A Nation’s Super Hero

featured in the poetry forum April 3, 2020  :: 0 comments

For Jack Beattie

Sing to us Jack from your sanctum of love
and handcuff us to your gift of positiveness.
Keep pushing your dreams without borders
and wake up this world to your awesomeness.

Your fearlessness stands in a smiling queue,
bedecked with lessons for a waiting world of
smiling happy children and anxious parents
who swim in your temple of confidence.

Infuse your practice to make perfect into every
little boy and girl, fill their minds with absolute
expectations and heart-warming delights that
will in time deliver every wish and dream.

Broadcast that smile of uninterrupted happiness
and fill this nation with beliefs and commitments.
Drive home what all of us fully deserve because
heroes come and go, but Super Heroes last forever.

– Gene Barry

editors note:

Benevolence, a super power scarcely found these days. Where are you, Jack? – mh clay

The Absurd Ass Bird

featured in the poetry forum March 25, 2020  :: 1 comment

The most ass-bird thing one could observe
Is the fluttering of the absurd ass bird
Pecking around a single word
This word should be interred for token
Slur from this word inferred
Savagely rough-aged and ill-spoken
He circled as if one wing was broken
He scraped his beak across the curb
Throwing sparks he squared at sharps
Jumped upon and posted jargon
Wingbeat talon eyeball saltpeter
Screeching while dancing on a parking meter
He looked me straight in the eye.
Crooked and cocked his beady head.
Absurdly said he the word he said
Ach! It’s from the German.

– Peter Harter

editors note:

Ja! Es ist “lächerlich.” – mh clay

anxiety liner notes

featured in the poetry forum March 20, 2020  :: 0 comments

panning shot
the rigid certainty
familiar of terror
quick manoeuvres panicked into
what was and is wide open
late arrivals wigging
out on snow slides in low forests
tatterdemalion mainframe
waded through vague
pulse of lost button
floated ownership shares vital in
stump stump
of heart lamp
blended anywhere are hammers
souled animals brought whole
to the heel

– Cal Wenby

editors note:

Slog through to sacrifice sans supplication. – mh clay

Piece of Ash

featured in the poetry forum March 17, 2020  :: 0 comments

World is burning with fiery unrest
while my winter blows icy trees
with wavering irrelevance.
Every statement’s a lie
invested with political leanings:
ramification, consequence.
Sinners as saviors in mad jumble
of propaganda-led confusion:
denial, diversion, destruction.
This is painful shortened breath
of death’s shiny new decade,
innocence piling on top of
vanity’s bonfire like birthday candles,
and there’s no escaping
encroaching conflagration,
mad heat surrounding:
unflinching, astounding,
increasing with age.
Make a wish quickly,
one to blow it all away.
Enrage. Repeat. Engage.

– Gary Glauber

editors note:

Eyes closed to blow. – mh clay

beautiful slashes

featured in the poetry forum March 15, 2020  :: 0 comments

an old writer
i admired
drunk on whiskey
at the bar
told me once
when i was young
if you don’t write
every day
you’ll never be
a great writer
& if you write
every day
you might be
a great writer
& his words
slashed like
a utility knife
across my brain
& i braille scars
from that old
beautiful bastard
on those days
when i hit a wall
& then i pull out
the rickety chair
from the old desk
& jab the keys
hard lines forming
thick & raised
enough to trace
in the dark

– Rob Plath

editors note:

Raised welts to wend a sightless way. – mh clay

freaks be rare

featured in the poetry forum March 13, 2020  :: 0 comments

he liked the heads best
he liked the rest of them too
he liked all their parts
but the heads
they were the best
and he’d line them up on his bookcase
like pretty vases
pretty silent vases
and admire them
as they looked out of the shelves
admiring him back it seemed
all wide-eyed open-mouthed admiration
but soon they’d grey
soon they’d droop
the eyes running
the lips curling
and it was like they were sad
to be on his bookcase
like they were mad at him
he could hear them scolding him
out of sagging wet grey faces
ugly and loud
they didn’t admire him anymore
and then he’d have to go back out there
and get more heads
newer happier heads
pretty silent heads
that appreciated him.
he wasn’t a freak. freaks be rare.
he wasn’t rare. he was just him.
you know – like you be you?

– Tanner

editors note:

Seeking individuals for home decoration. Heads up! – mh clay

A Dream, Lost

featured in the poetry forum March 11, 2020  :: 0 comments

In dreams, we’re lost
A parking lot, and we can’t find the car
A forest, trees turning to zombies
I look for you in a midtown office
with no address
Subway trains to nowhere
Streets without corners
In one dream you wear shorts
and your legs are fat
You’d never wear shorts
and your legs are long and thin
In another, you’re clad in a suit
and can’t tell the difference
between water and wine
I taste it so you will know
I’m not sure what’s more disturbing
The you in my dreams
or the reality of your sad eyes
in what, supposedly, is our life.

– Puma Perl

editors note:

Distinguish the life (yours? mine?) from the dream, or other way around. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 9, 2020  :: 0 comments

teleport entire vending machines
into holes in willows
all the while
acting innocent
no one wants to confront them
who knows where
you’d end up

– Brendan McBreen

editors note:

Beware that chatter and tail flicking; designed to lure us to interdimensional doom. – mh clay

About the Size of Wales

featured in the poetry forum March 5, 2020  :: 0 comments

Statistics pour out about an epidemic
and what will happen when the medicine fails –
we’ll have a large pool of contamination.
It could be about the size of Wales.

And then there’s America’s prison population
spilling from penitentiaries and jails.
Don’t tell us – the newsreaders can mime it for us –
the remains would be about the size of Wales.

The hurricanes that devastate each seaboard
will take years of replanting, but all that pales
beside the inland wastage, the deserted landscapes
which just might be about the size of Wales.

We set about the oceans for vacation,
with diesel engines in the place of sails
and what do we discover – a sea of plastic
which is, mysteriously, about the size of Wales.

Out there among the planets, there is Venus
(just visible beneath its ghostly veils)
with unexplored asteroidal craters
which are (surprise surprise) the size of Wales.

For a small country, it might seem weirdly mobile
as it sits uncounted on the scales;
but the question appears to remain unanswered:
What actually is the size of Wales?

– David Punter

editors note:

Maybe, in this case, size doesn’t matter? – mh clay

A Strange Satisfaction

featured in the poetry forum March 1, 2020  :: 0 comments

Drywalling, yes, it’s shitwork
but to do right you have to respect
the craft of it. Big dumb sheets
of gypsum. Dimpled nails. Mud,
gray butter. Paper tape can wiggle
like worms. A glorious fuss
of muscle and dust.

Smooth or texture,
whichever, an art.
Loud bad music,
essential to the task.
The notes embed,
remain as echo.

Satisfaction that lingers,
the quiet pleasure of a simple wall
built well. But press an ear
to the surface, long after,
hear the hammer, the music
like laughter.

– Joe Cottonwood

editors note:

Delight in wall built well, as shelter, not barrier. – mh clay