9.13.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.13.14

”What delights us in visible beauty is the invisible.” Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

••• The Mad Gallery •••


This month we are extra excited to show you some old photographs we found while sifting in our grandparent's attic. Fool ya'? Sike! These seemingly throwback images are the photog gems of our featured artist, Rosie Lindsey! Trust us when we say that we can go on and on about Rosie's work. But sometimes, when it comes straight from the source, it proves to be much better than we could ever do... "I wish I had a time machine so I could visit Times Square in the 70's or travel before the interstate HWY system was put into place. All I can do is document the echoes of those times and places". Please Rosie, we here at Mad Swirl don't think we're alone when we ask you: don't stop documenting these classic echoes! Ms. Lindsey has a knack for capturing a certain lost energy of a time past that most of us wish we could travel back to. But thanks to Rosie, we can look at these stunning, chilling photographs and pretty much feel like we are there. Wanna take a trip with us down memory lane? Then check out these classic shots and lose yourself in the madness of what was, with the swirls of what still remains. ~ Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we pinched professorial pecadillos, simmering in centipede smiles; we caught a cuckold's ire to pay for unfaithful fire (fealty lost in freedom's cost); we smiled at love so smitten, a man entwined in words written; we held back the night, filled cracks with light; we found inspiration in isolation; we confounded the cosmic glass, with ceiling stars of a diamond lass; we tipped the scale of things top-shelf, out-weighed the world to let shine self. It's a balancing act, every day. Read to wipe the world away. ~ MH Clay

Just in case you missed it, here's a taste...

breathe easy

there’s always somebody with a longer pipe,
a bigger hose, a higher car, a louder voice,
a holier prayer, a furrier cat, more modern p.a. system,
bigger book, crazier look, jazzier hook.

more bark-filled branch, more experience in romance,
fancier pants, better dance. more charm, longer arm,
higher IQ and more and more and more of everything than me and you.

there’s always somebody with a louder voice,
wider choice, bigger wit, more brawn and grit.
there’s always just somebody with more,
makes a grander exit out the door, owns a smoother tile floor,
lives on the street of greater jones, elicits bigger moans.
always someone who can outdo you.
so don’t try, don’t sigh, don’t rush, push, squash
swelter with bristle and gristle and effort.
burst with will, over-kill. let go. don’t try.

listen to the breath run out your nose for
one pure second, that’s all.
if you could forget who you are for one-quarter of a second
you could be more than you.

there’s always somebody who could out-run you,
out-gun you, out-smoke you, out-fight you, out-joke you.
show you his mansion in the back,
turn your palace into a shack.
meet you on 4th street and turn your feeling into second place.
predators, workers, normal people with intention or without
un-do you before you try--

hang it up, let it alone, be still.
don’t ask, don’t try, don’t pull-push.
if you forgot who you are and released,
you’d be satisfied. and there would be
no place to finish, first or last.

you’d be everywhere without dis-satisfaction.
you’d be in the center with everything and if you could see the rose,
you’d realize it’s bigger than the entire cosmos. then.
if you forgot who you are in that way,
in the center with everything, larger, then you could be found,
while the rest are holding tiny straws of false gold.

- Carl Kavadlo

(1 poem added 09.13.14)

editor's note: And while you're at it, tell me the sound of one hand clapping... - mh


Like a Diamond in the Sky

Twinkle the stars in night’s display—
Sun’s shining rays light up the day…
and yet, if futures vast we may
divine, white dwarf with diamond core
(that crystallized in ages yore)
will pulsate like a cosmic gong
its tintinnabulary song
(no longer sunbeams to bestow)
in seven billion years or so…;

then Sol might twinkle for the eyes
of distant poets far more wise,
beyond our cares— whoever dares
(if dreamers dwell in heres and theres,
whate’er whene’er where’er they are)
to seek and find our once bright star
(that like us also flames and dies)—
those with the loupe to look with sighs
for long lost Lucys in the skies…

- Harley White

(1 poem added 09.12.14)

editor's note: When galactic poets wish upon our star... - mh


Perfect Isolation

Hiding out in the mid-night blue.
Old school cool jazz blowing hot.
Felines present purr their own songs,
in the smoke-filled room.
Peanut-butter and honey sandwiches;
more coffee and smokes.
Fingers on the keys, unconscious dictation.
The wind rustling through the chimes
outside sends a momentary chill to the blood.
The machine takes another call;
don’t feel like talking right now…as usual.
Let nothing intrude but the senses.
Hiding out again…and always.
Bless this perfect isolation.

- S. A. Gerber

(added 09.11.14)

editor's note: When "unconscious dictation" comes best; when it's only you, yourself and... - mh


Filling Cracks

Things squeeze out of cracks
egg whites drip
grass blades strike sidewalks – shooting up
rain sneaks through patio pane

A fatted thigh presses and pops needing ease
splitting seam
earth quakes and rumbles
erupting – releasing power, fire, gas
sand slips
water won’t be held back by cloud

and light slips underneath the locked door
offering radiance
bringing sight

- Heather M. Browne

(1 poem added 09.10.14)

editor's note: I need a good caulk for my composure. Only let the light show through. - mh


Man's Love

Eyes weary and spent behind that sparkle
that glimmers just for you

Hands rugged and strong behind the gentle
that strokes across your cheek

Lips cracked and cold yet smile such warmth
as your eyes catch onto his

Voice gravelled and low yet ever deep
speaks words so full of sweet

Breath heavy and loud stops in its tracks
as you flirt THAT look his way

A man's love is written in the little things he does
which speak much more in volume than 3 words ever could.

- Tina Clowes Kay

(added 09.09.14)

editor's note: What's said is dead if what's done don't follow. Man - Woman - Truth! - mh


Cost and Freedom

We are married to each other
I earn the bread and butter
and that leaves you to manage our shelter.

Being bothered about your jobless old friend Nick
while I was away at work,
You missed to wash my suit
as you eventually got lost
over the phone with him and slept…

with all due respect,
I am not a male chauvenist...

I understand your freedom but
every ounce of freedom comes with its own cost...

All I am asking is,
free me from paying the cost of your freedom...

- Sam Rapth

(1 poem added 09.08.14)

editor's note: There's the universal question, "Who pay's for your freedom?" The universal answer is still in debate... - mh


The Unsustainability of Bugs Tracking Bread Crumbs

Shooing away sparrows to make room to dance legs over lectures,
Their paternity, at last’s become the latest celebration, leftovers
Notwithstanding. Physical energy can’t be as ugly as slugs.

If critters can’t help but be servile to predators, it’s best to shelter them;
Cat-loving grandfathers abound; they come a cropper to living rooms.
Fend off insensitive directions, thereafter, remain more than horrific.

Consider the sexist episode of one American professor, an old bachelor,
Caught amidst the abundant pinching of cheeks and noses, grinning
At little girls (alongside some adults, calibrations got regulated).

Accordingly, the door to room six, in that neighborhood of stone, decked
High and higher with lanais, near the parking area closest to boxes, brings
Extended family, other white collar crime, adultery as exercise plus entertainment.

It remains undesirable to allow bugs to track bread crumbs. We’re wiser when
Training roaches, millipedes, human creepy crawlies, the separation of responsibilities
From pleasures. Extra effort’s needed with elders intent on bad goings on.

- KJ Hannah Greenberg

(1 poem added 09.07.14)

editor's note: And perpetual perfidy is hard to maintain... - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Got a hankerin' for a story that you could sink your teeth into? Then check out the latest addition to our short stories library, "Crooked" by Shawn Macrae. This tasty tale just might get you a bit hot and bothered. Why? Because it is both delightfully deviate and definately disturbing. Right up our alley! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week story: "Get your kicks while you can, any way you can. Do it before someone gets their kicks out of kicking you."

Here's a taste to tease ya’:

photo by Tyler Malone

It happened after a night of drink and drugs, licking, sticking, sucking and fucking her way into friendship at a party. Jenny was speeding the streets trying to make it home before her father found her gone. He was always up with the first chirp of an early bird, and her time was quickly dwindling, as the fading moon foreshadowed the sun on the distant horizon. She was almost home when she saw the sirens flashing in her rear view.

Goddamnit!

Jenny knew the town was over populated with pigs on patrol, and there was nothing for them to do but break balls. That was the general consensus in all small towns. More often than one would think, it was an upstanding citizen who fell victim. Someone who avoided trouble, worked hard, and paid their taxes which afforded for those bastards all the unnecessary coffee and donuts, not to mention, a roof beneath which, at night, they rest their weary egos.

She had always considered that officers of the law were losers with little man syndrome. That they spent the majority of their lives eating the shit that their peers continually over fed them only to attain a badge and regurgitate on the next generation with a sense of entitlement. She never really went out of her way to avoid trouble with the law but often slipped beneath their radar casually waving her middle finger. Not this time.

She pulled off to the side of the road, and he approached her driver side window.

“LICENSE AND REGISTRATION.”

While he reviewed her paperwork she noticed him casually glancing at the cleavage her tight shirt revealed. She couldn't bear the consequences, so she began to verbally egg him on.

Pull over now and find out the final verdict 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’ Delighted,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

9.06.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 09.06.14

”I am an unpopular electric eel in a pool of catfish.” Edith Sitwell

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Big Fish (above) by contributing artist Sheri L. Wright.

When you think of mundane, ordinary, every-day images turned to striking, beautiful and strong, perhaps the name 'Sheri L. Wright' comes to mind? If not, it might now! Sometimes we need a nudge to remind us that we don't have to go to a gallery to see art, but just look around. The latest photos by Sheri serves as a reminder that just a slight change of perspectives can transform ordinary things into extraordinarily scenes! To see more Mad works from Sheri, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery. ~ Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we were suckered by a simpering salesman; we tried to sustain what we couldn't maintain; we failed the requirements for a rollover retirement; we saw an unsullied sun set everything free for an unbridled run; we languored in eye-lit lust; we flared into conflagration, the stringers of self inflamed; we pondered the possibility that a plane is a plane is a plane. The pilot has turned off the fasten seat belts sign, you are now free to move about the cosmos... ~ MH Clay

Just in case you missed it, here's a taste...

Plane

The man on the plane
beside you
is a plane.

He speaks like a plane
and laughs like a plane
and when the stewardess brings him
a pair of headphones
for the inflight movie
he thanks her like a plane.

He seems a little redundant to me.
Why put a plane inside a plane?
Perhaps this is the new way of doing things.
A way to save on fuel.

No one can be sure.
The airlines are far from forthcoming.

The plane asks for a pillow
and closes his eyes.

When the plane falls asleep
he snores loudly with his
mouth open.

I lean over and peer inside
to see if there is a plane
inside this plane

as
well.

- Ryan Quinn Flanagan

(1 poem added 09.06.14)

editor's note: Here's some plane speaking for the hard of airing. - mh


The Star Puppets

Sashay to the boardwalk, scurry to the ditch
Just another future song, lonely little kitsch
- David Bowie

The nightmare was neither bad television,
nor kitsch. Whatever it was struck home
light years away. Something blurrily animal, lissomely human,
blurrily moving, a semblance, a leprechaun,
spidered a hush hush mystery screen
too swiftly to pinpoint the family of man’s shadow.
The imagery was archetypal before it was born
on an ancient tree, and the cradle broken
shattering the old limb. A Tree of Knowledge –
Yggdrasil, man’s tree of family and faith, ablaze,
ashing, ashing the route to satellite wonders.
Or were we broadcasting ourselves?

We watched in dumbstruck lassitude,
like couch potato marionettes
shoulder to shoulder, locked knees,
mouths puckering up-down, open and shut.
Which way was the root? Whither the star trail?
-- switch stations, and Sybil’s leaves respelled the fable.
We returned to catch the last theatrical
curtains flying up. Forgive us please stunned expressions –
forgive us silent prayers, rickety
stiffness of trolls on an old geezer’s shelf
who thought we trembled given a pair of loose nails
straining the racks.

We burnt like wood. Firewood.
Pinewood. Redwood. Cedar conflagrations
seared ourselves to our skins. Matchstick trees
hung on lean strings of bark and vein
together. The shock so ironic, so homely, so
astral. Picking up a cup, the cabinet cups,
we said thank you, please, and lay the saucer down
with the caution of house domestics; forgive us the
star puppetry
love less love than a skittish
theatre of strained affections.
Color of scalding. Pink flesh of kindling.
Toothpicks, shaved saplings, teeth
to a forestry nova.

- Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

(added 09.05.14)

editor's note: We ARE stardust, dangling by the singed strings of chance. - mh


Sparks

If spark is to flame
your eyes ignite desire
whose blame is this-
this raging fire?

- David R. Bowman

(added 09.04.14)

editor's note: Said the flint to the fuel. - mh


Torpor Sun,

allowing winds
to douse your ferocity;

for clouds to billow
wildly, unbridled
across your numb

face. Your dawn
disoriented, perishes
before birthing;

allowing dim shades
to nudge your glariness,

for roofs to construct
over your unsheltering,

for trees to flutter
their leaves in breeze;

for bees to settle
on flowers longer
than dictated.

A winter and spring
are unfettered in battle;

mischief unbound,
abound brooks
and streams rousing;

dishevelled is calm
sans your breathing.

Beware

maundering sun,
you are allowing
way too much…

- Sheikha A.

(added 09.03.14)

editor's note: All that living of life unchecked? No telling what mayhem a moving sun might make. - mh


ACCOUNT OF SUFFERING

The difference between
skunk slush & iguanas,
scorpions on your tongue,
Aristotle like the feathered rawhide tip
of a whip, the noose, the noose,
the mannequin behind GM airbag
or the rollover retirement
along a bruised halogen stretch
of Alligator Alley.

- Alan Britt

(1 poem added 09.02.14)

editor's note: Ouch! Like the lady said, "...might as well live." - mh


Of Things You Might Consider

the ram’s kiss
skin rough as alligator tongue
the feeling of fur.

cows in their peasant uniforms
wind piercing like a squeal: a pig
in terror –

the pile of rose crumbs I’ve dropped
a needle through a teddy bear’s eye
mickey mouse hung from a
string –

the delicacy I’m serving
things my hands do

the situation I’m containing.

- Richelle Dodaro

(added 09.01.14)

editor's note: Consider the caprice of poets; no containment here, but everything let loose - look out! - mh


Sale Item

The guy who sold me this
even guaranteed it
doesn’t work here now
that I need him and
his wonderful sense
that things will work
will go on – his brave
words in the face of
reality; certainty like
his shouldn’t pass
from this world, but
his former manager
and co-workers seem
reluctant to recall
his smiling face, his
way of getting a person
to walk out of here
with over-priced
potential junk
under his arm
on his plastic, smiling
completely sold
never guessing he’d be
back in two days
looking for someone
who may or may not
have worked here
sometime in the past.

- J.K. Durick

(2 poems added 08.31.14)

editor's note: Another victim, vanquished by a vanished, positive purveyor of products untried. Caveat emptor! (Read another one from J.K., deviled in the details, on his page - check it out!) - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? Good! We got a fine one for ya’!…

This week's featured short-short is a sordid and sad tale that will grab ya’ from the first few words. Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week story “The Mystery of Mister Hollywood Zero” by Erica Merkow… "Just think that tonight, when you look up at the night sky (and you should) all that starlight is millions of years old, and it's traveled across what we call space, away from its dead origin, just to see us along with disgusting stars we look up to."

Here's a taste to tease ya’:


Oh, roll me over, in the clover, red hot rover, white cliffs of Dover…

Yeah, man. Cry me a river, baby. You came alive once, once in a blue moon, Angie, and it hurt me so badly to see your frantic performances on the patio stage as you, demonstrating no talent at all, sought to rely on your physical beauty to somehow pull you through the darkening nightmare of your life. Your voice, hoarse from too many cigarettes, cigarettes given you by using malcontents who wanted a piece of you for their self-gratification; your poetry a litany of hurt; then you disappeared.

I watched you, restive, worried, as you drifted into exhaustion after a longish drive to San Antonio, a drug run, and the green lounger, matched to your lovely skin, somehow made me sad to know how easily you allowed yourself to be used. Truly, in another world, you would have been an Irish beauty, yet the stories you told me horrified: You, walking alone through a dark part of town, a little too tipsy as you walked uptown, and the gang-bangers in their tricked-out car with spinners and black-light flashing, slowing down, threatening to rape you; how you screeched-out, and then proudly told me your voice had frightened them into moving on, away from you.

What on earth were you trying to do with your life?

After tasting that, how can you stop now? Eat up ’til you’re full right here!

••• Open Mic •••


This past 1st Wednesday at "Mad Swirl featuring... R.A. Hernandez" was absolutely everything we'd hyped and hoped it would be... and MORE! After reading R.A.’s words in our online Poetry Forum for years, it was a pleasure to have him live on our stage!

Thanks to ALL the wonderful poets and musicians who came to Absinthe Lounge to appreciate & participate in our mic madness. t'was a fine night to be alive and in our Mad Swirl world. In case you missed this Mad action, here is a visual the line-up of who was who…


(photos courtesy of Dan Rodriguez. to see 'em all, visit our flickr page)

Feature:
R.A. Hernandez

Hosts:
Johnny O
MH Clay
Chris Zimmerly

Mad Cast:
Kerseymere
Victory
Paul Koniecki
Carlos Salas
Opalina Salas
Andy Duvall
PW Covington
Jasmin Kinnard
Holiday

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of October (aka 10.01.14) at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the LIVE way that we do every month. Get to the Lounge early, dig upon the musical musings of Swirve and this month's feature, loco local poet & musician, Kerseymere!

Come one, come all! Mad poets, musicians, actors, singers, circus freaks and Elvis impersonators... come-n-strut-yo-stuff. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl.

AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with the swirlin' madness. Here's the line-up for the rest of 2014!…

November: Karen X
December: Paul Koniecki

•••••••

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...

Electrifyin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

8.30.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.30.14

”Art is beauty, the perpetual invention of detail, the choice of words, the exquisite care of execution.” Theophile Gautier

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Die-Cut 2 (above) by featured artist GM Spear. To see more Mad works from GM, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

a

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we saw through his fall to his moss covered wall; we placed hand in glove, mimed bustle with no bus; we reclined upon a wedding bed, alcohol images, blood flowing red; we directed our focus to sex and a crocus; we tested wrath's limits to plumb the depths of love; we ringed by areola the center of our desire; we shook in the shadows, found full of light (or what comes after). Everything and nothing this week; pockets filled with pilfered penchants to carry into next... ~ MH Clay

Just in case you missed it, here's a taste...

Met him psychosis

Of the time of school and times tables,
Of numbers counted from zero
To an end, a ten, a twenty, a thirty.
An introduction to the idea of no end
Was all numbers plus the latest one,
And on, and on you would walk down
The dark tumbling roads towards a home
With a wild birthday cake of sparkling candles
In the black sky, and then comes the shaking,
The unmentionable fear, the crying,
The muddying of knees, the mind slipping
A gear and reckoning with forever
For a moment stretching without end
And the body, all earthly and born,
Broke into pieces of an early death
While some other state mourns the boy.

Whistling in the dark fighting off floating
Nothing always surviving in the end.
Raggedy arms clutching at air. Some
Skin feeling the roll of wet shock - the body
Raising a flag of surrender to the end
And for a moment you lifting away,
Changing into some other universe,
Uncounted and unperceived, a place
Beyond the lick and sweat and electric
Shocks of the brain seated on warbling neck.

Some nothing resting at peace beyond
The screaming, loving, laughing, fighting.
Some nothing full of the everything that would
Come and the everything that would go away.
Some part knew of an end and the other,
That lost place of no mirroring self, that
Place of no worded understanding,
That place walking into that boy that night
From every place that never was born
In the shadow of this sun and her afterlight.

- Brendan McCormack

(5 poems added 08.30.14)

editor's note: "I'm so full," said the boy. "Full of what?" asked another. "Irrelevant question!" said the boy. (We welcome Brendan to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his intrinsic madness on his new page - do it! I said so!) - mh


All I Want

All I want from
the world is
this

your smile
in times of agony

bottle of
wine
one cigarette
in my left hand
matches
in the other
and your nipples
illuminating the room

while I am laughing
in our
bed

- Peycho Kanev

(1 poem added 08.29.14)

editor's note: Yes, we can write our verses by that light. (We welcome Peycho back to our ranks with this accepted submission. Get a refresher of his madness on his poetry page - check it out.) - mh


Lover’s Tussle

I won’t kiss you ’til we quarrel;
I want to know that you fight fair
and strong and long, with love;
so the worst of you accords
with your best that I adore.
Let us tussle, then rebound
refreshed for tempests
much more kind,
not less profound.

- Craig Kurtz

(2 poems added 08.28.14)

editor's note: I'll die for your love, if I can survive your wrath. (Another good one from Craig on his page, profundities from a glass-mashed moth - check it out.) - mh


Crocus

We enjoyed
the symmetry of walks
together,
smiled
and peeled sex
without caring
what does damnation
exactly mean.
A fucking phone call
changed the gravitational field
of her facial nuances
like the election manifesto
of a ruling party.
Wrapping up the mornings
in old newspapers
and putting them
into our trousers' pockets
we sucked South Avenue
grabbing with our fingers
until the juice of crocus petals
drips intricately from its twig.

- Bhargab Chatterjee

(1 poem added 08.27.14)

editor's note: Love's juices flow like infatuation with a flower. (We welcome Bhargab to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this poem. Read more of his madness on his new page - check it out!) - mh


Matrimony

Half a white pearl, oyster from the sea
Never a whole, largely symbolic
Of the encompassing restlessness.
Inside me is an ocean
I bear the same weight, and lightness
It is the oddest of combinations
But I find a balance.
The lull of the pill inside me
On the crevices of my plague.
It colours its effect, I am emptied.
I lie quietly in my sheets
The dreams of blood fizzle in
And out, like breezes in a field.
The second is pink, to counter thoughts
It kills my suicide and makes me silly
Like a woman on shots of alcohol and men.
When I am not white, I am bright red.
It matches my skin in its clumsy cycle.
There are voids, depressions.
Filled, come furnaces.
Who was I before our matrimony?
I am a disaster.
The waves pull in and out.
I am the atmosphere.

- Alainah Aamir

(added 08.26.14)

editor's note: Vows, "for better or worse." We suffer both, either way; like atmosphere. - mh


Big City Din

Then it was snow. Morning dove telling its story, same old same old.
A cat last seen. Where-
abouts. Scented air
distinctly not of rain or its infatuation with metal.
For when the glove is not on, it mimics:
pause; not being a hand.
Balls from sycamores drop, fuzz to be kicked around.
Aren't any buses today, just their sounds.

- Philip Kobylarz

(added 08.25.14)

editor's note: Sometimes, all we need is the noise. - mh


Ghost house

Passing through
The country
The sight of a
Worn out house
Missing to master
Who, is sinking
In the quicksand
Of material modish
Convention.

Who will see?
A fallen slate
Leaking roof
And plastered
Moss, of: a wall.

- Hem Raj Bastola

(2 poems added 08.24.14)

editor's note: Material Man's lasting legacy; something for the cockroaches to climb. (See another new memorial on Hem's page, check it out!) - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a wicked read? Yeah, thought so…

This week's featured short-short might make y'all look those bundles of firm stiff twigs bound together on a long handle a whole lot differently after you read "Riding a Broomstick" by Johnna A. Hammerman. Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week short-short story… "It’s a good thing witches don’t wither when they’re wet, because if they knew what was on most of our minds all the time, then the dry survivors will have nothing left but puddles and raging broomsticks."

Here's a feel, ya' know, to get your juices flowin':


...Enter Deborah, my witchy friend. Deborah, by Catholic or even Protestant standards, has been riding brooms, so to speak, since she was fourteen-years-old. And fourteen is a “holy number.” one associated with Jesus Christ. Go figure.

Broom number one: Deborah, who is no Wiccan, no pagan, no anything really, even though she goes to church every Sunday and prays and prays for the betterment of the world, has been a Christian since she was a young girl. And by day she basically adheres to the Ten Commandments; but at night, especially after she discovered sloe gin in college, Deborah is riding broom like any natural woman who happens to be single. In college, Deborah was legendary for her “holy sex.” and the boys on campus knew that just a little alcohol or wine could turn Deborah into Fanny Hill, the famous prostitute of one of the very few novels generally considered definitely not “young adult” in nature, an almost age-old novel about a prostitute in the eighteenth century, a harbinger of the so-called Enlightenment—when men and women actively broke religious sanctions against profligate sexual activity.

Deborah rode a broom like a dog. And the boys loved her for it. Not only was Deborah a lovely young woman, but Deborah was a screamer, a moaner and a yeller all at the same time. Yes, Deborah loved “riding broom.” At least when her inhibitions were down.

And, of course, men totally enjoyed “saving” Deborah from her adulterous relationship with Jesus Christ...

With a tease like that, bet'cha you can't stop there 'til you get full reading satisfaction. Well then get your self off here!

••• Open Mic •••


Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of September (aka 09.03.14) at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the LIVE way that we do every month. Get to the Lounge early, dig upon the musical musings of Swirve and this month's feature, Dallas Poet R.A. Hernandez!

After our feature set we urge you stick around to get yourself a spot on our list... first come, first on the list! Which means... get there early!

Come one, come all! Mad poets, musicians, actors, singers, circus freaks and Elvis impersonators... come-n-strut-yo-stuff. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl. RSVP (via Book’o’Faces) on spot on our mic list here!

AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with the swirlin' madness. Here's the line-up for the rest of 2014!…

October: Kerseymere
November: Karen X
December: Paul Koniecki


•••••••

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...

Carefully Executin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

8.23.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.23.14

”Beauty of expression is so akin to the voice of the sea.” George Matthew Adams

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Die-Cut 4 (above) by featured artist GM Spear. To see more Mad works from GM, and our other contributing artists, please visit the Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we suffered the slings of tantrums torrential, frustrated flings of foundered potential; we ripped and roared, resplendent in our rage; we voiced, a vibrant throng, inspired angelic attention to our song; we quenched the flames of passionate courses, gleaned from the corpses of horses; we colored the brunt of the love we want (her, only; womb, ever); we wasted our weaver, warped her wonder, induced her fever; we stood our stead o'er god or vagrant, six days dead. Let the dead bury… ~ MH Clay

Just in case you missed it, here's a taste...

The corpse in the garden

the corpse in the garden
has laid there six days
the sun burns hot
and the garden stinks

a man of clay should go out
and prod that body
with a sharp stick,
see if white worms
bubble from the skin

check for a wallet
and maybe a name
keep the cash
if there is no i.d.
assume it is god.

- Joseph Farley

(1 poem added 08.23.14)

editor's note: What comes from letting the dead do the burying. - mh


Our Mother

“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.”
~ Chief Seattle, The Chief Seattle's Speech

Does she want us
did she ever ---
Or will she weary of our silliness
and shake us from
her noble cloak
like vexing flecks of lint

- Sandra Rokoff-Lizut

(added 08.22.14)

editor's note: Yes, very likely, she will. What's our plan for shrug survival? - mh


Color Wheel

I want her there in the purple
dark of the nighttime
I want her there in the amber
red of the Tuesday dawn
there in the powder blue
or some random afternoon
when frost is still on windows
when day has given away light
when the light shines later
in the conflagration of autumn,
old man with flecks of grey
when tide meets the edge of mind
when the moon sends it flying
backward into the birthplace.

- JD DeHart

(added 08.21.14)

editor's note: Yes! Me, too; her, it, all. - mh


SCHOOL

at the garbage dump
we looked at the buried horses
as the sun burned down
while astronauts strove for control of space
with billions on the line.

in the fetid air
slender legs and awkward hooves
stuck up out of the dump pile pit
flies in hordes like some hell’s neurosis
so numerous
even my girlfriend, a past-life wrangler
looked away.

this is what happens, I said
when civilization is brought to the brink

I was full of all sorts of truth in those days.

my girlfriend smirked and told me
about how she had to put down her old horse Candy
when she broke a leg leaping a rail
the mare that taught herself how to escape the corral
back when only a little colt
equine head on her lap
as she put a bullet through the brain.

with pygmy ears
I haven’t quit listening, in squirmy shoes
I haven’t quit walking away
though long gone is that woman
long gone the rain
beating on the eaves
of the house her father built
on the foundation of an old school
from floorboards of an old garage
out of scavenged brick and tongue-in-groove cedar
no longer that once eternal night upstairs,
a candle
set too close to the pillow
flames racing up the walls
and our tag-team amateur firefighter brigade saving the day.

her old man never found out
that while I was doing the thing to his daughter
we almost burned the house down.

the old goat would’ve lit the old tobacco pipe and laughed,
or maybe not.

the horses are gone
the fences falling down
the old pick-up truck
rusting in the canopy
of endless raindrop evergreens
I never quit listening
to the hearth of beginnings.

it’s always a rainy day
when the horses quit running.

- Jay Passer

(added 08.20.14)

editor's note: Equine educators, interred; old school. Fire prevention, while burning; new school. Exam on Friday. - mh


They Sing

her name, outside my window,
each one, excited for the day before them
proclaiming to the world life is new again
this morning, in the darkness
and at dusk, as it disappears into the rainbow
of colors, a palate fit for Monet.

Should I be jealous...
their words belong to the wind
lyrics I can only capture by ear, but not duplicate?

If you were here
we could practice the chords together
in our own voices, low and sweet,
create our own melody, a song
that even they would listen to with envy
as they looked in on us
and wept.

- Joseph D. DiLella

(1 poem added 08.19.14)

editor's note: Mortals mouth the melody to make the angels cry. - mh


The Rages

Words whir like insects from books in a pyre,
Swarming in smoke as burning pages rage.

Suns resplendent with gold coronas blaze
With fires that through galactic ages rage.

The swirls of Jupiter's cyclonic storms burst
In prismatic fires that through ages rage.

In the Gobi golden whirlwinds laced
With the voices of chanting sages rage.

Screeches & demonic voices emitted
From The Necronomicon's pages rage.

Wings flail amid raucous cackles
As frenzied ravens in their cages rage.

- Steffen Horstmann

(added 08.18.14)

editor's note: Noise makers from cradle to grave; we're all the rage… - mh


Terminus

“Maximum Potential Realized”
Such cold clinical jargon
To signal that it’s all over
But the packing of clothes
Making neat piles of chaos,
Closing the doors you never thought
You could budge.

Will they know that three taps means
“I like you”?
Will they understand that sausage
Is what she will eat for breakfast,
Never eggs, or cereal?
Will they see the anger
In cornflower blue eyes
And simply up the meds
Til she is complacent?

A year I spent
The first face she saw each morning,
Drawing her from sleep
Two year old dreams
In a thirteen year old body,
No words---
Just angry honking
When her pride was offended,

She bruised me,
Flung her breakfast at no one in particular,
And I can forgive every scratch, or kick,
While I count up the things
They will never know in her,
Because she has maxed out,
Little girl lost for all time.

- Lisa Shields

(1 poem added 08.17.14)

editor's note: Every day stopped at the start - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? We got one you could immerse yourself in to!

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "The Drowner" by longtime contributing writer Mike Lafontaine.… "There's a fine art found in drowning, John Berryman proved that. But like poetry and baptisms, it's not for everyone.” Here's just a lil bit for you to swallow:


After praying all night at the foot of his bed searching for answers to questions that never got answered he decided that today was the day he was finally going to kill himself. After an exhaustive search online of the many and varied ways he could shuffle off this mortal coil.

He decided on drowning.

The beach was preferable, although he ran the risk of the lifeguard mistaking him for a person who needed assistance. He could pick a spot with no lifeguards, but he decided against that. He wanted this to be a deeply personal experience not to be shared with anyone, and the fact that he could not control his environment and that a stranger might pass by and try to be a hero made the solution to his problem all that much easier.

He would drown at home.

Get the rest of your 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...

Expressin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

8.17.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.17.14

”some moments are nice, some are nicer, some are even worth writing about.” Charles Bukowski

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Die-Cut 5 (above) by featured artist GM Spear. To see more Mad works from GM, and our other contributing artists, please visit the Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we recouped to retool, postponed a revolution; we cheered the boy in last place, slowed by skin in the big race; we bore a blessing from the unblessed; we sucked a candy fag, slurped a soda pop tipple, hoped to grow up old enough to suck the right nipple; we wrested rush hour rage from stop light bliss; we enjoyed eternal hours to while in a worldly supermarket aisle; we pulled to pieces a slab of sky and social expectations. Not destroy, but disassemble to find the face that we resemble. ~ MH Clay

Just in case you missed it, here's a taste...

Without Moral.

baby, the sky is falling, she says
the sky is falling.

but we are no children's story –
we have no simple rhymes,
no happy ending.

good does not triumph over evil here.

we are a painstaking post-modern novel,
plot twists wrenched like our hearts,
turned carefully
to move only
in reverse.

I don't know just how to tell her –

that the sky is not falling.

the sky is not
fall
ing.

I am reaching up with my hands
(yes, those hands,
those slender and
obedient fingers) –

baby, do you hear me?
the sky is not

falling.

I'm tearing it down.

- Logen Cure

(added 08.14.14)

editor's note: No chicken little here; rather a superhero to reconstruct reality. Take her hand! - mh


Speaking of the resurrection and death, wouldn’t it be interesting if we all had one last supper.

Nobody ever thinks about death in a supermarket.
I wanted to dance on a mountain top with you
before death found me and discussed my options.
As if I had spent hours walking down the aisles
and the canned goods weren’t the best partners.
I felt some identity issues amongst the vegetables
but the condiments and I had so much to talk about.
Picking death's receipts in spices and dressing.
I wish death came as a three course meal.
Eating dinner with all the trimmings
ending with the dessert and a slow dance.
Finally a cognac and a long kiss goodnight
and it all begins with a trip to the supermarket.

- Peggy Flora

(2 poems added 08.15.14)

editor's note: Canned consummation of life, special sale in condiments aisle; buy now! (Another, heartfelt, poem from Peggy on her page, check it out.) - mh


Thursday

I slow down my pulse
at stoplights that glow red for too long.

Tonight, my yoga instructor told me to
loosen up
let go
think of white and
eternal nothing.

Instead, I thought of
you
running running RUNNING
bright green flashes
car crashes and tense muscles.

- Taylor Gall

(added 08.14.14)

editor's note: Nervous Nirvana and bumper-car bliss. (One) true religion. - mh


Now We’re Sucking The Right Nipple!

I used to sit and watch him
gasp and ‘Arr’ like a Pirate
after taking and enjoying
the first drink of the day.
Drag his left sleeve cuff
across his mouth and belch
like a right old good ‘un.
Then light up a roll-up,
take a massive pull on it
before coughing his guts up
for a good minute or two.
Another go at the glass
to settle his stomach and senses
then I knew that all was
right with the world again.
“Now we’re sucking
the right nipple, my lad!”
He’d say to me winking
with a knowing smile.
As I sat watching his ritual
whilst sipping on my
Shandy Bass can of pop
and chewing on the end
of my candy cigarette,
sagely nodding in agreement.

- Paul Tristram

(1 poem added 08.13.14)

editor's note: True consumers; we will consume all, even ourselves. Suckle early, suckle often, suckle ever. - mh


A Bookless Education

She sits at Jack In The Box
No less than 3 sweaters
Shrouded by one very used coat
Socks and shoes
Have seen better roads

Wary at first
Till 2 days later
She eyed me with trust

We talked about the necessity of mommas
The loss you feel when they are gone
“I’m 98 years old”
I stared at her wrinkle-less face
Decided to take her word for it

Her oldest son died
At a domino game
Cause of death
The crossroads at the intersection
Of a bullet

One brother was killed
Over some dope
We laughed about old men and young women
The curriculum of economics

For my finals
I pressed 2 dollars in her hand
For a cup of coffee
I was told
what to give God
To recognize blessings

- Gayle Bell

(1 poem added 08.12.14)

editor's note: A paperless degree for a cuppa joe - not spilled on your lap, but into your soul. - mh


Run!

Run little black boy!
The gun went off; the race began
And the starting line’s still where you stand.
It doesn’t help that you have shoes of concrete,
While the rest got new kicks on their feet.

Little black boy, you need to get to running!

The race is harder for you; no use of complaining
That sunshine’s everywhere, but your lane is raining.
Crying and yelling that this ain’t fair ain’t gon’ help you.
Neither is beggin’, “Slow down!” No! Here’s what you do!

Run!

Many have tried and failed. Many already paved the way.
You will help others behind you with the dues you about to pay.
So gotta work harder than everybody if you wanna see the end.
Gotta work even harder than that if you wanna chance to win.

But nothing will happen if you don’t get to running!

- Roderick Richardson

(1 poem added 08.11.14)

editor's note: The Level Playing Field of Life, more level for some than others. (Roderick says he wrote this one "in dedication to Maya Angelou and as always Langston Hughes." Well done, Rod!) - mh


On the street

a stray dog, some cows
and
loads of tired people…

The buses and three wheelers are back
after the elections

and

there won't be any
revolutions
today

I guess…

- Kanchan Chatterjee

(1 poem added 08.10.14)

editor's note: Let's have elections once a month; keep'em too tired to revolt. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? How 'bout a shitty one? No, not shitty, as in bad, but shitty as in it's a fine was to tie in the title of this week's featured short story, "Two Assholes" by Paul Smith.

Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this stink-of-the-week short story… "Of all the assholes in the world, each one of us just one more asshole. All others, though, are the shitty ones. With that, you should sit pretty, but if our collective shared asshole consciousness doesn't get you through the day, just remember what Mel Brooks would say: ‘Keep firing, assholes!’” Here's a taste to tease ya’:


There are lots of ways to get fired. Take today, for example—a call from dispatch that I should attend a nine o-clock meeting. And it’s Friday. I’m not talking about reasons for getting canned—just the methodology, the setup, the protocol. But I’m observant, notice I didn’t say smart, just observant. I watched a year ago in dispatch when Bob S. got called to his nine o’clock meeting. So my antennae were in the up position.

I looked down Randall Road where my favorite laborer worked with the blade and end-loader getting the sub-grade ready for gravel. I would miss him. I told Al goodbye and headed for the office.

Getting called in from the field is one way, but there are others. If you are far away from the main office, let’s say Nebraska, and the office is someplace else, you may get a call from your boss and he’ll do it over the phone because who wants to buy a plane ticket just to fire you? Or if you are in the same general area as your boss, and he’s a gutless type, he also might do it over the phone. It depends.

Get the rest of your 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...

Writin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

8.10.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 08.10.14

”Poetry is always slightly mysterious, and you wonder what is your relationship to it.” Carl Jung

••• The Mad Gallery •••

(photo courtesy of Johnny O)

••• The Poetry Forum •••


Mad Swirl attended a magic, magnificent, mind-expanding, mojo-mixing and momentous event from July 31 through August 4, in Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland. We had six of our North Texas Swirlers go over there to meet many other poets from around the world. We thought it fitting to resume our weekly Mad routine with this, Mad Swirl's Retrospective on the 3rd Annual Fermoy International Poetry Festival. We wanted to share with all of you lovers of the Swirl some of the poets we were privileged and inspired to hear over there.

Polly Munnelly from Ireland, Tsead Bruinja from The Netherlands, Brendan McCormack from Ireland, Daniel Roy Connelly from England (currently residing in Italy), Michael Corrigan from Ireland (and Contributing Poet to Mad Swirl), Saskia Stehouwer from The Netherlands, and Gene Barry from Ireland (Festival Chairman and Contributing Poet to Mad Swirl) presented poems, which represent a slice of the poetry pie we were served at the Festival; though only a slice, it's plenty for all. So, eat up & let the feast begin!...

Letter to self

‘The life we live is rarely the life we were given.’ Oscar Wilde

Denial perched on my heart,
I didn't know this, couldn't have.
It arrived days when inside
my little frame and head
my dictionary had only
white pages and when pain
had nudged me on to
a tangent of self sabotage.
Those lumps of anguish encased
in childhood blindness grew into
mountains of inabilities and rejection,
steering my mother adult to dole out
the oozing jealousies and torments
to a clean new generation.
I never witnessed the brand new
small frame and head torments,
the construction of new tangents, yours.
Today in this word of no heartbeats
I have reassembled my broken heart
and wake to the freedom that is peace,
to the pain that is remorse,
the aftermath of cruelty and rejection
and live in the hope and relief
that when you wake today
it will all be gone.
Forgive me please.

- Gene Barry

editor's note: With no past comes no forgiveness (nor guilt). Thanks, Gene! - mh


we will send no one to bed

draw me a fish
so that I can see what your hands are doing
draw me a fish

we won't teach anyone to stand up for old ladies
we will not select the right schools

we can eat whenever we want
no one will argue with us

draw me a tree
so that I can see where your feet are
draw me a tree

no one will say their first word to us
no one will walk the way we do
we come up with names on paper

draw me a house

our time has a clear look in its eyes
there is space in our heads for an extra bed
our ears spread their arms

we reposition
we do not miss

- Saskia Stehouwer

editor's note: Always seeking recognized points of reference; always dealing with ever changing signs. Yes, draw me... - mh


Wulf Nation (xi)

We became our own Cromwell,
learned the harshest lessons best,
our parishes hermetically sealed
with the national valve of non-return,
an island people on its knees
turned inwards from the heathen world.

We sang piety
in to each other’s face,
loved the pope and JFK,
all wavy hair and well-made teeth,
his one hand on the bible,
his other hand on his heart,
his blue eyed twinkle firmly fixed,
on Marilyn’s curvaceous breasts.

Times moves on
but doesn’t change,
Wulf remains our go-to guy
on how to fear and steal the light,
while at the gates
of the house of pain,
death takes a selfie.

- Michael Corrigan

editor's note: Self-absorbed, self-destroyed, selfie; trending now... (Two more gems from Mick on his page; passages on Cain not found in Genesis...) - mh


Sweat! by Roy

My latest parfum,
irresistible in the ad,
shirtless, ragged,
strafing the Sicilian sand
like a Caliban or something,
seaweed strands glued
to my triceps, pecs,
chestnut hair sun bleached
and matted thick with dreads.

Vulnerable. Clamorous.
Poseidon beached.
Head framed by the known world
my blowfish lips whisper
philosophies of love
straight to camera:

Je ne suis pas humain.
Je suis phéromone.

- Daniel Roy Connelly

editor's note: Aha! The best way to portray the essence of your brand is to BE the essence. Je suis, je suis, je suis... - mh


The Huge Motherfucking USS JFK Came

We made chips all night while the hookers
And local ladies ignoring local fuckers
Lay down for the brave men of the jfk
Moored off dun laoghaire
And the local boys wanked alone in empty rooms
Like forgotten heirlooms

Women swooned and told husbands to fuck off
As they charged after the white suited sailor men

And at 5am stinking of fish
And burned oil
I turned and said
We’ve no more fucking chips
Ya imperial bastards, go home!

And so another year went carried away
By an aircraft carrier
That had loomed like death
Out there in our little bay

and perhaps

Some war
Had been delayed and some violence disturbed
By our brave, wet and willing local birds.

- Brendan McCormack

editor's note: The stimulation of economies, fueled by randy carrier rats; coming and going... (mostly coming). - mh


AN UNWANTED VISIT

visiting a friend in prison
a friend who killed 16 people 9 of them children
visiting a friend who once tried to make you laugh
visiting a friend in hospital

visiting a family without knocking
visiting a family with a gun in your hand
visiting a family as punishment for your mortgage
your fallen comrades two tall buildings
the fear in the eyes of your unborn sons

visiting a friend with empty hands
no painting no banner no forgiveness
visiting a soldier

who risked his life
hoped for a better future and left
everything behind

visiting a soldier
whose widow won't enjoy his pension
for whom no salutes will be fired
above a cemetery

visiting a mother with a flag
who knows that the light of the stars in the blue night
can be blown out from one day to the next

visiting the widow of a murderer

- Tsead Bruinja

editor's note: The visitor's queue is open every other Thursday and on bank holidays. Inmates get no time off for good behavior. - mh


Full Moon

If time stood still
It would be the perfect calm,
No storm could build
Push
Or rush in.
If time failed to tic,
While quietness played
Lulling perfect calm - I’d wake
Lie in moon beams,
Watch light dance through darkness,
When all’s hushed
Except for cows!

Fucking noisy cows
One's always out of sync
Higher pitched, gurgling as if squeezed,
Is it choking on regurgitated time?
Lone fox calls, echoing. Almost duets.
Everything stills, mad dogs come to heel
Low grumbling growls meander,
On guard - In case she knocks - Wailing.

- Polly Munnelly

editor's note: Lowing, barking, moon up high, growls beneath; still for time, calm forever... - mh

••• Short Stories •••

We here on the Mad Swirl staff are giddy with this week’s featured short story! So much so, they just might lock us up for our ecstatic madness and maniacal laughters!

The latest addition to our short stories library, "The Boy Who Laughed Too Much" is by longtime contributing poet and author, Doc Mel Waldman and is a gem of the bestest kind! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week short story…
"Laughter is the best medicine because it's damnation: it's us, loving ourselves to death." Here's a tickle to get you smilin':


No one really knew him. He was just a 20-year-old kid who sat in a corner and didn’t speak; another mental case and a mute. When he arrived, one of the psychiatric aides introduced him to me. I said hello and forgot about him immediately.

Then the rumors spread. I heard three of them.

First, the boy swallowed a bottle of pills and OD’d. They pumped his stomach in some ER, sent him to a psyche ward, and transferred him to us.

Second, the boy took LSD and had a bad trip. Which kind did he use? Well, again, I heard three different truths. He took sugar cubes or maybe Orange Sunshine acid or blotter paper LSD. Who knows?

Third, the kid witnessed some horrific event and went berserk. He ran naked in the streets and screamed, “Murder! Murder! Murder!” until the cops restrained him and shipped him off to a mental ward. You hear all kinds of stuff here.”

They call this place The Haven. It’s real beautiful here. I mean, we’re out here in the countryside. The grounds are gorgeous, the lawns manicured, and you can play almost any game you wish-tennis, ping pong, basketball, baseball, and mindf---ing; whatever you wish. Personally, it’s like a dead end street to me. I hate it. Can’t wait till they give me a weekend pass.

Hold it.

Did that get a smirk outta ya'? No? Well then you best get the rest of your read on here!

••• Open Mic •••


Although it's not polite to say "We told you so!" we're sayin' it anyway!

This past 1st Wednesday at "Mad Swirl featuring... Justin Booth" was absolutely everything we'd hyped and hoped it would be... and MORE! Justin's outlaw poetry grabbed us by the b@lls and made us longing for more! Huge THANKS to the Justin for trekking our way from Lil Rock!

And big ol' thanks to all who came to Absinthe Lounge to appreciate & participate in our mic madness. Each and every one of you Mad Ones out there made last night one of THE best in recent memory.

Thanks to ALL the wonderful poets and musicians who shared their words, their verses and their fine light with us. t'was a fine night to be alive and in our Mad Swirl world. In case you missed this Mad action, here is a visual the line-up of who was who…


(photos courtesy of Dan Rodriguez. to see 'em all, visit our flickr page)

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of September (aka 09.03.14) at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the LIVE way that we do every month. Get to the Lounge early, dig upon the musical musings of Swirve and this month's feature, Dallas Poet, R.A. Hernandez!

Come one, come all! Mad poets, musicians, actors, singers, circus freaks and Elvis impersonators... come-n-strut-yo-stuff. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl.

AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with the swirlin' madness. Here's the line-up for the rest of 2014!…

October: Kerseymere
November: Karen X
December: Paul Koniecki


•••••••

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...

Wonderin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

7.26.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.26.14

”Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Die-Cut 3 (above) by featured artist GM Spear. To see more Mad works from GM, and our other contributing artists, please visit the Mad Gallery.

This month's featured artist, previous poetry contributor GM Spear, decided to hit up Mad Swirl again from her small town in New York - and boy are we glad she did! Needless to say, this chicks got some mad talent; featuring her was a bit of a no-brainer. Take a look for yourself and try to tell us these realistic pieces with varying degrees of trippy, surreal touches aren't right up our alley. In a few that you'll see, Spear plays with white space in a very compelling way, featuring young girls with entire stories of their own, it seems. She captures their energetic, free & truly adorable excitement perfectly - and with a twist; some of em you can't even SEE. If that sounds weird to you, it's cus it is! Would we really ever bring you anything that wasn't? Click here to see the magic GM Spear brought to the visual stage this month, we promise if you take a look, you'll be hooked! - Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••


This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we loved a lush who said she'd pay, then didn't and wouldn't return texts for days; we carried catastrophe from flame to flash to hopeful truth; we sorted sandbox words, flew like swing set birds, to play at love; we let love bet on a game of roulette; we idled by our idols, sought solitary sex and an easy death; we misconceived a thing not retrieved, to hug, to hold, to dream; we dreamed some more, an immigrant's story, our common reach for greatness, glory. Love, lose, love again, dream! ~ MH Clay

Just in case you missed it, here's a taste...

American Dreamin’

I've seen the American dream in faded, aged pictures of my immigrant family, who barely escaped Nazi occupied Italy in the bottom of a cargo ship shortly after WWII ended... equipped with not much more than the clothes on their backs, shoes on their feet, and seeds of dreams of golden-paved American streets planted in their hearts.

I've seen the American dream in the big-shouldered, blue-collared Chicago streets sewn with train yard threads weaving the cloth of my youth where Midwestern hardened men fought the bitter elements to battle the machinery of box car couplings in sub-zero temps to ensure that they brought the food to the tables of families whose dreams are as basic as having their next meal to eat.

I've seen the American dream in the degeneration of my X generation who were raised in a world chockfull of fears that the Commies were near and "the bomb" would knock us clear into oblivion any day while mama and papa were away at work, too busy trying to make those elusive ends meet.

I've seen the American dream in barely 18-year-olds who raised their right hands with me to take the oath to defend our great nation and wore our country's cloth, vowing to battle those hell-bent on taking away the dreams of our fathers.

I've seen the American dream twisted in Middle Eastern enemies’ eyes, who despise our freedoms and see our dreams as demonized things that these martyrs have destined themselves to destroy.

I've seen the American dream in the Teamstered truck drivers who filled the dock doors with their 18-wheeled machines, trekking our wares over the highways and byways to where they are needed most, to feed this industrialized, capitalized dream.

I've seen the American dream in fearless and feared, bearded bikers who fly their freedom flags on their backs and swear to God almighty that whosoever tries to take away their dreams will suffer the slow and painful death of a treasonous expatriate.

I've seen the American dream in the helpless homeless men who wander predawn outside my urban doorway, looking for some way to survive just another day without starving and hoping their dream turns to views with brighter hues.

I've seen the American dream in the aged lines of our country's elderly, who see that this land is a far cry from what it was way back then and hoping to forget that it's just a skeleton of what it once was.

I've seen the American dream in the children's eyes of the next generation, who will be raised on standardized grades, equal praise, fading classes, unemployed masses, man-made disasters...

I see the American dream every time I look in the mirror and it's clear to me that I am, that you are, that every man, woman and child in this land of the free are the dreamers of the American dream and that the power is in our hands to mold this clay and keep dreaming of better days.

- Johnny Olson

(1 poem added 07.26.14)

editor's note: We are immigrants, all! Better we dream together... (This'n came from our Chief Editor in response to a request for poems on the subject of The American Dream. It's a grand dream we share and you don't have to be American to share it, either...) - mh


A DREAM

The dream is a misconception,
the misconception is a mistake-illusion.

The dream is a mirror,
the mirror is a wish -unfulfilled.

The dream is a shadow,
a shadow that makes me hug it constantly.

- Pere Risteski

(1 poem added 07.25.14)

editor's note: Somniscribed syllogisms shake dream logic; what is waking, what is sleeping? (We welcome Pere to our creative conspiracy of Contributing Poets with this submission. Check out more of Pere's madness on his new page.) - mh


The DA/The Criminalization of Reality

This is the end of Gravity.
We can live forever
In a place that does not exist.
What does that mean,
“Living in the past”?
Ourselves the mirrors
That most resemble them.
Do we mostly resemble ourselves
Or do we?
When we look into ourselves
The heroes we hide
Show us their idols:
Artificial, complete,
Completely sterile
featuring The Sonic Dildo
By Patrick Carr.
Sugartime and Lucy
Were his disciplants.
They lived at the collective
With sybarite Jesus
From 2150 A.D.
They said,
There's a scar on your face
For every sin you've committed
And two for every grace.
We found this answer
Searching in the wrong place.
We are our heroes' idols,
I said.
The art of leisure
Is the art of dying easily.
Do not be misled,
Your time is not spent
Increasing.


The hierophants magazined over the waters:
Cognizance and wax.

- Quinten Collier

(added 07.24.14)

editor's note: Reality derived through prosecutorial prowess is trumped by sonic sex and a wax job. (Google Patrick Carr for a giggle.) - mh


Betting On Blue

The feeling, not
the color, creeping into my eyes
as they watch a phone that doesn’t
ring. Your wheel is running,
but I have no marble left to
drop. Time
slows. Distance
ticks off
in my head, leaves
me spinning. Knowing we
will land on double
zero, the shape of repeated
emptiness

- A.J. Huffman

(2 poems added 07.23.14)

editor's note: Our roulette revolution, a gamble every time. We revolt against loneliness, bet on love; mostly the house wins. (Another good one from A.J. on her page - check it out.) - mh


you don't need gloves, i know which hands are yours

remember when the altitude spoke for us ...
sitting in a park, the trees drugged us with the quiet
you put your hand on my knee and told me
you would let me down–
it was the first time you looked me in the eye
without smiling, the first time you felt your initials
scarred into my bones
you didn't even know–

your thumb was nervous there ...
skimming the dent where i became a child again
and i didn't know what to say to you
because my words had not yet graduated
like yours; they were still in a sandbox,
digging for something that glistened–

i told you i didn't feel like swimming,
escaping the subject at hand, your hand
still on my knee cap, not sure what to do next ...
it was a fantastic grip, one i would write about later
while listening to thunder
through my bedroom window, calling off any
sadness that thinks it belongs in my room.

you said it was not a good day to get wet
and moved your fingers to the grass
where a dandelion stared at us both, cheering
us on with its stretched spine and billowy face
–you snapped it from the root and placed it
in my lap

i could hear laughter by the swing set
so i got up, the weed already decaying
as it hit the ground– i raced to that sound of
privilege filling the air, remembering
a tickled tummy with every upward soar
the motion sickness of falling back, eyes closed
hours of being able to breathe

you asked if you could push me–
i said you'd done enough,
then bravely kissed your cheek.
a storm was leaning against the hills,
already packed
waiting for take-off.

- Mandolyn

(1 poem added 07.22.14)

editor's note: Staying dry, her toes to the sky, promise to let down, offer to push high; playground love. (We welcome Mandolyn to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this poem. Read more of her madness on her page.) - mh


Young Love

Blossoming from a minute spark,
It dances with passion—
Igniting a host of naked flames
That surround untouched bodies
And unexplored emotions,
Waiting to start the Catherine Wheel
That's masquerading as a beating heart.

Explosions of deep, new-born connections
And overbearing crescendos,
All maintained in a catastrophic reality
Balanced with a serendipitous mirage
Made real with every moment,
Every second and every memory that's born,
Defining two people as a hopeful truth.

- Christopher P. P. White

(added 07.21.14)

editor's note: Fun with fireworks, all sparkle and flash; treat the burns after... - mh


A GIRL UPTOWN I KNOW

There’s this girl I know, a complete lush by all accounts
She thinks poems should rhyme but I got no truck with those old ideas
She loves the way my old poems sound in her head; garnering negative
reactions from audiences
Wherever they were read; a night at an organic gastro-pub renders
people speechless over their locally sourced vegetables
Then there was the time we got so drunk I couldn’t actually read to a
crowd of blue-rinsed Daily Mail readers
On one of those first shows, when the nerves took hold, I have vague
recollections of falling off-stage

She will say she’s broke until I see her in town; quaffing absinthe no
less and with absolutely no shame
Occasionally I will send her a text to see about a drink and no matter
what it so often seems this way
I’ll end up buying, being pleased to get out, and she’ll promise that
next time it’ll be her turn
Until next time which is so, so long when it happens all over again
We’ll arrange to meet and I’ll end up buying and before we leave
she’ll suggest some point later that week
Only to then ignore my texts and leave me hanging again; and then when
we do she’ll ask why we don’t do this as much!?

- Bradford Middleton

(1 poem added 07.20.14)

editor's note: A stand-up poet falls for a fickle femme groupie; trying for free verse while she wants rhyme. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a dream of a read? We really do got a fine read for you! If you don't believe us, give yourself a pinch then drift yourself this-a-way and get your read on!

The latest addition to our short stories library, "Bad Dreams" by Joe Malone packs a punch at just over 650 words. Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week short story…
"There aught to be a law against dreams, though that would be a nightmare." Here's a taste to tease ya’:

(photo courtesy of Tyler Malone)

Todd Smith woke to find a raccoon biting his chin.

"I was at camp, dreaming that my mom wanted me to shave. Christ, I've only got about four hairs."

Aaron Goldberg woke to discover that all his teeth had fallen out.

"I've had the same dream a hundred times. Out come the teeth. My therapist told me I was worried about losing my job, or maybe I was keeping a secret from someone. Turns out, she didn't know bubkes about gum disease."

Arvis Portlander was taken into custody at Microphonics, Inc., his place of work, nude in his cubicle.

"It was a lot more fun in my dream," he said.

Matty Logan, seventh grader, came down to breakfast on a Wednesday-morning school day.

"My mom was in tears. I asked her what was wrong. She told me she had had a dream. In the dream I grew up and moved to the West Coast. I didn't call. I didn't write.

What exactly did Matty's mama dream?! That there is what we call a cliff-hanger. If you wanna keep dreamin' you'll have to get the rest of your read on here!

••• Open Mic •••


Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of August (aka 08.06.14) at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the LIVE way that we do every month. Get to the Lounge early, dig upon the musical musings of Swirve and this month's feature, Lil' Rock poet and performer, Justin Booth! For those who don’t know Justin, here’s a bit about who this poetic mad man is…

Justin Booth is something of a rising star in the the small literary world of Central Arkansas. Raised in Northeast Arkansas, Booth is a veteran of the U.S. Army who worked as a bricklayer, rode with a motorcycle gang, and did time in prison before falling into heroin addiction that eventually left him homeless on the streets of Little Rock for more than five years. In all that time, writing was his salvation and what carried him through. Since the publication of his first poetry chapbook, "Hookers, Ex-Wives and Other Lovers," in 2012, he has found a job and a home, left the streets, and has seen his work published in magazines and anthologies both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2013 he released "Trailer Park Troubadour", his latest collection is “Lucky Strikes, Grave Dirt, and 1/3 of the Stars”. Booth lives and works in Little Rock.

If that bit about Booth doesn’t pique your interest in this month’s feature, check your pulse… you just might be dead.

After our feature set we urge you stick around to get yourself a spot on our list... first come, first on the list! Which means... get there early!

Come one, come all! Mad poets, musicians, actors, singers, circus freaks and Elvis impersonators... come-n-strut-yo-stuff. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl.

AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with the swirlin' madness. Here's the line-up for the rest of 2014!…

September: R.A. Hernandez
October: Kerseymere
November: Karen X
December: Paul Koniecki


•••••••

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...

Awakenin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor