featured in the poetry forum May 6, 2020  :: 0 comments

I take a mallet to your metaphor,
fish among fragments,
but come up empty.

Won’t you put anything
into my hands—
the most beggarly narrative?

Imagine me naked
in the snow,
not a single blanket?

Why a circus?
Why all the hyphens
thrown like darts?

You bar the door
and bar it again.
Have you no needs?

I appreciate
homage, but all mirrors
have backs

we cannot hide behind.
Come out. I promise
to hurt you

only the necessary amount.
Deliver yourself
in amnion and shit.

I wait to catch you,
to slap from you
a living breath.

editors note:

Indoor games while in lock down? Shelter from self. – mh clay

Just Shy of Nothing

featured in the poetry forum February 10, 2020  :: 0 comments

Feather light, a bantamweight
David before Goliath, the soul
struggles to impress.

What can it hurl to knock us flat?
Perhaps awe at a Dahlia’s
fractal fanning, petals like vulvas—

or anguish at suffering,
a rubble-dusted child, a pelican
disgorging plastic.

The soul pulls out all stops.
Already quaint, what can it lose?
Tickling like a stray hair,

it is sufficient unto itself.
We either tuck it back
or yank it out.

editors note:

So much pluck in self, unseen. Everybody gots soul! – mh clay

[Every year the holidays]

featured in the poetry forum December 23, 2018  :: 0 comments

Every year the holidays—
like a tree whose leaves turn
only brown.

Amidst incandescent wicks,
we crave the storms
that render all equally

naked. Our glass
rests against our midline, full
to bursting.

Is there a word for what
we haven’t got? Psilocybin,
someone tells us, grows

in woodchips. We raid
the mulched garden, each
a gardener.

What will we do
with our expanded

Share it on social media
with the cloud that sits
atop two contrails

like a custard-cone.
All the while pretending
not to, we long to return

to work, to the tasks
that halve our time
with ourselves.

The dog senses our distress
and graces our laps
with his grey muzzle.

editors note:

Boiling down the days to a psychedelic center and a canine cuddle. Cool! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 13, 2018  :: 0 comments

Sobriety drags its freshly-done nails down
an orange chalkboard, cankering my gums,

leaves its motor running outside my two a.m.
window, puffing diesel through the cracks.

All day long, people’s eyes slide away,
silence chafing like wet wool, clinging

to my tongue with a spoiled milk curdle.
Color my sighs black. Yogic breathing

pales them charcoal. They throb
like sick nerves beneath an ibuprofen

blanket. My keening jags bilious. With
a whiff of mildew, I ex off the third day.

editors note:

Oof! Makes one day at a time so hard to count. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 12, 2017  :: 0 comments

The water table of equanimity
has drained beneath the range
of buckets.

The well-borer’s drill unearths
nothing; the dowser’s rod
refuses to quiver.

Desperate for clouds, we suck
road gravel in the glare
of our own sun,

then, grinding within and
without, we abandon all
we have made.

editors note:

An odd, dry freedom in abandonment. – mh clay

The Why of It

featured in the poetry forum April 3, 2017  :: 0 comments

Sometimes you are whole,
growing wild and for no
purpose but to catch what
light you can. In calm,
you respire slow centuries.
When the wind rises, you
rustle mournful or whip
to a clatter. Tickled by
feather and claw, you rock
and sway, rock and sway.

Sometimes, though, fate
plays rough. Felled and
stripped, planed and pressed,
you are made to keen from
the grain. The ones still
standing do as you once did,
look elsewhere, leaving you
to transform loss, alone,
tapping deep into heartwood
for a tale, if not for a song.

editors note:

Sometimes, a song is reason enough. (We welcome Devon to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 1, 2017  :: 0 comments

Oh you, Oh me, Oh the small skerch of the cork
pulling free, and the gurgle plash of amber in the

bell-shaped bowl, the sudden cool of stray drops
evaporating on skin, the lift of it, both the glass

and the anticipation of what’s inside the glass, and
the sips heating the tongue, spreading molten

down throat into belly, and the day, Oh the day,
Oh them, out there, melting away, Oh like Lazarus,

I rise from the crypt of small disappointments,
I rise, pour, and rise some more.

editors note:

I’ll drink to that. A Mad Toast to the New Year! – mh clay

aubade: an interrogation

featured in the poetry forum October 4, 2016  :: 0 comments

can it be? this is what the eyes say, pouring themselves into the cup of morning,
what the “I” asserts, stepping into yesterday, wadded beneath the bed, what the
dog growls, pulling at the leash, straining a morning question, what the commuter
groans, rolling towards a livelihood, the offering or squandering of gifts, what the
poet sighs at the RE: […] marking her labors, what the doubter wonders from the
pew, contemplating stained glass and grievances, what the patient whispers before
the marked x-ray, what the chickadee rapid-fires from his branch — can it be?
can it be? can it be, be?

each day, hopvines reach
in verdant spiraling quest—
I would do likewise

editors note:

And, with evening come new questions: was that so? was that so, so, so? – mh clay