Poem in which I dye my hair ashen blonde- Henna Sjöblom

Poem in which

If we don’t speak again, I want you to know
I survived,
overrun, barren and sliced to the bone,
with a sudden urge to laugh

out loud,

accused of fetishizing, pretentiously advertising
oppressed minority groups and late night liquidizing 
talking too loud, being way too obvious
(she’s a meat hook,
a wretched Mary Sue, not one original thought in her mind)
What kind of disaster am I unless someone
takes notice? Here I am canned in an airtight tube,

your average misanthropist, complete with profanity filter and habituation warnings,

averting offensive comments and online shitstorms

judgement burns like hydrogen peroxide

What’s your passion darling, what’s your deepest and most unpronounceable 

truth? Let it all show,
make it the thrill of a lifetime,
parodize yourself to the point of exhaustion!
Don’t worry if you missed a streak
– just cut it off and glue it to your forehead

as protection.

Hey hypochlorite girl, you brilliant survivor. You are going to a brand new place,
but to transform,

you have to leave some things 



Henna Sjöblom,  the goth girl next-door. Aspiring author. Monstrophile. Horror enthusiast. She writes to cope with mental illness and everyday experiences. Find her at Murder Tramp Birthday

If You Can’t Find One in Queens, Forget About It-David Lohrey


I love Japan.

I’m so into it, I eat my cornflakes

with chopsticks.

I want to fit in.

I’m so into it, I wear a fake, jet black

top-knot of my bald head.


Japan is everything I imagined

it would be. They still hate us;

it’s a chance to re-experience WWII.

On the trains at night, late, I imagine

someone might run a bayonet through

my knee, screaming, “Stand up straight.”


They greet visitors at the airport

with a test. “When,” they’ll ask,

“are you planning to leave?” If you answer,

“Never,” they send you home. There’s

only one acceptable answer to this question.



Many foreigners love it even more

than I. They eat rice cakes for breakfast,

lunch, and dinner. They bow as they talk

on the phone. They have all their body hair

removed. They wear tattoos of men raping carp.

They regret not having slept with their mothers

during college as many locals do.


Visitors often say how they love it here.

They declare themselves smitten; they gush.

They adore all of it, even the green or pink

poodles, the boys with yellow toenails,

and the men wearing red lipstick and mascara.

I love them, too. I especially love the male retirees

who take their pants off at the cinema.


I love the soiled underwear sold in vending

machines. I appreciate the home delivery of fresh eggs. I

crave the beer-fed beef sold by the gram, at over $400

per kilo. I’m addicted to the parmesan cheese made of sawdust

and powdered soy. What I love most are the young housewives

who wear Disneyland bras and Donald Duck panties. Quack.


My ardor, however, does not compare to that of my colleagues.

They love it so much they hate their own countries;

America, England, Ireland and Canada are all in their eyes

nothing but shit. They don’t miss home at all. What they love

best about Japan is that those on death row are executed

in secret. They like the denials of war guilt, the cult of the Emperor,

and the open hostility to “inferior” nations.


What attracts them immediately and what they embrace is

the Japanese love of peace. It’s their delicacy,

their manners and their politeness that stand out.

When they chop a prisoner’s head off, they shout,

“Excuse me.” But this is not what I love most.

I love the citrus, a variety that tastes familiar but different.

It’s something like a tangerine but it’s yellow. It’s small,

but looks like grapefruit. It could be called a Japanese orange.

Its name is Yuzu.


My conclusion is that there must be something in the soy sauce.

It must cause blindness, because when I wave at the locals,

they never wave back. When I smile, they don’t react. When I whistle,

they run. Or is it something in the saké? Perhaps something in the water?

It rains every day, but they fine residents for running the tap.

My only guess is that they’ve sold their water to the Chinese.

They say that’s why there are so many of them in Hokkaido.

Heads will roll, thank God.


And with that, it’s time to leave for the airport. If they’ll let

me. My taxes may not be paid up. I made $28,000 last year,

but they taxed me as a multimillionaire. They withhold over 70%

from foreigners out of fear they might abscond. Once you do,

you can never go back.


Let’s see if it works.

David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and he is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf. His latest book, The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide, is available on Amazon.com. He is also the author of Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing.

I Had An Image-Lois Linkens


And then it was a misted eye, a thought.

A passing glimpse, a shadowed hall upon

A shadowed hill. I would my peace were brought

In Years, but I am just as restless further on.

I have purple skin for those Knocks that came

As birds do knock. Yellow beaks and plumage bright –

Woe betide my jealous heart, for shame!

I would to get away for just one night.

I look towards the Clouds and sink inside –

There is a firmer future at their feet

Than this curled life that joys to send me weak.

Where is this hallowed Hope of which they speak?

I would its lips would kiss me as its Bride –

Its hands would lift me to that image sweet.

[ Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.]

Liminal Space-Erich Michaels

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Free falling through the atmosphere

Eyes squinting against the rushing air

Tears trailing out behind

Drop Zone obscured by clouds

A dozen wallet size photos

Slip free and flutter out of existence

You only know what you left behind

Surely must be worse

Than where you are headed

In this you must have faith

You spent the last dozen years

Living with a stranger

Holding onto phantoms

You gave up years

Years of your life

For children who moved on

And never even glanced back

Nothing is certain

Except that there’s no going back

The in-between gives you no purchase

Nothing to grab hold of

Just the sound of wind in your ears

And the clouds streaking by

At one point you felt

Family man was the highest honor

Now you feel nothing

Just the loss of a lousy investment

You let go of what you were

Hoping what you become is greater

That those who’ve leapt before

Were rewarded

That this rite

Makes the right kind of impact

Redefining what it means to be you

You are no longer falling

It is the ground that rises

To meet you

Erich Michaels describes himself as  “just trying to share the human experience.”  He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but find himself writing SOPs (lather, rinse, repeat) in order to make a living, which can be detrimental to the creative process.  You can find him on the road to recovery at Erich Michaels.  Every journey begins with a single step, right?

HOLLYWOOD HIGH – Collaboration – A.G. Diedericks & Samantha Lucero

Heathers and jocks, flock together
You and I tethered to Glocks & black
Clocks broken, shot
into a myopic future
We meditate on bloodlust
of a murdered adolescent reverie,
besotted with living forever
The colour of Mondays changed
when I tasted the insidious guile on
your lips; glossed in Carrie-red
you needn’t incentivize this perilous
heart of mine
for you I would cut off my misanthropic
and illuminate the dark matter
’cause all that I bleed
is you

coiling in a house where hymns burn
damp or dirt, or fire walk with me.
daddy is a watershed in dallas, mommy
is a wire hanger bent out of shape.
the world is an open wound,
and i am the trace.
you are the knife and the wail.
the wide awake.
the boulevards red myths, sight and
names in squirming lights, and seeds
on the flashing ground.
west coast skinned knees
elastic mouths and bodies
oily eyes in topaz and
gold canines in the skyline.

Ghosting their covenant of wisdom
Parked at the intersection of
dusk & dawn
Up on Mulholland Drive
We succumb to it’s lecherous stratosphere
with Hotel California on the radio
lighting smokes out of a trophy of ashes and tossing it into a hedonist zephyr
as L.A.P.D sirens start to sing in the background
Our fingerprints dusted by
the Chinese Theatre…
Hollywood as our alibi

you can see the wit of vanishment in a
wag of night
spirit and vein and wet, the pacific
my longtime name in the paunch of a
sand dollar where
a lover’s walk will stall with age and
with the creek of it to your auricle, it’ll
sail in your ear.
but we are bionic serfs in an electric
cordoned by chapters and eyes
sallower in the dark
dark, dark. can we pry open the
stillborn to find landmarks.
how deathlike are the lights.

Pop culture studies us
The media pine for answers
Clogged with a 60 minute survey
– Did their parents love them?
– Do they have a mental illness?
We side-step their clichés
and break the fourth wall;
Gravitating to the camera with verve
’cause we had a cause to be caustic
when faced with their plastic personas
stalking Beverly Hills fat cats
like taxidermists
And we won’t depart until our followers up stage Manson
Charles or Marilyn, its all the same in Tinseltown
where we carve out billboards
with a paramount question…
Why do you fear the children you’ve raised?

to be continued…


[ A.G. Diedericks: “write what you know” are the four most soporific words I’ve ever heard. I am a divergent writer who couldn’t give 2 fucks about striving to be the best. To write only what you know, is to play it safe. Art is imaginative rebellion. I am engaged with the versatile risk takers, the ones who are not afraid to take their shoes off & get dirty. I write & curate at Morality Park. ]


[Samantha Lucero writes books and poetry, short stories, is a historian, heathen and philosophically speaking, an absurdist. Sisyphus being the ultimate example of the absurdity of human existence. She occasionally writes things at sixredseeds.]

This is the End

the end

We want to reach out.
But baby
here, now, this is the end.
We know, we know ‘ the end ’. We’ve lived inside it.
Slept. Slept. Inhaled.
Creatures of absence.
Your eye is an alien being.
It alone sings. A rotating rim.
Continuously revolving in the hemisphere’s strange music.
I look down. My feet are shadows.
As are my thighs. My body. My bones.
All flesh is a memory.
I see its desperation in the starched sky.
I am the remainder. The remainder of distortion. Climate of mishaps.
I say this is the end.
Your fingers tackle my defeated hair. You wish for sound.
You almost demand it.
But I only meet you in clever silence. The loudest kind. The ugliest kind.
I meet you in suffering.
You wish for me to speak.
Tell you that I love you.
But I only dissolve. I dissolve like all matter does.
In inconspicuous battles. I’m almost fluid. I almost do not exist.
My face is streaming into yours.
My hands clasp yours and forge starfishes.
We are satin blue.
I hold you close to my mouth and kiss your bright skin.
Your mouth melts off
and your voice floats like snow flakes in my chest.
‘ This is the end. ‘
It says ‘ this is the end ‘.


Aakriti Kuntal is a 24-year-old emerging poetess from the country of veritable colors and stratified rainbows, India. A Network Engineer by profession she has been writing for over a year now. She enjoys nature, music, all things geeky and all things art.

Aakriti writes for the Writings of Aakriti Kuntal, and her work has been published in 1947 Literary Journal, Duane’s PoeTree blog, Visual Verse and Indian Periodical among others.

i checked myself

i checked

i have checked myself and seen that i am nothing; 
the bones of poets gone and done 
lay beneath the hills. 
i put on my boots and took my shovel, 
for to disturb them 
would be a lesser crime than to ignore.

i checked myself 
and saw that i was nothing; 
i looked for art 
and saw it slither into bank accounts in dead of night, 
while the dewy brows of poverty’s poets 
tremble in their plight. 

i checked myself
and let myself stand up.
stand up, i said –
stand up, writers! 
stand up for complexity, confusion and colour. 
take your pennies and forget the pied pipers, 
they have led naught but rats.

i saw the riches over realness, 
splendour over solidarity… 
i cried upon my pillow. 
my people, my people!
when the muses so return, tell them why you wrote!

we not one of us free falls –
i checked myself…
something always had me.


[ Lois describes herself as a “confused english student,” though one quickly finds a polished, charming poet in her work. She has an elegant style that compliments her keen insight and whimsical sensibilities. It is a pleasure to present her work, and you can find more of it at Lois E. Linkins.]