Dr. Hurley’s Summer Vacation


ear Intrepid Snake-Oilers,

We know you may have been missing us of late. Never fear; there is reason for our absence, and it is not because we don’t love you anymore. No! The reason behind our recent absence is twofold.

Firstly, Dr. Hurley himself has been travelling and so our offices have been taking a well earned break (though dearest Seamus is a wonderful man, he can sometimes be a workhorse who demands similar stamina of his workforce). Secondly, we editors feel that it is time for a spring (or summer) clean around these parts, and so we’ve been putting our energies into revitalising Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure and the SnakeOilCure.com site.

So while we while away the wee hours working on sprucing things up, enjoy what you missed from Snake-Oil Cure Vol. II, Weeks 21-23:

What else can we do while you’re away? we hear you yell. During our spring/summer clean, we’d like you to find your best writerly, artistical, poetry-loving, video and music-making friends, and encourage them to submit to Snake-Oil Cure. We love our regular Snake-Oilers, but we want more than ever to encourage newbies and give them a chance at getting published. So, here’s what you should do:

  1. Regular contributors: If you have something for us, then submit! If you have many things for us, then we’d ask that you try to work on a Snake-Oil exclusive, and send us your best work! You are those who keep Seamus happy, and keep us editors engaged and thankful to be running Snake-Oil Cure. Our favourite submissions will kick off our revamped site!
  2. Newbies: Submit! Most of all, we want to encourage new submissions from new writers, artists and the like. Submission guidelines here.
  3. All and sundry: Submit to one of our ongoing series. Check out the Trees series and our Smithsonian series (covered by the Smithsonian Institution’s blog!).

Although currently lost in the winding back roads of County Kerry, Dr. Hurley is eager to see your finest new submissions upon his return, so don’t let him down!

We will resurface on September 10th, 2012, with brand new writing, art, multimedia, and potable content, as well as a slight revamp for SnakeOilCure.com. We thank you for your patronage, and eagerly anticipate your correspondence.



Her Eyes, the Gift from Her Eyes

A tumble of echoes, a rainbow crashes, shatters.

A large gaping window, a high balcony, a hazy mist.

Discern, collide, choose a different path—imagination craves observation,

Quietness, empty mind connects, invisible dimension, invisible world,
thought, dream, creation.

Nothingness, thought, vision, my last day.

Broken waves open up to me, moon blades, spreading my friend’s ashes.

Loss. The outer edge.

Earth, frozen wood, river flowered, there is only one space, yourself.

Beyond a clear line of sight, a woman stood, a dozen heartbeats shadowed
the light.
Her eyes, the gift from her eyes.

It would be lovely if love would last forever—summer days, on, on, drowsed
under blue skies.

Pickup Lines


t’s the truth,
the ferns do shadow me.
Tiny microphones in their stamens.
reporting me to every other plant extant.
But, aside from that,
I have a good job and a nice apartment.

And last night,
I heard the cry of something in the walls.
And a funereal melody
coming from the piano
in the room below mine
and there is no room below mine.
Do you come here often?

I often drift out
to farthest outpost of all being
where, from my exalted heights,
I watch the asphalt rats feasting,
ply, with my eager fingers,
the forest’s thick green uterus.
I come from a good family.
Socially adept.
Spiritually respected.

I shouldn’t be telling you this
but I’m in love with
the insistent slap of water on sand,
anything that’s both digital and insatiable,
and the kettle’s whistle
when it’s timed to a keyboard.
And given a God-like wind,
I can land any helicopter you can name.
I respect women utterly.
And I shower twice a day.

How about back to my place
for a good crackle from the hiss of steam,
an exhilarated dip in the fountains of fire,
the kiss of bone and air,
the light on the Italian piazza,
the dust march of the distant donkeys.
I promise they’ll all wear condoms.

* * * * *

John Grey is an Australian born poet who works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Poem, Caveat Lector, Prism International and the horror anthology, “What Fears Become”, he has work upcoming in Potomac Review, Hurricane Review and Pinyon. His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Young Lovers


here is something about those
young lovers at the park, shameless
about their public displays.

I blush, old fashioned, conditioned by
my middle class sensibilities.

They ignore me, locked in
a space of privacy that
my conspicuous gaze
cannot penetrate.

I wonder whether
to tap into their reverie,
breaking their concentration
with a mad howl.

My illogical plans clash,
a warning, intimating me
to the possibilities that
my own life lacks.

* * * * *

Sanchari Sur is a Bengali Canadian who was born in Calcutta, India. Her photography, poetry and short fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Map Literary, Barely South Review,Red River Review, Black Fox Literary Review, Urban Shots – Crossroads (India: Grey Oak/Westland, 2012) and elsewhere. Her short story, “Those Sri Lankan Boys,” was selected to be a part of Diaspora Dialogues Youth Mentoring Program in Toronto this year. You can find her at http://sursanchari.wordpress.com.