River Ride

featured in the poetry forum April 20, 2018  :: 0 comments

Something about your river obscures fiefdom –
Did you hear ensconced stories dangling their feet,
immersed? Careful with caressing flicks!
Did you think clouds were consoling
when you held the cold arms of your sobbing soul?

Forget the hokey castle, some games were phoney narratives
— Looks like your omens were tipsy last night
Would you rather ask the solitary maple
— How long till my blood turns blue?

Something about your afternoon bare and intrepid
waits for a boat…
a firefly
a destiny untouched
— I can swim with your shoals, hunts and sojourns.
Just dress me up in those fins you collected from the fair.

– Shaan Bagchi

editors note:

Fancy your fates as you float to the fair; blood blues, fins, or destiny untouched. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 15, 2018  :: 0 comments

your secrets are on display
everyone will see
the mechanics of your magic

anyone looking
woman on the bus
young man in scrubs walking the dog
weary breadwinners finally
finally heading home
they have but to look
and see you mid-trick

the neon colossus, the web of grace
a great moon of pinpricks
lazing close as it can to the towers
counterpoint to the nickel moon
pulled from behind an ear
flung a great distance
an afterthought

Dallas you illusion of glass steel light
how black the night
how bright your thousand windows

how dazzling
the infrastructure glitter
cars trains passing traffic signals

I cannot stop looking
even in silence, you boast
even your stillness swaggers
we watch each other not moving
as you wait
for my feverish applause

– Aaron Glover

editors note:

Home of Mad Swirl and some o’ the best damn pretense anywhere. There’s a soul beneath the dazzle, just gotta get used to the glare. – mh clay

“goodbye sanity”

featured in the poetry forum April 2, 2018  :: 0 comments

she’s got
and they’re ridiculous
she has,
style like no other
I can picture her now:
waddling like a child,
a cigarette hanging from the mouth
and just behind it:
a smile
she wouldn’t approach quietly, no
there’d be a noise,
some kind of laugh
and she’d throw her arms in the air
dancing with life
she’d twirl
for it’s all she knows
she has to
it’s her style and
her soul is just too good;
I fear for my dwindling sanity
I can feel it slipping away
dripping from my hair to my toes
I see the bangs
I watch the style
I love the dances, the movements,
the wild soul bursting from inside
there’s just something about this one
hello, wonderful
goodbye, sanity

– Kyle Perdue

editors note:

No point to careful when crazy is wonderful. “Hello!” – mh clay

Dollar Store

featured in the poetry forum April 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

Her face, oddly square,
affronted by years of defeat
has an expressive sadness
highlighted by wormlike lips

Her purchase, an ordered array of
frozen things, soups, fruit drink
and packs of knee highs
bearing health claims

“I’ll leave the bleach”
The bleach will stay behind;
for what sanguine purposes
had it been intended?

She bumbles away as I advance
my Snickers and settle,
then drive off, passing her,
walking, resolute, surviving

– Phil Huffy

editors note:

Leave the bleach, keep the positivity. Don’t need white to make right. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 27, 2018  :: 0 comments

the way you break my heart
just to play with glue

your hands all sticky
as you piece together
what was fine

each time,
it’s a little different

almost always, there’s
one piece
left on the floor

– Mike James

editors note:

Watch your step when you go for the glue; there are feelings on the floor. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 23, 2018  :: 0 comments

If you can arrange for adolescence
To coincide with your mother’s change of life,
That will yield a certain result.
Further, if you can arrange to be
An only child, that will heighten the effect.
I’m fairly sure she did not mean things
Exactly the way they sounded:
Well, he talks a good game
To my counselor, depositing me at sports camp;
Who calls that music
Of my Stan Getz LP.
Late in life, she complained about a concert
At the nursing home we’d found:
They were terrible, she said,
And I was in it.

Love is more complicated than you think.

Once or twice we smuggled in a little bourbon,
And she’d smile and click the ice cubes in her glass,
As she had done on Daisy Sanders’ porch
On Rust Pond in June of ’64,
And we would joke about
Those days, those bittersweet
Days of home.

– Robert Demaree

editors note:

Young look forward and old look back; somewhere to meet in now. – mh clay

how it unravels:

featured in the poetry forum March 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

me. string. disappearing act looking for the starting knot // tongue- // tied like magician’s scarves that amble without end. mind. twirling. riptides causing ruckus & mayday causing mayhem // a phantom limb of preconceived notions affixed to your wrists & feet. it starts with me // absent. turning trickster in the half- // moon. light as a feather that flaunts its impermanence in wind. the beginning is // me. flimsy. wound up too tight to be wrapped around a hand // & unable to wrap my mind around companionship // i don’t cut myself enough // slack.

– Marisa Adame

editors note:

How it comes with “no strings attached.” – mh clay

Better Than Broadway

featured in the poetry forum March 20, 2018  :: 0 comments

“This doesn’t look like Broadway,”
Remarked the man
Boasting a snide grin.
And I was angry
At first,
Because it’s easy to feel
Working front register
At a coffee shop
In a small town,
When you once
Of fame and glamor
On the grand stage
In the big city.

But then I smiled,
Because I do not need
The spotlight
When I see how my lover’s eyes
Light up.
I don’t need crowds
Cheering my name
When I hear how my lover
Whispers it.
Because this is not
What I thought
I wanted.
This isn’t Broadway,
And these red hills
Don’t say
But you can keep
Your greasepaint and glitter
Because what I have
Is better than Broadway.

– Alexandria Biamonte

editors note:

Yes, better; especially if the show goes for a lifetime run. – mh clay

a hanging moon in the west.

featured in the poetry forum March 17, 2018  :: 0 comments

moon starts off heavy and orange
just over the stark naked trees
wintering west of this stand

some idea of where the sun is
some feeling stretching out
a distance to that sun and it
aint in the west or the east

we just hanging here
it hangs out of sight
it’s unfathomable where it’s at
numbers can say it

numbers can make up a length
but it’s out there
in all of this
and i’m out here in all of this

and here, in here, in this flesh
this living thing
this making a sense within speaks
“orange moon, unseen moon”

after that you can do anything
with words – you can make anything up
you can make any place real
but it ain’t, is it?

and as night, something, moves
that moon softens out of orange
climbs into the sky
makes a way towards the west

and i can’t fathom the stars
and they can’t fathom me
and i’m asking for something
and i don’t think it’s there

it is some form alright
in all this formlessness
inhale, breathe deep and look out
i could cry but for what

no one said to go there
but go there i go
all the words run out of themselves.
all the words run out of me.

making up all the men and women.
in this place. so vast. listen to it.
the moon ain’t orange anymore. just listen.
until the next time.

day will come and all this
will seem strange
as everything is normal in the light.
but it ain’t. and it never will be.

and this is where we are now.
the past is gone. the future
is yet to be. listen to it.

listen to yourself.

– Brendan McCormack

editors note:

As words waste away, like the waning moon… listen. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 16, 2018  :: 0 comments

fuck thinking positive
you just have to be insane:
say “cheese” to the gun barrels
of pain aimed at you
give yr demons a piggyback ride
gather all the parts of yr brain
that hate you & make a necklace of them
marry suicide & adopt death
& dress it up like a lamb

– Rob Plath

editors note:

Yup! You carry them, or they carry you. – mh clay