The Best of Mad Swirl : 10.18.15

by on October 17, 2015 :: 0 comments

“Commitment and creativity cannot be captured and handcuffed. Inspiration cannot be jailed. The heart cannot be contained.” ~ Gary Zukav

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Ruins remain…” (above) by featured artist Aniruddha Sastikar. To see more Mad works from Aniruddha, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe holy rolled to wholly hold another’s heart; we heard a crooner as he fell, singing to the depths of hell; we lounged with lizards, bit down bugs; we slept rough, grew tough, in Gaia’s girth found enough; we took teardrops, dithered in dew; we picked pleasure from the pokes of time; we heard sounds of sadness, cries from beyond, crimes now gone, but never. No lookin’ back, no mirrors, no blood. ~ MH Clay

Living In a Mythical City by Chuck Taylor

I live in a mythical city where almost no one wants to be. People appear guilty. A plantation once sat on a hill in the middle of town and slaves once slaved in the cotton fields on the nearby muddy bottoms of the river. People feel ashamed.

Many stay inside as much as possible. The streets are full of tinted window cars, yet the stores are often empty. If you bump into someone in the city they say, This town, it’s got the movies and the mall and that’s all, that’s all.

You hear, I’m leaving town on a business trip. You hear, we’ll be over in the capital city for the weekend. You hear, we’ll be down on the beach on the coast, and may be doing some birding. You hear, we’re driving down to the big city to see an opera or Bob Dylan.

Late at night you hear the dead plantation slaves singing from unmarked graves. I get up from my bed and go to the window to hear better, but never can fully grasp what words are being sung.

Of course the city has its blusterers. Having been a part of the South that lost the civil war, the people love their guns and are filled with patriotic piss and vinegar. Young men pretend they’re military and to keep in shape form columns that march the twelve miles west to the river and back, singing songs about how they will save America. Then they do their praying.

What seems to actually save the city is drugs and alcohol. Many I know whose hearts are broken live at home in cups and dope, or spend their nights in a multitude of bars.

A week ago a downtown crowd lynched the poet laureate off the abandoned theatre’s movie marquee. An alligator was caught slinking down the main street.

Years earlier a distraught man torched the library. Hunks of petrified wood surround the graves of confederate officers. The newspaper says who is smiling today, and carries tales of bizarre murders.

Nothing gets aborted.

October 17, 2015

editors note: These would codify the myth of perfection to prosecute the imperfect. Their justice is blindfolded so she’ll never look into a mirror. (With this submission, we welcome Chuck into the raving ranks of our Contributing Poets. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

A Spark of Time by Chiranjibi Niroula

Time is going on its own course,
I also have been chasing it
for a long time.

My voyage has been longer than my expectation,
I witness the features of life happily.
Ups and downs! Ups and downs!

Day goes into dark, I foresee for a new day,
Wow, a new day, a new moment, a new time!
It comes again,
I like to chase it, I like to go with it,

One after another, I have got a new horizon,
My horizontal expectation is merely matched to other,
I see the rings in the sky,
The rings of colors,
I attempt to keep them,
I keep on standing,
I keep on praising!

Again the gigantic time stands at my front,
It bangs me while crossing by it,
I smile and attempt through it,
It is nothing for me and for my voyage,
As I know the thrones of time poke me,
I feel pleasure with such pokes!

I change the route, the route of mixed phenomena,
I can’t stand on mixture,
As I have different identity,
I’m an identity of madness,
I’m the identity of poverty,
I can’t stand on abundance of wealth,
As I have to see the struggle of the voiceless,
So, my path is different.

So, my time is different!

I see the path of white drop converting into the blue mass,
The huge mass, the masses of madness!
I envision to escort with madness,
To have change,
To have justice,
To have equality,
To have humanity!

So I keep on standing…..
I keep on moving…….
I keep on struggling,
Oh, god! Let me further go into madness,

To get a spark of time!

October 16, 2015

editors note: Our Nepalese brother goes through the gamut to gain a little more madness and a spark. Yes! – mh clay

Today was like by Ilhem Issaoui

Today was like no other
The blooming almonds
Burgeoning again
The dewdrops dispersed
How I wish they were still
To enlighten my sorrows
And tinge my pathos
with sumptuous tears
still in that
I see your gleaming forehead
A sunflower lofty and well-bred

October 15, 2015

editors note: A new love; seen everywhere, in everything. – mh clay

Independence Day by Paul Hellweg

wilderness backpack on July 4th
first ever typing drunk in a tent poem
single malt Scotch and rainwater
experiencing nature’s power on display
not missing fireworks
lightning and thunder and wind
flashes Tesla coil bright
kettle drum booming
wind playing hide and seek with sanity
rain drops dancing on tent canopy

Oh wilderness, voluptuous maiden of our heritage
no road signs, no tombstones, no poverty of spirit
only more and more horizons and
destinations uncharted
listen when the wind talks
heed Thor’s hammering
smell damp earth and air ozone fresh
sing with your soul as it wakes up
truly, life begins
where sidewalks end

October 14, 2015

editors note: Yes, it does! So, get out there (and remember: dig your latrine downstream). – mh clay

Some Small Lizards by KJ Hannah Greenberg

Some small lizards,
All green fierceness,
Protective of sill plus
Sunny stoop, assembled.

News rang around that
Distant critters, chitin-
Covered clans, marched
Land to land, determined
To achieve biotic conquest.

Sticky tongues adequately
Acceded most of those bugs
To space in reptilian intestines.
Scaly’s newest cohort prospered.

October 13, 2015

editors note: One day, we’ll compete for the same protein. Watch and learn! – mh clay

LADY, YOU SHOT ME #29 by Darren C. Demaree

He got to see there is
everything. He got to see
there is nothing.

It would have been
his greatest song
if the bullets hadn’t pierced

his lungs the way they did.
Just two and a half more
minutes of air

& he could have shown us
the entire depth of the well
we all swim in.

October 12, 2015

editors note: Everything and nothing; with a little more air, he could have sung more of both. (RIP, Sam Cooke.) – mh clay

The Price of Empathy by Keith Landrum

Hallelujah came
on Sunday
and stomping
wet eyes

I was a child

a woman runs
past my pew
in a language
I can’t

“Everything will be okay!”
I cry to her
because I didn’t know
what else to say

my mother orders me
to remain

but…the woman
she is screaming
she is crying
I felt
I needed

my mother put her hand
over my mouth

I didn’t understand
I felt lost

but I have come
to realize

some people
have never appreciated
my concern
for others

October 11, 2015

editors note: An empath evolves; learns actions are better… – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well then let’s get this reading par-tay started!

Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about “The Warehouse” by Hannah Frishberg: “The violent truth of change is that it’s not what’s there now, it’s what was once standing in your memories.”

to get your eyes movin’ and groovin’:

“Sunrise Over the City That Never Sleeps” (photo by Hannah Frishberg)

We’d cop 40s from the mafia front on Smith and Union (the one on the corner, not the bodega next to the pizza joint—they’d just laugh at our fakes and tell us to try across the street) and run down President till we hit the water. “Take the F to Carroll and walk to the river,” we’d tell anyone who came late, “it’s the big warehouse with the black netting. Duck the fence and come to the roof.”

Sometimes, especially later, when security got tight, kids would pussy out right in front of the building. Just mumble some excuse and turn around, walk back to the train, after trekking all the way to the edge of Red Hook.

By the end, I couldn’t really blame them. The construction guys strung lights through the place, put the barbed wire on the inside of the scaffolding and booby-trapped the stairs with wood planks. Once the crew made it to the roof, everyone was bloody, shirts were ripped, faces streaked with sweat and dirt. That was near the end of our time at the Warehouse, though. The beginning was beautiful

How dare we stop the groove there? Teases we be because we really want you to read the rest 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’ Free,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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