IX: Poetry by A.J. Huffman & Photography by Natalia Drepina

Unhealed wounds of the Nightmares

Two Steps Closer

I overcame my sense of revulsion,
scraped together some dry
straw and dust to form a bed.
Along the back wall stood a row
of clay pots. I remembered
all their names. Sick with fascination
(and pity), I fled the light.
Gulping fresh breaths of midnight,
I pieced myself back together
with bolts and an old pair
of fiberglass wings. Deluminated,
I labeled myself a crystal
cage, with walls so thick they tangled each other.
I emptied one of my eyes,
decided it was a door.
Blink three times, and I will open.
Welcome to the lost world
of my ruined skin.


A.J. Huffman has published twelve solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press), A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing), Butchery of the Innocent (Scars Publications), Degeneration (Pink Girl Ink) and A Bizarre Burning of Bees (Transcendent Zero Press) are available from their respective publishers and amazon.com. A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a two-time Best of Net nominee, she has published over 2400 poems in various national and international journals, including Labletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press.

Natalia Drepina, born 1989, is a photographer, poet, and composer/videographer from Lipetsk, Russia. Her work has been featured in a number of specialty journals and small press ‘zines, including Anathema, Beautiful Bizarre, Bleaq, Flesh and Bone, Folio, Literary Orphans, and ND Magazine. She has also been the subject of online interviews at All Black Magazine, Biophiliart, and Les Éditions du Faune. To learn more about Natalia and her art for fragile, wounded souls please visit her Facebook, along with her Art Diary at Tumblr.


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