2 poems by Madison Clark

How-To: Success

            [note: you may only select one]


Attain: paycheck grade card complete
Sudoku / crossword / word search contact in
on the first try from Velcro to shoelaces un-
chipped polish stringed bracelet without
hiccups crunchless parallel parking job


Put a flagpole in your front yard. Raise the
colors of a different nation, always at
half-mast: someone’s son, someone’s daughter.


Son of a Pastor

He told me
in third grade
that my heart
stops every time
I sneeze. That

God bless you

is a congratulations
for being so strong
in my faith that
I was allowed
to survive His sneak
attack. Like my
nap every time and
only a shot of Religion
can wake me up properly.

Once he learned
of my atheology, he
stopped blessing
my sneezes.

I would accept


but he still only speaks
Bible Belt, speaks
never getting out of that city.

Never Quiet, Never Quite by Joseph James Cawein

We were never quite
sexual beings

our bodies never quite
got the rhythm

and our eyes never quite
met like they do in the movies

I never quite
made it past your smile

and never quite
said what i thought

but we were never quite

and never anything less than
somber lonesome beautiful friends

in the never quite
romantic night

Love Stinks by Cee Williams

previously published in 12 Poems (Crisis Chronicles Press)

reviewed at Unlikely Blond

Love stinks


I don’t know what’s worse

the smell,

or the fact I

keep sticking my nose in it-

stinks like

some poverty stricken diabetic has

has been dipping his gangrenous

toes in it,

stinks like

there’s some yet undiscovered

fungus that grows in it

mold spores carrying amor

find their way

up nasal passage ways to

to the dank dark

corners of my brain

the parts that thrive off pain and

and the thankless search for

a festering odoriferous pile

of rot, covered in mildew,

(I love you)

love stinks

I know this, I do-

heinous as it is, I’ve found

I can’t live without it

forever bound by

my romantic demons’ unwavering persistence

lashed to a floating turd

called love

adrift in the sewer of

this terrestrial existence

Afterward by Sara Clark

Little details whisper of her dying,

Three bars left on the hearth, the cluttered sink

The strangeness of the place, the lack of pink

cold tea, stale sandwiches, an old man crying.

His memories fall like flowers from the pages

of that old book they pressed them in so tight

before she wandered off into the ages,

lost in the black and uncut cloth of night.

With Raspberry by A.J. Huffman

lemonade cupcake crumbs sugaring

my tongue, teaching me the value of savoring.

Sweetness is undervalued in the belligerent typhoon

of daily diatribic relations.  Coldly

we bounce about our self-

indulgent desires.  Flitter flipping through random

[e]motions until they ring, irrelevant, in ears that refuse

to welcome the softer textures of light

                                                             ly layered details.

Overlooked they melt atop the density of desire, hoping

this time not to get lost in the dementia of consume.