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JB Claywell Apr 14
The rat-terrier
that I’d loved for
over a decade
has been dead for
awhile now.


Sometimes I miss that dog.
Sometimes I miss cigarettes.

My America is now
the go-to destination
for the suicide-bomber
or
The Mass-Shooting Machine


All of this national abomination
has become all too normal.
&
why is any of this
at all attached,
in any way,
to our
Easter-Sunday-Church-Going
morals?

Tragedy,
a travesty,
trustworthy humans.
-untrue-
mistrustful,
unworthy misogynist,
malcontents
lacking empathy.

Unpaid checks,
no gravity -
a lacking of grateful
hearts.


Our ears destined,
designed, dedicated to hearing
only the hurtful,
instead of the healing.

On the take -
take or be taken
fake or be faking-
make or be made-
scapegoated,
goaded into submission
leaving
us wondering
just what,
exactly is so bad
about hate.

I mean everyone’s doing it these days;
and no one seems to be doing it wrong.

Maybe that’ll change
once we’re on our
deathbeds.

*
-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications 2021
JB Claywell Apr 14
Our job,
in my opinion,
is to make sure
that someone who crosses our grave,
while on an afternoon stroll
across the cemetery,
on their way to the park,
meeting their
love for a picnic,
is able to say to themselves:
“Hey! It’s them! I’ve heard about them!”

Maybe we change things
for the world;
maybe just a handful of folks.

Perhaps the point
of this whole trip
is simply to do;
never to know.

All we can do
is believe in each other;
giving as much of ourselves,
our time,
our talents,
never fully aware
of just how far our
graveyard legacy
might be able to go.


*
-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications 2021
JB Claywell Apr 14
It’s not the same
as investment banking,
but
you get the idea.


Investing emotion.
A willingness
to make something better happen
to or for
oneself.

Investing in
our own emotions,
so as to garner
more intellect in this regard.

An education in spending wisely.
Energy.
Education.
Experience.

These lines themselves
are an investment,
in thought,
in the feelings
behind the words on this page.
An execution.
An actualization.


We deal in Certificates of Deposit.
Human thinking reconstructed.
Structured.
Settlement.
Earning interest.

Renewed,
by oneself,
in oneself.

Rending willful neglect
to be null and void.
Willing the restored onto the next plane of existence;
the belief that one is powerful enough
to accept viability and value as inherent.
A readiness to do better than before.
Valuable.- Worthy of a life worth living.
Victorious. -- Made new, by one’s own hand.
Using one’s own mind;
actualizing this happening;
becoming worthy of being
powerfully reborn.

*
-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications 2021
JB Claywell Mar 1
The air was painted.

Inside the chain link fences
were clouds;
brushstrokes
that could’ve been
proffered by
Van Gogh
or
*******
as they dissipated
into the early, cold
morning air,
pausing only for a
few moments to allow
some of the particulates
to freeze;
the hydrogen, the oxygen,
the lye,
&
detergents that
make up whatever
is used in
a prison laundry.

The effluvium is rich,
the odor of a passable
cleanliness in what is largely
a rather fetid domain.

The scent of bleach,
harsh, chlorinated,
removal of that which
stains.

Yet,
something stays,
an acrid, sour smell;
an unpleasantness
which seems to have chosen
to remain
unwashed.

It is concluded,
that this emanation,
is the opposite of
emancipation,
it is a olfactive reminder
that
Building # 7
serves up
freshly washed sorrows,
rages, or regrets
as well as
whiter whites,
releasing
stains from grays
more often than the wearers
of
these wardrobes are released
themselves.


With this in mind,
swirling, shifting,
moving, motivating
marching upward,
toward
Building # 1,

It is breathed in,
and out, and in
again,

renewal,
like clean laundry
washed in industrial
soaps, rinsed in disinfectants,
delousers, deodorants
unknowable.

Starting over.
Today.
Tomorrow.
Overmorrow,
And,
Everafter.

Amen.

*
-J­BClaywell
©P&ZPublications 2021
JB Claywell Feb 15
The midwest tundra
swallows super-bowl trophies
and
replaces them
with
black-bottomed **** bubbles.

It dares most of us to do better,
while laughing in our faces,
forcing us to watch
as the kid we’re cheering for
cashes checks
for more money
than we’ll likely ever see,
but we cheer anyway,
as the offensive line crumbles,
the ground game is static,
and the receivers have fingers
glazed with margarine.

Like the zebras,
we throw the flag,
assess and accept the penalties,
and
acquit the insurrectionists
regardless of their guilt or innocence.

The previous commander-in-chief
wrote all those *******
a bison-horned,
organic jailhouse chow-hall
type hall pass,
so why the hell shouldn’t we riot
in the ******* streets,
or the halls of the executive branch
of the local,
state,
and
federal, feral governments
of the ungovernable?


Leave well enough alone
and
Elon Musk,
Jeff Bezos,
and
Bill “Microchip Vaccine” Gates
will figure it all out for us anyway.

Whatever happens,
*******’ Mark “Lieutenant Data” Zuckerberg
will keep us
all placated and engaged online
while the drone-strikes commence.


Social media keeps us
unaware of our socio-political/socio-economic saboteurs.

Who cares?
Aren’t there some cat-vids
on
Tic-Tacky
or whatever it’s called?

How much longer
do you think it’ll be
before we can live-stream
a state-sanctioned execution?

Phillip K. **** called
and
left a message for George Orwell.

He said something about
wanting his electric sheep returned
before Big Brother and The Holding Company
found out it’d gone missing.

Neither the electric sheep itself
nor
Janis Joplin were available for comment,
or hadn’t you herd?

Diplomatic Immunity?
Mutiny?
Mutations?
Economic,
ergonomic,
erogenous stimulation package?

Where do I sign up?

*
-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications 2021
*with minimal disrespect to George Lucas
JB Claywell Feb 15
Sometimes I wish I had one thousand midnight hours all at once
or better yet,
a wristwatch full of the ticks and tocks of
all of the pre-dawn smallnesses for the next
decade or two.

These could be used to converse
with owls or coyotes,
foxes, hawks, ravens
or
river trout.

Our talks could be remembered
sweetly,
in the heat of a summer day
or
the dreariness of a wet, fall afternoon.

It is wished to not rely
on window sill,
moonlit memory,
mimeographed message
folded in half.  

No;
my boots would rather
chew earth,
pebble,
and
puddle,
seeking out strange nutrients.

Monday morning stanzas
are well and good,
yet
Saturday night
sonnets,
soliloquies;
those are the real
meat and potatoes
of a weekend
word ******.

Thursday night poems
are pretty ******
impressive too.

The Thunderbirds,
the phoenix of
the composition notebook.
Thursday poems and poets
ask for a sidecar of whiskey…
it shows up on the house.

Words and the working of them
should be fearless, eventually.

The best stories,
poems,
come from shadowed,
pained,
or
pining places
anyway.

*
-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications 2021
JB Claywell Dec 2020
There he was,
Nathaniel,
working his spot
at the coffee shop.

I knew without asking
that he never liked being
called Nate.

Hell,
that’s why it said
Nathaniel
on his name-tag,
right?

I was feeling a bit spurred,
maybe a little raw,
for reasons which escaped
or  
I’d let run away,
who knows?

I should’ve been downright
jolly.
The holiday season hadn’t been
too terrible so far,
I had a burrito, the sauce,
a Cherry-Pepsi.

My notebook was open,
the pen was clicked,
ready to go.

The first bite is always the best.
Those flat-top grilled
piggy-guts are the bacon
that never gets eaten,
unless your in the know;
and I am.

Yet, it wasn’t mood-improving
even while it swam in the green chili
tomatillo wonders
created by:
The Sauce.

So,
after I’d chewed
&
swallowed...

“Hey Nate!
How’s it going?”

“I’m good.
I saw you come in.
I was wondering if you were
planning on ordering something
from here.”

Ah!
There it is;
a little bitterness
just for me.

“Yes, Nathaniel,
I plan on getting a coffee
after I finish my dinner.
Is that okay?”

He never said anything else.
He simply went back behind the counter.

I ate my food,
drank my soda,
felt a bit guilty.

Ol’ Nate hadn’t done
anything to me.
He’s only trying to make
his own way,
same as everyone else.

I threw my dinner-trash away,
approached the counter,
ordered an Americano,
(light and sweet)
paid,
sat back down
to write.

The drive-thru line
was going all-out.

Tonight,
Nate would have all the nickels he’d need.

In the end, our sourness
toward one another
was pointless,
meaningless,
outside of my own
stupid meanness.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
it’s called.

We,
Nathaniel and I
parted ways as patron
and
barista.

We don’t have to be friends.
No Christmas cards.
No presents under the tree.
Only coffee, cash,
a silent,
more patient,
poet,
working, writing,
sipping coffee.
Reasonable.
Silent.

*
-JBClaywell
©P&ZPublications 2020
*a mean little poem
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