The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.28.15

“You've got to bumble forward into the unknown.” Frank Gehry

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Pick N Save” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. To see more Mad works from William, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we rocked nocturnal rectitudes, unconfirmed observable attitudes; we wrapped certifiably in a bundle of burger and fries; we questioned chance to start, such emptiness and fallen heart; we lost a limp lover to floor-bound flailing; we gave a gaffer his berry picking, life licking, gift; we toed a teleological dance 'round life's rhythms and our ignorance; we sought to know a soul in kind by the schisms of a sectarian mind. We collaborate compartmentally, a box for every beat in time... ~ MH Clay

Soul Play

The soliloquy of soul
sinks and flows
partaking in prayers
dreams and hopes
on the darker side
of salient nights
piercing membranes
of conscious thought
sexual desires and
violent behaviors
while questioning
comfortable egos
that frighten at
the simple thought of
secessions from public
while embracing
subtle touch
the art of language
secretly in love
dances around
the saga of life
playing upon
the sectarian mind

- Peggy Flora

(1 poem added 02.28.15)

editor's note: A creative soul selects words to paint a picture of love. - mh


Muon neutrinos time of flight, (Einsteinian anomaly)…
Particles that outpace light, upending relativity, (ahem)…

Not so fast— lest we should be overawed,
Humans are human… some data are flawed.
Facts can turn fictional, rendered unsound.
Researchers research for findings unfound…


We dance our physics dance and ponder—
On and on presumptions wander—
As we wonder here and yonder…

Might we travel time’s trapeze,
Sail dimensions like a breeze,
Go before we came with ease?

Yet though unfathomed wisdom’s sought,
How can we know beyond our thought?
Infinity eludes us— still,
Finiteness is a bitter pill.

We theorize to the skies,
Plumb the depths where insight lies—
But we see with earthly eyes,
And this cuts us down to size.

So we take our measurements
And scan the score.
Then what’s proven true is true…
Unless there’s more…

- Harley White

(1 poem added 02.27.15)

editor's note: Yup! It is a bitter pill, indeed! - mh

Gramps Is Still Nuts about Granny

Granny wants to go to a movie
back in the old neighborhood
where she and Gramps used to
neck in high school but Gramps

doesn't want to drive that far
and tells Granny he’ll go if she sits
in the balcony and wears a skirt
he can slide his hand under

during the Coming Attractions.
Granny asks Gramps if he isn’t
a little old for that kind of thing
and Gramps says he’d rather put

his head under there and let Granny
box his ears with her thighs
and listen to his sighs as he harvests
fruit still ripe in the orchard.

- Donal Mahoney

(1 poem added 02.26.15)

editor's note: Go, Gramps! Up for a balcony bounce and a hip-thrusting harvest. Come again? - mh

Entertainment Services by Everafter

We’ll go round like this forever
She said
She Said
This is dancing
And quickly took to the ground
Opine and flailing

- Steven Minchin

(1 poem added 02.25.15)

editor's note: A sweetheart subjected to samba and seizure. - mh


Shed a tear
Over you
couldn't figure
Mine I heard
Was said
where the heart
Would lie
Could I feel
Cheek crawling tears
For a moment
Who knew
I too
Were human
God knows
I fell
In love

- Mahabba Alhaushabi

(added 02.24.15)

editor's note: Irony in romance; absence makes the heart grow empty. - mh


I threw away college
page by page into the bin
but keeping the pages intact
knowing full well some poor
boy at his father’s vendor stall
will probably use them to wrap
his future in them for thirty rupees
per burger and a guesstimated half
a dozen fries.

- Sheikha A.

(1 poem added 02.23.15)

editor's note: Fast-food diplomacy; the triumph of higher education. - mh

The Nocturnal Habits of Rocks

If rocks are
nocturnal creatures,
as I suspect,
wouldn’t I have seen
them drag-rolling
down the strip?
Or spray painting
new faces
on their cousin
the brick?
Or launching themselves
through plate glass windows
after having had
too much to drink?
Or peeing
in mailboxes,
yelling out,
“Special Delivery!” ?

So, having witnessed
none of this,
I can only assume that
they’re too slick
for us humans
to view their
night time habits,
just like screaming trees.

- Scott Wozniak

(added 02.22.15)

editor's note: I have seen a stone's throw, but that was in broad daylight. - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Uh, um... yeah, we do owe you one, don’t we? Oh yes, here it is!… right here in our back pocket called "Fat Andy" and it's from Contributing Writer, Mike Fiorito!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale: "You may pay your debts, but there's always something left over to be taken. Your flesh can be measured in pounds."

Here's a pinch of "Fat Andy", you know, to tide you over 'til you get to read it in full:

photo by Tyler Malone

That could have been me getting nearly killed that day as I sat on the schoolyard steps getting high with Ferrone. But it wasn't my turn, yet.

Only a few weeks earlier I had bought a ten dollar bag of weed on credit from Fat Andy. Fat Andy was a new dealer in Astoria Park. Being a little taller than I was, he had a tiny bald head that sat on his pear shaped body like it didn’t belong there. Despite his menacing look, he smiled a lot. Andy was about twenty, maybe five years older than me.

That day Ferrone bought a bag of weed.

“What about you?” asked Andy.

Shoving my hand in my pockets I said, “I ain’t got no money.”

Andy looked at me and said, "I'll give you a bag, but you gotta pay me when you have it." I shook my head agreeing and took the weed.

Days later, I was with Ferrone and we saw Andy. I had ten dollars on me. I thought of reaching into my pocket to give Andy the money, but I didn't. I just nodded my head at him. He didn't ask me for it either.

Over the next few weeks I'd see Andy on the street but I tried to avoid him. I either pretended that I didn't see him or walked across the street so he wouldn't see me.

We ain't tryin' to leave you hangin' on that full pay-off so get the rest of your read on here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl this 1st Wednesday of March (aka 03.04.15) at Dallas’ Absinthe Lounge 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! This month we will be featuring poet, writer, musician, & all-around mad man, Harry McNabb!

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... 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 LIVE 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:

April: Merlin the Magical One
May: Opalina Salas, Maggie Smith, Desmene Statum
June: Brendan McCormack (LIVE from Ireland via Skype)
July: John Kelly & Stefan Prigmore


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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