Yellow Mama Archives II

Harris Coverly

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Centorbi, David Calogero
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernice
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Koperwas, Tom
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Jen
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reutter, G. Emil
Robson, Merrilee
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark



by Harris Coverley



Don’t peek in there

Don’t go in that house

Don’t “hang” in the basement

Don’t check out the attic

Don’t turn around

Don’t be a hero

Don’t be a dweeb

Don’t whistle after midnight

Don’t attend the high school dance

Don’t go to the beach party

Don’t be a slut

Don’t be a virgin

Don’t be macho

Don’t be kind and gentle

Don’t be clueless


The monster is coming

And he has taken the form of your brother

Or maybe your father


Don’t trip over a branch

Don’t slip on the leaves

Don’t run out of gas

Don’t split up into smaller groups

Don’t go and see where Johnny went

Don’t wonder what the neighbours might have heard

Don’t investigate that noise

Don’t go and look out the window


The monster is coming

It can smell your fear

And taste your blood already


Don’t just stand there—RUN!


RUN—and don’t ask!

Helios Grimm

by Harris Coverley


eyelids torn like wet toilet paper

the awakening an explosion

the trees outside with those branches

black veins against the dirt blue sky

pulsing hard

throbbing with the blood of the scrub

the whole world silently screaming

firstly my name,

and then something like:

                hey, I’m here . . .

hey, I’m here . . .

hey, I’m here . . .

a billion times in two seconds

before I close my eyes

and retreat back to the other place.

some dreams are just the day

wearing a mask of dark light.



by Harris Coverley

my many victims

truculent—yet succulent

great to be undead

The Mauler


by Harris Coverley



He took off his glasses

And then pulled off his jumper in one quick move

Along with his T-shirt


And he showed me his chest tattoo:





In dull ink

Between sagging pectorals


Fair and greying skin stretched across a withering frame

With a few threads of muscle left for show


“I’ll never stop crimin’ me,”

He told me

“I’ve made too much money from it for me to stop now!”


I roughly calculated his net profit in my head:

About 5.32

Plus thirteen years inside


He pulled his top back on

And replaced his glasses

Cheap but modern

A gift from Her Majesty


“So boy, if you see this face, you’d better start runnin’!”


He tapped on the bars with his knuckles

And then against his chest

(They almost made the same sound)


He opened his mouth to stretch his jaw

Revealing a throng of brown-capped stubs


I decided to take his advice

And knocked on the steel door

To have the guard let me out


It had been an interesting interview

Not a good one

But an interesting one.

The Mob


by Harris Coverley



one mouth

spread across two thousand holes

with anything up to

sixty-four thousand teeth

between them


all screaming

all shouting

all grinding

torches alight

the stomping of four thousand feet

the rustle of coats

the frequent spitting

the occasional chortling


four thousand hands

whipping on you

scoring you

tearing you

blistering exhausted skin

shattering flesh


but upon your own lips

a bitten tongue licking the blood away

you manage to offer them

from the heap of you on the ground

a response:


“never . . . I say . . . never . . .”




by Harris Coverley


A most usual task:

A portrait fair and quick

Done with the airbrush


A grand old house

Brown and tall

Nestled in turquoise hedges


That exquisite young lady

Who took me upstairs

To a loft full of minor masterpieces


Revealing my medium

To glaze upon the canvas bare—

Her own blood!


What could I do?

My machine was ready

And my belly almost empty


I inserted the tube into her wrist

Thin and pallid as it already was

And sat her opposite my easel


Plasma deep and rich and fresh

Oxidising in its journey

From vein-bound royal blue


The outline of her precious face

Down to her swan-like neck

And across her slender shoulders


Drying as brown as the house’s bricks

Runnings smoothed with a millimetre brush

Abstract made into visage naturale


Taking a break for both to rest

She struggling ‘round to see my efforts—

“It’s lovely!” declared with weakened tongue


Then back to work!

The final strands of red to brown

The intricate fiddling of a perfectionist


“Done my lady!” proudly exclaimed

Yet exclaimed to a shrivelled corpse

Propped up in her chair with widest grin


Hung on the wall by my own hand

In that big and silent house

I closed the grand door after me


Leaving up within that loft:

Two smiling ladies

One of blood and one bereft


A day’s good work

For a month’s sustenance

The artist’s living.



by Harris Coverley


the arch of your hip in the morning sun

the indentation in the mattress

the open window allowing in a rustle

the soft and slow regime of respiration

the popping of springs as you get up

and walk as Eve to the bathroom

The Now Outside


by Harris Coverley



when you stand outside

on the vacant street

at 2 a.m.


the road clear

with not even a distant draught of traffic


the lights at the far crossroads

changing dumbly and obediently

for nobody


the wheezing rattle

of a neighbour’s ventilation system


the town hall bell tolling

just to prove to itself that it’s still there


you could mutter an oath

and no living sentience would hear you


you sponge all that in


and you finally realise

just how big eternity


Along with previously in Yellow Mama, Harris Coverley has verse published or forthcoming in Polu Texni, Spectral RealmsCalifornia QuarterlyCorvus ReviewThe Oddville PressBetter Than StarbucksEgoPHobia5-7-5 Haiku Journal, and many others. He lives in Manchester, England.

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