A Review by Samuel Strathman of “Greater Vegas Bleeds into the Dreams of my Cryogenic Slumber” by Kenneth M Cale

kenneth m cale
Greater Vegas Bleeds into the Dreams of my Cryogenic Slumber

steel incisors, 2022
Paperback, 38 pgs.

Greater Vegas Bleeds into the Dreams of my Cryogenic Slumber (steel incisors, 2022) is an outstanding title that lives up to its name.  Part dreamscape, part landscape, kenneth m cale’s slim paperback is full of different visual, concrete, and free verse poems that blend like a sandwich with all the poetic fixings.

The “landscape(s)” of the book are “through the shaft of The Strip” covered in “rain slats.”  There are also references to the market gains and the as well as “murmurs of dissent” that echo through the pages.  The dreamscape is the smoke and blood crusted alleyways of the mind accompanied by “braying” animals take the reader on a thrilling tour of “greenzones” and “portents” that make one think that they are living the nightlife without having to travel to Las Vegas.

The different images are blends of what appear to be encryption code meets collage.  Many of the pages are tinged with sultry legs or lips, partially hidden faces that make one believe that they are among the forgotten eye candy that walk the streets at night.

There is a lot happening in cale’s book, and it is a lot to sum up in thirty-eight pages, but it is done with gusto.

Reviewer Bio:

Samuel Strathman is a poet, visual artist, author, and custodian.  His poetry has appeared in Cobra Milk, Bullshit Lit Mag, and Pinhole Poetry.  His debut poetry collection, “Omnishambles” is forthcoming with Ice Floe Press (2022).

For more on poet/author Kenneth M Cale check out this interview here http://poetryminiinterviews.blogspot.com/2022/02/kenneth-m-cale-part-one.html?sm_au=iVVsqVWPtFNFH75VHtJqHK0qJ6jF1

For this book. Not sure on availability everywhere click here https://www.steelincisors.com/product/greater-vegas-bleeds-into-the-dreams-of-my-cryogenic-slumber-by-kenneth-m-cale/7

A book review of S.J. Fowler’s “Sticker Poems” review by Samuel Strathman

Sticker Poems by SJ Fowler

S.J. Fowler
Trickhouse Press, 2021
Paperback, 126 pgs.

S.J. Fowler’s visual poetry collection, Sticker Poems (Trickhouse Press, 2021) is any childhood sticker fan’s dream.  The book is a compendium of our favorite stickers, as well as crafty new creations.  There are also many statements within the pages that are meant for humor as well as deeper thought.  A sticker book could not be a sticker book without repetition, but Fowler makes the repetition meaningful in the only way that a vispo (visual poetry) master can. 

The book has a lot of mixed media which helps to elevate the story told within its pages, and unlike his earlier book, Crayon Poems (Penteract Press, 2020) he keeps the mood light.  This is done through using bright visuals as well as different hypnotic mediums that help elevate his sticker world.  This would be considered an adult book by all accounts since there is cursing and violent language used in good fun, not to mention the grammatical errors which are not errors if they are done for creative purposes.  “for here. come I! to kiss arses” or “cuddliest & killingest…the great bear” being some of what is used.  These are short lines of text are oftentimes original as well as paying homage to many of the positive messages used in stickers.  “Make good use of Today” being one of them.  Many of the stickers like the menacing “Zero Medo” are rather menacing and add flavor and contrast to the child friendly stickers. 

Some of the new and exciting stickers that Fowler has created are new troll-like creatures, “Garbage Pail Kids,” colorful blot patterns, and other new and animal felt stickers.  Many of these images we would like to pick from the pages, and fortunately for us Fowler does allow us to take a few off the pages.

The trouble of being an amateur reviewer doing his second review is trying to decipher a storyline within “Stricker Poems.”  Visual poetry, like paintings or other artwork, is often more of a statement than a storyline to me.  After reading the essays by S.J. Fowler and David Spittle, I find that I have more questions and even less answers.  Besides using mixed media, drawings, and repetition I’m unsure as to the technique used here.  In the end, I rather not to try and evaluate the author’s school of thought.  It is better to sit back and enjoy the ride, and a wild one it is.  

Reviewer Bio

Samuel Strathman is a poet, visual artist, author, and custodian.  His poetry has appeared in Pulp Literature, I-70 Review, and Prole.  His debut poetry collection, “Omnishambles” is forthcoming with Ice Floe Press (2022).

Tanka/Haiku style poetry showcase from Samuel Stathman

brown and black wooden guitar and black leather bag

photo from Unsplash (Europeana)


cartographer’s bone
picked with the equestrian
stampeding ensued
bicoastal defamation
rewrite historical maps


in dull recesses
find the neon imago
mother’s milk to drink
reawaken unified
not god but cultured creature


small wind instruments
tickling the widow’s ear
heady blandishments


sky’s furrowed tendrils
lightening revives the dragon
exhumes vile bones
goliaths of an old tribe
discarded relics


black air raising hairs
prickling the needle neck
red limbless ocean
eels traversing coastlines
Persephone on lookout


rending of the sea
ghosts preying on destruction
aligned with their posts
islanders abandoning ships
swashbuckler’s bad omen


grandiose ghazal
sultry arabian night
fiddler’s heaven
dripping wax overexcites
opium cloud dynasty


meditative snowfall
unconscionable tension
cathartic release
noon hour crowds dissipating
solace behind coloured glass


thrush’s old singsong
head north before nerves kick in

plows in the distance
prizeworthy lineation
stones heaving in the mud


galvanized breezeway
intimate pyrotechnics
bubbles among stars


nightmarish dungeon
somnambulist skeletons
mourn finality
last rites for fallen angels
black flower necropolis


ashram for your thoughts
yellow moths grow from tall grass
mood can be anchor
draw an ocean with a glance
smell the brine off flying fish 


winged ritual
birds scaling belltowers
wind breaking current
gleam of passing vehicles
splitting the time barrier


vermillion sluice
zombie rats lining spillways
deadbolted prey
eyeless momento mori
hail the bony chimera


memorial park
widows placing spring flowers
dewy bloodshot eyes
groundskeeper whistling tunes
keys jangling on their ring

Bio: Samuel Strathman is a poet, author, visual artist, and educator.  He was also the editor-in-chief of Floodlight Editions.  Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Cobra Milk, I-70 Review, Prole, and other magazines and journals.  His debut poetry collection, "Omnishambles" is forthcoming with Ice Floe Press (2022).

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Samuel Strathman

Poetry by Samuel Strathman from Fevers of the Mind Anthologies

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Samuel Strathman

with Samuel Strathman:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Samuel:  I started writing four years ago.  My first influences were some of the classic poets from a long, long time ago.  Rumi, Pablo Neruda, Mikhail Lermantov, and Anna Akhmatova are a few names.  Greg Santos and Shannon Bramer were some of the first Canadian poets I really got into.   

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Samuel: My biggest influences today are Chris Banks, Jason Heroux, Stuart Ross, David O’Meara, and Nelson Ball. I would also say that my visual art is influenced by a lot of visual poets such as Michael Orr, Mark Laliberte, and Richard James Biddle. Sometimes books are also good influences. “Syncope” by Asiya Wadud, “Time” by Etel Adnan and “Memory Foam” by Adam Soldofsky have made a great impression on me.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Samuel: I’d ben wanting to write a novel for years but could never really find my footing. Poetry had come more naturally to me in school so I decided to go with what I had a knack for.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Samuel: My girlfriend, Krystal, is usually the first person to get a crack at editing my work. Jim Johnstone, Robert Frede Kenter, and Kirby have also been integral to my success. Both Jim and Robert have been the main editors in my life. Kirby was the first person to offer me a chance to participate in a reading. Any editor who has published my work, interviewed me, or offered feedback has been of great help.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?

Samuel: I’ve lived in Toronto my entire life. I’d say that the work I have done with children in my city has been of great influence. They are always brimming with energy and ideas. I’d say that many trips to Simcoe County have been helpful to me in my writing. I tend to do less writing when I’m outside of the province.

Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

Samuel: The most meaningful writing I have done was for the first two and a half years. I had to learn from failure to rise above it.

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Samuel: In no particular order: exercise, meditate, read, and spend time with Krystal. Friends and family keep me company when they can.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? Or favorite piece of artwork?

Samuel: One of my favorite vispo books is “’Palingenesia” by Michael Orr.  The collection definitely speaks for itself.

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Samuel: My first full-length poetry collection “Omnishambles” is forthcoming with IceFloe Press later this year.  The book is a blend of speculative/surreal poems meets horror/sci-fi.  I must thank Robert Frede Kenter for agreeing to publish this book.  I wrote most of the poems during this pandemic.  It was one of the things that kept me sane.

Poetry by Samuel Strathman from Fevers of the Mind Anthologies


Samuel Strathman is a poet, visual artist, educator, and author.  He is also the editor-in-chief of Floodlight Editions.  Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Pulp Literature, Cobra Milk, Blank Spaces, and other magazines and journals.  He is the author of the chapbooks “In Flocks of Three to Five” (Anstruther Press, 2020) and “The Incubus” (Roaring Junior Press, 2020).  “Omnishambles” is his first full-length poetry collection.