4.12.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.12.14

”The future is always beginning now.” Mark Strand

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Where yesterday and tomorrow meet - I am (above) by featured artist David Arthur-Simons. To see more of his works, as well as works from our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we diddled the dance, took love by chance; we kindled love again, renewed the flame from a sandwich and a rose; we closed a new chapter, we they them hereafter; we looked in on the learning at the celestial laboratory; we bounced with bed-bound vanity, romped a way through sanity; we fondled the finer points of appetite and procreation; we bantered and cantered on that bitchin' bean, hyper extended by the great machine. Check your preconceptions at the door! ~ MH Clay

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

I SOLD MY SOUL TO A COFFEE BEAN

I sold it
I sold my soul
Like the rest of them
Sucked it down
And went back again
Like the guy
With the shakes
In front of me
Praying to God
For another cup
Pronto!
Another shock
To his system
So he can go on
With his crazy day
“I will take another,”
He said.
I nodded my head
What have I become?
I thought about it
When I got out of bed
Then I sipped my latte
Later on that day
I never listen to what
The health addicts say
I’m a coffee bean whore
All work and some play
I never did drugs!
It’s a brain holiday!
But there I go again
Church of coffee beans
Earth's corporate share
No one really has a care
They just drink it down
Like a brain washed town
Without a second to spare.

- Gina Nemo

(2 poems added 04.12.14)

editor's note: Can't stop now! Gotta buy, gotta spend, gotta suck it in - coffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffee... (Let's welcome Gina to our crazy confab o' Contributing Poets with this'n! There's another new one, along with this and her others, on her new page - a rocket o' love - check it out.) - mh

Eat, Fuck, out of Luck

More and more,
Until there is no more.
No more patience, only lust,
Just pure desire of restless want.
Want more, get more,
Always make sure to buy more.
Once is never enough,
Just like a duck,
Stuff, stuff, stuff,
Until there is but a single quack.
Then go, and fuck,
Like a rabid dog,
on speed,
Like a dying chimpanzee
hanging from a tree..
Then text it, post it,
Tube it, lube it.
Get your 30 second fix.
Want more to mix?
Then go, fast, fast, fast,
while your fame lasts.
Eat, fuck , text it, post it,
Tube it, lube it.
But you're out of luck!
Just like a stuffed duck.
Roasting in the oven,
Never getting it,
That there is no IT,
Just eat, fuck,
Out of luck.

- Sakazaf

(added 04.11.14)

editor's note: If a duck quacks in the forest... ? - mh

FAMILIAR WITH INSANITY

– am I a gifted person? Is it important, since I no longer exist?!

I was sailing through the endless space, still angry at the death that came in malevolent time. The success was feasible. The space is so cold, and my physicus, which I imagined, transformed into the powerful energy that has no use. I did not have a plan.

– Probably I do not need the plan here, – as if the thought was spotted.

From some star constellation, a man in white floated towards me. He was tampering with something about my bodiless being, and then suddenly disappeared.

People around me were freely walking in their pajamas, it was only me bound to bed.

- Tatjana Debeljacki

(added 04.10.14)

editor's note: Plan?! Ain't no plan! Get a grip on whatever seems solid and ride it out... - mh

Physics Lab

In Genesis god creates light and the light
commingles with the darkness
and needs separating:
photons and dark energy
get to know each other in intimate ways
and some particles cancel each other out
in blazes of matter anti-matter explosions.
And god thinks, Shit! this light and dark
stuff is fucking dangerous.
God begins to separate the light
from the dark, but there is a vast amount of both:
a volume equal to four-thirds Pi times
forty-six and a half billion lightyears cubed.
God creates a cosmic dust pan and broom
and begins sweeping light and dark into separate piles
long before god names day day or night night
because god does not wish to do a lot of explaining
to all the science fair judges
about his newly created heavens and earth,
especially if all these continuous explosions
mean god has to start creating all over again—

That would mean missing out on Rebecca’s birthday party
with all the other gods who got their science project right
on the first try.

- Kenneth P. Gurney

(1 poem added 04.09.14)

editor's note: Edison failed 1,000 times before he made light. - mh

Introducing a New Everafter

He’s all charm
And she’s all giggles
And I’m all over it

Inserted and added via a twist
Now with He I and her are She

And we are all over Everafter

- Steven Minchin

(2 poems added 04.08.14)

editor's note: More in the mix to make the call; happily or what, everafter. (Steven has more to say - to himself - on his page; check it out.) - mh

Music To My Ears

a nervous laughter arose from the crowd

“So true, so true.”

What was once the sweet music of your voice, so gentle and loving

Like string quartets and cooing doves and the trickle of a stream

Has turned into a siren scream, or nails on a chalkboard or an LP needle dragged scratching across the surface of the vinyl

Oh lovely grape in such a vintage, to vinegar you have gone

From the freshest baked bread, to a stone cold, rock hard loaf

The milk sour, and a loving glance to a killer’s glower

The crowd now shifts restlessly in their seats, the couples only look at each other from the periphery of their eye sight, not daring to see the cold, dark stare they fear is there

But, wait a minute!

Not knowing from where or when, sometimes a spark, so small as a sandwich or a rose brings us back to the good graces----and we remember, falling in love all over again

The crowd shifts, looking at their partners, “So true, so true.”

- Louis Marvin

(1 poem added 04.07.14)

editor's note: Kind cold cuts with modulated mayo on sliced, forbearing bread. A reconciliation sandwich; always better than that bitter pill. - mh

Contemporary Coupling (a Ballad)

Two gals decked in ribbons,
Some gents sporting tails.
Went swirling ‘round the dance floor,
‘til the women swapped their males.

Hi de hi ho,
Hi de hi hee,
The russet one’s
The man for me.

My partner spoke in riddles.
That link, he ragged my brain.
He answered but a little,
So I’d see him again.

Hi de hi ho,
Hi de hi hee,
The russet one’s
The man for me.

We talked until the new sun,
Floated up the sky.
My resistance became undone;
He was a clever guy.

Hi de hi ho,
Hi de hi hee,
The russet one’s
The man for me.

Next, we supped together,
Strolling, shopping, all the same.
My code was growing thinner,
While I hardly knew his name.

Hi de hi ho,
Hi de hi hee,
The russet one’s
The man for me.

My best girl, she thought love was
Coloring my cheeks.
She pointed toward a single cause,
Though we’d coupled just a week.

Hi de hi ho,
Hi de hi hee,
The russet one’s
The man for me.

A fortnight, still together,
The russet one and I.
I might last near forever,
With this the red-haired guy.

Hi de hi ho,
Hi de hi hee,
The russet one’s
The man for me.

- KJ Hannah Greenberg

(1 poem added 04.06.14)

editor's note: A swap meet, color-matched mystery - hi de hi ho, indeed! - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? Well we got just what you’re needing! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "Bondage Games" by Vincent Vassilev… "No matter what happens past our atmosphere, ignoring both the doom and beauty of collapsing stars or expanding galaxies; no matter who runs the banks and holds all our icy coins hostage; no matter what governments run or ruin the world, what we the living really want is warmth and to feel that warmth here and now, before we slide into the only cold truth of life--the cool silence of never asking what it all means, the echo of a place where the warm breath of conversation doesn't exist." Here's a taste to tempt you…


Oh yeah. They wanna make ravens out of all of us. Like, how many ravens can a guy see in Miami, Fla.? Don’t not ask me how, but I did see a raven. Kind of a square head, looked downtrodden, dusty, sickened, perhaps because of the heat. I thought about Edgar Allen Poe’s “Nevermore,” and even said it to the raven as I was leaving a book store. I had bought some books about history of the Kennedy assassination. Sitting there, juggling around in that plastic retail bag, the books were just waiting to be read. You know, like books do; they wait to to be read, not said. Oh yeah, I say that a lot. Oh yeah, like I’m the Kool-Aid Man. Oh yeah!

It was fricking hot out here in Daytona Beach, and yes, it was surprising to see a raven that had flown so far south. What had happened to the bird? Did his birdie radar get interrupted by all those microwaves in the air courtesy of iPads, cell phones, radio waves, satellite dishes, know what I mean? Poor bird. He looked like he was gonna croak.

“Poor raven,” I said (I am a little odd in that I speak to animals above ground), really feeling sympathy for the poor black bird. I love animals. Sometimes I think animals are smarter than we think they are. Oh yeah. A raven greeting me in a parking lot, and then I’m off, headed for home, on foot, like a human, leaving the bookstore holding books on the big Kennedy assassination conspiracy. Jim Marr, Alex Jones, Whitley Strieber, books that inspire those guys. Even Don DeLillo has gotten into the conspiracy game with Libra, his fictional “literary account” of the life and capture and eventual death of Lee Harvey...

How can you stop there? You can’t, can you? 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...

Now’n It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

4.05.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 04.05.14

”Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Maya Angelou

••• The Mad Gallery •••


I rest in my own self (above) by featured artist David Arthur-Simons. To see more of his works, as well as works from our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we looked upon the lack of luster for the legendary downfall; we heard the nightfall shush and shiver of hearing; we found a fool's fascination with the frivolous romping ride; we reigned in the wonder of our erstwhile observations of a poet's peccadillos; we whetted our appetites on gourmet art; we wound words of resounding resurrection; we steadied an old man's hand on his last barrier to burial. Ashes to ashes to dust to trust in the cycle; we come, we go... some remember. ~ MH Clay

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

Cane in Hand

Cane in hand and bald head pale,
he slurs for devices to crack
the hollow crust of pain.
The plate of food is picked at
on pillowed knee and he stares
at the window’s painted movement.

Day collages dark cast and enlightened mist.

He says, He’s just not like he was before,
to the gifted copy singing through speakers on the floor.
The true moment long passed, the gift still circles
again and again for rebirth in willing imaginations.
Perhaps the truth was too conscious of the old man listening.

Rain drapes the ever streets of our routed motions.

The old man stares, but at ocean breath
and sun-baked skin. His own truth calls.
Cane taps the death (a crack in the pain)
and I wonder: what listening voice was it
plumbed the depths of his fragile ear
where his own giving lay disguised?

- Christopher Raley

(2 poems added 04.05.14)

editor's note: That cane is all that's left to hold back earth which will swallow us home. Eventually... (We welcome Christopher to our crazy conspiracy of Contributing Poets with this submission. See another new one with all his previously accepted poems on his new page.) - mh

This poetry

This poetry brings life from death
It raises souls from their deep despair

It speaks the words formed with mute lips
Giving breath to suffocating lungs

A manifestation of nightmares and pleasant dreams
Of thoughts tucked in the back of lively minds

This poetry brings life from death
It heals the deepest of wounds

- Brittany Zedalis

(added 04.04.14)

editor's note: The first word spoken, created this whole mad swirl. Poets have created life from words ever since. - mh

Appetite

Delicate hands
In which shape,
Modulate the canvas?
In what art dyed?
Colors eternal-

Every hiccup
To enlighten
Listless monastic soul
Painted walls reading-
The wheel of life
Spiritual hunger
Belch.

Smells,
From the kitchen
Teasing to the nose
Assurance of a
Strong appetite
Give.

- Hem Raj Bastola

(1 poem added 04.03.14)

editor's note: Appetite, yes! I'll bet the first cave art was painted after barbecue... and a belch. - mh

Meeting the Poet, Andre Goes

He jumped into the road and yelled at the window
of this if somewhere else it would be yellow taxi man
his coarse word metal poems, BLACK HEART DAWNS
TELL YOU MARY HAS A NEW LAMB, WISH HER WELL
AND CYANIDE WAVE GOODBYE AND SCOTCH WILL
TASTE TOO SOUR MY MAN, and we all careered
after him making nothing of ourselves to see his light the brighter,
his golden dew in the hands of night and us just glad to see it.
and off we went off we went blind and drunk
and high on him like mountain goats in town
eating Chinese food with barley wine in a Bolivian neon cafe
'til a cute little street girl took his eye
and he fornicated or wished to try and we all sat
and his wellspring never sprung but blind men drowned
and we filled our glasses next in a rich man's bohemian hole
where fetid static people feared men like him and so adored
his breath and graceless air of pity and we got bored
of the pretension and fell forward out of favour
and left him pirouetting, keen for the absence
and boredom of cobbled over miles.

I wrote my suicide in the morning

and he told me it was too late for that.

- Cayleigh-May Forbes

(added 04.02.14)

editor's note: Ain't nobody gonna douse the light 'til the poet writes darkness! Yes! - mh

ah, fools!

ah, fools!
musicians,
writers,
card players,
lovers of the
night – always
looking for that
perfect time,
willing, oh, so
willing to sacrifice
so much
for that one hour,
one day,
one gig – oh, fools – musicians
booking endlessly;
writers
sending out the continually
rejected manuscript.
meanwhile concocting
new things on paper
and to anyone who will listen.
card players, horse players
throwing away life savings,
dreaming, dreaming
for the bite,
the bite
the biological high of huge winnings.
lovers, with seven wives,
seven husbands,
still not finding it.
mesmerized fools.
here’s another one,
immortalizing you.
and don’t forget
the surfers looking for that perfect ride.
this one’s
over.

- Carl Kavadlo

(1 poem added 04.01.14)

editor's note: Yup, such foolery, romping from ride to ride; takes dreamers from strength to strength. - mh

As night shadows

As night shadows fall
she lays
next to a memory
wrapped in ghost arms
her caught breath
longing
once again
for love to speak there
softly in a whisper
cordially inviting
the hear to hear...

- Elissa Landrigan

(1 poem added 03.31.14)

editor's note: Redundant? Or, the true path exponential growth? - mh

The Artist Downfall

Ironic fads,
America-made superstitions,
Clothes selling past market value,
Outward thinking posing as alternative thinking,
Posing as an artist without the art.
Saying you think for yourself, but
You’ve bought into a fad that’s against all fads,
Kurt Cobain never tried to be Kurt Cobain,
Keith Richards doesn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks,
And that’s the way
Of legends

- R.A. Hernandez

(1 poem added 03.30.14)

editor's note: Downfall, indeed; defies the ideal of the self-made man. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? Well we got just what you’re needing! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "Objects and Illusions" by Stephanie Bradbury, "GAround here, we embrace madness. We claim to be the maddest of all, actually. Some, though, are madder than we can ever be. And they're what we never want to be: mad enough to where our only saving grace is the sane people we unknowingly punish just by living, just my being mad." Here's a taste to tempt you…


They had the kind of house that looked like no one lived in it. It was a beautiful three story brick home with a brilliantly polished wood staircase curving down the middle. Each piece of furniture in the living room was positioned too far apart from the others, as if to avoid confrontation. On the coffee table a photo album sat precisely in the center. The cover photo was of a boy and his Golden Retriever running on a black and white beach. I assumed it was the picture that came with the album. The rest of the book was empty.

There were too many mirrors in the house. I saw on a design show once how mirrors can be used to create an illusion of space. Being simple minded, I am often been fooled by such things, especially in Chinese restaurants. It really is embarrassing when you almost walk into yourself holding an empty plate, only to discover the buffet and all of its greasy Americanized fare is behind you, and so is everyone else. The house was trying too hard. It didn’t need to create an illusion. It was what it was—the home of a terminally ill woman and her grieving husband.

How can you stop there? You can’t, can you? 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...

Shinin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

3.29.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.29.14

”I am awaiting / perpetually and forever / a renaissance of wonder” Lawrence Ferlinghetti

••• The Mad Gallery •••


The deeper I sink the more eternal I feel (above) by featured artist David Arthur-Simons. To see more of his works, as well as works from our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we were swept into the sweetness and seduction of time; we flirted and flounced, jiggled and jounced in soaking sensuality; we reminisced on a suicide's lighter side; we played with a precursor of a nihilist's nuclear winter; we strapped a poet's choker on a life mediocre; we gave ear to the first fledgling DJ, droppin' some grooves, coppin' some moves; we boiled the burgeoning roil, the terror and toil of existence down to a single machine. So simple and clean; a model of society - our emerging proprieties - we wear down week by week. ~ MH Clay

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

Soon a Single Machine Will Make Everything

It will be beautiful.
Nothing will be wasted
and no one will go hungry.
If you want to wear ugly shoes
the machine will make them.
If you like bad music
the machine will create it.
Bad art will flow out of the machine.
The police will use the machine to make
handcuffs badges guns doughnuts.
Criminals will use the machine to make
lock picks money liquor more money.
The machine will make more machines
that will make more machines
until we will all be standing on machines
watching the tide come in.
Equality will prevail
and jealousy will die.
Even the sky will be machine made.
It will be beautiful
and finished
and everyone will finally shut up
and be satisfied
with what they have.

- David Thornbrugh

(1 poem added 03.29.14)

editor's note: Pop buzz whirrr click; ratchet buzz whirrr click! (We welcome David Thornbrugh to our conspiratorial clan of Contributing Poets with this poem. See another new one - about our most ignored answer, plus more, on his new poetry page.) - mh

Cylinder

Robert Browning’s greatest poem was not
“My Last Duchess”
or “The Ring and the Book”
or “How They Brought the Good News from Aix to Ghent”
but rather that moment when,
while recording that poem onto one of Thomas Edison’s first phonograph cylinders,
he breaks off from his staticky monologue and says

Robert Browning

ROOOOO—BERRRT BROOOOOW—NING

hip hip

HOORAY!

hip hip

HOORAY!

hip hip

HOORAY!

BROWNING!

- Tobias Griffin

(added 03.28.14)

editor's note: After which, he snapped and posted a selfie. - mh

A Mediocre Life

Slather me in a temporal mood
as the sun sets on this gray sky
Litigate my attitude from soft platitudes
of simplicity
while ignoring the mediocrity
of my everyday life

Hear the screams from my lungs
of not enough or to much or just right
forgetting another night
barely functioning in the day
wishing for sun shine on my face
hidden by structured paste
let me not waste my breathe
For I care more and not less

To be ruthlessly honest
yet speak with contemplation
of our time and occasion
spent in felicitous embraces
the slow movement of a caress
In the vulnerabilities we possess
breaking the walls between us
stopping the numbness
of this muted life

We live from one moon until the next
As our days become blended
into a mesh of daily meals
and the haze of colorless grays
Searching outside
for the red candle inside our chest
May it burn and never settle
Into a mediocre life

- Peggy Flora

(2 poems added 03.27.14)

editor's note: Not now, no way, not ever! Resist and create! (We welcome Peggy to our conspiring clan of Contributing Poets with this one. See another one on the life we do, plus more, on her new page.) - mh

Falling, Flying

Strapped to her body, weighing not nearly enough
to make the sunrise it did when she hit
the mushroom cloud that lit up the desert for miles around
it would have been beautiful if anyone
had been left to see it.

She opened her eyes
just as the dots became cars on the road
people in the street
tiny, white blocks became buildings and houses
an end she did not want to see.

The wind dragged against her, but not enough
to stop her fall, just enough
to pull roughly at her hair, to open the top button of her shirt
with fingers as cold and rough as death.
It was like sunrise when she hit, if the sun
could erupt from the middle of the earth, instead of rising around the edge of it
could pour out of broken concrete like a an angry phoenix

this was the end she would never see.

- Holly Day

(1 poem added 03.26.14)

editor's note: A suicide bomb's view - breathtaking. - mh

For Joseph Giummo

Philip Seymour Hoffman died today
And all I can think of is you
How they found you
With a half eaten sandwich
And fentanyl skin patches on your lower legs
Asleep forever
There was a phone call from you
About 3 months earlier
You screamed my name and hung up
I guess that’s all you could say
John boy said at this point you were
Talking about becoming a flamenco dancer
And drilling random holes in your expensive fish tanks
Your son is angry that you went like a fool
And I remind him we had the clean time
Before the relapse after 23 years
A week following your passing
I am in Chicago on a business trip
Walking to an AA meeting
Where I see a brief case in a storefront window
Identical to yours
And when I share in the rooms
Some alcoholic randomly screams out
“I guess everything is bigger in Texas”
Referencing my tits
So I know you are there
Saying hello or goodbye in your crude way
Why does love feel so awkward sometimes?
And they wonder if it was a suicide OR overdose
But I remember you telling me once
That if you were to take yourself
The opiate patches is how you would do it
I don’t tell anyone
I let them speculate
While I think of Phillip Seymour Hoffman
In New York City
Where we had our first kisses and celebrated our vows
Probably just around the corner from his apartment

- Eileen Simeonov

(added 03.25.14)

editor's note: One epitaph inspires another; an erstwhile love eternal. - mh

Rainy day

The day ended with rain, the moon is back again
You yield your breasts in silence, in sweat, in hush
Drop by drop, out of breath, together, we get soaked

- Pere Risteski

(added 03.24.14)

editor's note: Hushed lust, forbidden fruit, cleansing rain - all sins forgiven. - mh

Taking Your Sweet Time

Sometimes I dream
I dream
you’re the man in the moon
the moon
whistling an empty tune
through a crack in the night
the night

Eyes slivering silver
shimmering threads
slipping under my pillow
slipping into my bed
my head

Silken breath
floating over
my shoulders my breasts
floating over
slow yielding peaks
of succulent promise

lips eclipsing unnamed yearnings
melting melting swirling swirling
in dimpled cheeks of nippled splendor
shivering tongues of molten light

Sometimes I dream
I dream
you’re the man in the moon
the moon
waxing and waning so tender
the tides
the tides--
licking, lapping
forevering unmapping
my shores

Breathless moon
reflection of shadows fading
projection of unhinged craving
always leaving me wanting
more
more

lips eclipsing unnamed yearnings
melting melting swirling swirling
in dimpled cheeks of nippled splendor
shivering tongues of molten light

Moon
Man in the Moon
my funny, my honey Moon
taking your time
taking your sweet sweet time
drawing your creamy pleasure
until you are full

of oooos and ohhhhs
of Croons and Sighs
of ahhhhs and ummmmms
lunar lullabies

until you are full of wanting
you rise
you rise
(suddenly hmmmm)
me with you
with you

- Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

(added 03.23.14)

editor's note: Rattle and hum, that orb is no easy come and never too soon. But, there is definitely smoke after. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a shitty read? We got one that’s really shitty and we ain’t bullshittin’! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "The Generosity and Versatility of Scatology" by Jenean McBrearty, "Good shit. Good, tasty shit." Here's a few sniffs to get your olfactory senses tinglin’…


“Da-da, do-do, do-da-da.”

That’s some good shit, man.

You’re shittin’ me.

It ain’t worth a shit.

It’s all bull-shit.

She’s just talkin’ shit.

You don’t know shit from Shinola.

No shit, Sherlock.

Scared the shit out of me!

I don’t give a shit.

That’s some sorry-ass shit, all right.

“Here’s the thing. It sounds low-class. It’s street talk. You’d never hear the Queen say the word shit. Least not in public.”

Marty nodded his head, seriously pondering Freddie’s wisdom. “We’ll never hear the Queen say anything. Here’s another thing. All around the world, people are talkin’ shit and we never hear them either. You ever wonder what people are saying in places like Paraguay or Papua New Guinea?”

You gotta get to the end of this shitty story, don’cha? Get the rest of your read on here!

••• Open Mic •••


Join Mad Swirl the 1st Wednesday of April (aka 04.02.14), at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the live way that we do every month. Swirve and this month's feature ArtLoveMagic! Representin' ALM will be Michael Lagocki, Zach Schrotter, Maggie Smith, & Christy Jedigoddess. They will also have a special musical performance from Jake Reeves to share with us! And 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 celebrate. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl.

Got questions? Visit Mad Swirl’s Open Mic page for more details.

AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with the swirlin' madness. COMING in May, Victory with special guest Jake Kinnard

•••••••

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

3.22.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.22.14

"We speak with more than our mouths. We listen with more than our ears." Fred Rogers

••• The Mad Gallery •••


The infinite resolve of destiny always brings me back to my concentric centre (above) by featured artist David Arthur-Simons. To see more of his works, as well as works from our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we embraced the bliss of the floral amoral; we discoursed on things under and over, the madness of earth and the myth of clover; we found new forms for emptiness; we missed a match to hide a patch; we recouped no cost, so lost; we strained through strife and sodden dog's life to infill our flagged enthusiasm; we got the drop on a beast in a shop, or the beast got the drop on us. Words, words, birds... ~ MH Clay

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

The Bull in the China Shop

How can he be here?
It must have seemed like a good idea.
How could it have seemed like a good idea?
And now he stands
Coated by one inch of empty air. No more.
I watch and cannot breathe.
Don't know what to do is a thought,
And I don't think, I have no thought.
Instead, awareness,
Like no sense in the sense book.
I feel
With every pore in my skin
As waves of him
Ripple outward
Potential of motion
Of what is to come
Chaos, shards of flying death
Shivering shrieking spears
Bursting out, flying outwards
As, maddened, he turns
And turns again
And splits my skull with his bellowing rage
Does he understand
That he himself is the source of his pain?
I can't explain
I can't talk
I can't run
He stands
And I stand
And then, in
One
Hissing
Breath
It begins

- Ann B-D

(1 poem added 03.22.14)

editor's note: Origins or solutions? Getting the hell out takes priority... after breathing, that is. - mh

Dogs Life

We drinkers like Rodin’s thinkers
Sat perplexing over the bar,
Contemplating what went wrong with our lives-
As if set in stone.

You may think we live the life of Riley
But maintaining this lifestyle’s a chore.
Drinking to recover from the hangover of life,
With the hair of the dog like inclement clouds
Meshing with the odour of stale smoke,
Living life to the full glass-
Which is always half empty.

While we remain all alone
Crowded out by our thoughts,
Going over memories.
Our unsettled sentiments left semi detached
Amongst a terrace of personalities.
Their dislodged expressions beaming upon us,
Causing us to cast a shadow
As if we were a gnomon.

And we’re left hunting that elusive enthusiasm,
Wanting to lift our spirits
While dragging our weight behind us,
Like a cadaver heavily decayed
Over years of treading water-
Our eyes callused with internal tears,
While remaining the freshly slain victim
Of our sense of worth.
Our insecurity a vanity
That’s patently selfish.

- Anthony Ward

(1 poem added 03.21.14)

editor's note: Collectively, singularly, in any light; all cast shadows. Selfish to think otherwise... - mh

last known entry

...
dot, dot, dot
I did, I did, I did
it's gone, it's gone
Oh my God, it's gone-
Peace we did not find
I'm lost, I'm lost, I'm lost
without anyone but my
night shadows to distrust
I paid the cost, oh the cost, the cost.

- Rafael Andrade Garza

(2 poems added 03.20.14)

editor's note: In the light of recent events... (More from Rafael on his page; so many questions - check it out.) - mh

Kerry Has Crabs & Doesn’t Know How To Hide The Bald Patches

…and I’m not in love with her, just very tired & lonely.
Just like this poem, it starts out as fun
but doesn’t end up so.
I can’t hide the bald patches of something that isn’t there, either!

- Paul Tristram

(1 poem added 03.19.14)

editor's note: Hard to catalog those blemishes without a mirror. - mh

Mint Condition

I keep a treasure chest
with nothing in it
to remind me that things
that seem too good to be true
often are.
But it doesn’t work.
I often lay awake at night
wonder what could
be inside
it:
open bar
at a Russian wedding,
a loving sea goddess
with gills
instead of shortcomings,
the fountain of youth
built to scale,
a Babe Ruth rookie
in mint
condition…

I’m a romantic, I’ll admit it,
bordering on the
delusional.

I know there should be
nothing in there
but that never stops me
from looking.

- Ryan Quinn Flanagan

(1 poem added 03.18.14)

editor's note: Provocative! What would you put in yours? - mh

An Irish Kinda Spring

On a fine Spring day a friend and I were sitting on a park bench. As we started talking, I gazed down between my feet and noticed I was ankle deep in clovers. I commented to my friend that I have never discovered the four-leaf kind before. He chuckled and informed me he thought they were a mythical make-believe kinda thing.

I knew that they weren't but couldn't prove it while sitting there scanning the mound of obviously three-leaved scenes I kept seeing.

And as the seconds turned to minutes turned to hours, my gaze stopped staring downward. We shared some quite right-on insights with one another. Our time turned to talking about less make-believe things. Heavy things. Heavenly things... like the passing of life, the loss of love, the madness of the earth below us and the swirling heavens up above. I could feel change a-comin' and changing me profoundly while sitting soundly in our park side seat. I could feel seeds inside me taking root. I began to see the blessings flowing all around me. Once believed to be make-believe things could once again be a reality...

As the sun started playing hide-and-seek behind the trees, shadows sprouting legs and running from the horizon, we realized time caught-up and life was calling us back home. With a heartfelt embrace, I thanked him for this gift of friendship he had given me and the things he helped me to see and believe in again.

And as we were starting to part, I looked back down towards the ground, where there seemed to be nothing but a sea of three-leafed clovers. Then to my eyes’ surprise I saw it standing clear, like it was there the whole time... the elusively famous four-leaf clover rising above the rest. With an "ah-ha" I reached down, plucked it so tenderly and handed it my friend, who moments before said he didn't believe in such things. His eyes grew child-like and wide when he saw my find. I told him he helped me today to believe again in things I thought were lost and gone forever. And because of that, this lucky clover showed itself to me and told me it was my turn to return the favor in the form of a found four-leafed-clover.

- Johnny Olson

(1 poem added 03.17.14)

editor's note: Pluck one o' these from your four-lobed brain to place in your four-chambered heart to carry you four-ward through your un-four-told future, with luck. (Lucky are we to receive this treasure from our Ed. in Chief, Johnny O'lson. Thanks, JO!) - mh

A Tanka Poem

I stop to rest
in a field of sunflowers--
halos
without saints
to weigh them down

- Sergio Ortiz

(added 03.16.14)

editor's note: Wonderful! We have always hoped that holiness comes with happiness (not heaviness). Thanks, Sergio! - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? We got one that sings! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "Because of You" by Mike Fiorito, "We’re lucky if we have a little Tony in all of us! (No, not in that way, you pervert.) We’re lucky if we not only do all things well, but we do them fabulously." Here's a few notes to get your reading toe tappin’…


Making a big entrance, Uncle Tutti arrived late at my high school graduation party, like a Hollywood star. He wore a smart black suit, buttoned near the collar and black and white Domino shoes.

“My godson,” said Uncle Tutti, pinching my cheek with the thick fingers of one hand and slyly handing me an envelope with the other.

“Now, I’m going to sing you a song,” he said.

Tutti pulled away from me, his periwinkle blue eyes sparkling like precious stones polished by the Mediterranean.

Now with his back to us, Tutti began speaking to the musicians, giving instructions. Tutti adjusted his suit, giving his white-gold pinky ring a twist, making sure the sapphire stone faced forward.

He turned around, looked toward me, and said, “This is for you, kid. I love you.” He then threw a kiss toward me. I turned red and laughed nervously.

The band broke out with a romping intro. Tutti spun around with his hands out, his fingers splayed as he sang “Rags to Riches.” Like a man possessed, his eyes were wide open and red with fire. As he thrust his hands in the air, shaking them, spit sprayed from his mouth. With each rhythmic stop, he clapped his hands together and stomped his foot, right in step with the band…

You wanna hear how the song ends, don’cha? Of course you wanna! Get the rest of your read on here!

••• Expanding the Madness •••


As always, our deepest gratitudes for all the generous support we've received from this campaign. Just to keep you posted of how some of your monies has been spent...

• As of 03.15.14 we have a stock of t-shirts! We're selling and will soon be shipping them out to those who gave at the Burroughs Level.

• As of 03.18.14 we are officially a LLC! MAD SWIRL LLC has a nice ring to it, eh?

We still got some money left in the bank so stay tuned to what we have planned next to invest with your generous donations!

It’s not too late to donate. To help the mad cause, please visit our GoFundMe page 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...

Speakin’ & Listenin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

3.16.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.15.14

"Write in recollection and amazement for yourself." Jack Kerouac

••• The Mad Gallery •••


My life is told on the pages of a book but lived in mid-air (above) by featured artist David Arthur-Simons.

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum...we walked wistfully to romp erroneously through papaya conversation; we leaped through a lusty fog, licked the love from a jumping frog; we picked through the pieces of push-button love to a fault; we tip-toed passed the epidemic wrath of a woman scorned; we permitted a poem to peel skull-skin, crack cranium and climb in to rearrange the furniture; we charmed snake, didn't dodge venom, fevered into a blue phase; we wrapped up all into the caul of day born well. Well done and well come, we make it like we take it. ~ MH Clay

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

Another Day

its morning in the trees
with winter coming frosty breath
and the falling leaves
warm kisses planted here and there
near some cave by some river
and some man
smoking a cigar and fishing
the smoke for the tail of a dream
with far away eyes and a faded vision
chasing the sun down the other side
of the hill
out of breath and daylight
two children straying
from holding hands
in a giggling heap
on a beach by a fire
in the rhythm of the moon waves
licking toes wet ankles and knees
write the story of the tide
while the stars sing
from the mountain top
looking down on the sunrise
another day

- Jesse Doughty

(2 poems added 03.15.14)

editor's note: Ah, what a day! Like any other; but, described by a poet, not like any. Poetry makes life unique! (See another by Jesse on his page - a day of rest.) - mh

Azure Tongue

Wall of silence sits pretty between us
And we carry on,
Without a step out of line.
Noises we make
Are no conversations
They were the first casualty
Even before I lost sight of you.

You are probably glad
That I am on the other side
Out of sight and mind
And sigh with relief
When I do not reply
To your half hearted calls.
Such walls do not grow overnight
They are cultivated and nurtured
And I see the roots of this one
A mile long.

Are you still watering it?
I see the wall growing taller and thicker
Or it’s my tears that won’t stop
As I lean against it
And dream of floating over
To the other side
Where you are.

I mourn the loss of
What was never mine.
Draw pictures on sand with my toes
And let azure in my veins
Bleed into them
It seeps into my skin
Rises with each breath
And chokes.

Did the venom I spew, turn you blue too?

- Nalini Priyadarshni

(added 03.14.14)

editor's note: A new spin on the blues - read it and weep. - mh

Dancing over graves

The poem shot out wings
became a vamp in a feather stole
stilling the breath
before the body could lay claim to it
ran her soft tipped words over erogenous spots
in a ghost that shot red coals from its sockets
and pounced to its feet
She pulled away its covers
jabbing with a supple tongue
at a swarm of Achilles’ heels cowering underneath
The specter now disrobed found a mirror
ogling at its goose bumpy treasures
Scram!
but nothing to fear or is there?
She taunted, she teased, she pole danced around its spine
her impenitent figure striking a pose that lingered
after the night has been thrust into a bookshelf
The ghost in a feeling frenzy
grabbed at whatever came close
opening its loneliest hideaways, un-sutured bullet holes,
and its echoless coulees for her
She dropped her cape, climbed inside and began

- Reena Prasad

(added 03.13.14)

editor's note: Never seen a poem wreak so much (happy?) havoc on a ghost of a mind. Wreak away, wreak all! - mh

I Am Fascinated

by bioterrorism. The idea that scientific research has
advanced to the point of producing a tangible embodiment
of the inherent desire inside every scorned female. To kill
a man, a thousand men, with a single touch. To initiate
the most intimate peristaltic chain reaction. To spread contamination,
destruction with a kiss.

- A.J. Huffman

(1 poem added 03.12.14)

editor's note: Whew! Look out, Fellas! If she bottles that, you have reason to invade; a genuine WMD. - mh

A Button To Fix It All

She sees the past in her dreams
and says things like we've always been.
Yet she will scream across the table top
and then lament about love's many faults.
In those oceans she calls eyes
Is a silken cradle of lies,
I remain the same
- her bless-ed little fault.

I see the future in my way,
heartbreak and debris block our place
It's now approaching fast
the future now becomes the past.
Yet in my hand is a lovely thing
a button which makes dreams complete
gives us one more chance to repeat
Clicking on it paints a trail
that leads to where you waited
leads me to where I wish fate had

I fell in love before we ever met
I fell in love before the causeway set.

- Michael Atreides Lair

(1 poem added 03.11.14)

editor's note: These days, the best adhesives stick forever. Best to stay solvent... - mh

Friendship

A thick tar
flows through my veins
steaming and reeking.
Involuntarily
you lick
like a wet, sticky frog.
Your New Year's wishes
are slushy;
each word is
meticulously deciphered,
very carnal.
My Sweet Heart,
your tongue is too froggy
so it pulls me long
to senility
in a mossy moment
of orgasm.
A thick slush comes
out of me
and drenches you
cold-bloodedly.

Somewhere
a hungry earth-worm
lurks.

- Bhargab Chatterjee

(added 03.10.14)

editor's note: We couldn't stand to see if they smoke, after. Too froggy, indeed! - mh

PAPAYA CONVERSATION

There’s no electricity in Kathmandu city
Sitting with the woman who cleans monasteries
Silver-throated by embers
Endowed from that cackling stove
The rain is of a poet's dream
Dashing at the window sill
She sits still
Tongue knotted, inquisitive
Pranayama inhales
I walked along these hills
Lit by quarter moon
Dark stars and the wind is chaos
Caked with wet dust
I arrived here
For milk tea refuge
Native café we share in
Papaya conversations
No dialect pertaining to comprehension
Just relating
As men chuckle, conspicuous
Women fry eggs, coy and curious
I, silent, sip this tea
She takes her peek at me
I speak erroneously
They love it

- Sunya Chavi

(added 03.09.14)

editor's note: A typical day in this poet's neighborhood. We love it, too! - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? We got just the fix for you! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "Bestial" by Owen J Traylor, "Some people try to pretend they’re Iago, some make pretty like they’re Desdemona; but really, we’re all dogs, following orders and trained by what we think is good and god. If that doesn’t make you want a cup of something strong to drink until someone else figures all this out, I don’t know what will." Here's a taste to whet your beak…


“‘Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation!’ (Shakespeare, Othello Act 2 Scene 3, Cassio speaking to Iago).”

Kevin finished reading aloud from the dog-eared book of quotations on the table in front of him, and took a mouthful from his pint of bitter. He looked across at his drinking partner Ron, who as so often seemed lost for words. After a few moments’ silence Kevin continued:

“That’s what makes us different from animals, Ron,” said Kevin, as ever formulating his opinion as an incontrovertible fact.

“What’s that then, Kevin? Money? Animals don’t have money, do they?”asked Ron, his inability to follow Kevin’s line of thought (or anyone else’s for that matter) Kevin found both amusing and irritating by turns.

“No, you daft apeth, not money! Reputation! And conscience! We humans worry about our reputation and we have a conscience. That’s what animals lack, so without a conscience we too would be bestial, as the great Bard says.”…

You wanna keep readin'? Of course you wanna! Get the rest of your read on here!

••• Expanding the Madness •••


About a month ago Mad Swirl launched a GoFundMe page. The purpose behind the fundraiser is to "Expand the Madness o' the Swirl World”. Here are just a few of the projects we’d like to accomplish:

• Publish print anthologies of Mad Swirl poetry, short stories, and art: Our online presence is great and dynamic, but we want to publish something in hard copy, too; one every year. Sometimes it’s nice to hold a book in one’s hand, isn’t it?

• Release a Web 2.0 of the MadSwirl.com: We want to make our site more interactive, make it easier for all Swirlers to make comments and have creative chats about all of the mad poetry, short stories, and art that our mad poets, writers, and artists bring to the Swirl. We will have editor’s Forums for interaction between our editors and all Mad Swirlers. We could do a lot more with a more open architecture. Interested?

• Swirl-A-Bout: We have held live events, beside our monthly open mic at the Absinthe Lounge, here in Dallas. We would like to have more of these AND take them on the road. We are currently planning execution of a new concept: This August 2014, Mad Swirl will attend the 3rd Annual International Poetry Festival in Fermoy, Ireland. We intend to create a documentary about this experience; seeking the heart of poetry in the facilitators, participants and spectators of the Fermoy Festival. This will be the first of many documentaries to record such experiences in a format that can be shared with Mad Swirlers around the world. How cool is that?

• Webcast Mad Swirl Open Mics: We would like to share our monthly open mic (and other special Mad Swirl features) with Swirlers worldwide. With the right equipment, we can make that happen through a medium like Ustream for all to “tune in” at no charge to you. Sound good?

To help the mad cause (aka DONATE), please visit our GoFundMe page 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’ Amazed,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

3.08.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.08.14

"Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen." Leonardo da Vinci

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Facing/balancing my interface with the world through my intuition (third eye) (above) by featured artist David Arthur-Simons.

This month we welcome back to the mad swirl virtual stage one of our annual favorites, David Arthur-Simons! And we know you'll be as excited as we are for what he has delivered us this year in his series 365 Days Out of my Mind! In case you haven't heard, David works on one of 365 paintings and completes as much as possible in one day. He then returns to the same painting the following year on the same day adding and subtracting elements ’til the painting is "finished". As if these surreal and almost psychedelic works don't already take us through a spiritual and psychological journey as is, knowing the mad story behind the process on which these works were created makes them all the more wondrous. Get ready to get lost (and found) in the mad-imagination of this most profound and prolific minded swirler! On our mark... get set... GO! - Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum...we appreciated a perfect picture, a thousand words unspoken; we stood to step and improve our timing, seeking heaven through ladder climbing; we pulled heaven down to pogrom and prevarication; we defended our domiciles with loaded gun, no matter if beast or beatified, all must be put on the run; we set to safekeeping a traumatized beater; we spun anew the princess pea, devised a test for purity; we lauded a true lover's passion, truth in beauty beauty in truth. Take it laying down or on the chin, we all stand for something. ~ MH Clay

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

BEAUTIFUL

Youth is not immortal,
though a heart can remain young.
One July morning
I called her beautiful and meant it.

She thought I was silly.
I thought I was brave.
I was longing for acceptance.
My heart was weighing a ton.
I was far from Don Juan.

She was the woman of my dreams,
the most beautiful creature.
I wanted to shout it out.
She made me face reality.
She brought me down to earth.
She beat sense into my heart.
I live with a curse ever since.
I continue my journey.
I still believe she is beautiful.

- Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

(1 poem added 03.08.14)

editor's note: This beholder is the best Don Juan; a true believer. - mh

On Trial

Mom-in-law to-be
bought California King Bed
for my husband-to-be
implying that I
should try the mattress
enticing trampoline
the screwing sound
herm-herm-oh-ah
knowingly I am
the Immaculate Magdalene
this happened
before marriage
she slipped in between
a piece of snow cheese cloth
hoping to spot
blood from broken hymen
fertile and spy-ce
my soul then
to be judged
by the Book of Revelation
I am the first to vanish.

- Deborah Wong

(added 03.07.14)

editor's note: Who can blame a doting dame for testing the merch before purch? - mh

STILL BEATING

Here it is
Still beating
Still wet with tears
From uncounted years
Of monotony

Under a sorrow stained pillow
Hanging limp like the willow
outside the glass

In a scream filled room
I left it for dead
Tired of its incessant wants
Fed up with its dreaming

But its continuous thumping
Thump, thump, thump...
Its harassing bumping
Bump, bump, bump...
Led me back here

I will be clear

It's not you I fear
Or for whom I've shed tears
It's my heart
And what it can do to me

So, I've picked it up
And dusted it off
And locked it away
Because
The damn thing is still beating

- P.Frias

(added 03.06.14)

editor's note: This sign of life is reason enough to stay in the game; tears, fears and all. - mh

Second Amendment

We live in such a dangerous world, a place
where survival of the fittest wags the dog,
where wolves howl just outside the door,
circle, close in, where plotters plot, gunners
gun, bombers bomb, where addicts are
desperately seeking a fix, and fixers can’t fix
a thing. Read the papers, watch the news un-
fold across the various screens that filter it all,
advise us, warn us, threaten; drive down Main
Street at rush hour and feel the hostile nature
of us all, gestures, horns and screeching brakes,
the things we can almost hear them yelling as
as we pass, locked in, a pistol in the glove box,
always ready to protect what is ours from
anyone who crosses us, cuts us off, flips us
the bird; this is as it should be, treacherous,
hazardous, precarious, perilous, watch the sun
rising up and falling, beating down on us all day,
watch the crows attack the birdfeeder, push
and shove their way in, watch the neighbor’s
pit bull pee on your irises, watch your neighbor’s
leaves blow on your newly raked lawn, watch
them closing in, then go get the shotgun they
didn’t get, load up, stand by the front door and
wait for someone to knock and then let them know
just how dangerous this part of the world can be.

- J.K. Durick

(1 poem added 03.05.14)

editor's note: We want the freedom to defend ourselves; while someone else wants to tell us what to defend against. - mh

The Modern New Testament

In this modern era what have the children
of Abraham been up to? New acts
of his apostles, new Messiahs come
to save, new ways of being Martyred.
Should the first book be called "Pogram",
a tidy word hiding a lot of pain
in the sorting of the wheat from the chaff?
Perhaps the second should be called
"Forced Exile", native peoples driven
from ancient homelands; even today,
in the Amazon Forests, in Palestine.
Drones, like Archangels, provide
Pillars of Fire by night and
Pillars of Smoke by day. Driving
the distraught and desperate from their homes.
And what of Yahweh? He's suited
and tied, clean shaven, speaking in tongues
in broadcasts to the narrow mindset,
prepared to lie to save his world.

- Patrick J. Dorrian

(added 03.04.14)

editor's note: With this new Gospel come new true believers, fervent as Paul and Silas ever were. Acolytes, beware! - mh

A ladder, A spear and A beauty parlour

I am mad after a beauty parlour-
With a spear in hand
unabated has been my climbing
a standing ladder attached
to that hanging beauty parlour up above the sky-
far away, in the kingdom of clouds.
A universal hatred to my ugliness
made me untouchable to the wingless fairies,
boring to the hilarious hearts
and horrible to the dreamful eyes.

Being dumped I was mercilessly so far
in a dark and suffocating room,
surrounded by the useless company
that my inability could arrange,
but could increase the degree of
obedience and sincerity to my heavenly boss
with humble prayer and importunity
for stepping up to the hanging beauty- parlour.

Successful I was to be blessed
and bestowed with a ladder and a spear,
since then my climbing has been on and on
to reach up to the dreamful parlour
for getting myself up-to-date
and the remaining chapters
of my unread and neglected epic collocated.
As I am blissful now in quick climbing
so effective my spear is to
remove the impediments and rivals.
Quite tension-free I am now
as I am accompanied by a blessed soul
and a hopeful heart in my efforts of climbing up
to win a place in the heavenly beauty parlour.

- P.K. Deb

(added 03.03.14)

editor's note: A wonderful metaphor! Also double-endorses the popularity of extensions... - mh

the hushed exhibition

she doesn't speak in words
so I listen to her touches
pique my ears to her gentle strokes
I watch her eyes alight
in pastel hues
splats of character
on an otherwise empty slate

she doesn’t speak in words
but her presence overwhelms the room
she is deep sea green, light lavender,
maroon
she is licks of ember, sleuth-like sap
all the colors you could ever know
all the colors you could ever imagine

she doesn’t speak in words
she is beyond phonemes, grammar,
punctuation
she lives beyond the borders
of semantic comprehension
her home a thicket untamed

she doesn’t speak in words
there is no map to follow
just the droplets I listen for
just the feints that linger

- Melani Grace Tiongson

(added 03.02.14)

editor's note: A mute muse to tease a thirst for more. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? We got the perfect tale to make you squawk! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "Female Lovebird Available to a Home, Any Sort of Home, Doesn’t Even Have to be a Good Home" by Diane Malk: "Watch out for lovebirds, lovers, and above all, love. Love has claws, always; it’s hungry, always. It’s destructive, always. But will we stop the love? Never, always." Here's a taste to whet your beak…


They were a cute couple, those lovebirds. Sporting deep blue feathers and black heads; they were almost identical looking, except that the male was a bit plumper. They were known collectively as the Nummers. We never even bothered to assign them individual names. Sitting together side-by-side on their perch with their little birdie torsos touching is how they spent their days.

One morning I looked into their cage and discovered Mr. Nummer’s corpse lying on the bottom, motionless. Odd, he had been the more robust of the two. In the days that followed, it surprised us to see that his feathered widow was chirping so happily. Maybe one reason was because she was able to jump down to eat whenever she felt the need, now unencumbered by her late partner. She seemed a little too happy—did she do him in, we wondered…

You wanna keep readin'? Of course you wanna! Get the rest of your read on here!

••• Mad Happenings •••

Mad Swirl & the Fermoy International Poetry Festival present a great way to start your St. Patrick's Day Weekend revelry... A MADDY SAINT PATTY'S DAY SWIRL-UP!


Join Mad Swirl on 03.15.14 at 1:00 pm at the Abbey Pub for LIVE poetry & music from your loco local mad ones AND the same coming across the big pond direct from Lombard's Bar in Fermoy, Cork County, Ireland via the wonderful world of the www! You won't want to miss this trans-Atlantic madness!

Got questions? Visit Mad Swirl’s Events page for more details.

••• Expanding the Madness •••

About a month ago Mad Swirl launched a GoFundMe page. The purpose behind the fundraiser is to "Expand the Madness o' the Swirl World”. And since that day, we have raised enough dough to get some of our planned madness swirlin'!

Thanks to all who have shared their hard-earned monies with us on our GoFundMe page! If you gave at a level that will earn you a Mad Swirl Tee, here is what you'll be getting. If you have yet to donate... don'tcha wanna be the first on your block to sport this bada$$ shirt?


For more info on just exactly what we got in mind, as well as to help the mad cause (aka DONATE), please visit our GoFundMe page 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...

Seein’ & Feelin’,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

3.02.2014

The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.01.14

"Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

••• The Mad Gallery •••


Jello Mirror (above) by contributing artists K.R. Copeland/Jeff Crouch.

••• The Poetry Forum •••



This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum...we grappled with the ghosting of one gone love; we strove to suck air into poet's life, struggled to sequence words from strife; we delved into depths of dryad divulgences; we bounced to brash imbibed banter, staggered to stand 'neath a stark dawn decanter; we emoted unchecked to old IED encounters; we wrested a raucous rip-tide rejection to frolic in foam from a fresh disconnection; we harbored Harley hounds downtown, not done with the scene, but lonely and lean, except for the ones who stayed true. So, true up your leaning lintils, let your doors open wide. We've nothing to hide. ~ MH Clay

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

NIGHT OWLS

We were the last
of the Friday night owls,
our young band
when we wet met to jam
in the Big Apple
on city streets passing us
with intersecting signals
in a once red light district
our parents called it,
like dances of the 80's
now forgotten,
we take a ride
on a stolen Harley
and abruptly cut out
with every nightfall excuse
of always being late,
now we're moving sidewise
blinded by new construction
in a rush of city traffic
prepared against us
outside a downtown club
that has legendary jazz
with a run for my life
along tinted bar
and gig soundings,
suddenly flakes of snow
appear on my pea jacket
knowing the raw reality
of another dead cold storm
will not change my fate
in tempests of traffic
on weary alleyways,
yet you went with me
even as I told you
I'm still pledged to a chip
on my dark shoulder
always wishing to recapture
back my energy
from bygone strangers
even those who heat up
the atmosphere
in boiling altercations,affairs
accidents,rumors,encounters
on this familiar road
which separates us
from my own blame games,
you were always there,
even when we bombed.

- B.Z. Niditch

(1 poem added 03.01.14)

editor's note: Yes, those are the best ones; who stay even when we bomb. Nice one, BZ! - mh

leaving the dream ajar

my hands came clean
when you forced them into yours
'you'll be happier with me'
you nagged,
rubbing the button on my shirt–
i could feel the sea
breaking its promise with the sun
as your ship leaned
into its palm

having walked miles around you,
around us
i screamed at the stone, hot on the sand
as i fumbled with the idea of going with you
'let the tide nibble your foot'
you'd said
'let it remind the blister
which ocean it came from'

so i felt the froth,
the pull of the current
and i begged the waves to bully you
to push you towards the horizon
so i'd lose sight
of your distilled temper–
the quiet anger you'd bury
when i let go

- Mandolyn

(added 02.28.14)

editor's note: Over billows and buttons and blisters bullied - breakup. (Too, bad for the boy.) - mh

P.T.S.D.

Fossilized memories rebirth, obliterating pursuit of happiness, uncultivated mind with an interpretation of fallow espousing renunciation of self-destruction, mental filtering the culprit as the body ossifies and words of comfort don’t satisfy a mind that orbits within an illusionary prison projecting demeanors effecting physically and mentally, mind spirals out of control; lost hope, no willingness and broken conviction having no recognition of a mental condition only the spontaneous reminiscence of a war.

- James Brown

(1 poem added 02.27.14)

editor's note: When memory is reflex, jump down, hit the ground, wail and cry; though all in the head, the illness is real. - mh

Decanter

Released, unleashed,
this spirit is free.
The pale liquid falls,
the aroma wafts.
Just for that moment,
as it pours from a height,
to the depths of the glass.

Innocently it swirls;
the light glimmers through
despite the darkness
that lurks within each drop.
It cascades down;
over crushed ice with hint
of fresh leafy mint,
shocked to life
by the chilled zest of zingy lime,
calling you in sultry tones.
Slowly you cradle him close;
savouring that first taste
as he passes your lips,
you tongue and explore,
teasing your senses
till your mind blows!

Eyes wild, ready to dance.
Bodies move,
in rhythm and heat,
already embraced,
submerged in the Mojito.
Sails blowing free,
Decanter,
cute one calls time.

Eyes open to morning skies,
heads screaming
and you croak, why?
Memories now pour.

Smile,
Decanter,
You laugh...
And think
...oh shit!

© 2013

- Polly Munnelly

(added 02.26.14)

editor's note: What pours out, pours back again. Decanter always has the last laugh! (Eat your heart out, Ron Bacardi!) - mh

WHISPERS OF EARTH AND WIND

She inhales the forest
and holds it in, lets
vines curl around

her heart. Musky scents
of log moss and lichen drift
through her hair.

She eats wild thimbleberries
and stains her tongue, reads
the past in faces of stones.

She becomes soft dirt,
shrugs off each footprint
that has moved across

the path of her skin,
learns to shift
with the wind.

She lifts a finch's feather
and becomes weightless,
floats to the crown

of a hickory and finds
that her hollow bones
can whistle like flutes.

Her voice echoes
through the valley
as a rustle of leaves.

- Patty Dickson Pieczka

(1 poem added 02.25.14)

editor's note: And she'll gentle the spirit of any who give her an ear. Listen... - mh

SUFFOCATION

My days begin with short sighs
and end with a long one.

Reluctantly, I look back
at the miles completed each day.
They resemble the scribbling
of a young child. Meaningless—
like a dream lost in the waking. My desires
are red coals in a furnace. My soles—
on sharp edges— moving to re-realize
that change is like a slow, painful death.

What zigzags and circles
this life has become!
Like strands of straw entangled
on the spike of a moving bicycle,
I'm just making much noise of myself.
In the extremes of angry thoughts,
I curse and confess. I explain
to my people why I've been so negative.
And all they do is sigh with me!

Thwarted, my life is— a creature in a cage,
restless; a fish on a hook, gasping and giving itself
to the hookers. I see them enjoy
the dish that they turn me into. My sweat
is their salt; my weakness, their strength.
They're black cobras that don't stop following
even in my dreams. I don't feel sorry but mad,
mad at these sinful souls.

They stink from afar. I see my flesh
stuck between their teeth. Their yellow teeth
that I want to yank. Their treacherous tongues
that I want to sever. Their whole system
that I want to put on fire. Shameless!
They dance a naked dance in their vanity
and lose sense of who their mother is. What,
what can be expected in these crowds of bogus people?

- Haris Adhikari

(1 poem added 02.24.14)

editor's note: Make more noise! Allow less of bogus people (except their transformation into fellow noise-makers). - mh

A tear in every line

I wasn’t prepared for the stillness
then again how could I have been?
It was personal, life had ended
I was destroyed in that instant.

Death lying there dismantled me
I just wanted to be a child again.
I needed someone to tell me,
to tell me it was going to be alright.

That never came and the offering
was welcome but I shunned it.
Their sympathy was a detachment,
I couldn’t be detached from my loss.

I willed her every laborious breath
knowing each one could be her last.
When it came I still wasn’t ready
I wasn’t prepared for the stillness.

- DCM

(added 02.23.14)

editor's note: Sad is the passing; hardest always on the living. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Thirsty for a read? Well we got just the thing to quench your thirst! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "Back to Bad Homburg, Again" by Addie Soaraki: "The next time you see that vagrant that you pretend sitting there by your favorite coffee shop’s door, strike up a chat. They could be the most thrilling derelict in existence, with stories collecting in their teeth like lint in your pockets." Here's a taste to whistle…

photo courtesy of Tyler Malone

Like, for sure. Got my gutter crown on and I’m pitching rocks from the bank of the crick, drinking cheap beer, a full quart of rot-gut, malt liquor really, and that’s about all there is. For me, at least.

Did I say the park’s gone dark? It’s amazing when you’re sitting in the cool evening of the fall, your back against a tree, maybe an oak or a sumac—how the heck am I supposed to know? I’m not a botanist and biology is not an interest here, man—so satisfied with the iPod and swell of warmth in the stomach that you’re out of Swisher Sweets and it isn’t even 7:30.

All the benches are broken. Gang-bangers. You know, fourteen-year-olds out for the thrill of empires nobody even knows exist except the gangs, the rival gangs, and the other gangs, and then the gangs outside the other gangs, a concentric circle of military activity right under my damned nose.

At least the grass is green. There’s the thrill of a chill after walking miles only to end up in the park like we all do, anyway.

Oh. Sorry for the graveyard humor. At this point, death is so absurd as to make a guy in a battered Homburg that used to be gray before the soot got to it, kettle curl about as limp as I am right now.

Sure. I’m a gimp. Hobbled by the God Almighty dollar. Don’t ask why, just die, go numb and call it artistry. Who cares? I couldn’t draw a stick figure without it being a crook. Which is kind of lame and flawed because beauty is what you want it to be, right?

Go ahead, ghosts; write it down. After all, you’re all the parts of me I left behind when I left the so-called physical world to go on a lark through the park in the dark to make a spark and avoid the narc...

You wanna keep readin'? Of course you wanna! Get the rest of drink... er, we mean READ on here!

••• Open Mic •••


Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.01.14), 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, Phil Brewer & Friends! And 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 celebrate. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl.

Got questions? Visit Mad Swirl’s Open Mic page for more details.

AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with the swirlin' madness. COMING in April, ArtLoveMagic

••• Expanding the Madness •••



In case you didn’t hear, Mad Swirl has launched a GoFundMe page. The purpose behind the fundraiser is to "Expand the Madness o' the Swirl World”. Just what does that exactly mean? It means that the Mad Swirl staff got together to list some projects we have been wanting to do to extend the Mad radius of the Swirl. We feel its current pulling and compelling us to do more! But sometimes doing more means we need funding to do all we plan on doing.

For more info on just exactly what we got in mind, as well as to help the mad cause (aka DONATE), please visit our GoFundMe page here.

(For those that have already donated, thank you! It really is wonderful to see that we have other folks out there that believe in us and what we do at Mad Swirl. Each and every one of you have been a huge part in our successes in your own ways... whether it's contributing to our Poetry Forum, performing at our open mic, "liking" our posts, and now by sharing your hard-earned monies with us. For all the staff here on this side of the madness, our sincerest thanks to you all for helping grow OUR Mad Swirl.)

•••••••

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...

Reverring,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor