phantom

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

there’s an itch between my shoulder blades —
the hardest place to scratch.

i convert to contortionism
and learn to fold myself in fourths.

i dislocate my shoulderbones attempting to eradicate discomfort,
but i break the joint so often, it never has time to heal.

i jump through hoops
and give no second thought to my safe landing.

i trust the ligaments have not yet worn away.

i reach toward the middle of my back:
touch the premonition of a stabbing,
scratch a scab that’s not yet formed,
place my fingers on a wound
that’s yet to come.

editors note: Oh, the pain we have in anticipation of the pain we haven’t. – mh clay

absent company

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

the birds know that cold shit ain’t right,
flood their way to warmer skies, spoon themselves
across the equator two at a time and i
fly in the other direction–

North:

to the cold // crisp // dirty
snow that’s been dragged through arctic mud a thousand times.

sweat steams off my forehead,
escapes into eyebrows for just a moment of rest.
i wasn’t made for rest
the way the birds were
taking their sunny vacations at the first sight of snow.

“if you want something no one has, you must do what no one has done.”

i become an explorer, searching
for the aurora borealis under my skin
so i can become light itself.

i will have a feast upon my flesh
picking, searching for something beyond myself to offer to the stars
and when my motivation is filled with holes,
the cold will creep into the hollows of my bones
and inescapable madness will burrow its way into my nervous system.

the principle of entropy:
we have a habit of watching things rot.

i melt under pressure like ice cubes in the palm of a hand.
i search for starlight in my esophagus
to release it in the dead of night with a ceremonious scream
asking the ancients if i will be remembered
past my time.

editors note:

Accolades to those bold explorers who conquer the wastes, personal and geographical. (We welcome Marisa to our crazy conclave of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

how it unravels:

featured in the poetry forum March 22, 2018  :: 0 comments

me. string. disappearing act looking for the starting knot // tongue- // tied like magician’s scarves that amble without end. mind. twirling. riptides causing ruckus & mayday causing mayhem // a phantom limb of preconceived notions affixed to your wrists & feet. it starts with me // absent. turning trickster in the half- // moon. light as a feather that flaunts its impermanence in wind. the beginning is // me. flimsy. wound up too tight to be wrapped around a hand // & unable to wrap my mind around companionship // i don’t cut myself enough // slack.

editors note:

How it comes with “no strings attached.” – 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.

editors note:

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