The Best of Mad Swirl : 01.03.15

"You have been chosen, and you must therefore use such strength and heart and wits as you have." J. R. R. Tolkien

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“The Lady Behind You Is Not Amused” (above) by featured artist Gerard Bendiks. To see more Mad works from Gerard, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we got Big Mama's point in a Christmas Juke Joint; we plucked a name from prayer embers to fly without a net; we purred cat words to a threatened bird; we replayed a new year night - arrives with a ring, is gone with a toll; we crossed the year's chasm with stammer and spasm; we dried a tear ocean with love and devotion; we engaged in business funny to separate drones from honey. Let's bang a drum dry and smile as we fly into this New Year. The Swirl Wants You! ~ MH Clay

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


So much honey
Too much money
Sweet corporations
Sticky situations
Stuck it to you
Yes they did
Built a nest
Took the best
Poison Inc
Toxic buzz
Fills you up
With sugar
Injects you
With fuzz
Kill them all
Replace them
Where they
Once stood
And sat
One wonders…
Can a bee
Just die like that?

© 2014

- Gina Nemo

(2 poems added 01.03.15)

editor's note: Tired o' the buzz? Make'em sting. (Another mad one from Gina on her page; for those who like to dig in the dirt - check it out.) - mh

Requiem for a Tear

The heat from my tears
Reminds me of your sweet embrace.
As they flow down my lonely face,
A silhouette of your heart they trace…

Soaked into my skin
The circle begins, again
I remember-
That not a thing can stop the Sun from rising
The light of a new day-
That draws me closer to you is surely shining…

As sure as the world is turning
My heart is beating
To Love you, on purpose.

- Michael R. King

(1 poem added 01.02.15)

editor's note: No greater love than love on purpose. Thanks, Michael! - mh

Nova Annum

Ring in the Nova
Reverberate through
This cosmic chasm
A primal song of joy

The very first chord
Struck at the very first
Of the divine baton

Stare confidently forward
Up to a star filled sky
Each a frenetic
Photon prophet

Future portends
Inevitable collision
With past
A clash to cancel
Both sides of the equation

Into null
Into now

Now is a beginning
Now is a first step
Now is blinking into an early dawn
Now is the first tongue-stammered word

Now is Nova Annum

- MH Clay

(1 poem added 01.01.15)

editor's note: Let the countdown begin! 10... 9... 8... on course for a head-on collision of cosmic proportions between what was and what will be happening. When? Right here and right... 3...2... 1... - jo


New Year's Eve and it's amateur night at the madhouse of fun as the masses invade my regular hangout; my often private playground

They’ve been driven out of their tiny little lives into the full-on glare of just another night for those of us who seize everyday

Delirious from their Xmas over-indulgence they spent the last five days shopping whilst I’ve remained hidden from the excesses of their consumer zombie apocalypse

After so much brutality their bodies just crave a rest but not tonight because its party time!

It’s the biggest night of the year; the first and last time they can actually live this year

As they storm the bar demanding their sparkling wine and Jaeger bombs my mind drifts off for tonight I pretty much sit alone

The New Years of times gone passed and then you and the time we spent one together

It was a glorious night of wild unrestrained heroic drinking with a real vision of beauty; I’m getting hot just thinking about her

We started here, in this very pub I remember that and then suddenly I’m back, sat at the bar pissed off and alone

Upon noticing the time is already quite late a joyous zeal feels my heart as once the bells toll I will be gone

- Bradford Middleton

(1 poem added 12.31.14)

editor's note: This poet's a pro, a perennial seizer of days (and drinker of nights). - mh


No traces of antiquity appear,
I am feline and sublime.
I come and go, as I please,
Clawing the threads of life.

Then there’s the weakling woman,
Her eyes like melted pies,
Chokes on a life chained to her neck,
And fades into the sky.
Sometimes I bring her a dandelion,
That’s comradeship, they say,
But her heart cannot listen,
As she laments the day.

I’ve told her of the Milky Way,
Of stars submerged in sea,
But only when I eye her bird,
Does she ever look at me.

- Liam Connole

(added 12.30.14)

editor’s note: Wise words; not from the bird, but from the one sitting in his seat (comes creeping on little cat feet). - mh


In rind of wishes sticky on lips
and sermons’ echo on facepsalms slipping
in envies squirted on spruce and cedar
whims twirling, spiraled, speckled
gossamer visions of friendships withered
in crevices of an upbeat mien
Your name hidden in prayer embers
I mend among buds of poems
flying on a trapeze
with no one at the other end

- Silva Zanoyan Merjanian

(1 poem added 12.29.14)

editor’s note: Holiday nostalgia; bittersweet images of friendships come and gone. In the end we express for ourselves; no expectations of someone to catch us "at the other end." - mh

A Juke Joint Christmas

Here, at Ida Mae’s,
Christmas dinner is
A huge pot of gumbo
Made by the owner.

This is her family now.

And at four-foot-nothing, she’s
Still “Big Mama.” Everybody’s families,
Friends and lovers? Dead or gone.
They drink to their names either to
Praise or curse.

But some just love the welcoming
Fragrance of piss, cigarettes and
Stale beer.

“Hey, Big Mama! If my wife calls, tell
Her I ain’t here!”

And Ida Mae gives him a smile and a wink
As she strolls to the jukebox to play
“Silent Night” by the Temptations.

- Roderick Richardson

(1 poem added 12.28.14)

editor’s note: Long after the Day is gone, our Holiday memories live on. This one from Roderick recalls one about (someone's, everyone's) Mother Christmas. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Perfect! Then you really need to check out the latest addition to our short stories library, "Indian Summer" by R.A. Hernandez

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale: "God bless that Indian summer, where stories burn themselves into the brains of our young bodies, so we wear them until they wear us out and meet us as we slip into everlasting blackness."

Here's a taste to tease ya':

It was about that time that I first started to notice girls. I was twelve and the girls I had known since elementary were growing what my father called “A woman’s curves.”

I would spend the summers with my uncle and grandfather in the country, while my parents went on missions with their church. The house was close to a lake and my uncle had a small skiff that he would let me use. The lake was private and large, hidden away in the deep country of East Texas.

The lake felt as though it belonged solely to us, my family, but it didn’t. It was just off the beaten path. I remember my grandfather saying the land belonged to no man. His mother was a full blooded Choctaw woman. He had a very calm peaceful way of talking. He was the first one to tell me about the lady of the lake...

Get the rest of your read on right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of January (aka 01.07.15) at 8:00 sharp, when we will swirl it up madly in the LIVE way that we do every month now for OVER 10 years! We're gonna kick-off our 2015 season of mic madness with an outta-towner coming all the way from Louisiana, longtime Contributing Poet, Rob Dyer (aka David Parham)!

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) to get you a spot on our mic list here!

For folks who live out of town but would still like to view our mic madness, we'll be capturing the swirlin' scene via our Mad Swirl UStream Channel.

AND, as you may or may not know, every 1st Wednesday we get all giddy with this swirlin' madness. Here's the starting line-up for our 2015 season:

February: David Crandall


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’ Witty,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor


Popular Posts