Scott Wannberg

featured in the poetry forum February 25, 2024  :: 0 comments

spaghetti western

so much pain
hidden
under a plate of meatballs.

editors note:

And who could stand the niggle of noire for dessert? – mh clay

Cancer Song #8

featured in the poetry forum June 2, 2023  :: 0 comments

your morning starts at 5 am
just so they can tell you
that you could die on the table
scott wannberg’s ghost
stays close at your heels
watching over you
pushing an oxygen tank
through the first floor
of the cancer center
like a hungry angel
eating all of the fear
he can squeeze inside his belly
like it’s just an old movie
where you’re doing a dance
with death.

editors note:

A hard song to sing and dance to at the same time. – mh clay

Pam & the Ceramic Octopus

featured in the poetry forum October 25, 2022  :: 0 comments

at first i think about
what it might be like
to kiss you
to press your body
up against
a silent sea monster
in an empty community garden
on a warm summer night
to ravish your tongue
like a rustbelt nightcrawler
until i drew blood
just to get you to stop talking

but even the shrooms
can’t make your mouth melt away
fast enough
in the dizzying heat.

editors note:

A fumbled try with the fun-guy. – mh clay

When Jeff Siegrist Gets to the Other Side

featured in the poetry forum July 10, 2022  :: 0 comments

jack johnson will be waiting
with an extra pair of gloves
sent there to show him
how to tap dance
around the ring
giving the sun
a bloody lip
as jeff yells out a poem
& takes his heart
out of an invisible wooden box
passing it around
to all the secondhand ghost girls in worcester & shrewsbury
who never got to know
what it truly felt like to love themselves
pressing their ears up against it
that poem beating in his chest now
like a battered drum
like a fist waiting
to walk them home.

editors note:

Jeffrey P. “Jefre” Siegrist, 32, of Worcester [MA], passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Beloved son of David B. Siegrist and the late Gretchen (Van de Houten) Siegrist. RIP – mh clay

Eating Tacos with a Friar at the Grave of Jimmy Stewart

featured in the poetry forum December 5, 2021  :: 0 comments

for S.A. Griffin

there is no more wisdom on a hill than this
& even if you picture it in black and white
the lemonade still comes from a paper carton
& the ability to change who we are
before we all get back into our cars
to head in different directions
is the greatest acting job there is.

editors note:

May the best pretenders win. – mh clay

An Easter Poem in Irwin, Pennsylvania

featured in the poetry forum July 4, 2021  :: 0 comments

they would line us up
in the parking lot
of the old hills department store

covered in fake green grass
& plastic eggs filled with penny candies
blowing a whistle
to start things off

we’d claw at each other
the closer we got

tufts of hair
& some light bruising
were a small price to pay

easter egg hunts
were how the romans
first developed a taste for blood
during the great
cabbage patch kid
craze of 1982

minutes later
sunlight poured down
on the ancient ruins
of a suburban strip mall

where we had lived
like yellow chicks squawking
in plastic baskets

the air still cool
the world went quiet
in the back
of a ford escort.

editors note:

Training for life as the pious public in America. – mh clay

Kathy McDougal’s Boyfriend

featured in the poetry forum February 14, 2021  :: 0 comments

says he won’t wear a face mask
because he just can’t live in fear

someone once said live free or die

that’s where we’re lucky

now we can do both.

editors note:

Ha! Stupid is an inalienable right, after all. – mh clay

You Don’t Have to Go Home But You Can’t Stay Here

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

for Chris Knopp

true love is six feet away
from where i am standing

the moon is a beautiful sinking boat
when it winks at toledo

my heart can’t whistle

the bar is closed

the sky is a dead industry

the only songs i know

are about girls.

editors note:

No door, ceiling, or song to keep love true. – mh clay

Poem for Mark Pearce

featured in the poetry forum March 2, 2020  :: 0 comments

you tell me about your father
dead at 49

we are all just trying
to keep moving

our hearts under attack
every minute of every day

love isn’t a speeding train
but more of a ceasefire
set to music.

editors note:

And solitude, a full-on assault… – mh clay

Having the Croup in 1979

featured in the poetry forum August 5, 2019  :: 0 comments

meant that i couldn’t yell
not even on the inside
only whoop like a bird
with my underdeveloped lungs
trying to escape
the trailer park even then
as the knack sang
on the radio
about things
more precious
than air.

editors note:

Always seeking that precious breath of fresh. – mh clay