issue 15: worldly incision


- c.s. (bio)

There is a Rubicon,
it is swelling, swelling in
the hills of my shoulders.

It surges about, and through my ribs,
waters so unseasonably cool that 
they call in the great rubied and evergreen fins.

They filter through my chest and fingers, approaching
sacral estuaries. this water when disturbed by hands
of a welcomed guest will draw sharp gasps.

From those sheltered lucid pools,
such a confluence of life that invites old beasts
who've been starved and hibernating far too long.

This watershed that has eroded canyons 
of bone will finally reach the ocean.
Where waters of others look to mix with mine.

evangelizing trip

- anon

the earth is shaped like a phone;
we are fashioned of green
CPUs and flowers and wires —
taste stale like jesus’ twitter
on crucifixion day

jesus used to snapchat nudes
to girls made of iron and ribs —
used to shave along his knees
until his skin was only thorns
and alcohol

on facebook, he was a republican
who said immigrants steal jobs
and god has the divine right to slip
daterape drugs between our teeth
if we are poor


- anon

our skin is bright now
in reds
in yellows
when aztecs
come with Happy Meals

The Toy

- terrence bull (bio)

Dinggly dell, wishing well,
Bibbly bobbly boy.
Precious child’s, tame and wild,
coloured knobbly toy.

Bad Language

- terrence bull (bio)


The seagulls holding hands sought refuge in the lush fields of dew covered shingles.

It is no longer safe out here in the wilderness of plain speak and free thought. I long
to protect you from confusion and sprinkle your dreams with the obvious. I want to teach
you the patterns of honesty such as I was filled with in my youth. But your world is
different and you are already a child of the bent reality prescribed by norms.
Too late for you, too late for me. To want to be uncompromised is folly. To live, to die
with understanding and knowing is too much. Too late my seagull. Perch upon your
shingles and sip the dew. Drink in the lies and find comfort in your causes.

I say I will and yet they hear I won’t. I plead forgiveness and it is an admission of
intent to harm. I promise no certainty of outcome, now this is a binding contract giving
an undeniable bounty of riches. I say hard work, they hear easy. I say time consuming,
they hear instant. In all this, I am to blame and must be punished.
In a world turned upside down, heaven is hell and hell is to be sort after at any cost.
Beauty is shunned for deformity. What is pure is perverted.
Of course, you are right and I am wrong. How else can I withstand the tidal wave of
the illogical and survive? My mind needs your re-education. Lock me away in your
institutions of septic rightness. My disease must be eradicated from this earth and
washed away with passionate rhetoric. The boils which fester in my mouth need lancing
and my bile cleansed of reason. Teach me little seagull.

Dare not the word insanity pass my lips, for such an insult would enrage and
detonate an already ticking bomb. As my finger points, so three others return the blame:
accusing the pointer of the crime being pointed at. My log is too great a burden for me,
give me your speck of dust instead. Hold my eyes open and fill them with your dust,
then there will be no more room for the forest that blinds me.
You are beautiful. Have I told you this before, seagull? Your ink flows over your body
as oil over a white sheet. Metal breaks your smooth lines and sharpens any softness.
Dark rims your eyes to drag in any remaining light. A cascade of spiky colours flow over
your shaven crown speaking of a lingering promise of joy removed. Every untamed
bulge and distorted feature is magnified by your carefully selected uniform. No
opportunity to shock has been missed. You are a statue of indignity and unloveliness.
You must be so proud.

Fly high my seagull and cook the sun with your radiant iron wings. Extinguish any

warmth and light that threatens your darkness. Let’s live inside the soil and bask in its
solitude. Dig down to the cold interior and freeze the earth. Heat is to be shunned, light
is a burden to be eradicated. All my dimly lit halls reveal too much. Obliterate the
remaining light and let us bask in the darkness forever.
The storms rage across your brows. Every small disturbance is reflected in your
eyes. Your waving hands gesticulate for lost causes and broken promises. Blackened
lips pout and stretch wide to let forth your screeching woes.
We are all guilty, none is pure. Yours and my conscience are no longer clean. We
bath in mud and swig from rotten mugs overflowing with the vile froth of displeasure.
Our sweet tooth has decayed and fallen from our crying mouths. A long goodbye is all
we can sustain or endure.

Has my uttering disturbed you? Think not on what I say, it is merely the rantings of a
fool who can no longer hold his tongue. Think instead on this world and its beauty. It is a
fascination to fly over. Skim across its surface and behold its dewy shingles. There is
still a lushness you will perceive, a richness you will discover. Open your eyes, if you
can, and drink in the waters of wonder.
I am old, my tiny seagull. I have grown apart from the earth and no longer am bound
by its rules. You see me as an abomination, and so it may be, but I have different eyes
than you. You may say my sight is clouded, but I have a clarity you cannot understand.
Fear not, for when I am gone from you, I will be no more and my thoughts and logic
will no longer disturb you. You can wrap a blanket of comforting confusion around your
shoulders and imagine me to be just a dream. You can bask in illusion and hide behind
a solid wall of wailing. You can abide where echoes reverberate and no one can tell you
that you are wrong. You can make up new words, soil and twist the old ones around to
suit your needs and shout their reality into being. You can moralise and condemn my
bad language to the annuals of history where it belongs.

The seagulls scream as they wheel around an old bloated forgotten corpse.

The Stare

- terrence bull (bio)


Turquoise lace floats in a clear white globe tinged by small dark feathers. A soul
peers from inside: a deep well of life and understanding.

Beyond a cheeky gleam, a spark of truth peeks out: a knowing that tells a tale and
shines with a promise and a warning. Delight bubbles softly beneath a quiet pool of
awe. Questions are being asked in a soundless stare. Expectations are being measured
and resolve is being prodded and tested. “How far will you go?”, is being asked.
Deeper still is a sadness. A joy lost: a wish unfulfilled. Buried far beneath the
sensual smile is a river of loss. A want is left wanting: a love is left longing. It calls for
satisfaction and for its fire to be quenched. Maybe a small tear is the river overflowing
and seeking to drown the self-flagellation.
But then that shutter is closed and, along with a sigh, a stern resolve comes barking
forth. An open challenge: “Can you truely care or have you no more depth than your
lust?” Your ire rises to meet the challenge, even though you want to shy away. You
tunnel even deeper seeking the real treasure hidden to everyone but the blessed few.
And you are not left unrewarded. The heart of this soul breaks forth in a blinding
blaze of rich colours and astonishing surprises. “There be gold here!”, your heart cries
out. “How has no one discovered this cave of treasures before?”, shouts out from your

A hand reaches across the divide. Smooth satin moulds around soft curves of

A lightning bolt strikes and the shock throws you both away back into your now. With
the echo of wonderment reverberating in your dreams.

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- anon

end of issue 15. go back to issues page.

the poetry juicebox
an international poetry & art publication
the poetry juicebox