Z. M. Wise (Western Voices 2022)

Bio: Z.M. Wise is a proud Illinois native from Chicago, poet, essayist, occasional playwright, seldom screenwriter, co-editor and arts activist, writing since his first steps as a child. He was selected to be a performer in the Word Around Town Tour in 2013, a Houston citywide tour. He is co-owner and co-editor of Transcendent ZeroPress, an independent publishing house for poetry that produces an international quarterly journal known as Harbinger Asylum. The journal was nominated Best Poetry Journal in 2013 at the National Poetry Awards. He is the author of seven books and chapbooks of published poetry, including: Take Me Back, Kingswood Clock! (MavLit Press, 2013); The Wandering Poet (Transcendent Zero Press, 2014); Wolf: An Epic & Other Poems (Weasel Press, 2015); Cuentos de Amor (Red Ferret Press, 2015); Kosmish and the Horned Ones (Weasel Press, 2018); Illinois Infinitarium (Cherry House Press, 2020); and The Nightmare Mask (TBD). His debut play, Bottles of Emerald for the Demon Queen (Transcendent Zero Press, 2019), was published in late December of 2019. His most recent chapbook of poetry, the mini-epic known as The Nightmare Mask, is searching for a new home. Other than these books, his poems, lyrics, essays, and book reviews have been published in various journals, magazines, and anthologies. The motto that keeps him going: POETRY LIVES AND LONG LIVE THE ARTS! Mr. Wise will make sure to spread that message and the love of the arts, making sure it remains vibrant for the rest of his days and beyond. Besides poetry and other forms of writing, his other passions/interests include professional voice acting, singing/lyricism/songwriting, playing a few instruments, fitness, and reading. 



A girl, almost woman, complete hallucination,

born of prophet visions and dancing on windows.


Mug of rosewater and hibiscus tea until she was 23.

She messed with the minds of mystics and gryphons,

humans in the real world questioned her every motive,

for their dreams belonged to her guidance and direction.


Caramel beauty from head to toe leaving no straight lines,

pathway of curves became her in a matter of seconds.

One non-objectifying gaze into her spiritual spheres and the

self-direction is made quite clear for the folk who gather here.


Sunday of silence for her lips of spur-of-the-moment speech,

for she feels her words are more concrete on parchment.

Monday, she teaches the young minds, wrapping futuristic ideas

around feline yarn globes, unmade and unwound.

She never fails to entertain the easily amused.


Tuesday, she composes concertos in her magnificent head,

playing them before every stuck up musical committee.

Wednesday, she dedicates time apses to dreamers in poverty,

no dreaming child left behind to choke on the reality’s dystopian dust.


Thursday of darkness, Great Goddess Moon never shows her face,

La Llarona weeps in the pitch black midnight hour by a secret river.

Friday, she meets a heart-eyed customer as her role of the banker of dreams.

He cannot believe she said affirmative with a smile to his question of courtship.


Saturday for the sake of creation!

Saturday for the sake of manifestation!


This life of the lack of control and independence seemed unfair

until she laid right side up on the oddly-worded sentences of Alastair.



Ballad of Jade and Alastair


Two ordinary Dreamers without fantasizing of light lead lives of mediocrity,

independent opinions without the basis of fact chose to murder modern society.

One fulfills the routine of pity party, swimming in leftover streams of rainwater,

one indulges in the occasional nightmare films, playing before the annual slaughter.

Coming together to seek the answers by way of boisterous laughter,

they mesmerize and hypnotize one another in the endeavor of unintentional disaster.

Hushed by their own fingers of mutual commonality,

two moon-kissed slices of Dutch apple pie care not about nationality.


Spending holidays in the Sun during crucial times of unprovoked war,

their petty problems were pretty vacant near the starry shore and watery floor.

Preferring the devices of the simple past to failing advanced modernity,

their noses were stuck in the books written beyond eternity.

One consumed rosehips and hibiscus, the other sank under the River Darjeeling.

Repelled by skepticism, they give in to the Chief of Feelings.

Queen of Dreams played cherubic arrow owner of the Cosmos.

Craving more emotional affection, they care not if they overdose.


Jade, Lady Logic and artiste in her own musical delight,

she dances like a priestess under the influence of Druid sights.

Every idea for experimental sounds causes an explosion towards the inconceivable.

Soothing the protesting voices in her head, they insist on controlling the unbelievable.

Rejected by auditory organizations of pomposity, deeming her work derivative.

Outsmarting them in hush tones, she reigns as Princess of the Imaginative.

Always the woman of independence who remained dedicated and headstrong.

His essence entered hers beneath the harmonious melodies in perfect song.


Alastair, fairest fellow and bard of his own expanded mind,

struggling to preserve the tremored hands and praying tongues of humankind.

Taking on the guise of a peace-offering pacifist with ironic weaponry,

his intentions were purer than the authority on everything contradictory.

First love married to creation, faceless girl who provided the sensational seeds.

His copious stacks of written works concocted in unspeakable durations of speed.

Hearing about the rumors of ‘passionate love’ in gossiping romance tomes,

a maiden of legend came to life in between the lines of his first poem.


So, a divine union of indescribable measures was made.

“Bound by no deity but our own words in the common tongue,”

spoke the articulate mouth of Jade.

An infinite number of lifetimes they will forever share.


Strolling hand in hand, two lovers walk on air,

the Gemstone Lady and her Alastair.

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