Thirteen Myna Birds


The Myna Girl & Her Bats

The Myna Girl

who are

follow her
to school
service dogs


~Eileen Murphy~



broken heart 1




The Acolyte

He asks what she wants, in bed,
what more that they’ve missed.

Even drunk, she is a boastful follower,
possessed by the god she’s with.

But before this one, others.
The anarchist. The tax accountant.

The kickboxer who liked
stoned sex and no clothes.

The year she lived in a van
with Dostoyevsky. Desire

like a mirror. Even now, she
is love’s possession.

~Jonie McIntire~



Infancy of Touch

~Sandra Feen~



my life as a lesser god in the age of fading hope

and who was it that told you to
curl up and die?  or maybe there were
too many of them to keep track of

who was it that spent all of
their free time calling you faggot?
                      calling you asshole?
                calling you cocksucker?


we both always knew
the world was flat

we understood no one would care
whether you jumped or i was pushed

just one more blue-eyed boy bleeding
quietly in the high school parking lot
while the rest of us walked away
and when was it i finally
decided to be human?

who was it that told me i
still had a long way to go?

laughed when she said it then
got dressed and
went home to someone else

~John Sweet~




I played with him
when I was a little boy.

He made me laugh.

Most people thought
I had an imaginary friend,
but my sister-my sister
believed and she feared.

When she disappeared,
I pointed at the hole
in the ice and said,
she just fell right through.

But, I knew differently,
and so did Pennywise.

~Daniel G. Snethen~



Circus Crime

Three dead little girls
covered in elephant hay.

Straw in their hair.
Sticky cotton-candy
smeared on their faces.

Red nosed clown stickers
adhered to their foreheads.

~Daniel G. Snethen~



I Wear My Heart On My Chin

~Sandra Feen~




the room was cold with their breath.

they deployed their scoped eyes
to capture you in their hostage stare.

their dark maneuvered like a room full of water,
sloshing. rising & falling.

their grief stampedes through your heart
& displaces your perception.

imagine: you’re a cow to the slaughter.

imagine: you’re the blood that stains the concrete.

their faces appear as shadows in windows;
tongues lick the glass.

they want to possess you.
they want to be you.

~John Compton~



orchid gang #2




they came away with the skin

today i thought of the sweet
beautiful underside
of my belly, the bright red
& warm layer of meat,
the pearl fattiness glistening,
tepid blood like chocolate
dripping from the edges of the flap,
clotting, the brine smell.
as i stick my finger into the bowl
of my abdomen, the ripple
in my stomach at my cold finger,
the thud of my heart at its ignorance,
studying my breath trying
to over-calculate, overcome the pain,
& if i turn slightly sideways
most of me will pour out. 

~John Compton~



the mouse

i heard piercing cries
running across hot oven metal.

opening the door, just in time,
to witness it snag in a red coil

hair and skin instantaneously smoldering,
twitching slightly

pain overcame the tiny body.

i tried,
as i watch life and death struggle,
to rescue it

all i was able to do
was remove the charred remains

that black line from face
to hip
marred my mind.

in a last attempt
i poured cold water across its burns
just in case the remainder of conscious
still felt.

~John Compton~




the season that preys

cold froze
the veins in my house &

it sits, skeleton
bare to the elements.

i lie inside it's battered skin
digested by the chill.

weather knocks on its eyes
waiting to come in, wanting

to feel the heat
from its heart pumping

trying to keep up.


my feet burn
in the 14 degree air.

i exchange promises
to keep from hypothermia.

even in my blankets
i feel i am not safe

from the black discoloration
of dying flesh

~John Compton~