Eaux Claires pt. II

featured in the poetry forum September 19, 2015  :: 0 comments

Twenty thousand people here and I am
Twenty thousand people here and I am
proud to be
crafted out of sturdy Midwestern bones,
proud to be
a beer drinker in a tornado infested farm field.
Twenty thousand people here and I am
one of a kind,
part of the crowd,
seeing old lovers and new friends,
passing strangers and making
acquaintances with the bugs that
flew into my car to
make love with the overhead lights.

editors note:

Yes! The fleeting frenzy of individuals in the collective; moths to the flames of the moths to the flame, ad infinitum… – mh clay

Raisin in the Morning

featured in the poetry forum July 8, 2015  :: 0 comments

You’re a
little raisin
baking on my back
smiling in the
chilly March
sun, but
dreaming about
July will
smell like flowers
and be thick with
in July we will
stay up late.
We will drink
beers on a front lawn and
be raisins together,
the ants
the ants
on our thighs.

editors note:

A love prophecy; made in Spring, fulfilled in Summer. Hand us a beer and damn the ants. – mh clay

The Check

featured in the poetry forum March 3, 2015  :: 0 comments

Feed yourself,
have a beer
(even though it’s a
school night,
you’ve got a
bad relationship with
buy concert tickets with
funds you don’t have,
burn the rice and
settle for crackers,
put on new
blow out the candle,
calm yourself with




editors note:

Something to keep us oblivious to those great big questions lurking outside. – mh

You Will Wade Out

featured in the poetry forum November 6, 2014  :: 0 comments

Two parts good, one part
maybe tired,
maybe sad
(I haven’t decided yet),
looking at my
(mine tonight,
I put it on reserve because
I felt I deserved it).

other than
big waves and
teenagers on their
first date
(blackberry stain hickies
to bring home to momma).

My eyes are closed
because I’m having a
and I don’t want to
see any other
because then I’ll
start to compare.

I hope no one steals my
apartment keys
as I take off my sweatshop
tennis shoes and


breaths in:

one for the
limitless lonely space
on this bench and
in this world

one for the
sailboats like
along the crease where the
lake is kissing the sky

one for the
prayers I’ve been
skipping out on
(except when I’m on
airplanes or in
fast cars)

and one for

editors note:

Knees to hips, chest to chin; wade in far, but still breathe in. – mh

The Prayer

featured in the poetry forum January 22, 2014  :: 0 comments

Grant me the steady hand
to twist my door knob at two in the morning;
give me the words to
pray that it’s unlocked.
Drown me in being twenty;
let me swim through the smoke painted
air and feel
dangerous and unforgettable in the suburbs.
Give my memories away to the wind:
remind me of sitting on the carpet
while my friends talk about their
scraped knee third grade portraits,
and not of heart break
or the town too small to contain me.
Overflow me into a shallow basin
so that I can walk on water,
and still feel hellish.

editors note:

The Temptation, lived by a suburban savior, establishing an open link. Amen! – mh

I’ve Slept in Your Bed Six Times

featured in the poetry forum September 25, 2013  :: 0 comments

I only have fun
at other people’s homes.
I steal their friends,
I steal their memories,
and I steal their shampoo to
use their showers at five in the
still drunken morning.

There are dirt clods on the
tiled floors,
archives of another eventful night
I only pretended to be a part of.

I let the scalding water pound on my back
until I’m chapped.
I don’t think about water or heating
bills because they are not my burden this morning,
and I cry like a frustrated child
because I wish feverishly not to be a guest,
to be a resident.

To be a nomad
is to only observe the silver lining,
but I want the cumulus in-between.

editors note:

A nomadic muse for mortgaged memories. Keep the silver polish handy. – mh

Apple Juice in the Hall.

featured in the poetry forum July 6, 2013  :: 0 comments

The DJ played a song about suicide at a Christmas party.
Flashing lights, tinsel, cigarette smoke, knit sweaters, red cups,
and a life unconquered.
There was a sudden, unspoken consensus to slow down and
ask for the names of the people we’d
been dancing with.
How strange to think that we had laughed into the
shoulders of people we didn’t even know.

Patrick, your eyes are green and I think you had the
sadness when you were sixteen.
I can tell because your baby mint irises were
glossy like marbles when the
chorus picked up
and you played all the lyrics
across your lips without so much as blinking.

My father use to sleep in the bedroom
above that sticky beer basement and I wondered to myself
if he had ever cried there in 1987.
His mother drank too much and his
father was always busy.
Did someone have to remind him that someday he’d have a
daughter with brown hair and his smile?
I so badly wanted to climb the stairs and
visit his ghost and tell it to wait a little longer.

Buzzed and down,
we all stood stalk still, faking engrossment in conversations
we weren’t hearing.
Everything was second to the thoughts about the
three a.m. sorrow that our best friend didn’t understand
on that very lonesome June night when things
went too far.

I watched the smoke swirl as the refrain picked up
and someone softly talked about the scar from the
I.V. they had in their arm.
Sipping from my cup, I nodded my head along to the
bass drum beat and raised my hand with everyone else’s
(in a moment of so much loneliness, there was
comfort in the empty space of air).
My body was swaying and my mind was with
sixteen-year-old Patrick and
the time my dad spent alone on his old bed-set.

The sound of tomorrows and
thoughts of battles won
rang like cymbals in the worst way when the song was over
and the room of fifty seven people
was silent.

editors note:

Hands in the air, the empty space we share, those passed on with us still here. (sigh) – mh