A Blue Foot

May 22, 2021  :: 0 comments

Matt went outside to smoke and play with his phone. Quentin started on the dishes. Everybody had ordered the lasagna, so the dishes had to soak in the hot soapy water forever. This loosened up the dried sauce and cheese but the water got so filthy so fast that he had to drain and refill the sink three times in …

Gangsters in a Haunted House

featured in the poetry forum May 14, 2021  :: 0 comments

The ghosts don’t like your cheap cigars, Jimmy
They don’t like you tuning the radio to the Dodgers every night
Ghosts don’t dig the Dodgers
They do like Rita’s low cut dresses & they think
She should sit closer to the storm lamp
In the kitchen sometimes

Also, they wish you would stop flipping that coin, Jimmy
They hate it when you yell at Rita
Especially when it’s about nothing at all
Which is always what it’s about
Rita is really nice, is what they think
So you should cut it out
And while you’re at it, they think, you should

Send Beans & Petey One Eye to the A & P, Jimmy
& tell them stop buying that shitty beer which nobody
Likes but you & Beans. The ghosts think
You should get some Pabst Blue Ribbon or maybe
All kindsa spooky stuff could start happening
Blood coming outta faucets & mirrors with monster faces
A bag of Doritos would be good too.

editors note:

Spectre’ly sound advice. – mh clay

Teenage Pagan Hell Cat at the Altar of Eros

featured in the poetry forum February 7, 2021  :: 0 comments

Don’t touch those empty beer cans
Leave your Magic Marker in your pocket
This calls for spray paint & science

I am sitting in a puddle soaking my underpants
I am smiling cuz the shrooms kicked in
& I can see the glowing trails of the stars!

No wait it is raining. Who has the yellow paint?
Paint the “A” in “McHALE” yellow
It was chiseled in the tombstone by some

Like guy with a chisel yeah & then
Outline it in black & paint a circle around it
Like it is like sinking in the liquid stone

O god who has the bag of Twinkies? I am
Sopping wet & the sky is on fire, I
Need CARBS. & sex. That is science,

Jeannette. Wait wait that is not paint
That is pepper spray. O Jeannette O
God O God my eyes what have you done

With the Twinkies??

editors note:

The best-laid plans of mushroom (wo)men. – mh clay

Chill Packs

January 9, 2021  :: 0 comments

(Featuring Polly & Molly) Other Characters: Chef Jean-Paul The Ice Man Fifi the Cute French Waitress Harry & Larry Freezer Boy Bob Random Marcy Marcy (does not appear) Cyclops Various narrators & monkeys, who can be played by actors or cardboard cut outs as the budget allows, except where indicated Location: The Walk-in Freezer at the Ritz Carleton, Paris Time: …

Ant Trap

featured in the poetry forum November 4, 2020  :: 0 comments

Looking for ant traps in the junk drawer,
It is a wonderland of broken scissor blades,
Flashlight parts, dried electrical tape,
Corroded batteries, washers, stray
Crayons, dead pens. But no ant traps
& the ants are running amok. I get

Lost in here. Forgotten Polaroids, decrepit
Relatives bleaching into the ghosts they will
Soon become. Candles tucked away in case of
Emergency and snapped into pieces, never
To be retrieved. Did I mention that the ants
Are running amok? & yet here I am,

Rummaging through loose gears and rubber
Bands, searching for cheap hollow metal
Discs stuffed with chunks of poison the ants
Find irresistible. There is not one in the
Junk drawer, not one.
The ants are running amok &
The only one who ever gets trapped is me.

editors note:

What is your current quarantine quandary? – mh clay

Yellow Highlights

featured in the poetry forum August 12, 2020  :: 0 comments

What are you grinning at? she said to the married man on the bridge
Who was contemplating Instant Divorce Via River but
‘Maybe not this river’ as there were yellow & violet highlights
On the surface he could not account for. Am I
Grinning (blink!) he replied (blink!) tracing his upper

Lip with his thumb and then there were floodlights
Turning the stars and the river black, not even different
Blacks, sweeping over the water and finding (but losing
Immediately) the toe of his brown Oxford just before
It & he vanished forever. I guess if you don’t make

A decision, a decision will be made for you? he said
Oh honey, she said you made a decision & took him
In her arms, they rose into the diamond sky, & you’ve
Got more decisions ahead so hang on, up through green
Vapor & violet & and eventually the stars one by one went unblack.

editors note:

Choosing is easier as we approach the unblack. – mh clay

Artists Painting Artists

featured in the poetry forum June 3, 2020  :: 0 comments

He only paints her burning eyes
She only paints his frozen smile
The only smell is chamomile
And only ginger casts a shadow

The window glass is blurred with paint
Every song ends with a crack
He paints her glaring at the sky
She paints him staring through his wine

She scrapes away the cobalt blue
He wipes her eyes with turpentine
Tomorrow he will paint her face
Around the curving bottle glass

Tomorrow she will leave her hands
Sinking in the tangerine
Until the kettle shrieks and rocks
Till burning metal fills her nose

He will paint her layers deep
On a perfect sheet of glass
She will stencil most of him
(In profile) on fields of brick

They spill their bowls into the sink
They change their pants, invest in sleep
And in the morning start again.

editors note:

What a glorious, artistic union! (Imagine the marvelous mess when writers write of writers.) – mh clay

I Am the Exorcist

featured in the poetry forum March 19, 2020  :: 0 comments

The dead haunt me because they think
No one loved them when they were
Alive. “I have some bad news for you,”
I say, plugging in the toaster
They unplugged last night,
“Nobody loves you now either.
Stop hiding my razor. Stop appearing
In my closet. Stop doing whatever it is
You do to the 1% milk that makes it
Go bad in two days. And you know
How they say hair and fingernails
Continue to grow after death? Well,
Apparently it’s true. You’re a mess.
Never mind my razor, take my toenail
Clippers. I’ll get a new pair. Too bad
You died wearing those polyester pants,
Huh? I don’t know what the hell
You were thinking. All the rest of Eternity
In a Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt. And you
Didn’t even sign an endorsement deal. I
Don’t suppose at this late date there’s
Anything you can do about that breath?”
There is a sudden sense of cold air
Vacating the premises, and I go back
To my NY Post and morning coffee.
Tonight another restless spirit will try
To haunt me, another restless spirit
With undead armpits and K Mart sneakers
I’m ready.
When I’m finished with you
You’ll be sorry you ever died.

editors note:

No rest for the wicked… – mh clay

Spring fragments

featured in the poetry forum November 30, 2019  :: 0 comments

A brief dance across smashed vacuum tubes announcing ‘Spring!’
From cardboard speakers damp & broken, wandering
From one abandoned shed
To another, this mattress still infested
By teenage wildlife till late morning & a network of Christmas lights spread
Over the kitchen table blinking green blinking red—

The garden hose kinked and re-kinked around the hose-cozy,
A massive drop of warm water suspended from the rusty nozzle for (can it be??)
Hours while we faux-eclipse the sun
Through the blue & red gels in our 3-D specs (also cardboard), un-
Earthed from storage boxes.
‘Also dig my fez,
Out of the same box in the attic,’
Said I, ‘like sick!’

Twilight: combing glass out of the sneaker treads,
Enormous plastic banners unfurled on the lawn (actually ruined water beds),
You preserving on pixels some shiny fragments of the day,
Me stuffing others into metal cans, and rolling them away.

editors note:

When the next one comes around, keep your camera ready and your trash cans clean. (Read another mad missive from Jeff on his page – made us laugh out loud. Check it out!) – mh clay

Diner Shaped Like a Bull Dog

featured in the poetry forum November 30, 2019  :: 0 comments

She said, I’ll pull over here by
This diner shaped like a bulldog,
You stand by that KIDS UNDER 10
EAT FREE sign & wave, wait a
Second, put on this space helmet
& kind of jump into the frame
From behind the dumpster like
You are beaming down from space,
Okay now duck down & wait till I say ‘Go!’

I waited & waited but she never said ‘go’
Or anything else, she just drove away
Till my car was two dim red lights
Way down the mountain road. After a while
I took off the space helmet & went inside
The diner, I swore I was under
10. I didn’t really expect
To eat for free, I was closing in on
47, but they didn’t have to be
So damn nasty about it.