Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

Join our Facebook group!

Join our mailing list!

selections from Shadowbrain Sat by the River of Light, Part II
by Joe Nicholas


It tells me that darkness
can't be held, only spoken thru,
            only whispered, only felt
            thru subjection, featureless
at heart, eyes inverted, teeth & bone
stuck out & together
                                    like lamps,

always pretending
            to starve
on a gullet full
of carcasses
            ancient & new, old tablecloths,
                                    & stars. It doesn't
                        even remember its name,
            only the faces
            it's taken for itself,

                        alive, half-
                                    remembered, beating
                        against the skull,
                                    gaining inches
                                    with each fourth strike, sprawled out

                            like a web left unattended
                                               in the breeze, watching
                        with sloped lips,
            where its insides can spill,

                                    itself with half-melted candles,
                                    tires, newspaper, & overused
                        fingernails, blood-streaked feathers,
                                               like an ape on fire,
                                               doused in honey & gasoline
                                                           & mud, stinging the eyes to close

                        where it's waiting,
                                    grinning with its cheeks puffed red,

already swallowing.


They are trying to keep us apart,
            all of them, all of us, the clingers
to misremembered pasts,
                        holding themselves at distances,
reaching lackluster
                        like Sistene's Adam,
            bored with God,
               bored with comfort,
            too bored to try
to change, filling empty with buzzing
                        lights, with passionless
      old hats,
dogs limping, & whinin' a bit,
                        brittle bone whistlin',
                        narrow & cold,

                                                     alone in itself.

Shadowbrain Battles Egobrains

They first met under the dust.

Shadow was grazing
            by the River of Light,
            silent as it always was,
its head bent low,
            wreathed, a ringing
            glass harp.

Ego came with pincers scurrying,
            wiggling dirtcaked. It saw
Shadow nestled,
            quiet amidst the grass,
            felt its blood
                        & started
                        its tail poised
            to strike.

Shadow smiled,
            & rose its head
            to gaze at what had come.

Ego stuck a claw
              into the earth,
                          & growled,
                 veins thick & ripe,
              scratching about
              like a starved pig.

Shadow turned
            its mass in orbit,
            facing Ego      with its paws
                                   laid low.
                                                                                    Ego unsheathed its fins,
                                                                                                     & shrieked venom,
                                                                                         loosing shards
                                                                                                     of bladed light, vibes
                                                                                                                 weeping & lonely
                                                                                         twisted into spears.

Shadow rolled its muscles,
            & bulged
            its throat, unleashing
                        an echoing

Silence awoke to watch them.

Shadow blinked once,                                                      Ego blinked once,
            its eyes massive & black,                                           its eyes blank glistening.
sitting back on its hinds,
                        its tail swaying
            amidst the earth.
                                                                                    Ego settled again,
                                                                                         to the newfound tune,
                                                                                                     its shell
                                                                                                     splitting in two, revealing
                                                                                         skin layered
                                                                                                     in slime, curved
                                                                                                     quivering spikes,
Shadow licked its lips,
            heart-tongued & dripping,
bending its elbows,
            & crouching.
                                                                                    Ego took a step, tentative
                                                                                                     at first, but gaining
                                                                                                     ground as its pads pressed
                                                                                         firm 'gainst the grass,
                                                                                                     toes curling
                                                                                                     'round the blades.
                                                                                The second came quicker,
                                                                                         digging deeper
                                                                                         into the dirt,
                                                                              a slight leaping,
                                                                                         fangs open.
Shadow braced,                                                    The third
            relaxing its limbs,                                                  came with a crash,
                                                                                                     a slight
waiting.                                                                                                     hum
                                                                                         buzzing the ground.
                                                     The fourth thru seventh
                                                                              were naught but blur,
                                                                                         tangling branches
                                                                 clawing forward.
                                                 The eighth came with pause,
                                                                                         an almost
                      the ninth with fire, swords flailing,
                                                     flaying about.
Shadow bat its gold-talon wings,
                      kicking up
           gusts of embering
                              Ego was blown                back,
                                                                 arms flapping,
                                                     spitting out another
                                                                 itself in fear.
Shadow grinned knowing,
           expecting the half-clone to come,
                      twisting itself
around them,
                                 trying to shake them
                                 together, & tie them
                                 with smoke.
                         The Egos
                                 kept their distance, afraid
                                 they might melt together
                                 if their flesh were to touch
                                            too proudly.
                      They slashed the empty
                                 at arms length,
                                 watching each other's movements
                                 with judgment & envy.
Shadow wriggled about,
           spreading itself in strings, dodging
                      their frenzy.
                         The Egos kept
                                 their whirling strong,
                                 spilling out more
                                            of themselves,
                                 each new body
                                 shining brighter
                                            beside the River of Light,
                      each new mind,
                      forging tools
                                 from the skin of Shadow.
Shadow winced,
                             drip by drip.
                      The Egos grew
                                 & grew,
                         thrashing their tails,
                      & digging
                                 their teeth into all
                      they could reach.
Shadow beat its palms about,
           smashing together
           Ego to Ego, clattering
           separateness sharding, collecting
           itself again.
                                 The Egos spiraled,
                                             & stepped back,
                                             spitting out more
                                             selves, born of iron & fire,
                                                        glass & broken leaves,
                                                                   & Shadow still.
                      They stepped forward again,
                                 with new songs,
                           new blades to trill the light,
                slicing off tendrils
                      like broken roots.
Shadow screamed, & grew
           a thousand arms in madness,
                      each palm a bulbous
                                 lidless eye,
like a fat moon,
pulsing pink & red,
                                 Jupiter pupils beating thru the dark,
                      each finger springing
                      silver antlers,
                                                reaching about
                                                        with antlers of their own.
                      The Egos quivered
                                                     & halted
                                                        for a moment,
                                            before raising their spears high,
                                 poking at the gaping
                                                                   bulbs to blind them.
Shadow shrieked,
           reared back, & whimpered.
           The Egos charged, fists tight, blades wailing,
           tripping Shadow at its ankles,
           yelping to each other
           of their victory.
Shadow stumbled, faltered,
           & fell back
           into the River of Light,
                      the Egos following,
                      piling atop each other,
                                 & melting
                                             as their flesh touched
                                                         too proudly.

Silence rolled over,
& fell back into slumber,

the dust settling upon it

Joe Nicholas is an evolution of experiments and experiences, as well as the editor of The Screaming Sheep. Their work can be found or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Chiron Review, Found Poetry Review, Fruita Pulp, Weave, and other wonderful magazines. Their chapbook Street Monk is forthcoming from Bottlecap Press. They can be found at 8rainCh1ld.tk.

Pin It       del.icio.us