The Best of Mad Swirl : 02.11.17
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“the forgotten (1)” (above) by featured artist Allen Forrest.
Mad Swirl is proud to introduce you to our newest visual artist, Allen Forrest. Allen brings us an expressive art collection we’ve been waiting for! His work really draws attention to the space of the page, the white vs. black in high contrast. While some are more obvious than others, each piece seems to make a statement, demanding your attention. Though some of the scenes seem chaotic, there is a sharp and decided cleanliness about them that just… works, in a mad way that we at Mad Swirl especially appreciate. Something tells us you will too. If you need proof, have a look-see for yourself... ~ Madelyn Olson
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we ghosted in symbols, surviving a wreck; we wakened a sleeper, with fever in check; we held back an attack for deeds wrong done; we bailed from the bus of an insensitive son; we sang a dream of life, as short refrain; we sang another, drenched in golden rain; we chose to eat, all wet and juicy, a messy life, all "hot and oozing." We write to win, no losing. ~ MH Clay
Mango by Lisa Carmen
If there is a graceful way
to eat a mango,
I don’t know it.
What? With knife and fork?
Clean nibbles, small bites?
No thank you.
I don’t want to know this way
of eating mango.
I choose dripping juices,
slithering slices, slurping.
I choose sticky lips
and sticky fingers
I choose rolling fleshy pieces
mother nature’s eroticism,
dripping wet with nectar.
I choose this mess,
this messy mango mess.
And if there is a graceful way
to live my life,
I don’t know it.
What? With carefulness and preparation?
small steps? Safety?
Securely closed and airtight
No thank you.
I don’t want to know this way
of living life.
I choose sudden gushes of urgent,
red hot revelations,
I choose dripping truths,
slithering epiphanies, slurping.
I choose rolling dichotomies of bravery
Bloody battles and ecstatic dances
between heart and mind,
Bitter and sweet
deep blue funks and
laser light shows of living,
glitter and guts, blues and reds,
resilience and redemption
I choose this aliveness,
this live, uncut, uncensored large
this hot and oozing holiness.
I choose this mess.
This beautiful mess.
February 11, 2017
editors note: We choose it, too! (We welcome this mad missive from one of the founders of this Mad Swirl. Thanks, Lisa!) – mh clay
Ever blue Soul by Gregg Dotoli
A silhouette of teal despair
Witness to all we never were to be
Witness to all we never were to do
Eden’s pure spring tears
cleanse the angel-soul face
to be stained anew by
man’s circular devil deeds
a wounded muse
Everblue forever wanders
with pockets of inspiration
casting notion and dreams among our lot
raining fine golden hope
February 10, 2017
editors note: At last, some blues to sing; eyes open and in unison. – mh clay
The Last Wall Of My Small World by Pijush Kanti Deb
How to pass you over, my dear?
Localizing all the beauties of nature,
Accumulating all the treasures of El Dorado
Setting all the mountains and oceans thereon
You lie in my way,
Maybe, you are busy writing
The last chapter of my fate,
An opening song of my life-album
My last dream
Which comes true
In your body, mind and soul
Beside the last wall of my small world.
February 9, 2017
editors note: From the large, hard-bound Book of Life, maybe our stories go straight to paperback. – mh clay
SHOAH by Brian Wood
Hi my name is Tony and I will be
Your guide today. Just kidding. I could not
Care less. Get the fuck on the bus and shut
The fuck up. I am a teacher at School
Of the Rock, Secondary, Catholic.
It’s my job to counsel and be a role
Model, all “within a faith dimension.”
(Those last four words right from our motto.)
The first stop on our tour is the, uhm, Shri
Swamin… Swamin… Swaminarayan
Mandir something or other. What? Who
The fuck knows. What? Probably named after
Some dude named Swami. It is (I am betting)
A Hindu temple. My old man, on all his
Sober days, said every religion was
Just bullshit, just a new way of stealing.
Anyway, get off the bus, make sure you’re
On the right tour, and ask your guide if you
Little shits have any questions. I’ll be
Out back smoking.
Next stop? Let’s see. Chris, you are a doofus
Times another doofus. Shut the fuck up.
There is nothing I would not give for a beer.
Next stop is… ah… Fo… Guang Shan Temple
Over in Brampton. What? Buddhist, who knows,
A lot of people over there believe
That stuff, or say they do. I know they get
A ton of movie stars in Tibet. Big,
Big, stuff. Anyway, I repeat, ask your
Guide your questions. You know where to find me.
Last stop… Everyone get back on the bus
And shut up. This one is called… Chad… Shad… Yad
Va-Shem. What? Crap, search me, it’s way out
Of my pay scale. Funny, this one time, years
Ago, I did go on the tour, except that
It really bothered me, so I haven’t
Been since. School of the Rock wouldn’t dream
Of paying me twice. I do remember
Our guide said I reminded him why he
Worked there, that men like me were living proof
Shoah was always within easy reach,
That men like me made the trains to Belzec
A sure thing. I heard a kid laugh at that,
But I never got around to asking
What was so goddamn funny. I don’t get
These stupid tours. The prices always go up.
Most kids come back dumber than they left.
Like god from a machine will come down as
Fire. As if sin will be wiped clean. As if
My students won’t be coffin stuffing one
Day, just like me. They will fit
As well as better.
February 8, 2017
editors note: Some still say, “Never again!” (But, some don’t.) – mh clay
Pain Is Comprehension by Michael Marrotti
up fists concede
it’s a despicable
world of good folks
being fucked over
Asking the cops
to protect and serve
is like asking
a rapist to use
no where to turn
victims of society
and three square
meals a day
if they pursued
the only option
left at their disposal
I know the truth
it’s not the system
or their defense
it’s the fact that
is there to say
it’s a cruel world
time to sharpen
up the blade
if I gave back
all that’s been
you can quote me
the benefits of
February 7, 2017
editors note: When the two-by-four rule becomes the norm, enlightenment will be nothing but pain. Alas… (We welcome Michael into our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
The Fever by Kleio B
Dreading the dead,
The cacaphonic wail;
That sinister moon,
The shivering child,
Ran up the stairs;
Covering his head,
In Momma’s hair;
Ignoring that stench,
Cold as marble,
Still sweating a rain;
With shaking hands,
The child again,
Grappling the dark;
Pulled the blanket,
To cover his Momma;
All in vain.
Momma so still,
No flicker of breath,
In the land of dead!
A sudden crash,
Shook the child;
Threatening the babe!
The sound a gong,
Of volcanic make;
Were they taking
His Momma away?
Shaking in shock,
He cried in pain
“Child, it’s a fever!”, she whispered
“Momma’s right here.”
Holding his Momma tight,
The child slept again.
February 6, 2017
editors note: Life as a near-death experience. (Her short stories have already splashed in the Swirl, but now we are pleased to welcome Kleio B into our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her poetry madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay
BLACK ANCHORS by Milenko Županović
about the ship
with slaves from
an unknown place
that took shelter
the sound of
hitting the ground
causing fear among
pulling the chains
bound edges at sea
shadows in the night
to the sea
black statues at sea
island with black anchors
February 5, 2017
editors note: Don’t want to be a passenger on that cruise. (We welcome Milenko into our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
If you need-a-read we got just the one to feed your need!
This week's featured short, "Harvest Road" comes from our very own Short Story Editor Tyler Malone. Here's what MH Clay has to say about this pick-of-the-week:
"Reapers, grim and guileful. Fruit, maybe ripe, but not ready. Sanctuary sought, but unsafe. The only refuge is in the road… Keep moving."
If that write-up doesn't get your get-up-and-go goin', here's a lil' somethin'-somethin' that will:
Harvest Road took women and no one was bothered. From God’s eye and Internet maps it was easy to discover the street but miss sidewalk cracks where dark things with wet skin made night sounds, piles of departed and disfigured pets found under lost animal posters, and ghostly annual October Klansmen hanging in mesquite trees. Karen absorbed all this on Harvest Road, but for her a jog was still just another word for a walk. She breezed past what hid in obvious sight, as she had for months since moving into her rented house where spiders dripped from angular branches and spun thin horror stories...
Get the rest of dichotomous read on right 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...
Bein' the maddest,
Short Story Editor