Submissions are closed.

Today I have made the difficult decision to shut down BVR and permanently exit the publishing world. Without going into too much detail, because of family and career obligations, I simply do not have the time or resources to give this project the attention that it needs and deserves. Sorry If I was unable to get to your sub. For those that have been published here, thank you. Whether you were published here or not, I wish you all well in your future artistic pursuits. I'll leave the archives up.


Three poems by Scott Laudati

Arrested Development

her parents said

-believe in God

-believe in yourself

-believe in family

-don’t have sex it will

leave you


i thought of

these things, and

many other things

as she pulled into

a park, turned off her headlights

and lit a 


I said, “I

don’t think this is

a good idea”

she took off

her shirt

I said, “I can’t

I’m dirty”

she unhinged her

leopard bra

I said, “jesus,

if I ever have a daughter

there’s no way to stop her,

is there?”

she handed me a

water bottle and

said, Go Clean Off 

her parents were asleep

when we got back, but the goddamn


3 feet shorter than me

100 pounds lighter, but

with a better haircut, said

“I didn’t say you

could come back over”.

he smiled to himself, as if

he had won something

I smiled back, and thought

if that’s what you need

then take it ... I’ve already

helped myself.

I fell asleep

i fell asleep


about lorraine’s


and how she’d

never show

them to me.


she let me


everything no one

else is

ever supposed to


now, at night

i don’t stay up


about our bar


or parking lot


i fall asleep


about lorraine’s


and how she

never showed 

them to me.

the dog days are over


when i lose too much faith in the world-

too many wars

too many police

all going so right

for the wrong,

i look at my dog,





all over my couch.

a wild animal brought in 

to serve a purpose 

that went extinct

with the letter 

and the barn.

and i think “all

this animal has to do 

is shit

in the right place 

and it makes me happy.”

that’s it.

of course, the dog can operate

with no regard because it

doesn’t know the greatest

fear- that someday

it will


but as animals

grow weak,

and the weak

are killed

and eaten,

humans grow old

in community

homes. and sometimes

they’ve lost it, and drool

on bingo boards and smile

at the space between 

them and time. but usually

they haven’t. and 

because they

are old and 

boring they’re

stuck away, to ride out the days alone,

and watch their roommates 

drop out one by one.

and at the end, their very first 

learned lesson becomes their last- 

if they want to keep everyone 


all they have to do is shit in the right place.

Two Poems by Amy Soricelli

Love Leaves Me Blue

Blue combs my hair with his dark shadow hands in the dead of the night
smelling of cigarettes; Blue uses his teeth/removes my tangles
once a long braid down the perfect straight of my back.
The edges of empty/lost settle on the ground - the hair he cuts;
see them piled/chippy brown sniplets of high school feeling hair -
collects around the tiles on the bathroom floor...will find months later laying up in the sides
curled up, hidden.
Blue drapes his arms around me -leads me around in a blind-man-with-stick way
i feel around with my hands not trusting Blue-
the lonely rounded corners with nothing to hold onto; Blue smells danger
offers shiny coins for it.
Blue says "i love you" in hard pounding paragraphs stuck with pins against black paper
the rough on your hands leaves behind ash...
little words of ash.
Blue dances with knives in the sleeves of his coat
walks up the sides of buildings/ there are dogs with chains locked hard to the gates.
Blue whispers "you need me"
like a threat in the black starless night.

Weekend at the Cape

I took the sand away in a small pail -carried it lingering
across glittery pieces of rock - maybe stone.
there was no skipping but light light on the feet it seemed
always daytime there.

she lived on the top of the hill the very top
like ceiling clouds the air filled the mud room
slippers with tracking feet -
the umbrellas smiling always straight up like soldiers.

the wooden floors would crack the doors would creak -
no surprise behind curtains/the giggles trapped between the tiniest
rose buds as they danced around the hem
on my sailor-blue sneakers.

all sea glass in plates with the frozen smiling seahorse in its profile pose
delicate lace tableclothe/everything sprinkled with lavender;
slight breezes through open spaces in floorboards/
the sound of the ocean tapping at the door expecting to sit with arms folded on its lap.

One poem by Michael Lee Johnson

Common Church Poem

Sitting here in the pew
splinters in my butt
hours in prayer begging
Jesus for a quiet life.
Breathing here is so quiet,
so alone, so unnoticed,
so simple, you can hear Saints
cleaning my eardrums
so I can hear the scandals
of my wickedness-
crying here seems a
form of sadistic laughter.
Where is the priest, masturbating at home?
Is he bleaching down the walls
inside his confessional?
Is he out selling cassette tapes, reaping in riches,
spewing glibness, condensing remarks to those
in office, those in need of counsel.
Is that woodpecker I hear outside pecking my brain, calling me insane
or tapping out a new set of rosary beads, or a chisel and crowbar
to break my sins free?

2 Poems by Jonathan Butcher


We burnt down what was left of our 
responsibilities on the midnight fire;
scarfs and drinks keeping us warm,
the powders rush now creeping up our
backs like demented frost.

We share our tokens of pride without
judgement, clink glasses when 'great
minds think alike', "So will this continue
after we hit fifty?"- I have seen various 
casualties, and secretly pray that is not
our fate. 

The music from the battered stereo still
flows through the hiss, as we pick ourselves
up once more, and hope the end never finds
its path, as the fire leaves its embers to warm
the oncoming dawn, as we continue to drift
forward, but never even close to home. 
The Odds

We were ousted by the very mouths
that claimed to be our mentors, only
of course when our presence suited
them we are invited back to the fold.

When they wished to appear wise
about drugs, vandalism, walking
down parkways at 2.00am, and music
they only listened to in secret. 

Their false words of wisdom then trailed 
off like tired exhaust smoke, their eyes
that first seemed as bright as bonfires then
depleted, and stared stagnant like unmanned,
rotting sewage.

Yet we still repeated their phrases, 
their ill fitting wardrobes and backwards 
logic, yet always with a smile on our faces;
it was just far too easy aspiring to shit. 

5 Poems by J.J. Campbell

only the guilty run out of fear

let's go swimming
in a frozen lake

get out the snowboards
and go to the desert

bring plenty of
sunscreen for three
months in a cave

go rob the bank
a block away from
the police station

calmly walk away

only the guilty run
out of fear

go introduce a rabid
dog to your newborn

take bets on who
makes it out alive

always remember the
sheriff plays for free

unless you want that
newly built grow room
to become property
of the state

and only repeat the
lies you believe

otherwise you sound
like a fucking fool

avoiding conflict

string the holiday lights
up like hope still exists
in this world

be it bliss, ignorance
or a silly faith

you don't avoid
wearing it with

you obviously didn't
grow up with the pain
of abuse or ever take
a fucking punch at a
school recess

avoiding conflict might
have worked for you

but i'll bet you all 37
cents in my savings

that once you taste
the joy of defeating

you'll never avoid
conflict again

the rainbow

somewhere over the rainbow
there's an old man with a
gun in his mouth

having freshly penned his
last words he's comfortable
with his goodbye

somewhere over the rainbow
a bleeding child is placed
in a dumpster

a bleeding teenager tries
to quickly run away

guilt not far behind

somewhere over the rainbow
a good woman still cares

though she's grown tired
of trying to figure out why

somewhere over the rainbow
a man goes down to one
knee and asks his lovely
wife for a divorce

somewhere over the rainbow

a dreamer asks to go
back to the other side

to the other side

you can feel the
sweat on the back
of your neck as
soon as you walk 
out the door

you look at the cats
and how miserable
they appear to be

you start speaking
spanish to them out
of a habit taught to
you years ago

that should be enough
food and water to get
them to the other side

you don't allow them
inside anymore after
reading one too many
stories about household
pets eating deceased

a sad kitten looks up
from its bowl and you
walk away

you're not going to
be fooled again

the invisible muse

she's the kind of woman
that knows she's incredibly
attractive yet gets pissed
when she's in her finest
clothes and men start

the kind of woman that
wakes up each morning
believing the majority of
the earth is beneath her
yet will brag all day long
about her love of god and
work in the church

the kind of woman that
wants to be spoiled with
lavish gifts and treated
like a queen yet don't be
surprised when you catch 
her sucking dick in the
corner booth of a dive
bar with a latin man
twelve years older
than her

the kind of woman that
never takes responsibility
for her actions because
quite frankly she's never
had to

the kind of woman that
is embarrassed by her
family and the weekly
therapy session

the kind of woman that
knows she's really invisible
once that little blue pill
wears off

Complicated by Rebecca Gaffron.

I wake
with you
on my mind
and him
on my thighs
and realize
how sticky
this thing called love is

2 Poems by Ben Newell.

to be posted on backpage with naughty pic

I do, at times, consider prostitution
a viable option—

and taking it up the arse,
thirty minutes of degradation
for two-hundred dollars
preferable to eight hours
of the same
for much

plug for a porn novel

I’m issued the ISBN;
this and a form
to fill out,
providing input for the art dept.
as they begin designing the cover,
things I want
things I definitely
do not
Given the plot and characters,
I want
a nineteen-year-old
college slut
in cotton panties,
preferably an ass shot
with said slut
glancing over a shoulder,
eye contact
with potential readers,
reeling them in
with the promise
of more. 
I definitely do not want
a Fabio facsimile
with high cheekbones,
washboard abs
long flowing locks
the color of
Of course,
the final decision
isn't mine to make;
the art. dept
wields the power
in this relationship.
I’m just the writer
of dirty book
an inmate,
I’ve got my number
a solid idea
my next


I am made for Alzheimer’s
practicing forgetting since I was a child.
A pink thread of mist frays into light,
the sky a sun ached blue-white
full of calories and miscellaneous detail.
Suddenly a great shiver of katydids
blows a wind across the edge of the yard.
I have a need to explain everything in color,
the mood swings and the warmth of scars,
a strain above the eyes, a roll of breath
across a shape of lips I am not allowed
to wander through. This is the way
to dementia, the play of remembering
what needs to be forgotten, what needs
to never be remembered, what needs
to settle into the swamplands
near the gathering of love chatter
from grass toads and large mouthed frogs.
Everything else dissolves unto frames,
a black and white Humphrey Bogart a moment
before he walks out on Katherine Hepburn

Two Poems by Melanie Browne

Before They Begin

She sticks her
juicy fruit gum
on the bedpost
before they begin
he scratches his 
inner thigh and
coughs a little,
on the T.V. is
the droll sound
of true-crime
"people are savages"
she tells him,
flicking her
eyelashes across
the room,
then back to
him again,
"yes they are,"
he replies.

Internal Dialogue Between a Shiny New Year and a Depressive Mind

You could use a bath,
your hangover is the size
of a small state, 
perhaps Rhode Island,
who has as their state Bird
a chicken,
that seems a bit lazy,
like not much thought went
into it,
but who am I to judge,
I know better than to mix drinks
like that and now U2's New Year's Day
is floating in a sound fog
around my third chakra-
wherever that is,
I try to picture the new year,
all golden and bright but
its raining in my brain and the 
toast on the hopeful plate
is a bit soggy,
the NSA might read this poem,
rich people are playing tennis
in outer space,
Al Gore still searches
for Sanctuary
and the sun shines
a little hotter each


It's crass. It's disgusting. It's provocative. It's exactly why I check my email. I am happy to announce that the winner for December 2013 poem of the month goes to Ryan Quinn Flanagan for "Piss in my Mouth." In case ya'll missed it:

Piss in my Mouth

We were sitting around 
after a nice dinner together
enjoying our coffees
when she said it:
Piss in my mouth.
Come on, it’ll be fun, piss in my mouth.
She tied her hair back in a ponytail,
got down on her knees
between my legs
and started to unzip me.
I don’t know about this, I mean, Jesus woman, this is highly irregular,
can’t I just cream in your mouth like normal people do?
That’s no fun.
I hear it can be.
Come on, forget that.
She pulled it out and let it rest against my jeans.
It looked flaccid and sad like a deflated tire.
Don’t even think about it, pretend my mouth is a urinal, or something.
Right now, right this moment?
Of course silly, I’m ready now, come on, piss in my mouth.
She opened wide.              
I could see the strain of her jaw line
work its way up to her lightly freckled forehead.
She looked very beautiful.
Nothing like a urinal.
I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that, my dear.
Come on, I’m ready.
But I don’t have to go.
She started to get angry with me.
What can I do?, I asked,
a man only stands in front of a urinal
and goes when he has too,
the rest of the time he shops for pears
or puts on socks        
or checks the glove compartment
for maps of upper state 
New York.                 
You’re no fun.
She got back up to her feet
pulled her hair out of the ponytail
walked into the bathroomin
and closed the door.
Leaving me cold, limp,
and dangling 
in the kitchen,
wondering just how many
a man                
had pissed in the urinal
I would have to kiss
goodnight later.

For his life experience poured onto a page, Ryan will receive a money order for 10 bucks from yours truly. It's not much but it's what I can afford. I intend to do this every month throughout the lifespan of  BVR. It's less than my weekly alcohol budget, so why not? Besides, bribery works, just look at the U.S. government and try to call bullshit on that. Dare ya. So tonight I would like to thank Ryan, as well as all other BVR contributors for making this little mag what it is. Keep sending in your good works ya'll.

Lee Lincecum, Managing Editor
Blind Vigilance Press