Featured Poems

Amphoteric Nature

by on May 23, 2022 :: 0 comments

Before social media popularized the sexual array,
Water molecules could both give and take without
Bothering to worry over gender-specified quotas
For tab and slots.

Today, acid or base, dominant or passive, people
Tend to flob if not directed in building molecules.
They insist their roles get cookie-cuttered, that no
Uncertainties remain.

Yet not all desiderata can be specified. Sometimes,
We can’t imagine, from bez to toes, other means of
Existing. We’re told behaviors, looks, predilections
Must rubric us.

I’m a lass. I like lads. Still, that’s no reason for me
To forego education, opinion, presence, to disdain
The parts betwixt my thighs. No “nonconformity”
Legitimizes me or my culturally amphoteric nature.

Paparazzi don’t care about heterosexual love, won’t
Advance stories of able women who profess, publish
Books, elsewise make remarks that are bothersome,
Even “provocative.”

Everything’s flags and parades while many of us,
Long past #MeToo, suffer conventionality’s grip,
Keep being told that “nice girls” can’t have brains
Or courage to confront.

It’s doubtful, hence, that my great-grandchildren
Will celebrate individuals not otherwise painted
In prescribed rainbows (how will those youngins
Validate themselves?)

editors note:

Distressed by differences, we’re all thirsty, right? – mh clay

AT THE BARBERSHOP

by on May 22, 2022 :: 0 comments

The bus station used to be there,
Where that bank is now,
At one end the barbershop
We went to, my dad and I,
In his last years,
On afternoons late with August regret,
Witch hazel, diesel fuel
Mingling in the foyer,
Our outings, our time together,
Brief respite for my mother.
He could still feign conversation then.
Mr. Melton nodded gently as he
Trimmed an apron of gray.
I heard talk that seemed to be of baseball,
Or a sudden expletive, not deleted,
In a voice that sounded angry but was not.
The bus station was torn down,
My father died,
Mr. Melton found another shop across town.
I still went to him some,
Even after his hands began to shake.

editors note:

Sometimes we go now for then. – mh clay

WHAT THE GLACIER SAID

by on May 21, 2022 :: 0 comments

The glacier did not speak in tongues
Or speak in a forked tongue
Or a tongue of fire
Or a prayer to God
Or a sixth sense
Or a gift of prophecy
Or a sequence of numbers
Or a pattern of colors

The glacier did not speak in the
Sweat of passion
Or the fire of ideology
Or the mendacity of politics
Or the pettiness of lucre
Or the veil of horror

What the glacier said
Is in small scratches
And polished stones
And lines across the
Walls of the valley
And in the deep of the lake
And the skeletons of fish
And the boulders in a field

And that like all the others
Under the weight of the ice
Or the heat of the sun
We all become
The markings of the vanished

editors note:

Yet we strive to say as much on paper or in digital air. – mh clay

a word of warning

by on May 20, 2022 :: 0 comments

looking for a bold addition
to your drab and soulless menu?
give our jack-a-lope nachos a try.

ooey-gooey imitation cheese infused into
the steamed and shredded haunches
of a cornball hybrid dreamed up
to sucker tourists into a dying town.

listen to the rave reviews.
“they set up in the gut like concrete and rebar.”
“a Grand Coulee Dam for your duodenum.”

jack-a-lope nachos, baby.
all the zest and zing of coronary distress.
all the heartiness of a capitalist deception.
the finest of unbelievable American cuisine.

a word of warning
the lawyers require us to add.
consume at your own risk.

new customer discount on the MEGA PLATTER.
dig in and discover what you’re made of.

– Preacher Allgood

editors note:

Or refuse to swallow and choke on your own terms. – mh clay

Previous Days

by on May 19, 2022 :: 0 comments

Lean into the chaos

You’re not the person
I fell in love with
Don’t be the person
I fell in love with

I can’t be who
Once I was
In days burned away

By ambition-fires and boarding passes
Movie lots and disaster zones dial tones
Yesterday’s dreamscapes
And highway happenstance relief valves
One-way trumpet sounds
With barriers, undermined, and failing

This ever disappearing moment
Is where I’ll meet you

Standing, staring, blindly
Into the shining, changing, futureworld

Casting our shadows
Ever longer
Onto the collapse
Of previous days

editors note:

Write your book with a forward look. – mh clay

the sweet yearning

by on May 18, 2022 :: 0 comments

first time i
was kissed
in over a
decade

the sweet
yearning
dancing
in the air

she was
nervous
and i was
trying my
best to be
cool

as usual,
nothing
went as
planned
or even
whimsically
thought
of

she wants
me to cook
her dinner
sometime

i guess i still
know how to
use my tongue

editors note:

If you got it, use it or lose it. If you don’t got it, go get it. – mh clay

Scratch Pad

by on May 17, 2022 :: 0 comments

I got out my pencil and scratch pad
and asked her to sit for me.

A large smile shot across her face.
She seemed very excited.

I told her to try to remain as still and quiet as possible.
Then I took a long look and began drawing.

She shifted a few times but remained fairly still.
An hour later I put down the pencil,
announced that I was finished.

I showed her the sketch on my scratch pad.
At first, she seemed confused, then angry.

I could not understand why.
I’d drawn a very beautiful city.

editors note:

If I show you my city, will you draw me a girl? – mh clay