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


Sunday, March 23, 2008

E.J. Antonio | Survivor Chronicles

survivor chronicles

first sighted when i was five,
you oozed from the east 118th street gutter.
a bubbling prune colored jam of moving things
fermenting in summer’s swelter.
a mass snap, crackle, pop
like my Rice Crispies.
but i wouldn’t eat you for breakfast.
daddy picked me up
and stepped over;
mama walked around you
her face frowned in disgust
as if you were a naughty child
banished to the corner forever,
and no one ever said your name.


on the 10th floor of east Harlem project buildings,
even flies have a hard time climbing the steps
when the elevators don’t work, but not you.
sent to the kitchen for something i forgot
when i saw you in hallway shadow
frozen in the middle of the brown tile floor.
a perfect disguise for you.
grandma’s WATER BUG echoes in my ear.
her order, go get the broom!
i could not, would not obey,
and you won over the fear of a nine year old.
a victory short-lived
as she slapped the stuff out of you
with that straw broom’s hard bodice;
used its skirt to sweep you into dustpan,
and flush you away. just another piece of sewage.
finally, i knew your name


a new 3 bedroom terraced apartment
in a building built on Bronx landfill
would have been perfect.
but, there you were creeping on sidewalk,
in lobby, laundry room, stairwell, compactor room
(moving up meant new names for garbage disposal).
you never changed no matter how upscale the home.
you, always around in different shapes, sizes, colors
round, oval, long, short, black, brown.
in that year of being fifteen,
i walked fast every time i saw you.
content to let you be.
but, passive never stopped your invasion.
when kitty grew to cat, he used you
for toy in the darkness. slapped you around
the way the drunk upstairs slapped his wife.
i praised the cat and cursed you,
as i dumped you and the garbage
the way she wished she could have dumped him


fluttering wings in a doorway,
moth i thought. no, it was you,
four inch big brown ugly you
attacked my face, landed on my green carpet
and every one, even the dog, was asleep.
i dropped an economics textbook on you;
the rug softened the blow.
you ran under my bed.
i followed moving furniture.
dropped the yellow pages on you,
12 a.m. / still you ran.
step-dad tried with a shoe
you ran, ran out of my room
into the storage closet next door.
we sprayed Raid and gave up.

1 a.m. / me, awoke on the living room couch
trying to watch Don Kirschners rock concert.
you inched up the white drape.
step-dad swatted with newspaper;
i aimed the can of Raid to finish you off.
still, you escaped between floor and red carpet edge.
you darted across the room.
we pounced, newspaper, shoe and broom
damn wall to wall your protector.

4:30 a.m. / still you ran.
mama, me, oldest brother, step-dad
cornered / you took flight like a kamikaze.
it was us or you, and we were losing.
hiding behind upturned sofa and chairs.
i couldn’t figure out why you wouldn’t die.
even the damned Raid was no match.
could you have taken Ali in one round?
did you gloat climbing the dining room wall
at 5 a.m. to survey the hard won battle field?
were you gloating when baby brother finally got up
tired of the noise / took five minutes
to calmly climb a step ladder
and crunch you with a length of 2”x4”?
this time, you died a warrior.


out of college
on my own
saw you scurrying
in Parkchester streets.
summer nights found you peeking
up at the world from the drain cover.
your antennae sensing for danger.

autumn leaves from the oak covered the ground.
i heard the pop as my booted foot crushed you.
i cringed. your relatives took revenge two days later.
one nervy S-O-B walked unannounced
under my apartment door during a dinner party.
my friend reached for the broom the way grandma did.
now my secret was out, my fear was out,
and i reached for the wine
my hands shaking / DAMNED BUG!
i will not stay where you are;
stay where you are
cause i know you.


too many dry winters
and hundred degree summer days
draw moisture from earth,
and you from Mount Vernon sewers.
birds and skunks are happy to feast.
the exterminator in my basement is happy.
my pocket book is not.
you and the pesticides grow stronger

you followed me to Jersey, Virginia,
Florida. even Disney couldn’t hide you.
maybe i should call you Abraham’s freed man;
cause there’s no safe place for you either
and you live and die hard just like us.
will you follow me to the grave,
follow me to the grave,
to the grave??????

By E.J. Antonio
Mount Vernon, NY

E.J. Antonio

E.J. Antonio is a Cave Canem-NY Regional Fellow and a 2006 Pushcart Prize nominee. A frequently featured reader in the Tri-state area, her work appears in various literary journals, anthologies, magazines and online poetry sites.

© Copyright 2008 E.J. Antonio

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