Advent – Poetry by Adrian Slonaker

To What We Lost – Adrian Slonaker

Adrian Slonaker’s poem Advent sums up the end of the year sentiment impeccably. His words are the honest expression of the struggle with the heaviness I think we’ve all carried through these months and are looking to relieve.

Artist Statement: I’ve interpreted the sense of loss as the loss of light (and warmth), of patience and of time (the year slipping away) that comes with the season of Advent/the end-of-year holidays. It was inspired by my general uneasiness about December; the expectations to “do stuff” (parties, gatherings, decorating, baking, family, shopping/gifts) and be “jolly” while still working and studying as normal despite the stresses, the anxieties, etc. as we’re aware of the loss of daylight and the impending loss of one year (with the uncertainty of what comes next). 


Advent occupies the
calendar’s flyover country, the
beige backwater between
Black Friday and
Christmas Eve when
radiators rumble against the creeping cold
and overdoses of darkness
while we fidget
through a four-week wait
for frenzied family fracases and
busted bank balances and
torturous travel trajectories and
reducing regimens repulsed by a
parade of pastries and pigs in blankets
against a soundtrack of tinkling Yuletide
tunes as irritating
as an icicle through the
iris of the eye.

And beneath the burden of
the loss of daylight,
of patience and
of a yawning year about to be
euthanized by Father Time, students must
still cram for exams as
grown-ups grind and groan through
a schedule that continues to spew
the weariness of workdays.


Language boffin and lifelong Halloween fan Adrian Slonaker hangs out among the drizzly streets and autumn leaves of downtown Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, has appeared in WINK: Writers in the Know, The Be Zine, Gnashing Teeth, The Pangolin Review and others. 

Halloween, 11:17 p.m. – Poem by Adrian Slonaker

Adorably Horror Series – Adrian Slonaker

Halloween, 11:17 p.m.

His maddening muskiness
mixes with that pumpkin spice scent
I’ve been wearing for weeks
as he nips at my neck
like the next Bela Lugosi.
His balalaika-calloused fingers bend
my left arm back on shiny satin sheets
whiter than raita and the
gauzy ghosts lining lawns tonight
while Jamie Lee Curtis’s screams
streaming from the TV
repeating the Halloween canon
harmonize with the
traffic and rain beyond the bay window
and the cadence of my candy corn breath,
swelling into a soundtrack
to expand the sweetness of
this spit-spattered Samhain.


 Language boffin and lifelong Halloween fan Adrian Slonaker hangs out among the drizzly streets and autumn leaves of downtown Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, has appeared in WINK: Writers in the Know, The Be Zine, Gnashing Teeth, The Pangolin Review and others. 

The Shark – Poetry by Adrian Slonaker

The Heroines Among Us

A lady can be sweet while also having a poised darker side. Adrian Slonaker writes about The Shark, inspired by a woman in his own life!

“The Shark”

Under nausea-weaving
waves of anxiety mixed with
the murky turbidity of depressive trenches,
she never slips into sleep
even when dreaming of candy corn and
toy poodles while
pursuing a path of escape
from a past in a pitstain of a place
with the tenacity of glue traps
that grab and gouge the life out of mice.
Fins always swimming, eyes always scanning
through scents of saltwater and lemon,
she flashes love and loyalty to
pilot fish who’ve procured a trust
as precious as red diamonds but
arms herself with fangs and profanity
for terrors like
time and self-doubt
as the drive to thrive leads to
a ceaseless Antietam
if one is this shark.


Language professional and face mask collector Adrian Slonaker lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada and is into creative vegetarian cookery, rock ‘n’ roll music, opals, coffeehouses and late-night conversations with interesting people. Adrian’s work has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, The Be Zine, Gnashing Teeth, The Pangolin Review and others.

The Blessing of a Blizzard – Poem by Adrian Slonaker

It’s the Little Things

A staple in childhood pastime for many, Adrian Slonaker reminds us of the magnificence of the Dairy Queen Blizzard! A little thing with powerful delight!

The Blessing of a Blizzard

Not to be outclichéd by
“The third time’s a charm,”
Israelis exclaim,
“Pa’am slishit glida” with ice cream
gliding into the platitude
as a substitute, and
frigid liquid deliciousness smacks of luck on
the lips of the kid who cranks out blueberry bliss with his
Judy Garland-loving Nana among the ashtrays of her
pink kitchen or the
tween chasing the vanishing vapours of vacation
while slurping a hot fudge sundae outside a soft-serve stand incandescent
in the cricket rhythms and air-conditioner hums of the
night before Grade Six or the
mascara-eyed linguistics major presented with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s
by an equally sweet blind date knowing only that the recipient
relishes chocolate chip cookie dough
or the maladjusted middle-ager who dives into a
Dairy Queen daydream instead of delving into a
miasma of media.


Language nerd Adrian Slonaker lives in downtown Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada and is fond of rock ‘n’ roll music, thunderstorms, owls, thick eyebrows and expressive eyes.Adrian’s work has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Ez.P.Zine, Gnashing Teeth, The Pangolin Review and others. 

Clouds & Intrepid Traveler – Poetry by Adrian Slonaker

July Online Open Mic

It’s a good day to read the work of Adrian Slonaker! Don’t miss his fabulous poetry below!


As the sun slipped through mounds
of sour cream in the sky
the way water flowed through the
oolong tea leaves in Papa’s evening cuppa,
I imagined iridescent angels frolicking
while I lay on bendy grass
growing like the waves of whiskers that
sprouted years later
along with puberty
and anxiety
and profanity.
Now in a front aisle seat aboard
a propeller plane jerking and rocking its way
towards the Saint Lawrence River,
I peer past the
burly businessman in earbuds,
whose elbow battles mine for the armrest,
and out the cushion-shaped slab of window
into white wisps like
the fog in films featured on
Halloween horror marathons.
Trying through turbulence
not to spill a bilingually labeled
bottle of water,
I surmise that the
seraphim must be on strike.

“Intrepid Traveler”

Creeping out from quarantine
on a noiseless Sunday,
I spotted a wispy, sable-colored
spider refusing to shelter in place,
shimmying through
shifting sunlight
up an imperceptible thread
to the awning above my head
just how I once rocked
to a peak of an Alp smeared with
tourism and snow
(or was it white Toblerone?)
in a fully-packed funicular
when I was twelve
and not yet terrified of heights.
And now I feel as exposed, but
not half as carefree as
that nimble arachnid in
the wind.


Residing near the banks of the Petitcodiac River in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee Adrian Slonaker toils as a word boffin and enjoys rock ‘n’ roll records, opals, iced coffee and ghost stories during summer thunderstorms. Adrian’s work has been published in Ez.P.ZineCaustic Frolic, The Pangolin Review and others.

Flush by Adrian Slonaker

Still Shining

These times are certainly strange, and Adrian Slonaker captures the struggle of it in this poem. Take a moment to read and be validated in the unique quandary we all find ourselves in.


I tap the unquacking silver duck head
during quarantine a hell of a lot
within the walls of my flat
because I can,
because busybodies won’t bitch about my choice and
because no one will wonder whether I’m walking the wrong
way at the supermarket and whether
I should be avoiding every sliver of society
instead of standing merely two meters from life.
When civil liberties are in flux, I can at least flush the toilet
whenever I wish, as much as I want,
reminded of the rushing whoosh of baseball watchers
on bleachers or the pool where I used to
bob and glide as sunlight skipped across chlorinated ripples.
Lost in the coughing of the crapper are the
curve and closures and economic collapse and
insecurity and fury and fear and
palaver about “unprecedented times,” and
I’m left with thunderstorms that sound like the cracking of the Sky God’s knuckles and
four puffy pillows and
“I love you” texted onto my dumbphone and
delivery sushi deposited outside my door like a demented May basket and
frolicking fireflies and
the floating fragrance of white and violet lilacs and
the Merseybeats’ ballad “Don’t Turn Around,” which
I warble off-key in the shower that’s
like a wet, naked embrace, when other bodies are away, before
I pray that soon the ice will thaw and drip and
we’ll be able to French kiss and clutch hands and touch and travel,
awakening to the wisdom that
the weirdness we’re weaving and weeping through now is nothing but a nightmare.


Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee Adrian Slonaker crisscrosses North America as a language boffin when not in quarantine and is fond of profound late-night chats, rock ‘n roll records, spicy curries and ghost storiesAdrian’s work has been published by The Pangolin Review, Alien Buddha Press, Backchannels, Page & Spine and others.

The Rise of the Coconut – Poem by Adrian Slonaker

A Dash of Whimsy Series-

Adrian Slonaker presents to us the picture of a different kind of world. Take a look at his epic poem below!

The Rise of the Coconut

Cravings for coconut meat,
cries for coconut milk-
Are coconuts becoming the new cows?
Will belligerent bikers hog the highways
in jackets crafted from coarse coconut hides?
Will toddlers toddle into REM slumber
to accounts of coconuts
leaping over chalky lunar landscapes?
Will an unwatchful spouse’s coconut clobber a lamp,
beget a blaze,
and incinerate the Windy City?
Beware, Bossie and your bovine brethren-
and sistren-
your velvety ears may be tagged for Obsolescence.


Adrian Slonaker crisscrosses North America as a language boffin and is fond of opals, owls, fire noodles and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Page & Spine, EZ.P.Zine and others.

Adrian Slonaker – Online Open Mic

Encounter in Whitehorse

Under clodlike clouds too thick
for the aurora borealis to penetrate, the
Yukon River crackled a greeting beneath its
icy shell while log-cabin skyscrapers and
silvery evergreens slept or possibly
played possum.
The coyote, whose furry
ears rose at the terminus of a frosty road,
filled the night with its answer:
Not a baleful howl or a gritty
growl, just the
nip-nip-nip of playfulness and pep,
the tiny grin in its voice mirrored
by the one on my face.

God, I Hate Cleaning the Bathroom

My head heavy from the Scrubbing Bubbles that
promise to save me precious labor as
I say goodbye to the grime and grout
on the unintentionally toffee-colored tiles, I
sigh and sit on the hot pink toilet seat cover
that looks envious of its big sibling, the fuzzy rug draped
over the bathtub.
Both were bequeathed by Nana, who’d
expired in September after Aunt Nancy’d
urged the nurse to pump up the morphine
to mollify the pain once
the cancer had colonized the bones.
A draft of fifty-one-degrees-Fahrenheit/eleven-degrees-Centigrade
traces my face as I watch ants hobnob around an errant splash of
Kool-Aid on the gravel outside the open window that offers a view onto half a
faded ‘Free Puppies’ sign flapping against a leafless oak tree.
It must have been forgotten since the malamutes and their
masters had decamped in a moving van on the morning of
that election day when everyone was so angry.
Teasing me from under the closed closet door is the
border of the bathroom scale I banished after devouring the
entire rhubarb crisp Cheryl had smilingly foisted on me
despite my best efforts to
follow Beyoncé’s Master Cleanse because boys worry
about willpower and weight too.


On Friday afternoon he’d lunched solo, as usual, on the Cracker Barrel
fish fry special during which he’d daydreamed he
was Dina, the eldest daughter of a doting
Neapolitan-American Catholic couple in 1959
instead of a twenty-first-century-middle-aged Methodist
of English and Scottish and Swedish descent
– according to a hundred-dollar DNA test –
flung aside as a flake by his family
and whose nagging gender dysphoria drove him
to shame his balding pate with mail-order berets.
Popping into the gift shop, he strained to make
his two-hundred-seventy-two-pound frame in a paisley t-shirt
as petit as possible as if to apologize for
his plump presence and not bump into the crush of impulse buyers
and salespeople or destroy displays of candles and candies and cards
and owls and samplers that screamed “Relax and Accept the Crazy”
as he bitch-slapped his panic and fed his basket before it puked
Dubble Bubble and diet orange ‘n cream soda at the cashier,
a cinnamon-scented sixtiesh lady with a Nancy Reagan hairdo who
didn’t question the tiny tube of champagne lip shimmer before
fondling the fractured tutti-frutti candy stick and cooing,
“Oh it’s broken. Are you sure you don’t want a different one?”
Insulted by the suggestion to refuse such a flamboyantly sweet,
yet shattered specimen, he expelled a plaintive “No!”
like Betty from Father Knows Best before
inhaling the yellow and red and green and white shards
while waiting for the bus.


Adrian Slonaker crisscrosses North America as a language boffin and is fond of opals, owls, fire noodles and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Adrian’s work, which has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net, has been published in WINK: Writers in the Know, Ez.P.Zine, The Pangolin Review and others.