Tag archive for "M. Henault"

The Written Word, Features

Letter From An Army Jacket

No Comments 12 June 2015

Dear Editors of the Shade,

It has been a while since I have made a submission, but I found something today that I think should be shared among the editorial staff.

I was looking at a camouflage jacket that I have in my possession. A few years ago,I stole it from a twenty-something named Pikul. He did some shady body work on my girlfriend’s car after I sheered off the passenger side mirror trying to avoid a shadow late one Saturday evening. I didn’t trust the kid, but needed the work done cheaply and quietly. I gave him my business but I stole his jacket as some kind of moral collateral.

I wore the jacket to one campfire and then forgot about it in a heap of life’s detritus. I was going to bring it down to the thrift shop today and here is what I found in the pocket while cleaning it out:

boyce letter

I saw you made the police report Saturday night. I hope that cop had an ear for detail and got it correctly when he quoted you as saying “fuck you” to both the police and citizenry of Watertown – well done.

While some people look down on run-ins with the law, I never understood the stigma. I say if your not running a line between getting put in cuffs and just having a good time than you’re just standing still while the world moves away and around you.

It’s what gets good people in lockup overnight. And ultimately it’s the poets job.

*In a way you were doing your job, and they did theirs. No one right, no one wrong, and both parties get to feel accomplished – if the “fuck yous” were warranted (and they always are) don’t regret.

The revolution is coming – keep adding to the spirit.

[M. Henault]

The letter, like so many, went unsent and sat forgotten. But I think I made good on its purpose. I folded it back up and placed it in the pocket of Pikul’s jacket. I didn’t bring it down to the thrift shop though. I drove by Pikuls old house, where he did the work on my car, and threw it onto the lawn. I’m not sure if he still lives there, but I don’t think it really matters.

Shades of Gray

American Slice # 4

No Comments 11 February 2014

American Slice # 4
Berkshire County, Pittsfield High School 1:06 p.m.
November 16, 2010

dogs fluent in czech
sniff through our hallways
scratch at our doors
seeking out the transgressions
of the now generation

they are nervous
of things they haven’t done
or might have done
or thought once of doing
locked in a school
learning through experience
what the third reich
taught their dogs

someone farts in the silence
and against the plastic chairs
it echoes through locked down walls
yesterday the room would erupt
but no one laughs

a boy thought about smiling,
but then a dog in the distance
barks in czech


Wednesday Poem of the Week: Route 404 in the Dark by M. Henault

No Comments 21 August 2013

Route 404 in the Dark

I remember pulling over
and fucking you behind some rhododendrons.
You don’t remember because you were a whore
and it was dark outside.

When I say you were a whore,
I don’t mean you were a prostitute.
I was just the fourth of my friends to fuck you that summer,
and everything gets confusing after dark.

We were riding my motorcycle
and I was almost out of gas.
I told you we might run out to make you hold me tighter.
It was dark on route 404.

Then I pulled over.
And we all know what happened
behind the rhododendrons before dawn.
Aren’t we all afraid to be alone in the darkness?

M. Henault

The Written Word, Poetry

Linkshänder: or How the Internet turned the world into Molly-dukers

No Comments 10 July 2013

Left handers everywhere must love the Internet.

For millennia
left-handedness meant
the devil lived inside you.

But when the Nineties rolled around
and desktop computers
controlled by the roll of right handed mice
opened the devilish door
of instant Internet access
to anyone with a telephone line
there was born
a collection of porn where
every fetish
every desire
every sick, twisted, depravity
had a home.

Think about the dirty cup

Then think about the dirty
bastard masturbating to it.

He wasn’t doing it right handed
that was used to navigate
to pause
to play
to maximize
to minimize

as his grandmother walked into the room.

It was the left hand doing
the work of the devil
or god
while technology
made a world of molly-dukers.

Shades of Gray

Wednesday Poem – An M. Henault Original!

No Comments 01 May 2013

she’s been eye-deep in her own hell.
i can tell.
she doesn’t come out much
and now she comes limping through a dog-stained lawn
stained by piss,
stained by shit,
stained by an “I don’t give a fuck about your electric bill,”
tail wagging,
just throw me a bone attitude.

but there is no bone
and it’s getting dark outside
but there will be no sucking marrow by candlelight.
the candles have all about burnt out

I would save the dog if I could,
but her limp makes me vulgar
makes her vulnerable
and I am a vulture tonight feeding on her darkness.

all I want to do is park my car in her garage and masturbate
until her boyfriend comes home
and he hasn’t been around for days
so I might be a while.
please don’t let my dinner get cold.

all I ask is when the news reports come out
explaining what I’ve done
the anchor pronounces garage like elton john
might have if he waited until ‘74
to record his tribute to Levon Helms.
only then might all of this have made sense.

and she would be worried less about her limp
and her electricity getting switch keyed
and the dog might get fed decently for once in his life
because the streets would be safer
at least as far as democracy was concerned

I guess that would make me happy
like I was walking along the spirals of this seashell
I found years ago along the Carolina shore.
I stare at it now and again
and now I’m small and dizzy
wandering lost in pink cream
smoke rings getting lighter as I rise

my teacher told me: never forget blood was spilled
so you can sit in that chair.

I bit my tongue to taste the salt and iron
and jumped back from my daydream
looked at pretty girls reflecting sunshine
from their skin like radiators pumped full of wontedness
I let my dick wag a little beneath the hem
of my swimsuit.
it never fits quite right anyway

and here she comes
limping again across the yard in a new direction,
back to her hell.

but this time I’m eye-deep in it too.

if she only realized she didn’t need to be alone
maybe the dog would get to go for a walk

Shades of Gray

M. Henault Remembers Richard Brautigan

No Comments 31 January 2013

I remember reading Trout Fishing in America for the first time.  I was doing a lot of hiking at the time and really felt like I was getting somewhere.  Inspired, I walked to a small fishing hole.  I used to hang out there as a boy, but I had never fished there.   I used to try to get girls to jump off the rocks naked, which they never did.  Anyway, I hiked to the bend in the river shortly after reading Brautigan for the first time.  I said, “Fuck you,” quietly to the water and walked home thinking about how I would create my own Kool-Aid reality. And I never stopped.
I dedicate these poems to all of the girls who wouldn’t jump in the river, especially the one I saw buying cover-up at our local pharmacy last week.
She tries to get things out of men
that she can’t because she’s not
      15% prettier.
“Mating Saliva”
A girl in a green mini-
skirt, not very pretty, walks
       down the street.
A businessman stops, turns
to stare at her ass
that looks like a moldy
There are now 200,000,000 people
       in America.

The Written Word, Poetry

Reader Submission! “it’s not late, but it feels like it”

No Comments 15 May 2012

“it’s not late, but it feels like it”

a hot chick at the laundromat
ceased being hot when I saw
the peanut-butter-shit smear
across her “everyday” panties

a girl at the bar next door,
blond, beautiful
burped so nonchalantly
I thought I might have moved to
Jefferson County, Oklahoma

a pregnant cop – in uniform – smoked
a cigarette near her car,
nervously checking
to see if anyone could see her –
obviously we are not safe here

I walked with my beer out of the bar,
picked up my whites,
nodded at the pregnant cop,
and went up my back stairs
to write about sadness in the dark.

The Written Word, Poetry

An M. Henault Original – Dangling Modifier

No Comments 28 January 2012

Dangling Modifiers

Add prostitution
to the list of obstacles
I’ve face while educating
this nation’s youth.

It’s hard explaining
dangling modifiers
to a 13 year old
who the night before
had an old man’s cock
dangling in front of her
ready to mollify her
like a newborn with a pacifier.

She must be much quieter
with a dick in her mouth
but she’s loud as hell here.

But  enough,
it’s her grammar,
which is as terrible as her life,
that I’m paid to fix.

to them she is just a test score
they can compare
to a 13 year old
in Norway
in Singapore
in some God blessed place
where youth is not forsaken

whose girls didn’t see
their father overdose on heroin
sixteen hours after being released
from county jail

who didn’t watch Debbie
from social services
take her sister
screaming from her arms
as she told her daddy was only sleeping.

who didn’t live in some homeless shelter
and take gifts of penny candy
from old men
for letting them touch her
over her panties when she was seven.

but she’s a number
and numbers are meant to be compared
not consoled or
and she’s in my class
with Wariner’s Grammar open on her desk
and I’m responsible for her improvement.

For a moment, I’m hopeful
when she leafs through the book,
raises her hand.

I call on her and she says,
“After seeing other people’s,
my belly button is too high.
Wanna see it?”

And I stop and say, “Ha!
A dangling modifier!
Your belly button can’t see others!”

And she says, “Mister
you don’t know how many it’s seen.”

I hand out yellow paper,
assign excercise 13,
and think that even if I’m doing this right
there’s just too much wrong.

The Written Word, Poetry

Safeword: Arizona

No Comments 19 January 2012

You were programmed to believe
it’s not easy
killing a man with your bare hands:
they will fight with everything to live.

Shanelle, however, begs to be strangled
to help her orgasm
to help her release
to help keep her moving

farther from

    and closer to her nothingness.

You decide on a safeword,
she takes the money.
And it turns out to be too easy, after all,
to kill with your hands,
as she goes limp within your grasp.

Knowing you went too far,
you decide to go further–
decide to release
decide to keep moving
as you are closing in on nothingness

As you explode on her still lips,
you mumble the predetermined safeword:
and like a cowboy,
realizing silence is better than speech,
pull on your blue jeans,
light up a smoke,
and as you listen to the slam of the motel door,
shake your head at what this world has become.

M. Henault

Shades of Gray

A Shade Exclusive! – A Picture Of Poetry

No Comments 10 November 2011


Translation —

To The Editors of The Shade:

I was taking a shit,

Attempting to lose weight

Eyeing a spidering spot on the wall


I was reminded of the shit

That had been weighing me down

On my way to hitting this wall


Not the easy shit

Like bills or relationships


Not the tough shit

Like guilt or fear of failure


But the weight of the silence

Of my screaming dreams


Now faded, sepia-soaked –



I remember a big ass pink el dorado

From a book about the end

of our dreams


I flushed and found comfort in

The notion that I’m not the

Only loser on this orient express


M. Henault

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