5 Poems by: Karina Bush

Well, it's finally happened. We've kicked out the cops and turned into cops ourselves. All the cranks and weirdos have been shooed from the public's sight, chased off the streets into the sewers like rats. Fine. We like it here. We'll fatten ourselves on the grease you let slide down your drains. We'll get weird on poetry and grow appendages that would turn your family's stomachs. We will grow stronger in the dank and the darkness and we will always be watching. So just mind the time when you're out and about, bucko. Stick to familiar, brightly lit streets.

Thank you to Karina Bush for being here for the dawning of a bloody new era at Joyless House. For the rest of you, if you're ever curious about the things we do in the dark, if you're not overly squeamish, you know where to find us. – JH

In Negative

The plot spreads before me

In negative

There's no estimating the distance

Between one love and the next

The length of suspension

Between pain-breeder and pain-breeder



Making the eggs

Bending my sickness

The saccharine will

My Idol

Crashed through the wall

In fetish

Sprawled himself

An ecosystem

I tattooed his inner thighs

In soft, living words

High breath

Psalms of throat lace

Early love split out

An adoral vortex

Until his thighs

Were white


A girl's offering

Words of ego

A laboured, inflated

Lazy thing

Novelty warrior

One layer

I gave him might

And conquest

He never had


Sniff around

In the solitude


Permanently depleted

Fighting it

Tactically agile

Get a bit

High and




To the sniff

I try

To take away

His bit

For a tactical supply

He tactically


I fall


Into the

Lotus field

Male Pain Fixation

The foreign body

Evasive, the grail

What exactly

Is my extent?

A groin pain

Dull, fear of loss?

An industrial sound

Machine under stress?

Trapped in a building

Built by other men?

Is it a slit

Almost feminine?

As beautiful

As the break in his voicebox?

Does it ossify

Make him feel old?

Did it evaporate

A cumshot?


Dry flowers

And shrapnel

In my veil

And you



Gone fetid

Karina is an Irish writer and artist, born in Belfast and now living in Rome. She is the author of three books, 'Brain Lace' (BareBackPress,2018), '50 EURO' (BareBackPress,2017), and 'Maiden' (48th Street Press,2016).Karina's work has also been published by Tangerine Press, Akashic Books, Expat Press, Morbid Books, Ragged Lion Press, the International Poetry Studies Institute,The Nervous Breakdown, Entropy Magazine, and more.

Also, you ought to watch Girl Chat/Karina. Remember the slaughterhouse scene from In a Year of 13 Moons? Wasn't that nice?

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