Severance by Brendan Perry

The birds of leaving call to us,
Yet here we stand
Endowed with the fear of flight.

The winds of change consume the land,
While we remain
In the shadow of summers now past.

When all the leaves
Have fallen and turned to dust,
Will we remain

The plague that moves throughout this land
Omen signs
In the shapes of things to come.

Tomorrow’s child is the only child.

“Severance” lyrics written by Brendan Michael Perry. All rights reserved.

We Are Still Human

I don’t believe people become nothing
until they are something.
I don’t believe people are selfish
until they have something.
People are good.
I believe good people feel guilt
when they want to.
I believe good people feel doubt
when they have to.
Good people feel regret
if they need to.

Shunning the spirit that makes us human.
Too perfect to forget imperfection.
Too enlightened to forget empathy.
Ascended prophets disconnect
like wealthy in glass bubbles.
Forget the cost of living.
Forget the joy of our nature.
Forget the gift of decision
and the duality of thought.

The universe is a stream.
Surrender to the current.
A bottleneck is detrimental
to the contract
agreed on in the vast playing field
the chessboard uncomplicated,
the kings and queens
have checked each other
they find no mate.
The pawns distract them
in their menial servitude.

Absence of fault.
Absence of blame.
Absence of decency
brings guilt to shame.
Shame on those who regret.
Shame on those who doubt.
Shame from the mountains
of ascended prophets
who spit love with as much hate
hidden in their soul,
jealous of the human spirit
we have not forgotten.

“We Are Still Human” is a poem written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved.

Virtual Open Mics: Focus Texas

Virgogray Press

Greetings fellow poets and poetry readers. Because of circumstances beyond our control, many poets and writers have been unable to meet at their regularly scheduled open mics and reading events, depriving us of that much needed social exposure and aural literary nourishment.

Tenacious and stubborn as ever, poets have taken to the internet and are sharing their work through virtual open mics and other such literary events! To support the cause of poetry and live open mic sessions, Virgogray is publishing a list of ongoing virtual open mics localized to Central Texas. We look forward to publishing an expanded list of virtual open mics and poetry readings. If you are interested in having your virtual event included in our list, please feel free to begin correspondence at:

Place in subject line: Virtual Readings

Please note: Zoom meeting ID’s and passwords are changed per event, we are working on…

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It smolders in their eyes more so than the black
of pupil and space and heart.
The hearth of the heart has become sick,
produced weeping ashes and bipolar flares,
a crest to the sociopathic tongue that will
misunderstand and judge its own history.
It wriggles something sacred, a docile light
above its flesh, as the dimness begins to rush.
They see orange as the heat flows up their necks
beneath their heated collar and defeated heart.
They scorch the earth with dragon’s tongue,
curse their brothers and their sisters, cast
their family into the pyre with much at stake.
They smile through their frowns, they justify
their emotion as validated by the
Institutionalized academia that wrought
these controlled demolitions, that bred
desperate foot soldiers clinging to their
hollow virtues and crumbling moral high ground,
and I watch it burn to the ground,
as rebirth, a reset, is cast
and the light of the universe
ignites our hearts.

“Orange” is a poem written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved.

The Dancing Pagans

Through the verdant hills of the isle,
in line, in tandem with the minstrel siren,
the once angel of valor and strength,
grace and mercy, a demon disguise,
an eater of children, a banker of blood,
has deceived them as they stroll,
bouncing up and down to the beat
of the heathen drum in masked costume
as creature of the forest, as denizen
of the trees, the flowers, the fairies,
the March hair and the dragon,
waltz in reverie, drunken daydreams
unknown to the cosmic deity of love,
the hatred in their hearts is the fertile
soil of their soul and backwards,
upside down, contrary-wise,
they jest and duel the useful
fool, in clown mask and make-up,
to the pyre where they send their
wishes to the gods of children
and their ravaged and raped
bodies, a true sacrifice of the
conscience energy barreled
deep into the ether of
resentment, no forgiveness asked,
they simply bow their heads, aware of the sins
they mistook for virtues and stretch their
necks on the planks of wood and await
the sharpened blade to fall, crippling the dancing pagans
and silencing the minstrel who without the blood
of children, a hag in wait with demon eyes
anticipates the silent fate the outspoken majority
adjudicates to the light of the world,
the truth of crimes against humanity,
the atrocities performed against
the children of the sun.

“The Dancing Pagans” is a poem written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved.

Black Orpheus: Mark of the Iceman

Instant distant dirge,
a healing funnel of mud and death,
its kiss splattered all over the ground.
A spacious vacuum absorbs the
flagellate, the pustule morsel streaking
into bloody oblivion with the plaque
and dead skin. Walking wounded,
the earthworms schleps its way home.
The shards leave lei lines along the floor
that eat into its skin. The nails dig deep.
The hands are greedy, jealous,
and mad. The earth is mined and
smeared. Muzzled, with no love
and no chance of mercy,
it suffocates behind its own voice,
a shrilling shriek, a weaseled
murmuring of the depth
it lacks. To help it, to
stop the beast that rides its back,
and strangles it of the life it desires,
to backfire evil on evil with prissy
temper tantrums the lazy and
over privileged mock,
to assist it in its demise,
the stately demon sits on the bed,
a diplomat to degeneracy
and cheap prostitutes everywhere
pimped, sold, and used
by this otherwise slick and
condemned iceman.


“Black Orpheus: Mark of the Iceman” is written by Michael Aaron Casares. All rights reserved. 


Black Orpheus: The Poetry of Nicholas Duke

Tentative cover art – Black Orpheus: Poems of Dreams and Demntia by Nicholas Duke

Readers of the novel The Distance to the End will be delighted to have collected the poetry and verse of Nicholas Duke, the proclaimed protagonist of the story. Black Orpheus: Poems of Dreams and Dementia by Nicolas Duke will be collected a poem at a time on the Wattpad writing social site along with other literary fiction of LGBTQ horror and dark fantasy. Poetry included in future entries of Black Orpheus will be featured on this website as well until the collection is complete and ready to go to print. Join Michael Aaron Casares as he spins more tales and weaves more poetry through the voice of his poet protagonist, Nicholas Duke and other voices.

Resonance: Dead Can Dance – In Concert

Dead Can Dance – Children of the Sun

For a band like Dead Can Dance, I couldn’t start to begin knowing where to begin with such a responsibility as sharing one’s opinion about a band like Dead Can Dance. They truly are among the special gems fatigued writers and disc jockeys wax nostalgically; a subject the passionate eccentric relish and the go-getter goth applauds. The powerful must dance as they clap and sway hypnotized by the other-worldly magic that is the music of Dead Can Dance. The choice of lead musicians Lisa Gerard and Brendan Perry to step away from the nuances of a then thriving European artistic, electronic renaissance of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and embrace an almost archaic, organic and otherwise Earthly aural resonance, this Australian act continues to master its creativity to share its majesty with audiences. In Concert captures for listeners the master artist musicians as they present their craft. A support tour for their 2012 release Anastasis, Dead Can Dance completed a world tour touching every corner of the world. I didn’t think I’d see the live any time soon, having been a listener for the better part of a decade by then. I was ecstatic. I was also scheduled to work that night. The show was at a theater venue in heart of downtown, and it had sold out in minutes. I was lucky enough to find some tickets online through Craigslist that got me in the door, this after calling in to work. It didn’t phase me at all. This was a concert I wasn’t going to miss one week before my birthday. Any amount of risk was worth taking. The show opened with two new powerful incantations as presented respectfully, “Children of the Sun” with primary vocal by Brendan Perry and “Anabasis” as sung by the divinely touched siren so scarcely recognized, Lisa Gerard. The songs stay true to their original presentation giving audiences that familiar authorization, but also somehow becomes even more organic than the original presentation. Even on songs like “Rakim,” a now classic Dead Can Dance incantation,

That’s not to say they have a pagan influence, but if they are frolicking in the hills with Marina Abramovic & the Vanderbilts, I’d be concerned. Even if it was Madonna. Especially if it was Madonna. 

fans have embraced worldwide, the effervescence of Lisa’s voice so succinctly intone with the memory of , is all at once an undeniable segment of the ensemble where it finds the magic it feeds. Never where is this organic response to the cold, and chilled tones of the electronic and synth more powerful than in a live venue. As much as Rakim is one of my favorite Dead Can Dance the setlist includes, other than the complete Anastasis album, several endearing canticles from some of their most relevant work is included, such as:  “Ubiquitous Dr. Lovegrove,” “The Host of Seraphim,” “Sanvean,” “Song to the Siren,” and “Nierka”. Each song is stated with precision, evoking the passion and perfection fans may have anticipated. From its inception, songs like “Children of the Sun,” “Anassasis,” and the pagan hymn,

Dead Can Dance – Return of the She-King

“Return of the She-King” are visceral enchantments, muses I connected too and can depend to take me to another aural plane where intentions infect reality with meaning in astral trajectory. What does that mean? Their music is infectious and can take listeners away, Perry and Gerrard equally wielding the whip of ownership. The pagan hymns aside, their creation allure and transport the listener. I was surprised to hear the march of the hare, the dance to the the sun god, in “Return of the She-King”, an impressive minstrel to behold majestic and ethereal.  I sometimes worry about my favorite artists that dabble in the dark arts and negative zones. That’s not to say they have a pagan influence, but if they are frolicking in the hills with Marina Abramovic & the Vanderbilts, I’d be concerned. Even if it was Madonna. Especially if it was Madonna. For the time being, the duo continue to launch their hallmark on the music industry with a new album in 2018 and continue plans for touring the world. This album, an homage to their live musical prowess, shall not go unheard. 



Watch Dead Can Dance in concert.

Call For Submissions

Pandoric Poetry Review

Poetry of the metaphysical, transcendental, beat, post modern, fatalistic, phantasmagoric. Divine energies coalesce and converge here. Poetry published is featured in the featured poetry column, Pandoric at the publisher’s website, The Root of Many Returns.  

  • Send 1-2 poems (no length restrictions, though longer pieces will be reviewed on a case-by-case).
  • Previously published work is prohibited.
  • Simultaneous submissions are prohibited.
  • Allow 2 to 3 weeks for response.
  • Include name, email address, and physical mailing address (physical mailing address is for verification purposes only, though you may receive special newsletters and promotional items from time to time).
  • Include a brief biography in the 3rd. Limit 100 words.
  • Include a website and any social media URLs you’d like to share.


We encourage artwork of the abstract, metaphysical, avant-garde, independent.

  • Send 1 – 3 images
  • Previously unpublished work (including online portfolio & social sites).
  • Black & White / Color images accepted
  • Send as .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF
  • Send at a minimum of 3-Dpi
  • HiDef imaging sustainable
  • Allow 2 to 3 weeks for response.
  • Include name, email address, and physical mailing address (physical mailing address is for verification purposes only, though you may receive special newsletters and promotional items from time to time).
  • Include a brief biography in the 3rd. Limit 100 words.
  • Include a website and any social media urls you’d like to share.

Send to Virgograypress (at) gmail (dot) com
ubject Line: Pandoric / Your Last Name