Hey, Walt!

featured in the poetry forum July 17, 2008  :: 0 comments

Main Street Disneyland
Technicolor cartoon fairytale perfection
Evil always thwarted, endings always happy
The streets were clean
The French Quarter more festive than Bourbon Street
It was wholesome
Those darkies clappin’ spoons and tap dancin’
With wide ivory smiles
“Thank You, Mr. Disney!” they’d say
It made our white hearts proud

But now the streets are filled with trash
The paints jobs bleached and peeling
Bird shit on the fence rails
Cracked glass windows
What happened, Walt?

You promised us every Sunday night
How perfect it would be
But now look!
Cigarette butts, rancid beer piss reeking from
The back corners of Frontierland
And no more darkies
Or buffoon sergeants Garcia cumerbunds
For Zorro’s white “Z”
To make us feel our whitest best
No savage Indians in feather dress
And so much trash

No more the impression, the empty deception
That perfection is perpetually sustainable
Only the rolling balls of paper and waste
Cuz’ there just no one left

No jive-boy
“We’ll white wash’em tasteful
so we can devour ‘em”
Under privileged
Gratefully tap dancin’ darkies
To sweep up

– MH Clay © 2008

Old Generals

July 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

He remembers the glory
The triumphs
He speaks of camaraderie unparalleled
He is a caricature, a cliché
The young soldier sees the battle
Up close and bloody
His buddies die around him
Splattered unrecognizable
They are traumatized
And also, are a cliché

The reason is gone
The need for reason, gone
The story is predictable
Each life the same

Old battlefields, national monuments
Young soldiers on leave,
Fresh from new battlefields, still wet with blood,
Stand and look at empty fields
But can hear the cries and explosions
Old generals bring wreaths
Wear medals and sashes
Long deaf to those cries
Long blind to the smoke and still, finally still, bodies
Long bored with the thrill of conquest
Calloused to the moral dilemma
The hard choices –
These young lives
For all those others
The greater good
For this small evil
No purpose is so great, anymore

But young soldiers look for leaders
Someone to follow
To articulate and emote
Only old generals
Wooden icons
To fuel the great ideal

The old generals
Are no longer enamored by any
For them it’s all the same
Bloodshed, glory
No matter, no consequence
Only the haunting of old decisions
Gone wrong
History written
From which no one will learn

The old general looks upon the memorial field
And is embarrassed to catch himself
Indulging in such adolescent fatalism

It’s full circle
In the end, it’s only a green field
Fertilized with old bones
Mulch for the trees


July 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

Wrap words around vision
Feelings, tangible happenings
Liberated doves, flapping boisterously upward
Into such a sky
Rushing to freedom

The door of my bone chamber
Creaks open to reveal long horizons
A whole life, a thrilling tangle
Of past and fantasy

Propriety would dole out tools
To dissect, separate the two
Splayed, naked under stark light
Reward those who will denounce
Ally with the one, accuse the other
Grow up, mature, denounce

While I run back into the mass
A child again
Racing, reveling
Laughing out loud at the wonderful sensation
That comes with a two-armed
Grasping embrace of clouds

Deconstructing Pettiness

July 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

When they knock you down
And step on you
Say those things that demean
And deflate
Do those things that undermine
Upset your self-confidence
Whack a hole in your sails

You think of them
With skin peeled back
To expose a puny brain
An undersized heart
Yeah, when they’re exposed
Their duplicity and arrogance
Will be made plain to all

That’s the way it should be
Make them see themselves
Maybe then they’ll learn

It never works that way
They step on us, from me to you
To higher planes
Near the top
Making their plans
That don’t include us
Behind and forgotten

Aw, shit!
This is maudlin
And morose

I see the same thing
In my mirror sometimes

‘Til I walk around a bit
In everyone else’s shoes
Listen to their stories

Even those assholes have their fears


July 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

If you don’t like’em
If presentation or context falters
If you don’t like’em
How their drivel your good mood alters
Don’t endure’em

Take out your tool
Your wisdom for the fool
Turn’em clockwise or counter
Command the encounter
Forcefully direct their gaze
To take in the other view
A different from their mother view
Stick your fingers in the dike
To stop the leak’em

But, when I’m feelin’ bleak
When too tired or dumb to speak
I need a higher plane to seek
Baby, help me
I need a tweak
Roll out your love to meet me
Soften the blows that beat me
Batter my balance and unseat me

I would rather lie down
My anxieties tie down
I would fly down
And up and ‘round
‘Til you wire up and freak me
Baby, help me
Tweak me with your love
Tweak me with a shove
Over the brink
Into the drink
Heels over head and back from the dead
I love you baby, tweak me
With your love
Tweak me with your love

Tweak me
Tweak me
Tweak me


July 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

I’m a drone
I’m here to fuck the queen
And die
I defy my insect destiny
I will not drone
I will chrysalize
I will complete the change
From worm to butterfly

Behind my myriad eye
My soul is that of a butterfly
But, you can’t see me
You’re caught up with the challenge
Of so many mirrors
In which to admire yourself
You can never see beyond yourself

You’re the drone
Not I
You can fuck the queen and die
Not I

(By the way, the queen told me
You have a little honeybee dick
And you always come too soon)

My People

July 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

My people are something special
I identify with my people
My people get me
I am somebody with my people

My people is how I cope with insecurity
You may be something, but not to my people
My people keep me once removed
I’m insulated by my people
My people is how I put you in your place
You may have clout, but not with my people

My people will work it out with your people
Superior by far are my people
My mentioning your people is just my concession
I am being polite
But I mean to have my way
My people ensure that I will
I am guaranteed success by my people

I don’t have to take risks
I don’t have to be vulnerable
I don’t have to look at you
I don’t have to let you look at me
I don’t have to stand on my own merit
I don’t have to think about acceptance without merit
I don’t have to
My people love me

And you are not my people

Pentecostal Pastel

July 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

Pale blue leisure suit
White dress white shoes
Polyester beige and brown houndstooth
Platform shoes
The preacher’s suit
Is jet black
To best offset his diamond pinky-ring
An accusing eye
Which exposes our envy and our greed

We will go forth at altar call
Our weekly repentance
From our lives of dissipation and excess
Our idle amusements bible study talk and talk
Eat cake drink milk talk more
We’re overcome and Spirit filled
The secret language God’s converse
From our sinner’s lips is spilled
“see my tie”
The sisters praise
Loud Hallelujahs with arms upraised
“a ree bo bo”
We stammer so
Little babes with clumsy tongues
We stutter and we hum

All the elders raise their hands
To thank their dogma and their god
Their replication of generations
Of stand up sit down
Jericho marchin’ the chapel round
To trap our evil lusty demons
‘Til the walls crumble
In our jabberin’ jumble of noise

Who can stand
As He did stand?
Why, none of us can
But it’s OK now, how can we be?
Tall as strong as divine as He?
Not one
No matter
Just speak and bleat
And keep up the patter
To be exempt

Even donkeys, dumb asses
With braying mouths
Have uttered sounds which qualified
As God talkin’ to Himself

“see my tie
A repo bo
A repo see my tie”

Oh, my

– MH Clay © 2008


June 9, 2008  :: 0 comments

Our sunshine turns the air orange
We wheeze and grin
And take it all in
We’re fighting over apples
In the produce section
We’re roasting
Beneath the sun’s convection
We’re melting on concrete
Wish you were here

We’re scrambling for sustenance
Bony, brain dead children
Are eating dust
And shitting blood
Our ground is saturated
By the floods
We’re surrounded by decrepitude
And rust
Wish you were here

We’re pushing through it
Bringing joy and angst to it
Yes, it sucks
But we make the ducks
Which trim the tops of our Mohawks
We’re strong together
We’ve learned to absorb the shocks
Wish you were here

We’re wondering about the reckoning
The penalty for heeding the beckoning
Seeing the wonder
Consuming the plunder
We’re pondering the question
“How?” and “Why?”
And submitting our suggestion
Couldn’t it be different?
Couldn’t there be change?
Would that be too dissident
Too alien and strange?
We’d like to talk it over
A path to walk it over
Wish you were here

We feel the pain, we hear it
The children giving up the spirit
The humiliation, the shame
The crying of shattered souls
The passing of fathers
The filling of holes
The struggle to make sense
Of the silence and perceived indifference
We need to bear that
Someone to share that
Wish you were here