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Elymaïs Mar 4
When we have disappeared from this land,
Who is it that will miss us more?

The city streets who will rot without our hand,
Or the mountains, unbothered as before?
Michael R Burch Nov 2021
Hymn to an Art-o-matic Laundromat
by Michael R. Burch

after Richard Thomas Moore’s “Hymn to an Automatic Washer”

O, terrible-immaculate
ALL-cleansing godly Laundromat,
where cleanliness is next to Art
—a bright Kinkade (bought at K-Mart),
a Persian rug (made in Taiwan),
a Royal Bonn Clock (time zone Guam)—
embrace my *** in cushioned vinyl,
erase all marks: ****, vaginal,
******, inkspot, red wine, dirt.
O, sterilize her skirt, my shirt,
my skidmarked briefs, her padded bra;
suds-away in your white maw
all filth, the day’s accumulation.
Make us pure by INUNDATION.

Published by The Oldie, where it was the winner of a poetry contest. This poem was inspired by the incongruence of discovering "works of art" while doing laundry at a laundromat with coin-operated washers and dryers. I was reminded of the experience while reading Richard Moore’s “Hymn to an Automatic Washer.” Keywords/Tags: hymn, art, America, Americana, laundry, laundromat, washer, dryer, appliances, clean, cleaning, cleanliness, clothes, clothing, underwear, god, godly, godliness, water, baptism, inundation, sonnet, analogy, humor
Elymaïs Nov 2021
On the seventh day he rested, but
Before he did, he selected a little
Piece called "Benton", and there's
Where he put heaven.
Matt Martin-Hall Oct 2020
Americana is a saggy *** ***** that leaves pockmarks in the sheets and sludge underneath the handles in the bathroom. 

The staff either don't or can't clean it. 

Lazy or honest. 

What a legacy. 

Her steel sheds and high hanging water towers peppered with rust stains, harken to the diseases that claimed this body long ago. 

Waylaid by a bygone era of chauvinism and supremacy.

***** by billionaire promises and suffocated
by his Bible's belt. 

Autoeroticism is a blood red state gasping for hot wet air in its own existential twilight.

Never to rise again. 

Your labyrinthine streets shaded by overgrowth and cracked freeways. 

Your dirtbrown waters and fenced in dogs.

They bark at the sky, screaming of the same stir crazy psychosis that's infected everything else within your borders. 

Beneath your clothes. 

I can see your long drooping *******, caked with the inky milk from long gone reserves. 

Black gold drained. 

Powdered milk of a different sort. 

Victim to the greed you've coveted and ****** on. 





Your tragedy is vaguely romantic, 

in its slumped and defeated stature. 

Vericosed stilts stuck in the sewage and mud of your ideologies. 

No, we cannot go to bed together. 

I'm afraid of what the blood test would come back with in the dull diesel smoked grey morning. 

Something I've come to know you for. 

The sun sets red as the corners of your eyes. 

Who ever said an apocalypse had to happen suddenly? 

Your broken bones and hip strapped cattle calls. 

An auctioneer in the distance. 

The proud cliche of a lie laid Western Lore. 

The hot irons of pride in your sockets. 

You can't even see how hard we're all laughing. 

Only a few of these tears are for you.
I wrote this while driving through Huston for work. Suffice it to say, I was not a fan.
Matt Martin-Hall Oct 2020
Oh, the corpses that float

In the shadow of

the New Colossus.

A gift that should

have been taken back

by the French

long ago.

The lies of her crown

of her torch

her tablet

upon which writ

was a cattle call

to the enslaved and persecuted

within our own walls.

Is it justice?

Is it fate?

Whence they tear from you

your robe

the tarping

they use for Army tents.

Before they nailed you

to the stake,

they made you dance

a little.

Wave your torch over your head

so they can see the light

bounce off your tired *******

and crest the slump

of your dimpled ***.

Your crippled legs beg for a kneel.

Yet you dance on.

In vain.

You will still not be spared.

When they stripped you of your crown,

Did you know they were serious?

Plucking from it the thorns,

that became the spikes

that held you upon and to

the stake.

The rust from your green palms.

Blood red and weary.

Not a tear,

as they douse you in oil

and sneer through expensive veneers.

The cash at your feet

was not an offering,

but instead,

a wick.

Your hallowed bones

and hollow soul,

the offering.

That beacon,

that torch,

meets the fuse.

As a chorus of laughter rises

from the company of despots

at the backwoods ceremony this is-

as the light of your wilting steel

and melting carcass

flicks off of their contorted faces-

can you tell me;

Is this the rooster coming to roost?

Is this the reaping of the sowed?

Is this a lie laid to rest?


would you have rather drowned-

Like the tablet they stole from you

and threw in the ocean.

To rest in the shadow of a wall.
This is the start of a short political series I'm refining that uses American iconography as a lens through which hypocrisy and corruption is viewed. Enjoy?
Elizabeth Kelly Jul 2020
The air is heavy with a million million souls
Parts of wholes that escaped in the breaths of prayers
Whispered at windows of the desperate and the faithful
In the apple-core-rot towns and cities of America.

I’m standing in my driveway
And I can feel them all,
Bearing down like storm clouds in the heat.
Another offering could bring the heavens crashing to my feet.

My forehead is sweating, standing there in my driveway,
And I wipe it with the back of my hand,
Squinting into the haze.
The waves of energy
Their ecstatic mass vibrating, buzzing, clicking
A dog’s toenails on linoleum  
A tiny ear pressed to a mother’s chest as she hums. A heartbeat.

I feel dizzy
and wonder if the entirety of the universe
is made of the hopeful, wasted energy of unanswered prayers

I will dig a deep well inside myself to deposit the seeds of doubt, I say to myself and no one and the universe,
and despairing for the orphaned dreams surrounding me,
I give in to the indulgence of wishing.

The sky sags under the weight of a new plea
As I prepare to forget
Michael R Burch May 2020
by Michael R. Burch

There is no sense of urgency
at the local Burger King.

Birds and squirrels squabble outside
for the last scraps of autumn:
remnants of buns,
goopy pulps of dill pickles,
mucousy lettuce,
sesame seeds.

Inside, the workers all move
with the same très-glamorous lethargy,
conserving their energy, one assumes,
for more pressing endeavors: concerts and proms,
pep rallies, keg parties,
reruns of Jenny McCarthy on MTV.

The manager, as usual, is on the phone,
talking to her boyfriend.
She gently smiles,
brushing back wisps of insouciant hair,
ready for the cover of Glamour or Vogue.

Through her filmy white blouse
an indiscreet strap
suspends a lace cup
through which somehow the ****** still shows.
Progress, we guess, ...

and wait patiently in line,
hoping the Pokémons hold out.

NOTE: This poem is almost entirely fiction. There was a Pokemon craze when my son Jeremy was a little boy, and I did see birds and squirrels foraging in parking lots from time to time (and sometimes fed them myself from my car’s window), but everything else is fiction. On the rare occasions that I went to a Burger King, I would go through the drive-in, so I wouldn’t have known who the manager was, or how much time he/she spent on the phone. I think the poem probably started with the image of birds and squirrels squabbling for scraps of food in a parking lot as I waited in a line of slow-moving cars, then evolved as I imagined the hassle of going inside to “speed things up.” Keywords/Tags: America, Americana, American, culture, society, vanity, youth, progress, fast food, video games, Pokemon, MTV, music videos, glamour, models, supermodels, fashion, transparency, see-through, bra, breast, *******
Marco Feb 2020
San Francisco, 1977
I sat by my window and listened
to the crying of Carlos Santana and the wind
His guitar told stories
of home in México and how he yearned for it
and the wind kept howling along
as if it tried to bring him back
and I wished for Carlos to be home
and I wished for the wind to carry him there
and I wished for myself to be somewhere else
where the city isn't as big
and the people aren't as greedy
and the love comes naturally, not for fifty bucks a night

So I sat by my window
and listened to the sound of Santana's guitar
and the wind crying
and I understood
as I wept along.
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