Anal Corporate Babies

featured in the poetry forum September 23, 2021  :: 0 comments

(contribution by Robert Ragan)

You have to sort your load on camera
don’t tell customers we’re in a pandemic
you can’t call it harassment if the weird old man gropes you
that guy with the gun tucked in his pants is just as scared as any unarmed employee
never mind he doesn’t have a holster
don’t worry about him
worry about yourself
we need documentation that you work here, even though we know you already do
the burden of proof is on you
we need documentation you own your website
there was a perusal the work is in the public domain for free
do you have permission to publish it?
It is my site, my company,
But does everyone else know? Did they provide you official documentation?
Your contracts don’t count
Your incident report of on-the-job injury doesn’t comply
We know you worked those hours on the clock
But you weren’t technically scheduled
Stop calling it “harassment and abuse” just because someone was having a bad day and wanted to fight you in the parking lot
Don’t call it a fascist coup
Don’t call it anything
You should’ve said “have a nice day”
Even though he walked toward you threateningly and flicked a cigarette at you
He swore and threatened but you shouldn’t have walked toward him and threatened him back
Before you quit
Fill out these forms
They need to be done
Corporate needs these
Yet they still have a third party send out official exit surveys
A guy at amazon gets an email from his boss two doors down who got an email from district who got an urgent memo from regional who got a dead to rights message from corporate by some guy yelling with his pants down thumping his chest in the board room
the grunt running from drones races down an aisle with a black magic marker
he’s got to cross out all the offensive parts in the book you just ordered
fuck that guy

editors note:

It ain’t personal if it’s filled out in triplicate. – mh clay

Just another Tuesday (really)

featured in the poetry forum June 1, 2021  :: 0 comments

Why are my dad and I
both allegedly stoned?
arguing over the song
“Combat Rock”
Was it The Clash?
or that one band
You know?
That wasn’t The Clash?
No, I don’t know
Punk or reggae?
It’s just another Tuesday
as The Enterprise soars the space-ways
what exactly prompted this living sitcom scene?
we pop open a couple beers
ignoring the giant dead elephant
in the room

editors note:

Father-son (non)bonding over a rousing good game of “name that band.” – mh clay

Four decades looming

featured in the poetry forum February 22, 2021  :: 0 comments

thinking of the wolf in the black church
chained just before the altar to an iron stake long ago
pounded into the wooden floor
old earth occasionally spilling
bloodied, chain collared biting
two dogs bred for fighting
yipping, snapping, gnashing
a pail of water thrown at the triad between rounds
I might be dying
just not yet…

editors note:

Birthday dog fight. No candles, no last breath to blow… yet. – mh clay

Capitalist therapy

featured in the poetry forum November 3, 2020  :: 1 comment

Masks in the parking lot
car exhaust from mad shopping excursions choking the atmosphere
a bag of half-eaten fast food bakes in the heat
yes sir, Amerika’s back in full swing
no contagion here
step right up and get your realest realism
but something just isn’t right
maybe a touch of evil
under patriotic circumstances
what is the purpose of life?
“Do an inventory, rolling good times versus tumbling bad times, audit what you don’t like”
“remember it won’t work until you pay your bill.”

editors note:

Nothing does (and in the distance; more distancing). – mh clay

Trip to nowhere

featured in the poetry forum August 18, 2020  :: 0 comments

My father
a giant tumor
My mother- ashes
scattered along
the railroad tracks
how many people
have breathed her in?
who will inhale me?
breathing in both
my sweetness
and disdain?

editors note:

In with a gasp, out with a sneeze. Gesundheit! – mh clay

Confession of an unlived life

featured in the poetry forum June 13, 2020  :: 0 comments

Screaming mind into overdrive on this lust sweat-drenched night
heartbeat away from mine
see the hands of strangers all around
all over her figure over the years as I sat desolate
alone in the room
mattress on the floor
haunted by desolation and loneliness, afraid to touch and feel
know the artificiality we’re all plagued by…
jacking off with my Russian literature and doom-laden existential tomes pretending to be a quantum Buddhist in a sick layer of Zen hatred
I didn’t die all this way not to live
dying over and over
to live in a hungry yearning
sitting with the bottle alone
waiting between car repairs
wondering “what’s the use?”
until it stopped
you settle
that’s it, you’re going to do it, breathe, fuck it, ruin it, decimate feeble brains, make your mark
or that’s what I thought
guilt-stricken on the cold kitchen floor
fridge buzzing, blurred,
where was I?
vodka bottle empty
another fifth of something broken
dried brown drink on the floor
glass shards in my face
the first time it hit
my mother was dead
how maybe she never loved
she loved to torture her son
cleaning her shit and piss, as she said, “something’s wrong here, you don’t have anyone.”
Remembering how you toyed with her insulin to see how close you could get her to death, to the point of begging?
How she wept.
How they kept you from going to school.
Kicked you out after you took ecstasy.
Gave you a meal
set you out on your ass with nothing but the clothes on your back and the car you bought?
Why do these revelations come at the worst of times?
during the best moments of now?
On the point of building something great
or shall we burn it all down now?

editors note:

After reflection comes bare resolve or a grand conflagration. – mh clay

failed portraits

featured in the poetry forum March 24, 2020  :: 0 comments

what if something is real
and we’re all plugged in
and the system itself
who stays in?
are we dead or not
when discarded?
consumption and communion
is it love?
What are we feasting on
but life and sensation?
Who was the eye of god
based in the center
of you and me?

editors note:

Gods to see in your eyes only. – mh clay

She Won’t Let Me Cook

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

Check the sauce
my girlfriend
would never allow me to
I’ve got ingredients with no business
belonging in the meal we’ve got cooking
conventional taste and crafty wisdom
on a collision course toward dinner unknown
things are boiling over
a real pot boiler
like the plot against humanity
did someone say I shouldn’t be checking the sauce?
You like sweetness in dreams?
How about a sour reality?
This isn’t exactly a feast of friends but more a famine of fiends
I’ll take those ribs though…
them missing ribs
from long ago
gathered in ancient gravy
let’s get cookin’
with some extra virgin olive oil and crushed red pepper to match pineapple sensations
mushroom stoked visions
how’d you know I was going there?
spreading seeds of various plants and herbs of the sort in the ever-varying meat matter stew
stirring up conflict,
a big ol’ slop of whatever
this crockpot is full and unmoving
better dump that sauce in there
tiny crawfish still moving
vacant blackened eyes aghast with scalding horror melting immediate vision
but at least…
them mushrooms
them visions
psychedelic sonar hitting them antennas…
shit, girlfriend’s back in the kitchen
I wasn’t supposed to check the sauce

editors note:

What’s the secret in YOUR sauce? – mh clay

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