Karen and Ken Poyner





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2017 Rhysling award nominated work from Ken Poyner




I have seen the mermaids come near the shore.

I have listened to them make feral air bursts

In the roil of the shallows; I have counted

The flashes of bent moonlight against scales:

A task no one has asked me to do, yet I do

So as not to be unsuspectingly idle.I have heard them

Singing their boastful heritage songs, teaching

Oceans of intent, embellishing their history

Of intimacy, and exposing their science of water magic:

All the lore that comes to the awkward air

As perjury after generations of backwards-speak.

When one shatters the surface, I will sometimes myself

Rise, my skirt in the wind full shadowed.

In my imagination, sea spray and

Atmosphere are translated into one thing.

My ache is not for the sea, but for community.

I see those of our men who have

The gift of listening go dumbly down

To the waterís sharp edge, strip themselves

As naked as birth and with full eyes glide

Into the welcoming mist of mermaids:

Into the coil and current of beasts

That fear the net, but desire the men

Who cross draw the net.I watch

As those glistening men snake as gracefully

As injuryís after-thought through our water,

Going in the bare company of mythical mermaids,

Out to the darker water where dared they will drown alone.



From Star*Line






I am here to see if the Miramo have art.


I watch them entangle their phalanges,

I register the grandfallons of their breathing.

Out of their ground, vibration;

Light, left suspended in the atmosphere,

With its terminations distended and going blue.

I cannot tell if these two Miramo are one,

Or this one is two Ė but galoshing filaments

Are mercilessly merging and the crowd thumps

Their tails in ecstasy or anger,

Agreement or warning, fulfillment or hunger.

They are as steady as rocks

In landslide, and the flow of their


Is like the spray painting of babies,

Like a polite political poisoning,

The sum of a moment in which

The figgle of the next is entombed.

One is a gauge, one is a release valve,

And another is a set of spokes

Arrayed about an indifference.

They fold dimensions as though dimensions

Were mourning dresses billowed by the laughter

Of the dead, or an abandoned plate of teething cast iron.

Their patterns are anti-magnetic.


It is my job to see if

At the end of this untying affair

There are as many Miramo

As there were at the start.

Is there practical outcome to this, a need, an

Accomplishment, or do the Miramo


It is a cold, liquid mathematics.I squint to see

If there are new common structures;

If the Miramo are as hungry after this affair

As they were when they began;

Whether their acts have suspended a migration;

Turned grand foppery into feathers; or trapped

The least likely to thrive against perdition.


Compulsion is not creativity; it presages no soul.

Why the Miramo do what they do

Opposes room temperature commerce

With its tepid, disagreeable disorganization.

If it were up to me, I would sell

The whole lot of them to a biodiversity

Broker, scoop up their land with

A gravity axe, put an option

On the planetís core, displace the orbit,

And make cordials with their atmosphere.

Instead, I have to see if they are making

Something of themselves.Abstraction


Means survival.I donít think they know.



From Dreams and Nightmares






This I can take care of:

Small homunculus on the roof, a pack animal

Pulled conveyance, and entry through the exhaust chute.


I am not so sure I was supposed to overhear

The details of this plot, to catch uninvited the briefing

About this expected home invasion, though I wonder why.

Protection is part of my programming.

The safety of the familyís offspring is a persistent subroutine,

Running even when I am in recharge state:

The first memory location upgraded, the highest

Interrupt, the largest amount of direct access allocation

Set aside for any of my subroutines.

I am not designed for security, but, at the last,

Every extremity I am capable of is allowed in progeny protection;

And I suspect there is even some code hidden within me

That, upon recognition of severe enough threat,

Would swap into my execution registers and turn me


Fierce.I can take care of this.


I ignore the excitement, assist with mechanical professionalism

The laying about of greenery, the installation

Of lights, the festooning of fire-retardant coated

Garland.I calculate with idle processor time

That I will be able to hear animals on the shingles,

Even trace the lithe footsteps of anyone who could fit

Greaselessly down this relatively narrow chimney, and that I will be ready

No matter the agility or commitment of the intruder.

The family, they have admitted, will all be in bed,

Bedecked in foppery set aside for the season.

I would typically be away in standby.The house

Locked down would normally be as secure as rain.

This new endangering vector, though I do not understand it,

Seems to have not been properly considered.


Entry through the chimney?

Not my choice of ingress.This curls

More of a ruse, more of a process designed to

Fool, with an agent decked out to resemble

Immature fantasies of the little people who roam

The littered imagination of human history.A wink

And a nod and a child might be sucked in,

And adult momentarily set aback.


Left would be only my industrial grade programming,

Unimpressionable and beyond folk lore,

Running in core to keep this family from ruin, from all of them being

Assimilated into whatever druid plan the rogue

Gift-giving criminal might have in his deliriously twisted holiday engrams.


The innocent conversation about this openly expected visitor

Has been anything but menacing:no worry, no defensive preparations,

Nothing to indicate that the projected territorial violation will cause

The least bit of alarm.It is good that I have solid

Auditory fidelity, and wide enough data pathways

To act independently, decisively on my perceptions.

I report nothing of my fears; but this night I will stay

On auxiliary power, show everyone I am worth the price of upkeep.


Even now I am listening overhead for those tiny, murderous hooves.



From Eye to the Telescope




Victims of a Failed Civics

Poetry of the social tesseract



A collection of poetry originally published in such magazines as The Iowa Review, The Kansas Quarterly, Poet Lore, The Indiana Review, and elsewhere.A poetry of civil interactions with madness.A birdwoman brought down by a boy with a rock.A man who discovers a buried mammoth in his yard.A town drunkenly holding out against temperance leaguers.A man who admires the wolf at his door.

Paperback, $13.00.

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Constant Animals

42 unruly fictions




A man who worries he may not be capable of spurring his mermaid wife to conceive.A class of birds conflicted in their relationship with their kindred feathered overlords.A woman whose breasts suddenly abandon her.A man who confuses his wife with his girlfriend, when the two are delivered by the shipping company on the same day.A chicken, who, even after partaking of the free snacks at the local bar, proves he is still no good at holding his alcohol.


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E-book for Apple devices: iTunes.





The Book of Robot

Poetry of machine intelligence and sentience



At times haunting, at times comic, this volume houses poems testing the edges of our understanding of intelligence, self-awareness, and sentience.Poems within the volume have previously appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Asimovís Science Fiction, Rattle, Menacing Hedge, and several other contemporary magazines.


Paperback, $13.00


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Avenging Cartography

55 phantasmagorical fictions



A village that builds its houses of books.A young woman who is dating an insect, even though she knows her own father is a spider herder.Houses that migrate, forcing their inhabitants to recognize each other as neighbors.A bear who seeks a career in accounting.A man confronting dangerous mammoth rustlers in his yard.Celebrations of the phantasmagorical complications of a surreal life.


Paperback, $13.00


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Ken Poynerís books are available at Sundial Books on Main Street in Chincoteague, Virginia, The Book Bin on Route 13 in Onley, Virginia, and other discerning bookstores.


Visit Ken Poynerís Amazon page, www.amazon.com/author/kpoyner, and Barking Moose Press, www.barkingmoosepress.com.




Ken Poynerís fiction and poetry has appeared in such diverse places as The Alaska Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Asimovís Science Fiction and Fact, Corium, Menacing Hedge, The Legendary, Full of Crow, and dozens of other print and digital venues.He has been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes, a Best of the Net award, a Sidewise award, several Rhysling awards, and taught in the Virginia Poets in the Schools program. He has been a security guard, a paneling salesman, a programmer, a network engineer, a systems engineer, an information systems security specialist, and a network administration instructor. He has had more than 1100 stories and poems published in more than 300 venues.






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If you enjoy any of these books, please consider writing a review on the vendorís site, or at "Goodreads", or some similar content rating site.





Writing Links



Some of Kenís recent work available on the web:


Fiction:"The Reason", "Creating the Best Children", "Our Monkeys", from the Journal of Microliterature


Fiction: "The Alliance", from Negative Suck


Fiction:"The Peacemakers", "The Traveler", "Overreach", "The Spouse", from The Legendary


Poetry: The Gatherer of Children, from Frigg


Poetry:Democracy, from Frigg


Poetry:The Companion, from Full of Crow


Poetry:The Next Glory, from Conte





Contact Information




If any link fails to work, or you encounter other problems, please let Ken know by clicking here to send an e-mail:Web Contact.


If you care to be placed on my Readers list Ė a group e-mail list to which I e-mail links connecting to my new work coming out on the Internet Ė just e-mail me at Ken Poyner with the request, and I will start sending you notice when any Internet based magazine has put out new work of mine.


And to just e-mail me for no particular reason:ken@kpoyner.com.








Karen has been stubbornly married to Ken since 1977.After years of bodybuilding, she moved into power lifting Ė to become one of the all time great women in the sport.Some of her accomplishments are listed below.




Titles Won



1991 USNFA Eastern Natural, Women's Open

1994 GDFA Nationals, Women's Open

1996 NABF Judgement Day in Latrobe, Women's Masters

1997 NABF Hazleton Supernatural, Women's Masters

1998 AAU Chesapeake Open Bodybuilding Championships, Women's Masters

1998 NGA Potomac Cup, Women's Open Lightweight, Women's Open Overall

1999 AAU Colonial Open, Women's Masters

1999 NGA Mount Rogers, Women's Open Lightweight

2000 NGA Potomac Cup, Women's Masters

2000 ANBA Cinnaminson Shredfest, Women's Masters, Women's Open Lightweight

2001 INBF Mid-Atlantic Regional, Women's Masters 40+, Women's Open Lightweight, Women's Overall

2001 Steele Jungle Asheville Supernatural, Women's Open Lightweight

2002 INBF Atlantic Coast Natural, Women's Masters 45+

2002 Steele Jungle Asheville Supernatural, Women's Open Lightweight

2002 INBF Presidential Cup, Women's Open Lightweight



2004 USAPL Mid-Atlantic Powerlifting/Bench Press, 45-49 105 Powerlifting (475) and Bench (130), Open 105 Powerlifting (475) and Bench (130)

2004 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation World Bench Press, Open and 45-49 Bench Press (120), World and Va. State Records

2004 USAPL Va. State, Open and 45-49 Bench Press (130), Va. State Masters 45-49 105 class record

2005 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation National Champion Women's 105 lbs class, Powerlifting and Bench Press, Open and Masters 45-49 world record 160 squat, 125 bench and 220 deadlift, Best Lifter Powerlifting and Bench

2005 USAPL National Bench Press Championships, winner 105 lbs Open and Masters 45-49 and RAW, 57.5 kg National Meet Record (masters 45-49)

2005 USAPL Nation's Capital Cup, winner Women's 105 Masters 45-49 Powerlifting and Bench, and Best Lifter both powerlifting and bench, state record 180 squat, 130 bench, state record 230 deadlift, state record 540 total (masters 45-49 105 class).

2006 USAPL National Bench Press Championships (Denver - March), winner 105 lbs Masters 50-54 and RAW, 57.5 kg National Meet Record

2006 USAPL National Bench Press Championships (Charlotte - September) winner 105 lbs Masters 50-54 and RAW, 57.5 kg

2006 IPF World Masters Bench Press, (Miami), 105 lbs Master 2 (50-59) 4th place, 55 kg.

2006 USAPL Capital Cup (Washington, DC), 105 lbs Master 50-59 1st place powerlifting, 1st place bench, best lifter, best bencher

2006 WABDL SunCoast Classic, (Jacksonville, Fla), 105 lbs Master 47-53, 1st place deadlift (world record), 1st place bench

2006 100% RAW World Bench Press Championships (Currituck, NC) 105 lbs Master 50-54 and Open, 1st place (both world records)

2007 100% RAW Ironman Nationals (Stanardsville, Va) 105 lbs Master 50-54, 1st place

2007 100% RAW Deadlift Nationals (Stanardsville, Va) 105 lbs Master 50-54 and Open, 1st place (both world records)

2007 100% RAW United States Bench Press, (Stanardsville, Va) 105 lbs Master 50-54 and Open, 1st place

2007 WABDL United We Stand, (Newcastle, Pa.) 105 lbs Master 47-53 and 105 lbs Open 1st bench press and 1st deadlift (world record) and best deadlifter

2007 WABDL World Championships (Anaheim, Ca) 105 lbs Open 3rd Bench, 105 lbs Open 47-53 1st Bench, 105 lbs Open and Masters 47-53 1st deadlift

2008 USAPL Virginia Open (Stanardsville) 48kg RAW powerlifting open and Masters 50-54 Raw 1st

2008 World Natural Powerlifting Federation (WNPF) RAW Nationals (Ephrata, Pa.) 48 kg powerlifting Open and Masters 50-54 1st, 50-54 bench 1st, and Best Lifter

2008 USAPL Raw Nationals (St, Louis), 48kg powerlifting Open and Masters 50-54 1st place

2008 WABDL United We Stand (Beaver Falls, Pa.) 105 lbs Master 47-53 1st benchpress, 1st deadlift (world record 277.7 lbs), best deadlifter

2009 Arnold Classic, (Columbus, Oh.), no age/no weight class powerlifting, 7th place by Wilks

2009 100% RAW Masters Nationals (Zions Crossroads, Va.) 105 lbs Master 50-54 1st Powerlifting

2009 USAPL Raw Nationals (Charlottesville, Va.) 48kg Open and Masters 50-54 1st powerlifting

2009 WABDL United We Stand (Beaver Falls, Pa.) 105 lbs Master 47-53 1st benchpress, 1st deadlift (world record 286.5 lbs), best benchpresser, best deadlifter

2009 WNPF Worlds (Atlantic City, NJ) 105 lbs Masters 50-59, 1st Raw powerlifting, 1st Raw bench, Best female lifter (World Masters 50-59 record 193 lbs Squat, 126 lbs bench, 253 lbs deadlift, 573 lbs total)

2010 100% Raw Iron Man Nationals, Master 50-54 1st

2010 USAPL Richmond Open (Mechanicsville, Va.) 48kg Open and Masters 50-54 1st Raw Powerlifting (American Open and masters 50-54 record deadlift 122.5 kg and total 265kg, American masters 50-54 record squat 85kg)

2010 WABDL Great Lakes Open (Lansing, Mi.) 48kg Masters 54-60 1st benchpress, 1st deadlift (world record 286.5 lbs), best benchpresser

2010 USAPL Virginia State (Gordonsville, Va.) 48kg Open and Masters 50-54, 1st Raw powerlifting (American Open and masters 50-54 record squat 92.5kg, deadlift 125kg and total 275kg)

2011 USAPL Deadlift Nationals, Master 55-59, 1st

2011 100% Raw Iron Man Nationals, Master 55-59 1st

2011 100% Raw American Challenge, Master 55-59 1st

2012 100% Raw Iron Man Nationals, Master 55-59 1st

2013 100% Raw Mid-Atlantic Championship, Master 55-59 1st

2013 USAPL American Open (King of Prussia, Pa.) 48 kg Masters 55-59 Raw, 1st

2014 100% Raw Masters Nationals, Masters 55-59 1st

2014 100% Raw Presidents Challenge, Masters 55-59 1st

2015 100% Raw Masters Nationals, Masters 55-59 1st

2015 100% Raw Presidentís Challenge, Masters 55-59 1st

2015 100% Raw World Championships, Masters 55-59 1st

2016 100% Raw Masters Nationals, Masters 60-64 1st

2017 100% Raw Battle of the Border, Open and Masters 60-64 97 lbs. Bench




Current Records (04/23/2016)

United States of America Power Lifting (USAPL)

Masters 45-49 105 lbs class Virginia State records

Squat, 180 lbs, Vienna 2005

Bench Press, 130 lbs, Vienna 2005

Deadlift, 230 lbs, Vienna 2005

Total, 540 lbs, Vienna 2005

Single Lift Bench, 130 lbs., Vienna 2005

Masters 45-49 105 lbs (48 kg) class National Bench Press Meet record

57.5 kg, St. Louis 2005

Masters 50-54 105 lbs class American Records

Raw Squat, 203.5 lbs, Gordonsville 2010

Raw Deadlift, 275.5 lbs, Gordonsville 2010

Raw Total, 605.25 lbs., Gordonsville 2010

Masters 50-54 105 lbs class Virginia State Records

Squat, 200 lbs, Vienna 2006

Bench Press, 130 lbs, Vienna 2006

Deadlift, 250 lbs, Vienna 2006

Total, 580 lbs. Vienna 2006

Single Lift Bench, 130 lbs., Vienna 2006

Raw Squat, 203.5 lbs, Gordonsville 2010

Raw Bench, 126.75 lbs, St. Louis 2008

Raw Deadlift, 275.5 lbs, Gordonsville 2010

Raw Total, 605.25 lbs., Gordonsville 2010


Masters 50-54 105 lbs (48 kg) class American RAW Powerlifting Records


         Raw squat, 92.5 kg, Zion Crossroads, 2010

Masters 55-59 105 lbs (48 kg) class American Raw records

         Raw squat, 80 kg, King of Prussia, 2013


World Natural Powerlifting Federation (WNPF)

Open RAW National records

Bench Press, 130 lbs, Ephrata, Pa. 2008

Deadlift, 265 lbs, Ephrata, Pa. 2008

Masters 50-59 RAW World records

Squat 193 lbs, Atlantic City 2009

Bench 126 lbs, Atlantic City 2009

Deadlift 253 lbs, Atlantic City 2009

Total 573 lbs, Atlantic City 2009

Single lift bench 126 lbs, Atlantic City 2009

Masters 50-54 RAW National records

Squat, 195 lbs, Ephrata, Pa. 2008

Bench Press, 130 lbs, Ehprata, Pa. 2008

Deadlift, 265 lbs, Ephrata, Pa. 2008

Total, 590 lbs, Ephrata, Pa. 2008

Masters 50-54 RAW Bench Press records

Bench Press, 130 lbs, Ephrata, Pa. 2008


100% RAW Powerlifting Federation

Open 97 class World Records

         Bench Press, 53 kg, Currituck, 2017

Master 60-64 97 lbs class World Records

         Bench Press, 53 kg, Currituck, 2017

         Deadlift, 102.5 kg, Zion Crossroads, 2016

         Curl, 31 kg, Zion Crossroads, 2016

Open 105 class World Records

Strict Curl, 74.9 lbs, Zion Crossroads, 2012

Masters 45-49 105 lbs class World Records

Squat, 160 lbs, Sanford 2005

Bench Press, 125 lbs, Sanford 2005

Single Lift Bench, 125 lbs, Sanford 2005

Masters 50-54 105 lbs Class World Records

Squat, 190 lbs, Zions Crossroads, 2009

Bench, 130 lbs, Zions Crossroads, 2009

Deadlift, 265 lbs, Zions Crossroads 2009

Total, 585 lbs, Zions Crossroads 2009

Single Lift Bench, 132.5 lbs, Currituck 2006

Single Lift Deadlift, 260 lbs, Stanardsville, 2007

Masters 55-59 105 lbs class World Records

Squat, 198.4 lbs, Zion Crossroads, 2011

Bench, 127.6 lbs, Zion Crossroads, 2013

Dead Lift, 270 lbs, Zion Crossroads, 2011

Strict Curl, 74.9 lbs, Zion Crossroads, 2012


Masters 60-64 105 lbs Class World Records


         Squat, 80.5 kg, Zion Crossroads, 2016

         Bench, 53.5 kg, Zion Crossroads, 2016

         Deadlift, 112.5 kg, Zion Crossroads, 2016

         Strict Curl, 31 kg, Zion Crossroads, 2016


World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL)

Masters 47-53 105 lbs class World Records

Deadlift, 286.5 lbs., Beaver Falls 2009

Masters 54-60 105 lbs class World Records

Deadlift, 286.5 lbs., Lansing 2010

Masters 47-53 105 lbs Virginia State Records

Bench, 133.5 lbs., Beaver Falls 2009

Deadlift, 286.5 lbs., Beaver Falls 2009

Masters 54-60 105 lbs Virginia State Records

Bench, 132.2 lbs., Lansing 2010

Deadlift, 286.5 lbs., Lansing 2010



Pictures from a photo shoot done on her sixtieth birthday in February 2016, after having won the 100% Raw World Championships in October 2015.













Bison Chili


One 16 oz can of Garbanzo beans

One 16 oz can of Kidney beans

One 16 oz can of Black beans


Three 22 oz cans of tomato sauce


Three pounds free-range grass fed ground bison


Six fizbits of cinnamon

Two fizbits of ginger

Four fizbits of oregano

Two fizbits of black pepper

Two fizbits of NoSalt

One fizbit of parsley flakes

One fizbit of red pepper

One fizbit of garlic powder

Three fizbits of chopped onion


For the curious, a fizbit is about three pinches, or two-thirds of a heckle.


Place bison burger in a pan quarter to half filled with water.Cook until the water steams off, and the bison is barely crisped.If you try to fry the bison like a burger, the leanness of the meat will cause it to end up like a hockey puck.Shred and flake the bison before later adding it to the chili.


Combine the remaining ingredients in a large, hungry crock pot.Stew in the crock pot on low for four hours.Serve over one grand fallon of brown rice.Feeds eight, if it turns out right; twelve if it doesnít.


Bison can be added after cooking, so that the bean base will last longer in the refrigerator.


Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top when served, if you feel adventurous.




Unless otherwise annotated, all materials presented herein or herewith remain the property of Ken Poyner, and cannot be used without permission.