Kinda M. Austin and I are excited to announce that we will be hosting a Quotable Poe Challenge in October on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen. Choose a prompt (or ten) and write a poem, prose or piece of flash fiction inspired by the quote. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include a brief bio if you are comfortable. … Continue reading October Quotable Poe Writing Challenge on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen
Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen
Allister Nelson is epic on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen
Flowers rot in my hands, on the banks of Charon.
My melody of asp bite is the strangest marriage bed.
A hiss, a cadence, of bones dancing to Stygian flow.
But I feel at home here, amongst asphodel and shades.
True, Orpheus played the lyre like the world would never
fade away, but nothing escapes death, not brides, not bones.
Even, after millennia, bones can burn. To struggle against
the Maenads when frenzied vice grips the Earth’s harrows?
Nothing changes. All changes. Rot is just another breath of life.
I say rivers only run downhill.
I say fungus blossoms in dregs of wine.
And when Orpheus looked back to see my blue flesh, to kiss
my lips of maggots, I trembled like a cedar in autumn wind.
Stand strong, I urged myself, but dust calls to dust, and I
slipped like golden mud through his arms, putrefaction and
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Brian Rihlmann explodes across the screen at Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen
We lasted awhile
only as the times apart
and you always asked
in the interim
and of course
I said never
look me in the eye
and I did
then we’d go to bed
for a murderous fuck
and afterward sleep bruised
and even bloody
awaken stiff with scabs
with eyes shining
like moons in orbit
the wide eyes
of ones entranced
by a false but beautiful idol
©2019 Brian Rihlmann
Brian Rihlmann was born in NJ, and currently lives in Reno, NV. He writes mostly semi autobiographical, confessional free verse. Folk poetry…for folks. He has been published in The Rye Whiskey Review, Cajun Mutt Press, Alien Buddha Zine, Synchronized Chaos, Madness Muse Press and The American Journal Of Poetry.
Thunderstorms at Night-Sarah Doughty
Sarah Doughty thunders on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen
“Like a drum from above,
it was the thunder of my heart
that kept me alive and alert.”
It was the thunder that kept me awake. Synapses firing, like lightning in the night, illuminating the fog of dark gray, cotton-candy clouds. Thoughts springing to life before disappearing in an instant, only to fire yet again with another string of words flash behind my eyes and whisper to me. Those are my demons, my monsters, my battle cries. Those are the rumblings, the crackles in my ears. That is the constant reminder that I’m still alive. These thoughts, they keep me sharp. They keep me alert. I stay alive. And that thunder that rolls by. That’s the sound of my heart, refusing to submit.
Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and her acclaimed novels and…
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Woman is a Root-Molly M. Ryan
Molly M. Ryan slaying it on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen
Touch does not sit in the veins of a petal,
Does not wilt when the bloom of spring
Withers away. It can’t be pruned,
It does not decompose with the dead and discarded
To become a new whole.
Woman is not a flower. A flower
Is only beautiful for the season. Groomed,
Clipped, arranged, until the water
Turns brown and the pollen turns
Sickly and it’s
Hidden amongst the garbage, ugly.
Woman is a root. What grows from her
May pass but she is there, in the dirt,
Taking hold of the earth, taking hold
Of life to say, “What may pass
Can be regrown.” Touch
Is there, in the roots.
The boy who kissed me
In the courtyard to show
How easy it was
To break me.
The man who pushed me
To the ground outside my bedroom door,
His moon eyes black and sizzling
Like an empty frying…
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Dead Dolly-Susan Shuman
Susan Shuman is giving me the chills on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen
Until the day I die, I’ll never forget them glassy, unblinking eyes.
You know, I’d made that gris-gris—what you all call a Voodoo Doll— myself. Mawmaw taught me how when I was a kid back in Bayou Lafourche. She said that since we were direct descendants of Marie Laveau, it was our legacy. My mama died giving birth to me, so Mamaw was the only one left to teach me.
“Ma chère petite-fille, you have to know,” she said.
Shoot, Mamaw didn’t have to twist my arm! Even then, I realized the benefit of such a skill.
Daddy flipped when he found out. Pooyie, it was bad!
That’s when we moved up to Gentilly and I never did see Mamaw again.
Sonovabitch, I still miss her.
It was damn lucky for all of us ( okay, me) that there’d been enough time for her to teach me before I had to go.
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