Featured Poems

ANTI-POLITICS THUMBNAIL

by on December 8, 2016 :: 0 comments

… Whoever’s prophet material
Had best seek counsel
From the nation
Of ‘The Northern Lights’:

No velure head-hunter need apply –

No Moulin Rouge mudslinger –

No tyrannous protoplasm
Batting an evil eye –.

Lucidity epitomises
The cold ground’s
Imminent banter;

“Where man ends
The flame begins” *

And we will never
Put Prague
Or Jan Palach
Back together, again.

{*Miroslav Holub}

editors note:

If self-immolation was the required imprimatur, we’d have damn few prophets. – mh clay

To Shoot Up with Regrets

by on December 7, 2016 :: 0 comments

Songbirds start forming circles
in a roughening sky there’s trouble ahead
dust devils careen and clone
gritty, pitting, stinging in their spin
a mange-ing cat wet hisses at a
far off siren and something’s on its way.

A bony doorman invites me
into a brothel he has no teeth and smells
of damp onions air static as a bell jar’s holds
sexual squeaks and bathroom sounds in
a soupy suspension and nothing nothing good
can come of this.

I eye fresh sutures closing the gap
on my forearm and if I don’t watch myself
I’ll unlace my arm like a corset and infection
will redden my skin like an algae bloom
a red tide and I tell myself don’t go there.

I know lost weekends and the poking horns
of no good devils and setbacks and how
none of it’s worth it and still.

– James Robert Rudolph

editors note:

“Here we go again!” Every addict’s refrain. – mh clay

Mods Dancing

by on December 6, 2016 :: 0 comments

Stripes, squares, planes and angles
lots of stripes, black pinstripes, but not Sergeants’ stripes.
Parallel lines and black and white squares
but no squares on the dance floor, undulating.
Music from the speakers blasting pulsing electric vibes
and as they begin to move, subtly,
twist but don’t shout, hands expressive,
self-expression without judgment,
their own music-the Mods-their lives are all
about fashion and all about the thumping beat.
Dance floors are so crowded with bodies
moving in place, eyes closed experiencing rhythms
heard with their unique ears. They weave and
bounce but keep the attitude cool, girls with hair with bangs,
but not the bangs of escalating war
in some foreign land. Boys with hair
grown to length, hanging over collars,
sharp collars that for some will be replaced with drab green.
Clothes not funereal, surprisingly,
not drab checkerboard patterns dazzling the eye, something
so colorful about this dress worn by
kids who had yet to discover hip,
those for whom video was all in the head.

– Linda Imbler

editors note:

Delight on the disco floor, oblivious to the beat of war. – mh clay

Expatriate

by on December 5, 2016 :: 0 comments

The list goes on.
Cry me out a layer
thick and salty
crusted crystal.
Digging beneath walls
like Berlin. And I am east,
so far east.
Hiding in hollowed out car seats,
deplumed and desperate.
Save me from razor blade
wired fence, made of mind
and kind. Thrashing aside
long boat river bullets
running.
Bloated and blind
drifting to the bitter Atlantic.
Weeping at the roll call.

editors note:

Names not called; nowhere to go when the last doors close. (We welcome D.A. to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Apartment 4-C

by on December 4, 2016 :: 0 comments

Apartment 4-C is missing
The girl in 4-B has never heard
Anyone pounding on the wall
When she’s playing her disco
Station, has never detected
The smell of boiling cabbage or
Reheated Thai food, has not
Been awakened at 4 AM by someone
Sneaking out with her pumps
In her hand or shambling off
To some horrible shift at Con Ed. The

Old couple in 4-D remember a TV
Set on the other side of the
Bedroom wall, people laughing
At some joke they couldn’t hear
Some joke in black-and-white
Somebody wearing a wide tie and
A bad toupee, they are almost
Certain. It was a long ways back
But apartment 4-C was definitely
Not missing then, and the people
In there made popcorn all the time.

The guy in 5-C dropped a bowling
Ball the night after the girl in
4-B told him apartment 4-C was
Missing, slipped a note under the door
Of 4-C that said i banged yr grlfrnd
& then a couple days later another
One that said just messin wth u, dude
Looked through the key hole but
There was a metal plate screwed over
It, or anyway he couldn’t see anything,
He decided yeah, 4-C is in the wind.

The crazy lady in 3-C says sometimes
Apartment 4-C is overhead, but
Other times it is underneath, where
2-C is supposed to be. Once the doors
Of the N train opened up & instead
Of the Union Square station it was
Apartment 4-C. It’s possible although
She won’t swear to it that one
Night she woke up to use the bathroom
& she was in apartment 4-C, but she
Was in her own bed when she got up

In the morning. What was apartment 4-C
Like? asked the girl in 4-B. O honey
Said the crazy lady, don’t get me
Started, I shiver just thinking
About it, just be glad the
Goddamn place is missing.

– Jeff Grimshaw

editors note:

Mr. Serling told us, “There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between…” us and Apartment 4-C. Beware! – mh clay

Expect

by on December 3, 2016 :: 0 comments

I once knew a poet
capable of torture,
beautiful,
full of the fire
of himself.
I broke my heart
upon him.
Now it hurts less
because I don’t expect
him to be noble.
I don’t expect anything.
I just watch and wait
as he plays himself out.
He’s still beautiful.

editors note:

No expectations; yet, hope for the poet in us all. (Read another of Trier’s missives; the ultimate selfie – check it out on her page.) – mh clay

ODD TIMES

by on December 2, 2016 :: 0 comments

The last few months have been a bit odd
Success has come in some form and now
Well, frankly, it’s all just been a bit odd
With happiness comes a failure of my muse
As I struggle to find the words to describe
How this feels and what it means to me
Because now, as I sit gazing out the much
Viewed window here in the last resort I know
I can no longer be miserable as
For the first time in a long time I actually
Have enough, or will soon do, to get out
But right now all I want to do is remain
As this place has been my world and
I worry that if I move on what will become
Of the muse who came to me in those
Mad, deranged, booze soaked, drug addled
Days when I’ve been stuck here living
This life in the last resort

With the idea of getting out and moving on
I worry as will me leaving here mean I can
No longer create the rough-hewn words I
Laid down here as life becomes
Just a little more comfortable and
With no misery and nothing to hate
What is left for me to do but write about the
Booze but now even that avenue
Down which flooded oceans of primo
Lager, gin, ale, whisky, rum and wine
Have dried up as I attempt to clean up
And survive a whole month without
Even a tipple, surely impossible!

So, if you don’t hear from me for a while
It’s because my muse has become infected
With clean-living, optimistic dreams of a
Life that may very well come real

editors note:

Odd times beg the question: Does environment make the muse or, vice versa? – mh clay