A Poem by A. J. Huffman

With fire hovering
just outside my fingers,
my eyes began
to smoke. I was the flame,
fabled gift, stolen. From gods
I reigned, a vision of destruction,
of deception, of severance.
Faith dispersed:
to dust
in wind.

Ocean Unplugged

A Poem by A. J. Hufffman

Falling still, flat as the preconceived
earth in history’s tomes. No waves
to watch in awe or fight
to conquer on boards layered
with wax. Carnivorous
hunters, de-toothed,
bottom feeders filed away in corner
caves. Massive emptiness
echoes: Nothing.

Shoreline Sunset

A Poem by A. J. Huffman

The sky fell suddenly
from its perch, pulling streaks
of clouds to cover its tracks.

But the last one — the darkest
one — got caught on the stars
and ripped itself into shadow.

Left inside out, it seems
to have bloodied the sea.

Because life

A Poem by A J Huffman

is monotonous and draining,
I am borrowing a cup of dreams
to give my nights wings. A dash
of possibilities rushes through my veins,
acts as instant sedative. Two shakes of wishes
waiting to be granted, and I am motivated
to sound, begin snoring, verberating zzz’s.
Drop in a fantasy moment of happily ever after,
and I just might be able to sleep, peacefully,
until dawn.

I Dreamed I Folded

A Poem by A. J. Huffman

myself inside a box of nonexistence.

It all started with me as a pane
of glass, a window threw which I could see
myself clearly. It was odd, this vision,
the planes of my four sides.
I watched as they collapsed in on themselves –
a feeling I had experienced many times,
but never visualized. It manifested
as a much calmer, more orderly process
than I had imagined. Slowly, I grew
smaller and smaller until I was barely more
than a blip of silver, screaming
in the middle of a white expanse. I reached out
and shook myself. A strange cooing
echoed from the center of this creepy casket
I had sealed myself into. I looked for a latch,
found none, placed myself on my own sill instead,
and waited for the sun to come up.
When it finally did, I cracked,
emerged from the shell of my own cell,
a dove with raven’s wings.

The next morning I woke with no idea
of what it all meant. I only knew I had
an overwhelming urge to fly.

I Am Punctuation

A Poem by A.J. Huffman

a symbol, designed to adhere
to set system of rules. I am a brief
moment of pause, an interjected breath.
I designate
conversation. I am atmosphere:
Proclamation, exclamation, definitive articulation.
I am the flow
of connotation,
a black spot, a final point. I am the last
thing your eyes will see.


A Poem by A. J. Huffman

I opened my eyes and I screamed
so loud I turned my skin
inside out. Forcing
the blood I had left to the surface.

Once I was painted, I was silent.
There was nothing else to say.
You could not ignore me any longer.
I was a spot, a sore, a scab.
You had to pick me.
You had to make me
your own.


A Poem by A. J. Huffman

I buried myself up to my chin
in the hollow flesh of men
who were all too happy to sacrifice
for the cause. Then I colored my hair
with their eyes. And my lips,
well, I believe they speak for themselves.
Still I lacked the heat to hold
your attention. So I left
my scars. But I never realized they formed
a map. Too late, I followed
you instead.
Until I could not breathe
for anything but the pulse
of your blood.

––from her chapbook Audition from Hell

The Road to Hope Road

A Poem by A.J. Huffman

was a bullshit dead end. 3,472 miles past
the point where I lost my patience
with its pot-holed I’m-gonna-break-more-
than-your-car attitude, not to mention
its completely incomprehensible backwoods
draw[l]. Fed up, I stopped the car, got out,
pissed in the middle for spite,
turned around and walked
back to the familiar,
welcoming Hell from which
I came.

Domestic Mythology

A Poem by A.J. Huffman

I thought if I looked deep enough
into his eyes I could see the future.
But lies layered in smiles are
the only stars in that particular showing.
And I have never held a proclivity
for astronomy. I am my own
astronaut. Floating. Uninhibited
in an atmosphere of self-suffocation.
I breathe — only inside
the poison of my own mind.
A uniquely designed antidote
for the exquisite fairy-kissed mouths
of beach-born boys playing
at being a god.

Landing the Plumed Serpent

A Poem by A.J. Huffman

She who could not keep her skin on
fell through herself.
Twice a night.
And came back.
From the sensation.
Much like drowning
in the open air.
And she wanted to share her joy.
With the dawn.
But she turned too far.
Forgot the top.
And ended up
three feet shy.

Five Sides . . . To Understand[ing]

A Poem by A.J. Huffman

Is sanity’s coin really the only option?
Flip me
off the edge;
over myself;
into another space . . .

Under construction
is the lie I sew
across my chest.
It fools no one.
They can see the shiny
neon on the collar that labels me: wrong.
And no amount of angel cloth or scrubbing
bubbled bleach can change their stare.
So I taught myself to scale anxiety
like a map. I duck and dive through cracks
in their perception. From behind I am building
a masque for their world. Contorting the eyes
to suit my vision. Still our looks don’t quite click.
(No surprise, I am my own/only locks key).
Which leaves me dangling on the periphery,
trying to decide which clause I should slip
into the stream to carve my version
of a smile into/over/through even the cloud-
iest of eyes.


A Poem by A.J. Huffman

I want to give him this peace
of my mind.
I want to cover him with it.
So that his eyes
as well as his skin
may feel my indifference.
So solid.
He cannot break its reign.
And it’s raining.                                 
Behind his eyes now.
Not mine
as he had planned.
Too bad.
Too late.
Tomorrow he will drown.
Under nothing more
than the weight
of my unforgotten name.