Uncategorized20 Dec 2020 12:58 pm
(includes instructions!)
Jenny Blackford 

That blue-silver
origami thing with wings
inside the graceful ribbonned
globe of Christmas glass
was doubtless meant to be a swan
-- or maybe it's a more peculiar bird.
In mediaeval times
monks taught that hungry mother pelicans
would pierce their feathed breasts
to feed their young on their heart-blood,
urging their often half-starved human flock
to more self-sacrifice.
I’d really rather
that the silver-paper bird was anything
but a starving pelican
feeding herself to her brood.
Luckily, the more I look into the globe
the more the origami thing with wings
looks bony, ancient, wild.
Could it be the fabled
Christmas Pterosaur?
Uncategorized22 Nov 2020 06:28 pm
A cave woman and baby painting. Photo via Wookey Hole

Robert Borski

Both me,
with my 278 Neanderthal variants,
and the Monarch butterfly

with its hidden payload
of vespine genes
being finer examples of this,

the latter being a "gift"
from parasitic wasps,
but repurposed through time

to confer immunity
from the predations of a virus
deadly to the survival

of both insects.
But as for my own blended
heritage, I'm still waiting

to see what advantages
the commingling has
bestowed --

the ability perhaps to subtract
from the world's noise
the approach of a saber-toothed cat,

or how best to prepare mammoth milk
so it's digestible.
In the meantime, however,

sans revelation, I continue to daub
paint in animal shape
on the prefab walls of my cave.

Uncategorized11 May 2020 11:42 am
Cover detail, Daredevil Comics #5 (Nov. 1941), art by Charles Biro. (Lev Gleason Pubs., defunct co.)

F. J. Bergmann

We fall into time as a dead leaf into a river.

—Don Paterson

Chrono-Man invented time travel
by accident, trying to fit too much
into one day. He stretched time so far
that when he let go it flung him
like a stupendous slingshot
across the millennia. Now he can access
any temporal continuum
just by judicious over-commitment.
Chrono-Man wears LED knitwear
that ripples where it shouldn’t.
Balding, jowly and anxious,
he has a small potbelly and a heart condition.
He is the champion of last-minute saves,
last-ditch efforts, and lost causes.
His heraldic totem is a rubber band
twisted into a figure-eight couchant—
the symbol of infinity. His motto is
I can make time for that.

Quicksand is Chrono-Man’s arch-enemy.
As fast as Chrono-Man can stretch time
like a Spandex Speedo, Quicksand
can spend it: urge it on faster and faster;
use it up. Quicksand wears a red suit
with a spinning hourglass lapel pin and has
red—scarlet—hair and eyes, to match his suit.
He is a lively date. He can make time
speed up, but not slow down. He likes to drive
the ambitious, and those who volunteer
for more than their share, to destruction.
Quicksand is the god of second thoughts
and abandoned efforts and stressing out.
His catchphrase: It is later than you think.

Speed time up as it stretches, and the elastic
of that substance will snap, as Quicksand
and Chrono-Man chase each other
up and down the time-stream. You yourself
may experience this chronological effluvium
as having some resemblance to an actual river:
sometimes the current is slow and stately,
each shore so far away that it fades
to a dark fog of treeline on the horizon;
sometimes a rapid current tumbles you
down titanic falls. You are only a marker
by which that current can be measured
when those rivals meet at the end of time
and total up their scores.

Uncategorized22 Mar 2020 03:44 pm

Sorry we were down for so long. There were some technical issues that required updates, and it took me a little while to get it all working. Next week we’ll be back publishing regularly.

Some good news — a number of poems we published were nominated for Rhysling awards, the main speculative poetry awards. Congratulations to the poets!

• “Stormbound” by Marsheila Rockwell

• “Envoy” by F. J. Bergmann 

• “Bright Record” by John W. Sexton 

• “The Snow Globe” by Marge Simon 

• “The Journey” by Deborah L. Davitt 

• “The Certainty of Seeing” by Michelle Muenzler 

• “Blood Moon” by Sara Backer 

• “Witch” by Mary Soon Lee 

• “children of the trees” by Deborah L. Davitt 

Uncategorized17 Feb 2020 10:50 am
Dulle Griet by Pieter Breugel the Elder

Lorraine Schein

On my way to the next Millennium
I passed Christ blessing a witches' coven,
circle-dancing in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The hordes of the dead had risen up,
shielding their multi-clustered eyes
from further genetic warfare.

I saw the Dark Goddess, Kali
and Green Tara, the Compassionate One,
locked in battle, many-handed,
each hand wielding a sword
that fought the others senselessly.

My eyes stung from the dirty red wind
blowing nuclear waste
through our glow-tainted cities,
burning with designer plagues.

I heard the muted prophecies of Prozac,
the new Cassandra rescorned.

Uncategorized13 Jan 2020 08:01 am
Mosaic at Belgrade Zoo

John Grey

Yes, he’s a butterfly.
drank the nectar,
thinking he’d
evolve into a giant wasp
once the chemicals kicked in.
He’d sting the naysayers,
the ones who doubted him,
the fools who kicked him
out of the government laboratory,
who labeled his experiments
as “science fantasy”,
who even laughed
when he approached the subject
of inter-species hybridization.
But he’s grown fluttering fairy wings,
not buzz-saw pinions.
He’s flamboyant, pretty almost,
far from threatening
And there’s no sting to his fury,
just a desire to suckle on rosebuds.
He seeks revenge
but his enemies merely
point and say, “How pretty.”
His experiment failed
but his color scheme triumphed.
Uncategorized11 Nov 2019 07:25 am
Remigius van Haanen (1812-1894) – Faggot Gatherers in Winter Landscape

David C. Kopaska-Merkel

It comes from the forest
and winds about your limbs,
a scent you shouldn’t recognize,
but you turn, like a windsock;
the campfire at your back,
you stumble toward the shadows
waiting beneath the trees.

Hands clutch,
drag you back,
set you down by the fire,
voices, urgent voices, beset you,
senseless as the calls of birds.
Eventually, you sleep.

You dream of running, of leaping,
of soaring above tall brown boles,
green mantles ashiver.
Stars beckon from the inky reaches,
their ringing voices call you home.

Morning breaks
over the tiny camp,
your cold and empty tent;
friends follow your tracks
miles through the snow,
farther and farther apart they come,
till at last they vanish
under an endless sky.

Uncategorized13 May 2019 08:00 am
Woman in dress dancing ,Eadweard Muybridge. Animal locomotion: an electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements. 1872-1885. USC Digital Library, 2010.

Davian Aw

she grows used to murdering doppelgängers
quick jolts to the heart, slipping poison into drink
fatal injections while lost in the helplessness of dream
whispering denials to herself as she hides the bodies
in secret rooms in other worlds.

she walks down rows of her faces blank in death
and tells herself: they are asleep.

she slides into clothes, identities, laughter
of all the people she could have been
welcoming kisses from smiling strangers
unaware they’ve been bereaved.

at novelty’s end, she leaves no trace
but grieving, and nights wearing hope to the bone
searching the rivers and roads of their world

hoping to bring a body home.

Uncategorized25 Mar 2019 08:00 am
created at deepdreamgenerator.com

Marcie Lynn Tentchoff

I was his first,
that means a lot to certain men,
and, for a scientist,
Paul has a love
of all that’s old –
done right, he says –

He’s kept me well.
My cubicle’s luxurious and plush,
and properly maintained —
the maids all vie
to keep the polished
luster of my walls
gem clear.

And though I’m forced
to watch the newer models traipse about,
bedecked in jewels, and chrome,
and circuitry,
en route to dinners
or to plays
to suit his whim…

I know I was his first,
and that, while he keeps their upgrades fresh,
there’s so much to be said
for antique amber,
vintage verdigris,
unadorned, and classic
in the box.

Uncategorized25 Feb 2019 08:00 am
The Slave Ship by JMW Turner, 1840

W.C. Roberts

his chin thrust out like a ledge over the chasm 
between them, their child 
a tiny figure cut out of stone and blackened in a fire
that burned their house boat
to the water line 
he glares at her, eyes like flint and steel 
but the sparks do not so much and singe her hair 
the woman takes up their child 
and cradles him in arms 
not yet turned to stone, but thunder in a confining space
shakes the soot from his brow 
-- the child stirs

there was a time when the men on the banks of the river
would have died for them, and their stories told 
to frighten children who hadn’t the good sense to turn to stone 
when the fire comes and their thatched huts burn down
to the ground

from these ashes we are enjoined, and one of the ravens
he watches over us 
and we, who’d live for ages, and cannot live under the water
that comes to bury us alive
we, who’d live for ages, and cannot live 
in the crook of his elbow like a firearm
we look away, and he looks for us, as the storm’s fury 
shards of a white porcelain heaven breaking 
and they come down on the water, without hardly a splash 
knowing the bottom well, and the chasm between them
who’d take a drink from this well? and know

     what’s left of the sky

father, father, says the child, in the child’s lisping way  
why have they turned against us? are we not good 
for them?

he swallows, as if thinking of his answer;
he steps into the chasm
and is gone

Next Page »