The Best of Mad Swirl : 03.07.15

“Art is not made for anybody and is, at the same time, for everybody.” Piet Mondrian

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Suspension” (above) by featured artist William Zuback. This is the last one that we will feature from William this go-round. Stay tuned for our newest featured artist coming to y'all next week! To see more Mad works from our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we tried to tune the pain from a picture of children; we dallied in a desert waste, stained sin and God the same in haste; we settled into sedentary student stigmas, unashamed and unnamed; we stumbled and stammered molecule fast, daunted by space and actions passed; we pulsed the promise of knives and stars on a dead run; we slipped the soap of reason, bathed and borne to pleasin'; we leapt the gap o' gravity gulped in gasps from a deep guffaw. Deep breaths now, words to speak and lives to peek from behind fate's curtain before the play begins... ~ MH Clay

Gravity Break

Gravity has no bounds
we all own a universal share

there is no rheostat
no ambiguity

it is either on
or off

unless you
go into space

you are planted
firmly on the ground


there is levity
an opposite of gravity

that we can
all embrace

find things funny

and with a simple

Newton's law.

- D. Russel Micnhimer

(1 poem added 03.07.15)

editor's note: Let go gravitas to float free; put apple back on the tree. (We welcome Russel to our crazy confab of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page - check it out.) - mh


I had it in hand in my bath,
right here, the soap, the truth,
but then it escaped me, no reason.

This happens, I calm myself, be reason-
able. Lie back. When your bath
involves a search for truth,

it’s a slippery soap grope. In truth
everyone now and then takes a bath
in the marketplace tub of reason.

Truly, with reason. Bathing next, grasp this.

- Richard Swanson

(added 03.06.15)

editor's note: Taken to the cleaners as the market gets filthy rich - this makes us wise. Selah. - mh


Heart weeps in tribal beats
One earth, thousand worlds

A wise mind covered in moss
Shaman drowned in drug fit sleep

Sold from hair to nails,
Lack of DNA in our wires

We build fires, rain down like knives
Yet eyes so mild, promise stars

A realm of injustice, slaves and mirrors
Free will, past lingers

One dreamer, thousand ways
Eyes so wild burn with a blaze

Tear off the stolen skin, rise the drummer… rise
Run off into the forest, just run… run away

Save what’s seen before your eyes
… save yourself

- Elina Alksnite

(added 03.05.15)

editor's note: Yes, save yourselves; bring down the run and carry the one! - mh

The Greater Space

There was a voice capture of space in 2000-2003
By Nasa, it raised fears, suspicions, assertions
the rumblings have little facts
a possible fact, some measure of life
was attained
be it by light, sound or image
the rings of Saturn called her lover
the song of Earth
raised desperation to the brink of sunrise
Saturn so far,
has calculated more than her rings

Here on Earth
we hear it all
Albeit, from a distance
the abstractions
constant interactions
a blip,
a sound,
a molecule
trying to reach out
for something other than its deity
circumference circling around
to let us know
to grab a phone
point at the heavens
cower into the unknown darkness
we have a visitor
it could be our past creations
trying to secure
a passage into the future.

© August 20, 2014

- Rafael Andrade Garza

(2 poems added 03.04.15)

editor's note: There's no telling what future past may pass through present; unsettling. Best keep space at arm's length. (Read another of Rafael's mad missives on his page; a jacketed jab from love's past - check it out.) - mh

The Check

Feed yourself,
have a beer
(even though it’s a
school night,
you’ve got a
bad relationship with
buy concert tickets with
funds you don’t have,
burn the rice and
settle for crackers,
put on new
blow out the candle,
calm yourself with




- Taylor Gall

(1 poem added 03.03.15)

editor's note: Something to keep us oblivious to those great big questions lurking outside. - mh


Texas Wilderness
Dead against all the towns between Waco and our sacred reservoir
Never thought to teach our children all the feelings
Covered like guilt in the unexpected snow of 2014
Visions of blood against the subtle warmth of winter
Small amounts of red against
A dark universe of white matter
White like God
And sin

I am man in the universe of my being
Forbidden from the source
Bound to the gravity
Of slaves
Of the punishable
Deserving of this terror and unable to
Dream about mother and womb and secrets

Here I am

- Cheyenne Gallion

(3 poems added 03.02.15)

editor's note: Disconnected, daunted wake-dreamer, solitary sleeper... all. (Read more of Cheyenne's madness on his page; a celebrated sameness and a wasted word land - check'em out.) - mh

Peshawar, Thar, Newtown

How do we tell children apart?
Our children from those less privileged?
Our children from those of a terrorist?
Hungry children from sick children?
Pretending to play dead children, from dead children?

How in the hell do they tell?
Which one to let live, which one to kill?

Reactive governance, absent strategy?
Politics of war, political warring?
Failing diplomacy, content apathy?
In a burden we all share
This child play is for real
There, here, elsewhere, anywhere
Children will be children, they are dying everywhere

Paying the price, laying their lives
Crying out loud then going quiet
Our past, our present, haunting our future
Children are children, they are dying everywhere

Is there something wrong with this picture?
How is this not our mutual shame?
How is this not our shared failure?
Children our children, are dying everywhere

- Arif Ahmad

(1 poem added 03.01.15)

editor's note: Shamed, yes; but, stirred to action? You? I? - mh

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Before we share, we will need to see your license to read, registration, & proof of reading insurance... just kidding!

Check out the latest addition to our short stories library, "In the Car" by Elijah Budgeon. Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about this pick-of-the-week tale: "You're not okay, none of us are. It's okay to admit that you're not okay, too. That's the most comfort you'll get out of life sometimes."

Here's a few words to whet your whistle:

photo by Tyler Malone

I sit in the front seat of my dad’s brown shitbox Honda Civic. It’s my weekend with him and we are on our way somewhere fun at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon. It’s mild outside, even as the sun begins to set. I wear a white shirt and so does he. We match today. We drive past his condo on Legion road with the windows rolled down half way. Goosebumps erect upon my exposed arm from the cool wind. I like the circulated air on my face. He says something and I respond with a smart ass quip through a slow forming smirk.

I hear the sirens.

I look behind me and see a police car follow us. I can see the officer motion Dad to pull over, and he does less than half way between Humber Bay Park West and East, and stops the car. I look at Dad. He glances into the rear view mirror and looks uneasy. His face bloats a little, tense, as if something could happen. It’s not a face I’ve seen Dad make before. He rolls down the window completely for the officer to speak…

Get the rest of your rights read… oops, we mean, get the rest of your READ on RIGHT here!

••• Mad Happenin’s •••

t’was a cold night in Big D but warmth & fuzzies filled the Lounge this past 1st Wednesday! Huge GRATS to our feature, Harry McNabb

Thanks to ALL mad ones who braved the elements and appreciated our feature set and participated in our mic madness by sharing their words, their verses and their fine light with us. It truly was a fine night to be alive and in our Mad Swirl world. In case you missed this Mad action, here is the line-up of who was who…

Harry McNabb

Johnny O
MH Clay

Mad Cast:
Carlos Salas
Josh Weir
David Crandall
Opalina Salas
Paul Konieki
Bear the Poet
Meagen Elizabeth Watson

HUGE thanks to Swirve (Chris Curiel, Gerard Bendiks, & Tamitha Curiel) for keeping the beat til the wee hours of the night. We got taken to another dimension of time and space on the wings of their jazzy madness!

And as always, big THANKS to the patron saint of the loco local mad ones, Kevin Christensen, owner of Absinthe Lounge, who has given 123 reasons to give him all the mad props and love that we do!

We look forward to ALL the m-adventures to come! Stay tuned for...

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


Rebel Poetry & Mad Swirl are proud to present the book release of "sonoffred" - poems by MH Clay.

Sure, you have an evening of St. Patrick's Day mayhem planned for your self; so, why not maximize the festive day and start your evening with us?

Gene Barry, Chief Editor of Rebel Poetry Ireland and Chairman of the Fermoy International Poetry Festival, will join Johnny O, Founder and Chief Editor of Mad Swirl, to host this event.

Readings from the collection by the author and local poets, Chris Zimmerly, Opalina Salas, Johnny O joined by Gene Barry, too.

If you can't be here LIVE, you can tune in and view the whole shebang LIVE via Rebel Poetry's UStream

Admission is free.

Join us for a fun time - St. Patrick wants you to!


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...

Makin’ It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor


Popular Posts