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The Truth

Nicolas Hornyak, or “Brother Nico” at the first mention of a poem, is a queer, Nuyorican artist who divides his seasons between poetry, fiction, games, and song.

Emerging in spring, his poetry explores queer existence in opposition to modern masculinity, and his heritage in the face of assimilation. Interweaving fantasy with contemporary life, his work searches for answers in the conflict between queer expression, societal expectations, and primal humanity. After spring, Nico is also a novelist, musician, and game designer.

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Italics Mine - Issue 12.2

Italics Mine showcases the new, creative literary voices of Purchase College students--majors and non-majors alike--through print and web. The diversity of the student population is reflected in the pieces they strive to share with the entire college community.

"Ice" by Nicolas Hornyak


I gave a great big yawn once and hooked the scent of winter

Burning past my nostrils, cold air impacting like a nor’easter.

February should not smell like anything, but it smells like the promise of June

And the dirt beneath the snow, a sprout which wants nothing more soon

Than to emerge, brushing against the soil with a wayward caress

Screaming “I am normal. I am normal.” Because it’s more a grasp

To bring about the imagination and let the taste run to the back

Of your throat and up the windpipe to your nose; we’re under attack.



I wonder if piercings have ever taken away a bit of a person’s sense of smell.

A better thought is probably what it costs to get into hell—

Or purgatory, rather. I’m pretty sure I’ll spend time there with the family.

Mother said so. Mom is a witch, but to be fair, only sparingly.

Italics Mine

New York's Best Emerging Poets

In New York, history comes alive. The cascading waters of Niagara Falls and the verdant Catskill Mountains exemplify nature’s beauty, while the bustling metropolis of New York City pulsates with the hopes and dreams of eight million residents. In the Empire State, poets have the world in their hands.


And in New York's Best Emerging Poets, 180 up-and-coming poets have the chance to share their own worlds. Covering a wide array of topics ranging from love and heartbreak, family and friendship, the inherent beauty of nature, and so much more, these young talents will amaze you. Containing one poem per poet, this anthology is a compelling introduction to the great wordsmiths of tomorrow.

"Child" by Nicolas Hornyak


never forget that you call out

to your grandfather


when you see him after

your flight at the airport.


Later on, you enter his house

and Dad takes a fresh cookie

and Mom finds the mini-fridge

stocked with her favorite drink

and you stare at your brother.

The both of you just stare.

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Shepherding Butterflies to the Land of the Dead

Half-zine and half-chapbook, Shepherding Butterflies to the Land of the Dead is the debut poetry collection by Nicolas Hornyak, commonly known as Brother Nico among poets in the greater NYC/NJ region. Encompassing his set from Jersey City's Poetry in the Park series, Nico builds a coming-of-age journey between the lines and stanzas in this set of 15 poems. It is free to all who wish to enjoy his poetry.

"Io" by Nicolas Hornyak

I scribbled this on your back while you lost

your sense of touch, and gravity took me in

the meantime, cleaving me apart like a shirt

you put on backwards once before ripping it.

That’s the dance we do, like lovers snatched

by the talons of an eagle or celestials trapped

in another’s orbit. I catch this in the middle,

and I am blood or gas. You can never tell me

apart from the volcano. You do not catch this.

Shepherding Butterflies
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