Friday, June 23, 2017

New Poems by Allison Grayhurst

Another Station

I raced to the perimeter,
stopping at the dot and
found the sun half-gone
like a kiss that never was.
I touched the tree and the tree
did not know I was there.
I peeled the skin from my fingers
to feel a deeper sensation.
The line and the ledge and the no-space in-between.
The devil is bitter and hard. I spoke to the devil
and held time with his eyes. But breaking free,
leaping from the circle - these aspirations
are growing up, taking long and slow breaths,
all the while, becoming
more formidable.

- Allison Grayhurst 2017

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. Three times nominated for Sundress Publications “Best of the Net” 2015, she has over 1050 poems published in over 425 international journals. She has sixteen published books of poetry, seven collections and nine chapbooks. She lives in Toronto with her family. She is a vegan. She also sculpts, working with clay;   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Poetry by Richard Manly Heiman

Andromache at Pergamon

When you wake from a mid-day nap to bees droning through orchids and gerberas by the sluggish fountain, or you're cane-walking slow through ancient Boğazkere vines and cherry groves, raw as a

slashed throat clogged with gurgling clots it all comes raging back. The sudden fall, the tumbling high-pitched shriek cut off mid-flight by limestone ramparts. Florid smears in horse-shit dust, the phantom pain in your uterus. But such a tiny

sacrifice. No more night terrors to console, a baby's dreams of bronze-skulled monsters. Still you replay gallops round  and round, the bloody bare crown thumping along, splitting over and over again, sanity fracturing, oozing hope like yolk, gelatin eyes squeezed tight to block

absurdly calm extinction. Now each morning he stares back with mead-rimmed eyes. One who looks just like the one who murdered and then loved you. He stares, and death is trite, and no strong-built heart walls can keep the wailing in.

- Richard Manly Heiman 2017

Richard Manly Heiman lives in the pines on the slope of the Sierra Nevada in Northern California. He works as a substitute teacher and writes when the kids are at recess or playing on their cell phones. Richard's work has appeared or will in Rattle, Into the Void, Bop Dead City and elsewhere. He is a two time 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee. His URL is

Monday, June 19, 2017

Call for Submissions 

The June Open Reading Period 

Black Lawrence Press seeks innovative, electrifying, and thoroughly intoxicating manuscripts that ensnare themselves in our hearts and minds and won’t let go. During our June and November Open Reading Periods, we accept submissions in the following categories: novel, novella, short story collection (full-length and chapbook), poetry (full-length and chapbook), biography & cultural studies, translation (from the German), and creative nonfiction. 

 Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New Poetry by Jim Conwell


They were a haphazard collection,
several soldiers
and some Indians
and a knight or two.
And some of the cereal packet Indians
were only the colour of the plastic they were made from.
But I know what they felt like in my hand.
The distinct characters of each of them.
And I remember their vivid colours.
The red and blue of the warrior’s tiny shield.
And the living grey of the desert soldiers’ uniforms.

We shared adventures, deadly ambushes, bombardments
with stones and missiles.
And even though I already knew the advice,
I built castles in the sand and other fortifications for them
and they defended them
even against overwhelming force.
They had died many times
as I dug them out of collapsed tunnels
And ruined walls.
Always finding them ready to fight again.

But when I looked across the garden fence
and saw Eddy’s military convoys –
the khaki might of his
tank carriers, mobile missile launchers, armoured cars,
the helmeted and goggled outriders of his professional army,

my small force of international mercenaries
faded sullenly into the long grass.

- Jim Conwell 2017

With an original background in Fine Art, Jim Conwell has worked in mental health for over thirty years. He has had poems published in magazines in the UK, Ireland, Australia and North America and had two poems shortlisted in the Bridport Poetry Prize 2015. He lives in London, England.

Monday, June 12, 2017

New Poetry by Kathryn Guelcher

Not Sleeping

Actually, I have many hearts
in circulation.
You have the only whole one.
New ones grow...
for song, guitar,
the beginning of each summer,
trips planned, taken.
These hearts sprout small
from very little:
platelets, plasma, 
longing, time, rain.
Tenderly, they grow and expect little,
and later fracture under loyalties.
But the large old heart you’ve got
has roots like the Yucca,
stretching for ground water
in the heat of the desert,
though here, definite seasons 
have blurry edges.
And like the Yucca, this heart of mine,
that is yours,
blooms certainly and silently,
if unpredictably,
and won’t be dug up.
The stems are phallic,
like so much else--
lightening bolts, this pen,
the imagined line between
your fingers
and the space bar you strike
between words
pulsing worlds, 
of youth fading
of love lasting
of children, impossibly ours,
showing us, again and again, 
joy’s endless capacity for laughter.

- Kathryn Guelcher 2017

Kathryn Guelcher teaches English in the suburbs of Chicago at Carl Sandburg High School where she received a grant in 2013 and co-founded a Visiting Writer Series for students. Since first appearing in Bluepepper in 2012, her poetry has appeared in Lost Coast Review, Memoir Journal, Brev Spread, George Bilgere's Word Play, Orange Room Review, Fat City Review, and more. Her husband and three children keep her laughing and are her favorite travel companions, Their cat, Big, is treated like a celebrity in the house-- and still manages to complain about it. Follow her on Twitter @KathrynGuelcher 

Friday, June 09, 2017

New Poetry by Louise McKenna


Traffic slows in this 50k zone
as if hard held by a jockey.

The racehorses are being walked at dawn:
the same horses I see each morning

at this junction between night and day,
their breath recorded on the cold sheet of air,

steam from their backs in the thin light, rising.
And the same men

like dockers in fluorescent coats,
are pulling them along,

as if they were hauling
freight or lumber.

Each car and bus
seems to make the horses flinch and stagger;

a black light in the quicks of their eyes 
that I have seen before

in those of a wounded bird
I once nursed in my hand,

the rapid timer of its heart
palpable beneath egg-thin bones—

or those of the colt filmed after the race
tottering on a snapped radius

as women in fascinators sat
knocking back flutes of Moët et Chandon.

- Louise McKenna 2017

Louise McKenna’s work has been published in a number of Australian and overseas journals.  Her chapbook, The Martyrdom of Bees was published last year by Garron Publishing.  In 2013, Louise was shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize. She lives in Adelaide and is currently working on a full-length book of poetry.

Monday, June 05, 2017

New Poetry by JD DeHart

Stone Ballerina

How strange, in shapes
of granite or marble,
the thin leg rises, the toe
refuses to curl, standing
the entire being on one small
fragment of space, while
a cardinal settles on her 
outstretched finger, threatening
to upend the ensemble,
bringing the dancer down
in a series of pebbles.

The Power of an Edit

Take your acumen and point
it somewhere else.
I've got no use for parsing
each verb that comes out of
my mouth.  Do not question
my absence of comma, my
floating appreciation of apostrophes.
Life is just a series of nouns
and other words.
Is that a prepositional phrase
in line three?  No manner
or matter.  I'll not reduce my utterance
to a series of critical marks.

- JD DeHart 2017

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  His work has recent appeared at Strange Poetry and Cacti Fur.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

New Poetry by Abigail George

Because a ghost was in my blood

I can feel the rain even
 when I close my eyes.
Taste it in my mouth. Here’s the fabulous
ambitious sun. A warning to
all who dream of living
and making it good in
the big city. The land is
black at night. It haunts.
It haunts. Filled with shadows
 and light and despair. I
face beating fears in the
moonlight’s rural country.
The haunting abandonment of
touch scores my personality in
some indefinable way. The
discipline and source of silence
  marks me like death.

Faith can break you.
  Transform the fire in your heart.
The compass that I
  hold in my hand helps
me navigate my passage
  north. The constant heat
of the day shining for
  all of its worth in all its
silken slumber. Liberty
  is master. Proof is mistress.
I find pleasure in my
  mother’s garden. The sun glides
across my spirit. Winged sphere
  and harmless burn. The sports of
earth. My grief is published here on the page.
  Grief, I don’t want to
forget you. Your triumph fierce. The sea is made up of
  the vibrations of a
purple light. Tide and current washed
   up on the shore.
You’re a shadow of a
telephone pole. All things lovely beating down my door.
The foam blooms a white kind of spray.
Mankind’s soul is a faithful progress.
She has a starling mouth. The lips of a mermaid.

   I can still taste the rain in my mouth.

- Abigail George 2017

Abigail George fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She briefly studied film and television production at Newtown Film and Television School opposite the Market Theatre in Johannesburg. She is the writer of Africa Where Art Thou (2011), Feeding the Beasts (2012), All About My Mother (2012), Winter in Johannesburg (2014), Brother Wolf and Sister Wren (2015), and Sleeping Under the Kitchen Tables in the Northern Areas (2016). Her poetry has been widely published in anthologies, in print in South Africa, and in zines from Nigeria to Finland, and New Delhi, India to Istanbul, Turkey. She lives, works, and is inspired by the people of the Eastern Cape, South Africa.