The Eighth Phrase, LB Williams (poetry)

The Eighth Phrase (LB Williams) is a chapbook of poetry exploring New York as it existed decades ago. It takes a look at the streets of Queens and other areas, the New York Public Library, revels in the sunken fog outside yellowing windows, the messy bustle of a city teeming with joy, bikes, attic windows, high heels, lusty sunlight, and plastic fruit. It may seem a strange list of items to string together, but this chapbook does it beautifully, painting a portrait of child-life and a sense of place so vivid that you can almost taste the ice cream and night air. Available via Wicked Little Heart‘s Etsy Shop. | $7

An excerpt from another poem, number 4, “Unreal City:”

Windows yellow soaked in sunken fog
Downstairs a woman in a black coat
dark sunglasses leaves food for pigeons.
On white sills they enter.

And below is one more sample from the chapbook, an excerpt of poem 14:

A few weeks before, he told me, I’m not afraid to die.
I was in World War II, you know what they said then.
If the bullet had your name on it, it was your time to go.
My father filled up the entire coffin.

This chapbook measures about 5.25 x 5 inches. It features a painting by Angie Reed Garner as cover art (“Homes for the Displaced,” mixed media, 24 x 48 inches). The cover is produced via inkjet on professional matte photo paper. Each book is handbound, trimmed, and features a hand-cut title flag typed old school style.

What others are saying about The Eighth Phrase:

Lisa Williams trains her spotlight on the furtive glimpses and flickering moments out of the past, preserving them under shattered glass before they disappear forever. Up close, revelatory, charged with erotic beauty and grace, her poems are like doors opening into a world of disclosure. The Eighth Phrase is a force of nature, a dissolving fabric, a template for making it all real. —Lewis Warsh

L.B. Williams’ poems are full of the delightful particulars of life. The Eighth Phrase is a lovely meditative sequence of scenes: melancholy at the core, and precise in detail and melody. —Lisa Jarnot

About the Poet:

L.B.WILLIAMS is the author of the memoir Letters to Virginia Woolf (Hamilton Books, 2005), She wrote the critical study The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf (Greenwood Press, 2000). Her poetry has appeared in such publications as Washington Square, The Mom Egg, Sunrise from Blue Thunder (A Pirene’s Fountain Anthology) and For She is the Tree of Life: Grandmothers Through the Eyes of Women Writers. She has also published a poetry chapbook, Sky Studies, (Finishing Line Press Fall, 2014). She is Professor of Literature at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

About the Artist:

Angie Reed Garner is a second-generation narrative painter from Kentucky.

via Wicked Little Heart‘s Etsy Shop.

Autobiography of a Love Not Mine, Hilda Weaver (micro chapbook)

Weaver’s poems take a look at love, and it’s not quite what you might expect. Even in the sweetest moments, there’s an awareness of mortality, and sometimes the potential for violence. Your lips were garrote taut and rigid wire, says her speaker in the title poem. We were enamored of this micro chap from the moment we saw the title, with its longing, edged wit, and despair too. We present it to you with all of the honest-sweet and tarnished remembering. This is Hilda’s first chapbook. | more | $6

Cover art: “Hearth—Settlement Place” (acrylic/mixed media painting, 12 x 12 inches) by Maralena Howard. The cover is produced digitally (inkjet!) on Epson matte professional paper. The micro chapbooks is handbound & each is trimmed by hand. The micro chap itself measures about 5.25 x 5 inches.

Excerpt from the title poem The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine (six parts of a ten part poem):

The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine


First I saw you
in a long and elegant black coat
but at the evening’s end
we went each to a squishy space,
discovered not a thing of you
nor you of me.


Oxymoron: tranquil Halloween,
and when you said, “I know
who I would kiss, who I would gift
this crazy hat,” you kissed
my mouth. An unexpected soft.
I’d never felt a woman’s breath
that way before.


I wanted you to say
you wanted me.
Instead you said, “I love
you.” Love is Farsi
to a German whore,
Hindi in the spread of legs
to men, Sanskrit no one knows
the sound of – only signs.


It started then
plunged in the slag heap
of absolute engrossed;
involved, entwined,
beyond the sanity
of bluebirds in the snow.


The men you kept
kept wanting you, the prophetess
of sexual endorsement
bewitched by all the pumped up parts
bountiful, enlarged
only for their ogled worship gratified.
When you were drunk
it didn’t matter much.


I watched over you
lying in the sheets
garbaged up by Glenfiddich,
but you could humble me;
I was in the wrong
a confrontation gone awry
by witness, by arrest.

About the Poet

Although Hilda has written poetry off and on over the course of her life, she reports not taking it seriously until about four years ago. At that time she started as an “over-65” scholar at Northern Kentucky University learning more about refining her “tendency to be wordy.” She was graduated from Miami University (Ohio with a BA in English, and later got a Master’s Degree in Clinical and Applied Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. She worked over 30 years as a psychotherapist and Marriage and Family Therapist as well as an addictions counselor. Retired now for several years, she writes poetry and finds herself otherwise spectacularly lazy.

About the Cover Artist

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Maralena Howard is a painter, mixed media artist and writer. Her focuses on abstract and minimalist subjects are prominent. Of her work, Maralena states, “I celebrate the complex nature of detailed simplicity. Capture. Repossess. Release. In each piece, there is liberation.”

Maralena’s work has been published, exhibited in galleries, special venues, hospitals, municipal offices, and businesses. Her paintings are collected thoughout Michigan, the United States and internationally. |

Micro Chapbooks Coming Soon :D

We’re pleased to announce the acceptance of 8 micro chapbooks! We’re all mysterious at the moment, but we’ll do a blog post on each one after we travel back from Imaginarium (so sometime in late September). We’re very pleased to present you with these books, and will craft them over the next 6 months. The order isn’t set in stone, but we imagine it’ll look something like this:

The Autobiography of a Love Not Mine by Hilda Weaver
That Reckless Sound by Colleen Harris-Keith
Strangest Sea by Ariana Den Bleyker
midnight blue by Vanessa Jimenez Gabb
Mouth of the Rat, by Rob Mclennen
Tiny House by Melanie Faith
press yourself against a mirror by Janelle Adsit
Some Assembly Required by Colleen Harris-Keith

If you’re into that pre-order thing, you can find these in our Wicked Little Heart shop.

$6 each, handbound.

Bodies in Water & Vein of Stone (open edition)

We’re pleased to present you with a first look at the open edition covers of two of our titles. These covers are inkjet printed on matte professional photo paper & feature hand-cut title flags, typewritten on recycled (100% PCW) paper. Each varies slightly.

Bodies in Water Cover Art

“No River Like Craving” (oil, 36 x 48 inches) by Angie Reed Garner.
Garner is a second-generation narrative painter from Kentucky.

Vein of Stone Cover Art

“I Was Listening” (collagraph & monotype, 15 x 22 inches) by Kathleen Piercefield.
Piercefield is a Kentucky based printmaker and fine artist.


Bodies in Water and Vein of Stone are available via Etsy.
Special edition copies (screen printed covers) may also be available. Please check our Porkbelly Press shop section.

Stay tuned for a look at our first micro chapbooks & other titles.

A Sampling of Poetry, Fiction, & CNF from Porkbelly Press

These are our most delicious offerings with hand-screened covers (left to right):

Sugared Water (lit mag, various authors & poets) | $10

l’appel du vide (Christina Cooke) | $10

Skeleton Keys (Laura Garrison) | $10

Vein of Stone (Sarah McCartt-Jackson) | $10

Bodies in Water (P. Andrew Miller) | $10

We’ll be tabling at Imaginarium (Louisville) in September, and we’re offering a limited number of these sets this month: all five of these titles for $38. The press is raising a little cash to pay for travel & table & stay. You can also use a $5 off coupon code IMAGINE on any order over $30 (on chapbooks, gift subscriptions, or even sketchbooks & journals).

Skeleton Keys by Laura Garrison

Skeleton Keys (Laura Garrison) is a chapbook of poetry that combines a bit of night-circus magic with recollections from childhood. There’s a lovely energy in these poems, and a definite sense of wonder in discovery. Things are lost in tall grasses and found in the light of a sunset behind a hill. Slip into a fairy tale held together with spun sugar and shadows.

In this chapbook, you’ll find free verse and a few gems of modern American haiku. | via Wicked Little Heart at Etsy.

Pulled by hand (screen prints), these covers are printed in 2 colors on 65# stock (the kraft brown is 100% recycled, 20% PCW). The special edition release is limited to 55 hand-numbered, handsewn in candy-pink thread, with various end papers, including vellum. In keeping with many delights offered in a carnival setting, there are three cover colors available in the run: purple, kraft brown, and blue. Since these are hand-pulled prints, no two are exactly alike.

Excerpt from “Sylvania:”

Enchanted, I leave the circle
of campers in their soft cocoons
and wade barefoot into the night.

When I am discovered early
the next morning in a small cave
in a pile of sleeping foxes,
I open my mouth to explain
(why is there fur stuck in my teeth?)
but find that I can only growl.

Excerpt from “Sacrifice:”

Our teacher brought a god to class
for show-and-tell. His glass temple
rested squarely on the bookcase,
below a window streaked with rain.

That afternoon, the sun emerged
and spun his scales to liquid gold.
I watched his tongue dart in and out
and longed for him to notice me.

About the Poet:

Laura Garrison is creeping slowly southward like an unstoppable fungus that subsists on caffeine and gummy bears. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in various print and online literary magazines. Her hobbies include skulking under bridges, freeing horrors chained in castle dungeons, and wandering through moonlit cemeteries in her best nightgown.