your oni,

she is the ghost who echoes
in the corner,
blurred, like motion.

three-eyed and taloned,
the bride with white hair

a dragon you took
to bed, rutting

the rearing up of her chaotic head
is the undoing of mine

by Allie Marini Batts

Allie Marini Batts is an alumna of New College of Florida, meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has been nominated for the 2012 “Best of the Net Award”, as well as the Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in over 100 literary publications that her parents haven’t heard of. Allie lives in Tallahassee with her husband, where she feeds opossums on the porch and rescues treefrogs from the kitchen (they’re very adept at breaking in, it’s the sticky toes). Allie is pursuing her MFA degree in Creative Writing through Antioch University Los Angeles….oh no! It’s getting away! You can find links to Allie’s work at: http://www.kiddeternity.wordpress.com, or visit Bookshelf Bombshells at http://bookshelfbombshells.com/

What would you like us to know about “oni”?

“your oni” is quite simply, a poem about jealousy personified.

In traditional Japanese folklore, oni appear as clawed, horned, wild-haired creatures. Jealousy makes both me, and the woman I’m jealous of, (my rival and predecessor), this hideous titan of fury and bad luck. The oni is the spiritual force that is assigned to disasters, and often times deception, which contributed to their character being cross-culturally represented in Chinese as “ghost”.

I took these two ideas–the raging spirit of disaster and bad feelings, and the nebulous deception of a ghost, and used this trope to express how my jealousy felt– as an anthropomorphous thing of its own–the oni–the deceptive self-doubts and insecurities of the “ghost lover”, and the way that chaos follows internally, once the oni has awoken.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now closed. The reading period for standard submissions opens again March 15, 2023. Submit here.


05/27 • Claudio Perinot
06/03 • Amanda Chiado
06/10 • John Davies
06/17 • Lynne Jensen Lampe
06/24 • Valerie Valdez
07/01 • Carlin Katz
07/08 • Meg Eden
07/15 • Tim Raymond
07/22 • Mike Itaya
07/29 • TBD
08/05 • TBD
08/12 • TBD
08/19 • TBD
08/26 • TBD
09/02 • TBD
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09/16 • TBD
09/23 • TBD
09/30 • TBD