Featured Poems

once there was this Mr. Man

by on June 5, 2020 :: 0 comments

once there was this Mr. Ma
yes you are, and I am
demigods losing the plot
chuckle before you read this
done in by a tiny covid

who let you in
besides oceans and walls
alien pathogen
this country is for our citizens
you just ain’t welcome

Mr. Man, says the virus
you’re your worst nemesis
for a small me
do you even see
the tall lessons
to make you realize
I may be
the next best thing to happen

top economies now on their knees
if panic and fear were solutions
this by now would be behind us
these unusual times urge our kind
pull together, think others
revise our priorities and relevance

editors note:

Riffing relevance from rants and raves. Are you listening, Mr. Man? (Thanks for Dr. Ahmad’s note from the COVID frontlines.)- mh clay

Guarded Lips

by on June 4, 2020 :: 0 comments

Guarded lips tremble
pinched tight
you’ve smothered them in jump-suited orange
where all can see
those tiny hairs
uniformly lined up
your mouth
serving time

I see you shake

editors note:

Express some; don’t keep mum. – mh clay

Artists Painting Artists

by on June 3, 2020 :: 0 comments

He only paints her burning eyes
She only paints his frozen smile
The only smell is chamomile
And only ginger casts a shadow

The window glass is blurred with paint
Every song ends with a crack
He paints her glaring at the sky
She paints him staring through his wine

She scrapes away the cobalt blue
He wipes her eyes with turpentine
Tomorrow he will paint her face
Around the curving bottle glass

Tomorrow she will leave her hands
Sinking in the tangerine
Until the kettle shrieks and rocks
Till burning metal fills her nose

He will paint her layers deep
On a perfect sheet of glass
She will stencil most of him
(In profile) on fields of brick

They spill their bowls into the sink
They change their pants, invest in sleep
And in the morning start again.

editors note:

What a glorious, artistic union! (Imagine the marvelous mess when writers write of writers.) – mh clay


by on June 2, 2020 :: 0 comments

It’s only when it’s taken away that
you realize the beauty, the wonder
of freedom,
to walk freely,
without fear
amongst brothers and sisters,
it’s only when it is no
longer there, the love, compassion,
the humanity,
the common sense
of intelligence,
it’s only when you find these
things taken for granted
taken away, that you begin
to know what a fucking
hellish time we can create
for one another:
there’s not much else to care
for in this brief life
except for love and it’s

editors note:

Hellish we can be, indeed. So, let’s not be. – mh clay

A Man sits atop his favorite

by on June 1, 2020 :: 0 comments

burlap chair, balanced on its celestial springs
and memory-foam cushions, ever mindful
of the color-coordinated pillows his wife
insisted they buy the day before she died.
Special lumbar support she argued, as if he
knew what or where such a thing was or meant.
You’ll be happy she claimed. Memento mori,
he thinks? A keepsake that goes on talking.
Passive regressive? he muses after the fact.

A man sits in digital darkness. The Internet’s down.
A freak global leakage. Most likely a Chinese-Russian
conspiracy to drown the Internet of Things.
Though his refrigerator sulks, humming to itself
Beethoven’s Requiem through its exhaust fan blades,
for once it all seems sane: Siri refuses to speak
in any known language. Alexa mopes silently
in a smoke-free corner and BPA zone. Nothing beeps.
Not altogether a bad thing. A blessing in drag.
Reason enough to reconsider his artery of choice.

editors note:

If not tech, then lumbar; grateful for whatever support there is. – mh clay

all the angels sing

by on May 31, 2020 :: 0 comments

smoke disappears
on a porch
in the rain
and further
leads to
dreams of
could have

– Tohm Bakelas

editors note:

Hold your breath; extend the song… – mh clay

Isaac Newton’s Cat Door

by on May 30, 2020 :: 0 comments

parading around
with the gobshite army,
bristling bearded face
scowling tetrahedrons back
into shape
and this moment of indecision
is all it takes,
tiny feline vacillations
about staying in or out,
Isaac Newton’s cat door
said to be the first of its kind;
a thinking man needs time
to think,
arrange his clothespin thoughts
upon strange laundry lines
that droop from weight
and age.

editors note:

Haven’t seen this cat since it wandered over to Schrödinger’s place. – mh clay