A Bridge of You, to Myself, to the Parts
of the Bees’ Bodies Embedded in Our Flesh

The tension spanning your tongue
carries the words escaping your mouth,
pain igniting its tip, blistering your lips
with white heat, your longing, melting
skin off like dead bees pouring
from a smoking hive.
I listen intently
for the first time ever, exposing myself
to the silence simmering in the spaces
between your teeth—

the bare skin of our arms pelted with little
velvet bodies, our pores soaking in wild honey,
sharp edges of wings embedded inside.
No stings.

You give yourself over fully to me—your palate,
your tongue, the soft tissues of your throat—
what Rubens gave to the sun’s illumination,
stealing his fingers across a woman’s thigh,
what Van Gogh’s brushes heightened.

Whatever it means, why not say it hurts—
the pain slamming into us, the want, the beauty?
I will call it beauty, kiss your raw lips
unlike I have ever kissed you before.

(this poem previously appeared in Rust & Moth)



Making Love After Kids

Tuesday night, I slept with your skin,
ivory and smelling of lavender,
but no structure beneath the flesh.

Wednesday night, I slept with your bones,
solid and something to wrap my arms
around, but no life beneath the rib cage.

Thursday night, I slept with your organs,
pumping blood red-hot through sinew,
but disorganized pieces soaking the sheets.


Friday night, you slept inside me, taking in
my entire structure, down into the meat
inside the chamber of my own bones,

hungry for the hunter’s toughest kill,
a silhouette that, though bleeding
in the distance, still looks hunted.

(this poem previously appeared in Bop Dead City)



My Womb

I want to be black in a cluster of stars.
I want to know the catastrophes of life.
I want to know just where I can’t belong,
spilling over waterfalls every moment
the god I believe in cries for me. Anger
doesn’t cry for me when I have nothing
new to say. The sky is a furnace; time my womb.
There are planets out there with different
names and places to go where silence
is all there is—into the ether, into dreams,
laying in spaces that can’t change, bright
as yellow, wayward, distant nebulas
exploding inside the same universe,
regenerating energy, forming black holes,
life curled up inside, rolling, elbows
searching, waiting.




Burying the Dead

He says I'm supposed to heal, reconcile
the past, even if pain is the healing
and the reconciling burying the dead.
So I cover myself in black and howl
over empty caskets, watch the internments,
smell the cremations, seek solace
in stowing red roses beneath my bed,
shelving ashes in my closet. I have only
flowers, a color, a scent, stretching my
insides out until I let it all go, go down,
down until it is dying, dead, my world
breaking open, heart unbound, having no
word for closure or anything like it.



Moving Forward

                       “And I therefore become your enemy
                        because I tell you the truth?”
                                    ~ Somewhere in Corinthians

Your shoulders open to places
that leave us in the dust,
as if I’ve been looking back
for a million years and you have
moved forward with the speed
of light. We’ve driven home
down these roads many times,
having to look at ourselves
in dirty mirrors, your solid eyes
closing somewhere in the wind-
shield that has no problem
surviving in any weather.



Little Thieves

Your fingers have touched me somehow.
They have set off on their own and hitchhiked
their way to my aching flesh, and that’s all
they could do, those swollen, gauzy things,
the smallest bit of you that cared.



One Night Stand

We tossed Tarot cards
onto a rotten mattress.
The cobwebs trembled.
The bats rocked above us.

Bet you didn't know
the wings of a bat
could take you to heights
untouchable to angels.




Let's shed our clothes
again and dive into
the ocean—grow out-
ward, wet the ghostly
fingers of our tailbones,
leave it all behind.

(All eight of these poems by Ariana D. Den Bleyker appear within her chapbook, “Hatched from Bone”, published earlier this year by Flutter Press and available here -



Jinny's Saloon

Wind whistle through eye hole of coyote skull.
More crickets.
Crickets getting noisier.
Crickets tumbling on weed.
Chattering teeth coyotes.
Blizzard smile.



Jezebel Drives

her autumnmad mind
across Zephyrskin grassroads

            you understand            she’s only fifteen
  landfowl’s exciting                     there’s sweetness and

Vivien Leigh                           

Her pancreas ricochets
    almost forgets

                                    the first mother’s leg colliquates
                                    leaving marrow, no wind

                        pretty tides flitter in
                        lick her island away

Jezebel breaks
    her autumnmad mind

at the haycovered hassock
    still asks what a girl

may give the gypsy
to get back her lost rivertwin

~Jessie Janeshek~



Chronophobia 8

 In this version, Zephyr                                                sends Jezebel telegrams

            If you don’t quit longing               I’ll smear your dear blood

across the Pacific…

A scream in these woods!                                            A shriek in J’s conscience

                        whilst the buck-tooth├ęd neighbor

            strums slumber party

Jezebel hurls the globe over her shoulders
            still carved with the USSR

~Jessie Janeshek~




-          Dallas Arboretum, 2012

                        The talk in school
            pick-up lanes is one name blown
by many pairs of lips, a Chihuly exhibit near my eye.

The first red and yellow
tree installed in the bush – a light bulb
giving life to a hallway closet – is or is not supposed to belong.

Chihuly on water, Chihuly
puncturing the air with its glass phallus tree
round every path, failed rape attempt of a cloud. Manmade nature

with an abrasive shine
mocks its breathing, dying counterparts.
Even on a cloudy day, artificial reigns superior, and I spin, carefully.

A bride statues herself
            for photos. She is or is not supposed to belong.
Two narrow boats of rainbow glass spheres mutter in a pool nearby,

as though they mischievously rolled off the machine-embroidered train
of her dress, onto the marital bed, which will require
happiness reinforcements,

eventually. Her face is painted serious, soft, devastating confidence.
She will never look this way again, Chihuly knows.
            The rainbow balls twitter.

The balls on water, Chihuly on water, Chihuly in wedding photos,
long after the blown sculptures are uninstalled,
taken apart and shuttled

to storage, the divided leftovers of a marriage. Bride no longer,
left to contemplate her next copulation
with polygamous art.



Fundamentally Flawed

“…but I don’t understand
why you even like me?
I’m like a cracked plate
in an otherwise perfect
set of porcelain crockery.
I’m Fundamentally Flawed.
I get manic when I’m excited,
I cry when I’m happy.
There’s a ‘blip in the matrix’
whenever I get emotional
I get emotional when I drink
and I drink almost constantly
at least half as much as you do!”

“That’s why I like you,
that’s why you’re my girl,
that’s why it’s working!”

“Why, because I drink so much?
You’re nuts you mad-head,
it’s gonna get expensive buying
that much beer every day!”

“No, silly, I’m a cracked plate too
and I’ve been rolling around
amongst the boring normal people
who panic if they can’t see the clock
in the middle of the town where
they were born and where they’ll die
trying to find  myself a uniquely 
beautiful cracked plate to pair up with
and by Christ but it’s you, sweetheart!”

~Paul Tristram~


  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.