Featured Poems

For Nathaniel Vincent Breaux and Kristen Young

One by one we go life is so beautiful so cherish it one by one we go life is involved so embrace it one by one into the tunnel down the hole up the ladder with one tooth I will be good again while others will never come back one by one we go in line to our jobs on vacation from life some of us as free as we will ever be unto death back into life with a lucky dream strapped to our neck wrist box one by one we go some of us to war to school to the emergency room over and over again although we might not know it one by one we go into the fire out in the rain praying on the floor paying more than what it’s for we are consumers in a campaign one by one we buy into it all because we cannot live without it I live with my shoes untied in fact I wear sandals and people can see my toes they hear me coming and say nothing cuz it doesn’t matter anymore one by one you open your arms and say hello please open your arms and say hello please open your arms and put down those phones right now before well I don’t know I’m never going to get used to this I resist the need to progress instead delve and grow wiser older one by one we go into our own age or are you carried away burned in a fire hot and clear strangled by angels in a poem I invented the authors I wanted to read one by one they appear to me violently their words come like daggers they are pens I own nothing I could give it all away except for my books that always kills me one by one we die a little every time maybe we don’t have much left so we succumb a little every day one by one we dispose and rummage through our purses even some men humanity is so helpless without technology and that drives me crazy your placidity is death defying your health and mental image behind you remind you in the mirror of what it is to be alive minus your subscription one by one I see all of you sign up for one app after another because it seemingly makes your life easier without your crutch you can live no longer but you have each other so open your arms and put down your phones.

editors note:

No messing with this math so, yes, put ’em down. – mh clay

One By One

by July 18, 2024 0 comments

The impossible
Is all I ever ask.

The impossible is
All anyone asks of me.

I wish there was
A space

In between

What can be done
And what is needed.

Let me know
If you find it.

I never can.

editors note:

Has anyone found that middle ground? Possibly… – mh clay

The Impossible

by July 17, 2024 0 comments

If I bent, at last, in my hardest place
would I remember a balm or cure in some secret ache–
would I only learn that I had ached all the time,
but that forgetting had been the balm I once found?
Would I find that it was in my hardest place for being hard
and, in learning so, would remembering bend be a cure–
and, in daring a question that remembers an ache
would I remember the bending cure–
or would I learn that in bending again and asking again–
in resolving to better myself, as they call it–
would I learn that at least one ache is still just an ache
even as I also learned that my every hardness can and ought to bend again?

– Benjamin Norman Pierce

editors note:

A bend to cure what aches you. – mh clay

An Ache To Learn

by July 16, 2024 0 comments

often perfect in their ability
to line up concept with sound,
like the assassin lowering his sights to the limo
and then the crack, dead to a wound.

Say it a few times,
cheat… cheat, cheat
even impartially it has the eyes thinning,
wanting to damn.

The chah
it grabs, accuses, castrates –
then eat
not the soft dining kind,
but the hard to the ‘t’ –
parental command kind.

It has no color, taste, or smell,
but the audible to the brain
evokes immediate impressions,
of dealing off the bottom,
the Sundance Kid,
the neighbor’s philandering husband.

Such power and purpose
comes with respect,
it is no sooner uttered,
than it matters not
whether a rule was really broken.

– Craig Kirchner

editors note:

No sooner said than wronged. – mh clay


by July 15, 2024 0 comments

This Tuesday,
every Tuesday
because the 7th best day of the week
needs an esteem boost too,
we all do
Refreshments include
shrink-flation foodstuffs;
unwanted trick-or-treat candies
our kids won’t eat,
unchained mints lifted from Dr. offices,
and such,
DIY squirt cheese crackers,
leftover Chinese takeout,
and collected food samples
from big box stores
Nothing will be gluten-free,
or fair trade in source
we can no longer afford
to be pious
We will reminisce
about high school achievements,
muscle cars,
cheap gas,
half gallon sized ice cream,
and hard rock bands
before they went soft
old love letters, or
emotional support stuffed animal
we will supply a burn barrel

– Roy N. Mason

editors note:

I feel so seen. – mh clay

Late-Stage Capitalism Support Group

by July 14, 2024 0 comments

I lived this day:

I hauled my place in space.

I entered the surrounds of others –

noticed maybe, probably forgotten.

I took of time, as all survivors.

Six hundred scents passed through me.

I swelled the few who knew they lived –

those who felt the clock subtract –

but I was one who did too little.

Only this.

editors note:

If this is it, let this be enough. – mh clay


by July 13, 2024 0 comments

in our borrowed lives
winning and losing
only briefly matter

lured to a divine playing field

alluding control
we never have

we are captivated
by flashing ripe strawberry
and blinding lemon hues

we aim to ignite
magnificent billowing
haloed mushrooms

to ruin others
so they know we are here

pixelated faces
melt like candles
on black box screens
above reflections
of our children

who will not be okay

points earned in body counts

at dings and clanks

on forgetful (((pulsating))) scoreboards

awaiting the next player

between our insufficient hands

like chattering pinball flippers
too short to fill our gaps

we fall into digital drains
grasping what could have been
for those we press closest to our hearts

– Louis Efron

editors note:

Can’t even do it with quarters anymore; brain cells debited automatically. – mh clay

Atomic Arcade

by July 12, 2024 0 comments