¿En Que Idioma Hablas Tú? (What language do you speak?)

featured in the poetry forum February 17, 2019  :: 1 comment


1. relating to Spain, its people, its culture, or its language

When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish, I will tell you that my language is a restless child, always hungry and impatient, always reaching for things it cannot grasp.
My language is beautiful, it is selfish, it is brave.
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish, I will tell you what it’s like to be full of paella and too much love.
My Spanish is knowing God in more than one language
It is beautiful, all knowing, impossible.
It is who I am.
Sometimes, I forget how to speak it.
I reach for syllables that do not come, but somehow manage to be present.
They fill parts of me I did not know were empty.
My Spanish teases the President and cannot be deported.
It is asking myself whether or not I am white,
My Spanish is “Are you awake yet?”
“There’s a lot of work to do today.”
My Spanish is begging my tías to tell me about their homeland,
Sometimes too much, sometimes not enough.
My Spanish prays out loud
My Spanish is siéntate niña, y escúchame
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish,
I will tell you that I earned a dual literacy certificate in the fifth grade.
It’s the silence that hangs in the air when I’m done talking in my AP class
Or the color of sangria fruit
My Spanish is a half-written story that weaves between two languages
It cannot be governed nor deferred.
It is an emotion and a way of thinking, a system of belief.
I am the halfway point between two countries,
Hispanic American.
My language was fed to me in tortilla Española,
It was read to me out of the Bible
It made me who I am.
My Spanish esta muy hambriento
My Spanish is bien ruidoso
My Spanish es muy callado.
Now I understand why my grandmother never learned how to speak English.
She planted her language like seeds between my lips
And I never gave it up.
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish,
I will tell you I am descendant of an immigrant who never got a citizenship
I will tell you I am not a dream to be deferred
I will tell you I am Hispanic American, and in my grandmother’s country, we don’t build walls.
We are proud of who we are and we will not be silenced or governed or deported.
When you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish,
I will say,
Yes, I am.

– Lillie Davidson

editors note:

Whatever we speak, speak freely! – mh clay

Who am I and why?

featured in the poetry forum February 13, 2019  :: 1 comment

Who am I
And why?
I am standing before you
Tell me
Explain me
Interpret my inside story.

You are clean.
You reflect the clean.
Do I? And why?

You are inside me.
Tell me honestly today
Do you see me as I am reflecting?
Tell me what is the wrong that I did
knowing or unknowing?

I have faith in me,
I am the best friend of mine.
I respect the brotherhood,
I am simple.
Want to be humble,
I didn’t make drinking water dirty.
Never cut any tree on roadside or inside forest.
Loved all freely
Never laughed feeling sad inside.

Tell me how much pain is waiting for me
Tell me how much joy is lying in wait,
Tell me how many wishes twinkle on my forehead?

Yes, reflect me
I am giving up crying today,
Yes, I am keeping all of my joys in my behind.

Tell me who am I
And why?
Oh, looking glass
I am standing in front of you without facial and makeup,
See me,
Tell me,
Reflect my inside story
As I am reflecting.

– Rajumoni Saikia

editors note:

Self-evaluation as a mirror game; maybe need to reverse the response. – mh clay

Half Eaten Awareness

featured in the poetry forum January 31, 2019  :: 0 comments

Half eaten awareness is
a Tuesday evening tango
at the cold scent of a woman’s
wrinkles. That’s a raisin.

Purple curtains. Perfect strangers.
Knuckle sized sacraments. Chewy,
junipers too leathery to consume.

The dew awakens. Somehow it does.
Ripping through the clutched earth.

Squishy as worms gutted. Those beech
leaves rising like a time before winter-

a time when we first began to listen.

– George Cassidy Payne

editors note:

When are what we hear is not so much as when we listen. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 25, 2019  :: 0 comments

I’ve tried to imagine trees.
Thin giants with boisterous heads
mirrored in down-reaching roots
and filmy almost translucent
solar panels unfurled along their limbs.

A protective layer called bark
sometimes scaly or it could be smooth as skin.
And their only movement was in growth
each year of the sun adding a ring of width
some meters to their up yearn
to the sky and down stretch in the nourishing soil.*

They lived as long as (some longer than) we do.
Cradled all sorts of mythical beasts – beetles,
bees, a quick thing called a squirrel, even those
with feathery wings and twiggy toes.**

But let’s focus just now on the one
tree and then another near it.
Some say they spoke among themselves
feeding oxygen to the sky their aspiration
a gift of breath to us oh here we go again.

Why do all my musings come back
to this our crime? To learn too late
what we might have known all along
that recollection cannot match the
thing remembered. That death
comes slowly until it doesn’t. That
more goes with the rustling of leaves
than their undeciphered whisper.
I can almost imagine a tree.

*Next week’s imaginative reflection.

**See annual celebration of Earthian Nature.

– Tony Gentry

editors note:

What’s concrete now, becomes concept later; when later is too late? That’s subversive! – mh clay

The desire…

featured in the poetry forum January 23, 2019  :: 0 comments

The desire to touch me
The desire to touch myself
and the smell of…rain
Insatiable thirst
A sin…
in the plural
Don’t ask
And let’s not meet our glances
The expectation is sweeter in the dark
Guess what my taste is
Look for the moans
Collect my sweat in your cupped hands

Forget me,
in order to find me again
And let’s repeat everything

– Kristina Krumova

editors note:

To find a love, lost and forgotten? Let’s dance to that… – mh clay

The Bob Dylan Traveling the Lincoln Highway Blues

featured in the poetry forum January 18, 2019  :: 0 comments

I bet you Ruthie
gives no fucks
about her honky-tonk lagoon

Ligonier Beach
closed, no more
or Laurel Summit
moons, no more
debutantes kissing
in the dark

I guess it doesn’t matter
I’m pretty sure
this is the end
we’re doomed
to instant
mashed potatoes
again and again

– Jason Baldinger

editors note:

People! For better post-catastrophe cuisine, plan ahead! – mh clay

the final breath

featured in the poetry forum January 16, 2019  :: 0 comments

not born
what ground
i listen
in goodness now
we all change
i miss you
and your paper airplane
suicide notes
you were by the fire
in glorious
from here
had typewriter
to the point around that door

– James D. Casey IV

editors note:

It’s all a matter of how long we can hold it, right? (Or, how much we can type before we run out of paper?) – mh clay

Sugarcoating a Burnt Loaf Doesn’t Work

featured in the poetry forum January 15, 2019  :: 0 comments

Dark Circles

I wish saying that
We got these wounds
Because the dark night
Likes to leave its mark
On those who fight its dear friend sleep
Makes them glorious
But it doesn’t


I wish saying that
We blew pixie dust
From moist, little rolls of ivory
Dusted with burnt gold
Makes it magical
But it doesn’t


I wish saying that
We sipped on the souls
Of the gems that adorn a vine
From sand frozen from heat
Makes it fantastical
But it doesn’t

– Swagi Desai

editors note:

Glorious, magical, fantastical fails; sweet in the trying, blameless in the lying. – mh clay

Becky’s Clap-back

featured in the poetry forum January 14, 2019  :: 0 comments

I am invisible
to the mind fucking
gas lighting cunts
cut off the gangrene
before the septum rots
from too much
cocaine and child abuse.

Rule #3:
Do not engage the crazies.

I am immune
to the stank eyed
hater-aid drinking
flakes flaking
off of rubber sheets
in round rooms
this is all the therapy I need
mother fuck your mama
divorce diva is divine.

You ol’ one-bullet-Barney
limp wristed slack jaw
sideways speaking

Don’t break your fool neck
eating twat waffles.

Who is this fuck face user loser
banking on bets & black horses
with broken legs
racing the nuclear clock.

Shouldn’t have quit
smoking and drinking
Shouldn’t have quit
fucking for the experience
fucking everyone
who can
lie the best
with their smiles.

Then maybe,
you could’ve
drank the Drano
or went out
like a cartoon cigar
exploding landmine situations
in black bars with
too much fucking light.

Dammit mama,
it’s gonna take
too much
alcohol and coke
to dissolve all this
self loathing
because you’re too
with marrying the big time.

The necrotic never see reverse;
backwards fisting
whatever excuse
gets you high.

– Desmene Statum

editors note:

It’s hard not to break #3 when you’re the crazy. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 9, 2019  :: 0 comments

a chain hanging from the ceiling
a piano hanging from the chain
I stand beneath

it falls

doesn’t smash
the keys don’t fall out
like my teeth

it plays a song
sounds like a car crash
a horror movie
the monster jumps out – wearing a mask
and tries to kill me


it’s just applause
the song is finished

the monster is clapping
in the audience
all wearing masks

so am I

– Kate Minter

editors note:

Nightmare? Or, average day in the work place? – mh clay