this was the first time I’d seen gangrene

featured in the poetry forum April 27, 2017  :: 0 comments

this was the first time I’d seen gangrene

afterward I had a portrait drawn of me
I paid nothing for it
tho he only needed
15 dollars to grab a bed to sleep for the night
it was 100 degrees and the air
soured

this was the first time I’d seen gangrene

it grew from his leg like fungus
hard as sponge
soft and death-like against the pants he struggled
to pull up
the color was dull
and muffled

I forced the thin white paper into my bag
knowing it would crease and tear
knowing it
would come to nothing in some trash bin
somewhere

this was the first time I’d seen gangrene

editors note:

Disturbed; would draw the disease, while the disease draws you. – mh clay

…and the floorboards were golden

featured in the poetry forum December 1, 2016  :: 0 comments

so that you ran your tongue against them
carving and chipping bone and screw

so that you were forgetful
unable to piece together what had come before

so that you pulled your knees up to your chin
blind to dirt and dust and scruff and tar

so that you took to running knifed edges across grain
drawing up curled veins

so that each needled point penetrated the skin
and left glitters of light in their path

so that with each step the surface gave slightly sinking
marking your footprints your face prints your palms

so that at night it appeared as it did before
but for the metallic taste

so that even though your outside mildewed with collapse
the inside shone brightly in the sun

editors note:

Many reasons for the color of the floor. Name yours… – mh clay

Suburban Sprawl

featured in the poetry forum June 14, 2016  :: 0 comments

We each had good, green lawns.
Well-trimmed;
manicured.

There was this bit once, I tagged myself
in a photo in front of my lawn titled,
Just mowed the lawn #housework #weekends

It was featured on my Instagram page.

We each had one of those, too.
Well-manicured;
quite serious.

There was a time when I used a pseudonym
but I shouldn’t misrepresent myself;
luckily Facebook had me change it back.

It was the right thing to do.

We each had an online presence.
Tied to our life;
our job.

What you say or do online can impact you
in reality, it should impact how you live,
we all understand that.

It is the small price you pay for progress.

editors note:

On line is our new reality; so, mind your emojis. “It’s the right thing to do.” – mh clay

Intergalactic Hitch

featured in the poetry forum November 29, 2015  :: 0 comments

hollow skeleton hobo
poets hang on branches
in the sun, weightless
like bird’s wings
flapping old toothless
jaws, readin’ with
archaic sounds,
swinging torn shoes,
biting tin collars,

up on the wire
handkerchief to break
impending fall, over
all beady heads
singing songs,

tweed jackets like
lightning spark up
a breeze, a fantasy
shower, there’s not much
left in this dimension gate
they gotta be going
no one listening no one
believing,

there, out there,
beyond that golden orb
is another gal-
axy far gone

ears and eyes
to turn on

flowers to give
gardens to sow.

editors note:

After the poets conquer this world, there’s always the next one… – mh clay

A conversation with TIME

featured in the poetry forum May 23, 2015  :: 0 comments

Time looks at me
for a long, uncomfortable while
turns its head and spits
quasar star-birth, black hole words,
language as a road map through existence.

I say I ain’t got no place to go,
that it hasn’t happened yet,
which is the truth from where I’m looking.

He reads me back my lines,
nothing has ever happened
you aren’t even here, and I am not this.

But, that’s not what I say, I say,
and it’s never been heard.

editors note:

Can’t win this debate. Best keep those questions rhetorical! (We welcome Tom to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page.) – mh clay

I Once Appeared to William Blake in a Dream

featured in the poetry forum December 8, 2014  :: 0 comments

I once appeared to
William Blake in a dream,
I was in mourning,
for daylight had passed into night,
I was a shadow lurking
and he called out
to a vision of me,
through me,
it was raining outside my window,
there were long streaks and
gray streets, obscured,
I could not make out his cry,
it was muffled by oozing time,
by corporeal pain, by loosened screw,
I tasted stale wine on my tongue,
he retched at the smell
and I saw in that moment
I was but a phantom stretching out,
bleeding into void,
I was the nothingness sent to take him,
I was the coward stranger,
the burning savior,
I once appeared to
William Blake in a dream.

editors note:

One man’s vision is another man’s dream? What’s the difference? – mh clay

We look at you

featured in the poetry forum March 11, 2012  :: 0 comments

I saw your craigslist ad,
I nearly cried, 39 years
old and no one left to watch TV,
looking for someone 30-40
to hang out with at their home,
or someone else’s home, a home
you don’t know, haven’t known,
they’ve lived all their lives without you,
you starting over at 40, on the internet
looking like this, typing this and leaving
it for us to find, and we look at you
unable to understand what makes
someone do this, on white screens
with black type, and it’s like
every lie we tell ourselves about
life before bed were washed away,
leaving nothing but the truth we pretend
isn’t there

editors note:

The high definition view reveals every pore and follicle, every little blemish magnified, oddly entertaining; so long as our view is of a someone else. – mh clay