Featured Poems

Pandemic Living

by on May 18, 2021 :: 0 comments

Like you, I dare not open my eyes
I dare not rise from all fours –
the rhythm of my heart would surely outrun this peaceful speed.
No, that noise can wait –
all that living and dying and pain.
My smile is due to the stillness inside.
I am immortal in this position and
It is altogether better to be alone and immortal
than to rise and walk dangerously amongst my fellow man.
Be it a hermit, be it strange
the label is noted but of no concern.
in fact, I am in love with this moment –
to change positions would be like ruining the serenity of a good stare-
I wouldn’t dare.

– Drew Nacht

editors note:

Seeking strength and solace in solitude. – mh clay

word problems

by on May 17, 2021 :: 0 comments

negative b
plus or minus the square root of nobody
ever used eighth-grade algebra to find
love or beauty in a storm
but this spinning world is full
of unknowns and inequalities
poverty curves and inflection points
cotangent of a rainbow
radius of a door slamming shut

if the x-axis is melanin and y equals fear
plot the curve that separates
hooded teen from bullet

if n is the number of students
crossing the graduation river
at illiterate words per hour
and z is the cost of a prison bed
how many words does a politician need
so fifty-one percent of voters
sleep well at night

editors note:

Evict vicious variables and maybe the equation will balance. – mh clay

In This Poem, My Body is Viewed as Perfect for Guarding Things and My Hands are Viewed as Perfect for Giving Direct Pressure for Spurting and My Writing is Not Viewed at All

by on May 15, 2021 :: 0 comments

At the job interview, they ask me if I am good with working at night.
They hire me for nights.
At the job interview, they ask me if I am good at working in bad neighborhoods.

They hire me to work in my neighborhood.
At the job interview, they ask me if I am good at working alone.
They hire me to work with a boss who practices all of the different forms of hostile environment on me. He is exceptionally good at it.

At the job interview, they ask me if I am OK with being exposed to radiation.
They hire me to be exposed to radiation, refusing to give me a dosimeter, even though the hiring paperwork said they would give me a dosimeter. My boss tells me one night, Radiation never hurt anyone.
At the job interview, they ask me if I am OK with having my fingers broken.

They hire me to have my fingers broken and what I didn’t realize is that this would be done by myself, on a monthly basis, in front of a board who would critique each break with a sheet that I would have to sign with pen in my mouth.
At the job interview, they ask me if I like elevator music.
I say I do not and then they place me inside of an elevator and play me a tape of a Cadillac being crushed in a pig-slaughter room, explaining to me that any music played in an elevator is ‘elevator music,’ and I try to explain to them that these sounds are not music and they explain to me that I am being filmed.

editors note:

For playback at breaktime. – mh clay

Gangsters in a Haunted House

by on May 14, 2021 :: 0 comments

The ghosts don’t like your cheap cigars, Jimmy
They don’t like you tuning the radio to the Dodgers every night
Ghosts don’t dig the Dodgers
They do like Rita’s low cut dresses & they think
She should sit closer to the storm lamp
In the kitchen sometimes

Also, they wish you would stop flipping that coin, Jimmy
They hate it when you yell at Rita
Especially when it’s about nothing at all
Which is always what it’s about
Rita is really nice, is what they think
So you should cut it out
And while you’re at it, they think, you should

Send Beans & Petey One Eye to the A & P, Jimmy
& tell them stop buying that shitty beer which nobody
Likes but you & Beans. The ghosts think
You should get some Pabst Blue Ribbon or maybe
All kindsa spooky stuff could start happening
Blood coming outta faucets & mirrors with monster faces
A bag of Doritos would be good too.

editors note:

Spectre’ly sound advice. – mh clay

All Niter

by on May 13, 2021 :: 0 comments

not Lionel Richie singing all night long, really!
Pages & Pages unread humanities books, really!
Servant Dan Quote > 1,000 pages, really?
no Coles notes, really?
no-one selling Quote term paper, really?
read 1100 pages, 6 pm 2 6 am, really!
2 am, cnt c, re l l y
let go of my Twinky, REALLY!
1 Twinkie 4 1 Moon Pie, NO! really?
8 pm no video room 2 play Miss Pacman, really!
no fun exam week, really!
11 pm p is Twinkie yellow, really-
Nodoz keeps awake, really?
4 am, diarrhea toilet reading, REAL…LY!
take PeptoBismal, when take Nodoz, really?
this is college, really?
Satan right my paper 4 my soul? NO! Really?
4 am 2 8 am, write Quote paper, really
Quote windmills r the enemy, really?
no more black typewriter ink, really!
press keys 2 red ink, redlly
finger bondage 2 typewriter keys, really!
3 typos, reverse correction, still 1 typo, really!
liquid paper fixes typos, really?
alarm clock, push snooze, Really!
roomie took my jean Jacket? Really?
write my paper 4 my jean jacket? No? Really!
9 am dropped paper in teacher mail slot, really
asleep in student lounge, really!
calculus test in 2 days, really!
fall semester over, REALLY!
return spring semester? really?
spring semester, Ding Dang new vending machine snack, really!
teacher reduced my grade by ½ grade for red type, really?
drop registration form in this box? really?

– Robert Fleming

editors note:

Here’s the source of student debt. Really! – mh clay

Pittsburg

by on May 12, 2021 :: 0 comments

Pittsburg vanished from the map
and the earth as well.

It was the worst case of shame
Paul had ever witnessed.

The shame centered around
Pittsburg’s reputation for racism.

Having never visited the city
Paul was not sure the reputation was warranted.

He doubted Pittsburg hid in Philadelphia,
the city of brotherly love.

Cleveland was an unlikely hiding place—
though an arch rival’s guest room

under a Jim Brown poster
would be the last place Paul would look.

He guessed it was possible
that Pittsburg had been kidnapped,

but he found no ransom note
after searching the Allegheny region.

He followed a trail of dingy-yellow terrible towels,
but they led eleven or so miles west

and ended abruptly at that peculiar
West Virginia spur that houses Wheeling.

editors note:

Apologies to Pittsburg! But wherever you’re hiding, might as well come out. – mh clay