Laugh/Inhaling Suburbia/Raucous II – by Z.M. WISE

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Laugh. Laugh. Snicker.
Got humor?
Have jokes will travel.


Humor: my greatest ally.
I make love to you every day,
burying my voice in your
euphoric environment.


Echoing in barbaric ‘ha-ha’ tones,
a lullaby of chuckles,
sent to my loved one.


She deserves this after
a life time of killing tears,
lusting after anger suppression,
staring at the cobblestone floor.


In this one humane body,
a laugh attack is necessary.


Bittersweet and demented,
a quip that is corny.
Who cares about the rule of thumb,
the total number of guffaws?


Losing it alongside you!
It feels like I have
ingested a carton full of
uppers with kicks of caffeine.


We are two hyenas without
obligatory cares in this world,
two saplings who evolve
into a serene, elated green.


Until death’s alarm clock rang,
we collected certain seconds.
When her celebratory funeral
occurred on a blackened evening,
we laughed.



Inhaling Suburbia

Overjoyed white sweatshirt
grins quite widely on unnecessary Christmas cards.
And their middle-class picket fence
property is Suburbia’s epicenter.


Spoiled dairy product man adds
one more indictment to his mortal list.
And his provincial death is a
byproduct of Suburbia’s upbringing.


Rays tan her to a crisp,
this tuned-out sunbathing beach woman.
And her solar-powered life is
indifferent to Suburbia.


Auto-functional people have
footprints in synchronization.
Climate changing, heartbeat quickening
in the eye of Suburbia.


Raucous II


Dishes thrown at traumatized lady.
Under unvarying pressure,
obsessive possessive behavior becomes him.


Invisible leash, complete with choke collar,
‘round her cornered neck.
hindered by his empty words and
concrete fists.


For ages, she has ‘wanted to leave,’
but weekly death threats have altered her psyche.


This is not jealousy.
This is a raucous ruckus inside her mind,
driving her to saddened madness.
Scars have said otherwise.
Cuts and bruises persuade her further.


She will not only escape,
but stand on those two feet of independency.
She needs no man to hold her down.
She needs no man to hold her back.


She has aspirations of her own,
aspirations that will align these two worlds.
Martians and Venusians become one.
Taste the sweetness of diversity easing its way into unity.


Stand for the uncalled for thunderbolts.
Bolt out his limbo door and
roar with thunder from within.


You are woman!
You are person!


Nothing on this goddamn planet could be further from the truth.
Your ever-loving power is our generator, our life force on tap.


Step forth,
for it is your time.
No more dead end tears.
Teach them how to conquer the fool who calls himself Fear.



Z.M. Wise is a proud Chicago native, poet, co-editor and poetry activist, writing since his first steps as a child. He has been a written-word poet for almost two decades and a spoken-word poet for four years. He was selected to be a performer in the Word Around Town Tour in 2013, a Houston citywide tour. He is co-owner and co-editor of Transcendent Zero Press, an independent publishing house for poetry that produces an international quarterly journal known as Harbinger Asylum, with his dear friend and founder Dustin Pickering. The journal was nominated Best Poetry Journal in 2013 at the National Poetry Awards. He is also an Assistant Editor at Weasel Press with another dear friend, Weasel. He has published four full length books of poetry, including: ‘Take Me Back, Kingswood Clock!’ (MavLit Press), ‘The Wandering Poet’ (Transcendent Zero Press), ‘Wolf: An Epic & Other Poems’ (Weasel Press), and ‘Cuentos de Amor’ (Red Ferret Press. Other than these four books, his poems have been published in various journals, magazines, and anthologies. The motto that keeps him going: POETRY LIVES! Mr. Wise will make sure to spread that message and the love of poetry, making sure it remains vibrant for the rest of his days and beyond.

Besides poetry and other forms of writing, his other passions/interests include professional voice acting, singing/lyricism/songwriting, playing a few instruments, fitness, and reading.

*Photography courtesy of Brian Michael Barbeito*

3 Replies to “Laugh/Inhaling Suburbia/Raucous II – by Z.M. WISE”

  1. And I just want to say one thing: as a “small press,” we don’t discourage epic poems or longer works. I stand behind Z.M.’s poetry; it is unique, yes, but also raw and edgy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Z.M.,

    On the first poem: I like the personification of humor and how you handle that. However, the turn in cliches (the first stanza) make the verse seem a tad cheesy. There are lines that are standout, like the one about evolving into a “serene, elated green”– however I might choose a word other than evolve.

    Inhaling Suburbia– the way you use synedoche at the beginning, using the sweatshirt to represent the entire person, is ironic. Because in Suburbia, its the clothes that matter. You aren’t just using poetic technique, you are making a statement in full.

    Raucous II– Overall, the poem is reasonably good. However, some of the way you use myth and image drown the human side of the poem, which is obviously where you wanted the poem to go. The anonymous person you are sympathizing with is forgotten to a degree. I would have used the language of myth less, and tried to focus more on the woman’s actual fears, reasons for staying where she is, and who she is overall. Does she have a history that makes her vulnerable, does she feel she deserves this treatment? Empathy is a poet’s best friend, next to the thesaurus and dictionary. This poem is about a situation. However, I gather that you want to show the woman as an innocent victim of a bad situation. The situation then should be backdrop, like a prop in a play that compliments the actors. Perhaps this is only a segment of the entire poem? The addition of “II” leads me to believe this.

    Your epic poems are great– you know how to use this long forgotten art form and make it your own. That’s a talent to be appreciated. Your lyric poems are less strong. Most small presses and lit journals prefer lyrics to longer works. It’s unfortunate. You have a real knack for using lyric as pieces of a whole story. The individual lyrics lose some of that quality when separate from the whole.

    Overall, though: these poems are unique. They have a style that no one else could impersonate. Good or bad, they are definitive. Your employment of sharp turns and short statements is totally modern, IMO. It makes me think of driving down a highway and seeing billboard after billboard– no coherency, you are left to the logic. Sharp twists serve the imagination well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your review, dear friend. I truly do. I normally do not do this, but if I could just point out one thing. In Raucous II, the character is a victim, yes, but the piece is meant to encourage those victims and the families of victims to overcome and conquer such chaos, as well as assisting those in need.

      Liked by 1 person

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