featured in the poetry forum June 9, 2020  :: 0 comments

It’s raining today
And yesterday was fine

The Masters
Know the way of heaven

The green jade melody

Strung between moments
Flushed with the dawn

The sun comes and the stars go
That is the way of things

To look out of my window
To burn paper with the doubt

That is the dew of clouds I lead

Back through midnight
Back through worlds

The rain falls harder on the morning pass

I will not proceed

editors note:

When moving is not being, and being is not moving. (J H says, This poem is “very much in line with a digital pamphlet of poetry I have made available for free through my own page here.” Check it out!) – mh clay

Standing Here

April 4, 2020  :: 0 comments

Jack didn’t know why, but over the last year he’d been thinking about that day a lot. It wasn’t a day that had been out of the ordinary. And it wasn’t a day that he could recall that he’d really thought about for more than thirty years. But there it was anyway. Just as it had been for the last …


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

I do not recognise
My city
I do not recognise
My country

Not because
I do not have one
But because I have too many

But isolated
I do not have the poles
Or the canvas
To build my own tent
Only a bag

To roll up
To move on
To flee

This dead city of mind
This barren country of mind
This long tall history of mind

With its flags
And its books
And their songs
And their words

Which can only fill holes
In its ash ridden borders
And not the vast depths
Of its fathomless heart

Still alive
And yet distant
Like the faintest beat of its waves

Still here –
In this blown speck of dust
Caught in the bright rays
Of its piercing light

editors note:

We’re all refugees on this rock. – mh clay


December 10, 2019  :: 0 comments

“Brother, calm down. They will be here. Twenty more minutes, OK?” I don’t want to hear that. I really don’t. I have already been standing here in this two-bit DVD store for over half-an-hour. I don’t need it then. I need it now. “First, I fuck you, then my friend fuck you, OK?” And, no, I don’t want to hear …


featured in the poetry forum September 16, 2019  :: 0 comments

A savage beating
With a monkey wrench
A spine smashed in two
By a scaffold pole
And a mob waiting outside
All of them armed
With sticks bats and knives

Last night I dreamt
Of all of these things
And many more besides

But this morning
When I awoke
I found that nearly
Eight years had passed

Now –
I don’t want revenge
And I don’t have
A magic double-edged sword

All I want
Is to stop this mind thinking
That it understands
And from willing this fool
To do what its
Brief blossoms want

To eat this fresh peach
And to keep on eating it

Until its shape
And its colour
Its skin and its taste
Become no more than a peach
And still no peach at all


That’s all any fool dreams

editors note:

The beating and the balm, a fool’s dream. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 22, 2019  :: 0 comments

A small bag
A torch
A tin box and pipe

These are the tools

To present my past
To rescind the guilt
To connect to the source
Of what I am not

Some call it magic
An other

But names are misplaced
On this false print of paths
And easily pierced
By their own savage thorns

Forget about this
And leave behind that

Crossing the bridge
Flies buzz on the burn

Kill the mind child
Return this earth to the dust

editors note:

The magic we make, in time, unmakes us. Naturally! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum February 24, 2019  :: 0 comments

Leave summer there
To bleed into the sea
Autumn is coming down hard

The mountain retreats
The backstreet brothels
The street photographs
The excuse that I was drunk
The boxing titles
And all of the countless blood baths

All of them are gone
All of them are done now

Like that springtime record
And all of my government names
I have one stone cold alibi
That needs no rehearsing
And needs no fake feelings posed
When winter comes knocking
With its unasked for inquiries
About whether
This was indeed that
Or that was indeed this

September 26 1972

That is all I am saying
I have no further comment

Let them state for the record
Whatever they want

I have already said –
No further comment

The footage has long been deleted
And all the evidence burned

By the crematorium fire
By the valium blues
And by this disrupted sentence
That now breaks and then falls
Like the leaves and the ash
Around my blistered feet
Lapped by the last rays of
My own summer’s breath

editors note:

In the end, our best defense is none at all. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 29, 2018  :: 0 comments

Next week –
Ten –
A new set of bones
Old and burned white
By the dead tiger moon

Will I climb up?
Or will I stand down?

I don’t think there’s a choice
Or a need to explain

To wise men
To fools
To doctors
To books

All they carry is baggage
More grist for its teeth

Leave it alone
And leave it all there

Look to the distance
No need to look back

I have seen the carnage
And it’s far safer here

The clean sun of my shelter
Covered not casting
Any more blood for the trail

editors note:

Keep a cozy cover, a clean count, and your blood to yourself. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum June 29, 2018  :: 0 comments

City freeze
Or subway cold
I can’t quite
Reach out and touch
The shiver at its edge

That distant feeling
Which will not reveal itself
In the neon-lit darkness
Of its own atmosphere

Is it sadness
Or is it loneliness?

I really don’t care
If it’s which or if it’s either

I only want
To feel and embrace
Its closed emptiness
As I walk these streets alone

Rain swept and blurred

Neither here nor there

That is where I want to be

I know without feeling
Is unreal but always present

Far beyond the shadow
Of my silhouette
Far from the shell
Of this pale skin and bone

Fading with these echoes

Somewhere still more alive

editors note:

That “thing” we all feel; that fascinating emptiness, we can stand for a little, but not for long. Poets whistle in the dark; to make it come close, then to make it go away. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 18, 2018  :: 0 comments

The piano
The night
And the doubts

If I can make it
Through another week
If I can repair what I have broken

Without a drink
With the money that I don’t have
With all the people who have now gone

This September, it will be forty five
This October, it will be seven
And this November, it will be one month


Like photographs of Shinjuko
Like letters from Sabadell

They are just something
To put down
Something for these thoughts
To tie their petty selves to

Like Guanyin, like beads
Like numbers, like time

Next week

Tell me
Go on, tell me, please –

Does he comfort you
Each and every night?
Will they carry on working
When you cannot afford to pay?
Can you tell me if any of your teachings
Have ever truly conquered death?

I have lost track of all the conversations
And they have lost all track of me

Las Huertas con Carlos
Kunming with Da Ma
136 with The Hurricane

This mind has too many stories
To keep itself occupied
But no attention for the detail

Like the raspberries in the alcohol
Like the mountain brothel honeymoon

I can hear
The glass screen break
And feel it shove
Those Beijing shards
Straight back down my opiated throat

All carved out charm for prostitutes
All blackened blood from a poisoned tongue



Would you forgive?
Would you forget?
Would you ever believe a word of it?


From Khaosan clubs
To dirty Poipet massage parlours
The lies I like to feed myself
Give no reasons and have no answer for
The dust, the shelves, the walls and jars


I nod
I see
I hear

The moonlight shifting
The piano playing

Through these rooms
Through these autumn trees

editors note:

No apology; apologia only. – mh clay