Editors Choice – Poetry – Winter Edition 2019

The Knee Poem

by Lindsey Lane

This poem is my personal pick for the Editor’s Choice Award in Poetry. It is both topical and universal while also encapsulating both the political and personal aspects of the poet. It accomplishes this without excess. Unfortunately, due to my own error the entire poem did not make it into the journal. I apologize to Ms. Lane for that oversight and we will print the entire poem in the next edition. Here it is in it’s entirety. For maximum effect, read it twice.


The Knee Poem


Skinned knees

Scabby knees

Fall out of a tree and pick yourself up knees


Tucked knees

Cannon ball tight knees

Make a splash knees


Knobby kneed

Knock kneed

Nylons bagging, trying to grow up too fast knees


These knees

These knees

These simply bending



Silky knees

Charleston knees

Playing peekaboo behind hands knees

Teasing like winking eyes under skirts knees


Ooo…the bee’s knees

Make me weak in the knees

Crawl across hot sand and broken glass a million miles to kiss those knees

Swooning, fall into your arms knees.


These knees

These knees

These simply bending



Scarred knees

Scrubbing floors knees

Twenty bucks-a-pop knees

Please don’t. I’ll never do it again knees.


Wounded knee

Boy, Get on your knees

Put your hands behind your back knees

Knee jerk, gun to the head knees


Fuck no

Take a knee

Bent knee

Bent down

Bent over

Bent up

Bent too long

Worn out

These knees can be replaced


Kneeling knees

Prayer knees

Feeling small at the alter of something big knees


Dig in the earth, dirt stained knees

Chubby baby wobbling into your lap knees

Begin again, crawling out of the muck knees.


These knees

These knees

They simply bend.


Lindsey Lane (Austin , Texas) was inspired to write this poem by the incarcerated women at Lane Murray Unit to whom she bows down.



Kallisto Gaia Press nominated 5 works from The Ocotillo Review Summer 2017 for the Pushcart prize. These represent the editorial epitome of our vision. The editors want to thank these literary artists, as well as all who submitted to our journal, for trusting us with their creations. We will feature one artist per week each Monday through January 1st. Today we feature Alexander Chernavskiy with the text from his multi media dream sequence A.bsurd Is Tan, City of Dreams and Words with translation by Ekaterina Podgornova.

Dream 1

Recent excavations of town A. found: Dried meat of tallbirds, ancestral weapons , ghosts of greatness and remains of public laughter. Tombs and mausoleums submerged, but the guess about Atlantis wasn’t confirmed for lack of anthems, fairy tales and songs.

Dream 2

The climate in town has always been treated respectfully, but cruelly. Old mercury thermometers were collected in ovens and burned. Waste-paper, scrap paper, and gold—were guarded. But water, earth, air, and fire in town were spoiled long before the ashen court.

Dream 3

Glass highway passed through the town – from East to West. There were ancient rumors that it is endless, because East and West will never meet, which means that you can always go along the road from glass, crystal, Plexiglas, Perlite, Pyrex and Glasphalt. You can still see the road now, right through everything that has remained from town.

Dream 4

On the west side of town there were gates and above them was an inscription – Half of the World of the Day. Here once came the herd of iguanodons and flocks of griffins, through them the dragons disappeared, and the future with the young monsoons returned. The last day, in line of duty at the gate stood: five astrologer-physicists, four tanks, three ravens, two on stilts and one one-eyed doctor of the Main soul.

Dream 5

The ruins of the ancient town were considered a breach of the world, where only mothers with breastfed children liked walking. The old hoodoo was a good reason for their triumph in life. Children left mousetraps and their first teeth in payment for this victory. The town’s stones glistened and sweated with gratitude.

Dream 6

Snippets of the last day of diaries and dwellings have been preserved. “We are creeping along without legs, clinging to the burning walls …” “I’m scared, I’m turning … “, “And many years ..,.”, “I’m sitting, illuminated from above, and the sun is now as 20 candles …”, “Hoh …”. How could these snippets be preserved – we do not know even now.

Dream 7

In town at dawn, the legend of the Ambassadors came to the house. They said they knew how to eat their own shadow, sing mysteries of wine and temporarily cancel any time with their own ashes of words. When talked about, Ambassadors closed the doors and watches, but opened their eyes and stoves wide.

Dream 8

In town at 0:101 the paradigm shift of parity has happened. Everyone was equalized by the caldron. Ragamuffins and rich men, prostitutes and the old-superfluous, special, splendid and other people were equalized by 6 years of the caldron. Equality ended when the caldron was eaten. From then onward fashion and slaughter began in town.

Dream 9

One day the Knights of the Temple came to town. Since long ago the children of the citizens played knighthood, the fathers hanged perjurers at dawn, and wives fell in love with those who could sing Non nobis Domine … not only by the light of the temple. During excavations they found a modest table, where the stone retained the motto: “Word is stronger than stone.”

Dream 10

Cave furem. That’s what the homeless wrote once on the door of the houses with pitchforks before bed. “Alas, alas, that great town A, that mighty town!”-that is what they carved later. “Venceremos!” -they whispered after.

Dream 11

The town’s calendar never had an end. It simply existed all alone. Taken as a whole, it had the inner surface of a sphere of scored stone and a whisper. Numbers in it were sealed with wax and milk of young mothers for greater safety of time and bodies.

Dream 12

Own music in town came up from the alphabet. Dozens of notes, instead of seven, that’s why in town they composed the best music in the world. But it became more and more complicated until it disappeared completely – one could hardly play the five measures of the local Ageless anthem correctly. That day in town there was applause, vocalizations, whispers, and howls.

Dream 13

In town, around the epoch of the Gray Backer, a circulation of names in nature was discovered. Then they opened the memory gates, let in the tunnels of words, gave themselves up to the chance, and shuddered in the cramps of thought. The names of the Names were born again, so as not to give the chance to the Backer of the world, unwilling to admit the new gods and the new Names of the world.

Dream 14

In the last winter of town, the hills began to take root and some grew their mind wings. But the feathers mingled with the earth, the flesh was on strike, it was forbidden to take off and beat with love flying in. No one had time to take the air, so they buried their wings and seeds of future rivers in the horizon and fog line.

Dream 15

Revenge in town was considered the reply of lifetime and the floozie of fate. Revenge stoked with the steam of sweat, fat of heat, and grease of Mars. Statue and honors were erected on a nearby glacier of fresh blood and the far-back oath of old Medea. That glacier knew how to wheeze only one thing under your feet – “Omnium reus”.

Dream 16

In the home hotbed of the Spirit, town A. forced the very any to think. He looked into his mirror from the thoutls, and dreamed of chimerica. Town played itself to the last minute, but we learned about it only on the wreckage of these hotbeds. The very any was lying at the same place.

Alexander Chernavskiy  is an artist influenced by photojournalism traditions and contemporary art as fields of main interest. He is the member of Union of Russian Photo Artists. in 2015 and 2016 he was a recipient of the scholarship of the Ministry of Culture of Russia. His first photobook, Alpha, was published in 2015 by Dostoevsky Publishing in Amsterdam.