of the pack.

Bite through flesh as victims scream.
Tastes like heaven in this bloody dream.

 Now the lessons learned but it’s too late.
Infection spreads and binds your fate.

But you have a choice if you so choose
One shot to the head?
Or the living dead?

Kory Schrutz was born in NE Minneapolis and is 25 years old, and currently studying biology and working on a medical certificate. They have always loved reading sci-fi and watching a good (sometime cheesy) zombie movie.


A distant fluttering of wings
In rhythm, sets my heart to sing
Drawing nearer as I lay;
She comes again for me, I pray
In visits past, as I recall,
I woke espied through blazoned balls
Pale frosted flesh belies the warmth,
That never threatens doing harm

Depth, reveals her boiling sweet
She comes for succor; not for meat.
Sly boring kisses test my flesh
Her roiling hunger could not rest

Chiseled legs steal 'round me bound
Wings beating, muffle sucking sounds
The lover's clutch; the twitching thigh.
I could only mirror in reply

She warmly glows, as I grow colder
And morphs, to youth, as I grow older
Since mankind's sum lies bound to blood,
Our coupling wholly portends good

To dwell in darkness seals my plight
As beating wings fade out of sight.
Too weak near dawn to seek amends,
I thirst to feel her kiss again.

Alto Lee Thomas, Jr. has lived the northern Florida for the past thirty years.  I attended the University of Florida for undergraduate school and law school.  I have engaged in writing poetry since seventh grade. 




2.  the were-beast

A hound dog, my friends decided. 

They had captured this stray animal in the park.  For some reason, I was left holding it there on a rope leash while the gang went off looking for a nonexistent owner. 

Upon closer examination, the dog turned out to be a were-beast with an elongated snout like a collie’s, a mane of human hair, and vicious-looking eyes. 

It seemed to be held in a kind of half-moonlit spell: if not provoked, it might remain silent, but given the slightest movement or flicker of fear, it would become capable of quick destruction. 

The were-beast glared at me, threateningly.  I have never been much good in a stare-down.  So I reflexively backed off a little, and surreptitiously (I thought), my hand strayed to my pocket for anything I might use as a weapon. 

The beast caught this movement and rose on its haunches.  I began to backpedal.  It charged. 

I made a little sidestep, reached out, and jabbed a silver pen into a hard nostril. 

Somehow this did the trick.  The beast loped off into the trees, dragging its leash and howling.       


3. seeing so clear

My parents were justifiably proud, having bought a car as a present for my brother and his family.  It was the kind of gift none of us had ever received. 

Rubbing my forehead, on which I must have received a nasty bump the day before, I got up from the couch to join the others in the front room. 

I perceived right away that there was something more to the gift; it was really a gesture to reassure my brother’s new wife, a Haitian immigrant, that she had been accepted into the family.

I didn’t take any pictures: I was seeing things so clearly, and felt so attuned to the day’s events, that I thought forgetting them impossible.  Instead, I helped my parents perform their little subterfuge of forgetting where they had placed the gift and searching around the house before suggesting that we all go out to the garage.

The car was a used Mazda coupe, a very light tangerine and black.  While the usual hysterics ensued, I drifted over to a shelf where I noticed the bill of sale.  I immediately perceived that it had been left nearby for any doubters who wished to see.

I rejoined the group—my parents sipping coffee and smiling in two lawn chairs in the background, others still taking pictures and talking in the middle ground, my brother and his wife examining the car in the foreground.

Although she was trying hard not to let others know it, I saw at a glance that my sister-in-law was unhappy about the color.  I whispered to my brother that they could wait a year and a half or so, then find a pretext to repaint over the tangerine. 

He frowned.  What are you, some kind of a mind reader?   Then he told me I had better go inside the house and take a look in the mirror.   So I did.

A large eye was blinking in the middle of my forehead.

M.V. Montgomery is a professor at Life University in Atlanta. He is the author, most recently, of the short story collection Beyond the Pale (2013).