Thirteen Myna Birds


Unreasonable Man

Hide your early onset
existential dread
or get the black bottle,
free up your bed
for the next inmate.

Hat carries wearer
down warm, wooden planks.
Spoonbills and herons
make nests in the mangroves,
laying eggs above alligators,
keeping raccoons from eggs.

Sense of purpose here,
it all fits
except for that hat
and you,
only passing through.

~Jason O'Toole~

(a teaser piece poem from Jason O'Toole's NEW Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, "POISON MOONLIGHT", newly available here -



The Stars are Pills

America, the sound
of too few pills,
rattle inside amber bottle.

Change the 1 to a 4
on the prescription.
Wait just one moment,

says the pharmacist.
Blue lightbar appears
in your rearview.

an uncashed script.

~Jason O'Toole~

(a teaser piece poem from Jason O'Toole's NEW Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, "POISON MOONLIGHT", newly available here -



Venus of Glen Cove

Teenaged Satanists thought
they summoned her
with their lopsided pentagram

spray painted
on the concrete
of the beach picnic pavilion.

But the Goddess of Love
comes when she is goddamned
good and ready.

She surfed up onto shore,
clamshell crunching
over Mickey’s big mouths.

Hitched a ride to 7-11
in their red Chevy Monza
sunbaked sad orange.

What she did there
is anybody’s guess.

~Jason O'Toole~

(a teaser piece poem from Jason O'Toole's NEW Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, "POISON MOONLIGHT", newly available here -



what goes left unsaid

it gets in your blood like
poison does,
and then you die

slowly, of course, and
and when i show you what i’ve
written, you tell me to leave

when my wife walks away for
another man,
i start forgetting my children’s names

i call sylvia’s daughter to tell her
that all is forgiven,
but no one answers

no one cares

the world is already full of
people choking to death
on their own despair

~John Sweet~



a poem for saviors, each of them a failure

and we’ll only talk about your father’s suicide
after you’ve left the room, but this is not kindness

we were never your friends

been wanting to fuck your
sister for a long time now

been wanting to burn down this
goddamn town since the day we arrived

fear and hope like two sides of a
coin that has lost all value

the plague years, arrived without warning,
and what else can we be but human?

who will we turn on, if not each other?

~John Sweet~



[and you said you failed to care]

the politics of dead mean, of
children locked in cages

the sound of dogs fucking
on beds of barbed wire

you grow your second skin
or else you pull the trigger

you bide your time

wife locked in the basement,
house on fire, stereo up loud, and you
gotta love that jim morrison and
his dipshit poetry

gotta love that ad reinhardt and
his black-on-black blues

fucker knew how to
bend those notes

knew how to drive the buffalo
to the edge of the cliff
and what then?

we open our eyes in the first grey light
of this strange new season and
the golden age of misery has
blossomed all around us

and who are you to refuse the
blood of self-hatred, and who am i?

all borders are drawn and
then drawn again,
the right side and the wrong side and
what are your gods but weapons to
be used against you?

what are your governments but
bitter mobs of calculating rapists?


the false king’s death means nothing
if his life meant nothing

the jackals need to eat, too,
and the vultures
and the crows
and the maggots

there are more than enough corpses in
                         the kingdom of nil for
                        all of us to grow fat on

~John Sweet~



The Bully

That look of private entertainment
intense dark eyes under furrowed brows
the face of intentional expressionlessness
the voice has no waver of uncertainty
how the lie rolls off the lips first
theft is only a gesture, violence only fun
while the head reaches up, shoulders back
posture yearning to overwhelm
to quash into submission, a rape play
you want power, no, you want faux power
          and then you die, so
what, glorification and emulation,
no, you want phony people
to mock with praise games on
a make-shift stage for
your pathetic Punch
and Judy show,
trapped in a booth
playing with dolls
collecting coins from chumps
that's the way to do it!
          and then you die.

~E. Martin Pedersen~




Leaving anxiety, I can't breathe, I can't move, I'm trapped in cold sweat

I can't think, where'd I leave my keys,

keys to what, why do I need keys?

are the bathroom doors locked on that airplane overhead

or the one I leave, love, leave love in panic

the only transport company I'd fly away on

halfway round the world for leaving the one

at home in my cockeyed heart, hearth, my cat, real or ceramic

I can't eat, I can't hear, this isn't the right takeout order being

homemade bread of disabling dread but

never mind, never mind, there's no crime it's

only anxiety leaving.

~E. Martin Pedersen~



Girl In Glass Cottage

This story begins with the closing of
eyes, girl in glass cottage, infantilized.
No longer one with the natural world,
objective observer of dragonflies
through makeshift slide of long living room wall,
microscopic magnolia, tips of two teeth
(debris of a fall) graffitied pebbles, small
motif of blood. Remove, perpetually,
grieve the external beloved. The sixth month
indoors, try Zoom hypnotherapy, staged
on memory foam, delicately confront
a leviathan swelling in a rib cage,
I swallowed, confide, to professional guide —
girlhood is learning who you let inside.

~Kristin Garth~




No matter how small your legs can curl up
someone else chooses how you open and shut.
One brings a sea creature in a plastic cup
which, swallowed in secret, gestates in the gut.

Though on the outside you still seem demure,
what grows inside you is decidedly
impure, inured to violence, mature,
carnivorous teeth. It waits patiently

for invading meat it knows will arrive,
thrives on the feast. Until seclusion (its
famine) leaves you alone with a beast. Strive
for each breath as its circumference

increased. Not strong enough to leave your home,
you trade strange monsters for one you have grown.

~Kristin Garth~




The wildflowers have calmed down—maybe mellowing with age (your age?)—and stray across the hillside too sparsely to stir enthusiasm.

Faded too. Lupines settle for an inexpensive shade of blue or an almost dishwater lavender. They’d rather turn gray and be done with it.

This year spring has a bad attitude.

Poppies that used to be enlightened, a Theravada saffron glowing with inner illumination, have a jaundiced and flaccid look…

And yet in the distance, close enough to walk to, beyond the bald patch with its saltlick exhibited like an unfinished Henry Moore, popcorn flowers overflow from a gully—indisputably whiter than white on white.

~Don Thompson~




Neuro-witchcraft: the hippocampus boiling a cauldron of bad memories.

Its slow fire burns deep in the temporal lobe, beyond reach—fire without smoke, but reeking of sulphur and enzymes that emit a sickly green light, the only illumination down there.

No moon delineates that landscape, though distant lightning sputters and even farther off, the murmur of weak, erratic thunder—unless it’s a sorceress coughing.

An Endor you ought to avoid.

Now and then, something from the past surfaces like an aneurysm that might kill you before mercy dissolves it. And that could take years.

~Don Thompson~



The peculiar smell of the inevitable
stops time for me
in the purple haze that I
confuse with the metaphysics
of a world that I think that
I should live in.

~R. Bremner~



Tricks of the light
                                    play with shadows
on my wall
                                    where images of people
I’ve long forgotten
dance furiously
in vain hope
                                    that I’ll remember.
Outlines of heads
                                    chins, noses, ears
that I supposedly loved
                                    cry out to return to my thoughts
but I am quite sure
                                    that my happiness, or
even my sanity
                                    depends upon
leaving them be
                                    in their own lives
and not on my wall
or in my head.

~R. Bremner~



A different sun rose today.
It rose over backstreets and desert floors,
hovels and cemeteries
glowering between Mercury and an
international space station.
It must have thought that God
was away on business, but God was actually
undercover as a homeless woman
lying on a bedbug-infested mattress
under a bridge of sighs.
God enjoyed the itching and scratching.
It made God feel closer to his/her/its

~R. Bremner~



Cultivate your myth
feed it on faith and feverish glory
make it memorable,
like a mermaid cooing to sailors.
Cultivate your voice
feed it psychic proteins and
mystic vitamins
so it grows strong and clear
as it was meant to be
as it truly can be
because it’s your voice of truth
born of your myth of truth
that brings me to you
to memorize and be mesmerized

~R. Bremner~



"The Old Monk Poems"

Maybe in your country
they honor poets,
the old monk said,
but this is America.

~Tom Montag~



"The Old Monk Poems"

Probability is half of it,
the old monk said,

and the other half is
I've seen the ending.

~Tom Montag~



At Some Future Moment

At some future moment, demons start to revolt
With ghosts from under the ground
Struggling fiercely to possess fleshly bodies

Trees begin to grow downward, birds suddenly
Drop dead as if obeying a universal order
Sentiments sweating out of skin, tattooed or not

At a future moment, every movement of man &
Machine is halted in blood as all sound & fury
Became depressed, words evaporated

Nets or links broken, thoughts dried, waters
Boiling into darkness, mountains covered with
Faggots, snakes flying amuck in foiled flocks

At some future moment, each mind resonates
With a skyquake as all buildings collapse
In a tsunami filled with viruses & monsters

~Yuan Changming~



On the Stage: After Shakespeare

Yesterday, yesterday, and yester-
Day has gone with the west wind
One after another to the fading &
Formless pages of history; each

Present moment is blatantly spot-
Lightning the deformed soul
Down, down the heavy curtain!
Death is a zombie starkly zooming

In the back ground of every heart:
We each believe our selves to be
The hero on our own stage
Though we turn out no more than

An extra happening to appear
By mistake in a stranger’s comedy

~Yuan Changming~


  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.

  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.

  16. Sweet! It’s great to be in such talented company. Thanks for the inclusion.
    -Joe Dolsen

  17. I love what you did with this February issue. Thank you for including me. I'm in such good company.

    1. Thank you very much for being part of this flock! Your art and poetry is wonderful.

  18. Brava! to you--this month's flock is awesome!--Mish

    1. Thank you very much, Mish - and thank you for your art!

  19. What an incredible flock! Such talent leaves me speechless.

    Excellent choices, Juliet.

  20. Thanks again. Interesting work here.

  21. Thank you, Juliet, for including me in this gorgeous flock!

    1. You're very welcome,Karen - and thank you for your poem!

  22. I am so humbly grateful to be among such fine artists, Juliet! To be a part of your first 2020 flock just astounds me! The poets and artists are superb!!! This just gives me such a happy lift and makes me want to work harder to be as good of a poet and photographer as the company I am in! Thank you!!! Thank you, January artist birds!!!

    1. Thank you so much for being a part of it Sandra!

      And thank you for your wonderful photos and for your extra-special kind words!

  23. I loved your poetry!
    Sonia from

  24. Wow! Such a stunning collection! So many great poems, but I admit I'm especially fond of this:
    >> And I have seen fire from the closed furnace,
    Cruel as life, taunting, more final than death,
    Engulf, morbidly eager, the countless months of vigilance,
    Razing the memories of love and easy comfort,
    Spitting out the cracked bones, your stark raw inexorable loss.

    ~Eryn Tan Zhi Ying~<<

    1. Thank you very much for reading it and sharing what particularly moved you!

  25. "Cousin" just left me breathless. Holy shit, does that connect. And those last lines just echo and echo...fucking Capricorns! Stunning, honest, and powerful work I will not forget.

  26. Thank you Unknown. You just made my morning.
    C. Cropani

  27. Scary...
    yet, our blogOramma is copacetic, baby.

  28. Thank you, Juliet. I am honored to have my work included among that of others written with such individuality and flair.

  29. Being that life can indeed be dark, I do write some this way.
    This collection is art, and I'm thankful and honored to be included!

    --Lizzy Balise

  30. Great issue! I particularly loved "On the Stage: After Shakespeare."

    "The Old Monk Poems"

    Maybe in your country
    they honor poets,
    the old monk said,
    but this is America.

    ~Tom Montag~<<
    ...that explains SO MUCH. lol

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Cat! Glad you enjoyed the issue!