Fear / Police / More Fear / More Police

featured in the poetry forum July 4, 2020  :: 0 comments

i

and I am afraid of the police and thankful for the police and afraid
of the police and I rode with the police and one cop was a racist
but another cop was a real cop and we can only focus on the racist cop
as if only he exists when that good cop exists that I rode along with
and maybe he was only good for those 8 hours I was with him
and maybe the racist was only racist for the ∞ hours I was with him
or maybe we use statistics in any way that we want and maybe I’m so lonely
that I ride along with police or maybe it’s a way for me to get over my fear,
capiophobia, how I was in class and a kid said, You know nothing about fear,
because he thought he owned fear and I remember the smoking of pain,
the world running down, how when I was an ambulance driver, a guy
having a heart attack in back, and this cop gave us a police escort
all the way to the hospital and I cried because I hated cops at the time,
fear of the cops at the time, watching this fear try to help save lives
and I remember driving with that good cop and driving down the street
and five people flipped him off, not five people together, but spread apart,
so that the fingers came, the night came, the strange moment, me asking him
if that happens all the time and the cop saying that they’re not flipping him off
but flipping off the uniform, the vehicle, the gun hanging, hidden, above his head,
and I asked if that affects him, the fingers, and he didn’t say anything, the city ugly,
like a disillusion, a fallout, a macro-aggression, a microphone on his chest,
the graffiti on fire, like fire, is fire, destroying a window, destroying a wall, destroying
a mailbox, destroying a mural, a train, a house, a sidewalk, a fire hydrant, a sewer,
destroying a sewer, except you can’t, and they can’t, and I can’t, because the police
are there, and maybe that’s a good thing and maybe that’s hell, but the way we talk
about things in this country’s with the gloves on, one-sided, false, or, worse,
two-sided, as if that’s all that exists, as if no one exists, as if we replace discrimination
with discrimination, as if the end is the beginning, as if we should hate hate, as if
I told my wife, The summer’s coming. We have to get ready for the fires.

ii

a neighbor upstairs says through the thin walls, America’s flag should just be bullet holes . . .

iii

We need you to
paint the bottom of the stairs again
take out the garbage
clean up this shit
clean up this vomit
help with the blood
pick all these dead rabbits out of the barbed wire
commit suicide
take off your pants
put your hands behind your back
shut your fucking mouth
do what I tell you
tell us if this hurts
go back to where you came from
take off your thong
help us with the body
find his finger
get on your knees
tell us what happened
report to human resources
bag up all your clothing
get tested
stand where those footprints are
pretend like you didn’t see this
sit there
kill these birds
find the exit wound
disconnect
search for any UXOs
fill out these forms
paint the bottom of the stairs again

iv

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editors note:

All the feelings, find your UXOs (unexploded ordinance). Read this again… – mh clay

How to Prepare to Watch The Lighthouse

April 11, 2020  :: 0 comments

Don’t be alarmed if alarms alarm in your head. Remember, the lighthouse of your body is in your head. The island of your head. I have a head. It alarmed during the film. But this is because I am a horror fan and this was horror is horror and I got in an argument with a Poet Laureate from Minnesota …

I Had a Girl Ask Me to Marry Her After a Month

featured in the poetry forum July 29, 2019  :: 0 comments

I could imagine her going to the dentist and saying, “You wanna do a coronary bypass on me today?”

Or her going to the zoo and asking the workers if they wanted to open up all the gates.

Or her going to a tattoo artist and saying, “Cover my entire back. With whatever you want. I trust you.”

I’m not somebody you marry. Hell, I’m not even somebody you hire. If you don’t believe me, just ask the long list of my previous job interviewers. They all looked at me and said, “I would not marry you.”

My parents’ dog loves me though, so that’s pretty awesome. She licks my face and I run to the bathroom yelling, “Gross!”

I used to do security at a town dump where people could take or leave anything they wanted. It was next to a skiing area called Suicide Hill. True story.

As an EMT, I transported a woman who said she was a vampire. I thought she might try to bite me, so I didn’t take her blood pressure. We took her to a psych ward. When I went inside, I whispered to the nurse that the patient thinks she’s a vampire and the nurse said, “Then let’s get her to bed before the sun comes up.”

The best girl I ever got to sleep with was one who wouldn’t have sex with me. We just slept. But she was really good at it. She was warm and soft and smelled like dice.

I watched the entire first season of Breaking Bad alone in the office where I worked in China. The boss said I could use the company’s DVD player. The only problem was that the office was supposed to be haunted, so it created all this extra tension to the show. I’d press pause sometimes and listen, worried that I’d heard something that was sneaking up to kill me. Then I’d go back to watching the teacher destroy his life. It reminded me of me.

editors note:

The best answer to the question,”Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” …still as me (I hope). – mh clay

We are Approaching 50 and We are Scared Because of Our Jobs

featured in the poetry forum February 2, 2019  :: 1 comment

They are not respectful
jobs.
Melissa is a clerk and she says
her legs have been chopped off
from standing when she should be sitting.
Joe works in a shoe shop
and says that he would murder
a shoe
if you could murder a shoe
but you can’t murder a shoe

because he has tried,
taking an ax
to his shoes,
drunk,
chopping with the assurance
of a salesman.
And I work security,
which means that people talk to me
like I’m a cop
with no authority,

which I am,
letting me know
that it’s OK with them
if I commit suicide
as long as my suicide
is a vacation,
as long as it is quiet and behaved,
locked in a corner
where the magazines
rot.

editors note:

Outrageous! Such flagrant ageism, job-ism, who cares-ism. I’m scared, too. (While we have enjoyed Ron’s work in our Short Stories forum for a few years now, we are pleased to welcome Ron to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read all of his madness, short stories and poems, on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

And

featured in the poetry forum November 16, 2018  :: 0 comments

They didn’t know it,
but there were hazmat buildings
right next to an elementary school.
We were separated by a deep ravine
and trees that I was told

couldn’t be removed
without biohazard gear,
the branches so infected
that you could break them open
and a devil made entirely made of snow

would pop out.
Through a small clearing
I found a spot
where I could see the elementary school
looking like a romantic comedy film star

sunning on a boring Tuesday.
I screamed to it
to run
but it didn’t listen.
I turned around

and went back in the building
where I was told
I would be exposed to radiation
whether I liked it or not.
I didn’t.

editors note: We may bloom toxic now, but half-life is forever. – mh clay

Water

featured in the poetry forum September 10, 2018  :: 1 comment

People ask me
if I believe in God
and every time they do
I think of kissing her neck
from behind with her hands
in the sink, holding the wine
carafe like she loved glass.

editors note:

Love (and cleanliness) is next to what you believe. – mh clay

For the Love of Santa

August 26, 2017  :: 0 comments

Ever since I was a zygote, my father told me that Santa wasn’t real. I’d unwrap my presents on Christmas and afterwards he’d show me all of the receipts and tell me that they didn’t come from the North Pole but from KMart. He’d tell me it would be physically impossible to live on the North Pole unless you’re a …

The Gun Shop

May 13, 2016  :: 0 comments

The gun shop sign, I have to admit, was shimmering. Other than that, it was a piece of shit, but the sun blessed the thing when I drove up. I was armed with statistics. My hands were shaky. I’d wanted to do this for a long time. I knew how many kids kill themselves with guns each year. I had …

Ado

July 27, 2015  :: 1 comment

I had a girlfriend who got caught up in a tornado. And I mean up. An actual tornado. It was in Iowa, I think. One of those shitty vowel states. She was babysitting and took the kids to a silo apocalypse shelter that the crazy farmer dad had made and the youngest kid wanted her stuffed giraffe named Ollie or …

Hoot

October 10, 2014  :: 0 comments

Shirtless and covered in blood, I walked into the Hooters. John Donne said, God is an angel in an angel, and a stone in a stone, and a straw in a straw. God is a bloody, shirtless man in a Hooters in a bloody, shirtless man in a Hooters. I’d fallen on glass. I was drunk. My sister worked there. …