To An Artificial Plant

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

Look at you
as I do
a replica of something true
completely fake
of polymer and wire
and yet
from every angle
in our living room
you look to be a
living bloom
what’s it like
to be a fraud?
Or is it natural for you
To pull off this skit
And con us all that
you’re legit?
In spite of all your artifice
the strain within must be intense
to hold this pose
this civil stance
while deep down
you quake
lest we see
you’re just a facsimile
we could learn a thing or three
watching you
your quiet guile
sitting in a plastic pot
pretending to be what you’re not
smiling your synthetic smile

editors note: Questions real from what is fake from who can tell who’s on the take. (We welcome Paul to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Extrapolation

featured in the poetry forum June 13, 2017  :: 0 comments

Sitting at the breakfast table, reading the newspaper
Trying to guess what the market will do this week
Is like
Standing at the edge of earth with a telescope
Trying to figure out the universe
And discovering it is impossible
From this perspective
Because the future is bigger than the past
And the past is bigger than anything we know

Standing at the edge of the universe
Without a telescope
Looking at where it is expanding to and
Measuring yourself against its immensity
Is like
Going to counseling
Just the three of you
In this cubicle smaller than Galileo’s closet
Trying to figure out who will say what
And wondering why you’re
Wasting your time and your money on
This shit
Because the more you look at each other
The smaller you get

editors note: Agoraphobics prefer closet to conjecture. - mh clay

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

September 23, 2016  :: 0 comments

“Did you come?” She was quiet, laying there on her back, her eyes closed. I guessed she did. She acted that way. I was just asking. She didn’t answer. I felt stupid asking a second time, but did anyway. “Did you come?” I asked. “Yes! Yes!” she said in an exasperated tone. “I did.” “Sorry,” I said. “Don’t be sorry. …

The Summer Breeze

featured in the poetry forum December 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

As summer winds down
The wind blows really hard
Right around Labor Day
After dinner
The trees get all breezy
You can feel the wind’s strength
It’s trying to say something
It’s the summer saying good-bye to fall
Or the fall saying goodbye to summer
Someone’s saying good-bye to someone else
I’m not sure
Who’s blowing a kiss to whom
But it is a hot kiss
Good-bye kisses can be hot
I got one once
From a girl I betrayed
For another
I was a wretch
And that last kiss was a doozy
She opened her mouth all the way
Inviting my tongue in there
Which I said ‘no’ to
Thinking she might lop it off
In spite
But she wouldn’t have
She really loved me
Her mouth said so
Wordlessly
She let me know
The next time I want her smoldering lips
They will not be there
The next time I want someone to listen to me
It won’t be her ears listening
The next time I want the comfort
Of her arms
They’d be gone
But I wouldn’t listen
I was a wretch
And a week later the girl
I dumped her for
Dumped me
That should have made me philosophical
But it made me hard inside
Wanting to take vengeance on every woman
On earth
But that didn’t happen
Because all the women I met
Found me unattractive
Being wretched and
Loathing yourself
Will do that
And it deprived me getting to know
Girls I could have
At least talked to
So this makes me philosophical
Thinking again about the trees and the wind and summer
And everything
Is the fall kissing the summer good-bye
With a smile on its smoldering lips
Saying, ‘Adios, motherfucker
Your time’s up?’
Or is it the summer bidding adieu to
The fall
With a pithy riposte like
‘See you in the funny papers’?
Either way
There will be a rendezvous
Between the fall and winter
The winter and spring
Spring and summer
Each one thinking they got the better of
The one in front or back
Don’t they realize there is this thing
Called payback?
And whenever you think you’re
One up on someone else
Next time it’s your turn
In the box
Summer doesn’t know
Fall doesn’t know
Winter doesn’t know
Spring hath not a clue
But the wind knows
When the wind blows
And the wind blows
All year long

editors note: Summer breeze with Fall between a Winter freeze to bring an allergic introspective sneeze. 'Tis an ill wind... - mh clay

Two Assholes

August 17, 2014  :: 0 comments

There are lots of ways to get fired. Take today, for example—a call from dispatch that I should attend a nine o-clock meeting. And it’s Friday. I’m not talking about reasons for getting canned—just the methodology, the setup, the protocol. But I’m observant, notice I didn’t say smart, just observant. I watched a year ago in dispatch when Bob S. …