Featured Poems


by on January 19, 2018 :: 0 comments

Flashbacks convoke me to crepuscular hours
when I was about seven at gramps. From
the restroom I could see his renters: didn’t
understand the intimations of their acrobatics
They had me hooked unlike riddles in maths
or what else I was macerating. I would stand
in his washroom ensorcelled by the magic of
their moves, undertaking lessons in addiction
and obsession. I didn’t have a front seat view.
Had I a few centimeters I could have gleaned
those glyphs better.

editors note:

A few centimeters short of a full peep makes for a half-assed view. – mh clay


by on January 18, 2018 :: 0 comments

Every time when I ask my doctor
about the mole
just down my left nostril
he replies that
he observes
the rubble
of a drawing room,
well furnished in the past.
The broken pieces of furniture
and the walls
interpret the devastation
in various ways.
He adds
that rats are often leaping
over full stops
and disappearing
down the cantilever bridge
of the city
which the English built in 1943.

editors note:

Dalliance in this diagnosis makes map to cure impossible to chart. Best learn to live with it. – mh clay

August 14, 2017

by on January 17, 2018 :: 0 comments

When I greet the day
peacefully, you stab
the day with a knife—
a knife that stays,
looks like you,
a pith in the core
of tireless beginnings.
I bleed for you
red alphabets of time.
I bleed, like an ancient
tear in the eye
of the strangest wall,
the impregnable fog
in our midst.

editors note:

Mark your date for your days like this. – mh clay

All Buildings Look like Temples

by on January 16, 2018 :: 0 comments

I put on a mask
who am I fooling
abstraction, regardless
it all comes out the same
what do I do with a moment?
the possibilities reside
in savory endlessness
let’s talk about
what my behavior would look like
if I slipped up for one second
“a fake”
who said that?
out of sync
with the fabric
is that what you thought would happen?
7 days ago
it’s unrelated
& seemingly irrelevant
I’ll let you fill in the blanks
there’s an idea in your head
what were you thinking?
maybe if we move a little bit
then, I’ll feel better
it’s a little more abstract
less personal
the opposite –
is that what you were going for?
I propose
a vulnerable maneuver
grafted onto expectations
no craft –
are you ready to ensue?
did you see that car passing swiftly by you?
I laugh –
no, did you?
it was the corner of the eye
you get the beers
I got the shot
but what’s the difference
this is to my fellow instrument

editors note:

Rancorous cacophony or resonant chord; keep those shots coming. – mh clay

Lunch Poem

by on January 15, 2018 :: 0 comments

All we had to worry about
was where to have lunch. We had
time, money, health, happiness. The pursuit
of lunch down a wide avenue
with restaurants on every corner
was all we had to worry about. And yet
you worried about everything
from war in the Middle East
to ISIS to sepsis to asteroids
to your daughter’s histrionic personality disorder
to climate change to trolls. Please pass
the arugula salad, I said.
There was a brief pause
as you watched me pile lettuce, pine nuts,
cherry tomatoes, slices of ripe avocado
onto my plate. Then you resumed worrying
about the polar bears, the deficit, the flu,
North Korea, Russia, nuclear winter
while I stared out the window
of a fine restaurant in a glass city
in the second decade of the 21st century
and chewed.

editors note:

Some can chew what others find hard to swallow – no worries. – mh clay


by on January 14, 2018 :: 0 comments

The cardboard will lie flat if we want it to. We can lie flat if we want to. We can be a fortress if we want to be. We could keep the washing machines in their boxes. We could stack them into a castle. The dishes would be dirty, but we would be safe. I don’t plan on flattening anything anymore. I plan on becoming a pile of my own efforts. I plan on stacking these poems until his flame loses the oxygen it needs to flourish.

editors note:

For the most part, we feel attention to this specific person only fuels his fire. However, Darren’s poem brings to light the very point: No oxygen, no fire! Fill in the blank with whatever, or whomever, raises your ire. Give that/them none of your air. (This poem comes from Darren’s new collection, A Fire Without Light, released this December by Nixes Mate Books. Get your copy here.) – mh clay

The Only Thing

by on January 13, 2018 :: 0 comments

for Victor Clevenger and Everette Maddox

written down
on the bathroom wall
of the maple leaf bar


tell my mother i love her

somewhere the marrow
of our speech
is always
faint praise

& we are all veterans
of some invisible war

but we still need these memories
& plenty of paper towels
to wash our hands.

editors note:

Soap for the soul – wash up, now. (We welcome John to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay