Featured Poems

Summer pome

by on May 26, 2015 :: 0 comments

My summer pome,
like sunlight off the pavement
hurtin your eyes,
but the trees are singing
and kids in the park
playing ball
and smoking
like mad.
Sometimes I remember
so much about my life
that it seems I’ve
been alive
always wanting
to start over
or at least
with different memories
and such.

And despite everything
I think it’s possible
to be free and easy,
like bugs and grass stains,
if you believe
in nothing
you’ve ever heard
and just go.

– Bud Faust

editors note:

Dealing from a deck of shuffled memories; every hand, a new beginning. – mh clay

Johnny Never Came Marching Home Again

by on May 25, 2015 :: 0 comments

But he did return.

He arrived in a box with a star spangled​
and blood striped flag, draped with care.

When Johnny didn’t come marching home again (so long, so long)
They gave him a funeral welcome then (so long, so long)…

​A warrior’s funeral.​
​Complete with a 21 gun salute,
​a lonesome rendition of ​
Taps, and a
​finely folded​
consolation flag. The same flag that came draped on Johnny’s

The boys held back tears, the men stood tall,
The ladies, one by one they called​…​

They mentioned Johnny’s name on the news.
They remembered his life and honored his memory.
They said they would always remember their hometown hero.
They all felt the loss

when Johnny didn’t come marching home.

Johnny didn’t enlist to be a cog in the great war machine.
​But he knew the ultimate price
​might have to be paid
when he raised his right hand and said:

“I, Johnny Citizen, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

​When his Country called, he did his duty.
With a lump in his throat and with pride on his side,
Johnny went off to ​fight.

Let reverence and remembrance reign this day (so long, so long)
Remember the ultimate sacrifices made (so long, so long)…​

He prayed.
He prayed every day he awoke alive,
and doubly so at night,
to live to fight another day​, so help him God.

God was there on Johnny’s lips as he took his final breaths.
​So were the fading memories of home.
So were mom and dad.
So were brother and sister.
So were friends and lovers.

And so was this final scene –

​A warrior’s funeral.​
​Complete with a 21 gun salute,
​a lonesome rendition of ​
Taps, and a
​finely folded​
consolation flag.

This is what Johnny saw as he looked up
at foreign skies.

He never asked why.
He knew this was his time.
​He knew this was his duty.
Johnny said his last prayer
and his final goodbyes.
​No fanfare, no fame.
Just another life given,
a sacrifice made
in ​this deadly game
named ​

So may we do our patriotic part (so long, so long)
Be grateful and thankful for this warrior’s heart (so long, so long)…

And remember the meaning of this day,
When all the Johnny’s didn’t come marching home.

editors note:

Here’s to the day when no new boxes come home, no new flags are draped and folded, no new tears are wrenched from newly aching hearts. Thanks to Johnny O for these Memorial words! May we learn, at last, to practice war no more. – mh clay


by on May 24, 2015 :: 0 comments

*[Enter a] Laid back “Chia-Pet” from way back… (Face plant)
I ate off of con men like “no trade back” place mats.

From Gabe’s moon’s orbit to dark projects morbid
there’s no forfeit.
“…Get absorbent or get to being corpses…”
I’m as horrid as foreign… Check the pass portage.

“Call security Doug!”
(No part’s part of your club.)

If I was made in Taiwan, my guidon would fly on
a pillar of “hi Moms,” Micro minded. (Mental ion)

I’m on, but not on my own shit, like shape shift
Grendel flies.
…Single minded…
“Nay say and intake eight dicks!”

I can see they hate this…
…can’t fade this… (No chop shop)
Eraser faces get nibbled on like hot wings or pork chops.

(Ride on by at 9:09.)
“My oh my… Why oh why?!?”

*Animal farm [and] Caesar’s got a clever trying to dine on swine.

My life story’s an allegory
and so gory. [It’s] Animorphing.
(After forming)
I’m left to find the room to make them ambulatory.

I’ve got every piece flat of my bright orange race track.
Even the round-about that I stole from the kid around the way. (Man…)

…In other words I’m all in…

[I] Missed the boat but crawled in…
…Doggy paddled my way passed my grave
while greased wheels spin.

I low fived Poseidon.
*Ray Liotta style
“Good looking out though…”

My name isn’t Johnny but the pipes keep calling me out though.
*Lifted (also)
*Smashing high notes (like I was an alto.)

“…The tight rope’s far from parallel.” (I’ll be damned if I fall though…)

“This shit sucks!”
[It] Grasps at straws like greedy love birds…

“Gather girly!”
*[Enter] the rather burly fury of Mother Hubbard

*Expose the gun show
(with romance novel structure –
– I’d prefer to keep the main attraction under covers –
– to tickle imaginations)
Imagine your infatuation.
You probably picture me as an amber jaded animation.

Slice antiquated magazines for jagged placement
[of] collaged features, just don’t expect any affirmation.

I’m a virtuous patient staying patient because it’s a virtue.
I’ll hurry up and wait, nod along like I really heard you,
ignore the curse clues and even except the absurd, too.
(Just don’t ask me to accept that my life decisions concern you.)

There’s not a piece of me that will reside peacefully
in a scenery as passive as the greenery.

Equally, I feel a fool while out of touch,
being a black smudge and throwing my hands up.
(half drunk)

Passed what was once my goals.
Passed my prime (passed warm) like ash coals.

[I have] A past, cold.
[I] look like a man. (With a crab’s soul.)

“Ass hole?” – I’m a whole ass that laughs bold.

“Mole man?” I’m deeper then Marilyn Monroe’s

[I’m] A man mole living deeper then you’re daring to go.

[I’m a] Cave creature wearing a skull that’s apparently gold.
[Wielding] An obsidian limb conditioned to carry and hold.
*Wave it at the prime meridians of invalids (who go –
too far from their homeland of “do what you’re told.”)

I’m outlandish.
[I’m] Proud actions mixed with passion.

If you get to clashing, I’ll get my can of whoop-ass and
chug deep.

*Punch meat (like Rocky Tiger Eyes.)
…Hit you where my lighter lies and leave you seeing stars like fireflys.

“’Bout time to retire”
*I pack up my crops in a box
(I call them props and load them up on a packing mule or an ox)

editors note:

A lot to pack in a box here; crazy meandering ox here. – mh clay

A conversation with TIME

by on May 23, 2015 :: 0 comments

Time looks at me
for a long, uncomfortable while
turns its head and spits
quasar star-birth, black hole words,
language as a road map through existence.

I say I ain’t got no place to go,
that it hasn’t happened yet,
which is the truth from where I’m looking.

He reads me back my lines,
nothing has ever happened
you aren’t even here, and I am not this.

But, that’s not what I say, I say,
and it’s never been heard.

editors note:

Can’t win this debate. Best keep those questions rhetorical! (We welcome Tom to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page.) – mh clay

Two Thousand Sixty

by on May 22, 2015 :: 0 comments

While digging in the backyard one day
Faust’s dog Clyde, dug up a funky old box.
A time capsule from the year
Two thousand fifteen appeared.
In it was a primitive smart phone.
“What hast thou done, Dog Clyde?
Hast thou dug up the past with thy digging?
What say thee?”
“Nothin”, replied Clyde

As he examined that funky old piece of junk
He came upon the following observation.
“Back forty five years ago
The phones couldn’t grow
Arms and legs on them.
They couldn’t scratch your back,
Drive your car, do the laundry,
Do the cooking, do your homework,
Curse you out for being stupid
Wow the ladies,
Pat’em on the butt for you,
None of the above things
How could the people live under
Such primitive conditions?”

Dog Clyde replied,
“See thee, Master Faust,
Technological plateaus force their
Own redevelopment when
Advancement becomes obligatory.”
“Huh?” replied Master Faust.

– Robert L. Martin

editors note:

Is this pathetic, or prophetic? Gonna name my dog Clyde, just in case. – mh clay

let there be light

by on May 21, 2015 :: 0 comments

One lousy packet exchange
and I knew it was going to be
a long semester;
he busted my ass for writing
“lighted a cigarette”—

“it’s lit,” he wrote. “lit!” “lit!” “lit!”

For whatever reason
this really seemed to piss him off,
perhaps he was having
a bad day,
problems with the wife
or maybe my short story
had put him in a foul mood.

I thought about standing
my ground,
telling him that Patricia Highsmith,
whom I admired
a hell of a lot more than him,
often used
“lighted a cigarette”—

But I didn’t want to start any shit
with the guy;
what with student loans and all
he pretty much had me
by the balls.

So I changed every
“lighted” to “lit”
per his request,
printed up the revised copy
and slid it in a 9×12
manila envelope.

Then I kicked back
on the sofa,
cracked open a cold beer
lighted a cigarette.

– Ben Newell

editors note:

Editor’s eye-candy, this. Ben tossed us this tasty bone – we bighted. – mh clay

Seasons Within

by on May 20, 2015 :: 0 comments

“But I’m only contemplating…leave me alone.”
she whispered.
Pulling the old, comforting shawl closer
about her salt & peppered hair.
The aching pain became almost unbearable
each second they stood there watching.
She started to rock back and fore, cross-legged
upon the cold, wooden floorboards.
She closed her eyes and listened to the cello’s
playing mournfully within her veins of blue.
Felt the tickle and rustling of the tiny empty nest
perched delicately inside her heart
as the biting winds of her conscience brushed by.
Her brain had long ago given up
upon the agony/humble puzzle…and was instead
busy weaving lengths of longing
into fishnets for catching daydreaming stars.
Temper caught nicely and finally nailed beneath her
as the owl of her soul blinked its eyes slowly
and started recounting the oak ring circles
of the many different Seasons Within.

© 2015

editors note:

Rotations, rings, recollections; the older the owl, the more to remember. – mh clay