The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.08.13

“The scientist has marched in and taken the place of the poet. But one day somebody will find the solution to the problems of the world and remember, it will be a poet, not a scientist.” Frank Lloyd Wright

••• The Mad Gallery•••

Untitled (above) by Edward Lee, one of over 20 featured artists currently coloring the virtual walls in Mad Swirl's eclectic electronic collective Mad Gallery. We know you'll wanna see mo' fo' sho' so move that mad mouse of yours right over here and a-way you'll GO

•••The Poetry Forum•••

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we brushed a broad stroke, demons of life and death invoked; we gambled graces to dare a stare into the faces of our ultimate conclusions; we pondered whether we should bury in a deep hole the notion that we exploit a market to increase the valuation of human soul; we further deferred to market forces with art to disarm and disrupt market courses; we withered as wanton wastrels, with no coat rack to hang no hat; we arrested our ascension into ecstatic euphoria, earthward to plummet, to the muck and bog, the slime and fog of a garden of paranoia; we finally fell, twirled and furled into a loosely rolled flag of mad laughter, our monograph: Poets Presented, Now and After. All this mayhem mitigated by your staggering threadcount; myriad fibers of you, woven into this fabric and wielded as light against the dark. Read and be safe. ~ mh

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

Swirl, Mad

Our self-portraits are warning labels on cigarette packets.
Bones burn as white wedding chapels afire, alone among desert dunes;
as smoke stains heaven’s floorboards, we use angel’s halos as toilet bowls.
There is more than deviancy in our beautified bodies and emptying glasses.

We’re the boys and girls next door—you can hear our fucking
through walls. When it stops, we write about yesterday
for tomorrow’s sake because we won’t remember tonight.
And you’ll hate us, because we’ll love you for what you don’t—

We want your dull bones, chilled blood; we’ll bring you fire as
we move mountains to drain oceans. We don’t sleep, but we dream
for all who live to sleep. For them, we’ll see mankind’s monumental end.
We can’t tell you how to live—all writers write is how to live lost.

All we want isn’t fifteen-minutes of fame, we seek failure:
to write false starts, to stand at the sidelines sucking Gatorade
as people play atop a lop-sided slant believing all the world is level.
Say speaking up is the devil, we’ll just call it our nightly hobby.

Earth dry gulps but breathes a sigh of relief as we banish paper asteroids
to waste bins, but dies during billion dollar summer blockbusters.
Earth lives for Big Gulps and telling art to shut the fuck up! It’s trying
to sleep. But we keep the bed hot, sheets sweaty, the swirled world burning.

- Tyler Malone

(3 poems added 06.08.13)

editor's note: The food of poets is not for the average constitution, is unconstitutional, but has legs; indeed, will skitter under your kitchen appliances when you turn on the lights. Readers, rest assured; you won't eat our food, only our regurgitations. Ambrosia; like sausage, tastes best if you don't know how it's made. (Two more examples of Tyler's vintage madness available on his page - taste'm now.) - mh


In the Garden of Paranoia, I listen to the haunting sound of bones, the horrific melody strung from the ancient bone-guitar, in the Valley of the Shadow of Shadows, at noon, I listen.

And beneath an oppressive sun, when the obscene heat of the Sun-King burns my human flesh and a chorus of monsters shrieks a mournful refrain, I wait for the merciless blast of gunfire.

Hunched over, I wait for the ominous thunder, the unforgiving sound of a booming roar. Rimbombo! I wait. And in that long lonely moment, my burning skin glistens beneath the sun’s glare, sweat pours down my fiery flesh, and my battered brain sizzles. Rimbombo! I run. In the Garden of Paranoia, I run for my life.

I run forever, I imagine, within the Circle of Circles, swirling around and around, clockwise perhaps, spiraling toward a vanishing point, it seems, but never reaching this mythical portal to freedom and peace of mind. But still I run. In the Garden of Paranoia, I run.

I rush across the swirling light of day, taste a turquoise sunset with my parched lips, and drink the dying sun’s rays with desperate eyes. And I hear the deafening sound of footsteps behind me, the thunder of death piercing my psyche, almost reaching and ripping my flesh apart. But with a sudden burst of energy, I sprint toward the twilight and dusk and disappear into the redemptive darkness.

I run forever, I imagine, within the pitch-black Circle of Circles, whirling around and around, counterclockwise perhaps, spiraling toward a preternatural vanishing point, a fugitive sailing through the sinuous darkness in search of freedom. Yet I hear the thunderous sound of my hunters. Their furious footsteps crush the barren earth nearby in the Garden of Paranoia. And I smell them too. Their obscene breath reeks of abominable evil-pulverized flesh, putrid souls, and molten, volcanic obliteration, paranoid eruption, psychotic annihilation, and apocalyptic extermination, launched from the unholy Abyss spewing suffocative flames, fetid fumes, and foul fires, cauldrons of madness, shooting out of the ancient chasm, the maw of the beasts, the cannibalistic black hole that craves my identity-my invisible spirit, sacred breath, holy blood, and celestial soul and longs for my holistic truth-my secret self, real self, and connection to the Source.

If the monsters find me, they will force me to gaze into the mephitic masks of Mephistopheles, smell my own evil, see my pulveratricious darkness, and lock me in my private Hell. And then, they will slowly torture me, devour my flesh, suck the life force out of my body, and eat my spirit. If the monsters find me, they will feed me to the Abyss.

The beasts are nearby. I hear their crushing footsteps. I smell their obscene sins. Only the blinding, pitch-black darkness that engulfs us saves me. I hide inside its whirling womb.

An ancient clock chimes 12 times. Midnight, in the Garden of Paranoia, I pass through a preternatural portal. Can the monsters follow? I wait, ponder existential and metaphysical mysteries, and wonder. Is this the mesonoxian hour of deliverance or destruction? From an eerie place, a luminous landscape, beyond the Garden of Paranoia, I watch the beasts struggling to penetrate an invisible boundary. On the other side of Existence, I stop running. Still, I watch the monsters lurking near the portal. I fear they will find a way to slither through, and permeate my darkest dreams.

Now, I hear their crushing footsteps in the other world. And I smell their foul odor seeping into my heavenly haven. Will they penetrate my psyche and stalk me in the Garden of Paranoia?

I guard the portal.

- Mel Waldman

(1 poem added 06.07.13)

editor's note: Remember those monsters, threatening us from the closet when we were children? They're still there... - mh

Hats on Shoulders, Teeth in the Telephone

I feel
a bit like a
coat rack.
Specifically the
metal hook
beside the
hanging hats.
Holding the warmth
of the room
until it's cold enough
to come back.
I feel
a bit like a
telephone pole.
With thick wire
straddled across
my shoulders.
Holding everyone’s conversation
outside of both
sending and receiving.
I feel
a bit like a
yellow tooth.
A film of moss
but a smile
in a group.
Held in place by
healthy gums
doomed to rot
since it began.

- Jake Grieco

(added 06.06.13)

editor's note: An outsider's anthem, unheard and uncovered. Shhhhh, brrrrrrrr!- mh

Gravity of the eyes

To give life, an artisan
Where, vanity to disdain
In the furnace forged
From dimension to shape
Where beauty is carved
Mosaic in its ornate plate
Now on the wall it's hung
And its magnetic silence
Pulls them to observe
Still the eyes of Buddha
Teasing from the wall
For: the eternal peace.

- Hem Raj Bastola

(1 poem added 06.05.13)

editor's note: In this case, the story tells the picture; a peace portrait. - mh

The Switch

You are the authority on valuation,
for every man has his vice
and thirst drives people into trade.

Bartering is forbidden; the exchange
is emphatically clear in its horror,
switchover between the scales.

Balance drops in your favour,
the weight of one soul ballast
against any measure of gold.

And man, foolish hawker that he is,
now lightened by the buoyancy of greed,
yet forever anchored onto the depths.

- Colin Dardis

(added 06.04.13)

editor's note: Euphoria temporaria: Beware the caprice of the market place. - mh

He is watching you throw this poem in the trash

God, these god emails always have a catch!
"He is watching you read this email
If you don't forward it he will remember the slight

on judgement day!"
Fire. Fear. Brimstone.
One, I thought you earlier said he was forgiving,
Two, Pol Pot wasn't watched, was he?

You are all alone and you're going to die.

- Ra! Gabriel

(1 poem added 06.03.12)

editor's note: Three. Respond today for a divine discount: 15% off of your soul. - mh


Opaque, solid color
added to metal.
A poison sand
that ends so beautifully.
The room is warm and inviting,
but don’t breath it in.

- Susie Sweetland Garay

(added 06.02.13)

editor's note: Some things are better beheld than consumed. - mh

•••Short Stories•••

Need a read? Good. If you're reading this blurb in a coffee shop, well this one is for you! If not, well get your arse to your local coffee bean boiler and the latest addition to our short stories library, "It Must Be the Coffee" by Lorene Aurelia Holderfield, a taste. Here's a sip to whet your whistle...

(photo by Tyler Malone)

"Among the soft darkness of the coffee house, a distinct scent of rich aroma instantly overwhelms one’s senses, almost purifying them from deep within. It is as if some strange, unforeseen magic had long been buried here, only becoming active when someone crosses the invisible threshold that lies between this hectic, modern world and a completely quiescent world. / The wan morning sun dimly illuminates the smooth, glittery surface that forms the portico. The crimson-painted walls become a richer hue. And every human who walks through that invisible threshold sheds this dreary, crushing weight that had slyly zombie-fied them. These people instantly smile. Their bodies are erect and color enlivens their drained features. Their hearts are filled with great warmth. “Stranger” becomes foreign to all. Just where did this come from? It must be the coffee."

Get the rest of your sips here...

•••Mad Swirl Open Mic•••

(photos courtesy of Tyler Malone & Dan Rodriguez)

Mad Swirl was the place to be in this poetic community this past 1st Wednesday! This month we featured poet, writer, photographer and Short Story Editor, Tyler Malone! We knew this was surely gonna be a feature to remember. And was it ever! If you were there, you know what we mean. If not, well, you snooze you lose.

Hosts Johnny O and MH Clay got to callin' all the mad poets, musicians & a few other miscellaneous mad ones in the Lounge to come & strut their mad stuff! A couple never-before-seen faces mingled with the usual mix of mad suspects you expect to see on our 1st Wednesday mad romp. And romp it we did! Mad Swirlin' thanks to ALL the mad ones that came to participate, to appreciate...

Tyler Malone

Johnny O
MH Clay

Mad Cast:
Paul Koniecki
Desmene Statum
Bear the Poet
Opalina Salas/CJ Critt
Gordon Hilgers
Maggie Smith
Richard Wiley

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of June (aka 06.05.13), 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 ALL THE WAY from San Diego... this month's featured poet & writer, Joseph DiLella! And stick around to get yourself one of the 17 spots 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. COMING SOON:

August: Christopher Soden
September: Hep Kat Mama
October: Rafael Andrade Garza
November: Cheyenne Gallion
December: Chris Zimmerly


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...


Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor


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