This is One of Those Relationship Poems.

featured in the poetry forum January 30, 2023  :: 0 comments

Her kisses taste smooth; her mouth is full of knives.
She tosses and slices him up fresh every day like a salad.
The blade of her tongue flashes faster than the speed of light.
You know how these things tend to go.
He turns the other cheek a lot.
He takes walks around the block.
He forgets the beauty of her body.
He forgets the soft rock of their love.
Everything she says about him is true.
His mouth grows wired shut.
He has great admiration for her mind.
She has the quick intelligence of a bird.
He has a brain constructed of concrete.
His cheeks puff out with dumbbells.
If only she wasn’t so always right on right.
Every comment hammers straight the nail of pain.
He calls her Annie Oakley.
He calls her sure shot.
He calls her those things in his mind at work.
He calls her those things in the shower.
He calls her those things walking the dog.
She rides bareback standing on a horse.
With her tongue she shoots him between the eyes.
He has no body armor for her words.
Earplugs only muffle slightly her sharp consonants.
And to think he once loved her scent and her accent.
And to think he once could kiss her scarlet thoughts.

He walked out without goodbye years ago.
He heard she cried continuously for a week.
It never occurred to him she might still love him.
Over twenty years now since he’s been gone.
He’s seen born and raised his very own daughter
And is happily hitched again.
The left one hates him and they never speak.
Fifteen years her gong rang in his skull.
Fifteen years in his head she tried to administer his life.
Fifteen years she told him what to believe and what not.
Now he doesn’t even remember her accent.
In time he even grew to appreciate her sharp slices.
He carefully filed the sharp edges
He actually used some of her criticisms.
Then he learned that she’d had a stroke.
She can’t speak too well right now.
He wonders if God decided the world needed a break.
He apologizes for thinking that.
He doesn’t wish to be vindictive or mean.
This is one of those relationship poems.
You know how they tend to go.
You can wander around in dark rooms for rages and ages of pages.
The person written about is going to look bad.
The person writing is going to come out better.

editors note:

Your chance to write yourself right. – mh clay

Poem for Marc Chagall

featured in the poetry forum June 7, 2022  :: 0 comments

When I did my job
I had this goat
to talk to.
His fur glowed
an intense blue
bluer than any
out in Texas,
I just didn’t wish
to embarrass him
so didn’t speak
about color.
Did he fall into
a bucket of paint?
The goat could
whistle melodies
from Beethoven
while doing the
two-step, I felt
lackluster around
the goat with
my shopping cart
full of aluminum cans
in black plastic bags
that I recycled for
cash. I ALWAYS
gave him a few
to munch on since
he wasn’t into
eating the moon
and the crunching
sound made us
laugh as we
settled to sleep
in our homeless
camp above
Quiet Creek.

editors note:

There’s no gettin’ your goat if you already got one. – mh clay

Miracles Can Take Grotesque Forms

May 21, 2022  :: 0 comments

They were working for Manpower in Dallas back about ‘78, around fifteen of them, unloading furniture in the sweltering August heat, carrying it into the forty rooms of a new La Quinta Inn on Central Expressway. Lisbeth was the only woman on the team. The foreman was desperate and took her on because she was six foot two. Lisbeth needed …

From the Nowhere Newsroom on the Klu Klux Condom

March 5, 2022  :: 0 comments

A strange organization little studied and rarely reported on in the media has members worldwide and is often referred to as Klu Klux Condom. Men covered in leaves and beating drums will set fire on lawns large phallic symbols covered with condoms. The hatred of such a small and soft item that prevents unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases is …

Cruise Ship

October 16, 2021  :: 0 comments
Beware, You're Aware

You know what? What? I hate to say, but I have given it a lot of thought. The truth is, well, I don’t love you anymore. What?  Now don’t be silly. We’ve been married 15 years. I’m afraid it’s true. Oh, come on. What’s the matter? What is bothering you? Nothing is bothering me. I feel much better opening up …

Cornball Love

April 24, 2021  :: 0 comments

My life changed when I met a woman. I suppose that’s a cliché you’ve heard before. Stick with me here, don’t get cynical. The restaurant was crowded on that autumn day, and with no chair nearby, the young lady asked if she could sit across from me. I sat alone at a small table with one other chair, reading Shakespeare’s …


featured in the poetry forum April 3, 2021  :: 0 comments

You always laughed at folks who talked about money
and I remember many, like the time we went
for dinner with the composer husband and poet wife

and I was talking with the poet about money,
how we might make some because we had so little
and the composer was whistling part of a symphony

and you took a paperback out of your backpack
and began to recite some of your verse and though
you were known for great fiction stories I knew that

your verse was far better than worse, and then the time
when we were sitting with friends drinking beers
at the back of a narrow rock and roll club and we’d

come to hear friend Leslie’s son play in his new
rock and roll band and one of the songs was made
from a poem of mine on the subject of money

and Jason who was living with Leslie started
talking about being promised ten percent
by referring business to a printer friend of ours

and you laughed saying listen to the music
art’s more valuable than money and yes I thought
you’re right but today would say you’re wrong

editors note:

No, it can’t buy happiness, but groceries are good when you can get ’em. – mh clay

Crime Pays

October 7, 2020  :: 0 comments

Two drunken men in their late twenties stumble down the steps of a brick house into the street. They ask what the hell I am doing walking the streets of Hyde Park at three AM. “You looking for a place to rob?” the taller one pushes. I could shoot back the same line but I am prepared and tell them …

Before And When Pat Thinks of Rick

featured in the poetry forum July 16, 2020  :: 0 comments

Pat thinks of truth in the misty sequoias
and what bugs do boring into their lovely bark,
Pat thinks of the truth in the atomic battles of the sun
and of all long and lovely earthly benefits,
Pat thinks of truth along the puffy pillows
forgotten in bed whispers made long ago,
Pat thinks of truth and what it means to put
A lonely American flag up on the moon,
Pat thinks of the truth of a body’s pungent
luscious smell before you take a shower,
and the truth of the heavy sexual burning
through the years between human legs,
the truth of older weak legs, finding it
hard to rise sometimes up out of the tub,
and the truth of rosy tasty pesticide apples,
the truth of all the tears in all the beach houses
set back of the dunes on the low beach, but
most of all Pat thinks of brother Rick
and of the pleasured pain he took pulling his
knife from its leather scabbard — that comes
back clear to Pat strangely and too often,
how Rick enjoyed turning and turning
his blade as he lay on his small bed,
catching the blade’s shine in the sun
coming in his childhood bedroom window,
how he enjoyed his slurred skewed words
as he felt his worthlessness, having killed
men overseas to serve his crazy country,
growling through his teeth at his sister.
Pat now in the basement of Rick’s heart
down in the storage area of the store
where she and her family of four lived,
“I could kill you…” he told his sister,
and Pat was not afraid, Pat put out a
loving hand to whisper, “I know, I know.”

editors note:

How deep such love, to embrace the sharp and broken without fear! – mh clay

The Hopefulist

featured in the poetry forum March 28, 2020  :: 0 comments

Comes on stage with a rag
tied over his groin and through
his legs to cover the crack
in his ass. The spotlight is
on him in the darkened hall
and he starts telling a story
and soon the goosebumps that
were on the naked man have flown
from his body and bloom on
the arms, legs and shoulders
of the audience. Soon the
shivers slide over into smiles
of laughter. The Hopefulist
is now lifting them out of the
hole he’d set them in. They are
making their way up on the
hope of words, the line of
plot in his tale, the rope he
has thrown down. When they
are back in the light, returned
to their seats, no one seems to
mind, as the story works its
way to its lifting close, that
they are the ones naked and
revealed now. The Hopefulist,
in a black tuxedo and a top hat,
takes his bow and quickly exits.

editors note:

Enjoy him when he’s here. Be him when he’s not. – mh clay