Renwick Berchild – 1 poem

Ghost Pepper


If it is undemanding, I want no part in it.


If it is easy, take it away. Purge it from my sight. Comfort goes into the dirt. Peace stays sparse, sealed tight in a jar tucked deep in the cupboard of my youth.


I’ll have none of the lazy minds. No black and white prophets, nor conquests of or wars over fragility.


If it is clean cut, packaged swift, and tied divinely closed with a bow, it’ll go out with the trash. I’ll care not a whit.




if it drives me maddened, sends me stark raving saddened, if it pulls me up by my veins and slings me into Mother Earth’s magma core,


if it leaves me bloodied, bare boned and soddened, screaming from racing guillotine and so reeling in gasps upon the floor then


look no further. Give it here.


Drop it on my head when I am not looking.


is my pain and my privilege. The honor is mine for the raging asteroid to brace.


If it does not make me rile, it is of little use to me.


Keep your raspberry jam.
The ghost pepper I shall swallow.


Stand back, and watch me writhe,


in my grotesquely fevering, drunken sick, near-death delight.




Renwick Berchild is a pseudonym. A. Marie Kaluza hails from the USA, lives in Seattle, WA. Her poems have appeared in The Machinery India, Lunaris Review, The Blue Nib, Ampersand Lit, Slink Chunk Press, Streetcake Mag, and other e-zines, anthologies, and journals across the globe. You can find her work and additional links at