featured in the poetry forum December 8, 2017  :: 0 comments

When I was 19 going on 20
I found a forum on the internet,
a rebellion of women
begging their bodies to bend
begging their bodies to break
begging their bodies to burn,
stoking flicking licking flames
with their competitive emptiness
masquerading as recovery.

And I let all of their dancing make me feel
like a mountain range,
like my body was all bulge and bloat
just waiting to explode,
waiting to be turned into ash.

Their fire sharpened my bones,
stripped my sinew from its sticking place
as my friends IRL raved about my bravery,
my courage to finally accept that no one loves a fat girl—

—never mind the hair falling out in clumps or
the patches of skin that will never heal,
no matter how much weight you gain back—

—no, the thick is in the thin
and that’s all they’ll see.

These digital women, with their
careful calorie counts and
pictures that all looked like the same person—

—in the forum we were all competing
to be the best version of the same person,
like some dystopian novel where
the girl with the smallest wrists will save us.
The world is watching
and only one of us will make it out alive
and it won’t be the one who threatens status quo with poisonous berries in her mouth,
no, it will be the one who waits until her final gasping breath
to ask for a sip of water,
no lemon.

– Ellex Sea

editors note:

Don’t shame bodies, the size of bottoms! The real shame lies in the chicanery of the chic, who really only care about the size of their bottom lines. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 6, 2017  :: 0 comments

As a child, we would catch
our own bait.
My father would upturn
a rock after a rain
and point down.
‘Grab one’ he would instruct
me and I would reach
deep into the sleeve of styrofoam
cups. Handing it to him,
I would stare into the dirt
writhing with worms. He shoveled
earth and its passengers
away before clapping the mud
from his jeans, the ground looking
less alive.

– David Walker

editors note:

Childhood parsing of bait from baiter. Next comes fish from fisher.  – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 5, 2017  :: 0 comments

i can’t see no vision i’m blinded
i see:
Houston in rivers,
the whiteman and blackman.

swimming in a pearl of sot.

looking out! the news, worldwide is about.

but i don’t live there.

i live in Freetown, Sierra Leone
i live in Karachi, Pakistan
i live where the dying are.

i am drowning and i am dying.
my skin is too grey or black,
my pocketbook is too unfilled

Lloyd’s insurance of last resort
will never cover me.
i’m too dirty, polluted, worthless.

I Am the First; soon, you will suffer this way too.

– David Susswein

editors note:

Don’t turn a blind eye; lest, from this first come many… – mh clay

post-b.a. blues

featured in the poetry forum November 28, 2017  :: 0 comments

would that i were a fruiting body,

rather than a rotting one.
i have no way of knowing
if the fruit fly’s affinity for my wrists
marks me as living
with honeyed sweetness in my skin,
or if it attempts to make a friend of me
before my afterlife.

fruit flies keep me company as i write.
their legs press along my skin. mouths touch
lightly, seeking food.

it seems i’ll be in careful, waiting hands
that rub together, and over the eyes, as if praying.
either before a meal or for one,

i’m unsure.

light throws chaos onto colors but cannot ignite the soul.

i only pray i am an apricot hanging
from a tree, ready to fall
from the seat of my sorrows and claim

my beginning.

– Marisa Adame

editors note:

All strive to be valued by the market, if not by the flies. – mh clay

Every Woman I’ve Ever Loved

featured in the poetry forum November 20, 2017  :: 0 comments

The sun and the moon were her eyes
The bright stars were every smile she gave
She was the depth of darkness in between
and her voice echoed before she spoke

Our dreams rhymed and we visited from time to time
it was always a surprise and it was always sublime
The sun and the moon were her eyes
Under her gaze I could burn and I could glide

She was a bird in my arms and when she sang
I listened but could not understand
She wept the darkness of night
so a stone cast into the sky would be swallowed by her tears

The sun and the moon were her eyes
and they were exactly distant from mine
In her smile every bright star glowed
and flowers grew in her laughter

She bit like an avalanche when I walked the road from her heart
The sun and the moon collided and the stars were washed black
The depth of night became thin as her taught lips
When she spoke the words I knew before she spoke

The sun and the moon were her eyes

– Lot Grundy

editors note:

Forlorn lover, seeking light; tossed by tandem eclipses into lonely night.  – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 18, 2017  :: 0 comments

you must be humble
inside the flame

breath deep
make love
tumble to ash

and let the tears
find their own way

– Josh Weir

editors note:

Lest we forget… – mh clay

Tree Surgery

featured in the poetry forum November 13, 2017  :: 0 comments

You butchered us
along the stone wall
we now stand
flagrant, desolate.
Exposed we’re vulnerable
to October rain,
cleansing air, a clearing
for the sun
the rays poke through
gaps under the rainbow.
War veterans with missing limbs,
our symmetry askew,
never to align again.
Our foliage hangs,
Branches hacked
and splintered,
sap in odourless blobs,
our roots retract in disgust
at the clumsy oaf,
his arms swinging with the bowsaw
aping descendants
desperate for an improved vista.

– Lorraine Carey

editors note:

Priorities askew; destroying view for view. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 6, 2017  :: 0 comments

Smelling of stale perfumes
and rusted razor blades
you slice yourself back into my life again,
and as I bleed for the first time
in years,
as I bleed all over you,
I smile and ask for more,
thinking myself the luckiest man
that you have chosen
to reopen all my old wounds.

– Edward Lee

editors note:

But, it feels so good when they stop! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 5, 2017  :: 0 comments

I don’t know what I was gonna say

you’re the best decorated corner
I’ve ever seen

you nearly touch the floor
with your upright part
most up right now

your legs freestyle in low air
your arms trying to be come
a part
of your head

I think I wanna touch you somewhere

fear that I’ll fall off
if I do

– Steven Minchin

editors note:

When love is best conveyed from afar, maybe. – mh clay

Mummies of the World

featured in the poetry forum October 29, 2017  :: 0 comments

Mummies are fascinating but please,
respect the dead. No chewing gum. No drinks or food. No grieving
for the small ones or for the warriors whose heads were worn
around a victor’s neck. No rosaries for the medical bodies,
pieces of the philanthropic on display.
I count the dead as I count my steps, counting coup,
coup de grâce, please, god, let there be a bench.
Read the captions, the stories, the hieroglyphics,
but do it quickly, my feet hurt.

– Sheri Gabbert

editors note:

Mummification through museum meandering. – mh clay