INTENTIONS

featured in the poetry forum January 1, 2019  :: 0 comments

1) go to yoga once or twice a week again
2) actually eat the produce you pay to get hand-delivered to your door
3) make smoothies with it 4) i don’t know. just stop letting it rot.

5) commit to a hobby or volunteer work 6) or both if you can swing it but lets not get crazy
7) judge less. i know you say it’s because you’re a creative type, or whatever, but we both know it’s not just innocent observation.
8) you think some mean shit 9) just cus you don’t say it out loud doesn’t make it not mean

10) finish reading more books
11) make it your personal practice to write every day
12) even when you don’t wanna 13) maybe even especially then

14) stop being so afraid to learn new things. it’s your ‘talented and gifted’ complex, we know,
but it’s not an excuse 15) you don’t have to be good the 1st time or even the 20th time

16) still try, though 17) still grow

18) eat less dairy and bread if you can and 19) if you can’t, don’t be hard on yourself
20) focus more on art from a business perspective. put in the effort. you want to make this
a career someday, act like it.
21) move out of town. you love it here but you might be outgrowing it.
22) take probiotics 23) make mushroom tea 24) don’t settle for toxic relationships just to have the space filled

25) emptiness welcomes fullness and 26) endings welcome beginnings and in that vein…

27) stop holding onto things for their sentimental value. a few things is fine.
28) find a therapist 29) come to terms with death 30) leave the country again 31) go for more walks
32) get a dog. you’ll walk more.

33) tune your eyes to see opportunity in things not going as planned
34) microwave less dinners 35) buy less beauty products
36) stop convincing yourself that you will be a better version of you if you just buy this one last beauty product
37) it’s a sham

38) moisturize and stop picking at your skin
39) express soft sappy love when it begs to be expressed. you don’t have to play tough and cool.
you are rarely apathetic or disinterested so stop pretending to be.

40) pick a topic or two to learn more about and buy some books about it 41) budget better
42) spend less time on your phone and more time actively loving on pets
43) be nice even when the world seems pretty mean
44) come up with some affirmations and affirm yourself 45) forgive yourself

46) forgive everyone else even though in your stubborn heart you don’t feel like
anyone who has wronged you deserves it. they might not but do it for you.

47) surround yourself with beauty
48) unplug when you need to
49) don’t let the world make you cold
50) i mean it. don’t do it.

editors note:

Whatever our intentions for this New Year, may they lead you to 49) and 50). We mean it, too! – mh clay

Santa

featured in the poetry forum December 22, 2018  :: 1 comment

when i confronted my mom,
demanding the truth,
she told it.

i ran to my room, tears soaking my face
as if i hadn’t approached her,
determined to know it.

i felt so deceived!
clinging to the remnants of things i believed
to be true (that way children do)

“the cookies, too? you guys ate them?”
she solemnly nodded. my innocence
withered, rotted.

then she said
‘we can pretend you never knew!’
and i agreed (i liked to be deceived by
make-believe things…
and still do).

editors note:

Looking for your Holiday lie? Pick the one that makes you smile. – mh clay

INTENTIONS

featured in the poetry forum January 1, 2018  :: 0 comments

1) go to yoga once or twice a week again
2) actually eat the produce you pay to get hand-delivered to your door
3) make smoothies with it 4) i don’t know. just stop letting it rot.

5) commit to a hobby or volunteer work 6) or both if you can swing it but lets not get crazy
7) judge less. i know you say it’s because you’re a creative type, or whatever, but we both know it’s not just innocent observation.
8) you think some mean shit 9) just cus you don’t say it out loud doesn’t make it not mean

10) finish reading more books
11) make it your personal practice to write every day
12) even when you don’t wanna 13) maybe even especially then

14) stop being so afraid to learn new things. it’s your ‘talented and gifted’ complex, we know,
but it’s not an excuse 15) you don’t have to be good the 1st time or even the 20th time

16) still try, though 17) still grow

18) eat less dairy and bread if you can and 19) if you can’t, don’t be hard on yourself
20) focus more on art from a business perspective. put in the effort. you want to make this
a career someday, act like it.
21) move out of town. you love it here but you might be outgrowing it.
22) take probiotics 23) make mushroom tea 24) don’t settle for toxic relationships just to have the space filled

25) emptiness welcomes fullness and 26) endings welcome beginnings and in that vein…

27) stop holding onto things for their sentimental value. a few things is fine.
28) find a therapist 29) come to terms with death 30) leave the country again 31) go for more walks
32) get a dog. you’ll walk more.

33) tune your eyes to see opportunity in things not going as planned
34) microwave less dinners 35) buy less beauty products
36) stop convincing yourself that you will be a better version of you if you just buy this one last beauty product
37) it’s a sham

38) moisturize and stop picking at your skin
39) express soft sappy love when it begs to be expressed. you don’t have to play tough and cool.
you are rarely apathetic or disinterested so stop pretending to be.

40) pick a topic or two to learn more about and buy some books about it 41) budget better
42) spend less time on your phone and more time actively loving on pets
43) be nice even when the world seems pretty mean
44) come up with some affirmations and affirm yourself 45) forgive yourself

46) forgive everyone else even though in your stubborn heart you don’t feel like
anyone who has wronged you deserves it. they might not but do it for you.

47) surround yourself with beauty
48) unplug when you need to
49) don’t let the world make you cold
50) i mean it. don’t do it.

editors note:

Whatever our intentions for this New Year, may they lead you to 49) and 50). We mean it, too! – mh clay

Magic

July 15, 2017  :: 1 comment

I grew up thinking my mother was magic. She recited memorized poetry in the bath every night and when she was home (which was often), she was naked, if not in her long silk robe that always drooped lazily, untied, and exposing her all the same. She smelt of rum and frankincense and had hair so long and so thick …

Spiked Eggnog

featured in the poetry forum December 19, 2016  :: 0 comments

Tonight, my roommates and I will drink eggnog – spiked with rum and
whiskey – and we will put up our Christmas tree.

All day I’ve been trying to remember where my childhood ornaments are.

My mother gave them to me in an old lunch box some years ago.
I misplaced them someplace between here and there
But they’re somewhere.
I know that they’re somewhere.

I can’t stop trying to figure it out.

In that same way,
I cling to the memories,
Something in my heart always aches about the holidays.

But tonight, my roommates and I will drink eggnog – spiked with rum
and whiskey – and we will put up our Christmas tree.

I’ve never been able to handle lifes’ changes like a well-adjusted adult,
But I put on a good front.
Most of the time.

I ache – tender, in the way that I ache – for moments in time,
Things the way they were, not are.
A gross cycle because I wind up berating myself
For always clinging to that which no longer exists.

My family and I – some other Christmas – putting up our Christmas tree.

The holidays remind me of the moments
I used to exist in but never reflected on because
I was too young to understand the aches and pains of nostalgia.
Still, I bet I don’t know the least of it.

So tonight, my roommates and I will drink eggnog – spiked with rum and
whiskey – and we will put up our Christmas tree.

I will try to be present.
I will likely forget.

In that same way, I’ll exist on, drift further,
Misplacing memories somewhere between then
And now,
But they’re somewhere,
And I don’t know if I will ever stop trying to figure it out.

But I do know, I like drinking eggnog – spiked with rum and whiskey

editors note:

Ornament as memory; nostalgia for Noel. (This one is from our Mad Gallery editor. Thanks for this holiday splash – of eggnog, Madelyn!) – mh clay

William Zuback

January 23, 2015  :: 0 comments

Cheap Tricks – William Zuback Our newest featured artist, William Zuback, brings us works of seemingly magic with his black and white photography that is really anything but black and white. With beautiful contrasts of light and dark, nudity, tattoos, and an unshakable, undeniable sort of fairytale vibe, William’s work provokes an undying childlike curiosity – ironically with photographs that are …

Gerard Bendiks

January 6, 2015  :: 0 comments

The Lady Behind You Is Not Amused – Gerard Bendiks Allow us to introduce you to Mad Swirl’s newest featured visual artist is the ever-talented Dallas-based Gerard Bendiks. Gerard’s photography is self-classified as ‘never outside the box‘ – but that isn’t to say it doesn’t almost give you the means to escape the box yourself! Bendiks takes otherwise ordinary imagery, …