Featured Writing

A stack of vintage televisions displaying static channels

The Back Catalog

By Jim Speese Songs were in his head. Constantly. It was a problem and he supposed it wasn’t unique. Given the hegemonic presence of advertising jingles and TV show themes and music pumped into grocery stores and pharmacies and hospitals, it seemed quite likely that the fact that songs constantly…

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Author Archive

Reading Mary Oliver

by The Poet Darkling I gaze upon the poet;her words – ponderless, profound;deep and dark and blue –and think,what such have I to offerfrom my humble beginningsor my sordid pastto justify the title of poet? To answer the unanswerable? To defend my consumptionof fish, of fowl, of air, of love?…

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The Prince Machiavellian

by The Poet Darkling Wrenched from the fryerstraight into the flamesof hatred and avarice goall duty and senseand a thousand convictionswe’ve deemed unneeded,such as dignity, pride,and any righteous defense when our moral leaders areneither leaders nor moraland we give them a passto escape the blamewhich belongs to no oneexcept We…

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The Divorce of Mr. Nell

by The Poet Darkling I always speak the truth – regardless of its relevancy to the conversation – and the truth is I knew she wanted it; knew she was saving it expressly for after supper, she’d told me as much but I didn’t care… not right then. The night…

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The Talking Doctor

by The Poet Darkling He was nice                           momma saidI had to talk to him                           two days a week                                 and she would buy me ice cream after. I saw him Tuesdays & Thursdays at one o’clock.I saw him two days a week for two years. My mother told him I was full of the…

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American Geisha

by The Poet Darkling As quiet as is quaint, my fingers tickle their spines on shelves of pine fresh painted. Fat drops of cloudburst freckle the glass of windows ceiling high. I choose one. Only one. It’s old and precious, its leaves wicking wisdom from the Bard himself. I imagine…

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Moon Hung Low

by The Poet Darkling young crescent moon orange hanging low as Rēgulus watches her dip below the ridge to the west of us. A calf screams somewhere to the south as The Norfolk Southern S-Line whines just north. Coyotes howl ice into our veins we pull our shawl tight then…

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Bucket List

by The Poet Darkling Today was      one of those days;         one of those days            when you realize you               shouldn’t’ve waited;                  you shouldn’t wait;                     when you discover                        places people call                           “Climax;”                              “Crapstone;”                                 “Cut and Shoot;”                                 “‘Possum Kingdom;”                                       “Rest and Be Thankful;” when you learn      these places could            quite possibly be flooded…or that they might be heavenly oaseshaving never known disaster,and you might neverhave knownor caredeitherway,but…

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Accelerated Ending

by The Poet Darkling I. Loss nighttime I sleep in shadows of sweat and urine. the center square of my quilt shines yellow and wet. I never hear uncle come. I can’t. his shape blocks the moon sliver. I keep my eyes shut tight. he lifts me up and away….

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Morning in Yangon

by The Poet Darkling It’s always been about the tea. Black. Sweet. Dollop of curdled milk. Everyone has a shop. and they know how you like it by reading your face. You take yours creamy strong sweet. In a back room, salty little fishes bubble in a cauldron over hot…

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