Poetry inspired by Nick Cave from Elizabeth Cusack

Clubs and Diamonds

You were not there
On the sleeping veranda
When we watched the sundown
You did not see me shiver
In a wet bathing suit
As the sun went down
Grandma was nearly 
Out of her head
As she taught me to balance
The silence and dread
And daddy was in town
Feeling sorry for himself
His immaculate revenue
Dead on the ground
And mama pretending 
Jangling and pushing
Everyone around
Did not see me slither
Watching grandpa
Remembering mama
In her silk nightgown
I want to arrange 
One more vision of you
Lying naked in the sun
On a rock by the sea.

Third War(Colossal)

You knew what an alert was,
You exited when told,
You did not protest,
You covered up quickly,
And left with the rest.

Were the woods radioactive,
Were the corks, were the genes,
Was the glass in the desert,
Were the ways and means?
Were you there when the bomb came,
Did you see it fall,
Did it leave a shadow on your wall?

The man had a blade,
And he cut your throat,
He burned down your city,
And he made you choke.
When you woke with the dead,
Did your heart still pound,
Was it the day of the dead,
The day you were found?

When the innocent bathe in blood,
Is the war over then,
And are you set free?
Breathe in and breathe out,
The night is still here, 
And oh, my darling, you are so near!



Bio: Elizabeth Cusack is a recovering actress. Ever since playing Rhoda Penmark in “The Bad Seed” as a child, deservedly, she has endeavoured to keep up her end of the bargain. Elizabeth has been blessed with the best of teachers over the years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. She has championed and performed in fringe theatre in America. Elizabeth edits her favourite poet while not otherwise inspired by her muse to write. 

Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack (some inspired by Plath & Sexton)

Killing Floor

What if I were invisible, she asks
where would the liquids go?

She’s serious now
She’s given up on life
and this is her last request
an answer to what is death
and what use is anything without a drink
a dry martini and a pack of Marlboro Reds.

She has priorities
when it comes to life after death
Is there darkness and laughter
If not, I’m not going there
I’ll hang around with you lot 
thank you very much
and I’ll see you on the killing floor.

How do I mute key phrases
key poets and prophets 
who are a stab to my heart.
I am as unnecessary 
as a disposable razor blade
and I am sharp enough to die.

My first highs—
Marlboros before they were Light
drinks from the basement
Guy de Maupassant— when they used to read.
I was put down there
with the spiders
in Omaha
I was disposable after all
an after-effect of the war he went through
so he beat me when I was inconvenient
and he loved me when he was through.

Assassin 
inspired by Ariel by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath knew —
Endings have beginnings
Like snakes in drainpipes
Or Lynette Fromme on a very bad day
It’s dust to dust and hell to hell
The devil comes and rings his bell
We all have that train to ride —
Spoil the illusion and we’re gone
Blow it up, but we’ll  go on
We’re endless as the sea
And nothing contains everything.

Ruthless

That night was ruthless 
And I went insane 
But it was a good thing.

I spoke to the prophet 
Who explained it all.

He shot the bullet 
Because he was searching for life.

He was a mystic looking for a star.

I am dispensable now.

Howling

My slippery days are over
But the fire still lives on
There’s a soft moon rising
Any day now.

There’s a wolf I loved
And I let the beast destroy me
It doesn’t matter now
No one believed me anyhow.

But I kept on crying wolf
Pretending that I mattered
I’m a voice howling in the dark
One day they’ll find my heart.

Plath and Sexton

Your eyes are extraordinary
And your mouth is red
Like roses at midnight
Your nose is of no consequence
But your hair is perfect
And I’m ready for you
To crack me again
You are the phantom 
That spins me around
Who picks me up
From the floor of despair
I’m a passenger here
So close my eyes
My window is viewless 
Anyway, I like your disguise
I’ll do as I’m told
I have a pill to take
But I’ll take that drink now
Then I’ll die when you say.

Faith Has Been Broken

Faith has been broken,
It was silly to try, and really, why?
Throw the bomb and blow us apart,
It frightens the fish, we’re pathetic anyhow,
Feasting on powder falling from your tongue,
Circling around with our mouths open,
Begging like top or bottom feeders,
Like husbands and wives,
We’re entertainment in an aquarium of lies,
Like a cat with no paw, we’re fantastic,
No need to drop us a line,
We’ll eat what we’re fed, and we’ll play along,
And we’ll die when we’re told,
We’ll believe you, somehow,
That this is an ocean or a natural pond,
But really it’s your game, and we’ll live till we’re done.
Strange dreams may hold us,
Lead us around by the tongue,
Making sweet sounds,
Drawing us down, clasping and dancing,
Claws in our crowns, you’re lethal with smiling,
With incisors we don’t see until it’s too late,
And we’re flopping around,
Why don’t we get it? A tiger has stripes,
A Siamese has twins, coon cats aren’t black,
What does anything mean, because a cat is a cat,
And we’re fish in a bowl, every one,
Red, English, Spanish or French,
We have gills and we’re gullible,
We’ve a tail that moves around,
But we’re just swimming in order to drown. 

August 2022 Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack 

July 2022 Poetry Showcase by Elizabeth Cusack 

Dylan Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack
 









Poetry based on photography “The Lone Road to Moloka’I” from Maggs Vibo

(c)Maggs Vibo

A Lone Road on the Island of Moloka’i by Maggs Vibo

Our plane putters over patchwork pillows of rusty clay 
Celebrating the day's first rays at a coffee plantation

Top down, and around the bend the breeze kicks dust into our locks
We visit spaces of ancient mysteries and forgotten history
Not far from a phallic rock and a peninsula of exiled patients

Where jagged cliffs leap to kiss the sea
Towards desolate paths that stretch and smile at roosters crowing
as if echoing the road sign:

Aloha
Slow Down
This is Moloka'i

Untitled from Jacqueline Dempsey Cohen

Here the earth glows,  
breathes from its molten core
laying bare its soil 
reborn with radiant heat
This iron-rich clay beckons
hands to touch and feet to scuff
staining fingers, soothing toes
caressing knots of need.
Untouchable limbs frame the path
relentlessly muted 
urging travelers ever onward 
to mountains birthing fire.

@boscoedempsey 

A JOURNEY by Petar Penda

He took a fiery road
towards distant hills,
with wild shrubs on its sides
not to let him turn off the path.
This solitary journey led to
his self-knowledge of
the lack of something central
which permeated.

Copper Dust Road by Robin McNamara

I’m on a dust road
unburdened by winds /
unshackled by conformity. 

Humbolt of a cloud; 
wispy in the sky 
where the land lies 
with dust and rust 
and rock and ruin.

I saw a desert man he
was wearing wisdom of
an Indian spirit / I crave  
the aqua of his knowledge.

My face copper-rust from 
the swirling dust of the road  
to nowhere /
rattlesnakes and coyotes on
each side watching /
waiting patiently for hope to die.

ABOUT TO ACHIEVE by Spriha Kant 

Crossed many long tortuous paths
beaded with many thorns
showering under the sun’s anger
Every time, found me 
a bird flying
to touch the horizon.
Now
Cooler sun
Roaming clouds
Swaying thickets on both sides of the path
as if about to welcome me
to my destination
by showering me in water
from the skies.

(c) Spriha Kant

The Red Road by Elizabeth Cusack

Why is this road so red
And what makes it real?

Why is perception a tunnel?

Who decided our destination
And what do they know?

What is a bramble
And why is it dark?

Why are hedges bare
And why do thorns stick up in air?

Why do rabbits fall into lairs?

Everyone knows these skies will part
And our lives will not end here.

Beguiled by Lesley Curwen

Rust bloodroad flares to brightest crux
its russet track armed by hedges' dark
overed by long mynd and sailing cloud 

the eye swept back and back to fiery light 

its centred throb, perplexing Delphic shape. 
Witch trio aflame, altar to neon gods
or haloed mothers keening at a grave? 

She is on fire by Constance Bacchus

not going anywhere she is rambling on to the lake she stops off at one of two gas stations won’t eat anything but licorice candy extreme pop she spins out of control across so many hills the vultures at the top pay attention she has passed the other one watches the fire blend in arrives at the launch hardens her heart in the water you could say it fossilized you can say you miss it you can say anything you want it is cold doesn’t care breaks apart amongst milfoil

Inspired by Leonard Cohen lyric visual piece from Maggs Vibo  

Congrats! To Fevers of the Mind contributor Maggs Vibo 

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Margaret Viboolsittiseri aka Maggs Vibo 

Visual Poetry by Maggs Vibo: Drinking the Ash Pt 1 & 2 

Poem from Constance Bacchus : Memories from a party last 4th of July 

Poetry based on photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 1 

Poetry based on Photography challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 3 

2 poems by Spriha Kant from Hard Rain Poetry Forever Dylan Anthology 

A Sylvia Plath inspired poetry showcase by Robin McNamara 

A Poetry Showcase from Robin McNamara 

August 2022 Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack 

Poetry by Petar Penda : Tiresias




August 2022 Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack

L.A. re-imagined from another photo

Impulse

And they are empty
Their hats are small
It’s just me now

No reason to fake or crawl
There’s nothing to fight for
Let them take it all

We live on in a string of threads

Impulse is a strong motivation
Be aware of consequence
It is the primary cause
Of inconsequence

I feel so irrelevant
One minute to the next
That’s what’s so interesting
About the internet.

Georgia O'Keefe

We will set up two studios
With lots of pleasurable things

In between
We will walk into the night
And gaze at the stars

If I had a brave companion
I would gladly live
And combine with the spirits
A rifle by my side

I am loaded but living free

Like Georgia O’Keefe
This world is not for me.

He Phones

He phones me when I’ve lost my phone
For a second I almost remember
What I dreamt last night.

I wash it down with alcohol
And go to sleep again
I really nail it today
For the petit bourgeoisie.

I was the best thing
Which is why we met
When the world goes black
We’ll cuddle again.

I finally found my white wand
And the circle of light to banish it from
One foot away is where we’ll stay.

You may not enter here
All things are possible
Except for happiness
Those who want it have it least.

You Shot Me

Still, you shot me last night
Thought we were better than that
We aren’t living long, are we?
I am the thing called death
And I’ll see you after a while.

You hold my heart with your trigger
This thing they call love
And no dreams
Nothing  left
But memories of what used to be.

Stay with me—
Tonight I don’t recognize the name of the poet
The signature, the annotation,
None of it
It is mine.

Mother

Mother comes in dreams
Offering me skirts
I would never wear
Short skirts
A-lines in bright pink or navy blue
She says, “Now you’ve put on weight,
They’d look good on you.”

She must fix me somehow
Her Cinderella
So we are she
Wear her clothes
And have her body.

Gall

We’ll see you every once in awhile
On a lonely street
I hold the golden  fleece
Empty drinks
Empty sinks
Empty bars
A small hill to keep in place
A cleft on a sharp chin
No one except one old used to be
Somewhere there’s a paper with my words on it
They’ve got me
They’ve got gall
Ready to fall
The men at the other end
The men on the other side.

Outlaws

I lived underground
Then went somewhere
And started over again
I had a voice like a sedative
Things turned out perfectly
The bars stayed open
I could drown out cars
I could crease my cheeks.

Someone would find me
We’d align like planets
We were practiced outlaws.

The moon falls and the world wobbles
But we get the plot
We beat them to the draw
We’re high on the chain.

Thread

I lose the thread
Pretend it’s not happening
I slather on paint
All this frivolity has gotten to me.

There’s a plane to catch to eternity
Jokers confess alibis I’m willing to believe.

Futures

I predict futures when no one is listening
I predict futures all of the time
This is what happens when no one is listening
The future surprises the deaf and blind.

You don’t need absolution dragging around
But if you do, it’s the same old sound
There’s just so many ways to brutalize the empty
I distil frequencies – it’s not as easy as it sounds.

I Love You

Another delicate breakdown
Another reason to laugh
No need to disillusion me
Never explain anything.

I love you.



Bio: Elizabeth Cusack is a recovering actress. Ever since playing Rhoda Penmark in “The Bad Seed” as a child, deservedly, she has endeavoured to keep up her end of the bargain. Elizabeth has been blessed with the best of teachers over the years, mostly from the school of hard knocks. She has championed and performed in fringe theatre in America. Elizabeth edits her favourite poet while not otherwise inspired by her muse to write. 













Poetry based on photography Challenge from Ankh Spice pt. 1

can you describe this beautiful photo taken by (c)Ankh Spice better than Ankh?

“a thousand miles of grey wind-calved mountains on a veil-world, material for a sorcerer’s armour, fallen bits of storm-sky, shoals of glass sharks” -Ankh Spice

” a seascape – choppy, restless pewter sea in endless unbroken waterpeaks. Long dark hills brood sleeping-dragonry alon gthe horizon, a split of orange dawn/dusk firing down the spine. The rest of the sky is exhaled smoke, beginning to tint around the ember” – Ankh Spice

Waveforms by Lesley Curwen

wavelets / chins tipped  / hold sun’s embrace  
squirrel grey in livid rays/  their ranks of open lips
mouth sweetness/  at the eye of dusk
no swimmers here/  to rip their harlequin silk 
to shreds/  of light

ashore/  sole-prints are shadowed/  by day’s ebbing 
gold/  to be immersed in crosshatched expanse 
of tide/  whose basketwork 
convexities/  suck land’s mauve loom 
below/ a quilt of cumulus

a haiga description from Mo Schoenfeld

light slips, struggling,
night laps at the mountain top,
darker depths settle.

I framed a portrait for an absentee by Sam Hickford

Here is a cranny for you to seize, my love,
among the volcanic strait of smoke-stung cloud..
will you take it, as the wagtail claps
this wreath of Autumn, makes this land its vow?

As each trilled wavelet furnishes a mountain
for a chalk-board dreadnought to a droughtless word,
come. I watch the ocean’s opiate
break mirrors in the champion of its lens

and picture you cradled in these hues
of fire and lazuli and scarlet shards.

Shores of Safe Distance by Robin McNamara

When we divide our words between 
a stanza with image-filled meanings
and one with an abstraction of reality
not easily deciphered/ 
do we need anything more than the
acceptance of our verses read by the judgmental or do we find our oars and paddle out a bit further; into deep waters 
of thoughts, without a compass. 
With only the stars to navigate a way 
to your account of my words. 

What if I drowned, what if the storms of uncertainty was too much, 
what would 
wash up upon the shores? 
A body of work beautifully polished by the waves or a piece of driftwood? 
Would you tread water to find our existence, or would the stones under your feet compel you to go back and stare at the ocean from 
a distance and say; maybe another time.

That's All Folks by Elizabeth Cusack

The sky is burning—
It’s not exactly news—
It’s been this way since I was born.

There was an egg before akasha,
If you care about language,
And there was the ein sof,
If you care to read that tongue,
And there was an egg before the chicken—
This is very hard to grasp,
It has ruined paradise,
This inability to understand,
The great unknown was once one, 
And all multiplicities someday will blow apart.

A prophet comes along once in a while
And says, this is what it’s all about— all is one,
Call it love or whatever makes you smile,
But the fact is we are killing every one,
And as we come and go,
And as we kill our mother,
And read our revelations,
The steel-grey cable under the sea
Is recording every absurdity,
And as we remember the essential dead poets—
Remember what, exactly?
That everybody who ever lived is now here!

James Joyce got it in the Wake,
And they mocked him
As they do every damned prophet—
All the condemned are on this ride
As we read up on Aleister Crowley,
As we are on this burning earth,
As we read revelations from the dead
And martyred who died for clarity—
And don’t forget Stalin, Mao, and old Paul—
And as we drink the soma and submit when we are called,
We remember the ones who saved our lives—

Thank you to the poets, that we have a mind at all!
That is the final thing they will try to take from us all.

STRUGGLING by Spriha Kant

Kaleidoscopic dreams 
float like amorphous clouds
and the hopes shine like the sun
in her psyche.
Stuck amidst
the turbulent eddies
trying to drown her
in the stygian abyss
she keeps the 
waves of her
mind, heart, and actions
synchronously tranquil
for she is as vulnerable as a fire in the water
who can’t dare to rebel against her inner voice
ordering her to achieve something that will
raise the eyebrows and open the mouth wide
of the pessimistic commentators.



Links to some work of a few of the poets: 

A Poetry Showcase from Robin McNamara

2 poems by Spriha Kant from Hard Rain Poetry Forever Dylan Anthology

Dylan Poetry Showcase from Elizabeth Cusack

A Quicksilver Trilling by David L O’Nan : Poetry & Writing style lyrics inspired by Dylan

5 Poems by Ankh Spice : That which can be made visible, Hold the river, Feeding the koi, Act like you were never for sale, & Hathor’s gift

http://www.irisi-magazine.org/healing/healing-haikus-and-senryus-by-maureen-schoenfeld

https://inksweatandtears.co.uk/sam-hickford/