Nick Barrows returns to Word of Mouth with Mark Flanigan


Cincinnati poet Nick Barrows in a reading at Word of Mouth, recorded January 2017. He'll return with fellow poet Mark Flanigan to celebrate the eighth year of monthly open mic readings at The Globe, Wednesday December 6. Sign up at 7 pm for open mic, and readings begin upstairs at 8 pm.

"SMALL CHANGE" - Mark Flanigan

"SMALL CHANGE" - Mark Flanigan

I walk across the room,
Put on an early Tom Waits album.

It’s late afternoon,

There are a million things I should be doing.
A few I shouldn’t.

We have today.
Unbelievable just how rich we are right now.

MARK FLANIGAN and NICK BARROWS of Cincinnati will help celebrate Athens Word of Mouth's eighth year of open mic readings this Wednesday at The Globe. Sign up for open mic is at 7 pm and readings begin upstairs at 8.

"Relationship With a Spider" - Alx Johns

"Relationship With a Spider" - Alx Johns

Is a real possibility
when you find her,
in wintertime
minding three eggs in a cold basement,

She founded her web in part
on a book you need,
but to move it would mean
wrecking her reason to be:

those little spheres
suspended like tiny planets,
earth-colored fruits
on translucent limbs.

Breathe out, and she stirs.
The string-thrum music through her
feet then abdomen.  A Romanian

saint spent sixteen years
in solitary confinement
with a single roach
to confide in, and he loved her who
kept him alive and sane.

They conversed,
and he gave her a name.

Were enough days permitted to pass,
The Lord would have had
to allow a taste from that Tree.

You won't disturb spider further.
gets to stay.  The way
Love grows
in a cave.

"Relationship With a Spider" was originally published online at Town Creek Poetry.

"Donning Your Jewelry" Gail Tyson

"Donning Your Jewelry" - Gail Tyson


Clasping the fused-glass links around my neck:

we’re together again on that infinite

coast where Japanese floats wash up, sea-green,

cranberry, amber baubles, beach-strewn

shards of light like these, sunbeams once dappling

your collarbone.


Looping black-chased silver butterflies

around my wrist: they’re confused by my scent,

losing their way on their great migration.

Our rambles to the Canyon, Chiricahua,

Tubac always circled back to your cottage,

emptied now.


Piercing my ears, a matched pair: turquoise bears,

your totem. Nothing else goes together,

nothing quite fits together as I bear

our friendship, weightless now, in this world

without you, wear talismans you won’t need

any more.



"Eulogy" - Jason Allen


"Eulogy" - Jason Allen

This autumn morning,
acorns  ping off the pavement like hail,
cars and semi-trucks slog along
the highway outside my door;
I lose myself in the zipper sound
of tires cutting sheets of rain,
my memory split wide,

and I backslide to that night-walk
across a highway bridge in colder rain
than these drops falling now, in that
west coast city, leather jacket slick,
my body a magnet for streaks from
the streetlights, bag heavy on my back,
bag filled with novels for my English class;
cold and wet and trudging against
the hangdog expression my old friend wore
just after the hug, just after I brought
a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude
for him to read in rehab, his first time
through those revolving doors

and I’m slipping down the well,
no coins left for wishing, plunged into
one of those winter mornings we spent high
beside the ocean, when the sky bled Easter egg dye,
another morning after we hadn’t slept,

when teenaged and bleary-eyed we watched
the gulls battle over stale crusts of bread,
autumn wind like a cold callused hand, slapping,
slapping, all those billions of gallons crashing,
pulling us under, all that whirling blinding sand,
all those solemn promises to escape that town,
before it was too late, to make something
of our lives.

Jason Allen is one of two featured readers at the next Word open mic on Wednesday, November 1. He will be joined by Andrea Jurjević. "Eulogy" appeared online at Jane's Boy Press. [Photo by Andrea Jurjević]

"Buffalo Moon" - Andrea Jurjević

"Buffalo Moon" - Andrea Jurjević
That spring Tuesday after you packed, left your couch on the sidewalk, fog entered
​ the pulpy, pencil-shaved underbelly, the stained slender frame.
If I had drunk myself to death that night, I would’ve liked you to carry me to your river,
 lay our non-rescuable bodies
spread-eagle on its bank, tell me of the future: two people in an abject town, asleep,
the daybreak mimicking their spent bodies, white steam rising
 from lichen-covered roofs.
Instead I dream stranded ships, how I drown caught in a mousetrap, how we wear
paper crowns and they burn — your brows, chin and lips raw phosphorous.
  Your eyes little black pits.
And I see you like that in the mornings sitting silently in the car beside which I park.
  As I walk the streets, you pass by me. When I eat you study my mouth,
when I sleep you tap my shins, wrists, wishbone hips, and I can’t help say, Give me
  your hand, touch, see how warm I’m down below.
Andrea Jurjević. a native of Croatia, is one of two featured readers at the next Word open mic on Wednesday, November 1. She will be joined by Jason Allen. "Buffalo Moon" appeared online at Foundry.

"A brief book of spells [October]" - Owlglass


"A brief book of spells [October]" - Owlglass

Watch Benjamin Christiansen's 1922 film

   Haxan, or Witchcraft Through the Ages

walk through morning grass threaded with cold dew

listen to an album of fifteenth-century lullabies,

   the soft voice drifting from another room

read Cities of the Red Night by William Burroughs

admire the spider's orb hanging from the porch roof

feel against your skin the worn wool of a favorite sweater

.  .  .
Another sort of spell:
notice the twin bumper-stickers in the grocery store parking lot