Not For Profit/For Prophecy




Burning House Press are excited to welcome KARISSA LANG as our fourth guest editor! Karissa will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of May – when she will then hand over the reins to our fifth guest editor for the month of June.

Submissions for Karissa are open from today – 1st May and will remain open until 24th May.

Karissa’s Theme/s for the month are as follows


Crisis • Creation • Multiplicity • Singularity



Submissions Are Open!!! from 1st April – until 23rd April – for our third guest editor C.C. O’HANLON!!!

Burning House Press are excited to welcome C.C. O’HANLON as our third guest editor! C.C. will take over editorship of Burning House Press online for the full month of April – when he will then hand over the reins to our fourth guest editor for the month of May.

Submissions for C.C. are open from today – 1st April and will remain open until 23rd April.

C.C. will be responding and publishing your submissions on a rolling basis during the month of April – and has chosen his themes for submissions!

C.C.’s Themes are

Place: Movement, Escape, Exploration, Architecture.

C.C. has introduced the themes himself for your guidance:

“The act of journeying contributes to a sense of physical and mental well-being, while the monotony of prolonged settlement or regular work weaves patterns in the brain that engender fatigue and a sense of personal inadequacy…”

– Bruce Chatwin, from Nomad Invasions

Overall, I’m not looking to reassure, but rather, to some extent, to unsettle.

For submissions, C.C. is looking for your poetry, short stories, flash fiction, prose poems, art, collage, painting, photography – as well as non-fiction submissions: essays, reviews, commentary, features, interviews.


Submission Guidelines

All submissions should be sent as attachments to

Please state the theme and form of your submission in the subject of the email. For example: ARCHITECTURE/POETRY

Poetry and Fiction
For poetry submissions, submit no more than three of your best poems. Short stories should be limited to 1,500 words or (preferably) less. We encourage flash fiction submissions, no more than three at a time. Send these in as a .doc or .docx file, along with a short third-person bio, and (optional) photograph of yourself.

Submit hi-res images of your works (drawings, paintings, illustrations, collages, photography, etc) with descriptions of the work (Title, Year, Medium, etc) in the body of the email. Files should be in .JPEG unless they are GIFs or videos, and should not exceed 2MB in size for each work. File names should correspond with the work titles. Video submissions can be uploaded onto Youtube or Vimeo for feature on our website. Send these submissions along with a short third-person bio, and (optional) photograph of yourself.

Non-fiction submissions (essays, reviews, commentary, interviews, etc) should be no more than 1, 500 words and sent as a .doc or .docx file along with your third-person bio/and optional photograph.

Submissions are open from 1st March til 24th March – and will reopen again on 1st April for our third guest editor.

BHP online is now in the capable hands of the amazing C.C. O’HANLON – Friends, send him your best!




C.C. O’Hanlon is a relentless traveller, polymath and occasional diarist. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Ernest, Minor Literatures and The Learned Pig. It has also been included in several anthologies and ‘best of…’ collections. Born in Sydney, and raised nearly everywhere else, he has lived for the past five years in Berlin. He is now en route to somewhere else.

Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia




This is

This isn’t

This isn’t a

This isn’t a nice

This isn’t a nice, cool

This isn’t a nice, cool dream

This isn’t a cool dream

This isn’t a dream

of a sunny day in

a Cimmerian


This may

This may be

This may be even

This may be even worse

This may be even worse than

This may be even worse than a nightmare

This may not be worse than

This may be the worst

This is the worst


the worst ever monster

the worst ever monstrous

the worst ever monstrous, cool

the worst ever monster, nice, cool

dream, which turned into a

nightmare, since we

didn’t wake up

on time Continue reading “Two Poems by Soodabeh Saeidnia”

Dissociation in a Museum Café by Belinda Rimmer

I can pinpoint the moment.

A sudden silence of traffic,

and voices

weaving a scary tale,

far away,

then further still.


Under the fluorescent lights,

I folded.


I didn’t catch anyone’s eye

but breathed deeply.

It didn’t help.

I’d ended up on the ceiling

looking down on myself.


My heavy blue beads

clunked and swung

with each swivel of my neck.

No one noticed.


Below, the other me had finished her tea

and was sorting change from her purse.

I called out. She didn’t glance up.


Rivulets of condensation

on the steamy window

seemed to tell me to follow, follow

as if droplets of water

could guide me home.


Continue reading “Dissociation in a Museum Café by Belinda Rimmer”

Interminatus by Cory Willingham



If I should die before I wake

I pray the lord my soul to take.

But if my dreams some wonder show

I ask him that he let me go.


Space wrecks hell on mortal minds.





Last night, I closed my eyes

around midnight

and slept for unknown eons.

I travelled up

and up and up

and made claws of my hands

to tear through the atmosphere.

I floated serene across silent spans

of violet shadow

dots of light seen mostly by night

expanding to fill my view—

and then I met the moon.

Continue reading “Interminatus by Cory Willingham”

Two Poems by Kate Dlugosz

Cherry Pit


My mouth is a bowl full of pitted cherries. My stomach the bucket for all the swallowed bloody pits. Every word tastes sweet and dark and tart on my tongue, rolling against my blushing cheeks. And when I smile, red love dribbles down my chin.

When I speak, I am tempted to sing like the way the bright pink blossoms burst into bloom in the springtime. The air is fragrant with love and sweetness and honeybees. But at the lightest breeze, fragrant with daffodils and shadows, my flowers fall

in clusters trembling, and I remember the splinters in the black bark of the cherry tree, the amber sap dripping down the exposed inner rings. The long weeping, the unfurling of flowers. And while the axe is out of sight I fear for other trees, and my branches still shake hearing lightning Continue reading “Two Poems by Kate Dlugosz”

Bear off a Leash by Stephen Lightbown

I’m out with Bear on Victoria Street

who pads on all fours beside my wheelchair.

Slaloms his way through the soil rain that falls

from freshly watered hanging-baskets perched

like floral eagles on London’s lampposts.

Cranes observe from above as they deliver skips

to third floors without lifts and walls.

Wet nose to the ground, tension stretches

his sinews. His fur bristles. Always moments

from mayhem. The street is a treadmill in reverse,

every third door a Pret, repetition everywhere.

Step step Pret. Step step Pret. Step step Pret.

Tourists and commuters momentarily forget their handhelds.

It’s clear we don’t belong here.

I am wary of Bear. I want to get to the station

without incident. A wheelie suitcase here. Double pram there.

Sideways glances. Unseen fury from Bear.

Bubbles of rage fight for release.

Bear explodes. Chaos.

Now on two legs he claws at a man on a bike

for hire. Interloper on the pavement, briefcase

and Metro in the basket. He has spun too close

to our tension in his race

for AOB at 9am. Bear scratches

at the fact we are different. That in this city

of a million faces we stand out below eye level.

The commuter cyclist is collateral damage. An accident.

Like we once were.

Lava eyes ignore sense. He’s too strong for me.

I grasp at the space where moments ago he was.

Bear stop, what are you doing? Let it go. I plead.

Bear replies: Say he deserved it.

Bear is lost in the woods. Redwoods loom,

their branches retreat, unable to contain contempt.

You’re pathetic, stand up for yourself. Say I was right.

Bear is a dot. Lost to me.

No good ever comes when he is like this. I know what he thinks.

If people want to stare, give them a show.

Take me out from the trees, put me in a Big Top.

Silence and shame will deliver us to the station.

But Bear is right.

Can’t you control your bear? Pedals the victim. Continue reading “Bear off a Leash by Stephen Lightbown”

Baroclinic Instability by katillac tweed

this song makes your kisses so wet

pull the moon out just to watch me win again

cover me in sleep and ticket stubs

and message sent

i was better when my haircut was so tom petty ‘89

i knew all i needed from open pages on your floor

remember sketchbook boy with the nice lips

when intentions only tried to find us

the overestimation that

we weren’t dumb enough to return

again & again & again

a cement truck tipped off on your street

centripetal forces and spells broken


i’m so loose after that fever left

pull the moon out to see my shower filled with wristbands and beer cans

this trajectory doesn’t promise much but when i glance up i receive enough vindication to continue

and enough light to see my name on endless married middle-aged women full of regret or curiosity or boredom or


sometimes i’m sitting in front of a horizon 5pm to 7pm lovingly watching a water skier all poised all shore to shore like it’s the most natural thing and i ask my soul if she would still know smoke signals even if neither she nor anyone else at a reasonable distance could possibly decipher them


Continue reading “Baroclinic Instability by katillac tweed”

Two Pieces by Erin Calabria

Ten Sentences


I. Rowing

I am setting out on this water not to drift but to row, since this not loving you has drawn from me almost as much as loving you once did, and nothing is as full as a boat by itself in a sea that does not end.


II. Barn Ruin

We found it at the edge of the woods that August you wouldn’t touch me, just a skeleton of walls and poison ivy climbing all the way to the caved-in roof, triple leaves bigger than hands and glossed to the point of dripping, and it was almost pretty, all those edges hooked against each other, baring back a tessellated light, just as long as we didn’t come close.


III. Tide

I was not afraid you would hurt me, but that you never would, that you would never even peer between these ribs I’ve hinged apart for you, until the wind will do to me what it does to all soft creatures left behind by the tide, and the only sound my throat can make will be the sound of robin nests unraveled in a storm.

Continue reading “Two Pieces by Erin Calabria”

7yrs bad luck by Richard Biddle

this splintered

self, always


there and not

there—all ways



too close

to truth






hairline cracks





into, smashed


nose, broken

punched in

like a code



dead flies

captured by

misshapen webs


frown thrown

off guard



piece by piece


within his



a universe

on the blink
Continue reading “7yrs bad luck by Richard Biddle”

Two Poems by Anna Wall

Of the sea


I was not formed from earth:

A dirty rib, used and scratching.

His name wasn’t on the birth certificate.


A womb of one’s own, forged in a locked room—

Nourished by sadness and

the shame they made her feel.


The sea always felt like home,

wind born waves held me.

Rocked me to sleep in a salted cradle.


Sometimes the monsters would come—

Emerging from beneath,

threatening to take my legs.


They never could, and I floated

eyes skyward.

Wishing I could row.


Continue reading “Two Poems by Anna Wall”

Photographs of Bristol & a Poem by Jason Jackson

Jason Jackson 1


Someone is whispering


Someone, somewhere is whispering,

blue thoughts to the sharpened night,

leaving words born of the bottle

to shrivel under sleep’s new weight.


Thin syllables drip from bitten lips

moist with gin and clumsy kisses,

and a tongue lolls, slug-like, slurring,

while only the sliced moon listens


to the promises and prayers the night

drags from that full, unguarded heart.

There! Someone is whispering

and your new, cold day has yet to start.

Continue reading “Photographs of Bristol & a Poem by Jason Jackson”

Sing a Song of Ever Changing Perception by Michelle Diaz

There was the time she posed as a proper person,

up at seven with organised eyes,

spinning the wheel of coffee heart and computer clack,

a life in neat multi-coloured folders.


An alarm went off in her pocket—

and now the world stank of Boots’ perfume and cigarettes

she spoke in fluent Bacardi Breezer

knew every bar in South East London

flew through the day to get to the pub on the other side

until life became a barman that would no longer serve her.

Men with magnet mouths waited for her to exceed her limit

found ways to climb inside.


Now she sits like a stale buttered scone

who nobody wants  to pick up or eat

or even look at that way.


She thinks this is delicious and funny at the same time.

Continue reading “Sing a Song of Ever Changing Perception by Michelle Diaz”

Three Poems by Samuel J Fox

Bubble-Wrap Boy


I fall in love with every girl I float by next to on the street. I was born to die, and, though everyone is, God must hate me. My skin is made of the thinnest material. It resembles bubble-wrap. I’m bumpy: a translucent boy opaque, cloudy, with lust. I’ve been punctured before. All my hot air, all my inner workings, pour out like confessions. I’m absurd and yet I want what everyone else wants. I had a date the other night with a girl with eyes like needles. She probed my life and found nothing but wrinkles. She hasn’t called. If I ever feel the pressure of a pair of lips, the fingers dangerous along my malleable spine, the soft, rose quiet of pleasure and the death at its end, I think I might die anyway. I can’t hold scissors and run. I can’t hold anything too beautiful for too long because I know, if I trace its edges, I can die; then again, I feel this should be a common thing. People might consider the way it changes us, if more people were murdered by the sharpness of beauty.

Continue reading “Three Poems by Samuel J Fox”

The Transformation by Emma McKervey

When I track the narrow paths which hide behind fences

where elder and trolleys and abandoned bins live

I know that this is cusp, this is a finding of a way for life

to rise from old potato peelings and discarded toys which gather there,

anticipate their transformation into something more,

but never quite catch the moment, though sometimes I glimpse

the heaving of a sigh beneath their own broken weight.

If a stag were to lose himself here he would turn golden,

summon me, and I would follow until he and I were one,

the hunter and the prey, follow where there are no fixed paths

through death, through grief.  I reminded my father of a time

a stag bounded in front of his car at dusk, but he wasn’t sure

if that had been my dream or if it had belonged to him.


Continue reading “The Transformation by Emma McKervey”

Stealing Sleipnir by Alison Lock

In Nordic mythology Sleipnir is Odin’s steed, the foal of Loki and Svaðilfari


I am fastened to the skim-race of a sly night.

Shadows fall, tin pots clank, slab-roofs trill.

My eyelids stutter. A silhouette before me – equine-like,

up-folded wings, serrations of fine spine-feathers.

A shadow-foal, a rider with a ghost-drawn face, lines

ploughed by a brazen sun or a blistering frost.


There’s the fit-fickle thunder-hiss of a merciless wind: all clinker,

the slag of irradiated soil, metal shards, eyelets, pinions,

grease, the multifarious detritus of battle. Odin seeks his revenge.


I run from the ankle-snatch of tumbleweed. Weightless. Slipping

through a crack of light, I cross the threshold

in a screech, as if all nesting owls have been released.

Continue reading “Stealing Sleipnir by Alison Lock”

Two Poems by Kate Garrett

When you converted to vampirism


you took me with you like a schoolgirl crush

and renamed me in her image. You carried your


halo well—a wisp of cloudlight through the pub

window when you told me I belong in the chapel


of bones, that making a pilgrimage to the town

built on death would suit my medieval fixations.


But with ink held under our tongues like cyanide

– Camus, Pessoa – we hadn’t grown up. Your voice


was a needle skip around a pistol grip, while I cider-

drenched wraiths only I could see. We based ourselves


on bloodstains, never let on we’d sunbleached them to dust;

we never let on these winding sheets were lifted


from a well-mannered airing cupboard, the emperor’s

new shrouds – hiding inside them with hearts that still beat.

  Continue reading “Two Poems by Kate Garrett”

Invitation To Move On by Jonathan Humble

I am small in the sea, pushed around

by waves that care not for any grain of sand

or stuff that floats in old men’s heads.


Arms held wide and high, that reach and cling

like a child to a parent when things get rough,

when routines fail and muscles waste.


I hesitate, recoil, cower; skin so thin

these cold water blades could spill these guts

for waiting gulls and wash away this name.


I am caught like the sun, falling

and hoping to rise again, the horizon watched

from a base of arched feet, soft soles and toes


exposed to the hidden sharpness of shadows.

And though these whispered sea breezes,

with caresses would show the way,


for that bastard time waits not for me,

until I learn to surrender, immerse this body,

allow these legs to float and lay back this head,


could I ever take in the whole of the sky?


Continue reading “Invitation To Move On by Jonathan Humble”

How to Tell Men Apart by Breslin White

If it’s a backflip, then it’s Star

Wars. If it’s a front flip, then

it’s swimming. The exception is

when Luke pulls out his green light

saber from nowhere. If the only

swimmer you know is Michael Phelps,

then you may be guilty of watching

the morning news, as well as

breaking your swimmer’s diet on

Thanksgiving. “Only a few days

left until New Years resolutions,”

you say. But I need a tell, a

safety valve. A promise to keep

the athlete fit. When we can’t tell,

then I feel constrained, lost. My

gills subside in these shallow waters.


Continue reading “How to Tell Men Apart by Breslin White”

Forgotten Astronaut by Spangle McQueen

Even if you were not born yet

the matter from which you were made

is in this picture


and I cannot decide if this means

that nothing really matters or that

everything matters.


Sunday morning silence.


Self-imposed solitude

contemplating an unaccompanied cosmonaut.


Left in lunar orbit

to keep the systems running

while Armstrong and Aldrin are Moon-bound, Glory-bound

Collins loses all communication with the Earth

and takes a snapshot.


No earthly loneliness could match such isolation

and yet

sometimes I feel like the sole survivor of a mission that failed

and I never even got the chance to walk on the Moon.


Continue reading “Forgotten Astronaut by Spangle McQueen”

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