featured in the poetry forum March 14, 2024  :: 0 comments

I remember those years lost to the bars on
The street of ill-repute but they almost seem
Like another life from where I sit right now;
Happy for the first time in years & almost,
Almost, not drinking but hell this life needs
Some fun & as the smoke leaks on into my
Mind the wine slides down my gullet &
Soon it’ll be almost a year since I last got
So wasted I woke hungover so something
Must be going right, right?

The nights of heroic drinking are no longer
Needed as friends of old come to remind me
I do have people I can turn to in any hour
Of need & work, well like a beautiful dream,
I today worked on our bargain books, & right
Now I certainly don’t need to try and drink
Myself to death after a shift like that so what
I guess I’m saying is, hell, this life is pretty
Damn blessed as the symphonic crescendo
Peaks & ushers me off to another night of
Mild intoxication followed by rest as tomorrow
I’ve got to get in early & start all over again.

editors note:

It’s all right when all is right! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 26, 2023  :: 0 comments

I always hated New Years Eve as I
Was always the one stuck in the corner
Feeling awkward that no girl wanted
To talk to me until the sweet beauty of
Booze came to drown my nights & in those
Early days I realised just how to lose
All my inhibitions but the magic quickly
Disappeared as I grew older, maybe a
Little bit wiser, and I soon realised that
Organised fun is the worst kind of fun
There is & when you’re expecting to
Have the time of your life you’ll almost
Certainly wind up bored & alone &
Especially when you’re in a crowd.

So this year; well, wine will be consumed
& music will be played & the smoke will
Do its work & it’ll be just like most other
Nights around these parts.

editors note:

When the DJ yells “clap your hands,” fold your arms instead. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 17, 2023  :: 0 comments

Another year has passed & so we
Get here again; a day some count
Down to for months on end, as if even
One good day is going to save a tired,
Frustrated life from its own death-grip
Of boredom, to those of us like me
Who just treat it like any other. My
Christmas day will mean nothing
Different; I’ll wake, I’ll get high, eat
Breakfast & walk…
I’ll return to my room once my feet
Grow sore & my eyes grow sick of all the
Big families swarming my usually
Deserted seafront with their pretend
Christmas joy & I’ll do what I do
Every other day of this god-damn
Life as a life like this is made for
The living rather than the waiting
Around for nothing to happen.

editors note:

This and every day, exactly what we make it. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 9, 2023  :: 0 comments

Saturday night has me in her grip & the desire to just say
Fuck it, today has been a good day & I deserve a drink & a
Chance to talk with some random strangers is running
Strong but then all that happens out there & right now I’m
Getting on fine right here but it ain’t even 7 yet and the
Music hasn’t even started blaring & the remnants of my
Wine from last night remain untouched so far but once I
Get all of that inside me who knows how tonight will
Shape up, hopefully not face-down in a gutter.

editors note:

She’s unpredictable no matter how you face her. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 4, 2023  :: 0 comments

Madness is everywhere in this town
And has come to take down this life, this
Never-ending series of
Being beaten down by those who love
To just show it off deluding themselves into
Convincing anyone they’re interesting
When we all know they most certainly
Are not. I see them everywhere in this
Lunatic asylum of a town and each time
It just makes me laugh; the woman
Who does her daily work-out, in leotard
& leggings, in the quiet room of the IT
Centre as I sit doing some of my own
Work, my own creeping madness as I
Send words into the literary establishment;
Or the campest karaoke king who struts
His thing from his job at the job centre &
Down on through the Saint James’s Street
Singing his heart out for everyone to
Hear and it’s never ever anything any good.

The truly mad ones, the ones that Kerouac
Dreamed of knowing, walk out of work and
Have shoes thrown at them by a homeless woman
Who they’re convinced is stalking them as she is
Forever turning up in all his old
Places where she’ll do nothing but scowl at him
Before he gets her thrown out. But eventually
The madness of the night, the madness of the
Street outside, will get to me and I’ll just be
Driven off home, back to my prison where I can
Let my guard drop if I want to as I continue on
This relentless pursuit of a total derangement,
Just like young dead Arthur had told, here lies
The path to infinite wisdom…

editors note:

His town, my town, your town, too. We’re all mad here. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 12, 2023  :: 0 comments

I sling down a large double
And spark my goodness to life
And the tingle is sublime
The tingle tangle
Spingle spangle of my mind
Under the influence of
This powerful medication
As it intoxicates me to the point
Of distraction.

My eyes drift to my window
Peering out into the incoming
Darkness of night as my radio
Whines on with football talk
As my mind switches off
Maybe ready for some 50
Year old police drama TV greats
Which I’ve watched these last
Couple of nights.

I sit and swoon over the LA
Women of ’67 as Friday works
His way through the hippies
And the drunks and the mobsters
As I wonder how quick he would
Have got me. I’m glad I never
Lived in his drama TV time as
The sentences handed down
Always leave me appalled as
Some poor sucker gets ten years
For holding a quite tame night.

editors note:

Tune in to your own live TV time – spingle spangle. – mh clay

THEY MAKE A BEAUTIFUL SCENE (wherever it works)

featured in the poetry forum April 8, 2023  :: 0 comments

The sun up in the sky is a beauty
Of heat and light and occasionally
I’ll turn the corner at the bottom
Of my road and see it brighten up
Even the cruelest of days when it
Shines hard down on the beach and
I suddenly realise, hell, this is just
So damn right.

The scene always takes my breath
Away when it hits that perfect mix
Of a beautiful near-empty beach
And that sun shining hard making
Everything seem as if i don’t live
In a town of no hope or any beauty
And on those ever so rare days i
Kid myself that I’ll stay here forevermore.

Just kill me now if that’s the case
Or remind me wherever it is i land
Next time around it’s got to be by
The sea as i’m sure such beauty can
Exist off any beach-front and with
A bit of luck one so very very far
Away from here so I can always
Make my life by the sea, hell
In face I’m sure any sea will do.

editors note:

For hope and beauty; any sea, indeed! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 5, 2023  :: 0 comments

In times of political and planetary turmoil, it is always easy
To write poems about the likes of mad old Donald or his
Surrogate mini-me, all blonde hair and a bombshell just
Waiting to detonate a lot of Latin nonsense, but sometimes
It’s just enough to let go. Letting my mind drift to all the
Other kinds of arses; there are a couple of nubile, young sexy
Arses that I see walking away from my counter at work and
I’m mesmerised by their swagger and on occasion when I want to
Switch off I tend to think of those gorgeous shapely arses
Rather than the kind of arseholes that are apparently in charge.

editors note:

Let’s give thanks for our freedom to choose. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum October 2, 2022  :: 0 comments

The phone-in on my radio this morning
Leaves me feeling nothing but cold
Frustrated, and
Certain that this country will get hit by
Another bout of virus-related deaths
Idiots call in speaking of their need
To visit internet cafes
And tennis courts because, they claim,
‘I know i’m addicted.’

When hundreds, sometimes 1000s,
Every single day, are people so
Deluded by their own self-importance
To think, or probably
That their life can go on as normal
Just because of some
Need to be seen, to carry on just
Being british
(soon to be defined in any good
Dictionary as someone thick-
Skinned, thick of mind, and certain
Of their own deluded superiority
Before they died out during an
Early twenty-first-century world

Remembering to always just
Keep calm and carry on
Living whilst clapping the
Key workers every Thursday
Night and disregarding the
Advice to stay home
Save lives and help the wonderful

editors note:

It ain’t just a British thing; this thickness runs through everything. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 24, 2022  :: 0 comments

The daze at work come and go with an infrequent regularity
Sometimes three,
Sometimes four,
Sometimes five times a week
But recently I’ve had to get used to a new phenomenon
People coming in, people I don’t generally recognise
Asking me about this, my poetry
When am I reading again some ask
I wanted to see a poet at work some say
But the thing I often think is who was that
And have they bought my goddamn book
I know it’ll never save me from this exhausted routine
Of working, drinking, writing, smoking and sleeping
But if they’ve ever read my words they should
Know that I hate that work, that detestable shop and
Most of the people I work with and serve so
Why come and see me down there?
I can only conclude that they want to see me at my lowest
Possible moment and are afraid of stepping into the ring
Of the bar to see me drinking when, no doubt, I would
Try to sell them a book in exchange for a beer doing
Both of us a favour but no they come here instead
To a place where nothing ever changes. The
Homeless masses occasionally return to the icy
Streets from their hostel begging change to support
Their habits and I still get ridiculed about my name;
Today it was our new security guard, Steve, who turned to me
And called me ‘City,’ as in the football team from the town
With which I share a name, but at least this time
It made me laugh as I remembered times at school
When fellow kids would taunt me, calling me ‘Bingley’
After a well-known old-fashioned building society
Until that, I contemplated battering them.
Right now though I just want to escape all this
Nonsense of poetry fans and random taunts
Escaping to somewhere no one knows me where I
Can drink, smoke, work, write and sleep at last in peace.

editors note:

Here we see the poet in his un-natural habitat. Please stay back as he can be hostile when provoked. – mh clay