“Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.”
Jorge Luis Borges
••• The Mad Gallery •••
Cultivating Delirium ~ Bill Wolak
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week on Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we heard tales told of gods and gold; we missed bliss with a kissed miss; we held what’s owed, love’s end of the road; we walked, back turned, from bridges burned; we went dream fibbin’ o’er a violet hair ribbon; we pulled summer self from our memory shelf; we gutter dragged to live life real, smoked her end-fags to feel, TO FEEL. We came together, fell apart; wrote from joy and pain filled heart. ~ MH Clay
But That ‘Old Time Religion’ Ain’t Gonna Pay For My Hooker & Cocaine Addiction by Paul Tristram
Dear God, what have I become?
I absolutely adore the shit,
grime, stench, and rot of the Dark Levels.
I am a Spiritual Masochist,
that eeeccchhhoooo-ing mental anguish
is almost addictive…
it tastes of partly healed sore-scabs,
and has a rough texture,
not brittle like sandpaper,
it’s softer, more of a wet suede.
I was only young when I first witnessed
someone whom I cared about
erupt into insanity and violence…
the entire world stood still,
and they were the centre of everything,
a furious, miraculous, magical opera…
like a Tornado tangoing with an Avalanche.
That’s Passion, I’ve never seen
someone that much alive, it was perfect.
I’m smoking her dog-ends…
as she thief-rifles through my empty pockets…
all is as it should be, again.
This is not a detour, nor a destination,
deplorable and despicable, yes…
but, it’s more than merely an experiment,
I’m potholing the soul,
jackhammering my nucleus,
tearing apart the delicate underneath,
and ripping out my own emotional intestines
to feel, to feel… to FEEL!!!
Where did it all go wrong?
I don’t want to go back and fix it,
I want to do it all over again, bigger.
I broke a tender part of myself,
and I feel NOTHING, except interest
as I watch it grow back armour-like.
Dragging my own ‘Sunshine’
through the filth and slop of The Gutter,
applauding the Rain,
which actually washes away nowt,
but in fact, just makes everything messier…
oooh, I feel a connection, of a sorts, at last…
pass me on over the debauching bottle,
and this bleak afternoon’s distancing dynamite.
August 24, 2019
editors note: Our old bosom babe and the big bang. Back again, we go… – mh clay
Summer by Kerby Purser
Summer greets me in my memory like an old friend
suddenly I am ten years old with dripping hair and tan, damp skin
the smell of chlorine and endless possibilities lingers in the air around me
I have never had my heart broken
today I am a mermaid with my own underwater kingdom to explore
I do not notice the flaws of my body or the flaws of the world
only the brilliant sunshine reflecting off the turquoise water like diamonds just for me
Some days I am filled with gratitude to not be ten anymore and to have acquired the hard earned knowledge I now hold
other days I desperately wish I could return to the time of my childhood when summer made me beam with joy instead of shudder with shame
bathing suit season
never thin enough
never shaped correctly
too smudged with freckles of past sun damage and stretch marks of past shape shifting
Why are we like this?
why can’t I learn from my ten year self who intuitively knew there are more supreme matters to focus on
like underwater kingdoms
and smelling fresh honeysuckle
and running with dogs
I believe it is worth remembering how it felt to be truly free as a child
so I am striving to let that buried part of me to surface
to teach who I am now how to be free again
and the absolute dire importance of that freedom
August 23, 2019
editors note: Important at ten; important now, as then. Remember when? – mh clay
Your Violet Hair Ribbon by Stephen Page
Last night you slept with your head on my chest
My nose in your hair.
While I dozed the violet ribbon upon my wrist
Broke and fell off. This morning I searched for it
But could not find it, anywhere. I tied a new one
To my ankle. Hid another in my journal cover.
Did you have the same dream I did last night?
You with your head on your husband’s chest,
My wife with hers on mine.
August 22, 2019
editors note: A ribbon of deception; identities mistaken, lovers mismatched. So hard to awaken… – mh clay
The Ashes In My Wake by Alexandria Biamonte
It’s easy to forget
How I got here.
I look back at the
I’ve left in my wake and
All of the bridges
That I set aflame on my way to this
Haven. I mourn
Because those bridges supported me,
At some point.
And what a monster I must be
To have hurt so many
And still live in peace.
But then I remember the scars.
Splinters that jabbed my palms,
Uneven boards that tripped me,
And the constant fear of being
Allowed to fall.
Those bridges hadn’t supported me.
I survived them.
And I have to remember that I did not
Out of malice. I burned them,
So that I would not look back.
I was not granted this sanctuary.
I earned it.
August 21, 2019
editors note: Sometimes, a burned bridge is best. – mh clay
here is by M.P. Armstrong
here is my hand, tossing you the
keys in slow motion and your
borrowed car slipping into the
parking lot along with the rainwater.
here is guilt, sliding into a booth:
would you do it again?, i can feel
your mouth asking from across the
table every time it sips from your cup.
here is what i wanted to tell you:
i owe you poems like i owe you
a second chance or love: i don’t
but here i am showing up on paper
here is the end of the road, really:
are you happy now?, watching syrup
pool in the circular grid of your waffle,
perfect in a way we never achieved.
August 20, 2019
editors note: Bitter and sweet; syrup for the end of the road. Sigh! – mh clay
One of those bohemian arrangements by DS Maolalai
we had sex
in the bathroom with her friend outside.
and we were standing up, balancing her ass
on the lip of a frigid sink, and her tit
hung from my mouth
like a dog
with a dead pheasant. afterward
they both left
while sunlight was warming the morning, streetcars starting,
the bats all going
next time I saw her
and she was back again
with her boyfriend. he was 60, she was 22;
one of those
which make everyone who sees them
uncomfortable – but she said she liked him anyway
so what else could anyone
and then suddenly
it was 4 months later
and I was in boston visiting a friend,
and she called and told me
she was tired of him and tired
of drugs, and wanted out of it. I told her I’d call
when I was back in toronto,
and I did,
and got no answer. saw her again
a while later one night.
I offered to buy her
a cup of tea.
she said no. I left toronto
soon after that
and forever. it was one of those hot
and dried out summers
and the evenings
all full of air.
August 19, 2019
editors note: A hard thing to see (if you’re 22); a wishful thing to be (if you’re 60). – mh clay
Gold Civilization in Prehistoric by Hongri Yuan
Fifteen million years ago,
there was a civilization of gold on the earth.
The sun wrote the words of gold,
the moon wrote the words of silver;
all things on earth had its own language.
Where do the gods live now？
They have never disappeared,
they house still on the earth,
just you aren’t able to see them.
Translated by Yuanbing Zhang
August 18, 2019
editors note: In the beginning, there was gold; and gold wrote… – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
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(photo “Communion” by Tyler Malone)
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