UNder Under under


I was feeling so burnt until you came,
now I start to fill with liquid again.

 how do you return to blow up old lungs.
why is it we seem to be leaning in.

 I’m trying not to read what you just wrote,
invisible underneath a wet tongue.

 Even when you’re pulled tight against my hips-
I almost wish, with guilt, that you’ll never end.

 What has carried us back to the same stream,
and why do you glisten new and unforgiving.

 How does this happen to two of our kind.
What sentence pulls us together through time.

 well if it doesn’t pan out we can always
float to the bottom and turn a few times.

just to get a foot down on the floor
of some designed and weathered parquet.
open a small fridge from a small corner
and stare at the essentials hardening there.

you seem to know a skills based life,
a needle in the correct position to give a
deserted body the rain it needs to start
a flood


Alright that’s it

So it goes.

Allthisthunder as a weekly poetry record ends on a happy note. The format has naturally expired; or run its course. 25 weeks is enough already!

Other projects are calling. But this blog will have updates from time to time.

A huge and heartfelt thank you to all the contributors. Your words and honesty lent a degree of credibility to this endeavor that would have otherwise been unattainable:

Danny Turek
Jasmine Henri Jordan
Fletcher Pierson
Juli Del Prete
Jenn Geiger
Neal Javenkoski
Rachael Everson
Jacob Horstmeier
Kate Cuellar

Thanks for the readership. Thanks for a platform.

How about that horse in a onesie though? Uffda.

Let’s end with a crisp clean haiku:

To set a weird goal
and attain new perspective
-that’s not what I planned.


truth looks like



their length is ten times yours
and even deeper still
a color held longer
a note that travels miles
held together a song

a rapture or an eve
when light leaves a new mark
the sentence begins now
follow deep down the throat
a truth of the stomach

underwater mountain
your guide in the wreckage
their length pulls you downward
glint of a forgotten rock
and deeper deeper still

will the uncertain depth
attend or just devote
you to an uncertain
depth of your new-found soul
and deeper deeper still



good grief

it’ll take all evening
checking account with-child

surrounded by cards now
get well soon or just well

and electric heater
supplements the boiler

taking a good amount
of supplements lately

it’s still a wild dark red
where they found them last week

can’t pretend to feel safe
the old hum of traffic

sounds to me a new kind
of dark and lowly work

oh, have to work in the
morning – could you hold me

my neighbor, my neighbor
you are needed tonight

hard enough harmonies
you, me, and the dull crowd

my neighbor, my neighbor
chase them away tonight

how can you fear what you
used to crave, a good sleep

brings me back to that one
moment over and – oh

set the timer won’t you
the sun is rising now

-Kerry James Marshall

Whale love song


Ira dips their feet at the end
of a wide and terrible fin.

So the men say in dim and low surroundings.

Ira swims and bathes with their friend
in the wide and terrible blue.


“I love you” comes a high rumble,
and softer still “I love you too”,

whispers Ira in a contented reply.

And they part to swim again soon,
where the dark water meets the moon.




Ira dreams of a broken reef,
and the whale that swims off into.

The breeze cold off the shore, they sit straight awake.

And softer still “I will love you”,
emanates from deep within them.


To hold gaze over horizon,
Ira pulls their weight toward the whale.

“I dreamt you left, and the sun followed you there,

and I feel guilty for this thought.”
Water sliding cooly along.




“I love you” comes a high rumble,
and softer still “I love you too”,

whispers Ira if not a little worried.

And they part to swim again soon,
where the dark water meets the moon.


Ira grows into space and song.
The whale learns a new kind of pitch.

They swim and bathe in almost every way,

they used to as they collected;
their way a weighted meander.




Ira grows and learns to move on.
The whale sings a different song.

The men feel vindicated for calling it,

“The greatest love between two souls”.
and still at night heard from the shores-


“I love you” comes a high rumble,
and softer still “I love you too”,

as if the wind a humble and quiet note,

lulls those who bathe and know that soon,
the dark water will meet the moon.



Try to Remember


Will hys body learn that

“Hys body
Is a weapon.”

“Hys body
Is a weapon.”

“Hys body
Is a weapon.”

[and no
Gun Safety Course

Will hys body learn that
Hys fellow male
Cheer and damn
One another

“Hys weapon
Pops off!”

“Hys weapon
Pops off!”

“Hys weapon
Pops off!”



Looking back on tragedy

Were you younger

When they took you?

Looking back now

Through the honest portal,

Do you feel

Like you were taken

Before your time?

Or, does time now

Feel like fabric,

More amorphous and flowing

Than a body

Forced into a line?


Time for Bed

This week featuring Kate Cuellar!



by Kate Cuellar


After lengthy months of internal review, Management has handed down a short document, detailing its position on issues relating to the bed. Management acknowledges past failures in this area but feels that the formalization of policy will benefit all parties–Management included–moving forward.

The bed is the single most vulnerable place in the home of a human person. The bed is eminently respectable and defenseless. It is ancient and quiveringly exposed.

The bed is a designated piece of furniture in the private room of the human person. It is most often where she sleeps. Sometimes however, in travel or disaster, she must carry her bed around inside her. The absence of the physical bed makes no change as to its essential character. It is only that sometimes, she must be the bed. And, that is to say, without her, the bed is quite empty.

The bed is where she goes to rehearse for Death.
The bed is where she thinks and plans and hates herself for that stupid thing she said when she was twelve.
The bed is where she lies awake in fear and in happiness.
The bed is where she prays for love and, sometimes still, for protection from love.
The bed is, she finds, the best place to speak to the dead.
The bed is where the unfortunate human person succumbs to the biological need for sleep even at the risk of being devoured by predators, set upon by brigands, or missing out on something really interesting.

As it is a necessary haven of emotional and physical security, the bed is an almost hysterically dangerous place in the life of a modern human person.

It is therefore necessary for Management to codify a number of best-practice policies into official

which every guest is subject to.

Guests include all friends, lovers, and passing travellers; all are welcome only on invitation.

-The bed is for loving in.
-The bed is for sleeping in.
-The bed is a place for kindness, always.
-The bed is a place for enthusiastic consent, only.
-The bed is a place where the pragmatism and sense of the standing world may be joyfully abandoned. You must dream in the bed.
-And you must never, yes never, tell a lie.
-The bed is not a place to hold an argument. If you must argue, you must get up.
-Confidences made in the bed are sacred.
-All bedtime stories, lullabies, chants, and sundry magic spells of protection are at the discretion of the giver and must be accepted.
-Management will adhere to these laws. The bed is not a garden for growing tyrants.
-In case of predators or brigands, always wish goodnight sweetly.
-And be kind and sincere when speaking the first words of the new day.

Thank you for your attention.




You, a Eulogy

by Alexander Gudding

It has taken me an ocean;
to now decide to write to you
with the curtains lit from outside,
and send my body back through to

that wealth replete and golden hue,
the marks worn in and scrapes retained.
The blush it brings, a tensing jaw,
the things you thought you’d live to lose.

Memory doesn’t sever itself.
So I’d begin to spell in snow,
these are things you could have done right,
and these are ways you should have grown.

But those things drip deep, faced with light;
the lake, it’s surface now leaps round
and might of water in its weight,
squeezes out all I thought I’d known.

For months my lungs, amphibian,
with anger, learned to breathe again.
Forcing liquid into hot air;
or engines left on in the heat.

This was a wrestling incarnate,
I came to find, without a cause.
A flight through timeless fear and force
enough to loosen want, and worse,

obey a loneliness that lives,
in every part of every day,
and can commit itself to you,
though I pass it still on my way.

I might laugh and somehow find you,
as though a book in some old drawer.
Eventually pages yellow,
and mine are now invisible.

To pretend the rock still quivers,
I cannot say I feel the same.
The alley brings a certain night
that no one feels along the way,

places once fraught with many lines,
tread over and over again;
now glisten and bleed their true sight.
We touched these stones more than we know.

Follow my voice, I hear them say,
remember your fear, once laid here.
But with the passing cloud I know,
the past will yet remain alone.

Tossing through that smoke long ago
with an old an’ bent cigarette,
we inhale out back in the cold.
Our bodies a shiver, out late.

Can we tell yet, no clarity
will grace this time of living night.
Stars are meant for long ago, but;
a hand can stretch, and keep the time.

There’s no set path for such a loss,
and no one seems to yell or rail,
though closure can be such a thrill;
no such luxury as a line.

Initially, they’re a stranger
initially, it’s just the spark.
Eventually, a new static
eventually, a harmony.

out ice

Find, uh, home

This week we look at the theme of Sanctuary. Featuring the work of Jacob Horstmeier.



by Jacob Horstmeier

I was lost in halls of a statehouse, tiled
walls adorned with ancient imaginations
telling of a ritual weighing of the
soul on a scale of

costs and gains. Economies: nature at her
worst. His soul too cumbersome, lacking profit.
Death he’s fed to. Capitol clergy talk of
putting the masses

back to work, I’m passing a cloister, thrumming.
Through the open colonnade, workers sit at
loud machines, a trance of a sort controls their
bodies, speaking:

O, God of Production,
You bless us with this entrance
beneath your fluorescent glow.
Your gear oil our life blood,
Your workhouse our sanctuary.
May our energies be spent
as you see fit, for we know not
what to do with these idle hands.
May our time, temporal, cross
the threshold into your eternal,
ever churning, ever producing body.
For sleep is the cousin of death,
and may we rather die
than be under utilized.
Fill us with obedience,
for we know well the wish
of the shift manager issues
directly from Your divine wisdom.
May we never stray from
the bottom line.
May we always shun
our spoiled minds,
For only through You,
O, God of Production,
shall we find salvation
in these troubled times.

Post this prayer…whispers I’m hearing…perching
bird sees hope from visible darkness. Silence
making music out of this blindness, lightness
springs from within me.




Sanctuary Levitate

by Alexander Gudding

(does home come carried in a side pocket) (does a train yell in your ear long after it’s left)

(a sanctuary in the back of every jacket) (and potentially the humming of a laden heart)


handing the talisman over / to pour milk and drape flowers about the deity

“this will bring rain”

(Emma heaving from the act) (whole sometimes) (others, bit in half)

(when hunger outweighs hate) (arms out and a neck clean) (a body clean)

(a duty to keep cleansed on the steps of this house, this is a house)

will this sanctuary one day be compared to nature / a bird

“or something that soared”







Bounce this Ghost



hung the pictures tonight
after a restful drink
and a dustful eight months

one a postcard from a western friend
one a design from other hands
one a piece of paper w/ words

each either an old lament
each either an old friend
each anew piece of who we’ve become

couldn’t consider it a talent
to finally break out the level
and do some math in here

get the angle
pay it mind
and straighten out this rented wall

load a small cache into this small box
press a thumb to the ceiling
and let it peel as it needs

no one is home
no one is leaving
no one leaves a light on anymore

there’s no need to avoid
the darkness down the hall
or the window’s wide stare

a trinity lengthens my chest
and air rushes in
and in and in and in

room 3




There are ghosts in here
What you hold in your hands
Or read on the screen
Invites them in



Ctrl . Alt . Dleet.

This week we take a look at the theme of Control.

Featuring the work of Rachael Everson.




how I ex(o)(e)rcise control in the absence of fear

by Rachael Everson

  1. howling moon swan song/death rattle first light
  2. thorn covered heartbeat/long stemmed sighs
  3. willing back bends/breakwater cannon ball
  4. back molar beer bottle/bitten finger nail I love you
  5. can’t wait walk sign/slow motion shoelace fall
  6. bird chirp chattering/ranting to walls
  7. choking on shared oxygen/bury my breath pillow deep
  8. your slack jawed smile/framed canines
  9. bountiful harvest in my ribcage/dead flower petals in my cereal bowl
  10.                                                                                                                    silence





don’t need it?

by Alexander Gudding

a destiny or a haven
cut your hair
they’ll never
that you did
it for
a remedy or persuastion
the trick to
help define
your soul
a day to
warm and drip,
melt snow





lurning the curve


And suddenly my words stood gummed-shut up.
Honey in a vacuum.

A better suit to wear would have been nice,
Instead of a balloon.

Is health a private vision to be claimed;
A tightening of the load.

To float above with weathered parasol,
And search for smoother stones.


The body taught itself to swim,
and climb back in the sea again;

how does a body learn instead,
to thrust arms against and begin.

There is oxygen enormous,
enough to burst the lungs in bed;

but lungs can leave you breathless friend,
and take the leading from the led.


lay your length down,
alongside mine.
heat from the underarm.
smell of an exposed neck.

create a line;
lend it breath, so
our aching knees unlock
and reinforce the spine.

then give it time.