Featured Poems

Excavate this city.

by on September 30, 2016 :: 0 comments

Excavate this city.
(Dig me out.)

Let love pull whole cities out of me.
Cities filled with everything love ever needed to replace.

Pain is the asphalt, heartbreak builds character
And towers as tall as daylight.

Somebody’s gotta do the dirty work.
Let it be love.

Let love excavate my ego,
my pulsing need to be noticed,
to be vindicated.

Let’s tell the paradise of orgies and organs what we really think of it.

Let’s allow our pain to trap itself,
trap everything else that falls into it,
attracted by the scent.

Pull the worst of me out by the roots,
and burn it until the smoke rises high and asphyxiates
every vile goddamned seraphim who dared to judge me.

You have no city,
you can’t grow or build,
can’t excavate or replace.

The poor bastards only have paradise.

All they got is love,
a medicine deemed useless without the sickness.

Just give it away,
to someone who knows how to fucking use it.
Don’t judge.

I’m collecting cities,
(the ones I haven’t burned to the ground,)
that stand dried out, still and sterile
with calcified hurt and petrified anger.

I place their empty shells next to each other,
a growing black metropolis filled with every single time I hated god,
myself,
or the world,
and tried to prove it.

There are more attempted suicides buried there than demons.
More skyscrapers to my ego and detriment there than I hold inside me now.

Without the tinkerer, excavator, surgeon,
love,
I’d have nuked the whole icky black
growing mass of mess in me
to hell a long, long time ago.

Even a blast crater is better than an empty paradise.

Dig me out, man,
it’s time.
It’s growing bigger than I’m growing.

And I’m getting up there,
haven’t you heard?
Hell, I got heartbreak towers.

Tall as the everlovin morning.

editors note:

Even a pothole repair program is a good start. – mh clay

VISITATION

by on September 29, 2016 :: 0 comments

Three crinoids and a brachiopod in one stone for a fiver,
or a spiraling stalk of an eye cradling the Tethys Sea, perhaps
an eye, perhaps the whole lily-animal reintegrated with death,
something more fossilized in a mirror. It distorts the museum.
It rounds the floor like starlight squeezed back into the stars.
The security footage shows how we blinked and grinned, waiting
for our kids to escape the auditorium. Effie swore it crooked
out of its stone and sprouted green gills. The camera shows zilch.
Just us, standing there, you made a face at our gift card,
bought two picture books, and a key chain. The creature now,
in no other light, has wrinkled eternity beyond us.

– Clyde Kessler

editors note:

What else makes purchase as we exit the gift shop? – mh clay

they do tricks

by on September 28, 2016 :: 0 comments

they do tricks, you know?
the magicians and poets
the artists and makers of song
juggling tongues like lost heroes
begging you to find their way home
forgiving yesterday for tearing the veil away
for uncovering the layers where loss denies truth
where we met and corrupted the night’s dream

they remind you to drown while breathing
to forget while you care, carelessly
rendering their concerns for us all
and we…HA, we…as if there is a collective heart
beating the clock back under a bastard moon
left out for salvation, left alone for surrender,
left for the Lover’s to die under

and we
cringe in disbelief at the poignant points
thrust in our souls with words, with sight-lines,
with stringed apathy and trumpeted joyfulness
with clever mirrors tracing yellow bricks we’ve ridden
in back seats left bloodied by our imprinted minds

they do these tricks for us, fearlessly
knowing… the joke’s on them
for in every pause, in every stoic stanza,
in every aborted rhythm they dispense
the truth creeps through, a fiendish bitch
calling them out, calling them wrong,
calling them to court and to account
for being guilty
as only a judge can be

editors note:

We can throw them stones, but they can throw’em back. – mh clay

Impossible

by on September 27, 2016 :: 0 comments

‘You can’t do this, you just can’t!’
‘Leave it, let it be’,
Chanting through and through,
Haunting me day and night,
Making me hide from everything, everyone – anything,
I put my hand near a paper, open my mouth, set my first foot,
A miracle, a breakthrough!
I can do this, I can!
What underestimated masterpieces we are,
Those who can turn cannots into have dones
‘Impossible?’ What is that?
A word unheard of,
An unexplored valley,
Teach us, we learn,
Love us, we grow,
Fight us, we avenge,
Flatter us, we love,
Help us, we succeed,
An inbuilt quality? No.
It is merely inbuilt passion,
Thus, with passion ‘impossible’ shall stay untouched
And we shall conquer the world!

– Ayeda Hamed

editors note:

Our limits are set within? Impossible! – mh clay

The worm in the pot

by on September 27, 2016 :: 0 comments

There’s a worm in the pot,
A burrowing beast,
Between root and rock,
A seedling is dead.

There’s a worm in the pot,
A floating corpse,
Within the earthen bowl,
The soup is marred.

There’s a worm in the pot,
A sluggish soul,
Burning leaf and stem,
And dreams flutter in.

– James Nyagilo

editors note:

Perhaps a good ingredient for our sordid soup? – mh clay

THE DAMNED BLESS US WITH THEIR PRESENCE

by on September 26, 2016 :: 0 comments

(on reading Muriel Rukeyser’s poem, Seventh Avenue)

After dark,
the damned bless us with their presence.

The city
opens up like the maw of the fire-breathing Chimera

&
they come forth

frozen freaks thawing in the sizzling night.

They come forth
fallen creatures of obscurity

&
roam freely through our streets, the dazzling dreamy

labyrinths
of New York City,

illuminating
our glittering avenues with their bestial darkness.

After
shedding the skin of invisibility,

they come forth & bless us with their presence.

Yet
we rush away from the damned

until
they dissolve & vanish in the shadows.

On sultry summer nights in the cauldron of the seething city,
I catch a glimpse of the damned in the corner of my left eye

&
in a furious flash, the pariah-beasts of New York force-feed me

apocalyptic news
of sin & suffering

in the city that shrieks the crimson blues

&
gazing into & through their bruised barren eyes,

wounded windows
of Hell-on-earth,

I
see the ominous everlasting wasteland they see

&
ineffable evil

slices
my thick swirl of boyish innocence

&
my everflowing river of faith

with
a chasm of doubt

&
a heavy shroud of anguish covers me crushes my spirit

&
I too vanish in the shadows until a beautiful alchemy transforms me

if it does
&
my trinity of-

knowledge pain & will

becomes
the light buried in the pitch-black abyss

if I accept the Holy 3

&
I grow into a transcendence

if I grow
&

this is the blessing bestowed by the damned
if I receive it

WHO ARE WE
but fugitives from the silent blessings & secret divinity of the damned?

WHO ARE WE
if we don’t face the evil we see?

WHO ARE WE
if we do not receive the blessings of the damned?

WHO ARE WE
if we don’t ask why?

editors note:

Without mirrors, what can we really see? (Read another of Mel’s missives on his page, a tribute to 9/11 and Marcy Border – check it out.) – mh clay

Explain.

by on September 25, 2016 :: 0 comments

Explain.

Explain two hundred Iraqi corpses caused by chunks of metal strapped to timers that counted every human breath.

Explain twenty hacked bodies on bread-fumed floors;

A body strapped to a chair with death wound tight around his wrists, enclosing his neck like a noose,

A man who lies dead because he chose not to leave his friends,

And people; people pressed up tight against chipped bathroom doors, lungs rattling and trembling with fear and not oxygen.

Explain an airport being ripped apart with fear and panic and guns and grenades and the all-consuming thought that ‘This place was supposed to be safe.’

Explain to me, your need to pull apart families, ripping out a tendon in their hearts with each member that you kill,

And explain to me the need to murder swaying, dancing lovers, as they wrap affection around wrists and waists.

Explain the husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, daughters, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends, lovers, people, you blew up,

And explain the children talking excitedly in class, pulling out dog-eared textbooks from their bags and the teachers calling out for silence in the class, that you slew.
(There was silence in the class, at the end of it all).

But if the word ‘God’ appears in your explanation?

Don’t give it to me.

Because holy books everywhere give explanations. Religions give explanations and Gods give explanations.

But nowhere, in any holy books,

In any temple, mosque, church, gurudwara, monastery, fire temple, synagogue, building, house, home,

Nowhere in any religion, faith, culture,

Not even amongst the words that spew from the mouths of the million gods that are prayed to every second of every day,

Will you ever find a valid explanation for any of this.

– Nidhi Krishna

editors note:

Oh, the ultimate pill; swallow it on faith. – mh clay