Friday, April 18, 2014


This year is the year we drive around
and look for things burning in the distance.
Weigh a starfish. Make a wish. Write down
the number you get to before the phone rings. 

When you get to the ocean, remember that
at one point in time, we knew how to
properly take our pulse. It’s all one big 
fountain. I’ve thrown more pennies into the

street than I’ve spent. Last year, I answered
the phone, and it was you. I couldn’t
tell you what I’d eaten for lunch. I learned how 
to swim too late in life. I stand in the shower

with a match in my teeth and I can’t hear
the sound it makes. Isn’t that the best damn
thing, though? I wish to find a calendar I won’t
forget about this year. I wish to find

something worth cleaning the ash off of.

About Dalton Day:
Dalton Day is a poet from Asheville, North Carolina. He received his B.A. in Literature and Language from UNC Asheville, where he was also awarded the 2012 Topp/Grillot Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in Foxing Quarterly, decomP, Radius, and the forthcoming Heavy Feather Review, among others. He is a poetry editor for FreezeRay Poetry. His first chapbook, Supernova Factory, was released in May 2013 by On the Cusp Press. He can be found at

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


starving kid
gives you the finger
which is pretty funny

buzz of flies and the
smell of living flesh
                   gone bad

bones of small dogs
laid out in
geometric patterns

keep walking past the
third world
and what comes next?

what obscenities will
the people here
perform for you when
you promise them

feels good finally
having all this

About John Sweet:
John sweet, b. 1968; opposed to all organized religion and the idea of plutocracy masquerading as democracy. A believer in the grey area between Dada and surrealism. Work has appeared in Red Fez, Vagabondage Press, Pig Iron Malt, et al. Google "John Sweet Poetry" and there he is, in your face and spinning in circles. Collections include Human Cathedrals and In The Kingdom of Oblivion.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



She swats away the airbag, coughs, 
and stares at the windshield, 
both shattered and intact.


On the way to the hospital,
he wonders why, then,
upside down in the Camry,
he had decided to learn the trombone.


"All I can tell you, Judge, 
is you know you're drunk
and you know you're driving,
but somehow you don't think
you're drunk driving."


Pinned under wreckage
and staring wide-eyed
at the stars.
A man of no faith,
he is now sure 
his dead mother
resides in the sky.

About Dale Wisely:
Dale Wisely is the founder and general editor of Right Hand Pointing, entering its 10th  year online. He is a clinical psychologist and lives and works in Alabama.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


 I’m not too surprised to see a Matisse
 (his Girl with a Fishbowl) propped up on my chest,
 her oval face nested sideways on her forearms,
 like an egg that rests en pointe,
 lashes as long as the sex of an orchid,
 lids half-hiding the eyes
 that secretly survey my face.
 A daylight hour, stolen
 on plaid sheets: short speeches and deep sighs.

 Later I remember her thighs, fluted
 like champagne glasses, breasts hung
 like apples on strong boughs,
 two dimples set at the base of her spine
 and the tender profusion of feeling in her eyes.
 This afternoon she became a bride, needless, spare
 except in love, with an infinite supply
 of laughter, breasts and hair.

About Michael Salcman:
Michael Salcman, poet, physician and art historian, was chair of neurosurgery at the University of Maryland. Recent poems appear in Alaska Quarterly Review, Hopkins Review, The Hudson Review, New Letters, Ontario Review, and Rhino. Poetry books include The Clock Made of Confetti, nominated for The Poet's Prize, and The Enemy of Good Is Better (Orchises, 2011); Poetry in Medicine, his anthology of classic and contemporary poems on doctors and diseases is forthcoming (Persea Books, 2014).

Thursday, March 13, 2014

4 A.M.

4 a.m., ignoring science –
my mother tried to get away,
she tucked herself tight under the kitchen table
      a table is a table is a suicide note 
I tucked myself tight under the same table 20 years later, a table
      is a table is a table is a stretcher through the ICU
4 a.m., ignoring science –
I fondle the needle scars of a junkie as we count the pieces of wallpaper
that float across my face at night in the mental hospital, and their tables.

5 a.m., ignoring science –
my mother calls me “Your Eyes are full of God”
        a phone call is a phone call is a suicide note.

About Margaret Mary Riley:
Margaret Mary Riley grew up speaking a dying language. She left college to hitch hike across the US and returned to obtain a BA in political science. She has been published in Subliminal Interiors, Corvus, and Phantom Kangaroo. She is currently trying to discern the meaning of life from an anxiety ridden cat. The results are moot. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


We installed rollers to make the movement simple
Daily, we took notice of his toenails
Their thickness or thinness, their shade
We kept the results in a journal
While he told us stories of his youth
The family nodded and read his diagnostics.

About JD DeHart:
JD DeHart has recently appeared in Wilderness House Literary Review and Steel Toe Review. He teaches English.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


We have grown
deaf to colors
and the names
of unknown things

the tangled beauty
of our darkest pain
is the unseen purple
root parting with the sky

we have bargained
light for a deeper place
where wings turn
into the good taste of earth.

About Terry Mulert:
Terry Mulert has published work in The Water~Stone Review, California Quarterly, The Madison Review, The Mid-America Poetry Review, Mudfish, Plainsongs (Award Poem), Texas Poetry Review: Borderlands, The Baltimore Review, The Hawai’i Review, Big Scream, The Chiron Review and others. He is a poet living outside of Santa Fe, NM in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains with his wife and son.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


After rain.  After hours, but you've come too far to turn back now.  The trail looks inviting tonight, like some black shadowed bat out of someone's blacker hell hole.  Maybe yours.  And maybe  just as well.  For what you're going to do.  Not death, but close.  More or less. 
You begin.  Past the farm's backlands.  Just through a strip of woods.  To the right.  Before the river returns up ahead.   Past the bend in the road bending away from the canal running parallel.  To the left.  On to the house with the yard in the back.  The pier.  And the end of civilization.  For the present.

A pale blue light from behind.  (Cell phone?  Gas?)  A voice?  You walk towards both.  Neither are there upon arrival.  A sign?  Undaunted, you turn and continue on.

At a point past the house, you change your sex, unseen.

But you are not the only shapeshifter present on the trail this night. First, there is what was believed to be behind.  And still might.  Present, but not to you.  Two, the house.  Alive?  Three, the great owl.  And an inescapable feeling.

Still, you walk on.  This is for what you've come.  Not to the end, perhaps.  Not tonight.  But to an end you walk.  For a feeling.

It appears out ahead and in front.  Lights.  A helicopter?  Coming towards and roaring low.  A phantom out of the fog.  Uninvited.  Or is it you?

You toss the evidence mindlessly thrown off a minute sooner.  To your unwitting salvation.  Saved once again by some merciful God unseen.  You instinct pivot and turn before the arrival inevitable.  Which comes but never.  Not really.  The roar louder, everpresent, behind but distanced. 

This could be the end.

Up ahead, the sound of the cars beyond the bend.  Now to your right.  The faint lights of the farm.  Now to your left.  The roar roars off to the left, now.  Like Lot, you dare look.

Phantom fogged but there, it is huge and hovering, just above the thickening tree tops, just above the open field behind the farm.  Faces, figures, if there, invisible.  Mist opaqued.   A faint outline of  substance.

As the thickness grows, you (mercifully) lose touch.  The roar appears away and fainter.  And as you can see the lights of vehicles passing on the main drag five-hundred feet ahead, you thank the unseen God and his ghosts,
as the roar disappears from sound much too early.  No Doppler Effect.
Too early to be taken seriously.

But you do.

About Bud Berkich:
Bud R. Berkich was born in Somerville, NJ and raised in Bound Brook, NJ.  He has been writing creatively since the age of eight.  Bud has had poetry, short stories, plays and prose pieces published at The Idiom, Subliminal Interiors, Quantum Poetry Magazine, The Analectic, Randomly Accessed Poetics, Literary Juice, The Rusty Nail, Bareback, Surreal Grotesque and Downer Magazine.  Several book and music reviews, as well as literary critiques, have appeared on both Bukisa and  Bud is the co-founder and director of the Bridgewater Poetry Group in Bridgewater, NJ.  He currently resides in Manville, NJ.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


this tiny room
where I talk to the hungry ghosts
of my past

they rail at me
and gnash their teeth

I've been a dozen different people
in this life
and I'm only 37--
or 15
if you don't count all those years of insanity

I tell my past selves to fuck off

same to you they tell me

the phone rings
if it's God I'll tell him to go fuck
his mother

I get up and start to walk round the room
and talk to myself.

About Ross Vassilev:
Ross Vassilev is a born loser and a poet. He's from Bulgaria and somehow ended up in Ohio. His work has been published at Camel Saloon, Dead Snakes, My Favorite Bullet and other fine zines, both online and in print. You can read more of his poems at

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Dear friends and supporters of The Montucky Review:

Due to some recent changes in our personal schedules, response times for accepted works will be much longer than we would like, however, real life sometimes gets in the way and adjustments must be made.

As always, we will endeavor to respond to accepted material in as timely a manner as possible, but instead of weeks, response time, in some cases, could take a few months. Even with this change, we are confident that our response times will still be much shorter than many journals out there.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support of TMR!

A.g. Synclair
The Montucky Review