The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.01.14

"'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,' - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know." John Keats

••• The Mad Gallery •••

Photo (above) by featured artist Toby Oggenfuss. To see more Mad works from Toby, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we hung clouds, stole stars and sleep from a tongue-tied sleeper; we saw a sand-soddened sunset, layered in loneliness; we quenched the fire of the barb in wire; we stymied a sense of any certainty in a ludicrous quest to escape absurdity; we kicked stars into silly screams, the minuend of two to zero; we swung in the swirling vertigo of desire; we felt the fade of autumn flowers, the weak vibrations of human powers. The ends bring life to means... ~ MH Clay

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

vain beauty

Already short of breath
in the midsummer day
flowers born to exude
scent die in exhaustion
applauding breeze
with curling petals
falling on the mantelpiece
among odd objects
reflecting the pale
indolence of human flesh
all scintillation.

- Francesca Castaño

(1 poem added 11.01.14)

editor’s note: With the turn of leaves, comes this turn of phrases; scintillating indeed! Thanks, Francesca! - mh


Somniloquous window of my room
goes up to the zenith
of the frosted cloud.
My exiled door hangs like a cliff.
your face is hanging
on the cob-web of your city.
In that vertigo
husks of your presence
burn and fly
around my desire.

- Bhargab Chatterjee

(1 poem added 10.31.14)

editor’s note: Sweet satiation from a babbling sexomniac. - mh

Kicking Super Hero

From where l live
I see a silly monster
Trying to tiptoe and dive
At you as if it`s a star
Quickly I move in and check
Then like a superhero
I aim and really kick
It into a screaming zero!

- Ndaba Sibanda

(added 10.30.14)

editor’s note: It's been 0 days since we had a silly monster dive star incident. Keep society safe and kickin'! - mh

Arty Artichoke Heart

The cub wolf replaced Franckie.
He wanted what?
Wanted that the light emitted from this brain,
from these eyes – other Germanic windows –
passing through the prism prevented shade
from invading his lair: a dusty room
where rats and dogs, and cats and mice, and all rodents,
fleas, bacteria, germs, viruses, all dreadful
parasites born to this world, this decayed
pit, collapse copulating with his junkie friends,
and worried, mournful family.

Hidden corpses under the bed,
the red convertible sofa,
rotting slowly as we had sex.
Sex friends was a ludicrous quest
but how can anyone escape
from absurdity when it is all around us,
blind, deafen, choke us to death,
after lobotomizing, emptying these egg shell skulls,
replacing lutein with albumin,
or slime.

- Walter Ruhlmann

(1 poem added 10.29.14)

editor’s note: Garden or garbage pit, it's all organic material; recycled in the end. - mh


A barbed wire
around us
A ragged tear
Beyond repair
Arrow piercing
this bloodless vein

- Susan Dale

(added 10.28.14)

editor’s note: After the sharp word, silence and an aching hour. - mh

sunrise at the seaside

wrapped by the night
swathed in a shawl of memories
filled with love
I froze on an empty beach
with feet mired in the soft sand

staring into the abyss of the sea I can see how
a soft golden-orange sphere
emerges slowly, and majestically rises
spreads its arms above the horizon
cold night slowly dissolved in deep blue depths

golden rays bring warmth and hope
surfing on the backs of the waves
tenderly stroking the coastal rocks
tearing through pine branches
pouring on the dunes
tickling crumbs of amber and shells
scattering on the beach

enriched by the another dawn
ready for sparring with a new day
I prepare my heart for another lonely night

- C Bozena Helena Mazur-Nowak

(added 10.27.14)

editor’s note: Poet packages daily drudgery in postcard perfection; lonely, but for words. - mh

Night rider

Of a desolate wind
Wandering an uninhabited
Point of espial, speak.
Tarried on a sanguine view
Many a nocturnal visit
Dream rapt, it left.
Restless motion
Of a thirsty ocean
A swing on a lonely night
Brings it to the point of stars.
Up above the hanging clouds,
Thrill smitten I wake
From my sleep.

- Hem Raj Bastola

(1 poem added 10.26.14)

editor’s note: A dream stoker, sleep taker. Once awake, gone forever. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need a read? Then check out the latest addition to our short stories library, "Small Matters" by Mike Fiorito. Here's what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week story: "This is a resurrection story. Every morning is a resurrection story, in fact. Share those holy words that are on your heart when you wake, too, because they just might save everyone you hold dear."

Here's a bit to get you goin':

We got the call at 5 A.M. My father had woken from a coma after forty-eight hours and asked to see his family.

Before he had fallen into the coma, we had brought him home from the hospital.

“Take him home and make him comfortable; he doesn’t have long,” the doctor said.

We came home and ordered food. For my father, we ordered angel-haired pasta with shrimp. My mother, his wife for nearly 40 years, tried to help him sit up and eat, but he could barely lift the fork to his mouth. Eating was more of a gesture than a reality.

In three months, he turned bone white as the cancer tore through him. The doctors were right, despite my mother’s condemnation of medicine and all science. “I don’t trust those damned doctors,” she said, her dark Sicilian eyes swelling behind her thick reading glasses. After two thousand years of being run over by invading foreigners, Sicilians had faith only in family.

“He didn’t get this from smoking, you know,” she said to me.

“He has pancreas cancer,” she continued, raising her voice, as she lit a cigarette. “You don’t get pancreas cancer from smoking.”

We’d had this discussion plenty of times, so I didn’t say anything. She was arguing with fate, not me.

Get the rest of your read on right here!

••• Open Mic •••

t'was 10 years ago that Mad Swirl first hosted our open mic at Dallas' Absinthe Lounge. Way back then we never would have guessed that we'd still be doin' it to it all these years later. But guess what? We are! Why? Because of you... and you... and ALL you you's out there who have been appreciatin' and participatin' along with us all those years!

We here at the Swirl approached this auspicious occasion with keen consideration. We asked ourselves, "Selves, who would be the best performer to feature at our 10 year Swirl-a-bration?" The answer came back clearly, "Mad Swirl!" Yes, of course, Mad Swirl should be AND will be our feature! And who better to help us celebrate this momentous mad milestone but YOU, our fellow mad ones!

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of November (aka 11.05.14) 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 help us celebrate our 10th Open Mic Mad Birthday Swirl-a-bration!

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

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


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
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor


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