I Breathe Darkness

like oxygen, it fills

my lungs with a heat

that would wither lesser creatures.

My skin is all thorns—

I prick but cannot bleed

myself free of this nightmared life.

Hanging from the ghosts of my own

entrails is where they will find me,

carving my name like a cross

into a sky that refuses

to light or let me burn.

I Am Death’s Footprint

the smeared red trail

of actuality that follows

the ghost of my touch.

I am haunted and a haunting

presence, screaming

across midnight’s floor.

Follow me. I will drip through you

and Hell, one kiss at a time.


A.J. Huffman has published thirteen full-length poetry collections, thirteen solo poetry chapbooks and one joint poetry chapbook through various small presses. Her most recent releases, The Pyre On Which Tomorrow Burns (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink), A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press), and Familiar Illusions (Flutter Press) are now available from their respective publishers. She is a five-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, and has published over 2600 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, The Bookends Review, Bone Orchard, Corvus Review, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. www.kindofahurricanepress.com.



I Am Not a Candy Man

One night a year on Halloween -

I don’t care much if I am seen.

A costume kids think I have donned -

but really I have nothing on!

Some walk by then turn and stare -

because my rot stinks up the air.

Candy I can’t taste or eat,

but that’s not why I trick ‘r treat.

Each home I leave with empty bowls -

the kind that rest on necks called skulls.

How Others See Me

I remember being old, but dying while still young.

I recall bow ties and skirts in many closets hung.

In different towns I have been born.

I miss my coat with pocket torn.

I have been both a mom and dad.

A barren life I’ve also had.

Swinging while the sun had set.

Life savings lost with one sure bet.

Spanish words and German too.

Favorite colors green, red, blue.

Another’s life I live each day.

Their memories I take away.

No matter who they’re stolen from,

between them all, they share just one -

a point of view that fades to black -

as I watch the real me attack.


Gary McGrew In Seattle, Washington, Gary McGrew writes from within the walls of the haunted house he dwells, built in 1903. His horror-humor can be found not only in the books he writes, but also in the numerous short films he has created over the years. Through written word and moving pictures, Gary enjoys telling stories that are blended with both horror & humor and are usually intended to pair well with a large wheel of cheese! He is a writer, poet, and an illustrator—his books include, Poetry for Zombies, The Lab of Rhonda McFab, The Town, The Town Line, It’s Called A Circus, Poetry For Monsters, The Ghost Town, and The Town Circus. Gary has been published in many other journals, such as Z-composition and Congruent Spaces Magazine. You can find him here— https://ggmcg.wordpress.com