Gold Writing Workshop April 28, 2019

Join Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC and StrangeFlock Gallery for the first of a series of Writing Workshops scheduled for the last Sunday of each month from 12pm-4pm.

The Gallery will be open from 12pm – 4pm.  Writers of all genres are invited to be inspired by the monthly artwork in the gallery by completing Ekphrastic Writing Prompts or partake in a more constructed workshop hosted by local and national guest writers. The structured writing workshop taking place between the hours of 1pm – 3pm.

Suggestion donation for the workshop is 5$-10$. All proceeds will be split between the workshop guest host and the Gallery. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Our guest workshop host for April 28th will be Zachary Kluckman and his workshop is entitled: “Flipping the Drama Script” which will discuss the Karpman Drama Triangle and the roles we take in relationships with people, and then doing some generative writing from the thoughts produced.

The featured artwork for the month of April is by Paulina Lopez. If you do not get a chance to view her work through the month, this will be the last opportunity to enjoy her display.

About the host for Sunday, April 28th, 2019:

Zachary Kluckman, the National Poetry Awards 2015-2016 Slam Organizer of the Year and 2014 Slam Artist of the Year, is a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Gold Medal Poetry Teacher, Red Mountain Press National Poetry Prize recipient and a founding organizer of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change program, now recognized as the largest poetry reading in history. Kluckman has appeared multiple times at the National and Individual World Poetry slams and tours the nation as a spoken word artist. Recently he was one of 3 poets invited to represent the United States at the Kistrech International Poetry Festival in Kenya. He is the former Spoken Word Editor for Pedestal magazine and has authored two poetry collections.


Now Available: Shorn by Benjamin Bormann

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC is excited to announce the release of Shorn: apologies & vows, a chapbook of poetry by Benjamin Bormann.
“I loved this collection from the title onward, and the spirituality connected me instantly. I am in metaphor heaven. I think the speaker is whispering these poems to me. I have my eyes closed and revel in the metaphor and imagery, in simple, quiet words and lines. I am spiritual and I feel some of the poems are spiritual for me. Perfect words placed in exact space. Strong syntax and enjambment. Love lines like this:
“The empty lung prayers
sent off when words become
foreign. The long drawn
timeline whittled
into a wisp, a joke, the crush
of understanding just how little
potential we were ever allowed
to show.”
As the theme of loneliness emerges, again, this is very applicable and connectable to any person. I ache with love for this collection. The entire collection is ready to print. Time and energy went into this to create a beautiful collection to test time to the fullest. “
Review by Gina Marselle

Join Benjamin Bormann for the release of the publication on April 27, 2019 from 11-12pm at the Title Wave Book Revised (2318 Wisconsin St NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110).

This is a free event.

Copies of the publication will be available for purchase and signing.

Order your copy of Shorn: apologies & vows today from Amazon or other major book distributors.

Weekly Write: “Colic Weather” by Gary Beaumier

Colic Weather

The wind was a bombardment
of ice and snow
that morning when
you returned from the barn
to say your old gelding
had died of colic.

Later I winched him
out of his stall
and carefully dragged him
behind the tractor
to a clearing beyond the pasture.

His plush winters coat
could not conceal
the articulated bone over
his once muscled flank
We knew his last days
we’re nearing.

As you cut off a portion
of his tail with
your pocket knife
for a remembrance
you say to me
“ I never partnered better
on any horse then him.
Too bad humans aren’t
that easy.”
You gave me a hard look
as you snapped the knife shut
and walked toward the house.

The ground
yet unfrozen
yields to the back hoe
and I pack
the earth down over him
so coyotes won’t
dig him up.

When I return to the house
you make me tea
as a peace offering
but that night I hear
the yip and cry
of a pack
over your restless sleep
and I worry things
won’t stay buried
…but then I worry
things will.


In his later years Gary Beaumier has become something of a beachcomber and has self diagnosed with “compulsive walking disorder.” On a number of occasions he has cobbled together wooden sailboats.

He is a finalist and semi finalist for the Luminaire Award for several of his poems.
He has had three poems published in Flumes Winter 2017 and one poem in Third Wednesday as well as one poem in Chaleur Magazine, The Piltdown Review, The Esthetic Apostle, The Internet Void, an upcoming issue of Raw Arts Review and a recording in Lit_Tapes. He taught poetry in a women’s prison.




“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: “Blue” by Katie Karnehm-Esh


I think of the soft blue sweatsuit you were wearing that warm day in May. Then I think of the way you stared through the bars of the crib, and us. You must be a teenager by now; do you still sleep in a crib? I have a photo of you in my office that one of the students took—do you remember the boy with the red hair?—as I clipped your fingernails through the bars. I can’t look at it very often, and I am grateful that in this photo I cannot see your face. Sometimes my heart still twists up when I think of you, lying on your side staring into a dark tiled room, making occasional noises in neither English nor Mandarin.

Did you know I thought you were a boy the whole afternoon? Blame it on the bowl haircut or the blue sweatsuit. After two weeks in China, I should have known so many of you become androgynous in the orphanage. But I knew the gender of the tiny girl in pink who grinned and stole food. We brought snacks for all the children, and she grabbed the largest hoard. Everyone but you and the infants had a stash, curled their bodies around their plastic-wrapped food. Midway through washing our hands, the water stopped. The German nurse told us the director often turns off the water, that at mealtimes the workers put out food and let the children fend for themselves. Fewer diapers this way. We thought of this when they served us a private cafeteria feast. So much broccoli and pork. So many noodles choking in our throats. The German nurse said, “Eat. If you get upset. I can’t come back to help them.”

I picked you up to help you eat the smashed bananas. The nurses said you would choke and throw up if you ate; they said you only ate milk. I offered a spoonful, slow. Then another, praying it wouldn’t make you sick later.

After I picked you up, there was no reason to put you down. They told me later you were nine years old, but I could not believe you were more than five. You were stiff and quiet in my arms, sometimes seizing into fast shallow breaths. It’s OK, I would tell you, rocking back and forth. We swayed down the green-gray hallway, stopping in the bathroom where two children sat on the floor in a shower stall. One kept laughing and laughing as the water gurgled. The other sat as silent as you. “They protect each other,” one of the nurses told me. The tiny pink grinning girl ran up to me and demanded more snacks. When you started to hyperventilate again, I patted your back. Your spine was like the ridges of a rock wall.

When the German nurse told us we had twenty more minutes, and went back to checking vital signs and bruises, I stepped outside into the courtyard with you. You blinked; so much green and sun. The guard dog in the courtyard barked at us, asking who are you? We walked over to answer. He stared at us from behind a circular fence surrounding a tall tree, and you stared back at him, that furry black thing. Then you leaned your head on my shoulder and sighed.

Something inside me didn’t so much crack as give way. I looked at the white van we’d ridden in from Shenyang, and thought about our flight on Sunday, your crib in the big tiled room, the bananas the workers said you couldn’t eat. If I made a run for the van with you, the German nurse could never come back to feed you.

When she said it was time to go, she didn’t seem angry that it took me a long time to walk you back to your crib and lay you down. You stared out into the room, like you had when I found you. I don’t know what I said. Maybe nothing. I speak English after all. This was not the right place to say I love you or I’ll come back because maybe lying is worse than never having been here. So I whispered goodbye; it’s OK; goodbye; it’s OK while I put you back in your bed and walked away.

Did you know that for months afterwards, I sent emails to check on you? I asked as casually as I could, in a way that someone who is voluntarily childless and in a bad marriage will ask after a child thousands of miles away in an orphanage that does not give up children or feed them. You would never be coming home with me. So when I prayed, it was that you had food. That you had green afternoons and sunshine and a dog barking hello! And that sometimes, when someone rubbed your back and clipped your fingernails and told you it was OK, this would feel like a happy, reoccurring dream you couldn’t quite place.


Katie Karnehm-Esh’s background is in creative nonfiction and poetry, with a Ph.D in creative writing from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Her writing has been published in Whale Road Review, Barren Magazine, The Cresset, The Other Journal, and Windhover. Additionally, she writes a monthly blog for Annesley Writers Forum. Her writing often centers around holistic health, travel, and faith as well as social justice, and she welcomes the opportunity to learn from fellow writers.




“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.