I just can’t…

featured in the poetry forum April 19, 2019  :: 0 comments

I had the weather channel on
for an hour and I feel
like every memory I hold is
anvil heavy, every tear
flowing across Interstate 10,
every bad day I owned, is
day one for the unaware

survivors have rights, unpaid
freedom charged against the horrors

my tongue is black
tomorrow will never come
and your best dream is
swirling in a gutter of disbelief

it looks like rain

editors note:

Black skies, black tongue. Need a soul slicker to weather these storms. – mh clay

it’s about time

featured in the poetry forum February 6, 2018  :: 1 comment

I’m a horologist
of sorts
my interest in time wanders from trepidation
to abject repulsion
fearing ineptitude in understanding it
only compounded by my hatred observing its hungry maw
but clocks are innocents, simple faces of man’s vanity
as if the need to pace one’s self could have a purpose

I’ve felt this way for quite a while
how long
I certainly do not care to know

I mean, to know time
requires admitting my folly
and well, I don’t have time for that

editors note:

Second(s) that! – mh clay

seasonal affectation disorder

featured in the poetry forum December 25, 2016  :: 1 comment

there are no seasons for me
like torn pages of a dark novella
repeat the story line
a tired hero staring,
in search of the villain in his head

yet, as I indulge in a bowl of warm bread pudding,
I somehow am taken by a tinge of Christmas
my memory bank stepping around time bombs
and settling on smiles once bestowed to me,
as I ripped through wrapping
and peered into the hearts of the few who Loved me

the Scrooge in my soul pardons himself
and you’ve caught me believing in Santa one more time

editors note:

(no) Bah! (no) Humbug! God bless us everyone. – mh clay

they do tricks

featured in the poetry forum September 28, 2016  :: 0 comments

they do tricks, you know?
the magicians and poets
the artists and makers of song
juggling tongues like lost heroes
begging you to find their way home
forgiving yesterday for tearing the veil away
for uncovering the layers where loss denies truth
where we met and corrupted the night’s dream

they remind you to drown while breathing
to forget while you care, carelessly
rendering their concerns for us all
and we…HA, we…as if there is a collective heart
beating the clock back under a bastard moon
left out for salvation, left alone for surrender,
left for the Lover’s to die under

and we
cringe in disbelief at the poignant points
thrust in our souls with words, with sight-lines,
with stringed apathy and trumpeted joyfulness
with clever mirrors tracing yellow bricks we’ve ridden
in back seats left bloodied by our imprinted minds

they do these tricks for us, fearlessly
knowing… the joke’s on them
for in every pause, in every stoic stanza,
in every aborted rhythm they dispense
the truth creeps through, a fiendish bitch
calling them out, calling them wrong,
calling them to court and to account
for being guilty
as only a judge can be

editors note:

We can throw them stones, but they can throw’em back. – mh clay

why would you

featured in the poetry forum October 7, 2015  :: 1 comment

she felt vulnerable
so why scream naked

he demanded vision
so why gouge his eyes

they pardoned the past
so why celebrate then

why would a dying man
slit his own throat

for the pow of it all
for the change
the liberation

for an unspoken ism, left out in the bold
for Victory
for art or Love or maybe…for the magic of it all
the Madness of it all

for that certain fracture of time to heal
or to explode a chasm of indifference
for a soft-souled warehouseman to breathe

for a D flat solo under a tin horn moon
for the snap of a snare
the clap of a heart
for the going rate of freedom

for a sapling to spread open
for the taste of generosity
or for a lane change

or maybe…
just for the blood of it all

editors note:

It’s “bloody work,” but it’s gotta be done. Why wouldn’t you? – mh clay


January 5, 2015  :: 0 comments

the bane of creative souls
and so we drink
we drink hatred and death
we drink the evening news
and roil with anger
as ignorance tops the headlines
and a soft-spoken moment is relegated
to a closing thought
we drink the hurt of rape victims
the souls found in ashes
the madness found in alleyways
where the discarded ones strive to exist
on fumes of waste and unwanted toys
tossed into bins like deadweight
we drink our sordid existence
unchallenged but in the mirror
but on the pillow, but in our views
of self-distortion and questions never asked
until we are drunk with loathing, lust
and loss of all that once was
here we begin to expose the hidden
that is so obviously ignored but by the drunken few
who hold sobriety close, deep within
their creative souls

a story to forget

January 5, 2015  :: 0 comments

8-baller was laying there,
the parking lot became a funeral parlor
his Mother not invited, as patrolmen quietly recorded
the names of those responsible for such irresponsibility

I slid past holding the history of Room 218
clothes soiled with profit
and spent casings hidden in soap boxes
all the horror and dirt draining from my eyes
with a smile for the clerk and a twenty dollar bill of prayer
that my face would not be recalled
I kept walking
unaware of how long the stories would become
or the frozen moments my soul bared

movement was imperative

for years I begged
for an end to the steel mirages of reality
for the wind to cease blowing the ashes

no longer do I ask it to stop
I know better

the tears of darkness are incapable of hearing

bubbles and batteries

featured in the poetry forum January 5, 2015  :: 0 comments

she shops like I imagine
with venom dripping from Prada
assertively filling her basket with dreams
with invisible powders and voodoo spells
aromas to erase the stench of the day
as if entering the malodorous haze of home
can mask her race to the exit zone

so I follow her down the aisles
the produce mocking her, daring her
canned goods, the symbolism aches to her
frozen desserts…she tears up
knowing how cold it is to be
as she lingers a bit too long before running
to her rescue in bath and beauty
where lilac bubbles flood her senses

but she checked out long ago, long before
longing took over her days, yet she knows
there’s a price to pay before leaving
the candy…
ahhh, they strategically place the candy
on your way out…next to the batteries

bubbles and batteries
that’s all she needs

editors note:

The only antidote for a Prada bite. Run a bath now… – mh


featured in the poetry forum May 25, 2014  :: 0 comments

I quoted the Raven once

before a crowd of numb zealots
masquerading as intellectual phenoms
with glasses low and smokes held high
in that, you don’t get it, kind of way

fear had controlled my flow, stuttering
in cadence with a three bladed ceiling fan
the struggle to show and not tell
was painful
each phrase deniable

there was something in my eye
visible in this astute arena
in this morass of perfect personalities,
they found me a bore
not enough elan for their taste
and the tear in my jeans was off a bit
the Pimm’s Cup in black tee did smile
at the lack of a pocket on mine

if you find yourself here one day
try and hide the fear, the smell
your essence of total angst

and whatever you do
DO NOT envision the audience naked
as this crowd made transparently clear,
you will never be as good
as those you try to please

editors note:

Flaunt your idea of angst! Fluster those phenoms; naked beneath their clothes. – mh


featured in the poetry forum November 12, 2013  :: 0 comments

your shoes are 8 track
recordings in rubberized tectonic plates
the stage, your destination
play that song like no one’s listening
like the audience died waiting
for your message to erase their dreams
or perhaps NPR is your wavelength
and you’re down with monochromatic drone noises
very well then, set your frequency to stun
and you will be
when the halogen nightmare creases your skull
and you can only muster a brown sigh
to offer the stragglers hanging on to
your useless soliloquy

editors note:

It’s all about bandwidth anymore; no need to have something to say. Keep it brown, brother. – mh