The Open Door Poetry Zine: A Call for Submissions!

Dear Bees’ Knees Friends,

In celebration of Jack Wiler’s poem “Divina Is Divina,” I’m creating a hand-bound  poetry zine of “door poems.”
I would love for you all to submit an image of a door turned into poetry.

You might ask, “How does one turn a door into poetry?” To which I would say, “Any way you would have a door become a poem.” You might…

  • Take marker or paint to put words on the surface of a door
  • Decorate a door with jewels, glitter, and your words
  • Carve characters into the surface of a door
  • Find a bathroom stall door with already existing poetry graffiti
  • or discover a door with so much character that it is poetry without needing word

Those who submit work will receive two copies of the book and a letter of great thanks. Additional books will be made and left on the door-steps of unexpected poetry readers.

I would love to have the collection ready for AWP! I think it would be a blast to hand out “door poems” at the door of the writing conference. So to make this work, I will  need your images by January 1st. (I also love how this date makes the poems due on a threshold of the new year.)

I love poetry; it is fun!

Please email your photos of your “door poems” as jpegs to

Images will also be posted on the Bees’ Knees for poetry lovers to enjoy!
Best to All,

Nicelle Davis

Please enjoy Jack Wiler’s…

Divina Is Divina

My beloved had a friend.
My beloved is Johanna.
Her friend is Divina.
Of course, my beloved’s real name is Marko
and her friend’s real name is Hector.

My beloved brought Divina to my home.
She spoke no English.
I spoke no Spanish.
Of course I spoke a little Spanish and
Divina tried a little English.

My beloved and I have two dogs.
Divina loved our dogs and took them out.
When she came to visit she would stand outside
and cry, Johanna, and inside the dogs would cry.

My beloved’s friend Divina died.
Not suddenly. Not prettily, not like anyone should die.
She died in a hospital in the city of New York
and no one knew her name.

She was Hector Gomez.
She had no family.
She lay quiet and still and faded into the world.
No one in the hospital knew Divina.

If we had stood outside and shouted her name
they would have walked us to the side
and asked us to leave.
The wouldn’t have been jumping up with joy to hear our cry
like my dogs, like Johanna, like me.

So my beloved’s friend met her end alone.
In a city hospital.
With no dogs prancing around her.
No flowers blooming.
Even though it was spring.

You could say, and you should,
what the fuck is this?
You could be angry, and you should.
What kind of world tosses humans in the trash?

But that would be like asking why the leaves
blow in the fall.
It would be like asking why flowers wilt in hot sun.
It would be like asking why Hector is Divina.

Hector is Divina because the flowers bloom!
Hector is Divina because the sun rises!
Hector is Divina because she is.
Because we are.
Because the sun is.
Because we die.
Hector is Divina because we need to hear
someone outside our door crying our names.
Divina is Divina.

June / July Poetry Challeng: Talk Back to Spoken Word Poetry

Here is a new poetry challenge for Bees’ Knees writers; answer any of J. Bradley’s poetic questions with poems. The poem deemed “best” answer will receive a copy of J. Bradley’s book, Dodging Traffic.

“Would You Like to Take a Survey?” is taken from J. Bradley’s book, Dodging Traffic, a publication of Ampersand Books. You can buy your very own copy here: Ampersand Books

Would You Like To Take A Survey?

How did your soul feel
when archangels circumcised it
with flaming swords?

Do you wear boredom
as a plastic bag
over your head or
use the loose oxygen
around it like a chalkboard?

When you wake up in the morning,
do you shuffle to the bathroom
as though your footsteps edit your obituary?

Did your skeleton
craft the lesson plan
that taught you
how to love?

Who made your hands stammer
the first time they cradled a waist
on the last day of summer?

How would you outlaw
“I don’t know”?

Is it more important to show
that you love someone
by boxing up the sunset
with your fists or to tell
the one you love
you would box up the sunset
with your fists?

Do you treat near misses
as flesh wounds
or rope ladders?

When did the stars
give us permission
to compare them
to beauty marks?

If the ghost of Miles Davis
haunted your lips,
would you play your lover’s asshole
like a saxophone?

When you first rode a bike,
did you skin your knees
or your elbows?

Which is the greater sin
unapologetically square dancing
on your enemy’s tomb
or apologizing for something
you didn’t do?

If your imaginary friends
held a conference,
what kind of Power Point presentation
would you make?

Did the earth move
or was it your delusions
that made the ground quake?

How would you woo
a pterodactyl to bed?

What song would you
slow dance in a kitchen to
and who would you
slow dance with?

If you had one wish,
would you wish
for more wishes?

When did your palms
mistake themselves as satellite dishes
that beamed prayers to God?

When you’re on your death bed,
will you kick yourself
for not rehearsing your last words?

And when did questions
start asking themselves
for answers?

November Free-For-All–Poetry Workshop

Beating the Dead Horse


Dear Poetry Friends,

Welcome to the November Bees’ Knees Poetry Workshop!

As a special request, I ask you to invite other poets to join our group.

Post a message on Facebook, Tweet, shout into the sky:

come play poetry with us!

Bring a friend to the Bees’ Knees and be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Jack Kerouac’s Tristessa!


October Winners and November Highlights

Our Lucky Winners Are:

Mr. Fancy Ryan (Free-for-All Treat)

Alexis Vergalla (Bodie)

Fernando McGregor (Haunted Poem)

Please email me (NicelleCDavis (at) gmail (dot) com)

with your contact information so I can mail you your prize.

HalloweenI hope everyone had a marvelous holiday.

Thank you to all of you poets, editors, and readers

for making the Bees’ Knees first month a truly ghoulish experience.

(We set out to make a monster and a poetry monster we have!)

Here is a sneak peek at

the incredible November line-up:

November Poetry Prompts:

  1. Beat Poets (write a beat-like poem and be entered to win a copy of Allen Ginsberg’s Death & Fame),
  2. Micheal Jackson and the song “Beat It” (write a poem about the King of Pop and be entered to win a MJ C.D.)
  3. and the monthly “Free-for-All” workshop is open to one and all

The November Bees’ Threes will include interviews with the phenomenal:

  1. Kaite Hillenbrand, Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Connotation Press
  2. Arlene Ang, Editor of The Pedestal Magazine and Press 1
  3. Bonnie Bolling, Editor of Verdad Magazine

Poetry Challenge #2:California Ghost Town Poem Raffle


California’s official gold mining ghost town, Bodie was once notorious as the wildest town in the West. From 1877 to 1888, the community swelled to more than 10,000 residents and produced over $35 million in gold and silver. This Halloween let us put Bodie back on the poetic map. Please post your poems by October 31st. Please give feedback on poems by November 5th.

In honor of the gambling men of Bodie, each poem and response submitted will be entered into a raffle. You might just find yourself winning a game of poker. 🙂

Poetic Challenge #1: The Haunted Poem

Create Your Own Frankenstein
Create Your Own Frankenstein

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein for a bet without prizes. This Halloween the Scary Story Wars are back; only this time with prizes. I will mail a copy of Frankenstein to the author of the “best” Haunted Poem. All poems must be submitted by October 31st. I will announce the winner on November 5th. All poems will be open to review (aka workshop). Please keep in mind this is a space for “growth.” All comments must be constructive (or else I will track you down and kick you in your shins. Be afraid. Be very afraid!).