Poetry Collaboration “What is?” John Drudge and David L O’Nan

from the series “The Empath Dies in the End”

1 John Drudge

I like to ride
The thin wave 
Between hope
And despair 
Between the rolls 
Of a fading surge   
And the bright lights  
Of eternity 
Wrestling with angels 
In the aftermath of faith 
Falling in
And out of love 
With endless wonder

2 (David L O'Nan)

I like to sit and paint obscure trees
and I wonder why the rabid and the heartbeat meet.
I wonder why we feel jaded when our blood beats.
And I wonder what is Sex, really?

Is sex a secret, or is the heavenly plague,
Is sex the magic, created from the voodoo wind
Is it all biblical, are all just magical?
Are we the creations of a night of love,  
are we the creations of a selfish game?

Are we awful, are we royalty,
Does the music play, when our filth becomes the silk?
The makeshift subtlety, or a full blown wrath,
What is sex when your mind is unarmed?

There is a trouble in the hallowed walls.
They listen in to hear us scream or call,
or maybe we may just pretend a whimper,
Are we the acoustic or the bass, 
the electric fire or the aching moan of the cello?

Are we frightened, are we given a choice?
When boys attack the girls, and the girls attack the boys?
When all they wanted was to paint a few obscure trees?
What is sex, a natural state or the first disease?

The time is ticking, with a draconian yell.
will there be freedom, as we run naked through the vines?
The moldy fruit is shaking from the trees,
and there's a formation of primitive life kicking around.
habitual, self-absorbed, was there love, 
was it abortive or what is sex after all?
A deadpan coward looks on.
And the sweat swallows down in our breath, as we mold ourselves into an impressionistic painting.
of some obscure trees, the nude bodies by the river watching the thunder turn the clouds from hurricane to a fainting wind.

What is sex? When the wheels are judging.   

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog. 

A Poetry Showcase by John Drudge

Poem collaboration: Madame Stress Pills by David L O’Nan & Petar Penda

from the series “The Empath Dies in the End”

Madame Stress Pills 

1 (Petar Penda)

Feeling nothing is a feeling,
Indifference followed by remorse
And a guilt-ridden question 
About what led to this state of mind
And if we are to be blamed for
The emptiness and horror
We live and leave behind us.
Our madness is not escape
As we don't go anywhere
It is only a subconscious distance
From others and ourselves
Since we know deep down
We are contagious.                                     

2  (David L O'Nan)

My eyes are their own souls
My body is another, the zoo can be wide awake
The wind could be blowing in a new world, would I know?
I feel mostly like a peasant, that is the feed.
And that the rich are the desired.
Pull on this wild chain, together can we pull and pull until
Our hands become numb and bleeding.  Remaining calloused.
Can the brain be the same? Can the moon be just as calloused gawking down at us?
There will always be the drunk bug like men serenading it with broken voiced ballads.

Animals lurking by our dark shoes as we walk, in the night
Their silence is angry, our silence is frightening, 
our silence once brave.
Tree stumps scattering and wanting us to tumble, stumble into the arms of a wicked star.
I hear the walking heavier and heavier, my eardrum is rattling. 
The stress pills are now fallen, washed in the mix with the maggots.
I might as well be worshiping in bad habits if this is what life has become and from all looks –
Will always be.  

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.  

Poetry by Petar Penda : Tiresias

Poetry Collaboration with Spriha Kant and David L O’Nan : The Doorsteps Series

from “The Empath Dies in the End” series

The Doorsteps Series

1 (Spriha Kant)

I am a river
glistening in your sunny love
flowing in a dream
where we are a miscible solution
        eddying in canoodling

2 (David L O'Nan)

Thunderstruck and downpours came
The next day after an engorged full moon
Breathing heavy, the air belted against the Himalayas
‘caused the belladonnas to be caught up in the fishnets.
And I walk down after another night of taunting silhouettes.

I feel the rain through every speck of light.
I see the river overflowing the streets soon –
To meet my first and second doorstep as I-
Wait to dip my foot in the filthy liquid from the comfort 
The comfort, of my third doorstep.


And just cry there buddy, no backbone, no light
And just dream yourself a small suicide that’ll never be so bright.
And cast yourself a ghost before you’ve even spoken about all your sins.

Even if you watch me cut away, you’ll say I’m just gaslighting and will
Run, run away. To sit on a doorstep.  Like a wet leaf stuck in the sewer grate cover.


I’m just inventing myself a new vision to go from mind to mind.
To read your mind. I don’t know if I can.  The flashes are too quick to bind 
Together, I’m just sitting back and listening to Ian Curtis singing
“I put my trust in you” “I put my trust in you”  “in you”  “in you”
I can follow the predator to his shaking bones and catch him behind a super-church
Brass-knuckles wait in a pocket.  Is that what it’ll take to make this eyelid wish come true.

6  David L O'Nan (first 2 lines) Spriha Kant (next 3 lines) David L O'Nan (last 2 1/2 lines)

Third step, my home.
I can fade into anything I want.  When I’m in my lonely bones.
Utopian curtains bared eyes    
Blurred hopes flared eyes
Silence glared ambitions
I just stare back towards the panic park wanting silence, 
the bird he hollers.
Through the trees and threatens me, casually and I vision my demise.


Ease down to the 2nd step
The river dried away, the rain stops to another town, for another meal
Getting closer to the tackle, the sociopaths in the battlefields
They wait behind minivans now and bounce around forgetting that
Wars are won by artillery, cannons, and fists.  Not the beats within a mix.

First step, all dry now
The worms are drying and stuck in tulip petal straitjackets.
I heard the whispers (the sirens) that the circus was in town.
I watched it unravel with teargas and billy clubs 
We were all just tigers growling equality through the megaphones.
We were the ones who were let down. 
Sunshine brings in more clouds.

Poetry Collaboration: Backwards Until When (5) with R.M. Engelhardt (from Dead Man’s Press)

part of the “The Empath Dies in the End” series

Backwards Until When (5)

1 (David L O’Nan)

I keep dreaming of a backwards red balloon floating in a bleeding sky, a paper sky

I keep envisioning a backwards red balloon floating by, telepathically I know it is you.

5 years before, 5 years before that, 5 years before that and the years are crumbled pebbles.

Many men have come and put a forever ring on your finger, they stare at you with narcotic eyes.

They have stared in your eyes with wandering eyes, they have seen you float away into the darkness.

By yourself, spinning in your head.

By yourself, the dreams of children.  The children only helped before the yelling killed the heart.

And left you remembering you were on that road,  that you have been travelling away in your head for years

And left you remembering the bumps on your skin, frozen like that entrapment of an iceberg.

And you just want to float because you’re scared, in that emptiness. 

I am out there watching you in a dream, in a vision, in a feeling, and you want to leave. 

Bring me with you.  Cast that spell on me.   If you weren’t backwards, I could grab that string and rewind-

Your heart.

I see 5 flashing in and out from the beads of sweat burrowing down my head.

What does this 5 mean?  I crossed paths with a woman holding a pack of tarot cards.

Reading fortunes, reading pictures I’m holding of a backwards red balloon,  I ask this woman of insight, of foresight, of belief or just a scammer with a bucket of gold weighing her back down.  I just lay my head down on the sidewalk and absorb in the earth as she begins to read my fate.

2 (R.M. Engelhardt)

The fortune teller
Says you have “5”

Five what?



She read my palm
Said my lifeline was
Long but she never
Quite gave me a specific
Answer, her accent
Making it all the more

She just stared at me
With her dark eyes looking

Serious & concerned

So afterwards
I wandered

Started drinking
Started getting nervous
Started getting paranoid
About what she had said

3 (David L O’Nan)

I’m in a dizzy spell, I feel like I continue letting you down, although I’m unsure that you’re even around. 

Am I somewhere up there?  As a memory in your brain?   Do you remember the days when I didn’t weird you out.

Or is it just  fuck these roads that we keep travelling?

Or is it just fuck this iceberg entrapment that I’m still being kept in?

Or is it let me keep floating don’t try to catch my string?  I’m backwards and in my inner space?

Or are just not ready to be blown into a new eternity?   Now how long will we wait.  5 minutes, 5 days,

5 years, 5 decades, 5 nevers.    My paranoia is just a ringing phone from a god to a well.

I’m callin’  I’m callin’  I’m callin’ I’m callin’     haven’t fell.    Just keeping my eyes open as long as I can see you in that sky.  That bleeding sky, that paper sky.  

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

New poems from R.M. Engelhardt

Poetry: Gilded Peacocks in Coffins (Ant Farm Empath) collaborative poem from Elizabeth Cusack and David L O’Nan

photo from pixabay

from the series “The Empath Dies in the End”

Gilded Peacocks in Coffins (Ant Farm Empath)

1 (from Elizabeth Cusack)

 I am on safari today
Leading around an empath
He is high on feeding ants
Then watching them brawl

We are surrounded now by fire ants
But he is not bothered at all
He loves his ants as much as he loves me
And I’m not bothered at all.          

2 (from David L O'Nan)

300 miles away on a crowded boulevard
They are watching peacocks fight in the street
The winner gets the moneybag, the loser gets the feathers and the coffin.
Feathered fans are to be beautiful,  Where is the beauty in brutality?


Let’s walk down skid row, and crawl around some suspicious bones.
To get to that half-eaten waffle that looks like it isn’t too disgusting just yet.
They have August prancing in the streets, aids in her blood and –
No blankets on her cold feet.    Still, Mr. Jack Daniels wants to throw her –
On the back of a Harley and treat her to his idea of Neverland.


We can’t always believe empathy will lead us to sincerity, it often leads us to depravity.
We wish upon crooked beaten stairs with loos nails, falling from the brittle sky.
Continuously and see if we can wake up from a nightmare or just sweat through another
dream.  A murder was caught on videotape and they showed the world in blue lights.
I believed Gandhi was there paralyzed and crawling through the deserts of scorned corn.


They began to walk the peacocks in coffins to bury them in the desert,  and I’ll I’m thinking about 
Is you, a love that honesty died in. I never fully met the woman you became after your many scared 
Ideas. Confusion was a common feeling. Then met were your constant weakness. And in your strong
Heart you felt you could change them. Maybe they were never your appetite and my taste a little –
Too Avant Garde to explore. A little clumsy, a little wanderer that wouldn’t stray too far from your pains.
That I always felt in my fingers.


We found the man with the ants,  fire ants… burning through dirt.
Scarring our asses and chewing at our fruits. 
Maybe we shouldn’t all be soldiers after all, 
Monarchies, hierarchies, control us to our last debts.
Does the last of humanity have a voice, or does the cannonball 
Singe louder than the guitar strings while my pain sings louder than imploding bombs. +

 July 2022 Poetry Showcase by Elizabeth Cusack  +

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.