Carcinogenic Poetry is Looking for Poetry that Eats at Readers Deep Inside

Virgogray Press is seeking new poetry for its flagship poetry journal, Carcinogenic Poetry. Started in 2009, Carcinogenic Poetry has proudly featured hundreds of poems from writers around the world. Make no mistake, however, Carcinogenic Poetry is not a publication about cancer, nor does it look to publish poetry on the topic. In regard to why Virgogray Press chose to name the journal “Carcinogenic Poetry,” it has long been held that “The Truth Is To Lies Like Cancer.” That has been the ‘motto’ of Carcinogenic Poetry since it first opened its doors to poets more than a decade ago. Some writers got it. While works of fiction can ring out the truths borne deep of the author’s soul, Virgogray Press has long held that poetry emerges from the birthing place of that truth; as an artform, rather than an academic practice, poetry finds its true value from this truth. In keeping with this truth, Carcinogenic Poetry resonates with writing that eats at readers from the inside. And that is the poetry Virgogray Press seeks to feature in Carcinogenic Poetry.

Carcinogenic Poetry has specific requirements for publication aside from the general, though necessary criteria listed above. These requirements are not stringent, and offer poets the opportunity to share previously published work. However, if one sends previously published poems, make sure these poems were published more than two years ago, and the writer must send bibliographic accounting of this publication (the publication and the date of publication) for each sent poem. Another term of publication, authors must send a physical mailing address with their poetry. In a world so anonymous behind computer screens and avatars, it is necessary to keep a record for receipt. Rest assured, all author information is kept confidential, and is not shared with any third party. Finally, we do not accept poetry sent by literary agents or third parties. All poetry sent to Carcinogenic Poetry must be sent by the poet or author themselves, no messengers or middle members. Here are the complete publishing guidelines:

Publishing Guidelines
Send up to 5 poems
No simultaneous submissions
Previously published work is accepted
– send title & date of previous publication
– cannot be submitted within 2 year of previous publication
Send 50 word (or less) biographical sketch
Send address and contact information
ATTACH poems w/name and address in (.DOC) file.
Mark subject line: Carcinogenic Poetry / (last name)
Email to: virgograypress (at) gmail (dot) com
Poets may only submit once per 6 months if published

Thank you for considering Carcinogenic Poetry as a venue for your poems. As the Virgogray Press archive of literature continues to grow, it is hoped your work will be a part of the library.

Carcinogenic Poetry is edited by Michael Aaron Casares.


Black Orpheus, What Is –

The Black Orpheus poetry series is available to read on Wattpad and on The Root of Many Returns blog. In the now ten-part poetry collection, I am presenting poems in the voice of Nicholas Duke, the protagonist of The Distance to the End. So, in effect, it is his poetry readers are engaging.

Black Orpheus: Poems of Dreams and Dementia is a work-in-progress style publication I am sharing with readers as I create each poem for the collection. Once the collection is complete, I may publish it. I may include in the next Nicholas Duke novel due out later this year. Whether a chapbook publication, or a full length collection, I’m not sure. My next full length collection of poetry, Even in Death, will be out later this year as well. Now, as per what Black Orpheus is about? The easiest answer: addiction. Addiction to life. Addiction to death. Addiction to personalities, alcohol, situation, drugs, and ascension. It is about the will to overcome, and its brought to you by Nicholas Duke by way of my ghost hand. If you have a WattPad account, please follow, like and share Black Orpheus. I have a new story coming soon on Wattpad, this one also a work-in-progress. The story is called “Sex Demons.” While I’m not aboslutely sure the direction this story is

going to take, I will be sure to notify readers when it is available. “Sex Demons” will be exclusive to Wattpad, unlike Black Orpheus, which I have shared simultaneously at WattPad and, here, at The Root of Many Returns.

The Evolution of a Series, the Pathology of a Writer

The Distance to the End was published in 2016 and slated as the first in a series of six novels that follow writer at large, Nicholas Duke. While the crux of the series is yet to be revealed, some clues are dropped in the novel. To throw another dimension into the mix, I’ve elected to create a manuscript of Nick’s poetry, a sort-of framed collection within the Nicholas Duke lit-verse. While Black Orpheus: Poems of Dreams and Dementia is in idea a book of symbolic and sometimes metaphysical poetry, it is also about addiction and uses the shadows of dreams to cover for its precious lost dignity. A simple dissection of the verse may or may not parlay those Easter eggs to wanton students of literature, but may to even the slightly initiated. The next two Nicholas Duke books are in the works, though not simultaneously. Where The Distance to the End saw Nicholas rousing rabbles

in the suave streets of the Las Vegas of the new millennium, one of the new volumes will find Nick Duke down south in Texas and Mexico proper. The Nicholas Duke novels are about a new millennium poet and writer finding his voice amid a cast of bad influences, sordid mentors, compromising situations, and clandestine rendezvous–all naturally or chemically elevated to the pleasure of the reader. Of course.

What are the Sex Demons?

The “Sex Demons” is a planned work-in-progress to debut on WattPad later this winter. While readers will need a WattPad account to be notified when a new chapter is released, “Sex Demons” will only be available on Wattpad. I haven’t decided the length of the story, but will be wrapping that up as I conclude brainstorming. In the same vein of the Max Caulfield Serials, “Sex Demons” is erotic LGBT speculative fiction. Max Caulfield is not the protagonist of the story. Go to Wattpad, get an account and subscribe to my page to get up to the second notifications about “Sex Demons” and when new parts of “Black Orpheus: Poems of Dreams and Dementia” are available.

Cover art to Black Orpheus: Poems of Dreams and Dementia

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


No WiFi, Plenty of Projects

Good morning, dear readers. I hope you are well. I am writing a blog post to thank you again for being a reader and joining me on my literary excursions. It has been a fun time as of recent in spite of our current living situation. By that, of course, I refer to the world’s state of quarantine and viral outbreaks. Certainly, we have all found ourselves in a spot we may have never imagined. A mass quarantine was definitely not on my radar; I’d have thought marshal law would happen before something like this, another reason why fiction could never touch the oddities of life, and why art often imitates life.

Nevertheless, we have all been put into a spot of some sort. In my case, I have found myself without work, I haven’t had a secular job for five months now, and all of this started right at the onset of the Covid outbreak and got much harder once it was in full swing. In the middle of the crisis, my father passed away, his final days spent in isolation due to quarantine. It has been tough. We carry on, though.

I carry on.

For creativity.

For art.

For my readers.

The only tasking aspect: no WiFi, no data, slow connections ( I cannot see myself thumbing my phone to compose and post poetry let only fiction, and speech-to-text which I do use quite often is painfully slow) leave me waiting ten minutes for the web browser to open, which does not include the time it takes for word boxes, links, navigation buttons, etc. to populate on the page, and then there’s upload time once the post has been pasted into the text box. First world problems, I know. But, a problem nonetheless for someone trying to get their work out, eventually make a living from their art, and someone wanting to share with their readers. For your patience and understanding, thank you. I’m thrilled every time a reader likes a post, or shares a post. I’m sure the dopamine release may have a bit to do with it, but really, it’s knowing my work is being read, and appreciated. So again, thank you.

What’s coming? The launch of my new collection, The Vanishing Poet, was an utter success. Promotional work and events have been underway with more to come. Please, by all means, if you are interested in reading, a FREE download is still available to readers from Amazon Kindle. I’ll provide the link below (there are two free downloads right now, the other being a chapbook called Poetry From the Edge of Forever). As this quarantine begins to clear, I’d expect public book readings (as opposed to virtual) and a Texas book tour, as well as some readings in California (already in the works), and Oregon, if not a southwest United States reading tour. I’d like to take my work east, to New York and surrounding areas (if anyone has any leads on getting in or knows any good open mics, etc. I’d be grateful for the assist). Currently, I’ve been doing the virtual circuit, so stay tuned for reading announcements.

As I wind up to wind down with The Vanishing Poet, know another chapbook is coming June/July titled, Severance: Poems of a Dystopian America. The next Max Caulfield story is about to drop on Patreon, and my focus is back to fiction. I’m working on a new Nicholas Duke novel, and another installment in the Siouxville horror stories. Stay tuned!

With that, I part. I opened my browser at the start of this, so it should be ready to post as soon as. And before I forget (I am a TERRIBLE salesperon!), if you’d like to lend me some financial support, subscribe to my Patreon (only $1 p/post-with an average of less than 4 p/month), buy my books, or make a one time donation (I take paypal, cashapp, zelle, and square). But more than anything, like, follow, or share my work, and thanks again for taking this ride with me, it’s been some experience. Take care.


Get my new collection of poetry, The Vanishing Poet,FREE at Amazon Kindle.

Two New Publications And Max Caulfield Finally Arrives at Patreon

Good day, dear readers. I hope you are well. I don’t want to get into the day’s current events too much, or give it much credence, suffice it to say, I hope all are well during this quarantine time period and I hope the Covid-blues don’t have you down. I planned for a soft release of my new poetry collection, The Vanishing Poet, but I have to say I did not expect any of this to go this way. I don’t think anyone did. The Corona Pandemic has thrown some of my life sideways, but if you noted from the rant I did on my YouTube channel of the same name a couple months ago, you may already know that my life was familiar with going sideways. Sideways come sometimes unexpectedly or even in a calculated fashion. However it is you may become familiar with going sideways, may it be smooth sailing.

I’ll say I haven’t been without suffering some odd punishments, and believe me, some people do enjoy bestowing their odd punishments on others, but everything has been par for the course. It isn’t anything I didn’t sign up for. The pandemic? That’s something totally different. A parent crossing over? Symptomatic? With me, he will be no scapegoat. It was all predetermined. It was initiated to reiterate my galactic qualities, whether conscientious or imperfect, and cast a light into the mouth of an abyss and transmit my findings to the world. It was a part of my contract. It was also a part of my contract to continue sharing my poetry and writing with you. To continue sharing my soul with you (dramatic, much? Ha!). 

So, the grand vision for the release of The Vanishing Poet: a soft-release, an online blog review tour, a summer/fall book tour (the extent of the tour unmapped, though Texas and New Mexico were definitely in mind), a decent promotional campaign to include podcast, radio, online, and television appearances. Where will this go now? It seems it will stay online. All of it. For the purposes of the soft release, this was perfect anyway. I had angled over becoming involved locally as a mean of promotion. As April is National Poetry Month, there typically is a poetry festival in Austin, and a couple more that sprout up in central Texas. But that’s been cancelled due to quarantine. Most poetry readings and open mics have migrated online so we’ll see what happens. Ideas formulate. Action is required. 

The Vanishing Poet took some time to piece together. I wanted to be thorough as possible, but it boiled down to gathering all required manuscripts. The chapbooks are more than a decade or older, most of them. The digging that took time was finding poetry that had not been published from that time. See a previous post about a writer’s spring cleaning. That was approaching the tail end of my find; and as I have said, there are at least two more collections of poetry coming because of those efforts. The next collection in mind is almost complete, but then will require editing and possible revisions. So, the process is already underway for that project while I am still culling, revising, and shopping out other work. It’s time to get back into the pages of print and online periodical; time to see if they’ll listen. I noticed one prominent magazine I’ve admired for decades is publishing poetry that is similar to my style. There is no technique for my style, yet. You either got it or you don’t. Anyway. It was odd. I thought, this poem reads like one of mine. So it may be time. We’ll see. 

Get a copy of The Vanishing Poet! If you have a Kindle Unlimited it is FREE right now. For a limited time! It will give you insight into my early work. It will tell you where I came from. It will hint at where I’m going because I’m not going away. I’m proud of how this collection came out. I’m particularly fond of the cover art, and I’m thankful I’ve had a more present cast of supporters encouraging me to continue. The paperback is matte finish. It;s dark and it’s gorgeous. If you order a copy through my website The Root of Many Returns (dot) com, I’ll send you an autographed copy and cover the shipping and handling!

The Nibiru publication for me this year would have to be Poetry From the Edge of Forever. I was NOT expecting to publish this chapbook of poetry. Indeed, I wasn’t supposed to publish any chapbooks this year. Just one collection of poetry, one novel, and one novela. I’d say as crummy as everyone says 2019 was, and how crummy 2020 has been, that’s a good start for the first quarter for me.  I am super stoked about Poetry From the Edge of Forever. You see, amid all this Covid-19 and quarantine LaLa Land scenario the world currently finds itself in, most artists are going online as a way to release expression, and entertain millions of thirsty and bored people. So, I put on a virtual poetry reading and published a chapbook of the poetry I shared on the program. 

Poetry From the Edge of Forever is FREE on Kindle Unlimited right now! Go get it!

There is also a softcover edition of the chapbook available for all the tactile readers and collectors out there. Both are very handsome, and I’d say as a set, in this quarantine time and CovidArt lifestyle, I’m satisfied with both publications as a set. I’m not done yet though. You have to get The Vanishing Poet stickers, postcards, and poster. You’ll probably see some promo stuff for Poetry From the Edge… as well. In the mean time, they are both available in soft cover and are FREE for download on Kindle Unlimited for a limited time!

Finally, Max Caulfield has arrived in his first short fiction. Yes, I’ve done a vignette or two on Caulfield, a micro fiction, even, but as the Max Caulfield Serials go, this is first cannon. The short fiction is titled, “Agave” and is hot, hot, hot, hot! I hesitated long enough before entering this wing of my writer’s repertoire. Gay erotic fiction. I actually enjoy writing Max Caulfield, although I would admonish his character is far from developed. No, duh, Batman! You may think, dear reader. And I would thank you for acknowledging that. It is unfortunate to say, for sure, that you, dear reader, may never get to know Max Caulfield, because I have only made him available on my Patreon website. And only those who dare to support each Max Caulfieldstory with a literary donation of $1 US will know of his legend. It is sexy, it is smutty, it is borderline pornography in some instances, but it is not without purpose. Follow the tales, sordid and sensual, of Max Caulfield and find out what his purpose is! I promise, it will be worth the read! 

Dear readers, it is in this time, that I thank you again for sticking around. My Patreon is one patron strong, but that is perfect for the time being. That patron is way ahead of the game, and others will catch up eventually. And the body of subscribers continues to grow on The Root of Many Returns. Currently, along side my work, I am also featuring the poetry of 19th century presidents in a series named, “Presidential Poetry.” Thank you for continuing to like and share my poetry and short fiction. There is more to come, I promise. Writing, painting and artwork, video and audio all have something in production as we speak (I have time as I currently have no secular work). Hard as times are, it is my hope the work I produce is precious enough to own for yourself, whether by exchange or by gratis. It is my pleasure that you like it. 

Keep your ears open for more giveaways, stay tuned to my blog for free reading. I’ll be writing a couple more shorts. Expect more Max Caulfield, just don’t forget you have to get on the Patreon channels to get the dirty wordy, the literary squalor if it suits your flavor. As The Vanishing Poet is now public and ready for consumption, I shall focus on a novel and a novella. Nicholas Duke, Nick, Nick, Nick. What have you been up to, Nick? 

The Vanishing Poet Now Available in Print & Kindle Editions

The Vanishing Poet by Michael Aaron Casares; 2020, Virgogray Press

Available Now from Virgogray Press

A New Collection of poetry from Michael Aaron Casares

The Vanishing Poet
, poems by Michael Aaron Casares, collects poetry published just prior to the print-on-demand boom, between 2006 and 2010, on the independent circuit via chapbooks, now defunct online literary resources, and either international or limited run publications. Poems gathered in this collection were also previously published in rare, out of print chapbooks: Limbo (Virgogray Press, 2006), Ghost Roads (Virgogray Press, 2008), The Terrorist (Virgogray Press, 2009), and Green Tea America (New Polish Beat Press, 2009). The Vanishing Poet also features previously unpublished poetry that was written during this time period, including poems “Ruins,” “Poem for This Night,” and “This Concerning Neutrality” (a poem not published or printed since its previous publication in 2005’s Sad Height, a collection of poetry written under the assumed name, Jacob Gray).

Those familiar with Michael’s work from this era will get a rush of nostalgia as they re-read timeless poetry now available for an innumerable  audience. The body of poems lay untouched, with exception to grammatical revision, only few poems saw a face lift, poems that still see relevance to this day like “End the Fed” and “Fourth Estate,” poems that address a social-political concern witnessed by the poet and expressed through his art. As with any mercurial art, though the work does see revision, the poet is careful to keep the meaning, the intonation, and the verve the poem originally presented if not augment. This is found to be the case with the classic pensive and socio-analytical piece, “Sad Height,” a poem that has existed in one form or another, first verbally then written, for nearly two decades. The poem that serves well as a ‘sequel’ to “Sad Height,” the heavy and beleaguered  “Dream of Sky,” saw the same, the intention of the poem now at its fullest potential, finite, its best form. The Vanishing Poet finalizes this lost era of writing, one dependent on the resources and kinetic wherewithal of the poet to share and spread the word of one and many, a time before the great cyber and digital rush that has inundated our libraries and mental faculties with a deluge of ideas, memoirs and publications. It was a time of the silent revolution of the small and independent press. It was a part of a last ditch effort to create an organic library of unknown literary masters, and to produce the publications romanticized by the wannabe-beat throwaways of the last millennium; it was a time when one hit the road and instead of daydream, to see people face-to-face and not merely their digital soul.

Title: The Vanishing Poet
Author: Michael Aaron Casares
Release Date: April 21, 2020
Publisher: Virgogray Press
ISBN:  979-8625342827
Pages: 104 pages
Price: 15.00 USD

Edition: Print (Paperback) & Kindle Editions

Poetry and Politics

The political environment in the United States of America, the whole world, is volatile. I don’t think there has been a more contentious election cycle from election campaigning through end of first term that has severed the unity of many people in the nation, and divided everything from men and women, to family structures, to community and friends, and deepened the well of political prejudice. As artists of the written word, there is no doubt that these societal issues may come out in the work of poet and other artists. Activist poetry, more prevalent today on both sides of the political aisle in America, and scattered through every polarized spectrum of politics worldwide, overtly addresses these ideas and philosophies and in some cases become its call to arms, its pool of inspiration. This political schism has also shown the hand of propagandists, and has shown how the general public does not care for the celebrity and affluent-type dictating political opinions and instructions. Along with separation of church and state, the separation of state and entertainment is requested. While an artist like Dolly Parton may find this obvious and easy to do, it may be hopeless for a poet. A trick of the trades is to be able to balance the artistic creative with real-world conditions and the necessities thereof, like the necessity of money to live comfortably and validly. But to be able to have an artistic career and a political opinion may be no easy task; a delicate balance. Poets and artists like myself, however, whom seem to be overt in their opinions in some public domains, will not intermingle their political opinion into certain aspects of their creativity. So, readers will never see posts on The Root of Many Returns dot com promoting any political party, though members of my personal Twitter stream may be privy to some pretty heavy expressions of political opinion and secularism, readers may experience art that expresses political view. The most obvious that comes to mind is my poem, End the Fed, published in December 2019 on this website.

There is no room for poetry in politics, but the same cannot be said about the opposite. While I have not come across any legislation or political speech that was overtly poetic, unless you think Truman and Kennedy were merely full of symbolism, and MLK allegory and metaphor, I have found certain American presidents turned to poetry for release and expression in various tones and topics. There, too, is also the poets presented at presidential inaugurations, poets of the American Revolution like Emerson and Longfellow, and even peculiar musings like “The Snake” by Oscar Brown Jr., and made popular by singer/songwriter Al Wilson (included at the aft of this entry) that have been injected into the American political scene by figures like President Trump who used it as a metaphor for illegal immigration. For the pleasure of the readers, and for historical pertinence, The Root of Many Returns is proud to present a brief series: Presidential Poems, poetry by American presidents, to be followed by a series of patriotic poems, industrial and post-industrial revolution poetry that honors and reveres the United States of America.


The Snake
by Oscar Brown Jr.

On her way to work one mornin’
Down the path alongside the lake
A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Oh well,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
“Take me in oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake
She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk
And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk
Now she hurried home from work that night as soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived
“Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake
Now she clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight
But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite
“Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake
“I saved you,” cried that woman
“And you’ve bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
”Take me in, oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,“ sighed the snake.

President Trump read “The Snake” by Oscar Brown Jr. on the campaign trail during the 2016 Presidential Election cycle. He read the poem as a metaphor for illegal immigration. What else could this poem represent in political context?



Poetry at the Edge of Forever: A Virtual Poetry Reading

Virtual Poetry Reading 04.20.20

Join Michael Aaron Casares for a virtual poetry event as he reads select pieces from his upcoming collection, The Vanishing Poet. “Poems from the Edge of Forever” will go live on The Root of Many Returns YouTube channel on Friday April 20th, 2020 at 7 pm central standard time (UC -5). In addition to the poetry reading, there will also be a giveaway for signed copies of The Vanishing Poet and other prizes! Get there early, and get verified! RSVP and spead the word.


Behind the Scenes: A Writer’s Spring Cleaning

Checklists, rough drafts, & research.

Notebooks. Rough drafts. Scratch and scribble. Writers are no stranger to hoarding pages and pages of old writing, throw away lines, brainstorming moments, scribble, and scratch. I finally decided to do a bit of ‘Spring cleaning’ only to find about a dozen tomes (some full, some not) of such writing. I marveled at some of the writings I found, was taken back to ideas I’d forgotten about, and inspired by the possibilities. I found i had enough ammo to keep content coming, books in production, and blog posts rolling .

So far I’ve culled seven notebooks,  a half dozen to go. I think I found another book, which means after The Vanishing Poet, readers can expect two more poetry collections (rapid fire: I’d like to see the subsequent collection available later this year or early next year). Cheers.

Continue reading

Pre-Order Now: The Vanishing Poet 04.21.2020




The Vanishing Poet by Michael Aaron Casares will be available 04.21.2020 from Virgogray Press.

Pre-Order your copy now exclusively from and get your copy signed by Michael, and shipped for free! In addition to that, all orders placed before 04/10/2020 will have their name added to the Acknowledgements Page and published in the book.


The Vanishing Poet 
Poetry by Michael Aaron Casares
Virgogray Press, 2020
104 pages / $15


  • Our preferred method of payment is by the App ZELLE. (Most major banks *Capital One, Bank of America, Chase, etc.* use ZELLE for person to person Electronic Funds Transfer).
  • We accept pay from most major credit and debit cards (Visa/Mastercard/American Express/Discover) via Paypal, CashApp, and Square.
  • Cash/Check is acceptable.
  • Send a DM on this website on the Contact page.


For more information, any questions on bulk purchase orders, distribution fulfillment, booking, review, and interview information, navigate to the Contact page and send Michael a message