The VGP Literate No. 14


Incessant noises, beating
down my glow – airplanes and dogs
voicing their aggressive anxiety. Too much
space to fill with disembodied eyelids – except to say,
I am better off knowing what to hide and with whom.
Everyone I talk to insulates me, be it in vast or narrow
confines. I don’t need to suffer or hunger for what is not mine
or for an intimacy more accurately labelled illusion.
Animals walk by me and I am drawn into their interiors.
I am drawn to look through the physicist’s window and laugh
at certain logic used to dismiss the ranks of God
and creatures that gallop, burn-up in back alleyways, escaping definition.
I don’t know if sand is like stars, but it is a fragrant research to find out,
fumbling with layers, branching out on tiptoe.
It is a pistil attracting pollen, a prescription to illuminate grief and cherishing.
Just as when faced with illness, the superfluous gets skimmed,
it is essential to honour the need for certainty in all forms of love,
it is essential to see that which struggles always ends up shivering in its bonds,
eventually learns that letting go is a prerequisite before achieving threshold, before
the welling up, the grand unshackling groan
of a peace-inducing

Allison Grayhurst is a member of the League of Canadian Poets. She has over 500 poems published in international journals and anthologies. She has eleven published books of poetry and five collections, as well as six chapbooks and one e-chapbook. She lives in Toronto with her family. She also sculpts, working with clay;   

The VGP Literate No. 13

A Terrorist’s Confession

He is fighting for a cause and vanity
To introduce crime against the whole of humanity
He does not have any goal actually
Something to target is his goal only
Do you dare take it for some religion or ideology?
Consciously he kills, and he does not owe an apology
He does not like peace, and he abhors silence
Violence he prefers and it is evident in his senses
All he wants is to make the green world fade
For that he kills and paints things red
He condemns you if you call him Jihadi or rebel
He is a fighter and does not want any such label
His cause is the only reason for survival
His soul is dead already, and his body is his apparel

Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi is university faculty and assistant professor of linguistics at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, India; and author of two books on lesser known Indian languages: A Grammar of Hadoti and A Grammar of Bhadarwahi. He has published around fifty poems in different anthologies, journals, and magazines worldwide. Until recently, his poem “Mother” was included as a prologue to
Motherhood and War: International Perspectives (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan Press. 2014.

Carcinogenic Poetry: Top Ten No. 5

Bone Armor


as a virtuous but mislead
philanthropist fallen angel
and victim of Lucifer’s
beguiling touch
I’ve become well
aware, in fact
wary indeed,
those words that present
my demise—
those foul flicks of the
tongue of dread
that seem to proliferate
death itself.
Yet this distinction—
of life and death
and the infinite
shape of cycling
the scent of time
and the feel
of partiality—
remains the one
original fallacy.
For shame
and the guilt of
remembering forgotten things
I spew my own
mistaken army
these legions of word
upon this page
as my final defense
my bone armor…
and forgetfulness in itself
the only true brother
of glory
all my own.
Still in the light of
beginningless dawn
my bone armor—
waxing molten flaw—
becomes the only suitable
No metaphors can forever
contain the Blacksmith
who set his crown upon
a king, forgot his anvil
he who does not pretend to lead
but never follows.
No asylum
self portrait
smeared in bile
and amniotic fluids
no inken masterpiece
can express this masterpiece
for something so essential
expressed in essenceless paint
or words becomes charcoal
but a twisted and drugged
memory of a chained
who beats each
wife with a
new decrepit fist
and withers
forever untraceable
half hearted flailing
sinking into its own
bottomless witches’ well.
Exactly the same as
the sleaze-hipped
slumping opium glaze
of a Chiang Mai
prostitute resigned
outside the palace gates.

One so beaten
with feverish nightmare
deserves the soft kiss
of gentle awakening
But one such as I
the original
drunken elephant
requires the swift
accomplishment of
the dagger
the bludgeoning
of crazy wisdom
and the selfless feast
at the banquet
where newly confident
slave lies upon a
blood soaked silver plate
offering to the guest
a host of demons
and the king of dread
himself—our own beloved
wearing a fang necklace
and a bone fashioned
breast plate

Born in Hawaii, but living at a Buddhist center in the Santa Cruz mountains, La’akea Smith enjoys meditating, surfing, reading, lounging and contemplating in the beautiful red woods.

Carcinogenic Poetry: Top Ten crystallizes the journal between 2009 and 2015, sharing the most read posts to date. Presented from final poem to the top of the set, La’akea’s poem was published on Thursday, December 31, 2009, and was the sixth most read post at Carcinogenic Poetry.