Hierarchy of Fear

featured in the poetry forum May 20, 2018  :: 0 comments

He asked me why I chose to board the plane
If I was so afraid to fly.
No hesitation:
“Because my mother would
Kill me
If I didn’t.”
A pause.
I laughed.
“I mean, of course
A joke, naturally.
It had to be.
Because if I thought I would
On the plane, I couldn’t be
More Afraid
Of my own mother.


– Alexandria Biamonte

editors note:

The greater fear gets a capital “A.” – mh clay

Little magazines.

featured in the poetry forum May 17, 2018  :: 0 comments

I hate them.
I really hate them,
most of them,
most of those little magazines,
those darlings of the indie press,
5 dollar photocopies
stitched together behind someone’s bedroom door
or the backroom of a dirty floored convenience store,
always with a half dozen poems printed skewways,
and eight or ten stories
including one “penned by the editor”
and some off-colour prints of someone’s paintings
that look like cheap surrealism
spat out people who don’t need to be surreal
to showcase the few little twists
and insights which exist in their minds
when a nice landscape would probably do it,
something their grandmother even could hang up in the toilet
and meanwhile around them the phrases turn like cogwheels,
and spinning in place,
“wincing philosophically”
“slowly, steadily he drank”
“in the distance a dog barked”
god damn if these bad poets
really have it right
then what quiet bit of world have I been living in?

I was in a hostel sitting room once
and this french guy was explaining to a girl
over toast and boiled eggs
that he was an artist
and an actor
that he had been prolific in Paris
and now he was here
down on his money
down on his
and I felt
like getting up and yelling at him
what the fuck do you think the rest of us are?
plumbers on holidays?
the bookshelf had three copies of Marquis du Sade
for fuck sake.
art is the hobby of people with cheekbones
who are tired of having an easy time getting laid.
fuck art.
fuck art fuck art fuck art.

and fuck poetry.

– DS Maolalai

editors note:

Ah, yes! And fuck us poets, too. Never did like my cheekbones… – mh clay

Preserved In Amber

featured in the poetry forum May 14, 2018  :: 0 comments

Discovered in a bulky chunk of amber,
He was preserved completely, all intact.
Huge fountain of scientific rambling
Sprang joyfully, inspired by this fact.

Not just another prehistoric beetle –
New species were eagerly described
To classify exciting ancient riddle,
To brighten it with scientific light.

This beetle sure was a lucky gambler,
And if I could, I’d swap with him, of course,
For endless years in the golden amber,
Not in the rotting and worms-ridden earth.

But if the stormy sea would cast me out,
Preserved completely, shamelessly intact,
And on a sandy shore I would be found –
Would I enjoy this scientific fact?

– Irena Pasvinter

editors note:

Every sentient being’s ambition, aware at the time or not. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 11, 2018  :: 0 comments

or these babies left behind in
burning villages or the ones found
in suitcases along the edge of
the highway

this girl on the hotel bed who
says get it out of me

her boyfriend
who does

who has no use for witches

no use for minor gods or
broken saints and the question is
always how to punish him

the taste in your mouth
is always blood

is always gasoline because
whatever bombs we’ve made will
have to be used

whichever women we’ve raped
will need to be butchered

faith is what we’ve invented
out of the need to be forgiven

– John Sweet

editors note:

No shade of rose can color the bad we do. We fear no forgiveness. – mh clay


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

You are not my lover, yet
you trace my body with your pencil tip,
like making paper dolls, and promises:
the parody of kiss
without the kiss.

This must be what seduction is:
the heat that builds and builds,
the body’s angry fist.
Your words, like scissors, snip
and snip, along the lines we’ve drawn,
their eager sillhouette.

You are not my lover, yet
I stroke your stories with my finger tips,
like making pottery and statuettes:
the parody of flesh
without the flesh.

This must be what seduction is:
The cup that fills and fills,
the spill that’s always wet.
This need, like hot air, spins
and spins and spins. You
are not my lover, yet.

– Rachel Broadway

editors note:

Hard to step back and take a breath, when breath has already been taken (away). Got to admire such restraint! – mh clay

Sixteen Excitement Bombs Kindly Vast Overtones of Fire Noise in the Sack to New York

featured in the poetry forum May 4, 2018  :: 0 comments

Marvelous magic feels like lollipop hurricanes, ingest in jest.
Masterful citizenry of the mighty blow torch bluish righteousness.
Noble peach cream gleams heated gashes in love and lust.
Quick powers dawn on our showers of love, vivid screams live.
Pick us up from the dust little prepared full of musty mustful must.
Shower on us with care fulfilling a love life in measurements vast.
Feeling comes back again where we were once numb, dumb, bummed.
Precious pleasing helpful hunter chasing down a pride of lions.

Dare be prepared for the sun bust as casual as our dusty garb in brown.
Burst the busted blank look of a follower in dreamscape Hell bound by fire.
I love my fucking husband, and he loves me with sparkle rainbow galore, Ash says.
Princess Prince was once a dusted ball remover of the Third Reich Retention.
He didn’t know left from right on a large scale kindly burning balls all around.
My husband is now a self-reliant dancer, crooning along the way, blazes arising.
He’s skillful, smashing in a grab-bag mish-mash fab fame, glorifying the game.
I’m smooth and sparkling with my right left jab at the moon, done and done, Ray says.

Reward my wife with a pounding grace that gives mercy to face hitting it down to waste.
Time rewind in a bind, and we are lime green mean, so satisfy bitches in a switch
Lest ye be like the rest we jest in jester outfits for two at the Festival of Shining Delight.
Glowing comes into the picture then our eyes meet and the meatiness of it all is a doll.
Fasten fascination to belt knotching in-between the gnawing down there, oh please.
Maybe goodness, maybe not, and your hatred, people out there in the world, is oh pleased.
We have the heart, park it in her rear after dark mister 16, and tonight we make love again.
Exquisite core pounding my wife is fine flattering the line of flourishing fences fenced-in.

Build the divide we never cherished and way us to New York, 16 Baby, all up in yas.
Free liberty upon us from the 70s where hubby dwells in a place laced up to bring us together.
Dine with 50 and 60 and get hot fine wine sex in a fucktastic equality bound and tight.
Delicious creative artistry is next on the list with desire of considerable blue overtones.
Dazzle to find my wife wound up where she is hidden, smiling that I’m looking for her from here.
Ray, the gay soldier, with tufts of gray everyday is a fight from the past gassed out burning.
Completely complete her cleverly clear in bright visions of circus freakdom in wonderful bursts.
We love each other fully knowing that it’s not always black or white but something in the middle.

– Ash and Ray Pettibon

editors note:

Bring your partner to the Festival of Shining Delight and dance in this tongue. Yes! – mh clay

Waiting for the Dna Test

featured in the poetry forum May 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

Could i count the black dogs in the field if they stopped moving
or is it just 2 or 3 dogs displaying simultaneously all the places
they’ve been & will be there, chasing the ball of the sun,
playing tug of war with a hank of river

The crows near the homeless camp know me
breaking open a plastic bag of rain-soaked bagels & pastry
so more could eat, as more fly in

And what of our oak tormented by squirrels
strip-searched, gnawed, then expected to provide shelter
in a hole or crotch—who else is living there
not counting the moss machines, the insect processes

But i don’t mean bees, more functional & intelligent
than we could ever, no matter how we choose to miniaturize,
to export natural functions to devices we can never fix, only upgrade

Is there a mammal whose skin no one ever wore
a bird whose feathers didn’t decorate some body
the tree my door came from, the ice that became my window.

When a dogs tail is wagging. where are his teeth,
when i think it’s night but my windows are covered with crows,
as flesh is a veil, as clothes announce our sadness
at having so little fur and no feathers at all
just these thick bones to withstand small collisions
and keep us chained to the earth
we seldom rise from, seldom run across full speed
trailing slobber, dust and fleas of random memory.

I drive a mile to the Thirsty Dog; the bartender asks
if i’m a service animal, or might i be in season

– Dan Raphael

editors note:

To bee or not to be; not even the question when the answers are multiple choice. – mh clay


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

passing Kimmswick Bone Bed
on my drive to St. Louis
(4:30AM on I-55)
traffic not yet bad—
where pleistocene men
that smelled as bad as I will
hunted mastodon—
filthy labor at Pressline Services
to augment adjunct’s pay—
archaic printing presses
dismantling – scrubbing
wallowing in ink and grease
elephantine feelings of calamity
and hunter-provider anxiety
can I trust my girl?
(she didn’t return a text)
god I need this work
(don’t fuck it up)
and knowing what little I do
about human psychology—
bilateral religious Band-Aids
likely covered the same chafed psyches
an inescapably whirling vortex

– David R. Cravens

editors note:

Hmmm. Wonder what pleistocenes did to fill the income gap? – mh clay

moot point

featured in the poetry forum April 25, 2018  :: 0 comments

all covered in snow
except the red lines
next to my mouth
nothing can conceal them

my eyes are filled with
the perplexity
and moldavite

I fell to earth
and lost my way
back to the blue
homeland with the stars

a land-dwelling and
an air-grasping habit
to hold on to

the memories
collections of the earthy hues
emotions feelings
and photographs

to hew a passage
through the crowd of
affairs and incidence

to meet you once again
in multitude
knock-knock…who’s there?
no one

a net
a moon
a pearl

an old book filled with
the old calligraphies
I turn its pages

– Inna Dulchevsky

editors note:

Meteoric, momentary; yes, moot… – mh clay

Polliwog Park

featured in the poetry forum April 24, 2018  :: 0 comments

To let go of it all:
Every field where Little Leaguers fly
Around the bases, parents in the bleachers rapt,
And I once announced as a volunteer.

And of the beaches where, in my own clear years,
I merged with the waves, unsupervised for hours,
The sun baking my back and shoulders pink
Until I peeled out of myself in a week.

To let go of the earliest memory—
Elegant lie—that I have woven
Via repetition: the goodbye on the lawn,
His car driving away, into a separate story.

To let go of every image, to divest,
Until, like Adam, naked and vital,
Hair spilling over my shoulders,
I confront a green and unnamed world.

– Jesse Wolfe

editors note:

We, nameless come, nameless go; they’re our inventions anyway. – mh clay