The Best of Mad Swirl : 06.22.13

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” Plutarch

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Look (above) by Jim Fuess, 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 sought what life could contain in "les jours de la semaine"; we were not to be beguiled by heartless monster or helpless child; we never thought that we could be the belle of the bee, our unchecked myopic miosis, a writer's nemesis be; we witnessed the imminent awakening of their youth, not ours, their own they are and ever were, not us; we stood over a stealthy, insidious certainty that a destroyer can be deterred, stopped to savor a smoke break, while love swings suspended, frayed but not forsaken; we sought for some a new salvation, rescue from depths of degradation; we deferred to a dam of grand design, acrobats we became, to dodge and dance 'round any flood of demand for recompense or attribute of blame. No! No one's responsible; not you, nor me. We all, just twice-removed recidivists, be. ~ mh

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

An interpretation of “Los Heraldos Negros” by Cesar Vallejo

There are knocks in life so hard... what the hell do I know!
knocks of God hate, as if driving
the riptide of suffering
were to dam the soul... what the hell.

Though few... they carve lines
in the fiercest face and the toughest back
Maybe they’re Attila’s horses
or the black harbingers sent by Death

They are the abysses of the Christ in soul
of some utter faith blasphemed by Destiny
the blood hits in the crackling bread
that burns us at the oven’s door

And poor poor man, he turns his eyes
as if slapped on the shoulder
turns his crazy eyes, and everything lived
is dammed, a little lake of guilt, in his sight

There are hard knocks... what the hell do I know!

- satnrose

(1 poem added 06.22.13)

editor's note: What the hell, indeed! - mh


There she is right over there
Wearing those dirty pink shoes
She always looks like she is lost
The only shoes that seem to fit
The pink shoe pill popper blues
Like a clown they make her sane
In a crazy world of glitter pain
The only one’s that she can use

I wonder what she took today
Green one’s and blue one’s too
All that hazy bubble ice cream
Her head is probably swimming
Like a year long lost day dream
Sliding around in green moss shoes
To the pink shoe pill popper blues

Sad to think that she lives in a haze
She‘s not new to this psychedelic phase
Someone needs to get her to the clinic
Gets her kids from school in a daze
Maybe plead to her partner in crime
The snob is not one for grace and giving
Never speaks about what he does
Or how he makes his expensive living

The pink shoe pill popper blues
She acts like someone else every day
When she goes silent I just walk away
There is never anything for us to share
I can never think of anything to say
She hides behind her husband well
On the days that she can’t see straight
Her strung out medical partner in crime
He makes sure that she is never late

- Gina Nemo

(added 06.21.13)

editor's note: Suburban subhuman coping mechanisms, "Doctor, please, some more of these - Outside the door, she took four more" - mh


Alarm clocks that you can’t set.
Ringing at times you didn’t decide for them to.
If I was ever even asleep, you wouldn’t have noticed.
These pills can’t even knock me out anymore.
Skinny and uncomfortable.
Weren't the explorations supposed to make me smarter?
Maybe a little more cultured?
I wasn't trying to be God
But I think he got offended anyway.
I guess this is what happens when you pull the base-brick from the cobblestone
The colorful, complex veil they made for me was stitched very poorly.
I’m still running with the thread.
Heaven help me If I ever find a way to dissect and destroy the concept of love.
I’ve disproved everything else.
I’m just gonna smoke this cigarette
Think about Football
And forget about it...

- Tommy Johnston

(added 06.20.13)

editor's note: That's the way to keep your head in the game - disengage. Distance brings perspective. - mh

The New Paradigm

At the park with my kids,
I watch as various
children take turns
throwing giant handfuls
of sand at a mural
of Mickey Mouse,
and they never seem to
tire of this, the line
stretching further and further
until I lose track,
their rage becoming
palpable, some of
them smearing the sand
on Mickey’s ears,
“take that!” they scream,
they know
where the blame belongs,
and I smile as
I watch the beginnings
of the new paradigm

- Melanie Browne

(1 poem added 06.19.13)

editor's note: The "magic" is falling out of the "kingdom" at a younger age these days. There's still hope... - mh

The advantages of being a writer


You write
a house
and it’s there

You make it high
and square,
you place it
in Detroit

No, you move it
to Brooklyn

Realizing that
you have no
business there,
you move it
to Italy,
where you
currently are

You place
yourself in it,
you zoom in
one of it its

you are,

the creator
at work


You add
a desk, a screen,
a keyboard,

a computer,
a lamp,
the whirr of a
computer fan,
a rainy day

and the spike
of an event –
the slamming
of a door


The final act
is to erase
it all again

you are,

the destroyer
at work


You check
the spelling

- Johannes Beilharz

(added 06.18.13)

editor's note: Damn right! Sometimes the spelling is all we can control. Makes me wonder if god did all his in pencil. - mh

Nightmare with Reader

The devil painted a picture
of a monster
eating a child.
The monster looked just like you.

In his way the devil is honest:
You really are
a monster sometimes.
The child looked just like you too.

As if you could only be one
or the other.
Nothing else.
He smiles at you, says choose.

With dark magic he made the ground
of the painting
reflect light.
See. It looks just like a mirror.

- Michael Collins

(added 06.17.13)

editor's note: Despicable, these monsters; until we find they are us. A little understanding can curb those appetites. - mh

Holding on

I do not want to die on a Monday with rain raging down on my pain
my mind drifting back through a lather of dreams & fear grabbing hold of my name.

I do not want to die on a Tuesday it’s the least of my favourite days
like the start of New Year there’s little to cheer unless I change my ways.

I do not want to die on a Wednesday in sight of the weekend fair
too much to remember & much more to do – not easy to let go there.

I do not want to die on a Thursday for it’s my favourite day of the week
the cheque in the door the wine on the floor - do not want to go anymore.

I do not want to die on a Friday because my father did
fallen, alone, by a railway line just as I started to live.

I do not want to die on a Saturday with people rushing around
voices that laugh in the sun in the park & footballers pounding the ground.

Let me drift off on a Sunday when my summers have no more to give & children play by
the Great Lucan weir unaware that I ever had lived.

- Alan Halford

(added 06.16.13)

editor's note: When that reaper comes calling, my life to request, my newly shucked soul to seek; I'll hide from that falling by starting a quest for a newly named day of the week. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? Of course you do! Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone has to say about this pick-of-the-week short story, "Small Town Noir" by Jenean McBrearty: "What makes a real man is hard to find sometimes: it’s both under a zipper and under the skin. You just need get intimate—real close—to a fella to find out what he’s made of." Here's a taste to tease your eyeballs...

(photo by Tyler Malone)

Phil called his penis "Pounder" because it was so heavy it bowed when it was hard. You might say it was Phil's version of the L'arc de Triomphe. Anyway, after Maxine personally verified the nickname's namesake, she spread the info all over Bonita. Soon Phil had rep n' cred, not to be confused with crabs n' stank, her info on Phil's friend, Joe. No surprise that Phil got more action than Joe even though it wasn't Joe's fault, exactly. Maxine caught him after his latest trip to Tijuana where he got so drunk he nailed a hoochee-mama from Santee and started itchin’ himself raw. / Phil didn't like Maxine all that much. She hogged the mic at the karaoke bars and still thought it was cool to stay till last call...

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...

Paintin' Poetry,

Johnny O

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor


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