Featured Poems


by on August 18, 2018 :: 0 comments

in heart
of sinner
in judgement

editors note:

Sinners are red, heaven is blue; if we do the praying, then judged by who(m)? – mh clay

Skin Hunger

by on August 17, 2018 :: 0 comments

If skin hunger
were a health emergency
recognized by the World Health Organization,
Gillian’s gentle face would be
plastered on depressing posters
prepared to promote awareness.
She hasn’t done the deed since her divorce
was finalized fifteen years ago
and has misplaced the self-esteem to
foray into physical affection,
especially the sort that requires
copious quantities of exposed flesh.
Bleakly bundled up
in the microtundra of Wisteria Park,
she waxes severe before buying
a box of drugstore chocolate drops,
a chaser to the heart-shaped pizza
that will grease her fingertips
til they glisten like De Beers diamonds
during her Valentine’s dinner-for-one
while she devours a dreamy Doris Day romcom
in the king-size bed where later she’ll
promote her pillow to patient lover.

– Adrian Slonaker

editors note:

Sadly sustaining. Happiness maybe; pillow for now. – mh clay


by on August 16, 2018 :: 0 comments

Laughter in sad. No joy in moil.
Nix snicker at sob. Nor smile
at a broken heart.
At no time, a peal of tears.
Mirthful melancholy. Mourn merrily.
Unhappy cackle.
Josh a weeper. Joke despair.
Yuk no yew. Paint blue with hilarity.
Not guffaw at awful.
Deign chortle at cry.
Forget hearty grief.
Neither giggle at the grave or die laughing.


– Vern Fein

editors note:

Absolutely imperative! Unless, of course… – mh clay


by on August 15, 2018 :: 0 comments

One by one the cliff erodes,
ice bores deeper,
words stop making sense:
abyss, crucify, alliteration—

passion comes in through fog.
Who claims we must remember?
Skin always knows pain.
fingertips happiness, feet satisfaction.

– Michael H. Brownstein

editors note:

We can feel the answers. The questions will come, in time. – mh clay

Permanently Dilated Pupil

by on August 14, 2018 :: 0 comments

Homeward under the railroad bridge
The crab nebula foams like a spilled beer
She’s watching from her window
The snow is sulfur the snow is rubber
The plume of Con Edison steam
Cocks its top hat like Marlene Dietrich

My pupil will never recover
From her lightning bolt t-shirt
From her carbonated beverage
Or her eyebrow
Wrenched into a square root sign
By her indelible stink eye

White bright world spins around random radio tower
Cadmium yellow or Wreck of the Hesperus red
My brain is saturated with terrible light
My sink is full of Woolite
Everything looks like an album cover
Everything sounds like bubbles.

editors note:

Enveloped in evil eye, implosion imminent, in a hiss of bubbles. – mh clay

never thought you can…

by on August 13, 2018 :: 0 comments

never thought you can wear a hat like that
it is perplexing to say the least
that tinglin’… mysterious
– ’cause you only got an indigo sky quake malaise
creeping on the surface from the inside
and an alligator heart beat
and that skull skull sax feather
and that crossbones lightning glimpse in your eyes


and you can pour me that
what i knew was blue
and the sun comes up fencing rays against my chest…

– Smooch…

you got to hold on

take me into my shoulder
by this song so hard
cold lonely bit busted
but you’re a trombone hammer gone away
been crude before
and now it is not
but sad shriek doubts wind…

hold on

Rainbow again
see the window down in my hair
careful red dreams so hot necktie cries
Sweet – breath sublime
mamboing “huh” hook
buttonhole down
thumbs freezing dancing…

on and on

Pretend you slash kiss halfway through
that melody says clap
glance nothing pop
and the roaring cough heaves the dress up
wishing more to come
but nothing knocks out longing…

awkward wavering faltering stiff irresolution

editors note:

More than perpetual patter, this pick-up proposal portends paradise for a perennially patient person (he presumes). – mh clay


by on August 12, 2018 :: 0 comments

“Optics is the philosophy of extracting daylight from night.” In the eternal gloominess
after the withering of a candle, at last he lifted his hands
so dusty with silver grey. People flocked to the pile of ore
he had dug out. “We make a lock out of it,

so daylight will evaporate no more!” Wolfram remained imperturbable
in a Petri dish, shimmering like an unfolding lotus
rising from sacred relics. He looked outside: the earth had been divided into two
by light and shadow. The Old World
in gauzy pink dusk, while oceans in the New World were surging over
a crescent horizon. Once inside the lock cylinder

restless sounds converted into tranquility, spheres of tungsten wires sank and floated up
in branches of the river of night, purged itself of dross
and shone. “Sleep now! The flames on the eastern ranges
will quench it with more heat and light!” They fell asleep with prayers or totems, none of whom rose early the next day

to witness this reunion. Wolfram, a blind saint, wrapped in rays of light
without knowing it, walked past the cliffs, bumped into the sun
but walked again through it, like what he did
back in savage times, he hesitated a moment
wondering what it was, that he was brushing elbows with

– Xiaoyuan Yin

editors note:

Blind blundering; trying not to mistake theory for knowledge. – mh clay