Submission Policy

Submissions to THE BUG BOOK are now closed. However, we will continue to post a sampling of poems accepted for the anthology as we continue to work our way through the flood of last minute submissions.

Poetry (any form or style) and Micro or Flash Fictions wanted for an anthology on SMOKE. Not just the black clouds rising from the five-alarm fire next door, or the billowing plumes of smoke warning us of a forest fire, or the emissions from factory smoke stacks, apartment house incinerators, and crematoriums, smoke rings rise from cigarettes, smoke pours out of headshops, pipe shops & cigar stores--see that purple haze rising over the fields of poppies and marijuana we just planted--we've used it to communicate via smoke signals and skywriting, to cover our tracks and disappear with and without mirrors, combat the enemy on and off the battlefield, kill bugs, flavor food, cure illness, declare peace treaties, and fragrance our homes. Got the idea? Release it onto the page.

Guidelines: Submit up to three poems/micro fictions or two flash fictions at a time with a fascinating bio of 35 words or less, not just limited to publication credits, copy/pasted in the body of an e-mail (no attachments, please) to roxy533 at yahoo dot com & . We will also entertain up to six one-liners or 2 short stand up routines at time. Previously published work is OK as long as authors have retained the copyright, which will be returned to them after publication. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged. If your work is accepted elsewhere, and you still have obtained rights to republish, just let us know where and we'll be happy to acknowledge the other publication.

If you do not receive a response from us within a month of your submission considered it rejected and feel free to submit again. Due to the volume of submissions we cannot respond to each and every individual submission. Selection for the on-line edition are made on a ongoing basis as we receive your submissions. However, final selections for the print edition will made after the October 31st deadline. (In otherwords not everything that made the cut for the online edition will appear in print.) Please do not query. When in doubt, send the submission to roxy533 at yahoo dot com &

About This Blog

December 26, 2007
Dear Readers;

Here are some of the contributions we've received for our upcoming anthology, THE BUG BOOK, to inspire you to write and send us your own submissions, and to preview what's to come.

To see our other publications please visit our online bookstore at:

Roxanne Hoffman,
Publisher/Editor of Poets Wear Prada


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Jorge Evans | Lady Bugs

—After James Richardson, after Keats

Though you seal every shuttered
window, brace every door,
they come every year with fervor
in late October
through helpless windows,
a kiss or slip below the pane.
That month, filled with one
ended fights, constant fuzz
of a TV on channel one,
could be our undoing.

Like ghosts they aren't there,
holding level in stale fall—
but look in late October,
they form in small pockets,
in rooms
with purposes, agendas.

They would go home if they had one,
but the cold dead concede,
and pass.

By Jorge Evans

Jorge Evans was born and raised in central and southern Illinois. He earned two BA degrees at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale—one in Philosophy, one in English. He is currently working on his MFA in poetry at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

(This poem appeared in a previous version in The Allegheny Review)

© Copyright 2007 Jorge Evans

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gerald Schwartz | Trichoptera (Caddis fly)

Trichoptera (Caddis fly)

My hairy legs are not downy, not moth in miniature; are incise, wrinkled mouths. With limited time, I compound the wet and wait for sedge. I came from an egg laid in georgette, in a skein of bald-faced mucus, unsupported. I am a larvae spiral in an eddy, alone, portable, an enclosed hangnail, a pupa, my membrane affixed to rock, in a stupor and some kind of life. More life's at stake in my cocoon divide, here in this starry pool of emergence, emerald most moist. What has gone before shakes in the midst of my dizzy hatch of invisible sift surface. My liquid phase is soon ending. In service to air, I no longer burrow: twig, sediment, needle. I am as a leggy fig now, rising on moving waters, shuddering. In trailing ballast, whiter, am dropping my catch net. See me as a silver flier, beading and alighting, attired in provision and superfluid. Clean, I have two tailless months, near colorless, green, not knowing how it will all go, although I will live as though I might.

Gerald Schwartz, born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania,is the author of Only Others Are: Poems (Legible Books), as well as World (Furniture Press). He has extensively collaborated in performance with Damian Catera, Steve Swell, Flaming Lips, Nick Cave, Eugene Chadbourne, Ed's Redeeming Qualities, Tibetan Monks, as well as a host musicians and dancers. He is co-founder of Solomons Ramada, as well as Faking Trains.

© Copyright 2008 Gerald Schwartz

Bob Quatrone | The Rape of the Queen


You are the one

I am all lust for you savage and unholy queen

I am all lust for your round and bonneted bottom

I know not what the gods had in mind

when they made you such a furry and corseted delight

Though I slave in the galleys among the wretched workers

I am all lust for those recesses my stinger would love to enter

Tell me my queen when will you favor me among all the unfortunate

I have buzzed my brawny back on endless nights but we all know

You can only choose one, only one can have the infinite delight

Of all your treacherous words for we have been taught

From early in your schools that only one can be enfolded

In the steep thrilling sanctum of the hive, that only one

Is somehow turned after you have peppered our fractious bums

With stings of orgiastic pleasure too deep for any to comprehend

But by the profoundest osmosis of your Queenly female will

We the skunk-like workers may at last emerge as drones

Worthy to p--k your highness into happiness

I know you Queen Bee and your raucous female proclivities

I have observed how you have been long upon the couch taking the pokes of all your gallant studs

Each waxing more glassy-eyed than the last, stumbling out into the lonely precincts of the hive

In noxious dreams of affluence and power, the devilish proboscis of each worked totally into silly

Exhaustion, poisoned nearly to death with your love and pleasure

And though I clearly see the fate of each of these stuffed and potted drones

I can in no way resist the same lusting after you, the same pining for your treasures

Of doom and devastation

Yet another drone has passed in a state of near collapse down the sulfurous corridor

But we are all breathless with anticipation as again your highness roams

The galleys looking for who shall next merit her condescension

Her extraordinary vituperative embrace, let it be me queen, let it be me

I am ready to pound your wild bottom for love and splendor

I shall have you screaming shamelessly in the night

My little stinger inserted all, all the way up, even into your Queenly snout

Perhaps I shall do what no little f------g bee has ever done

Give you the final f-----g night of your life Queen Bee and make you squeal out

Secrets you have never thought and can never undo once they are done

At the command of my holy rod

So you see queen bee, even the most lowly of your workers

Keeps verily the possibility that one day you shall be undone

By the mastery of a good working class f--k

and no amount of royal repentance or remorse will ever undo it

The hive on that day will buzz no more

All the bees will have finally been set free

To go find their own honies in the world of flowers

By Bob Quatrone

Bob Quatrone graduated from Columbia College in 1965 and was Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 1967. He served as Program Host and Director for the Walt Whitman Poetry Society during the mid-1980's. He was a featured poet for the St. Mark's Poetry Project in 1997. He currently hosts The 4 Horsemen Reading at The Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City and lives in New Jersey.

©2006 Bob Quatrone

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ray Pospisil | Running Circles


The middle of the night I woke
and wandered to the kitchen for
a drink of water, flicked a switch
and shuddered as the light revealed
a couple dozen roaches running
circles on the burner rings,
to lick off all the grease, I guess.

Without a plan, I reached and flipped
a burner on. At first I only
smelled the gas, but then a flame
exploded blue and popped the roaches
up into the air a foot.
They fell back down and scattered on
the white and gleaming surface of
the stove-top, on their backs, with legs
up, twitching till they folded in
their legs and curled around themselves.

Amazingly, the roaches on
the other rings continued running
circles, for the grease, I guess.
Methodically, by cold fluorescent
buzzing light, I flipped the burners
one-by-one: a hiss at first
of gas and then a hiss at first
of gas and then a hiss at first
of gas and then a pop . . . pop . . . pop
as flames exploded, catapulting
roaches in the, catapulting
roaches in the, catapulting
roaches in the air until
they fell, until they fell, until
they fell onto the white and gleaming
stove, onto the white and gleaming
stove, onto the white and gleaming
stove with little ping . . . ping . . . pings
against the metal and they sizzled.

By Ray Pospisil
Brooklyn, NY

Ray Pospisil is a strong advocate of poetry as a verbal, performing (and listening) art, and he appears in various clubs around the city. His work has been published by The Barefoot Muse, Census, The Lyric, Iambs & Trochees, The Newport Review, Rogue Scholars and others. His chapbook, Some Time Before the Bell is available from Modern Metrics Press. A collection of his poetry is being published by Seven Towers.

Ray lives in Brooklyn and works as a freelance journalist, covering environmental and energy issues for publications in the US and the UK.

© Copyright 2007 Ray Pospisil

Friday, January 11, 2008

"An Unattainable Construct" by Kevin G. Wisher


I remember the blanket covers warm with heat,
As snow lay but a foot beneath the outside windowpane
Mop-top hair, askew on the brightly painted bedding,
Knees pressed up to trunk, in a pleasing fetal fashion.
Morning light, fighting to break through heavy woolen drapes as
Reflections from snow act as piercing shards,
But the battle is lost…. Temporarily.
The darkness of my room weary from the battle, allows pitch to
hue to Grey.
My fortress assured
Viewing the shadows, my eyelids still heavy
Weighted…. they shut…seal…and the journey begins
A wooded path lay beneath my bare feet, and I stepped gingerly
into the cool, damp, green coverage.
Metallic like pearls reflect, as a spider weaves its web of silver.
I stop transfixed.
The pattern emerges as my eyes see past the basic linear construct
A reflection of life; paths offered and taken
Bonds secured to branches reflect, family, friends, home, and
Paths connect; choices lead to one final destination
As true clarity is reached…. I feel myself ebbing away….
My environment becomes clouded…. white wisps surround me and
grow vibrant.
I’m blinded by the all-encompassing white luminance
Blinking…my eyes open….the brightness of the outside world has
Penetrated my confines
I search my mind for the pure knowledge, the wisdom of man
And it eludes me…..lost to my higher self
Sighing; I turn away from the brightness of the window, cover my
face, seeking solace in a warming, down embrace.

By Kevin G. Wisher

Kevin G. Wisher, received his fine arts education at SVA and FIT. Upon completion of his studies, he decided to switch his emphasis to science and is currently working on his PhD in Nursing Education, with a minor in Forensics. He is a staff writer for Population Arts Merge and was awarded Pride Alliance of Long Island's Diva with an Ink Sword award. He is a GLBT activisit and serves as the director of Outreach for PALI (Pride Alliance of Long Island) . He curates the Rainbow Readings at Pisces Cafe in Babylon, Long Island and is currently helping to create the music and arts festival known as Out In Sayville. He often writes under the pseudonym Edweena Scoot-a-which.

© Copyright 2007 Kevin G. Wisher

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Where Dragonflies Sleep" by Michael Young

Where Dragonflies Sleep

Our last day in the French Quarter,
a brass band off Jackson Square
played When the Saints Go Marching In
just as the waste of sunlight beaded and burned up
across rooftops and in the spire of St. Louis Cathedral.
Bells tolled and the day sank into earth.
Night came first as dark clots in the oaks.

While the last blue still held the upper air,
in fissures of each cracked wall tile or in the slate
flagstones that buckled like colliding icebergs,
a flash of iridescent power settled
as if all the dragonflies in the city
had come to rest in these imperfections.
The force and buoyancy of their wings
fanned subterranean fires and stoked the air
till currents banged a wind chime
made of a brass doorknob, the gas lights
budded and blossomed into fire
and electric ticker signs buzzed and beckoned
toward the center of the thundering weathers inside us
where, however small, those powers sleep.

By Michael Young

Michael Young's most recent collection of poems is Transcriptions of Daylight. He received a 2007 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Chaffin Poetry Award for 2005. He was twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Heliotrope, Lips, RATTLE, The Same, Spillway and many other journals. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey with his wife and newborn.

Copyright ©2007 Michael Young

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"I have a padrino, a godfather..." by Juventino Manzano

I have a padrino, a godfather, not one of those gangster

clichés—aint gonna break no legs, he’s a professor,

studies psocids—book lice, an expert in the field, many

species under his belt including world’s smallest insect—a

wasp that lays eggs on the eggs of psocids and mi padrino

Mockford has spent his life studying these creatures

it all began for him on an Indiana summer night

cicadas singing infinite like and on the day when the

colors on the wings of butterflies captivated him--

somehow he ended up my Godfather maybe due to

the fates being psocids and he got me into

collecting when I was like 7

that ended when I was like 8—saw this black-

purple-bruise-like-beetle thought

it would be perfect for my collection,

majority of which was eaten by other bugs

who eat crunchy dried bug corpses so eventually

the cork lined box became storage box for my

father’s fighting rooster knives—he had some

from the Philippines called razors and

little boxing gloves and gaffs which are like sharp needles

--my father is actually one of the most compassionate

towards living creatures people I know and this beetle was

crawling along—I couldn’t kill it—I knew

I could snag it easily, freeze it and pin it in the box

with the other husks, just couldn’t though

—felt bad to even want to kill it— I still have my

copy of Borror’s and White’s Field Guide to the Insects

which my Godfather had given me before the beetle


I couldn’t do it in—watching it shambling along in the

leaves was enough—glorious colors of oil on water mixing

on its black back as it did it’s beetle life and I mine and my

Godfather his which sometimes involves the death or

stunning (with Alka Seltzer) of a psocid, but my Godfather

is one of the most compassionate people I know regarding

life of any kind—and I may have got that feeling

from either God or Father

more than likely it seems to

me Now, both.

By Juventino Manzano

Juventino Manzano has returned to the states after a three and a half year haitus. He is currently working on a Masters degree while working fulltime as an ESL Teacher's Aide at a middle school. When not busy trying to be creative and academic, he plays with his three-year old son and reads as much as time allows.

He has been published in various magazines including Celebrate the Self, Hustler Fantasies, EIDOS, Proper Gander, Bourgeoizine, Last Stop at Union Station, and the Post Amerikan.

Copyright ©2008 Juventino Manzano

"Aesop, Again" by Valerie Lawson

Aesop, Again

flies on corrugated wings
lands on the picnic table
to point
sidles on bent legs


tests September air
for scraps of July.

dismantle summer
pull it underground


carry powdery castings
up from the depths

where they snowball
at burrow’s edge.

By Valerie Lawson (from her chapbook Ribbon Anvil)

Valerie Lawson
has traveled to Europe and the UK to perform poetry and participated in a multi-media cultural exchange between Massachusetts and Ireland, celebrating the United Nation's International Decade for a culture of peace. Visit her online at:
Images & Imagery.

© Copyright 2002 Valerie Lawson

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"Butterfly" by Gerald Bosacker


As you observe them flutter by,
they would not ever make you squirm.
Yet, each bright-colored butterfly
starts out its life as just a worm.
A moral here we should apply,
to see inside the epiderm.

By Gerald Bosacker

Gerald Bosacker studied journalism, but found success as a graphic arts salesman, which evolved through serendipity and pandering to his superiors, into a Vice Presidency of an international corporation, a role neither deserved or greatly appreciated. Early retirement, an unskilled and naive victim of corporate politics, provided opportunity for his first love of weaving words into meaningful poetry. Starting late, Bosacker churns out tons of poetry, and displays them pro-bono, hoping for acclamation or bare acceptance, while he is still mortal. Sample more animal lore from WHAT'S GNU AT MY ZOO at:

Copyright ©2008 Gerald Bosacker

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"Ant Farm" by Brant Lyon



A cross-sectional microcosm pressed between
two sheets of glass is merely representational, heuristic.
A civilization hidden underground, displayed, displaced
to an obvious one of alien pencils, pens, composition books.
A gooseneck lamp beams down on this specimen self-contained
amidst the disarray of Kevin’s desk.


If they toil for his amusement, martyr their whole subterranean
culture for some flip science project, they’ll never
know it (mindless creatures!).
Never know their captor’s ransom.
Kevin doesn’t give a damn about ants.
He channel surfs or whiles the time mesmerized by Nintendo,
falls in step with the rank and file
marching down the hall toward the lunchroom.
For two weeks the army has been excavating.
A collective mind has emerged from a few ounces of dirt
and Uncle Milton’s Start-up Kit (live ants included).


With painstaking fortitude and dedication they have hauled
each grain of sand up to the surface and piled it near the silo
in a tiny plastic farmyard scene.
The networks of tunnels they’ve dug
is as delicate as any anastomosis,
more labyrinthine than Derinkuyu and Kaymakli—entire cities
carved out of rock beneath the Cappadocian plain.


He went kicking and screaming on family vacation that summer
to backward Turkey, would rather have chilled staying home
to watch videos and rollerblade.
He’ll be a college kid before he knows what in the world
an anastomosis is, and older still before he know what it means
to push a boulder by himself uphill.

By Brant Lyon

Brant Lyon has practiced, practiced, practiced, and played piano at Carnegie Hall, dispensed advice from behind the wheel as a New York City cab driver, then listened to people's problems for over twenty years as a clinical social worker, eaten a guinea pig beside the ruins of Machhu Picchu, climbed the Himalayas to watch a sunrise, taught himself Arabic and opened an internet cafe with his partner in the shadow of the great pyramids of Giza.

But none of these adventures have been more challenging than writing a decent poem and reading it for people like you! He writes them, anyway, and frequently writes music to accompany them, too.

He founded and has been hosting the peripatetic and sporadic 'jazzoetry' reading series, "Hydrogen Jukebox". His publications include work in Rattle, BigCityLit, Lullwater Review, The Long Islander, and numerous other journals, and a chapbook, Your Infidel Eyes from Poets Wear Prada Press (2006). He has performed at Bowery Poetry Club, Theatre for the New City, A.I.R. Gallery, Galapagos Art Space, KGB Bar, and many other places over the past ten years.

Most recently, his poetry and art work appear in an anthology entitled, A Cautionary Tale (Uphook Press 2008), and a CD of his poems and those of friends accompanied by music composed and performed by him, Beauty Keeps Laying Its Sharp Knife Against Me (Logochrysalis Productions 2008). Both are due for release any day now. Watch for them!

© Copyright 2008 Brant Lyon

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"Monarch Migration" by Thaddeus Rutkowksi


I want to find the channel
and stand in the middle
as orange Monarch butterflies,
flit past me, one by one,
like shooting stars, or shooting orange peels.

I want to be surrounded
by a wave of orange heading south,
knowing there's something
we can't stop, or haven't stopped yet.

I want to find the tree
where they nest at night
like a bunch of mimosas,
or Froot Loops, or Lucky Charms.

It's not likely, though.
I've been waiting for a few minutes now,
out in the open,
and haven't seen one orange traveler.

By Thaddeus Rutkowski

Thaddeus Rutkowski grew up in central Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Cornell University and The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of the novels Tetched (Behler Publications) and Roughhouse (Kaya Press). Both books were finalists for an Asian American Literary Award; Tetched was chosen as one of the best books reviewed in 2006 by Chronogram magazine. His stories and poems have been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize.

He teaches fiction writing at the Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA in New York and has taught at Pace University, the Hudson Valley Writers Center and the Asian American Writers Workshop. His book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Daily News and other papers.

He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.

© Copyright 2007 Thaddeus Rutkowski