Saturday, August 13, 2022

Three Poems by J.J. Campbell


avoid the punches


nothing goes

as planned


there isn’t

a reason we

should even

have a schedule


roll out of bed

and just start

trying to avoid

the punches


bills, endless

assholes calling

on the phone


arthritis so damn

bad that heroin is

the most viable



and they tell me

death shouldn’t

be looked at as



these young souls

have no clue what’s

coming for them



but every blue moon


the strangers

don’t understand

any hatred of life


but every blue

moon I come

across someone

who understands

depravity, despair

and hopelessness


but sadly


two depressed

souls don’t make

a happy life


it’s a race to the

death and neither

of us are lucky

enough to win



more than anything left on this earth


a random text at

two in the morning


to the woman that

swears she loves you

more than anything

left on this earth


yet, you haven’t heard

anything from her in

over a month


and it is always that

first feeling that something

more than self-hatred could

actually exist for you on

this earth


and then comes a right

cross out of nowhere


knocking the inevitable

dark reality back into



not everyone gets the girl


rainbows don’t have pots

of gold


hell, they don’t even have

a beginning or an end


happiness is a concept

only meant for a higher

tax bracket


your father always told you

you’d be a better ditch digger

than a poet


yet another bottle of scotch

nearly gone





J.J. Campbell (1976 - ?) is old enough to know where the bodies are buried.  He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at Synchronized Chaos, Otoliths, Cajun Mutt Press, Terror House Magazine, and The Beatnik Cowboy.  You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (





Three Poems by Sy Roth

Can’t Kill the Beast


There it is again,

That desert highway

Rolling lanes of emptiness

Sand crawling along with the wind

Swept one side to the next

Mini- hills coupling,

Swarming sweatily among the dry detritus

Until new winds glibly wreak havoc with their foundations

While the hillocks reform endlessly.


The beast winning the battles,

Roars its pleasure

Over the bleached bones that lay scattered

In their valley of life.


They have their sciences,

Their concocted salvation,

A salve on the miles that they envision

Stretching to forever

Even though the beast lies in wait

And they seek to prolong inevitability.


The beast will roar

And add their bones eventually

To the hills of sand

That continues its march to the end

While they drink their potions,

Inject their medicines in a hocus pocus frenzy.


While the beast lies in wait

Ready to roar with its renewed laughter

At their shades, their ghosts, and their spirits.



Cruel Quarters


What a cruel house.

It consumed her in inches

Like her life that waxed and waned in its own time.


She was struck with trepidation

Down to two, perhaps three cigarettes a day

Engulfing her lungs in an alveoli death.


The room closed in around her

Walled fortress that could not keep the boatman

From traversing the inky sea.


Finality, her home a jar of her essence

In her own time

Brain bleeding from exhaustion.


Where did all her thoughts go into nether regions

While sitting on the portable crapper

Providing some relief as life sped out of her?


Nearly a millennium of a curmudgeonly trespass

On sheets of bed-logged linen, rolls of cleansing wipes,

Papers of a life consumed into a nothingness.


They mourned for two hours

And gladly left her remains encased in her bronze crypt

With the one picture of a self who can only be imagined.



Is This Dante’s Inferno?


Just David the instructor and I were there

Residing in the quiet

Thinking nothing special

When the door creaks open 11:30 a.m.


Ten minutes away from the start of class.

Some shuffle in in restless anticipation.


Drifters huddle in small groups at desks

Bending close to the ears of classmates

Who in consternation

Work at the words they hardly hear

Struggling to make meaning of inanity.


The instructor hasn’t begun yet in earnest.

He distributes dessert bars in anticipation

Of an hour with King George I.


A tentative being halts at the door,

Head jerking this way and that.


In the back of the room, one reads Killing Reagan.

David in front sets up the video.


The tentative intruder asks, “Is this Dante’s Inferno?”


“No, it’s next door,” I blurt.


David and I stare at one another.

The door slams shut as she hurriedly exits

And we tacitly agree

Behind our eyes—

We nod,

Perhaps it is.





Sy Roth is still writing and trying to find his answer to the darkness.


Sunday, August 7, 2022

Now Accepting Submissions!

That's right, we are open for new submissions again! 

It's been awhile, and I've missed you all! Cannot wait to see what you've been up to while I was gone.

Things are gonna be slightly different in that we will be publishing weekly instead of daily for now, but otherwise is still the Pyrokinection you love and remember.  So drop by the guidelines page and start sending us work!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Three Poems by JD DeHart


Like the image of the old
bound in balms by the young,
the girl in a meadow, just
a painting I glimpse.

She cares for the weeds
the same as the tender floral dots.

Her voice is an uncommon
invitation to the young, and her
eyes float the roof of the world,
considering her next phrase,
or the next petal to drop.

One finger pointing, indicating
someone, something, just
beyond the limits of canvas,
an invitation to jump in, invent
the other face in the portrait.

Sloth's Sway

In the considerate movement
of the sloth, I see my own
sanguine approach to this day.

Problems without solutions
gather in my mind like a mob
at bedtime, and so I carry these

voices with me all day, more
worn by the night than I should be,
slowly turning my head, munching

a leaf, preparing to hop down from
my perch, but thinking better of it
in halting concentration.

High-Back Chairs

Indecorous, the table
belongs in another room.
The wallpaper crisis,
aesthetics peeling in piles.

The high-back chairs join
the wing-backs for a seasonal
migration up the stairs.

I recall pictures of hollowed
out buildings, shavings, rust,
an artist who captured
ruin photographically.

One day my most carefully
preserved art will be nothing
but curls, hardly an insect
preserved in amber.

JD DeHart is a writer and teacher.  He blogs about books and authors at

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Poem by Andrew M. Bowen

Driving to Muncie

The cottage-cheese clouds curdle
as sullen blue churns to swift-running gray;
the storms move in summer's violence,
the rain lashes the earth while thunder grunts,
and lightning dances in sky-high thunder ecstasy.
Great circles drive the kingly storms;
dew and piss and river and ocean
are taken up and then fall down
to feed the floods and ferns and forests.

Where stands the laboratory
that can take the measure of humanity?
What microscope can pin death
and what balance can weigh honor?
What calipers can divine integrity
and what telescope uncover love?

Once, prairies and floods and wild things;
swamps, trees, and living hills
would have conspired to slow my pace.
Now taxpaying populations
have laid these great pavements down,
encasing living, breathing Earth
in clever coats of steel, concrete, and hydrocarbon,
and reducing days to casual hours.
My ease requires the grudging
cooperation of the many to subdue the one.

Like Rasilnokov I stand baffled
by the pair that haunts my brain.
The one wants to sculpt this life
with wisdom, calm, and reverence
and leave a memory of talent
to shine like the first star of twilight.
But the other--the manic profane other--
wants hoisted bottle and bong,
one endless swill of brandy and attitude
before a willing death in bullets and pills.

Life is a tragedy.
We enter the world golden and empty,
yet petty hates and cheap frivolity,
misplaced hearts and withered brains
erase our slates of clean potential.
We hurt from blind blows of fumbling others
and in turn must lash out with closed eyes
and live with the gleeful whips
of shame and rage at failure.
Conscience is the ghost in the secret room.

And now I return me home
and the storms return to greet me.
The brawling rain chops vision into quarters
and lightning breaks from a nuclear point
to crackle down with relativity's speed.
Its sparkling glee mocks all the lights
of the moisture-battered city,
and its beauty that lasts but a glance
and the chaos of the swirling rain
and the proud laughter of the wanton wind
all scream at egocentric man:

"Life is a tragedy.
Enjoy it while you can."

Andrew M. Bowen works as an insurance salesman in Bloomington, IN.  He has published 71 poems and recently submitted his first two novels for publication.  He is also an actor who has appeared in eight independent films, seven stage productions, and two radio teleplays.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Three Poems from Sanjeev Sethi


In the melody of mirrors
I can't see myself:  the
hangover of hubris has
its effect.  Brachylogies
of the unknown kind
create an uproar in my
inner life.  The unsaid
has potential to incinerate.
Ataractic characteristic of
words entice me to indite.
Their aura stokes the self.
This union has a canorous air.


Achievers and those aspiring to be
are in queue with their Like(s).  In
networking units and the like there
is a demo of desiderata.  Pathfinders
detect no stigma in it, like those in
concupiscent gear check in at areas
of abasement without awkwardness.
Catafalque is not for all.


The flowers of shame
preen in pottery.
Adjoining in the miniature
firkin's emptiness
is evident.
I tell myself,
on ledge of life
there is no club
for the cursed.

Sanjeev Sethi is the author of three books of poetry.  His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015).  His poems are in venues around the world:  Mad Swirl, Synchronized Chaos, Chicago Record Magazine, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Peacock Journal, Poehemian, M58, A Restricted View from Under the Hedge, Amethyst Review, Bonnie's Crew, Urtica Lit Blog, Beakful|Becaqee, and elsewhere.  He lives in Mumbai, India.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Three Poems from Ken L. Jones

Secondhand Aria

The sparse facts of my revelations have a winter kind of silver light
out by this dreamy meandering hotel.
Where the smog, the dust the factory made rat-a-tat becomes
but the voices on the other end of a not too very well done pantomime
that leads to an eroded stairway to a thrift store.
Where unicorns and woodland nymphs are as common as koi fish.
Near where the grapevines of late autumn are the fairy godmother to a sea
that melts away into sheets of gold and trinket boxes made of half melted snow.

Luminous Exit

The seaside was impulsive and dreary.
Yet I felt strangely at home in the shadow of a dilapidated lisping castle
that loomed above me in the gold velvet steep hills
and though it was shattered it laughed like a child
as trade winds that once knew jade Atlantis scampered through it
and oh how that made the approaching darkness to become as numb as prehistoric stone
as it fell like Icarus yet never flinched for an instant even as it became one with the Irish coast.

Irish Farewell

I use to meet her in the late afternoon light
she whose long hair hung like Druid ruins.
On those days when the rain was half remarkable
and the breezes tickled the apple tree until it giggled like a child.
Back then my life lacked mucilage.
'Twas a low ceilinged room growing narrower everyday
until her lilting words that hinted of vaster universes
placed me on The Famine Ship and sent me on my way.

Ken L. Jones has been a professionally published writer for nearly forty years.  At the beginning of his career he became well-known as a cartoonist and had such work appear at Disney Studios and for the New Kids On The Block singing group.  In the last ten years he has concentrated heavily on writing poetry in various genres.  He has appeared in Kind Of A Hurricane Press' many anthologies and blogs.  His poems have also appeared in Phil Yeh's Uncle Jam Magazine, Dual Coast Magazine, Red Ochre Press, Poetry Quarterly, Circle of Light, and Tulip Tree Review.  His most recent achievement was a poetry chap book called Dreams of Somewhere Else published by Prolific Press.