It’s Not Out There

featured in the poetry forum April 10, 2021  :: 0 comments

some people hear of the
strange transgressions
of their neighbors and ask—
how could he? or—
what was she thinking?
I don’t ask, anymore
nobody gets what they really want
if they even know what that is
and it makes this a restless
and lonely old world

I hear it whining
for its absentee master
like a stray dog in the night
and I hear the people, too—
a chorus of them, wide awake
when they should be sleeping
screaming for it to shut up, already
and sometimes one of the voices
is mine and the dog
is not out there
but cowers in some dark crevice
where I can’t even reach
to scratch him
behind the ears

editors note:

Where’s my good boy? Where’s my good boy? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 3, 2020  :: 0 comments

Some lines, once read,

are unforgettable, such as:

“For every sin
but the killing of time,
there is forgiveness.“

And I’d like to say
I am innocent of this crime;
I’d like to say
I am no murderer.

But it’s hard
not to draw your blade
when the adversary’s hands
are at your throat.

editors note:

Who’s the real killer here? – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 12, 2019  :: 0 comments

I write about crows a lot
he says
and why not?
they’re everywhere
like death itself
like the open grave
of the whole goddamned earth
often despised
mere carrion eaters
and scavengers
but aren’t we all?
and look how they shine
from a diet of maggots
and rotten flesh
and what daredevils
they are!
how defiant
against our shiny steel
bearing down
at 75 miles an hour
but they ain’t leaving
their highway dinner table
until the last
possible second
and we flinch
at the flash
of those black wings
through the glass

editors note:

From the cradle to the grave, as the crow flies. (We welcome Brian to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 4, 2019  :: 0 comments

they stand on the corner
waiting for the bus
junior high, probably
they stand in groups, chatting
or in pairs
or alone
with long, sullen faces

they wear the yoke of routine
like an ill-fitted mask
frost damaged flowers
drooping under its heavy weight

most will grow into it
their spines will stiffen
as they pretend to smile

but not all
some will go crazy
trying to peel it off
like dogs clawing
at those lampshades
we make them wear
so they can’t tear out
their stitches
and lick their own
still bleeding wounds

editors note:

More won’t, when inspired by those who don’t. So, don’t! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 9, 2019  :: 0 comments

first they were outside
the words
the voices
of parents and grandparents
and counterfeit gods

then came words
from other adults
from songs on the radio
from people on tv

from a barrage of ads
for things i should have
shiny things
that made people smile

and still more
from the mouths of classmates
in the schoolyard
hurled like stones
or sand in the eye

a blitzkrieg of them…

i should be this

i should be that

and then one day
the voices weren’t out there

they were in here
closer than inside

like the ringing
of hammer blows
as a mob of blind sculptors
chiseled a beautiful stone
down to a nub

editors note:

They can wind up or wear down, careful how you wield them; inside or out. – mh clay