Capybara Morning

featured in the poetry forum November 10, 2023  :: 0 comments

Through morning mist
Hiroko climbs
To scatter oranges
And limes

Around and in
The maple tub,
To twist the spigot,
Fill it up,

The steam will carry
Citrus to
The sleeping
Capybaras who

Will wake & pad
Down mountain path,
Enjoy their
Misty morning bath

Then, warm (and soaking
Wet), desist
& vanish back
Into the mist

editors note:

Oh, to be pampered like Kapibara-san. – mh clay

A Second Cerebral Cortex

October 7, 2023  :: 0 comments

It was a choice between a new bike and a second cerebral cortex. The first cerebral cortex was getting a tad fuzzy, she was definitely in need of an upgrade, but there was no denying that this was one sweet bike. Thirty-two gears! So, Lindsey took it for a spin. Felt like the chain was a little loose. As she …

Gaslighting Myself

featured in the poetry forum August 16, 2023  :: 0 comments

I dog ear a page in a book I haven’t read
& scrawl “!!!” in the margin
Beside a random sentence I’ve underlined

I write “Get Gazpacho recipe from Julie
ASAP! Incredible!” across the
Dry erase board on the refrigerator door

Without the slightest intention of ever
Erasing it. One morning
I will wander past it, aware that I’ve

Seen it many times, unaware
That there is no Judy
And that I hate gazpacho. Maybe

I will pick up a dozen old vinyl records
At the thrift shop, smash them up
And photograph the shards on the living room

Rug. One day scrolling through my
Phone I will wonder what
The hell THAT was all about. Why

Was I so angry at Vicki Carr or
Enoch Light? I’ll clip stories
From French & Brazilian newspapers,

Fold them up & stick them
In my wallet. Geez, I will mutter,
I guess I spoke French & Portuguese

But I don’t remember a syllable. And
Why do I have all these unopened
Bags of orange socks? Who is the girl in this

Snapshot? Why did I cut out
Her face? What sort of person
Was I anyway? And never

Suspecting as my brain turns
Slowly to macaroni salad that I
Was (am) just fucking with you (me)

Because I’m (you’re) kind of a
Dick but if it’s any
Consolation remember that

When I was laughing my ass
Off at your befuddlement
& distress so were you.

editors note:

A serious take on not taking yourself seriously. – mh clay

A Box of Broken Dishes

July 5, 2023  :: 1 comment

There was a barrel of fish in the basement, by the pool table. The barrel was full of brine, and when somebody ordered fish, the cook would come downstairs and grab one from the barrel. That’s how it was done then. Augie was also down there, an awful lot, practicing trick shots on the pool table. The felt had small …

The House Blew Up

featured in the poetry forum May 11, 2023  :: 0 comments

At 5 AM the house blew up
It did not trouble Libby’s sleep
A tremor shook the coffee cup,

The gas line in the basement rup-
Tured, and the gas began to seep.
At 5 AM the house blew up

Did everybody get out? Yup.
No need to wail, no need to weep
A tremor shook the coffee cup:

The cat took off, likewise the pup
The smoke detector made a ‘beep’
At 5 AM the house blew up

The KA-BLAM! did not interrupt
Libby’s slumber. It was deep!
A tremor shook the coffee cup,

Unwashed after a late-night sup.
The dawn did break, the birds did cheep
A tremor shook the coffee cup
At 5 AM. The house blew up.

editors note:

In that scene, all electric could disrupt. – mh clay

Dr. McGill’s Seventh Rodeo

April 15, 2023  :: 0 comments

Peter-Paul Nilsson, the famous Scandinavian radio journalist, was conducting an interview with Dr. Ralph McGill in the back seat of a limo when the driver stroked out. The car went off the road and into the river. “Hold that thought,” said Dr. McGill, rapidly assessing the situation. As the car slowly sank, he located a tool box under the seat …

First Lesson in Fire Eating

February 18, 2023  :: 0 comments

Camp Ahltaha was on Fairview Lake, in what William Carlos Williams referred to as “The ribbed north-end of Jersey.” I was the ‘pioneering’ merit badge instructor there during my 16th summer, teaching Boy Scouts useful knots. We also tied sticks together (“lashing”) to build ‘structures,’ which fell apart immediately. We shared the lake with Camp Nobebosco, where “Friday the 13th” …

The Alchemist’s Children

featured in the poetry forum February 11, 2023  :: 0 comments

File down the callus!

Said the alchemist’s daughter

Mix another monkey!

Laughed the alchemist’s son

Roll a frosty rolling pin

Across the table top

& crush the frozen seeds,

Now that the seed counting’s done


Two birds preparing

To pretend to be peaches,

Two ripe peaches dropping

To the dark rich earth

Their fine feathers fluid, their

Fine feathers fuzz,

Their pale green bellies glowing

From the radio song, &

Hollow bones aquiver

With the radio buzz!


Turn up the music!

Said the alchemist’s daughter

Turn it up more!

Laughed the alchemist’s son

10,000 moths swept into the volcano

20,000 wings afire like jade

The flames shot up with a deafening roar

Wind sliced through the canyon

Like a white hot blade


Everything’s glowing

Sighed the alchemist’s daughter

Everything’s gone

Laughed the alchemist’s son

editors note:

They didn’t learn this in a STEM program. – mh clay

The Tusks of the Warthog

December 9, 2022  :: 0 comments

Dentist Miz Derwood Stage Manager Stagehands Warthog Narwhal Walrus  The Dentist’s Office. Miz Derwood is in the dentist’s chair. The DENTIST enters, donning his rubber gloves. He checks his clipboard. DENTIST: Good morning, Miz… Derwood? Is it missus? Or Miss? MIZ DERWOOD: Misty. Like the East River in the morning. DENTIST (adjusting his goggles) I see. He selects a snorkel …

The Backwards Man in His Hotel Room, 1961

featured in the poetry forum November 5, 2022  :: 0 comments

Preliminary Inventory:

Bullet hole decal in the window pane.
Bad dreams to pay for room service. Something
At the bottom of the ice bucket I don’t want to see.

Observations and/or Complaints:

Raze every hotel between here & the harbor &
You still wouldn’t see the ocean. Footsteps on the
Ceiling from guests gone home thirty-five years ago.

Conversation in the Next Room:

The penne is frigging ice cold. I sent it
Back and twenny minutes later here
It comes again with parsley sprinkled on top.

Conversation in the Room on the Other Side:

What am I, a moron? Hey, gimme
Those opera glasses, maybe there’s a
Vogue model across the street getting dressed

A Possible Solution:

The answer is static electricity, sir. The
Missing sock is stuck to the back of your
Shirt. I all but guarantee it.

It will turn up when you put your shirt
On the hanger. Failing that, you’ll encounter
It when getting dressed for dinner one evening

A Questionable Proposition:

The belt is reversible, also the vest. When you
Invert the lenses of your 20/200 prescription
Glasses, you can see through solid walls

A Game of Bingo, Perhaps:

Twist to the east, & lock eyes with the beast
Twist to south, & stare into his mouth
Twist to the west, all your sins now confessed

Twist to the north, & a cold blast of wind
Awakens you. How did I get on this glacier?
Better call the desk & ask for a Bromo-Seltzer

A Comforting Verse from the Gideon Bible beside the Bed:

‘If U R lonely Jerry the Bell Hop
Knows What’s What & can fix U up’
¬—Written in Margin of Psalm 23

Wake-Up Call Request Rehearsal:

Room 413, wake-up call for 6:30, and
Right after send up somebody to untwist
Me something is stuck & stuck good thanks

Some Final Thoughts:

The unanswered question: why are candies
In the vending machines in the hall so cheap
& shabby I have never even heard of these

Brands ‘Best Fine Sweets’ good God I
Have never hated anyone as much as I
Hate the man who picked the drapes

For this room but blessings on whoever
Purchased the waste basket in the bathroom
With the eyeball pattern, you sir are a god

editors note:

The same hotel hijinx, even after sixty-plus. – mh clay