The Latest Flock!



The death of so many children should have changed everything
It in fact changed nothing
And we accept this as the new normal
And we throw up our hands in disgust as even background checks are shot full of holes

I don’t know what to do next
The emperor’s new clothes are even more impervious to blood and shit stains
I’m at a loss at how quickly we’ve become desensitized to the slaughter 
America the Beautiful has always been a bloody, hopeful mess and to believe
differently just makes you one more white, entitled, embittered hypocrite

We took out the Native Americans because we wanted what they had 
Now our children are standing in the way of more bang for our buck
We haven’t lost touch with our identities because we’ve always been scabrous
I am unclean as my country turns me away for asking too many queer questions

I’m not a junkie
Not even a patriot whatever that means
But I can read the scrawling on the wall 
And I know we’re down for the count and quickly turning comatose blue


Bear 2

Bear went noodlin’ for breakfast this morning
Trout {3} had inch deep claw marks in their
ruddy-thick-skin Bear stared into those
fish eyes—beady—obnoxious things
His wide palms made it easy to hold his prey—
Easy to catch me once I turned my back

He’s left scars on my breasts
Tore through thin skin on my neck
Shredded inner thighs Burrowed {his claws} into me
hoping to find honey Something sweeter that’s
been chewed through in my infancy
Bear licks my salted wounds He dreams of caramel

I gnash my teeth together My tongue tastes like
nickel Bear wants to mold me into Poppet Into Toy
Into Plaything He’s been spending so much time in
water lately He starves me of meat and bone
I am sweaty Urine soaked—Bloody
Soon I won’t be playing dead

~Jennifer E. Hudgens~



Bear 4

Bear has been feeding me dirt for days
My body feels ugly and heavy He tells me
he loves me with every tablespoon—full
Says he wants me fertile He is tired of feeling
orphaned Tired of putting up with my shit
I can no longer hear trains nearby

There’s a faint smell of syrup
and decomposition
It is the first time since my Father died that I
recognized that smell
Bear was always in love with sweetness
and gore

{Gore} came after he’d spent all of his
charm There are gnats and flies kissing me—fancy
Bear asked me if I’d like to dance
No shoes I ain’t got no shoes
He hammered rusted nails into my ankles
Pinned my feet against the stars

~Jennifer E. Hudgens~



Bear 5

Bear brings in a rusty metal pail
Shoves his left paw into it—hungrily
He raises a moldy—dripping sponge
The smell of chlorine bleach wafts into
my nostrils Burning my nose hairs
Some of the gnats die immediately

My skin feels like it is peeling
Radiant                        Excruciating
If I scream Bear might cut out my tongue
Might make me food for worms/crows
We are both exhausted {pig slop}
I barely mustered a soft Why?

Bear paused Teeth swallowed
Mumbled I love you {I have never been lovable}
Scrubs me raw I am {hospital} clean now
Everything is fire/fine 
I start to black out again
Droplets of water slow

~Jennifer E. Hudgens~



Bear 8

I fell asleep in the pile of leaves
In the morning             I felt small bursts of heat        
Thought foolishly        I am free
Bear had given up and I was free
I needed to move To crawl out
My legs and arms felt like warm gelatin

Light steps of rabbits Perhaps fawn—
I was hallucinating  I wasn’t ready to let go
To be loved to pieces Torn apart by pinchers
or teeth            or claws           Bear wanted me
doll parts                       He told me I had perfect lips

What a curse perfection has gotten me
Thought of my Father           Would he be ashamed
if I gave up      Letting myself die in these woods
Starved or bled onto cool ground         No, he would have told
me to stop making excuses
Heal thyself, Witch


Bear 9

What do {the} flies on the wall say to each
other                Do they speak at all I tried to climb out
of the hole again                      Above where it smelled like
sulfur               So much like burning I began to crawl
to dig my way out of losing                             Of this sentence
Away from this unforgiving patch of woods

I no sleeping beauty                 He no prince charming—
the ache in my body made me a paused cassette tape—
Idling until sound                     begins to break 
My hearing became muffled                 
I could no longer hear him growling
The water                                 What if

the river was closer than he was                      My gut grumbled
Tore through my esophagus                 Was this what hell feels like—
Growing a demon inside my belly                   I began to hear
birds chattering            Flying away     Startled I felt pressure on
the left side of my face                        Hot musky scent
I swallowed some of my own blood    Two of my molars

~Jennifer E. Hudgens~




Is a mirror our visual echo?

Are scanty feathers all we need
to survive this impossible age?

Perhaps we should dip our feathers
into the Messiah’s designer blood
smeared earlier today across
a gilded hundred-story tower
sporting a high fashion runway
with stilettos prepared to kick up
the dust layered for centuries
upon our tarnished mirrors.

Alas, it appears I’m in dream #9,
#6, #7, or some other number
dripping from a corroded arrowhead
snout orbiting high above the void.

~Alan Britt~




They leave at 5am, in red dawn,
in winter stockings, rings sparkling,                               
fading into the frozen town,
sitting heavy, bunched on seats,
an umbrella, fat with old rain,
a notebook, clutched.

It is time.

He guides her along the lanes, ash eyes
like blackened goblets, fingers of mountain stones,
while wheels spin,
the radio bleeds a sobbing tune.

Clouds rise, the crumpled sun
envoys crows, tossed breadcrumbs
divine the garden, it is blossom month,
winter’s end, she will find her heart again.

~Ali Jones~




Her mother always spoke of roads,
she said, all life is forwards, her eyes
followed her words, the forest in her glance,
the shadows of trees moving back and forth
in moonlight, her limbs like vessels
of water, despite the wrinkles lining her eyes.

The mother told her daughter,
you are a city with high walls and many gateways.
She was seventeen when a clear glow
distracted her and she ran away,
like a lamp, wick curling in the dark,
a horse leaping in crimson air.

And so, it goes on.
We will write what we can write,
we will know what we can know,
our histories hold their surface tension,
when the water withdraws, the bones
are there, like eternal islands that can
only be reached by chance.
We paint our futures on glass vessels,
fire reveals their colours, given time.

~Ali Jones~




drags on the joint under the slow
dragging sun.
We drag our feet.
We drag our dreams. We dress
in drag
is a sort of love.
is a cobweb
you eat
with a friend.




I can't speak,
can only nuzzle
against the midwife's
wrinkled throat.

Someone snaps a photo.
Won't they be surprised
when that picture shows
an old woman holding nothing.

I will always be this age.
I won't grow.
The sounds I make now
will be with me
for the next five hundred years.

Bitten at six months,
my head holds my predator's wisdom.
Is it my fault
that my body doesn't look the part?

And yes, I am cute
but I give new meaning
to the words 'breast feeding'.

~John Grey~




Josie's left cheek is blemished
by five parallel ridges.
She says it's a side-effect of spirits.
These other women form a circle,
giggling and chatting,
as if communication with the dead
is this week's fad, paranormal Trivial Pursuit.
She knows better.

Josie remains calm but serious,
joining hands and encouraging
the others to link up also.
Lights are dimmed.
Her head bows,
lids close over
her ordinary vision.
Then her mouth jolts open,
as if forced from within.
A low moan is followed by
a tapping sound, a floating face,
candelabra waltzing through the air.
And then a voice,
deep and ponderous,
asks, "Who is it disturbs me?"

For a half hour or more,
this spokesman for the other-worldly
entertains the assembled
with what they wish to hear
or terrifies them with all
they'd prefer to remain unspoken.

Finally, Josie snaps her head back,
all strange sounds and sights cease.
The light's switched on.
The look on her face is of bewilderment
The women are impressed.
One is happy that her husband forgives her
for leaving that sliver of soap in the tub.
Another's daughter, missing in San Francisco,
is irrevocably found in the after-life.
Josie's face shows the strain of others' emotions.
One scar instantly heals. Another welt takes its place.

~John Grey~




a graveyard full of owls
or who in hell
is doing all that hooting?

a moon-tinted walk
each footprint
devouring the decaying soil
around it

everything fluid and bloody
even the cold
and the rancid smell
of yesterday's mourning lilies

a back-slapping toast to the dead
to skulls cracked like jokes
by the rain-bloated ground above

leave your vision
at the mausoleum door
bring only your connection
to the baying trees
and the shriveled roots
that bear to them dark fruit

sit atop a tombstone
names and dates
will enter you from below

it is a night
for relinquishing
the job at hand
for writing an ode to worms
and their bloodless brood

to everything with a taste for human flesh
but not for humanity

~John Grey~


  1. Awesome poetry on this page! I especially like 'Evidence.' Thanks for the inclusion with such talent!

  2. Thank you for being within the flock.

  3. So many great poets. I love what you guys are all about. On a scale of one to ten, Myna is a thirteen! Looking forward to the next issue.

  4. It's an honor to be included. Thank you.

  5. Thank YOU. Feel free to submit again in the future.

  6. I really love this and hope you will continue this series. Thank you for asking. This is exciting!

  7. Thank you Charles. You should also feel free to submit in the future, with any poems you think might fit. You know what the title and the cover derive from, right? Lynchian-ness. :)

  8. Proud to be associated with your beautiful journal. Thank you Juliet for the publication.

    1. Thank you for being a part of it, Debasis.

  9. Juliet, thank you for including me here. I really enjoy the diversity. In this grouping I particularly enjoyed Erin Renee Wahl's #4 piece, "Adhesive Climax."

  10. These are all great, "Shake Awake the Sandman" in particular.

  11. So lucky to be in this flock with the rest of these amazing poets. You've created the most bada$$ of poetry communities here, Ms. Juliet. Love my fellow poets!

  12. What a wonderful series of poetry! I feel lucky to have been part of this flock! Thanks so much for including me!

  13. Thanks for including me, Juliet.

  14. Replies
    1. Tonya Eberhard will have two poems appearing in the October 2016 issue of the Myna Birds too.

  15. Honored to be among all of these poems! These are fantastic. (This is Jeremy, by the way--all of my credentials for these services are out of date. Fixing that.)

    1. Happy to have you in the Myna Birds flock, Jeremy! Your stories are unique and powerful.