look at the balls on that guy

featured in the poetry forum January 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

I just wrote my letter of resignation,
saved that fucker
to my desktop for subsequent retrieval;
if only I had the balls to submit
the thing.

But it’s hard to have balls
when you need that monthly paycheck—

rent
utilities
food
gasoline
auto insurance
phone
internet

I have been castrated
by comfort
as the prospect of homelessness
frightens me.

I’m getting there, though.

Writing this letter of resignation is a step
in the right direction
and when you see me out there on the sidewalk
holding my little cardboard sign
please don’t let my enormous balls
scare you away.

editors note: There's the problem with being a starving artist... the starving part. - mh clay

stealing from hank moody

featured in the poetry forum November 15, 2015  :: 0 comments

I recently found myself
in
one of those uniquely writerly situations
in which I was introduced
as a writer
to
another writer—

“My condolences,” I said
to the writer.

My condolences . . .

There you go,
I thought. Stealing from Hank Moody,
slinging his words
as if they were your own.

The writer
didn’t seem to catch
my plagiarism

Or perhaps
she just didn’t want to acknowledge
the allusion
as that would mean
she
like me
watches Californication
when
she should be doing
this.

editors note: Condolences all around! Now... where's the remote? (We welcome Ben to the outrageous ranks of our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page - check it out.) - mh clay

let there be light

May 21, 2015  :: 0 comments

One lousy packet exchange
and I knew it was going to be
a long semester;
he busted my ass for writing
“lighted a cigarette”—

“it’s lit,” he wrote. “lit!” “lit!” “lit!”

For whatever reason
this really seemed to piss him off,
perhaps he was having
a bad day,
problems with the wife
or maybe my short story
had put him in a foul mood.

I thought about standing
my ground,
telling him that Patricia Highsmith,
whom I admired
a hell of a lot more than him,
often used
“lighted a cigarette”—

But I didn’t want to start any shit
with the guy;
what with student loans and all
he pretty much had me
by the balls.

So I changed every
“lighted” to “lit”
per his request,
printed up the revised copy
and slid it in a 9×12
manila envelope.

Then I kicked back
on the sofa,
cracked open a cold beer
and
lighted a cigarette.

editors note: Editor’s eye-candy, this. Ben tossed us a tasty bone – we bighted. – mh clay

intruder alert

October 20, 2014  :: 0 comments

WE JUST “POPPED” IN TO CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTER
AND CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARM—

This on a slip of paper atop the kitchenette counter,
greeting me upon my return from work,
triggering mucho panic;
I can’t help but wonder
what else they did
while popping in,
so I inspect my toothbrush
for signs of sabotage,
sniffing the bristle,
then it’s on to my smut collection,
checking for pilfered porn
before scanning my library,
focusing on Bukowski
as we all know his stuff
attracts thieves;
finally concluding at the liquor cabinet
where I examine myriad levels,
breathing a sigh of relief;
everything seems cool,
just another attack—
I really should get help;
if I had a sex doll
I’d lock her chastity belt
and swallow the key
with my morning
coffee.

editors note: Worry over what pops out from a popped up pop-in. - mh