Posts Tagged ‘poem’

Mendacity with Colored Sprinkles


Five sex changes. You could call me
indecisive. I keep all the old parts
in big hand-blown glass jars in the
bay window of the breakfast nook,
overlooking the river (such a pretty
blue!) Sea horses regularly waft by,
six of them hitched to each floating
pumpkin. I’ve always loved onion
domes; not content with the 17
ornamenting the roof, turrets, and
gardening shed, I had two more
installed, on each side of the front
door, facing outward. Of course,
painted pink, with cherry-tinted
nipples, nicely complementing the
color scheme of the rest of the place
(mauve with chartreuse trim and
orange accents). On even Sundays,
one can tour the grounds and the
interior of the house for a nominal
fee; unfortunately, all Sundays for
the foreseeable future are a bit odd.
When the summer days are too hot,
I immerse myself in a deep cistern
buried under the roses where the
septic tank used to be, first making
sure to schedule daily ice-cream
deliveries. Raspberry, mango, &
spinach are my favorite flavors,
to match the décor of the house.
Violet light shines out of my conch-
shaped ears, and when I ambulate
in the moon garden, I wear a halo
of moths, signaling the praises of
the night with their alphabet wings.


— F.J. Bergmann


F.J. Bergmann manifests in Abyss & Apex, Analog, Asimov’s, and elsewhere in the alphabet; functions, so to speak, as poetry editor of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change; and imagines tragedies on or near exoplanets. A Catalogue of the Further Suns, a collection of dystopian first-contact reports, won the 2017 Gold Line Press chapbook contest and the 2018 SFPA Elgin Award.



Editor’s Note: Image is a collage of a color palate (Open-Xchange), a seahorse (kisspng) and a recolorized pumpkin to complement the surreal poe

Troubled Times are Turning


We follow footprints disappearing
Into the wet alien sand
That shimmers beneath three moons’ sheen

One of our party wonders
Where the owner of these feet is running
Except slowly but surely out of time

We all look off at the ragged horizon
As the sea writhes beside us
Like leviathan’s ink

Our robot leader crouches
Dips a circuit in a footprint
Says this is the one we’re looking for

Then it lifts the dipped circuit
To its permanent smile
And says quietly it smells like desperation

‘Don’t we all?’ mutters a man at the back
In a voice coming out of the shadow
That has stolen his face away

It’s a darkness thrown down by the huge black hat
That’s the only thing left of his old life
He told us over shivering breakfast

But we can’t waste time thinking about someone
Who smells like us, who is running from us
Not if we ever want to get paid


— J.E.A. Wallace



J.E.A. Wallace has been a hotel night porter, an abattoir security guard, and a barman in The House of Lords. Born and raised in England, he now lives and writes in America. His debut full-length poetry collection Are You Hurtling Towards God Knows What? is available from Unsolicited Press.


Editor’s Note: Human footprints (kisspng) are colorized black and superimposed on an alien landscape with 3 moons (Amazon: azutura Alien Landscape Wall Mural Planets Space Photo) was chosen to echo the opening verse and capture its tension.