The Best of Mad Swirl : 11.28.15

by on November 28, 2015 :: 0 comments

“Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.” ~ William Blake

••• The Mad Gallery •••

“Sheffield’s old and new” (above) by featured artist Eleanor Leonne Bennett. To view all of Eleanor’s works, as well as our other featured artists, visit our Mad Gallery.

You may recognize the works of Eleanor Leonne Bennett from her feature here at Mad Swirl a couple years ago… or maybe the myriad of other places this gifted photog’s work has been featured. Bennett has created quite a name for herself and that ain’t a surprise. Her latest works of high contrast photographs create quite a strange stir within us – and we’re sure they’ll do the same for you. If you aren’t familiar with Eleanor’s works, we highly suggest that you do get familiar. If you already are, re-familiarize… your eyes will thank you. – Madelyn Olson

••• The Poetry Forum •••

This last week in Mad Swirl’s Poetry Forumwe worried the whelp of a cry for help; we rued romance in a flower dance; we drowned love’s dreams in silenced screams; we lost love’s soft nuzzle in a lover’s mother’s crossword puzzle; we thought of house and car (with tank full), counted lucky stars (while thankful); we watched cig smoke curls, high and higher, engage a lazed cloud classifier; we sat aboard an asylum bus, the mystery girl with all of us. “I am he as you are he, as you are me and we are all together…” ~ MH Clay

The Cold War by Quinten Collier

I don’t know if we were spies
or just fugitives.
We were on a bus.
I was fleeing again
but confident this time
I would attain liberation,
insoluble levity,
Everyone on the bus felt the same;
we could see ourselves gliding across the map from above
through a country of weightless gold.

Sitting next to me was an Indian girl–
Hindu, Aztec, Iroquois…
I couldn’t discern her origin–
I thought she had the power to heal.

I knew I would never escape my native land,
though it seemed the journey itself was a sanctuary.

The girl asked me where I was going
and if I’d taken this route before.
I answered then asked her the same,
here eyes a window to the foot hills behind,
the desert a mask for the forest
absolved of all duration.
She had a baby in her arms.
I asked her its name.
Her lips turned ocher like herbs
and she was silent:

This child was a gift.
Our destination cannot be determined.
Her name is October
and she must never awake from her dream.

We entered a territory of wind and sand
and wheat.
This was America.

The girl pointed out the window,

We call this place Russia, she said

November 28, 2015

editors note: Ascendance becomes destination; place names are irrelevant. – mh clay

The Weather in my Head by John Saunders

is such a cliché to describe mood.
I stand at the gate of a ploughed field,
scavenger birds exploit rows of newly turned ground.

Above me a soufflé of clouds with mottled contours;
the common Cumulonimbus like a head of cauliflower,
a rare Undulatus Asperatus like rough furrows.

I light up another cigarette, watch its contrails rise,
wonder if I will ever witness Lenticularis – Pile d’assiettes,
think cloud watching is an acceptable form of doing nothing.

November 27, 2015

editors note: This much ado is about all sides of nothing… Nothing wrong with that! – mh clay


I don’t care much what other folks
think, but at my age – pushing
seven-oh, I still can’t believe

I own my own house and my own car.
Yawning, though engaged, during the
film Age of Adaline, my mind jumped

ship to that favorite thought. I – see
me jumping up and down? – own my
own house and my own car.

Own! The sweetest song in
America. Listen to its verses
Property owner. Homeowner.

Homeowner’s insurance. Buy
both car and home for a
“buyer’s discount.” I am doing

cartwheels on the carpeted floor.
Though I speak with the royal “we”
I live alone. Solicitor’s come by.

Before we slam the door in their faces – a red door
I painted myself – I put them through
paces. A black guy named Dwayne

sat on the red couch and listened to
my poetry. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses
dressed in black, heard a tirade about

The God of Israel. Sammy put in the
storm window on my side door. Please,
dear God, I pray, let me not think

who will live here when I’m gone.
Roasted, while dead, like this week’s
Thanksgiving turkey.

November 26, 2015

editors note: Reason to be thankful, no matter how you slice your dream… – mh clay

charlie watts by John Grochalski

she had me
sweating bullets
she had me
not wanting to hear her voice
i swear to christ
she was trying to drown me
in her petty jealousies
but she was right about everything
i was out there looking
for her replacement
day after day
night after night
but i found no takers
other than the hip line
of a tanned stripper’s g-string
our dinner money
our movie money
going against that sweet flesh curve
she had me
on the line for a week
without calling
going mad
getting mad
drunk joyous at the thought that we were over
every time the phone rang
jumping at my own shadows
she had me
on the other line
giggling and laughing like a schoolgirl
like nothing happened
the way we’d left it
and all she wanted to know
was the name of the rolling stones drummer
for her mother’s
fucking crossword puzzle.

November 25, 2015

editors note: We dangle on the line, searching for a clue; a four letter word, “v” the third letter; crossword is “vile.” Hmm… – mh clay

once upon our love by Ayoola Goodness Olanrewaju

the cries and smiles we shared in love and dreams
was once a bliss of life enjoyed and gone
our passions drowned unseen in silenced screams…

in graceful dance of feet and fun
we held so close and lipped a kiss so fine
our hands, with mine on yours was two as one…

we loved and promised, ever yours and mine
in stills, in storms until our deaths and ends
to cherish, keep, to love for life in twain…

our love faded soon on stormy beds
we etched the this and that that wrecked our love
and left our lives, our hearts embittered shreds…

it was a love once rained on us from above.

November 24, 2015

editors note: Another, once held tightly; now, taken, though not lightly, in terza rima. – mh clay

Unbearable Affliction by Amy Barry

Two hundred and one flowers
fill the room,
incensed flames flicker.
An aching stillness hangs.
She longs to be elsewhere.

Warm breath creeps,
like the first time she danced
with her lover-
her soul ignites,
she pirouettes,
across the scuffed wooden floor.

Sweat on brow,
feverish perfumed passion,
fingers trace as if
unsighted and unsure.

she is peeled;
a promise to the night,
she arrives.
The Flower Duet ends.

Love fades…

But memories linger
like watchful ghosts.

November 23, 2015

editors note: Dancing to the memory of love… – mh clay


The day is racked and tortured
Its windy spaces tranquil yet stormy;
My silent heart cries out
And I breath deep
To prevent tears
From falling down my cheeks;
For only tears
Can articulate these inner silences
That tear at my being;
Tears only can make sense
Of these longings
That remain illusive and inexpressible.

My heart cries out
And I breath deep
To prevent tears
Welling up into my eyes;
Locked in silence
Each of us must hold
This loneliness to the chest;
I hunger for something
That I am unable to grasp.

My heart cries out
And I breath deep
To prevent tears
Falling down my cheeks;

I yearn for a woman’s embrace
To feel the arms of another
Wrapped around me;
There is no-one.

My heart cries out
And I breath deep
To fight back tears
That threaten
To roll down my cheeks;

I long for that which I have never had:
Knowing that all desire
Must be ship-wrecked by an alien world;
Knowing dreams and defeat form a singularity;
While windy spaces remain tranquil yet stormy.

November 22, 2015

editors note: Alone, we enter. Alone, we exit. All seek “together” in between. – mh clay

••• Short Stories •••

Need-a-Read? Good, ‘cos we Gotta-a-Read! This week’s featured story comes from Contributing Writer/Poet Beth DeSeelhorst. Here is what Short Story Editor Tyler Malone had to say about “The Case of the Cross-Country Skier”: “Tis the season for magic and myths, the deepest, whitest parts of us as people.”

Here’s a few lines to get ya goin’:

(photo by Johnny Olson)

At last, at last, Wendell rests his skis at the other side of the lake in sunset, exhausted, satiated. He senses the water conscious and raucous down under the lake, glaring, straining upward, knocking against the depths of the ice again and again, enraged at his escape. He’s unwilling to look away, but does not want to cross the lake again. He’s done that, and doesn’t want to undo it. In twilight, he turns to see what lay behind him to see what lay ahead. The old horizon is here, silhouettes anchored in cold and quiet curiosity. He slides into the clear moon’s orbit, drifts into the white woodlands with silent, unrehearsed control. There is no hurry, no destination.

He journeys on and on for a long time or short time whereupon he encounters two small mounds of snow. He picks one up and holds it out in his palm. It moves. Startled, his hand jerks and it slips back onto the snow. He bends down, gently pokes it with wonder. He turns to the other mound, but it scampers out of reach.

“What are you?” Wendell asks.

The one he had held answers: “Snowlink”.

“Snowlink? What’s a Snowlink?”

“That’s my name.”

“Right,” Wendell says.

“That’s Snowslippery,” it says. “We’re twins, but you can tell us apart.”

“Right,” he says, and again reaches for Snowslippery.

“Why won’t this one stay still?” Wendell turns to Snowlink, who doesn’t answer.

Wendell thinks aloud, “Well, what now?”

“Well, wanna come along?” Snowlink asks. “I’m going to … I’m going… “

“Sure. I’d like to go… I’d like…”

He places Snowlink on the tip of one ski, and then glances at Snowslippery, who doesn’t move. The two of them begin, leaving Snowslippery behind.

They happen on the rhythm soon. They share the scenery, the splendor of the white trees and white rocks and every thing white resting whitely in whiteness.

Get the rest of your read on right here!

••• Mad Swirl Open Mic •••

Join Mad Swirl & Swirve the 1st Wednesday of December (aka 12.02.15) as we kick things off at our NEW Open Mic home, The Underpass Bar (located at 650 Exposition Ave in Dallas)…

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 our new MAD open mic home!

P.S. If you can’t be here LIVE, you can view the whole show via our Mad Swirl UStream Channel! Just click here at 8:00pm (CST) and watch the mic madness swirlin’ live.

••• Mad Swirl Merch •••

LAST CALL!… If you’re MAD and you know it, why not wear it loudly and proudly? The whole Mad Swirl of merch begins here, in our new online store! This merch will be available for purchase until November 29th. They come in all sizes for men and woman and a variety of colors. Come get you one… or two, you know, for the mad ones in your swirlin’ world!

We here at Mad Swirl have been tossing around the idea of selling all kinds of merch but we aren’t sure what the demand would be. We are dippin’ our toe in the swirlin’ waters with this lil store we set up. If all goes good, we will continue selling our madness and start offering up all kinds of crazy designs!


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…

Displayin’ It,

Johnny O
Chief Editor

MH Clay
Poetry Editor

Tyler Malone
Short Story Editor

Madelyn Olson
Visual Editor

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