Featured Poems

Photoengrave, Attuned to Shadow

by on April 20, 2019 :: 0 comments

Light chased and you carried its weight.
When we spoke, you saw, illuminated our words.
Can’t photograph breaths but what’s breathing,
used to speaking to ghosts, rarely seeing ourselves
lucky with eyes but few measure colors between black and white.

How we’re attuned to shadows isn’t as beautiful as how
we’re exposed in light that speaks for our story.

We see you in dark rooms, measuring
what we see, as we are, how we are.

Vision is but eyes aren’t perpetual so hold to this—
as you saw us
as we hope we sound—profound, ignited bends in shades.

Permanent swirls in static.

editors note:

This is Tyler’s tribute to our friend and Mad Brother, Dan Rodriguez. Dan has moved on to the next great adventure and we will miss him greatly. No one could bring our words to light like he could. – mh clay

I just can’t…

by on April 19, 2019 :: 0 comments

I had the weather channel on
for an hour and I feel
like every memory I hold is
anvil heavy, every tear
flowing across Interstate 10,
every bad day I owned, is
day one for the unaware

survivors have rights, unpaid
freedom charged against the horrors

my tongue is black
tomorrow will never come
and your best dream is
swirling in a gutter of disbelief

it looks like rain

editors note:

Black skies, black tongue. Need a soul slicker to weather these storms. – mh clay

Intensive Care Unit

by on April 18, 2019 :: 0 comments

The night nurse
clad in surgical tape
dispenses antiseptic grace
and sleepwalks
through her coffee break
fighting to stay awake
in the code blue
fluorescent fog
of all those yawning beds
full of tired old dogs
in the sunshine of death.

– Stew Jorgenson

editors note:

Thanks to those who deal with us in darkness, lighting our way to a sunny rest. – mh clay

No One Wears Pocket Watches Anymore

by on April 17, 2019 :: 0 comments

he always had his thumb
and index finger in his watch
pocket trying to hold time

it was his ‘prize’ possession
and he held it lovingly
stroked it constantly
chanting to ease its burden

of knowing the exact size
of tomorrow

editors note:

A true nervous tick. – mh clay


by on April 16, 2019 :: 0 comments

We’re closer now
Joined at the synapse
The electronic halo

Compression of space
Quickening of time
Gaining of microns
Splitting of quanta


Coming towards
Coming apart
Of sound
Of light
Of inward flow
Free market
Of outward pulse
Reality that is
More real than
You’ll ever be

Mandating acceleration
Flooding the target
Measuring the path
Showering the neurons
Until another datum
Enters the portal:

But we’ll
Reboot the system
Manufacture the solution
Mix the dopamine cocktail
Invent the savior

We’re closer now
Than we’ve ever been

– Tony Robinson

editors note:

So “close,” but can’t solve the equation for “there.” – mh clay


by on April 15, 2019 :: 0 comments

We thought, I guess, that we could pretend it was all just a tv reality show on a station we didn’t get. Where they jack boys (and girls) up on 5-Hour Energy shots, wrap them in Kevlar and canvas, and drop them in the desert with weapons out of space movies to rampage or whatever. Where some nerd in a silo in Charlottesville steers a joystick swabbed with steri-wipes, what the President calls surgical strikes, which just means somebody else does the cleanup. The frakking channel, the oil shale channel, the hole in the ocean floor channel. The mystery series: bee deaths, whale beachings, backyard coyotes, polar bear strandings, fire ants, the waning of butterflies. To us it’s senseless: the campus gang rapes, the trigger-happy cops, the arsonists, students with automatic rifles gone rogue, the suicides, the cancers buying radiologists condos. We buy better locks, rig cameras in the garage, work two jobs when we can find them. We do get that the circle of those we can trust dwindles by the year. Old farmer’s sayings we’ve forgotten or snort at, beer bubbling from our snouts. Things like, chickens come home to roost, reap what you sow, red sky at morning, the whole is greater…

editors note:

And, you can lead a horse… Wait, where’s the water? (We welcome Tony to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


by on April 14, 2019 :: 0 comments

Pick me up
So I can
Begin Today
This is where
I was left

Having given purpose for a day
I’m glad I did
Hope I fixed
The way I’d imagined
Since we never try to remember

You thought I’d stay down
Remain silent
You know me better than

If you hate it
Stop helping me load this gun
But ain’t it shiny?
Yeah I like shiny shit too
‘S why I like you

Pick me up
I’m not going to
You need me like I am
And I need to begin

There just may
A poem in
Here somewhere
Esoteric rubber bullets directly striking

If you don’t pick me up
I’ll have to begin

From down here

– Adriane Nero

editors note:

A tender target; shouts from the shooting gallery. Lock and load. – mh clay