elysian seas


Dark Matter

























Vince Gotera

Dark Matter


nightshade amoeba

a million Jupiters wide

swims the Milky Way



           hexagon crystals

           suspended in sleep drifting

           planet to planet


silver […]

A Floral Hypocrite



















Chengyu Liu

A Floral Hypocrite


A space dandelion

stands her delicate body

upon the yellow mine of sulfur

under the quiet blue sky.


A sympathetic traveler

moves her on a ball of soil


Spring Will Come Again



















Holly Lyn Walrath

Spring Will Come Again


One hundred black birds perch on straggling branches—

a maze of interwoven fingers forming chapel and steeple

of the death tree and its erstwhile lover.

When they were […]

A Darker Heaven





















Jennifer Crow

A Darker Heaven

For Elle


When you bend close

on your black-feathered wings

the wind carries

secret sobs, hidden sighs,

all the aching songs made up

by lonely dreamers


Poisoned Apple























Ann Thornfield-Long

Poisoned Apple


She was the fairest of womankind.

How could jewel green scales compare

with innocence of fine-textured skin?

How could one with jealous pride understand

that kindness is […]

Introduction to Issue 62 Poetry

It gives me great pleasure to present these six poets for this issue of Abyss & Apex: Ann Thornfield-Long, Jennifer Crow, Holly Lyn Walrath, Chengyu Liu, Vince Gotera and M.X. Kelly. There are recurrent symbols throughout the poems—birds, trees and others—arching through a narrative of loss and redemption. The texture of the varied voices will […]

Kissing the Invisible Man

Todd Dillard

Kissing the Invisible Man


He wants me to shut my eyes

when we kiss,

to sculpt him in my mind

from the blind

tools of my body: fingers

reading his stubble,

lips deciphering his thirst,

nose sketching the autumnal red

of his scent.


But I seek the […]

Maintenance Call

Ken Poyner

Maintenance Call


My wife needs a new socket.

Everyday, as soon as she gets home,

She goes directly into the closet

And absent-mindedly plugs herself in.

She tells me it is part of the contract.

Sometimes she can be connected

Half an hour for a maintenance routine,

Two […]

Ursa Major

John C. Mannone

Ursa Major


The Big Dipper is really Santa’s sled

freewheeling around the North Pole

through frosty stars and a red nosed

bear taking pointers from Rudolf as

his reins arc to a super giant red-eye

star, coursing through the circumpolar

tinsel of stars, a garland of firelights,

but […]