Featured Poems

Bronx Hall of Fame

by on June 27, 2022 :: 0 comments

I was there, she took me there
and it was a long line of columns.
I recall liking it. I liked that it
was a long line of white columns
with busts of men on them, Ben
Franklin, or men like him, or
like Jefferson and Jackson on the
bills, the tens and twenties.
No women, they were all men
who looked like Bill Clinton
might have looked, had he lived
a hundred years ago. I liked
that it was on a hill, a hilltop,
that there were trees with green branches
around. There was no one thing.
I liked that it was different, a break
from the ordinary, and I wasn’t
thinking all these busts are of dead men.
It wasn’t at all like a funeral parlor,
not dim like that, not spacious
and dark like a theater, it was outside.
I must have looked in the eyes,
the dead eyes that couldn’t look back.
It wasn’t like a person giving me
a dirty look or a look of sympathy.
I was holding her hand. She brought me.

editors note:

When looking into the eyes of the past, it helps to have a hand to hold. – mh clay

LITTLE PINK TONGUES

by on June 26, 2022 :: 0 comments

Oh no! Not again. The brother and sister cats have moved once again.
Margaret, no, not Princess Margaret, who passed away, sad to say, of a stroke, after several daring marriages and leaving behind wealthy heirs,
but Our Margaret, still very much in the swing of things even after her very frightening move to a spanking clean housing development.
Susie Clemons is the name of the place where she now lives with her two beloved kitties.
On fair days, they peep outside the bedroom window.
What do they see?
This is a housing development. It is not a project. They spot grass as green as on a baseball field on television.
Their whiskers can almost pick up scents. Of what?
Of mice, silly!
Of garter snakes, with long sinuous bodies like dancing girls in Irma La Duce!
Is Shirley McClain still alive?
Not only is she alive, but she is telling people’s fortunes.
Our Margaret will have none of that.
Life happens once. And you better pay attention so you don’t miss anything.
A jingle is playing outside of Susie Clemons.
Kelsey and Nelson are familiar with it. They look at one another and rub noses.
The truck is white and soon many children line up behind it.
Great excitement fills the air.
When the door opens, steam rushes out.
A voice is heard saying, “May I have a Dixie Cup with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sprinkles, and rainbow sprinkles?”
Margaret puts one hand on Kelsey and one on Nelson.
So sorry, my darlings, but cats might die if we feed them this tripe.
Their sad cries and whimpers can be heard all over the brand-spanking-new apartment.
How will they get out?
Someone has come to fix the bathroom tiles.
In a single bound, the cats escape to where the ice cream truck still stands.
On the ground are ice cream flavors – Rocky Road with marshmallows, Butter Pecan – and leftover sprinkles.
They hardly know where to begin.
But begin they do. Their whiskers, bless the little fellers, are a lovely mess.
Their little pink tongues can barely keep up with their passions.
Bumble bees and honeybees are in the air. Nary a cloud floats in the sky.
Children’s playground equipment is ridden in a frenzy at this first day of Easter and of Passover, a Jewish holiday.
Sated. When Kelsey and Nelson are so full they feel as if they will burst like balloons, they scamper into their new dwelling.
Margaret must never know.
And she never will.

editors note:

I won’t tell if you won’t. – mh clay

Never He Any

by on June 25, 2022 :: 0 comments

Never he any never be any rest aligned star crazily meandering through the universe hurling sparks throughout the cosmos down on this Earth he never had any such as traveled far away and back it was a dream he was the Future Past never had he any from beginning to end like the burning string on both sides watching it burn matching light folding telling a story an adventure starts from the beginning but never ends never happened to me we us never me many never he any such are fools lost in the mind a clouded thought in fruition above my head I can see it be sunny weather wind pushes through swiping all reality away it was a dream a dream is never he any somewhat pursed on the pursuit of so called happiness a number a relief a testament to the unhappy lives you’ve lived dream?

editors note:

Maybe never, if ever. (We welcome Ken Edward to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

someone tilled me with a Troy-Bilt Super Bronco rototiller

by on June 24, 2022 :: 0 comments

i can’t eat Alphabet cereal on a soup spoon
because my sugar’s too high
babble becomes speech

i can’t reduce my daddy bulge
because my stomach fat is mega alpha
da is doubled into dada

i can’t erect like a Cargotec crane
because my testosterone is below 300 nanograms per deciliter
cat dog pig multiplied into 2 syllables to caca doodoo porky

i can read my writing with glasses
because reading comes before writing
writing comes before reading

i can divide numbers & write letters
because numbers come before letters
letters come before numbers

i can inhale plants & exhale to plants
because oxygen comes from carbon-dioxide
the chemical periodic table joins letters and number

i can’t beat anymore
because birth becomes death
my EKG is the sound of tinnitus silence

editors note:

We come out, beat forth, are turned under. – mh clay

My Wall: A Polyglot

by on June 23, 2022 :: 0 comments

A monotonous crack
Is the vision
In my mind

Plaster
Filling the gaps
That can and cannot be
Sustained-
Depend on
The proportion
Of sand and cement.

No cut,
No grass,
No war
On my wall
Only two divergent colours-
Real and unreal
Merged and
Sprayed

Like an array
Of striped jeans
Or sometimes
Crisscrossed by
The sewing machines.

My nerves-
Rising and
Yawning
Till the dots spread
From an incarcerous spell
To tell its plot-
My wall: A polyglot.

– Monobina Nath

editors note:

Multiple languages to increase our misunderstanding in multiple ways. – mh clay

Black Contradiction

by on June 22, 2022 :: 0 comments

The roaring thunder spans out across the darkened sky and tears fall from it, church bells ring out, church choir sings their hearts out, other late-night gunshots rang out, life smothered out; call it code black out, brother against brother killing our own color talking of hate from the others when we demonstrate the hate amongst one another, we were deeply wounded culturally, time has mended that old wound and now it’s a small laceration continuing to be closed by a percentage of a nation until it bears only a scar.

Are we our own racists against our blackness?

Mind over matter, let us debate over what truly matters, black killers or killer cops?

Like black on black crime, our people are the ones who need to truly read the signs (black lives matter all lives matter).

editors note:

Such contradiction opens to white interdiction. Read the signs, indeed. – mh clay

Bags of Chemicals

by on June 21, 2022 :: 0 comments

My scientific son says we’re all bags of chemicals.
He could be right.
I know I leak happy serotonin from my armpits
when he sends the rare e-mail.

I feel warm dopamine vibes
when I look in the mirror at my graying hair
and like what I see
despite the loss of sexy estrogen.

My husband made that new dish I suggested for dinner,
and we both agree never to add habanero sauce
and adobo to anything ever again.
The G-I doc was right when he said the gut and brain
carry on constant conversations.
Our stomachs are screaming at our heads right now.

Some prescription disliked my head last week,
but I sucked in the side-effect rage and did not choke
the innocent bystander spouse.
The day I rejected that last pill in the bottle,
we felt glad we still have our mutual life.

Driving by the lake regularly
makes me feel good.
I count on its chemical beauty
for every prescribed transcendent mood.
Good ole H2O.

It always comes down to the liquids around,
about, and inside us:
their balance, their charge, their corpuscular weight.
Maybe crying isn’t so bad nor sweating
or vomiting after a bad fight or scare.
Bags of chemicals on a watery orb,
a blob in vacuous space — makes you wonder, that’s all.

editors note:

Gods bless this liquid life! (We welcome Jean to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay