Strippers

featured in the poetry forum July 7, 2017  :: 0 comments

Evening descends like long black hair
unbundled. And beneath the Empyrean stairs
three gold teeth,
lipstick, a thin, cherry red smile,

and impervious iron hips, Jesus,
drum drum tirelessly thumping
the front stage

Jesus may not have liked it much less loved it –

gals strutting airs as lusterless as martyrdom

Junk heap Magi. Goddess of redneck dives.
Goddess of Georgia hinterlands. Lord,
Death won’t catch me
before the come-hither gals
blazoning disco lights instead of clothes

such devil-may-care.

***

and every night at Club Tahiti
a block away from Downtown Lounge
a first burlesque startles like a vampire bat
smoldering on the window, a silhouette in wingspan
plastered over the exit sign.

No escape. No ascension.

***

– again tonight
Lawd-have-mercy steeped inside her emaciated bones
a breastless wonder will join me after dark
fishing from her straps and spangled hose
private pockets
covert interiors on a lark
a photo or two of the family and kids
the crappy kinfolks,
that old man with water on the brain
whose treatments she funds on the installment
plans
per 1st of the month per dry fuck per lap dance
pouts in silence hoping for me to proffer
nickel words
no words
moist words
lucky words
the benedictions that haven’t brought me
any better answers

editors note:

Confessions from patrons of the oldest profession. – mh clay

Life’s Prisoners

featured in the poetry forum January 11, 2017  :: 0 comments

If I can breakfast with them
then I can frugal repast with you.
If I can socialize at the early table with them
and trade throat lozenges in between the laughter
then I can share planetary accoutrements
and iron chains
with you.
Sad that you make it so difficult.
Whoever you are,
and this will make the second time I have caught you,
speak, speak, speak to me in sighs instead of
perusing my mail.

editors note:

Continuing the search for common ground. Speak! – mh clay

A Spring Awakening

August 14, 2015  :: 0 comments

Seventh grade chemistry class. Kenneth dug deep, like a planter’s hand. He worked a potter’s green thumb. He scratched his thinly haired groin beneath the school desk. Mrs. Garvin, his infatuation, used a walking cane that tapped tapped tapped. Her skirt fluttering in synchronicity. O Mrs. Garvin wielded her cane, O she tapped tapped broken pieces of blackboard chalk, O …

10 pm. Stopped. Frisked.

featured in the poetry forum June 4, 2015  :: 0 comments

One Man cries I Am I Am
in ecstasy and terror
as the Lord cried
to Moses. Three men
decline to listen
ignoring a sensibility
behind prophesy. A nearby
parking meter winks
metallically on a lightless
street corner. Witnessing
nothing. Glittering
after dark. Stands
like a watch
-tower going senile
totteringly decadent
on duty to collect
poised to pinch
the nickels and dimes
the irrevocable fines
the regular tariffs
blind to the charges of citizenship.

editors note:

Nice! Dylan said this, too, “Don’t follow leaders – Watch the parkin’ meters” (We welcome Darryl to our crazy conclave of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

A Whistle

May 8, 2015  :: 0 comments

So many evenings, while sitting at his desk, typing, the poor, hungry writer heard a whistle. And it was an exceptionally skilled whistle. The lips captured to a tee the sliding up the scale, then suavely sauntering back down the scale whistle associated with paying a compliment to a hot lady. Put your lips together and blow. Easy, for dreamers. …

The Shy Man

January 16, 2015  :: 0 comments

Shyness is climbing a circling staircase. Shyness isn’t stasis, paralysis, paranoiac fear of leaving the house, venereal disease, fire ants, or rain storms. Shyness isn’t cabin fever. Shyness is ambling along beneath cloudless weather and noticing the same buildings the same houses. Again. Again. The dead lay down. The terribly shy keep walking. The staircase leads beyond the passages beyond, …

The Daily Globe

featured in the poetry forum November 30, 2014  :: 0 comments

The words rise. Like angels in heaven, sent
to make communion with the neighbors.
In twos. In cherubic threes. In choral fourths.
Sweetheart. Have you been well?
I push aside our summer sheets, hoping
to flash sufficient light and dark to catch the intentions
at dawn. Our house no less a parlor than a church
of living bones. The sunlight is pitched funeral dust
spreading peace on earth. I am called by others
living namelessly nearby. To spend my short eternity
imagining addresses. The globe. Every morn it spins
showing any blinkered eye its favorite colors
like a summoning forth.
Today the countries may reveal faces: their hells
blurring with paradises, land, ocean,
Sweden’s wealth and China’s poor genuflected. The situation
of a world in crisis while limbs lurch
playing at bed sheets and snores and mirrors; let’s touch –
kicking at our sore spots. The words rise; lovers
remake the news. Are you lovely enough to wake? Sleeping beauty.

editors note:

Every spin o’ the globe awakens us; beauty sees beauty. – mh clay

The Star Puppets

featured in the poetry forum September 5, 2014  :: 0 comments

Sashay to the boardwalk, scurry to the ditch
Just another future song, lonely little kitsch

– David Bowie

The nightmare was neither bad television,
nor kitsch. Whatever it was struck home
light years away. Something blurrily animal, lissomely human,
blurrily moving, a semblance, a leprechaun,
spidered a hush hush mystery screen
too swiftly to pinpoint the family of man’s shadow.
The imagery was archetypal before it was born
on an ancient tree, and the cradle broken
shattering the old limb. A Tree of Knowledge –
Yggdrasil, man’s tree of family and faith, ablaze,
ashing, ashing the route to satellite wonders.
Or were we broadcasting ourselves?

We watched in dumbstruck lassitude,
like couch potato marionettes
shoulder to shoulder, locked knees,
mouths puckering up-down, open and shut.
Which way was the root? Whither the star trail?
— switch stations, and Sybil’s leaves respelled the fable.
We returned to catch the last theatrical
curtains flying up. Forgive us please stunned expressions –
forgive us silent prayers, rickety
stiffness of trolls on an old geezer’s shelf
who thought we trembled given a pair of loose nails
straining the racks.

We burnt like wood. Firewood.
Pinewood. Redwood. Cedar conflagrations
seared ourselves to our skins. Matchstick trees
hung on lean strings of bark and vein
together. The shock so ironic, so homely, so
astral. Picking up a cup, the cabinet cups,
we said thank you, please, and lay the saucer down
with the caution of house domestics; forgive us the
star puppetry
love less love than a skittish
theatre of strained affections.
Color of scalding. Pink flesh of kindling.
Toothpicks, shaved saplings, teeth
to a forestry nova.

editors note:

We ARE stardust, dangling by the singed strings of chance. – mh clay