featured in the poetry forum November 29, 2017  :: 0 comments

If I could pour forgiveness into a cup
and drink it,
would it coat my bad intentions
like a tonic,
switch off
the red alert sign
pulsing behind my eyes?
I’ve given up booze
and casual sex
but there’s no substitute
that dulls the anger
quite as effectively.
I need a tonic to fill me
with the pull of the tides,
with the satin slip
of resurrection waters,
to absorb my howls
into its magic potion
and pour out starlight.

editors note:

If we could find this elixir, it would be assigned to Schedules 1 thru 3 by those who prefer order over ecstasy. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 17, 2016  :: 0 comments

Coffee is pooling under the coffee maker
with little bits of grind like ants swimming
around. It’s been leaking for weeks while

I ignored it as I’m trying to do you.
My life, too, is spilling out around the edges.
I try to contain its dark liquid, try to maintain

my balance on the high wire in my head
whirring with chirping birds flying
in a frenzy, wings batting and tiny bones snapping.

Every day a little bit more of something seeps out,
every night I wipe it into my sleep,
holding it behind tightly closed eyes, willing

it down deep where light is swallowed.
But every sunrise it’s back, pushing through
cracks, birds swooping and ants crawling

in the seepage. Another day, another potful
of crazy, another push of the lava swell of lies
down my throat swimming
in a bellyful of you.

editors note:

Reflux recurring; love lost, but lingering. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 10, 2015  :: 0 comments

I’ve almost forgotten
how the crisp autumn air felt
when you pushed your fingers
in my hair,
the flat yellow eye of the sun
glaring through the windshield,
the musky scent of your perfectly
pressed trousers,
the high shine on your black shoes.
I’ve almost forgotten the rhythmic
squeak of rusty springs
at the shifting of weight, the sharp
intake of breath,
the sudden lapse of movement.
I’ve almost forgotten you.

editors note:

I can hear those springs a-squeakin’. No back seat voyeurs peakin’. (Another mad missive on Charlotte’s page – don’t skip it.) – mh clay


May 10, 2015  :: 0 comments

One day I’ll walk through the door
and it will slam shut
behind me, propelling me
out onto endless
highways and neon lights.
I’ll melt into a night so deep I’ll only be a wisp
of a memory,
joining frequencies beyond voice:
the whoosh
of blood flowing through unrestricted veins,
the music
of open lungs,
exclamation marks popping
from outstretched fingers.
Before will be behind me, muffled into silence
I will be lunging forward,


forever forward,

white noise running in clean, dark air.

Through the Holes

featured in the poetry forum January 21, 2014  :: 0 comments

I caught you in the air
like a lightning bug you glowed
between my hands my feet
left the ground we tumbled
and twirled flickering pheromones
in crackling air

our effervescence could not
be harnessed could not be saved
in a glass jar with a lid you escaped
through the holes and became
swallowed in the night

editors note:

Let your fire fly; laugh in the escaping light. – mh

Avârus Covetous

March 31, 2013  :: 0 comments

I used to worry that you might
die and I’d never know,
that one day your face would be
clean-shaven and you’d
wear your shiny black shoes

a blue heron flew overhead
as the taste of our lips
together faded
from our collective memory
as surely as the moon fades
with the sunrise.

we threw the
scarlet letters away, they
rest on the bottom of the
bayou, relics of times

803 Monroe

featured in the poetry forum March 31, 2013  :: 0 comments

I needed to call you but
I’d forgotten your number,
the one I always thought
was burned into my memory –
for hours I anxiously thumbed through
white and yellow pages, forgetting
then remembering your name.
Between the pages I could see
your dining room, the floor
tile cracked like a spider’s
web, the old fridge where
all your kids stood before the
open door to feel the frigid
air on desperately hot days
while upstairs pretty ladies on
a calendar lounged without a
drop of sweat to mar their
fleshy perfection.

editors note:

Why can’t fond memories create dial-tones, connect with a ten digit query to greet old friends? – mh

Short Waves

featured in the poetry forum November 7, 2012  :: 0 comments

Words traveled on the breeze on moonlit
nights, moonless nights, rainy nights,
humid nights, freezing nights,
floating over houses where husbands
and wives bickered, over bars where
voyeurs eyeballed each other while
drinking their courage, over city streets
slipping under the feet of the maligned
miscreant running from shadow to shadow.

Words spoken in the flickering light of the
TV through a filter of whiskey, under the
sheets of a missing person sleeping in a car
in a hospital parking lot.
Words heard in an empty room smelling of
paint and cigarettes and desperation while
children do homework and eat M&M’s.

Through the nights they flew from speaker to
listener, over the rubble of secrecy and through
a vortex of duplicity and their credence was as
elusive as swamp smoke and as trustworthy as heat
lightening, choking and burning the throats
from which they whispered.

editors note:

Words, words, words! What wields wild wonder with widest appeal? – mh


featured in the poetry forum April 9, 2012  :: 0 comments

You walked a golden path and I
was in front beating the bushes for
hidden dangers, eyes darting left
and right, a force field of high alert
with the tingle of anticipation
stiffening my spine.

Behind, your face radiated the
beatific smile of the innocent ignorant,
the birthright of The Golden, of the ones
who know nothing of terror, spite or shame,
but see only through eyes of sunlight.

At the end, we were both too blind —
I by suspicion,
you by trust —
to see the tip of a cloven hoof
at the bottom of the door.

editors note:

Only let him in if he can speak the secret password. But, don’t tell him that there isn’t one. – mh

Milk for Free

featured in the poetry forum September 26, 2011  :: 0 comments

The last time she wore
fur-lined gloves scuttling
grey clouds flew across
the sky as fast as
the muddy waters of
the river flowed beneath.

She stood on the bank
contemplating desire and
indifference and how one
could change to the other
as quickly as clothing
falls to the floor.

Silence wrapped its’ fickle
arms around her.

Conquest curled its’ lip.

editors note:

That’s it! There’s no better way to conjure Conquest’s jealousy than to decide to “think about it.” – mh