Cultivating Cabarets

featured in the poetry forum November 11, 2018  :: 0 comments

The gilded compère, looking after the vetting, eyeballed the night’s balladeers.
Where, in others place, people had lamely spit on winners, his hall boasted no
Fewer than eight eventual Grand Champions; his producers knew that singers
Had to inhabit personae to suit modern audiences – they were forced to scream.

One “little girl,” eliminated after two rounds, sat at home, cleaning not one, but
Two smoothbores for purposes of comeuppance. She’d read that chest and head
Were keen locations for placing holes. An officious technical director was first,
Followed by a misogynous boom operator, a bossy runner, and then an intern.

She gunned down the stage manager and gaffer, too, before taking her smoking
Weapon to her noggin. Afterwards, an aging videographer worried over many
Bits of blood, cloth, viscera (his supervisors improperly monitored nearly every
Contestant, were the worse clock-punching connoisseurs cultivating cabarets.)

editors note: Watch out! Judge with diligence the gracious winner; even more, the sore loser. – mh clay


November 3, 2018  :: 0 comments

I “read” the other abductees for you. What more do you want? “Wake up! I paid millions for you. There’s no time for sleep.” There’s no mutuality to our “contract.” “Drat! Sebastian, get me the longer pole. This one doesn’t reach.” “He’s already pretty bruised up, Boss.” “Shut up or I’ll thrash you, instead.” “I’m getting the broomstick.” And I’m …

Not a Tip Shop for Your Fury

featured in the poetry forum August 19, 2018  :: 0 comments

I’m not a tip shop for your fury, a vat for your life’s slumps,
Nosedives smacking against fallen effulgence, pitted esteem.
Tumbleweeds of reduced self-respect, horizons of imbalances.
My self-worth’s maintained as my significance’s not hinged.

Even had I been a ronin, traveling from kingdom to kingdom,
There’d be no rationale to fasten my dignity to your outbursts,
To measure my self-confidence in flashes void of your ferocity,
To engage in precarious operations due to your self-contempt.

I’m no junk yard for your anger, no lamp for your “sunlight”
Wants. I’m all springtime rains evaporating in heated climes,
Dandelion fluff that disperses when winds suddenly bluster.
My quelling frown is meant as distance, disapproval, rejection.

So, remove all luteolous, all argent, all cuprous zar (substitutes).
I’ve no need of middens for company. Self-contained, I take up
With neither misuse nor cruelty, won’t cozy with mistreatment,
Flee from violence, contumely, all manner of your gifted harm.

editors note:

Whatever the tinge of your mettle – here’s a tell-off template for any and all. – mh clay

The Willing Face of Corporate Chemistry

featured in the poetry forum June 20, 2018  :: 0 comments

The willing face of corporate chemistry continues to abuse power, to ease
Charges brought against assart bullies liberating bosses from investigation.
Captured partners, even types pleasing to look at, die one by one, anyway.

Grasp, money’s successful hooks no longer astonishing workers or media,
Whether or not demises occur suddenly, else linger like bad drain cleaners
In toilets, sinks, bathtubs, reservoirs, all contrary to healthy living. Stinks!

Members of most sales forces buck competitively-priced services, likewise
Deign to advertise, as superior products, less-than-industry standard, tripe
While accruing adoration purchased across untruths, mendacities, deceits.

They purchase consumer love via quiltbag politics, possible epigenetic
Changes, place their findings in “academic” journals of no true worth.
Five year-old-styled wisdoms won’t ever parallel weathered certainties.

editors note:

Wink your weather eye to discern the fakery in the f**kery. (It’s all f**kery!) – mh clay

Milk Moments

featured in the poetry forum April 5, 2018  :: 0 comments

Go away little growl,
Little Guy demanded nursing,
Head held back, catching my light
In your growth of lips, cheeks, tongue.

My cups wash limpid, free of darkness,
As we share the wisdom of lactation,
Chaff’s only culled as we pause for air
Or for lesser needs.

Then, during diaper changes,
Flickerings of serious poetics totter,
Coupling your vulnerable parameters,
With history more than nature.

Greater immolations,
You impecunious thief, come
When our mutual articulations
Sing home the moon.

editors note:

Babe at breast sings milk from moons. (This one comes from KJ Hannah’s recent collection, Mothers Ought  to Utter Only Niceties. See how to get your copy here.) – mh clay

Elided Sentiments

November 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

Potomac Series 5 by artist Nancy Ramsey

Elided sentiments, many crazy feelings, cull conflicting eruptions of giggles
Surge hot, cold, lukewarm, trail unclassified dinguses, doohickeys, gubbins,
Jink in uncanny ways, undergird premises promising happiness only when
Artless minds suffuse, rail against vulgarians’ risible leadership endeavors.

In the safety of personal throne rooms, getting layered nuances becomes an
Aggressive, intuitive set up. More exactingly, most responses to side-chicks
Elicit troublesome experiments, invite over trifling, pigeon minions, thwart
Desert town mentors, call up bombastic, excessively decorated hobbyhorses.

In real life, all manner of reconciliations could be cobbled on small screens;
Varied forms of stimulation don’t interrupt regular thoughts, sporadic éclat.
Apoplexic partners, largely, remain unlikely to reject cards dealt, to divorce.
Contrariwise, war remains ego appeasement. It’s peace that gets patched up.

The terrible hissing sound of bombarded lizards mistakenly, frightens does
Even as large quadrupeds escape: tiny deviations, ambitious husbands, rent.
Meanwhile, our populous views industrial nations, old school Manichaeism,
As publicizing solicitous thugs, spelentic politicians, piles of base wardens.

Rancorous words stick. Their fetor deters, makes regular folks extra weary.
Living morally exhausts. Cupping sunlight, collecting raspberries, likewise,
Bring along ancillary problems, relatives, outliers. They similarly retrench
Simple hope. Happenstance’s bricolage, colluding with evil, is a bad result.

Eventually, connivances look to conjure surly, tenuous associations, to amass
Unctuous feedback, to cause students to correct oblivious friends and teachers,
To ascertain locations’ conditions. Cultural perigees’ derivatives regularly rile,
Limn wrongdoings in neon colors, compare incomparable events, yelp loudly.

Until such time as arrears are paid, serfs’ fees, like chaff blowing unbalanced,
Create miserable conditions for kith, kin. Then answering machines linked to
Fabulations continue operating for fortnights’ worth of failed attempts, to set
Masterminding projects afloat from heaven, to laugh aloud, and to play dead.

editors note:

Three of five…

Sometimes Water

November 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

Potomac Series 4 by artist Nancy Ramsey

Sometimes, water’s more
Than an existential force;
Some days, it’s just drink.

editors note:

Ekphrasis five of five!

In the Best of Aquatic Circumstances

November 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

Potomac Series 3 by artist Nancy Ramsey

In the best of aquatic circumstances, engaging in highly nonarchetypical
Thinking adds levels of care to some espoused views, prevents shattering
Prized maquettes once patterned to represent our old-fashioned principles.

See, the lure of wet benefits often outweighs this populace’s aspirations,
Habitually skips beyond its anticipated benevolence, finds places where
Social costochondritis, twee expressions, also untuned charangoes dwell.

Accordingly, it’s well-advised to carefully relay thoughts, to circumvent
Watery catachreses, likewise peculiar untruths, odd-smelling ablatives.
In nature, words less than comprehensible get pushed beneath, drowned.

Equally, it’s typical to squander on educating families against phlogiston
Accidents. Ultimately, certain among us will become vigilant preventing
The drenching of additional, elderly hedgehogs, lamankis, dried feelings.

Albeit, arid, loved alterities prove surprisingly effulgent at death, usually
Biding time among faithful molossers, alternatively assembling assorted
Affective kludges toward encouraging irregular, tulgey streams to heave.

editors note:

Ekphrasis four of five…

All Things Being Nearly Equal

November 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

Potomac Series 10 by artist Nancy Ramsey

All things being nearly equal, monsters disregard coinage’s unpleasantness,
Plagiaries don’t see their wrongs, hoodlums still steal signs, kindergarteners
Keep engaging in “theft by finding;” evil doers flourish by employing vices.
Administrative politicos, also, organize quests for love, power, maybe land,
Get distracted, and then forget their pals’ besieged, scanty standings.

Multiplying mayflies, quick as ocean-bound extras, litter beaches, channels,
Disregard greenhouse buds, rare shorebirds, crustaceans, advise themselves
Certain visions can morph, confused, after uncalled-for website trafficking.
(Never do such louts remember sustainability’s diverse, essential positions;
More often, they participate in goings-on assured to not end well.)

Explicitly, for several reasons within profit’s purview, such special blokes
Disappear behind social bedskirts, to hammer each demanding watchdog,
Shout out invectives, contest crucial changes in cyclonic weather systems,
Dislodge objects, disparage existent, threatening deterrents, embolden old
Exsanguine authorities to snigger about hanging bandits.

One way or another, such nasties’ “elucidated” sentiments sidestep wisdom,
Grow frustrated expectations, insidious oddities, late tax returns, bad checks.
Rarely will delinquents facilitate communal priorities, neglect to bamboozle,
To muck up manmade, or biological biomes. Impressively, they carp, niggle
Over virtue, over iniquity, over the cordoning of “innocents.”

Even so, esteemed families care whether waters become polluted. Identifiable,
Resource-challenged supervisions devote countless annals to mental ablutions,
When tackling citizens’ need for tasty fish, free-flying wings, verdant byways.
(excluding fresh predicaments, burdens, ordeals, tribulations). Mainly, leaders
Make cheap compromises in balancing ecologies with shams.

Henchmen’s penchant, contrariwise, their scoffing, their jeering viciously near
Privately-funded estuaries, bird sanctuaries, places where forbs, fauna, friends
Gather, celebrate, breed, prove “broad-minded” crooks browbeat victims. See,
No detectors’ blipping, hosts’ yawning, cats’ aerobatic feats, foils lawbreakers
From receiving backup when pointing their homemade ordnances.

editors note:

Ekphrasis two of five…

In Choosing to Work with Forbs and Flowers

featured in the poetry forum November 25, 2017  :: 0 comments

Potomac Series 9 by artist Nancy Ramsey

At daybreak, when Granny revisits her greenhouse, to
Transform objects trouvé into flower pots, birdbaths,
To stick rococo petals ‘tween muted crystalline panes,
The morning sky colors pink and gold.

Otherwise, landlocked gyres’ allied rhetorics founder,
Eliminate no caches of womanizers, child abductors,
“Mild” terrorists. Cooking shows don’t avert futures,
Can’t exempt worthy friends from fine print.

The cost for behaving like a “good girl,” mid socially
Esculent peers, remains palpitations, insomnia, weight
Gain, sorrow. No one believes she hankers given her
Age, size, relationship status. Nevertheless, all roses require pruning.

Gambeson-decked elders crave cuddles, supple words,
Adulations, notwithstanding seemingly squishy covers.
Gardening’s verdancy correspondingly requires praise.
Islands emerge even as lonely human beings suffer.

editors note:

This is one of five ekphrastic works, part of a larger collaboration between KJ and another artist: 

Creative folks need to actualize their potential beyond their specialties. Accordingly, American painter Nancy Ramsey and Israeli/American writer KJ Hannah Greenberg are collaborating on Exchange Rates, a collection of one hundred sets of work.

Each artist is fashioning twenty-five inspirational poems and twenty-five inspirational pictures to which the other is conjuring responses. The pair’s journey through these two hundred, total, pieces is meant to encourage other visual and verbal artists to take risks, to affirm talent’s multidimensional quality, and to exemplify ways in which creatives can grow.

Follow KJ’s progress on this Developing Book on her site, here. Check out the other four poems with pics on her page. – mh clay