Bravehost Poetry Review

an online literary journal hosted by Bravehost/Bravenet/Bravesites

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Issue 1 / December 2012


Joshua Clark

This x 6

            for David Stears
This day is a tongue paved with diamonds
 This journey is a dragon skeleton in freefall
 This place is a Cenobite dungeon
 This heart is a padlocked walnut
 This time is a sleeping hour pregnant with witches
 This life is a careless infant terraformer


Joe Bussiere



Nathan Masserang

There are many phrases about piss.

I piss in my Wheaties
to feel anachronistic
and hackneyed.
I could say I feel
pissed but I already feel
‘Who pissed in your Wheaties?’
someone says, and the hasty return,
‘no one.’


Laura Theobald

sitting in a chair


Keith Higginbotham

Weather Nothing Magazine

nothing names fountains leveling alchemies measure floated no tricked gamble you tilted mustard & under the floor street bluer hollow windows your open pound whispers
velcro sink: currency your rambling protest train oiling engines trouble-free scripted or baggie: cringe motion delirious sun our shrug into fraying turnstiles this rooftop’s star
the present an unhinge of running contortions & tongue up torn next focus in birds irony; scream stems oasis flapping tortured typographies body of a face his littered mouth


Austin Islam

think of all the grain alcohol

think of all the grain alcohol that lies dormant in bottles in the world right now
think of all the animals in cages, secreting eggs, making faces for the camera
think of all the avalanches that have folded into themselves this time this year
i tell you that i am glad you got the job at a ‘milk bar’ with flavored milks
you tell me that you are nervous and you need to practice first
for some reason i am watching a juggalo video subtitled ‘faygo up pussy’
seems unsanitary and dehumanizing, i thought ‘where’s the beef’
think of all the methane expelled by cows in bondage for your fajita platter
think of all the oil pipelines that have yet to be built in our lifetimes
think of all the corn syrup napping in cylindrical trucks on the highways
you keep going online and offline in this ichat buddies list
i can chat with your gmail account or your aim account if i want to
think of all the impurities in our drinking water after the industrial revolution
imagine if the libertarians had their way, would we all be poisoned and dead
except those of us comfortable enough to protect ourselves and our families
you said ‘when you feel like you want a drink, make a cup of tea instead’
already had seven cups since noon, my heart is racing, and i still want a drink
the innate feeling that the marketability of my face will peak at age twenty-four


Joshua Clark

Le Nozze di Diderot

I can’t stop thinking about the word “soon.”
Or of the sandpaper quality of my chin on its less flattering days.
Or of half-light through a piece of fabric draped over a leg.
Often I’ll mishear and thus misinterpret lyrics,
And when I look them up the objective reality seems to disappoint.
Like when I heard “seals” for “sails,”
Or “moon” for “ruins.”
But this is a futile disappointment.
The mistakes of my ear should merely enhance the reality
Of a voice wrapped in a coral-encrusted piano.
It should all inform the ether.
Do my thoughts resonate across a multiverse?
Does the flapping of my amygdalæ
Cause a light drizzle in the Okeefenokee canopy?
Or is it all just noise pushing and fighting for its place
On God’s omnilinear fractal widescreen?
Who commissioned the music of the spheres, and why?
Does the poetry stop when I get happy again?
Nashville Skyline, that perennial happy record,
Feels cut-off and bowdlerized, like the vultures of Columbia
Wanted Bob to get over enjoying life quick
And get back to recording the heavy shit that sells.
That backfired meaningfully: Self Portrait came next.
Lately I’ve woke up still dreaming
(taking a philosophy class at 8 A.M. does that)
Of the sky coming down to meet the sea,
And the sea responding in kind,
And when they meet together they turn to honey
And everyone forgets how to swim.


Johnny Vulpine


'i am
watching you and your clothes/
the little light, hair, and hellos/
and i am watching you knit
your nervous hair
to do that to the human body
to turn it into
and things in the dark'


Lauren Snowden


With a very small brush and a very steady hand, the
Sun paints a freckle on your collarbone as my
Eye traces the horizontal line along your abdomen where the
Ocean creates a wavering cross-section.
Hours later, the sun has toweled us dry as bone.
I lean my face into your shoulder on the bus. My
Tongue escapes my mouth and I find that you are the
Salt of my earth.


Adam Trawick


back in with his rug-lines to the head.
instance floats like a sea upon
coherent crests of the bourgeois
and reel in flat weight victorians
but take pause,
for the dandelion is wood free.


Jordan Castro

Whas Hannin

I will kill all of you with my bare hands and I won’t think twice about it because nobody means
 anything to me except myself and like five of my friends!
Guns, knives, swords, bombs, grenades, numb chucks, flame throwers, knuckles!
There is an endless war being fought right now and you are all invited to pick sides!
Repeatedly on Facebook!
Annoying, right?
Meaningless existence, bitches!
I don’t give a fuck and that’s allowed.
My favorite part of webcam videos is when the person turns the webcam off.
Today while lying in bed with you I repeatedly thought “I feel more alone than ever” and “It’s me
 against the world” while feeling only a little sarcastic and stroking your hair and pretending that I
 wasn’t so sad.

I think I would be happy if I had a lot of money, a small group of friends who lived less than or
 equal to 45 minutes away from me, a lifetime supply of free drugs, and anything else that I
 wanted at any given moment all the time.
I think if I had a lot of money, a small group of friends who lived less than or equal to 45  minutes away from me, a  lifetime supply of free drugs, and anything else that I wanted at any  given moment all the time I’d want to have a small  amount of money, a large group of friends  who lived far away from me, no drugs ever, and hardly anything I wanted at  any given moment  all the time.
Does anyone else feel like the only true freedom a human can ever experience is the knowledge
 that at any given moment s/he can kill her/himself?


Keith Higginbotham

A Glass Couch

rioting by homeland modernists, handmade generations of consciousness structured favors untainted in excused radio solitary over: blackened auction, flakes structure, ground behind—
the kindness philosophy, the progress of whiteness is enormous reassuring aboriginality, consuming the space village, cover the spilling nephews drained; store-ground baby flat of theft tiles
identity of smoke targets framed in arrows; economy smokes up everything black spilling something in: flat paintings remember the immunity moral, the flora, a construction of absolutely nobody


Keith Higginbotham

Worry Treason School

song cardboard suspended borrowed descend about the damper & all fields running the weight to rest into change & linger liquid fashionable of parking & apology
sent hinge remembered cicada dramas, dark the lithium simile that brought itself beauty on cost, chuck that horse in flight the need for lit where there are pictures of poison
pipe of lost symmetry downturn of smashed suspended privilege leads on to remainders of starving steps the air itself brave on weight wings: the costume for door lighting forever light


Matt Margo

villanelle written to john cage’s suite for toy piano

flashlight of night
eerie error message
explosion so bright
maybe be might
below above average
flashlight of night
rhythm to write
bend without breakage
explosion so bright
color is white
needing new bandage
flashlight of night
falter or fight
nothing but baggage
explosion so bright
loosen if tight
intense abstract image
flashlight of night
explosion so bright


Maggie Lee


the way it is is getting better with effort
im scared that one little thought will make it hard to leave bed
not leaving bed will ruin the way it is going to be
i don't know what the thought could even be but i know i keep getting close to it
thankfully theres mind control
i used this type of mind control when i was younger but it was way less frightening
and i only did it because i wanted to tell people i was strong-minded
an example of the mildness of back then is not crying when mom said no
a lot of people cried
but i just pretended i never wanted what id asked for in the first place
and soon enough id be doing something else
now the problems are more unclear
mom says do what you want but i dont know what i want
those kinds of thoughts
i get right up to those thoughts and my eyes squint and my thoughts turn blank
as all dumbness
denial of nothing, but denial sounds negative
and i need this, so i have to think positively about it
or not think about it at all


Justin Carter

Let’s Shatter Illusions

Before we talk about birds we must talk about not birds. The air a big exploding bomb & the air a big opposite bomb. Place your left ear here, the instruction manual says. I stretch a wire across the ocean, flick one side. Put the red inside the blue & the blue inside the yellow & the yellow in the palm of the hand. The fear of touching our limbs together & explosion & wings. If you look directly into the sun, mother says, you will never see again but the birds fly toward it & we must trust the birds. The heart has six chambers: the atriums & the ventricles & the sparrows.


Nathan Masserang

There are a few instances in which one can have multi-color piss.

Several steady streams of piss produce a rainbow.
No one can tell if that’s all one stream forking several times
or if it’s a grouping of urethras
side by side by side by side by side by side
and the owners of all those pee-holes
are all super sick.


Joe Bussiere

Hunger Name #6

No one knows, I have to show a failure to meet me. I actually do not really think I begin to sing. I wanted to break all of its assets, before the hungry. Between the drug and practical experience of the earth or at the same time, trying to figure out in the region between the non-human interaction and the real world, or a little experience in the idea of the differences between the ideas in the minds of all over the world, people expect more than your own things, will be able to, and in reality they are talking to each other, however, be tested, to make their feelings, and all other's rhythm and accent differences, or a predicate and thereness driving my tone and sound and visual differences or other examples do not understand imitate the idea why do not the first. The rape of another car, but can not attempt to blow up the Earth's leaders. Did not bring my car exhibition, I did not clean themselves. In fact, I really do not, however, the mood does not mean that I began to sing this song. I have a boat but I want to break my all.


Jordan Castro


got a lot of allergies
been thinking about literature
for maybe five hours


James Ganas


its 4 am and im on the roof of my friends apartment
we are waiting here for the lunar eclipse that is apparently happening tonight
i guess the clouds are too heavy to see the most exciting astrological event
that will happen in my life between now and 2015
after this, idk, we might both go back to my apartment
i think we are both going to go to my apartment
and maybe both have a cigarette
and i think we will talk about missing this astrological event
until the sun hits the moon again


Johnny Vulpine

not give up on you

i feel like
i wear all my lines
too close to the bone
and my insides go
from me to you
then go up into your head
and comb every last bit of awkward
that i can find


James Ganas



Joe Bussiere


there is too much stuff for me to want so i dont want anymore
but there is a problem with wanting because nobody knows what they need or really want
they want to know what they want
when we made eye contact i thought about contacts
whatever you mean to me can be expressed in a poem that will mean nothing and everything
i am not fat i am yor dream
prestige is weird but people always talk weird it is ok to talk the way you talk
dont let anyone put you down unless you suck
its ok the way that you live
dont do anything you dont need to do
its ok what you need to do
dont listen to me im drunk and i am yor dream
its ok to sleep and have yor dream
i am listening to everyone talk to me in my head and also i hear gods voice in my head
tells me what not to do but not when i need to know what not to do
the first time i came here i had a vision everyone else has visions too its normal
the format is always right there is no wrong except when yor bleeding
you should wake up and drink some water instead of bleed and let me be yor dream
you should let me show you this dead bug i found its not gross
i feel like i should put this on the internet to help people from eating people
you shouldnt eat things that could love you mom
i want to show you this dead bird i found in the backyard
i want to go see the sunset and be drunk
i dont want to be drunk anymore
they know what they want when they are letting me be yor dream
they know what they want when they are eating people people are literaly eating people
theres a lot going on so can i borrow yor gun while you let me be yor dream
i want to have a dream where i am seeing stuff and not wanting stuff and not not wanting stuff
i want to see you on a mountain
i want to call every hill a mountain
i climb hills and say im climb mountains
i want to be your mountain and be called your hill


Volodymyr Bilyk


Means No.  
Or May it be No. 
Sometimes it may be High, 
Just half had fallen. 
You know that sound. 
Pity "gh", always sane one. 
I think it is a kind of wonder. 
Spiritualy voiced 
The leg-hitting "Oi!" -  
the surface. 
Ah, pity... 
To the fore 
As time passes by 
shame-some, sorrow-bit 
High time of hardness 
Shaped as a sacred hat.  
Tube, actually. 
(and sounds great) 
pretty High. 
Shaking near. 
In an interesting way.  
Or not. 
Nit Nit Nit Nit.