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;   

Carcinogenic Poetry: Top Ten No. 10

Working Man

which means
i’m part of the
walking dead

haunted by
graveyard shifts
and black Mondays

where the nightmare
of labor
becomes the reality
of a life time . . .

Steve Calamars lives in TX. His first collection of short stories, Six Years of Relative Happiness, is available from Calliope Nerve Media and LuLu.

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, Steven’s poem was published on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, and was the most read post at Carcinogenic Poetry.

Carcinogenic Poetry: Top Ten No. 9


the mushrooms of lethargy
dragging me down
to mind-numbing holocausts
of depression
where the lark muddies
its dying wings
where the dead
grow their flowers
where Sid and Nancy
pogo to ska
amid the great guru
pot dealers
of Kingston
I’m unemployed
dreaming of psychedelic frogs
samsaras of butterflies
the pot-bellied
Buddha of the robins
in the sleeping yard
the great all-knowing
who stares
at the sky remembering the 90s
when it was
to be young
and worthless
when the dj’s played
The Spinanes
every Tuesday
on the radio.

Ross Vassilev was born in Bulgaria and now lives in Ohio. He’s a poet and the editor of the late Opium Poetry 2.0 ( and Asphodel Madness ( blogzines.

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, Ross’ poem was published on Thursday, February 3, 2011, and was the second most read post at Carcinogenic Poetry.