Graduation Day in a Mercury Mirror

featured in the poetry forum May 27, 2022  :: 0 comments

You’ve never been so lovely
You’ve never been so liquid
Like a sky made of metal
Like a sky full of ashes

You smell like thunder in the meadow
Where we buried your mother’s Atari
Games last summer! Where we buried
A jar full of pennies and marbles!

You shine like a stolen radio
In the broken window of a pawnshop
You ripple in the wind like your sister’s belt
Nailed it to a tree by the buckle

What a morning that was, this is!
I couldn’t, I can’t close my eyes, I feel
Like a potato clawing its way
Through the dirt to look at the sun

You’ve never been so lovely
You’ve never been so liquid
Like a sky made of metal
Like a sky full of ashes

editors note:

That sight; a quick slipper, though indelible marker. – mh clay

Bow Tie Pasta

March 22, 2022  :: 0 comments

The trunk lid was 20 yards away, twisted by the force of the crash into something like a giant piece of bow tie pasta. She lifted the sleeping bag from the trunk. Mine now, she said. Police sirens dopplered. She hid first among plumes of steam, then in the underbrush, until the cops left. Did they not see her or …

Mercy Glory Cranberry

featured in the poetry forum February 26, 2022  :: 0 comments

Mercy in 2/4 time
Said she craved pomegranate juice

I saw the window flex
& beyond: 19 different greens

& before: a coffee can containing
19 colored pens!

So who slapped the kitchen counter
Flower decal? & who

Else saw the rippling puddle in
The refrigerator enamel?

— I almost saw but sang (as
Always) ‘I refuse—’

& it rippled on without me. Within
Me it rippled in reverse. (There is

A word for this, I ken, or there
Will be) Mercy Mercy

Trace my fingers with the plum
Pen! Mercy Mercy

How much linoleum
Have you converted inverted conveyed

& translated? O here
Is the sun, awestruck & amazed

Mercy he would like to borrow
Some of your pens

editors note:

Oh, mercy, me! Pass the pens. – mh clay

A Brush with Something Crazy

featured in the poetry forum November 27, 2021  :: 1 comment

A brush with something crazy
In the back of the barbershop
Some rice that did not cook up right
In the porcelain bowl

We could save the bowl by hanging
A galaxy gone wild (lots of impasto)
Just above it, or (my bad) is that
A frolicking salamander?

Nothing can save the rice
We should try again. Or should we.
Something has driven the parakeet insane
It might be the smell

Of the ancient comic book
Left in the table drawer, microscopic
Fragments of Steve Ditko &
Wood pulp engaging the olfactory

What parakeet could inhale such things
& remain sane? We are always one afternoon
At most from madness. You know
You should keep the lid on the boiling rice

And yet you have to check! Anyone can
Load up the brush with paint
& swirl it around, it does not make you
Van Gogh. It makes me nervous

Though. Brewing a new universe is easy,
Brewing decent coffee is not,
But you can do it if you take your time
& pay attention. The crazy parakeet

Couldn’t do it. Not in the back
Of the barbershop, anyway.
Just watch the traffic lights change, Polly,
& stop your swearing.

editors note:

Can’t paint perfection with a broad brush? S#*t! – mh clay

Night of 1000 Parties

November 20, 2021  :: 0 comments

The border between Paterson and Clifton is a double white line that runs down the middle of Crooks Ave. There was a party on Crooks Ave. one Saturday night. It was not as much fun as Ramon had anticipated. As it wound down, Ramon and a Clifton girl wandered into the cemetery on the Paterson side of the street and …

Awesome Breakfast Sandwiches

featured in the poetry forum August 15, 2021  :: 0 comments

They have awesome breakfast sandwiches
Probably excellent too is the coffee although
I use it just to give my milk my milk a tiny jolt
I can’t say for sure. The front window faces west so
I graze in a dim glow of reflected windshields
There is no direct sun till late afternoon when
I am no longer looking for a breakfast sandwich.

They have awesome breakfast sandwiches
The radio is tuned to Spanish spawts talk, just a
Low murmur in the background thank God &
Surely for the benefit of the kid who keeps
The self-serve coffee urns full, everybody else is
Russian with 5 words of English, or so I thought
Till the girl who makes the sandwiches

(They have awesome breakfast sandwiches) &
Arranges them under the heat lamp said to me
‘I sing and I have bass guitar which bald man
At the brew pub gave me. I would like to be
In your band.’
I do not have a band. Should I
(I wondered) tell her I do have a band? It
Would (I concluded) be a terrible mistake.

I’m sorry, I don’t have a band, I said. I think
You are mistaking me for somebody else. ‘No,’
She said, ‘Is not a mistake. You are somebody
Else.’

She arranged the awesome breakfast
Sandwiches under the heat lamp & later as I
Sipped my probably excellent coffee I
Began to think about what to call my band.

editors note:

First hit single won’t fly without the right damn name. – mh clay

A Blue Foot

May 22, 2021  :: 0 comments

Matt went outside to smoke and play with his phone. Quentin started on the dishes. Everybody had ordered the lasagna, so the dishes had to soak in the hot soapy water forever. This loosened up the dried sauce and cheese but the water got so filthy so fast that he had to drain and refill the sink three times in …

Gangsters in a Haunted House

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

The ghosts don’t like your cheap cigars, Jimmy
They don’t like you tuning the radio to the Dodgers every night
Ghosts don’t dig the Dodgers
They do like Rita’s low cut dresses & they think
She should sit closer to the storm lamp
In the kitchen sometimes

Also, they wish you would stop flipping that coin, Jimmy
They hate it when you yell at Rita
Especially when it’s about nothing at all
Which is always what it’s about
Rita is really nice, is what they think
So you should cut it out
And while you’re at it, they think, you should

Send Beans & Petey One Eye to the A & P, Jimmy
& tell them stop buying that shitty beer which nobody
Likes but you & Beans. The ghosts think
You should get some Pabst Blue Ribbon or maybe
All kindsa spooky stuff could start happening
Blood coming outta faucets & mirrors with monster faces
A bag of Doritos would be good too.

editors note:

Spectre’ly sound advice. – mh clay

Teenage Pagan Hell Cat at the Altar of Eros

featured in the poetry forum February 7, 2021  :: 0 comments

Don’t touch those empty beer cans
Leave your Magic Marker in your pocket
This calls for spray paint & science

I am sitting in a puddle soaking my underpants
I am smiling cuz the shrooms kicked in
& I can see the glowing trails of the stars!

No wait it is raining. Who has the yellow paint?
Paint the “A” in “McHALE” yellow
It was chiseled in the tombstone by some

Like guy with a chisel yeah & then
Outline it in black & paint a circle around it
Like it is like sinking in the liquid stone

O god who has the bag of Twinkies? I am
Sopping wet & the sky is on fire, I
Need CARBS. & sex. That is science,

Jeannette. Wait wait that is not paint
That is pepper spray. O Jeannette O
God O God my eyes what have you done

With the Twinkies??

editors note:

The best-laid plans of mushroom (wo)men. – mh clay

Chill Packs

January 9, 2021  :: 0 comments

(Featuring Polly & Molly) Other Characters: Chef Jean-Paul The Ice Man Fifi the Cute French Waitress Harry & Larry Freezer Boy Bob Random Marcy Marcy (does not appear) Cyclops Various narrators & monkeys, who can be played by actors or cardboard cut outs as the budget allows, except where indicated Location: The Walk-in Freezer at the Ritz Carleton, Paris Time: …