Featured Poems

garden

by on November 15, 2019 :: 0 comments

lost & alone in the garden
of “give a fuck” i watch first rays
of light drift into a morning sky as my
barren feet crunch across grass frozen
in a thin frost, a lingering reminder
of a rampaging night –

leaves glitter & toss as a sullen wind weeps
through tall branches, rabbits alight from
hiding, eager to sup on morning gifts of
sustenance & life, w/cock in hand i piss
on dirt & rock, dreams still rattle in my skull –

he is gone, he is gone, he is gone –

i stretch & yawn, regain my cup & drink deeply,
steaming coffee burns my lips & tongue yet i
take it all in a single gulp; my head aches & moans,
but daylight inches up my skin, retrieving my
sanity as the warmth of life embraces me again –

yellow & orange & blue flowers bloom, their stamens
erect & eager; petals unfold to receive the gift of
a now risen sun; bees hover & dart before setting down
gentle, rubbing & inhaling the flowers’ scent, its taste sweet
sticky, trickle down your throat; remembrance of your
sorrow as you take me in again –

he is gone, he is gone, he is gone –

– Jack Henry

editors note:

Sweet, sad reminders in a garden of gone. – mh clay

Zuw Myon

by on November 14, 2019 :: 1 comment

You gifted me a sorrow and forgot your gift
I remain so obliged, it weighs me down
– Faiz Ahmed Faiz
(Tr. Keki N. Daruwalla)

For A.S.Y.

I bottled that sorrow in a pretty glass jar,
see?
Sealed the golden lid shut with mellow
paraffin.
Labeled it ‘Zuw Myon’, and hid it under my
skin.
I carried its dull ache around for many a year,
until
one day its throbbing refused to give in.

So I retrieved it from under my
epidermis,
fed it wood smoke, bathed it in full-
moon magick,
carried it around like sun-kissed
bliss.

And this time, it accompanied
me like

a glowing talisman, a warm patronus,
so I
broke open the lid one night. Through
the sharp-
edged light I saw letters blossoming
like
fireflies, nouns clenching and declench-
ing inside
Mexican daisies, sharp yellow and
white.

And I knew just what needed to be
done.
I swallowed it whole, and a new
tongue
glided over the ghost of my last
one.

*Zuw Myon is a Kashmiri phrase of adoration.

– Nikita Parik

editors note:

Sorrow, simmered and suffered until something to talk about. – mh clay

But Never Again

by on November 13, 2019 :: 0 comments

I loved you once.
I craved your laugh,
Your love,
Your touch, once.
I saved up for engagement rings.
I thought you were brilliant, once.
I thought you could light up any room.
I thought I was so lucky, once,
To have the honor of doing your
Laundry,
Dishes,
Floors,
Once.
I felt safe, once.
I felt chosen.
I felt seen.
I believed you were everything, once.
I believed you would never hurt me.
I believed we could be forever.
And, once we were done,
I even fell for your lies again.
I thought I was the bad guy.
I thought I owed you more.
I felt sick,
I felt dirty.
I believed that I’d ruined your life.
I believed that I was ugly,
A burden,
A traitor.
Once upon a time
I still loved you.
Once,
But never again.

editors note:

When once is too many (do for yourselves, dudes). – mh clay

Red

by on November 12, 2019 :: 0 comments

The color of life
The shade of all wounds
It blackens into sorrow
As the sad moon fades away

The ripeness of an apple
The grounding of the reefs
The thread that ties me
To the very first woman

Ancestral blood
The sign of the times
The culmination; the harvest
Drops of ruby
All flushed down the toilet
The flushing of my face

There’s a moon inside me
A fate knitting machine
I wax and I wane
In the ebb and flow of time

A story teller, an Oracle;
A second heart
The bottomless pit
Of a deep dark well
Primordial waters
Stir within

editors note:

A self, colored by the first self, the life in all selves. (We welcome Dana to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.)- mh clay

waystation

by on November 11, 2019 :: 0 comments

saw an old friend
at the waystation in chicago
said he just got out of jail
said the life
gets to a person
after a while
said he held strong
in his own way
but it just gets harder
said attending ghosts told him
angels don’t burn
said in the void
they sow nothing
& reap the same
said he was just passing through
on the way to
kansas city

– Jonathan Hine

editors note:

What truths have you learned in YOUR prison? – mh clay

After Dark

by on November 10, 2019 :: 0 comments

A halogen haze
descends over the street
like a thought.
Every limb aches,
the signboards
flashing endlessly
grab the ends
of a city
still sprinting
at the speed of light,
its cacophony
emerges like smoke,

clutches in its sleep
my open nerve ends.

– Debarshi Mitra

editors note:

“…inspired by the works of William Gibson and ‘cyberpunk.'” Keep those ones and zeros flowing… – mh clay

Tattooed Love

by on November 9, 2019 :: 0 comments

My old man played the blues
and dragged me from Biloxi,
to Chicago and Paris, one day he
quit speaking and forgot his guitar.

He sat in a chair for five years
eating chicken and drinking whiskey,
then he turned into a butterfly before
my eyes and flew out the window.

I woke with a dog shit tongue, my
chest was covered with a dried
blood-soaked towel, it was saffron
colored and stank of tequila.

A tattoo of Jesus walking on water
adorned my freshly shaved torso.
Holy guacamole I thought, now I’ll
probably be touched by the finger of God.

I met a beautiful Mexican senorita,
she said, “You’re tired and I am too.
but we are two different animals,
you need rest, I am run over

Worn bald at the edges and can’t
get much traction. With time you
will rejuvenate. I am a black chunk
of rubber on the road of life.”

We traveled north to the valley of chilis
hanging crimson from adobe vigas, at
night we slept under a Frida Kahlo moon
dancing horses licked our faces awake.

editors note:

Without the tattoo, it could all be a dream. – mh clay