Featured Poems

Letter to my Therapist

by on May 23, 2017 :: 0 comments

Dear Fiona,
My dear therapist
I am sorry
I am sorry for ghost white lies
I say
You labeled me
PTSD or ptsd or PeeTee Es Dee
And blah blah blah
It doesn’t matter, to me
And I told you the flies-in-my-gut truth
The things I don’t remember
That you somehow coaxed me into reliving
I’m still unsure what all I told you that day
It was most certain a unique kind of hell
One I’m sure you have never endured
And now
I notice
your knuckles curl
when I enter your room
How the seat is two feet farther back
I see you tremble, Fiona
And I never knew scars could cut
But I see you bleed
When we pick my scab
I’m sorry Fiona
But I think it’s too late
And this
my friend
Is just a ghost white lie

editors note:

Shared hell, shared fear. No distance can keep so close. – mh clay

WATCHING HIM GO

by on May 22, 2017 :: 0 comments

he might just be that man
sinking into the sidewalk
as you walk by he
smiles at you but
continues downward
to that place we call
vanished
and he is glad to
be seen in his going
to be recognized in
this moment as
a form of finality
a book closed on
a shelf no one will need
to dust again.

editors note:

He might be we are him and all vanish in time, so… It’s nice to be noticed. (We welcome Mark to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

To my child-eyes

by on May 21, 2017 :: 0 comments

from The Baseball Key

To my child-eyes
The gear looked like knights’ armor.
The implicit danger of the aptly titled foul tip and
My nads covered by a reinforced plastic cup
Filled me with a godly fear of death: still I yearned for invincibility.
I liked the heat-too-hot for others. Sweating under the mask,
Spellbound by the illusion no one could see my eyes,
Taking, interpreting, and giving secret signals to the elect.
I had knee-pads like lobster-tails and my shins were painted blue.
The chest I wore let me take blows that would kill grown men.
My mitt was a shield. My right arm a whip-sling.
On the field I was a war-machine.

– Chigger Matthews

editors note:

From a knight of the no-hitters. – mh clay

Moonlighting

by on May 20, 2017 :: 0 comments

My bosses are men.
For seasonal minimum wage
I stand all night after my
daytime office gig
growing corns on my feet
building up that nest egg and
desperate anyway
for anything to keep busy
so I don’t have to brood
melancholy about my latest
soured romance.
No time for breaks
or vacation or illness,
no insurance offered anyway.
Across the hall
is an old ladies shop
and bubble-haired Blanche
in lilac polyester
changes the furs in the window
every other hour —
mink, chinchilla, fox,
I didn’t even know they
still sold pelage anymore,
it passes the time.
And I’m supposed to be
aggressive and
SELL SELL SELL!
(but in a subtle way)
cottons/silks/wood-fiber rayons
at 200% markup
“they’re all natural ma’am
and would you like some tasty
Kama Sutra Oil of Love
to spice things up at home
it’s entirely edible
and isn’t it a fine day?”
But I always get the wrong reply
“Just looking.”
And I’m supposed to be
pleasant to rich
La Jolla matrons with
tanned cheeks pulled tight
below taut botox foreheads,
long strong bodies,
high inflated breasts,
chic shod feet smooth thighs
Rolex, Mercedes-Benz,
American Express,
spare time
“how much is that scarf and
don’t you ever smile?”
(as if it’s their due)
Once, while shopping
for bargains and kicks
in that Wild West
border town Tijuana
where they still sell gas,
food, water, used goods and
political agendas by
hoisting loud noisy speakers
on top of old cars,
just our friendly neighbors
to the South, and me
sitting safe in air-conditioned
station wagon
sipping iced-tea in Tupperware
came a dark-eyed girl with
dirty bare feet
popping belly-straining rusty pins
instead of buttons,
dusky cheeks,
but not from tennis,
nose smashed against window.
On hip, babe dripping snot;
where is the milk
for that dirty bottle
hanging from it’s lip?
And here, por favor
take a ten-spot for that
pack of Chiclets
you’re selling
blatantly ignoring the signs
in the Gringo Hotel
admonishing guests not to give
money to grimy children
on the street selling tokens
so they wouldn’t drop
out of school
and that’s just where
I left my smile, back in
that steamy car
as I insanely hop like a
nocturnal bird on
three-inch tooled leather
heels from Spain.

editors note:

Nothing but a smile for a grimy gal; tryin’ to make a dime where the moon don’t shine. – mh clay

Cosmic Glimmer

by on May 19, 2017 :: 0 comments

In the blink of an eye of eternity,
with ceaseless Darwinian stride
from our earliest stage to modernity,
we dwelt on this earth and we died…

It wasn’t our land though we thought so
while stomping about in our frets.
We rhetorized peace, yet we fought so
throughout our begats and begets.

In a wrinkle of space in infinity
we crowned ourselves king of the sphere,
killing everything in the vicinity
without even shedding a tear.

If only we still could awaken
from dreams that have led us astray
to visions no longer mistaken
of a truly enlightened way…

editors note:

Ah, yes! Waiting to see “enlightenment” be more than just a word we know how to spell. – mh clay

Crater

by on May 18, 2017 :: 0 comments

Being
Indulged
Into silence
Madly,

Stock hold
Of energy scalding
Invisible here.

A thought,
Vague utterance
Of the vast;
A thunder.

Like
The flash of
Lightening
A current of
Brain wave
Trigger.

Erupted
Ember liquid
Golden rim of
Volcano wearing
Crater on my paper
waites the rain.

To become
A lake, where;
I can swim
So deep.

editors note:

Pen pulls poet into paper crater; fire and water ensue. – mh clay

read

by on May 17, 2017 :: 0 comments

you write down
all my excuses
page after page
publish them
in a cheap pocket edition
now you say
you can read me
like a book

– Jim Bennett

editors note:

Barely enough for a back cover blurb. – mh clay