Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Vol. III, Issue 10

The return of a favourite author, Jude Joseph Lovell, gave us an insight into his novel Blue Six, and we got more goodies from John Grey and Nicolas Bruno. Check it out:

 

Monday – Photography

Wednesday – Poetry

Friday – Fiction

Stay tuned for some newbies next week!

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How the Rock Makes Us Feel

The night’s not singing
hymns to us.
That’s just fools
warbling around the piano
in that bar across the street.
And ghosts aren’t on the prowl.
Strictly wind, lover,
strictly wind.
The shake of trees…
you know the type.
Critters crackling through
the underbrush.
Sure, the trunk has roots
but you and I?
We go back as far
as our last tears.
And when was that?
Yesterday?
The evening’s mute
for all our passing through it.
It knows a time
before men, before women.
And nothing since then,
I might add.
Let’s sit here,
these rough stones.
uncomfortable as it may me.
Kiss while we can
but this is the reign
of the pitiless rock.

* * * * *

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.

Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Vol. III, Issue 8

This week, new Snake-Oilers joined an old hand to give us poetry and fiction. Check out what you missed.

Monday – Fiction

Wednesday – Poetry

Friday – Poetry

More to come tomorrow!

Dungeon

Here souls raged
but now there’s nothing but concrete walls
scratched up with names and dates.
I rub my hand across these gravestones in progress.
There’s a hardness
but where’s the fierceness.
One man watched as bindings slowly
cut through his ankles.
Another slapped his head against a rock like a sack.
Some withered in the corners.
Others were bolted to the wall.
No future and yet, for all my efforts at imagining
myself in their place, the past tells me nothing.
Where is the torture? Where is the agony?
Surely the spirit seared with fury
even as the body slumped.
Couldn’t such anger, such frenzy,
survive the wracked, wrecked, skeletons?
No, this prison block is calm.
Swallows build nests. Mice dig holes.
Tourists saunter through.
At ten bucks a pop, the jailers are absolved.
So feel the cold stone, stroke the rusty metal…
forgive yourself into the bargain.

* * * * *

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.

Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Vol. III, Issue 5

This week, some poetry and fiction graced our shores. Check out what you missed below, and stay tuned for more next week!

 

Wednesday – Poetry

Friday – Fiction

 

More to come next week from favourite Brenda Mann Hammack!

The Honorable Scar

There’s honor to the scar,
this jagged ridge of my survival.
Sure it was a dumb adventure with a knife
that did it.
But people don’t know that.
And the years can keep a secret.
There’s a mark on the back of my hand
where I caught the blade of the thief
when riding rescue to some woman’s handbag.
It’s a souvenir from a skiing accident
down the steepest slope in Vermont.
Or I was sliced by thick jungle creepers
in the depths of Costa Rica
or fought ten rounds in a Brooklyn gym
and you should have seen the other guy.
There are times when all I have
to prove myself with is skin
so why shouldn’t it stretch the truth a little.
I’d rush in if a woman was threatened.
I could match wits with that treacherous downhill.
Jungles, middleweights.. . they’re safe
because I’ve never had the opportunity.
But I did try to peel a potato once.
An honorable man has to start somewhere.

* * * * *

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.

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.

Sterility’s Dead

.

have it on good authority
that the plum tree is pregnant
and so is the mighty oak at the
far end of the garden.
Watch with me their nine month,
See the fruit come to splendor,
leaves to color,
and then doctor gravity, doctor wind,
will jerk the babies free,
slap their backs for good measure.

And yes, the fence is with child,
even where it sags,
and 1 speak for the garden when I say
a flower is due any day now.
Scratch a newspaper and births pop up.
Even songs on the radio
just can’t help being fertile.
Listen to that chorus
and tell me that drum kicks
not an umbilical cord snapping.

Feel your stomach if you will
but remember the kettle will
soon hiss steam child,
the coffee pour from deep inside
its egg sac.
In this world, nothing’s sterile for long.
I kiss you, step away.
See, you just had me.

* * * * *

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.

No Higher Cause

.
igher than mulberry stain,

I think not. Nor higher than
the succulent spruce scent.
The spirit’s in the sturdiest boots,
clutches the heftiest walking stick,
stalks the holiest of ghosts
along rock-stubbled paths
from road to jagged tree-line and beyond.
Woodpecker hammer, cricket chorus,
these are hymns to lift the world out
of its fields, its scattered houses.
The madrigals are warbler trills,
the matins celebrated with a moment’s rest
against a welcoming black cherry trunk.
Lilacs hum. Dandelions faintly echo.
Ravens caw their ageless gospels.
And then no chant more insidious
than the cool blanket of silence
when the leafy boughs of oaks
devour all sightlines with their shadow.
Nothing higher than the friendly taunt
of tired muscle, the perfect puzzles
of a thrice-unfolded map.
Lichen knows its scripture,
grows only ever where it is.
Likewise, maples
and their deep roots of belief.
I intrude enough on their cathedral
until I’m more in than out
of their lush congregation.
Nothing higher than cool wilderness breath.
Not even higher than the elevation
I reach, when the forest falls below me
and the sacred mountains assemble,
stained-glass windows of my awe.
For the distant white-cap is where
prayer and sweat are fused,
where cliff and cavern kneel beneath
the altars of the sun.

* * * * *

John Grey is an Australian-born poet, but has been a US resident since the late seventies. He works as financial systems analyst, and has recently been published in Xavier Review, White Wall Review and Writer’s Bloc with work upcoming in Poem, Prism International and the Cider Press Review. John Grey has been published recently in The Talking River, South Carolina Review and Karamu with work upcoming in Prism International, Poem and The Evansville Review.

His other contributions to the Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

The Colorado Branch

a ring of stars foments
brass aspen staffs
to inhabit the wind
from the frozen north

dusk is blue of mountain
white of river
and light from faces
on a coppery porch

people feeling the same
as they have
two hundred years

quick
take the photo now
call it
“those who know what it is like to love”

beyond the fence
critters swallowed
by holes in the ground
or coming snow
or the upturned splendor
of the dying leaves

* * * * *

John Grey is an Australian-born poet, but has been a US resident since the late seventies. He works as financial systems analyst, and has recently been published in Xavier Review, White Wall Review and Writer’s Bloc with work upcoming in Poem, Prism International and the Cider Press Review. John Grey has been published recently in The Talking River, South Carolina Review and Karamu with work upcoming in Prism International, Poem and The Evansville Review.

His other contributions to the Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.