2.18.2017

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.18.17

"A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free." ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“the forgotten (3)” (above) by featured artist Allen Forrest. To see more of Allen's mad illustrations, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we grew up hard or happy, recollections severe or sappy; we cloned a traffic cone; we lost love spoken from pieces broken; we heard a film fest song go like a rongorongo (no girl got, hooked up, not); we pumped out flies with compound eyes, the fruit of propitious birthday wishes; we clammed up on the caprice of come-and-go; we caught the caress of morn's sweet dress, brushing softly, only across the brow of lonely. Comfort in conversation. Keep talking, please! ~ MH Clay

Just Fine by James Brown

If I see u and u don’t see me that’s fine, if I speak to u and u don’t speak back that’s fine, if u judge me and I don’t judge back that’s fine, I speak clearly and if it’s not clear to you that’s fine, if you live in a mansion and I live in a tent that’s fine, you call me crazy and haven’t been anywhere, haven’t seen the things I have nor the pain I have received and dealt with and that’s fine.

Again I will speak clearly,

So drained that I keep this smile to hide all my past and present pains as others have called me many of names that I’m not, been on many of bended knees asking for silence to break the disgracing words of unjustifiable speaking, standing as an entrance and exit and thank you never comes as ungratefulness runs through, the heart has fossilized, tears build and cannot fall and all is fine.

February 18, 2017

editors note: So not fine. – mh clay


Keep Your Mouths Shut by Robert Beveridge

babbling. chains have crushed your arm, rabid lemmings carry you along. how your many abortions felt, on both sides. last request. cholera is your best friend and scurvy visits you every day, bringing presents and wild boars. another sun sets, planets course over your eyes. operation on the terrier a complete success. off the cliff, do come again.

February 17, 2017

editors note: Can’t be sure who’s listening, anyway. – mh clay


Birthday is an indirect object connected with an improper preposition by Bhargab Chatterjee

after the birthday bash
i am tired

of loyalty –
the dry stone of a fruit

the collar of my shirt
is not an enough opening

for pumping out
the flies of myself

in my drawing room
the years cross the edge of my table

and sit
on the window-sill

outside all the compound eyes
gather in the front lawn

and scuffle like people
in the queues before ATMs

the mob is pushing me
into the enormous nucleus

of a Mrs. Malaprop’s cortex cell

February 16, 2017

editors note: And no word is the right word for how we feel. – mh clay


Musings on late night flirting… by Volodymyr Bilyk

I saw an announcement of a film festival in Lviv.
It was about Psychodelic Cinema, but there were no real psychedelic films,
However, there was From Dusk ’til Dawn for some reason.
because this festival was by morons to morons.

Anyway,
i was chatting about it with the girl
with the starfleet insignia i wanted to take off
because…that’s not what the poem is about…

i was chatting about it with the girl
with the starfleet insignia i wanted to take off…
…and proposed my own version of psychedelic film marathon.
One film in particular had her attention
– it was Stay by Marc Forster.
And she wanted to watch it because i’ve mentioned it instead of Lynch’s Lost Highway.

Big deal, huh?

several hours later,
when i completely forgot about this conversation
and was in the midst of procrastinating writing of something
– she wrote “I’ve watched Stay and it wasn’t any Lynch, no-no”

And i was like (cue Julia’s Bison): “Of course!
What the hell was i thinking about when i claimed so?
Was it…a spin?”
I really thought about it for a moment or so.
It was really an engaging act of pointless musing…

And then i wrote:
“I wonder what will happen when you’ll watch Carpenter’s Dark Star.
I hope you’ll write to me something like “it wasn’t any Kubrick, no-no”…
because you know it reminds me of some kind of sacred cryptic spell…

(since this conversation was in ukrainian
that phrase sounded like: “noo ne kubryk, nye”
Which really sounds like a rongorongo spell)

…and if you spell it – it will cause something-something Leonard Bernstein.
I believe you have such powers.
Please Please Please Let Me Get What i Want!”

I’m still waiting for her reply.

February 15, 2017

editors note: Yes, I think it was a Tuesday for me, too… – mh clay


I Exploded by R. Gerry Fabian

for your love.
When you held me
I burst in thousands
of directions.

Now you’ve gone
and I find myself
visiting all those places
and gathering back
all those fragments
of who I am.

Retrieving them is painful
but getting them
in working order
seems damn
near impossible –
at least right now.

February 14, 2017

editors note: One piece at a time, one piece… – mh clay


Starting a New Job is Never Easy by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

My car fails
in front of a line of orange pylons
and I take it as
a sign.

Cars fail all the time,
you say
but I know better.

The pylons are there because of construction,
you argue.

That’s how it may appear to
a layman.

But I live in the abstract,
see the many patterns.

I know how the fates conspire.

Getting out of the car
I take my place two-thirds the way
down the line.

Standing straight
and forever silent,
my arms at my
side.

Not orange yet,
but that’s what evolution
is for.

February 13, 2017

editors note: Naturally selected, a beacon for all. – mh clay


Porch swing by Alexandra Payne

innocence rests in your eyes
I see my grandpa sitting on that porch swing
with a cup of coffee and a cigarette
smoke puffs like clouds above my head
a miniature universe and he is god
he tells me tales of time gone by
about flying kites and falling in love
he says that hope is like a bubble
mirroring the passion in the sky
he says it reminds him of my life
how I never quite touch the sunshine
but I also see my grandmother
standing by the kitchen counter
making peanut butter cookies
and telling me about growing up hard
she said her daddy never loved her
he never told her she was beautiful
he drank his life away
and she hated him until the day he died
and that hatred has eaten her alive, she says
I hear my mother
crying all alone in the bathroom the day her father died
I hear her whimpers pierce the hallway
through her fake smiles
barely reaching my ears before I fall asleep to dream
of my father’s hands
working hard but hating life
struggling just to put me through school
and give me the life he drank away when he was younger
I see a man
who can’t quite mutter the words “I love you”
a man
who was never told how beautiful his insides were
a man
who is struggling just to be accepted
the innocent blueness of your eyes is captivating
but it kills me more than you know
because I see a childhood
that never manifested
and a man with festering wounds in his heart
I see a soul ripping at the seams
but he seems okay
and you act alright
but I know that you are praying to a god you don’t believe in
and hoping in a light you’ve never seen
a light you never hope to see
like my grandfather
sitting on that swing
talking about the good ole days
the ones he can’t get back

February 12, 2017

editors note: We get angst with anticipation, but catharsis with recall. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? If you got a read need that just won't quit, we got the fix to scratch that itch. This week's featured short story comes from Dianne Lowe Breakfield.

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Dianne's story "Immortal":

"We’re all living to die, but at time’s end don’t walk into the light, make it drag you in kicking and screaming."

Here's a bit to get your read need goin':

(photo "Fog of Time" (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

(excerpt from the short story “Immortal”)

Excuse Me Miss, can I ask you a question?
•••
Oh, no ma’am, I’m not trying to sell you anything
•••
No, no it’s not like that. I just want to ask you something if you would be so kind as to indulge an old man for a little while
•••
Well, what could I do to you in such a public place with this many people milling around and in full sunlight?
•••
You honor me beautiful lady, thank you.
•••
Oh, where are my manners? Please, have a seat.
•••
Forgive me if I am being a little forward, I know how some women are funny about being asked their age but I must. I am going to guess late twenties?
•••
Well, color me pleasantly surprised I would never have guessed you were pushing forty. You have taken good care of yourself That is an excellent quality.
•••
I understand your curiosity about my age and I mean no disrespect but may we talk a little more before I divulge that?...


Get the rest of this timeless read on here

•••••••

The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl's World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Bein' Free,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

2.12.2017

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.11.17

"The real being of language is that into which we are taken up when we hear it - what is said." ~ Hans-Georg Gadamer

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“the forgotten (1)” (above) by featured artist Allen Forrest.

Mad Swirl is proud to introduce you to our newest visual artist, Allen Forrest. Allen brings us an expressive art collection we’ve been waiting for! His work really draws attention to the space of the page, the white vs. black in high contrast. While some are more obvious than others, each piece seems to make a statement, demanding your attention. Though some of the scenes seem chaotic, there is a sharp and decided cleanliness about them that just… works, in a mad way that we at Mad Swirl especially appreciate. Something tells us you will too. If you need proof, have a look-see for yourself... ~ Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we ghosted in symbols, surviving a wreck; we wakened a sleeper, with fever in check; we held back an attack for deeds wrong done; we bailed from the bus of an insensitive son; we sang a dream of life, as short refrain; we sang another, drenched in golden rain; we chose to eat, all wet and juicy, a messy life, all "hot and oozing." We write to win, no losing. ~ MH Clay

Mango by Lisa Carmen

If there is a graceful way
to eat a mango,
I don’t know it.
What? With knife and fork?
Clean nibbles, small bites?

No thank you.
I don’t want to know this way
of eating mango.

I choose dripping juices,
slithering slices, slurping.
I choose sticky lips
and sticky fingers
I choose rolling fleshy pieces
between tongue
and teeth.
Sugary sweetness,
mother nature’s eroticism,
dripping wet with nectar.
I choose this mess,
this messy mango mess.
And if there is a graceful way
to live my life,
I don’t know it.

What? With carefulness and preparation?
Clean expectations,
small steps? Safety?
Protecting heart,
offensive, defensive?
Securely closed and airtight
like Tupperware?
No thank you.
I don’t want to know this way
of living life.

I choose sudden gushes of urgent,
red hot revelations,
I choose dripping truths,
slithering epiphanies, slurping.
I choose rolling dichotomies of bravery
and terror,
Bloody battles and ecstatic dances
between heart and mind,
Bitter and sweet
deep blue funks and
spectacular orgasmic
laser light shows of living,
glitter and guts, blues and reds,
resilience and redemption
I choose this aliveness,
this live, uncut, uncensored large
living life,
this hot and oozing holiness.

I choose this mess.
This beautiful mess.

February 11, 2017

editors note: We choose it, too! (We welcome this mad missive from one of the founders of this Mad Swirl. Thanks, Lisa!) – mh clay


Ever blue Soul by Gregg Dotoli

A silhouette of teal despair
Witness to all we never were to be
and are
Witness to all we never were to do
and did

Eden’s pure spring tears
cleanse the angel-soul face
to be stained anew by
man’s circular devil deeds
a wounded muse

Everblue forever wanders
with pockets of inspiration
never depleted
casting notion and dreams among our lot
raining fine golden hope
perpetual
pure
Everblue

February 10, 2017

editors note: At last, some blues to sing; eyes open and in unison. – mh clay


The Last Wall Of My Small World by Pijush Kanti Deb

How to pass you over, my dear?
Localizing all the beauties of nature,
Accumulating all the treasures of El Dorado
And
Setting all the mountains and oceans thereon
You lie in my way,
Maybe, you are busy writing
The last chapter of my fate,
Singing
An opening song of my life-album
And projecting
My last dream
Which comes true
Somewhere
In your body, mind and soul
Just
Beside the last wall of my small world.

February 9, 2017

editors note: From the large, hard-bound Book of Life, maybe our stories go straight to paperback. – mh clay


SHOAH by Brian Wood

Hi my name is Tony and I will be
Your guide today. Just kidding. I could not
Care less. Get the fuck on the bus and shut
The fuck up. I am a teacher at School
Of the Rock, Secondary, Catholic.
It’s my job to counsel and be a role
Model, all “within a faith dimension.”
(Those last four words right from our motto.)
The first stop on our tour is the, uhm, Shri
Swamin… Swamin… Swaminarayan

Mandir something or other. What? Who
The fuck knows. What? Probably named after
Some dude named Swami. It is (I am betting)
A Hindu temple. My old man, on all his
Sober days, said every religion was
Just bullshit, just a new way of stealing.
Anyway, get off the bus, make sure you’re
On the right tour, and ask your guide if you
Little shits have any questions. I’ll be
Out back smoking.

Next stop? Let’s see. Chris, you are a doofus
Times another doofus. Shut the fuck up.
There is nothing I would not give for a beer.
Next stop is… ah… Fo… Guang Shan Temple
Over in Brampton. What? Buddhist, who knows,
A lot of people over there believe
That stuff, or say they do. I know they get
A ton of movie stars in Tibet. Big,
Big, stuff. Anyway, I repeat, ask your
Guide your questions. You know where to find me.

Last stop… Everyone get back on the bus
And shut up. This one is called… Chad… Shad… Yad
Va-Shem. What? Crap, search me, it’s way out
Of my pay scale. Funny, this one time, years
Ago, I did go on the tour, except that
It really bothered me, so I haven’t
Been since. School of the Rock wouldn’t dream
Of paying me twice. I do remember
Our guide said I reminded him why he
Worked there, that men like me were living proof

Shoah was always within easy reach,
That men like me made the trains to Belzec
A sure thing. I heard a kid laugh at that,
But I never got around to asking
What was so goddamn funny. I don’t get
These stupid tours. The prices always go up.
Most kids come back dumber than they left.
Like god from a machine will come down as
Fire. As if sin will be wiped clean. As if
My students won’t be coffin stuffing one
Day, just like me. They will fit
As well as better.

February 8, 2017

editors note: Some still say, “Never again!” (But, some don’t.) – mh clay


Pain Is Comprehension by Michael Marrotti

These clenched
up fists concede
it’s a despicable
world of good folks
being fucked over
by scumbags

Asking the cops
to protect and serve
is like asking
a rapist to use
a condom

There’s
no where to turn
for the
victims of society
besides
conjugal visits
and three square
meals a day
if they pursued
the only option
left at their disposal

Police reports
interrogation
victimized
not antagonistic
I know the truth
it’s not the system
or their defense
it’s the fact that
I’m expendable
and dialogue
is fruitless

What else
is there to say
it’s a cruel world
time to sharpen
up the blade
if I gave back
all that’s been
unjustly given
I’m positive
you can quote me
they’d suffer
the benefits of
enlightenment

February 7, 2017

editors note: When the two-by-four rule becomes the norm, enlightenment will be nothing but pain. Alas… (We welcome Michael into our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay


The Fever by Kleio B

Dreading the dead,
The cacaphonic wail;
That sinister moon,
The shivering child,
Ran up the stairs;
Covering his head,
In Momma’s hair;
Ignoring that stench,
That soaked-
Momma’s bed.

Cold as marble,
Still sweating a rain;
With shaking hands,
The child again,
Grappling the dark;
Pulled the blanket,
To cover his Momma;
All in vain.

Momma so still,
No flicker of breath,
Lay inert;
In the land of dead!
A sudden crash,
Shook the child;
Sirens blared,
Threatening the babe!

The sound a gong,
Of volcanic make;
Were they taking
His Momma away?
Shaking in shock,
He cried in pain
“Child, it’s a fever!”, she whispered
“Momma’s right here.”
Holding his Momma tight,
The child slept again.

February 6, 2017

editors note: Life as a near-death experience. (Her short stories have already splashed in the Swirl, but now we are pleased to welcome Kleio B into our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her poetry madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


BLACK ANCHORS by Milenko Županović

Legend
about the ship
with slaves from
an unknown place
that took shelter
big storm
symbols mystical
magical powers
the sound of
heavy chain
hitting the ground
causing fear among
the population
unknown force
pulling the chains
bound edges at sea
as ghosts
shadows in the night
to the sea
black statues at sea
unknown symbols
island with black anchors
still standing.

February 5, 2017

editors note: Don’t want to be a passenger on that cruise. (We welcome Milenko into our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you need-a-read we got just the one to feed your need!

This week's featured short, "Harvest Road" comes from our very own Short Story Editor Tyler Malone​. Here's what MH Clay​ has to say about this pick-of-the-week:

"Reapers, grim and guileful. Fruit, maybe ripe, but not ready. Sanctuary sought, but unsafe. The only refuge is in the road… Keep moving."

If that write-up doesn't get your get-up-and-go goin', here's a lil' somethin'-somethin' that will:

(photo "Harvest Road" (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter​)

Harvest Road took women and no one was bothered. From God’s eye and Internet maps it was easy to discover the street but miss sidewalk cracks where dark things with wet skin made night sounds, piles of departed and disfigured pets found under lost animal posters, and ghostly annual October Klansmen hanging in mesquite trees. Karen absorbed all this on Harvest Road, but for her a jog was still just another word for a walk. She breezed past what hid in obvious sight, as she had for months since moving into her rented house where spiders dripped from angular branches and spun thin horror stories...

Get the rest of dichotomous read on right here

•••••••

The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl's World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Bein' the maddest,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

2.04.2017

The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.04.17

"All of us are mad. If it weren't for the fact every one of us is slightly abnormal, there wouldn't be any point in giving each person a separate name." ~ Ugo Betti

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“Chrysalis” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. To see more of William's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we heard from an unhappy hanger; we found a faction of improper fractions; we liked a way of liminality; we tipped away from teetotality; we lamented not o'er absent love; we remembered white before war; we smiled and smiled to remember more. ~ MH Clay

I Remember #02 by Kenneth P. Gurney

I remember my four sisters being only one sister
seen without my glasses on the morning after
three too many pints.

I remember kindergarten as the place
peanut butter and jelly sandwiches went to be tortured.

I remember the easy bake oven
the next door neighbor girls owned
and how their mom cooked hash-brownies in it
and forgot about them when their uncle Larry rang the doorbell
and did not come back to the oven till over an hour later
only to discover we’d eaten half a dozen.

I remember buying a Barbie doll with my birthday money
as a present for Suzie’s birthday a week later,
but my dad thought I bought it for myself
and drank away the next few days and nights panicked.

I remember my first puppy shit on the floor
and I loved him all the same as I cleaned it up
as we worked out person to puppy communication.

I remember the birthday clown that scared me
limped home markedly, after I hit him in the shins
with a home run swing from my brand new baseball bat.

I remember basketball tore up my right ankle three times
and my left ankle two times and broke my left wrist in five places.
I was very, very slow in figuring out
basketball liked me less than I liked eating Brussels sprouts.

I remember screaming every cuss word I ever learned
at three drunk hunters who mistook me and my dog
after they fired shots in our direction,
claiming elk are in season and they purchased their permits.

I remember the ghosts that fill this room
like talc covered hands clapped to a cloud
and they whisper every baby name
I cooed to my daughter as I changed her
as she changed me.

February 4, 2017

editors note: Sweet remembrances. – mh clay


Snow by Ian Smith

Fashionable ladies tripping along white streets
past tall buildings, their long skirts and boots
in one of the many prints of Utrillo’s snow scenes,
remind me of the bare beauty in a world quieted,
whitened streets, leafless trees eerily lit, a wonder
of muffled sound walking to the bus with my mother.

I feel the icy sting, smell the sharp memory,
my hand snow-ploughing a fence, a cheap brooch
I gave her for Christmas glittering on her lapel.
I jog-trot to keep up, listening to the sound of tyres
yowling along Staines Road to my school, the town,
the shock of a dog dead under the viaduct.

She queues; I watch snowflakes duel with gravity
before a sawdust smell, the pet shop, a puppy
that will die of distemper trembling near the stove
in our cold house of post-war rationing
after we carry her home in a box through
a frosted realm illuminated by daytime headlights.

When Utrillo saw his 1934 scene in winter light
he could be excused for believing trouble was over
but the next war changed so much between then
and those dying days of dogs before our emigration.
His picture in my beach shack speaks
of long gone snow, shadows that still come and go.

February 3, 2017

editors note: A whole story in snowfall… – mh clay


My beloved by Ilhem Issaoui

My beloved
Neither the sun nor the moon shall be compared to
My beloved
O clandestine castle haunted by mist and mystery
O stretching fields of merriment silenced forever
O child vicious and precarious
O my adamantine pain and woe
My diaphanous suffering
My battles languished
My pride tarnished
My streams of tears amarulent gliding along
O questions that I fail to answer
My glee soaring farer
And never never
Returning to its abode

February 2, 2017

editors note: Sounds like a love better to have lost. – mh clay


The Perfect Gentleman (3 0z/ 90 mL) by Megha Saha

If sugary dollops of what feels like
the rainbow hits you too hard, then
wait for the maraschino cherry bit that
will come to your rescue and settle
on your tongue; you will let it,
until the insides of the glass tumbler
begin to tremor in sync with the live
scat jazz.

You look around the snug little
place they call the ‘The Great Unwind’
and smile to yourself about how silly
it’d have been of you to have not come
here; the warm gin will eagerly walk
you to silent comfort – like a possum’s back.

The mint sprig scent will come back
to you in a couple of tiny delicate
burps – three if you’re wild, to keep you
from hitting the floor with your head.
And if you’re still feeling oozy and like
less of a person, wait for the trusty
salted lime wedge to tend to your
adamant pout like your grandma would.

February 1, 2017

editors note: With an alcohol escort, attitude adjusted. – mh clay


Virginia’s Liminality and Mine by Kimberly Madura

We call this liminality,
this space that it is possible to stay in too long
this space that it is possible to never come out of.
But there was a before and there will be an after
Now the clamped hold, the compression, middle
pressure
we call this transition, in transition
we change
holding until/holding on
until the time when we run out of breath
until we turn blue
until we rise to the surface or sink down
like a drowning
fear can be a good motivator
be it of life or of death
Liminality is
Blue
I have decided to leave (live)
to go but not to let go.
I hold on, waiting for the next thing
hoping it will come and when it does
I fool myself into thinking I knew it would all the time,
when the truth is,
I had no idea
After all, it doesn’t always come for everyone,
isn’t that right Virginia?

January 31, 2017

editors note: Those in-between blues; best sung when the “next thing” comes along. – mh clay


By All Counts by Joan McNerney

Proper and improper fractions
have distinctive differences.

Proper fractions study at
prestigious universities. They
attend cultural events and play
at least one musical instrument.
Proper fractions step aside
for ladies patronizing
haute couture shops.

Improper fractions are hooligans.
Each one guzzles cheap beer,
crunching potato chips while
screaming at wrestling matches.
Improper fractions knock over
seniors to reach clearance racks.

Beware of mixed figures. These
hybrids can not decide what they are.
Medication might help them plus
talking therapy so popular today. Never
allow children to associate with them.

Negative numerals should be avoided.
Those will only subtract from your life
flinging freezing rain in your face.
Conversely, positive numerals are
delightful, handing us glowing statistics
and bright bouquets of fragrant daisies.

Never take integers for granted. Do not
allow yourself to be divided but let
all quotients be fruitful and multiply
until that day when your number is up.

January 30, 2017

editors note: Guidelines for a whole life; equal to the sum of its parts. – mh clay


TO END IT ALL by John D Robinson

He hobbled into the room
on 2 crutches, a plaster
caste on one of his legs;
a podgy, baby-faced 18
year old lisping fellow,
with dramatic and
feminine mannerisms;
‘I want to kill myself’
he told me several
times; he waved his
arms around and
fluttered his eyes
and said
‘I’ve tried to end it
all, several times’
he covered his face
in his soft hands and
shook his head
slowly;
obviously he wasn’t
too good at this suicide
business;
‘What happened to your
leg’ I asked;
‘I tried to hang myself’
he said looking out
of the window; ‘the
rope snapped under
my weight and I fell
crashing to the floor,
breaking my ankle in
3 places’
‘That must’ve hurt’
I said
He pursed his lips and
said
‘Like nothing
you’ve ever known’
I looked away;
‘I’ll never try to hang
myself again’
he said
‘it was a truly awful
experience
and I wouldn’t
recommend it’.

January 29, 2017

editors note: Like she said, “Might as well live.” – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well Mad Swirl has a creative memoir-esque tale from writer N.T. Franklin!

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about N.T.'s story "Neil Armstrong’s Thoughts about January 28, 1986":

"Frontiers require pioneers, and pioneers require endless traits, but there’s one above all—one trait that keeps us looking to the sky and desiring what’s past the atmosphere and lifeless rocks: Human curiosity, a desire to live above gravity."

Here's a bit to take you off:


My first response to the accident? I was catatonic. “They’re all dead. They’re all dead.” I don’t know how many times I repeated it. I’m sure I sounded mechanical. That was my first response on January 28, 1986 to the shuttle Challenger disaster. At 11:39 in the morning. Seventy-three seconds of that day started the darkest period of my life.

I can still feel the tears streaming down my face. I turned and looked at Janet on the couch next to me. We were two of 35 million Americans watching the launch. She left the room after five minutes of my crying. After that many years together, she knew I needed to be alone.

Nine successful missions. Nine perfect missions. Challenger was a good bird but it was too cold that morning. The icicles at launch time should have sent up red flags. Christa. Dead...


Get the rest of this movin' read right here

••• Open Mic •••


This 1st Wednesday of February (aka 02.01.17) we swirled it up madly in the live way that we do every month. This month we featured… wait for it… YOU! Yes, we featured all you mad ones out there! Y’all brought your A-game (like you’ve ever brought anything less) and swirled up some fine madness together!

Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with their words, their songs, their divine madnesses…


(click on the pic to get 'em movin'!)
photos courtesy of Dan "the man" Rodriguez



Hosts:
MH Clay
Brett “BA” Ardoin

Music:
Swirve

Mad Mic Cast:
Zim
Vic Victory
Paul Koniecki
Kelley Cheek
Carlos Salas
Roderick Richardson
Reverie Evolving
James “Bear” Rodehaver
Hector Ortiz
Desmene M. Statum
Jen Bochenko
Charles Tuvilla
Laurie Lynn Lindemeier
Michael Neil
Annika Michelle

HUGE thanks to Swirve (Tamitha Curiel​ & Chris Curiel​) for taking us to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!

Thanks to all who came out to the City Tavern & shared this beat-ifullest night of poetry and music with us!

and last but NOT least…

Thanks to The City Tavern​’s proprietor Joshua Florence​ for blessing us with our new digs and welcoming us mad ones with open arms and giving us a swirl’n space we can call home.

May the madness swirl your way! ’til next 1st Wednesday…

•••••••

The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl's World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Bein' the maddest,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

1.21.2017

The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.21.17

"Art is about profundity. It's about connecting to everything that it means to be alive… " ~ Jeff Koons

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“Transcendence” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. To see more of William's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we encountered an aspiring son (in law); we heard the heart of an honest one (with flaws); we lingered in the light before waking; we assisted an angel, conventions shaking; we admired another who gave no notice; we cried for color in a new won POTUS; we wound up wondering what happened on the night before. We wrote to make sense of it all, nothing more. ~ MH Clay

Lives, Lovers, Livers Ago by Tyler Malone

The fuck stops here, in a room of strangers, once lovers.

Close eyes and enunciate ex-ter-min-ate with
no separate breaths between hello and goodbye
spreading across infinity, from sheets to space,
rung around mysteries inside bedside table rings,
but never slipped on any fingers.

Bar receipts crumble as petals in pockets, scarves tug as nooses,
stomach knots tie one off better than drinking to any horizon.

Beer isn’t paradise, it’s the discovery of gods
drowned in disillusion, betting on nightmares
and occasionally lucky sunsets for some of us.

Taste fingers slid between teeth, prints trace the tongue,
imprints of dirty doors and girls lied to and called whores,
safe in sending kisses to bottoms of glasses, never sunsets.

January 21, 2017

editors note: Beer-bungled, clumsy commingling; benevolence blundered, consequences unconsidered. (read two more on Tyler’s page; a romantic reader and an uncaring killer – check’em out!) – mh clay


I Spread all My Colors in Wholeness by Chiranjibi Niroula

I spread all my colors in wholeness,
As I am the horizon of a new rainbow,
My colors cover for perfection,
With the seeds of silence and compassion,
And it even travels above the dreary desert,
To create the Oasis,
For all but not for the egocentric ones,
My rainbow is stationary over helpless ones,
It desires to be an affable kin to them,
Neither does it have any colors anymore for slaughterers,
Nor mercy for any suppressors.
My colors share integrity and pride,
With the symbol of independence!
This produces my own identity in the new sphere,
That reputes a new transparency around,
Hoping to depict newness and a fair settlement,
So it travels through the universe,
In search of equality and sacredness,
And my rainbow stands for truth,
It holds the elixir for all emblems of pain and suffering!

January 20, 2017

editors note: Encouraging verses on a day which, for many, is black and gray. More rainbows, please! – mh clay


i think i love her by J.J. Campbell

i’ve been told
by people that
i should smile
more

and on the odd
moment alone
in public i’ll
take their
advice and
see what
happens

enter the
stunning
blonde

she rounded the
corner of the
grocery store
aisle and there
i was, gallon
of milk and
loaf of bread
in my cart

i smiled and
said hello

she kept
walking
without
even
noticing
my
existence

and there
begins the
inevitable
quest that
surely won’t
end well

January 19, 2017

editors note: It likely won’t. Ah, but quest we must. – mh clay


Dame Jere by Gayle Bell

Still small voice saw him first
There be angels
Mam would you mind putting these things on your walker
I don’t get around so good
The attaché had faded green party stickers
Mondale vs. some obscure nemesis
He was somewhat kempt yellowed shirt orange shorts
He offered his half a turkey sandwich
to a black woman trying to sleep
on the anti-vagrant benches near the AA center
He gestured to the crowd gates set up on Olive St
think they’re going to have the pride parade down here mam
I laughed I doubted it
I guess the temp tat no prop 8
was a dead giveaway of my orientation
You going to the parade tomorrow
been there got the shirt I’m too old
he raised himself to his haughty 7 foot
well he preened raised a bit of his shorts
with a practiced dainty hand
to reveal a pair of pink panties
frillier than the ones I was wearing
as we slow walked to the rail,
he regaled me of floats he the queen of the regalia
satins pearls tafatta
unforgiving in this lone star heat.
The train broke me from the enchanted tales
like my momma usta say
just cause you’re an angel and don’t have to be a fool
since I was neither. I told him I had to dash.
He grabbed his belongings,
thanked me for the assist.
I curtseyed and wished him a gentle journey,
he blew me a kiss
that in times past would have held
a jeweled glove.

January 18, 2017

editors note: Angels and fools? Which are you? (A fool, I be.) – mh clay


The Smile in Light by Bill Wolak

When sleep floats your body
to the surface of the well,
you must follow wherever
silk leads your hands.
Tenderness spills against you
again like jars of tiny beads
pouring over your skin.
And your flesh welcomes
the quickening pleasures
with a hammock’s open embrace.
And the smile in light
at last returns to your eyes,
as you drift closer and closer
to the wind chimes of a name.

January 17, 2017

editors note: So sweet; the moment before sleeping, the moment before waking. – mh clay


Conversation with Someone Somewhere by Harley White

Much I’ve done
and did
was to oblige
and act a part,

not from the heart.

For early on
my heart I hid—
atop a shelf—

even from myself.

I think I did it then
because I had to.

I found that to be me,
well, it was bad to.

I learned what I should feel
then I pretended,
but even when alone it never ended.

And why
do I
still do it now?

I’d stop, but don’t know how.

I’m a fraud
dismally flawed.

That’s all I know

yet on I go…

I don’t
know why
I do,

do you?

January 16, 2017

editors note: With self disclosure can we make closure? Can we? (Read another of Harley’s mad missives on her page. It’s an alien encounter – check it out.) – mh clay


RON by Sanjeev Sethi

Before your spousals, you and my only niece flew
in for few nights. Prior to our intro I had briefed
myself: you had to be liked. Between stiff vodkas,
kickshaws and some conversation I was beaming:
first part of your prothalamion was buzzing in my
brain. Beauty is in blending, the ecumenical is an
edifier. What about fragrance of the familiar?
Should it be snubbed?

January 15, 2017

editors note: A few good belts to sweeten the song; familiar from strange. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need a Read? Surely most of you need something to get your mind elsewhere this week & nothing says distraction like a good read!

This week's featured short story, "The Mary Kay Lady" comes from longtime Contributing Writer, Jim Meirose.

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week tale:

"Drive! That’s what makes love thrive. That and madness. Well, mostly madness."

Here's a lil sample to get ya goin':

photo (above) "Love in What's All Wrong" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

What do you have that I might buy for my girl?

What do you have that I might buy for my sweetheart?

The Mary Kay lady who just rematerialized looked at him with skeletal cheekbones and said, for what seemed to him the ten thousandth time, I told you I told you I told you, I did: I’ve got nothing for you and your so-called sweetheart—just look at yourself how could someone who looks like you have a sweetheart, don’t be silly you’ve yellow teeth a greasy face bloodshot eyes and filthy coveralls—get out of my goose, let me go on. Let me go on right now!

He backed out of the goose and it continued on, and he felt insulted and empty…


Get the rest of your read on right here!

•••••••

The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl's World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Connectin',

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

1.14.2017

The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.14.17

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary." ~ Cecil Beaton

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“Untitled Portrait of Brooke” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. To see more of William's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we started life's reel with a spin of the wheel; we drew from the dark our dead from the shadows; we dallied a night with disco desperados; we clamored for common, to make one from two; we made a pawn purchase to buy blues from blue; we screamed at the death bridge, nightmared numb; we ended to start with a satisfied hum. So it goes... ~ MH Clay

Resonance by Lisa Shields

You never expect or plan for resonance.
It is never a gradual, logical linear progression,
rather it is rare and random,
like finding a perfect diamond where lightning fell,
burning everything around the strike
leaving a bit of wonderment in carnage.

I could not, never did count on you,
did not believe in such wild magicks
after life bled me white or romantic notions,
but there you stood, and I felt
insane connection, owing nothing to “compatible”.

Not suitable. Not Appropriate,
tell that to the force elemental
who seized us both after each hello.
She doesn’t give a damn for decorum,
leaving us stone and tinder
to strike flames without intention.

Love is the human construct offered
to those who will never touch as we do,
unplanned and unasked.
I can’t hate you for wanting calm,
for needing an even keel,
but I can’t deny
that we will never NOT touch each other
in this mad, feckless, breath stealing fashion
so long as we draw breath.

And you are not allowed to hate me
for the pounding in my chest,
because we have been too long away
from the force of life we became
too close to not ignite.

Resonance is not the individual pulse,
the thud of blood, heart, or bone.
Resonance is the matched beat
that quiets the ravening parts,
we never found another way to feed
save in each others arms.

January 14, 2017

editors note: Allegiant appetites aflame; harmony from hunger. – mh clay


Paranoid scream by Hem Raj Bastola

?
Dark of the night
Silence creeping
Dead is alive.

Rattling among the bones
Cracked ribs I hear
Nibbling skin, rats are enjoying
Smoking kiln active
Invisible fireworks blasting.

What a celebration
When life is in transit
The bridge is needed to cross.
A thread of hope is blinking
Far ahead the phosphorus flame
The grave is shining, a ghost
Emitting phosphorus
Enacting to live.

And I, as in dream
Terrified and
Paranoid, scream.

January 13, 2017

editors note: Even with the bridge in sight, it’s a terrifying unknown. – mh clay


blue guitar by Carl Kavadlo

there’s a musician
falls in love with a blue
guitar
not
a blues guitar
just
a blue guitar.
THAT’S
a poet, a heart
of music,
a beam of light.
bought it in
a pawn shop.
somebody
with plenty of
blues brought
it there in
exchange
for rent
cigarette money
clothing
transportation,
maybe a nip
of wine and
received far
less than its value.

then sold to
my friend
way over
the denominations
of a fair price
by the seller
over the glass counter,
saxophones on the wall,
toasters on the shelves,
trinkets in glass counters
with wrist watches, slacks
on hangers, jackets, skirts.
who falls in love with a blue guitar
in a pawn shop window?
somebody wanting to pluck
the strings for jitterbugs
across long, wood plank dance floors,
like the poets running to puddles
to record the raindrops,
while everyone else
misses the dance.

January 12, 2017

editors note: Best when played with eyes closed. – mh clay


Life’s Prisoners by Darryl Wellington

If I can breakfast with them
then I can frugal repast with you.
If I can socialize at the early table with them
and trade throat lozenges in between the laughter
then I can share planetary accoutrements
and iron chains
with you.
Sad that you make it so difficult.
Whoever you are,
and this will make the second time I have caught you,
speak, speak, speak to me in sighs instead of
perusing my mail.

January 11, 2017

editors note: Continuing the search for common ground. Speak! – mh clay


War Zone by Julia Cirignano

Lipstick containers lined up like black glossy bullets
Little black dresses meant to burn your eyes and steal your soul
The ticking of the clock and the beat of the music
Counts down the minutes until your death
Eye liner drawing out the rules and the game plan
Eye shadow hiding our secrets and romanticizing our pupils
Our heels make you gag and stare
Hallways and bright lights, cold air and warm breath
You taste vodka on my tongue like I’ve poisoned you
But I’ve only poisoned myself
Sweat drips down my smile as I dance
My hair tangles itself around my neck
You can see your victory as if we were already in your room
But we’re not and I’m gone and I’m not even sorry
I’m running and laughing and broken and I want to cry
But I keep running and laughing coughing on the cold air
My sweat freezes as it drips down the back of my neck
I am trapped but I am running
So I will pretend I am free

January 10, 2017

editors note: Dancing away from death by disco, looking for life on the lam. – mh clay


Dead Again by Jeff Stier

The dead are all around us
they are as alive
in their way
as we are
in ours

We share a world of shadows
with these manes
and step awkwardly
into the light

Every breath of the wind
is a dead soul passing
every autumn leaf that falls
a secret hieroglyph
from the beyond

Beasts in the wild
know this
thus the coyote
sings his mad lament
the raven turns his dull eye
toward the east
expecting not light
but a flight of dark wings

And dark wings
command my attention these days
my eye
turned inexorably toward
the night
Where every word
is farewell
where all commerce ends
and I rejoin the stream of stars

Done with all of this.
And surely
it will be bliss.

January 9, 2017

editors note: Yes! If one leads to another, so let it be… – mh clay


8 – 19 by Brittany Griffiths

Diaphragm vibrations
Tongue solipsism
Eye apparatus
Eardrums
Apparent disconnection
To be
Not to be
Methodological contrast
Categorical comparisons
Create definitions
Conscious pigeonholes
Work human verse
Solid space
Relationships
One without the other
Impossible
Lost attention
Interval ignorance
Melody steps
A note into the next
Marked transition
Permanence unachieved
Vanity of vanities
Vanity, vanity
Tribal history
Human ferment
Seeking deliverance
World of change
Unattached
Unborn
Unoriginated
Unformed
Essential awakening
Samsara
The wheel –
Return
To
Everyday
Life

January 8, 2017

editors note: As in the turning of every wheel; always beginning, always ending… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Happy Need-a-Read Day! This week we bring you a mighty fine piece from Contributing Writer & Poet, Harley White!

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Harley's's story "Primal Landscape":

"Saying what’s never true is what we all can count on most. Embrace something routine and name it love, it’ll get you through the honest days."

And here's a li'l view of this landscape to get you goin':

photo (above) "We Build Fences" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

Day World

Hickory Dickory days, divided into boxes— Time to eat breakfast. (Finish all your egg!) Wash your hands and face. Brush your teeth. (Always up and down.) Sit on the toilet. Wipe front to back. (But never why.) Story time— play time— lunch time— nap time. Take the key and wind her up. If she hollers, shut her up.

(She never did.)

Everything was pink and ruffled and always in its place. There were music boxes, animal crackers (Only two!), and a winding staircase down.

(She always said please and thank you.)...


Get the rest of your read on right here!

(You will.)

•••••••

The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl's World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Bein' Different,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

1.07.2017

The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.07.17

"Poetry is man's rebellion against being what he is." ~ James Branch Cabell

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“Learning to Fly” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. To see more of William's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we reposed to rise and pour; we sauteed what we're sorry for; we pulled a prince from off his horse; we watched revenge in raging force; we helped a hill to show we care; we combed a beach for lifetime fare; we pulled a soul saver from a rutting raver. Heaven rains while we rule. ~ MH Clay

Billy by Tricia Marcella Cimera

The old Bohemian lady, formerly of Cicero,
who lived across the street slyly claimed
she witnessed Billy Graham fornicating in the
field once where my house now stood, long
ago when he was young, well before my family
moved to the evangelist’s old college town.
It was him alright, she swore. Years later,
I took my Chicago Southsider husband to
to visit the Billy Graham Museum. We saw
the famous Heaven Room; its’ blue cloud-
filled ceiling was rain-damaged at the time.
If heaven has water stains, I don’t want to go,
my husband loudly proclaimed.
Billy, you couldn’t save everyone.

January 7, 2017

editors note: (Cracked) plaster in Paradise? No, say it ain’t so. – mh clay


Beach Comber by Andrew Sano

To walk between the waves and wrack
with ankles numbed and eyes salt squinted,
glints of room things wash away,
while sandy soles forget what’s far.

A comber as it ever was
encompasses and brings to shore
all glories and unnoticed moments,
periwinkles, paradigms.

To take the hand of who did skirt
all continents, an edge addressed,
a mighty Kingdom made of village,
hamlet, hearth and heart, a chain.

But not a fetter, more a necklace,
on a fair throat, throbbed and kissed.
In mist we find what’s missed and cherished,
with averted eyes, we stare.

A care, in soft, uncanny daydream,
all our being, beams in brief,
like tern cries half imaginary,
rookeries of ghost and thief.

January 6, 2017

editors note: Gather as we go… – mh clay


Aliens by Randall K. Rogers

Look at this little anthill
he has created;
it’s a little world

look, they don’t know
where they came from

each one has a mind
like us of it’s own

their animals are like ours
stupid

they have mass
(slowed down and congealing
matter) shootings

we need to help them

Let’s get’em.

January 5, 2017

editors note: Think we can do better? – mh clay


RAGE by Gina Nemo

Rage swallows her heart
While roots entwine her soul
Tearing it to shreds
Yanking at her hope
While she comes up for air

The sun hides behind clouds
Anger climbs the stairway
That circles around those tunnels
Trapped behind those walls
Someone needs to disappear

Torches shimmer in the room
The thief stands with his shadow
This is the night to hurt someone
Edgar Allen Poe would do it
The ink leaks with those dry thoughts

Revenge was never so sweet
The note plays over and over again
Tortured memories amplified
Screams that echo in her mind
He died a slow death with time

January 4, 2017

editors note: “Hell hath no fury…” – mh clay


Deception by Daginne Aignend

So prince charming
Has fallen off his horse
And without any warning
He changed love into force

A rose with a poisoned thorn
So now everybody knows
That this guy is a bloody unicorn
Who likes to piss rainbows.

January 3, 2017

editors note: Oh, when icons topple… – mh clay


CHANCE ENCOUNTER by Alan Britt

When she asks, Would you like to seduce me?,
I scissor her illusionist hips & say,
I live here, even though I’m passing through.

She folds four porcelain knuckles
beneath her chin & muses, This universe
needs work. A slave is a slave is a slave is a slave
& time to abolish this ungodly nonsense.

I agree & pursue what I came for: Quantum
lightning in every sector of my brain before
she fluffs one 4000 thread jasmine wing,
twists & says, I’m buried to my chest in sin. It’ll take
more than guilty kisses to set me free. How about you?

Not hearing well, these days, I sprinkle organic
thoughts into a skillet primed with extra virgin,
cold pressed olive oil, Greek, & sprigs of Italian
parsley, immune to the future.

January 2, 2017

editors note: Salvation by sautee, best served without guilt. – mh clay


Reposado by Devon Balwit

Oh you, Oh me, Oh the small skerch of the cork
pulling free, and the gurgle plash of amber in the

bell-shaped bowl, the sudden cool of stray drops
evaporating on skin, the lift of it, both the glass

and the anticipation of what’s inside the glass, and
the sips heating the tongue, spreading molten

down throat into belly, and the day, Oh the day,
Oh them, out there, melting away, Oh like Lazarus,

I rise from the crypt of small disappointments,
I rise, pour, and rise some more.

January 1, 2017

editors note: I’ll drink to that. A Mad Toast to the New Year! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well Mad Swirl has a really hot story to share with you from Contributing Writer/Poet/Artist Mike Fiorito!

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Mike's story "Pale Leviathan":

"No ghost, ever, except for what once was. That’s the forever haunt."

Here's a bit to "warm" you up:


The heat had become unbearable that summer.

“Make it stop, daddy,” Liddy’s son, Torin, said, as they walked home from school. The sun glared down with a vengeance, its rays like vicious lapping tongues. It seemed to Liddy that the sun was angry at the earth.

“I can’t make it stop,” said Liddy. “But we’ll be home shortly. Mom will have the freezing air on.” People had to get special solar powered freezing air units to maintain livable temperatures in their homes. The sun rained down relentlessly, as if hurriedly punishing the earth.

Holding Torin’s hand, Liddy felt the heat blasting his face, too.

“Please, daddy,” said Torin.

The shine beat down on his eyes, even with the sun goggles on. Without the goggles you couldn’t open your eyes, or your eyes teared and became blood shot.

When they got home, Torin cried, the temperature so powerful it made his skin break out in red blotches.

“Rinse your eyes with cool water,” his father said. Torin stopped crying once the cool water hit his face.

As they prepared for dinner, Liddy lifted the canvas shade covering the window. Outside the sky looked hazy and dense. The sun’s rays rushed in like a swarm of bees, even though he just peeked out the window...


Did that lil teaser get ya all hot & bothered? Follow the link to get the rest of this heated read!

••• Open Mic •••


If your New Year’s resolution was to create more madness in this world, you mad ones did it this past 1st Wednesday at our first open mic for 2017!

Here’s a shout out to all who graced us with their words, their songs, their divine madnesses…

Hosts:
Johnny​ O & MH Clay​

Music:
Swirve​

Mad Mic Cast:
Chris Zimmerly
Reverie Evolving​
Paul Koniecki​
Nadia Wolnisty​
Elliot Pickens
Laurie Lynn Lindemeier​
Paul Sexton​
James "Bear the Poet" Rodehaver​
Desmene M. Statum​
Suza Kanon​
John May
Misty Amber Moore​
Brian Cox​
Hector Ortiz​
Annika Michelle​

HUGE thanks to Swirve (Tamitha Curiel​, Gerard Bendiks​ & Chris Curiel​) for taking us to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!

Thanks to all who came out to the City Tavern & shared this beat-utifullest night of poetry and music with us!

and last but NOT least…

Thanks to The City Tavern​’s proprietor Joshua Florence​ for blessing us with our new digs and welcoming us mad ones with open arms and giving us a swirl’n space we can call home.

May the madness swirl your way! ’til next 1st Wednesday…

P.S. In case you missed the mic madness that happened this past 1st Wednesday, here's the Facebook LIVE feed of what we swirled up!

•••••••

The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl's World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Rebellin',

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

12.31.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.31.16

"An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language." ~ Henri Matisse

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“And She Danced” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. To see more of William's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we forgave our souls like Christmas Scrooges; we prayed our prayer like hi-tech stooges; we found enough in a life changing pome; we ate harsh words which came back home; we roamed as wolves through storied lives; we gazed at stars in wondrous skies; we made ready for change, just left of strange. We'll come 'round new; new me, new you! ~ MH Clay


One world to the left by Kristine Spinner

A new blood pulses through my veins to the off time beat of syncopated disbelief. I am trying to establish a rhythm, a rule; but, it eludes me just now. There is an incorrigible effervescence just below the skin on my cheeks. I am changing, melting, melding into something unrecognizably grand. I won’t be long, I’m just around the corner, one world to the left.

December 31, 2016

editors note: For any New Year naysayers. “Yes!” comes right, from the left. – mh clay


Seasonal Skies of Wonder by Harley White

http://madswirl.com/author/hwhite/

Skies of wondrous starry nights
all aglow with shining lights,
we look up to you with awe
thus to inspiration draw…

Fortunate we earthlings are
on a planet not bizarre,
close enough but not too far
from our solar system’s star

beaming its apricity,
swirled in synchronicity
to nocturnal shimmerings
lit by lunar glimmerings

as the moon reveals her face
gazing down at us from space…
(Though we know how shine those rays
still her luminescent ways

stir our fancies, as in dreams…)
Poets with their reams of themes—
tragic, magic, comical,
even astronomical—

marvel as stargazers do
with celestial aperçu
at galactic scenes on high
querying ‘where, when, and why?’…

This our orbit round the sun
of twelve months again has run
out of time in earthly flight,
and a new one looms in sight.

Looking back, I’ve seen some dreams
lose their way, or so it seems.
There’s been gladness, sadness, fear.
Now we face a coming year…

Skies of wondrous starry nights
all aglow with shining lights,
may we keep your stellar view
in our ken, beyond the blue,

with musings, self-reflective,
lest humans lose perspective!

December 30, 2016

editors note: We are the true tale spinners! Our New Year’s story will be reflected in the stars. – mh clay


Did I Ever Tell You The One About Growing Old? by James Diaz

The force of it all
a century of wolves roaming
strangers
dipping into the conversation
as we fall apart
the golden coast
somewhere
a dark vein touching
against the shatter

tell me your sleep is troubled too
north of the body, breaking
bread, land masses pulled apart
the beautiful truth
is we will die
with out hearts intact
stories roaming the river
like a bad dream
we’ll sigh into each other
counting the hours
between forgiving & forgetting
the last language we’ll ever speak
a longing
still framed
and glistening.

December 29, 2016

editors note: Bittersweet! The future holds wonder if we will. – mh clay


Aces Low by Ian Mullins

Our words lead lives
of their own; while we sleep
they hang around bars
and get into fights,
spend time on their knees
down dirty back alleys
getting down with
other words

before crawling back home
and slipping behind
our teeth and tongues.

When we wake up
we want to spit them out
like flies in Coke,
wondering why a word
sober on Monday
can smell like a drunk
come Tuesday afternoon

when we throw it on the table
like a joker or an ace,
but the game won’t turn
our way.

December 28, 2016

editors note: Let’s play our cards well in the days ahead; especially you folks in the big game, with us as their big stakes. – mh clay


THIS POEM WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE by Beate Sigriddaughter

It will — you did look, didn’t you? —
remind you of your dreams. It will
remind you the world owes you nothing
and you owe nothing in return. Life is
a gift, not a duty; it glides like a river
that doesn’t carve canyons for love. No
deference, no duty, no obedience.
It will remind you of your skin and how
it shelters dreams and bones. How beautiful
you are, exuberant when someone
unexpected crosses your path, a lizard,
a hawk, a lover, and you know even God
isn’t God in order to be loved. You can
breathe now. There are waterfalls
you yearn for you will likely never see,
and dances you will likely never dance
again, though they were dazzling and
perhaps still are in someone else’s bones.
But if you get up early in late summer
you may already find winter’s beloved
Orion in the eastern sky. You are enough
to make things happen.

December 27, 2016

editors note: Yes! Orion floats above us, the coming year is full of hope. Yes! – mh clay


Lord’s tweet by Timothy Pilgrim

r dad up hi
u r super
u r way cool al ovr
give us bred 2day
4giv breakins we do
& WTF no luring
fedx evil away
u r very great
rule on
amen

December 26, 2016

editors note: amen – mh clay


seasonal affectation disorder by Rob Dyer

there are no seasons for me
days
like torn pages of a dark novella
repeat the story line
a tired hero staring,
in search of the villain in his head

yet, as I indulge in a bowl of warm bread pudding,
I somehow am taken by a tinge of Christmas
my memory bank stepping around time bombs
and settling on smiles once bestowed to me,
as I ripped through wrapping
and peered into the hearts of the few who Loved me

the Scrooge in my soul pardons himself
and you’ve caught me believing in Santa one more time

December 25, 2016

editors note: (no) Bah! (no) Humbug! God bless us everyone. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Who needs-a-read on this last day of '16? Well, we got one that just might be a perfect topper to the emotional roller coaster that this passing year was.

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about Brandon Hansen's story "Pain":

"Madness isn’t always ridiculousness, but when it is, it’s never silent as unhinged visions seep under closed eyelids."

And here's a lil slip down memory lane to get you goin':

photo (above) "Under Eyelids" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

There’s this show on MTV called Ridiculousness, where Rob Dyrdek, 42, is the coolest, most quick-witted, snap-backin’est, high schoolin’est adult ever, and he spends 22 minutes of a half hour around 10pm laughing at and narrating videos he selected from the part of the internet where people get hurt. He wears snapbacks bearing the Monster Energy Drink logo and overlarge sweatshirts bearing the Monster Energy Drink Logo, and he rolls the sleeves up to his elbows. He is always ready to skateboard.

His co-star, Chanel West Coast, is Los Angeles beautiful. She laughs like a mule.

Tonight, I’m watching Ridiculousness, limp, mouth slack. The videos go like this...


Get your trippy dream read on right here.

••• Open Mic •••


Was your New Year’s resolution to create more madness in this world? Wow, that was ours too! Then join forces with Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of January (aka 01.04.17) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ City Tavern!

Come on out, one & all. Get a heapin’ helpin’ of musical mad grooves from Swirve, share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is movin’ ya get yourself a spot on our open mic list. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to swirl-a-brate!

Catch us swirlin' up our madness at The City Tavern located at 1402 Main Street • Dallas, TX

P.S. If you're a Facebook'r and want to get on our pre-list, visit our event page and let us know you're gonna be there.

•••••••

The whole Mad Swirl of everything to come keeps on keepin' on... now... now... NOW! Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, every decade, every every EVERY there is! Wanna join in the mad conversations going on in Mad Swirl's World? Then stop by whenever the mood strikes! We'll be here...

Speakin' It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor