underground remnant

featured in the poetry forum May 22, 2013  :: 0 comments

a junkie
stood like
a wilted flower
on 7th avenue
5th and 6th streets
in brooklyn
saturday, february 9,
xxxabout 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
everybody was busy
looking at the sleek shops,
strolling along
xxxas they were,
not recognizing a
fallen angel,
a piece of new york’s
that’ll still
be around long after
these sleek remnants
of parisian fantasies and vanities
dry out, dry out,
fade and fold
xxxunder new fickle ownership
and are gone.

editors note:

Undress a disowned angel, replace rags with neon lace. Empty on the inside, won’t chase the hunger from that face. Thanks, Carl! – mh


March 12, 2013  :: 0 comments

Three blondwood, circular tables joined together for the writing group. She had arrived earlier. The tables faced two large plate glass windows that faced out on the street. What you saw right outside the window, across 7th Avenue, were green-lit neon letters that spelled, PITA. He had two coffees in front of him. She said, “Is that your system?” She …


featured in the poetry forum February 16, 2013  :: 0 comments

blacks have
equality under
the law for 140 years
and she wanted
a new bedroom set.
women’s suffrage began
80 years ago, and she
decided on a new living room
set as well. eastern thought
has penetrated the culture
going on 30 years, and she
wanted the couch on the northern side
of the room, to create a look
she saw in a homeowner’s guide
to decorating. homeless die and freeze
in the winter. her concern was:
will her neighbors be jealous of her
porch furniture because
it is better? junkies seek god
in the ends of spoons and needles
as she shops for knick-knacks
with her hubby on the weekends.
proudly hasn’t read a book since high school.
defiantly asks why others do.
we don’t know what to tell her.
more soldiers die in afghanistan.
the world encasing
her golden staircase
but never meddling.

editors note:

A little inspiration from Good Housekeeping to color those specs; the rosier the better. It’s a grand world, just for me. – mh


January 1, 2013  :: 0 comments

Out in Brooklyn, they wore fedoras, but their mouths sounded different. ‘The problem I have is that he’s fucking lying.’ ‘I have a problem with these cocksuckers, too.’ ‘Sartre would be turning over in his grave.’ ‘Yeah, he hated when a man disguised the social for the personal.’ Frankie called Uncle Paulie, 718-258-1212, at the Boston Road Lounge, Bronx. A …

i’m glad willie nelson has long hair

featured in the poetry forum December 2, 2012  :: 0 comments

i’m glad willie nelson
has long hair.
why, when you’re older,
do you need to look like
you’re clean
and neat
and mature
and sensible,
and yes,
no more kid stuff?
why not look
like a roughneck
or a crazy person?
the primitives, you know,
used to be nuts
they didn’t have science to interpret
the ghosts…!

but the janus face of the
history process
killed that spirit
of wildness and imagination
in stifling fear and exaggeration
through bland rationale.
in other words there’s no
juice any more.
so old
willie let his hair flow
and his beard hang
and displays his wooden guitar
on stage with huge holes,
and plays endless hits
full of electricity flowing.
while the rest of us
oh, oh, oh, so polite
and oh, so fine
and oh, so stilted
in money and mind.
and suffer spiritual
and payback while the wolf
in the night.
did you think
amer-Ican dreams
were gonna save you?

editors note:

In the face of “bland rationale,” let “wildness and imagination” grow long. Willie is waiting! – mh

harrison ford poem

September 12, 2012  :: 0 comments

it’s like actors audition
and this one’s better
than that one for the part.

so, the poem auditions
for the moment
as the poem auditions for the journal.

we are not looking
for that one right now.
we are looking for this.

you are a harrison ford poem
and we are looking for
tom cruise

more teethy
ten years or so


i don’t know about
yours, but this,
truthfully, has been the story
of much of my life.

editors note:

When denied one part, you go to the next audition – rinse and repeat. – mh

The Ruin

July 8, 2012  :: 0 comments

‘Well, when you put “I” in the story, it doesn’t mean it’s about you?’ Harrison asked in an empty bar in Red Hook. ‘How’s that?’ Jameson asked. Harrison repeated the question. ‘No,’ Jameson said, ‘because it’s a fiction piece, even if it’s based on something that’s true.’ ‘That gives you a chance to twist it around a little bit, huh?’ …

Bad Trip

March 27, 2012  :: 0 comments

Leslie decided he really was going to kill her. She was resting in the bedroom to some Oprah re-run. So Leslie removed from the inside of a shining, brown leather briefcase containing a number of forms and instruction manuals, a long-handled gun with a muzzle and blew her brains against a wall silently. He went down two flights of stairs …


featured in the poetry forum March 21, 2012  :: 0 comments

you keep
something away
from consciousness
and it comes
back and attacks you,
like a wolf in the night.
the poor sometimes see
their misery hanging
on their sleeve,
and it saves them.
but the rich can’t believe
they’re human,
as the wolf snarls at them
in the night.
‘how could this happen to me?’
they say.
while the wolf
gnaws them.
they really thought
the american dream
was going to save them.
are full
of air
and save nobody.

editors note:

Salvation? Maybe not, but sustenance, for sure. Without air, we cannot breathe. – mh