Betrayal

September 10, 2022  :: 0 comments

I knew Sam from Jerusalem, way, way back in the day when we were both new immigrants to Israel. In those days, everyone in the neighborhood had keys to each other’s houses. Some of us had phones, some had washing machines, and it was easiest to share these things with our friends by just letting them come and use them …

At the Head Shop

March 15, 2022  :: 0 comments

The man behind the counter looked me over as I staggered into the shop. “Full up?” he asked. I nodded stiffly. I was afraid to move too fast. The man, George, lifted one hand. “It’s all right,” he said. “I’m glad you’ve come in. But why did you wait till now?” “I—there was just so much to deal with.” I …

I Watch Myself Move Through the World And No One Notices I Am Not There

featured in the poetry forum October 8, 2021  :: 0 comments

I am out of sync with myself.
Inside and outside do not match up.
Like a filmed event
with a two-second sound delay,
a cascade of
anxious, racing thoughts
jerk me away.
I am pulled in all directions
like a rubber band stretched too far
and then,
again and again,
snapped back,
and each stretch and relax
returns me to myself
more limp than the one before.

But I am well socialized.
You’d never know.
I get up in the morning,
get the day’s chores done,
go to the stores,
deal with the bank.
I smile at the proper places
and know when to shut up too,
but I am not here,
not here, not with you.

editors note:

If we out-of-sync could sync then we’d be there. – mh clay

Exasperation

featured in the poetry forum July 19, 2020  :: 0 comments

If I am so smart, why
am I so stupid
or is it more
in that category of
crazy
when you think
if you only do that thing
one more time,
one more time,
it
will
change

editors note:

Because, maybe it will, maybe… – mh clay

Dice

featured in the poetry forum April 7, 2020  :: 0 comments

God is playing dice with the Universe.
The Universe throws doubles.
God sighs.
Six million is a lot to lose.
Now it’s God’s turn to
hunker down and shoot.
Snake-eyes.
Ha, says God. Pandemic!
Those dice are rigged, says the Universe.
Not so, says God.
It’s random.
I don’t believe it, says the Universe.
I know you, God.
You keep records.
You hold grudges.
And what about Einstein?
He had a theory about you.

God laughs.

editors note:

Laugh it off and double-down. Seven come eleven… – mh clay

The News from Israel

featured in the poetry forum April 26, 2019  :: 0 comments

The t.v. announcer says
Siren. 15 seconds. Direct hit.
I think
Toilet paper. Crackers. Cat food.
The radio announcer says
Cabinet meeting. Reserves. Call-up.
I think
Canned tuna. Bottled water. Eggs.

The Internet says
Missiles. Rockets. Tunnels.
I think
Cooking gas. Kerosene. Batteries.

I don’t say
What I think I know,
What I don’t want to know,
What I don’t want to think.
And so I keep thinking
Coffee. Aspirin. Apples.
Peanut butter. Face cream. Soap.

editors note:

What else can you think when never-should-happen becomes every-day-thing? – mh clay

Penis Meditations

featured in the poetry forum November 24, 2018  :: 0 comments

How interesting it must be
To have a penis,
To be accompanied always
By a creature that is part of you,
Yet completely independent,
With its own opinions
And its own proclivities
Not necessarily the same
As your own.
How interesting it must be
When the head says no
And the penis says yes, or
The head in its wisdom
Wants and desires,
And the penis sneers and shrinks away.
Or should one say
Not so interesting as all that,
Frustrating, in fact
When the penis decides on its own.
Still, you can have fun,
Can dress it up in little hats,
Can coyly hide it away,
Or have it peep forth with a grin and say,
Look at the gorgeous shape I’m in!
Don’t look at that big Bobo beyond.
Look at me! Am I not beautiful?
My telescoping majesty is a thing to admire,
And my spitting opinions are so raw, so true!
Where else can you
Come across honesty like this?
Really, it is a crime
And very weird
To have to hide away
Deep in the depths of pocketed pants,
Airless and damp,
Breeding grounds for bacteria,
Prey to the dreaded Crotch Rot.
Why can’t all penii
Hang out in the breeze
Flying and flapping
Or tight, drawn-up,
Ergometrical?
At the very least, we would know
Whose was bigger.
Imagine the problems that would prevent.
But no. The generative organs
Are not to be revealed.
And so it goes.
And so do we all go on
Hiding away the best parts of ourselves, the
Most intriguing, most honest,
Most real,
As unfit for public display
In the open air and the light of day.

editors note: Hmm. I thinks it’s so, cuz… well, tape measures. – mh clay

Marriage

featured in the poetry forum April 13, 2018  :: 0 comments

Two wooden dolls
With their heads on springs
Nodding to each other.
One sets off the other
Till the mechanism wears out
And their heads fall off.

editors note:

I do. You do. We do. Till – Done. – mh clay

The Mitzvah Gig

April 7, 2018  :: 0 comments

1. I don’t remember her name. Let’s call her Sarah. I do remember where she worked: the Kfar Shaul Psychiatric Hospital, as some kind of psychiatric social worker. Like me, she was a new immigrant to Israel, and we both sang in a chamber choir in Jerusalem. “Is it true you’re in a band?” she asked me one evening during …

Shoshi’s Ugly Poem

featured in the poetry forum February 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

I think of you stilled
Under the earth,
Clods of clay, and your melting flesh.
Cracking bones,
Shreds of cloth
Clinging to your twisted limbs.
But that is not you, and never was.
This thing, this stilled thing
The most alien and wrong of it all,
This stillness is not you.
You, who were always
So ticking over with motion,
Rhythm, and the juice of the dance.
You, who even as you sat,
Sat alert and bright-eyed and aware.
You, who even when not moving
Had the beat of life running through you,
Waiting for your time
To jump into the circle again.
And it is so wrong, this stillness.
You, gone from yourself,
Yourself gone away and the body left behind,
A lump of putrescence,
Nothing more.
How fine that you are gone, really.
How right.
You would never have stood for this outrage,
This breakdown of holy life,
Of the joy of your life.
You would have been horrified
At what you have become.
Better it’s done,
Done and gone,
Gone away.
But the awful stillness stays.
And this is an awful poem, I know.
But I am haunted by your stillness.
Awful absence of motion
The craziest proof of all
That you are really gone.

editors note:

Hard to not notice those not here, when they were so much here, before. – mh clay