and hope to die

featured in the poetry forum May 12, 2023  :: 0 comments

And so I resolve to go sober.

I laid on the top bunk and stared at the ceiling,
less than a nightmare away from my face.
Racket and Ruckus fucked outside my window,
and as they erupted, a small thought occurred

‘you should quit drinking,’
the tiny thought whispered,
‘you should quit UHAUL and you should quit sulking’
‘you should also refer to yourself in
first person’

I’m pretty sure Hump wrote that last one, but still.
It forced me to reckon with what I get out of,
or FEEL I get out of, a drink in my
hand.

For starters, I feel it is writer’s aesthetic.
Like smoking in pool halls. I don’t make these rules.
The poet sits lonely but fearful of people,
and bounces their line breaks off corks, quarts,
and coasters.

Deeper, I feel it is grown and rewarding.
A bitter burn trophy for not getting hurt on
the drive home from 16 damn hours at work.
Kids have their toys and TVs to come home to.
Grown folks have Pabst Better-Luck-Next-Time
Ribbons.

DEEPER, I feel it grants (sl)easy excuse to
articulate things I
desire.

And that is a sad thing that cannot be fixed by
unsloshing my crossed heart
alone.

editors note:

How do you spell PBR? – mh clay

boop

featured in the poetry forum January 25, 2023  :: 0 comments

Thank God for clever people, you know?
The mind like an ant hill,
the mind like a box knot,
the mind like a twisted tongue tucked
too far into

the panting mouth of an old

running
shoe.

I picture these spaces at length when I read you
(and you, and you, and you, and you).

Some of you seem partial to pastoral landscapes.
See here. The gourd
balanced on her head
holds red wine and thumbs threaded through
okie-
dokies.

Some think like sackcloth, which is to say thinly,
and then to say roughly, like fortified
pant racks.

And some, like you, have minds like ball bearings.
Its weight in my palm of newfound understanding.
Frictionless roll from one thought to another,
and when viewed more closely,
I see my own face.

You might now be wondering what the title’s about.
And if so, your mind looks like work in an hour.

Look.

If I poke at your chest to point out a stain,
it’s only to pretend I am striking a match
on my finger’s way up to your
schnoz.

editors note:

Got a light? – mh clay

blue

featured in the poetry forum October 22, 2022  :: 0 comments

I like it when people say ‘blue’.

And not preceded or followed
by anything
else.
Just the word
by itself
offered in

observation.

The soft skull of blue’s b
warms itself
in
lue’s
blanket

blue:
like a baby set inside a basket

blue:
like a basket too near to the sea

the gentle
ness of which
sets blue

adrift.

I don’t know
how it is
I get

Anything

done.

editors note:

Distracted by what falls out of the blue. – mh clay

cinnamon, hazelnut, scone

featured in the poetry forum July 30, 2022  :: 0 comments

Add to my list of disliked words –
scritches, brewery, and regarded.

Scritches, with its piggish nose
and barn yarn yellow texture.

Brewery like cream gravy with not enough milk,
brewery like dog shit trapped inside non-slip tread,
brewery like a fountain, coinless, filled with leaves.

Regarded plays ping-pong with oars and
still loses.

I want words that bring to mind your sighlence.
Thistle. Solemnize. Brahms.
The sound of your voice is decidedly cotton.
Warm like penumbra.
Fragrant like bewilder.
Soft and edgeless like a thing used to blanket
a child who sleeps through
light rain.

I want words that place your hands all over me.
Nourishment. Petrichor.
Fall.

It’s been a while, I know.
February, I think.

February.
Feb-brew-rare-y.

Balls.

Throw it in with clamor
and
retort.

editors note:

Euchre, Ichor, we all Care for a Core (or words to that effect). (We welcome Brittany to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

D E F P O T E C

featured in the poetry forum May 8, 2022  :: 0 comments

Allow me to first ask for permission –
was anybody going to tell me
that rhinoceros is spelled ‘rhinoceros’,
and that the plural of rhino isn’t ‘rhinos’
or ‘rhinoceros’?
‘Rhinoceroses’ feels like lighting the fuse
on a particularly large
bottle rocket.
Is it alright that it doesn’t take much to please me?
Is it alright that the word ‘rhinoceroses’ looks like
a fort made of cardboard
with a paper clip
flag?

And now, let me beg for forgiveness.
This isn’t a poem about rhinos.
It’s sort of about spelling, but mostly, it’s a poem
I told myself to write after dreaming what my brain thought
your face prob’ly looked like
over a cup of black coffee.

The elbow of your jawline.
The coarseness of your hair.
The way your eyes squint before you say something serious
as though the answers were something you used to see clearly,
but now the E’s and F’s are starting
to blur.

editors note:

Love by zoonosis while minding one’s Ps and Qs. – mh clay

“When can I see you again?”

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

Something about the body, I tell her,
something about the body worn
like missing paint on storm cellar doors.
Something about the savvy of hands
that know many ways to (mis)handle books,
but having bent many and, displeased with their shapes,
know Now that it is best to keep
one hand cradling the spine
while the other softly divides
pages.

“Ew”, she says
and I laugh because

at the ends of these nights
the question always comes
not long
after
I

don’t.

And I feel many things
fore’n’after readings,

but “ew”
about sums it all
up.

editors note:

Handle your books with care; guarantee years of reading pleasure. – mh clay