The Best of Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum : 04.06.13

“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” Maya Angelou

Heart (above) by Jon Marquette, one of over 20 featured 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 yours right over here and a-way you'll GO


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we flipped through our gray matter phone book to free a fond memory; we proffered a septuaganarian's primer on the care and handling of knives; we idled on the idea of uncovering idols from holes in the ground; we walked a rope without a net because we couldn't hedge our bet, there were no hedges, someone removed all the edges; we heard a keyboard clicked compulsive tune when a pensive poet kicked the moon; we recalled compatriotic cold war years, unearthed dystopic utopian fears; we fomented those fears further with the vision of an ill-tempered mother who liberally laces her love with revenge. Whew! Thank goodness, they're only words, right? ~ mh

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

The Warrior’s Mother

The warrior’s mother, all peacock attitude,
prayers, plus Galil submachine gun,
Settles, frustrated, at an ersatz table built of wood and bone;
she loathes the enemy.
Euphony, as Mama knows, means cries, screams,
railing in the night, sounding off,
Those others intend, insidiously, to kill her boys.
Mama deploys, accordingly, subversions.

She dreams, as well, of questionable warfare,
of not limiting herself,
Of employing mobile extermination squads,
poison gases, infectious diseases,
Random acts of pillaging,
and unpredictable executions of POWs,
But bad characters,
those who harbor lice, plague, attitude, wash up the media.

So, when tired from envisaging the offing of bandits,
from imagining the flaying of malevolents,
Mama dabs her forehead with cloth, adjusts her kerchief,
rubs on lipstick, smiles pretty;
News bureaus obfuscate in line with evil’s agenda.
Witnesses hide black, disproportionate force,
Indiscriminate rocket attacks, the use of white phosphorous,
most iniquities wrought by “them.”

That side’s creation of orphans, disregard of appendages,
illicit building, gall, sells popcorn.
As such, foreign lies, depravation,
tank shells full of depleted uranium, knife attacks,
Exaggerated accounts, retouched pictures, castrations of truth,
yet severe maternal conveyances.
Those nefarious actions bring Mama to knees of weariness,
until they awaken her martial heart.

- KJ Hannah Greenberg

(1 poem added 04.06.13)

editor's note: Don't want to be this mother's little helper, but orphans and lost appendages are not a fair trade. The game is rigged!! - mh


Every man is a hero
And every really good friend
A sidekick
Occasionally a dual force

The brute force of human nature
Is what makes us grow old

Our fears of atomic ultimatum
God Hand
Elected Dictator
Dislikable and Confident
We talk about

His point of view

His secret zipper

Our fears of
Red Dawn Red Square Dolph Lundgren
Our fears of utopia

- Jericho Joyce

(3 poems added 04.05.13)

editor's note: If we had Utopia; no need for dictators or Dolph. That is scary! (We welcome Jericho to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. See lot's more on his page.) - mh

Kick the Moon

O Moon, sharp-edged,
Welted tangent toes,
Sharp rounds crunching
Hacks boisterous houses,
I kicked a stone: Moon created,
A monotonous life before the screen
Writing, writhing
Press two fingers
And heart will blast off
With no errors and complications,
Tear apart the last remains
Earth trembles, sky vomits;
I’m cleansed thoroughly,
Through a narrow path
This darkened vision I see
A primitive era arising,
My bones dissolve
Dark-blooded, pure;
I’ve nothing to lose but shine forth,
Is this a compulsion to love?
She offers her lips to kiss,
Oh, let me touch it and forget her!
Cross it.

- Arun Budhathoki

(1 poem added 04.04.13)

editor's note: A keyborne, moonbeam chaser tries to kiss but crosses. Press "enter" to try again. - mh


You will not fall off the face of the Earth.
No one can or ever has;
because it has no edges and
because it is as faceless as a god
who never shows his face.
We only meet things that do not exist
as we lay dreaming.
Angels are like aliens, aren't they?
Both ideas frighten children awake
in the night when searching eyes
stay up past bedtime.
They are obsessively combing the sky for
shooting stars and men from Mars or
any sign of a giant winged predator.
And sleeping can be like religion,
immobilizing flesh.
Reality stopping
somewhere to go when you
are too scared or lazy
to really keep your eyes open.
To keep your life as your own
You needn't curve mind or hand to hold on
An edgeless Earth means
You could let go and
Arms wide open
No need to touch palms

- Meg Frances

(added 04.03.13)

editor's note: No edges, no boundaries! Make your own way by making peace with all who are making theirs. - mh

When We Are Discovered

all rust-golds and talc-whites,
colors growing while the sun
drops west of their structures,
sets to glowing the stone
stairs circling a pit of toxic
water from which, perhaps, gods
rose to judge believers
who dug copper rocks from
scarred edges of the open
where once there
must have been a hillside
rife with green, this people
carved a hole in the earth,
rolled armfuls of dirt away,
aching with the toil of
destruction and worship—
what gods did they find
here in the ground,
what idols did they admire
in this place they named
a mine?

- Catherine McQuade

(1 poem added 04.02.13)

editor's note: Where we dig, aptly named "mine," as in, "not yours," is not ours, either. The gods giggle. - mh

Vintage Movie

At 70 years-old my grandfather
Still thinks he will outlive the snow,
Psoriasis-bound, a whiskey flask
For a heart, he chases

The glorified bird-droppings
From his weasel farm
With a horseless carriage,
Howling, "Hurrah! Hurrah!"
Like a Confederate general.

Afterward he gives an agate ring
To the lady who most admires his form,
And promises her the world,
Which is a condominium complex
Just outside Orlando.

He says, "When I was young,
A patch of grass meant something,"
And, "Get up, lamb,
It's only a stab wound."

He says, "When I was young,
Knife fights on the starboard
Cathedral steps every Friday night
Were no alarm, only a way
To prove your 95 theses,
Eliminate your competitor
For Mary Lou's honeyed heart."

He says, "The problem is,
You kids don't know how
To drive a knife properly.
Now the world will go under
Or the Chinese will turn
Our knives on us."

- Brian Le Lay

(added 04.01.13)

editor's note: Every former generation thinks the current one lacks vital skills. I say we compile a new almanac, from theirs and ours; learn to dance and sharpen your knives. - mh

803 Monroe

I needed to call you but
I'd forgotten your number,
the one I always thought
was burned into my memory -
for hours I anxiously thumbed through
white and yellow pages, forgetting
then remembering your name.
Between the pages I could see
your dining room, the floor
tile cracked like a spider's
web, the old fridge where
all your kids stood before the
open door to feel the frigid
air on desperately hot days
while upstairs pretty ladies on
a calendar lounged without a
drop of sweat to mar their
fleshy perfection.

- Charlotte Hamrick

(2 poems added 03.31.13)

editor's note: Why can't fond memories create dial-tones, connect with a ten digit query to greet old friends? (Another great memento from Charlotte on her page - 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...

Hearin' It,

Johnny O
MH Clay
Poetry Editor


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