All I know

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

this is all I know
I’m sorry
speaking indirectly to you
“painting with words” as you say
Fortunately- is falling in love
Unfortunately- is not being very good at it
it’s a terrifying wilderness the human heart
colliding with the pulsating quantum mind
who knew such peaks and valleys existed
until we met
exploring such an intense landscape
scars, desire, intimacy, sacredness

editors note:

Deep breath. Eyes open (always open)… Jump! – mh clay

Cereal stains

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

Whirl of the washing machine
drones thumping, bumping
the swirl of water
cycle on spin
and what am I thinking about?
breakfast cereal
topped with butter and salt
sugar coated oats
an entire stick
melted in the pan
pour it on over
she said “Love-bug, let me introduce you to my favorite snack.”
the laundry mat – stained
flies trying to eat my sandwich
vending machine preserved
roach on the floor
like the meatpacking plant
in Grant, Tennessee
where it’s lunch time
Hector’s got cold menudo and tortillas
to get him through the shift
on the killing floor
rubber boots and aprons
blood stained
later set aside
for flip-flops and track pants
home – where refrigerated feast awaits
warmed in the stove – brick layer tacos
warm like his sleeping wife’s hand
a far cry from breakfast cereal
topped with butter and salt

editors note:

Cuisine-fueled conveyance; one bite becomes another’s. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum April 13, 2019  :: 0 comments

“you fuckin’ troublemaker,
come over here”
She yelled from the car
dented, black and rusted
giving me tips on drinking and driving
“taking the highway instead of the back roads to avoid police, you have to be smart”
I knew I’d regret getting into the car
later into her
but I did it anyway
just like I spoke to her at the bar
was it the crossbones choker?
the too tight shirt and exploding cleavage?
the weather beaten face with glitter?
how about the exhaust pipe whining cigarette voice?
“I need a man to take me home and use my body like a whore.”
followed by staccato wailing
David Bowie as Pilate
the story of her outlaw father
who definitely wasn’t in Heaven
last temptation
I’m no Christ

editors note:

Hey, Pilate! Can’t wash’em all-the-way clean with that skull ring on. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum January 11, 2019  :: 0 comments

Love-bug? Are your friends gangsters?
I think they might be criminals
why does your friend carry a gun?
I think that girl
you used to date
has sex for money
what were you and those guys in tracksuits sitting outside the café
at the table with the checkered cloth talking about?
Who’s Omar?
Why are most of your friends Bosnians or Mexicans?
Those black men sure looked happy to see you
Love-bug, you sure write an awful lot about prostitutes
someone once told me they heard
you did a line of cocaine off a stripper’s backside
is that true?
Love-bug, what did he mean by “move things”?
Raves? Drugs? Bosnians? Punk Rock? Omar?
Love-bug, were you a criminal?
When she left me high and dry
on the edge of eviction
barely food, furniture or clothes
left my mother with a breathing tube rammed down her throat
“I need 10,000 dollars.”
“Mike, I don’t have that kind of money but I know how to make it.”
five months later
in court
representing myself
I showed up with
4 track suited Bosnians, two tatted up Mexicans,
my stripper girlfriend and Omar

Pat the bartender watching
the proceedings with glee

editors note:

When love is this blind, best get a front row seat. – mh clay

not a love poem

featured in the poetry forum September 12, 2018  :: 1 comment

she asked
“Where have you been?
Why haven’t you written?
Want some pizza?”
“I’ve been hiking in the mornings
smoking pot on the trails
thinking about eagles and wooden mermaids”
like a wolf
low humming growl
glinting ocular orbs slit
“Who is she?”
“There’s no one”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“There hasn’t been in years
I like my solitude”
“If I didn’t exist, would you be with her?”
“There’s no one.”
“Is she the mermaid?
Does she swim to you in wet dreams?”
“I like being alone.”
silence – but there’s an emanating
underlying white noise – mounting
“I’d like to continue my walk.”
gripping tighter, my coffee’s paper cup
“You’re going through
an awful lot of lengths to protect her.”
seconds pass
swoops like a bird,
arms spread wing-span
popped out wide awake eyes
“WHO!-WHO!” high pitched
“What are you a fuckin’ owl?!” she accused
unlike an owl I’ve accrued no wisdom

editors note:

Woke, if not wise. – mh clay

Mona in Amerika #2

featured in the poetry forum July 14, 2018  :: 0 comments

She’s thinking of meeting
the man in the yellow hat
in tight cut-office denims and a butterfly tank top
she needs a job
enter: Hamburger Joe’s
nearly a trillion served
deep fried burgers, slaw-fries, bacon topped ice-cream
at lightning speed
a stupid hat, $40 uniform fee
must be available: days, nights, weekends, holidays
7 days a week
expect between nine and twenty-four hours
starting pay 25 cents above minimum
it’s within walking distance
saves on bus fare
allows for minor contemplation
on the receding homeland and Sisyphus boulder
mom’s at the axis of it all
which is really the cross roads of delayed death
or immediate death
walking in front of a bus as factory doors close
a dollar over minimum, cashiering at the mart
a circus of value and conflicting time changes
Mona fingering Baltic curls, gazes at her younger sister
back from daycare, sores on her mouth
still hungry but refusing to eat
macaroni hotdog, sloppy joe sauce surprise
call it a “Tidy Joe” on a bun
in her uniform before work
tighter pants for job security
appease the manager with wolfish eyes
light on make-up
so as not to signify
instant give-away
Mona sighs and asks “is this Amerika?”

editors note:

Three squares rounded down to one (or none); still groping for the special prize, hidden in that happy meal. – mh clay

Skid Row Sutra

featured in the poetry forum May 9, 2018  :: 0 comments

Neptune sea foamed infused logos tea
writing’s on the wall
conjoined lovers
a singular melted sex
atomic shadows
exploding imprint
apocalypse delight
hypodermic needles in the grass
plastic liquor bottles full of piss
fluid exchange
the poison of temporary enlightenment
riding that crucifix into jaded nirvana

editors note:

Life’s beverage (believ-a-cola); a capricious brew, isn’t it? – mh clay

to be

featured in the poetry forum February 12, 2018  :: 0 comments

night time dawn
her razor blade sway
bobbing up and down
scarecrow on the stairs
hands reaching
the broken light of things

editors note:

Oh, the story what was, behind what she be. – mh clay

copper angel

featured in the poetry forum December 10, 2017  :: 0 comments

I don’t like the idea of angels
giving me the angle
of Heaven being
the picture-perfect monarchy
basking in cosmic disco lights
strobe getting on high of mind
a conversation
over fried chicken and coffee
honey dipped- crisp
coffee- black
she wore a coat of blue monkey skin
her eyes- purple and red
art lies- Abraham Lincoln
made of pennies
won the prize
it was Armageddon
before we even met
all we left- a pile of bones
on a single plate
hand in hand
bean juice backwash
on the bottom of mugs

editors note:

Is it heaven, or fried chicken? Not sure? How ’bout I flip you for it? – mh clay

a poem about fighting

featured in the poetry forum October 11, 2017  :: 0 comments

my co-worker- potato shaped
bronze tinged with a pudding consistency
an immobile juggernaut
lives across the street
from work
his mom picks him up in her beater
rust eaten coffin
battery operated kitten purring venom
last rites
it’s getting grotesque
this act of not walking home
at night, after work
his neck has vanished- eaten by swelling flesh
mimicking his mouth and the rest of his
gluttonous structure
nearly half my age
looks nearly twice
has a Bukowski quote tatted on his arm
never read him, doesn’t even know who he is
turned 18, asked the artist for something
cool, something meaningful
ask him something about meaning,
life, living, fucking, the globalized villa of discontent
dumbfounded silence
glare of malice
one day, walking down the street
wearing my pineapple shirt- I pass him
on the way to work
walks past me
eyes shut- head phones on
drumming away but never to
so, I decide at break to ask, “Say Roger, you live in the complex across from here, why don’t you just walk home instead of having your mom put the extra wear and tear on the car?”
“First, Zoller, it’s none of your business, second, I’m gay, third Trump is president, my mom says there’s all sorts of evil people out there who want to do me harm for being different, not that you’d understand.”
“Yeah, being a working class, non-religious half-Jew, I have no idea what that’s like but sometimes an ass kicking is good for you.
toughens your character
develops your pain threshold
I was bullied from elementary
all the way through high school
by the time I made my rounds to the bars
I was able to knock most washed-up jockos
and casual business pricks flat on their asses
bang and threaten to run a train on their girlfriends
and get most my drinks paid for
of course, it helped
I was a criminal then”

editors note:

Discord in diversity brings counsel from criminality. (We welcome Mike to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay