Three Poems by Ed Go

machine gun 4

ringing pink soars
out the hole
between the crack
& the head
of the moose
in the ingot in
by the fool
hard enough
to walk all eyes in
middle of march
to the sea
side of swell
east of red
wood ending in


machine gun 8

ong nuk naps ack!
who got the gun?
(a shot fired, mirrored
iiiiiiiiiii liars, fore more cops
retired—)& mislaid plans
iiiiiiiiii unmade bands unplayed
as fire werkes lights
brighting skynight
(& more bodies underneath
iiiiiiiiii the unmade bed)
comatized above the bed
wreathed in wreathes under slight
—bloated blight—bleeting, bleeding
red as night / black is sight / bleakest
blakest poison tree / hand
cuffed free
by only three in 93
(& only those who swear by three)

that is not a riddle this
is not a that that stands amidst
the times of hands groping
gripping grabbing
iiiiiiiiigroups of three


machine gun 10

among the monks, rifles
piled in the pit
prepping for the parley
personally prepping the head
of monasterial affairs postpones
his personnel affair two
taking care to
not be there too
powermad the iron
clad soldiers on their air
horses over the somme

ride on antiquarian olive
eaters on clouds ascending


Author Bio:

Ed Go is a former schoolbus driver, exterminator, garbage man, video store clerk, mystery shopper, phone book deliverer, and singer/guitar player in a punk-folk band. He grew up in Massachusetts, Virginia, Alaska, Hawaii and Connecticut and currently lives in New York where he earns a living as a teacher (though he’s still licensed to kill bugs and transport children in the state of Connecticut). His work has appeared in various online and print journals including Underground VoicesBreadcrumbs ScabsBastards and WhoresIn Between Altered States, and The Canary, among others.



Contribute to The Food Cart!

If you have any funny or poignant parable about anything intimately or vaguely related to the culinary aspects of life, please send them to us!

Food is such a basic component of life and often effects people in odd and unexpected ways.  Tell us about Grandma’s Tuna Noodle Casserole.  Write a series of couplets about the virtues of organic eggs.  Let the smell of lasagna magically incite memories of your childhood and give us a concise Proustian recount of your youth (keep it a reasonable length).

Go to the Submissions section for information on how to contribute.

A poem by kurtvee

human interest story.


a lazy suitcase sitting & staring. im with the walls & window & door. distinterest: this, that & everything else. peak & pit & punch & pull. wear in the brow, age in the teeth. hey vanity! endentate content with the break. interrogative sentence, quick cursory squint. but no.

impulse & terror honeymoon in addling. call it a wash. minute by minute. day by day. then the claw at the wall. that drawling ascension. but maybe.

weighing significance with i’m better off. weighing existence with maybe i’m not.


Author Bio:

born in kansas city missouri. music is & always has, to this point, been my primary medium. i am looking in new directions i.e. words in rhythmic patterns & scribbled displays as such. all of these things have kept me alive. hands & pen & ink & paper.

A poem by Virginie Colline with art by Michal Mozolewski

Lost Soul Haiku


rock and bark
in the forest of mouths
a lonely echo looks for its voice


lost in the wilderness
a land of stone and silence
with no trees in sight


a soul in Eden
wandering from East to West
hear the voice Timshel


Author Bio:

Virginie Colline is a French translator living in Paris. Her poems have appeared in The ScramblerThe Electronic Monsoon MagazineNotes from the Gean, Prune Juice, Frostwriting, Spinozablue, Prick of the SpindleThe Orris and StepAway Magazine, among others.

Artist Bio:

Michal Mozolewski is a visual artist working in Gdansk, Poland.


“Lost Soul Haiku” first appeared in Certain Circuits, March 2012.

The Food Cart 1: Vegemite

Though we don’t have the gastronomic credentials of say, Anthony Bourdain or Sandor Katz, we’ve always had a vested interest in food (primarily eating it, but we’ve have been known to dabble in its creation).  Thus, to disseminate our inherently valuable thoughts on food we’re creating “The Food Cart”, a recurring section of Busk devoted to all things culinary.

Today’s piece addresses a recent obsession of Stephen Leo (esteemed Busk editor) and mine: Vegemite.

Vegemite is a savory yeast extract spread popular in Australia.

I was first introduced to Vegemite earlier this year by my roommate Matt.  Matt has consistently been the purveyor of things interesting and strange in my home.  Early in the year he introduced me to Kombucha, a fermented tea drink that includes the mucus like leftovers of a bacterial yeast colony in its composition.  I was immediately taken by the tonic.  Yet, after realizing it was only sold at “artisan” rates at establishments like Whole Foods, I decided the only way to enjoy it would be to brew my own.  (Even now when I drink store bought Kombucha I feel like I’m ingesting the absurd amount of money I spent on it).

Next Matt introduced me to Goddess salad dressing.  This admittedly, was a bit less exotic.  Still, it was something I hadn’t tried before, thus leading to one of the generally three week long food obsessions to which I am prone.  Goddess itself is a savory dressing composed primarily of Tahini and soy sauce.  Thus I doused anything that even tended toward the savory with the stuff: rice, beans, tofu, sautéed kale.  Though I quickly became a Goddess worshipper, my obsession was never quite as strong as Matt’s.  To this day Matt still indulges in what he calls “sauce sandwiches”.  I’d post a recipe, but I think it may be more expedient to include the ingredients and execution here.  To make a sauce sandwich, pour Goddess on a tortilla, roll it up, and, if you feel so inclined, eat it.

I digress.  Let us to return to our intended subject: Vegemite.  For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Vegemite is a tar-like spread composed of yeast left over from the beer brewing process.  It’s very salty and has an umami flavor vaguely reminiscent of beef bouillon.  Though yeast spreads are enjoyed by peoples the world over (including England and New Zealand, who both refer to their spreads as Marmite), Vegemite is unique to the kangaroo riding, twenty-two foot wave surfing people of Australia.  In short, its an extreme tasting spread designed to complement an extreme lifestyle.  Vegemite is most commonly enjoyed on toast with a bit of butter or margarine.  Depending on the experience of the eater, it is to be used sparingly or ultra-sparingly.

Early this year I happened to see Vegemite in Matt’s cupboard.  We had a few passing words on it, I tried a bit on my finger and we went on with our lives.  Over the next couple of months I’d see it, but wouldn’t give it a second thought.  It seemed too odd a thing for my attention and I felt at a distinct disadvantage not being Australian.  I was even further deterred by the fact that Matt rarely touched the stuff either.  And so the Vegemite sat, lonely and bored, far from Australia’s sunny shores and vast stretches of wild outback plain, with no occupation other than the reading of labels of spices and spreads in constant flux around it.

Then Stephen Leo tried it.  Already a toast fanatic, bored with the limited choices of spreads, he slathered the pungent, yeasty roofing tar on a slice of rye.  He ranted, he raved, he inspired in me an urge to imitate, because, as evidenced by my adoption of Matt’s culinary interests, I rarely develop original fixations.  So I tried some as well.  First on toast.  Then on tortillas.  Next on a sandwich with avocado and cheese.  On crackers.  In chili.  In rice.  From my finger.  From a spoon.  Before either of us realized it, Matt’s jar of Vegemite was spent.  We needed to find more.

I’d like to say we were primarily driven by our guilt over eating all of Matt’s Vegemite, but junkies do not have such noble concerns.  We needed Vegemite, we needed a lot and we needed it soon.  Following the council of our appetites, we decided the tiny 400 gram (roughly 6 ounces) jars wouldn’t do.  We needed a giant yellow five-gallon bucket of the stuff if it was available.  After scouring the internet for local options we realized it might be cheaper to buy Vegemite in bulk online.  There we were able to locate 2.5 kilogram buckets at the relatively low price of 23 dollars.  The provider was a website specializing in all things Australian.  In the “most popular” section along with the Vegemite were small bags of Australian licorice, kangaroo jerky and Tim Tam biscuit cookies.  Though I spent some time reviewing the wares, I realized Australian cuisine had little to offer me outside of Vegemite and the occasional “shrimp on the barbie”.

A 2.5 kilogram bucket of Vegemite. A proper meal.

Having survived the proverbial outback of online food shopping, we preceded to the checkout, looking to deliver our haul to Colorado.  Now, as seldom as I find myself in internet purchase check outs (I generally do my shopping in person), I maintain a vague familiarity with their standard procedure: provide your credit card information, your current address for delivery and click “purchase”.  This online retailer however, insisted that I complete one extra step.  I was directed to review a list and locate a code that corresponded with my state of residence.  Next, I had to add this number to the weight of my purchase, and then multiply it by the number of items I was purchasing.  Ok, fine.  I went ahead and performed the operations (with no great amount of ease) and continued to the final check out.

Up to this point I had not once considered the fact that I was ordering goods from another country, never mind a country half the world away.  The calculation I had just made was to determine the shipping rate to carry a 2.5 kilogram bucket of Vegemite to Colorado; to determine how much money would be needed to pay the truck driver carrying the Vegemite from the Kraft factory to the shoreline; how much would be needed to pay the Australian longshoreman, slaving in the hot sun to transport crates of Vegemite to freight ships bound for Hong Kong, London, New York.

It cost 25 dollars.

To get Vegemite to my doorstep, onto a butter knife, a piece of toast and then into my mouth would cost more than the Vegemite itself.  I needed Vegemite, but I could not be persuaded to spend 48 dollars on a tub that would last us a month at best.

I moped a bit.  Under my breath I cursed shipping rates.  I watched YouTube videos of Australian children taking large bites out of pieces of toast smattered in black.  I shook enviously as they chanted the Vegemite jingle in a warbling soprano, a thin dark ring encircling their lips.

Soon however, I began to take comfort in my self control.  I was glad to find that my hunger could be tempered by fiscal reasonability; that despite having an addiction, I’d still have a place to live at the end of the month; that my teeth may be a bit whiter for my discretion.

I’ll be frank.  I have bought Vegemite since then.  Stephen Leo and I settled for the 400 gram jar, and even deigned to pay 9 dollars for it.  But our consumption has slowed and are both on our way to healthy recovery.

If my roommate Matt ever asks you to try something, tell him, “no”.

– Blake

A poem by Andrea Rae Perkins

attractive older women

move their skin and hair and it’s the sound of bulls rushing

string their bones to be plucked by no one

are a cistern a druid launches himself towards

are not us but are are like us in that they want too much or nothing

if they’re thrumming rain on a school morning, we’re a big dog on a short leash

attractive older women miss people on television more than they miss real

leave parts of themselves in vestibules, on landings

get lost in long yellow grasses
causing us to dream they’re cats hell bent into a curl
of night wind but really they’re all root and claw and there is no coin
that can get them back or turn them into a whole other animal

their numbers are sufficient to repopulate the island

sometimes you walk in on them accidentally as they’re nailing their husks to the

recognize them by their mouths

fickle but fuckable, contained in beauty, with eyes like jars


Author Bio:

Andrea Rae Perkins edits the webzine Otis Nebula. Her work has appeared in Zocalo Public SquareGirls With InsuranceNew West, and elsewhere. She lives in Tennessee and Hawaii.

A poem by Neil Ellman



Dreamy Improvisation

(after the painting by Wassily Kandinsky)

What the marmoset dreams
how the rhinoceros
the giraffe improvise
their world
turn man and beast
tree and sky
to sympathetic creatures
of another kind
(squirrelly lines
protozoan shapes
feathery hues)
how they dream
of creation
life and after-life
how to survive
in a treacherous world.


Author Bio:

Neil Ellman lives and writes  in New Jersey.  More than 500 of his poems, many of them ekphrastic and based on works of modern art, appear in print and online journal and chapbooks throughout the world.

Painting Dreamy Improvisation by Wassily Kandinsky.  Image from

Two Poems by Philip A. Ellis

Advice to Students

When in doubt, quote Baudelaire,
or Darwin upon insects,
any of the Decadents
but not Stalin nor Hitler.

Never give the impression
that you only know Mahler
by way of those quotations
found around the internet.

And never quote Derrida
with nouns replacing pronouns
unless the pronouns would lie
like a stone in swaddling clothes.

So that, if you avoid verse
that rhymes like a stutterer
quoting from lists of cliches,
you should get along all right.


To Tarkovsky*

This land, this zone,
iiiiiwhat did it bring you
other than your death?

A certain memory,
iiiiisnow caught in summer trees,
foam upon the river.

That so many others were to die
iiiiiafter the filming was over
is something unforeseen.

But the zone remains over us,
iiiiiour assembled heads,
a bright projection

upon the cinema screens of our thoughts.

*Andrei Tarkovsky, Russian filmmaker (1932-1986)


Author Bio

Phillip A. Ellis is a freelance critic, poet and scholar. His chapbooks, The Flayed Man and Symptoms Positive and Negative, are available. He is the editor of Melaleuca.

Two Poems by Howie Good

End of Summer

You come in a leather flying helmet
& sun-flecked goggles

& scatter bricks,
cement dust, broken glass
&, for emphasis, craters,
because you can,

a negligible desert god
among the strawberry runners
& climbing roses.


Bodies In Motion

Think of me as your missing dog, your kitchen junk drawer, & I’ll think of you as the runaway truck lane, insouciant pie, why light blasts from our bedroom window, the noise so noisy the neighbors threaten to call the noise police. Don’t they know there’s no such thing? There’s only one law, the preposterous prehistoric law of gravity. Go ahead, disorganize my hardware, commit my body to the deep, the world needs our casual desecrations, it needs us to fly.


Author Bio:

Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Dreamingin Red from Right Hand Pointing. He is also the author of numerous chapbooks, including The Devil’s Fuzzy Slippers from Flutter Press and Personal Myths from Writing Knights Press. He has two other chapbooks forthcoming, Fog Area from Dog on a Chain Press and The Death of Me from Pig Ear Press. In addition, he is editor of twenty20 journal and co-publisher of White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely and co-editor of cur-ren-cy with Wisely and F. John Sharp.


Welcome to the new home of Busk.

At its inception, Busk was an online literary journal created by three enterprising college students, each artists in their own right.  Over the course of a couple months the journal brought in a number of high quality submissions which were presented on the main page of the site.  Yet, due to lack of funding, motivation, and the post graduation fracturing of the contingent, Busk fell into internet oblivion.

Now, Busk rises from the interminable quagmire of the internet as a decidedly more flexible space.

At Busk we intend to continue publishing high quality art and literature, including, but not limited to: poetry, photography, drawing, fiction, non-fiction, and painting.

Aside from this, we would also like Busk to serve as a space for intellectual (and base) discourse on any number of topics, again including, but not limited to: literature, music, art, television, athletics, cooking, fermentation, nature, Vegemite and identifying dogs on the street.

At Busk we will provide a home for the buskers out in the streets; those individuals sending their art and ideas out into the ether with no consideration for whether or not anyone wants to hear them.  Our only vague hope is that with the guitar case open in front of our feet, something might fall into it.

Busk happy.


image courtesy of