Becoming a zealot,
I cringe.
Instances like pebbles through a thousand mattresses
make crooked my face.

Fueled by lead laced water,
God talk, and a staunch belief in climate science
I build holier than thou
nests of words and images
to counter yours.

I am sorry.

Light your fire,
make me see it’s better to be subtle
like a brook
babbling those pebbles smooth
until names become traces
phantoms of ideas
smoke rings.


Len & I walk the dogs.

Breathing in we step,
one . . . two . . . three.

Breathing out we step,
one . . . two . . . three.

Three is a magic number,
and tonight the moon is full.

Brenda Warren 2016


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.


Twinkle, twinkle little jar
filled with memories and scars
let me throw you to the stars—
primordial shining bards.

Saturated galaxy milk
spin your orbit white,
translucent strands of who we are
thread their way through night.

Blood moon round and red
illuminating sacred,
stars sing while we shed skin
beneath their camera, naked.

Release my sheep from counting,
interrupting bliss.
This interim is hounding me
I want Ohio’s kiss.

Brenda Warren 2015

The prompt was stars.

Man and Moon


Man and the Moon ~ by Andrew Wyeth 1990

A ball of hovering illumination
craters the night sky white
and draws its milky reflection
with chalk against your skin.
Man and moon forever bound.

Your Harley thrums its rumble through the air.

Brenda Warren 2013

Written for The Mag.

13 Ways of Looking at a Dog

My dog’s tongue is a long pink lick machine.

Victor Little Plume claims he’d rather eat
his grandmother’s dog soup than school lunches.
Any Day.

Laying claim to Earth, Daystar masks
the bright shine of Sirius
engendering summer’s dog days.

Joanie believes a recording
of vicious barking dogs
repels rapists.
Real dogs make her sneeze.

Plains Indians refer to the time before horses
as Dog Days—honoring interdependence.

The sociable docile beagle wags its way into lab experiments.

Only a true dog lover masters the expression of anal glands.

Beneath the city
in the morgue
the coroner pries the victim’s scalp
from the teeth of the Rottweiler
that shredded her pretty blonde head.

If you lie down with dogs
you get up with fleas.

Driving through Browning,
hub of the Blackfeet Nation,
we see more dogs than people.

Corky, Floppy, Bruno
Becky Zent, Bearsy, and Belle
Hopper Doodle-Doo
and Piggy, too.
And BoonDog and Elliot
over in Mizzooo.
ow-ow- owooooooooooooooooooooo!
Howlers howling,
sing it to the moon.

Four legged loyalty
adore me like royalty.


Brenda Warren ~ August 2011


Words are bullets.

Letters, spit by storm clouds, fill puddles,
inhaled alphabet soup, garlicky red,
dimming Count Dracula’s Transylvanian charm
as graphemes drip from his fangs.

He turns his eyes toward Beethoven’s fifth,
it bloody well always grabs him by the throat,
catching his breath in the snow where
the untenable touch of a thousand tomorrows
echoes blood’s thunderous pulsing
as he walks into the light of day.

Chuck watches,
hoping immortality will one day be hers.

Once his ontogeny recapitulates its phylogeny,
she will chop off his head.

The dish runs away with the spoon,
splashing through red graphemes,
while Chuck shoots words
at morning’s fading moon.

Stepping in front of the Count,
her words ricochet back in
garlicky red puddles
uttering messages,
dressing April in words.

Brenda Warren 2013

Weird. It came from an aside Miz Quickly offered up during NaPo. It was stranger than it is now before I tweaked it away from the prompt a bit. If you check out the prompt, you might get an idea where this came from, but I’ve butchered its beginnings. This was a fun one. If you’re stuck, give it a try. Come back to it later… Tweak the bugger.

It’s funny.  The entire piece started with a metaphor.  Words are bullets.  I chose it to reflect the cover of Billy Collins book, Ballistics.


Caw! to Miz Quickly for being there last month. The prompts you provided wove their way through me to undercaws.  Caw!