The Best of Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum : 05.21.11

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Dylan Thomas

Dia De Los Muertos (above) by our newest featured artist and fellow mad one, Paul McMillan, one of over 20 artists currently coloring the virtual walls in Mad Swirl's eclectic electronic collective Mad Gallery. We know you'll wanna see more for sure so move that mad mouse of yours right over here and a-way you will GO!


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... started with a lesson on how to catch a monkey (give him two dreams to choose, he can't let go of either); gave us a Tom's peek at personal hygiene; reminded us of the challenges to navigate social waters; worried us with a white-collar suicide note; served us a life-and-death breakfast, with sausage, eggs and eternity; beat our indigestion with a beautiful vision; then shook us up and poured us out into scenes from a mall, where reality prevails - daily... don't crunch those cockroach carcases underfoot.

Just in case you missed it, here's a taste...


Hot Crimes at the Scene of the Time

On hot days, dusty window tint snaked through lots
looking for a less sweaty walk to Adobe shops,
corner to corner, plus sizes to caged mice in pet shops.
No clouds canopied weathered bench screws and

rust-free germy handles hung on to black hole windows
as 10 languages hissed bargains from inconsiderate speakers,
as mothers and strollers slithered between shadow and sun
past open doors, cooling sunburned concrete, snapping pop music poison.

The dollar’s dogma disciplined disciples by discounts
while grackles publicly pleaded for pretzel samples;
cricket corpses collected in corners, and no matter
the season’s styles, scales were shed for new threads,

While, in ceilings, rats were safe from fangs and
the soundtrack of quarter-operated laughter.

- Tyler Malone

(1 poem added 05.21.11)

editor's note: Feel free to take in the good life which is already in progress; happening at a mall near you - mh


A Beautiful Vision

I awakened within a dream
Watching a little girl with
golden blond hair and blue eyes
playing with her dolls
growing up in a new home
living with a new family

A joy born deep within
my heart, opened
straight out of my chest
as I recognized
She is my Mother
All Happy Again

- Claude Barrett

(1 poem added 05.20.11)

editor's note: We always like to think our long-gone loved ones are checking in on us, watching from afar. Why not turn it around, for us to check in on them? Thanks, Claude! - mh


Trespass to Eternity

In a poodle’s pan, like the muse barreling over a Waste Management Recycle manager,
A poodle, a common white short-haired miniature, lapping loose and gay,
Great Daddy lets go the leash, forbids Moses to free two captives,
And sticks twice-ridden odors away from cardboard and aluminum cans.
Aphrodite spat on the bitch’s grandmother when Katrina wasted the French Quarter,
2012 passed with damage but not fire and death;
Doom trespassed to eternity, schools professed wages, income, and tenured Ph.D.’s -
Today, for all days, never living in the past - the Third Covenant, whispers
Into Creation (over barbecued chicken served at evangelical picnics), but
Rae Rae, my cross-eyed mongoloid maiden wife-to-be (with wrongs),
Waits for her attendant, my wife, to serve pork sausage, eggs, and espresso
On a white paper plate for breakfast at 6 a.m.
Molly Mom, God’s wife, moves into precious condominium property,
Remembers, at present, Rae Rae, and Great Daddy’s girl, her first granddaughter,
Not a poodle, not in need or wanting a poodle, nor any pet at all;
Batteries of angels illuminate this family’s everything, and unnecessarily,
Absolute Monarch, a three-personn’d God, delights!
Eternity’s trespass, forgiven with each birth, before -
And life and death, death faltering, take all by surprise.

- Sander Blome

(1 poem added 05.19.11)

editor's note: While we categorize our impending doom with imperfect predictions, todays realities are no more remarkable than a canine quenching its thirst. Neither life nor death are that much of a surprise. - mh



Eye stove, sink, fridge, counter, trash. Pull down the board to iron a shirt for tomorrow. Think – ironing the yoke – of iron enriching the blood, iron at the earth’s core, the irony of steeling myself for the office.

Linen steam calms the nose. Smoothing wrinkles soothe the eye. Thunk and glide of iron lull.

Wince at stud pierced tongue.

Think of the – creasing sleeves, smartening cuffs – office as a cathedral of icy digits, jargon-blizzards, techno-blitzes, hoary acronyms that freezerburn the mind not to mind redundant hells of worsening change for the better.

Tug at tongue frosted to altar. Concentrate on – to sidestep daymares – perfecting tails. Flatten facing between buttons.

Finished, spring board back into cabinet between fridge and stove. Prop iron upright on counter. Don clean fragrant Arrow. Button up. Tuck in.

Step through door beside trash into garage. Start Civic. Amble around behind. Kneel between trunk and wall displaying rakes, shovels, shears, other garden implements of torture.

Drape quilt over head. Press mouth to exhaust. Hyperventilate.

The iron in the blood bonds to monoxide. I fall – with a slight headache – asleep against the pipe. Find in a fist the key to the gate through which to throw myself at the claws of the iron throne. Ironed shirt warm still from smoothing the irony of new and improved.

- Willie Smith

(added 05.18.11)

editor's note: When enough is enough, might as well go out with a clean-pressed shirt. The Devil likes a dapper dresser. - mh


Autumn wind

70s smooth jazz
lilts in the background.
Clink of the smooth gold plated cutlery
The group is heady.
The mood is bright.
A pearl earring sparkles here
from between dark wistful hair.
An enameled smile glistens there
under laughing lipstick.
Maîtres d'hôtel run amuck
in their fine elegance
and rehearsed grins.

And now the autumn wind
also decides to be kind
and waltzes in with its three-quarter time signature
blowing off the stoles of the ladies
and pushing back the hair
from the foreheads of the gentlemen,
only two of us are unmoved.
You, in your dapper suit
who sit by a low light
at a table for two
so grim in that corner,
and I, frozen here
like Autumn waterfalls
(augmented by recent rains)
turned to ice by the sudden chill
trying to decode you.

- Astha Gupta

(added 05.17.11)

editor's note: No frivolous matter, the judging of character from across a room; chilled by the notion that such judgments are reciprocal. - mh



Using the spa’s machines
she firms her thighs,
feels inside a gentle brushing
of butterflies’ wings.

She hums like bees
to sweeten the honey
cones of her breasts,
speaks in a lisp
of the vulva’s lips,
sighs to feel
the masseur’s yearning,
smells the wax
on his curved mustache.

She steps into the sauna
in a monogrammed towel.
In a shower’s slow soaping
her warm fingers
touch the song of her body
as she sings
for the tenuous cleanliness of life.

- William Page

(added 05.16.11)

editor's note: May be only skin deep, but truly "next to godliness." Mmmmmm - honey! - mh


A New Dream:

A new dream's emerging
In my head
Springing forth, bright, from
The darkness which has consumed
Me of late.
But this new dream
Contradicts the one before.
Can I move on?
Leave behind the one I
Had held tight for so long?
Yet I know that dream
Is old and dying
And that I’m clinging to it
With all I have
Not wanting to let go
For fear if I let go
I’ll never catch hold again.
But if it was meant to
Be, it’ll come back to me.
The stars will align then.
Reluctantly, I let the
Old and dying dream go.
Let it float among the clouds
I turn to the new dream
Fresh and exciting
I grab ahold.

- Zia Scribenti

(added 05.15.11)

editor's note: Takes two hands to hold a dream; hard to know what anything means, much less our personal "meant to be." - 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 here...

Ragin' Madly,

Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor


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