Featured Poems

On the occasion of getting lost in New Mexico

by on April 4, 2020 :: 0 comments

Before that day, I was sure everything would work out.
We shout-sang “Radar Love” in my 1980 Bonneville.
The motorcycles in the parking lot were in retrospect, a warning.
We’ll tell you girls how to find the highway again
but first, you girls give my friend and me a kiss.

We didn’t see before we were the only girls there.
We didn’t yet know that adventures take bad turns.
With a fistful of hair, he mashes his lips with mine.
I gag on his beer-soaked tongue.
That’s a good start, but you’ll have to go lower than that.

We act like we’re down for a party, buy the next round,
and the round after that, and the round after that.
Forty minutes and seven molestations later—
we lie, say we have pot in the car, say we want to get it,
let’s get lit so the real fun can begin.

He says, sure baby, get the weed. You little bitches
know how to have a good time.
We walk out calmly,
laughing. We walk so slow. We walk so slow.
They watch at the door. We walk so slow.
When we finally run, I hear myself scream.

editors note:

Shudder to think what coulda, instead of, thank god, what did. (We welcome Janette to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay

A Nation’s Super Hero

by on April 3, 2020 :: 0 comments

For Jack Beattie

Sing to us Jack from your sanctum of love
and handcuff us to your gift of positiveness.
Keep pushing your dreams without borders
and wake up this world to your awesomeness.

Your fearlessness stands in a smiling queue,
bedecked with lessons for a waiting world of
smiling happy children and anxious parents
who swim in your temple of confidence.

Infuse your practice to make perfect into every
little boy and girl, fill their minds with absolute
expectations and heart-warming delights that
will in time deliver every wish and dream.

Broadcast that smile of uninterrupted happiness
and fill this nation with beliefs and commitments.
Drive home what all of us fully deserve because
heroes come and go, but Super Heroes last forever.

– Gene Barry

editors note:

Benevolence, a super power scarcely found these days. Where are you, Jack? – mh clay


by on April 2, 2020 :: 0 comments

A trillion or more herberts
from the heartland
need to be harnessed.
Can any religious structure
actualize them?
The commentariat leads
the way by simulcasting:
politicos across the scale
illude these folks
to the yield of ruptures.
The horsewhip of hate
has the sharpest wallop.
One requires no dopester.
There is no champion in the chase.

editors note:

It seems that what’s common in our denominator has dipped too low. – mh clay

Regardless of Consequence

by on April 1, 2020 :: 0 comments

The old poet’s writing hand lay
Curled like dead songbird feet
On the August sidewalk
The boy pushes on the songbird’s chest
One last song snippet
Then quiet bagpipe
The tune forgotten, the blue period of late
Went blackout, new moon allegedly so low
A torn-up paper drawing of a cake
I’ll have a slice she said
Pursuing happiness as fast as we can
Each step approaching death
Pursuing happiness as fast as we can
One breath, one heartbeat from rising angel
Pursuing happiness as fast as we can
Tend your fire! You are the signal now
Pursuing happiness as fast as we can
One breath away, one heartbeat away
Another leaf in the street
A phone call unanswered
Oh, you are such an Angel
Here is your participation trophy

editors note:

Cookies and kool-aid in the clubhouse, after. – mh clay

The Bird Looks into the House of Cats

by on March 31, 2020 :: 0 comments

One beady eye sees all. Tabby
is dozing on a pile of clothes:
a winter hat, socks, spring sweaters.
In sleep, her cheek nuzzles a book
of a poet’s letters from Brazil.
It’s almost fall. The bright edges
of locust leaves, roots in thin
soil, yellow. Summer’s clouds clear
out, leaving skies free for birds.

The calico guards the kitchen.
Perching on the back of a chair
that, never used for guests,
is just for cats and coats,
she glares at all that cross her path.

The bird now raps on the glass,
his beak a cat’s paw, a fist.
He cocks his sleek head and pretends
that he is ready to fly through
the house of cats. The tabby snores.
The calico will never move.

The bird flies off. He seeks
a seed, a crumb, a drop
of water, open windows where
humans and cats are not.

editors note:

An open-space opportunist, unable to arouse interest. Away! – mh clay

On the Wing

by on March 30, 2020 :: 0 comments

I only eat bird meat, bird eggs
not letting the wind control my appetite
for several years i migrated
my clothes never big enough to smuggle much

As few want to eat the fine-, fragile- boned fish
trying to breed a featherless chicken
sauce is the reward for eating wings
as ladles of gravy help the gobbler go down

Feeling rich when we have the whole thing
like roasted pigs, anything on a skewer over open flame
the smell of burnt fur the opposite of hunger

Muscle for muscle, bones for bones, feathers
to fly in our minds or just rise an inch or two
internal teleportation, swimming in stillness—
not to bathe but to float, just a few ways
to relieve gravity, to pretend it’s escapable

If the world was flat how many would jump off the edge
invent ways to release into space, like an astronaut
who’d cured the addictions to oxygen and pressure
or mountaineers who summit, strip, and glide to the nearest cloud

As the air thins, so should we;
as the air thickens, will our lungs adapt,
will 98.6 become a debunked religion
our relationships with clothes will be revised, revealed
more than comfort or protection, less than skin but more than muscle

Everything i wear has flecks of me on it, i’m more defined
by what i drink than what i don’t eat, walking like whoever’s
around me, flying when no one sees

editors note:

A case where we eat what we are. – mh clay

Angel Flight

by on March 29, 2020 :: 0 comments

Flying halfway to Heaven,
ribboning together earth and sky,
layers of here and there crumble,
landing upon the tongue.

There is wonder in double-decker,
the frosting pressed between sight and sound,
scattering like daydreams caught,
for a moment in your eye or
popping through a cloud.

Magic is interwoven
and jet streams interlace like lifelines
or lifetimes carried somewhere far.
Halos reflect the light.

And wishes always come
with wind.

editors note:

Better than cotton candy! Something to linger, long after sugar’s sweetness fades. – mh clay