Featured Poems

OUR BEAR AND OUR WOLF

by on August 18, 2017 :: 0 comments

Our bear and child of bear
Waking us
A fourth time
I woke up and got out of the stained sheets, mattress
Soft and bitter, rind of memory
Exposed
From here to where there was water

Our wolf knew all the things we thought
Not to talk about that day
Eye here and here
With us waking, naked and wondering
Where we left
Everything we knew we knew last night
Or two nights ago or whenever
It was, we decided to cut through the night
Lights lingering in a timeless white lie

Believing over and over
Yesterday–Last year
That one night in January 2013
That spring when I could do anything I wanted and not die
Like those dreams we both had
To lie about to remember
Differently

Like those concrete cows under the tree, empty
Trinity River basin in the dry winter heat
Of Dallas’s concrete asshole still steaming
From last summer and last year and that one time
Electricity sprang from the cables above us and Saunter, black
Angel, in a dark dark moment
We collided with
Each other and all
The things and things and things
That came after the sparks
All ours to destroy
Ourselves with, together as we remembered
Each other for the first time again
And again and again
We ran like the children of bears and of old wolves

editors note:

All our unknown aspirations, howled and growled in animal intent. (Read another from Cheyenne on his page; a companion to this one, an age-old adage from when were young. Check it out!) – mh clay

Choose your name

by on August 17, 2017 :: 0 comments

Wash your lime, peel yourself
Be blue gem,
Never be in hot pursuit
O blunt! Lopsided smile
Your spirit has muster for yourself
So……
Make a bid
Sow your peace seed
Then you will sound
By your fruit name
Set out… !

– Surbhi Anand

editors note:

Know your tree, then fall not far from it. – mh clay

½ Truth

by on August 16, 2017 :: 0 comments

Hey –

(a hand on my shoulder)

Hey –
It’s going to be a short while longer
The machine takes several minutes to warm up

(the modem blinks a red eye after sleep
three-prong stemming
when there is work to be done)

Hey –
Are you okay?
There is water behind the counter

(the mumble rises through my shoes
laughter in the dark
right outside the room
the things they say in secret)

Hey –
This paper is too thin
Try to fix it by keeping a distance

(a woven hum from somewhere below
trapped under boards
made of paper, made of tree roots)

Hey –
It’s 25% off after fifty
More is cheaper

(the backward wire vibrates the cord
of a rubber sole that peels on contact
to toe the water)

Hey –
Remember the time
This looked familiar

(step into the clutch of a close feeling
a frayed, threaded carpet burn
scar of value)

editors note:

What’s going on? Are we conspirators or conscripts; unconscious consumers, coerced and cloyed? – mh clay

THE SAILOR’S HOUSE

by on August 15, 2017 :: 0 comments

a true Danish story

This is the land lot,
while the vegetation around – the only surviving mark
of the house that succumbed once the man did.

Every time he headed to and back from the seas,
the Viking descendant left and returned to his abode
surrounded on every side by trees as high
as his giant build.

One night, alas, he couldn’t make it back,
abandoning home all on its own – first time ever!

All that the following morning witnessed
was a catacomb
of roof and walls and trees flattened aground,
and a flock of seagulls paying their last respects
up in that patch of a mournful sky.

Copenhagen, fall of 2016
English Translation by Arben P. Latifi

– Alisa Velaj

editors note:

The story that place can tell when person has passed. – mh clay

Thelma at HR-57

by on August 14, 2017 :: 0 comments

After setting down her plate of chicken,
red beans, and rice, Thelma settles in,
full skirt spilling over the folding chair.

She sips Diet Coke, her one concession
to a snug waistband, as she watches
her husband step up to the spotlight.

She closes her eyes, tries to forget
the other musicians crowding the stage
at this Thursday night open mic.

She opens her eyes once her husband
plays the first notes on his guitar
in this dim, smokeless club. She recognizes

the song, “Blue Moon.” He’s played it
at home many times, sometimes fast, sometimes
slow. The notes hang in the air

like perfume would if anyone wore it
nowadays. She shushes the thin girls
at the next table although she knows

his guitar is louder. He speeds up,
and rainstorm notes flood the narrow room,
obscuring the distant moon.

She imagines the notes rushing onto 14th,
nipping at the ears of couples.
A young man in a vintage suit

raises one eyebrow. Her sister Callie winces,
lifting a bottle of low-carb beer
to her black lips. Thelma sits up,

letting her dinner cool as she applauds.
Then an old man raises his horn,
bringing the song back to jazz.

HR-57 was a music venue in DC

editors note:

A little swing ain’t a bad opening for a mic. – mh clay

Nude in the Dune

by on August 13, 2017 :: 0 comments

The sun strikes the sand, the skins – all unveiled, tanned.
A black cap on an iridescent towel appears from the dune
at the back of the beach, a yard or so from the shore, a head
rests underneath, not buried in the sand – it also bears shades.

Behind those smoked glasses the eyes perceive sepia colours,
beach things: striped parasols, rainbow towels,
waves calmly licking the steep descent to the sea,
sails slowly moving on the far horizon, on the azure.

Moist and sticky from sweat and sun lotion, the bodies lie
bare naked on the sandy beach like inflated balloons
or dreamed models from a wet dream, an erotic film
played at dusk in the dark of a room, a solitary fresco.

Laughters disturb the peace, children fooling around,
a gull maybe, or a girl whose shriek erupts from nowhere
and lacerate the ears, the sun-dried dreams from half sleeps.
Other heads raise, groans are heard, bodies turn over,

ready for a second round of toasting in the blazing light
of August. All ages gather there, all shapes admitted.
Breasts and penises visible for anyone’s masked eyes,
pretending to sleep, to read, or ostensibly glazing, shamelessly.

editors note:

No shame when all sneak the same peek. – mh clay

Over Here

by on August 12, 2017 :: 0 comments

Over here in the breakdown lane we
Know vulnerability, the weaknesses
Of man and machine, of flat tires and
Erupting radiators, dead engines and
Empty tanks, we know being passed by
Watching the passersby speed by, feel
Their vibration and tug, over here, we
Know a loneliness reserved for the road
Become the person they identify with,
The very person they never want to be.
This must be analogous to graver things
The dark night of the soul, the pink slip
At work, the rejection slip in the mail,
The final divorce papers, that phone call
The frightening lab results, the dreaded
Diagnosis; in some ways we are all over
Here in the breakdown lane, leaning on
Our cars, phones to our ears, trying to get
Someone, someone to notice us and help.

editors note:

Someone? Anyone… Hello? – mh clay