featured in the poetry forum March 26, 2017  :: 0 comments

I have one, a snapper, one man named it. I was at the apex of my powers; so I thought. I was an old man’s pass around; he gave me a place to lay my head that weekend, much better than sleeping in an abandoned car. I got paid $20.00 and a new nickname; catfish, make a man’s nature rise like that r&b song extols.

I was hooking; selling ass out of both drawer legs, my momma called it. The narc looked like a drunk trick. My pimp Cornbread and his main piece Caroline were, unbeknownst to me, clipping tricks in the alley. Married men wouldn’t report them. I was finally caught underage at a club; spent the night in a drunk tank, told I was pregs by my cell mate and deposited back to my mom’s. So I could give it away for free to all comers.

I preferred married men; 20s, one child; one thug as a part time lover/jailer; one milquetoast freak as my semi regular man. Momma ran the juke joint next door, had 3 men rooming in the front room of our one bedroom apt duplex.

Married men gave formula and diaper money. One man had a chain of convenience stores; momma pushed me toward him; he was a regular in the joint and he liked them young. I had a snapper, he called it. I kept it lemony, I even used honey. It was sweet and sour; like life. I finally got an awareness of the pain I was causing the women. The saints who were raising their bad ass kids, washing their stank ass drawers. The drawers I was pulling down, my shame and anger was unrighteous. The nerve of me.

My 30s and 40s found me in a so-called sanctified marriage. He knew the score; I was hiding my bi-ness, hiding my same gender love. I ate gay related books and magazines. We had a threesome with my neighbor. She wasn’t into me. If the Lord is just, may he forgive this Jezebel; before I paid dearly with my girl child’s innocence for my moral sin, he was into my and her daughter. He went to jail. My snapper did not save those girls.

My 50s find me heighted. I have been called hot natured. My ob-gyn told me my cunt cramps are because my vaginal walls are so thick they constrict of their own accord. My last partner was jealous of my vibrator. She could not put her whole hand in me; damn baby your snatch is tight, wish I had my dildo with me, I’d wear you out. Or get sore trying. I grabbed the lube. We have honey on our lips, honey stains on the bed. I still do my kegel exercises. I touch my dark pearl and laugh. I got a snapper.

editors note:

A genital history, openly disclosed… Honesty? Honestly!- mh clay

Dame Jere

featured in the poetry forum January 18, 2017  :: 0 comments

Still small voice saw him first
There be angels
Mam would you mind putting these things on your walker
I don’t get around so good

The attaché had faded green party stickers
Mondale vs. some obscure nemesis
He was somewhat kempt yellowed shirt orange shorts
He offered his half a turkey sandwich
to a black woman trying to sleep
on the anti-vagrant benches near the AA center
He gestured to the crowd gates set up on Olive St
think they’re going to have the pride parade down here mam
I laughed I doubted it
I guess the temp tat no prop 8
was a dead giveaway of my orientation
You going to the parade tomorrow
been there got the shirt I’m too old
he raised himself to his haughty 7 foot
well he preened raised a bit of his shorts
with a practiced dainty hand
to reveal a pair of pink panties
frillier than the ones I was wearing
as we slow walked to the rail,
he regaled me of floats he the queen of the regalia
satins pearls tafatta
unforgiving in this lone star heat.
The train broke me from the enchanted tales
like my momma usta say
just cause you’re an angel and don’t have to be a fool
since I was neither. I told him I had to dash.
He grabbed his belongings,
thanked me for the assist.
I curtseyed and wished him a gentle journey,
he blew me a kiss
that in times past would have held
a jeweled glove.

editors note:

Angels and fools? Which are you? (A fool, I be.) – mh clay

Don’t you just want to

featured in the poetry forum July 5, 2016  :: 0 comments

I’ve given to strangers
For a sum or a repast
Or because it was Friday
the cat prowled restless

I have questioned many times
What is this hold, this malady
Your smell surrounds me
Self inflicted blues wail into the night

Wiser friends try to prevail
I tell them,
when you know it’s hot
but want the burn
don’t you just want to
when you know it’s a sheer drop
from the jazz note of b flat

I’ve chased windmills Quixote
But you ride a deuce and a quarter
I inhale the dust your kiss left

Not sad, for I know where that lies
But for my troubles dear jinn
Or a country haint that put roots on me
Daring me to find your mandrake
you hid inside me

Don’t you just want to
Don’t you want that time
Replayed when eyes narrowed
You claimed the part of me

editors note:

We can’t break from that sweet ache. Yes, we want to… – mh clay

Afterwords and Beyond

featured in the poetry forum February 8, 2016  :: 0 comments

This is the soundtrack for the life and times of
Lefty Bell. 57 years
the dust still hasn’t settled.
My inner selves seated at my honors table
praised for their resiliency,
Couldn’t/wouldn’t break
Walk w/ dignity through these streets so mean
So mad
Soul De La soul Fela Kuti
wild out music revolution
On the make/semi retired
Loving me immovable
Put the panty drop song on
Sway on the tip
Sway on my thigh
Sway my body
Sip my lemon tea lime
Subversive head
Circa LaWanda Page listening to Wolfgang
pierce the marrow of my heart
Luna sweet like my AfroCuban soul
Big leg hot water sweet potato
honey sticks Smokin hot
laughing at the shadows
big 6
twenty twins
Snapping snapping
I dance the pain out
I dance the pain out

editors note:

Every after has an ever. Dance to your music… – mh clay

PSA 2015

featured in the poetry forum October 5, 2015  :: 0 comments

To all the victims and survivors of the current genocides/holocausts and more specifically to the brother who wore deer antlers on his head while his white co-worker-agents dressed in camo and guns posed with him laughing for the camera. Brother man, when you got up to shave that morn, did the foam on the mirror say, nigger die

The predatory nature of…
5 nanoseconds of fame 2015
Am I still smoking that shit
I could have sworn I quit 2 decades ago
Ms Wanda can you still hear us
Ms Maya are we still communicating
Are the hailing frequencies still open
Are the 4 Kings assembled for the summit
Or maybe I should just title this
PSA 2015

editors note:

To countermand the current hashtag sensation; this Public Service Announcement to color coded folks, for whom privilege is hard-gained, if ever, but mostly never granted… – mh clay

A Bookless Education

featured in the poetry forum August 12, 2014  :: 0 comments

She sits at Jack In The Box
No less than 3 sweaters
Shrouded by one very used coat
Socks and shoes
Have seen better roads

Wary at first
Till 2 days later
She eyed me with trust

We talked about the necessity of mommas
The loss you feel when they are gone
“I’m 98 years old”
I stared at her wrinkle-less face
Decided to take her word for it

Her oldest son died
At a domino game
Cause of death
The crossroads at the intersection
Of a bullet

One brother was killed
Over some dope
We laughed about old men and young women
The curriculum of economics

For my finals
I pressed 2 dollars in her hand
For a cup of coffee
I was told
what to give God
To recognize blessings

editors note:

A paperless degree for a cuppa joe – not spilled on your lap, but into your soul. – mh

Orange and Cinnamon

featured in the poetry forum June 10, 2013  :: 0 comments

Her hair in a quick up-do bun
rushing for the am rail
Captains and dommes of industry jostle
along with the flotsam and jetsam.
My purse on my arm
Your lunch bag on my lap
Not quite contained into designated spaces
How to peal and cinnamon an orange
without the expense of a dry cleaning bill
The cinnamon puffs in the air;
fine particles escape the maroon container
I close the lid
eager for the rush of citrus and cinnamon.
Tell me what you smell you command
I remember our smiles
Us walking in the sun to the park
With a peach, orange, and honey in a bag
Your patient way of guiding my hands
Cinnamon a fine dust over your breast
Freckles adorning them like a lady’s shawl
meeting the orange tang of my tongue
I take the orange from your stomach
kissing the place that held the orange
blow the excess cinnamon across your belly
inhale the scent of clean air
lightly place a section of orange
between my lips and into your mouth
You handed me the peach with a smile

* Upcoming publication in “Dampen To Bend” Coal and Femficatio Publishing 2013

editors note:

Sweet and spicy picnic pleasure; delivered with love. Nice! – mh


featured in the poetry forum December 12, 2012  :: 0 comments

Autumn NY
Song Repetition
Jazz was
the constant equation
was Jazz
Be Bop Jazz
Parker, Porcino, Wetzel, Metome,
Varsalona, Jacobs, LaPorta, Williams,
Phillips, Mondello, Caplan,
Orloff, Smirnoff, Harris,
Manne, Iborra, Hefti
Skit skat
No other
place could they meet
Maybe a
crowded table filled with
chicken wings, Blintzes, boiled eggs,
Pierogies, lox,
minestrone, beer, vodka,
tea, coffee, bourbon
Skit skat
No other
time was then
In a
closet crammed with
scarves, umbrellas,
raincoats, sweaters,
wraps, cardigans
Skit skat
On a
stage with
bongos, voices, hands,
drums, French horns, guitar,
piano, harp, trumpet, oboe
Skit skat

editors note:

She’s showing us the only refrain which never holds back; skit skat – thanks for that, Linn! – mh

The Professors of Jazz

February 24, 2012  :: 0 comments

The party smelled of Magic Shave “new improved smell”
Dutch Masters, weed, chicken wings, boiled eggs, and Crown Royal
shooed from the grown up talk
Now stinky foot, I’m gonna show you the right way
to listen to jazz
If you have to eat spaghetti dogs every night
Invest in some Bang and Olufson speakers
I got these on the black market
Those Danes know their speakers

Seated in the best seat
in the middle of the floor
with a big pair of earphones
This, Uncle Son said brandishing a lp cover with
Miles’ stern face staring at me
is who you listen to
I have the architects of jazz right here

He gave me a coffee mug
with a picture of the Rhine
put a capful of his whiskey in
grabbed some sugar cubes
stirred it in my cup
put some coffee
stirred that up
This, he announced
is what you drink
when you listen to
the PHD’s of Jazz

She Sounds: For Sweet Poppa D

featured in the poetry forum February 24, 2012  :: 0 comments

She sounds like sweet peach mint tea
That was stirred in the good pitcher
From the china cabinet
That is served on a tray
With tea cakes

She sounds like a
Morning on a lake
With two bamboo poles
With only one with a hook in it
And a poetry book
On a swamp boat

She sounds like breakfast
In the city debating
Pancakes or waffles
And you know that stuff
Is bad for you
But you order extra
Butter and syrup

She sounds like
An evening in a sharp suit
And an orange dress
Dancing in socks and stockings
A party of two

She sounds like she wants
To undress me
And she wants it now
With a delectable cackle
And no reason to blush

She sounds like a beginning

editors note:

Oh, yes, indeed! She sounds exactly like that! – mh