I Don’t Know What To Say

featured in the poetry forum July 10, 2016  :: 0 comments

I don’t know what to say
There is so much wrong in the world today
And I don’t know what to say
About injustices being perpetrated
By people who look like me
Against people who don’t look like me
Cause looks seem to be more important than ever these days
And I don’t want to look like one of them
Even though I am
I don’t know what to say
If I say “Black Lives Matter”
Do I sound like a white hypocrite?
Can I stand up for your people without standing against mine?
Can I love the Anglo in me in spite of their wrongs throughout time?
I don’t dare say “white” and “pride” in the same sentence
Might as well put on a white hood
Or tattoo a swastika on my face
But I don’t know what to say
Because I relate less to the people of my own ethnic background
And yet I don’t wanna be accused of cultural appropriation
When my radio station
Is tuned to soul music
Instead of country
Cause I like Eartha Kitt more than Travis Tritt
Cause James Brown feels good like Zac Brown never could
But I don’t know what to say
Lest I look like EL Fudge
Ya know, those little elves
Vanilla cookies with a chocolate center
Is that what I look like when I sing along with a rap song?
Yeee boyeeee
Baking cookies in my tree
Let me be honest with you
I know I look like a fool but I can’t help it
Do you know what it’s like
To have your heart rate increase
And palms sweat when you know
The “n-word” is up ahead in the song
When you’re singing along?
Can I say it if I’m just repeating Drake?
If I say “n-word” does it just sound fake?
The “n-word” is an inward expression for those with African blood in them
But I can’t say it just because I’ve had an African-American in me
But inwardly
I feel more pride when I see
A powerful African-American woman
Accomplishing great things
If I hit “Like”
Does that make me look like a feminist
Or like I’m trying too hard?
I don’t know what to say.
I don’t say much on social media
Because I feel it’s not my place
But I support my sisters and brothers
From other mothers
Because I know inside we are all from the same Mother
Who created us to be different from each other
Because if we were all the same
What would we learn? What could we change?
I understand that I will never understand your struggle
But I’ll defend with my life your right to fight
And I wanna be on the side that’s right
Without looking like I’m making up for being white.
I was born this way just like we all were
I’ve made it my mission to not let my looks define me
But looks seem to be more important than ever these days
That’s why I don’t know what to say
So I’ll let my actions speak for me
And treat every person like a human
Regardless of what I see
The color of skin has never mattered to me
I just want you to see that I’m just being me
Not a poser or a faker or a “wigger”
I had to fight against racism too
In my own family
Oh they act like progressives while masking their hate
My dad likes to sing the Stones song “Brown Sugar”
But the first time I brought a black man home
He told me to “stay with my own kind”
I was ashamed but I knew I would never change his mind.
Fine. I decided to change
The world so my kids will never hear those words.
We’re all the same kind, beautifully different in our own ways.
Born full of love and taught to hate.
Not me. Not my kids. It changes today.
Because now I know what I need to say.

editors note:

Now she knows. Do we? – mh clay


May 24, 2016  :: 0 comments

“I think you like it rough.” Her eyes stared at the detective blankly. “Excuse me?” “And I think…” he sat back in his chair and clasped his hands over his belted khakis, “you didn’t want your parents to find out that you had sex with a black guy. You’re embarrassed, so you said it’s rape. Am I right?” His gold …

A Throatpierced Sound in the Night

featured in the poetry forum April 1, 2015  :: 0 comments

lonely as america
guttural cries
no one hears

Miles blows translucent blue melodies
snare keeps time with double bass
piano for continuity
psychic feelers come back empty
no one listens

down fall the masks
muted slow arpeggios cover faces
behind stone curtains
no one cares

dark pursed lips press against
silver mouthpiece
fingers stab valves
air beats against me while
no one watches

inside my ash covered space
long, outheld notes cross time
whines sprinkle up a staircase of stars
slow soft keys whisper
no one’s there

up against the wall
then the resolution comes
a free ringing trumpet tone
sponges my face, bathes my body
in liquid timbre of relief that
no one feels

dare not peek behind the curtain
to see the man behind the magic
we all play roles in this masquerade
our secret sins equal out with age
no one knows

there is no great listener in heaven or on earth
just a call and answer, sometimes only a call
frequencies shared too often grow tedious
can a lifetime of unison even be bearable?
no one holds

maybe belief runs across this great Beat path
carved from interminable sand
constant sun and shaky fluorescents
cast everlong shadows on every bump and pebble
no one sees

editors note:

Bleak and bold, america – everywhere; no one! – mh

Inside the Fire

featured in the poetry forum January 23, 2014  :: 0 comments

To be in the center of a flame
Blue crystalline droplet
Wrapped in yellow orange tongues
Warmed until just before boiling point

Fires rage inside the wild courageous hearts
That I hold in my hand
Feeling the power of the beasts
Solar flares erupt from inside
Singeing my eyelashes
Kneeling though I am unafraid
Of looking the sun in the eye

I will be your arsonist
The globe surrounded by orange waves
Together we become lava
Seeping through the cracks in the sidewalk
Like a boiling flood
Over hot coals

To be inside the fire
To reflect the fire inside me
And know it by name

editors note:

If you would be my arsonist, then I would be your fuel; spilled, sputtered and spent. – mh

I want to be water

featured in the poetry forum November 27, 2012  :: 0 comments

I want to be water
bending light
exposing translucent truth
distorted by surface waves

I want to be water
mutable meandering stream
nourishing banks surrounding
trails carved in the dirt

I want to be water
so that flying missiles
break surface tension and
diffuse inside calm insulation

I want to be water
undulating the reflection of the sun
providing respite for blazing heat
extinguishing wild red fires

I want to be water
abundant yet scarce
found in all living things, but
difficult to extract and purify

I want to be water
so you have to go deeper,
deeper, darker into the unknown, searching
for secrets buried in the ocean floor

I want to be water
enveloping, saturating the brave
divers in wetsuits, materializing
in hidden caverns to come up for air

I want to be water
sweeping sediment away from one resource
only to deposit it in another place and time
facilitating growth down the road

I am water
vacillating between ice
and steam, forgetting
the tranquility of my natural state

editors note:

Hard to maintain that natural state when distracted by so many manifestations of self. Yes, I want to be that, too! – mh

Wisteria Island

November 25, 2012  :: 0 comments

In the small backyard surrounding my parents’ crumbling house that might be foreclosed in a week, mother wishes we could be the pallbearers for the Weber grill that is rusted to shit and falling apart, to relocate it out of the walking path, and since the five foot chiminea is in the way, to relocate that as well. “Let’s do …

Individualist Manifesto

featured in the poetry forum October 22, 2011  :: 0 comments

I have set myself apart from the world
I choose to be one of the chosen people
I am not a part of consumer America
I am not a number in the corporate cube
I am more than the money I don’t have
I do not heed the subliminal signals in the light box
I live a real life of my own
I leave the house during prime time
I work to keep my mind functioning
I remember the spiritual grandfathers
I read the words of the artist warriors
I do not let my mind solely be filled
with the reflections of digital images
I do not let the media tell me who is right and wrong
I ignore politics because nobody’s right
I use my own mind
I am one who lives for today and lives on forever
I don’t hide myself from the world
I love the way I look even if Hollywood doesn’t agree
I look through microscopes and telescopes
I do not allow the earth to rotate without me
I get actively involved in my life
I get actively involved in others’ lives
I am not content to sit idly by while
the best minds of my generation are destroyed
by the apathy of the general population
I am different than you
Who sits in the supercenter vacuum
Who listens to clichés coughed up by anorexic pantywaists
Who vacates to the ends of the earth
to get away from your worthless existence
Who believes that voting for America’s Next Vapid Star is time well spent
I believe that there is more to life
I believe in things that I can touch, smell, hear, see and taste
I am in tune with the world around me
I am filled with the spirit of light and truth
I may not worship your god
I know that all gods are equally valid
I worship the wind at sixty five miles per hour
I pray to the ink on pages bound imperfectly
I kneel before jugs of red wine
I give offerings to tightly bound threads sealed with acrylic color
I place value on skin contact
I spread love like dust
I can’t keep it all inside
I catch on fire and rise from the flame in the form of vocal vibrations
I do not do what is proper or normal
I choose not to blend in with the rest of the world
I want to be seen and heard
I want to mean something to myself
I am in the world but not of the world
I do not swim with the current
I believe in what I believe in
I believe in answers from star formations
I believe in truth inside a bottle of whiskey
I am not what is popular or conventional, and
I don’t give a fuck what you think, because
I don’t live to please you

editors note:

No corporate memo will circulate this manifesto for all us cube-clones to acknowledge and forward. No social net will publish this to the cyber-ether for us “friends” to “like” and “comment.” No one will pay attention to whether we sign on, sign up or sign off. No one will care… except you? – mh

When I Die, Take Me To City Lights

featured in the poetry forum October 1, 2010  :: 0 comments

My aunt had very aggressive cancer.
By the time she died three weeks later
she had already prepared for her aged mother,
and she had made clear her wish for no funeral,

no burial, no gravestone, no casket,
no memorial, no service, no ceremony,
not even an urn to hold her ashes.
She wished to join the fire that burned her body, and
whatever remains to swirl with the dust in a dumpster.

For three weeks she knew she was dying.
She could feel the virus spreading through
the squishy gray mass inside her skull
signaling naptime only three weeks
only two weeks
only one week
only days
only hours
only minutes
only seconds

Of all the ways to die,
that’s one I don’t think I could live with.
I don’t want time to prepare.
I don’t even want to wait one second
for the inevitable fade to black.
When death arrives
I want to have my eyes closed
so I won’t know it’s coming.

I’d rather catch a stray bullet
to the cerebral cortex
while walking down the street
listening to
‘This is the end, beautiful friend…’
or get into a wreck while I sleep in the backseat,
blaring speakers speak
‘all the children are insane.’

And when I die,
don’t bury my artificially preserved corpse
in metal and fiberglass
with synthetic flowers adorning my slab.

I wanna go out Gram Parsons style
a barbecue in the desert.
Collect my ashes
put me in a jar,
and take me to City Lights.
Place me in the highest room in the tower
in the corner
on a stack of good books.

After that, I don’t care what you do.
Have a service or a wake
or even a drug-fueled orgy.
I don’t care. Mourning is for the living.
I’ll be distracted
by the words of the dead,
listening for The Doors to play
through the store’s speakers.

My Mecca

featured in the poetry forum June 29, 2010  :: 0 comments

Your wounded deviancy
Youth tarnished from infancy
All good things come with a price
Nothing beautiful without suffering

Born from a brain aneurism
Suckled at the inverted nipple
Crawled on the matted carpets
Walked on semen trails
Fucked in the daybed
Sucked the cock of the non-convicted
Sucked the cocks of several since
Still most pure Ivory skin
Most sanctified lips
Most clean mountaintops
Mostly harmless hankering
For a forbidden fruit
Or at least a well made meal
Never fully even but somehow equal
Perfect incompatibility
Extrasensory perceptions
But never actual sightings
Withholding evidence
Keeps the passion alive
Conspiracy theories of pleasure
New Mexican deserts of pain

This is where I breathe.
It’s everywhere I’ve been.
14-year-old hand holding delight
And the evolution of the sun
Into what it has become
Gravitational centrifugal
Binding glue
Codependency with a twist

Coiling masses frame
Star struck eyes of adoration
Twinkling pointed diamond
Cheekbones pink and freckled
Purest smile of prayer
Dedicated to me in the name of Saint Bernadette
Angelic arsenal of self-destruction

I say I’m better and laughter trails from our tongues
Intertwining in the atmosphere
From a satellite of the moon
I to you

Some may walk a million miles
But to my Mecca
I pilgrimage on weakened knees
Perfection nearly attainable
As far as I can see

Silhouettes face the light together
Shoulders square
Ready to take on the journey


featured in the poetry forum February 24, 2010  :: 0 comments

Preface: I HATE the word “frenemies.” It is a trite word that only people who read Cosmo and People Magazine would say. However, a certain person used it to describe our relationship, and unfortunately, I couldn’t argue with him; the word fits perfectly.

You want to kill me.
Don’t lie. You do.
You’d like to fuck me first,
but when it’s all said and done,
you want me dead at your hand.

You’d like to run your fingertips
along the sides of my breasts,
circle my areolas, and then
plunge your hand through my sternum and
rip out my heart.
Maybe even take a bite of it,
you sadistic fuck.

Don’t try to deny it.
We are way past pretenses.
You can’t even call this “love/hate.”
This is so much more.

If I let you get close enough to me
you would caress my neck with your lips
before strangling me with your bare hands,
looking into my eyes as I take my final breaths.

It goes both ways, buddy.

I don’t want to hear about your death
through the grapevine,
or even in the obituaries.
I want to cause it so that
I can make SURE you’re fucking dead.

I believe I already threatened to
stab you in the eye with a fork.

Though my friendship with you is PURELY artistic
(and YES, I will keep telling myself that)
I would use my “Kane Muthafuckin Hodder” autographed machete
to gently remove your head from your body
so that I could eat your brain
Hannibal Lechter-style with some farva beans.

So, yeah, you’re a pretty great guy.

I wouldn’t expect any less from you
than wanting to sodomize and slaughter me.

And I think you’d be pretty insulted
if I didn’t have a strong desire
to dismember and consume you.

I’m glad we had this talk.