About Us

Unbroken is a quarterly online journal that seeks to showcase prose poems, vignettes and haibun, both from established and emerging voices. We desire to give the block, the paragraph, the unlineated prose, a new place to play.

The paragraph is an extremely difficult form. Just as the wind brushes the underbelly of the idea, a new indent appears. All this hubbub about access and the idea, the idea and cohesion, the idea and liquid space. Polymorphs, snowglobes, a barrage of supporting examples, whirligigs that flutter about before falling into the netting of the idea. Seven ideas total, or one? Suddenly before a recheck for sentence completion it’s rounding up, prosaic summations, concluding with modular force. Sonnet-shaped yet unmusical, the paragraph is fast enough.”

~ Tom Snarsky, Unbroken Contributor

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From our current issue . . .

  • A man in a foggy field

    Facultative Friends by Matt Alexander

    Facultative friends will grow inside your intestine like microbiota, as an active culture of rape and pillage and the types of violence we allow our thirteen-year-olds and hookworms to watch on the silver screen, but despite their apparent innocuousness they will eat away all your food as you ingest it, as you atrophy away and […]

  • bartenders behind the counter

    Heart-stopping by Richard Baldasty

    The nomads departed, quietly as nomads often do, not saying goodbye, leaving us willow baskets they’d filled, some with stones the color of noon, some with stones the color of twilight, and some with the song that rises from fathoms deep of perfect darkness. We packed their gifts away. Put them in the room for […]

  • woman in the woods

    Susan in the Woods by Zebulon Huset

    She wore a black velvet shirt, the kind that shows you where you’ve been last and is only still cool in places like Nebraska or Chechnya maybe, though it might pass as kitsch today. Almost ten years ago, now, they found her in the woods behind the school as the leaves turned to rust and […]

  • ants and clumpy sand

    Intelligence by Ken Poyner

    The ants we found to be the size of house cats. They wore ruts in the land, created virtual canyons, at times encouraged river beds. The enriching surprise was that the aardvarks were the size of garden spiders. One ant could feed an entire clan of fidgeting aardvarks for weeks. Everywhere there were decaying ant […]

  • arms reaching up

    Concentricity by Shane Vaughan

    Says she, what’s the purpose of life if it falls like chestnuts to the fire, to be roasted and devoured by little mouths unaware of their parents’ debts, where the random fall of seed can make or break a tree, with fruit picked by fingers reaching out like tentacles, feeding, until the leaves can’t grow, […]

  • man's silhouette at the window

    family friend by Philippe Shils

    when after much deliberation we went to my woman’s old family friend about the damage we’d done to his place and he said with a charitable laugh that he wouldn’t keep the deposit all I could think of was the juices we’d left on the chair upon which he sat. as he chuckled about the […]

  • woman against a sheer curtain

    Formaldehyde by Daniel Bennett

    She touched the dead. Muller told me. I would spend my weekends on a chrome BMX, riding the channels of the old river. Orange earth, dust from powdered sandstone. A broken up mill. A red bow and arrow, stolen by a boy who resembled Popeye. The shallow water like bitter tea. Red cranes on the […]

  • ancient site on mountain top

    La Doncella by Derwen Morfayel

    Still, we can see her five-hundred-year-old young face. “Your little sister,” I begin, “was touched by lightning. Were you a virgin for the sun? Who was the boy who sits, tied up so tightly, blessed with vomit and with blood?” But the Maiden doesn’t answer. I think of asking whether old Llullaillaco’s water is dark […]

  • Trees in a forest

    All the others nights are darker by Chad Musick

    If the doors would open, if hands would relinquish sweet baubles of mercy to ward this child against evil, then the hungry ghosts, the wolves dressed up as humans, could be chased back to their lairs by the candy of my breath. For tonight. They know that tasting this sweetness requires less, requires patience: razor […]

  • peering out a ragged-edged hole

    Phobia by Karen L. Egee

    He dreaded Halloween all year, asking even in the winters of deep snow, while other children were reveling in no school days, making snow forts, rigging up turkey platters as sleds, asking even in summers, at the beach, while other children dared themselves in and out of the freezing water, tugged on each other’s shovels […]

  • boy looking through a tear in a makeshift curtain

    Faces Of Death by David Polochanin

    We gathered in Franco’s basement that summer–no adults home to keep a watch on us–and found the hidden movie, a videotape with no label. But we all knew what it was: Faces of Death. Even the title gave us chills and sent a few boys home for the afternoon to be a regular kid, willing […]

  • Sinus Pressure by Carrie Conners

    Sinus Pressure by Carrie Conners

    is a euphemism for being afraid to fall asleep (even if you could, which you can’t) because you just know that one or both of your eyeballs could shoot out of your head at any second. It’s not necessarily that you’re frightened of this event, you’ve always been fascinated that your eyes are attached to […]

  • animal skulls on a shelf

    trade you for the collectible marbles by Keith Nunes

    shaky footfalls, crisp new face asking me to wipe a mouth that’s been talking nonsense all night, golden syrup drip, dripping up the tie through the right eye spoiling the left-over tongue toppled into a room full of echoing bones, wailing in the ceiling, islands waving with flippers stolen from cut-gut movie pirates you grab […]

  • field in sunset

    Middle Age by Tom Fugalli

    At night the scarecrows come down and walk through the wheat field. I don’t know what they’re up to and am not interested in finding out. Still it bothers me to hear them step into the wheat with their silent feet. I want to leap out of bed and shout, “I live nowhere near a […]

  • rose bushes

    Thorns by Shawn McClure

    The Roundleaf Briar has unyielding vines, harder than wood. It has thorns as big as cat claws, and can leave you bleeding. They stand guard over the woods, a dense and complicated barrier between civilization and the wild. They only hurt those who dare enter. Nettles have an invisible sting. You can walk through the […]

  • the moon at night

    Moonscape Two Prose Poems by Jess Mize

    Moonscape The moon was once worshiped by our ancestors. Secretly, and with much fuss, but only in certain company. She had a sex, obviously, and was called Salome, Cynthia, Astarte. The lovers sleeping with mouths agape are intertwined upon a cool grass bed at midnight. There are emerald serpents which about weeping willows perform the […]

  • train set car in tunnel

    Thirtyeightmississippi by Evan Anderson

    I sometimes imagine that the sky is a giant roll of toilet paper and laugh. Same as I sometimes imagine that the monster slobbering under my train set table is a pile of toys tangled like intestines from those movies where the monster is cut across the belly and its insides spill out like the […]

  • crowd in a disco

    Daydream. Believer. by Kenneth Pobo

    Keith visited Aunt Viv in Knoxville when, could luck be so good, he found that The Monkees were performing. October 30. Oh hallowed and sacred day. Yes, Mike wouldn’t be on stage, but… Davy… Micky… Peter. Not nostalgia—this was church, the downtown coliseum a cathedral. Christians had Christmas. Keith had one glorious Colgems label single […]

  • butterfly behind streaked window

    Here we are, sore by Darren C. Demaree

    We chased those butterflies for miles, Belle says & I can’t believe I caught one, Belle says quietly & I can’t believe I tore one wing off, Belle whispers & then there is silence for a while. There are a hundred butterflies in the field we are sitting in, but Belle can only look at […]

  • rotting apples on the sand

    Rotten by Kirk Sever

    Gristle and pores wet soft aroma, gorgeous, soft, grainy, loud opulent musk. Decaying sack of gladiolas, mushy brown. Sweating. A syrup made for the poor. Browned sugars and weeping rot. The corroded insides, the brown, sweating skin on the outside. The smell of artificial maple syrup, the trees, the dead leaves becoming earth, turning black, […]

  • pumpkins in a basket

    October in Kokomo by Eva Roa White

    It’s that time of year when cloud-free skies kiss great blushing trees and mums and roses fight it out. When busy squirrels dig into the newly laid mulch under the jaded eyes of an old Sylvester cat. Stunned bees taste the red fallen apples whose skins have been pierced by the beaks of a murder […]

  • girl's silhouette outside

    Sophie’s Story by Robert Nisbet

    It was unjust, I was sure, but the gossip was seething, and there’s always innuendo, there’s spite, and obviously something had gone seriously wrong. But I knew the lovely man he was and I knew how much it was hurting him. I said very little to anyone and he and I just met, quietly. For […]

  • A forest in the dark

    By the Third Week Two Prose Poems by C.C. Russell

    By the Third Week Coating darkness. Snowflakes corkscrew through the branches of barren trees. Breath nearly the only thing visible before our faces. James was the first of us to go, but none of us had quite been able to see what it was that had dragged him away. Only the tracks of his heels—twin […]

  • bonfire in the dark

    Hell Is Where You Find It by Howie Good

    There’s a moon and the night is clear. A man camping in the woods wakes up from a dream of a bear biting his head to find a bear biting his head. But you know what? Some mystics seek out difficult situations in order to improve their ability to meditate. One even tried to meditate […]

  • bird on a ledge

    Does It Matter by Lee Kaloidis

    That on this Friday morning to the soundtrack of the garbage truck, my nosy neighbor’s cheesy greeting and the impossible logic of dharma raveling and unraveling through my head I try to pull a rotting sparrow from the vegetable garden’s net, its red skull smaller than a cherry tomato, a feathery knot so frenzied it […]

  • Mass Casualty Drill by Peter Vanderberg

    Mass Casualty Drill by Peter Vanderberg

    Bodies lined on the flight deck warm in the sun, joke & fake death. Clear skies, light breeze: perfect day for a Mass Casualty Drill. Doc leads his new guy over to practice CPR. The dead man shouts, He’s not gonna kiss me is he? On the bridge they wear helmets & hesitate over laminated […]