Christmas Joy


By Justin M. Clark

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

My sister was screaming

Begging for cops


I hurried downstairs, tumbled to one knee

Looked right at you

Oh the image I did see


Balled and coiled, a python set to strike

Your blows were miraculous

Venomous bites


Welted, bruised

I tucked myself back in bed

The night’s transgressions far from my head


Tomorrow was Christmas, a time of joy

An idea not easily stolen from me

This obstinate little boy



Venting: Knocking Grandma Over


Where I work, hundreds of people circulate every other hour.  It’s a sociologists dream; varying personalities, degrees of intellect, perspectives, all congregate, interact.  For me, it’s exhausting.

The other day, a woman approached me with a ragged paperback novel tucked under her arm.  I smiled, asking the title, author.  As it turns out, she was reading a book I enjoy.  At some point during the subsequent conversation I let slip I write.  In fact, I called myself a writer.  “Oh,” and what have you written?”  She asked.

Warm salty blood pooled under my tongue.  Really?

After swallowing the clot in my throat, I responded simply “fiction”.    

She scoffed, wrinkled her nose as if smelling a warm fart.  “So, you’re not really a writer than, are you?”

I envisioned her unconscious beneath my feet.

So, here is my opinion.  Yes, indeed, I am a writer.  I tell stories; my medium is the written word.  It is that simple.  This is not the first time someone has given me a derisive look or made an unkind comment.  I’d imagine most artists (another controversial label) encounter these, let’s call them, obstacles.  Most, if not all, probably stem from people who lack an iota of creativity.  For this boring demographic, putting down others who are imaginative, not afraid to share, receive criticism, make themselves feel better through condemnation.  Solution: take 2.5 gram of psilocybin, find a secluded, safe place in nature, and experience what follows – repeat as needed.

“I write therefore I am.” –   René Descartes  (Not exactly what he meant, but it fits)

Knuckle Hug


By Justin M. Clark


The first time you hit me, it started a trend

I realized I liked pain

Something I did not comprehend


I felt your fists, never a hug

Perhaps that’s where it stems from

This twisted form of love


Superficial scars seem trivial, arbitrary lines on a chart

Tattoos now cover them

Erasing moments you tried to tear me apart


I’m older now, much stronger than you

Compassionate, forgiving

Able to stay myself from splitting you in two


But the future is unwritten, anything could transpire

Someday I may feel loving

That day will be dire