Villanelle of the Lie Machine

The lie machine spreads vicious memes
through Facebook’s anxious timelines.
In hatred’s sweet extreme,

behind the scenes, its writers scheme
disseminating landmines.
The lie machine spreads rousing memes.

Masses of memes flood media streams,
falsely polished to lure and shine
in hatred’s sweet extreme.

Beneath the stream, trolls wait to scream.
Dissension is their concubine.
The lie machine spreads reams of memes

to fertilize its party’s dreams
where fear and anger twixt and twine
in hatred’s sweet extreme.

Cleaving words from fact, it gleams.
Laugh lines crease its faces.
The lie machine spreads gleeful memes
in hatred’s sweet extreme.

Brenda Warren 2015


Round the Moon and Back (#)

The world unravels in my mind’s terrain as
public discourse shoots currents of hate,
bullets that annihilate cohesion through a fear
that flutters its rising pulse in anger.

Trolls lurk beneath social media memes
disseminating vitriolic dissension from the fringe.

Americans murder Americans en masse.
Jihadists murder their infidels.

Us versus Them
Us versus Us

Enough hatred already.


If we lined up every gun in America,
could we love them round the moon and back?

Brenda Warren 2015

Note: In the title, I left parentheses with # in them, as I’m curious how many times American owned guns (not military, but citizen) could go around the moon and back. Maybe (two times), maybe (ten times)? If you know, do share!



Against your angry words
like a worm she writhes,
astonished at the rising of her hard rock secret
set in memory’s amber.

Beneath life’s chirping rays
darkness covers her me place,
where angst rots fecund
and quiet fosters balance.

Rock lifted,
secret exposed.
What’s easy vanishes.
Like a worm she writhes.

She speaks in scattered syllables,
denying any deal
denying any lie.

Stop. Here.

Put back the rock.

Brenda Warren 2015

Note on the title* A leaverite is a rock that you should put back. You should leave ‘er right where you found her. A leaverite. My dad told me about leaverites to discourage childhood’s bulging pebble pockets. My pockets continue to bulge.

Whirl 214

Visit The Sunday Whirl




His teeth reel her in to reveal secrets in the shallows of her tongue.
Tracking his soft-lipped mouth, her fingers sigh;
her mask collapses.

(a woodpecker taps, a blackbird cries)

Radiant and emerging, they feed each other rivers and bones.

Brenda Warren 2015

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl


Built upon the wreckage of myself
I am a madwoman
Bleeding secrets like a mouthless doll
Words are blind howls
Mouthed beneath a werewolf moon

Surrender to the tingling burn of scorpion stings
I am a madwoman
Incessantly spinning spells like a branded witch
Ear to the ball
Mouth on fire
Hunted and alone
Words are werewolf howls
Left beneath an empty moon
Sacred and afraid

Built upon the wreckage of myself
I am a madwoman

Annihilating ire
I rise

Brenda Warren 2015

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Notes: The first line came from ‘Incendiary’ by Chris Cleave. In it, the narrator writes “I am a woman built on the wreckage of myself.” pg 80 – I spent the last two days steeped in that book, witnessing the narrator descend into madness. This is my reading response.

Echoing Hope

Ancient grains of hope, stories survive
within the hollow bones of crows.

Legends splinter, escaping through cracks
as caws collapse against night.

Did you hear that?

Old crows caw history’s quilt, stitching stars to clay
somewhere between marrow and loft
where hearts crawl open
echoing grains of hope.

Brenda Warren 2015


Visit The Sunday Whirl


The wheels of the bus grind into my flesh.

You proffer your own salvation,
as martyrdom trumps your hand.

Bitch show.
Freak show.
Leave me the fuck alone show.

Let me sleep my nights in peace
and walk around corners
forethought free.

Bark into your own backyard.
Eat what you put out there;
antacids don’t soothe vitriol.

Choke, you bitch.
Choke on the reflux of your words.

Brenda Warren 2015

Riddle Poem

flickering roots potatoes
with eyes fixed to stories
murderous tales told
in color and light
tales that break for product placement

we sit for hours
to cultivate the vegetables
we become

Brenda Warren 2015

The prompt was to write a poem that is a riddle.


My Backyard

Out back
where the garden bench
a wild tangle of roses
spices the air.

Brenda Warren 2015

Day 12, and I’m running out of poetic steam. This picture is from last summer. I’ll miss my Montana roses, but the bench is coming along for the ride.