Archives for posts with tag: prose poems

Silver Birch Press--Brad Rose Photo1

Bull-Leaping to Bach Cantata No. 54 (Stand Firm Against Sin)
by Brad Rose

I once knew a girl who sang in her sleep — hummed Bach cantatas. So pretty, the sleep-soaked notes, levitating above her pillow, her musical murmur, beckoning the night to draw closer. She was Danish, charming, traveling the Mediterranean. What did I know about music? A brash American, barely 21, flotsam in the blue latitudes where once, the minotaur lived and naked boys tumbled over the heads of bulls. In Heraklion, Bettina whispered the hot, still night to sleep, while in my tossing restlessness, all I could dream about was a rhythm section. And horns.

SOURCE: Originally published in The Molotov Cocktail (June 1, 2011).

PHOTOGRAPH: “Bull-Leaping to Bach Cantata No. 54” is set in the Mediterranean, on the Island of Crete, when the author was 21.  Pictured here, he is vacationing in Kauai, where the surf is much better than on Crete.  The photo was taken in the 20th century.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This prose poem is based on my vacation travels in Greece and Crete many, many years ago. It is a true story.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author of Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015). His poetry and fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Review, Posit, decomP, San Pedro River Review, Off the Coast, Third Wednesday, Boston Literary Magazine, Right Hand Pointing and other publications. His chapbook of poetry, Democracy of Secrets, from Right Hand Pointing, can be read at  His chapbook of micro fiction Coyotes Circle the Party Store, can be read at this link. Links to Brad’s published poetry and fiction can be found at Audio recordings of a selection of Brad’s published poetry can be heard at

by Danielle Mitchell

I’m a dumb blonde living in a dumb blonde’s body. She’s helping me learn to cope. She says write & I write with duct tape. There are dark silver X’s on all the mirrors. It’s very hard to make revisions. She says write what you know & I plug my nose with two fingers. My best dive is the cannonball. My velocity is beyond my control. I was a child afraid of everything—fire in the bed, sharks in the pool, my cousins. Tawny said the fat-mouthed drain would pull me in, every summer the pool deepened. The dumb blonde wants to fill her hair with Plumeria until there’s no room left for braids. She’s a mouth full of licorice & an overripe sweater. She’s a math quiz stuck in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner—it’s all equations of the trinity & doldrums in her. A pretty face under the bleachers calls Can I come up? It’s all gum stains & split popcorn down there, but that soft dirt, that’s where we’re digging. I’ll tell you everything she swears. Something in her past caused an absentia, she calls it The Great Blood, but that’s all we know. We are the girl who buried herself alive. We are the girl who walked five miles to tour a castle only to be turned away at the gate. The king still lives here! the guard told us. So she turned to me, crossed her arms & said We’ll wait.

IMAGE: “Duct Tape Repair” by Dale Kincaid. Prints available at

Danielle Mitchell Author Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Danielle Mitchell is one of ten emerging poets featured in Pop Art: An Anthology of Southern California Poetry (Moon Tide Press). Her prose poems have appeared in journals such as Connotation Press, decomP, Union Station Magazine, Cease, Cows & Freeze Ray. Danielle directs The Poetry Lab in Long Beach, California, where she hosts workshops & craft seminars. She is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers & holds degrees in Women’s Studies & Creative Writing from the University of Redlands. She currently guest writes for DIY MFA & blogs at