Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 
4.5k · Aug 2015
Wash
Hank Helman Aug 2015
Would that we could, clean like our clothes,
A jumble tumble in a coin machine,
The soap and soak of a wet warm wash,
The racer’s spin goes round and round,
Stains and grime,
The stench of time,
All down the drain,
No fuss, no pain,
Freshly laundered we begin again.
Just juggling words and playing with my inner rabbit
3.4k · Aug 2015
Stains
Hank Helman Aug 2015
I know her intimately and not at all,
Her fragrance infiltrates, chases me,
A whiff off the tips of my fingers,
The smell of her is hunger,
It makes me wont to wolf and devour,
Her flush on the flat of my tongue,
Her angel whisper,
Our quiet choir a pleasure,
A harmony,
A crescendo until we seed and mute.
Between us,
Our damp swap,
A no man’s land,
A moist design,
The map of lust.
The art of love is always,
In its stains.
3.3k · Feb 2016
Arguments
Hank Helman Feb 2016
The pleasure of an argument
Is the change from right to wrong.
So sure, so firm when first begun,
Now where do I belong.

I started no, then maybe so,
Before long I agree,
Up is down, a smile a frown,
Is non, peut-etre, oui.

I hear, I feel, the yin, the yang
Of every point of view,
Let’s argue for a paradise,
Where all-everything is true.
playful poetry --  I love to argue and I find it fascinating when someone changes my mind-  A debate or argument must start with both parties agreeing that their minds can or may be changed-- if not then it's just a shouting match. I find when I change my opinion I grow or at least become more tolerant. Let's argue well but get along better is the point of the poem--     hh
3.1k · Aug 2015
Beach
Hank Helman Aug 2015
Carla kept nudging me to learn Italian.
It is the language of lovers and liars she said, life’s two best friends,
Discipline yourself, it will teach you to sing, she offered,
Each phrase a lyric, a seduction,
It will give you an unfair advantage over younger men, she promised,
Tickle her ear with this tongue and she will shiver and unfold,
Her heart, her knees unlocked.

Italian is a calculate of rhythm, Carla suggested,
Every woman understands timing and phase,
Our life is nothing but cycles for god’s sakes,
How have you not understood this?

It is the lingua of fair play, she continued, each syllable an equal citizen,
A dialect with an innate sense of justice,
Women are as intrigued by its possibilities,
As they are by threat and danger,
Either of which you can no longer promise.

Tell a woman you love her in Italian,
Ti amo più respiro, I love you more than breath,
And her ******* will disappear,
She won’t be able to take her eyes off your lips,
And as we all know, your mouth is your hook,
Your irresistible smile, the pout, the persuasion.

You are a poet, a miracle I know,
Your words are narcotic when you put your mind to it,
I’ve heard you quell an unruly crowd;
Your resonant tone could soothe a pack of ravenous jackals.

But with that intricate face of yours,
Your accumulating age, the leather wrinkles,
Believe me, you will soon need to help to ****** even a photograph.
Enlist, become Italian, Carla told me, it is your only hope,
And she tossed the last of her wine onto the sand,
Watched the red stain saturate and fade,
And lay back to face the sun.
2.5k · Oct 2015
Odd
Hank Helman Oct 2015
Odd
What an odd ingredient sadness is.  

It salts a tear, bittersweets a kiss,
Hungers us for the things we miss,
Ever abundant, such a convenient thing,
I can find it in everything.

A death, a birth, I cry for both,
Gild a sorrow, a wistful hope,
Ripe melancholy I savour most,
Yet a pinch too much is a lethal dose.

I was often told it shouldn’t be,
But the clown that frowns was the perfect me,
Thin taunt and cackle, ghosts everywhere,
Sometimes I hide, but it’s still right there.

Perhaps I’ll woo this lifelong friend,
Embrace this thing I cannot mend.
Odd comfort in a peculiar way,
To know this thing is here to stay.
Is sadness a bad thing?  Why?
2.4k · Nov 2015
Naked
Hank Helman Nov 2015
When I asked you for the naked truth,
It was not an invitation,
To strip bald at Starbucks,
And opera sing the national anthem.

Although I’m sure the  ovation and applause was exhilarating,
And my god, I was certain you were going to fall off our table,
In fact, I now think a birthday suit should be mandatory,
For everybody when they sing the nation's song.


Never the less,
In future I will choose my clichés more carefully.
God knows what you’d have done
Had I asked you to bare your soul.
It was an unsettling first date, yet I am intrigued.
Text me if this Friday works for you.
just having fun--
2.4k · Jan 2016
Hope
Hank Helman Jan 2016
Hope died yesterday at 3:01 a.m. mountain time.
It was a massive cardiac arrest.
The hearts of every good person in the world
Exploded simultaneously.
Over six million instant deaths,
Unplanned, unexpected
Unexplained,
All the nice people died on mass.

If you are alive this morning
You are not one of the good people.
You are one of the *******.
At least with clarity we can move forward.
We have a starting point.
I am an *******,
Now let’s make things better.
The point of the poem is that we bog down in our attempts to improve things by having intransigent positions. My god is better than yours, my system is the only one that works, I am exceptional etc. If we can start at 0 and ask the question--  what does better for all mean? - then we have a chance to create a paradise on earth. So the I am an ******* movement begins--- which means I am not hanging onto any preconceived notions-- let's talk about better without ego.  I am such a dreamer  I know, I know.
2.3k · Sep 2015
X-rated
Hank Helman Sep 2015
Sasha wakes me with a soft and slender touch.
Five long, black, fingernails,
Move sly and slow as sleepy snails,
Carving curvy pink ski-trails,
Down the middle of my back.

I want you…
She whispers lip to lip,
… to wake up and **** me right now,
And she tickles my ear with the tip of her tongue.


It’s these dreams, she murmurs,
Last night I was locked in a small room,
One window,
Distant noise from a street,
A king size bed with a clean red sheet,
Five men, alpha males of every age,
Soft talkers with rough hands,
Each had their way with me,
In every position, every act imaginable,
Sometimes two and three at a time,
My ecstasy was paced and deliberate
And seemed to go on for hours,
Despite every satisfaction,
I begged them to continue,
Insisted they use their mouths, hands, words,
My ****** was perpetual,
An endless spring tide,
Each swell higher than the last,
There was a moment I was sure
I would suffocate from pleasure.


Was I one of them, I asked, hoping I wasn't.

No but I felt you somewhere, watching, she sighed.

You need to take me now and quick, she said,
This is a rare opportunity,
A celestial arousal
Jesus, this ****** is from God, she said,
Bend me anyway you wish.
Recall every fantasy you have ever had.
Now is your time.


Lay on the mattress, I ordered,
Stomach down flat
Spread your legs,
Arms up above your head,
As if you are about to dive into the sea.

Grasp the sheet with your fingers.
I will enter you in one motion
You will feel only the ******* and my body weight
We will rut.
My knees will push you open,
My hands will find the center of you,
You will barely have to move.

I will come if you touch me
With any bare skin, she said,
And pushed the blankets to the floor.

I am possessed she confessed,
Turn me into anything you wish.
This is a re-post from an earlier time.
2.2k · Aug 2015
Unseen
Hank Helman Aug 2015
She said, turn out the lights,
I look so much better in the dark.
I said, love is an artist; I like what I see,
And  lit the candle beside her bed.

She said the night and shadows retouch my flaws,
Blend tight curves with round intrigue,
I said, the sexiest bits of you are all unseen,
Now smile and let me love all of you.
2.0k · Feb 2016
Suicide
Hank Helman Feb 2016
You know that voice inside your head,
That whispering ***** that wants you dead,
A hell grip tease, knows every fault,
That sly little snitch that you can’t halt.

A slick negotiate this voice of yours,
Knows the Band-Aid tricks that you adore,
Rough ***, play drugs, drink all day,
Says **** yourself, you’re a throw-a-way.

So listen crisp, you’ve got an outside chance,
****-can the guilt and the worry romance,  
Stoke this moment, jive the second you’re in,
Don’t end your life, let the ****** begin.

It’s a hollow *** world, we all wearing shells,
Hard knocks, beat downs, sad farewells,
So write your ****, make your memories scream,
Claim your poem, tip type the bad dreams.

We can’t make it easy but we can hear,
A community listens, maybe offer a tear,
It’s a bruise harsh life, so take this hand,
Black and white your ****, no reprimand.
Encourage those you know who want to **** themselves to write. Pain has a source--  once you find the pulse of it you can calm it-- at least for awhile--- only art can save us.
2.0k · Dec 2015
Dragons
Hank Helman Dec 2015
It was her father’s fault of course,
He had cared for her too much.

He’d tendered love as a comfort
A cure,
His affection an antidote,
And she believed him and came to  
Depend on its sway.

He, her father, was a generous man with no money.
Well-educated and unwilling,
He refused to convert
And enlist as a worshiper of things.

How can you spend your life alone in a car, he asked.
Days, weeks, months trapped in solitary confinement,
Commute used to mean benefiting from a lesser sentence, he told her,

A judge would give you credit for picking up litter,
Or apologizing to your primary school teachers
For all the terrible things you'd done,
Then a month off your jail time, he explained,
His palms up, his shoulders in a shrug.

Now look at our roads, he said,
Everyone round shouldered and condemned,
In a cage, stones for eyes, barely breathing.

On the tram I meet people, I love the public square,
We are meant to mingle he said,
We need each other to make a life.

And so when her mother died,
Unexpected and sudden, what death isn’t really,
He took on simple work close to home.
He wanted her to know he was near, that’s all.

He understood the comfort young children find in
The literal sense of things and so,
He sat with her through every lunch hour and,
They ate soup and sandwiches together each day.

This saved her mind.
She knew that  now.

He, her father, was a chronic enabler of love.
In the fall they would laze on a park bench,
Yellow birch leaves like fashion stickers all over her rain boots,
And chat quietly as they tossed unfrozen frozen peas on to the pigeons.

On these afternoons he retold her stories about her mother,
His childhood, her grandparents and
The hard times,
When even a nickel could ignite the most outlandish of dreams.
Can you imagine, he would say,
Only five cents and we all thought our luck had finally changed.

He was an explainer and a tolerant,
He told her the sun rose up each day
Only to search for one new idea and that
She had a magnificent brain and
One day it would be her idea the sun would shine bright on.

He told her the purpose of her life,
Everyone’s life,
Was to think pure thoughts,
Small decisions that would help save the world, he said,
Contributions often so small no one might notice,
But each one would make a difference.

He said science called this the butterfly effect,
She loved the name.

He was thoughtful and fair
And so everything he stood for was impossible to duplicate.

He never forgot her birthday,

The dolls came in battered boxes
With crumpled corners and broken plastic windows.
Weathered cardboard coffins,
With magic marker scribbled on the back,
Gruff autographs like ‘return to vendor’ or ‘write-off,’
Words she paid no attention to,
Even when she began to understand what words can mean.

Her birthday cake- always a single slice never a round,
She had never seen her name in icing,
But why would that matter,
When she could wake up early in late November
And see all three of her names in elaborate calligraphy,
Etched into the frost of the front room windows
For every passerby to see

His all saint’s grin,
He told her every day of her life
That he saved the first smile of each day for her,
A smile he hid in his pocket, or under her pillow, behind her ear.

Her kingdom for a year was two card board castles in the living room,
Where, with official pageantry, (her father had a scroll),
She was crowned the Grand Duchess of Washer and Dryer,
Her word was law for the day.

He surrounded her palace,
With brightly coloured bowls and
Casserole dishes filled with water,
A protective moat into which he placed plastic animals,
Whereby he proclaimed in a court room voice,
All would become flying horses and loyal dragons
If danger ever dared to mock and threaten.

So when he died she was ready.
She wasn’t,
But as an adult she told everyone she was.

After the funeral she dressed the same,
She ate, she worked,
She offered her ****** Mary smile generously to small children,
She said please and thank-you in a clear voice,
And gave a dollar to every street person she could find.

She was near him when he passed.
She understood the comfort old men find
In the literal sense of things,
And for weeks she slept shotgun
In the chair by his bed.
She wanted to be near, that's all, and
She fed him soup, no sandwich, every day.

We all die he told her only moments before his turn.
Our only calm is our end, he said in a whisper as weak as
Mormon tea.
Do not regret, he cautioned her,
My life was mad and complete, he promised,
You were my good idea and the sun rewarded me,
He said in a voice so soft
She wanted to lay her head on it and drift away.
Then he smiled his first smile of the day,
Pressed a plastic dragon into her hand,
And withdrew.
1.9k · Feb 2016
Dance
Hank Helman Feb 2016
Dance for me this one last time,
Tease me naked, sweet pantomime,
Slip-slide your dress but stay your shoes,
Swing-sway your hips, my gorgeous muse.

Wrap round your arms, a prisoner’s chains,
Make me confess and make me strain,  
Offer, tempt me, tease me, sting,
Dance for me and my nomad queen.

Twitter tongues, all kiss no tell,
Secrets, whispers, rumours swell ,
Lies ignite, sparks lust to fire,
Dance for me til death conspires.
When a woman dances for a man...  the ritual hits some evolutionary signal and the watcher become hypnotized. Try it with the one you love or lust. It's primal, stirring, unforgettable.
1.7k · Jan 2016
Ain't
Hank Helman Jan 2016
I want to be thin as a whisper,
To be feline and ****, a cat with long whiskers,
To have length and width but no depth at all,
Not one bit of fat and to walk model tall,
I’ll take drugs, gobble Kleenex, drink only weak tea
Whatever it takes, to not ever be me.

I want to be loved like a pillow, feathered and light,
Held close to your cheek, cuddled all night,
To be soft squished and moulded into all kinds of lovers,
A prop up, a padding, a bump under the covers,
A cushion encased in a bright burst of stars,
I can’t wait to be normal, I’m slightly bizarre.

I want to be lost in crowd of loud celebration,
To be swept up and away in a mass of flirtation,
To be jostled and felt up, the hands of rude strangers,
A joyous outburst, wet kissing ex-changers,
To abandon my will, flee from restraint,
I can’t be, I could be, I am what I ain't.
re-post--  I'm so tired of greed and Trump and the pure absurdity of this never ending presidential quest. We have 15000 nuclear weapons--  just three of them could destabilize the climate enough to cause our own extinction. And yet grown men and one woman argue about packing children onto cattle cars and throwing them away like garbage.  So I  write nonsense and stare at my screen and wonder if there are better ways to have ***. Perhaps while hanging off the balcony?? I am the problem I complain about.
1.7k · Mar 2016
Rejoice
Hank Helman Mar 2016
Even I cannot find this care anymore.
I’ve run vague and dry of all moist thought,
Brittle will scores this round,
All life is best endured no more,
I will not bend to peek at joy,
Each smile a twist, all laughter ups to snort and ugly choke,
Time strides by, a hustler, a tomcat, a victim on the run.

At last the end of dreams, such bold relief.
Not more takes or edits done,
I breathe in whole, without the worry of dismal hope,
Each expectation outed now and free to fade,
I court the hours without a scheme,
Death will pace until my shift is done,
This warm friend who sentences but can’t condemn,  
Staid promise, an infinity of next for all.
Soon enough this now is gone,
Rejoice
This poem is about the turning point in life when we no longer worry too much about the future. Life isn't meant to make us happy. And so at some point there is odd relief in giving up on dreams and submerging oneself in just the day today experiences. Perhaps I've waited too long-- dismal hope a grand goodbye. Death is not to be feared-- it is our reward.
1.7k · Nov 2015
No
Hank Helman Nov 2015
No
It got to the point where we just ******.
No snake oil arguments,
No cookie batter eating binges, no street corner improv,
No cold, crazy, middle of the day, psychopath silence,
No clink, clank sulking,
No cuckoldry tears over the kitchen sink.

It was as if we secretly decided,
To pound each other to death,
Or die trying.
Why is this so enjoyable.
1.7k · Aug 2015
So
Hank Helman Aug 2015
So
And so one day we pass.
Our suffering joy departs at last,
We drool, we mutter,
Our eyelids shutter,
We gasp, we moan,
We kneel alone,
We beg, one final plea-
To whomever, please come for me.
Our fingers slip,
We ease our grip,
Thin lipped and frail,
One sharp inhale,
A heart beat fails,
And we let go.
How bad can it be?
A quick dunk in an icy lake,
A needle *****,
A fiery scorch,
Why fear so much, our lives shaped so,
By this simple passing of a single torch.
I'm in this rhymey shmymey mood these days. This poem reminds me of me in grade ten., I played hockey, football, basketball and wrote poems.  An unusual thing at the time. Think I might be a bit unusual still. Ya figure!
1.5k · Jan 2016
Fries
Hank Helman Jan 2016
What will you have, asked the waitress,
A death sandwich I replied,
Mustard and ketchup, she continued,
Yes and slather the mayo, double the cheese, I answered back politely,
You’re aura is a spiral, she said, whole wheat or white,
White with butter and does it come with final fries, I queried,
Included, she replied
And a new indelicate sugar fix by the pail.
Make mine to go, I suggested.
Want to quantum up and get a piece of plague cake
Maybe **** cookies in a bowl.
What a wonderful time to be alive I remarked,
The only generation to ever eat itself to death she quipped,
We’re special I said and looked away.
Just 5 minutes of nonsense
1.4k · Dec 2015
Fear
Hank Helman Dec 2015
We have one fear and only one,
It haunts us from the crib,
All others are pretenders,
Only fear of death has grip.

It seizes us before we speak
It holds throughout our lives,
It tempts us as a madness will,
Through all our time it thrives.

This fear stains men with blood desire,
We slaughter, cruel and maim,
As if another takes our place,
When death cries out our name.

Why nature felt the need to spoil
This sentience we savour,
No matter any deed we do,
Death waits, our unmasked saviour.
All religion promotes glorified death-- as if dying for one's spiritual beliefs elevates us in the eyes of whatever god we have constructed. This fear of death makes us irrational -- lose the fear we will be better humans and we will value others more. Easier said than done. HH
1.3k · Oct 2015
Words
Hank Helman Oct 2015
Take all.
Leave me thin and bone,
Withdraw hope and home,
Shame me in every way,
Blind me, shun me
Punch me deaf and dumb,
Bleed out all of joy,
Fester *** and pleasure,
Blacken me a liar,
Circumcise my art,
Multiply a thousand times despair,
And present me death as a gift

Hobble my gait,
Drape me down in chains,
Rob me of all.
But leave me words.

Grant me poetry, one line, one spark
And the universe ignites again,
Let me roll syllables like dice
And I will chase passion to you,
Give me a sprinkle of syntax,
A magic dust,
Turns sound to shape and form.
Let me own letters,
And I will smuggle tears to you,
Crouch inside your dreams,
Spin the air into scent
Reflect in every mirror a lover,
Make clouds chant a monk’s choir,
Bend light and tie it like a shoestring,

Give me words, just words  
And I will stand forever.
a re-post   just adding it back--  hh
1.3k · Feb 2016
Orgasm
Hank Helman Feb 2016
They had *** everywhere.

In the car,
Parked at Costco,
She teased him,
Bra-less under an unbuttoned shirt,
Her agile hand coated with a thin primer of Vaseline,
She stroked him slowly, precisely with a twist,
As somnolent sad faced suburban Sherpa,
Their neighbours and fellow citizens,
Hauled their apocalypse supplies  
Across pristine acres of fresh asphalt,
Doped by fear,
Trapped inside the pixels of an infinite routine,
Unaware and
Unable to imagine life as a movie.

Out on the highway, as he drove,
She pulled up her skirt
And pulled down her tube top
Trucker’s horns roared their musical approval,
The benefits of a long haul driver were scant and skimpy,
Her ***** alive and anonymous,
Guilt free and aroused.

They ****** in washrooms,
Molested each other on escalators,
Texted friends while they copulated half clothed,
Shared their pride with angels dressed as ******,
And counted their ******* like winnings at a casino,
Excited by the number and the game,
Their brains hot-wired,
Life a blur of alternating currents of sensation.

Death is constant state of ******, he told her,
When we leave this organic realm,
When we have finally turned the oceans into pudding,
And caged all of life,
When it is over,
We will enter into a cosmic stream of pleasure.
This is why the universe is expanding, he told her,
Pleasure is a colossal force,
The big bang was God’s ****** after all,
Her consequence the stars, the galaxies,
The dark palette of her entropy.

He was ******* her on a balcony while watching the moon
And waving to the woman with binoculars
When she asked,
Why is it so difficult,
Why do so many ignite pain and cant despair,
How did the curl and cling of hate
Take such deep root, she asked.

We fear death too well, he said,
And
Within the quick boundary of this moment
As they searched their waft and scent for clues,
They heard a whisper.
Inside the swell,
On top of a crest of acid clear thought
And without regret,
They forgave destiny,
Only to fly to the ground and beyond.
******* are underrated as a spiritual experience. The more you have the closer to god you become
1.3k · Aug 2015
Etta
Hank Helman Aug 2015
Chasey calls them the dead mama blues.
There's sadness, she says, mine has a scent to it;
Despair, a shabby **** who mugs me under my covers
On winter days at dawn,
Catatonia, which only a messy bed,a ****,a bag of Cheetos and a boy can cure,
And then way down from there,
Squatting *** close to the ground,
Smoking Gauloises in the dark,
Live the dead mama blues.

The only cure for the dead mama’s, Chasey explains,
Is a blood rare steak and Etta James greatest hits on vinyl,
Played quiet through the sweet spot of the night,
All the lights off, the dishes done and dry.

Helps if a sister has a slim hip man to dance with, she said,
So if you ain’t runnin’, the grill’s on me.
Come by sober any time after moon rise, Chasey yawned,
Cause this girl could use a shoulder and a polite hand.

And bring your slippers, she said
Easier to shuffle over **** in sheepskin, plus
We might go up on the roof later on
And smoke some of my cubans for a while.

Door will be open, so please don’t ring,
Hell what am I saying, you know the path.
Chasey yawned again, a big one,
Waited a few seconds because there was nothing else to say
And hung up the phone with a sigh.
1.3k · Jan 2016
Sigh
Hank Helman Jan 2016
She asks me,
To calm the ocean storm inside of her.
To harbour in her fickle fears,
And quell her urge to fly or run away.

She asks me,
To silence her cacophony,
A chatter's choir, passion’s angry mob,
And I soft my fingerprints, a lover’s mark,
On the pout of her red, red lips.

Talk to me in confidence and whispers,
She purrs,
As I undo the buttons on her dress,
She says,
Tell me,
No,
Convince me
You have missed me.

She shifts her shoulders,
And
A curtain call of fabric falls free,
Her dress,
A parachute,  
Floats into a pretty bunch,
Settles round and round her ankles in a heap.

Sigh.
Sigh as if I'm your last chance to be free, she says,
Her hands in yoga pose behind her back,
Her bra disappears,
A red memory of elastic,
Tribal indents in her skin,
Temptation’s fragrance overwhelms,
Becomes a taste.

She turns her back to me.
Her thumbs hitchhike inside her *******’ waist,
She slips them down
Steps out of them,
Naked in high heels, she pirouettes,
Hands above her head,
Her *******,
Stiff and brazen buds,
They point and accuse me,
Of some premeditated crime.

Her voice in echo, hardens my intent,
She offers me a carafe of oil,
Warm wet,
Her fingers find the best of me,
Through the thin fabric of my disguise.

Make me shine she murmurs,
Make me slippery and easy to handle, she begs,
My slick hands fill with her,
And I fall fast and forward,
To slip and disappear into a passing cloud.
1.2k · Jul 2016
Untitled
Hank Helman Jul 2016
So I m sitting in the mall
Waiting for life to entertain me
As I know it will
Feeling moribund and gloomy
As if a full belly and a dry bed
Aren't good enough.
Like the universe owes me a back stage pass, right?
And access to the green room
And the groupies,
And how no matter how much I get,
It will never be enough,
This is the most depressing thought,
That I am insatiable,
And any form of happiness
Will remain at a distance,
Because I can't shove enough pleasure
Down my throat
Or get enough women to lay down,
Or find an end to this need to
Consume.
Ekhart was right.
Just go sit on a bench and shut up.
So I m sitting in the mall
Waiting for life to entertain me
...
Poem in 2 minutes . Ignore is my advice.
1.2k · Aug 2015
Same
Hank Helman Aug 2015
We chase a thing all our lives,
Hopes and dreams like butterflies,
Elusive thing we're not quite sure,
We're often close and then demure.

Sometimes we think this thing's gone by
We turn around and soft a sigh,
Send me back, we plead and cry,
Life laughs and whispers, wave goodbye.

So what to do when lost again,
A lover lies, a friend unfriends,
The gift of us by all ignored,
Our love becomes a thing we hoard.

When everything is upside down,
You feel about to quit and drown,
It helps to know we're much the same,
You're not alone, all hold this pain.
just a simple write. A good life is a simple thing--  still learning that lesson.
1.2k · Mar 2016
Corner
Hank Helman Mar 2016
Each afternoon in June,
I loiter-linger on the corner of 37th avenue,
Both eyes asleep,
A summer’s sunset smile on my face,
A flock of fairies in free float round my head.

My habit, a daily pause,
Plant my haunch against the blue barrel mail box,  
Old empty drum, anachronism, stubborn antique.

I cringe at the mad jazz of shrieks and horns on cue,
The hatter’s rush at end of day,
There is purpose in this cacophony,
My city boasts and brags with noise,
Intoxicated on aroma,
A frequency with every smell.

Baptiste’s Pizza owns the breeze at 4 p.m.
Inhale this baker’s breath,
An oven-joy in one warm gust,
Blond baked crust,
Tomatoes boil and bubble cheese,
Salt fresh anchovies, red peppers,
A currency of meats.
I salivate and lick the wind,
Hunger is desire.

Sudden harmony in one sweet waft,
A pleasant jet stream,
A toker passes by,
And gifts me with a 60’s contact high.

A small girl’s mouthful voice,
A jam cram of donuts is my guess.

The rattle, clap and black lung cough,
An old school diesel delivery truck,
The air brakes squeal for release,
It’s quitting time and everything wants to be free

A homeboy,  my local jive,
I know his dreams,
A lacquered finish,
In love with his axe,
You feel me... tap, bump and go.

Vinegar and toxic spice,
A window washer’s delight,
He squeals a squeaky clean

Fresh roses, oh a hopeful night, bonne chance,
The catastrophe of a cigarette,
The killer joy of a fresh cigar,
An uptown girl's stealth perfume,
She knows her prey,
He knows her ploy,
A mid west girl and a downtown boy

Daylight begs to dim,
The sun will witness just enough, no more,
My corner holds its own,
Each afternoon my part in scenes,
I dream,
And never wish, but often wonder,
About the life that might have been.
1.2k · May 2018
Bit
Hank Helman May 2018
Bit
I promised myself to never write when I was depressed.
And then I realized I would never write again.

So yes, sadness has its flavour, a taste acquired,
Like all the finer things in life,
A bit of bitter often brides us better,
The sweet of things misleads and makes us dull,

So yes,we have arrived to suffer, to ask and persevere,
Our fate is not to believe but to become,
We are God in the making, we are the design.
So little time.
Its rainy and summer cold and I needed to write. Do others feel that way? Like if you don't write something you are going to explode? Or collapse? Or disappear?
1.1k · Jan 2017
Kiss
Hank Helman Jan 2017
I breathe to live, I hold my breath,
I seek, I search, I’m blind at best,
My fingers sand skin smooth and soft,
I kiss, caress, kind words crisscrossed .

I live to love, I love just you,
Well I love others, so it isn’t true,
But you are passion, my true desire,
Naked, flushed you push me higher.

If I could sleep and wake and dream,
I’d beg you be my secret scheme,
Let’s run until we cannot breathe,
Let’s run so neither never leave.
Playing with sound and the push and pull of big love. Love is gravity and draws me to her- I cannot resist any longer. HH
1.1k · Oct 2018
Poems
Hank Helman Oct 2018
Karla told me to give up art.
You really aren't very good at it, she said,
And suggested I take up drinking full time, instead.

At least with a beer in your hand,
You project a sense of purpose, she said
Even if it's only to empty the glass.

But your poems ramble on forever,
Your short stories always stop in the middle,
Maybe you should combine the two, she suggested
And blew her cigar smoke down the front of my sweater.

We will call them stoems she said and laughed,
And challenged me to a push up contest,
Right there on the dance floor.

I declined, she knew I would,
Then let's dance with our backs to each other, she said,
And defend this art of yours, silly puzzles no one can comprehend.
Karla is a strong woman. A bit of a ***** but she talks to me straight. Which is interesting because I think in hair pin turns and mud puddles. I love her dearly. And she owes me money. Which I know I will never see. I don't care.
1.0k · Apr 2016
Adagio
Hank Helman Apr 2016
I’m lost.
Inside a conversation
With a ghost,
Who keeps a case of beer,
On my back porch,
Year round.


I struggle.
With his take,
On things.
At best, he says, you perish in a fury,
His mouth a fresh full fill,
Raw oysters topped on spice baked kelp.

I wait.
To hear the worst.
His pause is theatre 101,
All fog and drama,
Ephemeral guest,
Sweet mist and ****.

I lean.
Against our red rose sun,
The window warm from spring to fall,
My back porch home a hobby now,
The worst he says, in adagio,
Is drudgery, no end at all.
What prevents all of us from starting over, running the world in a completely different way, experimenting with new choices. Lennon's Imagine as our anthem. Dead too soon by the dark hands.
1.0k · Dec 2015
Desire
Hank Helman Dec 2015
She served him red ripe cherry pie at dawn,
Oven warm,
With a skimp of cheddar cheese,
Curled up and asleep on the side of the plate.

He captured the first whiff while strutting through  
The maze,
Of a last minute dream.
On stage, lead guitar, **** Jagger, Brown Sugar.

She held a fork full of promise near his nose,
And smiled.
He woke humming, strumming, *****, and confused.
What more pleasure could desire be.
1.0k · Dec 2016
Know
Hank Helman Dec 2016
Should we enjoy life while others suffer.
Right now all us know there are horrors beyond words
Occurring in this second.

A girl child is being ****** to her death,
Buried up to her neck in dirt, while grown men
Throw heavy rocks at her head,
And gossip amongst themselves,
Until they fracture her skull several times and she dies slowly.
Oh they put a hood over her head,
So none will have to look her in the eye.

A boy just blew himself and others to pieces.
A child,
He walked six blocks
Shivering from the chill of final minutes,
The awkward explosives rasping the skin on his hips raw,
Praying to a degenerate god,
Until his uncle presses a button.

A man is being tortured to death
By an adult in a uniform,
A uniform worn with pride by millions,
A uniform stained by hypocrisy and confusion,
And the mud of rights and wrongs.

A mother is watching her child starve to death.
Can you place yourself there,
A single room,
No heat or light, no way to protect your child,
No one to help you, death a constant whisper,
The suicidal despair of watching your child die,
A child who pleads into insanity, for you to help.

Perhaps it is happening only two blocks
From where you sit,
Or two million blocks
From where you sleep and fornicate and wish.
But we know.
We know.
It is happening and
I know
That
You know.

You, the one reading this poem right now,
And I
We know this truth.
So now what?
Can we be happy in an unjust world-- someone explain that to me. HH
986 · Jan 2016
Dawn
Hank Helman Jan 2016
What madman's  joy in this new dawn,
Renewed, refreshed, a massive yawn,
I stretch, I arch, a groan out loud,
A hand slips under, a warm breast found.

Now *** under sunrise is a spiritual find,
The covers uncovered we slip back in time,
To haylofts and snow storms and cars parked for hours,
When kisses were contests and life was devoured.

French toast and blue berries, an ocean of syrup,
Twice breakfast in bed predict the leaves in my tea cup,
A long life, good fortune, greets lovers at dawn,
Life isn’t a dash it’s a mad marathon.
How every day should start.
957 · Oct 2015
Cigars
Hank Helman Oct 2015
Men are doomed, Carla told me,
It’s your eternal haircuts, she continued,
How can you sculpt a life from a single shape,
One look,
Every mirror an impersonation
Of the initial version of one’s self,
Each day reduced to a child’s calculation,
You wake up, only older, grayer, a withered rasp,
Ever more discouraged by the unfairness of things.

Carla exhaled a dragon’s torrent
White jet streams unfurled out of both nostrils,
A waft of my father’s morning scent.

With a flick of her thumb,
She snapped the ash
Off the end of her cigar.
A sharp hiss as the ember sizzled and sank
In the shallow of a pavement puddle.

It had cold rained most of the day.
Over a pause, the sky roiling with indigestion,
We bundled up in autumn clothes,
And trudged uptown,
Our chins tucked deep into our chests,
Our squinty eyes glued to our shoes,
The wind had a slap to it.

It isn’t war you should fear, she continued,
It’s robots.
Soon we won’t need you for anything,
Carla jabbed her lacquered fingernail at phantoms as she spoke.
Women have been fornicating with machines
For over a hundred years, she said,
The transition for us has already occurred.

Weld and solder us a pleasant replica,
One that can shine a toilet
Sterilize the dishes, **** us brilliantly,
And recite Shakespeare at will-
Believe me,
Soon we will barter for your *******,
Exchanging bitcoins for the innate,
With no intention of ever attending your funeral.

No the war is over and men have lost, Carla repeated.
She walked ahead me,
Her hips a sashay as she spit a loose bit of tobacco leaf
Onto a lamp post.
I could not persuade my eyes to look away.
954 · Jan 2016
Fire
Hank Helman Jan 2016
Bright, burn and crackle,
Snap, burst and flame,
A wet log tossed upon,
Sparks a firefly game.

Marshmallow torches
Sticky finger's taste,
Butter kisses sugar sweet,
Slows the summer’s haste

Sing songs and hum a longs,
Lovers search for clues,
Naming constellations naked,
Each dark a rendezvous.

Last late night, the waves, the stars,
At dawn the sun is shy,
Salty teardrop promises,
Heart's hope, hands held, a sigh.
Just thinking of early love and summer flings.
944 · Jul 2016
Love
Hank Helman Jul 2016
Carla said we must talk about love.
If it doesn’t define, it doesn’t exist, she said,
And pulled the two nearest stools away from the bar.

Has anyone you have ever known- anyone-
Ever offered you even a pitiful explanation
Of this bewildering word
She asked me,
In that way she has
Of not asking me at all.

She lit her pipe,
Her first exhale a ceremonial cloud,
A white tobacco fog,
A linger that purchased my childhood memories,
The pungency of three fingers of scotch, neat, at dawn,
The south face picture window ablaze with
The painful flood of an early sun,
A tin can stereo in full lament about cowboy love
And the inevitability of betrayal,
My father off key,
All his memories a libel and a calumny.

If I say I lust for you, you know what I mean, Carla said,
If I question your loyalty there is no obfuscation,
If I tell you in my sleepy voice the wine is delicious,
You are tempted to sample,
But if a man tells a woman he loves her
What conclusions will she abide,
Carla asked me with a stare.

Do you even know anyone who can utter the words I love you,
Without feelings of hysteria, near mental collapse,
Or worse-farce, she asked.

We tell people we love them to calm them,
To manipulate them,
To play magic tricks on them, Carla said,  
Love is an adolescent stage,
A toxic teenage mix and of oestrogen and testosterone,
Romeo and Juliet were children for ***** sakes, Carla said,  
As she drank half of her breakfast scotch,
And began to blow perfect smoke rings
In the mirror still stale air
Of the Rock Hen all day, all night, all the time bar.

I just know I love my dog, I replied,
And I held my finger up,
To see if Carla could circle it perfectly with a smoke ring,
Which she did.

And I don’t even know why, I said,
I guess I love how he needs me and doesn’t resent it,
Even as I disappoint him and neglect him,
Forget to feed him, force him to *** in the rain,
He still wags his appreciation with gusto.

Perhaps we can only love our dogs,
Carla replied,
Or perhaps we should all have tails,
And she ordered us lemonade and tequila
With scrambled eggs, french toast and a *** of blueberries.
Been awhile--   I've spent the last few months thinking about love and I am less informed now than at my start. This is the joy of contemplation.
904 · Aug 2016
Hope
Hank Helman Aug 2016
She scheduled her death for November 3.
Her orphan hope,
If hope could still be cradled,
Was for a thin sweep of snow on the ground,
Maybe a bit of a howl out of the northwest,
(A dog whistle wind, her son Duncan called it,)

and,

If these fertile and malignant aliens at outpost
In her pancreas and liver,
If they held gracious,
Then she would attempt one last respite

and

She'd stand alone at winter’s edge
Inside the pencil sketch of a forest,
The oak and barren elms asleep,
Their crooked witch’s fingers
Scratching upward, thin and still,
If she could endure long enough,
She’d tempt a final plea,
To overwhelm the Carciginians

and

She would wake these slumbering giants
With her soft envy,  
She would beg the forest for its for secrets,
She would kneel and ask for the gift of a long nap,
Her wish to rise,
When all awake in spring again.

Of course in the end,
She bartered her desperation,,
Exchanged the ignominy of begging for her life,
For the crow’s caw,
The ivory of a full moon,
The damp step of a midnight in dew,
Her forest held her,
The wind whispered her name in soft repeat,
As she realized her eternity,
Her evermore,
Her head up, her heart insured.
Always this sheltered wood had counseled her,
She was careful to apologize,
Offer a traveler's grace,
It was her last goodbye.
Death with dignity is worth fighting for. Shame on those who insist on others suffering
869 · Nov 2015
Robots
Hank Helman Nov 2015
http://boingboing.net/2015/11/16/scary-robot-lumberjack-makes-d.html

If you want to watch a powerful robot, see above.


I'm not against robots nor afraid of the tech future.
Headline gibberish aside and recognizing Big News will always ***** juice up every bit of info with 'fear of death drama', this video may make you ask-

In the future- what will work be?

Is it possible that we might be at
the end of work, that machines will do almost everything,
That an era of continuous leisure maybe underway?

Why not? Is work an outdated concept?
Is paradise within reach?
Maybe.
864 · Nov 2015
Before
Hank Helman Nov 2015
She asked me to whisper.
Come close, she said, and kiss my hair,
Draw my waist to you with a firm hand,
Tempt me with your gift of phrase.

Before I give in, and I will, she said,
Before you begin to undo my buttons, my belt, my wiry clasps,
I want you to handcuff me with a twist of thought out loud,
And make me eager to risk all for love.

Enlist the moon, our friend, she said,
Under his pale shine make my silvery skin shiver,
Offer me an outrage, she begged,

Your words, as they always do, will ignite an unstoppable fuse,
And before your breath tingles my ear,
Before your lips brazen the naked curve of my neck
And rise the hairs on it,
Before your tongue is welcomed into my curious mouth,
Initiate me with intimate details,
Dampen me with clues.

What do you imagine when you are alone, she asked,
Forlorn under a wool-worn blanket with only a handful of regrets,
In your dreams, she insisted,  
Have I danced naked for your friends,
Have I opened and aroused myself at the kitchen table for your early amusement,
Have I watched you eat hot buttered raisin toast,
And orgasmed for you, a loud cry, your coffee still warm,

Ask anything she said,
Do you want me to lift my skirt in a public place,
Wink overtly at other men, and brush them with the back of my hand,
Would you like to tie my arms,
Bend me over the table, slap my *** with your moist palm,
Enter me with rough words and a plea to pull my hair,

Do you want a nun, a naughty neighbour,
An innocent with red cheeks and a look of surprise,
Instruct me, tell me how to misbehave,
Whisper all my names, all the ones you’ve given me,
Make me into two, or three or a thousand

Explore each inside way
And teach me what you crave in immense detail.
There is nothing I won’t do for you, she said
Your wishes, we will inhabit them together.
I love you willfully, unconditionally, she said
It is my way.
836 · Dec 2017
Dialogue
Hank Helman Dec 2017
Emma and Jack
1 A.M.

Emma: “Hey you asleep…?”

Jack:  “…if I say yes… what happens?”

E: “Look, I think we should get a divorce.”

J: “From each other or from reality altogether?”

“Funny. Do you dream anymore?”

“Never. Last time was when Paddy died.”

“Your high school friend. The one who got shot by the cops?”

“Yeah. The night I found out I had a dream that went on for hours.”

“About him?”

“No, yeah, it was all about life after death, there were angels, big rooms, lots of light.”

“What happened again?”

“He robbed a bank. Paddy and a guy named Chris Ranier. They held up a bank, like with shotguns”

“Why? Why would a 17 year old middle class kid rob a bank?”

“His parents were down, not starving, so I don’t know.”

“Where did he die again?”

“At a bus stop. They were waiting for a bus. If the bus had been on time, the cops would never have found them. At least that’s what the cops said.”

“And the Chris kid lived?”

“Yup, took a bullet through the heart but he lived.”

“So our divorce.”

“Why do you want to get divorced again?”

“Research. I want to know how people react.”

“ To what?”

“To you and me. What happens when you tell someone you are divorced?”

“In my case women start to salivate.”

“Women don’t salivate. They plan.”

“They scheme you mean. I thought writers made stuff up.”

“Wrong. Writers discover, we ‘re explorers.”

“You know I’ve got an early morning…”

“Scheme is sexist by the way, just sayin’”

“So is salivate, sleep tight”
I love dialogue. Might explain why I don't talk to anyone.
832 · Jul 2016
Now
Hank Helman Jul 2016
Now
The calm was worn out of her.
For decades, jesus ****, ---tens… of … *******...years,
She had abstained, held back, postponed and missed out.
Somehow she had become the Mother Theresa of kind gestures,
The one who helped
And healed
And hovered
And hoped,
Oh god how she had hoped,
Until standing in front of the mirror
In Bloomingdale’s basement,
Her lips chapped and her mouth parched,
In some obscene sort of spiritual dehydration,
A pre- catatonia,
And sensing the up swell of a hurricane of self-hatred,
So overwhelming
That it numbed her fingers and made her nose itch,
In this instant she could not tell
Which side of the mirror she was on.
Was she looking at herself or was she the reflection of herself.

In this messiah moment,
When a massively disinterested sales clerk asked her
If she had found what she was looking for,
In this exchange with a stranger with a name tag on,
Her life stopped.
And for the first time ever she responded, yes I think I have.

So she bought the dress which showed way too much cleavage,
Wore it out of the store and into an uptown bar,
Where she surveyed the 5 o’clock crowd,
Found the face of a man she had never seen before
And walked up to this stranger in a suit
And offered to buy him a drink.
He accepted, Jesus was it really that easy.
They exchanged maybe twenty words,
She knew exactly what she wanted,
And she shivered twice,
At the end of a dark corridor,
Bent over a cold aluminum beer keg,
A fistful of her hair in his hands,
Her ******* wrapped round one ankle,
The dress now a sash about her waist.

And so her secret life began.
She didn't tell her husband,
Or her priest,
She took a part time gig
At a massage parlour with the happiest of endings,
And she felt powerful and a little insane.
Sitting at Sunday dinner, smiling and engaged,
She wondered if she was a sociopath, a closet ******,
How could deception and promiscuity
Bring her happiness,
Where honour and fealty had failed.

She worried about others finding out,
It would destroy her life if they did,
Disgrace was a terminal disease at her stage,
Her heart would panic each time she entered the salon,
Each time she had to parade nearly naked,
In front of a new client,
The moment before she entered the room,
Would she know the man on the other side of that door,
Was the risk worth it.

Time after time she decided it was.
772 · Mar 2016
Retsina
Hank Helman Mar 2016
I was 18 and surrendered to a Van Gogh sunset,
The Aegean Sea a calm mirror,
Plato’s sun, rose-red and dying,
A shift from wind to breeze,
Each night negotiates a calm.

There were eight of us
Inside the cave,
A cathedral inside a mountain,
Our home, high upside a cliff,
The mountain shepherds unhappy
With our stake,
Until we saved the lamb.

We’d found each other,
An octad to a family formed,
Wandering, drinking, annoying the Swiss,
Our freedom dangerous,
Beyond control,
Our odd desire to just be.

Hell, we were reading Hesse,
One of their own,
Our Swiss welcome spent,
They’d had enough,
And so we left for Athens,
To dance and sing,
And tender the sad patience of the Greeks.

Eighteen hours on the ferry to Eos,
People barfed huge arcs over the railing,
Then sat down to reread the headlines for the hundredth time,
Eos was an island of no cars, sparse electricity,
An abundance of religion
And a constant flow and cask of wine.
Retsina, the barrel sealing resin of the Aleppo pine,
An odd and unmistakable taste,
It left a hangover like a warning shot,
The only cure to drink again.

We spent Easter high on acid,
In the back pews of a church,
A thousand years of candles
White walls black with carbon,
A priest, a chalice, the smoking thurible,
A pendulum of incense and pure thought,
The ancients practiced faith with all their senses.

On cloudy moonless nights,
We walked the miles home,
Sandals slap on a sugar sand,
The beach ours, all of it
So dark we could only hear the sea,
The rhythm of the waves like the downbeat of the earth,
We plodded to its dark measure in a line,
On return, from village, church,
Or a lover’s walk through miles of wild daisies,
Until the rediscovered goat path up to our cave,
A Sisyphean task, a find each time,
Drunk, ******, alive, young, nuclear with hope and desire,
We would change the world,
We would mend kind all the broken parts.

And in our cave,
The sounds of others making love,
Rough grunts and soft sighs, whisper kisses,
I would think and dream,
And ride the silver of those waves
Our lives like skipping stones,
Brief, beautiful, and bound.
The concept of our lives like skipping stones is not mine. This beautiful analogy came from a poet named Victoria. I trust she will allow me to use it.   Thank you V.   HH
765 · Dec 2015
Jig
Hank Helman Dec 2015
Jig
I jig for death,
Dark precious friend,
Able dispense,
Of mad men’s end.

A selfish tempt,  
Most potent cure,
All pain re-dealt,
Court now one fewer.
I am fascinated by death.  This poem is unfinished. I believe we should talk openly about death, especially to children who become traumatized by the thought of it and often not allowed to ask about it. It's just death-- we all will do it.
754 · Oct 2015
Halloween
Hank Helman Oct 2015
I suggested you go as a window
Because everyone can see right through you.

You suggested I stick a piece of dowling in my belt,
And go as a woodpecker, ha ha.

Sisters!
Cruel, funny, somehow love clicks.
I love her and she's funnier than me
741 · Feb 2017
Fear
Hank Helman Feb 2017
Carla told me to infiltrate.
To ignore all the precautions,
And breach my resistance under a full moon.

After all, she said, your sadness isn’t a disguise.
Your gloom is genuine, although prefabricated,
Surely you see the blueprint.

You have planned your demise since childhood,
Carefully constructing a fortress of self-abuse,
You don’t self-medicate, she said, you obliterate,

And then you wear your inadequacy like a crown,
As if to say no one feels pain like me.
This blow of sorrow, your prevailing wind,
The smell of burnt hair follows you, your melancholy assaults.

God, I can sense your anxiety blocks away, Carla told me,
Even if I’m baking chicken *** pie
And drinking breakfast tequila,
There is always this gust of despair.
And your current ability to fester a modest nausea,
In everyone, everywhere you go,
While amazing,
It only convinces, even your intimates,
That you have begun an irreversible decay.
Jesus, either you act now or you will disappear, Carla said.

You have one option, Carla told me,
Confront yourself and
Think about death honestly every day.
It is the only way for a depressive,
A man in a life jacket, she said
To survive.

Comfort yourself early, before dawn,
Curl up with your litter of pillows
And in that storm, that tornado you pretend is a bed,
Lie still, stare at the cracks in your ceiling
And search for spiders, Carla told me.
Wait until the disappointment of waking up alive again, subsides,
She said,
And while the sounds of the toilet you left running all night,
Convince you of the futility of self-improvement,
In this hollow moment,
Allow yourself to passively, selfishly, contemplate death.

Do not conjure up the act of dying, Carla said,
It is deviant and corrupt and insincere to rehearse your final moments,
And as you know, she continued,
I have no inherent objections to suicide.
After all war is mass suicide
And where would we be without violence,
Jesus, nothing would ever get done, so no, she said,
This is not that at all.

And God knows with your ego,
If I tell you to think about death,
You will descend into hero worship, she said,
Or worse, martyrdom and quest,
No, Carla said, imagine what death is like,
Think scientifically about what it means to be dead.

I will never get out of bed, I replied,
If I’m encouraged to wallow.
If I roll over before I wash my arms and feed my birds,
I may recoil forever.
You know I have an addiction to thought, I reminded her,
An adhesive meme,
(Why did that woman throw her cat in the garbage can),
Will arrest and detain me for an entire day.

It’s worth it, Carla said,
I want you to understand the carefulness of death,
The miracle of pain in absence,
The cessation of doubt,
The sudden end of futility and horror,
And I want it to absorb you, all of you,
Until you become reassured of its tenderness,
The fairness and equality that ends all things.

There is no need to frustrate,
To pray for significance, Carla advised me,
Free yourself from heroism and
Your self-destructive pattern of wishful thinking.

As it is, the number of women you sleep with and discard
Should be punishable by jail time,
When will you learn that fulfillment will never be a number.

And your attempt to write a novel,
Is tiresome, the delusion insulting,
The pretense unforgivable.
And the lies you tell,
The anger you express,
Mostly from a stool,
Undermines everything you claim to be.

You have a mirror,
Probably one that hasn’t been cleaned in a century
So use it,
Study the creases in your face,
Your boxer’s bruised eyes,
Jesus, why do you always look like you’ve just lost a fistfight.

I stared at Carla, my cup of coffee warm between two hands.
Ok I get the death is my reward thing, sort of, I said
But how do I salvage any joy at this point,
Is my life, my whole ******* life, going to be a stockpile of misery.

Christ, you are a perpetual novice, Carla said,
And I have the feeling you are about to drool,
Listen,
Death isn’t our reward,  
But to those who corner it,
A well worthwhile prize.

I don’t want you be puzzled by outcomes anymore, Carla said,
Do they like me, do they hate me, do they even know I exist,
You must stop chasing and being overwhelmed,
Be consumed, be rebirthed by the attractiveness of irrelevance,
Empower yourself with insignificance,
Forgo your Causa sui willingly,
Surrender your need for meaning, purpose and story
And go sit on a bench for a year, nothing more.

You must allow the softness of death to befriend you, Carla said
And when you do,
You will stop being impulsively afraid of everything,
Perish your self-serving search for an absolute truth,
Accept your limits without choking on your limitations,
And your confusion will degrade, she advised.

Carla frowned and turned away from me.
Usually a crow flies by when we part.
If you **** yourself, I want to be there, she said.
She undid the top button of her coat,
Took off the necklace with the crucifix and the picture of John Lennon,
Threw it into the East river,
And squeezed my hand as brief and sudden as a ghost.
Read Ernest Becker. Trump is using our fear of death to manipulate everyday. Resist in any way you can. Donate, even ten dollars to the ACLU. A crazy person has the nuclear codes. This is life and death and one way to deal is to become less afraid-- of everything imho.
713 · Dec 2015
Go
Hank Helman Dec 2015
Go
I asked Vanessa
If she had a cure for block.
You know that whisky dipped, **** ****** feeling of despair,
The **** sure, achy *****, tastes like ***, Jesus Monday already,
Realization,
You've said every ******* thing you have to say
Twice.

Vanessa said, only pain cures block,
And after the limp life you've led, she said,
You might be incurable.

Perhaps, and she
Stared at me over the black rims of her glasses
Until I felt damp and exchanged,
Perhaps you have inoculated yourself against all forms of creativity,
Simply by being a ******* wimp.

You pride yourself on being a child, she said,
A L'Enfant terrible, a pretense
Someone who would swear in a church,
Tell a woman her cleavage was obvious,
Or pretend to count your change three times
To irritate the bartender.

All a charade,
The artist as infant,
That’s you!
Instead, here she hesitated,
Of the artist as infinite-

Do you get it, she demanded,
Do you understand the distinction at all,
She asked me,
As half a baguette exploded out of her fat mouth.

I didn't and I began to sulk, withdraw
Bite my lip and pick at the scab on my hand.

Pain you fool,
Vanessa moved closer to my face,
Put yourself in real danger
Buy a ******* ticket to Tangiers or New Delhi,
Take only your passport,
No money, no phone, no safety straps, no underwear,
Just go and see what happens to you.

Yes you might die,
Be drugged and have your organs removed,
Be ***** by philistines with aids,
Who will jeer at your poet’s credentials,
And sell your kidneys,
But go.

Go now
I will drive you to the airport and buy your ticket,
Throw yourself into the world,  
Powerless,
And dependent on the conscience of strangers,
Here
Vanessa said,
And extended her hand,
Let me squeeze your testicles blue,
It will stimulate your courage
And uproot and cleanse the black mold
Of your depression.

You cannot watch life anymore,
She pleaded with me,
You are useless now and trite,
Know one thing,
You are not blocked
You are dead.
I’m offering you another chance
At everything.
Jump at it.
re post   just nudging myself.
711 · Aug 2016
Sin
Hank Helman Aug 2016
Sin
Carla,
Whom I love and regret in equal measure,
Told me to talk less and think only in the morning.
It’s unfair, she said, for someone with your demons,
To obsess past mid day.
You will only exhaust yourself,
Become dizzy from looking over your shoulder.

It’s the sparrow’s lunch you eat, she said
Afterwards you think only of suicide,
It’s your pathetic answer to everything.

You have a propensity, an absolute need to confess, Carla advised me,
You see sin as an obligation,
As a necessity to fuel your ridiculous notion of salvation,
Repentance is a shell game,
No sooner have you apologized for being yourself,
Than you begin sinning all over again.
Your quest for innocence is a self-selected Sisyphean task.

I told her I had no idea what she was talking about,
And that if she wanted to save me she had to speak in simpler terms.

Quit looking for the meaning in things, Carla said,
Life is lived on the surface,
What we really fear is not that we will die,
But how we will die,
I mean good god,
The insane Christians
Have us picturing death
With nails driven through our hands and feet,
Hanging from a crucifix,
Can you imagine the indignity,
While some low level centurion,
Stabs at us with a sword,
I mean really,
Hauling crosses up mountainsides
Being laughed at and scorned in our weakest moment,
The drama is laughable,
When the absolute truth is most of us
Will die peacefully in our sleep,
Gone without even knowing the party is over.  

Replace your metaphysics with a game of chess, Carla told me,
At least do psilocybin once in awhile
And have a genuine spiritual experience,
And she held up her hand for two more glasses of scotch,
Neat,
And lit her cigar.
If you are thinking bad thoughts, write Carla. She knows everything- apparently.
701 · Jan 2017
Year
Hank Helman Jan 2017
Carla said I must fast, no food, only water,
For the first three days of the New Year.

Your body yearns to have your mind in control, she told me,
This is the fatal flaw in all your attempts at happiness, she said,
If you ever stop searching for the source of your misery,
In a bowl of poutine or between the legs of an ingénue,
God this pathetic ability you have to impress young women,

Will you ever free yourself from the haste of ***,
The burst and blinding flash of ******,
I’ve seen you writhe and discharge,
Only to watch you tremble
And discover once again how alone you are.

Without ******, life is meaningless I explained,
And I watched the maple syrup slip, slide and curl
Into the center of my bowl of porridge.

*******, Carla said,
If I lightly brush my fingernails up the side of your arm
You will shiver,
A faux ****** right here in this slovenly kitchen of yours,

*** in a carnival act, almost a trick,
Evolution isn’t your friend, she said, it doesn’t want you to think.
It wants you to **** and die,
To fertilize and retire
And so it offers you this cheesy reward,
An ******, an insult, in hopes you will fornicate and forget.

You have a mind, or a remnant,
Embrace chastity for year
And then thank me for the clarity,
Start with your fast, immediately, she said
Carla leaned into me
And picked up my bowl of porridge.
The sweet smell of syrup lingered forever.
Carla's challenge accepted. I'll see how I do. No *** for a year.
684 · Apr 2016
Angels
Hank Helman Apr 2016
One of a billion, so empty and thin,
The breath of a child can make me begin,
A bloat to a bubble, soon free off the ring,
Up into a breeze, not really a thing,
Oily bright colours, a slip woozy shape
I dance on the wind and make my escape.

Bold children chase, big eyes and quick giggles,
I snag grandpa’s nose and it gives a wiggle.
The snoozing old man so out unaware
He’s forgotten the girl with red ribbon hair.
She’s about to be snatched, hands intertwine,
I sting papa’s eyes and he wakes just in time.
He calls his granddaughter, the man slips away,
Bubbles, soap bubbles, were angels today.
My grandmother used to tell me bubbles were angels invisible. Each time one popped a good deed was done. She was a poet with no pen. rip. hh
661 · Oct 2016
Kneel
Hank Helman Oct 2016
Kneel…
He’d used his Jesus voice again,
And as she explained to Jeweliette afterward,
How could she, a mere menstrual sinner,
Openly defy the lord...
Especially in his well-paid hour of need.


They burst into giggles,
Splashing coffee onto the ground,
Jamming jelly donuts into their mouths,
Adrift on a messy concrete sidewalk,
Surrounded and alone
As a tired world raced from a to b,  
Cash rich and co-conspirators,
Young women with sore knees and aching jaws
Gorgeous angels of the sorority,
Smooth and innocent,
Their eyes bright and tarnished halos.

The thing was she liked it.
He had only to speak this one word and
She instantly tasted caramel and could smell the ocean.

When he continued,
Ordering her to put her hands behind her back,
His voice would slip and slide and coil around her,
Confronting her with a quiver,
A shiver, hypnotized,
By the searching tongue of a sun-warmed python,

His tone was soft and hard at the same time.
How do men do that, she wondered,
What was this unique and masculine ability
This way of his
To be non-negotiable and kind and convincing
All at the same time.

It is no wonder they lie so well, she thought,
They’re pinch proud of this inherent skill,
They adore the sound of their own deceit,
And she could not stop herself from licking her lips.
612 · Jan 2016
Yup
Hank Helman Jan 2016
Yup
We tried honesty and that didn’t work.
So, can we now enjoy deceit.
Text me.
Next page