The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.14.15

by on November 14, 2015 :: 0 comments

“The art of a people is a true mirror to their minds.” ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Lennon Peace Wall” (above) by featured artist David J. Thompson. To see more Mad works from David, as well as our other contributing artists, please visit our Mad Gallery.

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe embarked upon a mid-week crawl, sobriety’s state too close to call; we wanted, wanted, wouldn’t stop, till came up empty, gloppity-glop; we told the moon our idle wishes, devil passions amongst the fishes; we found a flower girl, second to one, who bends the best blossoms, second to none ; we saw her clearly through, deep and fragile, free and blue; we tried our hungry heart to please, obsessed with a new-named dream disease; we kept a curved infinity confined to a rhytidectomy. The ups and downs of words’ arrangements written to wipe away estrangements. It’s all uphill from here. ~ MH Clay

Elevator Tanka by Virginie Colline

cut-glass profile
black asymptotes
your eyes on an askew tie
Picasso’s geometry
in the elevator box

November 14, 2015

editors note: A cubist’s love line; ever approaching, never to meet. – mh clay

Somnosis by Hem Raj Bastola

Where I lost,
I found again
In somnosis.

A make believe
In dreams, a disease
Did not flow with time
To stronghold of belief
And I live
In somnosis.

Perfume flows
From her mouth.
A melody, a song I find
Listening to her
Addictive charm
A deep slumber
Brings me near.

To observe
Her dance
With waving hair
Her juicy apple cheeks
To bite.
From Mongolia or Tibet
By the effect of mountain air
She smiles among
Blooming buckwheat,
Inviting my lips
To her lips
As I employ in agreement.
I reach to drink
A current from her cheeks
And I awake
In somnosis.

Involuntary presence
In my dream
Leaves unerasable imprints
Still a quest unremitting
A deep longing to see her again
A somnambulist asks
To cordon every corner
In somnosis.

November 13, 2015

editors note: A new condition is coined to describe this lover’s magnanimous malady. Voila; somnosis! – mh clay

She Is by Jen Bochenko

She is deep
But the water is as clear as the most perfectly formed piece of glass and I can see my feet stir everything up with every step I take

She is blue
But also yellow and purple and red and gray and all the colors of the spectrum that exist within our view, and some that do not

She is free
But held down by the heavy chains of doubt, fear, and societal judgment and her own critical eye

She is exposed
But hidden with coats and sweaters and long sleeves and t-shirts and hair and skin and muscles and bones

She is enough
But the dynamite is too much locked into too little with not enough in which to breathe

She is fragile
But steel has the strength to hold skyscrapers, bridges, and the weight of the world

She is vulnerable

She is deep
But the water is as clear as the most perfectly formed piece of glass and I can see my feet stir everything up with every step I take

November 12, 2015

editors note: Self reflection; or, a view from the shore? Yes, she is! – mh clay

Making sugar flowers by Maria Sheets

I like to play God
Sitting straight backed
At my old yellow formica
Kitchen table

Cleaning off the cosmos
Picking the colors and cutters
Of all the leaves and flowers

As I decide what goes in this
Gum paste and buttercream

I think of Adam and Eve
“Naked and Afraid”
After the fall
And decide to leave out
The thorns

But they will come
For try as I may
I cannot compete with the sublime

Spending Hours
to roll out the petals
Of a single rose
Veining and curling each one

But His
Of perfect blooms
Formed at the speed of light

And not a single wire exposed

November 11, 2015

editors note: Puny petal pusher places second in creation; after god. – mh clay

HOUSE OF SOULS by Patty Dickson Pieczka

I wake one morning in a smoke-scented room
of windows and sparkling mirrors. Questions prism

through me in tangerine and rose while
people weave through my vision like fish. I ask

if anyone will burn a dream for me.
A woman with a stained bandage over her head

says, Our thoughts are right where we left them,
ready to melt into the mind of some passerby.

She plucks a translucent orchid from the vase.
The hanged man says, We never recognize

our own evils. Passion is the devil’s eye
and the source of life. No one can know

the difference. I ask him why my bones
have walked away from my body, why time

is moving sideways, but the moon slips
into his mouth and lights its candle.

November 10, 2015

editors note: In the mirror world, answers come to the reflection of questions. (Read another mad missive by Patty on her page; a light in the darkness – check it out.) – mh clay

Feel Sorry For Yourself by Addie Soaraki

Monster bells and cheap bubblegum-dazed
Teeny-boppers slamming locker doors after no
Valentines on a junior high February day, tripping
On oversized pants and Sears mock-ups
In paisley: You smoke at recess? Cool. Why
Don’t you like me? She liked the older guys, stoners
Off pretending to fight the draft, while he
Sloshed a can of Pabst he’d hidden in his too-big
Flak jacket. Oh, don’t feel sorry for yourself. Look at
That 13-year-old. She’s a slut. She’ll put-out.

Peace and love peace and love peace and love.
See that Jesus freak? All strung-out on the Lord,
Got a crease in his blue jeans, points at the sky
And says, one way one way one way. What’s
Jesus save? Green Stamps? Pull them in, throw
Them out. Look, man, I shut-out my light
With this. Holds a matchbox in his hand, nothing
In the lid. Feel sorry for yourself. The rapture

You want and want and want and want ain’t
Coming. Suck it in. Join the Army. Become
A Marine, kill gooks in the Mekong, kid. Rapture
Hides in gunpowder and sunshine. Please,
Feel sorry for yourself. Hang it out like laundry.
She’s not coming for something inside that will
Kill a man. Sing a mean tune. Pull the trigger.
Put your want in the gloppity-glop machine, seal it
Like cement.

November 9, 2015

editors note: Is this tough love or, just tough life? Gloppity-glop… – mh clay

FUCK IT, I’M GOING TO THE PUB by Bradford Middleton

My compadre in chaos has dropped word he’s drunk already
It’s 7.15 on a Tuesday evening, I’m speechless, where are you?

I had a thirst running all day at work from the moment I discovered tomorrow I don’t start until 6 in the evening
So that gives me plenty of time to build up a head of beer before I have to stop, knowing more may harm me and I can’t be dealing with that
Not now, not in this town at those prices even with those barmaids who scintillate and oscillate and make us hand over our money
And then break our hearts when they ignore us in the street after we’ve spent all our money watching her from our stool at the end of the bar
So far just 10 minutes have passed but I know he’s now out for the count, there’ll be no more word from him
Just deafening drunken silence as I decide, fuck it, I’m going out for a beer tonight
Got some money in my pocket and some smoke in my packet so you know what I say?

Fuck it!

November 8, 2015

editors note: Knowing more is more than a bar stool can bear. Sit up and straight and fuck it, indeed! – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Well then you’ve come to the right place! Stray cat strut this-a-way…

This week’s featured story comes Contributing Writer/Poet Ruth Z. Deming. Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about “A Mother’s Sorrow”: “Hold a heart when it falls to pieces, see something die and then carry on loving it, still. Then you’ll know what it’s like to live.”

Here’s a few nips to get ya purrin’:

(photo by Tyler Malone)

I floated on golden cloud from place to place. All I had was my soft brown and white fur, my tiny pink tongue, my piercing blue eyes that melted the hearts of everyone who saw me. Meow! Meeee-ow! There were so many ways to express myself. But no meow could capture the way I felt when they cut me open.

Yes, they numbed me, but Siamese cats are not dumb. I’m not one of those arrogant cats who think our breed is at the top of the hierarchy. All cats are created equal. That’s why I was attracted to Bosch, the tomcat of an artist here in downtown Philadelphia. Manisha would let me out at night after my aggressive door-scratching. The two of us – she still wearing her blue mail delivery uniform – and I would run down the wooden stairs, me softly padding down while her black shoes tapped lightly on each step.

At last I was outside!

Out into the excitement of downtown Philadelphia. Winter was upon us, but nature had seen to it that my fur had thickened. Ah, the glorious smells of garbage, or “garbaggio” as I heard tavern owners call it. Dumpsters everywhere. With two leaps, I was inside the green one from an Italian restaurant. Heaps and heaps of pasta – ravioli, angel hair spaghetti, lime-green tortellini – lay on top. I helped myself. What was that squeaking sound? Backed into a corner was a furry brown mouse who saw me and was shitting himself with fear. Fear no more, little mousie, I thought, as I made a delightful meal out of him.

Good protein for my brood who stirred inside me. It was here at the dumpster I met my handsome Bosch, the kits’ father. I peered at his owner’s apartment three stories above. Bright-colored abstracts lined the walls. And there he was. Bosch in his accustomed place. Stretched out like a movie star on the window sill, noble ears pointing to the stars.

Meow, I cried. Did he hear me? Or see me?

Get the rest of this read on 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…


Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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