Bat Nuts

April 21, 2024  :: 0 comments

demons
choose your whiskey wisely
distillation process
two brothers
caught moonlighting

~ By Marjorie Pezzoli / Christina Chin

(photo by Marjorie Pezzoli)

editors note:

Gotta get free from those DTs. – mhc lay

Always Carol

featured in the poetry forum April 17, 2024  :: 0 comments

Under the weight of her tangled gray hair
Always Carol walks alone bent and spent,
lugging a concrete bag with discounted fruit
and a few necessaries chained to her shoes.
She shuffles along like Always Carol always does,
towards home where tall weeds and memories sit gathering dust in volumes
until 2:15 when the omni-bus screams down JFK BLVD
exhausting fumes that fill her debility coat
and backfire into her loaf of white bread

Grocery store, then back
Side walking back home,
watching crack after crack pass beneath her
a slow demarcation called Invalid’s Path
for those who are not valid anymore.
That is the scope of her day.

She sits waiting with her warm bottled water
for the November metro and rides the angled avenue with Lee Harvey
to watch a free vintage movie at the recently reopened Book Depository
Always Carol sits waiting at 12:30, looking for her bus, killing time,
waiting and waiting,
and becomes the solitary assassin of age

In the middle of the theatre where Always Carol always sits
she is invisible.
Yet, the MGM lion spots her and stares her down
roaring first one way and then the next
Always Carol watches that proud, tired beast yawn one more time,
then drop off the screen to fall asleep next to her,
dreaming of donated popcorn.

The movie is coming to a theatre near you:
America, We Love You So Much
subtitled Land of the Free and Home of the Grave,
a film where an issue of Kleenex Monthly and white peonies are delivered
every National Disability Independence Day
by motorcade
in stacked cartons stamped only “THE LONELY”

Afterwards, the credits will drop her off like dead weight
on a grassy knoll
where she cannot die any faster
But Always Carol with the bent and buckled neck
prefers a good mystery that twists and turns,
near her half green house
with half a street number
and a life just shy of
History and Elm

– Jeff Bender

editors note:

Every neighborhood needs a Carol – Always. – mh clay

by a parabola

featured in the poetry forum April 12, 2024  :: 0 comments

by a field
by a Gogh’s spoiled canvas
by a hospital window pane

warms you
a bouquet
yellow and yellow

slices of your breast
chain of lymph nodes swaying in
the hollow of your ribs
a placid sea gathers
red sand of your feet
the last glint of
cobalt out of your head

sense of disembodiment
overdue as dementia

mother

today to breathe out again
the first cries of
your children
after their birth

to walk back to
remember & remake
the backstory of
the day your husband shook free

and to
tilt his death’s head again

to find the state of grace
a spoiled ochre

nearing you
loss paddling across the tides of
your blood

you know
what in a
scintilla
spilling in through the curve
worst than
a riddle

remembering then
in order to deserve now

– Debasis Mukhopadhyay

editors note:

If we struggle to remember in our now, our then will be lost, too. – mh clay

holy poem, after the death of god

featured in the poetry forum March 22, 2024  :: 1 comment

snow all afternoon but
nothing is made beautiful

no one is considered holy

at some point
the last city is built
and then there is only slow decay

sons are shot and
daughters raped and all of
the missing are given names

and some of them come home
while others are martyred
and there is always the threat of
another religion

of the crippled
leading the blind and
of a war that everyone can
believe in

a way to kill only the
truly deserving

and how much of your life are
you willing to waste
making these decisions?

– John Sweet

editors note:

No more pissant prophets leading impotent attacks. A waste indeed! – mh clay

Before

featured in the poetry forum March 20, 2024  :: 0 comments

violence is shadows others expect
peeling off your dark layers, black at flowering time
the fear of black

bone black

paradise rained hard, and
we might have lived and died without knowing
and longing up

toward the stars

you have built in me an anger that scratches
like a prickly branch every minute of my day
celestial fury

reddens the sky

I put no faith in the God you try to force upon me
life is simple you said, find where the sky meets the sea
and blow me salty kisses

the sea is one long sigh

I let myself sink for a time in the cool gray
It seems so insane now. Finally, it feels unclear
In my mouth, with your breath

It goes and goes

– Barbara Hughes

editors note:

Break away from before, move forward a little more. – mh clay

Whitman Alone

featured in the poetry forum March 15, 2024  :: 0 comments

Imagine: there he is—
walking, one hand holding
the other, a solitary
late afternoon stroll,
crossing and re-crossing
the streets, swaying down
to the river, humming
an aria as the ferry lifts
him over the water
to the city of his poem
and back again, conferring
with the conductor, the smell
of fish and salt and sweat
from the workers who rush
home as the six bells warn:
the dark is here, go
warm yourselves, not one
knowing or caring to know
the tall hefty bearded son
with the cocked-back hat
and the hysterical eyes
who stumbles along walkways
and mumbles to himself,
laughing his fool head off.
Watch him a while,
around and round the wharf,
looking at sailors, pissing
against the side of buildings—
it almost justifies this moment
as the dark comes on
and the neighborhood shuts
its windows to the chill
and wind in bare branches,
crows gawking crazily
and he out there
looking up at the stars
and scratching his chin—
it makes sense, imagine—
the whole of us wait
in the balance.

– Philip Terman

editors note:

We await his words along with him. – mh clay

OPEN PRISON

featured in the poetry forum March 12, 2024  :: 0 comments

Beyond this low hedge and that high fence
We may not venture –
Although it is very puzzling,
For out there it seems
The air is the same as in here.

This hermit’s retreat
Has all the comforts to soften
Solitude, to stave off sickness:
Reclining soft chairs,
Any music we desire on tap,
A myriad of tv channels too.

Food and drink are regularly placed
Outside the door. A knock, a ring,
And then a van departs
Driven by some brave stranger
Who breathes that forbidden air.

A release date has been set
But plans cannot be made.
Could it be another false promise,
Like the last one, when we were
Tossed back in, like fearful rats
Led by a mercenary flute player?

– David Allard

editors note:

Any time in lock down is hard time. – mh clay

Passed Presence

featured in the poetry forum March 11, 2024  :: 0 comments

and spices were ruined
Goldschlager
and scarves too

Most everything that had ever been around you

that refused to detach
when you unraveled
once simply bruised

you left marks

And battered dimensions all over the place

but still left

most everything looking black or blue

– Steven Minchin

editors note:

Can’t pass that past until bruises abate. – mh clay

Patient

featured in the poetry forum March 10, 2024  :: 0 comments

I am patient but I am not a camel
I am patient but I am not a mule
I am patient but I am not a working horse
I am patient but I am, sadly, human
I can only be subjugated for so long
Even stones shatter by rain
Even earth quakes
Even livestock dies
Even doormats accumulate dust
Accommodating your footsteps
I am patient but I am not your whore
I am patient but I am not your slave
I am patient but I have agency
I am patient but I no longer have time

– Dana Al Rashid

editors note:

When waiting is worn… – mh clay

Meaning in the Mystery

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

Should I lean on you less
and let your journey continue
uninterrupted?
Always bothering you with the
inconsequential stuff seems selfish.
Especially when you are now free
and unencumbered living
on a higher level.
The perfect picture of luminescence.
Still, I need your connection.
Hoping to feel your energy run
through me like a thunderbolt.
Awakening me from this
solemn slumber.

– Robert Pegel

editors note:

A message for the mirror or the man in the sky? – mh clay