Featured Poems

IMMIGRANT REFLECTION

by on November 18, 2018 :: 0 comments

In my country
we only dressed for church
and let our privates dangle
otherwise. We studied
the webs of spiders, the
flight of swallows, the
whims of the wind.

We never learned much.
How to catch a fish.
How to dip in dance.
How to wait out the weather.

Back there we thought
that was enough. We
honored dogs, fed them first,
sprawled in the sun and tried
to howl in greeting.

We had some rules. People
brought things they’d found
to church and took other
things home. Sometimes
just a smooth rock or a flower
or a feather.

It was like touch chess here.
If you picked it up you had to
keep it and if you brought
it back the next week
people shook their heads.

But nobody would bite you,
not for that. I left before
I learned how we reproduced.
Maybe the same as here, dipping
and howling. I’m trying to
figure it out. What’s
different, what’s the same.

I’d go back. It doesn’t seem
right to wear jeans all day
scrunched on a sofa out of the sun.
I miss my dog. But I’ll
get over it. It’s part of the game.
I gave this girl a pebble
and she smiled.

– Tony Gentry

editors note: Custom can be consternation for newcomers. – mh clay

Vapor Creation and The Artist at Rest

by on November 17, 2018 :: 0 comments

Smoke begets smoke
and men who say begets

fading wisps of men
like this one
here again on flimsy pages
which are actually screens before men
this man here begets smoke
and lets it summon whatever
strings of men and other things
that it can get spinning
through any natural air
as if they where a toy
a frail whirl of a toy
here again at the end of a grip
that’s forever bound to this man
and all that he begets

editors note: Slip a slice from the infinite string, see if the smoke swirls there. Then pick another… – mh clay

And

by on 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.

– Ron Riekki

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

Sonnet on Mind

by on November 15, 2018 :: 0 comments

When reflecting on the nature of mind
Of what wit or wisdom do we dare speak?
For the wind in the sky is all we find,
In a round and round game of hide and seek.
It’s mind over matter, sages surmise;
With power of mind as their driving force
Deductive logicians philosophize
From ‘We think, therefore we are…’ as the source.
We muse; we spin, in dreaming delusion,
Our webs of thought, until nought we behold,
And heady with sense, fall in confusion.
Or is yet the end of the story told?

As our labyrinth journey turns and twists,
We lose our way in miasmas and mists.

editors note: We can, head down, arms tucked, sneak by; or stride through, head up, arms wide. – mh clay

THE SKY CAN FALL AND WE CAN HIDE IN CLOUDS

by on November 14, 2018 :: 0 comments

How do you know which day it is when night falls
or the minute hands within an hour’s seconds,
but we can draw the stars across our trees
and count leaves, the breeze, their seeds.

Tomorrow may be too late to remember
and the face of the clock too obscure to forget,
but we can drive into the ocean darkening
and watch shadow blackening, harkening.

Last evening the Northern Star fell from grace,
plummeted into our garden’s late afternoon tea,
but we heard it’s echo—its echo?–in its final falling,
stalling, calling, trembling into a kind of crawling.

editors note: Cloaking clouds, umbrella sky; loudly rips the hole where stars fall through. (We welcome Michael to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Drinking Old Scratch & Another Night In The Local Nick

by on November 13, 2018 :: 0 comments

Rinse and fucking repeat…
why do you keep doing this to yourself?
There is something important,
fundamental, broken inside of you,
but the doctors either can’t find it,
or simply do not understand.
AA only gets some of it right,
there’s more, it’s deeper…
spiritual, like a damn soul-sickness,
a pox, curse and cancer of the mind.
How long will they keep you in this time?
It won’t be more than necessary,
not like when you were in your prime,
and they enjoyed trying to torture you…
now you’re labelled ‘Chronic’
and more an annoyance than a challenge.
One more Styrofoam cup of lukewarm water,
and the SHAKES are shifting gear.
You spit upon your grubby fingers,
and use it to rub the dried blood
off your ghost-like face.
Not for appearance sake,
but, because when you are released,
you already know,
that your first steps of freedom
are taking you to one of two places…
the nearest barstool,
or, depending upon how many pennies
you have in ‘Property’ … shoplifting first.

editors note: It’s an acute flair-up, or a drawn out affliction. Either way, take your meds and move on. – mh clay

A Sad Bastard of Syria

by on November 12, 2018 :: 0 comments

I broke into your soul and wondered where I was
Dante’s inferno was a rest home in comparison
Colours of your cruelty met me, envy greens of
Jealousy and raw red of anger with the purple
Of rage and the stinging smell of badness engulfed
Me as I shivered and tried to shrive your shadow
What conception birthed a mongrel so gross so lacking?
What is a soul that has no connection to humanity?
I broke into your soul not to heal you nor to understand
The whirling dance that you have ascribed as yours
Is the melting pot dance of all the Devils of Hades
My goodness is eroded by your evil as you contaminate
I broke into your soul to find a devil equal to your hate
There is none

editors note: Do you, once in, attempt to assuage? Or, hightail it the hell out of there? – mh clay