Monday, April 29, 2019

Because You Scriptured Me

"I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go
Where the wind don't change
And nothing in the ground can ever grow
No hope, just lies
And you're taught to cry into your pillow
But I survived"  Alive ~ Sia

When did the joy
of my heart become
your right to legislate?

I am counted among
those you’ve assigned
damnation because
a book of men scriptured
me vile.

Does ink and interpretation
mean more than life?

Does an attempt to break me
into your identity elevate
you in the eyes of God
or is it the throne of men
you cherish?

Will you deny mine
so your pulpit can
espouse yours?

©Susie Clevenger 2019


This poem is my response to Texas Senate Bill 17 recently approved by the Texas senate. This is personal for me. It effects family and friends. I understand if you have a different opinion, but I will not debate it. 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Devil's Comedy

The forest floor sprouts angel wings:
the devil's attempt at comedy.

©Susie Clevenger 2019


Supposedly edible/recent years deadly

Friday, April 26, 2019

When Text Meets Metal

My left leg looks
like bloated carrion,
a buzzard’s feast.

Healing from
another’s inattention
takes all my attention.

This morning begins
with standing on agony
and sweet talking my groans
into believing today
will turn a corner to less pain.

Twice my leg has escaped
the knife, limped away
from sever to hold me
upright in my screams.

How far is a shoe?
How impossible is
a shoe lace?

Today my cane and I
have one goal…to reach
my front door.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

It is written in present tense, but it comes from my experience of rehabilitating from a car accident in 2006.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A Headline East of Denver

We were a headline
east of Denver when
April joined us at the hip.

She was selling rain
by the bucket, and
bragging May
wouldn’t bloom
without her.

Two briefcases
closer to embracing
random we took
April’s hint and
curled into the
want ads to see
if Cupid had a condo
available next month.

©Susie Clevenger 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

Maybe a Poet ~ More Likely Insane

I am a stargazer,
dreamer, word gatherer
who lives in ink and
the rustle of paper.

Pictures speak, grass sings,
and I feel the color blue
in a hand full of sky.

I spend hours on nothing
and minutes on everything.

You never know where I am
when I’m sitting next to you.
I could be in a chair or walking
on the moon.

©Susie Clevenger 2019


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Flesh and Mind

She’s heavy breasted,
brash suggestion,
a silk war with his flesh...
a liar’s tongue preaching
salvation is sin.

Poems shape shift on her lips,
erotic stanzas burning resist
from roped muscles on his thighs.

There’s no escape in the blind
mirror of closed eyes…Her fingertips
paint tremors that erase every
image his mind holds that’s not her.

She’s ice skating him through hell
to see how long it will take
for his conscience to melt.

©Susie Clevenger 2019


Monday, April 15, 2019

Poetry As a Reality Check

(Not every April poem rains petals.)

Copy and paste,
share and not care,
spin a lie because
you choose to believe it.
Truth isn’t even on life support.

It doesn’t matter until you’re not free.
Twitter can’t save you when
your stomach’s empty, when
your child’s tummy swells
while limbs shrink.

Bitter widens the divide,
fingers point, tongues bait.
Anger’s the new religion,
humane’s no longer a word.

Wake up or die sleeping.
Kindness is shrinking
while rancor loosens its belt.

©Susie Clevenger 2019


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Any Weekend I Could Escape Gravel

Image result for cowtown ballroom kansas city mo

Joint high and music driven
Kansas City lights guided me
to the rock vibrations
of Cowtown Palace.

Thirty first and Gillham
was the hum lane of engines
seeking the golden calf
of guitar jubilation.

Wood and concrete supported
hip to hip drug angels absorbing
tunes through every pore of flesh
and brain wave that worshiped rhythm.

Any weekend I could escape gravel
I traveled asphalt to a Kansas City Ballroom
where in the crush of dancing bodies
I felt forever twenty-one.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2019


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Brave Side of The Pillow

The black heart of secrets
pressed into my young chest
and even a single breath of trust
had to travel miles of agony
to reach enough light to thrive.

When light left my windowsill
nightmares argued at the end
of my bed about which terror
would walk across my dreams.

I remember when the night voices
came to the brave side of my pillow,
and led me where shadows
had pretty colors and kind words.

Imagination tended my wounds
until it grew a name on my tongue
to address the tiny saviors who
lived in the valley of invisible.

Pillowkins, I called them Pillowkins,
dream warriors who giggled me
out of the jaws of a demon.

When nightmares clawed
my eyes into hollow,
my tiny army would
lead me to a place of peace
where the moon didn’t bleed
nor the fox stalk my throat
to see if truth was growing
strong enough to expose lies.

 ©Susie Clevenger 2019


Monday, April 8, 2019

Not the Same Playground

I was the fat girl,
you know the one
with the ruddy cheeks,
crooked teeth, and
thighs in constant chafe.

Bullies, yes, there were bullies.
They brought names, stones,
and an entourage of gigglers
giddy they weren’t the target.

Oh, but I’m no longer ten,
I’ve sharpened my tongue,
and dark gleamed my eyes.

If they want to reminisce
about how the chubby girl cried,
karma may write a new story.


Real Toads ~ Poems in April ! Riddikulus!