12.03.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 12.03.16

"The task of the artist at any time is uncompromisingly simple to discover what has not yet been done, and to do it." ~ Craig Raine

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“Mr. Warner: 2” (above) by featured artist(s) Daniel Ableev & Bob Schroder. To see more of Daniel & Bob's mad 'toons, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at MadSwirl.com!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we posited to piddle-about for answers in the middle-about; we replaced dastard with dog, though both were golden; we laid down a rap that would show up on Snapchat; we soothed a sight for sore eyes; we floundered for floor "why"s; we wrestled with fear that our muse won't come near; we surrendered expectation to watch with fascination (every poet is a fire). Poet, muse, middle to end; we tell our tale as our tale tells us. ~ MH Clay

Expect by Trier Ward

I once knew a poet
capable of torture,
beautiful,
full of the fire
of himself.
I broke my heart
upon him.
Now it hurts less
because I don’t expect
him to be noble.
I don’t expect anything.
I just watch and wait
as he plays himself out.
He’s still beautiful.

editors note: No expectations; yet, hope for the poet in us all. (Read another of Trier’s missives; the ultimate selfie – check it out on her page.) – mh clay


ODD TIMES by Bradford Middleton

The last few months have been a bit odd
Success has come in some form and now
Well, frankly, it’s all just been a bit odd
With happiness comes a failure of my muse
As I struggle to find the words to describe
How this feels and what it means to me
Because now, as I sit gazing out the much
Viewed window here in the last resort I know
I can no longer be miserable as
For the first time in a long time I actually
Have enough, or will soon do, to get out
But right now all I want to do is remain
As this place has been my world and
I worry that if I move on what will become
Of the muse who came to me in those
Mad, deranged, booze soaked, drug addled
Days when I’ve been stuck here living
This life in the last resort

With the idea of getting out and moving on
I worry as will me leaving here mean I can
No longer create the rough-hewn words I
Laid down here as life becomes
Just a little more comfortable and
With no misery and nothing to hate
What is left for me to do but write about the
Booze but now even that avenue
Down which flooded oceans of primo
Lager, gin, ale, whisky, rum and wine
Have dried up as I attempt to clean up
And survive a whole month without
Even a tipple, surely impossible!

So, if you don’t hear from me for a while
It’s because my muse has become infected
With clean-living, optimistic dreams of a
Life that may very well come real

editors note: Odd times beg the question: Does environment make the muse or, vice versa? – mh clay


…and the floorboards were golden by Tom Pescatore

so that you ran your tongue against them
carving and chipping bone and screw

so that you were forgetful
unable to piece together what had come before

so that you pulled your knees up to your chin
blind to dirt and dust and scruff and tar

so that you took to running knifed edges across grain
drawing up curled veins

so that each needled point penetrated the skin
and left glitters of light in their path

so that with each step the surface gave slightly sinking
marking your footprints your face prints your palms

so that at night it appeared as it did before
but for the metallic taste

so that even though your outside mildewed with collapse
the inside shone brightly in the sun

editors note: Many reasons for the color of the floor. Name yours… – mh clay


Visine by Paul Hostovsky

My left eye is killing me,
I say to my wife. It could be
allergies, she says. It could be
my retina getting ready
to detach, I say, or glaucoma
or syphilis or cancer. Why
do you always have to jump
to your death? she says.
I don’t answer right away.
At the CVS, a whole aisle
of eye drops: drops for dry eyes,
drops for watery eyes, drops
for red and itchy eyes. My eyes
light on Visine and suddenly
I’m sixteen again and smoking
pot every day and trying to hide it
from my mother, cutting classes
left and right and writing
my stupid clever poems
about sex and trees and death.
There’s a poem in here just itching
to get out, I think as I tilt
my head back and squeeze:
two fat drops stinging as they go
to work. And how long before
Johnson & Johnson figured out
the reason for the precipitous jump
in sales? And how long before
I fell so far behind in high school
I ended up dropping out?
The truth is, I’ve been jumping
to my death all my life. Because
it’s good practice, I say to my wife.
And what about your eye, is it
still killing you? she says. No, I say,
but now my feet hurt. And also
my right knee. That could be
from all the jumping, she says.

editors note: Hypochondria or soothsaying; if we’re gonna jump, gotta see. – mh clay


Insta Queen by Hannah Searsy

Double double
Toil and trouble
Fire burn and
Envy bubble
Build me up an Instagram queen
Posting her local lattes
And modeling screeds
Fucking skinny bitch
With her undercut
And nipple piercings
Star tattoos and colored hair
A pinch of crop top, a bit of Wicca
A slap of that, you know, attitude
Let’s keep it up and she’ll get thinner
Look at me look at me look at me
She says with sparkle and smiles
Let’s be like every bitch
Except for me

editors note: Celebrate your common uniqueness; on line, always better than off. – mh clay


The Three Bears by Chrissie Morris Brady

After the golden haired girl had run away
after intruding and breaking furniture,
Papa Bear carefully fixed the bed and chair.
Mama Bear served fresh hot porridge.
Baby Bear sadly said, “It won’t be the same.”
So they all had a think and then Papa Bear
took his family to town to buy new locks.
Instead, they came home with a Golden Retriever.

editors note: After upheaval, loss retrieval. – mh clay


Aye, Funny, Innit by Paul Tristram

How you can drink yourself sober.
Love someone too much.
Be in the wrong place at the wrong time
and not even realize it
until Fate’s sealed up all boltholes.
Get out of bed on the wrong side.
Wear that smile on the other side of your face.
Why kicking a dog when it’s down
is to be applauded these days.
How everyone loves a Winner
but everybody wants to stop them getting there.
Solitude and Loneliness
have absolutely nothing to do with one another.
End a ten year marriage by squeezing
from the wrong end of the toothpaste tube.
The Left is wrong, the Right is wrong also
and the sensible answer
is sitting somewhere in the middle
but no one’s ever looking there.
You get in trouble for retaliating.
Most murders and rapes will be committed
by someone you’ve already
smiled at and shared a coffee with.

editors note: We were laughing, until it happened… Not so funny, anymore. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

This week's featured short story at Mad Swirl, "Repressed Slumber Party Memory Syndrome" comes from Gregg Williard. Here's what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about it:

"Remember the innocence you never had. Pretend to carry all the details of when you were a better person with you because the burden of being a good person never weighs enough."

Here's a bit of "Repressed Slumber Party Memory Syndrome" to get you goin':

(photo (above) "Memories Set in Stone" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

It was the night of the slumber party. The little brother served bowls of ridged potato chips and garlic and onion dip to the teenage sister and her friends in pajamas. But wait! Wasn’t there a truck driving past the house at that moment? Try to remember! The truck was painted violet with decorative tendrils of fuchsia, and silver, remember? But wasn’t that a strange color for a truck in the late 1950s? And what was such a truck doing on your residential street? It was doing something! But wait! The fuchsia tendrils, there was a name for such decorative flourishes! Was it customized detailing? Try to remember! Such designs appeared on hot rods and souped-up V-8 dragsters. But wait—the little brother didn’t care about engines or cars, or trucks! Memory follows appetite! Follow that appetite! The chips! They were ridged! The edges rippled, as if cut with special scissors! And those scissors are called pinking shears! Cutting such saw-toothed or wavy or ridged edges is called pinking. The tendrils on the truck were fuchsia and silver...

Keep this memory goin' right here!

••• Mad Swirl Merch •••

Back by Popular(ish) Demand: Mad Swirl T-shirts & Sweatshirts!


If you’re MAD and you know it, why not wear it loudly and proudly? The whole Mad Swirl of merch begins here, in our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some “mad” clothing to sport, then you’ve come to the right place.

This merch will be available for the holidaze if you buy before December 15th. They come in all sizes for men and woman and a variety of colors. Come get you some and while you’re at it, why not get one for the whole fam?!

••• Open Mic •••

Mad Holiday Hijinx Swirl-ebration!


‘t’is the season for some Holiday Hijinx and a perfect reason for Mad girls and boys to Swirl up some noise! Bring your holiday hoots and howls together; the whole spectrum of expression this time of year invokes. It’s all you, all us, all together in our Mad Holiday Hijinx Swirl-ebration!

Join we merry Mad ones (with musical guests Bendiks-Hendricksen) this 1st Wednesday (aka December 7th) The Swirl-ebration starts at 8:00pm sharp and lasts until no more cheer can be shared!

Come on out, one & all. 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...

Doin' It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

11.27.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.26.16

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?" ~ Charles M. Schulz

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“Mr. Warner: 1” (above) by featured artist(s) Daniel Ableev & Bob Schroder.

Our newest visual artist(s) come from the land of Europa with some pretty fascinating works that we can’t resist! While in a comic book style of sorts, each cell can stand alone too, with black and white detail that could keep you gazing for days. The visual talent of Bob Schroder combined with Daniel Ableev’s profound and curious story telling skills truly creates an entire artistic experience we just couldn’t pass up. We’re sure after you take a look-see, you’ll feel the same! ~ Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we quenched throats parched on a dryland march; we danced to the tune of plenty (came away tired and empty); we learned to bend in a world without end; we sought seaside serenity, watched watchers watch us; we, our love to bless, answered questions with a "yes;" we confused nearsight for insight; we embraced our sick self, left snake oil on shelf. When sickness brings silence, words are remedy! ~ MH Clay

SUN OILED SNAKE SKIN by J H Martin

I tried it once
And it wasn’t good

It just made me sweat
And think way too much

That old scratch
I can’t itch

That pretty wife
That I miss

I mean
If all these meat markets
Are cheap flip flops and shorts
Then what’s the point of the sun?

No

It’s all just –
Me, me, me
Ain’t it babe?

Praise the lord

This whisky
This beer

This tiny locked room
That stinks of dead flesh

Sure
You can dip it in chili
And soak it in garlic
But it’s still just a bad photograph

This hollow temple that we bow down inside
This family of blood that we scratch on the walls
This history of bones that we soothsay for signs

No man
I tried it once
And it wasn’t good

That sun oiled snake skin
Tastes like
Rooster, pig, rat

editors note: When the cure is worse than the disease… – mh clay


hallucinations unlimited by Bradley Mason Hamlin

thought I had vision
contemplating universe
wearing glasses now

editors note: One’s enhancement is another’s impairment. Rose-colored or raw, keep squinting. – mh clay


AUBADE by Willie Smith

Do I love you more
than dew in the
dawn sparkles?
Do webs irised
in the garden
twinkle less
than the smile I
catch in your
eye?

Yes and yes.
For our love
forever lives
in this breeze
so soon
in the heat of day
to still.

editors note: Sweet morning’s muse. Love for thanks and thanks for love. – mh clay


Eyes In The Sand. by Dennis Moriarty


Jelly fish look like eyeballs
On the beach
Sockets prized open and drained
Of light
Their contents emptied on the
Sand
Pernicious corneas watching.
Masterfully I crafted a path bypassing
That optical spillage
Circumnavigating rock pools swollen
And distorted
By the grimacing reflections of crabs
And down to the sea’s lonely side
Where the horizon fluttered
A bunting of sails
And the waves unfolded flotsam
Of broken sunshine.
There at the edge of that desolate shore
Hearing the gulls
Swearing oaths of allegiance to
The wind.
Quite alone yet watched by a thousand
Beach combing eyes.

editors note: Nothing like a (dis)quiet(ing) walk on the beach. – mh clay


How the Universe Works by Irena Pasvinter

When your happy world
is
falling
apart,
melting down to a tragic swamp,
sucking you into the depths of sorrow,
squeezing you with the burden of loss,
it’s as if the whole universe is

going

down

with

you.

But rest assured:
the universe stays put,
never mind accelerating expansion.
Even when millions of happy bubbles
burst in a single explosion,
the universe doesn’t budge.
The show goes on,
with or without you,

but

it

takes

a

lifetime

to get used to
how the universe works.

editors note: World without end (though, not for us), amen. – mh clay


Brief Dreams by Gary Beck

In the intermittent struggle
between capital and labor
that started in the caves,
or even earlier,
the wealthy usually triumphed,
or when briefly toppled,
wangled their way
by any means necessary,
until once again they directed
the destiny of mankind.

Jacquerie, rebellion,
revolution, all resulted in masters,
new or old,
well-disguised puppets,
dancing,
as they made the people dance
to celebratory tunes
applauding riches.

editors note: The toppers love it best when viewed from the bottom; the more viewers there, the better. – mh clay


hopeless hope until we are a land by Paul Koniecki

of no land
i plant

jo-joba in con-
centric circles

around the latrine

the rats hate it
and it sells

well to the upper-class
sometime last week

after the tea-party and
before the free-dead risers

the kids all got the cough
and i felt the air begin to die

we started what they’ve named
the dryland march

bivouacked i carry water
for three

and teach them to sing
the dream songs

we talk about shade-heaven
and the peacefulness of bridges

how much our teeth hurt
and why we love it

right before it rains
we get to stop

await the spark
and life can catch and gather

mostly i try
to help everyone

editors note: Yes! Just the balm we need for the rash time. Thanks, Paul! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

This week's featured short story at Mad Swirl, "Chicken Breast or Rump Roast" comes from long-time Contributing Writer & Poet, Donal Mahoney. Here's what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about it:

"From youth to ragged age, there’s always feast, you just need to know where to find it. We don’t have to starve."

Here's a bit of "Chicken Breast or Rump Roast" to get you goin':

(photo (above) "Touch Me! Always" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

Freddie and Fern were an old couple, a very old couple if truth be told, but on the matter of age, the truth seldom surfaced. Their kids were grown and gone and had families of their own. All of them lived in different cities and two of them had even asked their parents to sell the house and buy a smaller place near where they lived. But Freddie and Fern, despite all their aches and pains, were an independent couple and they liked their privacy. Seeing their grandchildren was nice but living close enough to have to babysit them, that was quite another matter.

Most evenings Fern would sit in her rocker and work crossword puzzles and Freddie would sit back in his recliner and watch whatever sport was in season. They were very different people but in 50 years of marriage they had always gotten along well. Each was solicitous of the other’s needs. Always had been. But as age encroaches, certain needs change and others remain the same, life being what it is.

Fern, for example, had arthritis pretty bad. Her back was always acting up on her. From day to day, it was just a matter of how bad it was.

Freddie had arthritis in both legs but he could still get around pretty good for a man with his ailments, too good sometimes as far as Fern was concerned, especially when Freddie would get that look in his eye. Sure enough, he would ask her if the next time she had to go to the bathroom, she’d bring him back a Coke from the fridge. And, of course, she always did.

But Fern always knew it wasn’t just the Coke Freddie wanted. The old goat wanted to watch her walk down the hallway. He told her many times she had more bounce to the ounce now than when she was young...


Keep this read goin' right here!

••• Mad Swirl Merch •••

Back by Popular(ish) Demand: Mad Swirl T-shirts & Sweatshirts!


If you’re MAD and you know it, why not wear it loudly and proudly? The whole Mad Swirl of merch begins here, in our online store! If you haven’t already got yourself some “mad” clothing to sport, then you’ve come to the right place.

This merch will be available for the holidaze if you buy before December 15th. They come in all sizes for men and woman and a variety of colors. Come get you some and while you’re at it, why not get one for the whole fam?!

•••••••

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...

Figurin' It Out',

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

11.19.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.19.16

"What is the poem, after it is written? That is the question. Not where it came from or why." ~ Allen Tate

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“hag” (above) by featured artist Jennifer Lothrigel. To see more of Jennifer's's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at MadSwirl.com!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we (should have) changed a shirt to heal a hurt; we drew a new card from an old deck; we made a morn romantic in a swirl of mad gnat antics; we tipped a totem, an idol broken; we reminisced in summer's bliss; we sought satisfaction in cold abstraction; we downed deception through clever perception; we tipped our tea to clamorous be. We dotted our "Is" and crossed our "Ts," and didn't spill a drop. ~ MH Clay

Clamor by Bhargab Chatterjee

clamor
from a neighborhood
famished
cracked
measure d on the Richter scale
three village folks we re sip
ping tea
in uncle tom’s cabin
the clamor was inter rupted
some) where
in the north bengal tea gardens:
hunger is a prisoner’s out (fit
in coma

the face value of the disaster:
‘self is seen
not as a person al essence
rather as an aesthetic and ethical object
to be create d and cultivate d’

editors note: Sipping tea; becoming you, becoming me. – mh clay


Perception by Dah Helmer

Perception is based on
light’s variations
or one’s point of focus

Something clear
is a glass wing
or a cracked pane

Somebody says
the burnt eyes of noon
are chilly

The first snowflakes
are deep sleep
or a masquerade

The faraway blue
is drifting liquid
or a baker’s glaze

At night
everything starlit
is contagiously dark

Perception is clever
in its ways of leading us
to what we want to believe

editors note: Yes, our poets are pundits. They make us like what we believe. – mh clay


Frost by Monica Beaujon

blue sound stretches
over the everywhere always—
i listen to endless cerulean

pale moon blooms in
the obsidian soil of sky,
has the scent of lilies

i fall in love with
fossilized nothings
remembered as somethings

into my granite bones i
embed crystal eyes; they
glint from lilymoon breath

i am the sunbeams that
bounce off the clouds
and never reach the ground

i am the body that swallows
cold abstraction in the
hopes of becoming it

editors note: First frost; affectation, in time for holiday hyperbole. – mh clay


Granma’s Summer by Vineetha Mekkoth

Summer seemed interminable then.
We lay on straw mats languorously
Limbs at odd angles as only children can do
Our eyes half closed to the world
As one of granma’s hens would suddenly feel
Like crooning sweetly
And then she would raise an arm to shoo
Where it would flap its wings and cackle ‘murder’
In all possible tones and volume of squawks
Till sleep was nigh impossible
What with the flies that persisted
On landing on the lips
Making one spit in alarm
The thought of some contagion
Rising alarmingly with pictures
From the science textbook
And the fan would drone on and on
Untiringly
Ineffectively
As the juicy mangoes dribbled
down gluttonous throats
And the water in the earthen pot
Was the coolest and tastiest in the entire world.
The summer
That will never return.

editors note: As cold approaches, here’s a delightful look back to warm. – mh clay


Talisman by Jonathan Beale

After Marianne Moore

There, by the de-barked tree
There was once this figure
An embolismic statue.

This totem

Lessons in the day gone by
The one craved ”you must”
A goblin in the sky

A portent

Beauty is never a reality
It’s the frailly human reflection
The broken images

The broken idol

Here are lessons for men
Here! Long dead long lost
Even to memory – gone, here

In this totem

editors note: Tokens of remembrance; creators, long forgotten. – mh clay


December Journal: Thursday, December 19, 2013 by Don Mager

Midmorning sneaks calm pools of light in
between abrasive chilly breezes
and drops them where sun patches stand still.
The breezes flip ivy leaves upside down
on tree trunks. Theirs is a tireless green
whose knotted twines mesh mercilessly.
The pools swim their calms with haloes of
gnats that lift swirling plumes, dizzily
suspending themselves inside the air,
then, as if air dropped out its bottom,
plummet en masse toward dead grass like a
fumbling diver. The last moment and
morning catches its breath to push the
gnats spinning helix back toward the sun.

editors note: Gnat magic on a winter’s morn. – mh clay


Metallurgist of Symbols by Brendan McBreen

slow

deliberate

move

as

a cypress

grows

then chant
ten times

all
the names

you wished for

as a child

editors note: A new tarot for divining these strange days. – mh clay


Drake’s Neck by Megha Bajaj

And who would have
thought
the colour of betrayal
was bluish green.
Note to self:
Ask him her lipstick shade,
before it burns.
The white shirt.

editors note: An entire soap in 8 lines… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

This week's featured short story at Mad Swirl, "In the Summertime" comes from long-time Contributing Writer, Oleg Razumovsky. If you already know Oleg's works, you know this read will be rowdy & raw with a Russian flavor that no one but Oleg can deliver. Here's what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about it:

"Old dogs and their old bones are our oldest stories, from night to day, especially when someone in love waits by the window for the reason their heart beats to come home."

Here's a bit of "In the Summertime" to get you goin':

(photo (above) "Sorry, No Cruisin' for a Boozin'" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

I remember one outstanding summer day. Not very hot, with occasional warm rain, but also with a lot of sunshine when you can sit with your buddies in the yard, in the shade, and drink vodka.

Perfect. 

The day before I had drunk with my wife all night long and in the morning, she, as usual, went to look for a job. She did it every day. No luck yet.

 When she went, I immediately go out. There on our stone under Shiryai’s window sat a couple of our guys and that fat man from the other neighborhood, who sometimes came there to drink with us. I didn’t like him. Forgot his name. It wasn’t important. But fuck him, the motherfucker.

 By the way, he had a hideous nickname and looks like shit. Shiryai respects him and that was his personal business. That’s why I drank in this company only one glass of vodka and left. I had nothing against Shiryai and other pals, but this dumb fat fucker irritated me and I still don’t know why. He was as stupid as the stone on which he sat and drank. Shiryai respected him and he told me once that this guy was a tough gangster, but I didn’t care a fuck. I just didn’t like him, that’s all.

Now I remembered his name. Hera. What kind of a name is it? Fucking shit. Maybe right now he is still alive, though unlikely, because them gangsters were shot and killed pretty regularly during the past years. 

Well, I left Shirjai, Hera and some other punks to talk about their fucking problems and went to our bench...


Keep this read goin' 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...

Questionin',

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

11.12.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.12.16

"The modes of expression of men of genius differ as much as their souls…" ~ Auguste Rodin

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“journey” (above) by featured artist Jennifer Lothrigel. To see more of Jennifer's's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at MadSwirl.com!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we took a swing in a love thing; we perfected our imperfection; we conspired with a cobbler; we unseated an idol; we factored the math of existence; we vivisected vision to find what is; we Disneyfied our days gone by; we rambled through a romance, make up to break up. It was a week of yoyo mojo, walkin' the dog. ~ MH Clay

Last year’s crush by Sissy Buckles

And now you’re feeling pretty
shitty because you just
opened Pandora’s box
and peeked at the fella’s
FB page you’re all sweet on
with cinnamon stickybun
reveries of climbing slowly
on top and running him
up and down all steamy
night long wave his body
hard like a Fourth of July
flag on a pole I swear I’d
walk the line for that man and
oh baby shake the peaches
in my tree until — Whoa!
you see two tatted up
rockabilly chicks’ selfies
posted on his wall typical
hot rod colleens in cuffed jeans
bullet bra and bettie bangs
Ruby Woo lippie enveloping
huge blinding white smiles
and yeah they seem really
nice could be fun to hang out
slamming shots of tequila
and lime washed down with ice
cold beer besides I’ve never been
the jealous type what good
could come of that? Bless
recite the Sunflower Sutra
mayhap a pensive tear (or two)
and move on that’s what
I always say and yeah
you could imagine them
western swing dancing with
each other because the boys
won’t cut a rug creating a
riotous twirling centerpiece
on the dance hall floor like
1950’s girls have done for
years and oh yes this night
they’ve really got the first
place prize all sewn up
hugging each other giggling
and posing provocatively a
little cheesecake softcore
on his massive chopper in
front of the club and you just
stare with dropped jaw while
you’re heart sinks down to
your grubby classic red
Keds sneakers it’s back
to square one again and your
neighbor from the islands’
Maui Wowie classic sativa
medical cannabis that you
smoked last weekend for
DV PTSD flashbacks
must still be messing with
your head because all of a
sudden you don’t even know
what in hell you want so with
ten more minutes of lunch
you steal on over to
Poetry Daily only to read a
grand rollicking poem
something huge and righteous
and glory glory hallelujah
about Ma Rainey discovering
the blues and Son House
“If I don’t go crazy, honey, I’m
going to lose my mind” with
the requisite knives
guitars and squirrel guns
Johnny Horton scratch
pluck and twanging sob
leading down dusk
and sultry dirt country
roads to the original
local chicken shack and
now armed with verse
you can finally expel that
pent up suspended breath
you’ve been holding for the
last half hour because
suddenly all is right once
again in your small town world,
at least today anyway.

editors note: Personal relationship pachinko; “huge and righteous and glory glory hallelujah.” It’s a good day when we make it so. – mh clay


Viva Visa! by Ivan Jenson

perhaps in
a third world country
or in the Far East
or in the Upper Peninsula
or Down Under
I will be appreciated
and adulated
the way I
was when I reigned
supreme in the
Disney World dynasty
of my delicious
tenacious pre-teen
gold-leafed
time frame
back when I looked
like I was ready to star
in an afternoon special
about a goody-good
who made good
with all the goodies
a goofball could
get hold of
and I am catching
the next
non-stop flight
heading back in time
to a place
that currently
has a high exchange
but low
currency rate
on unconditional
love

editors note: Though this could be a week for looking back, to have our past-ports stamped; the good ole days haven’t happened, yet. Forward, Friends! Eyes front… – mh clay


Is and Vision by Gregg Dotoli

Don’t mention memento
Is was there and needs no reminder
trinkets fog reality
only Is is
be with Is
embrace the nowness of you
nose to nose with self
pure you
scramble that past
throw it in that trash
with the kipper and kitsch
Is’s brother Vision
jealous as Caine because
only Is is

editors note: There’s our challenge; to find the is in vision. – mh clay


MORPHOGENESIS AND ME by Derrick Gaskin

When all these numbers are finally crunched
As electrical spasms jerk each thought
At equations of such simplicity –
Patterns emerge that were there all the time.
Nothing arrives without arithmetic
Shaping paws – or stripes on a cat’s long tail,
Calculating the way it thinks and purrs
To heal itself as some illness takes hold.
Adding this to what’s seen in cold night skies
That seem far away, everything becomes
Clear, almost algebraic, not simple
But chalked on a blackboard for a child to read.
Do subtracted lives shrink in importance,
Pale figures, vague shadows in the distance?

editors note: Sometimes, our equation seems unbalanced; impossible to solve for “x” when we can’t see “y.” – mh clay


The Idol by Jonathan Butcher

In this evening’s haze, edging down that same
road again, watching you perpetually twitch
as you talk and pull pre-stashed cans of
larger from behind wheels of random parked
cars as we edge towards the city.

It was within that tower of innocence that
the front you developed blossomed; and
we allowed it’s fatal breeze to penetrate
our group, if only to keep the peace, and
to allow your voice to echo.

As I frown once more, you intimate your
confusion at my repudiation. I gradually learn
your presence involves more than a little risk;
that creeps upon me slowly,like a sudden,
unwanted bout of reduced inhibitions.

Though these idle crowds your anxiousness
never settles until each eye is penetrating
your own. I gaze forward again, keeping your
back protected, yet at arms length as I slowly
await the end that only appears at your request.

editors note: By our repudiations, all idols topple. – mh clay


SHOEMAKER by Akeredolu Tope

Hello, Mr Shoemaker!
On empty and naked soles I have traversed
This lengthy and thorny path
you I have sought unbidden
like Delilah to Samson.
I wish that you make for me a pair of Sandals
Let the soles be stocked with valour and hope
Since they’ll come handy on my voyage
Lace the floor with painted patterns
From life’s many canvases of stages
That it may remind me when the next stage beckons
I do not want a uniform sandal
Paint the right with shades of green and white
That I may see my fatherland when I behold it
Paint the left in rainbow
Let me behold my brothers
From the seven shades
I know of leather sandals
Of rubber sandals; he said
Not of Sandals with soles of valour
But Since that’s what you wish
Let’s get to work

editors note: Sometimes, you gotta make them before you walk a mile in them. – mh clay


CRACK FEIGN by Cassaundra Bingaman

Put up your perfect
The world can have that
I’ll take the broken
So I can fit between the cracks

editors note: Step on a crack, dial the judgment back. – mh clay


Sway by Dawn Marie

Ecru weave, damp from rain.
The fresh of a rainy morning, light softened gray, a fade of blue and sun hazed out.
Taking a seat on the swing, motion makes the sway.

In the muggy air, the handles sweat on mugs of chilled coffee.
The aroma faint, the taste rich.
My attention is on those eyes of his.
He is huddled in a cocoon naked in comfort.
The gleam and grin on his face makes me sway.

Listening, learning, revealing.
Thoughts tumble out, questions raised.
Laughter and a smile.
Swinging or floating? I can not tell the difference when looking across to him as I sway.

The sun breaks across the space.
There is calm and quiet. The rain has slowed from drizzle to mist. Then we rise and embrace as we walk away.
Leaving only the sway.

editors note: So sweet to swing in this sway. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

This week's featured short-short "The Golden Sunshine," by Chuck Taylor just might feed your read need Here's what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about it:

"The simple life is the most complex life. Don’t waste life watering withered vines growing under a cracked foundation. Look to the sky and know there’s a home for us all."

And here's a bit to get you goin':

(photo (above) "Hello, Sunshine" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

I saw Jadene, my neighbor across the street, take a sledgehammer to her small brick house. She was working on the east side, smacking the red bricks cemented in a row right above the cement pad, cracking bricks and then removing chunks with a small crow bar.

I don’t know how long Jadene had been at the task. When I noticed, it was around nine on a Monday in June and I was late for work. She had a bottle of water stuck into a fanny pack at her hip.

Jadene managed a convenience store down on the nearest highway. We rarely spoke as neighbors, but I went to the store regularly. When the place was empty, we’d chat a bit. Jadene said she had once lived the high life—grand food, unlimited drinks, drugs, and partying all the time—as an undercover DEA agent who’d infiltrated a major Austin drug ring. How she did this she did not explain, but now she has a new name and new identity. She found her present life dull and unsatisfying.

“You get hooked on the high life,” she told me...


Keep this read goin' 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...

Expressin' It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

11.05.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.05.16

"If you want to win anything - a race, yourself, your life - you have to go a little berserk." ~ George A. Sheehan

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“ego separation” (above) by featured artist Jennifer Lothrigel. To see more of Jennifer's's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at MadSwirl.com!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we turned rejection on its ear; we beautified now with those not here; we constructed faith from crucifixion; we took from givers, without conviction; we bowed with a bower; we cowed with a coward; we dismembered a member; we contained a crazy. We covered it all, from clear to hazy. ~ MH Clay

This is the Title by Tom Hall

A lot of people I call “friends” don’t know that I’m insane.
“Insane” arouses passions when I really am quite tame.
“Tame” is a subjective word I feel that I attain,
Cause even though I have no skull, it’s hard to read a brain.

Using iams, I will try to make this next line work.
I’m bi-polar with little hints of schizophrenia.
Think: Fluctuating feelings with a little squirt of quirk.
At least that’s what my state says, and that’s California.

Thus, my doctors without bounds, they give me lots of pills.
A trillion dollar industry I’ve done my share to float.
You’ll see my graceful qualities, my motions, wit and skill,
Those stories that you might have heard, all petty anecdotes

But now when Tom-Tom eats his poo, I’ll open up the door.
We’re all in this conspiracy, It’s not for me to bore.

editors note: Cause or effect; his title or their trade? Aid for the doctors, or doctors for the aid? – mh clay


dick in a wheelbarrow by Melanie Brand

I’m a girl who was born with a giant dick.

My dick is so big that I had to special order a jumbo sized wheelbarrow from Lowes just to have some way of carting it around.

Walking down the street, hauling along my massive cock in a jumbo sized metal bucket on wheels is an exhausting chore. This gargantuan piece of sore meat is so hard to see around that I often trip over every possible thing that most people don’t even think twice about stepping over or around.

I run into everything with my hefty hunk of junk. Yesterday I rammed it squarely into the door of the women’s restroom so hard that I felt like I was going to pass out from the shooting pain and embarrassment.

It’s so hard to hide the girth of my penis. No matter what I threw over it to hide it people would still see it and snicker under their breath stuff like, “Check out that chick hauling around that massive wanker” or “who’s she trying to fool by trying to hide that ugly man meat under that tarp.”

Some people though chase after me to get a better look at my King Kong sized flesh dong, they want to touch it, rub it and do all sorts of things to it that make my stomach turn at the mere mention. Their sexual advances get tiring after a while, almost as tiring as it is to have to lift this wheelbarrow up all the time to get anywhere.

Then there’s the problem of my disgusting dick getting in the way of keeping a job. No matter how hard I try to hide that bruised up and sore lump of embarrassment, my jobs always end with the same excuses of my perverted freakish dick being too distracting and obscene for their work place.

Christian fanatics are worse, they chase me down the street when they see me shouting “You’re a sin against god. You and your dick should be stoned to death. You’re a massive pervert.” My personal favorites are when they call me a pedophile even though their brats are the ones throwing rocks at my giant dick.

When I run out of breath, trying to escape the torment and pain, strangers poke at my colossal cock with sticks, inflicting more pain on the most vulnerable part of my body, just to satisfy their sick sense of curiosity.

Good days end well if I haven’t tripped over my enormous dick more than a dozen times or had some smaller prick try and feel up that lump of flesh in a wheelbarrow. A good night for me is if I can just move that ugly slab of flesh out of the way where I don’t have to see it or feel it and enjoy the bliss of being able to ignore my giant dick in a wheelbarrow.

Just for one night.

editors note: Kafka was a prophet. Who knew? – mh clay


eagerly waiting by Volodymyr Bilyk

eagerly waiting for a moment
to be blatantly missed
and torn apart preemptively
deemed utterly superfluous…

CREAKING door sound
under the curtain.
“for your imagination.”

though futile.

sitting still.
thoughtless thoroughly.

guess i should stand up and pray for rain
so i can think then.
or something…

waste muscles its way through me
spurting clouds through any aperture it finds.
turns out – there are a lot of them.

it’s quite annoying.

goose flesh ensues,
eyeballs rolling…

editors note: Apertures everywhere, not a towel in sight. – mh clay


King of Misfit Toys by Chris Zimmerly

I bow before you the king of misfit toys
Always wearing a hole
Always leaving a stain
I didn’t mean to frighten you
I was just thinking like I do
All these years of darkness fondling the dream
Angel versus devil they seem the same thing
All the colors of hurt wing
When love is the hardest thing
Try to fly on a broken wing
When love is the hardest thing

editors note: To remove a malignancy, yet leave the heart intact; so hard, indeed. (Read another of Chris’s creations; something to crow about, on his page – check it out). – mh clay


Chain of denial by James Brown

My mind, full of envy over my open heart passion of giving so freely and sight never seeing clearly, mind and heart juggling instruments for the receivers with knowledge of my heart and them deceiving.
Mind holds back, fighting facts, heart reacts, gifting out, no thank you or profitable give back, only a single red eye blink back.
Hands are out to receive never for reprieve for a condemned heart covered in gold.
Mind encased by the power of slave love with every whipping beat from the heart; chain of denial.

editors note: Altruism; what takers love to see most in others. – mh clay


Golgotha by Milenko Županović

In cold
chambers
of death
gruesome shadows
of sinners
disappear
in the dark
depths
faith
on the hill
of crucifixion.

editors note: Truth to cleanse, found in the dark of self. – mh clay


Overflow by Nikki Anne Schmutz

I couldn’t let go,
so I buried you deep inside
where the reminders of loss
remained unseen, resting
as seeds scattered in places
tended by memories.
A garden sprouted
in the depths of my soul
and grew until it could not
be contained.
I couldn’t let go,
and you became the beauty
inside.

editors note: Yes! Sweet recall to make the emptiness full. – mh clay


Dear Editor: by Joan McNerney

Unfortunately I’m unable to
accept your rejection.

So many come in, it is
possible to accept only a few.

Due to staff limitations
no specific comment
can be made on yours.

Be assured it received
a careful reading.
I do hope you find a home
for this rejection.

Remember rejections are my
foundation and lifeblood.
Always feel free to send more.

editors note: Walkin’ in another’s shoes… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

This week's featured short-short "The Idiots Heritage," by Guram Svanidze just might feed your read need Here's what short story editor Tyler Malone has to say about it:

"Words to live and die by, but mostly to die, because if most artists have it their way, their words will be all that’s left after death."

And here's a bit to get you goin':

(photo (above) "What Outlasts Us" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter)

Each street has its own imbecile, and such was the case with ours. His name was Vaja, with a stutter that caused him many troubles. Anybody could “pretend to be” Vaja and allow himself to babble everything. Nonetheless, sometimes it is useful to have such poor idiots. Vaja invented the word “Ке-ке”, which means: “someone has died.”

One day some men were playing backgammon directly in the street under a tree’s shadow. Meanwhile, a little boy brought a message that 100-year-old Uncle Vano had died. There was a break, with Vaja punctuating this pause: “Vano ke-ke!” The neologism soon became habitual. What was there in this word: disrespect or fear of death? In the event, no one bothered to reflect on it.

The exception was Bejan, my neighbor: “Disrespect to death will be avenged!” He arrived at this conclusion when he became really ill. For a long time, Bejan had been reproaching himself that he was abusing the use of alcohol. However, once an idea struck him that he had been punished since the time when Robert, a young lad, had died. He suffered from a ruthless illness and expired in the hospital. As usual, men were playing dominoes in the street when a woman, a neighbor, opened the window and with a tearful voice delivered the awful news. Bejan was in a good mood. He had just won several games, one after another.

He let drop as follows: “Robert ке-ke!” Nobody noticed. Other men became agitated and approached the woman. Only Bejan with his domino pieces remained sitting.

After a while, Bejan’s liver began to ache somewhat, he lost his appetite, and weakness overcame him such that he had to cease working. He was a taxi driver, and his stomach suddenly started to expand. Soon thereafter, doctors made a diagnosis: cirrhosis...


Keep this read goin' right here!

••• Open Mic •••

All we here at Mad Swirl have gots’ta say about this past 1st Wednesday is Awww! OK, we have a LOT more words to share, what with ALL the poets & musicians and pics & links & tags & whatnot’s we gots…

This month we celebrated our 12th year of mic madness by hosting us a MAD HOOTENANNY! And nothing said HOOTENANNY like musical the MAD-jazzyfunkyfolkyyes-NESS from Swirve-Tree!

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

(photos courtesy of Dan "the man" Rodriguez. To see all of 'em visit our Mad Swirl Flickr page)

Host:
Johnny O & MH Clay

Music:
Swirve-Tree

Mad Cast:
Desmene Statum
PW Covington
Gayle Bell
Paul Koniecki
Catie McLain
James Barrett Rodehaver
Reverie Evolving
BA
Gnadia Wolnisty
Eileen Simeonov

HUGE thanks to Swirve-Tree (Chris Curiel, Gerard Bendiks – MH Clay, Chris Zimmerly, Greg Robinson) 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…

HUGEST 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...

Goin' berserk,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

10.29.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.29.16

"Look around. Look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere—you only have to look to see it." ~ Bob Ross

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“abandoned church” (above) by featured artist Jennifer Lothrigel. To see more of Jennifer's's mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at MadSwirl.com!

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we were star-struck, fooled; we saw red, by Autumn schooled; we received what was given; we gave poor a way of livin'; we gamed love's system, winnin' and losin'; we got our own through jealous shmoozin'; we fizzled our fire to fix a flat tire; we wound up the week in an easy speak. No cover. All wonder... ~ MH Clay

THE PICCOLO BAR by John Najjar

for Vittorio

Feeling like a piece of debris
In life’s flooding flow
I come here to enjoy the show.
A place for the dispossessed.
Its dark cave light
Offers a coffee-cup shield
Against the ticking clock.
A cafe patronized
By interesting people
Or so the sign said.
Wonder why I am here
Hiding in this blue cloud.

Remember it’s a place
To sit and dream
Drifting with memory’s stream.
Anguish just lost moments
Searching the menu board
While Billy Holiday’s voice
Filters into the night.
Safe in this warm glow
I sit in the corner
And watch characters
Exchange masks
Playing the night
With these star-splashed themes.

editors note: Walk right in, folks. No cover. Masks optional. – mh clay


With each hand… by Simon Perchik

With each hand the same turn
you learned to take apart
put together, tighten

and though the wrench holds on
the tire’s slowly going flat
the only way you know how

– you let go, circle
spring-like, for keeps
around the pin-hole leak

already planes falling into place
as a training song from the 40s
louder and louder, struggling for air

– at last the tire goes down
half under the ground
where you need both wrists

the way flowers wilt and each breath
takes in more smoke, still black
on course, end over end, almost there.

editors note: Meek machinations to maintain mobility, leaking languor. – mh clay


THESE DAYS OF OUR LIVES by Joseph Lisowski

This lady up the block
got this daughter across the street.
They ain’t exactly buddies
but, you know, they get along.
One day the girl’s dad, her ex
comes visitin’ with his new wife.
I mean it’s like nothin’s said
but soon there’s this parade of guys
knockin’ on the lady’s door–
five of them ina week by my count
an’ once two in one night, all comin’
in clean, shiny cars, them spiffed,
knockin’ ona door it seems
whenever her ex is ona porch
across the street.
The guy don’t say, do nothin’.
No tellin’ what’s on his mind.
I look again at the woman,
I can’t figure what she got
that causes the traffic jam.

Who knows? Maybe she
makes one helluva omlette.

editors note: Some eggs on a plate to put egg on his face? – mh clay


The Games by Chuck Taylor

Here’s John, honestly in himself,
Wanting his cock in cunt,
Not caring beyond beauty,
The bodies divine, wanting
To stay and walk away

And here’s Mary, unsure too,
Wanting it too, in love
With beauty but fearing
It’s name, calling it “cute,”
Thinking John’s might be

The one for babies,
And they want it
Both soft and hard
Fire quick and molasses slow.
You know how it goes

The Humorous, the intense
The Light, the dark
Forever and a day
Both Liberty and security
The whole swinging ecstasy

And all the while
Here comes the beginning
Of the always saying
You’re the one who’s
Got it all wrong,

And soon they turn
burned with anger,
Righteous as anyone’s God
“Try to learn respect,
I’m not a piece of meat!”

editors note: Just a game, which everyone plays for keeps. – mh clay


Pro-poor by Lawdenmarc Decamora

I got the spirit of the world ninja tuna
I will stay poor my life to experience life
I have dreamed of you so much my sound

My jitney flies and I want to touch bloodbuzz
Blueberry body into the persuading coolness

I don’t have money to enter forgetting
I don’t have money because I don’t like it

The photograph hung against the blue world
Blue pain buzzing bee-bowskidee-doo-beep
Would you like to take a walk and sleep

The morning with simple kindness and bells
Tintinnabulating like my heart church crisis

Come away getting rich what we are not
Before you know it the dream is gone

Logical squares finally squawking
And thinking freer then freezing free
Like a perfect circle caking corners
Crooked imagination and begonia skies

You may be thinking I am limitless
And I have nothing to offer
Yes I have nothing and I’m proud of it

But there’s music in it full of love lions

Looks like it happened again you got them
All capital magisterial magic numbers

Still got the sensible wear-me-out blues
Of moneyheads undervaluing poetry
Of the breeze knifing through shades
Of the thousand blue get real

I will stay poor my life to experience life
Who’s going to disappear write forever

Who’s going to change I say, Go do!

editors note: Yes! Do! Cuz, before you know it… – mh clay


Received by Akanksha Varma

You, me, ripped jeans,
cigarette ash, beer, iPod.
That was seventeen years ago
and that is seventeen seconds ago.
Nothing much has changed
except those superficial
wrinkles next to our eyes,
the rings on our third
finger and the slight
loose fat on our arms.
Nothing much has changed
except when our song
came, we felt a tingle
imagining our future and
now we feel nostalgia
imagining what could’ve
become of you and me, us.
Nothing much has changed,
except that our previously
clandestine meetings are
now known to our husbands.
Nothing much has changed,
except that I’m afraid to tell
you how I still feel about
you and that you are now
afraid to hear what I may
say, even though you know.
Nothing much has changed
in these seventeen years.
It is still a small party.
You, me, ripped jeans,
cigarette ash, beer, iPod
and our unsent vestiges
of love, received.

editors note: A love, once given, once received; still given, still received. – mh clay


Pomegranate by Lana Bella

you thought you saw
red in the autumn foliage,
fraught with seeds of
spilling pomegranate –
a concentric witness to
the same gravity that kept
seasons fed in aviary
restraint and embryonic
tantrums, you had been
introduced well to
this old story that became
new, while palace of young
leaves burst into blades
of grass, cold spells snaked
through roots, stitched
runnels from beads of rain –

editors note: A whole world constructed from what we think we see… – mh clay


Empyreal Heart and Soul by Harley White

O Nebulae of Heart and Soul!
In infrared portrayal WISE,
your colors grace the stellar skies.
Have you a core celestial role?

Supernal presences you seem
that steal one’s fancy unawares,
far-off from earthly human cares,
inspiring a soulful dream.

Does music of the spheres resound
in utterness of heavens’ art
to beating of a boundless heart
we seldom hear here on the ground?

You bring to mind the vintage song,
where lovers fell in love and kissed
one magic night in moonlit mist —
a classic tune, still going strong.

Six thousand light-years from our Earth
is where you two evince your charm —
part of Perseus’ spiral arm —
in cosmic womb for starry birth.

That limb is in our Milky Way.
Cassiopeia holds the Soul
east of the Heart, to make the whole
of the mosaic on display.

Your archetypal names evoke
Cupid and Psyche myths of old,
tales allegorical untold,
poetic visions you awoke.

In concert you’re a perfect pair.
Befittingly you reign on high.
Lest we forget wherefore and why,
our true humanity is there!

editors note: Again, these storied stars tell tales of us. What tales do we tell of them? – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

Need-a-Read? This week's featured short-short "A Swan’s Memory," by Christopher Iacono just might trigger your memory! Here's a bit to get you recollectin':


When I was seven years old, my father dragged me onto one of those swan pedal boats they used to have at the beach.

It was so hot the seatbelt buckle burned my fingers every time I touched it. Staring at the water, I wished I knew how to swim so I could jump right in.

While Dad was peddling, I sat back and watched the other people in their boats. He grinned the whole time, but I was bored and imagined all the boats colliding like bumper cars.

The whole time, he kept rambling on about swans, grinning at his own knowledge of such things. “Did you know swans remember every kind thing you do for them?” I didn’t care. Instead, I imagined treating the boats like bumper cars and colliding with the one carrying a girl with blonde pigtails.

Sweat stung my eyes. I tried to wipe it away, but the moisture coating my arms made it worse, so I cupped some water in my hand and threw it in my face. What a relief! I flung some more, but then Dad said, “Stop it!” So while he wasn’t looking, I unbuckled the seatbelt, straightened my knees just a little, leaned over the side of the boat, and stuck my whole forearm below the surface, the waves licking my elbow. The boat tilted a little, but I didn’t think much of it. I turned my body and put my other arm in it. Dad was still looking straight ahead. My knees were cramped, so I stretched them, tipping the boat even further.

“Hey! Dad shouted. “Get down from there.”

As I turned around, I lost my balance. I spun my arms in a pinwheel motion before tumbling into the water...


Keep this read going' right here!

••• Open Mic •••


Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of November (aka 11.02.16) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our NEW mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ badass City Tavern!

This month we are celebrating our 12th year of mic madness by hosting us a MAD HOOTENANNY! And nothing says HOOTENANNY like musical MAD-jazzyfunkyfolkyyes-NESS from Swirve-Tree (featuring Chris Curiel, Gerard Bendiks – MH Clay, Chris Zimmerly, Greg Robinson, Chris Hunter).

Come on out, one & all. Get a heapin’ helpin’ of musical mad grooves from Swirve-Tree, 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!

The City Tavern is located at 1402 Main Street • Dallas, TX


•••••••

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...

Seein' It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

10.22.2016

The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.22.16

"The pictures are there, and you just take them." ~ Robert Capa

••• The Mad Gallery •••


“abandoned ship” (above) by featured artist Jennifer Lothrigel. To see more of Bill's mad canvases, as well as our other featured artists, visit our mad Gallery at MadSwirl.com!

Our newest featured artist, Jennifer Lothrigel hails from the west coast and she brings us some photography that really rocks our Swirl world! With the ever-present contrast of light and dark – daylight seeping through the windows of an abandoned building, a giant piece of an old ship against an otherwise clear, grey beach – stirs something up inside of us that we can’t quite explain. As if the scenery itself wasn’t enough, there’s a female figure in every image. She’s turned away, anonymous – like something straight from a dream, the kind you can hardly piece together once you open your eyes the next morning. Needless to say, Lothrigel’s work does a lot for us. But mostly, it leaves us curious, compelled and hungry for more. If you too are prone to mad curiosities and are feel compelled to get your visual feast on, you’ve come to the right place! ~ Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we wound a woman in earth, or earth in a woman; we quested for questions, OK with no answers; we were hard to see; we were hard to be; we sought relaxation in transformations; we twined two for too late; we muddled through the math to balance love's equation; we brought past moon to calm the present beast. Start to finish, we grow, not diminish, when we let the poem be. ~ MH Clay

I want myself back, my crescent moon by Haris Adhikari

My crescent moon, I was like you
Many, many years ago — idyllic, and free
Of dirty treads, of wounds and pain.
You’d beam bright upon my being
When I’d be down in disturbed liquors,
Pull me closer to you, my crescent moon, you’d
Create havoc in hell and heaven,
Calm me down, my crescent moon, you’d
Wake my soul up from extreme exhaustion
And I’d see you riding on dinosaurs,
Up and high in spirit to win the world,
My true warrior, you’d show myself
Calm and compassionate in the beasts’ eyes;
Oh! I want myself back, my crescent moon.

editors note: Yes! Bring back the days when the Man in the Moon was you! – mh clay


Math, you, and I by Samantha Hawkins

If all the world was a pie chart and all the people
merely percentages of a greater whole number
then you would be a three-dimensional, fuchsia-colored slice
And if life just consisted of sterile integers and barren digits

you would be the picture worth a 1000 pixels squared
I would be the nervous wreck of a train going 90 mph
barreling for nowhere in particular, too soon, too fast
Because some equations never change

no matter how many times you divide and multiply
Divide and multiply, divide — oh you get the point
If the value of you is me to the infinite power
then the value of me is x times the square root of your love

I told you once you were my favorite digit
I lied, you are my favorite improper fraction
so very top-heavy, and by that I mean brain-wise
Compared to your numbers, I am wanting

When simplified, our least common denominator is 1
before you I wasn’t even a prime number
wasn’t worth a notch on the number line before or after 0
I was a textbook manic, a black splotch of a decimal

introducing a most resplendent series of 9’s
And you solved every one of my word problems in short form
But if I could be less than binary with you for a minute
more transparent, and screw the math altogether

I’d tell you that no amount of factors or multiples
will ever lead me too far away from you
Because our differences plus the ratio of your 2 lips to my 2 lips
are the sort of statistics dreams are made of

editors note: Love in (rational) numbers. (We welcome Samantha to our creative congress on Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


Two flowers by Sakazaf

Two friends, two days,
Two ways, two lives.
Too late to be like two flowers.

Things were said,
Said was thrown,
Hurt was gifted.
Too late to be like two flowers.

Two friends, one day
One way, one life
To become two flowers.

Fallen leaves,
Dried out roots,
Trampled under dirty boots.
Too late for two flowers.

editors note: Indifference? Betrayal? How fragile our bonds can be… like these two flowers. – mh clay


Transformations by Stephen Page

The weight of grass is heavy
Upon my shoulders; lift it,

Scythe is, mow it, let the cattle
Feed that I may walk again.

I sit upon a log in the shade
Of Wood. I sip mate.

I visit Buenos Aires and lie
In bed all day and watch cartoons.

I just want to sleep in
One Saturday, One Monday.

I want the Field Crossers
To stop trampling the grass,

To stop walking across my back
When they think I am napping:

Don’t they know the padlock turns
Are all numbered and recorded?

Editor, Advisor, stop planting corn
When I want my fields clovered.

I want again my daily strolls
In the quiet of Wood,

To watch for hours the bumblebees work
And lock eyes with the mockingbird.

editors note: Clover over corn? Yes! (This poem is a fine one of the mad many included in Stephen’s new collection, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River, published by Finishing Line Press. Get it here.) – mh clay


A SONNET OF LOGICAL POSITIVISM by satnrose

above the mainly positive is known
so let there be discussions and the Name
proponents of the member language shown
before the circle turns around again

consensus joins to vet the written word
the advocates speak in a language plain
but opposition makes it seem absurd
and still Vienna begs to be explained

the doctrine of the standard proposit:
to add it up you must include your toes
it’s rational as long as it has Wit-
tggenstein assume an a priori pose

epistemology is well and good
but what is what if you’re misunderstood?

editors note: Yes, precisely… What? (Read another of satnrose’s mad rants on his page; fear, assuaged in beer. – check it out.) – mh clay


Numb by Goirick Brahmachari

The dust I have acquired over the years
has hid my eyes from all that is before me
And I rust, disappear a little from your memory
Your vision
It has been a slow ride
And now the hills have turned their back
And I am not exactly sad
Or happy, I can’t see very well.

editors note: No definition, no disappointment. – mh clay


Not Forgotten by Bob Burke

So it starts
With a star explosion

Giving light to billions
Giving life in the form of minions

The architects with blood of Prometheus
Crafters of stars and protectors of the origin of light

All things are already learned
They just learn them again for cosmic kicks

Learning that they are their own creation
For that moment of salvation

Sun born galaxies rise and are left in their wake
Leaving the sparks of their imagination to light the night sky

~
Limits are set
But are not real

We believe what we perceive
Boundaries placed by what we can see

The Galaxies surround us unseen
Eyes closed by the infinity of space

They do not see, there is no limit
Above the horizon of their night sky

Where dreams are formed
And new realities born

~
Who am I?
What is this?

Do I belong?
Have I longing?

Who ignited so many stars?
And why do I see only a glimpse of their life span?

~
What we are
They once were

Lost to be found
With only questions

Hold them still without answer
Invite light not words, ignite stars not wars

Some questions serve better unanswered
But not forgotten

Left in the presence of being
With their own destiny to fulfill

editors note: Learn to leap limits as luminaries for long-lost lookers. – mh clay


When the sloping Earth… by Bhupender Bhardwaj

When the sloping earth within the latticed wooden perimeter
Of the duck pond cracks open in spaces from the fierce heat
Of the tropics it not only yields the anatomy of the wilted
Blade of grass but also the snapshot of its glowing core
That rotates non-stop. The plaited nightgown of water flows
Smoothly down your woman’s curved body of monolithic
Stairs landing into the pond. The paper-white ducks freighted
With the foreknowledge of future wade thoughtfully; the impending
Drought showing itself in their buttoned up eyes. Through the
Stiffened leaves lying scattered the wind steals like a thief and
Raising dust that settles on eyelashes, dictates the essay of stoniness.

Yearning with its cargo of incredible visions and perfumed ponderances
Enters the world through two pillared gates and Bells tinkle sonorously in
The ears of timorous hope.

editors note: Earth breaks forth with its own agenda. (We welcome Bhupender to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Mad Swirl has just the one to feed your need with.

This week's featured short-short "Planet," by Contributing Writer/Poet Sam Rapth, is outta this world! Or is it? You'll be the judge...

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about "Planet":

"We want to be echoes, we want everything to last or outlast us. But when nothing’s left, everything’s left to start over."

Here's a bit to slip you into the mood:

photo (above) "Our Place" by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter

“This one is located twenty light years away. The planet should be habitable with the right gravity and pressure as is revolves around its star very comfortably in the goldilocks zone”

“Does it have water?”

“It did long time ago, may be a million years. Look at the lines over there. Water had been flowing in there once.”

“I see. Could it have supported life? Like aliens?”

“Definitely. If there was water, there should have been life. Million years ago, but not now”

“Why?”

“Not sure. Maybe a meteor in the past millennia.”

“If it was a meteor, there should have been a crater on the surface. Nothing like that shows up in the picture.”

“Maybe the aliens must had exhausted all the water and oxygen and made the planet a raging hurricane of useless gases and acid rains.”

“I see. Let us send a probe and do some basic research on the surface. What are the coordinates for the planet?”

“Galaxy is Milky Way, located very close to Zodiac Star Cluster and is the third planet to its star.”

“Done. Give it a name now”

“Earth. It shall be called Earth.”


•••••••

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...

Takin' It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor