Saturday, May 23, 2009

the shutdown.

Hey there. Almost a year without a post and no wonder, PBHP is all but dead. There should be a final spurt from the bleeding monster but for now much to our regret we must ask you not to submit new material.

We may see you around.


Friday, May 30, 2008

A Poem by Sam Pink.



Sam Pink blogs at

Monday, March 17, 2008

Flash Fiction by Caleb Puckett

Sugar Land, Texas

There’s a broken gumball machine next to the exit and a new machete under the register at the grocery where I used to please my sweet tooth. Raul says that he must cut me if I mention “candy” aloud, though he slips me a note that indicates he knows where I can score some black market baking chocolate if I’m feeling really down. Yes, life has changed since that ruthless dental syndicate took over Sugar Land, Texas and started eliminating decay among its citizens in order to stimulate business for those higher paying cosmetic alterations that afford exotic vacations for the assistants, practitioners and insurance agents. I guess they figure less is more in the long run, but with all the violence and crime I wonder if it’s a worthy cause. Just last week, for instance, Linda Henneman ended up with a broken hand for planting some honeysuckle behind an old shed. She’s such a kind matron, a quiet, harmless retiree, that it makes me question the dental syndicate’s methodology. But times have changed, sure enough. Why I even hear that Grapevine will be taking similar punitive measures sometime in the near future, although I’m unsure if the focus will be the same, especially since that city has its own share of unhealthy problems, judging by their name.

Postmodern St. Louis

So much for the myth of the sedate Midwest. You’d think after T.S. Eliot renounced his citizenship for a more cultured shoal in merry old England that the place would’ve become even safer, more milquetoast, but no. According to recent findings, St. Louis tops the national list for crimes of every variety, thus rendering its famed arch into the sharp eyebrow of the stock villain who ties you to the tracks in the final scene leading to your screams, split seams and oblivion. The only thing missing is Ezra Pound’s maniacal laughter infusing the background with an Italianate sense of tragedy. It’s hidden somewhere in the eerie old archives with all the defunct laugh tracks, but you may rest assured that it will be retrieved in time to haunt Ernest Hemingway’s thwarted efforts to untie you, my dear heroine, my perilously positioned Gertrude Stein dressed to the nines in Hilda Doolittle’s seductive finery and nude tights. And there will be no William Carlos Williams around to save your organs for science, and if there were he would inevitably fail as well, being but a doctor playing an actor in the silent film of your mind. That said, I think it’s best to avoid taking Interstate 55 while listening to political appeals between bouts of soft jazz.

Caleb Puckett has work forthcoming in Asterisk: A Journal of New Initiatives, Elsewhere: A Journal for the Literature of Place, The Oklahoma Review and Salt Flats Annual. He recently co-authored Next Exit 8, now available through Kendra Steiner Editions, and he has a poetry chapbook, Desertions, available through Plan B Press.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

4 poems by Christopher Mulrooney

the boulevard

the spindle-leg reviewers sat on the fly of a sailor's suit
and squirmed to beat the band

the tall ships entered the harbor
like hobby-horses in the stable of a speculator

my compatriot

he savvies near as much as possible
the ornamental truth of any mirror
he tells them as he passes gaily
unreflective with a glint that's tiny
it might be a million years for him under the wan hot blazing sun
and then again he and his kind might rove to moon and maidens
fall back like a petal in an ass's ear and laughingly
pretend the chorus of Don Giovanni
played itself nightly around his slum with fountains
rising mightily in the air as far as possible
cascading like a pis-aller down there

the sewing circle

here you have the fine old art
competes for face time on the Peeb
you make it out of scraps and rags
in which the discerning movie eye
of a born director on the sill looking out at the day
sees oh such things a roundelay
upside down a thousand things sideways something else
this too the art of making art
is stolidly discussed on telly

the city

it's not a bad story really
not so's you'd notice anyways
it doesn't go
or do much
doesn't say what it wants
to have it says have nothing else
and then it walks to the corner store for something
it admires the hills you've read it before
shut up in the library
that's alive and kicking out with boots or waders
nothing else a Winslow Homer hat for rain
yellow or gray a slicker too
perhaps same color
a pulley

Christopher Mulrooney has written poems in The Delinquent, Vanitas, Guernica and Beeswax.
His own website is here

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Comics fever

Yes, but when?

Well, soon. We've been delayed, as you may have noticed but, honest, PBHP 5 is nearing its completion.

But then again, you know it's worth waiting for.

Please don't send submissions at this time since we're pretty full.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Annus Horribilis, by Sam Jordison

If Schadenfreude is what you usually get drunk on, prepare for a massive piss-up. Sam Jordison delivers, with Annus Horribilis (John Murray, £9.99) one of those indispensable coffee table books (you can also read it in other, more secluded places) that trigger some needed chuckles in these dreary autumn days. The principle is disarmingly simple. Jordison compiled stories of remarkably stupid deaths, resounding failures, entertainingly catastrophic mistakes and sundry embarrassing moments, the whole giving more credence to the saying that what appears as a tragedy on an individual scale becomes slapstick when seen from a distance. Jordison made the bold assumption that a man's misfortune is another man's guilty delight and I'm not one to prove him wrong.

Finally, am I the only one to promise myself that I'll read books like this in small, savoury shots and end up hogging them in one big gulp? I suppose it's the chocolate box syndrom, only the box this time may once have belonged to Pandora (am I clever today or what?).