Red Stuff

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

Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stuff,
for I am famished!”
–Genesis 25:30

Red snapper fish and red velvet cake—

The famous red apple; the slithering snake.

The blood in God’s creatures—the sunset at dusk.

The Indian corn concealed in its husk.

The communist cadre—the red-headed girl.

The socialist padre—the Eurasian red squirrel.

The crimson tide and the precious red rubies.

The color of nipples—on some people’s boobies.

The planet called Mars—the sports car for sale.

The fox in her den—your friend Abigail.

The stop sign on First St.—the pimple that popped.

Mao’s little red book—the tomato you dropped.

The cherries and peppers—the grapes on the vine.

That sweater for Christmas with its horrid design.

The cat in the window—your heart and your kidneys.

And good old St. Nick—coming down the red chimney.

 

– Daniel Klawitter

editors note:

Can’t get enough o’ this red stuff! – mh clay

Persistent Little Bitch

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

She was twenty-five the moment
She Decided not to let her
Illness Kill me; She had declined
To let herself slowly become
A martyr to that tragic call.

When it felt like her life was broken, headed
Downhill, when she was seemingly
lost in the wilderness Without
A purpose or hope inside her
She always reminded herself
Of that choice.

She was afraid of herself sometimes
Because mental illness had killed
Far Greater minds than hers.
Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath
Always haunt her with their rocks in their pockets,
Their heads in ovens, and their gunshots.
But she was a persistent little bitch
Who was never good at taking
no for an answer, even from
her own insanity.

She always declared aloud to herself that she would
Be just damn crazy enough
To fight fiercely when that ugly black dog
Came lumbering towards her soul.
In that moment, she knew the bastard
Wouldn’t be able to kill her with her own hands.
She determined that her future would not be
A head in the oven, a bullet to the skull, or rocks
Sinking her down into a cold lake.

When her name was written down in the Grim Reaper’s
Black Notebook in red blood,
She had already decided
That it would not be written there by her.

– Hannah Searsy

editors note:

As the lady said, “Might as well live!” – mh clay

Bottleneck

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

Until it comes from you
there’s no light
only doubt
which befalls
a disquiet
of uncertainties

As the world dies
I believe the universe lies
even as astronomers
connect new planets
to dazzling stars
black holes intensify

I turn to an aching
unconsciousness
to a radiance emerging
out of reach
to life’s iron crust
grinding our breath

All things are invasions
of celestial planes
by lusting after
wobbling
guiding suns
Black holes breathe

Life is a bottleneck
we squeeze through
choreographed
by ego clinging to
whatever
Eternity means

– Dah Helmer

editors note:

Pick the lie you like best; make Eternity meaningful (never mean). – mh clay

Startled by You

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

I jump out of bed
And look in the mirror
I’m startled by you
The dark nights
The profuse sweats
The panic attacks
They’re gone
And I’m as light as a lark
In the morning

The irony of it all…

But no regrets
What’s done is done
I don’t understand it
And I don’t care
I’m well for the first time in my long life
I only see colours
In the mirror
Vibrant oranges, golds and reds.

I’m forming a bond
With my transformation

The Black Swan
Now a sweet singing
Robin Red Breast
The Cloud has lifted
The suffering has ended.

Looks like I waited my whole life
For this fine morning
It’s not impossible
To conquer the blackness
Just watch me!

I look in the mirror
And I’m
Startled by you.

– Maria Ní Mhurchú

editors note:

First and best full disclosure must be made to self. Startling! – mh clay

Scenic Reflections

featured in the poetry forum February 10, 2018  :: 0 comments

I live in the world of the old California,
of yesterday’s music and slang,
and speak a little Spanglish.
I remember sights and smells of my individuality,
yearning to meet others who understand
what it means to traverse a landscape
where everyone is from somewhere else:

Old Spice aftershave
English Leather cologne
Duck tails and pompadours
Cheaters and Cuban boots
Patchouli and sandalwood
Green apple splash and Cashmere Bouquet
Petti-pants and pleated skirts
A blue Chevy Malibu meeting
an old white Impala at a drive-in movie
Dancing that fueled passion
Coke and Winston cigarettes
And a busted condom that killed my dreams

I drive north on the Coastal Highway,
or up the middle to Bakersfield,
or east to El Centro,
playing “tunes” and just driving
through the desert space oddity
that was cruisin’
with Mary Wells in the Mojave,
learning survival skills
and to this day
I go nowhere without plenty of water.

– Jenean McBrearty

editors note:

See all. Stay hydrated. – mh clay

SEANCE ON A HOUSEBOAT

featured in the poetry forum February 8, 2018  :: 0 comments

Bitch of a ladder.
Tiny and impractical.
Mother, sister voiced the pointlessness
resting on uncushioned seats
complaining of apocalyptic joint pain.
The captain commiserated impatiently
his wife the Medium was waiting.
The stairs down, narrow almost non negotiable.
We bumped our heads & wailed.
Mother fell into the Medium’s larger chair,
wouldn’t move. “I am sitting here!”
The small boat rocked in somnolent mood.
A fog or misery mist hung down too low.
The Medium groaned, dealt a few tarot cards.
Pausing, she couldn’t sense any spirits close.
There would be no refunds.
She eventually acknowledged our sincere threats
with reference to The Coast Guard Of The Eternal.
A substantially larger boat took us to shore.
Endeavoring to neutralize the Medium’s hand curses,
we held up three of our own as the fog dispersed.

– Colin James

editors note:

A big production for a no-show. – mh clay

the beautiful people

featured in the poetry forum February 5, 2018  :: 0 comments

the beautiful people
visit hairdressing saloons
criss-cross their feet, in relaxed posture
laugh at the stylist’s sly comment

the beautiful people
link elbows in human chains
dance across busy roads, gaily
ignoring puddles of rain

the beautiful people
sail-through high pressure jobs
air-kiss their way to the top,
delighting even the office-cleaners

the beautiful people
fall out of love as easy as breathing
leave a wreckage of lives in their wake
and continue on, with even less than a sigh.

– David Susswein

editors note:

Beholding beauty for what it’s not. – mh clay

The Days

featured in the poetry forum January 29, 2018  :: 0 comments

Thank God it’s Friday
is the only prayer I know.
Saturday and Sunday are twin snakes,
the product of sex times two,
One joyous and wild after so long,
the second slow and sad
Like premonitions of parting,
the little death.
Monday is the country
of the poet’s ex-lover.

– Ray Sharp

editors note:

And, as on every Monday, we look forward to sweet reunion… – mh clay

Baptism

featured in the poetry forum January 26, 2018  :: 0 comments

The priest stood over me
in the name of the father

And he splashed me
in the name of the son

I screeched my protest
and still he splashed me

All stood by at the altar
as he splashed me

in the name of the holy
fucking ghost

I never asked for this appointment
never asked for this anointment

Lamb of God… he without sin…
etcetera,
etcetera,
eternally

Amen.

– Frank Phelan

editors note:

Sin without we, our father, etcetera. Hail mary, that’s a hoot! – mh clay

False Advertising

featured in the poetry forum January 10, 2018  :: 0 comments

Someone asked me the other day,
after a comment I made about life,
if what I was feeling was truly boredom
or a dissatisfaction that failed to distract.
A fine distinction that.
Yet my response was negative to both.

No, my ennui has more to do with disappointment.
I seem to be walking alone again in my mirage.
I probe and rummage
but there are no chimeras to be found.

Lacking, this playbill is lacking,
and it was listed as an exciting diversion
from the run-of-the-mill universe
in that advert I received in the half-life.
What the hell happened?

Refund, I want a refund!

– Charlotte Ozment

editors note:

Yes! Do I smell a class action suit here? Where do I dial in? – mh clay