To the chains

featured in the poetry forum November 2, 2018  :: 0 comments

After Torquato Tasso

She was aware!
And so, those impossibilities metaphysical or otherwise:
Butterflies, and moths avoided those weighty deeds and rings of iron:
Invisible to the original draft or sketch –
Yet could somehow exist alongside

The honest nature of the muse – indefinable
Where the darkness bred
Bluebells out of the rock face
Here is where purity has its harshest test
Leaving a path for those to come

As for skating on thin ice
Flaws will find flaws –
His epic mind covers a mass of cracks
“as for the ‘understanding’ who knew & why cells that
Grew you.’ Made you just to torture you for a congruence of another world.

editors note: All hail, the Holy City. Not made for us, but we for it; not here, but on the other side. – mh clay

Before I…

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

You’d better give me something
So I don’t die
Novocaine for the soul
Before I sputter out
– ‘Novocaine for the Soul’, Eels

There they stand, just angels with dirty faces
The corporate wind to cleanse – somehow does not
Pass by their ultimately innocent faces, Before I…

Misconceive or misconstrue what it means to be you
Give me, give me something, just thread
Before I splutter out… Before I splutter out.

Stuck in queues and queues of queues
There is some misty essence of a quintessence
Still blinded by an ignorant sun

I go on before I splutter out – I need something
As The song reminds of what is known
So here I sit as asinine as the rest

Something must come – the lure is set
Give me something – before I die
Something, before I splutter out, before I…

editors note:

Some are flint; others, tinder. Together, fire. – mh clay

This New Jazz Age

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

From Beale Street to the Trump Tower
The free-falling age has yet to find its niche

Where the self-policing police
Find freedom to be just what they want to be

The rules are there ‘for the others’
And not to bother us with

From North Korea to the Sears
This Twitter age has moulded our fears

To where language lies
like a broken animal whimpering limping

Where only those in the law or in the know
Understand the pattern understand the flow

As they familiarize themselves with their place
And the lie of the streets

Where the once free-falling jazz age
Collides with this new.

editors note:

This new “music” is hard to follow; melodies malevolent, bad beats, best to run from, not dance to. – mh clay

‘From a moment in the still Spanish air…’

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

Just…
(after: the cooking of eggs)
– After Velazquez, 1599-1660

She acts to create
Just something to eat
So every day the human eye
Cannot acknowledge –
The eggs; as an assistant
Seek the immediate reaction
Her sage eyes know just when.
Then, see his youthful distracted
eyes – on some young woman –
his game? Or some masculine
game to win…
distracted in sin – to be committed
still seeing this alchemy
the magic of this egg
becoming something else
this Assumption will pass
by and large, unnoticed.

editors note:

For her, the eggs; for him, the code. One will crack, the other will crumble. (This bit o’ ekphrasis inspired by this picture here.) – mh clay

The masses

featured in the poetry forum March 2, 2017  :: 0 comments

The people: as knights, bishops and queens.
Pawns…Pawns…Pawns. treading the stone
Stone conquers life –
Blood, bone, and flesh.
Are eroded upon this spinning wheel

Desolation is the fear of flesh
Pawns dream (that’s if the Fates allow)
Lives are galleries within galleries
Each October thrives, anew.

They are eroded still, upon this spinning wheel
The oils, now hard, lost the image
Of ages long past, the long past remains
To be uncovered once more

editors note:

For each of us, it’s a new discovery: We’re stuck in repeat. – mh clay

Talisman

featured in the poetry forum November 15, 2016  :: 0 comments

After Marianne Moore

There, by the de-barked tree
There was once this figure
An embolismic statue.

This totem

Lessons in the day gone by
The one craved ”you must”
A goblin in the sky

A portent

Beauty is never a reality
It’s the frailly human reflection
The broken images

The broken idol

Here are lessons for men
Here! Long dead long lost
Even to memory – gone, here

In this totem

editors note:

Tokens of remembrance; creators, long forgotten. – mh clay

Cheap Trick

featured in the poetry forum August 26, 2016  :: 0 comments

One slight; one night; once among the neon
and the bar room noise
The chaos
Seemed to be alien vaguely relative, somehow familiar.
The action something invisible something unreal
Although important for need of mankind
The need for when all else has drained
Down away away away…

All their eyes were distracted by
The neon, billboards, and garbage blowing about
Now forgotten
Yesterday’s wants now gone – bellies empty
Unrequired – yet to cut out as a cataract
To forget the image.

editors note:

The impossible trick; to unsee a thing. – mh clay

Hotel Bedroom 1954

featured in the poetry forum June 12, 2016  :: 0 comments

after the painting by Lucian Freud

The phantom in this scene lurks unseen
Talking in riddles whispering half-truths
to each of them fueling their paranoia.
Was there a storm or is there a storm about to break?
The room: base, hardly ministerial most defiantly
Not magisterial – there is a ‘word’ absent from the scene
As yet; unuttered, hanging in a pregnant seam. Her
Look: she has thought and is musing in white picket.
He in his dark shadow has slipped in to a single dimension
In his dark world.

The play has the missing act, this scene
The link to the mechanism of comedy
Or tragedy. Words have become misshaped
And jagged. Their eyes, her eyes at least,
Tell not just a story, ‘the story’ this scene,
Plotted by them or her perhaps to write the final scene.

editors note:

Another fine ekphrastic effort! Check out the picture herewhere context becomes clear. mh clay

18,515 days today

featured in the poetry forum November 7, 2015  :: 0 comments

Those counting blocks
From the demographic monsters
Changing growing twittering
Stumbling on new blocks
From those initial bloody squawks
Screams and coughs
Not metered or rhymed
18,515 days ago
Those spent vessels lie
Like cartridges
Smoking for a while,
They rattle on the ground
As they are spent.

editors note:

So, praise the lord and pass the ammunition. (We welcome Jonathan to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out!) – mh clay

A Different Way Home

February 6, 2014  :: 0 comments

A different way home
The horizon has two sides
Each a deity to itself

Taking the other train against the failing light
Weakening states-of-mind decrease
Limbs fall and die – if only for a while

Moons hold us mesmerically
Take one step toward, one step away
Until, until, until…

editors note:

Daily caught in a tug-o-war; we all get home by dark. – mh clay