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


Monday, July 21, 2008

John J. Trause | Dragonfly


At the end of the play the dragonflies came out,

and he remembered that at the end of the play the dragonflies come out,

or he dreamed that he remembered that at the end of the play the dragonflies come out,

and at the end of the play in the dream the dragonflies came out,

and he saw a dragonfly and thought it would sting with its long tail,

whirring around the pool of standing rainwater by the warehouse below the man-made cliff,

whirring around the pool of standing rainwater as the evening grew cooler and he was all alone

by the warehouse below the man-made cliff, and he remembered or thought he remembered

that a dragonfly does not sting with its long tail whirring around the pool of standing rainwater by the warehouse below the man-made cliff.

He reconciled dragonflies and damselflies and damsels and remembered all this.

And he saw signs of the dragonfly on the end of a keychain on a small table in the apartment of the actress

and repeated in the pattern in the Art Nouveau lamp on a small table in the apartment of the writer

and in the earrings of the poetess who read loudly at the microphone at the reading,

and he reconciled dragonflies and damselflies and damsels and remembered all this

by John J. Trause

JOHN J. TRAUSE, the Director of the Wood-Ridge Memorial Library in Wood-Ridge, N.J. since 2000, has been writing and reciting his poetry for 25 years. His poetry, translations, and visual work have appeared in Cover, Global City Review, Parse, Radix, The Rift, Now Culture, Sensations Magazine, The North River Review, The Troubadour, Xavier Review, the artists' periodical Crossings published by the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, as well as on-line at and, and is forthcoming in Sulphur River Review. In 2005, he co-founded the William Carlos Williams Poetry Cooperative in Rutherford, N.J., where he continues to serve as programmer and host. Aside from his professional interest in literature and the arts, Mr. Trause also enjoys film, dance, juggling, hiking, Chinese footbinding, and Afrin® nasal spray. In his adolescence, he modeled for the monolithic sculptures on Easter Island.


Bob Heman | Those Remarkable Eyes


An ant is crawling on the other side of the dodecahedron you are holding in your hands. You know he is there, but no matter how fast you turn the object he is always on the other side. You have never even seen him. You just know he is there. You can imagine the way his antennae wiggle. And his mouth parts. And those eyes. Those remarkable eyes.

Bob Heman's chapbook Cone Investigates was published by Poets Wear Prada in 2007. His prose poems have appeared in numerous publications including Sentence, Paragraph, Quick Fiction, First Intensity, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Caliban, Artful Dodge, key satch(el), Hanging Loose, Center, and Lost and Found Times and have been translated into Arabic, Spanish and Hungarian. Since 1971, he has published and edited the often experimental magazine CLWN WR (formerly Clown War). He lives in Brooklyn. "Those Remarkabel Eyes" is from his collection How It All Began, available from Quale Press as a free e-book.

© Copyright Bob Heman 1975

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Jeffrey Cooper | King Cockroach

King Cockroach

No sound but wind.
Car husks rust on silent city streets
Bestrewn with drifting poison ash,
A lethal confetti no biped lives to sweep.

Within cracked concrete, antennae quiver.
Undaunted by mere toxic dust,
The hardy beasts emerge en masse,
The clatter of exoskeletons heralding the earth's new age.

By Jeffrey Cooper

Jeffrey Cooper

JEFFREY COOPER has been writing professionally since 1971, including novels for kids, a humor book that forgot to be a bestseller, and the novelization of a popular horror film series. He likes writing poetry best.

© Copyright Jeffrey Cooper 2008

Aldo Tambellini | February 5, 2005 2:00PM

February 5, 2005
2:00 PM

even those crickets long under suspicion
were finally made silent
their recorded & analyzed sounds revealed
they were transmitting with their micro antennae
nocturnal clandestine messages
beaming to the moon & back
to the guerilla’s headquarters

some wheat fields were burned
long known to be the cicadas’ hiding places
the interval variations in their sustained buzzing
were a kind of Morse code
exchanging strategic information
that only the rebels were able to decode

many forests were defoliated with agent orange
the trees destroyed killing birds in their nests
their songs were subliminal sounds
concealing in their melodies
the new world order classified plans
received by the revolutionary in hiding
planning to overthrow our democracy & freedom

our radio frequency has identified
a rebellious red ant colony army
left over from the forgotten cold war era
excavating tunnels underground
storing seeds enriched with uranium
which the enemy could use to make
weapons of mass destruction

MEMO: “Operation : Destroy the Red Ant Colony Army”

but first evacuate the nearby human population with caution
safety & security

we suspect that some flees are carrying a deadly lab-made virus
being used by the insurgents in the war of bio-terrorism
ready to contaminate our water supply

MEMO: Operation: “Flood Their Area with Deadlier Insecticide”

our surveillance cameras in the fields
are raising alarming questions:
  • Is the praying mantis
    a religious fanatic insect in disguise?

  • Is the beaver engineering new dams
    to cause floods & destruction in our major cities?

  • Can the skunk’s foul odor
    become a chemical lethal weapon?

  • Are frogs with 360° vision
    used to counter-surveil our surveillance?
  • Are moles excavating secret channels
    penetrating the highest office in the nation?

our atomic submarines
with non-invasive electrical sensors
have monitored the brainwaves of some whales
it was shockingly revealed
that this mammal’s mating song in the deep
is a sonar sound wave
connecting the insurgents in a network shore to shore
planning to sabotage our ships & seaports

MEMO: Operation: “Torpedo the Mating Whales”

we know the bees have drones
secretly spying on our military operations
we know the working bees while pollinating the flowers
carry instructions to suicide bombers

MEMO: Operation: “Identify & Burn Suspected Beehives”




by Aldo Tambellini, Cambridge, MA.

Aldo Tambellini by Anna Salamone

Born Syracuse, New York in 1930, at eighteen months, Aldo Tambellini was taken to Italy, survived the bombings of World War II and returned to the United States in 1946. He received his BFA at Syracuse University and his MFA at Notre Dame University. He was active in the 60’s Counterculture Movement in NY, pioneered in Video Art and Multi-Media, and co-founded The Gate & Black Gate Theatres in NYC in the 60’s for experimental films and “electromedia” performances. His “Listen,” a stand against war, won the 2005 New England Film Festival in the Short Film and the Syracuse Film Festival.

© Copyright Aldo Tambellini 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

George Held | Fly in the Ointment

Fly in the Ointment

Have you ever seen such a fly?
No? Neither have I,
Though I can’t deny
That a fly
Once flew into my eye—
Ouch! It made me cry,
And I had to rectify
The situation, washing out my eye,
And then I had to rely
On the other one to navigate by
Till blurriness left my fly-blown eye.
Now you can see why
I duck when I face a fly-by
By a fly.

by George Held

George Held newest collection Phased is due out from Poets Wear Prada this summer. He is the author of 10 previous poetry collections and the editor of the anthology Touched by Eros. A five-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, he has published his stories, poems, book reviews, and translations in such places as The Philadelphia Inquirer, Circumference, The Notre Dame Review, Commonweal, Connecticut Review, and Confrontation. His most recent poetry chapbook, The Art of Writing and Others, Finishing Line Press (2007) was selected as a "Nov-Dec Pick" in Small Press Review. In December 2007, his poem “Aftermath” was read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. He has co-edited The Ledge Poetry and Fiction Magazine since 1991, the same year he joined the executive board of The South Fork Natural History Society and Museum (Bridgehampton, NY). A Fulbright lecturer in Czechoslovakia 1973-76, he retired as a professor of English at Queens College in 2004. Held resides in Greenwich Village with his wife, Cheryl.

© Copyright George Held 2008

David Elsasser | I Don't Know Why

I Don’t Know Why

There once was a poet who swallowed an ad –
Don’t discard houseplants when aphids prey,
let ladybugs devour infestation away!
Insect battalions rustled her leaves
bugs leisurely bivouacked stems.
She ordered annihilation –
no thought of making nice.
But released to living-room lushness
amour was all ladybugs sought.
They coupled on the rug, they coupled
on the chair, they coupled on-the-wing
and everywhere, although the poet
pointed to her plants and stamped her feet.
The place was aphid paradise without relief.
It’s hard to find a moral let alone a happy end
but pause to think how cure can bug you
worse than chance’s fickle bite
and wanton copulation while so full of elation
is unlikely to make things right.

by David Elsasser

David Elsasser [Credit: Su Polo]
Credit: Su Polo

David Elsasser co-hosts the weekly Saturns Series poetry reading in New York City. His forthcoming chapbook Last Call (Poets Wear Prada, Fall 2008) celebrates his generation's present moment of deliberation.

© Copyright David Elsasser 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Valery Oisteanu | The Golden Roaches

Mona with Golden Roaches by Valerie Oisteanu - Collage on photo paper. NYC, 2008

The Golden Roaches

The wilderness of the East Village encroaches into my apartment
I hunt mice and cockroaches, swipe at flies and bugs
They are all the local kind, mostly native Manhattan species
The turtle dove lands on my terrace, next to the birdfeeder
The mad squirrel climbs on my fire escape,
Violently ripping open the window screens
The pigeons invade my windowsill, leaving deadly droppings
Sparrows drop in to rest on the ledge of the air-conditioning
The wildlife of New York City continues to multiply
While indoors wildlife gets too close for comfort
I have a live water bug in my bathroom, behind the tub
A spider in my garden, suspended between the plants
And lastly a family of big roaches in my stove dial
Where it says Bake and Broil
I smashed one of them under the glass
Because he was so unappetizing
And he remained encased there forever
Then after it dried and crumbled, another big roach crawled in
I killed that one too by banging on the dials
He was crashed and I inadvertently started the stove
The entombed roach was constantly staring at me
So to conceal them I covered the dials
With gold cockroach stickers
An existential tombstone of sorts
Then I wrote a poem for the “Midas Bugs”
And for the useful bugs of my world.

by Valery Oisteanu

Valerie Oisteaunu
Valery Oisteanu is a writer, poet, performer and artist with international flavor. Born in Russia (1943) and educated in Romania and France, he adopted Dada and Surrealism as a philosophy of art and life. Emigrating to New York City in 1972, he is the author of 10 books of poetry, a book of short fiction and a book of art-essays in progress. He appears regularly at poetry readings in various New York venues, where he presents original performances of Zen and Dada-inspired Jazzoetry. He is a freelance art critic on the permanent staff at several arts magazines, including The Brooklyn Rail, NY ARTS, Rain Taxi, the Spanish publication, and the Canadian magazine D'Art International. He is a member of Poets and Writers Inc. in New York and the founder and president of PASS-Poets and Artists Surrealist Society.

© Copyright Valery Oisteanu 2008

Patricia Carragon | You Bug Me

You Bug Me

You bug me,
you ugly piece of insectum,
you overgrown cockroach,
you grotesque hemiptera!
Insecticides will kill me first
before you go to bugdom come.

How dare you invade my place,
crawl under my bed,
make me sweat
after taking a shower?
Do I toss shoe boxes, books and rugs
for your pleasure?
You think you can’t be outsmarted
by your escape to the ceiling
while I crawl in my labyrinthic quest
to destroy you?

I grab my trusty vacuum,
attach the pipes –
return for the attack.
Varoooom, varoooom, varoooom,
I draw near, armed with Windex
to subdue you with safer chemicals
before suction eats you up.
Then, I squirt upwards,
once, twice, thrice
and more…
my finger, still on the trigger –
ammonia and vinegar
rain on my face and hair.

You scamper in panic –
a bit slower, but flee from the pipe
that follows your direction.
And then, in one gulp,
you descend into the darkened pit
of the Hoover canister –
trapped…ha ha.

I take the vacuum outside,
remove the bag from
the belly of my robotic beast,
fearing you’d do a second coming
like Jesus.
But you are like Jesus –
back from the dead
inside the opened canister.

Slam goes the cover!
I carry the vacuum downstairs
and make my exodus to the street.
Outside the gate,
the canister’s reopened
for you to repeat
what you did upstairs.
I kick the vacuum,
watch you run along its hose
until you hit the pavement
for my sneaker to smash you
in one unholy squish.

by Patricia Carragon

Patricia Carragon

Patricia Carragon is an ad executive who moonlights as a Poet at night., Rogue Scholars, Poets Wear Prada, Clockwise Cat, La Luciole Magazine, Flutter, Up the Staircase, Times Square Shout Out, Kritya and Soul to Soul have published her work on-line. Her work can also be found in the following journals: Mobius The Poetry Magazine, Clwn Wr #41, Inscribed, Live Magazine, Tamarind, Riverfront, Nomad's Choir, the Park Slope Poetry Project's Erato, SOS ABC NO RIO's Stained Sheets, Poet-To-Poet's Medicinal Purposes and Asbestos and Where You Live, What Happens Next 29, 30 & 31, an annual magazine anthology of poets and artists. He first collection, Journey to the Center of My Mind (Rogue Scholars Press, 2006), was showcased at Poet's House, New York City in 2007 during National Poetry Month. Her work has been anthologed in The Ice Road Poems (Fierce Grace Press, 2007) and by the The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Her Haiku poems can be found in South by Southeast, vol.15 #2. She has work forthcoming in Dinner with the Muse, a Green Pavilion Poetry Anthology (Rays of Ra Press), due out later this year. She hosts and curates the Brooklyn reading series, Brownstone Poets, at the Fifth Avenue Restaurant in Park Slope and at The Fall Cafe in Carroll Gardens. She is the editor of the annual Brownstone Poets Anthology.

© Copyright Patricia Carragon 2007

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bruce Weber | Silencio


he could hear the scratch
against the sidewalk
when a cat rolled on its belly,
the whir of windmills
in a picture book
detailing the early mechanics
of energy production
in amsterdam ,
the crash of tremendous evergreens,
the whispers of lovers
in a ground floor apartment,
though he lived in a high rise,
on the 21st floor,
inside his head a gong went off
every time he breathed deeply,
when he coughed his ears rang
like 20 repeating rounds of
a semi-automatic weapon,
his hearing was so sensitive
he could guess 9 x's out of 10
the actual size and position of bugs
inside the walls
of his dwelling,
could hear their movements
inside the plumbing,
the rustle of their mouths
when they chewed
the remains of toothpaste
off brushes
in the cabinet
above the bathroom sink,
he punctured his eardrums
with a long screwdriver,
but it didn't help,
he bought a summer cottage
in the nevada desert,
but the sound of scorpions
skittering across
the dry sand
disturbed him,
even the wind made him nervous,
and the only way
he could make it stop
was by sticking
45s in his eardrums
and pressing the triggers,
till his brain exploded,
splattering over floors,
was quiet,
the cemetery gardeners
cutting down weeds
didn't wake him,
or bouquets placed
softly upon graves

by Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber [Credit: Jackie Sheeler]
Credit: Jackie Sheeler

Bruce Weber is the author of four published books of poetry, including These Poems are Not Pretty (Miami: Palmetto Press, 1992), How the Poem Died (New York: Linear Arts, 1998), Poetic Justice (Icon Press, 2004), and The First Time I Had Sex with T. S. Eliot (Venom Press, 2004). His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including in recent issues of Long Shot, Chronogram, Lips, Saint Elizabeth, and A Gathering of the Tribes. His work was also featured in the Downtown Poets Anthology, The Second Word Thursdays Anthology, and, most recently, in the anthology Up is Up, But So Is Down; Downtown Writings, 1978-1992 (New York: New York University, 2006). Bruce has performed regularly in the New York area, both alone and with his group, Bruce Weber's No Chance Ensemble, which incorporates poetry, theatre, music and dance, and has produced the CD Let's Dine Like Jack Johnson Tonight. He is the organizer of SOS: Sunday Open Series at ABC NO RIO, the editor of the broadside Stained Sheets, and the producer of the 14 years running Alternative New Year's Day Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza. Bruce is also Senior Curator, 19th Century Art at the National Academy Museum. His book Paintings of New York, 1800-1950 (San Francisco: Pomegranate Press) appeared in the fall of 2005.

© Copyright Bruce Weber 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

George Spencer | Romance Or Ars Poetica

romance or ars poetica

we've all interrupted the sex lives of city cucarachas
sweating like engine room workers burning high fat calories,
poor souls tormented by cleanliness
roach motels
and florescent lights
their rays zapping eros's moody undulations.

the less adventurous never leave the woodwork,
dream of flowing gowns, magnolias and bridal showers
in their linear land of syntactical rectitude and the weeping i.

by George Spencer

George Spencer

George Spencer graduated from Harvard (he says when it was still easy to get in). He lives in Ecuador 6 months out of the year and has read his work at Cafe Libro in Quito as well as at various venues in NYC. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 63 Channels, Asinine Poetry, The Brownstone Poets Anthology, Caveat Lector, Clwn Wr, Nomad's Choir, Poetry Midwest and Rain Tiger. He is working on a new chapbook titled The Obscene Richness of Our Times.

© Copyright George Spencer 2008