Friday, 6 December 2019

New Book: Kind Surgery by Matt Dennison

Cover photograph by Juta Pryor
Urtica is proud to publish Matt Dennison's debut poetry collection. The father figure is central to this book and the voice takes you down memory lane, but not in a morose or weak tone. There are memories that, though painful and devastating, can later lead to the most beautiful moments.

After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made short films with Michael Dickes, Swoon, Marie Craven and Jutta Pryor.

Many of these poems were published in small press magazines.

42 pages - $6 - ISBN: 9780244537012
Buy it here!


Kind Surgery

Your father had an ear infection
so I lit a cigarette and blew
smoke into his ear and like a
damn fool started smoking
again and playing those
Hawaiian background
music records until
I got the scrof jaw
which you can see has
been removed through a
bit of kind surgery at the
Cook County Jail—
just the right side,
I believe. I touch
nothing when I touch it.
And yes there was my
side-family thought to be
hidden, but with your
grandmother fresh off the boat
from Sweden or somewhere
and dropping those babies,
‘twas tough being a cop and
a lumberyard cook—so consider
your father’s galvanic eye-squeaks
a rich source of magnets and
call it a day.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Love at Club Level by John Grey

Photo by suzukii xingfu from Pexels

So much smoke, so much noise,
a kiss straight from a whiskey glass,
and a touch, of your leg
that pops your eyes bright hazel.

All sex and jazz,
rain outside and dark within,
chairs pressed together,
bodies close as summer grasses.

You're all sugary sweat,
clutching and nibbling a perfect stranger,
the first step in a long relationship
or the penultimate line of a joke.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Dunes Review, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review and failbetter.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Checking The Appropriate Box On My "Finally A Diversion" Questionnaire by Colin James

Photograph by Paul Williamson

Are you now, or have
you ever previously been
alluded to as normal?
Hang on, I'll just
ask the neighbors.
Apparently not.
Our three back gardens
converge like the corners
of a checker board.
The reference to kingdom
so subtle you
probably won't care.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Night Comes Down Like a Hammer by John Tustin

Another Sleepless Night by Elias Quezada

night comes down like a hammer
pounding into the eyes
stitching coffin nails
into the heart

she looks down and laughs
they look down and laugh
as the tears fall from my eyes

from their perches
above the sun
kicking up their heels
drinking fruity drinks
slightly buzzed

and so full of themselves
with their lives of slapping backs
their lives without empathy

pulling out their flaccid cocks
for a sad circle jerk

while I lie here and wait
for sleep to come
like oblivion

and deliver me from their
sneering and derision
for a few hours

with all of you

***** contains links to John Tustin's published poetry online.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

The Sublimation of Lust by R.A. Allen

Untitled by Anonymous from Flickr

I've reversed my decision
to seduce your girlfriend,
based on the results
of a random search
for amateur porn,
which revealed
her inadequacies
vis-à-vis my needs.

You may also thank
my recent conversion
to solipsism.

R. A. Allen's poetry has appeared in RHINO Poetry, The Penn Review, Gargoyle, Amuse-Bouche, Glassworks, the Northampton Poetry Review, and elsewhere.  He lives in Memphis and was born on the same day that the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism: December 26th. More at

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Traffic by Nancy Byrne Iannucci

CC BY SA 3.0

first published in Bop Dead City

Stained glass street lamps guide travelers through dense frankincense. The eastbound lane passes fourteen rest stops of condemnation, whores, & afflicted mothers visible only to those rubbernecking. They reach their destination by the shore & watch their children in white diving head-first into pools of oily rejuvenation, trusting they’ll lead lives free of temptation. The westbound lane moves at a 6 pm Long Island Expressway pace en route to the city; as they inch closer & closer they question & curse their plight; they blast their horns in tears. The long wait to their destinations, to their homes, to their loved ones seem like centuries to bear after a long day. The heat of the afternoon singes their black clothing through the sun glaring glass. As they exit the tunnel passing the entering eastbound traffic, they both dip their fingers into the holy water.

Nancy Byrne Iannucci is a Long Island, NY native who now resides in Troy, NY., where she teaches history and lives poetry.  Her debute chapbook, Temptation of Wood, was recently published in 2018 (Nixes Mate Review).

Thursday, 25 July 2019

the rose water that sits on my desk by Karen Breen

Rose in Pose 23 by Rajesh Misra

the rose water that sits on my desk
next to iris and periwinkle
in a glittered, jelly bulb
jiggled slightly when your husband
fisted the downstairs wood paneling.

a bathroom that should be pretty, a milk-glass tub,
its vertebrae down the middle a cowhide:

the door is yours now.
you’re the house with the perforations in the walls now.

and somewhere between Oklahoma and Japan,
his knees under a desk of recycled air,
half of me pleads, via phone call,
to erase sorrow “or roses are—”