Free Will — A Discussion

By Writing Knights Press

I am both

derp stick Free will isn’t as wholly a benevolent entity as you might perceive it. Think of it this way (no esoteric talk about religion or god, I promise).
Over millions of years the human animal has been developing inch by metaphorical inch toward who you are today. Generation upon generation has been learning from mistakes and passing those lessons onto their offspring, slightly altering DNA to make offspring that should be stronger than the generation before them. The idea was to make the Human animal better able to survive in the world. Evolution is intended to make this as efficient as possible, because before the last… 10,000-20,000 years or so we haven’t been the top of the food chain even with our huge computer like brains.
So a lot of our bodily functions, heart beat, breathing, sweating, even allergies (fucking things) have developed to happen involuntarily to help us survive. And they do a pretty good job. The most important thing that developed was our will to survive, our need to keep living. Read about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to get more background. This will to survive will make us run away from a fire, or someone shooting a gun, or from something that we know will hurt us. The will to survive will remind us of the days when our ancestors were getting chased by a lion or pack of wolves, or to not kill ourselves.
Humans also developed a consciousness that can transcend this will to survive (some animals anecdotally have been reported to also commit suicide, but we’re talking about YOU here). Human beings can fully commit to the act of ending their own life. This is in direct opposition to their will to survive. So in this act, killing yourself IS exercising your free will.
That is not the only way you can exercise your free will. Referring back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, there is a slim to none likelihood you’ll ever be faced with the prospect of starving to death when someone else could eat, so let’s skip up one run to Safety. Let’s say a friend of yours is being beaten up by someone else. Stepping in and putting yourself in harm’s way is acting upon free will.
One step up the ladder, social belonging. Let’s say, a huge group of people are going to a Justin Bieber concert and you want to be accepted by those people, but you don’t want to see Justin Bieber. If you don’t go see Justin Bieber, you’ll get made fun of and you won’t “belong.” Not going to see Justin Bieber is exercising your free will.
Under Esteem, let’s say you are trying to impress someone you really respect. You try and you try, but for some reason they don’t respect you. A situation arises where you can earn their respect and grow your self esteem, but the thing you have to do goes against your principles. Exercising your free will in this respect is to not do the thing that goes against your principles.
There are more examples that could be given, but this is already the longest Youtube comment I’ve ever made, so let’s just leave it there for now.
TL:DR, Yes, there is free will, but it isn’t what you think it is. No, don’t kill yourself.

Source:: Writing Knights Press

Happy Halloween from Thirteen Myna Birds!

By Juliet Cook

Offering new poetry and art by Michael Grover, Charles Cicirella, Mish, B.C. Nance, Daniel G. Snethen, John Thomas, Leona Vander Molen, and Steve Sibra.
“Funeral parlor waiting room walls – The Shaman have committed suicide – your head is like a black hole of sadness – A fleeting apparition of ghostly beauty – the coastal sprawl that stinks – quite an immense creature – To the center of the universe or to the epicenter of this enigma we call life – spent youth under dark tables – their legs, mostly necrotic from high sugar – she pets the wallpaper while we eat – I wrap copper wire on her ankles – I keep my removed teeth in a bag, waiting…”

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

And Yet Another New “Fuck Cancer Poems” has found a new home!

By Juliet Cook

Matthew J. Hall received his copy of the new Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, “Fuck Cancer Poems” by Michael Grover!
Get your own copy from the Blood Pudding Press shop here –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

Hourglass Studies – by Krysia Jopek (CC#95)

By John Burroughs

Crisis Chronicles Press is very pleased to announce the publication of Krysia Jopek‘s stunning new poetry chapbook, Hourglass Studies, on 31 October 2017.
“Krysia Jopek’s poems in Hourglass Studies are not so much linear as Möbius: they twist back upon themselves in ways hauntingly familiar, while offering surrealistic flashes of the outré. Reading this book is like having your own Tarot cards read: you find yourself spellbound, immersed in questions and answers, hints and predictions, that all make sense in the end.”

—Dianne Borsenik, NightBallet Press publisher and
author of Age of Aquarius, Collected Poems 1981-2016

Where Do You Want It?
United States $7.00 USDElsewhere $10.00 USD

Hourglass Studies is available for only $7 US from Crisis Chronicles Press, 3431 George Avenue, Parma, Ohio 44134. ISBN: 978-1-940996-45-5. Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5″. Perfect bound. Cover design by Dale Houstman. 26 pages featuring 12 poems / studies.
Read sample poems from Hourglass Studies at Meta/ Phor(e) /Play.

Please join us for the official book release party November 21st, 7:30 p.m., at The Outer Space, 295 Treadwell Street in Hamden, Connecticut.

Krysia Jopek‘s poems have appeared in The Great American Literary Magazine, Crisis Chronicles Cyber Litmag, Gone Lawn 19, Split Rock Review, The Woven Press, Columbia Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Phoebe, Murmur, Artists & Influence, and other literary journals. She has written reviews of poetry for The American Book Review. Maps and Shadows, her first novel (Aquila Polonica 2010), won a Silver Benjamin Franklin award in 2011 in the category of Historical Fiction.

Source:: Crisis Chronicles Press

Halloween and Dia de los Muertos! Part One, Kevin Eberhardt!

By Dianne Borsenik

It’s the end of October, and NightBallet Press is pleased to announce the publication of TWO fantastic poetry collections by TWO fantastic poets,
Kevin Eberhardt and Alan Catlin!
This is Part One of two posts; stay tuned for Part Two: Alan Catlin next weekend!

Part One: Kevin Eberhardt: Before the Puppets Could Sing

Before the Puppets Could Sing by northeast Ohio poet and artist Kevin Eberhardt is a dark fantasy “upon the scrimshawed sea” to lands where “pillar shaped clouds/hold up the sky,” where “there’s a darkness in the water” and “skeletons dance/on splintering ropes.”

This is the editor’s favorite poem in the book:

Holy Storms

A congregation of
Clouds gather for
Prayer the sermon
Same as yesterday
& the one before of
Apocalyptic damage
To an unexpected
Town got nothin’ to
Do with sin or the
Breaking of any
W/out warning & un
Prepared for that
Which they were
About to receive
A renegade cold
Front moves in
Spouting a torrent
Of tornadoes in
A schizophrenic
Language only
Angels under
Stand / repent
For the wrath of
God is upon us

Before the Puppets Could Sing contains 28 pages of 21 poems and a Kevin Eberhardt illustration, “‘Tis the Season.” The cover is a stark white textured cardstock with an Eberhardt art piece, “The Gate” in red and black. The cardstock insert is thick and double-sided, black and red. The text is printed on brilliant white paper. While the poems are often brief, they contain an astonishing array of wordplay and vivid imagery.

Kevin Eberhardt, in recent years, has expressed himself in found/primitive/folk art. His striking and distinctive art has appeared on numerous NightBallet Press covers, and has been featured at JoAnn DePolo Studios and Gallery in North Olmsted, Ohio, and at Eberhardt’s poetry has appeared in various publications, including ArtCrimes, The City Poetry, Deep Cleveland Junkmail Oracle, and the Fuck Poetry anthology (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2011). He is the author of two previous chapbooks, Transitory Innocence (NBP, 2013), and Burnin’ Shadows (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2011). He also published a collaborative book of poems and photos, Rockin’ at the Ace Cafe, with U.K. photographer Richard Byerley. Learn more at

Before the Puppets Could Sing is only $5 plus $3 shipping. To purchase a copy, simply click on the PayPal button (you don’t have to have a PayPal account to use it).

Out-of-country purchasers, please contact the press at for information on shipping costs.

Source:: NightBallet Press

And Another New “Fuck Cancer Poems” has found a new home!

By Juliet Cook

Htiek Murdnal received his copy of the new Blood Pudding poetry chapbook, “Fuck Cancer Poems” by Michael Grover!

Get your own copy from the Blood Pudding Press shop here –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

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Yet Another New “Fuck Cancer Poems” has found a home!

Oct 26 2017

By Juliet Cook

Drew Coomer received his copy of “Fuck Cancer Poems” by Michael Grover (appearing next to his copy of “Rasputin: A Poetry Thread Anthology”)!

Acquire your own copy of “Fuck Cancer Poems” here –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

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Another New “Fuck Cancer Poems” has found a home!

By Juliet Cook

Dan Denton received his copy of the new “Fuck Cancer Poems” poetry chapbook by Michael Grover (Blood Pudding Press, 2017)!
“Michael Grover has been a friend, a brother, and a poetry teacher/mentor to me for the past couple of years. I’ve watched cancer pretty much kick his ass a few times. I’ve seen him at some pretty low spots in his fight with the big ‘C.’
I’ve also had the pleasure of watching Mike throw a few punches of his own in that battle. Today I got this in the mail. I couldn’t be more proud of him for writing this, and grateful that Blood Pudding Press published it.
You can order your own copy here:

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

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The First New Review of the New “Fuck Cancer Poems” by Michael Grover (thank you to Christina Brooks)!

Oct 24 2017

By Juliet Cook

A new book review written by Christina M. Brooks of the new “Fuck Cancer Poems” poetry chapbook by Michael Grover (Blood Pudding Press 2017):

“I’ve never cried thru a book of poetry before but I did with this one. And I still feel teary writing this review. I know the poet personally. Michael is a good friend and has been a staunch supporter of my own poetry from day one. It does make me sad that he is struggling with cancer. And I don’t know how long he will be with us. But reading Fuck Cancer Poems that wasn’t what brought the tears. What brought the tears was the very penetrating, real writing in it.

Michael has a very rebellious spirit… he sometimes comes off as gruff and combative with people and he has paid a heavy personal cost because of that. But underneath that exterior is a very perceptive, battle weary poetic warrior. His writing has a clarity you don’t see very many places or hear from many people anymore. And I think it was that clarity, and the very raw, personal character of these poems that hit me so deeply. I felt these poems. They aren’t just about his personal battle with cancer… but a keen eyed look at “cancer” in its other forms too.

Anyway, Thank you Michael Grover for writing these.. and thank you Juliet Cook for publishing them. And thank you to Craig Firsdon for the cover art.
And though they will probably make you cry I highly recommend this book.”
Thank you very much to Christina Brooks for this wonderful review.

Anyone interested in acquiring their own copy of “Fuck Cancer Poems” can get it from the Blood Pudding Press shop here –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

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Another Photo of Another Copy of the New “Fuck Cancer Poems” by Michael Grover (Blood Pudding Press 2017)

By Juliet Cook

Charles Cicirella received his copy of the new Blood Pudding Press poetry chapbook, “Fuck Cancer Poems” by Michael Grover!

Get your own copy from the Blood Pudding Press shop here –

Source:: Blood Pudding Press

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