Three Poems by Marc Olmsted

New work from o.g. beat, Marc Olmsted. Truly dig his style of writing. “Fierce Glow” is a brave poem and strikes me personally, “California Burning,” a visual and integral example of his style, and “Prayer for the Ants I Didn’t Ask Killed,” quirky, yet deft with imagery. Good to read from him again; he never ceases to inspire.

Rusty Truck


I saw the clouds rainbow’d
from the air & then then saw
the fires & when the plane landed
the beautiful horror of the setting sun
an angry red ball
on the tarmac horizon



In the public restroom
I am startled by my newly
bleached-out hair
but I’m still old –
now back in the ER
with suffering wife stretched out
in the harsh light
at the end of time
where nurses march through & little happens –
glare down o hospital light!
– fierce bardo glow –
suffering’s end is just a gap
between thoughts
– bedpans & ultrasound cables, her plastic veins to IV bag
suspended cool translucent
from the space
probe rack


the ants were exterminated
the prayer beads broke
I like hamburgers
prayer flags across my roof
how many thousand insect ghosts

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Virgogray Press Seeks Poetry for New Print Anthology

Good afternoon, poets and writers.

Virgogray Press is now looking for poetry for a new print anthology featuring the poets of the great state of Texas. Virgogray Press has long called Texas home, proudly publishing out of central Texas, specifically Austin and its roots stretching down the I-35 corridor. To celebrate its state of origin, we are now looking for work produced specifically from poets and writers living in Texas.

Texas is a diverse state, and as such has a diverse community of writers. As a participant, and in some cases a facilitator, of  public events (see The Austin Salon Poetic, a poetry reading that transpired in downtown Austin proper for a period of three years or so), we know first hand poets range from traditional, to spoken word, to slam style writing with topics from pastoral to political, science fiction to erotic—all sides of the poetic spectrum are welcome. With this in mind, we’d like poets to submit any style and topic of work they feel best represents who they are as a writer. The only catch is the writer must currently reside in the state of Texas. We are looking for quality, so send your best work.

We do not have a release date set, though a safe bet is we’re looking around March 2018. The anthology is yet to be titled. We will release more detail in the coming weeks, but here is submission information for those interested.


General Guidelines for the Texas Poetry Anthology

  • Send a minimum of 5 poems and a maximum of 8 poems.
  • No simultaneous submissions.
  • No previously published work will be accepted
  • Send 50 word bio.
  • Send mailing address and contact info.
  • ATTACH poems w/name and address in (.DOC) file.
  • Mark subject line: Texas Poetry / (last name)
  • Poet must currently reside in the state of Texas, USA.
  • Email to: virgograypress (at) gmail (dot) com


All poets whose work is accepted for publication will receive a copy of the anthology, and will be able to acquire more copies at a discounted rate, as well as receive the VGP Authors’ Discount which may be used to purchase any other title in our catalog.

Our reading period formally opens on October 2nd, 2017, but if you are reading this blog post, you are more than welcome to send now.

We look forward to reading all the great work from our neighbors and family in the great state of Texas! Have a great week.



Clearing Up The Convoluted Craziness of the New Carcinogenic Poetry Outbreak

Good evening, readers.

With the sudden surge of new poetry and vehicles at Virgogray Press, I thought it may be a good idea to clear up exactly what we’re thinking. At the forefront is the recent outbreak of Carcinogenic Poetry related publications. Carcinogenic Poetry is the flagship poetry journal of Virgogray Press, its first publication in the winter of 2009. Almost a decade later, Carcinogenic Poetry is still publishing, albeit on its own terms and schedule. Still, the readership has always remained. The support and loyalty of the poets shared in its electronic pages has always remained. Carcinogenic Poetry, in and of itself, has been a blessing to the press through all ebb and flow. The name has its own brand, and we want to build on the brand. So, to our readers and writers, we welcome you to continue to send your poems, spread the word about the journal and the press, to subscribe or submit, or both; Carcinogenic Poetry as an internet journal will always remain a staple publication of Virgogray Press.

Ahead of its ten year anniversary, we are now creating a print publication counterpart simply titled The Carcinogenic Poetry Review. The review will include all new poetry, as well as illustration. The CPR will function and publish totally independent from the online Carcinogenic Poetry. We are looking forward to sharing the poetry and art that has come our way, and are hopeful the project will be a success. Now, with a nigh on ten year history, and with so much quality poetry already in its pages, we thought it important to share with readers new and old the poetry that made the journal what it is today, and have begun to publish The Carcinogenic Poetry Recap. The recap will feature poetry from the first two volumes of Carcinogenic Poetry, “reprinting” the original releases from 2009-2011. Readers can catch the Carcinogenic Poetry Recap on the official Virgogray Press blog and its sister blogs on Facebook. This may leave the question, what ever happened to the Carcinogenic Poetry print anthology? For those whom don’t know, the Carcinogenic Poetry print anthology was a series that collected the poetry published on the site through the year into one, handy poetic volume. Sadly, we’ve not had the resources to put volumes 3-7 together just yet, but they are still planned for release. We will not give a possible release date on these either. However, once something solid is in our hands, you, dear readers, will be the first to know.

Well, reader, I hope this clarifies any questions you may have had regarding the recent Carcinogenic Poetry craze going on at Virgogray Press. Don’t forget, there’s also The VGP Literate you can subscribe or submit to, but that’s a blog for another time. Check out the submission guidelines if you are a writer and interested in sharing your work in the Carcinogenic Poetry family, and if you’re a lover of poetry, a reader of verse, check out our website and subscribe. More soon.