Re-published poems by Michael Igoe

white and blue petaledd flower

photo from Annie Spratt (unsplash)

published previously in

Jamaica Plain Massachusetts

Pull on the blue serge sashes;
bear witness to Jamaica Plain.
The darkest blue
much like motifs
in the magazines
you leaf through.
When you're done,
you must come in
Watch the sugar cubes
melt where flies settle.
Spying through vessels,
or an unlocked window;
trying them on for size.
You might want to recal
those Hell's Kitchen visits.
When genes sang in series,
from that psychotic candy.
Another time it was fed
to your downtown flock.
Take a look friend!
How we've grown!
Yes, we've grown,
and now's the time,
to make a descent
from our branches.

I know how to tell time,
sometimes I tell the truth.
But this time-
I see flowers bloom
deep in the skeleton.

Pull on the blue serge sashes;
bear witness to Jamaica Plain.
The darkest blue,
much like motifs
in the magazines
you leaf through.

Allure of the Novice

Rain spears in a spiral
with hammer and tongs
a condensed chemistry
lullabies filling the air
The coy workaday chuckles
from the slow motion queen.
She chose pared fruit
swollen by first light.

Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA),, Avalanches In Poetry National Library Of Poetry Editor's Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.

New Poetry Showcase by Michael Igoe

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Michael Igoe

Re-published poems from Jack B. Bedell

photo from cemetery in Slidell, LA (unsplash)

all poems first published in Rhythm N Bones Lit/Dark Marrow

P.V. O’Neill’s Grave

An oak tree has left its ghost
        on this plot with crumbled
                      marble and mangled wrought iron

bent all around the tombstone.
         The psalm engraved below
                       O'Neill's name failed

to offer any peace against
         the weight of that trunk
                       calm breeze and cool water

or not. Today, the grass is cut tight
         at the site, and all the bits of stone
                     have been stacked neatly

inside what remains of the fence.
       No roots left from the falling, though,
                      and even fewer signs it matters.


You'd probably chuckle to know I pass
your grave every morning bringing my kids
to school. They've asked all the questions
their teachers have told them to ask,
and I've answered as best I could:

Did he want to die?

                              Probably, but not
that night, and not in his parent's house.

How did it happen?
                                  From the beginning?
Coltrane, Hendrix, the dude from Blind Melon.
They were all beautiful to him. Release.
A slowing of heart. Sleep. Stop.

What was it like?
                                    He always said
it was like swimming in honey.

Why would he do something that made him
sick every time he did it?
                                       The other side
of sickness or pain is heaven, and that
lasts much longer than it takes
to empty your stomach.

Do you miss him?
                                 I miss the way his pick hand
moved so casually over the strings of his bass,
how perfectly his thumb glided
down the neck of his guitar. His
potato rolls, the glaze he made for pastries.

Why couldn't you stop him?
                                 I held him
like a brother, threw him against the wall
by his collar like a parent, set him free
to make his own choices like God does.
That river only flows downhill.

What do you remember most about the last time you saw him?

This one I always have trouble answering out loud,
how your stubble felt like needles on my cheek.

The Pale Man's Eyes Never Leave the Horizon
                                                                             - Lake Champlain

When a wave rolls up out of nowhere,
do not look down. It is my body
shifting under the surface.

I will be there in the shallows
to hear the people of the woods
warn you not to disturb me.

My eyes, the size of white perch,
will roll back into their sockets
at the sound of your laughter.

Whenever your children come to the shore
aching to disappear into my calm lake,
I will grab them by their ankles,

draw them into the deep water
with their last breaths still captive
in their lungs. For each beating heart

I devour, each of your barges
full of tree trunks I sink,  you
will cry a slow prayer toward

the dying light.  There is no lesson
in this pain for you, no
road you can build long enough

to escape my reach, the teeth
I sharpen each night, waiting
for the crunch of bones you are. 

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jack B. Bedell

Re-published poems from Amanda Crum

first published in Rhythm n Bones Lit & Dark Marrow mags.

Ghost Fractures

There's twang
tangled in my roots,
but it only unspools
inside loss.
Grief rolls syllables
across my tongue, 
transforms ain't into
a lullabye. Language
fractured by ghosts.
I can almost hear
the trailer park girl I was,
spinning circles in her room.
I wonder
when she became so afraid
to let her bloodline
tumble from her mouth.
Maybe it was the first time
Death stood in her doorway,
rolling a cigarette for someone
she loved. That girl
wanted grease-spattered comfort,
husky Appalachian pronunciations
and dropped g's,
and all she got was
more loss.
Now I cling tightly to my accent,
a connection to my beginnings
that can only be
put away
rather than

In the Abbatoir

We watch with eyes full of moon
as she crosses the tile floor,
sensible shoes clicking a metered rhyme.
She wears a jacket, like a banker,
but underneath she's as sad as the chipped
glitter polish that lines my fingernails.
Under her examination I am still,
bloodless wounds marking my time,
a lump in my throat that betrays
my voice. She doesn't feel my gaze
as she dips her finger into a pot of
mentholatum and smears it across her lip,
doesn't see my contempt as she steadies
her shaking hands. Those suits will
never take her seriously, not with those
cheekbones. With the snap of powdered gloves
she reaches into my throat, her interest
piqued as the voices outside the door fade.
Their expectations were low, the beer bellies
sheathed in pinstripes and coffee-stained ties,
not bothering to mask their derision. From
the soft pink tissue she pulls a cocoon and
the moth unfurls its wings across my vision.  Here
I am there and all the spaces in between. I tell
her my secrets, my throat unstuck,
focus narrowed down to millimeters. I tell
her that she can leave but she'll never get away,
we are all just lambs crying in the night and
the abbatoir is always full.

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Amanda Crum

Poetry by Amanda Crum : An Offering

A Poetry Showcase for December Lace

Rose, Skull, White Rose, Rose Petals
Thornfield Hall 
first published in Rhythm n bone press Issue 6: Love

My heart is Thornfield Hall
and I am your ashen governess,
ventricles pounding stronger
behind a ribcage of poverty
and literature written in cursive.

Your inherited hallways
blaze with an inferno
of secrets and mystery,
sharper than pain and

there are too many losses in my life
to keep me from dismissing the echoes
that you left in the hollows
of my chambers. I will share

this collapsed mansion with you
that a foreign fire claimed and
I can guide you down the path
that has been spared.

I can walk at your pace,
there are no ghosts anymore-
dead embers of final secrets
sealed off from the one you love most.

Love Letter from a Ragdoll to a Skeleton Performer
first published in Rhythm n bone press Issue 6: Love

All of this is a nightmare, my love-
sewing stitches in blue-hued skin
as you wander off in a skeletal vacancy;
your theatrical mind loosening in a spiral
no cerebrum of mine can reach
while patches of pumpkins begin to push out their rot,
the glow of the moon casting down a spotlight
not quite bright enough for your creative hands,
the hill on which you stand too earthly and isolated
for a stage. I know you think you'll wither without
an entrance, my love, but you are far more adored
than any persona you think you've created with your
own bones. Uncover your core and let me see the
exposed insides of what you push away, let me
rub the dust of what your mortar and
pestle thumb and forefinger do to yourself
when you ponder the night away while you
think I'm asleep. I'll take you into my skin, I'll take you
into my stiches. Please let me in. I've seen the gaps
underneath your pinstripes and there is room for me.

The Second Ophelia
first published in Dark Marrow Issue 2 March 2019

Lining my pockets with stones was the best alternative, my love
I didn't want to skim the surface in a secluded pond,
oily dredge seeping into my nostrils, pores
              this will be a brightly lit lake under a spotlight of violent sun.
Jonquils and jasmine threading through my fevered hair,
a torrent of water gushing through my throat.
Synapses unspooling while silent, clouded lullabies on loop lull me to sleep.
My own mouth quietly singing hymns over the laps of trembling water,
                                                       the tumbling rushes that will govern me

I sing not of defeat, but of the peace I swim so desperately to,
my sinking body a difficult analogy for those born without our defects -
you with a boiling temper and tunneled eyes,
                                                                                    me with an anvil mind
and a predisposition to permanent loss over temporary joy...

The stormy thoughts that battle within me have no bearing on you, my darling-
they stir and brew, collide behind my eyes-
                                                                            weigh like my swelling lungs

Home Recovery in the Countryside
first published in Dark Marrow: Issue 3 Crucifix July 2019

My fever still hasn't broken.
Crows stare at me from my whitewashed porch
while the pitcher of milk sits on the sideboard,
a towel draped neatly at its side.

They haven't moved from the paint chipped railings in days-
they're bunched in clusters-murders-thick amounts of
             swollen chests, huddled hearts, and sharp beaks.
Twitchy, squat droplets of ink that rove around on this barren landscape
stretching their claws upwards, pointing at the sky, accusing it.

There isn't a mailbox for miles.
Their onyx eyes             like rosary beads
paired in fidgety feathered beasts.
They were sent to watch me
                           - and they want in!-
they can see under my bandages,
gossamer wrapped me mummy style
guarding against the flies, the infection, the air.

My tongue moves in shifts, thick like marbles,
the enamel of my teeth turning to water
dripping down my throat
downing me
                               -I can't breathe!-

but they haven't made a sound.

They want my throat.
They want to peck at the holes
                                      in the back of my raw throat
so they can get to my soul
                                                                                They can smell the stitches

December Lace is a former professional wrestler and pinup model from Chicago. She has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Molotov Cocktail, Pussy Magic Lit, The Cabinet of Heed, Dark Marrow and Rhythm & Bones YANYR Anthology, among others as well as the forthcoming Riggwelter Press and Coffin Bell. She loves Batman, burlesque, cats, and horror movies. She can be found on Twitter @TheMissDecember and