Weekly Write: “Automatic Guns” by KB Hadley

Current World State: Automatic Guns

It never should have happened
they say as they examine the bodies
scattered on the cold tile floor.
Police tape draped haphazardly
across the glass front doors.

Where was the security guard?
He ran at the sight of an automatic
gun barrel pointed down the hall.
He didn’t run away as some say
he ran to begin the lockdown protocol.
Clearing out kids in the open courtyard,
such an easy target for the AR-15
and the kid behind the metal.

We lost seventeen today.
How do we come to terms with this loss?
How have we come to a point
where kid on kid violence
is just another massacre?
We turn the other cheek.
Yet children still wake in nightmares
while the world continues to sleep.

KB Hadley earned her MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from Augsburg University, and her work can be seen in Twig and Barstow & Grand. She also works as a mentor with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. KB lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and dog.


Weekly Write: “Perfection” by Andy Posner


I had thought I lacked for time
And spent my days frantic,
As though life were a web
And death a looming spider, his
Approach inexorable, his mouth
Large enough to swallow whole
My ambitions.

I had thought I lacked for time
And arose each dawn to make up
For yesterday’s failure,
To promise that today I would be perfect;
I bribed the gatekeepers of perfection
With my promises—
“O, let me through!” I begged.
And at night I’d rub my forehead
Where the iron had held me back,
The currency of my promises
Still glistening like anxious sweat in my hand.

For years I pressed my nose to glass
And watched sun, wind, rain, snow
As they whirled past my stationary self
Like a riderless bicycle balanced
By something, someone, I couldn’t see.

I had thought I lacked for time
And raced to outrun the bell
Whose ring might rouse me from my dream,
Only to at last find I was awake and tired
And still holding coins no deity, no therapist, no poet
Would accept—a pauper with a home, a job, a six-figure net worth,
Wanting for nothing, suddenly with time to spare,
Unable to afford even a moment of calm self-reflection.


Andy Posner grew up in Los Angeles and earned an MA in Environmental Studies at Brown. While there, he founded Capital Good Fund, a nonprofit that provides financial services to low-income families. He has had poems published in the Noble / Gas Qtrly, The Esthetic Apostle, and Burningword Literary Journal.




“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Weekly Write: “Cancer” by Ali Gowrie


The fog pours like soup across
the highway and I fell lost but
every set of headlights I pass is
my father’s blue eyes.

He was always best at navigating
the fog, a red and green light
always finding his way through
the harbors and safely home.

And I cry. I cry for Home. I cry
for him, for his unwavering
strength, for how he has taught me
how to avoid rocks with a blind eye.

Daddy, you have been my
radar, my sail and my wind, my
captain, my anchor and line.
Now let me be yours.


Ali Gowrie


“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $7.95.

Coming Soon From Swimming with Elephants Publications

Coming March 2019


Poetry by Jessica Helen Lopez

Cover Art by Ben Harrison

“Jessica Helen Lopez’ Provocateur is a revolution of words bringing to life important issues that otherwise may stay hidden inside conservative minds. Lopez is courageous in her written work. She pushes and pushes to make one feel uncomfortable enough to become informed. Her words and life are charismatic and entice one to feel. She is not threatened and is a powerful voice for the 21st century. She is gifted and energy wrapped up in fire and poetry. She does not censor—she gives us honesty and sometimes controversy, regardless of the path she is on she gives her readers life because after reading her words one feels all the feels—agree or disagree with her,  you will feel, you will feel this fire that she lives and breathes each and every day. She unites women of all walks of life, choice, and color into some kind of wonderful mother, sister, daughter, witchy, powerful self—in fact, we all have many names “ancient, mighty names” and in Lopez’ Provocateur, she gives us power to sing with her loud and clear.”

Gina Marselle, M.A.Ed.
Teacher | Poet | Photographer
Author of A Fire of Prayer: A Collection of Poetry and Photography (SwEP, 2015)
Co-guest Judge, Swimming with Elephants Publications’ Poetry Chapbook Competition, 2018

Weekly Write: “The Dogs of the White Cannon” by Jonathan Andrew Perez

The Dogs of the White Canon

The land is a swash of monotone: cobwebs against yellowing barns,
seed pods off rusty fences.

Nothing to glide but the glue, the kind of setting that dulls the senses.

Give me: dog ripping leg on gravel road,
Give me: wolf on fire trail that circles the valley.
I heard dogs travel in packs, at night.
I heard undomesticated baying at the rough horizon.

They plunder the uninhabited
like hound on the trail of a hare,
or tear a shrew from its hole,
or like an Orca flip a seal pup,
head-over-heals in the light.

Buddy, the black lab,
proudly returns home, gangster, down the avenue,
jaw clenched over a wet mouse.
Buddy, listen up, predatory dogs
only mate at night and surely always disturb
any of the familiar faces that make up townsfolk.

Buddy, you are not a regular visitor. Lower your music.
Buddy, each year I have come here, you or another are here
wandering the hamlets: drinking, cheating, killing
in the back of a club, behind a high school gymnasium
near torn-up mounds north of town. Or not you.

Buddy, I saw once. You and I are a kind of undead,
washed up in some quarry
up a peak, not so bleak, because sooner or later a rumor will start
that you have will come back as a mountain lion.


Jonathan Andrew Perez is previously published in Prelude, Junto Magazine, The Write Launch and Silver Needle Press. He has a Master’s in English Literature and African American Cultural Studies from the University of Virginia, and a day job is as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor.