The Golden Sunshine

November 11, 2016  :: 0 comments

I saw Jadene, my neighbor across the street, take a sledgehammer to her small brick house. She was working on the east side, smacking the red bricks cemented in a row right above the cement pad, cracking bricks and then removing chunks with a small crow bar. I don’t know how long Jadene had been at the task. When I …

The Games

featured in the poetry forum October 26, 2016  :: 0 comments

Here’s John, honestly in himself,
Wanting his cock in cunt,
Not caring beyond beauty,
The bodies divine, wanting
To stay and walk away

And here’s Mary, unsure too,
Wanting it too, in love
With beauty but fearing
It’s name, calling it “cute,”
Thinking John’s might be

The one for babies,
And they want it
Both soft and hard
Fire quick and molasses slow.
You know how it goes

The Humorous, the intense
The Light, the dark
Forever and a day
Both Liberty and security
The whole swinging ecstasy

And all the while
Here comes the beginning
Of the always saying
You’re the one who’s
Got it all wrong,

And soon they turn
burned with anger,
Righteous as anyone’s God
“Try to learn respect,
I’m not a piece of meat!”

editors note:

Just a game, which everyone plays for keeps. – mh clay

BONE CHINA

featured in the poetry forum July 19, 2016  :: 0 comments

May not come from China but
Usually contains cow bone

Use the animal, right? If
You are going to kill it

Use it like the plain’s tribes
Use their sacred buffalo

Imagine, as I know you can,
Bone China placed out for

Family on the dinner table,
Set out well, formally, with

Good silver, a white table-
cloth, gorgeous flowers,

The kind that you like,
Right for the season. Now

Imagine that you do this
Once a year, perhaps on

Thanksgiving, so to bring
Back in spirit your mother

And your father, the bone
Contained in the China

Comes from their cremation,
And your lovely table would

Not be so arrayed without
What they did for, and to, you.

editors note:

Flesh from flesh, bone from bone; thanks for life and thanks for home. – mh clay

Diane

April 15, 2016  :: 0 comments

The way I see it, Diane, you know, I did her a favor, the way things were going I hate to say it, but I would have needed to kill her, reporters flying in from New York and Los Angeles to interview her and write her up in magazines, she got her colored picture in Gentlemen’s Quarterly, couples we knew …

The Gun of the Brownshirts

featured in the poetry forum March 5, 2016  :: 0 comments

The GUN is always waiting… waiting for the hand. It sits on a shelf hidden from eyes, so quiet, so patient, yearning for the hand that understands what’s needed. Without the hand the GUN feels cold and lonely. It won’t take any hand. The GUN wants a hand that senses down in its bones all there is to fear. Fear is what keeps a person from becoming great. The GUN knows the hand wants to settle things, here and now. The gun knows it acts as a seed when it marries the hand. A new time begins when the gun is taken. Terror dissipates and the fearless man walks forth. He carries now the answers the world doesn’t know it needs.

editors note:

Sick and sad is the nation engaged with GUN in conversation. – mh clay

If Dog is God Spelled Back Ways, What is Cat?

December 4, 2015  :: 0 comments

When Markie was a freshman at Irving High, he used to lie in bed and think about murdering his parents. He did not think about getting caught. He did not think about what he’d do with the bodies. He merely thought of getting rid of their unendurable pressure. Markie planned to do it in the dead of night, when his …

Living In a Mythical City

featured in the poetry forum October 17, 2015  :: 0 comments

I live in a mythical city where almost no one wants to be. People appear guilty. A plantation once sat on a hill in the middle of town and slaves once slaved in the cotton fields on the nearby muddy bottoms of the river. People feel ashamed.

Many stay inside as much as possible. The streets are full of tinted window cars, yet the stores are often empty. If you bump into someone in the city they say, This town, it’s got the movies and the mall and that’s all, that’s all.

You hear, I’m leaving town on a business trip. You hear, we’ll be over in the capital city for the weekend. You hear, we’ll be down on the beach on the coast, and may be doing some birding. You hear, we’re driving down to the big city to see an opera or Bob Dylan.

Late at night you hear the dead plantation slaves singing from unmarked graves. I get up from my bed and go to the window to hear better, but never can fully grasp what words are being sung.

Of course the city has its blusterers. Having been a part of the South that lost the civil war, the people love their guns and are filled with patriotic piss and vinegar. Young men pretend they’re military and to keep in shape form columns that march the twelve miles west to the river and back, singing songs about how they will save America. Then they do their praying.

What seems to actually save the city is drugs and alcohol. Many I know whose hearts are broken live at home in cups and dope, or spend their nights in a multitude of bars.

A week ago a downtown crowd lynched the poet laureate off the abandoned theatre’s movie marquee. An alligator was caught slinking down the main street.

Years earlier a distraught man torched the library. Hunks of petrified wood surround the graves of confederate officers. The newspaper says who is smiling today, and carries tales of bizarre murders.

Nothing gets aborted.

editors note:

These would codify the myth of perfection to prosecute the imperfect. Their justice is blindfolded so she’ll never look into a mirror. (With this submission, we welcome Chuck into the raving ranks of our Contributing Poets. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Still

featured in the poetry forum August 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

You better be still. You better be still, still as your mother tried to teach you, way back in a time you don’t remember. All the animal motions, divine and volcanic, will get you only so far.

Roller coasters, a hard, wind-whipped rain, your sports car approaching a curve at ninety—I would never make light of these grand fulfillments. They have their place, but you better be still, learn to sit as you see people wait for a train or a bus, not with resignation, but with a mind at rest, at peace, in the place of the timeless flower.

Whatever you are running from–be it time, be it death, be it the grief of a broken heart, or the suffering that rides with life, learn to be still like a cat waiting at the door. Gather patience like moonlight on a cloudless night, and study the familiars nearby, say a chair or a table, say a sunlit windowsill or books lined up on a shelf.

Know that they come to offer help, wordless like the great beautiful paintings in a museum, in touch with the timeless we carry in our body and mind.

editors note:

It comes when we aren’t seeking, when we cease stressing; it comes… – mh clay

White Angel

March 19, 2015  :: 0 comments

Well, I’d say I’ve done fairly well in this hardball game of life we all come to naked and crying. I’ve got two great grown kids—Sarah and Mark—who seem sane and happy, I’ve got my loving wife Mary of thirty years, I’ve got my two story home in suburban north Dallas, and a job with Grace Insurance that I’ve long …

The Service Suicides

featured in the poetry forum January 25, 2015  :: 0 comments

The American soldier suicides from the Afghan and Iraqi wars have gathered on the porch of the former president’s house in a wealthy neighborhood of Dallas.

They are shades, mostly invisible. The secret service guards are trained to spot what is tangible. The shades wait patiently most of the cool October day until the twilight comes. Finally one steps forward and rings the doorbell.

The shades of suicide do not have the best eyesight, and so when a man answers the door in the late light, they assume it’s the former president.

“Sir,” the shade spokesman says, “may I address you as the Indians do, as the great father?”

The man at the door seems to nod and the shade continues. “We are here, your loyal soldiers now passed, to put your troubled heart at ease, great father. We know that terrible nightmares must haunt you daily over the innocents killed in your two wars. We can’t speak for all, but we–the soldier suicides of your wars–have come to say we have forgiven you, and our families, which have suffered so, will someday in the future, forgive you. Go forward, great father, and live in joy and peace.”

The suicides then leave the porch and float away into the star-filled heavens. Up and up they go, the thousands, like smoke rising from a fire. The man–a butler–walks down to the curb to check the mail. He smiles a little, noticing the flurry of October leaves spin off the wide lawn.

editors note:

Great fathers are oblivious to what their butlers know; service men to service man. – mh