The Best of Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum : 07.14.12

“I try for a poetic language that says, This is who we are, where we have been, where we are. This is where we must go. And this is what we must do.” ~ Mari Evans

Vista (above) by featured artist, Jon Marquette, 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 mo' fo' sho' so move that mad mouse of yo's right over here and a-way you'll GO!


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we pondered the punctuation of portents profound; we gave glory to the god who grew a pair; we wrestled words from inner angst to external expression; we extended elegy into life eternal; we considered the cosmic consequences of star staring; we soiled our hands in the soul-cleansing cycle of pull-plant, put-plant garden grooming good for all; then we dirtied up again, gave bowing obeisance to our beautiful bitch, Babylon the Great. Busy week! ~ mh

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

murder in manhattan

tourist girls on
9th avenue
trying to poke me in the eyes
the walking dead
thumb thumping
stopping in the middle
of the block
to transcribe their immortal thoughts
on social networks
as car horns blare
and alien dogs ride shotgun
in baby blue
wagging their tongues
at the dim lit masses
this sunday
with the sun blinding me
with every train rerouted
and comic book trucks hijacked
the bars are packed
with afternoon drunks
at television sets
making out on barstools
as if this moment of bliss
had been scripted in a lab
placed here
as an experiment
because it doesn't seem real
none of it
because there is murder
on the streets
of manhattan
commerce stabbing
serenity's last gasp
the flesh and bone
in agony
the blood of the material world
running red and swiftly
down times square
feeding this hungry beast

- John Grochalski

(1 poem added 07.14.12)

editor's note: No harm, no worry - full participation ensures full enjoyment. They said so, "Feed the machine and the machine feeds you!" - mh


we took the whole day,
(a weekend)

to uproot the trees
in the front yard

and move them out back;

1 grandiflora rose bush,
18 garden tulip bulbs
in 2 even rows,
3 dead satin robes
in 3 clay pots…

we pressed our ears
to the ground,

to listen for worms
and oil;

walked on tip-toes,

so as not to
offend the grass

- much work for a bed
we couldn’t sleep in;

to feed the deer,
come morning;

each little girl in
the neighborhood

to scamper across
our lawn,

with a fist full
of perennials for mom -

just like last year.

- Andrew Chmielowiec

(1 poem added 07.13.12)

editor's note: Pulled from one place to be planted in the other. Salads and souls; same garden. - mh

Earth as a Star in Another’s Sky

Alas! ‘Tis folly to be known among men.

Avaunt with their recognition,
‘tis to truth it has brought us,
nowise near the astronomical expanse.
Cosmic significance is a goal yet unobtainable.
Whereof shall a means be made?
Our futile searching is but a quest
where the objective is known
and therefore as diminutive
as thine thoughts.
To work unconsciously in harmony
doth construct
a grand château,
whose apex breeches
atmospheric boundaries,
and leads the way
to a vast space with
the occasional point,
perchance bearing other beings.

- Ryan K. Fuller

(added 07.12.12)

editor's note: Maybe "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" is a song we learned from a faraway planet, where alien eyes looked into the sky and refused to believe we are alone out here. - mh

thinking of Micael
For MC

make no monument to this body,
let the rivers and roads winding on maps
and fields flowing into one another
from the birds view of a plane
serve as testament.

May there be no wall of remembrance
where people touch hands for famous photographs.
what a landscape of crows couldn’t bring into thought
make no admonition,
no stone effigy.

have no moment of whispering
but shout, shout, shout out
your poetry, fill empty halls
and capital domes. dance, alone
or together, naked in halls and alleyways.
ride your full moon lunacy

down one way streets and secret passageways.
eclipse your broken lifeline,
draw borders onto subway station walls -
trip to New York, Louisiana, Chicago and LA
rip your clothes off in stage lit drag shows,

ride the rays of the sun.

- Jhon Baker

(1 poem added 07.11.12)

editor's note: No one soul may pass without all souls singing the loss. Pass on; live on. - mh

Live Your Own Language

I wanted to send you letters that would heal the dark ache
in your torn heart. I wanted to give you a language that
could give life back to your soul, your convictions,
your hopes, and your God given bounty of beautiful gifts.

Wanted to give you a literary expression that could lift you
from the slow low hum of everything you thought you
could never become, lift you above the lifelong embedded
lies, lift you up and out of the century old family history of
hurt and hit and hate.

Wanted to give you the alphabet of love, of joy, of lasting
friends, of solace and promise. Wanted to arrange strong
sentences to protect you from the vicious tongues,
the dangerous hands, and the lethal yet commercially
advertized depths of hell.

Wanted to give you a voice that needed no screams.
I wanted to take you from the prison of illiteracy
and silence to the free and moving and miraculous
world of vocabulary.

But my words are only mine.

It is not my words, their words, or anyone else’s words that you need.
What you need are your own words. You must find your own words,
create your own dictionary, develop your own definitions, and live
as though you are a language that was never spoken
until you entered this world.

- Isabel Sylvan

(added 07.10.12)

editor's note: Let your new lexicon lay down new trails. Walk out of a dark place on your words. - mh


My own personal monkey god
has great big brass balls, divine treasures
hoarded close between his folded monkey legs,
and a penetrating look to his eyes.

He seems to be daring you to speculate about
his outrageous ornaments and what they might
symbolize. Do they have a utilitarian purpose?
Can they be detached and put into play,
rolled about on the tabletop?

Most likely they are just decorative in the end,
a monkey god’s necessary and rightful
accoutrements, some sort of transcendental
tantric stamp he puts on his pagan world:

These are my big brass monkey balls.
You may gaze at them and imagine their cold
powerful smoothness, but such divine potency
will always remain just beyond the reach
of your earthly outstretched hands.

- Jeffrey Park

(added 07.09.12)

editor's note: Let these balls roll freely on the great green felt. The gods are working a combination shot to sink the eternal eight ball; odds are on the monkey, to win. - mh

Dashboard savior

Just a glimpse -- quick flash really.
swishing past next to a hula girl,
grass skirt swirling gold, green.

Downtown Bellingham street,
Cornwall, road running out
by Assumption Catholic Church,

near that purple place
where all the peaceniks meet --
Wondered briefly if Second Coming

is capitalized -- likely, yes,
because it would be important.
In a '69 Camaro, I think,

not something you would drive
to reach a mountain lake.
Anyway, saw him fly by, upright,

hands in prayer, eyes blue, bright,
glued tight to the dashboard,
not about to go anywhere.

- Timothy Pilgrim

(1 poem added 07.08.12)

editor's note: If Second Coming is capitalized, then Apocalypse must be a parenthesis. - 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...

Doin' It,

Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor


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