ESCALADE SERENADE

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

After dark, the people from
under the bridge come out,
searching under streetlights,
up and down the concrete,
for a better outcome. They gather in clots,
yakking, muttering, hoarse whispering,
bleeding off the stress of another day spent
penniless, half-asleep, mindlessly tonight awake.
Contemplate their own species getting off late,
hustling to a stop, hailing a cab, hurrying
key-in-fist to the parking lot. Only due to the
purity of their apathy do the people not hunt
these pelts and skins in fine clothing,
rolling along the street, eyes full of loathsome fear.
Till one of their number, crazier than some,
wails to a banker, or a flunky, monkey or mouthpiece thereof:
“Let’s you and me in the back of my Escalade tonight get laid!”
And the heads of the homed at the concrete sink,
a gust of disgust in their cheeks.
“Plus, you won’t do what I just said,
guess I’m better off fucking dead!”
The people in the audience, where once a future sat,
smirk to themselves at those who from the lyric slink.
Hey, the people think: these be the creeps missing a link.
While for a song on both sides thought
dies with the echo, in the alley, of a song.

editors note:

They lie where they lay, not laid. These links make a chain… chain… chain… – mh clay

GRAVEDIGGER SCENE

featured in the poetry forum December 20, 2018  :: 0 comments

Leaves skitter across the concrete –
Hamlet at the skull poking fun,
acting oh-so very discreet.
Hurray, I’m 69 – sidewise Cancer – everyone!
Although I’m in fact a Scorpio-Libra cusp.
Meaning I’ll die unbalanced, crazed with lust.
So – who gives a tinker’s curse?
For me they are already warming up the hearse.

editors note:

It’s the way we go; might’s well keep the motor running. – mh clay

SÉANCE

featured in the poetry forum December 30, 2017  :: 0 comments

How to word thought
without deliberate thought;
deliberately to deliver through word thought.
We dead, you see, although, of course,
you can’t, think not.
Tie instead our tie
in a Windsor not on the map.
Sword the Gordian from a corner
Descartes could never paint. Depress the tongue
to lace our shoe with air. Step on the gas,
cut the smoke; sever the link. Belt every
swinging loop through each vacuum. Shoo the owl
to save the shrew who in the moral becomes you.
Although, really, nothing becomes you; nothing so
shrewd as thought too fast for word. We dead
through eyeteeth star our cuffs to blow,
when out we jitter to take on the wind
to divvy our take on the wind,
howling how word thought. So
go and word a dream for the mirror to look thought.

editors note:

Um hum, thought so! – mh clay

AUBADE

featured in the poetry forum November 24, 2016  :: 1 comment

Do I love you more
than dew in the
dawn sparkles?
Do webs irised
in the garden
twinkle less
than the smile I
catch in your
eye?

Yes and yes.
For our love
forever lives
in this breeze
so soon
in the heat of day
to still.

editors note:

Sweet morning’s muse. Love for thanks and thanks for love. – mh clay

STREET LIFE

featured in the poetry forum September 10, 2015  :: 0 comments

Crows pick at the rat
teenage dragsters last night
to the asphalt flattened.
Noisemakers breakfasting
on one less kitchen threat.
The bigger get the guts.
The smaller rip through fur.
A runt wrestles with the tail.
Only at the last moment,
when my foot falls less than a foot
from their feathers, do they scatter,
flapping to the curb on either side.

Continuing, after crossing, on the way
to the bus, the office, the cubicle,
at my back I hear, clockwork like,
them rejoin the feast,
pecking, snapping, tearing;
gargling at a fellow to hop back
from the gargler’s beak
in the gargler’s meat.
Rat bowel stink
through the rest of the
day’s restless turns
twists,

assuring me those Crows
who own the Maze
will likewise clean me –
at the end of the day –
sudden, senseless or otherwise
– up.

editors note:

It appears that only crows win the rat race. – mh clay

FIRE STYX

featured in the poetry forum July 3, 2014  :: 0 comments

I rub together words
to get her to come.
First the smoke, then the ember.
Finally a flame remembers her name,
but refuses to tell,
till I spit on the light,
and out it hisses.
Anxious to grope ankles
to swing her inside the cave
to pull through my dream her hair,
rub together words
to get her
together with me to come.
Eager to flee my itch
I scratch but to
ratchet the itch up.

But will never come to scratch
the act of rubbing words together
to get her to come.

editors note:

Fire by friction and poet’s fiction; both an itch we gotta scratch. – mh

CANNIBAL SUICIDE

featured in the poetry forum May 17, 2013  :: 0 comments

I poured a finger of scotch into a coffee cup
and ate the cup and licked up the spilled scotch
and ate the mouth of the fifth down to the neck and
was wolfing the table leg, when
mother came in to iron some bugs out
of her pocket calculator
and couldn’t help but notice the ruined fifth,
the cup nowhere and the table wobbly
on three legs. She threatened to knuckle down
and hand it to me,
but I trumped her rump,
tugged the table leg out of my throat
and clubbed her to death. Blood spattered
the venetian blinds and mother slumped
to the foot of the refrigerator.

I threw up a window and sat on a foot stool and
reswallowed the table leg
and munched on the arm of a chair
till I was stuffed, then jerked down the wallphone
and ate out the mouthpiece
and considered sucking the news off the tv,
but decided instead to put the mouth
of a firearm to my temple
and pray.

editors note:

Sounds more like salvation for this confused carnivore. Crikey! – mh

GLASS HARMONICA

featured in the poetry forum March 19, 2012  :: 0 comments

I poured a finger of scotch into a coffee cup
and ate the cup and licked up the spilled scotch
and ate the mouth of the fifth down to the neck and
was wolfing the table leg, when
mother came in to iron some bugs out
of her pocket calculator
and couldn’t help but notice the ruined fifth,
the cup nowhere and the table wobbly
on three legs. She threatened to knuckle down
and hand it to me,
but I trumped her rump,
tugged the table leg out of my throat
and clubbed her to death. Blood spattered
the venetian blinds and mother slumped
to the foot of the refrigerator.

I threw up a window and sat on a foot stool and
reswallowed the table leg
and munched on the arm of a chair
till I was stuffed, then jerked down the wallphone
and ate out the mouthpiece
and considered sucking the news off the tv,
but decided instead to put the mouth
of a firearm to my temple
and pray.

editors note:

Death can be beat! Keep that harmonica humming, don’t throw stones. – mh

PRAYER AT THE OPENING

featured in the poetry forum July 7, 2011  :: 0 comments

Flies swarm the opening to the crawl space. Inside, across the dirt, all dead, save myself, we sprawl. Maggots, wriggling their black magic, blanket the greediest eaters, the bloated kingpins who first hemorrhaged.

I, the runt, ate last. Am the longest to last. The meek shall inherit the valediction.

To die like this in the midst of rich new food…

Blood leaks internally. I retch, knowing a thirst no water on earth can slake…

Did we make too much noise? Too many babies? Neglect to hail the luck that brought us to this heaven turned holocaust?

If (as I suspect) the last: For this twist, on the altar of our drought, let rodent awe ooze.

Flies swarm the opening.

STEELING MYSELF

featured in the poetry forum May 18, 2011  :: 0 comments

Eye stove, sink, fridge, counter, trash. Pull down the board to iron a shirt for tomorrow. Think – ironing the yoke – of iron enriching the blood, iron at the earth’s core, the irony of steeling myself for the office.

Linen steam calms the nose. Smoothing wrinkles soothe the eye. Thunk and glide of iron lull.

Wince at stud pierced tongue.

Think of the – creasing sleeves, smartening cuffs – office as a cathedral of icy digits, jargon-blizzards, techno-blitzes, hoary acronyms that freezerburn the mind not to mind redundant hells of worsening change for the better.

Tug at tongue frosted to altar. Concentrate on – to sidestep daymares – perfecting tails. Flatten facing between buttons.

Finished, spring board back into cabinet between fridge and stove. Prop iron upright on counter. Don clean fragrant Arrow. Button up. Tuck in.

Step through door beside trash into garage. Start Civic. Amble around behind. Kneel between trunk and wall displaying rakes, shovels, shears, other garden implements of torture.

Drape quilt over head. Press mouth to exhaust. Hyperventilate.

The iron in the blood bonds to monoxide. I fall – with a slight headache – asleep against the pipe. Find in a fist the key to the gate through which to throw myself at the claws of the iron throne. Ironed shirt warm still from smoothing the irony of new and improved.