Dustin Pickering: Poetry (Western Voices 2021)


Bio: Dustin Pickering is founder of Transcendent Zero Press and founding editor of Harbinger Asylum. He is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. As a former contributor to Huffington Post, he wrote on publishing and intellectual freedom. His most recent collection of poetry Only and Again was released by Setu this year. He is a poet, essayist, critic, artist, and sometime musician. He lives in Houston, Texas.




fingertips touch the flame,

blue and gold,

like yesterday’s pleasure

in the spiritual house.


when we return we are only

victims of loose learning.


the loam carries us from saint

to sage to sorry,

and we dwell in dreams

of coal and ice.


the night air breathes into us

the life we have chosen.




shutting up


i clutch the thumb of my hand,

tight and warm:

songs emerge like catastrophes—


            cracked and insolent—


and i open my fist, knowing revolution.

something is amiss.

a doppelganger of light

floods the darkdoor of thought.


often i shut my mouth

before i speak.




subjective i


premise of my own,

prison of dimensions:

skirting the flight of daunting birds.


lowercase: she is a pill on the horizon of health.

subjunctive personalities will sing their parasites.


i am only a small man,

subsisting in the circle of society

as a subjective i


so you, or i (may i venture?) remain small.

i am subject of the illusion

that my existence is more than futile.



  1. Love many of the images that you created. "songs emerge like catastrophes—"

  2. "Shutting up" is my favorite poem! Some great lines are here. Enjoyed.
    Also, thank you for visiting and the kind comment.

  3. So much wisdom and depth here, Dustin. And your use of language is original and provokes thought.

  4. I liked your poems. So much depth and great imagery.

    Brindha Vinodh

  5. You may be a small man but your poetry speaks large. My subjective opinion of course.


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