PJ Grollet

The Horny Lego Guy’s Little Lego Dick

Hey, have you guys seen that new Lego movie? 

You know which one I’m talking about. The one about the horny Lego guy in outer space who tries to have sex with all his female crew members. 

That movie was bonkers! 

Spoiler alert: 

I couldn’t believe the scene when the Lego guy had the massive heart attack while he was blasting the ship’s lieutenant commander. 

And then the ship’s doctors rushed in and pulled him right off that Lego woman!

That shit was crazy. 

The best part was when they rushed him to emergency on the gurney. They snatched him off the Lego commander without his Lego pants and I couldn’t believe they actually showed his little Lego dick! 

I always wondered what a Lego dick looked like. It was like a small branch with a thorn piercing through the middle of it to form a cross. 

I thought for sure that Lego guy was dead, man. I mean, with no pulse and all. And then they pressed the defibrillator onto his little Lego dick! 

I was like what are they doing!? 

And it worked! 

They shocked his Lego dick and the guy popped right off the gurney!

You guys gotta see that movie!

BLACK SUMMER, Reviewed By Mather Schneider

BLACK SUMMER: New & Selected Poems
Kung Fu Treachery Press
234 pages

Things you will not see in Wayne F. Burke’s bio for his new book, Black Summer: pronouns, accrued university degrees, editorships at magazines, grants received, where he teaches, how beautiful his wife is, how he loves gardening, the name of his cat. How he got a book published without these things in his bio, I have no idea. He has been reported.

Wayne F. Burke is 65 (going on 66) years old. He reminds me a little of Ed Galing, who wrote poems into his 90’s. When I used to see Galing in a publication I always read his poems first not because he was old but because I knew he wouldn’t bullshit me. I knew there would be no slickness or pretentiousness, no metaphors stretched out so far you forgot where they started, no look-at-me-being-a-poet, pat me on the head, junk. Just a sensitive, sometimes fucked-up, lonely person writing about the moments of his life. 

There are lots of stray hairs in these poems. Yes, Burke, like Galing, ends lines with prepositions sometimes. Yes, his endings fizzle sometimes. Yes, he’s an old cis white guy who doesn’t hide his flaws. All unforgiveable sins these days, when most poets pretend to be saints. 

Burke is no saint, and what fresh air that is:  

“I walked upstream through the 
woods, among the trees 
and rocks 
to a quiet place 
below the falls 
I took my pants off 
and sat 
in the sun 
I was having a herpes attack 
boils on my dick 
and thought the sun 
might fix me up a little
as I listened to the river…” 

One out of 6 people have herpes but you don’t see it mentioned much in poetry. Usually when a poet sits down by the river it’s to tell the reader how enlightened they are, which always somehow seems to indicate how UNENLIGHTENED the rest of us are. Why didn’t you USE A CONDOM? 

At least he’s getting laid by real women and not watching porn. He’s an old timer. Never married, though, at least not in these poems. Now that he’s retired, maybe he will meet a nice Mexican girl. 

Burke asked a “famous” poet to read his poems and wrote this about it:  

“he was known as the poet of loneliness and
was married to the poetess of bereavement.
Before leaving, I asked what he really thought of
my things, and
he said, well
they are all on the surface
no depth to them;
read other things beside literature, he suggested
like “Kramer’s book on aesthetics.”
I thanked him and he left.
I was the poet of surfaceness.”

I like that he says “surfaceness” instead of “surfaces,” as if to poke fun at himself and at the same time to make fun of the “famous” poet. Of course, the “famous” poet meant that his poems were superficial. What this means to me is the “famous” poet couldn’t see beyond the “surface” of the poems, which are not refined or polished as most poets like them to be. In my view, poems that are most polished on the surface don’t have more depth, just more make-up.     

Fighting and real-world conflict are everywhere in these poems:


standing on the main street of Framingham, Massachusetts
holding my thumb up
in the air
and watching all the cars in the world
drive by me
and all the drivers look like assholes
to me
and a car goes past with some punks inside
and one punk gives me the middle-finger
and I turn and chase the car
as the punks point and
laugh at me until
their car slows then stops at a red light
and I gain ground
and the smiles of the punks disappear
their eyes widen like doll’s eyes
and the car squeals out and
I chase it to the
next light
and the punks in the back seat hop around
like monkeys in a cage
as I close the gap again
and the car shoots ahead
and I chase it to the next red light
which the car blows through
and I give up,
out of breath
still pissed
but not really
a bunch of punks.

I thought this poem was funny and sad at the same time. Who can’t feel the desperation of this narrator, running down the street like a crazy pissed-off loser? Who hasn’t wanted to do the same? The ending lines tell us what we already feel: this is not just about surfaces.  

Burke makes me laugh. I smiled and laughed throughout this book:


a squirrel in the park, plump
7 to 8 inches in height
svelte gray coat
attacked a girl
who later died
and the cops went berserk
guns blasting and
killed two hundred squirrels
but none of the witnesses
to the attack
could positively ID the perp
so the cops put out an APB with
an artist’s sketch of
the killer-squirrel
which brought 1000 calls
into the station house
as of this writing
the suspect remains at large
up a tree
in some hole in a wall.

Burke’s childhood poems are some of the best in the collection:


a hot muggy day 
no one to play with 
all the kids gone 
to the beach 
Charlie Baguette told me I could go 
with him 
his family 
I ran home for my suit 
and when I returned 
they had already gone…
I climbed the tree in the yard 
and sat 
hidden by dinner-plate-sized leaves. 
I picked my nose until it bled;
meanwhile, the sky turned milky-white and 
I was glad (maybe 
the Baguette’s would be drowned 
in the coming storm). 
I climbed down and lay in the 
driveway on hot cinder 
that felt like sand; 
I hoped I got run over.
I watched a bird 
a speck 
far above 
it disappeared.

In another poem, the narrator child is waiting for “gramps” to come and give him a ride home from “pee wee” football practice, but gramps is late. The kid climbs a tree while waiting and someone throws a rock at him, calling him a raccoon. Kids climb trees all the time, but in this situation, it highlights the isolation of the boy. Gramps finally shows up and the poem ends with Gramps giving “a mumbled apology.” Not a very dramatic ending. Maybe Burke could have “worded” it a different way. Maybe a certain type of “line break” would have made it better. But if you’ve ever been the last kid standing, waiting for a ride home, from anywhere, you’ll understand.   

I really liked this sweet poem, “Ice Cream.” An editor would surely quip about the title and the lack of punctuation, but would that really change anything? Would that change the idiocy of pubescent kids? Would that change the innocence? Should we refine natural metaphor into over-your-head metaphor? In order to write a simple poem like this, you have to have grown old and stayed young at the same time:  

Ice Cream    

A maple walnut ice cream cone
at Eileen’s Dairy bar 
where Rose 
a teenage waitress 
Eileen’s daughter 
tall and slender, 
“a rose yet to bloom” 
I told Johnny Garibaldi 
who had asked what I thought 
of her 
the words coming unbidden from 
my lips 
he blabbed it 
and I regretted many times over 
a rose yet to bloom 
shouted on the street 
on the school bus 
I stayed away from Eileen’s until 
desperate for an ice cream 
pistachio, butter pecan, black raspberry
I put my thin dime 
into Rose’s hand 
and she did not say 
“thank you.”

Several short poems are included in the book. I don’t know if they’re haiku or what, but I like them:

Palm Sunday—
my brother and I
whip each other with palms


My jacket—
hung by the neck
until spring

This is a good book of poetry. Like most books of poetry, it could be cut by a third. The problem is, every person who reads it might want to cut a different third. Not bad, for an old cis white guy who doesn’t even have a cat in his bio and probably never been to a writer’s conference in his whole miserable life.


Stranger Than Kindness, By Nick Cave


Canongate Books, 276 pages

Nick Cave changed my life when I first discovered him, sometime back in the mid-90s, by which point he’d already built a career spanning decades and the musical landscape I perceived at the time was growing ever more bleaker by the second. Personally, I’m still with him where he stated, “I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” Still, the younger, saltier Cave of that era now seems a far cry removed from the older, more mellowed version of today, and the two of them finally chance to meet within the pages and on the cover of this gorgeously intimate book.

Cataloguing a lifetime’s worth of writing, artwork, and various other artifacts from Cave’s childhood through this present day, Stranger Than Kindness represents a selection of pieces from the exhibit of the same name, which finally opened last month at the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen. For those unable to attend, I would highly recommend this book for the insights it provides into the life and works of its subject.

—Arthur Graham, Editor in Chief


Ben Newell

soft nudes cover image

Southern Belle from Hell

Gary Lombard’s “Lust Vengeance of the Rebel Wanton”
From Soft Nudes for the Devil’s Butcher (Deicide Press 2014)

Take novelist Jennifer Hills from Meir Zarchi’s I Spit on Your Grave, transport her back in time to the American Civil War, and you’ve got an accurate portrait of Charlotte Randolph, the protagonist/femme fatale in Gary Lombard’s “Lust Vengeance of the Rebel Wanton.” Originally published in the May 1961 issue of Man’s Story, this piece of historical sleaze fiction pulls no punches. The Union may have won the war, but this Southern belle claims many a battle as she seeks revenge for the destruction of her beloved South. Using her nubile, twenty-two-year-old body as bait, Charlotte lures many Union soldiers to their deaths, severing countless Yankee cocks with impunity.

While Zarchi’s leading lady is brutally raped by a crew of rednecks, Charlotte narrowly escapes the same fate, bayoneting her attacker before slashing a second soldier in the process of torching the family mansion. This graphic scene opens the story, dropping us in the middle of the frenzied action as our highly capable heroine flees a fallen Atlanta: “Drunken Union soldiers emerged from the surrounding houses, their arms laden with silver, clothing, liquor and every other bit of finery they could carry.” A brief flashback follows, providing an economical character sketch of Charlotte which blasts the stereotype of the helpless, brain-dead Southern Belle. Charlotte may be young and beautiful and privileged, but she is also “something of a spitfire, delighting in breaking a full-blooded stallion or a hot-blooded man to her will.” Full of spunk (pun intended) even before the Civil War, the horrors of the conflict have made her even more fiery and determined.

Charlotte’s third kill is rendered in a fully developed scene, an effective set piece in which we witness her modus operandi. Standing on the side of a dirt road, brazen and none too subtle (the rural equivalent of a 42nd St. hooker), she works her magic on a “half-drunk scout of the Third Illinois Brigade” who just happens to cross her path. Like a charismatic Ted Bundy convincing a coed to hop in his car, Charlotte dupes the horny solider with ease, bringing him back to her room at a nearby wayside house where the clothes come off. On the cusp of getting some prime Southern snatch, the Yankee soldier can hardly believe his good fortune; until his seducer’s mask comes off and she reveals her true nature. The bayonet comes out of hiding and Charlotte proceeds to butcher her beau with unchecked savagery: “Not satisfied with feeling the sharp blade sink into his unsuspecting back, Charlotte did other things to him before death closed in on the soldier. She howled with glee as she removed the last vestiges of his manhood.”

As if slicing the poor guy’s salami weren’t enough, Charlotte claims his Joanne rifle and heads east, leaving “butchered cadavers” in her wake. Baffled by the growing body count, the Union forms special task forces to hunt down the mysterious offender, a genuine serial killer in their midst. The final showdown occurs in an Augusta farmhouse where Charlotte has lured her final victim, a deserter being pursued by “Sherman’s marauding forces.” After spotting the fugitive entering the farmhouse, a lieutenant fires a warning shot into the air, triggering a blazing exchange of gunfire between Charlotte and the soldiers. She puts up one hell of a fight, repelling her adversaries as long as she can before eventually succumbing to their military might. Of course the soldiers are shocked when they enter the farmhouse and behold the grisly tableaux: “The deserter’s corpse lay on the bed, its arms wide flung, blood covering its obscene wound.” Compounding their confusion is the rifle-clutching young lady by the window, beautiful but decidedly dead. It’s unclear whether Charlotte shot herself, or was killed by her foes, a dash of ambiguity to conclude an otherwise straightforward revenge story.

Read it, get tanked on Southern Comfort, and crank up Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell.


Can’t track down this issue of Man’s Story?

Hell, I couldn’t either.

At least not an affordable one.

Luckily Lombard’s tale is included in Soft Nudes for the Devil’s Butcher (Deicide Press 2014), a fantastic collection of features, fiction, and illustrations culled from men’s adventure magazines. Highly recommended.

Ben Newell


Long Live the Sex Letter: Gallery #233 2020

As a loyal subscriber to Hustler magazine, I was bummed when they did away with their long-running “Hot Letters” section. Those first person (written as “true”) accounts of sexual adventure were the closest thing they had to a proper short story, and I really hated to see them go. Based solely on this, I opted to let my subscription expire.

I had always considered Gallery the second-best stroke mag on the market (after all, we’re talking about a publication that published Stephen King’s “The Raft,” one of his most memorable short stories, and the inspiration for a vignette in Creepshow 2), so I switched over in typical traitorous fashion; I had no idea if they still published sex letters, but felt it was worth the gamble.

I paid for a one-year subscription, and proceeded to wait not so patiently for my first issue. She finally arrived some three months later. The first thing I noticed was the magazine’s relative thinness; in terms of page-count the current incarnation of Gallery is a rather anorexic version of its former self. Trying to keep an open mind, I took a deep breath and started flipping the glossy pages.

Imagine my surprise when I found not one, but two unattributed fuck letters for my reading enjoyment: “Sweet Cherry” and “Riding Tiffany.”

Tanya, the 18-year-old narrator of “Sweet Cherry,” is having dinner at a “nice restaurant” with 32-year-old Jimmy. All of her girlfriends have had sex, but poor Tanya is still a virgin. Of course, Jimmy’s Jimmy is “like huge and really, really thick” and he’s more than willing to use it.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves . . .

Back to the restaurant where Tanya gets fingerfucked under the table: “He pulled his finger out almost all the way, then pushed it back between my puffy lips. Then he proceeded to pump it in and out of me.” Another diner notices the couple’s shenanigans, smiling at Tanya before they exit the restaurant to resume the action in Jimmy’s car. After informing him that she is a virgin, Tanya spreads her legs for Jimmy’s expert oral skills: “. . . his tongue slithered inside my hot pussy, and he fucked me with that hard tongue of his as he slurped and swallowed my juices.”

Primed for her first reaming, Tanya takes it like a champ, marveling at how good it feels to finally have a proper cock buried in her cooze: “Oh, this wasn’t like a finger at all! He was huge, and I felt like I was splitting in half.” While banging Tanya, Jimmy sucks her tits and fingers her clit, heightening her pleasure until the inevitable explosion: “. . . his hot jism flooded my pussy. He cried out, his cock delving deeper and deeper, and he had so much jizz that it just poured out of my drenched pussy.”

Well, so much for Tanya’s cherry . . .

But there’s more, a nice little twist ending to wrap things up. The nosy diner, along with two of his friends, begins to applaud; they watched the whole thing through the “steamed-up car window.” Stoking her exhibitionist fire, Tanya fucks Jimmy one more time, treating the appreciative voyeurs to a XXX double bill.

“Riding Tiffany” continues the barely legal theme as our titular hottie is “the 18-year-old daughter of a wealthy dentist” vacationing with her family at a dude ranch. The unnamed male narrator works at the ranch, an easy enough gig, yet far from ideal as the rural locale provides little in the way of a social life.

Saddling Tiffany’s horse, our stud can’t help but notice her ample charms: “Tiffany was any guy’s wet dream: five-foot four, with long, honey blonde hair that fell halfway down her back. She was a petite 114 pounds of tan, firm girl.” Tiffany embarks on her ride, leaving the ranch hand all to his lonesome; unable to get her out of his head, he rides to a secluded spot in the woods where he often goes to rub one out.

And that’s just what he does. Cock in hand, he hears somebody moaning. Guess who? You would be correct, my filth-loving friend: “I peeked through the brush, and what I saw almost made me cream in my pants. There was little Tiffany, naked except for her cowboy boots and hat, ramming two fingers in and out of her hot slit.” Great minds think alike . . .

The narrative veers into slapstick when he trips, falls through the foliage, and lands right in front of Tiffany. Pleasantly surprised at the intrusion, she says, “No sense in playing alone when we can play together.” I couldn’t agree more. Tiffany proceeds to suck his cock and swallow the load. Our narrator returns the favor, eating Tiffany’s pussy, a first for her as she explains: “All of the boys I’ve fooled around with thought it was gross.” I fear for the future of this country . . .

The inevitable fucking includes missionary and cowgirl, the latter providing one of the more memorable passages: “What a sight: this lovely blonde nympho, wearing nothing but cowboy boots, riding me in the middle of the woods!” With her voracious appetite for ball sauce, Tiffany dismounts and sucks our cocksman dry, ingesting her second load of the day.

As a new subscriber, I was most pleased with my first issue of Gallery. Let’s hope the next one delivers equally glorious goodies.

Ben Newell


drug story cover

Low Rent Less Than Zero: u.v. ray’s drug story

Imagine Bret Easton Ellis’s debut taking place in the early 90s, narrated by drug dealer Rip (albeit a philosophical, much less moneyed Rip), and set in Birmingham City, England as opposed to Los Angeles for an approximation of u.v. ray’s latest novel from Murder Slim Press. Rendered with the author’s trademark disregard for punctuation, drug story is an audaciously underground book in both content and style.

Narrator Mark Costine is an alienated young man who sells drugs at bars and nightclubs. He refuses to work a straight job as this would entail doing “sum thing i don’t give a flying fuck about.” On the surface he couldn’t care less about the big issues.

The narrative is a hedonistic romp interspersed with frequent arias in which Costine espouses his non-participatory ethos, attacking politics and capitalism with equal vehemence. Utterly disgusted with the mainstream, he opts for various escape routes. He drinks, takes drugs, sells drugs, has sex, and views a lot of porn on VHS. When he watches the news or reads a newspaper the stories are invariably grim, ranging from race riots to a “little piece about sum motherfucker called George Hennard in Texas who’s shot 23 people dead in a Killeen city restaurant.”

Costine lives in a flat above a “closed down an boarded up” restaurant. His druggie friends are named “Superfast” and “Electric.” When the former dies of an overdose, Electric and Costine shoot speed at their deceased pal’s wake.

Still, for all his jadedness and punk nihilism, Costine is an intensely passionate individual. He claims to not “give a fuck bout anything” but this doesn’t jibe with his many extended rants. He most definitelydoesgive a fuck. Otherwise, he wouldn’t spend so much time ruminating on what he sees as a sick society. A man of contradictions, he likes “man made things more than nature,” yet marvels at “undeniably beautiful” stars and a “beautiful sunrise of amber.”

Early in the novel Costine says he “never had anyone to share anything with, an never wanted no one either,” but the morning after having sex with ex-girlfriend Samantha he betrays his vulnerability: “. . . the following cold morning after she’s gone again her lipstick stain left on the wine glass sitting on the table next to the bed compounds my sense of loneliness. i feel utterly alone an empty . . .”

His need for female companionship is more than just sexual. Losing his mother to “a brain tumour” at the age of “6 months,” Costine spent his youth in a “care home” characterized by “imposing walls” and “gothic stone edifices that seemed cruel.” Of course drug-addled Amy and uni student Sam will never be able to fill that void, nor will the drugs and porn, but temporary relief is better than no relief at all: “we are the narcotic generation, the generation that finally found our escape.”

There’s a crime subplot concerning a bouncer who confiscates Costine’s product and is subsequently whacked in a drive-by shooting. This neo-noir element adds a sense of impending doom to the proceedings. Costine’s supplier, a one-eyed thug named “Slant Eye Joe,” is responsible for the hit; perhaps our narrator will be a marked man if he ever tries to leave the business. Not that this is likely to happen. As Costine states: “drugs are not the contagion. drugs are the antidote.”

ray has stated that this is his last novel. If this proves to be the case, then he has definitely exited on a strong note.

Ben Newell

oui jan 84 cover

Skyjacking Sleaze with Sci-Fi Chaser:
Charles Bukowski’s “Fly the Friendly Skies”

There’s no stroke mag like an 80s stroke mag. Long live big hair and bountiful bush. Also, this was a time when such publications featured fiction on a regular basis.

Throughout the decadent decade Charles Bukowski contributed a number of short stories to Oui. One of these, “Fly the Friendly Skies,” appeared in the January 1984 issue before fading into obscurity. Virtually forgotten until its reemergence thirty-one years later in The Bell Tolls for No One (City Lights 2015)—a collection of stories edited by notable Bukowski scholar David Stephen Calonne—“Fly” is a noteworthy piece in that it exemplifies the author’s Romantic tendencies, particularly his melding of stark realism with the fantastical.

This lurid skyjacking thriller features a trio of terrorists intent on diverting an L.A.-bound flight to Havana, Cuba. The plane is well on its way, boring through “almost clear skies” when Dak makes the first move, ensnaring a stewardess with “wrapping twine” and forcing her into the cockpit. This leaves Kikid and Nurmo in the cabin where the entire narrative unfolds.

Kikid is particularly sadistic as he attacks a mouthy male passenger with a can opener: “He gouged the pointed end into one of the young man’s eyes and twisted. The scream of pain almost shook the aircraft. The young man held both of his hands to his head where the eye had been . . .” As if this weren’t enough, the terrorist adds insult to injury (literally) by stepping on the eye, effectively “crushing it like a snail.”

Being a story in a hardcore mag, it’s only a matter of time before the assaults turn sexual. Kikid continues his reign of terror, forcing a stewardess to fellate him: “Tightening the twine just a bit about the girl’s throat, Kikid reached down and unzipped his fly. He pulled his penis out. It hung there, limp and ugly.” In typical “Roughie” porn fashion, Kikid degrades the woman as she gobbles his knob: “I love you, you cunt! Oh, get it, get it ALL! Swallow it, you bitch, get it all!” After having her ingest his wad, the lowlife compliments her oral skills.

Then the story shifts in a big way, veering abruptly into sci-fi territory with the arrival of a flying saucer. And it isn’t long before an alien materializes in the airplane’s cabin: “. . . before them appeared a creature quite globular, almost all head with eyes as bright as 500-watt electric bulbs.” The extraterrestrial makes short work of the villains, zapping both terrorists with a death ray: “. . . a beam shot out from one of the Thing’s 500-watt eyes.” Relieved passengers interpret this as divine intervention. One woman actually believes that the alien is God: “I had no idea you’d look like this!”

But there is no God in Bukowski’s universe, no God and no valorous hero showing up to save those in peril. In fact, the alien turns out to be just as cruel as Kikid when it uses mind control on the stewardess, commanding her to suck its “pole-like antenna” of a prick. No match for the space creature’s superior intellect, the poor flight attendant acquiesces and gives her second hummer of the flight: “She lifted the whole apparatus upwards, then stuck the end of it into her mouth. Her ears quivered and the saliva ran down her jaws.”

This over-the-top tale concludes with several loose ends. What happened to Dak, his captive stewardess, and the flight crew? More importantly, what will become of the flight as a whole? Clearly, these folks are not in good hands. The space invader eliminated two of the three terrorists, but it has definitely not come in peace.


Pushing Away the Hours, By John D. Robinson

A Review By Wayne F. Burke


“Police and ambulance sirens…everyday, everywhere,/just listen”


Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 4.29.44 PM


I like these poems by John D. Robinson. Poems that give no quarter, expect none. Poems as explosive, in some cases, as sucker-punches. A hard-arsed narrative voice also, but with a tinge of romanticism, and some nostalgia (not much) over loss. Poems in the raw, like life lived on the other side of the tracks. Life and verse unfiltered. Think Camels and Lucky Strikes instead of Marlboro Lights and TRUE (air-o-dynamically engineered). The first handful of poems–from the opening, and great, “A Day Off,” to “The Profit”–roll smoothly down the road, like on the Interstate. The 2nd handful (this a 2-handful chapbook) a rougher ride, due to Robinson’s dependence on the colon. The reading experience analogous to driving through a town that has a STOP sign every corner, a stylistic switcher-roo that changes the pace somewhat, though not the quality of the language, which is excellent throughout.





Varinia Rodriguez

“Kissing Toads”

Hop came the toad
He told me
“You are gorgeous.”

He sang me punk rock lullabies
“Baby, baby, baby
Won’t you be my girl?”

So, I kissed the toad.

He became a punk rock boy.

I stayed a punk rock girl
but punk rock boy wanted more.

so I learned to give up my thighs
before I was ready.
When my gift was too far in between
I was replaced by faster girls
in back seats.

So, I never believed that fairytales were meant for me.


Varinia A. Rodriguez is a Frida Kahlo painting: surreal, divine and unexpected. She is an amalgamation of ten thousand jellyfish all swimming together, forming something that almost resembles a form in its unity, but always changing. Reading Rodriguez’s poetry I’ve never felt like I’m in the same place twice. Her poems feel like déjà vu, familiar but somehow brand new. Her poems feel like ten strangers shoved together inside of a hostel and forced to reconcile their songs of the open road. Her poems feel like getting home from a trip and finding sand in the back pocket of your favorite pair of jeans. Her poems feel like photographs, urgent to grab the small intimacies of a big world. Varinia speaks of trauma, and heartache, and missed connections. She speaks of magic and wanderlust and love. Some of her poems wash over you like a cool wave on a hot day. Some burn on the way down like a shot of rum on an empty stomach. All of her poetry is worth cherishing, and the kind of thing that will catch you in your own holy moments, and having you questioning just where you keep the passion in your life, and how do you manifest your own dreams?” ~Brice Maiurro


Get your copy of “The Jellyfish Dream” at the link below! 

Brain Lace, By Karina Bush

A Review By Wayne F. Burke


Brain Lace, by Karina Bush
Publisher: Bareback Press. 46 pgs

The speaker of these poems comes on as machine, technological and teleological. A disembodied voice fiercely feminine, ferocious of appetite (“I am the archer/And the arrow”). A voice of sibylline quality, wise and patient: the voice of conjurer and magician who takes the reader on an eroticized journey that touches, almost incidentally, on archetypal foundations of instinctual nature (symbolized in the verse by horse, spider, and snake).

Poems emerge from an ether, like erotic narcoleptic dreams; like fecund hypnopompic reveries…Karina can tell it “slant,” through use of metaphor and indirection, like an Emily Dickinson, or tell it otherwise–like it is–without allusive language. In the poem “Disease” we get fellatio by any other name; in “Act I,” and elsewhere, the beast with two backs appears; in “Four Faces” cohabitation consists of “Bastard You/Ugly Me/Nice you/Nice me…We throb perverse/The four of us…” Conditions indistinct described in “The Tint” as “Months of/Fuck blur…” More overtly poetic lines–“This hot satin afternoon/Room evaporates into”–mix with less overt: “In my head/Fuck You/Too much…”

Both Eros and eroticism are found here. A powerful collection mesmerizing in its primal energy.