VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Jonathan Bracker


Favorite names of men, for me,

Are “Jeremy” and “Timothy.”

I’ve a CD of birds in the wild

On which clearly as clear can be

One dude reiterates its name:

“Jeremy Thatcher, Jeremy Thatcher,”

Pauses briefly, then

Double-states again.

In my mind I see a former

Female Prime Minister of Great Britain.


Timothy’s the grass of that meadow.

Charley Horse

Napping, such a sudden sharp pain in a calf 

Because I shifted my leg 

Quickly in the wrong direction!

As a child attacked by Charley Horse,

I was told what it was called. I found

Knowing its name neither interesting

Nor helpful; instead, I wondered

Could this happen again? Daddy

Told me what to do, next time it came.

This morning it occurs. But I possess

His remedy: do not fight against it;

Remember to breathe;

Wait – which can take some time. 

The difference between this and Life’s

Other ills? Only its somewhat intriguing name.

Fallen Pecans

Pecans were wooden worlds

To open by pressing hard two together 

Or by letting nutcracker jaws crack one apart.

The boy liked using a thin silver pick to lift 

The lobes of a brain out of its shell

Like jigsaw puzzle pieces.  

He was too young to be shod in hobnail boots

Like the overalled man he saw

Gleefully stamp on fallen pecans next door

But believed 

In a year or two

He also could do that.

Farmer’s Market At The Civic Center

Seemingly tireless, the lady from Greece

Positions halved oranges on the machine,

Bears down, lifts up

And, smiling, offers juice.

The stand’s a hole-in-the-wall

But soon she will find

A better location.  Framed is

A postcard of her town.

Sometimes, she tells, when they meet

There, sea’s blue and sky’s blue 

Cannot be separated

By anyone’s eyes.

A grown son blends energy shakes,

Apparently, content.  If you talk

Both will visit and into your mind

May come funicular railways.

Everyone, these two attest,

Is from somewhere

And for five to ten minutes after

You can see this everywhere.

Published by Mike Zone

Mike Zone is the former Editor in Chief of Dumpster Fire Press and managing editor of Concrete Mist Press. The author of Screaming in the End: Poems and Stories, Fuck You: A Fucking Poetry Chap, Shedding Dark Places (almost), One Hell of a Muse , as well as coauthor of The Grind and Razorville. A frequent contributor to Alien Buddha Press and Mad Swirl. His work has been featured in: A Thin Slice of Anxiety, Black Shamrock Magazine, Horror Sleaze Trash, Better Than Starbucks, Piker Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, and Cult Culture magazine.

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