The VGP Flashback No. 1


He was nineteen
dying in a field
in a foreign land.
That was all he knew.
He wasn’t feeling brave
but only afraid
as he felt the life
slipping out of him.

He didn’t know who was right
or who was wrong
as they argued about it
in the grocery stores
in the newspapers
at the filling stations
and he lay dying
in this field of green.

He didn’t feel as if it were an honor to die
he didn’t feel dignified
or proud,
just scared,
a boy longing for home.

He didn’t know anything now
just the pain;
he wasn’t thinking about bleeding-heart liberals
or staunch conservatives
only about all the things he wouldn’t see
he wouldn’t do in his life
now that it would all be over so soon.


“Nineteen” was written by Mitchell Waldman and appeared in the Virgogray Press chapbook anthology, America Remembered (2011).

#VirgograyPress #VGP #MitchellWaldman #AmericaRemembered #Poetry #PoetryAnthology #chapbooks #poetrychapbook #indiepress

Carcinogenic Poetry Recap No. 1

Rod Stroked Survival with a Deadly Hammer

Rebecca fantasized that life was a lottery ticket or a pull of a lever,

that one of the bunch in her pocket was a winner or the slots were a redeemer;
but life itself was not real that was strictly for the mentally insane at the Elgin
Mental Institution.
She gambled her savings away on a riverboat
stuck in mud on a riverbank, the Grand Victoria, in Elgin, Illinois.
Her bare feet were always propped up on wooden chair;
a cigarette dropped from her lips like morning fog.
She always dreamed of traveling, not nightmares.
But she couldn’t overcome, overcome,
the terrorist ordeal of the German siege of Leningrad.
She was a foreigner now; she is a foreigner for good.
Her first husband died after spending a lifetime in prison
with stinging nettles in his toes and feet; the second
husband died of hunger when there were no more rats
to feed on, after many fights in prison for the last remains.
What does a poet know of suffering?
Rebecca has rod stroked survival with a deadly mallet.
She gambles nickels, dimes, quarters, tokens tossed away,
living a penniless life for grandchildren who hardly know her name.
Rebecca fantasized that life was a lottery ticket or the pull of a lever.


Mother, Edith, at 98

Edith, in this nursing home
blinded with macular degeneration,
I come to you with your blurry
eyes, crystal sharp mind,
your countenance of grace−
as yesterday’s winds
I have chosen to consume you
and take you away.”Oh, where did Jesus disappear
to”, she murmured,
over and over again,
in a low voice
dripping words
like a leaking faucet:
“Oh, there He is my
Angel of the coming.” 

Charley Plays a Tune

Crippled, in Chicago,
with arthritis
and Alzheimer’s,
in a dark rented room,
Charley plays
melancholic melodies
on a dust filled
harmonica he
found abandoned
on a playground of sand
years ago by a handful of children
playing on monkey bars.
He now goes to the bathroom on occasion,
relieving himself takes forever; he feeds the cat when
he doesn’t forget where the food is stashed at.
He hears bedlam when he buys fish at the local market
and the skeleton bones of the fish show through.
He lies on his back riddled with pain,
pine cones fill his pillows and mattress;
praying to Jesus and rubbing his rosary beads
Charley blows tunes out his
celestial instrument
notes float through the open window
touch the nose of summer clouds.
Charley overtakes himself with grief
and is ecstatically alone.
Charley plays a solo tune.Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, Illinois. His new poetry chapbook with pictures, titled From Which Place the Morning Rises, and his new photo version of The Lost American: from Exile to Freedom are available at: Michael has been published in over 22 countries.

Originally published on December 1, 2009 at Carcinogenic Poetry. 

“The Belated” – Nothing. No One. Nowhere. No. 2 – Now Available – Go Get It

NNN. No. 2 - "The Belated"


After much delay and intrusion, the second issue of Nothing. No One. Nowhere.; that which shall forever be related to as “the belated,” whether in loving tones or otherwise, is available for the viewing public! Yes–you can now lay your eyes and hands on this much though of, sought after sequential to the first Nothing. No One. Nowhere. This issue is jam-packed with poetry, prose and art and reviews. All that is there for you, the loving reader. Work by David S. Pointer, Peter Magliocco, Michael Mc Aloran and Howie Good are included, just to give a clue. An art spread by Michael Mc Aloran is featured alongside this enigmatic writer’s prose. Three selections brought to you in a manner only this Irish artisan of word can. Also Mc Aloran’s abstract paintings grace this collection and the issue’s cover.

All in all, we promise an entertaining issue of Nothing. No One. Nowhere. Here is a note from the issue’s editor, Amelia Hoff:

…the second issue of Nothing. No One. Nowhere. To forever be cheerfully referred to as, “The Belated” I extend my greatest apologies to readers, and especially the writers of this publication. I know the anxieties of patience are nothing when awaiting the promises of accepted publication, which is why, at the behest of our dear and good publisher, I am writing to you now. To be sure, there will be changes here at Nothing. No One. Nowhere., but a good revolution always served the better purpose. To that end, I ask, should your interest still be perked regarding our wayward publication, to stay abreast on guidelines and expectations and we will most assuredly do the same for you. Thank you, again, to each contributor and to you who have taken the time to gaze into our magazine.

Best Regards,
Amelia Hoff

Check out some previews of the issue at or purchase at There are two editions of this publication available. One edition is the full color magazine, the second a black and white edition with all images printed in grayscale. We recommend the color editions to enjoy the full quality of the issue and are publishing at cost, but are happy to provide an alternative as the costs of our economy are the chief consideration of the alternative creation.

Both full color and b/w editions of Nothing. No One. Nowhere. No. 2 are available at now.