Alice Sometimes

Sleep-wasted, I shake out dusk. Evening is for solo-exploration, for lying
naked on the fresh made bed. My body is tinsel coat, my body is a blue dress 
punched from sky. Pills make the archetype come easy: cherry Melatonin mixed
with Xanax, bitter blue. Swallow to turn inward. Swallow to skin-shrink like sealed flesh. 
Sometimes I fall between the folds: my cerebellum
labyrinth. Sometimes I disappear entirely.
Down &
                down &
                               down—chemical mouth 
fruit fragrant. Cheek to pillow. Pillow to forest floor.
A peeling occurs. Who I am is the whittling—the collapse into cocoon-stasis.

Elsewhere, passed out
on the lumpy mattress, the cat swats at my visible tuft. My body buried in sheets, my brain
buried under layers of hypnogogia. Life continues:
coffee pot bubbling, televised re-runs, a radio show
piped through distant speakers. Something seeps

in the interstitial: an NPR voice filtering into the dream stream, intoning 
feeling trappedmaze-like office buildings, fluorescent litalmost a warren

There is water here. In it, my reflection is a hundred things collected under one name. 

Words for warren: bedding, burrow, rabbit hole.


Kia Alice Groom is founding editor of Quaint Magazine. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets award, the runner-up for the 2014 Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and a pushcart nominee, Kia’s work has been published in Cordite, Going Down Swinging, The Australian Book Review, Westerly, Permafrost and others. Her work has been anthologized in the Hunter Anthology of Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry and is forthcoming in various other collections. She divides her time between New Orleans, Louisiana and wherever she goes when she falls asleep. 


ECKLEBURG BOOK CLUB | daughterrarium by Sheila McMullin

Exploring the intersection of shame and anger, my work is a fantasy autobiographic. Emerging as lived experience and reenactment daydreams, my poems reflect hostile aggression
against an embodied woman, spectral tendencies to dissociate, maneuver into escapist fantasies, or reproach with candor. It is a trial in empathy. The whole of the manuscript, daughterrarium, explores relationships which are not chosen, which are often mitigated, and exploited as a backdrop to sexual fantasy or maidship. Despite, what emerges by the end of the collection is something with such strength.

What People Are Saying about daughterrarium

“There are those who have hurt you not because you are ignorant, but because you have a heart.” Sheila McMullin’s daughterrarium is a collection of the kindest rage I have ever seen. The book chronicles, among its tendernesses, McMullin’s refusal to turn the rage onto herself–“How not to blame myself for being fragile?”– and the difficulty of locating what is hurting us, or why, and how to heal a wound that is constantly re-opened. If you believe in rage, if you care deeply about women, then read this brilliant book again and again across your lifetime. Otherwise, “You have to get out of the way.”

–Sarah Vap

What are we born into? What does it mean to be loved by God and Earth? What do we owe and to whom? How does one experience the fusion of anger and shame in a mind and body? What do the doctors say to the bodies that are broken? Where do the bodies go when they are taken away from themselves? How does a body heal itself? How does a body degrade itself? How does a body mourn and survive the trauma of fear, pain and abuse? I admire daughterrarium for pushing too far, for making me cringe with its representations of what one human can do to another, of what a body can do to itself. McMullin takes a tenacious look at violence and the abject while also interrogating, with great compassion, the nature of faith, family and growth.

–Daniel Borzutzky

In a dish of fevered poppies, glassy ranunculus, and red tide hunger, the daughter infects herself. She’s infected by self, burning up until McMullin’s cool hand runs across the daughterrarium’s viral waters. Cancer, the crab, a sunrise that won’t clot. The neogothic daughter, her many manifestations bleed together in this prize-winning jailbreak. She says [t]ake me out of this bed and put me back in the grass, but really she’s taking us. Out, back. Give her your hand or get out of her way.

–Danielle Pafunda

Publisher’s Information


  • PUBLISHER: Cleveland State University Poetry Center
  • ISBN: 978-0-9963167-5-0
  • DIMENSIONS: 6.1 x 0.4 x 7.9 inches
  • PAGES: 112]
  • PRICE: $16.00
  • RELEASE DATE: 04/01/2017


Recommended Works by Sheila McMullin

Favorite Eckleburg Work:

End of the Sentimental Journey by Sarah Vap

Sarah Vap’s End of The Sentimental Journey is a beautiful collection of the most critically astute filth I’ve ever read. With humor, stunning insight, and shimmering vulgarity Vap invents a fresh means of poetic critique in the poem itself. What she unveils for us is our own culpability in the gendered policing of contemporary poetry. I, for one, feel stimulated at being called out. I love this book. –Dawn Lundy Martin READ MORE

Lydia’s Funeral Video by Sam Chanse

Lydia’s Funeral Video is a one-woman play that takes that most existential of quandaries — to be or not to be — and transposes it onto a dystopian not-so-distant future. READ MORE

Discussion Questions for daughterrarium

1. Did it make you think about your ancestors, your present family, your distant family, your plant family? I hope so, and how so?

2. How does this book interrogate the distance between shame and anger, and the somatic and/or thought spirals this can trigger?

3. The book uses several tones throughout — how does the movement through each enhance, compliment, complicate, deflate each other?

About Sheila McMullin

Sheila McMullin is author of daughterrarium (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2017). She co-edited the collections Humans of Ballou and The Day Tajon Got Shot from Shout Mouse Press. She volunteers at her local animal rescue, is a youth ally and organizer, and holds an M.F.A. from George Mason University. Find more about her writing, editing, and activism online at

Exploring the intersection of shame and anger, my work is a fantasy autobiographic. Emerging as lived experience and reenactment daydreams, my poems reflect hostile aggression against an embodied woman, spectral tendencies to dissociate, maneuver into escapist fantasies, or reproach with candor. It is a trial in empathy. The whole of the manuscript, daughterrarium, explores relationships which are not chosen, which are often mitigated, and exploited as a backdrop to sexual fantasy or maidship. Despite, what emerges by the end of the collection is something with such strength.

Do You Have a Book Launching? Submit Your Book to The Eckleburg Book Club…



Writing Poetry


“Poetry is one of the three major genres of imaginative literature, which has its origins in music and oral performance and is characterized by controlled patterns of rhythm and syntax (often using meter and rhyme); compression and compactness and an allowance for ambiguity; a particularly concentrated emphasis on the sensual, especially visual and aural, qualities and effects of words and word order; and especially vivid, often figurative language.” (The Norton Anthology of World Literature: Literary Terms)

Submit Your Work for Individualized Feedback

Please use Universal Manuscript Guidelines when submitting: .doc or .docx, double spacing, 10-12 pt font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, first page header with contact information, section breaks “***” or “#.”


The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the PresentEric Kandel.

The Banalization of Nihilism: Twentieth-Century Responses to MeaninglessnessKaren L. Carr.

A Handbook to Literature. William Harmon.

“Cogito et Histoire de la Folie.” Jacques Derrida.

Cognitive Neuropsychology Section, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition.

Eats Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Lynne Truss.

The Elements of Style. William Strunk. 

Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. Peter Barry.

Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Stephen Eric Bronner.

Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. Lois Tyson

The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. David H. Richter.

A Handbook to Literature. William Harmon.

Literary Theories and Schools of Criticism. Purdue Online Writing Lab. 

New Oxford American DictionaryEdited by Angus Stevenson and Christine A. Lindberg.

The Norton Anthology of World LiteratureMartin Puchner, et al.

The Norton Introduction to PhilosophyGideon Rosen and Alex Byrne.

Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English. Patricia T. O’Conner

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French & Ned Stuckey-French.

Writing the Other. Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.


The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review was founded in 2010 as an online and print literary and arts journal. We take our title from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and include the full archives of our predecessor Moon Milk Review. Our aesthetic is eclectic, literary mainstream to experimental. We appreciate fusion forms including magical realist, surrealist, meta- realist and realist works with an offbeat spin. We value character-focused storytelling and language and welcome both edge and mainstream with punch aesthetics. We like humor that explores the gritty realities of world and human experiences. Our issues include original content from both emerging and established writers, poets, artists and comedians such as authors, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis.

Currently, Eckleburg runs online, daily content of original fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translations, and more with featured artwork–visual and intermedia–from our Gallery. We run annual print issues, the Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore and New York), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction, first prize $1000 and print publication, guest-judged by award-winning authors such as Rick Moody and Cris Mazza.

We have collaborated with a number of talented and high profile literary, art and intermedia organizations in DC, Baltimore and New York including The Poetry Society of New York, KGB Bar, Brazenhead Books, New World Writing (formerly Mississippi Review Online), The Hopkins Review, Boulevard, Gargoyle Magazine, Entasis Press, Barrelhouse, Hobart, 826DC, DC Lit and Iowa’s Mission Creek Festival at AWP 2013, Boston, for a night of raw comedic lit and music. We like to promote smaller indie presses, galleries, musicians and filmmakers alongside globally recognized organizations, as well as, our local, national and international contributors.

Rarely will readers/viewers find a themed issue at Eckleburg, but rather a mix of eclectic works. It is Eckleburg’s intention to represent writers, artists, musicians, and comedians as a contemporary and noninvasive collective, each work evidence of its own artistry, not as a reflection of an editor’s vision of what an issue “should” be. Outside of kismet and special issues, Eckleburg will read and accept unsolicited submissions based upon individual merit, not theme cohesiveness. It is our intention to create an experience in which readers and viewers can think artistically, intellectually, socially, and independently. We welcome brave, honest voices. To submit, please read our guidelines.


p style=”text-align: left;” align=”center”>Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that other eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away. – The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald