Friday, February 16, 2018


YEAH! It’s that time again! Time to send your raddest most irreverent words & images to The Octopus Review!

Folks, when I first decided to do this, I had no idea what kind of material would be submitted to me, so I gave you a brutal list of Authoritarian Guidelines, and you all hated it, but thankfully you submitted anyway : )0

Now I have much more trust in the level of intelligence I’m dealing with here, so I won’t burden you with rules. I’ll just ask you to be as original & true to your own inner attn whore as possible.

You may send short adorable photogenic poems (which are so popular right now) or more meandering verses that won’t sit still for the camera. Just keep it < odyssey length please : ))

As for Art— you know I like it dark. Personal. Disturbing. Messy. Yet I’m open to bright & earnest as long as it’s Original & True to the IAW.

Send 3 — 5 poems

Or 1 — 3 artworks 

To my FB messenger 

or to

P.S. if you’re one of the artists who promised me work last time but couldn’t get it in time—I’ll still take it!

Saturday, February 10, 2018



What is sup?

Well, I told you 2 things last time—that I was going to start doing automatic writing again, and that I was going to do adventures in the bathroom—me the most uncourageous person in the world finally using the men’s room in the post-Trans revolution (phase 1) Trumpocalypse.

I’m happy to report that on my bathroom adventures I’ve found them to be unobtrusively occupied & well-kept. In other words, there have been no “adventures” and I’m glad about this & I’ll let you know if anything adventuresome happens, but it may not be the life-changing experience I thought it would be : ))

However I do have some automatic writing (aka stream of wheat aka Vogon poetry aka classified NSA gibberish) for you. I am a little rusty at since being on big pharmaceuticals for the past 3 years but it’s all coming back to me : )


VOGON: Jan ’18

(+ a few from Dec)

Slice the fog w/ 10 swords
I’m as paranoid as they come
Seriously tired poor wretched
Nibbled toes of Liberty
Pledging allegiance to the basement pizzeria
Slinging sex gangs
7381 Suicide Attempt Hotline
But where is the rest? I’m not gonna make it
Up the silo
Where’s the rest of the leopard print
Outside lines, outside spot
Coloring books for institutionalized adults
If they have you in effigy, they have you
The masque of the MRA v. permanent yoga pose wave 3 feminist (albino-neutral)
Reverse downward dog
Take it to tarantula photoshop
I’ve walked out w/ your images
Stuck up jerky
iMovie rendition of all the beheadings I never watched
All the stop-motion intent w/ which I live
You’ll pray for you
I’ll pray for me.



Construction on new head space
Began in early ’14
Before I fully understood
How much new junk I’d need to shove in there
I’m the human Univac
Purring through the slats

I can’t possibly hang more diplomas
And yet I must if I’m to board the ship
Where I applied to work for the cagey bee

I want to know the people of America like lovers

Like cameras
I want to see through their yellowed lenses
Bluing the world into
Something calmer than it is

I want to filter my thoughts
Through the pages of the phonebook
Weeks of doorstop poetry

I decide to use it
Instead of big dumb Pharma’s tampons &
Their tax-attached strings

Loophole Sunset Cervix



You grew like money from the ground
A green baby waving limbs
At a time when rockets
Can’t seem to reach space
Did you see the special effect it left in the photogenic atmo?

You’ve been killed, my refugees
And it makes me want to kick your corpses &
Spit on your graves
Because loving you, shedding my tears like
Sophisticated sprinkler systems all over your roots,
Gave me a joy that made all the sadness worth it…

You flop on your backs
Choking on ancient icebergs
Stomped to death by the sun


I’m pretty sure my heart’s not red
It’s succulent & green
Wet like a reptile (to the eye not the touch)

I recognize you, Princess
My rival in androgyny
What world did I paint w/ all these invisible inks?
A trail of dewdrops
Leading to a future that glares
A close up that reminds me
We’re full of liquid rust,
Embarrassing green jellies…

Will the Presidency corrupt the Oprah?
Do you understand what I’m saying? Celebrities running for office?

Gore (Al) & Gore (Vidal)
bringing Hollywood to the shining opposite sea &
Washington all emotive, fluttering fans &
Going off script

There’s nothing we can do

I’m more afraid of Pence
His deluxe model Naziism
Scarier than the clown antics that pass 
For leadership
And then there’s Mother
With eyes like oil spilled
From a tiny car. SAD.

What’s happened since the last time I did this?
Too much to list.

Stuff no one would believe.

I live in a world I can’t trust to be there each morning
A world more scary than the one I painted
Last decade
And yet some beautiful details
Included in the hellish landscape (oops, topography)

No soothing aloe for sociopathy
You’ll have to resort to the bitter metals
Brewed at the pharmacy
Doled by millennials w/ neck tats

Your brain wears that dust like gold
Can you believe you retrieved that memory?

I was silenced; you were encouraged to speak

Why am I still angry?
I thought that would go away one day
Especially after all those tears
All that ancient sadness
Plundered from its chest
My chest

So… a little rusty
A mechanical puppy learning to drool
in the Age of Aquarius
Smiling from clavicle to clavicle
From sea to radioactive sea



Tell Them How You Really Feel

You sent me here w/out a handle. w/out a lid
So when I boiled over no one
Could take me from the stove

A blast furnace bending glass
A sagging bottle of fire
How much burning cools the herd?

Mentored by flames,
You are indeed hellbound
Unclothed uncamouflaged Shemperor

Airspace One
Airwave sizzle w/ warning
Of heirloom tomatoes mushrooming w/ disapproval

You bomb onstage
On blitzen und donder
Heil Hitler w/ one little finger

You’re fired…

And no hard cinnamon candy button
As consolation


Speaking of cinnamon
Let’s sprinkle some on these cremains
A sweet coffee ocean scorched
By the orangest element

Hard butterscotch soda
Tarantula toes tickle that
Sensitive delta between us &
Novosibersk & Pyongyang

Put under
Nup unit
1 tuna pun

Boy you said it

There’s just no sense there
Quoth the scenery, I owe him
His sacred Rent

The oligarch waiting 
To amputate
My thumbs w/ a sharpened dollar bill

Is that how I came here
W/ no handle, no lid?
W/ no magic (or even practical) wand?

No tempting cinnamon button
Glistening w/ power
No pulse, no produce
Just eggs in a cauldron

An unattractive alchemy
Dummy sex 
W/ a vertical frown


Music is News
To my ears
Here we go on the evolution

We don’t evolve 
As much as stretch

Lengthen on tippy-toe
Reaching a layer of self
That was previously out of reach

Peeling it away w/ no onion tears
Phony emotions have grown
Into computery feelings

The boy w/ nail polish taps
Onto his not-computer screen

And cries deep inside
For his mother
W/ no outward glitches

They (the wealthy
Coastal educated prog
Ressive bleeding heart
Libtardo cabal) said 
‘Art is Dead’

In the 40s they said it
In the 80s they said it

But Art is more like The Moon

Flexing & waxing
Retracting & extending
Making porn in the sky

A divine whore
Fattening each monthly decade
2010s a difficult one!

We are mid-revolution
Scrambled, breaking &
Omeletted eggs stuck to the cauldron

Some recognize this
And some keep waiting for it to start
But we’ll look back at NOW

& say That was no present


What was it all about??

It was like time held me down &
Raped me

Then forced me to go to work
In a factory wearing
A flowy impractical clownsuit

Caught in the gears
I’m no longer allowed
To say I was sent here in the wrong body

It’s for progress &
the next generation

But how shall I say it?

It’s okay that people know
Your insanity as well as
Your accomplishments

But man was I born in the wrong body…



Don’t remove the Clintons from the equation
She wanted a candidate (opponent) she
Could easily beat; didn’t count on Putin]


How did we used to do this—
Know the world thru our fingers?

Private tours thru
The next level of awareness
Led to lots of angel-talk
But no clothing removal

Led to lots of soldiers
Crying in my ear
But no end to the war

I started a thought in the dark
But the thought grew filaments
It was light

It was a thought of Gumby
Prone in a state of gumbo

An orange stew (for instance,
Did you even know there was an
Election in Russia tomorrow?)

How will we hack it?

By going to war w/ China
Finally paying for all that
Pipeline & drywall & panda bacon &



I’m a Fool
An uneducated Fool!

But here I am alone w/ time again
After it tried to hurt me…

No right or wrong side
But middle of the tracks
Their helix straightened 
W/ an iron
Called locomotion

Ssshhh..I’m trying to hear,
Not think…

My poetry turned into thoughts in 2012
Big abstract detached worms leaving my ears
Through sinking ratholes on a ship tipped up

Tethering corona to sun
You had a blast w/ those eggs!
Nothing hatched, well…actually

Some tiny perfect chicks
Unviable on the internet, 
Too peckish for screen culture

They’d never quite find 
Their niche, never make it
Onto the blacklist


Behind the proscenium lies:
More lies! Someone who
Believes he lights the way
Is actually a darklord carrying in his Armani
Exchange pockets
The seeds of a painful
Civil uprising

The thinking & the feeling
Will go at it again

And compromise somewhere
On the Wheel of Fortune

31* longitude


Friday, February 2, 2018

I Am Kurious Peekawk


How’s it going? 

I have to start with a huge shout out to all the contributors to The Octopus Review #3. A stellar version, thank you! So much great response from readers/viewers too. I will be doing another one in April, so go ahead and start sending me stuff now… After that, I don’t know if I will switch to a different format or platform…this is going so well I want to keep at it, and while I’m not one who thinks fancier is better, I do feel like I should at least look into a new (publishing) theme… Also do I want to separate the Review & the Diary, or keep them in depraved matrimony forever?

All things to consider in this, the 2,018th year of our lord’s wardrobe malfunction.


Speaking of the New Year, I’ve finally stumbled upon my Resolution. I didn’t have one ready at 12:00p on 1/1/18. But now I do & it is this— I’m going to start using the bathroom of my gender when I go out in public.

I’ve really been putting off this part of transitioning because, well, it got very complicated for awhile. There was a little media frenzy around it & I decided to wait till that died down. I was also waiting until I passed a little better. Now those things have come to pass…

… so it’s time to face the …urinal??

Ughhh… I haven’t been in the men’s room in years (except the time I went in the Ringling in 2016). I think I told you before that me & my (gay male)friend used to go into the “wrong” restrooms everywhere we went. He in the women’s & me in the men’s.  We were about 24, 25. And what I remember about it is—it was always a bigger deal when he was spotted in the women’s room than when I was spotted in the men’s. His take was that the women’s restroom was so much nicer than the men’s why would he ever want to go back there?

I have to agree that women’s restrooms are much nicer, where privacy and lighting and quality of facilities is concerned. But I was always too mortified to be in a women’s room to truly appreciate those extras. I am still a little-let’s say unfamiliar — with the whole open piss arrangement of the men’s room though! I think I would be creeped out by this even if I were a cis-male person. I don’t relish the thought of walking in on some stranger blasting into the trough. I don’t want to watch you pissing any more than I want you watching me : ))

So, I’m trying to retrieve some of my 24-year-old moxie & mojo & just not give a shit (or piss). I never cared back then if some guy was hanging loose. Bathrooming is a fact of life and though I found some pretty creative ways to get by while I waited for the hysteria to abate — peeing in cups in the car, wearing the Depend Adult Undergarment :)) Yes they really work!—I think it’s time to rejoin society in the toilet. (pun intended)

And I know the question you’re still dying to ask is—

“Have you grown a penis yet?”

And the answer is yes. And no. And none of your business. A few years ago it was totally verboten to placate anyone’s curiosity about trans anatomy. “if someone asks what’s in your drawers, shut them down immediately and make them feel like a gross pervert for wanting to know” went the rules “We wouldn’t ask a cis person what’s in their underwear, so don’t ask a trans person!”

But the fact is doing hormone replacement does change the topography of your genitals, and I don’t blame people for being curious. Just don’t be an immature asshole about it — saying things like “chick with a dick” or “you can’t pee standing up, you’ll never be a REAL man” are ignorant  & transphobic, and I know no one wants to be that “unwoke” anymore. So yes, estrogen will atrophy penile & erectile tissues, while testosterone will bolster them.

Unfortunately my micropenis isn’t quite urinal-friendly. But not to worry, there are many viable STP gadgets on the market — some are just nondescript funnels (used mostly by outdoors women who don’t want to risk squatting in the poison ivy),  while some are super realistic dick-molds that you could totally whip out at the urinal. Also you can make your own out of simple household items. Some trans guys are just fine with going in the (single, usually filthy) stall and sitting down to pee. But me, I want to do as they do in Rome so I practiced w/ my homemade versions, and I’ve ordered an upgrade—

— and I’ll keep you updated. 
Pre T Turtleneck action!! 

Of course my first outing w/ intent to use the public loo was an aborted mission. We were going to stop at the bookstore downtown really quick & then go to lunch. I was going to go in the restroom whether I had to pee or not! But it was the day of the Women’s March — how did I not know that was going on? —and the bookstore errand ended up taking way longer than expected. There were throngs of extra people downtown on an already busy Saturday —

—and as I squoze through the crowd I felt my homemade STP slip out of my pocket and land on the sidewalk. It was too crowded for me to halt the flow of footsteps & pick it up. We ended up skipping lunch and I decided I would try next time we went out…

When I got home I designed/sewed a few “STP packs” so I wouldn’t have to worry about one falling out of my pocket again.  
2 yrs T but can't tell

So I’ll let you know when “Adventures in the Pissery” begins for real. Will I get outed? Beat up? Will I piss all over myself (that’s happened before but it’s rare :))? Which men’s rooms are the most disgusting, the most luxurious? Which STPs work best—the handcrafted ones or the expensive realistic ones?

Find out here in The Octopus Private-I Diary.


Here’s a little stream of consecutiveness from Groundhog Day ’16:

Hey! Punxatawney Pete here. Strapping on my microphone and my ice skates. Waiting for Pittsburgh Philomena and Philadelphia Pris as they prep for their supporting roles. My co-anchoring concubines need a lot more work than I do, what with the face spackle the eye paint the nose shadow the chin waxing the Brazilian deforestation the eyebrow flagellation the mascara (oh please don't skip the mascara) the lip grease the nail residue the boob scaffolding the bling fix-it the wardrobe fire drill the test shots fired at the spectacle until it's viewable annnnnd….the clitoral rhinestones. It's a helluva an effort for our team of special effects rodents but it sure makes me look like a vision of authority, a streamlined no-nonsense news messiah, a voice of reason between two eager-to-agree beavers….AAaaahhgghhhh!! What's that? Six more years of backlash before history has its Hegelian synthesis!  2-2-16 

HEY!!! In addition to A in P, I’ll also be sharing more spontaneous, streaming, unedited, automatic Vogon poetry here this year. Taking a break from submitting anywhere till i can hear my own thoughts again.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The OCTOPUS REVIEW #3: Winter 2018

Hallelujah, it's finally here! And what a fine issue it is. Thanks to all my contributors for your patience. It's my first year doing this and it turns out late December is not a great time for a project deadline : )

So, without further adieuz…it's The Octopus Review #3 --


…………………………………………………………………Matt Borczon


Once in
college an
art teacher
told me
the best
way to
stop ruining
my paintings
was to
walk away
often so
the coat
could dry
he said
it would
take about
the time
it takes
to smoke
a cigarette
at 19
this was
a new
way to
think about
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
paint dries
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
the first
girl I
ever loved
said what
are we
anyway but
two people
who fucked
a lot
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
a doctor
told my
father they
were taking
him off
chemo so
maybe he
could feel
good in
the weeks
he had
in the
time it
takes to
smoke  a
a stroke
killed Toni
while her
family attempted
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
my wife’s
heartbeat dropped
below safe
level during
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
stars are
born and
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
flowers bloom
in the
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
I met
my best
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
Jesus turned
water into
in the
time it
takes to
smoke a
my daughter
walked for
the first
time into
my wife’s

but on
that day
in Afghanistan
when we
knew we
could not
save the
baby the
only survivor
when the
car hit
the IED
Doctors mixed
a cocktail
of chemicals
strong enough
to end
it’s life
in minutes
and gave
it through
an IV
but the
child held
on for
4 days
while we
watched helpless
counting the
minutes like
beads on
a rosary
waiting and
praying and
almost believing
we were
watching a
miracle happen
right in
the middle
of the
but in
the end
the war
won again
and the
child died
but it
took 4
days instead
of minutes
because time
is an
angry bitch
you can’t
with cigarettes

or tears.

COLLAGE #1 by Matt Borczon

The honest poem
wants me
to sit
in my
car all day
the honest poem
puts a
towel on
my head
after nightmares
the honest poem
reminds me
to spell
my name
with capital letters
the honest poem
puts 3 
in my coffee
the honest poem
is better
than a
drink after work
the honest poem
reminds me
there is
life after war
the honest poem
is magic
and loss
grace and
Buddhist calm
it's salt
it's ash
it's bourbon
it's God
and the devil
it's a
strait flush
a strait
razor a
year sober
a serenity prayer
an hones poem
is a
that there
is more
to life
than work
and pain
and burying
all our dead

was imitating
Sylvester Stallone
and making
everyone laugh
as he
to shoot
in the room

his eyes
were deep
black like
and there
was a
tiny line
of spit
at the
corner of
his mouth

that I
still see
the war
on his
face made
me worry
a lot
about both
of us.

Matthew Borczon is a poet and navy sailor from Erie, Pa. He publishes widely in the small press. He has published 6 books of poetry, the most recent The Smallest Coffins are the Heaviest was released through Epic Rites Press this year. He is the father of 4 kids and he works way too many hours to survive.

OMAR by Tony Egler

***********************************************Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Gene Krupa on Drums 

My father’s fingers would never stop going.
At the dinner table, against his knee, on the wall…
Drumming a tune that he would hum sometimes.
Always to himself.

I doubt he even knew he was doing it at all.
It was probably subconscious.

Maybe his father did it 
and his father before him 
and he just picked it 

Children do mimic their parents 
from early on.

And my father kept doing this for years.
Gene Krupa on drums.
When I moved out some years later 
and caught myself doing it, 
I would admonish 

My father was wrong about so many things.
He couldn’t be right about this.

I imagine when he is dead and in the ground
the worms will get a drum solo for the ages.

Brain activity continues after death.
My father’s fingers likely will 
as well.

Fashion Week in Sinai

Come down from the mountain.
Your catwalk of ash and soot is waiting.
This cough is straight from the lungs.
Not tubercular, but determined.
When I clear my throat, the homeless 
population is rounded up and lead off
into guitar solos no one can seem 
to remember.

The hypnotist could help,
but he is kept under lock and key.
Groped all these women while 
they were fluttering eyelids.
Come down from the mountain.
In something closed-toed if I were you.
No one likes sand between the toes.
Not even the sand.

Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canadian-born author residing in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada with his wife and many bears that rifle through his garbage.  His work can be found both in print and online in such places as: Evergreen Review, The New York Quarterly, The Octopus Review, In Between Hangovers, Red Fez, and The Oklahoma Review.

COLLAGE #2 by Matt Borczon

*******************************************************Juliet Cook

Not a Member of Your Snake Handling Church Organ

I want someone to love the way I am now
rather than hear someone insinuate I used to be better
in the past. More balanceable, smaller, younger.
More willing to be surrounded by hissing snakes.

Those who will never stop hissing behind my back,
I want to move their extended tongues away from me
and my cluttered open space. I refuse to lock every piece of me
behind closed doors so they don't have to look or think
about the current me and can just keep on backtracking

to back when I was easier to control. That was the past. 
They can choose to interpret themselves.
They can interpret me their own way too, but
they can't tone me down or tidy me up.
So what if I am the opposite
of their dream? 

YARN CATS by Claire Vanessa Gray


I clawed my neck across the carpeting again,
because that's what sometimes happens
when I have another unexpected seizure.

I end up with temporary memory issues
and wounds. A random bruise on one knee.
Rearranged books all over my own bedroom floor
with no recollection of why, when, or how.

A big messy tear in a new pair
of web net thigh highs that I bought
at a Halloween store a few weeks ago, 
hadn't worn yet, hadn't even removed 
from their package until I did so subconsciously 
or semi-unconsciously or in the midst of a convulsion
or maybe they were just born that way. 

The way things feel these days, it's probably my own fault
for having my seizure on my own floor in front of books
and thigh highs, as though I wasn't aware 
that would give some men the wrong impression.

I mean, come on, what woman buys her own
legwear at Halloween stores unless
she's an evil fucking witch who deserves to burn?

Juliet Cook is a grotesque glitter witch medusa hybrid brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at

ANXIETY by Claire Vanessa Gray

************************************************Sudeep Adhikari

mother internet 

Mother internet; the new space-time
the all-pervasive matrix
of countless digitized raves,

out of nowhere, once
told me; "On average, there are
178 sesame seeds on
each McDonalds BigMac bun".

I did not know what to do with
that mini-enlightenment. I felt like Jeff
Lebowski stranded in the middle
of a career fair.


hollywood goes to hell-ywood

Few weeks back I noticed my 
friend from L.A marking herself 
safe on facebook from 
harvey weinstein, like one of those 
hurricane or terror-attack thing.

And the next week, I saw blogosphere 
OD'ing on "hashtag-me too" campaign
and it was painful to realize, 
how many raptors are out there 
with a dick, but no balls. 

And this week, I met a douche 
named hollywood at a party. I asked 
him what he does. He said
"I make movies, but mostly inappropriate 
sexual advances to women and kids".

Don't blame me for blowing
up an activism's balloon here. But we
need to detox ourselves a bit, if we really care. 

Sudeep Adhikari is a structural engineer/Lecturer from Kathmandu, Nepal.   His recent publications were with Beatnik Cowboys, Chiron Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Midnight Lane Boutique, Occulum, Silver Birch Press, Eunoia Review, Utt Poetry and Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis. His poetry volume, ‘The Art of Changing Nothing to Punk Gigs’ was released by Alien Buddha Press in July, 2017. He is currently working on his manuscript titled ‘zen of tripping zeroes’, scheduled to be published early 2018.

****************************************************Tim Anderson


It's said a child can't remember      
    he did
    all of it
Darkness into light

Being bathed in a sink
First steps around the coffee table
Men who were not his father
     kissing his mother
Screaming, clutching her skirt
     innately understanding
     she wasn't coming back

It became an acquired skill
The art of disassociation

Pushing past the ruins
A bourbon enhanced father
wielding a leather strap
    sharing his pain
    on the son

He struggled with the day
  he always did

Tepid water escaped his face
mixed with lucite tears
falling from his fingers
       back home
to a pockmarked porcelain sink

Immobile in thought
blindly dancing
  with who he was
How long before he dreamed of
        electric sheep

"You’re in a desert Leon
 walking along in the sand
 when all of the sudden
 you look down and see a tortoise
 It's crawling toward you
 you reach down and flip the tortoise
 over on it's back Leon
 The tortoise lays on it's back
 its belly baking in the hot son
 beating legs trying to turn over
 but it can't
 You’re not helping
 Why is that Leon?”

He looked up 
into the mirror 
and had to laugh

The reflecting glass
above the sink
spiderwebbed in disbelief 
as his forehead slammed into it

He laughed again

  he sat cross legged

With the same slow deliberation
   of the passionate
  between new lovers kisses
He picked each bullet up
immersing it into the willing clip

He stood erect
concealing the weapons
and headed for work

Today, tortoises were going to bake.

Tim Anderson originally from Memphis TN spent a great deal of his youth with his back-pack on traveling the States. Having a penchant for honky-tonks, free spirit women and roadside taverns there are many of these States where his welcome was worn out.

CONSTANTINE by Claire Vanessa Gray



Matt Borczon holds a degree in fine arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. See his poet bio above to learn more about him.

Claire Vanessa Gray is currently an art student living in Florida. Check out her gallery of work here 

Tony Egler is an electrical estimator. Before he was an electrical estimator he was an architect. Before he was an architect he was an artist.