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Land of Mad Jack

Wiffle balls all blue, orange and
red ride bicycles on children with
blue striped skin tipping flipping juggling by
green square trash cans sinking on piles of
Jack’s grassy playground filth.
Looking like death with
broken branches falling under
false sodium illumination drifting touching slapping
rusted fences like a prison standing wide open.
Bubbling well water on hands wash away blood from
all the falls from the Pawtucket playground rodeo.

They skillfully bounce balls while
tossing bodies to bestow the
graceful expression of tearing
young, crippled trees between here and
there without shade nothing new here is made.
Boys in worn sneakers that stop start up down
running to a rest without sound there are no clowns.
Better of the brood they are, no frowns.

House boxes half hidden
sporting grey weed trees still living is
where black hoods and chinos with
pot belly charmers like
benny, white lady smashing on lip faces and
a Carlos Castaneda fans stay away from
drop dimers who watch hoping in the
distance, eyeballing wannabes on
rock monsters ducking sheet metal pipe bombs near a
crackling fire with broken glass behind
green bleachers. They decide on flying to
yellow dirt water falling over the Pawtucket falls.

I was found by my little sister after brawling half baked,
wasted - bouncing on my face mixing bottle caps,
beer rings and torn paper butt ends
for dogged faces smiling.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


Pretty psychedelic.

I once was an avid psychonaut myself. Weekly if not more frequent. It reads like an acid trip which I always thought quite different from psilocybin or mescaline which I also have a ton of experience with. Definitely started writing almost immediately after my first experience. It changed me, made me an empath.


I appreciate your comment. I am digging out a poem about an acid trip and the loss of a childhood friend to AIDS.

author comment

was a member of that crowd, it all started at Woodstock, and ended about 10 years later with the death of a friend who went on a 'bad trip" and never came back. He ran in front of a train and lost his life. I became afraid of doing some such thing and stopped 'tripping". There is no way to critique a poem about ":tripping" but I will say that it describes the feel perfectly. Glad that we all made it out alive.~ Geez.

Writing purely for oneself, is the ultimate in defensive posture.

well, this is a compelling piece of work. Because it is so out there, it has authenticity. It's like field notes from the exploration of some distant land. Or distant planet.

But what of poetry? Is its imagery sufficient? Or could the words benefit from some additional poetic structure?

One test would be to read it aloud. Do the line breaks occur where you naturally pause, or take a breath? Are there syllables in the way of natural cadence that should be removed, or inserted?

No answers here, only questions.

I wrote it as freely as I could with lots of creativity. The area back then was pretty much as described, it was messy. I could pull it together but it would not mirror those times. Only in 9th grade being exposed to hallucinogens and the heaviest of narcotics put me in some scary situations especially watching friends OD. I was lucky to make it out alive as we all here did.

author comment

I read your poem yesterday, I got lost in it. so this is my third read through. I must admit that the poem is too abstract for me. there is so much imagery as to confuse me, I wasn't sure what I was reading about, all though, an acid trip came to mind. I wrote one while tripping, it turned out like gibberish. your's does not. there is solid imagery.

*smiles, Cat ;)

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

I will never write:
hey (whoever) "I really liked your poem. it was brilliant!" unless I understand it first. I was taught not to lie. I remember the 60's it was a time of good music and I was fighting for my life. the 70's more good music except for the disco crap. and once again, fighting for my and my son's life. then I went into seclusion and stopped talking for a year. I'm glad that you have these good times to remember, they shaped your life :)

warm smiles ;) Cat

When someone reads your work
And responds, please be courteous
And reply in kind, thanks.

Yes it is an abstract expression of a time gone by that you and all here are aware of. Set where I hung out for a few years which also was a hang out for Jack Kerouac when he was around. The freedom to explore drugs, sex and rock and roll...there will never be another time like it.

author comment
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