featured in the poetry forum March 21, 2015  :: 0 comments

He is a relentless avalanche of FUCK
coming at me like an eighteen-wheeler down a 45 degree angle hill,
all that momentum aimed straight into the softest part of me.
He is urgent.
Turns my insides into a storm of desire.
Then again –
maybe I just like his personality.
In the thickness of the wet moments, I have no brain.
He lifts me as though I am weightless,
then fills me with himself
and again
and again.
We become alternating fusion and fission.
Furious skin threatens to break
and allow monsters to emerge
and transform.
We are wolves clawing our way to the surface.
Did I scream out loud?
Or is that just the sound that muscle and bones make
when they bend like light.

He said I wasn’t as delicate as he’d expected.
I said nothing.
Just watch the light play along the profile of the mountain.
It’s safe here beside the mountain-
now that the avalanche has settled
and sleeps.

editors note:

When the tunnel takes the train, that rush and rumble’s enough to make a whistle blow. Whew! – mh

Thinkin’ ‘Bout Texas

featured in the poetry forum May 7, 2014  :: 0 comments

downshifting up Ranger Hill
the west opens wide
like a girl who can’t say “no”
because she’s not that pretty
but you don’t really know her yet
keep driving even though you’re unsure
and haven’t seen a speed limit sign since
you don’t know when
this is Texas
it gets so hot that it rains devils
asphalt like a bowie knife cuts through crisp grassland
all the way to Monahans
strange sands
where I once spoke the names of my enemies
spit in a bottle
and buried it deep
my favorite color is west
is sky the size of God
is rusty barbed wire
is the blur of heat on the horizon
pecos peppered desert
gang banged by oilfield pumps
right next to wallflower wind farms
left unloved by the breeze
all dressed up and no wind to blow
the lone star above scorches everything
dry and lonely
even the ground separates from itself
leaving cracks so deep
that dogs fall in
this place will kiss you like a cactus
but thank God it doesn’t embrace
it knows it’s a cactus
so it spreads out
and dares you

editors note:

Texas will take your love, no matter where you’re from, but on her terms. Open wide… – mh

A Song of Fear, the God of my Heart

May 7, 2014  :: 0 comments

Strong mother,
central wheel of the family machine,
eyes in the back of my head,
keeper of the warm kitchen,
indefatigable source of love,
practitioner of faith in the spirit of hearth and home.
Fear is a jealous god, though –
demanding full sacred attention of my soul.
when bills stand unpaid and my checking account is a dry ditch,
when the spiders in my yard spin and squeal like breaking fan belts,
dry and drinking, begging for more.
There is always more
and never enough
to soothe the scratched places of eyes scarred from hard crying.
He didn’t call her on her birthday,
so knives paid visits to her room when I wasn’t looking.
Mistakes perch patiently upon her window sill
singing funeral songs,
Piranhas swim about the driveway
where my son’s car should be at this late hour.
They tumble over each other like drunken words,
could swallow the universe whole in one ugly bite.
Worries fill my blistered hands.
I pray myself empty.
Internal combustion burning hope
20 miles to the gallon,
expanses of lonely landscape lie restless
between pages of the calendar,
I am alone with
gray, ticking time,
failure, threats and regrets –
this is the Temple of Anxiety
and I am the faithful
brought to my knees,
praying that the God of Dread
will let me be.

Guys in hats with harmonicas

May 7, 2014  :: 0 comments

Are most natural when draped in neon
smooth, gracious, tall and slightly bent
to the rhythmic
blue chords
of America’s music
pushed through the reeds
words raised to God
melodies sent to vibrate the floors
of lost souls.
Guys in hats with harmonicas
pipe their tunes
through metallic boxes
and are followed
through uncertain territory
because of the melody
because of the enraptured soul at the heart of it.
Guys in hats with harmonicas
look like conspiracies within
shady corners
where whiskey burns tongues
where “yeah, yeah, yeah”
digs you to the bone.
You know you’ve found THE PLACE
when you see a guy in a hat
with a harmonica.


featured in the poetry forum March 7, 2010  :: 0 comments

Wolves don’t excuse themselves after they howl.

They don’t ask for permission, either.
They see a moon yearning for them and they yearn right back,
sending an aching, lone, long yowl from the heart.
Do they expect the moon to cry back?
Is this why that howl seems so sad, yet strikes fear in the hearts of humans?
To cry out without reply-
what a pity.
To discover the indifference of the moon,
shakes the brave to the bone.

editors note:

This grabs me by the scuff of my neck with a cold, wondrous hand. This is it, exactly! This is how I felt when first I heard the howl of a wolf. This explains so many things… – mh