“I want to speak, to sing to total strangers. It’s my way of talking to the world.” ~ Adrian Mitchell
••• The Mad Gallery •••
“Three Doors, New Mexico” (above) by featured artist David J. Thompson.
Featured artist, David J. Thompson, is back at it in this second batch of mad visuals – old, chipped, decayed, and decrepit never looked quite this good before. But that’s the wonder of art, isn’t it? Making the ugly, beautiful. The forgotten, found again. – Madelyn Olson
To see more Mad works from David, and our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.
••• The Poetry Forum •••
This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forum… we clambered to cross a cruel communion; we expelled a skulker, seductive sulker; we named a shadow not ourselves, a different grasp on walk on words; we sought to dance through life’s romance then rise in resurrection; we turned words like leaves, stacked in autumn’s sheaves; we indulged ourselves in dimension hopping to do some new reality shopping; we found home in free expression not tied to place, but purpose. We live. We write. We are… ~ MH Clay
Home That Never Was by Lisa Shields
Born to a harsh place,
Concrete lots that tore my knees
when I tripped skipping rope,
but from the cliffs of Jersey City,
you could see a finger width of the Hudson,
the dividing line between NY chic,
and something else back then.
My sister told people
we lived in Parsippany
because that didn’t bear the JC taint.
And I fiercely protected my home town,
though it never felt like home to me.
Home didn’t happen till 52 years passed,
and I found myself in Harwich Port,
one of too many residents in a big house
crafted by an ocean going man
they say may have been a slaver.
It stands well,
weathered by so many years,
and filled with too many lives,
my tiny bit of heaven
where the raised voices
are never raised at me.
Where I sleep each night
in nun’s bed simplicity,
but still soundly, at peace.
The ocean a mere mile away,
Red River beach at dusk or dawn,
the distant cliffs a bit of Chatham,
facing Nantucket Sound to the South.
I can’t write there,
the words dance away,
still it is my home,
my modest garret all mine
for a hundred a week,
this worn and wondered house.
I never dreamed of Cape Cod nights,
never wished to this sort of life.
But here I am, and here I stay,
a washashore with a heart full of dreams
Jersey City never knew.
October 24, 2015
editors note: Find that home where the words dance to you. No place like it. – mh clay
ANOTHER DIMENSION by David Subacchi
When you enter another dimension
It’s not like a different room
Or a new country
It’s not like illegal drugs
Or excess alcohol
It’s far more serious
Time is suspended
You are without control
A spectator only
Unable to communicate
With those around you
Your soul hangs in the balance
Most return quickly
To familiar reality
But others struggle hard
To stay where they are
For they have seen angels
And they want to see more
October 23, 2015
editors note: Stay on to game on. The angels have seen us, too. – mh clay
October by Susandale
Hold autumn close
When the sun strikes broadside
Reach into her heart of gold
One last moment
Plunder her golden orb
On the path of summer’s glory
A whispered lullaby
To rock cradle of sleep
October – on the outskirts of summer dreams
Drink deep the poem of autumn
October 22, 2015
editors note: Live it. Write it. Be it. – mh clay
Entrance Door by Allison Grayhurst
You stand at the entrance, robbed and dazed,
alone with the rain.
Your school is poor, much like water on a grave,
it cannot restore the yellowing clover. But I believe in you,
in the parting of your eyelids and the outpouring
of your creativity.
I saw your eyes, written with the depth of the wind.
Your sorrow is not easy,
but the power of it within you
will play out into an unimagined liberty.
A longed-for communion
will possess you and bring you barefoot out of exile.
I don’t know why this disappointment must claim victory
or why joy and intimacy
were not open mouths, parting, to match your ageless purity.
I don’t understand the burning, the collapse, and why
the Earth is so hard. But I understand you,
and what a blossom of magic you are.
You are meant to know this sorrow before
you can be happy. You are meant to dance out your grief,
your rage, the incapability
of others. Balance yourself here. I will help you.
I will kiss your hand. This is not random. Disaster is yours.
But the animals know, and I know, you are close
(so very close)
to the last release before
October 21, 2015
editors note: Encouraging epithets for exiles. Arise! Enter your escape… – mh clay
When you are not yourself by James Diaz
There will be days in which you wonder-
why is it you persist,
you and not the other person
some thirty years ago,
much different tone of voice
way that you sat in chairs even
to different hands and different feet.
You are carried by a thin fabric
whatever it might be
or the impossible belief in movement
the disorganization of your shadow
by early light
then sent home
with the wrong name.
October 20, 2015
editors note: Who am us, anyway? – mh clay
The Artful Seduction of Malice by James Robert Rudolph
You pair up with me like a lover sick
for contact any contact but you carry
harm with you in your sweat and
on your tongue and in your bed and
in your eyes you mean me harm you do.
You court on long days when sunsets
bloom peach on my lips and
you stand a silhouette dark
in my doorway cheek bones
pale and angled just so
just so I alone can see the
sharp small shadows they throw
on the coming night.
Your voice burrs on the air
between us and the air
thrums slightly then ripples
my chin seconds later and I know
right then I know I will spurn you in
a rupture of defiance So go for
you are not true you are not true
do you hear? Pack up your skulk and
disease and sweet talk for there is no
we with us, not yet.
October 19, 2015
editors note: In time, she’ll wend her way. She will be us and you will be lost; deliciously, bitterly lost. – mh clay
Sacrificial Communion by Scott Thomas Outlar
I’m going to hunt you down –
I swear I’ll track you to the ends
of the earth.
I’m going to taste your flesh –
I swear I’ll eat you to the bone
and drink the blood.
You can’t escape me –
Three days in hiding are not enough
to put me off.
You’re going to be all mine –
Run to your cross and hang there high
but it won’t save.
October 18, 2015
editors note: Abaddon invites Josh over for juice and crackers. – mh clay
••• Short Stories •••
Need-a-Read? This one will get you wonderin’ what that was that bit you then, who the biter is now, what will be, next go ’round.
Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about “A Previous Life” by Donal Mahoney: “We all have venom inside us. It’s in our very blood.”
Here’s a lil venom for ya:
photo by Tyler Malone
It was their wedding night and Priya didn’t want to tell her new husband all about it but Bill kept asking where she had learned to walk like that. Finally she told him it was inherited from a previous life, a life she had lived many years ago in India, not far from Bangalore. She had been a cobra kept in a charmer’s basket.
When the charmer found a customer, usually a Brit or Yank, he would play his flute and Priya would uncoil and rise from the basket. Her hood would swell and she would sway as long as the customer had enough money to keep paying the charmer. She never tried to bite a customer but some of the men weren’t the nicest people in the world. You think they would know better than to tease a cobra.
Being a charmer’s cobra was Priya’s job for many years until she finally grew weary of the tiny mice her keeper would feed her so she bit him and he died. His family had Priya decapitated but she was born again later in a small village, this time as a human, a baby girl. After she matured into a young woman, she had a walk, men said, reminiscent of a cobra’s sway…
After you let that sink into your veins, get the rest of the story 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…
Speakin’ & Singin’ It,
Short Story Editor