The Best of Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum : 03.21.10

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent Van Gogh

Taste of Freedom (above) by mad swirlin' artist Jimmy Ovadia, one of over 20 resident artists currently being displayed in Mad Swirl's eclectic Mad Gallery.

Just in case you missed it, here's just a taste of the poetry we featured this week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum...


Icy Road Traffic Ejaculation

I am a sperm released because of a
Steamy, wet American Dream this morning.

I'm traveling up the virginal walls of I-20, up
Towards the Fallopian Tubes of 360, 183 and

I pass my dead fellow clones who lay in the ditches,
Swim past the weak ones stuck on the hill.

And I reached my destination to fertilize the
401K nest egg.

Only to be later aborted by a coat hanger
That sports a company logo.

Roderick Richardson

(1 poem added 03.21.10)

editor's note: SMACK! That's the sound of this poem grabbing the attention of those of us who know what it feels like to be "aborted" and those "coathangers" who have no idea, nor care, for the human fallout they create by executing the same. Yeah, Roderick! - mh


Existentialism and a Pile of Sand

The fathers take turns offending
Each afternoon tan line
Each designer swimming suit.

It is the consistency that is
Amazing, as each man battles
For last place in the hearts
Of the girls.

Their children storm the sidewalks
Bounce by the senior citizens
During their daily appreciation walk,
As they try to appreciate the
Last minute before the last minute.

The wives walk ankle deep
Discussing existential meanings found
In romance novels on the brink of
Soft-core pornography, whistling over
The luxurious-golden curls of a
Wax model of a man.

A minute passes and a maternal scream-
A Bobby-
A Roger-
A Benjamin Philip Sutton-
And a younger face version of my mother
Stands in the water, ankle deep,
A Christmas vacation to my father’s father
In a gated complex for arthritis
And heart medication.

Today, the mothers come to the realization that
The existential truth always concludes
With a lonely walk down a dark corridor
Or a warm embrace in the light-
As the husbands de-evolve
Fingering phone numbers in the sand
For girls half their age.

The fathers drink, although my father never
Did. The mothers gossip, although I am uncertain
If mine did. Being a child like any other
I buried my feet under piles of sand and
Looked from anywhere to anywhere-
Just watching for elderly women counting
Days by a calendar of flowers, old men
Plucking blades of grass with fingernail
Clip precision, rearranging dentures
With blistered, acidic tongues with each
Swipe of a shuffleboard pole along the
Green textured courts under shade trees.

The children surf with their belly buttons
Swim out deeper only learning how to leave
Those close behind with each pull of the riptide-
Giggle as they eat sand.

The mothers curse the disease of youth.
The fathers bash aluminum cans on wrinkled
Stern foreheads with the sound of hammer on metal-
And we all realize that the future is far from bright.

Benjamin Sutton

(added 03.20.10)

editor's note: Yeah, here it is! The deconstruciton of all the times we sat in the sand and burned in the sun. There's a lot more that goes on at the beach than the crashing of waves. If you weren't payin' attention, read this again. - mh


On Bret Whitley's Self-Portrait in the Studio 1976.

Self gazing into an oval glass
This life scarred face
Proclaims the strain of trying
To catch each dashing moment
Resolving itself into here and now.

In this space the gaunt body of reason is alien;
It will never understand this catharsis
That attempts to ensnare the fleeting moment:
This metamorphosis
That traces vanishing apparitions,
In an attempt to reach beyond bare facts
Towards an incandescent blue presence
That lashes all conceptions of unity.

The face in the looking glass
Is marked by snake infested hair:
The creator becomes a monster
Searching experience
As the self consumes itself
Exploring subterranean spaces

Sculptured bony blue nude hints
Of an experience of liberation.
It reaches past the drizzle of hindsight;
The hope of canceling confusion
In a radiance that moves beyond images
That grasps other mythologies.

The nude's pregnant tones whisper of elusive moments.
A strangeness only the blood can sense;
For in its evasive flow
The blood knows inarticulate groans
Can not be fixed
Within the picture-frame of definition.
This ecstatic freedom glances into the mirror
To find other traces
Another unexpected genealogy.

In these moments of purity
Objects become inexhaustible:
Liquid outlines form
Ripples of celebration.

These glimpses see the credible take flight
While images exhumed
From the depths are regarded
With a slow deliberation
Before being lost to the intricate
Double deception of art's mirrored maze.

John Najjar

(3 poems added 03.19.10)

editor's note: Look out, now! John Najjar is messing with our psyches. He is describing a portrait. But, this detailed description turns into our own personal shopping lists of wrinkles and flaws as we look into a mirror. How'd you manage that, John Najjar? I thought I had kept all that a secret - damn! - mh


I’m Lonely and I’m Handsome

I’m a 21 year old guy
looking for a good girl
who goes Woof Woof.
You know?
I’m looking for someone
who has barked at a car
and really meant it.
Someone who could either
cuddle and watch TV all night
or go out dancing.
Yeah, someone unpredictable like that.
Or maybe somebody who scratches their butt
by scooting it across the carpet
with their legs in the air.
Have you ever imagined
a centaur doing that?
That image always made me
enormously happy.
Yeah, maybe she could be a centaur.
Yeah, a centaur
with a vagina in the front.

Alex L. Swartzentruber

(added 03.18.10)

editor's note: I can't help but laugh out loud when reading this one. This poet has nailed exactly the latent longing of my heart...with a vagina in the front. - mh


The Unknown Epitaph

An invisible dagger
Like a noonday shadow
Imitates the staggering

The mind capsizes
In the flooded heart,
And the light o’ the eyes
Embraces the fading sun

Arun Budhathoki

(3 poems added 03.17.10)

editor's note: From the verge of a dancing homicide to full sunlit disclosure. We bring the light. This poet paints mind pictures and sparks internal debates. Nice! - mh


Little Ballerina

She is tiny, yet explosive,
When she’s in the right attire,
Her motions paint a picture,
Her passion burns like fire,
She leaps across the stage,
Which could be anywhere at all,
And at her highest point,
She’s still the smallest of them all.

Following behind the others,
She adds her own touch,
Bending, spinning, stretching,
She could never move too much,
Sometimes when no one’s watching,
She pretends to be a swan,
Gliding across the waters,
Queen of her own pond.

And when her day is over,
As she packs away her shoes,
In her mind, she’s still dancing,
To all of her favorite tunes,
She hears Beethoven and Bach,
And her toes take their point and stance,
Little ballerina,
I hope you always dance.

Ashley Brianne Combs

(added 03.16.10)

editor's note: I close my eyes now and watch her dance, pirouetting across my limpid lids. She is wearing red. A perfect picture... - mh


I Say I Sing

You are the one
I’ve harbored in light.
You, arrived from another city,
Americanized in my dawn
and salt promises
that you are the one
of gold
I say I sang
decades to unearth,
real now together
under this flagless sky
I say I will sing
until the sadness spills
from this noiseless street
and rises, a new nation,
under both your gods
and mine.

John Sibley Williams

(added 03.15.10)

editor's note: This is it, Americans! We ARE making a new nation. We are recognizing new gods, new cultures, new hopes from new-comers. Let's not be stingy with the Dream! - mh


The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the poetic conversations going on in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be there!


Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

“Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.” Vincent Van Gogh


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