Biography of a Bipolar: by Tom McClellan

Reposted from IPM 2MXI in loving memory of Tom McClellan
(23 September 1941 – 3 August 2013)

Biography of a Bipolar

At first friends share the ecstasy that comes before the burn:

“That night he was going crazy everyone

was too drunk to care.”

But after years all learn:

“His conversation grew brilliant and alarming.

Students were frightened by his lecture on Hitler.”

“He wrote the most pitiful letter;

though I was not angry, he spoke of us fighting.”

“His religious notions, never stable, flowered

into oddity; his judgment went haywire.”

“He was barricaded in his room in his skivvies when the police came;

he was surprisingly polite.”

The poet obligingly provides snapshots from hell:

“I meditated Detachment and Urbanity but the old menacing

hilarity was growing in me.”

“What use is my sense of humor when the brain blinks

like a radio station rapidly distanced?”

“I lay there secured but for my skipping mind.”

After the delusions pass, he lacerates his soul with reason:

“Seven years ago Bloomington stood for Joyce’s hero and Indiana for

the evil, unexorcised aborigines, while I suspected myself

The Holy Ghost.  The glory and banality of it are corrupting.”

The poet’s wife learns to suffer a fool who falls in love

with students, madhouse nurses,

any woman but her:

“I don’t think he realizes the damage.”

New drugs offer old hopes of Panacea:

“To think of all that suffering for lack of a little salt in the brain!”

Theories suffer the usual changes:

“Recent research shows mania’s a summertime dis­ease,

perhaps an excess of light.”

(Robert Lowell)

This poem is excerpted from Mr. McClellan’s book: Reflections From Mirror City

 

 

IPM 2MXI…Where have all the poems gone?

“We’re all trying: poets to give you, the reader, the gift of an image that cannot be offered in any better way, that cracks you a bit and frees something; you, readers, are giving us the gift of your searching, your curiosity, your attention…”

That’s what I wrote on the 31st. of January when I inaugurated International Poetry Month 2011 and now, on the 2nd of March I say, with joy, it happened…the exchange of gifts between poets and readers.

Now what?

International Poetry Month 2011 is closed. The marauding hordes have left the library ablaze, the flood has washed away the ashes, the caravan carrying the last copy of the precious poetry collection has vanished in the desert; at least that’s what it feels like to me as I hit the delete key and erase the written versions of the poems.

What remains is the oral tradition; I have made audio files of each poem available where the poem used to be posted.  Anyone who is on my e-mail list has a ‘fragment’ of each work. Perhaps, like the poems of Sappho, this is all that will remain.

I would like to extend my profound thanks to the following guest poets for their contributions:

Anonymous 2oth Cent. Poet

Cesare Bedognè

Gilles-Marie Chenot

Chris Fillebrown

Brad Frederiksen

Giacomo Gusmeroli

Michelle Lee Houghton

Christian Stokbro Karlsen

Tom McClellan

Angel Raiter

Adina Richman

Liliane Richman

Jere Schaefer

Octavio Solis

Edin Suljic

Some of these poets have blogs or websites where intriguing writing and images may be encountered. I encourage anyone suffering from poetry withdrawal to visit these sites by clicking on any of the names that appear in bold. Others are tantalizingly unavailable, if you want to see more of their work you’ll have to hope that they come back next year. Of course my work that is or has been posted throughout the rest of the year is still here.

Thanks as well to everyone who has stopped by to read and comment on the poems either here or at podbean*. It has been a real joy to present so much fine poetry again this year. Now I have to start thinking about next year and get back to writing.

A presto!

*podbean ate my audio! All mp3’s can now be found posted with the poem.

Winter Ebbs: by Anonymous

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to or download a podcast of this poem, click 

To read more poetry by Anonymous 20th Cent. Poet, click HERE.

On a theme from Salman Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”: by Liliane Richman

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to or download a podcast of this poem, click

To listen to or read other works by Liliane Richman, click HERE and scroll down.

HIP HOP A L’ANCIENNE: by Gilles-Marie Chenot

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to or download a podcast of this poem in French and English, click on the player below:

To read more poetry by GMC, click HERE.

Imagine the Conversation: by Michelle Lee Houghton

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to or download a podcast of this poem, click

Assassins: by Edin Suljic

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to or download a podcast of this poem, click 

To read more work by Edin Suljic, click HERE.

IMPRESSIONE SULLA GIORNATA: di Giacomo Gusmeroli

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

Per ascoltare o scaricare lo podcast in Italiano, clickare

To listen to or download the podcast in English, click 

Per saperne di più sul poeta, clicca QUI.

Time Ends With an Empty Shell: by Christian Stokbro Karlsen

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to or download a podcast of this poem in English, clic


Your Death Wasn’t Dignified: by Christian Stokbro Karlsen

This poem has disappeared from the site, if you’re wondering why, click HERE.

To listen to or download a podcast of this poem in English, click on the player below: