Book shout: two poetry collections by Bindweed contributor, Ken Poyner

Congratulations to Bindweed contributor, Ken Poyner, on the recent publication of two poetry collections, Stone the Monsters, or Dance and Lessons from Lingering Houses published by Barking Moose Press.

Ken has contributed poetry and fiction to Bindweed and has been published in Issue 10 and Issue 11.

We wish you all the best with your latest books, Ken!


Ken Poyner – fiction


I am not the leap over tall buildings type.  I am not the hold two locomotives from smashing each other to shocked metal fragments variety.  I don’t fly, except by airliner.  If that is the sort of superhero you need, then you need to move up the price scale.  What you want is available, but it comes at a cost that, if you are looking at me, you can’t pay.

I come with a great costume, a textbook swagger, burnt in good looks – but that is about the range of it. I’m basically your garden variety show superhero.  My contract says no shooting, no stabbing, no burning, no punching, and this superhero is not going to change the course of anything, alter no history, make no intercessions.

Someone might rent me hoping whoever they are trying to impress will be taken in, be ignorantly intimidated, come too quickly to agreement.  Sometimes, I am all a customer can afford; then again, sometimes I am the cheap alternative – if I don’t fool anyone, then the purchaser will go back, put out serious money, rent a superhero who can be a menace or a savior, a bender of the scales.

Sometimes the gig is just an ambience thing.  A couple thinks it will add to their cachet if they have a superhero show up, fawn over them a while, make a great pose when everyone is watching, quietly hail a cab to get back to the store and clock back in.

Actually, I get more work than many of the superheroes who can fly and bend steel and race at light speed.  Those are really expensive.  If you are going to rent one of those, you have to hold both serious cash and serious need.  And, when it comes down to it, often it is cheaper to recover from an untoward event or circumstance than it is to have a superhero prevent it.  You might get lucky – things might not go so badly, or perhaps could be set right for less cash than a superhero could set you back.  Events are variable, superhero rates are posted.  Rich people are adept at making calculations like these.

Yes, a lot of my more capable superhero friends sit idle, waiting for the big payoff.  Building collapse prevention.  Boat collision mishap deterring.  There are just not that many disasters dreadful enough to merit their hourly rate.

Me, well, I keep a steady trade on the cheap.  Amaze your even lower income friends by being able to afford a superhero.  Let me rush in to hold the office door for you.  I will hum my theme music when I go pick up your cat at the vet.  I will pop a perplexity of muscles as I bring in your groceries.

Half your neighbors at their torn screen doors or cluttered office desks will say oh my, it is to be the superhero again:  everyone has to know we have caught on; the other half of those neighbors will say, gee, I wish I could afford to rent a superhero:  renting your own superhero must be really nice.

In the end, the door is opened, the cat collected, the groceries delivered.  All the disapproving onlookers should know is that there is no job too trivial for a conscientious superhero, even if he is not the grade of superhero the customer wants everyone to think he is.

As I do my superhero chores, I will wink at the watchers who hold either opinion, stop by on my way out and clandestinely drop off one of the agency’s candy-colored cards.  The real magic is in the downward personal touch.  We are not as expensive as you might think.  Come on, treat yourself.


After years of impersonating a Systems Engineer, Ken has retired to watch his wife continue to break world raw powerlifting records.  Ken’s two current poetry and four short fiction collections (just released:  “Engaging Cattle”, mini-fictions) are available from Amazon and elsewhere.



Ken Poyner – 2 poems



We could live the life of chaos.

Waving to strangers from the windows

Of yellow houses.  Ordering tea sets

For yachts adrift in the Interstate median.

Professing our love of horses

To the mad young boys who ride turtles

And condemn the grass.  There would be

So much

We could do.  But our lives are regulated,

Beginning to end, beginning to end, one thing

Ended and another beginning.

For our purposes a cigar

Is always a cigar, a train tunnel

The dark of the journey.  Waving

From the murderous windows of yellow houses

Is an excitement for people without mortgages.

Wave with me anyway.

The boys are strapped to their turtles,

The grass has had its come-uppance,

And everyone loves horses, loves tea sets.

There are strangers just over there.  Wave!

They pull off their blue shades and look at us,

Regard their watches, one

Starts at least a half gesture to wave back

And you can see cause and effect

Weighing on him.  He will make

An independent decision, and our world

Out of that one humid fact might go on.


His fingers in the air like bamboo

Twittering as though at the start of a race,

His wave, the sleek economy of it:

His waving.







Beneath the bed she can hear

The ocean heave, lap at itself,

Crest and growl:  independent.

She does not know how long she

Has been adrift, or this room

On the third floor awash.  Years

She has not peered under the bed,

Vacuuming with the length of the hose:

No smell of salt, no cry of seabirds,

No clatter of exoskeleton joints.

How long has the ocean hidden, how long

Did its infinite biology transpire

Beneath her bed – the bed

Barely as wide as she, barely

As long?  Brine and octopus

Calligraphy, mollusks as danced out

Through centuries of washed stone, the joy

Of fish in ordered numbers.

She has suspected.

Now, ever so cautiously,

She leans over the side, pulls up

The drape of cold, night blankets.  The

Clear sea breezes bring as well

Some stench of what gets cast

To the shore: the sea’s refusal

Of failure, the inept and worn out,

The decay of creatures falling behind.

Her hair is free to wash across the floor;

The spray there is mineral and oily.

She leans farther, past the box springs,

Balanced with only a fistful of mattress,

Wanting only to look, to look deeper,

To witness the joy of land-loving mermaids

Giddy with the sea, gasping in air.






After years of impersonating a Systems Engineer, Ken has retired to watch his wife of forty+ years continue to break both Masters and Open world raw powerlifting records.  Ken’s two current poetry collections (“The Book of Robot”, “Victims of a Failed Civics”) and three short fiction collections (“Constant Animals”, “Avenging Cartography”, “The Revenge of the House Hurlers”) are available from Amazon and most book selling websites.  Visit him at