Amber & Stefan Circle the Block Three Times

April 6, 2024  :: 0 comments

Stefan put the Malibu in gear and pulled away from the curb. He said: “Amber, I’m uncomfortable with the falsetto. I mean, a little is okay, but not for a whole verse. Maybe just the first two bars. I want you to think hard about this.” She pretended to think hard about it and Stefan made a right turn. Two …

Metal Men Peppermint

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

Crumpled a page of ‘Metal Men’
Stuffed it under my cap
Went to meet Kathy at Tomato Smash

This is a do-over, she said
She brought lip gloss & peppermints
It will only be 1966 for a couple of minutes

Don’t fuck it up this time. The wind
Picked up I pushed my cap down &
The Metal Men crackled like fire

Quick! she said & 55 years of mistakes
Shot off to the hills like a rubber band,
Sweetened by the taste of peppermint

editors note:

Got a do-over on your wish list? Quick! Go do it! – mh clay

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” …