featured in the poetry forum April 19, 2023  :: 0 comments

every room in this house is on fire
every second and pace of my hermitage
is for God or you
the card you pull,
and the inkblot night
soaking into the blues and marrow,
is a dream of us
we can stalk ourselves through
the loud lights of town and
this game I’ve made being cursed
give me rush and purchase to you
phantom entrée and feral pass
to the wilds of you, clearings deep
in the woods of you
and the lake there
above your sex and just behind your heart
I take to
humming a mother’s circular song of duty
killing everything our fathers failed to
and truly running out the expansive self
drinking black coffee and laughing
as the day breaks and the sun insists
on rising over all our work and ruin

editors note:

Here’s a love like an honest day’s work. (We welcome Jim to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum December 11, 2022  :: 0 comments

in this place that was sun-warmed
this place with windows for walls that was
mostly light
an old betty came in, with a pursed sense
of class
and her protégé, talking about work in the arts
they order drinks, sit down and
talk too loud at the table next to me
the barista is handsome, he brings me
a fresh decaf Americano and biscotti,
on the house, when I’m not looking and adding
simple syrup to my mug and cream
there are these
fleeting moments of togetherness I have
sometimes, at a warm place, in the right
when my weariness is so heavy it can
pull away the veil and a gesture will turn me
like a key
they aren’t often, but they’re enough—
wistful, breath-like moments when
the world doesn’t mind, either way,
and I feel a grace bounding like a starling
along a length of battleship chain.

editors note:

The perfect perch. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 25, 2022  :: 0 comments

the trouble with binary thinking
and wisdom communicated is
they say nothing about how
holding on is an inch from falling in,
that the difference between
ok and destitute
is slim and fickle
and luck is little more
than a rigged chance
the days
stacked up just so
aren’t a floating stair
but one stake after the next
into indifferent slabs
of matter,
with the gauge equidistant
between tragedy and dread
you have to break the hours down
until your grace is only a second of thanks
and then gone.

editors note:

Still, we do our binary best; “Thanks” or “No thanks.” – mh clay