The Best of Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum : 05.28.11

“I learned that the world has a soul, and that whoever understands that soul can also understand the language of things.” Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist (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 fo' sho' so move that mad mouse of yo's right over here and a-way you will GO!


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... our attention deficit was arrested with a will; our sleep was interrupted with the chant of a fly playing god, or a god playing fly; our burning eyes were opened by a barage of words (imagine, only of words); our spent youths were revived with a jump o' the bridge; our thirst for vengeance was slaked by a Rambo dream, blood flowed freely, sins propitiated; then swirlingly, sweetly, our senses were enslaved by the singing of mariachi's and the smooth skinned slide of finger on breast.

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



The low, mariachi wails sound
like they did before
I knew what they meant.

(The mourning dove coos,
the carpool shrieks & airplane
rumbles, the errant
Chihuahua yaps,
the soft buzz of flies on trash—
those are all familiar language). But,

The trumpets:
I almost forgot.

- Emily E. Riggert

(1 poem added 05.28.11)

editor's note: I know that music; breast, slave, skin - so engaging. Anyone could forget the trumpets. - mh


The head fragmented

orange man reads
dust deposits
layers in full, dressed in black
broken at the ankle
breathe easy breathe easy
death comes a yawn
not much light in here,
should smoke less
big frog manipulates
women chat over the carrot grinder
breathe easy breathe easy
yawn choke
white man's a rasta
eyes wounded by dark
circled by sharks
should smoke
rectangular afternoon charms
but irony has no weight here
will fall, will fall,
the head's fragmented.

Haymarket, Northampton Mass

- Davide Bruno

(added 05.27.11)

editor's note: Rectangular afternoons charm me, too. Prob'ly why I smoke so much. - mh



“…to advance to the muzzles of guns with perfect nonchalance!” ~ Walt Whitman

I want to get all my mistakes,
injustices, and regrets,
real or imagined,
and trick them into thinking
that they’ve gotten the better of me,
that I’m finally dispatched.

I want them all to meet
in some remote location,
like maybe a big house in the country,
where they’ll sit by a stone fireplace,
drinking Courvoisier
and smoking La Gloria Cubanos,
laughing at how they used me,
made a fool of me.
I want them to feel absolutely certain
that I'm gone.

What they won’t know
is that I’ll be outside hiding in the woods,
camo on, face blacked,
getting their bodyguards lined up
in my cross-hairs.
They won’t hear the shots
over their loud boasting.

Then I’ll appear,
to their terrified surprise,
ghostly behind the couch,
and they’ll beg me to reconsider,
yelling, Wait! There’s been a mistake!
But it will be too late.
I’ll take them out one at a time.

Then I’ll mess with a gas pipe
that just happens to run down the wall
right near the fireplace.
I’ll pop it with the butt end of my automatic
and it’ll start to hiss,
my cue to saunter out indifferently,
rifle slung over my shoulder.

I’ll open the front door
and walk slowly across the lawn
into the foggy night,
perfect nonchalance,
as behind me the big house
explodes in a series of deafening volcanic eruptions,
boiling flames 100 feet high,
sending shards of wood and metal and embers
raining down on everything,
explosion after explosion,
but I will not flinch.

Metallica’s Fight Fire With Fire
will have started to play in the background
as I stroll in silhouette against the monstrous blaze,
all the consequences of my every indiscretion
dissolving in smoke and flames
as I disappear into the fog
clutching a secret no one will ever know
but you and me.

- John L Stanizzi

(added 05.26.11)

editor's note: Who said revenge wasn't sweet? Sweet indeed, especially when foisted upon our foibles. - mh


Warning: Bridge Out Ahead

They always told her she was too young for that. “You’re too young to have a boyfriend who smokes and drinks and knows how to shoot a gun,” “you’re too young to want to marry someone who has killed people your age,” “you’re too young to want something so much that you’d drop everything and leave your ho-hum world of incessant repetition.” She would bray like a donkey, and tell them they were mice running to a snake for protection. They were rubber bands, stretched beyond their limits and unable to learn new shapes like she could. Her eyes never imagined that they would swim in the seas that they swam, and that someday her words would also fall onto ears filled with cotton candy and lollipops.

- Victoria Vasterling

(added 05.25.11)

editor's note: It's a sweet ignorance; not to hear the aspirations of those who are "too young". It's a missed opportunity; not to embrace that life we wanted before our ears filled up with candy. - mh



Seven times you brush your hair
Lying on your pillow
Your hands above your head, you hear
Of tides that wind the sea,
Of knowledge and delusion.
To say goodbye, seven times I lie
That truth keeps to its own time,
That loneliness is real.
I take you by the hand and tell
Of leaves already turning pale,
Tell you of the tears of men
And you say, show me. Or do not show me
And your poems are nothing.
You say you do not wish to live,
So I talk, and talk. The room absorbs me.
I encourage your beauty, compare you
To a slender tree... like yellow leaves
Above your head your hands cast shadows...
Three times I write the poem.
Your fingers scurry
Like children late for school.
Your eyes burn like empty stars.

- Derrick Gaskin

(added 05.24.11)

editor's note: I believe it; loneliness is real, truth does keep to its own time. But, the only way to say it is only of words... after all. - mh


The Right Door, The Fly

a voice drones past the threshold
like a gregorian chant,
it echoes on the surface of the water
mimicking the sound of god
a fly on the wall
in a catacomb
beckoning me
wake up

- Nicholas Martin

(2 poems added 05.23.11)

editor's note: From the fly's perspective, maybe god's the mimick. (Another one from Nicholas on his page, about how poets will inherit the earth, check it out.) - mh


where there's a will.

I sometimes hear voices reminding me to pay attention
touching my hair somewhere behind my right ear
more evidence that I might be unbalanced and fanatical

I stuff artificially lucky trinkets deep into my pockets
measuring with an imaginary ruler
hoping I don’t lose them somewhere through the holes

I rub dirty coins between my thumb and middle finger
tasting mint chapstick
and squint at the intrusive sunlight that burns
through my chipped windshield

I might be too far left of center
or too lost to find my way home
so I count the seconds between stoplights in Spanish
visualizing telephone poles balancing end to end
as they scrape the eastern nimbus clouds


- Heather Brager

(added 05.22.11)

editor's note: Too far left lands you right here where we like to rub dirty coins between fingers and almost never pay attention - except to poems like this. Greatness! - 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...


Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor


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

And that's just what we're gonna do Mister Thomas. Ain't no light gonna die on our watch!

On 06.01.11, starting at 8:00-ish, Mad Swirl will continue doing the open mic voodoo that what we do do! Join host Johnny O and co-host MH Clay, along with the musically magical trio Swirve and the usual unusual mad suspects as we do our darndest to both blow and open your minds. We will be callin' all you mystically mad poets, musicians, dancers, actors, singers, performers & any other miscellaneous mad ones in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to come & strut your mad stuff!

If you're interested in rage, raging against the dying of the light then show up the night of and get on the list!

Where's this madness take place? Absinthe Lounge is at 1409 South Lamar Street, Dallas, TX 75215 (located in the SouthSide on Lamar building)

And please, by all means, FEEL FREE TO SPREAD THE WORD!

fo'mo'info' visit

Mad Swirl Open Mic: It's THE place to be on the first Wednesday of the month!


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