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Welcome. Subprimal Poetry Art looks toward poetry, flash fiction, music, and art work that takes the reader / viewer / listener out of the ordinary and into a place altered from that which they normally experience. In an enjoyable, thought-provoking way. Many of our written pieces are set to a custom musical composition to complement the author's recording. We pay our contributors.

Submissions are currently open. See the guidelines for more info.

The Fall/ Winter 2016 issue of Subprimal Poetry Art is now available, with author's readings set to custom musical compositions and video (hosted on our YouTube channel). Here's some excerpts from this issue, and from other outstanding artists in other issues.

Going To War

by Patrick Hansel

Graciela Echenique, age 12 ½
Village of Two Rivers, Minnesota
January 6, 1917

Germany hates France, and France
Hates Hungary, and Hungary
Hates Russia, and we’re about
To jump into it and hate everyone down
To the boys we send to become bones.
I wish Wilson was a rat stowed
Away in the steerage of a ship
Crossing the north Atlantic, a mother
Rat cradling its babies and giving
Them suck, in a dark corner
Of the hold, always awake, one eye
Open for a boot or a rod ready
To crush her and her brood. Then
Maybe he’d know the cost, and
Maybe he could count it, before
He sends my brother and my uncle
And a million others off to die
In mud that only matters to sheep
And the young girls who keep them,
Walking from hill to hill, bending
At a stream to drink. It’s always
Night now, and the angels we
Pray to have shed their wings
And put on cloaks, cloaks made
Of darkness and blood and lungs
Racking with gas. Mr. Lincoln
Talked about “the better angels
Of our nature”, but those seraphim
Have returned to their destiny
As serpents, bright as fire, and
Thick as smoke or the words
Of Senators making wounds
In other people’s families. I have
Not killed a man, and I do not
Wish to, although I know that I could
And I know that I would, if
Pushed back into that corner
With nothing to protect me
But my teeth. Whose mouth
Will open the loudest? Whose
Tongue will tell the sweetest lies?
We will give death, to be certain,
And we will take death back,
But we will not be blessed.
We will not own a clean name.

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The Concertina

by Tamara Miles

We made a raft and life preservers out of fifty raincoats. It was Frank’s idea. We got out of there while our toilet paper and soap crafted heads went on sleeping and the guards felt satisfied. We were tucked in, alright – tucked into icy water in our homemade raft, and by God and all the celestial beings waiting at Angel Island, it held us up and carried us across the deadly current to freedom. But before that, back while we hovered near the prison, pumping air into the raft with the concertina, we were so jumpy our breaths came quick and we thought…

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The Coming Night

by Paul Freidinger

The scene at the sound was of light
hurtling toward the beach, dusk
turning the shore and sea oats granular

and vanishing in the shadows, alive
but crouched in a mode of surveillance,
patient for a glimpse of us, weathering…

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Writing is a Discovering, a Becoming

by Sheila Bender

When my 25-year-old son died in a snowboarding accident on December 27, 2000, I was writing about raising my two kids, being a poet and teaching, and how each of these three vocations informed the others.

Now my beautiful son, who was to marry his fiancé Kristen in five months, was dead. Hundreds of miles from where it had happened, I obsessed about how there must have been something I could have done to stop this accident. Like so many who have suffered loss, I lived with a barrage of what-if-I-had-only-done-this-or-that’s, no matter whether I could have taken those actions that day or the day before or even years before his accident. Since I had failed as a parent, I didn’t deserve to write. Writing was a discovering, a becoming. I didn’t want to discover or become anything, only to have my son back…

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Our Dark Angel, Endlessly Falling

by Karen Berry

We are tempted to make of the man
an angel, the dark one, endlessly falling,
his nimbus of flame like wings,
but this angel is wingless. He flies on pain.
We follow the path of his descent
and his suffering draws from us
an endless feminine response
to the agonies of men. We want…

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