The Best of Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum : 06.04.11

“Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.” Allen Ginsberg

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we mused upon what matters most; we opened our minds' doors to the knock of opportunity; we measured our mirror images to take the quiz (no scores divulged, 'twas a private pop); we watched a bicycle babe bump against a bar-bounced Billy; we nodded knowingly our once-removed recognition of he who is wrong for she who we can see so clearly; we took a smoke break at a funeral for a blue wish; then concluded all with mirrors again, little pitchers and dreamers and schemers, spittin' imaging offspringers reminding us to mind our own business.

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




Here is the dawn: a pearl, gauze and gingham.
She can never stay long; incandescence
Drapes the Mesa in platinum vapor,
Transient as a gown of lily tongues:
All things young thrive in love for an instant.


The light of the room
where you first awoke: the light of the room
that wakes all first things:
the noxious mirage of cartoon colors
threading moment to
moment; idiot elves and princesses
infiltrating our
"living" room where part of what awakes still sleeps,
as the day, outside,
uncloaks each atom to it's origin,

we rehearse the mute
crystal, mute yet still babbling, blaring
(Is the day painting on the flowers’ shawls?
How real is her light?)
a mindless trumpet
for all the other geese- violet, mauve, pink,
electrode azure,
pathetic crimson and cold, screen-vacant green-
to join in the chorus,
permeating Now with the less-than-here.

I apologize,
but Cohen, Nicolai, and Boots... I see
no other way out,
for every door in this house leads either
to lunacy or
The Desert, itself just a physical
of The Universe's mental illness
(Perfect Sadhana?)
seeming more often locusts than honey.

Till the rain covers us
with your stars, Leo and Aquarius,
Capricorn's necklace
of milk the web that entwines our fortunes-
I must remember this,
and read the artificial generic
as a joke with eyes
anagogic: all is changeless, a soul
cannot be tainted
or cleansed; all is passing: a soul

is already cleansed
or tainted, so where do we lay the blame?
Karma? DNA?
Cartoons? The dawn reveals that each atom
has no origin,
is neither here nor there (are those bruises
or chocolate palm
prints crossing your ribs like wolf or squirrel
tracks until your heart?).
This Valley is an inverted mesa.


Yawn: orange diaphanous: dusk-etched cloud-sighs.


your eyes:
curtain of


A part of me
Apart from me;
dreaming your own
ciphers, nested
against my ribs,
despite how I
contort myself,
bed and futon
support only
one acrobat
a night
(Yes, I
am well
that this
is what
the next
years will

- Quinten Collier

(1 poem added 06.04.11)

editor's note: Family life, bliss, naught's amiss when viewed with such color and insight. There is another world in the lives of those with whom we share dwelling and existence. Our offspring truly do - spring off; into the blue, turning their own somersaults, flying with the birds. We watch and learn again how to fly. - mh


Night Observatories #2

The cornflowers of these fogs go past hope and in their divine fate, they offer mauve nights between the second and the third fingers, the cigarette - solitary, ephemeral pleasure - burns away grandiloquently, the speakers of this funeral parlour and the encyclopedias turn their saffron pages producing the blue wish but the wind feels trapped and the poisoned cells drift into black vaults.

- Walter Ruhlmann

(added 06.03.11)

editor's note: Got lost in here for a bit; kinda scary and magical. Tripped on a blue wish, banged my shins on a black vault. I was just lookin' for a smoke... - mh


The Wrong Man

You didn’t like it when he looked right through you like a ghost
Transparently everything about you was about you, until you disappeared
Whilst everything about him was about others
You wanted him to escape all that, his past life was not yours

Only now he sees in the photos of you something sideways
A smirking look, as if you’ve got a bad, secret idea you can’t share
With others, a look like you’re about to get in trouble with another
Then to say he was the wrong one after all, after a tussle

Or a turn in the hay, bouncing around from man-to-man
Isn’t a way to live darling I fear for you and all your ghosts
Of the wrong man

- Charles Pitter

(1 poem added 06.02.11)

editor's note: Easy to tell who's wrong from a distance. Up close, mistaken identity is a matter of perspective; the view from a window or a mirror. - mh


Pencil Me In

Pencil me in, you said, if it helps you remember where some nights I lay my head.
but just those light lines, erasable, graphite I can thumb-smudge when I come back
drunk and irascible.

Cold night, and I’m out alone,
short legs knotted under folded
arms, seeming balanced at the end
of a tight-packed, night-busy bar
through rows of empty glasses
watching new friends play guitar.
It’s all a guise. It’s all pretend.
Uneasy here, trying to fit
ego and insecurity
in the same circle of leather.
Really, I’m thinking of you,
broad casual smile, your plea
that I trust you, at least a while.

I guess I’ve never seen a bridge still standing built on pencil lines alone;
and a boat that carries us from here to there must be something more than drawn.

Hours later and the dark has deepened.
sweater-clad and long bed-ready
I quick-step past the quasi-home
created against silver spokes—
a frame-deprived meter-chained tire—
to my bike just behind (victim,
next time). Afraid of night and men
like this, out alone in the cold

(I know: so unfair and selfish,
to be bike-mounting and watching
the bouncer oust him, and think just
of what could happen on my ride,
what strangers could appear and scare
me witless of city living,
while his horror is there, moving
him from almost-safety under
blankets, breaking his chilled slumber.)

Against my will I picture
you beside me, pedal-standing,
tall and laughing into the night,
absorbing just surface, but strong
in your blindness, as if other
senses were heightened. It strikes me
that lonely and temporary
are hard ways to be. So homeless
and loveless, this stranger and I,
desire something of permanence.

I think I’ll have to look to someone else to color contours of pencil lines left behind,
but these scars came out darker in my skin than on paper and moving on from you
will take more than an eraser.

- Catherine McQuade

(added 06.01.11)

editor's note: Sketching out a home and a half-friend-lover is hard to do when your only graphite is embedded in your bicycle chain with your only paper being that which envelopes your wrinkled heart. Best to keep pedaling. - mh



Take a look at
what is your
marital status
are you sufficiently
what is your
net worth on the job
are your children
showing scholastic
how healthy
is your cholesterol
would you say
you are optimistic
or pessimistic
most of the time
I ask this
because I am
your self-esteem
and this is
your daily pop quiz

- Ivan Jenson

(2 poems added 05.31.11)

editor's note: Results are tabulated daily, but the measure of worth is always that of now. How do you feel about yourself right now? (Another one from Ivan on his page, check it out!) - mh


Inside Us All

resides the Devil
the leader of the dead condemned
who tells us to hear his voice
obey his commands
to do the taboo
the unthinkable
the irresponsible
only once, then twice, even thrice
until the distinction between
right and wrong
dark and light
remains indistinguishable
to those who should know
the difference.

Hear that sound?

It's opportunity knocking...

- Joseph D. DiLella

(1 poem added 05.30.11)

editor's note: Some angels don't like change or chance; fate has placed us where we are, gambling's a sin . Everyone's the Devil to them. So, what are you waiting for? Open the Door! - mh



Most people can have sex in the dark
No foreplay other than a kiss and a grab
Most people can get married because
Of two to three basic things they have in common
With most people
Most people can have a huge interest in something
Without wanting to do it
Most people wanna say something
But they don't
Most people wanna do something
But they don't
Most people go to bed early
Most people consider music to be a saleable commodity
And a fashion of the times
Nothing more, nothing less
I don't wanna be like most people
Of course, if most people have their way
We all will.

- Kyle Segars

(2 poems added 05.29.11)

editor's note: But, I wanna drag out the fore, tumble long and deep into the play; wanna speak; wanna do; wanna stay up and burn out; want it all, want it all . . . mostly. (Another delicious rant from Kyle on his page - you GOTTA check it out.) - 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...

Following the Lunar Lights,

Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor


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