in the kitchen

featured in the poetry forum June 5, 2024  :: 0 comments

she said
i don’t think everybody
who hits rock bottom
winds up in therapy. i know
they say you have to hit
rock bottom but—

and i was about to say,
it’s not about the percent
who climb
from rock bottom to

therapy but that
many in therapy
come from
rock bottom
that is, hit
a low-low-sad-sad-blues
point of their own
and that moves them

but it wasn’t about
winning or losing
this damned argument
which wasn’t really an
so, i
didn’t say what i thought.

too many wars start
from petty conflicts i thought
which is the last
thing now that this world needs.

editors note:

If not peace in our time, at least peace in our kitchens. – mh clay

2 Haiku: On Perfect Order

featured in the poetry forum February 7, 2024  :: 0 comments

killed more projects perfectly
than the atom bomb


in the flying zone
hands with flying fingertips
organize themselves

editors note:

Work your way to a perfect bust. – mh clay

One World Of Peace

featured in the poetry forum December 24, 2023  :: 0 comments

If we think about the lights
and the Chanukah lights
and the Christmas lights
and the Kwanzaa lights

And the glowing night stars
and the hymns, blessings and chantings
of the diaspora

Maybe we see we’re not so different
after all.

editors note:

This puts a new light on the Season, doesn’t it? – mh clay

2 Haiku: Meaning & Fire

featured in the poetry forum September 13, 2023  :: 0 comments

Two different meanings
kill the time or fill the time
with different outcomes


And like survivors
minds burn and burn and burn, too
Without burning out

editors note:

What you don’t mean can’t burn you. – mh clay

Band Biz

September 9, 2023  :: 0 comments

The dance was on the second floor. The leader played sax and flute. He brought along a drummer, bass player, keyboard man, and guitarist. All the players shared the singing responsibilities. They were each capable of doing lead and background harmony. This was to be an easy gig because a lot of speeches and award-bestowing rituals for gang members, for whom the dance was …

Story Lines

January 21, 2023  :: 0 comments

Mick went out that evening. There was the Purity Restaurant over on 7th Street and 7th Avenue. Mick was a little down on his luck, figured 7, 11…dice, numbers like that. The Purity used to be owned by a couple of Greeks and is now owned by a couple of Italians. It also relocated from Union and 7th recently in 2005 to 7th and …


featured in the poetry forum October 3, 2022  :: 0 comments

i shouldn’t
walk on
it might
of the room!

editors note:

If you’d look good, then walk you should(n’t). – mh clay

june 30, 2020

featured in the poetry forum February 4, 2022  :: 0 comments

in the neighborhood
now around 34th street
and park avenue

a bronze statue of an artist
with an easel right before a little park.

inside granite walls, long
green benches
shrubbery, trees
a pond.
i relax and write.
in the middle
of lonely

now empty stores
large plate-glass-windowed
with nervous, floor-pacing
owners in white shirts.

in early morning
the park was always lonely
and quiet before this—

when that was a good thing.

editors note:

Calm, by context, turned to discontent. – mh clay

Aftermath of a Rejection Letter II

featured in the poetry forum June 21, 2021  :: 0 comments

i guess the payoff
at any level
is still worth
the effort.

and the outcome
when the editors
shun you
while encouraging.

it’s just that hit!
the addicts
search and seek
thieves risk
returned gunfire.

all you’ve got to do
is sit in early
morning light
uncertain, alone
and go on.

i used to pile
glass ashtrays high
with cigarette buts
of various kinds.

now i just wait
for the sun
and some light

editors note:

Just a little light to write… right. – mh clay

junkies connect

featured in the poetry forum January 21, 2021  :: 0 comments

junkies connect with their drug.
pushers connect with their junkies.
the connection’s so good,
the dopers even call the pushers
and alkies connect with their elixir
drunk sometimes from golden goblets.
sales pitchers connect [when they score] with the buyers
and lovers connect majestically
in the moonlight.
the writers connect with
the word on the page
and the fiber optics cables connect
two callers wanting to speak in a lonely twilight hour.
the sadist & masochist each connect
with the soul of the other
and the sailors connect to
and marry the sea.
the mystic connects with god
and that’s a big one. so’s
the little dot on the ‘i’
and the period that closes this sentence.
the jamaicans call that a full stop.
it’s the ‘whoa!’ for the horse,
the power brake for the car.
they know the power of a sentence.
to use a word like that.

the ignition key goes off.
the power soars again with a click.
reading a whole page can thus
be exhausting and exhilarating,
and even attacking a single
sentence can blind you.

that’s what lovers of words know.

editors note:

Fantastic fixxxxx (more, Mama!) – mh clay