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"That's Me In The Flag Skirt -&- Below In Black" by Myke Rock

“Pan Monster” by (Chef) Pete Solomita



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Clancy Mango and CHERYL






page 20

page 11

This issue is dedicated to

d.f. skinner whose sudden passing has left us terribly saddened. d.f. (David) had submitted his work—featured on this page and page 2—to The Wormwood Press several months prior to his passing. We respectfully include his beautiful poems in our publication as he had intended.

Benninghoff, p a g e 5 STEPHEN Caratzas, p a g e 1 5 MARY Clancy Mango, p a g e s 4 , 8 - 9 , a n d 1 2 - 1 3 CAMILLO DiMaria, p a g e 2 RUSS Hampel, p a g e s 1 6 a n d 1 9 EVIE Ivy, p a g e 2 0 EVELYN Kandel, p a g e 1 9 the point PHIL Mango, p a g e 7 poetry should be dangerous poetry should seduce us, JACKIE Post, p a g e 1 7 like singing backup for the sirens’ song, MYKE Rock, c o v e r and playing marco polo with medusas. FRANK Simone, p a g e 1 0 d.f. skinner d.f. skinner, p a g e s 1 a n d 2 PETE Solomita, i n s i d e f r o n t c o v e r Just prior to his passing, David and his friend CHERYL Welch, p a g e s 3 , 6 , 1 4 , 1 5 , 1 8 a n d i n s i d e b a c k c o v e r Patrick Parker were putting the finishing Selfies, b a c k c o v e r , Mary CLANCY MANGO, LINDA


Copyright Notice: Articles and Illustrations with by-lines are © 2013 by their creators. Unsigned material is: © 2013 by The Wormwood Press.

touches on a book of d.f. skinner's works. You can read and download the PDF of his book of poetry at nara

No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the contributor responsible for the work.

Please join us on F a c e b o o k at The Wormwood Press, and online at T h e W o r m w o o d P r e s s . c o m 1

remembrances of things past, 1978

Would you like to accompany me shopping? Your presence will deflect my anxiety. I think it’s beautiful that you haven’t gotten back to me.

some incendiary blond gives me a kansas city lookout as the benzedrinas rattle in tongues. sweet leeches and diplomat queens made up like faust recite the same old rosary, and me, well, like an angel with a dirty face, i sip my long, long wine and i just float i float like ivory soap. d.f. skinner


I like to think that I transcend my ethnicity. I don’t like the tone you’re projecting. I have them committed to memory; braised running board, commerce cruciform, and a platonic lobotomy. Clean singing of a heldentenor intends to release the spasms as an acute focus escalates the timbre in your voice while remora are in the way.

Camillo DiMaria



I’ve Been Up All Night I've been up all night leaning on the windowsill. In the dark, sound carries, the questioning of an owl, the punching chatter of raccoons. I cannot move, ask, what if things could be different? I would sleep the blessed sleep Odysseus slept on returning home, the color green always punctuating my dreams. But now it is garden-dry August, the leaves slice off aquamarine and pink, and I cannot move, thinking of your ghost, how you swam in late August, giving away nothing with your slow movement, everything so supple and connected, still.

Linda Benninghoff


26 by Cheryl Welch

The boy leaned in and kissed the shoulder pad of his grandpa’s old tweed jacket.We sat in perfect rows, not knowing if we would hold ourselves together or fly apart as fine dust shimmers in the candlelight. Some looked up—some looked down—all searched their personal perspectives for something to believe in. The tenor sang Ave Maria and broke our hearts into a thousand sad shards, piercing through the dark and becoming entangled in the thin strands of his perfect pitch. It was the night of the shooting.The church holiday music absolved the hundred hearts pounding too quickly in our collective body. Huddled together, or seated alone with straight backs, we tried to make our hearts quiet among the beautiful voices, the hushed voices, the horrific violence that ended the lives of the twenty first-graders and six teachers as they began their busy school day.We prayed for the victims’ families whose futures would forever reverberate with the sound of gunfire. Most of us were made different on that day. Some were made hopeless as others were made strong. Some became more resolved in their beliefs and some stopped believing. Some cried out for more guns while others demanded fewer.The cacophony of varied thoughts rang through as we struggled to find hope in our hymnals. “Sleep in heavenly peace,” we sang out of unison, “Sleep in heavenly peace.” There will be no peace for the parents who, the next day, would trip over the toys their child left in the middle of the floor that morning. Nor for the families of the six adults who gave their lives trying to protect the children from a madman with a semi-automatic assault rifle.We all, in our own new versions of ourselves, wished eternal peace for the twenty children who were killed.The small, happy sons and daughters who went to school that morning wondering what Santa might bring, or how to make the stick on their letter “b” a little more straight.


Phil Mango




Eye Drowned Inn in the rake of you’re warmth to me one dimly lit placed bulb through ash and dust does return an upward tulip planted on my rapture you’re skipped beats and my longing not to breathe for even a second to escape is far to long do they depart from your kisses that again starts the snare to trap my heart as a willfully mounted trophy you, slightly pushed back against the wall.

Frank Simone

“Princess” by Andallann

the smoky haze only to be saved by You’re kisses that are a long coiled amatory record with pops and hisses you teeth on my apple have a bite, then throw what’s left over into my wooden hearth again my love afire that ministers the flame, your amber eminence grise, is my golden grace that wields the power in our embrace renders affectation, of no pretense my fingers in your hair adduce, the number of sparrows to be sacrificed without you Then heaven is rent, and out of space the soul vacant and the stars too Fall leaves, all eternity can decay save me stay






Some of My Parts Broken and pasted, First tears, then fears

REAL HEROES KNOW THEIR MASTODON BONES What are you saving yourself for strong legs strong arms faltering pride

Glued and then shaken, Through days, then years The shatters matter, Arranged, aligned

so dear keep a hand free for a suitcase full of dance cards arriving at ghostly and looking noon such displays lack proper respect though can

Reclusive, reckless, A confused mind

often be seen as suitable via a series of satisfied coughs

Is sometimes pretty to me

I can see your point clearly who would want

Cheryl Welch

a jet-lagged (though dignified) goddam monster with nothing on the horizon when only a kiss is called for

Stephen Caratzas


That Summer That summer was all blank canvas waiting for an artist’s brush longing for azure, rose and burnt umber His life was long on passion but light on pastel His unfinished masterpiece and undiscovered fate lay somewhere between Montauk and Manhattan With great intensity he pursued his dreams Was it destiny or delusion? He blindly rowed his boat toward an unseen shore but there was no shortage of inspiration in his perspiration Two mistresses eased his sleepless nights Cassiopeia, with her zigzag stars, reminded him he was a child of the universe and part of a grand scheme Luna, with her full moon radiance, reminded him he was also a child of Earth by playfully casting him in long shadows That summer was full of expectations of a better life, a life with resources and opportunity His goal was to find the doorway, the path before the arrival of the crisp September air and the first fallen leaf

Russ Hampel


Jackie Post



On East Seventy-Second Street

Duality Oh How I love The water Freedom Weightlessness In the water I’m faster I would like To stay under Longer But I can’t Need air Life giving air There’s all I need On land Terra Firma Has it’s own Qualities Gravity Holds me in place As I sleep Under a warm sun I am rejuvenated As I bask in it And dream Of the water I am vulnerable On land I retreat Within myself

When I am threatened I live in two worlds Can’t stay too long In either In my edge-world I am liquid And solid My earthly design Is strong I am old I am wise All I need To be happy Is some water And some land I don’t know How to be Any more than I already am Someday I will be a spirit But for now I am a turtle

This sudden moment of joy in a long tedious time. Wind blowing briskly scented with sunned river.

Flattened silk against my body, delightfully seductive. Breezy caress on calves, wind’s stroke on trembling arms.

Warmed by a splash of sun thrown through a sturdy city tree, I stand in the ordinary August day

Russ Hampel

aware of a fleeting blessing.

Evelyn Kandel


Dancer Makes Her Costume The dancer creates her own costume, shuts all out. Her thoughts flow within, with the choreography of her needle. The needle moves with colorful beads reds with blues and blues with greens, and greens within green. She can create flowers, leaves, and stars. She works with a treasure of pearls, golden and silver beads.

Breaking Free Don’t listen to what they say And let your fear of failing go Don’t just smile on the outside Spread your wings and it’s your time to fly

Earthy or surreal patterns to move on her hip band and top, to flow on her skirt and veil. 1001 designs will float in the mind. Who could create and wear them all? A floral design done, now one geometric patterned in silver or gold. Light dances on beads and shines back. A hum on the lips

You’re worth more than you know

Se’Quince Aiken

and a bead on the fabric. The design emerges . . . a fringe falls complete. A sequence of sequences on the yards of the veil and skirt. The dancer choreographs her design trimmed in gold or silver. Hold it up and think - all things should emerge so beautiful!

Evie Ivy


The Wormwood Press, Issue 17  

An art and literary publication. Artists and writers submit work based on a theme. Works include poetry, prose, illustration and photography