The Bed has terminal insomnia

featured in the poetry forum November 6, 2021  :: 0 comments

and no matter the excessive thread-count
of Egyptian cotton sheets, the snowy mountains
of hypoallergenic pillows. memory foam,
18-inch pillow-top, digitized rain, shiatsu
pulsing fingers with adjustable 2.5 Richter
scale vibrations, blackout curtains sheltering
double-paned light-proof windows, sound sucking
carpet, and sound-absorbing ceiling tiles
that would deafen an ancient rocker
with an AI walker, the Bed moans and groans,
flips then flops, rotates northward, true north
not magnetic, (it has heard rumors the poles
are shifting), rolls on its well-oiled casters
to a friendlier wall for comfort and support,
only to push away in repulsion at perceived
untoward advances and moisture, general itchiness,
early onset of migraine inertia, and the fantods
in general. Such is its sad, sleepless existence.
Its starched life in an unrelenting limbo.
Were you to dissect the mattress you would find it
filled with every known sleep aid ever imagined,
historical to New Age. All compounds new and costly.
Oddly named herbs, finely ground insects, tree barks,
dried aquatic sea-life, with fins or with shell,
jellyfish or whale, hummingbird semen captured
mid-flight, or mule zygotes, taken any which way.
When you are desperate, dying in mind and body,
untethered from the mons of earth, disassociated
by light and darkness; when degrees of separation
have been reduced to less than zero, ought not one
give up the ghost, let go the blackened torch,
and do the adequate thing: accept with open arms
the insomnia of death, and be comforted at last

editors note:

How we turn from the day when our sleep number is up. – mh clay

A Woman was drawn

featured in the poetry forum April 12, 2021  :: 0 comments

towards a silver light. An oval eye.
Not a door or window or portal
with light beckoning from without.
Shiny like new aluminum pots, or
a star’s inner heart. She resisted,
part of her did, the edge of wonder,
the catapult of emotions flung freely
from a galaxy unnamed, unnumbered.
The tip of a feather. The distant onk
onk of geese who no longer migrate.
The rush of fresh water towards
a salted sea. A woman sings a song into
the eye of a rising sun, knowing it won’t
see her for what she is, could care less
if her irises melted, or her vision be
shrouded in perpetual darkness.

editors note:

No wonder without wonderers. Sing away! – mh clay

A Man sits atop his favorite

featured in the poetry forum June 1, 2020  :: 0 comments

burlap chair, balanced on its celestial springs
and memory-foam cushions, ever mindful
of the color-coordinated pillows his wife
insisted they buy the day before she died.
Special lumbar support she argued, as if he
knew what or where such a thing was or meant.
You’ll be happy she claimed. Memento mori,
he thinks? A keepsake that goes on talking.
Passive regressive? he muses after the fact.

A man sits in digital darkness. The Internet’s down.
A freak global leakage. Most likely a Chinese-Russian
conspiracy to drown the Internet of Things.
Though his refrigerator sulks, humming to itself
Beethoven’s Requiem through its exhaust fan blades,
for once it all seems sane: Siri refuses to speak
in any known language. Alexa mopes silently
in a smoke-free corner and BPA zone. Nothing beeps.
Not altogether a bad thing. A blessing in drag.
Reason enough to reconsider his artery of choice.

editors note:

If not tech, then lumbar; grateful for whatever support there is. – mh clay

Once there was a stuttering man who bred llamas

featured in the poetry forum December 15, 2019  :: 0 comments

though in the beginning he was partial to camels,
and tried his lot at that, single-humped Bactrian,
and twice-humped dromedary, only to fail at both.
Dromedaries proved nastiest. They’d spit.
With great accuracy and foulness. At him.
Were fiercely unloyal. Had no decorum, especially
when it came to table manners. In general, stank
in such a way that the servants and the wallpaper
all gave notice and left the same day. No way
could he ever imagine threading one thru a needle.
He tried his hand at llamas. A cousin of camels.
Allegedly domesticated. He nurtured this delusion
for a week or so, fueled with the vodka of indecision
and a chaser of blindingly prophetic migraines.
He was immune to their long eyelashes, and provocative
eyes. Smug they might be, but smart and friendly
outweighed the spit they aimed at others. Not him.
He finds their humming a meditative mantra.
Something even he can repeat without stumbling
tongue and teeth-first into stupidity.

editors note:

It’s not the spittin’, it’s the spit on. (We welcome Richard to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

Ibble Bibble

featured in the poetry forum September 22, 2019  :: 0 comments

hung out in the Saint Louis Cathedral
during the day, mumbling in monotones
in one of the back pews. One of the day-people
the Quarter offered up to those who were afraid
of what the night might bring. If his words,
without reason, alien to logic, ever reassembled
to form a simple sentence no one I know
ever heard it. He babbled, not in response
to questions or voices heard or unheard.
An inner calling, but not an Aesopian language,
saying one thing as rhetorical misdirection,
but meaning another. It was the syllables
that mattered most, his skimble-skamble
stultiloquy a mystery to the devout who entered
for obsecration or redemption, a show of faith,
and heard a darkened voice, an amphigory, a burbling,
bursting bubble of blathering, not sacrilegious,
quietly comforting like a Möbius strip rosary.

editors note:

Clamor over clarity; noise for poise. – mh clay

The Insane River twice

featured in the poetry forum June 7, 2018  :: 0 comments

came upon a man who had come to its banks,
a new man who has left home, who is new to the world
outside and beyond, who waits stoically for the water
to recede that he may cross and continue, cross and not look back.

The other side glides away into recesses of night.
He makes camp. Makes a fire for cooking food
if he had food to be cooked; for warmth if it was a cold night,
but it is a night like no other. Stars crowd together
but are unmoved by his fate whatever that may be.
His blood is safe from harvest. His flesh without scent
or savor. The Insane River his companion.

Come morning he will decamp, and again approach the river
to wait for it to glide away, knowing it must, that he must wait;
it is his fate to wait for the river to do what it must when it will.
His will and its coursing are now merged. He emerges
in the morning sun unchanged. Any thought of changing
his course is impossible. His path is water, pure
water. His weight is water. And water waits.

editors note:

One’s way arrested by water wait. – mh clay