Featured Poems

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

A Nuclear Childhood

by on September 24, 2016 :: 0 comments

What if your parents
had never met
had never married

had never yelled
at each other
and instead had wed

someone they loved
and lived peacefully
all those years.

That would have been
their Eden but you
shaking there now

decades later
wouldn’t be with us
cursing the tremors

of a nuclear childhood
you still remember
long after they’re dead.

editors note:

Fusion or fission, we are we because they were they. – mh clay

Pamela

by on September 23, 2016 :: 0 comments

Now he’s gone and I find myself
strangely drawn
to the most important woman in my brother’s life –
statuesque, dark eyes, olive skin, perfect hair –
as if she’s drunk from
the Fountain of Youth (he didn’t
marry her, but almost).
And as she tells me she loves opera,
reads Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, listens
to Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi and Bach
I stumble for my words,
imagining his smirk and that
“I told you so” look in his eyes.

editors note:

Loss brings gain; what might have been becomes a wonderful “could be.” – mh clay

My Forte

by on September 22, 2016 :: 0 comments

My forte has never been chemistry
especially in matters of the brain
that delicate science eludes me
but give me a knife and I’m a pro
a butcher in a cesspool of
a drowning stagnant me
where the water under my bridge
does not flow out
but backs up tighter than
a meat packer’s drain
overflowing with bloody blobs of
broken promises and good intentions.

– John Kross

editors note:

Heart, spleen and bowel; together well meant, somehow badly spent. – mh clay

never been kissed

by on September 21, 2016 :: 0 comments

i’ve never been kissed
i’m 12 years old and i’ve never been kissed
so i find myself a boy, an older boy, a high school boy
he’s handsome and a little bit racist
and i kiss him on his lips
they’re soft and sweet and somewhat disappointing
but i don’t care and i don’t care about him
all i care about are my bragging rights

now i’m 19 years old
i’m 19 years old and i’m a virgin
i’m a virgin and i feel like maybe if i don’t change that soon i might become one of those spinsters i keep hearing about
so i go to a club and i dance alone
i’m alone until a man notices me
he has lip piercings and a rapidly expanding bald spot.
i go home with him and he soils my purity without a condom because i was raised catholic and am still kind of weird about sex because of it.

and now i am 22 and i have never been in love
i’ve never fallen in love and i sleep with the tv on because the silence is suffocating
so i find a man and fuck him on his kitchen table until he breaks up with his girlfriend
and sometimes when i sit at that table and share breakfast with him i find myself smiling because i like so much what my life is right now
i fall deep for him and i think he has the most beautiful hands i’ve ever seen but i can’t ever seem to say the words out loud
so instead i sleep around and then get angry when i find out that he has gotten himself a respectable girlfriend

and now i am 23 i really am in this moment 23 and trying to figure out how to wean myself from the cycle of sexual and emotional dependency
i’m 23 and i’m dependent on my phone i’m dependent on the attention of men and i depend on strangers to always tip me my 20%
right now i am here talking about my present and i don’t know what to say because i never understand anything until i’m looking at it from the rear view mirror.

– Catie McLain

editors note:

Hindsight as historical fiction, too real for reality TV. What comes next? – mh clay

The Garden Outside The House

by on September 20, 2016 :: 0 comments

She was out there again that morning.
Talking, laughing, singing,
The garden filled with sweet birdsong
And the aroma of summer.

The sunset leaked red blood,
Annihilating him.
A love gift or a
Romantic invitation.

She had one eye, he had two.
He was waking from a fitful dream.
It soon became dark,
The sky full of storms.

He saw her solemn death dance,
Wet and electric,
An Autumn widow wearing grey.
It was starting to happen again.

– Natalie Crick

editors note:

And it will keep happening if we walk in that garden, obsessed with that invitation… – mh clay

I’ll Say Goodbye To You But Not To Love

by on September 19, 2016 :: 0 comments

The 8 a.m. zombie brigade files past me for the final time…
Neighbors, who have found too late in life that they have been slighted…
Along halls, riding elevators, and down the stairs…
(Maybe it is their seventh time around, maybe their first, maybe somewhere in the middle… I don’t care)

I have grown greedy for the gold and the fruit of angels such as Mozart and Picasso and Ginsberg and Updike…

(Remember: in this life, the selfless act of love and a woman are singularly and together the most beautiful thing; impossible to ignore)

Once I knew the joy of being alive…
Now I know the happiness of not having to live alongside you…
I say only two prayers – the first is that I don’t awaken in the fires of Hades, should they exist; the other, that should this be my first time around, or my seventh, or somewhere in the middle, I may never awaken to know the face of the Hell within which you live…
…and again see the horrible moon without mystery in the sky…

editors note:

Here’s to hope; that love and mystery be eternal, suffering not. – mh clay