The Best of Mad Swirl : 07.02.17

"Keep up the good work, if only for a while, if only for the twinkling of a tiny galaxy." ~ Wislawa Szymborska

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Street Joyce” (above) by featured artist David J. Thompson. To see more of David’s mad snaps, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery!

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl's Poetry Forum... we helped self with self-help and (no) jumped to conclusion; we drank it down, no antidote; we radioed remembrance through love and loss confusion; we flew one way, no bags to tote; we reveled in an imperfect sight; we whispered love, brought song from light; we filled our head with truths of the dead. No matter what the weather, we live and die alone, together. ~ MH Clay

The Blessed Solidarity of the Dead by Paul Hellweg

“I don’t mind my pain. It’s their pain I can’t stand.” — Graham Greene

No matter how many dead we carry,
they are of one accord,
each craving release,
wanting only
to tell his or her own truths.

Mine queue up, clamoring for attention,
starting most mornings around sunrise
and keeping at it all day long,
only taking brief late-night hiatus
when I collapse in drunken stupor
or food coma.
I carry beaucoup personal dead, but
even those I never knew
hover in the haunted creases of my brain.

Clicking on CNN,
I read about ninety-five civilians
killed in a Baghdad blast,
mothers, fathers, little ones,
single women, single men,
dreaming one of the other, and I am
thankful for their solidarity.
En masse their pleas are impersonal,
defeating comprehension.
My fear is that confronting only one,
her agony would overwhelm,
devouring everything I am.

July 1, 2017

editors note: Our attention on them changes time till we become them. – mh clay

words alive and dying as they come by Paul Koniecki

sight cannot
initially be trusted

deny anything
that can be

as easily as by

the lifting
of a lid

visions are

matter entirely
subject everyone

to these immediately
make the night taste

of ad-lib and
orange liqueur

make trees grow
make orchards of

scratches and stardust
and marvels and blood

trace an elephant
on my back

in the infinite

make death
gasp and light

sing with your
eye-lash kisses

and your pomegranate

make words
in my throat

living and dying
as they come

i love you
i love you

i love you
as they come

June 30, 2017

editors note: If not words, then gestures and grunts. Such saying must be said somehow. – mh clay

Unfiltered You by R.A. Hernandez

Show me a smile unfiltered.
No garlands of cartoon flowers
No elven eyes
No fingers pressed between suggestive lips

Only you
Elegant in the light that I see you

You in all your impeccable imperfections

June 29, 2017

editors note: Inspiration to improve. – mh clay

One way flight by Aekta Khubchandani

I’m booking myself a one way flight,
Packing chips and chocolates
In containers air tight,
Sometimes flying means seat tied sitting,
Soaring high with metal wings,

Or smoking in circles and rings
Forgetting the shallow human existence.

I’m booking myself a one way flight,
I’m carrying our favourite playlist,
Our broken conversations and pending kisses,
I’m dumping traces of you and less of myself
In a bulky bag,
Thinking if I could only take the bag
And leave the baggage behind.

I’m booking myself a one way flight,
To see my eyes less tired and dry,
I’d welcome with wide open arms,
The sulking sea and the sinking sand,
The taste of salt in the breath of the air,
I’ll make new memories like paper boats,
Keeping ours safe in my pockets that are out of my reach
I’ll drown in the alcoholic ocean of emotions
And temporarily survive.

I’m booking myself a one way flight,
To a land where park benches don’t know our names,
From where the Moon looks down at me and still smiles,
I want to touch spaces so wild and insane,
And let lose of all the love I have trapped within,
Waking up to the smell of our home
Where I believe you never left my hand.

June 28, 2017

editors note: Recovery Airlines special, all expenses paid (except for the meds and doctor’s bills). – mh clay

Wet Radio 2015 by Goirick Brahmachari

Rain has no gender.
Why are tears then often assigned gender roles? We, who defy, cry immersing
ourselves in rivers, for life is but a long hallucination of memory and miseries we cull. Love
and loss are often one and the same- they eat our brain cells like ants swarming over
stale, decayed bread by the side of your garbage bin, early morning.
I have lost count of my lovers in imaginary strawberry fields, now purple in evenings without
crowing crows. Often, I have tried to lose my memory. Sometimes by falling
in love to seek pain- sometimes by disappearing a little every winter.
And escape came running down the green paddy fields, through a broken shortwave
radio whining in pain
Or, in guitar solos that illuminated my lamp lit, power-cut evenings. Other times, in lyrics
we gathered from the album covers.
Skipping lunch, biking for hours under the hot, arid sun, saving
to buy, to listen to the songs that remind you of your favourite lover, the punishments you
received at the school, and so on. May be, crying was just an excuse.
I was probably just longing for some goosebumps.

June 27, 2017

editors note: It’s a retro radio wasteland. Tune in to your favorite triumphs. Turn off the tragedies. (We welcome Goirick to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

To the dregs by Joseph Farley

life is poison,
yet I must drink it.
there is no other beverage
that gets me so drunk.

June 26, 2017

editors note: We hope to build immunity to its poison. Daily doses; drink up. – my clay

Contradiction Of The Doctrine by Michael Marrotti

Free thinking
don’t cost a thing
come to think of it
it’s on the house

The negation
of asceticism
and display
of my appearance
may be of dubious
nature to you

But that doesn’t grant
you the right
regardless of how

To jump to the
that I need help
from the almighty above

I’m close to him
in this precise moment
the pills have taken effect
I’m soaring like George Soros

Be that as it may
I don’t deal well
with missionary

If you hand me
one more
of those self-help
biblical pamphlets

I will show you
how hostile I am
once the tranquility
of these pills
begins to wear off

June 25, 2017

editors note: What’s bank for one is bet for another. Keep your sure thing to yourself. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

If you're in need-of-a-read, we think "McGillicuddy’s Wake" by Contributing Writer & Poet Donal Mahoney will feed you mighty nicely.

Here's what short story editor, Tyler Malone has to say about this week's featured read:

"Sometimes, all that’s left of us can easily fit in a bottle. And that’s the way we wanted it."

Here's a few lines to get your readin' juices goin'

("It Grows, We Grow. It Dies, We Die." (above) by Tyler Malone aka The Second Shooter​)

Two new crutches and two double shots of Bushmills Irish Whiskey enabled Joe Faherty to move from the back seat of Moira Murphy’s 1976 Buick into Eagan’s Funeral Home for Tim McGillicuddy’s wake. At 87, Joe was in bad shape, only a tad better than McGillicuddy who looked splendid in a rococo casket.

The way the funeral home had painted McGillicuddy’s face, he looked better than most of the folks who had come to say good bye. Many of them were in their eighties. Even Moira, who still had her driver’s license, was creaky at 75.

McGillicuddy was 90 when he fell off his horse out in the country. Until that moment he hadn’t been sick a day in his life. Never drank and never smoked. Women were his passion. He was calling on a couple until the day he died.

Few folks knew that McGillicuddy had been expelled from Ireland by the British in 1920. He was 18. He had been captured at 16 bringing guns to older IRA rebels who were fighting the British. A few rebels with rifles caused the British occupiers a lot of problems.

For two years they kept McGillicudy in prison. They finally agreed to let him go to America. Why not, McGillicuddy thought. Life in America had to be better than prison...

If you're hooked and need the rest of the story, you can get you some right here!

••• Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve this 1st Wednesday of July (aka 07.05.17) at 8:00 SHARP as we continue to swirl up our mic madness at our mad mic-ness home, Dallas’ City Tavern!

Come on out, one & all. Get a brainful of Swirve, share in the Mad Swirl’n festivities, & if the spirit is movin’ ya get yourself a spot on our list. Come to be a part of this collective creative love child we affectionately call Mad Swirl. Come to participate. Come to appreciate. Come to swirl-a-brate!

Catch us swirlin' up our madness at The City Tavern located at 1402 Main Street • Dallas, TX

P.S. If you're a Facebook'r and want to get on our pre-list, visit our event page and let us know you're gonna be there.


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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