featured in the poetry forum October 11, 2016  :: 0 comments

A Beat poet
cooped up like a parakeet
in a New England winter
tired of TV screens
reruns of faded old films
clouded over
his bloodshot eyes
wanting to be a runaway
or a Rimbaud
here in Vermont
with a red French wine
and French croissant
takes out his sax
to play riffs
along the Green Mountains
yet afraid to be
terrorized from a water bed
abandoned from home
and his made up exercise
on the trampoline
to take up the alto clarinet,
a lost friend from the band
shows jazz’s balancing act
in his disturbed universe,
as my kid brother
throws a football against
a city graffiti wall
found from the Patriots
locker room,
telling him a Chinese proverb,
“Tension is who you think
you should be, relaxation
is who you are.”

editors note:

If that was Summer, look out Fall! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 9, 2016  :: 0 comments

To locate my part
along the bare stage
in a windowless studio
to find his lines
standing in a circle
motionless helplessness
murmuring in gestures
before we go on
or nuance
just to have a chance
to take a part
in summer stock
to survive
the clowning reasons
for several dress rehearsals
and to live
in another’s soul
for an open air season
by the ferryman
and south shore
out by nature’s
scythed grass
for scenes
in the park’s theater
is to be once again alive
expanding my portfolio
once more.

editors note:

Take stock of your summer (your ever), where all the world’s a stage… – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 24, 2015  :: 1 comment

Life is ageless
full of charades
whether played
on soprano sax
or jazz fiddle
drawing ink portraits
it’s a mind bender
in the middle
of the road
on back alleys
or city hallways
in front of jams
traffic or music,
against a mountain
of winter storms
or in an avalanche
of sunshine
by paper flying cranes.

editors note:

His life, every life; ageless, lived best in all ways. Thanks, BZ! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum November 24, 2014  :: 0 comments

One of my actors
in my Original Theater
roller bladed
to his audition
he had tunnel vision
of his lines
with an eidetic memory
so I kept my eye on Adam
he left us
for the Big Apple
since I had no funds
to pay him for his worth
then went to Hollywood
and became a star
but when I needed him
he always came back
to us in roller blades
until he fell off
listening to Coltrane.

editors note:

In this screenplay, the story writes itself in roller blade time; actors speak in jazz riffs. – mh


featured in the poetry forum April 29, 2014  :: 0 comments

At thirty in Soho
a winter wind grabs
the arm that I make
my moves on
when I play sax,
and the love
of three oranges I carry
are almost devoured
on my motorcycle
when it stalls
by a rain storm
on the jazz corner
for my midnight gig,
yet a poet is still
walking his Beat for life
in his runaway suit
searching for help
in an apex of light
near his city’s
downtown club
unable to drive,
with no more gas,
yet he fixes on his riffs
as tiny snow flakes
hug the window blinds
at the pub’s opening,
I hear a sped up recording
of a Coltrane tape,
a stranger out of nowhere
with a cool French accent
sees me stuck,
supplies my gas
knowing these temporary
wintry blues and blahs
will not outlast
my brief loss
of mental direction
as I invite this snappy guy
to my underground gig
knowing smooth jazz
will soon beat out notes
from my body heat
hotly simmering
inside my jacket
to play new improvisations.

editors note:

In either hemisphere, a cool jazz annal for the season ahead, heating up or icing down. – mh


featured in the poetry forum March 1, 2014  :: 0 comments

We were the last
of the Friday night owls,
our young band
when we wet met to jam
in the Big Apple
on city streets passing us
with intersecting signals
in a once red light district
our parents called it,
like dances of the 80’s
now forgotten,
we take a ride
on a stolen Harley
and abruptly cut out
with every nightfall excuse
of always being late,
now we’re moving sidewise
blinded by new construction
in a rush of city traffic
prepared against us
outside a downtown club
that has legendary jazz
with a run for my life
along tinted bar
and gig soundings,
suddenly flakes of snow
appear on my pea jacket
knowing the raw reality
of another dead cold storm
will not change my fate
in tempests of traffic
on weary alleyways,
yet you went with me
even as I told you
I’m still pledged to a chip
on my dark shoulder
always wishing to recapture
back my energy
from bygone strangers
even those who heat up
the atmosphere
in boiling altercations,affairs
on this familiar road
which separates us
from my own blame games,
you were always there,
even when we bombed.

editors note:

Yes, those are the best ones; who stay even when we bomb. Nice one, BZ! – mh


featured in the poetry forum November 20, 2013  :: 0 comments

Two timed
by love and music
where competition
is everywhere
in shadowless words
played out
with frozen regrets
in the big city
but I will let my love
created out of sunshine
and my sax made out of snow
dissolve into whirlwinds
of cool resolve
to rip my passions out
of my being
pushing away
the unspoken lines
and have my fling
not to wound
but to be a free spirit
without melodies
unspoken or unchained
rocking between
a vagabond and sky
beyond reach
of the underworld.

editors note:

A true two-timer, in love with both but faithful to none but the sweetest tune. – mh


featured in the poetry forum August 8, 2013  :: 0 comments

Clenched hands
on the steering wheel
in a loud clamor
animated in traffic
unrewarding views
of wreckage
during a heavy curtain
of thunder and rain
blown away
by horns
with two of us
in the breakdown lane
the wind pushing us
by the doors
of road rages
dazzling the window
like fire dances
flashes by us
at the happy hour
of assured accidents
in pure frenzy
no shadows carefree
in a monster storm
over zig zag highways
striking down
as water rises
by the dashboard
of speechless time.

editors note:

It’s the relative rage o’ the road we travel – collisions happen in a wink and no repairs last forever. – mh


featured in the poetry forum June 24, 2013  :: 0 comments

Crowds at dusk
with summer here
at the last rainbow
of some Friday night
dry out on the town,
with a lighter arm
of short shirtsleeves
tasting the smoke
among the barbeques
in fires of hot stoves
by skinny rows
of street people
listening to my alto sax
on the loudspeaker
along the waterfront
breaking glasses
of wine with waves
for tourist friends
on a boardwalk of trees
where crows try to rest
on park back benches
and a new born
on his father’s shoulder
goes berserk with laughter.

editors note:

A great snapshot, reflected in the golden glint of a tenor sax. Summertime! – mh


featured in the poetry forum March 20, 2013  :: 0 comments

Grandad said,
“No one should be
a money machine.”
he called money
or sometimes “Monopoly,”
when he discovered
an ATM
outside his bank
after slaving all night
since he was seven
and turned away
he was expiring
on the pavement
because thieves
broke into the bank,
“What’s the difference,
inside or out?”
he whispered,
“most people
live by default;
the bribe taking pols,
editorial writers,
monocled judge
and hung juries,”
even at
this neglected hour
fear on the street
on a bankrupted day,
now grandad you are gone
encircled by time
in rooted bitterness
of an uncollected
with interest
now stored in my poems
and housed away
at the bottom drawer
of an auctioned desk
with no one to give
an account.

editors note:

Reduce me to lower-case money machine; make me rhyme with “clean,” or, if you choose, “obscene.” The politicos and the judges will gain nothing of value from my atm (alternate transcendental mind), at least nothing to trade on the exchange. It’s bottom drawers for me, too. – mh