• Mad Gleam Press

Understanding Yourself as People You'll Never Meet

(the titles of the following poems are taken from George Carlin's spoken word piece, "Join the Book Club")


Understanding People You'll Never Meet

What are typical questions you would ask when a ghost is speaking through you?

If I fall in the forest, can you feel it in Minnesota?

How much are lightbulbs anyway?

If you are moving at the speed of light but forget to tie your shoe can you trip through sound?

Can you show me the forest you want to fall in?

Why can I always feel it in my belly?

Is it Oreos or wine or ghosts?

Why is understanding people you will never meet difficult?

Why is understanding people you will meet difficult too?


Apartment Hunting for Devil Worshipers

They say to understand the mountain

I must first learn to climb it. Grief

however, is a bottom all to its own

and no matter the climb down

can't help but look up at what

was desired but never gained,

so, I find myself in something else's

worship and share what is often

and fond and new and the embrace

for community is always

piercing, peeling back skin

this neck, the erupture

new, beating and red

it's a mountain, this grief

it’s always there.

Only pets allowed.


Your Shoes Are Worth Money

When someone offers their 2 cents

let them know your time is worth more

than that.

When someone says you haven't walked

a mile in my shoes offer them 2 cents.


Things No One Can Help

The ocean

is going

to help


and that's




And that's

the ocean

and it should

be the ocean

but, what

about me

is it too

late, to care


me, the ocean

is a yawn

away from


about me.

I am about

me. I Recede.



How To Turn Unbearable Pain Into Extra Income



from the finest

oranges on mirth

all of them singing in

waves of amber and grainy

light home movies become standard

the real is over the piano boldly pungent

trying to 'toxicate and we go back to my place

but I don't invite you in; I put on my robe then I take it off

then I dance around the room alone and then I take out my asthma inhaler;

this unbearable income makes this extra pain more unbearable yet all these



With the precision of a surgeon and the hand of a craftsman, Pole Ka draws bodies, dissects them, flays them, and composes their sharp images. She misleads her strange characters through imaginary landscapes, grotesque scenes. Visions straight out of a cabinet of curiosities take shape; here mix animals, insects, plants, hybrid and monstrous characters, summoning medicine and religion; it is an Encyclopedia of ancient bestiaries, evoking the paintings of Bosch and Cranach, the surreal collages of Ernst or Štyrský and the anonymous illuminations of the Middle Ages.

In addition, Pole Ka works alongside the companions of micr0lab, who are scattered around the world, to publish and peddle deviant fanzines, impossible games, creaky vinyls, and to organize epic evenings of drowning music.

Extravagant anatomies, disappeared pathologies, desolate landscapes: Pole Ka engraves her own history of Woman and her sufferings, draws a taxonomy inhabited by androgynous ghosts with troubled sexuality, and prints the plans of a collapsing world.

The winner of a performance grant from the Staten Island Council of the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Thomas Fucaloro has been on six national slam teams. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School and is a co-founding editor of Great Weather for Media and NYSAI press. He is an adjunct professor at Wagner College and BMCC where he teaches world lit and advanced creative writing. His latest chapbook, There is Always Tomorrow was released in 2017 by Mad Gleam Press. Thomas’ forthcoming chapbook, The Only Gardening I Do is When I Give Up by Poets Wear Prada, is due winter 2020.

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