FEATURED POET: Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Blue in the Aquarium’s Face

There was nothing but altitude below sea level.
I was blue in the aquarium’s face.  Large orcas showed
monstrous fins of concern.  Starfish leapt off someone’s homework
assignment down into the tank.  Sharks circled back as if
trying to retrace the steps of the lost.  And the coral was bleached.
I decided it was a load of laundry.  The obstruction in my airway
refusing to dislodge itself.  Some miserable war-drunk despot
trying to hold onto power.  Each time I cleared my throat a distant
church bell rang.  I thought of dried chewing gum under the pews
taking in the hallelujahs each Sunday.  Of briny miracles from the pulpit.
Stained glass windows so elaborate that code breakers were brought
in to admire them.  And back down in the tunnel under the water
the flash from picture takers.  As I fell to one knee.  The sounds
of choking and many black dots.  A lone octopus with its
tentacles into everything.





John D. Robinson’s full length book of poetry “Hang in There”, published by Uncollected Press, is now available!



John D. Robinson – Hang in There



Uncollected Press, the publisher of The Raw Art Review, has published the first full length book of poems by renowned and widely published poet – John D. Robinson. John’s poems are powerful and intense, sometimes brutal, always compassionate. You are going to want a copy of this book. A first edition run of 100 copies is now available for purchase from the RAR website (see link below or “BOOKS FOR SALE menu link). All 100 first edition copies are signed by John.


Hang In There

John D. Robinson Full Length Book of Poetry


Let’s Choke Phil (after the “Somebody Feed Phil” documentaries)

(previously published by High Shelf Press)

Let’s choke ravenous, insatiable, obscene, repugnant Phil To death.

Ironically, Phil is sort of like the octopus he is stuffing in his pie-hole right now, all arms grabbing and pulling food up to a hard, horny, merciless crunching beak.  Though, of course, Phil is never like the once and perfect being that he has now eaten, not the brilliant, sentient being flashing its vast panoply of color in beautiful fluttering waves that integrate that scintillate with a pristine environment.  Phil is a pasty, skinny, insatiable palimpsest written there-on being the demise of eating as survival and the much broader and bigger demise of decent, integrated, compassionate, quiet and careful living.  Instead, Phil eats to impress, or to amuse (his audience but mostly himself), to make friends/admirers, to achieve some proposed noble thing, to indulge the artistic impulse, to establish a body of work (an Oeuvre which since the egg is food he immediately consumes) but mostly to fill the vast, insurmountable, unfillable, awful emptiness inside.

And he has no idea.  Which is incredibly dangerous.  To all the animals he consumes, of course, to the global fisheries silver and flashing, to the savannahs’ ungulates and predators, to waving grasses and powerful ominous storms, to the unassailable upward-trending mountains, to the pure and clear lakes and streams, to the quaking and whispering forests, to crystalline icy-blue glaciers, to the bountiful, to the abundant, to the beautiful and to and to…. all depleted.   All gone.  All to feed the obscene, empty hole in Phil’s petty being.

Oops that’s a little harsh.  Anyway.  Geez.  Let’s choke the guy to death for god sakes.  It’s way to dangerous, the danger is too immediate to wait for the proposed divine or universal intervention – the one that intervenes with a hunk of fatty meat lodged so far down in Phil’s esophagus, right at the gateway to breath, that it is unredeemable, and we are relieved of his incessant chattering, and eating, and obliterating.  We can’t wait for a distracted higher being to pay attention.  Phil is running out of animals of the so-called lower order to consume.

And then, what will be left for Phil to eat?  Our pets that are the residue of that lower order, then our children littlest ravenous beings that they can also be, and then, ultimately, our trembling, fragile, disappearing selves.  We have to stop Phil.  He is eating through everything that matters on this earth.  He is eating up our humanity.  He is eating up any hope of finding meaning in our struggle to survive.  He is eating up who we are, who we can be, who we never were.

Henry Grier Stanton


ANNOUNCEMENT: The William Wantling Prize for Poetry –  Sponsored by Poet John D. Robinson

From John D Robinson:
William Wantling: 1933 – 1974 was an ex-Marine and an ex-convict. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol. He also was in possession of a unique literary/poetic genius: even now, 45 years later, his work resounds with an often disturbing and lyrical beauty. Life’s events are mirrored in his poems. He takes you into a world that is terrifying but also is full of moments of tenderness. The poems convey a deep sense of compassion and humanity and openness. They offer a glimpse into the poet’s vulnerabilities as a flawed human being and as a unique poetic voice.
As Judge of the William Wantling Prize for Poetry, John D. Robinson will be looking for poems that exhibit the lyrical beauty and tenderness, honesty and openness often found in Wantling’s poetry.



Letter to Lois

I’ve experienced falling
but never in such a tumble

twirling like a tin can

I wanted to tell you
without the safety
of a cloak’s heightened perspective

how much I love
your human fragility

the joy in a wind chime

to feel the scissor depth of an ending
the gothic pages of ink

newsprint wrapping a bouquet

the short speech of balloons
a stagey mess of comic action figurines

tell Jimmy my favourite one
is still you and me in mufti
holding out our Press cards
the ill-fitting fake lenses
my gin to your tonic

and I’m now way past
the speed of time’s sight
where our shape has no dimension
holding on to this cobalt krypto rock
because I don’t want the super power

of living without you forever.