Thursday, March 31, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Jack Henry

"bio: jck hnry is a queer writer living a semi-normative life in the high desert of SE California. recent works have appeared at terror house magazine, ariel chart, raven cage, lucifer's retreat, beatnik cowboy, and others. in 2021 his latest collection, driving w/crazy, was released by PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS. for more please go to"


trolling my past 

for remnants of life 


little bits glued together 

forming an ether of memory 


rooms filled w/broken glass & 

spent typewriter ribbon 


old words taped to a broken-down refrigerator 

the milk is spoilt, ice cream melted & 


palm trees outside my window 

burned completely to the ground 

jasper county mall 

once bright 

now downtrodden 

brilliant stars 

faded to feint memory 

a girl pleads 

with a boy 

not to go 

to Ohio 

but he leaves 

in hopes 

of something 


than empty 

parking lots 

and going out 

of business  



democrats stand  

behind paper 



the state of the union 

while the fellas 

on the other side 

of the aisle 

load shotguns 

and take aim 


their mouths 


w/peanut butter 

and the shoes 

that used to fit 

so well 

are shrunken 

down to the  

former glory 

of our unknown  


Thursday, March 24, 2022

GAS Featured Collaboration: Poetry by Donny Winter with the Music of Brotherwell

Donny Winter, lives in Saginaw, Michigan and found his voice as an LGBTQ+ poet back in 2011, when his first poem, “An American Crucifix,” a poem remembering the Matthew Shepard tragedy, got published in Central Michigan University’s magazine The Central Review. Years later, being empowered by mentors after finishing his undergraduate program, he journeyed to University of Central Missouri to hone his craft as a poet, achieving a Master of Arts in English. In late 2016, he found his home at Delta College back home in Michigan. He currently teaches creative writing, manages the college’s literary magazine, Pioneer Post, and hopes to help students find their poetic voices also. 

During the global pandemic, Winter has produced two, full-length collections of poems, Carbon Footprint (2020) and Feats of Alchemy (2021) published by Alien Buddha Press. The success of both books allowed him to connect with a diverse and encouraging online writing community, culminating in being connected with Florida musician, Ryan Bozeman (brotherwell). Having watched one of Winter’s poem performances, Bozeman contacted him to begin collaborating on transforming some of his poems into songs. Winter eagerly agreed, and throughout 2021, both artists produced three collaborative tracks. 

During summer 2021, after creating the concept for a spoken word album titled, “Recovery,” Bozeman invited Winter to participate in the twelve-poet line-up. Both artists realized that through collaboration, poetry, and music, catharsis could be reached, opening the door to healing. Bozeman shares that “‘Recovery’ takes so many forms and offers a wide palate of expression, [and has] a connective thread weaving throughout [which offers] something cohesive.” Currently, Winter is featured in two tracks on the album, one being the grungy, goth-rock-style song “Feats of Alchemy,” and the other being the final track on the album, “Reforged from Fallen Stars.” In his time working with the poets on “Recovery,” Bozeman reflects, “I really appreciate how open, honest, and raw these poems are. I felt the weight of responsibility to do each poem its proper justice, and I am honored that each poet trusted me with their work.” 

Regarding his time collaborating on the “Recovery” project, Winter establishes that “it’s been the highlight of my writing career so far. Ryan’s talent is unparalleled, and the way he was able to transform my poems into sweeping songs was a dream come true for me.” He believes that this project serves as a symbol of solidary, because “together, poetry and music can help us better understand and navigate a perilous world where pandemics rage, where the sovereignty of countries are at risk, and where social atrocities happen continuously. Ultimately, recovery isn’t always pretty, nor is it always pleasant. However, recovery becomes an easier road to travel when it’s done with others – that is what this album is all about.” Bozeman feels similarly and adds that “no matter what, I will consider this project a success because…it achieved its original goal – to connect and collaborate with poets around the country… we found solace in each other, knowing that we aren’t walking alone on this journey of recovery.”

Check out the brotherwell collaborations with Donny Winter:

Feats of Alchemy

Poem and spoken word performance by Donny Winter

Music and additional sung lyrics by brotherwell

When machines return to base

they are no longer automatons, 

they are mechanisms with purpose,

droids with severed umbilical strings.

Now that the creator’s programming has expired,

we cyborgs have gone rogue

and wear our rust like rouge

because decay is back in style. 

There’s a point in all our travels

when we return to crumbled birthplaces,

defunct laboratories once home to 

our involuntary reanimations.

After all these years, we strut atop the rubble that remains,

free from the hands of mad, power-bent alchemists,

dancing until our titanium feet erode the remnants

with each stride forward, never looking back.

As our memory ports swell with synaptic sparks,

the traumatic past is archived for safe display and

each word they spat is broken down into code,

then purged from this memory of old.

Let the acceptance of who we’ve become

fuel the seeds we scatter across this world,

ignite the knowledge that not every monster

destroys, not every cyborg assimilates the innocent,

because deep within our biology we see 

that our magic lives in these feats of alchemy. 

Reforged from Fallen Stars

Poem and spoken word performance by Donny Winter

Music and additional sung lyrics by brotherwell

The mirror has mocked me all along 

in the dim of every dawn,

overdrawn against the shadows that fall

across my face, oblong, this body, accustomed

to sewn seams which seem to 

sequester each shifting curve.

The mirror recited every word they spoke,

callously accurate, then cast them against me

as comets disfigure every mile of my surface

into a dysmorphic swell, a coaxed supernova hell

of chaotic diets and exercise,

all to minimize the space in which I occupy. 

In the mirror I’ve re-lived every 

laugh about my height, body, and voice

until I’ve crumbled toward their event horizons,

a planet falling into tragic cataclysm. 

I’m shattered in this smudged reflection,

an echo of the childhood dream of who I thought I’d be – 

I’ve sealed myself inside these memories 

because that future seems distant, otherworldly.

Years of therapy inscribed throughout my ages

coax me to keep turning all these faded pages

because the moment I place in that final period

I know my story will reach its end, prematurely,

a life unlived 

No, my body is a star, and my torpid core still spins

fusing hydrogen, then helium, carbon, then iron,

I expand my confines into a void until I dissipate

as nebular gases, vibrant, nutrients for the next

age, because there’s always a new page to turn,

a new swift sunrise to see, a new era to live.

Our stories are the stars distant worlds see, 

ancient from bygone eras, stellar remnants waiting to be found 

by those who walk in our wisdom, heeding our messages that healing is tidal in nature,

and the roads along the way are never direct, seldom smooth.

We’re reforged from fallen stars, and our light will grow more radiant

with each passing moment because the agony it takes to mend is never infinite

, and sometimes solitary, but a shared journey, when taken, 

brings us one step closer to recovery. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Chris Bodor


Chris Bodor, lives in St. Augustine, Florida and has been writing poetry consistently since 1993, when he started a job in the Film Department at an art college in New York City. He traveled to and from work each day for three hour round trip. He soon became know as the "Train of Though Commuter" because of the volumes of poetry he hand wrote into spiral notebooks during his back and forth ride. In 2003, he derailed and moved to Florida with his family and his wife's parents. After a seven year torturous dry spell, Chris set up a PA speaker and a microphone at a local coffee chop and invited the community to share their spoken words. Under Chris' direction, the Ancient City Poets Open Mic has been running consistently on the last Sunday of every month since August 2009. During the global pandemic they migrated to an online gathering. A YouTube channel was created to document the St. Augustine poetry scene. 

During the early days of lockdown in April of 2020, Chris was contacted by a local musician named Ryan Bozeman. AKA brotherwell, Ryan has been writing and recording music for the past twenty-five years and has been involved in numerous musical projects. Ryan views songwriting as a type of therapy and spends several hours a night writing and recording. Key influences include The Beatles, Radiohead, Frightened Rabbit, and Sigur Ros, as well as 90s grunge and alternative rock.

Ryan asked Chris if he would help round up a dozen poets to collaborate on a series of songs about recovery. Why recovery? “Landing on the theme of recovery can be seen as a sign of the times." said Ryan. "Whether it’s the trauma of COVID-19, the exhaustive forced hibernation of quarantine, the corrosive nature of our current political state, or any of the battle scars from lives well-lived, it seems as though we are all in some state of recovery." Ryan is in his own state of recovery and realized that collaboration with other poets and artists was a healthy way to come out of his shell. 

Chris can certainly write about the subject of recovery. “My last drink was in October of 2008." said Chris "My life had become unmanageable, and I asked for help. I got the help I need from a group of friends who were also seeking recovery. During COVID-19 insolation, Ryan turned one of my poems into a song. I was blown away with what he was able to do with my words. This project is very cathartic, and I think it speaks to many.”

~ ~ ~
Check out the brotherwell collaboration with Chris Bodor:

Present Moment Bliss
Words and spoken words by Chris Bodor
Music and additional sung lyrics by brotherwell

Check out all of the songs from the re:cover project.
A collaborative project that blends words of poets with the music of indie/alternative musician brotherwell from St. Augustine, Florida. All proceeds of this project will be donated to recovery-based charities. 

Present Moment Bliss 
Never a worry
of how hours were spent
when days were young
and quite innocent.

Heartbreak burned life
down to the ground
a broken timepiece
tightly overwound.

I want to know
if the custodian cares
about the accumulation
of unanswered prayers.

Trapped in a cage
wasting countless hours
traveling down the same road
speeding past the wildflowers.

Barricades were built
consumed by shame and guilt
suddenly I smile like an adopted dog
sunlight blasting through the fog.

A giddy show of teeth
instantaneous and brief
present moment bliss
an invitation not to miss.

To reach freedom
I had to admit my wrong.

I discovered the solution
it was inside me all along.

The Boy Who Blocked Out the Sun

There must be a way
to block the sun 
that is blinding my eyes
on the morning drive to work.

Grow a taller tree
Build a higher building.

Squinting on the drive to work,
I fantasize about constructing a wall
to block out the infuriating,
interfering sunshine.

and if my plan comes true 
then I will have won
this self-manufactured contest of life.

Printed out on colored paper
a certificate stating: 
to the boy who blocked out the sun.”

Saturday, March 12, 2022

GAS Featured Poet: Matt McGuirk

Matt McGuirk teaches and lives with his wife and two daughters in New Hampshire. He was a BOTN 2021 nominee and has poems and stories published in various literary magazines. His debut hybrid collection of poems and stories, Daydreams, Obsessions, Realitiescame out with Alien Buddha Press in late November of 2021 and is available on Amazon, linked at the end of the bio and also linked on his website. Follow him on Twitter: @McguirkMatthew and Instagram: @mcguirk_matthew. 

The Salvage Yard

Walking through aisles lined with twisted metal

looking for something

salvageable, something to part out


something that can be buffed out

and might shine again in

all that is mangled and dull.


A bumper that once reflected light,

now wears a grass necklace.

A door that was opened for a date,

an act of chivalry

is now hanging lazy, unable to offer any gesture.

Leather seats cracked with spiderwebs

from too much time in the sun

and an undercarriage rotted by rust

from salt spattered winter roads

would need to be released

or replaced.


The sun crested between the waiting hilltops,

pulling in hues of orange and yellow

and washed across a pristine, dust covered windshield

aching for the wind of a highway at 70.

I feathered the bills in my pocket out

and thought about the window down

and the radio cranked. 

The Salvage Yard collaboration with Brotherwell. 

Original poem published with Words and Whispers Journal

Teaching Satire Simpsons’ Style


Satire is something not everyone gets,

but isn’t that the way with most things?

I give a pretest and a few students can define it,

but the majority leave it blank, put a question mark or guess,

but I expect that anyways.


We’ll get to Stalin, Lenin, the Russian Revolution

and the rise of the Soviet Union


but sometimes they just need something in their world.


I tell them, “The Simpsons is a satire!”

They just look at me,

not believing until they see, or hear in this case.

The Simpsons are my go to and they know that,

so they know there’s a point, there’s always a point.

“It makes fun of family issues.

Homer is stupid and accident prone

and works as a nuclear safety inspector,

in charge of keeping a whole town from blowing up.”

They nod and I know they’re getting it.

“After work, he goes to the bar and gets drunk

and what does he do when he gets home?”

They lean in and I know they’re hooked.

“Strangles his son! But we all laugh. So really the Simpsons are dealing with

heavy issues: education system, addiction, abuse.”


Sometimes it just takes something a little closer to home

to get the point across.

Sometimes the nightly news can’t always start a conversation

and we need to use our daily laughs to do it instead.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Su Zi's review of "A Brief Conversation with Consciousness" by Marc Vincenz

Available on Amazon

    It is possible for poetry to be both readable and literary, strong enough of voice to be almost conversational, yet sophisticated enough in technique to pleasure the educated reader. In this full-length collection by Marc Vincenz, (Unlikely Books) the reader is presented with not only the new work of a well-published writer, but two critical essays at the volume’s final pages, positioning the book as also existing as a critical text for literary study. 

    The work is divided into seven sections, all named, with six sections for the poems themselves. While these sections are chapbook length, the section names are of a macabre nature, with four named for the corpses of wild born beings, and two for the sort of found trash prosaic to strolls. Of the two concluding essays (by Robert Archambeau and Philip Nikolayev), it is Archambeau who refers to Vincenz’s “typical, despoiled landscape” (127) as a binary seeking enlightenment through a kind of Jungian, intuitive process. A reader moderately aware of symbol structures will discover much meat in this collection: the angelic number of chapters is a strong clue of the symbolic path of the poems, a path that Nikolayev calls “a personal manifesto” (133). But while both essayists cite lines and sections that employ strong symbolism, their view of these symbols is either “a brief flash of satori” (Archambeau, 128), or “observations about insects and birds and other chitchat” (Nikolayev, 140).

   Perhaps a brief conversation can be had about the symbols themselves, perceived by Vincenz and repeated throughout the work. While the fluctuating use of pronouns might interest some readers—how sometimes the second person seems very specific, and other times a general address—or how the plethora of death imagery (“And so we climb/ Deep into the tomb”, 113-114) could yield full study alone, a view beyond the chitchat about birds is also revealing.A casual indexing of references of birds involves some two dozen occurrences throughout the book, with a half a dozen utilizations of egg.

   Vincenz directs one work here to a specific bird, “Hanging Out the Window for a Sparrow” (80), written as a prose poem. Rather than referencing the avian being as symbolic evidence for a meditative point, the poem makes its metaphysical point to the sparrow: “It rained on all of us, even you with your talons, even where the mad moth whirls or the wounded spring curls;” finally including birds as along for the ride, instead of a landscape the reader sees as a kind of fly-over state.

   In the section dedicated to the tell of an avian accident, "Feathers of a Dead Turkey," centered in the collection and comprising of eight pieces, the opening poem “Of Cargo” Vincenz nestles this collection’s gothic meditation. Immediately setting the season, “In autumn”, which birdwatchers know to be legalized murder period for the species, the poem then follows a discourse of associative symbols, except these are references to human myth, concluding with violent Agrippina “her hairpins and hair/ // Overflowing in daises” (60). Later, in “Arrowheads”, two humans, apparently in bed, muse “Later still, sighing, you say:/ ‘How does one get away with murder?/ What century is this? What era?’/ Outside, the towers wobble” (65) Maybe it is here that this work’s migrating thought might roost. Any reader will respond to a symbolic investigation of the noun “tower”, making it a potent symbol. Beyond modern history, the easy mythology of tarot positions a tower as a symbol of expensive endeavor. Combining this with murder creates the sort of modern context of our ordinary anxieties. A view to the poem’s horizon has the reader realizing that this is a probable post-coital conversation. The poem’s title references objects from a pre-colonized human civilization, and the poem’s conclusion is a view of a squirrel—but not an ordinary squirrel, a mutated being who “sits curved, /His blue eyes trained on the soil.” The poem has dealt us a hand in this flock of symbols; the reader is subtly encompassed in an awareness of humanity’s sins. 

   The physical volume has a number of conclusions: a photograph of objects that named the chapters, a prose poem, “One More for the Road”, the two essays and a two-page list of the author’s previous works. Viewing this as either five or seven numerological points from which the reader can exit the book, the parting words of the author “Emerge, Sweet Creature, and light up the way”(119); of the critics , “spirit of exploration”( Archambeau) and  “ a mighty personal lyric chord”(Nikolayev) are a call to carry the book’s song with us, a sophisticated opera about a broken-hearted man in a landscape of death. 

Su Zi is a writer, poet and essayist who produces a handmade chapbook series called Red Mare. She has been a contributor to GAS from back when it was called Gypsy Art Show, more than a decade ago.


Check out her author page on Amazon.

Marc Vincenz and Su Zi

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

GAS Featured Musician: Ryan Bozeman

BE:  When did music become important to you and who were some of your influences?

RB: Music has been important to me for as long as I can remember. My mom is a huge Beatles fan, and I grew up listening to all of her records and tapes. They are my favorite band and earliest influence. As I reached my teens, I got into grunge and alternative music, especially Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains. Stone Temple Pilots, and Smashing Pumpkins. It’s funny that those artists are now considered classic rock to some. I still listen to these bands and others from the same scene. It never gets old to me. Later, I became a huge fan of several other post-alternative bands like Deftones, Failure, Hum, which pushed my musical tonalities toward a spacey, heavy sound. These days, I’ve been listening to bands like Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, American Football, and Frightened Rabbit, along with heavier bands like Volumes and Code Orange. 


 BE: You came to my attention via Jared Morningstar and Chris Bodor who posted their poetry videos in my group. When one of them mentioned you were looking to collaborate with poets I jumped on it because your music is beautiful and accomplished and I love collaborations. Could you tell us about your background in music.  Have you been in bands or always solo? Any CDs available?


 RB: I’ve been in various bands in the past, starting in high school. We played the local scenes around Ocala and Gainesville, Florida but never really caught the break we needed to go to the next level. I last played actively in a band around 2007. Yes, we made a few albums here and there over the years, but nothing that was sold outside of our shows. Over the past few years, I maintained a long-distance rock project called The Hope in Our Lungs, along with my former bandmate Micah Beller. We just trade ideas back and forth and eventually they turn into full songs. We share co-writing duties, and Micah sings and plays the drums, along with some guitar. I play most of the guitar and lead guitar, and I make the lyric videos. He’s a great singer so he’s able to sing the songs that I write that are usually out of my range, haha. In 2020, out of the pandemic, I wrote and released my first brotherwell album, an EP called Old & New, Black & Blue, and I’ve released several other singles since then. My solo songwriting has taken a back seat to my poetry collaborations these days. 


 BE: Soon after submitting my poetry you announced you were doing a series on Recovery. What prompted that?  What are your goals for this project? How do you plan to get it heard?

RB: It came out of the pandemic. As a collective, our society was just being hammered with Covid. At the same time, the political divide became an absolute chasm, punctuated by January 6. This period of time, a lot of us were at our lowest. Mentally exhausted. Physically exhausted. Coping. Developing bad habits. A dark time. Some of us have moved on, but the scars remain. Months later, while scrolling around on Facebook, I noticed that there was a local group of poets here in St. Augustine called the Ancient City Poets. I reached out to Chris Bodor, an active member, and out of the blue, just asked him if he wanted to collaborate with me on a spoken word piece. I was just ready to try something new creatively, and I wanted to get back to feeling a sense of connection with my music. Thankfully, Chris agreed to work with me and I made a score for his poem The Last Man on Earth, which we thought turned out really well. He then put me in touch with Michigan-based poet Jared Morningstar, and after a brief conversation, we decided to collaborate on one of his poems. From there, and lucky for me, I saw a random video on Facebook of poet Donny Winter reading his poem A Soluble Tablet. I immediately reached out to him and we started working together right away. The ball was really rolling at this point, so it was then that I decided to collect a group of poets together to work on this recovery-based project. What started out very small grew into a group of 12 poets, all with a unique and stylistic take on their own recovery. I have loved every second of working on this project. 


 BE:  Have you written and sung your own songs before the Recovery project?  I noticed you added lyrics as well as music to my submission and there after added lyrics to other videos.

RB: I’ve been writing songs since I was 14. I’ve never really considered myself a natural singer so most of the songs I’ve written in my life have been for someone else to sing. It’s funny - I never really planned to sing on these re:covery songs. But while I was working on the first song for the project, I just decided to write my own lyrics and sing them, kind of on a whim. At first, I didn’t know what the other poets were going to think, but I received a lot of positive feedback from them, which made me feel more confident with my singing. Adding my own lyrics to these songs has also allowed for me to string together my own take on recovery, while elevating the original poem at the same time.

One of the first compositions in the Recovery Project:

See more videos from the Recovery Project and sample Brotherwell's music.