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

Summer greets me in my memory like an old friend
suddenly I am ten years old with dripping hair and tan, damp skin
the smell of chlorine and endless possibilities lingers in the air around me
I have never had my heart broken
today I am a mermaid with my own underwater kingdom to explore
I do not notice the flaws of my body or the flaws of the world
only the brilliant sunshine reflecting off the turquoise water like diamonds just for me

Some days I am filled with gratitude to not be ten anymore and to have acquired the hard earned knowledge I now hold
other days I desperately wish I could return to the time of my childhood when summer made me beam with joy instead of shudder with shame
bathing suit season
never thin enough
never shaped correctly
too smudged with freckles of past sun damage and stretch marks of past shape shifting

Why are we like this?
why can’t I learn from my ten year self who intuitively knew there are more supreme matters to focus on
like underwater kingdoms
and smelling fresh honeysuckle
and running with dogs
I believe it is worth remembering how it felt to be truly free as a child
so I am striving to let that buried part of me to surface
to teach who I am now how to be free again
and the absolute dire importance of that freedom

– Kerby Purser

editors note:

Important at ten; important now, as then. Remember when? – mh clay

here is

featured in the poetry forum August 20, 2019  :: 0 comments

here is my hand, tossing you the
keys in slow motion and your
borrowed car slipping into the
parking lot along with the rainwater.

here is guilt, sliding into a booth:
would you do it again?, i can feel
your mouth asking from across the
table every time it sips from your cup.

here is what i wanted to tell you:
i owe you poems like i owe you
a second chance or love: i don’t
but here i am showing up on paper

here is the end of the road, really:
are you happy now?, watching syrup
pool in the circular grid of your waffle,
perfect in a way we never achieved.

– M.P. Armstrong

editors note:

Bitter and sweet; syrup for the end of the road. Sigh! – mh clay

One of those bohemian arrangements.

featured in the poetry forum August 19, 2019  :: 0 comments

we had sex
only once,
in the bathroom with her friend outside.
and we were standing up, balancing her ass
on the lip of a frigid sink, and her tit
hung from my mouth
like a dog
with a dead pheasant. afterward
they both left
while sunlight was warming the morning, streetcars starting,
the bats all going
to bed.

next time I saw her
was 11pm
and she was back again
with her boyfriend. he was 60, she was 22;
one of those
bohemian arrangements
which make everyone who sees them
uncomfortable – but she said she liked him anyway
so what else could anyone

and then suddenly
it was 4 months later
and I was in boston visiting a friend,
and she called and told me
she was tired of him and tired
of drugs, and wanted out of it. I told her I’d call
when I was back in toronto,
and I did,
and got no answer. saw her again
a while later one night.
I offered to buy her
a cup of tea.
she said no. I left toronto
soon after that
and forever. it was one of those hot
and dried out summers
and the evenings
all full of air.

– DS Maolalai

editors note:

A hard thing to see (if you’re 22); a wishful thing to be (if you’re 60). – mh clay


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

are shy and don’t like
to be touched by other trees.
The spaces can be so slender
between them that they form
graceful lines that look like
the old hand of lightning
constructed from equal parts
hesitation, vim and doubt.
That’s why you know that
like lightning, it is not real,
or at least its reality is doubtful.
What’s real are the spaces between
what it separates from itself.

– Ricky Garni

editors note:

Let’s get real; gimme elbow room. – mh clay

The Wilted Moon

featured in the poetry forum August 8, 2019  :: 0 comments

Sometimes love is an epochal epic of the Kurukshetra, the triumph of serendipity trapped on the love-island surrounded by Elysian chasms of oblivion of too wide memories. The lovers reach the other world dancing into the trance of satiation and morphology; the cheering intimate touches are like glitterati in the sunny love panorama. Their bodily figures are like the medieval terracotta of shingles. And translucent glass windows of the wilted moon painted in varied hues precious gems of existence romance of the street.

– Jimmy Sharma

editors note:

Love’s epic. If we’re not learning, we’re not loving. – mh clay

Rubber band

featured in the poetry forum August 6, 2019  :: 0 comments

The thick spoons of water droplets/ dazzling from up above/ How they pierce my eye/ its golden rim/ its dusty lashes/ This Corona of glistening spit/ the cloud’s intestine emptied into a hazy sunrise on the cement/ The grass hides its wetness/ like it hides all things/ forever green is its lip as if sworn to an endearing lover/ The balcony door is a split in the middle/ like two lives apart/ Here, outside, in this fresh air, I am a whole, a whole not a fraction/ subsumed in the display of dust and drops/ I fold them between my thumbs and legs and lips and nostrils/ I fold it/ fold it all/ and unfold it seconds later…There is no purpose to this/ It is an exercise in rhythm/ of belonging/ After all, everything is whistling/ Can’t you hear it?

– Aakriti Kuntal

editors note:

Not such a stretch to sing a whole song. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 4, 2019  :: 0 comments

they stand on the corner
waiting for the bus
junior high, probably
they stand in groups, chatting
or in pairs
or alone
with long, sullen faces

they wear the yoke of routine
like an ill-fitted mask
frost damaged flowers
drooping under its heavy weight

most will grow into it
their spines will stiffen
as they pretend to smile

but not all
some will go crazy
trying to peel it off
like dogs clawing
at those lampshades
we make them wear
so they can’t tear out
their stitches
and lick their own
still bleeding wounds

– Brian Rihlmann

editors note:

More won’t, when inspired by those who don’t. So, don’t! – mh clay

ok march one

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

sports talk in the background

wood & water
wood & water

welding classes coming soon

none beginning nine
to pineapple

a walk in the fog tonight
a good walk for robots

– J.D. Nelson

editors note:

From the action to the time, when is your fruit? – mh clay

plucking the moon

featured in the poetry forum July 30, 2019  :: 0 comments

for you,
I will pluck the moon
down to earth
and scrape it’s craters
in the kitchen with graters
to erase it’s flaws. I’d cut
the revised lunar version into
tit-bits configured like the
shape of your heart, steam
them using a
19th century bordeaux and served
in a silver dish

when you’re done dining, i
needn’t declare you the
queen of the night, for the
globe shall feel glittering
gleams emit from the
edifice of our domicile

– Abdulrahman M Abu-Yaman

editors note:

Here’s the best home cooking. Bon appetit! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 26, 2019  :: 0 comments

Blood-orange cloud towers
Writhing in the sunset
The tall pines in shadow
And the tentacular roadways
Thick with engines
Breathing like fire-eaters

A sense of not going forward
A sense of going too far
Like Los Angeles
New York
Or Mexico City

Another empire of the living
Built on an empire of the dead,
This one made of concrete,
Carbon, and swamp gas
The water rising up
Into a forest of billboards
Marketing the unregarded
Scientific wisdom of the Savior:

The meek shall inherit the Earth

– Tony Robinson

editors note:

Heirs of the urban sprawl, all of nothing is theirs. – mh clay