2017 Best of the Net Nominations

As the editor of both BAD ACID LABORATORIES, INC. and Midnight Lane Boutique, I’m pleased to nominate the following poems for Sundress Publications’ 2017 Best of the Net Anthology. Please, feel free to click on the bold-faced title of each poem, and give ’em all a read . . .




From Issue #3:

  • “1993,” by Victor Clevenger: A fine character study with superb pacing, this poem meditates upon the external influences plaguing an adolescent boy, along with his own internal struggles to form an identity.


  • “Sammy and his Bile,” by David Spicer: Another fine character study, this first person narrative effectively pares the speaker’s own ambivalent feelings toward his subject alongside dispassionate yet colorful descriptions of his life and ultimate demise.


From Issue #4:

  • “The Day Lacks Leaves,” by William Doreski:  The tight, well-crafted structure of this piece—along with its attention to atmosphere—serves in portraying how the darkness we perceive in others is often a reflection of our own inner landscapes.




From Issue #5:

  • “They Were Right After All,” by John Grey: Despite Archibald MacLeish’s admonition that “A poem should not mean/But be,” this poem does both . . . and poignantly so. In sum, it’s a beautiful piece of verse about how love is recognized, nurtured, and ultimately made whole.


 Midnight Lane Boutique


  • “andy and alf,” by Ben Newell: While the noticeable alliteration in line 15 is a definite plus, it’s the well-executed line breaks that truly enhance the comic timing of this sardonic poem. True understated craftsmanship.


  • “magnus opus,” by Rob Plath: Reminiscent of both concrete and shape poetry made popular in the 70s small press, this poem—written vertically—perfectly mirrors its subject, while also (re)posing that one particular philosophical question always worth asking.


  • “Blue Desperado,” by Catfish McDaris: With its finely crafted quatrains, this poem features a classic Catfishian anti-hero, bawdy imagery, playful sonic effects, quintessential American symbolism, and the effective use of magical realism to boot. Fuckin’-A right!


  • “Avalanche,” by Mindy Watson: Rich with internal rhymes and alliteration, this blank verse poem is a well-wrought extended metaphor about a condition that plagues many in contemporary society, mainly young women. In addition, it addresses concretely those triggers, which, later in life, might lead to relapse.


  • “Finishing School,” by Ryan Quinn Flanagan: Though psycho-sexually surrealistic, this poem is all too real in the conflict it presents. Herein, the often unspoken desire of individuals to act upon their own impulses is posed against the all too easily acknowledged fear of a fragile societal order degenerating swiftly into chaos.


  • “Drinks with Hank,” by Matt Amott: In this stripped-down homage, retro- and contemporary technology, an evocative central image, and the voice of the Buk- himself all speak as one of solitude and its more than occasional frustrations.


As an editor, I found this one of the most enjoyable yet difficult projects I’ve undertaken thus far. For, it provided me the joy of once again reviewing work I’ve published. Yet, it also left me feeling ambivalent about my choices, given the many poems that are no doubt also deserving of a nomination.

Nonetheless, I wish to thank all the poets who have been published at my sites, and who’ve honored me by taking part in these two creative projects I oversee.

So, on that note . . . thank you all!


P.S. Submissions are open here at the boutique. Just click on the picture of Baphomet below to learn more . . .

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