GAS Featured Poet or Featured Writer

Submission GUIDELINES (for Journal)

Send 5 of your best UNPUBLISHED (some exceptions with special features) poems/flash fiction pieces and bio note of approximately 75-100 words in the body of an email but send jpeg photo (head shot) as attachment to Will try to respond within two weeks. If unsuccessful, wait at least 2 months before trying again.

GAS Video Show and Artist Features:

Please inquire through email.

Friday, January 21, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Michael Lee Johnson


Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in the greater Chicagoland area, IL.  He has 244 YouTube poetry videos. Michael Lee Johnson is an internationally published poet in 43 countries, several published poetry books, nominated for 4 Pushcart Prize awards and 5 Best of the Net nominations. He is editor-in-chief of 3 poetry anthologies, all available on Amazon, and has several poetry books and chapbooks. He has over 536 published poems. Michael is the administrator of 6 Facebook Poetry groups. Member Illinois State Poetry.

Poets Die (V2)

Why do poets die;

linger in youth

addicted to death.

They create culture

but so crippled.

They seldom harm

except themselves—

why not let them live?

Their only crime is words

they shout them out in anger

cry out loud, vulgar in private

places like Indiana cornfields.

In fall, poets stretch arms out

their spines the centerpiece

on crosses on scarecrows,

they only frighten themselves.

They travel in their minds,

or watch from condo windows,

the mirage, these changing colors,

those leaves; they harm no one.


Deep in my Couch (V2)


Deep in my couch 

of magnetic dust,

I am a bearded old man.

I pull out my last bundle 

of memories beneath

my pillow for review.

What is left, old man,

cry solo in the dark.

Here is a small treasure chest

of crude diamonds, a glimpse 

of white gold, charcoal, 

fingers dipped in black tar.

I am a temple of worship with trinket dreams,

a tea kettle whistling ex-lovers boiling inside.

At dawn, shove them under, let me work.

We are all passengers traveling

on that train of the past—

senses, sins, errors, or omissions

deep in that couch.


Saturday, January 15, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Stark Hunter


    Born in Whittier, California in 1952, Stark Hunter was an English teacher for 38 years before retiring from the classroom in 2017. He has written and published 12 books, which are available on and Barnes & His work has appeared in the Lothlorien Poetry Journal, SpillWords Press, GAS: Poetry, Art and Music Journal, and several poetry anthologies.

    In 2015, fourteen of Mr. Hunter’s poems were set to music by Dr. George  Mabry, former conductor of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, for his musical drama, Voices. The performance took place at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

    Mister Hunter has been a literary guest on Chat and Spin Radio in the UK, and  the GMAP1 Network in the U.S. His poetry works can be perused at and


Eighteen thousand sunsets recline under the freshman bridge.

All my teachers are buried deep in the cemetery now,

And the wise burritos at the Cardinal Cafeteria, 

Are quivering still, and are eternally on the edge.

Familiar faces grown ancient reveal nothing new,

Except for a sliver of humility among the finger foods,

Atop the round tables with apprised eyes that can smell time,

Astonished that life has brought us to this high dive into the darkness.

Old songs from the old times dance to themselves without sound.

Memories made of perfume and cologne glide by unseen.

On a side table, pregnant with haunted photographs from 1970,

Are the insistent dead, looking in from the outside.

Candles burn before their frozen smiles; these dead know now,

The secrets of the big party beyond the final bell at 3 p.m.

They know now that life is a death dance under the stars—    

Even among friendly strangers.

The Coming Andantes

you are flying on a hazy dream carpet —
floating up there, above these old streets, 
these ancient genuflecting pines and cedars,
rising above the sleeping dead on Broadway, 
soaring now through the white tombstones—
the low walnut branches that flail like hungry cats.
now the sudden rush out of death’s hand we fly,
whirring by faster than blood flow in a silver sieve,
in and out of the shadowed majesties far inside,
these soul itchers that foretell the coming andantes, 
here in this perfumed dreamland with only you, 
as we seep through the spinning pines and cedars,
the long extending blood rivers naked with stones,
of venison death and fish spasms in the final sun.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Jason Ryberg

Jason Ryberg is the author of fourteen books of poetry,
six screenplays, a few short stories, a box full of folders,
notebooks and scraps of paper that could one day be
(loosely) construed as a novel, and, a couple of angry
letters to various magazine and newspaper editors.
He is currently an artist-in-residence at both 

The Prospero Institute of Disquieted P/o/e/t/i/c/s 

and the Osage Arts Community, and is an editor 

and designer at Spartan Books. His latest collection

of poems is Are You Sure Kerouac Done It This Way!?

(co-authored with John Dorsey, and Victor Clevenger,

OAC Books, 2021).

Evening Report,

8-7-2021, 9:17pm



Just a few scattered stars,

here and there, though I suppose


the stars are always there,

night or day, as well as always


rushing away from us (and each other),

they say, towards some ever-receding


frontier or event horizon-like moment

of maximum elasticity when the whole


thing has spread out about as far

as it can to one uniform temperature


and consistency and slowly begins to

contract and reverse-engineer itself back


into a condensed and combustible state

that’s ready for another big bang.



Monday, January 3, 2022

Never Too Many Sunsets: Three Generations, Whitehead, Amram and Messina, reviewed by Belinda Subraman

Whitehead, Amram and Messina

Ron Whitehead, U.S. National Beat Poet Laureate, Frank Messina and David Amram, Music Artist and Beat (2020-Lifetime) Award from the National Beat Poetry Foundation, have come together to share their talent and souls with us. They recite story poems with the accomplished musical backing by David Amram. Every track is moving and beautiful in its own way but I'll just mention some of them in hopes you'll listen to them yourselves.

Amram starts the album with deep reflection in Old Man in the Mirror.  In Track 3, Whitehead tells of his deep love for his roots in Kentucky Bound. Then, in The Bottoms, he tells about working hard, farming in his homeland. You can hear his pride and excitement in helping his father tame the land. In Track 6, Mrs. Brickman, Messina reminds us that everything we do leaves a lasting impression.  On Track 9, Playing for the Mets, Messina relays an exciting story of playing baseball with his friends, age 10, with a couple of real NY Mets players watching and encouraging them. Track 10, Mama, is one of the most moving pieces, taking us back to Ron's childhood watching his mom kill chickens by popping their heads off or shooting a chicken off a high roost, also shooting a tree down for Christmas! On Track 12, Daddy Screamed in the Night, Whitehead tells of his father's nightmares after a long day's work and how he would sometimes yell out his name and made him realize his Dad really loved him. Track 14, Emotional Frostbite, Messina tells of a long period of depression but how he recovered through the love of his son. On Track 14, My Heart Swells for You, Messina tells the story of a deep love for a woman, a child they had together and the tragedy of her death/departure.

This album also features the excellent music of Owen Reynolds on on bass and Teddy Owens (Director/Conductor of The Louisville Symphony Orchestra). on clarinet and beautiful, moving vocals of Robin Whitehead Tichenor. David Amaram plays piano, French horn, flute(s), & percussion. He plays at least one instrument, and often more, on every track.

 Mama Gave Me the World by Ron Whitehead from Never Too Many Sunsets: Three Generations, Whitehead, Amram and Messina.

Available on AmazonApple music  


Listen FREE on Spotify!  

NEVER TOO MANY SUNSETS CD and many other titles by Ron Whitehead & Jinn Bug are available from Trancemission Press 

You can also find this album on Pandora and other online venues. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Bruce McRae

Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with poems published in hundreds of magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are The So-Called Sonnets (Silenced Press); An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy; (Cawing Crow Press) and Like As If (Pski’s Porch), Hearsay (The Poet’s Haven).

 A Little Chat With Ourself

I’m talking to you through a rip in the seaside,
out of a warmed dent in the passing nothingness,
from behind a loop of tightly woven angel-hair.

I’m talking to you, and the wind is rubbing a cornfield.
I’m telling you the sun is sawing its right hand.
That the moon is a knothole in God’s coffin,
the stars His marred and excitable match-heads.

I’m going along, caught between a feather and a flower.
I’m shouting from the top of my voice,
from the foot of the stairs.
I’m talking to you from a squeak at the circus.
Pointing out opossum’s breath.
Explaining, carefully, gunpowder.

I’m telling you the world is a fog of consciousness.
I’m telling you about the mountain chain
that’s fallen in love with a river.
About a river pouring itself into your tea.
About a cup of tea embarrassed by the cosmos’s antics.

You’re listening to me spouting forth
from the swirling vortex in mommy’s sewing machine.
You’ve been asleep under a stone for a thousand years.
You’re hearing my voice, but believe it’s the rain falling,
and that each cold drop is a planet or miniature Himalayas.

I’m talking to you from the ragged hum of my hands.
I want you to realize that I’m snow
drifting in a far-off land.
I want you to see how the world still loves you.
To know the stars understand.

Chickadee Thinking

In the mind of the chickadee
is a ball of sparks,
a knot of entrails,
the planet’s littlest vacuum.

The chickadee’s mind whistles,
colour fusing to colour.
It smells of beetles’ fears.
It tastes like summer.

Actually, phantoms there
stroll between atoms of moonlight
and lordly Titans gambol
over the seemingly endless vistas.

There are great thoughts,
and these crackle like spruce tinder.
Like soda bubbles, but they weigh tons
and feel barbed to the touch.

Like wind over a hilltop.
Like lines intersecting wires.
Like smoking campfires of the Mongols,
as seen from a blood-red sky.

Monday, December 27, 2021

GAS Featured Poet: Michael Ceraolo


Michael Ceraolo is a 64-year-old retired firefighter/paramedic and active poet who has had two full-length books (Euclid Creek, from Deep Cleveland Press; 500 Cleveland Haiku, from Writing Knights Press) and has two more full-length books, Euclid Creek Book Two, and Lawyers, Guns, and Money, in the publication pipeline.

Letter to an Insurance Broker

Man walks up to Postal Clerk to mail a certified letter a few days before Christmas.

Postal Clerk:  Do you need stamps, or anything else?

Man:  Not today, thanks.

Postal Clerk:  Is anything in here liquid, perishable, hazardous, etc.?

Man:  The letter could be harmful to someone's ego.

Postal Clerk:  Thanks.  I needed a good laugh at this time of year.

                                  THE END

The History Game Show (Episode 3)

And tonight's show is

                                   FEAR FACTOR

                                                             with host Russell Alger
                                                             and co-host Charles Eagan

Tonight's challenge:

                                 Will the soldiers in Cuba
                                 eat the beef procured for them
                                 from American companies?
                                (disparagingly referred to as "embalmed beef")

(Stock footage of soldiers eating.)

Thousands of soldiers have accepted the challenge, and their prize for doing so:  far more will die from food poisoning and disease exacerbated by food poisoning, than will die in combat.

                                       THE END

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

GAS Featured Poet: James Cochran

"I am a proudly Appalachian writer, transplanted from the soil of Southeastern Ohio to the hilly streets of Charleston, West Virginia. I embrace the practice of mindfulness through writing and enjoy listening to the neighbor’s wind chimes. I believe in the power of writing to access and understand our shared experience in a way that can heal and empower all of us."


Awaken to wind chimes and crow song

to follow highway of dazed February


sunshine, cut-banks piled with shattered

ice formations like ruined chandeliers.


The stubborn COVID winter asked us all,

“How much more can you take?”


We answered with chemo and blood

tests, then small vanilla milkshakes


and filthy piles of snow in the grocery

store parking lot where sparkling streams


of meltwater run the gutter

and disappear into storm drains.


How can anguish and nothingness

and hope live together in the small

space of the heart?


It was a thing that had to be done…

it was the thing that could be done.





by day I do my work as interpreter (interprete)

remotely, at home, by telephone (teléfono).

I parrot the words of otros, feeling them

flow through me like electricidad through

conduit (conducto). For the minutes or hours

the calls last I am merged in séance with

disembodied voces, we live our lives

together, though their problemas are

not mine, I’m only paid by the minuto.




press 2 for Spanish (oprima dos para español):

911 calls, parent teacher conferences, workers comp,

ancient medicare enrollees, WIC, car insurance,

home foreclosures, tech support, but most of all,

the immigrants waiting in detention centers…




Do you have any heart problems?

No, I have two bullets in my head

from an attempt on my life.

They were unable to remove them

in the other center where I was.

That doesn’t have anything to do with your heart.

Do you have heart problems or high blood pressure?

No heart problems, just these two bullets in my head.




There were a lot of cockroaches in the cell where I was.

At first I would kill them, but after awhile I started to talk to them.

I told them that they could crawl on my body, as long as they didn’t

go in my mouth or ears… I needed the company.




At home everyone in the family has their own bed, even my wife, because I like my space.

I have a big bed, and when I’m asleep the kids will sneak in and get in bed with me.

Now I’m in here on this narrow uncomfortable bunk and all I can think about is

how I wish I could have my kids in bed with me. I miss them so bad it hurts.





Sometimes, I’m just sitting there, and I feel like I have powers…superpowers,

like one of those Power Rangers, like I can just point my hand at the wall

and make a hole in it. But then I reach out my cane and touch the wall

and there’s no hole there. I don’t tell anybody about this because I know

they would just tell me I’m crazy.




The workday ends with a dial tone, no more voices in my head.

Bullets, cockroaches, lonely bunks, and superpowers evaporate,

and I head out to the YMCA to exercise and exorcise my pain

and the pain of others, still not knowing what number to press

for freedom, safety, healing, or a second chance.